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Thames
2009-12-21, 09:19 PM
Hi guys,

In the Rules compendium it explains why some of the rule changes were made in the transition from 2ed to 3rd. Are there any other articles either in books or on the net which explain the changes? And though this is unlikely has anyone made a list of the significant changes?

The thing which stuck out at me was the increase in BAB for everyone but the fighter, the increase in hitpoints (due to always getting a HD with a level and not just getting bonus HP after a certain point) and the alteration in level progression resulting in wizards getting HP and BAB much faster (as well as other classes).

Was this part of what damaged the fighter types?

jmbrown
2009-12-21, 09:24 PM
What damaged the fighter was, ironically, tactical combat. Movement wasn't precisely calculated, all actions were resolved at once, and there was no AoO to track. The fighter move and attack fully while the wizard had to play keep away because getting struck automatically ruined your spell and being knocked unconscious made you lose everything. 3E made it so that they had to sacrifice movement to hit and they couldn't automatically block enemy advancement which, frankly, eliminates the entire point of a defender.

The changes are too great to actually be listed. If I went chapter by chapter I would have a 100 page document. The best "reason" I can give is that Wizards wanted to go from AD&D's heroic fantasy to EPIC fantasy where people can achieve a high enough level to easily tackle gods and demon lords while flying around and casting magic without worry of failure or reprieve.

Eldariel
2009-12-21, 09:39 PM
Indeed, the biggest changes that hurt the Fighter:

- They lost their unique class feature in extra attacks.
- They can't move while dealing full damage anymore.
- They can't block enemies by just...being there; due to turn structure, they can just be...passed.
- 5' steps mean they can't even threaten anyone reliably without work.
- Everyone gets high HP from high Con
- Armor was made worse (max Dex, heavy movement speed penalties, etc.) meaning they aren't really ahead of less-armored colleagues come mid-levels defense-wise.
- Everyone gets more HP; Fighters are the class that can only deal damage (this is why the few ways to optimize and really twink out the Fighter damage output or debuff enemies are so strongly suggested for optimized Fighters; they're really the only ways to counteract this).


The biggest things that helped the Wizard (and to lesser extent, other casters):

- Combined XP tables without alterations to on what levels they get stuff; 3.5 Wizards just grow in power VASTLY faster than their AD&D counterparts.
- Defensive Casting: Being next to someone is no longer any kind of a problem for casting spells
- Concentration-skill: Even being hit doesn't automatically cause you to lose your spell.
- Drawbackless Magic: AD&D had a ton of drawbacks for all the more powerful spells in the books. D&D 3.X just threw those drawbacks away without replacing them with anything.
- Fast casting: In AD&D, you spent your turn casting a spell. In 3.5, you spend one Standard Action casting, another moving and there are very few spells that can be interrupted outside readied actions.
- Bonus spells from high ability score: In AD&D, there was no way of getting more spell slots than listed. In 3.5, they took the old tables, but gave casters an automatic means of increasing their spell capacity.
- Spell DCs incorporate caster's key ability score. This change single-handedly made Save-or-X effects usable on mid-levels (though a bit weaker on low levels).
- Ability scores were uncapped and made to grow linearly and expected to grow a lot: This helps casters since casters gain much more from their key ability score than Fighters.


It really should be no surprise to anyone that if they were relatively even over their entire career in AD&D (the curve was similar, but more balanced; casters actually WERE weak on low levels back then), and everything changed in the favor of the caster with all of Fighter's unique class features being spread around evenly for every other class (while being weakened by auxillary changes) while casters' abilities weren't socialized at all, but had all their limitations removed...well, let's just say from this perspective, the source of 3.5's balance issues is pretty fcking obvious.

Thames
2009-12-22, 12:42 AM
ok followup question - how much balance would it restore to use the 2ed experience table for levels on the fighter and wizard?

Lapak
2009-12-22, 12:46 AM
ok followup question - how much balance would it restore to use the 2ed experience table for levels on the fighter and wizard?A little, but not much. The problem is with how the mechanics for combat changed (more goodies for everyone, mostly at the expense of pure melee classes) and how the mechanics for magic changed (MANY more goodies for casters, taking away counters for everyone else.)

Especially with the 3E rule that lower-level characters earn more XP than their high-level buddies.

Thrice Dead Cat
2009-12-22, 12:47 AM
ok followup question - how much balance would it restore to use the 2ed experience table for levels on the fighter and wizard?

I would recommend against separate XP charts for the various classes, since most of 3.0 and 3.5 assume that everyone is the same level when given a challenge. Now, switching to a slower table is progression for everyone is fine and dandy, but it gets a little wonky with different progressions.

Aldizog
2009-12-22, 01:06 AM
Incidentally, the higher HP totals hurt the wizard... or at least the evoker.

Thrice Dead Cat
2009-12-22, 01:48 AM
Incidentally, the higher HP totals hurt the wizard... or at least the evoker.

There are still ways to make direct damage effective, as a caster. However, it usually involves a few loopholes and metamagic abuse, and, end result, you're doing the fighter's job for him. It's just easier to do BC, buffing, or debuffing.

Tiktakkat
2009-12-22, 02:47 AM
ok followup question - how much balance would it restore to use the 2ed experience table for levels on the fighter and wizard?

That is not where the problem is, so it would not really help.
What needs to be controlled with wizards, and pretty much any spellcasting class, are:

1. Spell slots, memorized or otherwise.
While by a strict comparison a 3.5 10th level wizard has only 1 extra 4th level spell by the chart, he really has 4 extra 1st level slots (reduced to being 0 level cantrips), plus 2 1st, 1 2nd, 1 3rd, 1 4th, and 1 5th level slot was well, assuming Int 20. Even more, he functionally has 2-4 times that many because 3.5 assumes the "15 minute workday" of 4 encounters per day, compared to AD&D where you were more commonly expected to slog through 10-15 encounters before resting.
Killing bonus slots is a good place to start, as would expanding the typical number of encounters expected.

2. DCs based on ability score bonuses.
While spellcasters still ruled at high level in AD&D, it remains that saves got easier to make as you advanced in level. For the most part, the opposite is true in 3.5, primarily because of the ability score bonuses to DCs. Adding in extra for the spell level does not help either.
Conversely, evasion and mettle need to go. Nothing should allow immunity to another classes primary ability like that.

3. Touch AC.
It may seem silly, but one of the bigger destabilizers to power level for spellcasters, particularly wizards, was the introduction of touch AC, which did actually start back in AD&D days. The insistence that since you did not actually have to score a full hit like a fighter with certain spells, and so should be allowed to ignore armor so the poor, pathetic, melee sucking wizard would actually have a chance to use shocking grasp successfully once in his career, has exploded to things like spellwarp sniper and the orb spells blasting things left and right despite a wizards pathetic BAB.

Other things have already been noted, particularly Eldariel's list, which I agree with completely except for the xp part. (The differences are actually not that overwhelming between fighter and wizard in AD&D. It is classes like thief and cleric that actually benefitted more from those differentials.) Unfortunately changing most of those elements would, I think, be a lot harder than changing the three I list above. Drop those down and watch spellcasters lose a ton of luster.

jmbrown
2009-12-22, 03:41 AM
That is not where the problem is, so it would not really help.
What needs to be controlled with wizards, and pretty much any spellcasting class, are:

1. Spell slots, memorized or otherwise.
While by a strict comparison a 3.5 10th level wizard has only 1 extra 4th level spell by the chart, he really has 4 extra 1st level slots (reduced to being 0 level cantrips), plus 2 1st, 1 2nd, 1 3rd, 1 4th, and 1 5th level slot was well, assuming Int 20. Even more, he functionally has 2-4 times that many because 3.5 assumes the "15 minute workday" of 4 encounters per day, compared to AD&D where you were more commonly expected to slog through 10-15 encounters before resting.
Killing bonus slots is a good place to start, as would expanding the typical number of encounters expected.

2. DCs based on ability score bonuses.
While spellcasters still ruled at high level in AD&D, it remains that saves got easier to make as you advanced in level. For the most part, the opposite is true in 3.5, primarily because of the ability score bonuses to DCs. Adding in extra for the spell level does not help either.
Conversely, evasion and mettle need to go. Nothing should allow immunity to another classes primary ability like that.

3. Touch AC.
It may seem silly, but one of the bigger destabilizers to power level for spellcasters, particularly wizards, was the introduction of touch AC, which did actually start back in AD&D days. The insistence that since you did not actually have to score a full hit like a fighter with certain spells, and so should be allowed to ignore armor so the poor, pathetic, melee sucking wizard would actually have a chance to use shocking grasp successfully once in his career, has exploded to things like spellwarp sniper and the orb spells blasting things left and right despite a wizards pathetic BAB.

Other things have already been noted, particularly Eldariel's list, which I agree with completely except for the xp part. (The differences are actually not that overwhelming between fighter and wizard in AD&D. It is classes like thief and cleric that actually benefitted more from those differentials.) Unfortunately changing most of those elements would, I think, be a lot harder than changing the three I list above. Drop those down and watch spellcasters lose a ton of luster.

Two more things to tack on to reduce the 15-minute-work-day

*Memorizing a spell took 10 minutes per spell level. Not so bad at level 1 but at level 5 you're looking at 110 minutes, at level 10 you need 390 minutes, 940 minutes at level 15 and 1,620 minutes at level 20. This leads to...

*You can't swap or forget spells. You memorize it and the arcane magics are permanently ingrained into your head. The only way to get rid of it is to cast it after which you have to rest in order to refresh that slot.

Harping on Tiktakkat, magic was meant to carry you through the entire adventure. If the wizard blew his wad in the first encounter he couldn't stop to rest 8 hours then pour over his spell book. 3.5 encourages people stopping in the middle of an adventure to consult their laundry list for a spell to overcome their current situation (60 minutes to reorganize spells? Not a problem!). In AD&D you had to rest then re-memorize. Chances are you'd either end up in multiple encounters or the party would get annoyed and stomp your spellbook.

Ravens_cry
2009-12-22, 03:48 AM
Reading some old Dragon magazines I picked up, I have noticed a change in philosophy. 2nd edition was more, 'If it makes sense, even if not encoded directly in the rules, go for it.' For example, an article on alternate uses for spells recommended using spider climbto palm objects. A 3e game is an attempt at a more direct simulation.
I have never actually read the 2nd edition books. Heckles cakes, 3.5 is basically before my time as far as playing experience goes.

ken-do-nim
2009-12-22, 07:02 AM
The other thing that nobody pointed out (unless I skimmed too fast) was that in AD&D, though the fighter started off with the worst saves, the high level fighter had the best saves in the game. That's right, no weak will saves. The AD&D high level fighter a la Conan was nearly impossible to bring down.

It's probably easier to bring 3E rules back to 2E than to move any 2E rules up to 3E. For instance maybe you'd like to move the 3E-style ability score bonuses to your 2E game. Or the magic item stacking rules. Edit: and of course ascending armor class.

hamlet
2009-12-22, 09:35 AM
It's probably easier to bring 3E rules back to 2E than to move any 2E rules up to 3E. For instance maybe you'd like to move the 3E-style ability score bonuses to your 2E game. Or the magic item stacking rules. Edit: and of course ascending armor class.

Not quite true. I've seen some good results happen when somebody brought forward a few simple rules from AD&D to 3.5. Specifically, spell memorization times, no auto-spell upon leveling (i.e., you have to find the spells you want, wizards and clerics both), spellcraft check to learn a spell and place it in your book, and one other that escapes me at the moment. That seemed to put a serious crimp in the style of 3.5 casters, though certainly not to the level that AD&D was. It helped a little.

Jarawara
2009-12-22, 10:12 AM
The other thing that nobody pointed out (unless I skimmed too fast) was that in AD&D, though the fighter started off with the worst saves, the high level fighter had the best saves in the game. That's right, no weak will saves. The AD&D high level fighter a la Conan was nearly impossible to bring down.

You know, one of the first things I saw with the fighter, the very first time I cracked open the 3E books, was the weak will saves. That was a double-take for sure. I mean... fighters? Weak-willed fighters?

Give them a good Will save - it does wonders for them. Doesn't solve all the problems, but it's a start.

Sebastian
2009-12-22, 10:50 AM
I agree with everything said until this point and I add:

Magic items, in 2nd edition magic items were very DM dependent, but the default was that they were hard to make, even a simple 1st level scroll needed a lot of time, money and weird ingredients, you could not load on wands and scrolls and potions to have always the right spell for the right situation.

Also, magic items were more fragile, in 3.x to break a magic item you need either an aimed attack (which nobody ever does) or an incredible bad luck with the dice, in 2nd if you are hit by, for example, a fireball and you fail a saving throw (not roll a natural 1, just fail) all your items had to make a successful saving throw (which IIRC was not dependent on your level) or being destroyed, or so damaged to stop working which is essentially the same.

Aquillion
2009-12-22, 11:19 AM
There was one change between 2nd and 3rd that weakened wizards:

HP increased, but the blasting spells (Fireball, etc) retained their traditional formulas. This is part of what generally made blasting a suboptimal strategy in 3e. It's also why WotC didn't spot the problems in early playtesting -- they played their wizards like 2e wizards (where blasting was a good strategy, because saves were high and HP was low), and that concealed how powerful some of the other effects had become.

Fireball used to be a D&D wizard's defining spell. People still sometimes refer to it as if it were... but it isn't, really, in 3e. Not in terms of power, anyway, because it kept its 1d6 per level damage, and everyone's HP went up.

Mark Hall
2009-12-22, 11:25 AM
I would recommend against separate XP charts for the various classes, since most of 3.0 and 3.5 assume that everyone is the same level when given a challenge. Now, switching to a slower table is progression for everyone is fine and dandy, but it gets a little wonky with different progressions.

Actually, I've got a fairly simple method for using 3e-style multiclassing in a multiple-charts game: Simply put, you always use the most expensive chart for the next level. Want your fighter to take his next level in wizard? He has to get 2500xp, like everyone else who takes wizard.

Now, to do a lot to "fix" 2e magic to be a little closer to 3e standards, without turning on the 15-minute workday:

1) Enable 3e-style cantrips. These few little spells a day do a lot to give wizards some flexibility.
2) Add one additional 1st level spell at first level. This works similar to the cantrip idea, giving wizards more spells without going whole-hog into bonus spells. At low levels, it's functionally the same. At high levels, it keeps higher-level spells from exploding.

The other alternative is to do like they did in HMB... there are as many levels of spells as there are levels of wizard (and clerics). Clerics may cast one spell of each level. Wizards have spell points. By dividing the spells up, though, you move some of the better ones to latter levels (from 1st level to 2nd level).

The Rose Dragon
2009-12-22, 11:28 AM
Fireball used to be a D&D wizard's defining spell. People still sometimes refer to it as if it were... but it isn't, really, in 3e. Not in terms of power, anyway, because it kept its 1d6 per level damage, and everyone's HP went up.

In 2nd Edition, you could kill a young dragon with burning hands, let alone fireball.

Aldizog
2009-12-22, 11:35 AM
Even more, he functionally has 2-4 times that many because 3.5 assumes the "15 minute workday" of 4 encounters per day, compared to AD&D where you were more commonly expected to slog through 10-15 encounters before resting.
Killing bonus slots is a good place to start, as would expanding the typical number of encounters expected.

I've thought about this, but it's my sense that a very large fraction of gamers today envision the wizard as someone who throws a spell every round of every fight, even at low levels.

One fix might be more spells like Chill Touch or Flaming Sphere, low-level spells that have multi-round utility and require an action on the wizard's part. I suppose the Summon Monster line also works here (maybe let the wizard go a list higher by making it duration: Concentration). With these, the wizard might only use up one spell slot per fight, rather than one per round.

Reserve feats are another good fix, I think. Not sure if they're all well-designed, but a decent concept in general.

Grommen
2009-12-22, 11:40 AM
My take on the massive changes is that a lot of the 3ed stuff is a natural progression of the game mechanics from 1st and 2nd. Now granted you have to look deep but it's there.

Feats are a natural evolution of the proficiencies slots. That fact that they got out of control is another issue all together.

Same with skills, they evolved out of the fact that everyone wanted a piece of the rogue skills. 2nd ed no one but the rogues and bards had skills marked down on the sheet. If your warrior wanted to be the party leader, or ended up being king for some reason their was really no measuring stick as to how effective he would actually be. You roll played it of coarse and good gamers didn't have a problem. You also used ability score checks a lot to simulate skills. Again this was not really a problem. Haveing skills, however makes it so you can design encounters with increasing levels of difficulty.

Saves in 2nd ed were quite problematic. At low levels wizards got away with murder on spells like charm person, sleep, etc. If you built your wizzie around these spells and when you got to mid and higher level life sucked. Any spell that required a save or suck just never got used cause no one sucked! Their was also a save vs spells and a save vs wands, staves, and rods. These were usually one point away from each other anyway, so why use two when you can combine them into one and call it good. Eventually this boiled down into three saves, one biased on how tough you were, how quick you were, and how mentally resilient you were. Then it looks to me like they wanted to ensure that each character would have a weakness at higher levels, so they retarded the progression of one of the saves for each class. Stacking on top of this they made the saves for higher level spells harder to deal with and made your attribute lined to the spells mean something. Down side is that warriors got the shaft. Sure they can take any abuse you toss at them, but mentally there a wreck, and their seems to be a metric Crap load of spells that prey on this weakness.

The changes to BAB are simple. Everyone wants to be Kung-fu fighting. In 1st and 2nd if you were not one of the fighter classes, you got 1 attack per round. Don't think you'll last a round with an experienced fighter if your over 10th level. They would just chew you up. Giving everyone a second or third attack, though at a lower attack bonus, makes everyone feel like they can do stuff in a battle. Giveing battlefield tactics to everyone is D&D getting back to it's war gaming roots (yes that is where it came from originally kids).

Most of the other changes are bookkeeping changes to tidy things up. Standard attribute progression makes it easy to calculate bonuses on the fly, double check math, and not crack open a book. Everything goes in one direction too. 1st and 2nd, you needed to roll low on saves and attributes, high on attacks, and skills were percentiles and who the hell knew if it was high or low !!! AC wend to -10 so half the time you added to your attack roll, the other half you subtracted. We had this funky thing called THAC0.

Clerics got 7 levels of spells, and were the lowest progressing class level wise, but by 11th or so level they shot up a level every time you sneezed. Rogues and bards shot out ahead of all the classes by 2 sometimes 3 levels, wile some classes were 2 or 3 levels behind the group.

In short streamlining all this makes it a lot easier to write material, and it made the game more versatile and gives a lifetime of options to it's players. One the down side when ever you make something this big and give it almost limitless options you will make it harder to handle. Wile 3rd ed is my favorite to play from the stand point of creativity and tweaking, it's also a nightmare to DM for the very same reason. These boards are a testament to that fact. Some of the threads I read, I wonder if we play the same game...

My take on the fighter / wizard thing is simple. All classes are equal, as long as the DM and the Players decide to play them that way. If this requires suck ass Wizard builds and fully tweaked melee classes, well then that is what is needed. I don't have a lot of power issues in my games. Mainly due to the fact that we all try to not have power issues. I see the problems with the game. That is why the game has an official referee and balancing master. He takes all the players and reigns them in making a better experience for all.

Eldariel
2009-12-22, 11:45 AM
ok followup question - how much balance would it restore to use the 2ed experience table for levels on the fighter and wizard?

Well, you see my post above yours? That's only one of the dozen things that empowered Wizards and weakened Fighters. Coincidentally, the unified XP tables are needed for 3.X style multiclassing (one of the best features of the system IMHO) to work.

What you could do is slow down the progression of caster-abilities to match AD&D leveling for them. However, that would mean that casters wouldn't get 9th level spells before epic, so tread lightly. I know I would revolt if I couldn't cast Time Stop on level 20.


The auxillary option is speeding up the progression of the faster-progressing AD&D classes, but that doesn't really work all too well since gaining more than 1 BAB per level, for example, doesn't really make sense.

Eliminating individual spells and such helps a ton, of course, but fixing the underlying system would make all the problems fix themselves altogether. Unfortunately, that's not really that easy.


There was one change between 2nd and 3rd that weakened wizards:

HP increased, but the blasting spells (Fireball, etc) retained their traditional formulas. This is part of what generally made blasting a suboptimal strategy in 3e. It's also why WotC didn't spot the problems in early playtesting -- they played their wizards like 2e wizards (where blasting was a good strategy, because saves were high and HP was low), and that concealed how powerful some of the other effects had become.

Fireball used to be a D&D wizard's defining spell. People still sometimes refer to it as if it were... but it isn't, really, in 3e. Not in terms of power, anyway, because it kept its 1d6 per level damage, and everyone's HP went up.

I don't really think this weakened the Wizard; this just forced Wizard to change focus. Luckily enough, all the Save-or-X spells not dealing with damage got a huge boost meaning Wizards didn't weaken, they just switched focus. Here, the options of casters vs. lack of options of warriors becomes relevant.

Fighters and Wizards la AD&D both got hit by the HP boost; however, while Wizard-players have realized they can simply bypass the problem by ignoring HP altogether, Fighter-players are forced to hammer their heads to a wall trying to penetrate this new, increased wall of HP. In AD&D, Wizards threw Fireballs and Fighters hacked at things. In 3.X, Wizards throw Glitterdusts, while Fighters still hack at things.


Comparatively, I find this actually strengthened Wizards since they got more HP (the difference in HP between characters is nowadays only the class HD; since everyone benefits of high Con and Con rises to insane levels on higher levels, the relative HP gap actually decreases as you level-up) and they still have all the toys that allow them not to care about HP.

I've been converting 3.5 to AD&Dish rules set, mostly reworking combat rounds and making magic more hazardous, but so far I'm not happy with it.



My take on the massive changes is that a lot of the 3ed stuff is a natural progression of the game mechanics from 1st and 2nd. Now granted you have to look deep but it's there.

Feats are a natural evolution of the proficiencies slots. That fact that they got out of control is another issue all together.

Same with skills, they evolved out of the fact that everyone wanted a piece of the rogue skills. 2nd ed no one but the rogues and bards had skills marked down on the sheet. If your warrior wanted to be the party leader, or ended up being king for some reason their was really no measuring stick as to how effective he would actually be. You roll played it of coarse and good gamers didn't have a problem. You also used ability score checks a lot to simulate skills. Again this was not really a problem. Haveing skills, however makes it so you can design encounters with increasing levels of difficulty.

Actually, there were non-weapon proficiencies. Optional rules and not well-developed, granted, but they were there.


Saves in 2nd ed were quite problematic. At low levels wizards got away with murder on spells like charm person, sleep, etc. If you built your wizzie around these spells and when you got to mid and higher level life sucked. Any spell that required a save or suck just never got used cause no one sucked! Their was also a save vs spells and a save vs wands, staves, and rods. These were usually one point away from each other anyway, so why use two when you can combine them into one and call it good. Eventually this boiled down into three saves, one biased on how tough you were, how quick you were, and how mentally resilient you were. Then it looks to me like they wanted to ensure that each character would have a weakness at higher levels, so they retarded the progression of one of the saves for each class. Stacking on top of this they made the saves for higher level spells harder to deal with and made your attribute lined to the spells mean something. Down side is that warriors got the shaft. Sure they can take any abuse you toss at them, but mentally there a wreck, and their seems to be a metric Crap load of spells that prey on this weakness.

This is true, but remember that higher level AD&D spells applied penalties to the saves so there was SOMETHING going on there. That said, yeah, in 3.X the save-mechanic actually means those spells can remain useful when used smartly, even come high levels.


The changes to BAB are simple. Everyone wants to be Kung-fu fighting. In 1st and 2nd if you were not one of the fighter classes, you got 1 attack per round. Don't think you'll last a round with an experienced fighter if your over 10th level. They would just chew you up. Giving everyone a second or third attack, though at a lower attack bonus, makes everyone feel like they can do stuff in a battle. Giveing battlefield tactics to everyone is D&D getting back to it's war gaming roots (yes that is where it came from originally kids).

AD&D gishes (Fighter/Wizards) with Mirror Image, Stoneskin, etc. matched up just fine to a straight Fighter in combat. Their offense was less impressive, but with Elven Chain (or Spiritual Armor) and the slew of incredible defensive buffs, they were much harder to hit and damage than straight Fighters.

Roderick_BR
2009-12-22, 02:37 PM
Two more things to tack on to reduce the 15-minute-work-day

*Memorizing a spell took 10 minutes per spell level. Not so bad at level 1 but at level 5 you're looking at 110 minutes, at level 10 you need 390 minutes, 940 minutes at level 15 and 1,620 minutes at level 20. This leads to...

*You can't swap or forget spells. You memorize it and the arcane magics are permanently ingrained into your head. The only way to get rid of it is to cast it after which you have to rest in order to refresh that slot.

Harping on Tiktakkat, magic was meant to carry you through the entire adventure. If the wizard blew his wad in the first encounter he couldn't stop to rest 8 hours then pour over his spell book. 3.5 encourages people stopping in the middle of an adventure to consult their laundry list for a spell to overcome their current situation (60 minutes to reorganize spells? Not a problem!). In AD&D you had to rest then re-memorize. Chances are you'd either end up in multiple encounters or the party would get annoyed and stomp your spellbook.
I think they could dismiss memorized spells, but they still had to spend all that time to memorize a new one, AFTER those 8 hours of sleep. And a few spells, like ForceCage, need you to spend the material component during the memotization, meaning that if you do dismiss it, that's a lot of wasted resources...

Zombimode
2009-12-22, 05:33 PM
This is true, but remember that higher level AD&D spells applied penalties to the saves so there was SOMETHING going on there. That said, yeah, in 3.X the save-mechanic actually means those spells can remain useful when used smartly, even come high levels.

I disagree that save-or-X spells were useless in high level in AD&D.
Its true that a 15 HD enemy is pretty resilent against save-or-X effects.

But comparingly low level enemies remain being a threat to higher level PCs. Those Stagbeetles will hit you (3 attacks at THAC0 13) and will hit hard (1W10/1W10/4W4), and they have enough HP to survive the fireball.
So, in my experience many foes you will encounter in highlevels are still very valid targets for save-or-X spells.
No, the Dragon wont be affected by your Confusion, but his 20 cyclops henchmen will.

And even 10 HD enemies have a 50% chance of failing their save vs. spell.
Thats pretty good in my book, even without Greater Malison.

Plus, INT 0 Monsters counted for their saves exept Death/Poison etc. only half their HD. Ok, this doesnt come up that much for higher powered enemies, but dinosaurs for instance can be dropped with save-or-X spells pretty easy.

In my experience the best spells in AD&D are save-or-X, but blasting is viable too. Much depends on the situation.

ken-do-nim
2009-12-22, 08:51 PM
Actually, I've got a fairly simple method for using 3e-style multiclassing in a multiple-charts game: Simply put, you always use the most expensive chart for the next level. Want your fighter to take his next level in wizard? He has to get 2500xp, like everyone else who takes wizard.

Now, to do a lot to "fix" 2e magic to be a little closer to 3e standards, without turning on the 15-minute workday:

1) Enable 3e-style cantrips. These few little spells a day do a lot to give wizards some flexibility.
2) Add one additional 1st level spell at first level. This works similar to the cantrip idea, giving wizards more spells without going whole-hog into bonus spells. At low levels, it's functionally the same. At high levels, it keeps higher-level spells from exploding.

The other alternative is to do like they did in HMB... there are as many levels of spells as there are levels of wizard (and clerics). Clerics may cast one spell of each level. Wizards have spell points. By dividing the spells up, though, you move some of the better ones to latter levels (from 1st level to 2nd level).

Actually the best way to do 3E-style multiclassing - if that's what you want to call it - in 2E is to simply take dual-classing to its logical high-powered conclusion. You can put xp into any class at any time. Keep a separate tally of hit points for each class and your character has the highest. Likewise your character has the best to hit, best saves, all the class abilities, etc. On the downside, all the class restrictions too. There's actually precedent for this in the rules - ever check out the heroes in Deities & Demigods? Each of them has half a dozen classes.

Aquillion
2009-12-23, 03:13 AM
Actually the best way to do 3E-style multiclassing - if that's what you want to call it - in 2E is to simply take dual-classing to its logical high-powered conclusion. You can put xp into any class at any time. Keep a separate tally of hit points for each class and your character has the highest. Likewise your character has the best to hit, best saves, all the class abilities, etc. On the downside, all the class restrictions too. There's actually precedent for this in the rules - ever check out the heroes in Deities & Demigods? Each of them has half a dozen classes.Doesn't that mean that it's very easy to buy the first few levels of many different classes?

Of course, 2e classes are designed in a way that generally makes 'frontloading' impossible. But still.

Matthew
2009-12-23, 09:15 AM
Actually the best way to do 3E-style multiclassing - if that's what you want to call it - in 2E is to simply take dual-classing to its logical high-powered conclusion. You can put xp into any class at any time. Keep a separate tally of hit points for each class and your character has the highest. Likewise your character has the best to hit, best saves, all the class abilities, etc. On the downside, all the class restrictions too. There's actually precedent for this in the rules - ever check out the heroes in Deities & Demigods? Each of them has half a dozen classes.

I seem to remember that was how Planescape: Torment worked as well.



Doesn't that mean that it's very easy to buy the first few levels of many different classes?

Of course, 2e classes are designed in a way that generally makes 'frontloading' impossible. But still.

Yes, but that is pretty much the way the multi-class rules work anyway. The main problem would be with situations where 8th level fighters decide to start putting their experience points into magician or whatever, as the potential is there for them to jump eight levels in magician from one adventure [i.e. instead of going Fighter 8 → Fighter 9 they go to Fighter 8/Magician 8].

jmbrown
2009-12-23, 09:33 AM
I seem to remember that was how Planescape: Torment worked as well.

Torment's system was closer to dual classing except you could freely jump around (tri-classing?). You kept the highest hit dice, THAC0, and saves from your best class and you could only use abilities from your current class. It was best to find a class and stick with it because if you tried to evenly level everything you wouldn't advance at all.

Mike_G
2009-12-23, 11:06 AM
I'm ok with mages getting the bonus HP from high con, I'm ok with everyone being rewarded for their stats. I'm ok with the bonus to spell DC, since a brilliant wizard should be better at succeeding than a less bright wizard.

My biggest complaint, in regards to the power gap increase, was the defensive casting options.

In AD&D, the Magic User (we didn't have no stinkin' Wizards), was still the most versitile PC, and still probably did the most to mess up the enemy. However, he had the weakness that if the bad guys, even peon bad guys, got up to melee range, he was weak, squishy, and pretty much had no chance of casting spells, having to rely on smacking bad guys with his staff and his attrocious THAC0.

(As an infantryman at heart, this appeals to me. Once you weather the storm of artillery, and overrun the battery, you get to bayonet those @#$% gunners, cackling with glee as you avenge your blown up buddies.)

This meant that the caster needed the Fighter to keep the grunts off him. and he needed to be tactically smart, to try to minimize his exposure to attacks.

In 3e, he can usually take a step back and cast, and even if he can't, the Concentration roll to cast in melee is far too easy to make. Even if you do gte hit, the Concentration roll isn't too hard to make. Letting the enemy get up to you is a minor annoyance now, not the crisis it was.

Tengu_temp
2009-12-23, 02:34 PM
In AD&D, the Magic User (we didn't have no stinkin' Wizards), was still the most versitile PC, and still probably did the most to mess up the enemy. However, he had the weakness that if the bad guys, even peon bad guys, got up to melee range, he was weak, squishy, and pretty much had no chance of casting spells, having to rely on smacking bad guys with his staff and his attrocious THAC0.


Really? I must admit most of my AD&D experience comes from Baldur's Gate, but a high enough level caster there is still untouchable in melee due to Mirror Image and Stoneskin.

Aquillion
2009-12-23, 04:26 PM
I seem to remember that was how Planescape: Torment worked as well.


Yes, but that is pretty much the way the multi-class rules work anyway. The main problem would be with situations where 8th level fighters decide to start putting their experience points into magician or whatever, as the potential is there for them to jump eight levels in magician from one adventure [i.e. instead of going Fighter 8 → Fighter 9 they go to Fighter 8/Magician 8.
Of course, on the other hand, they could have been a Fighter 8 / Magician 8 at that point anyway if they'd chosen to start dual-classed. So it's not particularly unbalancing, just weird.

Matthew
2009-12-23, 04:33 PM
Torment's system was closer to dual classing except you could freely jump around (tri-classing?). You kept the highest hit dice, THAC0, and saves from your best class and you could only use abilities from your current class. It was best to find a class and stick with it because if you tried to evenly level everything you wouldn't advance at all.

I think I tried to even every level while playing it, but it was a long while ago using a friend's copy. Fortunately, the game has recently been reissued and so I should have my own version by Christmas.



Of course, on the other hand, they could have been a Fighter 8 / Magician 8 at that point anyway if they'd chosen to start dual-classed. So it's not particularly unbalancing, just weird.

Hmmn. Looks like I got distracted and forgot to finish that paragraph before I hit "post". Yeah, the problem I had in mind was the "weirdness" factor and not imbalance. Technically, a character in either edition of AD&D was unable to advance more than one level per adventure, which was the thought I was going to finish off on.

Mike_G
2009-12-23, 04:47 PM
Really? I must admit most of my AD&D experience comes from Baldur's Gate, but a high enough level caster there is still untouchable in melee due to Mirror Image and Stoneskin.

Let me qualify by saying my experience is mostly all 1st ed, not 2nd, so stuff may have changed a bit by 2e, but I never saw an untouchable melee caster.

Mirror images, IIRC, were destroyed by any damage, so they went pretty quick, and I don't remember Stoneskin being all that great. Wasn't it just an AC bonus?

In any case, the fact that casting took a whole round, and any hit negated the spell was huge. No more "Make a DC17 Concentration roll when you have +15" or take a 5 foot step and then spell the guy to death. Once somebody got to melee range, they had a huge advantage.

jmbrown
2009-12-23, 04:57 PM
2E's stoneskin was pretty powerful. It automatically blocked any attack (1d4 + 1 per 2 experience levels). The duration was permanent until dispelled or the effect blocked the specific number of attacks.

Magic attacks, however, still did their normal damage and counted as an attack. Just like magic missile is an effective mirror image killer, it rocked stoneskin. Fighters were also throwing weapon machines so a single round of dagger/dart tossing eliminated it as well.

ken-do-nim
2009-12-23, 08:28 PM
Yes, but that is pretty much the way the multi-class rules work anyway.

Let's not forget that in multiclassing, you get to ignore the class restrictions, but in dualclassing you have to abide by them. If you're a fighter 8 and you pick up 8 levels of magic-user, does it really help that much? You still can't cast in armor. Fighter then pick up cleric levels - now you can't use most of your weapons. Etc.

Dapperdan
2009-12-24, 12:30 AM
This is the strangest discussion I've ever seen.

Really? Fighters vs. Wizards? W-T-to-the-mofoin'-F?

1st off, the classes weren't being balanced towards PKing. They were balanced towards NPKing. The wizard didn't get as powerful as seems to be described here. They were buffed in the vein of letting wizards do something more than cast a single spell and then sling poo at the enemy until the fighter killed everything. Woo-hoo... Now wizards can participate in the game more often and not be dismissed in party discussions as that-guy-we-might-need-but-can't-defend-himself-against-us-so-he'd-damn-well-better-do-what-we-tell-him.

Here are some actual changes that aren't bitching about "my fav. class":

Fighter got NERFed! Hard. Don't get me wrong, they can still rock, but they peak quickly (7th-ish) and after that it feels like they're just biding time and kicking butt without any reall creativity. The fighter NEEDS PRCs and starts qualifying fast. You can reasonably start PRCing around 6th through 9th without problems and SHOULD do just that.

Rogues are still very cool! The biggest problems with Rogues have to do with DMs not giving them anything to do. I've been through more campaigns then I care to count where our Rogues were pissed about having nothing to do... assuming we had one to begin with. And yes, EVASION is BROKEN. Rogues depend more on their skills to define them than any other class!

CLERICS ARE BROKEN. No ifs ands or butts. They wear armor like a fighter and cast BETTER spells than wizards. They buff quickly and their buffs scale with higher-levels. Their buffs come with virtually no drawbacks (fight like a fighter without losing spellcasting for instance - unlike wizard spells of similiar styles.) You don't even have to try to power-monger a cleric...

Wizards got buffer, but it's not as grave as most of the posters here would have you think. And if you don't play a wizard you'll be much more thankful they can do more to aid you in battle. The saves system is a bit weird but works well in balanced campaigns. If you actually READ the spells and look at how they work out in the game, they're not overly powerful. Save DCs and Spell Penetration help wizards remain relevant in high-level campaigns where most spells affect few, if more than one, opponents.

For the base classes, this is just a brief answer to the many posts already thrown out here. So much changed that comparing the 2 editions is not really possible. You MUST work alot harder to be an effective fighter past level 7. And combat is much more tactical, but no worse for any single class. The posters here seem VERY PK oriented. Remember that this game is developed for cooperative interaction....

Aquillion
2009-12-24, 02:59 AM
CLERICS ARE BROKEN. No ifs ands or butts. They wear armor like a fighter and cast BETTER spells than wizards.No they don't. For all the attention that their ability to buff themselves gets, without additional abuse like Persistent Divine metamagic (which is its own issue) the wizard's spells are going to contribute more to most fights. Even with all your buffs up, a cleric is only a super-fighter. They're a super-fighter who can heal and cast other spells, yes, but healing in combat is very suboptimal, most of their other spells are weaker than a wizard's, and they still only get one action a turn, so what good is being able to cast them and fight?

A wizard can resolve a fight with a single well-chosen battlefield alteration, or a good save-or-die. The cleric's advantage goes in other ways; it isn't as entirely dependent on their spells as a wizard's (though it does draw from that more than anywhere else, of course.)

Don't get me wrong, clerics stack up fine against wizards, and taken as a whole, they might even be better. But Arcane spells are better than Divine spells, in that if you simply took a wizard and replaced his spell list with a Cleric's, he'd be much weaker than he was before. The other things a cleric gets -- Turn Undead (not for itself, but for the other things you can do with it), high HD, casting in armor, etc -- do matter, even if they're much less important than casting individually.

Eldariel
2009-12-24, 05:22 AM
This is the strangest discussion I've ever seen.

Really? Fighters vs. Wizards? W-T-to-the-mofoin'-F?

1st off, the classes weren't being balanced towards PKing. They were balanced towards NPKing. The wizard didn't get as powerful as seems to be described here. They were buffed in the vein of letting wizards do something more than cast a single spell and then sling poo at the enemy until the fighter killed everything. Woo-hoo... Now wizards can participate in the game more often and not be dismissed in party discussions as that-guy-we-might-need-but-can't-defend-himself-against-us-so-he'd-damn-well-better-do-what-we-tell-him.

Just because the characters are a team doesn't mean one team member can't be more or less valuable than another, or more or less capable of doing his job than another.

That's just what happened, Wizards (and other casters) became somewhat better at what they do, while Fighters got much worse. PvE or PvP, it doesn't matter; he got worse, and especially a worse party player.


Here are some actual changes that aren't bitching about "my fav. class":

Last I checked, just about every post in this thread was about that.


Fighter got NERFed! Hard. Don't get me wrong, they can still rock, but they peak quickly (7th-ish) and after that it feels like they're just biding time and kicking butt without any reall creativity. The fighter NEEDS PRCs and starts qualifying fast. You can reasonably start PRCing around 6th through 9th without problems and SHOULD do just that.

Fighters can't do what they did in AD&D. So yeah, their party role as the "protector"? That's lost. Also, so are their increased HP, attack numbers and such. Basically, there's no reason to be a Fighter anymore. PrC qualification would solve nothing; that wouldn't fix the base Fighter, just mean you might be deluded into thinking you're still a Fighter even though you are not.


Rogues are still very cool! The biggest problems with Rogues have to do with DMs not giving them anything to do. I've been through more campaigns then I care to count where our Rogues were pissed about having nothing to do... assuming we had one to begin with. And yes, EVASION is BROKEN. Rogues depend more on their skills to define them than any other class!

Evasion is broken? Que? And Rogue having nothing to do is just the Rogue-player being lazy; he CAN do a fckton which should be a subtle hint for the DM to make his checks mean something.


CLERICS ARE BROKEN. No ifs ands or butts. They wear armor like a fighter and cast BETTER spells than wizards. They buff quickly and their buffs scale with higher-levels. Their buffs come with virtually no drawbacks (fight like a fighter without losing spellcasting for instance - unlike wizard spells of similiar styles.) You don't even have to try to power-monger a cleric...

They cast worse than Wizards. Otherwise, correct. The power level of arcane spells is higher than that of divine spells most of the way. There are no Divine Glitterdusts, Sleeps, Color Sprays, Greases, Stinking Clouds or the other bread-and-butter Wizard spells on low levels, nor the gamebreakers like Time Stop, Shapechange, Polymorph, Simulacrum and company.


Wizards got buffer, but it's not as grave as most of the posters here would have you think. And if you don't play a wizard you'll be much more thankful they can do more to aid you in battle. The saves system is a bit weird but works well in balanced campaigns. If you actually READ the spells and look at how they work out in the game, they're not overly powerful. Save DCs and Spell Penetration help wizards remain relevant in high-level campaigns where most spells affect few, if more than one, opponents.

So I am to enjoy as a Fighter that the Wizard just trivialized the entire encounter again? Meh, I guess I can mop up the blind enemies or something.


For the base classes, this is just a brief answer to the many posts already thrown out here. So much changed that comparing the 2 editions is not really possible. You MUST work alot harder to be an effective fighter past level 7. And combat is much more tactical, but no worse for any single class. The posters here seem VERY PK oriented. Remember that this game is developed for cooperative interaction....

Comparing the two editions is simple since the changes are obvious. And as you can read here, they can easily be quantified and with our combined experience and knowledge, their results easily assessed.

Mike_G
2009-12-24, 06:24 AM
1st off, the classes weren't being balanced towards PKing. They were balanced towards NPKing.


I don't think anyone here is arguing Player vs Player.

But it does blow once you hit mid level and the encounter is over and the Fighter has done nothing relevant





The wizard didn't get as powerful as seems to be described here. They were buffed in the vein of letting wizards do something more than cast a single spell and then sling poo at the enemy until the fighter killed everything. Woo-hoo... Now wizards can participate in the game more often and not be dismissed in party discussions as that-guy-we-might-need-but-can't-defend-himself-against-us-so-he'd-damn-well-better-do-what-we-tell-him.


To an extent, I like the buff he got. Low level Magic Users were way too weak in AD&D. They had a very limited number of spells, then nothing.

But I think some of the buffs went too far, as I stated above.

The other issue for me is that every class got a buff, except Fighters. Sneak Attack is way easier to gte in 3e than the Backstab was in 1st or 2nd. Flanking in combat and getting Sneak Attack every round of combat isn't hard. In AD&D, you spent half the combat hiding and sneaking to get that one backstab in. Wizards got buffed quite a bit, lessening their weaknesses and actually increasing their strengths. Clerics got better. In AD&D we loved anybody who would play a Cleric.

Fighters got squat. Little changed for them, but the fact that everybody else got more HP, combat abilities and tactical options, they kinda lost their niche.

Aquillion
2009-12-24, 06:28 AM
Also, Druids are more broken than either Wizards or Clerics. A Druid doesn't even have to optimize beyond taking natural spell, throwing some buffs on himself and his companion, and summoning or dropping a few spells now and then.

The druid's animal companion is, no, not as strong as fighter -- but it's close enough for most purposes, because the fighter's only real role in an optimized 3e party is to mop up after the casters have put a lock on the fight with their buffs / debuffs / terrain-alteration / save-or-lose spells, and the animal companion can do that just fine. (And of course when you have the druid fighting alongside the animal companion, it's stronger than the fighter... and with Natural Spell, they can stay in wild shape all day. When they start buffing and summoning, it becomes overwhelmingly stronger than the fighter.)

Don't try and compare fighters to wizards or clerics; wizards are too different in role for an obvious comparison, and clerics (while they can overwhelm a fighter in individual fights) have to rely on DMM persist to overwhelm a fighter all the time.

Compare fighters to druids. A druid can overwhelm and completely replace a fighter out of the box, using purely core stuff (though they become even more powerful the more stuff outside of core you allow, very very quickly.) Unless you're doing nothing but fighting inside of one giant endless AMF, I would never want a fighter companion over a druid one, from an optimization standpoint.

And even in that giant endless AMF, druids are the best casters -- their Animal Companion doesn't go away, and they still have 3/4 BAB, plus all right HD and armor. Druids are sick.

Amphetryon
2009-12-24, 08:07 AM
Don't try and compare fighters to wizards or clerics; wizards are too different in role for an obvious comparison, and clerics (while they can overwhelm a fighter in individual fights) have to rely on DMM persist to overwhelm a fighter all the time.I'm pretty sure I have non-DMM Cleric builds that can overwhelm fighters any time the dice gods don't utterly laugh at me.

Aldizog
2009-12-24, 08:29 AM
Let's not forget that in multiclassing, you get to ignore the class restrictions, but in dualclassing you have to abide by them. If you're a fighter 8 and you pick up 8 levels of magic-user, does it really help that much? You still can't cast in armor. Fighter then pick up cleric levels - now you can't use most of your weapons. Etc.

You do not ignore class restrictions with multiclassing in 2E. PHB p. 45.

ken-do-nim
2009-12-24, 07:05 PM
You do not ignore class restrictions with multiclassing in 2E. PHB p. 45.

You're right; I was thinking of 1E. In my current 2E campaign everyone is human, in the 2E campaign I ran a decade ago I don't recall anyone multiclassing.

Dapperdan
2009-12-28, 12:01 AM
Just because the characters are a team doesn't mean one team member can't be more or less valuable than another, or more or less capable of doing his job than another.

That's just what happened, Wizards (and other casters) became somewhat better at what they do, while Fighters got much worse. PvE or PvP, it doesn't matter; he got worse, and especially a worse party player.

Last I checked, just about every post in this thread was about that.

Fighters can't do what they did in AD&D. So yeah, their party role as the "protector"? That's lost. Also, so are their increased HP, attack numbers and such. Basically, there's no reason to be a Fighter anymore. PrC qualification would solve nothing; that wouldn't fix the base Fighter, just mean you might be deluded into thinking you're still a Fighter even though you are not.


If you can't play a fighter than that's really your problem. I DMed a party of players through a few different campaigns and the Fighters, Clerics and multi-Fighter/Clerics were the main competitors. So I have problems with anyone who says that Fighters blow big time in 3.x. Yes, they need to go into PRCs ASAP and the player needs to plan out their progression; other than that, it's the PLAYERS resoponsibility to bone up on the combat rules and learn some tactics and strategy. I've seen some truly ingenious combat tactics that just made me smile when my players pulled them off. Yeaaaah they were a little bit on the hard-core number-crunchers side, but they showed off what could be done. I hate hearing people whine about fighters. People are just lazy about their combat strategy.


Evasion is broken? Que? And Rogue having nothing to do is just the Rogue-player being lazy; he CAN do a fckton which should be a subtle hint for the DM to make his checks mean something.

Yeah... Evasion is broken, see some of the posts above, I agree with them on this point. Backstab is good (glad Mike G mentioned that BTW...) and comes right back around to COMBAT STRATEGY and TACTICS. These were some of the best moves I'd ever seen between Rogues and Fighters/Psionic Warriors. And no, in all the "home brew" campaigns I've seen, very few had enough for the rogues to do. That's a DM problem, not a Player problem. Official Modules were better though.




They cast worse than Wizards. Otherwise, correct. The power level of arcane spells is higher than that of divine spells most of the way. There are no Divine Glitterdusts, Sleeps, Color Sprays, Greases, Stinking Clouds or the other bread-and-butter Wizard spells on low levels, nor the gamebreakers like Time Stop, Shapechange, Polymorph, Simulacrum and company.

LMAO!! If Time Stop or any of the others you mentioned become game-breakers for me as a DM, I'll email you... They're powerful but... that's the level of power you're playing at. There are A LOT of DMs that can't handle the upper levels of power, I'll certainly grant you that, but don't blame those spells. As per those lower level spells, they just let a wizards keep pace until the middle levels. After that, the Cleric just pauses to shake hands as he blows past Wizards.

Beyond that, some cleric spells offer multiple damage types just in case and without any feats. Also, a clerics choices of Domains does not hinder their ability to cast other spells unlike a Wizards specialization, which is practically a necessity. No they don't mention that in the class descriptions but it's pretty implicit once your start checking out spells-per-day.


So I am to enjoy as a Fighter that the Wizard just trivialized the entire encounter again? Meh, I guess I can mop up the blind enemies or something.

Really, the more I go over your post the more it seems like you need to have a talk with your DM. I'm sorry, but I've never seen a Wizard cause as much havoc in 3.x as everyone here seems to think is happening. And as a DM I've never had that problem either. Usually the wizard is the one trying to cling to life as soon as he gets marked as the blaster-caster.


Comparing the two editions is simple since the changes are obvious. And as you can read here, they can easily be quantified and with our combined experience and knowledge, their results easily assessed.

Ummmm, the changes aren't "obvious"... they're frakkin OVERWHELMING! That was the point of that statement... try to look past the trees.

And yes... Druids are just retarded. But I've never had a player play one so it's never been a problem for me personally. And now that you mention that... My own "home brew" campaign actually focuses on Druids and Rangers in the beginning, it seems weird that noone has ever played a Druid OR a Ranger for that matter.

Eldariel
2009-12-28, 12:29 AM
If you can't play a fighter than that's really your problem. I DMed a party of players through a few different campaigns and the Fighters, Clerics and multi-Fighter/Clerics were the main competitors. So I have problems with anyone who says that Fighters blow big time in 3.x. Yes, they need to go into PRCs ASAP and the player needs to plan out their progression; other than that, it's the PLAYERS resoponsibility to bone up on the combat rules and learn some tactics and strategy. I've seen some truly ingenious combat tactics that just made me smile when my players pulled them off. Yeaaaah they were a little bit on the hard-core number-crunchers side, but they showed off what could be done. I hate hearing people whine about fighters. People are just lazy about their combat strategy.

Yes, yes, a sufficiently well-built Fighter can pull its weight in low-end optimized games. I guess you've just never seen what a Fighter can't do. Combat tactics? You don't need classes for combat tactics. Tactics is about optimizing a class's abilities in-game.

Good tactics are assumed in these discussions; that doesn't change the fact that without ability to block people from bypassing them, Fighters are quite unable to cover the squishier party members (yes, exceptions exist but Fighters being able to force the melee opps to face them should be the RULE, not the exception).

And yes, Fighters can be good, but if the Cleric isn't stronger than a Fighter and a Fighter/Cleric, either the Fighter-players are much better optimizers, or the Cleric is intentionally holding back.


Yeah... Evasion is broken, see some of the posts above, I agree with them on this point. Backstab is good (glad Mike G mentioned that BTW...) and comes right back around to COMBAT STRATEGY and TACTICS. These were some of the best moves I'd ever seen between Rogues and Fighters/Psionic Warriors. And no, in all the "home brew" campaigns I've seen, very few had enough for the rogues to do. That's a DM problem, not a Player problem. Official Modules were better though.

Your experience is hardly comprehensive enough to draw any conclusions on. There's a lot of skill use in our campaigns. Hell, read the campaign journal in my signature; we're rolling skill checks more than we're rolling attack rolls. Or check Arcane Adventures for that matter; plenty o' rolls you can make as long as you pay attention.

This is why we are really discuss black'n'white. What's written in the books doesn't change based on individual experiences. If we're discussing the differences, the relevant differences are what's changed in the black'n'white. Individual experiences vary too much to draw any kind of relevant discussion from.

As for Evasion...well, you're only immune if you SUCCEED a save. That leaves you still failing a save. Evasion is a godsent since otherwise even a simple Delayed Blast Fireball Time Stop would be an autokill for anything with Less Than Lots Of HP Where Lots Is More Than Any PC Ever Has. A hard counter to breath weapons is really needed with how strong they can get.


LMAO!! If Time Stop or any of the others you mentioned become game-breakers for me as a DM, I'll email you... They're powerful but... that's the level of power you're playing at. There are A LOT of DMs that can't handle the upper levels of power, I'll certainly grant you that, but don't blame those spells. As per those lower level spells, they just let a wizards keep pace until the middle levels. After that, the Cleric just pauses to shake hands as he blows past Wizards.

Those spells are more powerful than anything any other class can do, hence why Wizard casting is so much stronger than Cleric's. Cleric simply cannot match the power of simple Shapechange into Balor/Pit Fiend/Dragon/Choker/whatever and gaining insane stats, extra action each round or such.

And Time Stop? Yeah, you find yourself in a Forcecage and Acid Fog under the effects of Antimagic Field (or a box made of Walls of Force if using the RAWtarded reading of Forcecage). What do you do? GL getting through Force Wall without magic and GL not taking damage from Acid Fog without magic.

Best of all, stuff like Contingencies and such don't trigger so Time Stop effectively makes you immune to all the standard counters to magic attacks. Or just Gate in crap and Teleport out. Or hell, lay a bunch of Maws of Chaos/Delayed Blast Whatever Balls or any other boom that activates after the Time Stop ends and scorch anything at all vulnerable to said thing skyhigh.


Beyond that, some cleric spells offer multiple damage types just in case and without any feats. Also, a clerics choices of Domains does not hinder their ability to cast other spells unlike a Wizards specialization, which is practically a necessity. No they don't mention that in the class descriptions but it's pretty implicit once your start checking out spells-per-day.

Who cares about damage spells? As we've concluded, they lost their value in 3.5 becoming a situational solver instead of your primary tool. And spells-per-day; well, if you play Blaster Wizards, sure. But that's your fault. 3.5 isn't kind to them.


Really, the more I go over your post the more it seems like you need to have a talk with your DM. I'm sorry, but I've never seen a Wizard cause as much havoc in 3.x as everyone here seems to think is happening. And as a DM I've never had that problem either. Usually the wizard is the one trying to cling to life as soon as he gets marked as the blaster-caster.

Sure, Blaster Wizards suck. Who cares? If you play a Wizard smart, they'll be very strong even with just Core-spells. You can solve just about any problem with Shapechange once you gain it. Before then...well, Playing a God (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=394.0)-guide explains better than I could with the words I've got here how to conserve enough resources to last all day while making an impact and later on, how to make yourself rather immortal and hold all the game's most powerful effects at your fingertips.


Ummmm, the changes aren't "obvious"... they're frakkin OVERWHELMING! That was the point of that statement... try to look past the trees.

They're small enough that the system can still be identified as D&D. You still have Vancian Casting, you still have magic users, clerics, rogues and fighters, you still have experience levels and Dragons and Dungeons. All the rule changes just change the dynamics inside the same old shell.

So yes, they can be compared. If the system was totally new, like 4e, the comparison would be harder, but 3.5e and 2e share so much that the comparison can be made.

Mark Hall
2009-12-28, 10:40 AM
So yes, they can be compared. If the system was totally new, like 4e, the comparison would be harder, but 3.5e and 2e share so much that the comparison can be made.

I'll admit to tl;dr'ing most of this conversation, but I do agree with this. 3.x is, to paraphrase the "Real Men, Real Roleplayers and Loonies" list, "an extremely variant form of D&D." Most concepts that you see in earlier editions D&D are present and recognizable... saving throws are there; changed, but still the same basic concept. Magic resistance is now called spell resistance, and hearkens back to 1e's variable by level of caster MR, but present. AC is inverted, but that wasn't terribly uncommon before the switch. HD are around... more variable than in earlier editions, but present. Probably the largest switch, IMO, was how multiclassing works and the emphasis on building a character mechanically.

4e is D&DINO... it's not a bad game, IMO, but it is not D&D if you hold earlier editions as exemplars of D&D (as I do).

Aquillion
2009-12-28, 01:31 PM
LMAO!! If Time Stop or any of the others you mentioned become game-breakers for me as a DM, I'll email you... They're powerful but... that's the level of power you're playing at. There are A LOT of DMs that can't handle the upper levels of power, I'll certainly grant you that, but don't blame those spells. As per those lower level spells, they just let a wizards keep pace until the middle levels. After that, the Cleric just pauses to shake hands as he blows past Wizards. Time Stop isn't even the second-strongest Ninth level spell. Try Shapechange. Seriously, read what it does and think about that for a moment. And realize that at 10 minutes / level, with a metamagic rod of extend, you can easily have it up for an entire dungeon crawl. (Hell, just devote all your ninth level spells to it and recast it if it runs out. It's that good. It's the best spell ever printed, bar none.)

Shapechange is the most powerful ability in Core, with one theoretical exception (which I'll get to in a moment.) If a Wizard has it up, the only thing a Cleric can do to compare is cast Gate, which Wizards also get. Now, in some ways Gate is more powerful than Shapechange, even (it doesn't last as long, but you can grab someone twice your HD)... but it costs you 1000 xp a pop.

Still. Shapechange, man, shapechange. You can do anything with it. Anything. It gives you essentially every power there is all at once for free for the entire duration, even the stupid-broken powers players were never meant to have (but it's still broken itself even without those.) Shapechange lets you open the Monstrous Manual and use any power that's ever been printed there -- powers meant to let one monster threaten an entire party. All for yourself.

The cleric's crowning power (aside from summoning, which they can only match the wizard at) is... they can raise their BAB and act as a replacement fighter. Wooo.

Mind you, you will never actually get to do all this, at least not twice in the same group, because Shapechange is so hilariously and obviously broken. But if you want to compare the spells as written, no, wizards gain more at high levels than anyone else.


Fighters get one tactic. Even if you multiclass or use PRCs (outside of the Tomb of Battle, which basically turns them into refluffed casters), you're stuck being good at one thing. Meet something that that trick doesn't work on, you're screwed.

Clerics are much better, and can get a lot of tricks. But nobody gets more tricks than a high-level wizard.

(And now, I know, you're gonna say: "But fighters can be creative! Man, you're not being creative!" And yes, everyone benefits from being creative... but fighters are stuck, generally, with class features that only help them with one or two things. Wizards get much more actual support from their class for applying their creativity effectively, especially when you start getting into absurd stuff like Shapechange.)