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D&D 3E/3.5 4E reminded me how much I like 3E

Branduil

First Post
The problem is, 3rd edition doesn't particularly promote teamwork. About the closest thing you get is buffing. The best buffer in the game is the least favorite class - the Bard. Other than flanking, there isn't a whole lot you can do to work together in 3e. Yes, there are some things, but, not a whole lot of things.

4e seems geared around the idea that it's a great idea to do something AND help your buddy at the same time. In 3e, it was pretty much always a choice - attack or cast a buffing spell; full attack or move and single attack with a flank. Usually either/or situations.

At least, that's what I seem to be taking from things.

That's exactly it. Most of the buffs in the game are either minor actions or part of a standard attack action. It's not like 3.x where you had to either choose being support all the time or just play an uber-cleric who ignores healing.
 

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Imaro

Hero
The problem is, 3rd edition doesn't particularly promote teamwork. About the closest thing you get is buffing. The best buffer in the game is the least favorite class - the Bard. Other than flanking, there isn't a whole lot you can do to work together in 3e. Yes, there are some things, but, not a whole lot of things.

4e seems geared around the idea that it's a great idea to do something AND help your buddy at the same time. In 3e, it was pretty much always a choice - attack or cast a buffing spell; full attack or move and single attack with a flank. Usually either/or situations.

At least, that's what I seem to be taking from things.

I think the down side to this is... it's stifling to a point. By giving classes particular roles, and making the party dependent on these roles for "balance" it fosters a sense of playing what is best for the party instead of what you want to play. It makes certain classes weak or even pointless in particular situations.

The biggest offender in my mind is the warlord, your fun is mainly dependent on the actions of other players, otherwise you're just a sub-par fighter.

However it goes deeper than this. 4e has, IMO, exacerbated the rogue vs. undead "problem" that I have seen others complain about. A striker is basically sub-par against minions, his main "role" of high damage disher doesn't do squat against these types of foes. A controller is ineffective against a solo, as his main ability to damage multiple foes is pretty much pointless against a single enemy with tons of hp's...etc.

I think the above element of 4e (being dependent on particular roles to handle situations) also creates a problem akin to 3e's CR system... where "balanced" fights can be particularly easier or particularly harder, depending upon what classes make the party up. I have recently begun to wonder if this is why there is such a wide range of experiences being reported when it comes to 4e's lethality and time spent in combat.
 

Jhaelen

First Post
You're ALSO ignoring that, while trying to make people think "Wow, this helps the team" is nice, it's human nature to ignore that and go for "Wow, this makes my character so much more awesome!"
Would you be interested to discuss 'human nature' in a forked thread? Like: Is altruism an effective strategy for survival?
 


MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Supporter
I think the down side to this is... it's stifling to a point. By giving classes particular roles, and making the party dependent on these roles for "balance" it fosters a sense of playing what is best for the party instead of what you want to play. It makes certain classes weak or even pointless in particular situations.

I'm really trying to see how this is different from previous editions. D&D has always had classes excelling in different areas. Are you really trying to say that the magic-user's fireball didn't make him superior to the fighter against a horde of foes?

Take a group of 4 thieves into an adventure in a previous edition and I doubt you'd find them as effective as a a group of a fighter, cleric, thief and magic-user.

Certainly in 3e, if you didn't have a cleric in the party, if the DM threw anything against you that energy drained or did ability drain, you were incredibly disadvantaged.

Cheers!
 

nathreet

First Post
Wow this has really gone off topic. I don't suppose we could get people to simply list what they like about 3E and save the rest for other threads?

I think both 3E and 4E have their place, and it's nice that we have both. 4E is a different game from 1-3E, and that's been both a complaint and a praise of the new edition.

- I like the rules depth of 3E. Yeah, I like it. I like how you could put together a fantastically in depth setting and have rules for how the players can interact with them. Well, if anybody knew those rules. Sigh.
- I like how as a new player you can just jump into 3E and play. You may not do well at first, but it's easy enough to catch on to "okay, I move, I attack. You want me to move there instead to flank? Oh, ok. Roll what check and add what? Okay, I got a 14."
- I like the high level of strategy in 3E. The group organization and dealing with targets and planning and (the frequent) escaping while making sure we get everyone away. Don't diss floating disc man, we used to nickname that spell "Tenser's Stretcher". Or as a caster I liked making a sorceror with a limited selection and yet using almost every single different spell I had multiple times in the craziest and different ways. Ready action horizontal wall of stone in case the fire giant blacksmith throws him into the lava!

I like a lot more, but I don't want to put to much time in this and the thread hasn't really got much of a list going anyway.
 

Sonny

Adventurer
Wow this has really gone off topic. I don't suppose we could get people to simply list what they like about 3E and save the rest for other threads?

Well, trying to keep it on topic, my list of what I like about 3E is simple.
1. I like everything about the game as long as I don't have to run it.

That being said, both 4E and C&C are my current faves to run. Though the Pathfinder RPG is trying to make things easier on game masters. So I have high hopes that I'll be able to add some 3.x variant back to my list of games I like to run. :)
 

Gailbraithe

First Post
In 3.x your char is weak if you do not multi-class and have 3-4 prestige classes. Spell casters are easier to run and create. I also love the direction that the RPGA LFR campaign is going.

In the six years I've been D&D 3.5, I have never seen any of my players take more than 2 regular classes and one prestige class. Yet, they are regularly able to defeat level appropriate challenges.

Your claim, methinks, is specious.
 

Raven Crowking

First Post
"Idiot savant" nice.


IMHO, this is an accurate description of just about any edition of the game. They all have places where they show savant-like brilliance of design. They all have places where I find myself shaking my head and wondering how the heck X, Y, or Z ended up in the books.

YMMV.


RC
 

Hussar

Legend
And this teamwork forces also pushes people to optimize more. After all, you can't let the other players down when you make an unoptimized character.

I predict that 4E will not be any different than 3E in this regard. As soon as the first few splatbooks came out with clearly more powerful paragon paths, base classes, feats and items minmaxing will run rampant.

The trick is though, because the classes share an awful lot of similar abilities, and because the math is pretty set between the classes, I don't think you'll be able to do this quite so well.

I think the down side to this is... it's stifling to a point. By giving classes particular roles, and making the party dependent on these roles for "balance" it fosters a sense of playing what is best for the party instead of what you want to play. It makes certain classes weak or even pointless in particular situations.

The biggest offender in my mind is the warlord, your fun is mainly dependent on the actions of other players, otherwise you're just a sub-par fighter.

However it goes deeper than this. 4e has, IMO, exacerbated the rogue vs. undead "problem" that I have seen others complain about. A striker is basically sub-par against minions, his main "role" of high damage disher doesn't do squat against these types of foes. A controller is ineffective against a solo, as his main ability to damage multiple foes is pretty much pointless against a single enemy with tons of hp's...etc.

I think the above element of 4e (being dependent on particular roles to handle situations) also creates a problem akin to 3e's CR system... where "balanced" fights can be particularly easier or particularly harder, depending upon what classes make the party up. I have recently begun to wonder if this is why there is such a wide range of experiences being reported when it comes to 4e's lethality and time spent in combat.

I think you are overstating the case. There are almost no situations where a given class is ineffective against an opponent. Sure, the striker is overkilling minions, but, again, your encounters should never be purely minions. You're talking about a very small number of encounters, rather than entire monster types like you are with rogues.

What you have, IMO, is a group of characters that are average against a given opponent and one that shines. A striker shines against a solo, but, solo's should only be a very small number of encounters, and the controller is still doing effective things as well.

IMHO, this is an accurate description of just about any edition of the game. They all have places where they show savant-like brilliance of design. They all have places where I find myself shaking my head and wondering how the heck X, Y, or Z ended up in the books.

YMMV.


RC

I just question the idea that the best description of a game design is someone who is mentally challenged. YMMV of course.

I'm also wondering what one thing 4e does better than all other editions and does worse than all other editions.
 

underfoot007

First Post
In the six years I've been D&D 3.5, I have never seen any of my players take more than 2 regular classes and one prestige class. Yet, they are regularly able to defeat level appropriate challenges.

Your claim, methinks, is specious.

humm, you play in a gaming group of what? 5-6 players. I attend many local conventions including genCon, and see hundreds or thousands of gamers. Methinks you need to expand your sample selection.

The people in my gaming group play the same way your group does (mostly single classes). Not everyone does this, sorry if you think I implyed EVERYONE does this. I personal prefer single class chatacters, and I really like the multiclass options in 4E.
 

Starbuck_II

First Post
In the six years I've been D&D 3.5, I have never seen any of my players take more than 2 regular classes and one prestige class. Yet, they are regularly able to defeat level appropriate challenges.

Your claim, methinks, is specious.
Well, it may have more to do with DM fuidge than actual 3.5 rules.

I mean, level apropriate encounters: give us some examples. What classes do they play.

If they play Cleric, Wizard, or Druid than obviously no more than 2 classes: Straight of either is very powerful.

Straight Rogue not as much (I mean level 20 gives nothing)
 

Storm Raven

First Post
Oh really, Wulf? I didn't major in NPC Generation 101, and pity the people whose livelihoods relied on generating 3E NPC stats with classes and stuff, such as at Paizo.

I didn't major in NPC Generation 101 either, and I never had any trouble coming up with NPCs using the 3e rules. They aren't hard to do, usually quite easy most of the time.
 

Spatula

Explorer
Defending 3E against hyperbolic criticism is not the same as attacking 4E.
Lies! Everyone must pick a side and relentlessly attack anyone who shows the slightest glimmer of not agreeing with you!

Throw me down in the column of not needing software to make NPCs. Dealing with high-level casters is a major PITA that I dread, but the problem there is 3e's over-the-top buff structure, and I don't know any NPC generator program what would help with that. Generating stats, skills, feats, adding templates, etc. is all pretty basic stuff. You don't need to re-invent the wheel with every NPC.

Oh good grief. Playing D&D or any game isn't about "manning up", or having "what it takes" to DM.
DMing requires different skills than simply playing. It also requires more time spent out of game. It's extra work, extra responsibility, and not everyone finds it to be enjoyable. Which is all Wulf was saying.
 

Ahnehnois

First Post
I picked up a bunch of 3.5 stuff just before and again just after the 4e announcement last year. Alot of it was really good. UA is really good. My 3.5 is well houseruled to fix what I perceive to be its problems, but I never was disenchanted with it. 3e/3.5 is a good game. Modular, detailed, and with an easy to understand backbone.
 


Hussar

Legend
I picked up a bunch of 3.5 stuff just before and again just after the 4e announcement last year. Alot of it was really good. UA is really good. My 3.5 is well houseruled to fix what I perceive to be its problems, but I never was disenchanted with it. 3e/3.5 is a good game. Modular, detailed, and with an easy to understand backbone.

Now this is true. I think most people will agree with you here.

IMO, 3e has a few weak spots - particularly at higher levels - that I think 4e fixes. That does not mean I don't like 3e.

I've never understood why recognizing system flaws equates with hating an edition.
 

Ahnehnois

First Post
I picked up a bunch of 3.5 stuff just before and again just after the 4e announcement last year. Alot of it was really good. UA is really good. My 3.5 is well houseruled to fix what I perceive to be its problems, but I never was disenchanted with it. 3e/3.5 is a good game. Modular, detailed, and with an easy to understand backbone.
 


Hussar

Legend
On NPC generation.

Look, if it was so easy, why do the professionals screw it up just about every time? People who do it for a living complain about how hard it is to stat up NPC's. Saying that NPC statting is overly complex is hardly a damning criticism and has been noted by an awful lot of people.
 

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