Sunday, May 9, 2010

D&D 3.5

Originally uploaded by Brayo
The calendars of stuffed animals are fuller than you might imagine and it's been a while since the group's had a chance to get together.

And so, recently I've sought out other people to play with. This was my first experience playing 3.5. My knowledge of it was based largely on the assessments of its detractors, so I was curious to see for myself. My personal mix of Moldvay/1e/2e suits me fine, so questions of conversion are irrelevant, but there are a few ways that I might make my campaign even a little more syncretic . . .

1) Flanking. It makes sense, it’s easy to implement, and it adds significant tactical interest. Just like it’s much easier to attack something when you’re sneaking up behind them, it’s also a little easier when you and a friend are attacking them from opposite sides. If +4 makes sense from behind, then +2 makes sense flanking. And it encourages players to visualize the scene (probably via miniatures or markers) in order to get that advantage.
2) A player can take on some traffic-direction duties in combat. Maybe not particular to 3.5, but to this DM’s style. He used individual initiative. In 3.5, you roll it once which makes it easier than rolling every round. And the DM’s helper cycled through, giving each person their “turn.” I’m going to try this. More often I make everything happen at once, but that requires me to keep a lot in my head, and results in longer periods of radio silence than I would like.
3) Think about attacks of opportunity. I’m not going to try to use the 3.5 rules, but I will think about the ways that certain actions might allow one’s adversary a “free attack.”