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Slayerofundead
2014-03-01, 04:52 PM
I'm not trying to start an edition war or anything. I just want to see in majority opinion what system is the best. I have herd there changeling rules agin. Last year I got 4E Im working on a Campaign now but should I get another edition?

Mr. Mask
2014-03-01, 04:59 PM
You might want to add a poll. That's the closest you'll get to a consensus.

Mando Knight
2014-03-01, 05:00 PM
I don't know of any games called Dungeons at Dragons. :smalltongue:

The best system depends on what you want. If you're looking for a game with relatively strictly-defined tactical roles and runs rather rules-light outside of combat, then 4e would be best. If you want a game where spellcasters can do everything while martial-types can only hit harder with their swords (and the spellcasters can do that, too, if they wish), 3.X would be more up your alley.

...I'm really not familiar enough with the older versions to provide similarly broad over-generalizations of them...

You might want to add a poll. That's the closest you'll get to a consensus.
Last I checked, polls were disabled for normal users here.

golentan
2014-03-01, 05:05 PM
I like 3.5, myself. I know it was glutted with options and mechanics that were abusable, but it had so many interesting things you could do, and didn't feel as terrifying as some previous editions did when I looked at them (for getting rid of THAC0 alone 3.x has my love). Though I have high hopes for next edition...

oxybe
2014-03-01, 05:12 PM
best one is the one you're most comfortable running and most fun you have playing.

i have choice words i could say about various versions due to personal taste and dissatisfactions but i won't hold anyone's preference against them.

as for trying out different editions, there's no harm in doing so. worst case scenario is you find out that there's a game you don't like and can continue ignoring as you had been doing since before you tried it. best case scenario is you find a new game you like and can suggest playing with your group.

BWR
2014-03-01, 05:17 PM
n a Champaign

Autocorrect error?
Otherwise I don't see how the lesser half of Urbana is relevant. :smalltongue:

I'm very fond of Pathfinder. I like a lot of stuff about 2e and BECMI/RC, and I think those did some things better than the d20 system in its various guises has, but on the whole I like I PF best.

Brookshw
2014-03-01, 05:18 PM
Yeah, removing thaco and simplifying saves was great. Also the introduction of feats, nice new customizable aspect.

AuraTwilight
2014-03-01, 05:19 PM
Gonna throw my hat in with 3.5; if nothing else it has the most raw content out of all of them, especially when you add in third party and homebrew due to the OGL.

And it's painless to teach to new players thanks to the SRD.

Zaydos
2014-03-01, 05:29 PM
3.5 is probably my favorite, but more and more I hanker for a 2e or earlier game or a 4e game.

Jay R
2014-03-01, 05:35 PM
I prefer Dungeons and Dragons. There are others who prefer the later versions - BECMI, 1E, 2E, 3.5E, and 4E. But our opinions are irrelevant. Ask your players which they prefer.

Rhynn
2014-03-01, 05:37 PM
1. ACKS (http://www.autarch.co/) and B/X
2. Dungeon Crawl Classics (http://www.goodman-games.com/dccrpg.html)
3. BECM
4. AD&D 2E
5. AD&D 1E and OSRIC (http://www.knights-n-knaves.com/osric/) and Labyrinth Lord Advanced Edition (http://www.goblinoidgames.com/labyrinthlord.html)
6. Original D&D and Labyrinth Lord (http://www.goblinoidgames.com/labyrinthlord.html)
7. through X. All the other retroclones
X. (shared) D&D 3.X, Pathfinder, and D&D 4E

neonchameleon
2014-03-01, 05:44 PM
I'm not trying to start an edition war or anything. I just want to see in majority opinion what system is the best. I have herd there changeling rules agin. Last year I got 4E Im working on a Champaign now but should I get another edition?

Best for what?

4e is a game about cinematic action heroes with big kinaesthetic combats.

BECMI/Rules Cyclopaedia is a game about impoverished adventurers robbing dungeons and killing people who get in the way.

Both are great fun - but they do not set out to do the same thing at all. And if play a game of one expecting the other you will either have to adapt fast or have a miserable experience.

Any more than that would involve an edition war.

AMFV
2014-03-01, 06:03 PM
Best for what?

4e is a game about cinematic action heroes with big kinaesthetic combats.

BECMI/Rules Cyclopaedia is a game about impoverished adventurers robbing dungeons and killing people who get in the way.

Both are great fun - but they do not set out to do the same thing at all. And if play a game of one expecting the other you will either have to adapt fast or have a miserable experience.

Any more than that would involve an edition war.

I was going to say the same, but you've already said it better than I was going to.

The only caveat I would add, is that while it may difficult it is even possible to adapt the differing systems to a differing game style depending on how set on one particular group of mechanics you are.

Slayerofundead
2014-03-01, 06:21 PM
Thank you for the advice an opinions.

Felhammer
2014-03-01, 07:22 PM
I'm not trying to start an edition war or anything. I just want to see in majority opinion what system is the best. I have herd there changeling rules agin. Last year I got 4E Im working on a Campaign now but should I get another edition?

There are too many ways to classify what "best" means.

Best to one person could be rules light, theater of the mind, virtually no variant class abilities; while another would want a deeply complex tactical wargame with thousands of fiddly little player options to choose from. Both of these players can be satisfied by a particular version of the game, thus the ability to quantify what "best" is for these two radically different playstyles is simply not not possible.

If you look at market share, then OD&D is the king because it had virtually no competition while 4E is the worst because it was the first edition to not remain on top for virtually its entire life cycle. However, the amount of competition 4E had in mountainous compared to the nothingness that OD&D experienced.

If you go by how many 3rd party products were made of the system, then 3.x is king, while older systems are left out in the rain.

If you go by which system had the most supplements, then OD&D is the weakest while 2nd and 3rd editions are fighting for top slot.

Point being, there are far too many ways to define "best" and everyone can cite statistics that would make their pet edition(s) look the best (as well as do the opposite).

Ailowynn
2014-03-01, 07:35 PM
You're not going to get a consensus. :smallwink:

OD&D is hard to argue with. It's a basic dungeon crawler, but that doesn't make it bad.

AD&D...depends on the DM. Can be great, can be awful.

3.X/PF is my favorite. Ridiculously unbalanced and broken, but still fun. It's like an Italian sports car: sure, it might be mad and break down sixty times, but it has soul.

4th is very well-rounded and well-balanced.

Fabletop
2014-03-01, 07:47 PM
Best is subjective; it's what you like.

I like OD&D. That's Dungeons & Dragons for me. Dangerous, tactical, party-centric, and simple.

Kurald Galain
2014-03-01, 07:47 PM
6E is clearly the best RPG system ever.

Stoneback
2014-03-01, 10:40 PM
The best one is the one I like the best of course. And anyone who disagrees is obviously wrong!

Gee whiz. Who can tell you what's best? It's an opinion question.

Jay R
2014-03-01, 10:43 PM
I'm not trying to start an edition war or anything.

Just out of curiosity, what question would you have asked if you had been trying to start an edition war? I'm not seeing any significant difference.

TuggyNE
2014-03-02, 01:10 AM
Just out of curiosity, what question would you have asked if you had been trying to start an edition war? I'm not seeing any significant difference.

That yes. Basically.

Also, chocolate all the way.

YossarianLives
2014-03-02, 01:14 AM
I dunno i feel sort of a special sentimentality toward 4e. But only because it was the first roleplaying game i ever played.

Now i only play 3.5 and i think it is massively superior to 4e.

Morcleon
2014-03-02, 03:26 AM
Personal favorite is 3.5e. Not despite it being broken, but because it's broken, you can run it at whatever power level you want. :smallsmile:


That yes. Basically.

Also, chocolate all the way.

...okay, I've never understood what each ice cream flavor meant. Is it referring to different editions? Or usage of homebrew? Or what? :smallconfused:

Gavran
2014-03-02, 04:07 AM
I don't think they have actual meanings. That's kind of the beauty of it. Everyone can believe whichever they want is their favorite system and edition wars are thus satired while every can believe that their side is winning to boot.

TuggyNE
2014-03-02, 04:13 AM
...okay, I've never understood what each ice cream flavor meant. Is it referring to different editions? Or usage of homebrew? Or what? :smallconfused:

All of the above and more. Sometimes it's class choice, sometimes it might be encounter design or even races.

Eldan
2014-03-02, 05:07 AM
...okay, I've never understood what each ice cream flavor meant. Is it referring to different editions? Or usage of homebrew? Or what? :smallconfused:

Nothing specific. It's just to show how silly these debates sometimes are. People throw up arguments more or less at random. Mostly different editions, yes, but you can argue about whatever you want. I think homebrew was "homemade ice cream" at least a few times.

Felhammer
2014-03-02, 06:00 AM
"Grr, I don't like D&D: WoW Edition!"

"Grr, I don't like Vancian Magic!"

"Grr, I don't like Miniatures!"

"Grr, I don't like Dead Levels!"

"Grr, I don't like PCs feeling mechanically similar!"

"Grr, I don't like poorly implemented differences!"

"Grr, I don't like low level play!"

"Grr, I don't like high level play!"

"Grr, I don't like that spell-casting is so powerful!"

"Grr, I don't like martial power "spells"!

"Grr, I don't like splat book spam!"

"Grr, I don't like only using the core rulebooks!"

"Grr, I don't like the book telling me how to play!"

"Grr, I don't like that the book doesn't tell me what the DC is for climbing a cliff-side in a magically conjured sharknado!"

UndertakerSheep
2014-03-03, 09:39 AM
Does the game need to have D&D in its name?

If it doesn't, then 13th Age is hands down my favorite D&D 'edition'.

If it does, then Fourth Edition is my favorite D&D edition.

The most important thing is that both the DM and the players enjoy the edition. If you've got that, I recommend sticking with that edition.

TheLoneCleric
2014-03-03, 09:47 AM
No such animal. There are better systems for your playstyle but you need to determine what if your prefered playstyle first.

viking vince
2014-03-03, 10:43 AM
I have never played anything past 1e, but have been at it for decades. Great fun.

CarpeGuitarrem
2014-03-03, 12:50 PM
Definitely a preference thing. 13th Age would also be my pick, if you're pulling.

Delwugor
2014-03-03, 03:34 PM
My preferred system for D&D games is actually Strands of Fate with the Strands of Power supplement. For me SoF/SoP captures the style and feel that I want in D&D games.

After that, and what I'm playing now, is Pathfinder. I do find it a better version than 3.5, but that is not saying much. I only play it because the group I'm currently with does.

Zavoniki
2014-03-03, 03:34 PM
{{scrubbed}}

AMFV
2014-03-03, 03:54 PM
{{scrubbed}}

In your opinion. They're all financial successes at least comparatively to other games. They've all been enjoyed by many people, so they must be good at least by the objective standards we could establish. Now you could subjectively dislike them and that's fine, but that kind of blanket statement is one that one can't objectively make.

Rhynn
2014-03-03, 04:54 PM
{{scrubbed}}

Please do explain how ACKS is poorly designed and implemented.

And DCC, while you're at it.

:smallbiggrin:

Airk
2014-03-03, 05:21 PM
Please do explain how ACKS is poorly designed and implemented.

And DCC, while you're at it.

:smallbiggrin:

It's poorly designed by virtue of not being a D&D Edition and therefore not fitting in with the OP's question? :)

If I had to pick a D&D Edition, I'd pick 4th, because it's the most tightly focused on what it does well. All of the other editions are better replaced by non-D&D products, IMHO.

Hiro Protagonest
2014-03-03, 05:25 PM
You know, I think the OP is needlessly limiting himself by putting D&D as a criteria.

Morcleon
2014-03-03, 05:34 PM
All of the other editions are better replaced by non-D&D products, IMHO.

I don't think there's another system out there that can get the wide power range or the amount of homebrew support that 3.5e has. :smalltongue:

kyoryu
2014-03-03, 06:34 PM
{{scrubbed}}

B/X and 1e are pretty good at what they were designed for. The only problem is that "what they were designed for" doesn't really line up well with "typical RPG usage today".

Rhynn
2014-03-04, 02:26 AM
It's poorly designed by virtue of not being a D&D Edition and therefore not fitting in with the OP's question? :)

ACKS is absolutely a D&D edition. DCC I suppose is different enough I could see that argument being made, but ACKS, OSRIC, LL, Swords & Wizardry, Basic Fantasy, Myth & Magic, Dark Dungeons, Mazes & Minotaurs, and even Lamentations of the Flame Princess are all 100% recognizable D&D editions. "Published by TSR or WotC" is hardly a sensible requirement.

When I want to play D&D, I play ACKS; it gives me the D&D experience best tailored for my tastes. Ergo, ACKS is D&D.

And they're absolutely a good fit for answers to the OP's question: my answer to "What edition of D&D do you prefer?" is "ACKS." Because, again, it's the game I play for the D&D experience.


All of the other editions are better replaced by non-D&D products, IMHO.

What's a good replacement for Original D&D or ACKS, then? I guess there's Dragon Warriors, but it's hardly better or more elegant, just different.

SiuiS
2014-03-04, 05:17 AM
The rules cyclopedia is hands down the best of all worlds.

E: majority agreement with Rhynn; most of the games he mentioned were basically people who played enough to see issues rewriting the rules, and using a different name because D&D is copywrit. At the very least they are spiritual successors. Heck, ACKS is 100% directly "I fixed B/X and allowed the game to actually function such that you will get a domain like you're supposed to".

Airk
2014-03-04, 10:23 AM
ACKS is absolutely a D&D edition. DCC I suppose is different enough I could see that argument being made, but ACKS, OSRIC, LL, Swords & Wizardry, Basic Fantasy, Myth & Magic, Dark Dungeons, Mazes & Minotaurs, and even Lamentations of the Flame Princess are all 100% recognizable D&D editions. "Published by TSR or WotC" is hardly a sensible requirement.

When I want to play D&D, I play ACKS; it gives me the D&D experience best tailored for my tastes. Ergo, ACKS is D&D.

And they're absolutely a good fit for answers to the OP's question: my answer to "What edition of D&D do you prefer?" is "ACKS." Because, again, it's the game I play for the D&D experience.



What's a good replacement for Original D&D or ACKS, then? I guess there's Dragon Warriors, but it's hardly better or more elegant, just different.

This is a ridiculous argument. It is a D&D Edition if it contains the words "Dungeons and Dragons" in the title. That's it. ACKS may be what you play when you want to play a game that is like Dungeons and Dragons (indeed, it might be "like but better than") but it is not, by definition, a D&D edition. I don't really see how you can argue otherwise in any sort of logical way. The definition is right there in the term.

Lorsa
2014-03-04, 10:28 AM
The best D&D system is the one my players enjoy the most.

I honestly don't have any idea which one that is, since we haven't tried them all. So I can't give you an answer to your question. I suggest you try them yourself until you find one you like.

CarpeGuitarrem
2014-03-04, 10:35 AM
This is a ridiculous argument. It is a D&D Edition if it contains the words "Dungeons and Dragons" in the title. That's it. ACKS may be what you play when you want to play a game that is like Dungeons and Dragons (indeed, it might be "like but better than") but it is not, by definition, a D&D edition. I don't really see how you can argue otherwise in any sort of logical way. The definition is right there in the term.
It's a technical vs. pragmatic term. For me, so long as the rules are meaningfully connected, it's probably good enough to count. (I mean, Pathfinder counts, and it definitely doesn't have "D&D" in the title.)

Airk
2014-03-04, 10:39 AM
It's a technical vs. pragmatic term. For me, so long as the rules are meaningfully connected, it's probably good enough to count. (I mean, Pathfinder counts, and it definitely doesn't have "D&D" in the title.)

Sue me for answering the question as written then. ;)

Rhynn
2014-03-04, 10:42 AM
This is a ridiculous argument. It is a D&D Edition if it contains the words "Dungeons and Dragons" in the title.

So chess stops being chess if you call it Ultra Super White Versus Black? OpenQuest isn't RuneQuest, somehow? MERP and Rolemaster Express aren't editions of the same game despite using the same mechanics and tables?

If you want to play D&D, my recommendation is to play a retroclone. That makes them a perfectly good answer to the OP's question.

"A rose by any other name," etc. - just changing the name but leaving the contents the same doesn't change what the thing is.

Delwugor
2014-03-04, 11:26 AM
This is a ridiculous argument. It is a D&D Edition if it contains the words "Dungeons and Dragons" in the title. That's it. ACKS may be what you play when you want to play a game that is like Dungeons and Dragons (indeed, it might be "like but better than") but it is not, by definition, a D&D edition. I don't really see how you can argue otherwise in any sort of logical way. The definition is right there in the term.
I may agree if this post was in the specific "D&D" forums but it is in general Roleplaying Games where all types of systems are discussed.

I classify a general "D&D" as a tabletop roleplaying game in a magical fantasy setting where the characters embark on adventures usually to accomplish goals.
Branding and system does not define "D&D" for me, nor does it seem to for some other people here.

CarpeGuitarrem
2014-03-04, 11:33 AM
I may agree if this post was in the specific "D&D" forums but it is in general Roleplaying Games where all types of systems are discussed.

I classify a general "D&D" as a tabletop roleplaying game in a magical fantasy setting where the characters embark on adventures usually to accomplish goals.
Branding and system does not define "D&D" for me, nor does it seem to for some other people here.
I would add "d20-based", "Vancian magic", "class-based", "abstract increasing hitpoints" and "level-based", but between that and your thematic description, I think those are the hallmarks of D&D, along with an explicit lineage.

For instance, Pathfinder is quite clearly descended from D&D. 13th Age was a collaboration of 3E and 4E lead designers, to make the D&D they wanted to see. Numenera is a bit of a cousin, because although it keeps a lot of things the same, it turns stats into fuel/hitpoints. Retroclones are functionally older versions of D&D in all but name. You get the picture.

Nightgaun7
2014-03-04, 11:36 AM
4E is best E. Come at me.

Rhynn
2014-03-04, 11:53 AM
4E is best E. Come at me.

I think it'd the best for an old-school combat-heavy grid-and-turn based tactical computer RPG (similar to Blackguards). I would play the crap out of that game.

Delwugor
2014-03-04, 12:04 PM
I would add "d20-based", "Vancian magic", "class-based", "abstract increasing hitpoints" and "level-based", but between that and your thematic description, I think those are the hallmarks of D&D, along with an explicit lineage.

For instance, Pathfinder is quite clearly descended from D&D. 13th Age was a collaboration of 3E and 4E lead designers, to make the D&D they wanted to see. Numenera is a bit of a cousin, because although it keeps a lot of things the same, it turns stats into fuel/hitpoints. Retroclones are functionally older versions of D&D in all but name. You get the picture.
Those are the "Sacred Cows" of the D&D system branding that goes back to Gygax and co. As such they are an important part of that lineage, though for me not necessary for other general lines.

imaloony
2014-03-04, 12:14 PM
I've only extensively played two systems: AD&D and 3.5 (Though I've played a bit of Pathfinder).

They're very different for what they are. AD&D, in my opinion, gives much better flexibility for the DM with a lot less specific rules that restrict what you can do.
3.5, meanwhile, is much easier to just pick up and play. 3.5 has a simpler armor class than THAC0 (Which had me scratching my head for months when I started playing), ability score bonus' are simpler, and skills and feats make it much easier to customize your character (Since in AD&D most of your "Customization" functionality-wise will be dependent on what magic items you get). 3.5 DOES have its fair share of problems balance-wise (CoDzilla, Cough cough), but if you don't have min-maxing munchkins in the party, it won't be a problem.
I've also liked Pathfinder form what I've seen of it. It re-balanced a lot of stuff from 3.5 and added a bunch of neat stuff (The optional addition of guns is very nice) but I haven't played enough of it to compare to 3.5 or AD&D.

So, in a nutshell, AD&D is better if you have a very experienced DM, and 3.5 is better if you're starting out. Just my opinion though.

Honest Tiefling
2014-03-04, 12:14 PM
My group perfers Pathfinder, which is sorta DnD? I dunno. Anyway, my advice is to work on the story and characters of the campaign, and then once 5e comes out give it a go with your group and see what you and your players like best. Then work on mechanics of your campaign. Good luck!

JusticeZero
2014-03-04, 12:56 PM
PF here. I liked how well 3rd edition could be tuned for the sake of the setting without fighting oddball mechanical systems. But I am not in a place in my life where I can collect out of print poorly indexed splat books and haul them around with me to let others borrow. PF lets me point them at the SRD.

Knaight
2014-03-04, 01:09 PM
I classify a general "D&D" as a tabletop roleplaying game in a magical fantasy setting where the characters embark on adventures usually to accomplish goals.

The issue with this definition is it basically treats D&D as a whole swath of fairly distinct role playing games. GURPS fantasy fits in that description, and GURPS is certainly a distinct, non D&D game. Chunks of WoD fit that description, and that's even more distinct.

A better definition would be that any game labeled D&D is D&D, to start with. Any game that obviously imitates it to a high enough degree is essentially D&D - OSIRIC, for example, is essentially D&D by virtue of being virtually identical to some of the D&D line, to the point of being a grey area to being D&D itself. ACKS fits more cleanly in the essentially D&D category, as does Pathfinder.

As for the best D&D system - restricted to those actually called D&D, I favor 3.5. Marginally. In the essentially D&D style, there's a fair bit I quite like about ACKS (mostly the economic model). In the category of spiritual successors/imitators to D&D which are mechanically fairly different, Torchbearer and WR&M stand out. Among the lot of these, it's the last category I like most, as D&D is made for a few particular styles of gaming that don't appeal to me all that much.

Rhynn
2014-03-04, 01:14 PM
My group perfers Pathfinder, which is sorta DnD?

I cannot imagine a single way in which Pathfinder isn't D&D...

Jay R
2014-03-04, 01:35 PM
This is a ridiculous argument. It is a D&D Edition if it contains the words "Dungeons and Dragons" in the title.

Intriguingly, TSR tried (in vain) to argue against this notion - but from the other direction. For years they tried to maintain that Dungeons and Dragons and Advanced Dungeons and Dragons were two completely different games.

Yora
2014-03-04, 01:40 PM
I think Castles & Crusades is by far the best. It's AD&D 2nd Edition upgraded to the math of D&D 3rd Edition, without adding the whole mess of prestige classes, feats, and skills. The primary attribute system isn't quite perfect, but otherwise there isn't really much I would change. (Except the silly spell point system, though, but that's an issue with every D&D game except 4th Edition.)

Delwugor
2014-03-04, 03:17 PM
The issue with this definition is it basically treats D&D as a whole swath of fairly distinct role playing games. GURPS fantasy fits in that description, and GURPS is certainly a distinct, non D&D game. Chunks of WoD fit that description, and that's even more distinct.
I once converted a 3.5 campaign to Strands of Fate (with Powers), the only difference in play for my group was the "Sacred Cows" CarpeGuitarrem mentioned.


A better definition would be that any game labeled D&D is D&D, to start with.
According to a label definition I could create a system based on d12s, call it D&D12 (ok not leggally ha) and it would fall into such a definition.
All together, I could care less if it said D&D, AD&D, C&C, PF, GURPS, WOD, Fate or any other label, if it captures the magical fantasy adventure then it works for me.

Given all I think CarpeGuitarrem's lineage concept is a more accurate representation of general "D&D". It captures the the detailed representations while keeping the broad category.

Knaight
2014-03-04, 03:37 PM
According to a label definition I could create a system based on d12s, call it D&D12 (ok not leggally ha) and it would fall into such a definition.

Restrict the definition to the games made by the people who owned the IP then.


All together, I could care less if it said D&D, AD&D, C&C, PF, GURPS, WOD, Fate or any other label, if it captures the magical fantasy adventure then it works for me.
They are still different games though, and they aren't labels but titles. That you happen to like all of them means nothing. To use an analogy - Settlers of Catan, Puerto Rico, and Monopoly are all games involving managing an economy while building up infrastructure. If you really like games involving managing an economy while building up infrastructure, all three could easily appeal to you. That doesn't somehow make them the same game.

Kurald Galain
2014-03-04, 03:45 PM
It's an interesting question. Games like d20modern, d20ctulhu, and Alternity borrow heavily from the mechanics of D&D, and were made by whoever owned the rights to D&D at the time. But those games are still less D&D-like than Pathfinder is.

Rhynn
2014-03-04, 03:46 PM
All together, I could care less if it said D&D, AD&D, C&C, PF, GURPS, WOD, Fate or any other label, if it captures the magical fantasy adventure then it works for me.

RuneQuest is not D&D in any way, shape, or form (well, except maybe Perrin Conventions oD&D, but that's not really RQ, then). Different mechanics and rules do create different experiences, and "fantasy adventure" is a ridiculously broad category (and many of the actual inspirations of D&D fall rather outside of what most people usually think of when those words are said).

Airk
2014-03-04, 04:12 PM
So chess stops being chess if you call it Ultra Super White Versus Black? OpenQuest isn't RuneQuest, somehow? MERP and Rolemaster Express aren't editions of the same game despite using the same mechanics and tables?

If you want to play D&D, my recommendation is to play a retroclone. That makes them a perfectly good answer to the OP's question.

"A rose by any other name," etc. - just changing the name but leaving the contents the same doesn't change what the thing is.

Sorry, but the question, as asked was "Should I get another edition?"

If he wanted "The best game that does X" then he should've asked that. The question, as framed, is VERY specific. Even if you want to make the case that games that don't say D&D on them are "versions" of or "variants" or "offspring" of D&D, they are NOT under any defintion "editions" of that game.

And no, Chess with even 1 rule changed is not Chess, and your games change the rules from D&D in some way, so your analogy is not valid. :P Just like pretty much every analogy we use around here, it seems.

AMFV
2014-03-04, 04:40 PM
Sorry, but the question, as asked was "Should I get another edition?"

If he wanted "The best game that does X" then he should've asked that. The question, as framed, is VERY specific. Even if you want to make the case that games that don't say D&D on them are "versions" of or "variants" or "offspring" of D&D, they are NOT under any defintion "editions" of that game.

And no, Chess with even 1 rule changed is not Chess, and your games change the rules from D&D in some way, so your analogy is not valid. :P Just like pretty much every analogy we use around here, it seems.

You are mistaken... These are all chess

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_variant

I would say that any system that derives it's ruleset from a D&D ruleset or attempts to emulate said ruleset counts as a D&D system.

Airk
2014-03-04, 04:58 PM
Fair enough. I stand on my point about Editions, however.

RedMage125
2014-03-04, 05:47 PM
OP:
I have extensive experience with both 3.x and 4e.

In the rare instances when I get to be a player, and not a DM, my preference is 3.5e. I like the way classes, spells, and magic items all work. Magic items are not swarmed with "powers" of their own that bog down an already massive slew of powers that are available to me via my class. Ironically, I prefer to play Wizards, but I like the way magic feels in 3.5e as opposed to 4e.

As a DM, 4e. 10 out of 10 times, 4e. 4e is sooo much easier to DM. Monsters are not built using the same rules as characters, they are much simpler to run. Also, the advent of minion, elite, and solo-type monsters makes for more cinematic combat (minions), more satisfying "boss" combats that allow an NPC or monster with more importance to not be burned down quickly (elites), and makes a Dragon or other 1-monster encounters feasible, challenging and fun, without boiling down to an "action economy war", where 5-6 PCs are able to turn said omnster inside out simply by virtue of them each getting a turn to a monster's one (solo creatures). Yes, more monsters on the field makes a little bit more bookeeping for a DM, but also a lot of fun.

Customization of monsters in 4e can also lead to some interesting combinations, without having to bog through adding class levels, feats, skills, etc. to a monster.
One of my favorite examples (spoiler blocked for space)
I have a deity in my world, Ragashak, who is the god of beasts, slaughter, and winter. Lycanthropy is considered a divine gift from Ragashak by those who worship him. My players were engaged in a lycanthrope hunt through an event in world called The Silver Hunt. They encountered a powerful Ragashaki priest who had many winter-based powers. I took a Monster Manual Werewolf, and added the Wizard template (adding a class template makes a monster Elite), giving him the Thunderwave, Lightning Serpent, and Fire Burst powers. I then added the Frost Adept template (adding a second template makes him a Solo), which changes all his powers to do Cold damage. I now had a white werewolf, who was still a dangerous melee combatant, but could breath a blast of cold which could blow enemies back, drop an aoe cold blast, or fire a ray of piercing cold. Perfect for a priest of Ragashak.

Since you are the DM, my advice leans towards 4e, obviously. It is a much easier and simpler system to learn, and play.

That said, if your players are experienced with 3.5, they may prefer it. A lot of people who liked 3.5 hated 4e.

Raimun
2014-03-04, 05:50 PM
I'd say 3.5/Pathfinder, they're basically the same game with different Feats.

4 e was kinda fun but the game lacks longevity.
3.0 is okay but 3.5 is superior to that.
Earlier editions I have not played.
5th edition, after personally playtesting it, does not make me optimistic.

Felhammer
2014-03-04, 06:01 PM
You are mistaken... These are all chess

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_variant

I would say that any system that derives it's ruleset from a D&D ruleset or attempts to emulate said ruleset counts as a D&D system.

In the same way that you can buy Qtips or Cotton Swabs. Both are basically the same thing, just one is a name-brand and the others are knock offs.

AMFV
2014-03-04, 06:03 PM
In the same way that you can buy Qtips or Cotton Swabs. Both are basically the same thing, just one is a name-brand and the others are knock offs.

Chess is hardly a name brand, and a rules variant is hardly a knock-off.

Felhammer
2014-03-04, 10:00 PM
Chess is hardly a name brand, and a rules variant is hardly a knock-off.

D&D is name brand and anything that uses the same rules (legitimately or otherwise) is a knock off.

AMFV
2014-03-04, 10:21 PM
D&D is name brand and anything that uses the same rules (legitimately or otherwise) is a knock off.

I wouldn't say that's the case, any more than Compaq was a knock-off of IBM or all cars are knock-offs of Ford Model Ts. A knock-off implies that they are making the exact same product with the same purpose and attempting to undercut the market. Which isn't what's happening here. Pathfinder for example has a completely different target market and a completely different design strategy than does 4E, or even 3.5E for that matter (since 3.5 is not intended to be a retro movement at all and values certain things differently). They stem from the same general design, and share many aspects, but they aren't knock-offs, again, unless you'd consider all cars to be knock-offs of the model-T.

Ansem
2014-03-05, 07:04 AM
Played all except 1st and Next (for the fact Next has nothing to offer from me overlooking it but not playing it).

I can respect differences and people's preferences for what they like to play, but mechanically 3.5 is the most solid and superior system. (AD&D2 is my second favourite for what they've done with 2e but also went the same direction as 3.5 in a lot of ways)
It improved greatly on 2e, there's logic behind the system from a background perspective (unlike 4e which drops everything for x/day powers and stuff, 4E's idea of balance is making everything the same, so now the Wizard and Fighter both got a 3/encounter power that deals the same damage, just that one gets it in a fancy magic coat and the other as a power strike... pretty lame if you ask me but some people prefer that over complicated Vancian and Pratchett-like Magic instead of RPG limitations).
Pathfinder breaks more than it fixes and really penalizes character building.
Always feels a bit childish to me, like monopoly for kids.

It's not perfect and it has holes where it's questionable what to do, but they exist far less than in other systems, plus I play D&D for the fact I can roleplay fictional persona's in a fantasy world, not be character X who just button bashes powers all day, for then I'd be playing an MMO. 3.5 offers this.
Rules aren't as complex as people always whine about, as 99% is basically a d20+modifier vs DC roll, whether it's combat, saves, resisting spell affects or swinging down a rope on top of a Tarrasque to slam it with a hammer head on.

You can prefer your system for whatever it has to offer over 3.5, but you can't convince me the overall thing is a better package with more to offer.

AMFV
2014-03-05, 07:35 AM
Played all except 1st and Next (for the fact Next has nothing to offer from me overlooking it but not playing it).

I can respect differences and people's preferences for what they like to play, but mechanically 3.5 is the most solid and superior system. (AD&D2 is my second favourite for what they've done with 2e but also went the same direction as 3.5 in a lot of ways)
It improved greatly on 2e, there's logic behind the system from a background perspective (unlike 4e which drops everything for x/day powers and stuff, 4E's idea of balance is making everything the same, so now the Wizard and Fighter both got a 3/encounter power that deals the same damage, just that one gets it in a fancy magic coat and the other as a power strike... pretty lame if you ask me but some people prefer that over complicated Vancian and Pratchett-like Magic instead of RPG limitations).
Pathfinder breaks more than it fixes and really penalizes character building.
Always feels a bit childish to me, like monopoly for kids.

It's not perfect and it has holes where it's questionable what to do, but they exist far less than in other systems, plus I play D&D for the fact I can roleplay fictional persona's in a fantasy world, not be character X who just button bashes powers all day, for then I'd be playing an MMO. 3.5 offers this.
Rules aren't as complex as people always whine about, as 99% is basically a d20+modifier vs DC roll, whether it's combat, saves, resisting spell affects or swinging down a rope on top of a Tarrasque to slam it with a hammer head on.

You can prefer your system for whatever it has to offer over 3.5, but you can't convince me the overall thing is a better package with more to offer.

The holes are deliberate though in earlier systems, it's intended to have greater DM discretion and a higher level of DM authority, so what you're railing against is a system and design GOAL of these games. So naturally you're not going to quite agree on it, since you value different design principles.

As far as that goes 4E is much more mechanically consistent and balanced as far as the actual mechanics go (although it's less customizable, which was less of a design goal). The only real way to balance was to make everything close to the same.

In any case, your objections are largely to stated design goals, so I would say that arguing that the systems are poorly designed when they meet those stated goals, is probably a little bit far-fetched.

(As an aside, personally I like 3.5 best as well, although AD&D is starting to grow on me, to the point that I would rather run an AD&D game than a 3.5 game, but that has more to do with the fact that AD&D is more on the fly while 3.5 is a known science).

BWR
2014-03-05, 07:43 AM
Pathfinder really penalizes character building.

um, in what way?

CarpeGuitarrem
2014-03-05, 01:07 PM
As far as that goes 4E is much more mechanically consistent and balanced as far as the actual mechanics go (although it's less customizable, which was less of a design goal). The only real way to balance was to make everything close to the same.
I also think 4E's classes are a lot more diverse than people give them credit for. I have yet to see a Fighter with the ability to knock out a roomful of minions, or a Wizard with the ability to grant their allies bonus attacks, or a Rogue with the ability to specialize in debuffs and status effects. (Unless they added a lot beyond the core.)

The classes are, in my mind, similar in that they get to do cool stuff in a tactical fight. Which, in my opinion, is nothing but a plus. :smallsmile: Playing 4E was definitely a step up from 3.5 for me, just because of all the problems I had with 3.5.

But that's just me.

AMFV
2014-03-05, 01:18 PM
I also think 4E's classes are a lot more diverse than people give them credit for. I have yet to see a Fighter with the ability to knock out a roomful of minions, or a Wizard with the ability to grant their allies bonus attacks, or a Rogue with the ability to specialize in debuffs and status effects. (Unless they added a lot beyond the core.)

The classes are, in my mind, similar in that they get to do cool stuff in a tactical fight. Which, in my opinion, is nothing but a plus. :smallsmile: Playing 4E was definitely a step up from 3.5 for me, just because of all the problems I had with 3.5.

But that's just me.

Fair enough, I'm not actually that familiar with 4E, I just know that they did decide to take balance at a higher value than 3.5 did. Fourth Edition had very disparate design goals, which produced a very different game, which is perhaps why it was so polarizing as editions go.

Zaydos
2014-03-05, 01:27 PM
Fine if we're going more in depth...

B/C/E/M/I: My beginning. I still like it for childhood nostalgia and ease of play. A group of 1st time players can make their characters in a few minutes and play and have a good time. You might need to explain THAC0 a bit, and the first few combats might take an extra second to check on it, but it's a nice, easy system. Fairly rules light in Red Box, it gets more complex as you add boxes and their variant rules but hey that works by leveling up and giving you time to grow into it (we never got out of the blue box so I can't actually say about E/M/I). If I was going to just do a one-shot and didn't have an ulterior motive (homebrew testing) I'd run/play this.

AD&D 1e: My second system, but one I hardly remember. I enjoyed it, and the breadth of new options compared to Red Box. It's a little more complicated and needs some checking of tables in character creation, but I like the DM liberty and the (relative to 3.X) simplicity of it.

AD&D 2e: Least played, but I had the books for this one (my brother had the BCEMI and 1e books) so I memorized large parts of it. This is what I think of with AD&D 1 or 2e and I honestly loved it. That said my statements about 1e go for this (I know there are differences but they always seemed to me more like those between 3.0 and 3.5 than even the ones between AD&D and B/C/E/M/I). I keep hankering to DM and/or play this system again.

Player's Option: I list this separately from 2e because it changed so much. Mostly I'm familiar with Skills and Powers and not the new combat stuff but I realized as a teenager that it stank of cheese. I mean the idea was cool, customizable classes and all, but it also urged you to optimization worse than 3.X does. I might allow it with a group I knew well and trusted, but I don't trust it.

3.0: I really just think of this as 3.5 at this point and forget many of the differences. Except that Shapechange didn't grant Su abilities and was therefore much less broken.

3.5: My personal favorite system. I like the breadth of options, the verisimilitude of the world, and the character building aspects. Sure you can break casters if you try, and on occasion on accident, but in my rl play experience that hasn't happened and fighters have outshone mages and once ToB is on the table (which it is because I love the options) I have to help people to keep up with that. There are flaws, but they mostly impact my online play experience, and not my RL. Most of the broken stuff I've had to deal with RL involves pure munchkinry (trying to claim +6 synergy bonus to diplomacy in 3.0 [where you could only get +4] at 1st level [where you can't get any]) and that's a player problem not a system one. That said more than the older editions I feel it benefits from having a DM that is more experienced than their players. 2e you go with low levels and the core books and the DM can learn and grow into it. 3.X (and 4e) I couldn't go back to only core books.

Pathfinder: There are certain changes I like (rogue, combining certain skills), some of which (skills) were already house rules I made before playing it. That said there are other changes I dislike (skill ranks, summoner, various things that are just different without adding anything except an inability to use some 3.X material). Overall I stick with 3.X by preference since it's easier than learning all the changes. It's not bad by any means its niche is just already filled.

4e: A really fun tactical game. I enjoy the game, it's a fun little tactical game and I'd play a turn based video game built on its system in a heart beat. At the same time it has always failed to scratch that itch which 3.X and 2e scratch (even though mechanically it makes me think of the older editions more than 3.X does in many ways). I've known several people who disliked it because it was 4e instead of say D&D Tactics or D&D Heroes and wished they'd printed it while continuing to publish a few 3.X books. Like 2e I have a growing itch to play this one, but not DM it. While the fact that PCs are different than NPCs/monsters and many of its rules help a looser DM style than 3.X (which I like in the system) the same is done in 2e and as a world builder the way PCs functions grates on me a bit so if I was going to switch for that reason I'd go to 2e. Meanwhile its chief advantages that make me want to play it (tactical game) apply less to DMing it. It is also, I feel, the most forgiving on a new DM and the one where having players who know the system better than the DM is least likely to break things.

Next: I didn't do the playtest and can't talk about this one.

Exalted: Not a D&D system at all, but another RPG that I've played and enjoyed and want to play/GM again. I mention it, though, because playing it the game felt less well designed than any D&D system I've played but despite that it was really rather fun. It relied more on the strength of the world, used the same "you can break it, please don't, it's a for fun game" as 3.X, and somehow the fact that the entire system felt like a mess made it more appealing not less. I would say, though, that as a player or Storyteller I'd want the ST to be the most experienced one there to help reduce/prevent player second guessing. Actually this is probably the system I have the biggest itch to play atm, in a low optimization/relative newbie (which I am) game.

CarpeGuitarrem
2014-03-05, 03:10 PM
Fair enough, I'm not actually that familiar with 4E, I just know that they did decide to take balance at a higher value than 3.5 did. Fourth Edition had very disparate design goals, which produced a very different game, which is perhaps why it was so polarizing as editions go.
Oh, yeah. The biggest way in which everything was similar, to be totally serious, was that every class was designed to be part of combat. Beyond that, though, they all branched out, and all of the classes got at least one unique gimmick. (For instance, the swordmage might teleport and pull enemies around, the avenger got to pick a target and get attack rerolls against them, the paladin got to mark an enemy and deal damage to them when they ignored the paladin, etc.) The way that each class handled movement (for instance, the rogue got a lot of movement tricks) sometimes varied as well.