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3E/3.5 Comparison to 3.5e

I think the only thing I liked about 3rd/3.5 was the concept of feats. 3rd/3.5 was pretty awful game design vs 5th edition. Many people equate more complicated to but it usually just slows down gameplay. Almost every round at least one of the many many many unneeded modifiers or abusive stacking buff effects would be forgotten and cause a problem.

Sure, you could just ignore the mistake and go on, or you could just play a system that didn't support the abuse and needless heaps of extra modifers in the first place and play a smoother running game.

5th edition is also far more balanced, but balance isn't a good thing to some people so while it is a valid comparison point it may be a positive or negative one depending on one's point of view.

I also prefer the 5th edition mechanics when it comes to moving, attacking and moving again ( and attacking again if applicable ).

At the end of the day you can tell all the same adventures with 5th edition as you could with 3/3.5 but none of the time consuming minutiae that came with managing a needlessly complicated system.
 

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Voadam

Adventurer
I hate the 5E skill system, it is too watered down, it has no crunch, and I miss feat chains. Character creation since 4E has been a straight-jacket. While 5E is a little better, it is still does not allow that breadth or depth of character development that 3E enabled. Seen one 5E Paladin, seen them all.
Are you trying to suggest feats made 3e paladins more mechanically distinct than 5e's paladin subclasses and 5e's fewer feats? Paladins throughout editions have always seemed rather "seen one seen them all" mechanically until you get into various antipaladin and champions of specific gods/alignment/causes.
 

Mercule

Adventurer
Early in playing 5E, I made this observation:

3.x, 4e, and 5e are almost more of alternate offshoots of AD&D (2E). 5e borrows most strongly from the "good stuff" in 3e, but it also pulls a few things from 4e. In other places, it feels like they went all the way back to 2e and fixed something that didn't work without worrying about what has come since.

That's not to say that 5e will feel alien if you've only played 3e. 5e and 3e probably play the most similar of all the editions (other than 1e and 2e, which were pretty much the same game with alternate versions of the classes and such, but the skeleton was the same). It's just that, if you've played all the editions, you can see where things share common ancestors rather than one being a child of the other.
 

Mercule

Adventurer
I hate the 5E skill system, it is too watered down, it has no crunch, and I miss feat chains. Character creation since 4E has been a straight-jacket. While 5E is a little better, it is still does not allow that breadth or depth of character development that 3E enabled. Seen one 5E Paladin, seen them all.
For perspective, you're naming the things I love about 5E, especially compared to 3e. I think the 5E skill system is the best, yet. It's not perfect, but it allows a certain level of skills while keeping it simple enough to be in the background.

The feat system is one of the main reasons I'll never play 3e again. 3e feats are about char-ops with certain chains that are clearly better (statistically) than others. 5e feats have some mechanical feats, but most are more balanced and offer PCs a way to reflect story elements (even flimsy, cheesy ones) in a meaningful way.

This is, very much, a subjective definition of "better". I'm capable of running numbers on PCs, but I just don't see it as a worthwhile focus. I'm here for the story and the interaction. If I'm going to see how many mooks I can squish, I'm more likely to go back to a miniatures skirmish game, like Gloomhaven or even one of the D&D board games. If I want all the dials I can possibly get on my character, I'm going to skip a coarse-grained class-and-level-based system and go to something like Fantasy Hero. Hero System has roughly the same level of complexity as 3e, but exposes the components, rather than a crap-shoot of rule-by-exception.
 

ccooke

Adventurer
I think people underestimate the 5e chargen system, to be honest.

Sure, there are fewer decisions to make, but each of the decisions has a large impact on the character I will play. Even if all else was the same, a paladin with the Urchin background is going to be very different to play (and noticeably different in what they can do) than one with the Soldier background.

Broadly - 5e has a character gen system that's less precise (than 3e), but can reach a larger design space with a smaller number of moving parts. I have yet to see a character concept that does not require exact specific mechanics that I haven't been able to implement in 5e by level 3.
 

Horwath

Adventurer
I hate the 5E skill system, it is too watered down, it has no crunch, and I miss feat chains. Character creation since 4E has been a straight-jacket. While 5E is a little better, it is still does not allow that breadth or depth of character development that 3E enabled. Seen one 5E Paladin, seen them all.
yes, having +30 skill modifier at 10th level was sooo deep...

while I do agree that 5e skills could be a little more scalable by effort put into certain skill, they are by far the best of all 5 editions.
 

Horwath

Adventurer
Only thing that I do not like about 5E is that combat feats, "flavor" feats and ASIs are bundled into same resource pool.

it should have been separated.

1st. make all feats half feats in power level.

then

racial/flavor/skill feats: levels: 1,4,7,10,13,16,19
combat feats(the good feats): levels: 2,5,8,11,14,17,20
ASIs(+1 to one ability): levels: 3,6,9,12,15,18

You can also take "flavor" feats instead of combat feats, but not other way around.
 

HJFudge

Explorer
5e runs fairly well, its a simple system. It works until higher levels, then it has similar problems with balance that...well, every edition of D&D forever has had.

My issue is that it feels lacking in choice when it comes to character abilities and such. I do like the concept of meaningful feats, I just feel like it doesn't quite hit the mark.

Obviously a lot of folks find it fine, so I am in the minority here. But I absolutely do not have the character design options I want, mechanically, without additional homebrew and house rules...enough that I might as well just play another system heh.
 

Voadam

Adventurer
Broadly - 5e has a character gen system that's less precise (than 3e), but can reach a larger design space with a smaller number of moving parts. I have yet to see a character concept that does not require exact specific mechanics that I haven't been able to implement in 5e by level 3.
Enchantment and divination focused wizard or sorcerer or warlock for Psion/Telepath? Its a stretch though.

Soulknife I guess you could kind of go hexblade warlock if you removed all the patron flavor and chose less spell like spells and powers.

Warlord I guess bard and call it nonmagical pep talks for healing word?

Alchemist from Pathfinder? Gunslinger?

Those are the biggest non-core classes from prior editions and D20 offshoots that come to mind.
 


Samloyal23

Adventurer
Are you trying to suggest feats made 3e paladins more mechanically distinct than 5e's paladin subclasses and 5e's fewer feats? Paladins throughout editions have always seemed rather "seen one seen them all" mechanically until you get into various antipaladin and champions of specific gods/alignment/causes.
Feat chains just allowed more customization than the tiny number of feats in 5E. The variety of feats in 3E was VAST...
 


Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
They allowed more numerical fiddling. The Background system, including Ideals/Traits/Bond, allows for much more in the way of actual character concept customization.
This is one reason I really wish the Inspiration mechanic were, you know, actually good.
 


ccooke

Adventurer
It works, and it's not being strictly necessary for the game to function is part of the modularity of the whole game.
It depends heavily on the group, I find.

I have one group who really buy in to it. I bought a set of gold-coloured metal dice dice for it, and it's become a ritual for the group to pour out their dicebags at the start of a session and blame/shame/priase people for what they did to deserve the gold dice.

Another group just doesn't use them at all.
 

wingsandsword

Adventurer
Early in playing 5E, I made this observation:

3.x, 4e, and 5e are almost more of alternate offshoots of AD&D (2E). 5e borrows most strongly from the "good stuff" in 3e, but it also pulls a few things from 4e. In other places, it feels like they went all the way back to 2e and fixed something that didn't work without worrying about what has come since.
3.x and 5e are alternate offshoots of different styles of AD&D 2e.

5e was taking basic core-rules 2e and deciding to make a streamlined, fast-playing, easy-to-run game that had the same general feel but had a much more modern design, but at the cost of not gaining the flexibility of all the other books that existed beyond the core rules.

3.x was taking AD&D with all the Skills and Powers/Players' Option books, Complete Handbooks, and countless other supplements and going through the same process. It was complicated, intricate, ornate. . .and a masterpiece for certain styles of play.

The gaming groups I played with were usually in the latter camp, hence my preference for 3.x, but I'm coming to see that 5e comes from the same lineage. . .just a different evolutionary path.

4e? 4e was an alien shapeshifter from the Far Realms that morphed into something resembling D&D. It didn't follow in the D&D design lineage at all and only bore a superficial resemblance to D&D. It didn't look like, act like, play like, or have rules like 1e or 2e or 3e. It passed itself off as part of the family, but that was more of a Disguise check instead of an actual family resemblance.
 

Parmandur

Legend
3.x and 5e are alternate offshoots of different styles of AD&D 2e.

5e was taking basic core-rules 2e and deciding to make a streamlined, fast-playing, easy-to-run game that had the same general feel but had a much more modern design, but at the cost of not gaining the flexibility of all the other books that existed beyond the core rules.

3.x was taking AD&D with all the Skills and Powers/Players' Option books, Complete Handbooks, and countless other supplements and going through the same process. It was complicated, intricate, ornate. . .and a masterpiece for certain styles of play.

The gaming groups I played with were usually in the latter camp, hence my preference for 3.x, but I'm coming to see that 5e comes from the same lineage. . .just a different evolutionary path.

4e? 4e was an alien shapeshifter from the Far Realms that morphed into something resembling D&D. It didn't follow in the D&D design lineage at all and only bore a superficial resemblance to D&D. It didn't look like, act like, play like, or have rules like 1e or 2e or 3e. It passed itself off as part of the family, but that was more of a Disguise check instead of an actual family resemblance.
Similarly to 3E and Skills & Powers, 4E flows very logically from late 3.5 product developments that were well received in certain quarters. What they found out when they went out and got Big Data is that they took a wrong turn by more and more alienating the main D&D playstyle over the years...so they made a game that appealed to how most people played, 5E. Even most 3E players, they found out, were playing more like looser old AD&D than like Skills & Powers (that's Mearls post-mortem of 4E and 5E reception, from an insider's perspective, at any rate).
 

ccooke

Adventurer
4e? 4e was an alien shapeshifter from the Far Realms that morphed into something resembling D&D. It didn't follow in the D&D design lineage at all and only bore a superficial resemblance to D&D. It didn't look like, act like, play like, or have rules like 1e or 2e or 3e. It passed itself off as part of the family, but that was more of a Disguise check instead of an actual family resemblance.
Can we please skip the edition warring? It's fine to dislike 4e, but I really wish we could move past this sort of factionalism. 4e wasn't my favourite edition, but it absolutely was the best edition (at the time and, for some, still) for a significant proportion of the playerbase.

Hell, my absolute favourite trait of 5e is something it inherited from 4e: Both editions have an underlying concept and design behind them which they try to implement through mechanics. Sure, they have very different core designs and neither of them is a perfect implementation of that ideal concept, but there is a design and intent behind the mechanics, and they both do well with it. I think the lack of a feeling for that sort of ... architecture, if you will, is what most turns me off from Pathfinder 2e; it seems to have a lot of good ideas, but I can't really get the feel of an overall plan behind them (But then - maybe there is one, and I just didn't look hard enough).
 

Samloyal23

Adventurer
Fourth Edition was not a Bad Game, it just was not D&D, it did not really evolve from earlier editions. Proficiency slots, feats, and even backgrounds have precedents that go all the way back to AD&D, 4E made unprecedented changes, practically starting from scratch. It was just too big a change...
 

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