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View Full Version : Problem => 3.5E + 4E? No: Yes



Arakune
2009-01-21, 01:06 PM
So, i'm planning a campaign and wanted to give 3.x an 4e ish feel. Any tips?

Fax Celestis
2009-01-21, 01:09 PM
Use MoI, ToB, the warlock, dragonfire adept, and the binder to nigh exclusivity?

Threeshades
2009-01-21, 01:10 PM
Why would you and more importantly what do you have in mind?

Do you want it to have the sterile feel of a computer game that 4e conveys?

Id rather suggest taking 4e and try to make it feel like 3.X. In other words have a well balanced game that doesnt feel so much forced into computer game mechanics.

kamuishirou
2009-01-21, 01:13 PM
I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean party balance? Then have everyone play either Cleric, Druid or Wizard :). Well, not a low level Wizard.

Are you looking at the races? Dragonborn is the only race that I'm aware of that wasn't in 3.X ever.

For fighter balance I'd suggest Tome of Battle. Great book and shows the steps taken for 4th.

Kurald Galain
2009-01-21, 01:19 PM
Houserule that every adverse condition ends in exactly five minutes?


Seriously, we can crack jokes about this all night, but it would help if you defined "4e ish feel". Do you mean "generic fantasy setting"? "Simple-to-learn-ity"? "Grid-based movement powers"? "Crunch being disjoined from fluff"? What?

AmberVael
2009-01-21, 01:20 PM
I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean party balance? Then have everyone play either Cleric, Druid or Wizard :). Well, not a low level Wizard.

Are you looking at the races? Dragonborn is the only race that I'm aware of that wasn't in 3.X ever.

For fighter balance I'd suggest Tome of Battle. Great book and shows the steps taken for 4th.
How about... you know, style? Like how everything is designed and how the mechanics feel/work? Capturing the feel of 4E is a lot different than using its "balance" and races.

Fax is on target- get all the classes that are based around infinite uses per day (though oft limited per combat), and a lot of what makes up 4E will be simulated.

Also, you could simplify the skill system a little bit (less ranks, combine skills eliminate "cross class" confusion via some method...)

You could also cut out the negative racial modifiers.

Saint Nil
2009-01-21, 01:21 PM
I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean party balance? Then have everyone play either Cleric, Druid or Wizard :). Well, not a low level Wizard.

Are you looking at the races? Dragonborn is the only race that I'm aware of that wasn't in 3.X ever.

For fighter balance I'd suggest Tome of Battle. Great book and shows the steps taken for 4th.

Dragonborn appread in Races of Dragon.

RTGoodman
2009-01-21, 02:13 PM
Hey, can we NOT turn this into an edition war? I thought we were over that months ago... :smallsigh:


Anyway, mechanically there are quite a few things you can do to make 3.x more like 4E. First, either start characters at 3rd level or so, or just boost their hit points at first level. That makes them considerably less squishy at the start. For skills, definitely do something different. Use one of the thousands of homebrewed "condensed" skill lists, or maybe even use Fax's d20r Skill Sets.

As far as classes, Fax was right on - use the invoking classes (Warlock, DFA), the ToB classes, and maybe ToM's Shadowcaster with the fix that makes mysteries be per-encounter instead of per-day. You could probably keep the Wizard and Cleric (or Favored Soul or something), but with a large list of banned (or at least altered) spells. I don't think you necessarily need to worry about having ALL the races (i.e., figuring out Dragonborn and an ECL +0 Tiefling), but you could do that if you wanted. Also, give a lot of options for Racial feats, even if you have to homebrew them - you need SOMETHING to make race feel important. The "Races" series is good for that.

On the "style" and "fluff" front, it's basically just making combat more tactical and making the players feel more heroic. Have them fight groups of intelligent foes rather than hordes of mooks or single big enemies. If you want mooks, model them after 4E minions, where they do fixed damage per level and die after one successful hit.

Artanis
2009-01-21, 02:31 PM
Use MoI, ToB, the warlock, dragonfire adept, and the binder to nigh exclusivity?
Warmage might work alright as well. But that's mostly just because it's an overglorified archer, rather than a "real" caster.

Human Paragon 3
2009-01-21, 03:15 PM
I'd suggest adding factotum to the available class list. Beguiler and Dread Necromancer might also be appropriate.

Malacode
2009-01-21, 03:24 PM
I'm not sure I understand you at all... If you like 3.5, play 3.5. If you like 4E, play 4E. If you like the setting of 3.5, but the mechanics of 4E, then use a 3.5 setting. If you like the setting of 4E, but the mechanics of 3.5, then use a 4E setting. If you like the versatility of 3.5, play 3.5. If you like the simplicity of 4E, play 4E. There's really no problem at all.

AmberVael
2009-01-21, 03:31 PM
I'm not sure I understand you at all... If you like 3.5, play 3.5. If you like 4E, play 4E. If you like the setting of 3.5, but the mechanics of 4E, then use a 3.5 setting. If you like the setting of 4E, but the mechanics of 3.5, then use a 4E setting. If you like the versatility of 3.5, play 3.5. If you like the simplicity of 4E, play 4E. There's really no problem at all.

What if he likes 4E's style and feel, but 3.5's mechanics? =P
Oh, right, you'd get this thread.

The point is that something's style can be gained without necessarily duplicating every piece of its setting and mechanics. Style is different than both of those, and so your assumption that he can mix and match setting and mechanics to get what he wants is rather incorrect.

To accomplish this, the system (3.5) needs tweaks to its tone and portrayal of things, as well as a few changes to its mechanics. It will leave it as 3.5, but make it seem more like 4E. But simply changing completely from one to another misses the goal.

Fax Celestis
2009-01-21, 03:37 PM
Also, use the Players Roll All The Dice (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/playersRollAllTheDice.htm) variant.

Asbestos
2009-01-21, 03:43 PM
I'd suggest you keep an eye on Satyr's 3.5 redux project, Serpents and Sewers. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=102346) More heroic focus, less squishy at earlier levels, racial progression for all races, more balanced classes without dead levels, etc. That dude is on to something.

RTGoodman
2009-01-21, 03:47 PM
Also, use the Players Roll All The Dice (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/playersRollAllTheDice.htm) variant.

Ah, yeah, that's one I always forget about. I'd not use the "defense rolls" part though - that just seems silly. The rolls against Fort/Refl/Will, though, are basically 4E's defense system, though, so you could use that.

Person_Man
2009-01-21, 04:41 PM
Also, use the Players Roll All The Dice (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/playersRollAllTheDice.htm) variant.

I use something like this. But it doesn't involve any variant rules. Instead, I just let player's roll all of the dice whenever its important and/or whenever they feel like it.

DM: Bob, I notice that you're close to death. The dragon notices that too, and is pissed that you almost killed him last round. He makes a bite and two claw attacks against you. Roll to hit.

Bob: The bite is a 17, the claws are 14 and 6.

DM: Ok, the bite and one claw hit. Roll 2d8 + 12 damage and 2d6 + 6 damage.

Although it makes combat a bit longer, it removes the DM screen problem (PC's feel that you might be cheating, DM fakes dice rolls to accomplish balance or railroad the plot).

DM Raven
2009-01-21, 04:52 PM
The best answer is don't try to mix them. I would suggest just going with one or the other...whatever you like better. Playing every edition since first, I would suggest 4.0 as it makes for better, smoother gameplay. The only thing 3.5 really has over 4.0 is more content but only because it's older...

As someone who's spent a rediculous amount of time DMing and playing second, third, and fourth edtion. I would say fourth is the best overall, but thats something you have to figure out for yourself.

JaxGaret
2009-01-21, 07:28 PM
Use MoI, ToB, the warlock, dragonfire adept, and the binder to nigh exclusivity?

As someone else stated, add the Factotum to this list.

The Truenamer also has abilities that they can always *attempt* to use, at least :smallsmile:

One other class that fits the mold is the Dragon Shaman. All but one of its class abilities are usable all day long.

Devils_Advocate
2009-01-21, 07:47 PM
So, i'm planning a campaign and wanted to give 3.x an 4e ish feel. Any tips?
4E doesn't have a feel so much as it has a bunch of feels. Same deal with 3E.

Why don't you tell us which aspects from each edition you want to include, and which you want to avoid?

shadowfox
2009-01-21, 08:07 PM
Easy way out: Monte Cook, who worked on all of the main D&D books in version 3.5 (and maybe also 3; I don't have those relics handy right now) and version 4, made up his own system: Pathfinder. My friend managed to grab a copy of the Beta version (which was free to download), but I don't know if it's been released as an "official" thing.

Honestly, I'm still running 3.5 campaigns for the foreseeable future (until they come out with enough source material to keep me satisfied), and I adapted a few things from 4e. I do the same level frequency as 4e, as well as the attribute gains (+1 to two attributes every 4 levels, and I'll include the +1 to all every 10 levels (10th, 20th)). I'm guessing you could try adapting the HP system over as well, or at least healing surges.

Honestly, though, D&D version 3.5 included a lot of experimental material that was adapted into version 4. Complete Mage has feats that mimic Wizard abilities in 4e (to my understanding; I haven't played a Wizard yet, but I am loving the Warlock), and Tome of Battle: Book of the Nine Swords has "martial spells," which, as you can probably guess, is related to the 4e's fighter's martial powers.

In reality, if you have a lot of 3.5 material handy, you can still run a 3.5 game with a bit of a 4e feel.

bosssmiley
2009-01-22, 08:24 AM
What if he likes 4E's style and feel, but 3.5's mechanics? =P
Oh, right, you'd get this thread.

Then he is obviously a masochist. :smallamused:

To get quasi-4E mechanics into 3.X just look up the "Unearthed Arcana" sections of the SRD. You'll see most of 4E's innovations (bloated hp, health pools, inaction points, etc.) there already.

As for getting a 4E feel with 3E mechanics. Double or triple all monster hps. All status effects disappear after a 5 minute rest. Oh, and use Tome of Battle only for martial classes.

FYI, I am not trolling.


Easy way out: Monte Cook, who worked on all of the main D&D books in version 3.5 (and maybe also 3; I don't have those relics handy right now) and version 4, made up his own system: Pathfinder. My friend managed to grab a copy of the Beta version (which was free to download), but I don't know if it's been released as an "official" thing.

Where did you get the name Monte Cook? Jason "first timer and it shows" Buhlman is bolting his house rules onto the SRD to create "Pathfinder", all to the accompaniment of 10,000 hooting gibbon in the Paizo playtest focus grouping forums.

The Patherfinder Beta has been released as a full-colour hardback book. The beta mind you, not the finished article! And I thought WOTC had stones in the "buy our playtest notes" area with their Digital Initiative pay-per-view. :smallconfused:

Psychic Robot (one of several people flamed off the paizo boards for trying to offer constructive criticism that defied the local groupthink) explained the thinking behind Pathfinder better than I ever could though: meanwhile, at paizo HQ... (http://www.tgdmb.com/viewtopic.php?t=49286&start=294)

(still not trolling, just really bitter over what might have been :smallannoyed: )

Asbestos
2009-01-22, 09:03 AM
As for getting a 4E feel with 3E mechanics. Double or triple all monster hps. All status effects disappear after a 5 minute rest. Oh, and use Tome of Battle only for martial classes.

FYI, I am not trolling.



Ha, Pathfinder... anyway, don't forget that disease stays with you. Whatever that's worth. Does being petrified go away?

Oslecamo
2009-01-22, 09:15 AM
Oh, and use Tome of Battle only for martial classes.


Excuse me, but when I play a ToB class, I don't have any reason to hold back my uberest power, because I can recharge them all as a fullround action at worst or swif action at best. Or they come back by themselves rather quickly if I'm using crusader.

In 4e I use my ecounter power and I can't use it anymore in that ecounter. And my ulti is indeed once per day. ToB isn't 4e. It's quite diferent.

AmberVael
2009-01-22, 10:03 AM
Excuse me, but when I play a ToB class, I don't have any reason to hold back my uberest power, because I can recharge them all as a fullround action at worst or swif action at best. Or they come back by themselves rather quickly if I'm using crusader.

In 4e I use my ecounter power and I can't use it anymore in that ecounter. And my ulti is indeed once per day. ToB isn't 4e. It's quite diferent.

On the other hand, normal fighters use their most powerful- excuse me- only power round after round after round after round.
ToB is closer to 4E than the standard 3.5 melee classes. Is it a perfect comparison? Obviously not- but it is closer.

kalt
2009-01-22, 10:16 AM
I'd take a look at Pathfinders updated 3.5. We are using it to a degree with our Second darkness adventure arc and I find it to be rather nice.

Charity
2009-01-22, 10:25 AM
I use something like this. But it doesn't involve any variant rules. Instead, I just let player's roll all of the dice whenever its important and/or whenever they feel like it.

DM: Bob, I notice that you're close to death. The dragon notices that too, and is pissed that you almost killed him last round. He makes a bite and two claw attacks against you. Roll to hit.

Bob: The bite is a 17, the claws are 14 and 6.

DM: Ok, the bite and one claw hit. Roll 2d8 + 12 damage and 2d6 + 6 damage.

Although it makes combat a bit longer, it removes the DM screen problem (PC's feel that you might be cheating, DM fakes dice rolls to accomplish balance or railroad the plot).
OK this may be somewhat tangential but you should know me by now...
I always roll all my dice out in the open, this is probably harsher on the players as if I'd fudge anything it'd generally be in a players favour.
Though this does tend to lead to Ikkiesome of the more switched on players working out all the monsters AB's but meh.
My current DM rolls everything behind the screen, and that bothers me none.

Thing is if you roll in public and then go back to rolling behind the screen that would look like you are intending to 'vet' the results to a suspicious old cynic like myself... I think consistancy is the key.

Edit -


On the other hand, normal fighters use their most powerful- excuse me- only power round after round after round after round.
ToB is closer to 4E than the standard 3.5 melee classes. Is it a perfect comparison? Obviously not- but it is closer.

This, c'mon Oslecamo you knew what he meant :smallwink:

Person_Man
2009-01-22, 10:30 AM
Excuse me, but when I play a ToB class, I don't have any reason to hold back my uberest power, because I can recharge them all as a fullround action at worst or swif action at best. Or they come back by themselves rather quickly if I'm using crusader.

In 4e I use my ecounter power and I can't use it anymore in that ecounter. And my ulti is indeed once per day. ToB isn't 4e. It's quite diferent.

This pretty much sums up the difference between 3.5 and 4E.

3.5 was all over the map in terms of power levels. Some of it was garbage, and some of it was really unique and interesting. "PC: Dude, I can make 10 attacks per round, throw my enemy into another enemy, and make them both explode? Awesome! Let's start rolling. DM: Hold on, this might take an hour. Let me get another soda."

4E homoginized all of the class abilities. Now things are much more balanced and easier to play, but it tends to have a fake, bland feeling to it compared to previous editions. "Ok, I hit, deal damage, and push my enemy 3 spaces back. He also takes a -2 to all attacks for the next round. Crud, I guess I can't do that again until tomorrow. DM: OK, who's next?"

Ellardin
2009-01-22, 11:10 AM
Convert all those Juciy 4e Rituals back to 3.5E( that aren't already clearly defined spells in 3.5)
just a thought .

Kurald Galain
2009-01-22, 11:25 AM
Convert all those Juciy 4e Rituals back to 3.5E( that aren't already clearly defined spells in 3.5)
Such as what? Can you name one ritual that is "juciy" and isn't already a 3E spell? Heck, the vast majority of rituals aren't even remotely juicy to begin with.

Yakk
2009-01-22, 11:26 AM
"4e feel with 3e rules":

Your starting characters are something special. "Adventurer" is not a standard occupation that people have heard of: "legendary hero" is.

Civilisation exists in pockets. Between the pockets things are dangerous. At the pockets, things are safe... for now. Travel is dangerous, and profitable. Each point of light pocket of civilisation is maybe strong enough to deal with one nearby threat ... but if it did so, it would be weakened enough that the other nearby threats would overwealm it.

All of that is fluff.

Temp.
2009-01-22, 08:57 PM
Reserve Feats and Martial Study can get any character a flashy at-will or per-encounter ability.

Maybe grab some class abilities and turn them into feats or feat chains, bar multiclassing.

Bardic Knack for all.

UA Incantations are go.

Ban 70% of spells. Some of them get to be Incantations now.