because every Version of D20 plays Nearly Exactly the Same, i thought i would make this pathfinder Review first. Adorkableness Start
Helloesies, i started with Pathfinder when it was new, and while it claimed to fix the problems of 3.5 Edition D&D and continue the license, it never delivered on either promise. we just got more numbers, new numbers and bigger numbers. while i love Math in small doses, Pathfinder is just too much math for even a Math Lover and Accountants Adopted Daughter like myself
D20, isn't even a decent combat simulator, Numbers get so bloated from the static bonuses that luck is completely irrelevant and it is all about how many bonuses you piled on the Counteract the Random Number Generator. this is a problem with D20 in general, the fact is, by the time you actually develop a 30 Armor class, everything you face has at least an 80% chance to hit you while power attacking.
to Counteract the Escalating Numbers in Both Sides, both Sides Add Numbers, levels and Resources that allow them to stack even more numbers. most often in the form of magic items, making Mathfinder characters into nothing more than a Vessel for there christmas tree of highly specific magically altered bling.
even worse is the Homicidal Mentality Pathfinder Player Characters Indulge themselves in. Homicidal Transient Brigands who only haven't murdered you because you willingly parted with your hard earned loot the easy way to redirect their murder. this mentality is often seen in Video games as well, where a player completely flips out unprovoked and murders an NPC, because they know the NPC has a pretty pair of extremely useful magical boots they want to have.
Pathfinder was a major stain to my roleplaying innocence, i couldn't complain because i am technically a mute and nobody would read my 18 inch diameter square blackboard. but even before the history of repeated sore throats robbed me of my voice in a permanent manner. i really dislike homicidal transients, not that i'm unwilling to play one if that is the group's style or the group needs a fighter, it is because of D20 that i usually take up whichever role the group wants least/ tired of playing the cleric, i know, it is a cliche. yeppies, you will get a cleric, just not the cleric you want. you aren't getting a healer in white robes with a staff and silver crucifix. you might get a Cultist of Some God of Death, that wear mourning garb and honors the life portion, if you don't mind your soulless husk being reanimated as a zombie.
i give what the party claims to need, i just don't give it to them in the way you want. but to get off the tangent. CMD is too easy to raise to ludicrous levels, you completely need magic items as early as level 2 or 3, and well, pathfinder has no storytelling mechanics outside of what you can find in a miniatures skirmish wargame like warhammer. they boil down roleplay into bluffing, diplonacy or intimidation skills and call it roleplay, while i understand the intent, the player should at least describe the direction they are taking with their social skills, such as aggressive negotiation or seduction or whatever.
either way, this is just the first part of the review of my personal experiences with pathfinder.