praguepride
 member, 1821 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Fri 21 May 2021
at 21:57
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
My biggest issue with 4E is the complete divorce of mechanics from setting/fluff. You would have an ability called "Shadow Strike" and it would just say something like "deal 6 damage to a character within 2 steps" but there was no explanation of how you got your powers or how they worked.

Yes, a good GM or Player could do a lot of work to figure that out but in practice what I see in combat is people not even using ability names, just calling out "I do 6 damage to this guy, 4 damage to that guy" and it feels less and less like a ROLEplaying game and just another ROLLplaying board game.

4E is like a more complex version of Warhammer Quest or Talisman or something.

THAT BEING SAID it easily has the best combat math/mechanics hands down. It was super balanced and I use 4E materials for encounter design reference all the time.

Some brilliant things that 4E popularized that I see all the time now

- The idea of minions that can deal damage but are scraped easily. I see this used a lot and to my knowledge D&D 4E was the first to really introduce the idea of a 1HP bad guy beyond niche systems.

- Fantastic encounter explanations that describe not just the monsters but also how they act in that encounter, what terrain advantages they have.

- Comprehensive terrain rundown. In their encounters they call out what is what very explicitly and oftentimes have hints at how players can use this or that to their advantage.

- Monster archetypes to let DMs know that this monster is a front line tank or this one is a ranged DPS etc. Again fantastic for helping a DM create a fun and challenging encounter quickly.
gladiusdei
 member, 864 posts
Fri 21 May 2021
at 22:26
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
Exalted had extras, same idea as minions, years before 4th edition.  It just had more if a cinematic viewpoint.

This message was last edited by the user at 22:26, Fri 21 May.

praguepride
 member, 1822 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Sat 22 May 2021
at 03:15
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
True but the power level was on a different scale as you were playing gods among men iirc
gladiusdei
 member, 866 posts
Sat 22 May 2021
at 04:23
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
true, but it is the idea that you'd have big opponents that were real threats to the players, and then groups of smaller opponents that were more there to show off the player's abilities.

so similar ideas, don't really know if one influenced the other.
Ameena
 member, 216 posts
Sat 22 May 2021
at 10:02
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
So...you're saying it's bad that the system doesn't spell out the fluff for all your actions and leaves it to the player/GM to use their imagination and narratively describe how the fireball goes boom, or whatever? And that's...bad?

How much you choose to describe your actions is irrelevant to the system of mechanics being used. I don't want to have to read a big block of text telling me how the big swirly poison cloud issues from my hands and causes all the bad guys to fall about coughing and choking - just tell me what I need to roll and who I'm hitting so the mechanics are out of the way, and then I can do the "they fall about coughing and choking" bit myself :P. And that's just for combat - what with these games being called "RPGs", and all, the game should, you would hope, amount to more than just fighting stuff. And you would hope the rules don't tell you how to roleplay - I mean, what would be the purpose in having some mechanic for how your character talks to someone else's? That's the narrative bit that should be down to the players. I have seen the "Fourth Edition doesn't let you RP" argument and it just...what? That doesn't even make sense. You RP as much as you choose to. The combat mechanics are for combat, and no-one is stopping you ignoring the one-sentence descripton of how a certain power works and adding in your own. I do it all the time :P.
gladiusdei
 member, 867 posts
Sat 22 May 2021
at 12:12
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
so...we've determined that you like 4th and we don't.  And that's fine.
praguepride
 member, 1824 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Sat 22 May 2021
at 16:37
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
My issue is that 4E felt like an mmo and provided zero guidance in marrying game mechanics to anything outside of dice and numbers. There were no non-combat skills, almost no non-combat rules and effectively every class had the same abilities with just a different order of acquisition and different names. The game design is WoW: the tabletop boardgame.

And that is fine. Gloomhaven is like that where abilities and effects just happen and it is fantastic but I am looking at d&d for immersive roleplaying. Some people love 4E but in general it was a huge turnoff for most of its fan base which is why they swung hard the other way ( rules light, rp heavy) for 5e.

However despite the hate it gets i wanted to call out 4E adventures/encounter books are incredibly valuable for a GM library.
Varsovian
 member, 1526 posts
Sat 22 May 2021
at 19:37
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
To bring things back to Pathfinder...

One thing that I noticed and like about D&D 5E are the classes descriptions. Which are a bit more RP-centric than the ones in PF. And I like that they stress that not every person in the world belongs to these classes: not every warrior is a fighter, not every priest is a cleric. It's less obvious in PF, when even low-level NPC priests at temples seem to be written up as spell-swinging clerics...

That said, if you say that there's not much difference between PF 1E and D&D 5E, I'll be probably skipping the latter...
Lord Psynister
 member, 167 posts
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Sat 22 May 2021
at 20:21
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
Comparing PF1 to 5E is two completely different systems. PF1 = 3.5, PF2 = 5E.

The differences are going to be in how your characters are made and played. 5E is very simplified, and your character class/subclass what determines how strong your character is. In PF1/3.5 your class does give you benefits, but it's really your feats, magic items, and other things that give you numerical advantages that determine your character's strength.

5E, in general, has very little in the way of magical items, and characters are not expected to have them at all, much less a certain number of them or value-worth of them at X level. Feats are a variant rule, by default the DM doesn't have to allow feats in the game at all. With 5E you either have training in a skill or you don't, there's no middle ground.

So your big difference is that you lose a lot of customization/crunch in your build with 5E because you don't have books full of feats and magic items to dig through to find that OP build and plan out when you're going to take these feats, how much gold you need to save up to make/buy these certain magic items, and XYZ combination of classes/prestige classes. With no knowledge of 5E at all, you can sit down and make a character that will be perfectly viable at any level. It's very simple, and that's one of the main draws for it. Bounded accuracy makes it so you don't need to focus on all the numbers and constantly optimizing your character, you'll do just fine no matter what you build.

5E monsters are "easier", I think. After the first 4-5 character levels, building challenging encounters for the part is actually a challenge if you just go by the challenge ratings in the book. Because of bounded accuracy, action economy rules the day, so even a CR 8 monster can die to three 3rd level characters. So you have to learn the encounter design for yourself and ignore what the DMG suggests to you or most things will just be cake for your players. Fighting 1 big monster is almost never as challenging as fighting lots of small ones, because it's the number of actions that either side gets to take that really determines how difficult it's going to be. Finding that sweet spot takes time and a lot of practice, some of which will wreck your players.
Ameena
 member, 217 posts
Sun 23 May 2021
at 10:30
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
"No non-combat skills" in Fourth Edition? Huh? There is a skill list like in all the other editions of the game - Stealth, Perception, Bluff, etc. Not to mention stuff like rituals, which are like spells that take longer to cast (eg a minute, an hour) and are for definite out-of-combat uses. Also Utility Powers, which can of course be used in combat but often relate to skill checks and such, for example being able to use one skill in place of another when making a check.

I'm not sure what stuff you think "should" be included? Mechanical, dice-rolly stuff is for when the outcome can pass or fail (eg trying to hit an enemy in combat, trying to pick a lock before the guard arrives). If you're trying to persuade an NPC around to your way of thinking, you don't necessarily need to roll Diplomacy if you're able to RP effectively enough to lay out your argument in a believable way. And when GMing, I probably wouldn't even make someone roll if they were doing something they should logically be good at and there is no time pressure or anything (eg an elven ranger recognising a safe plant to eat when exploring an area of the same kind of forest in which they've spent their whole life).

One thing I have heard about Fifth Editon, meanwhile, is that it's very sort of...samey. Like, you don't really get to many many choices on your character as they level up, you just get a bunch of stuff automatically at certain levels, and of course spells can be swapped in and out and memorised or whatever, so you could have several players of different classes who all know the same spell, because such things are not unique to individual classes. A Wizzy might not be able to learn a Cleric spell, but as far as I know they get all the same ones Warlocks do, for example.
Lord Psynister
 member, 168 posts
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Sun 23 May 2021
at 14:45
Re: Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
Ameena:
One thing I have heard about Fifth Editon, meanwhile, is that it's very sort of...samey. Like, you don't really get to many many choices on your character as they level up, you just get a bunch of stuff automatically at certain levels, and of course spells can be swapped in and out and memorised or whatever, so you could have several players of different classes who all know the same spell, because such things are not unique to individual classes. A Wizzy might not be able to learn a Cleric spell, but as far as I know they get all the same ones Warlocks do, for example.

While there is some cross-over with a lot of spells, every class has spells that are unique to that class, except for Sorcerer. The Sorcerer does, however, have access to spells that the other arcane classes do not, and every class has things that make them function differently than the others.

As for choices, that's mostly true. You aren't leveling into options, you're leveling into set features. Everyone gets subclass options, but that's basically one time at levels 1, 2, or 3 depending on your class. Levels of 4 give you a choice between increasing stats or (if allowed) feats. Barbarians get some amount of choice when leveling. Bards not much. Clerics and druids not at all. Fighters do for many of their subclasses. Paladins and Monks have little-to-none. Rangers can get quite a few depending on subclass. Rogues don't get any. Sorcerers get just a little bit with metamagic options. Warlocks get a lot with invocations they can swap every level and they sort of get two subclasses with the actual subclass and then the choice of pact. Wizards don't get any.
PCO.Spvnky
 member, 477 posts
Sun 23 May 2021
at 17:36
Re: Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
Sorcerer has a couple unique spells, chaos bolt being my favorite combat spell, :).
praguepride
 member, 1825 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Sun 23 May 2021
at 19:24
Re: Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
Ameena:
"No non-combat skills" in Fourth Edition? Huh? There is a skill list like in all the other editions of the game - Stealth, Perception, Bluff, etc. Not to mention stuff like rituals, which are like spells that take longer to cast (eg a minute, an hour) and are for definite out-of-combat uses. Also Utility Powers, which can of course be used in combat but often relate to skill checks and such, for example being able to use one skill in place of another when making a check.


IIRC all those skills have specific combat usage. The reason why they creted rituals was because they didn't want people's spell lists clogged up with non-combat spells. I may be exaggerating a bit but the entire game system was focused on combat encounters and that made it feel, in my opinion, less like a proper pen & paper RPG and more like a board game.
Varsovian
 member, 1527 posts
Mon 24 May 2021
at 06:45
Re: Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
I have another question re: Pathfinder 1E. Is this solely a game about dungeon-crawling and getting loot? Is it necessary that the PCs keep getting better and better gear, artifacts etc.? Or can you drop that, if you don't like the idea of everybody having a magical sword etc.?
Ameena
 member, 218 posts
Mon 24 May 2021
at 11:42
Re: Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
Eh, you can have as little or as much combat as you like  in any game, regardless of system, and bear in mine that DnD was born originally from tabletop wargaming, which is very much based around having a square/hex grid on a table and moving little miniatures around in different ways to get them to kill each other.

And no-one says you can only use your combat abilities in combat. Door being stubborn? No-one says you can't try and blast it down with a Fireball or something. Need to pass a messgae to a friend trapped in a cell? Well, how about attachign a written note to an arrow and firing it in through the bars from an opposite roof? Just because something can be used in combat, doesn't mean it can only be used in combat. The combat rules for any given ability are in place for if you decide to use it in a combat situation, when there are turns and rounds and so on, and you can only do so much in a given amount of time. DnD has always had lots of rules for combat because the assumption is that you will go into a place containing a bunch of bad guys and kill them for their stuff.

But if you want to play DnD and have little-to-no combat, there's no reason why not. Other systems might be better for it but just because you can melt someone's face off with acid or shoot them full of arrows or whatever, doesn't mean you have to ;).
PCO.Spvnky
 member, 478 posts
Mon 24 May 2021
at 11:55
Re: Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
Varsovian:
I have another question re: Pathfinder 1E. Is this solely a game about dungeon-crawling and getting loot? Is it necessary that the PCs keep getting better and better gear, artifacts etc.? Or can you drop that, if you don't like the idea of everybody having a magical sword etc.?


5E is better suited toward this kind of play.
locojedi
 member, 198 posts
Mon 24 May 2021
at 13:04
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
Heroes Against Darkness is a free d20 version that lies somewhere between 3.75 and 4.5 ... It's streamlined and can easily be bolted onto with both PF and DnD extras if so desired with little effort. Just a suggestion as a free option. There are others, but Heroes Against Darkness is one of my favorites that fits in this category with PF and DnD.
NowhereMan
 member, 438 posts
Mon 24 May 2021
at 13:47
Re: Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
Varsovian:
I have another question re: Pathfinder 1E. Is this solely a game about dungeon-crawling and getting loot? Is it necessary that the PCs keep getting better and better gear, artifacts etc.? Or can you drop that, if you don't like the idea of everybody having a magical sword etc.?


Pathfinder, being largely compatible with 3.5, is compatible with a Monte Cook supplement, Iron Heroes, which does precisely that. Literally the first line of the introduction:

"Iron Heroes focuses on action and adventure. Your character’s talents and abilities, rather than his equipment, determine his capabilities."
praguepride
 member, 1826 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Mon 24 May 2021
at 19:44
Re: Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
There are optional rules where you get incremental bonuses just from your level and that is a BIG design parameter in 2E that your level itself is a flat bonus on almost everything you do so equipment isn't quite as important. It reminds me of the old Star Wars saga edition that did the same thing.
Varsovian
 member, 1528 posts
Tue 25 May 2021
at 16:08
Re: Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
Okay, so let's talk PF 2E. How much different is it to PF 1E? What was changed? Are any of the old sourcebooks, bestiaries etc. compatible, or is it a completely separate game?
PCO.Spvnky
 member, 479 posts
Tue 25 May 2021
at 16:29
Re: Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
When I skimmed through PF2E it just looked like they took a bunch of the good ideas from 5E and stole them, lol.  I have been told there are other changes too, but since I really like the 5E system I just stuck with it.
praguepride
 member, 1827 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Tue 25 May 2021
at 19:53
Re: Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
After running 2E for awhile and 1E for a long time here are the rundowns in no particular order

1) Races have been divided up into "heritages" which allows you to half-breed just about anything. Want a tiefling elf or an aasimar orc or a half-whatever? Easy peasy.

Your "species" is now built on three parts: A race (ancestry as they call it), a heritage (this is along the lines of some of the old racial abilities/alternate abilities) and ancestry feats that you get periodically (a combination of old racial abilities plus some old "race specific" feats).

2) No more point buy or dice rolling for character creation (unless you want to). Instead you pick a combination of Background + Race + Class and that provides you with opportunities for stat bumps. It makes figuring out your abilities super easy and helps direct new players "hey, it says fighters should get a +2 to STR or CON, those are probably important to that class)

3) Magic is divided into 4 categories: Arcane, Divine, Primal (think Druids), and Occult (catchall for Witches and Bards etc.). No more class specific spells lists, every class just points at one of those 4 categories.

4) Level is VERY important as it provides pretty much a flat bonus to everything. Skills, saving throws, to-hit etc.  This means that even a non-optimized higher level character is going to inherently be better at combat than a lower level one. This is a big difference between D&D 5E because 5E very much limits accuracy so even low level characters can hit and damage high level characters but in 2E once you get past level+4 the monsters will just trounce you even with action economy.

5) 3-ACTION SYSTEM - probably the most important one but I put it here. You get 3 actions a turn. You can attack 3 times, move 3 times, open and shut a door and then open it again. No more "action types". It is either an action or a reaction. Multiple attacks do take progressive penalties (-5 to 2nd attack, -10 to 3rd+ attack) so it encourages you to do other things then just stand there and swing your sword. Spells typically cost anywhere from 1-3 actions to cast and some are "chargeable" so magic missile for example produces 1 missile per action used allowing a lot of flexibility for casters. Typically spells are usually 2-actions to cast but the old "full round" stuff can be 3-action casts.

6) Trait System - everything, and I mean everything, has a "tag" associated to it. So a Stride action that allows you to move has the [Move] tag associated to it. As does picking up a dropped weapon which interacts with things like AoO which says "when an opponent takes a move action, you can react and attack". This trait system really cleans up the rules because you can divorce an action from the effect so you don't have to have a ton of custom rules for every single thing. You can just say "Vampires do Bleed 1 Drain 1 damage" and you can find out exactly what that means and also understand exactly what interacts with that effect.

7) Gold has been reduced by about 1/10th PF level. It's not a direct 1:1 but pretty much drop a '0' from Pathfinder 1E to 2E. I think this is just to make gold pieces a bit more special at lower levels and to ordinary peasants.

8) Archetypes are now built into classes so when you pick up a class you may have areas of interest that you can go down via selecting class options and class feats. Instead of them just giving you class abilities and then having 1,000 archetypes take them away again, instead every couple of levels you can pick from a list of things related to that class to add. It is like the old Rogue talents but for every class now.

9) Multiclassing is super easy. Instead of picking a class feat you can instead pick up a "wizard" class feat and bam, now you can cast 0-level cantrips. Then next class feat you can pick it again and now you have access to 1st level spells etc. etc. Your main class is now what you are start to finish but you can "dip" a bit. Unlike 1E classes are not front loaded so it requires a real commitment if you want to multiclass. No more min/max builds that have 1 level dips in 10 classes.

10) Perception is now an inherent part of the character and not a "skill" per se. It just is a nod about how this was the key trump stat in every edition prior so they just removed it from the typical "skill choice" list and it is now built into your race or class.

11) Magical weapons now have runes on them. Some just add to your to-hit while others add dice to damage so while a regular sword might only do 1d8 a +4 sword now does 5d8 damage. This is a huge boost to non-spellcasters as this plus better to-hits and multi-attacks lets them keep up with spellcaster damage output (even if they can't necessarily match the versatility). What is also neat is now different materials have different "rune limits" so to speak so the limit on your weapon enchantments isn't just how much gold you have but also what materials do you have to build that sword out of. Armor now bumps both AC and saving throws.

12) Feats as a whole are split into Race Feats, Class Feats, Skill Feats and General feats and they flavor them throughout the level so pretty much every level up you pick something. At level X you get a general feat, next level you get a skill feat, next level you get a class feat so it helps smooth the curve and makes it so every level up is interesting in some way.

13) HP isn't rolled, you automatically get max HP. Starting HP adds a bonus amount based on your heritage so orcs start beefier than halflings. It's small but nice.

14) CRITS...this is what I should have mentioned earlier. In addition to the natural 1 and natural 20s, if you exceed a roll by +10 then it is a crit and if you fail by -10 then it is a crit fail. A LOT of stuff now has explicit info on what happens if you crit. So for example if you crit fail a reflex save the fireball does double damage but if you crit pass it it deals zero damage. A lot of the old "save or suck" stuff is put into the crit failure section so while failing a save might give you some temporary problems a crit fail is BAD. For example a Disarm action inflicts a -2 on their next attack roll with the weapon but if they crit fail then they are disarmed and lose the weapon.

15) Poisons & Afflictions are more like the unchained rules. Poisons and diseases now have different stages so if you fail the first or second roll it might not be full effect but if you fail a bunch in a row poisons get really deadly really fast. It is a nice balance between poisons being stupid and poisons being too dangerous. Also poison no longer deals attribute damage but instead is just straight up HP damage now.

I'm sure there is more but that is a random rundown off the top of my head.

This message was last edited by the user at 19:54, Tue 25 May.

Zag24
 supporter, 694 posts
Tue 25 May 2021
at 21:20
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
I'm playing in praguepride's Pathfinder 2 game, so I have a vested interest in sucking up.  That said, I do think he gave a pretty great summary.

I'm playing a sorcerer, and I'm not seeing the flexibility that he speaks of.  Admittedly, I hadn't understood the implications of the action rules when I picked my spells, so I don't have Magic Missile on my list.  (I plan to rectify that at my next opportunity.)  It's the only one I've seen with such flexibility.

However, the game does include some nice new flexibility w.r.t. metamagic effects, which praguepride didn't mention.  Rather than forcing you to use up a higher level slot for the modified version of a spell, they have metamagic modifiers that you cast separately.  I currently have a "Reach Spell" metamagic feat that I took at second level.  To use it, I have to use my first action (of the three actions you get per turn) to invoke the Reach Spell feat, and then I cast my spell normally with the second and third actions.  It means that I can extend the reach of any of the spells where range matters (since they are almost all two-action spells), but if I do so, I can't move that round, which is what I normally would want to do with my third action.  So the added range does have an opportunity cost, but it's not prohibitive.

The other thing that they change w.r.t. Pathfinder 1 is that damage spells do not change with caster level.  Instead, you can 'enhance' a spell by making it use up a higher level slot (though there are some restrictions that are, IMHO, silly), and otherwise a spell does what it does.  This avoids the problem that we used to see, where magic users' effectiveness rose with the cube of their level, causing them to become godlike at high levels.  (They got more spells x they got access to better spells x the spells themselves improved = cubed effect.  All other classes only improved with the square or worse of their level.  Exponents always win in the long run.)  The save DC does improve with the caster's level, but their opponents' saves also improve, so it's just staying even.

This message was last edited by the user at 22:08, Tue 25 May.

praguepride
 member, 1828 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Tue 25 May 2021
at 21:32
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
D&D/PF has long had the issue of linear fighter vs. quadratic wizard. So far I think with the big bumps in high-end weapon damage (I believe they lifted this from Starfinder as they experimented with having high dice weapons) and 3-action economy allowing 3 attacks vs. 1 spell and they might have solved it. We shall see...

edit: For versatility the Heal spell springs to mind. 1 action = basic targeted heal. 2 actions = a boosted heal that basically adds a max die to your heal. 3 actions = AoE healing effect.

This message was last edited by the user at 21:33, Tue 25 May.

Zag24
 supporter, 695 posts
Tue 25 May 2021
at 21:53
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
The 3 attacks vs. 1 spell has exacerbated the problem at low levels.  I feel like my sorcerer's damage output is significantly below that of the fighters.  Sure, they realistically can only get in 2 attacks, since the penalties mean that their third is extremely unlikely to hit.  But a caster can't even make a weak attempt at a second attack.  My one AoE spell is, I find, too restrictive -- I have to be in melee range to use it and it does too little damage per opponent to really be worth it.  However, there are better choices which I could have made, had I been better informed at the start.

As praguepride of course knows, but I'll include here for balanced presentation:  My lack of damage output is somewhat balanced by my non-damaging spells.  I recently was successful with a Charm spell against a moderately tough enemy, so I don't really have any reason to complain.  I acknowledge that the game does seem pretty well balanced, and many of the things I would change are a result of choices I made when I was barely getting started in the system, where there were some better choices.