From Chainmail to D&D Next
Pathfinder, 3.0 D&D, and 3.5 D&D
This may be my least favorite edition, not because of the rules, but because it enables the Min/Max and Rule Lawyer players. This game was also released during my hiatus from playing regularly, my life was focused on dating and work, I did not have the time to master the system. Also as a GM I no longer wanted to spend the time preparing that Pathfinder required.
When I started playing again, I’d discovered Indie and Story focused games. I started to learn a new more narrative and improvisational way to play. I wanted games that gave players more narrative power and influence. I played some Sorcerer, Trollbabe, PDQ, Risus, TSoY, Dogs in the Vineyard and other games. Some of these games had stronger emotional impact and that was intriguing. These games changed what I wanted in a game and helped me recreate the feel of my childhood games with less prep and time. So what I wanted in a game no longer jived with what Pathfinder and the OGL created and encouraged.
I’m remember liking how uniform the rules were. I’m looking forward to giving this game another try.
Here is a quote from Gary Gygax on the 3.5 editon, where he does not like where the rules went. I fully understand where he coming from because it’s really different game than the one he wrote, with very different focus and feel.
The new D&D is too rule intensive. It’s relegated the Dungeon Master to being an entertainer rather than master of the game. It’s done away with the archetypes, focused on nothing but combat and character power, lost the group cooperative aspect, bastardized the class-based system, and resembles a comic-book superheroes game more than a fantasy RPG where a player can play any alignment desired, not just lawful good. — Gary Gygax, GameSpy, 2004
We played our first sessions
I like the unified mechanic of always rolling against a Difficulty Class Number(DC#). It gives the game, a very 80’s feel. The problem is there is no unified way to figure out that DC#, each skill has its own suggested DC#s and many spells save are calculated differently. Once I get a better feel for the DC# difficulties I will play it off the cuff. But I feel the suggested ways to figure out a DC# requires a lot of adding up of values, and these can’t be pre-added like most of the values on a character sheet. I feel there are too many Modifiers for a roll, on both sides of the equation. The GM has many different values to add together to get a DC, and the player has many bonus and penalties they add or subtract from their roll, making for a lot of modifiers, most likely unnecessary.
We experienced my other complaint when making characters, there are too many feats to choose from, causing choice paralysis. This Paralysis will go away once people become familiar with the system. But than my other complaint will surface where players are choosing what to take by min/maxing. Some min/maxing is necessary because the system provides few protections for the character, but I’ve seen many players take it to far.
Over all this is a good game, with a nice feel. The prep does not have to be too extensive, and the written modules are excellent. I do have to say the strategy guid for helpful for new players and helped limit choice paralysis.