Only PHB1, no erratas... possible?

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I'm planning a short campaign (level 1 to 10). I was pondering to use Essentials, but I already have the PHB1, DMG1, and MM1, so I decided to go with those.


Would I be able to play with these books, without using the erratas/updates? Or is there some really fundamental change that you feel absolutely needs to be used?    

My RPG Campaigns

 

I joke that D&D Next is what happens when, A Christmas Carol-like, 3rd & 4th edition's ghosts travel back in time to an evening near the end of AD&D 2E's life, and say "this is what is coming" and so AD&D 2E heads off in a different direction. So, it's like alt-reality AD&D 3rd, maybe?Cam Banks

 

Can you play with only them?  Yes.

Should you?  No.

Why specifically do you want to only use those books? 
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I'm planning a short campaign (level 1 to 10). I was pondering to use Essentials, but I already have the PHB1, DMG1, and MM1, so I decided to go with those.


Would I be able to play with these books, without using the erratas/updates? Or is there some really fundamental change that you feel absolutely needs to be used?    

I'd say yes, there are some quick fixes you could do to make it even better though, less hp for the monster more dammage for the players etc.
A few things in those books are out of whack and the errata and updates helped classes like the warlock and cleric a lot.  

Updates like letting letting the warlocks dire radiance work with charisma or constitution and the cleric getting new options in dragon like Battle Clerics Lore were minor changes that fixed big problems with the classes starting from level 1.  A few powers and paragon paths in the PHB1 were broken good and got toned down with errata, but most of those major problems are post heroic so it wouldn't matter much with your campaign.

There are lots of feats that came out to try to fix math issues, but most of those are more needed after heroic so against it wouldn't be a big deal for you.

The other big problem is that MM3 and later monster books are big improvements over MM1.  The monsters hit harder, but die a bit easier and are more interesting.  I would defintely try to use one of those books instead of MM1.
I'm planning a short campaign (level 1 to 10). I was pondering to use Essentials, but I already have the PHB1, DMG1, and MM1, so I decided to go with those.


Would I be able to play with these books, without using the erratas/updates? Or is there some really fundamental change that you feel absolutely needs to be used?    

Yes, you can play without errata.  I did the exact same thing.


I started a group with three friends who had never played D&D before.  I decided to just use the PHB (and MM1); no extras.  Our houserule was, "if over the course of play, anything feels particularly underpowered, overpowered, or not working properly, then (and only then) would I consult errata."  Over our six levels of play (we stopped playing when they reached level 7), we didn't encounter any problems or difficulties.

So from personal experience, you can certainly play without errata.  In fact, I prefer to.
Why specifically do you want to only use those books? 



they are the only books I own.

My RPG Campaigns

 

I joke that D&D Next is what happens when, A Christmas Carol-like, 3rd & 4th edition's ghosts travel back in time to an evening near the end of AD&D 2E's life, and say "this is what is coming" and so AD&D 2E heads off in a different direction. So, it's like alt-reality AD&D 3rd, maybe?Cam Banks

 

Our houserule was, "if over the course of play, anything feels particularly underpowered, overpowered, or not working properly, then (and only then) would I consult errata." 



this seems like a nice way to use the errata!

My RPG Campaigns

 

I joke that D&D Next is what happens when, A Christmas Carol-like, 3rd & 4th edition's ghosts travel back in time to an evening near the end of AD&D 2E's life, and say "this is what is coming" and so AD&D 2E heads off in a different direction. So, it's like alt-reality AD&D 3rd, maybe?Cam Banks

 

Why specifically do you want to only use those books? 



they are the only books I own.




I can't really say this enough to people.

But your group should really spring for a DDI account.  4 players and a DM thats $2 a month to get access to all the books and the character builder. 
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
Actually, the more books you own, the greater the chance of something broken.

It is totally possible to play with just the three books and no errata, though beware of the rules for skill challenges, which will lead to failure far more easily than to victory.  About all you need to do (especially at levels 1-10) is warn a Warlock player that they're a Striker that sacrifices some DPR for nifty status effects.

Also, I would cordially disagree with:

The other big problem is that MM3 and later monster books are big improvements over MM1.  The monsters hit harder, but die a bit easier and are more interesting.



At levels 1-10, the monsters in the MM1 are fine (Elven Scouts, for example, do *not* need to hit harder against L1/L2 characters).  A well-crafted encounter of 20 screaming Kobold Minions jumping out of hiding and launching all their Javelins straight at the party's healer and/or Wizard should be enough to get the blood pumping.  

Roleplaying is for roleplaying.  The rules are for the game.

Of course you can use the original three books without errata.  Many of us did exactly that when the game was initially released.  4e was a solid and balanced game straight out the gate.

Of course, improvements and refinements were made as time went on, with some areas needing attention more than others.  But for the most part, the game worked fine as is. 

Though if I had to name one area that really benefitted from updates, it would be Skill Challenges.  Though it is more of an issue with presentation.  Many groups found the way Skill Challenges were presented in the DMG to be too vague, counter-intuitive, or restricting.  The DMG2 expanded on the Skill Challenge system, gave more examples as well as new ways of using it, which helped the idea click for many groups.

Thinking about creating a race for 4e? Make things a lil' easier on yourself by reading my Race Mechanic Creation Guide first.
Our houserule was, "if over the course of play, anything feels particularly underpowered, overpowered, or not working properly, then (and only then) would I consult errata."


Well, this seems like a pretty good way to go about things!
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
Honestly most the problems with unerrated 4e dont crop up till paragon tier or higher.
I'm planning a short campaign (level 1 to 10). I was pondering to use Essentials, but I already have the PHB1, DMG1, and MM1, so I decided to go with those.


Would I be able to play with these books, without using the erratas/updates?

Yes.  When you design combat encounters you'll want to avoid using over-leveled elites & solos (more than about 2 levels above the party), because some of their defenses will just be too high.  Perfect example of this mistake can be found in the Keep on the Shadowfell adventure.

You'll also find that Skill Challenges don't work very well - that the party is more likely to succeed at a challenge the more 'complex' the challenge is.

Or is there some really fundamental change that you feel absolutely needs to be used?    

The final version of Skill Challenges  is a real improvement (If you can stand using one errata, make it this one - if you can't, just don't use skill challenges).  Most of the rest are  just tweaks or fixes to obvious balance or phrasing issues or fiddly 'math issues' that don't actually make a bid difference.  Just be cautious of allowing obviously-broken interpretations and you should be fine.  

Also, a lot of the errata in the last 3 years wasn't to improve the game, but to standardize it on Essentials, and can be safely ignored.




 

 

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I can't really say this enough to people. But your group should really spring for a DDI account.  4 players and a DM thats $2 a month to get access to all the books and the character builder. 




well, we went away from 3.5 due to bloat, so we don't really want all the books. Also, we just want to use the book at the table, no laptops during game-time.

The ideal for me would be if they re-printed the PHB1 with all the errata included... a man can dream!  

My RPG Campaigns

 

I joke that D&D Next is what happens when, A Christmas Carol-like, 3rd & 4th edition's ghosts travel back in time to an evening near the end of AD&D 2E's life, and say "this is what is coming" and so AD&D 2E heads off in a different direction. So, it's like alt-reality AD&D 3rd, maybe?Cam Banks

 

The game is perfectly fine with just the 1 book. if you all play at the same level you will find your own group balance. There are a few weak choices in the book but over all it will not be noticeable unless you have access to more materials to compare them to. If you only have the one book then it will feel balanced. 

A few things to consider. Giving the players +1 to hit and non armor defenses at levels  5/15/25 fixes some math issues.
Armor class has some scaling issues which are a bit harder to fix but don't come into play until paragon for the most part.
Paladin, Warlock and cleric are a little bit weaker than the other characters in the book and might need the most balancing.

Just focus on having fun and don't worry too much about it. If you run into specific problems ask us on the forums and we may be able to help you find solutions that don't involve major upheavals in your play. 

Have fun! 

The ideal for me would be if they re-printed the PHB1 with all the errata included... a man can dream!  


You could pick up the Rule Compendium, it's a less expensive paperback, has most of the hard rules errata (not classes/powers/monters, just the system stuff).

 

 

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Oh, that's right, the Stealth skill was kind of weird pre-errata, like they printed an old placeholder version of the skill instead of the correct one. I remember PCs hiding behind each other when the game first came out.
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
Actually, the more books you own, the greater the chance of something broken.



4e went a long way towards making this not true.  There are a few rare things that get "broken" with more books, but not many.  Its not the same thing as 3.5 in that regard at all.  I say this as someone who played 3.5 for a long time.


It is totally possible to play with just the three books and no errata, though beware of the rules for skill challenges, which will lead to failure far more easily than to victory.  




Also, I would cordially disagree with:

The other big problem is that MM3 and later monster books are big improvements over MM1.  The monsters hit harder, but die a bit easier and are more interesting.



At levels 1-10, the monsters in the MM1 are fine (Elven Scouts, for example, do *not* need to hit harder against L1/L2 characters).  A well-crafted encounter of 20 screaming Kobold Minions jumping out of hiding and launching all their Javelins straight at the party's healer and/or Wizard should be enough to get the blood pumping.  



Yes there are ways to get around the game math being borked, but it is just as easy to un-bork the math.  The creatures aren't made more difficult to adjust to the new stuff that came out.  They were made more dynamic so the encounters are more interesting.  More deadly so there is a sense of threat rather than being a bag of hit points.  The biggest example here is MM1 Solos.  Those fights are boring slugfests.

Honestly most the problems with unerrated 4e dont crop up till paragon tier or higher.



This is true to some extent.  Most people here are thinking of pre-errate Blade Cascade.


well, we went away from 3.5 due to bloat, so we don't really want all the books. Also, we just want to use the book at the table, no laptops during game-time. 



As a 3.5 player who went to 4e let me say this.  First of all I agree no laptops at table.  But the way the character builder is designed (even if you keep the restrictions) lets a new player build a functional character in less than 20-30 minutes.  An experienced DM can do a mock up of a whole party in 15 minutes.  It is just something that was slightly unreasonable before, but easy now.

The other thing about the compendium is the sheer amount of information you have at your finger tips between games.  You want to have the party fight a level 3 goblin.  Search for level 3 goblins and you have half a dozen to choose from.  I don't use books at table because it just slows things down 10 times out of 9, but having a searchable resource for everything between sessions is invaluable.

Lastly, the comment about bloat.  Yes there is bloat in 4e.  It is nothing like the bloat in 3.5.  Let me explain why I say this.  Bloat in 3.5 had a horrible problem with power creep.  That means that you had to limit some things because things released later were a completely different game than things released now.  4e had some things that obsoleted others, but they were made with that intention.  The better expertise feats for example were made as a response to the fact that math fixes on their own were no fun and they needed something extra.  Most of what you will find in the later releases give the players more options, but along the same lines of power.  The ones that don't fix problems the classes had during their early times.  Clerics really couldn't stand up in melee as people wanted them to, so enter Battle Cleric's Lore.  That is just one example and there are tons of others.

To say it again, 4e is not 3.5.  Limiting their resources does not limit their power level like it did in 3.5 (not to that extent anyways), but what it does do is limit their choices. 
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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
Actually, the more books you own, the greater the chance of something broken.



4e went a long way towards making this not true.  There are a few rare things that get "broken" with more books, but not many.  Its not the same thing as 3.5 in that regard at all.  I say this as someone who played 3.5 for a long time. 



I also played a lot of 3.5 and agree.  A lot of the most broken stuff in 4E is in the PHB1 and it has the top 4 classes for each of the roles in terms of raw effectiveness in their role (fighter, ranger, warlord, and wizard).  That book has some of the most powerful paragon paths in the game and a lot of the most important errata is things like what they did to kensei, daggermaster, and bloodmage to reduce their effectiveness, exepcially when picked up by other classes.  Most later paragon paths were not nearly as powerful as what first came out.

In heroic with no supplements or errata the big thing to watch out for is that it is really easy to get frustrated building a paladin, cleric or warlock since they are dual stat classes with a third rider stat.  They can struggle with AC and other issues of things not working right really easily.  And there are some levels where those three classes lack good power choices if you go with only one primary stat and at level 9 strength paladins don't even get a choice and have to go with a lower level power or a charisma power.  Ranger is also dual primary stat with a tertiary, but it was built well enough that it doesn't really effect them that much.  After PHB1 they realized that didn't work and didn't publish anymore dual primary stat classes and published a lot of supplements that fixed the problems those three classes faced so they all work fine now.
Actually, the more books you own, the greater the chance of something broken.



4e went a long way towards making this not true.  There are a few rare things that get "broken" with more books, but not many.  Its not the same thing as 3.5 in that regard at all.  I say this as someone who played 3.5 for a long time.



I didn't compare it to 3.5 at all.  I was just stating a general principle.  I will say that the primary culprits I had in mind were the Adventurer's Vaults.

Yes there are ways to get around the game math being borked, but it is just as easy to un-bork the math.  The creatures aren't made more difficult to adjust to the new stuff that came out.  They were made more dynamic so the encounters are more interesting.  More deadly so there is a sense of threat rather than being a bag of hit points.  The biggest example here is MM1 Solos.  Those fights are boring slugfests.



At levels 1-10, which was the question behind this post, the math isn't bad as far as creatures go.

I also played a lot of 3.5 and agree.  A lot of the most broken stuff in 4E is in the PHB1 and it has the top 4 classes for each of the roles in terms of raw effectiveness in their role (fighter, ranger, warlord, and wizard).  That book has some of the most powerful paragon paths in the game and a lot of the most important errata is things like what they did to kensei, daggermaster, and bloodmage to reduce their effectiveness, especially when picked up by other classes.



This is interesting.  Were those other classes in the PHB1, or were they in later books?

Roleplaying is for roleplaying.  The rules are for the game.

Kensei was exploted by anyone with a good wisdom score for the increased damage so for rangers, paladins, and clerics it was good along with other classes.  Daggermaster was exploited by sorcerers and avengers for the increased crit range with daggers, but I don't remember ever seeing a non rogue PHB1 class use it.  I guess a cleric or warlock who had a dagger implement could have used it, but I don't ever remember seeing a build based on it that way.    I am betting bloodmage was exploited by warlocks and others, but I am not sure about that since I never really looked closely at it.

Warpriest (later renamed tactical warpriest) was exploited by a lot of other classes, with avenger being a big one I remeber, but paladins and fighters could get a lot out of it too.  They errated that and then toned down the errata it since people complained since they went overboard with it.

Divine Oracle is still exploited by wizards and others for the double attack roll vs Will.  IIRC they thought about errating it and accidently published errata to it in the compendium at one point when they published the templar updates that limited it to cleric attacks, but it was never officially changed.

A lot of post PHB1 paragon paths had their level 11 and 16 features more tightly bound to class features or only worked with the classes powers since that was the main way to exploit them.
Speaking strictly of the PHB1:

You must be thinking of Pit Fighter, not Kensei.  And since it relied on weapons for the bonus damage, you're talking about Strength Clerics/Paladins, which had enough issues in the PHB1 that multiclassing them made sense, anyway.

Granted that Fighters get something out of Warpriest, I'm not convinced that they don't get comparable advantages with their own Paragon Paths, and until they got their hands on a holy avenger, they had double upkeep of attack items (or effectively useless Paragon Encounter/Dailies).

Even the list of "most effective in their roles" is likely not from a strictly PHB1 perspective (of course, then the Wizard was the *only* one in the Controller role).  The Warlord *could* be great if you had a Str-based party to take advantage of free attacks, but what if your party was a Chaladin, Rogue, Wizard, and Archery Ranger?  The Warlord would still be functional as a leader, but "best" becomes a bit more debatable, and comes less in terms of extra attacks and more in terms of starting out being able to use a Light Shield.  The fighter may well have been the stickier Defender, but when the task was to keep an NPC alive and not just to survive a battle while doing a lot of damage, the Paladin easily outstripped the Fighter.

I think my point stands: it is *later* classes/features/items/powers that retroactively made PHB1 stuff powerful (remember when the only real road to hitting with the MBAs a Warlord granted was to actually have Strength as a Primary Stat?)  Healer's Lore was just fine with surgeless healing when the PHB1 was by itself.  The more books there are, the more likely it is that designers have failed to consider a possible combo when designing new material.  That's just simple probabilities.

Roleplaying is for roleplaying.  The rules are for the game.

Your right I was thinking pit fighter, though kensei is still up there.

You can still make a party now where no one has good basic attacks, but that doesn't diminish the power of leaders granting attacks since granting extra attacks ups party damage faster than other strategies.  Even with the party you described at higher levels the warlord will still be handing out ranged basic attacks to the wizard, rogue, and ranger with hail of steel and a handful of other powers.
Actually, the more books you own, the greater the chance of something broken.



4e went a long way towards making this not true.  There are a few rare things that get "broken" with more books, but not many.  Its not the same thing as 3.5 in that regard at all.  I say this as someone who played 3.5 for a long time.



I didn't compare it to 3.5 at all.  I was just stating a general principle.  I will say that the primary culprits I had in mind were the Adventurer's Vaults.

Yes there are ways to get around the game math being borked, but it is just as easy to un-bork the math.  The creatures aren't made more difficult to adjust to the new stuff that came out.  They were made more dynamic so the encounters are more interesting.  More deadly so there is a sense of threat rather than being a bag of hit points.  The biggest example here is MM1 Solos.  Those fights are boring slugfests.



At levels 1-10, which was the question behind this post, the math isn't bad as far as creatures go.

I also played a lot of 3.5 and agree.  A lot of the most broken stuff in 4E is in the PHB1 and it has the top 4 classes for each of the roles in terms of raw effectiveness in their role (fighter, ranger, warlord, and wizard).  That book has some of the most powerful paragon paths in the game and a lot of the most important errata is things like what they did to kensei, daggermaster, and bloodmage to reduce their effectiveness, especially when picked up by other classes.



This is interesting.  Were those other classes in the PHB1, or were they in later books?



Math: The math is bad as far as creatures go, that is the point.  In heroic, especially with such limited access to powers, you tend to only attack one stat.  An Elite MM1 Level+1 Soldier can have AC that makes your party (who can reasonably be all AC based with just PHB1) only able to hit him on a 15+.  And that is if they are optimized.  I remember encountering a Level+2 soldier that my ranger could only hit on a 16+ and had an ability that gave him +2 AC conditionally (and the condition was always true).  I was never really threatened by this enemy (the damage was fairly low), but his defenses combined with high hp made it really boring.  The design was to have 5 round combats in MM1.  Now it is 3 rounds.  The differences is pretty easy to see at all tiers.

Bloat: I commented on 3.5 because you made the reference to it.  And a lot of 3.5 players have similar thoughts about limiting books (for a good reason).  The Adventurer's Vaults is an example of Bloat?  Really?  That surprises me greatly.  Most of what is in them is needed items for players to actually function in the world.  I don't consider options for items bloat in the slightest (except for when one item is strictly worse than a later printed version which is very very rare).

PHB1 Power level: You can say "they get better later" as many times as you want, it still won't make it true.  Blood Mage was extremely powerful for a reason, same with Blade Cascade.  I'm too lazy to look it up, but does that also mean you are playing with pre-errate Flame Spiral (I can't remember if Sorc was PHB1 or 2)?  Because there is a very very good reason that got the nerfbat.

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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
Sorceror is PHB2.  Blade Cascade is only as broken as your chance to hit, which you've just said can be low.  If your chance to hit isn't low, monsters aren't a problem, even L+2 Soldiers.  If your chance to hit is low, Blade Cascade isn't Broken.  But you can't have it both ways in the space of three paragraphs.

And I highly encourage you to look at my posts.  Somebody may have said something about 3.5, but it wasn't me.

@ Gelatinous: Yes, Warlords are good, but there are 14 levels to play before you get your first chance at giving someone a non-MBA.  Granted that Hail of Steel is brilliant (provided your Warlord stays within 5 squares of the aforementioned Ranger and Wizard), the Warlord was definitely strengthened by the PHB2 both in terms of more classes with nice MBAs and the Melee Training feat.

Roleplaying is for roleplaying.  The rules are for the game.

Sorceror is PHB2.  Blade Cascade is only as broken as your chance to hit, which you've just said can be low.  If your chance to hit isn't low, monsters aren't a problem, even L+2 Soldiers.  If your chance to hit is low, Blade Cascade isn't Broken.  But you can't have it both ways in the space of three paragraphs.

And I highly encourage you to look at my posts.  Somebody may have said something about 3.5, but it wasn't me.

@ Gelatinous: Yes, Warlords are good, but there are 14 levels to play before you get your first chance at giving someone a non-MBA.  Granted that Hail of Steel is brilliant (provided your Warlord stays within 5 squares of the aforementioned Ranger and Wizard), the Warlord was definitely strengthened by the PHB2 both in terms of more classes with nice MBAs and the Melee Training feat.



I am sorry if I thought you were the one that mentioned 3.5.  Looking back I thought you were saying what delazar said.  So my bad.

And I wasn't saying the character's hit would be low (or really any different from what it would be after MM1) overall.  I'm saying the massive differences in defenses between things causes the problem.

So Blade Cascade is broken except for when you throw a L+2 Soldier at him.  Then the encounter is boring.  The difference between a Ranger from PHB1 and a ranger from not PHB1 (both optimized) is going to be 1-2 +attack bonus difference.  Not enough to make the soldier a non-infuriating fight, but still enough to be able to hit most things reasonably well (and gib them with blade cascade).  Also, this is still ignoring how poorly designed Solos are in MM1 and how boring of fights those are.

So yes, I am both arguing that Blade Cascade is broken because when you hit you destroy them and I'm saying that MM1 monster defenses are, generally, too high on some of the creatures.  Take a look at what happens to Solo Brutes in a world of pre-errate blade cascade.  They won't do enough damage or cripple their opponents, tend to have little to no action recovery, and will sit there as an enormous bag of hit points that, paradoxically, might die in a single round due to a lucky cascade.

@Warlord comments: Really as soon as you can get a Helm of Heroes (which is PHB1 iirc) you can grant whatever you want.  One of the worst examples of this, to combine with what we were talking about a second ago, is Helm of Heroes + Blade Cascade for gloriousness.
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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
Then as far as monsters go, I would point out that they waited until Level 3 to include any elites/solos at all, and those are Brutes.  You actually have to go to a Level 7 Monster before you find an Elite Soldier.  Presumably, they felt you would have enough in your bag of tricks by then to take them down, despite the enhanced AC.

Helm of Heroes is indeed PHB1, and the daily power might be one of those things I'd probably put on the broken list for being good when combined with a Warlord dedicated to giving actions.  Just like Blade Cascade would go there if the party were optimized around making sure it never missed.  My contention is not that the PHB1 is perfect and that other supplements break the game.  My contention is that as the number of feats/powers/classes increases, the likelihood of something being or getting broken goes up.

Roleplaying is for roleplaying.  The rules are for the game.

The one thing I'd say if you're using PHB1 only, is Blinding Barrage (Level 1 Rogue Daily). It's way overpowered when compared to the other level 1 daily choices for rogues and was errata'ed.

Actually, the more books you own, the greater the chance of something broken.



Not if one of the books you're using is PHB1.  So many things were broken in PHB1 that you can add every other book and magazine and errata together and wind up with fewer broken things, and less-broken things.

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Well, that was a constructive comment.  Feel free to add to the list.  We have Warlords with Helm of Heroes, Blade Cascade with a party that makes sure the Ranger in question never misses, the Stealth skill . . . and that's it.  Most of what people think was broken in the PHB1 only became that way with the splat books.

Besides, you've limited yourself even further than my original point.  You don't even get to bring up Skill Challenges from the DMG or the monster math in the MM.

Enlighten us on the broken things in the PHB1.  No errata.  No later books. 

Roleplaying is for roleplaying.  The rules are for the game.

Blood mage blasters doing forced movement.  Blade cascade (as per).  Orb-izard elf wizards making saves impossible.  Half-elves taking any at-will power instead of a 1st level one.  PMC to take any at-will power instead of a 1st level one.  Deliberately missing with reliable powers.  Consecrated Ground.  Seal of Binding.  Rain of Blows as a 4-tapper.  Certain Justice.  Follow-up blow with nova turns.  Hurl through hell has no duration.  Stacking stat-to-d20 powers to never ever miss.  Legion's Hold.  Rod of Reaving and Corruption (think that's PHB1) kills all minions.  Demigod and free-action attacks (trip up?) 

Think that's a good start? 

"Nice assumptions. Completely wrong assumptions, but by jove if being incorrect stopped people from making idiotic statements, we wouldn't have modern internet subculture." Kerrus
Practical gameplay runs by neither RAW or RAI, but rather "A Compromise Between The Gist Of The Rule As I Recall Getting The Impression Of It That One Time I Read It And What Jerry Says He Remembers, Whatever, We'll Look It Up Later If Any Of Us Still Give A Damn." Erachima

Blood mage blasters doing forced movement.



Off of blood pulse?  How much pushing is a strictly PHB1 Wizard doing maximum, especially since you've spent the action to do Blood Pulse?  Or is this another case of "It's broken if the entire party optimizes around me," as Blade Cascade is?

Orb-izard elf wizards making saves impossible.



Strictly PHB1, how are we arriving at impossible for the one saving throw per encounter?  Other than starting with a +5 modifier to Wisdom, which screws with your chance to hit with a wizard power that you'd like to extend the save on in the first place.

Half-elves taking any at-will power instead of a 1st level one.



Which particular non-1st level At-Will was broken as an Encounter Power for Half-Elves?

PMC to take any at-will power instead of a 1st level one.



Again, which particular non-1st level At-Will was so broken that you'd give up a Paragon Path for it?

Deliberately missing with reliable powers.



Ah, there we have an actual addition to the list.  Thank you.

Consecrated Ground.



Only if all your party needed to do accomplish quest objectives was huddle in a 3x3 square and move 3 per turn, then take an extended rest after every encounter.

Seal of Binding.



In conjunction with Demigod regeneration -- don't forget that part.  Otherwise, you're blowing through an awful lot of your resources.

Rain of Blows as a 4-tapper.



So?  Fighters get to do a lot of damage once per encounter.

Certain Justice.



What, Paladins can always engage their mark target?

Follow-up blow with nova turns.



Nooooo!  Strikers do lots of damage at Level 29 with a Daily!  The horror!

Hurl through hell has no duration.



Unless you count the "until the end of your next turn" that I'm currently looking at in my PHB1 as a duration, which I tend to.

Stacking stat-to-d20 powers to never ever miss.



Clarify.  Are we talking about Righteous Brand, or something else?

Legion's Hold.



Nooooo!  Controllers can inflict status effects with a Level 29 Daily!  The horror!

Rod of Reaving and Corruption (think that's PHB1) kills all minions.



Only if your DM is silly enough to consider transferring the exact equivalent of placing.

Demigod and free-action attacks (trip up?)



You've lost me here.  What is Trip Up?  Beyond that, what Free Action Encounter attack once you've used up all 4 of your attack encounter powers, racial encounter powers, utility encounter powers, and item encounter powers were you thinking of?

Think that's a good start? 



Not really.  Several of them are exaggerations.  Strong, yes.  Broken, no.  A couple rely on having an extremely forgiving DM.  A couple are often in the theoretical land of my entire party is optimizing around me.  And some of them aren't even sufficiently clear enough to provide a basis for discussion.

Roleplaying is for roleplaying.  The rules are for the game.

Daggermaster on non-rogue powers, e.g. twin strike.
Back to Basics - A Guide to Basic Attacks You might be playing DnD wrong if... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein
That's a valid one.  The list grows, but I'm not sure we've hit the level of "So many things were broken in PHB1 that you can add every other book and magazine and errata together and wind up with fewer broken things, and less-broken things."

Roleplaying is for roleplaying.  The rules are for the game.

I'm planning a short campaign (level 1 to 10). I was pondering to use Essentials, but I already have the PHB1, DMG1, and MM1, so I decided to go with those.


Would I be able to play with these books, without using the erratas/updates? Or is there some really fundamental change that you feel absolutely needs to be used?    


Do it.  

If something feels off, feel free to consult me via PM, or to consult the errata. The errata is free, after all.  But totally do it.
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
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Consecrated Ground.



Only if all your party needed to do accomplish quest objectives was huddle in a 3x3 square and move 3 per turn, then take an extended rest after every encounter.



I've occasionally had a fight go from verge-of-TPK (PCs down, all PCs bloodied, enemies still at full number and mostly not bloodied) to a slow grinding inevitable victory due to Consecrated Ground.

It can get a little silly sometimes.    
Clerics have to be good at *something* with just the PHB to be on even roughly equal footing with the Warlord.  Consecrated Ground is a once/day "Can your DM Grab and Drag a Cleric?" power (obviously, it's going to be strong if you're trying to outdamage the autohealing instead of just canceling the zone through forced movement).

Which isn't to say it isn't silly at times, but it still isn't up there with the really broken stuff, even in the PHB1 (for which a lot of the broken stuff can be traced back to the Demigod Epic Destiny).

Roleplaying is for roleplaying.  The rules are for the game.

Which particular non-1st level At-Will was broken as an Encounter Power for Half-Elves?


Having Holy Lantern (lvl 6 utility power for Cleric) at level 1 is pretty sweet.


Also Lay on Hands and Shadow Stride would be above average power intended.



To the OP,


Playing the three core books without errata will work fine in my opinion. I say this from the experience of having done so when the game released. It is better with the errata, which is available on line. If y'all can afford one more minor book expense, I do recommend the rules compendium. It's affordable, has some great rules clarifications and is nicely organized for a quick look up during a game.

Which particular non-1st level At-Will was broken as an Encounter Power for Half-Elves?


Having Holy Lantern (lvl 6 utility power for Cleric) at level 1 is pretty sweet.


Also Lay on Hands and Shadow Stride would be above average power intended.





We're looking for broken, though, not just "pretty sweet" or "above average." 

Roleplaying is for roleplaying.  The rules are for the game.

I'm planning a short campaign (level 1 to 10). I was pondering to use Essentials, but I already have the PHB1, DMG1, and MM1, so I decided to go with those.


Would I be able to play with these books, without using the erratas/updates? Or is there some really fundamental change that you feel absolutely needs to be used?    



You will be absolutely fine.