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Opinions & Help Please. 3/3.5/4E

Discuss any non D&D roleplaying topics here.

Moderators: Brightmantle, Stik

Poll: What Edition is Best Nowadays?

3.E
2
20%
3.5
7
70%
4.E
1
10%
A combination of all three of these.
0
No votes
Total votes: 10

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Opinions & Help Please. 3/3.5/4E

Post#1 » Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:27 pm

Hey ALL :)

All teasing/pooking fun and taunting aside I would really appreciate some of your valued opinions :)

As some of you may have noticed I recently started work on a new Realm for my players and anyone else that cares to participate. I've recently decided to move on and drop my old world and 1E rules. I've gone down this road for the sake of simplicity and ease of gaining favor with my newest players.

So, with that I ask of you all to please vote here and share some thoughts with me on what edition I should use and why and explain to me the following.

1.) Why is there a 3.5 E? I have the books, but I just want to know what the dif is between 3 and 3.5 is and are they compatible?

2.) Why is their a 4E at all. And is 4E compatible with 3E or is it a whole new system making ALL of my new 3E books crap?

Thoughts, thank all :)
Last edited by Cole on Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post#2 » Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:12 am

4E is completely different from 3E. We're talking huge overhaul. Much bigger than the 2E to 3E changeover was.

Also, I suppose which of them is 'best' is largely subjective. I guess it depends on what type of game you want. 3E is a bit grittier than 4E, from what I understand. 4E is also more rules-light.

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Post#3 » Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:22 am

Ahh, I like rules ;) I hear 4E is build on a system like World of Warcraft... now that is BRUTAL if you ask me. Is this true?

What about 3E to 3.5? I have the 3E monster manual and the 3.5 E infront of me and I don't see any dif with the exception of 3.5 E having crammed more into it. Rather then producing 5 manuals ...lol

Is 3.5 E just a tweaked version of 3E?

Thanks for yer help :)
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Post#4 » Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:55 am

I've never played WoW, so I can't answer that with any accuracy. Someone far more knowledgeable about 4E will have to field that one instead.

Actually, I'm no expert on 3E either. I'm a 2E man. But from my understanding, yes, 3.5E is just a slightly tweaked version of 3E.

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Post#5 » Sat Nov 08, 2008 4:04 am

I started out by reading an OLD magazine (Dragon, I believe) and it was going over a bunch of weapons and new spells, as well as chapters of a few stories that the book was telling at the time. It was amazing, and I assume it was 1 or 2E. My guess is 2. But then I started reading more online around... 2000 or so and that's what got me into it. I bought the 3E books as soon as I could and started memorizing them, as I wanted to craft worlds, not play in them.

Yes, 3.5 is a tweaked version of 3. It screws with some character classes (Ranger comes to mind) and some other stuff I don't remember off the top of my head. Mostly because I never bought into the 3.5 crap. Incremental improvements suck, especially when they want you to rebuy basically the same stuff.

So, I vote 3E.

I won't touch 4E. Ever. I don't care to shell out money for a Tabletop MMORPG, minus the MMO part. Which leaves me with a broken system, in my opinion. I don't care for it at all.

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Post#6 » Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:43 am

As far as I can tell after playing it for a bit that it is heavy combat orientated.

almost all real roleplay and utility spells have gone away, rituals come close but they are very few, take very long to cast and cost enormous amounts of gold.

Basicly all mechanics are geared towards combat and dungeon crawls in particular. That it does do very well, but I believe it is a bit less asfar as roleplaying goes. It just focusses more on the combat
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Post#7 » Sat Nov 08, 2008 4:46 pm

Great! Thanks guys... this really helps. I appreciate yer input ;) I really wanted to know because building a whole new realm is a HUGE time investment and I don't wanna build a 3E world, only to find out nobody even uses 3E anymore :(

I just dug out all of my 3E books and began learning the rules, so hopefully people keep agreeing with yer statements.

I just can't justify buying all the 4E crap... ESPECIALLY since RB says its combat orientated ..YUK! RPG means Role-Playing, not yak n slash. Is it still called Role-Playing nowadays? :lol:

Fuk I feel old :cry: ... well not really..

Is 3.5 E tweaked rules better for RPing? or ease of use in general. Cause I own 3.5 e Player Handbook as well.

Thanks yall
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Post#8 » Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:49 pm

From what I understand, while 4E is all shiny and new, a surprisingly large number of people are still playing 3E. So people do still use it, no worries there.

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Post#9 » Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:01 am

Yeah, once my papers are gathered and typed (which I've started on, already) it's going to be a 3E based world.

I'd like to keep edition specific material into its own section, though, so anyone can read over the story, and all the fun bits of the setting and use it too.

Have no fear, 3E is going to stick around, at least for a little while longer.

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Post#10 » Sun Nov 09, 2008 2:18 pm

That's been my experience so far. The vast majority of posts at the Order of the Stick forums are still 3E related, for instance. A recent poll at the Dragonlance forums asked people which edition they play and 10 said AD&D, 8 said 4E, and 33 said 3E.

While I don't think 4E is in any danger of dying out, I don't think it converted nearly as many people as 3E did. But I guess that's what happens when you design a game to appeal to new folks and ignore the fans. As a result, the vast majority of 4E fans, I think, are newbies and 'casual' players.

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Post#11 » Mon Nov 10, 2008 3:08 am

If you're trying to come up with a group effort with some idea of publishing the end result, I'd strongly recommend you go with 3e. That's because the 3e OGL/SRD is much friendlier to 3rd party publishers than the 4e GSL. The general advice is that the current 4e GSL is TOXIC to 3rd party publishers, and many of them won't touch it because it has the potential to destroy their business. WotC have said they will look into the 3rd party publisher's concerns and possibly adjust their licence, but unless they come up with something a lot better, 4e is going to be just as risky for 3rd party publishers as oD&D and AD&D are.

As for the game mechanics, 3e is very similar to 3.5e. The main difference is that 3.5e has some tweaks to the rules to improve clarity and balance. If you are going to design something for 3e, I'd suggest you base it on the 3.5e ruleset (which I'll just call 3e from now on, since the two are so similar to one another). 3e has a HUGE range of source material, including a lot from 3rd party publishers. And the good news is that the 3rd party support is likely to continue for quite some time, particularly since so many 3rd party publishers are reluctant to touch 4e. One of them (Paizo) is even going so far as to develop an update for 3.5e with their Pathfinder product range. Many people speak well of that (especially the free public beta), but who knows what the future holds?

3e is more about simulation and flexibility. There are rules to cover almost any situation, and those rules at least try to provide a realistic viewpoint (although they do fail miserably at times). They are also very flexible, in that it's relatively easy to customise characters and monsters. PCs can add lots of different classes (including Prestige Classes) as they level, while monsters get that option plus simple advancement of their hit die (which may make them bigger, stronger etc).

4e is more old school. Characters are limited to one primary class, although they can dip into a second class if they want to. Every class is designed to deal damage, but also have secondary abilities which differentiate them. Also, all character classes gain powers as they level, at exactly the same rate. The focus on dealing damage in combat and the way that all characters gain powers at the same rate have lead to claims that all 4e characters play the same way. In my experience, this is simply not true - each of the character classes have unique abilities which contribute to the overall success of the group. That said, two characters of the same character class could easily be very similar to one another, although that's true of all the editions (with a bit more variation in 3e because of all the multiclassing options).

4e also doesn't focus as much on simulation, so a lot of the rules don't seem realistic. And the ruleset isn't quite as "tight" as with 3e, so the DM needs to be prepared to houserule more, just like in oD&D and AD&D. That's particularly true out of combat. To me it seems like they wanted to get combat locked down tight within the rules, but didn't bother as much about the other stuff. Overall, my experience is that it's faster to go through a round of combat in 4e, but you usually need more rounds to finish off an encounter. And 4e has eliminated most of the encounter ending spells of 3e, so quick resolution of combat is a lot less likely.

Another thing to keep in mind about 4e is that higher level spellcasters aren't the Gods they could become in 3e. And they don't cast spells the way they used to either. In 4e, all the classes get powers as they level (by various names), and each of those powers is roughly equal to one another (although some powers are better than others offered to a particular class at a particular level).

The feel of 4e to me is that at the moment it's underdeveloped and a bit rushed in places (the 4e MM is a prime example of that). But more splatbooks will develop the rules further, and hopefully they are going to learn from the mistakes they made with the MM (which is mostly in their Table of Contents and Monsters by Level table). And since 4e is the way of the future (at least if WotC get their way), if it weren't for the GSL I'd recommend you concentrate on it rather than 3e.

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Post#12 » Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:26 pm

if by 3rd party publishers you mean homebrewing I'm inclined to agree. Thinking of new abilities would, I believe, easily upset balance. And like you said combat is pretty securely locked down.

That and the fact that your max number of abilities is rather limited so to remain combat effective you can't really afford to make more roleplaying or interesting ability's. Something I personally find to be a bit of a shame but to people that don't dable in homebrewing anyway it's not to much of a problem.

And I still dislike the overall feel of skill checks, in that no roleplaying is technically involved in bluffing a guard (although most DM's will probably require it to be played out). 2E's complete lack of mechanics (aside from a cha check) made it more interesting for me :P. Allthough open to DM abuse ofcourse. But thats pretty much the same in 3E and 4E although I believe the number of skills has been slightly reduced and generalised. Which I suppose is an improvement since it makes them more guidelines to specific actions then straight forward abilities you can roll for.
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Post#13 » Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:44 pm

Rblademaster wrote:if by 3rd party publishers you mean homebrewing I'm inclined to agree.


By 3rd party publishers I mean companies like Green Ronin, Necromancer Games and Privateer Press who have evaluated the GSL and refused to have anything to do with it. Click on the company name to read their statements - Necromancer's statement is particularly interesting for me since it indicates the 3e market isn't very good right now. That leads me to speculate that 4e really is taking hold, despite what you can observe in the forums. Which makes sense in a way, since the major forums have posters who have been playing for quite some time and many of those posters aren't converting. Homebrewing is a different issue - if you don't intend to publish, you can still do whatever you like.

Don't get me wrong, there are still some 3rd party companies willing to publish 4e material, but most of them realise it's a potential risk and so far most seem to be fairly conservative about what they're producing. And the way the GSL is currently written, it's very much a bet the company proposition to sign it. And yes, you do have to send a signed document to WotC to use the GSL, that's just one of the changes, and by far not the most dangerous one for 3rd party publishers.

Thinking of new abilities would, I believe, easily upset balance.


I take the opposite view on that. There's already heaps of examples of what a particular power (or feat/ritual/magical item/etc) of a particular level should be able to do. And if you read through the powers of a class reasonably carefully you should be able to work out what the theme of that class is. So it shouldn't be that difficult to homebrew something which is balanced and appropriate for the game. There's even a 3rd party publisher who has produced a feat and power generator program to help you with that, although IMO you can probably do better without it (or at best, just use it for inspiration).

That said, there are examples even in the PHB of powers which aren't balanced (the Ranger's Twin Strike is superior to any of the other at-wills a Ranger can choose, for example). And the first WotC published supplement which expands the powers available to a class (Dragon #364, which gives new powers for a Wizard) does give powers which are better overall than their PHB equivalents. So this is something you'd need to be very careful with, if you don't want to upset the balance of the game.

That and the fact that your max number of abilities is rather limited so to remain combat effective you can't really afford to make more roleplaying or interesting ability's. Something I personally find to be a bit of a shame but to people that don't dable in homebrewing anyway it's not to much of a problem.


If you're talking about class powers, the vast majority of them revolve around combat anyway. It's really only in the utility powers, feats and rituals that you get anything to help with roleplaying. And of those, rituals are the ones most likely to be used in that way. The nice thing about rituals in 4e is that anyone can gain them if they really want to, although some classes do have an advantage over others (especially Clerics and Wizards, who get the Ritual Caster feat as a class bonus).

The other thing is the way feats and skills interact in 4e. Characters get more feats as they level than ever before (at the rate of 6 feats per 10 levels), and training in a skill in 4e just means a character gets a +5 bonus, so it's not too hard to spend a feat on Skill Training if you want it. In fact, right now I recommend all Clerics (particularly Elven Clerics) spend the feat to get training in Perception, and later Skill Focus (Perception), since they are the only PHB class which can really focus on building Wisdom.

And I still dislike the overall feel of skill checks


Skill checks are a pain, that's one thing most 4e DMs seem to agree on. About the only good thing I can see about them is that they are easy for the DM to ignore, if he or she wants to. This is one area where the DM should be homebrewing, IMO.

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Post#14 » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:37 pm

WoW great read guys :) Thanks especially to you GreenKnight ;)

That really bolsters my decision...

I'll go with 3E / 3.5 e then. Seems to be catored towards the thinking mans game, rather then the hack n slash game.

Although yer comments about 4e being more like AD&D somewhat made me think twice. ;)

I like the 3.5e spell fixes allot ... so as far as I can see / or have noticed 3.5 is the way to go for my new realm then.

I think the users here on padnd.com will enjoy the world allot better if it's 3E /3.5 core world.

LOVE the 4E art though... very cool! , but game play is what I'm all about and 3E just seems more complex and I LIKE THAT :)

Cheers!
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Post#15 » Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:19 am

I don't have any experience with 4th Ed, but my GM was telling me about it one day and he let me copy our conversation and show it to anyone.

There's some swearing and stuff so some lines are omitted.



My GM was telling me about what is wrong with 4th ed Dungeons and Dragons.

Let me see if he'll let me Copy and Paste it.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
----------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

CaptRory says (11:09 AM):
So, what didn't you like about 4th ed? All you said is you wouldn't run it, ever.
Nick says (11:13 AM):
their are alot of issues on it
CaptRory says (11:13 AM):
Oh?
Nick says (11:13 AM):
yup
Nick says (11:14 AM):
cheif amongst them is the game is now video game style
Nick says (11:15 AM):
the game atm is on a 30 level system
Nick says (11:15 AM):
with 10 levels to any character class
Nick says (11:15 AM):
after you have gone through the 10 levels of the base class you have to take a specialized class to continue playing
Nick says (11:17 AM):
everyone now starts the game with 11hp + a set amont of hp based on the base class, so you always have max hp that you can possible have
Nick says (11:17 AM):
everyone gets the ability to heal them selves, no need for a cleric
Nick says (11:18 AM):
as a matter of fact their is now a warrior class called the guardian who has AE healing ability based on the healing surges with all the powers of a warrior
Nick says (11:19 AM):
character classes are split into three fields: protectors, aggressors and controllers
CaptRory says (11:19 AM):
>.<Nick>.<The>.<CaptRory>.<
Nick says (11:23 AM):
the dragon born race is terrible
Nick says (11:24 AM):
+2 str, +2 con, ability to use a breath weapon once per encounter... thats it
Nick says (11:24 AM):
a half orc would beat the <snot> them
Nick says (11:24 AM):
the character class system is incomplete, so is the ability section and the spell section
Nick says (11:26 AM):
in the first 45 pages they tell you multiple times to go to their online services and pay a monthly fee to get access to more options for character generation and class options and classes
CaptRory says (11:28 AM):
Oh <frig> no! >.<Nick>.<

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