Varsovian
 member, 1525 posts
Thu 20 May 2021
at 15:34
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
What it says on the tin :)

I have a metric ton of PF 1E books. Is there any point in buying D&D 5E? How does current D&D rate against PF? What are the differences? Is current D&D even good - I've heard D&D 4E was quite controversial?

What do you guys say?
Ameena
 member, 214 posts
Thu 20 May 2021
at 16:28
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
Personally I favour Fourth Edition, as I like that it's not to complicated, everyone gets to do cool stuff, and by all accounts it's the most balanced of editions. From what I've heard/seen of Fifth Edition, it's apparently very simple for new players to get into (something which, weirdly, is treated like a good thing despite the abuse Fourth Edition got for apparently "dumbing down"...?!), and has changed some stuff back to being like pre-Fourth Edition stuff. Some Fourth Edition stuff has been kept but basically changed around/renamed, while other suff has been removed entirely (eg Shifting, known in previous editions as the "Five-Foot Step"). Many people praise Fifth Edition for being so good for new players, while others dislike how restrictive/limiting it is, as well as bringing back the imbalance between martial classes and spellcasting ones - got a problem? Bring a Wizard! The Fighter can just stand there and go "I hit it" every now and then in order to feel useful. At least, that's how it comes across to me - haven't played or run it but have watched a lot of livestreams and also seen accounts from people who've got bored of it or whatever.

But whether or not it's "good" is, as with all such things, a matter of opinion. Everyone who plays DnD no doubt has their preferred edition, whichever one that may be. And whenever they make a Sixth Edition, I'm sure there will be people who love that too, whatever it ends up being like ;).
gladiusdei
 member, 855 posts
Thu 20 May 2021
at 16:35
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
I played a lot of 2nd, 3rd, and 3.5.  I didn't have a group to play with much anymore when 4th came out, but I read up on it and looked into it.  To me, it felt too much like they were turning D&D into an MMORPG.  It felt like each class was basically tank, dps, support, heals.  That's it.  It took a lot of the variety and depth out.

Now, people who played it may think differently, but that's how it felt to me.  It seemed overly simplified across the board, and abilities largely worked almost like video game cool downs instead of the older slot systems.

5th seems like an attempt to balance 3.5 and 4th.  I don't have any experience with it, so I can't speak to how successful that attempt was.

I do agree with Ameena on the fact that each edition is going to have fans because each has different strengths and weaknesses.  Heck, I would never play 2nd again because of how much better I felt 3 and 3.5 was, but there are plenty of people who still love 2nd.
Sir Swindle
 member, 318 posts
Thu 20 May 2021
at 16:39
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
No. If you have a group that will play PF with you there is no compelling reason to switch to 5th.

Still maybe "buy" the setting conversion books if you like Ravnica or some of the other MtG settings.

The Iron Kingdoms book is barely compatible with 5th so scraping to content to use ina PF homebrew would work if you like that setting.
Shannara
 moderator, 3882 posts
 When in doubt,
 frolic!
Thu 20 May 2021
at 16:49
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
I've come to like 5E better than I did Pathfinder 1E.

The mechanics are a bit simpler and I like the archetypes to shape characters with less of a reliance on feats.  Combat seems more streamlined and easier to manage both as a GM and a player.

I may reluctantly admit that I like 5E best of all the editions.  I was a diehard AD&D fan, but 1E was crap for bards and I hated Psionics.  2E gave the bard a better shake, but ultimately got too unwieldy with kits and the like.  3.5E ... I liked it, but there was too much, often complicated by Errata that came out within days of whatever was released.  I despised 4E.

So here I am at 5th.  I suspect that it may be my last edition, and when I can no longer find people who play one of the earlier editions, I will be done.  :-)

So, I guess my basic advice is ... if you want to play with people playing D&D 5E, then it's worth buying the books.  It's a decent system if you like D&D/Pathfinder in general -- but if you're playing all you want with Pathfinder 1E, there's not enough of a monumental difference to switch.
nauthiz
 subscriber, 719 posts
Thu 20 May 2021
at 22:52
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
If you're into Pathfinder, the main reason to invest in D&D 5th edition is if you're joining a group that mainly plays D&D 5th edition, or looking to do so.

Alternatively, if you are trying to get people into the hobby, 5th edition is a pretty streamlined way of doing it.  In my experience it's a little more "user friendly" than Pathfinder, especially for new role players.  There's simpler systems out there that are even more new player friendly, but more people have a vague idea of what "D&D" is and some of the tropes and other particulars.
praguepride
 member, 1817 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Thu 20 May 2021
at 23:54
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
Mechanically the games are built on d20 but the underlying math systems are different. You can use books as an inspiration and conversion is easy enough but you probably cannot just drop stuff from one system to the other seemlessly.

PF 1E inherits a lot of garbage from 3.5 and does its best to patch it but there is a lot of needless complexity and broken mechanics. Everyone raves about their 3.5 or PF splat books without realizing that 90% of player options are broken, cripplingly underpowered, or unsupported. 1E is easily the most complex system mainly because a bunch of their rules have to be explained across multiple FAQs/dev twitter/old 3.5 books.

5E is a rules lite system. It rips out a lot of the crud with a simple yet elegant advantage/disadvantage system and streamlines characters to focus on that 10% of stuff that actually works. It is hard to build a broken character and the system allows a wide range of threats to be considered so hitting CR+5 is feasible.

People like 5E because it is fast and light and dislike it because they think it is too simple.
Greymist
 member, 15 posts
Fri 21 May 2021
at 00:10
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
I've been playing D&D for over forty years. On RPOL I am playing in Basic/Lbyrinth Lord, 1E/OSRIC, 2E, and 5E games. In real life, the only games I have on the go are 5E.

Similar to Shannara, I consider myself a 1E/2E-hybrid grognard; but I think I prefer 5E! There are definitely some points I don't like, and I am just at the point of considering trying some house rules in the game I DM.

I played 3E for a few years, and I liked it a LOT, initially, using the three core books. Once the supplements started flowing from WOTC And third-party publishers, the sheen was quickly tarnished for me.

If you like PF, which I believe is built on 3.5E, then go for it! There is no point in changing just to change. But if you are stuck without a game and 5E is available, I strongly recommend that you give it a try...and you probably won't need to buy any books to start!
PCO.Spvnky
 member, 473 posts
Fri 21 May 2021
at 03:12
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
I have played every version of D&D (except 4th) and PF1, 5e is by far my favorite system in that genre.
praguepride
 member, 1818 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Fri 21 May 2021
at 13:52
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
Not that anybody asked but Pathfinder 2E > D&D 5E > Pathfinder 1E

The rules have a lot of depth and complexity but the system was designed with a wiki in mind so combined with the Archives of Nethys website to quickly hyperlink between powers and abilities the system is fantastically easy to use. It definitely has some flaws but the idea is they provided a very stable foundation to expand upon by using statuses and effects like lego bricks so you don't get these weird "globbed on" feel for anything beyond core.
Piestar
 member, 896 posts
 once upon a time...
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Fri 21 May 2021
at 14:01
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
It is very different from Pathfinder 1E, and while I had some fun with PF, I like the changes they made.

It might have something to do with the people I played with, but Pathfinder was very much about build. The people I  played with prided themselves on being able to 'break' the game by combining things just right.

While 5E does have options, they are much more under control. For example feats are few and far between.

For me the biggest drawback to 5E is that even first level characters are pretty powerful, and the game doesn't really have a way to play the kind of low level gamer I enjoy. That said, the power level is very popular with the masses.

They are both good at what they set out to do, but they do set out to do different things.

The number one reason to buy into 5E these days to me is that there are a lot of groups out there. The best system out there isn't worth much if you cant find a group you like to play it with.
praguepride
 member, 1819 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Fri 21 May 2021
at 15:41
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
I've found as long as you have ONE person that knows the rules getting a new group into PF 2E isn't too hard if they are familiar with PF 1E or D&D 5E. The issue is that if you don't have someone who knows the rules pretty well (or knows when you need to look stuff up) there is a lot that will be missed.

I might also be biased because I exclusively play 2E online where it is super easy to look stuff up and link it in threads to help players understand rules. I can imagine flipping through books would be a pain if you don't spend $$$ for the GM cheat sheets/screens.
drewalt
 subscriber, 118 posts
Fri 21 May 2021
at 16:38
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
Pathfinder 1E is DnD 3.75, imho it's the best version of that ruleset anyone's come up with. That is not to say it fixes the problems of that ruleset, just that it does as much as anyone could reasonably do to tweak that ruleset to "feel good" without changing its inherent nature, so all of its warts and shortcomings are still there just with some of the sharpest bits filed.

I like PF1E for the record, collect it, etc.  So far it's my favorite system in this vein and when the Great Edition Wars finally start I will be in the Pathfinder army.

DnD 5E is a good system, but that's because it's 2nd Edition DnD brought up to modern standards of clarity and quality and 2nd Edition was a good game.  However it lacks the charm and variety of 2E (Rules Cyclopedia, Player's Option, etc.) and the nostalgia, but if you're not 10,000 years old like me you don't care about nostalgia.

I do like 5E and I understand if you're younger this is the version of the game you know. I have the PHB because it's so common, but I am not interested in running games in this system or anything like that.  It's more like if I know someone who I think runs good games runs a 5E game I won't let the system keep me from playing.

Part of me does wonder if you like that old school feel why not just get Swords and Wizardry or something, which is basically a smoothed over, refined 1E.  Well, maybe it's closer to AD&D.

I think 5E is a better game if you want something accessible that people can play that has enough complexity to satisfy people who really want to dig into the mechanics.  I mostly like PF1E better because it's got more ways to tweak and vary things and a lot of the material as far as adventure paths and the like published in the system are ones I really like.  It may be I'm just used to it and I'm old and crusty and can't keep up with the kids.

I mostly just feel like I have another 20 years of material to explore with PF1E, maybe after that I'll go to 5E like everyone else (except 20 years behind while everyone else plays fourteenth edition).

Edit:  Couple of grammar fixes but it's still a mess of course

This message was last edited by the user at 16:41, Fri 21 May.

PCO.Spvnky
 member, 474 posts
Fri 21 May 2021
at 17:22
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
In reply to drewalt (msg # 13):

Feel the need to point out that I am 47 and have played D&D since basic, lol.  I love 5e. :)
Ameena
 member, 215 posts
Fri 21 May 2021
at 19:49
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
Urgh...okay so the "Waah they turned it into an MMORPG" thing is one I've seen fairly often when it comes to Fourth Edition. But think about it - most MMORPGs (and plenty of other games) are, at their heart, based on DnD. Back when DnD first started, it was like playing an ARPG like Diablo or something - Go to town, find important NPC, get quest, find dungeon, enter dungeon, kill monsters, get to bottom of dungeon, kill boss, get loot and exp, return to town, hand in quest, sell up, etc, go to next town, repeat. As I understand it, there wasn't so much "proper" RP back then, it was more a case of "Okay so we're doing X dungeon today, which character are you gonna bring?".

Fourth Edition just gave names to the roles the classes filled - Defender, Striker, Leader, Controller. But I mean, even in the early days, you had a Cleric for heals, you had a Fighter to tank or whatever, and a Wizzy to do, like, everything because Wizzies were OP. People wouldn't go into a dungeon with five Rogues - you'd need a bit of everything so you could deal with any likely problems that might need dealing with, be they traps, combat, whatever. Fourth Edition did not "turn it into an MMORPG", it just maybe made it more obvious that the two have similarities. Because they do. Because DnD was created and then when computer games/tech/the Internet got good enough, computer game devs were able to basically make computerised-DnD-but-it's-not-called-that-because-copyright where you could log on to a server and group up with your friends, go to a town, find a quest, enter a dungeon, kill the monsters, get the loot, go back to town, sell it...
gladiusdei
 member, 860 posts
Fri 21 May 2021
at 19:54
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
I didn't really go waah.  I just said it felt too much like one.  I prefer games with more story to the crunch, less mechanical actions.  I tried 4th edition, and it just really felt like I would rather be playing it on a computer.  Doesn't mean it's bad, just was my impression, and why I didn't enjoy it.

This message had punctuation tweaked by the user at 20:23, Fri 21 May.

gladiusdei
 member, 861 posts
Fri 21 May 2021
at 19:58
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
I guess I can clarify.  I really enjoyed 3.5 because of the depth of character creation, the numerous choices, and the wide variety of feats and prestige classes.  It allowed for much more variety and uniqueness to characters, even as broken as it could be.

4th edition felt like it eliminated it all so much that everyone was just a standard sprite for a role, not a rounded character.  I'm sure that can be overcome with good players and a good DM, but the system really cut a lot of what I enjoyed about the game out of it.  I don't play D&D to be an effective healer, or a good tank.  I play D&D to get immersed in a story with an interesting character.  And it felt like that was made far more difficult in 4th edition.
PCO.Spvnky
 member, 475 posts
Fri 21 May 2021
at 21:30
Pathfinder 1E vs D&D 5E
I looked at 4th edition and said to myself "Nah, I don't like playing GURPS." because that is the feel it gave me, generic.  From what I have seen from reviews and other players who have tried it is that it is generally considered the worst D&D edition.  Some people like it and that's great for them but WotC completely changed direction with 5e for a reason.

BTW Varsovian if you want a feel for 5e with out having to shovel out for books there is a fan based 5e starwars game that is pretty spectacular, :).  All the books are free online.
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.