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Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 Reviewed 125

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the rules-updates-or-cash-cow? dept.
WorselWorsel writes "The new edition of the seminal Dungeons & Dragons paper-RPG comes out this Friday and d20zines.com has this review. This is the first new edition of D&D since Hasbro acquired Wizards of the Coast. The last edition came out almost two years ago, and this time around the prices of three core books are up by $10 each. Since these are partially incompatible with older 3rd edition books, WotC is printing/making downloadable a short booklet explaining some changes." In addition to being a product review, it's a good overview of what's changed since 3rd edition, and really helps one decide if the changes are important enough to rebuy the core rulebooks.
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Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 Reviewed

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  • Nerds! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @01:02PM (#6401153)

    Ha! Only nerds play Dungeons & Dragons and post to Slashdot about it....oh, wait.

  • Geeks might identify with it, they could call D&D 4.0 something like:


    Dungeons and Dragons: GPA Edition.
  • Price Up? Hardly (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ondo (187980) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @01:08PM (#6401208)
    this time around the prices of three core books are up by $10 each

    Up $10 over the price of the old books when they were first released. Exactly the same price as the old books have been selling at since January 2001.
    • I've seen some people complain about the 3.5 initial offering price on other boards. To them I say "get over it". The only reason the 3.0 core books sold at around twenty bucks for the first printing was because WotC knew everyone was gonna buy the damn things and bought a huge number from the printers at a substantial discount. They're not going to sell nearly as many this time around, so they're not buying as many, so they're not getting a huge discount for them.
      • Bah. Don't yell at us for whining. We are poor geeks for crying out loud. There are so many nerdy things in the world, and we don't have enough money to buy them all, so this $10 hike is significant.
        • by bellings (137948)
          I'm a rich geek. I'll buy them all from my local game store, at full price, just because I like having a local game store.
        • Bah. Don't yell at us for whining. We are poor geeks for crying out loud.

          That's no excuse for being an asshole. You've got no right to complain about the "hike". The original books were still a good deal when they were $30 (you won't find other hardcover full-color RPG books for that price), 3.5 is an even better deal since the books are longer, Wizards offering a limited-time great deal on the others implies no obligation to continue to do that with later books in the line (especially since there are
      • get over it? bah. the main complaint that D&D gamers have over the price increase is that when TSR was in charge, you had to go out of your way to find a book or module that cost more than 25 bucks.

        combine a price hike for each of the core books and you've got a significant change in cost for any serious players. at least when AD&D came out, we got a lot of extra content over the first edition to make shelling out the cash worth it.

        I highly doubt that WotC would be taking a loss if they had left

        • Re:Price Up? Hardly (Score:3, Informative)

          by Ondo (187980)
          I highly doubt that WotC would be taking a loss if they had left the prices alone, anyways.

          Nobody else sells a hardcover, full-color RPG book of that length for even $30. Why? Because the printing costs are too high to make a profit. The only reason Wizards can afford to sell them at $30 is because they order a higher volume than other RPG makers. There's no reason to think they wouldn't be taking a loss if they sold them at $20.

          No, the price increase is because the bastards know that we'll buy it be
        • get over it? bah. the main complaint that D&D gamers have over the price increase is that when TSR was in charge, you had to go out of your way to find a book or module that cost more than 25 bucks.

          Um.... I think you've got that backwards. There's a reason TSR was monikered T$R, you know. Back when TSR was in charge, it was impossible to find a source book for *under* $30. At the time 3e came out, the 2e core rulebooks were $39.95! Hell, the "Complete book of" mini-sourcebooks were 30 bucks! And you'r

          • There's a reason TSR was monikered T$R

            Not to mention the glut of absolute crap sourcebooks:
            "Ovarian Cyst of the Lankhmarian Uber-fungi(tm) - Kobold Proctologist Sourcebook Required"

            Any hardbacks published by the larger publishers are going to run at least $30 USD.

      • I just figured they knew they could afford to sell the original core books at a low, almost break-even point, because they stood to make a fortune on the $25 pamphlets known as the expansion books, some of which contained content which probably should have been in the core rules, others of which contained "munchkin" enhancements that foolish players would snap up for the purpose of making their characters more '1337.

        Personally, after playing 3.0 a whole bunch, and seeing this review, I'm not inclined to sp

  • by JosefWells (17775) * on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @01:08PM (#6401213)
    True the MSRP of the books is now $29.95 but a quick look at almost all online retailers shows them going for about $20. Walmart.com and abebooks.com have em for around 18 each.

    Granted this is the shortest core rules turnaround of all time, it would seem that WoTC is milking the public.. but if you check their website... htt://wizards.com/dnd you sill see that there is just an INSANE ammount of free stuff. Adventures, additional classes, monsters, maps.. just a bunch of stuff. As long as WoTC puts out free quality stuff like that, I'll bite on new rule books.

    • you don't live in europe do you?

      No, i won't buy the books but i'll be happy with the changes.
      And i'm happy with wizards, dnd, d20 and OGL.
    • "Granted this is the shortest core rules turnaround of all time, it would seem that WoTC is milking the public"

      It wasn't unexpected. Both first and second edition AD&D were "refreshed" around the middle-end of their run. It's a great way to get people to buy what they already have -- and Hasbro has been having money issues.

      FWIW, both first and second edition AD&D were in print for about 10 years (give or take). By my guesstimate, we're 5-10 years away from the 4th edition. :)
  • On the cheap (Score:4, Informative)

    by SnowDog_2112 (23900) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @01:11PM (#6401232) Homepage
    If you're like me, and you know you're going to buy them anyway, pre-order the books from Amazon at a discount, instead of paying retail.

    You can even do a little better if you buy all three books and then use the "share the love" feature to invite the rest of your gaming group to buy the books at 10% off the already reduced price.

    (Not that I, er, still play D&D or anything.)

    As much as I like to support the local game shops, some offers are too nice to pass up.
  • by cheezus (95036) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @01:14PM (#6401262) Homepage
    Back when I played (years ago), we had the rulebooks, and used them as a guide, but didn't actually stick to most of the rules. we found that when we did most of the time was spent looking stuff up and rolling a lot of dice. Our game ended up being mostly a storytelling game, and pretty much the only rules we used were for combat.

    There was still a lot of min/maxing and THAC0 manipulation going on... i can't imagine how bad it would have been if we were actually following the rules!
    • THAC0.

      Wow.

      To Hit Armor Class Zero.

      Real geeks know that this "thac0" thing was a 2E crap term and has no place in "real" (1st and 3rd) DnD. :P
        • changes from 1st ed to 2nd ed... found on google...

          "The THAC0 system is now standard; combat charts with six 20's no longer exist. A natural 20 always hits, a natural 1 always misses."

          the premise was the same (roll D20, add modifiers) but the term "to hit ac 0" or "thac0" wasnt added until 2nd ed
          • the term "to hit ac 0" or "thac0" wasnt added until 2nd ed

            To Hit Armour Class 0 became THAC0 pretty quickly for us. We needed a noun to use in reference to the concept, and the acronym was pronouncible.

            I'm sure many geeks came up with THAC0 independently of one another.
          • I'll be digging out my 1st edition AD&D rulebooks when I get home, but I think you are wrong. I am pretty sure that they used THAC0 (or the supplements did) and I know that the D&D sets that were out at the time (basic, expert, companion, masters, immortal) did for sure - I can picture the character sheet in my mind :-)

            Regardless, as you stated, the system used the concept of THAC0: the unmodified d20 roll you needed to hit armor class 0.

      • Real geeks know that this "thac0" thing was a 2E crap term and has no place in "real" (1st and 3rd) DnD. :PM

        Real geeks played 1st Edition AD&D know that THAC0 was present then too. They changed the system for 3rd edition.

        • And ya know, even though 2E had tremendous merit... and I (from the DM side of the house) love the concept of volumetric fireballs... I really have to say that 3rd is very easy to teach (like 2nd, but fewer vocab words :p ), very smooth to run (albeit, I'm older now (not too much)), and easy to come up with new rules to fit things on the spot (as any RPG is once you know the concepts).

          So, in short, this post has no point other than to say things I like about 3rd that are very easy to refute. But, I like
          • The most startling change in 3rd Edition is that they moved to a square grid instead of hex (allowing for 8 attackers to surround you instead of 6,) and to be considered "flanking" in your attack, you must be in the square exactly opposite another attacker (in other words, right and left flanks functionally no longer exist.) Also, when you stand on opposite sides of an enemy from an ally, you are both considered to be making a flanking attack.

            This didn't seem like such a strange idea, until we started usi

        • You can get even geekier and point out that 3E D&D is not "Advanced" D&D any more (even though it's 3E which would seem to come after 1E and 2E in the AD&D chain of releases). So if the original poster was claiming that THAC0 wasn't part of 1E or 3E D&D, he was probably right -- THAC0 was a part of AD&D.

          (Sorry to assume gender up there, but sometimes it's just a safe bet :P )
        • So I guess you're not a "Real Geek" then? My 1e books are in storage but I have something better, the official ESD of the first edition PHB. OCR makes it quite trivial to settle this. The phrase THAC0 does not appear in the first edition PHB. The phrase "to hit AC" only appears twice in irrelevant contexts. First edition handled combat with "attack matrices." These basically worked out the same as THAC0 later would, but the term and concept of delegating that information directly to the players did no
      • Real geeks know that this "thac0" thing was a 2E crap term and has no place in "real" (1st and 3rd) DnD. :P

        HA!

        REAL geeks still PLAY 1st edition!

        And live in their parent's basement.

        And hope someday they'll actually meet a real GIRL (with +5 ta-tas).

    • After ditching AD&D 20 years ago and working through a dozen homebrew variants we hit upon GURPS. It let us get to the role playing without having to be lawyer/accountants. And it translated well to any genre we wanted...
      • Right... GURPS is easier... hmmmkay...
        I'm glad it works for you, but it is not simpler. By a long shot. DnD/d20 is as simple as it can be.
        • d20 is as simple as it can be? I suppose that depends on your definition of "it", but I personally hate d20 for its complexity. Granted, I'm not familiar with GURPS or earlier editions of D&D, but I know that the Storyteller system (White Wolf) is much simpler and easier to run/play when compared to d20. Just comparing the rules section of d20 D&D (which is basically the DMG and a good chunk of the PG, iirc) to any of the storyteller books (which is about a sixth of the core book, or 40-50 pages) wi

          • White Wolf has its own issues. I play both systems regularly. I personally like D20 better, it seems easier, probably brought on by having to roll fewer dice. Tell me why WW makes the roll for every 3rd level discipline a different Ability/Attribute combination than that of the other discipline levels? I spend way to much time checking those strange combinations. But my greatest problem with WW- an ungodly powerful character can fall way to easily due to die rolls. The probabilities don't scale properly.
            • You've got some good points, though I can't really relate to the discipline point since I don't play Vampire (being a Werewolf junky myself). I have to agree with you on point about powerful characters falling too easily to bad rolls. I still think that, although both have issues, White Wolf is a simpler system. d20 is very structured, and I find myself looking up what combinations I'm supposed to roll or what modifiers/saving throws/etc/etc/etc more often than I do with White Wolf's games, since so few of

        • by Anonymous Coward
          The problem with D&D's d20-based system is that it's random. I mean random in a bad way. The odds of rolling a 1 are the same as rolling a 10 are the same as rolling a 20.

          GURPS's 3d6-based system produces results in the range of 3-18... but it does it along a normal distribution. (Think "bell curve.")

          So to roll hit effectiveness in GURPS, for example, you roll 3d6 and compare to a chart. If you get somewhere in the middle (say, 9-12), you score normal damage. If you get slightly outside the middle (6-
          • I love GURPS, but you are exaggerating the importance of the bell curve. Rolling a 3 is a critical failure, rolling an 18 is a critical success... the odds for each of these is, what? About 3.5%? (I don't feel like calculating it at the moment). With the d20 system, 1 is a critical failure, and 20 is a critical success. Chance for each of those rolls? 5%. Slightly higher, but not enough to completely destroy the game balance.

            The d20 system was carefully weighted so that you have about a 50% chance o

            • by Anonymous Coward
              the odds for each of these is, what? About 3.5%?

              One in seventy-two.

              Slightly higher, but not enough to completely destroy the game balance.

              You're ignoring the stuff in the middle. What's the chance of rolling an 11 on a d20? 5%. What's the chance of rolling 11 on 3d6? One in twelve. Significantly higher.

              The d20 system was carefully weighted so that you have about a 50% chance of doing almost everything.

              Which is, of course, no fun at all for anybody.
              • You're ignoring the stuff in the middle. What's the chance of rolling an 11 on a d20? 5%. What's the chance of rolling 11 on 3d6? One in twelve. Significantly higher.

                I'm not ignoring it, it's just that in d20, where damage is rolled separately, it doesn't matter. What's the chance of rolling 11 or better on d20? 45%. What's the chance of rolling 11 or better on 3d6? Somewhere just under 50%.

                Bell-curve distributions can make some things a little more predictable, but if you don't like randomness and th

        • Okay, I'll agree that GURPS is not anywhere close to being as simple as the d20 system, but claiming that d20 is "as simple as it can be" is a little too much. I can list off the top of my head 8 systems which are easier to play than d20, without even mentioning any diceless systems.

          1. "Feng Shui" by Atlas Games
          2. "Star Wars" by West End Games
          3. "Sorcerer" by Adept Press
          4. "Cartoon Action Hour" by Z-man Games
          6. "Over the Edge" by Atlas Games
          5. "Savage Worlds" by Pinnacle Entertainment
          7. "Teenagers
          • I *LOVED* D6 Star Wars. I can't stand the abomination that WotC made of it either. D6 was easy to teach, learn, and the simple rules left TONS of space for everything (creativity, narrative). The only thing that I never could remember were the difficulty ranges... which were optional if you remembered about how hard things should be. : ) Level-less system that rely ONLY on 6-sided dice... Yummy
          • However, of the above listed games, I recommend solidly buying "Sorcerer" and its two supplements "Sword and Sorcery" and "Sorcerer and Soul" just to read.

            Some of the best writing about RPGs as well. I would further the recommendation by suggesting a trip to the Forge:
            [ http://www.indie-rpgs.com/ ]
            If for no other reason than to read Ron Edwards' writings and ensuing discussion RE:the GNS Model of RPGs. Ron is also the author of the Sorcerer books.

            The most fun system I've seen in a long time (it shou

      • It let us get to the role playing without having to be lawyer/accountants.

        Not only that, but with GURPS you could BE a lawyer/accountant!

        Accountant: "I summon the Holy Audit Avenger, and command it to smite the Enron Dragon"

        Lawyer: "Bah! You don't have a chance against my Vorpal Blade of Shredding +5!"

      • Wait... you're claiming that GURPS allows for _less_ bookkeeping?

        The game with point-based play, per-bullet counting, one-second rounds, et cetera?

        Maybe you're thinking of Storyteller... or just about any game where the ref. says "don't worry about that bookkeeping, we'll just fudge it."
      • A lot of RPGs nowadays have free versions of the rules.

        If anyone is interested in GURPS, you can check out GURPS Lite [sjgames.com], a simple subset of the GURPS rules. Some people prefer it to the full GURPS rules.

        Microtactix gives away Simply Roleplaying! [microtactix.com], and they also make cool printable cardstock stuff.

        Guardians of Order [guardiansorder.com] will be releasing their Tri-Stat dX system for free tomorrow.

        Atlas Games has released Ars Magica [atlas-games.com] for free.

        Grey Ghost Press gives away Fudge [fudgerpg.com].

        It's a good time to be a gamer.
    • Was it just my group or did everybody say "TACO" or "THA-CO" for this term?

      I remember making a lot of runs to Taco Bell playing D&D...maybe this was part of their plan? ;)

    • It was many years ago when I last played the original (I think??) D&D, then AD&D came out and our collective interest faded until we settled for something in the middle.

      We made battles occur in real time. If someone hesitated during battle, they lost initiative.
      When someone "noticed" something, the DM passed a note to only that player.
      Alignment was heavily used. Bad guys don't stand and fight with the Good. If you do, you would pay. And we made up a good number of races before TSR/TRS(sp????) did.
    • There was still a lot of min/maxing and THAC0 manipulation going on... i can't imagine how bad it would have been if we were actually following the rules!

      Well, if you had, then you would have figured out that you could generate a Drow Bladesinger at level 1, with no magic items or fudging other than a semi-decent initial rollup, that started with a THAC0 of 14. If you played Planescape, you could push that margin a bit further with a tweak of race. Ah the memories of my cuisinart-fu tiefling. Too bad I
    • You should have played The Extraordinary Adventures [demon.co.uk]
      of Baron Munchausen, a much superiour game, with many fewer encumbrances.

      It's basically a lying contest. It takes a bit of practice before you're any good, but once you're good... you're great. Fantastic game.
  • by Blitzshlag (685207) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @02:03PM (#6401580)
    You're still getting more entertainment time for the buck playing paper D&D in a regular group than virtually anything else out there.
  • by Thyamine (531612)
    I now own a set of books that are just going to sit around until they are worth more to someone else than they are to me.

    Don't get me wrong. I appreciate that they are breathing some nice life into it, and that they are trying to balance everything. But to revamp the core rulebooks entirely in just 2 years?

    Who do they think they are? Microsoft? ;-)
  • I'll post the same thing here I did on the WOTC forums. In fact ... I'll cut and paste!

    WHY IS THERE NO REBATE POLICY?!?!?!

    This shows me WOTC has NO respect for me whatsoever! I paid them money (They rightfully deserved) for D&D 3e. I have no problem with that. But the fact that I now have to pay all over again to get the same damned thing is downright insulting! It's doubly insulting by them saying "It's a small update" and "Two players could be using different books for hours and not notice" How can
    • So just download the free update from their website. It details the differnces between 3e and 3.5e.

      3e books + update (think of it as errata) = 3.5 game

      3.5e books = 3.5 game

      Really, you are getting a better deal since the 3e books were cheaper and the update is free.

      Or just play 3e.. and houserule to your hearts content.
    • Because there's no way they could offer a rebate that would be both large enough to be appealing to conumers yet not be disastrous financially.

      First, consider that the distributor markup is around 50%, maybe only 40%. Wizards is already only getting a $15 cut of that $30 book. They have to pay to print it, and they most certainly have overhead. Let's say that all of those costs will roll up into $5 a copy (which is pretty lowball since it's hard to find information on 244 page 4 color glossy print on go

    • I'll post the same thing here I did on the WOTC forums. In fact ... I'll cut and paste!

      WHY IS THERE NO REBATE POLICY?!?!?!


      Two reasons, I suspect.

      1: The pricing for books in America is so skewed that rebates for printed paper simply aren't workable.

      2: You can get every last changed rule in the SRD. Think of it as "the mother of all eratta."

      Don't pirate the books--just get the rules, honestly, from the source: www.wizards.com/d20

      (Oh, and there IS a rules-conversion guide, which you'll only really nee
  • The reason this is 3.5 rather than version 4 is the size of the changes. 3 to 3.5 is not anything like 2 to 3. 3.5 is a balancing act, fixing the broken and strengthening the weak. Just like MacOS 7.5 was much like 7.0, just better, you don't need to relearn very much. If you know 3, you'll only need the 3.5 books for reference. If you don't know 3, 3.5 is a good place to start.
    • Re:Not a Huge Change (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Golias (176380)
      Bah. I don't need a .5 release to fix what's wrong with 3.0. Here goes:

      1. Allow skewed flanking (the three squares opposite you are all considered flanks.)

      2. Cut the XP rewards to about one-fifth where they are in 3rd Ed. It's supposed to be D&D, not NWN.

      3. Allow magic bows to penetrate DR just as well as magic arrows.

      4. Give the sorcerer some charisma-based skills.

      5. Increase the Bard's skill points, and come up with some more interesting song effects at high levels.

      6. Burn all the munchkin bo

  • by chrish (4714)

    I only bought the 3e books for Neverwinter Nights [bioware.com] module design, I'm not "upgrading".

    Unless someone wants to give me a 1:1 trade for my 1e AD&D books... ;-)

  • Well since some bastard Level 3 Rogue/Sorcerer stole my books (He had a hide skill of +10, my spot was only +4) I guess I might as well buy the new books....

    Honestly though, anyone familiar with the system can adapt any edition into any other edition. While cosmetically 3rd edition changed a lot for 1st and 2nd edition, deep down they are the same game with very similar mechanics.

    As a DM I liked what they tried too do with 3rd, but there was just too little balance and way to many opportunities for pl
    • Honestly though, anyone familiar with the system can adapt any edition into any other edition. While cosmetically 3rd edition changed a lot for 1st and 2nd edition, deep down they are the same game with very similar mechanics.

      Not really. The differences between 3.5 / 3.0 and the bulk of the precessor versions are easily as noticable as the differences between D&D and any other RPG.

      As a DM I liked what they tried too do with 3rd, but there was just too little balance and way to many opportunities fo
      • Re:Special Ed. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by August_zero (654282)
        Not really. The differences between 3.5 / 3.0 and the bulk of the precessor versions are easily as noticable as the differences between D&D and any other RPG

        I didn't say they were the same, but mechanically they are. Examples? Armor class, 1/2 ed you have a number that starts at 10 (unarmored man sized target) that decreases as it gets "better" AC -10 is very well protected, etc. You have a THAC0 score, that gives you a number, the lower the better, that you subtract the targets AC from to arrive at
        • A brief comparison of a typical 1evel 14 bard against a level 14 monk, rogue, or fighter will show you just how radically out-of-balance the classes are. Sure, the bard can raise the spirits of an army on the eve of battle... how often does that come up in a 6-player dungeon crawl?

          Also, the sorcerer, while a good idea, was not very well thought-out. If sorcerers are natural users of magic, and do not rely on studying, then why are all of their class skills academic and intelligence-based?

          Paladins, once

          • Sure, the bard can raise the spirits of an army on the eve of battle... how often does that come up in a 6-player dungeon crawl?

            You DO realize that a 6-player adventuring party counts as a an "army" for the bardic abilities, right? And at 14th level, that bard can take six seconds to "inspire greatness" in the dungeon-crawler's front line fighters, giving them +2 atk and +2d10 hp? (or that the darn bard is a spellcaster, not a front-line fighter?)

            (This is probably a good point to say that classes are s
            • Re:Special Ed. (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Golias (176380)
              or that the darn bard is a spellcaster, not a front-line fighter?

              Yes, I do realize that the bard is a spellcaster. He's not a very effective one, but he is a spell-caster.

              ut of the sorceror's seven class skills in 3.0, three are used in spellcasting (Concentration, Scry, Spellcraft), two are general skills (Craft & Profession), and two are "all magic-users get these" (Knowledge (arcana) and Alchemy.)

              In other words, skills that would require intellectual rigor and study to master, which were not sup

              • But compare a level 12 paladin to a level 12 fighter, and the problem becomes obvious. Yes, the paladin can heal a little, turn undead a little, do some priest stuff, and has that fancy Smite ability... but stack it up against the 7 additional feats that the fighter of the same level will have acquired at that point,

                Ok.

                A 12th level Paladin:

                * Detect Evil at will
                * Gets at least a +2 to all saves
                * Can heal at least 24 hp per day
                * Is immune to all diseases
                * Is immune to magical fear
                * Can smite evil once pe
                • * Detect Evil at will

                  Handy for spotting the spy in the royal court. When crawling through catacombs filled with undead... you can pretty much assume all the zombies, mummies, vampires, etc., are evil. Also, while "detect evil" helps a Paladin maintain his moral codes, it has no real combat value to a neutral or evil fighter, who attacks based on situations, rather than the aura of an encounter's karma.

                  * Gets at least a +2 to all saves

                  Very handy.

                  * Can heal at least 24 hp per day

                  When you consider that

                  • Oh, one more thing:

                    Paladins, IMC (and, AFAIK, in the games at WotC) can run away, sneak around, hoard wealth for powerful weapons and armor, set ambushes, and wait for reinforcements before charging into battle.

                    I just peeked at the player handbook. From the code itself (comments in italics added by me):

                    "Additionally, a paladin's code requires that she respect local authority (which obviously would include paying all tithes and taxes,) act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, etc.), hel

                    • If an evil 40 HD death-god kicks a helpless child down a well, guess who you are honor-bound to punish?

                      If attacking evil doesn't help anyone, and it doesn't even stop the evil, then a Paladin would be foolish to charge head-in and throw their life away.

                      Paladins aren't required to be stupid, and an interpretation of their oath (or manerisms) to require them so is asinine.

                      In fact, at least under 3.0, it makes a lot of sense for a half-elf or human who's not interested in mounted combat to just pick up th
                • If a DM stretches the paladin's code to require giving away wealth or bar discretion in combat, then he's got a bias against paladins (or he's stick in 2nd edition.) They essentially just need to be Lawful Good, emphasis on the Good.

                  A lot of DMs are stuck in 2E. The whole alignment concept is crap [unless you actually enjoy rules lawyering] and should have been tossed.

        • In either edition, a first level fighter needs to roll a 10 to hit the naked guy, a 15 for that naked guy in chainmail, or a 17 if that naked guy invests in platemail. 90% of the weapons and items in 3/3.5 have the same effect as they did in 1/2 ed (long sword does 1d8, mace does 1d6) So the framework is the same.

          That's a fair bit of an oversimplification. I never said that they weren't related--but they aren't "drop-in and use." (pre-3.0 didn't have critical threat info or reach, for example.)

          My firs
      • <i>Call it semi-professional interest, but what exactly are you finding "unbalanced" about the game? Sure you're reading the rules right?</i>

        The biggest problem with the whole feats aspect of the game is that it reads like a shopping list for a certain type of player. 'Now, let's see, what will let me kill the most monsters...' But really, this is a problem with any rpg that has so many rules/dice involved. You will always get some players who try to completely twink out their characters. T
  • From the review - "Overall Rating: 3.35 (Open Content has an effect on overall score.)"

    What is the Open Content modifier they refer to above?
  • (I'm always amazed by how much /. ignores this.)

    D&D has been, since 3.0 came out, the lead-runner in "Open Gaming."

    Go to this page on WotC's website [wizards.com], and you can get quite nearly every rule in the core 3.0 books--soon to be quite nearly every rule from the core 3.5 books.

    The only rule that's really missing is awarding XP--and there are easily a half-dozen ways to find that on the web.

    (So, everyone who's complaining about a 3 year turnaround for a revision--do you complain about how quickly Linux gets a new kernal, or how swiftly Mozilla moves from 1.0 through 1.4?)
    • You don't have to pay for the new Linux kernel. No one's asking you to shell out >$30 for the new Mozilla Point Release. Yes ... it's Open Source. But the SRD is nothing more than 67 MSWord documents spouting technical details about the books. Comparing the two, to use your analogy, is comparing the millions of Linux manpages to Windows Blah for Dummies. If you want to go through the manpages to find out how Red Hat 7.0 differs from Suse 6.7 be my guest. I'll just read the easier book.

      Kleed
      • Comparing the two, to use your analogy, is comparing the millions of Linux manpages to Windows Blah for Dummies.

        Have you actually looked at the SRD files, in comparison to the book?

        To use your analogy, it's comparing MAN pages for a single program with a book that's essentialy just the MAN pages and some structure and flavor text.

        *sigh* Ah, well. Try and larn some folks, and they wind up bitching anyway.
    • But the Linux kernel and Mozilla are free.

  • by XO (250276)
    I NEED to point this out.

    I see a TON of messages on this subject talking stuff like "I played D&D 1st edition, before it was AD&D .." ...

    Advanced Dungeons and Dragons IS the first edition. It was simply called "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons". Dungeons & Dragons came out -after- that as they tried to simplify the concepts to attract new players.

    So, REAL AD&D players know that the first edition is AD&D not D&D.
    • by Violet Null (452694) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @05:43PM (#6403400)
      Interesting, but incorrect.

      Dungeons and Dragons was published by TSR in 1974. This is the three volume set (Men and Magic, Monsters and Treasure, and the Underworld and Wilderness Adventures).

      Advanced Dungeons and Dragons wasn't published until 1977 (Monster Manual), 1978 (Player's Handbook), and 1979 (Dungeon Master's Guide).

      So, Dungeons and Dragons existed for at least three years before Advanced Dungeons and Dragons came out.

      Sources: here [mistrealm.com], here [acaeum.com], and TSR's list of every product ever [yahoofs.com].
  • Am I the only one? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ae0nflx (679000)
    No one is forcing anyone to upgrade. If you want to buy the darn things do so. I personally still play with 2nd edition books and I haven't upgraded for years. I mean, If I were to still play, I'd use 2nd edition....Not that I play D&D anymore...No. Never.

    Just stick with your old books and don't upgrade. It's that simple. Yea, it sucks that they raised the price. Even more reason not to buy it. It may show them that people won't buy at those prices.
  • The first version of 3ED was 20 bucks. Now its 30. Why can they charge this much? Because its not TSR, its WoTC that is selling it. And guess what, they jack up their prices on everything. Why? Because stupid little kids buy it, or rather get their parents to buy it. And if people buy 3.5ED now, guess what, 4ED will be out a year later. And once they convince people to buy a new edition semi-annually, guess whats next? 4.1ED, 4.2ED, 4.3ED etc. If you think they wouldn't do that......give it a deca
    • I can't believe how many 2ed books I accumulated at $20/each over the years when my parents were giving me an allowance of $5/week. Of course, I got a handful of them for Xmas/birthdays, but it was nothing next to what I spent myself. If only I had been happy with just the core rules, but noooo I had to go off on DragonLance, and RavenLoft, and some of the extra classes (Warrior's and Thief's guides, Psionics? wtf?).

      Of course, now I just stuff $50 into a game almost every time a PC or console D&D RPG c
    • You know, I hate the stiff prices as much as anyone, and if I still role-played much (the group moved and so it goes) I'd gripe a bit more with you, but I'd say that for one, its no different than the completist attitude of all those side handbooks. I know my group collected mroe than a handful. As always, you can skip them if you don't want them. An experienced group can adapt old/new products pretty easily to whatever system you're using.

      Aside from working in publishing now and knowing how much these thi
    • My friend, I think that you've missed a few important points in your understanding.

      TSR went out of business well before 3.0 ever came out. They didn't actually close the doors, but they had upwards of 3 months of products that were `delayed' because the printers wouldn't let them out of the warehouses -- because TSR was so far in arrears. Wizards of the Coast temporarily saved TSR on the the strength of the Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon collectible trading card game business, but that fell (as everyon

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