Dungeons & Dragons v3.5 / Pathfinder RPG Review
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Actively supported via Pathfinder RPG
When Wizards of the Coast discontinued D&D v3.5 development in favor of 4th Edition, Paizo took advantage of the Open Gaming License to publish an updated revision of the 3.x rules under the title Pathfinder RPG, which is still their flagship product. Notably, Pathfinder RPG has consistently outsold 4th Edition.
Pro Enormous pool of source material
The D&D v3.x family was published under an Open Game License which encouraged third-party material. Two editions later, there is still a thriving market creating new 3.5-compatible resources.
Pro Modular system encourages creativity
The D&D v3.x family is designed around building characters, monsters, magic items, etc., from small simple pieces. For each piece, any of countless others can be substituted, allowing near-infinite customization and variety.
Con Detailed simulation slows down gameplay
Due to countless situational modifiers, players and DM alike have to put a great deal of thought into decisions about position, order of actions, etc., to the point that six seconds (one combat round) of "in-game time" frequently takes half an hour or more of play time.
Con Encourages character optimization outside of play
With so many options available to the player, and the almost unlimited ability to combine them, certain "character builds" are patently superior to others. Players who spend a lot of personal time poring over the rules can often create characters so powerful that players who don't optimize feel useless in games with those who do.