D&D 3E/3.5 Retro-cloning D&D 3.0

Blue Orange

Gone to Texas
From what I can tell, the OSR started in the early 2000s, as 3e (which came in 2000) represented a larger shift from 1/2e AD&D and BECMI. It seems to focus mostly on 1e or 0e D&D and BECMI, both of which were popular in the 80s--D&D was pretty niche in the 70s. So theoretically, we should be due for a 3e revival as teenagers who grew up with 3e become middle aged and nostalgic.

One thing that may be suppressing it is the presence of Pathfinder--it has mechanics similar to 3.5 (which it was an outgrowth of, of course). 3.5 and 3.0 aren't that different, certainly not the way 3.0 was from 1e and 2e. If you like 3.0, you can probably be satisfied to some extent by playing Pathfinder.

I am curious to see if we have a movement to recreate 4e around 2030.
 

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I've actually gone slightly differently and inflated hit points in an odd way.
Reminds me of a bit of how Hackmaster 5e handles base HP (it's tied with race but usually corresponds with size). Thinking it over, it might be interesting to include a size element (outside of the Constitution boost) to the HP calculation. Doing the math of class/racial hit die plus Constitution score plus a size bonus leads to a situation where both a 1st level barbarian and kobold may have way too much hit points but if appropriate size multipliers are instead applied against the Constitution score, you can end up with more reasonable numbers across the scale. The only elements you would then have to change is spell damage but that was always off to begin with.
 

The consistent criticism I see of 3x here is: splatbooks and Char Op builds made it complicated and unbalanced, especially at high levels

As a huge fan of 3.5e who still DM’s it. My answer to that is: sure.

If you want to play 3x, don’t assume everything ever published is “in”. And stop 🛑 below high levels - up to around 12 is fine.

What I do:
  • Core Rules + individually requested, debated, and sometimes approved other rules.
  • By Core Rules, I mean: PHB, DMG, MM’s/FF, setting book, and adventures.
  • Don’t play at supers levels.
  • Don’t care about balance.
  • Fluff over crunch - go for and reward story and roleplaying and teamwork, within the confines of consistent rules, not rewarding rulesmanship, trying to be unbalanced or break things, and generally being a poor sport or trolling the game.

IMHO, Core Rules is a good policy in any edition. All editions are meant to be played, not intentionally made bad so you can complain about them.
 
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Awesome thread! Good luck with your game, Yora!
Just for context, I share pretty much all your reservations regarding 3.0 vs. 3.5/PF. I agree the feel is definitely different; the things I like more: no pokemon warhorses for paladins; no spontaneous summoning spells for druids; no magical animal companions for druids and rangers; DR requiring +x weapons; plenty of dead levels; wizards with pre-determined opposition schools, d4HD kobolds, etc.

I just started a 3.0 campaign with my kids, and I decided to go with 3.0 core only (PHB, DMG, MM, MM2). I didn't use any house rules, but adopted the following options and variants in the DMG. I also used the revised XP tables and rules to transform CR into XP from Unearthed Arcana (it's just simpler to use than the CR system.)

1- Organic character creation
2- No prestige classes
3- Limited access to classes by race (possible choices per AD&D)
4- Multiclassing at 1st level only for demi-humans; possible later for everyone, but using training rules and in-campaign justification (i.e. you simply don't choose to multiclass willy-nilly as you gain a new level.)
5- Maximise skill ranks from 1st level
6- Gaining class abilities by training (1 week/2 levels; 1000 gp per week)
7- Spell research for wizards to gain new spells
8- Pacting with supernatural being for sorcerers to gain new spells
9- Research of songs for bards to gain new spells
10- Clobbered damage variant
11- Massive damage by size
12- Power components for magic item creation instead of XP, at the maximum cost (20xXP gp); most of these cannot be bought, though, but DO count towards the total acquired treasure. From past experience, this puts a big brake to PCs' manufacturing of items
13- Summoning of individual monsters
 
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Weiley31

Legend
Yet I’d wiling play 2E which it self was a bit crunchy. Weird.
Probably cuz in 2E, your character doesn't end up sounding like some kind of Yugi-Oh card knock off after multiclassing through 50 different classes like in 3.0/3.5 to even do anything like use the bathroom or looking in a mirror.
 

2- No prestige classes
4- Multiclassing at 1st level only for demi-humans; possible later for everyone, but using training rules and in-campaign justification (i.e. you simply don't choose to multiclass willy-nilly as you gain a new level.)
13- Summoning of individual monsters

Interesting that you see 3e and 3.5e as so different. 3.5e is the only edition “upgrade” I did without a second thought. (I wasn’t playing 4e when 5e came out, so that was the least important edition change to me. I thought 3e, 3.5e, and 5e were the true “upgrade” edition changes.)

Anyhow, I agree with the ones I quoted and wonder what “organic character creation” is. If it means rolling stats, then I do that too.

About Prestige Classes, I don’t say “no”, but of 21 active characters in my two campaigns, only 1 is using a prestige class - Warmaster. A retired character was an Arcane Archer. I do use them for NPC’s. And I use the Expert class as well, like for Elmo in TOEE, he’s Expert 1 (Spy)/Ranger 6. My players like straight progression in a class, especially for casters to maximize the Spell Level they can cast.

On summoning, the Horn of Valhalla definitely brings the same dead warriors each time.
 

Interesting that you see 3e and 3.5e as so different. 3.5e is the only edition “upgrade” I did without a second thought. (I wasn’t playing 4e when 5e came out, so that was the least important edition change to me. I thought 3e, 3.5e, and 5e were the true “upgrade” edition changes.)

Anyhow, I agree with the ones I quoted and wonder what “organic character creation” is. If it means rolling stats, then I do that too.

About Prestige Classes, I don’t say “no”, but of 21 active characters in my two campaigns, only 1 is using a prestige class - Warmaster. A retired character was an Arcane Archer. I do use them for NPC’s. And I use the Expert class as well, like for Elmo in TOEE, he’s Expert 1 (Spy)/Ranger 6. My players like straight progression in a class, especially for casters to maximize the Spell Level they can cast.

On summoning, the Horn of Valhalla definitely brings the same dead warriors each time.
We didn't care for a single thing 3.5 changed, we had invested in the books (my friends had the Italian versions), we had campaigns going; not really worth our time.
"Organic" creation is one of the methods in the DMG. Essentially, roll 4d6 drop lowest in order, re-roll one of the scores, swap two scores. The method results in very interesting characters.
I also use the NPC classes, mostly for NPCs, occasionally for "commoner" campaigns when I have total newbies (been doing the "Funnel" style games way before DCC Rpg :D )
 

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
Pretty much the only changes I can really recall from the 3e to 3.5e updates was the DR getting updated to require magic or silver or epic, etc and cutting the DR numbers in half which I thought was much better. Also wizards could now select their oppositional schools rather than choose from set options. I'm unsure which of those I liked better.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Pretty much the only changes I can really recall from the 3e to 3.5e updates was the DR getting updated to require magic or silver or epic, etc and cutting the DR numbers in half which I thought was much better. Also wizards could now select their oppositional schools rather than choose from set options. I'm unsure which of those I liked better.

They berfed some feats and prestige classes and tweaked skills and added weapon sizes.

Using elements of 3.0 in my D&D tweak.
 

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