What did you like about 3.x?

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What did you like about 3.x?

Post by joela »

When I read "why 3.x sucks and 4E will solve it all", I sometimes wonder if the poster enjoyed 3.x at all. Ultimately, I know they had too: like couples before a divorce, they forget what brought them together in the first place.

So, for you folks switching to 4E, what did you enjoy when you first started playing 3.x?
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Re: What did you like about 3.x?

Post by Jengenritz »

What I like most about 3.5 is...

The system makes sense. I can see the nuts and bolts of it, the underlying mechanics. I can consistently replicate the results (like, say, adding 4 HD to an aberration or 4 wizard levels to a goblin).

Also love the NPC classes, also love (love-love-love) giving monsters class levels.

Sure, all of the above is a lot of work, but it's a joy to have tools that do what they're supposed to do (most of the time), and I honestly prefer it to the old days of constantly "fudging it." Somebody here once lamented that they couldn't just give an orc a better weapon and more hit points and call him a "boss orc"...that is exactly what I didn't like.

Most of this is from a GM's standpoint, clearly. As a player, I like that this edition lets me tell a story through my character sheet. If I want my rogue to have a few ranks in Craft (painting) to represent his non-adventuring interests, a few ranks in Knowledge (arcana) to represent that his older brothers are wizards, and a one level in cleric because he just found some faith, I can do all that. My character isn't min-maxed, but in return I have a fun character with a history and some depth...all supported by rules that allow customization.

If 4E is going to appeal to me (as a private individual and not necessarily as a freelancer), it has to have a toolkit as good or better than 3.5.
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Re: What did you like about 3.x?

Post by GnomeBoy »

I like how 3e did away with arbitrary restictions. Sure, someone will immediately post an arbitrary restriction imposed by 3e... c'est la vie. But, no more dwarves can't be wizards, Gnomes cap at X level, etc. etc. etc.

I like how it made multi-classing easier. I like how it opened up with things like the PrCs and templates and all things that let you tweak a character or monster into something really unique and unexpected. And I like the 'transparency' Mr. 'Ritz talks about, too. When 3e hit, it was like the D&D world opened up in a way it never had done quite before... :mrgreen:

I feel no particular need to move on to 4e, and I'll need to make a save vs. petrification if my group makes a move to 4e in the near future... but I'm certainly interested in looking into it, don't understand the hatred as if something has been stolen, and will probably end up with, at least, the (first) three core books.
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Re: What did you like about 3.x?

Post by 3.5Player »

It was realistic. It made magic believable in a way 4E doesn't, It had realistic damage, health and what-not. There was a lot more strategy involved, whereas in 4E you can run headlong at just about anything of your level and win handily.
I love NPCs. It's so cool (and realistic) to give that Orc barbarian levels, or that Drow wizard levels. If I'm forced to do 4E, then I'll insert NPCs. Enough of the "Hobgoblin Hand of Bane" kind of crap. We all know he's a "Hobgoblin Ftr5/Blk2".
And the Power System is just bad. So does the Path and Tier system. So really, my level 12 Barbarian just became a "Rageblood Barbarian 10/ Frenzied Berserker 2". It makes me sick to my stomach.
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Re: What did you like about 3.x?

Post by abk108 »

I'm playing 4E, and I'm running 3.5 .

I can say that they are simply two different games, and the only thing they have in common is: they're called D&D, they use dice.

It's like chess and draughts - they both use the same board, but they are different games.

I simply like everything in 3.5 better than the equivalent rules of 4E, EXCEPT:

grapples,pushes,stunts : they're just easier to use and understand in 4E "push enemy 1 square"

(standard+move) round : i like in 4E the minor action, it's almost free, but sometimes you have to make tough decisions over these

Magic Items: in 4E they are simpler to use, tuned down in power and they scale better with levels.


I LOVE that in 3.5 monsters follow the exact same rules as PCs, that you are free to do whatever you want and still have fun (in 4e, if you don't optimize you character you simply have no fun - that's because powers are simply mechanical crunchy bits. No flavour attached.), that you can play a PC without combat abilities and still have fun (4E is simply 90% combat), races have bonuses/maluses, some are stronger that others
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Re: What did you like about 3.x?

Post by finarvyn »

For everyone who hates game XX there is another person out there who raves about game XX. And that's okay. I think that if each group finds a game that fits their game style everyone can be happy!
joela wrote:So, for you folks switching to 4E, what did you enjoy when you first started playing 3.x?
A great question. When 3E first came out I hurried out to buy all of the rulebooks. And played it right away. I won't claim that all of my thoughts below occured on day #1 of playing 3E, but these are a blend of reflections after a decade of 3E being out there.

While I didn't like the details (feats, skills, etcetera) from a GM's perspective, I loved those same elements as a player. I think it's cool that fighters get things to do like Cleave foes. I think it's neat that magic-users can tweak spell duration or spell damage or other factors to make them do what the player wants. As a player I like the fact that there are more options than many of the older editions.

From the onset I'm glad that 3E came with a free character generator program to handle those details. And that I could take my character and print it as a PDF and save it for later. Those are nice "modern" details that made 3E play more fun than it might have been otherwise, because character generation can be tricky if you're only partly familar with the rules. (This was another 4E perk at first, but I think they took down the free chargen program for 4E. Also, it only worked for levels 1-3, which was very limiting and partly led to my lack of enthusiasm for the game once we'd played 4E for a while.)

Mechanically, I think that 3E does some great things. I like the fact that pretty much every action is done in the same way with d20 die rolls. I like the unified XP charts so characters can all advance at the same time. I like the fact that AC gets bigger as the armor gets better. I like the fact that the attributes are more open-ended and can continue go as high as we like. I like 0th level spells, and the notion that low-level magic-users can cast more spells faster (e.g. the Sorcerer class). I think that it's great that 3E reorganized the rules in a logical sense.

I like the fact that 3E was relesed under an OGL so that others could create rules sets based on those rules. Without the OGL I'm not so sure that C&C, Labyrinth Lord, DCC RPG, and others would be possible. At least, they wouldn't be able to have the same style and general rules patterns that they have at present.

So overall I'm a fan of 3E and what it represents. I wish some of the older editions were still supported, but other games are clearly filling that niche at present.
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