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okpokalypse
2007-02-13, 12:32 PM
Hey All,

I've seen reference to people being more inclined to like some versions of the D&D game over others, and yet more asking why. I'm just gonna start the debate in it's own thread with a quick distinction of pros and cons between 2.0 and 3.0 (as seen through my eyes).

D&D 2.0, Pros:
Each Class had it's own Experience Table. Thus, the highly-powerful Wizards had to earn much more XP and levelled much more slowly than Fighters and Rogues. A L14 Wizard was often quite Balanced with a L18 Fighter, and this was a mechanic I liked.
Downtime Activities (crafting, enchanting) added to the character without penalty, not took away their XP. The Gold and Time costs were more than enough.
Priests gaining access to spells via Deity Spheres of influence. For those familiar with them - they were great RP, and very fun, and a bit more balanced than the Clerics we've got in 3.0+ today.D&D 2.0, Cons:
Over-Simplified, yet non-intuitive, Combat System. (Thac0)
Dual-Classing was very cumbersome.
Multi-Classing was only available to certain races and for certain class combinations - very restricting.
Racial Level limits crippled non-humans at the high end except in a select few classes by race.
The Proficiency System was not robust at all, and many of the things a character could do was expressly left to role-playing it out.
The Max 25 Stat system, with the Percentile range for Strength.
Psionics was largely unintuitive, and did not integrate with the game well at all.D&D 2.5, Alterations: (of note)
Combat & Tactics made a robust combat system that was more relaistic, and was only loosely turn-based because of how free-formed the actions within the combat round made it seem. For those familiar and proficient with it, this has been the best D&D Combat System to date - hands down. The breakdown of the combat round into 5 phases (Very Fast, Fast, Average, Slow, Very Slow) was incredibly well done, and the calculation of which phase one took action in was easy and straightforward based on weapon size, speed factor, etc. The Drawback: Too many people complained it was overly-complex and combats took too long because of it.
Spellcasting in Combat was also much more realistic - having true casting times in segments (throughout a phase) during which you were vulnerable, and could be interrupted. Also, akin to what a Fighter had for multiple attacks, Spellcasters casting "quick" spells could get off multiple spells a round (In contrast to 3.0 Quicken where it makes the spells eat up higher spell levels). The Drawback: Complaints that one could "signature" spell things like Fireball and continually get 2 off a round, and in the Very Fast phase made it overly powerful for casters.
Skills and Powers added templated classes and the first glimpse of "Prestige Classes" though they were not called that. It began the first look into the robust character development present in 3.0 and beyond.D&D 3.0, Pros:
More Robust Character Creation (Skills, Feats, Templates, PrCs)
Open access of classes to all races w/ no Max Levels
Leveled Statistical Playing Field (No more % Ranges)
Bonuses from High Primary Stats for Casting Classes (Spells, DC, etc)
Simplified Saves (3 down from 5 in v2.0)
Magic Item Creation simplified and structured well.
Very well done Psionic system works seamlessly with the Core Rules (and is now part of the SRD)D&D 3.0, Cons:
Over-Simplified Combat System
Magic Item Creation eats XP, Crafting is TOO time consuming and an unpleasant game mechanic overall.
All classes using the same XP Progression has tilted the high-end power of the game firmly into the hands of the casters.
Favored Classes - If they were going to put in favored classes, they should have multiple archetypes for each race, and not just a single one. For Example: Elves should have Wizard, Ranger, Scout and Cleric (Corellon Larethian) as Favored ClassesD&D 3.5, Alterations: (of note)
Weapon Size updates (Nice)
Weapon Familiarity (Nice)
Skill List Revision (Nice)
Expanded Monstrous Races described in various update (Very Nice)
Addition of Immediate Spells & Spells that create extra Time (Celerity, Hustle, Anticipatory Strike) further over-powers Casters.Personally, when it comes to the character development aspect, I think 3rd Edition is superior in almost every way. The only thing that bugs me is that casters are always overpowered at the high end because they level at the same rate. Melee classes need some boosts to make them a bit more effective at the high-end. In particular, they need Feats / Powers that scale with their class levels as caster spells often do.

I generally dislike the high-end dominance of caster classes. The Sorcerer is a great example of an extreme damage doer w/ the addition of PHB-II material. Can you believe that at L16 a Sorcerer is capable of doing 480 Damage in a round with no Save, no SR, and at a range of > 250'. High-End Psychic Warriors can Utilize things like Hustle, Move Action Dim Doors and Anticipatory Strike in such a way as to 'port in from a range of 1000'+ away, take a Full Attack Action and port back out to a range of 1000'+. In many cases, with the pre-combat Buffs, that Full Attack is doing 400+ Damage. Even a High-End Cleric, with DMM Persist, can be an equally effective Melee combatant to most Fighters, as well as have a huge reserve of Spells to fall back on. That, or they can become Wizards in their own right by Persisting spells like Storm Rage, or Dark Fire. Or better yet, a Twinned Raiant Assault (L7 Spell) that will now do 30d6 Light Damage (Yes, Light - nothing Resists it) - from 1000'+ away.

I also continue to loathe the combat / save system. The Combat system in that it's so very over-simplified. But the core problem is that I think the d20 system is inherently flawed because it's just too wide a range to work with, especially considering a 5% auto-fail chance (1).

Look at initiative - which has been a sticking point for me for years... How is it a L11 Fighter with Full Plate, a LongSword and a Heavy Steel Shield can act faster than a L11 Rogue wearing no armor and wielding just a Dagger? Even if that Rogue has a 20 Dex, and the Fighter a 14 Dex, the chance of the fighter going first or at the same time (barring feat choices) is 40%. That's just ludicrous! This is why I liked Combat & Tactics. In the aforementioned example, the Rogue would attack in Very Fast (1st Attack) and Fast (2nd Attack). The Fighter would attack in Average (1st Attack), Slow (2nd Attack) and Very Slow (3rd Attack). If the Fighter signatured the weapon or enhanced it to be faster, he could possibly go in Fast, Average and Slow with his 3 Attacks - but he could never go as quick as that Rogue's 1st Attack (which makes complete sense).

In v2.5 Combat, Weapon Speed was of the essence in many combats. It was especially poignant in fights of Warrior v. Caster. Most casting took place in Fast or Average, unless spells were signatured to have Very Fast casting times. For a Warrior to disrupt a caster, they needed to Weapon that could take action in the Fast Phase. If not, the spell was going to go off before they could land their blow to disrupt it.

Ok, so I've rambled on... Feel free to discuss, add, or tell me you disagree :)

MrNexx
2007-02-13, 12:55 PM
Wheeeeeee!



Here I go again on my own
Going down the only road I've ever known

WampaX
2007-02-13, 01:06 PM
Just so you know, OP, threads like these usually don't end well.

*places thread under surveillance*

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-13, 01:08 PM
Yeah--because [insert your preferred edition] SUCKS AND EVERYONE WHO LIKES IT IS A STINKING TROGLODYTE AND A POWERGAMING ROLLPLAYER!11111one.

Ahem.

talsine
2007-02-13, 01:20 PM
I loved 2nd ED, don't get me wrong, but all the players options books (Combat and Tactics, Skills and Powers, and Spells and Magic) broke the game. Enter the naked dual longsword wielding Wood Elf fighters who had AC below zero at lvl 1, the clerics with only access to the healing spells out fighting the fighter cause they got the most points and the, as you mention, incredibly long combats do to the increased book keeping C&T created. Blargh, both systems worked, i jsut think d20 works better.

Still, if you want a good combat system, look into GURPS, one of the best point based systems out there and with a very robust tactical combat system

Arceliar
2007-02-13, 01:25 PM
Yeah--because [insert your preferred edition] SUCKS AND EVERYONE WHO LIKES IT IS A STINKING TROGLODYTE AND A POWERGAMING ROLLPLAYER!11111one.

Ahem.

QFT

3.0+ has done some good things. It's made the game more 'user friendly' in a manner of speaking, via base attack bonus and such (easier to teach a new player than THAC0 is by a wide margin). The fact that every class uses the same exp charts also makes life easier, but it does disrupt the rate of power gain quite a bit. The fact that crafting items, at least SOME items, takes XP does make a little sense, though it was implemented poorly IMHO. Of course, a lot of this simplification has led way to extreme optimization and cheese.

Of course, Miscrosoft Windows made computers more 'user friendly' and all that did was breed viruses.

3.0+ ~= Windows?? *If I could just get NWN2 running correctly through Wine...

Whatever.. let's just hope when 4.0 comes out, someday, that the game won't be broken. Maybe unsimplifiy just a few things to fix said brokenness and keep people of lower than about 9-10 intelligence IRL away from the game.

*Has a double meaning relevant to this conversation. You figure it out. EDIT: and has nothing to do with the OGL, though that could be a tripple meaning...

MrNexx
2007-02-13, 01:31 PM
Ad res.




D&D 2.0, Pros:
Each Class had it's own Experience Table. Thus, the highly-powerful Wizards had to earn much more XP and levelled much more slowly than Fighters and Rogues. A L14 Wizard was often quite Balanced with a L18 Fighter, and this was a mechanic I liked.However, this isn't the way it worked. Fighter 20 was 3 million. Wizard 18 was 3 million. Wizard 14 was 1.5 million.



Downtime Activities (crafting, enchanting) added to the character without penalty, not took away their XP. The Gold and Time costs were more than enough.

Gold is plentiful; XP is precious.



Priests gaining access to spells via Deity Spheres of influence. For those familiar with them - they were great RP, and very fun, and a bit more balanced than the Clerics we've got in 3.0+ today.

Or completely unbalanced. Priests of Mystra casting spells from EVERY sphere, plus other benefits. Had it been adjudicated more fairly, perhaps, but it was not; it was designed to provide customization, but it was not necessarily a balancing factor.

The Proficiency System was not robust at all, and many of the things a character could do was expressly left to role-playing it out.

Never had this experience, even using the base NWP system.


Skills and Powers added templated classes and the first glimpse of "Prestige Classes" though they were not called that. It began the first look into the robust character development present in 3.0 and beyond

I'm not sure where you're getting this. Are you referring to the S&P kits? Or to the free-form class creation of S&P? Neither are especially like Prestige classes; the first were modifications to specialize your character beyond your class options; the second were more or less immutable changes, more in line with the variant classes in Unearthed Arcana than prestige classes.


Magic Item Creation eats XP, Crafting is TOO time consuming and an unpleasant game mechanic overall.

Actually, magic item crafting does a couple things.

1) It is supposed to serve as a brake on PC spellcasters advancement... they're burning XP to make items (scrolls, potions, wondrous items), and thus have less for advancement.
2) It puts control of these things in the hands of the players, rather than in the hands of the DM.

Now, I think the guidelines governing "Wondrous Items" are WAY too loose, and would prefer a system based on the type of trigger used (i.e. spell completion is easy, potion is easy, spell trigger is harder, weapons are a little bit more difficult, but wondrous items are the most difficult) but that's neither here nor there.


Weapon Size updates (Nice)
IMO, it makes things more cumbersome and less fluid. It diverges from source material (Gandalf: "I see you have also found a blade." Bilbo: "Not much more than a dagger, really, but for one of my size, it suffices."), and means that treasures have to either be more specialized or PCs have tobuy most of their equipment.


Personally, when it comes to the character development aspect, I think 3rd Edition is superior in almost every way. The only thing that bugs me is that casters are always overpowered at the high end because they level at the same rate.

One of the major factors overpowering casters is one of the things you complain about... time. Time consumption used to be a major factor for high-end spellcasters who expended the majority of their spells; 10 minutes per level of the spell, or about a day (23 hours, 10 minutes) of solid work to rememorize all of an 18th level wizard's spells. It has now been reduced to 9 hours, or 8 hours and 15 minutes... and he's not even memorizing them, he's CASTING all of his spells in that hour, except for a bit that takes less than 6 seconds to rattle off.

I'll let others deal with this board's obsession with the weakness, in 3.x, of the blaster-caster. It is sufficient to say that the higher stat modifiers you laud are the downfall of the blaster.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-13, 01:35 PM
http://www.acc.umu.se/~zqad/cats/1163980866-tldrcat.jpg

pestilenceawaits
2007-02-13, 01:36 PM
I do agree with the op on weapon speeds I miss those they worked very well. because there was a reason besides damage output to chose a specific weapon I would welcome them back in some form or another maybe certain weapons give + or - to initiative and spells should be geared that way as well each spell having a + or - man I may have to come up with this I'll make millions. :0P

Thomas
2007-02-13, 01:37 PM
Yeah--because [insert your preferred edition] SUCKS AND EVERYONE WHO LIKES IT IS A STINKING TROGLODYTE AND A POWERGAMING ROLLPLAYER!11111one.

Ahem.

Eloquence, thou'rt a bear with coherent light beams!

ShneekeyTheLost
2007-02-13, 01:42 PM
Having played original D&D, AD&D, 2nd ed, 3rd ed, and 3.5, allow me to state my own opinion.

2nd ed: It was good, for it's day. THAC0 was annoying, but we dealt with it. Multiclassing was a pain in the rear. You could have a fighter, victor of a thousand battles, using his axe to cleave the head off of Bael himself... and yet have a better chance of hurting himself than his opponent if he used anything other than an axe. NonWeapon Proficencies... 'nough said.

3rd ed: BAB beats THAC0 with an ugly stick. It's just enormously easier to use. Feat/Skill system beats the old Weapon/Nonweapon Proficencies with an even bigger ugly stick. Unfortunately, multiclassing became TOO easy. A two level dip in Fighter to gain all melee weapon and armor proficencies, and a couple of feats... all at little to no cost to you.

I count magic item creation eating XP as a *GOOD* thing. 1) If a wizard is spending his xp to make items, then he won't be as high level to show up the tanks as much, 2) Unlimited creation of magic items, given sufficent gold and time, is one of the things that broke 2nd ed. This is why people got Endless Quivers for their magic swords. I have literally overheard guys going "No, that's the flametongue, the vorpal sword, wounding sword, holy avenger, unholy avenger... AHH, here it is, my +5 Dragonbane sword!".

And I'm sorry, but casters dominated the scene in 2nd ed just as much as they do in 3rd ed. Back when Stoneskin was a flat 'I don't take damage from 1d8 attacks' and had no arcane spell failure chance. Also, a caster is silly if he goes straight damage output. His best spells are SoS (Save or Suck), SoD (Save or Die), or battlefield control. Under NO circumstances can a sorcerer dish out 400+ damage in one round with no save or SR, unless you're using something from a splatbook which probably shouldn't exist.

With the advent of ToB, melee classes have found parity with caster classes. Some of the things melee classes can do now is just plain sick. How about making a Jump check vs opponent's AC to be able to make a full attack on a jumping charge/power attack/shock trooper/Leap Attack for guarenteed minimum of several hundred damage? Yea.

JadedDM
2007-02-13, 01:57 PM
Psionics was largely unintuitive, and did not integrate with the game well at all.

And that's bad? :smalltongue:

I still play 2E (true 2E, not that 2.5E Player's Option stuff). I've never bought a 3E book or played in (or ran) a 3E game. Reasons why:

1.) I have all the books and I know all of the rules. I never have to worry about staying 'up to date' with all the new splat books because there are none. And I guess I don't see much reason in learning a whole new system when they're just going to release 4E by the time I learn it all anyway.

2.) If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I know lots of people rag on 2E, but I have no real problem with it and rather enjoy it. If something is wrong with 2E, I can really easily fix it without switching editions and spending a large amount of money on new books. I'm having fun, my players are having fun--so why bother changing?

3.) I don't like using miniatures in battle. In 2E, they are optional. In 3E, not so much.

4.) I prefer relatively low-level, low power worlds. I also believe that a PC shouldn't be able to do anything a person couldn't do in real life without the aid of magic. You know, like "Walk the Walls" and so forth.

There are probably more I can't think of right now.


Unlimited creation of magic items, given sufficent gold and time, is one of the things that broke 2nd ed.

Yeah, but you had to reach level 11 to be able to even make magical items. (Level 9 just to brew potions and scribe scrolls). And that's only if you spent the hundreds or thousands of gold pieces on building up a lab first.

Mortanious
2007-02-13, 02:20 PM
In AD&D 2nd edition, Wizards actually took less experience to level than a fighter between levels 7-13. Fighters and wizards took the same amount at of experience to be 14th. With wizards requiring an additional 125,000 experience more than a fighter each additional level.

ZekeArgo
2007-02-13, 02:24 PM
And that's bad? :smalltongue:

I still play 2E (true 2E, not that 2.5E Player's Option stuff). I've never bought a 3E book or played in (or ran) a 3E game. Reasons why:

1.) I have all the books and I know all of the rules. I never have to worry about staying 'up to date' with all the new splat books because there are none. And I guess I don't see much reason in learning a whole new system when they're just going to release 4E by the time I learn it all anyway.

2.) If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I know lots of people rag on 2E, but I have no real problem with it and rather enjoy it. If something is wrong with 2E, I can really easily fix it without switching editions and spending a large amount of money on new books. I'm having fun, my players are having fun--so why bother changing?

3.) I don't like using miniatures in battle. In 2E, they are optional. In 3E, not so much.

All very understandable, well other than the last point. You really dont need miniatures unless your going crazy with different feats/maneuvers/terrains and whatnot, and if your that detail-oriented you've got them in whatever system your playing.


4.) I prefer relatively low-level, low power worlds. I also believe that a PC shouldn't be able to do anything a person couldn't do in real life without the aid of magic. You know, like "Walk the Walls" and so forth.

Again understandable, but there are people who prefer "heroic" fantasy and want characters who are simply more human than human.


Yeah, but you had to reach level 11 to be able to even make magical items. (Level 9 just to brew potions and scribe scrolls). And that's only if you spent the hundreds or thousands of gold pieces on building up a lab first.

Eh, that does fit into a low-magic setting, but personally I find those kinds of games slightly dull. Not saying that they are bad, but if I'm in a game I want to think of the world as... I dunno, something more along the lines of "Howl's Moving Castle" or the Warcraft setting rather than something LOTR-esque. But that of course is just a matter of opinion ^_^

JadedDM
2007-02-13, 02:28 PM
Yeah, my playing style isn't very popular anymore. I guess I'm a dying breed.

Charity
2007-02-13, 02:59 PM
When it comes down to the crunch, it's not what system you play, but whom you play with, that makes a game enjoyable.

I've played loads of different systems, all have good points and bad (recalls the hours spent rolling spacemaster characters, only to have them vapourised by the first crit they take)

It's all about getting a group of like minded folk and having a good time. You can't win D&D, but you can lose by trying.

RPG are not like cars, where one is faster or bigger or cheeper to run, they are more akin to sculpture, some smooth, some clunky and rough, but all are lovable in the right light.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-13, 03:02 PM
I beat D&D, once. The end guy was hard.

Dark
2007-02-13, 03:24 PM
If the Fighter signatured the weapon or enhanced it to be faster, he could possibly go in Fast, Average and Slow with his 3 Attacks - but he could never go as quick as that Rogue's 1st Attack (which makes complete sense).
It only makes sense for the rogue to go first if he throws the dagger, or runs away or something. If the rogue wants to dart in and stab the fighter, then the fighter should go first because his sword has better reach.

I've never seen a combat system that models that sort of thing without being unbearably slow to run. In my 1st ed games we usually just handwaved it.

Wayril
2007-02-13, 03:30 PM
I liked the 3.0 DMG a lot better than the 3.5 version. There were a lot of logical changes made on the magical items, but the overall order of the book was messed up. I liked having all the treasure and XP stuff grouped together especially cause I could quickly access everything from one page, but overall it was just the layout of the 3.0 one that I liked better.

Tengu
2007-02-13, 04:29 PM
I've never played DND, and don't really like it. I prefer my homebrew system based on Final Fantasy, where casters are not overshadowing fighters, as everyone is (essentially) a mix of both.

Thomas
2007-02-13, 04:31 PM
I liked the 3.0 DMG a lot better than the 3.5 version.

Amen. I could open the book to the exact right page every time. Now? I have to search through it for 5 minutes to even find the dang XP chart, for some reason...

Marius
2007-02-13, 04:32 PM
Amen. I could open the book to the exact right page every time. Now? I have to search through it for 5 minutes to even find the dang XP chart, for some reason...

You know that you could mark the pages you need don't you? It only takes like 10 senconds.

Swashbuckler
2007-02-13, 11:52 PM
Amen. I could open the book to the exact right page every time. Now? I have to search through it for 5 minutes to even find the dang XP chart, for some reason...

Sticky Notes are your friends ... :smallbiggrin:

Thomas
2007-02-14, 03:35 AM
My Rolemaster book is full of them.

Ze sticky notes do nussing! Nussing!

Wehrkind
2007-02-14, 03:46 AM
I've never played DND, and don't really like it.
The logic behind that statement eludes me like a ghost in "the stacks."

Zincorium
2007-02-14, 04:34 AM
I've never played DND, and don't really like it. I prefer my homebrew system based on Final Fantasy, where casters are not overshadowing fighters, as everyone is (essentially) a mix of both.

Y'know, I'm just going to keep doing what I usually do here and call BS. It's anti-common sense to say you actively don't like something that you have no experience of. I can't say I don't like your game. I can't. I've never played it, and even though I can honestly say that there's a good chance I wouldn't enjoy it, based on the subject material and your stated inexperience with the kind of roleplaying game that I'm familiar with, that's not anywhere near the same thing.

On a side note, if you're going to pop in and suggest a third option between a choice of two, why not either post the a rundown of your system in the homebrew section or, if you already did, provide a handy link to it? That way we might be able to see why your game seems to you to be superior despite a lack of ability on your part to really compare the two.

Tengu
2007-02-14, 08:26 AM
You can have your opinion on something without any practical experience with it, if you know enough theory. And while I never played DND, the knowledge I gathered about it from stuff like the SRD, rulebooks I've read, DND-based computer games, or this board, it was enough for me to see that, from a mechanical point of view, DND is not a good game:
-easy to break
-unbalanced characters
-simplistic, but slow combat
-things that should belong to the past a long ago, like random HP per level or "spells per day" system
-lack of realism, or even movie realism, in a game that's supposed to be more or less realistic

Et cetera. There are games that answer those problems much better than DND - and my homebrew RPG happens to be one of them. I can give you a link, but unless you know Polish, you won't have much use in it you'll have to wait till I translate it to English.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-14, 08:45 AM
Y'know, I'm just going to keep doing what I usually do here and call BS. It's anti-common sense to say you actively don't like something that you have no experience of.

I actively don't like eating feces. I can say that without having tried it.

InaVegt
2007-02-14, 08:50 AM
You can have your opinion on something without any practical experience with it, if you know enough theory. And while I never played DND, the knowledge I gathered about it from stuff like the SRD, rulebooks I've read, DND-based computer games, or this board, it was enough for me to see that, from a mechanical point of view, DND is not a good game:
-easy to breakAny system which as as much source material as D&D is easy to break.

-unbalanced charactersD&D was never meant to have characters equal to eachother, the fighter does something else than the wizard. And I'd like to see an all wizard party beat a golem of appropreate CR. And the cleric in an antimagic dungeon isn't doing much either.

-simplistic, but slow combatYes, it's simplistic and takes longer than other systems, but it works for the game and makes it easier to learn.

-things that should belong to the past a long ago, like random HP per level or "spells per day" systemRandom HP per level is one of the things which can make D&D fun, and spells per day is perfectly explained in 3.5, as well as there for balance reasons.

-lack of realism, or even movie realism, in a game that's supposed to be more or less realisticIf I want realism i'll stick in real life, I play D&D for the fantastic, not realism.


Et cetera. There are games that answer those problems much better than DND - and my homebrew RPG happens to be one of them. I can give you a link, but unless you know Polish, you won't have much use in it you'll have to wait till I translate it to English.While I agree there are games which you would find better it's really hard to make one of them, and make any money of it, if you manage to make money of your system I would love to see it, in fact I would even love to see it without you having made money of it, just to see if it's a system I'd like to play.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-14, 08:58 AM
Any system which as as much source material as D&D is easy to break.
Not necessarily. Exalted, for example, has things that are somewhat overpowered, but it's nowhere near as easy to break--and there's a whole lot of material availible for it.


D&D was never meant to have characters equal to eachother, the fighter does something else than the wizard. And I'd like to see an all wizard party beat a golem of appropreate CR. And the cleric in an antimagic dungeon isn't doing much either.
Wizards vs. golem: Solid Fog + Ventriloquism can keep a golem occupied for Ventriloquism's minutes/level duration.
No-SR spells, like Orbs of X, can and will hurt a golem. Stone to Mud + Mud to Stone will trap it. Walls of X can make it not a threat and therefore bypassable. Summoned monsters can fight it. Golems can be flown over.
The fighter does something other than the wizard. That doesn't make them balanced, or make the fact that they're so seriously unbalanced okay.
The fighter doesn't even do what he does as well as a cleric or druid.
An "Antimagic Dungeon" is basically just an admission that spellcasters destroy all semblance of balance; imagine an "anti-attacking-things dungeon"... that would never, ever be suggested.


Yes, it's simplistic and takes longer than other systems, but it works for the game and makes it easier to learn.
D&D combat isn't easy to learn. A lot of people play for years without realizing that they've been doing something wrong; there are a lot of details, and no, it doesn't work for the game overall, it's its own game.


Random HP per level is one of the things which can make D&D fun, and spells per day is perfectly explained in 3.5, as well as there for balance reasons.
Random HP/level makes things harder to balance and doesn't add to the fun when you consistently roll poorly (and as a result, say, can't do your primary job well).


If I want realism i'll stick in real life, I play D&D for the fantastic, not realism.
D&D, unfortunately, doesn't even do verisimilitude all that well.

Indon
2007-02-14, 09:00 AM
Personally, I feel 3.0+ editions of D&D to be superior to 2.0+ editions due to the increased level of modularity.

Things just seem more... customizable. Both for the players and the DM's. Many things are more reasonably formulaic than before, and really, the only things I miss are that fighters don't get automatic followers (and the keep. Can't forget the keep. There was a keep, right?) and the system for customizing new classes, breakable as it was.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-14, 09:08 AM
Fighters can take Leadership, which will give them automatic followers.

Yuki Akuma
2007-02-14, 09:31 AM
You can have your opinion on something without any practical experience with it, if you know enough theory.

No, you, uh... you really can't. Life doesn't work that way.

An example: When I first read about the Tri-Stat dX system, I fell in love with it. I loved the freedom it gave me; the way you could build a character however you liked.

When I first played it, however... eh. It just didn't do it for me. It was possibly the fact that your character has just as much chance of hitting a fly as he has of hitting a planet.


As for your game... that is a great cop-out, you know. "I have this great game system that I made, but I'm not going to show it to you because I wrote it in a language you don't understand".

Charity
2007-02-14, 09:41 AM
Yuki, like wot dat bear said, about coprovores. We all do this all the time.
We have to discriminate based on what we already know, there are too many things that are foregone conclusions.

In fairness, I'm generally in the 'suck it and see' camp, but as the lil fella knows his tastes better than any of us are likely to, I say fair enough don't play.

Then again as you say there was little point in posting a comparison that no-one else can make.

I can't see your Avi anymore Yuki, have you changed where it's hosted?

Yuki Akuma
2007-02-14, 09:54 AM
The bear's example is fundamentally flawed; for example, he has been told by people he trusts that he shouldn't do it, and he knows what it smells like even if he doesn't know the taste (funny thing, scent; it's basically tasting with your nose).

I personally try not to do the whole "I've never done this, but I know it sucks" thing, although, yes, I know everyone does it all the time.

Also... this is a thread about D&D in particular, not all RPGs in general, so I don't see why he decided to post that anyway...


And I keep forgetting to upload the avatar onto a photobucket account; all the screen time it's getting is killing my current host.

Orzel
2007-02-14, 09:58 AM
I see D&D similiar of an old card/board game with many editions. When a game's edition changes, the feal of the game often also changes. Some thing get better or worse in each person's eye. Changing it further... causes more changes.

D&D pretty much does it's jobs. Creating a customizable game system for fantasy campaigns that requires little actual work and provides many sitautions and item that are unique. Most of 2.0+ and 3.0+'s flaws are due this and their interpertation of this.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-14, 10:21 AM
Yuki--funny, I was going to use the smell analogy myself. Why can't one "smell" D&D and decide one doesn't want to "eat" it just like one can do the same for other things?

okpokalypse
2007-02-14, 10:30 AM
I count magic item creation eating XP as a *GOOD* thing. 1) If a wizard is spending his xp to make items, then he won't be as high level to show up the tanks as much, 2) Unlimited creation of magic items, given sufficent gold and time, is one of the things that broke 2nd ed. This is why people got Endless Quivers for their magic swords. I have literally overheard guys going "No, that's the flametongue, the vorpal sword, wounding sword, holy avenger, unholy avenger... AHH, here it is, my +5 Dragonbane sword!".

I do see your point. My experience with magic item creation in 2.0 was not one where one player necessarily went overboard - but helped to essentially outfit the whole party. The time requirement was often enough of a hindrance that you were lucky to get one item in between sessions, and if you were making a grand item, you often missed out on RP XP and Kill XP as you sat home enchanting.

I always felt that campaigns that allowed 2 years of downtime, or access to time-altering planes to allow weeks to pass inside of hours were just begging for abuse.

Mechanically, I can understand the need to reduce XP for magic item creation - however, it just doesn't make sense in a fantasy setting. A great wizard works for weeks on this great item and he comes out being drained of his knowledge and experience? Huh? Should the opposite happen?

Now if you were talking about wizards suffering temporary Con loss from item creation (something like 2 Con lost for 1 day per 1,000 gp) that can't be restored except through time, I'd be ALL for that - since it makes sense from a role play perspective.


And I'm sorry, but casters dominated the scene in 2nd ed just as much as they do in 3rd ed. Back when Stoneskin was a flat 'I don't take damage from 1d8 attacks' and had no arcane spell failure chance. Also, a caster is silly if he goes straight damage output. His best spells are SoS (Save or Suck), SoD (Save or Die), or battlefield control. Under NO circumstances can a sorcerer dish out 400+ damage in one round with no save or SR, unless you're using something from a splatbook which probably shouldn't exist.

Heh...

Sorcerer L16.

Feats / Abilities:
PHB-II Option - MetaMagic Specilaist
Meta-Magic Empower
Meta-Magic Maximize
Meta-Magic Twin Spell
Arcane Thesis: Melf's Unicorn Arrow [PHB-II]
[Throw in Craft Rod to make you own Maximize Rod if you'd like]

Items:
MetaMagic Rod - Maximize

Just with this you're capable of a few ways of mingling feat use into a load of spell damage... For example:

Round 1a : Maximized (Rod), Empowered, Twinned Melf's (7th Level Spell) = 240 Damage.
Round 1b : Celerity [PHB-II]
Round 1c : Repeat Step 1a.

Total Damage: 480.

Melf's Unicorn Arrow:
Ranged Touch, 100' +10'/L (Medium)
Deals 1d8+8 Untyped Damage per Arrow.
Target faces DC 21 Bull Rush, +2 per Arrow > 1 that strikes in the round.
1 Arrow @L5, 2 @L8, 3 @L11, 4 @L14, 5 @L17.

That means that with the Arcane Thesis, the L16 Sorc's CL is effectively +2 for this spell. So 5 Arrows, Maximized/Empowered (120 Damage) & Twinned will be 10 Strikes, for a Bull Rush Save of DC 39. Not bad.

If you add a feat or two from the Complete Scoundrel (Luck Feats) you can also avoid the whole miss on 1 thing by gaining rerolls - or if you're really a power-gamer nut, you dip into Sacred Exorcist to get Turn Undead, and subsequently Divine Meta Magic Twin Spell, so you can power it via your Charisma Modifier ;).

If you want to get ugly technical about it... At the high end that it's completely possible to do the following with the right dips...

Quickened (Rod), Maximized/Empowered (Prep), Twinned (DMM) (L6 Spell)

Doing that twice = 480 Damage, and then you Greater Celerity (L8) to do another quickened one - bringing the total to 720 Damage, and then you can Dim Door out with your extra standard action to a safe distance while the Daze wears off. That is, unless you just keep a LoreCalling Cleric Hireline in tow - who's readying actions to un-daze you once you're dazed from the Celerity after-shock. In that case, you cast another, and you've done 960 Damage in 1 Round. And a good L20 Sorcerer (as far as spell progression goes - there's PrC dips in there) should have 8+ L6 Spells, so he can doing it again next round, or if he wants, cast it with higher level slots too!

And again, this spell is not subject to SR, it allows no Save and the Damage is untyped. Perhaps the spell is too powerful when all is said and done - but it's right there in an Extended Core Book.


With the advent of ToB, melee classes have found parity with caster classes. Some of the things melee classes can do now is just plain sick. How about making a Jump check vs opponent's AC to be able to make a full attack on a jumping charge/power attack/shock trooper/Leap Attack for guarenteed minimum of several hundred damage? Yea.

Oh, I know it. Even a straight Fighter could do in excess of 400 damage a round with minimal buffs and DMG Wealth by Level Standards. But that always supposed one thing - being in Melee range :).

But here's my question for you... What happens when you take that jumping charge/power attack/shock trooper/Leap Attack for guaranteed minimum of several hundred damage on your turn, and the caster you're targetting casts Celerity and is now 500' away via Dim Door, and about to lay into you with Ranged Damage spells?

That's why I think that Psychic Warriors are the best Melee class in the game. Their ability to navigate the field of battle is superior to any other melee, hands down. They're self-buffing, get a 2-grade expansion (Huge Sized), get bonus feats and - like casters - have the ability to learn spells which accelerate their actions immediately.

Indon
2007-02-14, 10:32 AM
Fighters can take Leadership, which will give them automatic followers.

Meaning in 2.x terms that Fighters got the leadership 'feat' for free, insofar as a comparison can be made.

I forget, is Leadership on the list of Fighter bonus feats? I imagine it is, but I can't check at the moment...

ken-do-nim
2007-02-14, 10:47 AM
As one of the old-timers on here, thought I'd chime in. D&D 1E and 2E were great when I was in high school, but I eventually tired of the endless rules arguments and somewhat boring nature of combat. In college I did the occasional campaign, but D&D fell to a #3 hobby behind music & computer games. Then I got a copy of Combat & Tactics. I loved it! It totally rejuvenated the game for me. D&D 3E kept attacks of opportunity, reach, and combat maneuvers. They dropped the phase system, knockdown dice, and the critical hit tables. I understand why they did it, to speed up fights, but you know what? D&D 3.5 fights are still pretty slow. I really liked knockdowns in particular; it made big weapons more scary. But you can't do that without the phase system to make small weapons more reliably go first.

Btw, one change I made to the phase system that worked well was that along with the d10 to roll initiative, we rolled a d6. 1s and 10s on the d10 meant nothing special. A 1 on the d6 meant you got a phase up, and a 6 meant a phase down.

My only problem with the phase system was that since your phase was tied to movement rate, size, and weapon speed, a large being using a spell-like ability still went slow. I believe I also house-ruled that spell-like abilities went in the fast phase regardless of the creature's size.

Edit: The phase system also worked fabulously for email campaigns, because there is an action declaration phase to start it off and then the DM resolves the combat given those. Honestly, the reason I moved my email campaign from 2.5 to 3.5 is for the skills, spells, and grappling rules.

okpokalypse
2007-02-14, 11:09 AM
It only makes sense for the rogue to go first if he throws the dagger, or runs away or something. If the rogue wants to dart in and stab the fighter, then the fighter should go first because his sword has better reach.

I disagree whole-heartedly. In a situation where you're keeping someone at bay, yes - but then what are you really doing? You're waiting for them to advance and whacking them... Which means your PC would do the following:

[Ready Action - Strike enemy once he's in range and 5' move back]

Then, because the enemy had to move into the initial space, he's continuing to move and loses his full attack for pursual, and provokes an AoO. That makes sense, and because you're readied, you go first.

However, in a case where two dudes are standing next to each other, one wielding a 4' long, 8 lb metal blade and another with a 16" long, 8 oz metal blade - that smaller weapon will always have the opportunity to land first. The enemy is already within your reach.

If you want to see it in effect, spar with someone - both of you with boxing gloves on - but you keep a 5lb weight strapped to each arm. See who lands their blows first. Sure, yours will have more force, but they'll get there later.

Yuki Akuma
2007-02-14, 11:12 AM
I disagree whole-heartedly. In a situation where you're keeping someone at bay, yes - but then what are you really doing? You're waiting for them to advance and whacking them... Which means your PC would do the following:

[Ready Action - Strike enemy once he's in range and 5' move back]


Stop right here. You can't ready a free action, only a standard action. So you could ready to whack him, but then he still gets to full attack you.

Tengu
2007-02-14, 11:17 AM
If people want, I can translate samples, or even the whole, of my system to English. It's simplistic and does not have many rules apart from combat (since I prefer to stick to roleplaying in non-combat situations), but gives the players a lot of options in making their characters and does the job it was meant to do well - represent a fantasy world with sci-fi/tech elements where you can, most of the time, basically throw the realism out of the window.

Okay, on topic. I dislike AD&D (there's no "second edition" as far as I know, there's only AD&D) more than DND 3.x - because in the first one, the differences between the characters with the same class and kit are minimal, while in the second one you have a much broader field of options available to you.

silvermesh
2007-02-14, 11:19 AM
I actively don't like eating feces. I can say that without having tried it.

hey, don't knock it 'til you tried it.. *munch munch*

its worth the horrid breath, really.

D&D is a book. it's well documented, in fact all it really is is documented. If you can read it, you can get enough of a "smell" of it to know whether or not it will taste good. if your friend starts eating his own crap in front of you, and insisting to you that it's quite delicious, that everything you've been led to believe is just wrong... you gonna try yours? If your friend jumps off a bridge... you know where that one's going right?
obviously playing 3E D&D isn't as dangerous as plummeting to an icy death below the 59th street bridge, or as appalling as eating ones feces, but the premise is the same. if something obviously isn't enjoyable to you, why go through the hassle(and expense) of trying it? Most of the time the phrase "don't knock it until you've tried it" doesn't apply to something unless the reason someone doesn't want to try it is based on irrational thinking, or even rational thinking based on information from prejudiced sources. People tend to know what they like. Why spend money on something that you aren't interested in?

Yuki Akuma
2007-02-14, 11:21 AM
Okay, on topic. I dislike AD&D (there's no "second edition" as far as I know, there's only AD&D)

Ah, I see the problem here.. you don't know what you're talking about. :smalltongue:

I'm afraid there is, in fact, an Advanced Dungeons and Dragons second edition.

There's also a first edition, which is not the same as Basic Dungeons and Dragons, nor the original Chainmail add-on or the following original Dungeons and Dragons.

MrNexx
2007-02-14, 11:39 AM
No, you, uh... you really can't. Life doesn't work that way.

Statistics, however, do.


An example: When I first read about the Tri-Stat dX system, I fell in love with it. I loved the freedom it gave me; the way you could build a character however you liked.

When I first played it, however... eh. It just didn't do it for me. It was possibly the fact that your character has just as much chance of hitting a fly as he has of hitting a planet.



Something you can actually tell by statistically analyzing the stats the game uses, and how they roll for success. Fading Suns, for example, has a neat system, but it heavily punishes generalists with its d20 roll-under system and the assumption that 5 is an average stat; with average stat (5) and great training (5), you only succeed half the time. Now, if you change some of these assumptions, or alter the die rolled (it works great on a d12), then you have a better system.

Logos7
2007-02-14, 11:48 AM
As to the smell example

Has no one ever smelt something that smelled really good and tasted like crap?

THeirs a reason why you don't know, you can surmise,guess, and estimate but knowing comes from doing, not hoity toity reading of books and buggering systems that you never played.

Case in Point, When i read underground i hated the sytem but playing I enjoy it

Reading Wierd West I loved the system but playing i hated it

As for the Edition Wars, I'm 3.5 all the way, only ever played 3 and reading the earlier rule sets makes me shudder , I surmise i wont like them but i don't know which is part of the reason why i've considered playing in earlier edition games.

Also this board for some reason seems absolutely in love with the idea of the fighter as the underpowered suxor that everyone thinks deserves more love ( I've heard this line before in other places ) but here it's practically a religion.

okpokalypse
2007-02-14, 12:04 PM
As one of the old-timers on here, thought I'd chime in. D&D 1E and 2E were great when I was in high school, but I eventually tired of the endless rules arguments and somewhat boring nature of combat. In college I did the occasional campaign, but D&D fell to a #3 hobby behind music & computer games. Then I got a copy of Combat & Tactics. I loved it! It totally rejuvenated the game for me. D&D 3E kept attacks of opportunity, reach, and combat maneuvers. They dropped the phase system, knockdown dice, and the critical hit tables. I understand why they did it, to speed up fights, but you know what? D&D 3.5 fights are still pretty slow. I really liked knockdowns in particular; it made big weapons more scary. But you can't do that without the phase system to make small weapons more reliably go first.

Btw, one change I made to the phase system that worked well was that along with the d10 to roll initiative, we rolled a d6. 1s and 10s on the d10 meant nothing special. A 1 on the d6 meant you got a phase up, and a 6 meant a phase down.

DUDE! I did the same thing! :smallsmile:

Actually, if you're looking for a d10 revision to the current Initiative system, I've had one House-Ruled for years... Kinda loosely based off 2.5. Here's a quick synopsis.

The Formula:
Initiative = Base Initiative (BI) + Feat Modifiers + d10.

BI = Dexterity + Int Mod + Size Mod + Weapon Mod - ACP.

The use of Dexterity is pretty self-explanatory. The use of Int Mod was one that I thought out for a while, and came to the conclusion that people who think faster, act faster.

Size Modifiers: Fine (+8), Diminutive (+6), Tiny (+4), Small (+2), Medium (0), Large (-2), Huge (-4), Gargantuan (-6), Colossal (-8).

Weapon Modifiers*: Unarmed/Natural Weapons (+3), Light / Finesse Weapons (+2), 1 Handed Melee (0), 2 Handed Melee & Oversize 1 Handed Weapons (-2), Oversized 2-Handed Weapons (-5).

* Dual Wielding uses the Primary Weapon.

Examples:

Lothar is Half-Elf Fighter and has a 14 Dex, 12 Int, Wields a Greatsword and wears a Chain Shirt +1. His BI would be...
14 (Dex) +1 (Int Mod) +0 (Size) -2 (Weapon) -1 (ACP) = 12 (BI).

Malachai is a Human Cleric and has a 12 Dex, 14 Int, Wields a Heavy Mace and wears Full Plate +1 & a Heavy Shield +1.
12 (Dex) +2 (Int Mod) +0 (Size) -0 (Weapon) -6 (ACP) = 8 (BI).

Lister is a Human Dervish with an 18 Dex, 12 Int, Dual Wields Scimitars and wears a Mithril Breastplate +2.
18 (Dex) +1 (Int Mod) +0 (Size) +2 (Weapon) -1 ACP = 20 (BI).

Cooter is an Halfling Monk with an 18 Dex, 12 Int, Natural Weapons and No Armor.
18 (Dex) +1 (Int Mod) +2 (Size) +3 (Weapon) -0 ACP = 24 (BI).
Base Initiaitve stays fairly static. It only changes when one changes their items or is potentially ability drained.

Feat Modifiers stay exactly the same, making feats like Improved Initiative and Quick Reconnioter worth a little more, since the roll is a d10 instead of d20, and the respective +4 or +2 bonuses to Initiative carry more weight.

In any event, this is a pretty simple run down of it. I've actually got a Word Doc with this outlined in detail (In PHB format) along with DM Options for Strength offsetting ACP and Interrupting Casting / Casting Duration. If anyone wants it, just PM me with an email address, and I'll send it out.

okpokalypse
2007-02-14, 12:11 PM
Stop right here. You can't ready a free action, only a standard action. So you could ready to whack him, but then he still gets to full attack you.

From the 3.5 PhB, p 160 (Ready):

"You can ready a standard action, a move action, or a free action. To do so, specify the action you will take and the conditions under which you will take it"

And further under the Ready text...

"You can take a 5-foot step as part of your readied action, but only if you donít otherwise move any distance during the round."

So yes, Yes I can.

Mortanious
2007-02-14, 12:15 PM
And I'm sorry, but casters dominated the scene in 2nd ed just as much as they do in 3rd ed. Back when Stoneskin was a flat 'I don't take damage from 1d8 attacks' and had no arcane spell failure chance. Also, a caster is silly if he goes straight damage output. His best spells are SoS (Save or Suck), SoD (Save or Die), or battlefield control. Under NO circumstances can a sorcerer dish out 400+ damage in one round with no save or SR, unless you're using something from a splatbook which probably shouldn't exist.
.

Stoneskin protected you against 1d4+ 1/2 your level of attacks and its duration was until it ran out. And in AD&D using damage spells was many times better than using Save or Suck or Save or Die spells. Because Hit Dice for classes topped off at 9 (fighters and clerics) or 10 (rogues and mages) and bonus hit points from Constitution was alot lower (+1hp at 15, +2 at 16 which was the max for non warrior types, +3 at 17, and +4 at 18). It got to the point where saves would pass on anything but a 1 with a few decent magical items, so using spells that were damage save for half were generally a better choice. so a fireball when a wizard turned 10 would be 10d6, a fighter of equal xp would only be 9th.

Matthew
2007-02-14, 12:18 PM
Heh. I like all editions of D&D. Most of the complaints I hear regarding (A)D&D usually turn out to be rooted in misinterpretations of the rules, bad house rules or foolish optional rules combinations. It's not really very surprising, given that the books were never intended to present a uniform set of rules, but rather a whole bunch of options built on a very simple framework.

3.x is a much better codified rules set, with a clear structure and every intention of presenting uniform and coherent rules. However, I never really understand why people think their characters have more options in 3.x than 2.x. The number of options are exactly the same, 3.x just provides rules for more of them. The tagline for (A)D&D was 'limitless' or 'only limited by your imagination', DMs were flat out told to let a player character try anything they like by just assigning a difficulty.

So, in my opinion, the key difference between (A)D&D and D&D 3.x is that in 3.x what is possible is more clearly mechanically defined.

okpokalypse
2007-02-14, 12:22 PM
Stoneskin protected you against 1d4+ 1/2 your level of attacks and its duration was until it ran out. And in AD&D using damage spells was many times better than using Save or Suck or Save or Die spells. Because Hit Dice for classes topped off at 9 (fighters and clerics) or 10 (rogues and mages) and bonus hit points from Constitution was alot lower (+1hp at 15, +2 at 16 which was the max for non warrior types, +3 at 17, and +4 at 18). It got to the point where saves would pass on anything but a 1 with a few decent magical items, so using spells that were damage save for half were generally a better choice. so a fireball when a wizard turned 10 would be 10d6, a fighter of equal xp would only be 9th.

100% Correct.

Also, while stoneskin was definitely a powerful spell, it wasn't all that bad. Keep in mind that it didn't differentiate the power of the attack, so a 9th level Magic Missile at it dropped 5 Uses. An Ambidexterous Dual Wielder could knock it down in two rounds. Heh, a bunch of followers (which fighters got free) throwing stones drops it in 1 round.

And as you pointed out - save or die spells didn't work well. In 2.0, a Ring of Protection +5 helped both AC and Saves if I remember correctly, so right there from that lone item, you were usually set at the high end. You rarely failed anything except on a 1.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-02-14, 12:26 PM
I got into D&D shortly after the release of 3.0e, so I was never really around when 2e was widely played. However, on computer games and such that run 2e (like Baldur's Gate), I always end up wishing they used 3e rules. Not just because of the familiarity, but because I absolutely love character customization, and 2e just feels like there's less of that. Also, I have never understood the mechanics behind Thac0. All I know is that high numbers bad, low numbers good.

Not to say I hate 2e, since I haven't been properly introduced to the system before, and I do enjoy games using 2e. It's just that out of what I've seen, I prefer 3e (especially 3.5) due to the impossible volume of customization. This is also why I largely play gestalt nowadays.

ADDENDUM- And Neverwinter Nights owned my computer D&D soul when I got into it, so that's a pretty good direct comparisson against 2e games like Baldur's Gate.

Matthew
2007-02-14, 12:30 PM
Heh, yes, well Baldur's Gate and such games didn't allow for much in the way of Player and DM interaction. The 3.x ruleset works a lot better for Computer Games than 2.x does, mainly because of the number of defined actions.

JadedDM
2007-02-14, 12:32 PM
Also, I have never understood the mechanics behind Thac0. All I know is that high numbers bad, low numbers good.

That's...more or less it, in a nutshell, heh.

THAC0 isn't hard to understand. It works like this.

You take the THAC0 score of your character (with any necessary modifiers), and then subtract from that the AC rating of your target.

So if you have a THAC0 of say, 15, and you hit something with an AC of 10...

15-10 = 5

This means you need to roll a 5 or better to hit it. That's it.

THAC0 of attacker - AC of defender = number you need to roll to hit

Yuki Akuma
2007-02-14, 12:34 PM
From the 3.5 PhB, p 160 (Ready):

"You can ready a standard action, a move action, or a free action. To do so, specify the action you will take and the conditions under which you will take it"

And further under the Ready text...

"You can take a 5-foot step as part of your readied action, but only if you donít otherwise move any distance during the round."

So yes, Yes I can.

...Okay then, never mind.

okpokalypse
2007-02-14, 01:31 PM
...Okay then, never mind.

I'm not sure, but it may have been a change from 3.0 to 3.5. A lot of people I've played with didn't think one could take their 5' move as part of a ready.

It's actually a phenominal tactic against a charger if one is a Glaive wielder with Short Haft & Elusive Target. Practically negates chargers, and does pretty good damage back in the process. You get 3 Attacks against the target (10' AoO, Readied Attack @ 10', move 5', Another provoked AoO if they keep coming - provided you've got Combat Reflexes) and they lose all Power Attack Bonuses against you (but still take the Attack Penalty) in that initial attack. Then, in your 2nd Round, you go Short Haft (to attack Adjacent Squares), keep negating all their Power Attack Bonuses via Elusive Target, and carve em up.

I find that using a Glaive w/ Short Haft is a very powerful tool in terms of dictating how combat starts, and it gives you inherent reach attack while still allowing you to threaten adjacent squares as a swift action.

It's especially nice for a Knight because it means that all squares 10' around you are considered difficult terrain, and that negates charging as well (since you can charge into, but not through difficult terrain)- though an Enemy doesn't know that before it's too late.

Tengu
2007-02-14, 04:46 PM
Ah, I see the problem here.. you don't know what you're talking about. :smalltongue:

I'm afraid there is, in fact, an Advanced Dungeons and Dragons second edition.

There's also a first edition, which is not the same as Basic Dungeons and Dragons, nor the original Chainmail add-on or the following original Dungeons and Dragons.

Guess I was mistaken. I've read about it here on this forum, and since nobody disagreed with the point, I thought it's true. Not that it matters much.



Something you can actually tell by statistically analyzing the stats the game uses, and how they roll for success. Fading Suns, for example, has a neat system, but it heavily punishes generalists with its d20 roll-under system and the assumption that 5 is an average stat; with average stat (5) and great training (5), you only succeed half the time. Now, if you change some of these assumptions, or alter the die rolled (it works great on a d12), then you have a better system.

Luckily, with the standard system you can have a character who's much, much above average in their chosen fields even at the start in FS (which is also one of the systems I consider superior to DND, and probably one of the best ever).

Fanatic-Templar
2007-02-14, 04:58 PM
Ah, AD&D. I'm confident that game culled all spellcasting from my groups. I am the only one who had the dedication to trudge through 2500 experience points with a single spell, a sling and a quarterstaff for the joyful moment when I would finally obtain a second spell. To this day, none of my players will play anything but a fighter, barbarian, ranger, rogue or paladin. (I had one player who joined up directly in 3.5 and played a druid, so he served as both cleric and wizard for the party. Too bad he's gone now.)

Also, if I never see page 134 of the AD&D PHB again, it'll be too soon. That page number is seared into my skull for all of eternity.

talsine
2007-02-14, 05:01 PM
Also, if I never see page 134 of the AD&D PHB again, it'll be too soon. That page number is seared into my skull for all of eternity.

just curious, what is on that page?

JadedDM
2007-02-14, 05:04 PM
And what Edition, 1st or 2nd?

My 2E PHB shows some spells on page 134: Erase, Feather Fall, Find Familiar and Friends. So maybe he's talking about 1E?

talsine
2007-02-14, 05:08 PM
And what Edition, 1st or 2nd?

My 2E PHB shows some spells on page 134: Erase, Feather Fall, Find Familiar and Friends. So maybe he's talking about 1E?

possible, as i don't see any reason why those spells would be burned into your head. Except maybe Friends. Before i turned to Wood Elf cheese to be an effective caster (Complete Book of Elves, How to better a better caster than a Magic User and a better warrior than a Fighter in one easy step. God Bladesingers were broken.) my Mage used that spell a lot.

Fanatic-Templar
2007-02-14, 06:36 PM
Saving Throws chart. Every time a new character was made, I (or whoever else was DMing) would get asked where the saving throws were (they're in the middle of the combat chapter.)

ken-do-nim
2007-02-14, 08:08 PM
DUDE! I did the same thing! :smallsmile:



Ah good to hear. Great minds think alike!

jjpickar
2007-02-14, 09:00 PM
I like 3.5 more than 2nd edition because...I don't know really, I guess its just because I'm more familiar with 3.5 (I've been playing it since the year it came out). Familiarity garners some affection. It was way better than the homebrew that I ran before it.

Oddly enough though, I think I had more dedicated players for that one.:smallconfused:

Black Hand
2007-02-14, 09:16 PM
Yeah, my playing style isn't very popular anymore. I guess I'm a dying breed.

Hey, well you're not alone. ThAC0 aside, the second edition was fairly flexable...after all they were only guidelines. I miss the speed factors, casting times, and the lack of 'squares' in combat, and many other things that would fill a few paragraphs.

In the end the things I didn't like or thought didn't mesh in 2E I ended up just tweaking the rules to house rule something more balanced. With the advent of 3.+ edition, I've done the same thing. I've pretty much taken what I like with 3.e and what I liked with 2.e and try mesh them together as best as I can. I thought of going back to my 2E books and adding some 3. elements to it for improvement...but I guess that's what 4th edition will eventually be.:smallwink:

idioscosmos
2007-02-14, 10:09 PM
Ya know, you guys could all just play WFRP and stop arguing.

*ducks*

/Likes Hackmaster
//Guess that puts me in the "2nd ed" camp.
///It's nice to play with people who actually read the rules.
////It's not fun to play with people who are married to them.
/////DM: "You find yourself shipwrecked on an island. Your charachters equipment has been washed awa...
Rulesguy: "Uh-uh! The PHB says I start with XGP worth of equipment. You can't take that away!"
//////That's why I don't DM any more.

Mortanious
2007-02-14, 10:13 PM
Saving Throws chart. Every time a new character was made, I (or whoever else was DMing) would get asked where the saving throws were (they're in the middle of the combat chapter.) It all depends on which printing of the PHB you had, the saving throws were on page 134 of the mid90s printing of the PHB, when they changed the cover art and the size of the printing in the book, also when from 3 columns of text to 2. The original 2nd edition PHB had the knight on horseback riding through a chasm on it. and page 134 is in the wizard spell section.

JadedDM
2007-02-14, 10:21 PM
What's WFRP?

Fanatic-Templar
2007-02-14, 10:51 PM
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying, I think.

And yeah, I have the 1996 printing.

Bouldering Jove
2007-02-14, 10:54 PM
Ya know, you guys could all just play WFRP and stop arguing.

*ducks*

/Likes Hackmaster
//Guess that puts me in the "2nd ed" camp.
///It's nice to play with people who actually read the rules.
////It's not fun to play with people who are married to them.
/////DM: "You find yourself shipwrecked on an island. Your charachters equipment has been washed awa...
Rulesguy: "Uh-uh! The PHB says I start with XGP worth of equipment. You can't take that away!"
//////That's why I don't DM any more.
Slashies? Do I detect a Farker?

The real struggle with any limited gaming system (i.e. all of them) is having a player group flexible enough to be willing to tackle a new system when everyone wants to do something that falls squarely into their current system's weaknesses.

idioscosmos
2007-02-15, 12:05 AM
Slashies? Do I detect a Farker?

The real struggle with any limited gaming system (i.e. all of them) is having a player group flexible enough to be willing to tackle a new system when everyone wants to do something that falls squarely into their current system's weaknesses.

Hrmph. I didn't want to go on a tirade...but 3.X is kind of disingenious about a number of things (actually, most of this pertains to all D&D systems. Being strong makes it easier to hit something, yet being more nimble, more agile doesn't (OK, I know that is kind of sucked into the way D&D does armor - anything above touch attack hits you - it just doesn't get through your armor, but please)? Nor does intelligence (I've done TKD for a number of years, and let me tell you - low INT should at least give you a AC penalty. And a "to hit" penalty of some kind. "90 lb nerd" sterotype aside - smart people have an advantage. They learn forms, and from their mistakes quickly. For that matter, watch Ali fight. He wasn't always the strongest man in the ring, but once he got the measure of who he was fighting, he'd just cut them to pieces)? Spells go away for no real reason once cast (I played around with making the caster make a fort save or suffer subdual damage based on the level of the spell and how many times they've cast spells that day - but nobody wanted to test it)? A sword and a pistol both do 1d8 damage? The fact that most D&D'ers try to fit anything fantasy into D&D terms?

Not to mention Wizards has turned D&D into a "book of the month club", and I won't even get started on the trouble caused by that **mned "Savage Species" book "My charachter is a Feral Troll/Barbarian. It makes perfect sense for him to be adventuring with a Dwarf Cleric, an Elf Wizard, and a 1st level Young Air Elemental. I don't know why you don't want to allow it..."

OK, this rant has been building for a while.

Yeah, 3.X is modular - but I'd say it's too much of a good thing. At least with 2nd ed there were a few hard caps that just STOPPED the useless rules creep that has crept into every aspect of D&D 3.X. Combat slower? Not too much, IMO, and a decent trade off for the level of realism it brought to the game.

OK, I have to wrap this up somewhere, so I think I will here.

idioscosmos
2007-02-15, 12:13 AM
[QUOTE=Bouldering Jove;2023663]Slashies? Do I detect a Farker?
QUOTE]

Kinda, once upon a time. I still lurk when I feel like reading something like the following general outline on...just about any topic.

1stposter"Random unsupported supposition, postulated as holy truth!"

2ndposter"Counterpoint pulled out of butt! Supposition that 1st commenter kills babies"

3rdposter"Statement thread needs more pictures of boobies"

1stposter"GODWIN OF THREAD!"

4thposter"FarkCliche!"

3rdposter"boobies.gif"

5thposter"The woman in the gif is way below my standards. Her knees are way too pointy.."*


*Perhaps 4th and 5th poster said the same thing? Or was it just farksquirrel? You'll never know!

It's a nice linkfarm, but some of the people....

Journey
2007-02-15, 06:15 AM
Yeah, my playing style isn't very popular anymore. I guess I'm a dying breed.

Nah, there are more of us than people realize. Everybody who's been playing D&D since AD&D (or before) should be able to recognize the influence of technology and current cultural fads on the game's changing editions.

I think the influence of computer RPGs, and especially MMOGs, is pretty obvious in the 3.x editions. They seem designed specifically to be marketed to the middle-class youth of today who have grown up with the play style that computer role-play gaming has had for the last two decades. I don't mean hack-n-slash style gaming--that can be had with even the most role-playing-robust system and was around long before table-top role-playing (one might argue that since the original rules were essentially rules for combat simulation that the original game itself was hack-n-slash by definition). I mean the "every action has a rule, and every rule has a modifier attached to it" style of gaming.

This is neither bad nor good, really; it's just a reflection of the changing times. Matthew was right, though. The essential differences between pre-3.x and 3.x is that there are many, many more actions codified with bonuses (or penalties as the case may be) in 3.x, but all the same actions were "available" to people using prior editions. As I've said before, to me this makes 3.x actually more restrictive than prior versions because even though there seems to be more choice, it's gone to the extreme end and discourages player creativity (in my experience/opinion) essentially by covering "all" the bases from the beginning. It also encourages metagaming for character creation and advancement (character development isn't as organic, because mechanically viable builds tend to require pre-planning for many levels ahead of where a character currently is for the selection of feat trees, spells, or other abilities).

ken-do-nim
2007-02-15, 09:30 AM
It also encourages metagaming for character creation and advancement (character development isn't as organic, because mechanically viable builds tend to require pre-planning for many levels ahead of where a character currently is for the selection of feat trees, spells, or other abilities).

I know the effect D&D 3.5 has had on me. I used to be considered a pretty good role-player, now I'm a power gamer. I'm the one to whom the DM is constantly saying, "Can you explain how you calculated that bonus again?" Of course after 25 years of gaming, maybe I've also just run out of interest in character development personality-wise.

MrNexx
2007-02-15, 09:30 AM
I have to agree with Journey.

2nd edition allowed a lot of choice in how you made your character. The problem was that once your character was made, that was generally how your character was; aside from the fairly cumbersome dual-classing rules for humans, you weren't going to be making significant changes in your character's core abilities over time. If your character started as a fighter/mage with the bladesinger kit, he was going to be a fighter/mage with the bladesinger kit until he died or retired. You may add a few changes to them... fighters got more weapon proficiencies, and eventually "high end" weapon specializations, wizards and clerics got new spells, druids new powers, etc.... but the characters remained the same in basic types of capabilities. They changed, but in an evolutionary way... each level was a step from the next one.

3.x changes this significantly. With each level, you face a choice as to what class to add. With each level, you add new class abilities, new feats, and sometimes new skill points. The characters change constantly, in a revolutionary, as opposed to evolutionary, way.

For me, the 3.5 model is less satisfying as a DM; it's fun as a player, but as DM, it means a constant revolution in the way the game is played, and the power level of the game. Players have more power and options, and so monsters must have more power and options, and that leads to a less enjoyable game for me. Furthermore, the codification and inter-relatedness of the rules means that it's difficult to make simple changes without adversely affecting large swaths of the game. It's less fun. But it's often all I can get.

okpokalypse
2007-02-15, 10:54 AM
I don't know - see the definite advantage in the versioning in terms of the game play.

Where some may argue that 3.0+ is more restrictive, I just find it to be more defined. As a DM since the mid-80s, I know I was often playing in games where a player and I would butt-heads on what is and isn't possible. Combats were especially bad at times.

Now, I find it easier to just refer to a rule than to have a long discusson about whether the physics of attempting certain acts are possible. I'm in it for the gameplay and roleplay - not the tangential discussions.

I do agree with you that the current structure of character building lends towards making PCs that have long chains of feats and skills taken that lead into something else. I've found that a lot of PCs will be only moderately useful until they enter a PrC - or get a certain ability - that then has them leap ahead in terms of productivity and survivability. Often times this has made me have to quickly scale certain aspects of the campaign, lest it become too simple for such a character (or characters) to power-game through everything.

One particular build I both love (as a Player) and hate (as a DM) is the Favored Soul build with dips in PrCs that grant Turns and/or Divine Grace without impacting spellcasting (at least too much). The Favored Soul 18 / Sacred Exorcist 1 / Witch Hunter 1 is a prime example. Here you have a Charisma Primary caster who gets Kami's Grace (Divine Grace) and Turn Undead (to get Divine Meta-Magic & Divine Spell Power) - so that they're just brutal. This build at the high-end yields a Persisting Favored Soul with Saves in the 40+ Range all around. Perma Greater Aspect of the Deity (Free Half-Celestial Template Essentially). Perma Maximized Storm Rage (60 Damage Lightining @ 100' every round + Fly). Effective Persisted Caster Levels around 30 - making them essentially un-dispellable. Oh, plus 5 Miracles a day. It's all a bit too much.

Similarly, there's the same thing that Fighters do now to be able to stand up to casters. Fighter 18 / Soldier of Light 2. Primary Stat Order: Con, Cha, Str. Weapon: Glaive (10' Reach). Non-Fighter Basic Feats: Steadfast Determination (Con to Will Saves), Short Haft (Allows Adjacent Attacking with Reach Weapons), Elusive Target (Negates Power Attacks, Forces Miss when Flanked), Able Learner, Spell Focus: UMD. With Able Learner, they take max ranks in SpellCraft and UMD - and essentially with their high Charisma, can use almost any Magic item - especially scrolls like "Giant Size." I've seen a high end PC with a +15 Con Mod and +10 Cha Mod pre-spell buffs, making them have in the realm of 400+ HP and Saves (SoL gives Divine Grace) that are around 40+/25+/40+.

So I do recognize that the advent of all these PrCs and the new style of multi-classing does very much lead to a power-gamers delight, but regardless, I feel the game is overall better for it. After all, there were still power-gamers in the 1st and 2nd Editions. They just didn't have as clear a roadmap to it as is provided by the 3rd Edition.

okpokalypse
2007-02-15, 11:04 AM
I know the effect D&D 3.5 has had on me. I used to be considered a pretty good role-player, now I'm a power gamer. I'm the one to whom the DM is constantly saying, "Can you explain how you calculated that bonus again?" Of course after 25 years of gaming, maybe I've also just run out of interest in character development personality-wise.

I'm right there with you man... My favorite tactic is taking an Ancestral Relic as a feat, and powering it by sacrificing all the mundae / masterwork items we collect to it. Then, rather than standard Enhancement bonuses, I power it with Sacred or Luck Bonuses. Sure, it's more "costly" - but well worth it to get all the stacking allowed.

I've gotten the "How the hell did you get a 60 Diplomacy Check at Level 10!" - and then I have to explain that I've got Max Ranks & Synergies (17), a 24 Charisma (+7; which leads to another "How the Hell"), a +5 Competence Bonus (Item) and a +15 Insight Bonus (Spell). Then, after it all checks out, I sometimes get the accusation of being a plot destroyer.

*sigh*

MrNexx
2007-02-15, 01:41 PM
So I do recognize that the advent of all these PrCs and the new style of multi-classing does very much lead to a power-gamers delight, but regardless, I feel the game is overall better for it. After all, there were still power-gamers in the 1st and 2nd Editions. They just didn't have as clear a roadmap to it as is provided by the 3rd Edition.

It was possible to put yourself in a position to power game before, but I think several other things changed that made it much easier, such as magic as a commodity. Allowing people to custom-design their magical gear - even without going into the brokenness of the magical item creation guidelines, simply letting people buy things out of the DMG - because the default assumptions of the game are that if you have the cash, you can do so, shifts the locus of power to the players. Want to optimize your gear? You can do so.
While some power combos were removed (like the Girdle + gauntlets + magic warhammer), you can now buy many Wondrous Items easily and relatively cheaply. This removes a lot of control a DM has over the game, and, IMO, turns it back into an adversarial relationship... instead of the DM being an active participant in the story, he now has to stay one step ahead of the players who can be armed with any number of devices he didn't foresee, or conspire to remove them from their possession. And if the DM is going to steal our stuff, he's our enemy, and you're back to the DM being the opposition, instead of running the opposition.
While it was also a trait of 2nd edition, I also think the proliferation of alternate races and prestige classes in 3rd edition is more severe and less DM moderated than in 2e; this is just a personal perception, though. I think that some of this comes from players "feeling their oats", but also from the changed nature of advancement. With kits, you had to get a kit at character creation, or the opportunity was lost. With prestige classes, you can pick them up later, especially with the "retcon" rules from PH2.

And that leads us to the aspect of the "sneak attack" power gaming.

With 2nd edition's "up front" method of character design, it was generally harder to sneak an overpowered character into a campaign. You had these abilities from character creation, and the ramifications of them could be assessed before you started playing.

With 3.x's graduated approach, you can more easily sneak attack... whether you intend to or not... by building a character through the levels who becomes very powerful through good selection of feats and levels.

okpokalypse
2007-02-15, 02:02 PM
And that leads us to the aspect of the "sneak attack" power gaming.

With 2nd edition's "up front" method of character design, it was generally harder to sneak an overpowered character into a campaign. You had these abilities from character creation, and the ramifications of them could be assessed before you started playing.

With 3.x's graduated approach, you can more easily sneak attack... whether you intend to or not... by building a character through the levels who becomes very powerful through good selection of feats and levels.

Totally agree. In fact, just that has lead to more than one DM I play with making PrCs require role-play (Often requiring either a mentor or official sanction) to add. I personally require any content brought in by players to be from either a Core, Extended Core, Races Series or Complete Series Book. I don't allow splt-books, unless something is brought to me ahead of time and I specifically approve it.

MrNexx
2007-02-15, 02:45 PM
Totally agree. In fact, just that has lead to more than one DM I play with making PrCs require role-play (Often requiring either a mentor or official sanction) to add. I personally require any content brought in by players to be from either a Core, Extended Core, Races Series or Complete Series Book. I don't allow splt-books, unless something is brought to me ahead of time and I specifically approve it.

You see, everything beyond the Core is a splat book. All that extended core is part of the problem, IMO.

Matthew
2007-02-15, 02:55 PM
Hmmn. Some exceptions, surely? Oversized Two Weapon Fighting, for instance, or Oriental Adventures. In general, I would tend to agree, though...

Mike_G
2007-02-15, 02:58 PM
It was possible to put yourself in a position to power game before, but I think several other things changed that made it much easier, such as magic as a commodity. Allowing people to custom-design their magical gear - even without going into the brokenness of the magical item creation guidelines, simply letting people buy things out of the DMG - because the default assumptions of the game are that if you have the cash, you can do so, shifts the locus of power to the players. Want to optimize your gear? You can do so.
While some power combos were removed (like the Girdle + gauntlets + magic warhammer), you can now buy many Wondrous Items easily and relatively cheaply. This removes a lot of control a DM has over the game, and, IMO, turns it back into an adversarial relationship... instead of the DM being an active participant in the story, he now has to stay one step ahead of the players who can be armed with any number of devices he didn't foresee, or conspire to remove them from their possession. And if the DM is going to steal our stuff, he's our enemy, and you're back to the DM being the opposition, instead of running the opposition.
While it was also a trait of 2nd edition, I also think the proliferation of alternate races and prestige classes in 3rd edition is more severe and less DM moderated than in 2e; this is just a personal perception, though. I think that some of this comes from players "feeling their oats", but also from the changed nature of advancement. With kits, you had to get a kit at character creation, or the opportunity was lost. With prestige classes, you can pick them up later, especially with the "retcon" rules from PH2.

And that leads us to the aspect of the "sneak attack" power gaming.

With 2nd edition's "up front" method of character design, it was generally harder to sneak an overpowered character into a campaign. You had these abilities from character creation, and the ramifications of them could be assessed before you started playing.

With 3.x's graduated approach, you can more easily sneak attack... whether you intend to or not... by building a character through the levels who becomes very powerful through good selection of feats and levels.

We've never really had that problem, since we all grew up playing 1st edition AD&D, and nobody just assumes you can run down to Ed's Wondrous Item Mart. All magic items that aren't found are either designed and crafted with DM approval, or you have to find one for sale. The fact that a Holy Avenger has a list price doesn't mean you can order one from the Sears catalogue.

We pretty much rule that the DM holds veto power over item aquisition, much as it was in 1e. I like the ability to multi class in 3.x, since you can get to a point where straight Fighter just isn't cutting it and you want to branch out. I found the class sytem in AD&D, partyicularly wth the racial restrictions very very limiting.

One level dips can be annoying, but that where the xp penalty comes in. Even so, I could see a plot justification for a character to take a quick dip to learn how not to be so easy to beat up, or to learn to sneak attack or whatever.

Matthew
2007-02-15, 03:09 PM
You know, I never used the Racial Level limits thing, and I think it must have been a wise choice, as everybody seems to complain about it. Still, few (A)D&D games I ever played got high enough level for it to matter. I don't recall if Racial Level limits were optional in 1.x (I think not), but I know that the 2.x DMG treated them as 'almost' optional, same as the no Gnome Paladins rule.

Mike_G
2007-02-15, 03:15 PM
You know, I never used the Racial Level limits thing, and I think it must have been a wise choice, as everybody seems to complain about it. Still, few (A)D&D games I ever played got high enough level for it to matter. I don't recall if Racial Level limits were optional in 1.x (I think not), but I know that the 2.x DMG treated them as 'almost' optional, same as the no Gnome Paladins rule.



But they are in the rules. Elves couldn't be Ranger in 1e either, to point out the dumbest restriction.

You could ignore any rules you wanted in 1e, but you can still ignore any rules you want in 3e, so I prefer to compare the rules as written in the books. Other than that, you're comparing two homebrew systems.

The biggest thing I see from 2.0 advocates is "Sure that was a dumb rule, but nobody used it. In 3.0, there's this dumb rule where everybody can buy the items they want without DM aproval." Well, sure, it's dumb. We just don't use it.

I don't see a difference in playstyle, since I have basically a bunch of people who've played since the 80s, and their style is what it is. Mechanics wise, I love having a printed rule and not having to argue and adjudicate every action during combat.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-15, 03:19 PM
There's nothing dumb about being able to buy magical items. They're a part of character power; there are wealth-by-level guidelines to help make sure they don't get out of hand, and monster/trap/etc CRs are based on the assumption that the PCs have them.

Matthew
2007-02-15, 03:22 PM
Yeah, but also in the 2.x rules is the suggestion that any given DM can ignore the Racial Level and Class limits, along with some guidelines as to how to go about doing so within limits. Just about everything was optional in 2.x, including Rangers, Paladins, Bards, Druids and so on. The default rules didn't even use Proficiencies.

For me, that's one desirable thing that the 3.x PHB and DMG don't seem to include, statements to the effect that a DM is free to remove Spells, Feats and Base Classes from his game.

2.x was by its very nature, homebrew.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-15, 03:24 PM
And the wealth-by-level guidelines are guidelines. Don't like'em? Don't give your players much money or equipment, just occasional magic items of your choosing.

Fax Celestis
2007-02-15, 03:27 PM
Yeah, but also in the 2.x rules is the suggestion that any given DM can ignore the Racial Level and Class limits, along with some guidelines as to how to go about doing so within limits. Just about everything was optional in 2.x, including Rangers, Paladins, Bards, Druids and so on. The default rules didn't even use Proficiencies.

For me, that's one desirable thing that the 3.x PHB and DMG don't seem to include, statements to the effect that a DM is free to remove Spells, Feats and Base Classes from his game.

2.x was by its very nature, homebrew.

3.x inlcudes "Rule 0": The DM is free to do with his game how he chooses.

Matthew
2007-02-15, 03:30 PM
Sure, but for some reason they don't state it, at least not where I have read it (maybe I missed it?).

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-15, 03:32 PM
Rule 0 is in the book. Look again.

Matthew
2007-02-15, 03:32 PM
In the DMG?

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-15, 03:33 PM
Yes.

extra characters

Matthew
2007-02-15, 03:39 PM
All I could find was a short section on changing the rules on pages 11-12 (but I am limited to the 3.0 DMG). I take it there's an actual Rule 0 in the 3.5 DMG?

Fax Celestis
2007-02-15, 03:42 PM
There is. I am AFB right now, otherwise I'd quote a passage.

Indon
2007-02-15, 03:43 PM
So really, one of the biggest distinctions is that 2.x 'feels' more freeform, because it had rules covering fewer situations, and 3.x 'feels' stricter, because it has more comprehensive rules, is what it seems to me.

Personally, I never noticed any distinctions like that when I started playing 3.0. I just noticed it was a lot easier to calculate to-hit numbers, there was no 'create your own class table', and other superficial details.

Matthew
2007-02-15, 03:47 PM
I don't think that's what people are saying. 3.x doesn't feel restrictive in the sense of being limited. The point is rather that there are just as many options in both editions. The difference is that more of those options are legislated for in 3.x. There's no absolute negative or positive judgement concerning that. It's just a matter of preference in emphasis.

Here's a quick example of what I mean:

Player Character X wants to move, attack and move in his round.

In 2.x, the DM says okay and may assign some modifier to his attack, depending on the circumstances and what he thinks is an appropriate interpretation.

In 3.x, the Player Character needs Dodge, Mobility and Spring Attack. The DM could legislate for this action without the Feats, but because its legislated for (I think) the player is less likely to ask if his character can do so and the DM is less likely to allow him to.

Mike_G
2007-02-15, 03:51 PM
There's nothing dumb about being able to buy magical items. They're a part of character power; there are wealth-by-level guidelines to help make sure they don't get out of hand, and monster/trap/etc CRs are based on the assumption that the PCs have them.

Dumb may be an overstatement, but I like some control of which items I allow in, not just assume the town is stocked with everything.

My more relevant point was that the 2e-philes always dismiss criticism of bad early edition rules with "But the DM could ignore that" and then point out 3,x rules they don't like, assuming that somehow a 3.x DM is only a figurehead.

Matthew
2007-02-15, 03:58 PM
That's not what I see happening. Usually it's a criticism of (A)D&D that leads to someone saying, "sure, but the same section discusses not using that rule" or using option X, or what have you. The creation of the RAW is what leads to the confusion where they might say "3.x doesn't allow for such and such." There was no RAW in 2.x.

MrNexx
2007-02-15, 03:59 PM
But they are in the rules. Elves couldn't be Ranger in 1e either, to point out the dumbest restriction.

Actually, they could as of Unearthed Arcana, but that's beside the point.


You could ignore any rules you wanted in 1e, but you can still ignore any rules you want in 3e, so I prefer to compare the rules as written in the books. Other than that, you're comparing two homebrew systems.

However, everyone I know homebrews to an extent... they make house rulings to accommodate their play style and preferences. IMO, 1st/2nd edition accommodated this better, because the rules had less specificity to them; more specific rules means a larger "footprint" when you change something.



The biggest thing I see from 2.0 advocates is "Sure that was a dumb rule, but nobody used it. In 3.0, there's this dumb rule where everybody can buy the items they want without DM aproval." Well, sure, it's dumb. We just don't use it.

However, 2nd edition contained, usually, explicit variations wherein these rules were ignored. My copy has big blocks of blue listing optional rules, and discussing how changing them will change the game. 3.x says "Change what you like, it's your game", while simultaneously moving power out of the hands of the DM and making rules changes harder to effect.

Mike_G
2007-02-15, 04:39 PM
However, 2nd edition contained, usually, explicit variations wherein these rules were ignored. My copy has big blocks of blue listing optional rules, and discussing how changing them will change the game. 3.x says "Change what you like, it's your game", while simultaneously moving power out of the hands of the DM and making rules changes harder to effect.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I've had no problems changing stuff I didn't like in 3.x.

We've greatly modified the Paladin's Detect Evil changing it to a Sense Motive bous of +1/level, allowed Sneak Attack and other precision damge at half effectiveness against any constructs or undead with corporeal anatomies, given Spot and Listen as class skills to everybody for the first 5 ranks, houseruled in a Defense Bonus to AC equal to one half BAB to represent that as you get better at fighting you better at not being hit, plus a few more.

None of these have caused any great problems with other aspects of the game.

I never really played 2.0, since I quit D&D during 1.0, and went on to Runequest for years, but I know how awful the core rules in 1e were, and I am delighted with the uniformitry of 3.x

greenknight
2007-02-15, 06:31 PM
All I could find was a short section on changing the rules on pages 11-12 (but I am limited to the 3.0 DMG). I take it there's an actual Rule 0 in the 3.5 DMG?

In the 3.0e PHB, Rule 0 (as it became known) can be found on p4: Character Creation Basics. It lists 11 steps in total:
0: Check with your Dungeon Master. It's explained in this section that the player should do this to discover any house rules.
1: Generate Ability Scores
2: Choose Class and Race
3: Assign and Adjust Ability Scores
4: Review the Starting Package
5: Record Racial and Class Features
6: Select a Feat
7: Select Skills
8: Review Description (roleplaying stuff like name, gender, height, weight, alignment etc)
9: Select Equipment
10: Record Combat and Skill Numbers
11: Details Galore (essentially, the same as step 8, but more in depth)

According to the Revised 2nd Ed PHB (Step-By-Step Character Generation, p16), the steps for character creation in 2nd Ed are:
Step 1: Roll Ability Scores
Step 2: Choose a Race
Step 3: Select a Class
Step 4: Choose an Alignment
Step 5: Record Saving Throws and THAC0
Step 6: Roll Hit Points
Step 7: Record Base Movement
Step 8: Select Proficiencies (Optional)
Step 9: Equip your Character

I doubt anyone follows these lists mindlessly, but if they did, you'll notice that the 2nd Ed list contains no instructions for checking with the DM for house rules, nor providing background details about the character such as name and gender. You might consider that to be a mistake on the list creator's part, except that nowhere in the more detailed character creation process (chapters 1 through 6) are those requirements mentioned. There is one specific reference in Chapter 2 (Other Characteristics, p32), which states that other details (such as character sex and name) are not required. Sure, they might not be required in a wargame, but how about in a RPG like D&D? Let's just say I've been playing for a very long time and I've yet to see the DM who didn't demand the player provide those details for his or her PC.


In 3.0, there's this dumb rule where everybody can buy the items they want without DM aproval

I've seen similar statements, but as usual, it's untrue. In the 3.0e DMG, this is discussed on pp 42 - 43 (Creating Characters above 1st Level). Step 5 discusses equipping the character, and the first sub-section of that step is Limitation on Magic Items, where the DM is specifically told he or she can limit the items obtained in various ways, and even veto specific items. Sadly, many 3e detractors only seem capable of reading and understanding the portion of the rules they want to. I've seen other statements like having a 1st level Cleric being able to Turn a Lich, but again a proper examination and comparison of the rules shows that statement to be untrue. First off, thanks to turning resistance, a 1st level Cleric could never turn a Lich (unless the character was multiclassed with other classes which give an ability to Turn Undead), and that same turning resistance makes it harder to turn a lich in 3e than it is in 2nd Ed. For example, an 8th level Cleric has a chance to turn an 11HD Lich in 2nd Ed, but that Cleric would need at to be at least 11th level and have at least 14 Charisma to do the same thing in 3e. And if the 2nd Ed Lich had more than 11 HD, an 8th level Cleric can still turn it in 2nd Ed, but in 3e the turn difficulty scales with HD.

Matthew
2007-02-15, 07:01 PM
I see, that's quite informative. No, you wouldn't expect to find anything as clear cut in the (A)D&D books. Most such information is embedded in the text, but they don't support a strict reading anyway.

JadedDM
2007-02-15, 07:06 PM
Let's just say I've been playing for a very long time and I've yet to see the DM who didn't demand the player provide those details for his or her PC.

Then why would they need to bother writing it out? This is part of that 3E mentality that's been mentioned--if it's not written down, it can't be done. Isn't it possible that there isn't much mention of name and gender and background because it's just assumed the player would choose these anyway?

Besides, the book does mention these things. "The sex and name of your character are up to you. Your character can be of the same sex as yourself or of the opposite sex."

As for background, there's quite a bit of information regarding character background in the DMG (page 12 and 13)

greenknight
2007-02-15, 07:20 PM
Then why would they need to bother writing it out?

Jaded, did you miss the bit where I wrote they specifically stated those things were NOT REQUIRED in the 2nd Ed AD&D PHB? That's going a bit further than just not bothering to write it out.


Besides, the book does mention these things. "The sex and name of your character are up to you. Your character can be of the same sex as yourself or of the opposite sex."

Sure it says that, it even goes further and states that those details may be vital to roleplaying. Of course, that's written directly AFTER it mentions those details are NOT REQUIRED. Like I stated, that might be fine in a wargame, but NOT in a RPG.

JadedDM
2007-02-15, 07:24 PM
And D&D is sometimes used as a war game. Not everyone roleplays. Some people just run dungeon crawls, where their characters have no backgrounds or personalities.

I don't play that way, personally. But lots of people do.

The 2E books don't go into great detail on how to roleplay characters because of just that. Not everyone roleplays. Just how much roleplaying goes into any game is completely up to the DM and the players, and thus there is no need to try and legislate it in the books.

This is the main point that several people keep trying to make. The 2E core books are guidelines, not bibles. They are just the 'bare bones', the skeleton needed. It's up to the players and DM to fill in the blank spots.

Helgraf
2007-02-15, 07:29 PM
Ya know, you guys could all just play WFRP and stop arguing.

*ducks*

/Likes Hackmaster
//Guess that puts me in the "2nd ed" camp.
///It's nice to play with people who actually read the rules.
////It's not fun to play with people who are married to them.
/////DM: "You find yourself shipwrecked on an island. Your charachters equipment has been washed awa...
Rulesguy: "Uh-uh! The PHB says I start with XGP worth of equipment. You can't take that away!"
//////That's why I don't DM any more.

Rulesguy has forgotten one fundamental issue. He did start with X GP. Then the very first story action that occured stipped him of it.

EOS.

greenknight
2007-02-15, 07:31 PM
This is the main point that several people keep trying to make. The 2E core books are guidelines, not bibles. They are just the 'bare bones', the skeleton needed. It's up to the players and DM to fill in the blank spots.

That's right. You can potentially plonk down hundreds of dollars on AD&D to play a game and still you have to fill in some pretty big blanks. With 3e, you buy the core books and you have pretty complete game system right there without needing to tweak it.

JadedDM
2007-02-15, 07:33 PM
Filling in the blanks is half of the fun.

And technically, all you really need to play 2E are the core books, which would only cost about $60-70 total (back when they were still in print), not hundreds.

Matthew
2007-02-15, 07:33 PM
It is also worth noting that:


Sadly, many 3e detractors only seem capable of reading and understanding the portion of the rules they want to.

is not a failing of only detractors of 3.x. The same could be said of the detractors of 2.x or, indeed, of some of the people who play both games.

Personally, I have no particular issues with 3.x. There are things about it I don't like, but the same can be said of 2.x.

We used to run 2.x with the PHB and DMG alone. The blanks, as Jaded says, were part of the fun of the game.

Helgraf
2007-02-15, 07:40 PM
We've never really had that problem, since we all grew up playing 1st edition AD&D, and nobody just assumes you can run down to Ed's Wondrous Item Mart. All magic items that aren't found are either designed and crafted with DM approval, or you have to find one for sale. The fact that a Holy Avenger has a list price doesn't mean you can order one from the Sears catalogue.

Amen brother. My players seem to understand this - they _ask_ if an item is available before just paying for it. The only time I see a shadow of this problem is when I have to bring in a new character; sometimes then they get a bit twinky about using their initial Wealth by level on build.



We pretty much rule that the DM holds veto power over item aquisition, much as it was in 1e. I like the ability to multi class in 3.x, since you can get to a point where straight Fighter just isn't cutting it and you want to branch out. I found the class sytem in AD&D, partyicularly wth the racial restrictions very very limiting.

Honestly, 99% of the time, I've felt prestige classes were far more meant to give Fighters, skilltypes and secondary spellcasters more edge or flavour. With the exception of a few oddball +1 level at all 10 levels PrCs (which I think, frankly, is a bad idea, since it's more power for no cost, generally speaking - so it's basically almost a presumption they'll want to take it, but that's another discussion for another time), casters really don't benefit _as much_ from PrCs; they're really better built to do a full single-class progression.



One level dips can be annoying, but that where the xp penalty comes in. Even so, I could see a plot justification for a character to take a quick dip to learn how not to be so easy to beat up, or to learn to sneak attack or whatever.

One level dips into base classes aren't so bad; it's the NO EXP PENALTY one level dips into prestige classes for the same cheese that can get bothersome. I know at least one DM that requires you to complete the prestige class if it's a 5-level one before you can return to other class levels; can't recall if he has a similiar but slightly less restrictive version for 10 level PrCs.

Helgraf
2007-02-15, 07:43 PM
Dumb may be an overstatement, but I like some control of which items I allow in, not just assume the town is stocked with everything.

My more relevant point was that the 2e-philes always dismiss criticism of bad early edition rules with "But the DM could ignore that" and then point out 3,x rules they don't like, assuming that somehow a 3.x DM is only a figurehead.

This said, there's a rule right in DMG near the vaunted WBL table - you are free to restrict the maximum value of their purchases; say, for instance, only 1 item worth more than 25% of total WBL, and only 3 items worth between 10-25% WBL, with everything else needing to come in below.

Now this can come across a little too strict, but by Rule 0, you can fiddle with the percentages, or just give the character sheet the once-over. DM Veto still rules.

greenknight
2007-02-15, 07:52 PM
Filling in the blanks is half of the fun.

And technically, all you really need to play 2E are the core books, which would only cost about $60-70 total (back when they were still in print), not hundreds.

Really? If all you need are the core books, what's with all those blanks you keep mentioning? As you originally stated (and I agreed with), the core 2nd Ed books are just a skeleton - you really need more than that if you want to play the game. At the very least you'd need to invest some time coming up with house rules. The additional splatbooks for 2nd Ed can also help with that, and many players and DMs used that option, but then you reach the scenario I mentioned of spending hundreds of dollars on D&D books and still there are blank areas of the rules.

That isn't to say 3e (or 3.5e) doesn't have gaps in the rules. But the gaps are relatively small, and the underlying ruleset usually provides some strong indications of just what a DM should do to cover them. Of course, this leads to the claim that 3e doesn't allow for house rules (the "Big Footprint" people keep mentioning). But as many examples have illustrated, it's quite easy to change the rules in 3e provided you don't mess with the fundamental rules. And that's true of 2nd Ed too. Try changing the THAC0 system for something else (like 3e's BAB, for example), and see how much other things in 2nd Ed are affected.

JadedDM
2007-02-15, 07:55 PM
At the very least you'd need to invest some time coming up with house rules.

And I suppose to some people, that would be a big problem.

But not to me. I don't mind taking time to work on things. I don't like having things just handed to me. That's why I don't play in published worlds. I'd rather homebrew. Considerable more work? Yes, but...as I pointed out, that is half the fun.

I guess it just leads back to my original statement, clearly my ilk is a dying breed in the gaming world.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-15, 07:57 PM
Jaded: the thing is, while that's all well and good, you'd sort of expect a published gaming system to be thoroughly playable without extensive houserules, even if you like them.

Matthew
2007-02-15, 08:01 PM
Whoah. Why are we talking about House Rules? (A)D&D didn't cover every possible situation with modifiers and such, but it did indicate how to adjudicate actions not covered by the rules. The DM set a difficulty and the PC rolled the dice.

Also, BAB maps very well onto THAC0. 20 = BAB 0, 19 = BAB 1, 18 = BAB 2; AC 10 = AC 10, AC 9 = AC 11, AC 8 = AC 12, etc...

okpokalypse
2007-02-15, 08:14 PM
Jaded: the thing is, while that's all well and good, you'd sort of expect a published gaming system to be thoroughly playable without extensive houserules, even if you like them.

Agreed. If you're going to purchase a game that requires not only creation of the world, plot and characters as 3.0+ does, but also needs tweaks to rules because of large-scale blanks and vagueness - wouldn't it just make more sense to build your own game from the ground up?

I did that many, many years ago when I was disheartened with D&D, but I tended to get too dependant upon the statistics of the game and didn't leave enough room for player subjectivity. I essentially got too detailed.

So while I (and many others) appreciate a relatively subjective set of guidelines, there's still a need for an objective set of rules to use as the structure of the game - and 2.0 lacked quite a bit of those - and it lead to more than a few DM/Player heated debates at my tables.

greenknight
2007-02-15, 08:21 PM
And I suppose to some people, that would be a big problem.

Ok, let me put it another way. Let's say you buy a piece of software. It claims on the box that it does everything you want to do, but when you start using it, you find that it's missing some important functions. So you go back to the person you got it from and say you need that functionality to use the software for it's intended purpose. The response? You're given the source code (and compiler) and told you can add the features you want yourself, and can even change any other features you want. There is some code other people have made, but the original manufacturer wants to keep tight control over that, so anyone who makes their code publicly available risks being sued unless they have the express permission of the original manufacturer (who can also withdraw that permission at any time). Oh, if you want, the original manufacturer also has a number of extensions you can integrate with the basic program which might give you some of the features you want (as well as a few more you might like but haven't thought of).

Sounds like this manufacturer expects everyone who buys their product to be a code monkey, regardless of whether they like it or not. And given the advertising claims, I'd say there's a better than fair chance this manufacturer is going to get sued by someone for false advertising. Certainly, it does come across as a raw deal for the purchaser.

So how does that example relate to 2nd Ed AD&D? Well, on the back cover of the PHB, we see the claim: "Everything players need is here". On the back of the DMG, it's: "The AD&D 2nd Edition Dungeon Master Guide puts all the information you need right at your fingertips". That's false advertising because we all know the Core 2nd Ed books are just a skeleton to build around. Regardless of whether you consider making up rules is half the fun or not, you have to do it quite a lot with 2nd Ed - there's no other option available. And TSR went through a fairly bad phase (for the players) where they became known as T$R (They $ue Regularly) because they wanted complete control over publicly available material. Even such things as discussion boards, player made adventures and player made character sheets were taken down from the web as a result.

What's the comparison with 3e? Well, the Core rules are fairly complete and where there are holes, most of the time the fundamental principles behind the rules give a pretty clear idea to the DM with regard to how they can be covered. And we have the d20 and OGM licences, which means that we can publish material for 3e without threat of prosecution (which still applies to any 2nd Ed material published by 3rd parties, if WotC want to pursue it). For the most part, 3e DMs don't have to be rules monkeys, although they can be if they want to, and they can even make money by doing it if they then decide to publish their rules.

Matthew
2007-02-15, 08:27 PM
What rules exactly are you talking about? (A)D&D is perfectly playable using just the PHB, DMG and MM.

Mind, your software analogy is quite amusing, especially as dumping incomplete games on us seems to be standard practice these days...

ken-do-nim
2007-02-15, 08:55 PM
We've never really had that problem, since we all grew up playing 1st edition AD&D, and nobody just assumes you can run down to Ed's Wondrous Item Mart. All magic items that aren't found are either designed and crafted with DM approval, or you have to find one for sale. The fact that a Holy Avenger has a list price doesn't mean you can order one from the Sears catalogue.


I just wanted to say that in one of my campaigns, the DM has tried very hard to restrict our magic item acquisition, so the spell-casting players took item creation feats and they began to roll their own. The DM now tries to control what they create by not giving them very much time to work on items. That 1000 gp per day pretty much prevents you from making anything powerful if the DM says you've got 5 days between adventures.

On the flipside, one thing I didn't like about 1E & 2E was what do you do with all that gold?

okpokalypse
2007-02-15, 10:31 PM
I just wanted to say that in one of my campaigns, the DM has tried very hard to restrict our magic item acquisition, so the spell-casting players took item creation feats and they began to roll their own. The DM now tries to control what they create by not giving them very much time to work on items. That 1000 gp per day pretty much prevents you from making anything powerful if the DM says you've got 5 days between adventures.

On the flipside, one thing I didn't like about 1E & 2E was what do you do with all that gold?

Heh, I had a DM do that to me many moons ago. The solution: We didn't go. Yup - we all stayed in our keep and refused to adventure for a good 6 months. During that time towns were burned, undead roamed the country-side nightly and evil surged into the world at a fevered-pace. Once in a while, they'd try to take us at our keep and all it did was serve to level us, cause we were always fully rested, had scouts out, and had a plethora of scrolls and potions at our disposal. So we'd lose 1 day of enchanting. The DM soon learned he either had to overwhelm us (kill us) or give in, cause he was just giving us a level every few encounters from kill xp.

In the end, he gave up and let us just enchant, and then we fixed the world when we were done. Funny how that works, huh? The other alternative was to kill everyone and get replaced. At worst no longer having a seat at the table, and at best, being a player to a DM who's last PC character you intentionally slaughtered. Neither good options.

The whole point to D&D is that everyone is supposed to be having fun. If you're the DM and your PCs (all of em) want to take some downtime for character development, enchanting, research, etc.. You should damn well find a way to work it in - otherwise you're running the campaign for you - and not for the enjoyment of the group. When a DM loses sight that he's 1 part of the game experience, and feels it's a seat of power to dictate the gameplay experience to the other players, he's no longer a good DM and he should find a different group who have desires more in line with his.

greenknight
2007-02-16, 03:15 AM
What rules exactly are you talking about? (A)D&D is perfectly playable using just the PHB, DMG and MM.

If you'd said PHB, DMG, MM and houserules, I'd have agreed with you. But just the books alone? No. Here's a fairly basic example of a rules hole which could easily come up during an adventure:

A Human PC enters a warehouse through a door which was accidently left open. He looks through the contents of a few boxes, working his way from front to back. Suddenly, he hears the noise of some guards entering the building and hides behind a few boxes. After a short while, he decides to take a quick peek over the top of one of the boxes to see if the guards have gone away. While there's some illumination in the room, it's fairly dark where he is (call it the equivalent of night with a full moon, in 2nd Ed terms), but the character doesn't have the Hide in Shadows ability. Suddenly, he sees a guard standing about 10 yards (30 feet) away!

Is the guard looking in the PC's direction, and if so, would he see him? Aside from failing a Hide in Shadows roll, 2nd Ed isn't very clear about the process by which a hidden character may be seen. The closest rules you'll find are the Visibility Ranges in Ch 13 (PHB). There, we see that the character can be seen, since he moved and is well within the "movement" range even for Night, no moon. The chapter does mention that terrain might affect vision ranges, and provides an example of a character hiding from a bear until he's 30 yards away, but provides no mechanics as to how that's done (nor does the DMG, as far as I can see). In 3e, this is done using a Spot vs Hide check, with appropriate modifiers.

Another example: Most people know that it costs XP to create magical items in 3e, and they could give you a creation time, cost and caster requirements as well if you asked them about a specific item (excluding artifacts, of course). But staying with Core Rules only (that's the PHB, DMG and MM, with no houserules), what are the specific rules for creating, oh let's say a Longsword +1, in 2nd Ed?


Also, BAB maps very well onto THAC0

BAB is only the Base Attack Bonus, which implies there are other modifiers such as Strength or Dexterity. What's would be the BAB of a Displacer Beast (or most of the creatures in the MM), and what would be it's Strength / Dexterity modifier to attack? See how that gets complicated?

The_Great_Dane
2007-02-16, 06:31 AM
If you'd said PHB, DMG, MM and houserules, I'd have agreed with you. But just the books alone? No. Here's a fairly basic example of a rules hole which could easily come up during an adventure:

A Human PC enters a warehouse through a door which was accidently left open. He looks through the contents of a few boxes, working his way from front to back. Suddenly, he hears the noise of some guards entering the building and hides behind a few boxes. After a short while, he decides to take a quick peek over the top of one of the boxes to see if the guards have gone away. While there's some illumination in the room, it's fairly dark where he is (call it the equivalent of night with a full moon, in 2nd Ed terms), but the character doesn't have the Hide in Shadows ability. Suddenly, he sees a guard standing about 10 yards (30 feet) away!

Is the guard looking in the PC's direction, and if so, would he see him? Aside from failing a Hide in Shadows roll, 2nd Ed isn't very clear about the process by which a hidden character may be seen. The closest rules you'll find are the Visibility Ranges in Ch 13 (PHB). There, we see that the character can be seen, since he moved and is well within the "movement" range even for Night, no moon. The chapter does mention that terrain might affect vision ranges, and provides an example of a character hiding from a bear until he's 30 yards away, but provides no mechanics as to how that's done (nor does the DMG, as far as I can see). In 3e, this is done using a Spot vs Hide check, with appropriate modifiers.

You're right.

In 2nd edition you didn't get these kinds of decisions handed to you by a die roll. In this case it would be up to the DM to decide if the PC had done enough to remain hidden and whether the guard would spot him or not (with or without a HiS roll). IMO a much better way of resolving it than taking that decision out of the DM's hands and letting the dice decide.



Another example: Most people know that it costs XP to create magical items in 3e, and they could give you a creation time, cost and caster requirements as well if you asked them about a specific item (excluding artifacts, of course). But staying with Core Rules only (that's the PHB, DMG and MM, with no houserules), what are the specific rules for creating, oh let's say a Longsword +1, in 2nd Ed?

Two spells: Enchanted weapon and Permanency.

Tadaah!

One Long Sword +1, coming right up.

The_Great_Dane
2007-02-16, 06:48 AM
2.) If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I know lots of people rag on 2E, but I have no real problem with it and rather enjoy it. If something is wrong with 2E, I can really easily fix it without switching editions and spending a large amount of money on new books. I'm having fun, my players are having fun--so why bother changing?

This is exactly why I have never bothered to change systems and I have gone from D&D to Advanced to 2nd edition, so it's not like I haven't been through the transistion before.

I also discovered that the rule changes in 3.0 were designed so that the game played more like a computergame (thus making it easier for WoC to sell its licenses to game developers, I suppose) and that kinda ticked me off for some reason.

Different strokes for different folks, I guess. :smile:

Zincorium
2007-02-16, 07:47 AM
From my point of view, it was actually 2nd ed that played more like a video game at times.

Think about it. One of the great constraints of video games is that unless something was thought about and put into the rules, you really couldn't do it. 2nd ed had a lot of that going, and the only fix was to ask the DM to make new rules to fill spaces where there just weren't any. If a character (other than thief or one with the mountaineering proficiency) tried to climb a wall, there was almost no chance of making it. It was effectively one of those 'impassably high walls' in a video game.

Now there are rules, and more importantly a lack of rules disallowing it, which allow almost every character to get over that same wall. Sure it may require throwing over a grappling hook, but that actually accomplishes something in 3rd.

The combat is also more like a video game in 2nd. In 3rd, while you may not know what number it takes to hit something, generally the math is simple and quick. In 2nd, you had to deal with Thac0, and in most of the games I've seen the player just rolls the dice and reads off the number, then waits for the DM to tell him whether it was a hit or miss. In 3rd you can also, within the rules, use much more complicated manuevering and tactics than 2nd edition had available.

Not to rain on anyone's parade, but every time somebody says that 3rd edition is more like a video game, it strikes me not so much wrong as just backward.

The_Great_Dane
2007-02-16, 08:11 AM
Not to rain on anyone's parade, but every time somebody says that 3rd edition is more like a video game, it strikes me not so much wrong as just backward.

Wow!

Couldn't disagree more.

One of the cardinal rules of DM'ing a 2nd edition game is "don't say no, determine difficulty" (something my players always remind me to do :smallsmile: ) and the fact that there isn't a die roll for every eventuality obviously makes it a lot less like a computergame and much more flexible roleplaying-wise.

I do not doubt that the subsequent editions have more flexible character generating and combat rules, but they are built to be easily adapted to a computergame. All the more power to WoC for doing just that and expanding their audience, btw.

Yuki Akuma
2007-02-16, 08:18 AM
Wow!

Couldn't disagree more.

One of the cardinal rules of DM'ing a 2nd edition game is "don't say no, determine difficulty" (something my players always remind me to do :smallsmile: ) and the fact that there isn't a die roll for every eventuality obviously makes it a lot less like a computergame and much more flexible roleplaying-wise.

I do not doubt that the subsequent editions have more flexible character generating and combat rules, but they are built to be easily adapted to a computergame. All the more power to WoC for doing just that and expanding their audience, btw.

Then why are there more second edition-based games than third edition-based games?

greenknight
2007-02-16, 09:39 AM
Two spells: Enchanted weapon and Permanency.

Tadaah!

One Long Sword +1, coming right up.

So the mention of using the Enchant an Item spell to make magical weapons (as part of the description of the Enchanted Weapon spell) is nonsense then? Which means the workshop / laboratory mentioned in the Enchant an Item spell isn't needed either, I guess. And all that stuff in the DMG (pp 84 - 88 of the original 2nd Ed DMG), can be ignored as well. Or maybe it takes a bit more than casting two spells and saying Tadaah?


In 2nd edition you didn't get these kinds of decisions handed to you by a die roll. In this case it would be up to the DM to decide if the PC had done enough to remain hidden and whether the guard would spot him or not (with or without a HiS roll). IMO a much better way of resolving it than taking that decision out of the DM's hands and letting the dice decide.

Which turns D&D into a Roleplaying Story rather than a RPG. The whole point about playing a GAME is that there are random results, usually determined by die rolls. Would you also suggest to take the die rolls out of combat, saving throws and ability checks, leaving the decision in the DM's hands?


One of the cardinal rules of DM'ing a 2nd edition game is "don't say no, determine difficulty"

Since it's such a cardinal rule, I guess you wouldn't mind telling us which Core book and page number that rule appears on? IIRC, that rule appears only in a splatbook (Complete Fighter's Handbook, I believe), not the Core Books. But since that particular rule follows up with a die roll rather than leaving the outcome in the DM's hands, I guess you're referring to something else? Since in 2nd edition you didn't get these kinds of decisions handed to you by a die roll, right?


Then why are there more second edition-based games than third edition-based games?
Give it a bit more time, and I think there may end up being more 3e based games than 2nd Ed based. It would depend more on how much interest game designers and publishers have in developing more D&D based games than anything else, IMO. But of all the D&D based CRPGs I've ever played, the ones which stuck closest to the published rules were the old "Gold Box" games - which were based on 1st Ed AD&D! It's my theory that as the ruleset gets more and more detailed, the game designers have to do more work in putting them all into the game, and rather than do that, they seem to want to use their own solutions instead. That said, NWN2 does have a fairly good implementation of the 3e ruleset (all things considered), but loses out to the Gold Box games by not being wholely turn based, IMO.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-16, 09:45 AM
Green, you ARE aware that there are RPGs--some of the best, in fact--that don't use dice, and that they're still RPGs? As an example, you might use a resource-allocation mechanic rather than a die-roll mechanic.

Were-Sandwich
2007-02-16, 09:51 AM
This idea intrigues me and I wish to leanr more. Pray elaborate.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-16, 09:54 AM
Nobilis (which gets my vote for Best RPG Evar) uses a resource-allocation mechanic and no dice. The Amber DRPG just uses a straight karma, i.e. stat-comparison, system.

MrNexx
2007-02-16, 10:14 AM
Then why are there more second edition-based games than third edition-based games?

Because TSR whored out the license to anyone with $.30 and a business card?

Journey
2007-02-16, 10:21 AM
Then why are there more second edition-based games than third edition-based games?

We can pretend for a moment that the relative quantities of games isn't an irrelevant detail. One reason is that the RPG market has shifted focus from single-player campaign driven RPGs largely to MMORPGs. Another is that the Neverwinter Nights set of games fulfills the niche quite well because of its expandability and the ease with which 3.x rules are codified into a computer algorithm. Then there is the fact that the d20 system itself, which extends beyond D&D, actually augments the number of such games (e.g. KOTOR II).

As I said, though, none of that is relevant. The fact is that cRPGs and MMOGs both have a similar kind of play-style (hack-n-slash/puzzle solving + severely restricted character action options that are entirely codified within the rules) necessarily due to the medium (digital). The 3.x/d20 rules are a reflection of the fact that the primary market for these games these days are teenage males who have grown up not with the pen-and-paper/boardgame era of role-play gaming, but with the computer era.

The point isn't that computer games are much easier designed using 3.x/d20 rules, but that the pen-and-paper 3.x/d20 rules are designed to more closely reflect computer gaming play styles in order to cater to the market.

okpokalypse
2007-02-16, 10:28 AM
So the mention of using the Enchant an Item spell to make magical weapons (as part of the description of the Enchanted Weapon spell) is nonsense then? Which means the workshop / laboratory mentioned in the Enchant an Item spell isn't needed either, I guess. And all that stuff in the DMG (pp 84 - 88 of the original 2nd Ed DMG), can be ignored as well. Or maybe it takes a bit more than casting two spells and saying Tadaah?

His option is viable - but also subject to Dispel Magic ruining the item. A real enchanted item is only supressed by Dispel Magic.

greenknight
2007-02-16, 10:42 AM
Green, you ARE aware that there are RPGs--some of the best, in fact--that don't use dice, and that they're still RPGs?

I wasn't. Since I haven't played either of those games, I can't comment on them. However, the basic point I'm trying to make here is that D&D is a game where random rolls are important - in and out of battle, and in all editions of the game.

Tengu
2007-02-16, 10:42 AM
Nobilis (which gets my vote for Best RPG Evar) uses a resource-allocation mechanic and no dice.

How does it work? I'm curious.

okpokalypse
2007-02-16, 10:50 AM
We can pretend for a moment that the relative quantities of games isn't an irrelevant detail. One reason is that the RPG market has shifted focus from single-player campaign driven RPGs largely to MMORPGs. Another is that the Neverwinter Nights set of games fulfills the niche quite well because of its expandability and the ease with which 3.x rules are codified into a computer algorithm. Then there is the fact that the d20 system itself, which extends beyond D&D, actually augments the number of such games (e.g. KOTOR II).

I don't know - I've found NWN to be too power-gamery (it that a viable term?). I loved the Forgotten Realms games... Pools of Radience, Curse of the Azure Bonds, Secret of the Silver Blades, etc... Then there was the next gen of games... Eye of the Beholder and Baldur's Gate being two I really liked. It wasn't until the 1st NWN that 3.0 was fully incorporated, and I found very little challenge in the gameplay. It was just way too easy if you knew the 3.0 Ruleset and tuned properly.

And I wouldn't really count DDO as a standard D&D ruleset. It's Eberron - which is the next level of power-gamery. I don't like it.


As I said, though, none of that is relevant. The fact is that cRPGs and MMOGs both have a similar kind of play-style (hack-n-slash/puzzle solving + severely restricted character action options that are entirely codified within the rules) necessarily due to the medium (digital). The 3.x/d20 rules are a reflection of the fact that the primary market for these games these days are teenage males who have grown up not with the pen-and-paper/boardgame era of role-play gaming, but with the computer era.

I disagree. I disagree a lot. I truly believe the primary reason the game has been revised as it has it to allow more people to understand it.

AD&D through AD&D 2.5 was a difficult read for most, and a more difficult play experience without a seasoned DM walking you through your growing pains. A lot of people who I know now play D&D 3.0+ had walked away from AD&D 2.0 and earlier versions. The 2.0 system wasn't intuitive at times. Things were overly subjective and murky. It had some great things that I feel to this day are still superior to the 3rd Edition, but it was not new-gamer friendly. The thing that got a lot of people back into D&D who had walked away was Baldur's Gate and NWN. If I remember correctly, BG II started advertising that they're moving over to the 3.0 Ruleset, and NWN fully incorporated it.


The point isn't that computer games are much easier designed using 3.x/d20 rules, but that the pen-and-paper 3.x/d20 rules are designed to more closely reflect computer gaming play styles in order to cater to the market.

As a programmer who has made an MMO myself, I can tell you that the difference between rule-sets makes NO difference in coding a computer game. None. The mechanics of the game, being already established, are just a matter of code incorporation, and neither edition is more difficult than the next. The biggest hurdles (n/ incl networking) are always two things:

1. 3D Engines (Object Interfacing, World Movement, etc..)
2. World Building Utilities.

Things like the Combat Engine are easy. Turn based combat is a piece of cake to code. So is the creation of "modules" once you have the world builder utilities made. Implementing skills is often simple enough - but synching up the GUI to reflect it is a royal pain in the ass.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-16, 11:00 AM
I wasn't. Since I haven't played either of those games, I can't comment on them. However, the basic point I'm trying to make here is that D&D is a game where random rolls are important - in and out of battle, and in all editions of the game.
Sure, okay--but there are games that roll dice more often than D&D, and there are games that roll dice less often. D&D has less rolling than it could; for example, instead of your AC being 10+x, it could be 1d20+x against each attack. Decreasing the amount of dice-rolling doesn't make a game stop being an RPG; nor does removing dice entirely.


How does it work? I'm curious.
A short answer is that characters have a 1 to 5 points in each of 4 stats, more abstract than "Strength" or "Intelligence" but related to and a finite pool of Miracle Points that refresh with every new story. A character can automatically perform [Stat]-related tasks at a level of [Stat], and can spend Miracle Points to do better when it's necessary.
A long answer--basically, a guide to/synopsis of the game--can be found here (http://www.cs.utah.edu/%7Ecms/gaming/ry_synopsis.html).

Matthew
2007-02-16, 02:39 PM
If you'd said PHB, DMG, MM and houserules, I'd have agreed with you. But just the books alone? No. Here's a fairly basic example of a rules hole which could easily come up during an adventure:

A Human PC enters a warehouse through a door which was accidently left open. He looks through the contents of a few boxes, working his way from front to back. Suddenly, he hears the noise of some guards entering the building and hides behind a few boxes. After a short while, he decides to take a quick peek over the top of one of the boxes to see if the guards have gone away. While there's some illumination in the room, it's fairly dark where he is (call it the equivalent of night with a full moon, in 2nd Ed terms), but the character doesn't have the Hide in Shadows ability. Suddenly, he sees a guard standing about 10 yards (30 feet) away!

Is the guard looking in the PC's direction, and if so, would he see him? Aside from failing a Hide in Shadows roll, 2nd Ed isn't very clear about the process by which a hidden character may be seen. The closest rules you'll find are the Visibility Ranges in Ch 13 (PHB). There, we see that the character can be seen, since he moved and is well within the "movement" range even for Night, no moon. The chapter does mention that terrain might affect vision ranges, and provides an example of a character hiding from a bear until he's 30 yards away, but provides no mechanics as to how that's done (nor does the DMG, as far as I can see). In 3e, this is done using a Spot vs Hide check, with appropriate modifiers.

A modified Ability Check or an assigned percentage chance would be the usual way, if die rolling was desired. The relevant paragraph was dropped from the 2.x DMG and is only referenced in the PHB Glossary and Secondary Skill sections, which is unfortunate.



Another example: Most people know that it costs XP to create magical items in 3e, and they could give you a creation time, cost and caster requirements as well if you asked them about a specific item (excluding artifacts, of course). But staying with Core Rules only (that's the PHB, DMG and MM, with no houserules), what are the specific rules for creating, oh let's say a Longsword +1, in 2nd Ed?

Quite a strange question. There are intentionally no specific rules, just a bunch of guidelines in the DMG that you appear to be aware of anyway. The Player says "I want to create X", the DM decides what will be necessary, depending on the prevailance of magic in his campaign.



BAB is only the Base Attack Bonus, which implies there are other modifiers such as Strength or Dexterity. What's would be the BAB of a Displacer Beast (or most of the creatures in the MM), and what would be it's Strength / Dexterity modifier to attack? See how that gets complicated?

It really doesn't. The THAC0 of Monsters in D&D was by Hit Dice, with some exceptions that were noted. It's not difficult to map at all. A Displacer Beast has a THAC0 of 15 because it has 6 Hit Dice, as noted in Table 39 of the 2.x DMG. Therefore, it's BAB is 5.



Since it's such a cardinal rule, I guess you wouldn't mind telling us which Core book and page number that rule appears on? IIRC, that rule appears only in a splatbook (Complete Fighter's Handbook, I believe), not the Core Books. But since that particular rule follows up with a die roll rather than leaving the outcome in the DM's hands, I guess you're referring to something else? Since in 2nd edition you didn't get these kinds of decisions handed to you by a die roll, right?

Actually, that bit of text appeared in the (A)D&D 1.x DMG and appears to have been dropped from the 2.x version.


Think about it. One of the great constraints of video games is that unless something was thought about and put into the rules, you really couldn't do it. 2nd ed had a lot of that going, and the only fix was to ask the DM to make new rules to fill spaces where there just weren't any. If a character (other than thief or one with the mountaineering proficiency) tried to climb a wall, there was almost no chance of making it. It was effectively one of those 'impassably high walls' in a video game.

Check the PHB again, Tables 65-66. All Characters could climb in (A)D&D, regardless of proficiency or Thief Skills.


The combat is also more like a video game in 2nd. In 3rd, while you may not know what number it takes to hit something, generally the math is simple and quick. In 2nd, you had to deal with Thac0, and in most of the games I've seen the player just rolls the dice and reads off the number, then waits for the DM to tell him whether it was a hit or miss. In 3rd you can also, within the rules, use much more complicated manuevering and tactics than 2nd edition had available.

THAC0 Math is simple; it's only slightly harder than BAB (which I prefer). It's not entirely true that you can do more in 3.x. More is legislated for in the core books, but those are very similar rules to the (A)D&D Player's Option series. You can do pretty much the same things in D&D 3.x as you can in (A)D&D 2.x, but the rules for the former are much clearer and legislate for more events.

greenknight
2007-02-16, 07:35 PM
A modified Ability Check or an assigned percentage chance would be the usual way, if die rolling was desired. The relevant paragraph was dropped from the 2.x DMG and is only referenced in the PHB Glossary and Secondary Skill sections, which is unfortunate.

So here we have one area where the books are incomplete and house rules are needed.


Quite a strange question. There are intentionally no specific rules, just a bunch of guidelines in the DMG that you appear to be aware of anyway.

Since I'm discussing the need to make house rules in 2nd Ed AD&D, I don't see what's so strange about that question. Yes, it's done that way deliberately, but it's still clearly something the DM has to make rules up for (assuming the situation comes up in game, which it probably would with higher level characters).


A Displacer Beast has a THAC0 of 15 because it has 6 Hit Dice, as noted in Table 39 of the 2.x DMG. Therefore, it's BAB is 5.

Sure. But as I explained, BAB isn't all there is to it. You'd then factor in the creature's Strength or Dexterity as a modifier to that Base Attack Bonus, which becomes a problem since neither stat is listed in the MM for most creatures.


Actually, that bit of text appeared in the (A)D&D 1.x DMG and appears to have been dropped from the 2.x version.

That's pretty much in line with my earlier statement about using the dice to make decisions. That was explicitly stated in the 1e AD&D DMG (Rolling the Dice and Control of the Game is the section I'm referring to). But then you get some players who seem to feel that DMs shouldn't get decisions handed to them by a die roll. Now, I will agree that for the sake of the story, some things shouldn't be left to chance. Maybe the PCs are going to encounter that group of merchants under attack no matter what they do. But for the most part, D&D is (and always has been) a game of die rolls.

Matthew
2007-02-16, 08:33 PM
If you want to use a die roll to represent the chance, then yeah, you have to extrapolate from an obscure paragraph and glossary entry. You don't actually need to use a die roll to represent it, though.

House Rules. Hmmn. Well, it depends on what you mean by House Rule. They don't say, 'make it up', so much as use the Spell Lists and these guidelines to decide how you want Magic Items to be made. That doesn't really strike me as a House Rule, but I can see what you mean.

Not sure why they dropped that whole assign a probability rule. As I say, it's still there in the Secondary Skills section and Glossary, but that's not much use beyond extrapolation.

I don't get what you're saying with regard to BAB, THAC0 and Hit Dice. If there are any modifiers to THAC0 for creatures, it is noted. In the case of the Displacer Beast, it doesn't have a high enough (or low enough) Strength to modify its THAC0 (BAB). It's noted where there are modifiers, as in the case of the Ogre, for instance, who has BAB 3 (THAC0 17) and AB 5 (+2 Bonus to Hit).

greenknight
2007-02-16, 09:27 PM
I don't get what you're saying with regard to BAB, THAC0 and Hit Dice. If there are any modifiers to THAC0 for creatures, it is noted. In the case of the Displacer Beast, it doesn't have a high enough (or low enough) Strength to modify its THAC0 (BAB). It's noted where there are modifiers, as in the case of the Ogre, for instance, who has BAB 3 (THAC0 17) and AB 5 (+2 Bonus to Hit).

The MM is very inconsistant with that rule. Take Giants for example. We know from various sources (the Strength table in the PHB, for one) that a Stone Giant's Strenth score is 20, giving a +3 bonus to attack. However, that's not listed in the MM. The same is true of other Giants like the Reef Giant. The MM also doesn't directly include the Strength bonus damage for unarmed attacks (again, seen in the Giant entries when you compare unarmed damage to when the Giant uses a weapon), so for monsters which don't use weapons, it can become extremely difficult to determine their Strength score.

Matthew
2007-02-16, 09:46 PM
Ah, your under the impression that Monsters have a Strength Score in the sense that Player Characters do. They don't (with a few exceptions, such as the Death Knight). Very few of the Monsters obey the rules of the Strength Tables (not even Orcs). What a Stone Giant has is 14 Hit Dice which means THAC0 7 (BAB 13). His Strength Bonus adds +8 to Damage, but no to Hit Bonus. They don't follow the same rules as Characters with levels and classes.

greenknight
2007-02-16, 10:07 PM
Ah, your under the impression that Monsters have a Strength Score in the sense that Player Characters do. They don't. Very few of the Monsters obey the rules of the Strength Tables (not even Orcs). What a Stone Giant has is 14 Hit Dice which means THAC0 7 (BAB 13). His Strength Bonus adds +8 to Damage, but no to Hit Bonus. They don't follow the same rules as Characters with levels and classes.

But as you pointed out earlier, it does with Ogres (and vampires, even with their unarmed attack). So why do Ogres get a Strength bonus to hit, but not Giants and Orcs? Very inconsistent. 3e's BAB system is consistent in that the Strength (or Dexterity, where appropriate) modifier to attack is taken into account for both PC's and monsters, and consequently a switch to 3e's BAB system would require that you create that info for any 2nd Ed monster you use.

Matthew
2007-02-17, 06:29 AM
That's just the way it is. Some creatures get a bonus to hit and some don't and it rarely follows the Strength Tables when they do. [Ogres don't get a bonus to hit that mirrors the Strength Table (they get +2 to Hit and +6 to Damage)]. THAC0 is a function of Hit Dice and does not relate to anything else. The relevant sections in the PHB and DMG say that because they don't have Class or Levels, Monster THAC0 is calculated by Hit Dice. Nothing else should be read into it.

Now, on the other hand, you could look at such things as errors or omissions. There are after all, plenty of those in the 2.x MM (and the 3.x MM has its fair share). In that case you can simply add the relevant Strength Modifier to hit. The point is, though, that THAC0 remains equivalent to BAB regardless of Strength as nothing is used to calculate THAC0 except Hit Dice.

Mike_G
2007-02-17, 02:20 PM
That's just the way it is. Some creatures get a bonus to hit and some don't and it rarely follows the Strength Tables when they do.

See, I always found that irritating.

If the Troll is supposed to be bigger and stronger than the Fighter, why does the fighter have a bigger Damage bonus?

And don't even get me started on how much I hate the 18(%) Str rules. And how some high stats didn't help certain classes (Con topping out it's HP bonus, unless you were a Fighter).

I just hated all the inconsistencies. I really like the fact that an 18 STR in 3e is the same for everybody, whether it's an Elven Wizard or a fighter or a monster, and one more point than 18 is 19. Not 18(01-25), and reserved for Fighters. I also like how bonuses start at 12 in a stat, since that's above average, so a moderately gifted (12-13) person actually gets some recognition for it. In prior editions, stats below 16 really didn't matter much (but some did, since each stat had its own chart)

I think playstyle is up to the players, and since I have some of my old veterans back together, it's no different, but I love the nice, easy consisten mechanics. They don't make us munhckins, they don't make the game into World of Warcraft, they just give nice rules to help the DM rule on things like the Wizard trying to sneak, versus the Ogre's chance to spot him, and give the players more flexibility over their development.

The anti 3e sentiment confuses me, honestly.

Matthew
2007-02-17, 02:50 PM
Trolls got a +8 Damage Bonus when using weapons.

I know what your saying, though. I spent plenty of time trying to iron out the inconsistancies before I became acquainted with 3.x and was very happy to discover that many of the things that had been gotten rid of were things I had already gotten rid of myself.

I think the anti 3.x sentiment, though, doesn't really come from the bad aspects of 2.x that it fixed, but from the good aspects it didn't retain or the bad aspects that it introduced. Which are which is a matter of perspective and preference, though.

Personally, I prefer the (O)D&D spread where 9-12 is average and anything above or below results in fixed modifiers.

Helgraf
2007-02-17, 03:37 PM
Check the PHB again, Tables 65-66. All Characters could climb in (A)D&D, regardless of proficiency or Thief Skills.

Actually, as I recall it, they could climb only under very specific circumstances without theif skills or mountaineering. Anything steeper than 60 degree incline was right out, as I recall, unless it had premade handholds in it or you had the equipment to create handholds (which is part of what the mountaneering skill and appropriate equipment was for.)

Helgraf
2007-02-17, 03:41 PM
Trolls got a +8 Damage Bonus when using weapons.

I know what your saying, though. I spent plenty of time trying to iron out the inconsistancies before I became acquainted with 3.x and was very happy to discover that many of the things that had been gotten rid of were things I had already gotten rid of myself.

I think the anti 3.x sentiment, though, doesn't really come from the bad aspects of 2.x that it fixed, but from the good aspects it didn't retain or the bad aspects that it introduced. Which are which is a matter of perspective and preference, though.

Personally, I prefer the (O)D&D spread where 9-12 is average and anything above or below results in fixed modifiers.

Except that they weren't fixed.

For each stat the point at which you got modifiers varied. Charisma started as low as 12 with it's reaction/loyalty base modifiers. Strength didn't even start until 16. Dex and Con both started at 15. Intelligence language/extra NWP curve started below 10 and went up.

And the 'poor end' of thing varied as well. Some stats you could have a 6 in, and still not have any real penalties for, unless you saw regular use of the System Shock and Ressurection Chance rolls.

The simple fact that the modifiers are uniform across the board in 3.0/3.5 is one of the biggest things I liked about the shift; I agree with the former poster in that I've always considered "Exceptionl Strength" and "only fighter-types get benefits from Con over 16" to be grotesquely stupid and unneccesary. Hell, when I went to Skills and Powers, I remapped Strength on a 1 to 30 score ((The old 18/01-50 became 19, 18/51-75 became 20, and so on)). If your strength was increased, it was simple - and it also removed the problem of going from 18 STR (+1/+2) to 19 STR (+3/+7) in a single point gain, should you happen into something (that wasn't a wish) that gave you a point of Strength.

Matthew
2007-02-17, 03:57 PM
Nope. Nothing I can see there about that with regards to climbing.

I said I preferred the (O)D&D Attribute System (which worked as I described), not the (A)D&D Attribute system.

i.e.

{table=head]Attribute|Modifier
3|-3
3-5|-2
6-8|-1
9-12|+0
13-15|+1
16-17|+2
18|+3
[/table]

Mike_G
2007-02-17, 04:20 PM
Nope. Nothing I can see there about that with regards to climbing.

I said I preferred the (O)D&D Attribute System (which worked as I described), not the (A)D&D Attribute system.

i.e.

{table=head]Attribute|Modifier
3|-3
3-5|-2
6-8|-1
9-12|+0
13-15|+1
16-17|+2
18|+3
[/table]

Which is much closer to the 3e system.

Man, you are going waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back for that one. It is nice and simple, though. I wonder why TSR felt the need to make it so byzantine and inconsistent in AD&D.

I remember we had one DM in AD&D back in the mid eightes who gave us pregenerated stats. The highest anybody had was a 15. He pointed out that our 13's and 14s were "far above average" and made us "exceptional individuals." But none of us had any bonuses. Mechanically, we were exactly the same as the average Joe with a 10 in everything.

To get a melee attack bonus, you needed a frickin' 17 Strength, 16 for a damage bonus. 15 can be as exceptional as it wants, it didn't let you hit any harder than a 10.

I really like the bonuses starting at 12 (13 is fine in the table you showed, same idea) If the average person has 10 or 11, then better stats should get modifiers. Not only godlike stats.

Matthew
2007-02-17, 04:29 PM
I'm not that clear on the history of (O)D&D, but I think this Attribute System was a later development than (A)D&D. I could easily be wrong about that, though.

Yeah, I never really understood why the (A)D&D tables were the way they were. I remember wanting to change them from just about the first time I started thinking about them. They built a whole separate table for Attribute Modifiers to proficiences in Skills & Powers. The resut of a mish mash of percentage chances, D20 rolls and Attribute scores, I suppose.

Helgraf
2007-02-18, 04:58 AM
Nope. Nothing I can see there about that with regards to climbing.

I said I preferred the (O)D&D Attribute System (which worked as I described), not the (A)D&D Attribute system.

i.e.

{table=head]Attribute|Modifier
3|-3
3-5|-2
6-8|-1
9-12|+0
13-15|+1
16-17|+2
18|+3
[/table]

Ah. Comprehension dawns.

Black Hand
2007-02-19, 09:40 AM
If you'd said PHB, DMG, MM and houserules, I'd have agreed with you. But just the books alone? No. Here's a fairly basic example of a rules hole which could easily come up during an adventure:

A Human PC enters a warehouse through a door which was accidently left open. He looks through the contents of a few boxes, working his way from front to back. Suddenly, he hears the noise of some guards entering the building and hides behind a few boxes. After a short while, he decides to take a quick peek over the top of one of the boxes to see if the guards have gone away. While there's some illumination in the room, it's fairly dark where he is (call it the equivalent of night with a full moon, in 2nd Ed terms), but the character doesn't have the Hide in Shadows ability. Suddenly, he sees a guard standing about 10 yards (30 feet) away!

Is the guard looking in the PC's direction, and if so, would he see him? Aside from failing a Hide in Shadows roll, 2nd Ed isn't very clear about the process by which a hidden character may be seen. The closest rules you'll find are the Visibility Ranges in Ch 13 (PHB). There, we see that the character can be seen, since he moved and is well within the "movement" range even for Night, no moon. The chapter does mention that terrain might affect vision ranges, and provides an example of a character hiding from a bear until he's 30 yards away, but provides no mechanics as to how that's done (nor does the DMG, as far as I can see). In 3e, this is done using a Spot vs Hide check, with appropriate modifiers.

:smallconfused: Actually I remember a small table in the DMG or Players ((I can't remember)) in second edition which were considered base % in certain things such as hide & move silent, and other "thief" like things which was avaiable to all classes, plus what % bonuses you'd get for them if you weren't wearing armor...which translated in third edition, would give you and extra +1 to +3 on certain things if you chose not to wear armor. Because I do remember wondering why the fighter couldn't hide if he really wanted to try...then I founds what I was looking for.

:smalltongue: I'd go find what pages they're on, but my 2E books are on the other side of the country with the Ex wifey and there's NO way I'm going back there man.

:smallmad: I miss my books.

Matthew
2007-02-19, 12:33 PM
Nah, that was just for Thieves. However, the same percentages were used elsewhere in the book for Climbing and Listening; it wouldn't have been much of a stretch to use them for the other skills (I know I sometimes did).

MrNexx
2007-02-19, 01:14 PM
I think playstyle is up to the players, and since I have some of my old veterans back together, it's no different, but I love the nice, easy consisten mechanics. They don't make us munhckins, they don't make the game into World of Warcraft, they just give nice rules to help the DM rule on things like the Wizard trying to sneak, versus the Ogre's chance to spot him, and give the players more flexibility over their development.

The anti 3e sentiment confuses me, honestly.

I think there is more to it than you are experiencing, due to the sample of your players.

The simplified mechanics are relatively smoother, though statistically they render some things impossible for non-specialists and trivial for specialists. For example, sneaking becomes an exercise in futility for non-specialists, or an exercise in not tripping on their own earlobes for specialists because of the d20 opposed-roll mechanics. The core mechanics are simplified, but the combat mechanics are not; they've taken on "new" elements by adopting many things from C&T which make them more tactically complex and rules-intensive... if you're going to go muddling in the combat rules, especially core ideas like flanking, you can change broad swaths of feats and class abilities with just a few wording changes.

On the other hand, there's the very real change in the nature of character advancement, which can radically shift the nature of a character with a level, requiring the DM to shift the campaign to match. There's the increase in power of spellcasters with the decrease of preparation time, the decreased likelihood of saving vs. save or die or save or suck spells, and the reduced effectiveness of damage spells. These may matter less with experienced, pre-d20, players who play the way they are used to playing, but in a newer group, they matter more, as they play the game they have been given, and reflect the changed nature of game to a greater extent.

Mike_G
2007-02-19, 02:43 PM
I think there is more to it than you are experiencing, due to the sample of your players.

Entirly possible, but I submit that it is experience, not the system that determines playstyle. If your first experience is Red Box D&D you won't have the same playstyle as if your first experience was World of Warcraft.



The simplified mechanics are relatively smoother, though statistically they render some things impossible for non-specialists and trivial for specialists. For example, sneaking becomes an exercise in futility for non-specialists, or an exercise in not tripping on their own earlobes for specialists because of the d20 opposed-roll mechanics.


Well, I kinda disagree. At high levels, yes. But the whole system breaks down at high levels and always did. At low levels, a Fighter with a decent Dex who takes off his armor can sneak almost as well as a Rogue, and at mid levels he can do it, but much worse, like I can put a deck on my house, sorta, but much worse than a professional contractor can. Nothing in the earlier editions made this smoother. I remember a previous thread about adjudicating a fighter sneaking past a guard, and the varied and totally incompatible suggestion from the 2e guys made my head spin. I don't think any of them made nearly as much sense as StatBonus+Ranks vs the same for the guard, and most were a lot more work

As far as straight opposed rolls, no amateur should have much chance of beating an expert at something they've been maxxing out since first level. The fact that you may be able to bluff your way out of a writeup for tardiness at work does not mean you can bluff the wrold poker champion. The fact that he can roll a 1, and you can roolll a 20 makes the new system much more amatuer friendly than real life.

Plus, as I said, the disparity only gets insurmoutable at high levels, and at that point, it's the least of your troubles.



The core mechanics are simplified, but the combat mechanics are not; they've taken on "new" elements by adopting many things from C&T which make them more tactically complex and rules-intensive... if you're going to go muddling in the combat rules, especially core ideas like flanking, you can change broad swaths of feats and class abilities with just a few wording changes.


It's really not that bad. We've made many houserules with no horrible ripple effect. I listed a handful earlier. You won't convince me that a unified mechanic is a bad thing, since that's what I wanted for christmas ever since I saw the loosly tied bundle of vague ideas that is the 1e AD&D rules.

2e fixed a bunch of stuff, but didn't address the basic issues that caused the problems, and continued the grand tradition of fixing a problem by adding a new system that applied only to specific situations.



On the other hand, there's the very real change in the nature of character advancement, which can radically shift the nature of a character with a level, requiring the DM to shift the campaign to match.


This I like a lot. Why do you need to be cast in stone at character creation? Why can't you start life as a Rogue, then when the other characters are out doing you, pick up a few levels of Sorcerer to learn a handful of helpful spells, like Silent Image, Invisibility, maybe True Strike, just to improve your chances? Likewise, if the campaign world or focus changes, why can't you adapt? Both Conan and Fafhrd, staple influences of the genre, start out as Barbarians, but then pick up levels in Rogue and Fighter, maybe some in Bard in Fafhfd's case. People grow and adapt, why can't a PC?



There's the increase in power of spellcasters with the decrease of preparation time, the decreased likelihood of saving vs. save or die or save or suck spells, and the reduced effectiveness of damage spells. These may matter less with experienced, pre-d20, players who play the way they are used to playing, but in a newer group, they matter more, as they play the game they have been given, and reflect the changed nature of game to a greater extent.

Well, the mechanics have changed some things, certainly, but those are easy fixes. In the grand tradition of the 2e mantra "the Rules Are Just Suggestions," you can, for example: re-instsitute casting times (several people have suggested simple ways to do this), change saves to a base bonuse equal to your level (Iron Heroes does this), and give a +1 bonus to a class' "Good" save, change damage dice from D6's to D8 or D10 for specialists, etc.

The game is still just a basic idea. It just happens to be a nice, consisten tidea this time. Now, it's driving in the Midwest, where it used to be driving in Boston. You can still put in new roads, but the existing ones never have you travelling North on 128 and South on I95 at the same time.

I made hosuerules in both AD&D and 3e, and had no more troubel doing it in the later versions. In fact, since the mechanic is more consistent, it's easier to model changes. Changing the Paladin's Detect Evil to a Sense Motive bonus of +1/level works since it uses the Skill system, and mirrors the max ranks to a large extent.

Matthew
2007-02-19, 03:11 PM
Just out of interest, what were these ideas that people proposed for sneaking by a guard? The easiest thing I can think of in 2.x was just to use the base Thief Skill Scores (i.e. 5% Hide, 10% Sneak) and adjust them by Race, Attribute Score, Body Armour and circumstance. That's what we used to do.

Mike_G
2007-02-19, 03:23 PM
Just out of interest, what were these ideas that people proposed for sneaking by a guard? The easiest thing I can think of in 2.x was just to use the base Thief Skill Scores (i.e. 5% Hide, 10% Sneak) and adjust them by Race, Attribute Score, Body Armour and circumstance. That's what we used to do.

There was crazy stuff involving Surpirse rules, Initiative rolls, some table somewhere that gave racial bonuses.

Using the Thief skills makes the most sense, but that's pretty mich exactly what 3.5 does, except it's 1d20 vs listen, instead of % versus an arbitray DC, with no referrence to the guard's listen skill (which he didn't have, either)

Nothing was smoother or better than Dex Bonus +Skill ranks -Armor check penalty, (all of which should already be on your sheet,) versus guards Listen, (which should already be on his sheet.)

Not "look up table for base %, look up % modifiers from stats (instead of his same Dex bonus, which he already knows and which works for everything, but which will be different for Hide and Move Silently) look up armor penalty to Move Silently (which is different from the penalty to Hide) and roll that. Oh, crap, you failed. Now go run and get me a coffee while I do the math again for the Orc guard's Listen skill."


I never saw an untrained attempt at a skill in AD&D that didn't involve an argument invoking Sir Isaac Newton, the Conan books, the Conan movie, an olympic athlete's best times, an anecdote about somebody's brother's cousin, and scenes out of a Jackie Chan film.

In 3.5, you look at your sheet, where it's already written. Or, you add your ranks (0) to your stat bonus (which you know) and subtract you armor check penalty (which you know) and we get to move on that night.

Matthew
2007-02-19, 03:36 PM
Oh yeah, we had them written down ahead of time. Looks like an Orc Guard's Listen Skill would have been 20% (but I had to look that up in The Complete Humanoid's Handbook).

I do prefer the 3.x approach with unified tables and opposed mechanics. I don't use opposed rolls for this sort of thing; I just 'take 10' for the Listener and Sneaker until one or the other would win [i.e. when the distance modifier makes sufficient difference), at which point the Player Character makes a roll.

I have seen many a roleplay session devlove into a discussion of 'what is possible', but that was mainly back when we first started out.

MrNexx
2007-02-20, 10:06 AM
Need to go. Will answer later.

MrNexx
2007-02-20, 10:45 PM
Entirly possible, but I submit that it is experience, not the system that determines playstyle. If your first experience is Red Box D&D you won't have the same playstyle as if your first experience was World of Warcraft.

To an extent, but the system also defines what is convenient to do in a game... you can use D&D to run low-powered, gritty superheroes, but it's not ideal.


I remember a previous thread about adjudicating a fighter sneaking past a guard, and the varied and totally incompatible suggestion from the 2e guys made my head spin. I don't think any of them made nearly as much sense as StatBonus+Ranks vs the same for the guard, and most were a lot more work

And I disagree, here. 3.x is more intuitive; I don't argue that. The suggestions were not as simple as Stat Bonus + Ranks vs. the same for the guard. However, 2nd edition is quite easy once you're used to the system. And, as the varied suggestions showed, it adapted to individual playstyles.



Plus, as I said, the disparity only gets insurmoutable at high levels, and at that point, it's the least of your troubles.

Define "high". At 4th level (7 ranks), someone who is moderately talented (16 stat for a +3 stat mod) has a +7 over the person who is simply doing a cross-class skill (3.5 ranks) with no particular talent... such as a fighter looking for a rogue of equal level.



It's really not that bad. We've made many houserules with no horrible ripple effect.

It depends on the nature of the house rule, though. Changing a Paladin's sense evil to a bonus to Sense Motive is a targeted change at a single ability of a single class; it has limited game effect. If you make a change to a more integral part of the rules, it has more sweeping effects.

For example, what happens if you muddle with the maximum ranks per level? Well, that fiddles about with prestige classes quite a bit, either raising or lowering the level you can get into them, which will affect play balance on some of them.

What if you introduce changes to combat movement? AoO are too much of a pain in the butt... we're going to toss those. You've now created a swath of changes, from the usefulness of certain skills (Tumble and Concentration), feats, and class abilities, to the simple flow of combat.

In time, these problems iron themselves out... until you add someone new. If they're brand new, you can teach them your way. If they come with experience, there's a time to mastery of your way.



This I like a lot. Why do you need to be cast in stone at character creation? ... People grow and adapt, why can't a PC?

I dislike the method, in large part. The method means that characters, instead of "picking up a few spells" can radically change with each new level, gaining new abilities that change game play.

Instead of "growing and adapting", characters mutate.

It is not the unified mechanic that causes the problem. It is the change in tone that the rules engendered.

greenknight
2007-02-21, 02:45 AM
If they're brand new, you can teach them your way. If they come with experience, there's a time to mastery of your way.

That's in 3e's favour though. In 2nd Ed, you have to tell each new player your way of playing the game. For one example, 2nd Ed suggests 3 different methods for determining them: Using what the player knows, Secondary Skills and NWPs. Or you could leave them out entirely or come up with a completely different system. In 3e, there's one default system, and provided the DM decides to use it without significant modification, there's no need to spend time discussing it with experienced players.


Instead of "growing and adapting", characters mutate.

But this has been available since 1st Ed AD&D, through Dual Classing. The difference is, it's much more balanced and much easier to do in 3e. This also reflects real life, where many people begin one type of career and then later change to another, totally different type of career. And this process might happen many times during a person's lifespan.

Of course, you could simply consider PCs career to be "Adventurers", in which case their character class merely represents their current training rather than a career. But even then, if a character has access to different kinds of training, why does that character have to stay on his or her initial training path for his or her entire career?

MrNexx
2007-02-21, 07:57 AM
That's in 3e's favour though. In 2nd Ed, you have to tell each new player your way of playing the game. For one example, 2nd Ed suggests 3 different methods for determining them: Using what the player knows, Secondary Skills and NWPs. Or you could leave them out entirely or come up with a completely different system. In 3e, there's one default system, and provided the DM decides to use it without significant modification, there's no need to spend time discussing it with experienced players.

Nor was there any need to spend time discussing the actual default system of 2e (NWP) with 2e veterans; while the PH provides those other options, only proficiencies really went forward from there.



But this has been available since 1st Ed AD&D, through Dual Classing. The difference is, it's much more balanced and much easier to do in 3e.

First of all, dual-classing's difficulty was such that it couldn't be spur of the moment; because of the stat requirements, there are very few people who would be able to spontaneously decide to change direction in life. Secondly, because of the significant mechanical penalty associated with doing so, the campaign realigned with them, even assuming the DM left it as purely mechanical as "You've been studying spells over Mialee's shoulder for the past few weeks, and so now can start being a wizard."


Of course, you could simply consider PCs career to be "Adventurers", in which case their character class merely represents their current training rather than a career. But even then, if a character has access to different kinds of training, why does that character have to stay on his or her initial training path for his or her entire career?

Conversely, how many people cross over from one highly specialized and difficult field to another? How many people are Doctor/Lawyers, or Computer Engineer/Commandos who remain at the top of their game in both fields?

greenknight
2007-02-21, 08:56 AM
Nor was there any need to spend time discussing the actual default system of 2e (NWP) with 2e veterans;

So what happens with WP and NWP when a character Dual Classes in 2nd Ed? Let's say a 13th level Fighter (with Weapon Specialization) becomes a Cleric? I've seen lots of different solutions to that one.


dual-classing's difficulty was such that it couldn't be spur of the moment; because of the stat requirements

Sure, there's an element of planning in it, although basically it comes down to choosing a Human at the start and placing your ability scores in the right places. But if you want to multiclass effectively in 3e, it's generally best to plan that out too, since you'll wind up with a pathetically weak character just by multiclassing into every class your character qualifies for.


there are very few people who would be able to spontaneously decide to change direction in life.

I certainly agree with you on that one, and (BIG SURPRISE) so does 3e! In the 3.0e PHB, right where it starts discussing multiclassing (p55), the example is given of Lidda (the Rogue) wanting to learn Wizardry. So she goes and finds a mentor, and spends a bit of time with Mialee (the party Wizard). Then when she's ready, she takes a level in the class. Not exactly spontaneous, is it? Look on p59 ("Adding a Second Class") for a similar statement in the 3.5e PHB, with the story of Lidda finding a mentor etc on p60. Yes, some DMs might not require that, but is that the fault of the rules (which give that as an example) or the DM?


Secondly, because of the significant mechanical penalty associated with doing so, the campaign realigned with them, even assuming the DM left it as purely mechanical as "You've been studying spells over Mialee's shoulder for the past few weeks, and so now can start being a wizard."

I don't get it. What's wrong with having the most basic abilities of a class (which is all taking 1 level gives you) after a period of appropriate study? And why would the whole campaign have to be realigned? It's not like dual classing in 2nd Ed, the 3e character can continue using his or her previous training, although it might be difficult to make full use of it in some cases (casting Arcane spells while wearing heavy armor could be a problem, for example).


Conversely, how many people cross over from one highly specialized and difficult field to another? How many people are Doctor/Lawyers, or Computer Engineer/Commandos who remain at the top of their game in both fields?

Well, from an AD&D perspective, that would be about half of all demihuman PCs, at a rough estimate. You see, 2nd Ed multiclassing means they can progress in two or three different classes (Computer Engineer/Commando/Doctor, if you like) while generally only staying 1 or 2 levels below what level they'd be if they only had one of those classes. It does become more difficult at higher levels (about level 9+), I'll grant you. Now, in 3e, multiclassing is different. If you spend a lot of time as a Fighter (for example) and then multiclass to Wizard for a level, then you'd still be pretty good as a Fighter (although not quite as good at it as you would have been if you'd stuck to the Fighter class), with just the most basic abilities as a Wizard (you can cast 1st level spells!). A bit like a Commando who has been trained to use a laptop to do some basic word processing/spreadsheet work. It's not like this Commando has learned enough to create the equivalent of Microsoft Vista all by himself. And of course, to even get that training the Commando had to sacrifice a bit of time the other Commandos spent on becoming even better, so he's not as good at straight Commando work as they are anymore. In other words, he's no longer at the top of his game in either field, let alone both of them.

Mike_G
2007-02-21, 06:10 PM
First of all, dual-classing's difficulty was such that it couldn't be spur of the moment; because of the stat requirements, there are very few people who would be able to spontaneously decide to change direction in life. Secondly, because of the significant mechanical penalty associated with doing so, the campaign realigned with them, even assuming the DM left it as purely mechanical as "You've been studying spells over Mialee's shoulder for the past few weeks, and so now can start being a wizard."


Dual classing was, like most things, very restricted. Multi classing, which only demihumans could do, let you progress evenly in two classes. A 5/5 Ftr /MU probably had the same xp as a 6th Ftr (possiby 7th, but certainly no higher) and had much more versitility and power.





Conversely, how many people cross over from one highly specialized and difficult field to another? How many people are Doctor/Lawyers, or Computer Engineer/Commandos who remain at the top of their game in both fields?

Well, four years in the Marines, 7 doing plumbing and water service inspection and seven as a EMT and Paramedic, with the last three of those also working part time at an orthopedic office doing casting, splinting and PT should count as quite a diverse skill set. Maybe not Commando/Doctor, but certainly Infantry Marine (Ftr or Warrior)/ plumber (Expert)/Healer. I can certainly hold my own in any of these fields. Plus a Liberal Arts degree and two published books in there. Maybe I just can't hold a job.

As life changes, so do we. An adventurer moreso than a professional craftsman. Sure you started out as a Fighter, and you basically learned to hit people with sharp, heavy objects. As a soldier or city guardsman, maybe you wouldn't branch out much. But after crawling through dungeons, forests, swamps, and mountains facing Undead, demons, monsters, and other humans, and probably travelling by ship, horseback, and maybe flying carpet or griffin, I think you pick up a few non traditional skills.

A Fighter taking a level of Sorcerer or Rogue makes sense after years as an Adventurer. Maybe not if he's a member of the Duke's guard, but as a world travelling troubleshooter, I really do think so. Look at Conan, as I said earlier.

Matthew
2007-02-21, 06:34 PM
See, I have little problem with a Fighter taking a level of Rogue, Ranger or Barbarian, but switching into Wizard or Sorcerer is where I start to encounter fluff type problems. It can be done, and done well, but is that the exception or the rule? I'm happier building a character as desired from the outset and just having his powers scale up.

BobCat
2007-02-21, 06:51 PM
i do prefer 3rd, but i'm leveling every other session. it took us 3 years of once a week play to reach level 8 in 2nd edition, and now... it's just too fast.

and another thing... how can a guy who's been nothing but fighter for 9 levels, and knows nothing but steel, sudenly take a level of wizard, and then become a druid, and then, hm... maybe a level of bard would be nice. it's just too... confusing (i'm afraid to use the word "unrealistic" when it concerns RPGs).

greenknight
2007-02-21, 07:08 PM
i do prefer 3rd, but i'm leveling every other session. it took us 3 years of once a week play to reach level 8 in 2nd edition, and now... it's just too fast.

I agree with that. My solution is to reduce the combat XP to about a third, but I also give roleplaying and quest completion XP so it's still a little faster than I'd like.


how can a guy who's been nothing but fighter for 9 levels, and knows nothing but steel, sudenly take a level of wizard, and then become a druid, and then, hm... maybe a level of bard would be nice. it's just too... confusing (i'm afraid to use the word "unrealistic" when it concerns RPGs).

You're right. That is unrealistic and it shouldn't happen. However, if that guy who's been nothing but a fighter for 9 levels has been studying how to become a Wizard/Druid/Bard all that time, then it does become much more realistic for the character to take levels in those classes. And that's exactly what the multiclassing section in the PHB (3.0 and 3.5) suggests should happen. If your DM allows characters to suddenly gain levels in other classes, is that the fault of the rules (which discuss the character doing appropriate study before gaining levels in a different class) or the DM?

Matthew
2007-02-21, 07:20 PM
Yeah, reducing Experience and Wealth progression is the easiest (and most logical) way to handle the rapid levelling problem.

Mike_G
2007-02-22, 12:18 AM
See, I have little problem with a Fighter taking a level of Rogue, Ranger or Barbarian, but switching into Wizard or Sorcerer is where I start to encounter fluff type problems. It can be done, and done well, but is that the exception or the rule? I'm happier building a character as desired from the outset and just having his powers scale up.

The Sorcerer fluff is that they have innate magical ability. Maybe you only recently learned how to harness it.

Yes, the Wizard dip at level ten is hard to explain, but that's why we have DMs. I'd allow a Sorcerer dip due to reading of the fluff, but probably make a player explain a Wizard dip pretty well before allowing it. The same for a Wizard dipping to Fighter. Going from knowing jack diddly squat about combaty to proficicnet with all martial weapons and all armor in one go, plus a bonus feat, sounds like a bit too much for some bespectacled tome thumper.

Helgraf
2007-02-22, 04:58 AM
Conversely, how many people cross over from one highly specialized and difficult field to another? How many people are Doctor/Lawyers, or Computer Engineer/Commandos who remain at the top of their game in both fields?

Counter-conversely, being 5th Doctor/5th Lawyer isn't the top of your game when you could have either been 10th Doctor or 10th Lawyer, to use your analogy. You do some of each, but you don't do either as well as a focused single-classer.

BobCat
2007-02-22, 09:11 AM
My solution is to reduce the combat XP to about a third, but I also give roleplaying and quest completion XP so it's still a little faster than I'd like.

of course. i've been talking with our dm to do just that. in 2nd edt roleplaying and quest completion XP was much more important, and that's what i want. i want the game to be about how much fun we have while playing, and not about how many monsters we can kill for XP.