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I haven't played for many, many years & would like to get started again. Should I get edition 3.5 books to familiarize myself? I was told to stay away from edition 4. Any feedback would be great, thanks.
I haven't played for many, many years & would like to get started again. Should I get edition 3.5 books to familiarize myself? I was told to stay away from edition 4. Any feedback would be great, thanks.


Heh, the 4e hate live on even on its death bed. Really to be honest those who say 4e is an abomination and it shouldn't have been been made are those that had bad experiences with it when it first came out. So don't ever let someone's personal opinion make up your own mind. Sadly you come back to RPGs in another time of continuous flame wars and edition bashing from all corners. But besides that I'm gonna try and explain the pros in cons of each system briefly: 

3.5

 
Pros-


  • Lots of depth within the rules system itself.

  • The multiclassing in 3.5 game allows you to literally create any character as long as you have a concept for it.

  • Lots of Skills (Not sure if skills are your thing but I like them)

  • Wizards are powerful

  • Lots of unique books and monsters


Cons-


  • Rules heavy system (It can really bog down gameplay)

  • The multiclassing (While good) can quickly be broken by someone who knows what they are doing and they can create a overpowered PC.

  • Every other non spellcaster can feel bland compared to the wizard (What do you expect)

  • Many broken things are in books past core (Literally allowing a book outside of the core PHB, MM, and DMG can make your game chaotic. It can ruin your DM and players time because many of the things in them are so poorly tested they are just broken.

  • It literally take forever to create an NPC by the book. I actually just had to stop. I eventually just started give random attack bonuses, stats, and HP.

  • NPC and Monster creation are just as in depth as PC creation (Which is very in depth)

  • Combat maneuver rules suck. Really... that's all I can say. They are just plain out bad and are mostly avoided at all costs, especially grapple.

  • DMing can be hard and time consuming

  • XP cost for somethings. Like magic item crafting or casting a wish spell.


4e
Pros-


  • Is easy to DM. Literally thats not personal preference working either. I play 3e and 4e. And 4e is loads easier to run.

  • Non-Magic users feel powerful too

  • Ritual Magic (This is actually personal preference, like my 3.5 more skills thing)

  • A unique feel unlike prior editions. 

  • Teaching new players the game is easy

  • PC's never feel broken or overpowered, nor do they ever overshadow each other.

  • A easy way to create custom NPCs and Monsters


Cons- 


  • The way some classes play has been changed quite a bit.

  • Wizards have been nerfed quite a bit.

  • Early 4e powers can feel samey at times.

  • Multiclassing is weird (Once again personal preference here, I just don't like it)

  • Lots of Errata. Which is good and bad, its good because it shows that WotC wanted to fix their game for free instead of making a 4.5 and reprinting all the rules, but bad because there is quite a bit for early books. Though most errata is ignorable.

  • 4e Forgotten Realms was pretty universally disliked. It literally killed off lots of things in the game world that lots of fan enjoyed. But 4e FR is just a campaign setting and its ignorable



 
 
 

Other things that I wasn't too sure about where to put are:


  • In 4e lots of the save or die, or save or be permanently drained effects are gone.  

  • 4e 1st level adventurers are much stronger than your average 1e, 2e, or even 3e character. They are 4e 1st level which is entirely different than other 1st level characters.


To be honest though you should never take someones opinion as your own. The best thing to do is to develop your own. I will go ahead and tell you if you chose 3.5 and say a lot of the problems I said aren't there its because you haven't given the game enough time to sink in. Trust me when I say even most 3.5 players will agree with those cons, most...

Same with 4ed though. 4e's problems aren't near as big and in the open (obvious) as 3.5's were. 



Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

I would have a look at everything, 3.5, 4e, and Next

see what suits you
I haven't played for many, many years & would like to get started again. Should I get edition 3.5 books to familiarize myself? I was told to stay away from edition 4. Any feedback would be great, thanks.


What edition did you play? There are free clones of all of the classic editions.

OD&D

www.swordsandwizardry.com/whitebox.htm

B/X

goblinoidgames.com/labyrinthlord.html

1e

www.knights-n-knaves.com/osric/

2e

www.4shared.com/folder/Ru5jYvpB/


My advice is to ignore what some say about 4e and look at it yourself before you judge. I played and still play classic editions, and although 4e has a lot of differences from the old editions, I still enjoy it quite a bit. I actually like that it is different, otherwise there would be no real point in checking it out in the first place.
Felorn -- thanks for the information. I guess I might check out 3.5 first.

Froth -- the last time I played was in 1982, so probably 1st edition is what I was playing. Yeah, I'm just that old.
So what I remember is 1st edition, & my memory is spotty even where that is concerned. In any case, thank you.

Felorn -- thanks for the information. I guess I might check out 3.5 first.

Froth -- the last time I played was in 1982, so probably 1st edition is what I was playing. Yeah, I'm just that old.
So what I remember is 1st edition, & my memory is spotty even where that is concerned. In any case, thank you.


To check them both out without spending any money take a look at these:

3.5:  www.d20srd.org/

 4e Quick Start Rules: wizards.com/dnd/Feature.aspx?x=new/learn...




Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

Felorn -- thanks for the information. I guess I might check out 3.5 first.

Froth -- the last time I played was in 1982, so probably 1st edition is what I was playing. Yeah, I'm just that old.
So what I remember is 1st edition, & my memory is spotty even where that is concerned. In any case, thank you.


1e is also alive and well. There are plenty of retro clones. WotC recently reprinted 1e books, and even made pdfs avaiable for purchase HERE.

 
Check out Dragonsfoot.org for a strong AD&D community.

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

Thanks a lot guys, I appreciate the feedback. I decided to get the old 1st edition books after all. Looking forward to getting back into D&D. I've been playing MMOs for a few years & while they can get pretty addicting they just don't have the depth I remember in D&D tabletop gaming.
Thanks a lot guys, I appreciate the feedback. I decided to get the old 1st edition books after all. Looking forward to getting back into D&D. I've been playing MMOs for a few years & while they can get pretty addicting they just don't have the depth I remember in D&D tabletop gaming.


No problem man. I too play AD&D. Dragonsfoot is a reall good place to go for support and all sorts of news and good people to talk to. I'm over there quite a bit if you ever wanna chat in the chatroom. I go by Felorn over there too.

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

Felorn -- that would be great, thanks. I was actually just looking at that site, their character sheet pdfs, etc.. I'll register there tonight.

By the way, my friend tells me that people play D&D over the web now? I guess they're using Skype or something like that? Sounds interesting, I could use a game to get into the swing of things again after I do some reading when I get the books I ordered.


By the way, my friend tells me that people play D&D over the web now? I guess they're using Skype or something like that? Sounds interesting, I could use a game to get into the swing of things again after I do some reading when I get the books I ordered.



Some use Skype, some use  roll20.net  in conjunction with Google+, and I personally use this program rpgtableonline.com/welcome.php

There are some others but those are the easiest to use imo

I agree with Felorn about Dragonsfoot, I am frothsof over there too. There are lots of good free adventures and a great free zine called Footprints. If it is going to take you a minute to get all of the core books, you should check out OSRIC that I linked above in the meantime. It is a free clone of 1e, almost exact. And did I mention free?