What Third Edition gets right, part three

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11 Responses

  1. pdunwin says:

    I skimmed, but I agree with your headings. I also liked the creation of specific conditions for backstab/SA, point buy as standard (or at least recommended), normalized stat & bonus progression and one or two other aspects of the edition.

    • greywulf says:

      Agreed. I could easily carry on and write more about Third Edition D&D (or any edition, for that matter), but had to draw the line and stop somewhere.

      Thanks for adding to the list. Anyone got any more positives about Third Edition D&D that we haven’t covered yet?

  2. Great post – totally agree about feats and the 3.x skill list. The mess that was NWPs is best forgotten but I do have a soft spot for some of the 1e Oriental Adventures ones – is that where silk making appeared? Now to check out the other posts in the series to make sure you’re not being biased or taking sides in the Edition Warz ;)

    • greywulf says:

      Thanks! Yes, Silk Making was in Oriental Adventures. Well spotted!

      Parts one and two about Fourth Edition D&D are here and here with posts about Pathfinder, AD&D, Mutants & Masterminds and Classic D&D to follow.

  3. Old Guy says:

    That has always been my feeling on feats. It’s a great idea that was badly implemented. In my own game, I completely threw out the official feats and created a list of my own. We got rid of the powergamery aspects and now have a system that works well for us.

  4. Ron says:

    Good article.

    I like the fact that in 3.x most everything is d20 + bonus vs. DC instead of the hodgepodge that previous editions were.

  5. UHF says:

    I feel that FEATs are over used. Almost an offering to the God of WTF.

    I think WOTC realized that almost no feats were getting used by players, so they reduced that quantity and limited them to more generic and useful ones.

    I think that future editions need to address this issue. Pathfinder’s archetypes go a long ways to doing just that. (Eliminating the so called FEAT tax to create the character you want.)

    What I’d like to see is lists of abilities (like combat styles) that can grow with a character regardless of class. Your wizard wants to grow as a two handed sword master? Sure, but its going to be slow and he’s still going to have hard time hitting. At 6th level he could probably get adept and sundering. At 20th level he may even get improved critical.

    There is precedent for this. Mike Mearls’ Iron Heroes (the 3.5 template for 4e) used ‘lists’ of feats. While these lists were overpowering, it could easily be tailored to something more tame and suitable for multiple classes to use.

    There is also no reason you couldn’t have lists of non-combat abilities. A wizard who’s great in the outdoors (Ranger), great with spells and kind of sucks with weapons. What I’m talking about is having a Ranger ‘list’ of abilities like tracking, setting traps, and survival skills, perhaps even favored enemies. Combat is a completely separate issue.

    If you templated the character classes this way, it be relatively easy to reinvent what you want your character to be about. A Scholarly Fighter? A Civilized Barbarian (he’s just got a bad temper)? A Noble Rogue?

  6. Philo Pharynx says:

    Fortitude, Reflex and Will saves. It makes it easy and logical to figure out what save was appropriate for any effect.

  7. Lugh says:

    I 100% agree with you on feats. Why is the power level of the feats all over the place? Why are there not awesome fighter feats with like six prerequisites that can compete with high-level spells? Why is there such a disproportionate number of combat feats?

    I’ve seen other d20 products that come much closer to doing feats right. My personal favorite is Spycraft. They have a lot of feats that address things other than combat (critical for an espionage game), and some really great long feat chains to strongly reward sticking to a concept without requiring a prestige class.

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