So now I kind of want to run just a flat out, Rules As Written, play as they lay, 3.5 game of Dungeons and Dragons.
So that XCOM posting I read kind of inspired me about a 3.5 game. A no-holds barred mega dungeon. Mostly vanilla/SRD (to get rid of all the splat I hate) and just go at it. It'll be RAW for sure. I haven't played RAW 3.5 any time in recent history but now I'm kind of spoiling to play. I have a few choices for Mega Dungeons to run, or I might make my own by the book (not totally sure yet). I can imagine a lot of dead characters and a lot of great builds. How well do you know core 3.5? Certainly a great way to find out. Of course going by the book or using a published MD it won't require that level of mastery (just the basic avoiding character building traps), but if the group was interested we could ramp it up a bit for sure.
It's a lot different of a game than I'm used to running, but it would certainly fit the design specs of 3.5. I'm sure people will start to use theoretical builds too. Seeing them function at lower levels will certainly be interesting too. And that there would be the kicker. Sure builds are great, but how hard is it going to be to get there, especially if you kick off a needed feat to get in the the PrC earlier. That's the kind of stuff I want to see.
Here's some interesting level facts from level 20 character optimizations I've been browsing. Maximum monk level? 2. Maximum Druid level? 20. Paladin? 2. Oddly fighter has a few passed level 2.
I did find a 30 level build that takes monk to 15. Of course that's synergizing with Psionic Fist and using only SRD rules (so relevant). I just wonder how well it would play about levels 3-6.
There's also a level 40 rogue build. I wonder how he's stacking against a druid at low levels.