(Edit: We have a few players for Fridays, but it looks like we may still need 2 more. See bottom post.)
Hey folks, I've been hankering to run or play some 3rd Edition D&D since I've only been able to find groups for 3.5 and PF games in the last several years. Is anyone else interested in a 3E D&D campaign or mini-campaign lasting a few months or a few years? Anyone familiar with 3.5 or Pathfinder could easily play 3E without needing to read much about it, and the 3E SRD is still online at the http://www.opengamingfoundation.org
website. I can easily point out the differences myself, as I'm most-familiar with 3E in the first place.
While I doubt anyone else is gonna run such a game, I still have my 3E books and I'd like to run something on Fridays or Saturdays. More specifically, I'm thinking of running a site-based campaign where the PCs adventure in and around a particular city-state, building up a strong local reputation and eventually building their own strongholds (or perhaps being willed the old governor's stronghold after his demise), running their own little domain and fending off threats to it kinda old-school style.
The materials that'd be available for my campaign would be the 3E SRD or core rulebooks, plus Sword & Fist, Tome & Blood, Defenders of the Faith, Song & Silence, Masters of the Wild, Stronghold Builder's Guidebook, Arms & Equipment Guide, Oriental Adventures, Savage Species (to a limited degree; few monstrous races would really be viable in a campaign where politics or realmbuilding in a civilized area would be involved), Manual of the Planes (though a different set of Outer Planes would be used), Deities & Demigods (domains and spells anyway, not deities), and MM2 and the Fiend Folio (mostly for me as DM). I am also adapting the 3.5 Players Handbook II and the Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords. Furthermore, custom material from the players and DM would also be available, as I have a variety of homebrewed feats, spells, items, prestige classes, and such for the setting I would use.
I would use my homebrew setting of Rhunaria, which is a small and slightly unusual setting where the humanoid races are largely descended from the ancient Nari catfolk that have since gone extinct. Rhunaria is a fairly young world with only a few thousand years of humanoid history, most of it being the primitive Nari's spread and development into different races, as Rhunaria's rich magical energy lends itself to rapid evolution of the world's creatures. Elves briefly rose to dominance centuries ago, until the Elvish Dominion was toppled by the Great Rebellion of other races, driving elvenkind into hiding after their civilization was destroyed. Dark elves and sea elves were created by the Elven Mage-King's experiments prior to the Great Rebellion, and they fled underground or into the sea, but other elves were forced back into their ancestral homeland where they quickly devolved slightly into the semi-primitive jungle elves, after most of the elven scholars and leaders were slain in the Rebellion. Kobolds and lizardfolk emerged from the yuan-ti's experiments after the yuan-ti escaped in the Rebellion, after the yuan-ti themselves were created by the Mage-King just like many other hybrid monsters in the world that were once enslaved to the elves. After a few centuries or so, the other races began to accept an occasional elf into their societies, but elvenkind is still largely distrusted. In recent years the humans and dwarves began to develop crude technology similar to Renaissance Europe on Earth, producing flintlock firearms, black-powder bombs and cannons, and a few other things, such as clocks and similar devices among the dwarves (who are more technologically inclined and rather miffed about humans starting to catch up so quickly). Kobolds and goblins have started pilfering firearms and figuring out how to produce their own, which helps even their odds against larger races. Various events are unfolding in Rhunaria that could have significant consequences, and adventurers or mercenaries have been in increasingly-high demand.
Rules-wise, I use the 3.0 DMG's optional rules for Renaissance firearms with only minor tweaks (such as a small chance of misfires or gun jamming, which increases for any nonproficient firearm-users). Major playable races of Rhunaria include Humans
(divided into 4 ethnicities/cultures, though statistically identical; Gildens look like Europeans and come from the Majestic Kingdom of the Gilded Throne or its vicinity, while Rizans are similar to ancient Egyptians and hail from the Theocracy of Riza, whereas Tashi are of Asian appearance and originate from the Hirotashi Empire and its surroundings, and Tribals look like Africans and live in various tribes of the jungle or savannah),Dark Elves
(who have an underground society and are the most distrusted on the surface; dark elves of Rhunaria have a vaguely Middle-Eastern culture and style and tend towards lawful evil),Sea Elves
(who live in the sea and some large lakes, but have the best relations with non-elves since they refused to fight for the Elvish Empire in the Great Rebellion),Jungle Elves
(who live in tribes around a distant jungle but occasionally return to the lands dominated by other races now),Dwarves
(who mostly live in the Ur-Dalechron Hegemony that they founded, with a mix of Germanic and Roman elements to their culture, style, and behavior),Gnomes
(many of whom live in democratic city-states near the coast, with Greek elements to their culture and their love of philosophy),Halflings
(who have kept their homeland hidden rather successfully but often migrate into other lands because they like to trade with other races and explore or travel about),Orcs
(who live in primitive tribes for the most part and are largely hostile to other races, with occasional exceptions),Goblins
(generally forced to serve other goblinoids but some live free, they're quite clever and nimble but looked down upon by other races),Hobgoblins
(militaristic and domineering, controlling some territories of their own but occasionally living or working alongside other races),Bugbears
(generally roaming free or occasionally leading groups of other goblinoids, rarely living among other races since they like to raid and pillage),Kobolds
(who have largely freed themselves from the yuan-ti by rebelling with the lizardfolk, now living in a reclusive federation or republic of their own but occasionally living amongst other races, who look down on them, but Rhunarian kobolds are exceptionally clever and technically-minded, smarter and more dextrous than most other humanoids),
(who live in primitive tribes since most freed themselves of the yuan-ti, lizardfolk revere nature and choose to live primitively out of respect for nature and a reluctance to defile it with mining or lumberjacking).
Planetouched, half-outsider, draconic, half-dragon, half-fey, feytouched, and similar races are also available in Rhunaria, though much more rare and thus lacking any communities of their own, living instead among other races or as lone hermits. However, crossbreeds between mortal races are never viable in Rhunaria; the different humanoid races evolved too differently to retain any cross-species compatibility, so only highly-magical creatures such as fiends and dragons (or shapechangers) can produce viable hybrid offspring (dragons are immortal in Rhunaria and worshipped by some people).
Class-wise Rhunaria is open to the 11 core classes as well as the 5 Oriental Adventures classes (samurai, shamans, shugenja, sohei, and wu jen), plus my adaptations of the 3.5 PHB2 and TOB:Bo9S classes (beguiler, dragon shaman, duskblade, knight, crusader, swordsage, and warblade). I've also considered allowing the 3 new classes from the Rokguan book (courtier, inkyo, and ninja) but I don't think I ever got around to tweaking them for proper balance with the core classes, so I'd have to check them over again and do a bit of tweaking for those before allowing them. Prestige classes are fairly open with only a few exceptions (frenzied berserkers, shifters, forsakers, radiant servants of Pelor, and a few others are blatantly overpowered or problematic and would be denied), but any prestige class would have to be justified in-game with suitable training or the like from appropriate NPCs, studying the right tomes, or what-have-you. I have a significant number of Rhunaria-specific prestige classes available as well, such as the Gilden Fusilier, Hirotashi Kinutsukai, Hobgoblin Roughneck, Goblin Swarmer, Rizan Hanu-Ratha, Scion of Battle, Spiritbond Exemplar, Exile, and others.
I have a few minor houserules for many of the base classes to maintain greater balance, like giving Fighters some combat bonuses at odd-numbered levels, which is mostly in the form of simple boosts the less-powerful classes to bring them up to the level of clerics and druids. I'm also open to the possibility of some class variants, as I have already implemented with Sorcerers in Rhunaria (who are normally Natural Sorcerers, a.k.a. Blood Sorcerers, who inherit their magic from a powerful ancestor such as a dragon or celestial; Natural Sorcerers get a few bonus feats to balance them out better against Wizards; but variant Sorcerers in Rhunaria include Talisman Sorcerers, Spirit Sorcerers, and other kinds that may or may not be mere rumor). Similarly, I've got some minor houserules for the playable races (humans get a daily re-roll similar to the Luck Domain's granted power, for example, while Jungle Elves get a few druidic spell-like abilities, Kobolds get better racial traits so they don't suck, etc.). Bugbears and Lizardfolk have a few racial Hit Dice and have a Savage Species style of progression available for any that might start at ECL 1 or 2, but they also have minor improvements to their racial traits so they don't suck compared to humans with more class levels. Also, spells from the books that were named after wizards of Greyhawk/Oerth or other published settings are replaced in Rhunaria with somewhat different spells created by Rhunarian mages, and I have a moderate number of new Rhunarian spells. And new feats and items. Many of the houserules I came up with for Rhunaria were based on the requests or complaints of players in my first Rhunaria campaign regarding the 3E rules, or imbalances that I saw between different options when the players were planning to take a certain class or the like. So I beefed up or fixed the broken or underpowered stuff with their input or on my own initiative. The Sorcerer variants came about from character concepts by a few of the players, whom I worked with to make some suitable rules support for their concepts.
Also, notably, Rhunaria has less wealth available since it hasn't had much in the way of long-lasting civilizations mining and minting coins or the like, so there are aren't millions or billions of coins sitting around in treasure for adventurers to loot or monarchs to give away for rewards. Instead PCs are more likely to earn noble titles, land grants, and other rewards, and they're more likely to gain major influence and power, as there are few high-level NPCs and they're rather scattered among different nations and organizations. Also, while there are fewer magic items in Rhunaria, there are some ancient Nari glyph relics that could be unearthed in some places (artifacts), and most PCs that aren't major spellcasters are able to naturally harness their latent magical and spiritual energy by acquiring Gifts of the Warrior's Spirit as they advance in level, which largely mimic the benefits of simple magic items. So while a mid-level Fighter is less likely to have a +4 Belt of Giant Strength, he or she might instead have +3 Strength and +2 Constitution inherantly from Gifts of the Warrior's Spirit. Or they might have a +3 enhancement on melee weapons from Gifts of Manifest Fury and a +2 enhancement on ranged weapons from Gifts of Manifest Spite rather than carrying magical weapons (or used to boost the enhancement of existing magic weapons, replacing whatever minor enhancement they might have but still gaining the special abilities of those weapons).
I have a lot more info available on Rhunaria from my old campaign several years ago, which I can put online again if there's enough interest in a new campaign.