D&D Edition Wars

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Gwazi Magnum, Nov 24, 2015.


What D&D Edition is your favourite?

  1. 1st Edition

    0 vote(s)
  2. 2nd Edition

  3. 3rd Edition

    0 vote(s)
  4. 3.5 Edition

  5. Pathfinder

  6. 4th Edition

  7. 5th Edition

  8. You forgot one and I shall mention it in the comments

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  1. Basically, what D&D Edition do you prefer the best?
  2. [​IMG]

    By Satan's big blue balls, this system crushed the hopes and dreams of would-be adventurers and left heaping piles of dead adventurers behind it. It was extraordinarily unforgiving, unusually cruel and punishing, and utterly unrepentant in detail, to the level of instructing you on how to create your own worlds. This included but was not limited to even telling you how to create biomes, measure proper distances between settlements, the size differences in hexagons between local-kingdom-empire-world scale maps, how to create and check for diseases because of trade networks or traveling to foreign lands, et cetera. This book equipped you with well over a thousand ways to utterly and completely murder your players and throw creative obstacles in their way. This was the closest D&D ever got to being entirely realistic without the utterly retarded system bloat that plagues 3.5 and Pathfinder to this day. It also devoted its first few pages to basically telling you to break any rules in order to have fun, and explained, in a concise yet educating manner, exactly what makes a good dungeon master versus what makes a poor dungeon master.

    This is, however, entirely a personal favourite. If I had to pick a system based on balance, 5E is without equal in that regard (though pays for it by oversimplifying in some areas). If I had to pick a system based on sheer volume of content, Pathfinder wins (though the system bloat is so fucking insane that anyone who claims Pathfinder is balanced has either never played it or is entirely incapable of basic mathematics).

    If, however, I had to pick a system that truly introduced me to the concept of why I should role play over just, say, reading a book, or playing a video game? AD&D does it for me. It produces worlds that are dark, malevolent, and openly cruel to players. It demands that players think cautiously and creatively, weigh risks and rewards, and accept consequences to such a hardcore degree that neither Pathfinder or 5E can compare to its brutal difficulty curve. And, hey, to a certain extent, I enjoyed the sheer masochism of it. The exercise of constantly trying to balance life and death on the edge of every sword swing was exciting.

    I really hope that with all the system bloat they've cut down on, this "fresh start" with 5E (after appropriately aborting the abomination that was 4), they'll bring back the idea of an AD&D version to go along with whatever basic version they have out. It really did help prevent the insane system bloat that harmed later versions.
  3. Gotta say, 5e is pretty amazing.
  4. The campaigns for 5e are greaat :D
  5. I'mma vote Pathfinder since that's what I'm used to playing/running, but that isn't to say 5E doesn't look pretty hype.

    I'm just a GM of habit.
  6. Of all the versions I've had some experience with (everything 3.5 and onward), 5th Edition is without a doubt my favorite. The simplification of a lot of things that were ridiculous in past versions makes it SO much easier to get new players into the game. You can always add in tons of new stuff to add complexity to the system, but starting from a level of crazy complexity (I'm looking at you, Pathfinder) makes the bar to entry far too high. Aside from the greatness of being able to get newbies into tabletop with greater ease, it also makes play quicker and smoother. Instead of having to keep track of tons of various status effects, now you just have the advantage and disadvantage mechanic and the related inspiration mechanic. Now instead of taking a couple hours to get through a large fight you can whip through it quickly and keep the action fairly high paced.

    As much as I like having tons and tons of options to do crazy shit, starting from a simple base is far superior in almost every way, thus 5e is my favorite.
  7. 4th, but only because I know how to break the Warlord class.
  8. 5e is p dope i guess
  9. Tiny experience with 3.5, a decent amount of experience with Pathfinder, gaining experience with 5e.

    Pathfinder isn't even an edition of D&D but I get why it's up here.

    Brovo summed it up pretty well for me, actually. Pathfinder has a billion options but suffers for it by having many of them varying a huge degree in usefulness, to such a degree that even some of the base classes can end up easily being functionally useless when standing up to other base classes (Poor Monk. You tried so hard!). 5e is a lot cleaner and runs a smoother (and in my opinion is ultimately the better system), but does not have nearly as many options as Pathfinder offers. Thankfully its simplicity, and how the classes are designed to have a lot of their features moved about or changed, means it's exceedingly easy to homebrew or reflavour options to better suit your tastes.

    I jump between the two depending on my mood, but 5e is certainly the better system in terms of balance and ease of learning.
  10. Well I suppose I'll put my two cents in here.

    So, I have been playing since 3.5, and I have played every edition of DnD and Pathfinder since then. 3.5 is amazing for its creation options for characters, but honestly, that is as much bad as it is good. When you have so many options that you have a hard time making a "great" character, the game isn't really fun. Everyone plays DnD different, every DM RUNS their games different. Take me, I DM a lot, and my games are normally 60% combat and 40% story elements and roleplaying with characters. Some DM's are 90%/10%, some are 10%/90%, some are 50%/50%. However, DnD is a combat based game. The rules in place are designed for combat mechanics and fighting monsters, even if you're only doing that 10% of the time.

    This brings me to my next point. Because there are different players out there, that means that people are going to focus on things differently! Take me, I am what you'd call an "Optimizer" or even the dreaded title... POWERGAMER!!! But, the reason why is because I like do the best at anything I do, and I've always taken gaming seriously, and DnD is no different. I think up a character with a certain story or personality, then I ask, "How could I do THIS the best?" So, I am not trying to make the best class in the game to break the game, I am just trying to make the best class for the theme of my character. BUT!! If someone is more passive about their character building/optimization, combat isn't fun for THAT person. Now, if 3/4 or 5/6 are those kinds of players then combat isn't fun for anyone.

    So, that being said, 3.5 AND Pathfinder are both horrible because of this. The person playing a well optimized class is going to make the players that don't take the time to do that feel like they aren't having very much fun. 5e however minimizes this by making things a lot more simple. So, in terms of the game being fun for EVERYONE, 5e is the best not even close. HOWEVER! I will say that Pathfinder is the most fun for experienced players that wish to make strong, dynamic characters that can be really flavorful and fun to play.

    Honestly if you ask me, everyone is enjoying 5e for two reasons:
    1. Its simple due to it having very few extra content books. Though, in all honesty, WotC is going to need to keep making money, more books ARE GOING TO BE MADE. Thus, this will make 5e much more complicated and have more options, just like Pathfinder and 3.5...
    2. The core system is super easy to learn, thus its easy to get a lot more people to play it. This is the shining star about 5e. The numbers are all smaller, those numbers don't look like a calculus algorithm (Sorry math majors I don't know what I'm talking about..).

    Here are some things I personally don't like about 5e (This is after running a campaign from level 1-20)
    1. Concentration is really, really, really bad in my opinion. It makes control casters not able to have multiple effects running, buffers can't stack buffs on their party. Basically, everyone gets ONE good spell, and then they have to throw their "blast" or "heal" or whatever it is they have available. What this does is makes the middle levels of casting REALLY weak. For example, once you hit level 5 and have access to haste as a wizard, if you want to help your party out, THAT IS ALL YOU WILL DO. You'll haste your dpser, then throw magic missle or something along those lines while the fight drags on. You'll likely do this until you have access to 6th or 7th level spells and are casting things like dominate person or something along those lines. Why is this bad, in my opinion? Because its limits you in a not fun way. You can't just focus on casting spells to hinder or help your allies. You have to choose, "Hinder them and blast, or help them and blast". As a mage, those are your only two options, and while they are good, I personally thought it was kinda lame.

    2. Attunment/lack of magic item pricing is really awful in my opinion as well. I understand having your items be attuned to you, but I feel this should be on much higher level items than what you see already. Also, everything in the treasure section is a sword when it comes to magic items, and that isn't very fun for archers or spear-men or... Any non-sword based class.

    Both of these things should at least scale as you level up in my opinion, I think every time you get a plus in your proficiency bonus, you'd be able to concentrate on another spell, and have an additional attuned item. That's just me though!!

    In conclusion, if you're to ask me what my favorite is as a DM and as a player, its Pathfinder. There is so much you can do without needing to really ban anything like you do in 3.5, and the options are vast and fun in my opinion compared to 5e.

    *Drops two pennies in the jar*
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  11. I've played AD&D, 3.5, 4, and I'm currently DMing a 5e game. I have to say 5e.

    I played DnD a lot during highschool and college. I played AD&D during college. I'm not that old that I played it when it first came out. Someone had the books and we decided to give it a try. So, while I've not played all the editions... I have to say from that sampling I really enjoy 5e.

    It's been a few years since I played. A few friends wanted to get into. I guess DnD it becoming popular? Because they aren't the table top type (say that five times fast.) We picked up the books and just ran with it. They've never played. One guy watched some DnD sessions online (and proceeded to inform me I was doing things wrong... which was... fun.) So, within a couple of nights of playing, everyone had the hang of it without any previous experience. And I can pretty much do what I want without having to make up a set of rules for the players to understand. I appreciate the flexibility.

    Though, I will be excited when they add more races and classes. I think I got used to the expansions with 3.5 and 4, and I miss having them. That being said, with a little tweaking I'm sure I could drag them over into this game, but they're not needed for the current campaign I'm running. Maybe a future one.

    I just wish Shadowrun would become more of a thing. I miss playing that one.
  12. I wish I had nerdy enough friends to play with. :(
  13. Having been the sole optimizer in my group I've ran into this before.
    Though me and the Giant in the Playground Forum community found a rather good solution to the problem.

    Optimize for the character, not the system.
    Or if you do optimize the character, optimize support.

    Essentially what this means is don't go into it thinking "How can I maximize my Damage?" or "How can I maximize the power of my Planar Shepard's Greenbound Summoning?" or even more crazy "How can I cheese Epic Feat rules with a Dragon Kobold with Chaos Shuffling for infinite ability scores and feats at level 1?". Because when you do that you're gaming the system, you're screwing over what little semblance of balance D&D has and forcing the DM to use nothing but optimized encounters, thus turning D&D not only into a numbers game only but also completely alienates any non-optimizers.

    However, if you go into it thinking "This is my concept, how can I best represent this?" that's where Optimizing becomes a ton of fun. Because now you're not breaking the game, you're just tweaking classes to best represent a character without relying on DM lenience or re-fluffing. And Pathfinder helps with this a ton with Class Variants. But even then there are some concepts which aren't that do-able without some form of optimizing.

    Ex: A Drunken Oaf

    For this I ended up using Barbarian and Fighter. Grabbing every feat and trait I could for improvised weapons, which only improved them to the point to being on par with typical weapons when unenchanted.
    And then I took a feat where when I drank any kind of poison and passed the fortitude save (alcohol counts as poison) I would heal HP equal to my CON modifier.

    However, you could still optimize the character itself, as long as you do support. Say a Cleric who focuses on heals and buffs. Because now your optimize directly translates into the group as a whole being stronger, players no longer go "Man, he's doing better than me!" but rather "I love you! You make me awesome!". With this though you'd still want a DM with decent experience with the system, otherwise all that will happen is your party steam rolls the campaign.

    +As a side note.
    For the purposes of expanding character concepts/ideas I love implementing the Gestalt rule in campaigns.
  14. See my first experience was with 3.5 so I would say that is the one I am most comfortable with. However I can't actually say that it is based on an entirely pure experience as my DMs enjoying having some homebrew stuff added in just to make everything go smoother.
  15. As a DM/Storyteller:

    I would have to say that 5e is pretty fun in terms of playing and running a group with. I only have the first three books right now, but it provides more than enough flavor without significantly altering the mechanics the way pathfinder does.

    With that said I do love Pathfinder in terms of the resources I have at my disposal. That however comes with a caveat in using variation rules to balance out the game given the type of worlds I like to use. Automatic Bonus Progression has become a personal favorite of mine since I can encourage players to think creatively instead of rely on their magic items.

    The game is what you make of it and the system simply provides the tools to tell a story of the group you have around your table. What works for my group and what is best for their enjoyment (which coincidentally is putting them over my proverbial knee and leaving them sore for stupid choices) might not be the best for other groups.

    As a DM/Story Teller I shouldn't say I have one favorite, because all systems in that sense are a means to an end for me.

    As a Player:
    5e removes all the bloat that takes away from the game and distracts from the character. Mechanically my character ends up being true to their background. It encourages me to ask why they are who they are, which I do anyways. I guess that makes 5e a natural fit for my mentality behind tabletop gaming.
  16. 4e, cuz it's the only one I have the rulebook for/know how to play. :P
  17. Great comments. And you're right, there are lots of ways to make better of the "power gamer" situation. I feel that 5e doesn't have too much problems with over optimization yet but it will once more books come out. And, support classes are in my perspective usually MORE powerful than your pure dpser. If you a bard or a transmutation wizard in 3.5/PF, you're the most damage in the whole party. You're either buffing one person A TON or you're singing and giving the whole parties buffs/damage/haste... And if you're supporting by disabling, you're basically making the DM roll save or dies on their best baddies, which pretty much wins the fight also.

    I can't help agree with everyone that 5e is really easy to learn, because it is. The numbers are smaller (Proficiency instead of BAB/Saves makes things way easier) so its naturally easier to learn. I just think in two years or so, people won't really feel the same any more because new books will be out and it'll be just like PF and 3.5. Any system can be tweaked slightly (like I mentioned in my earlier post) to fit a group's wants/needs, but for me, I've come to look at it this way:

    Experienced group who enjoy customization, class and race depth, and item accessibility= Pathfinder is the way to go.

    Group who has newer players who want a simple and easy to learn system and don't want to invest time learning what's best for their character= 5e (Note: This honestly makes 5e better than anything for the reason that more people can have fun with it than anything else because its easy AND fun for more than other games).

    And @Esper how does the Automatic Bonus Progression make players think outside of the box? Doesn't this just limit them or railroad them more than allowing them to select the magic items they want with the gold they earn? (Honest question!! Not trying to question your option choice just really interested in why you enjoy this option!! ^.^)
  18. Well, I’m going to go on a different boat than the opinions below.

    Now, don’t get me wrong; I love Pathfinder and 3.5. In fact, 3.5 is still close to my heart as it was the edition I played for years upon years. The Customization is great, the diversity of builds was wonderful, the simplified 3.5 (Pathfinder) made DMing much easier than I would have ever thought of it being…

    Yet, I’ve come to hate it a little BECAUSE of the Optimization. See, I hate Power Gamers/Munchkins/Super Min-Maxers. These people have been the bane of my existence in Role Playing games. Why? Because, for me (Most games I’ve run and most gams I’ve played) were Roleplay/story based, not combat or extensive puzzle solving (I would say it was 75% Roleplay/Story and 25% Combat/Problem solving.) I feel that those who just try to be the best at what they do, becoming unrealistically good at what they do and just fail at everything else just irks me. Is it a wrong play style? No. But it is a playstyle I do not enjoy playing WITH. This is personal experiences, mind you. I am often referred to “The One who doesn’t play THAT KIND of cleric (The ultimate healer, the Controller, the buffer, the debuffer, etc.”. I like making things fit to the character, not to makes the character THE BEST at what he does while he lacks everywhere else. It’s just how I roll.

    What does this mean? Well, let me show you differences between 3.5/Pathfinder and 5th Edition:

    Armor Class: Gone are the days of 30+ Armor Class by stacking feats, magical items, spells and all of the above. 5th edition has changed this for the best. Most Armor classes now don’t go beyond 23-25, which means it’s always possible to hit something, but it also means the players are vulnerable. Just having an Armor Class of 20 is pretty powerful, even in the later levels.

    Base Attack Bonus / Proficiency Bonus: Base Attack Bonus was something I’ve actually enjoyed, making the martial classes feel like they could hit everything well the levels went up, along with making the spellcasters (Which usually had lower Base attack bonus) feel like they were meant to be combatants. But, as always, here comes the stacking of 3.5/Pathfinder. Feats, magical items, special abilities, etc. came to add so many bonuses to attack that it was unreal at times (Low Level characters Optimized to hit literally anything, having insane bonuses could a lot of things stack.) 5th edition has Proficiency bonus (Which is equal all around for classes, only varying by what level you are) Made is so whatever you are proficient with, you get the bonus: Mages get it to their Spells and a few weapons, Thieves get it to many skills, attack and tools that they use (And are further improved by class abilities), Martial Classes get it to all the weapons available to them. All in all, made it relatively more balanced.

    Concentration: Believe it or not, I think this was a great addition of 5th edition. Why? Again, the power gaming/absolutely overpowered characters that were the Spellcasting classes. No longer will you have a Bull Strength, Haste, Hold Person, Dominate all happening from the same person. Now, the choices of what spells you use are harder and you actually need to think through what concentration spell needs to be up at what time. Plus, for myself, fluff wise, it makes sense to be able to hold only one concentration spell at a time.

    Skills: THIS IS ONE OF THE THINGS THAT REALLY DID BOTHER ME IN 5TH EDITION, BUT ALSO APPRECIATE AT THE SAME TIME. Again, gone are the days of having +15 (sometimes) to something at level 4-5 (Trust me, I know, I play Investigator in Pathfinder, go figure). 5th edition has it go up by level, and only those you are proficient in go up, no spreading points. I have to say, at first, that really, really bothered me, as I liked to have a diversity of skills sets to choose from. But, I’ve learned to appreciate the simplicity of it, since a lot of the skills uncompensated a lot.

    ^ These are the bigger things for me, but there are many other things I could comment on (Both for Pathfinder/3.5 and 5th edition)

    Now, am I saying that you shouldn’t play Pathfinder/3.5? Absolutely not. I’ve come to see the balance between the two. Which one I DM will depend on the group I am with, the players I play with. As for which one I play, well, the DM is the one to decide. I think the only edition I would never return to would be 4th Edition, as I just don’t like how everything played out.

    Though, I the end, I do prefer 5th edition for its simplicity without completely removing options (I know that character diversity isn’t as wide spread at before).
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  19. By having a severely limited magic item list they are less likely to be loot mongers and try and steal everything that isn't nailed down. Allies become more of a commodity in the sense that they are in example:

    The magic items they do find are precious, but also likely to bring trouble if they are flashing it around (and plot hooks).

    Enlisting the services of mercenaries when something more powerful comes along.

    Building their own mercenary company with their hard earned loot (not to mention giving me plot hooks).

    Role playing instead of stabbing things to death (which opens up new options for them.)

    And they are still bad-ass heroes/villains who are superior in many ways to the common folk. They become legends for what they have done under their own power.

    But like I said my worlds work for my group. They are into the gritty and harsh worlds I throw them into. Not everyone likes/wants that.

    Railroading is such a harsh term and wrong to do. They dictate the actions they take. I just tell them how the world reacts due to those actions.

    I've also run gestalt games for them with no off limit templates (where they got a free +3LA) where the world was theirs to break. They incited a war with the gods at fifteenth level and turned the material planes into the equivalent of the Outlands from Burning Crusade. (The gods were about to curb stomp their faces in and so enlisted the help of demons.)

    As the DM you set the tone for the world and provide some structure for the story. The rest is on them. I've yet to have a complaint.
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  20. Yes, but in cases of buffs that's divided among the part so everyone benefits.

    When generally I see people getting mad at Optimizers (for reasons other than not roleplaying) it's not because their characters are powerful, but because they're powerful in comparison to the rest of the party. It sets up a "This characters the best, everyone else is help" which tends to cause division. That doesn't happen if everyone is stronger, I mean have you ever seen someone get buffed or healed and them complain about it?
    If that's what you're looking for I'd also suggest E6.
    It's basically a system where your maximum level if 6, and every 5000 XP earned afterwards gets you a bonus feat.
    But a bunch of new feats get made to give variety, stuff that gives minor class features, bonus ability scores etc.

    It also makes Prestige Classes a sort of capstone/hallmark, rather than simply something players level in for a bit.

    It was actually developed when a bunch of players got together and started doing thought exercises about what level lord of the rings characters would be.
    And with everything considered, they decided that LOTR's power level could not be any higher than 6.
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