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Author Topic: Suggestions - D&D 3.5 vs D&D 4  (Read 2040 times)

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Offline MoonHunter

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Suggestions - D&D 3.5 vs D&D 4
« on: November 08, 2014, 08:20:59 PM »
First, before you go on. Yes I know there is a ed 5.  Keep that out of your mind for a moment.

Second, I am not going to be playing either of these. 

All that said... some back story and then the point of this....

I am shifting my gaming towards PDFs and away from hard copy books.  Games I am playing or I am specifically going to play or have significant components, are the only ones I am getting in hard copy from this point forward.  Everything else is going to be digital in format.  This includes me going back and getting PDFs of games that I already have (or had due to unfortunate water accidents). 

I read game books because I have been doing that since 1978.  I know lots of systems fairly well, but only some in passing.  It is always good to refresh your memory.  Sometimes you even pick up things are are great and useful in other places.  I have my game pdf selection on a flash drive I carry with me (and yes.. it is backed up in two other places not geographically linked.) So.. on the train, on a break at work, or what ever, I will pull out my phone or my tablet and read a game.  Yes, I can read a game straight through.  Yes, I am one of those weirdos that studies games. Yes, none of this should be a surprise... so lets move on. 

So, I don't play D&D.  I don't think that is going to surprise anyone who knows me.  Never acquired a taste for it, even back in the day when it was nearly the only game in town (Thank you Empire of the Petal Throne, Traveller, Runequest, Barsoom, Top Secret, Boot Hill, TFT, Bushido,and others).  I have the core books for aD&D. I have bits and piece of 2nd Ed (I had all the core, but I lent them to someone who would use them back then... never got them back). My white box was trashed sometime before 82.   Still, it is good to keep up.

I have recently acquired a fairly complete set of Edition 3.5 PDFs and Edition 4 PDFs of the core pieces.  I will eventually get around to reading through both. But, I know me. I am going to burn out on D&D after reading one edition's worth.  So one for now, one for sometime in a year or two. 

Which one do you think I should read and why? 
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Offline Pariah

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Re: Suggestions - D&D 3.5 vs D&D 4
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2014, 09:53:28 PM »
Eh, I hate myself for saying this, but if you're only going to read 1 of them I'd go with 4th.  5th doesn't seem all that different from 3.5 or Pathfinder, so the slightly more traditional DnD experience will be there to read in a couple of years, while 4th at least tried to do something different with their MMO inspired mechanics.
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Offline Chaosmark

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Re: Suggestions - D&D 3.5 vs D&D 4
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2014, 01:34:02 AM »
If you've read Pathfinder or any of its variants, I'd recommend 4e for the variety and differences. Otherwise, I'd do 3e. 4e is so My Unique Snowflake Combat Scenario that it sucks at pretty much anything else. You're not going to get much inspiration from there, to be perfectly honest. 3e at least has enough non-combat stuff to be decent.
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Offline PoisonAlchemist

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Re: Suggestions - D&D 3.5 vs D&D 4
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2014, 02:58:56 AM »
Why are you reading them in the first place?
You obviously don't care about mechanics.
Eberron and Faerun never interested you.
You're not going to be able to use any of the neat monsters in the bestiaries.
At best you might get some interesting theme ideas from a few paragraphs out of Frostburn, Sandstorm, and Stormwrack.
Really, why would you bother reading something you don't care about?
And if you don't care, why should we?
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Offline Lady Wolf

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Re: Suggestions - D&D 3.5 vs D&D 4
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2014, 10:38:21 AM »
You're not going to be able to use any of the neat monsters in the bestiaries.

Not really sure why he couldn't use the monsters in a different game setting re-statted for whatever system his group prefers?

Some of the cost tables for goods and stuff can be universally helpful no matter the fantasy setting you're playing as can the various spells/magic effects.

To answer the question, 3.5 is a more enjoyable read and easier to use the presented information in a different game setting, 4th lists spell effects and other ranged effects (and movement) in inches/cm (for use with minis) so converting it to feet/meters to get the actual range of effect is a hassle that's just not worth the effort.
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Offline MoonHunter

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Re: Suggestions - D&D 3.5 vs D&D 4
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2014, 06:06:08 PM »
Why are you reading them in the first place?

D&D will, for good or ill, be our common tongue... and probably be that way forever.  Besides unless you understand D&D you wouldn't get "Jesus saves and takes half damage" jokes.  So while I don't need to be highly skilled in the game, I should have a passing understanding.  It is also good to understand it in case you want read Midnight, Amythest, or a couple of other more interesting D20 and D&D games (which I own).  Who knows something new might catch my interest. 

Some people read trashy novels or popcorn for the mind stories.  I read game books.  I have read every one of the five hundred or so hard copy game I have - several times (including games in several editions numbers).  A good 95% of those I have never played. Ditto for the several hundred PDFs I own.  I don't collect dice, paint miniatures, or draw characters.  It is my ancillary way of playing in the hobby. 
« Last Edit: November 09, 2014, 06:24:41 PM by MoonHunter »
MoonHunter
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Offline EchoMirage

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Re: Suggestions - D&D 3.5 vs D&D 4
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2014, 07:12:07 AM »
I think that 3.5 has more of those "WTF" books and supplements, where you can try to retrace the steps of the mind of someone else, to find "at which point in your thought process did this sound like a good idea?", for example half the spells in the BoEF, any of the books on playing evil characters, a majority of the prestige classes...
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