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Cassu

So, tell me about Pathfinder

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4E on the other hand was just a little too simple for my tastes. That's not a bad thing! It's just not my cup of tea.

 

Do folks in general feel that 4E is simple? I have not played many fantasy RPG, but playing in a 4E and now a level 12 Rogue, I feel I need a spreadsheet to figure my damage out and every power is different. Combat in general takes a really, really long time but that may be just the difficulty of the foes we have and the amount of HP?

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I think the trick with any edition is to find a group who are more interested in playing than in "winning." Almost anyone with basic level math can figure out how to break the rules of just about any game, because the rules exist. Sadly there are an inordinate number of people whose primary concern is just that. MMOs are full of them. These are the people who do a cost/rewards analysis on everything, and maximize their characters down to the last possible decimal on regeneration, dps, etc. I'm lucky that most of the RPG players I know would rather have fun than be the very bestest at everything. I mean if you're just worried about maximizing what your character can do, the Core Rules of any RPG would be pretty slender. Equipment tables would contain like 4 weapons.

 

*SNIP*

 

I really like the Pathfinder system, mostly because I feel about Paizo much the way I do about Reaper. They are some of the people in our niche that seem to be getting it right. As long as I feel that way I will keep supporting them. I have no enmity toward WoTC, neither do I have any interest in anything they are currently doing. I think Swords and Wizardry and Basic Fantasy are great systems to start people out on who have never played tabletop. I really like what "renaissance" gaming is doing for the community as a whole.

Yes, I agree with both these points - a good GM and good players can make a mediocre system good.

 

My current players, as an example don't try to min max for maximum effect.

 

One group has a multi-classed cleric/ranger, a rogue swashbuckler, a hexcrafter magus, a wizard, and a crossbowoman fighter.

 

No tank, nowhere near enough healing. Perpetually broke (I have no idea where the party's funds go...). But a fun group.

 

I think that part of the reason that WotC started stumbling was that they stopped being fellow gamers in the eyes of many of their fans.

 

Lots of minor bad PR, nothing major, at first, but with nothing to counterbalance it. (GW did the same thing - and shows no sign of stopping.)

 

Then came 4e - which they had sworn was not in the works.

 

So, an awful lot of WotC's approach to 5e has been to mend fences and build bridges. (Which puts them miles above GW.)

 

Paizo on the other hand did things like head off en masse to a school play based on the first book in Rise of the Rune Lords.

 

I have seen threads on the Paizo forums and on the E N World forums that were replied to by Paizo's CEO!

 

The difference in transparency and accessibility means that there is not this... gap... in corporate awareness that WotC suffered from.

 

I think that Paizo used WotC's approach as a guidebook of what not to do. (And now it looks like WotC is borrowing from that guidebook to get it right, this time.)

 

So tempted to do a side by side comparison of WotC's public policy and Paizo's.... From PDFs to playtests to web awareness...

 

The root cause, I think, is that Reaper and Paizo are both closely held companies - while both WotC and GW answer to a board of shareholders and upper management that know nothing about the industry.

 

Paizo has stated that they will never get larger than fifty people. (One of the many reasons that Goblin Works was spun off as a separate corporate entity.)

 

Ah, well... rambling....

 

The Auld Grump

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It's interesting to watch how Paizo and WotC have evolved. Lisa was one of the original principals of WotC (and had been a major part of other gaming companies before). Peter was a huge gamer geek, too, and bought TSR specifically because he'd been a D&D fan forever.

 

But their corporate cultures are pretty wildly different now, or at least so it seems from the outside looking in.

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4E on the other hand was just a little too simple for my tastes. That's not a bad thing! It's just not my cup of tea.

 

Do folks in general feel that 4E is simple? I have not played many fantasy RPG, but playing in a 4E and now a level 12 Rogue, I feel I need a spreadsheet to figure my damage out and every power is different. Combat in general takes a really, really long time but that may be just the difficulty of the foes we have and the amount of HP?

 

 

It depends what you are comparing things to. You can find excellent systems much simpler than either of them. You can also find system that are so needlessly cumbersome that 4E looks trivial by comparison.

 

Based on my local experiences, the big difference between 3.x and 4E in this regard is GM complexity. Building encounters for 3.x/pathfinder can have lots of moving parts, and it has many fewer reasonably balanced, canned options available for quick play than 4E does. The benefit is tremendous flexibility, if you master the system, but it comes at a cost.

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4E on the other hand was just a little too simple for my tastes. That's not a bad thing! It's just not my cup of tea.

 

Do folks in general feel that 4E is simple? I have not played many fantasy RPG, but playing in a 4E and now a level 12 Rogue, I feel I need a spreadsheet to figure my damage out and every power is different. Combat in general takes a really, really long time but that may be just the difficulty of the foes we have and the amount of HP?

 

 

It depends what you are comparing things to. You can find excellent systems much simpler than either of them. You can also find system that are so needlessly cumbersome that 4E looks trivial by comparison.

 

Based on my local experiences, the big difference between 3.x and 4E in this regard is GM complexity. Building encounters for 3.x/pathfinder can have lots of moving parts, and it has many fewer reasonably balanced, canned options available for quick play than 4E does. The benefit is tremendous flexibility, if you master the system, but it comes at a cost.

 

This is very true. You can use the adventure modules alone and have everything you need without ever having to exercise your imagination. After two years of world building I wish I'd gone that route. On the other hand, after two years, I have a lush and flavorful world that is fully functional. I only wish I wasn't so horrible at maps.

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I think that's the key though - a creative DM can make any system work, and work well. I've only ever played 4E, but I don't know anything about the premade settings or adventures. My DM builds everything from scratch, and basically just uses the game architecture for combat, which is entertaining, reasonably quick, and gives everyone something fun to do. But also, because he LIKES when we deviate from the system, I can say "I pick up a chunk of the smouldering table to use as a shield, and charge advancing undead horde", and he'll MAKE THAT WORK.

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But their corporate cultures are pretty wildly different now, or at least so it seems from the outside looking in.

I would imagine a lot of that difference is influenced by WOTC being owned by a larger corporation (Hasbro).

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Aye to that.

 

The biggest thing that Paizo gets right, and WotC forgot was listen!

 

Looks like WotC is listening again, so there is hope.

 

Plus... opening the system up so that material from older editions can be used again cannot help but make things better.

 

I have used 1e adventures with 3.5 and Pathfinder.

 

I have used OD&D material with both as well.

 

WotC telling people to just start over with 4e... was a bad move.

 

I have now played the Ravenloft boardgame, as of last night.

 

The modified 4e rules worked okay for a board game, but would drive me bonkers for an RPG.

 

And yes, flexibility and ease of use do not go hand in hand - I can do an awful lot with the 3.X architecture, but it does involve crunching numbers.

 

And... I need to help my girlfriend finish up her steampunk costume before going to a ballet based on Jack the Ripper.... We won them at a karaoke contest, and the fates decided to laugh....

 

We made our costumes for our villains in an Airship Pirates game, with LARP dinners.

 

The Auld Grump

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The ballet was actually very intense - I was expecting kitsch, but it was actually very, very good.

 

Not a fan of ballet, and would likely have never seen it without winning the tickets - and that would have been a shame.

 

Back on topic... I see that they are selling the sample D&D Next adventure from Game Day at RPGNow - not sure how I feel about selling a sample adventure - that strikes me as the kind of thing that works best as a gimmee.

 

The Auld Grump

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I'm glad to hear that WotC seems to be listening. The biggest thing I hated about 4th edition is that they NUKED MY REALMS! I'm glad to see that they are resetting the realms. I also do enjoy the pathfinder rule set more over 4ed. It just seemed to make more sense to me, in game.

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I was more concerned with Eberron - but it did fare better than the Realms....

 

I really do not understand why they went out of their way to ruin change everything. Why not just make an entirely new world in that case?

 

I was also a wee bit annoyed with the 'Everything Is Core!' approach - the GM needs the ability to say 'Hell no!' Not every class/race/feat belongs in every setting, or even every region of a setting.

 

Mind you, I suspect that 5e will handle the problem by ignoring it. (I refuse to call it D&DNext! - there is only so much marketing spin that I can stand before I get dizzy and throw up. I also avoided 4dventure!... 3e just had 'Back to the Dungeon'... which seemed good enough.)

 

Ignoring the 'problem', except maybe a paragraph in the DMG, likely is for the best. Just like AD&D, 2e, and 3.X... sometimes the best way to deal with setting decisions is let the GM decide.

 

The Auld Grump

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Hey, like what 4e did to the FR. Made certain places new and exiting, but still familiar. I also thought the backstory to the geography change was great - Magic happened. I liked how they "brought back" the Dragonborn and Teifling lands at the expense of the Egyptian styled Mulhorand, but I never really liked that area of the realms.

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I'm glad to hear that WotC seems to be listening. The biggest thing I hated about 4th edition is that they NUKED MY REALMS! I'm glad to see that they are resetting the realms. I also do enjoy the pathfinder rule set more over 4ed. It just seemed to make more sense to me, in game.

You're upset that they blew up the Realms, but they can make you happy by blowing it up again? :;):

 

 

 

I'll admit that I'm interested to see where Ed Greenwood takes it.

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