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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Diffan Posted - 14 Sep 2019 : 15:36:20
Greetings Realms fans!

So I've had THIS for quite a few years (released in 2003) and even after 15 years, Warcraft continues to be a big success, though I've not played WoW in almost a decade. But I try to keep up with the Lore of that setting and the goings and doings of things. But now I really want to run a Warcraft campaign. Thing is the rules are....clunky at best.

While it uses 3.5 as a baseline for mechanics, it changes quite a bit, and doesn't incorporate some of the better ideas later 3.5 released. That and there's a lot of things that I feel would add to the campaign (like Warlocks from Complete Arcane or Crusaders from Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords but I feel would upset some of the reasons for their decisions to make some classes Prestige Classes (Paladin-Warrior, Priest, Warlock, etc).

That and well....it's 3.5 and the amount of abuse that it can cause, yeah I'm not sure I want to track down that road more.

Other options:

  • Use 4th Edition:
  • Sooooooo many people already said that 4th Edition is the "WoW on paper" (despite being further from the truth) but I really do like the system and it's really simple to DM for. We still use the online Character Builder, so that helps too but....I feel there's a bit of a disconnect between the system and the Lore. I don't know if 4E is the best to get that feeling. What I'm afraid of is that it would simply feel like 4E in a different setting and not something really unique. Maybe that's just me though?

  • Use 5th Edition:
  • So when I was contemplating the campaign, I decided to see what sort of Fan-based stuff people came up with (because, fans are like that) and what do you know, someone already made a whole write-up of a Campaign Guide (races, classes, prestige classes, spells, and all) to use with 5th Edition. I don't know what changed from the original options (the Paladin class looks nearly the same) so I can only assume the other parts are in the same vein.

    The issue here is, actually running 5th Edition isn't ideal for me. Most of the monsters in the Monster Manual translate well to Warcraft, so that's not really the issue. It's the fact that that there are a lot of Non-Player Characters in there and the rules for that in 5E are all over the place in terms of balance. For example, a Mage in the MM is slated to be a CR 6....with the ability to cast Cone of Cold, Fireball, Greater Invisibility, and Fly.....haha OK. I'm not sure how to reconcile the disparity of the CR system and a campaign that is sure to promote quite a few unique individuals and not have completely one-sided encounters?


So this is a conundrum for me. I posed the idea to the players and one really wants to do 5e, one thinks 3.5 is too clunky but doesn't care if it's 3e, 4e or 5e, one thinks we should run it as-is and then adjust as we seem fit (using 3.5 as the base), and one doesn't care but doesn't really like 5th Edition.

I'm taking suggestions on ideas on what to do, help please.
5   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Diffan Posted - 17 Sep 2019 : 22:57:15
So with further discussion with the group, I think to be true to the game and lore I've decided to run the game as-is, meaning using the 3.5 system in with the Warcraft (1e) variances.

So I got all 4 books for the campaign settings - which detail all the options the PCs can choose from. Race selection is pretty big and I'll be enforcing the Level Adjustment for races like the High Elf or Night Elf.

Classes, I sort of struggled with to determine which to include outside the PHB. I wanted to keep it mostly simple but have some variance in style. So from the PHB we have:
Barbarian (absolutely no Spirit Totem - Lion for Pounce).
Fighter
Monk (originally the book said no, but with Pandaren, I felt it appropriate)
Rogue
Sorcerer (free Eschew Materials @ 1st, @ 5th and every 5 levels after they can choose either a Metamagic feat or a Bloodline feat)
Wizard

Alternative class features for these classes can be used, on a case-by-case basis.

From the Warcraft: the Role-playing Game book we got:
Healer
Scout
Tinker

From other Sources:
Knight (PH2, with my own adjustments)
Swashbuckler (Complete Warrior)

Feats I'm being more lenient with, allowing them to draw from a much larger pool. So long as it's not campaign specific (meaning from N Eberron or Forgotten Realms book) it should be ok.
Diffan Posted - 15 Sep 2019 : 04:02:58
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

The game system or rules edition isn't what causes "abuse"... that fault comes from the players and the GM - they decide if they want to be rough on the system and play a trashy powergame full of broken exploits or if they want to play a game they can respect in the morning.


Sure, there's definitely some truth to this. But in regards specifically to 3.5 the disparity between "meh, so-so" and campaign wrecking is much bigger than in either 4e or 5e. Take just your basic Druid. Even without min/maxing you get 4+ Int skills, armor, casting, a beast companion, offensive and defensive spells, healing, and decent attacks and saves. At 6th, Natural Spell lets you cast in Wild Shape. Your companion levels at a great rate and can even just be better than your party's Fighter.

And that's just using the PHB. A plain Jane Fighter simply gets feats that don't scale and poor skills. There's a very good reason the tier system puts Druids at tier 1 and Fighters at tier 5. Now in Warcraft, Druids are prestige classes and I'd probably aim to keep them that way or a more basic, stricter version.

quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

If you want to play 3.5E then play 3.5E. Or try a bunch of story-linked WoW adventures with different rules and different characters and (when needed) different players.


I want to run the setting, the edition is secondary for me anyways. For ease, taking the books as-is and modifying additions is the easiest part. I don't have to convert or modify anything. From a DM perspective, that's cake. I just want my players to have a fun experience and get the feeling of the setting and Lore (not just generic fantasy RPG).

In that vein, I do think 3.5 is the best, most creative, path that can achieve both the feel of setting and making it easiest for me as a DM. Obviously the groups consensus is mandatory too.

quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Or just talk to your group. Have a vote, work it out, whatever. Just go with whatever decision is reached by consensus.



My thoughts too. Out of my 6 (occasionally 7) players most just want to have fun, two are sticklers for various editions, and a few others don't care. Group consensus and vote is where it's at.
Ayrik Posted - 14 Sep 2019 : 22:19:22
The game system or rules edition isn't what causes "abuse"... that fault comes from the players and the GM - they decide uf they want to be rough on the system and play a trashy powergame full of broken exploits or if they want to play a game they can respect in the morning.

If you want to play 3.5E then play 3.5E. Or try a bunch of story-linked WoW adventures with different rules and different characters and (when needed) different players.

Or just talk to your group. Have a vote, work it out, whatever. Just go with whatever decision is reached by consensus.
Diffan Posted - 14 Sep 2019 : 17:19:21
quote:
Originally posted by doccarnby

Every one of your players, and you, even, is in a conflicting camp. I can't speak mechanically, I never moved on from 3.5 myself, but it looks like you're going to have to find what will disappoint the least people, the least. Who is more willing to budge on their positions? Maybe have your group, you too, fill out a list, from top to bottom, which edition you'd like to play and find the least objectionable?



The list idea is really good. Since I'm running the campaign (like usual) in the end I don't care what system we use. I'm pretty fluent in the dirt and grit of 3.5 and 4th mechanics and probably the most comfortable, but 5e is pretty simple and an guess I could always wing the NPC mechanics from the suggestions in the DMG (it's just more work).

One player is adamant about never playing 4e so if we do that he's 100% out. Which is a shame because he's both exceptionally knowledgeable about Warcraft lore AND we talk shop about game mechanics, and from suggestions to 3.5 it's apparent that he would ultimately love about 4e.

I guess it comes down to 3.5e or 5e in the end because no one else has made that ultimatum.
doccarnby Posted - 14 Sep 2019 : 16:24:09
Every one of your players, and you, even, is in a conflicting camp. I can't speak mechanically, I never moved on from 3.5 myself, but it looks like you're going to have to find what will disappoint the least people, the least. Who is more willing to budge on their positions? Maybe have your group, you too, fill out a list, from top to bottom, which edition you'd like to play and find the least objectionable?

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