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  1. - Top - End - #331
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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by LordBlades View Post
    Human sorcerer can get +1 spell known/level, right?
    Please, remind me, what does that have to do with a comparison between half-orcs? It seems that I have to remind you that no one here is saying that in PF half-orc is better then human. We are saying that half-orc has more fluff options, because his not penalized when taking an unusual class like Sorc, Pally or Wizard.

  2. - Top - End - #332
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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Helldog View Post
    Please, remind me, what does that have to do with a comparison between half-orcs? It seems that I have to remind you that no one here is saying that in PF half-orc is better then human. We are saying that half-orc has more fluff options, because his not penalized when taking an unusual class like Sorc, Pally or Wizard.
    PF sets the bar higher, and half orc hasn't improved enough, so he falls short by a larger margin. Which means he still gets penalized, except it's not as obvious, because his absolute modifiers are no longer negative.

    If the average for a given thing is 0, and you select a -2, you're penalizing yourself. If the average is 5 and you select a 2, you're penalizing yourself even more, even if 2 looks so nice, shiny and positive compared to -2.

    If the other party members are playing usual race/class combinations, building on racial strengths, your unusual half-orc is falling further behind in PF.
    Last edited by LordBlades; 2011-12-10 at 04:59 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #333
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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by LordBlades View Post
    PF sets the bar higher, and half orc hasn't improved enough, so he falls short by a larger margin. Which means he still gets penalized, except it's not as obvious, because his absolute modifiers are no longer negative.

    If the average for a given thing is 0, and you select a -2, you're penalizing yourself. If the average is 5 and you select a 2, you're penalizing yourself even more, even if 2 looks so nice, shiny and positive compared to -2.

    If the other party members are playing usual race/class combinations, building on racial strengths, your unusual half-orc is falling further behind in PF.
    Sorry, but I don't buy whatever you are trying to sell to me. As I already stated, we aren't claiming that the half-orc is some super-duper option. There are better. Just like Tyndmyr, you are refuting an argument THAT'S NOT THERE. The real argument is that the PF half-orc isn't penalized for picking an unusual class, unlike in 3.5. Your alleged stealth penalties do not interest me in the slightest.

  4. - Top - End - #334
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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Helldog View Post
    Sorry, but I don't buy whatever you are trying to sell to me. As I already stated, we aren't claiming that the half-orc is some super-duper option. There are better. Just like Tyndmyr, you are refuting an argument THAT'S NOT THERE. The real argument is that the PF half-orc isn't penalized for picking an unusual class, unlike in 3.5. Your alleged stealth penalties do not interest me in the slightest.
    Yes he is being penalized. When the good races for a given class get some really cool things for being that class (like the human sorcerer extra spells known) not getting any is being penalized.

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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    Ugh. This isn't going to go anywhere.


    Is choosing -2 over +0 a penalty? Yes, by any definition.

    Is choosing +2 over +5 a penalty? Depends on your perspective. LordBlades (and I) say yes, Helldog disagrees.


    Since the issue is one of definition rather than clarity or logic, further debate on this point is futile. Let's turn instead to the root question here...


    Does Pathfinder, as a whole, allow for a greater variety of characters than 3.5? That seems to be what we're getting at with this whole thing, with Half-Orc Whatever being a stand-in for various options that PF opens up.

    'll grant that it's much easier to make a viable Half-Orc Wizard in PF, but it's not clear from that one example that the system in general is more versatile. By way of counterpoint, 3.5 has 172 base (LA+0) races, 72 base classes (not counting the scores of variants), and Pelor knows how many PrCs. I would argue that the greater depth of options makes 3.5 more versatile to anyone with access to those lists, which are freely available on various forums or even Wikipedia. If you have a concept, 3.5 is almost guaranteed to have a way of making it work. Some are easier to make effective than others, but decent gear choices make just about anything playable, so even those with mediocre op-fu or book-fu can still play their unusual selections if they want to.
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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofzeal View Post
    3.5 has 172 base (LA+0) races, 72 base classes (not counting the scores of variants), and Pelor knows how many PrCs.
    This. Even if we discount most of those as being bad or dumb or boring, 3.5's range of awesome, cool, and fun character options dwarfs Pathfinders. Core-only Pathfinder may be better & funner then Core-only 3.5; but there's still nothing in pathfinder that compares with the fun and playability of beguiler or warblade or binder.
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  7. - Top - End - #337
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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    and yet choosing human wizard is the only combination that isn't being penalized

  8. - Top - End - #338
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khantin View Post
    and yet choosing human wizard is the only combination that isn't being penalized
    Personally, I'm partial to Dwarven Wizards (+con, bonus to saves vs spells) and Halfling Wizards (especially for Ray specialists or at low level when +2 AC is relevant). Then there's Gnome for a bit of both, or Grey Elf for +2 Int. And that's just in Core. All have advantages and reasons to choose them over Human depending on the build. I'd use Human for a metamagic specialist since they're more feat-heavy, Dwarf for a crafter since it's so iconic and works pretty well, Halfling for a Ray specialist as I mentioned, and Grey Elf for a more iconic Wizard. Heck, I might even get talked into Full Orc for a Gish, even though I probably wouldn't use Wizard as the base for that. Finally, I'd have to check the wording, but Half Elf might allow entry into Elven Generalist without that sucky -2 Con, which would make it a potentially valid option too.

    Really, Half-Orc is the worst choice there, but mostly just because it's overshadowed by Human on the one side and Full-Orc on the other. If we take Full Orc instead, the +4 str could fit into a Gish build somewhere. If you're not relying on save DCs and going for buff/BC/utility instead, a Wizard can get by with a 14 starting Int. They'll have to invest in it a bit getting up through the mid levels, but that's not too hard. And if you're actually using Strength, then +4 to an important stat can easily be worth -2 to another important stat and two useless stats.

    But in PF? No reason to play a Half-Orc when you could be playing a Human. In 3.5, at least they were stronger, and that could be useful on some degenerate builds. But in PF, they never have a stat advantage over Human in any area, and generally suffer in any other type of comparisons for these builds we're talking about.
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  9. - Top - End - #339
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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Khantin View Post
    and yet choosing human wizard is the only combination that isn't being penalized
    Sure, there were tiers. But those same tiers are still there in pathfinder. They didn't fix the problems with spellcasting, they just nerfed a handful of individual broken spells, leaving plenty behind.

    What switching to pathfinder does is cut off access to most of the T3 classes - the ones that were the most balanced and most enjoyable in 3e, since those classes tended to be from later expansions, built on years of learning from and improving what came before. Caster archetypes like beguiler and dread necromancer that took the edge off with limited spell /ability lists, while adding a ton of fun thematic flavor. Warrior archetypes like the duskblade and warblade, and crusader that ramped up the power into the 'worth existing' territory, while moving the combat options out of the 'I full attack ... again' ghetto. Just fun, weird stuff like binders and factotums and totemists.

    Pathfinder's still stuck with fighters and wizards, and they didn't change nearly enough to bring them into the same range. The Summoner is a cool, fun, and interesting class that occupies that sweet spot of fun and effective but not game shattering, but there's really nothing else there right now.
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  10. - Top - End - #340
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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Khantin View Post
    and yet choosing human wizard is the only combination that isn't being penalized
    I prefer silverbrow human or dragonborn gray elf or neraph for gishes. Access to Practical Metamagic or outsider type are just awesome

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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    SonOfZeal, it is a great joy to see that your Kung-Fu remains undiminished in this, the twilight of an age. May the Great Wheel be kind to you, planeswalker.
    Last edited by Doc Roc; 2011-12-10 at 10:23 AM.
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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofzeal View Post
    Incidently, PF turns Half-Orc from the worst race for Wizards into one of the best. Elves get +2 int, but a Con penalty sucks for mages. Really, the choice is between Half-Elves, Half-Orcs, and Humans from an optimization point of view. And I'm not sure how comfortable I am with that. I'm all for a wider variety of possible characters, but it's a little troubling to see Half-Orcs excelling at Wizardry over Elves, Halflings, Dwarves, and Gnomes.
    And honestly, of those, human is still the clear winner. Exact same stats as half orc, a bonus feat, and extra skills, and an alternate favored class benefit. So, that's straight win over half orc.

    Over elf, they get no con penalty, a feat and a skill(both have afc).

    Regardless of which you compare them against, the human is the clear winner. I suppose an obscure build that depends greatly on use of a school power might wish to make use of the elven afc...but it's honestly not that great generally. The human afc is at least of use in low magic campaigns where spell access is tightly limited.
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  13. - Top - End - #343
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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    Just chiming in with a few comments;

    1. If you use New Variant Magic Rules[From Ultimate Magic, Specifically Words of Power] then you'll find that the gap between Mundane and Magic is much smaller.
    2. Also, and this might just be a publicity thing, but Paizo[Specifically, James Jacobs] has stated a desire to make a new book that fixes high level play, and adds in Epic Levels
    3. Also, you can backport just about anything from 3.5 very easily. For example, in my games I've removed fighter, and altered every mundane class so that they are initiators or meldshapers. This has done wonders for balance, and coupled with adding Warblade to replace Fighter, I find that the game has very little balance problems.
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  14. - Top - End - #344
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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofzeal View Post
    Does Pathfinder, as a whole, allow for a greater variety of characters than 3.5? That seems to be what we're getting at with this whole thing, with Half-Orc Whatever being a stand-in for various options that PF opens up.

    'll grant that it's much easier to make a viable Half-Orc Wizard in PF, but it's not clear from that one example that the system in general is more versatile. By way of counterpoint, 3.5 has 172 base (LA+0) races, 72 base classes (not counting the scores of variants), and Pelor knows how many PrCs. I would argue that the greater depth of options makes 3.5 more versatile to anyone with access to those lists, which are freely available on various forums or even Wikipedia. If you have a concept, 3.5 is almost guaranteed to have a way of making it work. Some are easier to make effective than others, but decent gear choices make just about anything playable, so even those with mediocre op-fu or book-fu can still play their unusual selections if they want to.
    The problem with your statement here is that it's ignoring some facts.

    I will concede the absurd number of LA+0 races, though Pathfinder has around 20 or so between all their books.

    But as for classes?

    There are 46 Paizo-created Prestige classes listed on the SRD, which looks to be up to date. "Oh, that's less!" you say. Well, keep in mind the philosophy is different with Paizo's prestige classes. Many of them are markers of membership in some organization, rather than just "slightly better at spitting rocks" like in 3.5.

    Instead, a lot of the customization we used Pr.C.s for in 3.5 has been taken up by Class Archetypes.
    Yeah, you know. Those things where your class's special powers and abilities are partially or fully swapped around. Let's list how many archetypes, including the "base" version", each class has (these numbers won't include free-floating abilities that they might still pick up no matter what; these are instead purely set tradeouts of ability).

    Alchemist: 14
    Barbarian: 18
    Bard: 21
    Cavalier: 9
    Cleric: 14 (lumping some of the alternate domain stuff in as a class path; there's a LOT of domains and subdomains now)
    Druid: 31 (multiple variations on the "shaman" theme, but each is it's own path)
    Fighter: 27
    Gunslinger: 5
    Inquisitor: 12
    Magus: 10
    Monk: 20
    Oracle: 8
    Paladin: 15
    Ranger: 18
    Rogue: 23
    Sorcerer: 6
    Summoner: 6
    Witch: 7
    Wizard: 8

    So that's 19 Base classes, but a total of 272 variations on those classes. And that's not counting the various individual abilities that Barbarians, Rogues and some others pick from pools of choice, the Bloodlines of Sorcerers, specialties of Wizard, domains of Clerics, and so on. Many of the special archetypes still let you pick from these further specialties or pools of abilities.

    Plus, if you look through the various archetypes, you'll see ones clearly inspired by a lot of the 3.5 PrC's, which, let's be honest, could be pretty lame, and often hyper-focused. Now you get the special stuff and a base class's abilities!

    Don't believe my math? Check for yourself. I may have miscounted, and some things I guess maybe could have been lumped together, but at the most conservative, I'd still say it's 19 Classes with 200+ Archetypes, and 46 Prestige Classes. Certainly puts it in the same stadium at least, where the argument isn't over who has the bigger list of classes, but instead the quality of the classes, or things like that.

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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    By that kind of math we have 68,880 classes in core. I brought you some herp for your derp.
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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    By that kind of math we have 68,880 classes in core. I brought you some herp for your derp.


    I thought my post was pretty clear. Each of those 19 classes has a number of specialized "sub-classes" that often fulfill the functions 3.5 PrCs filled. For instance, the Rogue has the Acrobat, Pirate, and Spy archetypes (just as examples).

    I'm not talking about 3 different feats here. These archetypes swap out some or all of a class's core abilities that are unique to the class in favor of another, more specialized set.

    For example. Fighter. The basic version has a series of abilities called Weapon and Armor training, that give you bonuses with selected weapons, make it easier to use armor, etc. Nothing fancy, but pretty handy.
    The Archer archetype takes all of that out, but makes you really freaking good with the bow. You get special bonuses to hit and damage, your range slowly climbs up, you can fire while in melee without provoking, you can do ranged Trip and the like...and you still get every bonus feat and regular feat slot! You've still got all that room for customization too!

    I thought it was pretty clear I wasn't multiplying the 19 and the 272 together, that instead it was an example of how Paizo handles the desire for variety of character.

    The classes with the fewest archetypes are also the ones with the narrowest focus when they start off. And even then, the archetypes offer visible differences in how you play the class, which is my whole point.

    An Archer Fighter and a Two-Weapon Warrior Fighter do no play the same way at all. They aren't two totally different classes, but I'd say it does feel like the difference between 2 Prestige Classes based on a Fighter.

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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    We have 42 tracks of seven abilities each. This is our "compositional metaphor" and is in a sense more fundamental to Legend than classes are. A particular shaman build just picks three. 42p3 no replacement. Now, sure, only about 25000 are distinct and viable, i'd guess.


    Looks like you've triggered my Trap Card!
    Last edited by Doc Roc; 2011-12-10 at 12:23 PM.
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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    We have 42 tracks. A particular shaman build just picks three. 42p3 mo replacement. Now, sure, only about 25000 are distinct and viable, i'd guess.


    Looks like you've triggered my Trap Card!
    ...What?
    No, seriously, you've lost me now. Could you please actually explain how you're going about this math, without rudely using words like "herp" or throwing out random references to "cards"? Is that so much to ask when I have been trying to lay out a thoughtful post that goes over the number of options present in this system versus that system?

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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by KnightDisciple View Post
    ...What?
    No, seriously, you've lost me now. Could you please actually explain how you're going about this math, without rudely using words like "herp" or throwing out random references to "cards"? Is that so much to ask when I have been trying to lay out a thoughtful post that goes over the number of options present in this system versus that system?
    Sure! Each class in legend is made of 3 tracks of seven abilities each. These can be swapped around, and the total pool size is 42. A Shaman can simply pick his three or four tracks. So it's 42 pick three, no replacement. Combinatorics!
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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by KnightDisciple View Post
    ...What?
    No, seriously, you've lost me now. Could you please actually explain how you're going about this math, without rudely using words like "herp" or throwing out random references to "cards"? Is that so much to ask when I have been trying to lay out a thoughtful post that goes over the number of options present in this system versus that system?
    Basically, he's saying that if you're going to count these sorts of track combinations as classes(despite being just variants of a class), then Legend crushes Pathfinder into absolute dust.

    I will also point out that class variants are...fairly common in 3.5 as well. The possible combinations of classes, alternate features and PrCs are effectively infinite from any practical standpoint. Pathfinder can't possibly win this, or end up anywhere close.
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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Sure! Each class in legend is made of 3 tracks of seven abilities each. These can be swapped around, and the total pool size is 42. A Shaman can simply pick his three or four tracks. So it's 42 pick three, no replacement. Combinatorics!
    ....Are we even talking about the same game? Are you talking about League of Legends? Why?

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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    Basically, he's saying that if you're going to count these sorts of track combinations as classes(despite being just variants of a class), then Legend crushes Pathfinder into absolute dust.

    I will also point out that class variants are...fairly common in 3.5 as well. The possible combinations of classes, alternate features and PrCs are effectively infinite from any practical standpoint. Pathfinder can't possibly win this, or end up anywhere close.
    They're not "track combinations". They're alternate versions of each class. They don't suddenly mix together Rogue and Fighter. It takes Rogue, and lets you make it a Spy. Or a Pirate.

    I mean, I've taken to understand this was a core part of their game design philosophy. Instead of a billion and one "prestige classes" that were really just "what other minor specialization can we pad a book out with", they tried to focus it in, and made a lot of the specializations part of the classes themselves. They're 1-20 paths, not 2-level dips.

    And frankly, I'm not convinced the horrific glut of PrCs in 3.5 was a good thing. Pathfinder is flawed, but this is one area I think it definitely improves.

    But yeah, I guess I can concede it doesn't have the exact same number of possible combinations of "1 level of this, 2 levels of that, 1 here, 3 there" and such that 3.5 had. Whoopee. You aren't encouraged to cherry-pick 1-2 levels of half the classes in a book. Again, why is this bad? After a certain point, what real, tangible differences were those classes adding to the game?

    Besides, Pathfinder's not churning out books at the same rate, and hasn't been out as long as 3.5. Of course it won't have the same breadth of material.


    ...Oh Lord save me, I'm a Pathfinder apologist.

    EDIT: As for "class variations being common", not to the same extent. The completes had a few, and PHB2 had several. But by and large, 3.5 churned out extra base and prestige classes. Which also left some classes, like the warlock, twisting in the wind with nothing, while wizards always got new spells in every freaking book ever.
    Last edited by KnightDisciple; 2011-12-10 at 12:34 PM.

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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by KnightDisciple View Post
    ....Are we even talking about the same game? Are you talking about League of Legends? Why?
    It's been brought up before in this thread as a PF alternate.

    However, let me counter your alternate class feature with 3.5s ACFs...if you're going to count each domain option and each shaman track as individuals, I get to count things like each variant of domain wizard for 3.5

    So, barbs alone have 36 variants. Note that I am counting all of lines of substitution levels as only one option.

    Wizards? 51. I didn't bother to count each domain wizard seperately after all, because this took a minute to count up as is.

    Oh, and then we have racial substitution levels too...yeah, there's a fair amount of those. I'm not going to bother to count them since 3.5 is already winning so hard. Nor chaining ACFs. Plus, I probably missed a few.

    3.5 still crushes PF in variety.
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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    It's been brought up before in this thread as a PF alternate.

    However, let me counter your alternate class feature with 3.5s ACFs...if you're going to count each domain option and each shaman track as individuals, I get to count things like each variant of domain wizard for 3.5

    So, barbs alone have 36 variants. Note that I am counting all of lines of substitution levels as only one option.

    Wizards? 51. I didn't bother to count each domain wizard seperately after all, because this took a minute to count up as is.

    Oh, and then we have racial substitution levels too...yeah, there's a fair amount of those. I'm not going to bother to count them since 3.5 is already winning so hard. Nor chaining ACFs. Plus, I probably missed a few.

    3.5 still crushes PF in variety.
    Actually, I only counted the individual shaman styles from PF druid. Stuff like alternate domains counted for 1 option. All the barbarian stuff I counted was actual feature substitution and such.

    But yes, fine, in "variety", 3.5 "crushes" Pathfinder.

    But Pathfinder packs all the stuff I was listing into 4 or 5 books. 3.5 needs, what, 2 dozen? There's something to be said for that, at least.

    Beyond that, it ultimately comes down to whether someone prefers the idea of spending a long time figuring out the exact 1-20 progression required to fit in 2 base classes and 4 prestige classes to get that extra +5 on your to-hit or whatnot, or if (like me) you prefer the variety that you do have to be more along the lines of "swap out some of the mechanics of a single class, and take that class from level 1 to level 20".

    So maybe that's why I'm sticking up for PF; it makes it much easier for guys like me to pick a class and stick with it, and still get a fairly unique build, rather than having to pick and choose a multitude of classes from multiple books.

  25. - Top - End - #355
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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    Legend is one book, weighing in at less than 200 pages. That said, I know what it is like to love a game. I understand your preferences even if I find them categorically distasteful.

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    Last edited by Doc Roc; 2011-12-10 at 01:18 PM.
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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Legend is one book, weighing in at less than 200 pages. That said, I know what it is like to love a game. I understand your preferences even if I find them categorically distasteful.
    I've literally never heard of Legend before now.

    And it's less that I "love" Pathfinder, as it is that I find I enjoy it in basically every way better than I enjoy 3.5.

    The fact that they buffed my beloved Paladin (the concept being the loved part, not the "crunch") was a big thing for me.

    Personally, there are other systems I like even more. Mutants and Masterminds 2e comes to mind.

    But, my current live gaming group all love Pathfinder. So, I go with a system that I think is "okay" and hope one day we can get a break and play a campaign of something else.

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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    Welllll, it's only two weeks old. But we have outsold the Dresden Files RPG.
    Last edited by Doc Roc; 2011-12-10 at 01:27 PM.
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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    Well of course there are more character options in 3.5 than in pathfinder, after who knows how many books for 3.5 compared to pathfinders, what 4? 5?
    isn't that kinda a silly argument?
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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by vegetalss4 View Post
    Well of course there are more character options in 3.5 than in pathfinder, after who knows how many books for 3.5 compared to pathfinders, what 4? 5?
    isn't that kinda a silly argument?
    Well yes, you would rather expect the system with more books to have more options.

    That said, PF books average a lot thicker. Their core book is basically DMG + PHB, and is priced appropriately. And they do have ten books already.

    So, while they are still solidly behind 3.5 in overall books and options, they ARE publishing a fair quantity of things.
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    Default Re: Should I get Pathfinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    We have 42 tracks of seven abilities each. This is our "compositional metaphor" and is in a sense more fundamental to Legend than classes are. A particular shaman build just picks three. 42p3 no replacement. Now, sure, only about 25000 are distinct and viable, i'd guess.


    Looks like you've triggered my Trap Card!
    Okay, but now factor in the total amount of combinations if you include multiclassing in 3.5/PF. You may need to use scientific notation.

    Of course, multiclassing is so much more consice in Legend (which looks really cool, and I'm hoping to play some time, by the way), but I don't really think that's a fair comparison.

    Unless that was your point to disprove a similar point, in which case I think I just confused myself, and don't know what the original point was.

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