4e vs. Pathfinder Main topic: No Dagger vs Fullblade Discussion Please

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I posted the 4e vs Pathfinder thread, and gave up reading on page 20 when it became obvious that the thread had somehow converted to an argument on weapons and damage.

Without anyone ranting against the other editions can I get some inputs on problems found IN GAME with 4e and Pathfinder? What that means is I don't want anyone ranting about projected problems, I want actual problems that have cropped up while playing the game. Please, no ranting on why one edition sucks and the other is so much better 
Pathfinder is a pain to DM. It requires way too much prep time. It is also not very balanced.

For the most part, I really like D&D 4e.

Pathfinder is only a pain to DM because its not as compatable with 3.5 as it claims to be. So the DM has to do all the 3.5 DM work, plus a pile of "now convert it to pathfinder" work.


4e is very easy to DM, and great for new groups who want something easy to pick up and run with. If you have played other RPGs, pathfinder shouldn't be too hard.


Problems with 4e



  • Skill challenges don't work

  • Constant errata make it hard to keep up with current rules

  • A lot of people complain of "Sameness"between characters, I don't really see it.


Problems with Pathfinder



  • Pain to DM because 3.5 was a pain to DM, plus you have to do conversion stuff

  • Doesn't actually fix any problems from 3.5, so there is literally no reason to use it over 3.5, which works just as good.


Nice things for 4e



  • All classes are balanced, for the most part. 

  • Easy to DM. 

  • Online tools made it easy to make a character. (I have not seen the newest batch, so I can't speak for them)

  • Simple to play.


Nice things from pathfinder



  • The art


At the end of the day, I will play a 4e campaign, but not a pathfinder.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"                                                  "I'd recommend no one listed to Krusk's opinions about what games to play"

Pathfinder is retouched 3.X.  While it brought about some of the egregious design flaws of 3.X, and sought to rebalance the system, it still falls prey to the same basic issues.

Casters are, after a period of relative helplessness, far more versatile and powerful than non casters.  They are not as powerful as 3.X casters, and non-casters are more versatile than their 3.X counterparts, but there is still a huge disparity.

Beyond that, the level of customization that is inherent to the system allows for more permutations and combinations than any designer could reasonably keep track of when designing new content or rules.  A player with a mind to do so could easily create a character who could curb-stomp an at-level challenge, non-casters and casters alike.  Casters, due to their extreme potential, can achieve this level of power by accident, stumbling into effectiveness.  Non-Casters require system mastery to achieve this.  Casters with system mastery achieve god-like power rather easily.  This further highlights the gap between casters and non-casters.

Either way, the DM is left to carefully construct adventures that can challenge casters without destroying non-casters, while simultaneously engaging non-casters without having casters trivialize the challenge or the non-casters themselves.

Compare to 4e, where the disparity is far less pronounced, the point where it is nearly invisible, and adventures can be a simple as "plug and play".

4e is, without a doubt, far easier to plan, organize, and run than PF.  At the very least, the time saved on customizing monsters (are far easier task in 4e than in PF) is time spent working on story, motivation, and other concerns.

From a player perspective, 4e can feel limiting compared to the wealth of options that PF provides, although I find that in the end, 4e provides more worthwhile options than PF.  Because of the system mastery built into 3.X, there are some deliberately bad choices in PF, which renders the the available effective choices a much smaller pool.

Pathfinder does offer a very fleshed out campaign setting, and it does make more concessions to simulationism.  If that sort of thing floats yer boat, then go for it.  I'd recommend dropping by the Paizo forums and asking their opinion.  Also try RPG.net and ENWorld.
Essentials zigged, when I wanted to continue zagging. Roll dice, not cars.

I'll try to keep this simple, as someone who plays and enjoys both flavours of D&D


4e


Pros


  • Really good at what it does and its style of game (heroic high fantasy)

  • Very well balanced

  • Easy to DM, easy prep time

  • Easy to reflavour and refluff

  • Excellent online tools (cost extra)

  • Regular brand new material

  • Encourages teamwork

  • Easy to learn

  • Skill challenges adds mechanical framework for social and out-of-combat encounters

  • New books readily available in stores


Cons


  • Long combats with grind 

  • Hard to threaten high-level PCs

  • "Everything is Core" means an overabundance of player options

  • Regular errata changes rules and possibly invalidates books

  • Skill challenges still a work in progress and easy to do poorly

  • System less adept at other play styles / genres (low magic, low power, low fantasy)

  • Characters all roughly the same complexity (until Essentials)


Pathfinder


Pros


  • Wealth of material available

  • Material and options easier to limit

  • Rules available online for free

  • Fewer new books and content released

  • Fewer updates and changes to rules

  • System more flexible to alternate styles of play

  • Strong and devoted fan community

  • Used books tend to be cheaper


Cons


  • Less balanced rules

  • Higher risk of fatalities

  • More potential for broken characters

  • Potential for combat grind

  • Harder to learn

  • Less available in stores

  • No easy-to-use e-tools



There are other considerations, such as if you're running a pre-written module or not. It's easier and faster to convert 3.5 to Pathfinder than 3.5 to 4e, but much, much more work to convert a 4e adventure to Pathfinder. Converting 1e-2e can be as much work for either, depending on your resources and the time you to spend. 

Really, when alls said and done, the deciding factor will be what do the players want to play? And what books they have. 

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The compilation of my Worldbuilding blog series is now available: 

Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuilding.

Personally, I think skill challenges are working fairly well post the Essentials updates to the mechanic... at least, they have been working pretty well in the games I have played.
I dislike skill challenges. They're complicated enough to slow down gameplay and defeat RP ONLY immersion, but not complicated enough to be a gameplay experience in their own right (as combat is).
I think skill challenges are a worthy addition to the game that can be amazing when handled by a good DM, but are easy to mess up and thus get a bad rep with people who've seen them gone wrong.  Luckily, if you don't like them, it's very easy to not include them.
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
Knights of W.T.F.- Silver Spur Winner
4enclave, a place where 4e fans can talk 4e in peace.
Removed by author for not being entirely relevant to the comparison, and just creating the possibility of another dagger vs. fullblade discussion. 
Let's keep it civil and remember we're talking about a game we all love, and debating the merits of rocky road versus cherry garcia. 

5 Minute WorkdayMy Webcomic Updated Tue & Thur

The compilation of my Worldbuilding blog series is now available: 

Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuilding.

I think skill challenges are a worthy addition to the game that can be amazing when handled by a good DM, but are easy to mess up and thus get a bad rep with people who've seen them gone wrong.  Luckily, if you don't like them, it's very easy to not include them.


Exactly. 
They're the game equivalent of Chekov's gun. They're there so you think you have to use them and find situations to cram them into the story. 

5 Minute WorkdayMy Webcomic Updated Tue & Thur

The compilation of my Worldbuilding blog series is now available: 

Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuilding.


I'll try to keep this simple, as someone who plays and enjoys both flavours of D&D


4e


Pros


  • Really good at what it does and its style of game (heroic high fantasy)

  • Very well balanced

  • Easy to DM, easy prep time

  • Easy to reflavour and refluff

  • Excellent online tools (cost extra)

  • Regular brand new material

  • Encourages teamwork

  • Easy to learn

  • Skill challenges adds mechanical framework for social and out-of-combat encounters

  • New books readily available in stores


Cons


  • Long combats with grind 

  • Hard to threaten high-level PCs

  • "Everything is Core" means an overabundance of player options

  • Regular errata changes rules and possibly invalidates books

  • Skill challenges still a work in progress and easy to do poorly

  • System less adept at other play styles / genres (low magic, low power, low fantasy)

  • Characters all roughly the same complexity (until Essentials)


Pathfinder


Pros


  • Wealth of material available

  • Material and options easier to limit

  • Rules available online for free

  • Fewer new books and content released

  • Fewer updates and changes to rules

  • System more flexible to alternate styles of play

  • Strong and devoted fan community

  • Used books tend to be cheaper


Cons


  • Less balanced rules

  • Higher risk of fatalities

  • More potential for broken characters

  • Potential for combat grind

  • Harder to learn

  • Less available in stores

  • No easy-to-use e-tools



There are other considerations, such as if you're running a pre-written module or not. It's easier and faster to convert 3.5 to Pathfinder than 3.5 to 4e, but much, much more work to convert a 4e adventure to Pathfinder. Converting 1e-2e can be as much work for either, depending on your resources and the time you to spend. 

Really, when alls said and done, the deciding factor will be what do the players want to play? And what books they have. 
I have been DMing 4E since it came out, and I DMed 3E for 7 years before that, now I am on to Pathfinder. 

I totally agree with this up right up until the the last 2 cons on PF, The books are readily available at borders, barns&noble and most FLGS.  Not to mention Amazon for 30% off ;)

as for no tools, there are 2 i can name off the top of my head, PCGen and HeroLabs the latter being the semi-offical character builder.  On top of that there are quite a few fan made spread sheets and even websites that print spell cards if you want them.

Everything I post is an opinion, any perceptions you have to the contrary are not my problem. The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog Initiative Tracker for WP7 RPG Dice Calculator for WP7
that's like the opposite of chekov's gun.

the gun itself is a seemingly innocuous object that does get used/becomes important eventually.

-scene opens at Canadian Tire. Guy McGuyver is doing renovations on his house and is buying tools/supplies.

-shoves tools in car, goes home, starts eating dinner with wife.

-knock on door, HOLY CRAP ZOMBIES!

-Guy and Wifey McGuyver jump in car, drive to school where the gates are locked... Guy remembers he bought that hacksaw for cutting away piping for the renovations! hacks through gate, oh no, door is stuck... but he bought the wrecking bar! grabs kids, drives to Hawaii.
3rd ed SRD, character sheets, errata & free modules 4th ed test drive - modules, starter rules, premade characters and character builder & character sheet, errata Free maps and portraits, dice, printable graph paper, campaign managing website, image manipulation program + token maker & zone markers

"All right, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back. GET MAD! I DON'T WANT YOUR **** LEMONS! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THESE?! DEMAND TO SEE LIFE'S MANAGER! Make life RUE the day it thought it could give CAVE JOHNSON LEMONS! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! I'M THE MAN WHO'S GONNA BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that's gonna BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!" -Cave Johnson, Portal 2
I posted the 4e vs Pathfinder thread, and gave up reading on page 20 when it became obvious that the thread had somehow converted to an argument on weapons and damage.

Without anyone ranting against the other editions can I get some inputs on problems found IN GAME with 4e and Pathfinder? What that means is I don't want anyone ranting about projected problems, I want actual problems that have cropped up while playing the game. Please, no ranting on why one edition sucks and the other is so much better 



In 3E and in Pathfinder there is a likelyhood that someone will create a combination that is too good or really bad.  That is the nature of having lots of options, some are good and some not so good.  When this happens in my games it usually comes down to this.  Is the problem causing myself or anyone at the table to not have fun.  If the answer is yes the player can just make changes to bring the character back in line, it really is that simple.

IMO when people sit down at a table to play an RPG, they are usually friends and thus they all want to have fun.  If you where playing baseball with your friends and one of them was really good you would expect him to go easy on you and also lend advice that would help you improve your game.  The same follows with playing an RPG.

In the end only you and your group can pick which one is best for you
Everything I post is an opinion, any perceptions you have to the contrary are not my problem. The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog Initiative Tracker for WP7 RPG Dice Calculator for WP7
4e is very static outside of essentials, which is either a good thing or a bad thing depending. 

In PF everyone I think feels distinctly different. 



I find the Tanking mechanics and monster variety an outstanding plus for 4e.

I think PF really falters in this department in comparison of options and quality. I mean supernatural abilities/spell like abilities are all fine and dandy, but I don't think they are nearly as fun as the monsters in 4e.

 

I disagree with some of the above, I think 4e can be challenging to DM in terms of combats for alot of reasons. It takes effort to keep combats moving along quickly, it can tough to threaten high level players, and it can be tough to incorporate skill challenges in an organic way.


Pathfinder is more lethal I think and easier to incorporate things like traps and "skill challenges" which are in essence just non-combat encounters. 
I totally agree with this up right up until the the last 2 cons on PF, The books are readily available at borders, barns&noble and most FLGS.  Not to mention Amazon for 30% off ;)



And Paizo sells the PDFs for $10. I'm not saying it's hard to find but while almost every store that sells gaming products has 4e books, only "most FLGS" sell Pathfinder. There's many that just don't or only have limited selections of books.
as for no tools, there are 2 i can name off the top of my head, PCGen and HeroLabs the latter being the semi-offical character builder.  On top of that there are quite a few fan made spread sheets and even websites that print spell cards if you want them.


I tend to use HeroForge myself, but needing both Excel and the patience to use a program lacking an UI makes it hard to put that in a "pro" column. 
Having not tried the licensed tools I was wary about listing them and comparing them to the universal Pro that is the D&D character builder.

5 Minute WorkdayMy Webcomic Updated Tue & Thur

The compilation of my Worldbuilding blog series is now available: 

Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuilding.

I find the system mastery leans more on the DMs side than the players in 4e.

You need system mastery to use Minions properly...
You need system mastery to use Solos properly... 
You need system mastery to use Skill Challenges properly...
You need system mastery due to the different sets of rules for PCs and Monsters
You need system mastery to make or improve monsters...
You need system mastery to run a combat that does not grind....

I have a good grasp on the 4e system...I still dislike minions and only use solos sparingly...I have tried skill challenges a number of times and most of the time they fell flat because skill challenges are just not a good mechanic in some situations...

Pf has its problems that are inherited form the 3e system. These are well documented and any length of stay on these boards asking about the 3e/PF game systems will get you a metric crap tonne of people and their thoughts on it.

One thing that Paizo has that is much better done in PF than WotC has in 4e...Their game worlds and the adventures they produce for the worlds. I am a HUGE FR fan...I love that world...but even the rich history that Faerun has is pale, IMHO, to what Paizo has in Golarion.

I like 4e...i prefer to DM it also....even with the system mastery i feel is needed to be a DM...

But I love what PF is as a game as a whole. 

i am almost to the point that I will be leaving 4e to run PF..not sue to the 4e system..but due to WotC...but that is not for this thread.
 
You need system mastery to use Solos properly...



Have you found that to be the case even after the changes they made to solo monsters?

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

that's like the opposite of chekov's gun.

the gun itself is a seemingly innocuous object that does get used/becomes important eventually.

-scene opens at Canadian Tire. Guy McGuyver is doing renovations on his house and is buying tools/supplies.

-shoves tools in car, goes home, starts eating dinner with wife.

-knock on door, HOLY CRAP ZOMBIES!

-Guy and Wifey McGuyver jump in car, drive to school where the gates are locked... Guy remembers he bought that hacksaw for cutting away piping for the renovations! hacks through gate, oh no, door is stuck... but he bought the wrecking bar! grabs kids, drives to Hawaii.

That was GawdDammed hilarious bro...Where are you in canada? 

You need system mastery to use Solos properly...



Have you found that to be the case even after the changes they made to solo monsters?

Maybe not as much, cause I did not buy MM3...

You need system mastery to use Solos properly...



Have you found that to be the case even after the changes they made to solo monsters?

Maybe not as much, cause I did not buy MM3...




Every Dm I ever played with said that mm3 and monster vault are amazing because they learned alot of their mistakes from the first two monster manuals.
Maybe not as much, cause I did not buy MM3...


The solos in MM3 and especially in MV are just brutal. A level 20 well optimized party was completely and utterly dismantled by the MV Dracolich (which isn't a giant load of horrible like the original MM). They really have learned to give solos proper teeth now.

As for Pathfinder: I think it's pretty terrible as I didn't like 3.5 and stopped playing it. 3.5 was a terrible system and Pathfinder has pretty much inherited everything I hated about 3.5.
2+ years and over $100 in  monster products to buy to "get it right"....meh...

PEI, in the thriving metropolis of Charlottetown
3rd ed SRD, character sheets, errata & free modules 4th ed test drive - modules, starter rules, premade characters and character builder & character sheet, errata Free maps and portraits, dice, printable graph paper, campaign managing website, image manipulation program + token maker & zone markers

"All right, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back. GET MAD! I DON'T WANT YOUR **** LEMONS! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THESE?! DEMAND TO SEE LIFE'S MANAGER! Make life RUE the day it thought it could give CAVE JOHNSON LEMONS! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! I'M THE MAN WHO'S GONNA BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that's gonna BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!" -Cave Johnson, Portal 2
Riiight...i actually think i have asked you that before....i am originally from Tha Rock...but out here on the Wet Coast now....
this got lost in the other thread:

ok, can I ask (as I have few times in the last few years) if pathfinder is completly back compadable yet?

example: in 3.5 I played warlocks, and swordsages, and warblades alot at the end. Mostly becuse I found wiz, cleric, and druid over powered, and fighter and ranger under powered.  Now I have seen wizards and clerics got better (becuse there is now a reason not to prestige class) however none of the non phb classes got the upgrade.

Now I the one pathfinder game I went to play I was told, in a game with a cleric, 2 wizards, and a multi classed fighter/wizard... I was told a warblade was out of the quastion too powerful (I really want to be looked in the eye and told that cleric wasn't just as powerful if not more so...) 

so how does one use the huge set of 3.5 books, if they reprinted and and changed the classes. But each complete book introed 3 new classes that where not updated, and the incarnum, psionic, and Bo9s also need some updateing...

so is it really backwards compadable. 

is pathfinder it's own game, or is it 3.5?

the problem is there are still alot of 3.5 flaws still in pathfinder... and as such it kinda sucks as a stand alone, but it also is not really able to be used with the full set of books I own...inless I want to house rule every spell, class, and feat from other then PHB1. 

 


Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: What Would Wrecan Say?

this got lost in the other thread:

ok, can I ask (as I have few times in the last few years) if pathfinder is completly back compadable yet?

example: in 3.5 I played warlocks, and swordsages, and warblades alot at the end. Mostly becuse I found wiz, cleric, and druid over powered, and fighter and ranger under powered.  Now I have seen wizards and clerics got better (becuse there is now a reason not to prestige class) however none of the non phb classes got the upgrade.

Now I the one pathfinder game I went to play I was told, in a game with a cleric, 2 wizards, and a multi classed fighter/wizard... I was told a warblade was out of the quastion too powerful (I really want to be looked in the eye and told that cleric wasn't just as powerful if not more so...) 

so how does one use the huge set of 3.5 books, if they reprinted and and changed the classes. But each complete book introed 3 new classes that where not updated, and the incarnum, psionic, and Bo9s also need some updateing...

so is it really backwards compadable. 

is pathfinder it's own game, or is it 3.5?

the problem is there are still alot of 3.5 flaws still in pathfinder... and as such it kinda sucks as a stand alone, but it also is not really able to be used with the full set of books I own...inless I want to house rule every spell, class, and feat from other then PHB1. 

 




It is to a point, Pazio made a conversion guide you can download for free here paizo.com/store/downloads/pathfinder/pat...

basically follow that and you should be good, also make sure you avoid some of the "munchkin" pitfalls ;)
Everything I post is an opinion, any perceptions you have to the contrary are not my problem. The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog Initiative Tracker for WP7 RPG Dice Calculator for WP7
There are a few bits I would like to add that I haven't seen mentioned yet.

In Pathfinder you are supposed to start at level 1 and then slowly advance. As such you slowly develop your character, add options, etc. It takes you a full Adventure Path and maybe a year of gaming to reach level 20 with a single character.

While you can (should ?) do the same in 4e it seems to me that many more players just jump in high level.

If you go up level by level, a lot of issues mentioned here just disappear. If you want to start with an optimized character high level, then it seems 4e has an edge.

This doesn't say one is better as the other - it's a matter of what lay style you prefer.

In regard to being compatible:
Pathfinder is close enough to look compatible - but there are enough changes that just dont work. An example was the +50 diplomancer in the other thread. That character has been broken completely in Pathfinder. If you did such a character, then you better stay with 3.5 Pathfinder just states that diplomacy doesn't work against an enemy who wants to kill you next. End of story. You can't use the character anymore and go eye to eye with a red dragon.

Is this good or bad?

If you spend a year generating such a character as a player you rightly will be upset. As a GM you probably say - finally common sense. Great. If as a player you just generated such a character high level to annoy the GM - well - not sure if you would be the right player at my table.

So is it backward compatible?

It is close enough to make it work. But I have to admit - my original idea was to carry on my games in Faerun - I have loads of background - nearly all the WotC books. But they have all gone one floor up two month ago to make space for Golarion books. So the answer is - if you want a simple live as GM, you are likely to buy stuff again and only the best modules you care to translate into Pathfinder.

It is very close as player - so a player who has played 3.5 will be able to participate directly. But again he will have to unlearn certain ways he has done games before.

The last bit - is it to difficult.

My seven year old has played a Druid - my nine year old has reached third level in Pathfinder Society Play and even played successful at a CON.

Sorry if this is mainly a view from 3.5/Pathfinder - my 4.e knowledge is too minimal to compare.

Thod
2+ years and over $100 in  monster products to buy to "get it right"....meh...




I do not think you can use that quote against 4e when PF/3rd has had how many years and how many books to even try to get it right?
2+ years and over $100 in  monster products to buy to "get it right"....meh...




I do not think you can use that quote against 4e when PF/3rd has had how many years and how many books to even try to get it right?


Well, we all know that's an unfair comparison because.... umm... well, you see..... One of them starts with 'P'.
On topic, I never really got into 3.5 so much, so my only time playing Pathfinder I was pretty.... miserable is the word that comes to mind. 
It is not my intent to offend. However, it is also not my concern whether you get offended or not.
Hmm...
Part of the problem with comparing the two, as I see it, is that so much depends on the players and the DM - particularly the DM.
I've played both. I've only DM'd 4e. I have, on the whole enjoyed Pathfinder more (as a player) than 4e, but that has far more to do with being in a group where nobody acts like an idiot, and the DM knows what they're doing. [I have played 4e with good DMs, but very rarely with a good DM and non-idiot players.]
Also I'm not a fan of tactical combat, so (the way our DM runs) Pathfinder suits me a lot more. [And when I run 4e, I don't use tactical combat either...]
Would I like to try and DM Pathfinder? I don't know. I did consider DMing Slayers d20 for a while, and also BESM d20 too [I have an idea for an SD Gundam Sengoku campaign that would be fun. And would be even more fun if I had players who knew WTF I was talking about when I say 'SD Gundam'] I do enjoy DMing 4e though. [Well I would if I had players who didn't do things like not read character sheets and keep me hanging about... ]
The advantages and disadvantages of both systems have been covered pretty well.

As for compatibility between PF and 3.5...  When it comes down to it, they're close enough that conversion isn't difficult, but in any given game it's not what the system allows but what the DM allows that matters.  Every Pathfinder game I've ever found was Pathfinder only.  They've got a pretty strong organized play thing, also Pathfinder only.  I don't think I've even heard of a game that allowed 3.5 material.

All my favorite content from 3.5 was outside of the core book.  I loved tome of magic, tome of battle, magic of incarnum, warlocks, beguilers, dread necromancers.  None of that stuff is in PF, and no actual PF games allow 3.5 material.  I don't like gimped, boring non-casters or OP'd, overcomplicated, and somehow still boring full casters, but that's all PF has to offer in its core book, and its second book of player options didn't really offer much of interest, either, imo.

Worse, it seems that most of the PF players and DMs I run into were the type who were blind to the balance issues of 3e.  They don't see how wizards are stronger and more versatile then fighters, they don't see how clerics are better at fighting then fighters, they think tome of battle was OP'd.  Heck, they think warlocks were OP'd.

So as much as I liked the combat maneuvers stuff in Pathfinder, when I want to play 3e, I look for a 3.5 game, not a PF game.
My issues with pathfinder and 3.5 are almost soley related on busted game balance.  I prefer the simulationist approach of 3.5 / PF more than 4e in terms of general play style.  I prefer a game where I don't have to have minis all the time, because quite honestly I'm burnt out on 4e's grinding combat engine. 

HOWEVER.  As much as I'm burnt out on 4e's grinding combat engine... I prefer it 1000 times over the busted balance issues that arise in a game of 3.5 or PF.  When I as a DM can no longer challenge a party without resorting to throwing monsters that are many levels above them, I find that wrong and completely unenjoyable.

3.5 and PF are far too easy to break for a player and as a person whose style is pretty much directly opposite of a power gamer, I need a system where a power gamer can coexist with me without busting my campaign and 4e is the best for that for me.
I dislike skill challenges. They're complicated enough to slow down gameplay and defeat RP ONLY immersion, but not complicated enough to be a gameplay experience in their own right (as combat is).



This is a common misconception of what a skill challenge is.

It is used as a framework to give rules for a situation that don't have rules.  To many people think it's just for role-playinging aspect.

A good example to use a skill challenge is trying to catch a fleeing villain down into the sewers that is very maze like.

Running from a horde of demons in the abyss.  When I mean horde I mean over 100.

I have run a social skill challenge and my players didn't even know it was a skill challenge. They had a good time with it

You can't run a skill challenge as mechanically as combat.
Well, here's one thing that has been hinted at and mentioned in brief, but I have a tendency to be a bit more... blunt, shall we say, than others.

Learning Curve and Independence.

4th edition, I have taught to... well, less than sharp individuals, where as PF requires a higher investment on the player's part to learn. I have a simple litmus test for new players - give them the book, give them basic instructions on creating a character, and let them go on their own.

Color me flattered.

LIFE CYCLE OF A RULES THREAD

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Thank_Dog wrote:

2Chlorobutanal wrote:
I think that if you have to argue to convince others about the clarity of something, it's probably not as objectively clear as you think.

No, what it means is that some people just like to be obtuse.

Skill challenges are hard to run well and easy to run poorly.  That's pretty much the definition of 'not very good gameplay element'.  Sure, a skilled DM who puts a lot of work into a skill challenge can result in fun for the table, but a DM that skilled who put that much work into the encounter could have come up with something just as fun and exciting if they never bothered with the skill challenge framework in the first place.

It's not that I've never come across a skill challenge that worked.  It's that I've never come across a skill challenge that worked better then ad-libed roleplaying with skill checks called for as appropriate would have.  On the other hand, I've come across many skill challenges that worked worse then ad-libed roleplaying with skill checks as appropriate, so yeah.  Not a fan of that system.
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  • Skill challenges don't work


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Skill challenges don't work for you.  For our group, and I as Dm they work very well.  The above remark is opinion only.
Skill challenges are hard to run well and easy to run poorly.  That's pretty much the definition of 'not very good gameplay element'.  Sure, a skilled DM who puts a lot of work into a skill challenge can result in fun for the table, but a DM that skilled who put that much work into the encounter could have come up with something just as fun and exciting if they never bothered with the skill challenge framework in the first place.

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I can run Skill challenges off the top of my head with no time to prep.    I admit it took some time and practice, but sodoes running a combat encounter correctly.  But I do impromtu skill challenges with no prep all the time.
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  • Skill challenges don't work


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Skill challenges don't work for you.  For our group, and I as Dm they work very well.  The above remark is opinion only.

I should probably explain, but thats like 8 pages of stuff. I shortened it. Most people don't even know what the rules are, and none of the versions I have read don't work. I stopped reading around the 5th update and said "This is stupid, I don't care anymore". Newer versions may in fact work perfectly. If you can get two people to agree on which version of them to run. Thanks to them being rewritten over 10 times, no one can agree. 


I'm sure your group has a method for running skill challenges that you enjoy. I would also be surprised to see that you were running them correctly.


I should also note I love the idea of a skill challenge, and the original concept was one of my first draws to 4e. I then ran some during the 4e preview release, the game ground to a halt, everyone went "This is sort of vague and awkward" and I sort of glossed over the rest of the challenge. They updated them a few times, I reread them and said "This still doesn't work". Few more updates and I finally decided to give them another whirl (After all they have been fixed 3 times now, it has to be right) and it still was awkward. Then I said "I don't care its not worth bothering" and wrote my own which is basically below.


I challenge you to PM me what the current skill challenge rules are, I don't want to derail the thread on the issue, but we could continue in private if you want. (Or at least tell me where to find them, and provide a sample run through of how they should be used if you are worried about copy write infringement stuff)

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"                                                  "I'd recommend no one listed to Krusk's opinions about what games to play"

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  • Skill challenges don't work


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Skill challenges don't work for you.  For our group, and I as Dm they work very well.  The above remark is opinion only.


Kinda like saying:
Pathfinder is a pain to DM. It requires way too much prep time. It is also not very balanced.



Everything comes down to opinion and personal preference. The best we can do is give the OP our own opinions on the differences between the systems and why some of us prefer one over the other.
"There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened." - Douglas Adams I ♥ My Realms
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  • Skill challenges don't work


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Skill challenges don't work for you.  For our group, and I as Dm they work very well.  The above remark is opinion only.



No Kidding.
4e skill challenges are poorly explained and have a clunky implementation, but it's still better then the non-exsistant skill challenges of PF.

Also, while it did derail the other thread as to how far you can go with it, i'd still like to point out that reflavoring in 4e is a HUGE plus for me.  Sure the DM can say "no, you can't be a jedi", but he can just as easily say "no, you can't be a dwarf", or "no, you can't be divine", but even at it's basic level, the divorce of fluff/mechanics allows for ALOT more room to RP what you want, even if it's a simple as an unaligned paladin, or a lawfull rogue.  Also the inherent balance means a minotaur wizard, or a gnome barbarian can be functional (if not optimal).

Of course the down side of that, at least for some people, is doing things like knocking a gelatinous cube prone.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

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