D&D 3E/3.5 The 4E We Didnt Get.

Pedantic

Legend
I was really hoping for a sort of 3.5 relaunch omnibus edition. Less dramatic math changes, more reorganization of the content; make the Warblade the basic Fighter, break the wizard up into specialists like the Beguiler and Dread Necromancer, add in the expanded skill usages, that kind of thing.

At a system level, I'd hope for a reworked wealth by level that better laid out the core scaling bonuses that are in magic items, multiclassing reworked to include the patch feats (i.e. Devoted Tracker) as automatic, and prestige class requirements simplified to level reqs and maybe strictly necessary features.

Second is Fantasy Craft. I've never played it myself, but heard it was a huge improvement of the 3E rule set.
I wouldn't have minded this.
 

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SlyFlourish

SlyFlourish.com
Supporter
13th Age is the 4e I wish I had. It was designed by Rob Heinsoo who worked on 4th edition and Jonathan Tweet who worked on 3.5. It has lots of 4e-isms in it like a steep mathematical curve, character powers, slimmed down monster design, encounter building, monster roles, minions, elites, and triple-strength monsters, and more. It's a 10th level max system but each level is really big and 1st level characters are definitely meaty.

I think 13th Age is highly under-valued as a strong successor to D&D 4e. It's the best high-power d20 game I've played.

Rob and Jonathan have a new version of 13th Age coming out in 2024 I believe but you can often get 13th Age bundles from Humble Bundle or Bundle of Holding.
 


Zeromaru X

Arkhosian scholar and coffee lover
I think 13th Age is highly under-valued as a strong successor to D&D 4e. It's the best high-power d20 game I've played.

My problem with 13th Age is that the classes all play different, so it gives the game more complexity than it's necessary. The magic of 4e is the easy way to play while the classes still retain their customization.

In that regard, 13th Age is closer to 3xe than to 4e. Complex to play just for complexity's sake.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
The best thing about 4E, in my opinion, was the lore. I still use the Raven Queen lore for my homebrew, and I know at least one DM who has adapted the entire Nentir Vale/Points of Light setting for their Pathfinder (now 5E) home game.
 

A'tuin

Villager
I never even made it to 3.5e. I forked into what I think of as 3.25e and felt my own fork was superior to what 3.5e did so aside from a few revised spells I stuck with 3e.
Not to side-track the conversation, but do you still use your own 3.25e? I'm curious because I would like to do something similar. Certain aspects of 3.0 improved over AD&D, but much of it was not better, and it put D&D onto a trajectory that has led us to 5e, which is a good game on its own, but its not AD&D as I remember it. Is it worth going back to 3.0 and fixing it, or would it be easier to improve and modernize AD&D with some of the new mechanics of 3 and 5e that are actually helpful?
 

A'tuin

Villager
My problem with 13th Age is that the classes all play different, so it gives the game more complexity than it's necessary. The magic of 4e is the easy way to play while the classes still retain their customization.

In that regard, 13th Age is closer to 3xe than to 4e. Complex to play just for complexity's sake.
In my quest to find a better system than 5e (or one that I liked better), I found the 13th Age to have one "big" problem: It is setting specific. I have an elaborate campaign setting that I've been fine-tuning for years. It's one thing to adapt the playing game and mechanics to the setting, but I'd also have to adapt their setting to my setting. It felt too complicated so I moved onto the next OGL knockoff. BTW, I still have not found one.
 

In my quest to find a better system than 5e (or one that I liked better), I found the 13th Age to have one "big" problem: It is setting specific. I have an elaborate campaign setting that I've been fine-tuning for years. It's one thing to adapt the playing game and mechanics to the setting, but I'd also have to adapt their setting to my setting. It felt too complicated so I moved onto the next OGL knockoff. BTW, I still have not found one.
Yeah, I remember two things that bothered me about 13th Age:

1) The Icons were an interesting mechanic, but where very setting dependent and it's not exactly the setting I want to play in, and adapting it to a different setting seemed non-trivial.
2) A lot of abilities are only usuable if you roll the right even/odd or similar numbers, and that made it feel overall more random and less tactical than what I enjoyed from D&D 4.
 

Voadam

Legend
In my quest to find a better system than 5e (or one that I liked better), I found the 13th Age to have one "big" problem: It is setting specific. I have an elaborate campaign setting that I've been fine-tuning for years. It's one thing to adapt the playing game and mechanics to the setting, but I'd also have to adapt their setting to my setting. It felt too complicated so I moved onto the next OGL knockoff. BTW, I still have not found one.
The big question seems to be how difficult it is to adapt Icons and Icon stuff. Not sure how well the 13th Age Runequest one does it for example but that should be an example of doing so.
 

Orius

Legend
Not to side-track the conversation, but do you still use your own 3.25e? I'm curious because I would like to do something similar. Certain aspects of 3.0 improved over AD&D, but much of it was not better, and it put D&D onto a trajectory that has led us to 5e, which is a good game on its own, but its not AD&D as I remember it. Is it worth going back to 3.0 and fixing it, or would it be easier to improve and modernize AD&D with some of the new mechanics of 3 and 5e that are actually helpful?

I suspect fixing 3.0 would take less work than updating AD&D. I'm doing a little work on that now, but I'm only at the start and I haven't playtested anything. Right now it's comparing how 3e does things compared to earlier editions and trying to find a match in the 3e rules for stuff that was dropped (and often it was 2e that dropped things rather than 3e I'm finding.)
 

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