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Dungeons & Dragons Edition Wars: D&D 3.5

DandD35The third edition of D&D is one that I missed completely.  D&D 3.5, however, is responsible for the renaissance of the RPG industry.  Granted that is my opinion, but WotC opened up the rules with the OGL (Open Game License for those who want to know).  Many D&D supplements were produced by third party companies.  Many non-D&D games were also produced using the OGL causing a resurgence of the industry.

What I like about 3.5: OGL, naturally.

What I don’t like about 3.5: Haven’t ever gotten the chance to play it.

Your turn:

June 15, 2009 - Posted by | Legacy D&D, News, Reviews and Culture, RPG | , , ,


  1. I’m not really into any edition war, but I prefer 3.5 to 4E, and I really like what I’m seeing with Pathfinder. And you’re right, the OGL was kind of a big deal, even if would choke the tarrasque with the zillions of books that resulted.

    You should get a friend to run a 3.5 session for you, or maybe start a Pathfinder campaign sometime soon.

    Comment by RPG Ike | June 15, 2009

  2. I agree and I don’t. I agree that the OGL breathed new life into a stagnating RPG industry but it was actually released with D&D 3.0 in 2000, not 3.5. 😉

    Comment by Tony Law | June 15, 2009

  3. 3.5e is a truly excellent system. Between it and 3e they brought the D&D brand all-but back from the dead and revitalized the entire industry thanks to the miracle that is the OGL. Wizards of the Coast abandoning the OGL is nothing less than folly wrapped in stupidity wrapped in greed wrapped in fuckwittery wrapped in……. ok, I’ll stop now.

    As regards the rules themselves, there’s not a lot wrong with them really – at least, not a lot which couldn’t be fixed with a light dusting of House Rules. I summarised what I thought needed fixing here, way back in April 2008. In short: Grapple, Attacks of Opportunity, Prep Time, Challenge Ratings and XP calculation and Level Adjustments – none of which are particularly high hurdles to jump over.

    But……. 4e has done an excellent job of meeting the faults head-on, and solving them elegantly. Sure, it brings a slew of other problems to the table too, but they’re all (imho) easier fixed in a system which downright encourages GM hackery.

    If only 4e was OGL. If. Only.

    Comment by greywulf | June 15, 2009

  4. @RPG Ike – One of the downsides of OGL is the sad fact that there’s a whole lot of crap released as well as lots of gems. But how many of the gems would’ve been released w/o OGL?

    @Tony – Granted but I see very little discussed about 3e anywhere. Most blogs, articles, whatnot lump 3e and 3.5 together. I admit I did as well.

    @G – What little I’ve played of 4e seems to me that the main problem is the amount of time necessary to play out encounters. But that’s tomorrow’s post.

    Comment by Vulcan Stev | June 15, 2009

  5. LIKES – OGL, but really, that started with 3.0, which also gave us the wonderful Book of Vile Darkness.

    DISLIKES – 3.0 broke my heart by giving me everything I thought I wanted. I discovered that all the things I’d said I wanted from D&D over the years made a game I didn’t enjoy paying. 3.5 only compounded matters.

    Comment by Brian | June 16, 2009

  6. Like: OGL
    That it fixed a lot of general problems I had with 2E.
    That it brought me back into the fold after I’d given up on DnD

    Dislike: Grappling rules
    Caster/melee power discrepancies
    Low level casters quickly reduced to “I shoot them with my crossbow”

    Comment by justaguy | June 16, 2009

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