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Person_Man
2008-10-09, 03:52 PM
Looking through any and every edition that you are familiar with, what class abilities, feats, powers, spells, equipment, magic items, Skills, non-weapon proficiencies, WHATEVER, made the game most enjoyable for you to play?

For me:

Shapeshift/Wildshape: The mechanics are utterly messed up, but the ability to turn into whatever animal you could think is just plain awesome.

Illusions: This is another wide open opportunity for players to be creative.

Steal Spell: The Spellthief has always been hugely interesting to me. It's too bad they didn't extend its abilities fully, basically allowing you to steal any ability. Sylar would make a great PC or BBEG.

Fireball: There is always at least one player in every group who just wants to blow stuff up. And eventually it will lead to hilarious results.

Thieves Cant, Druidic, etc: These are just examples, but I've always liked fluffy abilities that can be used as plot hooks or chances for character development.

Ring of 3 Wishes: Guaranteed to make the campaign go in a new direction.

So, what about you? What parts of D&D have given you the best gaming experience?

Fax Celestis
2008-10-09, 04:04 PM
As a DM: Building, running, and template-stacking basic monsters into horrifying aberrations unto The PLAYERS. What can I say? I like watching my players go, "WTF is that? And better still, how on EARTH do we kill it?"

As a player: making characters that bend the way the game works to make them fit with my concept (IE: my Force of Nature druid), or making a character whose awesome is not dependent on a traditional power source (IE: Nephele Nyx Ilithiya (http://pifro.com/pro/view.php?id=5)).

Saph
2008-10-09, 04:05 PM
I'll second Shapeshift. From Alter Self to Wild Shape, absolutely nothing has given me as much fun as being able to turn into anydurnthing I can think of. I've spent many a happy hour paging through books and going "Ooh, it would be fun to be one of those!"

Next up would be teleportation. Everything from the 10-foot swift-action jump to get out of a grapple, to the continent-hopping teleport spells. There are SO many things you can do with it.

Flight would be a third, just because I love flying and try and find a way to get it in every game I play.

Honourable mention, Perform skills - I just love having them, so much so that I ended up taking my sun elf wizard into the Loremaster prestige class just so that she could get Perform as a class skill.

Immunities - Poison, fire, or suchlike. I don't know why, but I find it hilarious to be able to take a bath in lava or snack on deadly nightshade.

Pets that can hold their own in combat. Who's a good little doggy? Can you kill a giant in single combat? Yes you can! Good boy!

Having a huge spell list. I like poring over the lists and trying to figure out obscure ways to solve whatever ridiculous problem the party's managed to get themselves into this time.

- Saph

Oracle_Hunter
2008-10-09, 04:05 PM
I liked 2e Druids. The "one bird, reptile, and mammal" shapechange restriction made me want to break out the ol' encyclopedia :smallamused:

Also: the face-stabbing. It's just fun to chop orcs up fine. What can I say, I'm a man of simple pleasures :smallbiggrin:

EDIT:
4e's racial special abilities. They're nifty little powers that can be as important, if not more so, than the Stat Boosters for many characters. Plus, Eladrin teleportation is the most fun ability ever. Can't you just imagine the Eladrin Swashbuckler teleporting across the room to appear in front of a sexy young thing to hand her a glass of wine and cut-out a rival moving across the room?

When I get around to running said swain, I will see if I can't get the DM to houserule that such TP creates a non-obscuring cloud of smoke that is accompanied by a scent. I'd choose wild roses :smallbiggrin:

Oh, and 4e Cantrips. This is what wizardry should be about, IMHO. The ability to Mage Hand at will is possibly my favorite Cantrip, barely beating out Prestidigitation. I mean, being able to force-grab a sword from a weapon's rack, or to fetch your ale from the bar without leaving your table? Priceless!

Crow
2008-10-09, 04:07 PM
Deck of Many Things, baby!

AstralFire
2008-10-09, 04:11 PM
All of the monk's pointless little flavor abilities. Stuff like Tongue of the Sun and Moon.

"I DON'T NEED NO SPEAK LANGUAGE RANKS, I CAN TALK TO ANYONE!" *z-snap* "So you betta check yo'self!"

"Oh, and enlightenment and inner perfection and all that. WHILE I TELEPORT NEXT TO YOUR FACE! I can kiss you even though you have D&D-AIDS, and you know why? BECAUSE I'M A FRIGGIN' MONK." *backflips away*

Hal
2008-10-09, 04:26 PM
As a DM: Eliciting something unexpected from my players. I try to set up situations with a few possible solutions. You know, they could kick in the front door or sneak around back, that sort of stuff. What I love is when they surprise me. That's when neat stuff happens. Or everyone dies. You know, whatever.

As a player: I just love doing something amazing. I started playing this game to be the level 20 paladin wielding a holy avenger who would slay armies of undead and horrible demons. Even if you get away from the cosmic, world-altering stuff (as cool as it is), I just love pulling off great things. Whether that means coming up with some crazy plan that ends up working or pulling off a critical hit right before the BBEG is about to kill everyone, I just love being a hero and looking awesome doing it.

arguskos
2008-10-09, 04:54 PM
Deck of Many Things, baby!
Man, so this! I have 5 variant DoMT's in my DM Binder, since I love that item so damn much!

After random chance items such as the DoMT, the Rod of Wonder, and the like, I'd go with Teleportation and Shapeshifting along with the others.

More though, I really like the ability to customize anything and everything. As a DM, I pride myself on having tons of custom content in my games, just because it is interesting and fun. As a player, I tend to talk to my DM about custom spells, items, classes, races, abilities, and whatever else I can get away with, since I love being unique and different.

-argus

AstralFire
2008-10-09, 04:55 PM
I think Pers was referring to actual parts of the ruleset or D&D-specific fluff and how you liked/reacted to those; less so the general RP experience.

Neon Knight
2008-10-09, 04:58 PM
Ten foot poles.

potatocubed
2008-10-09, 05:01 PM
In 3.5, I really enjoyed taking something ludicrous - a kobold with the reaping mauler prestige class, for example - and using as much cheese as possible to make into a serious threat. Nobody ever forgets being smacked around by a 3 foot, 30 lb luchador wrestler.

In 4e, it's the tactical combat. It appeals to my gamist sensibilities.

Eldariel
2008-10-09, 05:05 PM
When people die, hilarity is bound to be found. Interparty conflict, when appropriate and roleplayed well, is possibly my most favourite thing in the game ever (y'know, the time when I was "disruptive" to some "negotiations" to once again sell out on our country with a Death Giant in a Lawful Good party that had already made a pact with two Liches and the Wizard Force Caged me - yea, he didn't wake up the next morning - the poor sod needed to sleep, stupid dwarves).

Of course, the DM needs to account for the fact that interparty conflict severely weakens the party as a whole, but it does add a lot of interesting factors to the conflict. Also encourages standalone-capable characters, equal powerlevel across the board (easy enough to enforce - just about any concept can be expressed in one way or another in all but the highest power levels).


I also share peoples' like for interesting decisions - such as, shapeshifting abilities and magic. That's why whenever I look at Wildshape, I try to think of ways to make it not-overpower the party Fighter rather than use Shapechange or some other crapass substitute.

And that's why playing a Warlock with Baleful Utterance is so much fun, basically the world is as your grasp and you can decide what goes boom and what doesn't.


Also, AD&D combat, and coming up with creative courses of action and stumping the DM as to how to model them in D&D :)

Raz_Fox
2008-10-09, 05:14 PM
As a DM, I love world building. REALLY love world building.

As a player, I love creating memorable characters that make the rest of the game awesome.

Starbuck_II
2008-10-09, 05:23 PM
I'll second Shapeshift. From Alter Self to Wild Shape, absolutely nothing has given me as much fun as being able to turn into anydurnthing I can think of. I've spent many a happy hour paging through books and going "Ooh, it would be fun to be one of those!"

I third Shapeshift.



Next up would be teleportation. Everything from the 10-foot swift-action jump to get out of a grapple, to the continent-hopping teleport spells. There are SO many things you can do with it.

I was big only on small teleports not on big ones meself. Just the idea that I am instantly over there and instead of near the big uglies.


I've always like the scimitar: it had good Crit and wasn't a long sword. Granted, this is more true in 3rd. The Koplesh in 2nd wasn't a longsword, but the damage was weird.

I've loved the Binders flavor and ability to be different every freaking day. And all without any balance issues.

Fax Celestis
2008-10-09, 05:27 PM
OYEA

Third Edition in particular, I LOVES ME SOME INCARNUM.

MisterSaturnine
2008-10-09, 05:31 PM
Binders for the awesome fluff paired with balanced mechanics, and a character fraught with delicious choices.

Also, Bards. 'Cause there's just nothing like singing at bad guys.

DM-side, world-building. Definitely.

kjones
2008-10-09, 05:35 PM
1st/2nd Edition: Elven Fighter-Mages wearing Elven Chain Mail. Every single character I played was some variant on the above. In my defense, I was 12.

3rd Edition: I really like the Tome of Battle. And rogues/factotums/spellthieves/ninjas/scouts/other skillmonkeys.

4th Edition: Haven't played that much, but I enjoy how easy it is to run cool encounters.

All editions: I love killing the PCs and laughing at their demise.

ocato
2008-10-09, 05:35 PM
That look on your DM's face when you say something like "Then I swing down and kick the dragon in the teeth."

TheCountAlucard
2008-10-09, 05:53 PM
Not my favorite part, but I thought of it as I was looking here...

(3.x) I love that one of my players came to me with a PC build for a giant stone robot. :smallbiggrin:

AslanCross
2008-10-09, 06:06 PM
1. The best thing one can get out of D&D ever: The ability to make the story and the character your own. Since I started with Japanese video game RPGs, seeing the virtually unlimited potential in tabletop RPGs really hooked me.

2. Tome of Battle, definitely. Giving melee characters (whom I enjoy more than ranged characters/casters) the ability to throw more than just their melee weapon's damage onto the table makes things so much better.

Ascension
2008-10-09, 06:10 PM
Mundane Items: They're cheap, once you have a Heward's Handy Haversack or a Bag of Holding you can carry nearly as many of them as you want, and you can do all sorts of fun things with them.

Hairbrained Schemes: These are what you use the aforementioned mundane items for.

Non-Combat Skills: Anyone who says D&D is built around combat hasn't played a proper skillmonkey. These also help with the hairbrained schemes.

Magic Items With Random Tables: The Rod of Wonder. The Deck of Many Things. D&D is at it's best when it's a game of chance.

Draz74
2008-10-09, 06:56 PM
I'll second "hairbrained schemes" -- especially the ones your DM thinks are insane when he hears them, but you have a trick up your sleeve or something so that they actually work.

Rangers -- nothing beats a grim, canny hunter type.

To paraphrase several other people's votes: abusing infinite-use abilities in frivolous ways, whether they be Warlocks, Dragonfire Adepts, 4e Wizards, whatever.

Dragons -- pounding the crap out of a party like they should, not doing anything wussy like spellcasting.

Overconfident Swaggering Characters

Vazzaroth
2008-10-09, 07:21 PM
In 4e recently (See sig) Our party died. For the first time in my 5 years of DnD. On our second session of a 4e game. Half of us rolled up new characters, the other half used Clones that we just ignored as being the same person.

The point is we came back, buried our old characters... and kicked the crap out of our murderers. It was good revenge.

Another favorite moment: Awesome criticals. The ranger used his daily to hit two targets, one critted, then missed the other, he re-rerolled with his encounter for being an elf and CRITTED. It was great.

FMArthur
2008-10-09, 07:25 PM
Encounters in pubs. It sounds insignificant, but in total seriousness, the pub is the axle around which D&D 3.5 rotates. It's where you meet flavorful NPCs; it's where you find quest hooks, rumors, and job offers; it's where you hire mercenaries; it's where you find anyone important in a small town; it's where you find other adventurers; it's where you spend the night; it's where assassins try to kill you; and it's where you get into fights with adventurers and real people, not just monsters. Pubs are the perfect union of fluff and crunch. Countless adventures/campaigns/relationships/fights begin in pubs in D&D. Pubs are like stores in which opportunity can be purchased.

Ravyn
2008-10-10, 01:19 AM
The things I didn't see coming. Particularly when they turn out better than what I expected to have happen.

Or finding a really new and unlikely spin on an old mechanic. One of my favorite characters was a crazy mishmash of classes and PRCs without which the concept just wouldn't've worked, not much use in a fight but decent at dishing out and picking up on falsehoods, whose concept was "Beguiler impersonating a famous general." With a Warmace of Subtlety. Yes, you read me correctly.

Or just taking cliches, gutting them, reenvisioning them and making the result better than the original ever was. That's always fun.

Asbestos
2008-10-10, 01:26 AM
OYEA

Third Edition in particular, I LOVES ME SOME INCARNUM.

:smallsmile::smallsmile::smallsmile: Yay! If only it had been more popular or came out sooner... :smallsigh:

Kaiyanwang
2008-10-10, 01:36 AM
Ten foot poles.

More than anything else. Love mundane Items too because show the real ingenuity of a player.

As DM, Dragon, Fey and Outsiders, because are ancient and you can build on a lot of background and history of the ancient times of the campaign. Further, are creatures full of magic so you can use them as "actors" in scenarios where you want to amaze the players with marvelous (or terrible) things.

As player... the next, closed door of the dungeon.

Gralamin
2008-10-10, 01:52 AM
OYEA

Third Edition in particular, I LOVES ME SOME INCARNUM.

Incarnum was amazing. To bad it could of been implemented better, and was so unpopular.

Favorite parts of D&D: Fights where either side could win, puzzles requiring interesting solutions, and the triumph due to that lucky 20.

BobVosh
2008-10-10, 02:11 AM
Barbarians. Love those silly d12ers.

Silly magic items that have so little use, but are epic when used. Like dust of dryness. I wish there were more cursed items, I love that bad that consumes stuff.

Defeating the DMs plot by a quick loophole. It has happened to me so much in exalted that doing it in D&D, which is much harder, is amazingly fun.

Oh and a tangent to the wildshape: I really REALLY liked bear warrior. Man they messed up so much when typing it out though :/

Oh, Astralfire, you forgot to mention your eternal love of dragons.

Mark Hall
2008-10-10, 02:39 AM
Fire, and all the myriad ways players use it.
*I've had players set fire, accidentally, to every town they've passed through (except their home town).
*I've had players rock Waterdeep with a fuel-air bomb, leaving the Castle Ward in flames (the dwarven smith, you see, did not need a lantern in his underground coal-storage. The humans, however, dropping a lit lantern down there to chase out the orcs...).
*The 2nd edition game where our wizard stuck a Wand of Fire into a basement window, blowing up the house, knocking him and his partner back, and responding to everyone's "WHY DID YOU DO THAT" with a "Well, we got them, didn't we?"
*Shouting at other players as you tried to calculate the area of a 2nd edition fireball on the fly, while your DM is counting down.
*Using basic physics and large fires to suffocate the orcish horde in its cave.
*Responding to every problem in our 4th edition game with "I set it on fire", despite playing a wizard with absolutely no fire attacks.
*Once burning the character sheet of someone we were trying to get rid of.

bosssmiley
2008-10-10, 03:44 AM
Fire, and all the myriad ways players use it.
*I've had players set fire, accidentally, to every town they've passed through (except their home town).
*I've had players rock Waterdeep with a fuel-air bomb, leaving the Castle Ward in flames (the dwarven smith, you see, did not need a lantern in his underground coal-storage. The humans, however, dropping a lit lantern down there to chase out the orcs...).
*The 2nd edition game where our wizard stuck a Wand of Fire into a basement window, blowing up the house, knocking him and his partner back, and responding to everyone's "WHY DID YOU DO THAT" with a "Well, we got them, didn't we?"
*Shouting at other players as you tried to calculate the area of a 2nd edition fireball on the fly, while your DM is counting down.
*Using basic physics and large fires to suffocate the orcish horde in its cave.
*Responding to every problem in our 4th edition game with "I set it on fire", despite playing a wizard with absolutely no fire attacks.
*Once burning the character sheet of someone we were trying to get rid of.

Now this is a guy who gets it. :smallcool:

The Rose Dragon
2008-10-10, 04:58 AM
Grease.

I once set an enemy on fire using Grease. Basically, I cast Grease underneath his feet, and I threw a lit torch there. My GM was nice enough to encourage such creative thinking.

I also disarmed enemies using Grease. All the time.

Basically, Grease and Feather Fall were the only spells I had, so I prepared Grease all the time.

That was back in 2nd Edition. They so nerfed it in 3rd. Stupid kids and their spell changes. :smallbiggrin:

But my favorite thing about D&D is that it spawned M&M.

BobVosh
2008-10-10, 05:12 AM
Grease.

I once set an enemy on fire using Grease. Basically, I cast Grease underneath his feet, and I threw a lit torch there. My GM was nice enough to encourage such creative thinking.

I also disarmed enemies using Grease. All the time.

Basically, Grease and Feather Fall were the only spells I had, so I prepared Grease all the time.

That was back in 2nd Edition. They so nerfed it in 3rd. Stupid kids and their spell changes. :smallbiggrin:

But my favorite thing about D&D is that it spawned M&M.

It specifically states you can disarm people with grease now. Well in 3.x at least. As for catching it on fire...most DMs allow that. Does nonmagic damage in most cases though.

At least you get to pick your spells instead of rolling for them.

The Rose Dragon
2008-10-10, 05:16 AM
I wouldn't know, I never actually played 3rd Edition. Only GM'd it.

Orzel
2008-10-10, 05:34 AM
Critical Sneak attacks while shapeshifted!

and

HEEDLESS FAVORED LEAPING TWO HANDED POWER CHARGE!!!!!!!

chevalier
2008-10-10, 08:33 AM
My favorite part of D&D is the interaction between players, role-playing, and creative problem-solving, and the mystery of what's behind that door or in that chest.

As far as the original question as written, I love the huge variety of magic items, including those with very specific effects, and especially those with multiple effects, like the Rod of Lordly Might, or random effect like the Deck of Many Things.

It's also fun to see a player use cleave or great cleave for the first time. Very satisfying.

NephandiMan
2008-10-10, 09:01 AM
Magic Missile. I've loved it ever since elves were a class.

To make a long entry short, druids. Very few things can compare to shapeshifting into a brown bear and charging into battle alongside your tyrannosaurus animal companion. Who is on fire.

Thane of Fife
2008-10-10, 09:19 AM
It's a bit odd, I suppose, but I'm a big fan of Baatezu and Tanar'ri. I'm not sure why - I like the names, I like the various types, the fluff.

Oh, and Owlbears. The idea of owlbears seems born to create plot hooks - who was this mad wizard who created owlbears, and why did he do it? Oh gods, why?!

And bulettes - I've killed enough characters with bulettes for me to love them like the cute little engines of destruction that they are.

So, really, I guess I like the monsters. Particularly the ones which people think are stupid.

Person_Man
2008-10-10, 09:33 AM
I think Pers was referring to actual parts of the ruleset or D&D-specific fluff and how you liked/reacted to those; less so the general RP experience.

That is in fact my intention. In particular, it looks like my primary gaming group is going to be going in a heavily house ruled 3.5/Pathfinder direction. So I'd like to make sure that the best parts of any edition of D&D are included for all to enjoy.

Also, now that I'm finally beginning to seriously read through and occasionally play 4E, it baffles me how much cool stuff they left out. Now I assume that they'll publish it eventually (1,000 monkeys typing, and whatnot). But it baffles me that they didn't do an audit of every D&D book and ask for suggestions online, cherry pick the best parts, and put it together in the core rules. Then they could focus on new material for their supplements, rather then churning out old stuff with a new cover modified for the 4E rules.

Of course, I'm not the Pope of threadtown. So if people want to post their favorite parts of playing D&D in general, who am I to argue.

NephandiMan
2008-10-10, 11:35 AM
Thought about it for a while, and I've got a few more.

Flight. Since time out of mind, humans have dreamed, both literally and figuratively, of flying. Now we can.

Dragons. There's a reason why they're in the name of the game. Several reasons, in fact.

Liches. Thank you, Start of Darkness, for helping me realize just how impressive they can really be.

Wizards. The apotheosis (literally, in rare cases) of the Badass Bookworm.

Loremasters. For when regular wizards just aren't bookish enough.

rawmutton
2008-10-10, 12:07 PM
I really loved 2E Planescape, despite some of the unweildly rules. I liked having demonic bartenders speaking in cockney slang, and having each character choose a philosophical club.

Mechanics-wise, I love sneak attack in 3E. The rules are so robust, particularly with flanking, feinting, catching folks flat-footed, pinning, etc.

And bards still rule. The A*Team needed Face.