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So, What's New? (Getting Back into D&D)

sullijosullijo mid-level minionsubterranean bunkerRegistered User regular
edited January 2007 in Critical Failures
So I haven't touched (A)D&D since the mid 90's, but I came across some of my old stuff the other day and I'm wondering what's changed in the past 10 years. All I know is that WotC bought out TSR and rolled out 3rd Edition and then 3.5, but I have no idea what the actual changes are.

Are the changes worthwhile? Is it worth picking up the core books if I feel like playing, or should I stick with my old trusty 2nd editions?

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Posts

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    3.5 is far better-balanced than 2nd edition.

    Thanatos on
  • thorpethorpe Registered User
    edited December 2006
    Better rules system, but something of a decrease in actual rping material, except for Eberron.

    Also, no Planescape. :(

    thorpe on
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  • SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    As someone who got into d&d about 2-3 years before 3rd edition came out:

    I think that 3.5 is so much better than every previous edition, it's not even funny. I look back at my old 2nd edition book and wonder how I put up with that system for so long. 3.5 is much more logical, easy to understand, and more fun to play in just about every respect. You actually get to customize your character however you want, in ways I couldn't imagine previously.

    Unless you think that quick, streamlined rules which are easy to understand are a bad thing, (and I know some people who do), then you should look at 3.5.

    SageinaRage on
  • Mr_RoseMr_Rose 83 Blue Ridge Protects the Holy Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Well, if you want to know what the modern game is like, you could do worse than to start here, at the d20 System Reference Document on-line.
    That pretty much covers everything except certain creatures, character creation and levelling, which I don't think have changed that much. The devil is, as they say, in the details however.

    Of course, if you prefer cars and guns to horses and swords, the d20 Modern SRD is here.

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  • sullijosullijo mid-level minion subterranean bunkerRegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    thorpe wrote:
    Better rules system, but something of a decrease in actual rping material, except for Eberron.

    Also, no Planescape. :(

    Yeah, I noticed there doesn't seem to be as many game settings supported (it looks like Eberron and Forgotten Realms are the big ones), which seems weird to me. What are they publishing, then?

    Personally, I loved Planescape. In fact, that's what got me interested in pulling out my old books! I'm looking forward to reviewing the setting over the holidays.

    sullijo on
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  • Alexan DriteAlexan Drite Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    There is a 3.0 Manual of the Planes and a 3.5 Planar Handbook, but neither is entirely "Planescape" content rich. (Planar Handbook has a handful of planar sites and covers the most important stuff, as well as prestige classes, spells, and items).

    But you're right all of the new stuff goes to Eberron or FR, or D&D Core (Generic Greyhawk essentially). Dragonlance and Ravenloft still get the occassional novel, but that's about it.

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  • DMACDMAC Moderator mod
    edited December 2006
    There are a number of 3.5 Dragonlance sourcebooks currently being published by Sovereign Press and Ravenloft was being covered by Sword & Sorcery Studios (White Wolf) but I think it was only during the 3.0 era. The sourcebooks are still available as PDFs at Drive-Thru RPG.

    The rights have now reverted to Wizards of the Coast who recently released Expedition to Castle Ravenloft which updates and expands the original Ravenloft adventure that gave birth to the setting into a mini campaign.

    Most of the Planescape monsters have shown up in one place or another now but a new hardcover campaign setting book with art by Tony Diterlizzi would rock hard.

    DMAC on
  • PkmoutlPkmoutl Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    You don't really need a sourcebook for Planescape, as like DMAC said, the majority of the Planescape creatures and what-not are in most of the other books. You can pretty much use the old 2nd edition setting information, and anything that you need to convert over isn't all that hard to convert, all said. Yes, it takes a bit of time and some work, but if you really want to run Planescape, it would really be worth it.

    Converting to 3.0 or 3.5 from the earlier editions isn't really all that complex. Even if you're converting from old D&D (as opposed to AD&D), it's not that tough. Actually D&D to 3.x is more difficult than AD&D to 3.x in most cases. I've been converting old modules since the 3.0 days, and I've found that AD&D practically slides right into the newer system with very little adjustment. So Planescape conversion shouldn't be all that hard, especially if you get the Monster Manuals and the Manual of the Planes and the Planar Handbook. Otherwise, your old 2nd Ed. material should suffice once you make a few small adjustments.

    Pkmoutl on
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  • SnazelSnazel Registered User
    edited December 2006
    I'd hold off until 4.0 comes out in 2008.

    The whole system is going to get jazzercised. Right now the current system is too spread out across dozens of manuals and supplements.

    Look for 4.0 to be a lot more ORPG friendly too, as D&D Online proved in spades, the current mechanics do not translate to a online video game particularly well.

    We're in the sorry state of having a good chunk of the current D&D developers spending more time on their WOW characters than actually drumming up new ideas to save our favorite brand.

    Oh, but the pre-painted minatures are way cool. Perhaps you should stick to classic rules and just buy a few boxes of the minis and all will be well. The good news the best D&D games are never mired down with mechanics anyway, so it doesn't really matter which rule set you adopt.

    I'd avoid 3.5 though, it will be a Dodo bird in about 18 months.

    Snazel on
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  • INeedNoSaltINeedNoSalt with blood on my teeth Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Snazel wrote:
    I'd hold off until 4.0 comes out in 2008.

    The whole system is going to get jazzercised. Right now the current system is too spread out across dozens of manuals and supplements.

    Look for 4.0 to be a lot more ORPG friendly too, as D&D Online proved in spades, the current mechanics do not translate to a online video game particularly well.

    We're in the sorry state of having a good chunk of the current D&D developers spending more time on their WOW characters than actually drumming up new ideas to save our favorite brand.

    Oh, but the pre-painted minatures are way cool. Perhaps you should stick to classic rules and just buy a few boxes of the minis and all will be well. The good news the best D&D games are never mired down with mechanics anyway, so it doesn't really matter which rule set you adopt.

    I'd avoid 3.5 though, it will be a Dodo bird in about 18 months.
    Do you actually have any proof of anything 4.0 related, or are you just doomsaying?

    INeedNoSalt on
  • SnazelSnazel Registered User
    edited December 2006
    Let's just say I am doomsaying with a really good track record.

    If you estimate WOTC's current financial fragility, if you can see with your own eyes what a disaster Dreamblade is, its obvious how low some of the book sales for D&D were this year, I aggregate all that and I say 4.0 is inevitable.

    I could be wrong. I doubt it.

    I know nothing official or inside, not one lick of information.

    Snazel on
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  • mrcheesypantsmrcheesypants Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Snazel wrote:
    Let's just say I am doomsaying with a really good track record.

    If you estimate WOTC's current financial fragility, if you can see with your own eyes what a disaster Dreamblade is, its obvious how low some of the book sales for D&D were this year, I aggregate all that and I say 4.0 is inevitable.

    I could be wrong. I doubt it.

    I know nothing official or inside, not one lick of information.

    Sony to buy WOTC in 5 years?

    mrcheesypants on
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  • TalonrazorTalonrazor Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Snazel wrote:
    Let's just say I am doomsaying with a really good track record.

    If you estimate WOTC's current financial fragility, if you can see with your own eyes what a disaster Dreamblade is, its obvious how low some of the book sales for D&D were this year, I aggregate all that and I say 4.0 is inevitable.

    I could be wrong. I doubt it.

    I know nothing official or inside, not one lick of information.

    So you are pretty much just bullshitting then?

    :^:

    Talonrazor on
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  • laughingfuzzballlaughingfuzzball Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Actually, now would be about the worst time to plan a new edition. WotC's buissiness model is organized around supplementary material. Supplements generally have a higher margin for the developer than core material. The disparity peaks when you start getting a bunch of smaller, more specialized supplements. They make more money putting out three tiny books than they would putting out one decent sized one, but the amount of material that needs to be written, tested, and all that is about the same. It gets even better when the material is very similar to something they've already done- more work already done means less they have to pay someone for. The 3.5 material is at a point where they can do both without the practice driving too many consumers away.

    A lot of people hate having to look through a dozen books to get one campaign together, but most of the mainstream companies are dependent on it to turn a profit.

    laughingfuzzball on
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