Player Character Rules

Abilities

PC's use the point buy system as outlined in DMG, with points from 28 to 32 depending on the specific campaign. For familiars, mounts, animal companions, use MM stats. For Followers (for characters with Leadership feat), use MM stats, and NPC classes only, for a Cohort, use Elite Stats (and DMG NPC list for example and equipment).

Starting level in existing campaign

If joining (or re-joining) the ongoing campaign, you will start at the beginning of the level below the lowest level existing party member.

Leveling Up

We will use some suggestions from the DMG (pages 197+) for determining how players will access new skills, class abilities and feats as they level up. We will require that characters have some exposure to the situation in which they might use the new skill or feat, and/or some type of formal training in the new skill, ability or feat. In game terms, this can be represented in terms of practice: attempting the task untrained at some point(s) during the previous level, formal training with an instructor, or study of some puisant manual. Use the DMG's costs and training times for professional instruction.

Likewise, wizards must spend some time in actual research to acquire new spells and add them to their spellbooks. See pages 198 in the DMG, and 178 in the PHB for details.

It is understood that this will slow down progression. However, in order to allow characters to move forward in a time constrained scenario, albeit at some disadvantge, characters may advance hit points, saves and base attack bonus without training.

It is our intention to take steps as DMs to ensure that so much experience point do not accrue from a single days adventure that characters may have "wasted" XPs in excess of those required to advance to the top of the next level.

Equipment

For PCs, use maximum starting gold for 1st level, but read it as silver pieces, or for higher level characters use DMG table 5-1 (page 135) for starting wealth, but divide by 2. In other words, only 50% of the default wealth at higher levels. This is a lowered magic world, and the intention is for it to have a grittier, more mediaeval flavour. If you can't live with this, then this is not the campaign for you!

See the page on economics for more details on this.

We have introduce some characteristics that allow characters to modify their starting wealth up or down.

On a game mechanics note: all magic/special items found as treasure or made by PCs will be written on index cards. When the item changes hands, so will the index card. If you don't have the card, you don't have the item. If the property is not mentioned on the card, the item does not have that property (yet). The DM may give out cards with nothing but the description and an index number, and the player may discover more properties as time goes by. This card will even be used to track object HP (such as rope, weapons), and numbers of charges.

Prior Experience

Characters do not start off in a vacuum, suddenly able only to swing a sword or cast a spell. They grew up in an environment which gave them some skills an abilities as they were raised. This is to be reflected by taking one level worth of skills as an NPC character class. You may also add the HP of this class to your starting character. For example, you can choose to have gained some training as an adept before starting out as an adventurer. You would gain 6 hit points, and 2 + Int modifier skills from the adept skill list.

Hit points

PCs start with maximum hit points at first level, plus any bonuses. At each level thereafter, they receive the median HP, round to odd at odd levels, even at even levels. Eg: a rogue receives 4 HP at level 2, 3 HP at level 3 before bonuses. See also Death and damage

Races

I have made minor adjustments to standard races, to give them a better "flavour" in my world, or to redress some slight grievances I may have with the system. There are also some changes designed to make some of the EL adjusted races playable from level one, an idea shamelessly borrowed from Andy Collins' Umber campaign notes.

Classes

I have made significant adjustments to the main spellcasting classes, to lower their rate of spell progression. I want to make magic feel very special, not something that can be seen on any street corner. The occurence and levels of spellcasters as NPCs is also much reduced.

Other rule changes

Languages and literacy are determined by new rules that reduce access to "book learning", again to reflect a "darker" middle ages, and other changes to standard 3.5 are here.

Some feat/ability stuff is changed.

Modified saves.