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There are two reasons this hasn’t been the case in the 3e games I’ve played in.

1. In some cases it’s because the DM simply runs the game more old school and no one really cares if things aren’t strictly by-the-book. Not much different than how my old AD&D group were really playing D&D with the AD&D books.

2. In other cases it is because the DM—and often one or two players—know the rules very well, so we could play pretty closely by-the-book without opening the books. The rules masters in the group are also interested in using their knowledge to help translate other player’s desires into the mechanics rather than lording their knowledge over the others.

I prefer classic D&D, but—at least with the people I play with—I find 3e OK.


I tend to agree. I ran a 13 session Labyrinth Lord campaign, but we had to stop. Most sessions had only two players and many had just one. I'm trying to rebuild our game group and 3.5, Pathfinder or 4e are the best way to do so given the gaming climate in L.A. It sucks. Few people will commit to a game and if they do, they want D&D in the modern versions.

Perhaps I can build a group, then nudge them along the path to simplicity.

Christian, the man with the 3.5 PHB glued to his hand.


I hear you. It's the reason that I couldn't go back to playing post 3e after I got used to playing Labyrinth Lord. Character creation takes forever and by the time we're done trying to figure out which rule combination will give us enough power to take down the Ogres or Dragons or whatever we think we'll face, we're all bored and need to take a break.

Heavy rulesets aren't any fun at all, if you ask me. 4th edition was a better step than third, but they could have made it lighter. I don't mind radical redesigns of games I like, as long as it makes the game more elegant instead of complex.

Yong Kyosunim

For D&D 3.x on up, I would say it's a rules-heavy game because it's designed to facilite gameplay in a lot of situations for the fantasy setting. But for Hero System and GURPS, I think a more accurate description is that they are toolkits because they require the GM to build the campaign, setting, everything from scratch and then use which rules work in the game and which ones to discard.

For me, I tend to go both ways. Right now, I run a Pathfinder game, but in my off-time, I'm building my own campaign setting and system using Hero System. I can play in a games where the rules are fairly light for fun one-shots.


Awesome, thanks! I'm brand new to this whole Blogspot deal (posting, not reading); it didn't even occur to me that the trackbacks might not be enabled. D'oh…


@Allandaros — I had to turn off the traceback feature because it attracts more spam tracebacks than real tracebacks. Readers should feel free to post a link to followup posts in their own blogs as a comment. Here's a link to your followup post: Rules-Heavy Games.


Hi, I tried to post a link to this in my blog, but it doesn't seem to show up in the "Links to this post" area. Any idea what I can do to make it show up?