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Preferred edition?

original  [SLOG! SLOG! SLOG! SLOG!]
2nd [new classes, races, lore and legal issues]
3rd [Abort/Retry?]
3.5 [proper patch]
Pathfinder
4e [totally not tabletop WoW]
5e [streamlined]/[I want my immunities and floating modifiers back!]

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Author Topic: D&D Pathfinder  (Read 24995 times)

hedgie

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Re: D&D Pathfinder
« Reply #200 on: 19 Jul 2020, 10:13 »

Essentially, it's a cleaned-up 3.5ed system.  It's more complicated than 5e, but it does have so many options available for players that I think it's worth it.
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Torlek

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Re: D&D Pathfinder
« Reply #201 on: 19 Jul 2020, 13:23 »

I always say Pathfinder v1 is basically D&D 3.75 (from what I've heard, Pathfinder v2 is basically 5e). The hit dice for the squishier classes are bumped up a tier, some of the mechanics are cleaned up but it also feels like there's more options available and there's feats for EVERYTHING.
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hedgie

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Re: D&D Pathfinder
« Reply #202 on: 19 Jul 2020, 13:42 »

Absolutely, and you get feats more rapidly than in 3.5e, and monsters are scaled up as well, so it tends to be a pretty high-power game.  A GM can use 3.x modules just fine, but they should adjust the difficulty of encounters to compensate for the higher power-level of PCs.  Overall, it's internally well-balanced, but there are some combinations that are just too obscenely powerful, and may require a GM errata/house rule.  (For example, the spell "Named Bullet" is vague enough that my witch using that in conjunction with the party gunslinger helped lead to an older dragon being dead before half the party could react.  It got nerfed right after).
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Gyrre

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Re: D&D Pathfinder
« Reply #203 on: 26 Jul 2020, 09:31 »

I stil haven't played Pathfinder myself, but I really ought to at some point.

Arkin, my arcana cleric, finally took the arcanist's advice to try to teleport home and rally some assistance in fighting off the end of the world. The 5th layer is quite cold and he was quite ill-prepared for it. We nearly lost one of the party members to some heat sapping starfish things. Arkin successfully teleported back to his hometown and got hit by level 5 exhaustion[1], but passed his con save to not start hallucinating wildly. Unfortunately, it wasn't high enough to not start bleeding internally[2]. The damage was enough to knock him below zero but not kill him outright. Thankfully, I rolled probably the most timely nat20 ever on my first deathsave. After being brought to a healer by an NPC name Susej Shumboddi[3], Arkin was reunited with his fiancee and decided 'screw it, I'm staying here'. He still relayed his story to the city's leaders and appropriate forces were mustered[4].
My replacement character being amongst them. I honestly forgot the whole 'you have to pick a different class' houserule when I started making Rasputin Bluefire. So, he's an oath of glory paladin wthat I originally designed as a death cleric. I still like the idea of a grey-skinned blue flamed fire genasi, so I stuck with it. Arkin handed off all of his artifacts to Rasputin since he opted to retire to teaching and finally got married.[5]

[1] Curse of the Abyss inflicts increasing levels of exhaustion when a creature not born of it ascends 20ft or more while in it.
[2] Apparently, that includes teleporting out of an abyss and jumping up that many layers so quickly prompted the internal bleeding save and damage roll. After the level 5 exhaustion hits and halves his HP, of course. TL;DR custom bullshit homebrew.
[3] A joke because the DM had some random, nameless NPC shout "Jesus! Somebody get him to a healer quick!" I couldn't help myself and asked if their was a townie named 'Jesus'. The DM said his name was 'Susej', and a player chimed in with 'Susej Shumboddi'.
[4] Probably his first truly selfish action, but also pretty understandable all said and told regarding what he's been through. The guy is just tired at this point and needs to take care of himself for a change. Plus it took just over two weeks to fully recover from his ordeal.
[5] A cloak of teleportation, a gravity cannon, and the plot crucial conversation cube.
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Gyrre

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Re: D&D Pathfinder
« Reply #204 on: 06 Oct 2020, 09:40 »

Been awhile. Two updates;

Thank God the Made in Abyss knockoff/homebrew/homage is done and the group voted for Monster Hunter homebrew campaign for that DM's next turn instead of his almost all RP continuation that dives mback into his clusterfuck campaign plot.

Two, The City on the Borderlands game wrapped recently despite flying off the rails. I multiclassed 4 levels into abjuration wizard since Bug needed more spellslots to spelljam pilot. Turns out he's damn good at it, too. I didn't roll anything below an 18 for checks on it over the course of 4 sessions. We successfully evacuted the nearby towns into our city, defeated the dracolitch by effectively bankrupting the bank and becoming the new owners thanks to time travel shenanigans (think Fry becoming rich in Futurama) and buying the bank. Bug also lucked out and successfully obtained a universal translator microfish. And we successfully got 4 spell jamming thrones for the city (on a payment plan), plus recoverying and repairing a small helm from an ithilid ship for a shuttlecraft.

Luxheim (Luxheimez?) Is now a city flying through the asteal sea.

We were also told to keep our character sheets in case we ever return to this setting and play high level. The DM agreed that Bug would likely become the cityship's intelligence when he died, so here's hoping that doesn't happen in-session.
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a real-ass gaddam sword
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"Broken swords and dragon bones scattered on the way back home."

Too stubborn to die, just like the rest of my family.

de_la_Nae

Re: D&D Pathfinder
« Reply #205 on: 14 Oct 2020, 17:33 »

okay, i didn't read this whole thread but just looking at the poll i see someone has to come in here and help you dorks

ahem

*cracks knuckles*

4TH EDITION WAS PRETTY MUCH THE BEST BECAUSE FOR MOST PARTIES COMBAT IS THE MAIN MECHANICAL INTERACTION AND COMBAT IN PRIOR EDITIONS WAS MISERABLE AND THE SPELL SYSTEMS WERE A NIGHTMARE AND HONESTLY MAKING EVERYONE WIZARDS WAS THE RIGHT MOVE

3rd edition was my first, i've played 3, 3.5, 4, 5, and pathfinder 1, and it's not that you can't enjoy all of those, but 4 was the least miserable of the set in a lot of very important ways

de_la_Nae

Re: D&D Pathfinder
« Reply #206 on: 14 Oct 2020, 17:37 »

i will allow that if you had an unimaginative GM i can see how 4th might *maybe* make non-combat a little more irritating, but you're already screwed if you have an unimaginative GM anyway

oddtail

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Re: D&D Pathfinder
« Reply #207 on: 15 Oct 2020, 01:56 »

i will allow that if you had an unimaginative GM i can see how 4th might *maybe* make non-combat a little more irritating, but you're already screwed if you have an unimaginative GM anyway

I strongly disagree with that logic. That's like saying absolute monarchy is good, because if you have a cruel king, you're screwed anyway.

Don't pick apart this analogy too hard. It's imperfect. The point is - RPG are a game. Games have rules, and certain rules incentivise a certain kind of play. Saying that an imaginative GM fixes that is admitting that the rules by themselves do not do the job.

Or to put it another way - why have any rules, including combat rules? An imaginative GM can run a combat scenario without a single rule, surely.

What's that? Players take enjoyment from combat encounters *because* they're a meaningful interaction with the game's rules that the players and their characters' statistics have a measurable impact on, not just a made-up scenario that's meant to be entertaining?

Yes, I agree. Some players look at every game interaction in this way. D&D may be extraordinarily focused on combat, but it's been a game about exploration and discovery literally since its inception. Why apply a different logic to combat rules and non-combat rules? Why not say "eh, if the combat rules are bad, you just have an unimaginative GM"?

I don't even think 4E is *that* bad. But the argument that it's only combat that matters in D&D mechanics is a fallacious one in my book.

I'll admit to being biased. When tabletop RPG became popular in Poland around mid-1980s, a trend slowly emerged over the years of taking GM's impact on the game as all-powerful. Younger generations of players (including myself) snarkily call this "the Polish school of playing RPG", which includes GMs throwing the intended play (as set by the rules, but also by how the game is written) out of the window in the name of their "vision" whenever they deem it better for the "story". This style of play gives players very little impact on anything that happens at the table. I consider rules to be a tool for a player, not the GM, and the approach "why have rules, when the GM is good" to ultimately lead to, at best, an illusion of agency for players. So I fundamentally disagree that saying "rules are poor, but who cares, the GM will patch things up" is *ever* a good defense.

I like 5E *much* better than, say, 3E in part because the game doesn't feel to me as if it was written to have excuse plots from one dungeon to another, or from one combat encounter to another. It's not just the rules, it's also how the game is written, how proposed adventures are structured, and so on. And I feel I'm plenty imaginative as a GM, and I've ran tabletop RPG for more than 20 years. Again - I don't think it's about GM skill whether a game incentivises a certain kind of play or not. If a certain interaction *is* part of the game and there *are* rules for that part, it should work well. The level of skill of a GM is irrelevant, especially since most new people getting into RPG *will* be starting with D&D, so the game should be ESPECIALLY well-equipped to handle novice GMs.

As to combat... as I said, I don't hate 4E, but the D&D players I've known who do not enjoy the edition are often of the opinion that the interaction with rules during combat in 4E is not as interesting as it might be, especially with regard to player character progression. One person put it this way:

Quote
In D&D 4E, every roll in the game, no matter where you are in the campaign, the level of your character and what is happening, is a "you have 55% chance to succeed" roll. It doesn't matter what you do, because the progression of player characters and opposition is linked so tightly together, levelling up your characters becomes meaningless

I think the person was exaggerating for effect, but I do think it's what criticism of 4E often boils down to. I haven't ran any games in this edition, so I don't know how accurate it is. But it seems to be a common complaint. Whether it's accurate I don't know, but saying the game is just about combat anyway is not a convincing defense of the rules anyway, in my opinion.
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de_la_Nae

Re: D&D Pathfinder
« Reply #208 on: 15 Oct 2020, 03:06 »

that is maybe the first time i've ever heard that criticism of 4e in your quote, so that's cool

i'm not very smart, and it's been a while since i've actually toyed with 4e so i probably shouldn't have started talking shit anyway (but where's the fun in that?), so i don't remember how the rules truly handle non-combat. what i *do* remember is a truly unfortunate stream of GMs who should have been flying on their own wings by that point and using their heads but instead slavishly holding to what seemed like the most banal interpretation of explicit rules as possible, not only sabotaging 4e games with their lack of gumption but also cutting the legs out of their non-combat encounters in 3.5e/pathfinder1, on top of using clunky and irritating-to-track systems that seemed designed as much to encourage aforementioned banality as much as anything.

i might have had a bad stretch of luck that soured me on them.

but when 4e sang, it sang clear and lovely. you knew more or less what you could do at a glance, more or less what was in front of you, and sometimes, *sometimes* it even if everything still tended to boil down to "attack the thing", at least it was quick and interesting since most of the attacks had easy-to-implement frills, like teleports and marks and all that jazz. and the simple joy of the minion system / templating, stepping up the game from 3e to something much cleaner and smoother. combat wasn't taking an hour+ anymore, while also not taking 15 minutes but only one person's turn cuz they had a bunch of weird bullshit in their build that had to be endlessly divined from a chicken's entrails while the rest of the party tunes out on their phones or tv or something.

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Re: D&D Pathfinder
« Reply #209 on: 15 Oct 2020, 03:10 »

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind 4E. It's not for me, but its reputation is *much* worse than it deserves.

I was specifically addressing the "argument from GM", which I think is fallacious.

I personally think 4E is a good enough game, it's just a poor D&D game. If it was published under a different name, people would not mind it as much. I think the backlash to it was a case of the game being too different and not meeting pre-existing expectations.

And I mean, 5E steered HARD back into the franchise's tropes, for good and for ill.
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Torlek

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Re: D&D Pathfinder
« Reply #210 on: 15 Oct 2020, 09:38 »

I've never played it, but everything I saw about 4e made it seem like a game sequel that took a deep, turn based, isometric CRPG with all kinds of mechanics that could be leveraged in different ways (so Baldur's Gate and its ilk) and turned it into a much more streamlined, real time, third-person action RPG. There's nothing wrong with that and it can be an amazing game, it's just not what the fans playing the previous game were there for.

It sounds like your problems all stem from the eternal question of RPG players, "what do you do with a shitty GM?" I've had some that slavishly adhered to the rules, demanded that every interaction be tied to a skill roll and never had enough story out of combat to make the trips from dungeon to dungeon interesting (though they did still have some extremely interesting combat scenarios, so it wasn't all bad). Thankfully, my current ones have enough backstory going on that there's always something interesting to do out of combat and (most of) the skill rolls feel natural. We've even had a couple of sessions that wouldn't have had any combat if the GM hadn't sprang their surprise encounter (and said encounter actually felt like an imposition). I very much like finding the weird little intricacies in a deep system with complex rules for almost everything, but I can totally see where a bad GM would completely sour you on the labyrinthine mechanics in 3.5/Pathfinder.
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hedgie

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Re: D&D Pathfinder
« Reply #211 on: 15 Oct 2020, 23:15 »

Hmm.  Given that I don't feel comfortable running in person sessions for, probably a year if we're lucky, and I hate shit like Zoom for something like gaming, I think that instead of sulking, it's time for me to start fleshing out the lore more completely.  When I started, I had rough outlines of various groups in power in various areas, as well as roles in larger plotlines.  While most of the PCs were from fairly close to the city they landed in, or, in case of the Nazi elf,[1] had a professional reason to be in the area.  There's also enough that I can steal from pre-existing fantasy settings to make that job easier.

The harder two areas to work people in from, that have at least some present representation in the current, and likely future parties if I have to do any sort of plot reset with a new group, are the "barbarians" from the known West,[2] and their rather symbiotic relationship with the well, very theocratic human empire that is their only real outside contact aside from what are basically Reavers to their north, and the western desert which is one of those places on a map marked "here be things that eat dragons".

[1] Okay, maybe that's a little unfair.  The Shadow Elves *are* at least strongly fascistic theocrats, though.

[2] Human, orc, and intermixed.  For basic survival, intermarriage to seal personal and family alliances is common enough, even if not the norm
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"The highest treason in the USA is to say Americans are not loved, no matter where they are, no matter what they are doing there." -- Vonnegut
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