House Rules for 3e

Firing into Melee

You can forgo the -4 to hit when firing into melee, but all the characters within 5 feet of your target could be hit if you miss your target.
If the shot misses your target, roll to determine which nearby character might be hit.
Then roll another to hit but do not add any Dex bonus (you are not trying to hit your friend). If this is a hit, your friend takes damage.

The Precise shot means no -4 penalty and no hit friend change (aside from the usual fumble table results).

Natural 1s and Natural 20s

A roll of 1 is not an automatic miss and a roll of 20 is not an automatic hit.
Rather, a roll of 1 is a roll of -10. A +6 to hit means the character just rolled a -4.
A roll of 20 is treated as a 30. A character with a +6 gets a 36 on their to hit roll.
This does not change the Critical Hit Rules. Natural 20s and natural 1s still get rerolls to determine whether they are critical hits or misses.

Moving through occupied squares

You can move through friendly squares but if the friend is attacking that round, either the friend takes -2 to hit for each hit on his next turn OR you stand a chance of getting hit if he misses his opponent on his next turn.
Chance to hit friend if no -2 is taken: If the original to hit roll is not enough to hit the opponent (a miss), but is enough to hit the friend, the friend is hit instead.

Moving and Loading a Crossbow

You can load a light crossbow WHILE you move, if the move does not require the use of hands (scrambling over a fence, climbing a steep hill, etc.). It takes both hands to load the crossbow, whether moving or not.
You cannot move while you load a Heavy Crossbow. There is too much leverage involved.

Looking up Rules during the game

Unless the direct death of a Player Character is involved, looking up a rule during the game will have a one minute maximum look-up time. Once discovered, there will be a 2 minute max debate time if the rule is unlclear.
If the rule cannot be found within one minute and/or if the rule cannot be agreed on within another 2 minutes, I will make a ruling which will be considered to be in effect for that ONE INSTANCE only. We can discuss a permanent ruling or discover the rule we could not find after the session os over and before the next session begins. Sometimes the option will be open to discuss the rule or ruling after the regular game but before the discusees have gone home.

This is both to speed up game play and to keep the game interesting for those who don't really care about the rules.

3.5 Spells

We are now using all of our spells out of the 3.5 Player's Handbook. If you need spell descriptions from 3.5, please let me know and we will work something out.

Bull's Strength

The 3.5 edition version of this spell works better for me. This also applies to the other stat enhancing spells such as Cat's Grace.

Shield Spell

The 3rd edition shield spell and 3.5e shield spell differ quite a bit. The spell is listed below for those that do not have the 3.5 Players Handbook and need to reference it.

Shield (from 3.5e) from Player's Handbook 3.5

Abjuration [Force]
Level: Sor/Wiz1
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: 1 min/level (D)

Shield creates an invisible, tower shield-sized mobile disk of force that hovers in front of you. It negates magic missile attacksdirected at you. The disk also provides a +4 shield bonus to AC. This bonus applies against incorporeal touch attacks, since itis a force effect. The shield has no armor check penalty or arcane spell failure chance. Unlike with a normal towershield, you canít use the shield spell for cover.

Drawing Weapons While in Combat

If a character wishes to draw a weapon (a move-equivalent action) while moving at the same time, this is acceptable. If a character has Quick Draw, they can perform another action while moving (ready a potion, for example) and then draw the weapon as a free action.

Bluff During Combat

We have officially adopted the 3.5 version of this rule as follows:

From Players Handbook v3.5 (p68):
Feinting in Combat: You can also use Bluff to mislead an opponent in melee combat (so that it canít dodge your next attack effectively). To feint, make a Bluff check opposed by your targetís Sense Motive check, but in this case, the target may add its base attack bonus to the roll along with any other applicable modifiers. If your Bluff check result exceeds this special Sense Motive check result, your target is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) for the next melee attack you make against it. This attack must be made on or before your next turn. Feinting in this way against a nonhumanoid is difficult because itís harder to read a strange creatureís body language; you take a Ė4 penalty on your Bluff check. Against a creature of animal Intelligence (1 or 2) itís even harder; you take a Ė8 penalty. Against a nonintelligent creature, itís impossible.
Feinting in combat does not provoke an attack of opportunity.
Retry Restrictions: Generally, a failed Bluff check makes the target too suspicious for a bluffer to try another one in the same circumstances. For feinting in combat, you may retry freely.

Nimbus of Light
Evocation [Light]
This spell is categorized as belonging exclusively to the "Sun" Domain and to any cleric of Pholtus. I have limited it so every cleric of every faith isn't running around with the damn thing. Thus, you have to use one of your "domain" slots to pray for the spell as a cleric of Pholtus or of the "Sun" domain. Suggested by Mark for the ModsQuad Campaign, edited and adapted by Steve, Scott and John in 2005 from "The Complete Divine"
Level: Sun 1, Pholtus 1
Components: V, S, DF
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Personal and Special
Effect: see below
Duration: 1 min./level or until discharged (D)
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: Yes

A glittering corona of sunlight surrounds your body at a few inches distance - until you release it as a focussed blast of divine energy. The nimbus of light glows like a lantern, shedding bright light in a 15-foot radius (and dim light for an additional 15 feet) from you. The side-effect of this spell is that it acts as a Faerie Fire spell upon the caster, nullifying concealment or blur.
As a move action, you can coalesce the energy from the nimbus of light around your outstretched arm, and then as a standard action fling it toward a foe within 30 feet. As a ranged touch attack, the nimbus of light deals 1d8 points of damage, +1 point per round that's elapsed since you cast the spell (max 1d8+caster level damage). Attacking with the nimbus of light ends the spell, whether the energy hits its target or not.

Clarification: There was a question Mark had about using a mirror with this spell. If you looked askew at a mirror and could see a foe in the mirror, you could aim it at said foe just like normal. If you had a mirror in the corner of a 90 degree angle and wanted to blindly fling the spell down the next hallway, you could feasibly target the mirror, but that would simply damage the mirror. If you were to cast at the mirrored surface itself, there is a good chance it would reflect some or all of the damage in some other direction. How's that for vague? We'll deal with this when it happens or when you decide you want to test it.

Blinding Light of Pholtus
Evocation [Light]
originally by James Ward - Greyhawk Adventures 2nd Edition (Converted to 3e Rules by Steve Wilde in 2005
Level: Pholtus 4
Components: V, M, F
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect: 40' radius globe
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Reflex (No Save for Undead)
Spell Resistance: Yes

This spell creates a brilliant flash of golden light, enfused with the power of Pholtus. Undead within the area of affect take 4d8 +* (*the cleric's Charisma bonus) points of damage (no save). All other creatures within or facing the burst must make a Reflex Save vs. the DC of the spell or be blinded for 1d8 rounds and take 1d8 points of Light damage. Those making the save are not blinded but take half the damage. Non-undead creatures without eyes, and those not sensitive to visible light, are not affected at all. A blinding light of Pholtus negates darkness spells within its area provided the spell has a greater Difficulty Class than the darkness spell(s). The material component for this spell is Pholtus' two silvery moons holy symbol and a bead of any clear crystalline substance.

Standing Up From Prone

Standing up from Prone provokes an attack of opportunity. This is apparently a 3.5 rule, but it makes sense, so consider it a House Rule. You can sometimes counter it with the Tumble Skill, however.

Tumble Skill

Additional DCs for Tumble situations:

* DC 15: Start from a prone position, but tumble away from your opponents without standing up first. You will always succeed in Tumbling away (unless you roll a 1) BUT the DC here is to prevent AoO's on you.
* DC 20: Stand up from prone as a move-equivalent action without provoking attacks of opportunity. If you fail, you provoke attacks of opportunity as normal.
* DC 25: Stand up from prone as a free action that provokes attacks of opportunity.
* DC 35: Stand up from prone as a free action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
If you fail, you provoke attacks of opportunity as normal.

Special: If you take the total defense action, you can stand up from prone as a move-equivalent action without provoking attacks of opportunity.

After the first opponent, each subsequent opponent adds +2 cumulative to their check. If you are tumbling through the opponent's space, the opponent adds +5 to their check. If you fail the check, your movement provokes an attack of opportunity from that opponent normally.

Whirlwind Feat

Whirlwind can be used in conjunction with Cleave/Great Cleave. Can be used against anyone in the circle of foes.

Touch Spells in Combat

When you want to use a touch spell on a friend who is in combat, you must make a touch attack on your friend. You use your Dexterity bonus to hit, not your Strength, and if your friend is aware of you and wants you to use the spell, s/he is considered AC 10.

Healing Those Wounded in Combat using the Healing Skill

When a healer decides they want to care for the wounded, it does not take exactly 24 hours for the healer to restore the 2 points/level/day. Instead, the DM will roll 6d6 for each character under the care of the healer and when that many hours have passed, the hit points can then be added back to the character.
Wounded at 12:43 on day one and regaining 10 hit points at 12:44 the next day just doesn't wash for me.

K'Needian Elf Battle Language

The silent battle signal language the K'Needian Elves use cannot be considered a free action, but can be performed while moving, if desired.

Readying an Action

According to the PH on page 134, you can move and still ready an action, if you so choose. Readying is a Standard Action, and Standard Actions can be executed while moving.

Players Not Showing Up For Games

It was decided by email by the lot of us back in September of 1999 that if a player doesn't/can't show up for a game, he should not be penalized for experience. Role-playing experience would of course not be given, but all encounter experience will apply to the characters who participated, whether run by the player of that character, another player, or the DM.
Added Oct. 02/05:This will, of course, mean that the PC can be killed in combat.
Added Oct. 18/05:This House Rule will not apply to the Mods Quad Game, as players are not expected to show up for every game. Mods Quad is meant to be episodic, with each gaming night being a short story in a larger novel. Therefore the characters whose players are there will be the ones involved, and therefore the ones who gain the xp. On the rare occasions when an episode is not completed and must be completed at a later date, then any of the PCs still in the adventure will earn experience and risk death as stated above.

The Shield Spell

As per errata for the 3e Player's Handbook:

"Shield Spell: WotC's Sean Reynolds reveals changes to the wizard/sorcererspell, shield. Errata: the shield spell provides a cover bonus, but does notactually provide cover. It's too powerful at 1st level if it actually providescover."

Thus, it does not negate AoOs.

Mist Cloud Spell

The K'Needian elf innate ability obscurring mist does not cancel magical darkness.


When a character is reincarnated, the spell causes the spirit to fly to the nearest dead human, demi-human or humanoid body and enter it, reanimating it. If there are several suitable bodies nearby, the spell forces the spirit into the one in the best shape.

This is in direct opposition to the official text in the spell description, but it makes no sense for a spell that is powerful enough to form an entirely new body out of nothing to not just be a resurrection spell. Note that the DM has custom tables for the reincarnate, so don't expect book results!

Mage Armor and Shield

Although both of these spells are "force" type spells, the mage armor is an "Armor" type of spell and shield is a Deflection type of spell.
A Mage Armor spell will therefore stack with a Shield spell, just as a suit of leather armor would stack with a wooden shield.
A Mage Armor spell will NOT stack with a suit of chainmail, just as a suit of leather armor would not stack with a suit of chainmail.
Also note that lack of stacking does not mean that a spell does not function. Even if a character is using a wooden shield and casts a non-stacking shield spell, the spell is still in effect and the +7 Deflection bonus to AC applies. The wooden shield is basically useless for protection from missile attacks for the duration pf the spell (i.e. if the missile attack was good enough to get past the magic shield, it fooled your ass too).

Errata Explained

  • Page Number 35 - Problem:   Half-Elven Druid starting package Speed is listed as 30ft, with Hide armour this should be 20ft
  • Page Number 45 - Minor Problem:   Under the Ranger class notes, there is the subtitle Classes, under all other class descriptions this subtitle is Other Classes
  • Page Number 48 - Problem:   Alternative Rogue starting package : The rapier is listed as a small weapon, it should be a medium weapon
  • Page Number 68 - Problem:   Restraint chart: The DC for ropes is binder's Use Rope check at +20 and later The binder gets a special +10 bonus. Fix:   Confirmed by WotC, it should read: The DC for ropes is binder's Use Rope check at +10
  • Page Number 91 (31) - Problem:   On p.31 Grummsh is noted as chaotic evil, among his domains is Chaos. On p.91 Grummsh is noted as being lawful evil, but still has the Chaos domain. Grummsh is Chaotic Evil.
  • Page Number 98 - Problem:   Table 7-4 (Weapons) -- There should be no asterisk (*) next to Pick, Light or Pick, Heavy, as there are no special rules for these weapons.
  • Page Number 125 - Problem:   Attacks of Opportunity "You must make a Concentration check (DC 10 + points of damage taken)"
    This should read DC 10 + points of damage taken + spell level, confirmed on p.65 and p.151
  • Page Number 188 - Problem:   Continual Flame description School: Illusion (Figment) should be School: Evocation (Light)
  • Page Number 190 - Problem:   Dancing Lights description School: Illusion (Figment) should be School: Evocation (Light)
  • Page Number 263 - Problem:   Symbol (Discord) description It should state that a Will save is required to resist
  • Page Number 267 - Problem:   True Strike description Duration: 1 round and within the duration ofthe spell.
    This has been changed to Duration: See text and if it is made before the end of the next round

    Thieves and Traps

    The numbers in the PH are just too silly. Unless I get big flack from you guys on this, I'm going with 1 full minute to search an area for obvious traps or secret doors (instead of 6 seconds). You can do a spot quickly (6 seconds or 1 round) but the DC will be much higher.
    1 Turn to check thoroughly (ie Take 10)
    Taking 20 is just that - 20 minutes.

    Fixed Hit Points

    Instead of rolling your hit points when you reach a new level, you can choose to take the average of the hit die you would roll for that class. You must make the descision before you roll, however. The average for each Hit Die is summarized below:

    ClassHit DieHit Points
    Sorcerers and Wizardsd42
    Bards and Rogues d6 3
    Clerics, Monks and Druids d8 4
    Paladins, Fighters and Rangers d10 5
    Barbarian d12 6

    Adding another class or gaining new feats/abilites/skills

    When adding a new class there must be a logical story/reason for the change. New abilites aren't simply aquired by magic or force of will. A character must train for the new class. Some thought should be put into the new class the character is striving before they reach the next level so some training can be sought.
    The same goes for characters of a class who are about to gain a new ability or a new skill. These abilities must be trained for as well, so the character must search out a trainer, or they do not gain the new abilities.

    Critical Misses

    A natural "1" has the potential to be a critical miss. Roll to hit again, and if you miss your original target's AC, the DM must consult the Tablesmith "Fumble Effects" Table. If you roll a natural "1" a second time, roll a third time against your opponents AC to see if you miss again. If you do, the DM must consult his special Tablesmith "Critical Miss" chart, which generally has more deadly results. Rolling a third "1" in a row is very, very bad, and the Tablesmith "Deadly Misses" chart is used instead.


    Critical Hits

    Just so there is no confusion, here are the rules as they stand forCritical Hits:

    1.When a creature rolls a critical threat (varies by weapon) and then a subsequent roll that would have hit, then the roll is a critical hit and the damage of the weapon is doubled (tripled for some weapons). This is per the officail rules.

    2.When a creature rolls a natural 20 (only) followed by a second natural 20, this become a potential deadly critical. The next roll must be enough to hit the target creature, and if so, the hit is a Deadly Critical. The DM will consult the Tablesmith Deadly Critical Chart, in possession of the DM and not available for review. Note that the usual Critical Hit damage is applied as well as the result on the chart.

    3.When a creature rolls a natural 20 (only) followed by a second natural 20, and then a third natural 20, this is an automatic kill.
    There is is no save.


    Halfling Bards

    In Arcturus' Greyhawk there are halfling bards, unlike what the PH says under the description for bards. They are not even that rare (among the halflings).

    Find Familiar

    When a character calls a familiar, he chooses the one he wants to call (as per the PH). This can be any normal animal the character wants, not simply those in the PH.
    However, if the player plans to try for an animal not listed, he should talk to the DM first to discuss what sort of abilities the new animal familiar should have. These abilities should be similar to the familiars listed.
    Also, if the character wishes to call a "special" familiar, he can try. The cost in materials is the same (100gp) but there is no guarantee that a special familiar will be near, nor is there any control over the type of familiar that will be summoned. Alignments and terrain are factors, as is intelligence. Any wizard the players have ever heard of or talked to who had a special familiar were all very intelligent and had to try quite a few times.
    A character can only try for a special familiar once per game month.

    Official errata: Sor & Wiz levels stack for determining a familiar's abilities.


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