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Post Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:32 am 
 

Not that I have ever played 3rd edition, but I did have my wife get them to give me as a Christmas gift several years ago (it was what sparked my renewed interest in Dungeons & Dragons - along with Baldur's Gate).  Anyway, I can see a lot of cool ideas in the new rules such as ascending and escalated Hit points (it seems to bring more balance to powerful creatures).

. . . I think I had a point I was going to get to. . . oh yeah, I hear a lot about the complex rule system in 3E.  However, if you really want a complex rule system, then use everything in 1st ed. exactly as it is laid out.

None of those "modifications" that everyone made. . .

that's right, you gotta remember to use the weapon modifiers versus AC rules . . . and don't forget all the details of the "surprise" system and weapon speed and how about this little rule from page 70 of the DM guide:

 
As with missile fire, it is generally not possilbe to select a specific opponent in mass melee.  If this is the case, simply use some random number generation to find out which attcks are upon which opponents, remembering that only a certain number of attacks can usually be made upon one opponent.  . .


We all used that one right?  

How many times did your DM made you roll on the potion miscibility table after you took a swig of your second magical drought?

How about all those "automatic" rolls to detect invisible characters based on level and intelligence.

Rolling saving throws for every item after a Fireball explodes.

Determining "base value" of gems.

The incredibly complex tracking of encumbrance.

And how many times did your DM check each game month to see if you contracted a disease, parasitic infection or mental disorder?

Who can forget those huge charts for handling Psionics - I still am not sure I understand them.

But, everyone I met just sort of figured out how to disregard all the extraneous stuff (in most cases) and make the whole system work.





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Post Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:47 am 
 

I  actually did all the extraneous stuff. Slowed things down a little, but I found it made things much more detailed and realistic. The miscibility I ignored, and the "random" missile firing was limited to one possible target in a 10' radius of the primary target ONLY if the shot missed by 4 or more (ie. gross miss). Then I rolled a random zone, and if there was a target in there, I had the shooter attack at -4 (because he wasn't AIMING to hit). Could be beneficial in those cases where kobolds are swarming a character.


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:54 am 
 

I see your point, but the reality was that if you eliminated something like weapon speed it had no effect on your game. It was like it was never there.

Problem with 3E is that you can't ignore anything or the whole damn system fails.

Good arguement, but I am not buying.


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:08 am 
 

Oh, I definitely hate 3E. D20 system is fine, but the feats and all that other crap should have been left in Final Fantasy, 3E's video predecessor.


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:18 am 
 

Shingen wrote:
Since it takes about 13 encounters  to gain a level on the average, and there are maybe 4-5 encounters in a game, a charcter levels up maybe once every 3-5 games or so. Even at 2 games to a level, the player would take 20 sessions to reach level 10. At that point, encounters become more difficult and slow, maybe 2-3 encounters a game. So you are looking at about 40 game sessions to get to level 20. This spell would require you to be somewhere in the as-yet-unseen and never acknowledged 50 levels range, meaninf it would take, roughly, 400 sessions or so to get there. Even then, success is not assured. It requires over 3 million gp, 150,000 xp, and 76 days of work to set it up.



For those of you that still don't realize what is wrong with 3x, read that again.  There isn't a more perfect example of why I don't play them, than this quote right here.

And for the satirically impaired:  That entire post screams munchkin.  Look harder.  Look again.

(Oh, and this isn't meant as a personal attack.  I would have attacked it no matter who tried to defend munchkinism with... more munchkinism.)


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:23 am 
 

The 3.0-3.5 game is easy to control if you require that the acquisition of every class and ability requires DM approval and a role-playing hook (find this person, do this for them, bring them X item from Y dungeon, pay X gold).  The trick is finding a group of players who wants to be controlled.  Most (all, in my limited experience) will refuse to play your game and go someplace else that gives them power on a plate.
:lol:

Once the Pandora's Box of player options is opened, it's very hard to close.  I miss the days of Tolkienesque human-dwarf-elf-halfling party alliances.  If I have to hear one more story about the average damage-per-round output of a half-troll / half-fiend fighter / sorcerer / ranger / thief / monk with two single-handed battle axes using great cleave, I'm going to scream.

  


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:23 am 
 

Nice post, btb!

Reminds me to look up some rules in the DMG...

I did ask for the fireball saving throws, after all. That was funny! Now they all keep their stuff in a portable hole. Must look up the saving throw for this item again. Failure would be such fun for me ... muhahahahaha ...


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 12:01 pm 
 

slydeshadowdart wrote:
Shingen wrote:
Since it takes about 13 encounters  to gain a level on the average, and there are maybe 4-5 encounters in a game, a charcter levels up maybe once every 3-5 games or so. Even at 2 games to a level, the player would take 20 sessions to reach level 10. At that point, encounters become more difficult and slow, maybe 2-3 encounters a game. So you are looking at about 40 game sessions to get to level 20. This spell would require you to be somewhere in the as-yet-unseen and never acknowledged 50 levels range, meaninf it would take, roughly, 400 sessions or so to get there. Even then, success is not assured. It requires over 3 million gp, 150,000 xp, and 76 days of work to set it up.




For those of you that still don't realize what is wrong with 3x, read that again.  There isn't a more perfect example of why I don't play them, than this quote right here.

And for the satirically impaired:  That entire post screams munchkin.  Look harder.  Look again.

(Oh, and this isn't meant as a personal attack.  I would have attacked it no matter who tried to defend munchkinism with... more munchkinism.)

I would also like to add my posts weren't personal attacks.   My personal attacks are much nastier  :D

I looked at Shingen's numbers and was a little shocked too.  At two sessions per week (minimum), we'd have 20th level characters in about 5 months?  He doesn't state the length of time in one session, but my group played at least 4 hours per session -- our record was 34 hours straight, I believe.  We played for a total of 12 years, (before we went into game development hibernation for a decade), and we never managed more than one set of 18 to 21st level characters...

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Post Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 12:36 pm 
 

slydeshadowdart wrote:
Shingen wrote:
Since it takes about 13 encounters  to gain a level on the average, and there are maybe 4-5 encounters in a game, a charcter levels up maybe once every 3-5 games or so. Even at 2 games to a level, the player would take 20 sessions to reach level 10. At that point, encounters become more difficult and slow, maybe 2-3 encounters a game. So you are looking at about 40 game sessions to get to level 20. This spell would require you to be somewhere in the as-yet-unseen and never acknowledged 50 levels range, meaninf it would take, roughly, 400 sessions or so to get there. Even then, success is not assured. It requires over 3 million gp, 150,000 xp, and 76 days of work to set it up.




For those of you that still don't realize what is wrong with 3x, read that again.  There isn't a more perfect example of why I don't play them, than this quote right here.

And for the satirically impaired:  That entire post screams munchkin.  Look harder.  Look again.

(Oh, and this isn't meant as a personal attack.  I would have attacked it no matter who tried to defend munchkinism with... more munchkinism.)



I was laughing also.  It takes my groups, on the average, about two years of real time to reach 12th level or higher. That's gaming 2-3 times a month for two straight years. In 20+ years of gaming the highest level a character ever reached under my DMing was 18th, after ten years of playing off and on, and the character is now retired. I and my players wouldn't even know what to do with a 20th level character, maybe put some lights and ornaments on him and dress him up like a Christmas tree...

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Post Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 12:47 pm 
 

Yes, from what I gather at EN-World etc., 1 experience level per 1-2 weeks of play is par for the course for an average group in 3.0/3.5.  Most speak of it taking 2 sessions to gain 1 level.  That was a specific design paradigm in 3.0, said to be put in place to accommodate busy lifestyles.  They reached the conclusion they needed that pace after player research and feedback.

To put that in 1E perspective, that's the equivalent of Temple of Elemental Evil (all of it) in January and February (16 sessions somehow, ending at level 8 ), G1-G2-G3-D1-D2-D3-Q1 in March and the first half of April (in only 12 sessions, ending at level 14), etc.  If they keep that rate up, in May, they surpass the power level of the strongest king in the Flanaess (19th level).  By the end of July, they're level 28, having surpassed the likes of Mordenkainen, and are far beyond the level of any NPC in the world.  If you assume some strict DM control at the epic levels, it might take until Christmas before they're facing down gods -- if their progression is halved after 18, they only hit level 35 at New Year's instead of 52.

There were some interesting letters in Dragon magazine around issue 50-70 or so, where players were asking what the degree of progression should be.  The answer was that in many long-standing Lake Geneva campaigns, 1 experience level was gained per year of play on average.  I remember feeling quite shamed by that at the time -- I was letting my players level once every 1-2 months, when we played weekend marathon sessions.  Add another level or two over summer vacation.  (Which I think is the average pace for 1E groups, when you don't have life and a job.)  But I believe the difference in play styles is quite clear:

Lake Geneva 1E (slowest):  1 level a year
darkseraphim 1E:  7-14 levels a year, slowing down dramatically after 12
3.0 low:  26 levels a year
3.0 high (fastest, I hope):  52 levels a year

Which I think is more akin to PlayStation or Diablo than D&D.

Here's that Gygax quote, on what the creator thinks of 3.5:
"The new D&D is too rule intensive. It's relegated the Dungeon Master to being an entertainer rather than master of the game. It's done away with the archetypes, focused on nothing but combat and character power, lost the group cooperative aspect, bastardized the class-based system, and resembles a comic-book superheroes game more than a fantasy RPG where a player can play any alignment desired, not just lawful good."

  


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 1:26 pm 
 

darkseraphim wrote:Which I think is more akin to PlayStation or Diablo than D&D.

Hehehe.  I can't imagine "roleplaying" my 88th level barbarian from Diablo 2...not to mention my grossly "hacked" characters:
One was roughly level 2.1 billion, and that's the American billion, ie. 2x10^9.  :D

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Post Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 2:01 pm 
 

It seems Kent's and my campaign have a similar pace (Level 1 to 10 in 2 1/2 years). With the XP rewards noted in standard 2E adventures, you're basically at "Lake Geneva speed". I always thought the XP rewards in AD&D modules were ridiculously low. The way things turned out in 3.0/3.5 is even more ridiculous.

darkeraphim wrote:game was clearly designed after a huge amount of player and DM feedback was received. But since players outnumber DMs, the designers seem to have focused too strongly (much too strongly) on player empowerment.


I really think Kent hits the bull's-eye with this remark. Like 1st Edition AD&D focussed too strongly on the DM, because Gygax wanted it so, today it's exactly the other way round. I think most people complaining about 3.0/3.5 are DMs. I believe that 2E AD&D, with all its flaws, is the most balanced of the three game systems.


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 3:26 pm 
 

Howdy All,


Ralf Toth wrote:I really think Kent hits the bull's-eye with this remark. Like 1st Edition AD&D focussed too strongly on the DM, because Gygax wanted it so, today it's exactly the other way round. I think most people complaining about 3.0/3.5 are DMs. I believe that 2E AD&D, with all its flaws, is the most balanced of the three game systems.


Absolutely. I have said it time and again, from UA on the game inexorably moved toward currying favor among players. DM's used to be the focus, and rightly so. No DM, no game, no players, no sales. DM's are the Lynchpin of success for AD&D, D&D, and any roleplaying game.

The sad fact is that no matter the state of the game there will always be more players than DM's. Business-wise players make a better consumer base. What post gygax T$R, WotC, and Hasbro don't understand is that they need to support and encourage DM's. The players will come regardless.

It's like building a house. Foundation blocks don't have a lot of mark-up but the bricks making up the walls do. So the company wants to sell a lot of bricks so they can make a killing. Unfortunately they don't produce enough foundation blocks and, despite selling a ton of bricks, quickly see the demise of their company.

You gotta' work on the fundementals first. Give D&D back to the DM's!


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 3:28 pm 
 

Even though I know that nothing I will say will make anyone here give 3e a chance, I will still say some things in its defense.

First, on the complexity. The rules are simpler than they have ever been. All rolls go on the same style, and the modifiers are simple and easy to use. Combat has a simple system with set actions. Most of the extra rules I hear talk about have little basis in actual fact. Most of the supplemental rules that come out are Skills, Feats, Prestig Classes, Races and Monsters. No new rules. It is just more optional stuff to use.
If you want to talk complexity, lets use all the optional rules in all the 2e books. At least 3/4 of the kits were all broken to hell.

Second, on the munchkinry. This system is no less or more predisposed to munchkinry than any other system. As with every system, it has a potential to be munchkined, but the DM maintains control over that fact.
Furthermore, the reference to the xp and gold to cast that spell was not showing munchkinry; it was an attempt to show how incredibly impossible that spell is, because none of my damn players could ever cast it. In 2e I saw lots of munchkins too; it just depends on the players and DMs.

Third, alot of people dislike the fast leveling. Well, I do too. So I slowed it down. No big deal. No system is perfect. And the DM's perogative is to fix what he dislikes. And I may have made  slight miscalculation + oversimplification, but yes, characters level up fast. In my first ongoing game, before tweaking, we had players at 5th level after about 3 months of weekly, 4 hour long games.

The system also covers a lot of things I had been dealing with for a long time. The skill system allows your players to actually do things out of combat that make more sense. It is easier to track what they are good at. Furthermore, the dreaded feats allow charcters to actually be different in combat style, unlike characters from previous editions.

The Feats system is a bittersweet thing. I know it seems overpowered, but it is actually quite balanced considering all the monsters and NPCs have feats and special abilities too. And that the monsters are a lot beefier than before. It makes combat larger and more dangerous. Feats actually allow a player to make a charcter of his dreams, by customizing what he can do in combat. There are many unbalanced feats, especially those put out by third parties, but DM perogative again.

I think that 3e is possibly the best system yet. It has a way to deal withg almost any situation with a small set of rules. All rolls are made off of a d20 to do anything. Characters are much more detailed. You can actually do alot of things out of combat that make more sense. All in all, the system is , like the others as good as the DM allows it to be.

I think alot of the sentiement here is a sort of stubborn refusal to change, or give 3.5 a fair shake, because of assuredness that your current system is the only good thing out there. If anyone can provide actual play experience problems with the system, or a more informed argument, instead of "I saw this and didn't like it so I won't try it," I would like to hear it. Just a more complete argument.

And BTW, no offense taken on earlier posts either. I hope I have similarly not offended anyone personally.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 4:23 pm 
 

Diablo characters are the epitome of 3E. I have an account full of 99's, another of 90+, a third of 85+, and my ladders are 85+. It takes mere hours to level to 80 or so.
Here's something to chew on:
My wife plays Diablo as well. She created a character a few months ago, and was going thru each quest, nice and slow. (For the uninitiated, Diablo has 3 successive difficulties). She was level 14. I asked her if she wanted me to "power level" her, and she said no. I said Are you sure, then you'll be able to use Blah Blah Blah Sword of Etc.
Her reply:
Well, I'm in normal difficulty, and I can kill the creatures here just fine with normal equipment. Isn't it the same as being in Hell difficulty and using all the super equipment?

Needless to say, I had no answer other than "Yup, you're right."
What it boils down to is this: If you are a 2nd level fighter with decent equipment, and you fight 3 orcs, it is the same as being a level 18 fighter with godly gear, fighting 3 Type VI demons. As long as the challenge equals the abilities, it is the same.
That being said, it really doesn't matter if you gain a level once a week, month or year, as long as the challenges are appropriate. However, in order to promote interest and realism, leveling once every 1/2 hour as 3E seems to want you to do is absurd, not to mention a fresh-off-the-farm 1st level fighter being able to have abilities like cleave, tumble, etc. It is just way too far from being realistic. I personally like as much realism as I can get in my games, right down to having to replace clothes and boots, damaged lockpicks, etc.


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 4:30 pm 
 

First of all, you're probably right.  Seems like most of us are a bunch of set-in-our-ways old foggies.  :)  But to respond to your main points...

Complexity: The rules may be more streamlined, but they certainly seem daunting, at least to me.  There are free actions, there are five-foot steps, there are bull rushes, and various other things to memorize, presumably in addition to what has been carried over from previous editions.  I'm not about to try to count the total number of basic rules in each edition, but there certainly seem to be more of them in 3.0.  (I have no 3.5 books, so I can't compare).  In regards to the "kits" -- let's not go there.  I'll just start ranting against 2nd edition and the end of all things pure and good.

Munchkinry:  Hmm, sounds like the name of a skill.  I'll take 4 ranks in it on my next character.  I think we agree that all systems are susceptible to this phenomenon.

Fast Leveling:  This phenomenon was bad enough in first edition that we wrote world-specific optional rules countering it in our development.  Progression was nearly halted completely, in fact.  Of course we were actively trying to discourage power gamers...some people like fast leveling, and that's ok.

Feats:  There were "feats" in first edition, of course.  These were what your character actually did.  They just weren't predetermined.  For example, your character might attempt to swim across a river, and if he succeeded at the attempt, you learned that your character could swim.  

If he failed, well, at least you learned whether or not he was wearing a ring of water breathing/walking/flying or not.  I was a merciful enough DM to allow some improvements to the check over time.  

My main point:  the character you're currently playing should always be the character of your dreams.  It's not about what's written on the sheet of paper -- it's what they become in spite of what's written on the paper!

Will I try 3rd edition?  Maybe.  I'd probably want to choose the feats/skills that each character has myself, if I were DM.  But I like the fatal(istic) approach.

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Post Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 1:30 pm 
 

Cool. I understand that making charcters different isn't all stats and whatnot, but you can equally see my point, right?

I hope you do try 3e, and use whatever mods you deem necessary. If you don't like it then, I can understand and respect that. But, then again, you may be surprised.

  


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 1:42 pm 
 

Shingen wrote:Cool. I understand that making charcters different isn't all stats and whatnot, but you can equally see my point, right?

I hope you do try 3e, and use whatever mods you deem necessary. If you don't like it then, I can understand and respect that. But, then again, you may be surprised.


You made some very good points, actually.  You must have been talking to my older brother, who is a 3e fanatic  :D

It's unlikely I'll actually do more than look at the pretty pictures of any edition again...my weekends are increasingly being filled with non-roleplaying stuff like baby showers and house shopping.  (Man, how I'd love to be able to d20 my way out of that, and tell the wife I made the check!)  :roll:

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Post Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 2:20 pm 
 

I should say what I am certain was not made clear in my other posts:  D&D 3.5 is a very good, entertaining, player-oriented game.
8O

Yep, I admit it.  It's full of options and fun.  It's even balanced within itself,  as long as you don't compare it to any other game or edition.

The reason that I'm so vocal against it is that it is completely alien to every version of D&D that has gone before.  Worse, it is against some of the basic precepts that made the earlier editions great.  Such as:

* Archetypal characters (wizards, warriors, etc.) leading to forced specialization, and through that, the requirement of teamwork
* Slow progression through challenges forcing players to develop creative thinking (not tactical thinking) and role-playing skill
* Measurable but not huge rewards in power that leave players wanting more, striving for more, and with a real sense of accomplishment when they achieve their goals (not just checking off agenda items on a weekly prestige-targeted checklist)
* A constant feeling that greater powers than the PCs are at work that could kill the group easily, unless they act ingeniously and with utmost determination (think LOTR)
* Limitations to class and race leading to a believable "us vs. them" xenophobic society, where monsters are monsters, not just PC racial options, thus lending interest and fear, instead of allowing mysterious races to become commonplace
* Miniatures combat as an option, not a requirement, allowing the DM more control over story pacing and "fudging" in favor of both the players and the monsters, instead of a focus on tactical action

All of these qualities can be built into 3.5 (I've tried), but you shouldn't have to.  Those are integral qualities to the D&D social experience.  Without any work on my part, they should BE there!

Now, when I try to shoehorn them back in, I have players laughing at me for trying to curb their power.  The difference between the systems is not just fundamental, it's generational.  Players today want a faster game, a more powerful game, a more "anime" game with everyone multiclassed and super-powered (feats) and with every PC creature race imaginable, a game in which they will become godlike with a fairly insubstantial attempt on their part to play the game with skill.  I see more 3.5 players metagaming, studying, and crunching numbers *outside* of play than ever before, so they can go on autopilot with the leet skillz once play begins.  That is not a good sign.

My biggest (HUGE) problem with 3.5 is the mentality that you should not try to kill the PCs.  You should coddle them, and design your encounters to be surmountable with a limited amount of PC triage.  Killer encounters that must be resolved through thought, planning, and teamwork alone (think Call of Cthulhu) are virtually non-existent.  When you try to put them in, players become outraged, because it conflicts with their mental image of the PCs as superheroes who plow through every obstacle.

It is my belief that every player should suffer character deaths at first, and through learning to circumvent death-causing situations with skill and teamwork, become a better and more social player - not just in D&D, but in all RPGs.  In short, I don't think today's new players want the same things that made me fall in love with D&D 25 years ago.  They've basically thrown aside 30 years of history to create a similar game in the same genre.  Which is fine, but to anyone who has played D&D for decades, the current game is NOT Dungeons & Dragons - it should be called Heroes & Demigods or something.

It's not that I won't give 3.5 a chance, because I have.  As a DM, I failed before I got started, multiple times, because groups would not accept me.  As a player, I had a good time, while all the while wondering why the game was called D&D.  So the game is good.  It just isn't what it should be.

I don't think it's a fixable issue - people like me will eventually fall by the wayside, and today's 3.5 people will be lamenting the hyper-kinetic kiddies playing D&D 10.0 30 years from now.
:P

  


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 2:52 pm 
 

darkseraphim wrote:I should say what I am certain was not made clear in my other posts:  D&D 3.5 is a very good, entertaining, player-oriented game.
8O

Yep, I admit it.  It's full of options and fun.  It's even balanced within itself,  as long as you don't compare it to any other game or edition.
...<snip>...

I don't think it's a fixable issue - people like me will eventually fall by the wayside, and today's 3.5 people will be lamenting the hyper-kinetic kiddies playing D&D 10.0 30 years from now.
:P

It's sort of like comparing Pacman (with a whopping 10 points per dot) with any modern video game, where scores routinely are measured in the millions.

Do you ever wonder if we're now experiencing the same thing those "funny old weirdos" with the tactical military wargames did 30 years ago?  Why back in my day...  :)

 YIM  
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