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Thread: 3.0 vs 3.5

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default 3.0 vs 3.5

    I'm sure this has been asked to death on here, but not by me:)

    I know that 3.5 cleaned up a lot of things from 3.0; but I still hear a number of people claim that 3.0 was better, that it was a lot more like 2.0, etc. Is there any truth to this? In what ways was 3.0 better and/or more like 2.0?

    Thanks in advance!

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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    I went straight from 2.0 to 3.5, so my 3.0 core knowledge isn't great, but off the top of my head: I liked that rangers had d10 HD (small thing, but I preferred it).

    Also, how they handled weapons sizes/weapon equivalencies. Like a medium (human) dagger was a small (halfling) shortsword, in essence.
    Last edited by Thurbane; 2019-08-15 at 03:30 PM.

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    3.0 haste allowed two partial actions instead of one extra attack. This meant casting two spells in one round.

    Pretty powerful stuff if you had time to buff pre battle and it was a somewhat difficult fight where you really wanted to nova.

    Of course, this came at the cost of it being self only (or was it single target? Don't remember now)

    Overall, it wasn't necessarily "better" so much as it was "more selfish"

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    ElfWarriorGuy

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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    Rangers were much improved in 3.5, even with the HP drop. In 3.0, a ranger would stack Favored Enemy bonuses sequentially so you'd have to pick strong enemies as your favoured enemy first for your character at high level, and you couldn't optimally pick stuff that you were dealing with at low-level. If you didn't, you'd have your best favored enemy bonus be for something like goblins or kobolds that you'd never battle at high level.

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    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    I remember opening the 3.0 rulebook, and within hours I had figured out that you could get all the bard's class abilities by taking just a single level of bard (because they all depended on your ranks in perform) and then multiclass out. And a few more things like that. Being able to pick a class at each level was not something that existed back in 2E, so I was surprised they hadn't tested that better.

    Anyway never got around to playing 3.0 much, we were into Whitewolf at the time; so all my practical experience is with 3.5 and PF (which do fix all the issues I remember finding in my read-through 3.0, FWIW).
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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    3.0, for better or worse, was a lot more granular than 3.5 They had rules for cover and concealment ranging from "a little bit" to "almost there" where as 3.5 has none, some, full. It allowed for a lot more fiddly precision, but enjoy trying to figure out if the enemy was in 3/4 or 9/10 cover (IIRC it was 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 9/10, plus total and none) during a long combat.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    I heard that 3.0 allowed multiclassing from level 1? I just looked over the PHB and didn't see that. What did I miss and how did it work?

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    Maat Mons's Avatar

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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    I think it was in the DMG? Anyway, all the core base classes had "apprentice level" benefits. It was kind of like being 1/2 level in the class. You could start with apprentice level benefits from two classes. And then at 2nd level, you transitioned to actually having one level in each class.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    One thing I remember petty sure was + on arrow and + on bow stacked. Remember thinking it did in 3.5 because was the same text but in 3.5 they add the word not into.


    Vorpal was on any crit hit not just natural 20. Making epic like 10 crit range vorpal killer with spring attack was fun.
    Last edited by mouser13; 2019-08-15 at 04:30 PM.

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    RedKnightGirl

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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by Maat Mons View Post
    I think it was in the DMG? Anyway, all the core base classes had "apprentice level" benefits. It was kind of like being 1/2 level in the class. You could start with apprentice level benefits from two classes. And then at 2nd level, you transitioned to actually having one level in each class.
    Yeah, it was in the DMG as an alternate rule. Most casters only got cantrips and the fighter only got the +1 attack bonus, etc. as I recall. A bit like being Gestalt for level 1 with special versions of each class, or like 4e's hybrid classes but just for that level.

    Quote Originally Posted by mouser13 View Post
    One thing I remember petty sure was + on arrow and + on bow stacked. Remember thinking it did in 3.5 because was the same text but in 3.5 they add the word not into.

    Vorpal was on any crit hit not just natural 20. Making epic like 10 crit range vorpal killer with spring attack was fun.
    Ah yeah, Keen and Improved Critical stacked so you could get like 11-20 threats with Vorpal weapons that started at 18-20 like scimitars. Good times.

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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    Another thing I liked: buffs like Bull's Strength etc. were 1 hour/level. Also, Enlarge wasn't restricted to humanoids: in 3.5, you have to jump through hoops if you want to Enlarge your Fey or Monstrous Humanoid character etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZamielVanWeber View Post
    3.0, for better or worse, was a lot more granular than 3.5 They had rules for cover and concealment ranging from "a little bit" to "almost there" where as 3.5 has none, some, full. It allowed for a lot more fiddly precision, but enjoy trying to figure out if the enemy was in 3/4 or 9/10 cover (IIRC it was 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 9/10, plus total and none) during a long combat.
    Yeah, forgot about that. I did prefer the 3.0 cover/concealment rules. We ported them into our 3.5 games for a bit.

    Saying that someone reading RAW differently than you is "home brewing or house ruling, but that's fine" doesn't make you right, it just makes you seem pompous.

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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    I'll have to find my old posts. Off the top of my head, buffs were better, buffs lasted longer, stacking was better, items were cheaper, items were better. It was much better to be a muggle in 3.0.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    3.0 haste allowed two partial actions instead of one extra attack. This meant casting two spells in one round.

    Pretty powerful stuff if you had time to buff pre battle and it was a somewhat difficult fight where you really wanted to nova.

    Of course, this came at the cost of it being self only (or was it single target? Don't remember now)

    Overall, it wasn't necessarily "better" so much as it was "more selfish"
    Don't forget the Partial Charge - 3.0 Haste (which was target, not self) allowed muggles to Pounce(+).
    Last edited by Quertus; 2019-08-15 at 05:46 PM.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    As well as what's already been mentioned, I preferred 3.0 damage reduction, where more powerful creatures required a +2 or +3 weapon to overcome it for example, rather than just "magic". It never made sense to me that a +5 weapon overcomes DR no better than a +1 weapon does.

    There were a few other rules I preferred in 3.0, but on the whole there's no denying 3.5 works a lot better mechanically (which is not to say there isn't still plenty of broken stuff in it, obviously).

    For me though, the main thing I preferred about 3.0 was the flavour. The prestige classes for example seemed much more geared towards helping you create characters based on classic fantasy archetypes, whereas in 3.5 a lot of them seemed like a bunch of vaguely themed abilities strung together without much thought for their character or story value. Likewise how in the 3.5 SRD and later 3.5 books, all of the spells with their creator's name in them got given generic names instead. I can understand the intent (not tying them to any one campaign setting) but it just made the whole thing feel a bit bland, a bit less exciting and stimulating to the imagination.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    Spotting distances were different too. In 3.5 you'd have the idiotic -1 penalty to Spot for each 10ft of distance (I think WotC implemented that so wilderness encounters wouldn't start at very long distances because it was difficult to fit onto a battle map properly, i.e. WotC wants to sell them minis). I think in 3.0 it was a flat DC 20 Spot check for either party to spot the other when they came into encounter distance based on terrain. Larger creatures would be easier to spot with a -4 penalty per size beyond medium or something (inverse was true for smaller creatures). Same with larger groups like 6+ creatures. They also mention adjust the DC for things like lightning, contrast of colors with the environment, stillness etc. If the creature is hiding, then you have to beat a DC 25+their hide skill modifier to spot them at a distance. It's a shame they took this out in 3.5 as I find it much easier to calculate on the fly and not everyone is half blind at anything past 60ft.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    Weapon Sizing

    Bow and Arrow bonuses stacked

    Apprentice Rules

    Gnomes had Favoured Class: Illusionist

    Large (Long) v Large (Tall)

    UMD Niche Protection

    Crit Stacking

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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by Silvercrys View Post
    Ah yeah, Keen and Improved Critical stacked so you could get like 11-20 threats with Vorpal weapons that started at 18-20 like scimitars. Good times.
    Quote Originally Posted by Biggus View Post
    As well as what's already been mentioned, I preferred 3.0 damage reduction, where more powerful creatures required a +2 or +3 weapon to overcome it for example, rather than just "magic". It never made sense to me that a +5 weapon overcomes DR no better than a +1 weapon does.
    For me though, the main thing I preferred about 3.0 was the flavour. The prestige classes for example seemed much more geared towards helping you create characters based on classic fantasy archetypes, whereas in 3.5 a lot of them seemed like a bunch of vaguely themed abilities strung together without much thought for their character or story value. Likewise how in the 3.5 SRD and later 3.5 books, all of the spells with their creator's name in them got given generic names instead. I can understand the intent (not tying them to any one campaign setting) but it just made the whole thing feel a bit bland, a bit less exciting and stimulating to the imagination.
    Y'all nailed those. I think a Ranger got Combat Style at level 1 in 3.0 if I remember correctly.

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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    Haste was in a shield enhancement I believe defenders of the faith was the book it made sword and board better by existing.

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    Thumbs up Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    If anyone wants sources or verification of anything, a 3.0 SRD can be found here: http://www.dragon.ee/30srd/

    Saying that someone reading RAW differently than you is "home brewing or house ruling, but that's fine" doesn't make you right, it just makes you seem pompous.

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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    I liked how sizes werent fixed. You could have a creature that was (by fluff) 20 feet wide and 200 feet long, actually take up that much space, instead of being restricted like the "simplified" 3.5 rules. Like I dont like the idea of horses being 10 ft wide just because theyre "large". They should be 1x2 squares but 3.5 doesnt allow that.

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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by Remuko View Post
    I liked how sizes werent fixed. You could have a creature that was (by fluff) 20 feet wide and 200 feet long, actually take up that much space, instead of being restricted like the "simplified" 3.5 rules. Like I dont like the idea of horses being 10 ft wide just because theyre "large". They should be 1x2 squares but 3.5 doesnt allow that.
    It's a victim of the granularity 3.0 had that was simplified out of 3.5. Of all the 3.0 rules I miss this the most though; it definitely made for more immersive encounters as opposed to cubic horses.

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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    Haste as well as caster DC stacking made god-mode wizards. (yes, even more than 3.5) Red Wizard/Archmage could make equal-CR monsters need 20's to save often. (+4 DC for greater spell focus) Nerfs were necessary, at least some of them.
    Yeah, I liked cover and concealment in 3.0 better.
    I've decided anything I DM will have 3.0 size rules. 8' Tall, 3' wide, 2' front/back and need 10'X10' to fight in? Large(tall) and Large(long) just feel a lot better. Also large creatures fit in small dungeons.

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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    i have no experiance playing in 3.0 but my experiance with 3.5 taught me that a good portion of cheese-level optimisation relies on spells and creatures that were never updated from 3.0 to 3.5 (Zodar's interaction with Shapechange for example).

    This gives me a feeling that 3.0 was never meant to be balanced to begin with (you were meant to study all sources and optimise the best you could; Since the internet was less popular then people had to mostly rely on their brains to optimise instead of "i want to play a Wizard... Let's find some cool builds online"). This would also explain the countless "trap" options.

    The second thing i understand about 3.0 is that it was poorly written; The RAW contradicted the Rai often and most things were a matter of debate. There were a lot of contradicting sources and unbalanced abililies.

    My evaluation is that if 3.5 is easy to cheese 3.0 was... 3x easyer.

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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    Never actually played 3.0, but I know that there were even more skills to worry about. Quite a few got folded into other skills in the transition. Just going purely from memory, thereís Innuendo, Read Lips, Intuit Direction, Wilderness Lore, Scry (that one didnít get folded but instead got axed), and I think at least one or two more.
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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by ZamielVanWeber View Post
    It's a victim of the granularity 3.0 had that was simplified out of 3.5. Of all the 3.0 rules I miss this the most though; it definitely made for more immersive encounters as opposed to cubic horses.
    "Cubic horses".. I laughed out loud at that..

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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by ZamielVanWeber View Post
    It's a victim of the granularity 3.0 had that was simplified out of 3.5. Of all the 3.0 rules I miss this the most though; it definitely made for more immersive encounters as opposed to cubic horses.
    Those are related to spherical cows, I'm sure?
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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    Assassin spellcasting got changed a bunch. In 3.0, they're wizard-like rogues. Cast based on Int, are prepared casters with a spellbook. In 3.5, identity crisis! They're still int-based casters, but are now spontaneous casters with a spells-known mechanic like a sorcerer. Confusingly, they say they cast spells as a bard does. While I think this is meant to say they can ignore ASF from light armor, it also by RAW means an assassin can't use silent spell metamagic, and sings all its spells. Frankly, not comparing them directly to bards and just saying exactly that they wanted would have better. I have to houserule them into not casting like bards, but like other spontaneous arcane casters instead.

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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by Biggus View Post
    For me though, the main thing I preferred about 3.0 was the flavour. The prestige classes for example seemed much more geared towards helping you create characters based on classic fantasy archetypes, whereas in 3.5 a lot of them seemed like a bunch of vaguely themed abilities strung together without much thought for their character or story value. Likewise how in the 3.5 SRD and later 3.5 books, all of the spells with their creator's name in them got given generic names instead. I can understand the intent (not tying them to any one campaign setting) but it just made the whole thing feel a bit bland, a bit less exciting and stimulating to the imagination.
    Were these PRCs in the 3.0 DMG or in expansions? If the former are they on the internet anywhere besides downloading the 3.0 DMG? Those do sound cool.

    I assume the d20 SRD did that to spell names for copyright reasons; hadn't realized later 3.5 books published spells that used to have creator's names in them. That does make it a lot blander.



    Quote Originally Posted by Remuko View Post
    I liked how sizes werent fixed. You could have a creature that was (by fluff) 20 feet wide and 200 feet long, actually take up that much space, instead of being restricted like the "simplified" 3.5 rules. Like I dont like the idea of horses being 10 ft wide just because theyre "large". They should be 1x2 squares but 3.5 doesnt allow that.
    This does sound cool and doesn't actually seem that much more complex than the current way. Were there any more complicated rules about how to implement this? I guess the main issue for a DM who just wanted to stick it back in is it requires mechanics for what direction creatures are facing, which 3.5 totally removed. And realistically for something like a giant worm you'd have to simulate where each part of its' body is as it moves- it's not going to be just stretched out 80 feet long and 5 feet wide the whole combat and then suddenly rotate 90 degrees, so much eaiser to assume it usually coils up when fighting.
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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    So was 3.0 as wedded to mats and minis as 3.5?

    That's one thing I've appreciated about 5e.. minis are really optional!

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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by paladinn View Post
    So was 3.0 as wedded to mats and minis as 3.5?

    That's one thing I've appreciated about 5e.. minis are really optional!
    idk if it was in general but when I first got into 3.0, I bought a starter set that had some cardboard circles with the iconics on them and a mat. I never was able to play without a mat and some physical representation of characters. luckily theres virtual tabletops for that now, but yeah. I cant do gaming via mindspace, I have to be able to see things.

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    Default Re: 3.0 vs 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by paladinn View Post
    So was 3.0 as wedded to mats and minis as 3.5?

    That's one thing I've appreciated about 5e.. minis are really optional!
    It's about the same, I suppose? Both use feet not squares as the default measurement but calculating areas for spells and stuff is done with a mat in mind like 3.5. It also includes facing rules for battlemats, if I recall correctly, and it'd be easier to calculate cover and stuff with them, but we mostly worked around them by just having the DM declare how far apart creatures are and how much cover they had, etc.

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