Monday, March 6, 2017

How We "Fix" 3e - a Short Post

From years and years of not having access to anything else, I have a few cubic meters of AD&D 3e books. Working for Fast Forward as a freelancer added to that, as did freelance copyediting for, oh, half of the d20 explosion guys. They are all neatly stored in my (finished) basement. About once a year my wife has to convince me not to sell them.

Son #1 pulled a few out last week.

For the last three days he and I have been discussing them and there was a lot of,
  "Why do people say 3e wizards are overpowered?"
  "Huh. Why do people think this feat works a way it doesn't?"

So over the last two days he's decided to run a short 3e campaign in a unique setting.  But it led us to talk about What's Wrong with 3e and how to fix it.

Our takeaways:

1) The GM must keep tight control over what prestige classes exist. The creep and bloat of splatbooks can make a campaign collapse.

2) The GM must carefully control the magic items in the campaign. This ranges from 'no, you can't buy potions from a street vendor' up to using items that grow. While this may sound too obvious, the implied/assumed setting of 3e appears to be awash in magic items!

3) The GM must throttle access to spells for wizards and sorcerers and make sure cleric spell selections make sense in the context of the domains, deity, and alignment of divine spellcasters.

4) The GM must control access to feats, especially advanced ones.

5) Challenge ratings must be based on the level of play not the level of PCs.

This is from an old 3e campaign of mine- 6) Consider making the Barbarian and the Druid NPC classes

7) Play the rules as written.

  We'll be trying this out over the next few weeks. We think with GM oversight and cooperative players we can have a 3e game with a real 2e feel and play!