How many also play 5e?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I wouldn't say finding 5e groups is easier. I was looking to add one more evening of games so I put up a LFG post. I've ended up picking up two games from that and had to turn away enough people to fill another 3 groups.

I could possibly play 6e on the side if they allowed advantage stacking. At the moment t anything past lower levels for me is so dull because advantage never actually comes in to play. Oh we have 3 things giving advantage against this boss, but it has one thing giving disadvantage? Sorry no advantage and your actions didn't matter, please carry on reducing another 100 HP with regular attacks for the next 30 minutes.

Liberty's Edge

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I despise 5e, but one of my friend groups thinks it is far superior to PF2E and won't' give PF2E a try. So we still play 5E weekly. I'm in an online game to get my fix.


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Luke Styer wrote:

I strongly prefer PF2 over 5E, though I admit to much less experience with 5E. But as someone who primarily GMs, if I’m given a chance to play, I’ll play 5E. I’m not all that interested in running 5E, though this comment caught my attention:

The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
- bounded accuracy makes sandbox play and hexcrawling fun with minimal rule changes required imo.
I have a major itch to run a hexcrawl sandbox, and I’m just not sure PF2 is the system for that. Though Kingmaker 2E may change my mind and/or scratch that itch if I run int next year. My Pathfinder group is on Book 3 of Strength of Thousands and aren’t likely to jump ship before that finishes.

As was said by another proficiency without level is a must... but it damages a lot of the core balance of PF2e.

Personally I have tried to get in hexcrawling and sandbox play with PF2e but I don't think it is playing to the system's strengths. As a GM I just ended up wishing I was running another system more suited to it like Forbidden Lands, OSE advanced fantasy, Cypher System games or 5e.

Combats work best in PF2e if planned out, as does equipment and character progression imo. Playable ofc, but it is too easy to fall into the trap of lots of 5e players, trying to fit the system they like into every genre of play.

That said I think smaller sandboxes and hexcrawling sections can work. But that doesn't give the full sandbox exploration and development experience.


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Starfinder Superscriber
Coridan wrote:
I despise 5e, but one of my friend groups thinks it is far superior to PF2E and won't' give PF2E a try. So we still play 5E weekly. I'm in an online game to get my fix.

The whole friend group? Like every one of them?


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
Luke Styer wrote:

I strongly prefer PF2 over 5E, though I admit to much less experience with 5E. But as someone who primarily GMs, if I’m given a chance to play, I’ll play 5E. I’m not all that interested in running 5E, though this comment caught my attention:

The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
- bounded accuracy makes sandbox play and hexcrawling fun with minimal rule changes required imo.
I have a major itch to run a hexcrawl sandbox, and I’m just not sure PF2 is the system for that. Though Kingmaker 2E may change my mind and/or scratch that itch if I run int next year. My Pathfinder group is on Book 3 of Strength of Thousands and aren’t likely to jump ship before that finishes.

As was said by another proficiency without level is a must... but it damages a lot of the core balance of PF2e.

Personally I have tried to get in hexcrawling and sandbox play with PF2e but I don't think it is playing to the system's strengths. As a GM I just ended up wishing I was running another system more suited to it like Forbidden Lands, OSE advanced fantasy, Cypher System games or 5e.

Combats work best in PF2e if planned out, as does equipment and character progression imo. Playable ofc, but it is too easy to fall into the trap of lots of 5e players, trying to fit the system they like into every genre of play.

That said I think smaller sandboxes and hexcrawling sections can work. But that doesn't give the full sandbox exploration and development experience.

I don't think it damages the hexploration experience at all. It needs players to be willing to run away and reevaluate and for gms to be happy narrating the outcomes of under trivial encounters. I actually think that it can aid the experience when players don't feel they can just handle everything in a sandbox and some clear biome signposting makes it so players can be informed.

When told by the local hunters that they don't do any trapping in Fasnbever swamp after a few hunting parties never came back, its telling the players that place is dangerous (especially if the towns best hunter is a level 3 npc and they are only level 1.) Then when they find out that the Swamp has unique flora in it (cheaper elixirs!) they can make the choice as to whether that's worth the risk, and prepare for it.


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The Gleeful Grognard wrote:


As was said by another proficiency without level is a must... but it damages a lot of the core balance of PF2e.

Have you used it? What does it damage?


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Been stuck playing 5e ever since it came out since everyone else in my groups prefers it. I much prefer the amount of options in PF1 and thankfully a new group started for it in the flgs.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Leon Aquilla wrote:
Coridan wrote:
I despise 5e, but one of my friend groups thinks it is far superior to PF2E and won't' give PF2E a try. So we still play 5E weekly. I'm in an online game to get my fix.
The whole friend group? Like every one of them?

I mean for a lot of groups, 5e IS a better game. Not everyone wants the complexity of PF2E. And many won't bother to try PF2E because they are so comfortable with 5e. (Asmodeus knows I should try more systems than I actually have.)


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SuperBidi wrote:
Have you used it? What does it damage?

Yes and

- combat encounter difficulty (low number or single enemy fights significantly easier)
- critical threat ranges (+10-10)
- summoned creatures
- proportionate value of buffs when used on non static DCs
- incapacitation effects become more reliably powerful
- nerf to AoE effects with saves in larger battles
- lower value for in higher proficiency tiers
- static DC items become a lot more powerful for their levels

I am on the "I am not a fan of scaling proficiency every level" side and have been since the playtest. But the game is built and balanced around it, and it works best like that atm imo. Rebalance a bunch of rules, feats, spells, items and creatures


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Starfinder Superscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:

I mean for a lot of groups, 5e IS a better game. Not everyone wants the complexity of PF2E. And many won't bother to try PF2E because they are so comfortable with 5e. (Asmodeus knows I should try more systems than I actually have.)

I only ask because usually what's going on is there's ONE GUY who absolutely REFUSES TO try anything new, and the group for some inexplicable reason lets this one guy have veto power over the rest of them. Oftentimes he's not even the 5e GM!


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How do the rules of PF2e inhibit hexcrawling or sandbox style games? Or to flip it on its head - what rules do other systems have that enable hexcrawling?


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OCEANSHIELDWOLPF 2.0 wrote:
How do the rules of PF2e inhibit hexcrawling or sandbox style games? Or to flip it on its head - what rules do other systems have that enable hexcrawling?

The tight encounter math and strict rulings on spells and out-of-combat actions mean that running into a higher-level encounter is much worse for a party in PF2 than it would be in say D&D 5e. Plus, PF2 is really best suited to tailored encounters designed either for the environment they take place in or, better still, tailored to the party's strengths and weaknesses to create a series of knife-edge balanced encounters that threaten doom but never quite get there. PF2 has a massive strength in these kinds of well-crafted combat puzzles but often feels lacking when played in a more freeform fashion where players don't treat combat as an optimization puzzle.

There's a certain appeal to D&D 5e's looser encounter math so where the party is rarely put into a situation that creative use of spells and abilities can't at least let them escape from. This can lead to 'dead' encounters where the party isn't challenged by something that, in theory, should challenge them but also allows for the DM to ramp things up to where a party is fighting enemies that feel better because the players know their [insert party level] group beat an encounter that is, supposedly, [x+party level] by the game's default math.


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OCEANSHIELDWOLPF 2.0 wrote:
How do the rules of PF2e inhibit hexcrawling or sandbox style games? Or to flip it on its head - what rules do other systems have that enable hexcrawling?

- characters have scaling modifiers and will outgrow standard challenges. It creates a world that feels like it is either being scaled to you and your exploits or has leveling zone boundaries like a mmo.

- the system doesn't have many options to wear players down over time outside of spell slots. And even then because of wands and scrolls the endurance of PF2e characters is very high.

- combats work better when planned out and a power differential tends to have a greater impact on the game than in many other systems. In 5e for instance you can stumble across an adult green dragon at level 5, not be seen and have a tense experience... or even trade one or two blows and run away. In PF2e they would be slaughtered and fast.

- item progression is important, and beyond the fundamental runes.

- characters tend to be less broad than say a 5e character, so their ability to adapt to unforseen events when they are higher level is more restrictive.

- characters take longer to make and are harder to replace due to the complexity

- combats are more complex and slower, tied with a player directed experience and random encounters this can mean (and I would even say will usually mean) that less progress will be made and pacing will be less than ideal for a sandbox environment.

- very little mechanical focus is placed on travel and survival mechanics, or day to day minutea

Again, I love pf2e, I think the system does very well at what it aims to do. And even small hexploration mini sandboxes can work for portions of an adventure, but large sprawling adentures in open sandboxes feel like trying to fit a square peg into a circular hole.

An example of a good sandbox rpg hexcrawl, Forbidden Lands. Another older one, old school essentials (aka B/X)


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The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
OCEANSHIELDWOLPF 2.0 wrote:
How do the rules of PF2e inhibit hexcrawling or sandbox style games? Or to flip it on its head - what rules do other systems have that enable hexcrawling?

- characters have scaling modifiers and will outgrow standard challenges. It creates a world that feels like it is either being scaled to you and your exploits or has leveling zone boundaries like a mmo.

- the system doesn't have many options to wear players down over time outside of spell slots. And even then because of wands and scrolls the endurance of PF2e characters is very high.

- combats work better when planned out and a power differential tends to have a greater impact on the game than in many other systems. In 5e for instance you can stumble across an adult green dragon at level 5, not be seen and have a tense experience... or even trade one or two blows and run away. In PF2e they would be slaughtered and fast.

- item progression is important, and beyond the fundamental runes.

- characters tend to be less broad than say a 5e character, so their ability to adapt to unforseen events when they are higher level is more restrictive.

- characters take longer to make and are harder to replace due to the complexity

- combats are more complex and slower, tied with a player directed experience and random encounters this can mean (and I would even say will usually mean) that less progress will be made and pacing will be less than ideal for a sandbox environment.

- very little mechanical focus is placed on travel and survival mechanics, or day to day minutea

Again, I love pf2e, I think the system does very well at what it aims to do. And even small hexploration mini sandboxes can work for portions of an adventure, but large sprawling adentures in open sandboxes feel like trying to fit a square peg into a circular hole.

An example of a good sandbox rpg hexcrawl, Forbidden Lands. Another older one, old school essentials (aka B/X)

Yeah, my group was looking at doing a hexcrawl with pf 2e and this was one of my concerns. I feel like after the eaeliest parts of the game, what it'll end up playing as is being a sandbox where the party goes out to points of interest, and the hexcrawling is mostly going to be a quick set dressing for travel.

I don't find it hard to improv a 2e encounter, and something like the green dragon example can be treated as something like a hazard/chase/etc, or make it a noncombat thing, like perhaps the dragon demands tribute or a favor from the party instead of just wanting to melt them in acid; but there are some limits to how high above your weight class that you can punch before you just get roflstomped.

To the point of not being broadly built though... that to me feels like a build failing; pf 2e doesn't really reward you for hyperfocusing your abilities, so there's no reason you cant have a character with a broad range of abilities. Most of the players in my table build themselves to be good at medium range of tasks, and then also be good at assisting others when their specities aren't the solution; or just generally being creative with their skills. The only one that really suffers with unexpected scenarios is the magus who has a hard time figuring out what to do if he can't spellstrike that turn, and even then, the character is theoretically versatile in and out of battle, it's just that the character is being ran bu someone whos mostly just interested in obliterating things with spellstrike


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Bumping into higher level areas being scary and challenging is a bonus to hexcrawls not a detriment in my opinion. Nothing says living open world to me better than having to turn tail and run.

I have also found PF2 is way way way bettet at just throwing an encounter together than 5e or pf1 3.5. Yeah you can tightly design some awesome PF2 encounters, but just grabbing a few appropriate enemies of the shelf yields a way more engaging encounter than doing the same in 5e. Just innately due to the combat system and better enemy design. Your group fumbles into an Owlbear nest in the forest? Slap a weak template onto two owlbears to represent juveniles and that is a darn fun encounter. I've nit even bothered with interesting terrain. Do the same thing in 5e? Ooh its time to trade hp again!


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Amusingly enough, when I mentioned wanting to look into 5e more, my group (who play both) talked me out of it. As near perma-GM, they wanted me to keep running Pathfinder because they said it allowed them more options for character creation and allowing them to make very different builds within the same class.


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Malk_Content wrote:

Bumping into higher level areas being scary and challenging is a bonus to hexcrawls not a detriment in my opinion. Nothing says living open world to me better than having to turn tail and run.

I have also found PF2 is way way way bettet at just throwing an encounter together than 5e or pf1 3.5. Yeah you can tightly design some awesome PF2 encounters, but just grabbing a few appropriate enemies of the shelf yields a way more engaging encounter than doing the same in 5e. Just innately due to the combat system and better enemy design. Your group fumbles into an Owlbear nest in the forest? Slap a weak template onto two owlbears to represent juveniles and that is a darn fun encounter. I've nit even bothered with interesting terrain. Do the same thing in 5e? Ooh its time to trade hp again!

Y'know, this reminds me of another point that I feel gets overlooked, esp in a sandbox game: not every encounter needs to fill a narrative role as long as it was enjoyable. The game itself should be fun to experience regardless of the loot, exp, etc, so treating roadside encounters like this as irrelevant because they don't drain resources or advance the Plot (tm) is kinda missing the point.

Sandboxes tend to have emergent stories anyways, so killing two juvenile owlbears could turn into a story where momma owlbear goes on a rampage when she finds her kids dead and now the local area has a problem with owlbears gutting travelers on once peaceful roads.

Also, I think people forget retreating from a monster; any monster, can be done with the chase rules; they are explicitly set up to not factor move speed and ranged attacks so that you can run from archers and dragons and the like


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I will say the sandbox hexcrawl debate isn't really about which system is better at it and more about there are different styles of hexcrawl that each game does better.

Want a openworld like Breath of The Wild where you can go almost anywhere and always have a chance to succeed, but the trade off is most encounters and areas feel fundamentally the same? 5e is great.

Want an openworld like Elden Ring where you have to be careful around every corner and you might fail? That works well in PF2 but the trade off is your sandbox comes with some disclaimers.

Edit: I like both the example video games. I liked Elden Ring more, but I have actually finished BoTW!


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Frankly my 2cp is that 5e is a good, if not a great, gateway to rpgs in general, but ultimately is something that should probably be regarded as just that: a gateway. It really has very little substance once that's done with.

To be honest, I'm kind of disappointed by some trends I see in paizo and PF since its painfully clear that PF is trying and has always tried to do much more than 5e ever did but is kind of shackled by design choices.

Grand Lodge

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I ran a 5e home game from 2016 to 2021. I enjoyed providing the game to the players who were new to TTRPGs because they watched Critical Role, and made lifelong friends.

I've been a Pathfinder player since 2011, and really enjoy 2e a lot, but my 5e friends AND my Pathfinder 1e friends refuse to give it a real try, so it's mostly PFS games for me.

I'm still chasing the dragon of trying to find a Pathfinder Savage Worlds game, which is an AWESOME system.

Liberty's Edge

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I no longer also play 5e but it is mainly because the reliable and relatable group of gamers I play TTRPGs with and I just don't really dig it that much, it's too insubstantial and not meaty enough.

The OTHER groups of gamers in the area that do run 5e games... I don't jive with, they're a bit too... um, zoomer brained, for a lack of a better term, for my tastes. Every single session I tried with the three groups I found through the years was 90% socialization and derails, 5% roleplaying, and 5% incorrectly using the rules and/or stopping the game to look at and laugh at the rules. Over half of the time most players were just chitchatting, sharing memes, staring at their phones, talking anime or furry culture, and making constant and non-stop instagram/tik-tok in-jokes... not my speed at all, but to be fair to 5e, I don't blame the game itself for that but rather mainly just the youth culture and difficulty in finding more grown gamers in my area.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I have done the hexcrawl full level sandbox thing in pf2e now, it works well so long as you're willing to let your players sense the levels of other creatures and use the chase rules from the GMG as ad hoc retreats.


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The-Magic-Sword wrote:
I have done the hexcrawl full level sandbox thing in pf2e now, it works well so long as you're willing to let your players sense the levels of other creatures and use the chase rules from the GMG as ad hoc retreats.

One thing I do know is that people are also waaaay too apt to think monsters will attack on sight of the PCs, but like, realistically, sharks dont eat every fish they see, humans dont kill every smaller creature than them, etc; so bumping into a a big nasty doesn't have to be a fight


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Alchemic_Genius wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
I have done the hexcrawl full level sandbox thing in pf2e now, it works well so long as you're willing to let your players sense the levels of other creatures and use the chase rules from the GMG as ad hoc retreats.
One thing I do know is that people are also waaaay too apt to think monsters will attack on sight of the PCs, but like, realistically, sharks dont eat every fish they see, humans dont kill every smaller creature than them, etc; so bumping into a a big nasty doesn't have to be a fight

What on Golarion happens if the PCs fail the chase scene, The-Magic-Sword? Are they forced to fight a superior foe while winded.

Spoiler:
Obligatory "Don'trun, you'll only die tired."


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
Alchemic_Genius wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
I have done the hexcrawl full level sandbox thing in pf2e now, it works well so long as you're willing to let your players sense the levels of other creatures and use the chase rules from the GMG as ad hoc retreats.
One thing I do know is that people are also waaaay too apt to think monsters will attack on sight of the PCs, but like, realistically, sharks dont eat every fish they see, humans dont kill every smaller creature than them, etc; so bumping into a a big nasty doesn't have to be a fight

What on Golarion happens if the PCs fail the chase scene, The-Magic-Sword? Are they forced to fight a superior foe while winded.

** spoiler omitted **

They don't all have to fight, just the player with the slowest movement speed.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
Alchemic_Genius wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
I have done the hexcrawl full level sandbox thing in pf2e now, it works well so long as you're willing to let your players sense the levels of other creatures and use the chase rules from the GMG as ad hoc retreats.
One thing I do know is that people are also waaaay too apt to think monsters will attack on sight of the PCs, but like, realistically, sharks dont eat every fish they see, humans dont kill every smaller creature than them, etc; so bumping into a a big nasty doesn't have to be a fight

What on Golarion happens if the PCs fail the chase scene, The-Magic-Sword? Are they forced to fight a superior foe while winded.

** spoiler omitted **

Sometimes a character dies. Pretty reasonable after what should at that point be multiple points of failure from the party. They've presumably had some warning of the kinds of things that exist in the area they are exploring (if someone hasn't got Survey Wildlife in a hexploration style game the party isn't adjusting their builds to the game offered), explored with little caution, gotten too close to something they shouldn't have and then finally failed to get away. Sandbox choices should have consequence.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
Alchemic_Genius wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
I have done the hexcrawl full level sandbox thing in pf2e now, it works well so long as you're willing to let your players sense the levels of other creatures and use the chase rules from the GMG as ad hoc retreats.
One thing I do know is that people are also waaaay too apt to think monsters will attack on sight of the PCs, but like, realistically, sharks dont eat every fish they see, humans dont kill every smaller creature than them, etc; so bumping into a a big nasty doesn't have to be a fight

What on Golarion happens if the PCs fail the chase scene, The-Magic-Sword? Are they forced to fight a superior foe while winded.

** spoiler omitted **

Depends on the exact context, but at least one of them gets caught and most likely dies based on what the thing chasing them wants to do to begin with, with the others getting away as a result. Resurrection ain't that hard in this game, we have the many undead facing character options, its pretty reasonable.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Alchemic_Genius wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
I have done the hexcrawl full level sandbox thing in pf2e now, it works well so long as you're willing to let your players sense the levels of other creatures and use the chase rules from the GMG as ad hoc retreats.
One thing I do know is that people are also waaaay too apt to think monsters will attack on sight of the PCs, but like, realistically, sharks dont eat every fish they see, humans dont kill every smaller creature than them, etc; so bumping into a a big nasty doesn't have to be a fight

APs often condition this response, IMO. The good ones do include monsters you can talk to, but even most of them will try attacking you eventually. The game is so focused on tactical combat that most things push you in that direction.

I'd like it if we started seeing "conflict de-escalation stats" as the norm in APs, even if they are difficult or require specific feats like Glad Hand or Wild Empathy. Particularly with intelligent enemies. Many should demand surrender at least before attacking. But people want to fight stuff.


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Starfinder Superscriber

The very first time my wife sat down to play 1e, I rolled a rando encounter for their level 2-3 party and it was like a CR 10 dino.

First of all, I was really wrinkling my brain trying to figure out why the eff a Late Jurassic-era dinosaur was stomping around the forests near a Dwarven harbor, but after that I realized this thing might TPK them if I just put it in front of them, so it was more like a cinematic encounter of them watching this gigantic reptile stomping through the forest and marveling at it and wondering why it was there.

Not everything has to be a fight.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Too many people equate 'encounter' with 'combat'. Some of the best encounters I've seen have been conversations.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Leon Aquilla wrote:

The very first time my wife sat down to play 1e, I rolled a rando encounter for their level 2-3 party and it was like a CR 10 dino.

First of all, I was really wrinkling my brain trying to figure out why the eff a Late Jurassic-era dinosaur was stomping around the forests near a Dwarven harbor, but after that I realized this thing might TPK them if I just put it in front of them, so it was more like a cinematic encounter of them watching this gigantic reptile stomping through the forest and marveling at it and wondering why it was there.

Not everything has to be a fight.

I did similar things with random encounters in Ironfang Invasion. Just seeing monsters existing in the world makes the world feel real.

Liberty's Edge

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Leon Aquilla wrote:
Coridan wrote:
I despise 5e, but one of my friend groups thinks it is far superior to PF2E and won't' give PF2E a try. So we still play 5E weekly. I'm in an online game to get my fix.
The whole friend group? Like every one of them?

There's one player who wants to try it, but he's also got a reputation as the "min-maxing number cruncher" so he's not really helping me convince the others and is only confirming their biases.


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I was very excited for 5e but got to it a year late.

3 sessions in I realized I hated the system.

Stuck with it for over a year. For my real life friends. But it was a struggle.

With wotc in the news and what they are doing with one DND? Not only do I dislike the system. I've grown to dislike the company and how they intentionally follow behind the smaller companies and get lauded as if they were leading the pack.

Wich really ties into certain noteworthy members of the community and their intentionally bad faith takes and near slander of a system I do enjoy?

If my friends were to use any supported wotc system I'd likely not participate until the game has concluded. Even if it meant I don't get to play any ttrpg

Radiant Oath

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I have the books, but have never actually PLAYED 5e. I rarely have my copy of the 5e PHB because my brother borrows it. As for me, the only D&D I play nowadays is a bizarre mashup of 1e and 2e AD&D, 5e D&D, Talislanta and a copious amount of homebrew the DM has had percolating since the 80's typed up on a TYPEWRITER. He calls it Cauldron.


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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
I have the books, but have never actually PLAYED 5e. I rarely have my copy of the 5e PHB because my brother borrows it. As for me, the only D&D I play nowadays is a bizarre mashup of 1e and 2e AD&D, 5e D&D, Talislanta and a copious amount of homebrew the DM has had percolating since the 80's typed up on a TYPEWRITER. He calls it Cauldron.

This sounds interesting.


Martialmasters wrote:

I was very excited for 5e but got to it a year late.

3 sessions in I realized I hated the system.

Stuck with it for over a year. For my real life friends. But it was a struggle.

With wotc in the news and what they are doing with one DND? Not only do I dislike the system. I've grown to dislike the company and how they intentionally follow behind the smaller companies and get lauded as if they were leading the pack.

Wich really ties into certain noteworthy members of the community and their intentionally bad faith takes and near slander of a system I do enjoy?

If my friends were to use any supported wotc system I'd likely not participate until the game has concluded. Even if it meant I don't get to play any ttrpg

Everybody dumps on WotC, but it's really their parent company Hasbro that makes most of the terrible decisions (other than the creative choices that made 4e an inferior game).

Vigilant Seal

I used to, but now I pretty much only play PF2E.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Prosperum wrote:

Pathfinder 2e and D&D 5e are similar games, but key differences (action economy, saving throws, the skill system, and bounded accuracy in general) separate them enough that mental effort is required to translate between them.

How many people on these boards also play 5e? And how do you split your time and attention between them if you do both?

I had hoped to count myself among those that would play both. But everytime I opened my 5E books I just felt uninspired. More recently when I told myself to 'get over the art and layout and just look at the game system' I went right to looking over Wizard and Sorcerer and it felt like Wizard was just Sorcerer but better. Both of them are what PF2E would see as spontaneous casters - yet at every step the Wizard has more and I was left wondering why the Sorcerer had not been removed from the game. Sorcerer was only added in 3E to address players that didn't like prepared casting. 5E got rid of prepared casting for Wizards, and yet didn't give Sorcerers a new niche to fill.

To me that just spoke volumes about design in isolation failing to account for or balance in other aspects of the game.

For all the 'casters aren't powerful enough' debates I see, as a player who loves casters and hates vancian casting... I actually prefer PF2E spellcasters, including really liking the PF2E wizard. I like it because I can easily look at a character I make in it and know where I fit in the balance of things, know what my niche is and that I or another class are not pointless as a result (even when I compare witch and wizard - which is arguably the closest example of one making another feel pointless).

From there my perceptions just start to spiral out into all the other things I hear about - confusion over how many actions you have when this is free, that is bonus, that is regular, that is move, and the other thing is something else, and so on. Issues with magic items, the very existence of min-max builds, problems with higher level play, and so on all serve to keep my interest in 5E low.


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arcady wrote:
Prosperum wrote:

Pathfinder 2e and D&D 5e are similar games, but key differences (action economy, saving throws, the skill system, and bounded accuracy in general) separate them enough that mental effort is required to translate between them.

How many people on these boards also play 5e? And how do you split your time and attention between them if you do both?

I had hoped to count myself among those that would play both. But everytime I opened my 5E books I just felt uninspired. More recently when I told myself to 'get over the art and layout and just look at the game system' I went right to looking over Wizard and Sorcerer and it felt like Wizard was just Sorcerer but better. Both of them are what PF2E would see as spontaneous casters - yet at every step the Wizard has more and I was left wondering why the Sorcerer had not been removed from the game. Sorcerer was only added in 3E to address players that didn't like prepared casting. 5E got rid of prepared casting for Wizards, and yet didn't give Sorcerers a new niche to fill.

Sorcerers in 5e aren't any worse off than classes like Alchemist and Witch are in PF2. They also have niches, like multiclassing into Paladin, that Wizard just doesn't fill. In a vacuum, they are a strictly weaker class, but 5e doesn't need a ton of optimization to function and is honestly probably best played at like 70% power to avoid tedium and solved encounters.

Vigilant Seal

Coridan wrote:
I despise 5e, but one of my friend groups thinks it is far superior to PF2E and won't' give PF2E a try. So we still play 5E weekly. I'm in an online game to get my fix.

I'm in the same position (2 groups of friends no less!!!). Since I haven't been able to find anything online or offline I've taken to just doing Pathfinder Society. It's honestly a lot of fun for what it is. It's limiting, but sometimes limitations breed creativity.

So if you ever just want to drop into a 1 hour little bounty to fight 1 thing or do a quick 2-4 hour session (Scenario) these little pop ups or planned sessions can be quite fun.

I do wish I could play a "real" adventure though.


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arcady wrote:
I went right to looking over Wizard and Sorcerer and it felt like Wizard was just Sorcerer but better. Both of them are what PF2E would see as spontaneous casters - yet at every step the Wizard has more and I was left wondering why the Sorcerer had not been removed from the game.

Exactly. Sorcerers know much less spells than Wizards prepare every day. It irritated me very much. Sorcery points don't help with that, because number of metamagic options is extremely small. Bards are also so much better than Sorcerers for some reason. This reminds me of something actually...

But all this doesn't matter much because spellcasting is so broken in 5e in general because of 'concentration' (or alternatively, if someone doesn't like 'broken', it's boring). Or concentration is there to compensate for its brokeness. Anyway the result is the same.


Prosperum wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:

I was very excited for 5e but got to it a year late.

3 sessions in I realized I hated the system.

Stuck with it for over a year. For my real life friends. But it was a struggle.

With wotc in the news and what they are doing with one DND? Not only do I dislike the system. I've grown to dislike the company and how they intentionally follow behind the smaller companies and get lauded as if they were leading the pack.

Wich really ties into certain noteworthy members of the community and their intentionally bad faith takes and near slander of a system I do enjoy?

If my friends were to use any supported wotc system I'd likely not participate until the game has concluded. Even if it meant I don't get to play any ttrpg

Everybody dumps on WotC, but it's really their parent company Hasbro that makes most of the terrible decisions (other than the creative choices that made 4e an inferior game).

Absolutely untrue

Wotc has some good people, every company does
But they are just as if not more guilty of what happened.

I'm never giving them a penny knowingly again as long as I live


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The current CEO of Hasbro is Chris Cocks, who was promoted to the position from his prior post as President and COO of Wizards of the Coast. This promotion was last year. Separating the decisions of the two companies is just incorrect.


arcady wrote:
Prosperum wrote:

Pathfinder 2e and D&D 5e are similar games, but key differences (action economy, saving throws, the skill system, and bounded accuracy in general) separate them enough that mental effort is required to translate between them.

How many people on these boards also play 5e? And how do you split your time and attention between them if you do both?

I had hoped to count myself among those that would play both. But everytime I opened my 5E books I just felt uninspired. More recently when I told myself to 'get over the art and layout and just look at the game system' I went right to looking over Wizard and Sorcerer and it felt like Wizard was just Sorcerer but better. Both of them are what PF2E would see as spontaneous casters - yet at every step the Wizard has more and I was left wondering why the Sorcerer had not been removed from the game. Sorcerer was only added in 3E to address players that didn't like prepared casting. 5E got rid of prepared casting for Wizards, and yet didn't give Sorcerers a new niche to fill.

To me that just spoke volumes about design in isolation failing to account for or balance in other aspects of the game.

For all the 'casters aren't powerful enough' debates I see, as a player who loves casters and hates vancian casting... I actually prefer PF2E spellcasters, including really liking the PF2E wizard. I like it because I can easily look at a character I make in it and know where I fit in the balance of things, know what my niche is and that I or another class are not pointless as a result (even when I compare witch and wizard - which is arguably the closest example of one making another feel pointless).

From there my perceptions just start to spiral out into all the other things I hear about - confusion over how many actions you have when this is free, that is bonus, that is regular, that is move, and the other thing is something else, and so on. Issues with magic items, the very existence of min-max builds, problems with higher level play, and so...

In the playtest Sorcerer's were different in that they would use a spell point system called Willpower to cast their spells and use powers from bloodline. Also after you'd spend a certain amount of willpower your magic would start to overtake you so for Draconic Bloodline you grew scales that grant you resistance and like honestly that seems like such an interesting sorcerer concept I have no idea why they didn't go with it


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Martialmasters wrote:

I was very excited for 5e but got to it a year late.

3 sessions in I realized I hated the system.

Stuck with it for over a year. For my real life friends. But it was a struggle.

With wotc in the news and what they are doing with one DND? Not only do I dislike the system. I've grown to dislike the company and how they intentionally follow behind the smaller companies and get lauded as if they were leading the pack.

Wich really ties into certain noteworthy members of the community and their intentionally bad faith takes and near slander of a system I do enjoy?

If my friends were to use any supported wotc system I'd likely not participate until the game has concluded. Even if it meant I don't get to play any ttrpg

I picked up 5e and disliked it from my very first read. It was clear they had replaced one disfunctional system where saving throws at high level suceeded on a 2 with another where many saving throws got worse at high level. (Spell DCS go up but 4 of your 6 your saving throws likely don't) Then I played a couple of sessions and realised all the Monster ACs were terrible, PCs could become unhitable, and advantage was all but guaranteed, and you could literally run laps around your enemy with no AoO. It was a lightweight game designed for the casual gamer. Sure it was accessible but it had no meat on it. You obviously can build a rich campaign in it, if you do the work. I still do play the odd game of it, but it is never my preference.


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I've been playing both 5e and PF2 since PF2 came out.

I was never fan of WotC. I don't like their business ethics when it comes to D&D, particularly with their refusal to canonize the Revised Ranger after they "officially" released it. I won't give them an of my money. But I not a fan of PF2 either. I essentially refuse to buy 2e products where I had purchased a lot with PF1.

Both systems are trying to fill the same void of 1e D&D, albeit, from completely different philosophies. I feel Paizo made the wrong choice. I think they could have made a better version of 5e, just as they did with 3.5 But I think they sold themselves short. Instead, they decided to corner a smaller segment of the player base. In the short run, they reported that they've made far more money on PF2 than they did with PF1, but admitted they have a smaller market share. I see PF2 as akin to WotC's 4e. I'm hoping PF2 is a stepping stone to a much better game.

As far as the differences? I evaluate both games based on what they provided in terms of playing a Ranger. In that department, 5e's Revised Ranger blows PF2 out of the sky. PF2 can't produce anything even remotely close to the Revised Ranger. Even the "official" Ranger in 5e is better and has far more agency and is far more inspiring and flat out fun. But there's more.

To understand the reason for PF2, you have to understand that Paizo sees itself as primarily a content publisher. For Paizo, once the money started to fade with PF1, they had to abandon it because for Paizo's purposes--content publishing--PF1 was problematic. By about 5th level, PF1 encounters (skill checks and combat) become increasingly hard to balance. Anyone who has played PFS PF1 knows that very quickly, optimizers will start trivializing encounters and marginalizing other party members by lvl 5. By level 10, you know the halfway point for a character, the game is kind of a joke when it comes to balance. It's hard to write AP's when you can't reliably create balanced encounters. This is the reason why things generally don't stack in PF2. This is the reason behind the "tight math."

So the real purpose of PF2 is to create a framework that will do a better job of supporting Paizo's ability to create AP's that are still playable as you get into higher levels. The problem is you have to sacrifice a lot of character efficacy to do this. Of course, there are ways to disguise this. Give out lots of feats/skill that that seem like they do something, but are mechanically negligible. And in fact, the more skill and feats you give out, the less they can do because the ultimate goal of PF2 is to keep the math tight and the efficacy range between builds as narrow as possible. This is probably the only iteration of D&D where you can reliably know any class' Armor Class from 1-20.

Despite playing 5e nearly every week, for the last two years, I don't feel I have nearly the same insight into 5e (assuming I have any insight in to PF2). As a player, 5e, is instantly more fun and it is obvious why its such a big hit as compared to PF1 and PF2. 5e is not afflicted with the need for "balance" as is evident with PF2 and as such the game breathes and feels far more open. In contrast with Paizo, WotC seems to have placed its energies into making classes that are fun to play as written and put less design energy into expecting the player to figure out what is fun to play. For me, this what I prefer. I don't want to build a class. I don't want to spend hours trying to figure out how to avoid crappy skill/feat/class choices. I don't want to spend hours looking for a "build." I want to play game where professional game designers actually do that.

Obviously there are a considerable number of people who do love "builds." And PF2 is definitely going to scratch that itch far more than 5e. But even when I've been motivated to spend time on a build in PF2, I find the options in PF2 are mostly flaccid. PF2 gives out so many build increments, it cannot allow any of them to be that impactful and they can't stack. So for me, the PF2 approach feels more of a facade: How do we create the experience of customization without letting it really impact efficacy? For most people who are on the Paizo forums, it probably feels like PF2 pulls it off.

That having been said, I am far less inclined to play non-Rangers in 5e. If you don't like what 5e offers you in a class, its comparatively a lot harder to make it do something else. And despite the lack of efficacy in PF2, there is a psychological payoff to getting choices every level. Humans adapt. If all you play is PF2, then you become accustom to the minor bumps in efficacy and they can seem satisfying. If you've never played or liked a Ranger in previous iterations of D&D, then the PF2 Ranger may seem great to you.

Ultimately, I feel Paizo intentionally tried to create an alternative to 5e, and they succeeded. If you're on these forums, it's probably because you prefer Paizo's approach, or, you're simply working with what you got.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

That is such a bizarre assessment of 5e but fair enough.

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