This isn’t the place I do most my posting. I primarily use merricb.multiply.com (mainly due to the calendar feature that really helps organise my gaming). Indeed, this post will probably appear on multiply at some point, to the vast confusion of those reading this first paragraph and wondering what it means. However, I was just posting on Mouseferatu’s page, and to do that I needed an account here, so I might as well write something.
I’ve spent some time recently on EN World debating differences between D&D editions – it’s not particularly useful, save that it helps define my thoughts about gaming. I don’t think it helps change many people’s minds. Actually, the main point of it is to improve my writing. The more I write, the better I’ll get at it, well so the theory goes. Not that I write much else.
Do I think that D&D 3.5e is too complicated as presented? Well, yes. To some extent at least.
Mostly, the game works really well. Unfortunately, due to the way that it uses modifiers, too many of them start interacting – and you need them all going to be competitive. Nathal was asking on EN World about the complexity of an attack… we got some pretty hairy examples. Consider hong’s example:
BAB +14; Str +6; Enhancement bonus +5; Weapon Focus +1; Martial discipline enchantment +1; Competence bonus (ioun stone) +1; Using a stance from Tiger Claw (weapon martial discipline bonus) +2; Acrobatic Strike (PHB2 feat, +4 if you use Tumble to avoid AoO) +4; Greater heroism +4; Haste +1; Insight bonus (from artifact) +20; total +59
Hmm. I’d far rather see these trimmed down a lot. Mind you, what would you get in AD&D? Once Unearthed Arcana came out, the attack bonus would look like (expressed in 3e terms):
BAB +14, Str +3, Weapon Specialisation +3, Weapon Enhancement +5, Bless spell +1, Prayer Spell +1, Ioun Stone +1…
Not quite as long and complex, but not quite that easy, either. This really affects DMs more than players – although I know players who freeze at the sign of Power Attack.
It’s when you need every one of these bonuses to compete with similarly hyped-up ACs that things fall apart at high levels. I’d like Rogues and Clerics to be able to hit as well, thank you.