What's The Difference between D&D 3.5 And Pathfinder? - Myth-Weavers


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What's The Difference between D&D 3.5 And Pathfinder?

   
What's The Difference between D&D 3.5 And Pathfinder?

Ok Colin suggested that I should make this thread because I ask the question at the Question and Answers thread. So my question is this, what's the difference between D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder?

There are quite a lot of small differences. I think the biggest ones are in the spelling of their names. "Dungeons & Dragons", for instance, doesn't even have a "P" in it at all, while "Pathfinder" has no ampersand.

One important note folks: You may discuss differences and merits between the systems. You MAY NOT bash the systems and start arguing over which is best.

Not a whole lot; they both use the d20 system, very similar mechanics for spells, combat, and so forth, and a lot of the classes and races are mostly the same.

Let me see...a few differences that come to mind:

1. Skill points are handled differently; in 3.5, it costs twice as many skill points to raise your rank in a cross-class skill, and your maximum rank in a skill is your character level+3. In Pathfinder, skill points always raise your rank in a skill by 1 regardless of whether it's cross-class or not, but putting at least 1 rank in a class skill gives you a +3 to that skill. In addition, the skill list in Pathfinder is a bit more compressed a bit like with later D&D editions (squeezing Move Silently and Hide into Stealth, Climb and Jump into Athletics, Open Lock into Disable Device, Spot and Listen into Perception, etc).

2. In 3.5, some spells and magic item crafting costs experience points, and negative levels and being resurrected can reduce your level directly; in Pathfinder, you never spend experience points to craft items or cast spells, and 'lost levels' from negative levels or resurrection can be cured via Restoration. Essentially, you never lose experience points in Pathfinder (with the possible exception of encountering a Deck of Many Things).

3. You get more feats in Pathfinder, one every two levels (1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th) rather than one every three levels (1st, 3rd, 6th, 9th), races tend to have a slight net positive for ability score adjustments, and classes tend to get some new ability or improvement every level. So, Pathfinder characters using core material are slightly stronger than 3.5 characters using core material.

Any particular difference you were wondering about?

The biggest and most important difference?

Everything is available for free (legally) online for PF, whereas with 3.5 you can only get core stuff legally online while having to purchase splatbooks for all the extra bells and whistles if that's what you're interested in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raistlinmc View Post
The biggest and most important difference?

Everything is available for free (legally) online for PF, whereas with 3.5 you can only get core stuff legally online while having to purchase splatbooks for all the extra bells and whistles if that's what you're interested in.
The existence of the Pathfinder SRDs is a big benefit, yes. It is a giant shame that there is no way to legally do this for the wealth of D&D 3.x material.

Really, there are WAY too many niggling little differences to list. Avaday hit a couple of the major ones. In addition:
1) A LOT of feats that appear in both games work differently in PF. Probably the most noticeable are Power Attack and Cleave, but there could be a whole list.
2) Classes have been extensively rebuilt in PF. They tried very hard to avoid dead levels, also to balance classes better (YMMV on exactly how well this was achieved). The whole idea of archetypes is new to PF and allows for a lot of customization (in theory, but just as in 3.5, an awful lot of options are very substandard).
3) The way favored class works in PF is completely different from 3.5, instead of allowing you to ignore multiclassing penalties that nobody uses anyhow, taking levels in your favored class gives you some sort of minor bonus.

I would argue that Archetypes are not actually new to PF, but merely that PF wholly embraced them where 3.5 was abandond by WotC before moving past tentative exploration of the concept.

Of course, 3.5 didn't call them 'Archetypes', but and 'Alternate Class Features' (particularly some of the more expansive ones, like the several variations on the Druid's Wild Shape) and even more so 'Racial Substitution Levels' serve a fundamentally similar role and do so in a fundamentally similar manner.

There are enough differences to really trip you up if you think you already know it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Silverbane View Post
There are quite a lot of small differences. I think the biggest ones are in the spelling of their names. "Dungeons & Dragons", for instance, doesn't even have a "P" in it at all, while "Pathfinder" has no ampersand.
The same is true of the "t" and "f", which conveniently spells "Pft…"







 

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