The former Tomb of Horrors / current 3e debate thread
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 6:42 am 
 

bclarkie wrote:
harami2000 wrote:
bclarkie wrote:When your System SHock numbers decrease it also means that it is harder to raise you successfully, so dying and ressurecting in 1st edition you kind of get double whammied. :twisted:

Sounds like a good incentive to avoid getting your characters killed in the first place: would have said that might be the biggest "whammy" ;)

Gee... a rule designed to encourage sensible roleplaying; who'd've expected that?! :D


Seriously, imagine that! Trying not to get your character killed through skillful playing. :o Where is that damn reset button with these tabletop games at anyway. :twisted: What no cheat codes either?! This game sucks!! :P :lol:

I would have to argue that getting killed has little to do with poor roleplaying.  Characters die.  Sometimes it's the product of good roleplaying (you're roleplaying a moron, or someone overly brave, or whatever) and sometimes it isn't.

The constitution rule was designed so that high level characters could not simply buy immortality.

In our adventures, we did come close to the constitution limit on one occasion.  We were very small party of three greedy, thoroughly evil characters that thought of each other as human shields.  Nobody ever turned on each other, because we needed each other to survive.  Anytime someone died, the survivors kept dragging the corpses back to town.

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Post Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:57 am 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:Ma Yuan was the best. Can't beat having an amulet that changes into anything.
The last gaming session I DMed in 3E, one of the characters, a 5th level fighter, had a round of attacks which I deem typical of 3E. He moved 10', attacked a monster, ran 20' to a set of stairs (tumbling past an attack), up the stairs (another tumble past an attacker), and attacked the priest at the top. He had boots of speed or some shit. And it was all legal.


    Some sort of mega-haste spell?  A 10' move would be a move action....followed by one swing (standard action) and he's done.

    It is a basic rule...a full attack option in which you get multiple attacks (if that is possible for your character) so long as you do not move farther than a 5' step.  Or, you can do a basic move action and then get one swing.  You don't get both, and it is certainly not possible to move-attack-move-attack in the 3.5 rules.

    Battles with cloud giants aside, I hear too many criticisms of 3.5 that involve mis-quotes and mis-understandings of the rules.  The game is pretty well balanced and the math is the exact same math that governed 1st edition.


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Post Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 11:04 am 
 

In my most recent campaigns, raise dead has not been available for most the the time because clerics of sufficient power were not available until a PC cleric got high enough level.

    More than that, however, is the general revulsion I have made my players feel for coming back from the dead.  It is considered an evil action to cast raise dead...a perversion of divine law and the natural order.

    The one PC that was raised from the dead in the past five or six years of gaming in my campaigns had psychological problems.  The player role-played the idea that the trauma of death and ressurrection had forced major changes in her character's personality and alighnment.

    There has been a PC viking funeral or two...but my players are pretty good.  They take care not to get killed.  I encourage non-linnear adventuring and making prudent choices about where to go and what to fight.


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Post Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 2:41 pm 
 

Who said 3e lacks imagination and/or stifles creativity?



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Post Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 4:41 pm 
 

Can we all agree that the argument that 3.5 is better because it lets you create more diverse characters is completely absurd.

In nearly 15 years of playing 1st ed., I can't remember anyone duplicating a character or having problems with character generation from a identity standpoint. That argument is ridiculous. I don't need 50 pages of skills to make my character unique.

Note: We played in an extremely high mortality rate campaign(s), too.


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Post Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 5:41 pm 
 

have to say in all the years i have played, i have never had one character anywhere near the same.

to me thats the whole point to roleplaying.

funnily enough as well, bar for one or two times, i have ALWAYS been human too...more often than not a fighter as well

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Post Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 7:18 pm 
 

Big news. WoTC have announced a new upgrade to Dungeons & Dragons. The all new version 3.6.2 (build 1046) will give you a faster better game. If you don't upgrade you'll probably find that the new wave of d20 publications run slower and may even be sh!t.


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Post Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:41 pm 
 

...and it seemed fine to me!  Granted, I mostly skimmed through it, but it's a cool update of a killer dungeon.

As far as 3.5 goes, I played it this summer for the first time with a friend who's been DM'ing 3.0 and 3.5 for a while, and I have to say that once I got past "unlearning" all the 1st and 2nd Ed rules, I found the new version to be a lot more streamlined, especially for someone who was brand new to the game (like my partner, who tried learning 1st Ed rules a few years back and was quite lost).

My friend/DM took us through a simple scenario, kind of your standard low-level dungeon crawl to "show us the ropes."

I can see why the new system has its followers and detractors, just as the 1st and 2nd Editions do as well.  I think I could grow to like it, if I played it long enough.

I rolled up an elven bard named Misofa Latydo, my partner came up with an elven sorcerer, and the third player created a halfling paladin.

One of the things that initially threw me about 3rd Edition was how any race could now be any class.  Granted, in R.A. Salvatore's Cleric Quintet he had a dwarf who yearned to be a druid, but to see this sort of "flouting" made official, was somewhat mind-boggling.  Likewise the idea of evil rangers and evil druids!

Still, I secretly love the idea of things like gnome monks, elven barbarians, half-orc paladins, dwarven wizards, etc.

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Post Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:38 pm 
 

I want a half-dragon/half-mind flayer paladin/rogue/arcane archer. With a flipper growing out of his back that is +22 vs. aquatic creatures and lets him swim at double speed. I think if I take the right skills and feats I can do 22-120 damage by level 3.....


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Post Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 11:33 pm 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:I want a half-dragon/half-mind flayer paladin/rogue/arcane archer. With a flipper growing out of his back that is +22 vs. aquatic creatures and lets him swim at double speed. I think if I take the right skills and feats I can do 22-120 damage by level 3.....


    You see...there is a difference between sarcasm and a good argument.

    Again, you gotta read the rules and quote them accurately.  You are probably confusing the bonuses "to hit" in 1st edition with the total "to hit" in 3.5.  

    In 3.5 you would most certainly have characters that are +22 "to hit" because you do not read from a chart and then add bonuses...instead,  you reckon your entire total to hit as one number.  For instance...fighter of 11th level (+11), 18 strength (+4), +3 sword (+3) and the weapon focus feat (+1) for a total of +19 "to hit."

    The math is the same as 1st edition, you just don't read part of it off of a chart or start by figuring your THACO.

    Also...I don't get why it would be so bad if someone wanted to try to experiment with a half-dragon/half-mind flayer paladin/rogue/arcane archer with a fin growing out of his back.  And, if the dude is willing to put up with the fin, and all the people trying to massacre him for being a mind flayer, why not a bonus to swimming speed?

    How about a whole campaign of similar characters seeking to find their path in a world of monsters mutated by nuclear war?  (Although...that sounds kind of like Metamorphosis Alpha.)

   Of course, to be an arcane archer the PC would need to add a spellcasting class to the list, but it could be done.

    I am not sure why limiting demi-humans in level and reading a chart to figure out what you need to hit is "creative" and 3.5's wide-open system "stifles creativity."

    Being a curmudgeon can be fun and amusing, but it is possible to take it too far.  Double-check and watch out...you may be starting to sound like your own father did back in 1977.


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Post Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2005 12:28 am 
 

MShipley88 wrote:   I am not sure why limiting demi-humans in level and reading a chart to figure out what you need to hit is "creative" and 3.5's wide-open system "stifles creativity."


3.5 actually encourages creativety.  1st ed was great in its time, move on and find the game again.  Find 3.5 ed, it really is a great game.  Our group resisted at first now we try and play 1st ed and its like walking in quagmire: slow, restrictive.

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Post Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2005 8:09 am 
 

Blackmoor wrote:My last comment on this thread

Mine too, this is just starting to get silly.  Maybe we should rename it the "Thread of Horrors".  :roll:

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Post Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2005 9:13 am 
 

deimos3428 wrote:
Blackmoor wrote:My last comment on this thread

Mine too, this is just starting to get silly. Maybe we should rename it the "Thread of Horrors". :roll:


well its a most definite case of "to each their own" isnt it?

i might pull down 3E sometimes and had a bad experience playing it, but am sure with the right group, it isnt that bad. and as there are peeps here, who enjoy it immensely, then cool, the system that was designed, works.

my heart will always be with 1E. it was what i first played and prb will be the only one i will always play (apart from veering off to try other things from time to time).

fantasy RPG for me was always about release from RL, imagination, playing a role and just enjoying it with as few rules as possible. i like that "loose" feel to it and i guess thats why 1E will always suit for me tbh.....

but i have to say grayson/blackmoor and MS88 all put exceptional arguments there, and i have to take my hat off to y'all for standing in the face of something thats been steadfast in ppl's hearts for the best part of 30 years.

some ppl will change and some won't. thats the way it is unfortunately. nobody on either side is wrong.

as long as everyone enjoys whatever it is that is their preference, thats the important thing.

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Post Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 7:42 am 
 

My group enjoys 3.5 alot. We're a mature group (I'm the youngest at 34!) and whilst we're all bright to see how the character generation, feats system etc. could be abused we're roleplayers no ROLLplayers. The system isn't the important thing it's the having fun bit that's important!

  


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Post Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 11:22 am 
 

Lewisexi wrote:My group enjoys 3.5 alot. We're a mature group (I'm the youngest at 34!) and whilst we're all bright to see how the character generation, feats system etc. could be abused we're roleplayers no ROLLplayers. The system isn't the important thing it's the having fun bit that's important!


Yep. Having fun is where it's at.
Although we're all "mature" gamers at our table (everyone is 35+), none of us are what you would call "experienced".

Yes, there is potential for abuse, but we enjoy taking feats (skills, etc.) that go along with our characters storylines, even if that's not necessarily what would be better for our combats or spellcasting.

As to the debate as to version 3.x vs. version X.x, 3.5 is where the advertising money is going, therefore it follows (in this world of instant gratification) that that's where the "interest in gaming" is going to be.

I enjoy the memories (some would say nostalgia) fo looking at, feeling, and smelling (yep. weird, aint I?) the old modules. I'm damn near 100% sure that if you asked someone at a 3.5 table to "go old school" for one module, they'd have a blast. And, at the same time, probably becoming a collector themselves, just to see "how it all started".


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 6:05 pm 
 

I have played all three "main" editions of D&D (1st, 2nd, and 3.x) over the eons, and here are my observations (in no particular order):

1. I do admire the thought that went into the redesign for 3rd Edition. The fact that they came up with a thoroughly well integrated rules set, with logical, streamlined, and unified mechanics is to be applauded. It takes an awful lot of effort to do this sort of thing, but the end result, taken by itself, makes D&D much more playable. In particular I like (in general) the new combat system, which is both cleaner (mechanically speaking) and I think much more satisfactory. I would have done a number of things different, but overall it is a good effort.

2. ***UNFORTUNATELY***, in simplifying the mechanics, they then chose to muck things up by coming up with a billion and one different rules! Yes, it is easier to learn each new rule, simply because of the good design, but there are so confounded many of them! In the 3E games I have been in, we invariably spend a significant chunk of game time looking up rules, which I feel is a bad thing.

3. The contrasting problem with 1st Edition was the fact that the mechanics were not streamlined or very well organized. Take for example having all of the different odds of being surprised (or being able to surprise. Invariably, one would have, say, a Ranger who surprises others 1 in 6 (or whatever) running into some critter or another that can only be surprised on a 1 in 8 - how do you resolve THAT? (actually, an old Dragon article came up with a little table to help out, but obviously it is the game mechanic that is messed up.) This is one of a multitude of such examples, that any veterans are no doubt aware of.

4. I do strenuously dislike the "anime" approach to 3E. Speaking as someone who is both a collector of quality repro swords/armor/etc. and occasionally even makes the same I absolutely *cringe* when I see the artwork in practically all of the new stuff. Spiked armor, axes the size of Yugos, BARF! And don't get me started on weapon weights!!!

5. 2nd Edition was a disaster. While I laud the effort to streamline the rules, they did so without really understanding what they were doing, which resulted in a lot of breakdown at higher levels. A good example pertains to the Weapon/Armor adjustments and especially the To-Hit tables. Now, there is no doubt that the original 1E rules were quite clumsy and putzty. The problem with 2E is that they streamlined or eliminated much of the above, including the Tables and introduced the THACO concept. All well and good in terms of basic streamlining, but they missed an important point. If you look closely at the To Hit tables from 1E, you notice that for most of the lower levels (or hit dice) you reach a point where you hit a succession of 20's, followed by 21, 22, etc. The subtlety here is that, past that first 20 in the series, you needed to roll a *natural* 20 to hit. Thus, a high Armor Class could be a real pain to hit, even at higher levels, no matter how many bonuses to hit for ST, magic, specialization, etc. But the elimination of this "breaking system" on To Hit progression resulted in 2E mechanics falling apart by about ~8th level or so (or even sooner). Even AC -10 could be swatted relatively easy at moderate levels (assuming at least "average" bonuses for magic, etc.), making formerly formidable foes such as Will O-Wisps, certain Devils/Demons, and Drow much easier to wipe out. I know this because I tried running a group through D1-3, and boy did they whoop butt! It was very hard to make battles challenging for the group - it could be done but took an awful lot of tinkering on my part. And a lot of the blame could be placed squarely on this particular disconnect between 1E and 2E. Gygax may not have come up with the clearest or easiest to play system, but each rule did have a raison d' etre.

My method of cleaning this up, while retaining the original "breaking system", was to come up with a single consolidated "To Hit" table that simply had a letter designation for each row on the table (something like A through Q, I believe is what I came up with), with "A" representing either a less than one hit die creature, or a zero level person, and progressing from there. Each class would start at a certain To Hit category, and progress at whatever rate was appropriate. Similarly, monsters were assigned a To Hit category, so Hit Dice and To Hit capability could be separated. Not as "pretty" as the THACO or current 3E system, but it does consolidate 5 tables down to one, which ought to count for something.

6. While I thought the level limits in 1E as given were too restrictive, I did like the basic idea behind them, if only from a game-world logic perspective (i.e. it is not so much whether or not anyone would play humans, but whether or not the existence of humans could be logically justified when everyone else has a significant advantage over them...). It was nice that certain classes were restricted to certain races (for example, the saving throw bonus of dwarves vs. magic does suggest that they would make poor Magic Users). My suggestion would have been to not have such "hard" ceilings; rather, a "soft" level limit whereby when a demi-human hits that level, all subsequent levels require double or more EP vs. what a Human would require to attain the next higher level. An alternative would have been to do away altogether with level limits, but assign a modest EP multiplier that would, say, multiply the EP needed for each level by 1.2 or some other factor.

7. I miss the early OD&D and AD&D (1E) days. Particularly kludging together rules using the original Blue cover Basic set, Players Handbook, Monster Manual, and Greyhawk supplement (couldn't get the DM's Guide, let alone Eldritch Wizardry, since the covers would have given my mom fits). I miss how the Drow, for example, were this mysterious race only hinted at in the MM. Now, Drizzt wannabes are all the rage, with the Drow not so much evil as "misunderstood" and "victims of prejudice". Demons were demons and devils were devils - none of the "blatzu" or "crapzu" crud put in place to placate hysterical mental cripples who were afraid of "dem debble-wershippen-D&Ders" Nostalgia, I suppose, but there does seem to be something missing in 3E.

8. As to relative power between 1E and 3E characters, I think, following the straight unmodified rules, that 3E characters are certainly more powerful, but then so are the monsters. It is harder to speak to the PC: Monster power ratio from 1E to 3E. Many 1E monsters could not take advantage of attribute bonuses, and so forth, that PCs could. But 3E monsters can do just that, and take feats, etc. in some cases. In the end the DM plays an important part in controlling the "munchkin" level of the game. A good DM can keep 3E inflation in check, while a bad DM will mess up no matter what rules system be used.

9. Certainly like the art in 1E better than 2E or 3E. Maybe it was mostly all black ink drawings, but boy they were good! Especially the Succubus in the MM... :-) Sure miss Sutherland.

10. One thing I do like about 3E vs. 1E is the fact that monsters are, for lack of a better expression, "given their due". In other words they can advance in levels, use attribute bonuses, etc. While I think 3E may have gone too far in this direction, I do like the idea. I always hated it that the mighty orc chieftain really had to be a half-orc, since a regular "chief" was not nearly strong enough to give players much of a challenge. Not that I want to see 27th level kobolds or anything! But a modest level advancement, using their base "hit die", would have worked really well (i.e. a max 7th level orc, or 5th level kobold, would have a lot more hit points and somewhat better To Hit odds - a much more viable "chief") And if said chief has an 18(23) strength or the like, well... he and his bodyguard might give a medium level party a decent fight.

  

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Post Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 6:17 pm 
 

The paper in the 3E books is too shiny. Even if you separate the pages from the spine, you can't even wipe your arse with it properly.


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 6:28 pm 
 

Charles G. wrote:In the 3E games I have been in, we invariably spend a significant chunk of game time looking up rules, which I feel is a bad thing.


This is precisely what killed D&D for my kids.  Fortunately, after we scrapped everything and started all over with AD&D, things really took off for them.  Now they're constantly asking when we can play next.  Keep, Inverness, Giants series, etc.  They've just had a taste of it so far, but I think the interest is there to stay.

To be a good DM in 3E, you have to know the rules and how to enforce them.  To be a good DM in OD&D and AD&D, you have to be able to wing it.  Think about it:  how many times did Gygax state in those rule books that it's all about the pace and excitement of the game?

  
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