There have been some good Greyhawk deity writeups recently on MerricB’s blog over at ENWorld. Greyhawk will always be my first game-world love, so I read them even through I try to avoid the ENWorld blogs – they are really ugly and clunky enough that it physically hurts me to try to use them.
He also has some very insightful other articles lately, including one called “How Paizo made me hate 3e.” Heh, not a dis to Paizo, but just that their Adventure Paths have made him (and me) play 3e past the levels we usually do, and to realize how badly it starts to fall apart – really post about level 12. The main problems he notes are:
- AC and attack not tracking at higher levels
- The 15 minute adventuring day
- Grappling is overpowering (not a pun)
- Rogues are too powerful or too nerfed, depending on their opponents
- Clerics are essential but boring to play
Now, to me, 4e’s “answers” to the problems he rightly identifies is like the old practice of using electroshock and/or lobotomies as the cure for any mental problem. “Grappling’s having problems? Get rid of it totally!”
So far, I like the Pathfinder RPG‘s answers – to some of these. In our new Pathfinder RPG Beta “Curse of the Crimson Throne” campaign, my experience is that the cleric/pally revamps have made the cleric, while still essential, a lot more fun. The at-will powers, unlimited cantrips/orisons, and channeling energy to heal have largely fixed the 15 minute adventuring day problem. And their new combat maneuver bonus (CMB) approach has made grappling etc, not superpowerful.
What they haven’t addressed, in my opinion, is the AC/attack split at higher levels and the rogue problem. And the 15 minute day may reemerge – I suspect the at-wills and channels, and of course the cantrips, won’t be so useful to keep you going when low on spells when you’re at level 10+.
Anyway, this is all to say, “Brave the scary graphical design of ENWorld to read Merric’s blog!”
Pathfinder is not perfect. However, it’s a definite improvement over 3rd Edition, and a much better solution than the baby/bathwater 4e.
I think the change to sneak attacks probably helps move rogues onto more consistent turf, if nothing else… we’ll have to see how that plays out, and what can be done to get them properly on track.
As far as Attack to AC, yeah, I think you have a very good point. This can vary somewhat depending on the campaign magic level, but then, you really shouldn’t *need* to have magic items of a certain caliber thrown into the mix to make the game scale properly by level. Perhaps a level based AC adjustment, based on class?