This week, Design Manager Ed Stark offers up a few more answers to pressing questions about D&D 3.5 and gives us a sneak peek at the newest iconic character.
Q: Will existing characters be easily and instantly portable to 3.5 rules?
A: Easily, yes. Instantly -- depends on what you want to do. NPCs and monsters from existing products can be run right out of the original books with few or no changes necessary. They won't be 100% "3.5," but they will be compatible. I just ran an adventure composed entirely of 3.0 monsters, and I was able to convert on the fly.
Players and DMs who want "true precision" probably should spend a few minutes upgrading. I play a 17th-level druid in one game. It took me less than 10 minutes to make every change to the character needed to make him 100% 3.5-compatible. I'm familiar with the revisions, of course, but the druid is one of the classes with the most revisions to it. Considering that, 10 minutes for a 17th-level character isn't rough at all.
Q: Are any spells changing level?
A: Yes, but we tried to keep that to a minimum. If we had a 6th-level spell that was overpowered or underpowered, we felt it would do much less damage to the system to make the spell fit its 6th-level slot rather than move it up or down the list. I think people will be much happier with the way the spells interact. When we did move a spell up or down in level, we tried to fill the gaps with new spells. The new Player's Handbook has even more spells than the old one, if you can believe it.
Q: Will there be any new iconic characters? Will any of the old ones go away?
A: None of the old iconics will go away, but we will have at least one new one. This isn't a huge issue -- we already have more iconics than classes.
Q: Can we see this new character?
A: Here he is courtesy of D&D Art Director Dawn Murin -- Gimble, a gnome bard, by illustrator Wayne Reynolds.