How many also play 5e?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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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?


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I don't play, but not through any conscious choice. I really only have one game going and that is a Pathfinder one. However, I do still get the odd 5e book here and there. Usually sticking to 3rd party stuff. Being the most popular system, it has attracted a lot of good writers and designers.

I certainly wouldn't turn down some 5e gaming.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I have played some 5e, alongside SF before PF2 came out. I tried to play 5e alongside PF2 but wasn't able to maintain any interest after that.

I still talk about it a lot, because it is one of my friends game of choice with his local group, and hearing what a friend enjoys is always exciting.


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Tried it, decided I didn't like it. When I'm not playing Pathfinder I'm playing systems that aren't just another d20 fantasy system that I don't like as much as Pathfinder.


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I run both systems and play in one 5e game.
- 5e: running weekly on Tuesdays for 2.5-3h sessions
- 5e: playing fortnightly sundays for 5.5h sessions (gm decided he didn't like pf2e, pf2e would have suited it better though)
- PF2e: running fortnightly 5-6h sessions

I don't have any issue splitting my time between them, I would also say the systems aren't particularly similar outside of both having D&D in their heritage and being similar fantasy magic set systems. I would say they are similar to each other in the sense that 4e is broadly similar to 3.5 or even AD&D, they share some terms but the implementations are different and the design goals don't align.

5e:
- runs extremely fast, 6-8 combats in a session with room for lots of RP.
- doesn't require as much planning for encounters, treasures and the like.
- takes very little brainpower to run at the table thanks to adv/dis, concentrarion, lack of floating modifiers, no persistent damage/afflictions like poisons and disease, less character abilities, far less item abilities in play
- bounded accuracy makes sandbox play and hexcrawling fun with minimal rule changes required imo.

PF2e:
- FAR more engaging combat, and fantastic balance
- more engaging player focused rules
- way higher power/magic fantasy (5e breaks easily, but wasn't built for high magic gonzo play in mind)
- better downtime rules
- really suited to long term narrative play and plays well right to level 20
- better expansion content overall


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I haven't played 5e but I played a lot of different D&D versions (1, 3, 4, PF1 and PF2). I rarely play 2 versions at the same time even if it has been the case during the 4th edition/PF1 time.
I'd certainly not turn down a 5e game if it is with people I like but I'd definitely not search for one as I'm pretty sure the system would reduce my pleasure. So, I'll certainly never play 5e as currently the people I play with all play PF2.

Dark Archive

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I play in a 5e game, I play in a PF2 game, and I GM a PF2 game.

The first is every Friday, the second is every other Saturday, and the third is every Sunday.

I only really play 5e because I have some friends online that I play with. I haven't caught them at a time where they'd be up to learning a new (albeit not TOO dissimilar) system yet.

Personally, it takes almost no energy to go between systems regularly. The only real wires I get crossed is that I'll sometimes call a Dexterity, Constitution, or Wisdom save a Reflex, Fort, or Will save. But only in that direction.

If I were also GMing a 5e game, I imagine I'd mess up a bit more. Probably mostly in trying to remember the skills between games.


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I've tried playing 5e, but it's hard for me to make fun characters when the customization is so limited for non-warlocks. On the other hand, with 2e having heavily limited a lot of enchantment, though, I could see myself playing some 5e to get some of the old 1e-style enchanter feel.

The other issue I run into is the feel of D&D setting elements to me. D&D's pop culture presence means that by now I've encountered a lot of the stuff more in board games and parody. I'm not going to be able to take anything related to Pelor, Tiamat, Mystra, beholders, mindflayers, drow, artificers, or Waterdeep seriously at this point. A good homebrew setting removes that problem entirely, though.


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For the moment I only GM PF2 which I do weekly. It is a customized Kingmaker game. I just finished playing a PF2 game also weekly with a different group the first two Fist of Ruby Phoenix books. That will probably become a D&D5 game with another GM. Gaming gets quite messed up for me in December. But I still play a number of different other RPGs it depends on what the various people in different groups have time to GM.
In the last two years Fate, Gurps, ACKS, Traveller, Mastermind, PF1, and we even went back and redid Tomb of Horrors in the original system.


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I played in a PF2e campaign for a couple of years. It's now on break and I'm about to start running Abomination Vaults (tomorrow night!) for the same group to give our forever GM a chance to play for a while.

I was in a D&D 5th Ed game for a while. The longer I played both systems the more I disliked 5th Ed, so I quit that game a couple of months ago. The differences really were annoying me, so much so that it spoiled the fun.


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I played 5e before PF2e came out for a bit but wound up increasingly frustrated by it. Now that 2e is out, I have no reason to even look at it again since 2e fills a similar sort of niche but does it better with more consistency and customization options.

Additionally, as much as I am aware of Paizo's shortcomings, WotC is hilariously worse.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I tried to keep up with 5e in case I ran into a group that only wanted to play that and I was desperate enough. I gave up when the PF2 playtest was wrapping up and I realized 5e had become pretty much entirely obsolete. Now you couldn't pay me to play 5e (well you could, but it'd be a whole lot more than you might expect).

Silver Crusade

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I played one session and didn't particularly enjoy it. It seems much more dumbed down than PF2E and it also seemed like there wasn't nearly as much danger in the combat. Every character seemed ridiculously overpowered.

Grand Lodge

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I'm in a Thursday night group that plays both PFS1 and PFS2, depending on who's GMing. Right now we are just about to finish the Lissala story, by, hopefully defeating The Waking Runelord.

My Wednesday group meets every other week and plays 5e. I enjoy it well enough, but more because of the companions, rather than the system. The game is winding down, and, depending on who's running, may use a different system like Call of Cthulhu, AD&D2, Star Trek, or DCC.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Master Han Del of the Web wrote:

I played 5e before PF2e came out for a bit but wound up increasingly frustrated by it. Now that 2e is out, I have no reason to even look at it again since 2e fills a similar sort of niche but does it better with more consistency and customization options.

Additionally, as much as I am aware of Paizo's shortcomings, WotC is hilariously worse.

This very much matches my own history and feelings as well.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

5e is fine. I'd never run it, but it is by far the easiest game to find an open seat for, so if I want to play with a particular group of friends but not GM, it will probably be 5e. I really like the Warlock class and it's at will spells.

The game is relatively simple so it isn't a huge issue moving back to it, IMO. Maybe the biggest difference is in spell specifics. 5e spells are less well balanced and it can tricky to remember the differences between how enchantment and illusions work between the two systems. Though 5e magic can be fun to play with because it isn't balanced.


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There are a couple of things 5e did that I like, but the system as a while I feel is garbage. Newer books have opened this up some, but 5e by comparison to PF2 is railroaded in character design. They tell you what you play not the other way around. I also feel they are very lazy in many rule designs that just fail miserably to feel immersive. Most of their monsters are boring, one-dimensional, and just a bag of hit points with no real threat.

I was very happy to find PF2 and put all my 5e books into a deep, dark crate to never been seen again.


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I play in two 5e games. I started with 5e and I've been playing it since it released in 2014 (coincidentally my freshman year of college.) Both of my current campaigns are going to 20, with one nearly over at Level 19 and the other at Level 10.

I've been super on board with PF2, but its been a bit of a battle to convince my players to switch. With one campaign nearly finished I'm finally poised to actually start PF2.

I still like aspects of the system, but I'm pretty much done with it. Its issues are well documented at this point and wizards seem dedicated to publishing the most half-assed books at their most whole-assed prices.

When the Level 19 campaign ends I think I'll be able to salvage some of those guys for some PF2. The Level 10 campaign is kinda burnt on d20 in general and each of us there has some other RPG they want to pitch.


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I play 5e regularly and still enjoy it (currently nine weeks into Dungeons of Drakkenheim, playing level six characters). It is by far the most popular game within my gaming group *, for both pre-written adventures and homebrew content. I'm not sure how keen I am to jump to One D&D, but we'll see how much choice I get in the matter.

* CoC7e comes in a distant second, with various Free League systems catching up fast.

Radiant Oath

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I'm in a strongly story-based 5e weekly Eberron game, a weekly PF2 game/society play, and a weekly SWADE game where we try to avoid combat.(we're not very good at it) I would not play a combat-focused 5e game. I'm really bored of 5e character concepts, and I can't stand silly rules like "see invisibility doesn't let you defend yourself from invisible creatures."


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AceofMoxen wrote:
I'm in a strongly story-based 5e weekly Eberron game, a weekly PF2 game/society play, and a weekly SWADE game where we try to avoid combat.(we're not very good at it) I would not play a combat-focused 5e game. I'm really bored of 5e character concepts, and I can't stand silly rules like "see invisibility doesn't let you defend yourself from invisible creatures."

How's the SWADE game going? I would love to play more Savage Worlds, and I do have a Slipstream game lined up for early 2023.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

For a few months after starting PF2e, I still DMed a 5e campaign and played in another one, but I quickly began to dread having to do anything that involved 5e. I guided the campaign I was running to a healthy conclusion as quickly as possible, and amicably left the group I was playing in. Neither group had any interest in learning a new system.

Radiant Oath

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mikeawmids wrote:
AceofMoxen wrote:
I'm in a strongly story-based 5e weekly Eberron game, a weekly PF2 game/society play, and a weekly SWADE game where we try to avoid combat.(we're not very good at it) I would not play a combat-focused 5e game. I'm really bored of 5e character concepts, and I can't stand silly rules like "see invisibility doesn't let you defend yourself from invisible creatures."
How's the SWADE game going? I would love to play more Savage Worlds, and I do have a Slipstream game llined up for early 2023.

Tonight is our third session, I haven't made up my mind. I like classless systems in theory, but in practice, the party kinda lacks cohesion.


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I do and I hate it. Unfortunately I like playing with that group more than I hate the system.


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The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

I run both systems and play in one 5e game.

- 5e: running weekly on Tuesdays for 2.5-3h sessions
- 5e: playing fortnightly sundays for 5.5h sessions (gm decided he didn't like pf2e, pf2e would have suited it better though)
- PF2e: running fortnightly 5-6h sessions

I don't have any issue splitting my time between them, I would also say the systems aren't particularly similar outside of both having D&D in their heritage and being similar fantasy magic set systems. I would say they are similar to each other in the sense that 4e is broadly similar to 3.5 or even AD&D, they share some terms but the implementations are different and the design goals don't align.

5e:
- runs extremely fast, 6-8 combats in a session with room for lots of RP.
- doesn't require as much planning for encounters, treasures and the like.
- takes very little brainpower to run at the table thanks to adv/dis, concentrarion, lack of floating modifiers, no persistent damage/afflictions like poisons and disease, less character abilities, far less item abilities in play
- bounded accuracy makes sandbox play and hexcrawling fun with minimal rule changes required imo.

PF2e:
- FAR more engaging combat, and fantastic balance
- more engaging player focused rules
- way higher power/magic fantasy (5e breaks easily, but wasn't built for high magic gonzo play in mind)
- better downtime rules
- really suited to long term narrative play and plays well right to level 20
- better expansion content overall

This has been my experience as well, though I've played much, much less 5E. I have been in a few games that sadly didn't get to start, and then would play some scattered sessions with a group when they would meet up and I was in town. I did really enjoy how easy the game was to enter and play if I was handed a character sheet. I didn't find it too difficult to swap from system to system aside from that thing about calling Con saves Fort saves and so on that someone else already mentioned.

I am much more a fan of PF2E, even if the learning curve is steeper. I like a lot of its systems, and I've always had much easier access to PF2E's rules.
I don't know if it's still going on, but there was a phase where Wizards was allergic to making PDFs of their 5E products to try and curb piracy. The practical reality was that people would just scan the print books and make their own kludged together PDFs which were much harder for my screen reading software to parse, assuming it could at all.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:


- runs extremely fast, 6-8 combats in a session with room for lots of RP.

god I want your players. The moment we hit combat I know that's going to be the last thing we do that session, even if it's the first thing we do that session.


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I used to run a 5E game years ago, back when I still played pathfinder 1E, but nowadays 2E is my only d20 TTRPG.


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Perpdepog wrote:
This has been my experience as well

Amusingly I find PF2e easier to teach to players than 5e. To a point where the players actually know what is going on that is.

Cohesive rule design is nice. For a GM, yeah there is a lot that has to sink in. I read the CRB cover to cover roughly 3 times (skipping some sections on the third read)

Squiggit wrote:
god I want your players. The moment we hit combat I know that's going to be the last thing we do that session, even if it's the first thing we do that session.

I don't like slowdown and will have a chat to players who do slow the game down (not to be nasty, but point them in the righr direction).

I find the more people get onboard the faster the whole group plays. People get a sense of momentum going and don't feel like they are waiting for their turns to occur, so they think about their turn in advance and are more eager to enact their plans. Sadly the inverse is true, some of my fastest players will grind to a halt if other players or the GM isn't maintaining a solid pace.

Something else I encouraged was in character talking during combat. This is a game changer when it comes to actively getting players to use teamwork in my experience.

I have put a counting up timer on display for players in the past. That way people can see how long turns are taking.


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I'd been playing 5e for about 3 years, then played another system for several months and almost burned out from ttrpg completely and then I finally could start playing pf2e which I researched before and it was great. And it still is even when I found about a lot of actually existing pf2e rules problems. Pf2e still is so much better than dnd5e...
Ah, no, I don't play 5e anymore. I did participate in a couple of Epics though because they allowed playing high-level characters (20th level for example). I suppose we will wait a very long time when 20th level would be available in PFS and all campaigns I play and would be playing near-term are 1-10 :(

Captain Morgan wrote:
Maybe the biggest difference is in spell specifics. 5e spells are less well balanced and it can tricky to remember the differences between how enchantment and illusions work between the two systems. Though 5e magic can be fun to play with because it isn't balanced.

And it's so irritating with EVERYTHING demanding Concentration. I extremely dislike this design. And an almost complete lack of thinking in places like when a Wizard prepares quite a lot more spells every day than a Sorcerer even knows (and all the other parts of the mechanics being basically the same).


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I GM Pathfinder 2e and play in a 5e game run by one of my players. We alternate Saturdays for our sessions.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Squiggit wrote:
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:


- runs extremely fast, 6-8 combats in a session with room for lots of RP.
god I want your players. The moment we hit combat I know that's going to be the last thing we do that session, even if it's the first thing we do that session.

Right?! I don't think any 5e session I've played in has had more than two combats in a session, and we've had entire sessions taken up with a single combat. And our sessions last six hours. One memorable session was entirely combat, lasted the full six hours and I had four turns - that means I did something every ninety minutes on average.


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Is that a problem with the game or a problem with your group? There is no way it should be taking that long, even at higher levels.

How many players in your group?
What level are you playing at?
Do you have to act for additional allies/pets/familiars/summoned creatures?
How much of that time is players taking their actions, compared to the GM acting for his monsters?
Were there amy other distractors present that might have slowed down play?

We have one guy in our group, usually plays a maxed-out character (usually a monk or sorcerer) who seems able to take twice as many actions per turn as anyone else, yet never plans his actions until it is his turn. He alone takes up as much table time as the rest of the group combined.


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Starfinder Superscriber

My wife runs Theros when I'm mentally worn down. Would never play 5e as set out just in the Players Manual.

Quote:
god I want your players. The moment we hit combat I know that's going to be the last thing we do that session, even if it's the first thing we do that session.
Quote:

Is that a problem with the game or a problem with your group? There is no way it should be taking that long, even at higher levels.

In my experience this is a matter of table discipline. It is not inappropriate to remind people that they're immersed in a fight of their lives and not a chess tournament.

In other systems (2d20 and R Talisorian's Witcher) there are actual penalties for hesitating too long to take your turn.


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The face to face game I'm playing in every other Sunday runs 5E. I'm hopefully going to be running Kingamaker 2E for another group sometime soon, and I do a decent amount of PbP (both PF1 and PF2).

I don't have a ton of issues switching between systems (apart from occasionally having to look up my feats or abilities). However, I do find 5E character creation rather boring. It just feels like all of your important choices have been made by level 3, with the exception of the Warlock and a couple of archetypes that give you options (like Battle Master Fighter).

I'm also not a fan of Legendary Resistances. It feels like a ham-fisted solution to the "spellcaster ends the fight in one round" problem of D&D 3.X, where as PF2's 4 degrees of success feels like a much more elegant solution. It's still possible for the spellcaster to end the fight in one round, but it's statistically unlikely, at best.

All in all, I don't hate 5E, but I think PF2 is a better, more refined system.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I play in one bi-weekly 5E game. It's not our system of choice, but it's our buddy's game in Forgotten Realms. So we figure as long as we're eating pizza and rolling dice, it's all good.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Fumarole wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:


- runs extremely fast, 6-8 combats in a session with room for lots of RP.
god I want your players. The moment we hit combat I know that's going to be the last thing we do that session, even if it's the first thing we do that session.
Right?! I don't think any 5e session I've played in has had more than two combats in a session, and we've had entire sessions taken up with a single combat. And our sessions last six hours. One memorable session was entirely combat, lasted the full six hours and I had four turns - that means I did something every ninety minutes on average.

This sounds like my experience as well, to the point where I had sent the 6-8 combats a session quote to some friends as a tongue-in-cheek reference to our games. I'm not entirely certain, but I have felt that PF2 combats have actually been faster than 5e for me once players get a hang of the system. Not to say I didn't have combats that filled entire sessions (or multiple even) in PF2, just that at least there were more rounds in the encounter.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

We performed a hard switch more or less the day PF2e released. Even if we're going to play multiple systems, it would be better to do something that provides a whole different vibe and setting--

Right now for us that's Lancer (Mechs, Space Fleets, Futuristic Modern Warfare stuff!) that we're just getting started up with the intent to run it beside Pathfinder.

We've also got people who want to try Cyberpunk RED

I'm looking forward to some COFD 2e some day (VTR, MTAW, WTF, HTV, etc your Goth Contemporary Fantasy Stuff) as I've been building up a hunky collection of books.

I'd get us to try OSE (literally cleaned up basic DND, with the lethality, troupe play, and old school dungeon crawling) before I did 5e again, even if we burned out on PF2e but wanted to stick to fantasy.

Liberty's Edge

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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.


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Luke Styer wrote:
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.

For a sandbox play in PF2, you really need to use Proficiency without level optional rule. Otherwise, you'll need to modify all fights every time the PCs gain level or you'll end up with too tough or too easy fights.


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I abandoned 5e due it's excessively simplistic in many things I don't like (specially as GM) and here in Brazil we have another D20 alternative that's Tormenta20 that's fit well the design space of 5e.
So in general my players prefer T20 over 5e or PF2 over 5e in a curious situation. In my tables more martial focused players tends to prefer PF2 due the versatility and raw power of martials over it's versions in 5e or T20 while more caster focused players tends to prefer T20 due more power e versatility of the casters in this system. None really prefer 5e due the system don't please any of them (for the martial players 5e lacks the versatility of PF2, for casters the 5e casting system, specially after lvl 10 are unattractive when compared to well contracted and the MP versatility of T20 system).

Maybe this change after 5e review from One D&D. But now the 5e is currently unattractive.


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So what I'm hearing a lot of in this thread is that the ease of finding players and DMs is one of the main selling points for 5e?

There are some things I like about 5e:

*saving throws versus all 6 abilities is conceptually neat. Why 3e had Grapple checks instead of Strength saves I'll never know.
*bounded accuracy means that swarms of low-level monsters remain a threat to high-level characters.
*replacing almost every little circumstantial or temporary +x/-x with advantage/disadvantage means less time adding and erasing things on your character sheet.

But 2e has massively better character customization options due to class feats and general feats, and the skill system is more developed. The action economy is also more elegant, once you get used to it.

Is there a place where the devs talk out the reasoning behind all the changes they did and didn't make for 2e? I was checked out of the TTRPG world for several years and missed the playtest.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I'd say that's about right. Ease of finding groups, but also a streamlined system can sometimes be nice if you aren't really interested in a detailed tactical combat game like PF2 tends to be.

.. There's also some system specific stuff that makes it appealing. As a player, there are are a lot of characters I've made for 5e games that are just impossible to make in PF2 and will never be playable in PF2, so it's nice to have that option to scratch those itches. 5e design tends to prioritize streamlining class functionality, which means you get a lot of cool shortcuts that are design taboo in PF2.

As a GM, I find PF2 generally more fun, although legendary actions are a cool tool. Oddly enough I find encounter designing to be so much harder in 5e because of the ways it's looser, whereas PF2 I can generally just follow basic guidelines and be fine (with a few caveats, like being careful about stacking certain monster abilities).


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Prosperum wrote:
So what I'm hearing a lot of in this thread is that the ease of finding players and DMs is one of the main selling points for 5e?

You should consider that the people posting to this thread are predilected to favour PF2, perhaps to the exclusion of D&D5e, and their comments here will reflect that preference. While the folk on this board grudgingly play D&D5e because it is easy to find a group, consideration should be given to why so many other people not on these boards are engaging with D&D5e.

Create a thread called 'How many also play PF2?' on the D&D boards over at EN World and I imagine you would see a very different picture.


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For me 5e had the (way) better 3rd party support - with truly awesome settings and books (of course it is a fraction of all 5e books - but they are there). From something inspired by pre colonial Philippines to the Silk Road - and much more. The massive market has made that possible.

I also like the system for players who are less into complex rules: 5e is much more of a simple system with limited character options.

Pathfinder is what I play with my friends who have gamed (almost) weekly for 20 years. 5E is what I use for gaming with my kids, and GM for my players who play every 2 months…..


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Some interesting reading on the issue, from an alternative source than the Paizo boards;

Would Paizo be the Big Dog if Critical Roll had stuck with Pathfinder?

Some thoughts from people playing both 5e and PF

Can you like both 5e and PF? (spoiler alert: you can!)

Switching from PF to 5e


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Squiggit wrote:
...there are are a lot of characters I've made for 5e games that are just impossible to make in PF2 and will never be playable in PF2...

I can scarcely believe it. What pray tell were these characters?


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mikeawmids wrote:

Some interesting reading on the issue, from an alternative source than the Paizo boards;

Would Paizo be the Big Dog if Critical Roll had stuck with Pathfinder?

Some thoughts from people playing both 5e and PF

Can you like both 5e and PF? (spoiler alert: you can!)

Switching from PF to 5e

Most of these are about Pathfinder 1e (and some are from 7-8 years ago), this is a Pathfinder 2e subforum.

Liberty's Edge

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Squiggit wrote:
As a player, there are are a lot of characters I've made for 5e games that are just impossible to make in PF2 and will never be playable in PF2, so it's nice to have that option to scratch those itches.

Are you talking about stuff like Warforged and Dragonborn, that is literally system locked, or more about character concepts better supported by 5E?


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Berhagen wrote:

For me 5e had the (way) better 3rd party support - with truly awesome settings and books (of course it is a fraction of all 5e books - but they are there). From something inspired by pre colonial Philippines to the Silk Road - and much more. The massive market has made that possible.

I also like the system for players who are less into complex rules: 5e is much more of a simple system with limited character options.

Pathfinder is what I play with my friends who have gamed (almost) weekly for 20 years. 5E is what I use for gaming with my kids, and GM for my players who play every 2 months…..

The latter point was always the thing I enjoyed about 5E most the few times I got to play. It wasn't hard to whip up a character, or have someone hand me a spare character sheet, and get right down to the action. While I could arguably make characters in PF2E faster than in 5E, that's in large part because I've been following the game since the playtest; there's no way I'd have the requisite knowledge to pick up and play a character off the bat like I have the times I played 5E.

Though the three-action system does seem to be a big help in that regard. Removing the Standard/Move action paradigm and using generic actions and reactions seems to sink in more quickly with entirely new players to the hobby, at least from what I've seen.


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Ravingdork wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
...there are are a lot of characters I've made for 5e games that are just impossible to make in PF2 and will never be playable in PF2...
I can scarcely believe it. What pray tell were these characters?
Luke Styer wrote:
Are you talking about stuff like Warforged and Dragonborn, that is literally system locked, or more about character concepts better supported by 5E?

It comes down to a mix of things. In the broadest, most tl;dr sense, 5e subclass design tends to give you the tools to play a specific idea, and oftentimes that specific combination of abilities and concepts does not exist in other systems, even if those systems are ostensibly more robust in other ways.

Part of it is class design. 5e is a lot more liberal with things like stat swaps, because it doesn't really care how you get there as long as the build works. PF2 cares a lot more about preserving baseline assumptions and avoids much of anything like that. My fey ranger would be rather difficult to put together in PF2, in part because it gets to do so much with Wisdom. It's a credible frontliner, the party face, a decent magic user with unique spells, capable of summoning dangerous allies and manipulating emotions, along with the natural benefits of being high Wisdom. There isn't a good way to approximate that kit in PF2 just on stats alone, much less PF2's other proclivities.

Some of it comes down to fundamental balancing elements. PF2 likes to gate things behind accuracy, while 5e tends to prefer to instead gate things behind output, usually through class features. Consequentially, it tends to be much easier to build a partial caster who relies on non-utility spells, or a full caster that can credibly wield a sword. A forge cleric is a real frontliner, my artillerist effectively employees damage dealing spells at the core of their kit. A PF2 warpriest is not really great with weapons, and an Inventor MC Wizard is not going to have a particularly good Produce Flame or Fireball.

Some of it also just comes down to the way themes and mechanics come together from system to system in ways that are incongruous with each other. Much in the same way that 5e has nothing like the Thaumaturge (except in piecemeal fashion), you'll never really be able to build a Warlock in PF2 because its flavor belongs to the Witch and its mechanics belong to the Kineticist.

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