Monks and Druids Oh My!

I was reading the excellent issue of Computer Games (which is the best ever send me money kthxbye) and I noticed in the elemental evil article that druids and monks get a BOOST in the 3.5 ruleset?

Aren’t Monks already crazy powerhouses? Druids I can sort of understand. What I dont fully understand is the progression from the infinity engine type games to neverwinter nights to elemental evil.

Druids in Heart of Winter (IWD exp) for example were grossly overpowered. Way too many natural area spells were usable indoors and not only that they could be layered like mad. IWDII fixed this by placing more limitations on the old spells and introducing limited use new spells. Even so it was a potent spell class.

Im just wondering why these two classes are getting the boost, or at least were mentioned specifically to receive a hand up. I WANT WILD MAGES!

The whole “outdoor only” spell thing is stupid anyway; it makes druids the Aquaman of D&D. “Come outside and I’ll totally kick your ass!”

Haha I never thought of it that way. IWD2 had a good mix of indoor and outdoor, but making all of their area affect spells both indoor and outdoor would leave them an insane arsenal. They were crazy enough in IWD: Heart of Winter.

I’ve gotten to the point where I despise the AD&D rules. They can tweak that shit from now until doomsday and it won’t make a difference.

I hate “memorizing” spells, I hate all the restrictions, and I hate the whole darn thing.

Now MM6, that was an AWESOME magic system.

Four schools for mages and two for archmages.

My favourite magic system has got to be from Dungeon Master. It had four tiers, where the first determined the strength of the spell, and combinations of the remaining ones would determine the effects of the spell. It was a very simple, yet elegant system. The magic system in Ultima Underworld, I remember, also had a really sensible magic system which used runes to symbolize different elements and effects.

Well, AD&D is dead, gone, buried. It’s just D&D now, and the rules are quite a bit different from the AD&D days. Though, to be sure, there are probably enough holdovers so that any d20 game will piss off someone who absolutely hates the entire paradigm.

That’s only because DMs are lazy.

Actually, Monks are barely changed by 3.5. The big changes are to Rangers (in particular) and Barbarians.

I was somewhat surprised by the fact that 3.0 kept the “spell memorization” requirement, since that really is one of the real hardships of spell-casting characters – and something that other RPG systems have been quick to get rid of. But it really was considered one of the most distinct aspects of D&D, and therefore a good thing, so they compromised by adding in the new Sorcerer class, and giving Clerics spontaneous casting of heal spells (in version 3.5, Druids also get spontaneous casting, but of animal summoning spells).

Speaking of that compromise, I think the Sorceror class, and spontaneous casting, go a long way towards addressing the deficiencies of the D&D spell system as compared to less restrictive systems that might be found in other RPGs.

Clerics are more fun to play because you can have healing covered but still mess around with the non-healing spells, which I hadnt ever cast much because of the need for healing spells above all else. And sorcerors completely own Wizards even if they do get less spells later. I found my Wizard throwing darts or something stupid like that because I’d want to ‘save’ my spells for a tough fight. But most of the time when it came time to rest he hadnt cast much. With the Sorceror, I dont feel that way. I dont burn all the spells right off, but he contributes more to the average encounter than the Wizard did, and is more fun to play because of it.

The spontaneous casting thing for Druids…ok, whatever. I have never been a huge fan of summoned stuff in D&D games, but I guess its something.

olaf

Is it just me, or are they slowly but surely going right back to the way things were in the mid-1980s, when rule creep made the first edition unwieldy? All the old niche character classes are back, a lot have been added, and the rules are getting tweaked in fairly significant ways every time a new book or supplement is published. The only difference is they’re practically forcing players to buy the rules updates now, by putting all this new crap in updated versions of the basic Player’s Handbook and DMs Guide. At least way back when, you didn’t feel obligated to buy crap like the Dungeoneer’s Survival Guide.

And how much are these new 3.5 books? $30 or so each? How do high school kids afford to blow $100 on just upgrading their Third Edition D&D rule books? I’m going to show my age here but I think the original hardcovers were $10 each, with the DM’s Guide costing slightly more at $12. Yeah, that was 23 long years ago when I was a freshman in high school but still. . . .

And sorcerors completely own Wizards even if they do get less spells later. I found my Wizard throwing darts or something stupid like that because I’d want to ‘save’ my spells for a tough fight. But most of the time when it came time to rest he hadnt cast much. With the Sorceror, I dont feel that way. I dont burn all the spells right off, but he contributes more to the average encounter than the Wizard did, and is more fun to play because of it.

Yeah, I have my sorcerer in IWD II for combat casting. I still have a mage around with a wider variety of spells for support, etc. But the sorc gets all the offensive spells. Nothing like being able to unleash 8 magic missles and then have a whole mess of schorchers and fireballs left. Makes offensive magic worth it, otherwise mages are just for buffing, summoning and as archers.

40 hour a week minimum wage jobs.

That’s exactly right - except that phenomenon was really a 2nd edition thing, with the player option books, dungineer, 7 books of magic, etc. The great thing about 3rd Edition was it cleaned out all that garbage.

But now, for cash reasons, it’s all come back in ancillary books – back to 3 monster manuals, class specific books with additional “kits”, etc.