View Full Version : Measure of Success? Book cost for D&D 3.5e vs 4e

02-08-2011, 05:41 PM
Have been thinking about getting a game together with some guys who have never played a RPG and wanted to do D&D. Have been looking at Pathfinder, 3.5, and 4e (even looked at 2e for old times sake). So then I figured that after playing a game of 4e and not being thrilled about it, I we would do 3.5 so I went on Amazon to search for PHBs.

Holy cow! For new books, 3.5 starting at $90. OK, so there has to be plenty of used ones for a cheap price - no, over $40. Hmm, so then I looked at costs of 4e and they were coming in at about $24 new. I thought, maybe its a smaller book but no, both are 320p.

I then looked at reviews, knowing that almost anything will have some 5s and some 1. But again 3.5 was 61:5 stars and 19:1 stars. 4e had 68:5 and 90:1.

I am not sure what all this means. It could be that people are still holding onto their 3.5 books because they have so much other material or on going games and the new book suppliers are running out of stock so prices are going up (some were selling over $100). And maybe 4e was over stocked and they have too much supply. But it really looks to me that 4e is kinda bombing.

What are you guys thoughts?

In the end, I think I might just pass out the Pathfinder Beta PDF (which is free) and do the game with that.

02-08-2011, 06:42 PM
Ha you must be as new as you claim. There is a massive version war between 3.5 and 4e. A decent number of people who enjoy 3.5 absolutely HATE everything about 4e. I haven't seen as much hate going the other way probably because 4e is still supported and therfore the annimosity of losing support for their version of choice in favor of something they hate hasn't been created.

Personally I like action heavy games that play more like WoW than the deep character building essentially dice-less games that some prefer. I also am fairly new to roleplaying and prefer simplicity over having a ton of options. All of those things led me to 4e and it works for me.

Your best bet is probably to go to a game store and flip through the core books or find a free game day to jump in on to decide what you like best. Don't trust the ratings every recent 4e campaign on this site has been given a rating of 1 star by someone simply for being 4e, I can only assume that equal amounts of blind hate have been dished out on Amazon.

02-09-2011, 12:19 AM
I'd highly recommend Pathfinder for two reasons:
1) You only need 1 book...the Core Rulebook to play (has all the player and GM material). Bestiary is good for monster stats but you could create your own if you wanted.
2) It's rules (from 3.5) have been nicely streamlined, though not as much as 4e, I find Pathfinder has good balance.

I was big into 4e but, because 4e is so easy to pick up and play, but it still feels basic and a little too boardgamey for me.

02-09-2011, 07:50 AM
didn't read the other two replies, but the cost difference is an issue of availability. 4e is currently being printed. 3.5 is not. As for pathfinder, I don't know how much it costs in comparison, but it is also not WOTC, so you get the extra cost for being a smaller operation.

02-09-2011, 09:13 AM
Our local tabletop group has had good success in obtaining books from ebay. We have been able to equip our large group (12+) with 2E Player's Handbooks. We do have 3 sets of married couples that have one book for the both of them to use. Some folks are trying to clear out stuff that they don't use/want anymore and there are times that you can find really good deals. Granted, most of these books are not brand new, but everything we did get was in pretty decent shape.

02-09-2011, 09:19 AM
Actually I am an old timer getting back into it a bit. I cut my teeth on 1e and 2e (must have had a $1000 invested when I stopped playing). There are some things I like about 4e and some I don't but since I was bringing in new players, I figured they would not be tainted by past versions like I am and I assume they would gravitate to sword wielders anyway.

Although the Pathfinder Beta was a work in progress and is missing somethings, I think it has enough (for now) for these guys, esp if the whole idea bombs then we don't loose anything but time. I think WotC would be wise to have sort of a free truncated PDF version of their game for this purpose so that if those guys do enjoy the game, they may now go out and buy the PHB. As it stands right now, it would be Pathfinder.

02-09-2011, 10:03 AM
D&D 4E Test Drive (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/TryDnD.aspx)

02-09-2011, 11:19 AM
good call sascha, forgot about that. It is a pretty decent adventure. I hate pre-made characters, but it will at least give them a taste of the game and no money spent.

02-09-2011, 04:02 PM
I'm not real fond of pre-gen, but it has a place. For the purpose of testing game I would go there.

02-09-2011, 04:26 PM
As others have said, when it comes to 3.5 you are looking for people are have been holding books long enough to make a profit on them, or people who are selling valued memories during tough times, meanwhile, 4E is sold in most hobby stores. As a former 3.5 player, Pathfinder is close enough that you can use most of your knowledge from 3.5 in Pathfinder, while acclimating to some of the new material. for what its worth at least.

02-09-2011, 06:48 PM
The big difference in the systems is the way you play. 3.5 you do not have special maneuvers. 4 is all about them. The rest of the game is pretty much the same. 3.5 is built more for people that want to take the time to learn the system. 4 is designed for the attention deficit type. 3.5 is harder to learn, but has a great deal more people willing to play. Honestly more people cut their teeth on it than 2ed, also there is a LOT more books for it. OGL gave everyone the ability to make easy money by making quick adventures and supplements for it. 4 is easier to learn, and quicker to get into play. Both games are good for their nitche, however I prefer 3.5 over 4 simply due to how the game feels.

Before anyone flames me read all of it.

03-04-2011, 07:14 AM
Having played every version from 1E to 4E, I'm currently pretty happy with Pathfinder as my "primary" system - especially getting into Paizo's "Adventure Paths", which, in my (limited) experience with them, seem to be pretty good products.

I don't really recommend playing off the free Beta pdf, though - that'll just require a slight version adjustment if y'all decide you like it enough to buy books. Instead, if you're planning to play off your laptops anyways, take a peek at the hypertext SRD - http://www.d20pfsrd.com/ . It's totally workable to have most your players using the SRD for their between-game reference, though I'd recommend at least one dead tree copy of the Core Rules at the table.

03-05-2011, 09:54 AM
Having played all Editions of D&D since 1979, my vote goes to Pathfinder (for fantasy). Though I liked 4th edition D&D (my wife actually likes 4th the best), combat just felt a little too simple and predictable to me after a while. I like the complexity and unpredictability that the spells and feats in 3.5 & Pathfinder offer a little more. Pathfinder improved upon the 3.5 rules, and made the character classes and races more interesting to play, in my opinion. However, there is nothing wrong with 4th edition, it was still fun to play. For me Pathfinder is just a personal preference.

I am DMing a campaign now, and I find it easier to make encounters using Pathfinder. Besides, Paizo is pounding out new Pathfinder product constantly, and it is backward compatible with 3.5... ;)