Discussion:Top 10 of D&D 3rd edition

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My Top 10 of D&D 3rd edition[edit]

Mkill 04:03, 19 August 2007 (MDT)[edit]

While everybody's busy checking what Wizard's has cooked up for D&D4, I'd like to have a look back at the last 7, 8 years and see what were my personal favorites of the past edition. The following list is entirely my own biased take on the matter. Feel free to disagree.

10. Beguiler, Warmage and Dread Necromancer

I love the themed arcane spellcaster classed that came up in different books of this edition. They have much more flavor than your standard wizard or sorc, and they're easier to create and play as they have their spell lists and bonus stuff built in.

9. Book of Vile Darkness

D&D is not the most innovative RPG, and ever since the different RPG scares of the 1980ies it has been much too careful to include some real adult content, and be it as simple as rules for drinking and pregnancy. And this in a game, where killing people and taking their stuff is one of the main objectives. With the BoVD, Wizard's did dare to step into that direction, at least a bit.

8. PHB II and DMG II

Both books contained valuable additions to the material that was already in the Part I of both books.

7. Unearthed Arcana

I liked this book because it dared to explore new rules options, so DMs could tailor their home campaign to their tastes and needs while still referring to some official printed rules. Many "but I wish D&D was like X" discussions could be solved by saying "look, you can already have X if you use the variant in Unearthed Arcana".

5. Layout and Artwork

With 3rd edition, D&D made a big step forward when it comes to artwork and rulebook layout. Of course, you need to have a quasi monopoly on the RPG market and the according sales figures to afford full-color 250 page hardcovers. But look at how RPG books looked before the year 2000 and you'll know how D&D made a difference.

4. The Community

There has grown a great community supporting 3rd edition, so #4 is a kudos to all other gamers out there, especially the one's I played with. It is also a kudos to Wizard's, who always realized that it is the community, the DMs and the gamers what keeps D&D going.

3. Feats

If I had to pick one rules item that made the difference in D&D 3, it's feats. Where characters of previous editions differed maybe in weapon choice and spell selection, feats offered a lot more customization, and many of the more interesting combat tactics.

2. The OGL

When it comes to market strategy, the OGL was the best that could have happened to D&D. It instantly created an industry and a hype around the D20 system, and Wizards had the core product and the core brand that centered around it. It also helped to awaken the creativity of the community, and it helped many good (and bad) products to be published.

1. The Eberron Campaign Setting

A lot of the stuff that I really love about the 3rd edition is tied to the Eberron Campaign Setting: Artificers, Changelings, Warforged, Shifters, Action Points, Lightning Rail, ...

Instead of putting them all somewhere on this list individually, I decided to put them here together in one. Eberron tried to redefine a lot about the flavor of D&D and how adventures work, and it did a great job.


Sledged (talk)
2007 August 21 11:16 (MDT)
16. (Relatively) Stream-Lined Combat
No more rolling for initiative each round, and a creature's actions all occur at once (barring AoOs and immediate actions).
15. Marketing
Maybe it only seems like WotC brought more people to D&D. Maybe 95% percent of the people I see on forums were already into D&D before WotC took over. In any case, it's good to see the number of players.
14. Official D&D Worlds Licensed to Third Parties
One of the downfalls of D&D before WotC was too many campaign worlds. Or rather they tried to market too many campaign worlds. I played most of them and found a lot that I liked about each one, but TSR was trying to handle way too many of them. I would have liked to see all the worlds continued under WotC, but admittedly, that's too impractical. Licensing them to third parties, I think was the best solution.
13. Attack Bonuses VS THAC0
No more reverse math for trying to determine hit or misses.
12. No More Ass-Backwards ACs
This goes hand-in-hand with the previous one. Just as it is with almost everything, intuitively, higher it is better.
11. Saving Throw Mechanics
There was no rhyme or reason for how they came up with the save values in previous editions (at least none that I could see). And the fact that your ability scores influence your saves simply makes sense.
0. No More Exceptional Strength Scores
There's no better laugh than the one that you're ashamed to share with your mother.
Stephen Notley, creator of Bob the Angry Flower

Tokara2132 23:52, 29 September 2007 (MDT)[edit]

Well, my time spent with AD&D is rather limited (with 80% of it playing Balders Gate for the PC. Its what introduced me to D&D in the first place), but my favorite thing has to be one thing and one thing only: No more racial restrictions for classes. It may be something whole limited to BG, but in the other 20% seemed to support this. Sure, the Negative ACs were confusing and the strength made very little sense (its the same score, and yet the strength with a slight difference on the end made more of a difference than a higher strength) but its the fact that my dwarf (I love playing dwarfs!) can't be just about anything a human can do. I mean, a dwarf is a sentient being, just like a human, and yet its culture is so freakishly restrictive that it even limits how their adventurers (who are more often than not be the very deviants of that culture) can develop. Its a stupid concept and I'm glad there wasn't a place in 3rd edition for it.

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