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D&D 3E/3.5 Any of you roll back 3.5 rules to 3.0?

Melkor

Explorer
I was thinking of changing some of the 3.5 rules back to 3.0.

Mainly, Wizard hit dice back to D4 (edit: my mistake - they already get D4 hit dice), and using 3.0 Cover Rules. Was just wondering if anyone else had done this, and if the former might have a big impact?

Thanks.
 
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Um, in 3.5e Wizard hit dice are d4's. :)

While there are a number of areas where I thought the 3.0e rules were better than the 3.5e ones, cover wasn't one of them - I appreciated the simplicity. Still, you shouldn't see any problems with making that change, as it's a pretty modular bit of the rules.
 

Melkor

Explorer
Holy crap. I guess somewhere in the last decade, I mistakenly picked up the belief that Wizards changed to D6 Hit Dice after 3.0.

Thanks.

We never played a game past 10th level in 3.0, and probably never past 7th or 8th in 3.5. I have heard of the dreaded 'CoDZilla,' but haven't seen it in play. We only have one player in our group that really likes to minmax and loophole rules, but he is also the player that would probably pick a Cleric or Druid to play.

What should the DM (will not be me) do to watch out for that?
 

We never played a game past 10th level in 3.0, and probably never past 7th or 8th in 3.5. I have heard of the dreaded 'CoDZilla,' but haven't seen it in play. We only have one player in our group that really likes to minmax and loophole rules, but he is also the player that would probably pick a Cleric or Druid to play.

What should the DM (will not be me) do to watch out for that?

The best bet is probably just to talk to the player. It's not really possible to avoid the issue by banning supplements (since some of the biggest problems are in the core rulebooks), and it's not really possible to house-rule it away (because it goes right to the core of the magic system). Better just to talk to the player before to ask him not to hijack the game, and then again later if the DM needs him to reel it in.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
I was thinking of changing some of the 3.5 rules back to 3.0.

Back to the time when the 3.5 revision came out, as the current DM for our group I liked what I saw in the revision and immediately switched to using the 3.5 SRD, but did not immediately buy the books. We played regularly several months, and gradually realized that while 3.0 had felt a coeherent organic whole, 3.5 felt like lots of stitches. Reverted back to 3.0 completely, never played 3.5 again (except online, where apparently everyone did find 3.5 preferable, so if I wanted to still play-by-post I had to comply), and never bought a single 3.5 book except Unearthed Arcana.
 

Greenfield

Adventurer
The big changes I found useful in 3.5 were that 3.0 had too many classes with abilities "front loaded", which is to say that you got most or all of the nifty class features in the early levels, often first. It prompted people to fruit salad their PCs, taking a single level in several classes for the class features.

D&D 3.5 stopped that sort of thing by spreading out the bennies over a number of levels.

Haste in 3.0 made spell casters broken by granting an actual extra Standard Action. That meant two spells per round. In a party with any number of casters, that became the single best party buff out there. Spell casters were over done to begin with, power wise, particularly at higher levels. Doubling their power made them critically broken starting at 5th level.

Polymorph Other in 3.0 (which became Baleful Polymorph in 3.5) was also broken. It did everything that Polymorph Self did, and it made the effect permanent. There was no reason for the spell casters not to be designed with everything in the mental stats (Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma), then Polymorph Other themselves into a Stone or Fire Giant, or some other form with high physical stats. Hell, there was no reason for the entire party not to walk around in Giant form any time they were in the field. No duration limits, no drawbacks.

Finally, I liked the 3.5 Ranger class better. In 3.0 it was a weak option, with almost no reason to take it. 3.5 made it a viable PC class, and it needed that.

You can feel the seams in 3.5, where they tried to patch things from 3.0. There are references in there to limitations on spell effects, such as the mental shift from Polymorph, long after the limitation itself is gone. It really needed another round of proof reading. The system as a whole, 3.0 or 3.5 (or Pathfinder, for that matter) really needed more play testing at levels above 10. Over all, though, I think it is an improvement.
 


shadow

First Post
Back in the day I had invested quite a bit in 3.0 stuff and was quite miffed when 3.5 came out less than 3 years later. I took a look at the rules and decided that they felt way too much like a set of house rules tacked onto the game, so I continued to play 3.0.
 

the Jester

Legend
I was thinking of changing some of the 3.5 rules back to 3.0.

Mainly, Wizard hit dice back to D4 (edit: my mistake - they already get D4 hit dice), and using 3.0 Cover Rules. Was just wondering if anyone else had done this, and if the former might have a big impact?

Thanks.

I actually kept using 3.0 cover rules throughout 3.5. It didn't seem to hurt anything.

The other 3.0 rule I gave serious consideration to keeping was threat range stacking from Improved Critical and Keen weapons (I had a pc in my game who totally bumped up his threat range with his falchion).
 

eggynack

First Post
The big changes I found useful in 3.5 were that 3.0 had too many classes with abilities "front loaded", which is to say that you got most or all of the nifty class features in the early levels, often first. It prompted people to fruit salad their PCs, taking a single level in several classes for the class features.
That seems pretty true of 3.5 also. On the non-caster side of things, you have fancy one and two level dips in everything from barbarian to fighter to monk to every ToB class to totemist and even to cleric or wizard (taken for largely non-caster purposes, like devotion feats and abrupt jaunt). On the caster side, you have three of the four core primary casters with no serious class features to speak of after first level, and advancing via prestige class is often just better than the alternative. I don't know if this was somehow more true in 3.0, but it's definitely also true of 3.5.
 

qstor

Adventurer
I'm running a 3.5e game now. I've used 3.0 mods in the game but just convert on the fly. I think some elements of 3.0 are overpowered like the Haste spell and others underpowered like the ranger and the bards skill points. So over all in general I just stick to 3.5.

Mike
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
I would probably end up just sticking with 3.5 as well, but I'd be sorely tempted to roll back to the 3.0 weapon size rules. 3.5/PF are definitely the odd-men out on this topic out of all editions of D&D. And I'm not sure that's for the best. I understand the simulative aspect of those rules, but I'm not certain they improved the game.
 

Celebrim

Legend
I was thinking of changing some of the 3.5 rules back to 3.0.

Broadly speaking, this is a very good idea. Other than a few clamored for spot improvements like Haste and Harm, most 3.5 rules are worse than the 3.0 rules that they replaced.

While you are doing it, use 3.0 Alter Self and 3.0 Blasphemy/Holy Word/etc., roll back to 3.0 weapon sizes and well, just use 3.0 unless you have a very good reason otherwise.
 

Starfox

Adventurer
I was generally happy 2ith what 3.5 did, and would have liked it to do more. These are points I spontaneously recall:

The 3.0 bard and ranger got quite a bit of upgrade to 3.5. I agree with both, and Pathfinder continued the trend, improving both even more.

The sorcerer did NOT get upgraded from 3.0 to 3.5, which was a sore thumb for me.

Simple buff spells like Bull's Strength had random results (1d4+1) which hard unless you had a computerized character sheet. They also had durations in hours. Definitely liked the 3.5 version better. Again, Pathfinder continued the trend of shortening buff durations (tough not of these spells). Some cleric buffs gave you a static score (divine might giving Strength 18 IIR), encouraging min-maxing to the n:th degree.

Some monsters in 3.0 had very odd challenge rating, such as the Mummy being CR3.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
Simple buff spells like Bull's Strength had random results (1d4+1) which hard unless you had a computerized character sheet. They also had durations in hours. Definitely liked the 3.5 version better. Again, Pathfinder continued the trend of shortening buff durations (tough not of these spells). Some cleric buffs gave you a static score (divine might giving Strength 18 IIR), encouraging min-maxing to the n:th degree.

Mixed reaction on those for me. Their original variability made them fodder for empower/maximize metamagics and they became a pretty dominating strategy (and undermined any need for the stat boosting items), so I was glad the bonus was turned into a flat amount. I couldn't agree with the duration nerfing, though. It was too much, particularly for the mental buff spells. Going from hours to minutes (rather than 10 minute variables) took most non-combat uses of the buffs off the table and that was the wrong direction for the game to go.

Little did I know, at the time, where the increasingly combat-centric design would lead, but the problems many of us had with D&D 4 were already starting to be foreshadowed in the 3.5 revision of 3e.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
3.0 persistent spell feat is a bit bonkers and natural spell is even more abusable.

Overpowered PrC and spell DC stacking was the other broken feature of 3.0 along with the Shadow Adept, Incantrix, Red Wizard and especially the spell dancer. The Duelist was also more powerful than the 3.5 one but the 3.5 one sucked while the 3.0 one was not that broken all things considered.
 

Greenfield

Adventurer
3.0 had some oddities that I thought were better handled in 3.5.

For example, the Improved Critical feat used to stack with the Keen Edge spell and/or the Keen weapon property. The result was characters threatening a Critical on a roll of 12 or better. (Consider the Rapier, with its threat range of 18-20. Add Keen and that becomes 15-20. If you can also stack Improved Critical on that, 12-20.)

Magic ammunition used to stack with magic weapons, so an archer could effectively have a +10 weapon.

And, of course, the front-loading problem: Many classes and PRCs had their neat features come intp play at 1st level. This encouraged fruit-salad builds who took one level each in half a dozen classes for the special features, essentially giving you Captain Everything.

Polymorph Other (the predecessor of Baleful Polymorph) had no down side. Build a Wiz type with all abilities focused into the mental stats, then Polymorph Other on yourself to obtain ultimate physical stats. There was no reason for a higher level party not to go adventuring Polymorphed into Fire Giants.

Disintigrate was a Save or Die spell. Not that bad a thing, all things considered, since it both required a successful attack roll *and* allowed a Save, but I like the new version better.
 

scourger

Explorer
Having read, run & played both - as well as almost every other edition - I prefer 3.0 to 3.5. I usually import a few 3.5 changes, like dwarves move at base speed even when heavily encumbered and the Die Hard feat, but the core is 3.0. The d20 system just seemed at its best to me with 3.0. Plus, all my D&D minis are for 3.0 as are my favorite d20 derivative games: Omega World & Judge Dredd. When I run it again, it will be 3.0; even though a switch to Savage Worlds would be so much simpler to run but the conversion work deters me.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I would probably end up just sticking with 3.5 as well, but I'd be sorely tempted to roll back to the 3.0 weapon size rules. 3.5/PF are definitely the odd-men out on this topic out of all editions of D&D. And I'm not sure that's for the best. I understand the simulative aspect of those rules, but I'm not certain they improved the game.

When I first got 3.5Ed, I was miffed by the weapon size rules. Then I noticed something in my own possessions that changed my perspective to completely endorsing the change: a dagger and a letter opener.

The letter opener was a scale replica of a basket-hilted longsword from a museum in Europe. The dagger was a skean dhu made by a local artist. They were identical in length, and would be the same weapon under 3Ed rules.

But side by side comparison put the lie to that. To a tiny creature, the human-scaled dagger would have been less like a longsword and more like a caber; for a human, using the letter opener like a dagger would result in bad cuts in the palm. The proportions were all wrong, blade width; the length ratio of blade to handle; the diameter of the hilts, etc.. Even the mass of the skean dhu is many times that of the scaled-down longsword.

I DO think 3Ed got some things better than 3.5Ed, but on the whole! I found 3.5Ed to be the better product. I've never really looked back.
 
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prosfilaes

Adventurer
Haste in 3.0 made spell casters broken by granting an actual extra Standard Action. That meant two spells per round. In a party with any number of casters, that became the single best party buff out there. Spell casters were over done to begin with, power wise, particularly at higher levels. Doubling their power made them critically broken starting at 5th level.

My DM made 3.0 Haste a 6th spell in our 3.5 game. Never again, he swore. Maybe if you have but one sixth-level spell slot, there'd be something better to cast, but if you have seventh-level spells, why cast a seventh-level spell when you can cast Greater Haste and a seventh-level spell?
 

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