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...
 ...there was a little pie
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.