Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A couple of Pathfinder rules to watch out for

Given how similar Pathfinder is to D&D 3.5, it is easy to overlook some of the less obvious rule changes, but a couple I've found could prove quite important.

First off, casting on the defensive. The old rule was d20 + concentration skill ranks + Con modifier vs. a DC equal to 15 + spell level. This meant that a typical 10th level wizard with maxed out ranks in concentration and a decent Con (+2 mod, say) could cast his highest level spell on the defensive with a roll of 5. If he had the combat casting feat, success was automatic. The new Pathfinder rule is d20 + caster level + appropriate spellcasting ability modifier vs. a DC equal to 15 + double the spell level. The first half of the equation will typically produce a similar result. For example, the aforementioned 10th level wizard will likely have an 18 Int, so his concentration check modifier would be 14 (caster level 10 + Int modifier 4), as opposed to 15 (concentration ranks 13 + Con modifier 2) the old way. However, the DC is now 25 for his highest level spell. So, instead of needing to roll a 5, he needs an 11. That combat casting feat suddenly looks a lot more appealing.

The second rule change I noticed is overcoming DR. The special material-based DRs such as DR 10/cold iron can now be overcome with extra enchantments. For example, a +3 weapon can now overcome DR requiring cold iron or silver, +4 weapons can overcome DR requiring adamantine and +5 can overcome alignment-based DR. This rule harkens back to D&D 3.0 and older editions, when weapon resistance/immunity was based on the how many plusses the weapon had.



Obiri said...

Its no longer a cakewalk for casters in Pathfinder. Fighters are downright scary and casting touch attacks in melee range trigger not one but two AoOs. One for the spells and the second for the range touch.

Tumbling is no longer guaranteed either although I haven't done the math to see how bad things are here.

I've spent a lot of the last week playing around with the new classes and now I've started looking the prestige classes. Overall they seem to be weaker then the core classes but there maybe some awesomeness that I haven't spotted yet.

I do like the new arcane trickster. The duelist looks bad but I'm starting to think its better then it appears at first glance.

Rognar said...

Fighters still have that crappy Will save. It will always be the undoing of the class.

Obiri said...

Casters will still have an advantage at range but if the fighter gets close it's no longer a cake walk for them. No more taking a 5' step or being guaranteed to cast on the defensive.