Aside: Just a quick warning to those unfamiliar with PA: it's a little potty-mouthed.
It is funny! Though it's a little weird to see Pathfinder given "old school" status, what with it being a current version of the game...
Here's Gabe's newspost talking about the transition:
I feel like the level 1 to 12 run was incredible. The character advancement seemed perfect and we all had a blast. By the time we quit my players were level 21 and I felt like mechanically the game just didn’t work as well. They all had big stacks of power cards and I felt like more time was spent thinking about these cards rather than interacting with each other and the world. Also it became very difficult to challenge them. So I started getting a little burnt out. The sense of wonder and excitement that I had in the beginning of the campaign just wasn’t there anymore. I put the game on hold and that was about a year ago.
I started feeling like I wanted to DM again about a month or so ago. While in Card Kingdom I saw the Pathfinder starter box and decided to pick it up. I ran it for some people here in the office and came away feeling like I did four years ago when I first discovered 4e. People have told me that Pathfinder is D&D 3.75. A bridge between old D&D 3.5 and the new 4e. It’s more complicated in someways but refreshingly streamlined in others. So far I’ve picked up the core rule book as well as one of the bestiaries. My plan is to get my group to play a game of Pathfinder and then put the option to them. Do we like this? Should we continue our old campaign with this new rule set? personally I’m ready to jump in with both feet but this story isn’t just mine. This was an adventure that all of had for three years and a change this fundamental is something I want the whole party to agree on. If they aren’t ready to make the jump to Pathfinder I’ve at least been inspired by the material. I’ll approach our 4e game with a bunch of new ideas and that’s well worth the money.
This reconfirms my perspective of D&D being basically a 10-level game. And if he's looking for streamlined noncomplexity, high-level Pathfinder I don't think will offer it any m ore than high-level 4e does.
He should just start over every 10 levels. New games, new ideas, new characters, fresh approaches -- 10 levels is about a year of play-time, more than enough time for the same old stuff to get stale. Even if you stay with the same system, I'd generally recommend a 10-level restart.
Someone get this kid an OD&D wood-grain box, or an AD&D DMG, or the e6 rules, and let's see how stuff goes.
I agree about high level Pathfinder. If he thinks power cards are complicated, just wait for high-level spell lists.
It is interesting to see the Gabe's evolution as a gamer, and I think that trying a different game is an important part of that. At some point we all need to explore different rule sets to discover more about our gaming preferences and see that there are different ways to do things.
I think the problem is with almost all RPGs once you get to high levels. High levels usually mean more options, especially in combat. So it will take players longer to figure out what they want to do, especially if they have "one shot" powers that they won't be able to use later.