Character Creation

Ability Scores: Scores default to 8. Spend 28 points among abilities.

9 = 1 pts 10 = 2 pts 11 = 3 pts 12 = 4 pts 13 = 5 pts
14 = 6 pts 15 = 8 pts 16 = 10 pts 17 = 13 pts 18 = 17 pts

Optionally, distribute one of these sets of values among abilities as desired. You may not assign the lowest value to Charisma.

Add racial modifiers as usual.

Hit Points: You have max HP for 1st level. For higher levels, you get half your hit die size, +1. For example, rogues (d6 Hit Die) gain 4 hp per level. Add Constitution bonuses as usual.

Starting Character Level: Characters start with 3000 xp (Level 3). Starting wealth is 3000 gp.

Additional Characters: New characters created after the beginning of the campaign have 75% of the previous character's experience or 75% of the party's average experience or 3000 xp (whichever is more). Starting gear is appropriate to the character's experience level.

Races

Crossbreeds

  Human Half-Elf Elf Half-Dwarf Dwarf Gnome Half-Orc Orc
Human Human Human Half-Elf Human Half-Dwarf Half-Dwarf Human Half-Orc
Half-Elf   Half-Elf Half-Elf Human Half-Dwarf Half-Dwarf Human Half-Orc
Elf     Elf Half-Elf Half-Dwarf Half-Dwarf Half-Elf Half-Orc
Half-Dwarf       Half-Dwarf Dwarf Gnome Human Half-Orc
Dwarf         Dwarf Dwarf Half-Dwarf Half-Orc
Gnome           Gnome Half-Dwarf Half-Orc
Half-Orc             Half-Orc Orc
Orc               Orc

Half-Dwarves

Death and Resurrection

Finding Priests: A priest powerful enough to cast raise dead may be found in small cities (population 5000+). A priest powerful enough to cast resurrection can be found in large cities (10000+). A priest powerful enough to cast true resurrection can only be found in major cities (25000+). A priest will attempt to raise a character from the dead for donations indicated in the SRD, about 5500 gp for raise dead, 11000 gp for resurrection and 26500 gp for true resurrection.

Resurrection: When a character is resurrected (or reincarnated), you must succeed at a Charisma roll, adding his Level as a bonus.

This means that resurrection usually fails for low level characters and children, as well as very high level characters. Mid-level characters have a reasonable chance of returning.

Last-Ditch Save: Characters can spend (Level 100) XP to get a second saving throw roll. This can only be done once per save. This is a useful option when failing the save means death.

Remove Disease: Against a natural disease, the remove disease spell only allows an additional saving throw to eliminate the disease. This represents the likelihood that the original contagion still exists, and re-infects the character. If the save fails, the character is still infected, but avoids the effect of that disease for one day.

This means that disease is still a major killer of the weak or young, even with magical aid.

Magic House Rules

Meta-Magic Feats

A spell-caster gets a number of "free" meta-magic selections, one per spell level up to the caster's maximum casting level minus the meta-magic feats cost. For example, a spell caster who could cast 5th level spells having the Empower Spell feat would get one "free" empowered spell for levels 1, 2 and 3.

Only one "free" meta-magic option can be applied to a spell. The "free" meta-magic option does not increase the spell's level.

Standard Prohibited Schools

The normal prohibited schools of wizard specialists are:

All wizards know the Abjuration, Divination and Evocation schools.

Sorcerer Specialists

Sorcerers can specialize with a specific element: Air, Earth, Fire or Water. This provides the following benefits and restrictions:

Elemental sorcerers tend to embody the characteristics of their element in both appearance and personality.

Some element spells are not on the normal Sorcerer spell lists. The sorcerer may ignore any divine focuses required by these spells.

Air

  1. Shocking Grasp
  2. Gust of Wind
  3. Lightning Bolt
  4. Air Walk
  5. Control Winds
  6. Chain Lightning
  7. Control Weather
  8. Whirlwind
  9. Elemental Swarm*

* Air elements only.

Earth

  1. Magic Stone
  2. Soften Earth and Stone
  3. Meld into Stone
  4. Stoneskin
  5. Wall of Stone
  6. Flesh to Stone
  7. Earthquake
  8. Iron Body
  9. Elemental Swarm*

* Earth elements only.

Fire

  1. Burning Hands
  2. Scorching Ray
  3. Fireball
  4. Fire Trap
  5. Flame Strike
  6. Fire Seeds
  7. Fire Storm
  8. Incendiary Cloud
  9. Elemental Swarm*

* Fire elements only.

Water

  1. Grease
  2. Acid Arrow
  3. Water Breathing
  4. Ice Storm
  5. Cone of Cold
  6. Acid Fog
  7. Control Weather
  8. Horrid Wilting
  9. Elemental Swarm*

* Water elements only.

Druid Domains

Druids may choose up to two domains from Animal, Air, Earth, Fire, Plant and Water. Like clerics, druids can memorize one additional domain spell per day. The druid can also spontaneously cast any spell on his domain lists, in addition to the summon nature's ally.

The druid cannot choose two opposing elemental domains. Furthermore, the Druid cannot cast spells from any opposing elemental domain. For this purpose, the Acid and Cold descriptors are equivalent to Water, and Electricity is equivalent to Air. Any spell with the word Stone or Iron in its name is considered an Earth spell.

The druid can still prepare spells whose descriptor varies, such as summon nature's ally or fire shield, provided the druid can cast one version of the spell. Druid's cannot summon creatures belonging to an opposing element.

If a summoned creature's type or subtype belongs to the druid's domain, it remain 10 times the normal duration. This applies to the summon nature's ally spell and other spells that summon creatures.

A druid's list of domain spells differs from a cleric.

Animal

  1. Calm Animals
  2. Hold Animal
  3. Dominate Animal
  4. Giant Vermin
  5. Animal Growth
  6. Antilife Shell
  7. Creeping Doom
  8. Animal Shapes
  9. Shapechange

Air

  1. Obscuring Mist
  2. Gust of Wind
  3. Call Lightning
  4. Air Walk
  5. Control Winds
  6. Chain Lightning
  7. Control Weather
  8. Whirlwind
  9. Elemental Swarm*

* Air elements only.

Earth

  1. Magic Stone
  2. Soften Earth and Stone
  3. Meld into Stone
  4. Spike Stones
  5. Stoneskin
  6. Stone Tell
  7. Statue
  8. Earthquake
  9. Elemental Swarm*

* Earth elements only.

Fire

  1. Produce Flame
  2. Resist Energy*
  3. Scorching Ray
  4. Flame Strike
  5. Wall of Fire
  6. Fire Seeds
  7. Fire Storm
  8. Incendiary Cloud
  9. Elemental Swarm**

* Resist cold or fire only.
** Fire elements only.

Plant

  1. Entangle
  2. Barkskin
  3. Speak with Plants
  4. Command Plants
  5. Wall of Thorns
  6. Transport via Plants
  7. Animate Plants
  8. Control Plants
  9. Shambler

Water

  1. Obscuring Mist
  2. Fog Cloud
  3. Water Breathing
  4. Ice Storm
  5. Transmute Rock to Mud
  6. Cone of Cold
  7. Acid Fog
  8. Horrid Wilting
  9. Elemental Swarm*

* Water elements only.

Alignments

A character must actively align with a particular moral pole to have a non-neutral alignment. The majority of people do not make the necessary effort, and are therefore neutral. This applies even to the traditionally "aligned" races like orcs, elves, goblins, etc. Most people are not even aware that they have a choice of alignment.

Restriction: Some classes are restricted in how they may align themselves. For example, bards and barbarians cannot align with Law, and druids cannot align with more than one moral pole. Members of these classes are still neutral, as a rule. A few classes, notably monks, paladins and blackguards, must align with a particular moral pole. This alignment is part of the culture and training of these classes, and failure to uphold the alignment means the loss of class abilities.

Clerics: Most of the gods are above morality. Follower of these gods may have any alignment. All clerics must choose whether to channel positive (life) or negative (death) energy. Cleric who chose positive energy cannot align with evil, and clerics who chose negative energy cannot align with good. Like most people, many clerics are neutral.

If a god has domain spells for a particular alignment, the god is aligned with that moral pole. Followers of these gods may not be aligned with the opposite moral pole. If the cleric chooses the aligned domain spells for that god, he must also have the appropriate alignment. This is conscious alignment with a spiritual force, as describe below. If the cleric ever loses his alignment, he loses these domain spells, but not necessarily all of his clerical powers.

Choosing Alignments: Characters may align themselves either consciously or unconsciously. To consciously choose an alignment, a character must contact an outsider aligned with that moral pole, and pledge allegiance to that moral force. If such a character does not uphold that alignment, he is foresworn and returns to neutrality. An atonement spell can return the character to his alignment.

If a character consistently obeys the moral tenants of an alignment, he will unconsciously align to that pole. An occasional deed is not enough; the character must devote his life to his principles. A lapse in ethics will return the character to neutrality. Unconscious alignment is very unusual; it is much easier to return to neutrality than it is to maintain an alignment.

Alignment Drift: A character's alignment drifts slightly over time, based on his actions. Any moral act will temporarily nudge the character toward the appropriate alignment. The length of time that this alignment change last depends on the strength of the moral act:

Casting an aligned spell or channeling positive or negative energy counts as a minor moral deed if the spell level is fourth level or less, or significant deed if the spell level is fifth level or greater. An aligned character that drifts for more than a day loses his alignment. If a neutral character spends more than a week aligned with a moral pole, he will unconsciously align to that pole.

Failing to act does not cause drift if a character is neutral. Failure to save an innocent will not push a neutral person toward evil. Similarly, choosing not to take advantage of a helpless victim will not push them toward good. Only acts of commission will push a neutral person towards an alignment.

Failing to act will cause drift if the person is aligned. Choosing not to save an innocent will push a good person back to neutrality.

Supernatural Creatures: Supernatural creatures, including most outsiders, undead and abominations, are innately aligned. Except for the most extraordinary of circumstances, a supernatural creature cannot change its alignment. Its alignment is an immutable part of its nature, and only a fundamental change would allow a new alignment.

As embodiments of a moral force, outsiders are able to align other creature to their moral pole. Usually they offer protection and power in exchange for alignment. Most will make ethical arguments in favor of their alignment as well. Outsiders are inclined to favor those with matching alignments, though this depends on their natures. Evil outsiders are nicer to other evil creatures, but not too nice.

Aligned Spells: Given the above rules, aligned spells like detect evil or protection from good have different implications. An alignment detection spell is less absolute. Detect evil really means "detect evil alignment or recent acts of evil" and the spell does not distinguish between the two. A spell caster is never sure if alignment detection reflects a permanent allegiance or a temporary drift.

Evil clerics are especially hard to detect, because any recent healing will have pushed them temporarily to neutrality. Furthermore, people are offended by excessive alignment detection, considering it mental prying on par with telepathy.

Spells that target specific alignments are also less certain. Protection and offensive spells based on alignment will only be reliably effective against supernatural creatures.

Alignment Distributions: Among the general populous, 92% of people are neutral, and 1% belong to each of the non-neutral alignments. Among the more brutal humanoid races, there is a slightly higher tendency toward evil, with 3% of the populous belong to each evil alignment and only 86% neutral. Among dwarves, 3% belong to each lawful alignment, and only 86% are neutral. Among elves and half-elves, 3% belong to each chaotic alignment, and only 86% are neutral.

Among adventuring classes, there is a greater tendency towards alignment. 76% of adventurers are neutral, and 3% belong to each of the non-neutral alignments. Among humanoid races, only 1% belongs to each good alignment and 5% belong to each evil alignment. Among dwarves, only 1% belongs to each chaotic alignment and 5% belong to each lawful alignment. Among elves and half-elves, only 1% belongs to each lawful alignment and 5% belong to each chaotic alignment.

If you must randomly determine a character's current alignment, there is a 1 in 8 chance that a character has drifted temporarily toward an adjacent moral pole. Roll for all possibilities available given the character's base alignment. For example, a lawful neutral character has a 1 in 8 chance of drifting to good or evil, and a 1 in 8 chance of drifting toward chaos, temporarily being non-lawful.

Wealth System

These rules standardized the equipment owned by characters. Rather than tracking of every gold piece and treasure item, a character's assets are based on his level of experience.

Wealth Basics

Every character has a Wealth score. For characters under 10th level, their Wealth in gp equals their current XP total. Wealth is used in two ways: Purchasing Equipment and Expense Money.

Purchasing Equipment: A character can own equipment in value up to his current Wealth. This includes armor and weapons as well as expendable items likes scrolls and wands. It also includes money spent on permanent benefits like familiars or acquired spells. Anything that a character can keep permanently must be bought as equipment. The character can keep any unspent Wealth in the form of cash or trade goods like gems.

Expense Money: A character can spend up to 10% of his current Wealth each adventure on expenses. This includes payment for services, bribes, material components and any other non-permanent purchase. The value of any equipment lost or used during an adventure also counts as an expense. If the character has less expenses than his Expense Money, all lost and used equipment is replaced at the end of the adventure.

Expense money cannot be used to purchase new equipment, and cannot be saved after an adventure. Any unused expense money left over from an adventure is lost.

Adventure Awards: At the end of an adventure, a character's Wealth increases by an amount equal the XP award for the adventure (more for characters above 9th level). He may purchase new equipment up to his new Wealth total. The character can also improve or replace existing equipment, as long as the total value of the equipment is less than his Wealth.

A character does not need to spend all of his Wealth immediately. He can save it up for several adventures to purchase expensive items at a later date.

Debt: If a character has more expenses during an adventure than his Expense Money, the excess becomes his Debt. This Debt reduces the amount of equipment the character can have.

The simplest way to track Debt is to note it along with the character's equipment until it is paid off. A character's equipment value plus his Debt cannot exceed his Wealth. If a character's Debt is so high that he can no longer afford all of his equipment, he must get rid of enough equipment to make up the difference (in effect, selling it off to pay his creditors).

Any left over Expense Money in future adventures can be used to reduce a character's Debt. This continues until the Debt is paid off. If the character continues to outspend his Expense Money, however, his Debt will increase.

Example: A 4th level character starts with 6000 XP and a 6000 gp in Wealth, and goes on a series of adventures:

Adventure 1 (Wealth/XP 6000, Expense Money 600 gp): The character pays a cleric for a cure disease spell (150 gp), drinks a potion of cure light wounds (50 gp) and loses his light warhorse (150 gp). His total expenses for the adventure are 350 gp, well under his limit. He earns 1000 XP, and can purchase 1000 gp more in equipment.

Adventure 2 (Wealth/XP 7000, Expense Money 700 gp): The character bribes a guard with 100 gp and is unfortunate enough to lose his +1 chain mail (1300 gp). His expenses for this adventure are 1400 gp, giving him a Debt of 700 gp. He earns another 1000 XP, but with his Debt, he is only able to purchase 300 gp in new equipment.

Adventure 3 (XP/Wealth 8000, Debt 700 gp, Expense Money 800 gp): The character is frugal and only has 500 gp in expenses. His leftover Expense Money pays off 300 gp from his Debt. He earns another 1000 XP, and can purchase 1300 gp in new equipment.

Adventure 4 (XP/Wealth 9000, Debt 400 gp, Expense Money 900 gp): The character again has only 500 gp in expenses, and can pay off his remaining Debt. He earns another 1000 XP, can purchase another 1400 gp in equipment, beginning 5th level with his full allotment of equipment.

Adventure Wealth/XP Equipment Debt
Adventure 1 6000 6000 gp 0 gp
Adventure 2 7000 7000 gp 0 gp
Adventure 3 8000 7300 gp 700 gp
Adventure 4 9000 8600 gp 400 gp
Final 10000 10000 gp 0 gp

Formulas: The Wealth rules are summarized in the following formulas. In the simple case where characters have reasonable expenses, only the first two rules matter.

* More above 9th level

Wealth for Higher Level Characters

For game balance, higher level characters need to accrue Wealth more quickly than they gain XP. Wealth increase for characters above 9th level are summarized in the table below. These wealth values are close to those specified in the core rules, but with a smoother progression.

Table: Character Wealth
Level Base Wealth Wealth per XP
10 45000 gp +2 gp per +1 XP
11 65000 gp +2 gp per +1 XP
12 87000 gp +2 gp per +1 XP
13 111000 gp +3 gp per +1 XP
14 150000 gp +4 gp per +1 XP
15 206000 gp +5 gp per +1 XP
16 281000 gp +6 gp per +1 XP
17 377000 gp +7 gp per +1 XP
18 496000 gp +8 gp per +1 XP
19 640000 gp +9 gp per +1 XP
20 811000 gp +10 gp per +1 XP
+1 +(Level – 1) × 10000 gp +10 gp per +1 XP

For example, a 15th level character with 110000 XP (5000 XP above the minimum XP needed for that level), would have 206000 + (5 × 5000) = 231000 gp of Wealth.

Special Wealth Rules

Trivial Expenses: Do not track very small expenses such as food, lodging or minor spell components. Any purchases costing less than the character's current level in gp can be considered trivial. Minor adventuring equipment, such as rations and torches, fall into the category as well.

Sharing Expenses: You may allow one character to use her leftover Expense Money to replace lost equipment of another character. A character cannot accrue Debt on behalf of another, however. This rule lets a character pay back her spell-casting companions for spending their magic to help her.

Debt Limits: A character's Debt cannot exceed his Wealth. When a character's Debt reaches his Wealth, he can no longer spend money, and is limited to 100 gp in equipment. This continues until characters pays off some of his Debt in future adventures.

XP Loss and Wealth: When a character loses XP from energy drain or resurrection, he can retain equipment in excess of his reduced Wealth Score. This is the only way a character can have more equipment than his Wealth score. Until his Wealth exceeds the value of his equipment, the following rules apply:

This continue until the character's equipment value is again less than his Wealth, either because the equipment value goes down or the Wealth goes up.

For example, an 8th level character with 31000 XP dies and is raised from the dead during an adventure. His XP total and Wealth drops to 24500 XP, but he retains his original equipment (up to 31000 gp in value).

The raise dead spell itself costs 5500 gp, which is 2400 gp more than the character's 3100 gp in Expense Money for this adventure. He must immediately get rid of 2400 gp in equipment to cover this expense. Furthermore, any equipment lost or used in the adventure cannot be replaced, until the character's equipment value is less than his Wealth.

This rule also applies to XP spent on spells, but only if the XP cost is more than the XP award for the adventure, which rarely happens.

Purchasing Equipment

Characters can purchase new equipment whenever their Wealth goes up. For simplicity, you may assume that characters return to a major city between adventures to buy and replace equipment. If you choose, you can limit purchases to items available in the local community.

Items with charges may be purchased at half cost, with half the normal number of charges.

Found Equipment: Equipment found during the course of an adventure may be used in that adventure. At the end of the adventure, if the character wishes to retain this equipment, she must pay for it out of her wealth. This is one way that characters can acquire new magic items away from a population center.

Replacing Equipment: The normal Wealth rules let characters freely rearrange their equipment between adventures. If you wish to limit the replacement of existing equipment, treat the new equipment as a expense, but give the character a discount equal to half the value of the replaced equipment.

Created Items: In this Wealth system, the cost of item creation are handled abstractly. Instead of the usual XP, gp and time costs, a character gets a 50% discount on any item that she has the necessary skills or feats to create herself. This discount also applies to the expense of replacing used items at the end of the adventure.

For magic items, the character must know the necessary feats and spells to craft the item. For craft skills, the character's skill bonus must be greater than or equal to the item's DC – 10. For example, to craft a longsword (DC 15), the character would need a Craft (weaponsmithing) skill bonus of +5.

If a character gains the ability to craft an item that she already owns, she gets the discount on her existing equipment as well. This represents the additional income earned from crafting items, and keeps the character consistent.

Learning Wizard Spells: As per the core rules, wizards learn 2 spells per level for free. For specialist wizards, one of these spells must be in their specialty school.

Additional wizard spells are possessions, and must be purchased with wealth, at a cost of 150 gp per spell level. This includes the cost of purchasing the spell and writing the spell into the wizard's spell book. A wizard with a blessed book only pays 50 gp per spell level for up to 1000 levels of new spells.

If a wizard loses his spell book, he can replace the lost spells as an expense, as with other equipment. The wizards recover their "free" spells immediately, and the others are replaced at their normal cost.

Expendable Items: A character's equipment may include expendable items like potions, scrolls and wands. Replacing used items at the end of an adventure is an expense.

Wands and other charged items can be recharged, at cost equal to the percentage value of the item being recharge. To add 1 charge to a wand costs 2% of the original value of the wand.

The character may chose not to replace or recharge an expendable item, perhaps acquiring different equipment instead. Any charged items must be maintained at 50% of their normal charge level. For example, a character must keep all of his wands at 25 charges or replace them with something else.

Permanent Effects: If an expendable item has a permanent effect, it counts as equipment for as long as the character enjoys that effect. A character benefiting from a manual of bodily health +2 would count its value (55000 gp) towards his equipment costs, even though the book itself vanishes after being read. Similarly, money spent to acquire companions like familiars count as permanent equipment.

Spells that are permanent or made permanent with the permanency spell should be purchased as equipment, with a cost equal to the spell's material components plus 5 times the XP cost. For example, a permanent arcane sight would cost 7500 gp. If the character is capable of casting the permanency spell himself, the "half cost" rule for created items applies. This cost is in place of the normal XP cost of the spell.

If the permanent benefit is lost or dispelled, it can be replaced as an expense, just as lost equipment.

Behind the Curtains

The primary motive for the Wealth Rules is game balance. The amount of equipment characters have is a major factor in how powerful they are. Under these rules, character that has advanced to a given level during play will be equivalent to new character created above 1st level.

Under normal conditions, these rules dramatically simplify bookkeeping as well. Provided that characters are reasonably frugal with their expenses, their equipment will equal their experience total. The more complicated Wealth rules only come into play when characters waste money or suffer from some disaster. Even then, the character can recover over time with a bit of care.

Many mundane activities are no longer necessary under these rules. You don't need to keep track of every copper spent on food and lodging. You don't need to make long lists of treasure, or gather every scrap of equipment from a fallen foe. Your adventures can focus on the fun stuff: heroics, defeating enemies and accomplishing great deeds.

These rules assume that your characters are primarily adventurers, and that their main source of income is adventuring. That is why expenses and Wealth increases are based on "adventures" rather than some period of time. It also assumes that magic is relatively plentiful, and characters have little difficulty acquiring magical equipment.

To better justify these rules, you may want to assume that major magic items are keyed to their owner, and can't be used by anyone else. Magical energy can be recycled, however, to create or improve other items. Therefore, most magical loot will be sold to finance the improvement of a character's existing items.