View Full Version : [D&D 3.5/4e] Forumites, we need your help!

2009-08-29, 09:36 AM
So, long story short, I was elected by three peers to DM a Dungeons and Dragons game. Thing is, I don't know which edition I should go with, since I have one player that has played some 3.5 (not a lot from what he told me), another that has played some 4e (just one solo [+NPC cleric and Paladin who were mostly dumb and beginners IC] and short dungeon crawl under my DMing) and another who is new to this system. The ones who have played different editions are FAR from hating the other edition.

as a heads up


I love both 3.5 and 4e, and have previously DM'd both with some success.

So...hum...help me to pick forumites!

2009-08-29, 09:43 AM
4e! For that super hero feel... Also, I personaly feel it's much easier for begginers. Well, begginers to D&D...

2009-08-29, 09:44 AM
Flip for it.

4e might be easier to learn, but 3.5 just has so much more to offer (IMO), so they somewhat cancel each other out.

2009-08-29, 09:46 AM
I have heard that 4th edition is easier to DM, but as a player I prefer 3.5. So if you don't mind the greater effort required to DM 3.5, or are planning on using premade content to save yourself the preparation time, I would pick 3.5.

2009-08-29, 09:46 AM
I'm only familier with 2nd and 3rd/3.5 editions. But out of those two, 3rd edition is frikin awsome. I've heard, but can't confirm this, is that 4th edition is a little more like 2nd edition in that its more balanced, if this is true, then that may be better. I guess the thing is balance. If 4th is more balanced and you have a problem with your players or a problem restricting your players, 4th is the way to go.

Personaly, the only reason I havnt touched 4th edition is that I bought the books for 2nd edition, then upgraded a little while back and bought 3rd/3.5 edition books. Now, I'm just tired of buying more books. You may want to pick the edition to run simply by what materials you have more to work with. Not just what you have but what your players have as well (helps if everyone has a PHB and some supliment books) Its what we do now. Some in our expaned group never switched from 2-3. So we play 2 with them, 3rd other times. If all else fails, take a poll from your group and see what you get.

2009-08-29, 09:48 AM
3.5 for the character options (classes and races, not feats and such).

2009-08-29, 09:49 AM
Easiest thing would be 3.5 with no casters, but that can also be a bit dull when combat rolls around. I love and play 4th ed., but I disagree that it's easier to learn, both games have about the same level of complexity in the combat rules, and 4th ed. is like 3.5 with everyone playing casters (having to pick "spells" each level and then each turn).

It really depends on what you and your players want. Do you have an idea for a story and setting yet? Both editions can be adapted to a wide variety of either but knowing the kind of game might make it easier to help you pick the one with the right "feel."

2009-08-29, 09:57 AM
There has been a spate of threads like this recently, but your one in particular seems like something it is impossible for us to help you decide.

Any attempt to provide a comparison will no doubt turn into an argument about which system is better.

If there is really so little bias towards one edition or the other, then put it to a vote for your group, flip a coin or roll a dice.

2009-08-29, 09:59 AM
Or find a level one adventure that can be played through in one to five sessions. One adventure in 3.5 and one adventure in 4E. When both adventures are at the end, hopefully you'll have better idea of which edition and rules are better for you.

2009-08-29, 10:01 AM
Or find a level one adventure that can be played through in one to five sessions. One adventure in 3.5 and one adventure in 4E. When both adventures are at the end, hopefully you'll have better idea of which edition and rules are better for you.

This is an excellent idea, provided you can manage to put in the work required.

Foryn Gilnith
2009-08-29, 10:01 AM
Flip for it.

I agree. Each one has its benefits and downsides, and the choice is difficult since they would come out mostly even for your group. If your game goes poorly, and you painstakingly made the choice, you're going to beat yourself up. Since they all come up even in the end, just flip for it. You can blame us for the choice.

2009-08-29, 10:18 AM
Which edition do you have books for?

Before you run out and buy a bunch of them, I suggest you download the Quick Start rules off the WotC website, try 4E for a session and then make a decision.

2009-08-29, 10:27 AM
4 ed. is easy to learn, easy to master and has a very flat learning curve. It has some options but they all end up the same. If your group doesn't think outside the box and just like tactical games with some RP elements, then do 4th ed.

3.5 has a moderately steep learning curve, but it is pretty easy to figure it out. It is by far more versatile than 4 ed, but it can be abuse pretty easily by a munchkin. This is better if your group wants options and aren't powergamers (or are all powergamers). I greatly prefer 3.5, because it feels like no matter what you do in 4th ed. you are just as powerful as the next guy, making your accomplishments trivial.

2009-08-29, 10:40 AM
Personally I'd suggest 3.5. You can always have them play the easier classes instead of having them start out on full casters. Just my 2 cents.

2009-08-29, 10:42 AM
I'd just flip a coin or maybe flip a coin, play a one-shot of that edition, then next time do a one-shot of the other and see which one gets better feedback.

Kurald Galain
2009-08-29, 10:54 AM
You haven't told us enough of the group to estimate which version (or other RPG, if applicable) they might prefer.

Neither game is really particularly easier than the other for "beginners", that's just marketing hype. But what kind of game do you want? Is it a long campaign or a one-shot, or in between? Does it focus on combat or on social events, or something else? Do you want to play on a board or not? Do you want gritty, or heroic, realistic or over-the-top epic?

2009-08-29, 12:19 PM
Well, I talked to the players and gathered some info on what they had in mind about "medieval fantasy" and added that info to my answer to this question Kural made

Do you want to play on a board or not?
And decided it was going to be 3.5, so I really thank everyone for your posts because they all helped me in a way. :elan:

2009-08-29, 01:21 PM
I'd just flip a coin or maybe flip a coin

But how will you decide which coin to flip? By flipping YET ANOTHER coin?? :smallwink::smallbiggrin:

2009-08-29, 02:53 PM
while you've already made your decision i'll post this anyways:

this usually comes up in the WotC forums, and while i wholeheartedly suggest 4th ed, i point people towards my sig which contains everything needed to make your decision, minus players, an internet connection to grab the stuff, a printer & ink:

3rd ed SRD (www.d20srd.org) & free modules (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/oa/20030530b)
4th ed test drive (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4news/20090428) - modules, starter rules, premade characters & character builder
Free maps and portraits (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/arch/ag), dice (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/dice/dice.htm) + printable graph paper (http://incompetech.com/graphpaper/)