Pathfinder and 3.5 Compatibility

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Pathfinder and 3.5 Compatibility

Postby Seethyr » Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:11 am

I'm sure that when 4e came out this was discussed ad nauseum. I;m a bit of a conservative who just doesn't like his favorite things to change, so I didn't really move on with the exception of small amounts of 4e dabbling.

As close as I heard it is to 3.5e, I didn't even want to move on to Pathfinder but I can't seem to hold out any more.

If I buy a Pathfinder product and want to use it in my 3.5 campaign, what should I take into consideration? Some look so darn good.

So far I vague notions of a difference in creature CRs, creature types, eladrin (the celestials) aren't called that anymore... That's about it.
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Re: Pathfinder and 3.5 Compatibility

Postby Angel Tarragon » Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:41 am

The races receive a small reflavoring and the mechanics are modified just enough to reflect the changes to skills and feats.

The classes all get amped a notch. All of them have [new] class features spread over the course of level advancement to keep the appeal of staying single classed. Class archetypes allow you to stay single classed while swapping out less appealing class features for the archetype features; this effectively almost allows you to gain 'prestige' without having to gain levels in a prestige class. Prestige classes are in the game, they are just as prolific anymore as they were in D&D 3.X. The biggest change to the classes are armor and weapon expertise that the fighter gains allowing more ease of use of armor and better attack/damage modifiers with certain weapon groups and sorcerers have bloodlines which grant additional skills, opens up feat options and grants powers dependant on your class level, cleric domains are similar as they allow powers dependant on class level too.

The skills were made a lot easier to use. No longer does the max skill rank for class skills equal 3 + character/class level; it is equal to your character/class level. Instead all skills are now cross-class unless you have levels in the class that grant access to the skill. When you take your first rank in a skill, you get a +3 training bonus on your skill check. Skill functionality has been folded into other skills if it seemed appropriate; for example Linguistics is a skill that for each rank allows you to speak an additional language and helps you decipher scripts. Stealth (functions as Hide & Move Silently) and is opposed by Perception (functions as Listen, Search & Spot). There are other folded skills, but I won't list them all here. Synergy bonuses have been eliminated and Concentration is no longer a skill.

Some feats needed a rebalancing from 3.x, as they were either underpowered or overpowered and some were combined (Toughness & Improved Toughness). There are a hell of a lot of new feats and it easier to determine which feats qualify as Fighter bonus feats as they are now labeled as Combat feats.

AoO are revamped but I can't tell you the specifics off-hand as it isn't something I have memorized. Attack Actions are simplified, in 3.X there came a glut of action types that were added in later supplements, but they are simplified in Pathfinder; standard, full-round, free, swift, immediate, not and restricted. Regarding Hit Dice & Hit Points, a characters HD now correlates to their class BAB progression; D6 for slow, D8 for medium, D10 for fast and D12 for barbarians. A character dies when they have a negative hit point total equal to their Constitution score. Massive damage is optional and the amount is determined by creature size. Much needed revisions to combat/grappling have been replaced by combat maneuvers with the Combat Maneuver Bonus and Combat Maneuver Defense mechanics (CMB [Strength based] & CMD [Dexterity based]).

Magic is revamped, death spells now allow saves and some spells got rewritten and other spells written out for new ones; Cure Minor Wounds is replaced with Stabilize which stabilizes a dying character and Inflict Minor wounds is replaced with Bleed which causes stabilized characters to start dying again. Disjunction allows you to target a single object and it gets a -5 penalty to its Will save to avoid being destroyed, otherwise the spell stays the same.

For more info on changes download the conversion guide. The PRD is free and can be perused online [and offline too]. The Core Rulebook is available for $10 in PDF form, and is well worth it to evaluate the game before buying the hardback and is well usable at the gaming table instead of lugging around the books and/or if you are carbon-footprint conservative.
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Re: Pathfinder and 3.5 Compatibility

Postby Cthulhudrew » Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:09 am

Twin Agate Dragons wrote:Cure Minor Wounds is replaced with Stabilize which stabilizes a dying character and Inflict Minor wounds is replaced with Bleed which causes stabilized characters to start dying again.


I regards to the Minor Wounds spells, it should be noted that the change came about because there is no longer a limit to the number of cantrips a spellcaster can cast per day; they still have only X amount of cantrips known, but they can be cast at will. In order to eliminate abuse ("I just keep casting Cure Minor Wounds until he is completely healed."), the change to these two spells was made.

I don't think backwards compatibility would be that difficult, for the most part. Several of the early Paizo products were still made for/under the 3.5 rules set; Rise of the Runelords, Curse of the Crimson Throne, Second Darkness and Legacy of Fire were all published under the 3.5 rules, and a couple of the subsequent APs were written before some of the later supplements- Council of Thieves, Kingmaker, and possibly Serpent's Skull. From there, I'd say the newer APs would probably be the toughest to retro-convert, as many of them make use of optional rules and things from the Ultimate Combat and Magic books, as well as other supplements from Pathfinder.
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Re: Pathfinder and 3.5 Compatibility

Postby Big Mac » Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:18 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:I don't think backwards compatibility would be that difficult, for the most part. Several of the early Paizo products were still made for/under the 3.5 rules set; Rise of the Runelords, Curse of the Crimson Throne, Second Darkness and Legacy of Fire were all published under the 3.5 rules, and a couple of the subsequent APs were written before some of the later supplements- Council of Thieves, Kingmaker, and possibly Serpent's Skull. From there, I'd say the newer APs would probably be the toughest to retro-convert, as many of them make use of optional rules and things from the Ultimate Combat and Magic books, as well as other supplements from Pathfinder.


Has anyone ever tried to retro-convert some of the new Pathfinder rules to 3.5?
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Re: Pathfinder and 3.5 Compatibility

Postby Angel Tarragon » Sun Jul 03, 2016 11:28 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Cthulhudrew wrote:I don't think backwards compatibility would be that difficult, for the most part. Several of the early Paizo products were still made for/under the 3.5 rules set; Rise of the Runelords, Curse of the Crimson Throne, Second Darkness and Legacy of Fire were all published under the 3.5 rules, and a couple of the subsequent APs were written before some of the later supplements- Council of Thieves, Kingmaker, and possibly Serpent's Skull. From there, I'd say the newer APs would probably be the toughest to retro-convert, as many of them make use of optional rules and things from the Ultimate Combat and Magic books, as well as other supplements from Pathfinder.


Has anyone ever tried to retro-convert some of the new Pathfinder rules to 3.5?

There is a free conversion guide, so doing it should not prove too difficult. Retro-converting classes proves difficult as even the core classes are amped up a notch. I Pathfinder, the reward for staying single classed should pay out with a class capstone ability.
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Re: Pathfinder and 3.5 Compatibility

Postby Big Mac » Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:28 am

Angel Tarragon wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
Cthulhudrew wrote:I don't think backwards compatibility would be that difficult, for the most part. Several of the early Paizo products were still made for/under the 3.5 rules set; Rise of the Runelords, Curse of the Crimson Throne, Second Darkness and Legacy of Fire were all published under the 3.5 rules, and a couple of the subsequent APs were written before some of the later supplements- Council of Thieves, Kingmaker, and possibly Serpent's Skull. From there, I'd say the newer APs would probably be the toughest to retro-convert, as many of them make use of optional rules and things from the Ultimate Combat and Magic books, as well as other supplements from Pathfinder.


Has anyone ever tried to retro-convert some of the new Pathfinder rules to 3.5?

There is a free conversion guide, so doing it should not prove too difficult. Retro-converting classes proves difficult as even the core classes are amped up a notch. I Pathfinder, the reward for staying single classed should pay out with a class capstone ability.


Thanks. I figured that retro-conversion would involve pulling down the power levels.

I think this is probably something I should spin off into a topic in the 3e forum.
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Re: Pathfinder and 3.5 Compatibility

Postby rabindranath72 » Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:00 am

Big Mac wrote:
Angel Tarragon wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
Cthulhudrew wrote:I don't think backwards compatibility would be that difficult, for the most part. Several of the early Paizo products were still made for/under the 3.5 rules set; Rise of the Runelords, Curse of the Crimson Throne, Second Darkness and Legacy of Fire were all published under the 3.5 rules, and a couple of the subsequent APs were written before some of the later supplements- Council of Thieves, Kingmaker, and possibly Serpent's Skull. From there, I'd say the newer APs would probably be the toughest to retro-convert, as many of them make use of optional rules and things from the Ultimate Combat and Magic books, as well as other supplements from Pathfinder.


Has anyone ever tried to retro-convert some of the new Pathfinder rules to 3.5?

There is a free conversion guide, so doing it should not prove too difficult. Retro-converting classes proves difficult as even the core classes are amped up a notch. I Pathfinder, the reward for staying single classed should pay out with a class capstone ability.


Thanks. I figured that retro-conversion would involve pulling down the power levels.

I think this is probably something I should spin off into a topic in the 3e forum.

I have used Pathfinder stuff for my 3.0 games, but conversion wasn't easy; I use the 3.0 core books only, and the typical Pathfinder modules involve tons of classes, prestige classes, archetypes, spells etc. that can't be used simply. So what I do when I see an NPC, say, is to convert to the nearest class and call it a day. Similarly for monsters.
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Re: Pathfinder and 3.5 Compatibility

Postby Big Mac » Mon Oct 17, 2016 1:21 am

rabindranath72 wrote:I have used Pathfinder stuff for my 3.0 games, but conversion wasn't easy; I use the 3.0 core books only, and the typical Pathfinder modules involve tons of classes, prestige classes, archetypes, spells etc. that can't be used simply. So what I do when I see an NPC, say, is to convert to the nearest class and call it a day. Similarly for monsters.


That sounds like a logical way to go...unless someone wants to specifically import a Pathfinder class or prestige class into 3e.
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Re: Pathfinder and 3.5 Compatibility

Postby Ashtagon » Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:11 am

Bear in mind that PF did nothing to solve the "linear warriors quadratic wizards" issue of 3.5. If anything, the suggestion is that the divide has become a bit more severe, as most full caster classes received additional class features.
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Re: Pathfinder and 3.5 Compatibility

Postby Big Mac » Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:27 am

Ashtagon wrote:Bear in mind that PF did nothing to solve the "linear warriors quadratic wizards" issue of 3.5. If anything, the suggestion is that the divide has become a bit more severe, as most full caster classes received additional class features.


Was this "linear warriors quadratic wizards" thing less of an issue with 3.0?
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Re: Pathfinder and 3.5 Compatibility

Postby Ashtagon » Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:34 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Ashtagon wrote:Bear in mind that PF did nothing to solve the "linear warriors quadratic wizards" issue of 3.5. If anything, the suggestion is that the divide has become a bit more severe, as most full caster classes received additional class features.


Was this "linear warriors quadratic wizards" thing less of an issue with 3.0?


It's been an issue with every edition of D&D pretty much since 1974. If anything, 3rd edition exacerbated the problem, by making all classes have the same XP progression; previously, 10th level rogues and 9th level fighters were adventuring alongside 7th level wizards, reducing the problem somewhat. The 3.x.pf paradigm where all characters in a party should be the same level changed that around.
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Re: Pathfinder and 3.5 Compatibility

Postby Angel Tarragon » Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:04 am

Ashtagon wrote:It's been an issue with every edition of D&D pretty much since 1974. If anything, 3rd edition exacerbated the problem, by making all classes have the same XP progression; previously, 10th level rogues and 9th level fighters were adventuring alongside 7th level wizards, reducing the problem somewhat. The 3.x.pf paradigm where all characters in a party should be the same level changed that around.
Is this something you plan to fix with Apotheon?
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Re: Pathfinder and 3.5 Compatibility

Postby Ashtagon » Sun Oct 30, 2016 5:05 pm

Apotheon is a bit of a vapourware project, sadly. It's not that I've abandoned it as such, more a case of real life intervening. But yes, removing the way wizards rapidly overtake their non-caster companions is definitely a thing that I had planned to end.
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Re: Pathfinder and 3.5 Compatibility

Postby pawsplay » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:36 am

Ashtagon wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
Ashtagon wrote:Bear in mind that PF did nothing to solve the "linear warriors quadratic wizards" issue of 3.5. If anything, the suggestion is that the divide has become a bit more severe, as most full caster classes received additional class features.


Was this "linear warriors quadratic wizards" thing less of an issue with 3.0?


It's been an issue with every edition of D&D pretty much since 1974. If anything, 3rd edition exacerbated the problem, by making all classes have the same XP progression; previously, 10th level rogues and 9th level fighters were adventuring alongside 7th level wizards, reducing the problem somewhat. The 3.x.pf paradigm where all characters in a party should be the same level changed that around.


3e introduced a number of issues that, while minor individually, aggravated this problem. It became easier to learn and know powerful and rare spells. Wizards got bonus spell slots, making them more prolific casters. Many powerful spells had substantial limitations removed. Spells with casting times of 1 round (equivalent to some of the slower spells in AD&D) virtually disappear starting around 5th level.

Also, 3e goofed in one major, seldom observed way. In A&D, fighters started off with unexceptional spells and weren't great against spells. However, as they leveled they achieved good saving throws. Further, they required less XP to level and thus were frequently higher level than magic-users. In other words, prior to 3e, fighters often had some of the best saving throws in the game. In 3e, of course, they are notoriously weak against high-level enchantments. If 3e fighters were really equivalent to their AD&D counterparts in that regard, they would have "good" Fortitude and "medium" Will and Reflexes.
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