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Myrmex
2009-07-06, 01:18 AM
So I was at the gaming shop today and some guy was talking up pathfinder, so I downloaded the free beta from Paizo and looked through it.

Color me unimpressed, but I just don't get it. They nerfed polymorph, gave rogues a feat to always allow them to sneak attack, gave fighters a few more static bonuses, buffed core races, and... they have a bunch of stupid anime style art (ew). Other than that, is there anything to pathfinder? I've heard it called D&D 3.75, but it looks more like 3.51.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-07-06, 01:22 AM
They changed a lot more than that, but a lot of the changes are nonsensical, so balance wasn't really affected. Power is boosted somewhat, but it's boosted across the board most of the time. Wizards lose Polymorph, Fighters lose PA. I feel meh, personally, but it is free.

Also, couldn't you have looked at one of the 4 threads that were on here a week ago?

Panda-s1
2009-07-06, 01:55 AM
Uh, you mind elaborating on "stupid anime style art"?

But Pathfinder does suffer from some... issues. Like fighters still remaining one-trick ponies (and still being underpowered), monk getting the nerf-bat for no real reason, wizards becoming even more over powered, and little things too like the bards singing getting an awkward "fix" in having their songs last in rounds per day instead of uses. But I'm gonna stop there.

tl;dr: If you plan to stick with 3.5, it's probably best to stick to 3.5.

Uin
2009-07-06, 05:25 AM
Whether the art is anime style or not, I do care for quality and pathfinder has it. Compare 3.5e PHB to Pathfinder. No more Mialee!

Riffington
2009-07-06, 06:17 AM
Does anyone know how different the final version is from the Beta?

Doc Roc
2009-07-06, 06:19 AM
It better be VERY different.
Tremendously. I'd hung a lot of hopes and optimism on PF\3.75, and that's just fading away like dew in the afternoon heat.

Ecalsneerg
2009-07-06, 06:54 AM
My issue with Pathfinder is that, yes, they are trying to iron over some of 3.5's problems. It's just that nothing I've seen seems to imply they know what those problems are.

Doc Roc
2009-07-06, 07:36 AM
As far as I can discern, there is something about D&D that causes brain fever in most professional game designers.

Shpadoinkle
2009-07-06, 07:38 AM
My issue with Pathfinder is that, yes, they are trying to iron over some of 3.5's problems. It's just that nothing I've seen seems to imply they know what those problems are.

Quoted for truth.

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-07-06, 08:15 AM
As someone said on another forum, Pathfinder is basically a new set of houserules that's less well-thought-out than your own set of houserules, so why bother? For every thing they "fix" (with a rule most DMs have already been using) they break at least one other thing.

bosssmiley
2009-07-06, 08:29 AM
It's the prettiest, highest production values set of half-assed D&D houserules ever made. :smallamused:

DeathQuaker
2009-07-06, 09:19 AM
So I was at the gaming shop today and some guy was talking up pathfinder, so I downloaded the free beta from Paizo and looked through it.

Color me unimpressed, but I just don't get it. They nerfed polymorph, gave rogues a feat to always allow them to sneak attack, gave fighters a few more static bonuses, buffed core races, and... they have a bunch of stupid anime style art (ew). Other than that, is there anything to pathfinder? I've heard it called D&D 3.75, but it looks more like 3.51.

As with all systems and gaming preferences, YMMV.

But Pathfinder is an attempt to revise 3.5, for those who wanted to see some changes but did not want to switch to 4e, which is a quite a different animal.

They made core races and classes more powerful and more balanced with each other, to make them as desirable to play as many races and classes outlined in various 3.5 splats. They added a lot more flavor to the Sorcerer, and a little more flavor to the Fighter.

They fixed various mechanics complaints, such as simplifying Grapple and other combat maneuvers---making an effective system that does not require reading over two pages of rules. (They have further tweaked Combat Maneuvers from what you will read in the Beta, but you'll get the idea).

They consolidated a number of skills, for example "Hide" and "Move Silently" are now "Stealth." They didn't quite oversimplify the skills as was done in 4e, however. They also changed how you gain skill points and what a class skill is. You only can have 1 rank/level in a given skill, but if you spend 1 rank in a Class skill, you get a +3 to that skill. Cross class skills cost the same as class skills, you just don't get a bonus (tho you can then emulate a cross-class skill becoming a class skill by buying a Skill Focus feat in that skill). Once a class skill, always a class skill, regardless of multiclassing. This all makes skill building much easier.

Favored Classes now simply give you either +1 HP or +1 Skill Point whenever you take a level in that favored class. There are no experience penalties for multiclassing outside your favored class. Each race has at least 2 Favored Classes to choose from (except Half-Elf and Human which are still Any Favored Class). This makes character building more flexible, along with the new skill rules.

From direct player feedback, they changed spells many players complained were too powerful as they stood. Polymorph is one of them. Personally, I consider their changes to that spell (now a series of spells) much needed, not a "nerfing." Again, of course, YMMV. They tried to put the power of the Wizard and Sorcerer classes into more of their class abilities, not just whether they could pick the most broken spells. (On that, I am not sure how much they succeeded.)

I don't agree with everything they've done, but personally, I find it's a useful revision, and it's nice to have all the revisions in one place than try to assemble various houserules.

A lot of the problems you see in Beta were discussed by the playtesters (it was a wide open playtest). Some people here will tell you they did not listen to the playtesters. Paizo did. They did not take every suggestion, of course, because every suggestion would include contradictory suggestions.

It's impossible to please all D&D players---everyone has their own play style preferences. But based on their playtests, they tried to put together a 3.5 revision that answered many commonly spoken needs. Personally, I think they did as best a job they could do, given the circumstances and the capricious and divisive nature of D&D players.

Personally, I think the art is beautiful, rich and nicely painted. Since I have looked at a lot of anime over the years and have a little training in art/drawing, I can tell you that it looks absolutely nothing like anime, which tends to have flatter features and colors and more exaggerated proportions and facial features. I find that criticism to therefore be fallacious, and suspect an effort to find fault where there is none (or little). Otherwise, I would suggest finding a more clear, detailed, and accurate way to critique it.

If you went into Pathfinder expecting the worst, I am sure you found it, as one usually does with preformed expectations. If you go into it with an open mind, you might (only might, mind) find something different. Ignore the art if it truly upsets you.

Of course, if you don't like it, you do not have to buy it, when final comes out in August (if you want to see some of the changes between the Beta and the final, they have been posting previews at Paizo's website). I am sure there are many 3.5 players who prefer to stick to core or their own house rules, and that's fine.

Doc Roc
2009-07-06, 09:43 AM
Don't get me wrong. I love the art, adore their adventure paths, and appreciate the buff to sorcerers. They nerfed some spells, which is a good start. But the beta really did feel more like an alpha. I'm willing to wait, and to watch, and to try out the final. But I just hope they're better about errata than WotC was.

DeathQuaker
2009-07-06, 09:55 AM
Don't get me wrong. I love the art, adore their adventure paths, and appreciate the buff to sorcerers. They nerfed some spells, which is a good start. But the beta really did feel more like an alpha. I'm willing to wait, and to watch, and to try out the final. But I just hope they're better about errata than WotC was.

I think the actual Alpha was less advertised than the beta. Jason Buhlman, though I think overall he did a good job considering his task is essentially impossible (pleasing all D&D players? Ha!), did seem to cling to a few ideas unnecessarily (not giving the monk full BAB, frex). He did listen well on some other issues; I remember the discussion about Barbarian powers was particularly fruitful, IIRC.

You might go to the Paizo blogs and check out their character previews---bearing in mind the "iconics" are not built to be optimized kick-ass uber characters, but more show off as many new Pathfinder abilities and combinations as possible.

The cleric was particularly controversial. I personally liked the changes, but they've made casting on the defensive more difficult, which made some people cringe.

As far as errata--I think it's a safe bet to say they'll be better about Errata than WotC, but only because I think it's impossible to be worse. :smalltongue: EDIT: I change my mind. I forgot about Palladium, who changed the rules to RIFTS every few splats without telling you.

Kaiyanwang
2009-07-06, 10:02 AM
The cleric was particularly controversial. I personally liked the changes, but they've made casting on the defensive more difficult, which made some people cringe.


This is a goood new, if they did it right. IMHO the way the spell is easily cast is one of the issue of 3.x.

Are there spells with different casting time like the ones in PHII?

DeathQuaker
2009-07-06, 10:14 AM
This is a goood new, if they did it right. IMHO the way the spell is easily cast is one of the issue of 3.x.

I can't remember exactly, you'll have to look it up to be sure, but I remember that the DC incorporates DOUBLE the spell's level, and the check you make involves your spellcaster ability score (so no more need for a good Constitution to cast spells). It may be something like 1d20+Spellcasting Stat+??? vs. DC 15+Double the Spell's Level.


Are there spells with different casting time like the ones in PHII?

I haven't read through the spells extensively in a long time, but I think for the must part, most spells are the usual Standard Action, with the occasional Full Round (certain summoning spells) and longer (certain divination spells, like Legend Lore) as in Core.

Hunter Noventa
2009-07-06, 11:55 AM
Both the groups I play with have been using the Pathfinder Beta for some time now and we haven't had any real issues with it.

Granted, we tend to be fairly even players who don't powergame in the extreme. (That is to say, while we may optimize our characters, we don't munchkin the rules.) For the most part, everyone has been able to contribute somehow. The only one who has any real trouble is our bard, who is usually just using Inspire Competence so the meat shields can actually hit the bad guy.

Fighters are more powerful and fun, if you ask me. I'd still be happy with ToB, but Pathfinder Fighters beat the crap out of 3.5 fighters. Heck, I keep outshining our sorcerer, who's probably the least expertly played member of the party, to put it bluntly.

But, like anything with any RPG, your mileage may vary. The beta rules are free after all. Give em a try and see if you like them.

subject42
2009-07-06, 12:27 PM
We have been playing a Pathfinder campaign for a while now and it's actually a pretty good system, provided you can get past the "it's not 3.5" block that a lot of players seem to have. The simplified grappling rules are a nice touch, the compressed skillset makes skill monkeys more useful, and combat maneuvers can be a lot of fun.

The fighter changes, while not gigantic, at least don't make the class lose anything.

Druids got smacked pretty hard, but they're in line with most of the other classes now.

I really don't know what they were thinking when it came to monks and wizards, but it's still beta.

Sinfire Titan
2009-07-06, 12:37 PM
We have been playing a Pathfinder campaign for a while now and it's actually a pretty good system, provided you can get past the "it's not 3.5" block that a lot of players seem to have. The simplified grappling rules are a nice touch, the compressed skillset makes skill monkeys more useful, and combat maneuvers can be a lot of fun.

The fighter changes, while not gigantic, at least don't make the class lose anything.

Druids got smacked pretty hard, but they're in line with most of the other classes now.

I really don't know what they were thinking when it came to monks and wizards, but it's still beta.

Fighter lost both Improved Trip and Power Attack, AKA the two best Fighter Bonus Feats in the PHB. How can you say they didn't lose anything and sleep at night?

Starbuck_II
2009-07-06, 01:05 PM
Fighter lost both Improved Trip and Power Attack, AKA the two best Fighter Bonus Feats in the PHB. How can you say they didn't lose anything and sleep at night?

He meant class features :smallbiggrin:

(that was a joke since feats are their class features)

Blackfang108
2009-07-06, 01:14 PM
He meant class features :smallbiggrin:

(that was a joke since feats are their class features)

Every time you explain a joke, God kills a kitten.

Keep explaining jokes, for the sake of my sinuses.:smallbiggrin:

Jane_Smith
2009-07-06, 01:21 PM
I like the 'scaling' feats. They made the +2 to two skill feats worth taking in the long run, and stuff like Dodge works so much better.

The races are more balanced, as stated above, as well.

My personal favorite thing about pathfinder IS the art. So, to the guy who was ditching on it? Get the heck out of my sight before I pimp smack you. :smallcool: It beats Exalted and normal DnD art - at least their is not any giant, 50 foot tall preying mantis's chasing a bunch of china men in a wagon with a mounted laser turret shooting at the beast in a high speed chase! >.>

Epinephrine
2009-07-06, 01:24 PM
Fighter lost both Improved Trip and Power Attack, AKA the two best Fighter Bonus Feats in the PHB. How can you say they didn't lose anything and sleep at night?

And they added feats, too. I personally like the Pathfinder changes, though I find some a bit overpowered for fighters. Devastating Chop, for example, is absolutely brutal for a high level fighter, comparable to getting off a big pounce attack.

And Power Attack has been changed from the beta version, we just have to wait to see if it's reasonable (my guess is that you take a -1 to hit, with an additional -1/4 levels, and you get a bonus to damage equal to this on your off hand, or twice this on your main hand, or 3 times this on a 2-handed weapon. See the Paizo blog for the fighter and ranger previews, which suggest a pattern like this - the 14th level fighter gets a -4 to hit, and a +8 damage on his main weapon with +4 on his off hand).

subject42
2009-07-06, 01:30 PM
Fighter lost both Improved Trip and Power Attack, AKA the two best Fighter Bonus Feats in the PHB. How can you say they didn't lose anything and sleep at night?

Everyone lost those feats, so I don't really count that as a Fighter problem, per se. That being said, there are some rough analogs for those abilities.

Blackfang108
2009-07-06, 01:37 PM
at least their is not any giant, 50 foot tall preying mantis's chasing a bunch of china men in a wagon with a mounted laser turret shooting at the beast in a high speed chase! >.>

If that was on ESPN, I'd watch the #$#$ out of it.

Oblivious
2009-07-06, 06:24 PM
Uh, you mind elaborating on "stupid anime style art"?

Please don't elaborate. We don't all agree, but I think we all understand what is meant and can appreciate that different people have different taste.


It's impossible to please all D&D players---everyone has their own play style preferences. But based on their playtests, they tried to put together a 3.5 revision that answered many commonly spoken needs. Personally, I think they did as best a job they could do, given the circumstances and the capricious and divisive nature of D&D players.

I don't think the issue is so much the number of gamers who needed satisfying, but the number of books that needed satisfying. Paizo wanted their rules to be backwards compatible with as many 3.5 supplements as possible (which I frankly believe was a business decision detrimental to the game), and this limited what they could do.

Kurald Galain
2009-07-06, 06:32 PM
We have been playing a Pathfinder campaign for a while now and it's actually a pretty good system, provided you can get past the "it's not 3.5" block that a lot of players seem to have.

Hm, I hadn't encountered that particular sentiment before. Isn't the whole point of Pathfinder that it is 3.5, or at least is fully compatible with it?

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-07-06, 06:56 PM
Hm, I hadn't encountered that particular sentiment before. Isn't the whole point of Pathfinder that it is 3.5, or at least is fully compatible with it?

The Pathfinder folks seem divided between "Completely backwards compatible!" and "Fixes 3e's problems!" They can't both be true at once, and while the alpha was leaning towards the former, the beta has been leaning towards the latter as far as I've heard.

theMycon
2009-07-06, 07:28 PM
... monk getting the nerf-bat for no real reason...
How was he "nerfed"? He got more frequent AC increases, pathfinder gave you three options for +wis races, specified that everyone is proficient with unarmed attacks & gauntlets are unarmed attacks, gave them an awesome no pre-reqs bonus feat list every 4 levels, and rolled his skills together so he can have the useful half- which are dependant on his primary stats. His Grapple/trip Bonus is now based on class level, rather than BaB, and added feats to make Str entirely a dump stat. He lost no class features. He gained a number of useful ones- like the ki points, which allows him to add extra attacks to his flurry lvl/2+wis times per day. And the "Amulet of Mighty Fists" is both slightly cheaper, and allows you to go straight into the fancier enchantments- meaning he can have a holy one as a +2 bonus, and then have GMWeapon/GMFang help him fully.

In my party, my monk is the main tank, damage dealer, and scout. The only damage he takes is the "automatic for being in range" type damage, with only core/pathfinder defenses. Were the other folk better optimizers, he'd be about average instead of it being "monk for big single enemies, wizard for 4 or more enemies, and then some folk who're just for show/healing up after." But he'd still be useful, and is now often soloing CR+3 encounters while the rest of the party hides in the corner, or just keeps exploring.

I keep hearing, and seeing, that Monks got the biggest power increase outside of the wizard.

Epinephrine
2009-07-06, 07:40 PM
I keep hearing, and seeing, that Monks got the biggest power increase outside of the wizard.

Agreed - we have a monk in the party, and the monk is powerful. The feats to really watch out for in the beta are the Vital and Improved Vital Strike, as giving up an attack to multiply the damage dice is a good exchange for a monk (thanks to the extra attacks granted by the flurry as well as the bigger damage dice). Assuming a boost to large size and amonk belt or similar effect, a 15th level monk deals 4d8 damage per hit, and gets a base attack flurry of +11/+11/+11/+6/+1; Vital strike allows him to give up his last attack to double the base damage, making it +11/+11/+11/+6 melee at 8d8 damage, and a ki point bumps it to +11/+11/+11/+11/+6, which is pretty darned solid.

Zeful
2009-07-06, 07:59 PM
I'll probably steal some things from pathfinder, but will never play it, nor allow it at my table. Simply because they screwed up with the sorcerer.

And to point out exactly what I mean: A heritage sorcerer is an inherently flawed concept, which is only used because it's easy. It's not unique, nor does it add depth to the setting. The limitation of heritage abilities to one class destroys many characters routed in human mythology that would otherwise be a deep and engaging characters. Further the shoehorning of one class into a set of biological constraints for their abilities undermines the original intent of the class, totally removing the mystery of the power source.

theMycon
2009-07-06, 07:59 PM
Agreed - we have a monk in the party, and the monk is powerful. The feats to really watch out for in the beta are the Vital and Improved Vital Strike, as giving up an attack to multiply the damage dice is a good exchange for a monk (thanks to the extra attacks granted by the flurry as well as the bigger damage dice). Assuming a boost to large size and amonk belt or similar effect, a 15th level monk deals 4d8 damage per hit, and gets a base attack flurry of +11/+11/+11/+6/+1; Vital strike allows him to give up his last attack to double the base damage, making it +11/+11/+11/+6 melee at 8d8 damage, and a ki point bumps it to +11/+11/+11/+11/+6, which is pretty darned solid.

Yup- my strategy is pretty much that, plus improved natural attack for another size increase, and having haste for an extra attack. five attacks at full bonus, plus one at slightly less, each doing 12d8+(pitiful), where pitiful is his no-str-bonus-GMW-only plus.

I've had something strength drain me down to 1 str and then swallow me whole- I thanked him for getting rid of that nasty AC and proceeded to still do massive damage 4 times in one round, which would've killed him even if the HP damage hadn't.

Myrmex
2009-07-06, 10:31 PM
They fixed various mechanics complaints, such as simplifying Grapple and other combat maneuvers---making an effective system that does not require reading over two pages of rules. (They have further tweaked Combat Maneuvers from what you will read in the Beta, but you'll get the idea).

The neutering of trip & disarm pretty much made the fighter MORE of a one trick pony. +1 damage & +1 attack on three weapons as a class feature isn't that stupendous.


They consolidated a number of skills, for example "Hide" and "Move Silently" are now "Stealth."

IMO, this is a much needed move. Do you remember the 40 odd skills in 3.0? They split finding your way around outside into Knowledge: Nature, Intuit Direction, and Wilderness Lore. Wtf.


Favored Classes now simply give you either +1 HP or +1 Skill Point whenever you take a level in that favored class. There are no experience penalties for multiclassing outside your favored class. Each race has at least 2 Favored Classes to choose from (except Half-Elf and Human which are still Any Favored Class). This makes character building more flexible, along with the new skill rules.

I'm torn about Favored Classes. On the one hand, it encourages min-maxing within your race, but on the other, no good group I have ever gamed with enforced that particular set of archaic rules, anyway.


From direct player feedback, they changed spells many players complained were too powerful as they stood. Polymorph is one of them. Personally, I consider their changes to that spell (now a series of spells) much needed, not a "nerfing." Again, of course, YMMV. They tried to put the power of the Wizard and Sorcerer classes into more of their class abilities, not just whether they could pick the most broken spells. (On that, I am not sure how much they succeeded.)

Urban Dictionary (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=nerf) succinctly defines the term nerf. I believe I used it properly and in context.


A lot of the problems you see in Beta were discussed by the playtesters (it was a wide open playtest). Some people here will tell you they did not listen to the playtesters. Paizo did. They did not take every suggestion, of course, because every suggestion would include contradictory suggestions.

It's impossible to please all D&D players---everyone has their own play style preferences. But based on their playtests, they tried to put together a 3.5 revision that answered many commonly spoken needs. Personally, I think they did as best a job they could do, given the circumstances and the capricious and divisive nature of D&D players.

There are at least a half dozen fixes for rangers, paladins, fighters and monks floating around on the internet that bring them much closer in power to the full casters. Furthermore, there changes didn't do much to weaken casters. If anything, they gave the wizard and sorc a bunch of unnecessary boosts in power.


Personally, I think the art is beautiful, rich and nicely painted. Since I have looked at a lot of anime over the years and have a little training in art/drawing, I can tell you that it looks absolutely nothing like anime, which tends to have flatter features and colors and more exaggerated proportions and facial features. I find that criticism to therefore be fallacious, and suspect an effort to find fault where there is none (or little). Otherwise, I would suggest finding a more clear, detailed, and accurate way to critique it.

It's as brightly colored as a children's book, with hard, nonsensical lines. The eyes are too big, the mouths and noses too small, not to mention that everyone is sporting hair so polygonal they could have just hopped out of a JRPG. The weapons are ridiculously huge, and everyone is covered with hilariously too many doodads and pockets. The lighting in most of them doesn't make sense, as everything seems to be illuminated from every angle at the same time.

They're pretty, if you're into that sort of thing.


If you went into Pathfinder expecting the worst, I am sure you found it, as one usually does with preformed expectations. If you go into it with an open mind, you might (only might, mind) find something different.

I actually had high hopes for it, but as I posted in the OP- it's more like 3.51 than 3.75.


Ignore the art if it truly upsets you.

Of course, if you don't like it, you do not have to buy it, when final comes out in August (if you want to see some of the changes between the Beta and the final, they have been posting previews at Paizo's website). I am sure there are many 3.5 players who prefer to stick to core or their own house rules, and that's fine.

Why so worked up?

theMycon
2009-07-06, 10:54 PM
They fixed various mechanics complaints, such as simplifying Grapple and other combat maneuvers---making an effective system that does not require reading over two pages of rules. (They have further tweaked Combat Maneuvers from what you will read in the Beta, but you'll get the idea).


This is actually one of my two big complaints- both of which I've brought up on their beta test boards.

There are three or four contradictory sets of grapple rules, depending on where in the book you read it. By the CMB's section in the combat chapter, grappling just means you both have to make a grapple check, and whether or not you like the results you can do the same 4 actions. By the "Conditions" index in the back, it helps a spellcaster to be grappled- they make the same check as to cast defensively, but you can't whack 'em if they fail, and you can't ready an action to disrupt. By the "spells" chapter, they simply cannot cast most spells, period, when grappled.


(the other complaint is the "not really barred" schools for the wizard. And giving him huge bonuses. And the ability to have one "sorcerer-like" spell a day+featless crafting, instead of a familiar.)

DeathQuaker
2009-07-07, 08:26 AM
The neutering of trip & disarm pretty much made the fighter MORE of a one trick pony. +1 damage & +1 attack on three weapons as a class feature isn't that stupendous.

Could you please elaborate on that? I've been using the CMB rules in my game (it's not a full Pathfinder playtest, but I imported in some of the ideas) and haven't seen a problem with Trip, Disarm, and other Combat Maneuvers.

Yes, the "Improved" feats for these got the bonus dropped to +2, but the way the CMB is calculated, the Fighter is at an advantage anyway with full BAB. Since Fighters gets lots of bonus feats, they can stack up a few feats to still be king of the Combat Maneuver castle. (Also, you don't need as big a bonus to handle creatures bigger than you, since larger creatures get a smaller size bonus than in Core 3.5)

I think they possibly also reduced the +4 to +2 so as to not make ridiculous combo-attacks with weapons designed to trip people. They still seem to be useful feats, especially since they still keep you from provoking AOO.

Disarm itself actually seems to be improved, since there's now a distinct mechanic for disarming someone of all items in their hands at once. Trip seems to have been simplified, but seems to still do everything it's supposed to.

Fighters have also gotten some of their Combat Maneuver oomph back since the Beta. The Fighter Preview (http://paizo.com/paizo/blog/tags/iconics/v5748dyo5labc) shows that the DC to resist Combat Maneuvers has been replaced by a "Combat Maneuver Defense." Fighters get their Weapon and Armor training bonuses to that, so what they can't dish out, they can still take it more effectively than other classes.

I agree that the Armor and Weapon training bonuses are still a bit lackluster, although the linked preview suggests they have added more weapon training options to emulate fighting styles better. Could probably still use better flavor, but it's an improvement, at least. It also looks like he has a +4 bonus to Bravery, which means they changed that ability to increase as a Fighter levels up, which is a good change, IMO.

Looks like Power Attack got changed too.


IMO, this is a much needed move. Do you remember the 40 odd skills in 3.0? They split finding your way around outside into Knowledge: Nature, Intuit Direction, and Wilderness Lore. Wtf.

Agreed. And Innuendo? As a skill by itself? Outside of Bluff or maybe Speak Language (for use of Innuendo as a Thieves Cant of sorts)?



I'm torn about Favored Classes. On the one hand, it encourages min-maxing within your race, but on the other, no good group I have ever gamed with enforced that particular set of archaic rules, anyway.

I could do without Favored Classes entirely, but it seems to be the best effort I've seen to encourage racial character roles without really punishing you if you want to deviate from them.

OTOH, I think what I really secretly like about the new rules is the chance for more skill points. Which may just suggest that certain classes just need more skill points.


Urban Dictionary (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=nerf) succinctly defines the term nerf. I believe I used it properly and in context.

I apologize if I offended or misinterpreted you. I tend to see "nerf" used as a complaint--when something is depowered and someone thinks that depowering was unnecessary or unfair. I don't think this was the case.

But I'll assume this was an issue with semantics and we agree that Polymorph was de-powered. And hopefully with good reason.



There are at least a half dozen fixes for rangers, paladins, fighters and monks floating around on the internet that bring them much closer in power to the full casters. Furthermore, there changes didn't do much to weaken casters. If anything, they gave the wizard and sorc a bunch of unnecessary boosts in power.

Yes, but I don't want to read through 500 different people's (often horribly written and spelled) homebrews to find the one I like, and I don't have enough statistical knowledge to effectively make my own. As I said before, I like most of the changes, and I like having them published in one place. (And the final will be 9.99 for the .pdf, which is a hard to beat price for something that's been formally published, laid out, with art and copy editing and all that jazz.)

I disagree on the caster bit. Casters were overpowered because of the spells they cast. These broken spells have largely been fixed, and what makes the classes special or unique has been put into their class features rather than their spell list.



It's as brightly colored as a children's book, with hard, nonsensical lines. The eyes are too big, the mouths and noses too small, not to mention that everyone is sporting hair so polygonal they could have just hopped out of a JRPG. The weapons are ridiculously huge, and everyone is covered with hilariously too many doodads and pockets. The lighting in most of them doesn't make sense, as everything seems to be illuminated from every angle at the same time.

I expect bright colors in fantasy, and don't see excessive color (look at the iconic fighter, for example--he's all brown). The art varies in its lines, and there's a lot of shading to counteract what hard lines there are. The big-eyes, small-mouth phenomenon seems largely limited to the gnomes, which seems a choice in a racial design rather than a broad artistic style (exception: the cleric does seem to have oversized eyes for her facial proportions).

I agree that the clothing does suffer from Rob Liefeld-style accessorizing (though thankfully, not Liefeld proportions/anatomy). The costume design is a bit too busy on some of the characters.

The one place where I think most of what you say is true is the "underwear art" in the races section, and I remember reading that that art was going to be replaced. I'm not 100% sure of this, however.



They're pretty, if you're into that sort of thing.

Indeed. It's probably a matter of personal aesthetics. :smallsmile: (And I do like hard lines and bright colors... I'm a big fan of expressionist art, such as the works of Matisse, where this is common. Not that I would say that Paizo's art is expressionist, however. :smallamused:)



Why so worked up?

No more worked up than you. :smallsmile: Largely just trying to answer the concerns and complaints in the posts above mine. If I came off as antsy or defensive, it wasn't my intent.

DAMN YOU, IMPERSONALITY OF TYPEWRITTEN TEXT! DAMN YOU!!!! :smalltongue:


This is actually one of my two big complaints- both of which I've brought up on their beta test boards.

There are three or four contradictory sets of grapple rules, depending on where in the book you read it. By the CMB's section in the combat chapter, grappling just means you both have to make a grapple check, and whether or not you like the results you can do the same 4 actions. By the "Conditions" index in the back, it helps a spellcaster to be grappled- they make the same check as to cast defensively, but you can't whack 'em if they fail, and you can't ready an action to disrupt. By the "spells" chapter, they simply cannot cast most spells, period, when grappled.

I am sure you weren't the only person to bring this up, and I at least hope this will be more consistent in the final.

Since they've changed the casting defensively rules, hopefully the spellcasting issues in particular were cleanly addressed.

Mark Hall
2009-07-07, 09:39 AM
I'll probably steal some things from pathfinder, but will never play it, nor allow it at my table. Simply because they screwed up with the sorcerer.

And to point out exactly what I mean: A heritage sorcerer is an inherently flawed concept, which is only used because it's easy. It's not unique, nor does it add depth to the setting. The limitation of heritage abilities to one class destroys many characters routed in human mythology that would otherwise be a deep and engaging characters. Further the shoehorning of one class into a set of biological constraints for their abilities undermines the original intent of the class, totally removing the mystery of the power source.

Actually, the sorcerer changes is one of the things we've liked most about Pathfinder, making a sorcerer a nice compromise between the Warlock and the 3.5 sorcerer. The 3.5 sorcerer was boringly bland... while you could come up with fantastic things about it, its mechanics were dull as dirt; a "wizard-lite", with fewer options and fewer bonuses. The Pathfinder sorcerer, on the other hand, has neat mechanics and a lot of options. While sorcerers with the same bloodline tend to be similar (since they're getting identical bonuses), they're not identical, because different spell selections give them versatility.

Are there other characters (non-sorcerer) who could use sorcerer abilities to describe their heritage? Sure. But there are rules you can import from 3.5 for things like that... bloodlines (from UA) or templates, for example.

WRT fighters, while they haven't been made equal to wizards, they're a lot more fun. There are options inherent in the CMB mechanic that make them defenders and resistant to various combat techniques. The bonus abilities with weapons and armor makes them the premiere hand-to-hand combatants, while changes to ranger and paladin leave them fun, as well.

I've really made the most of the favored class mechanic. It does something else that people haven't mentioned... it moderately discourages prestige classes. If your current class is your favored class, then sticking with it over a prestige class gives you that little bit of a greater bonus. It may not be a reason to completely get rid of prestige classes... the benefits there are certainly worth more than 1 SP or HP per level... but it's one more advantage to sticking with a single-class character who is mostly following racial archetypes.

Zeful
2009-07-07, 11:40 AM
Actually, the sorcerer changes is one of the things we've liked most about Pathfinder, making a sorcerer a nice compromise between the Warlock and the 3.5 sorcerer. The 3.5 sorcerer was boringly bland... while you could come up with fantastic things about it, its mechanics were dull as dirt; a "wizard-lite", with fewer options and fewer bonuses. The Pathfinder sorcerer, on the other hand, has neat mechanics and a lot of options. While sorcerers with the same bloodline tend to be similar (since they're getting identical bonuses), they're not identical, because different spell selections give them versatility.It could be the greatest thing since sliced bread, and I wouldn't care, I still hate the concept with the passion of a thousand suns.


Are there other characters (non-sorcerer) who could use sorcerer abilities to describe their heritage? Sure. But there are rules you can import from 3.5 for things like that... bloodlines (from UA) or templates, for example.
Templates are often too much and the UA Bloodlines scale badly.

John Campbell
2009-07-07, 12:45 PM
OTOH, I think what I really secretly like about the new rules is the chance for more skill points. Which may just suggest that certain classes just need more skill points.

Yeah. The 3.5 skill system sucks hard. No one gets enough skill points and they have to be spread between too many skills, most classes are far too restricted in their class skill list, and you get penalized too much for trying to branch out beyond your class skills, so you end up with 3/4ths of the party being effectively blind and deaf because they can't afford to put points in Spot or Listen, and sorcerers without Int bonuses being unable to cover even their basic vital skills.

Plus there's issues like multiclass characters having to pay the extortionate cross-class price for skills necessary to perform basic functions of whatever class they're not taking at that particular level, which gets especially nasty when combined with multiclass-oriented prestige classes that don't have all the appropriate skills as class skills (Eldritch Knight, I'm looking at you).

Pathfinder fixes most of those problems, and without nerfing classes where their skill points are a major class feature. The revamped skill system is probably the single feature that I appreciate most about Pathfinder.


The one place where I think most of what you say is true is the "underwear art" in the races section, and I remember reading that that art was going to be replaced. I'm not 100% sure of this, however.

Aw, I like that picture. The dwarf cracks me up. I can almost hear him saying, "Awww yeah, check out this fine specimen of dwarfhood. ... You know you want me."

And despite a few specific issues, I think the Pathfinder art in general is far, far better than the typical run of D&D art.

Morty
2009-07-07, 12:50 PM
As far as Pathfiner art goes... it's well-drawn, sure, but sometimes the style or content of the pictures makes me cringe, like the illustration for the Barbarian class.

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-07-07, 01:00 PM
Aw, I like that picture. The dwarf cracks me up. I can almost hear him saying, "Awww yeah, check out this fine specimen of dwarfhood. ... You know you want me."

And despite a few specific issues, I think the Pathfinder art in general is far, far better than the typical run of D&D art.

Yeah, what would you rather have: a mostly-naked dwarf...or the ugly-cricket-disguised-as-an-elf Mialee? :smallyuk:

Sinfire Titan
2009-07-07, 01:06 PM
Could you please elaborate on that? I've been using the CMB rules in my game (it's not a full Pathfinder playtest, but I imported in some of the ideas) and haven't seen a problem with Trip, Disarm, and other Combat Maneuvers.

Yes, the "Improved" feats for these got the bonus dropped to +2, but the way the CMB is calculated, the Fighter is at an advantage anyway with full BAB. Since Fighters gets lots of bonus feats, they can stack up a few feats to still be king of the Combat Maneuver castle. (Also, you don't need as big a bonus to handle creatures bigger than you, since larger creatures get a smaller size bonus than in Core 3.5)

I think they possibly also reduced the +4 to +2 so as to not make ridiculous combo-attacks with weapons designed to trip people. They still seem to be useful feats, especially since they still keep you from provoking AOO.

Disarm itself actually seems to be improved, since there's now a distinct mechanic for disarming someone of all items in their hands at once. Trip seems to have been simplified, but seems to still do everything it's supposed to.

Fighters have also gotten some of their Combat Maneuver oomph back since the Beta. The Fighter Preview (http://paizo.com/paizo/blog/tags/iconics/v5748dyo5labc) shows that the DC to resist Combat Maneuvers has been replaced by a "Combat Maneuver Defense." Fighters get their Weapon and Armor training bonuses to that, so what they can't dish out, they can still take it more effectively than other classes.

I agree that the Armor and Weapon training bonuses are still a bit lackluster, although the linked preview suggests they have added more weapon training options to emulate fighting styles better. Could probably still use better flavor, but it's an improvement, at least. It also looks like he has a +4 bonus to Bravery, which means they changed that ability to increase as a Fighter levels up, which is a good change, IMO.

Looks like Power Attack got changed too.

Disarm doesn't matter as much. The nerf to the bonus is it.

Trip: They lose the extra attack granted by Improved Trip completely. That was half of that entire feat, now its just a 50% feat.

Power Attack: The penalty is far to high. At 20th level, a Fighter who wants to use Power Attack with a Str score of 30 has to take a -10 to attack rolls. In sheer probability terms, that's a 50% penalty to all attack rolls you make. You need to optimize your attack bonus into the mid-50s just to use the feat at 20th level. At 1st level, you can't even do that (as 1st level Fighters often have a Str of 20).

When you look at a Chain Tripper or Charger build, what are the first two feats they use every combat? Power Attack and Improved Trip. A Charger build can no longer make efficient use of the Power Attack feat (remember, most builds only PA for 3 or 4 points unless they are making use of Shock Trooper, in which case they dump their AC for a full round). Chain Trippers lose out on half of their attacks (4 trip attempts from his Base Attack Bonus grants an additional 4 attacks from Improved Trip), effectively making them useless for minor Battlefield Control (originally, they could use Combat Reflexes+Improved Trip to prevent anything from small to large size from passing them unless they could beat the Trip check, and if the Fighter wins the trip check he gets to bash them for free. Paizo removed the last part, making Improved Trip a minor setback at most).

Riffington
2009-07-07, 01:52 PM
One of the best things about Tome of Battle is that it gives warriors lots of cool options that you use once a fight. If I were creating a system from scratch, I'd want trip to be something you do about once every few battles, and charge to be something you do about once a battle. I'd want sword and board to be the default warrior choice. Pathfinder tries to move warriors towards that (whether well or poorly I can't say because I haven't seen the final version) - though it'll be hard for them to deal with the overpoweredness of magic.

Uin
2009-07-07, 01:54 PM
*Stuff about Sorcerers*
Just choose the very generic "Arcane" or "Destined" path and pretend to be just that awesome. :)

Disclaimer: Has a very old beta version.

GreyMantle
2009-07-07, 04:20 PM
I always saw the art as more of a WoW-wannabe (especially the elves) than "anime" per se (whatever the hell that means). Some of it isn't bad, some of it is nastynasty, so YMMV I guess.

I'm also echoing the sentiments that PF doesn't really fix anything, it just pretends to. Part of it is that they kinda lied to people when they were talking about an open playtesting, and another part is that Jason is kinda an incompetent arrogant prick, but whatever.

I mean, just look at the "iconic" builds that devs posted online and try to tell me (with a straight face) that they know what they're doing.

Gerbah
2009-07-07, 04:58 PM
I always saw the art as more of a WoW-wannabe (especially the elves) than "anime" per se (whatever the hell that means). Some of it isn't bad, some of it is nastynasty, so YMMV I guess.


The art I found was the most interesting part. Granted, the art in the "races" section is kinda iffy, but particularly the art for the Paladin and Cleric classes were neat. They were most certainly not "anime", heaven forbid, but neat. Though some classes kinda got the short-end on art (Sorcerer, Bard, Druid). Anyways:

Yeah, I've heard a lot of complaints on Pathfinder, but I like it. I want to see how different the actual rules are compared to the Beta. Also: How were Monks nerfed? I missed that one, but I only tested a Monk in one battle and actually found him very useful. I know there is something I didn't see then, folks around here are pretty on the ball as far as rules go.

GreyMantle
2009-07-07, 05:32 PM
Also: How were Monks nerfed? I missed that one, but I only tested a Monk in one battle and actually found him very useful. I know there is something I didn't see then, folks around here are pretty on the ball as far as rules go.


It's not so much that they were nerfed as they failed to get any meaningful upgrade (absolutely necessary given that they are arguably the weakest base class).

They still don't have the full BAB that they need; they still have MAD of death; they still have the annoying and unsynergistic combo of fast movement and flurrying that takes a full round to execute, they still get a bunch of class features that look real pretty on paper but have the usefullness of nipples on a batsuit (slow fall, healing, SR).

It's not so much what the team did do as what they didn't do.

GoatToucher
2009-07-07, 05:41 PM
When you look at a Chain Tripper or Charger build, what are the first two feats they use every combat? Power Attack and Improved Trip. A Charger build can no longer make efficient use of the Power Attack feat (remember, most builds only PA for 3 or 4 points unless they are making use of Shock Trooper, in which case they dump their AC for a full round). Chain Trippers lose out on half of their attacks (4 trip attempts from his Base Attack Bonus grants an additional 4 attacks from Improved Trip), effectively making them useless for minor Battlefield Control (originally, they could use Combat Reflexes+Improved Trip to prevent anything from small to large size from passing them unless they could beat the Trip check, and if the Fighter wins the trip check he gets to bash them for free. Paizo removed the last part, making Improved Trip a minor setback at most).

These strike me as rules manipulations that run contrary to the spirit and ambiance of the game. I praise Paizo for trying to limit such gross machinations of the system.

Improved Trip now only give the characters a bonus to Trip and to avoid AoO. If they succeed, their opponent is down, and the tripper has their opponent at a distinct disadvantage. If they are 6th level or higher, they have more attacks to make at a +4 bonus. That is a perfectly useful and worthwhile maneuver to make in combat. If it isn't as badass as it used to be, I can't say that I'm overly sympathetic.

As an aside, I like that Power attack is now based on Strength, rather than BaB, but I would prefer to see it on a sliding scale, rather than all or nothing. If the final version of the feat is the same, we'll just house rule it.

Doc Roc
2009-07-07, 06:15 PM
I'm not sure I follow, when a warrior is just turned off by solid fog.
What's so gross about trying to keep the mage from casting?

Sinfire Titan
2009-07-07, 07:20 PM
I'm not sure I follow, when a warrior is just turned off by solid fog.
What's so gross about trying to keep the mage from casting?

Nothing.


These strike me as rules manipulations that run contrary to the spirit and ambiance of the game. I praise Paizo for trying to limit such gross machinations of the system.

Improved Trip now only give the characters a bonus to Trip and to avoid AoO. If they succeed, their opponent is down, and the tripper has their opponent at a distinct disadvantage. If they are 6th level or higher, they have more attacks to make at a +4 bonus. That is a perfectly useful and worthwhile maneuver to make in combat. If it isn't as badass as it used to be, I can't say that I'm overly sympathetic.


How the hell do you pull that out of your ass? It's right there in the base feat.


Improved Trip [General]
Prerequisites
Int 13, Combat Expertise.

Benefit
You do not provoke an attack of opportunity when you attempt to trip an opponent while you are unarmed. You also gain a +4 bonus on your Strength check to trip your opponent.

If you trip an opponent in melee combat, you immediately get a melee attack against that opponent as if you hadn’t used your attack for the trip attempt.

Normal
Without this feat, you provoke an attack of opportunity when you attempt to trip an opponent while you are unarmed.

Special
At 6th level, a monk may select Improved Trip as a bonus feat, even if she does not have the prerequisites.

A fighter may select Improved Trip as one of his fighter bonus feats.

See? its not "exploiting a rule", its using the goddamn feat the way it was supposed to be used (preventing large numbers of enemies from reaching your party, thus doing your job as a freaking tank).


Paizo didn't make it less badass, they killed the feat entirely. I said it before, all that's left is 1/2 of a feat. A half a feat isn't worth a feat slot, and the Fighter loses out on thee best combat option he has.

Doc Roc
2009-07-07, 07:23 PM
Combat options are treason, Citizen! You will be happy with what Friend Paizo has made for you.

Eldariel
2009-07-07, 07:32 PM
Combat options are treason, Citizen! You will be happy with what Friend Paizo has made for you.

Our loyalties must lie with Friend Wizards, for they are infallible. If you feel contrary, please report to the nearest execution chamber at once.

Knaight
2009-07-07, 07:33 PM
Knowledge of the existence of combat options is above your clearance level Citizen. Please report for self termination.

Interrupting friend Paizo's messages is treason Citizen. Please report to the nearest execution chamber.

Sinfire Titan
2009-07-07, 07:37 PM
Ok, that sounds familiar. I can't quite place its source, but I do recognize it. Source for the joke?

arguskos
2009-07-07, 07:44 PM
Ok, that sounds familiar. I can't quite place its source, but I do recognize it. Source for the joke?
Paranoia is treason, Citizen. Playing Paranoia makes you a commie mutant traitor. Knowledge of Paranoia is above your clearance level, Citizen. Please report to the nearest execution chamber.

Knaight
2009-07-07, 07:50 PM
So much talk of treason citizen. Do I detect unhappiness in your voice citizen? Unhappiness is treason citizen.

Doc Roc
2009-07-07, 08:03 PM
Failure to explain Paranoia is unfortunately also treason.
It is with great regret that I must request that we all self-terminate together.



You can go first.

Draz74
2009-07-07, 08:08 PM
So much talk of treason citizen. Do I detect unhappiness in your voice citizen? Unhappiness is treason citizen.

This diction of "citizen" sounds impersonal, comrade. If you cared for your peers you would call them "comrade." Are you harsh and unfriendly towards your fellow comrades? Unfriendliness is treason, comrade.

Knaight
2009-07-07, 08:10 PM
Failure to explain Paranoia is unfortunately also treason.
It is with great regret that I must request that we all self-terminate together.



You can go first.

As it so happens I have a thermonuclear prepared for this very purpose. Might as well use all three of them. So long Citizen.

Panda-s1
2009-07-07, 08:11 PM
I always saw the art as more of a WoW-wannabe (especially the elves) than "anime" per se (whatever the hell that means). Some of it isn't bad, some of it is nastynasty, so YMMV I guess.
Lol, irony with the WoW sentiment. I do like the art a lot, and I don't see what the anime complaint is about (and honestly, a lot of fantasy art these days is the same, so I don't see why people are complaining).

I'm also echoing the sentiments that PF doesn't really fix anything, it just pretends to. Part of it is that they kinda lied to people when they were talking about an open playtesting, and another part is that Jason is kinda an incompetent arrogant prick, but whatever.
I too was part of that open playtest. I never actually played to be honest, but even expressing my opinion on something I was usually pounded down. And that one time I had to prove you could take 10 on a knowledge check... *sigh*

Though on Jason Bulhman, he may seem like a prick, but he's posted a few times on RPG.net about the previews, and I seem to get this vibe that he feels kinda entrapped. Like he knows the system could be much better, but he's kinda trapped with the whole backwards compatibility thing, and the echo chamber that is the playtest boards. But maybe I'm just being sympathetic, who knows.

I mean, just look at the "iconic" builds that devs posted online and try to tell me (with a straight face) that they know what they're doing.
I know, it's not even an optimization issue for me, I just want to see well designed characters, not something with a +3 will save at 14th level.

Doc Roc
2009-07-07, 08:23 PM
I get a good vibe from Jason. I've worked around with the system some myself, and I think he's doing what he can, given the echo chamber effect, and the issues with............

Well with the fact that no one can agree really on what classes are good, because there's always a vocal minority on each side that no amount of evidence will sway. I'm famously deep in the caster camp, myself.


We'll see how final looks, and if they're good about errata, then we can have this conversation again.


Worst case scenario is that I just delight in the fact that there is some\any real support for 3.5 again, buy their adventure paths (which are fantastic!) and roll with the punches of their community. I think a lot of my hopes hang on Final being less wishy-washy.

Theolotus
2009-07-07, 08:30 PM
Don't get me wrong. I love the art, adore their adventure paths, and appreciate the buff to sorcerers. They nerfed some spells, which is a good start. But the beta really did feel more like an alpha. I'm willing to wait, and to watch, and to try out the final. But I just hope they're better about errata than WotC was.

They are. Often times a post on the paizo message boards will get a response for an editor/adventure designer/etc. They are really accessable.


Bottom line, no system is perfect, but with Pathfinder my group has had alot of the 3.5 bugs worked out, and we didn't have to buy a new library.

GoatToucher
2009-07-07, 09:35 PM
See? its not "exploiting a rule", its using the goddamn feat the way it was supposed to be used (preventing large numbers of enemies from reaching your party, thus doing your job as a freaking tank).

Paizo didn't make it less badass, they killed the feat entirely. I said it before, all that's left is 1/2 of a feat. A half a feat isn't worth a feat slot, and the Fighter loses out on thee best combat option he has.

You can still trip the four opponents, preventing them from reaching your party and doing your job as a tank. You just don't get four accompanying attacks to go with them. Or you might only trip two of them and give those two an attack each.

The pathfinder fix, rather than leaving you with half a feat, turned a feat and a half into a regular feat. A +2 bonus on a combat action is just about what other feats give. The "best combat option" a fighter had was too good. Pathfinder balanced it down.

Do fighters still need fixing? Hells yeah, but I don't think giving them access to unbalanced feats is the solution.

Doc Roc
2009-07-07, 10:07 PM
I humbly request that you consider that with the value of feats decreased, I believe most of us would have accepted it being split into two feats, each of them strengthened slightly. It seems strange to me that so much is changed in places I felt were not in need of serious attention, while many things have stayed the same.


I guess..... :: hums intently :: I guess we each have our own set of pet peeves, and only so much care and time to spend designing. Also, one idly wonders if perhaps there was a chart somewhere on the wall in PHQ with a list of Things Which Couldn't Change. Having worked in places and on projects that demanded a degree of backwards compatibility, I suspect there must be such a chart.

Finally, do you feel that Devastating Chop is a +2 on an action? It allows you to move then force a crit....

Myrmex
2009-07-07, 11:22 PM
Was Caught Off Guard meant to give rogues at 6th level sneak attacks against any target they attacked? Has that been changed?

Because I really like the idea of a rogue just stabbing his way through an encounter with nothing but a broken bottle and rusty pipe.

GoatToucher
2009-07-07, 11:47 PM
I humbly request that you consider that with the value of feats decreased, I believe most of us would have accepted it being split into two feats, each of them strengthened slightly.

...

Finally, do you feel that Devastating Chop is a +2 on an action? It allows you to move then force a crit....

Devastating Blow requires a +11 BaB, two additional feats, a two handed weapon, and the sacrifice of two attacks in addition to imposing a -5 attack penalty. I would suggest that it is suitable that feats with such severe restrictions be more powerful than less restrictive feats.

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-07-08, 12:11 AM
The pathfinder fix, rather than leaving you with half a feat, turned a feat and a half into a regular feat. A +2 bonus on a combat action is just about what other feats give. The "best combat option" a fighter had was too good. Pathfinder balanced it down.

Do fighters still need fixing? Hells yeah, but I don't think giving them access to unbalanced feats is the solution.

Improved Trip isn't the feat that needs fixing; Weapon Focus, the skills feats, Toughness, and all the piddly-little-bonuses feats need fixing. If all or at least most [Fighter] feats were on the level of Power Attack and Improved Trip, the fighter wouldn't be in such dire need of repair.

Cedrass
2009-07-08, 12:17 AM
the skills feats, Toughness

Those two are perfect as they are now. The Skills feat give you +2 on two skills, +4 if you have 10 or more ranks in them. Skill Focus is now +3/+6 if you have 10 rank. And toughness gives you 3 hp, +1 hp per HD.

I won't comment on Fighter feats, I never do fighters.

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-07-08, 12:33 AM
Those two are perfect as they are now. The Skills feat give you +2 on two skills, +4 if you have 10 or more ranks in them. Skill Focus is now +3/+6 if you have 10 rank. And toughness gives you 3 hp, +1 hp per HD.

I won't comment on Fighter feats, I never do fighters.

I was talking about the regular 3e versions, which desperately need a boost. The Pathfinder ones probably don't go quite far enough, but they at least scale somewhat.

FatR
2009-07-08, 07:47 AM
The pathfinder fix, rather than leaving you with half a feat, turned a feat and a half into a regular feat. A +2 bonus on a combat action is just about what other feats give.
That's because said other feats are utter crap.


The "best combat option" a fighter had was too good.
A fighter is the third weakest class in the game. There were no such things as "too good" fighter options, there were only "somewhat viable" and "completely useless" fighter options. Paizo removed the first category of options almost entirely (archer fighters still work, probably because the stuff that makes them work is out-of-core).


Do fighters still need fixing? Hells yeah, but I don't think giving them access to unbalanced feats is the solution.
Then why Paizo nerfed fighter feats that were remotely balanced?

Sinfire Titan
2009-07-08, 08:08 AM
Improved Trip isn't the feat that needs fixing; Weapon Focus, the skills feats, Toughness, and all the piddly-little-bonuses feats need fixing. If all or at least most [Fighter] feats were on the level of Power Attack and Improved Trip, the fighter wouldn't be in such dire need of repair.

It'd still suck against things 3 sizes bigger than the Fighter, which was one of the problems with most of the Fighter's combat options. Casters don't have to worry about the size of their opponent 90% of the time. Fighters get screwed when the Huge and up sized creatures start popping up.

Paizo just doesn't realize this.

DeathQuaker
2009-07-08, 08:26 AM
Power Attack: The penalty is far too high. (snip)

In the Beta, yes. I was linking to and discussing the Fighter Preview; the math suggests they changed how Power Attack works in Final as opposed to how it works in Beta.



When you look at a Chain Tripper or Charger build, what are the first two feats they use every combat? Power Attack and Improved Trip. A Charger build can no longer make efficient use of the Power Attack feat (remember, most builds only PA for 3 or 4 points unless they are making use of Shock Trooper, in which case they dump their AC for a full round). Chain Trippers lose out on half of their attacks (4 trip attempts from his Base Attack Bonus grants an additional 4 attacks from Improved Trip), effectively making them useless for minor Battlefield Control (originally, they could use Combat Reflexes+Improved Trip to prevent anything from small to large size from passing them unless they could beat the Trip check, and if the Fighter wins the trip check he gets to bash them for free. Paizo removed the last part, making Improved Trip a minor setback at most).

Oh noes! :smalleek: Paizo removed one of the most broken and exploitive things in the game that many gamers complained about! How dare they listen to player feedback and change something many thought needed to be changed! THOSE BASTARDS!! :smallamused:

Suffice to say, I think we'll have to agree to disagree on the changes to Trip.


It'd still suck against things 3 sizes bigger than the Fighter, which was one of the problems with most of the Fighter's combat options. Casters don't have to worry about the size of their opponent 90% of the time. Fighters get screwed when the Huge and up sized creatures start popping up.

A Gargantuan creature only gets a +4 Size Bonus to his Combat Manuevers; if a Fighter has an appropriate Combat Maneuver feat his own +2 effectively cuts that bonus in half, and furthermore, the Fighter preview shows that Fighter Weapon Mastery now also applies its bonuses to Combat Maneuvers. Even a moderate level Fighter is going to be able to stand toe-to-toe with a very large creature fairly easily.


Paizo just doesn't realize this.

Given the amount of playtester/developer interchange on the Paizo boards, I highly doubt this.

Kyeudo
2009-07-08, 08:43 AM
Oh noes! :smalleek: Paizo removed one of the most broken and exploitive things in the game that many gamers complained about! How dare they listen to player feedback and change something many thought needed to be changed! THOSE BASTARDS!! :smallamused:

Suffice to say, I think we'll have to agree to disagree on the changes to Trip.


How does making the fighter weaker actually help balance anything, considering that druids and wizards went up in power in pathfinder? Power Attack and Improved Trip were the only core fighter feats worth taking in Core and the fighter was already under strength.

DeathQuaker
2009-07-08, 08:50 AM
How does making the fighter weaker actually help balance anything, considering that druids and wizards went up in power in pathfinder? Power Attack and Improved Trip were the only core fighter feats worth taking in Core and the fighter was already under strength.

Because I don't believe they made the Fighter weaker. And it is a flaw in both class and feat design if a fighter needs two feats to make themselves good. While those two feats were indeed weakened (Power Attack by too much in the Beta, but Beta's Power Attack has been confirmed not to be staying the same for Final), other feats and useful feat trees have taken their place.

For the last time, READ THE FIGHTER PREVIEW. They adjusted power attack. Weapon and Armor Mastery adds bonuses to Combat Maneuvers. They put more of the strength of the Fighter IN HIS CLASS FEATURES, not in a couple feats. That, IMO, is an improvement.

I'm done with this (Yes, NOW I'm worked up). If people want to complain about a ruleset when they refuse to read the updates and previews, playtest the concepts themselves, read other playtest results, or read the existing rules completely, then there's absolutely no point in trying to carry on a discussion.

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-07-08, 09:04 AM
It'd still suck against things 3 sizes bigger than the Fighter, which was one of the problems with most of the Fighter's combat options. Casters don't have to worry about the size of their opponent 90% of the time. Fighters get screwed when the Huge and up sized creatures start popping up.

I don't think the fighter would suck less, it would just go from "in dire need of repair" to "really in need of repair." :smallwink: While Improved Trip and other options probably need a boost against bigger folks, I think having another feat with Improved Trip as a prereq would be better than boosting Improved Trip itself; having another feat perhaps with a fighter level prereq might give them something unique other than Weapon Spec. And in any case, given the choice only between keeping Imp Trip and boosting others, and nerfing Imp Trip and keeping others, the former is obviously best.


For the last time, READ THE FIGHTER PREVIEW. They adjusted power attack. Weapon and Armor Mastery adds bonuses to Combat Maneuvers. They put more of the strength of the Fighter IN HIS CLASS FEATURES, not in a couple feats. That, IMO, is an improvement.

I'm reading it, right now. Here's what it says:

First off, the new Valeros is designed to dish out the hurt, but his AC is a bit low for a character of his level. He can fix this in combat by using Combat Expertise, which at his level gives him a +4 dodge bonus to his AC (which also adds to his Combat Maneuver Defense, but more on that later) but taking a –4 penalty on attack rolls for 1 round. He can also used Power Attack to add +8 damage on attacks made with his longsword and +4 damage on attacks made with his shortsword by taking an additional –4 penalty on attack rolls. He would probably not want to use both at the same time, but he can mix it up as dictated by the situation. If he manages to hit one target with both his longsword and shortsword in the same round, he deals an additional 1d10+4 points of damage thanks to Two-Weapon Rend.

All of this assumes that Valeros begins his turn adjacent to an enemy. If not, he can charge up and make a single attack with his longsword using both Power Attack and Improved Vital Strike. This devastating attack is made at a +23 bonus and it deals 3d8+21. Note that Valeros can move 30 feet during this charge, despite wearing a breastplate. This is due to his armor training, which allows him to move at full speed while wearing such armor.

You might notice a new statistic in Valeros' stat block. CMD, which stands for Combat Maneuver Defense. This statistic is the DC for anyone else to perform a combat maneuver, such as bull rush, disarm, or grapple, against Valeros. This statistic is derived from his CMB +10 plus a number of other modifiers (Dexterity and deflection bonuses in this case). Note that Valeros adds his weapon training bonuses to his CMD whenever anyone tries to disarm or sunder weapons from those groups (he also adds these bonuses to combat maneuver checks made using weapons from those groups).

Lastly, Valeros has some fun magic items at his disposal. You can never go wrong with a necklace of fireballs (type V), especially when you are wearing fire resistant armor. The periapt of wound closure protects him from bleed damage, which is a bit more common with some of the new higher-level feats (Bleeding Critical comes to mind). Lastly, the ring of the ram is a great toy for a fighter like Valeros to control the battlefield a bit. Using just 1 charge allows him to make a bull rush combat maneuver at a +17 bonus, which should be enough to push smaller monsters around.

That's about all for this week. There are a few other tidbits hidden in the stat block for the math savvy, but I will leave those for the messageboards to puzzle out. Next week, in part 3 of our 14-week preview, we're going to take a close look at Seoni, the iconic sorcerer. And by close, I mean very close, close enough to examine her blood.
I see absolutely nothing about class features, and a bunch about feats and magic items--unless weapon and armor training are class features, in which case I'm highly disappointed, because "bonuses with disarm and sunder" and "move at full speed in heavy armor" are low- to mid-grade feats at best, and take up room in place of abilities that could actually help the fighter.

Kaiyanwang
2009-07-08, 09:08 AM
How does making the fighter weaker actually help balance anything, considering that druids and wizards went up in power in pathfinder? Power Attack and Improved Trip were the only core fighter feats worth taking in Core and the fighter was already under strength.

Could you please explain this?

About the "Wow Art": well pathfinder elves are like Wow Night Elves (wow night elves are a sort of wood elves with the skin of a drow), as well as 4th edition eladrins are Wow Blood Elves.

Both things are very, very, very sad. But I don't see other similar things (or at least so evident).

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-07-08, 09:11 AM
Could you please explain this?

As I recall, wizards get some free metamagic stuff and the druid gets wild shape earlier or more often or something like that. I don't have the beta at hand here at work, though, so someone else will have to confirm that.

Threeshades
2009-07-08, 09:17 AM
Personally i like Pathfinder, even in the beta version much more than 3.5 and 4e together. While not entirely balanced (heck it's the freaking beta!) it still shows a lot more balance than 3.5 and it still is (in my opinion) a lot less "mechanical" than 4e (the classes are not all the same for instance). The game system has been constantly worked on since the beta was released and Paizo has a whole forum dedicated to player feedback and ideas, which is pretty frequently used too. So you're condemning a system here that is not even halfway finished, and as Death Quaker said, some of you are not even paying attention to all the updates and previews that have been released. How do you judge something you don't even know?

I'm looking forward to the final release and I'm going to be sure to get it as soon as possible.

About the art flaming: In case you haven't noticed, most of the art in the Beta ruleset is done by Wayne Reynolds, who also did a lot (and a LOT) of illustrations for D&D and, yes, WOW. Further I think all of it is extremely well-painted and athmospheric and never gave me the impression of wanting to look like WoW.


As I recall, wizards get some free metamagic stuff and the druid gets wild shape earlier or more often or something like that. I don't have the beta at hand here at work, though, so someone else will have to confirm that.
While Wild Shape itself is extremely nerfed.


Could you please explain this?

About the "Wow Art": well pathfinder elves are like Wow Night Elves (wow night elves are a sort of wood elves with the skin of a drow), as well as 4th edition eladrins are Wow Blood Elves.

Both things are very, very, very sad. But I don't see other similar things (or at least so evident).
Almost all core races in any RPG are copied from a different setting. It all goes back to lord of the rings, if nothing else. And Tolkien copied them from folklore.
"Fantasy" generally mostly just came down to "Copying-elements-from-other-settings-y"

Starbuck_II
2009-07-08, 09:18 AM
Agreed, the Fighter doesn't gain a bonus to trip or Bull rush: only sunder/disarm.

Sorry, DeathQuaker: you need to point out how:
"For the last time, READ THE FIGHTER PREVIEW. They adjusted power attack. Weapon and Armor Mastery adds bonuses to Combat Maneuvers. They put more of the strength of the Fighter IN HIS CLASS FEATURES, not in a couple feats. That, IMO, is an improvement."

But the preview says otherwise: Weapon/armor mastery adds Disarm/sunder according to preview. Either that or the author thought no one cared about trip/bull rush he knew the feats sucked (jk...well kinda).

Also, you/others assume Power Attack is change but we don't know if better. I mean he can only PA for 4 (when he is much higher than level 4 meaning it still is based on Str maybe).
He has Str of 16 and 14 BAB. But for some reason an only -4 from BAB.
I can only assume Max PA is based on Character level (1/4th level +1) so 14/4= 3+1=4.
Either that or Str +1: 3 +1=4.

Still rather low.

Kaiyanwang
2009-07-08, 09:28 AM
As I recall, wizards get some free metamagic stuff and the druid gets wild shape earlier or more often or something like that. I don't have the beta at hand here at work, though, so someone else will have to confirm that.

Cannot speak for the druid but I think that if they nerfed the spells adequately, at least with mages we could be fine. Cannot speak for the Druid (but I want to download the beta again).

About the fighter.. wel, the thing I loved of the 3.5 fighter was that the class features were all those feats (even if the crit thing at level 20 in Pathfinder is nice.. I proposed one similar thing as an homebrew once!).

Sadly, as the game expanded (yeah, core fighter was not so good), you realized that you'll need something like other 12 bonus feat for the fighter of your dreams, because with the straight one fills like 2-3 feat chains and start other 1-2. Thrice this number could be as well balanced and ten times more fun.

This to say that assuming that they made this working, if the fighter has anyway bonus feats as his main feature, there are people like me that would appreciate it a lot.




I can only assume Max PA is based on Character level (1/4th level +1) so 14/4= 3+1=4.
Still rather low.

In this case it would be like the 3.5 one, or better for gishes.

Kyeudo
2009-07-08, 09:35 AM
Could you please explain this?


Actualy, I retract my statement about Druids being stronger. Druids do get earlier wild shape, more wild shape, and all their old class features come earlier, but Wild Shape is rather odd now, as all forms are almost completely identical mechanically. Natural Spell does still exist, though, the druid still gets his animal companion, and the druid's spellcasting is still intact. The Fighter will still lose to the Druid, but not so hard anymore.

However, the wizard is clearly stronger. They gave the wizard more class features, larger hit dice, and more options (Specialist Wizards can cast spells from their 'prohibited schools'). Unless they took the nerf stick to every save-or-suck, save-or-die, and battlefield control spell, the wizard is still going to rule combat with his grab bag of tricks.

Starbuck_II
2009-07-08, 09:43 AM
The monk looks pretty cool. Not sure about its power level (up or down). Granted, it is hard to imagine how they make it lower.

Monk level for Combat Maneuvers (so for straight monks like full BAB). Same for flurry. So multiclassed Monks will be much weaker (gives reasons to stay monk)

Stunning Fist is a free feat instead of a choice of that or Improved Grapple.
Quivering Palm is 1/day.



The amulet of mighty fists can now be used to grant melee special weapon qualities to the monk's unarmed strikes. A similar change was made to bracers of armor, allowing them to grant special armor qualities, such as light fortification.

Wierd didn't Arms and equipment guide already say Bracers can do that? Well, at least paizo people will have a non-splat book to point to.

Monks flurry with short swords according to picture...

Epinephrine
2009-07-08, 09:52 AM
Wild Shape is rather odd now, as all forms are almost completely identical mechanically.

Not really... all forms of the same size get the same attribute modifiers (which are now size bonuses, so they stack with the enhancement bonuses that the druid uses.

Each form however gets abilities appropriate to the form; a bear would get low light vision, scent, improved grab, and 2 primary claws and a bite, as well as a 30' swim speed and a 40' land speed; a tiger gets pounce, improved grab, rake, low light vision, scent, and the tiger's natural attacks.

So depending on the ability needed, you select the form.
You can gain burrow, climb, fly, swim, blindsense, darkvision, low-light vision, scent, tremorsense, constrict, ferocity, improved grab, jet, poison, pounce, rake, rend, roar, spikes, trample, trip, and web.

Kaiyanwang
2009-07-08, 10:00 AM
Wierd didn't Arms and equipment guide already say Bracers can do that?

True. It helped our monk a lot, BTW.

John Campbell
2009-07-08, 10:46 AM
Druid got nerfed hard - possibly the only class that did. Wild shape is much weaker than it was.

The thing about combat maneuvers is that, IMAO, they're things that should be used occasionally, when the situation calls for it, not things that you should build an entire character concept around. (And Trip, in particular, is really, really annoying.) As far as I'm concerned, making less viable characters who're totally focused on exploiting a single combat maneuver is an improvement.

And, yeah, there are spells that are as bad or worse. The answer to that is to fix the broken spells, not to promote other class features to being just as obnoxious. Also, make casting more difficult... one of the big reasons casters are overpowered in 3.x is that WotC systematically removed practically every one of the limitations on casting that existed in AD&D.

edit: And, yeah, you're allowed right in core to put non-enhancement-bonus enchantments - though only ones with plus-equivalents, I think - on amulets of mighty fists and natural armor now. My half-orc wolf-rider is looking forward to having a corrosive dire wolf.

Yora
2009-07-08, 11:08 AM
True. It helped our monk a lot, BTW.
That was 3.0

Epinephrine
2009-07-08, 11:23 AM
Re: Pathfinder monk...

Let's start by taking a look at the monk's primary mode of attack: flurry of blows. This system is revised from the 3.5 version to work using mechanics similar to the Two-Weapon Fighting feats, but the new monk goes one step further and uses its monk level as its base attack bonus whenever it uses flurry of blows. At 8th level, this means that Sajan has one additional attack and all of those attacks are at a +1 over his 3.5 counterpart. If we look at 20th level, Sajan would have 2 extra attacks and those attacks are at a +3 over the 3.5 statistics. Of course, Sajan can still use special monk weapons for these attacks as well.

Now that's an improvement!

http://paizo.com/paizo/blog

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-07-08, 11:38 AM
The thing about combat maneuvers is that, IMAO, they're things that should be used occasionally, when the situation calls for it, not things that you should build an entire character concept around. (And Trip, in particular, is really, really annoying.) As far as I'm concerned, making less viable characters who're totally focused on exploiting a single combat maneuver is an improvement.

The issue with that is the combat maneuvers penalize you for attempting them unless you have Improved X, instead of rewarding you if you do have it. If all of the Improved X feats were as good as Improved Trip (or if they just didn't give the damn penalty in the first place) you could mix up combat with a bull rush here, a charge there, a trip there, and so on instead of having to focus on the only two that are actually beneficial (trips and charging).

If you think that would make the maneuvers too desirable over plain old attacks, add in an ability (or just make it part of the base system) that you can full attack as a standard action, and you'd see the same sort of attack and damage you have now but with a lot more mobility and several more viable tactical options.

Doc Roc
2009-07-08, 03:02 PM
DeathQuaker, out of curiousity, how do you feel about Tome Of Battle?
I'm guessing you're not a fan...
I can't say that I agree with you regarding the increased strength of fighters, and I'm sorry you dislike chargers to the point of suggesting that power attack needed a nerf, but fortunately, they did add some nice feats. Whatever, I'll wait till final for a verdict.

How's this:

Slay it Forward
Feat[Fighter]
Reqs: BAB 6, Imaginary Feat That Helps Make TWF hit harder
You may sacrifice your move action next turn to make a full attack as a standard action. This does not allow you to take a full round action, merely a full attack. After using this feat, a fighter must wait 1d4 rounds before using it again.

FatR
2009-07-08, 03:47 PM
This feat is weaksauce. You need something like Travel Devotion. Or this:
SWIFT STEP [GENERAL]
Your have learned extraordinary movement techniques, that allow you to cover dozens of feet in an instant.
Prerequisite: Str 13, Dex 15, base attack bonus +9
Benefit: Once per round, you can move up to your speed as a swift action. This movement provokes attacks of opportunity as normal.
Special: This feat is incompatible with other form of normal movement, except for 5-foot steps. You cannot move, run or charge in the round you have used Swift Step feat and you cannot use Swift Step after move, run or charge actions.
A fighter may select Swift Step as one of his fighter bonus feats.

Note, that BAB requirement might be overtly high, due to me being conservative.

Myrmex
2009-07-09, 11:06 PM
However, the wizard is clearly stronger. They gave the wizard more class features, larger hit dice, and more options (Specialist Wizards can cast spells from their 'prohibited schools'). Unless they took the nerf stick to every save-or-suck, save-or-die, and battlefield control spell, the wizard is still going to rule combat with his grab bag of tricks.

Look at the spells. Black Tentacles got downgraded in both its grapple bonus and damage, glitterdust allows a save to end every round. Web still sucks to get caught in, but is seriously nerfed, and now only needs like one roll to get out of, as opposed to many. I think the new Combat Maneuver mechanic makes it easier for creatures to get out of.

Slow is still really good, and solid fog still tells a non-teleporting character to sit out for 1 to 4 rounds.

Dimension Door and Teleport are still there, as is foresight, forcecage, and cloudkill.

They removed Gate and Planar Binding, as well as the Holy Word line of spells.

olentu
2009-07-10, 12:15 AM
Look at the spells. Black Tentacles got downgraded in both its grapple bonus and damage, glitterdust allows a save to end every round. Web still sucks to get caught in, but is seriously nerfed, and now only needs like one roll to get out of, as opposed to many. I think the new Combat Maneuver mechanic makes it easier for creatures to get out of.

Slow is still really good, and solid fog still tells a non-teleporting character to sit out for 1 to 4 rounds.

Dimension Door and Teleport are still there, as is foresight, forcecage, and cloudkill.

They removed Gate and Planar Binding, as well as the Holy Word line of spells.

Gate, planar binding, and the word line are in the web enhancement. I think gate still allows controlling a creature. The planar binding line seems rather much the same. The word line does allow saves to reduce or negate their effects however.

Myrmex
2009-07-10, 12:49 AM
Gate, planar binding, and the word line are in the web enhancement. I think gate still allows controlling a creature. The planar binding line seems rather much the same. The word line does allow saves to reduce or negate their effects however.

:smalleek:

A better fix would just have it such that only willing creatures come through the Gate, and to make it so Planar Binding only works vs. creatures you summon with Summon Monster spells.

Optimator
2009-07-10, 06:39 AM
These strike me as rules manipulations that run contrary to the spirit and ambiance of the game. I praise Paizo for trying to limit such gross machinations of the system.

Oh noes! :smalleek: Paizo removed one of the most broken and exploitive things in the game that many gamers complained about! How dare they listen to player feedback and change something many thought needed to be changed! THOSE BASTARDS!! :smallamused:

Lawl, Power Attack and Improved Trip--gross machinations of the system and exploitative.

This "playtester/developer interchange" spoken of consists of players who play in sheltered games who don't actually know how the game really works deep down and developers who are constrained by format/compatibility guidelines and surrounded by Lucas-esque yes-men. God bless 'em, they're trying... but they know not what they do. Last time I checked, all the good advice from the true gaming veterans got shot down by a loud chorus of group-think. "The system just can't have a flaw there; a developer crushed your suggestion without logical reason or foresight!" That's Pathfinder. Destined for failure.

As for the art, I haven't really looked at it. Wayne is an S-class artist IMO.

Kaiyanwang
2009-07-10, 07:09 AM
:smalleek:

A better fix would just have it such that only willing creatures come through the Gate, and to make it so Planar Binding only works vs. creatures you summon with Summon Monster spells.

For Gate, see how Summon Elemental Monolith in Complete Arcane works, too: you hold your control on the summoned creature by concentration.

IMHO, mantain this mindset (and avoid cheese about metamagic and concentration :smallwink:) could lead to a great game: even if the caster gate two powerful beings to nuke enemy A, the meleers must swear to keep them untouched by swarming enemies lead by enemy B, as an example of interesting encounter.

Gnaeus
2009-07-10, 08:18 AM
I think pathfinder will do at least 2 good things.

1. When I walk into a game and the DM says...Polymorph? Wild Shape? You must be joking! I will pull out my Pathfinder manual and say "O.K. What about these nerfed versions that retain the spirit of the spell/ability (as opposed to the Shapechange Druid)". Stuff in print has a certain weight of authority over, for example, the giant set of web house rules that I could print instead. For my games, I plan to use the rules from both systems that I like better.

2. When I go to cons, there will be developer support and scheduled events for people playing a game which resembles 3.5 D&D. Even if Pathfinder is worse than 3.5 (and I don't have enough evidence to opine one way or the other without seeing their final product) it would still be enough better than 4.0 that I would consider it to be a roleplaying game.