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Oct 27, 2006, 7:41pm

I used to play AD&D up until the point where they changed over to 3rd edition. Given that was a few years ago, has the change over been good for the game?

Oct 27, 2006, 7:47pm

I think you'll get a lot of back and forth on that. I played AD&D a hundred years ago (or so it feels like) and then up until last year spent some time playing 3rd edition and as a casual player, I thought the changes made sense and made the system easier to both understand and navigate. But, let me stress, I was a very casual player and not much of a rules lawyer.

Oct 29, 2006, 11:48pm

3rd Edition allows for a much easier game in a modern setting. That's been my only experience with it, so far. I was a big player of 2nd ed about 15 years ago, then got into White Wolf for about 10 years. It was only recently that I played any 3rd ed, and while I liked it, I think I get more out of less rules-oriented mechanics. I do dig the new class setup, though - I'd like to experiment more with that in a fantasy setting.

Dec 11, 2006, 4:58pm

I started playing when I was 8 (1978) with the boxed set after the white box. Then moved on to advanced and 2nd edition. Then I took a brake for a couple years when Magic the Gathering came out. So I missed the black covered books. Then about a year after 3rd edition came out my group switched over and I'm currently running a 3.5 campaign.

In 3rd edition you can see how they applied MTG ideas. They started grouping things and arranging rules like you would if you programming them into a computer. Spells are categorized, monsters are categorized, weapons are categorized, everything fits together like a legos. Certain spell types affect certain weapons types, certain monsters are not affected by certain spell types or weapon types.

Making magic items was the biggest improvement. In 2nd edition there was a spell and some completely unhelpul rules. Now it's a science.

Reversing AC so that higher is better and the AC score is what you need to hit is also really a brilliant idea.

I love feats and the skill system is much better than secondary skills.

I do admit at first it seemed more like a video game than a roleplaying game but really it's up to you to keep the 'role' in roleplaying. The rules are just there to provide guidelines.

Dec 11, 2006, 6:39pm

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Dec 12, 2006, 9:03am

I'll agree to the money making scheme part of it. They just keep releasing the same books over and over again with minor changes to match the new rules. That's the reason I held off playing 3.0 for so long. I was pissed that I was going to have to buy all the new books.

Most of the guys I play with are veteran gamers that have been playing for 15+ years. I've been tempted lately to start a game with younger kids that haven't played. They wouldn't be as jaded, but then again they wouldn't be as mature either. Passing the torch would be nice though since I've had so much fun as a gamer.

Jan 25, 2007, 12:52am

At first, 3E was slimmer and trimmer than AD&D 2E, but now it suffers from the same many-supplements for every race, class, and permutation of level-range that 2E had going.

The THAC0 and AC systems work better, but it's just adding instead of subtracting. Not a big deal. 3E did do a better job of balancing character classes, but now you have to have a complex character-leveling plan from the start if you want to take advantage of a Prestige Class (PrC), which augments the basic existing character class. The class abilities were largely made into "feats" and they've published so many of these, it's becoming hard to get enough for the character to be "good" at what he does.

As some of the others mentioned, the re-hashed re-prints really bug me. I can convert 2E stats to 3E by myself, thanks. I don't need to spend $40 for the re-print.

Overall, I liked 2E better but my group went to 3E and they're not going back. C'est la vie.

Jan 27, 2007, 9:18pm

I just started a campaign using the Blue Rose rules, which are called True 20. Basically Green Ronin Publishing took the 3rd edition rules and slimmed them down a bunch. There are only 3 core classes (Adept, Expert, & Warrior) then you use feats to focus on whatever you want from there. The magic system is a lot different with a lot less spells because they combined things. For instance Earth shaping allows you to Move Earth, Rock to Mud, and Earthquake. But the more powerful abilities take higher checks to cast.

So if you're getting sick of REALLY long battles or carrying around 500 lbs of books then pick up Blue Rose or the True20 Adventure Roleplaying .

Edited: Nov 11, 2007, 4:45am

I've never played 3rd Edition but I've read the rules. My feeling is that there's a lot of good ideas there, but overall it's a system with a lot of complexity, and I prefer simplicity. I've been thinking I'd like to run a D&D game again (the last time I played was over a decade ago), and if I do I will use a house-ruled AD&D, not 3rd Edition.

I think the changeover to 3rd Edition was good for the game. By the late 1990s the D&D rules really needed some fresh ideas. The Open Gaming Licence was also a good thing. What isn't good for the game is that Hasbro often seems more focused on making money than producing good quality products.

There are a lot of variant D&D rules created in the last few years. Here's some that I know about.

Basic Fantasy Role-Playing: Essentially a rewrite of Basic/Expert D&D, using some d20 concepts. Free as a pdf.

Castles and Crusades: This is something like a cross between AD&D and 3rd Edition. Free pdf rules preview.

Hackmaster: Semi-humorous game based on the AD&D rules. What AD&D 2nd Edition might have been like, if Gary Gygax had written it.

Labyrinth Lord: A clone of Basic/Expert D&D. Only advantage over the original is that it is free as a pdf.

Mazes and Minotaurs: What early RPG rules might have been like, in an alternate universe in which the first RPG was based on ancient-greek wargaming, not medieval wargaming. Interesting. And free as a pdf.

True20: Simpler rules, designed for role-playing not roll-playing. Free pdf rules preview.

And there are also alternative d20 rules for fantasy games set in specific worlds, such as Arcana Evolved or Talislanta d20.

So I'm curious to know, does anyone here use any of these rules? Is anyone still playing D&D using older rules? How is your True20 campaign going, ragwaine?

Mar 6, 2008, 11:39am

Hi Akiyama,

Unfortunately my True 20/Blue Rose game ended a couple months after my post. Real life got in the way so our group self destructed after almost 7 years. Around april I started a campaign using the same rules at Online gaming is definitely not the same but it does slightly scratch the itch.

Just recently I've been talking to a guy about getting in his game. He created the system and it's called Sundered Epoch (google it if you're interested in learning more). Haven't played yet though.