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Campaign Extra Date 1996-09-13
Last Updated 2020-10-03 08:20:00 - Update

Changes in 3.5

General Campaign


NPCs mentioned in this Episode:


  1. The stat buffs became a fixed +4 instead of 1d4+1, and were no longer
    eligible for empowering. The durations were also nerfed

  2. A lot of other buff-spell durations were also shortened so that "I
    extend that and walk around with it all day" was no longer viable. This was
    supposedly a caster nerf, but it made ambushes even more important

  3. Magic Weapon / Magic Armor granted +1 per four levels instead of +1 for
    3 levels

  4. Harm was "fixed" in a way that made people unsure if it could kill on a
    save or not

  5. Haste was "fixed" into becoming a group buff

  6. Polymorph was "fixed" in that they added loads of text to it and broke
    it into Polymorph and Baleful Polymorph. Dragon Child's comment about "If I
    try really hard to put the square peg in the round hole" is one of the
    better summaries here

  7. Disintegrate became a heavy damage spell that made rez harder instead
    of the save or die it used to be

  8. Sleep was made slightly less awesome at low levels, and a 3rd level
    version was added

  9. Reincarnatie had the chart rewritten so that the target ended up a
    humanoid 99% of the time. No more coming back as a badger, hawk or centaur.
    It was however mysteriously still eligible for maximize or empower
    spell

  10. The much needed, actually useful 2nd level damage spell Scorching Ray
    was added to core

  11. The absolutely crazy weaksauce overleveled Polar Ray was added to
    core

  12. The scry skill was removed, and a bunch of scrying and divination magic
    was "nerfed" in ways that really didn't change a whole lot

  13. Arrow and Bow enhancement bonuses did not stack directly, so at the
    levels where that would matter, people got a +5 distance holy, axoimatic
    bow, then loaded up on chaotic and unholy arrows which their cohort had
    cast Keen Edge and various energy substituted versions of Flame Arrow on.
    Combined with the removal of any cap for Strength Bows, this made high
    level archers nearly as effective as in 3.0, but it required more sideways
    thinking to get there

  14. Having bardic music based on class level rather than skill ranks meant
    there was no longer any point to taking a one level dip of Bard. Making
    bardic music eat up standard actions meant there was a lot less point to
    taking any levels of bard

  15. While rangers got an additional style option, more skill point and a
    smaller hit die, there was far less point to taking a one level dip of
    ranger

  16. Ride by Attack was sage-adviced into not actually working. While this
    is theoretically a big deal, most groups I played with didn't even
    notice

  17. The weapon size rules were changed in a way that made them easier to
    explain to new players, but resulted in nerfing small fightier types and a
    couple oddball situations for us rules-obsessives. (what's the size
    category when I use a chair as an improvised weapon?)

  18. Druids got a number of small powerups, that combined to form devastator
    Natural Spell was made core, they got to spontaneuosly cast summons,
    etc.

  19. Fighters got superior weapon focus and greater weapon specialization.
    Nobody cared, as it was always better off to multiclass into the other +1
    BAB classes than eat the dead fighter levels you needed to get there

  20. Most of the skill bonus items had their bonuses chopped in half

  21. Rogues lost proficiency with the sap, but then got it back in
    errata

  22. Skill focus now granted a +3 instead of a +2

  23. A number of the "+2 to two different skill" feats made it into
    core

  24. The Mystic Theurge was introduced in the 3.5 DMG. The 98& of the
    WotC forums crapped their pants in fear of how overpowered they thought it
    was. The Moral: you can only trust 2% of the WotC forums

  25. Power Attack was "improved" to work better with 2h weapons and not work
    with light weapons. This made the high-str dagger specialist a lot less
    viable

  26. Sorcerers got the option to swap out obsolete spells between
    levels

  27. Whip ceased being a ranged weapon, and became a melee reach weapon -
    this oddly made it less useful, but more intuitive to understand

  28. Horses were made round instead of rectangular

  29. The cover rules were rewritten in a way that was supposed to eliminate
    ambiguity, but as you have to trace LOS from ANY corner of your square to
    ALL corners of the target's square these rules really encouraged everyone
    to walk around in a 5 ft by 5ft box with one corner folded inwards in a 1
    inch by 1 inch square, and every group I played with just kept using the
    old "eyeball" "ruler" or "laser pointer" + DM call tests for cover

  30. Move Equivalent Action was renamed to just Move Action

  31. Gnomes were changed to get a bonus to illusions, but have favored class
    bard

  32. The penalties to Manyshot in the 3.5 Core were increased from those in
    the 3.0 ELH to the point where Manyshot was now 9-times-out-of-10 inferior
    to alternating between round 1: full attack with rapid shot plus 5' step
    and round 2: double move. This is serious evidence that Monte is not as
    good at math as his thinks he is

  33. 3.5E nerfed the Deepwood Sniper by not making keen arrows stack with
    improved critical, nerfed the hell out of the Peerless Archer because of
    the arrow enchantment thing, and completely destroyed the Order of the Bow
    Initiate. There is no reason to make a non-cleric archer in 3.5E

  34. All special maneuver feats substantially improved (bonus +4
    bonus!)

  35. Darkness replaced with Magic Circle against Rogues

  36. Hiding removed in errata

  37. Overrun removed in errata

  38. Cover guidelines replaced with a qv. for magical teaparty

  39. Long convoluted examples with squares created the 4'11" full cover
    box

  40. Charging with or near allies or chairs forbidden

  41. Innuendo skill removed (yay!)

  42. ELH's nerfing of high skill results made core

  43. Diplomacy table moved to the PHB where you might find it, but without
    changing the page citations in the PHB, generating as much
    confusion as was saved

  44. Don't forget the Spell Focus/Greater Spell Focus line of spells

  45. Whirlwind Attack was nerfed from something nifty, even without Bag of
    Rats, to something almost completely worthless

  46. Hierophant got nerfed from 'barely usuable' to 'completely worthless'.
    Archmage went from 'awesome' to 'barely usuable' unless you count SLA
    cheese. Dragon Disciple PrC got even more worthless. Dwarven Defenders and
    Blackguards got a teensy-tiny boost. Red Wizard of Thay got completely
    reprinted as-is, which is a change in that the specialist wizard that 3.5E
    tried to nerf completely came apart at the seams with a higher spell DC.
    Duelist received a nerf that was ultimately meaningless but still rather
    tragic

  47. Specialization in a school became noticably more restrictive. Some
    spells got moved from transmutation to conjuration

  48. The TWFing chain had higher stat requirements. Which of course didn't
    matter at all to the rogue but kicked everyone else in the scrotum

  49. Standing up from prone drew an AoO. Thus tripping became
    crazy-hardcore

  50. Skill bonus items became much more expensive. Except for Diplomacy I
    didn't notice any of these that were a problem

  51. The Wings of Flight had a higher price tag slapped onto them because
    LotR is FUKKEN AWESOME

  52. Lyre of Building became more expensive for no reason

  53. Shurikens got nerfed from 'situationally overpowered' to 'completely
    worthless'

  54. The monk class once and for all destroyed the 'use two-handed weapon at
    flurry bonus' build. Which sucks because the Three-Section Staff was one of
    the few ways a monk could even attempt to keep up in damage with

  55. Shapechange became a huge pile of crazy. I'm not sure why Ed Stark
    wasn't immediately fired after that. The changes to Alter Self made the
    wizard much more powerful by giving them a 10 min/level +6 AC or MORE
    bonus

  56. The Blasphemy line of spells became ridiculously overpowered

  57. Righteous Might got changed in such a way so it that was still
    worthless to most clerics--except the CLERIC ARCHER, who just wanted the
    fairly substantial DR bonus

  58. Tower Shields got changed to make them worse at low levels, better at
    high levels

  59. Elemental resistance got changed to be 'per attack' instead of 'total
    damage' taken. This (of course) nerfed weapon fighters and made meteor
    swarm even more laughably worthless

  60. Confusion of dispelling supernatural abilities removed once and for
    all: you can't

  61. Half-elves and Half-orcs got minor changes to them that still left them
    worthless

  62. Small characters given a kick in the nuts for no reason. The small
    dagger-rogue got stealth-nerfed to oblivion. But small acid flask rogues,
    small spirited charger rogues, and of course small spellcaster rogues went
    untouched by these changes so what the hey?

  63. Divine Favor got a small cap in errata. Not that it matters because by
    the errata came out Complete Divine and Player's Guide to Faerun reared
    their ugly heats

  64. Adamantine armor became significantly better for no real reason. Of
    course, you still used mithral armor

  65. Barbarians given a small boost that still didn't convince anyone to
    stay with them for more than two levels

  66. Paladins nerfed, especially as a multiclassing option

  67. Vorpal Swords and Absorbing Shields became completely worthless. I
    actually feel pretty good about this, because even though high-level
    fighters lost their last reason to be there the number of
    mechanics-bypassing attacks hurt 3E more than anything

  68. They introduced Wild Armor. Say it with me: what the fuuuuuck? Why are
    druids now running around with an extra +8 to +10 to AC?

  69. Sundering magic weapons got harder, since they get more hardness and
    HP

  70. Spells changes: Haste, harm, divine favor, polymorph other, maze,
    improved invisibility, fly. Probably a few more that I can't think of
    offhand. It's been a long time since I played 3.0

  71. No personal range spells in potions. (they're personal range for a
    fucking reason)

  72. Monsters in 3.5 are less about cheese tactics like laying infinite
    symbols on the ground, or astral projecting whoring mind flayers

  73. Grappling. Remember FoM in 3.0 didn't let you escape grapples, meaning
    that all the big grappler creatures were instant death for you if they ever
    landed a hit. In 3.5, at least you have a way to survive that shit. It's
    not a great solution granted, but at least it's something

  74. You fail a save on a '1' rule. I should mention that the massive damage
    rule institutes a save, too. I mean, the massive damage rule was always a
    barrel of dicks but 3.5E's change made it completely unworkable


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