Magic as a mechanic has remained mostly unchanged and so is less of an issue.
The biggest change in PF is in the removal of the Concentration skill and a moving to a concentration check that is based off d20 + Caster level, and Ability Score mod which determines bonus spells.
In 3.5 this check was a d20 + Concentration check only
The Pluses and Minus with going with PF Concentration over 3.5 (as this is wrapped up with us using the PF skill system):
- One less Skill to worry about
- Casters benefit from having more skill ranks to put elsewhere (otherwise you pretty much had to max Concentration all the time.
- Casting in difficult circumstances is more prone to failure (as check results will be lower)
- Adapting/balancing 3.5 casing Monsters to PF will take a little more work.
- Concentration in PF is only a caster thing. In 3.5 a non caster could have to make a Concentration check in certain circumstances.
At the moment I’m leaning towards just embracing PF Concentration, for the main reasons of keeping the Skill system less modified, and giving casters more available skill ranks.
Other Changes in PF include the following:
Shape changing was the most errataed thing in 3.5 ever. No one really knows where they ended up with it.
PF’s solution was to split it up into numerous spells and it’s own magic sub school and nerf it all.
Currently my position on it is ignore it. Not as a gaming policy, but simply because we haven’t had to deal with it in any form besides Druid shape shifting.
This is very messy waters.
Modified/Truncated spell lists
With the potential spells in 3.5 ranging from the lame to the heinously overpowered, from the interesting to the obscure, PF’s solution was to ignore most non core spells of note, nerf anything that looked good (I’m looking at you Glibness, and Cleric domain spells), and add a whole heap of crap spells that you had to sift through (Murderous Command is fun though, their additions aren’t all bad).
My suggestion here is, the following 3.5 sources are available for spell lists without DM approval:
Core books (PHB, PHB2, DMG, DMG2, MM1)
Complete Books (Complete Arcane, etc)
Any books outside of that need approval.
The only books outside of that that I’d like to add to the approved list but understand if you don’t want to is ‘Libris Mortis’ and the ‘Races’ books (Races of Stone, Destiny, the Wild, the Dragon). Anything else is rather obscure and/or campaign specific.
Now, as to merging of stuff, I’d say use either, but DM’s call on conflicts (so PF updated spells, etc). Each time we find one of these conflicts we can list our decision on this wiki in a list. Rarely should this be problem hopefully (unless we all become true name casters or something)
This thought is still in progress so comments are welcome. Please tag any additions/comments with your initials, then when we’re done we can modify to our decision.
I think we should keep the spells from Libris Mortis and the Races books on the ‘approval required’ list, as they have some pretty crazy junk in them. There’s a reason things like Glibness were nerfed, too – +30 for a 3rd level spell is pretty crazy. In addition, bluffing has changed in that telling lies doesn’t give people a bonus to Sense Motive – just gives you a penalty to bluff checks, which makes more sense. The highest penalty(telling an outright ridiculous like) is -20, and that counteracts the Glibness spell very well. Skills have changed a bit, often for the better – for example if you want to use Bluff to feint, you roll against either opponants bab + 10 + wis modifier or 10 + sense motive check bonus, making it like a slightly different kind of combat maneuver (which it is). – JP
I agree. Particularly on the subjects of including the core 3.5e books and keeping the Libris Mortis/Races of insert name here. up to approval by DM – ZT