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The__Kitsune
2015-10-28, 04:17 PM
Hello all. My friends and I (a group of 7, 2 of which are DMs) are going to start playing together. Which version should we play and why? Pathfinders is also an option.
I'm not really too sure on how exactly everyone wants to play, since it doesn't really matter too much to any of us. Complexity is something that doesn't matter either since we'll all most likely get used to it. Nothing is planned so far.

Flickerdart
2015-10-28, 04:33 PM
I would recommend either 4E or 5E. 6 players is very tough on a DM, and you're going to want to optimize for two things: rules that are easy to learn, and rules that are quick to execute. TSR's editions of D&D are very complex (you're going to be looking up a lot of tables). 3e, 3.5e, and Pathfinder are more standardized, but the complexity spills over to gameplay. Turns take a very long time, especially if you have spellcasters, minions, etc.

4E and 5E have different kinds of streamlined rules. Of the two, I would recommend 5th - it's more recognizable as D&D, the characters are simpler, and things progress quickly enough. Plus you can take out things like magic items and feats without impacting the game, and then introduce them later on when your PCs understand the game better.

oxybe
2015-10-28, 04:34 PM
what kind of game are you planning on running?

different editions do things differently, so one edition might fit your planned campaign better then another. if you'd like to give us a rundown of your campaign and what kind of scenarios you're planning on having your players engage in, it'll help quite a bit.

VoxRationis
2015-10-28, 04:37 PM
What feel are you trying to go for? Are you a generous, "everyone-gets-a-million-shiny-buttons" kind of group, or do you like the portions of CRPGs emphasizing resource conservation and inventory management*? The later editions of D&D are far more towards the former, while the older ones are towards the latter.

*And I don't mean this as sarcastic or disparaging; I actually am quite fond of that aspect of gameplay.

Kane0
2015-10-28, 04:37 PM
Seconding Flickerdart.

Khedrac
2015-10-28, 04:58 PM
Whatever version you have decent access to, and that you can find people to play it with (2nd part you seem to have sorted).

People who love 3.5 may say that it is all available for legal download, but if you want proper paper books it is not the same (and I say this as a player of 3.5).
I have a colleague who plays 5th Ed - because that had just come out when he decided to start playing - and he loves it.
I have friend who play Pathfinder as well and 3.5 and they like that.

On the subject of out of print v. in print:
Out of print games you always know exactly what is out there that you may eventually want to buy.
On the other hand there is nothing new coming out - which is an advantage of in-print games.
In print games are usually much easier to get hold of.

One question though - does it have to be D&D? There are a lot of alternatives out there, some of which may do what you want better than D&D.
That said, very few of them have as much support as any version of D&D...

The__Kitsune
2015-10-28, 05:04 PM
I have access to all the core books for every version, and it doesn't have to be D&D, but that's one of the few things we all decided to play, so it would be helpful if it was.

Honest Tiefling
2015-10-28, 05:05 PM
All the versions! More seriously, WOTC does have quickstart rules for 4e and 5e, and probably 3e. I assume you have the materials for at least more then one edition, so acquiring enough rules to run a test game shouldn't be too difficult. I have not yet played 5e, but someone who enjoys 4e will not necessarily enjoy 3e and vice versa. I would plan out 1 session games (or steal from published adventures) and see which one you and the others like best.

Alternatively, with 2 DMs, they pick their favorite edition and run that. Being a DM can be difficult, and even more so with rules you don't like or know. Swapping between the two will be confusing, but if you are confident your group can do it, run with it. That way, people get a bit of a break from one edition and can try something else for a bit.

Pathfinder and 3e are just different enough for preferences to be important, but I really don't think you can enjoy one and not the other very easily. I would say that at that point, you should first try out whichever one you can get a hold of first, or whichever the DM is more comfortable with. As you get used to things and if you have a homebrewer, consider importing things from the other edition in.

Grod_The_Giant
2015-10-29, 12:00 PM
I'd say either 5e or Pathfinder. The former has most of the D&D feel, but is a bit simpler and a heck of a lot smaller-- better for newer groups, or those that don't place a tremendous emphasis on the rules. The latter is complicated, but it's a glorious, sprawling mess. Good if you like exploring lots of options and using weird mechanics, less good if you just want to kill goblins. It has the advantage of being all available online, in a very nice, cross-linked format, which I don't think is true for any other edition. (3.5 is functionally identical, and the two are cross-compatible with about 30 seconds of effort.)

Velaryon
2015-10-29, 12:54 PM
3.5/Pathfinder has the most material available, and offers by far the greatest flexibility in terms of what you can play and how you can build it. However, it's very possible to be overwhelmed with options, balance is a bit messy (especially in 3.5), and there are a lot of bad choices you can make that can lead to accidentally overpowered or completely unworkably bad characters, until you learn the pitfalls. On the upside, 3.5 and Pathfinder have a large following here in the Playground and you can find all the help you could possibly want and then some. :smallbiggrin:

I will leave describing the merits/flaws of 4th edition to someone else since I don't want to transfer my anti-4e bias to you. It's enough to say that opinions on that edition are sharply divided, which is why Pathfinder exists.

5th edition seems to be a compromise between the two and an attempt to combine the feel of older editions with the balance improvements and more modern play style of newer editions. There isn't anywhere near as much available content, but it's the edition currently in print so I suppose that won't be the case forever.

If you plan to use a published campaign setting rather than a homebrewed world, I would suggest looking at AD&D 2e for information on the worlds - it tends to include far more detail and better maps than later editions, and you can just ignore the rules text and use the fluff. Wizards of the Coast used to have a huge database of older materials up for free download, but I have no idea whether it's still there.

cobaltstarfire
2015-10-29, 04:21 PM
What feel are you trying to go for? Are you a generous, "everyone-gets-a-million-shiny-buttons" kind of group, or do you like the portions of CRPGs emphasizing resource conservation and inventory management*? The later editions of D&D are far more towards the former, while the older ones are towards the latter.

*And I don't mean this as sarcastic or disparaging; I actually am quite fond of that aspect of gameplay.

It's worth noting that it's fairly easy to tweak 5e to more about resource management. Though you have to be careful with the kinds of tweaks you do cause they might hurt certain classes more than others.


I wish I could remember some of the house rules we had, we were doing a hex crawl in 5e for a little while.

slachance6
2015-10-30, 04:49 PM
Generally, it depends on what you want:

Balance: 4E>5E>3.X
Realism: 5E>3.X (unless you use E6, in which case it's better than 5E)>4E
Content: 3.X>4E>5E
Tradition (how close it is to classic D&D): 5E>3.X>4E
Simplicity: 5E>4E>3.X
Customization: 3.X>4E=5E

LudicSavant
2015-10-30, 05:24 PM
3.5e probably offers the deepest experience. It's also generally less accessible, and requires you to sift through a lot of shovelware to find the good stuff. Even after you filter out all of the shovelware though, it still has a greater variety of interesting options in it than I've found in other editions.

Anonymouswizard
2015-10-30, 05:46 PM
what kind of game are you planning on running?

different editions do things differently, so one edition might fit your planned campaign better then another. if you'd like to give us a rundown of your campaign and what kind of scenarios you're planning on having your players engage in, it'll help quite a bit.

This, pay attention to this.

In my opinion the editions are about:
5e: feel. It's a simple game that feels like an epic fantasy game. I really would have preferred a more in-depth proficiency system, but for what it is, it's awesome.
4e: combat. The edition most focused on killing monsters and taking their stuff (apart from maybe 0e), and the rules are built around that.
3.X: customisation! While I find there are games which do this a lot better (my current favourite for time spent versus personal PC is Anima), I can't deny that 3.X gave the most building options out of all the D&D editions, with flexible multiclassing, feats, and skill points.
2e: being a better version of 1e.
1e: not really sure, I think it's more focused on adventure.
BECMI/RC: simplicity. Probably my favourite version, and I plan to pick up the RC at some point when I'm actually earning money, but it's far simpler than any subsequent edition. I also like the idea of starting as a fighter and becoming a paladin/knight/avenger based on alignment and choice. The most confusing thing about it is the races as classes thing, but in that case just look at Basic Fantasy and take some ideas.

oxybe
2015-10-30, 06:25 PM
i would say 4th ed is more focused on cinematic staging then anything else. a fight in 4th ed shouldn't just be 4 pcs vs 4 orcs in a plain room, 4th ed's focus on movement and the battlemat means you can make far more active fights with PCs and enemies pulling and pushing each other into hazards that are both static and moving around.

the shorter skill lists also focuses more on having PCs that are skilled in a variety of things as each skill often covers 2-3 things and the skill challenge framework also works best when used for larger set-pieces the party has to interact with.

the sturdier low-level PCs also gives players a bit more leeway in being able to take a hit and retreat, as well as pull a come-from behind win.

Raphite1
2015-10-30, 10:22 PM
I have quite a lot of Pathfinder experience, and have enjoyed it very much, but I'd recommend D&D 5th edition for a new group. It's better balanced, more intuitive, and easier to learn. It's currently far behind Pathfinder and older D&D edition in terms of character options and such, but that may be a good thing for new players, and it's a gap that will close over time.

Fizban
2015-10-31, 08:18 AM
In terms of pick up and go, yeah 5e's gonna beat out 3.5. Character generation is fast and there's only one book for players to learn, though the amount of "DM makes something up" isn't the best idea in my opinion (what's the skill DC? who knows!). In terms of game style, my impression of 5e is that it will end up being rather Final Fantasy-ish. Not counting attempts at tactical positioning or outside the box environmental attacks, almost everything in combat is centered on hit points and fighters kill things by making extra attacks every round with the same accuracy. You don't need a heal-bot white mage but it's an option. Or at least it seems balanced around that idea: reports say that basic tactics tend to shred stuff. If you decide to run an adventure path I'd warn you that Tyranny of Dragons is not written well at all for a newbie DM.

3.5 is not that. Trying to straight slug it out in hit points over multiple rounds is generally a bad idea, in fact many things can be a very bad idea. What I think people forget about 3.5 is that the base core assumes excellent teamwork. 5e has fully embraced independent characters that don't really care what the rest of the party is doing (indeed, you're quite limited in sharing buffs and such), but it took 3.5 a long time to start printing classes that could try standing on their own without being clerics or druids. If you try 3.5, remember that you're part of a team. Don't go running off trying to look cool, stay in position, put the right buffs on the right people, don't bit off more than you can chew, and so on.

Mark Hall
2015-10-31, 09:45 AM
I'm a big fan of Hackmaster (the free rules are in my Sig). It's a complex game that doesn't focus on high power. You're frequently making hard choices about your characters, and it tends towards the gritty side, with difficult healing without magic.

Templarkommando
2015-10-31, 06:52 PM
My personal favorite edition is 3.5. I'm not sure that it's as approachable as some of the later editions though. 4 and 5 seem like they would be decent choices, and possibly more available in terms of obtaining rule books. I've read through the 4th ed. books, and it's a reasonably comfortable game to learn - at least in my humble opinion. I haven't read any of the 5th ed books, though I have seen it played.

3.0 is probably not the edition that you want. There are some confusing rules, and if your party has any experience with 3.5 or pathfinder at all, there would be a lot of confusion over rules.

2nd ed. is fun. I played a 2nd ed campaign for 10 years. It's a fairly complex and confusing system if you're not used to it.

Vitruviansquid
2015-10-31, 07:05 PM
Hello all. My friends and I (a group of 7, 2 of which are DMs) are going to start playing together. Which version should we play and why? Pathfinders is also an option.
I'm not really too sure on how exactly everyone wants to play, since it doesn't really matter too much to any of us. Complexity is something that doesn't matter either since we'll all most likely get used to it. Nothing is planned so far.

If your friends are longtime gamers (board, computer, console, even sports included) , you should play 4e. 4e will be pretty comfortable for people who are into gaming already, especially boardgaming.

If your friends are not longtime gamers, you could go 4e if you wanted to get into the more or less nerdy side of DnD as a skirmish wargame, but 5e and 3.5 are also good if you are into the cooperative narrative storytelling side.

Hawkstar
2015-10-31, 07:36 PM
If your friends are not longtime gamers, you could go 4e if you wanted to get into the more or less nerdy side of DnD as a skirmish wargame, but 5e and 3.5 are also good if you are into the cooperative narrative storytelling side.3.5 is worst for cooperative narrative storytelling... and I'd say on that ground, it's 4e=5e>AD&D 2e>AD&D 1E> BECMI/Rules Cyclopedia>Tic-Tac-Toe>3.5e

UrsusArctos
2015-10-31, 10:15 PM
Customization: 3.X>4E=5E

Say what you want about 4E, but it's levels of customization are nowhere near 5E. In 5e, once you choose your class, race and subclass, the you get 5 more choices other than spells or multiclassing. In 4E, you get at least one choice at every single level, be it a power, feat or paragon path. A lot of levels get you more than one thing. I'd say it even has more customization than 3.5.

gooddragon1
2015-10-31, 10:40 PM
3.5 is worst for cooperative narrative storytelling... and I'd say on that ground, it's 4e=5e>AD&D 2e>AD&D 1E> BECMI/Rules Cyclopedia>Tic-Tac-Toe>3.5e

I disagree with this from personal experience of being in an on campus group of D&D players for 3 years which ran 3.5.

I played one session of 4e and immediately drew mental parallels to diablo 3 and other computer games. I think 4e would make a great system for an mmorpg (because it's very balanced, vastly more numerical than 3.5, and the core mechanic behind each class of at will, per encounter, per day would map out very nicely I think into cooldowns) and I'd love to play it as that (seriously, somebody make like a planescape game with 4e mechanics and put it on steam and I will buy it).

So I think with my personal experience saying otherwise it is possible to having good storytelling with 3.5. Also, I have highlighted some of the strengths of 4e and perhaps how to get the most out of it.

Almarck
2015-11-01, 12:23 AM
I played one session of 4e and immediately drew mental parallels to diablo 3 and other computer games. I think 4e would make a great system for an mmorpg (because it's very balanced, vastly more numerical than 3.5, and the core mechanic behind each class of at will, per encounter, per day would map out very nicely I think into cooldowns)

Funny thing about that actually. Neverwinter uses 4e lore and references in it. Its mechanics are... not 4e as the level cap is 60 and you're not approaching Epic destinies yet, daily and encounter powers are in name only, and gear is basically what WoW traditionally does but everything else puts it in the timeline of 4e Forgotten realms.


Also, I'll speak on what I know about:

Pathfinder is fun if you're a gamer who likes loads of customization and easy access, but it's not the sort of game for the feint of heart. It's key advantage is that all of the content that "matters" for play from all of the Paizo books is available for free. The downside is that it can be mechanically a headache for those unprepared.

If you do run it, consider using "Automatic Bonus Progression" to simplify items owned and reduce the amount of gear needed to be tracked.

gooddragon1
2015-11-01, 12:41 AM
Funny thing about that actually. Neverwinter uses 4e lore and references in it. Its mechanics are... not 4e as the level cap is 60 and you're not approaching Epic destinies yet, daily and encounter powers are in name only, and gear is basically what WoW traditionally does but everything else puts it in the timeline of 4e Forgotten realms.


Also, I'll speak on what I know about:

Pathfinder is fun if you're a gamer who likes loads of customization and easy access, but it's not the sort of game for the feint of heart. It's key advantage is that all of the content that "matters" for play from all of the Paizo books is available for free. The downside is that it can be mechanically a headache for those unprepared.

If you do run it, consider using "Automatic Bonus Progression" to simplify items owned and reduce the amount of gear needed to be tracked.

It's not really the lore I'm interested in so much as the mechanics. I'd love to have a D&D computer game that uses the 4e mechanics. I know planescape and the forgotten realms games (like menzoberranzan) exist. But I want the mechanics of 4e for a computer game. There's no way that 3.5 could be translated because of balance. However, balance was like the only thing they focused on when designing 4e. I would have minimum expectations of it being well animated and such, but I'd definitely be interested in buying a 4e game for the PC. I'd love it even more if they let you make your own maps and sort of DM stuff. I can just imagine it. Also, having it do battles like 40k tabletop would be cool.

Hmm, difficult choice of MMO or just Multiplayer. I like the idea of mmo for 4e, but the idea of being able to create custom maps is very tempting.

Hawkstar
2015-11-01, 12:50 AM
There's no way that 3.5 could be translated because of balance.

I find this highly ironic and amusing, given that D&D Online is a thing...


Unfortunately for CRPGs, Black Isle is no more, Bioware is EA, and Obsidian (The wreckage of Black Isle) doesn't know how to code. But an Icewind Dale or Neverwinter Nights or Baldur's Gate game using 4e rules would have been awesome. But even CRPGs can't do 4e justice, due to how effective that edition is at handling improvisation.

gooddragon1
2015-11-01, 01:06 AM
I find this highly ironic and amusing, given that D&D Online is a thing...


Unfortunately for CRPGs, Black Isle is no more, Bioware is EA, and Obsidian (The wreckage of Black Isle) doesn't know how to code. But an Icewind Dale or Neverwinter Nights or Baldur's Gate game using 4e rules would have been awesome. But even CRPGs can't do 4e justice, due to how effective that edition is at handling improvisation.

I wouldn't really say they translated it in DDO (which I also played (pity you have to unlock some classes and stuff)). They can't really translate stuff like polymorph and especially wish. That's the problem with 3.5, it's too open ended and flexible to become a computer game that captures all of its aspects. However, the streamlined and balanced nature of 4e is much more easily represented. Which is perfect because it might make it possible to make custom campaigns and maps that people could play. So actually, forget the mmo aspect, I'd like something like a simulator with a map editor.

EDIT: Shadowrun is actually really close to what I want. I just want more customizability though.

Hawkstar
2015-11-01, 01:11 AM
3rd Edition D&D also had Icewind Dale 2 and the Neverwinter Nights games. But I already agreed that a 4e-based CRPG similar to the old Infinity Engine games would be... actually, it would probably need to be turn-based, not real-time-with-pause.

Leon
2015-11-01, 02:35 AM
The Edition that the DMs know best/Have books for. If there is a lack of Books for any particular edition go with the one that has the most online free info (Pathfinder SRD and Hypertext d20 SRD spring to mind)

Forum Explorer
2015-11-01, 03:25 AM
I'd say 5th.

It's balanced enough that almost any combo for a group of 7 will have all players feeling involved and not useless.

It's simple and streamlined enough that building characters and running combats is fast and easy (and with 7 players this is big)

It's customizable enough that everyone will likely feel different.

The biggest issue is that the DMs will have to coordinate on how they rule things and what DC actions should be.

Anonymouswizard
2015-11-01, 04:37 AM
I find this highly ironic and amusing, given that D&D Online is a thing...


Unfortunately for CRPGs, Black Isle is no more, Bioware is EA, and Obsidian (The wreckage of Black Isle) doesn't know how to code. But an Icewind Dale or Neverwinter Nights or Baldur's Gate game using 4e rules would have been awesome. But even CRPGs can't do 4e justice, due to how effective that edition is at handling improvisation.

ButI thought in 4e you could only pick your options off of a menu!

In all honesty, no edition handles improvisation better than another, 4e may just have slightly more guidelines.

In the 3.X computer game front, I count:
Icewind Dale 2
Temple of Elemental Evil (turn based)
Neverwinter Nights (still want to create modules for this)

gooddragon1
2015-11-02, 12:24 PM
ButI thought in 4e you could only pick your options off of a menu!

In all honesty, no edition handles improvisation better than another, 4e may just have slightly more guidelines.

In the 3.X computer game front, I count:
Icewind Dale 2
Temple of Elemental Evil (turn based)
Neverwinter Nights (still want to create modules for this)

See, the problem I have with a computer game of 3.5 is that it doesn't do the resource system justice. While it copies how it functions fairly well, 3.5 is just so open ended and flexible (not even including homebrew) that a computer game can't simulate it preprogrammed and an editor likely won't be robust enough. The nice thing about 4e is that they made the resource system the same across all classes. At will, per encounter, per day. That's easy to map onto a computer game. In the end, 3.5 is unfortunately just too flexible and diverse for a good computer game.

I watched a youtube lets play of that first one and I wish it were turn based like the second one, but the resource system is set to vancian slots. It's only capturing one or maybe a few of the possibilities of 3.5. I guess 3.5 is relegated to pencil and paper eternally :/.

irondude
2015-11-02, 01:49 PM
With the information you provided, I'd say:

Pathfinder is a great option, pretty much free and full of options. Wizards rule, as usual, and fighters are useless, however quite recently we came across the Path of War options, which really refresh the melee straight fighters (alought it gives a supernatural feel, they feel more like supernatural warriors than spellcasters). I'm just diving into it, and it looks great.

5th edition is rather simple yet solid, has very interesting options and most classes are more or less balanced. (I'm not an optimization freak, I only care that the classes are playable and aren't doomed to just watching how main casters do everything). They say the ranger class is the runt of the litter, but they published an experimental upgrade for it (that's the good news on 5e - rules and classes updates are free!)

Of the two, the question I'd ask you is: how many sourcebooks and options yo you want? If the answer is "there's never, EVER too many" go pathfinder. Otherwise, go 5e.

themaque
2015-11-03, 01:55 PM
With the information you provided, I'd say:

Pathfinder is a great option, pretty much free and full of options. Wizards rule, as usual, and fighters are useless, however quite recently we came across the Path of War options, which really refresh the melee straight fighters (alought it gives a supernatural feel, they feel more like supernatural warriors than spellcasters). I'm just diving into it, and it looks great.

5th edition is rather simple yet solid, has very interesting options and most classes are more or less balanced. (I'm not an optimization freak, I only care that the classes are playable and aren't doomed to just watching how main casters do everything). They say the ranger class is the runt of the litter, but they published an experimental upgrade for it (that's the good news on 5e - rules and classes updates are free!)

Of the two, the question I'd ask you is: how many sourcebooks and options yo you want? If the answer is "there's never, EVER too many" go pathfinder. Otherwise, go 5e.

I support just about everything stated here. The real question between the two is how much fiddly bits can you stand?

If you want there to be a specific rule or option for everything, go with Pathfinder.

If you just wanna roll with it, have some fun than go with 5e.