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 Post subject: General Rules and Character Creation
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:50 pm 
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Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:23 pm
Posts: 7582
somewhere in the aether
This Forum is for the General rules, Character Creation and Background for this Ravenloft adventure. Please feel free to ask any questions (preferably after reading the sections below).

I know there is a lot of information here, so you may want to skim through and look at only the parts that pertain to your character… and the basic rules. Some of this information is repeated from the Game Recruitment forum under the Ravenloft posting.

Interested players need not have any prior experience with the 'Demiplane of Dread'. For those not already familiar with it, here goes:

Ravenloft is a Gothic Fantasy style campaign setting. It is not a true plane of it's own, more of a splintered assemblage of Domains tenuously held together by mystical powers. The common theme is fear, dread and even madness! Think of old black and white horror movies and you won't be far off.

Mood is king in Ravenloft. It encourages rich interaction and provokes more than the somewhat bland traditional response.

This will be a 2nd Ed AD&D campaign for 4-7 players
Most things will follow the Player Handbook (which can be legally accessed below, along with many supplements).

Exceptions are listed in other posts below.

Characters will start around level 3 (with 5k xp, so some may be higher or lower based on xp req.)
Most of the pcs will start outside of, then transition into Ravenloft.
I will roll a small chance for each pc to have already been adventuring in Ravenloft for a bit. Those pcs who have will retain a certain amount of knowledge about the demi-plane in general.

Characters can be 'from' almost any world/land on the Prime Material Plane. Krynn, Greyhawk, etc.

I will start with the General rules, then add a separate post for the more specific.

 Post subject: Re: General Rules and Character Creation
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 1:11 pm 
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Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:23 pm
Posts: 7582
somewhere in the aether
I borrowed (stole) some of the custom rules ideas from JadedDM on this site… with his permission of course. Many of his rules are actually very close to how I used to run games, and I can tell he has worked out several kinks that I never ran across/figured a solution to/stopped being lazy enough to fix. I would like to give credit to Jaded for this before I get started (and to keep anyone from teasing me about it later ☺ although good-natured teasing is always fine). Obviously if you have any questions about specifics just ask.

Rules Specific to this campaign/setting:
I will cover these in my next post

General Rules:

Character Generation (choose one)
Method I: 3d6 in order… JUST KIDDING!!! (I think that would almost count as cruel and unusual…)

Custom Method: roll 3d6 9 times. Keep any 6 sets. They don’t have to be the highest if you don’t want them to be ☺. You can then choose to add 1 (and only 1) point to up to any 3 stats, but you must subtract 1 point from an equal number of other stats. No +/- 2s or 3s.

Racial adjustments can bring a score up to 19, but not below 3 and can be stacked with a previous +1. No starting scores of 20. Ever.

Bob wants an elf wiz with a high Dex for the AC bonus. He added a point to his roll of 17 for Dex in order to get an 18 prior to the racial adjustment. He then subtracted a point from another stat to balance it. Unfortunately, his con is 3 (I hope he doesn’t plan on getting hit much…) Becoming an elf would bring his Dex up to 19 (no problem), but would drop his con to 2 (yikes); thus it is not allowed…

Bob must choose to add a point to Con in order to bring it to 4, so that after he makes his character an elf, the total Con score will be 3. I don’t anticipate this problem ever happening though. The statistics of this roll method make it almost impossible to end up with a 3 in the first place…

Overall Bob chose to apply a +1 to both his Dex and Con scores, meaning he must choose any two other stats to apply a -1 penalty to. He does not have to add 3 +1s, and could easily choose to add 1 or none. For every +1 he applies he must apply a -1.

Use Invisible caste to roll base stats and link to all 9 rolls. Then let me know what your stats are after the adjustments (choose your 6, apply your adjustments and racial modifiers and just let me know the end result)

No race restrictions for ability scores (you don’t need 8 Cha to play an elf). Likewise there are no level caps for different races. I don’t really do class restrictions for races, but if it is an unusual combination I will ask you to give some reasoning. A Dwarven ranger might want to take the mountains or underground as his primary terrain, but will not be forced to if he wants to choose the forest and can give some character background to support it.

Rerolling Ability Scores
I really don’t think any re-rolls will be necessary with the above system. If the gods of die-rolling lay a curse upon you and give you crap (total points of max 6 sets <=55) then you may go ahead and re-roll it as if that had never happened. You don’t have to, though. Keeping rough stat rolls and role-playing through it is something admire. It makes the characters come to life more.

Roll for height. Age and Weight can be chosen within the starting limits. The reasoning here is that a person cannot choose how tall they are, but they can choose how old they are when they start adventuring and can adjust weight with diet/exercise.

Create a physical/behavioral description of your character, along with a background history. At the very least include their reason for adventuring and any significant tragedies/successes in their life.

I use NWPs instead of Secondary Skills. High Intelligence scores give you both the number of languages and bonus NWP slots. You cannot trade a language for another NWP.

Example: A character with an Int of 16 gets to learn 5 languages and picks up 5 NWP points. These can be spent on ancient languages and the like. A character could not sacrifice a language to gain an extra NWP (i.e. taking only 4 languages to get 6 NWP slots is not allowed.)

Starter Spells and Spellbook.
A basic spellbook is free for mages/specialists, but additional ones must be purchased. Bards do not .
A wizard can start with 4 spells, but still has to roll their ’% chance to learn’ for each. A failure to learn a spell frees up that slot again, but the failed spell cannot be re-attempted until another level is gained. (Bob fails to learn magic missile to start, but when he reaches level 2, he can try again.) All wizards start with Read Magic and Detect Magic auto-magically ;). Bards do not.

When a new spell level is reached (spell lvl 2 at char lvl 3 for a mage, or char lvl 4 for a bard as per PHB), the player gets a ‘freebie’ spell from that new spell level without having to roll to learn it. This spell will be selected by the DM (I’ll probably just roll for it) from a list of 3 to 9 spells the player is interested in. Thus if Bob really wants to get Fireball as a freebie, he should make a shorter list that includes Fireball to increase his chances. Even if he doesn’t get it this way, he can still learn it later.

A specialist can decide to select a new spell of their chosen school OR go for a ‘freebie’ from a different school as mentioned.

A wizards uses the max number of spells/level based on Intelligence. ‘freebies’ count towards this total, spells the character researches/invents on their own do not.

Other Stuff
XP and Leveling
XP is earned at the end of the day, once the character has a chance to reflect on their experiences (even subconsciously).
Group stuff includes accomplishing a quest objective together,
Individual awards may include Defeating monsters 1 on 1 for fighters, successful use of thief skills for rogues, successful casting of spells for mages/priests, etc. Basically I use the guidelines from the DMG.
Leveling doesn’t require training, just a good night’s rest.

I typically use individual initiative along with wep/spell/conditional modifiers.

A ranger dual-wielding would tend to hit with their primary weapon first (since the character would favor their primary hand ever so slightly). If the weapon speed of the secondary weapon is quicker or equal to the primary, both attacks happen at once. If the secondary weapon is slower, it is just that small amount later rather than at the end. I can’t for the life of me think of when this would apply, though.

A fighter with multiple attacks due to specialization takes his first normally, and the second at the end of the combat round.

Firing into Melee
Firing into Melee is risky, but I feel that characters will wait and choose their moment carefully to avoid hitting a party member (even evil ones will do this if only to keep from wasting a shot). I don’t like the way the PHB rules are laid out, but the reasoning has merit (everyone is moving around a lot in order to avoid each other’s strikes and to attack) and so there are penalties. Missing due to a penalty will cause the PC to miss wide, and not endanger their allies; except in the case of a fumble. With critical misses, everyone in the area is fair game except the opponent (oddly enough). Penalties are halved when the opponent does not move its body in relation to the PCs (there is still a small penalty because the PCs are still trying to avoid attacks and strike).

Here are the adjustments I will use for a player firing into a melee between a party member and an opponent:
-0 There is no penalty if the opponent is 2 size categories larger than the player (gnome vs ogre).
-1 if the opponent is 1 size category larger.
-2 if they are the same size, or if the opponent is larger and there are 2 party members attacking it.
-4 if the opponent is one size category smaller than the player

Multiple party members engaging in melee (or preparing to backstab) the same opponent will multiply the above penalties to a max of 3x. For example: Bob is out of spells and wants to use his sling to hit the ogre. Three of his party members are engaged in melee with the ogre: A gnome rogue, a human fighter and an elf ranger. Since the ogre is 1 size category larger than both the human fighter and the elven ranger, there is a -1 penalty for each of them. There is no penalty for the gnome since he is 2 size categories smaller. The total penalty for Bob firing at the ogre would be -2. If it were an Orc instead of an ogre the total penalty would be -5 (-2 for the human, -2 for the elf, -1 for the gnome).

Proficiencies and Training:
WPs and NWPs gained upon level advancement must be trained in some way. I will assume your character has been studying up on it for a while and may only need to talk to someone proficient for a few pointers before it ‘clicks’. A player can improve an existing NWP score by spending an additional slot on it. This will amount to a +2 bonus to the ability check and should be noted on the character sheet. Improving an existing NWP requires no training, the character simply gets better.

I won’t force long training times or anything like that. If another party member already has the proficiency, you can pretty much consider this automatic as long as they have the right equipment. (A warrior with the Trident WP trying to teach a Ranger to use one will need to actually have a trident around to show him. If there isn’t one available, the Ranger will have to spend a few minutes playing with a trident once he finds one before the Warrior’s advice sets in) Again, I’ll be reasonable about this. He won’t have to spend an hour playing with his polearm…

If two characters have the same proficiency and want to cooperate on a task, use the higher of the two scores and apply a +2 bonus. A third character will add another +1. No more bonuses will be gained beyond three people. Certain proficiencies may not be adjusted in this way (typically performance-type NWPs).

Basic encumbrance applies. Magic armor has an effective weight 10 lbs less than normal for each + to it’s bonus, to a minimum of ‘weightless’. A +2 set of chainmail would weigh 20 lbs less than regular chain. Shields stay the same, weps are ‘faster’ and have 1/bonus pt less in the speed category to a min of 0.

Spell Components/Familiars (Pretty much stole this straight from JadedDM’s rules… thanks!)
Normal components that are cheap and readily available don’t need to be specified. Expensive, rare or significantly large materials the character must have with them. Examples of necessary components are: a silver mirror, black dragon blood, any component with a gp value listed in the spell description, or a 20 square foot piece of cloth.

General components can be bought from a magic-shop and kept in a 'component bag' that costs 1 gp per spell level to refill (a 1st level mage would need to spend 1 gp, a 3rd level mage would need to spend 3 gp, etc.) The component bag must be refilled between adventures (or once a month, whichever comes first).

A ‘find familiar’ scroll can be purchased from most mage shops in my campaigns for 100gp. I will use the familiars table from the Wizard’s Handbook unless the player specifies a general type/terrain they want their familiar to be from (an extra 25 gp for the scroll). Valid types include: birds, small mammals, reptiles. Valid terrains include: underground, forest, desert. The player is not limited to these, but they need get approval. Don’t ask for a bear familiar, it won’t happen… unless it ends up being a koala maybe…

Weapon Type vs Armor Modifiers
These always made a lot more sense to me than generic AC, and I don’t mind the extra work, so I use them. These are listed in the PHB.

Crits on a d20:
Natural 20 always hits (Crit), natural 1 always misses (Fumble).

Crit: roll your damage twice. A crit scored on a creature unable to be permanently damaged by the weapon may stagger or stun them, but won’t result in actual damage. Obviously this doesn’t apply for noncorporeal creatures and non magic weapons. (John hits the Wight with his normal Warhammer, but needs a silver or better weapon to damage it. He rolls a 20 and crits. The Wight is thrown off balance by the attack and loses his action this round)

Fumble: you miss… badly. Weapons may break, become damaged, embedded in a nearby object (door, wall, floor) or you may hit a nearby ally instead.

[New Info]
Crit Confirmation:
-Another bare d20 is rolled (usually by the DM). Anything except a 1 or 20 confirms the previous roll. A 1 or a 20 has specific results (either mitigating or enhancing the result of the first die).

-A natural 20 followed by a natl 2 is still a critical hit.
-A natl 1 followed by a natl 19 is still a fumble
-A natl 20 followed by a natl 1 still hits, but does not do extra damage
-A natl 1 followed by a natl 20 still misses, but is not a fumble
-A natl 20 followed by a natl 20 does the damage of a crit (roll damage twice, then add modifiers) and stuns the opponent 1 round
-A natl 1 followed by a natl 1 is a severe fumble. 2 results from my secret fumble table apply. This could result in hitting an ally and breaking or dropping the weapon, etc.

Death's Door (slightly modified)
I feel like this is a good rule, particularly for lower level characters who have fewer hitpoints. It has been modified somewhat to help discourage players from taking ridiculously unnecessary risks.

A player goes unconscious at or below 0 HP. If a player is at 5 hps and is struck by a sword for 7, they drop down to -2 HPs right away without stopping at 0. A player will not be dropped below -7 HP in this way for nearly any reason; and only then in extreme circumstances. Once unconscious, the character can make a Con check at half their normal amount, rounded down. If the check is successful, they stabilize themselves and remain at –HPs until aided. If the check is failed, they begin to lose 1 hp per round (bleeding out). A second Con check is allowed at ¼ of their normal amount (rounded down but never below 1) on the third round they would be bleeding out. Again, success means they stabilize and failure means they continue to bleed out until aided.

Once a player reaches -10HP they are dead and must be raised. All it takes to stabilize a character who is bleeding out is for another to spend 1 round to stop the bleeding. No check is necessary. Any healing magic will bring them up to 1 hp. Successful use of a healing proficiency will bring them back up by the number it succeeds by, but not beyond +1 hp.

Example: Bob the elven mage has an abysmal constitution (Con 3), and only 2 hps. He is struck by an enemy sheaf arrow for 8 dmg and goes unconscious. He is now at -6HPs, and rolls a Con check at ½ to stabilize (rounded down from 1.5 this is only 1). He begins to bleed out. At the end of the next round he will be at -7, then -8 at the end of the round after that. At the start of the third round he will get another check at ¼ of his constitution rounded down (this would be 0.75, but the check cannot be below 1 so he rolls for a 1). Again he fails, and continues to bleed out so he ends the round at -9. The party Ranger has the healing NWP and makes a NWP check, beating his needed score by 7 (His NWP score is 14 and he rolls a 7). Bob is not only stabilized, but brought back up to -2HPs.

Terrain affects movement and tracking. The guidelines in the PHB are used.

Supplement Rules
I will allow almost anything from the following handbooks:
Paladin, Ranger, Wizard, Druid, Thief, Bard, Dwarves, Gnomes & Halflings, Elves, Humanoids.
The only major exception to the above is the use of Kits. I do allow kits, but you’ll have to let me know which one you are interested in before I approve it.

No more than 1 kit per character. Multi-class characters can only take specifically multi-class kits, sorry. This means a Fighter/Thief could not take a normal Fighter or Thief kit, but could take a kit described as being only for Fighter/Thieves. Their attentions are too divided by multi-classing to go with a single class kit.

The Complete Fighter's Handbook
Offhand weapon use, kneeling and sitting, range and initiative, ambidexterity, fighting style specialization, martial arts, punching/wrestling specialization, disarming, grabbing, holding, pinning, pulling/tripping, sapping, shield punching and rushing, recovery of temporary damage, darkness modifiers, unstable ground, mounted combat, bone and stone weaponry, high quality racial armor, and piecemeal armor.

The Cure Moderate Wounds spell is available.

Forum/Posting Rules
Present tense with some limited future tense when describing what your character plans to do next (short term plans only please)

Internal monologue is good. It helps me understand the characters, their motivations and desires. A little extra might be good at first as you are establishing your character/getting to know them. I have been guilty of overdoing it for my characters in the past, so I won’t be too hard on anyone with this.

I would like everyone to post at least every 3 days. If your character is waiting on something to happen or information from the DM, don’t worry about this time limit too much. Characters may be temporarily NPC’d after this time and won’t be very active/interesting when not under player control. It would take a significant amount of time before I convert a character to a permanent NPC. More likely they would just drift away from the party. Reclamation is possible, but the character may have spent the time away from the party in enemy prison.

Use Invisible Castle for rolls and link them to the thread.
NEW: Use Unseen Servant for rolls, campaign ID 352

Additional Considerations
One of the main advantages of playing by forum is that characters and their actions can be treated more individually. For instance, the other characters wouldn’t necessarily know if a party member is in grave peril. Suddenly their ‘ninja sense’ starts tingling and their character chooses that exact moment to go check on their friend. I realize that many experienced players can truly keep character knowledge a sacred thing, but the temptation is always there.

I want to try to separate that out without having to build a separate thread for each character, so most things will be public, but I ask you to please do your best to keep character knowledge in mind. For certain things (someone goes on an extended task alone) I may open a new thread; for others (thief finds a small stash without the rest of the party around and I’m not sure he wants to share) I will consider sending a PM and letting the player choose whether or not to divulge the discovery. However, party members may notice if the rogue begins using a new piece of equipment they have never seen before or suddenly has enough money to throw it around like water… People aren’t stupid, and their characters won’t be either.

I’m kind of experimenting with this for now, so let me know if you like/dislike this idea in general.
If anyone has further suggestions about how to keep certain things separate, I’d love to hear them!

 Post subject: Re: General Rules and Character Creation
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 1:25 pm 
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Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:23 pm
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somewhere in the aether
Specific to this campaign
STATS: 3d6 9 times, keep 6 sets, add +1 to any stat (up to 3) but apply -1 to another for each. Detailed in the General Rules post

Any Good or Neutral (except Neutral Evil). Chaotic Neutral might be tricky, but I'll allow it if a player really wants it for a specific reason.

Characters can be 'from' almost any world/land on the Prime Material Plane. Krynn, Greyhawk, etc.

Playable Races (no Race related stat restrictions or class level caps)
Basic races from PHB, Kender, special elf/dwarf types from krynn, etc. Others may be available upon request.

WARNING: Ravenloft is 90%+ human. Many demihumans may face persecution, especially those obviously not human. The game will be made to accommodate anything I approve, but there will still be challenges.

Level and Hit Points:
Characters will start around level 3 (with 5k xp, so some may be higher or lower based on xp req.)
Most of the pcs will start outside of, then transition into Ravenloft.
I will roll a small chance for each pc to have already been adventuring in Ravenloft for a bit. Those pcs who have will retain a certain amount of knowledge about the demi-plane in general.

Max hps for 1st lvl. Roll hit points for additional levels using invisible castle.

Multi-class HPs
In this game I'll have you roll the hps for the class level, then divide by the number of classes you have (as normal) but you record the fractions, they just don't count towards your hps until you get a full one. Kind of like Zelda... everybody has played Zelda, right?

Since the players are starting at level 3, they are considered experienced. As such, there are a few adjustments to the character creation section from the General Rules post. Bards will be lvl 4 (5k xp) and can have a free 50pg spellbook.

Regular starting gold by class, plus one minor magic item (+1 wep, armor, musical instrument or other minor magic item of 500xp value or less). Base cost of the item must be paid out of the starting gold, (if you can’t afford plate, you can’t get +1 plate). If you don't spend all of your magic-item xp you get 25gp/100xp unspent. Note: +1 items cost the full 500xp. +1 armors carry 5% less penalty to each thief skill they negatively affect.

A player can choose to forego the free magic item in order to:
+ Start with an extra 125 gold.
+ (Wizard Only) Obtain a familiar. The DM rolls as normal from the details in the General Rules post, and allows the player to use the general type/terrain guidelines listed there without paying the extra 25gp.

I will provide a list of pre-approved items for this. If you find or are aware of other items that meet the xp criteria, ask about them.

Mage spells:
Slight modification to the guidelines for Starter Spells from the General Rules post since we are starting at 5k xp. Mages can choose 6 spells (at least 5 must be 1st level spells since the mages will have just attained level 3 and be eligible for the 2nd spell level. For the 2nd spell level ‘freebie’; Send me a short list (3-9) spells your character is interested in. I will roll for which of these is your ‘freebie’.

Priest Spells:
I’m going to test out something I have been toying with for some time. The idea of critical hits/failures for Healing… It may not come into play for a while since a priest would have to be character level 5, with access to 3rd level priest spells (see conditions below)

Ravenloft has a strange effect on magic, in particular priestly magic. The barrier between a cleric and his god may be thinner or thicker in different areas of Ravenloft.

roll an un-modified d20. 1=crit failure, 20=crit success.

This would only be applicable for healing spells at least two full spell levels below the caster's max. (i.e. a priest has access to 4th level priest spells so cure lt wounds, cure moderate wounds and Aid would be affected, but not cure serious wounds)

On a 20, add half again as many die to the hps cured (1d4 for each d8 in the spell.)
2-19, no change
On a 1, subtract half (1d4 for each d8)

 Post subject: Magic items frim the DMG
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 2:18 pm 
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Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:23 pm
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somewhere in the aether
Regarding magic items of 500xp value or less from the DMG:

Magic items 500xp and under. One item/type only
Potions and oils, table 89 DMG
Any combination adding up to 500xp or less. No control potions.

Beads of force (200 ea, so max 2)
Dust of traceless (500)
Horn of Fog (400)
Incense of Medit (500)
Keoghtom’s oint (500) 1 jar only found
Lense of detection
Neckl of Missles (100/HD) Dm will custom roll for up to 5 HD of missles. Min 3, max 5
Pearl of pow (200) DM will roll for 1st or 2nd level spell (60/40%). Most recently memorized means those chosen that day (or the day before if none chosen that day).

Ring of sustenance (500)
Wind fan

Weapons/Armor/Musical Instruments. Only 1 item unless otherwise noted
Any basic +1 (the char must pay for the base item. If you can’t afford plate, you can’t get plate +1)
Armor of blending (must pay base armor price)
Arrows of Slaying (250xp ea) you can get 2 arrows, DM rolls for type
Dagger of venom (careful of alignment violations when using this)
Knife, buckle +1 only. No multiples of this one
Magic quarterstaff. +1 only. No multiples
Trident of fish command

Dart of homing +3(note: item description says if the dart misses, it loses it’s magical power…)
Jav of lightning/piercing: 1 only. (act as +2/+6 weps. Only good for 1 throw, then become normal weps)

Not Allowed:
Ioun stones (no stat changing items.)
No split bonus items (dagger+1, +3 vs undead)
Am vs Undead (200/ cleric level. Min is 5th so 1000xp, no go)
Bracers of def (500/lvl. Min is 8 so 1000xp. Not avail
Figurine wondrous
Nolzur’s Marv pigment (500)
Neckl of Prayer bead (500)
Pearl of Wis (500) (no stat changing items.)
Talisman of Sphere (100)

DM: ...did you really just pick up a duck in a dungeon?
Bret the warrior: ...uhh... yeah?...
DM: heavy sigh. Ok. Roll a save vs Death...
Bret the warrior: checks his character sheet Umm... for me or the duck?

 Post subject: Re: General Rules and Character Creation
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 3:47 pm 
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Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:23 pm
Posts: 7582
somewhere in the aether
Here is the addition to the available magic items list drom thw 2e Complete Book of Magic Items:
Sorry for the poor formatting, I pasted it from another file. I only listed items from the book within the 500xp limit

A=Accepted M=Maybe D=Denied

Original DMG
Growth (250) A (dm rolls for # doses)
Healing (200) A
Heroism (300) A
Invis (250) A (dm rolls for # doses)
Invuln (350) A
Lev (250) A
Longevity (500) A
Oil Acid Resist (500) A
Oil Fiery burning (500) A
Oil Slipperiness (400) A
Oil Timeless (500) A
Philter glibness (500) A
Phil Love (200) A
Phil Persuasive (400) A
Poly self (200) A (cost 500xp. 4th lvl spell)
Rainbow Hues (200) A (dm rolls for doses)
Speed (200) A
Super Herois (450) A
Sweet Water (200) A
Ventriloq (200) A (full doses)
Vitality (300) A
Water Breathing (400) A (roll per item description)

ToM and Handbooks
Aroma of Dreams (300) A
Elasticity (300) M. if interested, Ask.
Essence of Darkness (300) A, dm rolls for doses
Master Thievery (500) A
Murdock’s insect ward (200) A
Oil Slickness Thief (350) A dm rolls for doses
Perception (300) A
Plant Health (400) A
Sap of eldest tree (500) A
Sleep breathing (250) A
Starella’s Aphrodisiac (250) A

Ring of Mind Shielding (500) A
Staff of insect swarm (100/charge) M, if interested, Ask

Parchment monster holding (150) A (up to 3 blank sheets)

Herbmaster pouch (500) A
Jar of Preserving (500) A
Pouch of Protection (300-600) A (Barbarian only. dm rolls amt/type)
String Cage (500) M

Eversmoking bottle (500) A

Candle of Ever burning (300) A
Dust of Trail Dispersion (500) A (dm rolls for doses)
Fish Dust (200) A
Powder of Coagulation (500) A (dm rolls for doses. Once/wound only)

Lense of speed reading (500) A
Lorloveim’s obsidian mortar and pestile (500) A

Bountiful Spade (500) A
Seeds of Plenty (200/sack) A (no selling)

Pipes of haunting (400) A

Air Spores (500) N
Globe of Purification (500) A
Globe of Serenity (500) A
Liquid road (500) A

Bone Seed (500) A
Mask of beastliness (500-2k??) A (Raven only)

Scabbard of poison (500) A (beware alignment violations)

DM: ...did you really just pick up a duck in a dungeon?
Bret the warrior: ...uhh... yeah?...
DM: heavy sigh. Ok. Roll a save vs Death...
Bret the warrior: checks his character sheet Umm... for me or the duck?

 Post subject: Re: General Rules and Character Creation
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 3:20 pm 
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Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:23 pm
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somewhere in the aether
Jenara asked me about few things and I think I'm going to allow them (although the cantrip thing is modified)
-Cantrip Non-weapon Proficiency (I'm modifying it's limited to natural arcane casters)
-Crossbow damage

This is mostly copied from her message
Jenara said:
Non-weapon proficiency
Cantrip (wizard group) Modifier: Int -2
Cost: 1 slot (mages), 2 slots (bards, specialists)
A character with the cantrip proficiency has learned enough of the rudiments of magic to conjure minor mystical effects. Anyone may learn cantrips, provided they have been tutored by a wizard, although with their natural intelligence and aptitude for magic, wizards and bards excel in this field.

While all mages learn cantrips as part of their training, many forget the basics once they become fully-fledged mages. Others are too proud (and arrogant) to use such petty magics. When a character tries to cast a cantrip, the player must describe the form he wishes the spell to take, preferably in the form of a short rhyme. In combat, cantrips have a casting time of 2.

A proficiency check is rolled to determine whether the verbal and somatic components have been executed correctly (cantrips do not require material components). A successful check means the cantrip was cast as desired, and a failed check means the cantrip fizzles. A roll of 20 has no additional effect, unless the DM decides otherwise.

Even the simplest spell creates a mental burden, so the number of cantrips a PC can use is limited. All characters may cast four cantrips per day, plus one per wizard or bard level (i.e., nonwizards cannot use more as they advance in level). Each additional cantrip cast beyond this limit inflicts a cumulative -1 penalty on the proficiency check. Failed checks still count against the total.

And lastly, crossbows... In the phb they are pretty awful, in combat and tactics they have been improved...

Crossbows do more damage than indicated in the rulebook, as follows:
Hand crossbow RoF=1/rd, dmg=1d4/1d4, range=2/4/6 (not available to starting PCs)
Light crossbow RoF=1/rd, dmg=1d8/1d8, range=6/12/18
Heavy Crossbow RoF=1/2rd, dmg=1d12/1d12, range=8/16/24

So... you guys should definitely thank Jenara if you use either of these :)

DM: ...did you really just pick up a duck in a dungeon?
Bret the warrior: ...uhh... yeah?...
DM: heavy sigh. Ok. Roll a save vs Death...
Bret the warrior: checks his character sheet Umm... for me or the duck?

 Post subject: Re: General Rules and Character Creation
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 3:50 pm 
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Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:23 pm
Posts: 7582
somewhere in the aether
Details about using the Cantrip proficiency: (it was Dragon Magazine 221)

Optional Rules: Specialist mages and Elementalists do not need to roll checks when performing cantrips pertaining to their specialist school or field of magic. However, they cannot use cantrips of opposing schools. A wizard of 5th level or bard of 8th level or higher need not roll checks—their control of cantrips is complete. These characters can cast an unlimited number of cantrips per day.

School-Specific Cantrips The cantrip spell spans all schools of magic and has a limitless number of uses. However, DMs should determine exactly which school a particular effect belongs to. Specialist mages cast more reliable cantrips in their own school of magic, and bonuses to saving throws may also apply. A list of commonly used cantrips, listed by magical school, follows:

Abjuration Cantrips Abjuration cantrips tend to be practical, often employed by apprentices to clean up rooms, dust shelves, sweep and polish floors, wash or dry clothes, aid the caster’s balance, and warm or cool foods and drinks. Minor wards can also be established (10’ radius maximum) against insects or rodents, or an area can be enchanted to stay cool or warm. The cleaning cantrips may either animate cleaning utensils or create ghostly phantom utensils.

Alteration Cantrips The cantrips of alteration magic represent a wide range of uses, from changing the colors of faded plants or garments, to altering the taste of food, or freshening spoiled food—in these forms they are permanent. Such cantrips can also gather firewood; hide footprints; cut, tie, or untie knots in rope or string,; or brighten and dim lights. Alteration cantrips can also act as rudimentary polymorph spells, able to change insects to rodents or vice versa for up to one turn. Furthermore, they can change vegetable or animal items into others within the same kingdom for one turn or less, depending upon how drastic the change is. The physical shape of small mineral objects can be altered, such as a coin changing to a ring. Such a transformation lasts for one round.

Conjuration and Summoning Cantrips These cantrips can summon tiny creatures: normal insects, rodents, or nonpoisonous spiders, or snakes. Normal items weighing less than one pound can also be conjured permanently; such items may not be worth more than 1 gp and may not be made from any valuable material. Items between one and five pounds in weight can be conjured, but they remain for only one turn before disappearing. Invisible forces can also be conjured to rattle or tap objects or snatch at, tickle or prod unsuspecting creatures. Conjured objects may appear normal, but they are never stronger than balsa wood and break if stressed.

Divination Cantrips Lesser divinations can be performed, such as determining the sex of a creature, discovering whether a door or chest is locked without having to touch it, locating the direction of north (magnetic rocks or nearby magic may cause distortions), divining the presence of magic in a 30’ radius (but not type, direction, or strength), or searching for secret doors. In this latter case, the spell has the same chance of success and takes the same time as the caster would, but leaves the mage free to do other things.

Enchantment and Charm Cantrips Enchanting cantrips can move inanimate objects around slowly and jerkily, as if with a crude form of telekinesis (weight limit 2 lbs.). This may spill liquids, pull items off shelves, or knock over unstable objects (such as brooms or sticks). No damage is inflicted by items used to attack. Charm cantrips affect creatures, and can force targets to wink, nod, scratch, belch, yawn, cough, giggle, sneeze, or perform any other minor, involuntary action. A saving throw vs. spell is applicable; success negates the effect or renders it unnoticeable. Cantrips such as these cannot disrupt concentration, but may prove embarrassing for their victims in diplomatic situations.

Illusion and Phantasm Cantrips These cantrips create false sounds, images, or scents. They can make haunting sounds like moans, chains rattling, footsteps, creaks and eerie bumps, or indistinct muffled sounds. When creating images, illusion cantrips form floating, colored globes of light; alter the facial features of a creature; create illusory furniture, carpets, or bushes in a flat and empty area; or conjure a two-dimensional illusion (invisible from the side or rear). All visual illusions can be dispelled by touch or dispel magic, and they remain only as long as the caster concentrates on them. Any smell created lasts only as long as the caster concentrates, affecting a maximum area of 10 cubic feet. Breezes dissipate the smell, and it may be masked by an overpowering smell, such as a troglodyte’s stench or the carrion odor of a ghast.

Invocation and Evocation. These cantrips can create glowing lights of any color, puffs of smoke, miniature colored flames shooting from the caster’s fingers, crackles of lightning and sparks, or a glowing mystical radiance. They can painfully sting another creature, scorch and destroy paper or wood without flames or heat, or cause harmless but noisy explosions. None of these cantrips can physically damage any but the smallest of targets, though they may ignite combustible materials, frighten animals, and alarm the superstitious.

Necromantic Cantrips Necromantic cantrips foster death and decay. They can make flowers wilt or food spoil. Tiny animals such as rodents or insects may be killed by a necromantic cantrip, or animated as ½ HD undead creatures (no more than 2 HD total per cantrip). Bones may rattle, corpses twitch, or glowing points of light appear in the eyes of skulls or undead. Another necromantic cantrip calls out to undead creatures in a 60’ radius, alerting them to the presence of a necromancer. The undead may respond to this information any way they wish, and the caster does not learn of their presence or absence.

Elemental Cantrips Elementalist wizards may use any form of cantrip, although their favorites concern their chosen element. They cannot cast cantrips concerning their opposing element. Air cantrips include the creation of mists, puffs of smoke, hazes, scents and gusts of wind strong enough to billow robes, dry washing, or disperse unpleasant smells. Earth cantrips create or alter stone, sand, mud, clouds of dust, minor earth tremors, and the growth of stalactites. Fiery cantrips create sparks, warmth, flickering lights (no stronger than torchlight), and can ignite dry undergrowth, paper, campfires or thin sticks. Water cantrips deal with the conjuration of water, thick mist (rain if mist is already present), currents and ripples in water, and small waves. Salt or fresh water may be created, as desired.

Wild Cantrips Wild mages have no specific cantrip effects of their own, apparently because their science is still a young one. It has been observed that roughly 5% of cantrips attempted by wild mages become wild surges (a roll of 20 on the proficiency check).

Bardic Cantrips Bards may use cantrips of all varieties presented here. Their favorites, however, relate to the playing of ghostly music or haunting melodies, imitating the sound of horns and bugles, accompanying percussion sounds (cantrips keep time very well), attracting an individual’s attention from across a crowded room or street, illusions and glowing shapes to enhance acts, and false applause. Of course, any cantrip user may create these effects.

No cantrip can directly damage a living target of size S or larger, although damage may be cause indirectly. For example, a fire may be started by a cantrip spark, objects may fall off shelves onto a victim, etc.

No cantrip can force a creature to lose its concentration when maintaining or casting a spell.

Cantrip effects always allow saving throws vs. spells when they affect a living target directly, and they must also overcome natural magic resistance.

No magical items can be damaged or affected by cantrips, nor can a cantrip dispel or remove another magical spell of 1st level or greater.

No cantrip functions within the confines of a protection from cantrips spell, instead being cancelled with a popping noise. A dispel magic spell automatically cancels any cantrip, as will touching any illusory creation.

A divination cantrip is automatically foiled by any form of misdirection. The DM may further rule that areas of strong background magic warp cantrips, preventing them from functioning correctly.

Cantrips do not function in dead magic zones, and in wild magic zones they are treated as if they were spells of level 0.

If two cantrips from different wizards contest each other (such as two wizards so long. Players can also develop failed wizard characters, those apprentices who using telekinesis on the same object, or one creating a breeze to blow away an illusory scent), the wizard with the highest successful proficiency check wins—as in a psionic contest. In the case of a tie, neither cantrip dominates, and the contest continues into the following round

DM: ...did you really just pick up a duck in a dungeon?
Bret the warrior: ...uhh... yeah?...
DM: heavy sigh. Ok. Roll a save vs Death...
Bret the warrior: checks his character sheet Umm... for me or the duck?

 Post subject: Re: General Rules and Character Creation
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:52 am 
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Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:23 pm
Posts: 7582
somewhere in the aether
Since several of you have been in combat now (such a rowdy bunch!)
I thought I'd add this bit.

A note on ‘obvious damage’:
Barely scratched [90% hps]
Hurt [75% hps]
Hurt badly [50% hps]
Hurt critically [25% hps]
About to die [10% hps]

 Post subject: Re: General Rules and Character Creation
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:38 am 
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Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:23 pm
Posts: 7582
somewhere in the aether
Several, if not all, of you have probably noticed Fear, Horror and Madness checks listed with your saving throws on your character sheets. These are seldom used, but important to include for Ravenloft campaigns. While I give a great deal of detail below for reference, keep in mind most of it won’t be used. The only exception is Horror checks, there are definitely a few things in this campaign that will require them.

Below I will describe some examples of when each might come into play, and how they are to be used in this campaign. Each of these checks is based on class and level like saving throws, with bonuses applied for high wisdom or race.

Fear, Horror and Madness:

Fear Checks:
Fear is a natural thing, and can help keep you alive or from trying something foolhardy. Fear checks are more designed for when that fear reaches an overwhelming level for the character.

I don’t like to force fear checks, and as long as characters are played faithfully to their personalities they won’t be called for. This doesn’t mean you have to jump in fear at every little sound (unless your character is just like that), but a little apprehension hinted at here and there is enough. Even things listed that almost always cause a fear check can likely be avoided if the characters act appropriately.

The only exception to fear checks are ‘unafflicted Kender’, since they are quite practically fearless. There are records of Kender being scared on Krynn, and are specified as ‘afflicted Kender’. There are some Kender tied to a specific domain in Ravenloft, and they are all considered afflicted due to the terrible havoc the lord of that domain wreaked upon them. Keeping all this in mind, fearless doesn’t mean suicidal and a Kender still has a sense of self preservation.

Some examples of things that almost always constitute a fear check are:
-The monster has more hit dice than twice that of the entire party
-The monster do enough damage in a single round to kill the character with the most hit points
-The monster is immune to all of the party’s weapons and spells
-The monster is at least two size-categories larger than the largest member of the party.

Obviously not all of these will be readily apparent to the characters upon first meeting the creature. Once they come out, however, a wisdom check is used to realize just how bad the situation is. Likewise if the threat is perceived to be at the above level, then a creature that does not necessarily have those attributes might provoke a check.

Some examples of things that might cause a fear check:
-Unexpected trap. 2%/pt of damage to require a fear check. Doubled for particularly gruesome ones.
-Sudden Isolation. A party member falls down a narrow chute and ends up alone in a dark cave, unable to see.
-Witnessing something dark and terrible. Cannibals roasting people, vampires feeding on a victim, etc.
-Dark secrets. The party finds itself in a town, then discovers all the residents are evil monsters in disguise.

Lots of modifiers apply to the tables, including whether or not the party can hurt the object of fear, if they have faced it an been victorious (or defeated) before and how long ago, if they have passed or failed a previous fear check for the same thing, if an ally or innocent is in danger, etc. A d20 is rolled against the modified check, and any number equal to or higher than the character’s score passes. 20 always passes, 1 always fails. I.e. Bob’s fear check is 12, he rolls a 14. However, he knows has no way to injure the creature (-4), but his friend is in danger (+2). His total adjusted roll is 12 so he passes and can act normally.

Results of failed checks in order of severity are: (on 1d6+x)
1-Fumble. Drop any held equipment (60-5%/lvl to drop. Still stunned. Items with arm loops don’t count)
2-Gape. The character just stands there and stares, losing action that round.
3-Scream. Draws attention, ruins surprise, no other action that round
4-Stagger. Character tries to back a way but begins to trip. Dex check or drop items held and fall backward. Considered prone.
5-Hide. Convince of certain death, the character tries to hide somewhere
6-Flee. Turn and run away at max movement rate, provoking attacks if applicable
7-Faint. The character passes out from fear, dropping held equipment.
8-Horror check required.
9-Madness check required.

Unless there are additional factors to severity like the character being alone, being at half hps or below, being out of more than half their available spells (Wizards only), or failed a Fear/Horror/Madness check within 24 hrs; only the first six are used (1d6). For each of the above additional factors applied, the range is increased. So if someone had failed a fear check in the last day and was below half their hit points, the roll would be 1d6+2 meaning the least they would do is scream at worst have to make a horror check.

Getting over it:
For the results 1-3, all it takes is deciding to carry on. For results 4-6 it would take about 1 turn (10 mins) to calm the character down enough to continue normally. Fainting characters can be woken up by allies, but will still take 10 minutes to calm down once they awake. Horror, fear and Madness have their own requirements for how long it takes to overcome them

Horror Checks:
Horror is a little different, and much more emotional than Fear. A character may face no direct threat, but the scene might be such that it strikes deep into the psyche and leaves a mental scar. Examples might be:

-Wading through a pool of writhing zombie arms
-Falling 20’ into a dark pit trap and landing on a rotting corpse feeling it squish and splatter your face with ichor
-Watching your dying familiar held in the jaws of a massive beast as it is crushed while it reaches feebly for you (this already happened to Sorbo Sirrom in a dream)
-Seeing a vampire finish draining a close companion (fear and horror might both apply if the vampire sees you).

Some generalizations about class:
-Warriors do better vs scenes of physical violence, less against magic
-Wizards do better vs magical horrors, but worse against physical violence
-Priests do better vs magic and physical violence, but unspeakable blasphemies or the absence of their diety affect them more
-Rogues take many things in stride, but a feeling of complete exposure or inescapable doom would hit them hard

Again there are many modifiers to these checks, and most are similar to those for fear such as allies in danger (+), possessing effective tools against the threat (+), ally killed (-), ally participates in causing the horror willingly (-), etc. Some new modifiers include being of good or lawful alignment (-), being of chaotic or evil alignment (+)

Results of failed checks in order of severity are: (on 1d6+x)
1-Fear. Downgraded to fear check
2-Aversion. Turn and flee for 1 turn. Cannot go back w/in 50’ to that place or one identical for 1 month.
3-Nightmares. Can’t sleep naturally for long periods of time w/o waking up screaming. Physical toll.
4-Revulsion. Like aversion, but more things affect him. Lots of blood? Red wine is reviled, etc
5-Obsession. Nightmares, but during the day can’t stop thinking of it as well. Penalties for distraction.
6-Rage. Must destroy object of horror (similar to berserk). Reverts for similar scenes, checked at penalty
7-Mental Shock. Stunned beyond action, even if attacked repeatedly. Basically catatonic.
8-Fascination. Similar to obsession, but begins to emulate the horror as if trying to make it acceptable.
9-Madness check required.

The same severity modifiers apply as with fear (alone, half hps, half spells for wiz, failed checks last 24h)
Getting over it:
Usually only takes 1 turn (10 min) to act normally again, but the lingering mental effects are still there.

Getting over the longer-term aspects: (times are from latest occurrence)
Aversion- Character confronts the scene mentally, new horror check possible every 2 weeks to recover.
Nightmares/Revulsion/obsession/Rage- Check 1/month to recover.
Shock and Fascination- Check 1/month at -2 penalty

Exceptions: Magic may be used in some cases to help speed the process.

Madness Checks:
Very few occasions call for a Madness check. Something inside snaps, causing a severe mental constraint. Some examples include: A character witnesses the destruction of the rest of the party and stands alone against the danger, a Paladin Ranger or Priest is stripped of special abilities for gross misdeeds, involuntary alignment shift or overwhelming mental transformation, physical transformation beyond normal world (brain transferred to flesh golem, etc). Other instances will be revealed when/if they are encountered in-game.

Madness check modifiers are far fewer than for fear or horror: chaotic alignment (-), lawful alignment (+), horrified by similar scene (-). These are generalizations and not meant to be indicative of any afflictions in the real world, only to convert the hindrances into game terms.

Results of failed checks in order of severity are: (on 1d6+x)
1-Horror. Downgraded to Horror check
2-Depression. Initiates nothing. Fails all saves, +4 vs them, follows high cha ally. +4 to F/H/M checks (doesn’t care)
3-Catatonia. Responds to no external stimuli. Fails all saves, but immune to F/H/M checks.
4-Delusions. Thinks he is something he is not. Player chooses w/approval.
5-Hallucinations. See bugs crawling everywhere, shadows reaching out to get you, trees and rocks talk, etc.
6-Schizophrenia. Sudden violent changes in personality, roll for new alignment shift 1/wk
7-Paranoia. Severe, sees conspiracy, schemes and danger everywhere; including w/in party.
8-Amnesia. Loses a certain amount of memory and, thus, xp.
9-Multiple Personalities. The mind fragments. Complex tables available for number and type of personalities.
10-System Shock. System shock check (based on Con) at -25% or die. A successful save means Con drops permanently by 1 and the hero falls to 0 hps and begins to lose 1 hp/rnd. They then begin to follow the modified death’s door rules. It is almost impossible to roll this result on a madness check.

Severity modifiers include: Wis score of 9 or less, Cha score of 9 or less, Chaotic alignment, Failed F/H/M check in the last 24 hours. System shock is only possible if all four of these apply to the character, and they roll the check very poorly.

Getting over it:
High level Priestly Magic, hypnosis and sanitariums can help. Curing amnesia restores all lost memory and xp. Recovery times are highly variable based on the character and quality of care. Role-playing madness is highly encouraged :D

 Post subject: Re: General Rules and Character Creation
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 9:56 am 
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Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:23 pm
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somewhere in the aether
Speaking Harmonian:
Once your lang check scores are over 25%, I’ll just let it go for normal interactions with people who want to talk to you; making the assumption that they will repeat themselves 3 or 4 times until understood. Your score should be over 20% before you try to respond in Harmonian, unless you are ‘taught’ a phrase by someone else (like Mira or a local). In that case, you would make the check at half the score of the person who taught you the phrase (50% for a local) you can still badly mispronounce stuff :D ]

For times when someone is unwilling to repeat themselves or if you are listening in on conversations and such, you will still need to make a check.

 Post subject: Re: General Rules and Character Creation
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:02 am 
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Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:23 pm
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somewhere in the aether

Con checks:
1 drink/hr no Con check necessary
for each check after the first apply a -1 penalty to check
Failed check means you pass into a greater category of inebriation and penalty resets to 0

Slightly intoxicated: Temporary +1 morale, -1 int, -1 wis. 25% spell failure
Moderately Intoxicated: +2 to morale, -3 to Int, -4 to Wis, -2 Dex, -1 Cha, -1 to Hit, +10% temp Hp. 50% spell failure
Greatly Intoxicated: +3 to morale, -6 to Int, -7 to Wis, -5 Dex, -4 Cha, -5 to Hit, +30% temp Hp. MV halved or dex check to avoid falling. Adjust for things to support self on (walls, tables, etc). 100% spell failure
Comatose:You black out for a certain number of hrs. DM rolls

-Bob (con 3) drinks with Ben (con 15) for 3 hours.
-Bob knows his Con is crap, so only has 1 drink/hr and never has to make a check.
-Ben knows his Con is good so he has 3 drinks/hr. His first hour he makes 2 checks, one without penalty and one at -1. He rolls a 13 and a 4, and passes both, remaining sober... for now
-Ben's 2nd hour he has 3 drinks, one of which doesn't count against him. He makes 2 more checks, one at -2 and another at -3. This time he rolls 7 and 13, failing the second check [15-3=12, rolled 13] and becoming slightly intoxicated.
-His penalty resets to 0 now that he moved up a category.
-Ben's last hour he downs 3 more, checking only twice. Unfortunately his next roll is 16 (pushing him into Moderate Intoxication), then 15 (He passes the last check since he tied his Con score and the penalty reset when he went up to Moderate).

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