DMing 3.0 or 4e

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I started playing D&D back in 1983, Greyhawk and Blackmoor, but our regular group quickly changed over to the Forgotten Realms. I pretty much ended up DMing exclusively after that. I played in a weekly regular group up to about the end of 1993. We even had a game going overseas during Desert Storm. I still have all my FR, AD&D, 3.0 and 3.5 books. I am still rather confident that I could successfully DM campaigns under those rules. I know the Forgotten Realms setting very well and feel I can immerse the players in the setting.

However, with 4e being out I wonder if it might be better to give it a try. I bought the red box and ran my daughter and her friend through a quick adventure and they seemed to have a blast. It made me remember some good times. So I am looking for some advice. Stick with what I know best 3.0/3.5 and teach my new players old school or take the plunge into 4e. I have read many reviews that 4e has become a Warcraft pnp which scares me.  

As far as 4e books what will I need to pick up to DM a successful campaign if I take the plunge. 
I have read many reviews that 4e has become a Warcraft pnp which scares me.

Be at ease. The edition rectifies combat, which has long been needed, and the way they decided to do that was to give everyone some constant powers and everyone some limited powers, instead of trying to balance some characters with constant abilities (like fighters) and some with limited powers (like wizards). That's the major change from past editions, and the main reason people claim it's like Warcraft.

Other than that, the game works as it always has, though with a lot of the vain attempts at realism toned down. There's still roleplaying and problem solving and interaction and exploration. I recommend it, and I'm happy to answer any questions about it here or over Private Message.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

Just sent you a mail haven't figured out how to PM here.
 
The amusing and ironic thing here is that there is a pnp version of warcraft, and it's actually based off of 3.x...

But in any case, I'm going to agree with Centauri on this one, 4e is pretty much nothing like Warcraft (pnp or mmo).
Combat has ben fixed so that most of the classes are relatively balanced at all levels, and a lot of the rules have been simplified and streamlined.
Generally speaking it is a MUCH easier system for new players to pick up and learn than 3.x.

However, i will also add that 5e is also in the works, and from what i've seen it is more like 3.5 than 4e. So if you think you may want to switch to 5e when it launches in 2014, it would probably be better to save your money, stick to 3.5 and hop over next year.

 

 
FWIW [4e designer] baseline assumption was that roughly 70% of your feats would be put towards combat effectiveness, parties would coordinate, and strikers would do 20/40/60 at-will damage+novas. If your party isn't doing that... well, you are below baseline, so yes, you need to optimize slightly to meet baseline. -Alcestis
as long-time WOW player: it plays nothing like WOW, it's got fantastic balance relative to 3e and is absolutely fantastic to DM- go for it!

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/8.jpg)

I've been playing since 1981 and 4E is, without a doubt, my favourite edition.

I also use the 4E version of the Realms despite the fact that most FR fans hate it but, if I were you, I would grab the Neverwinter Campaign Setting, whatever 4E books you need, a DDi subscription and run a game there. 

4E is so much easier to prepare for as a DM. I loved 3.5E too but, in the end, the prep time just killed it for me. I'll stick with 4E until at least 6E, as 5E looks like it won't be something I am interested in either. 
Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom

I prefer 3.5 by a longshot. 


Have you asked your players their preference? I'd put it to group vote and go with that one. 

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

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"Your advice is the worst"

The whole "4e is a pnp MMO" is mostly something edition warriors made up to contrive reasons to hate on 4e.
The main reason the anti-4E crowd cry MMO is that classess are partly defined by combat roll.
Defender.
Leader.
Controller.
Striker.
Way back in the old days the wizards "job" was to blast the clerics "job" was to heal and the Fighters "job" was to get between the bad guys and the wizard and the cleric.  

I remember a story about a living greyhawk game 3.0 where people died because the cleric only cast spells on himself and refused to heal anyone else. Alot of the other players at the table said he was playing it wrong. The 4E books would support the idea that the cleric is ment to support his team. 
The sea looks at the stabillity of the mountian and sighs. The mountian watches the freedom of the sea and cries.
4th Edition is really great.

It'easy to run, it's hard to create deficient characters, it encourages reflavouring to suit your needs, it's very user friendly regarding ecounter creation, the DMGs are the best if any edition IMHO, they provide very solid advice on how to create and run a campaign.

And if your daughter and her friend enjoyed then I say go for it.

This is all my humble and meaningless opinion, in the end you should go with what you feel more comfortable with, but personally, 4th Edition completely renewed my love for D&D and, in my experience, it's great to introduce new Players to D&D and the hobby in general.

Hope you and your daughter have fun and keep playing D&D, regardless of the edition you end up running.
I started playing D&D back in 1983, Greyhawk and Blackmoor, but our regular group quickly changed over to the Forgotten Realms. I pretty much ended up DMing exclusively after that. I played in a weekly regular group up to about the end of 1993. We even had a game going overseas during Desert Storm. I still have all my FR, AD&D, 3.0 and 3.5 books. I am still rather confident that I could successfully DM campaigns under those rules. I know the Forgotten Realms setting very well and feel I can immerse the players in the setting.

However, with 4e being out I wonder if it might be better to give it a try. I bought the red box and ran my daughter and her friend through a quick adventure and they seemed to have a blast. It made me remember some good times. So I am looking for some advice. Stick with what I know best 3.0/3.5 and teach my new players old school or take the plunge into 4e. I have read many reviews that 4e has become a Warcraft pnp which scares me.  

As far as 4e books what will I need to pick up to DM a successful campaign if I take the plunge. 



Well first of all there is something to be said about playing what you know and you shouldn't hop aboard an edition simply because it is the current one (heck 5e is playtesting right now, thats about as current as you can get).  However I am a big fan of 4e, it is the best edition of the rules to date (including what we have seen of 5e) IMO and I would advise you to run it.

You seemed to enjoy running the Red Box with your daughter so I would suggest that you get a full party together and maybe run through all of the Redbox stuff if you haven't already.  The Red Box adventure is really story light and combat heavy but that isn't neccesarily a bad thing for new players.  You can run up to level three and I would advise you do that.  Give the game a fair shake and see if you like it enough to keep investing.  If you don't no loss you still have your 3e books.
4e is incredibly easy to DM.  As a DM, I prefer to run 4e.

When I (rarely) get to be a player, my preferred edition in 3.5e.

4e has some great traits.  All classes are balanced at all levels of play(so no high-level wizards blasting everything while the rest of the party becomes irrelevant).  Encounter design is a BREEZE.  Skill challenges make a concrete and easy system for awarding XP for non-combat "encounters".

However, that said, it's kind of an odd time to start playing 4e.  D&DNext (the playtest for 5e) is in the works. 
I've played pathfinder, 3.5e and 4e. I would start with D and D next, because it is the next version and it's free. It's spouted as being simple to run.

3.5e has complex core rules and complex character creation, it's tough to GM.

Pathfiner has very complex core rules and character creation is growing more complex. You will spend alot of time looking up rules. It's not that easy to GM or play.

4e has a simple core rule. Core rule complexity does exist in the form of effects or conditions. The character creation is very complex with massive options. Just stick with the Red box for now, if you choice 4e. Get a DDI account and use the character builder, DM tools and access to the online magazines, it will make life much easy as a DM.
Here's a suggestion:


  • determine the theme of your campaign

  • check which game system best supports the playstyle/feel and flow of the campaign

  • use that system


Within the context of the thread, I'd say that since you want to use the Forgotten Realms campaign (high fantasy), and you already have a couple of players who are comfortable with D&D 4E, go for 4E.  3E/3.5E might work, but you'll likely need to take a look-see at your players' characters, in part due to the [potential] complexity of character creation and development in said edition, and in part due to the possible difficulties of running a campaign when the PCs go past levels 6 ~ 11.

[ If you are able to get hold of 13th Age and don't mind a bit of Icon translation (e.g. Elminster Aumar = Archmage), I'd highly recommend the said system Of course, you could just drop the Icons part and work on that last ;) ]
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57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
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This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
I'd say 3.5 still has massive support via Pathfinder. Whereas 4e was largely hated and they're trying to abandon large chunks of the system in 5e.

Not necessarily true: post-2E elements (skills, feats) and 3.5E/4E elements (maneuvers/tricks [martial powers]) do exist in 5E.  Also, considering how in the early 5E polls about half the player base just as much liked and disliked a lot of 4E elements (with the "largely hated" bit primarily isolated to long combat) as well as pre-4E elements, I can only assume that this is a rather myopic assumption.

And honestly, I don't understand why people find 3.5 so hard to learn. It's actually a really simple system driven by logic for the most part.

Actually, while the system can be really simple and logic-driven, the overall design is not solid enough, due to the numerous rules loopholes found within the system.  Why else do you think people would consider having 5+ multiclasses in an effort to get the most out of the classes?

As far as I can tell, every edition of D&D has been logic driven.  It's just a matter of perspective I guess.
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57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging

As someone who knows PF and 3.5 fairly well it isn't that the system doesn't make sense.  That I never said.  It is that the system has a high barrier to entry.  It is hard to sit down and make a 15 min wizard that will not be terrible with someone who knows the system.  It can be done, but it is pretty hard to do quickly.  The number of options and things that players can choose from is very overwhelming to new players (I say this as someone who has taught a couple dozen people how to play PF), and the difference between a level 6 character who only really looks at books when they are at game and only sort of knows what to do and a level 6 character who knows the books by memory are not even in the same league.  That can be very discouraging for the player.  More-over if a new player ask "How did you do that" the answer isn't generally X feat + Y Item = Z outcome.  The combinations due to the many different typing of bonuses can be pretty crazy and when they see you are drawing from a dozen sources for one character it looks like madness (to a new player).

The key difference is that the 4e player can take one of the character builders and spit out a useful, if not perfect, character in 15 minutes and have a new player feeling like they are playing something that not only does something useful at the table, but they had a hand in making it.  If PF had some version of the online character builder that would go a really really long way towards helping this barrier to entry problem.  The roles are also spelled out differently and explicitly (where they were mostly only implied in the older editions, but they were still there) so new players can go "oh, my job is to heal people first and do other stuff second, got it".  It cuts down on analysis paralysis, where the new player has no idea what is going on, even if they are really trying to learn.  I've seen a new wizard jump into a Pathfinder game at level 3 and spend the first two sessions with his nose in his spellbook the entire session only looking up to shoot a bow every now and again.  You don't have that problem in 4e.

Now nothing wrong with PF in that it gives you more options, more depth, more little gems to find squirreled away in corners that you didn't see on the 43rd read, but saw how to properly use on the 44th.  That's great for the people who want to spend that much time working on a game.  But if your player doesn't have the ability or desire to get over the barrier to entry, and then doesn't have the investment to want to look at all the source material and finally doesn't have the spare time they are willing to devote to actually perfecting things, often times it falls a little flat.
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I started playing D&D back in 1983, Greyhawk and Blackmoor, but our regular group quickly changed over to the Forgotten Realms. I pretty much ended up DMing exclusively after that. I played in a weekly regular group up to about the end of 1993. We even had a game going overseas during Desert Storm. I still have all my FR, AD&D, 3.0 and 3.5 books. I am still rather confident that I could successfully DM campaigns under those rules. I know the Forgotten Realms setting very well and feel I can immerse the players in the setting.

However, with 4e being out I wonder if it might be better to give it a try. I bought the red box and ran my daughter and her friend through a quick adventure and they seemed to have a blast. It made me remember some good times. So I am looking for some advice. Stick with what I know best 3.0/3.5 and teach my new players old school or take the plunge into 4e. I have read many reviews that 4e has become a Warcraft pnp which scares me.  

As far as 4e books what will I need to pick up to DM a successful campaign if I take the plunge. 


So, as you may have noticed, most people have a strong opinion on the issue and this being the internet, they can't pass up an excuse to argue about it.  All that crap aside:

If you're up for trying something new, go ahead and try 4e.  There are a lot of people, even long-time D&D vets like yourself, who really do think it's pretty great.  Just go into it with an open mind,  and you might end up thinking it's pretty nice.  If not, you'll still have all your old books.

If you decide to go for it, the core three, Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and Monster Manual are as good a place as ever to start.   Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
Knights of W.T.F.- Silver Spur Winner
4enclave, a place where 4e fans can talk 4e in peace.
I started playing D&D back in 1983, Greyhawk and Blackmoor, but our regular group quickly changed over to the Forgotten Realms. I pretty much ended up DMing exclusively after that. I played in a weekly regular group up to about the end of 1993. We even had a game going overseas during Desert Storm. I still have all my FR, AD&D, 3.0 and 3.5 books. I am still rather confident that I could successfully DM campaigns under those rules. I know the Forgotten Realms setting very well and feel I can immerse the players in the setting.

However, with 4e being out I wonder if it might be better to give it a try. I bought the red box and ran my daughter and her friend through a quick adventure and they seemed to have a blast. It made me remember some good times. So I am looking for some advice. Stick with what I know best 3.0/3.5 and teach my new players old school or take the plunge into 4e. I have read many reviews that 4e has become a Warcraft pnp which scares me.  

As far as 4e books what will I need to pick up to DM a successful campaign if I take the plunge. 




For new players, I recommend more of the Essentials line. The Rules Compendium, Monster Vault Box set, which I think continues from where the Red Box adventure leaves off. For players, they'll want Heroes of the Fallen Lands and/or Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms. 4e has the classic Player's Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master's Guide and you'd be fine starting off with those, but I actually prefer to start my newer players off with just some of the Essentials stuff, though. That's usually fastest for character creation.
Before this thread can get locked, and more people go off the topic, I'm going to asure the OP that all the Dungeons and Dragons editions are infact supported by Wizards of the Coast. The concept of a dead system with limited material access was blown out of the water when WotC started releasing all the editions core books in hard copy and the support material in pdf's.

D&D 1e to 4e adventures, and other material can be accessed through the online pdf store, the link is below. More material will become available over time.

www.dndclassics.com/

Pathfinder (which is an updated version of 3.5e) has new material published through Paizo Publishing. They produce alot of material, not all of it is good in my opinion (it has lots of fluff, which can be fun or never get used), but how good it is you will have to figure out yourself. They have no plans to stop making material. The link is below,

paizo.com/

D&D 4e doesn't get alot of hard book publishing as WotC mostly release new material through the online magazines called "Dungeon" and "Dragon". You will need a subscription for these magazines, but it also comes with an online character builder, a monster archive and builder, rules compendium. WoTC will likely stop releasing material eventually in a few years, but there's enough to keep you going for a decade atleast. The adventures are a mixed bag of good and bad, much like pathfinder. The link is below,

www.wizards.com/dnd/Tools.aspx

D&D Next is very new and still in testing. It has a few adventures with more coming and is completely free at this stage. You can expect new material for many years I would image. The link is below,

www.wizards.com/dnd/DnDNext.aspx
As a recomendation, I would try D&dnext or 5th ed as soon as it becomes stable enough to play. It's always easier to get into something new when ur coming back to a game since your just learning new **** anyways.

as of 3.5 or 4.0 I played both and I felt like the creativity allowed in 4th ed between what you do and how you do it was cut by the shins. 4.0 is more for players who ask what can I do vs can I do this? Which leads me to love 3.5 as a Dm and a player much more. Complex and suffisticated is what we're about and that is why I'd say D&d players are typically more intelligent.

And so I would admit to be a 4.0 hater, It's not worth my time to try and workwith (Admittedly I played with only the first set of books that came out)
As a recomendation, I would try D&dnext or 5th ed as soon as it becomes stable enough to play. It's always easier to get into something new when ur coming back to a game since your just learning new **** anyways.

as of 3.5 or 4.0 I played both and I felt like the creativity allowed in 4th ed between what you do and how you do it was cut by the shins. 4.0 is more for players who ask what can I do vs can I do this? Which leads me to love 3.5 as a Dm and a player much more. Complex and suffisticated is what we're about and that is why I'd say D&d players are typically more intelligent.

And so I would admit to be a 4.0 hater, It's not worth my time to try and workwith (Admittedly I played with only the first set of books that came out)

Sounds more like a DMing style combined with the lukewarm quality of adventures that WotC has been releasing, rather than the system itself, because of two things:

1. 4E is heavily influenced by 3.5E and Star Wars Saga Edition innovations
* encounter powers -- Tome of Battle
* at-will powers -- 3.5E Warlock
* daily powers -- all pre-4E classes that had X/day abilities, including Vancian magic users
* healing surges -- Iron Heroes
* action points -- Eberron
* roles -- arguably d20 Modern, though I do believe a clear reference to MMOs was mentioned in one of the designer notes so you could also say it isn't a D&D thing (even though D&D has always had roles, just not formally written down)
* attacker always rolls [instead of having saving throws for spells] -- Star Wars Saga Edition
* Second Wind -- Star Wars Saga Edition
* feats -- 3E
* skills -- 3E

2. 4E consistently encourages the "Yes", "Yes, and...", and "Yes, but..." philosophies, which I assume is the basic premise around "can I do this?"

#2 might sound like it goes against the concept of 4E with the existence of powers and feats and the like, but honestly I see no reason why there should be any friction with the idea.  As a DM yes I'd allow just about any crazy stunt with ability or skill checks, and even throw in a bonus or two, but the opportunity cost and ability to replicate it depends on how powerful the effect is and if it's duplicated by an in-game element: if you want to duplicate the power of a class, then it's a standard action (or may even take an entire turn) and the frequency of use would be less than that which the said class can normally accomplish... so if you want to slice at two enemies (Fighter Cleave) as a Barbarian I'd allow it, but you'd need to add a quick action and it'd be doable once per battle only instead of at-will (because one you're not executing it as proficiently as a Fighter -- you'd have to undergo a more rigorous training regiment than just "looking at your Fighter friend" -- and two enemies can see what you're trying to do and so unlike the Fighter you get less opportunities to execute his moves).  Now if as a Barbarian you really wanted to perfect your Fighter friend's Cleave technique and take it as your own I'd say sure of course but you're going to have to trade in your less-used Barbarian at-will because you're going to have to train hard and long enough that for you to execute that Barbarian at-will again you'll need to make a Wisdom check the first time you use it in a day, and even then it might not be at-will.  You could try to master more at-wills of course, but that'll likely cost you an encounter power.  Duplicating dailies could work too, but it'll cost you your own daily, or some other exchange that is at least equivalent in value.

Of course, this sort of ruling does require a bit of understanding of the 4E rules and the implications of changing those rules, which is why it's found in page 189 of the DMG as opposed to a more blatant "rule 0" where rules are stated to be guidelines.

[ If you want further proof of how 4E encourages people using all of their PC's abilities in ways that aren't in the character sheets, there's page 42, as well as Player's Strategy Guide. ]

What I've always noted however is that most of the complaints about 4E fall under two things:
* errata
* presentation

Errata I understand: seems Mike Mearls was finally convinced that the market demanded that errata needed to be minimized, hence the playtest and (hopefully) actually listening to the playtesters as opposed to what happened during 4E's release (where 4E was playtested, but few if any criticisms by the playtesters were acted upon).

As for presentation, well, as we can see here, the presentation prevents players from seeing the actual differences between classes, which is often why it's often suggested that you actually play 4E for awhile to see how different a fighter plays from a ranger and from a wizard.  It's also a presentation issue that discourages players from thinking out of the box because the first thing you'd often refer to would be the character sheet (the box), and with the way powers are formatted it's easy to get the misconception that you're only able to do stuff that's in your character sheet.

It's all the more reason why I prefer 13th Age actually, since it actually learns from 4E, takes ideas from 3E and even other TRPGs, and wraps it all up into a system where just about everything's familiar to just about every D&D player... and even though there isn't any "rule 0" printed out anywhere in the book, the design of the system and the way it's presented does give the feel that rule 0 -- a less deviant and more pro-group variant, where instead of saying "rules are only guidelines (to the DM)", you get the feeling of "players and DMs should work together, both as part of and in spite of the rules" -- is at the heart and soul of running the entire system.

As for quality of adventures, that's more of a third person hearsay on the topic; personally I'm fine with just about every adventure released by WotC so far, but I'm not really that hard to please when it comes to the subject.
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57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
I can't argue on the account of other PnP games, because I havn't really enjoyed any besides d&d 3.5, although I have tried. It just have the respect in my eyes as an origional. 

However when it comes to comparing 3.5 to 4.0 I do recognize where they got there ideas within 3.5 and 3.0 but I would only expect that from a d&d game. I never had the privalage of reading the 4.0 DMG but when observing the game from a players perspective the ability of daily, encounter and willing moves, made it aparent that in a combat situation your only true bonuses came from following these, acting outside of them didn't appear as an option. 
I know in 3.5 atleast it is soo vague on how you specifically attack (besides the difference of grapples, trips, and so on[as I am talking about the way you swing or strike]) that it made it appear better as something that isnt covered and is something for the Dm to litigate using potential basic rules. 
This gave a much more unwritten Rp system allowing for the imagination to run freely in comparison to options and having the desire to be outside the box. But simply there is little to no box. 

And as a player I enjoy the combat because its something I can rely on with a backbone, but more preferablly I love the ability of Rp and infinite solutions to how you go about things. It makes PnP a world of infinite imagination in comparison to a videogame.
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Go 3.5.

Since the orc is on a rampage, at the moment. 
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/


1. 4E is heavily influenced by 3.5E and Star Wars Saga Edition innovations
* encounter powers -- Tome of Battle
* at-will powers -- 3.5E Warlock
* daily powers -- all pre-4E classes that had X/day abilities, including Vancian magic users
* healing surges -- Iron Heroes
* action points -- Eberron
* roles -- arguably d20 Modern, though I do believe a clear reference to MMOs was mentioned in one of the designer notes so you could also say it isn't a D&D thing (even though D&D has always had roles, just not formally written down)
* attacker always rolls [instead of having saving throws for spells] -- Star Wars Saga Edition
* Second Wind -- Star Wars Saga Edition
* feats -- 3E
* skills -- 3E




Not to put too fine a point on it, but the attacker always rolling was introduced in 3.5's Unearthed Arcana, and skills were introduced in BECMI.
FWIW [4e designer] baseline assumption was that roughly 70% of your feats would be put towards combat effectiveness, parties would coordinate, and strikers would do 20/40/60 at-will damage+novas. If your party isn't doing that... well, you are below baseline, so yes, you need to optimize slightly to meet baseline. -Alcestis
I started playing D&D back in 1983, Greyhawk and Blackmoor, but our regular group quickly changed over to the Forgotten Realms. I pretty much ended up DMing exclusively after that. I played in a weekly regular group up to about the end of 1993. We even had a game going overseas during Desert Storm. I still have all my FR, AD&D, 3.0 and 3.5 books. I am still rather confident that I could successfully DM campaigns under those rules. I know the Forgotten Realms setting very well and feel I can immerse the players in the setting.

However, with 4e being out I wonder if it might be better to give it a try. I bought the red box and ran my daughter and her friend through a quick adventure and they seemed to have a blast. It made me remember some good times. So I am looking for some advice. Stick with what I know best 3.0/3.5 and teach my new players old school or take the plunge into 4e. I have read many reviews that 4e has become a Warcraft pnp which scares me.  

As far as 4e books what will I need to pick up to DM a successful campaign if I take the plunge. 



I started playing DnD when I was a kid in the mid 80's, mostly 2e, but some 3.0 in there also.  After I got out of the army in 99, I didn't play much until about 2 years ago, when our DM encouraged us to at least "try" 4e (because myself and my grognard buddy who played 2e with me as far back as '97 stationed in Korea) and if we hated it as much as we told him we would, he'd run a 3.5 campaign.

Well, we haven't looked back.  You couldn't pay me to play 3.5 after playing 4e, imo, it's THAT much better.  I'd sooner play 2e then play 3.5, but in my eyes 4e is far and away a better edition /if/ you have an open mind.  It's easy to run, it will be easier for your girls to learn...but it's on it's way out as DnD Next is being developed.  To me, Next feels like a step back into the stoneages, but might be worth looking over for you.
As a recomendation, I would try D&dnext or 5th ed as soon as it becomes stable enough to play. It's always easier to get into something new when ur coming back to a game since your just learning new **** anyways.


I would disagree heartily with this.  "Because its new" isn't a good reason to play the most current edition of the game.  If I felt that the playtest of Next were a bit more newbie friendly I would probably suggest he go take a look at it.  However, at this stage of the game at least, Next looks real terrible for new players.  I am sure this situation will be remidied by the time Next is released.  But that looks like its going to be as far away as August of 2014.

For now I would suggest that the OP pass on Next.


as of 3.5 or 4.0 I played both and I felt like the creativity allowed in 4th ed between what you do and how you do it was cut by the shins. 4.0 is more for players who ask what can I do vs can I do this? Which leads me to love 3.5 as a Dm and a player much more. Complex and suffisticated is what we're about and that is why I'd say D&d players are typically more intelligent.



First of all its sophisticated not suffisticated.  I don't mean to be rude but that misspelling is just hillariously ironic in context.  No hard feelings ;)

Secondly I would argue that 4e was a much better system to improvise in.  The rules had a consistancy and regularity to them that allowed the developers to institute really good improvisation guidelines (page 42 in the DMG, I don't know where in the essentials stuff).  This meant that the DM could take even the most complex plans the players came up with and rule them easily and quickly.

I despised having to deal with improvisation in 3.5 because every different situation had its own sub system (many of them needlessly complex) and unless you had them all memorized it meant a 5-10 minute trip into the books and then another 5-10 minutes to actually resolve the actions.
 

And so I would admit to be a 4.0 hater, It's not worth my time to try and workwith (Admittedly I played with only the first set of books that came out)



You totally have the right to make that judgment for yourself.  I would however ask that you refrain from commenting on an edition you admit you don't have much experience with, in a thread dedicated to informing a new (or newly returned) player about the different editions of the game.  I am sure you have a lot of great information to impart about the editions you like and have a lot of experience with and I think that would make a better post.

The key difference is that the 4e player can take one of the character builders and spit out a useful, if not perfect, character in 15 minutes and have a new player feeling like they are playing something that not only does something useful at the table, but they had a hand in making it.  If PF had some version of the online character builder that would go a really really long way towards helping this barrier to entry problem.


I feel the need to come in and point out that PF and 3.5 do have good charcter builders.


  • For Pathfinder there is PCGen and I think HeroLab although I've never used that because it isn't free and only runs on Windows. (I use OSX and Linux as well)



  • For 3.5 there is PCGen and e-Tools. Which were officially supported by WotC when 3/3.5 was current. Nowadays PCGen can only support the Open Gaming Licence out of the box and e-Tools is unsupported, as WotC dropped them like a stone the moment they announced 4E.*


PCGen just has a new version out, which is easier to use, and it's free so you can just go and try it.


*) I still have full datasets for nearly all 3.5 books, but WotC doesn't allow new sales of those any more. Unlike an online tool, I can still use what I paid for even though WotC doesn't support it any more. I fully expect WotC to axe the 4E tools when Next gets released so I would advice against heavily depending on them so close to the release of a new version.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

Go 3.5.

Since the orc is on a rampage, at the moment. 


So... a moderator doing their job is reason to not provide intelligent discourse on why the original poster should "go 3.5"? O.o

I can't argue on the account of other PnP games, because I havn't really enjoyed any besides d&d 3.5, although I have tried. It just have the respect in my eyes as an origional.



I have greater respect for 0E than AD&D 1E, 2E, 3E and even 4E combined, so I sort of agree here.  But if it's "D&D vs. others", I'd say that just like how traveling the world expands your horizons, so does checking out various TRPGs.

I never had the privalage of reading the 4.0 DMG but when observing the game from a players perspective the ability of daily, encounter and willing moves, made it aparent that in a combat situation your only true bonuses came from following these, acting outside of them didn't appear as an option.

That's weird; even before I started DMing 4E, I was able to pull off a few things outside of what was listed in the powers.  Let's see... dwarf wizard who charges towards enemies even with low STR and wields just a dagger, half elf warrior bull rushing an ogre into a crevasse that can't be climbed out if you don't have equipment to do so...


I know in 3.5 atleast it is soo vague on how you specifically attack (besides the difference of grapples, trips, and so on[as I am talking about the way you swing or strike]) that it made it appear better as something that isnt covered and is something for the Dm to litigate using potential basic rules. 
This gave a much more unwritten Rp system allowing for the imagination to run freely in comparison to options and having the desire to be outside the box. But simply there is little to no box.

Actually, 4E does make it easier to mitigate actions that aren't covered with powers because there's a page in the DMG entitled "Actions That Aren't Covered In the Rules" (the all-too-referenced page 42 of the DMG).  But like I said, this is primarily an issue on presentation rather than actual mechanics.

And as a player I enjoy the combat because its something I can rely on with a backbone, but more preferablly I love the ability of Rp and infinite solutions to how you go about things. It makes PnP a world of infinite imagination in comparison to a videogame.

And all editions are able to provide that, plus I do believe indie TRPGs actually give you a better experience on the subject of "ability to RP and infinite solutions to how you go about things", like FATE, Ars Magica, Dungeon World and 13th Age.  I just prefer 13th Age to Dungeon World because it retains the familiarity of D&D in both format and play, but if you're really into the "infinite solutions" part, perhaps Dungeon World works better for you.
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57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
Go 3.5.

Since the orc is on a rampage, at the moment. 


So... a moderator doing their job is reason to not provide intelligent discourse on why the original poster should "go 3.5"? O.o

I can't argue on the account of other PnP games, because I havn't really enjoyed any besides d&d 3.5, although I have tried. It just have the respect in my eyes as an origional.



I have greater respect for 0E than AD&D 1E, 2E, 3E and even 4E combined, so I sort of agree here.  But if it's "D&D vs. others", I'd say that just like how traveling the world expands your horizons, so does checking out various TRPGs.

I never had the privalage of reading the 4.0 DMG but when observing the game from a players perspective the ability of daily, encounter and willing moves, made it aparent that in a combat situation your only true bonuses came from following these, acting outside of them didn't appear as an option.

That's weird; even before I started DMing 4E, I was able to pull off a few things outside of what was listed in the powers.  Let's see... dwarf wizard who charges towards enemies even with low STR and wields just a dagger, half elf warrior bull rushing an ogre into a crevasse that can't be climbed out if you don't have equipment to do so...


I know in 3.5 atleast it is soo vague on how you specifically attack (besides the difference of grapples, trips, and so on[as I am talking about the way you swing or strike]) that it made it appear better as something that isnt covered and is something for the Dm to litigate using potential basic rules. 
This gave a much more unwritten Rp system allowing for the imagination to run freely in comparison to options and having the desire to be outside the box. But simply there is little to no box.

Actually, 4E does make it easier to mitigate actions that aren't covered with powers because there's a page in the DMG entitled "Actions That Aren't Covered In the Rules" (the all-too-referenced page 42 of the DMG).  But like I said, this is primarily an issue on presentation rather than actual mechanics.

And as a player I enjoy the combat because its something I can rely on with a backbone, but more preferablly I love the ability of Rp and infinite solutions to how you go about things. It makes PnP a world of infinite imagination in comparison to a videogame.

And all editions are able to provide that, plus I do believe indie TRPGs actually give you a better experience on the subject of "ability to RP and infinite solutions to how you go about things", like FATE, Ars Magica, Dungeon World and 13th Age.  I just prefer 13th Age to Dungeon World because it retains the familiarity of D&D in both format and play, but if you're really into the "infinite solutions" part, perhaps Dungeon World works better for you.



Actually, it doesn't really matter what I say in this regard. It seems like everyone just likes to attack anything that isn't "play 4e". Which I can not in any way shape or form recommend to anyone. Ever. My opinion has been stated. I gave reasons as to why I don't like it. If I go any further, certain people on here will just report it as edition warring (when it's really not).
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/

Actually, it doesn't really matter what I say in this regard. It seems like everyone just likes to attack anything that isn't "play 4e". Which I can not in any way shape or form recommend to anyone. Ever. My opinion has been stated. I gave reasons as to why I don't like it. If I go any further, certain people on here will just report it as edition warring (when it's really not).



What you are doing is edition warring.  You don't intend it to be edition warring, you just want to be able to kick at 4e as much as you want.  But it is edition warring none the less.

How about posting about what you like about 3.5 and why you think the OP should play that system specifically.  That would be a constructive post. 

Actually, it doesn't really matter what I say in this regard. It seems like everyone just likes to attack anything that isn't "play 4e". Which I can not in any way shape or form recommend to anyone. Ever. My opinion has been stated. I gave reasons as to why I don't like it. If I go any further, certain people on here will just report it as edition warring (when it's really not).



What you are doing is edition warring.  You don't intend it to be edition warring, you just want to be able to kick at 4e as much as you want.  But it is edition warring none the less.

How about posting about what you like about 3.5 and why you think the OP should play that system specifically.  That would be a constructive post. 



How about you get off my damn back? None of your posts have been very constructive. Just you posting an opinion.

If you don't like what I'm posting, add me to your ignore list. 
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/

Actually, it doesn't really matter what I say in this regard. It seems like everyone just likes to attack anything that isn't "play 4e". Which I can not in any way shape or form recommend to anyone. Ever. My opinion has been stated. I gave reasons as to why I don't like it. If I go any further, certain people on here will just report it as edition warring (when it's really not).



What you are doing is edition warring.  You don't intend it to be edition warring, you just want to be able to kick at 4e as much as you want.  But it is edition warring none the less.

How about posting about what you like about 3.5 and why you think the OP should play that system specifically.  That would be a constructive post. 



How about you get off my damn back? None of your posts have been very constructive. Just you posting an opinion.

If you don't like what I'm posting, add me to your ignore list. 


I think the implied "play 3.5E because it isn't 4E" is the sort of argument that isn't welcome.  Instead of bashing the system you hate, why not providing highlights about 3.5E that would encourage the original poster to consider using it?  Highlights that avoid comparing it with any edition be it 2E, 4E or whatever, mind you. 
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You are Red/Blue!
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

You are both rational and emotional. You value creation and discovery, and feel strongly about what you create. At best, you're innovative and intuitive. At worst, you're scattered and unpredictable.

D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging

Actually, it doesn't really matter what I say in this regard. It seems like everyone just likes to attack anything that isn't "play 4e". Which I can not in any way shape or form recommend to anyone. Ever. My opinion has been stated. I gave reasons as to why I don't like it. If I go any further, certain people on here will just report it as edition warring (when it's really not).



What you are doing is edition warring.  You don't intend it to be edition warring, you just want to be able to kick at 4e as much as you want.  But it is edition warring none the less.

How about posting about what you like about 3.5 and why you think the OP should play that system specifically.  That would be a constructive post. 



How about you get off my damn back? None of your posts have been very constructive. Just you posting an opinion.

If you don't like what I'm posting, add me to your ignore list. 


I think the implied "play 3.5E because it isn't 4E" is the sort of argument that isn't welcome.  Instead of bashing the system you hate, why not providing highlights about 3.5E that would encourage the original poster to consider using it?  Highlights that avoid comparing it with any edition be it 2E, 4E or whatever, mind you. 



+1

I personally don't like PF or 3.5, however I gave reasons as to why some people prefer it, and why I prefer 4e.  That is the sort of thing that leads to good discussion.

Bashing it constantly is just edition warring and useless.  Also, it gets you ORCed (rightfully so).
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here

How about you get off my damn back? None of your posts have been very constructive. Just you posting an opinion.

If you don't like what I'm posting, add me to your ignore list. 


All he's asking is that you post some pro-3.5e points instead of nothing but negativity, which I don't think is unreasonable.  He isn't attacking any of the people who are "pro-3.5e", so it isn't like all he's doing is tearing people down when they post things he disagrees with.

To be fair, all you HAVE posted in this thread is negativity and vitriol against 4e.  We get it, you don't like 4e.  But it does not serve the OP any better to just hear "4e sucks, don't play it".  Tell him why you like 3.5e.  What are the merits of the system?  Myself, I prefer to play 3.5 when I'm a player, but I usually DM, and as a DM, I prefer 4e.

Oh, and as for your claim that "nothing mesteward posts has been constructive", here are some very constructive posts from him in this thread:


Well first of all there is something to be said about playing what you know and you shouldn't hop aboard an edition simply because it is the current one (heck 5e is playtesting right now, thats about as current as you can get).  However I am a big fan of 4e, it is the best edition of the rules to date (including what we have seen of 5e) IMO and I would advise you to run it.

You seemed to enjoy running the Red Box with your daughter so I would suggest that you get a full party together and maybe run through all of the Redbox stuff if you haven't already.  The Red Box adventure is really story light and combat heavy but that isn't neccesarily a bad thing for new players.  You can run up to level three and I would advise you do that.  Give the game a fair shake and see if you like it enough to keep investing.  If you don't no loss you still have your 3e books.




Secondly I would argue that 4e was a much better system to improvise in.  The rules had a consistancy and regularity to them that allowed the developers to institute really good improvisation guidelines (page 42 in the DMG, I don't know where in the essentials stuff).  This meant that the DM could take even the most complex plans the players came up with and rule them easily and quickly.

I despised having to deal with improvisation in 3.5 because every different situation had its own sub system (many of them needlessly complex) and unless you had them all memorized it meant a 5-10 minute trip into the books and then another 5-10 minutes to actually resolve the actions.
 

And so I would admit to be a 4.0 hater, It's not worth my time to try and workwith (Admittedly I played with only the first set of books that came out)



You totally have the right to make that judgment for yourself.  I would however ask that you refrain from commenting on an edition you admit you don't have much experience with, in a thread dedicated to informing a new (or newly returned) player about the different editions of the game.  I am sure you have a lot of great information to impart about the editions you like and have a lot of experience with and I think that would make a better post.




Lots of points about the various editions and constructive advice to the OP in regards to his original question.
I do believe somewhere I clearly stated that 3.5 is logical.

But of course, that gets ignored. 
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/

How about you get off my damn back? None of your posts have been very constructive. Just you posting an opinion.

If you don't like what I'm posting, add me to your ignore list. 


All he's asking is that you post some pro-3.5e points instead of nothing but negativity, which I don't think is unreasonable.  He isn't attacking any of the people who are "pro-3.5e", so it isn't like all he's doing is tearing people down when they post things he disagrees with.

To be fair, all you HAVE posted in this thread is negativity and vitriol against 4e.  We get it, you don't like 4e.  But it does not serve the OP any better to just hear "4e sucks, don't play it".  Tell him why you like 3.5e.  What are the merits of the system?  Myself, I prefer to play 3.5 when I'm a player, but I usually DM, and as a DM, I prefer 4e.

Oh, and as for your claim that "nothing mesteward posts has been constructive", here are some very constructive posts from him in this thread:


Well first of all there is something to be said about playing what you know and you shouldn't hop aboard an edition simply because it is the current one (heck 5e is playtesting right now, thats about as current as you can get).  However I am a big fan of 4e, it is the best edition of the rules to date (including what we have seen of 5e) IMO and I would advise you to run it.

You seemed to enjoy running the Red Box with your daughter so I would suggest that you get a full party together and maybe run through all of the Redbox stuff if you haven't already.  The Red Box adventure is really story light and combat heavy but that isn't neccesarily a bad thing for new players.  You can run up to level three and I would advise you do that.  Give the game a fair shake and see if you like it enough to keep investing.  If you don't no loss you still have your 3e books.




Secondly I would argue that 4e was a much better system to improvise in.  The rules had a consistancy and regularity to them that allowed the developers to institute really good improvisation guidelines (page 42 in the DMG, I don't know where in the essentials stuff).  This meant that the DM could take even the most complex plans the players came up with and rule them easily and quickly.

I despised having to deal with improvisation in 3.5 because every different situation had its own sub system (many of them needlessly complex) and unless you had them all memorized it meant a 5-10 minute trip into the books and then another 5-10 minutes to actually resolve the actions.
 

And so I would admit to be a 4.0 hater, It's not worth my time to try and workwith (Admittedly I played with only the first set of books that came out)



You totally have the right to make that judgment for yourself.  I would however ask that you refrain from commenting on an edition you admit you don't have much experience with, in a thread dedicated to informing a new (or newly returned) player about the different editions of the game.  I am sure you have a lot of great information to impart about the editions you like and have a lot of experience with and I think that would make a better post.




Lots of points about the various editions and constructive advice to the OP in regards to his original question.



I don't view what he stated as constructive. Just statements of the obvious.
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
I do believe somewhere I clearly stated that 3.5 is logical.

But of course, that gets ignored.


On the contrary, just because people don't react to your post about 3.5E being logical, doesn't mean that it is ignored.  It can also mean that no one feels the need to react to your post due to its validity.  Now if you feel that your comment is being ignored because it just so happens that other people are posting about how they like 4E and not 3.5E for the reasons they stated, then I can't help you there
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Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

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57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
I do believe somewhere I clearly stated that 3.5 is logical.

But of course, that gets ignored. 



Not ignored, just sort of drowned in all the other non helpful stuff you have said.  It is also a rather small addition to the conversation.  If you instead posted 1000 words on why it was the most logical system you have played, and then got no response one way or the other, then you might have a point that it gets ignored.  Or, like Choasfang mentioned, people not replying to you might mean nobody contests that particular point.
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
Maybe the level of logic in their D&D systems isn't the most important thing for most people.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

Maybe the level of logic in their D&D systems isn't the most important thing for most people.


I don't even think that point deserves mention as the highlight of 3.5e at all.

I like 3.5 because of the widespread versatiity-especially with magic-that the system offers.  Wizards were my favorite class in 3.5e, and they're one of the least interesting to me in 4e.  In 4e, I'd much rather play a barbarian, or a battlemind, a monk, an assassin, or a warlord.  3.5e's magic system and what could be done with it (I was a HUGE fan of metamagic feats).

3.5e, to me, had more concrete mechanics for representing a lot of classic and fantasy tropes.  Don't get me wrong, 4e does a good job, too, but it feels different.  While I tout 4e's dedication to balance and player-friendly mechanics (such as removing save-or-die)as a Good Thing, there' something classic about frail wizards, who can violate reality at higher levels, medusae whose gaze turns one instantly to stone, and so on.

I had a lot of material for 3.5e, too, which made me initially reluctant to get into 4e.  Some of 3.5e's later splatbooks were amazing.  An then, one more reason to love 3.5e...Eberron.  Eberron is an amazing setting, and I own every 3.5e Eberron book except Stormreach.  And while I like 4e, I HATE what Eberron is like in 4e.  Dragonmarks aren't nearly as cool, artificers feel COMPLETELY different, so different that I feel like the thematics o the class have changed, cramming all the varied 4e races into it seems a bit over the top, and the setting just doesn't feel right.  And on the note of races, Changelings are the only race which feels like it used to.

Granted, I mostly run my own campaign world now, which has been set up for 4e.  I like to DM, and most of the time I do.  I usually DM in 4e, but one of my players a few months ago was feeling nostalgic, and asked me to DM a 3.5e game.  So I complied, running the Age of Worms Adventure Path from Dungeon Magazine (back in 2005), which I've been itching to actually see in action anyway.

3.5e's got some great points, but it IS more complicated than 4e.  Especially from the player's perspective.  Now, as a player, I like complicated. But the OP is playing with young kids, and he's going to DM, which 4e is ten times easier for (IMHO).