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Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:13 am
  

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Megaversal® Ambassador Coordinator

Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2001 2:01 am
Posts: 1189
Location: Utah
I recently got an email regarding a difference of two very 'at a glance' similar appearing games and I didn't have an answer as I have never played D&D or Pathfinder. Suggestions? As GM's we may have to answer this question; what's the difference between the two?

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:32 pm
  

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Megaversal® Ambassador

Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2002 1:01 am
Posts: 1577
Location: Land of Enchantment
Comment: "A monarch's neck should always have a noose around it. It keeps him upright." ~ Heinlein
Oof... I may have to edit this several times, as I go through...

1) D20 has a unified die mechanic; with the exception of damage, d20 makes use of a d20 to resolve all conflicts/encounters in the game. PFRPG uses a d20 to resolve combat, and d100 to resolve skill checks (both use various other die types for damage).

2) D20 is an interative level system, PFRPG a suceessive level system. D20 characters can completely change archetype everytime they level, where as PFRPG improve within their set archetype. This vastly changes the complexity of "building characters"; after you build a PFRPG character at 1st-level, with the exception of improving some bonuses, they are a fairly static character. Since D20 has interative levels, you don't stop "building" your character, from 1st to 20th level (or beyond).

TL:DR version: PFRPG characters are more static, but less complex to build after 1st-level.

3) PFRPG let's you play as one of the "monster races", without having to buy a separate supplemental book.

4) PFRPG makes use of archetypical OCC's (or RCC's), rather than the more general "Fighter" or "Cleric" builds. You can start as a Knight at 1st-level in PFRPG.
(this offsets the "well, I can play an Elven Fighter/Mage in D&D, starting at second level...", with "Well, I can play an Elf who can swing a sword and cast magic at 1st-level, in PFRPG.")

5) D20 makes use of "Feats" to add customization of characters in the game; while this adds diversity amongst the characters, it also adds complexity to the game. And many combat options freely available in PFRPG (disarm, trip, flip) are only optimally usable in d20 with the investment of multiple feats (i.e. feat trees).

6) Defenses in PFRPG are active, rather than passive. This is a huge one, and a major selling point for me. In PFRPG, I get Parries and Dodges to avoid getting hit, rather than a static Armor Class. Personal skill (and good die rolls!) mean more to my defense, than what armor I'm wearing or what magic rings I have on. That's huge for me.

7) Armor in PFRPG is ablative, not deflective. Armor in PFRPG soaks damage. Armor in D20 keeps you from getting hit.

8 ) Magic in PFRPG works off of PPE, which is like a mana pool, with magic-users able to make use of any and all spells they know, so long as they have sufficient PPE. Magic in D20 is Vancian "fire-and-forget".

9) Combat in D20 is automatically assumed to take place on a tactical grid. PFRPG can be played on a grid, but it is not the automatic assumption.

10) PFRPG does not have the added complexity of Prestige Classes, when leveling your character.

...I'm sure there's more, but that's right off the top of my head.
Both games are more about "play styles", than an objective "which is better?"
A player who enjoys a "crunchier" mechanical game, with a great deal of customization, and the largest player base available, is going to enjoy D20.
A player who enjoys a more "old school" game, where you can jump right in and have fun and not worry about "builds" after the first day, is going to enjoy PFRPG.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:11 pm
  

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Palladium Books® Freelance Writer

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2000 1:01 am
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Location: Pasco, WA, USA
Comment: For the glory of Zeon and Zerebus, Sieg Zeon!

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Nicely done Novastar. :ok:

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:14 am
  

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Location: Port Orchard, WA
Comment: An armed populace is a safe populace.
Novastar ******* NAILED it. Nicely put!

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:24 am
  

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Megaversal® Ambassador Coordinator

Joined: Tue May 04, 2004 9:52 pm
Posts: 367
Location: Spreading the love of Palladium Books
Comment: Eliminating that not so fresh feeling from the world of role playing.
That was an excellent walk-thru explanation! I had been considering my response to the email in question but had not formalized it yet. You hit several key points I would have over looked, awesome answer!


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:15 pm
  

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Megaversal® Ambassador Coordinator

Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2001 2:01 am
Posts: 1189
Location: Utah
Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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Everything you can imagine is real. - Pablo Picasso
Imagination is more important than knowledge." but knowledge does help. - Albert Einstein
The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge. - Albert Einstein
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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:26 pm
  

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Adventurer

Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 2:29 am
Posts: 656
I have to say the D20 static defense is a good hack and slash mechanic... But it leaves little room for a defender to role play.

Palladium offers a role playing opportunity for attackers and defenders... very active, involved gaming system from all sides.

I know what I like better - But I'd play anything that draw a crowd for a short time. For Me - Palladium book game systems win out most of the time.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:31 am
  

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Wanderer

Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:19 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Arizona, U.S.A.
Comment: An amateur practices 'til they get it right, a professional practices 'til they can't get it wrong. - Anon.
That was awesome Novastar!

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