Saturday, September 7, 2013

30 Day D&D Challenge - Day 7 - Favorite Edition

Note - This post is part of the 30 Day D&D Challenge.

Day 7 - Favorite Edition

Tough question.  For tactical fighting, nothing beats 4e.  But for a roleplay-heavy campaign, I'd rather go with 3rd.  The real truth is, my favorite edition is the version of 3rd used in the NeverWinter Nights computer game.  The character creation rules are basically the same as in PnP 3e, but I like the fast healing and simplistic shortcuts they had to use to make it work as a computer game.  NWN's Bard is especially different from the PnP version, and yet it's one of my favorite versions of the Bard.

I like having a lot of options to customize my character.  One thing that bugs me about 4e is that the classes don't feel very customizable to me.  Yes, they published over 100 builds, which should be more than enough for me.  But if you have a character concept that doesn't fit one of those builds, it can be difficult to make what you want.  It's hard to explain what I mean, but the best example I can think of is my friend Bryan.  He loves to play rogues, and he loves to wield two weapons.  In 4e, there's only a couple of builds that really work for two-weapon fighting.  The Tempest Fighter, the melee Ranger, and maybe one or two more... but no Rogue.  A Rogue can still hold two weapons, and even take a couple of feats that give you better AC or whatever when dual-wielding, but they have very few options if they want to attack twice in one round.  Again, over 100 builds... and a dual-wielding rogue never occurred to them.

But in 3rd, you could turn any character into a two-weapon duelist.  All it took was a DEX of 15 and three feats.  It wasn't always the best idea, but if you had a particular character concept in mind, you could usually build it.  On the other hand, I don't want too much freedom when building my character, because then things get too complicated.  I've found that I don't really care for point-buy systems like GURPS, because (in my experience) making a character takes longer than it should, and dopes like me can easily build a completely useless character.  So when it comes to character creation, I want a good balance between customizability and simplicity.  With any luck, 5e will draw the best elements from both 3rd and 4th.

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