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Thread: Dungeons and Dragons is dead long live Pathfinder!

  1. #21

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    Okay, so when I was in the joint I had to get my MMORPG fix any way I could.. which meant cutting off the MMO part. About 2-3 guys had the 3.5 core books and when we heard about 4th we all kinda went on book buying spree and got almost all the extra books however we could. ("Why's the Psyonic handbook made of copied pages? "SHH!") And through all the expanded books they kept updating the rules retroactively, with immediate actions and the polymorph subschool and whatnot.. Also, it was just dang near CONFUSING when 2 different books have a spell with the exact same name and different abilities ("Camouflage" either gave you +10 hide or 30% miss chance depending on the book).

    We tried playing 4th... from just the core rulebook. Yep, no MM.. I had to make up NPCs and fudge my way through some monsters. I could see what they were doing, trying to spread the wealth with special abilities, but the whole thing felt like it was a computer game on paper... and not in any kind of good way. Whereas the computer would do all the cooldowns and whatnot in WoW, you have to keep track of daily, combat, and other esoteric abilities. Plus some things were just plain silly, like using your INT for reflex saves. So a decrepit old man with a beard and flowing robe can effectively dodge a fireball because he's smart.. WTH?

    So, when one of the guys told me about Paizo (For whom I wrote a SENMM article for way back when if you'll remember) making a "3.75" D&D system, I asked my Dad to see how much it'd be to get the book.. Two weeks later I'm the owner of a 5 lb book with a Wayne Reynolds red dragon attacking a fighter and sorceress on the cover! For about a month. my roomies had to listen to me go "Wow! that's new!" or "Whew, they fixed that!" Right off the bat, I could tell all my gripes with 3.5 were fixed. Some of the major point I like:
    -Combat Maneuvers: Before, you almost had to look up all the rules if you wanted to bull rush/ overrun/ grapple someone. And since it was a basic ability check, a halfling had a chance of tripping a golem if he rolled a 20 and the construct rolled a 1. The new system also allows for other things to be added later, like in Advanced Player's Dirty trick, drag and reposition maneuvers.
    -Everyone gets something! Before, on some characters it was like all you got was extra HP or another extra spell slot on certain levels. Especially on clerics! It's like: "Here's your domains, here's your turn undead ability that doesn't really work since all undead your CR have more HD than you. That's all you get!" Now, everyone gets something when they level up, be it a new ability, extra uses of old ones, a feat, or even just the option of +1 hp or skill.
    -Expanded Customization: With all the options available, no two people playing the same race/class will be playing the same character. A Necromancer and an Illusionist play very differently, and one may have a bonded item, while the other chose a familiar (Which I never really saw the point of.. but our DM's like killing companions/ familiars..) My only slight gripe with this from a DM point of view is some of the benefits of classes are already inherent in monsters that would fit that class's option. For example, in making a Half- Dragon sorcerer, it'd be obvious to choose the Draconic bloodline, right? But then, why? They already get claws, a breath weapon, and flight. You'd have to tweak it to give them more uses per day of an ability, an increased flight speed, etc...
    Smarter Item Configuration: After a while with the campaigns, everyone would have a belt of giant strength, gloves of dex, periapt of health, and your choice of mental enhancement item.. even if you didn't need it, it was just to increase you effectiveness. And gods forbid you're a sorcerer that wanted to increase you CHA AND Resistances. So now there's not competing slots and if you want an item to give you two or three enhancements, you can- it'll cost you, though.

    My only major reoccurring gripe with Pathfinder (Actually, more like with Paizo): the not so subtle way they get you to give them your money. I was a green DM and wanted to run a pre-built campaign before I tried to make up my ow again, as my basis of WoW's "Go over here. Do this." hook wasn't really engaging. So, I subscribed to the Adventure path Serpent's Skull... Which, for a while was okay, but towards the middle they started using NPCs with class levels from the Advanced Player's guide.. so I got that. Then towards the end, they used Bestiary 2 monsters, and I said heck, no I'm not getting that. The campaign broke up mostly because it came down to hack n' slash which got boring for all of us... Plus I admit, I was a bit controlling and not taking the others into account.

    Overall, I like the direction Paizo's gone with it and look forward to some of their non-rpg products set in the background, like the comic books or novels.

  2. #22

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    Pathfinder is alright, but even as a Green DM, I've found that you need to DM fiat some monster stats if someone in your party knows both the system and the math to work it over.
    Not a bad thing in and of itself, but something you need to consider (and players need to be willing to accept the DM fiat too boot).

  3. #23

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    Not to resurrect a dead conversation with this, but you should check out the Penny Arcade / Wizard's Celebrity DnD game videos, Chrispy. Not because they prove you wrong, but they actually prove you right. They're also pretty entertaining on their own.

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