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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    My DM says he's thinking about allowing 3.0 books into our 3.5 game, but he's worried that these not updated books are broken and op.

    So... which 3.0 books are broken and op? If there are any. From what I could find, all 3.0 PrCs are underwhelming. Spells on the other hand, I know there are a few that are OP.

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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    Serpent kingdoms is probably the most broken thing ever printed and every thing in it needs to die in a fire.
    Dieties and Demigods is pretty bad when you allow things like Simulacra or Ice assasins to have divine ranks.

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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Malroth View Post
    Serpent kingdoms is probably the most broken thing ever printed and every thing in it needs to die in a fire.
    Serpent Kingdoms is fine if you use it as a resource for monsters and obstacles for the heroes rather than as a resource for Pun-Pun. Also it's not actually a D&D 3.0E rulebook; it was a D&D 3.5E rulebook, and actually released a full year after the update. Maybe you're thinking of Savage Species?

    Beyond that, D&D 3.0E ought to be fine on a case-by-case basis because there's not much player-centric material that turns up. Most of the player-centric stuff that is there was superceded and updated with the Complete books, and there isn't much harm in making use of D&D 3.0E elements with a more sensible approach in mind.

    The only really broken elements are found in the Book of Vile Darkness, but if the DM's letting players use that stuff the group has somewhat more severe problems than balance going on.

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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    Savage species needs to die because everything in it is weaker than commoner levels, not because of being OP. Vile darkness was pretty underpowered as well except dark craft sacrifice rules but yeah if you're using it your table has some problems.

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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Malroth View Post
    Savage species needs to die because everything in it is weaker than commoner levels
    OK, let's see:

    Feats:
    Assume Supernatural Ability
    Multivoice
    Supernatural Transformation

    Spells:
    Blood Wind
    Incarnate Construct
    Lion's Charge
    Minor Servitor

    Templates:
    Anthropomorphic Animal
    Feral Creature
    Symbiotic Creature
    Tauric Creature

    Prestige Classes:
    Emancipated Spawn
    Illithid Savant

    It's "weaker than commoner"? Yeah, indeed!..

    EDIT:
    Quote Originally Posted by Malroth View Post
    Vile darkness was pretty underpowered as well except dark craft sacrifice rules
    Really?

    Sacrifice rules
    Diseases abusing
    Souls as Power and Pain as Power
    Headsman's Axe (no save, just die!)
    Drugs
    Optional Material Components (especially Yugoloth's Brain)
    Disciple of Dispater
    Soul Eater
    Thrall of Juiblex
    Ur-Priest (!!!)
    Vermin Lord (in the very same book as Hivemind rules!)
    Seething Eyebane

    Underpowered?..
    Last edited by ShurikVch; 2018-01-02 at 07:14 AM.

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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    If they are played separately, they are okay. It's when you start mixing them together that you have problems.

    Each splat was written with it self in mind, and nothing else, and absolutely no thought went in to how they would combine with what was already out there. SO, if you allow a splat, then just allow that ONE splat. That way, you will only have one small steaming pile to balance for, rather than a Dire Elephant's gigantic steaming load.
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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    It's hard to paint with broad strokes, because just about every sourcebook in 3e is a mix of brokenly-strong material, brokenly-weak/dysfunctional material, and everything in the middle. Allow as much as you're comfortably familiar with and work with your players to make sure they're building characters to roughly the same level.
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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    Ghostwalk is mostly not especially OP (the non-ghost feats, in particular, stand out as being comically underpowered), but I still dislike the book because it really does not play well with others. It’s aggressively self-contained and doesn’t function especially well when you attempt to mix it into a larger campaign universe.

    The 3.0 monster books without major direct updates (MM2 and Fiend Folio) have some insanely unbalanced monsters, many of which have some of the most infamously bad CR ratings in the system. It takes a very aware and involved GM to not have monsters from those books cause problems. Outside of Polymorph and Shapechange (and equivalents), relatively few elements in those books can end up in player hands, but still, it’s something to watch for.

    The 3.0 Psionics Handbook was fully replaced by the 3.5 Expanded Psionics Handbook for a good reason.

    Other than that, I don’t think there are too many cases where it’s worth banning a whole 3.0 book for balance reasons. Lots of stuff needs consideration on a case-by-case basis for balance considerations in both directions, but I wouldn’t go so far as to condemn too many entire books out of hand for balance alone.
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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mutazoia View Post
    If they are played separately, they are okay. It's when you start mixing them together that you have problems.

    Each splat was written with it self in mind, and nothing else, and absolutely no thought went in to how they would combine with what was already out there. SO, if you allow a splat, then just allow that ONE splat. That way, you will only have one small steaming pile to balance for, rather than a Dire Elephant's gigantic steaming load.
    This is bullcrap. Plenty of splats (like the mentioned Serpent Kingdoms and Sacage Species) are filled to the brim with broken stuff that only requires the Core 3 (more precisely, PHB) to break the game almost as bad as, or even worse than, the worst Core stuff.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2018-01-02 at 09:59 AM.

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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    I swear this thread feels like thread necromancy.

    3.0 stuff is some of the worst offenders in broken loops and TO cheese. Imagine how much of that would vanish if it were updated to 3.5 or just not there to begin with. Look at the list the others posted and think. Pun-pun, triple 9ths, hive builds, infinite crit fishing, cancer mage, etc, etc.
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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    Savage Species gets my vote and ShurikVch did a decent job of explaining why. BoVD has some questionable material like Hiveminds and AftS, but nothing that holds a candle to it in the end.

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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    I think Savage Species' problem is best summarized as having the stuff it is nominally about be horribly underpowered (all the "monsters as PCs" stuff is a garbage fire) and having the other material be horrifyingly broken (all the noted stuff, I also like to point out Multitasking -- it gives a Druid that turns into a Octopus a pile of extra actions).

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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    I think Savage Species' problem is best summarized as having the stuff it is nominally about be horribly underpowered (all the "monsters as PCs" stuff is a garbage fire) and having the other material be horrifyingly broken (all the noted stuff, I also like to point out Multitasking -- it gives a Druid that turns into a Octopus a pile of extra actions).
    You know... I never did quite get how this is supposed to work, even though I've used it in an actual game. I interpreted it as any normal standard action, except you can also use any free hands to attack as well.

    I'm looking for the common sense perspective here, not the TO interpretation.
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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    Nobody ever really uses Savage Species other than to dumpster dive for broken stuff because the core purpose of the book, to make Monster Races more playable, was handled terribly. They're almost all mechanically garbage.

    But as far as density of OP material it's probably the same as other books. Gate and Shapechange are core and all that.
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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    ...work with your players to make sure they're building characters to roughly the same level.
    This is incredibly important. You don't have to broadly ban or allow books when you work with your players.

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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    Quote Originally Posted by SirNibbles View Post
    This is incredibly important. You don't have to broadly ban or allow books when you work with your players.
    Although, in fairness and slightly contradiction to my earlier point, 3e did have some spectacularly broken stuff in it. I had a long thread a few months ago polling people about the worst-balanced books in the game (either too strong or too weak), and probably the top four answers were "Savage Species," "Serpent Kingdoms," "Book of Vile Darkness," and "Weapons of Legacy"-- three-fourths 3.0 books.
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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Although, in fairness and slightly contradiction to my earlier point, 3e did have some spectacularly broken stuff in it. I had a long thread a few months ago polling people about the worst-balanced books in the game (either too strong or too weak), and probably the top four answers were "Savage Species," "Serpent Kingdoms," "Book of Vile Darkness," and "Weapons of Legacy"-- three-fourths 3.0 books.
    As mentioned earlier, Serpent Kingdoms is actually pretty solidly on the 3.5e side of the edition divide so it's an even split.

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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    Am I really the first person to say "Player's Handbook"? I am disappointed.

    It's got Wizards and Monks in it, so it's poorly designed in BOTH directions.
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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    I liked Savage Species, not for its horrible execution, but for the ideas behind it and the direction it pushed monster-making. As several others have noted, it was a nearly-complete flop at what it's supposed to be about. But back in 3.0, monsters were a lot less standardized and more complicated to advance. Many of the Types were idiosyncratic (Constructs particularly). By taking the idea of "monster as class" it encouraged people to think of them more in terms of hit dice and advancement - which eventually led to a more streamlined system of improving (and even homebrewing) monsters in 3.5. It did give a framework (however awful) for letting players be their favorite monster, or for a DM to scale back the power of a higher-level monster if the party needs to meet one at lower level.
    Last edited by Telonius; 2018-01-02 at 06:02 PM.

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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbane View Post
    Am I really the first person to say "Player's Handbook"? I am disappointed.

    It's got Wizards and Monks in it, so it's poorly designed in BOTH directions.
    3.0 PHB is particularly egregious, containing Polymorph Self, Haste, Polymorph Other (!!), hours/level stat buff spells at 1d4+1, etc. Luckily it's thoroughly supplanted in any game using 3.5 so none of that nonsense has a chance to make it in.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2018-01-02 at 06:07 PM.
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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zanos View Post
    Nobody ever really uses Savage Species other than to dumpster dive for broken stuff because the core purpose of the book, to make Monster Races more playable, was handled terribly. They're almost all mechanically garbage.
    this was actually intentional on the part of the designers in order to get people to not play the monsters, and give people what they thought was a good book at the same time, same with the draconomicon and every other play monster books, as far a those officially released are concerned. they were designed from the ground up to discourage players.
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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    This is bullcrap. Plenty of splats (like the mentioned Serpent Kingdoms and Sacage Species) are filled to the brim with broken stuff that only requires the Core 3 (more precisely, PHB) to break the game almost as bad as, or even worse than, the worst Core stuff.
    ... Yes, I believe I said that.

    I also said that if you only allow a single splat, then you only have to worry about balancing for that. As opposed to allowing multiple, or even all, splats, which will compound the problem exponentially....

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbane View Post
    Am I really the first person to say "Player's Handbook"? I am disappointed.

    It's got Wizards and Monks in it, so it's poorly designed in BOTH directions.
    There are multiple threads that deal with THAT whole issue...we hardly need to drag that grief into this one.
    Last edited by Mutazoia; 2018-01-03 at 03:17 AM.
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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    This is bullcrap. Plenty of splats (like the mentioned Serpent Kingdoms and Sacage Species) are filled to the brim with broken stuff that only requires the Core 3 (more precisely, PHB) to break the game almost as bad as, or even worse than, the worst Core stuff.
    Serpent Kingdoms isn't a 3.0 book.

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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    Quote Originally Posted by vasilidor View Post
    this was actually intentional on the part of the designers in order to get people to not play the monsters, and give people what they thought was a good book at the same time, same with the draconomicon and every other play monster books, as far a those officially released are concerned. they were designed from the ground up to discourage players.
    Which is a really underhanded move from these designers. It would have been more honest to say "we don't want to you to play monsters", but instead players got to pay for their own poison. And in the end, it has never stopped people from wishing to play monsters.
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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Narsil View Post
    The only really broken elements are found in the Book of Vile Darkness, but if the DM's letting players use that stuff the group has somewhat more severe problems than balance going on.
    I was thinking of grabbing some stuff from BoVD, but I guess it is that bad.

    I think Savage Species's biggest offender is the Anthro bat, it's something like +8 wis with no LA.

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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    Quote Originally Posted by EldritchWeaver View Post
    Which is a really underhanded move from these designers. It would have been more honest to say "we don't want to you to play monsters", but instead players got to pay for their own poison. And in the end, it has never stopped people from wishing to play monsters.
    Does anything corroborate that? I was always under the impression the designers just seriously overvalued most monster abilities, like natural weapons, DR, fast healing, at-will stuff, SLAs, etc.
    Last edited by Zanos; 2018-01-03 at 04:43 PM.
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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    Quote Originally Posted by martixy View Post
    You know... I never did quite get how this is supposed to work, even though I've used it in an actual game. I interpreted it as any normal standard action, except you can also use any free hands to attack as well.

    I'm looking for the common sense perspective here, not the TO interpretation.
    Partial actions in 3.0 are equivalent (largely and maybe entirely, I haven't checked in detail) to Standard actions in 3.5, so the feat should probably give you extra standard actions as you interpret. There's some room for argument, but those arguments are stupid. Tying yourself in knots to make something broken not broken only makes the rest of the game stupid and people who play with you pissed off. See: every debate about how wish loops totally don't work because the DM could make genies jerks.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirNibbles View Post
    This is incredibly important. You don't have to broadly ban or allow books when you work with your players.
    Yes. In general, I think "here is the ban list" sends the wrong message. It sets the DM up as trying to make the game balanced, which implicitly sets the players up as trying to make the game not balanced. That generally won't end well. Instead, the group as a whole needs to come to a consensus about power level.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    3.0 PHB is particularly egregious, containing Polymorph Self, Haste, Polymorph Other (!!), hours/level stat buff spells at 1d4+1, etc. Luckily it's thoroughly supplanted in any game using 3.5 so none of that nonsense has a chance to make it in.
    3.0 haste was not as broken as is commonly believed. Particularly because it was widely available to non-casters. In 3.0, everyone got an extra action and that was the way it was. The change to 3.5 took away haste, which meant no more extra actions for mundanes, but left plenty of options for extra actions for casters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zanos View Post
    Does anything corroborate that? I was always under the impression the designers just seriously overvalued most monster abilities, like natural weapons, DR, fast healing, at-will stuff, SLAs, etc.
    I don't have a source, but that was also my understanding of what happened.
    Last edited by Cosi; 2018-01-03 at 08:04 PM.

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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    Yes. In general, I think "here is the ban list" sends the wrong message. It sets the DM up as trying to make the game balanced, which implicitly sets the players up as trying to make the game not balanced.
    What are you smoking, and where can I get some? Maybe that's how YOU game, but for the majority of people, a DM deciding what splats he does and/or does not want to use in his game, is normal, and does not automatically equate to players trying to unbalance or break the game, for "reasons".

    A DM may decide he wants to ban a splat because he is not familiar with the material enough to feel comfortable allowing it in his game, or because it's setting specific (a splat for the Forgotten Realms for instance) and the material has no place outside of that setting...especially in a custom built one. Imagine allowing a bunch of Eberron material into a Dragonlance game, or vise versa....
    Last edited by Mutazoia; 2018-01-04 at 12:00 AM.
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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    The PHB is pretty OP. You got stuff like stacking critical threat mods, a Haste that lets you cast two spells a turn without Quicken Spell, a Quicken Spell that's a free action, a Harm that leaves the target at a cherry tap away from dropping. I'm sure there's more, but that's what comes to mind off hand, besides of course stuff already OP and 'broken' in either 3.0 or 3.5.
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    Default Re: Which 3.0 books are considered "broken" or "op"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Narsil View Post
    Serpent Kingdoms is fine if you use it as a resource for monsters and obstacles for the heroes rather than as a resource for Pun-Pun.
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