Describing exactly what I didn't like about ToB, and what I think the DM in the game I was in did wrong with it, is a rather difficult thing for me, since I am still relatively new to D&D in general, and am quite unfamiliar with Tome of Battle. Something about the whole thing struck me as wrong, to be honest. I think part of this may be my sense that, as cool as anime is, it's not something that really belongs in a fantasy roleplaying game. Also, there is the stubborn attachment to the notion that the Fighter can be just as good as a Wizard or Cleric at higher levels. While many people here and elsewhere hold this notion to be a myth, it is one that, in spite of some evidence to the contrary, I still hold on to.
Also, I think that I may not have a problem with Tome of Battle itself so much as what was done with it. highbulp
suggested this possibility. It is also possible that, even if the DM was using Tome of Battle correctly, more or less, I still had a problem with the campaign in general, thus souring my opinion of everything in it.
So, on to the evidence.
This game was intended from the start as a ridiculously overpowered, cheese-filled game that would go far into epic levels; the setting is essentially the same setting as an anime-themed rpg video game called Disgaea, though I use the word "rpg" loosely.
We leveled much faster than we realistically should have (at least once every session).
Almost all of the players were powergaming to a greater or lesser extent, and there was also a lot of metagaming going on (as symbolized by the "goggles of metagaming" magic item that was sold to several party members).
Tome of Battle was pretty standard usage for anybody who wasn't a caster. As stated in the previous post, the DM was a Tome of Battle fanboy, with all the positive and negative (mostly negative for me) connotations that the word "fanboy" implies.
As we rose in level, there were fewer and fewer instances of roleplaying in our games. While I enjoy going out a killing monsters as much as the next player, I also like there to be a little bit of actual in character interaction in the games that doesn't involve killing shit.
Money. We got way too rich, way too fast. My character just hit level 30 and is pretty absurd right now. I haven't even used half of the gold I've been given, and I don't think anybody else has used up all their money either.
For some reason, even though I like anime and wuxia films and cool stuff like that, I don't know that I like it in D&D games. It just feels wrong somehow, out of place. I cannot deny that the ToB classes can do a lot of really, really cool stuff, but something about them just doesn't seem to fit. At the same time, I want to be able to play fighter types and feel that they are still useful at high levels.
This is where it starts getting personal. The DM keeps promoting ToB, and is kind of an ass about it, and whenever we discuss/argue about it, I always seem to end up losing. This has made me more than a little bitter, I will confess.
Like other people on this comm, I have the sense that WotC should have fixed the Fighter instead of creating new classes. With all the other supplements out there, there are more than enough classes to last any 3.5 player until 5th edition comes out.
I continually got the sense, playing in this game, that we were having a far easier time of it than we should have been. Perhaps that was the DM going easy on us because he wanted us to level. Or perhaps that was the Tome of Battle classes being ridiculously overpowered.
If someone could link me to the Wizards forum thread where they did comparisons between ToB and non-ToB classes, that'd be great. I'd like to see whether or not these classes are actually as broken as I've thought. So, thoughts? Is the problem with the game, the DM, or the Tome of Battle? I will say that given what I know about my gaming style now, this was probably not the best game to join, and the DM might be a lot better in other games. He knows he's not the best DM out there, and is generally more than a little unprepared.