View Full Version : [New DM] 3.0 v 3.5

2010-09-02, 04:19 AM
Hi all, just looking for a bit of advice.

I used to play Dungeons and Dragons quite a bit when I was younger, but stopped playing sometime between 3.0 and 3.5. I still have the 3.0 core books.

Fast forward to today, and a few friends of mine, finding my books lying around, want me to run a campaign for them.

Now I know that 3.5 fixed quite a lot of the problems in 3.0, but considering that all of the players will be completely new to the game, and are unlikely to do anything really gamebreaking, is it worth upgrading? Or should we be fine with the system as it stands?

2010-09-02, 04:57 AM
If 3.0 works for your group than go for it. Otherwise if you're the only one with books consider using 3.5. With this nice SRD 3.5 (http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/resources/systems/pennpaper/dnd35/soveliorsage/home.html) all your players can have access to all the OGL stuff from the 3.5 PHB, DMG, MMI, UA, and XPH for free.

Another option would be Paizo's Pathfinder (http://paizo.com/pathfinder) (OGC (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/)). It has the feel and play of 3.0/3.5/D20 (and is backwards compatible with those too) but fixes some of the problems from 3.0/3.5 and simplifies a few other things as well (tripping, some skills, etc.). Another benefit is that it is a newer system with new material being printed for it fairly regularly which means you can easily pick it at your local gaming store or big chain bookstore.

Aotrs Commander
2010-09-02, 05:33 AM
If you plan on using psionics at all, for frag's sake use the 3.5 rules in the SRD, not 3.0's tragic morass. The 3.5 psionics rules are frequently considered to be better balanced than the magic system (provided you actually don't leave the important "can't spend more PP than manifester level rules" and maybe adjust those handful of powers whose DC scales by PP (e.g Energy Missile) to scale by 2 PP as the "errata" (e.g. Complete Psionic) did; which I suspect was the original intention. (Granted, that was the only bit of the "errata" I agreed with!)

Also, I'd strongly suggest you use the 3.5 version of Haste, as the 3.0 version is far too powerful for casters once they figure it out.

2010-09-02, 07:27 AM
The SRD (3.5/D20 or Pathfinder) are a great resource both for players and the DM as most of the rules are there. The Pathfinder SRD has more core content on it, such as wealth by level and experience/level. I find it much easier to look things up on the SRD than in books and since all your players would have access to it where ever they can get on-line it maybe easier for them to learn and make characters.

3.0 is fine though, particularly if you know it very well.
If you just remember the general flow of things, but are fuzzy on the finer points I'd think its worth the upgrade to Pathfinder or 3.5, as its free. My preference would be Pathfinder as it has somemore bug fixes and the core classes are more flavourful. Since Pathfinder is also backwards compatable you can use any 3.0 supliments you may have with it and/or things you find on the 3.5 srd.

If you were thinking of sinking some money into the venture 4E might also be worth considering. It's very easy to learn and is very well supported via the Dungeons and Dragons Insider. They are also just coming out with a new line of products geared to new groups. But it does play differently from the 3.0,3.5, Pathfinder line.

2010-09-02, 08:25 AM
3.5 is generally a little smoother in my opinion. However, it's not a huge difference. The phb is actually the most important book to swap out, if you go to 3.5. The others have differences, but ones that are less common/important and you do have the SRD anyway.

On ebay, the paperback 3.5 phb goes fairly cheap. If you watch carefully, you can probably pick one up for $15.

4e, if you go that route, is very different from 3.0 or 3.5. You will not be able to reuse any older sourcebooks.

2010-09-02, 08:27 AM
Not rulewise, certainly. Some of the splatbooks are more focussed on fluff than rules though (Power of Faerun springs to mind).

2010-09-02, 08:52 AM
While true, you can reuse fluff material from anything. Other game systems. Novels. Movies.

Thus, it doesn't factor much into if two roleplaying books will work together.

2010-09-02, 05:54 PM
Thanks for all the advice.

The general consensus seems to be that its worth the upgrade - especially since I am a little fuzzy on the specifics.

I'm not in America, so ebay is a bit of a pain to use, especially with shipping costs, but I'll have a shop around for the books and in the meantime, use the SRD.

As to Pathfinder or 3.5... well. I'll see what I can get hold of more easily - which will probably be pathfinder as I seem to be able to buy pdfs.

Thank you all again for all the help. Now I just hope they enjoy whatever I can cook up!