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Has anyone got their hands on the 3.5 reprints yet? What's the verdict? Are there any significant changes? Is the most recent errata included? What is the quality of the physical book like?
Any and all info would be greatly appreciated.
I am curious too. I figured there would have been something on the website about what they corrected and/or added.
I am also curious who this is aimed at now that Pathfinder pretty much took up the system. Most people I know that are loyal to D&D have gone to 4.0 and those not happy with the change had kept their books or when to Pathfinder.
I can't also walk into a 1/2 Price book store without seeing a couple of shelves dedicated to old 3.5 books, so if these are just reprints with new covers, then what was the point?
The only change is the errata, as far as I could tell. Most recent errata is included, though. The physical book is good quality, a nice hardcover with firm paper pages. Not anything exciting, I suppose, but about as good as one can expect it to be.
As for who it is aimed at, I think its aimed primarily at people like myself: those who got into the game after it went out of print. Until two days ago, I've been playing without a physical copy. As for Pathfinder, I played that too (in a sense, I've been playing Pathfinder longer than 3.5), but I've found that 3.5 serves my purposes much better than Pathfinder does. I suppose I could get one used, but they aren't nearly as common around here and I'd prefer my own minty copy anyway.
Apart from people like me who didn't have a book, I know some people whose books aren't in very good condition and bought to replace them. Although that combined might not seem like much, the local game store still sold out of them the day they were released, which itself says something.
I'm glad to hear the most recent errata is included. I know that my local FLGS was ordering in 20 sets (the three books per set) and that 15 were pre-orders. I guess that means there's a demand for them.
My guess is: a) collectors who have to have every D&D book ever b) 3.5 players who wore their old ones out c) Pathfinder players looking at the roots of their game d) new customers who want to play D&D but are not interested in 4e.
That's probably not a huge market, but clearly WotC thinks it's big enough to warrant a new print run. I'm sure they did their market research and determined it would be profitable. The lack of 2e reprint shows they won't do a reprint just for the sake of doing it.
Oh, okay. I had not played 3.5. I was under the belief that Paizo left off where 3.5 stopped, so I thought they were the same game. Since I had never played d&d 3.0 or 3.5 (I jumped in at Pathfinder and 4.0), is there anything from these books that I might be interested in? is 3.5 more streamlined than Pathfinder, for example?
Thanks for the review Maelphaxerazz.
In a sense, Pathfinder and 3.5 are the same game. You'll be doing the same actions and maintain the same play style with either. However, there are a number of differences. Some, like the changes to the skill system and a few feats and spells, are minor house rules with many being clearly good ideas while others are more debatable but in the end they don't make much of a difference and are easy to port over either way. Others, like the Combat Manoeuvre base value, appear to be a big change but don't really change anything at all. The biggest change, and the one I have the most problem with, is that made to races, classes, and monsters.
Races are more powerful, granting higher bonuses to ability scores and more miscellaneous bonuses to whatever. Classes, too, have a whole lot of little class features added in on top of what they had in 3.5. This would have meant that characters are more powerful, if it weren't for the fact that monsters were given an equivalent boost as well. So, the net effect is that everything is as powerful as it was before. So why do I have a problem with it?
Several reasons, actually. First of all, what they added to the races and classes are exactly what the races and classes did not need: more miscellaneous minor bonuses to clutter the character sheet. The second is that they removed Level Adjustment while not putting in anything to replace it. The third is that the number increase means that you have to do a guessing game to port any race, class, or monster over from 3.5 to Pathfinder, as simply taking them over will result in a weak race, class, or monster.
That's not to say Pathfinder is bad, of course. The miscellaneous minor bonuses differentiate characters and are flavourful, while on the other hand the more "clean" 3.5 class features focus on what's most important to the character. Level Adjustment was poorly balanced in 3.5, but having nothing creates other problems. But that final one is the clincher of it all: 3.5 has a colossal amount of good stuff written for it. Not in the core rulebooks, mind you, that's mostly either basic or terrible. Rather, in the splatbooks or magazines. There are so many cool things that I like in 3.5 that it would be less effort to port the things I like in Pathfinder over to 3.5 than to port the things I like in 3.5 over to Pathfinder.
I still like Pathfinder, though. In fact, I still play it. Pathfinder has an advantage in that it is still supported: Paizo's Adventure Paths are fun and good, and the problems with Pathfinder itself are minor and easy to overlook. Pathfinder loses out on my part not because of what it has, but what it does not have.
As for your question (is 3.5 more streamlined than Pathfinder), it depends. Some parts are more streamlined, some parts less. In the end, I'd say it turns out equal. Like I said in the beginning of this wall of text, Pathfinder and 3.5 play the same. The biggest change that Pathfinder makes is one that does nothing to the play style, it just mucks up the compatibility, that's all. To put it into context, a core-only Pathfinder is better than a core-only 3.5. But a 3.5 where the players and the DM are familiar with a lot of the material is better than a Pathfinder of the same.
What disappointed me the most about Pathfinder is not what they did, but what they did not do: 3.5 could have used a lot more revision than Paizo made, and I get the strong feeling that Pathfinder was created not so much to update 3.5 as to resell it to the same audience with only the illusion of change.
WOW! Until now, I had not had anyone explain the differences to me before, so thank you.
The sad thing for me was that I had never played 3.0 or 3.5 before trying to run Pathfinder. Oh boy, that was a mess. I am glad they came out with that box set because that 500+ page rule book for PF does not really teach the game very well.
I like PF, BUT: I liked a lot of things in 4.0 (or 4.5). The way those books where written was more friendly and even encuraged story over just numbers. Now, there is a lot of things I don't like about 4th ed too (like combat being way too long or the game being crafted around those three tiers of play... 30 levels? really?). But those skill challanges really solved some of my problems for the me.
I do really like the support that Paizo gives (especially the option of PDFs), but I am getting off the topic of this post already.
Thanks for breaking all this down for me.
You're welcome. As for learning how to play, that might be one thing that even people who intend to stay with Pathfinder might want to buy the 3.5 Dungeon Master's Guide. Monte Cook may be much derided on the internet, but he did a great job of explaining the reasoning behind a lot of the rules and gives a lot of good advice on how to run the game. A lot better than PF's GameMastery Guide, I'd say. Sadly, most people don't actually read the Dungeon Master's Guide that way.
What's with the polymorfh thing on the last page? It seems out of place.
That is the change to polymorph rules that was published in Complete Mage and Players Handbook II. Basically, it is part of the errata. Why they didn't put it in the Magic section is beyond me, but that's Wizards of the Coast for you. Its a good thing that they at least put it in, though, and provide a page reference to it.
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