Pathfinder & 5E

I have tonnes of Pathfinder books but due to lack of time and complex nature of game rarely get to run it, and certainly not past first few sessions. Partly the issue is that I feel I need system mastery to GM it but there is too much system to master. On the other hand I love the huge amount of options and ideas presented.
With 5E out (ish) I will be looking into it keenly (while also buying ACG). There are things about 5E I really like, but because it’s early days it is at a massive disadvantage

In 5E’s favour
• Advantage rules rather than lots of +- to refer to
• Attack bonus and AC on lower scales so all monsters are useful at all levels
• Skills default to attributes, with simple bonus rather than ever increasing skills and skill DCs
• Proficiency Bonus
• Extra attacks by class not BAB
• Simple monster readouts
• Feats optional
• Less spells, feats and rules to forget
• Backgrounds
• Ravenloft, Planescape, spelljammer, Dark Sun
• Beholders and MindFlayers!

In Pathfinder’s Favour
• Almost 40 classes vs about 10 in PHB
• Many class archetypes
• Advanced Race Guide
• 4 Bestiaries v 1 MM
• Ultimate Campaign (best book ever – used it with 13th Age)
• Various Player options books
• Golarion (and various PCS books) > Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk

However if I look at all the pros, they are compatible. 5E pros are mechanical – I like the simplicity of the system. PF is all the options I have. It would require a lot of work to convert all of PF into 5E. But taking the 5E rules into PF should be fine. I’ve already seen posts on turning PF monsters into 5E, it seems I can use something similar for a conversion
• Reduce BAB to match 5E
• Reduce scaling AC , BAB and saves of monsters (and NPCs)
• Swap PF skill rules for 5E skills/proficiencies
• Add in Attribute bonus rules to work with/instead of feats
• Use backgrounds – using traits as a guide.
• Alter Skill DCs as necessary
• Use Advantage rules
• Remove iterative attacks, gain extra attacks at those levels

Now this may well break Pathfinder.
But actually it’s only for me and my group. So it doesn’t really matter. The only real problem is class imbalance, and that exists in PF now, especially once they level up or magic items come in.
It solves the problem of playing 5E or pathfinder – I will be doing both. I can use stuff from both in theory…

Also posted on rpgnet


  1. Jon baldridge · · Reply

    For me it is clearly 5e > Pathfinder.

    1. starting to change my mind! see next post

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