3-Book D&D (3.5)

hackmastergeneral

Pope of Chili Town
Validated User
Theres loads of stuff in 3 book D&D.

I personally enjoy high level D&D, although going above level 20 is difficult with just core rules. But, isn't neccessary. Most groups don't game consistantly that long. My group are just obsessive in gaming.

There is good stuff in the extra books. The "Complete" series of WOTC splats are good, for the most part, but don't worry about those until you get way more comfortable with the core rules, if then. Some classes, like Warlock, Dragon Shaman, and Warmage, are nice for beginning characters, but not uber-neccessary overall.

I like the alterna-classes and PrCs in the extra books, and we use EVERYTHING just about, and our DM doesn't get overloaded. If the players know their alterna-class inside and out, you don't really need to.

But don't worry about it. Theres LOTS of good adventures out there, and theres years of good gaming in 3 book core D&D.

Have fun.
 

ryand

Registered User
Validated User
Furthermore I wondering how viable a long term D&D campaign is, when using only the 3 core rulebooks.
D&D 3/3.5, by design, changes roughly every 5 levels. You may find that your group becomes comfortable in one of those 4 quartiles, or you may find that your group enjoys the changes of pace that happen when moving from quartile to quartile.

You will likely find that access to a handful of spells (and to a lesser extent, some magic items) makes certain kinds of adventures (mostly "dungeon crawls") impossible. You will be able to identify those spells easily (they're the ones that the PCs "out of the box" of the dungeon map. By fiat, you can remove those spells, and that keeps the game nicely centered in adventures where the PCs can influences pretty much only those things they can see with the naked eye.

You will find that if some of your players min-max their abilities; especially the rogue and the cleric, they will create situations where the difficulties they need to face to challenge their abilities will have target values (DCs) much higher than those used against the rest of the party. That is typically mostly harmless, because you'll be able to see that coming, and scale the necessary challenges upwards to keep the game fun for them, without impacting the rest of the players much.

The key issue you will have to decide on is whether to use the baseline assumptions regarding the ability of spellcasters to make magic items. If you allow potions & scrolls only (which is pretty common) you will need to pay special attention to the equipment worn by the PCs to keep them properly equipped to face tougher and tougher monsters (per the Monster Manual). If you do allow the casters to create items, or you assume that magic items can be "bought" off the rack made to order, then the players need to take responsibility for dealing with their own equipment; if they fritter money away on things that don't keep them competitive with the escalating challenges, they'll pay the price.

I think you'll find that D&D is a good long-term gaming investment, and that you'll have years of good fun with the game even playing the rules as written, without any supplements. Good luck!

Ryan
 

Stattick

Electronic Thing
Validated User
First off, I'm not trying to be snarky here.

But since when does D&D have 3 core rule books?

The last time I checked (about a week ago, just out of morbid curiosity), there were 8 core rule books: Player's handbook 1 & 2, Dungeon Master's Guide 1 & 2, and Monster manuals 1-4.

Add to that 1 setting book, and 1 book of optional stuff that you like, and it's 10 books.

At about $40 a book, that's a $400 buy-in. There's also rumors that they're going to be working on 4th edition soon, making that $400 buy-in obsolete in a couple of years.

Of course the 4th edition thing is just a rumor, and might be a baseless one at that.

And I stopped playing D&D back in the days of 2nd Edition, so it might be that most of the books I listed above aren't actually core books, but actually "optional" books that were made to look like corebooks.
 

Matsci

Magical Item like these are neat. I collect them.
Validated User
That's funny, only three of my books say core rule book. Player's handbook, DMG and MM. PHB II and DMG II are Expansions for the PHB and DMG, same with the MM 2-4.

Btw, Stattick, you come off as really snarky.
 

PaladinCA

The ONLY way to be sure.
Validated User
Stattick said:
But since when does D&D have 3 core rule books?
The only books you need are the PHB, the DMG, and the MM. Everything else is uneccessary and totally optional.

I don't use and don't plan on using PHB2 or DMG2 and they are not necessary.

I do use some of the Monster Manuals and the Scarred Lands setting, but there is no need for them.

I could create and run a completely satisfying game using my own setting with just the three core books.

If you don't want to create your own setting you can buy a setting book. So four books at most would be needed. Since you can get the 3 core rulebooks in a nice gift set for around $57 and a setting book for $28, that would come to $85.
 

Maijin Drew

Down, Foxy! Bad cat!
All I use is the SRD. I don't even own the core books (though my friend does).

Then again, I like building settings as much as I like running them, so I don't really need setting books...

Of course, I don't run D&D that often, and the next one I'm planning is going to be using the old Rules Cyclopedia.
 

Keefe the Thief

Guuhhn Fingas
Validated User
I run an Ebberon game just with the Eberron Campaign Setting & SRD & eTools- the players weren´t sure if they wanted to game D&D 3.5 long term, so nobody could be arsed to buy a PHB (i still have the 3.0 PHB & DMG for referencing).

I think we could play for a LONG time that way, but for the next session the players are going to buy a Players Handbook, and we´ll see how it goes from there. After that, perhaps PHB II, because i really, really dig the affiliation system - one of the best add-ons for D&D in YEARS.

If you are somewhat experienced with RPGs, you could even play D&D just with a PHB and the copious stat-blocks you´ll find in the SRD, on the WotC-Homepage (one of the BEST if it comes to free ressources) and on fan-pages. I have a .odt - document where i store all those stat-blocks i pulled out of free sources or which i typed in from my books, and in a couple of months i think i could run games out of that database alone.
 

Stattick

Electronic Thing
Validated User
That's funny, only three of my books say core rule book. Player's handbook, DMG and MM. PHB II and DMG II are Expansions for the PHB and DMG, same with the MM 2-4.

Btw, Stattick, you come off as really snarky.
Ah, so PHB II, DMG II, and MM II-IV are only optional expansions then. Hmm, the guy down at the FLGS didn't key me in on that one. Neither did anything about those books key me in on the apparent fact that they're optional. Granted, I probably didn't take a close look at them.

The guy at the FLGS also didn't mention that the 3 core books are available as a package deal for $57 either (a pretty good deal actually). Of course, he probably didn't care as it was quite obvious talking to him that he's sick of d20, and he probably also knew that I'd rather get kicked in the shin then play d20. At least it's good to know that Hasbro isn't trying to rape the gamers out there by trying to get them to buy 8 core books.

And I'm sorry if I'm coming off as snarky. I just happen to hate d20, and think it's the worst thing to have happened in gaming since... well ever really. But I'm trying to be respectful of those that DO like d20. (I'm probably not succeeding very well, but hatred's funny like that.) Well I'll leave the d20 games to you then, and try not to butt in again.
 

naturaltwenty

Roll and Shout!
Validated User
Sorry for the short response and tangent but we should hook you up with Jody Butt.

And I'm sorry if I'm coming off as snarky. I just happen to hate d20, and think it's the worst thing to have happened in gaming since... well ever really. But I'm trying to be respectful of those that DO like d20. (I'm probably not succeeding very well, but hatred's funny like that.) Well I'll leave the d20 games to you then, and try not to butt in again.
 

Mokuren

Maho shonen
Validated User
As it has been mentioned already, a good SRD is all you really need, but if you own the books already that's not really an issue (still, check that SRD, it's got out-of-core-books SRD stuff and handy reference tables too).

There's plenty you can do without expansions, you can make other things up if you really need them, you basically have everything you need, supplements simply lay more road and hooks for you, but really, they're mostly useful for the mechanics only if you're an experienced GM.

Even if you aren't, the most important thing is DON'T PANIC.

You might want a bit of time to try figure (possibly with your players) what kind of campaign you want to run, from where to where in terms of PC power, take some time to set it up, and then run it.

And be ready anytime to throw all the preparation straight to the burning hell if it gets in your way with something.
 
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