Third Edition is Magic!


And no, I'm not talking about the "rabbit out of a hat" magic, or the inspirational feeling that washes over you when you see a sunset for the first time. No. I'm talking about unadulterated, "rip up that Chaos Orb and shove it up your ass" Magic.

And no, I'm not talking about the "rabbit out of a hat" magic, or the inspirational feeling that washes over you when you see a sunset for the first time. No. I'm talking about unadulterated, "rip up that Chaos Orb and shove it up your ass" Magic.

WotC turned our beloved D&D into Magic: The Gathering.

Oh, you won't see it if you buy the Player's Handbook - the book is nicely designed, expertly put together, and just plain old looks nice. Reading through it was a joy - this was a good and better game. But ripping open the first "third edition" version of Dragon Magazine sent my hopes dashing to the rocks below.

Ok. So I don't like Sherwood Forest or the pansy Robin Hood. No big deal. I have no chicken with those articles (although I really hope they don't continue to do theme issues this blatantly). What I had problems with were the little side bars scattered throughout the second half of the mag...

Page 110. Ah. Forums. Gotta love em. Hot and sweaty gamers bitching about whether Tolkien elves wore socks or not. Wonderful stuff. Panties in a bunch were never so much fun to read.

Page 111. "Power Play. Movement Spells + Spring Attack".

I should have known by just looking at the title. Scattered throughout the issue are these "Power Plays" - little ways that you can "improve" your character. This first one tells about how you can jump in, hit an opponent, and jump back before they get a chance to react, assuming you have the right feat.

Or page 112. A bard with 18 DEX , "Point Blank Shot feat, Precise Shot feat, three ranks in Perform, and a short bow" can sit in the back row, inspiring courage while firing arrows with a +6 to hit within 30 feet.


Hmm. Let's see. Let me whip open a copy of InQuest and page to the price guide section. Ah! "Ankh of Mishra and Parallax Tide: Once Ankh of Mishra is in play, use Parallax Tide to remove five of your opponent's lands. When the Tide fades away, your opponent will take massive damage."


They're combo's and tips on how to be a stronger player - on how to finish your opponent before they finish you. We've merely replaced cards in Magic with feats and skills in D&D.

Not one of those stupid side bars had anything to do with improving your ROLEPLAYING character. Instead, they focused on improving your PHYSICAL character. Knowing how to create the fastest gnome, or how to get the most bonuses on first level is just heralding the game as "he who has the best combo's" not "he who creates an interesting character".

This is NOT a good thing. What do you think?

Whether it's cheat codes for Contra (ABABABAB leftright leftright dothehokeypokey yadayada) or winning strategies in Magic:TG or the latest exploits that will let you get root on a server, the tendency in everything, it seems, has been to "crack the system" in order to win.

There's nothing so thrilling as figuring out the bug in the game that lets you create a super character, or finding the secret ninja move that will let you do a backflip over your opponent before kicking his teeth out from behind. Heck, I recall figuring out that I could create an unkillable martial artist in AD&D2e by putting all my proficiency slots into unarmed combat. Not exactly playing kosher, but then, we weren't playing to role-play, we were playing to win.

I'm not going to say that winning is the problem, although as a game administrator my goal is usually to try to stop the players from doing just that (or to get them just close enough to keep wanting to try to win). But winning a game, whether it's solitaire or pinball or Dungeons and Dragons, is why we play games. Not for the challenge or the preoccupation, but because we like to win.

The problem is really that these "exploits" (and that's what they are) are coming out a)so soon and b)from the Creators themselves. That would be like Blizzard including a little sheet of cheat codes in every copy of Diablo II. Sure, it's fun to win the game every time by using the sure-fire cheats, but after you've won the game once, what fun is it?

Remember when you figured out how to use the transport rooms in Super Mario Bros.? You could skip from level 1 to level 3 to level 9 and win the game in 10 minutes. But of course, you missed all the stuff along the way. And so Super Mario Bros. went behind the couch, and Super Mario Bros. II came out... and so on.

Players are being cheated out of the challenge of trying to win things by thinking for themselves, and that's the ultimate travesty here. Because while winning may be everything, it's nothing if you haven't earned it yourself.

WotC may as well just send you an email stating that your barbarian character has achieved godhood, and you no longer need to play Dungeons and Dragons because you are supremely powerful. Then you can auction him off on Ebay for $100 and spend the money on beer.

In the meantime, I'll just keep creating games where the players can't win, where the game is the thing and TRYING to win is the purpose. My players may not like me very much, but I tend to think they'll stick around a lot longer if there's actual challenge involved.

It's a play for a wider market. Remember the kind of person you were when you were twelve. That's their target right now. With 2nd ed, they had us genX-introspective-children-of-divorce-types without even trying, but with this new generation, they can't even rely on the basic literacy of their target audience.

Like I said in another post, system simplification leaves no intellectual bar to entry in the new edition, and they're going to use that in combination with power gaming to bring in young kids, who hopefully will stick with the game for another four to six year cycle of industry revitalization, capitalization, exploitation, and collapse. Then someone else will buy the property and start again. It's happened repeatedly before, why would it be any different now?

I think this is (really!) a cause for optimism. It's easy for us to look at this and say "They're pandering to the lowest common denominator! They're ruining the game!" Which is what all the old-skool players said when I was in 8th grade and switched to 2nd Ed. Or we take the slightly longer view: as TSR goes, so goes the industry. As I got into 2nd ed, I also expanded my interest in BTech to Mechwarrior, and picked up Shadowrun when it came out. Without the push from 2nd ed, they may have lost me to computer games altogether.

When AD&D has a market explosion, both comics and the rest of gaming see benefit on the ground as Hobby Shops see more foot traffic. So look at it this way: this is an opportunity for established gaming companies (Steve Jackson, FASA, White Wolf) to broaden their consumer base, and an opportunity for newer and smaller companies (Chameleon Eclectic?) to generate enough revenue to develop their products and possibly establish a fan base over the long haul.

Aeon, I'll definitely agree with you. There is a huge pleasure with figuring out a bug in the game, or demonstrating it to someone else (I remember sitting in my kitchen, doing the Contra code where other people couldn't before [too slow]), but I do not fall under the "oop, won the game, NEXT!!" clan.

When I first get a game, I play straight through. I want to see EVERYTHING! I got pissed a bit ago, playing Diablo II, and I get told to "follow me - that's a worthless dungeon". Not to me. I like dungeon crawling. I like exploring everthing. If the automap doesn't look complete, I'm not done.

I've been playing Unreal Tournament for a while now. Playing online and single player. I'm at Xan (the last guy). I can't beat him for the life of me. Although I know the code to beat him is two websites away, I won't do it.

Accomplishment, not winning, is much more fulfilling to me. Else, I'll wander around thinking about what I've missed (which is why, through I've "defeated" a bunch of games and their final bosses, I won't say that I've won them).

I think we're in the same boat - I like creating a game where there are no definite endings. Where players can go on and on. Yes, you can beat Diablo II. But you can keep playing and playing, leveling until 99 (I hate level limits too)... Before I "win" Diablo II, I'd level to 99 in each mode available. It's how I am.

So, jpowers, I'm just supposed to sit back, say to myself "well, this is how DnD is going, either sit there and take it, or go play another game?"... I got out of Magic for this reason. My old friend John and I brought Magic to our fair city of Concord, driving 20 miles every weekend to bring cards home to teach people how to play and shit.

And then the tourneys started, and things started sucking. People weren't playing for the fun of it all, people were playing to show their dominance. I loved making Scyrb Sprite decks (before the 4 max.). I loved making Ivory Tower decks which would win me the game only because the opponent didn't feel like chipping another 20 hit points off every turn.

The fun was gone out of Magic. I picked up a sixth edition starter a few months ago. Everything - *everything* - I remember was gone. Am I to assume that DnD is no longer my fun anymore? That, as much as I like finding combos that no one else has ever seen before, I have to resign myself to always having a powerful character?

Hell, I've looked around the rule book. The amount of new shit you can get with each level pretty much makes you powerful, whether you like it or not. Bilbo remained pretty pathetic through and through - why can't MY character?

Don't get me wrong. I'll still play the damn thing. It just won't be the same. Perhaps I'm falling under some oldskoolelitism - I don't know. Yes, the system is nicer. Yes, everything looks good. Yes, firmly yes, it's a munchkin game now.

Morbus- you're supposed to play with other people who feel (roughly) the same way you do about the game, so between house rules and rigidly-enforced concepts of mortality, you can find a balance between the power of the characters and the power of the world they exist in. Sure, your character starts with more abilities than in 2nd Ed., and develops more quickly, but what if your DM grabs the Monster Manual and subtracts one from every monster's CR? You have to work harder and develop more slowly, forcing you to think your way through combat, even with an extra feat here and there. Maybe one of your house rules should be to disallow Dragon Magazine rules on general principle.

As for the Magic card game: it was never any good, you just grew out of it. My first (and still only) published article on gaming was in a magazine called World Builder, sponsored at the time by a little company called WOTC. They paid me for it with two "Alpha" decks, which I and a couple of friends of mine played around with for 10 days. Even stoned, we quickly realized the strategic limitations of the game, and I gave the cards to some kids I knew who were still in high school, who gave it to some kids they knew in junior high, etc.

I appreciate the sentiment, but especially where AD&D has been concerned, it's rarely if ever been about the role-playing anyway. It's always been about the mechanics of attacking, the stats of the monsters, and the GP/XP value of the contents of the locked and trapped chest in the 10x10x10 room. Even "Advanced" D&D has always been an introductory game, like Magic. When you get comfortable enough with the mechanics, you move on, either by remaking and homebrewing the system, or by moving to a different system (Amber being at the other end of the spectrum, as little about the mechanics as possible and centered on the role-playing).

Never define a role-playing system by the rules. Those are there to be broken, bent and ignored as the GM sees fit. Any good GM should be able to control the campaign better than that. (One of my favorite GMs ran Star Frontiers adventures at conventions and used the West End Star Wars system to do it. He just set it far away from the Rebellion/Empire action.) If it isn't realistic for the character to leap over three monsters, attack and kill one, and then leap out of range before he can be attacked, then it didn't happen. You took 23 from three orcs, sorry. If you want true role-playing, it's the background material you should be looking for, the setting and the material specifically drafted for the role-playing. And AD&D itself doesn't have that. Forgotten Realms does. Dragonlance does. Ravenloft does (in my opinion, the best of the AD&D worlds). The mechanics themselves don't.

Expecting AD&D, even the much-vaunted Third Edition, to seriously address role-playing issues is asking too much of what boils down to be an introductory and non-setting-specific environment.

Well said.

GMs and Players have been ignoring rules for as long as roleplaying has existed.

A good example of this is the dreadfull MechWarrior RPG system... A player fired a double barrelled shotgun point blank at a NPC captives head. Rolled the dice, looked up the table. Captive takes a bruise...!!! WTF. Player was informed that the captives brains were splatted against the far wall...

Another example was in a Shadowrun game, where a player decided to STUN a scientist with a grenade, in a corridor. Allowable in Shadowrun Rules!!! GM faked it, and killed the NPC scientist (much to the disgust of the player... "but according to the ules he would have been stunned")

Notably both these games are FASA too... Hmmm...

Anyway rules get in the way of good roleplaying, especially in fight sequences, where I tend to just ask the players to roll a dice, and the make up the result from the top of my head...

Funnily a lot of people tended to like my games...

Some of you have seemingly missed the point. What Kevin (Morbus) was pointing out, is the fact that a magazine was basically pushing the aspect of power playing to the mainstream rpg audience. Kevin even stated that the rules were fine and he liked them, so your arguements about whether or not one should be paying attention to rules as much is totally irrelevant here.

The one point that someone brought up in all this was the fact that if you play with people who like to play like you do, then the gam will still be fun. However, in many cases, people are looking for new gamers to play with. This article that Kevin mentioned basically made the chances of joining a new group of people who are rules lawyers and power players greater.

This sucks.

I think the point we were trying to make was how to respond to the power gamers/rules lawyers the article was trying to encourage. If you're the GM, and someone tries one of Dragon's "Power Plays" on you, rule the way you want to. If you're a player and don't like the way the GM is running the game, talk to them about it. If you're still unhappy, quit. There are plenty of intelligently run games out there, more than you need to walk out on a group of Munchkins.

Bottom line - So the great "Dragon" is encouraging Munchkinism. So what? Are you going to listen? Are you going to hang out and RP with people who listen? If you are, your choice. If you aren't, maybe the Munchkins will learn something when nobody will play their way.

I think you guys are missing the point of Dragon Magazine. While it can be one of the greatest sources of info and DM tips anywhere, it still has to interest the players and not just the campaign-veteran DMs. One way of doing this is by introducing new concepts for a player's character. While this may sound like a powergamer's dream, the truth is that ANY kind of fleshing out of a PC is good, simply because it is an applied effort. I really get pissed when I see inactivity and sloth, not players wanting to improve their characters' powers. Any DM worth his salt doesn't use everything in Dragon anyway... I can't count the number of dragon ecologies I've read where my eyes have glazed over. Final Issue: If you don't like the articles in Dragon, or the format for that matter, don't use it! You're going to be creating most of your own stuff as DM anyway...(might as well ignore those gaudy headers...)

Powergamers and munchkins have always existed. From the very begining there have always been those players who play to create a powerful character and wipe out the most bad guys. It's not wizards of the coasts fault, nor 3rd eddition. In second eddition I've heard tale of gnomish cleric illusionists with high wisdom so that they start off at 1st level with 5 spells and more hitpoints than a mage. Especially with the skills and options release in 2nd eddition. A cleric with all the wizard schools of magic, whom can wear armor and have d8 hit points per level? Do you see something wrong here? This has always been a part of the game wheather you like it or not.

I love the "power plays". With the complex new rules and poor organization of the books, I like it when things are pointed out to me that I may not have noticed or put together in a certain way. "Oh, now I see how that feat or skill could be used." or "Oh, now I see why choosing to be a Human or a Half-Elf could make a difference in the overall character I'm going for." Dragon is just presenting a new way to look at the new rules.

As for Dragon pushing 12 year olds to be Hack and Slash "Power Gamers." I think you're over reacting. Sure the "power plays" are oriented toward the Power Gamer, however I find much of the magazines content to be about developing and fleshing out your character and your game as a whole. The issue on Sorcery had a cute Q&A about your past, designed to help a player flesh out their character. For those who lack creativity or who are having a block, they may find things like this to be a nice tool. I think Dragon is a fine resource for ideas, inspiration, and explanation, so I read it. If I felt differently, I wouldn't.

As for how to deal with a player who springs the new "power play" character at you in a game, I don't think just ignoring the rule is the best way to go. The new rules are pretty well thought out, and there is room for DM creativity here without the need to make up new rules. (Don't think I'm all about following the rules exactly, I agree that they are suggestions rather than absolute commandments). However, I think the Monk who leaped into combat and fought the orcs without ever really entering the fray, should be aloud to do so. But perhaps by defeating them, the monk has just gotten on the bad side of their beholder master or happens upon an unfortunate curse of clumsiness at some not too distant future that would make the power play tumble method hazardous. Perhaps an enemy uses this method or some other "power play" against the PCs. The rules are fine, they just require creative DMs.

Dragon's Power Plays aren't just for players. Remember, in 3E, monsters have stats, can class and multiclass, gain levels and learn feats and skills, just like PCs. That 18 dex bard with the +6 to hit could easily be an orc, acting as range support for the two mid-level orcish barbarians with high str and the Great Cleave/Whirlwind combo while the orcish adept chucks curses and magic missiles at the party while healing the barbarians.

I think one of the biggest stumbling blocks for players moving up from 2E to 3E is realizing exactly how open the system is straight out of the box. For example: as a 2E DM, there was nothing stopping you from creating a band of orcish heroes who are as detailed and powerful as the PCs except the total lack of guidelines for doing so. In 3E, there are not only guidelines for classed monsters in the core rules, but creating classed monster adversaries for your players is highly encouraged by the supporting literature (ie Dragon and the D&D website).

There is nothing in any of these posts really that makes me want to even try this system now. I stopped playing first edition Adnd just before the time that the second edition rules were anounced. It irked me then and I was a little curious about what they were going to do with the third edition when it came out (and I'm suprised that it took them this long to be honest). Anyway, I have noticed that some think that the system is good because of the adaptational qualities and flexibility. That is one of the reasons I swiched to GURPS when it came out. Although from reading the posts I think that the 3rd edition might be going a little over board in the power department. Maybe I'll just sit back for a while and dable in whatever comes along....


The PC's are more powerful in the 3E, but they balanced that out by taking up the power with everything else including the monsters. Trust me, you don't want to tangle with a Dragon anytime soon with the new rules. My party of 8 characters went up against a 4HD Wyrmling and almost didn't make it.

Im sorry but I am going to have to dissagree with you. While it may have been wrong for WotC to put that in there, magic and D&D are in no way alike. the skills and feats are far better then proficencys. The game is still a role playing game and im my mind a better game.

Choices and consequences, my friends. The power combo you create in one area leaves fewer points in others. This promotes better team play and more reliance on other party members who can fill in the gaps. Gone are the 1st edition powerhouses who could cast spells and fight, without any practical sacrifices over characters who concentrated on one thing.

Characters are far more customizeable than they ever have been, enabling players to easily adapt their stats and game abilities to better reflect their role-playing vision. It makes sense that they fit better. Just because characters and the tactical game makes better sense, it does not, in any way, mean that you have to dumb down your role-playing.

On the contrary - there's more time for it because the pace of the game is much faster, and there are fewer arguments about unclear or whimsical rules.

While I applaud your observation skills, I do disagree with your theory. I don't see any way in which 3rd Edition is any more like Magic: The Gathering than 2nd. However, I do agree that there is too much emphasis on character strength in 3rd, and it seems to have been made by WotC to appease your average Power Munchkin above all. That is not what D&D is truly about.

I think some people must be confusing arbitrary discretion over rulings on character abilities with role-playing.

The extra emphasis on Strength is balanced by the extra cost of buying up those points. Again, choices and consequences. Trick the system all you want - at least with the core rules, it will always leave you open somewhere else.

The negative connotation associated with people "tricking the system" is a result of the inadequacies of the first two editions.

Those players exploited loopholes in the poorly designed and arbitrary system to create characters that vastly overpowered those of the people they played with. A well-designed system, such as the 3e core rules, allows for much more flexibility in PC generating, with a much more balanced approach to party skills. In short, it makes sure that everybody gets a turn. I've seen my power gamers bend themselves backwards trying to get an edge on the other players, but no matter how they sliced it, they still needed the other players to back them, especially at low level. That is a good thing. At high level, the more they tried to fill their gaps, the less proficient they became in their strength areas.

Moreover - the more detailed skill system now translates formerly useless attributes such as Charisma into real game effects, rather than leaving them disconnected from gameplay as they were in previous editions. Characters can still role-play as they please, just as they always did, but now players who funnel points into Charisma don't need to be penalized for lack of game "moves" for their characters. Everyone gets to play the game. Everyone gets to role-play.

NONE of these things prevent role-playing, acting, storytelling, or any other kind of performance art any more than previous editions. Indeed, so much time is saved on arguing interpretations of vague or incomplete rules (providing you follow them) that more energy can be put into straight performance. Combat no longer gets mired in tar. It MOVES quickly.

Performance value - the role-playing and storytelling - aspect, has never existed within the rulebooks. If you want to juice that part of your game, read about screenwriting. Get to know improvisational exercises. "Games for Actors and Non-Actors" is a good one that we've added to our own 3e games.

I just don't see the sense in saying that having a game system that works means that the role-playing aspect must suck.

I have gone through the circle of stages with 3E rules. Firstly, great anticipation: liking what I first saw (hey, it looked a lot like my house rules!), then dissapointment (yeah, it's kind of like my house rules, only I still like mine better - this looks suspiciously like power gaming for kiddies), finally to satisfaction. Why? I gave the Player's Guide to one of my players (we alternate DMing, and have since 1st edition back in '79 - yes I'm that old.) and he fired up on it big time ( and this from a guy who didn't even wnat to look at it not long ago). We have just started a new campaign with 3E rules, and I am getting more impressed all the time. To keep this post relevant to the inital topic (sorry folks, I almost never post, and got a little carried away), I no longer think it's powergaming for kiddies. At worst, it may be powergaming for a certain breed of players, but then, you can powergame any set of rules if you really try.

What rocks is, the choices one must make; you wanna power game this way - ooops, can't get this and this and that now. I haven't thought so much about my basic stats, let alone what I take as skills and feats and classes, for a long time.
And besides, as several people have pointed out, you had a look the the monsters lately? Sheesh! We four 2nd level characters fought 1 Bugbear, 2 giant weasels, and about 16 kobolds the other night. I (Monk/Wizard) managed to get off a sleep spell ( but boy, did I have to tumble and roll and do all kinds of fancy stuff just not to get hit with an attack of opportunity before I cast it) that effectively took out all but 1 of the kobolds (or so I thought) for the duration of the battle. (Forget 'em, kill 'em later methinks).
Two bites from a giant weasel, and I'm unconcious. Needless to say, the rest of the team took a VERY long time killing off the 2 giant weasels and 1 Bugbear. The bugbear was wearing half-plate, and they just couldn't hardly hit the sucker. By the time they finally brought him down (after getting very close to being deaded), the kobolds started waking up. We fixed 'em, but boy, it was a close thing.

I went home mumbling to myself the rest of the night in disbelief, "A Bugbear?, a Bugbear?, a BUGBEAR???"

Had a look at some of the other well known foes? Had a look at Dragons for Tolkien's sake?

Powergaming for kiddies? Maybe, but if it is, it is easliy matched by limited choice paths and seriously dangerous monsters, and that's before the deviant DM decides to beef them up a little. I'm just waiting for the day when our DM throws a bunch of woosy old orcs at us when we are higher level, which we complacently begin to disseminate (as we always would in the old rules), only to find they are high level too, and may just kick our arses.

About the only thing I really don't like in D&D 3E is the good old "Fire & Forget", for wizards, but I fixed that long ago, and at least they have sorcerers now too.

Broadening the topic here, since there have been a few new games released since this article was first posted, I have noticed a severe rise in the number of miniture games on the market now. Many of these miniture games (Mage Knight, Hero-Clicks, Mechwarrior) were at one time RPG's. Games where one not only engaged in combat with others, but where you took on the personality of some fictional being whom you had created. You breathed life into that being, and, based on how you thought he would react to certain elements, you watched his personality grow, often in a way you never thought possible when they were first created.

Now, unfortunately, such is no longer the norm. Why spend time trying to detail your character's history, and figuring out his motives for traveling with a motley of characters, many of whom would never be seen together on a normal basis, when you can just pull out a few minitures, throw together a group of characters, and lay the smack down on that guy who never let you join his campaign?

These new games are just a manifestation of the mindless drones society has become due to video games, television and computers. Look at these video games, most of them no longer focus on storyline, or with the ones that do, they build up the combat engines to more than shadow it.
Even the FF games, you never spent the time building up a character's personality, it was already defined, and even with the later games, when you were given a few mor options when it came to dialog, why waste your time doing so? It's not like you could see the character prosper in the next release. So you did the next best thing: you spent the time killing everything you could, getting as powerful as you could, and when the programed rules limited you, of when you felt you weren't advancing fast enough, you hacked it.

All WOTC has done with their bastardization of the D&D product line was acknowledge those gamers that want their rewards visible and easy to recognize, and want them now.
No longer is D&D a game in which you shudder when your party of first level adventurers encounters a horde of kobolds in that dungeon "just outside of town", wondering if this was going to be the fight that ended your career. Now it's a rush to see who can do the most damage and cause the most havok in the least amount of time.

Unfortunately, WOTC is not responsible for this, but just recognized it and jumped on the band-wagon.

Actually Strykker, D&D was originally a wargame, BEFORE they broadened it gradually to include role-playing elements. And I can assure you that television was quite popular when they did so.

As for videogames, they now focus on stories more than they ever have. Those of us who remember the old Atari 2600 can tell you that.

And on the topic of miniature games, they have existed for hundreds, if not thousands of years - often used by aristocratic generals to simulate army battles. Napoleon used them, and I do believe that was before television and videogames.

Last time I checked, there was still a whole lot of RPGs out there for people who want to play with them - perhaps even more than has ever existed in history. So I'm not really sure what your complaint is? Are you having trouble finding them because the mini-games are taking over?

I've said it before and I'll say it again.

Who cares?

The point of a game is to have fun. I'm currently involved in two normal campgains and a "Uber" campgain. I find them all fun, espically with my halforc monk who is just totally broken. of course, with our fighter weilding souldrinker from the epic book he has to be to compete and it'll be fun regardless....

If you don't like how DnD works then well, gee... Um... don't play it?

Just a suggestion here.

As a dm staring down the beast that is 3.5, I feel some what nostalgic for arguments such as this. The biggest thing to recall is that if the pcs can the npcs can. If the the party are uber-killers of dragon slaying by the 2nd level then the monsters they are fighting should be uber-killers of pc slaying.
Bring back the monty haul!

It appears that D+D has done all right. Who doesn't know what a FEAT is? I'm not saying that's good or bad, just pointing out that 3e's and 3.5e's influence has enjoyed a certain level of success. It's all right. I'm sure many of us will be ranting when someone releases 4e.

One of the nicest joys of the New Year has been to see that there is still a niche market for a hobby (paper gaming) I truly love. Despite the video games and MMORPGs, we still survive. Long live the king! Happy New Year!

I know a guy that had only DM'd Epic level campaigns before i came along, talk about power gaming, This guy had fresh players with characters such as Anti-paladins, Evil monks, and alot of other things that i had only read about....the rules this dm had let a guy make a vampire character, drain all the stat points from CON and then distribute as he pleased. The thing though, about this DM, was that his specific goal was to kill the players. That was it. almost no story at all. The party fought THREE Terrasque. At once. They employed things that were very imaginative. Instant Fortress huh? lets use it to pin down one of them, while our rogue crashes our flying boat into the other one. it was very amusing, especially since i wasn't playing. After i had a talk with the dm, we played a first level campaign, he put us against 12 goblins, and i was unconcious after my first attack(i was a sorc, with low CON) It was a tad bit more, amusing than usual, though a bit bogged down, because a player was going around the town, rogue that he was, breaking into every house he saw. Right now im playing in a campaign where every single person decided to change their character, because roleplaying races with +6 seriously underpowered them, the Druid and I decided to follow the crowd(my bard just wasn't cutting it, the lack of offensive spells, and monsters that could easily beat sleep and charm effectsmade it so that basically all i was a underpowered fighter, that gave a small boost to everyone else)

anyhoot this is this interesting point i was getting to. If you like 2nd or 3e or even 1st better, play it. No ones stopping you from using your old stuff. just a motnh ago i played a 2nd ed game, though i had to remind myself what ThAc0 was, and although it didn't have most of the equipment i use now, i easily adjusted, and so can your friends trhat have ONLY played 3e.

Oh well, i just found this site on accident, and thought to post my thoughts.