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Help a Player converting from 3.5 to Pathfinder

Help a Player converting from 3.5 to Pathfinder

Dungeons and Dragons 3.5, I've got it more or less memorized. Yay me. However, I've gotten interested in Pathfinder, mostly due to the maddened ravings of my web-pals and such. Yes, I could buy/download all the books, read them cover to cover and poof, I'm a pro-Pathy, but honestly, that would bore me to tears and discourage me from actually learning a system described as similar to one I already know.

So, here's what I ask of you, oh gaming gurus of the Myth-weavers. I would like a little quickstart assist.

Namely, which books take the place of the PHB, DMG and Monsters Manual?
Yes, I am aware that some skills are different, some racials are a touch different, gods and spells, but I meant mechanically different. I still roll a d20 to hit, add my appropriate bonuses, right? There are still challenge levels and level adjustments for monsters, yes? If I wanted to say, play a half angel, I still can right? That sort of stuff.
Where are the key issues that Pathfinder differs from 3.5? Are half-elves still useless?

You may want to take a look at the:

Pathfinder SRD

As to key differences, I'm not too sure, not having really played pathfinder. The main ones I can think of are that classes can do a few more things (buffed from 3.5). 0 level spells are not expended when cast for cleric, druid, wizard etc, though they still need to be prepared. Point buy works slightly differently.

Favored Class: Each character begins play with a single favored class of his choosing—typically, this is the same class as the one he chooses at 1st level. Whenever a character gains a level in his favored class, he receives either + 1 hit point or + 1 skill rank. The choice of favored class cannot be changed once the character is created, and the choice of gaining a hit point or a skill rank each time a character gains a level (including his first level) cannot be changed once made for a particular level. Prestige classes (see Prestige Classes) can never be a favored class.
From what I've seen from game ads, two traits seems to be usual at character creation.

Bull rush, disarm, grapple, trip, sunder, overrun are Combat Maneuvers.
There is CMB Combat Maneuver Bonus for people using them, resisted by Combat Maneuver Defence.
CMB = BAB + str bonus + special size modifier.
CMD = 10 + Base attack bonus + Strength modifier + Dexterity modifier + special size modifier + miscellaneous modifiers.

Gawd that SRD helps SO much... And what a peculiar idea, the CMB. I like it ^^

As far as the system itself goes, that's pretty much it. That and you get feats every odd level instead of every 3rd level. The real changes are in the details of the classes, feats, and spells. Just keep in mind that Pathfinder is basically 3.5: Caster Edition and that Monks and Rogues have been nerfed to hell and back because SKR doesn't like them and nothing should really surprise you.

Power attack is different. This will matter if you want to play melee. There are just enough differences to trip you up if you assume something works the same way just because it's called the same thing. This applies to all parts of the game.

I just recently converted to Pathfinder, I find 4th edition really bland so the subtle changes in Pathfinder are great. Little, logical things that should have been implemented years ago. Too many of them to really explain all in one go, so my best advice is build a few characters. Just make some fifth level characters to get a feel for the difference, a few hours of work, then you shouldn't have any trouble converting your old 3.5 stuff.

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