D&D 3E/3.5 What are the major differences between 5E and 3.5E?

DammitVictor

Trust the Fungus
Supporter
Each class gets proficiency in one of the 'useful' saves, and one of the others. So you're going to have two important 'bad' saves at high level, unless you multiclass or use feats to shore them up.

Your analysis is otherwise spot on, but it's worth noting that you can't shore up your bad saves with multiclassing-- second and subsequent classes don't grant proficiency in their class saves. The only way to gain proficiency with a save your first class does not grant is with the Resilient feat, which can only be taken once.
 

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Bryk

First Post
"
There are also STR, INT, and CHA saves, but they are rare. Each class gets proficiency in one of the 'useful' saves, and one of the others. So you're going to have two important 'bad' saves at high level, unless you multiclass or use feats to shore them up.
"

Multiclassing does NOT gain you additional Saves, the Resilent feat is the only way to gain 1 proficiency in saves that you do not have.



Most casters combine prepared and spontaneous casting /and/ at-will cantrips, including marginally effective attack cantrips. The exceptions are the Sorcerer, who's still just spontaneous, but gets some rationed free metamagic, and the Warlock, who gets at-wills and high-level dailies, but re-charges the bulk of his magical ability with a mere 1-hr rest instead of overnight.

Spell damage (and a few other things) scale with the 'slot' used to cast it (so you must cast a magic missile in a higher-than-first level 'slot' to throw more missles, or a fireball in a higher-than-third level slot to do more dice of damage). Conversely, Save DCs scale with character level, not spell level nor even caster level.

Instead of BAB, everyone gets 'proficiency' that goes from +2 to +6 over 20 levels. This applies to attacks, save DCs, /some/ saving throws, and trained skills. FORT, REF, and WILL are called CON, DEX, and WIS saves, respectively. There are also STR, INT, and CHA saves, but they are rare. Each class gets proficiency in one of the 'useful' saves, and one of the others. So you're going to have two important 'bad' saves at high level, unless you multiclass or use feats to shore them up.

Feats are /much/ 'bigger.' You only get a feat every 4 levels and must give up a stat bump to get it, but one feat is like a whole 3.x feat-/tree/.

Fighters get two more stat bumps than everyone else, the first at level 6, instead of bonus feats.

Fighters get old-school multiple attacks in a single standard action (simply called an action), instead of needing to make a full-round attack, and all attacks are full-BAB, not iterative - yes that makes them pretty high DPR even without much system mastery applied.

AoOs, and some other sorts of actions are consolidated into a single 'Reaction,' that you can do only once per round. A lot of cool things use Reactions, so you have to be careful not to have them get in the way of eachother.

Swift and other actions are consolidated into a 1/round 'bonus' action. For instance, you use your 'bonus' action to cast a spell that also lets you attack on the same round, or attack with an off-hand weapon, or a lot of other things, creating a bit of a bottleneck.

There are no wealth/level guidelines and magic items are strictly a DM-distributed resource. You can forget about tailoring items to 'builds.' Characters started above 1st level still just get 1st level gear.

MCing is slightly different: caster levels stack, to a degree.

Monsters aren't generally built using all the same rules as PCs, they have simpler stat blocks, more like earlier editions, though they /do/ have all six stats.

PrCs are gone.

You have a choice of 'background' (mostly what you did before you started adventuring) that determines some of your skills, some of your starting gear, and a perk of some kind.
 

The Souljourner

First Post
There's no flanking, and AoO only happen when you leave an opponent's reach, which makes for much less fiddly movement during fights. Generally, this means fights go a LOT faster... and that a battle mat is no longer really necessary.

There's no more infinite twiddling of skill points. There's just proficient or not. There's also way fewer skills. Skills were one of my pet peeves in 3.x. No one ever got enough skill points, and putting points in anything that wasn't combat or at least adventuring-related seemed foolish.

Bards are now full casters, on par with clerics and druids.

There are things that are basically like prestige classes called archetypes, except they're just extensions to the base abilities of the class, they're not a fully different class (you're still a rogue, you just might have the Arcane Trickster archetype). This is really nice because it means you can't take a few levels here and there, it's a one-time choice (generally at 3rd level). There's no prerequisites or anything, you just choose.

Overall, I think 5E feels like a streamlined 3.x, with lessons learned from 4e (like cantrips as at-wills for casters).
 

Samloyal23

Adventurer
There's no flanking, and AoO only happen when you leave an opponent's reach, which makes for much less fiddly movement during fights. Generally, this means fights go a LOT faster... and that a battle mat is no longer really necessary.

There's no more infinite twiddling of skill points. There's just proficient or not. There's also way fewer skills. Skills were one of my pet peeves in 3.x. No one ever got enough skill points, and putting points in anything that wasn't combat or at least adventuring-related seemed foolish.

Flanking made strategy more important and I LIKE twiddling with skill points. The skill system in 4E was dumbed down until it was useless, I hated that crap.
 

The Souljourner

First Post
Flanking made strategy more important and I LIKE twiddling with skill points. The skill system in 4E was dumbed down until it was useless, I hated that crap.

Twiddling with skillpoints just meant that the DM had to make the DC's insanely high to actually challenge the people who were skilled, and it meant that if you ever put points into more background-y skills (like, craft, or knowledge), then you were just screwing yourself and the party.... it also meant the classes that didn't have those skills could not possibly succeed at the task. In 5E, everyone has a possibility to pass, and the proficient person is just more likely.

Flanking still sort of exists... there's plenty of abilities that only work if an ally is next to the target, it just doesn't require being insanely fiddly with movement, which only slowed down combat. I really enjoy actually moving through a story and having a handful of slightly less detailed fights, rather than having one insanely detailed fight and not actually progressing in the story, because we spent so much time in a single battle.
 

TwoSix

Dirty, realism-hating munchkin powergamer
Flanking made strategy more important and I LIKE twiddling with skill points. The skill system in 4E was dumbed down until it was useless, I hated that crap.
Pretty sure a skill point module is one of the optional rules in the DMG.

Man, we really need that DMG to come out, it's like we're only discussing half the game right now.
 

Chocolategravy

First Post
- Much less character customization. - Less skills. - Wizards swing a weapon as well as a fighter. - Everyone can heal themselves somewhat, and often in combat. - Monsters use different rules and don't feel like PCs with claws. - Stat ups are a class feature, not a character feature. - Feats come at the cost of a stat up. - Endless cantrips. - Spells hit harder, don't get critted! - No flanking, less combat options unless you play fighter. - Humans are even better.
 

Tony Vargas

Legend
Your analysis is otherwise spot on, but it's worth noting that you can't shore up your bad saves with multiclassing-- second and subsequent classes don't grant proficiency in their class saves. The only way to gain proficiency with a save your first class does not grant is with the Resilient feat, which can only be taken once.

Well, that's discouraging.
 

DammitVictor

Trust the Fungus
Supporter
Well, that's discouraging.

Easily house-ruled if you want people to be able to take Resilient more than once.

Me, since I'm reworking a bunch of feats anyway and not allowing stat bumps from feats, I'm replacing Resilient with six feats that each grant proficiency in one save and some other benefit.
 


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