How often has balance issues ruined your game?

I am dying to know the answer to this question.

I have watched flame wars erupt for the past year regarding wizard balance, fighter balance, healing balance, balance across the pillars, vancian balance, spell point balance, movement balance, defining balance, etc...  There is probably a book worth of opinions here regarding balance.  But, I have yet to hear (or remember) of any specific examples where it's ruined the game.

So, as a DM for the past 25 years, I have probably, in my estimation run 200 - 300 games.  I have played probably about the same or more. 

In those sessions, we've had a 2e game where our dwarven fighter had a belt of storm giant strength.  I was the other fighter.  I had a 16 strength.  He had a 25.  I used daggers.  He used a battle-axe.  He did roughly 4-5x my damage.  We had a wizard that caste haste on him as well.  Crazy!  None of our games were ruined though.  Maybe it was just a good group.

I've played 4e games with a wonderful min/maxer (great RP too) who used every broken mechanic he could find for each and every character.  In the beginning his wizard could fly and rain magic missiles like no other.  They fixed that.  Next, he moved on to a striker that at 7th level had a "to hit" that was 8-10 points above everyone else's.  In both of these situations no one's game was ruined.  Again, maybe these were like the last group, and just a rare group.

I have seen disagreements about certain rules or the DM's interpretation of the rules.  I think anytime you have a game where the rulebook is 300 pages that might happen.    But, I've only seen it once or twice ruin a player's game, and consequently, the group's game.  These were rare occassions where I was at a convention playing with complete strangers.  

Other than that - none.  So would some of you mind please detailing a time your game was ruined because of balance?  Thanks.      
I've only had balance really come into play once, and it had nothing to do with Wizards. We had a 3.5 Psion in one group that was so powerful the rest of the group forced him to retire his character. It really wasn't even because his powers were THAT out of whack, but because if he decided to do something, there was nothing the rest of the party could do to stop it.  He could dominate with a rediculous save, and was not exactly a huge team player.

Other than that, I've been playing D&D almost weekly since 3.0 came out in 2000, and that's the only time I've ever had  issues with balance. Most people are team players and don't marginalize other group members. As well, spellcasters do have limited spell slots which usually got taken for damage spells over utility. Never has been a big issue in my groups, even up to our currently weekly Pathfinder game.

And don't say it's because we don't crunch the numbers. My group LOVES to make broken combinations of things. A couple of my players know the rules so well, I swear they can quote the Core Rulebook verbatim.

The Imbalance ruining games is caused by 2 things

1) Bad team players
2) Bad assumptions 
My two copper.
I've only had balance really come into play once, and it had nothing to do with Wizards. We had a 3.5 Psion in one group that was so powerful the rest of the group forced him to retire his character. It really wasn't even because his powers were THAT out of whack, but because if he decided to do something, there was nothing the rest of the party could do to stop it.  He could dominate with a rediculous save, and was not exactly a huge team player.

Other than that, I've been playing D&D almost weekly since 3.0 came out in 2000, and that's the only time I've ever had  issues with balance. Most people are team players and don't marginalize other group members. As well, spellcasters do have limited spell slots which usually got taken for damage spells over utility. Never has been a big issue in my groups, even up to our currently weekly Pathfinder game.

And don't say it's because we don't crunch the numbers. My group LOVES to make broken combinations of things. A couple of my players know the rules so well, I swear they can quote the Core Rulebook verbatim. 



We had a 2e psion dwarf that had a mind feat backfire (they could do that back then).  Instead of shrinking to 10% his size so he could escape, he bacame 10x his size.  Of course, his clothes ripped, so now there was a giant naked dwarf running through the hillside! 
Nearly every time I played 3e.

Because it's so easy to break the system people often end up doing by accident.

My first warforged for example was an artificer-monk with the kung-fu genius feat, imagine if bruce lee had a red mushroom, a degree in mechanical engineering and was made of oak and stone. I was the central focus of each encounter simply because i always had the right  spell for the job, and/or a giant spiky battle-fist loaded with so many buffs it had its own character sheet.

One game we had shadow weave mage who set up a spell combo that allowed him to cast multiple disintigrates about 3 times per day, 4 or five as we leveled up this trivialized most encounters because the most important creatures and objects were reduced to slag in the first round. 

Next game there was the MInotaur knight, who trivialized the rest of the party by having a reach of 11 squares or so, a high dex, combat reflexes and improved trip, except for the god-ificer who someohow convinced the DM that a glove of constant true strike was a 2000 gp item, and was dual wielding a pair of repeating light cross-bows. BEtween those two the other 5 members of the party may as well not have existed for all the impact they had on most encounters.

LEt's see I had a friend with a force missile mage who could on his own alpha strike dragons whose Cr was 8 higher than the party level even while being crushed and grappled by said dragon.

I'm not even going to get into the warlock shenannigans.

The one time balance didn't sscrew the game was probably when everyone just played god classes, cleric, druid, and wizard.
I don't know if it's fair to call it balance issues ruining anything, but most 3.5 campaigns I ran kind of fizzled out in the early teens. It's generally more of a players vs. environment balance issue that I would pin that on, though, rather than a relative player contribution thing, although that didn't help.

On the reverse side, however, there are cases where things work out nicely balanced and the game really hums because everyone is contributing in neat and unique ways at the same time. Poor balance there wouldn't ruin the game, but it would make things less fun. If the standard is only as high as "no games explosively ruined", then balance issues aren't that big of a deal, but some people might have higher standards. We have tasted the fruit.
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How often has balance issues ruined your game?

Ummm...they haven't. And I play with some serious game-breakers.
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I think that if you have to argue to convince others about the clarity of something, it's probably not as objectively clear as you think.

No, what it means is that some people just like to be obtuse.

Assuming you actually mean IMbalance issues, frequently, particularly in 3e.

Any time I had a spellcaster in a game with one or more non-spellcasters, there was one phrase I would hear constantly; "Don't bother."

The rogue wants to go pump someone for information?
"Don't bother; I'll just cast Charm Person."

The fighter wants to intimidate someone?
"Don't bother; I'll wildshape into (huge scary thing)." or "Don't bother, I'll cast Cause Fear."

Anybody else wants to do something in combat?"
"Don't bother; I'll cast (encounter-trivializing spell)."

And this is just on the player side.  It was nearly impossible to create encounters that could challenge the spellcasters without making the martial characters useless, or challenge the martial characters without the spellcasters curbstomping them.  I couldn't run adventures involving anything resembling a mystery, because the spellcasters could just cast Detects, or just call up their god on speed-dial and get the answers.  And I refused to resort to the lameness of frequent anti-magic fields or every bad guy being festooned with magic items just to neuter them.

Eventually, I banned the cleric, druid, and wizard, and cut out every plot-breaking, skill-replacing, or save-or-lose spell in the game (about 20% of the list, I'd say).  This is why I switched to 4e on release day; I wanted to play a game I didn't have to houserule into the ground to make it workable.
I haven't really had many "Angel Summoner and BMX Bandit" issues so much at the tables I've played at.  The only instance is with a munchkiny player who wanted to be a psionic character (psychic warrior I think he agreed on).  Obnoxiousness combined with the rules to excuse it lead to a lame night.  Needless to say, the little demon was cast away and never seen again.  Now, don't think it's impossible to warp 4th into a similar monster.  I've delt with people that broke the game in 4th, usually through cheating the system... or even going against it.  All in all, these issues with balance/imbalance have been on behalf of problem players.  When I've played with good (or at least considerate) people, I haven't bumped into this.

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From a combat perspective, I had a few 3.5 experiences where varying levels of optimization caused unbalance. While it may not have necessarily ruined the game, it certainly caused some challenges to insure that encounters were balanced. Not that easy to balance an encounter when one player can either dish out or take far more damage than the other characters could.
Assuming you actually mean IMbalance issues, frequently, particularly in 3e.

Any time I had a spellcaster in a game with one or more non-spellcasters, there was one phrase I would hear constantly; "Don't bother."

The rogue wants to go pump someone for information?
"Don't bother; I'll just cast Charm Person."

The fighter wants to intimidate someone?
"Don't bother; I'll wildshape into (huge scary thing)." or "Don't bother, I'll cast Cause Fear."

Anybody else wants to do something in combat?"
"Don't bother; I'll cast (encounter-trivializing spell)."

And this is just on the player side.  It was nearly impossible to create encounters that could challenge the spellcasters without making the martial characters useless, or challenge the martial characters without the spellcasters curbstomping them.  I couldn't run adventures involving anything resembling a mystery, because the spellcasters could just cast Detects, or just call up their god on speed-dial and get the answers.  And I refused to resort to the lameness of frequent anti-magic fields or every bad guy being festooned with magic items just to neuter them.

Eventually, I banned the cleric, druid, and wizard, and cut out every plot-breaking, skill-replacing, or save-or-lose spell in the game (about 20% of the list, I'd say).  This is why I switched to 4e on release day; I wanted to play a game I didn't have to houserule into the ground to make it workable.

Pretty much this except no one played non-casters. If EVERYONE can cast those kind of spells, it gets back into a crazy kind of balance. Need to fight in melee? send in the druid's animals! Or summoned creatures! or elementals!

Now we DID get people with a few multi-class levels in fighter/thief, but that was just to get abilities/qualify for Prestige classes and not to actually play the class.
Balance has never ruined my game, but IMbalance or the lack of balance has. I was running a game with three 16th level characters: a cleric, a sorcerer, and a fighter (v3.5) and during the adventure they had come to a point where they had a decision: circle around or take on a whole encampment of very tough badguys. They took them on and I had feared a TPK because it was an EL 23 encounter.

4 spells and 5 turns later 15 of 17 foes vanquished and the Fighter just got into the complex. Cleric casts gift of the divine and flies. Sorcerer casts fly and invisibility and her and the cleric. Cleric drops into compound and taunts the enemies. They rush to attack and the cleric has a readied action, Prismatic Sphere. They rush in, he casts that and then the sorcerer casts reverse gravity. She has shape spell and thus, doesnt target the cleric. 11 enemies vaporized instantly. Cleric goes on the offensive and pew-pew two more to death while the sorceress uses wands of scorching burst. By the time the fighter gets to the complex, there are two creatures left. It was a route that 1. Didnt challenge the group. 2. Made the fighter irrelevant. 3. Didnt drain any considerable resources.
Nearly every time I played 3e.

Because it's so easy to break the system people often end up doing by accident.

My first warforged for example was an artificer-monk with the kung-fu genius feat, imagine if bruce lee had a red mushroom, a degree in mechanical engineering and was made of oak and stone. I was the central focus of each encounter simply because i always had the right  spell for the job, and/or a giant spiky battle-fist loaded with so many buffs it had its own character sheet.

One game we had shadow weave mage who set up a spell combo that allowed him to cast multiple disintigrates about 3 times per day, 4 or five as we leveled up this trivialized most encounters because the most important creatures and objects were reduced to slag in the first round. 

Next game there was the MInotaur knight, who trivialized the rest of the party by having a reach of 11 squares or so, a high dex, combat reflexes and improved trip, except for the god-ificer who someohow convinced the DM that a glove of constant true strike was a 2000 gp item, and was dual wielding a pair of repeating light cross-bows. BEtween those two the other 5 members of the party may as well not have existed for all the impact they had on most encounters.

LEt's see I had a friend with a force missile mage who could on his own alpha strike dragons whose Cr was 8 higher than the party level even while being crushed and grappled by said dragon.

I'm not even going to get into the warlock shenannigans.

The one time balance didn't sscrew the game was probably when everyone just played god classes, cleric, druid, and wizard.



May I ask why you group kept playing 3rd if it was so dysfunctional for the group?

Seems to me, it would have been much easier to just go buy a different game and play.
THat's not all the same group, and more than a few of the local players and DMs are pretty blind to 3es flaws. Note how the godificer was able to convince the DM to allow his +20 to every attack roll item based on the spell level formula rather than the total bonus formula.

Furthermore for the first year or two I just thought my characters sucked because I was a newbie, it took me a while to realize that trying to play warriors who aren't one trick ponies was a sucker deal.
 Generally in 3rd ed and we hardly play level 10+ game as the work vs fun ratio becomes to much.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

THat's not all the same group, and more than a few of the local players and DMs are pretty blind to 3es flaws. Note how the godificer was able to convince the DM to allow his +20 to every attack roll item based on the spell level formula rather than the total bonus formula.

Furthermore for the first year or two I just thought my characters sucked because I was a newbie, it took me a while to realize that trying to play warriors who aren't one trick ponies was a sucker deal.



Yea, I can definitely understand how that could happen.  You have my sympathies. 

@ others: Maybe ruin is too harsh a word here, but I really am looking for the actual number of experiences (or % of time) it has fouled the game enough to where people really didn't want to play.
I can't think of any time balance has been an utter game ruiner for me or even really all that much of an issue (full disclosure: The only games I play regularily are Pathfinder and 4E. Never actually played 3/3.5 themselves).

The closest I can think was early on in 4E when our group's defender was absurdly min-maxed and no one else was. DM had to chose between matching his power level or the group's power level and generally chose to match the group's, in which case the defender sucked in every serious enemy on round 1 and proceeded to keep their attention effortlessly for the rest of the fight (it got to the point where I, as a ranged striker, would go 5-6 fights without ever being attacked or even really having to move.)

But that was less "balance" (a term whose definition I'm not entirely certain I understand, really) and more a mis-match in different people's playstyles that we eventually hammered out. 
THat's not all the same group, and more than a few of the local players and DMs are pretty blind to 3es flaws. Note how the godificer was able to convince the DM to allow his +20 to every attack roll item based on the spell level formula rather than the total bonus formula. 

Sadly, it DID come out to 2ooogp. The Weapon bonus (enhancement) was ONLY for enhancement bonuses and there where NO other lines in the saection for attack bonuses. True skrike was an insight bonus and a spell, meaning it used the spell effect line. So, by RAW, it was 2000gp for a +20 bonus (non enhancement) to attack. [not that any sane DM SHOULD follow that]

Furthermore for the first year or two I just thought my characters sucked because I was a newbie, it took me a while to realize that trying to play warriors who aren't one trick ponies was a sucker deal.

Sorry it took you so long.

Well then that's what needs  to be fixed in 5e isn't it? all the stupid things that casters could do by RAW but which no supposeedly sane DM would allow.
Sadly, it DID come out to 2ooogp. The Weapon bonus (enhancement) was ONLY for enhancement bonuses and there where NO other lines in the saection for attack bonuses. True skrike was an insight bonus and a spell, meaning it used the spell effect line. So, by RAW, it was 2000gp for a +20 bonus (non enhancement) to attack. [not that any sane DM SHOULD follow that]



Not quite.  That formula would work if you actually went through the timing necessary to cast True Strike; standard action, applied only to your next attack.
I have a pretty skilled optimizer in my group. So he's caused some problems and some envy. But this will happen regardless of the system (his last character was a fighter in Pathfider), as so much of the rest of the group is non-optimizers. His characters will always be better.

But this hasn't caused too much discontent, as he is such a good role-player.

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I had a Rifts campaign get stale because my char was just too statically powerful. He was a tattooed man and was kind of pushed into the same set of combat options every combat because they were the most powerful combat options in the party, so everything revolved around them. I love Rifts, but the mechanics really are awful, and in that case the campaign ended prematurely because of them. 


The first time I ran Planescape one of the guys wanted to play a demi-demon or whatever they are called. He was a bit more flashy than the other chars. They noticed, but it only took a few sessions to get everything balanced out and the campaign ran nicely from that point. 


On the wargaming front I was playing 40k one night, my opponent thought we were running 1500 point lists, while I was under the impression we were fighting at 1850. That game was ruined because of the imbalance. We noticed the discrepancy on turn 3 or 4. 


Back in H.S. I was a pretty good chess player. At scout camp one summer all the scoutmasters wanted to play. It was fun at first just wrecking all those guys. But it got stale pretty quickly as it became apparent that I wasn’t really competing at all, I was just way more practiced at the time, and so it was more of a point difference than a skill or intelligence one. 


Some imbalances have been great fun though: In war gaming, I love historical reenactment scenarios, many of those are completely unbalanced. You just try for the best result you can get. 


And in Eve online, my pilot only has 10million skill points and I fly cheap ships. Against guys with 20 or 50 million SP’s and well-fitted ships I don’t stand a chance in head to head combat. So the game becomes to not get caught! In that case the imbalance creates the interaction. 


And in casino’s my favorite game is roulette even though it has the worst odds. I don’t know why. 


All that being said I think it is impossible to balance every class in every situation. However they should be as well balanced from a mathematical and options standpoint as the designers can make them. 

The first regular group I managed to get in was during junior high, and turned out to be a Monty Haul campaign.  It was way back in pre-red box basic/expert, and was soon switched to AD&D.  It was probably the only D&D game I ever played in that was ruined by balance issues, although in fairness imbalance in character power was just the most obvious part of the larger problem, which was simply that the DM played favorites.
I seem to be in the minority here, but the groups I played with never had that many balance issues with 3.X, mostly because we seldom played past double digit levels, and always were open about our character building "secrets" so the more experienced players were happy to help the newbie guys with advice.  I'd say that the issue is essentialy moot so long as everyone is a team player.

...never had that many balance issues with 3.X, mostly because we seldom played past double digit levels, ...



I'm with you here, I think the game really works better at 1-10. Beyond that it becomes a superhero game, and thats a very different animal.

I've been playing 30 years.  Half of my pre-4e games ended at name level because the casters became overpowered and campaign writing became an exercise in countering the spellcaster's latest gimmick, which led to the casters devising a new gimmick, which led to the casters coming up with a new gimmick.

Our unspoken rule was by the time an encounter (combat or non-) began with the martials looking to the casters and saying "You got this?", it was probably time to reset the campaign.  A common topic at conventions I went to for DMs was "When do you know it's time to end the campaign?" with various DMs explaining their yardstick as to when the caster supremacy became intolerable.
I can honestly say I have never had an issue with "caster supremacy" in any game I've run or played in. Maybe I'm lucky in that, maybe I can just handle casters and players really well. Who knows.
The only time I've had imbalance issues is when they were huge imbalance issues. We had a 2nd edition game where the DM allowed 2 things that shouldn't have been player characters. While one did, the other was given this after a little while. So the first was a Minotaur that gained the ability to shapeshift over the course of the game and the other was....I don't remember what he started off as, but gained the ability to turn, at will, into a sapphire dragon. While my Wizard was never allowed to have the spell fireball, I made due with dropping wall of iron on any fight I felt like getting in on. Otherwise the halfling rogue and I would just watch or loot the treasure room. This was one of those look at those two and go "You got this?" times.
I've broken systems, particularly with psionics. I had a 2nd edition psion that could make dimension doors and the DM allowed me to basically use it as a way to weaponize the opponents. Drop the victim through the dimension doors until they reached terminal velocity, then redirect the exit door at the other badguys. This was a clear case of DM fiat, cuz I asked if I could do that and was told yes.
Also, had a 3.0 psychic warrior/barbarian where I slightly abused the subdual damage rule. Subdual damage all goes away with one point of healing. To make a basically unstoppable barbarian. I forget the power name but it turned x amount of damage into subdual. The cleric did one point of healing, all good. The character gained other things throughout the adventure that make him ridiculously over powered, but still on par with the wizard that went crazy through out the story. 

Through out that all, we still had fun. The games often went into high level play and epic a couple of times without any real problems. The only problem would be either disruptive players or poor DMs who just don't learn, at all. The mechanical imbalances that occured/existed never factored in. 
We had a 4E game breakdown for imbalance once.  We determined that problem was that three of us were only using PHBI classes and powers but the other player had some freaky monk from another cooler source boock. That character was amazing. I played a Wizard and that was very ho hum. 

Then again I ran a 3.5 gestalt game that sorta emploded.  But we were tyring to make crazy characters.

So, in about 30 years of playing, maybe two games under the brand.

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Never had a campaign die due to imbalance on the players' ends. Our 4e campaign almost died due to monster/enemy imbalance (the DM swore he was choosing appropriate monsters, but the monsters always seemed to have a major advantage over us), but that could just be a lousy DM.

The thing that always killed my games was more the issue of players who do not balance their character types and styles to the rest of the group. For example, when the party is pretty a close-knit group of friends and adventurers, one player would always have to make the character who, personality-wise, sticks out like a sore thumb. 

Just roll some dice.

 

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THat's not all the same group, and more than a few of the local players and DMs are pretty blind to 3es flaws.



I'm trying to see your point here, dude, I really am, but seriously... 

Your argument is that 3ed system is inherently flawed because your...

My first warforged for example was an artificer-monk with the kung-fu genius feat,


...was overpowered?


I'm sorry, dude, but that's actually quite funny.
So you make an absurd character using practically not a single element that's in the Core Books, but comes from random suplements or whatever book you could find some unbalanced classes/races/feats in, that who knows who has written, but almost for sure weren't the same guys who wrote the core rules... and say that the problem is in the system of rules?

Didn't it occur to you that any umbalance or flaw in that game might, just might, be because your were playing an absurd character for a D&D game?


In any version of D&D the system of rules was made having certain values and standards in mind.
I don't remember any "Robot-Monks who are Kung Fu masters" being in any of the basic 3ed books.

If you throw in a bunch of bad-written suplements you can ruin any game in any version of D&D.
Throw in a bunch of numbers and abilities that are far off from what the designers first intended the game to be, and of course things will get bizarre, out of hand, in whatever edition you may be playing.


To me what changed drastically from 2ed to 3ed has actually nothing to do with the system of rules itself.
But the mentality of many new (and some old too) players who were introduced to the game at that point in time.

Around year 2000 and on, we entered an era of much, much more fantasy games (on consoles, PCs, MMOs and stuff) flooding the market, in which the "cool thing" to do in the game was to do whatever you must to have the most overpowered character possible, no matter what concept lay behind that character. Be it an Elf Archer or a Half-Lizard Ninja-Bard from the Middle-East!

"This one does 500 damage. The other one does 490. So I'll have the first one."
And maybe there's nothing wrong with that in video-games. That can be pretty fun to play... in video-games.

Problem is around that time (which was the same time roughly 3ed came out) I saw I lot of people starting to play D&D with that same mentality.

"Hey, dwarf warriors are cool, but they only do 15 damage... so I'll make a Giant Half-Ooze Half-Robot Space Ninja Chosen of the Gods who wields four Katanas... in each hand... who does 150 damage."

D&D was just not made to be played like that.
If you try to play it like that (and to do so you add in a bunch of suplements that twist and spit on the basic rules/standards to make it possible), then of course your game will go bad. It does not matter what edition.


Of course there have always been players like that, even before 3ed, but as the general pop culture of fantasy and anime began to change I saw all of a sudden just too many people trying to change D&D into something else. Instead of trying to see it for what kind of game it really was.
I would see more and more people choosing not to play what character concept they thought was cool, to instead make something else which they didn't quite like playing just because they would have +1, +2 or +5 in this or that.


My only good suggestion in such case is to go find another game that suits better what you're looking for in terms of fun.
And as a general rule I can say probably video-games will reach out better to your needs than Tabletop RPGs.
If you think the 3e PHB was balanced, at all, you have problems.  In no sane universe could anybody think the fighter, or the bard, were in any way balanced with the wizard, cleric, and druid.

3e was unbalanced, horribly, from day one.  Everybody knows that.
It was stil popular though and still is via Pathfinder. You do not need balance at all in a game. I liked 3.5 despite the problems it had as you could fix them up to a point via houserules.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

 It was stil popular though and still is via Pathfinder. You do not need balance at all in a game.



I disagree completely.

Popular and good are not synonymous.  See: Justin Bieber, Twilight, et al.
You do not need balance at all in a game.




To that I'll agree 100%!

The objective of any game is having fun.
If everyone is having fun, who cares if the mage can put out 50 damage per round, while the fighter only 30 and the rogue 20?
Most likely the Rogue cares a lot more about all the skills he can use than how much damage he's doing.


I liked 3.5 despite the problems it had as you could fix them up to a point via houserules.


I'd prefer to pay for somethign where I don't have to rewrite half the game to make it balanced.
 It was stil popular though and still is via Pathfinder. You do not need balance at all in a game.



I disagree completely.

Popular and good are not synonymous.  See: Justin Bieber, Twilight, et al.




 Thats fine but its subjective. To sell well and exist as a commercial product you do not need a balanced RPG at all. I want somehitng better balanced than 3.5 but thats a preference of mine. Its not a requirement at all.

 Justin Bieber makes money and if your job revolves around him thats the most important thing (I can't stand him myself).


 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

If you think the 3e PHB was balanced, at all, you have problems.  In no sane universe could anybody think the fighter, or the bard, were in any way balanced with the wizard, cleric, and druid.

3e was unbalanced, horribly, from day one.  Everybody knows that.




You have a very strange notion of "Everybody" then, because I've played 3ed for years, with countless players, and:

a) The fighter was the most played class. Far more than wizards or clerics.
b) No one has ever complained of unbalance in the 3ed games I have participated.



You're probably one of those people who try to see a video-game inside a Tabletop RPG.
"If all classes are not doing the same average X damage per round, then there's a problem."

Not even for video-games that's a rule actually. 
You do not need balance at all in a game.




To that I'll agree 100%!

The objective of any game is having fun.
If everyone is having fun, who cares if the mage can put out 50 damage per round, while the fighter only 30 and the rogue 20?
Most likely the Rogue cares a lot more about all the skills he can use than how much damage he's doing.


It's a problem if its like it is now, where putting out damage is literally the only thing the Fighter has going for him, and other classes can do it better, AND still get a bunch of fun toys. At that point, it's less about balance and that just not even being very fair game design.
If you think the 3e PHB was balanced, at all, you have problems.  In no sane universe could anybody think the fighter, or the bard, were in any way balanced with the wizard, cleric, and druid.

3e was unbalanced, horribly, from day one.  Everybody knows that.




You have a very strange notion of "Everybody" then, because I've played 3ed for years, with countless players, and:

a) The fighter was the most played class. Far more than wizards or clerics.


As said earlier, popular and good are not synonymous. The fact that people in your group played Fighter more is irrelevant.
You do not need balance at all in a game.




To that I'll agree 100%!

The objective of any game is having fun.
If everyone is having fun, who cares if the mage can put out 50 damage per round, while the fighter only 30 and the rogue 20?
Most likely the Rogue cares a lot more about all the skills he can use than how much damage he's doing.


It's a problem if its like it is now, where putting out damage is literally the only thing the Fighter has going for him, and other classes can do it better, AND still get a bunch of fun toys. At that point, it's less about balance and that just not even being very fair game design.



 Depends on what the D&D customers want. THe other classes do not really nmatch the fighters DPM even with spells.

 Whats ones opinon are about 3.5 and 4th I would not call them boring. Right now D&DN is boring and to me that is worse than unbalanced. I can houserule balance myself if it is an issue. You should see my houserules on spellcasters in 3.5 (you can't even be one until level 3). You can't buy magic items either.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

If you think the 3e PHB was balanced, at all, you have problems.  In no sane universe could anybody think the fighter, or the bard, were in any way balanced with the wizard, cleric, and druid.

3e was unbalanced, horribly, from day one.  Everybody knows that.




You have a very strange notion of "Everybody" then, because I've played 3ed for years, with countless players, and:

a) The fighter was the most played class. Far more than wizards or clerics.
b) No one has ever complained of unbalance in the 3ed games I have participated.



You're probably one of those people who try to see a video-game inside a Tabletop RPG.
"If all classes are not doing the same average X damage per round, then there's a problem."

Not even for video-games that's a rule actually. 



Lack of complaint does not indicate that they have not noticed it.  Perhaps everybody played fighters because they realized the spellcasters were horribly designed.

When the druid's animal companion, a single class feature, is objectively and mathematically superior to a fighter, there is a problem.  When a spellcaster can bypass an entire encounter with a single spell, there is a problem.

And no, I do not try to see a video game inside a table top RPG.
popular and good are not synonymous
balance and good are not synonymous

Even with the games that seemed to emplode for balance issues, we still had fun

Fun is king.

Balance is a poser.

"The Apollo moon landing is off topic for this thread and this forum. Let's get back on topic." Crazy Monkey

And for me, fun requires balance.