Tuesday, 16 July 2013

For the Love of Older Editions

There's a reason why I prefer the "older" Editions and that's because of all the changes that took place between Editions. With the advent of 3rd Edition – quickly followed by 3.5 – the "min/maxers" took over the game at the creative level.

I haven't really given it enough thought to put into words my thinking, but then I never had a blog before now either. Two posts rally got me to thinking about this again and I think that these are two posts that should be read by anyone truly interested in the game's development. One can be found at boingboing and the other is located at Gnome Stew.

The first post – Old School Dungeonsand Dragons – talks about how the game started to become "rule bound" and "combat oriented" and both statements are true. The new "Rules" were accompanied by more than a few Charts and Tables; it seems everything would be left to the dice, rather than to the DMs imagination.

Rather than "storytelling," the emphasis was placed on making the most powerful character possible using the "new" Skills, Feats and Combat stats. Role Playing was almost completely taken out of the game. When you consider the fact that the game was originally built upon Role Playing, that's quite a reversal.

The second one -- Classical Play;Niche Protection -- talks about the limitless "Skills" that were created for the new Edition, which only serve to make some Character Classes obsolete and unnecessary. One character can do anything! Man is that boring.

This post points out how a character can become unnecessary by certain other characters taking the appropriate Skills needed to eliminate the need for some characters all together. A character in the "new" Editions could legitimately become a "one man show."

At any rate, I'll allow these posts to "speak for themselves." I encourage you to read them. You might just find them as interesting as I did. They reflect my own thoughts and views on the matter quite well.

Thanks to Peter Bebergal and Walt Ciechanowski for sharing their thoughts with the rest of us.

For myself, I'll stick with the older Editions, like 2nd, and let my imagination run wild!



  1. MS,

    I can understand how you feel about some of the rule changes in the newer editions. Its no secret WoTC was out to create a tabletop version of the W.O.W. type.

    One of the things that have curdled in my stomach recently. was a post in a chat room by a newer member to CF. He went over a character type build where someones PC would be able to deal anywhere from 1000-1500 points of damage in one round.

    I found nothing in this part of the persons discussion that reminded me one bit about D&D. I like some of the stuff 3rd edition added. Though IMHO 2nd edition skills and powers began this trend. I like Skills over proficiencies. Feats are ok but I still think too many exist.

    Saves work either way for me. Though I mix a lot of 2e in my 3.5 e campaigns. I dispise Prestige classes and prefer to make them kits or class alternatives.

    I have made a house rule regarding dual or multi-class characters. One can only have a number of classes equal to their intelligence bonus. So unless you receive a +1 or more bonus in your intelligence. You do not have the ability to pick up an additional class.



  2. The Character Generators are definitely a "draw" to 3.5 . . . even for me! LOL

    They really simplify things. And I won't disagree that 2nd Edition began the "trend." I just think that, with the advent of 3rd, "they" started going too far. The earlier Editions definitely needed a "little something" and I think 2nd Edition did a fair job of supplying that. Perhaps even 2nd needed a little something "more."

    But anyone who eats 50 Oranges at once . . . is going to get sick. The human body simply can't "eat" that much of any one thing at once. The game needed a couple of more Oranges, 3.5 threw a truck load at us.

    I'm beginning to "play" a mixture of the two in my RPoL game. I'll gain players and I'll lose players, but, eventually, I'll have the game I'm happy with.

    It will just be a matter of finding players who feel the same. ;)