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Advice for Pathfinder - help!

CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
I finally decided to get back into a bit of honest-to-goodness PnP, maybe starting Monday. The nearest group to me is mostly playing Pathfinder at the moment, waiting for D&D Next to release and everything to settle down.

I have no experience with Pathfinder and the last time I played any PnP was Second Ed. D&D about 14 years ago. I have a working knowledge of 3E and 3.5E which I understand Pathfinder is based on. All of said "knowledge" comes from CRPGs. I've been having a read of a couple of articles linked in these forums about being a better roleplayer, and have had a quick skim of the site for rules.

Before I stumble blindly into Pathfinder, can anyone offer some general advice, input or suggestions to make me less of a helpless noob?



  • DrugarDrugar Member Posts: 1,566
    It's kind of going to a physics convention and asking people to 'just' explain physics beforehand. Not that it's that complicated, just...well there's a lot to explain if you have no basis.

    That said, if you've played Temple of Elemental Evil (which I believe you have) then you'll have knowledge enough since ToEE is pretty much exactly 3.5 D&D, system wise.

    Few differences in Pathfinder from 3.5 D&D:
    You get a feat every second level, not every third.
    All skill ranks cost 1 skillpoint, there are no cross-class skills. Class skills get an inherent +3 bonus, that's it. Some skills have been merged into one (Tumble, Balance and Jump are now Acrobatics).
    Minor buffs to all races. Every race gets two +2's and one -2, except humans, half orcs and half elves who get one +2 to an ability score of their choice. Dwarves, for example, get +2 Con and +2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma.
    Some classes go through a lot of changes (Sorcerer, Monk, Druid), some very little (Cleric, Wizard). For example, fighters now also get Armour Mastery alongside their normal Bonus Feats. Druid wild shape grants bonusses to ability scores (instead of replacing them), Sorcerers pick a bloodline from which they get their spells and get extra powers based on that and monks get a massive load of attacks.
    A lot of classes get 'Class Powers', like the Barbarian and Rogue, which is a special power related to their class every few levels. For Barbarian's it's usually bonuses granted while raging, for rogues it can be disabling attacks or special traps.
    Where special combat maneuvers used to be a normal attack vs the target's armour class/balance skill/reflex save, etc, now all those maneuvers (Trip, Bull Rush, Disarm) use a new stat: Combat Maneuver Bonus (which is Base Attack + Str modifier + Size modifier). This goes against the target's Combat Maneuver Defence (which is Base Attack + Str modifier + Dex modifier + Size modifier). This to simplify the myriad of different special combat rules in 3.5 (seriously, check out the paragraph on grappling, it's annoying).

    It's a lot to explain but real easy once you've played a single game.
    Everyone was a noob once so I doubt they'll mind. Go and have fun!

  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    Thanks @Drugar. I'm using my normal hungover and unproductive Sunday morning time to have read over surprise rounds and a bunch of other things that don't feature or are done automatically in CRPGs. Your post pointed out a number of things I'd missed just skimming the wiki.

    Looks like any class will end up with a lot more feats than their 3.5E equivalent. Rogues actually get either a standard feat or rogue talent (which can be exchanged for feats) every level.

  • DrugarDrugar Member Posts: 1,566
    Yeah, rogues were made a fair bit more interesting. Even missed the part where they can switch out for feats, useful.

    What do you think you'll be playing?

  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    No idea. I've a strong preference for playing a Skill-Monkey/Dual-Wield Rogue, but will probably end up filling a role gap in whatever group is available. I guess the key for anything is to play the game, go with the group and roll with the punches. Fingers crossed they need someone other than the Fighter to find out where the traps are...

  • SchneidendSchneidend Member Posts: 3,190
    edited March 2014
    Some feats have been reworked from their 3.5 counterparts. Power Attack is no longer useful exclusively to roided out, powergamed half-orcs, for instance, but is also by that same token not as broken in the hands of selfsame half-orcs any longer. Cleave is also actually useful, which is a big change from its 3.5 iteration.

    Just kind of a general heads-up.

  • NecomancerNecomancer Member Posts: 622
    Corvino said:

    No idea. I've a strong preference for playing a Skill-Monkey/Dual-Wield Rogue, but will probably end up filling a role gap in whatever group is available.

    This alone will make you a good addition to the game group.

    Also make you a cleric, most likely. Here, have a useful link for Pathfinder information. One good thing about pathfinder is you have at least one more option (oracle) for being a healing sort. When you have more info on what you want to be please do share, I've run a few games and have alot of players who've used it, one of whom has a guide for every class ever.

  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    Thanks to @Drugar, @Schneidend and @Necomancer. I've been using the site as my main reference, but did get a bit sidetracked with the rules for building my own inn (with optional spying/smuggling network) instead of advanced combat tactics and class mechanics.

    When I did go along on Monday it seems that some of the group are also a bit new to the system, the rogue didn't know what CMD was. Not a criticism as we all need to start somewhere, but turning up with an optimised build and the rules for flanking etched into my mind may have been overkill. Their fighter didn't turn up so I filled in for him, possibly rolling up a divine caster in a week or two if the cleric drops out.

  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    Hey! I learned on Pathfinder, both for my first session as a player and for my first session as a DM! Still not very experienced, but her is some advice:
    1. Dual/Multi classing is really discouraged
    2. There are less skills, yet the entire system is very streamlined. For example "Stealth" instead of both Move Silently and Hide in Shadows, "Acrobatics" instead of tumble and jump
    3. Sorcerer bloodlines work kind of like cleric spheres, and give pretty cool roleplaying options
    4. Bards are actually the best skill monkies because of one awesome feature: Versatile Performance
    -It basically has your bard choose one style of performance, and you can use your perform skill to serve as your role for TWO related skills!
    --Act (Bluff, Disguise)
    --Comedy (Bluff, Intimidate)
    --Dance (Acrobatics, Fly)
    --Keyboard Instruments (Diplomacy, Intimidate)
    --Oratory (Diplomacy, Sense Motive)
    --Percussion (Handle Animal, Intimidate)
    --Sing (Bluff, Sense Motive), String (Bluff, Diplomacy)
    --Wind (Diplomacy, Handle Animal).
    -You get a new one every 4 levels starting at 2nd.
    -So basically you just get Perform (Acting) and use it or Bluff and Disguise, then Perform (Oratory) and use it for Diplomacy and Intimidate. Now you get four vital skills for the price of two! That leaves at least two more skill points/level to go to other places.
    -And guess what? Bards already get the most skillpoints of any class other than rogue. But with Perform they actually get more.

  • DrugarDrugar Member Posts: 1,566
    Depending on how hardworking your DM is, for a divine caster, you could go with Oracle. It's got sorcerer spellcasting with divine spells but it's got a Mystery instead of a bloodline. The oracle has a physical limitation (blindness, speaking in demonic tongues, charred hands) which could make for awesome roleplaying, and gets visions and secrets imparted to her in dreams and such. If your DM is willing to go the extra mile, you can get a lot of value from a class built around prophecies.

    The Cleric class has been beefed a bit though, you're now always proficient with your deity's weapon (a houserule I already had in place in D&D) and Turn Undead has been changed to Channel Energy, which is possibly a massive group heal. Domains also got a slight boost, now not only giving an ability at lvl1 but also around lvl8. For example, the Nobility Domain gives Word of Glory at lvl1 (shout at a friend and he gets bonuses on stuff) and Leadership at 8.

    I ignored the Bard class out of habit, seems I was wrong about that. Guess I'll be playing one soon.
    I did make a bard assassin to throw at my group a few months ago. The level 3 spell Aura of Nothingspecialness or something like it was v. useful. In 20ft around the caster, there's an aura where the caster can do anything in plain sight and nobody will think it's weird. He casually poisoned and abducted a partymember in full view of the rest and other than asking "Do you need her? Well alright then." they weren't really able to do anything, until the cleric made his will save.
    V. useful.

  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    I've just had a read of the Bard class description and it's pretty damn good. Arcane casting like a mini-sorcerer, interesting spells, loads of skills and skill substitutions, knowledge check bonuses, and archetypes that make you better at traps than a rogue. They seem a bit feat-starved, but otherwise very impressive. Paizo have kind of gone out of their way to replace the rogue in a 4-man party with a bard.

    It looks like the group's cleric hasn't turned up for the past couple of sessions (leaving them completely without a healer). The party is already melee heavy with a mage as the only caster left, so I might pick a more back-row healer like a high-Wis druid, though I'm looking into Witch and Oracle.

  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    edited March 2014
    Bards can also heal, but obviously nowhere near as well as a cleric.

    My second character in case my guy died was going to be a 12yo Chaotic Evil sorcerer with the Abyssal bloodline.

    Name: Damien

  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    But there isn't a scary looking dog familiar!

    Racial Ability: Summon ominous music

  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    I'd also recommend checking out the druid class, since they need someone who can heal. Lots of interesting spells and abilities and cool feats.
    The animal companion options are great, and even cooler if you use books outside of the core set.

  • DrugarDrugar Member Posts: 1,566
    Plus, you can always ask the DM if you're allowed the Spontaneous Healer feat from Complete Divine, giving you the cleric ability to convert spells into healing spells on thd fly. That should more than make up for their lack of cleric.

  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    I'm leaning toward Oracle for back-row healing shenannigans. The Sorcerer-type casting is pretty flexible, and using the Life mystery you get early access to a lot of useful healer spells like lesser restoration, and can get Channel Energy too. Probably a high Cha non-melee build for me though to stick to buffing, debuffing and healing.

    There are a couple of interesting options to get access to bonus spells as well. It's possible to go Skill focus (any knowledge)->Eldritch Heritage (arcane)->Improved Eldritch Heritage. This will get you a familiar as well as 3 Wizard/Sorcerer spells of your choice. Not quite as good as the Elf Ancient Lorekeeper Archetype, but good nonetheless.

  • DrugarDrugar Member Posts: 1,566
    Bonus roleplaying XP if you learn the Black Speech of Mordor and consistently shout it at your partymembers whenever you're in combat.

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