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  #21  
Old June 23rd, 2013, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ghost View Post
Apparently Pathfinder is a very popular RPG at the moment.

Has anyone played it, and what can you tell me about it?
I am playing Pathfinder and I like it. It's not my go-to game (not even for fantasy) but it is nicely done and I really love the setting (Golarion).

Pathfinder is indeed something like D&D 3.75 and changes are in (minor) details, mostly. Classes and races are a bit stronger than in 3.5 resulting in more able PCs at 1st level. Skills are somewhat streamlined (class skill handling, advancement, etc.). Feats seem more understandable to me. Combat (especially grappling) has been revised. Etc.

I find Pathfinder more accessible than D&D 3.5. For comparison I played AD&D 2nd, D&D 3.5, and D&D 4. My go-to games are GURPS and FATE.
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  #22  
Old June 23rd, 2013, 05:40 PM
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Well, I remember the old basic red rule book with the five year old-ish cover art, I believe a d20 was used in there....
Yeah, a d20 has been used in most D&D editions, especially AD&D and AD&D 2E. But, those aren't "d20" games because they don't use the system put forth in D&D 3.0.

I believe that D&D 4E is also considered the "d20 System", but it has vast changes from what is normally considered a "d20" game.

The Conan RPG

Traveller 20

D&D 3.5E

d20 Blue Planet

Thieves World d20

Spy Craft d20

Pathfinder

These are all d20 games, and there are differences in the rules. But, AD&D isn't considered a d20 game even though it uses a d20 die.
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  #23  
Old June 23rd, 2013, 06:53 PM
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Hmm. I'm not that all familiar with the feats thing, even though I read through the Trav 20 rulebook back when Hunter was running things.

My real quandry is with the level system. The reason I ask about this system was because I thought I might try to write an adventure for it, but I've never liked the whole "gain experience and level up" mechanic. I mean, it does seem like a pretty straight forward standard fantasy setting, but I always find it difficult to judge what "level characters" can do what, and what would challenge the players.

Thanks for the replies. I may check out a book to see what it's all about.
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  #24  
Old June 23rd, 2013, 07:13 PM
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You may want to check out the online ref.doc.: http://paizo.com/prd/
The PDF editions are worth a look as they are really cheap: http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG
e.g. $9.99 for the core rules: http://paizo.com/products/btpy88yj?P...-Core-Rulebook
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  #25  
Old June 23rd, 2013, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Blue Ghost View Post
Hmm. I'm not that all familiar with the feats thing, even though I read through the Trav 20 rulebook back when Hunter was running things.
I've never really looked at the T20 book. I assume it had Feats, but maybe they took this out for Traveller.

Most of the games that run on the d20 system change the rules to fit the game's universe. In the Conan RPG, for example, the sorcery system is completely different from what you see in d20 D&D.



Quote:
My real quandry is with the level system. The reason I ask about this system was because I thought I might try to write an adventure for it, but I've never liked the whole "gain experience and level up" mechanic.
Yeah, I used to shy away from this too. Then, I got a better understanding of it. I still prefer a skills based system, but levels for characters aren't bad for certain types of games.

I don't think it would fit Traveller or Star Wars well, yet there are people who love d20 Traveller and d20 Star Wars.

With a fantasy game, I'm OK with it. It suits that environment, I think.



Quote:
I mean, it does seem like a pretty straight forward standard fantasy setting, but I always find it difficult to judge what "level characters" can do what, and what would challenge the players.
The d20 level system is flexible and can be molded to fit different types of games.

First off, you can use the level system as a sliding, dymanic scale. If the characters are third level, then the guards might be 1st level, their squad commaders 3rd level, and the castle commander is 6th level.

Everything scales with the characters. Once the characters get to be 6th level, then the guards are 3rd level, the sargent is 6th level, and the castle commander is 10th level.



Some games take a more static approach to levels where a character level is applied to the entire game world. In this world, the guards are 1st level and remain 1st level no matter how high the characters become.

The Conan RPG is like this. You may like to read THIS POST I wrote about what a level means in the Conan RPG.
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  #26  
Old June 23rd, 2013, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Blue Ghost View Post
Hmm. I'm not that all familiar with the feats thing...
BTW, a Feat is just a special ability that a character has. With the d20 system, a character gets to choose one or a few feats at fist level, and then he gets extra feats every X number of levels. A character must usually qualify to get any particular feat (qualify by level, by characteristic, by race or character class, by having other feats, etc).

Feats serve as an excellent way to make characters unique, giving them their own areas of expertise. Using Feats, no two 1st level fighters with the exact same characteristics need be the same. They can choose to have different feats.





Here's a fully developed character from the Conan RPG.

Some feats, the character gets through his class....

Quote:
PROFECIENCY FEATS: Simple Weapon Proficiency (All), Martial Weapon Proficiency (All), Armor Proficiency (Light), Armor Proficiency (Medium), Shield Proficiency.
All of these Feats allow the character to have proficiency with the item. Without the feat, a penalty would apply.

For example, this character does not have the Feat: Armor Proficiency (Heavy), and thus, if he wears heavy armor, then the character suffers a penalty. In this case, all armor is provided with an Armor Check Penalty.

Plate Armor, for example, is a Heavy armor with ACP -6. Thus, if this character wore Plate, then he'd suffer a -6 penalty to all of his attack throws and to any skill check that involves movement, including Ride (the skill used for riding horses).



The feats above are given to every Barbarian classed character at 1st level. A character of another class will have different proficiency feats to accomodate his class.

The character also gets some Feats that are based on his level...

Quote:
BARBARIAN FEATS: Track, Two-Weapon Combat, Endurance.
The Track and Two-Weapon Combat Feat are given to the character at 1st level. The Track feat allows the character to use his Survival skill to track. Characters without the Track feat can still attempt to track, but they are limited to a maximum throw of 10, even if they throw higher than that. By having the Track feat, the character gets the benefit of the full range of his d20 Survival check in order to track creatures and people (thus, being trained at tracking allows the character to be successful on harder tracking throws).

The Two-Weapon Combat feat minimizes the penalties of fighting with two weapons, one in each hand. Those without the feat suffer big penalites fighting that way.

The Endurance feat is given to the character at 3rd level. This feat gives the character a +4 bonus to endurance related skill checks: Swimming, checks against fatigue when running long distances, checks made to hold his breath, checks made against cold environments, and the like.




All of the above feats have been prescribed to the character because of his level and class. Characters in the Conan RPG are also given a choice of feats based on their level. A player can choose any feat for his character for which his character qualifies.

All 1st level characters in the Conan RPG get one Feat.

A bonus 1st level feat is granted if the character is of a favored class for his race. Since this character is a Cimmerian, and the favored class for Cimmerians is the Barbarian class, this character gets a bonus feat.

And, all characters get a second feat at 3rd level.

This is where the customization comes in.

Quote:
1st LEVEL FEAT: Toughness.
1ST LEVEL RACIAL BONUS FEAT: Power Attack.
3RD LEVEL FEAT: Two-Handed Power Stroke.
So, for this character's 1st level feat, Toughness was chosen. The Toughness feat gives the character +1 Hit Point per level. So, at 1st level, he gets +1 HP. At 2nd level, he gets +2 HP. At 3rd level, he gets +3 HP, and so on.

For his bonus feat, the player picked Power Attack. This Feat allows the character to take a penalty on his attack, and if his attack is successful, he can apply the same amount as the penalty to his damage.

Thus, if the player wants, during a fight, the character can take -3 on his attack, and if he hits, he gets to add +3 to his damage.

At 3rd level, he gets another feat to choose, and the player picked Two-Handed Power Stroke. The benefit of this feat is that it allows double STR bonus applied to damage when using two-handed weapons (normally, 1.5 times STR bonus is used).

Thus, this character normally gets +3 bonus to damage if using one handed weapons and +4 bonus to damage if using a two-handed weapon. With this feat, the character gets a +6 bonus to damage when using a two-handed weapon.




Feats give the character specialabilties, but choosing a feat is not always easy because the character is limited on his choices (the character above chose 2 feats at first, then got to choose one more at level 3). Chosing one Feat always comes at the expense of not choosing something else.
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  #27  
Old June 24th, 2013, 01:24 AM
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S4, thanks for all that, but it just seems to overly complicated. Moreso than basic or what used to be called "Advanced" D&D, and this comes from an old time EX-Star Fleet Battles and Car Wars player who's heard every rule loop hole and reinterpretation in the book.

I guess what I'm wondering is, if, like you say, the system is dynamic enough where all you need to to do is upscale the level of the creatures to suit the players, then I've got nothing to worry about, as most of the leg work will be done by the players and the system (a kind of self correcting process).

But, it's still daunting to the point of being really intimidating. It's why I opted to try to write for Traveller; 2d, roll greater than this...add your skill, any physical attributes...voila! Pass/fail. Adjusting feats, or even dabbling with the GURPS system where there seem to be even more combat modifiers than in Traveller, seems like a headache. But, like I say, if the players are the ones to worry about it, then I've got nothing to fear

p.s. hell, maybe I should have written some children's stories.
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  #28  
Old June 24th, 2013, 02:40 AM
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S4, thanks for all that, but it just seems to overly complicated.
I have found the d20 system to be very complicated, requiring a long learning curve if you have not ever played a d20 game before.

I hadn't, and it took me a good 5 or 6 game sessions, spread out over a year, to really get comfortable with the game (and by that, I mean not having to look stuff up all the time--understanding all of the game's concepts). You'll be playing in a lot less time, but it does take a lot of time to really get comfortable playing the game.

On the one hand, the d20 system is extremely simple: You roll a d20, add modifiers, and try to hit target number. That mechanic is used for the vast majority of tasks in the game, from combat, to using skills, to making saving throws.

On the other hand, there are so many types of if/then modifiers that it takes quite a while to get comfortable with them all.

If you're not interested in putting in the time, then I'd say stay away from Pathfinder and other d20 games.

But, if you do put in the time, you will find an excellent rule system with very few bugs. From someone who digs game mechanics, the d20 system is really a work of art. A lot of time and effort went into designing and improving it. It's not my favorite set of game mechanics, but I do admire how well the system works and how adaptable it is (evidenced by the multitude of games that use the system).

If you put in the time to learning d20, I think you'll be glad you did.

But, again, be prepared for a pretty long learning curve. Do what I did. Just take it one piece at a time, learn that, then move on to another section, until you've got the system down.
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  #29  
Old June 24th, 2013, 04:01 AM
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Well, I really don't want to play so much as see if I can write for it. But, I imagine in order to do that I have to play a few rounds. Grr.

Thanks again.
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Old June 24th, 2013, 04:04 AM
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I've never really looked at the T20 book. I assume it had Feats, but maybe they took this out for Traveller.
T20 used feats, skills, class abilities (almost all of which were presented and available as feats), Saves and BAB as normal. It differed widely in how hitpoints work (Stamina/Lifeblood), didn't give AC for armor (instead reducing stamina damage for armor), modified multiclassing and favored classes, and characters usually start play between 3rd and 10th level. (It was 2nd and 6th in playtest - Hunter doubled the prior service XP very late on - last draft, IIRC, or after last draft.)
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