PDA

View Full Version : What Edition of D&D?



Fireballing_Fun
2009-03-09, 06:57 PM
After some years of absence I find myself with a powerful urge to get back into D&D, a game with which I have a curious love-hate relationship with! In particular I'd quite like to run an evil campaign, with the PC's as members of an organisation analogous to the Zhentarim.

But anyway... what edition do I go with?
I found that 3/3.5 though excellent does not have what I regard to be the greatest set of rules, perhaps some will take this as an admission of stupidity on behalf of myself and my group but the average combat seemed to last ages, with constant querying of this or that feat, generally the same feat as was argued over last session! I just worry that the game is too byzantine.

Is Fouth edition any better?

Or should I just revert back to AD&D? If so does anyone have any links for houserules that maybe bridge the gap between editions?

Olo Demonsbane
2009-03-09, 07:13 PM
Please don't turn this into another edition war. PLEASE.

Back to the origional question, it really depends on what you want out of your campaign. Do you want customization and different styles of play, or do you want exciting battles?

3.5 offers the ability to make characters do whatever you want, and many characters feel completely different to others in terms of play style.

4.0 offers more exciting combats, but all of the characters use the same mechanics.

And the fights in both end up being around the same, time wise. A 4.0 battle generally has twice the number of rounds, but each round takes half the amount of time.

Personally, I like 3.5 better, but I am currently playing 4 campaigns (:smallbiggrin:), 2 3.5 and 2 4.0.

Eldariel
2009-03-09, 07:23 PM
I found that 3/3.5 though excellent does not have what I regard to be the greatest set of rules, perhaps some will take this as an admission of stupidity on behalf of myself and my group but the average combat seemed to last ages, with constant querying of this or that feat, generally the same feat as was argued over last session! I just worry that the game is too byzantine.

Let me guess: Dodge/Point Blank Shot? Really, the problem is pretty much limited to those two feats (luckily), because they're small bonuses that apply occasionally and that you have to remember to apply when the sitiuation occurs. That combination is hard to find; Power Attack has such a drastic impact for example that you will remember whether you're Power Attacking or not, Mobility is always taken for heavily armored characters who otherwise have AoO trouble and so on. But those two are big problems. I suggest a simple fix:
-Dodge gives static +1 Dodge to AC vs. everything instead of a specific opponent. That way you can simply add it to the armor class and use the ready figures instead of having to try to remember announcing a dodge target each turn in the hectic combat.
-Remove Point Blank Shot. Really, the impact is quite small. Sure, it makes sense that you're better at shooting at nearby targets, but really, if you care, just apply range increment penalties in halves and deduct the increment from damage too. That'll get you a pretty simple modelling without all the bookkeeping associated. And trust me, it won't make archers broken; they still need Precise Shot & Rapid Shot for basic competence and their damage won't be anywhere near the melee types even with 18 Str & Dex on creation, so the only reason to go for Archery remains the ability to act at range.

I'm fairly sure your problem was one of those feats; if that's the case, I recommend giving the game a whirl without the problem ;) Also, a thing I've noticed is that with experience, combat gets much smoother. We plow through encounters that would have taken half an hour previously in mere minutes nowadays. The rule that "the guy to think too long [too long being DM's discretion] skips his turn" really aids with this too.

Fireballing_Fun
2009-03-09, 07:24 PM
Please don't turn this into another edition war. PLEASE.

Sorry I am basically a newbie so it is my job to ask silly questions that kick off tired old flamewars!



Back to the origional question, it really depends on what you want out of your campaign. Do you want customization and different styles of play, or do you want exciting battles?

Primaily I want exciting battles, I mean that really is to a large extent what D&D is all about isn't it?



3.5 offers the ability to make characters do whatever you want, and many characters feel completely different to others in terms of play style.

4.0 offers more exciting combats, but all of the characters use the same mechanics.

And the fights in both end up being around the same, time wise. A 4.0 battle generally has twice the number of rounds, but each round takes half the amount of time.

Personally, I like 3.5 better, but I am currently playing 4 campaigns (:smallbiggrin:), 2 3.5 and 2 4.0.

Hmm... okay, well to refine my question I am not really much of a number cruncher, I am happy to read up the rules though. But I want to be certain that I can get to grips with all the numbers and abilities of the NPC's, and that the characters can get to grips with theirs.

Draz74
2009-03-09, 07:28 PM
Let me guess: Dodge/Point Blank Shot? [snip] I'm fairly sure your problem was one of those feats; if that's the case, I recommend giving the game a whirl without the problem ;)

Whoa. Either you have some additional knowledge of this guy, or you just made one of the craziest logical leaps I've ever seen. Which is either amazing or very silly, depending on whether or not you're correct ...

IMHO there are lots of feats he could be referring to.

Fireballing_Fun
2009-03-09, 07:35 PM
Whoa. Either you have some additional knowledge of this guy, or you just made one of the craziest logical leaps I've ever seen. Which is either amazing or very silly, depending on whether or not you're correct ...

IMHO there are lots of feats he could be referring to.

Actually I dont those two feats were the ones at issue, but I appreciate the contribution anyway! I dont want to get into the specific nitty gritty of different feats and all that.

Essentially I am asking
What edition is more fun for game play (not character creation).
What edition is easier to run and understand.

The latter makes me sound like such a moron!

Eldariel
2009-03-09, 07:37 PM
Whoa. Either you have some additional knowledge of this guy, or you just made one of the craziest logical leaps I've ever seen. Which is either amazing or very silly, depending on whether or not you're correct ...

IMHO there are lots of feats he could be referring to.

My guess is mostly based on the following factors:
-He's new and thus probably played with Core-books only.
-PHB has very few passive, sitiuational feats. Those are, rather logically, the hardest to remember as you never "activate" them and they only work so often.
-Those two feats have been the biggest source of grief for every new group I've played 3.5 in (3 of them). It's always the "damn, I forgot to announce my Dodge-target" or "damn, I forgot add the PBS bonus".

My experience is that they're simply the most forgettable since they're not immediately included to the stat block in any way, are passive and come up only every now and then.


That said, I can be wrong.


EDIT: To your question:
-Define fun.

3.5 is more complex (both, due to the way multiclassing works and due to the amount of material in existence). 3.5 has a ton of inherent imbalances that may or may not manifest in your average session and that may or may not be corrected with bannings/splatbooks.

4.0 is definitely fair, and is very easy to run. DMing 3.5 is more work, especially if you want to throw characters with class levels and customized monsters at the party rather than just going by the MM entries.

-As alluded before, 4.0 is easier to run, at least for the DM. The average amount of baggage on the players is about the same in my experience (well, in 3.5 it depends so much on the class, of course). 4.0 really has uniform mechanics for all characters though. That may be a good or a bad thing depending on how you look at it.

NecroRebel
2009-03-09, 07:41 PM
Hmm... okay, well to refine my question I am not really much of a number cruncher, I am happy to read up the rules though. But I want to be certain that I can get to grips with all the numbers and abilities of the NPC's, and that the characters can get to grips with theirs.

NPC stats are much, much, much simpler under 4E rules; you can fairly easily cook up a completely original NPC character on the fly during a session if you need to. This is essentially impossible in 3.xE due to the number of consequences every choice has.

Further, there are a lot fewer numbers to crunch, though that may simply be due to the smaller number of available sources. Basically, in 4E all bonuses come down to 1/2 level, a relevant stat, and maybe a couple other static boosts from your weapon or feats. In 3.xE, on the other hand, there are stat bonuses, various bonuses to stat bonuses, various bonuses from feats, active spells, present allies in some cases, and almost uncountable bonuses. 4E bonuses run from around +5 to around +50, depending on level and active effects, while 3.xE runs from around -5 to more than +1000 (though practically never more than +40 or so for most things).



In barest terms, 3.xE is the most simulationist of all of the editions, 4E is most gamist, while 2E and 1E I don't know of any way to describe that simply. It sounds to me like you're looking for something with relatively simple rules (mostly based off your comment on the byzantian 3.5E ruleset); 4E is quite simple in relation, so it may be your best bet.

Nightson
2009-03-09, 07:55 PM
Try everything out for yourself with friends. Views on all the editions vary from one end of the spectrum to the other.

paigeoliver
2009-03-09, 08:19 PM
If you want the speedy combats of the old games then you are going to want to play Castles and Crusades (which is basically your old D&D that you love with the rules cleaned and polished to a point where they are simple and fast, and 1st and 2nd ed statblocks are compatible).

3.0, 3.5 and 4.0 combats are slow as molasses compared to previous editions. 4.0 is faster per round than 3.x but it runs so many rounds that it doesn't speed anything up at all.

The largest combat speed achilles heel in 3.x D&D are attacks of opportunity. While in 4th edition it is all the marking and similar mechanics.

Mark Hall
2009-03-09, 08:39 PM
They all have their advantages, and are better for certain kinds of games.

AD&D (while 1st and 2nd editions have their differences, and those differences are pretty major, their use is pretty similar. I am not talking about Skills and Powers, here, as that's an entirely different kettle of fish): AD&D is great for low-magic games and the idea of growing from nothing to great strength. In my experience, the openness of the system is great for a creative and competent DM, and games are much more about the skill of the players, as opposed to the skill of the character. Character builds are of less importance, making for a much faster metagame (you can level up a party of 8, in session, in less than 10 minutes; in most cases, the DM just has to witness die rolls and everybody has to reference two to three charts). It's not very DM intensive, but it doesn't have built-in encounter leveling procedures.... it goes back to the skill of the DM in keeping things on balance. While kits add the flexibility to allow you to play a wide variety of character concepts, they're of erratic balance. In AD&D, the wargaming roots are most evident, so some things are a bit obscure in origin, but they generally fit together VERY well once you've mastered them.

3.x (again, there are differences between 3.0 and 3.x, but they're largely immaterial for this): 3.x is great for gamers who like a lot of fiddly bits. There's a lot of metagame involved, and there's huge character flexibility. However, with huge character flexibility comes great variability in character power, and long set-up times. It is VERY DM intensive; building and leveling NPCs, addressing the variant abilities of the characters, etc. While it has a build-in encounter-leveling mechanism, it's widely regarded to suck. In 3.x, it's possible to play exactly what you want, but seldom for very long... you have to build to that point through a variety of character choices, and then will frequently evolve away from that point through an accumulation of power. 3.x has a unified system, but there are a lot of fiddly bits to it... it's easy to get bogged down in minutiae, especially since odds are good that the minutiae in question is defined somewhere.

4e: I haven't run 4e, so I don't know it from the DMs side. However, I'm told it is very quick to set up. It has a longer metagame than AD&D, but less than 3.x (though that may be partially because of a current lack of sourcebooks; the core game is pretty comparable to the core 3.x). It has a built-in leveling mechanism, which seems to be more effective than that of 3.x. While the game is fun, I've felt it to have a bit of inflexibility... not 3.x's inflexibility of everything being defined, but rather the definition of character powers goes further towards defining characters than was done in AD&D.

It comes down to what game you want to play. I like AD&D the best, but I like the climb to power, and am comfortable with the ruleset. You can get a hold of the games cheaply, and in good supply (I've been increasing my collection, recently... most of my PHs have cost about $5, and DMGs are less). Unless you're looking for a very fiddly game, I would shy away from 3.x. I do not suggest anybody spend money with WotC.

Mando Knight
2009-03-09, 08:40 PM
If you like tactical combat-focused campaigns, then 4E is probably for you. The power mechanics are comparatively simple calculations, allowing you to focus more on their use and positioning yourself for them rather than focusing on how they actually work.

However, you said you wanted to run an evil campaign. This isn't really the strong suit of core 4E, as the only deities with Channel Divinity feats are the Good and Unaligned ones, and most of the monsters in the Monster Manual are Evil/Chaotic Evil, or at least Unaligned. The closest the 4E MM gets to Good monsters are those of "Any" alignment, and the book lacks the metallic dragons. Monster Manual 2, coming out later this year, may have Good monsters, though...

Oracle_Hunter
2009-03-09, 09:26 PM
I'd go with 4E (of no surprise to Forum Veterans) for these reasons:
- 4E rules are simple and easy to learn
- 4E is easy to DM and has good guidelines for homebrewing

Between those two points, you basically have everything covered. If you need to run an Evil campaign it is easy to homebrew Good monsters and to reflavor "good" classes (switch Radiant to Necrotic for one). If you want to run a non-traditional D&D game (say, an Art & Diplomacy game) the skill system is simple enough to homebrew new skill sets as you desire. Plus the books provide excellent guidance as to how the system is supposed to work and how you should work within the system.

Particularly based on your comments in the first post, I'd say give 4E a try. For examples of sessions in action, I'd suggest listening to the Penny Arcade / PvP Podcasts - they're really entertaining :smallsmile:

The First Season (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4pod/20080530)
The Second Season (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4pod/20090218) (in progress)

Myatar_Panwar
2009-03-09, 10:40 PM
Particularly based on your comments in the first post, I'd say give 4E a try. For examples of sessions in action, I'd suggest listening to the Penny Arcade / PvP Podcasts - they're really entertaining :smallsmile:

The First Season (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4pod/20080530)
The Second Season (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4pod/20090218) (in progress)

Agree'd.

Also, seconded on listening to those podcasts. Really great stuff.

"You just got Darkmagic MAGIC'D!"

ericgrau
2009-03-09, 11:09 PM
Short answer is it's a matter of preference, but 2e, 3.5e or 4e are your best options (not 1e or 3e).

In regards to combat length, 4e combats are the same length but individual rounds are quicker so it may seem like it's going faster. I hear some people say all the up-front options you get keeps it exciting while others are just as bored. 4e also has a simpler ruleset, so there's less to argue about. However, a lot more than that has changed since 3.5e, so it may or may not fit your tastes. It's simpler more like (but not entirely like) a video or board game, especially with all the "powers" you get, whereas 3.5e has more in depth details. If you want to use those details you may prefer 3.5e, or if they're just a hindrance and you just want your abilities (powers) clearly defined and in front of you then you may prefer 4e. 2e is also simpler because a lot of details are left to the DM; which is something you may or may not want.

There's a lot of preview material at www.wizards.com if you want to look into 4e. Even Penny Arcade podcasts of actual sessions. That may help. It is quite different so do take a look before jumping in. 2e, OTOH, is more similar to 3e except it's missing a lot. For opinions on that I'd find some 2e forums and ask around; I don't see many 2e people here.

All 3 are popular and in the end the choice is yours. Don't let anyone pretend to tell you that any of them are the only way to go.

RebelRogue
2009-03-10, 09:55 AM
If you've had trouble with people pondering too muchs over Feats and their effects when playing 3.5 before, there's no reason why this shouldn't happen again. Besides, you're looking for "fun battles", so judging from these I'd recommend 4th ed to you (yes, I realize "fun" is subjective).

I've certainly faced the "stop to read up on rules" hurdle more frequently in 3.5 than most other systems (with some groups anyway - the one I play in now knows the rules pretty well/will quickly accept the word of the residnet experts and look it up later).

Tsotha-lanti
2009-03-10, 10:41 AM
What edition is more fun for game play (not character creation).
What edition is easier to run and understand.

Both and either.

Really, just flip a coin and pick one, you'll probably be happy enough.

Alternatively, try a completely different game - there's plenty, and many of them are way better than D&D (more verisimilitude, smoother combat, more detailed combat - those two aren't mutually exclusive either - more detailed characters, simpler characters). Or try a slightly different game - Mongoose's d20 Conan is just stunningly good for a d20 game.

PurinaDragonCho
2009-03-10, 10:44 AM
If you've had trouble with people pondering too muchs over Feats and their effects when playing 3.5 before, there's no reason why this shouldn't happen again.

Of course, if people don't know or can't remember how their feats work, my guess is, the same thing will happen with their 4e powers.

RebelRogue
2009-03-10, 12:52 PM
Of course, if people don't know or can't remember how their feats work, my guess is, the same thing will happen with their 4e powers.
True of course. But overall, 4e is simpler and less ambigous (at first glance, at least). Compare the average rules entry for a power compared to the average 3.5 spell: a lot less to remember and spend time looking up.

hamlet
2009-03-10, 01:14 PM
I feel compelled to point out that there are other options than AD&D, 3.x, and 4.0.

If you're looking for ultra-simple DIY style system, grab hold of the FREE pdf of Swords and Wizardry over at Lulu for a glance at what the little brown books of D&D were like. I won't tell you to hunt down copies of the little brown books as they cost several times more than many mortgage payments nowadays.

Anyway, it's a very nice little system if you as the DM are willing to put the legwork in an literally "imagine the hell out of it."

Just another option.

Not to mention Labyrinth Lords (sp?) for a nice redux of Redbox Basic and Osric as a mostly free redux of AD&D 1e core.

There's also Castles and Crusades which is AD&D 1e with a lot of lessons learned from D20, but none of the weighty kludge.

valadil
2009-03-10, 01:27 PM
If 3rd is too rules have, have a look at 4th. It requires you to store less of the game in headspace at any given time. You write out your abilities on notecards, and flip them over as they get spent. I've played 3 or 4 sessions and only seen a rule book get pulled out once.

Maroon
2009-03-10, 01:49 PM
I've been fascinated with the old school movement since Mr Gygax passed away. The old school renaissance going on means there's a LOT of stuff out there (like 3.5e splatbook lot), and most of it is free, or nearly free anyway. I'm currently working with what I've managed to divine (with my limited understanding of french) from Epées & Sorcellerie, and I absolutely love it.

The great thing about an evil campaign is that nobody will be really upset if one of their creepy bastards die, which is a lot of fun if you're the referee, especially in OD&D since a character is all yours once they hit 0 HP.

hamlet
2009-03-10, 02:07 PM
I've been fascinated with the old school movement since Mr Gygax passed away. The old school renaissance going on means there's a LOT of stuff out there (like 3.5e splatbook lot), and most of it is free, or nearly free anyway. I'm currently working with what I've managed to divine (with my limited understanding of french) from Epées & Sorcellerie, and I absolutely love it.

The great thing about an evil campaign is that nobody will be really upset if one of their creepy bastards die, which is a lot of fun if you're the referee, especially in OD&D since a character is all yours once they hit 0 HP.

True.

But even better in my mind is that "old school" style tends to encourage or even demand that the DM create a great deal of their own material rather than just culling from source books. It requires a great deal more creativity to pull up and keep flying.

BlueWizard
2009-03-11, 01:55 AM
3.5 or 1.0 that's my choices

Kaiyanwang
2009-03-11, 05:49 AM
For my taste, 3.5 is FAR better, but try 4th too, if you have the chance maybe it's the system for you.

Baltor
2009-03-11, 07:01 AM
3.5 is in my opinion hands down better in this situation, IMHO.
The rulebook for 4e comes strait out and tells you that the system is not optimal for evil campaigns;whereas 3.5 has multiple evil feats, classes and spells. 4e is set up for "being beakons of light is a sea of darkness" where 3.5 is all about options.

Neithan
2009-03-11, 07:21 AM
I found that 3/3.5 though excellent does not have what I regard to be the greatest set of rules, perhaps some will take this as an admission of stupidity on behalf of myself and my group but the average combat seemed to last ages, with constant querying of this or that feat, generally the same feat as was argued over last session! I just worry that the game is too byzantine.
That's because you're new. If you all get better accustomed to the rules, these problems pass.
And I think you will have these troubles with any system.

Is Fouth edition any better?
No, I'm pretty sure you run into the same problems there. ^^
Also, 4th Ed. seems to have a lot of temporary or situational modifiers. It's probably the second biggest problem I have with the system, as I belive I would have great troubles remembering what kinds of modifiers apply now, because some other character did a special action 3 rounds ago.

paigeoliver
2009-03-11, 08:18 AM
I have also found that my players who have problems with math make it much worse with 4th edition and trying to figure out their damage from their powers.

BlueWizard
2009-03-11, 09:59 AM
I want to revise my answer.

Less is more. Too much power gaming. And Gygax would and HAS agreed with me when I talked to him.
If more people would play it, I'd stick to 1.0.

LurkerInPlayground
2009-03-11, 11:28 AM
Try the retro-edition clone systems.

They're free, so they're worth as shot:
http://http://www.knights-n-knaves.com/osric/

http://www.swordsandwizardry.com/corerules.htm (http://www.swordsandwizardry.com/corerules.htm/)

Also, because prior editions follow a more rules-light system, they have their own philosophy, so this is required reading:
http://www.lulu.com/content/3019374

Personally, my interest hovers somewhere between 4e and older editions. I don't own 3.5 books and have pretty much tapped-out of interest for the time being.

Neithan
2009-03-11, 11:35 AM
I want to revise my answer.

Less is more. Too much power gaming. And Gygax would and HAS agreed with me when I talked to him.
If more people would play it, I'd stick to 1.0.

3.5e with PHB only can also be a lot less. :smallbiggrin:
I really like the system, but only with races provided by the campaign and 9 base classes.

BlueWizard
2009-03-12, 02:27 AM
Right now I run 3.5, because I have all the books, and can't afford to even look at 4.0. Sorry WotC.... no money from me. I was still buying the 3.5 stuff.

Optimator
2009-03-12, 06:10 AM
In my personal opinion--having played 1st edition, 2nd edition, and 3rd edition (but, admittedly only glanced at 4th)--3.5 is the best. My reasons can be summed up with this analogy: 3.5 is like a complicated programming language. There are a ton of options to play around with which you can do pretty much anything you want, but some (maybe even a lot) of them aren't obvious or apparent without a degree of system mastery. 3.5 has the sort of rules-verisimilitude (as far as pc/npc transparency) that makes for a very consistent rule-base for character building.

I'm gonna try to explain my opinion despite it being 5am and me having a bloodstream full of beers :smallbiggrin:. I find it comforting in a way that there are enough options and rules that I can make all sorts of concepts without resorting to pure homebrew or DM fiat to get a concept working. I mean, look at 4th edition "multiclassing". Something about having such a strong basis to work off of makes the process seem more... legit. I don't know quite how to say it, but I like having a ton of rules and options--even redundant options--to make a concept, instead of having to make up rules to get something to work. I would rather have a bunch of concrete guidelines and drop the ones I don't like to make the system I want than have not enough guidelines and fumble in the dark for better options.

That's my 2 cp.

Optimator
2009-03-12, 06:18 AM
ALso, I'm not gonna claim that 3.5 has a perfect rules-set, or even particularly balanced rules. I just liked how the designers seemed to err on the side of too many options than not enough. This includes options for evil campaigns, such asBoVD, HoH, EoE, and EE.

alchemyprime
2009-03-12, 12:59 PM
Do things the Alchemyprime way: Mix and MAtch!

How do I do this, you may ask? Well...

Take 3.5.
Mod all Races so that Humans and the PHB races would be LA+1. Now all LA+1 races are base races. Nerf Drow to LA+1 as well.
Give every race a paragon class (Unearth Arcana).
Use the Ultimate Classes from the liquidmateria wiki (wherever it went... I saved them to my hard drive...)
Use Players Roll All the Dice, Weapon Groups, Magic Rating, and combine Incarnum, Binding, Shadowcasting, Truenaming and Martial Manuevers into the Ultimate Classes.
Treat all monsters as 2 CR lower.
Use the Preview Death Rules from Wizards.com (the ones from before 4e came out.)
Eliminate Prestige classes (they've min maxed enough...)
Codify HP and BAB together, make set HPs, and make a Reserve Point progression for each BAB as well. (Reserve points can be spent out of battle at a 1:1 ratio to bring back HP.)

I think thats most of the changes I'm implementing to 3.5 to make it feel more 4e ish but keep its charm.

But I'm werid.

Short answer: Take 3.5 and Unearth Arcana. Apply liberally.

BlueWizard
2009-03-12, 01:03 PM
Still 3.5 is a power-gamers game. I liked it when the players were at a disadvantage. One false move and it was all over. It made the game scary, and you were more cautious. Now half my players are bulls in china shops.

Kish
2009-03-12, 01:13 PM
Of course, if people don't know or can't remember how their feats work, my guess is, the same thing will happen with their 4e powers.
They sell cards for that.

If I ever expected to play 4ed, I'd certainly buy them.

Tsotha-lanti
2009-03-12, 01:47 PM
They sell cards for that.

If I ever expected to play 4ed, I'd certainly buy them.

Why buy? Just use Excel - dead easy to make your own.

Flabbicus
2009-03-12, 02:09 PM
Printing out and then pasting or just plain writing down your powers on index cards has worked well for my group.

There's also enough room on the character sheet to write what effects your feat have, but sometimes they take up a few lines.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-03-12, 02:10 PM
Why buy? Just use Excel - dead easy to make your own.

Or take a pencil and a stack of 3x5 index cards and make your own. :smalltongue:

ericgrau
2009-03-12, 02:39 PM
3.5e with PHB only can also be a lot less. :smallbiggrin:
I really like the system, but only with races provided by the campaign and 9 base classes.

I agree and I love 3.5e, but it's still a lot more rules-heavy than 1e/2e. I'd take 2e over a power-gamed 3.5e any day, a non power-gamed 3.5e with an equally poor understanding of the rules for all players is pretty much the same as 2e anyway (or so I hear), and 3.5e with good understanding of the rules, well, I like that best but it's hard to find. You usually only get partial understanding.

But in terms of 1e/2e vs. power-gamed 3e/3.5e, I agree with Gygax :smallwink:. Powergamed 3e/3.5e sucks. There's a guy in the wizards.com forums or here, I forget, who pretty much got the same e-mail from Gygax as well.

hamlet
2009-03-12, 04:22 PM
I agree and I love 3.5e, but it's still a lot more rules-heavy than 1e/2e. I'd take 2e over a power-gamed 3.5e any day, a non power-gamed 3.5e with an equally poor understanding of the rules for all players is pretty much the same as 2e anyway (or so I hear), and 3.5e with good understanding of the rules, well, I like that best but it's hard to find. You usually only get partial understanding.

But in terms of 1e/2e vs. power-gamed 3e/3.5e, I agree with Gygax :smallwink:. Powergamed 3e/3.5e sucks. There's a guy in the wizards.com forums or here, I forget, who pretty much got the same e-mail from Gygax as well.

Gary was notoriously fickle in his opinion and I know that he at least once or twice spoke well of 3.x.

The only opinion of his that I know never changed was that as long as you were having fun, who the hell cares what system you're using, but you might as well buy his stuff anyway.:smallsmile:

BlueWizard
2009-03-12, 05:20 PM
Gary was notoriously fickle in his opinion and I know that he at least once or twice spoke well of 3.x.

The only opinion of his that I know never changed was that as long as you were having fun, who the hell cares what system you're using, but you might as well buy his stuff anyway.:smallsmile:

Not in the brief conversation I had with him....

Though you are right about having fun. That is the main point, but Gygax used to kill his PCs all the time. Just look at his old modules. VERY dangerous.

Fireballing_Fun
2009-03-12, 05:25 PM
Thanks to everyone who has contributed, from the sounds of it the group I am with/re-forming, may very well make the decision for me.

And to be honest if I thought they would be happy with OD&D I'd go with that!

Mobey_Wee
2009-03-12, 05:48 PM
as the only deities with Channel Divinity feats are the Good and Unaligned ones, and most of the monsters in the Monster Manual are Evil/Chaotic Evil, or at least Unaligned.

A fix that has worked really well for our games, is just looking at the channel divinity feats, then compare to class powers. You can almost always find one that's nearly identical power/balance-wise, and after that, just pick another utility power of about the same level.

To me, things like this, are possibly the best part of 4e. You could homebrew stuff in 3e also of course, but personally, I find it much easier to do (without unbalancing issues) in 4e.

Eldariel
2009-03-12, 05:50 PM
To me, things like this, are possibly the best part of 4e. You could homebrew stuff in 3e also of course, but personally, I find it much easier to do (without unbalancing issues) in 4e.

Heh, I've found the opposite; homebrewing for 3e without breaking anything is ridiculously easy because no matter how strong you make something, chances are it's not more powerful than what's already in the game so it'll find its place in a campaign of the right powerlevel.

Mobey_Wee
2009-03-12, 05:58 PM
Heh, I've found the opposite; homebrewing for 3e without breaking anything is ridiculously easy because no matter how strong you make something, chances are it's not more powerful than what's already in the game so it'll find its place in a campaign of the right powerlevel.

I can agree with that actually. Homebrewing 3.5 doesn't unbalance it, it's already unbalanced enough. 3.5 unless you were throwing something ridiculously hard at your players, they could usually find a way to deal with it, so yeah, keeping balance wasn't much of an issue.

Not a complaint about 3.5 by any means, just another of those, "which game are you in the mood for?"

BlueWizard
2009-03-12, 06:21 PM
3.5's advantage is all players.

hamlet
2009-03-13, 06:47 AM
Not in the brief conversation I had with him....

Though you are right about having fun. That is the main point, but Gygax used to kill his PCs all the time. Just look at his old modules. VERY dangerous.

Greatly overstated. Gary killed PC's that acted stupidly, or fell on the wrong side of the dice.

He never went out of his way to kill them, except in Tomb of Horrors which was a very specific case if you ever read the intro to the module.

Charity
2009-03-13, 09:02 AM
Greatly overstated. Gary killed PC's that acted stupidly, or fell on the wrong side of the dice.

He never went out of his way to kill them, except in Tomb of Horrors which was a very specific case if you ever read the intro to the module.

Indeed, I've heard he was a pretty lenient DM all told.
Old Geezer over on RPGnet used to game with Gary regularly back in the day (and is in fact responsible for the inclusion of the half elf) If you get him in the right mood (i.e. try not to forget that the anniversary of his good friend Gary's passing was just the other day) I'm sure he'll tell you all about it.

Thing is Gary was a great guy, but we don't have to emulate his gaming style, I'm pretty sure he would just say as long as everyones having fun it's all good.

As the editions seem to promt polorisation in the community, an unbiased opinion is tricky to get these days...
Why not pop into your FLGS and have a squint at a few different systems, try not to let other folk prejudices influence you, better yet try and get a game or two of a few different systems and see which you prefer.

Tiki Snakes
2009-03-13, 09:18 AM
I have to throw my chips in on the 4th ed side, too. If what you want is 'exciting' combat and simple to run, that's basically what 4th ed has really gone for. The Combat holds up almost like a skirmish-wargame, and really, running it is simple in ways that make a noobish dm like myself happy.

3.5 has it's good points, and 4th ed isn't for everyone. But from what you said? It's well worth you giving it a shot.


A couple of points, though; The players handbook assumes you're playing Good Aligned Characters, or at least unaligned. You'll have to Re-flavour one or two things for a proper evil campaign, but it's really just as simple as switching any instance of Radiant damage to Necrotic and so on.

As far as enemies for your evil party go, some homebrewing might be required, but as mentioned before whipping up new creatures takes minutes, and there are even utilities out there somewhere that can whip up the numbers for the stat-blocks in seconds. (I really must bookmark that thing.)
whether you need to do much of that depends on how closely you hold to the idea that an evil campaign means you must be facing saintly opponants.

(I find the idea, personally, that an Evil group is just as likely to be fighting other evil groups more appealing in general, but YMMV.)

Theodoriph
2009-03-13, 10:59 AM
Some people are missing the point. He wants to run an evil campaign. 3.5 is far superior in that respect.

BlueWizard
2009-03-14, 04:21 AM
Greatly overstated. Gary killed PC's that acted stupidly, or fell on the wrong side of the dice.

He never went out of his way to kill them, except in Tomb of Horrors which was a very specific case if you ever read the intro to the module.

I'll go with that, but in my opinion many PCs do silly things, that would've resulted in death in old school D&D




As to the evil campaign, yes it is very good. Especially if the DM lets you use all his books to make your evil PCs. I have one running online on the boards here.

Charity
2009-03-14, 07:33 AM
Some people are missing the point. He wants to run an evil campaign. 3.5 is far superior in that respect.

As long as he is capable of swapping the word 'radiant' for the word 'necrotic' I figure he'd be best off finding the system he's happier with.

Fireballing_Fun
2009-03-14, 07:41 AM
(I find the idea, personally, that an Evil group is just as likely to be fighting other evil groups more appealing in general, but YMMV.)

Yea as far as I am concerned they will probably be spending as much time fighting Good beings as they will neutral or evil!

Fireballing_Fun
2009-03-14, 07:43 AM
Some people are missing the point. He wants to run an evil campaign. 3.5 is far superior in that respect.

You see without even looking at 4th ed I wouldn't know.

I can't see how it would be difficult to alter/homebrew.

I just have to see what my players want and if we are willing to purchase the 'new' stuff.

Morty
2009-03-14, 08:44 AM
As long as he is capable of swapping the word 'radiant' for the word 'necrotic' I figure he'd be best off finding the system he's happier with.

Right, except that such a character would be short of stuff to fight, what with lack of evil monsters in the MM. And they'd have to cope the general shortage of competent good-aligned people who aren't PCs. An evil campaign is possible in 4th edition, but there's no denying that 3.5 mechanics don't actively discourage you from running it, while 4ed ones do. I do generally consider 3.5 to be superior at any rate.

Fireballing_Fun
2009-03-14, 08:48 AM
Right, except that such a character would be short of stuff to fight, what with lack of evil monsters in the MM. And they'd have to cope the general shortage of competent good-aligned people who aren't PCs. An evil campaign is possible in 4th edition, but there's no denying that 3.5 mechanics don't actively discourage you from running it, while 4ed ones do.

Prior to 3/3.5 it was assumed that your party was good/neutral, but if 4ed makes it difficult to play as evil then it will be the first edition that does. Why have a new edition that reduces your options?

RebelRogue
2009-03-14, 08:52 AM
Why have a new edition that reduces your options?
In short because the first PHB has chosen to focus on one (the most common?) mindset for PCs... In this respect, 3.5 definitely has an advantage.

its_all_ogre
2009-03-14, 09:40 AM
3.5 problems were that there were too many options and no real attempt had been made to ensure they were of equal power or value.
there are lots of classes that you can play and probably dozens of ways to build your own pc, let alone a party of 4 pcs.

i played 3.5 (and 3 for that matter) as soon as it came out and only stopped my last campaign just before xmas.

sadly out of all of those possible options only a few were of a comparable power level: druid, wizard, cleric and i'm told artificer(beguiler too)

if you had 3 of the above in a party and the 4th player was not of that group, well they're going to suck, presuming an equal amount of skill in play.
is it fun to know that if you were not at the session it would make no difference to the fights outcomes?

and note that the first of those 3 classes were in the phb so available right from the word go.

4e attempted to resolve the most complained about aspects of 3/3.5: too many options which are not of equal power/ability and too many options that stack or don't stack and all have to be remembered.

they did this by reducing options and making the basic mechanics the same for all classes.
my favourite thing about 4e is this:
the ranger is probably the easiest class to play, i'd recommend it to any player who wants an easy(mechanically) character to play.
but unlike 3.5 that player is not penalised or punished for choosing an easier character to play; rangers are solid characters, well able to support the rest of the party in the way they are intended to.
3.5 simple class to play erm fighter or barbarian, arguably. compared to wizard/cleric/druid? not even close to the level of competence.

(aimed at rebelrogue remark about why reduce options in 4e. wotc thought this is what d&d players wanted going by forum message boards: a robust system that was easy to learn and did not penalise players for wanting simple characters to play, while still allowing more complex characters to be used. leaders and defenders are more complex)

Saintjebus
2009-03-14, 09:42 AM
Why would it be difficult to run an evil campaign in 4e? First of all, there's plenty of evil monsters in the MM, and, what's good for the goose is good for the gander-take eladrin for example. In the MM, they are good. Make them evil, give them evil flavored powers(re: necrotic), and there you go. Evil enemies.

woodenbandman
2009-03-14, 09:45 AM
Disclaimer: I have no basis of comparison with 4e, though I like AD&D.

AD&D, I have very little experience with. I can tell you that it seems generally more balanced than 3.5 stuff because there is a maximum of how much offense and defense you can get. That said, you can get ridiculous damage with a fighter/cleric tag team using Fist of Stone to get high strength, and the wizard is still broken as ****.

That is the biggest problem with both of those editions: The wizard/cleric/druid are broken. If everyone is playing them, it's cool, but if one guy wants to be a fighter, it's no fun.

You need to make sure EVERYONE is balanced in the party, then you need to find out how to challenge that party. Once you figure that out, the game goes smoothly. But if they're not balanced, it's doom for you. So you need to figure out about how everyone figures (the tier system is a good start, give it a google), and then figure out how much challenge the party can take, and give them that.

Morty
2009-03-14, 09:56 AM
Why would it be difficult to run an evil campaign in 4e? First of all, there's plenty of evil monsters in the MM, and, what's good for the goose is good for the gander-take eladrin for example. In the MM, they are good. Make them evil, give them evil flavored powers(re: necrotic), and there you go. Evil enemies.

:smallsigh: Yeah, sure. But you have to reflavor or even homebrew those enemies, because the game doesn't provide you with good enemies as it is.

Myatar_Panwar
2009-03-14, 11:50 AM
:smallsigh: Yeah, sure. But you have to reflavor or even homebrew those enemies, because the game doesn't provide you with good enemies as it is.

I guess then its a good thing making monsters in 4e is a quick and fun process.

Morty
2009-03-14, 11:56 AM
I guess then its a good thing making monsters in 4e is a quick and fun process.

Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Irrelevant here, and I'm not going to waste any more time bickering with 4ed fans. It doesn't change the fact that 4th edition actively discourages you from playing evil characters, forcing you to homebrew and refluff stuff if you want to do it.

Tsotha-lanti
2009-03-14, 12:24 PM
Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Irrelevant here, and I'm not going to waste any more time bickering with 4ed fans. It doesn't change the fact that 4th edition actively discourages you from playing evil characters, forcing you to homebrew and refluff stuff if you want to do it.

Oh, come on, use words right. "Does not support" is not the same as "actively discourages." The first is true, the second is not.

Morty
2009-03-14, 12:29 PM
Oh, come on, use words right. "Does not support" is not the same as "actively discourages." The first is true, the second is not.

There are no Good-aligned monsters. Powers for divine characters are tailored towards good and holy ones. Evil gods don't get their Channel Divinity feats. The world is built around the premise that PCs are there to help everyone by tackling villains. The books tell me several times that I shouldn't spoil everyone else's fun by playing an evil character. Is that not "actively discouraging"? Now, 3rd edition isn't what I'd call morally ambigous and it also used evil=villian equation. But at least it didn't have any impact on the mechanics.

hamishspence
2009-03-14, 12:32 PM
1 Lawful good aligned monster: celestial charger. Is the only one so far.

Theodoriph
2009-03-14, 12:39 PM
I tried playing a chaotic evil minotaur cleric in my first 4e campaign. It was absolutely terrible. I couldn't do anything...and there were no feats tailored towards my deity, my alignment, or my race.

Myatar_Panwar
2009-03-14, 01:00 PM
1 Lawful good aligned monster: celestial charger. Is the only one so far.

In all actuality there isn't exactly a whole lot of good monsters in 3.5 core either. Most of the time your fighting mindless beasts and NPCs. Same thing with 4e.

Though there is definitely less pure good creatures in 4e, for sure.

Also, I am sure that there will be some material for running evil games in the near future.

Theodoriph
2009-03-14, 01:01 PM
In all actuality there isn't exactly a whole lot of good monsters in 3.5 core either. Most of the time your fighting mindless beasts and NPCs. Same thing with 4e.


Why ever would you restrict yourself to core monsters when you can download every 3.5 monster manual known to man at the click of a button as well as various other splatbooks that contain nifty monsters for you to use. :smalltongue:


And is that really the only good 4th ed monster??? They don't even have various types of angels?

Myatar_Panwar
2009-03-14, 01:12 PM
And is that really the only good 4th ed monster??? They don't even have various types of angels?

They have a set of 7 or so general angels which can belong to any deity.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-03-14, 01:18 PM
And is that really the only good 4th ed monster??? They don't even have various types of angels?

Oh man, they have tons of Angels - it's just Angels are now "agents of the Gods" instead of "agents of Good."

See, there are a lot more all-purpose creatures hanging around in 4E.

As for the Minotaur - I wasn't aware that Core 3E had alignment and race specific minotaur feats either. Heck, if you're going to be an Evil Cleric, I hope your DM has 'brewed up an Evil God for you to worship - including a Channel Divinity feat.

I did for my homebrew pantheon; I cheated though, by just picking an appropriate effect from one of the existing CD feats and tweaked 'em.

My favorite was for my Dwarven God of Death & Eternal Defense - I took the Raven Queen's feat (when you drop an enemy to 0 or below, spend a Healing Surge) and changed it to: when an ally drops to 0 HP or below, he may spend a Healing Surge. Very useful for an Eternal Defender (lets an ally stay on his feet when he should fall) but a pretty grim trigger :smallamused:

hamishspence
2009-03-14, 01:22 PM
Dragon has, I think, stuff for minotaur (however I stopped downloading when they started charging, so I do not know what that stuff is)

Besides tweaking, Unaligned Deities are easy option for Evil clerics, and Channel Divinity is not essential.

Morty
2009-03-14, 01:36 PM
:smallsigh:
I forgot that criticizing - or commenting upon in any unfavorable way for that matter - any particular element of 4ed is pointless.

hamishspence
2009-03-14, 01:43 PM
main point is the language in 3.5 on playing Evil characters was almost identical.

Myatar_Panwar
2009-03-14, 02:24 PM
:smallsigh:
I forgot that criticizing - or commenting upon in any unfavorable way for that matter - any particular element of 4ed is pointless.

Hating 4e for the sake of hating 4e is just silly, which is what it sounds like you are doing. If you have a legit complaint, then fine, but in reality running a 4e evil campaign is not very difficult at all.

Does it suck that there currently arn't many feats or powers for evil characters specifically? Yes. Is it that big of a deal? No.

Though for those interested, in one of the latest dragon magazines they had a whole bunch of necromancy based powers. Also looks like they will be taking it a step further when they add summoning to Arcane Power.

Morty
2009-03-14, 02:32 PM
Hating 4e for the sake of hating 4e is just silly, which is what it sounds like you are doing. If you have a legit complaint, then fine, but in reality running a 4e evil campaign is not very difficult at all.


No, not fine. I know it's much easier to say "legit compliants get legit responses" and such than actually accept someone's point of view as such - I don't know whether I find people who clai, that they respect others' legitimate opinions yet they'll start to bicker as soon as they see one more amusing or annoying. But perfectly logical not-entirely-positive comments about 4th edition result in the author of the complaint being jumped at by at least two 4ed fans. Or being told that s/he's "hating 4ed for the sake of hating it". Like right now. "4ed makes it harder to play an evil campaign" isn't even a complaint, for God's sake, it's a statement of fact. Yet there are still people who'll argue that relentlessly because it's not a favorable comment upon 4th edition.

Theodoriph
2009-03-14, 02:35 PM
As for the Minotaur - I wasn't aware that Core 3E had alignment and race specific minotaur feats either. Heck, if you're going to be an Evil Cleric, I hope your DM has 'brewed up an Evil God for you to worship - including a Channel Divinity feat.

3.5 had lots of feats for minotaurs and evil clerics...because 3.5 didn't try to heavily restrict their feat list based on race, class and deity :smalltongue: 4th ed does...which really screws over people playing a non-standard race worshipping a non-standard deity.

(Actually my deity was standard...he just suffered from the misfortune of being a standard evil deity :smalltongue:)

Oracle_Hunter
2009-03-14, 02:36 PM
3.5 had lots of feats for minotaurs and evil clerics...because 3.5 didn't try to restrict their feat list based on race and deity :smalltongue: 4th ed does...which really screws over people playing a non-standard race worshipping a non-standard deity.

In Core? :smallconfused:

EDIT: I really am confused here. Are you saying you couldn't, say, take Pelor's CD, set it to target Angels, turn the damage to Necrotic and run with it? What exactly were you looking for?

hamishspence
2009-03-14, 02:39 PM
deity I can understand. Race, a bit less, since 3.5 had very few racial feats, and the vast majority of those were in non-core sourcebooks that expanded on the races in question.

4th ed has lots of racial feats for the races in PHB, but less "standard ones"

Myatar_Panwar
2009-03-14, 02:41 PM
In truth you could probably make a 4e evil campaign/adventure with homebrew monsters and feats faster than you could make a 3.5 one, just because of the sher mechanics of the core game.

So I'm not entirely sure if the statement "4e makes it harder to play an evil campaign" is actually fact.

An actual fact would be that 4e is less supportive of evil campaigns than past editions. Yes, that would be true.

hamishspence
2009-03-14, 02:45 PM
added to which, being Good is much less important, mechanically speaking.

the difference between a Good, Unaligned, and Evil Rogue, Paladin, Fighter, etc in 4th ed, ruleswise, is zero.

so, if you choose to ignore the "playing evil can lead to inter-party problems" comments- running an Evil game is easy- you just don't get special mechanics for being Evil, or special Evil-only options.

(quite a lot of the monsters have "alignment- any" so, not too hard to have Good adversaries)

Tiki Snakes
2009-03-14, 04:34 PM
Just to re-iterate, it really is stupidly easy to make creatures for dm use in 4th edition.

In ten minutes or so, you could have anything, really. No, Really. (http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/47/rocketshark.jpg)

Morty
2009-03-14, 04:36 PM
In truth you could probably make a 4e evil campaign/adventure with homebrew monsters and feats faster than you could make a 3.5 one, just because of the sher mechanics of the core game.

So I'm not entirely sure if the statement "4e makes it harder to play an evil campaign" is actually fact.

An actual fact would be that 4e is less supportive of evil campaigns than past editions. Yes, that would be true.

In 3.5 you don't have to "make" an evil campaign in the way you have in 4ed, because you have evil character options and good-aligned enemies right there in the rulebooks and you don't have to make them up.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-03-14, 04:53 PM
Just to re-iterate, it really is stupidly easy to make creatures for dm use in 4th edition.

In ten minutes or so, you could have anything, really. No, Really. (http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/47/rocketshark.jpg)

The Rocket Shark... so fearsome :smalleek:

EDIT:

In 3.5 you don't have to "make" an evil campaign in the way you have in 4ed, because you have evil character options and good-aligned enemies right there in the rulebooks and you don't have to make them up.

Out of curiosity, what exactly did you use in 3E when making Evil campaigns, and how much of it was Core?

Morty
2009-03-14, 05:16 PM
Out of curiosity, what exactly did you use in 3E when making Evil campaigns, and how much of it was Core?

:eyeroll: I knew I couldn't make a less-than-praising comment about 4th edition without having to answer in detail why I don't consider it in every way superior to 3ed... :smallsigh:
But to answer your question, although I have no doubt you and some others will do your best to prove me Absoultely Wrong immediately, I didn't run campaigns that were meant to be Evil from the start. But the campaign we used to run, but has ground to a halt due to players being busy was pretty evil - one of the characters was NE the two other were TN - and we stuck mostly to core, save for a few feats. If I wanted to run a purely evil campaign however, I have resources for it right in the core rulebooks. Like, you know, good-aligned outsiders and magical beasts and evil domains for clerics. And general lack of assuming that PCs are the only remotely competent good-aligned people around.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-03-14, 05:25 PM
:eyeroll: I knew I couldn't make a less-than-praising comment about 4th edition without having to answer in detail why I don't consider it in every way superior to 3ed... :smallsigh:

I asked an honest question, having never run an Evil campaign nor found the concept of running one difficult, regardless of edition. Please stop acting like I am some sort of Zealot who will burn you at the stake. :smallannoyed:

So you used some Good magical beasts and the Evil domain? If I were going to run an Evil Campaign I'd have started out with forces like the town watch, paladins, good aligned clerics and wizards - regardless of edition. How did you do it?

Morty
2009-03-14, 05:34 PM
I asked an honest question, having never run an Evil campaign nor found the concept of running one difficult, regardless of edition. Please stop acting like I am some sort of Zealot who will burn you at the stake. :smallannoyed:

{Scrubbed}


So you used some Good magical beasts and the Evil domain? If I were going to run an Evil Campaign I'd have started out with forces like the town watch, paladins, good aligned clerics and wizards - regardless of edition. How did you do it?

The same way, although as I said, the campaign didn't start as evil but evolved into one. And I was the player, not the DM. If the campaign went on to higher levels, our group would have undoubtedly run into good-aligned outsiders and powerful paladins. But in 4ed for instance, I wouldn't be able to make a good-aligned cleric. It's not that much of a problem, since all clerics are identical in 4ed, but there's no CD feats for evil clerics and cleric's prayers are tailored towards goody-good holy cleric. And it's not so pretty with the enemies either - compare the amount of enemies from non-evil races to those from evil races.

Charity
2009-03-14, 06:30 PM
Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Irrelevant here, and I'm not going to waste any more time bickering with 4ed fans. It doesn't change the fact that 4th edition actively discourages you from playing evil characters, forcing you to homebrew and refluff stuff if you want to do it.


Like right now. "4ed makes it harder to play an evil campaign" isn't even a complaint, for God's sake, it's a statement of fact. Yet there are still people who'll argue that relentlessly because it's not a favorable comment upon 4th edition.


{Scrubbed}

The issue folk have Mort is when you state your opinion as fact and then say they are not being reasonable and letting you have your opinion...

Myatar_Panwar
2009-03-14, 10:24 PM
In 3.5 you don't have to "make" an evil campaign in the way you have in 4ed, because you have evil character options and good-aligned enemies right there in the rulebooks and you don't have to make them up.

But you still have to prepare the campaign, which is DM's work, which is generally considered to take longer in 3.5 than 4th. Thus you can take that extra time to make creatures.

So I guess you can say that a 4e evil campaign would require more homebrew, but I wouldn't say more time.


since all clerics are identical in 4ed

lulz.

edit: Actually I should probably put in an actual response to avoid the "these 4e advocates are so high and mighty that they cannot even give us a decent response." Though of course by doing this I am going to be called out as making unreasonable assumptions.

Anyway, I don't even have to go into any sort of crazy talk to prove you wrong here. There are two general builds for clerics, melee and ranged. At least two right there, so no not all clerics are exactly the same. Also its talk like that which caused me to label you as one who hates 4e for the sake of hating 4e.

FatR
2009-03-15, 02:44 AM
The issue folk have Mort is when you state your opinion as fact and then say they are not being reasonable and letting you have your opinion...
Except, no. He did state a fact. It is harder to run an evil campaign in 4e.

Also, monster design in 4e is not easy, unless it consists of reskinning the same melee brute and inflating stats according to its level, thanks to lack of standard abilities and ease with which you can break the game by making the opponents do anything funny.

FatR
2009-03-15, 02:50 AM
But you still have to prepare the campaign, which is DM's work, which is generally considered to take longer in 3.5 than 4th. Thus you can take that extra time to make creatures.
Generally considered by whom? Because I sure found that preparing for the game in 4e is harder, between customizing terrain for every single combat encounter to make it even slightly interesting and different from every previous encounter and lack of published adventures (particularly adventures that do not suck). That's even if you don't have tons of material for your 3.X campaign, which would be instantly invalidated by permanent switch to 4E (like I do).

Myatar_Panwar
2009-03-15, 02:59 AM
Also, monster design in 4e is not easy, unless it consists of reskinning the same melee brute and inflating stats according to its level, thanks to lack of standard abilities and ease with which you can break the game by making the opponents do anything funny.

Hrm, you really don't think its easy? There is a fairly easy procedure to follow on page 184 of the Dungeon Masters guide for creating creatures (just going over it quick in case you didn't see it), which outlines the general steps you should take when making a 4e monster. From its role, you can determine how many hitpoints it should have, its AC, attack bonus, initiative bonus, etc. Of course this is basically just a general guideline, though it really gives you an idea of what bonuses an average brute/lurker/controller/etc of that level would have. From there you customize said scores on how you base your creature. As a general rule I have been making sure that any additions and subtractions I make to attributes or what have you add up to +0 in the end, and that I don't make any drastic changes.

The average damage for level of creature is also presented, as well as the average damage of limited abilities (such as encounter or recharge powers). It even tells you how to upgrade your monster to an elite or solo and gives a list of neat easy to apply templates and rules for monsters with class levels.

The hardest part would definitely be creating powers, though just looking through the Monster Manuel should give you some general ideas on what to do.

Myatar_Panwar
2009-03-15, 03:37 AM
Generally considered by whom? Because I sure found that preparing for the game in 4e is harder, between customizing terrain for every single combat encounter to make it even slightly interesting and different from every previous encounter and lack of published adventures (particularly adventures that do not suck). That's even if you don't have tons of material for your 3.X campaign, which would be instantly invalidated by permanent switch to 4E (like I do).

Everywhere I have looked and read seems to show that preparing for a game of 4e is easier and less time consuming compared to a game of 3e, and I agree. I don't actually have any actual reports or posts or anything on the subject, though I'd be surprised if you haven't already seen people discuss it.

Alot of it probably has to do with the insane amount of work it takes to make an npc with class levels. That is if you are not using any of the pre-made class templates givin the the DMG. This is just my experience with the matter of course, I've always found that making NPC's in 3.5 takes a very long time (although is very enjoyable, at least for me).

RebelRogue
2009-03-15, 04:22 AM
I must admit I agree with the basic notion M0rt is trying to express here: out of the box, there is less support for Evil characters and concepts in 4e (yet, at least). That it's more or less easy to remedy doesn't change that.

FatR
2009-03-15, 05:17 AM
Hrm, you really don't think its easy? There is a fairly easy procedure to follow on page 184 of the Dungeon Masters guide for creating creatures (just going over it quick in case you didn't see it), which outlines the general steps you should take when making a 4e monster.
There is more to making a monster than writing some level-appropriate numbers. If my monster is inspired by some external concept, then it is easier to make it in 3.X, because 3.X covers a much greater range of power and versatility, if for no other reason. If I use mechanics themselves as inspiration, then 3.X toolkit of monster building is obviously superior, because by simply looking at the array of available abilities, templates, feats etc. I can come up with new concepts, both mechanical and stylistic. 4E provides guidelines for numbers, but does not provide a guide for creating powers, and powers is the important (and the hardest) part of monster generation. Both from crunch and fluff standpoints. That's why it is much easier for me to create stuff for 3.X.

RebelRogue
2009-03-15, 05:43 AM
There is more to making a monster than writing some level-appropriate numbers. If my monster is inspired by some external concept, then it is easier to make it in 3.X, because 3.X covers a much greater range of power and versatility, if for no other reason. If I use mechanics themselves as inspiration, then 3.X toolkit of monster building is obviously superior, because by simply looking at the array of available abilities, templates, feats etc. I can come up with new concepts, both mechanical and stylistic. 4E provides guidelines for numbers, but does not provide a guide for creating powers, and powers is the important (and the hardest) part of monster generation. Both from crunch and fluff standpoints. That's why it is much easier for me to create stuff for 3.X.
It depends on style and preferences obviously. In 3.5 you've got a lot of rules for what a creature can and cannot do. For some, that proves inspirational, but it has an element of straightjacketing abilities. In 4e on the other hand, you've got a blank slate more or less when creating monsters. Some people will find that inspiring, others be terrified by it. It certainly is simpler in the sense that you'd be able to learn it much quicker if you knew nothing about the system beforehand. Coming up with appropriate powers isn't all that hard really, though. If you've run a few 4e sessions you will get a feel for what is and isn't appropriate.

Theodoriph
2009-03-15, 06:11 AM
In 3.5 you've got a lot of rules for what a creature can and cannot do.


Not true at all...In 3.5 a creature can do whatever the hell you want it to do :smalltongue:

RebelRogue
2009-03-15, 06:34 AM
Not true at all...In 3.5 a creature can do whatever the hell you want it to do :smalltongue:
I know what you mean, of course. I'm referring to the section in the back of the MM which has a lot of rules for this! Plus you still have to deal with Feat selections and so on, following sharply defined rules. You can bypass them, sure, but there's a much firmer set of underlying rules there. Again, my point is: to some this is good, to some it is restricting.

Kurald Galain
2009-03-15, 06:57 AM
But you still have to prepare the campaign, which is DM's work, which is generally considered to take longer in 3.5 than 4th.

No it isn't.

It is considered by some to take longer. It is also considered by considerable (heh) other people to take much shorter, for a variety of reasons. YMMV, and all generalizations are false.

Charity
2009-03-15, 07:46 AM
Beyond familiararity Kur, I can't see it myself.

Theodoriph
2009-03-15, 08:09 AM
I know what you mean, of course. I'm referring to the section in the back of the MM which has a lot of rules for this! Plus you still have to deal with Feat selections and so on, following sharply defined rules. You can bypass them, sure, but there's a much firmer set of underlying rules there. Again, my point is: to some this is good, to some it is restricting.



I know what you're saying but I disagree. To me a restrictive rule is one that pretty much has to be followed. For instance, attack rolls being made with a d20 is a pretty restrictive rule. You tell your players that from now on they'll be making attack rolls with a d4, and well, they'll likely clobber you :smalltongue:

Most restrictive rules affect players more than DMs. For the DM, there are fewer restrictive rules...since it's within their power to modify any rule they want. Naturally your players expect you to follow some, so those rules would likely be restrictive even for DMs (e.g. rolling d20s, the XP/level system, treasure rules etc.) simply because not following them would cause your session to be unenjoyable...and no DM wants that.

Monster creation rules however are not among that category. I wouldn't even call them rules, but potential guidelines. PCs have no idea what to expect from a created monster. They just want to be challenge. And so, it doesn't matter what criteria the DM uses to create those monsters. The PCs don't care...as long as it provides the challenge it's designed to provide.

I guess my point is that in all editions of RPGs, the only rules that are restrictive are those that the PCs use. Anything else, anything that is up to DM discretion and that is not known or used by PCs...is just a loose guideline for the DM.




ASIDE:

This is a random aside. I'm tired of people who claim that the Wizard, Cleric and Druid are overpowered. That claim has always bothered me.

The simple fact is that they're not overpowered.

In every RPG, if you optimize your character (including things like spells), by the end of the game you should be wiping the floor with everything. That should be the scenario that all RPGs strive for with every class. Complete and utter dominance by the "end" of the game.

The reason for is simple. While optimization is fun, a large proportion of the gaming population also enjoys playing suboptimal characters for fun, for flavour, for whatever reason.

How many people optimized every character they've ever played? Sure some have, but I'm sure most have tinkered at one point with something suboptimal. And these suboptimal players still want to be useful and contribute. Playing a suboptimal character shouldn't be about sucking and hurting your party. It should be about the "role-playing" aspect of the game. A very important aspect...and one that shouldn't penalize parties in combat situations.

These sub-optimal builds are the sweet spot. You want the CR levels of the monster to challenge them, not the optimal builds. The last thing you want is to force people to optimize. That will suck much of the fun out of any system.

If your group optimizes...that's fine. You're the DM...increase the challenge. Occasionally...pick a monster from a higher CR level. Tell them you had to because they're just so damn good if you want. They get more XP and are challenged, so they're happy. They're having fun and are happy...so you're happy.

Your players will catch on though if you always have to reduce the challenge of what they're facing, and that doesn't make anyone feel good.

So can the Wizard, Druid and Cleric wipe the floor with anything if they optimize? Yeah. But they should be able to. Every class should be able to. In every system, the problem lies with the classes that can't.

its_all_ogre
2009-03-15, 08:11 AM
No it isn't.

It is considered by some to take longer. It is also considered by considerable (heh) other people to take much shorter, for a variety of reasons. YMMV, and all generalizations are false.

i agree with charity, i really do not se how you can make a town as a basis of an adventure and create all of the important npcs, feats, skill totals(a nightmare in my experience), any items, spell selections etc

now you can handwave this away and let them have whatever plot requires...but isn't this what 4e does and one of the things that people complain about, using different rules or npcs vs pcs?

in 3.5 thanks to the integrated rules system i need to make my assassin, as an example, so that he can stealth his way into the targets house, bypassing any security in place and the kill the target.
then i have to ensure this person will also reasonably challenge my players in the showdown they inevitably have with him.
not too much hard work to be honest.
but now do that with every npc which has plot relevance.
yeah that takes some time.
not a 3.5 hater, but i'm honestly confused by all the claims of the 4e haters as none of them, and i do mean NONE of them, add up.

its_all_ogre
2009-03-15, 08:16 AM
ASIDE:

The simple fact is that they're not overpowered.

So can the Wizard, Druid and Cleric wipe the floor with anything if they optimize...yeah. But they should be able to. Every class should be able to. In every system, the problem lies with the classes that can't.

agreed with the final line.
but...how many classes in 3.5, core or not i don't care, fall into this category?

fighter, paladin, barbarian, bard(maybe), ranger, monk, soulknife, ninja, spellthief, scout, dragon shaman, knight.....
list is a pretty long one!

Theodoriph
2009-03-15, 08:24 AM
agreed with the final line.
but...how many classes in 3.5, core or not i don't care, fall into this category?

fighter, paladin, barbarian, bard(maybe), ranger, monk, soulknife, ninja, spellthief, scout, dragon shaman, knight.....
list is a pretty long one!

Yeah alot of 3e required optimization to play well at later levels...and alot of them just plain suck :smalltongue: But that's what happens when you have a company that has to be concerned about profits and money. :smallsmile: It'd be awesome if they had all the time in the world to balance and test things, but that's not possible....that's what we have homebrew for :smallbiggrin:

I haven't taken a 4e campaign to level 30, but from the threads here in the forums, from what I've gathered, a heavy amount of optimization is required in 4e, though they are all fairly viable. So you're not hamstrung by class, but you do need to devote some effort to being optimized.

I'm not too familiar with too many other game systems, but I'm fairly certain most suffer from this in one way or another. It's really hard to avoid.

its_all_ogre
2009-03-15, 08:38 AM
interesting i've played a few systems where you can't even optimise really. i mean wfrp is one of my favourites for that, all creation is random, so luck of the dice comes in heavily, but with the array of stats and rolling that many of them means while you're likely to have high stats in some things, you're also guaranteed low stats in other things.
averages tend to level out the more stats you roll.
dnd i've seen people roll stats like 18 16 16 17 16 18 before now, right before my eyes.
but it's only 6 stats, rolling 12 stats creates a more even spread, those stats would still be good, but through in another 6 which are 6-10 and they look a lot less godlike!

from my experience of playing 4e a lot of optimisation is certainly possible, but i do not think it is necessary to still contribute.(i may change my opinion on this when we get to higher levels)
my group has 6 players, two of us are solid optimisers, 2 have no aptitude at optimising at all and the other 2 are between the two. one of the latter plays an elemental wizard, he accepts that colour spray is the best level 3 encounter attack power most of the time, but it does not fit his character so he has not got it.
main strength of 4e imo for a player is that if you lack optomisation skills and have no aptitude to pick it up(one of our players) then there are still classes you can play effectively like ranger and arguably rogue. in core only, maybe more easy to play yet still useful classes will come out, although i doubt it.

hell if you had two poor optimisers in your group and they both played rangers you'd arguably have a great damage output with little or no drawbacks

Theodoriph
2009-03-15, 08:52 AM
Optimizing at low levels is rarely necessary. Luckily, many campaigns tend to occur at low levels...either by plan...or because the campaign dies out before players progress too high. New players and DMs also tend to find lower levels easier when familiarising themselves with the game.

So you should in theory have many more campaigns being run with level 5-10 characters than level 15-20 characters.

And for the most part at low levels, you can play suboptimally in both 3.5 and 4th. The problems occur later on.

Most complaints about 3.5 ed tend to be about later levels when some classes come into their own and others have been left behind.


There was an interesting thread about 4e you might want to take a peek at. As usual, 3.5 ed people and 4th ed people were bickering and the bickering centred around the AC progression for bad guys and the attack bonus progression for good guys. If I recall correctly from the thread, a monster's "AC" (I'm not sure which of the 3 they were referring to...or if they were referring to all...someone more versed in 4th can help) increased by one per level while a player's attack bonus increased by 1 every 2 levels. So the monster had an advantage. Naturally...the player will be outstripped if they don't keep up, so they have to find ways to do so (re: optimize) (ability point increases, feats etc.).

I'm not sure what the final conclusion was, but it was an interesting discussion if you can ignore the bickering, and you should take a look. instead of waiting to get to a higher level and then realizing your character isn't good enough :smallsmile:

golentan
2009-03-15, 08:55 AM
i agree with charity, i really do not se how you can make a town as a basis of an adventure and create all of the important npcs, feats, skill totals(a nightmare in my experience), any items, spell selections etc

now you can handwave this away and let them have whatever plot requires...but isn't this what 4e does and one of the things that people complain about, using different rules or npcs vs pcs?

in 3.5 thanks to the integrated rules system i need to make my assassin, as an example, so that he can stealth his way into the targets house, bypassing any security in place and the kill the target.
then i have to ensure this person will also reasonably challenge my players in the showdown they inevitably have with him.
not too much hard work to be honest.
but now do that with every npc which has plot relevance.
yeah that takes some time.
not a 3.5 hater, but i'm honestly confused by all the claims of the 4e haters as none of them, and i do mean NONE of them, add up.

But you don't do that with EVERY npc. If you are, you're doing your job wrong. I rarely need a statblock for my npcs: Character X level of class, abilities like so. Only the ones who are actually in combat with the characters... and are supposed to be, need be individuals. That assassination target: take him out with a Coup de Grace in his sleep and you need never add more. What I don't like about fourth is how they made it 99% combat, 99% of the time. There is more to RPing then grinding levels vs. orcs.

Everything is perfectly balanced and on par, and I despise it. The fun was looking for little exploits: nothing game breaking, but something to distinguish yourself from another character of your class. I don't really see that when you're picking predefined encounter powers. Some customization exists, yes. But none of the powers are utilitarian, they won't let you travel the multiverse at will, they won't help you convince the guards to stand down, they won't get you into the locked and trapped window 5 stories up, and they won't let you just stab the ****ing target in his sleep for an instant kill. Too few traps, no Save or Sucks (no real "saves"), nothing to really keep you worried and on your toes. Part of the fun was stupid people died, and took real punishment for it.

It just feels... Hollow. Like 3.5 was the place where I imagined something, then did it and new exactly how and how likely it was to work. It didn't matter if anyone else had ever THOUGHT of it, there were easy and unambiguous rules that could be applied, or adapted with minimal work. It took time to learn, yes, but then it moved naturally. Meanwhile 4th is like the videogames I lost interest in years back. The only element you really control is which button (power) to push, and everything in game is based on that. All the rest is stock dialogue and actions determined completely by your DM, and if you're lucky he'll prompt you on "likely responses." Joy.

And don't get me started on how they massacred the fluff of my favorite settings, which is made worse because I can't UNDO it since it's necessary for changed mechanics. Or how they stripped the alignment system (I'm okay with total ambiguity, or a full nine point, but if you're lawful you're good? Really, Wizards? Really?), or how they nerfed the ability to play nonstandard heroes? I like being fey, but I don't want to be one of your damn Eladrin! How bout throwing a pixie our way? LA wasn't really working, but fixing it and having something I'd like to play would have been nice. Or scrap it entirely and wind up with balanced monster hit dice?

I admit to being torn on the OGL/SRD issue. On the one hand, I feel like it's moneygrubbing and hurting the product line the way they're handling it. On the other, I do like different systems and this is forcing a lot more 3rd parties to do their own systems. Maybe it balances out.

In short, I'm 3.5 all the way. And I intend to stay here for at least a while, but I'll keep an eye on other systems and definitely be interested in perusing 5th if it comes out sometime in the next 20 years. But that will be in the hopes that it starts heading back in some of the directions 4e left behind. The test case (SWSE) seemed great, but the final version minimized some of the things I liked, and focused on what most left me cold.

Dingle100
2009-03-15, 10:03 AM
But you still have to prepare the campaign, which is DM's work, which is generally considered to take longer in 3.5 than 4th. Thus you can take that extra time to make creatures.
.

In 3.5 most of the time is taken up in creating NPCs/Monster with levels. Thats why I decided to created a web site to do this quickly and easily. http://www.dinglesgames.com that allows you to easily create those NPCs and monsters. It saves hours of the DMs time. Its on-line and free to use. For an example you can create a vampire monk 9th level in under a minute. The site has only been live for just over a month. Feel free to have a play.

[email protected]

Mobey_Wee
2009-03-15, 10:31 AM
:smallsigh:
I forgot that criticizing - or commenting upon in any unfavorable way for that matter - any particular element of 4ed is pointless.

i'm not even going to get involved in this one, but you are generally one of the first to come in, just say how useless and terrible 4e is compared to 3.5, and then leave. When people say "oh well, 4e is designed to be VERY easily homebrewed" you say "No! I don't want to!"

Sorry, but if you go back and look at your first few posts compared to most of the people saying "3.5 is good for this and 4e is good for this," then you really should be able to see a difference.


edit: Anyway, back to the point. 4e is ridiculous easy to take an orc berserker, and make him a human barbarian. seriously. you could do so at the table, with players never knowing the difference. 4e is designed that way, it's the point. All DM work is beyond easy, it really is. If you really really just don't want to homebrew the most simple aspects of the game, then 3.5 is more supportive an evil campaign in the most basic sense of fluff, and that's it. (which again, 4e, you can do completely on the fly, shouldn't slow anyone down at all to say necrotic instead of radiant, or to switch the shifty goblin racial power, to the fey step eladrin racial power.

From everything else original poster said about the style game they were looking for, i think 4e sounded perfect, but obviously, that's just me.

and anyway, feel free to post whatever terrible opinions of 4e you have, everyone, just don't be too surprised when you get "jumped" when you choose to ignore certain aspects of the game to make your point. Just because clerics don't have channel divinity feats for lloth or bane yet, doesn't at all mean, the game couldn't easily support an evil campaign. That's just as much up to the DM as it was before. The homebrewing is nothing, and shouldn't be used as an argument to discourage a player from trying a 4e evil campaign. all i'm saying.

and yes i know i got involved. just when i thought I was out...

Mobey_Wee
2009-03-15, 10:49 AM
{Scrubbed}


since all clerics are identical in 4ed,


that's like saying half the clerics that come to this site for help on builds or identical. and not to mention there's also role-playing.

and on a side note...

YAY FOR EVIL PALADINS


edit:
[QUOTE=Fireballing_Fun;5883709]Yea as far as I am concerned they will probably be spending as much time fighting Good beings as they will neutral or evil!


You see without even looking at 4th ed I wouldn't know.

I can't see how it would be difficult to alter/homebrew.

I just have to see what my players want and if we are willing to purchase the 'new' stuff.


@Fireballing Fun: it's really a different game, and each needs to see for himself, the sooner people realize this and stop trying to prove the game is bad, the better off we'll all be. I thought from what you were describing you wanted game wise, 4e sounded like the way to go. sorry, as I have said everything I believe relevant to this thread (and a bit or irrelevance), I'll stop now. As for buying new stuff... well... yeah, no suggestions there. I won't hate WotC just because they're not giving it to us free, but, sure, it would be nice :smallbiggrin:.
You should update and let us know how it goes tho, either way.

Tiki Snakes
2009-03-15, 12:31 PM
There is more to making a monster than writing some level-appropriate numbers. If my monster is inspired by some external concept, then it is easier to make it in 3.X, because 3.X covers a much greater range of power and versatility, if for no other reason. If I use mechanics themselves as inspiration, then 3.X toolkit of monster building is obviously superior, because by simply looking at the array of available abilities, templates, feats etc. I can come up with new concepts, both mechanical and stylistic. 4E provides guidelines for numbers, but does not provide a guide for creating powers, and powers is the important (and the hardest) part of monster generation. Both from crunch and fluff standpoints. That's why it is much easier for me to create stuff for 3.X.

Alright, here's a challenge for you. In under half an hour, including time taken to find any utilities used, make me a 3.5 ed Rocket Shark. :)
(See Sig for 4th. ed. version)

Mostly, I just want more Rocket Sharks.