Are we finding paths, or fighting dragons?


Over the past several months I have shared quite a bit about Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, and the realms in which they inhabit.  But of the two styles of d20 systems, which is the best?  Should one be preferred over the other?  I need help!

Or so, you might be thinking.

The truth is, Pathfinder and Dungeons and Dragons are not so far apart from each other.

In fact, I would say that the system you choose to dive into has more to do with preference than anything else.


Dungeons and Dragons
Specifically, I am speaking of the more recent 5th Edition of DnD when I share my experiences and my thoughts.  If you play an older version of DnD (such as 3.5 or older) than you might find that Pathfinder is even more similar than ever.

5th Edition (or 5E) is a simpler system to learn and understand.  It allows for a very dynamic story telling without getting bogged down by the number crunching that the older rulesets had.

Because of this simplistic approach, 5E is a great system for inexperienced and new players.  Especially if these players are a little younger and might have difficulty keeping up with all the addition and subtraction of other systems.

This is the main system I use whenever I am running as GM.

The downside to this, however, is that there is not as much customization for character skills and abilities which might turn some people away.

Additionally, because of how new this system in particular is, the amount of material readily available is not quite as vast as Pathfinder.


Pathfinder is, on the other hand, much more flexible in the character creation process.  You can pick which skills to focus in a more refined way, which in turn can make your characters specialists in their own right.

Additionally, Pathfinder has a huge array of material that 5E is sorely lacking a the moment.  This allows for an even broader array of options for customization, specialization, and all around fun when facing the monsters that lie within.

What’s more, many of Paizo’s (the owners of the Pathfinder system) resources concerning the game are largely free or very easy to access.

Which is why software such as Combat Manager and Hero Lab work much better with Pathfinder than they do with 5E.

If I am a player, this is the system I prefer to play in.


All in all, it really just depends on what works best for you and the people you are playing with.  Both operate similarly in a lot of ways, despite their differences, and I imagine if you are comfortable in one you can learn the other fairly quickly.

What are your experiences with DnD and Pathfinder?  What do you prefer?

Let me know in the comments below, or shoot me a message via the contact form on the Talk to Me? page.

Until next week!


One thought on “Are we finding paths, or fighting dragons?

  1. I burned out on D&D in 4th edition. It seemed to designed for min/maxing and I am more of a role-player. I always felt my characters were ineffective, especially in combat, to the other ones.

    As for Pathfinder, I have never played it. I did pick up the core books on an ebook sale. I haven’t had the time to read them yet. Also, reading PDF documents on a tablet strains my old eyes.

    My system of choice is Shadowrun. The mechanics may be a bit clunky IMHO, but I LOVE the setting.


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