What PRD rules should be retroconverted to 3e?

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What PRD rules should be retroconverted to 3e?

Post by Big Mac » Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:07 pm

I've had plenty of people try to get me to give up 3rd Edition D&D and move to Pathfinder. They often call Pathfinder 3.75.

I don't want to switch to Pathfinder, but I was wondering what cool stuff Pathfinder has (that 3rd Edition D&D does not already have).

Can anyone think of anything, in the Pathfinder Reference Document that does anything that 3.0 and 3.5 forgot to do?

Pathfinder changed some of the core parts of the 3e SRD, so I'm not sure that everything could just be dragged and dropped into 3e. Does anyone have any suggestions for retro-converting new Pathfinder rules, to make them more compatible with 3.5 or 3.0?
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Re: What PRD rules should be retroconverted to 3e?

Post by timemrick » Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:44 pm

Probably the single best innovation in Pathfinder is its more elegant treatment of skill ranks and class skills:
  • You get the same number of skill ranks at every level.
  • A rank costs one rank, whether it's a class skill or not.
  • Your maximum skill rank is equal to your character level (or total HD for creatures).
  • You get a +3 bonus to any class skill in which you're trained (have at least 1 rank).
  • Once something is a class skill, it's always a class skill.
This method makes it much easier to calculate and track skill points. There's no multiplying by x4 at 1st level, no half ranks, and no need to track which rank was bought with which class's skill points.

The only real drawback is that you can no longer spread points between a dozen different skills at 1st level, but that tactic resulted in pretty poor skill modifiers anyway. It only really helped with being able to use trained-only skills, and IMO, the improved ease of use more than makes up for that small sacrifice.
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Re: What PRD rules should be retroconverted to 3e?

Post by Tim Baker » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:55 pm

I don't know enough about the systems to answer your question, but I'm curious to know if there are big pieces that Pathfinder has that 3.x doesn't. Great question.
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Re: What PRD rules should be retroconverted to 3e?

Post by AxesnOrcs » Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:49 am

timemrick wrote:Probably the single best innovation in Pathfinder is its more elegant treatment of skill ranks and class skills:
  • You get the same number of skill ranks at every level.
  • A rank costs one rank, whether it's a class skill or not.
  • Your maximum skill rank is equal to your character level (or total HD for creatures).
  • You get a +3 bonus to any class skill in which you're trained (have at least 1 rank).
  • Once something is a class skill, it's always a class skill.
This method makes it much easier to calculate and track skill points. There's no multiplying by x4 at 1st level, no half ranks, and no need to track which rank was bought with which class's skill points.

The only real drawback is that you can no longer spread points between a dozen different skills at 1st level, but that tactic resulted in pretty poor skill modifiers anyway. It only really helped with being able to use trained-only skills, and IMO, the improved ease of use more than makes up for that small sacrifice.
This is one of the best changes PF did from 3.x in addition to condensing the skill list.

A couple of the martial classes got some improvements, and monk, barbarian, and rogue a second round of improvements in Pathfinder Unchained.
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Re: What PRD rules should be retroconverted to 3e?

Post by Kylun » Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:24 am

timemrick wrote:Probably the single best innovation in Pathfinder is its more elegant treatment of skill ranks and class skills:
  • You get the same number of skill ranks at every level.
  • A rank costs one rank, whether it's a class skill or not.
  • Your maximum skill rank is equal to your character level (or total HD for creatures).
  • You get a +3 bonus to any class skill in which you're trained (have at least 1 rank).
  • Once something is a class skill, it's always a class skill.
This method makes it much easier to calculate and track skill points. There's no multiplying by x4 at 1st level, no half ranks, and no need to track which rank was bought with which class's skill points.

The only real drawback is that you can no longer spread points between a dozen different skills at 1st level, but that tactic resulted in pretty poor skill modifiers anyway. It only really helped with being able to use trained-only skills, and IMO, the improved ease of use more than makes up for that small sacrifice.
If a skill is a class skill once you have it, what's to stop characters from taking one level of rogue and gaining immediate access to all those skills that now are class skills?
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Re: What PRD rules should be retroconverted to 3e?

Post by AxesnOrcs » Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:57 am

Kylun wrote:
timemrick wrote:Probably the single best innovation in Pathfinder is its more elegant treatment of skill ranks and class skills:
  • You get the same number of skill ranks at every level.
  • A rank costs one rank, whether it's a class skill or not.
  • Your maximum skill rank is equal to your character level (or total HD for creatures).
  • You get a +3 bonus to any class skill in which you're trained (have at least 1 rank).
  • Once something is a class skill, it's always a class skill.
This method makes it much easier to calculate and track skill points. There's no multiplying by x4 at 1st level, no half ranks, and no need to track which rank was bought with which class's skill points.

The only real drawback is that you can no longer spread points between a dozen different skills at 1st level, but that tactic resulted in pretty poor skill modifiers anyway. It only really helped with being able to use trained-only skills, and IMO, the improved ease of use more than makes up for that small sacrifice.
If a skill is a class skill once you have it, what's to stop characters from taking one level of rogue and gaining immediate access to all those skills that now are class skills?
Nothing. That's the game working as intended. That character will still only have the skill ranks of whatever other classes they level up into, so sure a fighter could take a level of rogue and have all those sweet skills, but only getting fighter level of skills for every fighter level doesn't break things.

This actually reminded me that PF changed how multiclassing works too:
PRD wrote:Multiclassing

Instead of gaining the abilities granted by the next level in your character's current class, he can instead gain the 1st-level abilities of a new class, adding all of those abilities to his existing ones. This is known as "multiclassing."

For example, let's say a 5th-level fighter decides to dabble in the arcane arts, and adds one level of wizard when he advances to 6th level. Such a character would have the powers and abilities of both a 5th-level fighter and a 1st-level wizard, but would still be considered a 6th-level character. (His class levels would be 5th and 1st, but his total character level is 6th.) He keeps all of his bonus feats gained from 5 levels of fighter, but can now also cast 1st-level spells and picks an arcane school. He adds all of the hit points, base attack bonuses, and saving throw bonuses from a 1st-level wizard on top of those gained from being a 5th-level fighter.

Note that there are a number of effects and prerequisites that rely on a character's level or Hit Dice. Such effects are always based on the total number of levels or Hit Dice a character possesses, not just those from one class. The exception to this is class abilities, most of which are based on the total number of class levels that a character possesses of that particular class.
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.
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Re: What PRD rules should be retroconverted to 3e?

Post by Kylun » Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:44 am

AxesnOrcs wrote:
Nothing. That's the game working as intended. That character will still only have the skill ranks of whatever other classes they level up into, so sure a fighter could take a level of rogue and have all those sweet skills, but only getting fighter level of skills for every fighter level doesn't break things.
Never thought of it that way. Makes sense and it's a self-solving issue.
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Re: What PRD rules should be retroconverted to 3e?

Post by AxesnOrcs » Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:28 am

Kylun wrote:
AxesnOrcs wrote:
Nothing. That's the game working as intended. That character will still only have the skill ranks of whatever other classes they level up into, so sure a fighter could take a level of rogue and have all those sweet skills, but only getting fighter level of skills for every fighter level doesn't break things.
Never thought of it that way. Makes sense and it's a self-solving issue.
There is also the downside of not getting attack and saving throw bonuses advancing as fast, and delaying class abilities just to pick up class skills.
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Re: What PRD rules should be retroconverted to 3e?

Post by Cthulhudrew » Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:33 am

I'd say the Archetypes are worth taking a look at. They would be harder to retroconvert to 3E, as some of them replace abilities that are either not a part of the 3E classes, or that work differently between the two editions, but there should still be plenty to choose from. (If anything, I think perhaps too many nowadays, but that's the same issue with the 3E splatbooks and prestige classes and the like.)

Another thing that was kind of a cool addition- and probably not the first thing you might think to look at- would be the Pathfinder Settlement stat block. It takes the stat block info from 3E- settlement size, wealth, etc.- and tacks on certain Settlement qualities, such as Corruption, Crime, Economy, etc. that help to better define the general zeitgeist of a given settlement, and even provide some Skill adjustments and things for PCs operating within those areas. Especially useful for urban adventuring.

You might want to take a look at the PF Unchained rules for Diseases and Poisons, too. These seem to be loosely based on the d20 Star Wars Condition Track (at least inasfar as I am familiar with that game, having never played it), and I think that I generally prefer the rules to the 3E/PF core disease and poison rules.
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Re: What PRD rules should be retroconverted to 3e?

Post by willpell » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:43 pm

timemrick wrote:Probably the single best innovation in Pathfinder is its more elegant treatment of skill ranks and class skills:
What you call "more elegant", I would say is "less customizable".
This method makes it much easier to calculate and track skill points. There's no multiplying by x4 at 1st level, no half ranks, and no need to track which rank was bought with which class's skill points.
The only one of these innovations that I would be on board with is "anything which was once a class skill is always a class skill", although even that is prone to abuse if there isn't a rule to keep people from splashing levels (otherwise, everyone would just start out with one level of Factotum, and the entire concept of class skills would become a joke). The others, IMO, are critical mistakes. The 3E skill system actually makes a lot more sense than most people think it does; the ability to have between 1 and 4 ranks at level 1 is based on the fact that people can have different amounts of proficiency in a skill IRL, and IMO you're not really supposed to have x4 in every skill, only in the ones that are most central to your character's "profession".

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Re: What PRD rules should be retroconverted to 3e?

Post by timemrick » Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:46 am

willpell wrote:What you call "more elegant", I would say is "less customizable".
Considering just how highly customizable the rest of the system is (between archetypes, alternate racial traits, background traits, etc.), I'm perfectly happy having this one part of the core rules be nice and simple. YMMV.
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Re: What PRD rules should be retroconverted to 3e?

Post by AxesnOrcs » Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:14 am

I'm not really seeing any benefit to the morass that was adding another layer of tedious arithmetic to D&D. Your customization skill wise would give you a bunch of small pluses that in the way 3e is set up is likely to just not be meaningful while adventuring.

And if you read further up thread, I point out that getting more class skills/points comes at the cost of losing out on class abilities and Attack/Save bonus progressions. Sure you can get a lot of class skills, but you still have to sink one rank into it to get the class bonus. A +4 plus some ability bonus is at most +9 without dumping more ranks. The classes where that is less of cost rank wise are also the ones with the larger list of class skills. So, I don't see a problem with someone taking a 1-2 level dip into a class for the class skills, and why would it be a problem if everyone just sank one of the first 3 levels into Factotum for all the class skills?
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Re: What PRD rules should be retroconverted to 3e?

Post by AxesnOrcs » Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:28 am

Another thing I just remembered I really like that PF did: Combat Maneuver Bonus and Combat Maneuver Defense. It made grappling and other combat maneuvers less of a horrible thing. They still have a poor scaling problem though.
Combat Maneuvers

During combat, you can attempt to perform a number of maneuvers that can hinder or even cripple your foe, including bull rush, disarm, grapple, overrun, sunder, and trip. Although these maneuvers have vastly different results, they all use a similar mechanic to determine success.

Combat Maneuver Bonus: Each character and creature has a Combat Maneuver Bonus (or CMB) that represents its skill at performing combat maneuvers. A creature's CMB is determined using the following formula:

CMB = Base attack bonus + Strength modifier + special size modifier

Creatures that are size Tiny or smaller use their Dexterity modifier in place of their Strength modifier to determine their CMB. The special size modifier for a creature's Combat Maneuver Bonus is as follows: Fine –8, Diminutive –4, Tiny –2, Small –1, Medium +0, Large +1, Huge +2, Gargantuan +4, Colossal +8. Some feats and abilities grant a bonus to your CMB when performing specific maneuvers.

Performing a Combat Maneuver: When performing a combat maneuver, you must use an action appropriate to the maneuver you are attempting to perform. While many combat maneuvers can be performed as part of an attack action, full-attack action, or attack of opportunity (in place of a melee attack), others require a specific action. Unless otherwise noted, performing a combat maneuver provokes an attack of opportunity from the target of the maneuver. If you are hit by the target, you take the damage normally and apply that amount as a penalty to the attack roll to perform the maneuver. If your target is immobilized, unconscious, or otherwise incapacitated, your maneuver automatically succeeds (treat as if you rolled a natural 20 on the attack roll). If your target is stunned, you receive a +4 bonus on your attack roll to perform a combat maneuver against it.

When you attempt to perform a combat maneuver, make an attack roll and add your CMB in place of your normal attack bonus. Add any bonuses you currently have on attack rolls due to spells, feats, and other effects. These bonuses must be applicable to the weapon or attack used to perform the maneuver. The DC of this maneuver is your target's Combat Maneuver Defense. Combat maneuvers are attack rolls, so you must roll for concealment and take any other penalties that would normally apply to an attack roll.

Combat Maneuver Defense: Each character and creature has a Combat Maneuver Defense (or CMD) that represents its ability to resist combat maneuvers. A creature's CMD is determined using the following formula:

CMD = 10 + Base attack bonus + Strength modifier + Dexterity modifier + special size modifier

The special size modifier for a creature's Combat Maneuver Defense is as follows: Fine –8, Diminutive –4, Tiny –2, Small –1, Medium +0, Large +1, Huge +2, Gargantuan +4, Colossal +8. Some feats and abilities grant a bonus to your CMD when resisting specific maneuvers. A creature can also add any circumstance, deflection, dodge, insight, luck, morale, profane, and sacred bonuses to AC to its CMD. Any penalties to a creature's AC also apply to its CMD. A flat-footed creature does not add its Dexterity bonus to its CMD.

Determine Success: If your attack roll equals or exceeds the CMD of the target, your maneuver is a success and has the listed effect. Some maneuvers, such as bull rush, have varying levels of success depending on how much your attack roll exceeds the target's CMD. Rolling a natural 20 while attempting a combat maneuver is always a success (except when attempting to escape from bonds), while rolling a natural 1 is always a failure.
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Re: What PRD rules should be retroconverted to 3e?

Post by willpell » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:39 pm

timemrick wrote:
willpell wrote:What you call "more elegant", I would say is "less customizable".
Considering just how highly customizable the rest of the system is (between archetypes, alternate racial traits, background traits, etc.), I'm perfectly happy having this one part of the core rules be nice and simple. YMMV.
The problem with that is the all the things you listed require you to buy, read, and reference huge amounts of text describing them; it's a logical thing for the company to do, given that their objective is to publish, sell, and stockpile as many books as possible. But my objective is to buy, read, and reference as little as necessary, so I would much rather incorporate the extra flexibility into the base rules, allowing me to make more variable characters using just the corebooks, rather than needing a staggering variety of supplements to find all the granularity I want.

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Re: What PRD rules should be retroconverted to 3e?

Post by AxesnOrcs » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:38 pm

willpell wrote:
timemrick wrote:
willpell wrote:What you call "more elegant", I would say is "less customizable".
Considering just how highly customizable the rest of the system is (between archetypes, alternate racial traits, background traits, etc.), I'm perfectly happy having this one part of the core rules be nice and simple. YMMV.
The problem with that is the all the things you listed require you to buy, read, and reference huge amounts of text describing them; it's a logical thing for the company to do, given that their objective is to publish, sell, and stockpile as many books as possible. But my objective is to buy, read, and reference as little as necessary, so I would much rather incorporate the extra flexibility into the base rules, allowing me to make more variable characters using just the corebooks, rather than needing a staggering variety of supplements to find all the granularity I want.
But the flexibility in more skills to pick from only gives you some boring bonuses. That's it. Just a "here is a +x on your d20 roll." Not a "here are some new ways your barbarian can rage out," or sweet feats for your animal companion that lets them do sweet things, or archetypes of all flavors. The flexibility of skills is "ok my character background is something with a profession/craft skill I get bonuses on all my 'conduct business & eat up tabletime" rolls.

Don't get me wrong. I am highly critical of the option bloat in all of the 3e derived games. Lots of them are needless expansions of mundane equipment, or the billionth +x to something magical item, or "this is a trap but you don't have the system mastery to know that."

But, a larger skill list, the morass that is cross-class skills, 4x skill ranks at 1st, and the freedom to spend one skill rank across 8+ skills for a dubious +1 to skill rolls does what exactly?
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Re: What PRD rules should be retroconverted to 3e?

Post by willpell » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:02 pm

AxesnOrcs wrote:But the flexibility in more skills to pick from only gives you some boring bonuses. That's it. Just a "here is a +x on your d20 roll."
That's an inherent problem with the d20 system overall. One die roll to resolve a skill challenge is not very impressive, but starting simple with the rules allows you to build something more complicated out of multiple simple events.
But, a larger skill list, the morass that is cross-class skills, 4x skill ranks at 1st, and the freedom to spend one skill rank across 8+ skills for a dubious +1 to skill rolls does what exactly?
The skill list does need to not be too large, but the one that's in the 3E corebooks is almost not big enough. I could see combining a few skills that are seldom used, such as folding Decipher Script and Forgery together into Cryptography, but at the same time, I hate the idea of combining Spot and Listen into Perception (as in both PF and 5E), because I'm very interested in focusing on the differences between those two major things (you only need to hide from someone if they're actually looking at you, whereas Move Silently can determine whether you're detected by people three rooms away).

If you're going to do away with cross-class skills, you might as well do away with character classes altogether. I'll admit that it's a pain in the butt to remember the entire class skill list, but at the same time, I think it's super-important to be able to say that, for instance, wizards can't learn to Disable Device as well as Rogues can, because that's why Rogues exist, they can solve problems that others can't. I don't want a huge proliferation of slightly different classes, but I do want the ones we have to be very rigorously planned out in terms of what they can and cannot do, as I think those things are both important. (It still drives me nuts that the Favored Soul has Knowledge: Arcana instead of Knowledge: Religion; I can sit down and write an entire three-paragraph article about how to try and justify that, when it was very likely just a mistaken decision in the class's first published version.)

x4 skills is crucial IMO, because a 1st-level character should not necessarily have 4 ranks in every skill. I would almost want to institute a rule that explicitly requires you to build a "pyramid" with your skill points, so you have to have a 1 and a 2 and a 3 before you can have a 4. I don't go that far, but I do frequently do lesser versions of this to myself when building NPCs, as it helps to flesh out their individuality.

Every +1 to your skill should be significant, although I admit that the system does a poor job of handling this. The rules that determine DCs should be far more specific, and DCs should not be rounded to the nearest multiple of 5 just for convenience; it should be a gigantically huge deal when, for instance, you're selling a DC 14 version of a poison that's normally DC 13. You should be able to get close to double the price, just because of that +5% chance that the victim actually succumbs to the effect (neverminding the additional randomness of damage dice and so forth).

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Re: What PRD rules should be retroconverted to 3e?

Post by AxesnOrcs » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:33 pm

ok. But I still see no problem with adding class skills upon multi-classing. A character still only has the skill ranks of the class they just leveled plus Int mod. Even if that wizard or fighter has a level of rogue for the class skills, they only have 2+int mod per level to improve their skills. Players will end up having lower overall skill ranks/bonuses if they jump around multi-classing or dipping. It's a self-correcting problem.
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