Not trying to start a flame war but which one do you recommend getting into for a pen-and-paper beginner? Pathfinder or D&D 5e?
5th Edition, it's sort of similar but they took care to address a lot of the problems you run into at higher levels. I think it's easier to learn too, personally. But PF is a valid choice if you're going for a more bombastic setting, since the magic gets a lot crazier.
A lot of people are going to tell you not to play either, and to play the system they like instead, because /tg/ is full of vampires. Take their advise as you will
The only thing I can think that pathfinder does better is things like magic item creation rules. Even then thats reaching. If you like more crunch, you probably would like pathfinder more.
5e is easy to get across and feels a lot like 2e to me, so its more in touch with its roots. Plus, it takes like 5 fucking minutes to make a new character. I sat down and made one the other night after a long hiatus from gaming just to familiarize myself with the process, 5 minutes later I was done. Pathfinder carries with it a huge amount of baggage and would scare the shit out of most noobs.
Neither. Try Fate/Dresden Files, Burning Wheel/Mouseguard. Ryuutama
Or if you like math and are really particular, try GURPS, but I wouldn't recommend it. I liked it as a bb faggot because "Oh look, it's all in one book and I can find everythign and do anything, tee hee, percentages are fun!"
Fuck you I like math.
I un-ironically would suggest 4e over this. ADnD sucks with weird rules that don't make any sense because the game was so young. It is now super outdated and only fun for playing retro one-shots.
If I need to choose between the two it would be 5e, the books are nicer looking with cleaner more stream lined rules that are easier to grasp. It's still not great, or necessarily an easily accessible game for new players, but it's a lot better than Pathfinder. Unless you want to go for the crunchier off-brand 3.5 dnd, I guess.
But if you're new you may not even know what I mean. So go pirate the Pathfinder Core book and the 5e player's handbook pdf and skim both and decide for yourself.
I'm also a big fan of Dungeon World, may as well through that in there with my other unpopular opinions.
If I had to choose between the two, DnD5e. It's more balanced and much easier for beginners to get into.
Pathfinder can be fun but you basically need to know what class tiers you want.
But really, instead of DnD, try Fate, or Dungeon World, or if you want something a bit more crunchy, or with some tactical combat elements, Strike.
Fate Core is literally free from the website, and Dungeon World has a free SRD at www.dungeonworldsrd.com
This is assuming you have actual friends to play with and don't need to rely on a random group.
I'd actually like to add onto this that I would MUCH RATHER actually PLAY Pathfinder than 5e... but like I said, it would have to be either a solely tier 1/2 campaign or tier 3/4.
For a beginner, 5e needs much less work out of the box.
The one advantage PF has (well, besides it still having official stuff release for it) is that most of the good shit is on the online SRD so you can make the character of your dreams.
So yeah, if you have a party of Fighter, Rogue, Cleric, Wizard? You're gonna have a bad time.
On the other hand, a party of Warlord, Magus, Witch, Bard? Good shit.
I mean if you actually wanted to play consistent game then you'd just be playing DnD4e, but if you want gonzo crazyness then you've got free Pathfinder.
Speaking of PF, after playing Shield Champion (and cry like a faggot over how useless I was) is there an unarmed character than can be awesome? how about unchained monk?
>inb4 skinwalker alchemist
None both are horrible first time RPGs. Any RPG with a class and level based system is a bad first time RPG, actually it's a bad RPG period.
Try Basic Roleplaying, Savage Worlds, Fate/Fudge, One Roll Engine, The Burning Wheel or any other system that don't suffer to much from the whole class-level and encounter balance sickness. Try games that focus on the story over the mechanics and has mechanics that illustrates the actual setting and not just has a setting thrown on to the mechanics.
Any way, as long as one plays and has an entertaining time it really don't matter but D&D and its ilk has tendency of leaving people with a very distorted view and style of "RPGaming."
13th Age, Shadow of the Demon Lord, Apocalypse World, Monsterhearts (I guess the latter two don't have levels) are all good games.
The first two are pretty bad games for newbies though, 13th Age because of assumed DnD knowledge, and SotDL because grimdark.
As much as I think pathfinder is a step back from 3e in every way if those are the 2 you have to choose from pathfinder for sure 5e is the worst mainstream game in its genre by far.
Plus if you go with pathfinder it won't be to hard to adjust back to 3e if you want something a little better
Well to be fair pathfinder has better bonuses for reaching level 20
But its sure as hell not worth sitting through 20 levels of the ways it's worse for.
Or even starting at level 20
>Any RPG with a class and level based system is a bad first time RPG, actually it's a bad RPG period.
That's a very subjective stance. I find that Class Based RPGs make for good first time RPGs for the very reason that they are class-based. It's a lot easier to get someone set up with an idea and a character in a game with a less bean counting creation if you want them to not just sit there while you make the character for them.
If you want a D&D alike, 4e would be a good start.
It's got a simple, easy chargen and relatively little in the way of trap options for a low level character. It's got enough options for a starting PC to have fun with more than 'I make a full attack' even if they are not yet used to 'Make shit up'
I am a 4e fan, and you're wrong
4e is super duper easy to run, but it's far easier to play 5e than it is to play 4e. It's better to start with the easy option whne you're a beginner
You're also given a fuckton of character options at level 1.
There are a lot of feats and powers in 4e, and while none of them are debilitatingly bad, a lot are significantly subpar compared to others
Honestly I would not recommend either. Pathfinder, despite its popularity, is a broken mess so if you have your heart set on either then choose 5e.
A better game for someone new to RPGs would be something like Savage Worlds since it's streamlined, easy to pick up, and its universal so you while you could totally do fantasy with it you can just as easily do any kind of pulpy adventure in whatever era you like. Playing SW in the Fallout universe is pretty rad. Plus, the book is only like $20 for the single core book so if you hate pen and paper games you haven't sunk as much money.
Other free options you could look at (so you could play RIGHT NOW for NO COST) would be games like Risus, GURPS Lite, Mini-Six, and Basic Fantasy Roleplaying Game. Just look them up yourself, they should be easy to find.
Risus is really rules-light and good for any setting, but it's designed to be simple and very silly so it could be fun if you're just looking to goof around a bit.
GURPS Lite is as very pared down version of the Generic Universal RolePlaying System good for whatever you want. If you like it you could even move onto the full game after.
Mini-Six is another simple game designed for anything where you only use six-sided dice so you wouldn't even have to buy new dice!
BFRPG is kind of a mix of 3rd edition and original D&D that is again fairly simple and straightforward. The website also has a bunch of adventures all for free so it's easy to get started.
That's my personal list, but really just try to pick anything but PF or 5e.
5e is simpler and definitely my preferred system for inducting people as of right now.
Pathfinder has more options and such mechanically handled but the amount of maths that can be involved is often inclined to scare off noobs in my experience.
I strongly suggest you explore a few systems once you have a few sessions under your belt, see what it is you want and what caters to that best.
If you had to pick between the two, go with 5e. It has less fiddly moving parts and it's a lot easier for beginners. However, I'd second what >>45278174 says and go with Basic Fantasy RPG. While there's a few fiddly rules it presents them in a manner suitable for newbie DMs and players alike. Plus if you ever want to get physical copies BFRPG is less than $5, meaning you could outfit your whole gaming table with books and dice for far less than what the Pathfinder or 5e books cost.
>if you don't want virtualoptim at your table, you're an elitist
>Class and level
WHFRP 1st and 2nd edition did it fairly well with its wealth of "classes" that actually brought out the setting (sure there's other issues there).
The class and level progression system as seen in D&D, Pathfinder, even FFGs current Star War RPG with its skill trees. Absolute horrible, kills almost all creativity.
It definitely simplified the skill system, but that's a change that need to be made. It also simplified combat maneuvers, but in the process made them so shit that no one who knows what he's doing uses them anymore.
The problem with the skill system was not being complicated it was the way skill points were earned giving wizards the ability to be better climbers then a fighter
The only thing keeping it remotely fair in terms of who can put points in what was cross class skils.
The only real solution was to have difrent skills need a difrent sort of points such as points in strength giving strength skill points it was the worst part of a system and the only solution was a complete overhaul.
I'd have to go with 5e hands down. Pathfinder/3e is just a rather complex mess. However, what you should really do is ask around and find out what is being played in your area. Invest in the game system that you are going to find a group to join.
But all things being equal otherwise, I'd go 5e.