Biggest misktakes in previous editions

Just curious what you think the biggest mistakes of previous editons where. Not intentional design decisions (i.e. the wizard is more powerful at later later), but things that where overlooked and didn't work as intended (things that got errata'd).

In 4e, by far the most common errata was to add "once per round/turn".

What about previous editions?

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Level limits.
Saving throws in becmi/AD&D,too much hit points in 3.x and 4ed (the latter especially for monsters),slow combat in 4ed.
DM: Products of MY Imagination ©. Since 1986.
Level limits.



I think those were not a bug they were a feature

 
Level limits.



I think those were not a bug they were a feature

 

A grossly misguided feature, yes.

Level draining.

Characters squaring up to a 13 HD Pit Fiend, but running like a bunch of Maries when they see a Wight. 
Lack of decent publushed adventures for 3e (possibly 4E). If they hd some AWESOME adventure writers then they might have extended the lifespan of 3E easily by a year or two.

Also, Wealth by level
Essentials as the new way going forward.
...whatever
3e's ability score system is the cause of almost every single problem in the game.
Ability Scores limit by gender.

Racial XP Penalty
3e's ability score system is the cause of almost every single problem in the game.



3E's good and bad saves and spell DCs were at least as big a problem.
...whatever
3e's ability score system is the cause of almost every single problem in the game.

Um... elaborate, please?

Skills vs AC
Attacks vs Skills

Basically having one system roll against a completely different system

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

NOT having, developing, distributing to all the designers, and enforcing a list of all the assumptions - and a companion list of things that designers have assumed that they should not have assumed.

Example: in original 4E, there was a hidden assumption that a "basic attack" was an inferior choice. Not something you'd do if you could do something else. Then in Essentials Martial-style classes they loaded the "basic attack" up with features and options to make it a superior choice. With the old stuff still sitting there balanced on the assumption that it would be an inferior choice. That should not have been permitted. (The Essentials Martial-style classes could have gotten a "basic attack" per the existing system, plus a "standard attack" that got all their fancy add-ons.)
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
Assassin evil-only alignment restriction
Assassin evil-only alignment restriction


alignment restrictions in general
if i rember right there where quite a few Mm erata's in 3.X 
Often having to do with not mentioning the caster level and spell level of spell like abilities creatures had.
there was one done to many creatures that had to do with shape change, changed so they can only change into medium or small creatures.
 
Everything Is Core design assumption

3E's good and bad saves and spell DCs were at least as big a problem.



 I include them in the whole math problem, though I probably should have written "3e's ability score system is the cause of almost or contributor to every single problem in the game."  They're a huge part of why the spell/save system broke as badly as it did, though the system was broken to begin with.

Um... elaborate, please?



I intend to.  It takes thousands of words to explain it all, so I might just create a new thread.
Alignment Restrictions by Class
Level Restrictions by Class or Race
Class Restrictions by Race
Weapon Favorability by Race 

Basically anything that shoehorned a class or race into behaving in a very limited way. If you were a Dwarf, you were likely a Fighter, and you were likely to wield an axe or hammer, lest you suck compared to other Dwarves.  And if you are a Dwarf, no matter how good a Fighter you are, you could never reach the same level as a human.

Thankfully, 3E got the ball rolling by eliminating Level Restrictions by Class or Race and Class Restrictions by Race.  4E then took that another step in the right direction by removing Alignment Restrictions by Class.  Unfortunately, despite both editions having feats that should have taken care of Weapon Favorability, neither did away with it being an actual part of the Race, rather than a feat(as it should have been).  
1e - custom "to hit" table
2e - variable advancement for each class
3e - Prestige Classes
4e - AEDU for everyone at start


My Blog which includes my Hobby Award Winning articles.

Assassin evil-only alignment restriction


alignment restrictions in general

Alignment mechanics in general. Bad idea.

"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
alignment restrictions in general




Except the Paladin, for me and mine.
alignment restrictions in general




Except the Paladin, for me and mine.



If you want house rule the Paladin to be Lawful Good only, be my guest.  But I should not have to house rule restrictions out of my game.  The game should be as unrestricted as possible baseline, and people can add their own restrictions in at their leisure.
alignment restrictions in general




Except the Paladin, for me and mine.



If you want house rule the Paladin to be Lawful Good only, be my guest.  But I should not have to house rule restrictions out of my game.  The game should be as unrestricted as possible baseline, and people can add their own restrictions in at their leisure.



 And so it begins....

alignment restrictions in general

Except the Paladin, for me and mine.

Okay, I won't ever play a Paladin at your table; I'll play some blend of Fighter and Cleric, or something like that, instead.

And if you want to play a Paladin at my table, go right ahead. Although you may be somewhat inconvenienced by the fact that "Know Alignment" and "Detect Evil" and "Smite Evil" and the like don't exist. And it'll be your call, not mine, on exactly how well your character is getting on with his deity. (I'll offer the same level of divine guidance that I'll be offering the rogue and the mage. Which is, most likely, none. Want to pray for more? Gods are famous for being really cryptic...)
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
alignment restrictions in general




Except the Paladin, for me and mine.



I agree really.  The paladin is a holy warrior dedicated to the cause of good (at least in dnd he is).  Non-good faiths can have their own holy champions, but they shouldn't be mirrors of the paladin.  I'd be more open to making the paladin a sub-type of a "champion" class or something.


3e added alignment symetry, which is something that bugs me horribly.  Good trumps evil, and evil trumps good, and neutral laughs all the way to the bank.

The classical story is the pure-hearted hero that is able to resist the powers and temptations of evil - and perhaps even strike back at them.  In 3e being good makes you more vulnerable to evil powers and effects.

In 3e the pure hearted hero is the ideal target of evil and all the weapons that can strike evil down don't really care if you're good or not when you wield them.  It's a very post-modern and cynical take on the battle of good and evil, which is fine when it's deliberate and in context - but that result in 3e was I think, entirely accidental.

1) And if you want to play a Paladin at my table, go right ahead.

2) Although you may be somewhat inconvenienced by the fact that "Know Alignment" and "Detect Evil" and "Smite Evil" and the like don't exist.




1) I can guarantee I will never play at "your" table.

2) I don't dig those, cool. 
1e - custom "to hit" table
2e - variable advancement for each class
3e - Prestige Classes
4e - AEDU for everyone at start





I liked variable advancement and would love to see it back

For me its easy

2e - multiclassing
3e - removal of Rate of Fire
4e - The WoWification of the Forgotten Realms
I can, and have, played a Lawful Good Paladin in games during 4e just fine. Alignment mechanics/restrictions shouldn't be in core.
1st edition pretty much everything
In 2nd edition THAC0.
In 3rd edition not actually fixing spells.
In 4th edition not actually tweaking the math just a little so that the math was better balanced from the beginning.

Leroy Jethro Gibbs NCIS "A slap to the face is humiliating. A slap to the back of the head is a wake up call."

 

Love 4e? Concerned about its future? join the Old Guard of 4th Edition

On the one hand paladin detect evil can be really annoying, on the other hand it's responsible for a classic moment in one of my campaigns. (That campaign in general is kind of the terrible vacation that everyone laughs about in later years)

2nd edition: A lot of things people are talking about are quite intentional.  There is a hilarious screed about roving packs of level 20 elven paladins taking over your world in one of core books of 2nd edition in defense of this concept.  (I don't remember if it's in the DMG or the PHB)

For 4e well... Let me reread the edition warring sticky at the top of the forum real quick... oh ok.

For all the discussion of how 4e would "fix the math" and all the target numbers would be carefully aligned to scale with level, etc etc.  There were spreadsheets (we were told).  The game came out - and they didn't at all.  Explosive stat modifiers skewed the skill system so that at high levels DCs were always either impossible for half the party or trivial for the other, Non-armor defenses were completely screwed, and even the most basic thing... attacks and defense values didn't scale correctly with monster level.  I don't know what happened there, but I don't assume they set out to go completely awry on one of their core aims.

alignment restrictions in general

Except the Paladin, for me and mine.

Okay, I won't ever play a Paladin at your table; I'll play some blend of Fighter and Cleric, or something like that, instead.

And if you want to play a Paladin at my table, go right ahead. Although you may be somewhat inconvenienced by the fact that "Know Alignment" and "Detect Evil" and "Smite Evil" and the like don't exist. And it'll be your call, not mine, on exactly how well your character is getting on with his deity. (I'll offer the same level of divine guidance that I'll be offering the rogue and the mage. Which is, most likely, none. Want to pray for more? Gods are famous for being really cryptic...)



Smite Evil never existed before 3e.  And Detect Evil has changed with every edition.  It used to be just detecting evil intent from high-level characters who are devoted to the cause of evil, or exceptionally powerful creatures- your average peasant wasn't even a blip on the radar no matter how cruel or selfish the NPC was.  It was largely pointless.
As much as we fight about it, I really think in 5e alignment isn't going to be a problem no matter how you want to play it.

Here is what I think they will do....
1.  Core will "suggest" Paladins follow a code determined in the abstract between DM/player.  No alignment specific spells.
2.  Module(s) will allow for far more intensification of the use of alignment including spells if desired.  I could see this being a ramp up.

In my own game, I could definitely see having a Paladin of any alignment (I would dislike the name being Paladin and would instead call it Champion with the LG version being Paladin but thats a nit).   I can't imagine though as DM not imposing a code of some sort.  It might not just be an alignment.  It might be far more diety specific.  Part of the fun of building a campaign world (at least to me) is coming up with all the religions and dieties.  Each has their own distinctive take on reality.  I like grey areas more than black and white.  I also like to explain in some way why Gods care and why some followers of Gods can be corrupt.  Anyway to each their own.

But a game that offered no ability whatsoever to have classes so affected by world environment would be a pretty boring game for me.  And I don't mean just religions but others classes could have other environmental relations.  



 

My Blog which includes my Hobby Award Winning articles.

I would like to preface this by stating that if any of you ever asked me "wanna play x edition D&D?" I would respond with "let me get my dice!" AND, I'm going to post the what I think each edition got right as well.


1st Edition
What was great:
-The cosmology (planes, etc.)
-The emphasis on RP
-The incredible plethora of modules
What was not so great:
-The formatting (especially the early books)
-The attack matrices
-The physical quality of the product itself

2nd Edition:
What was great:
-The campaign settings
-The ability to simply convert older material
-The artwork (Elmore, Easley, Parkinson, Caldwell)
What was not so great:
-The pandering to the Right (removing demons, etc.)
-The "Player's Option" series
-Racial level and class restrictions

3rd Edition/3.5:
What was great:
-Multiclassing
-Class abilities per level
-Quality of hardcovers
What was not so great:
-The lack of quality control with d20 non-WotC product
-The extreme power creep from feats & prestige classes
-Making magical items a purchasable commodity

4th Edition:
What was great:
-Giving magic-users abilities that can be used more than once
-Focus on making things easier for DMs
-The physical formatting of the books made it quick to find what one is looking for
What was not so great:
-The even more level creep from the necessary magic items, feats, and Paragon paths/epic destinies
-The AEDU combat system forcing all classes to play in a manner similar to magic-users in feel.
-The backtracking by WotC to give us more campaign settings                                 
                                  

Just roll some dice.

 

RADIO FREE BORDERLANDS:

Explore the new D&D podcast that is a celebration of all eras of the game! Discussing the loves, challenges, topics, ideas, and news of this great hobby in both a contemporary and historical view.

http://radiofreeborderlands.libsyn.com/


3E's good and bad saves and spell DCs were at least as big a problem.



 I include them in the whole math problem, though I probably should have written "3e's ability score system is the cause of almost or contributor to every single problem in the game."  They're a huge part of why the spell/save system broke as badly as it did, though the system was broken to begin with.

Um... elaborate, please?



I intend to.  It takes thousands of words to explain it all, so I might just create a new thread.



Please do. If true, it is an important topic that 5e must address.
The "Player's Option" series

I disagree.
Player's Option was great.  It's better treated as 2.5E, though.



What was not so great:

-The "Player's Option" series




But I could make a cleric that had fighter Thac0, strength and con, the ability to cast all the best wizard spells, and all without giving up any of the cleric spells anyone actually cares about.

Or I could make a fighter that gave up the ability to use armor for a +2 to ac while unarmored! +2! That's like free leather armor! BROKEN.
The "Player's Option" series

I disagree.
Player's Option was great.  It's better treated as 2.5E, though.




I thought some of it was a huge departure, and usually refer to black-boxed 2E (post 95) as 2.5 myself.

Truth be told, it has been awhile since I've bothered with them.  

Just roll some dice.

 

RADIO FREE BORDERLANDS:

Explore the new D&D podcast that is a celebration of all eras of the game! Discussing the loves, challenges, topics, ideas, and news of this great hobby in both a contemporary and historical view.

http://radiofreeborderlands.libsyn.com/

I thought some of it was a huge departure, and usually refer to black-boxed 2E (post 95) as 2.5 myself.

Wasn't that just the same three books with new art?

I thought some of it was a huge departure, and usually refer to black-boxed 2E (post 95) as 2.5 myself.

Wasn't that just the same three books with new art?




It was (terrible art). The "2.5" thing started for me with the PO series. Again, just my opinion.

Just roll some dice.

 

RADIO FREE BORDERLANDS:

Explore the new D&D podcast that is a celebration of all eras of the game! Discussing the loves, challenges, topics, ideas, and news of this great hobby in both a contemporary and historical view.

http://radiofreeborderlands.libsyn.com/

Sign In to post comments