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So, what did 4E do *right*?
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Koumei
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, treasure parcels basically became "The game now forces the players to make a list of terrorist demands, and if the MC doesn't comply or the players don't know what it is they need to demand, the game explodes." Citing that as a good idea is certainly an odd life choice.

There does need to be some kind of HP difference between "kid", "pet cat" and "adult human", and ideally between "adult human" and "first level actual playable adventurer". Now you don't want your HP to balloon out from there relative to damage even worse, but if it starts with a PC needing more than one sword slap to kill but NPC commoners and such treating that as a life-threatening injury (and kids just getting slaughtered outright), then that's good. Pity they instead decided to do 1-30 HP bloat, mind you, so I'm giving them zero points for that.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Treasure Parcels are so bad that there was an Anatomy of Failed Design thread just for them. They are literally the worst magic item system in any edition of D&D. No exceptions. Literally the worst.

Me wrote:
There's really no excuse for the Treasure Parcel system to be so fucking awful. No matter what your design criteria are, there's really easy ways to achieve them, and I just can't imagine anyone's design goal being to create a system in which no one know how much treasure people were supposed to have and there were no impartial ways to determine that and it was almost impossible for characters to end up with roughly even total shares at any point and characters permanently hurt themselves by changing their character around at any point during their progression before "now."

Ugh. It's surreal how terrible that treasure system is. I want to make this clear: the completely bullshit random and totally unfair system in the AD&D DMG that gave you a tiny but real chance to find the wand of frickin Orcus in a first level Goblin Camp was a better system in every way.


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Aryxbez
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

A)I quite liked some of the Monsters in 4E, like souran said, having their abilities front & center without having to read spell entries that I don't feel captured their flavor on an initial read. The Monsters were improved overall for the brute-like creatures that didn't have much/any plot powers to begin with (mostly only for MM2+, MM1 forgot to give Hydra its head cut-off iconics). Purple Worm in Monster Vault is probably my favorite version of that monster to date, where in 3e, it just kinda misses and dies a lame death.

B.) I like to think the Boss Monsters were an improvement, but given the lower level capability scale of 4E, I can't imagine they were cooler. I liked the gimmicks of the Boss Monsters, even if they were lower level nonsense (like Imix: Prince of fire Elementals, creating of lava pieces on the board that explode or try to hurt the PC's nearby in some way).

C.) Dark Sun? I never really read the original material save the review on here, 4e Dark Sun, and one Dark Sun adventure about Githyanki/underground portals, but it seemed to be an improvement. Though it had a system of traveling in the wastes that mattered little as making way too many rolls for little gain due to Healing Surges, turning contacts into virtual money, and their monsters with less HP, but hit harder seemed a net gain for the system. Like my point above, I also though the boss fight monsters were pretty neat here as well.

D.) Dark Sun's Defiling Mechanic I think had some use in 4e, so it was likely better than original offerings, but otherwise continued the trend of it being that nobody used it because it was for Daily abilities.

E.)Monster-wise, I liked there was a bit more structure in regards to having monster numbers to build statblocks of your own. Just sucked they gave very little advice on what kind of powers they should have over the levels, making it only useful for that. Then again, the Statblock roles also were near-nonsense, even with DMG 2 revisions, Soldier & Artillery were still pretty much the best. 3E has numbers all over the place, least 4e tried to build an RNG it looked like.
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Hiram McDaniels
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:

Absolutely not. I would like to be able to play a Supercharger Warrior or a Shieldmaster Warrior. Those are the same class, but nominally one is a Striker and one is a Defender. And fuck that. Fuck that super hard.
-Frank


I like the concept of defined combat roles, at least better than burying people's character concept under a pile of minutiae and making them dumpster dive through sourcebooks to realize it. I agree with what I think you're saying here, which is class=role is bad. I would have preferred to have the option to play a fighter that's a defender, or a leader, or a striker (damage is a stupid concept for a role).

To me 4E was full of good ideas and lousy execution.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

1st and 2nd largely had defined combat roles. People knew what they were getting when the picked a class's that fell under warrior, priest, wizard or rogue.

But... They weren't just the role, either. It wasn't a straight jacket with stupid mechanics that either failed (defender) or was an outright lie (controller, because really you did damage like everyone else). previously the straight jacket had been more an expectation, and when the game was remade into a better version (3rd), there was even more ways to more away from the guidelines into your own concept. But then 4e seized on the badwrongfun mentality.


As for monsters... I don't get the praise at all. 4e monsters were bullshit. Having the abilities up front was nonsense, because they were always different even when they were named the same (see evil eye). They were bags of HP with random special effects attached, not coherently designed creatures that fit into a setting somewhere.

Boss monsters... Ugh. The worst iteration of a fucking terrible concept. Even bigger bags of HP, and bullshit bonus actions that didn't function according to the rules the rest of the setting abided by. They literally had to break the rules of the game to make their stupid grind fights function at even a basic level.


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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I just love, that monsters having their special technique thing in their stat block is somehow a unique 4e improvement.

What this basically amounts to is:

"I like 4e monsters better, because they don't have any monsters with more than 3 abilities, and I'm too stupid to remember what dispel magic does when reading the MM."

3e monsters have their unique effects in their stat block. The ones that have actual SLA lists usually have those because they have a lots of abilities (like dispel magic, or invisibility, or see invisibility, or fly) that the monster needs to have to fulfill it's function and CR, that would be stupid to rewrite over and over not just because rewriting them is stupid (and differences creep in but also because a stat block might be 5 pages long.)

3e gimic monster:

3e monster "hiding it's abilities in it's spell block"
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FatR
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

4E monsters suck donkey dicks on the conceptual level.

(1)Lack of ability standardization means that you have to examine abilities for every single monster carefully.

(2)These abilities are unimpressive shit with rarest of exceptions. Consequently, monsters who are supposed to be world-destroying eldritch abominations often fight almost exactly like common low-levels mooks, except with bigger numbers.

(3)And this is a subset of the problem of crunch not being connected with fluff in general. No monsters in 4E have abilities out of which you can make plots (and which many classic DnD monsters, such as doppelgangers or mind flayers, had) or which contribute anything meaningful to worldbuilding.
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Grappling mostly being a "target Reflex and inflict a condition" was straightforward. That it was spread out across various abilities and not a thing consolidated to one page that wrestlers and black tentacles all followed was not a good thing.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Grappling was on one page (though escaping was on a different page). Its called grab and it sucked. Set your action on fire: if you hit, the target was immobilized and in no way prevented from attacking you, or making ranged attacks on other people (though you could get opportunity attacks from the latter, because grab is stupid: you need a hand free to make a grab, but nothing restricts you from sustaining a grab with hands full).

It could sacrifice its move action to try to escape, but half the time there wasn't any reason to.

You could also drag it around, but... whatever. Half the at will attacks move people around and still do damage.
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JonSetanta
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Voss wrote:
JonSetanta wrote:
The only thing I liked about 4e was that you add your CON score to HP at level 1 rather than the bonus.

Every other D&D edition can learn something from that.

Start hp bloat even earlier so it can fuck things up even better?
Make low damage weapons even more pointless?
That people should be completely fearless in the face of a guy with a knife or mace, because they can't even do a significant percentage of the necessary damage, let alone be lethal?


Compare to the 4-HP Wizard from 3e that dies to a rat bite.
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

JonSetanta wrote:
Compare to the 4-HP Wizard from 3e that dies to a rat bite.

Leaving aside that even a 3e Wizard is probably working with at least 5 hp due to a Con bonus, and that they have a 10 points of dying buffer before death, the 3e rat's bite does 1d3-4 damage.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

JonSetanta wrote:
Voss wrote:
JonSetanta wrote:
The only thing I liked about 4e was that you add your CON score to HP at level 1 rather than the bonus.

Every other D&D edition can learn something from that.

Start hp bloat even earlier so it can fuck things up even better?
Make low damage weapons even more pointless?
That people should be completely fearless in the face of a guy with a knife or mace, because they can't even do a significant percentage of the necessary damage, let alone be lethal?


Compare to the 4-HP Wizard from 3e that dies to a rat bite.


angel covered the reality of this situation, but if all you've got to defend a terrible mechanic is that another mechanic is also bad (if you misrepresent it), then you don't have much ground to stand on.

I'll take the system where fights aren't terrible 40-50 minute grinds between a handful of tokens completely divorced from the setting.
That there are two types of kobolds for parties to kill is just sad. That they come in flavor 1: needs to be hit the in the face with a greatsword a minimum of three times, and flavor 2: can be popped by children with rocks (or rats), is simply infuriating.


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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

JonSetanta wrote:

Compare to the 4-HP Wizard from 3e that dies to a rat bite.


Better than the 1 HP Wizard from 2e that actually drops in one giant rat's bite.

That's literally how my groups experience with tabletop 2e started; the wizard was using a dagger, and thought melee with 1 hp would be fine.

The truth of the matter is that you could go as far as D&D Online did when it comes to bonus PC HP. Just give all PCs +30 HP "just to be safe", most likely they won't die as often early on.
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Sir Aubergine
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned races yet.

I have liked the drow since I discovered the Drowtales comic,
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which was before I learned that they got their name from D&D and were roughly inspired by Norse mythology. But god forbid you dared to suggest that you might want to play one in an actual game of D&D before 4th edition. Three-quarters of the time the referee would think you wanted to play a Drizzt clone and/or have bullshit equipment for free.

4th edition made them a race you could just play, though not in the original PHB, if memory serves. They also had other neat choices like warforged, bugbears, SUPER elves (eladrin), crystal yautja
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(Shardmind), revenants, and other things (but no forest trolls Sad). I was never fond of "special snowflake" lizardmen (dragonborn), but if you are a scalie then you could do worse.

Now you can and certainly have every right to tell me that there was nothing distinguishing the races apart, and so 4th edition colossally failed in that department as well. The thing is, I don't want to play a drow because it offers me a mechanically distinct ability from elf classic. I want to play a drow so's I can have gray/charcoal/inky-black-with-a-hint-of-purple skin and fabulous white/platinum hair. Nothing more. Level adjustments and random spell-like abilities can burn in Hell!

What I'm trying to say is the cookie cutter distribution of racial stats and abilities was actually an advantage for me.

And with that I lock myself securely in the pillory. Fire at will! Big Grin
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Pixels
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I think the best solution I've heard for the "low level HP problem" is to have an honest-to-gosh basement tier. For example, you could start all PC classes at level 6, with 1-5 reserved for rats and mud-covered peasants and such. All of the HP and damage scaling starts at level 6, so a wizard would start with 6d4 + 6*Con bonus and throw fireballs that do 6d6 damage each. Ideally each PC would also start with at least a couple different interesting abilities rather than having to wait.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

We already have CR 1/2 and below. That's not a new concept that anyone needs to invent. Have PCs start out at level 1, give them CON score bonus to health or just flat-out give them like 10-15 HP on top of their first hit die or whatever, so long as lucky crits from a bog-standard orc falchion will never insta-gib a caster from max health. Then let creatures below CR 1 start out with less health than that.
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Koumei
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Sir Aubergine wrote:
I want to play a drow so's I can have gray/charcoal/inky-black-with-a-hint-of-purple skin and fabulous white/platinum hair. Nothing more. Level adjustments and random spell-like abilities can burn in Hell!

What I'm trying to say is the cookie cutter distribution of racial stats and abilities was actually an advantage for me.


Man, if only it were possible before 4th edition to be able to flavour one thing as actually being another thing! It's good that 4E invented the idea of reflavouring things (because let's face it, you fucking have to, and most of the classes, powers and races are indeed just the same stats with some different words used). But just imagine if it had been possible to do such a thing previously in older editions of the game.

I guess we can only dream. Or call you a fucking tool. It's one of the two.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Koumei wrote:
Sir Aubergine wrote:
I want to play a drow so's I can have gray/charcoal/inky-black-with-a-hint-of-purple skin and fabulous white/platinum hair. Nothing more. Level adjustments and random spell-like abilities can burn in Hell!

What I'm trying to say is the cookie cutter distribution of racial stats and abilities was actually an advantage for me.


Man, if only it were possible before 4th edition to be able to flavour one thing as actually being another thing! It's good that 4E invented the idea of reflavouring things (because let's face it, you fucking have to, and most of the classes, powers and races are indeed just the same stats with some different words used). But just imagine if it had been possible to do such a thing previously in older editions of the game.

I guess we can only dream. Or call you a fucking tool. It's one of the two.


Although yes, you could always re-flavor everything, having it present on the rules by default is pretty convenient. An RPG isn't just about the crunch, is also the fluff that comes attached to said crunch.

Plenty of players out there just like rules more when they have cool names and descriptions attached up front, saving them the effort of coming up with their own.

And as Frank pointed out several times, several players really want to be able to write "samurai" on their character sheet and you need to give them a class/prc/feat specifically called "samurai" to make them happy.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chamomile wrote:
We already have CR 1/2 and below. That's not a new concept that anyone needs to invent. Have PCs start out at level 1, give them CON score bonus to health or just flat-out give them like 10-15 HP on top of their first hit die or whatever, so long as lucky crits from a bog-standard orc falchion will never insta-gib a caster from max health. Then let creatures below CR 1 start out with less health than that.


Star Wars Saga - which shares a lot of DNA with 4e, more or less just did that. It gave out triple max HP at level 1 (which generally meant 18, 24, or 30 hp) and low-level characters mostly fought things with significantly less HP. As I recall even ostensibly CR 2 clone troopers only had like 12 hp. Those numbers might be a bit on the high side for D&D - starting D&D weapons don't do 3d8 dmg like blaster rifles did - but the idea seems sound.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Sir Aubergine wrote:
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned races yet.

.

What I'm trying to say is the cookie cutter distribution of racial stats and abilities was actually an advantage for me.

And with that I lock myself securely in the pillory. Fire at will! Big Grin


4e races were fucking terrible.
A) racial stats and 4e classes and math meant every race or class had right and wrong choices. If you mismatched stats you did it wrong, and were objectively worse than you should be forever.

B) playable drow were a thing since 1st edition. Unearthed Arcana. So like 1985 or so. Probably earlier in some issue of Dragon.
In fact except for the super bullshit races that they made up on the spot, all the special snowflake races were playable somewhere along the line in older editions. Yes even goliaths and minotaurs.
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FatR
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Having characters that are big bags of HPs from level 1 may be the fastest solution to the sudden character death syndrome, but it fucks with the ability to tell stories where sudden death from a single crossbow bolt is supposed to be a viable threat. My own solution is to explicitly segregate levels 1-2 into "Use this if you want low-powered, brutal, and lethal fantasy" tier which they already sort of were in most DnD iterations, and establish level 3 as the "Real DnD starts here" level.
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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Whatever disclaimers you write in your book, a significant chunk of your players will treat level 1 as the default experience. It will be the first campaign they play with your system, and if it's not the "real D&D" they were advertised, they may not play a second.
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Fractional CR is already a thing, I'd go with negative levels to 'trick' players into an option of not starting at level 1.

New Edition level 1 is actually D&D3e level 3,
New Edition -3 is actually D&D3e level 1

Then you have your negative levels section filled with mundane things like cats, simple farmer folk. You can also have student wizards who only have cantrips at a negative level.
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FatR
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chamomile wrote:
Whatever disclaimers you write in your book, a significant chunk of your players will treat level 1 as the default experience. It will be the first campaign they play with your system, and if it's not the "real D&D" they were advertised, they may not play a second.


If it ever comes to trying to sell my homebrew, maybe I'd think of making it accessible for retards. For now that is not in the plans.
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Sir Aubergine
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Koumei wrote:
Man, if only it were possible before 4th edition to be able to flavor one thing as actually being another thing! It's good that 4E invented the idea of re-flavoring things (because let's face it, you fucking have to, and most of the classes, powers and races are indeed just the same stats with some different words used). But just imagine if it had been possible to do such a thing previously in older editions of the game.

I guess we can only dream. Or call you a fucking tool. It's one of the two.
This may cause the monocle festooned across your wizened, sneering face to pop off, but I have proposed such an aesthetic alteration to more than one referee. Their replies were very similar. Something to the effect of, "Drow don't exist in my campaign." The only difference is one said it in a polite way and the other called me a "c-nt." Thank goodness he used a real insult. If he had called me a "munchkin" or "tool" I might have lost all respect for him.

Moving on from your avant-garde suggestion, I think the importance of having a race that can easily be made into a player character goes a long way towards actually being permitted to run one at a table. You can furrow your caterpillar-eyebrows and wriggle your walrus-mustache all you like, but it must be said that 4th edition made great strides in increasing the diversity of playable races beyond the usual offerings of: elf classic, dwarf, human, hobbit, and half-breed du jour.

Voss wrote:
4e races were fucking terrible.
A) racial stats and 4e classes and math meant every race or class had right and wrong choices. If you mismatched stats you did it wrong, and were objectively worse than you should be forever.

B) playable drow were a thing since 1st edition. Unearthed Arcana. So like 1985 or so. Probably earlier in some issue of Dragon.
In fact except for the super bullshit races that they made up on the spot, all the special snowflake races were playable somewhere along the line in older editions. Yes even goliaths and minotaurs.

You are absolutely correct about the races being pigeonholed by their stat bonuses. A truly terrible decision in an edition filled with such blunders and missteps. No arguments here.

As for the playable drow/goliaths/minotaurs, were they commonly allowed at 1st/2nd edition tables in your experience? I cut my teeth in 3rd edition you see. I can say with some authority that the eternal reverberations of seething, grognardian teeth-gnashing persist for the drow even to this day. Rolling Eyes
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