I’m starting a PF-2E game shortly. Most of the players have previously played 1E. However, one of the players will have had no previous 1E experience but is familiar with DnD 5E, a system with which I have no familiarity. He is also relatively younger than the others.
I’d like for his transition into our Pathfinder family to be as pleasant as possible and I was just after some tips on helping someone from a DnD background learn PF-2E as painlessly and enjoyably as possible.
E.g. what sort of things will he be familiar with? What will be new? Etc.
To clarify, I know nothing about DnD 5E
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In general, 5E is much much simpler than Pathfinder 2E. The biggest difference is that 5E has very few choices. All you choose is your class, race, Ability Scores, and archetype (subclass), then you can choose your spells if you're a spellcaster. After that, there are no more character development choices, apart from feats, but feats are an optional rule. Some DMs don't even use them. Make sure this person is not overwhelmed by the huge list of feats in 2E.
5E also has a proficiency system, so that will be somewhat familiar, but it only goes from +2 to +6 as you level up, and has no degrees of effectiveness like TEML.
5E's spellcasters are all spontaneous casters - none of their spells are tied to any particular spell slot. Also, all their spells work like the Sorcerer's Signature spells, in that you can heighten them on the fly. So you would prepare or learn a spell, and afterwards can cast it with any slot of the spell's level or higher. For example: if your Wizard prepares Fireball, and Hypnotic Pattern - both of them 3rd-level spells, you don't assign each spell to a slot. Instead you just expend a spell slot of 3rd-level or higher when you want to cast, regardless of which spell you're casting. You could even spend all your spell slots of 3rd level and higher to cast fireball again and again. If you spend a higher-level spell slot, the spells are heightened automatically, which sometimes provides increased effects like in Pathfinder 2E.
5e characters get one Action, Bonus Action, and Reaction. They can also move up to their speed each turn, and can move at any point in-between their actions. So you could move, attack, and move again. At certain levels, martial characters receive extra attacks, so they would even be able to move, attack, move, attack, move. Pathfinder 2E's action system is more restrictive.
5e's situational modifiers consist almost entirely of "advantage" (roll 2d20, take the better) and "Disadvantage" (roll 2d20, take the worse). Pathfinder 2e relies mainly on +1s and +2s.
5e's crits only happen on a nat 20. Critical failures are not an official rule in 5e.
5E also has relatively rudimentary rules for grappling, shoving, tripping, etc..., and resolves most skill checks through a simple roll on the fly. It encourages DMs to be flexible, rather than have more concrete rules on the various checks like Pathfinder 2E does.
some quick things that come to mind:
- Numbers (attack, save, skills, AC, DC) will be MUCH higher than anything he's encountered in 5E. This gets more extreme with every additional level.
- The difference between being trained and untrained is more significant. Instead of just being proficient or not, you can have different levels of proficiency (T/E/M/L).
- Feats are much less powerful than in 5E, but you get a LOT of them to compensate. They also don't cost you abilitiy score increases to pick up.
- You make meaningful character choices at every level. It's much less frontloaded than in 5E where you basically only pick our race and class at level 1 and then class path at level 3. After that, most classes don't have much to chose from.