PDA

View Full Version : Soo... what's so good about 3.5?



Ogremindes
2010-02-07, 10:42 PM
The question: disregarding any assumptions of familiarity and ownership, for what kind of games would you choose DnD 3.5 over other systems?

As a (usually) lurker on this board, I read a lot about how 4th edition is terrible, blah-de-blah, but almost everything I read about 3.5 is about ridiculous builds and how melee can't have nice things.

It seems to my mind that for a combat focused game you'd want a system with at least some pretence of intra-party balance, in games where customisation is is the most important thing a point-buy system such GURPS or M&M would be preferable and in more story-focused games systems like WFRP where social encounters are almost as interactive as combat would be best.

But then again, what do I know?

DragoonWraith
2010-02-07, 10:44 PM
I think one of the biggest things (at least based on my recent questions about 4e in another thread) is that for a class-based system, 3.5 allows an incredible degree of customizability. The multiclass/prestige class system, combined with the sheer number of classes available, can allow some very interesting and 'different' characters becoming possible from a mechanical perspective, which some (like me) find very appealing.

Unfortunately, since I feel like I should be reasonable and attempt to be objective here, a lot of the choices that you have are only giving you the option to suck, because there simply are some choices that are good, and some that are bad. This is a very serious flaw, especially if some of your group are not interested in the level of rules mastery necessary to avoid it.

arguskos
2010-02-07, 10:48 PM
Several points to make.

1. I... see quite a few folks around here who are quite avid players and fans of 4th Edition. Not sure where you're seeing such hardcore hatred, but it's probably not quite as prevalent as you might think.

2. All the stuff about "melee can't have nice things" and "uberbuilds" and whatnot is a fairly small minority of the actual gaming population, mostly just the internet crowd. I know at least a dozen players personally who've never heard the phrase "practical optimization".

3. Personally, 3.5's really big advantage over 4e is it's endless customizability. 3.5 lends itself VERY strongly to easy homebrew, easy alteration of anything and everything, and it's deemphasis on balance means that it's easy to add or subtract new content. Does this cause issues if you're not careful? Sure. Is it still an amazing strength of the system? Yes.

Bibliomancer
2010-02-07, 10:48 PM
I think the main comparison has been 3.5 to 4, not 3.5 to non-DnD.

3.5 is a fairly flexible system with lots of interesting and wildly different builds possible. Also, the amount of work in equals the amount of power, roughly. Casters are more powerful than fighters, yet both appear in roughly equal numbers. Why? Because fighters are simple to play, good for beginners, and some people just don't want to take the time to play a caster. Yes, there are loopholes, but they are also present in 4e (the first infinite damage loop was found several weeks before the game was released), and many are fairly easy to correct. 4e has also all of the classes mechanically similar or identical in the number and frequency of powers (at wills/encounters/dailies) and the nature of the powers are fair more restricted than in 3.5. Yes, there are no save or dies, but most of the utility and creativity has been removed from spellcasting.

Ogremindes
2010-02-07, 11:10 PM
But surely 3.5's customisation options are lesser than the big point-buy systems'. Why 3.5 and not GURPS, say? Or Mutants and Masterminds?

arguskos
2010-02-07, 11:13 PM
But surely 3.5's customisation options are lesser than the big point-buy systems'. Why 3.5 and not GURPS, say? Or Mutants and Masterminds?
Because the d20 system creates a unique mix of "easy to grasp and start on" and "endless customization" that GURPS and other games don't seem to have. It's this balance that makes 3.5 a great game.

Vaynor
2010-02-07, 11:19 PM
You can make almost any character you want, and even characters that don't differ much mechanically never feel the same. The main problem I had with 4e was that the book basically told me how to make my character, and while I could make it differently I wouldn't really be as powerful as my party members.

3.5, while definitely not perfectly balanced, offers a degree of customizability that I personally enjoy. Even just one of the most basic parts of the system, the "role" idea (striker, leader, controller, defender) seems to be just a way of pigeonholing different classes into the exact same niche. You are basically given 2 options with each class, and other than that you're only choices are feat selection, race, and power selection (from a fairly limited list).

Another example of the simplification is the fact that both clerics and wizards use the same rituals, even though they use different types of magic. And on that note, rituals. Almost all out of combat spells taking 10 minutes to cast? Just because you're not in combat doesn't mean you're not in a hurry, it shouldn't take that much time and money to cast a knock spell.

Ranting aside, 4e is good for what it is. It provides a simple game that works decently for beginning players, but I would never buy a book. Many complaints about 3.5 deal with the fact that it is much more complicated, but I like that. I enjoy the intricacies, and I guess in the long run it just boils down to preference.

Kylarra
2010-02-07, 11:23 PM
You can make almost any character you want, and even characters that don't differ much mechanically never feel the same. I would argue that this is not a system issue, but a player perspective issue.


The main problem I had with 4e was that the book basically told me how to make my character, and while I could make it differently I wouldn't really be as powerful as my party members. I am... surprised at the bolded part. That seems far more true for 3.X than 4e, in my experience. It is far, far easier to gimp yourself on accident in 3.X, than it is in 4e.


Another example of the simplification is the fact that both clerics and wizards use the same rituals, even though they use different types of magic.I'd just like to point out that there was always a lot of arcane/divine overlap in 3.X as well, so this seems rather.. nitpicky.

Mushroom Ninja
2010-02-07, 11:33 PM
Although I'm probably repeating things others have said, I want to emphasize the appeal of the customizability of 3.5. The ability to combine elements of hundreds of classes and prestige classes and many, many more feats, spells, and items is particularly appealing to some people (myself included). In 3.5, you can make an entire game out of simply creating character builds. Since feats and PrCs have prerequisites, fitting everything that you want into a 20-level character can be a fun and rewarding challange. While there is customizability in 4e and AD&D, the way the class system works makes the same degree of customization impossible.

It also seems to me that 3.5 can pull off "gritty fantasy" or "historical/realistic fantasy" with greater ease than 4e (though not nearly as well as 2e/1e). Drop the magic classes and avoid "flashy" classes, and you can pull off realism pretty well. Although, with reflavoring 4e martial power users could do things like this, it's not quite as easy IMO due to self-healing and other things that break with verisimilitude.

Balance issues can be a problem in 3.5, but, once a gaming group has figured out what sort of power level they want to play on, assuming everyone agrees to stay at that power level, there aren't many problems.

Vaynor
2010-02-07, 11:39 PM
I would argue that this is not a system issue, but a player perspective issue.

Probably, I haven't played 4e that much but from what I know of it this has been the case.


I am... surprised at the bolded part. That seems far more true for 3.X than 4e, in my experience. It is far, far easier to gimp yourself on accident in 3.X, than it is in 4e.

I'm not saying anything about gimping yourself on accident, but gimping yourself simply by not going with the pre-made character they give you (I know it's not a pre-made character, but it lists options that would be a bad idea to ignore).


I'd just like to point out that there was always a lot of arcane/divine overlap in 3.X as well, so this seems rather.. nitpicky.

Yes, but it is the same exact list with hardly any differentiation. I know it's nitpicky, though. :smallcool:

Kylarra
2010-02-07, 11:42 PM
Probably, I haven't played 4e that much but from what I know of it this has been the case. It's a mindset. The mechanical options differ from the way you play your character.


I'm not saying anything about gimping yourself on accident, but gimping yourself simply by not going with the pre-made character they give you (I know it's not a pre-made character, but it lists options that would be a bad idea to ignore). Uh... would you rather them suggest bad feats and powers to take? Customization is easily there outside of the prestamped box, especially given splats and dragon releases that weren't there when the book was printed.

Mushroom Ninja
2010-02-07, 11:43 PM
I am... surprised at the bolded part. That seems far more true for 3.X than 4e, in my experience. It is far, far easier to gimp yourself on accident in 3.X, than it is in 4e.


Although I agree with this in general, it should be noted that there are some apparently silly restrictions in 4e on martial characters which, if ignored, cause severe gimpage. I refer to the limited weapon selection each class gets. If you happen to be a rogue who wants to use a longsword, well, you're pretty much boned. While choosing longsword as the primary weapon for your rogue in 3.5 is hardly optimal, there are ways of making it work so that you don't fall too far behind.

Ashiel
2010-02-07, 11:49 PM
I prefer 3.x D&D because it allows me to tell the stories I wish to tell - as both a DM and as a player. In both pre-3.x and post 3.x, character options are slim. As Vaynor points out, with 4.0 I feel that there are far fewer options. Magic and the like are practically gone. 4E cannot support even basic fantasy staples such as shapechanging, animating the dead, summoning creatures, and so forth (unless there's some new splat-books that introduced this stuff which should have been core).

The customization quality of 3.5 is incredibly solid. A number of things that people have claimed as horrible balance problems have never bothered me as a DM or player (polymorph comes to mind). That being said, most of the major game-breakers are due to RAW exploits or, frankly, really bad splat-books written by people who didn't really have any clue what they were doing when they wrote the books (I'm looking at YOU complete psionic!).

3.5 core has a lot of problems because people complained about martial characters (especially the fighter) being so amazing in 3.0 due to weird hypothetical situations, or critical hit builds. Fighters, for example, received a ton of nerfs that were indirect to their class (keen no longer stacking with improved critical, whirlwind attack being limited greatly, adjustments to the way weapon sizes worked, etc). Humorously, 3.5 fighters are widely considered horribly under-powered unless a ton of splat-books are introduced.

This however serves as a vital lesson. Merely removing or changing pieces of the system can tip the scales in different directions. Sometimes it's just a matter of changing a few words in a vague or problematic effect to create a usable version.

And a lot of stuff isn't nearly as unbalanced as many people act. For example, the tier system a while back suggest that there is a scale ranging between 1-6 with 1 being the absolute most powerful/versatile classes available, and 6 being the most useless. Most of the fun and well balanced classes fall in the 2-3 range, and really can play alongside 1-4 classes without too much trouble.

Most of the major unbalanced factors rely on DM fiat or loop tricks which, again, will never see play. If anyone ever says something like "And then you can just research X spell...", then you'll likely see something that can't actually occur without DM fiat.

I find 3.x to be a wonderful system for casual gaming. You can set the power level you're looking for by being more or less optimized, and the DM's toolbox is a truly massive thing.

Just tonight, I was running a tabletop game with a group of 5 characters. A fairly optimized Pathfinder Barbarian, an optimized Pathfinder Fighter, a fairly Optimized 3.5 Psion Telepath, and a Pathfinder bard built around using rare fire-arm weaponry crafted with alchemical powders (Read - revolvers and grenades). The group has been terrified as they press through a forest infested with spiders and similar dangers. So far the game has been going great, and everyone feels they contribute immensely to the group. They will also tell you that spiders and ettercaps were designed by Satan, especially after the barbarian was yanked off his riding-bull by four ettercaps. :smallsmile:

I dunno. I just find 3.x more interesting. I DMed 4E for about five sessions and me and my group were sick of it. If I were going to play or run anything else that wasn't d20 based; it would either be Deadlands or a heavily house-ruled Shadowrun. They're great games with fun systems too. :smallsmile:

Magnor Criol
2010-02-07, 11:49 PM
As a (usually) lurker on this board, I read a lot about how 4th edition is terrible, blah-de-blah, but almost everything I read about 3.5 is about ridiculous builds and how melee can't have nice things.

Keep in mind that you're not seeing the whole thing if all you're seeing is the discussions on this board.

Many, I'd even venture to say MOST DnD games function just fine and more or less as the designers pictured it, with every member more or less balanced and people contributing, meleers not being totally eclipsed by a caster, and so on.

What you see here are the discussions about A) the problems and B) the theorized builds. in such situations, naturally you see lots of the ridiculous builds and meleers not being worth much. When you're looking at normal builds and things are going smoothly, there's nothing to discuss.

Instead of seeing 3.5 as a whole, you're just seeing a fraction, and the more obnoxious fraction at that. :smalltongue:

I don't know if you play 3.5 yourself, or if your only real 'contact' with the system is what you see here, but if it's the latter, I think that could have a lot to do with your confusion.

Vaynor
2010-02-07, 11:52 PM
Uh... would you rather them suggest bad feats and powers to take? Customization is easily there outside of the prestamped box, especially given splats and dragon releases that weren't there when the book was printed.

Like I said, I haven't played 4e much, and nothing outside of core. All I know is the basic rulebooks, and in there you basically choose one of the two options, and that's your character. I guess my reasons against 4e aren't as valid as they were almost 2 years ago. Regardless, I still prefer the style of 3.5 as opposed to 4e.

nepphi
2010-02-07, 11:54 PM
Getting back to 3.5 in itself rather than versus any other system...

3.5 is a great choice if you want a system that is complete. This isn't to say -perfect-, because no RPG ever is. However it certainly is complete - all Errata has been published, all splats are released, the SRD is completely filled in, and nothing is going to change. Choosing a feat won't be invalidated in a month's time because of a typo or balance issue. What you have is what you get.

4e on the other hand, as an example, is still updating. Blade Cascade was THE damage dealing power, bar none, period. Potentially unlimited attacks? You could down the toughest enemies in the game comparatively early! Then came the errata, and now it caps at five attacks. This sort of thing is still going on, as evinced by the massive updates document Wizards periodically releases.

Admittedly it's not the -greatest- reason, but it is a reason I still keep around my leatherbound, special edition 3.5 core set ;)

Kylarra
2010-02-07, 11:55 PM
Although I agree with this in general, it should be noted that there are some apparently silly restrictions in 4e on martial characters which, if ignored, cause severe gimpage. I refer to the limited weapon selection each class gets. If you happen to be a rogue who wants to use a longsword, well, you're pretty much boned. While choosing longsword as the primary weapon for your rogue in 3.5 is hardly optimal, there are ways of making it work so that you don't fall too far behind.It should be noted that this is pretty much limited only to the rogue's weapon selection. Certain other classes have bonuses for using certain weapons, but you are by no means restricted to those weapons.

Mushroom Ninja
2010-02-08, 12:01 AM
It should be noted that this is pretty much limited only to the rogue's weapon selection. Certain other classes have bonuses for using certain weapons, but you are by no means restricted to those weapons.

That's a good point.

Emmerask
2010-02-08, 12:06 AM
The question: disregarding any assumptions of familiarity and ownership, for what kind of games would you choose DnD 3.5 over other systems?

As a (usually) lurker on this board, I read a lot about how 4th edition is terrible, blah-de-blah, but almost everything I read about 3.5 is about ridiculous builds and how melee can't have nice things.

It seems to my mind that for a combat focused game you'd want a system with at least some pretence of intra-party balance, in games where customisation is is the most important thing a point-buy system such GURPS or M&M would be preferable and in more story-focused games systems like WFRP where social encounters are almost as interactive as combat would be best.

But then again, what do I know?

well the casters are op thing is more of a raw and heavy optimization issue, in actual gameplay melee´s are absolutely playable (be it via dm "intervention" or pc restraint) even a monk is a viable asset for most groups :smallwink:
For me 4e is a bit too streamlined and more important I really don´t want to buy xy new books ^^

Oh and the complete part is absolutely true tried out the (at that time) new rolemaster system and there was not a single rule regarding mounted combat at that time...

Devils_Advocate
2010-02-08, 12:37 AM
Gang, for any given preference, you could find some system that fulfills it worse than d20. I think that Ogremindes is asking more what d20 is best at. What's it's niche? What would you want to do so that you'd choose d20 in particular over every other system, and not just one particular system?

In my opinion, the d20 System is a jack of all trades and a master of none. It tries to be all things to all high fantasy gamers and inevitably horribly fails. Nevertheless, it can make for a workable compromise for a group with different and even conflicting preferences.

There is something about building 3.5 characters that I find oddly appealing. Looking through material and teasing out strengths and synergies, and even just seeing how different archetypes and elements fit together from a flavor perspective... It's enough to be a hobby on its own. So maybe that's 3.5's strength: It makes character creation into a fascinating game in its own right.

For the record, it's not just crazy-go-nuts combinations of stuff and spatbook options that are overpowered in 3.5. Right in core, there's the Natural Spell feat and the Candle of Invocation, which are overpowered simply if used as written. Heck, just the Druid class is pretty nuts.

But it is possible to run a game where balance issues never really come up, yes.


Because the d20 system creates a unique mix of "easy to grasp and start on" and "endless customization" that GURPS and other games don't seem to have. It's this balance that makes 3.5 a great game.
I'm not seeing how d20 is easier to learn than GURPS. It seems to include lots of special cases for every little thing in ways that don't especially contribute to verisimilitude nor balance but which you are nevertheless supposed to keep track of. GURPS at least seems to be more intuitive, since by design the in-game models of real things work fairly closely to how they work in real life.


You can make almost any character you want
Can you make a character with unlimited at-will healing? Not just of herself, but anybody she touches. But not necessarily quickly. Like, 1 hit point per round, maybe?

In GURPS, the answer to "Can my character have this weird ability?" is "Have the GM, if he feels the ability is appropriate to the game, assign it a point cost." In 3.5, it's more like "Hunt through the many, many splatbooks."

Yeah, you can homebrew, but just dropping some weird thing in is a lot easier when you don't have to work within a class/level system and can just... well, just drop it in.


Uh... would you rather them suggest bad feats and powers to take?
He would seem to prefer 3.X's awful build advice. I've seen several people express dislike of 4E because they feel that building an effective character should be a challenge; in short, they rather dislike game balance. Requiring players to figure out that the official suggestions are for suckers falls much in the same vein.


Although I agree with this in general, it should be noted that there are some apparently silly restrictions in 4e on martial characters which, if ignored, cause severe gimpage. I refer to the limited weapon selection each class gets. If you happen to be a rogue who wants to use a longsword, well, you're pretty much boned.
Um, it's Sneak Attack with a longsword in 3.5 that's silly. Not only does the ability function with weapons that aren't allowed to be used with the fighting style that should enable the ability, but you have to take a special feat -- Weapon Finesse -- to fight using the precise jabs that Sneak Attack should require? You know, precision damage? And your Rogue has to wait 2 levels until he can take the feat that actually lets him use the Rogue combat style? Until then he may get to do something that works kind of OK but makes no sense, but... really, Sneak Attack should be Dex-based from level 1.


All I know is the basic rulebooks, and in there you basically choose one of the two options, and that's your character.
May I presume that you and Mushroom Ninja both rather disliked the 3.5 Ranger's "This class supports two combat styles; use one of them or suck"?

Bosh
2010-02-08, 12:38 AM
Its a big full kitchen sink mechanics-wise. Definitely the most mechanically diverse edition of D&D which can either be good or a whole boat-load of problems depending...

Otodetu
2010-02-08, 12:41 AM
The whines about 3.5 is just a proof of how much it is loved.

Kylarra
2010-02-08, 12:47 AM
I guess in the lines of what's good for 3.5,

It's a very nice parcel-based pointbuy system. It rewards system mastery, which is what allows it to be that way. It also has some decent classes that are good to take from 1-20 without needing too much outside work, mostly tier 3 classes, though some tier 1-2 ones can be played with minimal time investment as well. It spans a very wide variety of power levels, as evidenced by the vast gulf between tiers. This allows for many flavors of gaming, if done properly.

LurkerInPlayground
2010-02-08, 12:51 AM
Um, it's Sneak Attack with a longsword in 3.5 that's silly. Not only does the ability function with weapons that aren't allowed to be used with the fighting style that should enable the ability, but you have to take a special feat -- Weapon Finesse -- to fight using the precise jabs that Sneak Attack should require? You know, precision damage? And your Rogue has to wait 2 levels until he can take the feat that actually lets him use the Rogue combat style? Until then he may get to do something that works kind of OK but makes no sense, but... really, Sneak Attack should be Dex-based from level 1.
I hate being roped into a realism discussion but you're wrong.

Surprising somebody with an attack doesn't necessarily have anything to do with precision or the weapon you're using. It just means you're blind-siding a swing at them and that their fighting instincts (if any) aren't engaged to counter your action. This has more to do with things like timing, approaching at the right angle and knowing whether or not the person that you're fighting is distracted by something else. (In short: It also depends a lot on judgement and experience.)

Abstractly, in D&D terms, this means you do more hit point damage because the hit is harder to defend against. You flank them or otherwise catch them "flat-footed" or otherwise unaware.

Likewise, I hate the sort of meta-logic that goes on with the idea that rogues use daggers and not swords because they are rogues. AD&D didn't have that sort of weird hang-up. Rogues could use long swords and backstabbing wasn't even supposed to make them ninjas.

If I'm a thief. A highwayman. An assassin. Or whatever else, I'll attack you from behind with the weapon with longer reach and better leverage, if at all possible. I'd only use a dagger if pulling a sword would be too awkward or obvious (i.e. in public areas, in cramped spaces or it'd be easy for you to see me going for the hilt at my side). Maximizing that first hit means everything, whereas a shorter blade might leave more room for error.

Hell, there's a point where a warrior is indistinguishable from the "rogue" in terms of tactics. They capitalize on people lowering their defenses whenever possible. Watch any samurai flick that does a meta-analysis of this and you'll see what I mean.

But because it's the generic fantasy convention that Rogues are sneaky backstabbers and Fighters are tanks, they inhabit weirdly abstracted territories seperate from each other.

EDIT:
Hell, if I were a ninja, I'd be carrying my long-ass sword everywhere. Because ninjas are masters of invisibility and therefore are above the petty concerns of smuggling tiny blades around.

Vaynor
2010-02-08, 01:00 AM
May I presume that you and Mushroom Ninja both rather disliked the 3.5 Ranger's "This class supports two combat styles; use one of them or suck"?

Yes, I do, I use an upgraded version of the ranger in my games. Luckily that's one of the only classes that has that problem.

Dyllan
2010-02-08, 01:00 AM
I think one big advantage of 3.5 over other systems is that, for a player (not a DM), you can join a game without having to learn the whole system. Starting at level 1 with a non-caster requires learning almost nothing about how the game works. So new players can easily join in with veterans.... just let the veterans play the complicated classes. All your fighter needs to know is what to add to his attack rolls, what to roll for damage, and how fast he can move.

And the whole tier system, and imbalance between casters and non-casters is 99% hogwash. Unless someone really tries to break the system, those things simply aren't going to come up. In the first campaign I ran, from level 1 to 17, the human monk was considered (by the players) to be one of the most useful characters in the party. And she was played by someone who had never played any RPG before.

The truth is, in 3.5 at least, not everyone needs to be of the same power level. They just need to all contribute in an important way, and have a moment to shine. And in 3.5, more than in any other system I've played, a good DM can easily set things up so that each character gets their chance to shine.

Dimers
2010-02-08, 01:03 AM
The question: disregarding any assumptions of familiarity and ownership, for what kind of games would you choose DnD 3.5 over other systems? ... in games where customisation is is the most important thing a point-buy system such GURPS or M&M would be preferable and in more story-focused games systems like WFRP where social encounters are almost as interactive as combat would be best.

Sorry if I'm repeating someone here; I'm suffering from an acute case of tl;dr.

One would choose D&D, whether 3.5, 4e, or earlier versions, for a flash-bang style of fantasy game among friends. GURPS doesn't lend itself to spectacle (and it isn't easy to pick up, despite all their claims to the contrary). I can't comment on the others, not having tried 'em out. But D&D's biggest advantage isn't a mechanical one at all -- it just happens to be more available than anything else. You can find books new or used, get help and encouragement from more friends because more people have played it, find tons of online discussion ... you ask for it at a game store, and they say "You'll need to buy these dice" rather than "Wait, what was that title?" ... you can find comics parodying it, describing it, using it to tell stories. D&D has more than one 'For Dummies' book, fer goshsakes. So it's easy to find people to play with, which is more important to starting to play than we like to think because we don't want to believe that humans are really that lazy. Collectively, we are. Point being, aside from having what is often the 'right' amount of cinematic style, D&D wins because it's everywhere.

kentma57
2010-02-08, 01:08 AM
To respond in general to what your reaching at when you asked about other systems... Well I will admit that 3.5 is complicated and 4 just dosen't provide enough options(I am a 3.5 guy as I have learned most of the rules) if I was to pick a new RPG without my current experience with D&D(and none of my friends played it) i would probably start playing World of Darkness alot more. It is fun easy to learn and has amazing fluf to go with the crunch.

Mushroom Ninja
2010-02-08, 01:11 AM
Um, it's Sneak Attack with a longsword in 3.5 that's silly. Not only does the ability function with weapons that aren't allowed to be used with the fighting style that should enable the ability, but you have to take a special feat -- Weapon Finesse -- to fight using the precise jabs that Sneak Attack should require? You know, precision damage? And your Rogue has to wait 2 levels until he can take the feat that actually lets him use the Rogue combat style? Until then he may get to do something that works kind of OK but makes no sense, but... really, Sneak Attack should be Dex-based from level 1.

If a rogue can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage.

I don't see anything here flavor-wise that suggests sneak attack requires much finesse -- a lot of vital spots are in-the-open and very longsword-hittable. Like the head.

Having to wait for weapon-finesse till third level, I agree, was a bad, though circumventable, feature.



May I presume that you and Mushroom Ninja both rather disliked the 3.5 Ranger's "This class supports two combat styles; use one of them or suck"?


I've always considered Ranger one of the 3 worst-designed classes in the PHB, right alongside Paladin and Monk. However the flexibility of 3.5 lets you make up for choosing TWF combat style as ranger by multiclassing to something with precision damage.

Redrat2k6
2010-02-08, 01:30 AM
Well Pathfinder is 3.5(ish) and the thing that is good about it is... it is sexy.

(especially the Barbarian, I mean wow)

Xenogears
2010-02-08, 01:41 AM
What I like about 3.5 is that when I make a crazy (not power-wise just sheer insanity usually....) build I enjoy it more than if I make the same build in a classless system. For some inexplicable reason it just feels more rewarding to find just the right combination of classes, feats, items, etc to realize my twisted dreams of how my character should be . I don't get the same warm fuzzy feeling when I do the same thing in point based systems.

Also point based systems are inherently inbalanced. No human could possibly give a respectable number of options and make all options of a given value equal to eachother. Point based systems tend to be more inbalanced than the worst 3.5 has to offer.

So to respond more directly to the OP. 3.5 may be less customizable than G.U.R.P.S but it is more (ironically) balanced (IMO), it may be less balanced than 4.0 but it has more options, and as for WoD? Storytelling has very little to do with system as far as I'm concerned so I'm gonna ignore this one. The point of it all, to me, is that 3.X happens to fall about where I want a game to on the Balance-Options scale.

Kylarra
2010-02-08, 01:44 AM
3.5 is really just a constrained pointbuy system anyway.

Mushroom Ninja
2010-02-08, 01:47 AM
What I like about 3.5 is that when I make a crazy (not power-wise just sheer insanity usually....) build I enjoy it more than if I make the same build in a classless system. For some inexplicable reason it just feels more rewarding to find just the right combination of classes, feats, items, etc to realize my twisted dreams of how my character should be . I don't get the same warm fuzzy feeling when I do the same thing in point based systems.

Very true. You can't make an Anthropomorphic bear Bear totem barbarian Bear Warrior in 4e. Or a half-dragon half-celestial half-elf. :smallbiggrin:

Vaynor
2010-02-08, 01:51 AM
Very true. You can't make an Anthropomorphic bear Bear totem barbarian Bear Warrior in 4e. Or a half-dragon half-celestial half-elf. :smallbiggrin:

Which, really, is what RPGs are all about. :smallcool:

Kylarra
2010-02-08, 02:00 AM
Very true. You can't make an Anthropomorphic bear Bear totem barbarian Bear Warrior in 4e. Or a half-dragon half-celestial half-elf. :smallbiggrin:
Bugbear Bear Shaman with Great Bear Shaman Paragon Path :smallbiggrin:

Half-elf dragon sorcerer with a deva heritage feat. :smallcool:

Xenogears
2010-02-08, 02:00 AM
3.5 is really just a constrained pointbuy system anyway.

In some ways yes it is. I just happens to wind up at just (or as close to as I've found anything to be) the mix of balance and options I enjoy. It's like a horde of screaming monkeys threw a ton of fruit at a wall and after you scraped the peels away the juices had formed a beautiful picture.

Vaynor
2010-02-08, 02:03 AM
Bugbear Bear Shaman with Great Bear Shaman Paragon Path :smallbiggrin:

Half-elf dragon sorcerer with a deva heritage feat. :smallcool:

Bugbears aren't bears at all, and that isn't nearly as cool as a bearman half-bear who turns into a bear when he's angry and commands bear companions.

He can turn into a bear twice.

magic9mushroom
2010-02-08, 02:05 AM
3.5 has quite good verisimilitude, apart from the Tippyverse problem.

Xenogears
2010-02-08, 02:06 AM
Bugbears aren't bears at all, and that isn't nearly as cool as a bearman half-bear who turns into a bear when he's angry and commands bear companions.

He can turn into a bear twice.

See if he can get his bear companions to take bear warrior levels too.

Vaynor
2010-02-08, 02:08 AM
See if he can get his bear companions to take bear warrior levels too.

Well his bear companions can take the Wild Cohort feat to get, you guessed it, more bear minions. Who can also take the Wild Cohort feat for more bears.

:biggrin:

Kylarra
2010-02-08, 02:11 AM
Bugbears aren't bears at all, and that isn't nearly as cool as a bearman half-bear who turns into a bear when he's angry and commands bear companions.

He can turn into a bear twice.Refluffed bugbears to be an anthropomorphic bear or take one of the shifters.

Hybrid druid|ranger with beast mastery hybrid talent. :smallcool:

Mushroom Ninja
2010-02-08, 02:12 AM
Half-elf dragon sorcerer with a deva heritage feat. :smallcool:

Well played, but 3.5 gets:

Half-dragon Half-Celestial Half-elf sorcerer with fiendish heritage, Fey heritage, Celestial heritage, fire heritage, Draconic heritage, air heritage, earth heritage, water heritage, and anarchic heritage

(Yes, with enough flaws, you can fit all of those in :smallbiggrin:)

Xenogears
2010-02-08, 02:12 AM
Well played, but 3.5 gets:

Half-dragon Half-Celestial Half-elf sorcerer with fiendish heritage, Fey heritage, Celestial heritage, fire heritage, Draconic heritage, air heritage, earth heritage, water heritage, and anarchic heritage

(Yes, with enough flaws, you can fit all of those in :smallbiggrin:)

Needs Half-Fey.

Mushroom Ninja
2010-02-08, 02:20 AM
Needs Half-Fey.

Good point. I could probably stack on half-fiend too. Hmm... the more I think of it, the more it seems clear to me that this character would have to be gestalt to fit all this in in 20 levels. Luckily, gestalt is awesome. :smallbiggrin:

Kylarra
2010-02-08, 02:21 AM
Well played, but 3.5 gets:

Half-dragon Half-Celestial Half-elf sorcerer with fiendish heritage, Fey heritage, Celestial heritage, fire heritage, Draconic heritage, air heritage, earth heritage, water heritage, and anarchic heritage

(Yes, with enough flaws, you can fit all of those in :smallbiggrin:)
Revenant Genasi dragon sorcerer with Deva heritage

You technically count for all elements, undead, dragon and as a deva!

:smalltongue: best I can do without flaws I'm afraid, though there's always the revenant warforged artificer with self-forged PP for lolz.

Xenogears
2010-02-08, 02:23 AM
Good point. I could probably stack on half-fiend too. Hmm... the more I think of it, the more it seems clear to me that this character would have to be gestalt to fit all this in in 20 levels. Luckily, gestalt is awesome. :smallbiggrin:

Yes I too enjoy gestalt. I think it should become the new default way of playing DnD. Also you may want to set a clear goal on what kind of halves you want to put in this. There are like 100 Half-X templates for 3.5, not counting 3rd party books but counting Dragon Magazine stuff, and you'd hafta be a gestalt diety to fit them...all...in.

Damn.

Diety of inter-species love?

Mushroom Ninja
2010-02-08, 02:25 AM
Diety of inter-species love?

Diety of Diversity

Xenogears
2010-02-08, 02:26 AM
Diety of Diversity

I dunno. I was starting to like the idea of a diety that was a mass of malformed pieces of various creatures whose entire dogma was creating half-x offspring.

Sinfire Titan
2010-02-08, 02:34 AM
The biggest issue is that 4E is a naer-pure combat system. In the PH1, there are approimately 12 class powers that can be regarded as non-combat (one Cleric power that creates light, Cantrips, a Pllay utility that boosts Diplomacy, and some others). As far as I'm concerned, they may as well folded Utility into Daily or Encounter powers.

Aside from that, there are three sections of rules in the PH1 that are non-combat: Rituals (which by and large suck), Skills (which everyone can do), and Languages.

Compare this to 3.5, where only a handful of classes lacked non-combat abilities (that mattered, because Swimming doesn't count), and the problem becomes clear.

In 3.5, you could run a game with a 50/50 combat-RP split, and all but 4 Base classes would have a class feature that could help them out in either situation. In 4E, you end up having to spend a feat to do that same damn thing (Ritual Caster or Skill Training, possibly both). Not only does class not matter out of combat, you have to saccrifice a feat to have a major option OoCombat.

Chaelos
2010-02-08, 03:29 AM
The biggest issue is that 4E is a near-pure combat system.

That's something I've observed, as well. In 4E, I'm very much conscious that I'm playing a board game, much as I would be when playing Risk or Monopoly or something like that. In 3.5 (and with another DM), I'm only rarely jerked out of my roleplaying/problem-solving style to fuss with the pure mechanics aspects of playing.

I have to agree with what's already been said about the virtues of 3.5. You, the player, can do almost anything you want; you're not shoehorned into one of four bland "archetypes", and you're not forced to perform basically the same function as every other character (deal damage with minor mechanical differences from class to class). There's a freedom in that sort of design that--while definitely open to brokenness if not monitored by the DM--certainly engages me more than the options of 4E.

Conversely, I hear that it's much easier to create adventures for 4E than 3.5, in terms of combat encounters, so what do I know.

Kurald Galain
2010-02-08, 04:19 AM
As a (usually) lurker on this board, I read a lot about how 4th edition is terrible, blah-de-blah, but almost everything I read about 3.5 is about ridiculous builds and how melee can't have nice things.
Please realize that every single complaint about both 3E and 4E tends to get overstated, exaggerated, and taken out of context on message boards. In other words, don't worry about it, both are fun to play.

Mordokai
2010-02-08, 04:28 AM
Please realize that every single complaint about both 3E and 4E tends to get overstated, exaggerated, and taken out of context on message boards. In other words, don't worry about it, both are fun to play.

Pretty much. One can always have preferences and most people do. But as long as you're willing to forget the small mistakes, any system can be fun to play. Well, except for the F... one, which shall not be named in full.

I was once a solid supporter of 3.5. In fact, I still consider myself as such. But since then, I came to realise that 4E can be fun to play as well, as long as I overlook a few major problems. I can do that. I play the game because of the people, not because of the system. As long as I remember that, I'm quite willing to play the system I like less over not playing at all.

Totally Guy
2010-02-08, 04:28 AM
acks the oomph of all the other explantions but it

Edit: Where's my lengthy post gone?:smallmad:

"Although it lacks the oomph of all the other explantions but it" ... passed that test years ago.

That was my final sentence. Something like that.

Satyr
2010-02-08, 04:50 AM
From an objective purely mechanical perspective, D&D as a whole and not just one specific edition, is not a very good game. It has its serious problems, is cluttered with anachronistic mechanisms for the sake of nostalgia, and really does only one thing good, while there are better systems even in its very own niche - high fantasy games. Many other gmes are better designed, more streamlined, more elegant. D&D is the big benchmakr of mediocrity - if you publish a game and you can't make it better than D&D, why is it published then?
All in all, it is a solid tier 5 game. Which shows the other aspect of the game: It does not only consists out of the rules, but also the community. The game is popular and has a vast audience, with an impressive creative potential. The extra amount of material, thought, exchange with other players and so on. WOTC rarely publishes something which does not feel bland and mediocre, but you have some amazing poducts by 3rd party publishers, and an incredible amount of houserules, homebrews, adaptations and changes, which are probably unmatched in sheer quantitiy. Sure, not everything you'll find is good, but thanks to the normal curve of distribution, the sheer mass of ideas includes a few really neat ideas.

To sumarize this, D&D on its own is not very good, but its community is impressive.

Kaiyanwang
2010-02-08, 04:51 AM
Freedom.

3.5 is an huge toolbox that allows me building infinite worlds an PC concepts. Each time I restart a campaign with it, it's a different experience under several point of views.

Moreover, it does is best not only adding material, but taking some away, like a no caster campaing, a no teleport campaign, special rules about injuries, and so on. See Unearthed Arcana, maybe the most beautiful 3.5 book.

Danin
2010-02-08, 05:15 AM
In 3.5 I played a sentient psychic warrior gelatinous ooze and contributed in a meaningful way to the party.

In 4.0 I played a stone man who was so angry he caused lightning to burst from his fists.

In other words, both are very different, but very awesome.

absolmorph
2010-02-08, 05:20 AM
Well his bear companions can take the Wild Cohort feat to get, you guessed it, more bear minions. Who can also take the Wild Cohort feat for more bears.

:biggrin:
I can't bear hearing about this build anymore!

On the subject at hand, I prefer 3.X because 4e just seems... weird... to me. As has been stated, the only time class matters is in combat. For RP, it's pretty much totally unimportant. No longer is the wizard a paranoid jerk who has a thousand traps on his precious spell book (in addition to at least 1 back up and 1 fake, both heavily trapped). Instead, he plays a lot like a fighter, just with different ways of hitting people.
For reference, I can't remember what powers wizards get compared to fighters. I'm just trying to get my point across.
Honestly, I think 4e could be awesome. And, at the very least, it's a great way to get into d20 (which was an intentional move by WotC; they're trying to expand their demographic), and pretty easy to learn.
The sole problem I had learning it (which consisted of skipping to the classes and then reading those, then trying to figure out everything else) was when you get powers. Now that I understand it, I'm fairly certain I could teach all but a few of my friends.
I haven't had a chance to play other PnP RPG systems, so I can't comment on those. However, I've heard a lot of good things about Pathfinder (and it looked good when I read through it).

potatocubed
2010-02-08, 05:36 AM
Well, the main advantage of any version of D&D is its ubiquity. If you can find gamers, you can find a game of some edition of D&D.

I think the specific advantage of 3.5 is that it presupposes very little about the sort of game you're playing or the setting you're playing it in. It's skewed towards combat, sure, but that's an easy bias to remove. (Step 1: Stop giving out combat XP. Step 2: Remember to give out quest XP.)

Totally Guy
2010-02-08, 05:49 AM
Well, the main advantage of any version of D&D is its ubiquity. If you can find gamers, you can find a game of some edition of D&D.

That what I wanted to say.

Popularity causes popularity.

PhoenixRivers
2010-02-08, 06:17 AM
3.5 vs an "open system" such as GURPS or M&M:

(1) Ease of use. 3.5 takes very little to jump in and get started, and everything's based on a single simple mechanic.

(2) Flavor/Theme. M&M is great for superheroes. D&D comes predesigned for high fantasy. GURPS can do any of it, but it comes with no flavor at all. No groundwork. It thusly, takes a lot of effort to start up.

(3) Product history. D&D is an iconic part of the Pen and Paper RPG landscape. Many of us grew up on this game, so it draws a strong emotional reaction.

(4) Supplemental rules are easily added in sections, increasing customizability to the level you like.

In other words? It's less flexible than GURPS, but a heck of a lot less work to get into, and to play. It's a bit more work than the cookie cutter systems (such as 4.0) which intentionally limit customizability for balance... but it has much more flexibility.

It is the middle ground, fairly easy to get involved in, with complexity that can rise with a player as he/she gains Character Optimization prowess. It also allows a great deal of customization. There are hundreds of ways to build anything, and while, yes, some are more powerful than others... Eh, these things also happen in real life. It makes sense to me that some choices are better than others. Doesn't mean the others aren't fun. In fact, they're an added level of complexity that can be used, if you want.

Saph
2010-02-08, 06:27 AM
Can you make a character with unlimited at-will healing? Not just of herself, but anybody she touches. But not necessarily quickly. Like, 1 hit point per round, maybe?

Yes, yes you can. :P

And that's why I like 3.5. It manages to be a class-based system that gives you the flexibility of a point-based system. You can build a character to do literally just about anything. Post up a thread saying that you want to play a killer lumberjack who fights by throwing tree trunks and someone will come up with a build that does it.

What's really interesting about it is that they manage to make it mechanically diverse at the same time. As an example, last time we played M&M I found myself getting bored after a while because combats all ended up feeling pretty much exactly the same; most of the attack powers use identical mechanics, so there's not much variety. By contrast, it's quite easy to come up with 3.5 characters that work in a genuinely different way from the last thing you played.

Satyr
2010-02-08, 06:39 AM
Ease of use. 3.5 takes very little to jump in and get started, and everything's based on a single simple mechanic.

Sure, that's why spells, skills, attacks and other powers work on the same principle, right?


Flavor/Theme. M&M is great for superheroes. D&D comes predesigned for high fantasy. GURPS can do any of it, but it comes with no flavor at all. No groundwork. It thusly, takes a lot of effort to start up.
Because (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/transhuman/) Gurps (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/infiniteworlds/) has (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/banestorm/) no (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/ww2/) flavor (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/supers/) at (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/vorkosigan/) all (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/Swashbucklers/). Certainly (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/Discworld/). That (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/Illuminati/) is (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/Bloodtypes/) absolutely (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/in-nomine/) right (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/traveller/core/).

Not to mention that Gurps: Dungeon Fantasy is a single pdf series that is pretty much "D&D, only with good rules." It is a minor aspect of Gurps.


Product history. D&D is an iconic part of the Pen and Paper RPG landscape. Many of us grew up on this game, so it draws a strong emotional reaction.

Yes, but nostalgia is not the same as quality. I also like old steam engine trains. They have a trong romantic feeling to me, and I like the aesthetics. But nonetheless I wouldn't cliam that they were any better than a modern ICE.


In other words? It's less flexible than GURPS, but a heck of a lot less work to get into, and to play.
That is just plain wrong. Gurps is much more streamlined than D&D, extremely simple to use and, most importantly it is intuitive, something the D&D rules have never managed to be. This one is sheer propaganda.


Please people: Because you like something doesn't mean it is good. There is nothing wrong with liking D&D. It has its strengths. But it also has its weaknesses, and these are glaring.

Saph
2010-02-08, 06:48 AM
That is just plain wrong. Gurps is much more streamlined than D&D, extremely simple to use and, most importantly it is intuitive, something the D&D rules have never managed to be. This one is sheer propaganda.

Please people: Because you like something doesn't mean it is good.

Gosh, I wonder who else that might apply to? You, maybe? :smalltongue:

I've played GURPS. It's not a bad system; it's flexible and can do a lot of things. However, it's not particularly simple to use and it suffers from being just a bit too generic. It's the quintessential 'second-best-system' - you can do anything with it, but for any genre or type of game, there'll be a more specialised RPG that'll do it better.

onthetown
2010-02-08, 06:53 AM
I was taught D&D with 3.5, now switched to Pathfinder, so I might be a bit biased but I have a hard time playing anything else. It's the customization options and the huge abundance of material, not to mention the 3.5 campaign settings I find a lot more rich and flavorful than the other editions... except maybe Known World on Mystara (which we've converted anyway).

I'm one of those players that has never heard of "optimization" before I came here... I still don't know what it means, lol. I'm just guessing it means playing around with the classes and characters until you have a strong build.

Kesnit
2010-02-08, 06:54 AM
but most of the utility and creativity has been removed from spellcasting.

Only if your caster has no imagination. In a game yesterday, I saw the WIZ player use Mage Hand to tickle a dragon's belly to distract it and throw dirt in an enemies eyes to blind them. He later tried to use Ghost Sound to make the sound of another patrol coming up behind our enemies. (He failed his Bluff check with that one.)

Edit: Regarding customization, I think that is a detriment to 3.5. It's too easy to build a character that performs poorly and can be difficult (depending on class make-up) to make one that performs well. If you are playing Tier 1 or 2, chances are you will be fine, regardless of what you choose. If you are a beginner and want to play a Fighter, it's very easy to end up with a character who can do nothing except "I hit it with my pointy stick."

As for character fluff, fluff is just that - fluff. If you have specific fluff, you can find a class that fits that fluff, and if necessary, refluff powers to fit your character fluff.

Killer Angel
2010-02-08, 07:01 AM
I've played GURPS. It's not a bad system; it's flexible and can do a lot of things. However, it's not particularly simple to use and it suffers from being just a bit too generic..

I like GURPS a lot. It's not simple but I don't find it generic. well, it is... after all it Generic Universal, but there are a lot of settings, which gives all the flavor you need.

One of the "bad" point in GURPS, imo, is that it encourages min-max, and the process of character creation is fundamental, a lot more than D&D.
Once the character is ready, there's no much more you can do to improve it: unless the DM gives A LOT of points, increasing the characteristic is almost impossible, and also increasing skills... after some point, to give +1 to a skill is painfully hard.
In D&D (while still difficult), you have more flexibility to correct initial errors.

ericgrau
2010-02-08, 07:06 AM
The question: disregarding any assumptions of familiarity and ownership, for what kind of games would you choose DnD 3.5 over other systems?

As a (usually) lurker on this board, I read a lot about how 4th edition is terrible, blah-de-blah, but almost everything I read about 3.5 is about ridiculous builds and how melee can't have nice things.

It seems to my mind that for a combat focused game you'd want a system with at least some pretence of intra-party balance, in games where customisation is is the most important thing a point-buy system such GURPS or M&M would be preferable and in more story-focused games systems like WFRP where social encounters are almost as interactive as combat would be best.

But then again, what do I know?

Theoretical builds on forums do not usually represent real games. 95% of people do not make ridiculous builds nor play casters or martial guys in a way that disrupts the game. Many do optimize, but within limits.

Also comments like "melee can't have nice things" are jabs under the belt, backhand comments that should not be taken as rational arguments any more than the statement "X unmentionable political candidate or issue is dumber than a monkey". When on the internet, activate your snideness filter and use your best judgement.

As for other systems, I've seen some great ones like Paranoia and would recommend them as a change of pace. I've also seen others that are supposed to be a solution to the problems of more popular systems, but create more problems than they solve and show you why they are not the more popular systems. Even then they're still playable, so don't be afraid to experiment.

Satyr
2010-02-08, 07:42 AM
Please people: Because you like something doesn't mean it is good.Gosh, I wonder who else that might apply to? You, maybe?
My most beloved RPG is the German monstrosity called The Dark Eye, which has an overtly detailed background, a bloated set of rules which are about as elegant as a beached whale and a very constrictive and sometimes really stupid metaplot.
Nonetheless, I love it and every game feels a bit like coming home. And I am willing to suspend to poke at the glaring flaws all the time.

Gurps is just an example of good game design, but that doesn't mean it is my favorite. Quality is an objective term, and should be treated objective, related to a reliable standard and assessed on both strengths and weaknesses. Favorites are completely subjective and based on passion, not thought.

Optimystik
2010-02-08, 08:13 AM
I think 3.5 has two main advantages over 4e:

1) Verisimilitude - as a simulation-focused RPG rather than a combat-focused one, 3.5 is more mutable and is capable of being adapted to a wider variety of situations. It can handle combat very well, but has much more flexibility than 4e outside of it.

2) Ubiquity - 3.5 is just more well-known. It's been around longer, all the core content is free on the SRD for anyone to pick up and start reading, it's been translated more to other media (videogames, webcomics), etc. Given that a new player can pick up 3.5, learn all the mechanics and even hop into a game without spending a dime or borrowing a book, the edition is just more accessible.


I'm one of those players that has never heard of "optimization" before I came here... I still don't know what it means, lol. I'm just guessing it means playing around with the classes and characters until you have a strong build.

It means choosing a role that your character is able to perform, and promoting the parts of your character that make you effective at that role, while lessening the weaknesses.

The degree to which you do this is up to you, but for best results should be kept in line with the needs of your party and the expectations of the DM. You can bust out a powerful trick once in a while to save the party in a critical situation, but never hog the spotlight.

Dyllan
2010-02-08, 08:31 AM
Please people: Because you like something doesn't mean it is good. There is nothing wrong with liking D&D. It has its strengths. But it also has its weaknesses, and these are glaring.

Actually, when talking about a game, I think it means exactly that. If you like a game, it's because you have fun playing it. And since the primary purpose of the game is to have fun, if you're having fun it fulfills its role and is therefore good.

Optimystik
2010-02-08, 09:03 AM
Actually, when talking about a game, I think it means exactly that. If you like a game, it's because you have fun playing it. And since the primary purpose of the game is to have fun, if you're having fun it fulfills its role and is therefore good.

I think he means "good" in a more objective sense - "well-designed," as opposed to "fun to play."

Sinfire Titan
2010-02-08, 09:04 AM
Only if your caster has no imagination. In a game yesterday, I saw the WIZ player use Mage Hand to tickle a dragon's belly to distract it and throw dirt in an enemies eyes to blind them. He later tried to use Ghost Sound to make the sound of another patrol coming up behind our enemies. (He failed his Bluff check with that one.)

You do realize that throwing dirt in their eyes with Mage Hand is illegal by RAW, right? It says it can't be used to attack.

Xenogears
2010-02-08, 09:22 AM
Gurps is just an example of good game design, but that doesn't mean it is my favorite. Quality is an objective term, and should be treated objective, related to a reliable standard and assessed on both strengths and weaknesses. Favorites are completely subjective and based on passion, not thought.

I've heard MANY people say that GURPS is not intuitive to learn. So (Irregardless of wether you personally think it is or not) to many people DnD 3.5 is an easier to learn more intuitive game than GURPS.

Quality is not, in this case, an easy thing to analyze. Because it is based on things that are subjective. Some people think A is more balanced than B but others disagree. The same goes for ease of learning, popularity (If for example your town has a giant crush on Shadowrun that might be easier to find a game for than DnD), Intuitiveness, Fun, Flavour, Setting, Etc.

flyingchicken
2010-02-08, 09:22 AM
It [3.5] rewards system mastery,Hahaha, I think this strip (http://www.vgcats.com/comics/?strip_id=282), in essence, captures some part of why many 3.5e players hate 4e.

Satyr
2010-02-08, 09:40 AM
Actually, when talking about a game, I think it means exactly that. If you like a game, it's because you have fun playing it. And since the primary purpose of the game is to have fun, if you're having fun it fulfills its role and is therefore good.

No, absolutely not.
First of all, fun is not a reliable or even especially important factor. If fun would be so important, more people would spend their time masturbating. Fun alone is meaningless, and so subjective that it is a very unreliable way to measure things.

And no, I don't regard RPGs primarily as a game, and mostly as a narrative medium, a form of literature. You can reduce the gaming aspect to nil, for example by diceless gaming, and it is stil basically the same. As a storytelling medium, it is not its foremost job is to make sense. Fun while reading is absolutely irrelvant for the quality of a book, and by the same standard, fun by playing is not that relevant and absolutely no indicator of the quality.

I don't think that an author necessarily has fun writing a novel, or an actor plays Hamlet because that is so much fun. So why should anyone bother with this when it comes to RPG?
Especially because it reduces the RPG to just a game. That's too little. Roleplaying Games are also a storytelling medium and therefore an art form. It should be treated with at least a bit of respect. By reducing them to only the game aspect, you effectively cut an essential,perhaps the essential part of it.

Amphetryon
2010-02-08, 09:48 AM
I'm fascinated to learn what you hope to get from playing a game, if fun is such a meaningless metric, Satyr.

Xenogears
2010-02-08, 09:50 AM
No, absolutely not.
First of all, fun is not a reliable or even especially important factor. If fun would be so important, more people would spend their time masturbating. Fun alone is meaningless, and so subjective that it is a very unreliable way to measure things. And no, I don't regard RPGs primarily as a game, and mostly as a narrative medium, a form of literature. You can reduce the gaming aspect to nil, for example by diceless gaming, and it is stil basically the same. As a storytelling medium, it is not its foremost job is to make sense. Fun while reading is absolutely irrelvant for the quality of a book, and by the same standard, fun by playing is not that relevant and absolutely no indicator of the quality.

Ummm. Even as a storytelling medium it's primary purpose should be to entertain the people playing it IMO. When I read a book (Except for text-books or other informative books) I expect it to be fun to read. If it is not enjoyable, no matter how highly regarded by the literary community it is, it's failed. So to me Old Man in the Sea is a bad book. It doesn't inform me of anything, it's not fun to read, it has no value to me. Yes this means that the value of anything is subjective. So what? It already was. It's almost impossible to get two people to agree about the value of anything using "Objective" measures either.

Also. Masturbating isn't that much fun anyway. Plus you get chafed if you do it too much.


I don't think that an author necessarily has fun writing a novel, or an actor plays Hamlet because that is so much fun. So why should anyone bother with this when it comes to RPG?
Especially because it reduces the RPG to just a game. That's too little. Roleplaying Games are also a storytelling medium and therefore an art form. It should be treated with at least a bit of respect. By reducing them to only the game aspect, you effectively cut an essential,perhaps the essential part of it.

Most authors/actors do it for the money to be honest. The ones that don't usually do it out of enjoyment either for the acting/writing itself or for the pleasure it gives the people who watch/read it.

magic9mushroom
2010-02-08, 09:56 AM
No, absolutely not.
First of all, fun is not a reliable or even especially important factor. If fun would be so important, more people would spend their time masturbating. Fun alone is meaningless, and so subjective that it is a very unreliable way to measure things.

And no, I don't regard RPGs primarily as a game, and mostly as a narrative medium, a form of literature. You can reduce the gaming aspect to nil, for example by diceless gaming, and it is stil basically the same. As a storytelling medium, it is not its foremost job is to make sense. Fun while reading is absolutely irrelvant for the quality of a book, and by the same standard, fun by playing is not that relevant and absolutely no indicator of the quality.

I don't think that an author necessarily has fun writing a novel, or an actor plays Hamlet because that is so much fun. So why should anyone bother with this when it comes to RPG?
Especially because it reduces the RPG to just a game. That's too little. Roleplaying Games are also a storytelling medium and therefore an art form. It should be treated with at least a bit of respect. By reducing them to only the game aspect, you effectively cut an essential,perhaps the essential part of it.

Um, I really can't think of anything to say to this. This is so warped... Yeah. I mean, what are you, a Borg?

Dimers
2010-02-08, 09:59 AM
Quality is an objective term, and should be treated objective, related to a reliable standard and assessed on both strengths and weaknesses. Favorites are completely subjective and based on passion, not thought.

Quality exists before, and is a precondition of, subject and object. Geez, man, haven't you read ZatAoMM (http://www.amazon.com/Zen-Motorcycle-Maintenance-Robert-Pirsig/dp/B002HVGFP4/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1265641256&sr=1-3)?! That's, like, my favorite book! It's sooooo good!

:smallwink:

But seriously, Satyr, "strengths" and "weaknesses" are going to be weighted differently for different people and situations, and trying to remove subjects' emotional response from determination of quality pretty much negates the value of the exercise -- two reasons that responding to opinions with an appeal to outside standards will fail to benefit the discussion. It's not like there's been a study showing that players of game X have 22% more fun than players of game Y; the qualities that matter are the subjects' emotional responses, which are related to their valuation of strengths/weaknesses.

Edit: And I can see from your ninja-teleport that what I have to say will not be meaningful within your paradigm, so nevermind. But I still do love that book. :smallsmile:

Shpadoinkle
2010-02-08, 10:45 AM
There's a scale that applies to all games, simulationist vs. gamist.

Games like Chess and Monopoly and the original Civilization are largely simulationist- they duplicate something from real life in a simplified, scaled-down manner, with some allowances for the fact that they're games.

On the gamist side you have stuff like Checkers, Connect Four, etc. They can have very, very loose parallels drawn between them and real-life situations, but for the most part they're just games and not really trying to duplicate anything.

3.x falls somewhere in the middle, leaning towards the gamist side of the scale. It combines semi-realistic things with the fantastic.

4e, though, is MUCH further towards the gamist side. Personally, I don't care for that. I'm not saying I think it's bad or that it can't be fun, it's just more gamist than I like when it comes to tabletop RPGs.

Optimystik
2010-02-08, 10:54 AM
There's a scale that applies to all games, simulationist vs. gamist.

Games like Chess and Monopoly and the original Civilization are largely simulationist- they duplicate something from real life in a simplified, scaled-down manner, with some allowances for the fact that they're games.

You're right about Monopoly and Civilization, but I'd put Chess squarely in the middle of that spectrum, or possibly even closer to the gamist side. That two armies could have exactly equal capabilities, exactly equal numbres, and do battle on entirely featureless terrain stretches verisimilitude past its breaking point. Rather, it is for the sake of balance - a gamist concern, not a simulationist one.

nightwyrm
2010-02-08, 10:57 AM
Not to derail, but GNS (http://http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNS_Theory) definitions aren't what a lot of people think they mean.

To say that chess is simulationist is really, really weird.

BTW, D&D has always been very gamist.

Kris Strife
2010-02-08, 11:13 AM
Also. Masturbating isn't that much fun anyway. Plus you get chafed if you do it too much.

They have ointments for that... :smallamused:

Back on topic: I have to agree with not only the better customization potential of 3.5, but the fact that a lot of the 4 'Powers' are just the same move with different fluff, and maybe an extra secondary effect or different dice to throw. Or seem that way to me anyways. The system failed to catch any real interest with me.

Satyr
2010-02-08, 11:17 AM
I'm fascinated to learn what you hope to get from playing a game, if fun is such a meaningless metric, Satyr.

Honestly, I don't know all the time, either. Sure, I enjoy the games, and I certainly like the games better when they come to a satisfying result. But I would always a game that emotionally touches me and makes me cry, instead of one where I laughed a lot, but didn't really care about.

Apart from the escapism part (let's face it: That's what roleplaying is truly about), I like telling stories. It is as simple as that. Writing and all that goes to a similar direction, but it is more interesting through the interaction and the ability of all to contribute. The final product is a very fluid one, and one which you can hardly document (and the documentation differs vastly from the original intend, the play.)
I am fascinated by this. I have an only superficial understanding of art theory, but the interactive and ephemeric nature of an RPG is, as far as I can tell, mostly unique, as is the lack of differentiation between audience and actors.

And sure, you could probably describe this fascination and intellectual stimulus as a form of fun. That's a question of semantics, I guess. I would translate "fun" as a short-term, immediate recreational activity. This might be a too narrow definition, in contrary to a long-term positive reassurance.
(This might be a result of translated thoughts, and the difference between the German "Vergnügen" and "Erfüllung", which could probably be better translated with fulfilment).

The main problem with the focus on "fun" is that it is usually targeted on a immediate effect, and leads to the point, where a more long term "pay off" is thwarted for this instant event. Especially, when "Not Having Fun" is used as a sledge hammer argument for people who cannot cope with a setback, or anything apart from total wish fulfilment and the urge to "win" the game (which I would claim to be impossible. You cannot win an RPG, the same way you cannot win a performance of Hamlet).
This is something I truly dread, because it seems to me, that this is a very shallow and superficial idea, and it hurts the game, because from there it is only a little step to replace, or eliminate the aspects one consider not to be "fun", and bascially forcing one's opinion of what is fun and what not down other people's throat.
I honestly wouldn't argue that you shouldn't enjoy your game, or that you shouldn't have fun while playgin a game, because that is honestly stupid. But because every person is very likely to have a slightly different idea of what is fun and what is not, this is no way to measure the quality of a game - if you are not pretentious enough to assume that you know better than any other people what they do or have to enjoy.


Um, I really can't think of anything to say to this. This is so warped... Yeah. I mean, what are you, a Borg?

So, you don't share my opinion and therefore think you can insult me, because I try to think out of the dogma? Charming. I am not sure if everything I rant here about is that correct, or that it is some kind of outstanding new theory that will change the face of the world for ever or something. It is just concerning roleplaying games, after all, not some kind of life and death matters. Anf honestly, this is a l'art pour l'art intellectual game.
Yes, I think that RPGs are a form of literature. I think I have some okay arguements for this, and I like this theory, but that doesn't mean that it is true. If you don't agree argument against it. If you see some obvious flows in the argumentation, point them out, please.


But seriously, Satyr, "strengths" and "weaknesses" are going to be weighted differently for different people and situations, and trying to remove subjects' emotional response from determination of quality pretty much negates the value of the exercise -- two reasons that responding to opinions with an appeal to outside standards will fail to benefit the discussion.

Yes! Exactly! The emotional response and affililation is individual, and results from the viewer, not the viewed. But I think it is pretentious and a fallacy to assume that because you like something it is automatically good, meaning that other people should like it as well. That's why I try to keep the personal opinion out of this.
The other problem is, that personal affection might lead to a blind spot for the weakness of the matter at hand, at that can lead to stagnation, ignoring the naked emperor.
Therefore, it is helpful to try to find some neutral standards for the assessment, and the maturity to cope with the fact that you like something despite its flaws - or perhaps even becasue or them.



And I can see from your ninja-teleport that what I have to say will not be meaningful within your paradigm, so nevermind. But I still do love that book.

Honestly, it is no paradigm. It is a couple fix idea, and a few observations. Mostly, it is an intellectual game with hypothetics. If anything, it is a paradigma larva.
And I am slightly intimidated by any books refering to Zen. I am still not sure that I have understood the central concepts of western philosophy, and thus try to establish those before I start with something new.
But ninja-teleporting sounds like fun.

BRC
2010-02-08, 11:25 AM
(I have not read the thread)
3.5 is familiar and comfortable, which counts for alot in these debates.

Otherwise, the big thing is that it's far more customizable. It's very well supported with countless extra books. For somebody familiar with the game, with access to lots of books and lots of time to work on a character, this is a good thing, because it lets you build your characters to be much closer to how you imagine them. It also means that somebody can much more easily build a broken character. From what I can tell, fourth edition is significantly simplified, with less room for character customization (Though as new books come out that will expand), which makes it much better for somebody picking up the system, but for somebody used to the freedom of 3.5, where you can easily consult seven different books for building a 6th level character.

Tinydwarfman
2010-02-08, 11:30 AM
Also point based systems are inherently inbalanced. No human could possibly give a respectable number of options and make all options of a given value equal to eachother. Point based systems tend to be more inbalanced than the worst 3.5 has to offer.


You are kidding right? The most min/maxed thing GURPS has is M.U.N.C.H.K.I.N.
Granted it is extremely powerful, but 3.5 has punpun at level 1.
Also, D&D did not balance base abilities. in GURPS, everything is reasonably cost-power balanced if you make a druid, he will be about as good as the swordmaster. GURPS can be min/maxed, but it is not inherently so. GURPS actually seems to encourage roleplaying more than D&D.

Also on topic, I believe part of what Saytr is saying is that the fun you have will have nothing to do with the system you are playing. You could easily have massive amounts of fun playing fatal and just laughing at how ridiculously absurd it is if your friends have a dark sense of humor.

Xenogears
2010-02-08, 11:34 AM
And sure, you could probably describe this fascination and intellectual stimulus as a form of fun. That's a question of semantics, I guess. I would translate "fun" as a short-term, immediate recreational activity. This might be a too narrow definition, in contrary to a long-term positive reassurance.

That part there is probably where my opinion and yours differs the most. I use Fun, Enjoyment, and other such words almost interchangeably (although to be fair I never try too hard to be precise in my terminology anyway). So when I say Fun you should read it as "some form of mental pleasure." Sometimes the fun comes from the anticipation and unltimate revelation of an unfolding story, or the twist of chance of rolling a natural 20 on your suicide strike and taking the BBEG out, or sometimes even by rolling a Nat 1 and having your legendary hero who can arm wrestle dragons die by falling down a cliff.

So using "fun" the way I use it it seems that you do play games for "fun." It's only our usage of the word that differs.

Amphetryon
2010-02-08, 11:49 AM
The primary definition of "fun", in English, and according to merriam-webster, is 'what provides amusement or enjoyment.' Simply put, if the activity is one you enjoy, then, by the most common English usage of the term, it is 'fun.' I would strongly argue that if you're playing an RPG and not having fun by that definition, you need a different hobby, or at least a different RPG or play group.

Kalirren
2010-02-08, 12:12 PM
IMO, the only thing that's really good about 3.5 (unshorthanded translation: the only reason I would choose to play it over another system) is that people know it, and it's easier to get a game together with it iRL than it is with practically any other system out there. If I want a game NOW, I'll play 3.5.

If I wanted to play a geopolitical game with focus on PCs in it, I would apply FactionRPG rules to White Wolf backgrounds and use WW rules for most everything else.

If I wanted to play a sandbox game I would run freeform.

If I wanted to play almost-railroaded epic fantasy (Tolkienesque fantasy), I'd probably actually use Dogs in the Vineyard.

If I wanted to play D&D-style "high fantasy", I'd play 4e.

erikun
2010-02-08, 12:14 PM
The two biggest points I've seen for D&D 3.5e are its popularity and its availability. Pretty much anyone who thinks of role playing, even those with no previous experience, think of Dungeons and Dragons. Anyone who wants to learn 3.5e has access to a free internet resource (http://www.d20srd.org/), cheap books, and most gaming groups who are familiar with the rules.

I will agree that building character with the massive number of options available is fun, although playing them was not so much. It was considerably less fun to try to create an existing character concept from the rules, though.

Unlike several of the others here, I've ran into numerous problems with just the basic rules in the game. Illusions, climbing, fumbling, Druids, and sneak attacks have all caused repeated discussions in the various groups I've been in, either because the DM has trouble making a ruling or because some players insist on rules-lawyering on the issue. (or, frequently, both)

Overall, the best system is the one your group is familiar with. An adapt DM and a group working within the system makes the entire process run smoothly and allows learning the system easy.

(Incidentally, I personally would recommend several different systems over D&D of any edition.)

Darklord Bright
2010-02-08, 12:21 PM
Personally, towards those of you who say that 3.5 is "Easy to get into for newbies with a group of people at any experience level" you are flat out wrong unless the person is already able to cope with that.

For instance, I could never get into 3.5 because it was horribly and needlessly complicated and required that I knew a whole bunch of rules from the get go just to function on a basic level. There was no "just play and wait until you get the hang of it." for me, it really was "Learn or die". I can admit this may be my issue, but it really does seem to tell me that 3.5 isn't really 'Easy to get into.'

I did however really enjoy Minions and Masterminds as an incredibly flexible system. There are even splat-books that allow you to re-flavour the system to a different style, such as anime, medieval, sci-fi... in fact, you can blend them seamlessly to have ninjas in space or replicate a Final Fantasy style 'Swords and guns' game. Yes, it does by default focus on superheroes, but it makes it very easy to change its focus.

I also found that the customisation was near limitless, and once you got the hang of how the system actually worked, it was just like going to a shopping mall full of powers and character concepts. I have a friend who makes character ideas in his spare time for fun just to see if he can, and so far I've not heard of one time where it hasn't worked, no matter how outlandish. It's always been doable.

I can definately see the appeal of 3.5 or 4.0, and everyone has different preferences, but I myself found it much easier to get into MnM.

Sinfire Titan
2010-02-08, 12:36 PM
You are kidding right? The most min/maxed thing GURPS has is M.U.N.C.H.K.I.N.
Granted it is extremely powerful, but 3.5 has punpun at level 1.
Also, D&D did not balance base abilities. in GURPS, everything is reasonably cost-power balanced if you make a druid, he will be about as good as the swordmaster. GURPS can be min/maxed, but it is not inherently so. GURPS actually seems to encourage roleplaying more than D&D.

You do realize that, as a pure PB system, GURPS has the potential to be far more breakable than DnD, right? This is due to the sheer number of interactions available; there's no way to test all of them out.

Theoretical optimzation really doesn't have an impact on the system. Level 1 Pun-Pun, for the record, has a 30% failure chance. Fail that Knowledge (the Planes) check, and you can't ID Pazuzu. in GURPS, there's literally no way of stopping their best build short of the DM saying "no".

PB systems (WW, GURPS), as a matter of fact, reward system mastery far more than randomized or partially randomized systems (DnD, Warhammer Quest, WFRP). Seriously, read up. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PointBuy)

Douglas
2010-02-08, 12:54 PM
Theoretical optimzation really doesn't have an impact on the system. Level 1 Pun-Pun, for the record, has a 30% failure chance. Fail that Knowledge (the Planes) check, and you can't ID Pazuzu. in GURPS, there's literally no way of stopping their best build short of the DM saying "no".
No, he doesn't. 4 ranks + 18 int + Skill Focus + Skill Shard (+4) (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/items/universalItems.htm#shards) + take 10 = 25, guaranteed automatic success.

JoshuaZ
2010-02-08, 01:02 PM
3.5 isn't perfect. I'm not even sure that there's anything that it is better at than any other system. However, on average it is good. It doesn't screw up anything that badly and can do everything pretty well. It isn't as flexible as GURPS, or as streamlined and easy to learn as 4.0 or AD&D. But, it is pretty flexible and pretty easy to learn. It is easier to homebrew than almost any other system. Etc.

3.5 is good because it balances a lot of different things. It isn't best at anything, but it is good at everything.

Emmerask
2010-02-08, 01:06 PM
No, he doesn't. 4 ranks + 18 int + Skill Focus + Skill Shard (+4) (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/items/universalItems.htm#shards) + take 10 = 25, guaranteed automatic success.

If the dm lets you take ten which is at best questionable ;)

Kylarra
2010-02-08, 01:14 PM
If the dm lets you take ten which is at best questionable ;)Of course then you have a 45% (-5% per point of int bonus) chance to not even know your own name...

Amphetryon
2010-02-08, 01:15 PM
<snip>
Unlike several of the others here, I've ran into numerous problems with just the basic rules in the game. Illusions, climbing, fumbling, Druids, and sneak attacks have all caused repeated discussions in the various groups I've been in, either because the DM has trouble making a ruling or because some players insist on rules-lawyering on the issue. (or, frequently, both)
<snip>
Fumbling is an alternate rule, not strictly RAW.

Emmerask
2010-02-08, 01:18 PM
Knowing your own name and IDing yourself correctly has in most cases no immediate threat of death attached to it if you fail to grasp that you are indeed you ^^

Kylarra
2010-02-08, 01:19 PM
Knowing your own name and IDing yourself correctly has in most cases no immediate threat of death attached to it if you fail to grasp that you are indeed you ^^
IDing your elvish neighbor as an orc or the mayor as a prostitute on the other hand...

Douglas
2010-02-08, 01:25 PM
If the dm lets you take ten which is at best questionable ;)
Not by RAW. RAW is one general rule that you can take 10 on skill checks whenever not threatened or distracted, plus the total absence of a specific rule overriding it for Knowledge. This is quite clear and not questionable at all.

Now if you bring a DM and potential house rules into it, then yes many DMs would not allow it. But, well, this is theoretical optimization we're talking about, taken to its greatest extreme; any hypothetical DM is beside the point, only RAW is relevant.

Satyr
2010-02-08, 02:05 PM
Theoretical optimzation really doesn't have an impact on the system. Level 1 Pun-Pun, for the record, has a 30% failure chance. Fail that Knowledge (the Planes) check, and you can't ID Pazuzu. in GURPS, there's literally no way of stopping their best build short of the DM saying "no".

There is a different philosophy at work here. In D&D it is usually implicitly or explictly assumed that anything that is published in any official book is fair play and has a place in the game, and by extension, any prohibiting is
In Gurps, there is so much stuff in the core book alone that this would be a highly contradictionary approach, and gamemaster veto has no stigma whatsoever attached to it. To the contrary, it is usually expected to pick a select set of options and rules and by default, any supernatural abilty that is not explicitly allowed is not in the game. Same works with technology (there are rules for tanks in the game, but that doesn't mean that you have one when you play in Middle Earth).
Even though there are a few parts which allow to break the game, they are usually similarly expensive to build, or glitches. You can cheat a bit with shapechanging, and you can cheat a bit with adding power modifiers to some stuff, but the worst I have seen was a character that could kill the multiverse within a few hours. That ability was surprisingly cheap.

Seriously, the greatest scandal of a misprint in the history of Gurps was the fact the Gurps: Bloodlines (a vampire-hunting game) mixed up the historical chronology between Assyrans and Akkadians (or Summerians, I don't have the books here right now).

Typewriter
2010-02-08, 02:42 PM
Personally, towards those of you who say that 3.5 is "Easy to get into for newbies with a group of people at any experience level" you are flat out wrong unless the person is already able to cope with that.

For instance, I could never get into 3.5 because it was horribly and needlessly complicated and required that I knew a whole bunch of rules from the get go just to function on a basic level. There was no "just play and wait until you get the hang of it." for me, it really was "Learn or die". I can admit this may be my issue, but it really does seem to tell me that 3.5 isn't really 'Easy to get into.'

I did however really enjoy Minions and Masterminds as an incredibly flexible system. There are even splat-books that allow you to re-flavour the system to a different style, such as anime, medieval, sci-fi... in fact, you can blend them seamlessly to have ninjas in space or replicate a Final Fantasy style 'Swords and guns' game. Yes, it does by default focus on superheroes, but it makes it very easy to change its focus.

I also found that the customisation was near limitless, and once you got the hang of how the system actually worked, it was just like going to a shopping mall full of powers and character concepts. I have a friend who makes character ideas in his spare time for fun just to see if he can, and so far I've not heard of one time where it hasn't worked, no matter how outlandish. It's always been doable.

I can definately see the appeal of 3.5 or 4.0, and everyone has different preferences, but I myself found it much easier to get into MnM.

It sounds like you're saying that it's impossible to have an answer on something like this because of peoples differing perspectives, and I definitely agree. When I first started role-playing I tried GURPS and almost quit because I just didn't get it. Luckily the group moved on to vampire, and I was able to figure that out enough to enjoy it. After that, they went to 3.5 and I picked up on that really easily.

I have a friend who just recently started playing with us, and he picked up the fourth edition rule books and was going over them, and was having a bit of trouble learning the system because, in his opinion, nothing made sense. When he found out we don't play fourth edition, but instead Pathfinder, he picked up on PF after about an hour of play.

horseboy
2010-02-08, 04:22 PM
One of the really big "good" things about 3.5 is investment. My friends that play it, even the ones that have been gaming for decades and are multi-system fluent, when asked to play things other than 3.x will say something along the lines of "I've got too much invested in 3.5.
The more $ you invest the more options you have opened up to you. The more time you invest the more "bad ass" you become.
Another point in it's favor is the sliding scale of verisimilitude. All players and GM's have a point where they say "Screw it, it's just a game, that's good enough." D&D's bar is quite low, making it an easy beer and pretzels good time where you don't have to deal with the consequences of your actions.

But in general, yeah you're right. Coming from games like Earthdawn and Rolemaster, trying to make a 3.x character is an excruciating pain of "8 bit" quality blocks used to crudely create a character. The rules are filled with bizarre restrictions that get in the way at almost every turn, like alignment restrictions and poor quantities of character resources and a bad skill system.
But hey, it's just a game, you're just there to kill things and take their stuff.

Tinydwarfman
2010-02-08, 04:48 PM
One of the really big "good" things about 3.5 is investment. My friends that play it, even the ones that have been gaming for decades and are multi-system fluent, when asked to play things other than 3.x will say something along the lines of "I've got too much invested in 3.5.
The more $ you invest the more options you have opened up to you. The more time you invest the more "bad ass" you become.

I hope you are joking and my sarcasm detector is broken, because that doesn't seem like a 'good' thing about 3.5.


You do realize that, as a pure PB system, GURPS has the potential to be far more breakable than DnD, right? This is due to the sheer number of interactions available; there's no way to test all of them out.

PB systems (WW, GURPS), as a matter of fact, reward system mastery far more than randomized or partially randomized systems (DnD, Warhammer Quest, WFRP). Seriously, read up. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PointBuy)

POTENTIAL. I have yet to see any players in my games play something vastly more powerful than the other characters. Maybe this is just GURPS mentality or lack of TO going on in forums, but everything seems more even.
Also, if you use point buy and average hp in D&D, there is nothing random about it. (rules which we, and many other groups use.)

horseboy
2010-02-08, 05:06 PM
I hope you are joking and my sarcasm detector is broken, because that doesn't seem like a 'good' thing about 3.5.

Oh, there was some tongue in the cheek, but there is a reason games like Pokemon and CCG's are popular. They feed an Obsessive mindset. Obsessive minds need something to obsess over.

Tinydwarfman
2010-02-08, 05:21 PM
Oh, there was some tongue in the cheek, but there is a reason games like Pokemon and CCG's are popular. They feed an Obsessive mindset. Obsessive minds need something to obsess over.

Eh, I liked MtG because of the infinite customization and actually interesting and challenging games, but then again, I did play WoW for a while, so maybe I am a bit obsessive.:smallbiggrin:

pres_man
2010-02-08, 05:54 PM
POTENTIAL. I have yet to see any players in my games play something vastly more powerful than the other characters. Maybe this is just GURPS mentality or lack of TO going on in forums, but everything seems more even.

Funny, I've seen (or rather not seen) the same thing in my 3.5 games.

ericgrau
2010-02-08, 06:00 PM
Of course then you have a 45% (-5% per point of int bonus) chance to not even know your own name...
Knowledge skills don't work that way.

Kylarra
2010-02-08, 06:03 PM
Knowledge skills don't work that way.
I was being hyperbolic, but it's a DC 11 check to identify a humanoid with 1HD, I forgot to include the +1 HD. So 50% chance to be unable to identify yourself, assuming we're throwing the take 10 rules out the window. :smalltongue:

Sinfire Titan
2010-02-08, 06:15 PM
I was being hyperbolic, but it's a DC 11 check to identify a humanoid with 1HD, I forgot to include the +1 HD. So 50% chance to be unable to identify yourself, assuming we're throwing the take 10 rules out the window. :smalltongue:

Don't you think this would fall under a pure Int check (DC 5)? I mean, that's not even remotely obscure information (everyone in a community should be able to tell what race they are).

Optimystik
2010-02-08, 06:20 PM
Knowing who you are should be a Charisma check, imo.

Kylarra
2010-02-08, 06:22 PM
Don't you think this would fall under a pure Int check (DC 5)? I mean, that's not even remotely obscure information (everyone in a community should be able to tell what race they are).Me personally? Yes.

by RAW it's a knowledge (Local) check at 10+HD though...

I only brought it up in reference to not letting people take 10 on this.

Tinydwarfman
2010-02-08, 06:24 PM
Don't you think this would fall under a pure Int check (DC 5)? I mean, that's not even remotely obscure information (everyone in a community should be able to tell what race they are).

even then, the average person still has a 20% chance of not knowing their own race (O_o)

JoshuaZ
2010-02-08, 06:30 PM
even then, the average person still has a 20% chance of not knowing their own race (O_o)

Are you sure that's unreasonable? Read Not Always Right (http://notalwaysright.com/) for a bit and then see if you still think that that's too unreasonable.

Edit: And that's assuming that most people are level 1 commoners. If a substantial portion are even level 2 or 3 the percentage who don't know what race they are will go way down.

Tinydwarfman
2010-02-08, 06:44 PM
Are you sure that's unreasonable? Read Not Always Right (http://notalwaysright.com/) for a bit and then see if you still think that that's too unreasonable.

Edit: And that's assuming that most people are level 1 commoners. If a substantial portion are even level 2 or 3 the percentage who don't know what race they are will go way down.

thats assuming the average stat is 10. which it it. also, I love not always right, but those people either roll on some special fumble table, or have Int 5 and below.

Kylarra
2010-02-08, 06:48 PM
While NAR is hilarious to read, I'm pretty sure the majority are either wishful thinking or exaggerated.

JoshuaZ
2010-02-08, 06:51 PM
thats assuming the average stat is 10. which it it. also, I love not always right, but those people either roll on some special fumble table, or have Int 5 and below.

Right, the stat might be 10, but if they have any ranks in any relevant knowledge skill then it goes up. Experts and aristrocrats for example might very likely have ranks that are relevant.

It actually isn't that implausible in a realm with most people are uneducated peasants that they might have trouble with this. I could reasonably see a conversation going something like this:

Commoner 1: So what are we?
Commoner 2: People, right?
Commoner 1: Yeah, but what sort of people?
Commoner 2: What do you mean? We're people. This is stupid.
Commoner 1: Yeah, but like are we dwarves or elves or humans or orcs?
Commoner 2: We're people.


Edit:Kylarra, yeah I think some of them must be exaggerated. But I've had some experiences TAing which are almost on par with that. It isn't that people are necessarily stupid(although some are) so much as the fact that people do really roll natural 1s surprisingly often. And sometimes there are other issues providing circumstance penalties.

Mike_G
2010-02-08, 07:43 PM
No, absolutely not.
First of all, fun is not a reliable or even especially important factor.

......

Especially because it reduces the RPG to just a game.

Are you listening to yourself?

Oh, please, for the love of Gygax, don't reduce my Role Playing Games to a game.

We're not doing Shakespeare in the Park here, we're hanging out at the dinner table pretending to be magical Elves killing make believe goblins.

I'll take my fun over "quantifiable quality design" any day.

NemoUtopia
2010-02-08, 08:26 PM
Ignoring the philosphical debate and that Satyr does not fully grasp the actual concept of 'fun' as applied to individuals, including itself, I'm going to boil down what's so good about 3.0/3.5. A lot of good points both for and against it have been raised. But here's why 3.0/3.5 has so much support and success both over 4e and other systems:

You declare an action.
You roll a d20.
Something happens.

There is no success count [how many d10 can you roll above number X].
There is no THAC0. Multipliers are limited and easy, divisors are nearly non-existant. The system is addative/subtractive and easily grasped by people with no board/PnP gaming experience. The sports obsessed football jock who failed algebra can understand what's happening and not feel frustrated by the mechanics. The theoretical imbalances in the system require the DM to be a rules-lawyer/hard-liner who allows them to happen, and that usually happens in a group of power-gamers who expect it, not a bunch of friends just making believe. The system isn't perfect by any means, but it combines the surety of skill with expected random chance, ease of basic understanding with complex options for the advanced, and it lets all circles of gamer play a game they can all agree to play. The drama club can roleplay, the board-gamers can board-game, the classic RPG-questers can grind encounters and collect their loot, the mechanics obsessed can optimize their hearts out against each other, etc. Even better, you can get the roleplayer, the jock, the boardgamer, and the optimizer around the same table. And get them all to enjoy the same gaming sessions! I've played GURPS, WoD [old, 'perfect', and new], other d20 adaptions, 4e, AD&D [i.e. 2nd ed]...seriously, 3.0/3.5 is the only gaming system where I don't have to exclude people because of their preferred gaming style. And I can customize it a group's preffered style. At home or with college friends, I can get everyone to sit around the same table, look each other in the eye, enjoy the same game, and not argue or be bored. Among my niche-groups I can tailor a game to them [heavy combat, heavy RP, heavy optimization].

Even other 1 die systems somehow fall short of this, usually by over-complicating or over-simplifing instead of letting you choose how simple or complex to make it. And after the d20 roll succeeds, you get to see the other person get the giddy look of success and roll their prefferred excitement. The 1d8 that will decide the fate of the party, or the waterfall of d6s that will decimate an army.

All those reasons, all the logic, philosophy, psychology, and rhetoric boils down to:
You declare an action.
You roll a d20.
Something happens.

JoshuaZ
2010-02-08, 08:35 PM
We're not doing Shakespeare in the Park here, we're hanging out at the dinner table pretending to be magical Elves killing make believe goblins.


As opposed to pretending to be British and Danish princes fighting with swords. Shakespeare in the Park is done by people who enjoy it also. At the end of the day, almost no one does something if they don't find it fun at some level or are getting paid.

Mike_G
2010-02-08, 08:38 PM
As opposed to pretending to be British and Danish princes fighting with swords. Shakespeare in the Park is done by people who enjoy it also. At the end of the day, almost no one does something if they don't find it fun at some level or are getting paid.


In that case, I guess Satyr would feel they were doing it wrong.

Tinydwarfman
2010-02-08, 08:56 PM
All those reasons, all the logic, philosophy, psychology, and rhetoric boils down to:
You declare an action.
You roll a d20.
Something happens.

Huh, you know that sounds familiar, lets see...

You declare an action.
You roll 3d6.
Something happens.

I only changed 1 word word, and viola! I have GURPS!



And get them all to enjoy the same gaming sessions! I've played GURPS, WoD [old, 'perfect', and new], other d20 adaptions, 4e, AD&D [i.e. 2nd ed]...seriously, 3.0/3.5 is the only gaming system where I don't have to exclude people because of their preferred gaming style. And I can customize it a group's preffered style. At home or with college friends, I can get everyone to sit around the same table, look each other in the eye, enjoy the same game, and not argue or be bored. Among my niche-groups I can tailor a game to them [heavy combat, heavy RP, heavy optimization].

Even other 1 die systems somehow fall short of this, usually by over-complicating or over-simplifing instead of letting you choose how simple or complex to make it. And after the d20 roll succeeds, you get to see the other person get the giddy look of success and roll their prefferred excitement. The 1d8 that will decide the fate of the party, or the waterfall of d6s that will decimate an army.

And GURPS lets you decide exactly how complex or simple you want it to be. It is THE most modular system out there. The GM decides the style, and it can be ANY style. I thought about making homebrew for GURPS once, then I realized that it already had everything I wanted.

NemoUtopia
2010-02-08, 09:06 PM
Huh, you know that sounds familiar, lets see...

You declare an action.
You roll 3d6.
Something happens.

I only changed 1 word word, and viola! I have GURPS!



And GURPS lets you decide exactly how complex or simple you want it to be. It is THE most modular system out there. The GM decides the style, and it can be ANY style. I thought about making homebrew for GURPS once, then I realized that it already had everything I wanted.

You're overlooking a lot of non-intuitive issues with GURPS, and the number distribution of 3d6. 3d6 produces only 16 results and heavily favors the range 9-12. 1d20 produces 20 possible results and does not favor any number on that die. This means that understanding of addition, not statistical distribution, is all you need to immediately grasp the system's mechanic perfectly. Additionally, 3.x has an understood default imbedded in the cultural imagination. GURPS requires you not only to specifically include or exclude certain options, it requires the players to understand exactly what those options allow and prohibit from happening. The results also vary by game, so that instead of a readily grasped and viscerally satisfying (or dissapointing) result you get confusion about what success or failure fully entails.

Tinydwarfman
2010-02-08, 09:17 PM
You're overlooking a lot of non-intuitive issues with GURPS, and the number distribution of 3d6. 3d6 produces only 16 results and heavily favors the range 9-12. 1d20 produces 20 possible results and does not favor any number on that die. This means that understanding of addition, not statistical distribution, is all you need to immediately grasp the system's mechanic perfectly. Additionally, 3.x has an understood default imbedded in the cultural imagination. GURPS requires you not only to specifically include or exclude certain options, it requires the players to understand exactly what those options allow and prohibit from happening. The results also vary by game, so that instead of a readily grasped and viscerally satisfying (or dissapointing) result you get confusion about what success or failure fully entails.

Then we have some differences in taste it seems. I like bell curve. I find it's much more realistic and enables skill based systems (which I also like). I also only play GURPS with my friends, who I meet through school, who are all quite smart.

I also don't find it that arduous to spend 2 minutes telling the players about the gameworld. Tell them the setting (pretty standard). Supernatural restrictions (i'll give you this one, but it's partially contained in the setting). Point limit (level), and any optional/houserules (which everyone knows if you have a consistent group.

Not quite sure I get your point in the last sentences though. (I bolded them)

Roderick_BR
2010-02-08, 09:20 PM
But surely 3.5's customisation options are lesser than the big point-buy systems'. Why 3.5 and not GURPS, say? Or Mutants and Masterminds?
Not exacly. Some people just don't like point buy. Class systems allow players to know what they are in their campaign world's context. You know you are a fighter/mage something. In a game like gurps or M&M, you have someone that knows how to use a sword, and lazer beam guns, and some magic.... and what exactly you are? Whatever you want, sure... but what is it?

Second, level based games help you know what a character is capable or not.
Most point buy games have that problem where you can make a newbie character that have the most powerful special attack in the world, as long as you balance the points well. In D&D, your 1st level wizard knows a handful of 1st level spells. He'll grow up as the games progresses, til the day he gets his 9th level spells. Most point buy games have weird ways of keeping track or progression.

Tinydwarfman
2010-02-08, 09:25 PM
Second, level based games help you know what a character is capable or not.
Most point buy games have that problem where you can make a newbie character that have the most powerful special attack in the world, as long as you balance the points well. In D&D, your 1st level wizard knows a handful of 1st level spells. He'll grow up as the games progresses, til the day he gets his 9th level spells. Most point buy games have weird ways of keeping track or progression.

True, that can be a problem. Character points measure overall usefulness, not combat prowess. One of my (few) houserules is that you may spend no more than 1/3 of your points on one ability.

pres_man
2010-02-08, 09:41 PM
Me personally? Yes.

by RAW it's a knowledge (Local) check at 10+HD though...

I only brought it up in reference to not letting people take 10 on this.

Not exactly.


Answering a question within your field of study has a DC of 10 (for really easy questions),...

...Without actual training, you know only common knowledge (DC 10 or lower).

NemoUtopia
2010-02-08, 09:46 PM
Not quite sure I get your point in the last sentences though. (I bolded them)

I'm not saying GURPS is a bad system, I actually like it. But 3.x as addative instead of bellcurve means that you have a specific target and you know how much a bonus or penalty affects your chance of success. Frustration trying something and consistently failing because of not understanding the bell-curve is something I've run into a lot with players. This is part of the popularity of 3.x: addition is literally all you need in nearly every situation. Everyone knows how much they're gambling. In terms of result, it's the same thing. Success or failure have defined results with the same style of benefit or detriment. Not needing to change anything about the basic system for a mixed group of players to play and have fun together, without confusion about why/how something happened, is a feature that almost can't be overstated. Real life example:

FPS gamer I know will not touch GURPS for the above mentioned reason (and is hardly alone), and needs more dice than Whitewolf typically provides to be happy.
Actor needs an outlet and needs to have a relatively mechanic lite system to avoid confusion (and loves Whitewolf).
Mother (board gamer, card [poker] player, and socialite) likes being the support caster.
Sister thinks is science-oriented thinking but prefers simple math: if I can immediately spout 'you would have X%' chance of success without referencing a Z-chart from my statistics texts to be sure, she's game.

3.x is the only system where I can get all four them and the hard-core RPG optimizer around the same table. They all know what's going on. Nobody gets frustrated because their personal intuitive tendancies are being rubbed against. When another person at the table does something, the confused questions don't happen. It's this intangible truth that makes 3.x the popular choice. If I'm with a GURPS comfortable group, it's actually my first choice. But I have dealt with very few such groups, and often deal with casual gamers. It may seem hard to understand the difference, but the 'everybody just gets it' thing...it's there. It's real. It matters in the popularity contest.

Squider
2010-02-08, 10:52 PM
This don't pertain directly to the "edition war", but 4E Forgotten Realms was a great big slap in the face.

destroying a vibrant world with a longer history both in and out of fantasy then some third world countries because it doesn't fit with your new D&D....

that wasn't cool.

pres_man
2010-02-08, 11:07 PM
This don't pertain directly to the "edition war", but 4E Forgotten Realms was a great big slap in the face.

destroying a vibrant world with a longer history both in and out of fantasy then some third world countries because it doesn't fit with your new D&D....

that wasn't cool.

Published Settings are lame anyway. Homebrew for the win.

ericgrau
2010-02-08, 11:08 PM
Blasphemy! Forgotten Realms is (was?) awesome.


I was being hyperbolic, but it's a DC 11 check to identify a humanoid with 1HD, I forgot to include the +1 HD. So 50% chance to be unable to identify yourself, assuming we're throwing the take 10 rules out the window. :smalltongue:
You really don't need a knowledge check for this.

I think what's questionable about taking a 10 on knowledge checks is that you either know the fact or you don't, and no amount of threats or distractions will change that (though conceivably - outside the rules - it may affect remembering it)

Kesnit
2010-02-08, 11:22 PM
The theoretical imbalances in the system require the DM to be a rules-lawyer/hard-liner who allows them to happen, and that usually happens in a group of power-gamers who expect it, not a bunch of friends just making believe.

Uh, no. There is no "theoretical imbalances." The imbalances are very real. The extent to which they occur can vary, but they are there, and they will almost certainly pop up once past about LVL 10. (Exactly where they appear depends on the make-up of the group. The more spread out the tier levels, the sooner they appear and the worse they become.)

Even well-optimized lower-tier classes are going to under-perform when put in a party with a decent Tier 1.


seriously, 3.0/3.5 is the only gaming system where I don't have to exclude people because of their preferred gaming style.

Lucky you. I know several people who say they will never play 3.5 again (preferring both 4.0 and 2.0) because they can do anything they want in both of those systems without the hassle of keeping themselves useful.


The 1d8 that will decide the fate of the party, or the waterfall of d6s that will decimate an army.

That happens in any RPG with dice. Actually, I think it would happen more in CoC, since the effects of poor rolls are much more dramatic.


This is part of the popularity of 3.x: addition is literally all you need in nearly every situation.

In WoD, all you need to be able to do is recognize numbers. How is that harder than having to add for D&D? (I am not saying addition is hard. I am saying addition is harder than just being able to recognize numbers.)


Success or failure have defined results with the same style of benefit or detriment.

Same in WoD.

NemoUtopia
2010-02-09, 01:09 AM
Uh, no. There is no "theoretical imbalances." The imbalances are very real. The extent to which they occur can vary, but they are there, and they will almost certainly pop up once past about LVL 10. (Exactly where they appear depends on the make-up of the group. The more spread out the tier levels, the sooner they appear and the worse they become.)

Even well-optimized lower-tier classes are going to under-perform when put in a party with a decent Tier 1.


You're assuming at least one optimizer and a lazy DM.



Lucky you. I know several people who say they will never play 3.5 again (preferring both 4.0 and 2.0) because they can do anything they want in both of those systems without the hassle of keeping themselves useful.

You're assuming an entire group of gaming veterans who have enough experience with the system to be frustrated with it. This is very small subset of 'everyone'.




That happens in any RPG with dice. Actually, I think it would happen more in CoC, since the effects of poor rolls are much more dramatic.

Someone is forgetting critical failures, which can be dramatic without additionally penalizing the group.




In WoD, all you need to be able to do is recognize numbers. How is that harder than having to add for D&D? (I am not saying addition is hard. I am saying addition is harder than just being able to recognize numbers.)

Multiple successes out of multiple dice, not one target number on one die.




Same in WoD.

Not sure which edition you're playing. 3.x defines the results very clearly and makes even a sub-mediocre DM able to be consistent. WoD requires the Storyteller to define success or failure and is a proverbial open door for arguments.

Kaiyanwang
2010-02-09, 03:03 AM
Granted it is extremely powerful, but 3.5 has punpun at level 1.


So... 3.5 does not work because of Pun-Pun? Are you joking?

If you say "it does not work because of X" or "I don't like it because of Y" when X and Y are issues pointed out several times in these boards (monksuxxgodwizardmeleenonicethingsmagicistehborke n..) it's a legitimate position that I respect.

But, you cannot say a game does not work because an example of theoretical optimization. That is a great mental exercise. You can't.

Someone could argue that there are people that actually try pun-pun, but think about this: if someone is an idiot, he will ruin your game anyway.

Satyr
2010-02-09, 03:23 AM
Oh, please, for the love of Gygax, don't reduce my Role Playing Games to a game.

Is the stuff I wrote so hard to understand? I actually thought the concepts were quite simple.
The problem is reducing the "RPG" to the "G" alone. That's wasted potential. The sheer existence of diceless games is probably proof enough, that the whole game aspect is not mandatory for RPGs as a whole.

And the whole fun aspect...
I think it is overestimated, and a way too heavy-handed approach. Yes, if you define "fun" broad enough, you can put anything in it, and it is the universial motivation, but this also makes it impossible to differentiate.

Look, all I am saying is, that it doesn't matter how much you like something, it still can be bad. If anyone declares that something is good, because he liked it, he's pretentious, declaring his personal tastes to be superior to that of others.

And this is the problem I have with the whole "It's all about fun" approach - first of all, it doesn't care what is fun, or who is having fun, and secondly, it rarely acknowledges other people's opinions.

That's too undifferenitated for my tastes.

What roleplaying games as a genre sadly lack, are academic standards and frameworks of reference, or an accomplished and acknowledged elite who can veritably debate the quality of the games similar to those of books, or movies to establish a bottom line of references.

Kurald Galain
2010-02-09, 05:14 AM
You're overlooking a lot of non-intuitive issues with GURPS, and the number distribution of 3d6. 3d6 produces only 16 results and heavily favors the range 9-12. 1d20 produces 20 possible results and does not favor any number on that die. This means that understanding of addition, not statistical distribution, is all you need to immediately grasp the system's mechanic perfectly.

I don't think you need to understand bell curves in order to work with a 3d6 system.

Actually, it's more intuitive: the books recommend adding a +2 circumstance bonus to a roll when appropriate; this bonus is useful in a 3d6 system, and frequently irrelevant in a 1d20 system. I am unsure whether the 1d20 designers were unaware how relevant a +2 is, or whether they intended for the DM to give out bonuses that feel good but don't really do anything.

Matthew
2010-02-09, 06:51 AM
Rules for everything with a high degree of internal consistency and endless supplements with new options. It is an expansive and comprehensive system that answers pretty much every question you might ask of it; character creation is highly systematised, and quite enjoyable in and of itself.

Kesnit
2010-02-09, 07:44 AM
You're assuming an entire group of gaming veterans who have enough experience with the system to be frustrated with it. This is very small subset of 'everyone'.

Allow me to remind you of what you said... "seriously, 3.0/3.5 is the only gaming system where I don't have to exclude people because of their preferred gaming style."

I am not the one who assumed "everyone" could get what they want in 3.5. You were.


Someone is forgetting critical failures, which can be dramatic without additionally penalizing the group.

Critical failures DO penalize the group, as they cause damage or the like to the PCs (depending on how the DM is running them). However, my point was that a roll of the dice can affect the party in any RPG, not just 3.5.


Multiple successes out of multiple dice, not one target number on one die.

And then another dice roll to calculate damage. However, I was addressing where you said 3.5 is so easy because all you need to be able to do is add. WoD is even easier, since you don't even need that. All you have to be able to do is recognize numbers and count.


Not sure which edition you're playing. 3.x defines the results very clearly and makes even a sub-mediocre DM able to be consistent.

Which is the same as 2.0, 2.5, and 4.0. Usually the result comes down to "yes, I rolled high enough. I succeeded" or "nope, too low, didn't work."


WoD requires the Storyteller to define success or failure and is a proverbial open door for arguments.

Uh, no they don't. Let me give you an example...

From Bloodlines: the Chosen, which happened to be the first book I picked up. Page 64.

Undiminished Rage (Animalism 5, Protean 1)

Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Empathy + Animalism
Action: Instant

Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: Not only does the power fail to ake hold, resulting in an immediate fear frenzy, but the vampire is so completely shaken by the experience that he is unable to use this power again for the duration of the chapter.
Failure: The vampire exerts his will, but does not alter the nature of his oncoming frenzy. He may attempt to resist it as normal.
Success: The vampire is provoked by the source of the frenzy, but he is moved to rage instead of fear. He may Ride the Wave as normal, or may simply attack the course of his frenzy.
Exceptional Success: Not only does the vampire enter a rage frenzy instead of fleeing uncontrollably, but he is already considered to be Riding the Wave, and need not spend another Willpower point to impose limits on his frenzy.

What makes a Dramatic Failure, Failure, Success, and Exceptional Success is defined in the each core book.

potatocubed
2010-02-09, 07:47 AM
Rules for everything with a high degree of internal consistency and endless supplements with new options. It is an expansive and comprehensive system that answers pretty much every question you might ask of it; character creation is highly systematised, and quite enjoyable in and of itself.

I see what you did there.

Jayabalard
2010-02-09, 08:39 AM
This means that understanding of addition, not statistical distribution, is all you need to immediately grasp the system's mechanic perfectly.Not true; both mechanics require the same amount of understanding of statistical distribution and addition.


Additionally, 3.x has an understood default imbedded in the cultural imagination.Not really; The people I game with have a very different understood default for 3.x than most of the people on these fora.


GURPS requires you not only to specifically include or exclude certain options, it requires the players to understand exactly what those options allow and prohibit from happening.The same goes for any edition of D&D.

Tinydwarfman
2010-02-09, 08:50 AM
So... 3.5 does not work because of Pun-Pun? Are you joking?

If you say "it does not work because of X" or "I don't like it because of Y" when X and Y are issues pointed out several times in these boards (monksuxxgodwizardmeleenonicethingsmagicistehborke n..) it's a legitimate position that I respect.

But, you cannot say a game does not work because an example of theoretical optimization. That is a great mental exercise. You can't.

Someone could argue that there are people that actually try pun-pun, but think about this: if someone is an idiot, he will ruin your game anyway.

Ok, I never said that. I was merely responding to Sinfire Titan's post that point-buy systems are inherently more imbalanced than D&D. His point is that there are too many options, but on the contrary, there are so many source books for D&D that there are probably more options in non-core. I even brought up M.U.N.C.H.K.I.N., the 50 point ability that allows you to kill everything not completely immune to damage in the entire universe (with some very questionable extrapolations). I'm just saying that at least GURPS balanced core abilities. If you play w/ the Dungeon Fantasy templates (alot like d&d classes) it's pretty much balanced d&d.

I like 3.5, and play it more than GURPS because of it's popularity, but I still prefer GURPS.

The Rose Dragon
2010-02-09, 09:12 AM
At the end of the day, almost no one does something if they don't find it fun at some level or are getting paid.

Correcting people that are wrong on the internet seems to be a common pastime, and is an example of neither. :smalltongue:

Optimystik
2010-02-09, 09:24 AM
Correcting people that are wrong on the internet seems to be a common pastime, and is an example of neither. :smalltongue:

I don't know about you, but I find it fun.

Oh look, I just did it!

Kaiyanwang
2010-02-09, 09:27 AM
Ok, I never said that. I was merely responding to Sinfire Titan's post that point-buy systems are inherently more imbalanced than D&D.

I see you point.

lesser_minion
2010-02-09, 10:28 AM
I don't think you need to understand bell curves in order to work with a 3d6 system.

Actually, it's more intuitive: the books recommend adding a +2 circumstance bonus to a roll when appropriate; this bonus is useful in a 3d6 system, and frequently irrelevant in a 1d20 system. I am unsure whether the 1d20 designers were unaware how relevant a +2 is, or whether they intended for the DM to give out bonuses that feel good but don't really do anything.

A 10% bonus or penalty is actually pretty useful and pretty relevant. Say what you like about it doing nothing nine times out of ten, it's something you get often enough that it isn't too serious.

Remember that it can also contribute to pushing the check to a 10+ to succeed, at which point it hits the very clearly defined "this is an automatic success" point.


One of the best ways to work is dice pools really. It's easier to count to five than it is to add 17 and 34, even when you have to work out what to count.

Kurald Galain
2010-02-09, 10:54 AM
A 10% bonus or penalty is actually pretty useful and pretty relevant.
In a word, no.

{table]What you roll|1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13|14|15|16|17|18| 19|20
Hit without bonus|no|no|no|no|no|no|no|no|yes|yes|yes|yes|yes| yes|yes|yes|yes|yes|yes|yes
Hit with bonus|no|no|no|no|no|no|yes|yes|yes|yes|yes|yes|ye s|yes|yes|yes|yes|yes|yes|yes
Did bonus make a difference|no|no|no|no|no|no|yes|yes|no|no|no|no|n o|no|no|no|no|no|no|no
[/table]

I do not consider it good DM'ing to react to a player's good idea by giving that player a token bonus that doesn't actually change anything.

lesser_minion
2010-02-09, 10:58 AM
In a word, no.

I do not consider it good DM'ing to react to a player's good idea by giving that player a token bonus that doesn't actually change anything.

I know full well how often it comes into play, which is why I reported it as "10%". You don't have me convinced, because you can get the bonus on any dice roll. Are you honestly claiming that fewer than ten d20s are rolled per gaming session?

A +2 is literally the difference between a journeyman and a master craftsman (an NPC using the standard array and focusing on Craft has about a +8. Two points more and he can produce masterworks on a regular basis).


A +1 that has to be declared in advance and can only be claimed once per encounter is utterly useless. That's a far cry from a +2 which can potentially be claimed on any dice roll, ever.


I'll accept that D&D massively reduces the amount of difference a given factor makes, but 10% is certainly not "irrelevant".

The Rose Dragon
2010-02-09, 11:07 AM
I don't know about you, but I find it fun.

Oh look, I just did it!

Oh, you slay me, my good sir. Truly, I have been slain. :smallbiggrin:

lesser_minion
2010-02-09, 11:09 AM
Oh, you slay me, my good sir. Truly, I have been slain. :smallbiggrin:

Well, there's the third category of "it gets around something that annoys me". Nobody is allowed to be wrong on the internet, after all.

The Big Dice
2010-02-09, 11:11 AM
I don't think you need to understand bell curves in order to work with a 3d6 system.

You don't have to understand bell curves to play GURPS any more than you need to understand linear probability to play D20. But if you have at least a basic grasp of the ideas you'd understand that a one dice roll system is inherently far more unpredictable and makes the player less able to play the odds than a multiple dice roll system.

I know that a roll of 12 on 3d6 is something I can make three times out of 4, because more cominations of numbers on those 3d6 add up to 10 that any other possible combinations. But making a given DC on a d20 is totally unpredictable, due to the fact that every number has an equal chance of coming out and dice not having a memory for what they already rolled. That's why static bonuses quickly become more important than the dice rolled in D&D.

Oddly, the things I dislike most about D&D are also the system's biggest strengths. I hate class and level based systems. They mean I'm stuck with someone else's idea of what I should be playing and have to compromise at every step. Quite often to the point where my original concept becomes unplayable. If there's a specific ability or schtick I want, I'm locked into a preplanned progression. Sometimes for months of play just to get to a place where I can play my initial character idea.

And yet, those same limitations give players very specific and distinctive archetypes to work from Even if concepts based on characters central to the origins of RPGs are very difficult to make. I find that people who play a lot of computer based RPGs can pick up D&D a lot faster than they can get to grips with more sophisticated and flexible systems. Ironically beause those same CRPGs are based on concepts that were established by the first generation of D&D games.

Kurald Galain
2010-02-09, 11:16 AM
A +1 that has to be declared in advance and can only be claimed once per encounter is utterly useless. That's a far cry from a +2 which can potentially be claimed on any dice roll, ever.
But I'm not talking about a "+2 which can potentially be claimed on any dice roll".

I'm talking about the difference between a player who says "I fast talk the baron" and has to roll a DC 20 bluff check, and a player who plays out a lengthy argumentation and gets a +2 bonus for his effort. The D&D manual suggests giving a +2 or -2 bonus to players for precisely such reasons. I am curious whether the designers are simply unaware how relevant such a bonus is, or whether it was intentional to reward players with token bonuses that usually don't make a difference.

(for comparison, in Exalted or OTE, a player effort can easily make the difference between rolling two dice and rolling four dice).

lesser_minion
2010-02-09, 11:32 AM
But I'm not talking about a "+2 which can potentially be claimed on any dice roll".

I'm talking about the difference between a player who says "I fast talk the baron" and has to roll a DC 20 bluff check, and a player who plays out a lengthy argumentation and gets a +2 bonus for his effort. The D&D manual suggests giving a +2 or -2 bonus to players for precisely such reasons. I am curious whether the designers are simply unaware how relevant such a bonus is, or whether it was intentional to reward players with token bonuses that usually don't make a difference.

(for comparison, in Exalted or OTE, a player effort can easily make the difference between rolling two dice and rolling four dice).

In Exalted, two dice give you a 64% chance of succeeding. Four dice give you an 87% chance of succeeding. It's only a +23% bonus, comparable to a +4 or a +5 bonus in D&D terms.

In social and combat situations, things get more complicated because the number of successes is important, but the difference still isn't as big as you think. I don't think it's that easy to get an MDV so low that four dice is adequate.

Speeches are really hard to handle, but good examples of a +2 or a -2 include:


-2 to Listen checks because the character's ears are ringing.
+2 to Search checks to find a specific object as opposed to "anything of interest"
+2 to Craft (bladesmithing) checks for not trying to cut corners (more than one person would work on the blade, and you have an assistant).
+2 to Heal checks to keep an IC patient alive, because the nurse remembered to make sure you'd followed the guidelines.

Kurald Galain
2010-02-09, 11:44 AM
In Exalted, two dice give you a 64% chance of succeeding. Four dice give you an 87% chance of succeeding. You're getting about a +4 or a +5 bonus, neglecting thresholds.
...and a better chance of scoring two or three successes, of course.

My point is, if you want to reward players (e.g. for clever ideas, good roleplaying, an original approach), give them a reward that actually matters.

lesser_minion
2010-02-09, 11:48 AM
...and a better chance of scoring two or three successes, of course.

Where degree of success or failure is taken into account in D&D, it's usually done in five-point increments. A +5 bonus will almost always take you from one bracket and land you squarely in the next.

The Greater and Perfect successes are a slightly different beast.


My point is, if you want to reward players (e.g. for clever ideas, good roleplaying, an original approach), give them a reward that actually matters.

Which you would. But of all those, roleplaying is handled horribly in the rules anyway, while original approaches and good ideas aren't something which necessarily needs numbers - if a clever plan works, it should put you in a much better situation to start with - it might not even influence any of the events that require dice rolls that much.

NemoUtopia
2010-02-09, 12:42 PM
{Scrubbed}

lesser_minion
2010-02-09, 12:50 PM
WoD is incredibly simple. It's just success, failure, extraordinary success, dramatic failure. As long as you can add very small numbers together and count up to five, you'll be fine.

And there's nothing counter-intuitive about "I have a 30% chance of success and I can try fifteen times".

WoD also does in fact boil down to "OK, you rolled high enough, that's a pass" or "oh no, you didn't roll well enough, that's a failure".

Anything added on to that baseline is no more complex than stuff that gets tacked onto the one in D&D, which has automatic successes, automatic failures, and defines different degrees of success and failure which are differentiated by working out the difference between your roll and the check's difficulty.




I'm not sure how much clearer I can make this. WoD is intuitively easier for only a group of people who expect their Storyteller to change up what success or failure fully entails, including the terms of target success number and die rolled. 3.x gives you the terms, and if the DM is bad at improv, he doesn't have to. WoD requires Storyteller improv on even the basic spoiler you have at the bottom of your post. Number roll to numeric effect is much different from number roll to Storyteller implementation.

The target number is an 8, if you don't roll at least one success then you fail and an exceptional success is when you roll five or more successes.

You have just as much useful information, and it's easier to understand and work with in every way, no matter how simple or complex you need it to be.

While you're busy accusing people of being "wilfully ignorant", you could at least try to get your facts straight.


This is the precise source of the confusion I've mentioned, as players do not always understand why the exact same bonus makes such a huge difference sometimes and almost difference at all at other times in 3d6. In d20, they understand exactly what they're getting.

Actually, that is totally wrong.

People expect small things to make more of a difference when something is down to the wire than they do when something is heavily weighted one way or the other.

To be "more intuitive", a system should reflect that. Binomial-, Poisson-, and normal-based mechanics do that much better than uniform-based ones.

Dyllan
2010-02-09, 02:03 PM
You don't have to understand bell curves to play GURPS any more than you need to understand linear probability to play D20. But if you have at least a basic grasp of the ideas you'd understand that a one dice roll system is inherently far more unpredictable and makes the player less able to play the odds than a multiple dice roll system.

I know that a roll of 12 on 3d6 is something I can make three times out of 4, because more cominations of numbers on those 3d6 add up to 10 that any other possible combinations. But making a given DC on a d20 is totally unpredictable, due to the fact that every number has an equal chance of coming out and dice not having a memory for what they already rolled.

First of all, you say you don't need to understand bell curves, but then you explain how you know what the odds of rolling 12 on 3d6 are... which is exactly what understanding bell curves means.

That aside, d20 isn't any more or less predictable than 3d6. It just has a different random distribution of results. If you need to roll at least a 12 on a d20, you can know that you will 45% of the time, or 9 times out of 20. The only real difference is that there's a larger standard deviation on rolls with the linear progression of a d20 than with the bell curve of 3d6. Which means you're more likely to succeed on a very difficult roll in d20, and more likely to fail an easy one, as compared to 3d6.

Personally, I find that the constant risk of rolling a 1 on a save, and the constant chance of rolling a 20 to hit something I had very little chance against make the game more interesting. Too much predictability bores me. But, I suppose the preference for less chance of such extremes (a 1 in 216 chance of an 18 or a 3 on 3d6) is perfectly valid as well.

Satyr
2010-02-09, 03:03 PM
You know, the normal curve of distribution is not something highly unusual. It is the normal one, after all.
There is nothing complicated about. And no, you don't need to know the exact propability of any roll. The basic concept, that the very high or very low results are much rarer than average ones. Seriously, everybody who has ever played Yahzee will immediately understand this.

The great advantage is, you only ever need one kind of dices. This is simple elegance.

And when every 10th roll leads to something special (if you include fumble rolls) doesn't make them so special anymore.

Tehnar
2010-02-09, 03:17 PM
I prefer the d20 distribution for combat, and the 3d6 distribution for skill use. However once you start embracing the "Taking 10" mechanic on your skill checks, actually rolling skills checks becomes less common.

I also agree that circumstantial bonuses/penalties should be higher, I use +5 to -5. A +2 bonus would be useful if you had to make a series of rolls to succeed and they all got that bonus. If you got a +2 circumstance bonus on all your craft checks to make a sword, that is a significant bonus. A +2 bonus to a single open lock roll, not so much.

Jayabalard
2010-02-09, 03:21 PM
*sigh* No. Just gorram no. Let's go back to, in this case, ANY D&D initial relase and compare to GURPS initial release. In each D&D release, there was no reason to exclude anything. From GURPS core, you have to cherrypick just to build the mechanics of your setting.3rd edition, gurps basic book. You can run a GURPS game without any cherry picking of mechanics from that book, and you can have far more different types of characters than a D&D game based on just the phb and dmg.

Certainly, you can narrow the game down by cherry picking in either system, and it's far easier to do so in GURPS than it is in D&D, since GURPS is more modular.


But there is a default mechanic system that is universal, compared to not having such a default.arguably, the defauly mechanic system (roll 3d6 vs target number) is more consistant and universal than the d20 mechanic of D&D. So I really have no idea where you are going with this.


When you say '3.x Core', people know exactly what your talking about.Not really, I've seen people argue "what is core" alot on this board.


When you say 'GURPS Core' you get funny looks.Well, of course you get funny looks, it's called "GURPS Basic", not "GURPS core"

horseboy
2010-02-09, 03:59 PM
I'm not saying GURPS is a bad system, I actually like it. But 3.x as addative instead of bellcurve means that you have a specific target and you know how much a bonus or penalty affects your chance of success.
At the cost of verisimilitude. Because it's a straight line and you need challenges all the way up it you either have to pick a spot and play a very limited game (for example 5-10) or if you plan on using the whole line you have to create 4 different worlds that coincide simultaneously (roughly 1-6, 7-12, 13-20 20+) This creates a situation where I literally can not think when I play D&D as it will destroy the mechanics, setting, character concept and/or DM's plot.
Not to mention in a system with a curve/diminishing returns when I create a beginning character I can actually claim to be a leading authority on X. In D&D if I do that I may be a leading authority in world 1, a duffer in world 2 a hack in world 3 and a kindergartner in world 4.
I really don't consider this "intuitive".
*sigh* No. Just gorram no. Let's go back to, in this case, ANY D&D initial relase and compare to GURPS initial release. In each D&D release, there was no reason to exclude anything. Wow, there's no reason to exclude Candles of Invocation, Natural Spell, Polymorph, Wild Shape, glittercheese...

Jayabalard
2010-02-09, 04:05 PM
I'm not saying GURPS is a bad system, I actually like it. But 3.x as addative instead of bellcurve means that you have a specific target and you know how much a bonus or penalty affects your chance of success.So, you're saying that it's easier to know how to game the system in 3e, at the expense of realism, and that this somehow a good thing?


This is part of the popularity of 3.x: addition is literally all you need in nearly every situation.GURPS is exactly the same way.

Dyllan
2010-02-09, 04:10 PM
Wow, there's no reason to exclude Candles of Invocation, Natural Spell, Polymorph, Wild Shape, glittercheese...

Considering that we were talking about thematic reasons (ie, whether all of them should exist together in the same rule) not balance issues, I think this is a rather unfair counter.

But ignoring that, I think most DMs find they have groups of players who will not try to abuse the rules to the point that it destroys the game. I've ran half a dozen campaigns, for the last 8 years, and played in more that were run by other members of our group... all in 3.5. And not once have we had any problems from abuse of any of those... and other than Candles of Invocation, they've all been used, some rather regularly.

The only reason we don't see more stories on here of people breaking GURPS just as seriously as we see stories of people breaking 3.5, is because 3.5 is substantially more popular and therefore we have a much larger data set to pick the anecdotal evidence from.

Jayabalard
2010-02-09, 04:18 PM
The only reason we don't see more stories on here of people breaking GURPS just as seriously as we see stories of people breaking 3.5, is because 3.5 is substantially more popular and therefore we have a much larger data set to pick the anecdotal evidence from.No, there's also the bit where GURPS is designed around having a much more ad-hoc style of GMing than D&D, so breakages are more the fault of a GM not dealing with the situation rather than the player exploiting the rules.

And there's also the fact that this board is predominantly filled with D&D gamers; that makes sense.... it is the forum of a D&D based webcomic, written by a D&D author. If you want to find GURPS rules breakages, you'd want to check the SJ Games forums.

The Big Dice
2010-02-09, 04:19 PM
First of all, you say you don't need to understand bell curves, but then you explain how you know what the odds of rolling 12 on 3d6 are... which is exactly what understanding bell curves means.
That's my own understanding. Which is a lot less than one of the guys in my regular group, who understands odds and probabilities in ways I can only boggle at. Everything I needed to know about the odds of a given 3d6 roll are right there in the GURPS 3rd ed basic set. Which means I can do things like guage my chances of going for a particular hit location, or whether or not I stand a realistic chance of picking a given lock. And be reasonably confident that I can do what I'm trying to do.

That's not to say it's a sure thing. A 75% chance of success is also a 25% chance of failure, after all.


That aside, d20 isn't any more or less predictable than 3d6. It just has a different random distribution of results. If you need to roll at least a 12 on a d20, you can know that you will 45% of the time, or 9 times out of 20. The only real difference is that there's a larger standard deviation on rolls with the linear progression of a d20 than with the bell curve of 3d6. Which means you're more likely to succeed on a very difficult roll in d20, and more likely to fail an easy one, as compared to 3d6.
Person experience leads me to beg to differ on this. I find that rolling multilples of a particular dice type leads to a more consistent result over a series of rolls than rolling a single dice of any type. As an example I played a Ranger in a 3.5 game, two weapon style with the appropriate Feats to beef the style up to useful levels. And yet I'd find that I'd go for several turns without scoring a hit, then get a run of crits a few turns later. Or in the next encounter. And that's the difference between a bell curve and linear probability. A bell curve gives a spread of numbers that will come up more often than not. A linerar curve gives an equal probability of any number in the overall range coming out. Which can lead to some dismal results when the wrong end of the line pops up on a series of rolls.

This was all in my 1st ed AD&D DMG. It's not advanced maths or anything, just a basic knowledge of how dice rolling works.


Personally, I find that the constant risk of rolling a 1 on a save, and the constant chance of rolling a 20 to hit something I had very little chance against make the game more interesting. Too much predictability bores me. But, I suppose the preference for less chance of such extremes (a 1 in 216 chance of an 18 or a 3 on 3d6) is perfectly valid as well.

Dice remove predictability, no matter what kind of probability they're based on. I've played games that had a 5% chance of a critical success or failure on every roll (RuneQuest), that were percentile based (RuneQuest, CoC, other Chaosium BRP games) and games that had a 10% chance of spectacular success or failure on every roll (Cyberpunk). I've played games that penalise doubles on a roll (Warhammer 1st ed when using firearms), games with exploding dice (Cyberpunk and Legend of the Five Rings) and games based on rolling as close as you can get to the difficulty without going over it (Pendragon 5th ed). None of them are perfect and all have their little wuirks and foibles. Though I would say the most elegant dice convention I've seen is the Yin/Yang dice in Qin The Warring States.

NemoUtopia
2010-02-09, 06:33 PM
*rubs temples* You know what? I'm not going to bother. This isn't even about the actual question anymore, it's become '3.x is inferior because' vs '3.x is superior because'. As long as that is the discussion you're intent on having, great. The question is:


The question: disregarding any assumptions of familiarity and ownership, for what kind of games would you choose DnD 3.5 over other systems?

The answer is precisedly the one I've given: non-exclusive game tables, or fully inclusive game tables (depending on your way of looking at the table). I've acknowledged and even thrown my support behind other systems as better for use around tables of a specific type of gamer or style of play. Arguments about the 'understanding of a distribution' are all based upon that very understanding. Linear is something that doesn't generate confusion among non-gamers and the non-math-minded. I'll put this in non-politically correct terms: even the villaige idiot doesn't get confused by it. The only actual examples that have been given as a counter to mine are exclusive...this nullifies the argument about understanding and inclusion, only giving examples of the table types a system is better for...a table of gamers and a gaming style that the system is tailored to. The fact that you (and I, remember) prefer WoD or GURPS for a specific game type does nothing to support the argument for that system as a better choice than 3.x except at that table type, or to answer the original question except by exluding that type of table as a possible answer. So huzzah, we've excluded them as answers! You get negative credit for continuing to parade the benefits of that system for that table...it's been established 3.x isn't the system for that table, so it's beating a dead horse without contributing further to answering the question.

So I'm putting it right out there: where's your experience in inclusive tables that have had satisfying sessions for everyone involved under a given system? I'll even quantify that for you: least confusion, least bickering, most people around the given table glad to return both for another session and another campaign at the same table.


Expanding on that: which system is better for a table including a given combination of gamer-types and an understood playstyle? A table with all types has demonstrated repeatedly that 3.x is the compromise system that keeps everyone satisfied, as no argument for another system has helped that system in the analysis of that table. Keep in mind that all-types includes the gamers you may be snobby about because of your personal system preference. Your personal preference means nothing. Want proof? My preferred system is the WoD generation of books circa the 90s: Ascension, Masquerade, Apocalypse. I'd just rather run or be in a game of that lineage if I get to choose purely on the 'me' factor. I'm so much of a snob about it I don't like the new generation of WoD (~2004 publication). GURPS is second. I personally like the bell curve and mechanics. That does nothing to support an argument about those systems working well for an inclusive table, especially since experience shows exactly the opposite. This observation is further supported by the experience of my gaming friends across the spectrum. They each have the system they love. The one system they'll all agree to play together is 3.x. I've asked my dedicated gaming buddies (the ones who are familiar with possibly every system ever published), and guess what? Their experience and knowledge of the experience of others is exactly the same. They know exactly who to ask and who not to ask about membership at a given gaming table. They know who they want if they want to start a game in a given system, who they'll ask as a last resort, and who they won't even consider asking. The one that makes them have to choose between all their friends, not a given pie section, is 3.x. The one they revert to if they can't get a consensus: 3.x.

The Big Dice
2010-02-09, 06:52 PM
So I'm putting it right out there: where's your experience in inclusive tables that have had satisfying sessions for everyone involved under a given system? I'll even quantify that for you: least confusion, least bickering, most people around the given table glad to return both for another session and another campaign at the same table.

In all honesty, my current gaming group is as happy to play D&D as they are to play GURPS. The thing is, both are very technical systems, though in different ways. GURPS is easier to play from the sheet without reference to books, but some of the initial concepts are harder to get your head around. Conversely, D&D requires constant checking up on seldom used rules procedures and spell effects.

In fact, as far as I can remember and across all the gaming groups I've been part of, the only thing that has ever caused bickering is personal difference between players. Game systems may have been blamed for arguments, but the truth is the cause of arguments is having people who don't get along in the same room.

NemoUtopia
2010-02-09, 06:56 PM
In all honesty, my current gaming group is as happy to play D&D as they are to play GURPS. The thing is, both are very technical systems, though in different ways. GURPS is easier to play from the sheet without reference to books, but some of the initial concepts are harder to get your head around. Conversely, D&D requires constant checking up on seldom used rules procedures and spell effects.

In fact, as far as I can remember and across all the gaming groups I've been part of, the only thing that has ever caused bickering is personal difference between players. Game systems may have been blamed for arguments, but the truth is the cause of arguments is having people who don't get along in the same room.

This is a very good point. I haven't quite given up trying to get GURPS into my given mixed group since most of them are 'rarely gamers' (maybe one short campaign a year on average), using the sheet-not-book reference as an example. Maybe a quick power point )_)...(_(...

Dyllan
2010-02-09, 07:16 PM
NemoUtopia, thanks for getting us back on track. And you're exactly right. My current game group (who I've been playing with for 8 years), has played (as a group) D&D 3.0/3.5, D&D 4.0, d20 modern, and all three editions of L5R d10 system.

As players, four of us prefer L5R's skill based d10 system. It's elegant, allows for gradual improvements of character, and anyone can do anything if they want to invest in it. More importantly to us, we've found it facilitates roleplaying interactions better than d20 systems.

However, the other two can't stand it... because it facilitates roleplaying over combat, and is less "crunchy" than D&D.

One player prefers 4.0, because it is more combat focused... and frankly he rarely participates in roleplaying anyway. But three of us really didn't enjoy 4.0 half as much as anything else we've played.

As a DM, one of our players prefers 4.0, because he finds it much easier to run, and to control the story, than in 3.5 where players can easily derail things because of their additional options.

But ultimately, we all enjoy 3.5... it has something for everyone. And that's why we have stuck with it so long, and will likely continue to. If Chris and Dan aren't playing, we'll probably run another L5R campaign. Short of that, 3.5 is our game because it's fun for everyone. I've know many people who prefer some other game to 3.5, but I don't know anyone who likes RPGs and really dislikes 3.5.

So, in summary - NemoUtopia's right - 3.5 is great because everyone can agree on it.

Roderick_BR
2010-02-09, 08:19 PM
So, you're saying that it's easier to know how to game the system in 3e, at the expense of realism, and that this somehow a good thing?
You say that as if the other way around where a good thing.