log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D 3E/3.5 


log in or register to remove this ad

Teemu

Adventurer
I kind of like the simplicity of replacing feats with ability score increases. Definitely reduces complexity all around. The fixed spell DC sounds interesting too, although I'd be curious to see how it plays out in practice.

Two hurdles that come to mind: monsters and their feats, and magic items. The monster issue is more of a DM headache since in this version the PCs don't have to worry about feats but the DM has to! But if you replace monsters' feats with bonuses to ability scores, you're looking at a whole lot of work. Not too worried about balance since CR was never that accurate anyway.

The magic item issue may not be that prominent, but I guess to me the complex bonus system of 3e clashes with the overall goal. In 3e you do have a lot of magic items and "expected" bonuses in the form of enhancement bonuses to AC and saves, deflection bonus to AC, natural armor bonus to AC, enhancement bonus to weapons -- and even stuff like luck bonus or insight bonus. Then you have consumables, like scrolls and potions and wands, plus energy resistances and sometimes damage reduction items. Just a lot of stuff altogether. And at least the default 3e rules assume a rather massive amount of treasure and magic items (one of my personal issues with running the edition).
 

I wonder...
Nostalgia is the drive to play earlier editions.
With your modifications, you only have a tweaked 3rd edition (much like PF was) which is not driven by nostalgia one bit. Although I see and respect the work and thoughts you put into your modifications, this feel like a copied system and not 3rd edition. No nostalgia would kick in to help you push players into it.

I were you, I would go for an AD&D into which you make Battlemaster's manoeuver available to melee classes (including monks) and be done with it. We tried it a few years ago and it was fun. But adapting old adventures to a personal system is a lot of work that I don't have time to do anymore.

Good luck if you ever try it out.
 

Olrox17

Hero
Sounds interesting. I’ve never had the opportunity to play editions before 3rd (barring some computer games) so that nostalgia has no grip on me, but I’d be curious to know how this hacked 3d edition version plays in practice.
 

Sure, you could take feats out of 3rd edition, if you want to suck all the fun out of combat and character building. Honestly all of these ideas are terrible. 3rd edition does not need a fix, because it was never really broken. Anything missing was addressed in 3.5. What you are proposing here, is making 3e into an entirely different game, and removing everything that people liked about it. You have left nothing of the core game with your suggestions, and I honestly think it is far from an improvement.

Now, there are ways to improve on 3.5, but for that you can leave leveling, combat, saves and feats completely untouched:

Removing prestige classes: there have always been balance issues with these. You could leave them out entirely.

Adding lair- and legendary actions: this concept from 5th edition can be pasted right into 3rd edition and make every boss fight objectively better. I suspect many 3e DM's are already doing something similar for decades.

Removing spell components: They are a hassle and keeping track of these has never been fun. It is amusing to see how DDO struggles with them as well, to the point where they might as well remove them entirely.

Remove xp costs for magic item crafting, and always hand out party exp: There is no benefit to pc's being at different levels. It makes balancing encounters a nightmare. So apart from level drain abilities, I would remove anything that disrupts the level balance. Keeping the whole party consistently at the same level, saves a lot of headaches, and promotes the cooperative spirit that the game should be all about.

The Ranger: Even a favorable glance at 3.0's class progression table for the ranger immediately tells you something is off, when you compare it with that of the other classes. I consider the changes that 3.5 made to the ranger the bare minimum to fix the ranger. Not every class needs to be equally powerful, and I would argue that this is one of the aspects that makes 3e fun. But there has to be something to look forward to as you level.

Higher level monster tables: if there is one thing 3e could really use, it would be tables for each monster to more easily raise their challenge rating, and make variants. One of our board members recently started doing this for 5e, (Link here) and it is a great idea that older editions could also benefit from.

Mass combat/naval combat rules: Ship to ship combat and mass combat in 3e sucks. On the other hand, it sucks in most systems I have seen. Some of the rules for this can be ported over from Pathfinder 1 to fix this.

Firearms: 3e leans strongly into D&D's standard swords and sorcery, but does not take the inclusion of any firearms into account. Firearms can be easily added, but any spells and feats that work specifically with arrows, should also work with bullets for firearms.
 
Last edited:


Teemu

Adventurer
If the aim is to treat combat as a failure state and something to avoid, I honestly don’t see the core chassis of 3rd edition suitable for that purpose. 3.5 has a lot of its rules devoted to detailed, grid-based combat. That’s one of its draws, the tactical nature of fights and all the rules that facilitate it.
 


Having ran and played in multiple 3.X campaigns, I disagree that tactical combat is a draw given the percentage of players I've seen that seem to enjoy circumventing it through spells and huge numbers.
 

Malfi

Explorer
Interesting attempt, heres is my hopefully contructive criticism/notes.
-Intelligence becomes an even better stat, due to it adding to skills.
-The fighter seems to be much better than the Barbarian. Can even end up being too strong for 3.0, if everything goes to strength you end up with +19 extra stength at 10th level.
-You will also be overequiped due to the retarded levelling process.
-Feats cover some extra things: Two weapon fighting, power attack, precise shot, weapon finesse and combat expertise.
- The static dc for spells is a very partial fix. It nerfs hard some spells but leaves stuff like 3.0 haste, harm and others unaffected. Already good spells that allow no saves retain their power. I don't think you can get away without nerfing specific spells. In any case maybe use 10+ability modifier. Maybe add 1/4 class levels or hd to the dc. Adding base reflex to touch would also help.
-I would also allow rogue sneak to work against everything and give him d10 hd
 

Sithlord

Adventurer
It’s not something I would do. But if you had a cool adventure and were ready to play i would sit down and play the game and have fun with it. Play it and see how you like it.
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
Fighters still seem terribly weak, even with these tweaks. Why would you persist in fighter past level 8 or so?
 


GreyLord

Hero
I would say, instead of just 3e core, add in Unearthed Arcana to your list. It has options which answers a few of your "problems" already, and the work was already done.

For example, for level dependent XP it lists as follows

1 - 0
2- 1000
3 - 3000
4 - 6000
5 - 10000
6 - 16000
7 - 24000
8 - 36000

all the way to 20th which requires 2,600,000 XP to level up.

Meanwhile Monsters also off XP in

CR
1 - 300
2 - 600
3 - 900
4 - 1200
5 - 1800
6 - 2400
7 - 3600
8 - 4800

And so on.

it has alternate ways to craft magic items and items (for example Craft Points) and various other alternate rules which could combine nicely into your way of thinking without having to come up with your own ideas.

It doesn't have an alternate feat system (though it does have a return to the original Multi-classing of AD&D in a way, though to really make it work with single classes alongside Gestalt, you would probably need to double the XP each level for the Gestalt rather than keep the same XP tables).

Lots of options in UA.
 

Malfi

Explorer
It’s not something I would do. But if you had a cool adventure and were ready to play i would sit down and play the game and have fun with it. Play it and see how you like it.

Agreed, that's always the case. As the op states, the vast majority of players, woudn't even care.

Fighters still seem terribly weak, even with these tweaks. Why would you persist in fighter past level 8 or so?

Nah they are fine for what the op is going for, you are propably thinking about tiers and what not, propably not 3.0 and splatbooks allowed. The fact is they will do ok vs monsters with support and again that's obviously what the op is going for

I would say, instead of just 3e core, add in Unearthed Arcana to your list. It has options which answers a few of your "problems" already, and the work was already done.

For example, for level dependent XP it lists as follows

1 - 0
2- 1000
3 - 3000
4 - 6000
5 - 10000
6 - 16000
7 - 24000
8 - 36000

all the way to 20th which requires 2,600,000 XP to level up.

Meanwhile Monsters also off XP in

CR
1 - 300
2 - 600
3 - 900
4 - 1200
5 - 1800
6 - 2400
7 - 3600
8 - 4800

And so on.

it has alternate ways to craft magic items and items (for example Craft Points) and various other alternate rules which could combine nicely into your way of thinking without having to come up with your own ideas.

It doesn't have an alternate feat system (though it does have a return to the original Multi-classing of AD&D in a way, though to really make it work with single classes alongside Gestalt, you would probably need to double the XP each level for the Gestalt rather than keep the same XP tables).

Lots of options in UA.

These are the rules used in first post, just making it harder to level (double every level instead of every 2), to emulate old school play and soft cap the game at level 10.
 

Check out Blood & Treasure
Check out Castles & Crusades
Check out Advanced D&D 3rd edition
Check out 3.Y

I think these will both give you a lot of inspiration, and save you a lot of work.
 

Malfi

Explorer
Check out Blood & Treasure
Check out Castles & Crusades
Check out Advanced D&D 3rd edition
Check out 3.Y

I think these will both give you a lot of inspiration, and save you a lot of work.
Of all of these, with exception of 3.Y, none really emulates 3rd edition much.
3.Y also has its problems, one being that at high levels monsters are insentivised to provoke attack of oppurtunities to avoid your full attack after bab +16 or so.
But more so 3.Y still uses feats and skills as is, which raises the complexity that the op tries to avoid.
 

Bohandas

Adventurer
The special combat maneuvers thing the OP mentions is really more of an issue with the attacks of opportunity system than with feats
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
Nah they are fine for what the op is going for, you are propably thinking about tiers and what not, propably not 3.0 and splatbooks allowed. The fact is they will do ok vs monsters with support and again that's obviously what the op is going for
Even with the core books only, the back half of fighter is a terribly lackluster set of levels.

That class was hit hardest by the “you should be taking a prestige class” design aesthetic.
 


An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top