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Author Topic: Which D&D system do YOU prefer?  (Read 1782 times)

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Offline Xillen

Re: Which D&D system do YOU prefer?
« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2009, 12:29:52 AM »
3.5 was unbalanced.  This is common knowledge.

It's not something that was introduced with 3.5. It's pretty much always been unbalanced, and 3.5 is actually quite more balanced than most of the preceding versions.

You can play monsters and give them class levels (potentially gamebreaking, but not if that's what everyone wants to do!).

Actually, if you follow the rules about racial levels and level adjustment, you'll find that the vast majority of playable monsters is actually less powerful than the coore races. The only "monsters" that are more powerful are those with LA+0 that have an edge, like the Gray Elf for Wizards.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Which D&D system do YOU prefer?
« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2009, 12:42:40 AM »
The only problem I have with 3rd edition and onward is the utter lack of proper playtesting and coming out with new editions every few years. I mean take 2nd Edition it was developed and playtested ,by DM led player groups, for if I recall TWO YEARS from an old gamer. They took player input and developed the final version and in my view clearly had a refined finished product.

Face it if the company handed the game to say 50 playtest groups of fans and let them try it out for a year or so you would not get these major blunders, and they could find out what players want. But NOPE rush game development through so called design teams and fuck the wishes of the gaming community.

Then keep cranking out new rules every time they fuck it up and make us bleed more green for them. I'm of the right mind to by 2nd edition the books are pretty cheap and DM that at least the designers had respect for their customers and put out in general ,from what I played, fine products.

I really think the game died when TSR sold the rights as far as I can tell. Like I said they snookered me with 3.0 then decided to fix it and did 3.5 which I never bought with the rules free online. And I'm NEVER going to buy another of the company products again. I felt cheated spending the money for the new rules at the time 3rd edition and now virtually can't use them. I don't mind playing 3.5 but hate they now focus so much on prestige classes and odd races. Its not bad overall save the rip-off of the 3.0 to 3.5 rules which they are likely going to be repeating sadly in 4th I suspect.

As for play balance what is the problem with the older rules? I love them no prestige classes, fixed racial rules that keep the overwhelming options to a minimum and most of the major rules are optional. And I played over the last few years using all the rules from the first set to 4th the two sets I like were AD&D 1st Edition and 2nd Edition with the latter likely the best set of rules.

Offline Xillen

Re: Which D&D system do YOU prefer?
« Reply #27 on: May 13, 2009, 07:23:49 AM »
Those Skills and Powers Options series had major unbalances as well, and were still produced by TSR.

Remember where, if a Mage bought all Mage schools, he'd be completely out of points, while if a Cleric bought all the Mage schools, he'd have points left over? :P

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Re: Which D&D system do YOU prefer?
« Reply #28 on: May 13, 2009, 09:13:03 AM »
First Edition, since Basic wasn't on the List. Extreme old school.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Which D&D system do YOU prefer?
« Reply #29 on: May 13, 2009, 09:50:52 AM »
Those Skills and Powers Options series had major unbalances as well, and were still produced by TSR.

Remember where, if a Mage bought all Mage schools, he'd be completely out of points, while if a Cleric bought all the Mage schools, he'd have points left over? :P

OPTIONAL RULES is key here. In 3rd edition and 4th there is little flexibility. An example could you take out Feats in 3rd or all those quirky class powers in 4th? At least in earlier editions like 2nd you could simple say non-weapon proficiencies are not being used, no subclasses or so forth and the system easily accomodates that. Where is that option in the post-2nd Edition? I would love to have seen feats, odd class powers like healing and how magic is used optional and allowing the DM to opt out.

And you failed to note the playtest issue there is a reason 2nd edition stood for two decades it was lilely the only game playtested by fans, inputing ideas from fans and had fans saying what they wanted in the game during the key part of the development process. And that also eliminated most of the things they might have had to revise such as the 3.0 to 3.5 RIPOFF. And they seem to have done the same thing again with 4th edition.


Offline Myrleena

Re: Which D&D system do YOU prefer?
« Reply #30 on: May 13, 2009, 11:13:22 AM »
Wow.  I thought this was supposed to be a reasonable discussion, not somewhere to vent.  Yeesh, I don't think I'll keep track of the thread anymore, I've seen enough of this BS elsewhere.

Online Thufir Hawat

Re: Which D&D system do YOU prefer?
« Reply #31 on: May 13, 2009, 01:15:17 PM »
People, I started out in AD&D2e, went to other systems and didn't really look back. But I've tried games in all the revisions, though, even if they were shorter story arcs or one-shots.
And in my opinion, you are comparing apples to oranges. Sorry, there was no better way to put it. And FYI, peaches are better :P.
Now, seriously, I can think of multiple games that are closer to one edition of D&D than another edition. Switching from 3.X edition to a lifepath-based system would be much more painless then to 4th edition. Maybe the designers actually wanted to do something closer to lifepath systems? It's a good design choice, by the way, and part of the reasons I voted for 3.5-3.75. Or going from 1st edition to a random rules-light fantasy game, and so on. Bottomline, they are different games to me, not just different editions of the same game.

I mean, they've got almost all design choices different between them. The fact that the attributes are named the same way, you've got alignments, saves and hit points and you roll a d20 are pretty much all the common points remaining from 1st to 4th edition. Yeah, I'm sure I might be missing something, but let's look at the things that really change the gameplay, ok?
Note that I'm really doing that analysis for fun. Also, I'm as impartial as you can get, not having strong preferences toward neither edition. I can paly lots of different games after all ;).

Relation between mechanics and fluff.
1st edition mechanics, from what I see in free games and from what old-timers on RPG.net told, were meant to be in the background for most of the time, but you had to rely on the GM a lot. 2nd edition mechanics gave you some degree of guarantee the GM is not going to blast your character with fiat, more choices, and more "pollitically correct mechanics", without assassins as a core class. 3rd edition, you can play all the time mechanically, but mechanics are often not into the background, and you can fail to make the right mechanical choices which means the character is a mechanical failure as you progress in levels. And in 4th edition, mechanics pretty much determine gameplay.
All in all, you get most freedom in your concepts in 3.X, by combining different classes. Still, that's not a major advantage, as with custom classes, you can get the same in any edition.

Balance and fairness issues.
You were not supposed to get balanced opponents in 1st Edition. If you had a bad random encounter, you run or died, or ran and died. Same thing in 2nd edition, but with GMs advised to roughly balance it out. In 3rd edition, if you get in a fight, it's likely to be a winnable one, that's what CRs are for and even more likely in 4th edition. On the other hand, getting a "better" character was assumed to be part of the fun in earlier editions. You were supposed to compensate by thinking quickly and keeping to your niche. In 3.X, they at least tried to do them more equal. And in 4e, you have mandatory equal characters for the same roles - unless you buy only this upcoming book, and that one, too... ;)

Random character creation
Randomness was supposed to determine what you played back in 1st edition, but you were able to make a new character in minutes. Every subsequent edition took you further away from this. Character creation can take hours in 2e, days in 3rd Edition or 4th edition. It's actually a mini-game within the game. However, in 3.X, you get punished for making the wrong choices. In 4e, bad choices are reversible. On the other hand, in 1st edition you're pretty much stuck with the concept you picked, or rolled for. in 3.X, multiclassing is way easier. And in 4e, you are going to play what you began with.

The power of PCs.
You get more and more out of being PC in any edition. Compare the "3d6, roll in order" to 3.X point-buy and lesser classes for NPCs, and even there, a wizard is pretty fragile. Not anymore in 4e, the developers don't want someone writing them frustrated emails because their wizard who didn't get combat training gets hacked to pieces in the first round of a combat with a combat specialist. Can't allow that to happen anymore ;).

OPTIONAL RULES is key here. In 3rd edition and 4th there is little flexibility. An example could you take out Feats in 3rd or all those quirky class powers in 4th? At least in earlier editions like 2nd you could simple say non-weapon proficiencies are not being used, no subclasses or so forth and the system easily accomodates that. Where is that option in the post-2nd Edition? I would love to have seen feats, odd class powers like healing and how magic is used optional and allowing the DM to opt out.

And you failed to note the playtest issue there is a reason 2nd edition stood for two decades it was lilely the only game playtested by fans, inputing ideas from fans and had fans saying what they wanted in the game during the key part of the development process. And that also eliminated most of the things they might have had to revise such as the 3.0 to 3.5 RIPOFF. And they seem to have done the same thing again with 4th edition.
Just to point out, most GMs in 3rd/3.5/Pathfinder Edition I know consider anything but the core book "optional rules", so you'd have to check it with them before creating an "expansion" character ;). And even core feats and spells might get banned, if they don't suit the campaign they intend to run, or a setting. I expect them to be doing the same with 4th Edition now, whether it says every book is core or not, and I think it's fine.

Offline setojuraiTopic starter

Re: Which D&D system do YOU prefer?
« Reply #32 on: May 13, 2009, 06:27:20 PM »
Y'know, it's funny... I started this thread on the premise of asking people which major D&D system they liked the best, and why that was that they liked it.

Not a forum for saying how much you hate the other systems "that are far inferior" to the one you play.  Those of you who make logical and well thought out posts that are on topic, bravo.
Those of you that have done the "My System Is Better Than You System" stuff... go play an NES, for that is a relic of the years of the Console Wars.

Offline Corinthi

Re: Which D&D system do YOU prefer?
« Reply #33 on: May 13, 2009, 08:31:27 PM »
I really like Fourth Edition D&D, and I've played all the way back to Basic Dungeons and Dragons.

Now, there are a few reasons why the 4th edition is my favorite thus far, and it's not just the 'ooh shiny' factor.

1. I /really/ like the focus on teamwork. A party is so much more than the sum of it's parts and the way characters can synergize their tactics really makes combat enjoyable.
2. I love the way the gap between a super-tweaked, highly optimized character, and a more holistically built character is so much smaller than previous editions. For example, I'm playing an Eladrin Tactical Warlord. Every single Warlord power relies upon Strength to hit, and my race doesn't give me a bonus to Strength. I've multiclassed into Wizard, taken Ritual Caster, and Linguist. None of those feats really help me fulfill my primary role and I'm pretty far from something you'd find on the Character Optimization boards, but my character rocks. I love him, and I can remember many a time when the group would have perished if it wasn't for some timely intervention from the Warlord.
3. I like that they've clearly defined roles. They've always existed in D&D, it's just they've decided to make them explicit instead of implicit. Admittedly, people pay a little too much attention to the roles. You don't need all 4 represented in a party, but a balance helps. Roles also help players pick character classes that appeal to their individual druthers. My wife likes to either kill things a lot (Strikers) or confound the enemy/DM (Controllers). I like to be a force multiplier, and don't care who gets the glory so long as the team succeeds (Leader). My good friend likes to slug it out mano-a-mano and be just too tough to die, or if he's going to die, he wants it to be glorious (Defender). The proliferation of classes also makes it easy to fill all the roles without feeling pigeon holed. If I want to play a Leader, and odds are I do, I can choose Cleric, Warlord, Bard, Shaman, or Artificer, all with their own feel and flavor, but still know I can support and heal the party when needed.
4. I love the Character Builder. It's a marvelous program and with a cheap subscription to D&D Insider, I get regular articles with both fluff and crunch (Dragon), Adventures including a full 1-30 adventure path (Dungeon), and actual useful electronic tools. I don't even have to buy the new books when they come out, because all the character options, with full rules, are updated into the Character Builder.
5. And I know this is a serious bone of contention with people, but I love how a Fighter has just as many options in combat as a Wizard or Cleric does.

I just feel that while the designers of 4th Edition D&D did murder an awful lot of sacred cows, they did so to design a game that was fun to play around a table. It's easy to grasp, easy to play, but has a lot of depth in play.

So yeah, I likes it.

Offline setojuraiTopic starter

Re: Which D&D system do YOU prefer?
« Reply #34 on: May 15, 2009, 01:06:53 AM »
Hmmm... polls close in a few days... and from the looks of things we'll have a clear winner.  Not that I'll say WHICH system is the clear winner until the polls close. :D