One of the most interesting facets to compare about editions is how the high level fighter as relates to the world around them.
In earlier variations of D&D a high level fighter while scary was was still recognizable as human instead of a second string member of the Justice League.
Let me explain
Assuming Max at Level 1 , Greyhawk Average Hit points and a 16 Con such a fighter in B/X or LL has has around 78 A 2e fighter would have around 88 hit points and a Pathfinder Fighter has around 121
In each case Orc still has about 6hp.
One on one the difference is small, the orc has no chance. However the big differences here come in fighting multiple foes,
For B/X or LL guy a gang of orcs is scary, say a troop of 20. LL guy will get aced around Orc 17,
late 2e guy will be able to drop around 80 (he can kill 5 per round)
and 3x guy assuming similar “Orcish wave” tactics and decent feats even against the nastier Pathfinder orcs can get near to 200!
Even at super high levels LL guy can only manage another 5 or 6, while 2e guy gets another 25 or 30.
Whats even more “whoa!” is that Pathfinder guy in addition to being able to handle an extra hundred or so he can extend this combat ability to much bigger nasties and is able to cleave his way through things like bugbears and even ogres.
At "near max" level 19 in Pathfinder with decent magic items, no reasonable amount of orcs are actually a threat as even when they hit only 1 time in 20, most of the attacks bounce of the DR 8 (Adamantium Full Plate!)
Now don't get me wrong here, this is not a criticism of 3x or Pathfinder there is a place for both style of gaming in my book, its why we support Pathfinder and Labyrinth Lord alike. Both are a heck of a lot of fun.
What it comes down to is making sure you select the right game for your group and most importantly, having fun.
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