What is to you, your idea of the CORE of D&D3

Aries

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The game has spawned enough manuals now, that it one each were dropped on an elephant, it would probably crush it :)

Back when I first encountered D&D3, I was under the impression they wanted to erase all the superfluous fluff that had become 2nd Edition, clean it up and get it all in as few books as possible.

In other words, I bought the bullshit hook line and sinker :)

I don't own any D&D3, and likely wouldn't buy any even if I won the lottery. When I play, it's someone else's problem to provide the books. Fortunately I have a few friends that have more money to waste and maybe fewer hobbies than me :)

From what I have seen, all they did, was redo the fluff so that it was more expensive hard cover fluff. Gone are the maroon manuals for race and class, now they are brown hard covers. Gone are the blue DM manuals, now they are blue hard covers. And of course, they redid all the setting specific books too.

What's confusing, is this d20 open ended license deal, means you have an unknowable barrage of me too me too pick me additional efforts, often redundant, occasionally better, but usually poorly spell checked and editted.

Didn't help, that they release D&D3, they figure hmm we didn't do it quite right, do over, lets call it 3.5.

Never has a hobby been so openly financially gang raped eh.

But, to ask the question, what does everyone think, is sufficiently well done, sufficiently useful, sufficiently multi setting capable in the current market for D&D3?
The Players and DMs and Monster Manual 1 are likely obvious default choices.

I'd like to hear what people think are titles worth the dollars, and exactly why.
 

Dr Zaius

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I have been reading through the new Player's Guide and Dungeon Master's Guide over the last few weeks. They do seem to be better organized and written than the old ones I used to have back in the '80s.

The whole system used to suffer from a complete lack of organization, and I did not care for the way new things were simply bolted on to the system at the drop of a hat. I didn't like those little brown class-specific books at all. That was a very cumbersome way to provide additional detail on the classes and made everything too complicated.

Since I have just begun to read the 3.5 rules, my initial impressions may not be worth much. But so far it looks better organized and better illustrated. I always thought having the community split between D&D and AD&D was a mistake. That also has now been corrected.
 

Aries

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Physically, the products are coming out well made as books go.

On the surface that sounds like a nice thing. But, that perk means you are also paying twice what a 2nd edition book cost. I am not sure I would have passed on just getting a 2/5ths of the cost game book in softcover.

Illustrations though, yes they have really done a good job there.

Organised? well I think they have accomplished that. I recall maroon books that had no conformity at all. No unified purpose. If one came up with a good idea, it didn't mean it would carry over to the next publication.

D&D3 though, has become very much the rolegamer's version of ASL in every way.
 

Palantir

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Aries said:
D&D3 though, has become very much the rolegamer's version of ASL in every way.
That's the perfect example!! :thumup:

I've looked at them & they are of high quality material. And some of the stuff is actually useful, that is after you've waded through 90% of the filler material.

Most of it is like some of the books they've published: the "Ecology of Black Ooze & Purple Worms." :crosseye:
My thought- "Who cares?"

When they started publishing material such as that I knew something was wrong in the D&D world.
Then came the "How to be an Elf" type of books which meant:
#1 "Your" home grown version of elves is wrong & their version was the only right "type" of elves.
And #2, your "imagination" was not needed, "we'll" do the thinking for you mentality.

It's very clever actually, make the (your) IMAGINATIVE world of D&D rules & "things" all hard & fast so all new DM's & players will be convinced they now need to BUY all the books & materials concerning their "imagination" or they will be wrong.

Once you get the, "this is the only right way to play" hold on players then it's easy to make & sell version 3.0 / 3.5 / 4.?.
And claim it's the right way to play...
 

Whizbang1963

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Gimmee paperbound (actually prefer spiral so the damn things will lay flat on the table) eliminate the crap illustrations except for Monsters and Dungeons. I don't much care what you think a dwarf looks like. The new hard backs look nice but they are too much to drag around if not playing at home and I'd carve them up and spiral bind them anyway...

Eliminate all the froo froo fluff..If it is important enough to be used, it should be in the players guide or the DM guide or the Monster Manuals.

Otherwise, focus on the campaign settings..Forgotten Realms in particular. Bring Back the atlas on CD-Rom..give us more of the realms..more detail, more cities, etc. and so on...
 

M Faulkner

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I have been playing 3.5 (and reading it) for a couple of months now. I like it much better than 2nd edition. I think part of the rework was going to the d20 rolling for most things. In the old editions, some times you wanted to roll high and at other times roll low. Now when you do skill checks, attack rolls, saves AC, and others, you always want high.

I agree with most of the comments about organization and it nice to see most things in one or two bound books. These books don't have everything but you have all you need to play. As for price, if you get them from amazon.com, you can save, on average, 10$+ per book.

I love FR, but have not kept up with it in D&D 3.5. The campaign I am currently playing in is Eberron. I like it so far and have purchased a couple of the books and enjoyreading them as kind of a history book.
 

dwardzala

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I played 1st edition back in the day. Skipped 2nd edition entirely (college DnD players were WAAAAY too Wierd) and got back in when 3rd edition came out.

I definitely agree that it is much more tactically oriented now. I do not own any non-core rule books except for the additional monster manuals and the PHB2 and DMG2. My impressions of the latter two are disappointing. There is a little bit of really cool stuff in there but for the most part it is froo froo as someone else put it.

As for all the "Complete . . ." books, they are really crap in my opinion. The 10% good stuff should have been in the core books to begin with and the other stuff should have been left out altogether.

But we all know its about WotC making money. :surprise:
 

Aries

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"But we all know its about WotC making money."

Got that right, I'll play the game, but it's going to be someone else's collection of books hehe.

Some nights the guys go on about discussions of online examples of maxed out nonsense, and I just have to wonder, what happened to the ROLE playing part?

In my gamws, if I need a monster, a monster appears. I describe it briefly, and I roll some dice, and you know what, the idea is just something in my head most of the times. Nope, it's not a monster out of a book, I have no notes, I can't tell you it's stats and what difficulty level it is, I just know, the group will be challaneged by it.

Same with magic, often I just describe an effect, and I go with it.

This style of DMing really makes the players stand up and pay attention. Sorry lads, it's not in one of your books, you can't just go an read all about it. You can't sit around and carefully plan your strategies.

The books have their place for Character creation, but I think the game tries to tell the DM too much about how to run the game in too much detail too often.
 

Dion

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I strongly feel the same way. I also feel the rules of D&D 3rd edition are mostly rules about combat, feats, and skills instead of rules about role playing (which I can't stand) as a result there are to many rules for the DM to remember, as a result you spend more time contemplating the outcome of every possible action instead of role playing. I think the core of 3rd edition is better suited as a computer game than a pen and paper game. More rules lead to mining and maxing. Like figuring the best odds for each possible action instead of concentrating on characterization. So I like to play Tunnels and Trolls which have very little rules about combat, plus there are no rules about feats or skills. I know from experience that characters will develop feats and many other traits from just good role playing, and skills will become viable with the help of good DM. I also like to read a D20 book or two for inspiration. Then wala I have a easy and interesting role playing game.
 

Aries

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This is why I like the Alternity design.

The game uses a "difficulty scale" for everything.

You roll a base control dice (d20). then you add to it a modifier to your attempt. Standard range is -d20 (incredibly easy) thru -d12, -d10, -d8, -d6, -d4, -d0 (specialised), +d4 (standard difficulty), +d6, +d8 (fairly hard), +d10, +d12, +d20 (extremely hard), +2d20, +3d20 (ungodly hard).

You roll the control dice, attempt to roll low and add the difficulty dice sum to your attempt (naturally adding to the sum makes this hard to roll low eh).

This system is ideal, the DM merely decides based on standard modifiers plus his opinion, just how difficult your stated attempt at whatever action, will be.
If you tell the DM you are trying to do something ungodly unlikely, your chances are also bloody unlikely.

But in rolegaming, it's all about success or failure being epic, and sorry no amount of modifiers will prevent your control dice being a 1 (auto success), or 20 (auto failure). And while a 1 is a chance for the DM to elaborate how cool your success was, a 20 allows the DM to describe how horribly awesome your failure was as well.
In this way, you can have those cool successes even though you thought it impossible, and your uber powerful dude can also get told, sorry but he royally screwed up.

But there isn't any long litany of how you have this feat and that feat and this modifier and that modifier from a bajillion manuals worth of niggling excessive minutae.

Alternity only requires a Players manual, a DM's guide and the Beyond FX manual and your off to the races. I have even managed to design a cliche modification of the core game into a cliche fantasy setting.
All I had to do was alter the basic nature of the 4 basic classes. I didn't really need to reinvent the basic game design.

D&D is these days based solely around marketing an ever expandable product line. It's about the purest money grab I have ever witnessed in my life. Doesn't matter if the game works, it's a shamelessly arranged concept, with a wargamerized reinvention of the concept. D&D has "role"gaming only by accident these days. And as mentioned, is best used solely as the framework of computer adaptions.
 

Mantis

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I DMed about a zillion games of 1st Edition. I remember very clearly it stating in the manual:

TSR said:
Remember, these manuals are only suggestions for your rule sets; players are free to change, add or remove any rules that you see fit! D&D is only limited by your imagination.
Guess the almighty dollar trumps fun and imagination every time, eh?

:laugh:
 

Aries

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It was killed by the same rampaging beast that got Avalon Hill.

Actually, if I am not mistaken, that's not far from the truth. I think it had to do with the way the book trade functions. They had too many books being returned or a similar variety of problem, ended up in dire straits for cash and became a drive by purchase of Hasbro.

Now TSR and Avalon Hill are just labels Hasbro owns for the most part.

It's more complicated than that really, but it's close.
 

jwb3

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IIRC Wizards of the coast bought 'em, then Hasbro bought them! :hmmm:
Right. TSR became a victim of its own financial mismanagement. The reasons given by Aries about three messages back sound familiar to me, too.

Heck, here's a link to the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TSR,_Inc.

The new 10,000 pound gorilla of the games industry, WotC, stepped in and bought out TSR. Then they were bought out by Hasbro, one of the old 10,000 ton gorillas of the games industry. :D

TSR no longer exists, even as a sub-section of Hasborg. WotC still does, as a subsidiary.

Avalon Hill was bought by Hasbro, but as it wasn't big enough to be a subsidiary, they turned it into a division of WotC. See also Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avalon_Hill


John
 
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