D&d 3.5

So, they’re coming out with a D&D 3.5. Somehow I feel as though this is in violation of an implied promise. I ran out and bought the 3rd Edition core rulebooks as soon as they were available with the understanding that once I had them I would be set for a decade, though they would entice me to buy supplements.

Well, the supplements seemed overpriced for how relatively useless they were, so I hven’t bought any. My old Complete Thieves’ Handbook cost $15, and was 128 pages. Of course there was some padding in there. But now the Thieves’ book is the same as the Bard’s book, and collectively they amount to 96 pages for $20. Flipping through it, maybe it’s that I’m just getting old, but it all looks like padding to me now.

Near as I can tell, my failure to invest in their crappy overpriced supplements has inspired them to try and get me to reinvest in a new set of core rulebooks, and I don’t like it. From the article I linked above, it sounds like the system is sufficiently different that it will cause incompatibilities with previous editions, though they deny this.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m the crazy person here.

Don’t worry about it, and don’t give them your money.

On the day of release Wizards will be putting up a new version of the System Reference Document which will contain all the updated rules and new widgets for 3.5e.

Personally, the switch to 3e drove me out of buying D&D stuff for almost the exact reasons you listed. The game is not going places I want to be, I suppose.

Which is not to say I’m completely against the d20 System, I like the implemenation in Mutants & Masterminds and [url=http://www.spycraftrpg.com/]Spycraft[/ur] just fine.

There’s just so little Must Have stuff now. I got the d20 Star Wars and the d20 Modern so that I could run a variety of games under the same system. But of the supplements available, which do I really care that much about?

I’ve seen both the new and old sourcebooks, and I have to say I like the WotC versions beter. Maybe its just me, but I think the quality of material inside more than makes up for any lack of quantity.

I’ll thinkabout buying another book. Certainly, there is a good chance I’ll pick up a new DMG.

I’ll probably pick up the new PHB; my old one had an unfortunate run in with my friend’s rottweiler and is missing a few critical pages. I’m also intrigued with the new Monster Manual, which is supposed to have improved rules for playing monsters as PCs.

I’m really waiting for them to start ressurecting old game worlds: I want my d20 Planescape, and I don’t want any crappy online fan-made version, either!


I don’t remember any implied promise from WOTC or anyone else but I share some of your misgivings. There are some problems with the d20 system but this D&D 3.5E isn’t going to solve most of the problems I have with the system. I’m wondering what impact, if any, this will have on other d20 games like Ravenloft or Forgotten Realms.

One of the reasons WOTC is putting out a new edition is because fans seem to want it. They’re suppose to be correcting a lot of the problems people have had with some of the rules. For example the Ranger is a bit top heavy and people only take one level to take advantage of the feats he gets at first level. They’re also going to revise the CR system and they’re reworking many of the creatures introduced in the Monster Manual. Downloading the SRD won’t get you all you need to know.

I’m fairly sure that I’ll eventually buy 3.5 but I don’t think they’re going to solve my biggest problem with the system.


Bah. They’re getting as bad as White Wolf about putting out new editions every time I turn around.

I feel much the same way you guys do. After spending hundreds of dollars of hard-earned dough on 3E (which is one heck of a system, broken classes and all), I was incensed at the idea of a re-release of the system… especially since the core books are going to cost $40 each IIRC. If WotC had a trade-in system (i.e., trade in your old 3E books for half off the new books) I wouldn’t be so upset, but to rerelease the rules 2 years after the old system came out and expect your loyal fan base to buy them again… uh-uh. Ain’t gonna happen.

Even with 3E, there’s a lot of padding going on. Some of the new books that came out are the worst offenders. When the class-specific books (Defenders of the Faith, etc) came out, I didn’t have a problem spending $20 on a softcover book. Not a big deal. But now the softcovers are getting up in the $25 and $30 range (I’m thinking the new Arms and Equipment Guide), and that’s a significant increase in cost for no appreciable increase in quality or content. Also, there’s so many new books coming out that, to be perfectly honest, I couldn’t give a shit about, especially in dealing with the Forgotten Realms. One overall book dealing with the Realms as a whole, fine. But now there’s a hardcover coming out for all these different regions, and it just feels like they’re milking it too much. There’s not enough content out there to justify the books they’re publishing.

I’ve had much better luck with some of the third-party stuff (especially Legends and Lairs and the Swords and Sorcery books… and the Mongoose Slayers’ Guides are really worth a read). I’ll pick and choose – if there’s any interesting books coming out from WotC coming out, I’ll pick 'em up but nothing in the near future looks all that interesting. I like the system but I think the other publishers are coming up with more interesting ideas.

So I guess I’ll be voting with my dollars – WotC is going to see a lot less of them and the other third-party guys who are coming out with a better product will see more. I’ll deal with 3E, warts and all, before I re-purchase a system I’ve already paid a good chunk of dough to own.

Arms and Equipment is surprisingly good.
Epic is a bit broken but not bad.

Tome of Horrors by Necromancer is all the critters from Monster Manual, MMII, and Fiend Folio that didn’t make it back into TSR’s stuff. Worth getting for the dire template alone.

Dragonstar, Spycraft, Kingdoms of Kalimar are really good worlds.

Oh, and Mongoose Publishing is doing B5, and it looks very good. I’ve got a friend who’s the editor there. Going to be new canonical stuff. Centuari society. Mmm.

Fantasy Flight Publishing’s suppliments are better than the TSR X & Y books.
AEG’s books are pretty good, the Single Word books. Evil, Dragons (By Gygax, and actually good), I can reccomend.

I don’t like SSS, though.

Okay. I can agree on the Slayer’s Guides, but I find most SSS stuff a little sloppy and a bit too dark for my game, which tends to be heroic.

Arms and Equipment is really DMG part II, good stuff. Hirelings, mercenaries, armies. Worth looking at. Fantasy Flight Publishing is Legends and Lairs by the way.

Good single suppliments: Book of the Righteous. Nice and tidy pantheon system.

Funny that they should call it V3.5. I always called the “Unearthed Arcana/Dungeoneer’s Survival Guide” era “V1.5”. Moreso of a change, IMO than V1.5 to 2.0.

Of course, the biggest change was to 3.0 and much much for the better.

That’s not a problem with the system , that’s bad refereing.

Oh, so your 12th level Dwarven Wizard who’s just gone up a level, and has never shown the slightest interest in nature want’s to gain a ranger level?

** Well he can’t.**

Don’t let a player take level in anything he can’t justify by his actions and history.

I suspect a lot of these problems are just lousy Dm’s who let Rules lawyers totally twist the spirit of the rules.

In fact my manifesto of running a game is.

Rule no 1 of Dm’ing:- Don’t take any crap

Rule no 2:- Don’t get bogged down in the rules.A 60 minute debate about what Illusion spells can do (to pick one of the saner pointless debates i’ve seen over the years) is not fun.

Rule no 3:- Don’t get bogged down in what you prepared. Improvisation and bouncing of what your players said is the heart of Dm’ing.

Rule no 4:- Have fun.

First off, it’s three years since 3.0 was released, not two. Second, as someone stated above, all the new material will be available via the SRD. Third, if you don’t hang out on D&D messageboards, you wouldn’t believe the amount of whinging that goes on about every little thing in the rules.

If I buy the books, it won’t be right when they come out – I want to hear from other folks about how good they are. But from what I’ve seen, they’re making some great changes.

And yes, partly they’re releasing the books now because they want to make more money, WOTC is not a 501©(3) nonprofit corporation. They want more money.

If you don’t want to buy the new books, your old books aren’t going to self-destruct. You’ll still be able to play the game using 3.0. The differences between 3.0 and 3.5 are going to be sufficiently minor that a modicum of experience with the system will be able to translate material from one edition to the other.

Of course they’re not giving some sort of “upgrade discount.” Books are not like software: the physical object of the book constitutes a large part of the purchase price. They’re expensive to print, to bind, to distribute. If they gave you half off the price of the 3.5 book, they’d lose money on every copy of the book. Remember, they’re a for-profit company.

Again, I won’t buy 3.5 right away, if at all. Much of WOTC’s recent releases have left me cold, and I’m much more interested in Monte Cook’s Arcana Unearthed setting. But I do not understand people’s hostility toward WOTC for making this wholly rational, completely predictable, and customer-friendly marketing decision.


I kind of feel gipped over the new books as well. No way I can afford to buy them now, and I adore the 3E system to begin with, so fie on it.

I will agree on the neatness of Arms & Equipment. A lot of people said they had issues with it, but I really like all the additional not-entirely-necessary-but cool-stuff-to-have rules.

When I get to play again I plan to have soem characters enter a drinking contest to try to earn some cash.


Hrmph. I just bought the 3E PHB less than a month ago. Tsk tsk. Oh well.

I just started playing P&P D&D for the first time in 13 years, and I’m slowly picking up on the new stuff. I keep forgetting about my damn Feats though. Hey, my cleric just dinged 12 last night, do I get a new Feat? :slight_smile:

Yep. And a stat point.

OK, that’s reasonable. But the problem comes when you have a character who wants to play a ranger-type to begin with. What’s he going to do? One level of ranger, and then barbarian or fighter all the rest of the way. Which does make sense from a role-playing perspective.

But then again, what’s the problem with that? If nobody ever wanted to play rangers at all, then yeah, I can see that that’d be a problem. But the class is serving a meaningful purpose, even if it’s only being used at 1st level.

If you ask me, the class with real problems is druid. I mean, a shapechanged (excuse me, wild formed) druid can’t even poison, any more. And a druid has almost no spells which aren’t available to a cleric, with the appropriate domains. Yes, druids were broken in 2e, too, but now they’re broken in completely different (and, IMO, worse) ways.

And while we’re at it, halflings ought to have dimvision (what good is a thief who needs to announce his presence with a torch?), and gnomes need to be completely overhauled. A gnome has no advantage whatsoever over an elf: The elf gets better weapons, trance, a more flexible preferred class, a stat bonus where it’s more useful, and useful racial skill bonuses (I mean, when was the last time you had to make an alchemy check?). At the very least, they need to give gnomes +2 to mechanical skills (open lock, disable device, any Craft skill involving machines, and maybe Search checks relating to devices as well), boost the Speak with Animals to twice a day, instead of once (“Hey, ferret, go spy on the enemy camp!” “OK” “Alright, ferret, what did you see?” “Squeak.”). Maybe give them a +1 stonecunning bonus like dwarves have, too.

Well, Arthaus is pushing back the Ravenloft DMG by a few months to incorporate 3.5e. Otherwise, I don’t think there’s any effect. Most of the (incredible!) Ravenloft releases lately have been world-building flavor type stuff anyway, not rules. (Yeah, a few PrC’s and Feats and templates and such, but more NPC’s and societies, and local flavor.)

From what I’ve heard 3.5e is essentially a few “patches” that will be easily incorporated into the system, not a complete overhaul. Does any have specifics? I know the updated ranger class has been mentioned, but I haven’t heard anything else.

Come on people, this is WotC we’re talking about here… they practically invented the concept of cyclical obsolescence. When they took over from TSR and overhauled the whole system for 3e, did anybody seriously think that’d be the end of it, for even 2 or 3 years?

Really. Next thing you know they’ll be re-releasing all the original D&D sourcebooks and adventures from the 70’s and 80’s with white borders and calling them “D&D: Chronicles” or something.

DanielWithrow wrote:

I don’t understand it either, but it’s bugging me. I can’t quite seem to get over how previously my PHB and DMG lasted me a decade, and now there’s a new edition coming out after three years. Steve Jackson Games has done a turn-over of every supplement I’ve ever bought from them, but I don’t bitch. I just don’t buy the new version. Heaven forbid I should get into Call of Cthulhu or one of these other games that’s constantly going through revisions.

But the fact is that the reason I play D&D is that it’s the gold standard. D&D is spoken everywhere people game. I happily made the transition to 3rd edition because I had good reason to believe that everyone else would, too. And in fact, they did. We all went to third edition, and nobody had to worry about whether they could get a game together, because we were all on the same text. Furthermore, those texts would now apply to a broader range of games. The problem is that now we see the gold standard crumbling. They come out with 3.5 now, and how soon before we’re having to worry about 4.0? It’s a disquieting thought from a company whose strength has been delivering a stable, if imperfect, product.