I go away, and I miss a whole edition - Help?!

I've had a lot happen in the almost two years I've been gone, and somehow, I missed an entire edition of material. The last game I ran was D&D3.5E, 4E was just releasing (my ex-wife bought me the DMG for my birthday about three months before we separated), and now I find myself itching to run something again and D&D Next is on the horizon.


Are you the recently trapped iceman? If 4E was just releasing then you must think its 2010.

:eek: Quick, lets keep him in his environment. Go get the plexiglass for his cube, I'll put on some Ke$ha .
 

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Liquidsabre

Explorer
Honestly, I wouldn't pick up any 4e books other than the PHB/DMG. I'm playing in a D&D 4e game right now and I never bothered getting any books at all, just the D&D Insider sub. The character builder has far more options than any number of 4e books you'd be willing to buy even at half price. Plus DDI has plenty of DMing tools as well to help you out, good stuff!

The Pathfinder Reference Document has all but the most recently released Pathfnder RPG book crunch for you to peruse and decide if you like. If you had fun with 3.5e you will very much enjoy it. Plus PF is very well supported with several soft cover books for the campaign setting, base rules/monsters revisited, modules, and adventure paths. These lines also come as cheaper subs with free pdfs. Their Game Mastery line is full of entertaining play aids such as the crit & fumble decks, item, chase, condition, and buff cards to name a few. Their flip mats are awesome (my fav is the ship one) and great for use. There is also a pre-painted miniature line through Wizkids and Reaper has an entire Pathfinder line of miniatures for painting. Oh and Paizo just announced the coming of a free online virtual table top as well.

Its a good time to be getting back to the game if you ask me! Online sub for D&D 4e gaming goodness, a fully supported 3.x Pathfinder game/setting awesome-sauce, and future D&DN gaming with play test materials.

Best of luck!
 

C4

Explorer
So... the main question is in there...
Is it worth my dollars to invest in 4E, or should I stick to my 3.5E and d20 material until 5E is released?
I can't recommend 4e highly enough. It's easy to play, easy to run, and an all-around blast!

I suggest picking up the Monster Vault, and using my own Complete 4th compilation-clone as a one-stop player resource.

Good gaming!
 

Drowbane

First Post
...

So... the main question is in there...
Is it worth my dollars to invest in 4E, or should I stick to my 3.5E and d20 material until 5E is released?

Now that is a loaded question. My answer: Hell no.

But it depends on how much you enjoyed 3e. If you like 3e, you probably can skip out on 4e (and possibly 5e as well). If 3e leaves you wanting less, then 4e might be for you.

As to getting in on the ground floor with 5e... whether it is worth the time and effort remains to be seen. The play-test material was underwhelming.

Pathfinder: Check it out for yourself. In my opinion it is highly over-rated. The best part of PF is the Paizo APs, guess what! They're 3e compatible anyways. PF is just Paizo's house rules, and those are sometimes rather strange and pointless. It is not a "3e fix", despite what its fans will tell you. The second best part of Pathfinder is the setting, I really like Golarion (almost as much as I like oldskool Realms) - even if you don't buy into the PF mechanics, I recommend checking out the Fluff books (Guide to the Inner Sea, etc). 3rd best thing about PF is probably that it is supported - whatever that means. I don't need more 3e books coming out to feel like my 3e library is worth holding on to or playing.

If you enjoyed the D&D Miniatures game and would love to see that system fleshed out, play 4e.

At risk of nit-picking... D&D Minis was 3e based and was only a little dumbed down - you didn't make your own guys, you got pretty much just what came on your fig's card. 4e is nothing like 3e, if anything it is a "D&D Minis Less Advanced" game. As you have far fewer options for your squads...
 
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Alzrius

The EN World kitten
I didn't play 4E, so take this with a grain of salt, but my understanding is that there are some technical issues if you decide to go in that direction.

First is that the books had a considerable amount of errata released for them. Check what the most current printing is, check the printing information for whatever books you happen to be considering buying, and check the most current errata. From what I've heard, this made changes that were not-insubstantial.

Second, be prepared to look through some of the "Core" books beyond the PHB, DMG, and MM. A lot of things were deliberately left out of the first books and moved to the second or third (e.g. druids, frost giants, etc.). Things that you're taking for granted are there might not be.

Third, know the difference between Fourth Edition and Fourth Edition Essentials; they're not the same thing, and (again, from what I've heard) not interchangeable. They're supposed to be roughly as compatible as 3.0 and 3.5 were, but they're not the same thing. A 4E fighter is not the same as an Essentials fighter; magic missile is different between the two, etc.
 

Scott DeWar

Prof. Emeritus-Supernatural Events/Countermeasure
Your choices are many.


Pathfinder:
1) in print now
2) lots of support materials from Paizo and Kobold Quarterly/Open Design, lots of new stuff on that way, mostly compatible with 3e materials
3) online rules download is free/rules are normal price
4) many FLGS sponsor organized play
5) rules are improved 3.5e (d20), with traditional D&D feel
6) setting of its own, adding steampunk stuff

3.5e:
1) out of print
2) tons and tons of support material from myriad publishers, but not new stuff, unless you use Pathfinder materials
3) free to you since you already own it
4) not company supported, so no FLGS events
5) rules are 3.5e (d20), with traditional D&D feel
6) settings supported are many, with Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms as the primary ones

something to consider is that 3.5 and pathfinder are backwards compatible with one another.
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
If I were in your boat, I'd go cheap-or-free, and try out a few things.

You're familiar with 3e, and if you're not annoyed by it too much, try Pathfinder. It's a modification of the 3e rules.

I'd also sign up for the 5e playtest, and do that.

Those are your free solutions.

If you want a full game, and/or you're annoyed by aspects of 3e, I'd try out 4e, but I wouldn't bother buying the books right off the bat. Rather, sign up for DDI for a month or two, and see how you like the system. If you're excited by it, then you can buy books that interest you, but you can mostly play the game with the DMG and a DDI account, and you'll have the most up-to-date stuff.

That way, you don't even have to worry about much of an investment to tinker around with the three major games that people will be looking for players/DM's for.
 


S'mon

Legend
I'd say no.

Look for a group and join as a player. If they play 3.5e you don't need to buy anything. If they play 4e just borrow the books.

I would say look for a 4e group to play in, and probably best to buy a 4e Essentials Heroes of the Fallen Lands to make a PC - easier than the older 4e PHB and the classes, races & feats in there are generally a bit more powerful, esp the Feats.

Then if you like the 4e game you can invest in more books later; you have a DMG but would probably want to get a PHB (for all the rules, rituals, magic items) and the Monster Vault, which is better than the older 4e Monster Manual.

The cheapest approach if you know you want to run 4e, and have some people to play with, would be to buy a PHB and the Monster Vault. MV has well designed monsters, monster tokens, and an adventure. There are lots more free 4e adventures in the non-DDI issue of Dungeon Magazine, 155-158: Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game Official Home Page - Table of Contents (Dungeon [URL=http://www.enworld.org/forum/usertag.php?do=list&action=hash&hash=155]#155 Table of Contents)[/url]
Keep on the Shadowfell is free here - http://www.wizards.com/dnd/files/h1.pdf
 
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