D&D 5th Edition vs. Pathfinder

Discussion in 'Dungeons & Dragons' started by Dr Zaius, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. Dr Zaius

    Dr Zaius Chief Defender of the Faith Staff Member Administrator Moderator

    So with the latest update of D&D to the 5th Edition, how does it compare to Pathfinder? I heard 5th Edition was more or less going to be a return to the mechanics of 3rd Edition.
  2. Gunner Scott

    Gunner Scott Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    5E is basically 3E with a bit of 4E mashed together. A very streamlined combat system thats fairly quick. There are some things I did not like and will rule zero on them, advantages and disadvantages are ok, but as the DM you might have to seriously be tough on who gets them and how. The Art work for 5E was pretty bad through out the book with a few exceptions. The worst art work has to be the half orc paladin, looks like he wants to take a dump, the klingon tiefling and the wairdly drawn halfling.

    In my Greyhawk campaign, there are no tieflings, Dragon born or half orc paladins, paladins have to be LG and human. No new age crap in my games.

  3. Dr Zaius

    Dr Zaius Chief Defender of the Faith Staff Member Administrator Moderator

    Is the art style in 5E similar to that found in 4E? I have to confess I detest that art style, which I consider as having been inspired by World of Warcraft. It's way too cartoonish for me.

    Here's an example of what I'm talking about. These are from 4E



    I much prefer a style similar to this:




  4. Gunner Scott

    Gunner Scott Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2003
    Chicago, IL

    The 5th Edition MM is in hand and its slightly disappointing. The monsters seem weak compared to other editions, After playing a several sessions, I'm just not getting that epic feel for this new edition.

  5. Dr Zaius

    Dr Zaius Chief Defender of the Faith Staff Member Administrator Moderator

    That seems to be a long-term trend with D&D as a whole, and not a good one either. Take a glance back at some of the demon lords and princes of Hell in the old Ad&d books, and you'll see those bad guys were very nearly invincible as written. Their mass charm and beguilement abilities alone allowed them to more or less bend hordes and hordes of lesser creatures (including player characters) to their will, pit them against each other, or just turn them into slaves. And when you add their ability to summon fairly large numbers of powerful demons and devils to their immediate aid (who can in turn summon support of their own), they could basically summon a brigade of high level reinforcements within just a few rounds of play. In truth, they would never have to move a muscle or stoop to using their personal abilities in direct combat, as they had the power to command and summon legions.

    And IMHO, that's how it should be. These are supposed to be the most powerful and most evil baddies in the multiverse. In later editions they were gutted to the point of being nothing more than a particularly potent opponent for high level adventurers. To me, that's not right. They should be a foe truly to be feared. A foe so terrible that mere mortals are filled with unutterable terror at the mere mention of their names.

    It's a similar story with dragons. They went from a gigantic menace that could lay waste to an army on the battlefield to just another monster that lives up in the mountains or whatever.

    Well, not in my world! In my campaigns, true evil and true magic were relatively rare. But when they did show up, beware...
  6. Gunner Scott

    Gunner Scott Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2003
    Chicago, IL

    Totally agree with you here Don, 1st edition was where devil's and demons were true to the historical facts. These were bad guys that you messed with only out of desperation or you had somekind of heavenly leverage.

    The problem nowadays seems to be edition warring, of course I really did not realize I personally was edition warring when I compared 4E to crap in another forum but I was corrected. Still, with five editions of five different systems of D&D out there, its gonna be interesting to see if 5E can bring everybody together. Though I dont think thats gonna be happening, too many people enjoy 3.5 of D&D/ pathfinder, many will give 5E a go, but will find it to be a watered down version of 3.5 I think.

    BTW did you get my PM?

  7. Dr Zaius

    Dr Zaius Chief Defender of the Faith Staff Member Administrator Moderator

    I got your PM.

    I'm not into edition warring, just telling it like I see it from my point of view.

    In truth, I haven't been a part of an actual D&D campaign in many, many years. I still read the material for ideas and inspiration, but less and less as I find the new stuff lacks the impact that the old stuff had.

    I like to have a LOT of freedom to do as I wish as DM or GM, and I find D&D too restrictive and predictable. I had a lot of fun with MERP back before the powers that be screwed that up and killed it for everyone, and I read a lot of Call of Cthulhu. I love the writing and the attention to detail in the Warhammer 40K RPG, but that system is kind of a mess. I also love reading the Eclipse Phase material, as it is some of the most innovative stuff out there. But it's one of those systems where playing isn't too bad, but creating a character takes three hours.

    In secret, off and on again, I have been working on my own little RPG system. :sneak: It would be the kind the thing that would be distributed via RPGnow or something like that...if I ever get around to finishing it. The system itself would be very simple and straightforward, something that could be learned in an hour. And the setting would be brutal, dark, and a bizarre mixture of fantasy, horror, and sci-fi. I'm still working on the details, but don't know if I'll ever actually finish it. But it's a lot of fun playing around with it on my own.
  8. kawaiku

    kawaiku New Member

    A lot of talk in here about D&D but little comparison to Pathfinder (I have the beginner's box). Anyone have any good comparisons about the two?

    @ The Doctor... Have you looked at Fantasy Flight's new Star Wars system? It's pretty good. Currently 2 of the 3 corebooks are out with the 3rd in testing right now. Later this year they are finally releasing a Hutt Space splatbook so things are going quite swimmingly.
  9. Dr Zaius

    Dr Zaius Chief Defender of the Faith Staff Member Administrator Moderator

    I have some of the Pathfinder books and they are similar to 3rd Edition. In fact, if I remember correctly Pathfinder was a reincarnation of D&D 3rd Ed when WotC had it licensed so that anyone could do that. I believe that was changed with the introduction of 4th Ed.

    A lot of the monsters are the same, or very, very close. Some are the same but have different names due to licensing issues. While still others are wholly new creations of the Pathfinder universe. The backstory for the monsters can be a bit different, though.

    If D&D 5th Ed is an updated version of 3rd Ed, it will be interesting to see what kind of effect that has on Pathfinder. At this point (someone correct me if I'm wrong), I believe Pathfinder has a fairly large and established community, so I don't see that going anywhere.
  10. kawaiku

    kawaiku New Member

    How about gameplay mechanics (especially the combat mechanics)??

    And Pathfinder is quite huge actually. It's books generally take up large sections of most FLGSs iirc.
  11. Gunner Scott

    Gunner Scott Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    5E is basically a toned down version of 3E, but you could conceivably make it like 3E by adding in more skills, feats and upping the AC.

  12. Tclynch99

    Tclynch99 New Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    Yeah, I'm not going to get into edition wars, either. Here is my .02-
    Pathfinder= Wanted to like it, but just got more and more complex as time went on. Seems to draw rules lawyer types instead of role players. Beautiful artwork and they have some darn good adventures. Have tried it multiple times and have given up, though will steal from the setting books/ modules for ideas.
    D&D= The original. Fun but quickly out grew the original books (talking white original here)
    AD&D= The one that I grew up with. Loved it. In it's day was the "go to" game. Very fond memories and some good adventures.
    3.0/ 3.5= Like Pathfinder, found it to be too much trouble to play. Tried to like it, but you need 16,000 different books or you're not really playing the game. Lots of good setting/ modules to steal from.
    4.0 = Who put this MMO in my RPG? Bleech. Not for me, but some enjoy playing with minis to the nth degree. Good artwork. IMHO, D&D had totally lost it's way until...
    5.0= Yes. The game is back. Excellent and best version of D&D sense AD&D. No going back for me. Borrows from Original D&D, AD&D, 3.5 (just a tad) and lots of indy rpgs (Dungeon World for one...love it, btw).

    Now, if Pathfinder (or any other version of D&D) trips your trigger, good for you! Play that baby! Have fun! That's what counts. For me, if I'm playing D&D, it's 5.0 or nothing.
  13. Dr Zaius

    Dr Zaius Chief Defender of the Faith Staff Member Administrator Moderator

    I don't like the art in either 4.0 or 5.0. It's way too cartoonish compared to the AD&D art, which I much preferred.

    And art makes a difference. It sort of helps set the tone IMHO.
  14. ChrisM

    ChrisM Active Member

    Sep 30, 2004
    Mineola, NY
    Really reading the 5e rule set this week - and My God - this game is incredible. Th rid Edition as way too granular and 4E was way to focused on tactical combat (I have ASL to scrath that itch, think you very much) but 5E looks like a great system for story telling and role playing with enough emphasis on game mechanics to be fair. I love what I have seen so far.
  15. greuh

    greuh Active Member

    Aug 2, 2016
    Long time player of D&D, I GM'd all editions (OD&D, D&D, ADsD1, AD&D2, D&D3, 3.5, 4, 5) and hated DD3, DD3.5 because they were unnecessarily complex rules based on an exception-to-rules systems that is unbearable long term. I hated DD4 because it felt mostly like a boardgame. I hated PF because it was DD3.5 on steroids in terms of rules, plus it told me how I had to run a game if I wanted to be part of the "PF players matching system" or whatever. I bought them, played them a few games, sold them back.

    So I continued playing ADD2. And even reverted to Rules Cyclopedia. I don't need to have a fuckton of rules to tell me how to run a game. I also tried various other OSR games and variants. Burning Wheel/Torchbearer was very nice but my group had a hard time to adapt to some concepts that are very different from D&D. Dungeon World was a blast, still.

    When D&D5 came out, I bought it thinking "I'll probably sell it in a few weeks anyway". And it's a blast.
    It's D&D2 with a few good things taken from later editions, without all the useless goo that are prestige classes and feats.
    D&D5 made me sell my Rules Cyclopedia, which I had not thought to be possible.
    Better : there is only ONE book of rules (the PHB), with DMG and MM for the usual triptych. The rest are campaigns and good ones at that.
    Even the starter set is very good : it provides a very nice small campaign for levels 1 to 5.
    Tyranny of Dragons is weak. Many chapters are "repeat previous chapter" : find the cult, infiltrate the cult, get a clue for next cult.
    Curse of Strahd is a very good reimplementation of I6 (better than the DD3 one was).
    Out of the Abyss is excellent (thinly based on Scourge of the Slave Lords). Players wake up as slaves for the drow in the underdark, break out and flee until they find an exit but have to go back because (spoil).
    Princes of Apocalypse is a reimplementation of Temple of Elemental Evil but better, with the temples separated over a region to visit.
    The Storm King one (thinly based on Against The Giants) is the weakest, IMO, with a few things that are over the top (a flying tower with a big wizard hat on top of it - I know it's canon but that is what I dislike in the FR).
    The Volo's Guide is not very interesting.
    The Guide to the Sword Coast has interesting bits in it but is aimed towards new GMs with a lot of very basic info.
    The next book is a reimplementation of old modules. If it's just an update, I'll pass because I've already run them all at least once and don't want to do it again. If it's a real reimplementation (like Strahd), I'll buy it. It's the first book I have not pre-ordered.
    I hope they'll bring back old settings. I'd love Dark Sun, Planescape, Ravenloft and Birthrigt to make a come back... i'm wary, though: the DS version for DD4 sucked...
  16. RRschultze

    RRschultze Active Member

    Sep 14, 2004
    Chester, UK
    I'll stick with 3.5 being playing it for years and invested a fair bit of dosh in it. Bought 4e (3 books in a box) and after having a quick read through didn't float my boat and put it on my bookshelf as a book end. Artwork on 3.5 is excellent.

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