The Demise of Dungeons & Dragons


Change can be a good thing. Without change, several of history's momentous events would never have come about. We would be currently living a life so much dissimilar to what we know it would hardly be recognizable. Change is not always good, though. Some things are better left the way they were. I'm not sure what Wizards of the Coast was thinking when they started this grand venture, but I'm hoping they missed the mark and are just too embarassed to admit it.

Change can be a good thing. Without change, several of history's momentous events would never have come about. We would be currently living a life so much dissimilar to what we know it would hardly be recognizable. Change is not always good, though. Some things are better left the way they were.

Wizards of the Coast have been a rising force in the gaming world since the advent of Magic: The Gathering. They have taken great leaps of faith in a card game that was sure to fail, it was so different from the norm. But, in the face of adversity, Magic flourished. Now WotC is turning it's visionary viewpoint on a tried and true favorite of gamers around the world, AD&D.

Dungeons & Dragons has went through a few changes already, from first edition to second edition, from basic to advanced. I have played D&D for 16 years now and was never so happy as to see 2nd edition grace the shelves of bookstores and game shops. It was new, refreshing and an answer to many problems and questions that arose out of 1st edition. Don't get me wrong, 1st edition was a blast to play and was a revolutionary step in roleplaying. 2nd edition, however, raised the standard even higher, adding new elements to the rules, changing some monsters and adding new ones. Some creatures were removed from the game, a few to placate angry parents who thought there was a satanic undertone to the game and a few to balance out the worlds created by the designers and gamers alike. Over all it is the best game, I feel, to ever come out of man's imagination and creativity. Now we have AD&D, 3rd edition.

I'm not sure what Wizards of the Coast was thinking when they started this grand venture, but I'm hoping they missed the mark and are just too embarassed to admit it. From the few bits and pieces about the 3rd edition I've seen, many changes have taken place, so much so that the original core set of rules almost seems non-existant. THAC0 has been removed entirely, relying on a challenge rating of the creature being fought by party members as well as a rating assigned to the party themselves. Action or battle also consists of feats, instead of proficiencies. Saving throws have been reduced to 3 categories and initiative has been reverted to highest number goes first.


Initiative has always preceded any other action in a round of AD&D combat mode. Your necromancer wants to cast that spell he's been drooling over? Roll initiative. Your paladin took personal affront to the orc spitting on his holy symbol? Roll initiative. It's been the basis of combat and action since the game began. I have nothing against the change back to higher goes first. However, the roll is now made with a d20 instead of the d10 previously used. This may not be that big a deal, and certainly wouldn't make the game any less enjoyable, were it not for the fact that there are now all kinds of variables to add or subtract from the initiative roll. No longer do you have to take into account weapon speed or the casting time of spells, but now you have the feats and other special bonuses, etc. to make your roll higher or lower, depending on what it calls for. I'm sure the thought all this would make combat rounds much easier, but I fail to see their line of thinking. Adding in that many variables to take into account for such a simple part of the round as initiative does not seem, to me, to be beneficial and would take much more time rather than make the play more fast paced. Another change to initiative is the fact that you keep the same roll throughout the combat session. If you go third on the first round, you go third for each subsequent round. Unless you choose to focus your action, wherein you lose your action for that round but are allowed to automatically go first next round. Why not just keep the tried and true method of deciding who goes first each round?

Armor Class and THAC0

Since the change between 1st edition and secone edition, THAC0 has been an integral part of combat. It was a simple equation to figure out how hard it was for you to hit whatever you decided to attack. The monster's AC is 0, you're a 2nd lvl warrior, so you need a base roll of 19 to hit the offending foe. Simple, right? Apparently Wizards of the Coast didn't think so. They wanted to simplify the rules for D&D even more and do away with THAC0, replacing it with a greater number of variables to add or subtract from your ability to damage a certain adversary. Challenge ratings, difficulty ratings, etc.. There are now so many different pluses and minuses that I wonder if the rulebooks will resemble algebra textbooks from high school. You can hit if your (blahblah) is added to the initial roll of (ugh), then subtracting your (squeak) from the base number of (honk)... OK, I'm generalizing and probably making it sound more complicated than it really is. But in my mind it's more difficult to do all this than to just keep it the way it was. Which brings me to Armor Class. They've changed that, too. Now, the higher your AC, the better. An AC of 20 is incredibly good for the defender and disheateningly bad for the attacker. What was wrong with the way it was? Nothing that I, nor the group I've had the fortune of DM'ing and playing with for years, could see.

I don't claim to know everything about the 3rd edition of our favorite roleplaying game (and the cause of many late, sleepness nights of pizza and bloodshed). I don't claim to be an expert on 2nd edition. What I am is a concerned gamer. Concerned with the path Wizards of the Coast has chosen for my favorite roleplaying game of all time. What's next? Will Tiamat become the very model of a modern major general? Will Elminster become a necromancer? Will umberhulks become the choice pet for kings and queens the land over? How many licks does it take to get to the center of... OK, you get my point.

My sole complaint about the change from Thac0 is that figuring out AC and Thac0 was always the bar to play. You had to be this tall to ride the ride, and it was good, because even if, in high school, I got stuck running a game for a group that included a couple of 13 year olds, I could reasonably expect that they knew how to count based on the fact that they had to figure out whether they hit or not based on an unnecessarily complicated formula. If they hadn't figured it out, we sent them back to play hack-and-slash with the other kids their age until they did.

Heh. I'll definitely agree with you. If there was ever a come of age in AD&D, it was certainly when you understood was THAC0 was. I remember staring at gaming sheets, and saying "Yup. No problem. Yup..." and then seeing THACO, and just kinda mumbling off...

Don't write a rant about a game before it has even come out! This is one of the silliest articles I have ever seen. First of all, you mention that you haven't even read the game, and then you pick apart a couple of rumors about changes in a mechanic. Get the facts before you rant.

2nd Edition AD&D is by far the worst RPG ever made. It was a money-making piece of crap, and those of you who defend it have supported its crap. Now it is time for something that is truly playable and fun to take its place -- I hope that is D&D 3E. I am waiting for my PH to come in the mail, but from what reviews I have seen, it is a very promising time for D&D.

Give up 2nd Edition AD&D and move to 3rd. Its time to change.

NDogg, I was not going on rumors or second-hand information when I wrote this article. I was going on information I got from, home site and marketing place for Wizards of the Coast. If I had used questionable information, I would have said so. Your comments are way off the mark.

I have read the third edition PHB (writing an article about it, actually), and I can assure you that none of your worries are founded. You are just inventing things based on very thin information. If you can't wait for the book, go and visit Eric Noah's site, it practically contains all the material you need to play 3rd ed.

I haven't played D&D in many years. Late 80's I think. WOTC has sparked a renewed interest in the game for me. For the first time in years I'm really excited about buying a D&D book and waiting for the next. I think that what WOTC is doing is good for D&D as a whole. The previous system worked, but is was kind of overwhelming for new players or potential players. I think it's good that they are trying to "standardize" by using the "d20" system. And the new look and feel of the game is very appealing. (Much more than the lackluster 2nd edition books.) I think 3rd edition will draw many new players and returning players and that can only be good for all of us. TSR was failing and if it wasn't for WOTC would most likely have gone under. If anyone is going to produce D&D products I'm glad its WOTC.

Jason, you are absolutely right. TSR would have gone under if it wasn't for WOTC buying them out. They had been forced to give ownership of their building to a publisher they owed money to. This was done about a year and half before the buyout. I can't say I was overjoyed at WOTC being the ones doing the buyout, but I am glad TSR is still around in some form.

Its sometimes the simplest mistakes that make you realise exactly HOW uninformed a wouldbe critic really is.

Like the fact that you kept calling it AD&D3.

Instead of what its true name and goal is, D&D3.

No advanced, in practice or principle.

Get a clue.

I am a player of the various forms of dungeons and dragons since first edition. I have loved each of the systems for their own merit. The 1st edition kicked ass. The 2nd edition was great except for the important ingredient, Gary Gygax. 3rd Edition has come about for need and the evolution of the "D&D" product line will die without revolutionizing itself and the industry, as it has done since the industries conception. I applaud WOTC and look forward to many long years of 3E Dungeons & Dragons.

Rabbitman, you are right on! WOTC has degraded one of the boundary breaking FRPG's into nothing more than a kiddie game and math class! WOTC is the Disney of RPG companies with its retooling of the world to make it acceptable and politically correct for everyone! Everyone can be a Paladin now. Everyone can be a 99999999999999999th level elf now. Noone need hear the word 'thief' in D&D discussion. Don't worry fighters, you'll advance just as fast as wizards and rogues now. What? Game balance has been destroyed? D&D 3e is nothing more than an RPG video game played on paper? Other than the absence of ability pre-requisites and fun, our game mechanic resembles Palladium's FRPG almost exactly? Our core base of fans that have been with us for twenty years+ feel alienated?

Thanks Rabbitman for not being afraid of the Wizards of the Coast who are devouring what is left of the gaming world.

Okay, I'll agree with you on the initiative issue. They should have included an advanced initiative section in my opinion - for the sake of realism (if that even applies).

The old AC system, however, is freaking retarded. Start at 10 and go down to -14 - what is that? Why 'max' out at -14? It all seems so arbitrary.

As for balance, I think that the new class system is way more balanced. It is now worth it to multi-class. There is no dual-class/multi-class distinction. The fact that only humans could dual while everyone else could only multi never made sense. Now, it doesn't have to.

Okay, losing the 'thief' seems to have pissed off many a gamer in my group. Whatever - I'll still call my characters that - if that's what they are.

The only point I see that you have is that you're a moron who obviously doesn't have a clue about the rules of the game. Do you often write reviews about products based on rumors and hearsay?

Harumph! The sky is falling, the sky is falling!

Table-top role-playing is so passe any way. Go live!

Ozmar, just one note... Rabbitman wasn't writing a review but an opinion piece based on preview information Wizards had released before the game was available. Thats why the article was in our rants section, not reviews. :)

Well...intelligence in responses and general idiocy in responses. Nice blend guys...can I get someone to condemn me to Hell now? I'd like to say, for those of you who think otherwise, THE INFORMATION I USED IN WRITING MY ARTICLE CAME FROM WIZARDS OF THE COAST'S OWN WEB SITE AND FROM DRAGON MAGAZINE!! Get a clue, people. I don't make things up, other than a complete world, including detailed map, kings/queens, princes/princesses, generals and such. Names, places, events are all made up...BUT ONLY IN MY OWN WORLD!! I would not make up information on a spur of the moment, nor after thinking about it for a while...geez.

For those of you who responded intelligently, I thank you for your criticism and insight and responses. For the rest of you, (fill in the blank). No, I haven't see the PH yet. No, I didn't speak with a representative from WOTC. I looked over the available information on the web and in publication and wrote my article based on this information. If anything is erroneous in my article, blame it on WOTC, not me.

It is a game made to make money and to give the user enjoyment. If you people have a hard time seperating a game and its impact on your life as minimal you need help. As for me the new system is smoother and has added a few new twists that make it more "fantastic". So lets all calm down and either buy it and enjoy it or atick to the old system and enjoy it. Its just a game.

Calling all munchkins! Dust off that Elf Fighter/Mage/Thief/Paladin/Cleric/Ranger that noone would let you play because it violated all the rules! 3e is here for you!

Having played D&D and AD&D for 16 years, I can conclusively say after reading the d&d3 PH, it's not D&D. It's about as much D&D as, say, Palladium Fantasy or the Japanese Lodoss War RPG, both of which were inspired by D&D, but rule-wise, are no longer anything like it.

Let's see... You change 1. the combat offensive mechanic; 2. The character attribute mechanic; 3. the combat and spell defense mechanics; 4. the profession use/selection mechanic; 5. the spell mechanics (albeit, for actual mages, this is the least changed); 6. the skill use mechanic; and 7. the initiative mechanic. And these aren't subtle changes, but major rewrites.

The end result is a completely different RPG, no matter how you "WotC are gods" types want to rationalize it, despite the input of the D&D creators. I have read the system - it's a pretty nice system - but it's no more a new edition of Dungens and Dragons than a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a revision of a 1940s Willys Jeep. The problem lies in its being called something it is not - a new edition of an existing system. It is this incompatibility that will prevent me from ever playing it, as none of the local players will touch it, because of this lie.

When second edition came out, I gave it a shot and didn't like it! I kept playing first edition. Now that third edition is out I have read the rules and I will admit it is alot different, even so it is still worth a shot. Personally I like the new rules but I understand that some people won't! The easy solution is if you don't like third edition keep playing 1st or 2nd. In the end, at least we have a variety to choose from.

Rabbitman, simply put: dead wrong. Like yourself, I'm also a longtime gamer, 12 years myself and I've played through basic, 1st edition, and 2nd edition. I loved the simplicity of basic, and then went gaga over 1st edition. Especially with all the supplementary classes such as the Dragon Bard, Dragon Monk, the Witch, Incantatrix etc. But I was a critic of 1st edition too, there were definite problems. 2nd Edition was the opportunity for TSR to remake and fix some of the problems of 1st edition. Nada. Just another money-making venture from TSR. Most of my friends have lost a lot of respect for TSR since the coming of 2nd edition. What was the purpose of it? To eliminate some classes and make a fancy picture book? I didn't notice that much difference between the two editions aside from the $200 or so dollars for the new set of books. Why stick with a cumbersome AC rating which went from 10 to -10 and beyond? TSR's AC system does not make any logical sense! How about simply starting at 0 for... gasp! NO armour then increase? is that logical or what? Taking out the demons and devils or any semblance of satanic or evil creatures was just plain cowardly, guess what tsr? Adults play d&d too! What about combat-oriented skills? Instead, 2nd edition gave us non-combat non-weapon proficiencies based on char stats and not on skill advancement, whoopee. I wrote up a better skill system on the fly in my world. The Viking, Dwarf, Elf and other ridiculous handbooks were just obvious money-grabbing ventures for TSR. Why eliminate such old standbys as the barbarian and monk? Who wanted to play a fighter anyways? The magic system was a joke, who could play a wizard and survive from 1st to 10th level honestly? The specialist mages were totally unbalanced, the necromancer and conjurer always received the lowest amount of flexibility and power. The conjurer didn't even receive one monster summoning type spell per spell level! Not one wizard ever survived any of the campaigns, and when we imported pre-made wizard characters, they weren't even that tough at high levels. For example, take a 10th level fighter vs. a 10th level mage. Since the fighter could probably save on an average of 5 or so against most spells, the usual 10d6 spell attack got reduced to 5d6 damage effectiveness which averages to 5 X 3.5 to 17 points of damage assuming the spell gets off. Compare that to a fighter swinging a d8 weapon 5/2 with a damage modifier of +12 (+3 str, +2 skill, + 3weapon, +4 misc magic and spell). Guess who wins? In fact, it was 1st edition that got most of my friends involved in RPG's and it was 2nd edition that turned us off of it. We went into Runequest instead and eventually rewrote the TSR system with a sensible combat system, combat oriented skills (i.e. feats), a balanced spell system with 10 spells for each level for each school, gods that made sense instead of the silly FR gods (Myrkul, Bane and Cyric are evil? oh please. they don't even decapitate their foes) and a more balanced char class system (thieves are useless: they can't fight, and spells such as find traps and invisibility make their skills useless). Rabbitman, if you've been playing d&d for 16 years, then I pity your campaign still set in the 2nd edition world.

Not that this matters, but I started playing D&D in 1981. Believe me, I know what you're feeling Rabbitman. The mystique of 1st edition AD&D and the older D&D was not that it was well-written, concise and balanced. On the contrary, you had to have pretty good reading skills (First time I read the DMG I was constantly hitting up Webster for words like "milieu" and "dweomer") to have a clue what was going on. I know this sounds corny, but it was like you were some sort of a wizard yourself, poring over some dusty tome to unlock it's secrets. (Ohhh, so that's what Type D poison does...) You were a member of a Masonic-esque clique, where only a select few knew or could understand the intricate rituals.

Being a teen-ager when I started gaming, I of course did not take care of my old books. I have since had the good fortune of finding a collector who sold me a 1st edition DMG, PHB, Monster Manual, and Legends & Lore. When I reread those books I did not see the drab black and white artwork, conflicting rules, tons of charts and minutiae. I saw my childhood. Hours spent in the basement of my friend's house. Gaming three, four, even five times a week because we didn't have to worry about jobs or paying bills or significant others. Talking about killing orcs in the halls at school and getting weird looks from teachers and other kids. I know this sounds stupid and hopelessly maudlin but it's the truth.

Alas, life marches on and things change. I know today's young gamers who start out with 3ED&D are really getting shortchanged out of what the game used to be, but keeping the game the same as it was wouldn't work either. WOTC has to make money too, or else there wouldn't BE a D&D anymore, and that would be a bigger travesty. To make a bad analogy, you can't sell Zork or The Bard's Tale when Baldur's Gate II is out there.

Rabbitman, you goofed bigtime. You took a few prerelease sample articles, and made assumptions all over the place. There are fewer modifiers to initiative than there were in 2e, the new armor class/to-hit rules simply use a different mechanic to reach the same result as 2e had, 99% of the math used in the game is simple addition. I'm sorry, but the old THAC0 system was nice, but had its downside. Subtract AC from THAC0 to see what you need to hit. Sounds simple enough, right? Do you know how many friends I have that have very poor math skills? Ask the average people on the street to subtract negative seven from fifteen, and see how many different answers you get. The new mechanics make sense, period. (By the way, -7 from 15 is 22.)

As for people who don't like feats, I say you better use them. The feat rules are used to make fighters into hideous engines of death, which greatly compensates for the lack of spell use and other special abilities that the barbarien, paladin, and ranger have.

The magic rules have taken a handful of alterations, but remain mostly unchanged.

There are optional rules aplenty in the new DMG, including rolling initiative every round.

Yes, racial and class ability score requirements are gone. Why can't I play the only weak half-orc? It's a good character hook. 3e says you can. Why should the gods favor only the beautiful with paladinhood? Dwarves are very community centered, why can't they be paladins? Besides, if the DM thinks opening up the class/race combinations is unbalancing, he can always reinstate them (they're even listed in the DMG).

The biggest thing in 3e is it gives you the mechanics to make it easier to say "You can try" instead of "No, you can't do that".

Lastly, in regards to those who say that 3e is designed to make money... Duh? Of course it's supposed to make money you goof! otherwise they'd give it away! My biggest complaint about the gaming industry is that it IS an industry. This means that the company will eventually use all the good material and be forced to publish crappy stuff for no other reason than the fact that the company has bills to pay. Look at 2e, the average issue of Dragon Magizine was better written and edited than half of the PHB suppliments, and how many of those damnable things were there anyway?

I have seen the new 3e PHB and DMG. I have seen the future, and it is good.

Firt off...someone mentioned it above but it bears repeating - 3E is NOT 3rd Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. It IS Dungeons and Dragons (3rd Edition)...I personnally just call it 3E for short. The reason for this is that some potential gamers and some original D&D players didn't go for 1st or 2nd edition because of the "advanced". They felt it implied that you had to be a genius to play, or that it was a greatly superior gaming environment - I won't touch on that topic...

I have to agree with J.S. - I have been playing 3E with a group ever since the release of the PHB and its fantastic! It took us the first couple of weeks to work out the details (and institute some house rules) but play is faster & easier allowing us to concentrate on role-playing. The feats and stuff DO make fighters awesome. My human fighter could stand toe-to-toe with his entire party of five (cleric, paladin, rogue/sorcerer, fighter/rogue/wizard, ranger/druid)! talk about a walking talking killing machine! I never liked playing fighters...they were great at early levels but then they "topped" out and were just cannon-fodder. NOT any more.

The biggest thing I like is the advent of the D20 system (even though 3E doesn't strictly adhere to it...) and making skills, feats, saves and attacks all happen on one die.

Our only complaint has been the staggered release of materials...we are waiting rather impatiently for the monster manual.

3E is a good change - and a natural evolution...I think it is going to be even more successful than AD&D ever hoped to be!

Give it a don't have to invest a lot of money - get the Adventure Game for $10. Its a little watered down but you will definetly see the improvements in simplicity that have been made!

Later days...

I was like many of my gaming brethren, hearing about the tyranny of third edition. (Half-orc barbaian/wizard/ROGUE/Paladin!?!?!?!)Then I picked up a 3rd Edition PHB and said "Wow." The book looked slick- granted that the little gems looked a little too much like the Magic the Gathering gems- but the general appearance of the book was intriguing. Yet, the appearance of a book doesnt make a game, so I put it back on the shelf.

Then my friend bought the game. After seeing a DM at the local card store in action and reading some of it, I started to like it. It was weird. I DESPISED the game for the months before that I had heard about it. But suddenly, I started to like it, it was strange. The aura of the game just sucked me in. And I feel that it will to other gamers that hated it just as much as me.

I have been gaming since 1985 and like many others it all began with DnD. You remember the red box? Well I wanted more so I picked up 1st ed. ADnD. I was hooked. I eventually collected the entire hardbound set except for the "Fiend Folio".(I once saw a copy, but it was very ratty so I passed.) Then along came 2nd Ed. ADnD. I picked up a few of the books but it just wasn't the same. I had discovered other game systems and bluntly put, they were superior. I still loved the DnD "world" but I just couldn't take the clunky old system anymore. Lets get something straight readers, DnD isn't about this rule system or that, DnD is a shared experiance among gamers. It's home. That said the new "system" for the DnD "world" is leaps and bounds ahead of it's predecessor. Rabbitman, I believe you have been unfair to this new system. I think that with the marketing dollars of the mighty Tarrasque "WOTC" and this new more logical system maybe DnD can make a comeback and with this engender a "Role-Playing Renaissance" I hope for the hobbie's sake that it does. It would be very sad if it died with our generation.

I agree with some of the things said, while I disagree with others. True, there are alot of plusses and minuses on rolls, but I think if you made proper notes on your character sheet it would all work out. I haven't seen the minster manual yet, but from what I've seen, it will be fun to play different races other than the standard ones. The feats are cool because they are a little more powerful, but harder to get. I agree that the saving throw system is dumb though. I like it better the other way.

Some of you guys just need to chill out. 3E is a alot better than any of the previous editions. D&D has allways been a streamlined system to begin with and they have jsut made it even more stremed lined. The core issue is the sytem mechanics have changed and I think the change is for the better. Who cares if your ac is a 2 or 18 IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE. compare the numbers: 1ed 1st lv. fighter needs a 19 to hit ac0 1st lv. ftr. 3E needs a 19 to hit ac20 WHATS THE DIFFERENCE? there is none. BUT mr. gorjo they have swictched up all the mechanics. NO they have not all we are doing is calculating in a different way to get the exact same result no matter how much you scream and yell. Just do the math and you will see. I also love the anti WOTC people who say they will never play or buy the game because they are stiffing us and trying to make money. Well I hope you never got into rolemaster and had to buy there 8 core rule books. But your right they where not trying to make money just a more relistic combat system for us to play and enjoy. The beauty of D&D has allways been a simplictic format that involved mor imagination than number crunching and looking up reults on charts. Game "systems" do not make roleplaying any better they bog it down into a mundane number crucnh and tell you what happens not you making the result up in your mind and roleplaying the results. Since everyone wlse seems to have to add weight to their posts by putting saying how long they have been playing, like that has anything to do with the weight of your statements, because TSR could care less what us old fossils have to say because the real market for the game are the younger generation that have not played for years. Here it is. Been playing basic D&D since 1979 and went to GenCon again this year and got the new 3E. My group has switched over because it is a better system. And yes Iam probally the only DM who can say I HAVE NEVER AND WILL NEVER PLAY OR BUY ONE THING THAT SAYS ADVANCED D&d. THATS RIGHT MY GROUP PLAYED BASIC D&D SINCE 1979. SO TAKE THAT LIKE IT MEANS ANYTHING. My lst comment is this. AD&D is the biggest pile of *&^% that was ever made. It changed nothing from D&D. it only took away imagination and put into rules systems and cocepts lamers could not imagine themselves.

Hey rabbitBRAIN, Did you finally read the rules of D&D(3rd)?Or are you still wading yourself in the prejudiced mud you made on premature and incomplete(and at this moment mostly outdated)material?

Let me put one thing straight:If you can't roleplay without strict,over-mathemized and,mainly,muddy rules;YOU CAN'T ROLEPLAY AT ALL!!!

After all,a RPG takes place in the mind of the players and DM's,not in rules and statistics.

If you can't understand that,you better stick to monopoly or something similar.

By the way:having started playing 2nd AD&D (and continued to play it for a while)i found out,that the handbooks should only be used as a suggestion to as how to ROLEPLAY,not a bible.

So next time you try to write something , write about something you understand!

I own a PHB, a DMG and will (by tomorrow) own a Monster Manual. In short, I'm in love with D&D 3rd Edition. I think the system is much cleaner, easier to understand and that newbie players will get the hang of it a whole lot faster than they did/do with 1st and 2nd ed. "..but I thought negatives were bad things." True, if you look at the system in the way of numbers, it all ends up the same either way. I especially love the fact that no matter what your ability score, you have the same modifiers for all. I also love it that the magic has been balanced (as far as the differences between clerics and wizards go). Also, all you combat twinks out there are gonna love this, the game is far more lethal. Beware!! This game is gonna sweep the floor with 1st and 2nd ed. saleswise. In summary, 3rd ed. rocks! I am so glad I made the switch.

In responce to all the comments good and bad about the newest addition rules. I have been playting D& D for 13 years and have problably only played by the rules in the book about 10 times. My party has always had the imagination to adapt the game to a level that we enjoy playing. I think the same is in order with the newest eddition to the game. I believe that D & D is a game of the imagination and should not be imprisoned by a set of rules. Look at D & D like a mage looks at magic if you dabble out side the rules of casting and push energies out side the box you will become more powerful and successful. The same is true with the game. But BEWARE stray to far away from the laws of magic and you wiil be consumed by it's power. The same will happen if you stray to far from the rules created by the wizards of the coast.

Despite my complete disagreement with a number of Rabbitman's points (well, almost all, anyway), something elses is my point...

WHo here has ever played GammaWorld 4th edition? Many of you may have heard of or seen the new Alternity version? (5th ed). The GammaWorld 4th ed game, written by TSR in 1992 (AFTER AD&D2nd ed)by Bruce Nesmith & James Ward has a number of interesting features.

AC starts at 10 and goes up (like in 3rd ed). Initive is highest first (d10 still, though). Skills were gained point by point, (unfortunatly, you still had to roll under the skill...)

I just love D&D3rd ed. I quite liked 2nd ed, but after many years... a change was needed.

I love the new power of the characters (and I'm a GM). Why? because it means you can up the power of the monsters as well, to have truely heroic games, where the PCs can mash through hordes of enemies - and monsters have a fighting chance to do the same to the PCs.

Want a Half-Orc Barbarian/Paladin/Monk? sure, but you are no more powerful than a halfling rouge of equal level.

Anyhoo, my main point was that is was interesting they brought back and re-hashed old rules from a game they produced 8 years ago. Could they not think up a new idea to save themselves? Maybe. I prefer to belive they stuck with what works best.

I love 3rd edition and have found nothing wrong with it.I have bought all the books that dont go off into other worlds.

I fully agree with Rabbitman!! 3E is just a plan to get you to buy books you alraedy own! They killed TSR and distroyed there system. Insted of supporting WotC, you sould be boycoting them.

I must say, alot of you complain that WOTC is just making it so we buy more books but did you ever think that TSR did the same thing. To put it frankly if nobody buys the books the system will stop being published. Frankly I think that would be worse than spending more money on a hobbie that I love. I hope new editions keep coming out so that there is dungeons and dragons in the future. I want my child to grow up and have the chance to play and expand his imagination like I did.

I think that what Zarzcas is wrong about Wizards making new editions. I'd rather never play D&D again than become a turn coat and change additon. I have bought the 3E Players Handbook and read most of it. They have made the game simpler at the cost of realism. Whats to stop me from becoming 2nd level in every class and using the magic items for every class? Why didn't Wizards just make a diffrent game like Magic the Gathering the RPG? 3E is nothing like the old systems. They changed all the monsters look so you'll have to buy new minuatures. They stopped printing every 2nd edition book the day 3E came out so you'll only beable to buy 3E. If you ask me they distroyed the game! I'm with the guy who said to boycott Wizards! DOWN WITH WIZARDS!!!!!

Man, I thought that I was the only one who hated all this Third addition crap. Personally it lacks all the feeling of the las two additions. Have you seen the new Monster Manual? They really buffed up the mosters. I guess thats for lazy Dm's who were eather to lazy or stupid to do it themselves in seconed addition. Heres a tip. Don't waste your money on third addition. Remember that your the dungeon master. If you want a Dwarven Padaden or Mage, then have one. If you think the monsters are to weak, buff them up. Don't go spend hundereds of dollars to buy books that have these solutions that you can solve for free with what you have.

I totally agree with Rabbitman's comments on WOTC's release of D&D 3E. There's an old saying I'm sure most of you have heard, If it's not broke, don't fix it. As someone else mentioned I have no problem with WOTC coming out with a new RPG but what I do have a problem with is them calling it a new edition of D&D. They should have called it GURPS 2nd edition instead!!!!!

Friends of mine have been getting me to switch over to 3rd addition (Here after called RPG Poison) and have failed. I admit that I obtained (notice I didn't say bought) a copy of the players hand book and read through a couple of pages. I found it to be the stupidest bunch of crap I've ever see! I mean when you update an addition, it's supposed to at least a little resemble the last addition. I can't even run and old modual made for 2nd addition with out spending days converting it. The Monsters look totaly stupid. Did you see the Tarrasque? It looks like Koopa from Mario Brothers with that stupid shell thing on it's back. And the Minotaur looks like a wookie with horns! And the Umber hulk is all skinny and stupid looking. Man Wizards really screwed this up. And I can't believe how many of you "Gamers" are falling for this crap. Most for you have been brain washed by the hobbie shop dealer who have to so it's good so you'll buy it. Open your eyes fanboys and see that it sucks. I only play AD+D, like in the past D+D are for those who cant cut the mustard and I guess those days are back.

I Like 3E a lot and I plan on buying the Monster Manual soon. My group played a lot of 2nd addition and actually I am hesetant to switch because we all know the rules for the older addition. Basicaly were switching because all our local gamming store has is 3E now, But I like the older one better.

I have read everyone's comments and find them rather amusing.

I am a Gamer. I am not a D&Der. D&D was my introduction to role-playing (the Red & Blue boxed sets, for members of the Old Farts Club). I quickly learned AD&D (1e). Then GURPS. Then Rolemaster. Then Palladium. I am familiar with Earthdawn, BattleTech, Shadowrun, Cyberpunk, Ars Magica, Talislanta, Tunnels and Trolls, and many other games. I have played (I wouldn't call it "familiar" in all cases) probably 80% of all systems produced in the last 20 years(!). Having played for 20 years allowed me to put together a rather complete set of rules myself (500+ pages of my own RPG rule set), which I have used for about 5 years now.

Then came D&D 3e.

Many of the rules and "fixes" to bugs I had made (I usually ran the fantasy milieu anyway, but occasionally did Modern Horror or Future/Sci-Fi stuff a la Shadowrun/Cyberpunk) have been incorporated into 3e.

I have seen complaints about changing the basic ability score scheme. Huh? Unless you still stuck with the "roll 3d6 and assign the rolls to your scores in order" method, I think most of the campaigns I have seen for AD&D used the 4d6 method. Perhaps you complain that it no longer takes a score of 15+ to gain bonuses. In my mind the change is welcome because I no longer need to worry about players lying or whining to get ability score bonuses.

Another thing I had always been a fan of - modifying spell effects "on the fly." Spell effects always seemed kind of vanilla. The new metamagic feats allow one to use spells in new and interesting ways. While I am something of a fan of spell point systems as opposed to "fire-n-forget" systems, I think the sorceror class struck a fair (not great, but acceptable) medium.

Calling thieves rogues or vice versa? It's a matter of semantics. Get over that one.

Feats? Excellent addition. They finally give characters something to distinguish Joe Fighter from Fred Fighter. Furthermore, they help fighters overcome their natural blandness, especially compared to paladins and rangers (who get all sorts of nifty abilities). This is needed with the discarding of ability score requirements for classes (I'm still not completely sure I like this, but I'll accept it for now until I can figure out exactly why it makes me uncomfortable).

Spells are listed horribly? As mentioned, you can't get much simpler than alphabetical and that eliminates the "see page X" description for spells such as Light, Detect Magic, etc. I always found that annoying myself.

Converting modules is hard? Please. Just convert AC from the old system to the new (not hard, just use 20 minus [old AC] equals new AC) and swap THAC0 for a plus to hit (20 minus old THAC0 equals new bonus to hit). Then assign DC to any traps and poof - you're pretty much ready to go. If you can't improvise with that much, you probably aren't an experienced enough DM to make comparisons anyway.

Let's see... what else. They have changed the look of some of the old classes/races/monsters (though in my campaign, halflings are still hobbits and not kender and gnomes still have big noses). If you don't like it, just use the old picture. The pictures are only provided to help us visualize the critters anyway. Sheesh.

In summary, I would compare the "new" D&D to Windows 98. It's certainly NOT the same thing as the old AD&D (corresponds to DOS). But it's much easier to learn, easier to customize, and is much more intuitive - I find it easier to make up stuff on the fly in 3e than in previous editions. AD&D was very serviceable, and one can still see the roots of it in 3e, just as one can still see the roots of DOS in Win98. I am no fan of Win98 myself - I'm a DOS dinosaur and having a knowledge of DOS certainly helps to "fix" problems in Win98, just as knowledge of 1e and 2e helps fix problems in 3e.

On the surface, 3e does not look much like the old 2e (which I personally regard as much more of a money-making scam than 3e - look at all the "Complete X" books which simply led to the same idiotic power escalation currently seen in the Rifts books) or 1e. But if you burrow deep down, you see the "guts" are essentially the same. You still have ability scores. You still have hit points. As one poster mentioned, if you do the math, you still wind up needing to roll roughly the same number on your 20-sider to hit a beastie.

The streamlining has the good effect of lending the game more easily to role-playing. No longer must you flip through pages of charts. It's one of the reasons I preferred the old boxed D&D to AD&D. AD&D had TOO MANY rules (yes, there is such a thing). Everyone was too busy worrying about the rules to have fun. With both old D&D and new (3e) D&D, there are enough rules to make the game a thinking man's game, but not TOO many to bog the game down.

All in all, I think 3e is the best presentation I have seen of a fantasy game in a long time. I personally prefer it to most other rules systems. Are there things I disagree with? Of course. But I don't expect a publisher to give me a set of rules which precisely corresponds to every one of my own house rules. 3e, however, comes close enough for me to consider it a good system. No, it isn't perfect. But in my opinion, it is a VAST step up from 2e and 1e. It looks nicer, plays easier and faster, and is more intuitive than the previous incarnations (which often required a knowledge of trivial charts and obscure rules).

Unifying everything to a single d20 roll makes it easier too. This is NOT quite the same as Palladium (which uses percentages for its skills, I might remind). In fact, I fail to see how 3e has become Palladium. Instead of lowering your THAC0, you get a bonus to hit. Same thing, mathematically. Just because you have a +4 to hit does not make this Palladium.

That's it. I'm done with my rant on the rant. Wizards has done a good job on an unenviable task - realize that they knew if they tampered with an old standby like D&D they were bound to have critics. Nevertheless, they did it. I think overall the change was positive. Those of you who are screaming because they have "touched the sacred D&D" are just off-base. When TSR failed and WoTC bought them, they could either support a failing business (TSR was bankrupt by doing what they had been doing - presumably what you folks liked) or change the business model. They only did what you would expect them to do. After all, it was "change or perish." So even if you aren't thrilled with 3e, realize that the alternative was the extinction of (A)D&D as we know it.

You may not like that, but 3e is a darn sight better than the alternative.

Oh, yeah...

<I think that what Zarzcas is wrong about Wizards

<making new editions. I'd rather never play D&D

<again than become a turn coat and change


That's "edition" with one e and one d, as opposed to "addition" with one a and two d's.

Hmm... "I love 2e! Changing editions is turncoat!" You're a f***ing hypocrite. Why are you not playing 1e? Or better yet, why were you a turncoat and abandoned the Chainmail rules?!?

Jeeze. Of all the reasons to complain - "I'm fine with what I have and don't want anything else because it's different." I wouldn't be surprised if you are 50 and working at McDonald's because "it's a job, it's okay, so I don't need anything different."

<They stopped printing every 2nd edition book the

<day 3E came out so you'll only beable to buy 3E.

<If you ask me they distroyed the game! I'm with

<the guy who said to boycott Wizards! DOWN WITH


It's "destroyed" with an e, not an i.

They destroyed the game. Hmm... I thought 2e had been destroyed long ago by fragmenting the fan base into Greyhawk, Al-Qadim, Ravenloft, Planescape, Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, Mystara, and so forth... destroying its financial viability because no book could sell enough to recoup its production costs. No, my friend. Your beloved TSR destroyed D&D by destroying its economic base. Your choices are simple. Stick with the TSR model you seemed to love and watch economic reality drive D&D to extinction. Or change gears, re-tool the game, update the rules (which really hadn't changed in 25 years and contained many vestiges of Chainmail and miniatures gaming - something which everyone complains seems to be needed to play 3e - BTW, just use a ruler and pennies for your miniatures and diagrams. That costs you maybe a buck.). Anyway, if AD&D had continued to do what it was doing (putting out fragmented and meaningless products as opposed to well-thought-out, balanced, non-escalatory products), it would have died. Painfully. Then you would have NO new material for 2e. Hmm... same situation you are complaining about now.

Again, you have your choice. No more 2e AD&D happens whether you stay with the old model and let TSR's D&D die of natural causes or go with WoTC and put the old D&D dog to sleep and get a new one (3e). Either way, you were going to have no more D&D.

So your choice is not 2e or 3e continuing to be produced.

Your choice is: no more 2e but you at least have 3e.

OR: no more 2e and no more D&D period.

I would prefer the first option even if I didn't like 3e.

WoTC did not kill D&D. TSR killed D&D. WoTC reincarnated it in a slightly different form. The myopians who clamour (Brit. spelling) for continued 2e refuse to recognize that this is impossible. Sorry. Learn and adapt.

Wow, people are very harsh. Sorry, I didn't know you are the one person on this planet that never makes typos. Apparently, some people think that they are better than others. Doom, look, he likes 2e, same here. I have read ALL of the 3e books. It's ok, but I would still rather play a 2e game any day. Ask most people. They'd rather sit down and play and old school 2e game. Hell, some of my friends still own the original 1e books. We play that often too. It's good to revisit things and see what changed and why. But with 3e, they make it simpler, more "user friendly" kinda like a macintosh. Well, most people hate macintosh's. No wonder people are going to hate 3e. User friendly takes away the part that you knew D&D so much more and you could do so much more than the next guy cuz you knew all of the rules by heart. Believe me, I used to be able to quote anything from the 2e Monstrous Manual. Name a creature, I'll tell ya everything about it. And it was nice and very concise that book. But have you looked at the new version??? Creatures take up half of one page and half of the next that you must turn? This is not like the TSR days where they made it very easy to find what you needed. You didn't have to mark pages like now. Now, for some, there aren't any pictures given, yes a short description, but this takes away from the "this has blah blah legs and..." "Hold on, what does this thing look like?" *Holds up book* "Ah, that thing is toast!" That was a very good thing. Not all DMs were experts at describing EVERYTHING. TSR made it easy to refer to something which was a constant for everyone, a simple drawing which showed what this particular creature should look like barred any changes by the DM.

Anyways, 3e is new yes, and because of that, older players will be mad at the fact that to most, nothing was wrong with the old rules. Me? Hell, my friends don't like 3e that much and we still play 2e to this day! There are more like us, find them if you are against WotC. I mean, I'm not against them, but I hate the fact that they dummy everything up. Magic used to be cool til they killed it with writing how to use them on the damn cards! I mean, just read the rulebook, that's what it's for!

Typos are one thing. Gross typos ("aditions" might have been acceptable, "additions" is not because it means something else) are another. If you want to rant at WoTC, I assume you will take the time to at least make it an informed rant and intelligent-looking rant. Otherwise you come off looking like a screaming idiot.

I do not disagree that someone liking 2e more than 3e is a matter of taste. I refer more to the matter of expediency. Regardless of your feelings toward 2e, you must admit, the economic model TSR was using was unsound (since TSR went bankrupt). What that means is that 2e was going to die if WoTC did not step in.

My objection is not to personal taste and preference. My objection is to someone saying it is traitorous to change editions. As I mentioned, if you think changing editions is so bad, why are you playing 2e? That's a change of edition from 1e. But wait, 1e was a change of edition from Chainmail. But wait, Chainmail was a change of edition from an unnamed Strategic War game. That unnamed Strategic War Game was a change of edition from chess. Chess was a change of edition from... you get the idea. If you want to say "don't change from the original," that's one thing. Saying "making another edition is criminal" when you're already playing a re-tread is just silly. If everyone followed that logic, we'd still be playing the "I beat you on the head with my club" game.

WoTC saw what they thought were some big problems with 2e. I agree with some of the things they thought were problematic. The core rulebooks for 2e (I define "core" as PHB, DMG, and Monster Manual or Monstrous Compendium Volume 1 for purposes of such a debate) are enough for a solid foundation. I think the 2e DMG was very redundant, covering much that the 2e PHB did, but that's another story. On the whole, the "core" rules were good.

The problem came with the advent of the "Complete " series and the Skills & Powers series. Why? Because these raised the power bar considerably - but only if you had these books. My brother is a rather accomplished DM himself but has one player who is infamous for his ability to break the rules. My brother was thinking about using some of these books for his campaign, but first gave them to his friend to "break" - i.e., see if his friend could make a very skewed character. The result? A first level character that could kill a beholder 17 times out of 20 mock combats.

The reason WoTC decided to do a complete re-write/re-release of the D&D rules was this very reason. While the core of 2e was still solid, all of the stuff that had accumulated over the years had overburdened it and made it unbalanced, unwieldly, and (to use their expression) "broken." As I mentioned before, 2e had seen the same power expansion that Rifts currently sees. You always had to have the latest book if you wanted to keep your power on a par with those who did. The balance of the game became horrifically tilted toward the PC who had all the sourcebooks.

Obviously, once something is done, it is very difficult to un-do. WoTC couldn't just out-and-out say, "okay, all this other stuff is now no longer part of AD&D. Get rid of it." (Well, maybe they could have, but nobody would have listened). Think of a building which has been added onto and added onto and added onto. All these addons are now filled with people and stuff. You can't just knock off the add-ons. You have to raze the building and start from square one.

This is what WoTC did. Nobody is claiming that it is a fact that 3e is better than 2e. Matters such as this are, of course, opinions. But I feel that the game feels much less - well - sloppy. Most of this is due to the adoption of the d20 mechanic and opposed rolls. I feel it's smoother because it makes nearly everything use the same mechanic - roll a d20, add/subtract a modifier, and compare it to a number (or another roll). To me, that's simpler than the incredibly diverse mechanics found in AD&D 2e. An easy example follows:

2e Surprise rules:

Say I have a character who is only surprised on a 1 on a d12 and who surprises on 1-3 on a d10 against a creature which surprises on a 1-7 on a d8 and is only surprised on a 1 on a d8. What's the surprise chance for the character? For the monster? How many segments will the less surprised one have to act before the other recovers?

Do you know? I don't. I know there's some table somewhere in some book (that I really would rather not look up) that tells me.

Surprise is simple if you're using standard characters and standard monsters (i.e., 1-2 on a d6 surprises). Use anything that is stealthy or difficult to surprise and because the die changes from a d6 to other types, it's suddenly a lot tougher, especially when both sides have different die types.

In 3e, the same thing would be something akin to a character with a +4 to Spot and a +6 to Hide versus a creature with +2 to Spot and +10 to Hide. So I roll a d20+4 and compare to a d20+10 to see if the character is surprised. I roll a d20+6 and compare it with a d20+2 to see if the monster is surprised. If surprise happens, it's always for one partial action.

That, to me, seems a lot simpler. The biggest problem I had with 2e was all the different mechanics. Sometimes you use a d12. Sometimes a d6. Sometimes a d100. Sometimes a d20. While it certainly makes it nice to have a lot of different probability curves (1d10+2 certainly curves differently than 3d4 even though both give you 3-12) and in that sense makes the game feel more real, it's a beast to play with. It's easier to just worry about a single probability curve (the d20) and shifting the curve up and down with modifiers. Is it as realistic? No. Does it make things feel slightly more generic? Of course. Does it make things a lot easier? Definitely.

That's a matter of taste, but I would rather have a simple mechanic which allows me easy improvisation than a complex one which is more realistic but which disrupts the flow of my game as I scramble from table to table, cross-referencing everything.

And it isn't because I'm dumb. The sheer volume of information is nearly impossible to keep track of any more. When I was in the fourth grade, I could tell you - literally - every spell by spell level, components, range, duration, and effect in the core rulebooks (1e). That's several HUNDRED spells. I could give vital stats on all monsters (HD, AC, #Att, THAC0, and Damage) in the same way. I knew the cleric turning tables by heart. But at some point, there are just so many tables and charts and lists that you can't possibly know them all. Again, can ANYONE give me the correct answer to the surprise question above (perhaps a ranger versus a bugbear) quickly? I really doubt it.

I agree that the learning curve has been dropped some. THAC0 was, in many ways, the "bar" you had to be able to clear to play D&D. I agree that the format of the Monster Manual, which goes back to the format of the 1e Monster Manual in some ways, was a mistake. I did prefer the "one creature, one page" approach. But no, the old format wasn't always easier to find a monster in, especially if you got two or three compendiums, because some creatures would get slightly out of order. If MC1 had Wraith on one side of the page and Wyvern on the other and MC2 had Wretched Bug on one side of the page Wyrd on the other, you have:

WraithWyvernWretched BugWyrd

Obviously, this should be: WraithWretched BugWyrdWyvern

But this is a minor consideration, all things considered. I don't think it's any harder to bookmark a page now than it was then, but that's IMO.

Anyway, to get back to my original point. Screaming about how 2e is better won't bring it back. Saying that TSR knew much more about what they were doing may be debatable (I think that TSR seemed to be given a lobotomy in about 1992, but that's my personal opinion). TSR may have known more about how to write a D&D game, but it's clear that they did NOT know how to run a business. Otherwise a successful D&D franchise with 2-3 million hardcore gaming fans would not have gone bankrupt as it did. That's just a cold, hard fact. You may not like WoTC's core products (most people over 12 are just sick to death of Pokemon and Magic The Gathering seems to be losing some steam). You may blame the demise of TSR and RPGs in general on WoTC (by introducing a popular game such as Magic which sucked revenue away from TSR by providing people with other things to do than D&D).

But to scream and rant that WoTC has killed D&D is just not seeing the whole picture. WoTC, by introducing a card game, may have facilitated the fall of TSR. I'm no economist, but I think that's certainly not impossible. But WoTC wasn't exactly in direct competition with TSR. It wasn't releasing role-playing games. If Magic brought down 2e AD&D, it's because WoTC proved better able to capture interest of gamers than TSR. While that might irk you, I think it is certainly not out of line to say that if this is the case, you should be just as angry at TSR for not adapting and providing a better product as you are with WoTC for creating something which you think indirectly destroyed D&D. I honestly don't think WoTC started with the goal "destroy TSR" - that just kind of happened as Magic proved more popular and accessible than AD&D in the late 90's.

Consider, though, that WoTC thought enough of D&D to buy a bankrupt TSR and at least try to revitalize it. While you may be frustrated that WoTC has pretty much removed all mention of TSR from 3e, as far as I'm concerned, TSR cut off their own head when they forced Gary Gygax from the company. Do I like Gygax's work. Well, to be honest, not really. In fact, for the most part, I think he's too verbose and ambiguous on many points. But my point is that TSR kicking out Gary Gygax from AD&D is analagous to WoTC kicking out TSR from D&D. What WoTC has done to TSR (the company that "gave birth" to D&D) is not all that different from what TSR did to first Dave Arneson, then Gary Gygax (the people who "gave birth" to D&D). Why condemn WoTC as evil and say TSR is good if WoTC just did what TSR did 10 and 20 years ago? Answer: because you probably weren't in the hobby 10 and 20 years ago.

IMO, WoTC has done something of a service by making sure that Gygax and especially Arneson (who had pretty much been snubbed by TSR for the better part of two decades) are getting their due credit for being the originators of the game. 3e is certainly NOT Arneson's or Gygax's D&D. But WoTC has acknowledged a creative debt to them. That in and of itself speaks volumes to me. In the boxed D&D (not AD&D) rules through about 1979, there was a page at the end giving credit to Vance, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and a host of others as inspirations for the game. For the last 20 years, TSR has (somewhat haughtily) maintained that D&D was completely their idea and nobody else's ideas really entered into the process at all. They have refused to offer homage to great fantasy writers who gave them so many of their ideas. That, to me, was more offensive than WoTC revising D&D. We all know that through 2e, halflings were Hobbits. Even if halflings in 3e are kender and gnomes are god-knows-what, 3e acknowledges that others have gone before and that they have drawn inspiration from a number of sources. You don't see WoTC shying away from Gygax and Arneson as TSR did. You see them embracing them. Political move? Perhaps. But again, much better than the way TSR used to be.

WoTC seems very concerned about keeping people involved with D&D. Why wouldn't they? It is about making money, right? Well, yes and no. I kind of turned off to D&D for several years because I thought TSR was to self-centered and stuck up (and because I thought the stuff they were producing was absolute s***). I thought that TSR had gone from caring about their products to caring only about money. Why else would they be pumping out hastily planned, poorly written, and obviously unplaytested (and therefore imbalanced) book after book for millions of different campaign settings instead of carefully putting together products which were quality, solid gaming materials.

I ask you to look at the list of "great" modules, because I think you can compare 1e and 2e best that way. In all honesty, and I'm not saying this as a way of sniping at 2e, I don't remember even one 2e module native to 2e (by that I mean one that was originally conceived and written for 2e and was not a 1e re-write like "Return to White Plume Mountain") that I thought was great and inspiring and a classic. I am told some of the Planescape modules were very good. The ones I have read weren't. The Forgotten Realms modules were, IMO, tripe (especially the Shadowdale/Tantras/Waterdeep series, where the entire point of the modules seems to be to have your characters follow along and be the mindless grunts in the book so they can see the story without actually participating in it). I've never been a fan of Dragonlance. Mystara was great - as a D&D setting. Moving it to 2e killed it. Ravenloft? Well firstly, the whole thing is based off a single 1e module so it could be considered non-2e native, but even then I think it was merely D&D's attempt to copy White Wolf's Vampire. The TSR that brought us 2e brought us really crappy modules.

The "old" TSR brought some of the all-time classics, all written for 1e. I'm sure most all of you have heard about: The Temple of Elemental Evil, Ravenloft, Against the Giants, and others. I personally liked Treasure Hunt, The U-Series, and the L-Series.

Even the old boxed D&D sets (Basic/Expert/Companion/Master) had some real gems: Night's Dark Terror, Isle of Dread, Adventures in Blackmoor, and Legacy of Blood stand out here. Also, perhaps my favorite series (fairly rules-light with lots of "generic" social and cultural descriptions - easily adapted to any edition or even any game system) ever published, the Gazetteer series, came from this genre.

In short, TSR gave us quite a bit of great gaming until about 1988, when they shifted gears in preparation for 2e. The 2e PHB was nice, much better organized than the 1e PHB. The 2e DMG was, IMO, better organized than the 1e DMG, but lacked much of the "meat" that had made the 1e DMG so helpful. The Monstrous Compendium, with its loose-leaf format and one-monster-per-page was also nice.

Then it all seemed to go to hell. For those who think that WoTC is on a money-making binge, compare the number of supplements, adventures and so on they have planned for 3e to how much crap has come out in ten years for 2e. I don't particularly think the 3e adventures are that great myself, but at least they're only giving us 8 and not 80.

That's it. I'm done ranting for now. I'll probably continue some more, but I invite comments and criticism to some of my arguments. I will grant that Planescape was an innovative setting and that Spelljammer was an interesting concept. I think, however that the execution on these was piss-poor. Tell me what an idiot I am and we'll discuss.

First of all Sigil, I would like to say I'm sorry for the above comment. I rush through your last entry and made a rash comment. Now I shall tell the tale of my anger with the company Known as Wizards of the Coast. It all started about 8 years ago when I attended a local gaming convention. I me and a female friend viewed 2 boys playing a card game named "Magic the Gathering". She and I both laughed and said this "Fad" would never catch on. The Next year half the entire Convention was Magic player, we began to worry. Finally the next year She and I were smashed into the corner of the convention hall on one of three gaming tables, while all the other tables were Magic tables. Soon after I heard the TSR was going bankrupt. All the Dungeons and Dragons Players were playing magic the gathering and I couldn't see why. Magic was so limiting. It took no imagination and was so 2 sided. Finally I heared that TSR was being sold to WoTC. Everything was alright for about a year untill, I heard about the Movie, starring The Jimmy Olsen kid from Louis and Clark and co starring Marlon Wayens. MARLON WAYENS!!! I know when I think for gaming he's the first person who pops in my head. Then I go to the gaming store and hear that If I want any 2E stuff I better get it now because it's all been out of print at of that day. Then the Ral Partha figures were dis continued and The "New" dungeons and dragons figures were being relesed. I know that you think that this is all fine and dandy but I have over 200 books, and to be told that EVERYTHING up to this point will be useless really agrivated me. I have over 50 moduals which I hav'nt even touched yet all 2E and now I'm expected to dump them and get the 3E Version? Screw that! I know people say I should just convert them, but why should I? I know the rules. They say that the monsters are harder, but I don't need 3E to make them harder. And getting rid of Plainscape all together? How are you going to explain that in an existing D+D world? Is buying $1000's of dollars in new books really justified by saying that you can get through combat 2 seconds earlier? Or because you can play a Halfing paladin? It seemed like 3E is more like Basic D+D. I left that long ago because it was too easy. Know it looks like thats what people want. I have all the old basic,expert,champion,master,immortal sets and If I want to play 3E I guess I'll just break them out.

Just a quicky:


Just started playing the 3rd ED game, Thanks for the Rogue info(not sure who i read that from), great character! Never felt good having 'theif' over my head, and it showed in my party too, though that hasn't changed much.

But my rant is this Loophole my wizard friend found in making scrolls. something like LVL*what*huh = time it takes to make the scroll. QUESTION!! what about LEVEL 0's???

RTFM (specifically, Read the Freakin DM's Guide). You will find that for item creation (including scrolls), level zero spells are to be treated as 1/2 of a spell level when determining cost. Example: for a wizard to scribe a zero level spell, he will need 12 gp 5 sp in raw materials and 1 XP.

Well, i have played AD&D for what would now be about...more than half the years i have been alive. And i have to tell you, some of the changes make sense, but really, the statement that this is no longer 'D&D' in anything but title is true. Look, If you really wanted 'realism' and 'sensible' charts, you would go to GURPS. I mean, i don't care what 'level' you are, i cannot see why an ogre connecting square on your unprotected head with a hammer kills you at 5th level and not 20th. I mean, all of that bs about the HP system being about 'the accumilation of luck, learning to roll with punches, favor of the gods, etc" never washed. Do what we did when someone was kind enough to introduce us to GURPS last year. convert your D&D campaign to gurps, write a few cheat sheet charts, and start role playing instead of looking for ways to make that sorry excuse for an engine give you what you want. Or, buy RIFTS, and get real munchkin-like.

Believe me, Ghost, I sympathize with you. I personally was introduced to the Magic phenomenon rather early. I found it an amusing game, and was interested mostly because I thought that the cards could be terrific artwork for my D&D campaign. I could actually pull out a half dozen "orc" cards and show the characters a half dozen different orcs. But I hoped it would be something of a fad - they would make lots of nice cards, then the bottom would fall out and I could scoop up oodles of them for cheap. Obviously that didn't happen. I have instead gotten rid of my cards and spent $50 or so on the Magic Encyclopedia CD with all the nice card graphics which I can cut up, print out, etc. for my own campaign.

I also sympathize with your economic investment in previous editions of D&D/AD&D. I myself have - literally - every single book ever published for D&D (the old Basic/Expert/Companion/Master/Immortal stuff) and almost all of the old 1e stuff. I have all the Complete X handbooks, I have a few dozen hardbacks, and two 4 foot by 3 foot by 2 foot boxes full of modules in my closet. My collection is rather extensive and has cost me a great deal as well. But I feel (and always have felt) that converting statistics for monsters is perhaps the simplest thing I can do to change genres. I have run D&D adventures in GURPS. I have run GURPS adventures in Shadowrun. I have run Shadowrun adventures in Rifts. So I don't see it as a waste at all (except perhaps all the Complete X handbooks and older PHBs and DMGs - but then, I thought the Complete X handbooks were a waste in the first instance) because I use this library as a wonderful resource for ideas. I have literally hundreds of adventures at my disposal which require approximately 30 minutes to an hour to convert - just change AC, hit points, get an attack bonus and damage, and "poof" I'm done. I realize it's not as simple for others, but I hardly find everything obsolete. In fact, I hope to be posting to Eric Noah's site ( some of WotC's free downloads, neatly updated to 3e very soon (since WoTC has said that updating and posting their free downloads as converted documents is okay - posting their pay-per downlads is not). But I'm rather busy, so these projects may take some time (I literally have about 1 free hour this whole week).

No, I don't like Marlon Wayans either. I really have no desire to see the D&D movie, and have kind of tried to ignore it entirely. As for the miniatures, I was always a fan of Ral Partha - but as mentioned before, WotC seems to have integrated the use of miniatures fairly well into 3e. I myself don't necessarily mind - I have a nice laminate game board with 1-inch squares (that has been around for about 10 years) which I use but I know it's an added investment on entry for some people. Sometimes I just draw numbers (1-15) on the board for monsters - especially when I need to easily keep track of which monster is acting when - after all, 15 kobold miniatures that all look alike are much harder to track than the numbers 1-15...

To again address your point about economic investment: yes, it is a valid question. Nobody's going to force you to play 3e. The bare fact that 2e will be getting harder and harder to find will move you in that direction, but if you have upwards of 50 unused modules, you should be fine for quite some time. Again, conversion has never really bothered me, because I have always felt that it's easy enough to convert modules from any genre to any other one. To me, adventures and modules are a source of inspiration, regardless of system or genre. They all have good ideas. The group I am currently running has so far gone on two "native" 3e modules (freebies found on the net), one "native" Basic D&D module, two "DM-created" native 3e modules, and one "native" GURPS adventure and is about to go on another "native" basic D&D module before going on a "native" 1e module, followed by a native "Star Frontiers" module (I hope - they may choose to go a different route). There are so many good ideas out there, and it's a shame to group them into a system just because they have a particular name on the cover. I sympathize with you mostly because I'm one of those that has an extraordinarily extensive collection. But as far as I'm concerned, I will keep Planescape, Manual of the Planes, etc. as baselines with some D&D Immortals rules thrown in as well for planar cosmology. I use Mystara/Expert D&D as my base campaign world, with many elements of Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms mixed in.

No world has to die if you don't want it to. You're the DM, dammit! If you say that even though WotC is no longer publishing Planescape that your campaign conforms to Planescape cosmology, who's to stop you? If you want to run a Ravenloft campaign, do so! If, like me, you use a homebrew (though mine is admittedly based off of the Mystara/Known World setting), use it. Take the rules concepts of 3e and lay them over the geography, culture, and descriptive stuff of any other setting. You will find that your old books are still valuable and applicable, and some of the old rough edges that 1e and 2e had are smoothed off when you lay 3e over them.

Perhaps that's why I haven't been so troubled by the shift to 3e. I always thought of a rules edition as something of a grid/transparency laid over the basic map of the world (contained in the geography, culture, history, etc). The ideas, cultures, adventures, and so forth are a globe. The rules, be they 1e, 2e, 3e, or anything else, are merely the latitude and longitude lines laid on that globe. They help you find your way. They help define areas of the globe. But you can lift off the lines and lay a different set of lines without changing too much about the world itself. Just because I say "go three blocks north and then four blocks east" doesn't mean you can't say "go five blocks northeast by east." We're getting to the same place - we've just changed the description of how we get there.

To sum up, I understand your disappointment. But please realize that you can continue using 2e. Realize also that switching systems does not mean you have to abandon 2e. It's just a different way of looking at the same thing.

GURPS is great. I LOVE many of the ideas in GURPS. Unfortunately, it is rather rules-heavy and TOO realistic IMO for a high fantasy campaign. The reason people want to play fantasy is to be larger-than-life heroes (not necessarily munchkins, but heroes). GURPS is frighteningly realistic - that means that most characters in GURPS, if they acted as they did in D&D, would be crippled, maimed, blind in one eye, and covered in scars by 3rd level equivalent. There is a place for GURPS and it has long been my second favorite system (second to my own home-brew system), though it has recently been bumped to third (I prefer 3e to GURPS for high fantasy) when it comes to high fantasy. It's a matter of taste, mostly. I want my PCs to worry about dying and to keep the sense of danger. But not with every scuffle with street riffraff.

I agree with your take on Rifts. There is little more munchkin.

Matter of taste, mostly. I would heartily recommend GURPS, but 3e has a lower learning curve and is much more rules-lite, both of which are good for working on the fly for DMs. I like GURPS using hexes. I like its balanced characters (best use of CP I have seen ever). But it just doesn't let the characters throw caution to the winds and charge the orcs. It's too gritty for that kind of campaign. I run GURPS from time to time when I'm in the mood for grit. It works great. Again, it's a matter of taste and style.

I've been involved in roleplaying games for twenty years. Dungeons & Dragons for just shy of ninteen of them. Never played the basic, only the advanced versions. AD&D 2nd Edition was a tweak of 1st Edition, but the new Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Edition is more than that. It is a new game with a similar look and feel, but very different system. Is it better than ther previous versions? That's a subjective opinion and as such, each of will decide that on our own.

I was against the change to 2nd Edition because of the cost involved. At that point of my life, 20 bucks was a big deal, but the game was improved and eventually I came to like 2E even better than the previous version. As the new edition. I do consider 3E a different game, but that's okay by me. I like aspects of it better, others not so much. However, my local gaming group has made the switch and the RPGA [Role Players Gaming Association] is making the switch to 3E now, so by mid-January it will be the main version played at their events. These are the people that I game with, so I'm converting to 3E and 2E will be just a pleasent memory.

Sometimes this is the way of things.

Sorry, guys, but all you old-timers sound like a bunch of whiners.

Yes, they change your beloved system.

Yes, you will have a mourning period.

Yes, you will get over it.

Yes, you will fall in love with 3rd ed., just like you did with 1st and 2nd.

Yes, 3rd ed. is better.

I hated it at first, but now I love it.

Because now, finally, I have some cool new books to buy.

i reaaly would like to learn rpg on irc i played middle earthquest once on a book so i have an idea coul you e mail me the simple rules please ........from a new fan of dragonlance

1) I certainly disagree with the "old-timers" can't change comment. Some of us "old-timers" like Sigil and I already realized that 2e was crap and made many changes to our systems. This is why we "old-timers" LIKE 3e since it incorporates many of the same rule changes that we have already made. That is the reason why I bought 3e, because it was a hardcover book of my own rules!

2) Ghost, I can sympathize with your hatred of Wizards. I also thought Magic Cards were a fad and still disagree with them on principle since they are NOT ROLE-PLAYING, its just a card game. But if you're going to make fun of the 3e Monster Manual as having some silly artwork, you should really do a second look at 2e Monster Compendium. I bought the 2e MC 3 months ago cheap second-hand and was simply aghast at the childist artwork. I really honestly, could draw better than most of the artwork in the 2e Monster Compendium. 3e Monster Manual may have some silly artwork, but is far and away better than 2e's baby school pictures.

3) Lastly, for those who honestly believe that 2e is better, then try answering the holes in the 2e system that I brought up in my Wed Sep 27 15:57:57 comments.

Listen George, Every system has problems. 3E has some of the stupidest ones I've ever seen (Namely how dose a halfling who used to only be a thief and a fighter can two seconds later be able to cast spells and become a paladin). 3E sucks!

I've Played D&D since the early 70's and what what has happened to the game is a crime! At least the change from 1st to second was minor. They mearly gave more info...a lot more info. that you could take it or leave it. Now the whole damn game is diffrent. Almost un recognizable! This IS just a ploy for more money. And it looks like it's working because your all buying it! Ever see that Simpsons episode when they made the Lisa Lionheart, and everyone bought the Malibu Stacy because she had a "Stupid Cheap Hat". Well Enjoy you hat losers!

Way to go WOTC. I think that 3E is genius, pure genius. My friends and I would stay up many nights, without sleep, playing dungeons and dragons. We'd often change the rules, so much, that it was hardly recognizeable as AD&D. The game was better (to us anyways), we standardized the game with d20's, and added special abilities (just like feats). I think what WOTC did with the game, has satisfied A LOT of people, I know that me and my friends are certainly in that group. And why are so many people trying to defend AD&D ??? I mean, TSR stopped prining the books because they volentarily sold it to WOTC. Al you AD&D lover, stop living in the past, at the top of this article, it clearly says, that change is a good thing, witout it, we wouldn't have the society we have today. LONG LIVE WOTC !

3E is a bastardization of a great gaming system, one which did not need a new edition. Our group ran a 3E campaign for about a month recently, and collectively agreed that is really sucks. It makes combat so boringly painful and overcomplicated, and the fact that you can refocus and add a 20 to your initiative is idiotic, essentially making initiative worthless to begin with. The overall tone smacks of Munchkinism, with the silly "building-block" stackable feats, no level limits, etc. The mystique has been stripped away, all in the name of money. WOTC will just keep re-releasing the 2nd worlds in 3E, milking gamers for every cent they can. My 3E Player's Handbook is going to Ebay soon, Dragon Magazine goes directly into the trash can each month now, and I will never buy another piece of crap that WOTC puts out. I feel dirty just because I bought the PHB. Remember, those who want to fix something that isn't broke are only looking to rip you off!!

I have not been a fan of the books since 1982, whatever edition that was. It pisses me off to see how whiners like Tipper Gore attack a game and force it into what it is today, a game fit only for 5-10 year olds. I'll keep my 1978 Fiend Folio and say screw pretty much anything after 1984.

I've been playing D&D since I got the brown box three booklets version in early 1975, and was playing Chainmail before that. I find 3rd Edition to be a breath of fresh air. The old rules I started with were broken but we just sort of patched things as we went along. I never much liked AD&D 1st or 2nd because by then I was exposed to systems that were better crafted mechanically, Runequest & others. AD&D had a very cobbled together and bolted on feeling, retaining many of the basic design mistakes of the original and layering on more and more stuff with lots of holes until it groaned under the weight of the Complete Whatziz and Whosis books. I really like how the new game feels like it was DESIGNED and is not just a pile of hacks. I don't agree with every design decision they made, but it It has revived my interest in D&D and will be the first edition in 20 years to get me running the current set pretty much intact instead of my own variants with the original booklets. I am happy to have it. It has spawned a number of campaigns among players I know who would never have bothered to run another AD&D 1st or 2nd campaign for the rest of their lives.

Thanks to the Sigil and The Old Man, for some refreshing and much needed views of Gaming in D&D and in general from people who know how to think and process all relevant information and not just reacting.

As a gamer I too started with D&D in the early 70's, though over time and expeirmentation with rules roleplay and just new ideas I expanded into most game systems out there. I ended up learning that the gaming experience is for fun, creative enjoyment, and the challenge to think other than you might in the mundane world. never assume that just because you see things one way, others are wrong, if the world truly worked like that then your society is anarchy, and that no changes or new ideas would ever happen due to one absolute viewpoint controlling all.

3e is a change for the better IMO. It is about a new way to work with what we had before with some additions/deletions along the way.

YES! It is changed, though change is life even though most people don't like it. If you can't handle change don't try to game and certainly don't try to live. I use all of my gaming supplies in addition to; comics, novels, music, tv/video and yes, magic cards and other CCG's of Ideas, Tweaks and Modifications to play RPG's as I want to and not by a set of rules with no choice. If any of you want rules I offer you to look at the complexity of the pre-Runequest era game of P&P(Powers and Perils to the uninitiated), the extensive damage allocation in the origional TRI-TAC's Stalking the Night Fantastic, or if you're into math track down an origonal version of 3G and make some weapons. The reason why simpler is better for rules is that life is too complex to lay down absolutes in rules without conflicting opinions or confusion, either of which will ruin a game session in no time.

To those of you who blame wizards for the ruinifacation of TSR fail to realize that TSR had been in slow decline for some time and the intoduction of Magic was just a catalyst for accelerating was was already happening. TSR as a business had faild to fully capture a way for the gaming world to challenge mind and stratigy to as high of a level as gamers wanted to be challenged, yet kept in a fantasy setting. Wizards did this with creative style and I applaud their creativity in making a fantasy setting that changes with every play with near endless suprises. As a warped and more complex version of chess you not only have to know moves in advance you have to predict the probobility of what the other player even has to play, let alone what it will do to your stratagy. No it is not an RPG, but you do have a role as a wizard in a duel to win(and yes there are rules and those change too with the combining of cards/effects).

On a note about switching from D&D to Magic, either way you spend alot of money, though what you don't really spend on magic unless you want to is time. Lots of people in life don't always have te leasure time to sit and game for hours, responsibility's require us elsewhere. So in the time it takes most groups to sit down get comfortable and break out supplies, two or three Magic games could have been played and the person could get back to responsibility's until the next 15 to 20+ min. break was avalible. All the while people who are tired of reality can have a leasurely stroll through a fantasy concept and game, without eating up hours of their time.

Yes I play Magic, though when Responsibility's and time allow, I game. All of the gamers in my group of which has been the mostly same for the past 10+ yrs play Magic to some degree, as do others I know of.

On final note; those who wish to complain and throw tantrums over a changed game ought to check their grip on reality, for they are obvously lost in the world of their making.

Change Happens, Deal with it, and explore the new possabilities open to you with new ideas, instead of being fatalistic and seeing it as "But I/they can't Do that with this or it is too different to enjoy. Take the challenge of something different and be creative.

This Verse of Rant is Done.

Light to All

Quote from ChewDragon: "I'm not against them, but I hate the fact that they dummy everything up. Magic used to be cool til they killed it with writing how to use them on the damn cards! I mean, just read the rulebook, that's what it's for!"

What I have to say: (to ChewDragon) Damn Straight!!

to those who had Magic The Gathering(mtg): Magic is NOT supposed to be roleplaying it IS a card game through and through.

Everyone else: Ive read this whole goddam msg board and it's full of ppl who constantly whine and complain. If u like 3e play it, if u don't don't play it, play 2e or 1e or AD&D or another rpg. I think the msg board should be used 4 more positive things like arranging games and PEACEFULLY discussing THE GAME and THE ROLEPLAYING not the system....

* all the comments and statements above are opinions and friendly advice. If u don't like what I said too bad.

Just a couple of quick questions:

I have recently had a desire to start playing again after a seven year hiatus. I had been playing AD&D 2nd Edition (and LOVED it), but when I stopped playing (because I moved and have never been able to find another group to play with - COMPLETELY tragic), I gave all of my books to my friend. I still have an old boxed set (the one with the red dragon on the front), but I've found it too simplistic, having been spoiled on the complex rules and intricate possibilities of 2nd edition. My questions are:

A. Is there ANYPLACE online that any of you KNOW that I can find copies of the core rule books for AD&D 2nd edition?

And, whether or not the answer to A is yes;

B. Is the new D&D worth taking a look at? I've seen your responses, and some of you love it, some hate it, and some are kind of tepid about it. I need an HONEST, UNBIASED opinion here. Is the game a complete affront to all I love about AD&D, or is it something that, though different, I could grow to love as much? Nothing could EVER take AD&D 2nd Edition's place in my heart and in my memories, but I'm willing to give this new game a shot if it doesn't completely suck. I played with my wife and ten-year-old son for the first time today, and I want them to love this game as much as I do; I want them to understand what it is I love so much about role playing. And I want my son to start using his imagination before the Playstation causes it to completely atrophy. Please help. Feel free to send me e-mail.

Thanks alot!!

You people are really strange... When I want to game, as a DM, I want a system that can take care of all the chaotic crap that happens incidentally in a typical D&D game. Things like: light ranges, rules for creating magic items, weapon effects, etc. I all expect to be covered in the rulebooks so I can concentrate on making a cool adventure for everyone. Does that mean that the rules are "dumbed down"? OF COURSE. Here's a reason: The DM's job is hard enough as it is without worrying about that stuff, 3E is better than 2E for exactly the same reasons that 2E was better than 1E; IT PLAYS BETTER.

Whether that means that there are more complex rules or less simple rules or whatever, the reason why WOTC took two years to make it was because they wanted the feedback from real players, and 3E is the result.

If you're pissed because someone can make a halfling fighter/rogue/cleric/monk/barbarian then you are failing to see that it's still the DM's responsibility to maintain game balance. If the DM is stupid enough to allow such multiclassed characters without a VERY good reason, chances are that they're new to the game, burnt out, or spineless towards their players.

Old settings? Convert. Old characters? Convert. Old prejudices? I know it'll take some time for some people, but hopefully they'll drop all of these pointless arguments ("WOTC is Satan!"-"The new PHB is for munchkins!"-etc.)and see that it's the adventure that is important. They're not revising the Holy Bible or Qu'ran, it's a frikking game!! (albeit something I live for...) I wouldn't play 3E if I thought that 2E was better, but then I play other games besides D&D :)

Keep things in perspective.

And what's with these "computer" things? They're ruining the world, says I! Seriously now, the new rules are simplistic, but like my comrade above says, that's the point, gentlemen. If you don't like something, don't use. Save the energy you use bitching about WOTC to create campaign stuff with whatever rules system you tenaciously cling to. Either way, trust me, this new system works. It really works. I was more skeptical than anyone and now I sound like I work

I have looked over 3E quite a bit and it is a different game from the two previous editions. The biggest 'sin' was giving everyone the same Experience Table to go off of. The 'Multi Classing' is also a problem. The game is much more generic, and I still will never be able to look at a person playing a gnome paladin seriously (though I would love so see them try and pull it off). I am glad they brought back the half-orc. Those of us who did play 1st edition were quite unhappy with the elimination of the half-orc from 2nd ed. But as many others did (I'm sure), we just transferred the character on over. Change is inevitable. I am not going to throw out my 1st and 2nd edition books because of 3E. I like some of the concepts they put into it, but dislike others. What I like I plan on using, and what I don't I'll just toss out the window. Any creative DM's and gamers out there should do the same, and not be a slave to advocates of conformity. Adapt, change, tweak. No game system will ever be perfect.

"May Cthulhu Eat You Last."

3E strips any creativity away from the player. Much like 2E, the new edition has 6000 different skills, feats, etc. for the player to build with. It was the same way with the vast 2E library of race, class, and combat handbooks.They've slowly taken the imagination away, leaving a player with a pile of stats, and no feel for a character.

That was the beauty of 1st edition. The rules, whether flawed or not, are merely a skeleton to give a campaign some structure, and the DM takes over from there. Players are much more creative when they think and act on their own, instead of mulling over which of the 95 skills or feats listed on the sheet they should use, killing any thought of originality. For me, nothing is more enjoyable, as a DM, than seeing a player be creative when they can't look at the character sheet or in a book for a published skill or method when faced with a challenge or task.

To each his own, whether you enjoy 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. But I've found that trying to rework every rule into perfection, and trying to add too much realism to the game erodes the true fun that was intended from the get-go. It's a fantasy role-playing game. Realism is best left to military simulations and such.

I would just like to add that 3E is as good and enjoyable as the Dungeons and Dragons movie. The movie reflected the current state of the game perfectly.

Burt, I know that it's easy to love 1e, but you can't use it as an example of how the game should be organized. The 1e DMG had more charts and lists than either 2e or 3e. That was the problem with 1e. Instead of giving some simple, concrete rules to use for everything, they started giving out rules in charts and die rolls. 1e was just the first evolution from basic D&D, except with some rules taking up the entire book.

In 1e bards were classes you had to work for, while you could start out as a first level assassin. Do you remember the thief-acrobat? I do. I like 3e a lot more than 1e, but I agree with you in that the game is supposed to be fun. 3e just helps the players and the DM to concentrate on the game, instead of hunting for charts.

Oh, and Ghost I don't know if you were being sarcastic or not, but don't ever compare my game to that movie. 3e is much more enjoyable...

I was planning on ranting about the horrible inaccuracies in the above essay, but it seems to have been done for me... :) The new "Thac0" system is exactly the same as 2nd ed. Except that instead of adding or subtracting modifiers to a THAC0 that changes as you lvl up, the base modifier to your dice roll simply goes up as you progress. This might seem like a strange way to handle combat, but the entire 3rd edition system is based on simply rolling a d20, and adding your modifiers. This goes for using your skills, saves, combat, everything. You only have to worry about keeping track of your total modifier for any particular action, and then you simply add that to the d20 roll. The system seems flawed at first, but if you play with it for a while, you get used to the new "DC" concept (Difficulty Class). Everything from saving vs. spell to fly-fishing is based on it. I personally think that 3E only improved on 2nd Ed. The heart of the Dungeons and Dragons roleplaying system has only been improved upon. (Well, I suppose I ranted anyway...)

Oh, and I hope The Ghost was being sarcastic. DnD: The Movie was fun (sappy and cheesy sure, but still a fun movie to watch), but I don't see how it could possibly reflect DnD, the actual game. They cannot be compared because they are not even close to being the same kind of thing. One is an intricate set of rules based on a fantasy concept 25 years in the making, and one is just a movie that happens to use those rules as a guideline.

Thanks for reading.

Folks of the board,

I found this an interesting thread. I had a few comments, first on the thread itself, then on 3rd edition.

The thread: An interesting mix of "I like it" and "It sucks". The usual amount of personal attacks generated at the second round of interaction (but how do you roll for initative?? ;) ). The average age of the board would be, at a guess, be in the late 20's or early 30's. Like myself.

The 3rd edition itself:

I have been a fan of anything Johnathon Tweet, I have played most of the games he helped create (especially Over The Edge and Everway), frankly, anything he touches gamewise turns to gold. You need only look at his work history to see that.

I bought 3rd edition SOLELY because of his direction and involvement. The result? I am running a new campaign of D&D, with in house classes and bronze/iron age arabic/mongol/african world, the first D&D game I have played since 1983. Having done the gamut of RPGs; Cthulhu in the late 80's, Cyberpunk and Champions in the early 90's, cathartic crap... I mean, White Wolf games in the mid 90's, and freeforms and systemless stuff in the late 90's, I have returned full circle. And, oddly, I am happy about it.

3rd edition is not perfect, but this reflects the desinger's instructions to preserve the "sacred cows" of the game. I can respect that D&D has a long history and many players (many of whom have quite vocal opionions about the game)have fond memories of their involvement with the rules, worlds and products.

The new rules are smart, consistent, and easy to understand. A skills system in D&D? About time! Feats? A great idea, now Figthers are not the mugs they were at 10th level; shortchanged by rangers and especially by Paladins. An index? Alphabetical order?? Could this be the work of Johnathon Tweet? Although not OTE in its completeness, it works.

My local gamestores here all say the one thing: Sales have been huge. This is a great thing for WotC (and TSR), whom need to be careful in the next few years in order to survive as a business.

Those who despise games companies as a business need to stop living in their parent's garage and earn a living. It is a business; not a big one, but a business nevertheless. I run by own business, do well and have learned from experience to respect those that can succeed.

I hope things go well for the game. Its a great system, not perfect, but perfection is a myth.

I hope the game continues to do well and enjoys a growth spurt of new players.

I am one of them.

And although I am not a fan of fantasy (or fantasy novels; I still prefer actual legends from our world's past and its histories and cultures)I will gladly consider 3rd edition to be the best so far.

I have not yet seen the D&D movie. My comments? All I WILL say is that I look forward to Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings Trilogy".

Good luck to 3rd edition, my apolgies to the wowsers, but perhaps you should have stayed on the prior side of the Millennium. Nostalgia as memory is a powerful distorter.

All i would like to say is i love 2E and 3E is pointless when 2E is so good to begin with. my friends dont reall y like it that much either but one got it for christmas and were trying for him. we played our first senerio last week.

We started next to a cliff, therer was ledge witha cave 'bout 20 feet down. we hung a rope down and tried to climb it. we all fell off and died! Just by climbing down a rope! I had a modified 6 in climbing and trying to climb down a rope i fell to my death! *$#% that!!! this sucks!!!!!!!!!

I know that this has nothing to do with the discusion but if you have a chance pick up Die Vecna Die. It is hands down the best modual I have ever played. The story line is great and the battles are even better. I just took the time to write it here because I know a lot of gamers like yourselves would be interested in this info.

D&D is making a new impact in the world. i'm an every weekend playe4 and i have to say, It's awsome. Everytime i play i see more and more people getting involved. It takes the player away from everyday problems and worries and puts them into a fantasy land where they can do whatever they want. i think it was better left alone instead of changed. well, 2nd edition was kewl to but their starting to take this to far...LEAVE IT ALONE!

Now, Venn I hope you realize that the beauty of 3e is that encumbrance now makes sense. If you have a crappy strength, are wearing plate armour, or any number of other factors they can all affect the outcome of your roll. Your entire party died? They weren't all wearing plate armour, were they? It sounds to me like you either have a killer DM who's out to finish off your characters, OR an unexperienced 3e DM (which is perfectly acceptable, since the books have only been out for a couple of months.). Either way, I don't wanna preach to you the actual difficulty of climbing down a rope onto a cliffside ledge, but don't judge the whole game on one freakish incident.

Hey guys..., Im trying to start up a group for D&D. Weve never played before, and Ive only got the players guide, 2nd edition, and the dice, and some knowledge on the subject. Can you guys help me get going. I need some simple modules to start the charactors off. I'm over in New Zealand and you cannot get the modules even second hand. If anyone has copys of the D&D manuals in txt, or anything else, tip, suggestions, anything, please e-mail me. I'm 33 years old and have been tring to get into this for years.

I have been a big fan of D&D since I started playing, but for all you people that dis 2nd edition, your wrong. If you have the right DM and good friends to play any edition can be fun. I have never played 3rd edition yet but I have herd it is good. I've paged through the players handbook and the new character classes look sweet. The monk class looks the most promising and I hope to try playing it some day, but to dis 2nd edition and say that the character classes are lame then just ask your DM if you can pick a class from 3rd edition and have your DM convert the charts to 2nd edition. Thats what a friend of mine did I it worked out great.

I have played D&D for over 15 years. I also have played the Orignal D&D, 1e, 2e and I now play 3e. This is the best incarnation of D&D since I got the Red Box basic set fop christmas. They changed everything for the better. No more trying to remember that obscure table or changing the rules so they would make sense. And as far as the old " well dagnabit if I had to learn thaco the hard way then by the golly so should you". No it is not hard learn thaco but I am sure it wasn't that hard starting your car with a a big crank on the front but I know I would rather just hop in and turn the key. That is what 2e is the reliable old Model T while 3e is a 12 cylinder Ferrari. Eat my dust grandpas. ;)

I would just like to say that I lothe Wizards of the coast. I would rather Dungeons and Dragons died than be raped by these a-holes. I know for a fact that in all of there stores that insted of selling 2E minuatures and books for 1/2 off or even just making them avalable, the employees were ordered to distroy them. They distroyed all these items to take them out of circulation and force the comsuner to buy the 3E products. This company is evil! I loved 2E and to even see 2E stuff distroyed makes me pissed.

First off i wanted to say that your review was just that!..It lacked fact......I know you keep saying that you got these from the wizards hompage but at that time it was still in prototype ....Anyways play D&D all of them at one time or another....I think D&D3rd E. is the best one for the fact that it did simplify things in the long run and the detail it presents with the character customization features are beyond that of any other D&D setup so far...( unless you have access to every D&D core rules book, supplements, etc...) I liked the way the review was made out...And i am only sorry that it took me this long to find it..

Peace out and Happy hunting ...

Well. I've taken the liberty of *not* looking at the previous 8000 lines after the review. But I have to say this much: the D20 system is much better than the original system. I refused to play D&D or any game it spawned until 3rd simply because it was too screwy to deal with. D20 system simplifies it immensely. It's actually, *gasp*, fun to play!

Oh yeah, and just because it's true: WotC copyrighted the D20 system, which is completely fucking gay. Die WotC die.

You know what all editions of all RPG's are? They're tools. They are tools for the creation of and navigation through an imaginary world that allows us to do things that we might never get to do in real life. The GM is God in RPG's, and it is up to Him/Her whether the world is rich and colorful or lifeless and grey, not the edition of the rulebook. If a game sucks, it's almost always because the GM is weak.

Now, you might say that not all GM's are stellar and the better tools you give them, the better the result. I guess that's true, but so what? You put me on a computer and Carl Sagan on an abacus, you're still going to get better results with Carl.

I've been playing with AD&D 2nd Edition for 8 yrs, now. Last week, the GM said we have a month to learn 3rd Edition for the next campaign. So I will. Why?

Because, although I will roll different dice and follow different rules--some of which I might find to be utterly ridiculous--once a week, I'll still get to be one of the coolest people in a rich and colorful universe.

It's fun to gripe about the tools we have to work with, but utimately it's ourselves at whom we should be pointing accusing fingers when things go bad.

Right from the beginning I would like to make one thing absolutely, crystal clear - 3e is utter crap. I have played OD&D and AD&D (1st and 2nd Edition) for about 12 years and I can honestly say that 3e is the worst thing that has ever happened to the game. I fervently hope that the marketing wizards at Wizards who thought that this new edition was an improvement on previous editions go to gamer hell.

3e is the sad dumming down of a system loved by millions of people across the globe. It is not 'dummed down' because the rule changes are supposed to be more streamlined and simpler to learn (but that is a load nonsense anyway) but because the tone of the new rules is akin to, as someone said above, a computer game on paper. Quite frankly, hearing 3e fighters being excitedly described as 'killing machines', scares the hell out of me ... Individual mechanic changes are not the only problem - it's also the removal of all the deliberate game restrictions (developed over nearly 30 years of gaming) which were designed to maintain a balanced system.

The new tone of the 3e will appeal to adolescent power gamers and 14 year old boys who like to spend their time killing everything that moves (nothing wrong with 14 year old boys, by the way ... I used to be one you know). Where OD&D and AD&D sought game balance, 3e seeks Half-orc/Paladine/Rogue/Lord of Heaven/Scourge of ...... etc. etc. that can slay dragons with a toothpick on their first level date.

Gone are all the 'quirks' that made D&D unique. These quirks are what made D&D feel different from any other system. Now that 3e could be any system, why not just go for a more slick system? No, 2nd Edition isn't perfect, but that's why we love it - the quirks are what make it worth playing. By the way, for those WotC/3e apologists who whinge about the AD&D core rules supplementary materials - just ignore them. If you felt that the Complete Handbooks and Player's Option books unbalanced the system, well, don't bloody use them for gawd sake.

Essentially, what is left of the system we know and love, after WotC butchered it, is a bland, pedestrian system (is there anything more seriously unimaginative than "roll a dice, add a modifier"?) where Monty Haul has been elevated to the heavens and reigns unchallenged as the Supreme Being of the 3e universe.

Some of the individual rule changes make sense taken by themselves, but all taken together they constitute a completely different system, barely resembling D&D. The absolute core of the system - the combat mechanics, proficiency/skill mechanics, saving throw mechanics etc., are not just tweaked a little to iron out a few bumps in the system, but total rewrites. Lets face it, when you nip and tuck practically every part of the game, your Uncle Bob is now you Aunty Jane. WotC have treated 'D&D' as though it were nothing but a brand logo that they have stuck on completely different system to sell it.

The problem for WotC is that the new system is SO different that the vast majority of OD&D, AD&D (1st and 2nd Edition) player's really have little motivation to convert to 3e as to do so would assign their previous edition collections to the rubbish bin. There needed to be a balance in the new edition that could attract new player's as well as keep the old ones. That balance, sadly, isn't there.

I'm sorry, but converting 2nd Edition to 3e is a truly monumental pain in the arse. Not because changing, say, THAC0 to CR is difficult, but because the 3e is balanced (or unbalanced) differently. A 'simple' conversion just doesn't apply. I can pick up a second hand module written in 1979 - OD&D or AD&D - and run it with practically no fundamental game mechanic changes. After buggering around with the 3e rules for five minutes you want to chuck the damn books out a closed window ....

Yeah, graphically the books are attractive - but that is a matter of taste, I personally prefer the original 2nd Edition products myself. However, the 3e books are so stuffed full of artwork and graphics, spread throughout the text, it is a complete bugger to find anything quickly. Remember, these products are meant to be reference 'rule books' - not picture story books. With all the artwork and graphics interspersed throughout the text it's enough to set off someone's epilepsy.

The above complaints aren't about opposing ANY change, it's about opposing BAD change. Instead of reworking AD&D to a new exciting level building on the past, WotC have just slaughtered it. To use an old Aussie saying - WotC can go stick their collective heads up a dead bears bum - and they can take their 3e with them.

D&D 3E is not D&D. It isn't AD&D in any of its incarnations. It is not part of the legacy that those of us who started playing back in the seventies, remember with fondness OR distaste. When I open the books, I don't think of the fantasy gaming milieu but nor do I think that it's a piece of dung. It is just another RPG on the market. 3E's rules are neither streamlined or sufficiently modular to be considered innovative. It is arguably one of the worst systems in the market. Yet, I hope that 3E revitalizes the 'medieval' fantasy RPG market.

I could care less if WotC makes a single shilling off of D&D 3E, but I hope that there will be renewed interest in RPGs in general, due to marketing efforts. As a long-time GM/DM/Judge and player (late 70's), I'm used to hacking away at crappy rules, converting adventures into other systems, and throwing it all out the window in order to make it fun for everyone. So there's the gist of it. If you like the system, fine. If you hate the system, that's 'ok' too. When it comes down to it, it needs to be fun (a.k.a. enjoyable, pleasant, etc.) for players and judges. No matter how good or bad the system is, it's up to everyone playing to make it fun.

Take what is useful. Discard the rest.

TOG, I agree with your final point (perhaps not the rest of it, but let's not worry about it). Take what is useful. Discard the rest. An excellent piece of advice for any game product or system.

Tas, I couldn't agree with you less. Converting 2e to 3e is NOT (as you claim) a monumental pain in the arse. Have you tried to convert stuff? I can usually convert a 64-page module in under an hour. I've been working with the system for months. I have won adventure design contests. I have a 72-page netbook scheduled for release this week. I have DMed for 16 years. Trust me, converting to 3e is not that bad given the ease of use 3e offers.

All the artwork and graphics interspersed throughout the books? Oh, you must mean the archetype illustrations and the diagrams - with the occasional piece to liven it up. Or perhaps you were referring to the Monster Manual. Nah, we wouldn't want to know what monsters looked like. There are "gratuitous" illustrations in 3e rulebooks - but would you like the little cartoons featured in 1e rulebooks instead? Or the 2e rulebooks "wasting" a page at the front of every chapter with a full page illustration? God forbid they should break up the monotony of text!

The proficiency/skill change was LONG overdue - when you picked up a proficiency in 1e or 2e, it almost never got better. Not only that, it was tied too closely to its mother attribute. Honestly, the difference in a 1st level character's blacksmithing and a 20th level character's blacksmithing was literally nil (at most 5 proficiency slots or 125% of the 1st level character's skill).

Or saving throws... did it ever confuse you when you were dealing with something that was not "Dragon Breath, Wand, Staff, Rod, Spell, Poison, Death Ray, Paralysation, or Petrification" why a certain save was picked? At least now you have some idea why - you get out of the way, grin and bear it, or shrug off a mental attack. Why should it be as easy to save against poison as a death ray? What about a petrification ray? No, that's a save vs. petrification. Unless it came from a spell. And don't even get me started about System Shock rolls - another form of "save".

And your comment about restrictions "being developed over 30 years of gaming" is, pardon my French, complete bullsh#t. The restrictions you refer to were put in place at the beginning of the AD&D game and were never removed. The 3e rewrite was done in order to allow Gandalf to use Glamdring and be okay in D&D.

Keep in mind that the old AD&D engine was originally an outgrowth of MINIATURES gaming. It consisted mostly of tables and arbitrary restrictions. It was NOT conducive to role-playing. 2e served to smooth out a couple of wrinkles, but the basic flaws of the system remained. In short, this was an engine that was so badly broken that 3e couldn't be a tune-up but instead had to be a major overhaul.

2e's inconsistent rules were the main reason for this. Can you tell me off the top of your head the chance for a drow (surprises opponents 7 in 8) to surprise a barbarian (surprised only on a 1 in 12)? Didn't think so. How about thief skills - did it ever strike anyone else as ludicrous that thief skills go over 100% (and in 2e cases can go over 200%!)?

And I can think of one thing less imaginative than "roll the dice, add a modifier"... "roll the dice, consult a cookie-cutter table that makes every character a carbon copy."

3e fighters being killing machines? Excuse me - isn't that exactly the point of a fighter. Any low-level campaign needs "meat walls" but after about 5th or 6th level, fighters are outclassed and outgunned by wizards in 1e and 2e. And with rangers and paladins, there is no reason at all to be a fighter other than low ability scores. Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot - players should have their choices severely restricted and be penalized the entire gaming career of the character by the arbitrary chance of a poor 6 rolls during character creation. And no chance to improve (unlike 3e). I'm sorry. I forgot that the game wasn't about fun but slavishly following tables and rules that quite honestly, make no sense.

Which brings me to my final point. The problem with the 1e and 2e systems was that they weren't - systems, that is. They were literally a thousand different game mechanics forcibly cobbled together and published essentially as a book of tables - instead of focusing on the game, one has to constantly refer to tables. If this is what you mean by "quirky, but loved", keep your f#$%ing quirks. 3e, by forcing players to master but a single mechanic, dramatically increases playability. Is it as detailed as 1e/2e? No. Is it as realistic? No. Is it more playable? Yes, absolutely.

Don't get me wrong, I loved 1e and 2e. I loved bD&D more, but that's because I liked the various focuses of bd&D as characters rose in level (dungeon then wilderness then baronies/dominions then the quest for immortality). However, drop your blinders and recognize 1e/2e for what it is - NOT a system, but rather a bunch of different systems only held together by the fact that they happened to be printed in the same book. That is what attracted me to 3e - I no longer have to play with 200 tables in front of me - I can play with only the table my drinks and chips sit on.

Firstly, The Sigil, to your specific comments ....

You are, of course, correct - game restrictions, such as to class, race and level, were adopted at the very beginning, however, these checks and balances were KEPT (yes, over nearly 30 years of gaming) to maintain game balance - now you have the idiotic possibility of a halfling being as strong as a half-orc! Your complaint that previous edition characters were 'carbon copies' of each other only applies if you 'slavishly' followed those supposedly 'inonsistent' 1e and 2e tables and rules. I remember a time (way off in the Long Before) when a PC was customised through role-playing and not by rules such as those munchkin Feats. As for your comments about a character being penalised by the 'arbitrary chance of a poor 6 rolls during character creation' - there are plenty of character creation methods in AD&D to ensure that a player gets to play the PC they desire. Again, these sort of concerns were only a problem if you 'slavishly' followed every 'table and rule' as though it were the word of God.

If you were looking to original D&D and AD&D for the sort of integration you seem to crave, then you were always looking at the wrong game - as I said, that's not why we love it. THAC0 may, for example, have been a difficult concept for some to grasp at first, but it was all 'D&D'. As for saving throws - if you are confused, I would suggest that you reread the explanation of the hierarchy and purpose of each saving throw in the 2e DMGs (under the heading of 'Saving Throw Priority') - it all seems perfectly straight forward to me.

As for my concern about fighters being gleefully described as 'killing machines' - I had the following comment by Cerwyn Steel in mind ... "My human fighter could stand toe-to-toe with his entire party of five (cleric, paladin, rogue/sorcerer, fighter/rogue/wizard, ranger/druid)! talk about a walking talking killing machine!" It's a system that allows, nay encourages, this type of PC development and game play that scares the hell out of me. The focus of the 3e rules is on building a more powerful deck, oops ... I mean character, not on role-playing. Any good system seeks to balance the two, 3e simply doesn't even try.

Sure, almost any system, if you fiddle long enough, can allow power gaming, and the tone of our own campaigns, set by each gaming group, can range from the intellectual to the guttural. However, the tone of the 3e rules encourage this kind of power gaming - open restrictions on class, race and level (not to mention Feats, extra spells per level, the increase to an Ability every four levels! etc.) are there for one purpose only - not 'flexibility' as some would contend - but to get a pimply faced boy's heart racing .... "Cool! I can slaughter a whole tribe of goblins with my new half-orc/paladine/mage/rogue/god crusher!". Ding. Ding. All off at Munchkin City Central.

Yes, Sigil, I have converted 2e to 3e and vice versa, and I still think that it's a monumental pain in the arse. As I said, converting each individual mechanic is not the most difficult thing in the world, but because 3e is balanced differently to favour mega PCs and a more hack'n'slash combat orientated game style, a simple transfer is not possible as the new rules create a different power structure. The second problem is that you have to convert EVERYTHING - OK, that's what you might expect if you were converting from one game system to another, but c'mon, not when you fork out a fortune on a new edition of supposedly the same bloody game.

As for the actual graphic presentation of the rulebooks - I stand by my criticisms. I didn't say to much about the artwork itself because it's all very subjective (although the overall effect is attractive, I personally I think the artwork is ugly). Therefore, I kept my criticisms to the overall presentation and layout. The layout is cluttered .... the faint lines and graphics interwoven throughout the actual TEXT is distracting and makes reading the books and finding rules quickly just that little bit more annoying than it usually is. It's a design issue - remember Sigil we are talking about reference 'rulebooks'. There is nothing wrong with artwork to make a product more attractive or help illustrate a rule (or monster), however, the artwork shouldn't detract from ease of use of the text. The layout in 2nd Edition was neat, attractive, straight forward, and very usable.

I had an opportunity in my last posting to vent and so I grasped the opportunity with both hands. However, fundamentally, my key criticisms remain - the RPG that some deluded souls now call DUNGEONS & DRAGONS 3e just aint D&D. When practically every significant game mechanic is replaced - not tweaked - it simply ceases to be the same system. The game has been dumbed down by WotC to appeal to a younger Magic: The Gathering type market instead of releasing a revised D&D system that can appeal to both good ol'fashoned hack'n'slashers and cerebral role-players alike.

So why play 3e? - it lacks either the character or 'feel' of OD&D or AD&D and has none of the sophistication and innovation of a dozen other well presented, highly playable systems. If you've got an extremely serviceable and enjoyable library of previous edition material, there is nothing in 3e to lure you to the new bastardised version. Sigil, mate, 3e still sucks.

On another topic or two...

Get your facts right. WotC did NOT copyright the d20 mechanic - they copyrighted the Logo and some of the explanations of the "d20" mechanic. Palladium Books (among others) has been using this mechanic for a good decade, so it will be nigh unto impossible to copyright the "roll a die, add a modifier" mechanic.

If you want to pick up all the Core Rulebooks for 2e, buy the Core Rules Software (probably still available if you look) on CD-ROM or search the net - I've seen pirated versions of the RTFs of all the Core Books that appear on the CD-ROM out there (I myself own the CD-ROM and Expansion Pack).

I'm not going to dis 2e (or 1e, or Chainmail, or whatever). It was a fun system and you can certainly have fun playing it. But I have to call a spade a spade, and it's true... 2e is a nice new frame put over the 1e Model T engine. 3e is the Dodge Viper. Eat our dust, grandpas... ;-)

Well... isn't this a heafty debate. However, most of these comments are opinion based. I would like to focus this post toward game mechanics of 3E.

I have been playing in a 3E game for about 3 months now. Currently I am designing my own campaign world (which will be 2E), and we have decided to play some 3E just to check out the game.

First off I would like to state that I too believe that this is another game entirely. It merely has the DND logo slapped upon it. I don't think that it is a horrible game but it is different. In fact I have dubbed it "OtherGame TM".

The game definately pushes the "power character" and "power gaming". I think that they needed to evaluate the Challenge Rating of the encounters a little more thoroughly. Our basic challenge rating should be around 8 however we need at least a 10 - 12 to even be challenged because our characters are so raw.

In the upcoming 2E campaign that I am about to run the characters start out being the sons of small farmers from a tiny village. They will be at first level and thus inexperienced. What they know of swordplay has been taught to them by their fathers and some of the local militia. So what I am shooting for is a simple beginning with simple people who will evolve into epic heros. If I were to use 3E with all of it's feats and special abilities I don't think that I could capture the feel of small town beginnings. The characters fathers certainly didn't teach them Cleave or Power Attack! That would be nearly absurd. So I agree that the focus of the game is on having the toughest character possible at the start. You see, in 2E it is possible to Min/Max at the beginning. Yet you must be especially knowledgeable in the game in order to pull it off. Generally it takes using abilities like 2 weapon style and ambidexterity and such to become awesome. Most players realize that they can do these things but they also realize that these methods generally lead to the same sort of character over and over again. Who want's that?

In 3E WotC is going for a great level of diversity. This is a good thing. But instead of creating diversity they have made the special abilities the focus of the game... not an additive.

I also have discovered some problems with AC. We have spent the last couple of sessions combating against creatures of our basic CR. These fights are idiotic. Pretty much as long as the creatures don't roll a 1 they will hit us. It is somewhat the same for us as well. My fighter/sorcerer (6/2) has a magical sword and when all things are accounted for has a +15 Attack Rating. Anyway... my point is we were fighting these spiders (CR 9) and they had an AR of +32. Now I got to thinking about this and realized that these CR 9 creatures are totally rediculous. Assuming I was a fighter with +5 Plate and a +5 shield my max AC would be a 30. Now maybe in 3E +5 plate and shield are common or something, I don't know, but this basically means that these CR 9 spiders would still only need a 2 or better to hit me! Sure you can make an arguement that I could boost myself with spells and such... but I am looking at the stand alone warrior squaring off against an opponent.

In 2E the best Thac0 that a creature can ever have is 5. So a fighter with the best AC possible (-10) would be able to be hit on a 15 or better. A little harder than average for the best creature vs. best armored warrior. Once again I don't thing that 3E was play tested fully. When you play for several months and see characters develop you really begin to understand the quirks of the game.

I read one post where some guy was claiming that 2E was just for marketing? Um... take a look at 3E kid. It's target market has to be kids between 8 - 14. It is really easy to use. But what's wrong with a complicated game? When most people gripe about not understanding the rules of 2E you generally find that it's because they did not take the time to read the rules. Everything is right there in front of you! Look it up. I don't see anything wrong with a little extra reading and figuring... You know, I thought that DND was generally a past time for the intellectual and imaginative... for those people who want to be mentally stimulated. I mean, jeez people, TV is directed at a 7th grade educational level... that's pretty sad. Our we to take our game and do the same? Are we just statistics and dummys like the media and marketers think we are? Plus I think that if you examine the corolation between the DND movie (crap) and OtherGame TM you realize that marketing is at an all time high. Of course they do have to make money or go under so this is understandable.

I think that the true problem with marketing DND is that you truly only need 3 books and then you never have to purchase anything else. 1 DMG, 1 PH, 1 MC and your set. Hell... if you really wanna do some work you don't even need the MC!

Now, what get's me PO'ed is that there will be no more 2E supplements put out. I mean, you would think that WotC would still continue the 2E line along with the 3E. I mean at least they could get the most income possible. But it's funny that in all the hobby stores nearby the 2E shelves are barren. I can't even get character sheets! That's what pisses me off the most. It's basically like they said, "I know some of you have been playing 2E for 15 years but you can't have anymore stuff." Whatever... That's such crap. I can't even order backstock directly from them. I know that they did the same thing with 2E but 2E was still AD&D. It was just fleshed out, organized and supplemented. This is well... OtherGame TM!

Oh... and BTW Sigil... the reason that thief skills can go so high in 2E is because of the possibility for negatives. There are a plethora of negative modifiers that thieves have to cope with. So if you have a 120% PP and you get the -20% because of a tough situation it's good to know that you can still have a perfect chance of making it. Of course I'm sure that your lack of knowledge in this stems from not reading the rules of 2E... thus OtherGame TM is perfect for you.


I love being flamed.

Seriously, I *did* know about the modifiers and such for thieves in D&D/AD&D (e.g., the 5% bonus/penalty per level differential when picking pockets). It just always struck me as silly that under "normal" conditions you could have a character with a 105% chance to climb walls.

As for the "I'm clinging to 2e" posts and "why doesn't WotC keep publishing 2e stuff," I again refer you to 1990-ish. Did you piss and cry because TSR no longer published 1e stuff? Or when D&D Boxed Sets died c. 1992/93 did you whine and complain because TSR didn't keep publishing for a dead system. No. Let's get it straight - you like 2e. I won't argue with that. 2e is a nice system. But unfortunately, it's now dead. Quit crying and adjust. By your logic, I should see Book V, the last in the Eldritch Wizardry / Blackmoor / Men and Monsters / Deities and Demigods series. And Chainmail II. And another UA/OA 1e book. And Gazetteer 19 for D&D. And more Star Frontiers / Top Secret / Gamma World / Alpha Dawn / Boot Hill books.

When a publisher decides a line is dead, accept it. If you want to call 3e OtherGame, so be it. Accept that 2e was broken, no longer viable, and so WotC dropped it and published OtherGame. Since 2e was AD&D and 3e is just D&D, it's not the same game, it's just very similar. If that's how you want to look at it fine.

As for everything changing, and 3e being OTHERGAME, what's wrong with shifting some of the bell-curve scales to flat curves and sliding the curves up and down? Since when does that make a game feel un-D&D?

I won't even address your crack at my "lack of knowledge" except to say I have read literally every D&D/AD&D book published prior to 1995 (when I thought 2e turned into sh!t with all the Complete Munchkin Handbooks and Skills & Munchkin Powers).

I find it infinitely amusing that hordes of 2e players are crying "munchkin" when Skills and Powers and the Complete X Handbooks were far more Munchkin than 3e.

As for the comment about 3e being munchkin, I again bring up the point:

The PCs have gotten a power-up from 2e. I won't argue with that.

BUT... the monsters have gotten an equal or greater power-up.

If inflation is the same, is it really inflation?

For example, if I earn twice as much this year as I did 5 years ago, but everything costs twice as much, nothing has really changed.

I could go on, but I won't be dragged into a flame war. There are some of my points. Do remember that I did enjoy core 2e - and I enjoy core 3e as well, because I find it much more fluid than 2e. Matter of taste. But just as I disliked the Complete Munchkin Handbooks for 2e, I'm no fan of the ones they're releasing for 3e (read: Sword and Fist) and will not be allowing those into my campaign. Core rules with a few minor "world - flavor" mods are generally all right no matter what system you're in for D&D - 1e, 2e, 3e, or OD&D. It's the extras you gotta watch out for.


The reason why I am pissed about them discontinuing the 2E line is not because I think it was broken. And I wasn't upset about the change from 1E to 2E. That change was merely a clarifying of rules, organization and adding some badly needed factors to the game. It was not a new game.

I love how you tell me to "quit crying and adjust." You make it seem as if all DND players have no choice but to play OtherGame TM. That's a joke... haha! It's funny but all of the guys that I play with (have been playing with for 3 years, every weekend), say the same thing, "3E is cool for awhile, but I can't wait to get back to 2E."

I think that the complete handbooks are awesome. They add alot of role playing flavor to the individual characters without going overboard. Don't think for a minute that 3E isn't going to turn out tons of handbook supplements... it's the way of WotC and most other companies. Hell, they're already getting set to come out with the psionics handbook. I think that they should bring out more handbooks too. My 6/2 Ftr/Sor. already has most of the good feats in the PH.

Concerning the players option stuff... you should realize that they were only a precursor to 3E. I have never used them and will not. That's where your munchkin lies.

Combat is still rediculous. I am fully confidant that a time will come when, at higher levels, both the party and the monsters will only need to avoid rolling 1 to hit one another. Armor will hardly be a factor.

You know what I should call 3E? Instead of OtherGame TM... I should call it FeatQuest... yeah that's it!

FeatQuest, I love it! That sums up 3e perfectly - "FeatQuest - The ultimate Munchkin Quest for the most powerful Character ever! - Available from your favourite game stores now!" Or, how about we dub 3e - MUNCHKINS & MONSTERS?? Yeah, I like that too!

I agree with Starkus, the Complete Handbook series added a lot of colour without unbalancing the game to much - although some books were more useful and better written than others. I also agree that the Player Option series was ridiculous - reading through them you can certainly see the munchkin seeds of 3e.

Sigil, although there was an increase in power of the monsters to compensate for the power of the PCs, that just meant that the focus of MUNCHKINS & MONSTERS is on powerful things bashing other powerful things - just like in a computer game. When everyone's got a sword +275 the magic is lost.

..... the funny thing is that millions of gamers around the world played AD&D because they (shock, horror) liked it. They didn't think AD&D was 'broken'. And they, like me, eagerly awaited a revised, repackaged D&D for the new millennium (*groan*). So, what did WotC decide do with our much loved AD&D? They chose to destroy it and replace D&D with MUNCHKINS & MONSTERS!

That's why we are so pissed off - WotC killed D&D ... you bastards!

One quick question...

Did all of you who loved 2e use any "house rules?" That is an instant indication that there is at least something in the system you didn't like.

There is no perfect system. But I have found that the fewer house rules I need, the more balanced the system is.

Rifts (the ultimate in munchkin gaming) required over 500 pages (!) of house rules in order to be usable. GURPS required about 50. 2e required about 200. 3e requires 5.

As for the whole "FeatQuest" thing, yes, feats are important. But look at what the feats do and tell me again it's munchkin. Hmm... a +1 AC bonus vs. a single attack (Dodge). Hmm... Weapon Specialization (much less powerful that WS in 2e). Hmm... drop a component from spells (but the spell acts as though it's a level higher). Hm... a method for creating magic items that actually makes some sense (did ANYONE create magic items in 2e or 1e without house rules)? There are a few, limited feats that might be munchkin, especially in combination (whirlwind attack/great cleave anyone), but on the whole, feats represent a way to incorporate into the system all those things that just felt - well - artificially cobbled on in 2e.

And as for WotC "killing" D&D, you couldn't be more wrong. T killed D&D by producing loads of crap that even 2e-lovers wouldn't gobble up because it was so appallingly bad.

The Players Option books were NOT the product of WotC, they were the product of T. Which means that no matter how you scream and howl to the contrary, the game was heading in that direction anyway, whether WotC stepped in or not. What you call the "seeds" of 3e were sown by T.

T was losing money with this system. They were losing money badly. The only reason WotC was able to acquire them was that T had essentially committed suicide - by pushing out mounds of crap that nobody wanted. D&D was on its death bed.

Enter WotC. They bought T and gave CPR to D&D. They changed stuff, to be sure. They reshaped D&D somewhat. Nobody's arguing that. But not nearly as much as T had already reshaped it with Skills and Powers.

That's why I'm pissed off at you folks... you refuse to understand that TSR killed D&D, you bastards!

Again, you may not like D&D3e, but it's a damn sight better than the alternative - NO D&D at all because T went belly-up.

Either way, you nitwits were going to lose your precious 2e. At least WotC gave you another year or two of 2e products and you still have SOME alternative now.

What annoys me are you f***ing ignorant ingrates who refuse to accept the economic reality that 2e was dead. 3e is alive. Deal with it. Whine if you want, but don't accuse WotC of killing D&D - accuse it of reincarnating it in another form if you wish, but get one thing straight...

T and T alone is responsible for the demise of 2e.

Damn straight. Actually I don't see why they can't just have both editions in print. The games are so different that one would not conflict with the other. The old time gamers would be happy and the new little kiddies would have a less complicated, lower intelligence level edition so they won't have to think as much.

Your right about the video game feel. That's why I must say that 3E is fun for a short while. Its great to have a mega powerful munchkin that whoops but for awhile. I love to get mega bonuses and do tons of damage. But it get's old in about seven or eight sessions.

Like I said before you really can't have a serious, story driven campaign with 3E. The characters know too much at the beginning.

So, Sigil, basically your wrong and we are right. You need to begin burning all of your 3E stuff. Go on Ebay and get new stuff and then come over and game with me and Tas.

Sigil... jeez we must have been posting at the same time.

Now yer just getting nasty. I love how you say that if TSR or Wizards went under there would be no DND at all... are you missing something?


Even if WotC went under today I would still have my saturday night game. I would still play DND. 3E or no 3E we will continue to play DND.

Nobody killed DND... DND is still the same for me as it was 17 years ago. I still play and will continue to play. Jesus, Sigil, you make it seem as if the role-playing police are going to come into my house and give me a ticket for playing 2E. I don't have to change to continue playing DND, no one does.

Wanna know what I really think?? The only real problem that I have with the discontinuation of 2E is the fact that I can't get the cool green character sheets! Other than that it doesn't matter. I long ago realized that I could make better adventures than anything which TSR or WotC had been putting out. In fact the last great module write was Gygax! Fortunately I own all of his works.

So whatever you say man. 3E is a kids game, kid. Enjoy your zelda buddy.

>The characters know too much at the beginning.

They do? One of the gamers in the group I'm gaming with right now (he's about a 10-year gaming vet) said one of the things he liked about the 3e campaign was he didn't know what to expect. In fact, IMC we have had...

- one dungeon crawl

- two city adventures

- one "murder mystery"

- one "mass combat" (goblin hordes vs. a town)

- one "race against the clock" (character dying of mummy rot)

- six "role-playing" sessions (sessions with one combat or less)

The characters have 3 recurring foes, several allies scattered throughout the country they are in, and are currently working to help stave off a goblin/orc invasion from the north. This has included a diplomatic mission to an orc tribe, the wild defense of a town, the infiltration of a goblin lair, the rescue of a political prisoner from a slave ring (get in and get out cuz straight-up combat will see you steamrolled). Nah, no role-playing there.

Or perhaps you refer to the skill sets characters have. It seems to me that (except for wizards) 2e characters know too much at the beginning. Answer me honestly, other than more hit points and an improved THAC0, what separates a 3rd level fighter from a 1st level fighter in 2e? That's right, boys and girls, absolutely nothing. Characters' skill sets are FAR more static in 2e than in 3e. I guess you could argue with me on this, but I don't really think you will - I think everyone realizes that skills improve and diversify much more quickly in 3e (with skill points per level) than 2e (with starting proficiencies and... um... er... uh... one more proficiency every 3 to 5 levels). VERY nice character development.

"Go on ebay and get new stuff?" Listen, the new stuff is 3e. Or perhaps you refer to getting 2e and 1e stuff. My collection of that is QUITE complete, thank you (I have roughly 200 books for bD&D, 1e, and 2e, including every version of every hardback ever published). And (gasp) I use them for ideas for my 3e game (sacrelige)! My ICE, GURPS, Palladium, and other books (another 50 or so of those) work well for this purpose, too.

Basically, the reason I like 3e is NOT the combat. I like it because Charisma actually MEANS something now. There is a codified skill set for trying to do non-combat tasks (Bluff, Gather Information, Diplomacy, etc.) - of course as a DM I can fudge stuff, but it's nice to have a system already in place.

IMO, the 2e combat system is superior to 3e. Weapon Speed is more realistic. Casting times are more realistic. But I want to get combat over with and get to the real MEAT of role-playing - which 3e is ideally suited for. 3e combat is streamlined. And since combat has never been an emphasis IMC, this is an improvement. I doubt it's munchkin to say "I want to skip combat and get to the important stuff." And is it video game to want to get through the "boring" combat part? I though video game RPGs were 99% combat! Your comment doesn't fit.

I agree that most of us produce better modules than TSR/WotC. In that case, who cares that 2e died? Why make such a fuss if all you wanted was the character sheets? Photocopy those bad boys! It's sure cheaper than paying TSR 8 bucks for a dozen sheets! :)

And you are absolutely correct. The RPG police will not come in and arrest you for playing 2e. I play 3e because I like it better than oD&D. Before 3e, I played oD&D because I liked it better than 1e or 2e.

As you said, once you have the core books you're set. If you want to claim you like 2e better, fine. That's a point I can't argue (who am I to tell you what you like or don't like?) - but I can argue whether or not a D&D system is "better" (of course, defining "better" is somewhat difficult). But it comes to this...

I prefer 3e. You prefer 2e.

I think both of us try to use our preferred systems to role-play, not roll-play. So I'll let it go at that. I did some flaming early in the post, but I will cease flaming as arguments involving opinion serve only to convince each party more thoroughly that he is right.

FINALLY!!! My brothers of 2E, Tas and Starkus! You my friends have no idea of how much in the minority we are my friends. Since 3E has shown its ugly head in my area, I've been called names and told that 2E is crap. The people at my local gaming store (dark forest games in Montclar, CA) are selling all of there 2E stuff for 1/2 off taking a loss on the books because the love 3E so much. My favored worlds Dragonlance and Ravenloft and Planescape all wiped from the face of the earth because of 3E. And they have the dumbest rules. Like the 3E rules for healing by resting. If I was at 1hp, thats the equivlence of being in a body cast with a punctued lung, but by 3E rules if I'm 30th LV I'd wake up the next day with 30hp! Thats totaly stupid! This game is exactly like playing a video game, very unrealistic. Thats always why I prefered real life RPG's to computer rpg's. WotC has dumbed it down to the stupidest factor. I'll take realistic hard rules to stupid easy rules and day.

P.S. Thanks Starkus and Tas, I know that I'm not alone.

P.S.S Sorry If I didn't spell everything correctly "the Sigil" I know that you hate that. Also what do you do, LIVE on a computer, I mean damn, you write a lot.

Fear not Ghost, I suspect there are more 2e players out there than you might think. I don't doubt for one turn, or even a whole round, that there are many true D&D (Classic D&D, AD&D - 1E and 2E) fans that feel the same way as us. What is interesting is that all those 3e freaks that claim 2e is crap didn't seem to have a problem playing it for 10 years. I mean, for gawd sake, if it was that bloody bad why did they bother to play it??

As for the - Is 3e munchkin? - debate (was there ever any doubt?), Your Honour, I submit Exhibit A .. recently, I came across the following on a list of AD&D jokes entitled - How to spot a MUNCHKIN!:

"Your original character was gonna be a Paladin/Mage/Druid/Assassin/Monk, but when your DM wouldn't listen to your 'reasonable' request, you whined for a moment then chose your present character."

Sound familiar? Yesterday's munchkin joke is today's standard 3e PC!!

Sigil, the Player Option series was just that .. 'optional'. These products were 'add-ons' which could be (and were in my case) completely ignored. However, in 3e many of the worst munchkin elements are essential parts of the 'core' rules. Personally, I have always regarded non core supplements as 'merchandise' rather than true 'core' material. As starkus said, the PHB, DMG and the Monstrous Manual/Compendiums etc. are all that are needed. All the rest - no matter how useful (and many items were very useful) - are just extras.

By the way, TSR went bust because of bad management, not because AD&D was unpopular or 'broken'. It is no secret that there had been management problems in the Co. for years.

Oh, and Sigil, saying that WotC 'reshaped D&D somewhat' is like saying Hitler was 'ever so slightly' nasty. WotC did more than reshape D&D - the mongrels butchered it - pure and simple.

Sigil -

"Answer me honestly, other than more hit points and an improved THAC0, what separates a 3rd level fighter from a 1st level fighter in 2e."

Humm... well how about Cleve, Power Attack...

"The characters know too much at the beginning."

You misunderstand me. I am refering to the CHARACTERS knowing too much in the beginning, not the players. And yes, I believe that the characters who start out with the possibility of cleve and other feats come into the game as super heros and don't build up to that status. Of course a new player to 3E is going to think it is so new because it is a different game.

Combat is one of the essential parts of the game. I enjoy good combat and so do most of my players. I spend a great deal of time perfecting every detail of a combat so that it is challenging and innovative. I believe that the best sessions are those that combine an equal portion of combat, role-playing and plot based actions (ie. riddles, puzzles, myster etc.)

Anyway, it really doesn't matter though. I've pretty much said all that I can say about the subject. It really only boils down to opinion at this point and there's no since in argueing that.

We could just have an endless flame war for fun though.

I will sum this using the words of one of my players, "3E is a fun place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there."

I'll work through the comments in the order they were posted...

"Healing in 3e is unrealistic..."

This was a subject of much debate on the WotC boards and here is the rationale (which I happen to agree with).

Compare a 1st level fighter (with, say 7 hp) to a 10th level fighter (70 hp). Both are wounded down to 1 hp. This is NOT the equivalent of being in a body cast with a punctured lung (by any core edition of D&D, you can still fight at 1 hp with no penalties), but it is very wounded. So these two fighters, at the brink of death, are pulled from combat and allowed to rest and heal.

Under bD&D, 1e, 2e:

The first level fighter is fully healed and back on his feet in a week. The tenth level fighter requires over two months to recover, despite the fact that they were both equally close to death.

Under 3e:

The first level fighter takes about a week to recover (1 hp/day, takes 6 days to go from 1 hp to 7 hp). The tenth level fighter takes... about a week to recover (10 hp/day, takes 7 days to go from 1 hp to 70 hp).

Honestly, which is more realistic? I think two people equally wounded should heal in about the same amount of time. We all know hit points have always been described not as sheer physical fortitude, but a combination of stamina, luck, knowledge, and so forth (read the 1e DMG treatment of hit points and why 5 hit points to a 4th level fighter is not the same as 5 hit points to a 1st level fighter in terms of actual wounds suffered).

Perhaps you might want to argue that things get out of whack at higher levels (30 hp/day for a 30th level character), but would you propose an alternate solution where a high level character doesn't take months to heal from injuries that take a low level character days to heal?

I agree it's not a perfect solution - but it's better than the old system IMO.

I claim 2e is crap. And no, I DIDN'T play it for 10 years - I gave it a try, didn't like it, and stuck to oD&D the whole time. The 10 years of 2e, for me, were a time to ignore all rules published by TSR and steal their story ideas to use for what I felt was a better system (oD&D) - the same thing all of you folks can do now with 3e - steal all the good story ideas and incorporate them into your 2e campaigns.

As for your munchkin joke, yes players can have that class combination in 3e. But read the rules for multiclassing (which I like much better than the 2e rules) - such a character would have to be at least 5th level - so unless you're in a campaign like Dark Sun where you start at higher levels, you're not going to start as one. While such combinations are possible, anyone who actually sits down and makes such a character will discover quickly that multiclassing so many times actually makes you much weaker in 3e.

Multiclassing to me was one of 2e's weak points in terms of balance. Why on earth would I want to play an elven fighter when I could play an elven fighter/mage? By about 1 million XP, my options are:

11th level fighter

or 10th/11th level fighter mage.

So basically I sacrificed a level of fighter and about 10 hit points for 11 levels of mage. Sounds good to munchkin me!

Compare to 3e where if I tried the same thing at 11th level I could be:

11th level fighter

5th/6th level fighter/mage.

When you complain about the loss of level limits for the demihuman races, take a look at the other adjustment that was made - multiclassed demihumans are not overpowered now. This is why I don't think removing level limits was munchkin - the old level limits were there mostly to prevent abuse of multiclassing - which didn't matter for most campaigns anyway because you seldom hit the level cap. It also didn't make sense - how come an elven wizard who lives 1000 years can't be as good as the human wizard who lives 100? The elf has 10 times as long to study! There are inconsistencies in both, but I would point out that every change you seem to dislike came with another change to keep game balance intact within the game itself (meaning that 3e characters remain equivalent to each other, not that 3e characters remain equivalent to 2e characters).

"Answer me honestly, other than more hit points and an improved THAC0, what separates a 3rd level fighter from a 1st level fighter in 2e."

Humm... well how about Cleve, Power Attack...

Read again - I asked for the difference between a 2nd edition fighter at level 1 and level 3. 2e doesn't have Cleave, Power Attack, and so on. The answer is - there is only a THAC0 and a hit point difference. The fighter at 1st level is proficient in his 4 weapons and his 4 NWPs - and these don't improve at all two levels later. Let me take a more extreme example - a 1st level fighter and a 15th level fighter in 2e. The difference is (IIRC):

An improved THAC0

1.) More hit points

2.) Four extra weapon proficiencies

3.) One more attack per round

4.) Four more non-weapon proficiencies

And if the NWPs are applied to proficiencies he already has, the fighter gets a total of +4 to proficiency rolls. This is, IMO, not a big difference at all. You've accumulated a few million experience points and all you got was a lousy +4 to your Blacksmithing proficiency? It's amazing that 0-level blacksmiths with average ability scors are ever able to even create pots and pans!

Again, I would contend that compared to their high-level counterparts (excluding for a moment spellcasters who obviously gain in spell power), most 2e characters start knowing too much - simply because their knowledge/skill set does not improve appreciably with level. I fail to see how this is a good thing. For me, "knows too much at first level" means his skill set does not improve appreciably over time - he already knows everything he's going to know. This is my complaint with Palladium's games, and my complaint with 2e. In 3e, at least a character doubles his skill knowledge from 1st level to 5th level.

Feats are another thing entirely. You seem so focused on Feats, Feats, Feats. Keep in mind that most characters (read: not Fighters) get 7 Feats over their entire CAREER. And start with 1 at first level. Is the choice of a single special ability at first level a bad thing? I don't think so. Keep in mind that at first level, only a fighter (or a human because of their bonus feat) can have Cleave. And it's only good in certain *VERY* limited circumstances (if I hit and knock the baddie below 1 hp, I get one free attack at the guy standing next to him). Compared to the 1e "sweeping" rule (fighter gets 1 attack/level each round against monsters under 1 HD, hit or miss), this is hardly abusive.

I am interested in seeing exactly what your complaints are with the new system. Please don't say just "this is overpowered." Please say "this is overpowered because of ."

I have given you an example of how the multiclass system in 2e was, IMO, broken. Because at 1.1 million XP your multiclassing options are:

11th level fighter

10th level fighter / 11th level mage

Please explain why this is not unbalancing to the game. Then explain to me why Feats are unbalancing. There are two or three (Whirlwind Attack and Great Cleave come to mind) that could be considered "excessive" but these come late in a "chain" of prerequisites - meaning that characters have to spend some feats on "worthless" skills to get these. Most Feats, IMO, seem okay - Toughness (+3 hp - NOT +3/level) is a nice touch for a low-CON wizard. Ambidexterity and Blind-fighting work better (to me) as Feats than as a Proficiency. Keep in mind that a Feat is supposed to be a "super-specialized skill" - i.e., something heroic.

Finally, as has been stated, it all boils down to opinion. I have tried to be as polite as possible and keep flames OUT of this post, so that we can have a rational discussion about the merits (and flaws) of both games - I don't claim 3e is perfect, and I'm guessing nobody claims 2e is perfect either. But let's examine our objections to 3e (or 2e) and see if we can't figure out why we like one system or the other. Trust me, I was one of the most vocal anti-munchkin voices on the WotC boards in the months leading up to 3e's release. So I have already gone through lots and lots of these "this is broken and this is why" discussions.

Looking forward to a discussion (not a flame war) on this subject...


"Basically, the reason I like 3e is NOT the combat. I like it because Charisma actually MEANS something now. There is a codified skill set for trying to do non-combat tasks (Bluff, Gather Information, Diplomacy, etc.) - of course as a DM I can fudge stuff, but it's nice to have a system already in place."

That's funny - I've never needed these sorts skills. Charisma means something in my campaign - just like the other stats. A dwarven fighter with an intelligence of 6 isn't going to be devising any grand strategies - not if the player ever wants to earn experience - just like a half-orc with a charisma of 7 isn't going to be "diplomatic". No dice involved - just imagination, dialogue, and a logical continuation of the story-line by the DM. Want to "gather information"? Go to the freaking tavern and talk to the bartender. Role-playing took care of what now is just another roll of the dice.

Exactly. Bluff is the stupidest skill that 3E has come out with. If you read the description of how it works it is completely rediculous. Especially if you couple Bluff with a rogue's Sneak Attack. In the middle of combat the rogue can actually point behind a character and say, "Hey! Look at that!" The character then rolls a Sense Motive vs. the rogue's Bluff. If the character fails the rogue can then use Hide and then a Sneak Attack. I don't know how many times I have seen this happen over and over again. Charisma is a trait that should be role-played not roll played. I can see making a roll if you want to speed things up but please.

And speeding things up seems to be the entire back bone of 3E.

Just to let you guys know. I was at a convention last month looking for some deals on RPG Books. Every booth I went to I asked them for a book and they said that the guy from the "DarkSide Games" booth had bought them all up. I went there and he was selling all the books he had gotten from the other booths at full price or more! This guy sucks. his web sight is I ask that you guys never buy form him. He ruined countless cons for lots of people. Thanks, A Fellow Gamer

3E D&D: PH 274 pages (of reconstituted garbage), $20; DMG 253 page (also reconstituted garbage), $20; Swords and Fists 94 pages (of useless info), $20; Psionics Handbook, 158 pages (more useless stuff), $20; who is WOTC kidding, their interest is ONLY bottom line, not product quality. Unfortunately WOTC does not care what it sells as long it sells something; this will be their demise.


Well if the 2nd edition become scarse with the advent of the 3rd Edition D&D, then nobody should be afraid of losing money...1st edition owners already know that...

In about 10 years crazy collectors looking for old rpg stuff will pay the price for any useless 2nd OOP Handbook!

The rpgs completists and gatherers are collecting a lot of stuff too...they represent a big % of the market...

Anything with AD&D or D&D printed on it will keep its value...!

The more editions there will be the higher the value of your old stuff will get...simple as that.

By the way all you need is A good setting lots of imagination some good friends a cool set of rules and thats it...

Forget that capitalist consumming propaganda.

ITS A GAME just have fun.

Just check EBAY

Outpost has it right on target! Amen brother Outpost! WoTC will burn the the land of sulfur and brimstone!!!

My answer to the 3rd edition D&D is :

I am going back to the my Cyclopedia (original D&D) using World Of Greyhawk Boxset as my setting

after 10 years away from the rpgs...

You know the time when all you need was a little set of rules, a good setting, 4 or 6 friends and lots of imagination... not money...and money...and supplements...and money..and supplements and other shit.

The DM was able to create HIS world even from a published setting, without being overwhelmed by tons of useless sourcebooks that were only serving one purpose: keeping a dying industry alive.

Of course that industry was weakened by the advent of the Card Games like Magic The CashFlowing...

Collectors, Completists and Gatherers were the people aimed by those money rippers not the roleplayers...peoplet using their imagination don't need such weak and boring stuff.

The Macdonald of the gaming industry.

If you cant beat them buy them...

Do you remember that quote:

TSR inc, products of your Imagination... was a long time ago.

Stop whining. Please. D@D may have changed, but it is not as hard nor simple as you all put it. D@D was vey hard for me to understand under old rules. Such as the lower ac the better. It dosent even make any real sense. Plus, the bonus's and shit you get to hit them are simple. There ac is 20, you want to hit em. So, roll the d20, add your your strength bonus (if your strength was 18, you get plus 4 bonus or modafier as an example)and your level to the number rolled on the dice, and thats it. If the number total is 20 or higher, you hit. God, that was hard. Wow, i think i hurt myself. And did hear someone complain about the bonus's some items might add? Thats simple as well, a 1d10 basterd sword has enchantment +5, it simply means you get +5 to your attaxck roll to hit there ac. Then you whine about the reductions to will, reflex and fortatude saves. Why is it so bad to make things easyer?? I have played 2nd and 1st, and only on 3thrd have I had so many new players. They need it easy like this. Its still fun, and easy for people to comprehend. I own a game loft, and deal with 8-12 players a day with new ones comming in, this is good for them and okay for us. So relaxe!

Enough is enough. Yes the rules have changed. So? If you don't like the rules, don't use them. Is that so difficult to understand? I have played 2nd and 3rd edition, I find that 3rd is simply more fun. Who cares is a thief is a Rogue? Its a stupid name!!! Some of the articles make sense, but some are just plain stupid. You don't have to be offensive to state your opinion. I find the 3rd edtion system more refined and easier to pick up than the 2nd edtion. And yes, I agree that WotC should burn in hell. Besides, I need some company..........

And if you really wanna play a horrid (But fun) game, try out BattleCattle!!! MOOOOOOOO!!!!!! All power to the cows!!! And I would just like to say that Sigil is by far the most educated in this "rant". I wouldn't want to cross him in a debate on D and D.

Well I'd been looking for a 3E campaign for awhile and of all people, my wife found one! She met someone through work who had a game going with her husband and a friend and needed a couple more players. My wife games now and then but hasn't been an addict like me. Well we've been having fun and thats the most important thing. Partly because of the people we're playing with but also partly because I'm enjoying the new rules and she is finding them fun and easy... usually the thing that keeps her from gaming is the feeling that she has to study a 200+ page book or be lost. So all in all we're enjoying 3E. Is it better than other editions? I don't know. All I know is it is better for us.

Annoyed - That's why DND3 is perfect for little dummies like you.

DnD3, like every incarnation of DnD before it, is what you make of it. IMO, the system in and of itself is sleeker and more streamlined. But the particulars of which set of mechanics you prefer to play with are a matter of taste.

Starkus, I understand that you enjoy 2e, and I wish you the best in your games. However, saying that 3e is "DnD for dummies" is not only juvenile, it is also incorrect. The system runs a little more smoothly because there are fewer nuances and rules to remember.

But keep in mind that DnD (in any edition) is the vehicle by which you exercise your imagination. The set of rules that you use to do that is really trivial in the grand scheme of things. The ability to remember more minutia (such as how to calculate THAC0, memorizing all the thief ability tables, or knowing which weapons cause the most damage per round to a size L creature with a -3 AC) is NOT an indicator of intelligence. Otherwise, computers would be considered the most intelligent things on the planet.

Like any RPG, DnD is what you make it - I prefer a set of rules where I'm not constantly scrambling to remember what chart thus and such is on (and I **STILL** haven't heard anybody tell me what the odds are that a creature that normally surprises on a 1-7 on a d8 can surprise another creature that is only surprised on a 1 on a d12 - I honestly don't think you people even know).

The answer to the surprise question is, IIRC, 27%. But who wants to remember that the formula is: Square Root of (Supriser chance times suprisee chance), much less calculate it?

This is why I prefer 3e. Instead of a large number of mutually inconsistent systems (i.e., systems in which the world model changes depending upon what is being attempted), we are presented with one cohesive system that is the model for all facets of the fantasy world. Of COURSE it's not realistic. But then, neither is 2e! The point is, this is a FANTASY game - the system you use to model the world is going to have to oversimplify things (otherwise it would BE the real world) so you may as well make the system use the same model throughout.

And as for the title of "most educated ranter", that's a distinction that is kind of funny - it kind of means (to me) that "you're the guy who really should be writing something intelligent instead of ranting..."

I'm not worried about which system is a better model of the real world, because this is FANTASY. I'll take a somewhat oversimplified system that makes my job as DM a lot easier and allows me to focus on role-playing and story and leave those who want a brutally realistic game to quit playing D&D and go find a copy of the CHOP rules. Now THAT's realism...

Back onto the surprise question... I went back again and it's not Square Root but instead:

(Surpriser chance * Suprisee chance) * 3

So the 1 in 12 vs the 7 in 8 has a 21.875% chance (let's round to 22%).

But again, who really wants to remember this stuff?


It's really not the formula I gave above either - the one that *makes sense* as a strictly statistical model is the first one (with the square root) but of course it doesn't work for a creature surprised on a 1 on a d6. Why? Because even the surprise system itself is inconsistent.

Hmm... glaring statistical inconsistencies in 2nd edition rules.

This has NOTHING to do with the "flavor" of the rules (i.e., I'm not saying "I hate d20") and EVERYTHING to do with math...

Now, anyone want to try to set me straight here? What the heck **IS** that surprise chance? What is the formula to determine it? And why does the model keep changing? And if it keeps changing, does that not indicate a statistical flaw within the system itself?

Or is the formula just WAY too complex for me?

THIS is why I don't like 2e. Nobody can give me a quick answer to "what is the statistical model for determining surprise?" (Among other things).

And for those of you wondering, YES this series of three quick posts was deliberate - it shows how tough it is to use 2e because you can look the thing three times and get three answers.

At least in 3e I have a consistent statistical model - flat probability curves, 20 integers wide, which are shifted relative to a fixed point (a Saving Throw DC, for example) or each other (opposed Hide vs. Spot rolls for surprise) in some fashion. As you get better, your curve shifts upward on the absolute plane.

Hey, look kids, a consistent statistical model! And more importantly, one that is easily used.

Quantum mechanics is a great statistical model for computing the motion of the planets. But in general we use Newton's Laws.

Newton's Laws, like 3e, are rather oversimplified. But the beauty of it all is that they work pretty darn well to explain the universe and they're MUCH easier than quantum mechanics. That's why we still teach Newton's Laws. They are accurate enough to be useful and simple enough to make the effort of using them worth it.

And that's why I'm still playing 3e. Its rules are accurate enough to be useful while not requiring ungodly amounts of effort. In other words, unlike 2e, its statistical model is worth the pain of learning it.

Hmmm... Statistics, nice... That sounds fun to me. THAC0 is there for a coming of age??? What the ****??. It seems that someone has missed the plot. The essential part of RPG is roleplaying. If you want to do abstract equations buy a maths book! I have GM'd games for years and the biggest issue with a new player was THAC0. The next biggest was trying to remember whether they rolled under or over a number for a saving throw.

The new system has turned all the various equations for working out whether you have done something or not, into one. Roll a d20 and add some numbers to it. Those numbers tend to remain fairly constant allowing a player to quickly get used to the fact that to hit something they add 6 to their hit roll and 2 to their damage. Roll higher than x and you do your stuff.

As a GM it makes it easy to make an off the cuff desision on something unexpected the players want to do. The game has been simplified without restricting the choices players can make about their characters.

Rule 0 still works though. If you are so worried about having 9999999999999999999th level elves don't allow it! The rules only go up to 20th level anyway. Call your rogues that have a pickpocket rank of 20 and can climb any wall there is, thieves if you want to. Why should everyone stay in fixed roles, a ranger once and forever more. If that's what you want your character to be then fairplay, but if during play your character meets up with a rogue and they spend time together, things might rub off on each other and your ranger picks up a level of rogue.

If you have a GM worth their salt they wont let you just abitrarily add a level of monk to your rogue just because you want the unarmed strike. You'll need to justify where you got the knowledge from.

It's a roleplaying game people, you use the rules to let you adjudicate on decisions that need answers. They are there to steer you in the right direction, but no more. Play the character not the numbers, this isn't meant to be a maths lesson, but a chance to have a laugh with your mates, drink a few beers, take the p*** out of the stupid things people say and scoff pizza.

I apologise if I cause offence to anybody, but I just happened to stumble across this site and discovered a lot of people making a mountain out of something most people I have ever met try to shove into the background (ie the rules).

PS if the new game doesn't have the oojamaflip montser or magic item you love to death in the rules, convert it from the old system. You shouldn't need to leave anything out.

Hey, starkus, you fucking jerk, wake up. So what if mjg likes 3e, leave him alone. Just because he and his wife likes it, you gotta be an ass. Perhaps your just being a whine ass, because he can cope with the change and you can't. I like 3e as well, but i am no dummy. It has brought more people to my game loft than 1st or 2nd edition. New blood and old. So shut up.

Actually I think he was insulting someone else. Unless he was including us as part of the "dummies". Anyway, I'm not trying to convert anyone. I've played all the AD&D editions and was bored of it but 3E has made it new for me and since it has made it easier for my wife to play it is that much better. :)

I've been running a 3e campaign for about three months now, on a weekly basis, with players of various experience. Some of us have been playing since redbook D&D days.

There are a huge number of differences between 3e and 2e, which I can easily understand would confuse and frighten die-hard fans of 2e. At the same time, no system has revitalized our gaming group like 3e. It is advanced enough to accomplish ANYTHING that 2e can do, without feeling bloated, slow, or confusing. 99% of all player rolls (aside from damage) are a simple 1d20+mods against a target number. The multiclass system works, allowing players to flexibly customize their characters without becoming unbalanced. Whoever suggested that the new multiclass system is for munchkins obviously hasn't read the rules. You can't start as a fighter/mage/rogue/bard/cleric, you'd have to earn each level in each class, first.

The initiative system is customizable, but I find it works just fine as-is. Combat is fast and furious, yet flexible and more interesting than just hack&slash. Everyone, even fighters, has many more options in combat. In our last session, we played out nearly 20 rounds of combat with 4 players, 2 npcs, and 16 enemies in under a half hour. Let's see 2e do that.

There are a huge number of differences between 3e and 2e, which I can easily understand would confuse and frighten die-hard fans of 2e

Instead of confuse and frighten I would more say annoy and sicken..

As far confusing goes... 3D (Dummies) is anything but confusing...

Just my nickle's worth here. (Hey, I'm not cheap =))

In my opinion, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons was remarkable. I started playing when I was 8, and haven't stopped (though it's difficult to find good DMs and players anymore). In fact, I once played in a world where the rules of the original Dungeons and Dragons, first edition, and second edition of AD&D were 'merged'. That was fun, let me tell you. (rolls eyes)

Anyway, after reading some of the improvements of the 3rd edition, I was much like some of the die hards out there...outraged. Armor class goes up, not down?! THAC0 works how? The name may as well have been called 'Dasies and Daffodiles'. But, with every disadvantage, there is also an advantage. (If you haven't learned that by now from playing AD&D, wake up!) First off, much like sequels to long forgotten movies and TV series, it will draw attention to the older versions (including D&D, first edition, and second edition AD&D). No one can say that's a bad thing. Also, I like the idea of not limiting races to specific classes (although I think limiting levels on demi-human characters should stay in effect, at least in multi-class characters). Until now, I always played human because you never had to worry about what classes you could be.

I've already bored most of you by now, but my personal belief is this: "If you don't like it, don't use it. If you think you can do better, do it!" And a lot of the times, I modify the 2nd edition core rules to make a unique world for DMs (and myself, when I choose to DM).

I won't be using the 3rd edition rules anytime soon. They seem too unintelligent to make an effective game. I don't have a hardbound copy of any 2nd edition books anymore (dead-beat friends), but I have a digitized copy, so I'm okay for now. I suggest the rest of you who are avid lovers of 2nd edition either stick with it, voice your opinions to people who can actually -change- the course of the game, create your own game worlds (publishling them online would be nice, too), or accept the 3rd edition rules as they stand. I don't see any other options that don't waste people's time and grate on other's nerves.

Just my nickel's worth of course. =)

I run a 3E game and my players love it. Most of the 9 players in my group have been playing for a minimum of 15-20 years. All of us had pretty much quit playing AD&D with the 2ed, and went off to discover GURPS, Cyberpunk, TOON (there's an obscure one for the crusties like me), and other games. The new rules have all of us enjoying Dungeons and Dragons again. None of us love WOTC, but we have a game that is both new and reminds us of our first games in the 70's and 80's.

After months of flames, my original, simple questions remain unanswered:

What's the chance of a 7 in 8 surpriser surpising a 1 in 12 surprisee?

More importantly, if "change is bad and evil and we shoul leave things alone," why the h*** are you playing 2e instead of using the original early-70s Chainmail rules?

All of you, "we shouldn't change 2e" believers, listen to your argument! By your own argument, that we shouldn't change what worked, we should still be stuck on Chainmail. No 2e. No 1e. Not even oD&D! You folks are nothing if not hypocritical...

If you like playing 2e better than 3e, that's fine. But you didn't call for TSR to keep producing 1e material when it switched to 2e. You didn't call for TSR to keep producing D&D material for the "Known World" when it switched the D&D world into 2e for AD&D's Mystara (one of the worst things, IMO, ever to happen to that world). You didn't call for more "Chainmail" supplements. You didn't ask for more Star Frontiers or Boot Hill or Gamma World books. In other words, you don't want TSR/WotC to support all of its "dead systems" that have fans and that are good systems. You want it to support ONLY the particular system that you happen to like. In other words, you are *not* idealistic and committed to preserving excellence in gaming. You are simply selfish. And your flinging of labels like "dummy" at supporters of the new system makes you come across not only as selfish, but spoiled as well.

And those of you that are hurling swear words at those who like 2e need to grow up as well. Just because someone likes a different system than you do does not mean you have to try to villify them.

Thus far, the only truly *useful* suggestion I have seen has been to create and publish stuff for whatever system you like - 2e, 3e, GURPS, or whatever. The best way to get new material is to create it yourself, and none of us, I think, is going to change WotC's mind one way or the other.

Starkus, on a personal note, I wish you the best in your 2e campaigns. I will enjoy my 3e campaigns. And I will continue to publish 3e material because that is a system I like (I have already gone through my reasoning for preferring a consistent statistical system so I won't repeat it here), and look to see some of your 2e plot ideas so I can "steal" them and adapt them to 3e for my campaign (I hope you will do the same to my stuff for 3e).

With that, I think I'm going to bow out of this discussion thread altogether. I think all the points have been made, all the flaming and ranting is done, and it's time to stop wasting our time here and get out and create for whatever system we prefer to use.

Ok you guys whene I was just starting out in AD&D I played 2ED and it was confusing and I dedent quite get it but sence I changed to 3ED I do fine and I know what to do insted of asking my team mates all the time. I persnaly think it is better.

Umm i don't mean to interupt any fights going on or anything but why exactly is everyone so against the complete books. I think there interesting. I play 2 ed but we graft rules from other editions in. We have fighters in second edition who are fun to play even at (gasp) high levels because we put thought into our chaacters we roleplay them. I dm and play and personally i just like 2nd edition more because i'm used to it. oh and sigil a 1 is the only way a 1 in 12 is ever surprised so it is a .o83 repeating three. or an 8 and 1/3 %

oh and that percentage is rolled on a 12 sided sorry for the possible confusion. Because since a 1 in 12 surprises it doesn't really matter what dye you use

To be frank, I still think that nothing compares to the old AD&D. The second Edition was truly a waste of money. With so many add-ons to the basic rules one would surely lose himself.

Though I like the 3rd Ed. I do think that there are major problems with the system.

This system is related only to Power Gaming. How does someone go into real (and I do mean REAL) roleplaying when all of his feats are based solely to make him/her a better combattant.

This is no RPG, this is a basic hack-and-slash game. Yes, the dice system is good and easy to use. Yes, they have kept some of the flavor of the D&D game, but the fact of the matter is.... this is no roleplaying game.

End of rant.

Whatever Phil. 2ndEd was a clarification of the 1st edition rules. They were necessary to really get things organized. 3E is a new game entirely. The fact of the matter is this.

3E sucks and so do people who play it.

3 ed BITS THE DUST second ed is so sweet it isnt fuuny percentiles for theiveing skills makes MUCH more sense than roll a d20 and there is a DC to the chance. my friend and i bought the 3ed converted a FEW of the feats into profiencys a few monk skills into our own monk class and burned the book. 3ed is horrid and evil, in second ed everything is fun and there are so many more books for 2ed anyways. besides in 3ed everything is a lot easier to do anyways like damage is a LOT higher in 3ed than 2ed, the standardizing d20 roll is horried percentiles and d10s are much more fun to play around with than DCs and other crap

I agree that many people enjoy the new 3ed rules.. I personally don't. That's not the focus of this post. What irks me is that the monumental changes to the system makes it such a different game calling it D&D is simply wrong. Yes, you can roleplay with 3e, but the mechanics and focus on feats make it far more apt to fall into the evil grips of power-gaming. Not to say thats what an experienced gamer such as Sigil would do... it's his campaign. Obviously he's RPG savvy enough to know that D&D is primarily Role-Playing. However people whose first exposure to D&D is 3E will not be that savvy. They will see this system (the only published line of D&D or AD&D) and use this set of rules as their base-line for their role-playing experience for many years to come.

That is what pisses me off about WOTC. True they are a money making buisness. However gaming(and RPG'ing in particular) is an industry unto itself, unlike any other. They plucked up Dungeons & Dragons and molded it how they saw fit. No questions asked. They know that their system will sell to whatever pre-teen/teen age demographic they aimed for... thats how this system was designed. Their lack of respect for the very customers they cater to truly sickens me.

I love to play Paper and Desc top RPG's D&D is the all time clasic, no matter how much they have changed on the 3rd ED its still D&D no other game will ever be able to match its gameing, true there are a lot more out there that are good such as BUG HUNTERS, VAMPIER THE APOCILIPS, exe. but this is still dungens and dragons, the problem I have being a DM is keeping my table, thats what I call my groop of players, keeping my table happy and still burning to play each weekend, the start of summer and the end of this school year I'm going to through a feest with my players, this will be a midevil dinner with all the trimmings, and we shall all dress up in CHR and eat after that we play the first game of the summer, but I need to keep fresh ideas like that, if you could write me back and help me with any ideas you may have I would be mose gteat full. Thank you for the time you took to write and make this page and I bid you a good day. "Hail to the king baby" (Bruce Camble)

You are insane, Zok. Seek help.

Look Mommy, the geeks are fighting!

Stay away from the cage, honey!

It's just a game! Would you criticize a car company for coming out with a new model just to make money? If you don't like the 3E, don't play it. It's not like 2e wasn't stagnant in a pool of stupid ass PHB supplements. And that was before Wizards decided to pick it up, brush off the crap, polish it, and give it a new coat of paint. So quit bitching about the new game. Brainwash yourself into believing it doesn't exist. Just don't come to me when THACO....

You know people its quite simple. Do what you want to do. I didn't like, so I stopped playing 3E. I went back to 2E. A friend of mine like some of it, so he uses it & incorporates 2E rules in place of the parts he doesn't like (inititive for example) and yet another friend loves it & has gone completely to it. It's that simple. Do what you want to do.

3rd adition sucks they took 2nd and slotterd it to the point i have my hole party lobbying bookstores for having it! What realy sucks though is i have to bend over backward to find 2nd!!

Third ediition clarifies and makes for an easier system.

3E sucks and so do people who play it.

the point is that your all offering your own point of views, everyone is entiteled to there own points and thats what makes this addition (3e) to the dnd series a plus. it gives people the choice of what they like best, you play what you want to. Im sure not everyone will agree on what the best rpg is for playstaion etc.. so why should we all agree or disagree that 3e is the best or worst. some ppl will like it some wont. who cares you play what you want cause its what you like and thats that.. why bother trying to point out why you like one system over anouther when its just your opinion...

a theif in d2 after so many level = a ninja if practiced enough correct? THEN HOW THE HELL CAN YOU SAY THEY THEY CANT FIGHT?? PPL GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEADS D3 SUX D2 RULES.....its so sad that you ppl need things simplafied for you.......the makers of d3 need to stick to card

A phrase comes to mind I heard several years back:

AD&D is like MS-DOS, It sucks but everybody uses it.

Still: a lot of people now pine for MS-DOS.

Man, all I can say is two words...HACK MASTER. Thats what I think 3E should have been. It's aimed at the old school gamers, not these snot nosed punk newbees. I want players that can figure out a Thaco and arn't afraid of the Advanced on Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. I just hope Hack Master lives up to my expectations.

I didnt like magic but it did generate a serious amount of money to develope other games.
and if you (thats you geo ) want Woc to stick to card games we would have missed out on some gems (like roborally and guillotine). When they bought TSr they did make sure their worlds had a chance for survival iso tsr going under. D3 might not be your cuppa-tea but it is a new game with some innovative concept, and it supports some worlds we all know and love. besides I think the open game licence is a GOOD idea. Making sure it wont go stale (it does generate fresh ideas for more people than the local gaming group). So you dont like the game , dont play it. But dont flame people for liking it, the world is the important bit , not the rules.

What is Hackmaster? All I ever hear about it are little snippits like the one above by Ghost. Can someone say enough about it so I could lQQk for it?

I'll tell you what Hackmaster is. There is a comic book about a gaming group called "Knights of the Dinner Table" and insted of dungeons and dragons, they play a game called "Hackmaster". Well, up untill recently, this game was totaly fake, but the writters of the comic actually made the game. The game is based off the 1st and 2nd addition rules from ad&d. (they bought the rights from wizards). check it out on It's aimed tword old school gamers like me (and fans of the comic). The players handbook comes out next week and the cover is a parody of the original 1st Addition PH. Well I hope this was helpfull.
PS: I know there are spelling errors so don't bother bringing it up.

I have never played any D&D/AD&D game except 2nd edition AD&D and 3rd edition D&D. I am only 13, so I'm no expert. However, I totally agree - ditching THAC0, jumbling up initiative and AC, and all the modifiers *do* make it much more complicated, and when I played my friend's 3rdEd campaign, after "DM"ing my own 2ndEd campaign, I kept saying, "right! I'm a 5th level fighter, my THAC0 is 16... no, that's not right" and "the guy's my build? wearing chain mail? I'll have that... my AC is now 5... that's not right either!"
I think the new rules are for new players, and adapting to the new rules just damages games - a new player to my 2ndEd group kept going on about the new rules and confusing every thing (no, plate armour *isn't* AC 1, it's whatever)

Anon, i think you just summed up the complete problem.
AD&D player are just confused by the D&D3rd rules.
Its not really aversion its convusion.

Your rant is the most stupidest piece of bullshit I have ever heard. First get your damn facts straight, Second you haven't even read the damn rulebooks!! Your review is way to biased and unimformative. So next time keep your damn biased ideas to yourself before coming out and ranting about a game you don't know jackshit about.

Ebon, who's rant do you mean?

Hey! I love 2ndEd too! I think its the best thing going and not some munchkin 3E sales crap.

If any of you avid 2ndEd'ers want to sound off on another message board just follow this link. We can start a war against the pathetic 3E'ers right now in an awesome place.

I call you all to arms against them and the first stop is the message forum below... GO THERE AND REPRESENT!


I have played since the red box, and I'll tell you what, Every single edition from basic to 3e is great in it's own right. I might repeat some one becuase I stopped reading halfway through. (Ran out of time.) Look, for all you people how think 3e sucks, don't play, stick with the game you like. But like it or not, it's still D&D. From what I've seen alot of you will question this, but break down the rules. 3e is a combination of all the previous editions. The most noticable is the combination basic and 1st edition. Then you take things from 2nd and give them a new spin. For example skills instead of nonweapon proficiencies. Does it make sense that a 1st level fighter can make all his equipment from scratch? And why doesn't anyone talk about the things that was wrong with 2e? What about all the things that the first release of the DMG said they would NEVER do becuase it made the game too complicated with too many rolls and too many charts. Then they released all those things with the players options. The producers of 2e always wanted to go back to the simplicity of basic while keeping the feel of advanced. However they didn't know where to start from. WotC did just that. It's still D&D just like all the other editions. With each one you can point out why it's so much better and why it's so much worse then the one before it and after it. (BTW For those of you who never played Advanced, I'd suggest you give it a try, it has it's own value to it.)

And what's wrong with not having the level restrictions? It never did make any sense that an elf who could live for hundreds of years could never surpass a human who would live to a hundred if he was lucky.

Oh yeah, not all rogues are thieves, I don't remember who complained about there not being a thief class anymore, but you can still be a thief if you want, but personally I never played a thief and hated being classified as one. (Other players automatically concidered me untrustworthy becuase my character was a "Thief")

Well, I have to call this to an end, take my two cents into account, and enjoy your favorite edition. All four are my favorite. At this moment in time I play all four, though do to lack of time 3e is more often then the others, I still play them. And I run games in all editions at times.

P.S. I did notice one thing, in 2e, even though you could raise your pp up to 120% if you like, as far as the roll is concerned it's never above 95% after all modifiers are in place.

Why does this argument actually exist?
The discussions dont heat up this much when we argue between the merits and flaws of white wolfs storytelling system and the 7th sea rpg. (allthough I wouldn't mind :). Is this because the world is the same or what. I mean why dont we play forgotten realms with the gurps system or witht Runequest? Isn't the system less important the world ( and the gm interpertation)?

Hell why not play planescape with the Twerps system or with Paladiums fantasy roleplay?

because PlaneScape dosn't exist any more! It's like if mattel bought white wolf, then made a "easier" version for new players. Then said " all these clans are stupid, and so are the LARP player". and they just get rid of them. I've played Vamp an 7th sea, and I hope you never have to go through this. And as "whatever guy" suck my left nut you cock sucking faggot

Just thought I would let you know that Planescape is being released for 3ed and so is a Oriental Adventures book

September 2001 is release date for manual of the planes and October 2001 for Oriental Adventures and also a new magic book for Faerun in August

Manual of the planes is not a planescape bok perce but I am still looking forward to the info included, both rules and world description.

Remember that rule info is also a means of finding out how other people see world-info and not just what dice to roll.

thanks for the correction Bazz, I also am looking foward to the info included in the manual of the planes

You know the best feature about D&D in any version or any role-playing game for that matter is you are the boss. Well we DM's are : ) The only thing limiting you is your creativity. For example... I decided that when one of the characters in my group goes up in level why would the wizards automaticaly know new spells or be able to cast them more times per day. I decided against that. Instead I told my characters that when they go up in levels it means that they are prepared to learn more of the nuiances of fighting and magic. So they in turn decided that we should have guilds in town where the characters would go to learn from higher level NPC's. This worked out great for me. But back to the point, role-playing games are just a stepping stone to the worlds you and your groups invent. So it matters not if you like AD&D 2nd ed or D&D 3rd ed, all that matters is that you and your friends have fun exploring a world in your mind

What do you mean Planescape doesn't exist anymore, what have I been playing yesterday then:)
My point is that Rules are a means, not an end. Rules only exist to take care of consistancy, not to create the game. A game is made by the gm and player acting in a world. If you wanna play rules why are you roleplaying iso hogging the computer or playing cardgames.
Rule-flexibility and interpertation are more important in roleplaying than if there is or not is a THACO. If I remember correctly both AD&D and D&D3rd both have the SAME first rule: ITS YOUR GAME. (as does most other roleplaying games I might add). Why not just play iso discussing if some rule set is better than the other.

(I admit I kinda like it myself, but we dutch love to argue:)

The rule system does matter - each system and it's mechanics help set the tone of a campaign. The 'feel' and atmosphere of the rules is an important part of any RPG - otherwise why would we need so many systems? One person chooses Rolemaster because they like a technical, 'realistic' campaign whilst another chooses OD&D because of it's flexibility and high-fantasy 'feel'.

Of course the Campaign setting in any RPG is the most important thing, along with the individual adventures - but if you don't appreciate the rules system then you're missing a large part of the fun. It's like listening to music and enjoying the melody but never being able to appreciate the beat.

That's why we're so pissed off about WotC butchering AD&D. Apart from the core abilities and the mechanics for magic, practically everything else was buggered up. Even if someone can make out an argument that X or Y rule change was justifiable, the tone of MUNCHKINS & MONSTERS (a.k.a. 3e) has become, as has been stated above, a computer game on paper. C'mon, no ability score racial limits? Gnomes with the strength of an ogre?!

The focus on the kiddy 'feats' as being the way to customise a PC just smacks of putting together the best deck in MtG and is an open encouragement to min/maxing. Welcome, my friends, to Munchkinland.

So, let's get one thing straight: 3e is not D&D. 3e is just the fantasy version of the d20 open gaming system. In an interview on the WotC website one WotC functionary openly discusses the possibility of publishing a generic d20 system all on its lonesome!! In other words, the D&D/AD&D system developed by Gygax and Arneson was mutilated beyond recognition by WotC - and now they are openly speculating about severing what's left from carcass of 'D&D'!


I feel that everything needed for AD&D has been put out, so if anyone feels that AD&D is better than 3ed then why not continue playing AD&D and not even worry about 3ed. It's just a new system not anyone forcing you to give up on a way of life

Let's think about this one... a gnome with the str. of an ogre? Well why not, by the time that gnome gets the str of an ogre as well as having other stats balanced, Hasn't he worked hard enough to accomplish such str. This is a fantasy world, why will there not be exceptions to the rule. Just like some humans are stronger than others and some are smarter than others. Every world is going to be diversifed survival of the fitest is evolution and progress

Tell me which feats are so great and makes a character unstopable. That give the DM a challenge, throw harder chalanges at the PC's. Not just monsters but thinking problems, ethical and moral delimas the world of D&D has never been just run from dungen to dungen but an interactive enviroment in which the characters can grow and take part in

I stand corrected - I went back and checked and the mere 'functionary' I described is in fact none other than Ryan Dancey, the Wizards of the Coast’s Vice President in charge of roleplaying games!! This is what this bloke has to say:

"The idea is to abstract the 'game' inside Dungeons & Dragons and reduce it to a genre-neutral set of concepts and rules. Then, we'll layer on a thick helping of D&D-type fantasy elements, like the standard D&D classes, races, spells, and monsters. In the future, we might layer on a science fiction layer, or a horror layer, or any other genre we think would be interesting."

Before going on to say:

"We're going to establish 'D20' as a recognizable mark, like 'VHS' or 'DVD'...." and that WotC "... might, at some point, make a 'D20' book", although there are no "current" plans to do so.

If isn't dead, it's got a terminal disease .... called WotC.


I have NEVER seen a game with such religious zeal as 3rd Edition. Hasbro's marketing guys really deserve...what do you give marketing guys....a couple thousand souls of the damned for this one!
White wolf was slightly irritating for being elitist and pompous, but at least they kept to their own. 3rd Ed players are more like Jehovah's Witnesses. Nearly everyone I've met that plays 3rd Edition:
1) Refuses to play ANYTHING else, including longstanding campaigns, or complains bitterly if he DOES attend.
2) Takes criticism of the d20 system as a personal affront.
3) Becomes a rules lawyer. If said person was already a rules lawyer, he becomes a thing which can only be described as the unholy spawn of a Rolemaster Guru and Champions Mini-Maxer.
I see where the rules lawyers get off on once-knowledgeable players who now have total ignorance of the system.
It's an OK system, but not great. There are systems I utterly REFUSE to play, and 3rd edition isn't one of them. (In spite of my above comment, neither are RM or Hero.)
However, I must admit to a small caveat:
If I EVER again, EVER, in ANY context, hear the phrase "Attack of Opportunity", I will KILL the nearest living thing.
Then the next, until the red clears from my eyes, and I hear no sound save the screaming souls of thousands dead at my feet.
-Mark Temporis

HEy Mark!!! ATTACK OF OPPoRTUNITY. anyway 3rd edition kicks ass!!! Pestege classes are so coll!

Man I can't stand people who refuse to play in a long standing campaign just because they like another set of rules. If you don't like the new rules or old rules for that matter start your own group and run a campagin yourself with the rules you like, don't complain and ruin everyone's experience just because you want to play it differently. Sorry kinda venting about a White Wolf Vampire player who doesn't like D&D and wants to complain because vampire is better. I was like man go run a vampire campaign then don't cry to me.
I like vampire the Dark Ages and not Masquerade but if the GM want's to run a Masquerade campaign I don't bitch about it. That's my number one problem with 3ed, I run a 3ed campaign and alot of my group wanted to learn the new system, but then a couple did not and griped. So I decided to go 3ed and lost some of my good characters. But we still hang out and I feel it was worth it because now I have more material to work with and the ones who stayed are enjoying the new system and we are getting some of the bugs out of it and house rules established

I took a long read through this rant page.
Its not going anywhere. I don't think that its meant to...

Fact is that 3rd ed D&D has resurrected the hobby.
Bitch about the changes as much as you like, personally I thought 2nd ed was a big pile of crap, poorly thought out and a pale to 1st ed.

3rd ed, while not perfect, has breathed new life into the hobby.

You can moan all you like about it not being "real" D&D. Fact is, it is. They own the licence. Feel free not to play it, whine all you like, and cult-like perserverence to 2nd ed. is your right.

Hell, go out and buy Hackmaster if its such a problem! It looked like a fun piss-take, and Kenzer could certainly use your money.

Attacks of Opportunity stop whining about retreats and such... if you are in combat, you cannot turn your back and run UNLESS you are trained to do so. Try turning your back on a friend whilst fighting with Nerf... and see how many times you get bopped...

Enough of this. Learn to accept change, or don't.

But don't expect progressive players to care...

Gee, aren't 3e uber-munchkins sensitive? There's no need to get snippy.

Well, mate, I hate to break the news to you, but 2nd Edition was merely a consolidation of all the rules from the various 1st Edition sources (DMG, PHB, Unearthed Arcana etc.). So, if you liked 1st Edition why wouldn't you like 2nd?? It was the same system ... just consolidated, packaged and explained better. To those of you who didn't play, or didn't like 2e; that's sad.

Um, dumming down AD&D ain't 'progressive' ... unless you consider it a bit like sending off 'slow' people for special 'progressive' schooling. The fact that 3e players think of themselves as enlightened progressives sounds more like a cult to me than preferring 2e. Change is good when it is an improvement - 3e isn't an improvement.

As for resurrecting the hobby, considering that the tone, marketing and focus of the rules are designed to appeal to pimply-faced 14-year-old hack'n'slashers, I'm not sure that today's players will be tomorrow's - we all know that players tend to grow up and tire of Monty Haul gaming - although, we are talking about 3e munchkins here ...

And 3e still isn't D&D, WotC having the licence or not. Sticking a sign on the arse of a cow and calling it a 'kissing booth', doesn't make it one. Like I said in a post above: 'when you nip and tuck practically every part of the game, your Uncle Bob is now you Aunty Jane.' 3e is a different system that WotC stuck the 'D&D' logo on to sell it. Simple.

Enough of this. Learn to accept that 3e is a load of crud, or don't.

But don't expect ROLE-players to care ...


Fuck 3rd edition!!!!!!!! My friend showed me a game called Hackmaster. It's what 3rd edition should have been! It has all the 1st and 2nd edition rules from dungeons and dragons. I can use all my 1+2 edition books and they addend a lot of cool items. At least WotC sold them the rights to the old rules. If you love 1+2 Edition AD&D check it out. Death to WotC!!!!! Long live KENZER!!!!!!!!

Gamer, your right that game dose kick some major ass! I like the 20 hp kicker.

all forms of rpg's have problems...
make your own rules, to fix their problems. no one will come and steal your books if you dont use theirs

Geez, looking at many of the people in this horrendous and pointless debate, 3E, love it or hate it, is sorely needed. All I see is a bunch of bitter, hateful 30 something old fart gamers who are enraged that their precious game is being marketed to a new audience (a younger generation who was weaned on GASP Magic!). Who cares what these new gamers play as long as they keep the industry alive. As they grow older and discover new and better systems, they will keep supporting roleplaying in all it's forms. Calling the new generation of gamers "whiny, snot nosed brats" certainly doesn't bode well for the continued survival of our wonderful hobby, if that's how the "old guard" feel about young people revitalizing the industry. For shame!

I still say that the world is more important.
Yes, rules flavour the style of play (check out the difference in playing Runequest and playing Herowars) but its still the same world ( in the case of rq and Herowars: Glorantha) and les face it it doesnt matter what you play as long as you have fun :) Also , like dicegrunt says d&D3RD

DiceGrunt: I'd rather D&D died that when through the horrable transformation that happened. It wouldn't matter because I can't buy any of the new matterial anyway. As far as I'm concerned the game is dead. This crap with gnome paladins and sneek attacks are totaly stupid. and as for 30 year old farts, it's the same dumb asses buying who bought the last batch. Let's face it , if your intimidated by the Advance in Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, you shouldn't be playing. Fuck those snot nosed newbees!!! Learn to play the real way or not at all!! HACK ON MY 30 YEAR OLD OLD SCHOOLER BROTHERINS!!! TO HELL WITH DICEGRUNT AND HIS LIKE!!!! Go back to shoots and ladders or Candyland Junior, its about your speed... The Gamer

Damn straight, Gamer! 3E is a pile of shite - and so are the D***heads who play it.

So after 30 something comments we are down to this: calling each other names.
I almost feel ashamed calling myself a gamer if this is the reaction a gamer has against people with a other oppinion.

What upsets you so If you dont want anything to do with it dont pay attention to it. But it must have some value to you otherwise you wouldt be this upset (and you call people playing 3rd Edition zealous)

Oh, if The Sigil is still reading this, the chance of surprise for that situation is a roll of 1-5 on a d8. Or maybe it as 1-6 on a d8.

There's a rationale there somewhere... I think it's in a Dragon magazine somewhere.

Thanx Sigil you really have shown me the light i have now switched to 3e and am really happy with the change.

im in need of some valibule info. i need some monster sheets for me and some friends think u could help me out and send me not some but alot of everything u got? plz. im in desperate need. {teaching my friends to play and all i have r high lv. monster`s im going to restart with them and no extra money at the moment he;p a brother out??

Dalamar you see out, you should and stayed with 2E, or at least went to Hackmaster. With Hackmaster you can use all your 1E and 2E books. And as for Bazz, It's people like you and that piece of crap DiceGrunt that brought around this change. People that couldn't hack the game because it was too hard for them. Because of that I and forced to buy my stuff on e-bay. Wizards didn't think about us old schoolers at all. Thay made 3E as far as they could from 2E and 1E as possable to force you to buy the new crap. So be a sap and buy this new stuff. I didn't think that any true gamer would have went for it. For what is a gamer with out his books and rules? Just a dork playing with army men.

Well, after several months, I stick my head back in and things are going pretty much as I thought... a continuing rant of...

"2e sucks"

"no 3e sucks"

"no 2e sucks"

How marvelous. It might interest a few of you to know that I continue adding material to my gaming collection from all editions of D&D, from Shadowrun, Talislanta, Cyberpunk, Star Frontiers, White Wolf, Earthdawn, etc.

Basically, I can (and do) take good ideas from anywhere. My playing system of choice happens to be 3e - because it is a unified system with a consistent model of the "world." And before anyone says that I'm 3e-brainwashed, check out and you can see the character sheets for the homebrew system some of my friends and I used prior to 3e. Though it may be difficult to tell from the character sheet, the system was, basically, 3rd edition D&D... and we have been playing it since before 3e was a twinkle in WotC's eye.

I won't say either system is "better" - the only perfect system is called "real life." I merely said I prefer 3e - though I understand 2e, 1e, and oD&D perfectly and played them happily for 15 years, and still indulge myself in the occasional "nostalgic" session with some of my old players (when we are all in town, which is seldom now).

I am not intimidated by Advanced D&D. But it seems a great many here are intimidated by 3e.

The vitriol and such is unwarranted and ultimately useless. Argument usually tends to reinforce the belief of both parties that they are right. I have tried to raise questions that I thought were pertinent to the points I was trying to make - I believe AD&D is, ultimately, too complicated because it isn't consistent. Remember that many of the tables that found their way into 1e were simply cobbled, patched, ripped, and reused tables from old miniatures/war games... which is why you have the old nomenclature of MOVE: 12" being equivalent to a move of 120 feet - you are on a 10 ft to 1 inch scale. This is a direct descendant of miniatures gaming. So, yes, playing AD&D *is* like playing army men - it just has a few more rules. :-)

I find it hard to believe that people are *so* upset at the new edition... there are some substantial changes to the rules, but what were the rules there for? They were there to give you a resolution system that allowed a group of you to collectively take the same trip through a fantasy world. Nothing more. It doesn't particularly matter if the mechanisms that you use as the "laws" that govern the outcome of this fantasy are based upon miniatures rules (like 1e), based upon a set of rules that were originally based upon miniatures rules (like 2e), based upon "interactive storytelling" (like WW), based upon the random draw of cards (Everquest was it?), or something else (some of you believe 3e was based upon Magic:The Gathering - I'm not fully convinced of that yet, though undoubtedly there are pieces that seem to fit).

Is 3e the most realistic representation of reality I have seen? No. Is it one of the more simplistic? Perhaps. Is it flexible enough to handle a lot of situations? Yes.

Are most of 3e's Feats focused towards combat? Probably. Are most of its skills combat-oriented? Not so much... and to be honest, I found the old Master Set's Weapon Mastery rules much more "munchkin" than 3e Feats... though I do like the concept of weapon mastery since it reflects the different degree of practice people may have with various weapons.

And for the record, I felt psionics in 3e, while better balanced than in any previous edition, were some of the oddest, silliest rules I have seen. I would sooner use 2e rules than 3e rules. But I would even sooner use GURPS or Palladium psionics...

My point is, it really doesn't matter which system you like. And all the name-calling and swearing and chest-beating makes your position no more convincing. Continually belittling those who choose to use a different gaming system is just silly. I don't see most WWers calling GURPS players stupid (or vice versa). I don't see Palladium players calling out the manhood or maturity of Traveller players. Why the heck do we have a schism in the D&D community. Old oD&Ders, 1e players, 2e players, and 3e players are all convinced that theirs is the one "true" system. It's laughable, it really is. 2e is no more "true" D&D than "1e." 1e is substantially different than the original Gygax/Arneson rules. 1970s "Chainmail" is different. "3e" is different. The "Boxed Sets" are different. Heck, the Gazetteers for the Boxed Sets introduced skills - a concept not found in Basic/Expert/Companion/Master D&D. "Immortals" rules are another concept entirely from ALL D&D systems, including in the planar cosmology. Which of these, then, is the "true" D&D?

All of them. None of them.

Whatever edition of D&D you play is "best" because it's what you use to exercise your imagination. And whatever edition of D&D the guy next to you plays is "best" because it's what he uses. You use different vehicles to get to the same place and it's the destination and the route, not the method of transportation, that matters.

And on a VERY final note, I have not found a consistent formula for determining surprise based on different die rolls. There was a Dragon Magazine article (I have the CD archive) on it, but it was pretty arbitrary, IIRC. There is no hard and fast formula I can find (at least any formula involving sums, differences, multiplication, division, and/or squares) that leads for consistent, across-the-board results. Obviously, it's easy when one "side" gets special consideration (surprises or is surprised on a different number than normal) but it is much more difficult to impossible when both sides get special consideration. Still trying to figure out how it works with 7 in 8 versus 1 in 12 surprise... and before you call me stupid, come up with a formula that works in all cases - extreme examples are helpful - the surprise chance can't be greater than 100% for surprises on 99 in 100 meets surprised on 99 in 100, and can't drop below 0% on a surprises in 1 in 100 meets a surprised on 1 in 100. And in both cases above, the answers should NOT be 99 in 100 and 1 in 100 but closer to 9999 in 10000 and 1 in 10000. Oh, and make sure a 1 in 3 vs. a 1 in 3 comes out as a 1 in 3 chance (normal surprise chance). Trust me, it's nasty. I wish I could figure it out, I really do. :-(

The Sigil

Thx sigil, I could not say it that eloquent, but I believe you just made my point.

As a side note: I do own a serious amount of roleplaying systems (about 150), and I do play (or have played most of them). And my experience is that simple systems are good in promoting role-playing over poll-playing. My favourite system is not 3rd but (very old school) Runequest. So to save The gamer the trouble of namecalling: Yes you can munchkin in 3rd, but you can munchkin in all systems. And No I wont play most older D&Ds because I dont know the systems that well to roleplay iso pollplay.

Have a good game, everyone (as that is what its about people, just have fun)!! (and I even include rude people who let their loyalty to a game system cloud their better judgement)


I must be really chaotic today as I wrote rollplay as pollplay (twice even!)

sorry for the incoherent comment but I hope I got my point across :)

After a night of thinking:

Is loyalty to a game system a basis on wich to compare the roleplaying-enjoyment a gamesystem provides?

Or, is a gamesystem relevant to the fun you can have roleplaying?

Is roleplaying better than rollplaying?

And how do these questions relate to the question if Ad&D (or older D&D-systems) are now dead because there is a third edition?

What is an old schoolgamer?

Is there something everyone on this discussion can agree upon?

A thought on Charimsa...

How very munchkin to say "role-play charisma." IOW, "let me put a crappy score into charimsa so I can put a good score somewhere important." Why don't we let characters "role-play" intelligence and wisdom as well? Then you can have Clod the Barbarian with a ST, DX, and CN of 18 and IN, WI, CH of 3 - played by a player with an 18 Int... now you get Clod the Genius because "it's letting you do the role-playing." Please.

I think the best suggestion I have seen wasn't here - but by one of the 3e designers... he said, "roleplay the bargaining/negotiating session then have the DM assign a modifier based on how well you did." IOW, your ability to be diplomatic is still based on your character's CHA score, and good role-playing gives you a bonus. Best of both worlds - CHA still means something but so does role-playing.

Isn't it funny that Starkus, who screams MUNCHKIN MUNCHKIN MUNCHKIN right and left and 3e players wants to be MUNCHKIN MUNCHKIN MUNCHKIN in his 2e games?

If you take out Charisma as a game mechanic, you take out the need for a good score there - and open yourself to - gasp - roll-playing munchkins.

*Bows* Al?


I'm not entirely sure of Starkus's post (as I can't really be bothered to scroll through this entire document and look for it) but I'm not sure "role-playing Charisma" is necessarily an out for the Munchkin gamer.

For example:
Biff is playing Fred the Barbarian, who adheres to the Percussive school of Diplomacy. Fred's friends, being psychotic adventurer types, have burned down a general store because the store manager objected to their five-fingered discount. Fred, who is still free, decides to try to speak with the authorities and get his friends released.

Fred, unfortunately, has a 7 Charisma.

Now then, I can certainly see where "role-play" Charisma could be abused here, if Biff were, say, a skilled wordsmith and sweet-talker, even if his character isn't. Left to his own devices, Biff would give the guard a hefty bribe which would not only release his imprisoned friends, but get Fred a few moments alone for an intimate encounter with the guard's wife.

However, a competent GM would look at Fred's character sheet and say, "Look, Biff, buddy, not only is your Charisma a 7, but your Intelligence is a 5. You can't even spell Diplomacy, much less make use of the skill on the guard."

To which Biff would likely scratch his head and say, "Oh well, all right then, I hit him."

On the other hand, there is a use for Charsima rolls. For example, you have a very shy player who can't seem to say more than two words without turning red, yet somehow he winds up playing the Paladin with the 17 Charisma. The most he would say is, "Um...I tell the guard to let my friends go..." Not too convincing, but the paladin is quite the upstanding sort with the cleft chin and the flowing hair, etc., so he'd probably be able to get away with it. Make a Charisma roll.

And I just contradicted myself. D'oh! :)


Personally speaking, it's my experience that gamers, specifically RPG players, that zealously debate game mechanics and design purely on the basis of their publication/existence rather than actual game-time evidence shows: 1. A lack of understanding that WotC/TSR has for years EXPECTED DMs and players alike to use the texts as a framework of rules to be modified by their own judicious methods and for their own enjoyment (so if you like 2e,great. If not,great. BFD.) and 2. Actually shows that you spend most of your time creating nice, neat characters and scenarios on paper with meticulous penmanship rather than actually playing. You have to realize that unless you get you kicks as a D&D player at sanctioned convention tournaments, how you perceive the rules is sometimes, frankly, completely meaningless to a troupe of gamers across town who have been playing together in the same campaign for years who have their own stylized version of the game. I love roleplaying and contrary to popular belief it's very socially and spiritually fun to roleplay with good friends. Let's not all forget that.

RE- The Demise of Dungeons and Dragons

I'll say it again and again, alot of you who are bitching about the 3E are doing so before having tried it. I must admit I also had my doubts at first.

But come on you thought that THAC"0" was simple? Half the people who started playing needed a few games to get it right. Now it's simple roll a d20 add all your bonus and that is the AC you hit. Initiative is also simpler now (mind you I liked using the speed factors it added more realism but...)
Feats are great, they make for very flexible character building and it's not as bad as the Player's Options of 2E.

The problem is your resistance to change, that is all. You liked your game the way it was and the changes (although they make the game more accessible to new players) mean some complication for you since you must re-learn the game.

Predicting the demise of this game system is very unrealistic, having worked in a big gaming store I can asure you that 3E has actually rekindled the interest many gamers have for D&D.

Your last rant about Umber Hulks become Kings' pets, Elminster becoming a Necromancer and what not.
Well, that is up to you. I mean any DM can decide that Elminster is really a arcanoloth who's fooled us all for so many years pretending to be good or he or she can decide that in her or his game, Tiamat has a change of heart and decides to join the forces of good. Do like most gamers do with prefrab game settings, take what you want and adapt it to your needs.

But hey do as you wish folks it's your fantasys life :)

Me again,
I went through all the comments up above...
Jee it shows most of you complainers haven't tried the third edition.
A 16th level half-orc Barbarian/sorcerer/paladin/rogue will be a whole lot less powerfull than the same character with only one class. I don't see what the problem with this carreer path is (unless your the kind of DM who let's players change character class without roleplay, training and a good motivation to do so).

I too find that the rules may have been oversimplified, but they still allow you flexibility and now, as was mentionned by others, Charisma can mean something (especially to clerics).
I've had 2E clerics with abysmal Charisma scores (hey these guys are supposed to guide the flock, convert the heathens and all that).

As for the munchkin comments, I've been playing since 1985 and to my taste, 2E was much more "hack and slash" and "power player" oriented than 3E.

At any rate, a Maunty Haul campaign can happen with any game system. It's what you do with the setting and the players that make "real" roleplaying happen. I mean, we were able to get into Roleplay with games like Mech Warrior and even BloodBowl.
The roleplay happens outside the game mechanics and the product's appearance. As for Philippe Arsenault's comments...

Phil, tu me déçois, je pensais que tu pouvais voir au-delà de la mécanique du jeu. Just kidding man. And to think I gamed with this guy ;)

I'll say it again, RPGs are about having a fantasy life and playing hero a couple of times a week or once every other week as responsibilities start piling up ;)

Salut la gang!

Sam.....Are you Joking!!!! Tiamat Good?! Eliminster a Necomancer?!?! These are tride and true images of AD&D Man. Planescape, Dragonlance, Ravenloft, all of these things have been preveted, twisted or distroyed in Wizards new image. The game was fine how it was. I could see a few changes, that would have been fine, I'm not saying that 2E was frigen perfect, but I mean the tranformation was WAY too vast. I mean It's a whole diffrent game. Have you seen Hackmaster yet? Thats exactly what 3e should have been. It has new material without dramaticly making the game totally diffrent. Wizards left us old schoolers out in the cold. This was aimed at 12 year olds and girlfriends that game once every 2 years. I already know how to play, why should I shell out $20 a pop for a whole new set of 3E books. Why didn't they make it so I could easly use my old stuff. I don't know if you 3e lover know it or not but you got robbed! Take a look at your games man. I'll bet 2 years ago you dumb asses were killing monsters in a dungeon with a powerful character, and now your still killing monsters in a dungeon with powerful characters with one have hundreds of dollars missing from your pockets and wizards is laughing at you. So I'll keep 2e thanks and my hundreds of dollars. You all can have your gnomish 5th monk/ 3rd lv ranger/ 7th lv monkeyspanker. The Game

See Gamer that is exactly what I am refering to.

You stick to the old system for the sake of stability (just like americans refusing to use the metric system) even if a new system would make things simpler and get the job done.

I don't mean that Tiamat SHOULD be good (and trust me that would never happen in my game). But the fact remains that people are free to use the material as they see fit.

The point of image is good I must admit being surprised (ie puzzled and disaponted) at the image of Elminster WITH A HUGE SWORD AT HIS BELT???? I tell you in my game, he'll have no such thing.

I am not blind enough to miss the money grabing scheme behind 3E (but they are there to make money after all.)

As to the content of my games you are way off the mark man (and please keep the insults to yourself bud). Our game has at most 3 combats per session(on a rough night) and we often spend a night with very little dice rolling.

You're absolutely right about the 12 year old and girlfriend comment, but that was the aim right to make the game more accessible so the rules would not get in the way of game play (or role play for that matter). And now, I can have my girlfriend play with me without having to give her a course in statistics.

Incidentally how much of the core books could you still use once Player's Options came along? How much DID you use them in character creation? And how many Complete Books of (insert name for the money making excuse here) did you buy? Did you have to buy them all? I didn't (and I bought the stuff at cost back then).

Oh by the way, thanks for the suggestion of "monkeyspanker", where are the stats for that presige class again? :)

PS Sans Racune ti-gars.

To Ghost...

Where do you get all that "info" man!

I was reading the whole board and came upon your rant from feb,

"I would just like to say that I lothe Wizards of the coast. (blah blah blah). I know for a fact that in all of there stores that insted of selling 2E minuatures and books for 1/2 off or even just making them avalable, the employees were ordered to distroy them. (blah blah blah). "

What idiotic shop owner did that? Names man, names! Please. Because you do know for a FACT right? You wouldn't make this up rignt? You have seen it done right?

Come on guys all this name calling. I don't find anything wrong with liking 2e or 1st e, but calling people stupid or traitors or insulting their ancestry for disagreeing with you. That I find... narrow minded (to be polite). Some 3E advocates also use the name calling and "belittling" (that has to be spelled wrong, what the f... english is a second language to me after all).
Anywho, I like finding out what you folks' likes and dislike are about the various editions.

PS Has anybody noticed how similar the arguments of some of the pro 3E and pro 2E are to those of anti-gaming religious zealots who KNOW FOR A FACT they are right? Think about it folks. Remember the odd looks gamers get from some narrow minded people? Now read some of the above comments, reminds you of anything?

Cthulhu Matata.
Vive la différence :)

Sam... The Wizards of the Coast store in the mall near my house DID distroy these items. I have a friend that works there. They gave hima hammer and in the parking lot he smashed all of the 2E minuatures. The covers were torn off of the books and sent back to Wizards to show that they were distroyed and the manager had to sign a paper claiming that he witnessed the books being compressed in the trash compacter. I am not making this crap up. Go ask at your local Wizards store and you'll see.

And still the argument goes on. Just to let everyone know I have a 3e campaign running quite happily. It is a continuation of a campaign run under 2e rules. The only difference the players have noticed is that the character sheets are in a slightly different layout and they don't have to remember when to roll under or over a number. There are a few differences such as DC's but they tie in nicely with other games DC's so they are quite easy to work out (if you go into the maths, you'll find they are also easy to understand why they work). Oh and AC 20 is roughly the same as AC 0 was.

I'll admit I haven't used attacks of opportunity, beacause they are a bit more difficult to do if you don't draw a map for every fight, but I am thinking of intruducng them into the game. The characters that are playing are all quite powerful 8th level and in one case 11th level PC's. But then the campaign is quite powerful, with the occasional pit fiend etc to deal with and the odd rogue state to be diplomatic with.

The players are quite happy with it, after a couple of sessions to get used to it and the game is going from strength to strength. I still have all my old books and have the odd conversion from 2e to 3e to do, but apart from that it is business as usual. What is wrong with a gnomish 5th monk/ 3rd lv ranger/ 7th lv monkeyspanker? If the players want to play one and the DM doesn't mind it and believes the players justification for their character do be one, then as long as they are all having fun, who cares?? You obviously The Gamer. What gives you the right to tell anyone what to do in their game? If you don't want to play a gnomish 5th monk/ 3rd lv ranger/ 7th lv monkeyspanker then don't.

The atmosphere of the game does not come from the rules. It comes from the game background and the GM/DM.

You carry on playing 2e or indeed hackmaster (you seem to have some commission for selling it anyway), I'll carry on playing 3e D&D, Cyberpunk 2020, SLA Industries, ICAR and any other game that strikes my fancy, because unlike most other 3e players (apparently, not entirely sure myself), I play other systems. I have also had a go at just about all the various different ways of doing this hobby, including Tabletop RPG, Miniatures, CCG and LRP. Some, I don't like too much (CCG), but I don't call people who do, names.

I can underdstand that a game you know and love has been changed in this new addition, but any of your gripes about being able to and not being able to do something are irrelevent. If you want to do them do them and if you don't... then don't. Can't you decide what rule to use or not in a system, any system, not just AD&D/D&D? Even Hackmaster must have some problems...

Maybe you're annoyed that all this stuff that is coming out is not compatable with all that stuff you have spent loads of money on. Essentially 2e publications died with TSR. You would not have all these complaints if that was what had happened. The only stuff coming out of anywhere would be unofficial stuff written by fans of the game. But instead, we now have some official stuff being written and for those of use who are open minded enough to move over to the new rules or convert stuff back, this is a bonus.

If you want a debate, come up with a decent arguement, that doesn't revolve around "2e is best, 3e is crap, so there and you're an idiot if you say otherwise". Qualify your statements. Otherwise your just spouting a load of fascist, biggoted bollocks. I thought RPGing was supposed to exercise the mind. Maybe it's just the games you play.


Guys (no girls read this right!),
Just ignore the rules and play the GAME. I think we stoped using 95% of the rules of AD&D back in '83. Hits points are silly, the fact that someone moving slowly in a suit or armour is actually harder to hit is daft, the suggestion (a la 1st edition DMG)that I have to role my characters height and weight is daft, the fact that an immortal elf could only ever be a 10th level fighter was daft, but NO ONE IS GOING TO ARREST YOU IF YOU CHANGE IT... really trust me on this.
(by the way I happen to like the skills and powers from 2nd so long as you change them a bit and won't be buying 3rd since I am not overly keen on the cover.) WOTC always try to simplify they simplified Magic down to Pokemon and made a fortune and they dropped Jyhad because no one understood the rules for aggrevated damage.
We all have to face the fact that RPGs are for 11 year old high school kids and we should have stopped playing 20 years ago. LIve wit it.

Thats just my point my friend. You may have a great 3E champain and you may love it, but how long ave you been playing? Did you have much to loose when switching editions? Your probably only had like 4 books. Big dealt. The problem I have is that Wizards left me and people like me out in the cold with this new edition. They didn't even try to make it easy to trasfer old material with the new. I loved the players option series and enjoyed the fact that they had made several diffrent ways or rules to do diffrent functions in the game. But they made the new edition like magic the gathering, with stupid attacks that make no sence and other retarded dual classing abilitys. Now I have switch from the old Star Wars games to wizards version and I like this d20 crap for that type of system, but for D&D this is another frigen story. I hope you can understand where I'm coming from. The system changed and left me out. And to make matters worse they tried to force us to play 3e by distroying 2e stuff. They have no regard for Old Schoolers the games history so I want no part of them.

The Game,
All I have to say to you is WAAAAHHH!!! I have been playing since 1st ed. Understand that one? My books had pictures of demons on them. Gygax actually wrote the friggin manuals, and a lot of the artwork just plain sucked. I bought all of 'em though. Then 2nd ed came out. Bought it. Got sick and tired of the glut of crap material TSR was putting out and went away to play something else. Before getting tired of the glut, I spent roughly $700 as a minimum on 2nd ed. 3rd ed came out. Sold off my 2nd ed crap to my sister-in-law, cause she plays with a group that can't handle a little change, and am buying the new books. Have I wasted money along the way. HELL YEAH! YOU KNOW IT BABY!!! Have I felt cheated by the gaming companies? (All of them not just Wizards.) Shit yeah. You kidding? You should see some of the crap I have bought over the years. (Anyone want to buy some Highlander cards? Seriously, if you do, contact me. I write for this site, so my email address is around here somewhere.) Does this mean I am going to not play 3e because it was put out as a money making scheme. NO. That's all any of the gaming stuff was. IT WAS ALL A WAY TO MAKE MONEY FOR SOME GAME DESIGNER. If you want to bitch about a company changing editions and leaving you and support for your products out in the cold, try playing Games Workshop miniature games. Otherwise, go play with you dice. You either love the hobby and take your lumps, or you become an embittered old gamer that can't stop talking about the "good ole days". Morbus, please close this discussion off. PLEASE.

I Think I fit in to the 2nd catagroy of "Bitter old gamer ther remembers the Good old day". But, the good old days never ended until Novmber of 2000 when I went to my local gaming store and asked to order "Den of thieves" and they said that all 2nd edition books were out of print becasue the 3E players handbook came out. I see where your coming from with the games workshop people. I always knew those guys sucked so I stayed clear of them for all my gaming years. What ever, play what your going to play.


What has the crazy policy of destroying books (and I DO NOT like that) have to do with that company creating a good roleplaying game or not?

Ok its stupid to destroy @nd edition, but that doesn't make 3rd a bad game.

Damn this discusions are taking some strange arguments :P

The Gamer,

I have been playing for about 10 years, with the current campaign world running for about 7 years on and off. Number of books, well into double figures. So did I have much to lose, potentially "Yes". In reality I lost nothing though. As a GM I use the rules to determine whether a PC can do something that they might fail in. ie can they climb the wall, open the door, dodge the fireball etc etc. And for hitting people.

The fact that you could not get hold of "Den of Thieves" is unfortunate, though something you really should be used to by now. There are many games that are in the same state. Would you expect it to be otherwise? Just for sheer marketing reasons, they are not going to continue to print the old edition, just as a car manufacturer wouldn't make the old version of there car.

The rules are more open to "abuse" shall we say. Yes you can have completely odd and weird combinations of characters out there. That doesn't mean there needs to be. Just using multiclassing a character for example. For a player to become a 5th monk/ 3rd lv ranger/ 7th lv monkeyspanker (seems as good an example as any) they would have to go by the following route, 5 levels of Monk (I don't think they can go back to monk once they have started any other class). The player would then have to explain to me how he had suddenly become a ranger. Not only would he have to explain it but prove that he was now a ranger. In other words they will have to roleplay being a ranger for a bit, while they are gaining the XP they are going to spend on the level of Ranger. I am not sure how the roleplaying of being a monkeyspanker would go and I am not sure I want to, but you get the picture.

The ideal set of rules for a roleplaying game be it 2e or 3e or any other e for that matter should be as invisible as possible. 3e does this better than 2e for me. And the books help here as well. Lets take the stats for an Orc, a very simple entry of AC tells me it's got an AC of 14 (+4 Chainmail) I don't need any more than that. The player rolls and beats 14 they have hit. I know that the +4 comes from the chainmail it is wearing so if I want to add some flavour and have one Orc in chainmail, I know they have an AC of 12. All the stats for anything are like this. everything is added up and there is a brief explanation of how it was worked out if you want to change something. This is much better than it was in 2e where you just got AC 6 and no explanation.

The character sheets are the same, you can see where all the modifiers come from. Yes, there are a number of modifiers, but are there really more than 2e? Once they are worked out though, they are done. It isn't that difficult to convert stuff, there are large similarities between the systems. I have not had any major difficulties in doing it and as I have got to know the new system better it becomes even easier. MIst of the old spell are still there, fighting is pretty similar... Conversions for characters are covered in the booklet they give away free. It didn't take me long to convert a 5/6 lvl Fighter/Mage elf with a number of magical items and kit. I did this on first attempt about a day after getting the books. Do you have such complicated thing in 2e rules? Why have they left you out, you old gamer you? I don't feel left out and I have been playing the game for years. Yes it's a bit of an arse having to buy new books, and I'll admit I got them cheap, but it is still the same game if you want it to be.

Why is the conversion to Star Wars easier? It's the same bloody system, large tracts of the books are identical! I'll admit rolling 1d20 is a lot easier than a bucket load of d6. I think you place too much emphasis on the system and not enough on the game. Climbing a wall in Star Wars is the same as doing it in D&D, both in game terms and now in terms of rules. I am not saying the system is perfect, but it does help the game run smoother and faster. You'll need to explain yourself more here, because I can't see how it can be OK for Star Wars and not D&D...

The Gamer, this is not necessarily directed at you.

THAC0 was not a right of passage as I have seen people say. It's an admission that it added complexity to the game. And it did. New players didn't know half the time if 20 was a good die roll or a bad one. Bollocks to the "It selected the boys from the men" statements that people have been spouting, who cares! A complex plot and senario involving many plot twists and difficult problems does that!


Who ever wrote that THAC0 is a "rite of passage" was very cleaver. I always thought that way and this is a perfect term for it. I hope you don't mind if I use it. I have to admit that WotC is becoming a little more leaniant that they were a year ago when this site was first posted. has added a site that allows you to download 1st edition stuff for free. They also allowed Kenzer Co. to write games with the 1st and 2nd edition rules. I still don't like the company and still won't use any of the matterial, but I've come to the point that my lothing has turned to mere hatred. Hell my games hasn't changed at all. I just wished they would have improved the 2e system other than coming up with a whole new one. I still hate 3e but,...what the hell am I going to do about it. Enjoy your games guys whatever you play. For some day, many years from now. You'll be shocked to learn that your edition is no longer profitable, and all the books that you hoped would someday come out....never will, for 4th edition has come along.

I think 3e is too simple and not as realistic as 2e.AND I KNOW what I'm talking about because I own all of the D&D 3E core rule books.For me, I just use the rules I like from both 2e&3e, so I get the best of both rules.I liked AD&D 2E but I think they gave the humans too many advantages.I think level limits were kinda stupid.

Well you guys I have a big one for you all,
Have any of you all gone off and read the new Magic of Fearun? Well I have, and my heart almsot stopped. Did you all know that according to WOTC, Mistra the god a magic, was killed in Waterdeep fighting evil gods over the tablets of fate!. If anyone had there eyebrows raised then you know where I am coming from. Page 5. sub-topic "The Time Of Troubles".

"Mystra killed in Waterdeep fighting evil gods over the tablets of fate..."

Um, yes... this was in the Shadowdale/Tantras/Waterdeep trilogy by Ed Greenwood... all of the crap that went on in these books was the rationalization to get the Realms from 1st edition into 2nd edition... After all, the rules changed (horrors! imagine a game company changing the rules to D&D) - for example, all assassins were killed by a god (Bhaal)... barbarians and monks disappeared... because 2e no longer supported them.

Bane died, and Cyric, a mortal, took his place (along with the areas of Bhaal, god of assassins and Myrkul, god of the dead). Kelemvor wasn't a god, he was a werepanther. I guess TSR/WotC decided to raise him to god status later (I forever swore off keeping up on the Forgotten Realms after the munckinesque disaster that was the Avatar Trilogy). Midnight became the "new" Mystra. If you grab the old Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (hardback) for 2e, you will note that it has a LOT of notes on "how to convert from 1e to 2e" - what to do with an assassin character (let him survive but be unable to progress in assassin abilities or just say he was killed when Bhaal sucked the life force of all assassins), what to do with a barbarian, cavalier, or monk character (boils down to "let him be the last of his kind, or, preferably, take him out of the game because he's overpowered"). Introduced the "major missile" spell because now "magic missile" had a damage cap on it ("mages discovered magic missile was no longer as nastily effective at high levels")... under 1e rules, a 20th level caster flinging magic missiles had 10 missiles... that's 20-50 no-save / automatic points of damage from a 1st level spell!

You get the idea. All of these people who are screaming and moaning about how 3e is a radical departure from 2e forget that 2e was a departure from 1e. Not only that, but a rather heavy-handed one (the "party line" was something along the lines of "if your character doesn't fit with the new rules, ditch him and start over, you munchkin"). At least 3e tries to convert characters and isn't quite so heavy-handed - instead it's "if your character isn't supported by the rules, try to find something similar and just use that instead, even if it's not normally allowed."

If your jaw dropped at the Magic of Faerun, you are simply ignorant of your own system. The "Time of Troubles" is not, I repeat NOT of WotC's doing, but of TSR's back around 1990 when they were trying to get everyone to convert from 1e to 2e. So don't say WotC is "changing history" in the Realms... those who know the realms know that, if anything, WotC is adapting the 3e system to fit all the crap that went on in the TSR/2e era of the FR (including the novels). And they are certainly not practicing revisionist history, at least as far as that goes.

But don't get me started on the Shadow Weave - it's a nice idea, but that IS revisionist history... but then again, the Realms have *ALWAYS* been subjected to revisionist history... all of the histories keep getting expanded and changed to include more and more feats by the great (munchkin) heroes of the Realms - at one point, Elminster was just a wizard... now he's been a Chosen of Mystra and a Lover of Mystra (despite earlier having been linked romantically to the Simbul).

I guess what I'm saying is that while TONS of revisionist history has been practiced on the Realms over the years, most of it extraordinarily annoying and downright stupid in order to bring the "game" into line with the glut of poor novels (instead of the other way round, which BTW, I feel it ought to be), this particular piece of revisionist history belongs to TSR, and NOT WotC. If you want revisionist history from WotC, look at the entry about Shar and Mystra being opposed sisters from the beginning of time.

Ugh. And people wonder why I don't play in the Realms. How can I use a campaign setting where they're always adjusting the facts to fit their own stories instead of adjusting their stories to fit in with the facts?

--The Sigil

Oh, don't get me wrong - I love the spells, and magic items, and "game mechanic" ideas from the Realms and I rip these freely to put into my own campaign setting (with its CONSISTENT history), but darned if you'll ever catch me running a Realms campaign where I have to change the history every year to keep up with the latest popular novel. (First Curse of the Azure Bonds, then the Avatar Trilogy, then the Moonshaes, then Drizzt the "good" drow - even though my understanding of drow in 1e was that they were completely corrupt BY NATURE due to a taint from the demon queen Lolth - then Spellfire, then "Elminster as ubiquitous historical figure who by the way regularly mingles with Gods" - heck, just make the guy a Greater Power already and get it over with... blah...)

The "flavor of the month" of revisionist history in the Realms is horrific at best and downright idiotic at worst.

--The Sigil

There's a big problem with all of your arguing and's all up to personal taste. I don't like tomatos...I'm sure some of you agree or disagree with me, but none of you can tell me I should or shouldn't like tomatos. Because the fact of the matter is, I don't...I vomit if I eat them...simple enough.

I play Hackmaster, personally, and I like it, and that's what matters. I doubt I'll pick up 3e, and that's ok, because I don't have to. I've found a system I like and I'm going to play it. I've flipped through 3e at the bookstore, but I just don't have the volition to buy it. Heck, I may someday. I'm not technically an old-school gamer...I never played AD&D 1e, or 2e back in the "glory days" of TSR. I've read about those days, but I was born in 1977. And I just never got into the hobby. Hell, I started out playing Battletech when I was 15, and moved to Phantasia. (Based on the Darksword Trilogy by Weis and Hickman.) and then I moved to MERP. I don't align myself with any of these systems. I play what I feel like playing. It's that simple.

And for all of you who say you feel that WotC doesn't care about're right. They don't care about you. If you don't like 3e, then they don't care at all whether you grump or complain, or pitch whatever fits you like...3e was not designed for you. If you were playing D&D back when Gygax and Arneson first wrote it, then you're older then the kids nowadays who were raised on computer games and such, and as such have fewer years (on average) than these kids to buy and play RPG's. It's a cost-analysis strategy. If WotC had decided to print another version of 1st or 2nd edition AD&D, then only you old-school gamers would have picked it up. Most young kids wouldn't have looked twice at it. And that means that the hobby (which isn't doing so well, on average) would have completely shut down in a couple of years. As it stands, some of these kids start playing D&D3e and then maybe they move back to OD&D or AD&D 1ed or 2ed, or maybe they stick with 3e, but the hobby is prolonged. (Granted, they're hoping that a couple of "old-school gamers" agree with them and buy their product. Because very few kids are going to pick up role-playing unless they're pointed to it by someone else. And they've accomplished that...I've heard and seen many a story of people switching from many systems to 3e.) You cannot be everything to all people, but you can be something to some people. And it is up to each individual and company to decide what they want to be to what people. WotC has thrown in their lot with the next generation. And maybe that sucks for some of you...sorry. It's life. Every company chooses a niche to fit into. If it's not your niche, you feel betrayed, and that just bites, but it's life.

And yes, they exist to make money...that's why they still exist. Maybe you don't like their marketing strategies or stuff they put out, and they don't care. It's not for you, and I recommend you don't even think about it. (Since it obviously makes many of you so irate.)

The rules make the system, the rules don't matter, the art rules, the art makes no difference, the "feel" of the game has changed, it hasn't changed at all, WotC is amazingly fantabulous, WotC is borne of Satan...all of these _OPINIONS_ are not mutually exclusive. They are opinions, and it shows why there is such a variety of games out there. Now what I do NOT like is the number of games that are converting to d20. (Not because I like or dislike the system, but because it begins to limit the number of options people have.) But remember that you people are all different and as such have different opinions and all these opinions have merit to you...but not to others. :) L8er.


P.S. I think Hackmaster rules, and for anyone out there who doesn't like 3e, or who likes 3e, but occasionally still feels like playing 1e or 2e every once in awhile, Hackmaster is a viable option from a company that really cares about their customers. (Not comparing Kenzer to anyone...I just like their company and their product.)

--Well, I have to say that it's interesting to have stumbled upon this little corner of the internet. For the most part, this is the only place with a significant "anti-3e" population.
--I think the fact that the first post here was before the release of the game is particularly telling.

--For my part, I'd argue that DnD 3e is an empirically BETTER system than 1e or 2e. A set of RPG rules is really an "interface" between a group of players and reality. The players provide inputs to the reality being simulated, and the game returns results.

--In the world of interface design, there are certain FACTs with regards to what makes an interface good, and what makes an interface bad.
--Example: Common sense dictates that higher numbers are "more" or "better," while the reverse is true of low numbers. In 1e and 2e we have THAC0 and AC. The lower these are, the better. This is unintuitive. You may be used to it, it may be more intuitive to you NOW, but the basic fact is that it is not intuitive. Speaking from experience, I can tell you that the transition to the new rules is pretty fast, so really there's no reason not to switch. The new system is better, it's more intuitive, and there's really no functional difference. A roll means the same thing in both versions.
--Example: Commonality of interface and behavior is easier to work with. In 1e and 2e we have bizzare arbitrary tables for character attributes. Hell, we have one attribute, Strength, which doesn't even use the same scale as other attributes. This is poor design. In 3e, not only do stats use the same scale, but they provide bonuses at identical rates. With a little experience a player can know off the top of his head that 16 means +3. Now, sure we all pretty much memorized the 1e and 2e tables after hours of exposure to them, but that doesn't make the design smart.
--Example: Grouping and categorizing is more efficient and easier. The system for bonuses in 3e is vastly better than anything in 1e or 2e, and it speaks to the degree of organization that WotC has implemented. The rule is simple. Like "named" bonuses don't stack. A +3 armor bonus doesn't stack with a +1 armor bonus. You just use the +3. But a +3 armor bonus stacks with a +2 deflection bonus. You have a +5 to AC. Easy, elegant and fast. In 1e/2e there's not even a system to handle this.

--Most of the complaints I see here refer to "heaps of confusing bonses" and stuff like that. This is fiction. Your character sheet has an easy worksheet to compute the various modifiers to your initiative. You sum them up and write that down. When init is rolled, you toss a d20, and add this on. Roll a die, add a single number. If that confuses you, then you should probably start wearing a helmet. It's rather odd to me that you'd hit upon initiative as a failing of 3e, when it's clearly one of the areas of most marked improvement.


It really doesn't matter what he said after this. My point is that he says this once and then proceeds to talk about his OPINIONS as though they are FACTS. (He even incorrectly uses the word facts in his posts.) This is what I was talking about in my posts. I'll make this point once more. And then I'll just laugh at the morons who say these types of things afterwards.


Well how I feel about it now is really all that matters to me isn't it??? Who gives a rat's tail whether it's ACTUALLY intuitive now. Someone who has spent years learning something and when he sees something, it's unfamiliar, and he doesn't see a reason to switch everything he's ever player over to a new system. See, I've never even looked at the d20 stuff. I may not. But I DO know that people who don't like it don't even have to have a freakin' reason for not liking it. They just don't. For anyone who argues with someone who says they don't like 3e, this is for you:


Do you people understand this?? You can like something, but to say something like this...


This is "clearly" a freakin' opinion!!! Who are you to be some sort of a thought-nazi about what other people think. If I think that the initiative system of 3e sucks my butt, then you really can't say that I don't think that, can you????

I say again because I'll no doubt be confused with someone who hates 3e. I don't. I like 1 and 2e, but I've not looked at 3e yet. But it irks me when people think that they can dictate people's likes and dislikes to others. That's it.

(Geez, I must have had a stressful day at work or something.) :)


I apologize for the previous post. Apparently, browsers interpret inequalities symbols as HTML. My quotes should have listed as follows:

[For my part, I'd argue...]

[You may be used to it, it may be more intuitive to you NOW, but the basic fact is that it is not intuitive.]

[It's rather odd to me that you'd hit upon initiative as a failing of 3e, when it's clearly one of the areas of most marked improvement.]

Again, I apologize for using a bad character to quote using.


[[ My point is that he says this once and then proceeds to talk about his OPINIONS as though they are FACTS. ]]
--There's opinion and there's fact.
--Opinion: 3e is a more fun game than 2e.
--Fact: 3e is a better system than 2e.
--There are basic facts of interface design. It's a simple fact that things like intuitiveness, continuity, commonality of interface and consistency are hallmarks of good interface. The more of these "good design elements" a game posesses, the better the system is. I never said that 3e is more fun. There's nothing I can say to somebody who considers 2e more fun, besides "to each his own." But if people try to claim that 3e isn't a better, smoother, more intuitive, more flexible and more consistent SYSTEM, then they are factually incorrect.
--All these games are just systems. It's up to the players and DM to breathe life into the system and make it fun. If you can't have more fun with a system that's empirically better, and instead have a better time working with a kludgey collection of rules hacks, then that's fine. I absolutely am not telling you what YOU think is more fun. However I am telling you what you should think is a better thought out system. I am further telling you that if you don't like 3e better then you should re-evalute your views, because not liking something that's better in almost every quantifiable way is somewhat odd.

[[ See, I've never even looked at the d20 stuff. ]]
--Why would you even say this? You're basically castrating your own argument by saying "hey, I'm ignorant, but here's the truth." You don't know anything. Why post?

[[ Who are you to be some sort of a thought-nazi about what other people think. ]]
--I'm not a thought-nazi, but if the nazi party happens to have a position open in the Office of Incompetent Misreading, I'd suggest you send your resume in, and attach this URL as a reference to just how much of a talent you posess when it comes to missing the point.

--What is and is not intuitive is not a matter of opinion. Research psychologists, army engineers, ergonomics experts, and interface designers have spent thousands upon thousands of man hours determining what makes interfaces understandable and intuitive. There are basic facts and rules of interface design that guide the construction of computer systems, aircraft cockpits, ATM kiosks, and toaster ovens. If you make a toaster that cooks LESS on a setting of 10 than on a setting of 1, that's unintuitive, and that it's unituitive is a FACT.
--Admittedly there's grey areas on the edge of intuition where some people might be more confused than others, but the basics are simple, and not open to interpretation. Admittedly there will always be some people who fall outside the norm, and don't operate under normal rules of psychology. You don't write your game for these people. The term, "intuitive" implies in its very meaning, the idea of repeatability. Something is not intuitive if it's easily understood by one person. It's intuitive when it's easily understood by the large majority.

[[ But it irks me when people think that they can dictate people's likes and dislikes to others. ]]
--I wonder if it irks you when people think they can read somebody's post, and despite being completely uninformed on the subject, unwilling to read carefully and understand, and generally of limited reasoning capacity, these people still think they have a right to get preachy and elitist?

3rd edition is a methodology for an open-ended, extensible execution system. In fact, 3E/D20 could really be applied to any sort of simulation you could imagine (and is, frequently).

2nd edition is a collection of rules and assertions for performing certain, pre-defined actions within a pre-defined setting.

Feel free to have your opinion on what's better for creating a gaming experience wherein anything can and should be able to happen; I know what I'll pick.

Whoever commented about Star Wars conversion being easy--what are you talking about? The d6 and d20 SW systems are more or less completely incompatible!

The WEG game was one of the first of the cinematic RPGs. PCs were nearly impossible to kill and had the ability to use xp and Force Points to alter their skill chances.

The d20 Star Wars, since its fundamentally identical to D&D3, is far less forgiving and character death WILL be far more frequent than under the d20 system.

Even if one was able to convert a favorite character from the WEG to the d20 Star Wars, they would have to play that character so differently that they might as well use a brand new character.

Besides, isn't the official "world" of the d20 SW 30+ years before the WEG game setting?

I still don't like 3E. The arguments made in its favor above, however, I'll concede. The die rolls themselves are more streamlined.

Unfortunately, feats, skills, and class abilities result in a number of special maneuvers only marginally smaller than the number of atoms in the galaxy. The inclusion of Magic:The Gathering type "Power Combos" disgusts me, and I've found I need to flip around the PHB far more when generating a character or levelling up: Level breaks are on one page, then your bonus feats (if any) are listed under class, then you flip back to see your bonus feats/extra Characteristics just for level. Add the stats on the one page to those under your class, etc.

Also, there's no mechanic for a GM to delete feats or skills they might not like. It really seems to break 3E's game balance to do so. Since the designers seem to have no problems CREATING new skills and feats, this may present problems in the future--remember Car Wars once efveryone had cloning and Gauss weaponry?

In particular, I really feel Search, Spot, and Listen should be one General Perception skill--doing it as 3 skills makes it a point sink.

That said, I do have some admiration for the system, but feel they didn't go far enough in some ways.

Personally, I'd have liked to see the d4 consigned to the lowest layer of hell never to be seen again, and give mages a d6.

But, then, I also feel the Sorcerer is what magic-users should've been all along. Choosing spells ahead of time blows chunks.

Finally, I'm very troubled that 3E enthusiasts get more personal about this system. For instance; I play a lot of Hero. On many occassions, players might express problems with the system, and I'll address their concerns. Maybe some players flat out hate the system. That's fine with me. I won't hate you for it.

Many 3E people, should you express less than total approval of the system, actually get angry or argumentative. I've sensed this several times since the release, and brushed it off as perfectly normal paranoia until other people began mentioning it too.

It's beginning to scare me almost as much as religion does. I don't think it's good for people to believe things that strongly. I'll shut up now, since I've rambled almost a full page.

This page has provided me with some very useful insights into a game I have grown to love. I will admit I am not a hard core gamer and have not played religiously every week for 10-15 years. I have, however, GM'd games in both 2e and 3e I have found that my players and I enjoy the streamlined rolls of 3e better. A few had a huge problem understanding THAC0, and when to roll under a number or over it. So in this instance we have found that 3e does take alot of the guess work out and keeps the GM from having to search through 3 or 4 different tables to find the right information. This system keeps all focused on the roles that each are playing and not on what roll is right.

I have also found that they did leave alot of the things that I did like about 2e out of 3e. Like weapons speed and casting times, even some of the magic items and spells are no longer in the core rule books. I have since modified them to fit into the campaign currently running. I didn't not find them all that difficult to do so, and I am planning on working the weapon speed and casting times into the initative. (Any suggestions??)

For those that are saying that they haven't even looked at the system and are making judgements, my suggestion is to take a good look at them both and you might find things about it you do like and things you don't. You're the GM, take what you like and throw out the rest. It's your world, its what you make of it.

To those that are bashing WoC, you may not like the company (and I'm not telling you you should and I really don't have an opinion one way or the other), but I appreciate what they did in simplifying the game, they have taken the decreasing base of gamers and made it broader. I hadn't picked-up my books in years until I started playing with a younger group of people that had just gotten 3e. I have one player that has made the transition very easy and loves the way the game moves. I have another, a hard core gamer from 1e and he is having a little more difficulties but he is getting it. I just goes to show that not everyone will have an easy time with this new edition, some will probably never want to change and thats ok, to each his own.

Well that just my two cents....take it for what it's worth and make your own decisions, don't try and force your decision on others.


[[ Unfortunately, feats, skills, and class abilities result in a number of special maneuvers only marginally smaller than the number of atoms in the galaxy. ]]
--I fail to see how this is unfortunate. Back in 2e, the game very much suffered from a cookie cutter character situation. The only real difference between to 5th level fighters would be their items and attributes. In 3e, you have feats and skills thrown into the mix, plus a much simpler multiclassing system, all of which adds up to characters that are as different as real people are.
--In fact, one of the best things 3e does is add skills. In 2e there was basically two ways to make your name. Martial skills (boosting THAC0, damage, items), and spells (wizard spells, or cleric spells). Now in 3e, we add a skill system to the mix, allowing PCs to do more than just hack and cast. Now you can sneak, con, appraise and use all manner of trickery and talent to attain your goal. Why on earth would you claim that is a bad thing?
--If that's a problem for your game, then I don't know what to tell you. Most people appreciate variation and flexibility in a system. Perhaps you don't. Maybe you could create game called "Heads and Tails" where you can create a character that's either a head or a tail, and then you can flip a coin to see who wins a fight. That should be a suitably small set of variables for you to deal with, I think?

[[ Level breaks are on one page, then your bonus feats (if any) are listed under class, then you flip back to see your bonus feats/extra Characteristics just for level. ]]
--Considering how much bitching about "dumming down" the game I hear, this is pretty laughable. One second it's "too easy" to figure out, next it's too hard. If you guys are gonna be elitists about being able to figure out THAC0, then I'd hope you could also figure out feats and attribute boosts. You get a feat every three levels, plus bonus feats by class. You get an attribute bonus every four. That's not very hard to figure out. You're grasping at straws here. The problem isn't with the system, it's with you.

[[ Also, there's no mechanic for a GM to delete feats or skills they might not like. ]]
--As opposed to 2e where the mechanic was "delete everything, cause it's all bad?" Every roleplaying game, by the very fact that it is a roleplaying game, comes with good old "rule zero." The most basic rule of RPGs is "if you don't like it, don't use it." Don't like the cleave feat? Don't allow it in your game. That's how simple it is. What do you want the game to have? A section that suggests different ways to use the english language to say "this isn't allowed in my game?" Again you're grasping at straws.

[[ In particular, I really feel Search, Spot, and Listen should be one General Perception skill--doing it as 3 skills makes it a point sink. ]]
--It's pretty clear at this point in your post that you don't have the experience with 3e and possibly with RPGs in general to make a very qualified assessment. Sounds to me like you read the rulebooks and decided it was no good. That's fine, I looked at them and was somewhat skeptical too. At first. Then I realized I was holding something special.
--So why three skills? The reason this was done, is because the buy system for skills is even across all skills. The scaling has to be done within the scope of the skill. The designers felt that a narrowing of focus with regard to "perception" was necessary for game balance. If they hadn't done this, then spending a point in "General Perception" would be worth more than a point in "Jump." That's a bad thing. Notice also that these skills have analogs as well. Listen - Move Silently. Spot - Hide. Etc. The fun of RPGs, is making choices and having those choices impact the game. If one feat or skill is clearly better than others, the element of choice is somewhat diluted. You apparently don't understand this, as shown here, and below in your comments about memorizing spells.
--But, on the positive side, so far this is the best point you've made, if only because it's not as transparently obvious that you're wrong.

[[ Personally, I'd have liked to see the d4 consigned to the lowest layer of hell never to be seen again, and give mages a d6. ]]
--Constitution gives a +1 to hp per level at only 12. Getting an automatic maximum roll for hp at first level is a standardized rule now. More straws, more grasping, yet still nothing worth saying.

[[ But, then, I also feel the Sorcerer is what magic-users should've been all along. Choosing spells ahead of time blows chunks. ]]
--Funny you should mention that, cause it reminds us that 3e has nearly twice as many classes as 2e. Not only that but it introduces prestige classes, which are clever as hell, and absolutely humiliate the embarrassment that was 2e "kits." The kit is pretty much the pinnacle of the 2e rules hack. I suppose I might mention here that there's a nearly perfect balance of power between classes in 3e too, and that multiclassing is quick and easy without upsetting game balance.
--As far as memorizing spells ahead of time, this is a basic concept of gaming. Planning ahead, and then seeing your plans come to fruition is fun. Have you ever even played an RPG before?

[[ Many 3E people, should you express less than total approval of the system, actually get angry or argumentative. ]]
--Hmmm, you think? Let's check this very thread to see if your point is valid.

"That's why DND3 is perfect for little dummies like you." -Starkus
"3E sucks and so do people who play it. " -Starkus
"PPL GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEADS D3 SUX D2 RULES.....its so sad that you ppl need things simplafied for you.......the makers of d3 need to stick to card games.........." -geo
"We can start a war against the pathetic 3E'ers right now in an awesome place. " -Captain Magic

--Care to reconsider?

Marc, you hit the nail on the head when you said that 3e players are 'angry or argumentative'. The fact that a few non-3e roleplayers choose to share our dislike of 3e on this post, Jack, doesn't change the reality that 3e players tend to go OTT if you dare 'express less than total approval' of 3e. The conversation usually goes something like this:

3e Munchkin: "Yeah, I play 3e."
Roleplayer: "Really? Not that fond of it myself."
3e Munchkin: "Why in the [fill in the blank] hell not?!"
Roleplayer: "Gee, settle down mate. I just think that the ...."
3e Munchkin: "I don't give a monkey's what you think! 3E RULES!!"

Sound familiar? It's as if they know it blows, they know it's for 12-year-olds making the crossover from MtG, they know that 3e's 'roll-a-dice, add-a-modifier' mechanics are ho hum and all been done ... but they just can't bring themselves to admit it. I've seen this happen, personally, a number of times and I've heard similar stories - the evidence is beginning to stack up.

"Back in 2e, the game very much suffered from a cookie cutter character situation. The only real difference between to 5th level fighters would be their items and attributes .... Now in 3e, we add a skill system to the mix, allowing PCs to do more than just hack and cast. Now you can sneak, con, appraise and use all manner of trickery and talent to attain your goal." - Jack

Hmmm, I've made this point before, but I can remember a time, oh, you know, way off before MUNCHKINS & MONSTERS (a.k.a. 3e), when ROLEPLAYING (the PC's history, personality etc.), not skills or feats (or any other kiddie MtG like additions), was the important differences between PCs .... not by comparing whose Uber-PC's got the best min/maxed combo of feats and skills. And I always thought it was meant to be ROLEplay not ROLLplay. Silly me.

What's the problem with PC Kits? They were useful to help give a guide to ROLEplaying your PC. They were never meant to be sub-classes or a 2e equivalent of prestige classes. Take the following examples of some kits for elven PCs from the 'Time of the Dragon' boxed set (which detailed Krynn's lost continent of Taladas). The kits were simply used to give information to distinguish between cultures:

Cha'asii Kit (mage) - savage wild elves who live in the jungles of the Neron Peninsular.
Elf Clan Wizardress (mage) - nomadic horsemen elves from the plains of Tamire.
Sivanaes Qualith Kit (fighter/mage) - sophisticated civilised elves from Armarch-nesti.
Hulderfolk Kit (fighter/mage) - ancient and secretive woodland elves of Southern Hosk.

The above examples are all elven 'mages' or 'fighter/mages' but from radically different cultures. Each kit merely outlined the basic proficiencies and equipment, as well as some social beliefs, that a PC from that culture would begin with, "thus, characters from the Uigan people are assumed to be skilled riders, while those of the Payan Mako can handle small boats. The Uigan would favour the short bow and the lance; the Payan Mako the spear and club." (p.8 Rule Book to Taladas)

Only a munchkin would have looked for any of the tiny advantages any particular kit might or might not have contained.

And for Gawd's sake, what's the problem with THAC0?! "Oh, it's all to hard. I get sooo confused ..." Subtract the your opponents AC from your THAC0. Roll 1d20 and compare. If the roll was equal or higher - you hit. Con-bloody-gratulations. Geez, even a friggin' Kiwi can do that! The fact that you 3e munchkins couldn't cope with THAC0 explains a lot.


[[ The conversation usually goes something like this: ]]
--Blah blah blah blah... Did you read my post? I see far more examples of rabid and insulting 2e fans in this thread than the reverse. I posted quotes. You seem to think that just by saying things, they become true. Let me post another example: "The fact that you 3e munchkins couldn't cope with THAC0 explains a lot." Even YOU throw insults, and yet you can't see it happen.
--So, do me a favor. Let me know if you're going to pay any attention to what I say, and if you're planning to read it with any degree of congnitive ability. If not, I won't waste our time by trying to talk some sense into you.

[[ And I always thought it was meant to be ROLEplay not ROLLplay. Silly me. ]]
--While this is all very cute, and I'm sure you think it's very clever, it's completely ass backwards. My point about the 2e cookie cutter characters is that they are an impediment to ROLEplaying. The reason you have a character sheet, is to provide formal numbers for the character you are going to breathe life into during the course of the game. It gives you hints on how to play the character. If your character is a slimy con man, 3e provides you with rules to simulate this in game, as well as to spell it out in his statistics.
--You still can roleplay all the devious lines your con man character spits out, but with 3e you now have rules to guide the DM in resolving the results of that roleplaying, and if you've built your character in keeping with his in game personality, then he should succeed in his Bluff rolls more often than a character with a less glib tongue. That's better. It makes roleplaying more important, as it demands an explanation for how and why your character is good at bluffing. The skills serve as a constant reminder for who your character is, so when you're presented with a problem, and you look at your sheet for relevant abilities, you see more than just THAC0 and spells. You see skills in diplomacy and stealth, and other roleplaying oriented solutions.
--But all this basic logic aside, your point is still basically useless. The quality of the roleplaying in your game is mostly based on the players and their ability and inclination to do so. Neither 2e nor 3e guarantees roleplaying or a lack thereof. To say so, as you do, is foolish. However, 3e provides more detail and variation, giving a good roleplayer more to work with, and in this regard it is an improvement.

[[ What's the problem with PC Kits? They were useful to help give a guide to ROLEplaying your PC. ]]
--Are you even listening to yourself? You are saying here that kits make for better roleplaying. Somehow, when it's called a 2e kit, and it adds more detail to a 2e PC, that's great for roleplaying. But when it's called a 3e skill, or a 3e feat, or 3e prestige class, and it adds more detail to a 3e PC, that's ROLLplaying. Pretty big double standard, huh?
--The only difference between 2e kits and 3e prestige classes is that the prestige class is better thought out, and integrates more smoothly. Basically the prestige class is kits done better. If kits are good in your opinion, then prestige classes are even better.

[[ And for Gawd's sake, what's the problem with THAC0?! ]]
--Back to THAC0 you go, once again.
--It's not that THAC0 is hard to figure out, it's just that it's pointlessly unintuitive. Why should a 1 THAC0 be better than a 20? It doesn't make a lot of sense. Is it hard to figure out? No, not at all. But why keep doing things backwards, just cause you've been doing them backwards? Why don't we call clerics "fighters" and fighters "clerics." It wouldn't be hard to remember that they've been reversed, and play like that. It would just be stupid.

--What you're doing is really very simple, obvious and immature. You've created the "roleplayer" as the hero, and the "munchkin" as the villain. You then arbitrarily label everything in 3e as the work of the evil "muchkin" and everything in 2e as the work of the benevolent "roleplayer." You don't have any basis for anything, you don't make any useful arguments. You just say over and over that 3e is a bad "munchkin" game, and think that in doing so, you will somehow make it a reality. It won't. All it does is make you sound like an uniformed little parrot.

Jack refutes a buncha my points. Mostly, because I actually tried to give 3E credit for things I liked at the same time as saying why I didn't like it as a whole.

Do you feel under attack or something?

Okay, my crack with skills and abilities (and feats) was this: So many of them have combat modifiers that people strive to do "power combos". To me, this is not fun.

For the state persecutor (sp. error intended), engineer, and accountant in my last group, this IS fun. So they masturbate (metaphorically, please)furiously for hours with their combos, and only rarely actually start GAMING.
By including so many modifiers, the game appears to cater to the worst in rules lawyers.

[Level breaks comment.--
[ You're grasping at straws here. The problem isn't with the's with you]

Yeah, that was a pretty weak bitch. Looking at my other game books, I do as much cross-indexing in any other game I play (more in Rolemaster), save Hero. Don't try to memorize systems until I've run a game with 'em. It's also because I'm the one in my groups to make friendly handouts on chargen, and am kinda used to having one.

(I really feel Search, Spot, and Listen should be one General Perception skill--doing it as 3 skills makes it a point sink.)

[It's pretty clear at this point in your post that you don't have the experience with 3e and possibly with RPGs in general to make a very qualified assessment. ]

Fuck off and die. Stop with the personal attacks, asshole. Point addressed below. That's the first and only attack I'll make, cause you really pissed me off.

[Sounds to me like you read the rulebooks and decided it was no good. That's fine, I looked at them and was somewhat skeptical too. At first. Then I realized I was holding something special.]

Go tell it on the mountain. You're starting to sound religious here. Not intended as a slam if you are.

[So why three skills? The reason this was done, is because the buy system for skills is even across all skills. The scaling has to be done within the scope of the skill. The designers felt that a narrowing of focus with regard to "perception" was necessary for game balance. If they hadn't done this, then spending a point in "General Perception" would be worth more than a point in "Jump."]

Skills that let you DO something should cost more than skills that let you...see. I'd concede the point if they were drastically different, but they all do basically the same thing: One lets you find hidden objects, another is for hidden people, and the third lets you HEAR things (overgeneralizing, but you see the point, I hope).

I felt the same way about Call of Cthulhu when they had half a dozen "medical" skills.
It's not about limiting options. It's about skill dilution (a later rant.) Every skill you add dilutes the power of other skills.
In addition, I can see basing an entire character around skills like Jump or whatever Disarm Traps is called these days. Basing a character around Perception is boring. (PLEASE don't tell me about someone's awesome character who does nothing but see things well--I won't believe you.)

(Pithy d4 comment deleted to save space)
[Constitution gives a +1 to hp per level at only 12. Getting an automatic maximum roll for hp at first level is a standardized rule now.]

I was just making a comment. Since they were changing so much anyway, why not get rid of a die that can't roll decently and hurts like hell when you fall on it. (I really WAS injured by a d4 as a child and traumatized for life)
Besides, I think fantasy games, even those I like, shit out spell-casters. But that again is another rant.

(Many 3E people, should you express less than total approval of the system, actually get angry or argumentative.)
[--Hmmm, you think? Let's check this very thread to see if your point is valid. ]

No, let's check above, where you launch some ad hominems at me and proceed to testify how you were lost and saw the light. No offense if you really are religious, but you sounded like a born-again testifying on their lives of sin and how they found Jaysus.

I'll grant you that this thread seems remarkably anti-3E. I websearched specifically for 3E-critical boards,actually. Not because I don't want any other opinions, but because I'm not a troll and hate pissing people off.

My experience of what I describe as a fanatic nature of 3E players comes from a few groups I meet with RL.

One groups praises it UNIVERSALLY, and can't agree on a movie to rent. They give blank stares when I'm less than enthusiastic about the system. Other systems have become a hard sell to them, when they were not before.

Finally, Me, along with one of the best GMs I've ever known were actually kicked out of a group ostensibly for utterly bizarre reasons--basically, my barbarian behaving like a barbarian, and totally screwing his campaign world. The games were at the guy's house, and we are no longer welcome there--both of us having considered the man a friend for almost ten years, who has given us both lovely recliners, who had never before indicated he took any campaign this SERIOUSLY.

The only way I can make sense of this is that the incident was an excuse, and the real reason we were kicked out was our having been rather critical of the system.

We still game with memebers of both groups, at irregular intervals. But the loss of our friend makes us sad, and Baby Jesus cry.

I'm wasting too much space here (finally something my opponent can agree with). Suggest this topic move, the pages are getting really long.

Right on...we've breathed new life into this discussion. :)

[[ My point is that he says this once and then proceeds to talk about his OPINIONS as though they are FACTS. ]]
--There's opinion and there's fact.
--Opinion: 3e is a more fun game than 2e.
--Fact: 3e is a better system than 2e.

Because I see fun as the ultimate end of RPing, your "fact" isn't relevant. The term "better" to me is what causes me to have fun. Now, as I've said lots of times, I've not looked at the 3e system. This however, does NOT castrate my argument. :) Sounds confusing, I know, but I'll address it later in this post. If I like 1e or 2e better than 3e, then 3e, to me is not a better system. If I don't like a TV show because it doesn't entertain me, then for me to ever think that it is better then my favorite show for whatever reason would be stupid.

"--There are basic facts of interface design. It's a simple fact that things like intuitiveness, continuity, commonality of interface and consistency are hallmarks of good interface."

Only if people like it. If you come up with a well-thought-out interface and people dislike it, then they dislike it. You see? It doesn't matter how wonderful the system is. There are going to be people who like their way of doing things better. That doesn't make them morons or ignorant or whatever. Some people have spent over 20 years gaming with 1e. They don't want to change because they like what they've got going right now. That doesn't mean that I'm saying that 3e is a piece of crap. It means I'm stating that if people don't like the new version, they won't like it and they won't play it, and no matter how much you talk about toasters and interfaces, they just won't like it. Because it's not the game they want to play.

"if people try to claim that 3e isn't a better, smoother, more intuitive, more flexible and more consistent SYSTEM, then they are factually incorrect."

Perhaps it's more consistent...perhaps it's more flexible, perhaps it is what you consider to be more intuitive, but as I said before, the end result is pure enjoyability...if that's not there for someone, then they're not going to like it, and the word "better" will NOT be used to describe it.

"I absolutely am not telling you what YOU think is more fun. However I am telling you what you should think is a better thought out system. I am further telling you that if you don't like 3e better then you should re-evalute your views, because not liking something that's better in almost every quantifiable way is somewhat odd."

Quantification may make sense scientifically, but it doesn't when it comes to what pleasures a human. You see, we're getting back to the word game that well-thought-out and "less-clunky" is better. Perhaps it is not so for everyone. Because someone likes something better means that to them, the other thing sucks. Which explains why we have people saying "2e sucks." "No, 3e sucks." Who's right??? Could it be both? Yes.

"[[ See, I've never even looked at the d20 stuff. ]]
--Why would you even say this? You're basically castrating your own argument by saying "hey, I'm ignorant, but here's the truth." You don't know anything. Why post?"

AHA! Here's what I was waiting for. The simple fact that you would even type this shows your fundamental ignorance of my own point. (Perhaps this is my fault...after all, I am human, and as such are subject to making mistakes.)
My argument is rather simple. Whether a system is hard to understand or clunky or better is a value judgement. I have never stated that 1e or 2e or 3e is better. I stated that I play Hackmaster, which happens to be based on 1e. But again, I've never looked at 3e. I'm not saying that 1e is better than 3e. I'm saying that whether a system is better or not is based on whether you enjoy playing that system. I NEVER SAID THAT I THINK 3E SUCKS! For you to say that 3e is a better system and that everyone should think like this is what I was speaking of when referring to the thought-nazi thing. You see, IF I like a system better, then no matter how much you tell me that some other system is better, I'm not going to agree with you. I'm not attacking 3e...I'm telling you that because you feel something is better or whatever doesn't mean that people are going to agree with you.

"--What is and is not intuitive is not a matter of opinion. Research psychologists, army engineers, ergonomics experts, and interface designers have spent thousands upon thousands of man hours determining what makes interfaces understandable and intuitive. There are basic facts and rules of interface design that guide the construction of computer systems, aircraft cockpits, ATM kiosks, and toaster ovens. If you make a toaster that cooks LESS on a setting of 10 than on a setting of 1, that's unintuitive, and that it's unituitive is a FACT."

Alright...I will modify my words (though not my intent.) If someone made a toaster oven that cooked low on 10 and high on 1 20 years ago, and that was the only option available then, and thousands of people used it for 20 (actually, nearly 30 for some) years, and suddenly, a company comes out with a "better" toaster oven that cooks high on 10 and low on 1, many of those thousands of people would not like it. Are you getting my point? People might burn the crap out of their toast for a long time when they only wanted the damn thing lightly browned because they're used to setting it on 10 to get very little heat. Not saying that a 25 year old buying his first toaster oven wouldn't like the "better" one more. I'm saying that the aversion of people to change the way they've played for 20+ years is understandable.

"Admittedly there will always be some people who fall outside the norm, and don't operate under normal rules of psychology. You don't write your game for these people."

Right, which is what I said in my first post on this thread:
[[And for all of you who say you feel that WotC doesn't care about're right. They don't care about you.]]

The reason for posting this was that 3e had a reason...and that reason was not the "old-school gamers" who will not turn from their rules to a new set. And I understand them. I do, however, think that 3e was marketed to another gamer, and that it has accomplished its goal admirably. I am not arguing that 3e sucks. I'm arguing that you cannot dictate others likes and dislikes to them. I don't care how nutritious a tomato is. I don't care how good it is for me...I don't like the damn things. They make me sick, (and I'm not allergic to them...they just taste nasty.) No one can tell me that I should or should not like them based on how nutritious they are or how easy they are to eat. I don't like them.

"[[ But it irks me when people think that they can dictate people's likes and dislikes to others. ]]
--I wonder if it irks you when people think they can read somebody's post, and despite being completely uninformed on the subject, unwilling to read carefully and understand, and generally of limited reasoning capacity, these people still think they have a right to get preachy and elitist?"

Again, this response can be attributed to your misunderstanding of the reason for my posting. I am telling you that the word "better" is highly subjective. You cannot tell someone that anything is better. It depends on their likes and dislikes. I am not uninformed about what I am arguing about. I am not arguing the superiority of 3e or against the superiority of 3e. I am arguing that there are people who are going to think 3e sucks...and they're right...and then there are going to be people who think 1e sucks...and they're you see???? I think that there are a lot of people who like 3e, and I think that's awesome. If they've found a system that they like and have fun playing, then their mission in their RPG life is accomplished. They've found a GAME which by playing, they HAVE FUN. If someone likes 1e because they are used to the rules, and having an AC of 10 sucks in those rules, but they like it that way because it's been that way for them for 20+ years, then good for them, and I wish them many orc-slaying, treasure-grabbing gaming sessions.


Ooooh, a bite. Goody.

I know an insult when I write one, Jack. "The fact that you 3e munchkins couldn't cope with THAC0 explains a lot" was meant to be an insult. Give your self a big gold star, I'm very proud you got it. My point still stands; 3e players are ultra-hypersensitive about the system. Your examples of a handful of irritated non-3e players doesn't change that. Did YOU even read my comments? My example conversation was simply meant as a small illustration of the general over-the-top defensiveness of 3e players - a point which you seem to be bearing out quite nicely, thank you.

My point, (if you had paid any attention), about Skills and Feats is that, from my experience, and from the impression I've gleaned from the comments above, 3e players regard Feats and Skills as effectively the ONLY way to customise a PC. Almost all 3e players I have ever talked to, or read comments by, seem to delight in describing their PCs as nothing more than a walking, talking (if the DM, annoyingly, absolutely insists), pile of Skills and Feats. Apparently, before the introduction of MtG like Feats, impoverished 2e PCs could never be that much different from each other ....

"The only real difference between to 5th level fighters [in 2e] would be their items and attributes. In 3e, you have feats and skills thrown into the mix, plus a much simpler multiclassing system, all of which adds up to characters that are as different as real people are."

See? 3e players talk as though 2e PCs were mere paper cutouts because the poor unfortunate creatures were without an Arse-scratch Feat in the world :( Like I said, way off in the Long Before, PC customisation was done by creating an interesting culture, personality and history (with a dash of proficiencies) - NOT BY FEAT/SKILL MIN/MAXING.

Your argument that a Skill, such as Bluff, lends itself to good roleplaying runs contrary to the 'roleplaying orientated' minimal rules systems that try and do away with all the *squeaks* and *honks* for a better game. It's arguable that an attempt to Bluff a guard with a dice roll is hardly an "improvement" to roleplaying over a player trying to come up with a clever story in an attempt to talk the PC past the guard. In the end, we're supposed to be problem solving, not just rolling dice. Such skills might let a shy or lazy player off the hook, but it's not necessarily an aid to roleplaying.

Oh dear, another opinion. You seem to have a lot of those. My point about PC kits, Jack, me old mate, revolved entirely around the fact that you seemed to slag them off ... which I must admit, I had never heard anyone whine about before. Your opinion that Prestige Classes are better may be right, then again may be they ain't - but who gives a rat's arse? Kits are really nothing more than small packages of culture specific information (a Barbarian PC would probably have a Fire-Building prof. whereas a Cavalier would be more likely have an Etiquette prof. etc.). They full filled that role perfectly well.

Your opinion that a lower THAC0 the better "doesn't make a lot of sense" is not really much of an 'argument' is it? A lower price of beer would be better, right? A lower blood pressure would be better, right? A lower chance of being shot by an orc would be better, right? There are a lot of things would be better the lower they are, so your belief that higher-equals-better is naturally more intuitive is your opinion only. So, "why should a 1 THAC0 be better than a 20?" Got me beat. About as much reason as an Attack Bonus +5 should be better than a +1, I guess. Oh, and Jack, 3e players are the ones who keep squealing like stuck pigs about THAC0 - all I did is respond.

As for not making any argumets to why 3e is Munchkin ... is that still in any doubt?! I'm sorry, I must have missed that memo. You're quite correct, saying that 3e is munchkin over and over again wont make it so, the tone of the rules do that all on their own. Just read some of the above posts, you'll work it out.

Hmmm ... "simple, obvious and immature". Ow. Ow. Please stop.


[[ Do you feel under attack or something? ]]
--Not really. Basically here's what I've found in my time spent arguing with people on notesboards: If you're polite, and make good points, people will just ignore you. It's a given that most people don't know what they're talking about, and won't have any really valid arguments to come back with, so for the most part they'd rather breeze past posts that point out how wrong they are. For example, poster Cameron. He makes a valid point, he does it quietly and concisely, and he's ignored. I don't post to be ignored, I post to have a discussion.
--So, if I don't toss a few insults around, nobody will even pay attention.

[[ Every skill you add dilutes the power of other skills. ]]
--Which, as I said, was exactly the point. If you had one skill that was able to handle all forms of detection for you, all you'd have to do is buff this single skill up and see a disproportionate amount of benefit. The dilution is done intentionally, to make the skills have the same overall value as others. If you want to have four ranks in "detection skills" it costs three times as much as getting four ranks in jumping, because there's three detection skills and only one jump skill.
--This is just one way to handle skill balance. If you don't like it, that's fine. However you have to realize it was done intentionally, and for a good reason. It also provides the added benefit of allowing more personal detail to creep in. Playing a nearsighted young page with sharp ears? Good listen, bad spot. Playing an aging ranger? Still sharp eyed, but his hearing is fading? Good spot, bad listen. In your version of the system, you would just spend three times as much for the "detection skill" and average all your means of detection out. Not necessarily worse, but I don't like it as much as the 3e system, because it forces an added layer of complexity to the skill buy system, and it removes a level of detail from the character's skills. On the upside it leads to a shorter skill list, but that doesn't sway me.
--All of this is part of designing a RPG system. The fact that you appear to be unwilling or unable to look at the pros and cons of various design decisions in this process is why I said earlier that you "don't have the experience with 3e and possibly with RPGs in general to make a very qualified assessment." I apologize if that offends you, but the simple fact is that you're not looking at the debate with any degree of intelligent criticality. You're not really trying to understand the choices that went into the system.
--"I don't like d4s." "I don't like having more than one skill for detection." You're starting at the conclusion, basically a gut reaction, then not even bothering to provide basis. You need to start with the basis and reach the conclusion. Why are there three detection skills? I told you why twice now. If you don't like it that way, then tell me why. Don't just repeat that you don't like it, and justify it with the very reason it was done that way.

[[ I do as much cross-indexing in any other game I play (more in Rolemaster) ]]
--More in Rolemaster? Man, Rolemaster doesn't just have more tables, it's got INFINITELY more tables.

[[ You're starting to sound religious here. ]]
--Could be because I have a lot of faith in the new rules. Really I have no problem being labeled as a zealot with regards to the 3e rules. I love them, I think they're great, I think they're a model for any logical system, RPG or otherwise.
--However I'm getting increasingly sick of the double standard going on here. You and your 3e hating cronies go on and on about 3e fan attitude, all the while ignoring the rabid, insult tossing 2e fanbois posting on this very thread.
--Hell, look in the mirror. You're the one that whipped out the curse words and off topic insults. I just made a comment about your ability (or lack thereof) to critically evalute RPGs, which I stand by. You responded with curses.

[[ Basing a character around Perception is boring. ]]
--I'm not sure how to respond here. I've got one 2e fan (Tas) telling me that 3e is hack n slash, now I've got you telling me that it's so NOT hack n slash that it's boring... Don't know what to say. I mean, a few lines up in your post you're saying that power combos are boring too. What isn't boring? Playing tough characters is boring... Playing finesse characters is boring... Huh?
--All I can tell you is that the skill system standardizes the various tasks thieves used to undertake, and adds a number of others to fill out a unified system. So, in the same way a 2e thief was all about hiding, sneaking, picking locks, and detecting traps, so too is a 3e rogue able to do that. However the 3e rogue is far more flexible, and the skill system is more standardized and easier to use.
--Believe me, basing a character around good skills is not only interesting, but very useful. If your party has a rogue in it that can protect the party from surprise with his detection skills, or gather information with his sneaking, that's very valuable, and very fun to play. Part of the reason that 2e is so inferior to 3e is because the skill system in 2e wasn't just bad, it was non-existant. It's only natural you'd think playing a skill based character wasn't fun; you've never experienced it done right. Give 3e a second chance and see for yourself.

[[ They give blank stares when I'm less than enthusiastic about the system. ]]
--I think you're going to have to get used to that. This system is a dramatic improvement over 2e. You can call that opinion, you can call it fact, you can call it whatever you want. But to most people (it seems), it's FACT. In my experience, mostly anybody who sees this game isn't just impressed, they're instant fans. You can imagine why they might be confused with your lack of enthusiasm, as a result.
--Rather than getting all taken aback, and wondering why EVERYONE in the world but you is weird, maybe you should take a more proactive approach, and go learn 3e well, play it for a while, and see if you don't think it's a great game. I just can't help but guess that you've not given it a fair shake.

[[ The only way I can make sense of this is that the incident was an excuse, and the real reason we were kicked out was our having been rather critical of the system. ]]
--A section of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," discusses a friend of the author's that just doesn't care about how his own motorcycle works. For the author, understanding his machine is just a forgone conclusion. To him, knowing things and wanting to know things is the only way. His friend's lack of interest, and possibly even deliberate desire NOT to know things, makes him question who his friend really is and if he really is a friend. For most people, friends are resources. They provide you with insights and angles on problems that you value. However, if they're significantly opposed to your way of thinking, or don't seem able to stimulate you, you tend to lose insterest in them.
--Now, turn to 3e. To many people, myself included, this system is a quantum leap forward. With that in mind, if a friend of mine insisted that the system was no good, it would REALLY make me question if I wanted to be friends with that person. Not because their opinion on a game matters, because that's quite childish, but instead it's because their inability to appreciate DnD might make me question whether they really have anything going on their head worth my time to hear.
--Imagine if one of your friends turns out to think that the world is flat. Wouldn't you lose respect for this person? Wonder if you really ever knew the guy at all? Wonder how he could be SO foolish?
--Combine all that with the fact that you were knowingly disrupting the game, and I don't think it's a surpise they wanted you to leave. It's sad, but that's just how things go.
--I think it's interesting that you mention this whole situation, because it really casts you in a biased light with regards to 3e. You show up at a 3e game, you're skeptical about the new system, and you get kicked out of the game. A fairly typical human response in that case would be to reject 3e, and blame it for all your problems. Clearly you have to be soured to the game based on that experience, and your perspective is thusly slanted.

[[ If I like 1e or 2e better than 3e, then 3e, to me is not a better system. ]]
--And really we both agree on this. As I made clear, I understand that people like what they like. However I would argue that if these folks who think they like 1e/2e better would approach 3e with a TRULY open mind, give it a fair chance to show what it can do, they'd be converts.
--But still, you're right. If they enjoy 2e and don't enjoy 3e, even after trying super-hard to give 3e a chance, then that's all there is to it. They should keep playing 2e.
--However, if somebody likes to have their car's steering wheel coated in maple syrup, and insist it's more comfortable for them to use, no matter how open minded you are, that guy is still a weirdo. It's never gonna make sense to us non-syrup folks.

[[ The simple fact that you would even type this shows your fundamental ignorance of my own point. ]]
--No, not really.
--See, first off, I have, to a large degree conceded your point. People like what they like, and "there's no accounting for taste." That's fine.
--But like I said above, there's extremes. If one guy likes chocolate ice cream, and one likes vanilla, neither of these guys is nuts. But of one likes chocolate and one likes asshole flavored, then one of those dudes is pretty weird, all subjectivity aside.
--So, my point is that you don't generally want to say you are ignorant to one of the two things you're claiming it's reasonable to like. It doesn't really destroy your point, as I might have indicated, but it weakens your credibility.
--I agree with you that people have every right to prefer 2e and I realize that some do. I just think that preferring a more clunky, less flexible game is a bit odd.

Right on...I'm glad we can see each others' views. After all, I came to this board to see what people had to say. I'm not only criticizing 3e-fans who say 2e or 1e sucks without saying anything else. (Though I am indeed criticizing them.) I'm also criticizing 1e or 2e fans that say 3e sucks without having to say anything about it. (After all, it doesn't help me in the least when they say that.)

And the reason I said that I knew not a whole lot about 3e was so that someone didn't try to drag me into a technical debate about what I didn't like about 3e. :) Because I don't not like it! I haven't had too much of a chance to look at it. (And I probably won't for awhile...just got started on Hackmaster. If I ever get bored of that, (and I'm not sure that will happen,) I'll ask my players if they want to take a look at it. Maybe they will, maybe they won't.

However I wouldn't go so far as to compare 1 or 2e to asshole flavored ice cream, (though it was damn funny!) Laughed pretty hard there! I've read about a lot of the changes you have brought up in your other posts and I think they're interesting, but the changes I've seen made to D&D aren't really enough to dampen my interest in the 1e-like rules I'm using, but they ARE enough to provoke me to take a closer look at the rules next time I have an hour or so to kill at Barnes and Noble. L8er.


[[ Ooooh, a bite. Goody. ]]
--Indeed. Thanks for taking a few seconds out of your busy day of being impressed with your own trite, girly receptionist style humor to respond to me.

[[ 3e players regard Feats and Skills as effectively the ONLY way to customise a PC ]]
--All 3e players think this way. It's physically impossible for 3e players to view roleplaying in general from differing viewpoints. Sarcasm.
--The game system is a tool. It can't make a hardcore roleplayer into a hack n slasher and it can't do the reverse. All 3e does is offer more flexibility, which is good. The players bring the rest.

[[ Such skills might let a shy or lazy player off the hook, but it's not necessarily an aid to roleplaying. ]]
--Which is why we once again see the frailty of your whole "3e players do this, 2e do that" stereotypes.
--If you don't like making rolls to resolve roleplaying elements of the game, then don't do it. Good old rule zero again. However, at least 3e has the option. 2e does not. Having the option is better than not.
--My preference is to use the rolls, but to require the player to still RP out what his character says. He will get a modifier to his roll based on how good I feel his RPing was. This blending of chance and arbitrary ruling is what makes gaming fun.

--Your unwillingness to accept powergaming as a valid way to enjoy the hobby is really rather sad. You can't even have a fun time with a hobby game without having to be elitist about it, and place yourself above the lowly "munchkins."
--Personally I like a blend. I like to have characters min-maxed as well as possible, so long as they fit into their character's personality, and that personality is present at every session and in every action the character takes.
--However my way, your way, or anybody else's way of enjoying the game is not "better." This is what Sir Tal has been arguing, and I largely agree with him.
--You've basically stacked two degrees of ridiculousness atop one another, and expect us to swallow it. First step is to claim that ALL 3e players are powergamers. Next is to claim that one way of playing RPGs is inherantly superior to all others. Stupid. Not all 3e players are powergamers, and even if they were, it wouldn't matter so long as they have fun.

[[ Your opinion that a lower THAC0 the better "doesn't make a lot of sense" is not really much of an 'argument' is it? ]]
--Actually it is. Lower being better is not inuitive, and if you conducted a study of 100 Australians, you'd find that I was correct. I conducted a study of a single person (my roomate), and she felt that a higher "hitting ability value" was better than a low one.
--You're absolutely right that THAC0 is simple to figure out. However, being simple and backwards doesn't mean we have to keep doing it backwards. The 3e system makes more sense. There's no reason NOT to change.

[[ As for not making any argumets to why 3e is Munchkin ... is that still in any doubt?! ]]
--Yeah, I'd say there is.
--The fact is, there's nothing new in 3e. Everything in 3e was already in 2e, it's just that now it's actually laid out in a way that makes sense.
--Let's take a look at the pinnacle of the 3e offensive feats, "whirlwind attack." This VERY attack is detailed in the 1e Oriental Adventures book, virtually in the same form, and is available to Kensai characters, if I recall. The same can be said for various other feats in one form or another. Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization feats are nothing new, there was weapon specialization in previous versions as well. Ambidexterity, Blindfighting? Again, in 2e, just in a kludgey ruleshack sort of way.
--You want to tell me that what I've just said isn't true? Try it. You'll be wrong.
--Fact is, all 3e has done is cleaned 2e up. It hasn't become "more munchkin" at all.

Okay, Let me start by saying that I like the 3e rules. I run a game in them, and have decided that they were superior to the 2e rules about 15 minutes after starting to read my Player's Handbook.
However, I CAN see why some of the 2e holdouts (you WILL be converted, it's only a matter of time) feel that 3e is "munchkinville". It does give that impression. The new rules can easily support blatant power-mongering by the players. What is forgotten, is that none of this can happen without the DM's approval. No matter how munchkin-prone the rules are, if the DM doesn't want to allow it, it ain't going to happen.

My next point. I DO feel that the Forgotten Realms for 3e IS munchkinville. The power levels of the characters are cranked about 3 notches above a standard character. Tell me all about your cool Barbarian/Wizard/Druid. I'll listen, I may even smile and laugh along with you. That won't stop me from thinking that your DM is a friggin twink that can't keep his players in line. Start telling me about your Gnome illusionist with his black powder weapon, and my eyes are going to glaze over, and a snarl with form on my lips. One other thing. The black powder (or smoke powder, whatever the hell the offical name is) weapons were bad enough. Reading about Xena's chakram, made me want to burn the book. That's all. Thank you.

A few observations:

1.) On THAC0 - Any gamer that has been around since 1e or 2e days (which I have) will have long-ago mastered THAC0 and will of course not see it as difficult. If you are talking to a 15-year D&D vet, THAC0 (1e/2e) or BAB (3e) are equally easy to understand.

THAC0 is NOT intuitive, or people would be able to easily pick it up. The fact that it becomes easy to deal with over time does not make it intuitive, it merely means, "you can get used to it." Most old-school gamers I know will admit that it took a while to get used to THAC0. In fact, I know of very few people who told me they understood THAC0 perfectly the first try and never had problems with it thereafter.

However, if you talk to the player who has two hours of experience with RPGs, he's likely to be confused by THAC0. BABs will be much easier for him to understand, because they are more intuitive.

Further proof that BABs are more intuitive: it is easier to understand BABs if you already know THAC0 than it is to understand THAC0 if you already know BABs.

Also - the reason for THAC0 was the AC system... which went backwards in 1e. I read a review of D&D written back in about 1976 - and one of the author's complaints was that the AC system is bass-ackward (and he loved the game - in fact, the book was a guide to all board games from Monopoly to Chess to Diplomacy to D&D and he rated D&D tops by a longshot). I quote:

"You have the ridiculous spectacle of a fighter in plate and a shield (AC 2) who finds a +3 shield, getting a resulting Armor Class of -1. Yup, 2+3= -1. Makes you wonder how they got out of algebra, doesn't it?"

He makes the point (and it is valid) that you can get used to it, but that even in 1976, some people thought that ACs were done strangely.

With the change of AC rules in 3e, BABs can be introduced. While this DOES lower the "entry bar" considerably, I thought the point was allowing as many people as possible to join in the game and have fun.

We need new blood in the hobby to go with the old. That doesn't mean we have to force out the old to gain the new, but it also means we don't keep out the new just to satisfy the old.

2.) Role-playing vs. Roll-playing

I have heard repeatedly, "if you're a true role-player, you act out your negotiating / bargaining / whatever sessions." In other words, you remove the role of the Charisma, Intelligence, and Wisdom attributes of your character (except as they apply towards spellcasting) and replace them with your own. This makes the system rife for abuse as suddenly only the physical (read: Combat-Oriented) attributes have any meaning in game terms.

OTOH, solving things solely with a skill roll sucks the "Role" out of Role-playing, but preserves the game function of Charisma, Intelligence, and Wisdom, making these attributes more important except in 100% hack-n-slash (TM) campaigns.

The solution HAS to be a mixture of the two to prevent abuse... and I feel a good marriage of the two is to allow the player to role-play the encounter, then have him make a skill roll with modifiers based on the DM's perception of how he handled it. Then role-playing is important (modifiers) but so are the character's attributes and skills (the game mechanics which reflect his character's ability to interact with the world around him). I would point out that NEITHER 1e, 2e, nor 3e uses this as a standard system, though it is worth noting that one of the 3e DMG authors explicitly suggested this system on his website.

3.) Role-playing, not game abilities, differentiates characters.

True and false. The point that Joe the 5th level fighter and Fred the 5th level fighter are pretty much the same as far as game statistics in 1e or 2e IS valid. If we define our characters solely by their game statistics, we are on the path to "rules lawyering" and/or "munchkining" but it was my feeling that the character's skills and statistics are supposed to reflect his ability to influence the game world. I can role-play Joe as the mounted Knight in Heavy Plate that uses a lance exclusively and role-play Fred as the trash-talking, leather-armor-wearing, rapier-swinging rapscallion who is a master duelist.

But do the characters' statistics reflect the roles I have chosen for them in 1e or 2e? Usually not very well - in fact, if Fred picked up a Lance and plate mail and Joe grabbed a rapier, Joe could use his rapier as well as Fred and Fred would be a horror on a horse now. In other words, I can role-play the characters, but there is nothing inherent in the system to reward me for doing so - or even that makes my roles believable.

In 3e, perhaps Joe has taken Mounted Combat and specialized in the Lance, and has a high Riding skill (coupled with the Skill Focus feat to make him an outstanding rider). Perhaps Fred has instead taken Mobility and Expertise and focused in the Rapier, and has a high Tumble and Jump skill. Suddenly, the players' abilities actually match my role-playing descriptions of them... which, to me, is the best of both worlds... the characters' abilities and their role-playing descriptions can be married.

4.) Rule Sets

I have already harped on 1e and 2e being self-inconsistent, so I won't revisit that. It is (IMO) difficult to add to or take away from the "base" rules without unbalancing the rules. The Cavalier (UA), Barbarian (UA), Monk (1e PHB), and other similar characters show us that.

The point was also made that many 3e feats are just 2e "kludgy addons" cleaned up to fit within the system. I have to agree there. I liked them in 2e but they felt a little weird; they "work better" as part of the system in 3e. They're now in the system instead of outside of it.

3e is more "modular" - it is pretty easy to add new stuff within the scope of the rules. It is also easy to take stuff out without affecting balance too badly. Granted, you can add "munchkin" stuff, but because the system is modular, it is easier to compare "add-ins" (i.e., is this Feat about the same in power as this other one?), which means game imbalance due to "house rules" is less of a problem.

Saving Throws are easier to ajudicate (sp?) - rather than saying "make a save versus Wands to avoid the spear trap" (why Wands? Why not Spell or Dragon Breath?) you make a Reflex save ("get out of the way!").

Saving Throws versus spells are proportional to the experience of both the caster (implicit in the spell level) and the target (why is it just as easy for a 1e character to avoid spells thrown by a 3rd level or 23rd level wizard?). IMO, this is a better reflection of reality.

And as for having to look for all the darn tables, it's actually pretty easy to memorize the key tables in 3e since most things follow specific patterns (e.g., Saving Throws are "good" or "bad" and improve at a specific rate based on being good or bad while in 2e and 1e they seem somewhat random from class to class).

I have been gaming for many years. I loved 1e. I liked 2e. I REALLY loved the old Boxed Sets. But they always felt, well, like they had been thrown together kind of haphazardly (surprise uses d6 except some creatures use d8 or d12; use 10-sided dice plus speed factors for initiative; use d20s to hit and for saves and roll high; use d20s for ability score checks and roll low; use percentile dice for thief skills; racial level caps because the demihumans are too powerful compared to humans; spell and bow ranges suddenly triple - from feet to yards - when you step out of a dungeon and into the outside air; etc. etc.). There were a lot of things that were counter-intuitive to me (though I eventually adjusted), and the system just felt like a lot of different systems thrown together in a crazy-quilt pattern.

As I learned more about the history of the game, I saw many vestigal evidences of the naval miniatures rules from which D&D was originally derived, which are great for naval miniatures but not quite so good for role-playing. Some of the things may fall into what people now call "sacred cows." As more rules were added, they built upon things that were already there - some of which were kind of awkward, and the more that was built, the more awkward and unwieldly the entire system became.

It was kind of like a mansion that had been built upon and built upon and built upon... kind of lopsided and unmatched, with some baroque sculptures here, an eastern minaret there, some gothic flying butresses here and some modern architecture there, but still beautiful in its own way. But the main structure of the mansion can't be changed in any meaningful way without ripping it to the ground.

When I began seeing 3e, I was interested. When I sat down with the book and pulled the system apart, I liked what I saw. The designers razed the rules to the ground and started over because they *had* to in order to effect meaningful change. They kept some of the "sacred cows" but decided others were too outdated and kludgey (and for the most part, I had already ripped out the same stuff they had in my own house rules). But everything was in a pattern and built around a consistent system of mechanics. Can you argue with some of the choices they made? Of course.

But in my opinion, the system itself was laid out in a much better fashion than the old system - it was consistent, it was modular, and it was clean and easily understood. The consistency helps mitigate rules-lawyering and loophole-finding (though you can never entirely eliminate this). The modularity makes house rules easier to implement than ever. And the ease of understanding makes this wonderful hobby that we enjoy more accessible to everyone.

The new D&D is more like a modern building - beautiful and functional and cohesive, but somewhat lacking the charm of the original mansion simply because the mansion has the quaintness and history that the new building doesn't. Does that make either one better? Maybe, maybe not. But that is a matter of opinion.

5.) On semi-religious fanaticism...

It seems to me that the 2e zealots are much worse than the 3e zealots. The argument has kind of boiled down to "tastes great! less filling!" 2e zealots label 3e players "munchkin," "immature," and "roll-players." Many 3e zealots label 2e players as "old fuddy-duddies who are outdated," "slavishly devoted to a bad system," and "intolerant." There's plenty of intolerance and immaturity coming from both camps, believe me.

IMO, 3e is a superior system when considered completely independent of the players that use it due to the arguments I presented in #4. Does it lend itself more easily to "super characters" built within the rules? Yes, I think so. Does it lend itself more easily to role-playing by making the rules easier and quicker so that players are free to focus less on the rules and more on role-playing? Yes, I think so.

3e is what you make it. You can rules-lawyer and create "uber-munchkin" characters in EITHER system. You can role-play in EITHER system. IMO, 3e is a better, more flexible system that does a better job meeting the desires of its players and as such lends itself to be better bent to EITHER end.

1e/2e players will eventually become a dying breed, IMO, not because TSR/WotC stopped supporting it (heavens knows enough of the stuff is printed and readily available in used bookstores and E-bay). I think the problem is that those players who refuse to "play that infidel 3e" come off as kind of elitist and will this not engender good feelings in other RPGers ("come on, what the heck's the matter with you? THAC0 isn't hard!") and hence they will have a difficult time adding to their ranks. This is not to say that all 1e/2e players are elitists, and not to say that no 3e players are elitists (we already see "3e is the best thing since sliced bread! Why would you want to play anything as rigid and cookie-cutter as 2e?")

I belive you will find more players who usually play 3e and are familiar with (and willing to play) 2e than you will find players who usually play 2e and are familiar with (and willing to play) 3e. This will make the perception into "those who play 2e are elitists because they won't play 3e." Is that perception fair? Maybe not. But if I was a new gamer who stumbled across this thread, I would probably feel that way.

So here's my "final answer:"

If you want to play 2e, great. Maybe I'll join you from time to time.
If you want to play 3e, great. I'd love to be in your campaign.

As for myself, I am going to run 3e because IMO it is a superior system and with it I can bring more new blood into my campaigns (I am currently running a campaign that has involved over a dozen players - about five regulars - who have experience with RPGs ranging from 15 years to 15 minutes). To me, there's nothing more refreshing than players who are scared even of goblins and kobolds because they don't know their stats inside and out already.

The bottom line in everything is imagination. I buy Shadowrun and Earthdawn and Palladium and Cyberpunk and other stuff nearly as often as I buy 3e stuff - to steal ideas from, of course. I have played nearly every system imaginable, and I like 3e for ease of use (my personal favorite for creating balanced and realistic characters? GURPS.) so that's why I play it. But that doesn't mean I don't want stuff from other systems. Keep it all coming.

But don't give Xena's Chakram... that 3e is modular enough to support that is perhaps an indictment that it is a little TOO modular...

--The Sigil

[[ However, if you talk to the player who has two hours of experience with RPGs, he's likely to be confused by THAC0. ]]
--Sure, but as our friend Tas has made very clear to us already, "newbies," "munchkins" and generally everyone not directly involved with Tas' gaming group is a complete jerk, and really not playing the game "right."
--All sarcasm aside, though, it's a fact that THAC0 is less intuitive than 3e To Hit. You can restate it all day, but where there's people too stupid to accept the most basic building blocks of debate, there can never be a fortress of logic. Instead we shall be forced to dwell in Tas' ramshackle hut of delusion and self-congratulation.
--Debate is like mathematical proof. If your opponent won't accept that 1 = 1, then you can't prove a damn thing.

General perception... it has pros and cons, I'll bring it up to my DM.

I'm basically a pro 3e system kinda guy, but I have to admit that the whole 3E Realms make me sick, but then so did FR Adventures. But it might suit some people, I don't care.

I still think the Prestige Classes are nice. Although some DM's who handle RPG's like computer games, can't see past the letter of the rules and forget the spirit behind it (if that sentence doesn't work in english sorry it works in my first language french).

Munchkins will always exist, min/maxing too and if left unchecked by the DM will be detrimental (in my opinion) to any campaign. But the opposite is also too true. Does anyone remember Alternity? We had character we called Mr. Broad skill. The guy had the most useless skills (but all at low ranks).
He was useless in a fight, at piloting, at science, at investigation but man he was the best dancer, poet, heraldist, singer, cook and leather worker in the group (I'm not making this up I swear). It's all about game balance, flavour and power go hand in hand to make great characters who have funny, exciting and memorable adventures (it's even better if they have style).

I personnaly find that 3e rules facilitate all the other stuff that isn't role playing and story telling. You know all that anoying stuff that keeps adding lag to a game session... ah yeah here it is: dice rolling and checking for the result.

I must admit having problems with the unintuitive way THAC0 and the other rolls were made in 2e, I had problems with the attribute progression (especially strength and dexterity).

But 3E has some unintuitive stuff too: a dagger is as kick as a great sword? ATTACKS OF OPPORTUNITY oh man! we've had arguments about that one...

Mind you I don't really think anyone here is stupid except those who can't seem to have a discussion without demeaning other people. I'm not so sure about the stats here (I rather make a rough estimate) but it seems to me that 2e and 3e apologists (look the word up if you'd like) belittle their opposition equally.
I think we all sound like a bunch of geeks without personnal lives when that happens and it makes gamers at large look bad.

Man I make a great moralistic preacher don't I?

Pedantry aside, do you catch my drift folks?

Why can't we all be friend? Now sing along!
I love you! You love me! We're true friends... ah to hell wit that.

Cthulhu Matata

Some wonderful posts, and I thank you. Some feedback:

The Sigil: Awesome post. I've been lurking in many 1e-2e-3e debates for a long time (when I have spare time) to find out as much about 3e as I can. (I don't have the time to spend hours in Barnes and Nobles looking at the rulebook...nor do I have to money to buy the stuff to see whether I like it.) However, most of the posters just piss me off because they don't say anything worth saying. Jack has really helped by providing some specific information for me to consider. And that most recent post of yours, Sigil was great. It's probably one of the best (and longest) pro-3e posts out there. I admit, I had some problems with AC when I picked up Hackmaster (based on 1e AD&D), but now that I've got those figured out, I'm cool, but I understand both your and Jack's point about it not being intuitive and I concede that my arguments about AC or THAC0 were more having to do with the desire to stick with what is comfortable, and what has been the norm for almost 30 years for some.

However, while I agree with your comment that 1e-2e players are going to become a dying breed, I must say that I don't think that is because they will be "converted" to 3e. But rather because as older gamers pass on (pardon my callous manner of speech here), newer gamers will take their places at the table, and these newer gamers will naturally be drawn to the newer games. (And this is what I had originally posted about regarding who WotC is marketing to....a darn good marketing plan.) Though due to Hackmaster's success, I think that 1e and 2e gamers will have a great option if they want stuff that supports their good ol' campaigns. (And it even appealed to me, and I'd never played AD&D before Hackmaster.)

[[Although some DM's who handle RPG's like computer games, can't see past the letter of the rules and forget the spirit behind it (if that sentence doesn't work in english sorry it works in my first language french).]]

Actually, Sam, that sentence made perfect sense, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. :)

L8er all.


[[ Munchkins will always exist, min/maxing too ]]
--Something occurs to me. Min/Maxing IS roleplaying. Why? Cause, you're taking on the role of a character in a dangerous world. It stands to reason that this character would spend much of his energy sharpening his skills, and looking to make himself as powerful and survivable as possible. In the same way that athletes are constantly looking for drills, techniques, nutritional plans, etc. so too would a fantasy character look to sharpen his own skillset.
--Really, when you think about it, all this complementing people for putting personality before numbers is false. Working on quiliting isn't roleplaying. It's not what a real person would do, when faced with a world of violence and danger.

[[ Jack has really helped by providing some specific information for me to consider. ]]
--No matter how much of a fanboi I am, I can never do 3e justice. Seriously, save some cash, steal, whatever. Get a copy. It's just a great system, and it still stays true to the traditions we love.
--My 3e Slogan: "You loved it when the rules sucked, imagine it now."

[[ the desire to stick with what is comfortable, and what has been the norm for almost 30 years for some. ]]
--Once you play 3e for a bit, all the 2e house rules and tricks you had to come up with to do even basic things start to fade from memory.
--I can hardly even remember all the special rules we had, can't even recall how we puzzled through a variety of problems that I know we must have somehow gotten through. 3e is just a load off the player's and DM's mind.

--As far as Hackmaster goes, I don't really see the attraction. I bought the book, I read through it, and it's sorta charming, but really it just looks like a re-release of 1e to me. There's some odd house-rule sorts of tables and stuff tossed in, but for the most part I don't see the point.

[[As far as Hackmaster goes, I don't really see the attraction. I bought the book, I read through it, and it's sorta charming, but really it just looks like a re-release of 1e to me. There's some odd house-rule sorts of tables and stuff tossed in, but for the most part I don't see the point.]]

And that is something that I've heard before from people, and I think it's a valid opinion. However, I point to its success in the face of 3e and think that there's got to be something there. I bought it because I was looking for a new RP system. We had been playing MERP and got kinda sick of it. (Though the Critical Hit charts are freakin' hilarious...2 of my monsters accidentally killed themselves the first session, and one of my players killed himself by trying to read a rune that contained a huge lightning bolt spell. Very funny.)

I had been reading Knights of the Dinner Table and liked the comic and liked how it kinda poked fun at AD&D 1st and 2nd edition. When Hackmaster came out, what snagged my attention was the over-the-top hack and slash, possibility for hilarity, that it had. I know it won't appeal to many. (Especially those that love 3e as much, and that's fine.) We've ran some quickie tournaments using it and created some characters and we're really looking forward to the GMG coming out next month so we can run an adventure.

Not everyone will like it, just like I know some 1e and 2e enthusiasts who have played quite a bit in 3e and still don't like it as well. And that's fine. It's just an option. (One I'll continue to plug.) :)



I really don't think hardcore 1e/2e players will convert. I agree with you that they will eventually "die off" either literally or due to lack of interest by others (IOW, no one to game with).

If you would like me to explain/compare/contrast specific portions of 1e/2e/3e, let me know via the forum here and I will do my best.

--The Sigil

Actually, you did a great job, Sigil. I enjoyed your post. Thanx.


"Remember that old character you loved because he lived and died being worthy of his fate?"

This is kind of a loaded question. In other words, "think back to the good ol' days." D&D, of any edition, is what you make it.

Could a 3e character kick the butt of an equivalent-level 2e or 1e character? Most probably. But remember that the monsters are bigger and badder too. When the 3e PHB came out, there were cries of, "invincible characters! Munchkinism!" everywhere. I reminded people, "we haven't seen their opponents yet - wait for the MM to come out. You can't judge the game after seeing just one third of it."

I run a 3e campaign. 3e characters AREN'T immortal or invincible. I had a PC death every 3-4 sessions. Most of them were heroic (though the guy that tried to hurdle the pit trap and failed - three times - was stupid). In fact, in one climactic battle, out of a party of ten, only one PC (a barbarian) was left standing when the dust cleared. Three PCs dead, the rest bleeding to death, and the barbarian standing with 2 hp.

Elevate your challenges to your PCs.

As for the rest of that post, "IT'S NOT JUST A GAME," dude, you're scaring me. It *IS* just a game. This is something we do for fun. It's something we do to "escape." It's not a religion, nor should it be.

--The Sigil

[[ but third edition is the worst's not even an's an everwinning hero-game. ]]
--Even more of this ridiculous business...
--Here's why what you're saying is not only wrong, but can't possibly be right.
--Reason 1: Everything in 3e was in 2e, just in different and less organized format. People look at feats and consider them to be powermongering. 2e had the same powers, it just forced you into them. Fighters in 2e got weapon specialization. In 3e, fighters get bonus feats, which COULD be spent on weapon specialization, but can also be spent on other things. Same basic idea, just more flexibility in 3e, and better class balance.
--Reason 2: "Power" scales. No matter how min-maxed a character is, when he's 1st level he can't take on an adult red dragon. So, the term "everwinning" is meaningless when attached to a gaming system. If the DM wishes to kill his player characters, he can do it. If he wishes to put them up against hopelessly feeble enemies and give them vorpal weapons as reward, he can do that too. Being unable to control the feel and pace of your game is your fault, not 3e's.
--Reason 3: Monsters, NPCs, etc. are all created with the same rules as PCs. How can 3e favor PCs when both PCs and their opposition are created with the same rules?
--Reason 4: Inability to master the full width and breadth of a keyboard's functionality, including the shift key, and spacebar, implies an inability to master the full functionality of the 3e rules.

--I don't really understand it, but it seems to me that huge sections of the population have absolutely no ability to perform logical process. They honestly think that stating a series of musings as if they were fact, makes them fact.

well...i've been a dm only 4 1/2 years but i think i've seen many things.3e came with promises.first i hated it then i got interested in it ,i tested it and i rejected the last few months i saw the destruction that fell upon all these that could have been real roleplayers.everyone kept talking about their powerfull players in 3rd edition their extrasupermagnificunbeatable heroes and forgot the essence.i am one of the last here and try to keep fantasy alive.2nd is not the best possible .but third edition is the worst's not even an's an everwinning hero-game.I'm really dissapointed .but you should look further.everyone has a dream for an unbeatable character.but that what you really want.and think.all this enthusiasm is it really because 3e is better?and in the end what memories do you have of 3e games and what of 2nd edition.remember that old character you loved because he lived and died being worthy of his fate.and thinkk of the unbeatable lifeless character you now have...don't become fanatics for a company...just think and the end it's your choise.don't make haste on taking it.because IT'S NOT JUST A GAME.

((I don't really understand it, but it seems to me that huge sections of the population have absolutely no ability to perform logical process. They honestly think that stating a series of musings as if they were fact, makes them fact.))

Yeah, and you know I'm damn sick of it. I am taking a philosophy class online this semester, and people are just spouting off these half-baked opinions and telling everyone they have to accept them as fact. They think that this Philo forum should be a "safe-haven" where people can spout poorly-thought-out opinions and expect to have equal weight with the philosophers of the ages. :) Just my short, off-topic rant.


Great discussion you guys. Here's something I came across in the 3E PHB which concerned me:

3E PHB: "If your scores are too low, you may scrap them and roll all six scores over. Your scores are considered too low if your total modifiers (before changes according to race) are 0 or less, or if your highest score is 13 or lower."

What ever happened to the suggestion that a player try and play a character with less than ideal stats as a chance to role-play?

2E PHB: "Don't give up on a character just because he has a low score. Instead, view it as an opportunity to role-play, to create a unique and entertaining personality in the game. Not only will you have fun creating that personality, but other players and the DM will have fun reacting to him."

Now, I admit I haven't read the 3E PHB or DMG cover to cover [so please don't flame me if I'm wrong], but is that suggestion still there? Both the 2E DMG and PHB implore players [and DMs to encourage them] to give less powerful characters a go. Does 3E? If not, I think it adds to the thesis that 3E is designed to appeal to Monty Haulers. I think that A Simple Fighter might be right about 3E and power-gaming. If you were to just read the books you would get the impression that the emphasis in 3E is on trying create everwining characters and dice rolling, not role-playing.

Ultimately, it might come down to the players and DM what your campaign is like, but how are new players going to understand that a large part of role-playing is meant to be about exploring your character's identity and personality, not just totting up his/her adds?

Ya, I agree with Flash, this is a great post ... although I haven't read all of it yet :P

I would like to add my small contribution. I have no opinion either way about 3rd Edition, but I would just like to point out that the argument that many things in 3rd Edition are just a re-hash of AD&D add-ons I think misses the point. Proficiencies such as blind fighting - in fact, the whole secondary skill/proficiency system - were completely optional. The problem with Feats is that they are an essential element in maintaining game balance between humans and the other races. Without class or level restrictions on demi-humans, humans, to compensate, get an extra feat when they begin. So, if you don't like Feats you can't just cut them out all together because it would destroy game balance between the races. The munchkin-like elements of 3rd Ed are permanently unfortunately built in.

Flash, the point that you are missing is that they are only suggesting scraping a character if ALL of the scores suck. While it could make for an interesting game, having a character that can barely even perform the tasks that are expected of his class just isn't much fun. Notice, the quote you have doesn't say to start over if you have a bunch of 3's and one 15. The quote is that if none of your scores are good enough to grant you a positive ability modifier, then try again. That doesn't sound that bad to me.

[[ What ever happened to the suggestion that a player try and play a character with less than ideal stats as a chance to role-play? ]]
--You can say whatever you want, but most players aren't gonna have fun if their characters are weaklings. Additionally, if they are so poorly rolled that they can't compete with the other players for a share of the action, they're gonna have even less fun.
--Now, I like to have roleplaying in the games I play, but not to the point that it's pretentious, or elitist. The "in-crowd" of gaming always likes to brag about how they're SO into roleplaying, they couldn't care LESS if their character is worth anything in a fight. That's fine if you're into that, but it's really not mandatory that the rest of us play that way.
--For my part, I'm gonna have more respect for the player with the dwarven fighter, who doesn't RP too much, but fulfils his role in the party, and keeps things moving, than I am gonna have for the quirky halfling barbarian with 8 Str and 9 Con, whose just such a silly silly fellow, as constantly and invasively demonstrated by his player.

[[ Both the 2E DMG and PHB implore players [and DMs to encourage them] to give less powerful characters a go. ]]
--Again, this isn't really a good or bad thing. Playing a character with poor stats doesn't make you a "better" gamer than somebody who rolled higher attributes.
--I understand your comment relates more to the tone of the books than to promoting one style of gameplay over another, but the promotion is definitely there. I'm not really saying that 3e isn't more min-max oriented than 2e (at least right here), but what I am saying is that it doesn't matter.

[[ So, if you don't like Feats you can't just cut them out all together because it would destroy game balance between the races. ]]
--As opposed to 2e where you ignored the racial level limits, and they were a kludgy and useless "balance" anyway, since they had no real effect on low to mid-level play?
--Sure, feats are an important part of the 3e game, but this is for the better, not the detriment of the game. I don't see why people think that the accessibility, or appearance of power gaming in 3e is a bad thing, much less why I should consider it self evident that it's bad. You're not forced to play as a power gamer, but you can. Feats don't really make it a power gamer's game anymore than any other system for managing special abilities.
--Basically what I'm getting at, is that your postulation that removing feats from 3e would imbalance it is sorta offbase, when you consider that 2e wasn't balanced at all in the first place? At least 3e starts balanced before you start needlessly hacking rules out. 2e never even heard of balance.

Basically, the 3e rule can be more simply interpreted as follows:

"If your character is not above the normal, everyday person, re-roll and start again."

The prototypical "normal human" has ability scores of all 10's and therefore no ability modifiers. IOW, your hero should be at least a little above the average person. Makes sense to me - while heroes shouldn't be invincible, one expects that they will be at least slightly above the norm.

As to the complaint that you can't hack out Feats and maintain game balance, I think the point that was made about 2e is quite valid. 2e isn't balanced at all. Elves, with their 90% sleep and charm resistance, +1 to hit with swords and bows, infravision, and ability to multiclass -- AT FIRST LEVEL -- are far better than humans in 2e or 1e. Especially, as mentioned, since level limits usually were not adhered to, and it didn't matter that they had level limits at lower levels anyway. Note that this does NOT contemplate such "optional" systems such as blind-fighting, proficiencies, etc. This is a character's basic makeup. Pretty much every demi-human race is more powerful than humans in 1e and 2e.

By making Feats a part of the system, the game designers were able to balance humans with the other races without burdening them with arbitrary level restrictions. Furthermore, as I have mentioned before, Feats are the perfect way for the game system to statistically reflect the way you role-play (see my Joe/Fred fighter comparison). Feats don't make you more powerful so much as they make you more specialized. They help balance the fighter with the ranger and the paladin (honestly, why would you every play a fighter in 2e or 1e if you had the ability scores to play a paladin).

The main point of Feats is to lend credence to your role-playing claims. You actually have the system back you up when you say, "my character knows all about the cults in the northwestern wastes" (Skill Focus - Knowledge: Religion) or "even though he isn't strong, my fighter's speed makes him surprisingly deadly with his rapier" (Weapon Expertise and Weapon Focus: Rapier).

It gives wizards and sorcerers the opportunity to be much more flexible with their spells (metamagic feats). Need a bigger, badder fireball? No problem (enlarge spell). Caught in a silence spell? No problem (silent spell Feat). Now you can't just screw a mage by throwing a silence blanket on him. It makes them more unpredictable and better able to spontaneously react to situations.

It especially does a good job of justifying the large number of magic items in most worlds. Think about it - the only method in 2e to create magic items is Enchant an Item and Permanency - 5th and 8th level wizard spells - meaning that unless your world is populated by lots of 15th level wizards with nothing better to do, where the heck are all the magic items coming from?
How the heck can a cleric create a magic item like a holy avenger anyway? Even potions are horribly expensive to make in terms of magical power. 3e fixes this so it makes sense to have a potion shop run by a hedge wizard in a little town. In 2e, the only items you REALLY ought to expect to find are scrolls!

The Feats system fixes a LOT of things that were kind of broken or counter-intuitive with 2e (the biggest thing, IMO, is the "where are all the magic items coming from" argument). The potential for abuse is there, as it has been in every edition of D&D. But at least now, there is a rationale for things that wasn't, well, ad hoc but instead built into the rules. After all, 1e didn't officially address the question of "how do I make a magic item?" until the FR4 supplment ("The Magister") was released. Even then, the rules were so limiting that it's surprising any magic items existed AT ALL. 2e didn't solve the problem any better.

So Feats give you an explanation of where magic items come from. They give spell-using characters greater flexibility. They give all characters a "game mechanic" that can back up your "role-playing" claims. They CAN be abused by those seeking uber-characters... sort of. Some of the more abusive Feats, IMO, are Whirlwind Attack and Spring Attack. However, these require three or four other Feats first, so developing these abilities requires the sacrifice of other abilities as you take some pretty weak feats before getting the strong ones (Dodge? +1 to AC versus a single foe? When I could go out and get something like Two-Weapon Fighting or Iron Will? Why would I take that? Oh. Because if I want the cool Spring Attack I have to have that first? Okay, if I have to I guess I have to... but now my character isn't as good as this other guy's... but I'll catch up later when I get to Spring Attack...). It's all about choices.

If there was the "perfect character" - in any system - every munchkin would have found it by now and would be using it. The multitude of choices in 3e (including Feats and Prestige Classes) that expands monthly, if not weekly, makes finding the "perfect character" all but impossible - not because you always need the "latest, greatest Feat or Prestige Class" but because different situations and ideologies require different sets of abilities. And under 3e, NO character can be great at everything.

Before you tell me about the Fighter/Bard/Barbarian/Sorcerer/Cleric/Wizard/ you get the idea, keep in mind that it is possible to take one level of every PHB class when multiclassing (unlikely, but possible). That's 11 levels. Compare that to an 11th level single-classed character, and suddenly you realize why the multiclass system is okay. Because you don't get all the great abilities at once.

I could go on, but if I haven't adequately explained my point by now, more words won't help.

--The Sigil

Does anyone remember playing a wizard and going into a "Doctor Evil" laughing fit when you finaly got enchant an item as a spell? I remember. Back then spell casters GAINED xps for making items, which even if it made some sense, was totally unballancing.
Now, the mage (or any spell caster) spends XPs to create items, which explains why every mage doesn't have an army of hirelings in +4 fullpatemail and equiped with +5 Vorpal Blades.

I find this an improvement over the past rule system (but it's only an opinion).

I really have to side with those who say that a totally inept character is no fun to play. I mean I like playing a flawed character but a useless character (like a dumb wizard or a witless cleric… come on!)
But I must admit that I prefer playing a careless thief (Wisdom of 6) or a clumsy fighter to a perfect Captain America character with an average stat mod of +3. I also hate it when the worst roleplayers end up with statistically perfect characters, which really doesn't help to improve upon their roleplaying abilities…

I play RPGs for escapism (without the morning after hang over) and to have a great laugh at least once or twice a week. I find that with 3e it's just as easy (or easier) than with 2e. I'll repeat again that the main gain of 3e over 2e is the simplified mecanics which eases game flow.

Also, I know that with 3e my players (and me when I play) are more prudent. I mean, orcs can be a challenge whatever your level now. Before, when I threw a 10th level Orc fighter in an adventures, the "rule players" woud have a fit. Now when we come across 6 orcs guarding a cave, we have to ponder the possibility that these could be something other then easily killed 1 HD monsters. I know, we fell for it in Murder in Freeport, man those orc pirates clubered us, "What a revoltin tuyn of events!"

I also like the xp system much better now it handles challenge level and multi classing much better (IMOO).

One of the things I don't like so much in 3e is the fact that there are no more barred class. I mean, a wizard halfling or dwarf? A half orc bard? I don't know… maybe for an exceptional hero. In our game it is allowed to players (with the understanding that the character is somewhat of an oddity). I played a Halfling Ranger for 3 levels before going splat on a failed climb check and even though I was the toughest member of the party, I couldn't get any respect. Wherever I went I would be the target of bullies and brutes although it was great fun to surprise those who underestimated the wee halfling (even if my average dice roll on a d20 is a 6….*?*##%*** )

Cthulhu mataya

3d Ed vs AD&D, the little flamefest that could.

Thank you Daniel,

you summed it up quite nicely "if you don't like the changes, don't play it"

I can't say I agree that gurps (although a great system) is the best roleplaying system (it get's cumbersome and adds lag time to the game).
I mean my players used to avoid fights because they took too much time, not because they were affraid their characters would die.

Come to think of it, this could be beneficial for roleplay... yeah. Make a system so complex and incomprehensible that people will try to resolve puzzles and conflicts by outwitting they oponents instead of charging with guns blazing without taking the time to ask: "could we resolve this otherwise?"

Kinda makes me think of a certain president... his dad used to run the secret police. But that is for another post right?

[[ I'm a ROLEPLAYER, but I praise good and realistic rules. ]]
--Nah, you praise rules you perceive to be realistic, or at least that you enjoy, and thus are willing to justify.
--The fact is, nobody sells a realistic game, because realism is seldom fun. "You get hit in the arm with an arrow. You instantly begin to pass out from shock." Wheee!
--DnD is a fantasy game. The notion of complaining about "realism" in a game featuring dragons, spells and general heroism is silly. If you were willing to justify the game, you could do so easily.
--As far as the old hit points argument, it's really a matter of realism, but of deciding to believe or not. You have decided you don't believe, which is fine, but it's really not a fact that DnD is any less accurate than GURPS, for example. If you look at hit points as "general survivability" then the game is fine. Just cause a dragon rolls well and reduces the character's hit points, that doesn't mean that the dragon has to hit the character full on the head. You could play hit points as a measure of luck, for example. In this case, the dragon didn't hit at all, but his attack was so powerful, and so close to the character's head, that he's permanently shaken, and out of sorts. Next attack comes around and he's too disoriented to protect himself. Dead...
--Not to mention that hit points are a deliberately simplified system for a heroic game. To fault a game for being what it sets out to be is silly.
--As I've stated earlier, which game you prefer is up to you, and there's no rules for what you should like. However, which system is GOOD, is not up for debate. DnD in 3e form is a well thought out system. Fun or not, it's well planned.

D&D (please read rules) is a crap. We've tried to play it thousands of times but we had never past the third session. I'm a ROLEPLAYER, but I praise good and realistic rules. I can't stand the fact that a PC can take a dragon's blow (reducing his HP to 1) and still fight as if nothing had happened. Then he kills the dragon but a short after (in an orc ambush) a stone drops into his foot and he dies (that wold not happen if the spellcasters haven't "forgotten" the damn healing spells).

D&D had its place in the RPG world. It brought us the wonderfull world of roleplaying. But things changes and evolves. Lots of new systems came up. Lots of them satisfied my roleplaying and realistic needs.

And I like new stuff and played lot's of systems and liked them all: GURPS - my favourite for statistics and is realistic (I know this can be discussed); Vampire - I loved the mood and the system too (the concept of sharing your dices for the number of action u want to take in a turn); The Window - this one really rocks. A neat and simple system and extremelly good for roleplaying) among others.

But I can say you: D&D was the worst of them and I can't stand it. I hope the 3e cames to be a good thing.

If u don't like the changes, don't play it. Simple enough.

P.S. Note that this is my point of view about rules. I hate D&D couse of their rules.

And yes: I don't know how to spell pla(y)ing. I think the 'y' doesn't goes out.

Listen Danny, try playing by Combat and tactics rules. They have Fatige from loss of HP and damage t your armor and such. The DMG is just a basis to start off on. TSR ironed out the problems in the Players Option series. 3E is a rip off.

Make up your mind Gamer!

You keep salivating over Hackmaster (AD&D 1st Ed) then you go on to praise players' options??? What gives?
Aren't you a hard core D&D "back in the good old days of Gygax" kinda of gamer?

Mind you I did like combat and tactics (but had some problems with the level of "munchkin surveilance" spells and magic required on the part of the DM.)

Oh and Gamer, how can 3E be a rip off of 2E? IT'S THE SAME GAME!!!!

By the way Daniel, you can still find lots of second hand Players' Options books. Combat and tactics is probably the book that is the most 3E compatible.

We've already incorporated some of it in our 3E campaign, there are still a few details to work out but so far so good.

Oh and for the realism buffs out there, try squad leader and advanced squad leader. Very realistic (but man does it last forever).

Cthulhu Matata

It has been 12 years since I last played AD&D/D&D2E. I stopped playing because, although 2nd Edition was less contradictory of itself and unclear (rule-wise) than AD&D, I found myself feeling as though I was manipulating a system of rules rather than playing a game. I can honestly say that with D&D3E this feeling has diminished to a great degree.
There are elements about trying to construct a pseudo-reality within the minds of players that seems to require a level of rules & tables bureaucracy. This element is not at all absent in D&D3E, however it seems more coherent from one level to the next. This, I expect is a result of the D20 system. Also there seems to be a real impact on game play for all ability scores. Example: Whereas before, unless you were a priest, a good wisdom score seemed pointless (especially when constitution or dexterity would likely save one in physical combat). Now (and, like I said it has been a long while since I have looked at a second edition book) wisdom matters because of the Will save and numerous important skills.
In closing, I must say I am looking forward to the Epic Level Adventures book and Deities and Demigods, as the new system seems to have great potential (I hope that the Chthulu Mythos, and the Nehwon Mythos return). I will also leave my 2 copper pieces worth of advice—fellas, it’s a game and is (presumably) meant to be enjoyed. To paraphrase a favorite writer of mine, attacking it as I’ve seen some do is tantamount to donning full plate and wagging war on an ice cream Sunday.

[[ I agree that a lot of players just ignore that sort of advice, I know I did when I first started playing, but like most players we develop into more thoughtful gamers, in part because of the sort of advice I was talking about. ]]
--So what we've learned here is that new players ignore that suggestion, and veterans already understand the merit of it. So basically the suggestion is totally useless. If anything we should be praising 3e for not trying to shove "RP is god" propaganda into our faces for no profitable reason, rather than pretending that a single sentence in a 256 page book makes or breaks the tone of the whole thing?

[[ I'm not trying to say that one style of game play is better than another, but 3E is kind of suggesting that there is a 'correct' style. ]]
--As I hinted above, I think you're saying the opposite, or at least, your quote from 2e is saying the opposite. In 2e there's urging to "be a good RPer," but in 3e, there's just rules.

Wooz, I take your point about the quote only referring to when all your stats are bad, but that is the only thing 3E seems to say about what to do with low stats. It could have said that if all your stats are too low - roll again, but if only one or two are too low why not see it as an opportunity to role-play? I just wanted to point out that 2E made a point of discussing what to do with low stats: instead of just dumping them, have a go at role-playing an interesting character. I agree that a lot of players just ignore that sort of advice, I know I did when I first started playing, but like most players we develop into more thoughtful gamers, in part because of the sort of advice I was talking about. I guess my point is that at least it was there.

I'm not trying to say that one style of game play is better than another, but 3E is kind of suggesting that there is a 'correct' style. With the tone of the books emphasizing getting your character all kited out with the right stats etc. it feels like they are saying #role#playing is for weenies. At least 2Es tone had something for both types of players - we could ignore the advice or agree with it. I just think 3E emphasizes a pretty shallow style of play, leaving a lot of players out in the cold.

I, at this moment, am looking through the "Advanced D & D Players Handbook" copyright 1978, printed in Jan 1980. On page 6, Gary Gygax writes, "Similary, even the most important material herein can be altered and bent to suit the needs of individual campaigns. Where possible, true guidelines have been laid down to provide the barest of frameworks... most unusual and unique. Read the work... through and assess for yourself what AD&D is."

I really have no opinion on 2e or 3e, cause I still am playing around with the book mentioned below. I don't like WOTC because the killed the multiplayer version of Magic: Duel of the Plainswalkers

I, never have played any version of the game, have rolled my stats and have everything down in that book except how to calculate my psionic ability. I rolled a 96% to get my ability, and a 98% for the next percentage roll. My natural rolls are: Int 18, Wis 18, and Cha 17. My question is where do the bonuses come from (1-72) and what #('s) do I quadruple to determine my psionic str points. I have everything else about my character worked out. I got here from a search for psionics DND and I've explored the web for about 2 hrs now, and ALL I can find is that the ability was changed into a class in 2e or 3e. To me, that is just not fair to tease with special powers and say, "No, you can't do that cause your not that class." My DM said he didn't want to include it cause of the formula, but I'd like to take advantage of it, cause I rolled so good. :o) I really would appriciate some help.

Sorry Sam,
I do Love Hackmaster and 2nd edition. Thats probably because it basicly the same game. Hackmaster uses the exact same rules. They only added stuff like armor damage and range heal spells and such. 3e did none of that. Hackmaster is what 3E would have been if TSR was around.

I was going by the 1e rules in the book I mentioned above.

"Hackmaster is what 3E would have been if TSR was around."

Heavens, am I sick of hearing this line over and over and over. Hackmaster is NOT what 3E would have been if TSR was around. Look at the direction TSR was going... fragmenting the market with ever-crappier (and more munchkinesque) supplements... things like Skills and Powers, Players Options, Complete Book of Blah, and 80 bazillion campaign settings, all of which were pure, unadulterated crap and/or reprints of earlier products.

TSR is singlehandedly responsible for driving 2e into the ground. Not WotC. The fact of the matter is there can be no "if TSR was around" because if WotC hadn't acquired TSR, there would be NO TSR. NO D&D (of any stripe). No Hackmaster (because TSR wouldn't have existed to license it).

I hate to sound so chippy, but for crying out loud, people, LOOK AT THE FACTS! WOTC DID NOT DESTROY AD&D! TSR DID! When will you mindless little "WotC is the devil" drones get that through your skulls!

I don't get mad at people who want to discuss the merits of game mechanics but I do get upset at dunderheaded fools who refuse to recognize cold hard facts. Arguing over which game system is "right" is a matter of opinion, but here are some cold, hard facts that you twits seem not to have latched on to (or perhaps you are simply in a state of denial):

FACT: TSR was bankrupt and going under when WotC bought them.

FACT: If WotC does not buy TSR, TSR folds. No 3e. No 2e. No licensed Hackmaster. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Bye-bye.

FACT: WotC *IS* making older, out-of-print TSR material available... go to and search for ESD - if anything, WotC is PROLONGING the availability of old rulebooks and making them more permanent by putting them into PDFs (which don't fall apart after many years of loving use - my 2e PHB and DMG resemble a dog's chew toys).

If you wish to say, "Hackmaster is how I think 3e should have been done," I have no problem with that being your opinion (I'll disagree, but that's not the point). But I have a problem with people trying to write revisionist history.

And look at the way TSR was going with the Skills & Powers and Alternity... looks an AWFUL lot like proto-3e... no more proficiencies - instead we have skills (hmm...). Instead of set racial abilities, pich and choose the ones you want (remind anyone of Feats?). Heck, look at the old D&D Boxed Sets with their ability score bonuses starting with a score of 13. Look at the Gazeteers for D&D, especially Orcs of Thar (humanoids with levels), and suddenly you see a LOT of 3e lying around even in mid-to-late 80's (!) TSR publications (though more obviously so in late 90's stuff).

Hackmaster may be the way 2e ought to have gone, but there is PLENTY of evidence from the TSR days to suggest that 3e is, in fact, what D&D would have become "if TSR was around."

End of rant.

--The Sigil


If you want to go by the rules, from 3e, you'll have to take at least a level of a psionic class.

Why do you feel that you should be able to use these special powers without being at least partly that class?

There's loads of magic floating about, but to use it you need to have some training as a wizard or sorceror. If you want to focus your characters mind so you can be psionic, you need to train to do it. That will be at the expense of say a level of fighter, but will instead give you first level psionic warrior. This training is handled in the form of gaining XP and rising a level. It's up to your DM whether he lets you say you've been working on mind focus to gain the powers.

I am not too sure how 2e handles psionics as I never used them in my campaign when I used that system, so I'll have to leave discussion of that to others.


Thank you Sigil.
While I have always liked TSR, the truth is TSR ruined itself through insanely crappy management. I also feel that you are right on the money about TSR heading in the direction of 3E before being bought out. They were already working on it and toying around with it before the buyout. I'm sure WOTC put their hand in the mix and influenced some decisions, but TSR was already heading that way.

[[ When will you mindless little "WotC is the devil" drones get that through your skulls! ]]
--Answer: Never.

--Einstein: "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm
not sure about the former."

So great minds do think alike... thank Albert for me will you Jack.

The more this argument goes on the more I laugh at how easy it is to send a bunch of people bickering on the least important things.

I mean by the looks of the texts some of us have posted, this should have turned into a free for all brawl months ago (had it been a discussion held face to face in real space).

Thanks guys you've given me a great idea for the next time my characters go into an inn...

This should be a riot.

"Bwa ha ha ha ha ha"

PS Yes I am an idiot and I know.

Cthulhu Matata

Okay, Sigil
1) Not all the books that came out were crap! I like the remake modules (Which Wizards is also doing like return to temple of elemental evil). Just because YOU had no use for them, dosn't mean everyone else hated them. There were plenty of other book I would have wanted to see. Complete book of Minotares, Irdas, a book only on construction and such. Some of the later books like Drizzts guide to the underdark, guide to hell and such rocked.
2) Wizards DID bankrupt TSR with that shitty magic the gathering game. The populatity of this CCG totaly fucked up RPG's. TSR Tried to compete with SpellFire and The crappy SAGA system, but realisticly, what could they do. Magic was huge and it wasn't going anywhere. But they knew that CCG's would lose popularity some day, so what did they up TSR, the compay they distroyed. Then "They'll buy new books if we make a new system". SO 3E came out. Then the whole "FUCK the old schoolers! We aim it at our card thumpper population. you kow get rid of anything remotly cool and put in attacks like in video games like POWER CLEAVE AND SNEEK ATTACK!"

Wizards totaly rapped TSR. I woulnd have minded if the made a difrent RPG Like Magic the RPG. But when you totally fuck up a game that had to many fans. It worked we'll for so many year. Maybe some of you ddin't want lots of choices for some rule and wanted one standered, But I like veriety. Maybe you cont like the complete series, but I felt they added VERY much to my campain. But to say I ignorent because I say WIZARD rapped TSR.......think again pal.

Two selected quotes in response to "The Gamer" (all quotes by me unless otherwise noted). I think they speak for themselves with no other explanation needed.

"I thought 2e had been destroyed long ago by fragmenting the fan base into Greyhawk, Al-Qadim, Ravenloft, Planescape, Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, Mystara, and so forth... destroying its financial viability because no book could sell enough to recoup its production costs." --The Sigil

"To those of you who blame wizards for the ruinifacation of TSR fail to realize that TSR had been in slow decline for some time and the intoduction of Magic was just a catalyst for accelerating was was already happening. TSR as a business had faild to fully capture a way for the gaming world to challenge mind and stratigy to as high of a level as gamers wanted to be challenged, yet kept in a fantasy setting." --Soulsinger

It's a simple line of reasoning, really - gamers have a limited amount of money. Magic or no Magic, there is only so much people will spend on hobbies.

Production of a book takes a substantial amount of money - there is of course the printing cost, but there is a substantial "one-time" fee for the writer to write, the printer to set the printing up, the artists to contribute artwork, and so forth. Assume for sake of argument that this initial outlay is $10,000 for a single 128-page book (not really that unreasonable and possibly too little). It then costs about $10 to print that book (colored, glossy covers and so forth - 10 is a nice round number to work with). You turn around and sell it for $20 (I'll cut out the fact that they use distributors and that the book/hobby store needs to get a little cut because it makes a nice round number, and $20 is about the going rate for such a book c. 1998).

This means you make $10 profit, compared to the printing cost, per sale. It also means that you have to sell 1000 of these babies just to break even with that "one-time" outlay. This is admittedly over-simplified, but you get the idea.

Let us assume that the gaming community has the money and desire and will buy 20,000 books every year (but no more than 5000 of any one book since the 20,000 probably represents the same person buying multiple books in many cases).

What happens when you release 1 book? You sell 5000 copies (if it's good). Your cost to produce is $10,000 (the initial outlay) plus $50,000 (the actual printing cost of 5000 books at $10 each). Your income is $100,000 (5000 books at $20 each). That means you pocket $40,000. Not a bad set-up.

Next year, you figure, "if one book got me $40,000 then 25 books should get me $1 million! Cool!" You have the printer fire up the presses and create 25 books (you hire outside writers so you don't do this all yourself). Assume all your books are equally good - that means each book will sell 20,000 divided by 25 or 800 copies.

So you pay $10,000 per book in setup fees and $10 times 800 ($8,000) for a total cost of $18,000. You rake in $20 times 800 or $16,000. Dang! We just lost $2,000 per book or with 25 books that's $50,000! What happened?

The answer is that you just did what TSR did - you split your audience into too many pieces and stretched yourself too thin. WotC releases new books at the rate of about 2 per month. If you take all of TSR's product lines over the last five years of its existence, TSR produced 6-7 per month.

It's simple math - TSR put too much out there - people couldn't buy it all (or didn't want to - "why should I buy a Planescape product if I play in Maztica?") and so TSR split their market too much.

I could go on, but the point has been made. Magic had little to do with TSR.

That's why I disagree with "WIZARD rapped[sic] TSR". TSR had already destroyed itself before Magic even showed up on the scene. Magic just made it more obvious. And don't tell me that all the avid D&Ders took up Magic and never played D&D again.

As to POWER CLEAVE and SNEEK [sic] ATTACK, might I point out that this is just a new way of talking about someone specializing in the DISARMING MANEUVER and referencing A THIEF'S BACKSTAB ABILITY!

So they took all of the musty, arbitrary tables out of the game that 1e and 2e used (which, as I have mentioned, were ripped from NAVAL MINIATURES RULES in the first instance and are certainly NOT original ideas to D&D) and replaced them with a d20 versus a number mechanic. Who cares?

Your AD&D campaign is in many ways independent of the system you use - it's the culture and story and roleplaying that count (right?). The numeric system you use to define these is like a grid - I can describe a shape using Cartesian Coordinates, Spherical Coordinates, or Cylindrical Coordinates, but it's still the same shape. Some sets of coordinates are easier to understand than others. Think of 3e as the easier coordinate system to understand.

Done again for now.

--The Sigil

I do see your point, but your saying that the rise of the CCG industry had absoluty NO influence on TSR's bankruptsy. I think TSR should have just paced themselves. If you didn't notice Wizards is doing the same thing. In one year I've seen what 17 books come out and scores of non wizards for 3E. So your your rationing, Do you see Wizrads 3E going the same way as TSR? I mean all this D20 system stuff coming out, who has enough money to buy most of it?

Answer - Nobody.

Right now I think there are approximately 200 d20 publishers. My guess is that in 5 years, we will see closer to a dozen.

Some will get swallowed into others (e.g., Sword and Sorcery Studios (closely tied to White Wolf) has already swallowed Necromancer Games, Fiery Dragon Productions, and Malhavoc Press). Some will buckle and go under. The difference is that WotC is putting out 17 books a year instead of 70. And they try to make sure their books are of the highest quality, meaning that as the market fragments, the "other guys" will go under (some d20 publishers already have). It will take some time to happen, but I'm confident it will.

--The Sigil

[[ Do you see Wizrads 3E going the same way as TSR? I mean all this D20 system stuff coming out, who has enough money to buy most of it? ]]
--The Sigil's point on oversaturating the market is a good one. I'm not sure that splitting into genres is really the issue though. I think he's probably right that TSR outstripped their demand, but they didn't necessarily do it by having too many product lines, just too many titles. As was explained, you have to sell a certain number of copies of each book to cover the one time production costs and begin making a profit. This logic doesn't really care if you're selling one product line or ten. All that matters is selling enough of each product.
--So, then the question is whether WotC is going down the same route. I tend to think that they're not, though I think the question is a good one. I do think they're hitting the market hard, but I also think that their OGL plan is mitigating this.

--For one, I have to assume that the d20 system cuts costs. It's not just easy to play and DM, it's also easy to write game content for. I'd wager that the d20 system saves WotC authors huge amounts of time in their development cycle.

--I also have to assume that WotC's connections with Hasbro cut a ton of costs too. Hasbro is huge, and probably has all sorts of relationships with print houses, distributors, stores, etc. As a result, getting books printed and on shelves is cheaper and faster than it was for TSR.

--Finally, I think that WotC is capitalizing on the initial interest in d20, as well as trying to get all the "critical" material out there as quickly as possible. I think they're trying to be sure they have a d20 version of all the classic books so that 2e fans can't say "hey, where's the Manual of the Planes?" I think a lot of these books are intended to sell for a long time. TSR used to release a supplement or module, sell out their stock, and it was done. I think that WotC hopes to have a copy of the PH, DMB, MotP, Oriental Adventures, etc. on the shelf at all times. They'll still have transient modules and supplements, but I think they're looking for a bigger "core" book set that will be reprinted and sold indefinitely. By selling over the long term, they can easily cover the initial cost.

"I would argue that if these folks who think they like 1e/2e better would approach 3e with a TRULY open mind, give it a fair chance to show what it can do, they'd be converts."

I tried to like MUNCHKINS & MONSTERS, Jack, I truly did.

I, like most players I know, eagerly awaited the release of 3e. I intently followed along with the playtester's sessions on the WotC website. I pestered, to the point of being annoying (unbelievable, I know), my local games store for when the new edition would hit the shelves. I even tried using the rules - '10 Ways to Play 3rd Edition D&D Today' - posted on the WotC (or were they still using the TSR title then?) website which allowed you to play a 3e-ish game (converting THAC0 to an Attack Bonus, AC went up not down, class/level restrictions were abolished etc). Hey, I was skeptical, but I gave it a whirl. And when Monty Haul's three volume Bible was finally released, I played for a while in a new 3e campaign.

Honestly, I really, REALLY wanted to like it, life would be a lot easier if I did. But try as I might, I just couldn't. It sucks a dead dingo's donga.

Quite frankly, the problem is the tone. Flash, you were spot on. As I've said in a post above somewhere, I can understand many of the rule changes on an individual level, even if I disagree with many of them, but the tone of D&D has been completely mutilated by Wankers of the Coast. As Flash said, the system just feels shallow (and I would add a little childish - insofar as the tone goes). For no apparent reason WotC gave EVERYTHING in the game more steroids than the Chinese female Olympic swim team. What in the bloody buggery for? Streamline the rules, sure, fine, whatever. But why turn the whole bloody thing into a computer game on paper? Why make it feel as though you've stumbled upon a giant, three volume MtG picture-book? I would argue that these folks who think that they like 3e better will eventually get bored with this rather dull, not partiularly innovative or clever system. At least AD&D has some character.

As for your complaint, Jack, about 'pretentious' and 'elitists' gamers who are 'SO into roleplaying' - hmmmm, fancy thinking that roleplaying might, in some way, be a part of a ROLE-playing game. Well, paint me pink and call me Mary, whatever will they think of next?! Oh, and Jack, this convict doesn't think that everyone not directly involved with his gaming group is a complete jerk - just you ... all sarcasm aside ...

Tas ;)

PS - It's nice to see that Sigil is now blaming poor management for the collapse of TSR (which was my point somewhere above) and not because AD&D was particularly unpopular.

Hey I tried the game too. I bought the 3E Players handbook like everyone else. I read a lot of it and I couldn't get into it eather. The monsters wer all drawn like the magic cards which I didn't like ( I think it was so they could try to get me to get new minuters also.). But I did try it out. It had some good stuff, like new powers for familiars and lowering magic resistance for higher level casters. But 90% of the other changes that took place I hated. Now My system was dead And All I had was this system. I've calmed down a bit since the relese of hackmaster. But I retured that 3E PH 3 days after I bought it. The stuff made for 2E the wizards put out was kind of cool too. Die Vecna Die was one of the coolest games I ever ran. The problem with it was at the very end there was a paragraph saying that the outer planes merged and mage worked diffrently (aka wizards put this to explane the conversion to 3E). I think TSR made this game already and they just put that at the end. Man, I hate that company, I really, really do. You guys are cool for taking the time to write and all. Although I bitch about this stuff, don't take it personaly, I just like to vent.

[[ I tried to like MUNCHKINS & MONSTERS, Jack, I truly did. ]]
--He's back! Now with even more Australia-related fruity filling, and even less real content! Dingo dingo! Wallaby! Blimey! From Perth to Sydney, I've never seen somebody so repetitive and less able to form a coherant argument.

[[ Quite frankly, the problem is the tone. ]]
--Quite frankly the problem is you. You claim to be a wonderful roleplayer, and yet you're not good enough to take what you need from 3e to enjoy yourself. You can't practice your vast roleplaying skillset without a gaming system that's totally disorganized and fragmented. Nice commentary on your talents. I can roleplay just fine in 3e, and it's not even that important to me. I'd hate to think that I was just better at it than you.
--I'm done paying attention to your antics. You're clearly biased in favor of non-3e games, as you run a website based on "Classic Dnd," which only slightly steals the layout from its arch enemy WotC. All you seem to care about is reminding us that you're from Australia, and that you think repeating the same baseless jibberish makes it gospel. I don't care where you're from, and I don't care what you think.
--I hope for your sake that Australians have more tolerance for your girlish chittering than I do.

Whats up with you Jack? So the guys from Austrlia...Big Deal! You done have to go postal because he mentions it a few times ( I think all those aussy guys are like that because I have a friend who is from there and to this day still says Bugger off and calls people "Mate" even though he left when he was 7). As for non-role playing becasue he dosn't play 2e, gimmi a break man. There was role playing long before 3E came around. To switch from something your confortable to a new system that (for whatever reason) you don't like dosn't mean that your a bad role player. On another note, I've incorperated some 3E stuff into my 2E game. I tried to convert the "Lowering MR" high level wizard aspect, but I couldn't get it to work good. And The fimailars part kick ass compaired to the sucko 2E familars.
Also I like how you can figure the str. score on all the monsters with that chart.

[[ So the guys from Austrlia...Big Deal! ]]
--And I'm from the US. How many times have I mentioned it thus far? How many conspicuously "American" terms of speech have I used? In short, how much of my time on this particlar thread have I devoted to "being American?"
--The point is that the guy says nothing of substance, he just repeats his ridiculous, baseless "opinions" over and over, and litters this wasteland of broken logic with colorful (read that: faggy) Australian references.
--I have no problem with Australians. I'd think no better or worse of him if he spent all his time pointing out that he was Dutch, or Russian, or American. It's his fixation I take issue with, not the topic of the fixation. To be honest, I have to thank Australia for existing. It's doing the entire world a service by not deporting this Tas retard and unleashing his brand of repetitive, effeminate tripe on the rest of the world. Now if only they'd find a way to silence him completely...

[[ There was role playing long before 3E came around. To switch from something your confortable to a new system that (for whatever reason) you don't like dosn't mean that your a bad role player. ]]
--Look, I don't know what you're saying, cause I'm fairly sure it's not english, but I know this: The system can't force you to do anything. It can't change how much you roleplay, or prevent you from imagining a colorful character and bringing said character to life. No matter how many times you, or Johnny Australia says it, it's still a falsehood. It's especially false, when you're claiming to be a super-excellent roleplayer, like Tas is.
--Even if it wasn't patently false already, the fact is 3e provides the player MORE material to form the basis for good roleplaying. Sure it adds powers. Sure the 1st level 3e character has more going for him than the 1st level 1e/2e player. But you know what? My group used to start all our 2e characters at 3rd level, just so they'd have some degree of differentiation before play began.
--The bottom line here is that Tas thinks that playing a hacky, poorly designed system is MORE fun than playing a smoothly operating and well thought out system. I'm all for allowing people their opinions, but I attach a caveat to that. If you expect me to respect your opinion, I expect you to have a decent reason for having it.
--Don't like sports cars? Ok, why? Cause you just drive to get from place to place, and speed and power don't impress you? FINE. Your opinion, your justification. I happen to like sports cars, but I can't tell you to do the same.
--Don't like chocolate? Ok, why? Cause you've never seen a sailboat that could chinese teapot? Huh? That makes no sense. It's idiotic. The justifications don't match the conclusions.

--It's really very simple. The gaming system is a vehicle. Its sole purpose is to provide a layer of abstraction which allows the players and DM to consistently and conveniently simulate a gameworld, while still allowing a full spectrum of balanced powers and abilities. The gaming system should give the DM and players all the tools and options they need to realize their gaming vision, while at the same time staying out of their way and letting them enjoy that vision.
--3e does this FAR better than 1e/2e.
--You can disagree, but you'd be wrong.

--BTW, I realize that Tas might be a girl. I know I'm assuming it's a male person, and I have no real basis for that assumption, but at the same time, I don't care.
--I happen to be male, and my default is to assume other people are as well. If I care enough about the person to be accurate, I will, but obviously my concern in this instance is the very definition of minimal.

CCG's didn't drive TSR out of business. They did speed up the process, but probably by only a couple years. Three at the most. As far as Hasbro bolstering WOTC, I don't think so. From what I've heard, Hasbro doesn't really care about the RPG's. In fact, they barely make enough money to warrant a separate line item on the audit sheets. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that Hasbro decides to sell off WOTC and all of their properties sometime in the next five years. Sooner if the religo-nazis realize that Hasbro now owns the Great Satan D&D.

Gee, what a shit-storm. I'm sorry that my Australian-isms seem to bother you so much, Jack, but the truth is I'm not consciously using them. The Gamer is right - lots of Australians talk using informal slang terms and phrases. If I called a sidewalk a 'footpath' or a car's trunk a 'boot' would you regard that as trying to remind you that I'm from Australia? That's what they're universally called here. You spelt 'colorful' without an 'u' whereas the rest of the English speaking world spells it 'colourful' - should we regard that as your fixation with telling us you're from the US? (and BTW I'm not the one who used 'ya'll' in a sentence elsewhere - ooh, is that an Americanism?) No, I wouldn't use 'bugger' or 'a dead dingo's donga' in a business letter, or writing a job application, but otherwise that's how I speak - and since this post is not a formal occasion, I write how I speak.

Jack, mate, cobber, ol'pal, you can go bugger off.

'I don't care where you're from, and I don't care what you think.'

Wow, what a logical, well thought out argument. How can we compete with that?

'My group used to start all our 2e characters at 3rd level, just so they'd have some degree of differentiation before play began.'

Once again, you prove that you, at the very least, regard the *squeaks* and *honks* as pretty much the only real difference between PCs. If that's what rocks your tiny little world, go for it. Clearly 3e is for you. But that's bullshit. You don't need to be some poofy, pretentious roleplayer to create, for example, differences between two 1st level elven fighters. If one is a wild barbarian-type, and the other is a high elvish-type from a sophisticated city, there's the real difference: how their personality types react to a given situations in a game - not their min/maxed stats. It's not called a roleplaying game for nothing.

So, Jack, if you're this brilliant gamer you seem to think you are, how about some evidence other than puerile, little girl hair-pulling, personal attacks (or at least come up with something more original than saying that Australians are descended from thieves).


[[ You don't need to be some poofy, pretentious roleplayer to create, for example, differences between two 1st level elven fighters. If one is a wild barbarian-type, and the other is a high elvish-type from a sophisticated city, there's the real difference: how their personality types react to a given situations in a game - not their min/maxed stats. ]]
--I'll make this real simple, and I'll make this my last post on the topic. Tas, if you read through this post carefully, and with an open mind, and still don't agree with me, then clearly we're coming from experiences so different that it's never gonna line up.

--Let's use the above quote as the basis for the discussion.

--First I'd like to point out that 3e facilitates the creation of a character with personality both in roleplaying AND rollplaying better than 1e or 2e ever did. Using 2e, we have basically three ways to differentiate the two characters above, within the context of the rules. Their attributes, their weapon choices and their non-weapon proficiencies. In 3e we have attributes, weapons choices, skills and feats.
--Obviously attributes cancel out, but bear in mind that the system in 3e is much smoother and consistent.
--Weapon choices also cancel out.
--Non-weapon proficiences and skills are roughly analogous, however skills are more varied, more flexible and an easier ruleset to use in game. The skills system in 3e offers the player the opportunity to define his character's personality via the skills and tactics he makes use of. The barbarian type would have outdoorsy skills, intimidate skills, and rustic craft skills. The citydweller would have bartering skills, courtly skills, and bluffing skills. The character's personality becomes more visible in the numbers thanks to the new rules. Also, which player is more likely to be willing to roleplay his intimidation of a city guard; the one with intimidate listed on his sheet, or the one without? If nothing else, skills can serve as a reminder of the things that make your character who he or she is.
--Lastly we have feats. I'm sure you think these are the worst thing ever, because they empower the character, and for some reason a competent character can't POSSIBLY be roleplayed. For my part, I look at feats as yet another chance to personalize. Our barbarian elf takes a weapon focus in battleaxe, and power attack with that weapon, to reflect his aggressive personality. The courtly elf takes weapon focus in rapier and weapon finesse, so he can use his dexterity to aid in melee. Giving the players an opportunity to flesh out their combat styles and abilities is YET another chance for them to define their characters. AGAIN, which player is more likely to vividly describe the maneuvers his character carries out in combat; the one with specific feats, or the one without? When you're hitting because you took weapon finesse, you're far more likely to congratulate your elven warrior for his "brutally slashing axe," or "sparklingly fast rapier."
--In short, 3e makes it far easier and rewarding to customize the character so the ROLLplaying fits with the ROLEplaying. That's a good thing, NOT a bad thing.

--Last, I'd like to mention how much of an aid in roleplaying it is to have good, consistent and easy rules. You have admitted that 2e was not as smooth, but you somehow consider this a merit. In my book, that's 180 degrees away from reality.
--Let's say you're going along, when a player decides that his courtly elven fighter is going to try to talk the orcish guard into letting him pass. The player launches into a winding tale about a missing nephew, an orcish village, and all manner of trickery. All present enjoy the diologue and await the DM's ruling. Sadly, his face is buried in his notes and the 2e DMG, as he futilely searches for some sort of rule to handle this relatively common occurrance. "Uhh, hold on a sec" he says, and the roleplaying screeches to a halt.
--Now page forward to 3e. Our elf's player delivers his monologue and the DM responds immediately. "Great roleplaying," he says "you get a +2 circumstance bonus. Now roll your bluff vs. the orc's sense motive." The roll is made, and the elf wins. The DM roleplays the dumbfounded orc's reaction, and the game moves on. In 3e there's simple, consistent and universal rules, that the DM will know immediately what to do with. He can roll and make rulings with the confidence that the rules have the tools he needs to keep the game flowing.
--Notice ALSO, that the rules will DEMAND good roleplaying of the characters. When the elf barbarian, who has spent his skills in things OTHER than bluff attempts to talk his way past the guard (an action that is out of character), he is unlikely to succeed, as his skill is poor. In short, the rules FACILITATE roleplaying, quite the opposite of your proposition that they hinder, or eliminate it.

--And that's really it.

--This post contains, essentially, two opinions regarding the merits of 3e. It then backs these opinions up with extensive evidence. This is the only useful way to discuss a topic.
--Tas, it's my opinion that thus far you have done nothing but trade insults with me and make vague and unsupported assertions. You'll notice I have removed all my useless insults from this post and have tried to stick to factual arguments. If you'd care to respond in kind, I'd be happy to consider your points as well. However, if you continue to rehash the same material about "*squeaks* and *honks*" and "MUNCKINS and MONSTERS" I will be forced to disregard you. None of that stuff means anything to me. To my mind, it's nothing more than buzzwords you've fixated upon, and you repeat them over and over, each time saying nothing more than "3e isn't good, cause I said so." I'm not trying to insult here, I'm just trying to tell you what I see.
--Perhaps as you read this thread, things appear as the mirror to you as they do to me. Perhaps you see yourself as providing the substantiated arguments and me as the one repeating the same useless garbage. If that's the case, so be it. As I said previously, perhaps we simply cannot come to an understanding. However, I like to think that my points outlined above are simple enough and factual enough that they are clear to any intelligent reader. I hope that you can put our past diologue behind you and read this post with the intent to understand.

--I like to flame as much (or more) than the next guy. However when the day is done, I know that it's all wasted time. On the other hand, if I can get somebody to take a second look at 3e, get that person to give it another try, and maybe find the same value that I do, then maybe I can help somebody improve their enjoyment of the hobby which I too enjoy.
--The fact is, I don't post here because I like to hear myself talk, or because I really need to prove myself to strangers. I'm posting because I see a lot of people in this thread missing out on a system that I consider to be a real innovation in gaming.
--If you don't care, that's fine.

Let's say you're going along, when a player decides that his courtly elven fighter is going to try to talk the orcish guard into letting him pass. The player launches into a winding tale about a missing nephew, an orcish village, and all manner of trickery. All present enjoy the dialogue and await the DM's ruling. "Great roleplaying," he says "you get a +2 bonus to your Charisma roll. The orc has a pretty low intelligence as well, so that's a further +2 bonus. Now make a Charisma check." The roll is made, and the elf wins. The DM roleplays the dumbfounded orc's reaction, and the game moves on.

Now, really, that doesn't produce a different result than your 3e example, and it's pretty much just as streamlined. It has, IMO, the values of adding the dice roll to reflect a PCs on-paper stats (as in 3e), it's just as simple, and it's arguably a little more flexible. But, if you believe that skills such as Bluff are necessary to add to the roleplaying experience, then you could have added such a proficiency and still be quite within the 'official' 2e rules: "The proficiency lists in the Player's Handbook are extensive, but not comprehensive ... DMs and players will certainly think of proficiencies they'd like to add" etc. (2e DMG p31)

But my point about PC differentiation is that such skills and other similar 3e elements can very easily detract from roleplaying. Using our example above, lets imagine the player is trying to run the courtly elven fighter, let's call him Ulfalas, according to the personality he wrote down on the back of the PC sheet. The player might decide that Ulfalas would think that even bothering to talk to the lowly orc would be beneath him. That might produce a completely different, and just as interesting, game outcome - all based on the Ulfalas' unique 1st level fighter's personality and not on his on-paper collection of skills. A 3e player might be tempted to just always rely on their good Bluff skill, rather than attempt to play the PC as written.

I'm sorry to repeat this, but the tone is a problem. I've thought about it a lot, and although there are other aspects I don't like (inluding the basic fact that 3e is SO different it renders all previous rulebooks obsolete), it all boils down to that. We can argue about it until the cows come home, but the increase in power strips away that final tiny fragment of realism that is needed, even in a fantasy game, so we aren't jarred out of our suspended disbelief. I've said above that almost any system, if you fiddle long enough, can allow power gaming, and the tone of our own campaigns, set by each gaming group, can range from in-depth roleplaying to pure hack'n'slashing. But the increase in the power makes the system feel cartoon-like. I'm sorry if that's an opinion, but that's the way I feel.

But, really, we have reached an impasse. I like 2e because it has an indefinable 'character'. It's those terrible 'cludgy' AD&D mechanics (which you and Sigil and other fellow 3e players seem to so dislike) that make it 'feel' different to every other system. Do the mechanics detract from the flow of play? I don't think so, you think otherwise. What else can we say? Quite frankly, I really can't see anything innovative about the 'roll a dice, add a modifier' 3e mechanics. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of slick, integrated systems (for example, the STAR WARS d6 system - a cinematic RPG that suited the STAR WARS genre perfectly), but 3e seems pretty pedestrian to me. I've never denied that 3e is more streamlined, but I just don't think it is innovative - except for the blanket-bombing marketing by WotC.

BTW, as a side issue, WotC is doing exactly what Sigil said that TSR did, that is, spreading its product line way too thin. WotC may not be bearing the cost of production for many of the licensed products, but as has been pointed out above, gamers only have so much money. If they are buying Blah Blah Games products, they're not buying as many from WotC. As for Jack's comment about WotC focusing on core products, that may be correct to a point (although, I suspect they'll churn them out soon enough), but players only buy core products once.

As for the MUNCHKINS & MONSTERS etc. remarks, what can I say? As with many of your own comments, Jack, such comments are designed for the express purpose of pissing the other bloke off. I make no apologies for that. Seriously though, if we start to deconstruct our insults and button-pushing smart-arse remarks, it kind of takes the fun out of flaming, don't you think?


I have to say I find it funny that I am seen as now "seeing the light" that incompetent management destroyed TSR. Um, I first brought that up November 8, 2000 (over a year ago) on this very thread (look it up). This isn't new.

As for D&D never being "unpopular," I don't have a lot of hard, statistical evidence to support an argument one way or the other - what I do have is anecdotal evidence - in my experience, D&D was pretty much the only thing people played in the 80's (because it was pretty much all that was out there). In the 90's a lot of other systems started to gain in popularity - people knew and could play D&D, but preferred to play Vampire, Rifts, Traveller, or what have you. So while the population of people who knew how to play D&D stayed about the same, the population of people who regularly played it went down - because they were playing other games that suited their tastes better, either in atmosphere or in rules.

I believe TSR saw this and tried to "tinker" with D&D to make it more palatable to other folks... Spelljammer looks somewhat like an attempt to appeal to the Sci-Fi/Traveller crowd. Planescape, with its constant jarring jargon, reminds very much of Shadowrun and Cyberpunk, where the style and lingo are so over-emphasized as to blunt the mechanics. Ravenloft was an obvious attempt to bring in the Vampire players. Skills & Powers tried to bring in "points-system" players like GURPS players who wanted more flexibility. Again, I have no hard and fast statistical evidence to this, but this was what I thought about when I saw these various lines coming out - so I *do* think D&D suffered a popularity swoon (otherwise why try to imitate all the other RPGs out there?).

What I do know as a hard statistical fact is that WotC execs have mentioned that sales of 3e are VASTLY exceeding projections (to the tune of 150% of projections). I infer from this that D&D's popularity is on the rise again, since more people are buying the books than WotC thought would have.

These are my own assumptions and observations and, ultimately, opinions (except for the 150% sales vs. projections figure). Your mileage may vary.

Finally, sticking my head into the flamewar for just a moment, I would like to re-emphasize the point made by Jack.

"In short, 3e makes it far easier and rewarding to customize the character so the ROLLplaying fits with the ROLEplaying. That's a good thing, NOT a bad thing."

This is precisely what I have been trying to argue for some time, just said much more clearly and concisely. Basically, it comes to this: if I look at your 2e character sheet and you tell me your character is "no-talk all-action axe-slashing barbarian guy" I can copy that character sheet, move it to another campaign, and make exact same character into "smooth-talking lady-killing rapier-wielding swashbuckler-guy." The rules don't favor the character being one or the other - it's entirely in the hands of my roleplaying but there are no game mechanics to back up my claims.

If I take a 3e character sheet of a character with Axe Specialization, Great Cleave, and Toughness, my character's statistics actually reflect "no-talk all-action axe-slashing barbarian guy." The character literally is more effective with an axe than a rapier.

Similarly, a character with the Weapon Specialization: Rapier, Dodge, and Weapon Expertise feats will be considerably more effective with a rapier than with an axe.

Again, as stated, the character's roll-playing actually follows/reflects the role-playing. This makes the system more believable and ultimately, rewards role-playing to some degree because your character actually winds up interacting with his world (through his abilities and statistics) in a way that reflects the roleplaying personality you have defined for him. It's more than *squeaks* and *whistles*, it's the system being built to allow role-playing to be easily reflected in the roll-playing.

Is the system more streamlined? Absolutely.

Is it less complex? Yes.

Is the learning curve lower? Yes.

Does this make it easier for "newbies" to learn? Yes.

Is making the system easier (and hence more available to "newbies") a good thing? That's a matter of opinion. Some gamers want a steep learning curve so they can feel kind of elitist. Some want a steep learning curve so they can feel some satisfaction in mastering it. Some gamers want a low learning curve so they can easily teach others and bring others to the game. Some gamers want a low learning curve because they're lazy and/or just want to play without being bothered by a lot of rules. There is no "right answer" here.

Does the system being easier show that it caters to "newbies"? Not necessarily. The logical fallacy many have fallen into here is assumption of truth of a converse.

Assume, for a moment, that this statement is true (and it seems to be a logical statement to make): If a system caters to "newbies" it must be easy.

The converse of the statement, "If a system is easy it must cater to 'newbies'" is NOT necessarily true. Some on this thread have made that fallacious jump.

It is as ridiculous as claiming that the statement "If a person is an Australian, s/he must be a human" also leads to the conclusion "If a person is a human, s/he must be an Australian." It is a common logical fallacy best illustrated by something like the above, which is obviously not true because I can quite easily show a counter-example (Exhibit A: an American, who is human but not Australian).

Did WotC cater to newbies when they made 3e? I'm not in WotC, so I can't answer that definitively - I wasn't part of the decision-making process. However, I know that WotC put the system through two years of rigorous outside playtesting by using the RPGA - in other words, they got their feedback on the system from people who were ALREADY dedicated D&Ders and certainly not newbies (I will make an assumption that I feel is reasonable to back this up - "anyone who bothers to join the RPGA is NOT a newbie").

WotC got two years' worth of feedback from EXPERIENCED players of D&D (not even experienced players of other systems, but players who played AD&D - note the difference). All of the playtesters I have spoken with on various message boards have said, pretty much without exception, that many of the problems they brought up with the system in its first incarnation were fixed long before 3e ever saw print. *None* of them have expressed particular displeasure with the final result. One would think that with thousands of playtesters, if 3e was really as bad a system as a vocal minority seems to believe, some of the playtesters would have called it out as crap by now.

In other words, thousands people who were intimately familiar with 1e and 2e put the system through its paces before you even saw it and none of them is that upset with it. Obviously, not everyone will be happy with changes (no matter what WotC did). If there were such serious systemic flaws as people here are claiming exist(without much substantiation, by the way), it would stand to reason that more people would be complaining about it.

One of the biggest changes that "made sense" in 3e was doing away with 1 gp = 1 XP awards. In 2e you got 80-90% of your XP for "stumbling over a pile of gold." Slaying monsters, avoiding traps, figuring out puzzles, all of this stuff netted you so few XP as to be not worth the bother. It practically forced Monty Haul campaigns.

Contrast with the 3e XP system. You get XP for slaying monsters, surviving/disarming traps, overcoming puzzles, you can get XP for overcoming stuff in a non-violent fashion if it aids you towards your goal. Treasure is a reward in itself that doesn't get double-counted and your characters can advance in levels without getting filthy rich (which also makes sense - Robin Hood never made much money).

You may have a beef with the XP charts or how much XP is awarded for killing an orc (four 1st-level PCs kill 14 orcs and advance to 2nd level) or whatever, but I haven't heard anybody complain that the types of things you get XP for - and more importatnly the types of things you DON'T get XP for are worse in 3e.

I'm not blinded by loyalty to 3e. I have gamed with literally HUNDREDS of systems, and there are redeeming qualities about all of them. I *DO* get the perception that some (not all) of the "hate 3e" folks *are* blinded by loyalty to 2e. Anyone who says that 2e is a better system in every way is flat out wrong. (I will grant that an argument can be made that it is better in some ways - e.g., I like weapon speed factors.) No system can claim utter superiority in every facet - if it was totally superior everyone would be using it and all other companies would go out of business.

To those who say, "I really tried 3e, and didn't like the way it felt, so I went back to 2e (or 1e, or even back to the old Men & Monsters/Blackmoor/Eldritch Wizardry combo)," I say, "that's fine. Wonderful. Enjoy yourself - I happen to like 3e, but I have no problem with you playing 2e."

To those who say, "it is a fact that 3e is crap, and people who play it are " I say, "that's your opinion, not indisputable fact, and since you offered your opinion on those who play it, I will offer my opinion that you are a rude, stubborn jackass."

Using terms such as "Munchkins and Monsters" or "squeaks and honks" only serves to underline the fact that you have rather strong opinions on the matter. While I give you points for coming up with cute little nicknames in order to illustrate your perception of the inadquacies of the system, it amounts to "raising your voice when you should reinforce your argument." I could quite easily refer to 2e as "Tables & Treasures" (bearing in mind that in 2e, somewhere between 80-90% of XP earned comes from finding a pile of coins instead of actually doing stuff like fighting or surviving traps). But I prefer to tackle the matters at hand, pointing out that 3e gives you a roll-playing reflection of your role-playing, has an XP system that reflects what you've done (i.e., your experiences - they ARE called experience points) rather than what you've found, and is much cleaner in many aspects (multiclassing and darkvision are excellent revisions of old multiclassing and infra/ultravision that avoid many of the issues that plagued these in the 2e system).

Anyway, there's more of my thoughts on the matter, and I fully expect more flames and disagreement. Let's have it and get it over with. ;-)

--The Sigil

Tas and Jack, you are both arrogant self-righteous bastards who can't see past the opinion on your ugly-ass faces. I'm sick of listening to the crap that you two call arguments, and would very much appreciate it if you would both shut the hell up, you ignorant pieces of crap!

Just kidding...actually, I just felt left out of the flame-war and thought I'd post a bit of useless flaming. :) I'm actually enjoying both your posts, and IMO, both of you have very god points. (I'll be trying out 3e sometime in the near future to develop my own opinion on it.) :) L8er.


Sorry about that post..."it should read very GOOD points". I was in a hurry and didn't proofread, which usually werks KO fotr mee, bnut foer somne reasomn I misspeeled thgat werd. :)


Just for fun, let me speak to the subject of "kludgy" mechanics. When I refer to a "kludgy" mechanic, I refer to one that seems rather arbitrary and tacked onto the system as a "quick fix" of a problem rather than looking at the system and figuring out a way to revamp it so as to make the problem go away.

Example 1: Demihuman level limits
Why were they added?
Because in 2e and before, demihumans were more powerful than humans. They got extra racial abilities (much longer lifespans, infravision, bonus to saves and/or spell immunity, extra languages and weapon proficiencies, the ability to multiclass, and so forth) with no drawbacks.

Why didn't it work?
In most campaigns, characters never even came close to the level ceilings, so this "limit" didn't even come into play. In those that did, these were often done away because they were illogical (if I am a human wizard with only 80 years to study, how can I be a better wizard than the elf who has had 800 years to study?) and, ultimately, completely arbitrary.

The problem was simple: demihumans are more powerful than humans. The fix was arbitrary and didn't really address the problem.

The 3e fix: Give humans an extra feat and an extra skill point every level. Instead of limiting demihumans, give humans a subtle power boost. The majority of the power boost (the Feat) comes into effect at first level to counteract racial abilities also in effect at first level (e.g., darkvision) and the lingering effect (the extra skill point) gives you some long-term stuff to offset longer lifespans.

Related kludgy item: "Aging" effects hit different races differently - really nightmarish to try to figure out (esp if you were playing a non-standard race).

Example 2: Enchant An Item

Let me get this straight - I make magic items and I gain experience points? Why would any mage adventure after 9th level (and picking up this spell)? He just sits in his tower cranking out magic items for hire and watches his level ratchet up and up as his treasury grows and grows with zero risk (other than thieves). Furthermore, just have the party wizard retire and make ever-more powerful magic items for his buddies.

The 3e fix: Making magic items is enervating and COSTS experience points. This also means that you can't have the party wizard retire and become a "magic item factory" for the rest of the party - he has to go out and earn some experience too.

Example 3: Multiclassing vs. Dual-Classing

Why can demihumans only multiclass and humans only dual-class? Why is it that one particular "dual-class" combo is allowed to become a "triple, then quadruple" class combo in 1e (see "Becoming a Bard")? Why must I split my XP equally among both of my multi-classes even if my multiclass fighter/thief never picks a lock or uses any of his thief skills? Why must I keep sending XP into a hole once my half-elf cleric/fighter/magic-user tops out at 5th level cleric (meaning he is essentially getting a -33% penalty to all XP since 33% of his XP go into his cleric class that can't advance any more)? Why average the hit points? What is the rationale for saving throws and THAC0?

Basically, multiclassing in 2e and before is a very nasty proposition. 3e's mechanics change (BAB vs. THAC0 and save bonuses instead of arbitrary target numbers based on level) makes "stacking" multiple classes easy and painless.

Example 4: Why can't my magic-user use a sword?
Another example of an arbitrary restriction. Some will say it's the "cold steel" rule (which relates very much to the "magic is a form of electromagnetic radiation" feeling which explains why it is blocked by lead, for example), but that doesn't explain why my elven fighter/mage has no such difficulty.

Basically, "kludgy" is a fancy way of saying "arbitrary decisions" that appear to be a "quick fix" - i.e., it's balanced because I just won't let you do that rather than actually trying to account for many possibilities.

Arbitrary means of trying to balance a system are unfair, counter-intuitive, and don't work because people aren't satisfied with a solution where the only reason somebody isn't too powerful is because he's forbidden to be by outright fiat ("in order to make sure the villains have a chance, Superman is forbidden from using his ability to fly").

--The Sigil

[[ All present enjoy the dialogue and await the DM's ruling. "Great roleplaying," he says "you get a +2 bonus to your Charisma roll. The orc has a pretty low intelligence as well, so that's a further +2 bonus. Now make a Charisma check." The roll is made, and the elf wins. The DM roleplays the dumbfounded orc's reaction, and the game moves on. ]]
--Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that 2e CAN'T be fun. After all, it was my favorite system until 3e came along. And yes, DMs CAN come up with little rules in their heads and make things run along. However, at that point, I'm wondering why I'm even paying for the 2e book. If I'm gonna make up the rules as I go, then I don't need a book to hold while I do it. A DM that can make arbitrary rulings and pull it off with the players is a rare thing, and most folks need a book to back them up.
--It may not be a factor for you, but I think that for most people playing DnD, it's nice to have the rules on paper to back up what they do in game. This cuts off a lot of arguments before they can happen, and it makes things clear and simple. Even if this doesn't really benefit you a ton, I'd challenge you to name a downside to it. It may not be a pro to everyone, but it's a con to nobody. Thus a clear improvement.
--Even if you tweak the 2e rules to have the same amount of functionality as the 3e ones, they're still not as consistent or user friendly, and not as useful in game. In 2e, all you need is a high attribute and you're instantly a master diplomat. In 3e you have to spend skill points to be good, and you have to keep spending them over time to stay competitive with higher level opposition.

[[ The player might decide that Ulfalas would think that even bothering to talk to the lowly orc would be beneath him. ]]
--Clearly we can come up with anecdotes all day that contradict one another's points. I realize that your anecdote here is not really that unlikely, but I'd have to say that it's less likely than the one I provide.
--The key here is that the numbers, character description text, AND roleplaying all add up. If the player spends skills in bluff on a character that isn't supposed to use bluff, he's not roleplaying. If he writes down that he's a barbarian and then plays a courtesan, he's also not roleplaying.
--It all comes back to the functionality of the ruleset. Not only do skills give the DM a tool to handle in game interactions, but they give the player a tool to make dice rolls and probabilities in game match up with his character's personality.

[[ We can argue about it until the cows come home, but the increase in power strips away that final tiny fragment of realism that is needed, even in a fantasy game, so we aren't jarred out of our suspended disbelief. ]]
--I don't get it... Why? How?
--I will admit, 3e characters at 1st level are a bit stronger than 1e/2e characters at the same level. But who cares? You don't mind playing a 2nd level, or 10th level 1e/2e character, why would you mind playing a 3e character? There's a slight difference in power, but it's not much more than a level or two.
--It's all scalable anyway. The enemies are ALSO tougher. In fact, the enemies are built on the same ruleset as the characters. In this regard the enemies have gotten an even bigger boost than PCs in 3e. Relative to their foes, it seems, 3e characters are actually WEAKER.
--This power boost, while it does exist, is not as great as you seem to think. I tend to think that the simplicity and ease of understanding the new powers available to a player make 3e seem much more min-maxed than it is. In reality, a 2e player could abuse the rules just as badly, if not worse, to create an imbalanced character. The only difference is that 2e demanded hours of reading every single arcane and disjoint supplement that TSR released, until a rule that would allow abuse was found. Just look at kits... They were a horrible ruleshack that ALWAYS assured a character more powerful than the base class.
--To call 3e a powergamer's system, to me, is the opposite of reality. Where there's balance, there's less powergaming, and 3e is infinitely more balanced than 2e, which started out of whack and got worse over time.
--Honestly, I just don't understand why you don't believe in 3e. It's just a set of rules, it can't change the tone of YOUR game.

[[ I've never denied that 3e is more streamlined, but I just don't think it is innovative ]]
--This I also don't understand.
--You seem to place great import in the roleplaying aspect of the game, and yet you also demand inspiring and interesting mechanics.
--From my point of view, the mechanics should be out of my way, doing nothing more than I need, and yet nothing less. While I wouldn't suggest that you should stop liking the "character" of 2e mechanics, I would hope that you'd admit that liking a klunky and ineffective system more than a smooth and slick one is odd, and not something that others should be expected to really understand.
--But, even beyond this, I'd challenge your assertion that 3e is not innovative. Basically every game is just a system of using dice to create randomness, and rules to create a target. Any sort of abstraction from this, be it dice pools, or open ended rolls, or whatever, is just a fancy trick to fool people that never took higher math. 3e doesn't bother to try to get cute with its rolling conventions, because it knows that there's no real innovation there. What's innovative is the singleminded devotion the designers have with regards to creating consistency and balance in the game.
--Look at Warhammer 40K, DnD 1e/2e, Rolemaster, etc. Every one is a heaping mound of rules hacks. What's truly innovative about 3e is the "object oriented" design of it. Just as object oriented programming became a force for innovation in software design, now it's a force in RPGs. Some people deride 3e for being like a "computer game on paper." To me, this is crazy. It's not a fault, it's an accomplishment. Organization, simplicity, reusability of concepts, and generally logical systems are GOOD. ALWAYS. Right?

[[ As for Jack's comment about WotC focusing on core products, that may be correct to a point (although, I suspect they'll churn them out soon enough), but players only buy core products once. ]]
--I think this is not the case.
--First off, I have three copies (in different versions) of the 1e PHD, I have at least three copies of the 2e PHB, and at least two copies of the 3e PHB. I buy them to loan to other players, and just to be sure that I have copies on hand. I may be unusual, but that's how I've always operated.
--Also, the notion that more players won't keep coming into 3e is false. Each day, more and more people get interested and buy 3e products. Those that lose interest can't exactly return their books. So the sales of the "core products" will continue indefinitely. With this in mind, it seems to me that WotC can't avoid making back their initial outlay on all their core products, given a while to do so.

Clearly Rabbitman hasn't read the 3rd ed D&D or any rulebook based on d20. "Threat ratings" and so on take the place of XP, not "to hit" rolls.
Now, on to the important thing: D&D and d20 has saved the gaming industry single-handedly. A lot of people complain that characters get too powerful too quickly. True. Are people who want to play Ranger/Druid/Paladin/Monk/Red Avenger/Theif/CLeric/Ninjas twinky? Probably. Who cares? D&D was always the "entry drug" of choice for most gamers.. and there is a whole new generation of kids who grew up playing Pokemon who won't be role-players if they have to cut their proverbial teeth on Call of Cthulhu or Dark Conspiracy.
Game mechanics: people who _WANT_ game mechanics want to play dungeon-crawls. People who want to role-play could really care less about the system. It's very difficult to have it both ways.
CHaracter power: who wants to play a 1st level character anyway? Don't people play RPGs to play heroes? WHo wants to play chracters that've just fallen off the turnip truck?

"Are people who want to play Ranger/Druid/Paladin/Monk/Red Avenger/Theif/CLeric/Ninjas twinky? Probably. Who cares?"

Consider also that in 3e, this is a Ranger 1/Druid 1/Paladin 1/Monk 1/Red Avenger 1/Thief 1/Cleric 1/Ninja 1.

Or IOW, an 8th level character. With access only to 0th- and first level spells (a whopping 6 or 7 first level spells) with a sneak attack bonus of +1d6 damage (maybe +2d6, depending on what a ninja gets). His BAB will be +2 or +3 (Ranger, Paladin, and possibly Red Avenger).

Compare this to the dude who instead is an 8th-level sorcerer. The guy has a BAB of +4 (higher than "twink"), more and higher level spells per day (as many 1st level spells and 2nd, 3rd, and 4th level spells to boot). Or an 8th-level rogue (BAB +6/+1, +3d6 sneak attack, improved evasion, uncanny dodge, bucketloads of skill points). Or an 8th-level fighter (has a BAB of +8/+3, and is sitting on a pile of extra hp). Or an 8th level cleric (better turn ability, more spells, BAB +6/+1).

This is why the multiclassing in 3e is so nice. The "multiclassing twink" example everyone keeps referring to isn't more powerful than a single-classed character of the same level - and in many respects is often weaker - while the "multiclassed twink" has a greater variety of abilities (spells and sneak attack and favored enemy and so on) than the single-classed character, the single-classed character is MUCH better at what he does than the "one of everything" twink.

Basically, under the old multiclassing rules, you sacrificed one level to gain the benefits of two classes (i.e., it takes the same XP to be an 11th level fighter as it does to be a 10th level fighter/11th level wizard - IOW, you sacrifice one level of fighter for 11 levels of wizard). In 3e, since your level total is the same and everything is cumulative, you can't be a master of all trades - a 5th/5th fighter/wizard will be a much better fighter than a 10th level wizard and a much better wizard than a 10th level fighter. BUT he will be a crappy wizard compared to the 10th level wizard and a crappy fighter compared to a 10th level fighter (all with the same amount of XP).

In 3e, you can specialize or generalize - if you generalize (read: extensive multiclassing) you can do a *lot* of things okay - but at the cost of doing nothing well. If you specialize (read: little to no multiclassing), you can do certain things REALLY well.

The only character who will do everything well is the 160th level Ranger 20/Druid 20/Paladin 20/Monk 20/Red Avenger 20/Thief 20/Cleric 20/Ninja 20.

Anyone who tries to use Multiclassing as an example of munchkinism had better do their homework before saying that multiclassing is munchkin in 3e. Quite often it has the opposite effect - it WEAKENS the character in terms of power. In 2e, Multiclassing *IS* broken and *IS* problematic.

--The Sigil

BTW, I don't know about you, but I have never allowed a 160th level character in my campaigns. If you do, you are just begging to be "twinked." ;)

And yes, Doc Railgun, I understand that you were DEFENDING 3e - I was just trying to make a point about how broken Multiclassing is in 2e and how it is elegantly fixed in 3e.

(Again, in 2e I can have 1,000,000 XP and be an 11th level fighter or a 12th level wizard - or a 10/11 fighter/wizard - duh, I wonder which one I'm gonna take if I'm a twink - I'll sacrifice one level in each of them to get BOTH of them. In 3e I can have 50,000 XP and be a 10th level fighter or a 10th level wizard - or a 5/5 fighter/wizard - hmm, much less attractive choice for the twink).

Whatever you want to call 'em - twinks, munchkins, whatever, fact is pretty much EVERYONE goes through that phase at some point in their RPG lives. Just because you think you "outgrew" that phase doesn't make you "more mature" or "better." It makes you different.

Besides, admit it, every once in a while, isn't it nice to take a break from a long-running campaign for a session and just kick the crap out of the local orc tribe? Releases some tensions, indulges some primal urges, and then we can get back the "regular" campaign... ;-)

--The Sigil

[[ Jack, since when are Ability checks 'making it up as you go along'? It's the foundation mechanic of D&D. ]]
--Ok, you do have a point here, I somewhat skipped over my own point and didn't make it clear enough. The 'making it up' part, is that you have to approach each 2e situation where this ability check is used, and come up with a roll on the spot. You'd have to, for example, decide that this was Cha vs Int, for whatever reason, and then come up with the modifiers on your own. Additionally, the basic mechanic of the ability check is fundamentally broken in 2e, because all you have to do is roll below your attribute. Typically a character won't have below a 10, so really there's always better than a 50% chance of success.
--In 3e, the skills (in my experience), always seem to work out. You look at the list and you find "bluff" and "sense motive." Because you can use any skill in challenge against another skill, it's amazing the number of situations that resolve easily. There's no confusion as to which attributes to use, and there's no need to come up with arbitrary modifiers, since the roll is a direct challenge. ALSO, since the system is better thought out, now there's a range of possibilities of success, rather than the 50%-100% that 2e generally gives.
--Again, as I said before, 2e is NOT impossible to work with. Even in 3e, a good GM is going to arbitrarily make a lot of stuff up, and because he's good, the players will respect it. How many times have you guys thought to yourself "oh I don't know what this player needs to roll, I'll just have him roll and if it's close, then I'll figure it out. Oh, he rolled a 1. He clearly failed, so no need to worry about the rules." That's fine, and that's not bad DMing. But at the same time, it's nice to have a ruleset that will handle these situations so you DON'T have to be arbitrary. 3e has this in spades, 2e doesn't have it at all.

[[ OK, I'll name two. The downside to a focus on 'rules-on-paper' approach, if slavishly applied, is that it can be inflexible. ]]
--Valid suggestion, but it sounds to me like you haven't played enough 3e. From my experience, there is a lot of slowdown in the first sessions, but before long, it's gone. Then you have rapid resolution, entirely within the rules, and virtually every situation is covered. Also, when you DO choose to stop the game and look for the rules, you're often amazed at what 3e does have rules for already. The basic mechanic of opposed skill rolls requires only that the DM choose the skills to oppose and apply a situational modifier. It's impossible for this to slow things down if the DM has any experience at all. Because it's so open ended, it's never inflexible.
--PLUS, the other day, I was playing, and wanted to push a foe off the lip of a cliff. We weren't sure what rule to use, but I had recalled reading about "bull rushing." Look it up, and it exactly handles the situation. We had ourselves a perfect rule for the situation, and probably in less time than it would have taken to agree on an arbitrary.
--As far as rules lawyers are concerned, this is the last thing you want to bring up in a 2e vs 3e debate. The fact is, 3e is INCREDIBLY well made in terms of consistency and rule agreement. By comparison, 2e is totally vulnerable to lawyering. Virtually any ruling a DM makes based on his books can be contradicted if the lawyer chooses to look through enough supplements and modules.

[[ But really, proficiencies work pretty much the same as skills. I don't think there is much of an argument here. ]]
--There really is. Skills are vastly better than non-weapon profs. Skills scale better, are less "granular" than non-weapon profs, and are generally a better system. Yes, they're analogs, but skills are simply done better. I can discuss this at length, but I think it's really self evident.

[[ it just turns PCs, NPCs and monsters into mini-super heroes. ]]
--It's true, you perceive things as you perceive them, and if that ruins the game for you, then so be it, but this is a false assertion.
--As I pointed out earlier, feats essentially replace many class based arbitrary rules. For example, weapon specializations are replaced with a sequence of feats that simulate them. Other feats, which don't directly copy old 2e powers are balanced with those powers to allow more flexibility.
--Short Version: 2e had weapon specializations. 3e has feats. 2e has nothing else. 3e has other feats of equal power, to allow for more flexbility. Once again, 3e does the same things 2e does, but better, and then adds some more flexibility on top.
--In closing: Don't like the whirlwind attack feat from 3e? Take a look at 1e Oriental Adventures, specifically the Kensai. It's been here all along. The most powerful combat feat in 3e has been around since 1e. You simply can't tell me that it's changed.

[[ I don't think such kits particularly helped a 2e player abuse, or not abuse the rules to create an unbalanced character. ]]
--We can probably argue this all day, and never reach a conclusion. I've seen obvious examples of abuse with kits, I can't recall them clearly enough to illustrate. Oh well.

[[ I just make the point that there isn't anything particularly clever or 'new' in 3e ]]
--Ok, here's some stuff:
--Monster templates: You can have a monster with class levels just like a PC, and the rules are simple enough and easy enough that it's approachable and useful. Sure, you may have done this in 2e too, but it wasn't in the rules.
--New Conventions: Named bonuses spring to mind. Can you stack this bonus with that bonus? Sure, only if they have different names. Simple mechanic, extensive effects.
--Attacks of Opportunity: Many people have issues with these at first, but really they're easy to figure out if you pay attention. And then there's the in game effects, which are GREAT. They allow you to control the battlefield, to flank, to create all manners of tactical challenges, and generally provide a simple mechanic that still offers countless opportunities for clever play.
--Multiclassing: This has been covered, but it's still better.

[[ Liking AD&D (or OD&D) over 3e is a bit like preferring a Spitfire over a Harrier Jump Jet. ]]
--No, this is a bad analogy.
--The point of combat aircraft is to win wars. Yes, there's the notion of which you think is "coolest" but that's a side effect. The true purpose of combat aircraft is to allow the pilot to accomplish his objectives as rapidly and safely as possible.
--The analog here is which gaming system allows you to rapidly and easily simulate reality. Sure, the enjoyment you derive from the system is also important to the equation, but it's not a direct analog.
--Basically you're twisting the purpose of combat aircraft, to fit your analogy. They're not showpieces, they're weapons. So, yes, it does somewhat support your point, but the fact that you've got to shoehorn the analogy in only serves to show how offbase it really is.

[[ But who cares? I hope they go bust. ]]
--THIS is really where I take issue with you. I won't tell you that you have to enjoy 3e more than 2e. I will allow you your own personal eccentricities that make you prefer 2e to 3e. But when you start claiming that WotC is a bad company, and you wish them ill, because they have fundamentally IMPROVED DnD, that's ridiculous.
--The made the game smoother, and for the most part, everyone approves. That's improvement.
--They've massively increased sales, which brings the costs down for everyone and gives us more players to choose from. That's improvement.
--You don't like 3e? Fine, play 2e. But don't start trying to wage war on WotC. They're a good company doing a great job. Most gamers really appreciate what they've done, and by wishing them ill, you're wishing ill upon all folks who enjoy their products. That's about as petty and self-centered as you can get. I might as well hope that Australia gets nuked into a wasteland, just cause one guy I disagree with comes from there.

As long as I can play my 12STR, 18DEX, 16CON, 18INT, 18WIS, 17CHA theif with psionic abilites, gear, and minor picked illusionist spells, I don't care what system I play. LOL

(those were my natural rolls)

"Does the system being easier show that it caters to "newbies"? Not necessarily."

I agree, but the fact that some elements of 3e are simpler was never the beginning and end of the '3e is made for newbies' theory. The marketing, artwork, style of how the text is written etc. tends to indicate that the overall 3e design philosophy was to cater for entry age/level gamers. That's my opinion only, of course, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, but it leaves a lot of 'veteran' players (and I don't mean older players) feeling that the system and overall product line is somehow 'not meant for them'. It's a bit like someone rewriting your favourite novel and re-releasing it as a comic. Sure, there's something in it for everyone, but some of the depth has been lost.

"Why would any mage adventure after 9th level (and picking up this spell)? He just sits in his tower cranking out magic items for hire and watches his level ratchet up and up as his treasury grows and grows with zero risk (other than thieves)." - Sigil

A mage could do that, and it makes sense. The more you practice at making magical items the better, the more experienced you become as a wizard. IMO, I don't necessarily agree the that new 'cost incurring' system is an improvement. BUT I'm not sure that you're referring to a PC, because I've never met a player who wanted to spend EVERY game session (boring or what?!) creating or attempting to create magical items (even for fellow players), or a DM who would let them.

Jack, since when are Ability checks 'making it up as you go along'? It's the foundation mechanic of D&D. In 2e, Charisma is defined as "a character's PERSUASIVENESS (my emphasis), personal magnetism, and ability to lead", and Intelligence is defined as "a character's memory, REASONING (my emphasis), and learning ability". Pretty logical, I would have thought, to use such Abilities to help determine the scenario in our example. As for the modifiers, put simply, both the modifiers to Ulfalas' Charisma check (the +2 bonus for creative roleplaying and the +2 bonus for the orc's low intelligence) are nothing more than run-of-the-mill situational modifiers. The latter just happens to be based on how intelligent or how wise the target audience is and how the DM thinks this effects the roll. I don't think that this is 'making it up' any more than any other 'DM's discretion' situational modifiers (such as your own example of a +2 circumstance bonus) which are pretty arbitrary and completely at the whim of the DM in any version of D&D.

"I'd challenge you to name a downside to it" - Jack

OK, I'll name two. The downside to a focus on 'rules-on-paper' approach, if slavishly applied, is that it can be inflexible. If a DM relies on the rules to always provide an immediate answer, that's when the DM ends up saying "Uh, hold on a sec" and thus bringing the roleplaying to a screeching halt. And far from avoiding arguments, if every contingency is attempted to be covered by the rules, players often have a tendency to cry foul - "but on page 236, paragraph 3, subparagraph (2)(b), it says ..." etc - especially if the DM invokes the 'DM's prerogative', that is, overriding a rule that would disrupt the game play and ruin everyone's fun (IMO Rolemaster is expert are producing such anal-retentive rules lawyers).

"In 2e, all you need is a high attribute and you're instantly a master diplomat." - Jack

IMO, there's nothing wrong with that. A naturally born, charismatic PC should get the benefit of it. But really, proficiencies work pretty much the same as skills. I don't think there is much of an argument here. You might contend that 3e skills are a more streamlined set of rules, but they are used in the same circumstances as proficiencies and skills in 2e and OD&D respectively. Yes, 3e has more 'base' skills for such things as bluff than 2e or OD&D (but 2e and OD&D do have some, for example, the Disguise proficiency in 2e or Deception/Detect Deception skills in OD&D), but both 2e and OD&D have always made it clear that the lists in the PHB/RC aren't meant to be exhaustive.

"the increase in power strips away that final tiny fragment of realism that is needed, even in a fantasy game, so we aren't jarred out of our suspended disbelief." - Me

"I don't get it ... Why? How?" - Jack

IMO, 3e action feels cartoon-like. I'm not the first, for example, to say that the combat is a little less realistic. On the top of that, with everything veering around with increased power and feats and the like, it just turns PCs, NPCs and monsters into mini-super heroes. That's fine, DON'T GET ME WRONG, it's a fantasy adventure game and there's no fun in forever playing a PC that just fell off the turnip cart, as Doc put it, but it can detract from a degree of realism that is needed, as I said, even in a fantasy game to help maintain the suspended disbelief. A 3e game can just end up feeling like a bad kung fu movie. 3e, by your own admission, already has an increase in power from the very beginning, so it's much harder to tone it down, if that's what you wish.

"Just look at kits ... They were a horrible ruleshack that ALWAYS assured a character more powerful than the base class." - Jack

Back to the kits. Again I can't agree, or at least we seem to look at kits differently. I merely see them as capsules containing culture specific information - one of the elements that go into differentiating PCs at the cultural level. Take, for example, an extract from the Fianawar dwarf kit detailed in the 'Time of the Dragon' boxed set:

"As a group, the Fianawar are a dour and unhappy people and an anomaly among dwarves. Unlike their brethren who dwell underground, the fianawar live on the surface and virtually never go beneath the ground. Centuries of earthquakes and volcanic upheavals have left them with a dread fear of life beneath the surface.

Fianawar dwarves gain a +1 bonus to Strength (up to their racial maximum). However, they must roll a successful saving throw vs. death in order to overcome their fear of the underground before they can enter such places as dungeons, caves and tombs. If the check fails, they will not enter. They must also make a check once a day when underground. If failed they will want only to leave by the most direct route." (p24 Rule Book to Taladas)

So, there is a snapshot of cultural information (dour and unhappy, don't live underground), a minor advantage in the Strength bonus, but there is also a hefty disadvantage to the life of an ordinary adventurer. I don't think such kits particularly helped a 2e player abuse, or not abuse the rules to create an unbalanced character.

As for the 'is 3e innovative?' issue. I just make the point that there isn't anything particularly clever or 'new' in 3e. Not in the same way as, say, PC templates were for the D6 system. The reason I keep using the D6 system as an example is because it is an integrated system where all rolls are determined the same way ("Star Wars Game Rule of Thumb - Pick a difficulty number. If the character's roll is equal or higher, he succeeds"), which is supposedly the great innovation of 3e.

"I would hope that you'd admit that liking a klunky and ineffective system more than a smooth and slick one is odd, and not something that others should be expected to really understand." - Jack

Liking AD&D (or OD&D) over 3e is a bit like preferring a Spitfire over a Harrier Jump Jet. You might dismissively say "but a Spitfire is nothing but an antique flying car. A fighter jet, on the other hand, is faster and has really cool weapons." Sure, but you might also have to acknowledge that a Spitfire has a bit more romance and 'character' than a modern whining aircraft. Same with AD&D for me and many others. I don't think that it is particularly odd at all.

"players only buy core products once" - Me

"I think this is not the case" - Jack

You, Sigil and myself might be suckers and buy everything going (I own more stuff than I care to think about - including two 2e PHBs), but I bet most players probably only buy the core rulebook they need as a minimum to play ("why buy the DMG and MM if I'm not gonna DM?"). So, if WotC is not careful, they might only sell one or two products per player - but with the explosion of non-WotC d20 material robing them of players coming back to buy WotC secondary products.

But who cares? I hope they go bust.


Been playing since sixth grade, and if you can let "the man" ruin your game then your not playing right. Take a lesson from the first bible, these are guidelines and only guidelines to the most prefereble way for you to play, is for you to keep it realistic.Save your books and preserve the original. If something better comes along impliment it in your game. You people sound like what they say is law. This coming from the Seattle Dragonflight "player" winner of 89'. Why whine about it, if you dont like it, dont play it. Hell, do what I do, pick and choose what fits for your game. Personally I would expect more from real gamers than bitching.We should all know beyond black ice is where it started from, and they had no books... (bibles) Bibles = FIRST ADDITION. Make it fun and Oden be with you.

Been playing since sixth grade, and if you can let "the man" ruin your game then your not playing right. Take a lesson from the first bible, these are guidelines and only guidelines to the most prefereble way for you to play, is for you to keep it realistic.Save your books and preserve the original. If something better comes along impliment it in your game. You people sound like what they say is law. This coming from the Seattle Dragonflight "player" winner of 89'. Why whine about it, if you dont like it, dont play it. Hell, do what I do, pick and choose what fits for your game. Personally I would expect more from real gamers than bitching.We should all know beyond black ice is where it started from, and they had no books... (bibles) Bibles = FIRST ADDITION. Make it fun and Oden be with you.

This whole arguement is a simple one.
Side for 2nd Ed or Older: "It works for me, why fix what's not broke?"
Side for 3rd Ed: "It works better for me, and has these new features, why not change?"

And the reason for the chief complaint on both side, a lack of cross compatability and money. If everyone had unlimited money, then you would all have a copy of 3rd, 2nd and 1st ed because they are all DIFFERENT, irrespective of if there are improvements or not. However, you don't, and you can't, so either you are upset because the gaming system you have heavily invested in is no longer getting support. Or the game system you are currently heavily invested in is getting called worse, thus your choice in investment is being called worse.

Neither arguement has anything REALLY to do with the pros and cons of the respective systems in regard to SPECIFIC USES. I could understand arguements like TSR Ravenloft is better than White Wolf Ravenloft, because then you have comparable content. 3rd ed is a new gaming system, it's not comparable content. So either spend your money on it or don't, whatever you do it's really got nothing to do with one being better, bu more to do with what you percieve as value.

I read most of the posts... From what I've seen of 3e it can make people powerful. I played 2e for a long time and ran into no problembs because of an excellent DM. The same thing would happen in 3e if I played. Now for the opinion and question part of my reply. WOTC is killing off 2e in the sense that it is forcing retailers to 'throw out' the old, I work at walden books and my manager said it would be a 2500 dollar fine to sell the 2e books until 30 days after 3e had been released. The second part to that is that a lot of people are converting to 3e, which kills the base of 2e players. That is the part that hurts the most. I think I had something else but anyhow...

1. What did they call them munchins anyhow? Just because they try to use every rule to their advantage doesn't make them all too bad, when they begin to cheat is when it goes too far. What is your definition?

2. While someones above post was right, inflation doesn't matter if it is the same, it doesn't, but I seriously doubt that everything remained exactly the same just increased in number. While 2x 100 and 2x 100 are the same, 2x Players and 2x Monsters will be different.

3. An aweful lot of posts seemed to be from the exact same person, saying the exact same thing, but I'm sure I saw a different name... How many people that have posted here have more than 200 books, started in the 70's, own the red boxed set, and did the same thing as all the others?

4. The internet does mess some things up, its the media in general that does it. When I played games, I never worried about what came out next. Now I get a new screenshot of a game I want to play every five minutes. This has ruined the challenge of playing many console games. It also sort of ruined 3e for me. People made basically the perfect level 1 characters (for a general campaign hack-n-slash) of course, but still, people in general should have knowledge of a lot of things in-game, so what is stopping the level 1 powercharacter from good role-playing and god-like battleness? just the player...

5. What is the skill system like anyhow? It seems to me that you go up levels and get points to add to things that you don't practice doing... does that get explained at all? If that is the way it goes, it teaches bad DMing techniques... I'm sorry if I'm mistaken on how it works, but in 2e a level 5 fighter and a level 20 fighter... they could be equal in blacksmithing, or not...If blacksmithing was the main part of your game, something might be a little off. A level 20 fighter that doesn't practice blacksmithing, but is still better than a level 5 fighter that does nothing but blacksmithing... who should be better?

There was more, but I forgot. Please flame me at my email address, or if you have something important to say to me, also send it there, as I probably won't check back here.(heh)

I remember what I forgot now...There is a company that is going to sell the 2e stuff. Not all of it but most of it. Character sheets for you people who are lazy enough to not make a copy for yourself. Look for it on the internet somewhere, that is the only place you will find it because I beleive(i hate that word, probably spelled wrong) that is a print per order thing.

Someone meantioned never being able to have a mage survive... Your DM/Player wasn't doing his job then. I have played several games over a course of 10+ years. I think the mage usually survives somehow. Your DM is either picking on the mage, or just not giving him some slack even though he has half the hp of other people. Or worse yet, that player might not know how to play a mage. I played a mage once, started at level 1, got to level 8, then not because anything really happened, another campaign started about 2 weeks after that one stopped. Usually all the games I've played start at level 1, the rest are level 2-3, they end just before or just after we get to level 10. Not because we don't want high level characters, but because of jobs, life situations, or lack of effort on the players. Oh, and 3 times we played with level 20 characters. Once was an actual campaign. The other two were 'arena' type battles. The mages were the obvious powerhouse the first time because of the fact that they were supposed to be. Fighters are strong in the begining and mages were strong in the end. I took thieves half the time because they leveled faster. But the second arena battle we had, we made a bunch of random characters, and only allowed specialized wizards, then all drew from a hat a character to play.

Whoever said the 2e rule about getting 1xp for everyone 1gp. I only saw that rule in the darksun rulebook for 1xp for every 1cp. I got xp for stealing as a thief but I never needed money when I played, it was usually already spent and magical items cost a lot. And about the wizards making magical items like a factory. I've only been in 1 campaign where a wizard has attempted to make a magical item, after it was made he stopped.

What happened to my posting skills? I lost them over a period of time, all I can do now is rant on and on about nothing that matters...

[[ Neither arguement has anything REALLY to do with the pros and cons of the respective systems in regard to SPECIFIC USES. ]]
--Uhhh, no.
--First off, this isn't about people taking it personal when their investments are challenged. I have zillions of 2e material, probably about ten times as much as I have 3e material. I even have a fair number of 1e products, at least as many as 3e, probably more (and probably with greater resale value, due to rarity). In short, at least in terms of numbers, I have the least 3e books of any version. So that's really not it...
--Plus the whole idea that you can't compare the various editions is ridiculous. They all simulate the same basic reality, and the question "which one does it best" is a valid one.

[[ Neither arguement has anything REALLY to do with the pros and cons of the respective systems in regard to SPECIFIC USES. ]]
--Read the last few posts by Tas, Sigil and myself. You'll find that they're concerned with nothing BUT the specific uses of the systems.

Ok, it was pretty late at night (or actually early in the morning here) when I wrote my last comment, so I'll rephrase it.

What I meant was that roleplaying is defined by the context, and I have NEVER felt AD&D, or D&D 3rd ed by themselves is a game world. It offers rules for gaming in fairly generic fantasy words, and rules for races which became/were generic fantasy races, but a world isn't made up of stats, spells, character, proficiencies etc. these are simply mechanics. A world is made up of background, history. Essentially, the game mechanics to me come far and away second to the world and that's why I don't think there is anything specifically mentioned about the changes. I mean, in D&D if you wanted to play truely high fantasy you'd play Dragonlance, if you wanted to play pulp fantasy it would be Forgotten Realms, gothic horror Ravenloft. The 'generic' D&D world never had any specific appeal to me, because all it really provided was ways to fight, run from or kill monsters, and the tools to go about doing so (equipment, NPCs, spells etc). And I think this is why 3rd edition is rather over powerful and cartoony, it reflects what is now the modern 'archetype' of the fantasy races, which have been shaped by computer games in recent years, but before that cartoons, music etc.
The question of which one simulates basic reality best CAN'T be asked because of the above, they are not the same reality. They are not even the same fantasy.

As such if it ISN'T an arguement about money, it is purely personal preference. And that's an absurd thing to argue over.

You can say AD&D was more complicated, and I would agree. Whether that makes it better or not is simply personal preference. Whether the change was worth it, or even necessary, is a matter entirely of money, and my opinion, it was worth it for the following reasons:

Roleplaying is showing a resurgence of players, whether they are playing D&D or AD&D doesn't really matter to me, as long as the hobby improves and also becomes more widely accepted, so it's easier to find players and a wider range of players. 3rd ed is helping this simply by putting D&D on more bookshelves, thus the general awareness rises.

D&D 3rd ed may eventaully fall over (Hasbro pulling the rug out from WOTC) whether they do or not is fairly irrelevant, because I know I will still be able to find a copy of both 3rd ed, or 2nd ed, because there will be enough of the core books floating out there for the core gaming worlds for each system. Anything other than that is fairly extraneous, and if I really need something to suit (a Priests hand book or something) I'll just write rules myself for a campaign as a GM. But no matter what I will have another gaming system which I can use to set my game worlds (3rd ed), and choice is always good.

D&D 3rd ed certainly feels different because of the game mechanics, and if someone doesn't like that it's a fair enough reason not to play. It is also better produced and better managed then AD&D, which makes it far more likely to be popular/profitable, but if you are going to try and argue which is better, you are never going to get anywhere because they are two DIFFERENT games, no matter what the name says.

[[ Ok, it was pretty late at night (or actually early in the morning here) when I wrote my last comment, so I'll rephrase it. ]]
--Yeah, well I managed to use the same quote twice in my post, so neither of us was firing on all cylinders.

[[ What I meant was that roleplaying is defined by the context, and I have NEVER felt AD&D, or D&D 3rd ed by themselves is a game world. ]]
--I have two thoughts on this.
--First off, I feel that they ARE game worlds. Even if the rules themselves don't have game content in them, there is a certain feel that's automatically linked to the rules. The magic missile spell, the fireball, orcs and goblins. All this is what makes DnD what it is. In 3e DnD we even have the Greyhawk pantheon as "standard."
--Also, I feel that the actual gameworld content isn't really relevant to our discussion. Even if I were to concede that there was no content within the ruleset, the debate over which system is "best" is still a valid question. As has been said before, the system is just a tool for simulation, and the better it allows you to simulate what you desire, the better the system.

[[ The 'generic' D&D world never had any specific appeal to me ]]
--Which is fine. And I think it's rare that people play a "generic" game. However, this isn't really the debate that's been going on. I think that every campaign is unavoidably shaped and changed by the DM and players, to the point that nobody here has even bothered to mention the storyline as part of the discussion, because it will always vary so much.

[[ The question of which one simulates basic reality best CAN'T be asked because of the above, they are not the same reality. They are not even the same fantasy. ]]
--It's an idea, but I disagree. The system can be used to drive any sort of setting you want, from Dragonlance to Ravenloft. In the end, any ruleset can be used to drive your campaign, and can be used to fit the power level you desire. However not any system can do this well. 3e is a smooth and flexible system. You can power it down, power up the enemies, or otherwise tweak things to your liking, and still have a smooth and flexible system. 2e is basically the same game, just done poorly.

[[ As such if it ISN'T an arguement about money, it is purely personal preference. And that's an absurd thing to argue over. ]]
--I know all about these sorts of reletivistic arguments, and I really don't find them appealing. If I made a car that had no clutch peddle, and instead had a large lever clutch in the backseat, that would be BAD. You can tell me that you enjoy the "offbeat" style of having a lever action clutch in the backseat, and you can argue that it's just as valid a system as a floor mounted clutch, but you'd be WRONG.
--There's preference and then there's being wierd.
--It's preference which campaign setting you prefer. It's just plain weird to prefer a less flexible, less intuitive, less complete gaming system.

[[ you are never going to get anywhere because they are two DIFFERENT games, no matter what the name says. ]]
--They're really not much different. The way I look at it, is 1e/2e were just a collection of rules stuck together. Each time something came up that needed dealing with, a new rule was wadded into the pile. Eventually, people decided they had mostly all the rules they needed, and then they set out to unify them into a common language and interface. That's 3e. All the versions of DnD are MUCH more similar than people realize.
--Plus, people WILL compare games, and I think they have every right to do so, and it's a useful exercise. If somebody is gonna run a fantasy game, they will ask "hey, which rules should I use, DnD, GURPS Fantasy or something else?" Comparing systems is a valid thing to do, especially with the versions of DnD, which are basically all just "flavors" of the same system.
--To put it another way: We have "flavors" of the Unix operating system floating around. Red Hat, Debian, whatever. Different versions of mostly the same thing. If you had one version of Unix that was faster, more stable and more user friendly than any other version, then this is the BEST version. If somebody told you that some other version was better, cause they "liked how it felt" or somesuch, you'd think them a fool. It's the same thing here. 3e is faster to use, easier for new players to understand, has more features, and is in virtually every way a better system. If you don't use the best tool for the job, then you're not taking the best approach. That's just how it is.

Ok, I could quote lots of the above, but basically I can see we are in agreement on most points. And at the very least the content now seems better than flaming. :) There is only one real point to address:

"If you don't use the best tool for the job, then you're not taking the best approach. That's just how it is. "

Totally agree, but I feel the rules in 2nd ed and the rules in 3rd ed are different enough to be different tools, for slightly different tasks.

3rd edition is an improvement in a lot of areas, but BECAUSE they are similiar (like you say) a lot of those changes are merely organisational ones. Having rules in logical places (rather than scattered haphazardly around the books) etc.

Other changes, are what make the systems innately different. The use of Feats for example. These one time bonus powers change the feel of the game enough for me to render them as different.

Sure you could get the same effect with proficiencies a lot of the time, but it was down to the roleplayer to put together the right proficiencies, OR if he chose, put together the WRONG proficiencies which didn't make sense in terms of improving the character in game mechanics, but made sense in term of playing the character.

Basically, the difference is that 3rd Ed seems to lay forward a fairly linear and obvious way to advance your character, much like a computer game might do. 2nd ed was more free form (perhaps because of it's hap hazard nature.) and thus didn't push anyone in particular directions.

Maybe it's a very small thing, but it's one of a number of small things. And if we ARE going to say they are the same gaming world, then it becomes a small thing that matters. The world HAS changed, things are different, and people don't necessarily like it. That's up to them.

If we are looking at the 'D20 system' (whatever that is exactly) and how IT's rules are layed out, and compare them to 2nd ed, I am in total agreement, one is better, and it's not 2nd ed.

[[ Other changes, are what make the systems innately different. The use of Feats for example. ]]
--I have to disagree here. I think feats are nothing more than a cleanup of hacky rules already in 2e. The example I always use is "Whirlwind Attack." This is one of the most powerful feats in 3e, but it's also something that was included in the 1st Edition Oriental Adventures book. It was attached to the Kensai class, and was available at some level.
--The point here is that that they're NOT innately different. Sure there's differences, but if there weren't some differences, we couldn't compare.
--Cause the bottom line is that people compare things, and in order to compare those things they have to be different. It just doesn't make a lot of sense to say that you CAN'T compare things because they're different. Certainly one can't compare "apples and oranges" but I don't think this is apples and oranges. I think it's old, wormy apples, and new shiny apples.

[[ Basically, the difference is that 3rd Ed seems to lay forward a fairly linear and obvious way to advance your character, much like a computer game might do. ]]
--NOTHING could be further from the truth. Feats, skills, new multiclassing rules, and general interchangeability all mean that 3e is FAR less linear than 2e.
--In 2e, your character was mostly locked into a single class or kit, and would get various powers and advantages at each level. No choice, just allotted powers.
--In 3e you buy skills and feats as you advance. Take a fighter. He might focus on powerful attack styles, and purchase feats that allow him to do more damage in less time. He might instead focus on defensive feats which will make him more survivable, and able to evade harm. He might spend all his feats mastering a particular weapon, to allow him to do special maneuvers with it. In short, the feat system allows a vastly higher degree of flexibiliy.
--Don't assume that 2e was freeform because DMs felt empowered to rule off the cuff, and make up rules. They did that because the game was badly written, not because it was well written. The option to go freeform still exists in 3e, it's just that 3e combines freeform feel with definitive rule systems so well that there's hardly a need.

I am just about to bow out here as I have nothing really constructive to add. Truth be told I don't particularly like ANY of the D&D systems, and as such shouldn't be making such a big contribution to this discussion.

What I will say is that 3rd Ed caters even more for the Dungeon Crawl style of Roleplay than 2nd ed. And maybe, when all is said and done, that DOES make it better, because that seems to be what D&D is about. So by making the rule system cater towards it you can simply kill the monsters and roleplay the bits in between, instead of roleplaying killing the monsters as well with tricks, bizarre moves and incredibly risky risks that the game DIDN'T give you rules for, spur of the moment stuff that the GM made a snap decision about how appropriate and cinematic and funny it would be if it came off, and gave you a roll appropriate to the context of the situation.

I never had all the supplements for 2nd Edition, in fact I had barely any and usually found that the rules they incorporated didn't REALLY help the roleplaying, so maybe that is where I am coming from. Maybe you could do all this stuff with rules to back you up if you had all the extras. We couldnt, we just had to go at it with what we thought was cool and fun and appropriate, and that IS more freefrom roleplaying, because EVERYTHING is controlled by the context.

3rde sukes cuck

"3rde sukes cuck"

My... What a well written and thought out argument.
I am sure everybody will be instantly swayed by it.

"3rde sukes cuck"

Gee, ya know, after over a year of defending the changes made to the system in order to bring 3e into being, hearing all of the ranting and arguing and calling me a munchkin/blinded idiot, and never once questioning my belief that 3e is for the most part a superior system, I find this and you know, I just can't argue with it.

I'm convinced. I will never defend 3e again. It sukes cuck. Wow. I am now enlightened and have been instantly swayed. Thank you for bringing me from the darkest dark into the brightest light. What an epiphany. Thank you. Thank you.

--The Sigil

P.S. Words utterly fail me on this one. Really, they do. Unbelievable.