• Welcome to this new upgrade of the site. We are now on a totally different software platform. Many things will be different, and bugs are expected. Certain areas (like downloads and reviews) will take longer to import. As always, please use the Meta Forum for site queries or bug reports. Note that we (the mods and admins) are also learning the new software.
  • The RSS feed for the news page has changed. Use this link. The old one displays the forums, not the news.

3.5 What made you stick with 3.x?

billd91

Earl of Cornbread
Touch AC is nearly irrelevant, and intentionally so. 3e spells generally either required a touch attack or allowed a save, with the assumption being that the vast majority of touch attacks would hit but far fewer saves would be failed. That's why, for example, cause light wounds does 1d8 + level damage, while fireball does 1d6 per level.

Expending a True Strike spell to turn a single likely hit into a near-certain hit isn't an unreasonably trade-off.

Of course, they then promptly dropped in loads of ways for Wizards to boost those save DCs to unbeatable heights, or they didn't follow their own conventions about spell damage (leading to madness like shivering touch), but that's another rant.
There's a significant problem with this analysis. The spells you're using in your examples existed back in 1e, doing much the same damage, when touch attacks were significantly different. Touch AC wasn't at all irrelevant back then because the full AC had to be hit. The simulationist aspects of a touch spell ignoring armor, natural armor, and shields made sense for the redesign in 3e as a concept - yet it made some touch spells like harm far more dangerous than they were in preceding editions (though in that case, the shift in hit point expectations didn't help matters). Dragons were suddenly vulnerable to a harm + magic missile combo like never before when not many clerics were confident enough to rush in with a touch attack and an only modest THAC0. I don't think relative damage from saving throw-based spells vs touch spells factored significantly into making touch ACs so low. I suspect they thought it made a good match for a wizard's low BAB and left it at that.
 
There's a significant problem with this analysis. The spells you're using in your examples existed back in 1e, doing much the same damage, when touch attacks were significantly different.
The spells I used as examples are just that: examples. The pattern is pretty much the same with all the spells - touch attack does fixed dice + level; save does 1 die per level.

Dragons were suddenly vulnerable to a harm + magic missile combo like never before
True. But then harm was recognised early on as a flawed spell.

I don't think relative damage from saving throw-based spells vs touch spells factored significantly into making touch ACs so low. I suspect they thought it made a good match for a wizard's low BAB and left it at that.
We'll have to agree to disagree on that one. There are several places where I don't think the designers thought out the implications of what they were doing (such as allowing easy item creation, which led to casters loading up on utility scrolls and thus negating Vancian casting), but I don't think this is one of them.

Edit: in any case, I'm not sure it matters. My major point was that Touch ACs were already nearly irrelevant. Whether this was intentional or accidental is somewhat secondary - either way, it's not true strike that renders them so.
 

Ragmon

Explorer
Well if I just look at D&D then, 4 was a train-wreck and 5 is overly simplified and the lack of content (yea its fairly new). In addition I think 3/3.5 is just 2 improved with infinitely better book design/layout (This goes for 5 too, just horrible layout all around).

It's not perfect but its the best in every aspect.
- Book layouts are great.
- You can make it simple if you want, using only PHB, DMG and MM.
- You can go balls-deep and use everything.
- Tons of supported campaign settings.
- Tons of 3rd party content.
- Tons of Apps and software to help the players and DM.
- Tons of detailed optional rules.
- Easy to learn hard to master.

3/3.5 D&D is best D&D.
 
We'll have to agree to disagree on that one. There are several places where I don't think the designers thought out the implications of what they were doing (such as allowing easy item creation, which led to casters loading up on utility scrolls and thus negating Vancian casting), but I don't think this is one of them.
Y'know, I would love LOVE LOVE to read up on anything that the game designers have said regarding their design decisions. Does anyone know if there is any compilation of that material?
 

Greenfield

Adventurer
One of our players was trying to figure out, from the book, what his Wizard's spellcasting focus did. The initial entry referred to a second section, which was far from complete, but referred the reader to a third section. Which referred them back to the first.

So as far as concise presentation goes, they fall short.

We just finished our first D&D 5 campaign half an hour ago. It proved that starting PCs are glass canon: They can dish out far more than they can take. The same is true of many monsters.

Six PCs and an NPC, all first level, got TPKd by a small Kobold band. They had "Advantage" on their attacks because of a pack-tactic rule, and were rolling D4+2 damage. The pack tactic says that if several, standing near each other, are targeting the same charcter, they roll their attack twice, taking the better of the two. Translation: They hit a lot. On average, two hits drops most PCs. Since you require a minimum of three, I think, to use pack tactic. each group of three was dropping a PC a round.

The "Glass Cannon" design makes players see their characters as "powerful", able to one-shot foes left and right. The corellary is that monsters can do the same.
 

TheYeti1775

Villager
Simple answer - Money and satisfaction.
I've bought a lot of 3x books, and I'm fairly happy with it.

Longer answer
4E didn't grab me one bit, which one of my friends finds funny cause I love Star Wars Saga edition. But generally dislike Book of Nine Swords in 3e.
I tried 4e didn't like it, though I did pick up a bunch of the books cheap from a yard sale.
I've bought the core 5e books, currently one of the other players is borrowing them to read through them. We might try it for a one shot one night.
Currently in four games a week. 2 - 3.5e (DMing one) / 1 - 1E / 1 - Star Wars Saga Edition

I know it sounds like a beaten horse, but I do have plenty of material to last me a lifetime.
 

Starfox

Villager
The "Glass Cannon" design makes players see their characters as "powerful", able to one-shot foes left and right. The corellary is that monsters can do the same.
The idea is to keep fight short and tense. I can't say if its right for you, each group has to decide for itself.
 
I am still running D&D 3.0, core books only (well, was; the campaign finished a few months back.) I looked at 3.5 and Pathfinder, and didn't find (most of) the changes to actually improve the game. 3.5 in particular seems to have made many changes for changes' sake (tons of minor changes which only make conversion difficult; I suppose it helped sell more books! or changes which make the game worse: weapon sizes I am looking at you!) without solving the most glaring problems.

Later versions have too much of one thing I generally dislike: feats (and PF makes things even more complex). At least in 3.0 they are kept to a manageable, small number, and most feats address one specific part of the rules (want to get better at skills? take Skill Focus; want to get better at avoiding surprise? take Alertness) or effectively modularize what in AD&D where class abilities or where added in one of the splat books. In fact, we originally viewed 3.0 as a systematisation of AD&D 2e + Player's Option stuff, which generally didn't work quite well as intended, and made the game more prone to breaking, so we hoped 3.0 would "fix" all that (and in general, it did.) An aspect of 3.0 we like, is that it retains many aspects from AD&D 2e, which is the game we played most (e.g. how magic weapons work.) Many things in 3.5 and PF don't resemble things in AD&D 2e anymore, and this for us is a game breaker (as I tend to use tons of stuff from AD&D in my games.)
Then, one of the best d20 books was made for 3.0: the 3.0 Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.

I recently ran a 5e campaign, and although it's a nice game overall, it doesn't seem to do much more than 3.0 for me as a DM (although I do appreciate simplifying monster design even more; another thing I didn't really care for in 3.5 and PF: monsters with the same rules as PCs). What I really love now, is 13th Age; a truly wonderful game, which I think will replace 3.0 for my next d20-rolling campaigns (tried to make 4e work without minis, as I generally like a lot of the ideas in the game...but it didn't really succeed :( )
 
Last edited:

Advertisement

Top