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Captain Morgan wrote:
rabindranath72 wrote:
Dancing Wind wrote:

The hardcover version of the 4th printing is still available, as is the PDF

Core Rulebook, hardcover.

but the pocket edition is not
Core Rulebook, Pocket Edition

I have looked around in many FLGS, but all I could find was the hardcover 3rd printing, and no pocket editions at all. Unfortunately ordering from Paizo's website is not a possibility, as I am in UK, and the shipping expenses would be excessive.
TBH you shouldn't buy it at this point anyway unless you're a collector. Your local shops should have the remaster in less than two weeks.

I am not a collector, but I spent a hefty sum already on a lot of PF2e pdfs, and I don't plan to get the revised edition as I don't like most of the changes, so the idea was to get print versions which match as close as possible the pdfs I have.

Dancing Wind wrote:

The hardcover version of the 4th printing is still available, as is the PDF

Core Rulebook, hardcover.

but the pocket edition is not
Core Rulebook, Pocket Edition

I have looked around in many FLGS, but all I could find was the hardcover 3rd printing, and no pocket editions at all. Unfortunately ordering from Paizo's website is not a possibility, as I am in UK, and the shipping expenses would be excessive.

Hi all,
as the topic says: was the 4th printing of the pdf ever actually printed, in particular in the pocket edition format?


Any idea whether the current version of the books will be reprinted in pocket versions (in particular the 4th printing of CRB)? I only have the pdfs of CRB, GMG, B1, B2, and I am not sure I will like the Remastered version, so I was hoping there would be a final reprint of these. Amazon doesn't sell them anymore.

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Aaron Bitman wrote:

On March 13, 2017, in this thread, while I was running a 3.0 campaign with my son (and my father) I posted the following:

Aaron Bitman wrote:
...I often feel conscious of the relative merits of 3.5 and PF, but all in all, I still feel I like 3.0 the best. My son made it clear he prefers Pathfinder, and he once made arguments about why we should switch back to it by pointing out some of its merits at some length. I responded "I know that PF has some advantages, but I'm sticking with 3.0." He wasn't terribly happy with me for a while after that, but we continued playing all the same.

In fact, my son prefered PFRPG so much that he GMed it for me later, as I related in the thread My son GMed Pathfinder.

On May 1, 2019, in the thread A goodbye of a sort, I wrote the following:

Aaron Bitman wrote:

My son used to champion PFRPG, while I felt that D&D 3.0 was superior (even as I used Paizo products with it). Consequently, we played both. But in the last year, both of us lost interest in RPGs


I just don't have the passion I used to, and I can't make the commitment to a regular game. I expect it will be years before the RPG bug bites me again.

Last month, something unbelievable happened. My son decided to DM a 3.0 campaign for me! Despite all his reasons for prefering PFRPG, he decided that 3.0 would be simpler! We've played every Sunday since then. The campaign is set in Galt and the River Kingdoms, and yesterday, I finally succeeded in doing something I've dreamed of doing for over a decade now: I rescued prisoners from the final blades and smuggled them out of Isarn!

(My prediction came true, though. Since I wrote that goodbye, it WAS two years before I played again, unless you count creating characters.)

I was skimming the thread because someone asked about the differences between 3.5 and 3e so I was reviewing the discussion we had here. So cool to see this thread still around! I am happy you are back in the saddle :) Are you playing 3.0 "core only"? How many players? If you feel like it, I'd like to hear more about your game.

I started a 5e game with my kids a few months back, but we got dissatisfied with it for a number of reasons, so last week we converted to D&D 3.0, and we all are happier!

Aaron Bitman wrote:

Yeah, I heard that too. This was my reaction when I first heard that. If you don't want to bother pursuing that link, I'll say here that reasoning is, quite frankly, stupid. The point of CRs is to estimate how much of a challenge monsters are. The GM should be the one to decide whether to give the PCs menacingly powerful opponents, and when he does, he should take ones with high CRs. Deliberately giving monsters the wrong CRs completely defeats the purpose of CRs. And it short-changes the players with XP.

So when TriOmegaZero told me that, it helped to persuade me to switch to PFRPG. But upon doing so, I found that its CRs weren't terribly accurate either.

That seems stupid indeed; I doubt any of the original designers really went that route.

However, I recall reading an interview (Jonathan Tweet or Monte Cook or Skip Williams; can't recall), where it was said that the dragons' CRs don't take into account the spells. This makes way more sense.

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I suppose I am definitely in the "if everyone is special, no one is special" school of thought.
Thanks for the Al-Qadim links! They look very interesting.

Oh yes I too liked that there were no limitations a priori. But in my experience, constraints can give an interesting flavour to a campaign.

For example, in the campaign I am (slowly) working on, only Dwarves have Clerics, and their spells come from devotion to philosophies rather than gods (so one of their domains must always be tied to alignment). Barbaric humans can become Druids (they embrace a sort of shamanism), and civilised Humans can be Wizards (learning wizardry by scavenging spells from ancient pre-human sources; serpent people/yuan-ti in particular; also, they must specialise). Elves only can be Sorcerers, and they get their spells by striking bargains (per DMG suggestions) with otherworldly fey creatures.

Aaron Bitman wrote:

In case anyone's been wondering, we're still at it - playing Conquest of Bloodsworn Vale in 3.0... at a glacial pace. It's been over 8 months now! Never in my life have I taken so long on such a short adventure.

A few unexpected developments came up lately. For instance...** spoiler omitted **

Unfortunately, on the way there, the party had a random encounter with a shambling mound. You know, I have to rant now. That Improved Grab ability is far too powerful! It makes monsters way, way deadlier than their CRs would imply. After all these years, I should learn my lesson and stop using monsters with Improved Grab! It's too complicated anyway!

You know, my son keeps...

Ah, I am used to glacial paces! Not unusual for me (unfortunately...)

I have been planning a short 3.0 campaign, but unfortunately Real Life got in the way :/

Speaking of Halfling Druids, do you restrict access to classes by race? For example, in AD&D 1e (pre-UA) only Humans, Half-elves and Halflings could become Druids. I love these "change through limitations" (to use the words in the DMG) because they help make the races special.

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If you can find it, have a look at d20 Call of Cthulhu. Lots of interesting ideas for character types, and suggestions on how to fit D&D-style games with the Cthulhu Mythos.

The longest running campaign I ran from start to end, was with AD&D 2e, the original Dragonlance series of modules (DL1 through DL14), in 1989-90. It took us roughly 18 months of weekly sessions. That definitely marks the high point of my 30 year-long career as a DM. We still talk about it today *sigh*

Hi all!
just re-reading my trusty 3.0 books, and I wondered about printings. I know the PHB as had at least two printings (I have the 2nd one), has there been a third (or higher) printing? What about the MM and DMG? I penciled the known errata in the latter two (the MM in particular has a few annoying errors), whereas it seems that as of the 2nd printing the PHB is essentially errata free (well, at least the errata that was issued.) All in all, I must say I am pretty surprised at how little errata the three have overall.

Aaron Bitman wrote:

Months ago, on this thread, I mentioned starting a 3.0 campaign, with my father and my son as players. We started my 3.0 conversion of the 2E adventure, The Shattered Circle. Here are some excerpts from my earlier posts:

Just in case anyone was wondering about it, I thought I'd give a little update....

Looks like it was a fun game!

Did you complete Shattered Circle?
What about Conquest of Bloodsworn Vale?
What's your opinion on 3.0 after running it again?

I too had a stab at a short campaign; I converted a group of BECMI characters to 3.0 (a Thief, a Magic-user and an Elf; the latter converted to a Ranger/Wizard) and ran a few sessions. It was fun, and the players liked the change (the Magic-user player in particular as he is very experienced with D&D 3.0).


hogarth wrote:
rabindranath72 wrote:

There's Wheel of Time (which is a hell of a game in itself!)
There's the Slaine RPG (though it required the PHB.)
d20 Call of Cthulhu was 3.0 as well.
The first Star Wars d20.
Rokugan and Oriental Adventures.
Not sure about other stuff.
This is probably too late to be helpful, but d20 Modern is based on 3.0 I believe.

Sort of; it lives in a weird space of 3e and (bits of) 3.5e. Never bought the books, as I used d20 CoC when I wanted a modern d20 game.

Glad to see my post is still read!

Fig wrote:

Did anyone publish complete games under the original 3.0 SRD? I'd certainly be intrigued to see what behind the Wheel of Time RPG had been printed.

The SRD was updated with 3.5E, but the original document (though apparently impossible to find in any complete form) can still be referenced as a source text, correct?

There's Wheel of Time (which is a hell of a game in itself!)

There's the Slaine RPG (though it required the PHB.)
d20 Call of Cthulhu was 3.0 as well.
The first Star Wars d20.
Rokugan and Oriental Adventures.
Not sure about other stuff.

As for the 3.0 SRD, a few links have been posted above; you can find the complete SRD.

Alzrius wrote:

I agree, though it's worth noting that this was counterbalanced by the fact that multiclassing was strictly reserved for demihumans (with a few very rare exceptions), and they had to abide by the level limits for each class they took. Humans, on the other hand, could only dual-class.

Indeed. On the other hand, one could see the 3e system as more abstract, so 3e multiclassing can effectively emulate both AD&D multiclassing and dual classing. The DMG also suggests for example to limit some classes to some races, and it wouldn't be a stretch in the same vein to rule (as I do in my games) that multiclassing from level 1, say, is only a demihuman thing. All other things being equal (balance of classes, say), this doesn't pose any problems, and actually these kind of restrictions (as also argued in the DMG) give flavour to the game.


In the case of a fighter 10/cleric 5/rogue 1 - where none of those were favored classes - wouldn't that have been a -60% penalty? That is, you'd be whacked for the disparity between fighter and cleric levels, whacked a second time for the disparity between fighter and rogue levels, and whacked a third time for the disparity between cleric and rogue levels.

As far as I can tell from reading the rules, and how I used the rule in the past, it seems it's only the highest class level that counts.

PHB p.55 wrote:
Your multiclass character suffers a –20% XP penalty for each class that is not within one level of his most experienced class.

It's also worth noting that part of what made prestige classes special was that they never counted towards XP penalties. This was a hidden benefit to them that was ironically reversed in Pathfinder, since the nature of a favored class bonus changed into something you gained for sticking with your original base class, rather than a penalty that could be avoided with your favored class or a prestige class.

It was something that wasn't specified in the 3.5 revision, as observed my Monte Cook (and was later in the errata IIRC) so it looked like you paid XP penalty for PrC as well.

I didn't know about this aspect of Pathfinder; so effectively the role of the PrC is different.
In my games I tend not to use PrC, unless they have strong ties to the setting. For example, I use the ones in the Dragonlance Setting (Knights of Solamnia and Wizards of High Sorcery.)


To be fair, I'd like to think that those reasons were clear to people who had a fair amount of AD&D under their belts when they started with 3.0. Certainly, it was clear to me from the get-go that that's what they were trying to do.

They were hopefully clear for people coming from AD&D; but in my experience lots of people started with 3e, or even with 3.5, so the raison d'etre of a lot of stuff is at least nebulous.

Aaron Bitman wrote:
rabindranath72 wrote:
Did you actually play a session?

Yeah. For over seven years - ever since I read this post - I've been wanting to play a gnoll with a backstory that my character got reincarnated as one. Now, I've finally gotten around to it!

So we played a couple of short sessions, and we were doing fine...

...and suddenly, real life reared its ugly head, forcing us to put the game on hold for many weeks. Maybe even months. Indeed, this problem has affected many aspects of our lives, such that the campaign looks quite insignificant in comparison.

Well, at least we got to play a LITTLE of it.

Sorry for the Real Life problems; I have had plenty, so I know how it feels :(

Hope you got enjoyment out of the little you played; that character concept is AWESOME! Care to post the stats of your character? Did you use the MM gnoll as a baseline?

Fig wrote:

As I recall, multiclass characters had to keep their non-favored class levels within 2 of each other (of the highest non-favored class?) or suffer a cumulative 10% reduction in experience for each class whose levels were not within 2.

While I hated this at the time, I think I now see this as one of the vestiges of the 2nd Ed/AD&D era.

Indeed it was meant to simulate the AD&D mechanics in a more flexible framework; due to how the XP tables worked in AD&D, in a multiclass character one class was never more than one level behind another; you couldn't "dip". I think the designers did a very good job.

The maximum level difference is 1, and the reduction is 20% for each class. So, we can have a gnome illusionist 10/rogue 1 with no problems (as illusionist is favoured), but a fighter 10/rogue 1 would incur a 20% penalty on XP. And a fighter 10/cleric 5/rogue 1 would incur a 40% penalty (as both cleric and rogue are more than one level apart from fighter.) This discourages excesses in multiclassing, again probably to retain the flavour of AD&D (niche protection.)

I think I never had a multiclass character at my table, except for my sister who loved playing the Red Box Elf, which I converted to a Ranger/Wizard. Unless you started as multiclass at 1st level (the 3.0 DMG allows multiclass characters from the get go) I used the optional training rules in DMG, so getting a level in another class just to "dip" wasn't a cheap option.

RE: the gnome favouring the illusionist class, again that's a legacy thing.

A lot of the limitations that look arbitrary, have actually a specific reason to exist, and most of the time the reason seems to retain the "flavour" of AD&D (something that people like me who still plays AD&D and BECMI appreciate.)

TriOmegaZero wrote:
ultimatepunch wrote:
When playing 3.0 you make a character and play the game. In 3.5/PF you build a character and look for ways to do the stuff you built your character to do. The games may look similar at a glance, especially 3.0 to 3.5, but at the table the games play out very differently.
It boggles my mind to hear that the games are both so different but still both d20. I'm inclined to believe it is just the way you play it, but if someone can explain the differences that make it happen I would be happy to listen.

There are quite a lot of things, some big, some small, as mentioned up thread; some of these may be good or bad, depending on taste; some others are objectively relevant (e.g. game prep time.)

Some of the most relevant points for me (as a DM) and my group:

1) Character creation is fast; if you want to save time, each class contains a package which allows creating a character of whatever race in a few minutes. I think something similar was done for 3.5 as well in a web enhancement, but in 3.0 it's straight in the PHB.

2) Little or no decision paralysis, both at character creation and when advancing: there are very few feats, and their design is very tight (as a bonus, if you come from AD&D, you recognise some of those feats as previously fixed class features.) Many feats are designed as clear exceptions to very specific rules. For example, Alertness is designed to provide a bonus in surprise situations, and it's the only feat providing a bonus to two skills. If you want to get better in a skill in general, there's Skill Focus. Furthermore some of the feats in 3.0 were split into two or more feats in 3.5, with the result that each feat becomes less relevant. In general, when you take a feat in 3.0, it's a significant boost (this is important since, except for the fighter, there aren't many occasions to get feats.)

3) The game is not strongly wedded to the grid; there are some references in the DMG, but that's all. You won't find things like diagonal movement costing differently than horizontal/vertical movement (which technically doesn't even make much sense as it imposes an Euclidean concept of distance, whereas in fact when we use the grid, we are implicitly assuming a non-Euclidean metric.) This relies on DM fiat being more important, and in our experience, it also typically results in way faster combats.

4) NPC prep time is small, thanks to the full NPC tables in the DMG. I can create an NPC of whatever level, of most monster/PC races, already equipped, in a handful of minutes. The tables were drastically reduced in utility in the 3.5 DMG.

5) Lots of monsters are easier to adjudicate in play, since monsters don't follow the same rules as PCs when it comes to skills and feats. Again, faster combats (and faster prep.)

6) Lots of monsters are scarier, as you will need specific bonuses; a weapon being generically "magic" is not enough.

7) A Paladin's mount is not a pokemon ;) If your mount dies, you must wait one year and a day to get another one (resource management is important!)

8) Gnomes favour being illusionists (as traditional in AD&D.)

9) Some skills are class specific, and can't be acquired by other classes as cross-class skills AT ALL: Animal Empathy, Decipher Script, Read Lips, Scry, Use Magic Device. This is a sort of "throwback" to AD&D, and in general it helps with "niche protection".

10) Weapon stats are simpler, they don't depend on size (but there are simple guidelines in the DMG.)

11) In general, classes are simpler, and have less "stuff" going on and/or fewer/simpler features; in general, they are less "powerful (e.g. the clerics don't have Auras; paladins don't have Auras and can only smite once per day; sorcerers can't change their spells; rangers don't get an animal companion etc.) The overall "feel" is definitely grittier (and ease of play.)

Aaron Bitman wrote:

I didn't think I was going to write this post.

I mean... earlier in this thread, I mentioned a possibility of my running 3.0 again, but I meant it kind of hypothetically.

And yet, here I am, for the first time since I switched to PFRPG in 2009, preparing a 3.0 campaign as my players learn 3.0 and create their characters in that edition.

I just started to feel like 3.0 made it easier to do what I wanted to do. 3.5 would have worked OK for my purposes too, but I always preferred 3.0. (Indeed, except for a few solo adventures I ran myself to learn 3.5, I never played that version.)

You know, I remember back in 2005...

2005! Has it really been over a decade now?!? Good lord!

Uh... anyway, it was in 2005 when I decided that 3.X was THE fantasy tabletop RPG for me, despite my use of 2e material and my plans to continue using that material heavily. To mark that resolution to my newfound commitment to 3.X, I wrote what was then my biggest, most ambitious conversion project: a 3.0 conversion of The Shattered Circle. It seems laughable now that I should have worked to try to make that document as compact as possible, as it had seemed lengthy to me at a whopping... 4 pages. (If you don't remember, earlier in this thread, I posted my 28-page conversion of Night's Dark Terror.) I just expanded that Shattered Circle conversion to 7 pages, making it clearer and somewhat more complete, and I feel ready to start running it.

It's kind of exciting, in a way. I ran Circle solo, to test it, but this is the first time I'll be running it in a REAL campaign, with actual players.

One of the reasons I hesitated switching from PFRPG is that... well, I love hanging around on these forums so much, I want to promote Paizo products as much as possible. And I still am promoting them, to a degree. I'm running this campaign in Golarion, teaching my players about that setting using the Inner Sea World Guide, the 3.5 Pathfinder Campaign Setting book, and various sources like...

That's excellent news! Did you actually play a session? Please do tell :)

And thanks for the conversion notes!

Aaron Bitman wrote:

You know, although I've been hesitating to say this, I was going to list the SRD as one of the ADVANTAGES of 3.0 (and 3.5) over Pathfinder. You say "ugly". (EDIT: And after I posted this, Alzrius said "cumbersome".) I say... "practical", at least in certain respects.

I no longer remember the website from which I downloaded the 3.0 SRD all those years ago. I no longer remember it, because I never had to go there again. The site just let me download the zip files, and I can just open that stuff in a text editor whenever I want, even at times when I don't have internet access, as sometimes happens to me even these days.

I have used the SRD so much these years. It's excellent to copy-paste only the stuff you need (I tend to compress stat blocks.) Something which a copy-paste from html pages can't achieve as easily.

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Aaron Bitman wrote:

A couple more advantages of 3.0 come to mind.

One is price. Originally, the 3 core 3.0 books retailed for only $20 each, and many players could get away with buying only the Player's Handbook. And the default campaign setting was $10, or $28 for the more complete book, and a fine setting book it was. Even today, browsing through Amazon, I see that the 3.0 core books are being sold more cheaply by third party sellers than the core books of other editions.

Another advantage was the Monster Manual. For the aforementioned humble price, you got, as the back cover proclaimed, over 500 fearsome foes, which pretty much covered everything you needed. You didn't have to apply a template to a ghoul to get stats for ghasts, or to a horse to get a heavy horse. You didn't have to wait around for the Monster Manual 2 to get camels. The really essential stats were all there. WotC crammed lots of information in there by not insisting that every entry get its own page. It didn't have to fill up each page with a picture, as if we needed a picture of a horse or a dog or a cheetah to know what one looked like. That book was good stuff.

Oh yes, the price! We were astounded as to how they could sell such nice books at so low a price (we now know they were essentially a loss leader for WotC.) In fact, I gifted two of my players with PHBs, which they still use to this day (the prints were also high quality.) Luckily now the hardbacks can be found for a dime and a song; I bought a full set of core books for less than £10, including shipping!

I also wholeheartedly agree with your assessment; the MM is excellent; it was a happy medium between the terse AD&D 1e entries, and the verbose AD&D 2e ones. The thing I liked most is that it covered essentially everything one could want, and then some. The entries for humanoids, specifying which gods they worshiped, and the domains for those gods, were fantastic; in 2e we would need an additional book to get those info. The only thing missing were the two or three pages about monster design which appeared in MM2.

And I like 3.0 monster design, since monsters DON'T follow the same rules as PCs. Recently I had a chat with Richard Baker, who was complaining about how he didn't know how to spend "legally" skill points on the stat blocks for a Mammoth in Pathfinder. I told him he wouldn't have had this problem if WotC and PF had stuck with the 3.0 guidelines :)

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137ben wrote:

As Sissyl pointed out, though, this particular website is not the best place to find other 3.0 players. It's Paizo's website, so it naturally attracts Paizo fanboys, and this website is likely to have an unusually high representation of Paizo-worshipers and out-right hostility to anyone who isn't a Paizo-fanatic. Most of the Paizo-fanatics who liked 3.0 are now playing Pathfinder.

Please understand I am not trying to recruit players, or engage in edition wars. Given that 3.0 is now a legacy game, I was interested in the opinions of those playing the "2nd reincarnation" of the game, or of people who uses PF material in their 3.0 games (like I tend to do.) If the post should prove offensive I'll ask the moderators to close it.

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Dragonchess Player wrote:

It was also a unmitigated pain with the number of feats and skills a character received vs. how many they might actually need.

I'd like to expand a bit on this issue to explain my position. We didn't (and still don't) have an issue with skills and feats (or lack thereof) since we saw 3e as essentially a cleanup and "logical" extension of AD&D 2e + PO material. "Skills" didn't play a big role in AD&D, they were ancillary to the classes' main focuses (except for the thief and bard obviously) so a fighter with only two skill points isn't that big a problem; and rogues and bards DO get many skill choices. So that's not dissimilar to what happens in AD&D, and we are perfectly fine with that. Analogously with feats, we see them as modularising what where either fixed class abilities, or things that were relegated to out-of-class rules in AD&D; again, no problem for us. In short, we didn't see 3e (and didn't want it to become) as a skill-based system like Rolemaster or GURPS. On a side note, we were pleasantly surprised when we discovered that skills were downplayed in 5e.

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Alzrius wrote:

They didn't, but Adkison and co. honestly thought that they would, as said by someone who was there at the time.

Thanks for the link! That was me asking Rick Marshall the question about Peter Adkison :)

Dragonchess Player wrote:

but for all of the complaints that 3.5 received on balance issues 3.0 was many times worse. It was also a unmitigated pain with the number of feats and skills a character received vs. how many they might actually need.

We never experienced any balance issues (but we only ever played with the core books), do you have any specific examples in mind?

Regarding the "need", we found both skills and feats enough for our needs; we actually didn't pay a lot of attention to skills; my players usually selected some skills at first level, and that was all, so they didn't bother with skill points at all since they got the maximum ranks. By the way, the starting character "templates" in the 3.0 PHB were brilliant, as they allowed starting a game very quickly.

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Sissyl wrote:
The unbeatable encounter is in FoF, actually. And agreed, the 3.0 modules were brilliant. Sadly, they had a bad decision resulting in a singular focus on only rules books, not adventures, meaning the first eight modules is really all there is. 3.5 added a few more toward the end of the run of third edition.

You have a good point about the shifting of policy from adventures to rules. I say "shifting" because I recall the main motivation which convinced my group to move to 3e, was Peter Adkison stating that "there won't be any additional rules beyond the three core books, but only setting and adventures"; his idea was essentially to return to the early 1e days. We know that the late 1e stuff was published essentially to save TSR's bacon; and similarly, although the introduction of 3.5, (as stated by Monte Cook) was planned from the start only to fix errata, it actually became a big overhaul (and with all the subtle changes, it's difficult NOT to think they did it to get people to buy the books all over again.)

When Adkison left WotC, apparently the people who took the reins didn't quite agree with his view.

golem101 wrote:

I'm getting old.

Eh :)

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Aaron Bitman wrote:

In my first post in this thread, I mentioned six things about 3.0 that I like, that would make me prefer 3.0 over PFRPG (some "rectangular" monsters, no weapon size penalties, outdoor Spot DCs, simpler DR rules that didn't encourage the "golf bag" mentality, the Size-to-Dimension-and-Weight table, and level adjustment for monster PCs).

I kept hesitating to mention a seventh advantage, because it seems such a prevalent opinion on these boards that Paizo's modules are awesomesauce... but to be honest, many of my favorite modules are for 3.0. The Sunless Citadel is my all-time favorite introductory adventure. Its follow-up, The Forge of Fury, was a great dungeon crawl as well. The Speaker in Dreams is my all-time favorite urban adventure. And my all-time favorite SERIES of modules is the "Coin" trilogy by Kenzer & Company (The Root of All Evil, Forging Darkness, and Coin's End).

Firstly, thanks for the conversion! Interesting indeed!

RE: the WotC scenarios, I totally agree, and it's something I forgot to mention. Indeed the initial run of WotC adventures are seminal for the edition. The thing that strikes me most, which seems to have been lost in the later WotC productions (and third party as well) is the distribution of encounters, and the use of random encounters, per the DMG guidelines. In Sunless Citadel for example there's an unbeatable (by combat) encounter (won't spoil for those who don't own the module) and random encounters to keep the party on their toes and possibly force them to consume resources. In my experience the effect of these solves a lot of the complaints about 3e spellcasters being too strong; wizards and clerics can't simply store all their spells for the "important encounter". They can't simply "rest and recover" at their leisure; the PCs DON'T dictate the pacing of the adventure. This makes resource management very important, and makes fighter types excel since their abilities are reliable. When you look at the later development of 4e, you wonder whether someone really missed something in the design of the game (a.k.a. a solution in search of a problem.)

The unbeatable encounter in the module drives home the point that not every monster encounter should be solved with violence, and that fleeing IS an option. Looking at the encounter distribution table in the DMG we also learn that most of the encounters should be challenging, not cakewalks; so the idea of "balance", meaning that all encounters should be beatable, is NOT really part of the game. I am not sure too many people (including publishers) took these guidelines seriously; in all my games, fighter types have been regularly favoured at the table; in my last Dragonlance campaign, the fighter/knight of solamnia was definitely the most powerful character.

I only experienced spellcaster "domination" of the game at very high levels (14+) but that's not something really new, it was the same as with AD&D, and I really don't have a problem with that, it only means that the DM must design his scenarios in a different way. But that's food for a different thread, perhaps.

I didn't know about those Kenzer modules, I'll have to track them down; thanks for the hint!

Aaron Bitman wrote:
rabindranath72 wrote:
...if I want to still play D&D, my usual "cure" is BECMI :) It might be worth perhaps introducing your son to it (the pdfs are cheap, and used copies can be found for pretty cheap) to learn the "basics". If he wants he can graduate later.

In fact, I started my son off with BECMI. Among other adventures, he played Palace of the Silver Princess to its completion. But then he graduated to PFRPG, which we played together a LOT.

Perhaps ironically, I adapted the biggest, most ambitious adventure I ever managed to run to its completion in PFRPG... from a BECMI module! It was Night's Dark Terror. It was while running that when I grew tired of GMing.

The point is that I don't think we could go back to BECMI now. If it were simply a matter of playing something simpler, we might play a little MEGS, as we have before. But I feel an aversion even to that.

Sorry about that; I know the feel; weirdly enough, I was about to give up RPGs when I couldn't play for about 5 years; frustration plays these nasty tricks on our minds :( I suppose the wise thing to do is not to force yourself, if a game stops being fun, it's not worth playing.

Night's Dark Terror is one of my absolute favourites! I had thought about converting it to 3.0, but I never did anything with the idea. Do you have something written which you could share? Thanks in advance!

I also really like the 3.0 DMG. It's a very useful book. Some of the things I liked most (and which are absent from the 3.5 revision)

1- the complete NPC tables, which are worth the price, IMO. I never spent more than a few minutes creating NPCs, since I always used these tables; making small changes can be done in a relatively easy way. Monte Cook himself lamented the fact that the tables were gutted in the 3.5 revision and lost their usefulness. I can see why many people lamented the problems with NPC creation in 3.5, something I practically never experienced.

2- multiclass characters at 1st level! Nothing says AD&D to me, more than starting at 1st level with an elf fighter/magic-user (ehm wizard ;) ) My players loved this option, especially my sister who used to play the Red Box Elf

3- it doesn't put a lot of emphasis on grid play (similarly to the PHB.) Another thing which Monte Cook lamented about 3.5

The DMG really "opens" the game, and provides tons of interesting suggestions and variants. For example, as Prestige Classes are not mandatory, I only ever rarely use them, so when they enter the game, they are really special. I also keep multiclassing strictly under control, requiring training and downtime to get a class (so, no "dipping" into classes just to get a power here and there.) I also limit races to some classes, for example no dwarf wizards or halfling paladins; halflings can be druids, but not clerics; and elf and cleric wizard adventurers are typically very old (needless to say, all these things I borrowed from AD&D.)

From what I have read on different forums online, it seems a lot of people (both detractors and fans) assume that in 3e "anything goes" and this is the only way to play the game, but I think limitations actually give flavour to a campaign.

I'd like to expand a bit more on the topic of feats. What I like in 3.0 is that each feat seems designed to address exactly ONE aspect of the rules, providing ONE extension or exception. For example:
1) Want to be better at a skill? Skill Focus
2) Want to be better at avoiding surprise? Alertness
3) Want to have more hit points? Toughness
4) Want to get better with a weapon? Weapon Focus
5) Want to get more turning undead per day? Extra Turning

and so on.

This neat concept seems to have been quite diluted, already starting with the later 3.0 material, and getting exponentially worse with 3.5 and PF, with long feat trees, and single feats less relevant than in 3.0 (apparently quite a few 3.0 feats have been split into more feats.)
I do allow the feats in the FRCS book when I DM in the FR, as they work based on the same principle; background feats add another dimension, since they tie a character to the setting, and the fact that some of them may be considered more powerful than other feats, is countered by the fact that they can only be acquired at first level, so there is a trade-off of sorts. When I play in the Dragonlance setting, I allow the few feats in the DLCS book, as they follow more or less the same idea.

Besides avoiding or reducing unintended consequences (due to interactions with other feats and/or mechanics), a shorter feats list (with small feat trees) also limits character complexity and paralysis choice. For someone like me who usually plays with non-hardcore players, or players who really care little about optimisation, this is of paramount importance.

Aaron, thanks for the "rant"! I completely understand the feel of being burnt out; in my experience it happens when you have to juggle relatively complex games, like d20 games tend to be. When this happens to me, I simply change game; if I want to still play D&D, my usual "cure" is BECMI :) It might be worth perhaps introducing your son to it (the pdfs are cheap, and used copies can be found for pretty cheap) to learn the "basics". If he wants he can graduate later. I introduced my little brother (there's 25 years difference between us!) to BECMI when he was just 8; now he is 19, and it's the only D&D game he wants to play :)

I don't want to turn this into "X is better than Y", since most of these topics tend to derail into shouting contests, and tastes are different. I'll say though that, as Sissyl points out, the "artistic" quality is what attracts me to 3.0 most; and the suspicion that many changes in 3.5 (and possibly PF) were put into the game just for change's sake, to justify a new edition (like changing the DR rules in 3.5 completely screws with the magic item economy.)
3.0 has the same endearing quirkiness of AD&D 1e: it's the first to try something new.

Hi all,
as the topic says. I have been running a successful Dragonlance game until a few months ago, and I'll probably get to DM the game again in the future. It's the game I moved to when I was burned out on AD&D 2e + Player's Options stuff (using the PO stuff was the worst choice ever in my DMing career!) although I haven't played it as much as AD&D 2e. I don't have any splat books, so for me it's core books only (and the occasional stuff from the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide.)

I never moved to 3.5 nor Pathfinder, since I didn't find the changes to my taste (most notably the big increase in feats and character abilities), and the game still retains a lot of nice "throwbacks" to AD&D 2e (e.g. monster immunity to +x weapons, paladins's warhorses not being magical, monsters statted differently from PCs etc.)

Anyway, just wanted to see if I am the last one playing and enjoying D&D 3.0 :)


l0thar wrote:

I've been GMing for a few years on and off in our group. [snip]

Combat is currently extremely one-sided thanks to this character. Basically, everything they fight winds up perma-proned and disarmed (at least until...

Hilarious indeed! I can see how this can create problems.

I am not familiar with Pathfinder, nor with D&D 3.5, but just for fun I checked my D&D 3.0 PHB, and it seems you couldn't build such a character at all. Sometimes less is definitely more :)

Wow thanks! That's some cool ideas!
I am not worried about the mechanics (for now at least), as I am going to replace monsters/NPCs with 13A ones, and if not possible, I am going to reskin some existing monster. Balancing encounters on the fly is also dead easy in 13A, so I think I should be able to whip up something on the spot.
Level-wise, Adventurer tier will cover chapters 1,2 and part of 3; Champion tier for rest of 3, 4, and half of 5; Epic tier for the rest.
I am probably going to remove some encounters; I have found that the suggested 12-16 encounters per level is spot on.

I'll have to think about your proposal more carefully; I'll come back with more questions if you don't mind :)

Thanks again!

Hi all,
I have recently acquired the Rise of the Runelords Anniversary edition (gorgeous book, btw!) and I intend to run it with 13th Age. Has anyone thought how to fit it into the Dragon Empire? I am not interested in the Golarion setting, as I'd have to fish for Icons, and I don't know the setting very well; Varisia might just be a part of the Dragon Empire?
From a cursory reading, it seems some 13th Age Icons might fit just well in the overall scenario (e.g. the Diabolist might take the role of the goddess Lamashtu). Has anyone done anything with this adventure path? Or ported other Pathfinder scenarios to 13th Age (ideas for Icon implementations are also welcome!)


A followup question: what gods are worshiped in the LotLK setting? Can they be "mapped" to the Asgardian pantheon? Are there actually clerics, or is it truer to Vikings' take on religion (i.e. no priesthood.)

Thanks! I'll buy it, then!
My idea is to take LotLK, GAZ7, and Deities and Demigods's info on the Asgardian pantheon and merge them.

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Not sure I can be of help with your specific requests, but have you seen 13th Age? It streamlines a lot of mechanics, is fast playing, it seems very hard to "break" and the different classes are designed with different complexity levels in mind, so a player who wants to play something simple (yet effective) can choose a Barbarian. I am still running D&D 3.0, but I am strongly tempted to switch my campaign to 13th Age.


Hi all,
I am a sucker for all things Viking. Any opinion on this? I don't play Pathfinder, and I don't have other Golarion campaign supplements, so:
1) would it be easy to adapt to D&D 3.0?
2) can it stand alone as a mini-setting? I'd probably merge its ideas with the old D&D GAZ7 "The Northern Reaches."


I am somewhat disappointed by the book. I don't use the Pathfinder setting, but since the blurb speaks about Vikings, and that it can be used also for other fantasy settings...well, there is not much Viking here. One thing for all: where are runes and runic magic?
I was comparing this product with GURPS Vikings, the AD&D 2e Viking sourcebook; well, even without going too deep into historical research like the two previous tomes, the old GAZ7 Northern Reaches for Classic D&D is much more faithful to the Norse lore and mythology. Oh well, perhaps I was expecting too much :(

Shem wrote:
If you go to the top of the page you can buy the PDF for $13.99 on October 26th. Pays to subscribe and get it free.

I don't play Pathfinder, I play D&D 3.0. I am just interested in this single book, really.

I bought the book from, is there an option to have a pdf for an additional fee?


Will the monsters have simplified stat blocks? (e.g. no attributes, one entry only for AC etc.)

Dies Irae wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
Dies Irae wrote:

Just a matter of curiosity about the thought process that went into it; Not to criticize, but why use Rolling for character creation?

I think it's easier to understand and explain than point buys... plus it's how most of us built our first characters. And dice are fun!

Fair enough. :)

Is there any other way to create a character?! Roll the dice, 3d6 in order! And get off my lawn! :P

No halflings! Drat! :(
Will we get to see more previews?

Asgetrion wrote:
Libra wrote:
I'm actually really surprised that people think this is ok. Everyone that's left a comment here has stated that they're going to gift this set to someone else. It certainly isn't a product intended for established players.

That is not correct; quite a few posters have said that they intend to buy it for themselves. And then there are those -- for example, Mairkurion and myself -- who are going to purchase (at least) two copies.

Personally, I want to give a copy for my nephew, because I see it as a great gateway product to introduce new people to RPGs. But it's not just that; I still love BD&D for its simplicity, and I'm sure I'll be running BB every now and then for my group of "established players".

If it wasn't a boxed set, I'd make sure our library acquires a couple of these as well.


I am not interested in Pathfinder; I find it too complex and prefer the simpler D&D 3.0 (yeah, I am a bit late.) But I would like to have the boxed set, since it would mean easier access to the d20 game for newbies and occasional players, like I am these days. It has been more than 2 DECADES since the last successful, well-done basic boxed set. It was about time.

Another question/request...any chances that the demo adventures in the boxed set will be printed on separate booklets?
From my 20+ years experience with the Mentzer Red Box, once you have run them, they only become filler, make the rulebook unnecessarily heavy, and clutter the presentation of the material.

Gorbacz wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
rabindranath72 wrote:

Hi there,

as a mostly BECMI and AD&D DM, I would like to know how, in terms of actual rules, this product works. For example, does combat require the grid due to Attacks of Opportunity? Are the skills simplified w.r.t. the SRD? How many feats are there? How many spells? Are the monster stats simplified?
We're not ready to reveal full details just yet, but the design goal was "simpler than the full Pathfinder RPG, but compatible with the full Pathfinder RPG."
Snippets revealed so far point to: no AOOs, fewer skills, feats and spells, no combat maneuvres (therefore: no CMB and CMD)

Thanks for the info! Looks like this could be simple and fun indeed.

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