Dungeons and Dragons - Intro to 3rd Edition

Today, Fried, Joe, Sean and I started a new DnD campaign. It’s been far too long. Since my 2nd ed books are in Connecticut, I purchased the 3rd ed core rules (PHB and DMG) and ventured for the first time into the untamed wilds of the new streamlined version of the old pen-and-paper classic.

I’ve been opposed to adopting 3rd ed rules since they first came out. I’ve grown up with 2nd ed rules, and they’ve become a part of me. As a DM, I find that, in order to properly manipulate the rules (which is the fun part!) you must first know them well. Even though the 3rd ed rules are actually better in every possible way, I figured, why bother to learn a new system when the old system is so automatized as to be second nature? (”High AC a good thing? Heretic!”)

I’m accustomed to taking about half of the first session to create characters, and then a little mini-encounter to introduce the characters to one another and get a taste of things to come. While that works great for experienced gamers who already know the rules well, and a DM who knows them inside and out, it doesn’t work so well when the DM is learning along with (and often from) the characters. So, the entire session was spent learning the basic rules and setting up characters in the new format.

All in all, I’ve got to say that my impression of 3rd ed rules is very good, and I’m actually only modifying them a little. Here’s how the characters break down:

Fried: Drow shadowknight. Kicks ass with a katana. Has a special feat that allows him to suck hitpoints out of an opponent or deposit his own hps into a comrade. I’m greatly increasing the Drow response to sunlight. (Basically, he’s gotta be blindfolded if the sun is up, or else suffer extreme damage and possibly permanent blindness. And that’s at dusk.)
Sean: Sorceror, pretty much by the book. However, I’m replacing “spells per day” with “anytime you cast a spell, it saps your hps,” and letting him get hps as a fighter (instead of the puny d4 that wizards and sorcerors get.) Probably will be the LC because he’s the character with the best Chr, even though Fried’s got the most gaming experience.
Joe: A dwarven fighter. He spent all his feats (pretty much) on being able to do a variety of jumpy twirly attacks. So he’s a spry little dwarf.

The context: the three of them are part of an elite band of mercenaries. They’re outcasts, but they get the job done. Nothing is easier to DM than a campaign where the players are initially motivated by the pursuit of capital.

I’m looking forward to this.

One Response to “Dungeons and Dragons - Intro to 3rd Edition”

  1. On January 21st, 2004 at 14:51:38, Tonette Said:

    Isaac, you’re such a dork - but I love it. I want to play too.

    Chris Firth and I were just joking about his brother-n-law who gets together with his friends and instead of having a poker night, they have a D&D night. Hehehe.

    Learn how to play poker.

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