Not wanting to catch anyone by surprise I wanted to throw up a few quick notes on some of the changes between 3.5 and Pathfinder. As I have noted to our players, anything for 3.5 that have is probably legal. It is almost a case of adding something rather than taking something away when converting to Pathfinder, they designed it that way. I think you will enjoy the new rules once you’ve had a chance to try them!
So here are some of the basics:
Character Advancement: Pathfinder built characters use the XP chart found here: Classes; using the Slow Progression as the default. It will take more XP to level at higher levels than in 3.5; but this is offset by the fact that Pathfinder awards larger XP values and the DM’s bonues for role playing. In addition, works that expand on the campaign universe- character sketches, in character journals, etc. – receive XP bonuses as well.
I’m sure everyone will be pleased to hear that in Pathfinder characters gain a feat at every odd level rather than every 3; allowing for more and earlier customization (getting your 3rd feat at 5th level, then 7th, 9th, 11th, 13th, etc).
Skill Changes: Firstly cross class skills now cost the same as class skills, to make up for this you get a +3 to each class skill to balance it out. In addition several skills were consolidated in Pathfinder. The skill info can be found here: Using Skills and Skill List.
Favored Classes: Multi-class penalties no longer exist. You may multiclass freely as you wish. However upon character creation you may declare a favored class for your PC (not a prestige class). Each level you take in that class grants you either +1 HP or +1 skill point for each level in that class.
Combat Changes: Pathfinder combat is mostly like 3.5 combat, but has had a few major changes.
- Concentration is no longer a skill. A caster making a concentration check rolls 1d20 + CL + key ability + other modifiers (such as feats). Concentrating while being grappled is now much more difficult; having a DC of 10 + grappler’s combat maneuver bonus (see below) + the spell level.
- Combat Maneuvers: All the colorful stuff -Bull-rush, Disarm, Grapple, and Tripping, etc. were rolled into a single mechanic. All PCs have a Combat Maneuver Bonus (CMB) and a Combat Maneuver Defense (CMB) for combat maneuvers. A character’s CMB is their BAB + Strength + Size Modifier + other modifiers. This is rolled versus a character’s CMD, which is 10 + their BAB + Strength and Dex + Size modifier + other modifiers.
- Size: Creature size modifiers to combat maneuvers were halved (+1 large, +2 huge, +4 gargantuan, +8 colossal, reversing it for small, tiny, diminutive, and fine). Now success in these maneuvers relies more on skill and training.
- Acrobatics (Tumble) checks to avoid opportunity attacks now are rolled against the attacker’s CMD as a DC (thus a 20th level fighter is much more difficult to tumble past than a 1st level hadozee shaman).
- Use Rope was removed. Tying someone up can now be done as part of a grapple (with a -10 penalty to attempt to tie them while they struggle), or if they are unconscious or otherwise unable to resist it is done without checks. The DC to escape the bonds is 20 + CMB of the person who tied you up; and it keeps you pinned; and suffer from the Pinned condition.
- Poison now deals its damage over multiple rounds rather than all at once.
- Disease also changed mechanically.
- Wild Shape and all the polymorph spells (such as alter self, polymorph, shapechange and similar spells got nerfed into very effective but far less abuse friendly forms.
- Some Spells got reduced in power due, which corrected a lot of the casters are gods issues.
- All the classes got adjusted. Most of them simply gained new toys that make them viable through all 20 levels. Druid and Cleric had a variety of changes -druid because wild-shape doesn’t allow you to min-max-murder and cleric lost heavy armor proficiency and some spells, but now gets a free martial weapon and better turning mechanic.
-Loki, DMRead More
Campaign: Planejammer- Letters of Marque
Ruleset: DND 3.5/Pathfinder, with extensive house rules. We also use the Paizo Critical Hit and Critical Fumble decks.
Setting: Spelljammer / Planescape [This means that most standard / homebrew settings can exist somewhere in the multiversal framework.]
Rating: Adult themes, NSFW.
Emphasis: Role Playing, not roll playing. XP bonuses for good characterization and role playing are standard. XP Bonuses for creating setting material- character journals, sketches, etc.
Psionics: Yes- Psionics Are Different Variant and Malhavoc Press’ Hyperconscious
Starting Level: 3rd, Generated according to our campaign standard.
Starting Characters: Due to the multiplanar nature of the setting all character concepts will be considered. Eberron, Ptolus, Ravenloft, Greyhawk, Planescape, d20 Modern, Dragonstar, Dragonlance, Spelljammer, Iron Kingdoms and most other d20 based settings are subsets of the main game and are valid choices.
Starting: Late Sept 2010
Location: Casa Loki in Northside Cincinnati. All attendees must follow the rules of the house. Allergy Warning: We have four cats, if you are allergic this is not the game for you.
Synopsis: Mordenkainen of Oerth continues his “chess game” with an unknown opponent and the players are swept up in the action. A series of jobs for the Archmage will send them from Toril to Oerth and far beyond- hunting pirates in the Wildspace above their planets, seeking rare components in the formless shifting landscapes of Limbo, doing recon in Eberron’s city of Stormreach and more await. All the while Epic Mages spin inscrutable plots rooted in the early mists of time…
Since the game will be at my home I am interviewing interested gamers face to face. This will allow us see if we think we can get along and if our playing styles mesh.Read More
Transforming magical energy into motive power enought to send a clipper ship amongst the stars, spelljamming helms open up the vistas of Wildspace to your adventurers!
Helm CL Save Arcane Price Minor Helm 15th +18 100,000 gp Major Helm 17th +20 250,000 gp Series Helm 14th +17 75,000 gp (per linked helm) Pool Helm 17th +20 500,000 gp (mind flayers only) Orbus 14th n/a 300,000 gp (beholders only) Forge 17th +20 500,000 gp (initially; 100,000 gp per 13 months) Gnomish Helm 15th +18 50,000 gp Crown of the Stars 19th +22 a king's ransom, at least Furnace 15th +18 100,000 gp Artifurnace 19th +22 priceless Lifejammer 15th +18 80,000 gp Non-magical Engines n/a n/a varies, but approx. 10,000 gp
CL: Caster Level
Save: Save Bonus
Arcane Price: given here match those that the Arcane charge, and these prices are also given in the text. A different set of prices is also given below, Market Prices, which are the prices that the enchanter of a helm would sell it for. This price is typically double the Arcane one and is included as it is standard to do so for magic items. The other reason for the Market Price is in case GMs wish to allow helms to be obtained by means other than only buying them from the Arcane (which is the standard for the Spelljamming campaign setting), but still want there to be a very strong incentive for trading with the Arcane.
There are particular magics that have been developed over the centuries by those who embrace life in Wildpspace. The following are the commonly available spells and domains often found in use amongst the spheres.
Locate Portal – Senses direction and distance of closest portal in the adjacent crystal shell.Read More
Intellect Devourer Swarm
|Size/Type:||Fine Aberration (Evil, Psionic, Swarm)|
|Hit Dice:||6d8+15 (42 hp)|
|Speed:||40 ft. (8 squares)|
|Armor Class:||29 (+8 size, +5 Dex, +5 natural)|
|Attack:||Swarm (2d6/ round)|
|Space/Reach:||10 ft./0 ft.|
|Special Attacks:||Body thief, psi-like abilities, distraction|
|Special Qualities:||Blindsight 60 ft., immunity to fire, power resistance 23, resistance to electricity 15, vulnerability to protection from evil, hive mind, swarm traits|
|Saves:||Fort +4, Ref +7, Will +6|
|Abilities:||Str 7, Dex 28, Con 15, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 14|
|Skills:||Bluff +15, Concentration +11 (+15 when manifesting defensively), Hide +14, Listen +14, Move Silently +16|
|Feats:||Combat Manifestation, Toughness, Up the Walls, Wild Talent|
|Treasure:||As stolen body, if any|
|Alignment:||Always chaotic evil|
|Advancement:||7-8 HD (Small); 9-15 HD (Medium); 16-18 HD (Large)|
Kargal awoke to the screams of his traveling companion echoing off the rough stone walls of the cavern where they had camped. Bolting upright he was nauseated by the sight of what seemed to be ropy tendrils of brain matter forcing their way into the human’s body through her mouth, nose and ears. As the last of it entered her the screaming stopped and she turned to him, blood dripping from her eyes. “Kargal, my love. It was only a nightmare. Come kiss me….”Read More
Like many people I’ve run across on various RPG boards I am apprehensive about 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons. It seems, from what I have heard of it, to resemble World of Warcraft more than DND. Now I am not a player of video games, I am a pure tabletop gamer to the core. Its all about interaction and collaborative storytelling to me, so this is not a positive comparison. Factor in the huge collection of hardcovers that have accumulated in these few short years and I see a major investment becoming invalidated by the new rules.
Enter Paizo Publishing, you know them- they’re the folks who used to publish Dragon Magazine and Dungeon Magazine. Seems like they are putting out a new RPG, Pathfinder, which will basically be DND 3.75 and completely compatible with existing material. Even better than that- the 65 Page Preview PDF! I for one am absolutely thrilled. Best part is that while they are applying some tweaks to the 3.5 rules the core book they are releasing is supposed to be 100% backwards compatible and will be on the shelves around the time (guessing) that the original Core Books are gone. Viva la Paizo!
Here, for your enjoyment, is their press release with a lot more details:
Paizo Publishing® Announces the Pathfinder RPG™
Pathfinder™ to continue under the 3.5 rules.
March 18, 2008 (BELLEVUE, Wash.) – Paizo Publishing today unveiled the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, a tabletop fantasy roleplaying game that will serve as the anchor for the company’s popular line of Pathfinder adventures, sourcebooks, and campaigns. Today marks the beginning of a year-long open playtest of the new rules, which are based upon the popular 3.5 rules available under the Open Game License. The Pathfinder RPG is designed with backward compatibility as one of its primary goals, so players will continue to enjoy their lifelong fantasy gaming hobby without invalidating their entire game library. The first Pathfinder RPG Alpha release is available now as a free 65-page PDF download at paizo.com/pathfinderRPG. Until the finished Pathfinder RPGs release as a hardcover rulebook in August 2009, all of Paizo’s popular Pathfinder-brand products will continue under the current 3.5 rules set.Read More
Planejammer: Geonomicon- The Dice Have Begun Rolling!
Ruleset: DND 3.5, with extensive house rules (Campaign Disc Forthcoming)
Setting: Spelljammer / Planescape
Rating: Adult themes, NSFW
Emphasis: Role Playing, not roll playing, XP bonuses for good characterization are common
Frequency: Once a week, (night of week to be determined) 7pm till 11pm
Psionics: Yes, Psionics Are Different
Starting: Early May 2007
Location: Uptown New Orleans
Smoking: Outside only
Gamer Chow: TBD, group contributions. If you drink soda bring your own.
PC Limitations: No evil alignments, no repeating of race or class is you played in one of my prior campaigns, no races with level adjustments higher than +3.
Starting Level: PCs have three levels to spend on Race and Classes, all character concepts will be considered except Dark Sun characters.
Deadline: PCs must be generated by the Wed before Jazz Fest!
Players/Characters (No New PCs Being Accepted):
The Wife ™: Helbred, Bard/Wilder -GENERATED
The Doodler: Seacliff Dwarf, Cleric of Ptah (Wildspace Church)
Stybbie: Human, Aristocrat/Rogue
Maitrix: Some form of wizard or loremaster
Laurie: Awaiting Character Concept
Dial M: Fighter (undetermined variety)
Dungeon Master’s Guide v.3.5
Expanded Psionics Handbook
Manual of the Planes
Ruleset: DND 3.5, with extensive house rules
Setting: Spelljammer / Planescape
Rating: Adult themes
Emphasis: Role Playing, not roll playing
Frequency: Once a week, (night of week to be determined) 7pm till 11pm
Starting: Early April 2007
Location: Uptown New Orleans
Alignment Limitations: No evil alignments
Starting Level: PCs have three levels to spend on Race and Classes
Game CDs are being configured for new players even now. Please post any character concepts or ideas here in the comments for further development.
Players please note in your post titles either Overmind or Geonomicon depending on which upcoming game you are referrencing.Read More
Ptolus: Monte Cook’s City by the Spire is the top of my list as far as new gaming products go. The $119.99 price is daunting, but ye gods look at what you get!
I figure that by August I will be ready to get a new campaign going and those few of my players left post Katrina have voiced a desire for some dungeon delving so this may well be it.
Besides, Monte always writes brilliant stuff. This is one of the only gaming products I can think of that I would spend that much on without flipping through it first.Read More
A very nice site full of useful examinations of internal consistency within games and comments on specific rules and situation faced by DMs. Good Stuff!
Jonathan Drain’s D20 Source