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Talakeal
2010-09-05, 08:36 PM
So I am considering running pathfinder instead of 3.5 for the next dungeons and dragons game I run. But before I shell out the 50 bucks for the book I am wondering how much of an improvement people actual think it is.

From what I have heard around the forums that they have fixed a lot of the problems (good), left a lot of problems untouched (bad) and tried to fix problems but only end up making them worse (and ugly).

Could someone who read / played the game please tell me what major / crucial changes they have made and what category they fall into?

Eldan
2010-09-05, 08:40 PM
You actually best start out just having a look at the pathfinder SRD, which you can easily google. It lists changes to races, classes, spells, skills and feats, at least. There are also a few changes to more fundamental concept, such as levelling and what favoured classes do, but these are hte largest ones.

Da Beast
2010-09-05, 09:13 PM
Pathfinder SRD (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/). There's also a topic floating around the boards somewhere with a decent write up of how pathfinder differs from 3.5, but I'm not sure where it got off too...

Aran Banks
2010-09-05, 09:13 PM
Pathfiner is Paizo's moneymaking scheme. It's 3.5 with sprinkles, and is in no way superior.

The problems with casting v. melee get expounded. Then it has some fun with feats (though not super meaningfully).

I recommend not buying it.

arguskos
2010-09-05, 09:15 PM
Pathfinder SRD (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/). There's also a topic floating around the boards somewhere with a decent write up of how pathfinder differs from 3.5, but I'm not sure where it got off too...
You mean this? (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=136890) That's Saph's write-up, and it's fairly accurate.

Tyndmyr
2010-09-05, 09:44 PM
The above is all pretty much correct.

It's not bad. If you enjoy 3.5, you'll enjoy PF. It's very familiar, but there's a few tweaks that are generally accepted as nice(skill system in particular). However, the similarity to 3.5 does mean you have a LOT of overlap in the material.

Better pictures, though. Definitely better pictures.

Tetsubo 57
2010-09-06, 01:59 AM
Pathfiner is Paizo's moneymaking scheme. It's 3.5 with sprinkles, and is in no way superior.

The problems with casting v. melee get expounded. Then it has some fun with feats (though not super meaningfully).

I recommend not buying it.

Wow. I am a die-hard 3.5 fan. I consider the SRD/OGL to be the greatest gift that our hobby has ever received. And I think that Pathfinder is unquestionably superior to the core 3.5 rules. Pathfinder makes money because it is a quality rules system that is fully supported. I am currently reading the Advanced Players Guide and I think it is the best book in the OGL family that I have read since the PHB II came out. Excellent work well worth your time and money.

Talakeal
2010-09-06, 02:01 AM
You mean this? (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=136890) That's Saph's write-up, and it's fairly accurate.

Thank you, That's pretty much what I was looking for, although I would love to hear what others think. Overall the game looks pretty good to me so far.

Kylarra
2010-09-06, 02:06 AM
Pathfinder is okay. It's a lot better than core 3.5, but if you already have a ton of splatbooks for 3.5, then you might as well just save your money and make your own houserules.

FelixG
2010-09-06, 05:12 AM
Wow. I am a die-hard 3.5 fan. I consider the SRD/OGL to be the greatest gift that our hobby has ever received. And I think that Pathfinder is unquestionably superior to the core 3.5 rules. Pathfinder makes money because it is a quality rules system that is fully supported. I am currently reading the Advanced Players Guide and I think it is the best book in the OGL family that I have read since the PHB II came out. Excellent work well worth your time and money.

This.

I love pathfinder.

And the Advanced Players Guide is full of just so much fun...

Oh....and better pictures :D

Leolo
2010-09-06, 05:27 AM
The good:
- Racial abilities have been reworked and i like the result.
- Pathfinder is still in print, so you might easier find new players
- it is similar to 3.5 and 3.5 is a good system

The bad:
- Pretty much all changes could be described as nice houserules that would have earned many criticism if they would have been posted in a forum like this.
- PFRPG increases the powerlevel slightly. There are options missing, but as a summary the characters are stronger.
- The system is not compatible to 3.5. It can be made, but in fact it is easier to simple take some houserules for 3.5 that already match the system. You should also note that the reason why the balance is not completely of the board is that some options have been removed. Bringing them back into the game via splatbooks from 3.5 increases the power level even more.
- Most of the changes does not even intend to solve problems from 3.5 but could be described as changes with the intend to change something without thinking about the reason for this. For example bards are intended to be skill monkeys in 3.5 but have the problem that they have to maximize an otherwise useless skill to use their class features. And does not have use for high int, so they do not really have that much more skill points than other classes. Pathfinder "solves" this by splitting this otherwise useless skill into multiple otherwise useless skills that now all have to maximized to use all your class features. And by making the skill less useful in general.

Bards might be a bad example - they are nerfed in general. But the same is true for many changes. I would not say that 3.5 does not need to change. But there are very few thoughts feelable about why a single change is a good idea. Polymorph is another good example.

The Ugly:

I have played pathfinder about half an year, and i have had fun with the system. Not that much as when i played 3.5 and not half that much as with 4E, but still fun. But there was one thing that i really do not liked. The characters are streamlined to concepts. Because it is not really a good idea to use PFRPG with 3.5 splat books and material there are much options missing in general. But because of pfrpg buffs/nerfs selective options the builds that are available in the system are streamlined, too.

For example i really liked to play bards in 3.5.

And they where different. A music caster? A juggler and iron bender? A wise loremaster? It is all possible. PFRPG reduces this to the loremaster and nerfs him, too.

In 3.5 my bard knows something about the way to the next town because he have heard some story about the three river maidens living in the river between us and the town, saving people from the local orc tribe from time to time by showing them the hidden path through the forest.

In PFRPG my bard has greater knowledge over the nature than the party ranger or druid. 3 times a day i know more than the cleric about his religion or the wizard about a spell. And i hate it. It kills role playing, because it has nothing to do with my role as a musician or the role of my party members as wise mages or fanatic priests.

Role playing in general has inferior importance for the changes, and this is a shame...because it is the thing that the game should be build arround.

Kurald Galain
2010-09-06, 05:49 AM
As said above, Pathfinder is a better starting point than the 3.0 or 3.5 PHB. Also, Saph's guide (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=136890) is the best advice you're going to get on the matter.

PF does not solve the balance issues in 3E, but this is a red herring: game balance is ubiquitously discussed on gaming forums but is really not all that important in actual gameplay. It was never the intent for PF (nor for most other RPGs anywhere) to be completely balanced. Boardgames require balance because they're competitive; RPGs don't require much balance because they're cooperative.

Snake-Aes
2010-09-06, 06:00 AM
As said above, Pathfinder is a better starting point than the 3.0 or 3.5 PHB. Also, Saph's guide (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=136890) is the best advice you're going to get on the matter.

PF does not solve the balance issues in 3E, but this is a red herring: game balance is ubiquitously discussed on gaming forums but is really not all that important in actual gameplay. It was never the intent for PF (nor for most other RPGs anywhere) to be completely balanced. Boardgames require balance because they're competitive; RPGs don't require much balance because they're cooperative.

The need for balance is psychological in nature...being cooperative doesn't make most people hand out and accept that they might be playing something weaker

CapnVan
2010-09-06, 06:17 AM
It's also worth noting that you don't need $50 for the product. $10 gets you a legal, searchable PDF.

Considering I've had to pay more than that for a number of movies, that's not much of a barrier to entry.

olelia
2010-09-06, 07:30 AM
My group has permanently switch to pathfinder and have been happy since. The only major "problem" we keep having is when new rules keep popping up. Luckily Saph was nice and compiled a pretty good changes list.

Nero24200
2010-09-06, 07:37 AM
PF does not solve the balance issues in 3E, but this is a red herring: game balance is ubiquitously discussed on gaming forums but is really not all that important in actual gameplay. It was never the intent for PF (nor for most other RPGs anywhere) to be completely balanced. Boardgames require balance because they're competitive; RPGs don't require much balance because they're cooperative.
Not nessicerily true. I like the idea of classes being balanced because it means I can make a character I like without fear that they're uselss in the party. For instance, lets say we have have two uberchargers in the party that can one-shot any boss (likely in a high-op game).

And lets say hypothetically - one could perform an "ubercharge" as an immedaite action (not likely, but I'm exhargerrating a little here to help show my point). What happens to the other? For the majority of encounters in the game the other Ubercharger is pointless, since anything he might be needed to do the other can do better.

This is why I want balance. I hate the idea that I could make an interesting character and - purely because I didn't powerbuild him - find that he's pointless within the party. I play D'n'D to have fun, which for me means not sitting back doing nothing while everyone else has fun with combat - That element of D'n'D which takes up the majority of the rules.

Snake-Aes
2010-09-06, 07:56 AM
It's nicknamed 3.75 for a reason, you know. It is made to be usable with 3.5 as seamlessly as possible.
The consequence is, as you'll notice, that the power between classes didn't change much. Most classes got very nice buffs, and deciding between maneuvers like grapple and trip is slightly easier (and dex characters can defend themselves better against those).
Casters still dominate. Melee still doesn't dominate. You can still look at the tier system and not move things around.


Overall, I like it. It's slightly easier to use, the skill mechanics and consolidation improved, and some classes got nice buffs.
The monetary pros to it are:
1) free srd
2) cheap pdf
So you don't have to buy it. Mess around with the srd first.

Kurald Galain
2010-09-06, 08:15 AM
Not nessicerily true. I like the idea of classes being balanced because it means I can make a character I like without fear that they're uselss in the party.
There is a huge difference between being unbalanced and being useless.

Playing a 5th level fighter while another player has a 10th level fighter may make you feel useless, because everything you can do the other fighter can do better. In my experience, this is annoying.

Playing a 5th level fighter while another player has a 5th level wizard means you can do things he can't, and he can do things you can't. Neither character is useless. In my experience, this means both players will have fun even if technically speaking, one character is more powerful.

Leolo
2010-09-06, 08:19 AM
Balancing is important because it helps to play your role. A Fighter who defines himself as the guy who protect his mage buddy may find his role playing affected if he does not protect him at all.

There are many roles that can be "replaced" by other classes or spells and balancing has to provide some kind of barrier to avoid this.

Nero24200
2010-09-06, 08:24 AM
Playing a 5th level fighter while another player has a 5th level wizard means you can do things he can't, and he can do things you can't. Neither character is useless. In my experience, this means both players will have fun even if technically speaking, one character is more powerful.

What about a 5th level fighter and a 5th level DMM battle-cleric? Or cleric using the PF warrior variant? As said in my post, I was exharggeratting to prove my point - very rarely is someone going to be completely uselss, but that doesn't prevent them being overshadowed by quite a bit.

Making the game "perfectly balanced" isn't required to prevent this - Just making it reasonably balanced can be enough in fact.

DruchiiConversion
2010-09-06, 08:41 AM
Power attack got nerfed.
Improved Trip got split into two feats.


Wizards now have an ability to cast any spell from their spellbook 1/day, if they feel like taking it.
Clerics now get extra powers, such as a first-level touch attack which removes actions from the enemy with no save, usable 6+ times per day.


Monks are no longer allowed to take improved natural attack, and as such output less damage.
Barbarians can now rage less.


Wizards get a free metamagic ability, if they feel like taking it. Doesn't increase the casting time or spell level, naturally.
Sorcerers also get nifty abilities as they level up, such as decent SR, +6 to an ability score, or just good old-fashioned free metamagic.


I could go on. If any player came on here saying "these are my DM's houserules, do they seem reasonable? I'm noticing balance issues" they would be loudly, and rightly knocked - the only reason Paizo get as much leeway as they do is because they're a publishing company. If balance is a concern for you at all, I'd have to advise against PF. It's even worse for balance than 3.5.

Kurald Galain
2010-09-06, 08:42 AM
What about a 5th level fighter and a 5th level DMM battle-cleric?
That strikes me as something that is ubiquitously discussed on gaming forums but is really not all that important in actual gameplay - because most groups in practice do not have a DMM battle-cleric.

Pathfinder's goal has been to fix practical issues, not theoretical ones. Of course, I'm not saying it's fully succeeded at that; my point is that those theoretical issues are a red herring. It's not an issue for PF to fix the heal-by-drowning loophole since pretty much nobody is using that loophole in the first place.

Saph
2010-09-06, 08:55 AM
(snipped)

Pretty much everything in Druchii's post is either inaccurate (e.g. the claim about universalist Wizards' metamagic being effective) or misleading (emphasising buffs to one class while ignoring buffs to others). Arguskos and Kurald already linked to the guide I wrote. :smallsmile:

Balance-wise, PF is slightly better-balanced than 3.5, but not enough to make a huge difference - if you found 3.5 unplayable you probably won't like PF, while if you're part of the majority who didn't have impossible problems with the 3.5 system you'll probably get on fine with PF as well.

The more significant changes are the greater number of class features each class gets, and the improvements to the skill and combat maneuver systems. I'd say that taken together, they make PF core better than 3.5 core. However, 3.5 has way more books and material to explore, giving it much more variety than Pathfinder has.

My verdict would be:

ē Want to play with one book? Use Pathfinder.
ē Want to play with 20 books? Stick with 3.5.

Leolo
2010-09-06, 08:56 AM
@Kurald: The problem is that this points are not theoretical, at least not all of them. Yes - balancing importance depends on the gaming group. If no one forces the boundaries of the system to harsh it does work sufficient.

But balancing changes is not the only change, and i would (after playing it about half a year) say the changes does affect practical situations.

For example it makes a difference if i can no longer polymorph myself into another person. Or if my bard is now a loremaster if i want it or not.

Or general speaking if a specific character build is heavily nerfed.

Nero24200
2010-09-06, 09:04 AM
I think Leelo sums up what I meant pretty well. Even if some balance concearns are red herrings, they shouldn't all be treated that way.

Kurald Galain
2010-09-06, 09:05 AM
@Kurald: The problem is that this points are not theoretical, at least not all of them.
I'm not saying that there are no practical points, I am saying that the theoretical points are a red herring.

So I'm much more interested in discussing the practical points (such as the changes to the skill system or to multiclassing) than the theoretical ones (such as claims that "PF sucks because it's unbalanced").

DruchiiConversion
2010-09-06, 09:11 AM
Pretty much everything in Druchii's post is either inaccurate (e.g. the claim about universalist Wizards' metamagic being effective) or misleading (emphasising buffs to one class while ignoring buffs to others).

I'm not trying to say PF is unplayable, simply that it is less well-balanced than 3.5. The specific claim you make here is that universalist wizards getting metamagic for free is ineffective - I freely admit that the ability does not compare to, say, Incantatrix, favourably - but still, the idea that it is not a useful ability is simply untrue.

Compare this to what the Monk gets out of Pathfinder. The answer to that is: a few not-so-great feat options, the ability to be slightly (rather than much) worse at combat maneuvers than a fighter, and a few weak abilities tied to a ki pool, some of which he could do before the change.

Maybe I'm just missing something the Monk gets, in which case, I'm happy to be corrected. But if not, I think it's safe to say that the Wizard class received more bonuses from Pathfinder than the Monk did.

Which of those is at the top, and which is at the bottom, or the 3.5 core tier list again?

Saph
2010-09-06, 09:16 AM
I'm not trying to say PF is unplayable, simply that it is less well-balanced than 3.5. The specific claim you make here is that universalist wizards getting metamagic for free is ineffective - I freely admit that the ability does not compare to, say, Incantatrix, favourably - but still, the idea that it is not a useful ability is simply untrue.

PF universalist metamagic sucks horribly. Read my guide for a detailed explanation as to why. There is literally no reason to play a universalist rather than a specialist unless you want to deliberately handicap yourself.

The idea that the PF wizard's free metamagic is awesome is one of the enduring myths of Pathfinder. Partly it's due to a holdover from the pre-nerf version in the Beta, where the ability was actually pretty good, and partly it's due to an assumption that any ability that gives you any amount of free metamagic must be great, but mostly it comes down to not running the numbers and figuring out how much more easily you could do it a different way instead.

liquid150
2010-09-06, 09:17 AM
This post on another forum sums up how I feel about PF.


I have noticed a disturbingly large number of people making inaccurate statements about Pathfinder. In the interests of keeping 3.5 alive these inaccuracies must be corrected, however it is neither productive nor efficient to continue reviving > 1 month old threads to do so. So instead I will put it all in one easy to read and reference location.

In general, it is important to understand that Pathfinder (henceforth referred to as PF) is all about making wrong or deceptive claims about what they are doing. If they claim they will do x, they will most likely do exactly the opposite, or at least not do x. It is also important to understand none of their developers have any idea what they are doing design wise, and their community is even less skilled than they are. Lastly, it is important to understand another favored tactic of those who wrote PF is to use smoke screen tactics to appear as if they did something meaningful when in actuality they did not.

Here is a not complete list of some of the many things they have done that I will add to as I remember more:

General melee:

All maneuvers nerfed by reducing the success rate drastically, in many cases you will have a 0% chance to succeed when otherwise it would be worth trying. For all practical purposes this only affects the Trip maneuver though as the others were never worth using anyways. However, the Trip maneuver is the only means by which a non spellcaster can even attempt to protect their allies, ergo there is nothing stopping the enemy from calmly walking around them to attack whoever they desire.

Melee damage output drastically reduced by heavily nerfing the feat Power Attack. As it was an uphill battle to do enough HP damage to matter to begin with, and you do not have the option to bypass HP to attack enemies in some other way as you are not a spellcaster...

What exactly are you supposed to do? You can't defend yourself (no change, PF characters are still hit on a 2 and dead in 1-2 rounds in melee combat), you can't defend anyone else (trip nerf), you can't kill the enemy before they kill you, you can only tickle them... why are you even there?

Granted, in 3.5 the same question could be asked of any non spellcasting class who did not put forth an exceptional effort to make themselves relevant and contributing party members, but being able to participate in the game was a possibility at least. And as these things are the foundation for tactics, they affect everything, even the non spellcaster classes that would otherwise be capable of functioning such as the Tome of Battle classes. Sure you could fix the problem by ignoring PF rules, but that's just a point in favor of not using them!

General spellcaster:

Smokescreen tactics employed heavily here. Here are a few examples:

Nerfing select spells - doesn't mean a thing, for as long as there is at least one spell at every level that instantly wins combats the spellcasting classes are no less powerful. There still are, so even if there were fewer it makes no practical difference. Of course they aren't, because the nerfs make no practical difference. Example: Save every round. The soonest they can try to break out is round 2 as you cast the spell on round 1. Most combats are over by then, therefore the end result (enemy neutralized entire combat) remains the same.

Nerfing the spells that were weaker to begin with - Everyone is immune to [Death] at level 13+ if they know what they are doing and if they do not they don't make it to 13+. As a result, making Finger of Death do an inconsequental amount of HP damage instead of instantly killing the enemy makes no difference to its utility, as it was already a spell that was countered as a matter of course and therefore had no effect.

Stealth buffs - particularly when they counter the so called nerfs and then some. New spells that instantly win combats making the alleged nerfs to some of the others irrelevant even if they meant something to begin with, things like free metamagic feats for wizards, all casters automatically getting double wealth due to the crafting system no longer requiring an XP cost... Actually that deserves its own sub section.

Crafting:

*insert humorous yet tasteless picture of trainwreck here*

Now in 3.5, crafting was the way to power. Non casters absolutely required it, as they needed well in excess of 100% wealth by level in order to properly perform their jobs on even a basic level and getting all of their gear cheaper was the only way they could do so without obvious DM pity artifact swords that still likely won't do the job, as the DMs who are lazy enough to try to opt for this don't really understand what it is the non caster classes lack and therefore cannot address their defiencies.

About the only thing that kept it in check was the XP costs. Not because it made you fall behind in levels, it didn't, and it could actually make you higher level if done right. But it did mean you would run out of XP before you ran out of gold, requiring that you spend some of your money purchasing items normally. Yes, I am assuming the existence of magic item shops that will sell you anything and everything you can pay for. They may not be common, but they absolutely must exist for this discussion to take place, therefore the discussion predicates their existence.

Well, no XP costs anymore. Spellcasting classes have double cash by default with no limiting factors. No, don't say time, that's a laughable limiting factor to any competent caster.

Non casters? Still can't make their own items. Many non caster items are more expensive, have been nerfed, or both.

The good just got better, the bad just got worse. Remember this line, it's a recurring theme with their work.

Then you start getting into the classes specifically. And it almost seems like they've gotten better, if you can't identify the stealth nerfs.

Take Rogues for example. I like Rogues, so they're a good starting point.

Their main things are dealing with traps, and sneak attacking. They are capable of other things of course, but those things are not unique and identifying features, and are too subjective to accurately quantify. They also stop mattering around level 5 for the most part.

Traps were either not a big deal, or a big deal but the Rogue could not get them depending on whether it was a mechanical trap or a magical trap. No, falling into a pit is not a CR 10 trap. No, not even if it is a thousand foot deep, covered with spikes on top of spikes, and has a pool of water at the bottom filled with acid breathing sharks with lasers on their head. Everyone is flying, therefore they either never trigger or even recognize that there is a trap there, or they look down while flying over the pit, shake their head in bemusement, and continue on.

The magical traps were capable of actually doing what they are supposed to - threatening level appropriate characters, but take a look at those Search and Disable Device DCs. Chances of getting them? Low. Chances of setting them off with your face? Practically assured. In effect, the Rogue is a Barbarian with far less HP in this regard. By the time the Rogue actually can get them, no one cares because you have long since outleveled them. Which is another thing, traps only go up to level 10. And after about 5, the only ones that still matter are the magical ones which Rogues cannot get, but Detect Magic + Dispel Magic might be able to. Well, at least Warlocks are good for something.

PF? Well, it takes a bunch of lower level traps seemingly at random and makes them higher level without actually improving them in any way, and without any rhyme or reason to their actions. In effect, traps are even less level appropriate than before. And it isn't even as if they're any easier because you still get the AoE save or die traps at 10, just at level 18 you get traps doing 15 HP damage or something similarly ignorable. I suppose I could go off on a side tangent about how you could easily 'power level' off traps because level 3 stuff is tagged as level 18, similar to one of the cheat NWN modules but I'll save the video game talk for discussions of 4th edition where it accurately applies.

Anyways, the other thing is sneak attacks. If you don't read everything, it sounds as if they made sneak attacks better via some vague, but prominent line about SA working on anything. Except the competent Rogues already ignored all sneak attack immunities, so no change. The competent Rogues could also:

Sneak attack enemies standing in a Grease spell.
Sneak attack enemies while under the effect of a Blink spell.
Sneak attack enemies using ranged touch attacks such as from a Ray of Frost wand or by throwing alchemical flasks.

And many others. PF Rogue? Can't anymore, he lost all that. Instead he has to waste the eternity that is a full round moving to flank and attacking once and hope he doesn't die to the follow up full attack before he gets to start doing meaningful amounts of damage with a full attack action worth of sneak attacks. Alternately he does the same thing with a high/very high/practically assured failure rate using the Feint action but never gets to attack more than once and thereby do relevant amounts of damage.

So while before Rogues could be useful members of a party despite not being as good as a spellcaster due to their ability to sneak attack anywhere any time if made right resulting in an average, but reliable damage output (about 400 a round endgame... which is a little low but decent for someone who gets some other stuff) now does about a tenth that number at most, thereby being dead weight.

Don't think it's low? Check enemy HP numbers sometime, starting with the Monster Manual I. Keep in mind you have 1 round to make the enemy die if you're stuck using HP damage to do it. Otherwise they make you dead in one round. Also keep in mind many of those enemies have means of avoiding death by damage other than HP and unbuffed AC.

Now, I'm not going to write the complete breakdown of what's wrong with them right off. Instead I'll leave this long post to give you a sampler, and take requests for parts of their game that they'd like me to analyze and break down exactly what's wrong with it. Just keep in mind it took multiple pages to cover the tip of the iceberg. That alone should tell you all you need to know about PF's quality as a system. And again, I strongly recommend you simply write your own house rules, by yourself in a small amount of your leisure time. Even if you do not understand 3.5, you will still likely do a better job than PF.

Paizo exacerbates the problem by purposefully ignoring constructive criticism of their system, banning playtesters from their forums that show the problems with it, and intentionally keeping only the "yes men" around to make themselves feel good about their poor work.

Leolo
2010-09-06, 09:21 AM
The more significant changes are the greater number of class features each class gets, and the improvements to the skill and combat maneuver systems.

I do not think that the skill system is improved at all. Yes - some skills have been merged and this is a good point, but there is also a big design failure from my point of view:

You can no longer take a little amount of skill ranks for flair reasons. I really liked to bring my character history into the game mechanics by gaving my characters a small amount of skill ranks. For example by filling 1 point into appraise to show that i have some background as the local traders assistant.

Or some knowledge about nature and survival to show that my wizard was raised in the forrest.

This is now much more difficult, without improving anything. Instead the already frequent maximizing of single spells is now the default.

Also many problems with the skill system are still untouched. There are still skills like perform that only unlock class features. And of course it is still easier to learn how to read or write a new language than to learn how to climb a tree. (in fact now you learn new languages every time you want to learn how to better decipher old scripts). And there are still redundant skills like knowledge (magic) and spellcraft or survival/nature or ride/handle animal.

The biggest problem remains unsolved and is increased: How to deal with challenges that are too easy for players that are skilled in something and too difficult for all other players.

I would recommend every one to use the old skill system instead. Simple because it is much more well thought.

Kurald Galain
2010-09-06, 09:33 AM
You can no longer take a little amount of skill ranks for flair reasons. I really liked to bring my character history into the game mechanics by gaving my characters a small amount of skill ranks. For example by filling 1 point into appraise to show that i have some background as the local traders assistant.
You can still do that, the only difference is that now you'll have a meaningful bonus to the skill check.

You can even use one of your extra skill points from taking a favored class to do so.


There are still skills like perform that only unlock class features.
I'd say that perform has a wide range of usage even if you're not a bard. For instance, making money or distracting people.



The biggest problem remains unsolved and is increased: How to deal with challenges that are too easy for players that are skilled in something and too difficult for all other players.
True enough, but this is inherent in the d20 system. You can't have small skill modifiers and huge dice modifers and expect the result not be random.

Leolo
2010-09-06, 09:41 AM
@Kurald: Yes, i can still put 1 skill rank on level 1 in something because i am firm with it.

But now it is 4 times as expensive, because i no longer get 4 x skillpoints per level at lvl 1.


I'd say that perform has a wide range of usage even if you're not a bard. For instance, making money or distracting people.

This would be true if i could not do this things without perform, too.

DruchiiConversion
2010-09-06, 09:42 AM
PF universalist metamagic sucks horribly. Read my guide for a detailed explanation as to why. There is literally no reason to play a universalist rather than a specialist unless you want to deliberately handicap yourself.

Certainly agree with the second sentence - I'm using the weakest possible Pathfinder wizard to compare with the strongest possible Pathfinder monk. And yet still I hear no real arguments with my comparison. All the other wizards gain the mighty boon of not actually banning any schools, in return for lots of better stuff - but we'll deal with that once the Pathfinder monk can be shown to hold a candle to just the changes, not the baseline, of the weakest Pathfinder wizard. If it can't, I don't think it's even possible to say that Pathfinder isn't worse-balanced than 3.5. Is a free Empower once per day at level 10 great? No, it's not - but nor is anything the monk gets.

The same can be shown between any of the casting classes and Fighter, for instance. Or Ranger. In fact, the only classes who benefitted more than the tier 1 casters (druid excluded) were Paladin, and the other high-tier options like Rogue (but not Bard). It just doesn't help balance, not one bit. Sure, you might like some of the more general house-rules - but that's all they are, and you'll probably find you could do a better job at that. Or if not, hey, steal them freely, without taking the new classes.

Kurald Galain
2010-09-06, 09:55 AM
But now it is 4 times as expensive, because i no longer get 4 x skillpoints per level at lvl 1.
No, it is not. For example, a 5th level rogue with 14 int has 88 int skill points in 3E, and 55-60 in PF. That's not a factor four at all. It's a bit more expensive because it does more.


This would be true if i could not do this things without perform, too.
It is nevertheless clear that the Perform skill has a much wider use in the game than "unlocking class features". I'm sure that not every group uses it, but it's there. Concentration could be argued to only unlock class features, and IIRC this is why PF no longer has it.

Leolo
2010-09-06, 10:00 AM
The problem is that you do not decide that your background was that of a baker at level 5. You decide it at level 1.

And at level 1 you now have no longer 4 times the skill points that your class would grant at following levels.

It encourages to maximize your skills from first level on.


It is nevertheless clear that the Perform skill has a much wider use in the game than "unlocking class features".

Well the only other mechanically thing it does is that you can earn up to 3d6 gp per day with it. Yes - you can be a good musician and enter the lords palace therefore. But well...this is true if you would be a good wizard, too. Or the winner of the lords riding tournament.

The point is that no other class needs such a skill tax to unlock class features. Do the rogue needs some ranks in heal to do sneak attack damage? No. Why not? Well...because he is a rogue and this is what he have learned.

Nevertheless the bard needs skill ranks in perform to inspire an ally.

Snake-Aes
2010-09-06, 10:03 AM
The problem is that you do not decide that your background was that of a baker at level 5. You decide it at level 1.

And at level 1 you now have no longer 4 times the skill points that your class would grant at following levels.

It encourages to maximize your skills from first level on.
With less skills to choose from, I don't see how that is a problem in any form. It's even handier for smart characters now that int gains give skill points retroactively.

Saph
2010-09-06, 10:03 AM
You can no longer take a little amount of skill ranks for flair reasons. I really liked to bring my character history into the game mechanics by gaving my characters a small amount of skill ranks. For example by filling 1 point into appraise to show that i have some background as the local traders assistant.

Yes, i can still put 1 skill rank on level 1 in something because i am firm with it.

But now it is 4 times as expensive, because i no longer get 4 x skillpoints per level at lvl 1.

I'm sorry, Leolo, but you are one hundred percent wrong. Please do the maths before you make misleading claims like this.

Under the PF skill system, you get exactly the same total bonus from maxing out a single number of skills as you do in 3.5. Furthermore, PF skills have been folded into each other, so you have a greater total number of skills in 3.5 terms (e.g., you can max out Perception and have the same number of skills that you would in 3.5 from maxing out Listen, Search, and Spot). On top of that, the +3 rule means that you get more return from putting 1 skillpoint each into a large number of class skills.

Complaining that you can't put 1 skillpoint into a bunch of skills like you did in 3.5 misses the point that doing so in 3.5 is totally ineffective. So you have 1 rank in Survival; go you, you now have a +5% chance of succeeding at a task! The PF skill system is better for increasing competency at a large variety of skills; this is a mathematical fact.

Leolo
2010-09-06, 10:12 AM
Complaining that you can't put 1 skillpoint into a bunch of skills like you did in 3.5 misses the point that doing so in 3.5 is totally ineffective. So you have 1 rank in Survival; go you, you now have a +5% chance of succeeding at a task! The PF skill system is better for increasing competency at a large variety of skills; this is a mathematical fact.

And this is exactly the point. Yes it is ineffective. Yes much players already only maximize skills.

But effectivity is not all that i would want from a skill system. I also want (first - not inferior) it to describe parts of my character. Low amounts of skill points help to describe the flair of it. Do i need some points of knowledge (nature) as a wizard mechanically? Well, not really - at least not at later levels. But i really liked to have it. It was good to describe my character.

And of course the change does not bring any benefit - as you said "5 skill ranks + 3" is still the same as 8 skill ranks.

Snake-Aes
2010-09-06, 10:16 AM
So your complaint is that you can no longer use a mechanic to explain a flavor, even when said mechanic wouldn't change your gameplay experience at all.

Your view on it is kinda backwards.

WarKitty
2010-09-06, 10:18 AM
Well here's what I see:

Skills:
The new skill system is plain simpler. The standard bonus it much easier to keep track of the math, especially since once it's a class skill it remains a class skill. Not having the 4x at first level is irritating but not game-breaking. It would however be nice if the +3 bonus could level-scale, as it becomes less and less meaningful.

Perception is a nice touch, although I sort of miss having the separate skills, especially for search and spot. Then again the separate skills ended up amounting to a hefty skill point tax, so this is good overall.

Concentration is the one change I really hate. A decent mid to high level caster has far too many ways already to stay away from melee. So the concentration nerf really hits in two places: the low-level caster, and the melee-with-a-few-spells types.

The improved races are nice, as is the new flexibility in favored classes. Would like the ability to designate a prestige class as a secondary favored class. Other than that the new system does well in rewarding single-class characters.

Backwards compatibility:
Pathfinder is supposedly backwards compatible with 3.5 However you need to be careful what books you allow in if you want to stay balanced. Personally I favor allowing in books like Tome of Battle and selected feats (like the one that increases caster level for multiclass characters.)

Saph
2010-09-06, 10:18 AM
And this is exactly the point. Yes it is ineffective. Yes much players already only maximize skills.

But effectivity is not all that i would want from a skill system. I also want (first - not inferior) it to describe parts of my character. Low amounts of skill points help to describe the flair of it. Do i need some points of knowledge (nature) as a wizard mechanically? Well, not really - at least not at later levels. But i really liked to have it. It was good to describe my character.

Then perhaps you should recognise that other people might have different goals from a skill system, and might place a much lower value than you on putting points into skills that 'describe their character' but which don't actually let the character mechanically be any good at that skill. I think you'll find that the majority of people would prefer for it to make a noticeable difference.

Caphi
2010-09-06, 10:18 AM
I've used spare skill points to splash "flavor" skills. It works much, much better now that I get a +4 for that point instead of a +1. I never even bothered splashing +1s in 3.5, because it was completely useless.

Gnaeus
2010-09-06, 10:19 AM
The point is that no other class needs such a skill tax to unlock class features. Do the rogue needs some ranks in heal to do sneak attack damage? No. Why not? Well...because he is a rogue and this is what he have learned.

Nevertheless the bard needs skill ranks in perform to inspire an ally.

1. That was always true, even in 3.5
2. In PF, the bard can use perform to replace 2 associated skills, so a singing bard (for example) can use 1 skill point per level to max Perform, Bluff, and Sense Motive. Hardly a bad trade for the bard.

Kurald Galain
2010-09-06, 10:20 AM
And this is exactly the point. Yes it is ineffective. Yes much players already only maximize skills.

Solution: Write on your charsheet "Splognor used to be a farmer".

You don't describe your character by giving a irrelevantly small bonus to a roll you will never be making in the first place. You describe your character by writing a backstory.

WarKitty
2010-09-06, 10:23 AM
Solution: Write on your charsheet "Splognor used to be a farmer".

You don't describe your character by giving a irrelevantly small bonus to a roll you will never be making in the first place. You describe your character by writing a backstory.

Actually I do make those rolls sometimes. When Splognor needs to stay the night somewhere, he offers to trade his farming skills for a day in exchange for room and board, and then makes a profession check to see how much help he can be to the family. Or he examines the type of rations the anonymous bad guys have to determine what type of climate they're from.

Kurald Galain
2010-09-06, 10:27 AM
Actually I do make those rolls sometimes.
So do I, which is why I appreciate getting a meaningful bonus to them rather than just a +1. Let's face it, with just the +1 Splognor is just as bad a farmer as his teammates Griznir and Flagfip.

Saph
2010-09-06, 10:31 AM
So do I, which is why I appreciate getting a meaningful bonus to them rather than just a +1. Let's face it, with just the +1 Splognor is just as bad a farmer as his teammates Griznir and Flagfip.

Same, which is exactly why I like the PF way of doing it. +4 is enough of a bonus to be noticeable, while +1 is pretty much irrelevant when you're not going to use the skill very often in the first place. I think my current PF character's got 3 Craft skills, 1 Profession, and a Perform.

Eldan
2010-09-06, 10:33 AM
No, he is not. He actually has job experience. Yes, the cleric with his 18 wisdom will pick up the basics of farming within ten minutes of field work, but Splognor is the one who has worked on the fields before. It's not the same.

The Knowledge skills given earlier where a good example. Perhaps my character, with his one point in Knowledge: nature would be able to know the abilities of mundane animals, but not Treants. It's a difference.

Tetsubo 57
2010-09-06, 10:38 AM
This post on another forum sums up how I feel about PF.



Paizo exacerbates the problem by purposefully ignoring constructive criticism of their system, banning playtesters from their forums that show the problems with it, and intentionally keeping only the "yes men" around to make themselves feel good about their poor work.

I'm not sure how the writer of that post can carry around that axe. It's rather large. I don't even want to imagine the size of the grind stone...

liquid150
2010-09-06, 10:41 AM
I'm not sure how the writer of that post can carry around that axe. It's rather large. I don't even want to imagine the size of the grind stone...

Touche :smallbiggrin: If you knew him like I do, you'd realize that it's just a function of his personality (i.e. rather abrasive).

Snake-Aes
2010-09-06, 10:46 AM
No, he is not. He actually has job experience. Yes, the cleric with his 18 wisdom will pick up the basics of farming within ten minutes of field work, but Splognor is the one who has worked on the fields before. It's not the same.

The Knowledge skills given earlier where a good example. Perhaps my character, with his one point in Knowledge: nature would be able to know the abilities of mundane animals, but not Treants. It's a difference.
Trained/untrained defines that. DC 10 knowledge checks are accessible without the class, and encompass the "mundane" knowledge.

Greenish
2010-09-06, 10:47 AM
Trained/untrained defines that. DC 10 knowledge checks are accessible without the class, and encompass the "mundane" knowledge.Bears live in the woods and fight with their claws!

Snake-Aes
2010-09-06, 10:50 AM
Bears live in the woods and fight with their claws!

And they don't fly!

<incoming druid>

Leolo
2010-09-06, 11:17 AM
Then perhaps you should recognise that other people might have different goals from a skill system, and might place a much lower value than you on putting points into skills that 'describe their character' but which don't actually let the character mechanically be any good at that skill. I think you'll find that the majority of people would prefer for it to make a noticeable difference.

And this is why options are good for the game. They encourage different play styles. In 3.5 i had the option to put 1,2,3 or 4 skill points into a skill at level 1. In Pathfinder this option has been removed. You might be fine with this and it is not really the worst thing in the world at all. But it improves nothing. It only disable an option.

Urpriest
2010-09-06, 11:20 AM
By the way, what's up with the Fly skill? Is it really a caster-only skill that they need to make their spells work? I thought that sort of thing was considered bad design, as evidenced by the demise of Scry and Concentration.

Caphi
2010-09-06, 11:24 AM
By the way, what's up with the Fly skill? Is it really a caster-only skill that they need to make their spells work? I thought that sort of thing was considered bad design, as evidenced by the demise of Scry and Concentration.

No. It's more or less optional. No class can even put ranks in it until level 6 without fiat or homebrew, since that's the first time "reliable" flight comes into the game. And it generally doesn't come into play unless you fight in a storm or the enemy uses some sort of wind effect on the flyer. I've played with it, and a few ranks in it are all you generally need.

It's sort of like Ride, actually, but you don't even need to pump it because it doesn't have a scaling use like Ride does with Mounted Combat.

Snake-Aes
2010-09-06, 11:26 AM
And this is why options are good for the game. They encourage different play styles. In 3.5 i had the option to put 1,2,3 or 4 skill points into a skill at level 1. In Pathfinder this option has been removed. You might be fine with this and it is not really the worst thing in the world at all. But it improves nothing. It only disable an option.

Correction, the only thing that isn't improved is your capability of taking a single skill rank in a wider array of skills. Mechanically speaking having 1 point in a skill, with no other bonuses, is no better than being untrained under the pretense of "not going to use it much".

Gnaeus
2010-09-06, 11:33 AM
And this is why options are good for the game. They encourage different play styles. In 3.5 i had the option to put 1,2,3 or 4 skill points into a skill at level 1. In Pathfinder this option has been removed. You might be fine with this and it is not really the worst thing in the world at all. But it improves nothing. It only disable an option.

But it also enables options. If I want to make a fighter who has wandered far realms and is good at Knowledge Planes, or a cleric who is a good musician, throughout their career, you can do it in PF but not 3.5.

For example, a 12th level fighter in 3.5 has max 7.5 ranks in a cross class skill, so he is 8 points behind someone who has it in class, gimpy. A 12th level fighter in PF can have 12 ranks, only 3 bonus behind someone who has it in class. And because PF (effectively) gives more skills it costs him less for the investment. Is it better to have the option to throw away cheap ranks for fluff reasons, or to actually raise skills to meaningful levels so that they can back up your fluff?

WarKitty
2010-09-06, 11:58 AM
No. It's more or less optional. No class can even put ranks in it until level 6 without fiat or homebrew, since that's the first time "reliable" flight comes into the game. And it generally doesn't come into play unless you fight in a storm or the enemy uses some sort of wind effect on the flyer. I've played with it, and a few ranks in it are all you generally need.

It's sort of like Ride, actually, but you don't even need to pump it because it doesn't have a scaling use like Ride does with Mounted Combat.

Not entirely true if you're allowing 3.5 splat in. There are races with a natural fly speed, and it also applies to familiars, companions, and the like.

But it is kind of annoying as a natural flier - you didn't have to put points into walk just to stay up when hurt, did you?

Gnaeus
2010-09-06, 12:01 PM
Not entirely true if you're allowing 3.5 splat in. There are races with a natural fly speed, and it also applies to familiars, companions, and the like.

But it is kind of annoying as a natural flier - you didn't have to put points into walk just to stay up when hurt, did you?

I don't know, when something is impacting my flying, I like rolling a fly check much more than a reflex save. It seems to make more sense.

Tetsubo 57
2010-09-06, 12:03 PM
Not entirely true if you're allowing 3.5 splat in. There are races with a natural fly speed, and it also applies to familiars, companions, and the like.

But it is kind of annoying as a natural flier - you didn't have to put points into walk just to stay up when hurt, did you?

So give a natural flier a bonus to Fly like many natural swimmers have a bonus to Swim or natural climbers have a bonus to Climb. There is s precedent for this sort of ruling.

Kylarra
2010-09-06, 12:05 PM
Well if you really want to waste character resources on arbitrary but pointless flavor, you do get an additional 3 feats over the lifetime of your character in PF, so that's 3 feats you can use to buy the +2 to a pair of skill feats.:smalltongue:

Leolo
2010-09-06, 12:07 PM
@gnaeus: true but you could do this without disable the other option. And a better way would be to use a feat or background that makes it a class skill than to remove cross class skills at all.

WarKitty
2010-09-06, 12:09 PM
So give a natural flier a bonus to Fly like many natural swimmers have a bonus to Swim or natural climbers have a bonus to Climb. There is s precedent for this sort of ruling.

Pathfinder gives a bonus/penalty based on the level of your fly ability. If you have an "average" fly speed you get a +0.

Edit: this is my primary complaint about pathfinder. It's good at higher levels. At lower levels - well I end up wondering why these bumbling fools that can't make half their checks left their farms at all. Playing a level 3 flying race with average maneuverability and an average dex score really sucks.

Caphi
2010-09-06, 12:09 PM
So give a natural flier a bonus to Fly like many natural swimmers have a bonus to Swim or natural climbers have a bonus to Climb. There is s precedent for this sort of ruling.

But they do. Creatures with fly speeds have enough maneuverability, size, and racial bonuses that they need very few ranks, if any at all, to automatically succeed on the easier Fly checks.

Staying in the air after being hit is a DC 10 fly check. A level 6 wizard or sorceror who casts fly automatically has a +7 Fly check (+3 enhancement, +4 maneuverability) in addition to their dexterity modifier. After a single rank, that number goes up to +11.

The Fly skill rules are built for PCs flying under problematic circumstances, for exactly the same reason you aren't required to roll Walk checks, but are required to roll Balance checks when moving over grease. If you aren't under heavy fire or trying to fly through a hurricane, a Fly check isn't even necessary.

Gnaeus
2010-09-06, 12:11 PM
@gnaeus: true but you could do this without disable the other option. And a better way would be to use a feat or background that makes it a class skill than to remove cross class skills at all.

That is a lot more expensive in terms of your character. Feats are major investments, way more than a few skill points. I really don't want to make my cowboy (ranger) a worse ranger because he learned how to play the guitar so he would have something to do while he sat by the campfire. Spending a feat on perform has that effect.

Ravens_cry
2010-09-06, 12:13 PM
And this is why options are good for the game. They encourage different play styles. In 3.5 i had the option to put 1,2,3 or 4 skill points into a skill at level 1. In Pathfinder this option has been removed. You might be fine with this and it is not really the worst thing in the world at all. But it improves nothing. It only disable an option.
Actually, though I like options, I like what they did with skills. Sure you can't vary what you put in skills as much any-more. But it allows each class to be able to move more within it's niche, skill wise. A class putting ranks into a non-class skill has a much higher chance of meeting the DC at all and not simply be throwing good skill ranks after bad.
By taking away one option, it added much more.
For example, imagine a man whose family had been guards for a guild of mages for generations and picked up on the hand movments and gestures thier lords had been using all those years, knowing when to duck and when to stand. By having a Fighter put ranks in Spellcraft, you can crunchify the fluff. Now, it is true you could, in theory, do that in 3.5, but your chances, thanks to half ranks and ranks costing twice as much, were brutally lower.

Snake-Aes
2010-09-06, 12:15 PM
I don't know, when something is impacting my flying, I like rolling a fly check much more than a reflex save. It seems to make more sense.

It's similar to swim in that sense. 3d movement and all.

Leolo
2010-09-06, 12:37 PM
I do not like the cross class change because the +3 is too few for me. At least at higher levels. Most time it will be more important if you have the right ability modifier. A class might be worse in its class skill than another class with this skill as cross class skill. Simple because it is the right modifier.

But this is not that bad at all.

Mystic Muse
2010-09-06, 12:57 PM
I have too many 3.5 books to switch, I don't like some of the changes and I make my own settings. The only thing I might take from Pathfinder is the Paladin and Sorcerer bloodlines. If I think one of my players is breaking a class I will kindly ask them to cut it out because your cousins/siblings are here to have fun too.(All my players are either my siblings or cousins)

Powerfamiliar
2010-09-06, 01:56 PM
Leolo if you dislike the loremaster bard check out the Advanced Player's Guide, plenty of archetypes that get rid of Bardic Knowledge/Loremaster.

arrowhen
2010-09-06, 03:54 PM
I think PF is best viewed as a "reboot" of 3.5-style D&D rather than as a "3.75". It's a new but *very* familiar core game with a markedly different approach to expansion: new options for existing classes rather than piling on more and more base classes.

Aotrs Commander
2010-09-06, 04:44 PM
Better pictures, though. Definitely better pictures.

This, admittedly, is not hard, since monkey vomit is more aesthetic than 99% of 3.x artwork...


Pathfinder is okay. It's a lot better than core 3.5, but if you already have a ton of splatbooks for 3.5, then you might as well just save your money and make your own houserules.

This is basically my take on it. Pathfinder has some very good ideas, which I have cribbed for myself (e.g. they way they handle death, i.e. permenant negatives levels instead of level loss). The altered skill system is much better; skill points = level, +3 if you're trained is way better, as if also means "cross-class" skills are actually meaningful, and the fact I don't have to faff about with synergy bonuses when doing monster stats is a big plus! (Though I haven't merged as many skills as they have, nor added their new ones in. In some existant games under 3.5 rules - like Rise of the Runelords, say, I'm using the old skills but with the new purchasing rules for the PCs and any NPCs I generate.)

The only area you do fall down in on the new skill ranks system is for very low skill-point creatures at 1st level. I found that my in homebrew bestiary Orc warriors, for example, ended up being arguably worse off, because they couldn't split their skill points up as much (and at 1st level, a +1 here and there actually does kind of matter). However, that's a minor drawback that I am fully prepared to accept, as it generally make my life as DM easier! As well as giving the players all some more bang for their book with their skills.

On the downside, I don't think they fully understood what actually needed fixing, (the caster/noncaster split, for example). In the end, on the whole, I don't think their houserules rules are better than my houserules and mine have the advantage of using all of 3.5's splats.


My verdict would be:

ē Want to play with one book? Use Pathfinder.
ē Want to play with 20 books? Stick with 3.5.

That would seem to be a fair judgement, I think; though I think that option2 should also add "and use the Pathfinder SRD to nick the areas which are improved over 3.5."

But I'll nick good ideas from any system, even 4E, which I generally disliked, had a few good ideas worth pinching.

Leolo
2010-09-06, 05:12 PM
Leolo if you dislike the loremaster bard check out the Advanced Player's Guide, plenty of archetypes that get rid of Bardic Knowledge/Loremaster.

Sounds interesting. Can you detail this out?

Powerfamiliar
2010-09-06, 05:44 PM
Sounds interesting. Can you detail this out?

They are actually in the SRD, here (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/basic-classes/bard#TOC-Jack-of-All-Trades-Ex-) right after Jack of All trades

There are 9 archetypes for bards, the few I've read are pretty cool, but some do lose inspire courage. (No one im my game plays bards so I haven't read them all)

olelia
2010-09-06, 05:50 PM
Go Go Open Game Content Material!

Here's all of the Optional Class stuff for bards... technically theres even more under different races.

Edit: Dang you EpicFamiliar!....was trying to find that in the SRD :smallfrown:



Bard
A good bard can sing the birds from the trees or talk a king
into abdicating his throne. A jack of all trades, the bard sees
little need to restrict himself to a single talent, picking up a
little of this and a little of that, but always with a keen eye for
other people and how they might be manipulated, whether
through artistic performances or more mundane avenues.
Presented below are several classic bardic themes.

Arcane duelist

A master of the martial applications of steel and spell, the
spellsword blends both into a lethal combination.
Arcane Strike: Arcane duelists gain Arcane Strike as a bonus
feat at 1st level. This ability replaces bardic knowledge.
Bardic Performance: A spellsword gains the following
types of bardic performance.

Rallying Cry (Su) : At 1st level, an arcane duelist can use
performance to rally dispirited allies. Each round he
makes an Intimidate check. Any ally (including the bard)
within 30 feet may use this check in place of his own saving
throw against fear and despair effects. Those already
under a fear or despair effect can attempt a new save each
round using the bardís Intimidate check. Rallying cry
does not work on effects that donít allow saves. This is
a mind-affecting ability that uses audible components.
This performance replaces countersong.

Bladethirst (Su): An arcane duelist of 6th level or higher may
use performance to grant one weapon, one natural weapon,
one end of a double weapon, or 50 items of ammunition
of the same type within 30 feet a +1 enhancement bonus.
This enhancement bonus increases by +1 for every three
levels after 6th (maximum +5 at 18th level). These bonuses
stack with existing bonuses and may be used to increase
the itemís enhancement bonus up to +5 or to add any of the
following weapon properties: defending, distance, ghost touch,
keen, mighty cleaving, returning, shock, shocking burst, seeking,
speed, or wounding (Pathf inder RPG Core Rulebook page 469).
If the weapon is not magical, at least a +1 enhancement
bonus must be added before adding special abilities. This
performance replaces suggestion.

Mass Bladethirst (Su) : An arcane duelist of 18th level or
higher can use his bladethirst performance to enhance
the weapons of as many allies as desired within 30 feet.
The bonus provided by this power is +4 if conferred on
two allies, +3 for three allies, +2 for four allies, and +1 for
f ive or more allies. The power granted to each weapon
must be identical. This ability replaces mass suggestion.

Bonus Feats: An arcane duelist weaves might and
magic in his combat style, gaining the following bonus
feats at 2nd level and every four levels thereafter: 2nd
levelóCombat Casting, 6th levelóDisruptive, 10th
levelóSpellbreaker, 14th levelóPenetrating Strike, 18th
levelóGreater Penetrating Strike. This ability replaces
versatile performance and well-versed.

Arcane Bond (Ex): At 5th level, an arcane duelist gains the
arcane bond ability as a wizard, using a weapon as his bonded
item. He may not choose a familiar or other type of bonded
item. He may use the hand holding his bonded weapon for
somatic components. This ability replaces lore master.
Arc ane Armor (Ex): At 10th level, an arcane duelist gains
Medium Armor Prof iciency and can cast bard spells in
medium armor with no chance of arcane spell failure. At
16th level, he gains Heavy Armor Prof iciency and can cast
bard spells in heavy armor with no arcane spell failure.
This ability replaces jack of all trades.

Archivist
Some bards greatly prefer academic pursuits to the drama
(and sometimes melodrama) of their artistic brethren.
Bardic Performance: An archivist gains the following
types of bardic performance.

Naturalist (Ex) : An archivist who has identif ied a
creature with a Knowledge check appropriate to its type
can use performance to share strategies for defeating it
with allies in combat. The archivist and any allies within
30 feet gain a +1 insight bonus to AC and on attack rolls
and saving throws against exceptional, supernatural,
and spell-like abilities used by creatures of that specif ic
kind of monster (e.g., frost giants, not all giants or all
humanoids). This bonus increases by +1 at 5th level and
every six levels thereafter. This language-dependent
ability requires visual and audible components. This
ability replaces inspire courage.

Lamentable Belabourment (Ex) : At 6th level, an archivist
can bewilder a creature already fascinated by his
performance. Using this ability does not disrupt the
fascinate effect, but it does require a standard action to
activate (in addition to the free action to continue the
fascinate effect). The target must make a Will save (DC 10
+ 1/2 the bardís level + the bardís Cha modif ier). Success
renders the target immune to this power for 24 hours,
but failure leaves the target either dazed or confused
(archivistís choice) for as long as the performance
continues. If the target takes damage, this effect ends
immediately. This mind-affecting ability relies on audible
components. This ability replaces inspire greatness.
Pedantic Lecture (Su): At 18th level, an archivist can
affect as many creatures with lamentable belaborment as
he currently has fascinated. In addition, he may choose
to cause targets to fall asleep rather than be dazed or
confused. This ability replaces mass suggestion.

Lore Master (Ex): At 2nd level, an archivist may take 20
on Knowledge checks once per day, plus once per six levels
beyond 2nd. This ability replaces versatile performance.
Magic Lore (Ex): At 2nd level, an archivist gains a bonus
on Spellcraft checks to identify magic items or decipher
scrolls and may take 10 on such checks. An archivist
can use Disable Device to disarm magical traps as per a
rogueís trapf inding ability and gains a +4 bonus on saves
against magical traps, language-dependent effects, and
symbols, glyphs, and magical writings of any kind. This
ability replaces well-versed.

Jack of All Trades (Ex): At 5th level, an archivist can
use any skill, even if the skill normally requires him to be
trained. At 11th level, he considers all skills to be class skills,
and at 17th level he can take 10 on any skill check, even if it is
not normally allowed. This ability replaces lore master.
Probable Path (Ex): At 10th level, an archivist can calculate
the action likely to bring success with the least risk. Once
per day, he can take 10 on any d20 roll. He may use this
ability one additional time per day for every three levels
after 10th. This ability replaces jack of all trades.

Court Bard
Spending years studying all of the f iner points of
erudition and etiquette, the court bard takes up the role
of resplendent proclaimer and artist-in-residence at the
hand of nobility, royalty, and the well-moneyed elite who
aspire to join their ranks.

Bardic Performance: A court bard gains the following
types of bardic performance.

Satire (Su): A court bard can use performance to
undermine the conf idence of enemies who hear it, causing
them to take a Ė1 penalty on attack and damage rolls
(minimum 1) and a Ė1 penalty on saves against fear and
charm effects as long as the bard continues performing.
This penalty increases by Ė1 at 5th level and every six levels
thereafter. Satire is a language-dependent, mind-affecting
ability that uses audible components. This performance
replaces inspire courage.

Mockery (Su) : A court bard of 3rd level or higher can
subtly ridicule and defame a specif ic individual. The
bard selects one target who can hear his performance.
That individual takes a Ė2 penalty on Charisma checks
and Charisma-related skill checks as long as the bard
continues performing. This penalty increases by Ė1 every
four levels after 3rd. Mockery is a language-dependent,
mind-affecting ability that relies on audible components.
This performance replaces inspire competence.

Glorious Epic (Su): A court bard of 8th level or higher can
weave captivating tales that engross those who hear them.
Enemies within 30 feet become f lat-footed unless they
succeed at a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the bardís level + the
bardís Cha modifier). A save renders them immune to this
ability for 24 hours. Glorious epic is a language-dependent,
mind-affecting ability that uses audible components. This
performance replaces dirge of doom.

Scandal (Su): A court bard of 14th level or higher can
combine salacious gossip and biting calumny to incite a riot.
Each enemy within 30 feet is affected as if by a song of discord
for as long as it can hear the performance. A successful
Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the bardís level + the bardís Cha
modifier) negates the effect, and that creature is immune to
this ability for 24 hours. Scandal is a language-dependent,
mind-affecting ability that uses audible components. This
performance replaces frightening tune.

Heraldic Expertise (Ex): A court bard gains a bonus equal
to half his bard level on Diplomacy, Knowledge (history),
Knowledge (local), and Knowledge (nobility) checks
(minimum +1). Once per day, the court bard can also reroll
a check against one of these skills, though he must take the
result of the second roll even if it is worse. He can reroll
one additional time per day at 5th level and every f ive levels
thereafter. This ability replaces bardic knowledge.

Wide Audience (Su): At 5th level, a court bard can
choose to affect a 60-foot cone instead of a 30-foot radius
with bardic performances that affect an area. In addition,
for every f ive levels beyond 5th, the area of such powers is
increased by 10 feet (radius) or 20 feet (cone). If the power
instead affects multiple creatures, it affects one additional
creature than normal for every f ive levels beyond 5th. This
does not affect powers that affect only a single creature.
This ability replaces lore master and jack of all trades.

Detective:

Piecing together clues and catching the guilty with sheer
cleverness, the detective is skilled at divining the truth.
Bardic Performance: A detective gains the following
types of bardic performance.

Careful Teamwork (Su): A detective uses performance
to keep allies coordinated, alert, and ready for action. All
allies within 30 feet gain a +1 bonus on Initiative checks,
Perception, and Disable Device checks for 1 hour. They also
gain a +1 insight bonus on Ref lex saves and to AC against
traps and when they are f lat-footed. These bonuses increase
by +1 at 5th level and every six levels thereafter. Using this
ability requires 3 rounds of continuous performance,
and the targets must be able to see and hear the bard
throughout the performance. This ability is language-
dependent and requires visual and audible components.
This performance replaces inspire courage.

True Confession (Su): At 9th level, a detective can use
performance to trick a creature into revealing its secrets.
Using this ability requires a successful Sense Motive check
to see through a Bluff or notice mental compulsion. After 3
continuous rounds of performance, the target must make
a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the bardís level + the bardís Cha
modif ier). Success renders the target immune to this power
for 24 hours. On a failed save, a liar inadvertently reveals
the lie and the truth behind it. A creature under a charm or 2 2
compulsion reveals the nature of its enchantment and who
placed it (if the creature knows) and gains a new saving throw
to break free from the enchantment. This ability is language-
dependent and requires audible components. Using this
power requires only 2 rounds of performance at 15th level,
and 1 round of performance at 20th level. This performance
replaces inspire greatness.

Show Yourselves (Ex): At 15th level, a detective can use
performance to compel creatures to reveal themselves when
hiding. All enemies within 30 feet must make a Will save (DC
10 + 1/2 the bardís level + the bardís Cha modif ier). If they
fail, they must cease using Stealth, unlock and open doors
between themselves and the detective, and dismiss, suppress,
or dispel if necessary magical effects that grant invisibility
or any other form of concealment from the detective. As long
as they can hear the performance, affected creatures may not
attack or f lee until they have eliminated every such effect,
though they are freed from this compulsion immediately
if attacked. Creatures in the area must make this save each
round the bard continues his performance. This ability is
language-dependent and requires audible components. This
performance replaces inspire heroics.

Eye for Detail (Ex): A detective gains a bonus equal to half
his level on Knowledge (local), Perception, and Sense Motive
checks, as well as Diplomacy checks to gather information
(minimum +1). This ability replaces bardic knowledge.
Arcane Insight (Ex): At 2nd level, a detective can f ind and
disable magical traps, like a rogueís trapf inding ability. In
addition, he gains a +4 bonus on saving throws made against
illusions and a +4 bonus on caster level checks and saving
throws to see through disguises and protections against
divination (such as magic aura, misdirection, and nondetection).
This ability replaces well-versed.

Arcane Investigation: In addition, a detectiveís class
spell list includes the following: 1stódetect chaos/evil/law/
good; 2ndózone of truth; 3rdóarcane eye, speak with dead,
speak with plants; 4thódiscern lies; 5thóprying eyes, stone tell;
6thódiscern location, f ind the path, greater prying eyes, moment
of prescience. A detective may add one of these spells or any
divination spell on the bard spell list to his list of spells
known at 2nd level and every four levels thereafter. This
ability replaces versatile performance.

Magician
A magician dabbles in performance, but sees it as a means
to tap into universal energies and channel them.
Bardic Performance: A magician gains the following
types of bardic performance.
Dweomercraft (Su): A magician can use performance to
manipulate magical energies. Allies of the magician gain a
+1 bonus on caster level checks, concentration checks, and
attack rolls with spells and spell-like abilities. This bonus
increases by +1 at 5th level and every six levels thereafter.
This ability relies on visual and audible components. It
replaces inspire courage.

Spell Suppression (Su): A 8th level, a magician can use
performance to counter the spells of his foes. Once the
bard begins using this performance, he tracks the number
of rounds it has been in use. While performing, as an
immediate action, he can attempt to counter any spell that
he can identify using Spellcraft, so long as that spellís level
is equal or less than the total number of rounds he has been
performing spell suppression. The attempt to counter the
spell is made as if using dispel magic, using the bardís level
as the caster level. If successful, the bardic performance
immediately ends. This ability requires audible components.
This performance replaces dirge of doom.

Metamagic Mastery (Ex): At 14th level, a magician can
use performance to apply a metamagic feat to a spell he is
about to cast without increasing the casting time. The bard
must still expend a higher-level slot to cast this spell. This
causes the performance to immediately end. This ability
requires audible components. This performance replaces
frightening tune.

Magical Talent (Ex): A magician gains a bonus equal to half
his level on Knowledge (arcana), Spellcraft, and Use Magic
Device checks. This ability replaces bardic knowledge.
Improved Counterspell: A magician gains Improved
Counterspell as a bonus feat. This ability replaces
countersong.

Extended Performance (Su): At 2nd level, a magician can
extend the duration of bardic performance after he stops
concentrating by sacrif icing a spell slot as a swift action.
The performance effect lingers for 1 extra round per level of
the spell. Only one spell may be sacrif iced per performance,
and performance types that take affect after a specif ic
number of rounds cannot be extended. This ability replaces
well-versed.

Expanded Repertoire (Ex): At 2nd level and every four
levels thereafter, a magician can add one spell to his
spells known from the spell list of any arcane spellcasting
class. The spell must be of a level he can cast. This ability
replaces versatile performance.

Arcane Bond (Ex): At 5th level, a magician gains the
arcane bond ability as a wizard. He may not choose
a familiar or a weapon as a bonded item. This ability
replaces lore master.

Wand Mastery (Ex): At 10th level, when a magician uses
a wand containing a spell on his spell list, he uses his
Charisma bonus to set the wandís save DC. At 16th level,
when using such a wand, he uses his caster level in place of
the wandís caster level. This ability replaces jack of all trades.

Sandman
Combining performance with stealth, trickery, and guile,
the sandman uses cleverness to keep others off-balance. 83 83
Bardic Performance: A sandman gains the following
types of bardic performance.

Stealspell (Su): A sandman can use performance to steal
spells from his foes and add them to his list of spells
known. Once the performance is started, the bard can steal
a prepared spell or a spell known from another creature
with a touch attack as a standard action. The target receives
a Will save (DC 10 + the bardís level + the bardís Cha bonus)
to negate the effect. The sandman may choose a spell to
steal, but if the target does not possess the spell, the bardic
performance immediately ends. Otherwise the spell stolen
is random, but it is always of the highest level that the bard
can cast, if possible. The target loses the prepared spell or
spell known and the sandman adds it to his list of spells
known for as long as the performance continues, after which
it reverts to the original recipient. While stolen, the bard
can cast the spell using his available spell slots. This use
does not consume the stolen spell. If the bard steals another
spell while a spell is stolen, the previous spell immediately
reverts to its original owner. This ability requires visual
components. This performance replaces inspire courage.

Slumber Song (Sp) : At 6th level, a sandman can use his
performance to cause a creature he has already fascinated
to fall asleep (as deep slumber, but with no HD limit).
Otherwise, this ability functions like suggestion. This
performance replaces suggestion.

Dramatic Subtext (Su): At 9th level, a sandman can use bardic
performance to cast spells without obvious visual or audible
components while retaining the spellís normal effects.
Observers must succeed at a Perception check opposed by a
sandmanís Sleight of Hand check to notice that the sandman
is the source of the spellcasting (though spellcasting still
provokes attacks of opportunity). The bard must use this
performance for at least 2 rounds before casting a spell;
otherwise he is automatically detected and the performance
ends. This ability replaces inspire greatness.

Greater Stealspell (Su): A sandmanís stealspell power
improves at 15th level. When a target fails a save against
his stealspell performance, the sandman discovers its spell
resistance (if any) and all spells it has prepared or knows.
He can then choose which spell to steal. The sandman may
forgo stealing a spell and instead reduce the targetís SR by an amount equal to half his bard level and gain that amount of spell resistance for as long as he continues performing. If he steals additional spell resistance, it stacks with previously
stolen SR. If he steals a spell or ceases performing, the spell
resistance immediately reverts back to its owner. This
performance replaces inspire heroics.

Mass Slumber Song (Sp): At 18th level, a sandman can use
slumber song to affect any number of fascinated creatures
within 30 feet. Otherwise, this ability functions like mass
suggestion. This performance replaces mass suggestion.
Spell Catching (Su): At 20th level, a sandman who saves
against a spell or spell-like ability that targets only him
(not including area spells) may use bardic performance as
an immediate action. He must attempt a caster level check
(DC 10 + the spellís original caster level). If it succeeds, the
sandman can absorb the spell effect without harm and
immediately recast that spell (using the original casterís
level and save DC) or any spell he knows of that level or lower.
Using this ability consumes a number of rounds of bardic
performance equal to the spellís level, even if the check fails.
This performance replaces deadly performance.

Master of Deception (Ex): A sandman gains a bonus
equal to half his level on Bluff, Sleight of Hand, and
Stealth checks. He may also disarm magical traps with
Disable Device as a rogueís trapf inding ability. This ability
replaces bardic knowledge.
Sneakspell (Ex): At 2nd level, a sandman adds +1 to the
save DC of spells and bardic performance against opponents
who are denied their Dex bonus. This increases to +2 at 10th
level and +3 at 18th level. In addition, at 6th level he gains a
+2 bonus on caster level checks to overcome spell resistance
against such foes, and this bonus increases to +4 at 14th level.
This ability replaces versatile performance.

Trap Sense (Ex): At 3rd level, a sandman gains a +1 bonus
on Ref lex saves against traps and a +1 dodge bonus to AC
against traps. These bonuses increase by +1 every three
levels after 3rd. This ability replaces inspire competence.
Sneak Attack (Ex): At 5th level, a sandman inf licts +1d6
points of damage against targets within 30 feet that he
f lanks or that are denied their Dex bonus to AC against
him. This damage increases by +1d6 every f ive levels after
5th. This ability replaces lore master.

Savage Skald

Far from civilization, furious tribes have their own
war-singers, work-chanters, and lore-keepers, savaging
enemies with song and sword alike.

Bardic Performance: A savage skald gains the following
types of bardic performance.

Inspiring Blow (Su): A savage skald roars his war-cries
with each telling blow. When he conf irms a critical hit,
he can start this performance as an immediate action
(ending any other performances). He gains temporary
hit points equal to his Charisma modif ier (if positive),
and all allies within 30 feet gain a +1 morale bonus on
their next attack roll prior to the start of his next turn.
These temporary hit points remain until the bard ends
his performance. This performance replaces fascinate.

Incite Rage (Su): At 6th level, a savage skald can induce
a furious rage in one creature within 30 feet. This effect
functions as a rage spell that lasts as long as the target can
hear the bardís performance; however, unwilling creatures
can be affected if they fail a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the bardís
level + the bardís Cha modif ier). Success renders the target
immune to this power for 24 hours. The bard cannot target
himself with this ability. If the target has the rage class
feature, it can instead immediately rage and stay in this
rage without consuming rounds of rage per day as long
as the bard continues performing. This mind-affecting
effect requires audible components. This performance
replaces suggestion.

Song of the Fallen (Sp): At 10th level, a savage skald can
duplicate the effect of a horn of Valhalla. This effect requires
10 continuous rounds of performance and summons
barbarians as a silver horn at 10th level, as a brass horn at
13th level, as a bronze horn at 16th level, and as an iron horn
at 19th level. The warriors remain only as long as the bard
continues his performance. This ability requires audible
components. This performance replaces jack of all trades.
Berserkergang (Ex): At 12th level, a savage skald can inspire a
rapturous battle trance that suppresses pain, stunning, and
fear effects for one creature, plus one additional creature
per three levels after 12th. Affected creatures also gain DR
5/ó (DR 10/ó against nonlethal damage); this benef it stacks
with the damage reduction class ability of barbarians. This
mind-affecting ability requires audible components. This
performance replaces soothing performance.

Battle Song (Su) : At 18th level, a savage skald can affect
all allies within 30 feet when using performance to incite
rage. This performance replaces mass suggestion.

Sea Singer

The sea singer calls the blue waters his home, and is much
in demand among sea captains wishing good fortune for
their crew and hull as they ply the tradewinds far and wide.
Bardic Performance: A sea singer gains the following
types of bardic performance.

S e a S h ant y (Su) : A sea singer learns to counter seasickness
and exhaustion during long sea voyages. Each round of a
sea shanty, he makes a Perform skill check. Allies within 30
feet (including the sea singer) may use his Perform check
in place of a saving throw against becoming exhausted,
fatigued, nauseated, or sickened; if already under such an
effect, a new save is allowed each round of the sea shanty,
using the bardís Perform check for the save. A sea shanty
has no effect on instantaneous effects or effects that do not allow saves. This ability requires audible components.
This performance replaces countersong.

Still Water (Su) : At 3rd level, a sea singer can use
performance to calm rough waters within 30 feet,
reducing the DC for Profession (sailor) and Swim checks,
as well as for Acrobatics and Climb checks aboard ship,
by an amount equal to the bardís level (to a minimum of
DC 10) for as long he continues to perform. He can extend
this duration to 1 hour by playing for 10 consecutive
rounds. This ability requires audible components. This
performance replaces inspire competence.

Whistle the Wind (Su): A sea singer of 6th level or higher
can use performance to create a gust of wind. This wind lasts
for as long as he continues his performance. He can extend
this duration to 1 minute by playing for 5 consecutive
rounds. This performance replaces suggestion.

Call the Storm (Su): At 18th level, a sea singer can use
performance to duplicate control water, control weather, control
winds, or storm of vengeance, using his bard level as the caster
level. Using this ability requires 1 round of continuous
performance per level of the spell (as if he were a druid).
These effects continue for as long as the bard continues
performing, but not longer than the spellís normal duration.
This performance replaces mass suggestion.

World Traveler (Ex): A sea singer gains a bonus equal to
half his bard level on Knowledge (geography), Knowledge
(local), Knowledge (nature), and Linguistics checks. He can
reroll a check against one of these skills, but must take the
result of the second roll even if it is worse. He can reroll
one additional time per day at 5th level and every f ive levels
thereafter. This ability replaces bardic knowledge.

Familiar: At 2nd level, a sea singer acquires an exotic
petóa monkey or parrot (treat as raven)óthat gains abilities
as a wizardís familiar, using the sea singerís bard level as his
wizard level. This ability replaces versatile performance.

Sea Legs (Ex): At 2nd level, a sea singer gains a +4 bonus
on saving throws against air and water effects and effects
that would cause the sea singer to slip, trip, or otherwise be
knocked prone. He gains a +2 bonus to CMD against grapple,
overrun, and trip. This ability replaces well-versed.

Street Performer

Whether acrobat, troubadour, or thespian, the street
performer mixes with the masses, singing for his supper.

Bardic Performance: A street performer gains the
following types of bardic performance.

Disappearing Act (Su): A street performer can use
performance to divert attention from an ally. All creatures
within 30 feet that fail a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the bardís
level + the bardís Cha modif ier) treat one creature chosen
by the bard as if it were invisible. This performance affects
one additional creature at 5th level and every 6 levels
thereafter. If the targets take any action that would cause
them to become visible, they become visible to everyone.
The bard cannot use this ability on himself. This ability is
a mind-affecting effect that requires visual components.
This performance replaces inspire courage.

Harmless Performer (Su): At 3rd level, a street performer
can use performance to appear meek and unworthy of being
attacked. While using this performance, whenever an enemy
targets the street performer, the enemy must succeed at a
Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the bardís level + the bardís Cha bonus)
or be unable to attack the bard this round, as per sanctuary.
The enemy loses the attack that targeted the bard, but may
spend additional attacks targeting other creatures. If the
opponent was targeting the street performer with a spell,
it must succeed at a concentration check at the same DC or
lose the spell. If this check succeeds, it may target another
creature with the spell instead. This mind-affecting ability
requires audible or visual components. This performance
replaces inspire competence.

Madcap Prank (Su): At 9th level, a street performer can use
performance to discomf it a target within 30 feet, causing its
clothing to become tangled, its headgear to fall down over
its eyes, or even causing it to slip and fall or otherwise be
made to appear a fool. The target must make a Ref lex save
(DC 10 + 1/2 the bardís level + the bardís Cha modif ier) each
round that it hears or sees the performance, or it takes one
of the following random effects each round: 1óblinded,
2ódazzled, 3ódeafened, 4óentangled, 5ófall prone,
6ónauseated. Each effect lasts 1 round. This performance
replaces inspire greatness.

Slip through the Crowd (Su) : At 15th level, a street
performerís disappearing act enables affected creatures
to move through crowd squares and enemy-occupied
squares without impediment. Affected creatures are
treated as if having greater invisibility, but enemies gain
a new saving throw to notice them each time they are
attacked. This performance replaces inspire heroics.
Gladhanding: A street performer earns double the
normal amount of money from Perform checks. As a
standard action, he may use a Bluff check in place of a
Diplomacy check to improve a creatureís attitude for 1
minute, after which its attitude becomes one step worse
than originally. This ability replaces countersong.

Streetwise: A street performer gains a bonus equal to
half his level on Bluff, Disguise, Knowledge (local), and
Sleight of Hand checks, Diplomacy or Intimidate checks
made to inf luence crowds, and Diplomacy checks to gather
information (minimum +1). This replaces bardic knowledge.

Quick Change (Ex): At 5th level, a street performer can don
a disguise as a standard action by taking a Ė5 penalty on his
check. He can take 10 on Bluff and Disguise checks and use
Bluff to create a diversion to hide as a swift action. He can take
20 on a Bluff or Disguise check once per day, plus one time
per six levels beyond 5th. This ability replaces lore master.

DeMouse
2010-09-06, 08:42 PM
im in a pathfinder game at the moment and the biggest thing i can say is this: advanced players guide... DAMN!

seriously all of the specialisations for the different classes almsot renders prestigue classes uncessesary (im planning to run a zen-archer monk next campaign)

core rulebook is jsut 3.5 with sprinkles sure, but with the APG it is just so much better

Aran Banks
2010-09-06, 10:28 PM
{Scrubbed}

Powerfamiliar
2010-09-06, 10:38 PM
The gaming den feels like a forum that likes the idea of roleplaying games, but doesn't seem to like any actual game.

Aran Banks
2010-09-06, 10:49 PM
{Scrubbed}

Foryn Gilnith
2010-09-06, 10:55 PM
{Scrubbed}

No, if I had seen the post on these forums I would have commented on the fact that he refers to an outdated DC for combat maneuver defense and used that as an excuse to dismiss his argument instead (because the entire thing must obviously be outdated and invalid)

Or I would have laughed at stopped reading when he said his coherent answers were "with a minimum of hyperbole".

Chrono22
2010-09-06, 10:58 PM
The CMD mechanic and alternations to special attacks made melee combat fun for me again. The game feels flexible and intuitive, instead of being blocky and disfunctional. 3.5 put up alot of barriers to using your abilities creatively. Pathfinder goes a long way to tearing those down, while still retaining the variety.

My biggest gripe is the fly skill, which is just stupid. Why even have it? You want to do loop de loops midair? That's what the acrobatics skill is for.

Innis Cabal
2010-09-06, 11:12 PM
{Scrubbed}

They also seem to only look at the theory of the whole game...which isn't the whole idea of an RPG to have fun? The constant arguments of "unbalanced" never seems to come up when I play actual tests. Only when I have to look and search to screw around with how things are.

El Dorado
2010-09-06, 11:59 PM
I like the +3 bonus to Class skills. It's also nice that non class skills can be useful to people willing to invest in them (why yes, my fighter can stand guard and maybe see or hear someone tonight). The consolidations (Acrobatics, Stealth, Perception) are super-handy especially for characters with middling Intelligence. I like the favored class skill bonus option. Not a huge deal but I try to have a decent array of points on whatever class I play. That said, clerics and fighters should get 4+Int skills per level, especially with their expanded lists.

When I read the Fly skill, my initial reaction was "When was this even a thing?" I mean, a couple of points isn't going to kill my wizard so he can hover reliably, but the skill just seemed to appear out of left field.

The removal of Concentration is interesting. Casting in combat becomes more dangerous---almost a throwback to 1st and 2nd edition. I'm surprised that Knowledge (arcana) wasn't folded into Spellcraft, given the changes to the two skills. Especially since regular Craft (a class skill for everyone) can be used to make magic items. Finally the image of Bruenor Battlehammer forging Aegis-Fang is supported by some rules! :smallwink:

Aran Banks
2010-09-07, 12:08 AM
They also seem to only look at the theory of the whole game...which isn't the whole idea of an RPG to have fun? The constant arguments of "unbalanced" never seems to come up when I play actual tests. Only when I have to look and search to screw around with how things are.

If the whole idea of an RPG is to have fun, play free-form. There's a reason we don't.

{Scrubbed}

Kylarra
2010-09-07, 12:12 AM
The problem with Frank's post is that it's sort of like water with arsenic in it. Sure, there may be some beneficial value to it, but the vitriol taints the whole thing, for some people anyway:smalltongue:. Thus, take it with a grain of salt, as all things.

Aran Banks
2010-09-07, 12:14 AM
Taking it with a grain of salt involves also not flaming on it or discounting it, as has happened twice now.

Chrono22
2010-09-07, 12:17 AM
{Scrubbed}

My head is spinning.

Kylarra
2010-09-07, 12:18 AM
Taking it with a grain of salt involves also not flaming on it or discounting it, as has happened twice now.It's also a single rather biased opinion, as is pretty much all of Frank's writings, so eh. I wouldn't present it as anything other than one man's biased rantings, and it is someone's opinions I would weigh less than say, Saph's evaluation of the system.

Aran Banks
2010-09-07, 12:25 AM
{Scrubbed}

Kylarra
2010-09-07, 12:29 AM
{Scrubbed}Frank's vitriol detracts from the strength of his argument and reveals his biases in a more telling manner. I never said Saph wasn't biased, simply that I weight her evaluation higher than his.

As I said in my first post, I don't think Pathfinder brings anything to the table except a better platform than 3.5 Core.

Chrono22
2010-09-07, 12:33 AM
Yeah I gotta side with Saph on this one. If you weren't so nakedly aggressive about it I'd probably value your and Frank's opinions more.

In any case, I think the improvements pathfinder makes to 3.5 are practical- they make it more fun to play, easier to run, and there is less of a need or temptation to take 5 different base classes just to portray a character concept. Also, since all the classes have more tricks and fiddly bits at their disposal, the over reliance on magic items isn't as big of a problem. This was always a sticking point for me, since so many 3.5 DMs seemed to be stingy on the loot.

Aran Banks
2010-09-07, 12:33 AM
I see. You think Frank is worse because he is aggressive...

Well, that is an opinion that I will never be able to change, no matter how little sense it makes to me. It's only human, I suppose.

And your arguments for Pathfinder are.... fine. All I can do is point out flaws. Just keep in mind the "more fun" bit is very subjective.

Kylarra
2010-09-07, 12:38 AM
Actually I weigh Saph's evaluation higher because she actually goes in-depth into the changes and played with the system rather than dismissing it out of hand. Frank's vitriol is just poisonous icing on the proverbial cake that makes me shrug off any real value it has in presenting a case for well... anything other than "yeah it didn't live up to marketing hype", which nothing really does anymore.

Chrono22
2010-09-07, 12:40 AM
I see. You think Frank is worse because he is aggressive...

Well, that is an opinion that I will never be able to change, no matter how little sense it makes to me. It's only human, I suppose.

And your arguments for Pathfinder are.... fine. All I can do is point out flaws. Just keep in mind the "more fun" bit is very subjective.
And so is listing "it sucks" as a reason for why... it sucks.
I explained why I find it's more fun... flexibility, pliability, variety, and somewhat more precise mechanics. Saying "it sucks" isn't a justification for a viewpoint... it's proof of nothing expect that you have one.

Aran Banks
2010-09-07, 12:51 AM
{Scrubbed}

Chrono22
2010-09-07, 01:13 AM
Please remove your hand from my mouth. You clearly feel strongly about this issue, but the accusation that I "hate people who don't agree with me" is absurd.
Can't you see how these kinds of vitriolic attacks detract from whatever points you try to make? You come off as very combative, even hysterical. I'm not saying you are... but you know what you are typing, and that's the image you seem to want to project. I'm just saying, such tactics are usually a smokescreen for a weak argument, since they only serve to draw attention away from the actual subject.

So I'm gonna drop it, and get back to the subject. Yes Pathfinder shares many of the same weaknesses as 3.5, but I don't think it exacerbates them. The changes it made were by and large either simplifications or additions of the existing core mechanics. I think it could have done more to address the disparities in the power levels of the classes, but the CMD rules at least made combat not a headache to run. I think it raises the complexity of the game in that it has more depth- more round-by-round options at the players' disposal. Whether or not this is a good thing is ultimately a personal opinion. I find the system empowers players, in a broad range of ways. Through character advancement and growth (they can choose their class features), through combat (sundering/disarming/tripping/grappling made easy), and through individuality (two characters of the same race and classe can be completely different characters, and this fact will be reflected in the build and through play). All of this, in a single book too, where it would have taken me at least 3 using 3.5, and it still wouldn't have worked as well.

Kylarra
2010-09-07, 01:17 AM
If you went in depth into a system and still liked it despite it being broken, yes I would probably weigh your opinion more than the angry ranter who only says three things and doesn't seem to have tried the system at all. Higher weighting of evaluation doesn't invalidate the other report, it simply means I think one source is better than the other.

As it so happens you'll notice that my conclusion is in line with his, you should probably not "switch over to pathfinder" if you're already heavily invested in 3.5. However, Saph's evaluation brings more information to the table for the gamer who doesn't already own all the 3.5 books, or has only casually dipped into 3.5, and is considering this campaign variant, and thus is actually useful to a wider variety of audiences than the group of people who already play 3.5 religiously and are considering trying this new variant on the block.

Aran Banks
2010-09-07, 01:27 AM
My friend, you can't criticize me of something and then do it back to me. Things just don't work that way. I apologize if you found my hyperbole extremely insulting, but next time just say that and don't shove your own hand in MY mouth. I'm also entertained by the fact that you're talking about avoiding arguments, and yet the only thing you focused on was that one sentence.

The problems with Pathfinder, as discussed in my link, are majorly: Spellcasters get INCREDIBLE power-ups, it's not easily compatible with 3.5, non-casters get a few nerfs (Why??), and non-standard combat maneuvers become more difficult by 25%, and the whole idea where it's a 3.5 fix didn't work out.

You think combat's easier? Sure. You think the game is... deeper? Um, sure. You think individuality is more accentuated? Fine. And you like how they made it a single book? Um... OK... I honest-to-god don't understand that one. I mean, you do realize that the Pathfinder book is about 600 pages, and the PHB + DMG are about 600 pages? Whatever.

So yes, there are things that you can like about it. But there are GLARING errors. Errors that PAIZO ADDED, and errors that PAIZO DIDN'T FIX.

@Kylarra: I see. Well, then all I can say is that you're human, judging by how you like their writing over how you value the content.

And I'll agree with you about people "who REALLY want to play a game with a new title" and people "who have never picked up an RPG before". Saph's reviws and Pathfinder are fine for them, but that doesn't make PF good. It also, addressing the OP, doesn't mean you should play it over 3.5 at any time.

Chrono22
2010-09-07, 01:53 AM
{Scrubbed}

This 25% decrease in maneuver effectiveness is not something I've witnessed, and I question the math behind it. Most monsters have low Dex scores, which translates to a middling CMD. And that's not even getting into the practical side of things. It would take upwards of 15 minutes to resolve a grapple in 3.5, sometimes as much as an hour due to contradictions in the rules text. And that's assuming you don't try something complicated, like drawing a weapon in a grapple. If you weren't specd for grappling exclusively, you basically had no chance of succeeding at it. This made special attacks repetitive and boring, and basically a big waste of time for the other players at the table. Think about it, CMD opens up the opportunity for a person to use ANY of the combat maneuvers with ease and regularly. Even if this blanket 25% decrease exists (which I've never seen), it's an obvious choice for me. Having a variety of different combat maneuvers at my disposal, that can be resolved quickly and cleanly is a small price to pay. To repeat myself a third time, though, I haven't seen any evidence of this 25% decrease in my games or any games I've played in.

As for these "INCREDIBLE power-ups"- I'm not seeing them. Wizards can cast a spell they know spontaneously once a day. Ok? Any wizard worth his salt already had unprepared slots available, and there IS in fact a reserve feat that functions similarly- it allows you to cast any of your spells spontaneously, once.
Clerics can heal or damage with their turn attempts. Ok, that's more of a party power up than anything else. And in terms of combat effectiveness, we all know direct damage is a waste of time, especially when you compare a 3.5 cleric's ability to outright destroy undead. Multiple times a day. I won't even mention divine metamagic cheese.
Sorcerers get some bloodline abilities... ok. Mostly just collections of unrelated and largely irrelevant bonuses.

At the same time, rogues can sneak attack undead (for free!), fighters can ignore armor check penalties, and paladins can smite the **** out of whatever evil beings have the misfortune to cross their path.

Pathfinder didn't broaden the gap between classes. It did, in fact, shrink it.

Saph
2010-09-07, 03:53 AM
Heh.

I think the oddest thing about these discussions is the completely irrational hatred a certain minority have for Pathfinder. I can see how a 3.5 fanboy would hate 4e, or how a die-hard 4e convert would hate 3.5, because they're quite different systems. Hating one or the other still doesn't make much sense, but you can kind of understand it.

PF and 3.5, though, are pretty much the same game; the rules are 90%-95% identical. Yet every time we get one of these threads, you can guarantee there's at least one person who plays 3.5 but is desperate to convince everyone how utterly, utterly terrible Pathfinder is, usually without ever having played it. Honestly, I don't get where all the vitriol comes from.

I guess there's probably an explanation in the Fan Dumb section of TVTropes, but I've got too much work to do this morning to go there. :smalltongue:

Kurald Galain
2010-09-07, 03:55 AM
I guess there's probably an explanation in the Fan Dumb section of TVTropes, but I've got too much work to do this morning to go there. :smalltongue:

Perhaps the trope page for Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ComplainingAboutShowsYouDontWatch) ?

Saph
2010-09-07, 04:00 AM
Perhaps the trope page for Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ComplainingAboutShowsYouDontWatch) ?

Gah! Curse you!

Kurald Galain
2010-09-07, 04:13 AM
Gah! Curse you!

Oh I'm sorry, did I break your concentration? (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TvTropesWillRuinYourLife) :smalltongue:

a_humble_lich
2010-09-07, 04:26 AM
Were there edition wars like this when 3.5 came out. I mean 3.5 did less than Pathfinder to fix the problems 3.0 had. Caster were still just as overpowered in 3.5 as they were in 3.0. Sure they nerfed a couple spells, but they introduced Natural Spell to core and nerfed the monk. Yet people switched to 3.5.

One thing I like about Pathfinder is that they balanced melee more. Not melee vs, casters, but melee vs. melee. No longer are there only two builds worth speaking of: the two-handed power attacker and the tripper. With pathfinder, you can have a decent archer, sword and board got some more feats etc. Honestly in the style we payed with, I never felt casters were overpowered (we would mostly see low level blasters). However, I did feel power attack was overpowered.

Nero24200
2010-09-07, 04:40 AM
PF and 3.5, though, are pretty much the same game; the rules are 90%-95% identical. Yet every time we get one of these threads, you can guarantee there's at least one person who plays 3.5 but is desperate to convince everyone how utterly, utterly terrible Pathfinder is, usually without ever having played it. Honestly, I don't get where all the vitriol comes from.

Please don't just assume that the people that complain havn't played it. For a while on the PF forums I actually gave playtest feedback - from actual gameplay. Whenever the feedback didn't favour their design others on the forum would simply say I didn't actually playtest and that I'm only looking at the issue on paper.

Even then, sometimes theory is enough. I made several assumptions with certain changes, and so far every one I had as been proven right. Some elements do require hard play-testeing I agree, but not all do. You don't need to, for instance, actually use the paladin's smite to know it's more powerful than the 3.5 version, or to actually see the rogue's sneak attack in action against undead or constructs to know it's more consistant.

I don't like PF and I've played it. I'm still playing it in fact (mostly because the rest of my group don't agree with me). At the same time, does the fact that I've played it alot instantly mean my feedback is more importent that those without as much experience as me?

Leolo
2010-09-07, 05:02 AM
PFRPG is not that bad - but there are better systems available. And D&D3.5 is one of those systems. That's a shame, because 3.5 should have been improved. It is a good system and i like the idea to keep it alive. But just because 3.5 is better that does not mean PFRPG is bad.

I would play a Pathfinder RPG game anytime again, and it would be surprising if this would not be fun.

But the question was: Should i switch from 3.5 to Pathfinder RPG?

And there are some good reasons to say: No, you should not.

Chrono22
2010-09-07, 05:08 AM
I'd say the biggest reason why switching to pathfinder would be a good idea- it's like 3.5- except, it's still in print!
3.5 sourcebooks are already getting rare and expensive.

Saph
2010-09-07, 05:15 AM
Please don't just assume that the people that complain havn't played it.

I said 'usually', not 'always'. Some of the critics of PF are people who've given the PF rules an honest evaluation and decided that 3.5 or 4e is better. But there's a very vocal minority of posters whose only interest in Pathfinder is to try and convince everyone else to hate it as much as they do (Frank Trollman appears to be the patron saint of these guys).


For a while on the PF forums I actually gave playtest feedback - from actual gameplay. Whenever the feedback didn't favour their design others on the forum would simply say I didn't actually playtest and that I'm only looking at the issue on paper.

That's pretty much the same way I feel when I try to talk to people who've decided on minimal evidence that PF sucks and that anyone who doesn't agree is obviously an idiot. Trust me, it's not any more fun from my end.

Stone Heart
2010-09-07, 05:18 AM
If the whole idea of an RPG is to have fun, play free-form. There's a reason we don't.

{Scrubbed}

This part kinda confused me. Do you actually play RPG's for a reason other than entertainment? If so would you mind elaborating?

I enjoy Pathfinder, I enjoy 3.5. To the Original poster, if you have the cash to switch over and you want things to be a little different, that might be good, if you have the old books, might not be necesarry. The main reason our group uses pathfinder more is probably because most of us have the one book, and I have a copy of the advanced players handbook. Only a few of us have the books for 3.5, so there is a lot of trading back and forth for those campaigns. If you and your players have the other books, it'd probably be better to stick with that.

Also, why so much anger on this topic? (I have never seen the word vitriol used so many times)

Aran, you seemed to get really aggressive about it, and really the condescension hurt your arguments alot, especially the "its only human" sorta comments, like what you aren't? Are you better than that?

I tried viewing this topic with as little bias as possible, focusing mainly on the post presented in this topic alone, and I think you would have driven me to pathfinder. You act like its worse then the scum on your boots, like only a moron would switch to pathfinder.

And I'm not trying to choose sides here, Chrono, the way you were asking for him to not be condescending, it came off as condescending to me, but and I don't have the same experience of hour long grapple things as you do, that does sound like bad hyperbole, but then again, maybe I've just been lucky.

That said, obviously both Saph and Franks reports on the subject are biased. I read about problems in Franks that I have never come across in my time playing pathfinder, whereas Saph's seemed to just go over the material in a positive light. Saphs does seem to be the less biased of the two, and is more comprehensive. You may disagree with me on this, but thats ok, we are different people, we are allowed to have different opinions.

This ones for everybody. The whole "Casters overpowered, melee underpowered" thing has never come up in my group. Maybe we play differently than you guys, or maybe we just don't care to optimize as much as you, but I, as a primarily martial character user, have never felt outclassed by the casters in the party. They can do their things, while I do mine. Hell We have played games where the monk sometimes was the best in a fight/fights.

The White Knight
2010-09-07, 07:38 AM
Spellcasters get INCREDIBLE power-ups

non-casters get a few nerfs (Why??)

Sorcs got quite the boost, narrowing the gap between them and Wizards (as I assume was the intention). Wizards... not so much an incredible boost, but a small boost nevertheless. Clerics got a minor nerf, and Druids and Bards got bigger ones. I'd say the only spellcaster to get "INCREDIBLE power-ups" was the Sorceror, and the Paladin and Fighter got more useful new toys than the rest of the casters.

I must note that I find the big huff over Power Attack to be laughable; in all of the games I've ever played, I've never seen someone Power Attack for higher than a -5 penalty with any regularity. I have tended to play with some pretty tame groups where the melee characters are the powerhouses and the casters play support in terms of relative power levels, and I suspect that this is pretty normal for the segment of the gaming community that doesn't frequent optimization boards like these. And that segment is large.


it's not easily compatible with 3.5

If I want to pull a challenge straight out of 3.5 and throw it at a PF group, I can do so with extreme ease. I find the prospect of not using a great deal of 3.5's feats, spells and classes to be refreshing, but if I wanted to use pieces of 3.5 material they could be adjudicated into a game on a case-by-case basis with ease as well. The underlying framework for the game is the same, after all.


and non-standard combat maneuvers become more difficult by 25%, and the whole idea where it's a 3.5 fix didn't work out.

I'll half agree here. They fixed the mechanics -- everything is very quick to resolve now -- but they botched the scaling.


And you like how they made it a single book? Um... OK... I honest-to-god don't understand that one. I mean, you do realize that the Pathfinder book is about 600 pages, and the PHB + DMG are about 600 pages? Whatever.

The hard copy is a bit of a tome, yeah. But the legally distributed and inexpensive PDF versions are a major plus, and don't suffer any side effects of the page count. I'd way rather tote my laptop to the gaming table than the half-dozen books I'd have formerly used to support my 3.5 characters.


Errors that PAIZO ADDED

Yep. Although they definitely made some fixes, I can't really argue this one...


and errors that PAIZO DIDN'T FIX.

...but this sounds like it's as much a stab at 3.5 as it is at Pathfinder.

Paizo may have shunned an important segment of the playtesting community, and the results of that choice have resulted in some pretty fierce opponents to its gaming platform. I can't help but wonder, though, if you can really take something like 3.5 and flip it in such a way that CharOp communities can't break it anymore? With that in mind, I half forgive them for turning their backs on such input. You are clearly not their target audience.

I am, though, and I'm enjoying it greatly. So my advice is not to listen to arguments that are presented like "Here is why you shouldn't try PF", but rather to check out the PF SRD and see what you think. The only way you lose out in the PF/3.5 debate is by letting someone else make your decisions for you.

Tyndmyr
2010-09-07, 07:55 AM
The problem with Frank's post is that it's sort of like water with arsenic in it. Sure, there may be some beneficial value to it, but the vitriol taints the whole thing, for some people anyway:smalltongue:. Thus, take it with a grain of salt, as all things.

Eh, I find the vitrol humorous. In any case, in his complaints, he's pretty accurate. There are nice tidbits in PF, like the skill system...and I do like their implementation of favored classes better than the painfully stupid one in 3.5 that everyone ignores. I admit, it favors spellcasters, since they are far more likely to be single classed than melee, but it's still better than the old mess.

I have the books, I've played a fair bit, and while I don't hate the system(it is pretty similar), It's quite clear that they fell very far short on their balance claims, and the compatibility claims are dubious.

Nero24200
2010-09-07, 08:12 AM
The hard copy is a bit of a tome, yeah. But the legally distributed and inexpensive PDF versions are a major plus, and don't suffer any side effects of the page count. I'd way rather tote my laptop to the gaming table than the half-dozen books I'd have formerly used to support my 3.5 characters.

Pretty minor nitpick, but I didn't like how they claimed it was all in one book. The "you only need one book" idea doesn't work out too well in my opinion when you still have an external dungeon master's guide (renamed the Game Masterys Guide), a monster manual (renamed the Besteiry) and a splatbook (the Advanced Player's Guide) - the content of which they plan to include in some adventure paths.

As I said, it's a minor nitpick, but still something that grates on me.

Kurald Galain
2010-09-07, 08:16 AM
Eh, I find the vitrol humorous. In any case, in his complaints, he's pretty accurate.
My problem with Frank's post is not the tone, but that most of his points are based on the assumption that class balance (primarily between casters and non-casters) is a big issue.

I strongly disagree in how much this assumption applies to actual gameplay situations. The notion that 3E is a "bad" game because of this power imbalance is often touted as fact, but (1) is inherently subjective, and (2) is effectively contradicted by everyone who ever enjoyed a 3E campaign.

I would claim that because having this power discrepancy doesn't make 3E a bad game, neither does not fixing it make PF a bad game.

Obligatory relevant TVtropes link (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StopHavingFunGuys).

pasko77
2010-09-07, 08:26 AM
My problem with Frank's post is not the tone, but that most of his points are based on the assumption that class balance (primarily between casters and non-casters) is a big issue.

I strongly disagree in how much this assumption applies to actual gameplay situations. The notion that 3E is a "bad" game because of this power imbalance is often touted as fact, but (1) is inherently subjective, and (2) is effectively contradicted by everyone who ever enjoyed a 3E campaign.

I would claim that because having this power discrepancy doesn't make 3E a bad game, neither does not fixing it make PF a bad game.


I beg to differ. I experienced a 3.5 campaign in which, around level 8, the 2 fighters were starting to be a little pissed at the other characters, respectively a druid, a cleric and a sorcerer. All of them inexperienced, and yet the power difference was 1) apparent 2) fun ruining.
I was playing a bard, and focused on buffing, since I was the only experienced guy at the table, and I clearly noticed the slow change in the atmosphere while levelling.

PF, not solving ANY of those issues, is a loss of money, EXPECIALLY because its selling point was "hey D&D fans, tell us D&D problems, we'll fix them".
Had they not made this claim, there would be less "vitriol" now, imo.

Tetsubo 57
2010-09-07, 08:32 AM
I don't think you can 'prove' that PF is better or worse than 3.5 core. I think that even trying is going to just be a waste of your time and most likely going to pointlessly annoy people. Are you having fun? Nothing else matters.

Me? I like PF better than 3.5 core. I also like Everstone better than 3.5 core. But no one else has ever heard of that system...

Tyndmyr
2010-09-07, 08:34 AM
I would claim that because having this power discrepancy doesn't make 3E a bad game, neither does not fixing it make PF a bad game.


I would claim that 3.5 is a good game in SPITE of it's imbalances. Not because of them. In general, games where some degree of balance exists within the party are superior. You can have a decent spread of power, but if it gets wide enough, enjoyment suffers.

Given that PF touted itself as fixing such things, it's understandable to be disappointed that it did not.

Kurald Galain
2010-09-07, 08:41 AM
its selling point was "hey D&D fans, tell us D&D problems, we'll fix them". Had they not made this claim, there would be less "vitriol" now, imo.


Given that PF touted itself as fixing such things, it's understandable to be disappointed that it did not.

I completely agree that PF does not do what its prerelease marketing said it would. Then again, many games don't, and I tend to take prerelease marketing with a few kilos of salt. In the end, most things are judged by their content, and people tend to forget what the marketing had been (some notable PR disasters excepted, of course)

Come to think of it, it would be fun to have a new thread about cited statements from any game's prerelease marketing, and how much of them turned out to be correct after the release.

Leolo
2010-09-07, 08:42 AM
Pathfinder is only slightly worse balanced than 3.5, to a degree that you could say they share the same issue.

But this is only true if you do not allow to use Pathfinder RPG with 3.5 splat books. For example spells like glitterdust get nerfed, and this matches out with some of the caster improvements.

But as soon as you bring in 3.5 material without adapting it the system is much worse balanced than 3.5.

And this is a good reason not to use 3.5 splats. But think about it. What is one of the greatest strengths of the system? Flexibility. Tons of options.

It is true that pathfinder rpg is similar balanced to 3.5 if you do not use those options. But you will also loose one of 3.5 greatest strengths.

Powerfamiliar
2010-09-07, 09:03 AM
I still don't quite see how casters are more powerful in PF than 3.5 core. Many of the more powerful spells got nerfed. Clerics and druids were toned down significantly when it comes to outshining others in melee, sorcs have cooler class features, but along with wizards have weaker spells.

In a cooperative game I only care about balance if it causes players to get overshowded. Even most competitive games are not balanced, yet still good and fun. I don't think this was a big Issue in 3.5 and is less of an issue in PF. In 3.5, as a DM, I always felt it only happened when players optimized to very different levels (ie a God wizard and a shield fighter in the same party).

In 3.5 core the only real balance problems for me were druids and monks, because they had issues if played intuitively. A druid that wanted to do combat was much better than other melee classes without really trying. Monk features just did not synergize (this was sadly not fixed in PF).

Kylarra
2010-09-07, 10:32 AM
Eh, I find the vitrol humorous. In any case, in his complaints, he's pretty accurate. There are nice tidbits in PF, like the skill system...and I do like their implementation of favored classes better than the painfully stupid one in 3.5 that everyone ignores. I admit, it favors spellcasters, since they are far more likely to be single classed than melee, but it's still better than the old mess.

I have the books, I've played a fair bit, and while I don't hate the system(it is pretty similar), It's quite clear that they fell very far short on their balance claims, and the compatibility claims are dubious.Yeah, I realize that some people do like the way Frank writes. I personally don't. :smalltongue:

I totally agree that PF didn't live up to the hype that they made, but I disagree that it makes the game inherently bad, except from a "play this to play a balanced 3.X" standpoint, in which yes, it fails utterly, so do the tomes, but that's not really a discussion for this thread. :smalltongue:

The Tygre
2010-09-07, 10:36 AM
I'd say the biggest reason why switching to pathfinder would be a good idea- it's like 3.5- except, it's still in print!
3.5 sourcebooks are already getting rare and expensive.

Bingo. Hit the nail on the head, blood. Die-hard 3.Xs, the boat is officially beneath the waves and the water's at your chin. This is the ship you've got unless your wallet is heinously fat.

Kurald Galain
2010-09-07, 10:38 AM
Bingo. Hit the nail on the head, blood. Die-hard 3.Xs, the boat is officially beneath the waves and the water's at your chin. This is the ship you've got unless your wallet is heinously fat.

Or, you know, you go to http://d20srd.org ...

DragoonWraith
2010-09-07, 10:40 AM
Bingo. Hit the nail on the head, blood. Die-hard 3.Xs, the boat is officially beneath the waves and the water's at your chin. This is the ship you've got unless your wallet is heinously fat.
You'd think most "Die-hard 3.Xs" would already have most, if not all, of the books they want.

arguskos
2010-09-07, 10:44 AM
You'd think most "Die-hard 3.Xs" would already have most, if not all, of the books they want.
Yes, but new content isn't coming, save through efforts such as PF. That's Tygre's point.

DragoonWraith
2010-09-07, 10:47 AM
I disagree - there's plenty of new material for 3.5 coming out. I like my own stuff, and that of Fax, Djinn, Krimm, TD1, Lord_Gareth, Vorpal Tribble, Realms of Chaos, etc. more than I like Paizo's stuff. By a lot.

true_shinken
2010-09-07, 10:48 AM
Yes, but new content isn't coming, save through efforts such as PF. That's Tygre's point.

I'd have to agree with him. I personally am trying to find good material in the old (Paizo-published) Dragon Magazines, and I'll tell ya - sometimes, it bites my pocket. Hard.
They are pretty damn hard to find, specially where I live. Basically I need to find a sotre (or a guy) that imported them back in the day and is willing to part with'em. It gets pretty expensive.
I do it anyway. LOL.

Leolo
2010-09-07, 11:12 AM
I still don't quite see how casters are more powerful in PF than 3.5 core. Many of the more powerful spells got nerfed. Clerics and druids were toned down significantly when it comes to outshining others in melee, sorcs have cooler class features, but along with wizards have weaker spells.

Not all are, you have already mentioned druids. But look at wizards. More hitpoints, more feats, more skills, better class features, higher starting ability modifiers, creating items is now cheaper. Some spells have been nerfed, but others are not. And the new class features are very powerful, up to the point that you can do things for free that you could not get in 3.5 core at all.

Cast an quickend lvl 9 spell? Well this is a weak class feature a wizard could get in pathfinder. (And indeed - the others are better).

Weak in Pathfinder. But there is no way to do this in 3.5 core. But the power level is higher in general, even the "nerfed" classes get something, they just do not get that much than other classes.

Hurlbut
2010-09-07, 01:19 PM
Well if you really want to waste character resources on arbitrary but pointless flavor, you do get an additional 3 feats over the lifetime of your character in PF, so that's 3 feats you can use to buy the +2 to a pair of skill feats.:smalltongue:Or spend the two traits on the background flavor for skills. It's not as if that +1 trait bonus isn't worth a single skill rank....

Kylarra
2010-09-07, 01:22 PM
Or spend the two traits on the background flavor for skills. It's not as if that +1 trait bonus isn't worth a single skill rank....
My bad, I totally forgot about those, yes that's a much better way to go about it. :smallredface:

Hurlbut
2010-09-07, 01:24 PM
My bad, I totally forgot about those, yes that's a much better way to go about it. :smallredface:Heh, that's why I like the PF traits. At 1st level, it make the character a little different from another char with same race/class combo. :smallbiggrin:

Chrono22
2010-09-07, 04:40 PM
Weak in Pathfinder. But there is no way to do this in 3.5 core. But the power level is higher in general, even the "nerfed" classes get something, they just do not get that much than other classes.
Bolded for emphasis. Pathfinder core is like 3.5 core + the player's handbook 2 and complete warrior. It has more material in it, of course there are more options at a player's disposal. I can think of 4 ways to quicken a 9th level spell off the top of my head in 3.5... actually make that 5.
The claim that casters got more than other classes in pathfinder just doesn't stand up, especially when you look at how pathfinder nerfed many of the spells. And have you honestly gone through and compared the warrior classes' class features with their 3.5 counterparts? It's like Christmas every time they level. A pathfinder warrior is vastly superior to his 3.5 counterparts. Pathfinder casters... not so much.

Leolo
2010-09-07, 05:11 PM
Absolutely. As said above, Pathfinder RPG is similar to 3.5 plus splats regarding power level (not regarding general options, though)

But the quoted sentence was an answer regarding the argument that the power level would be not higher than 3.5 core material.

And of course this is not just a semantic question, it raises the question how the power level is combining both.

From what i have seen: Much higher.

ryzouken
2010-09-07, 05:25 PM
RE: 9th level spells cannot be quickened in 3.5 core

I take it you've never seen the metamagic rod: Quicken Spell. The Greater variant allows that, specifically, 3x per day.

"But, it's not a class feature!" Uh-huh. Still possible.
-------------------------------------------------------------

Been running a PF only game; no 3.5 supplements allowed. Works pretty good. Fighter's managed to solo a couple of fights against a few types of enemies. He's sunder focused too, and when he sunders, it works.

Really, my experience with the system has belied every point Trollman tried to make against PF. Tis a good system, well supported by Paizo with all manner of things. It's got a nice feel to it as well, with some nice artwork and an interesting world. I'm looking forward to their next AP, though this last one seemed a lot like Savage Tide v 2.0...

Chrono22
2010-09-07, 05:46 PM
And then there's an arcmage's Spell-like Ability High Arcana and the Quicken Spell-like Ability feat. And numerous other options.

Leolo
2010-09-07, 05:59 PM
Hehe. Well, that's right, even if it is not exactly the same. Maybe it was a fault to say "it is not possible in D&D 3.5 core".

But you are missing the point: Giving everyone those things for free (and other things that are arguable better) of course make those classes stronger.

Powerfamiliar
2010-09-07, 06:07 PM
I understand the argument Leolo, and yeah the nerfs to wizards are only relative. Melee druid and clerics are probably worse than their 3.5 counterparts though.

I have yet to play PF, but as a DM (DMing my 2nd long campaign with a few short adventures mixed in) my players seem to be having a lot of fun with it. In my current Kingmaker campaign the fighter is the party's powerhouse.


Really, my experience with the system has belied every point Trollman tried to make against PF. Tis a good system, well supported by Paizo with all manner of things. It's got a nice feel to it as well, with some nice artwork and an interesting world. I'm looking forward to their next AP, though this last one seemed a lot like Savage Tide v 2.0...

That makes me kinda glad my group never played Savage Tide. Probably by the time we are done with Kingmaker, Carrion Crown will be out anyway, and some of my players are already looking forward to Jade Reagent :smallsigh:. It makes me sad my group will never be able to keep up with their AP schedule.

claricorp
2010-09-07, 06:58 PM
I would like to start this post out saying that I have played 3.5 edition for a few years and have enjoyed it, recently i found pathfinder and have been enjoying it a great deal.

I have been DMing a pathfinder game for a good couple of months and its been going quite well, It just seems overall a grade up from 3.5, the classes have considerably more interesting abilities alongside some great roleplaying additions, most notably the sorcerer bloodlines are a personal favorite, the favored terrains for rangers are also quite interesting. Getting more and different abilities for different schools of magic and domains also offers alot of interesting ways that the game has played out. The combat maneuver system seems to work quite well and all of the races feel viable. Several class features have been changed or had things added on to them to make them more interesting, such as paladins lay on hands with mercies, the barbarians rage and the whole slew of new ranger additions. There are also some more options for players which allow a more customized character that I like, specifically the paladins option to go for an item ability instead of a mount or the option for wizards to have a customizable magic item instead of a familiar.

Another thing that I really enjoy about pathfinder is that its quite easy to bring in all of the 3.5 extra books without much problem whatsoever, though we havent delved to deep into the 3.5 stuff the group has already had a swordsage, favoured soul and a eldritch disciple thrown in. One player is already planning on making a frost rager for there next class.

Overall Im not missing anything from 3.5 that pathfinder hasn't made up for and feel even a little overwhelmed with all of the new abilities and such.

Aran Banks
2010-09-07, 07:50 PM
Er... you said it's "more interesting". Which is fine.

But then you said it's easy to convert. Which is no, since it takes an annoying amount of work to convert from PF to 3.5. The 3.0 and d20 modern stuff is more compatible with 3.5 than PF is.

Then you said you liked Sorcerer bloodlines... which I guess I'm fine with. Mechanically useless flavor is cool every once in a while. But that's just fun, and funness doesn't compensate for PF's flaws.

Snake-Aes
2010-09-07, 07:52 PM
Er... you said it's "more interesting". Which is fine.

But then you said it's easy to convert. Which is no, since it takes an annoying amount of work to convert from PF to 3.5. The 3.0 and d20 modern stuff is more compatible with 3.5 than PF is.

Then you said you liked Sorcerer bloodlines... which I guess I'm fine with. Mechanically useless flavor is cool every once in a while. But that's just fun, and funness doesn't compensate for PF's flaws.

Isn't fun the point of playing, though?

Mystic Muse
2010-09-07, 07:54 PM
Isn't fun the point of playing, though?

Yes. Unless the flaws detract from the fun they're irrelevant.

WarKitty
2010-09-07, 07:56 PM
Isn't fun the point of playing, though?

Fun is the point of playing. However different people have different ideas of fun. One of my complaints with a lot of different areas (and what it sounds like paizo did) is that they take "what I would enjoy in a game" and make it "what's fun for everyone." Like the casters vs. melee problem - some people don't have a problem with it. I do, because I don't like having to mess around with power levels or the class I feel fits my character, but I don't want any character to be overshadowed. Just a matter of play style; the better a system is the larger range of "fun" it allows.

Edit: part of the point of using a system for me is to be able to have the abilities I want operate in a balanced fashion. So the party wizard can't just declare he wants to throw an epic fireball, he has to earn it.

Aran Banks
2010-09-07, 07:56 PM
I play so that I can get into a combat and say "Alright guys, let's do A, B, and C to kick this dude's butt."

I mean, mechanically useless flavor is cool. But no, it's not the point of playing. If it was, these forums would be for free-form.

Mystic Muse
2010-09-07, 08:01 PM
I play so that I can get into a combat and say "Alright guys, let's do A, B, and C to kick this dude's butt."


And is this fun for you?

oxybe
2010-09-07, 08:01 PM
Isn't fun the point of playing, though?

i play PF every wednesday and while i have fun, it's in no way related to the PF game and entirely due to the group. the RP in RPG is going great, but i personally find the G terribly wanting.

as others have said PF inherited many of 3rd ed's flaws and while it solved a few by replacing them, these replacements created flaws of their own.

Kylarra
2010-09-07, 08:05 PM
Of things to complain about being mechanically useless, I don't think sorcerer bloodlines fit the bill. If nothing else they provide additional spells known, some flexibility via the arcana, and another class skill. They give the sorcerer a potential reason to not PrC out immediately.

Snake-Aes
2010-09-07, 08:05 PM
I wonder if all this flak comes from people expecting PF to "solve all problems in 3.5". It never even meant to do so, so it's kind of weak to say "PF balance sucks because it didn't solve 3.5 balance".
There were improvements. There were losses. I'm still having my fun. The PF gaps don't detract from my experience any more than they do in 3.5

Aran Banks
2010-09-07, 08:06 PM
And is this fun for you?

Yes. Because I play RPGs so I can kill things... that's the common goal. Secondary to that is looking totally sweet. But keep in mind, THAT'S SECONDARY. I'm pretty sure that's how most people play.

ryzouken
2010-09-07, 08:08 PM
I play so that I can get into a combat and say "Alright guys, let's do A, B, and C to kick this dude's butt."

I mean, mechanically useless flavor is cool. But no, it's not the point of playing. If it was, these forums would be for free-form.

May I recommend the miniatures wargame Warhammer Fantasy Battles then? It seems to be more your interest than role-playing games like Pathfinder and D&D.

Also, sorcerer bloodlines very much affect a character mechanically, adding resistances, feats, flight capability, spells, or other options.

You've made a number of factually inaccurate claims in this thread, it makes me wonder if you've actually read the printed system or if you're simply parroting Trollman...

Aran Banks
2010-09-07, 08:14 PM
erm... warhammer? You mean that one game that's like chess? Yeah, kind of like D&D. Kind of not at all.

Oh, and sorcerer bloodlines give GREAT benefits... like... um, weak spells, weak resistances, feats that play little to no special role, and occasional useful goodies. Not saying they're all completely pathetic, just most of them.

{Scrubbed}

Fax Celestis
2010-09-07, 08:19 PM
In Re: Pathfinder, I'll reiterate what I've said before:


I just wanted to remark that I'm a little surprised to see you playing in an ongoing PF game. You've been a pretty staunch critic of PF on these forums. I'm just curious, has playing in this PF campaign changed your opinion of the system at all? Or warmed you up to it?


Pathfinder is just 3.5 with a set of houserules attached. I am a critic of it because it could have been more than that. Certainly, some of these rules (channeling, for instance) are clearly superior and simpler in every fashion to 3.5. Others didn't fix the issue they were designed to address. Others still actively exacerbated the problems within 3.5 (cf: form of the dragon (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells---final/form-of-the-dragon-i), in which you turn into a fantastic dragon of your selection and then lets you keep your spellcasting).

It is a perfectly playable game, and it is the one my DM prefers to run. Given the option between Pathfinder and no game, I will choose Pathfinder every time. But given the option between Pathfinder and many other games, I will likely choose the other game.

true_shinken
2010-09-07, 08:20 PM
Yes. Because I play RPGs so I can kill things... that's the common goal. Secondary to that is looking totally sweet. But keep in mind, THAT'S SECONDARY. I'm pretty sure that's how most people play.

I hope you are wrong about how most people play. I mwan, 'you play so you can kill things?' Dude, that's a downright scary statement. I play so I can hang out with my friends and create a shared story. I enjoy the tactics of combat, the challenges of optimization and wasting spending a lot of money on miniatures, maps and books. But my goal is to have fun and to play a game. If your goal is not to have fun, but to 'kill things'... well, if that works for you, fine. But it scares me that people actually think this way. It reallly does, speciallu since in the 90's, there were a few cases of murders involving roleplaying games in my country.

Mystic Muse
2010-09-07, 08:21 PM
Yes.

Then I'd say the point of the game is fun

Aran Banks
2010-09-07, 08:25 PM
I hope you are wrong about how most people play. I mwan, 'you play so you can kill things?' Dude, that's a downright scary statement. I play so I can hang out with my friends and create a shared story. I enjoy the tactics of combat, the challenges of optimization and wasting spending a lot of money on miniatures, maps and books. But my goal is to have fun and to play a game. If your goal is not to have fun, but to 'kill things'... well, if that works for you, fine. But it scares me that people actually think this way. It reallly does, speciallu since in the 90's, there were a few cases of murders involving roleplaying games in my country.

{Scrubbed}

ryzouken
2010-09-07, 08:30 PM
erm... warhammer? You mean that one game that's like chess? Yeah, kind of like D&D. Kind of not at all.

Oh, and sorcerer bloodlines give GREAT benefits... like... um, weak spells, weak resistances, feats that play little to no special role, and occasional useful goodies. Not saying they're all completely pathetic, just most of them.

{Scrubbed}

{Scrubbed}

Mystic Muse
2010-09-07, 08:32 PM
{Scrubbed}

4th edition is better for this than 3.5 or Pathfinder.

Warhammer might actually be the game for you. It's not really Chess. Ask somewhere on here. I'm sure there are plenty of people who can explain it.

Urpriest
2010-09-07, 08:39 PM
He's not playing Warhammer because you don't kill stuff in Warhammer, your army kills stuff. Can we stop facetiously making fun of him and going back to politely refuting him?

ryzouken
2010-09-07, 08:44 PM
{Scrubbed}

Vaynor
2010-09-07, 09:41 PM
The Red Towel: Thread opened provisionally. Please do not insult or belittle other posters, even if such remarks are made towards the content of their posts or are otherwise indirect. Please do not tell other posters what to do. If you see a problem with a post, report it and move on; do not respond in kind. Feel free to debate, but do so in a civil and polite manner.

Tiki Snakes
2010-09-07, 10:52 PM
It's pretty hard to ignore a warning like that when it's delivered by a man with an alien-fetus-in-a-jar for a hat. :smalleek:

Anyway, yeah. My own opinion is that Pathfinders biggest advantage is that it's still in print. I would find it difficult to recommend it to anyone with a large amount of 3.5 books because you could simply poach what houserules appeal to you from it's SRD and carry on with the books you already have.

However, if you lack the 3.5 resources you would like, it's going to be increasingly the only real way to get that type of DnD experience, due to market forces. I think my opinion on the changes made is that they are over-all largely a neutral issue. The Good Changes and the Bad Changes (or missed opportunities) kind of balance out and negate each other in my mind.

I also think that it did fall quite heavily victim to it's own hyperbole and fan expectation. I don't know that they ever went on record as saying "This will Fix 3.5!", but that's certainly what a lot of people assumed would be the case, the assumed goal. I think a lot of the more adverse reactions are partly disappointment, really.
Not for everyone, but for some, perhaps. Likewise, I personally feel uncomfortable with it for other, less sensible reasons. On some level, the fact that Paizo took the SRD, made a few changes and released it as their own product just leaves it feeling (To me, and quite irrationally I'm sure) slightly disengenuous? Nothing rational, the whole thing just leaves a very 'Bad Faith' taste in my mouth.

But then, I've always tended to be wary of third party stuff, so perhaps that is related.

Hawriel
2010-09-07, 11:30 PM
In Re: Pathfinder, I'll reiterate what I've said before:

{Scrubbed}

Zabel_Zarock
2010-09-08, 12:14 AM
Actually scratch that, working on a post putting you & paizo on blast, don't feel like being lazy.

Tyndmyr
2010-09-08, 12:22 AM
It's pretty hard to ignore a warning like that when it's delivered by a man with an alien-fetus-in-a-jar for a hat. :smalleek:

Anyway, yeah. My own opinion is that Pathfinders biggest advantage is that it's still in print. I would find it difficult to recommend it to anyone with a large amount of 3.5 books because you could simply poach what houserules appeal to you from it's SRD and carry on with the books you already have.

However, if you lack the 3.5 resources you would like, it's going to be increasingly the only real way to get that type of DnD experience, due to market forces.

Given that market forces include ebay, and there is an utter crapton of 3.5 material already printed, I see no real problem there. I know people just starting their collection of 3.5. Hell, I helped them get started, by giving em my duplicates. Old gamers leave the system, new ones pick it up. Such is life.

I don't expect lack of supply to be a significant problem for 3.5 for quite some time.

The difference between house rules and third party content is a fuzzy one. Mostly, it consists of the book having actually been printed. This is...surprisingly easy nowadays. I'd LIKE to say that playtesting, editing, etc are big factors, but sadly, I've seen some sourcebooks more poorly done than some house rules.

InaVegt
2010-09-08, 12:26 AM
Given that market forces include ebay, and there is an utter crapton of 3.5 material already printed, I see no real problem there. I know people just starting their collection of 3.5. Hell, I helped them get started, by giving em my duplicates. Old gamers leave the system, new ones pick it up. Such is life.

I don't expect lack of supply to be a significant problem for 3.5 for quite some time.

To add to this. Amazon.com has Nine new copies of AD&D 2e's PHB. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0880387165/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&qid=1283923517&sr=8-2&condition=new)

Tyndmyr
2010-09-08, 12:27 AM
There's always something fun about tearing the plastic off a book that's been out of print for a decade or more.

Leolo
2010-09-08, 02:25 AM
{Scrubbed}

Changes on an existing system will always look like house rules - and there is nothing wrong with that.

But i do not think that this is the reason why those complaints against PFRPG are frequent. The point is that most of the changes would be considered bad ideas if posted as house rules.

Giving wizard a bag of goodies and balance this out by nerfing some spells?

Most people would have told the poster that this does not work. The wizard would simple take other spells - and the nerf of the old spells will nerf other classes than him, too. (Glitterdust and Alter Self nerf does hurt the bard more than the wizard for example).

Changing polymorph spells by removing the possibility to be a individual person? This will increase discussions around the spell, and reduce the rp use of it. And is it a good rule change that i am getting stronger now for polymorphing into any medium humanoid, even if they look like my grandmother?

Those complaints come up because the changes are similar to house rules thrown into a forum for community judgement. Not well thought. Changing things without thinking about the problem with this concrete rule element.

Vaynor
2010-09-08, 02:34 AM
It's pretty hard to ignore a warning like that when it's delivered by a man with an alien-fetus-in-a-jar for a hat. :smalleek:

Apparently not as easy as one may have thought.

The Red Towel: Please keep the debate civil and polite. I'd rather not have to lock this thread permanently.

WitchSlayer
2010-09-08, 04:31 AM
Edition wars everybody!

Thank you, goodnight!

Leolo
2010-09-08, 04:48 AM
To bring another example for a change in Pathfinder RPG that might be questionable:

Diplomacy DCs are now depending on the charisma of the opponent. They are otherwise pretty much the same as before, slightly changed only in some situations.

But think about it: We are in a gitpg forum. Who is the best order of the stick character regarding the topic: Keeping secrets for himself. Maybe V? Maybe Roy? Or is it Elan, the bard?

You could argue that recent events makes this rule change more solid, as durkon wants to gave out a secret to tarquin and haley does not. But in fact this is more an alignment question. The aptitude to tell someone not the thruth about yourself is contraticted by a pathfinder paladin who is better in keeping secrets for himself.

Now judge this a little more from actual gameplay. You are in a tavern and want to use diplomacy to get some secret or help from someone. Who would you ask? Maybe the barmaid? Maybe the laughing old man sitting at a table and telling his friends some funny stories? Or the grim guy in the dark corner?

Assuming all of them have the same attitude to the PCs at the start:
- It is easier to make the barmaid and the old man upset with a failed diplomacy check in Pathfinder RPG than the grim guy in the dark corner.
- It is easier to get help from him than from the other two. You can make him friendly more easely and he will gave you his secrets with a lower check than the other two.

Who should i ask if i need help? The noble paladin? Well this is harder than to ask the soldier next to him.

Kurald Galain
2010-09-08, 05:13 AM
T
Diplomacy DCs are now depending on the charisma of the opponent. They are otherwise pretty much the same as before, slightly changed only in some situations.

But think about it: We are in a gitpg forum. Who is the best order of the stick character regarding the topic: Keeping secrets for himself. Maybe V? Maybe Roy? Or is it Elan, the bard?
Diplomacy is about changing someone's attitudes, not about getting people to spill secrets.

Leolo
2010-09-08, 05:18 AM
Don't tell it to me. Tell it to the Pathfinder RPG developers. ^^

Request: Reveal an important secret
Diplomacy DC Modifier:+10 or more

Kurald Galain
2010-09-08, 05:43 AM
Request: Reveal an important secret
Diplomacy DC Modifier:+10 or more
So the questionable change is not that diplomacy depends on the charisma of your target, but that diplomacy now has a "reveal secrets" option.

Still, it says "or more", so whenever the DM decides that a particular NPC is unlikely to tell secrets, he'll just boost the DC.

:elan: 's DC is 10 + cha mod,
:roy: 's DC is 20 + cha mod.

Saph
2010-09-08, 05:47 AM
Giving wizard a bag of goodies and balance this out by nerfing some spells?

Most people would have told the poster that this does not work. The wizard would simple take other spells - and the nerf of the old spells will nerf other classes than him, too.

It doesn't work that way. There are a limited number of really effective low-level spells. If some of them get nerfed, this reduces your options and your overall effectiveness. I've been playing a Wizard in a Pathfinder game for over a year now, so I've got a fair bit of experience of this. For example, I still use Glitterdust despite its nerf, because there's no other core PF spell that does all the same things that Glitterdust does.

pasko77
2010-09-08, 06:06 AM
It doesn't work that way. There are a limited number of really effective low-level spells. If some of them get nerfed, this reduces your options and your overall effectiveness. I've been playing a Wizard in a Pathfinder game for over a year now, so I've got a fair bit of experience of this. For example, I still use Glitterdust despite its nerf, because there's no other core PF spell that does all the same things that Glitterdust does.

Well, that's not exactly correct... you still use Glitterdust because it is still awfully powerful, the nerf is adding a Save each round, in a game where the average save is 1-3 points harder... not so much for a nerf, imho.

Leolo
2010-09-08, 06:21 AM
So the questionable change is not that diplomacy depends on the charisma of your target, but that diplomacy now has a "reveal secrets" option.

Still, it says "or more", so whenever the DM decides that a particular NPC is unlikely to tell secrets, he'll just boost the DC.

:elan: 's DC is 10 + cha mod,
:roy: 's DC is 20 + cha mod.

Not really. First there is also the point that the "or more" is just because this is one of the more powerful requests you can make (ask for aid that could result in punishment has this "or more", too). You can get minor secrets without this "or more" addition and a +5 modifier.

And of course you could get secrets with 3.5 diplomacy, too - they are a specific type of aid that is given only to specific persons like friends.

But more than this your change (well it is technically a house rule for another house rule) would simple mean: ignore the charisma modifier because it is not a good idea to judge this with it.

And as said above there are examples from more actual gameplay like "asking the paladin for help" and "asking the soldier for help".

Most people will ignore this new diplomancy rules the same way they have ignored the old, so it is not a big deal. It was just an example how few thoughts seem to been made regarding the changes. There are many similar changes that are simple not well thought once you look under the surface.

Leolo
2010-09-08, 06:35 AM
It doesn't work that way. There are a limited number of really effective low-level spells. If some of them get nerfed, this reduces your options and your overall effectiveness. I've been playing a Wizard in a Pathfinder game for over a year now, so I've got a fair bit of experience of this. For example, I still use Glitterdust despite its nerf, because there's no other core PF spell that does all the same things that Glitterdust does.

I would say we share the same opinion regarding that the nerf does lower the wizards power level. And reduce its effectiveness by reducing it's options.

But this does not mean that it outweights the things a wizard get as additional class features in PFRPG.

And of course there is still the point that the nerfed spells are casted by other character classes, too. You may say that the nerfs balances the new class features regardless of my opinion. But the point is: The other classes capable casting those nerfed spells does not get those class features. They get other features - remarkable worse class features. You have played a wizard and feeled fine? Well, i have played a bard. And have a different opinion.

Doug Lampert
2010-09-08, 05:35 PM
The difference between house rules and third party content is a fuzzy one. Mostly, it consists of the book having actually been printed. This is...surprisingly easy nowadays. I'd LIKE to say that playtesting, editing, etc are big factors, but sadly, I've seen some sourcebooks more poorly done than some house rules.

I gather that about $10,000 and the space in your garage will make you a publisher today. That's if you INSIST on owning your own gear. If not you can pay someone less than $200 for setup and $20 or so per book (more or less depending on size, format, cover art, and how much color you use).

This means you can be published for less than the cost of commissioning a decent bit of cover art.

Note that the problems with self evaluation mean that many of the people taking advantage of this are the LAST people you want to buy from.

Tyndmyr
2010-09-08, 05:44 PM
Well, that's not exactly correct... you still use Glitterdust because it is still awfully powerful, the nerf is adding a Save each round, in a game where the average save is 1-3 points harder... not so much for a nerf, imho.

Consider another "nerfed" spell, grease. It's effects can now be avoided(after the initial round) by not moving. If you move, you still must save(acrobatics instead of balance), and as usual, even on a successful save, it's half speed. So...it's no longer QUITE as nasty. Apparently. However, as you said, it's easier to pump DCs with casual optimization, making the initial check harder to make.

Also, they increased the duration from rounds/level to minutes/level. This is pretty significant at level 1-3.

So, yes...it's slightly different now. It's still not in any way weak.


Edit: Doug, you are essentially correct. The difference between having a book printed and not is...very slim. But yeah, plenty of those entry level books are pretty crappy. Of course, even big publishers print plenty of crap, so there's really no guarantee.

Urpriest
2010-09-08, 10:10 PM
I didn't have the impression that the spell nerfs were supposed to balance out the nifty class features. Instead, they're both there to give variability. Nerfing the most popular spells means that a) it really is harder for your typical God caster to dominate the battlefield, but more to the point b) people are encouraged to choose spells beyond the old standbys. Similarly, the specialization and bloodline features make wizards and sorcerors more powerful, but more significantly they make them more interesting, giving them a robust and useful package of ACFs right out of core. The point is to encourage Sorceror 20 as a build and to make each Sorceror 20 different, and in that they've succeeded. Tier 1 is still Tier 1, Tier 2 is still Tier 2, and as such the balance in the coarser grains remains exactly the same.

Grommen
2010-09-08, 11:41 PM
I like PF. It is not perfect. No D&D based game ever will be. Many of the flaws have existed sense it's beginning back in the 70's. And yes I have been around sense the 70's. I have played every edition of D&D. PF is gamers writing a game for other gamers.

Things I like.
I love the skills, and the skill system. I have have a warrior that can sneak, and guards that can perceive sneaking people.

The new and improved combat maneuvers makes it simple, easy, and quick to do something other than "Hack and Slash" in melee. You have to play this game a wile before you see how this affects things. It helps fighters quite a bit.

I like the new and improved Power Attack. It scales with the character, and does more damage for the common sword swinger, and does not significantly harm the two hander. We don't use that shock trooper (I hit you you die thing) so yes this is a better version of Power Attack.

What I don't like.
Did everything have to be crittable now? It was not annoying enough when my party rogue one shoted my living plots, but now ever freeken thing else?

Why you have to give Wizards d6 hit points per level? They can tell the universe to shut up, sit down, and be quiet. When did they start working out ? Besides they are smart and get a lot of extra skill points, they can put that 1 point of perfered class into hit points and be happy.

Combat Expertise. Wile I like Power Attack, sometimes when you need "Deeeefence" you really need it. In my low magic campaigns, this feat is sometimes the only way for players to generate AC to compensate for every ones big time to hit numbers.

The Uguly
I do take acception to people bashing Pazio and their staff. Many of them were Dungeons and Dragons. Many of the writers grew up playing the game, and out of that love have moved into publishing the game most of us here love. Wizards and Hasbro tossed them out. They in turn decided to put back in print a fantastic game. And they are supporting it. Wile I don't like 4th edition, I do think it should be in print along with 3.5 edition. Wizards didn't see it that way and put the hammer on 3.5. Their choice I suppose, not one I like. Pazio fixed this by putting it back in print. I can attract new players into my games again.

And no paying over retail for a beat up, ratty, out of print 3.5 players guide at the local hobby shop does not entail 3.5 being in print. They killed it. The fact that 3.5 books are still being sold for retail or near is proof to the fact that it was not ready to be killed.

Aran Banks
2010-09-09, 01:10 AM
Rogues got a nerf, man. My rogues generally do worse in PF than 3.5.

And didn't power attack get nerfed too?

Hurlbut
2010-09-09, 01:16 AM
Rogues got a nerf, man. My rogues generally do worse in PF than 3.5.

And didn't power attack get nerfed too?...I can't tell if that was being sarcastic or not. Rogues' sneak attacks apply to more creatures in PF. Its hit dice also increased by a step and its 'special ability' was changed to talents and get them more often and far earlier and a capstone ability.

arguskos
2010-09-09, 01:23 AM
Rogues got a nerf, man. My rogues generally do worse in PF than 3.5.
Yeah not seeing that one. Rogues are entirely the same, but they have yet more goodies on top. How are they nerfed? :smallconfused:


And didn't power attack get nerfed too?
Yeah, and that's a god damn shame it is. :smallfrown:

Aran Banks
2010-09-09, 01:24 AM
...I can't tell if that was being sarcastic or not. Rogues' sneak attacks apply to more creatures in PF. Its hit dice also increased by a step and its 'special ability' was changed to talents and get them more often and far earlier and a capstone ability.

It was a joke. I was planning on using caps and stuff, but I am le tired.

Power Attack definitely got worse, though, and scaling doesn't it help it very much....

Tyndmyr
2010-09-09, 08:13 AM
PF Rogues aren't bad, but they are more "alternative melee class" than skillmonkey. The condensed skills and preferred class bonuses mean relatively little need for a dedicated skillmonkey.

I'm apathetic about that change, but I could see it bothering some people.

Starbuck_II
2010-09-09, 08:21 AM
...I can't tell if that was being sarcastic or not. Rogues' sneak attacks apply to more creatures in PF. Its hit dice also increased by a step and its 'special ability' was changed to talents and get them more often and far earlier and a capstone ability.

There are less ways to qualify for sneak attack, splash weapons can't add sneak attack anymore, etc.

So it was nerfed, but if you Sneak attack qualify there are less immunities.

WarKitty
2010-09-09, 08:52 AM
PF Rogues aren't bad, but they are more "alternative melee class" than skillmonkey. The condensed skills and preferred class bonuses mean relatively little need for a dedicated skillmonkey.

I'm apathetic about that change, but I could see it bothering some people.

I kind of like it actually. One of my friends (new to role-playing) was building a character. He said he wanted a fighter that could jump and tumble through spaces to attack people. The PF rogue is quite good at the "sneaky backstabbing fighter" as opposed to the "swing the sword hard" fighter.