The Flanaess Campaign
Note: The following information is a comprehensive set of rules and guidelines on how I like to run a d20 Fantasy game. This document is large and unwieldy. As a result, you are not required to read it word for word, but should be used as a system reference. However, reading it word for word will not hurt. These rules and guidelines are subject to change and are not set in stone; and may be changed as I see fit. In addition, I use the term “D&D” all throughout this document. D&D is a general term I use to refer to the game in general, not the specific WIzards of the Coast product. Furthermore, all dice rolling at character creation and leveling up must be rolled in the presence of the GM (e.g. HD, ability scores etc.). Any punctuation, grammar, and spelling errors you find please let me know so that I can correct the problem. The rules and guidelines are here to set forth, but are not limited to:
• I use D&D 3.0, 3.5, and Pathfinder in combination. Ways that I specifically combine the versions together are listed below.
• Races: Pathfinder. Any race you would like to play from 3.0 or 3.5 is also available, but subject to GM approval.
• Base Classes & Prestige Classes: Pathfinder. Any class and prestige class you would like to play from 3.0 or 3.5 is also available, but subject to GM approval.
• Skills: See skills below.
• Feats: Any feat is available. However, generally the most updated feat takes precedence. For example, Cleave is a feat that exists in all versions of the game. So generally the Pathfinder version would be the feat taken. There are, however, exceptions to this rule at the GMs discretion.
• Equipment, magic items, & magic item creation: Pathfinder. All equipment and magic items are available from the other versions, but subject to GM approval. Magic item creation rules use Pathfinder strictly.
• Core rules: 3.5. There are, however, exceptions to this, but subject to GM approval.
• Spells: Pathfinder. Any spells you would like to play from 3.0 or 3.5 is also available, but subject to GM approval. There are glaring exceptions to this rule. For example, Wall of Force I use 3.5 version.
• I encourage role playing while playing your characters. This after all, is the premise of playing a role playing game isn’t it? ‘’D&D is a Role playing game not a Roll playing game.’’ You will find the game more intriguing and interesting. You however, do not have to play this way, I only encourage it.
• Please avoid “min-maxing” your character and “meta-gaming”. These elements detract from a games fun factor significantly. Adding character flavor is a fun way to play any role playing game. Play your character as if you were those characters. This makes the game a fun and exciting experience. Note on meta-gaming: In general meta-gaming is considered cheating. Please do not do it.
• Do not try to break my game. In the infamous words of Will, “If you try to break my game I will break you.” Have you ever heard of a CR 25 Undead Rat Swarm—you will!
• Unless the GM says otherwise, your characters starting level is two.
• Please come up with a brief history for your character and share it with you GM. For example, what land is your character from? How does your character know the other PCs, if at all? What were your characters parents like? Where are they now? Why is your character adventuring? What are your characters aspirations, incentives, motives, goals, what drives your character? Why is your character the way he or she is? These are just guidelines to help you think of a history for your character.
• New players coming into a game after it has already started will begin at an ECL of no lower than two levels behind the highest leveled PC. For example, suppose the entire party is at level five and a new player wants to join the game. Her PC would start at level three. With the self-correcting nature of the experience point system, the PC will soon catch up to the rest of the party in levels (or as the GM deems appropriate).
• Roll 4d6 discarding the lowest die (you may re-role the lowest die, but if you do so you must keep whatever turns up and then discard the next lowest). You may produce three ability score arrays in this manner. Once you begin rolling for your ability scores however, you must finish all six of them before re-rolling.
• The GM must be present when you do this.
Races & Templates:
• You may play any race you want (this includes most monsters and templates) However, I must approve it before it enters play.
• With this privilege of being able to play any race you want comes the added possibility of being persecuted by NPCs. For example, if you are playing a monster-based race the towns’ people will most likely shun you and even may attempt to attack you simply based off your looks and the connotations of having a monster running around in a town.
• Do not let high level adjustments dissuade you from choosing a race you want to play. I believe very strongly in a game of imagination such as D&D where players should be able to play any character they want. I provide several options to players concerning level adjustments. Please ask me concerning your options for playing PCs with level adjustments.
• If you want to play any of the following races or templates you must consult me first:
• Feral Template
• Saint Template
• Half-Minotaur Template
• Vampire Template: dfsdfad
• The act of multi-classing or prestige-classing will be role played out during game play (in game) unless the GM deems it unnecessary. For example, a wizard wishes to prestige class into a Mage of the Arcane Order. This would be role played out by the wizard joining the Arcane Order.
• Artificer (Ebberron: Campaign Setting Pg. 30): Add the following feats: Create Portal (Stronghold Builder Guide Pg.), Craft Construct (MM Pg.), Graft Flesh (Lords of Madness Pg.), Craft Contingent Spell (Complete Arcane Pg. 77 & 139), & Dragoncrafter (Draconomicon Pg.).
• Psion: Psions are not allowed.
• Warlocks: Warlocks are not allowed. There are exceptions to this rule. Consult with the GM for exceptions.
• Gunslingers: Gunslingers are not allowed. There are exceptions to this rule. Consult with the GM for exceptions.
• I use a combination of Pathfinder & D&D 3.5 skill set. The skill set is as follows: Acrobatics (Dex) (includes Balance & Tumble, trained), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha) (includes Gather Information), Disable Device (Int) (includes Open Lock), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Fly (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Int), Linguistics (Int) (includes Decipher Script & Forgery), Listen (Wis), Perception (Wis) (includes Spot & Search), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak/Read/Write Languages, Spellcraft (Int) Stealth (Dex) (includes Hide & Move Silently), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Use Magic Device (Cha), & Use Rope (Dex).
• For each skill description I use Players Handbook 3.5 with the following exceptions (For all exceptions I use Pathfinder Core Rulebook): Concentration, Craft, Fly, Heal, Knowledge’s, & Spellcraft.
• New Feats:
• Critical Attack (General)
You have learned to score critical hits on unusual creature types.
Prerequisite: Weapon Focus (with the weapon used to perform this feat)
Benefit: Choose one type of creature that is normally immune to critical hits (construct, elemental, ooze, plant, or undead). You can now score critical hits against that type of creature. This also allows you to use abilities and actions that only work against creatures subject to critical hits, such as Coup de Grace, Sneak Attack, the ranger’s Favored Enemy damage bonus, and precision based damage.
Special: If you choose constructs, you can also score critical hits against inanimate objects. This also allows you to use abilities and actions that only work against creatures subject to critical hits, such as Coup de Grace, Sneak Attack, the ranger’s Favored Enemy damage bonus, and precision based damage.
A construct, object, or undead need never make a Fortitude save to survive a coup-de-grace.
Normal: Without this feat, critical hits against the five creature types listed above is not possible (with few exceptions).
• If the PCs begin at level three starting gold is 900gp. Any starting level after three PCs will receive starting gold in the amount of two levels lower than their starting level according to table 5-1 character wealth by level pg. 135 DMG. For example, let’s say a PC begins at level 5. Starting gold would be 2,700gp.
• It may be advantageous to create a list of gear you are interested in purchasing before the games starts.
• You do not have to declare your alignment to me. How you play your character shapes his or her alignment throughout the game. You are not limited by your alignment.
• Please stay in character, however, this lack of alignment declaration does not mean a PC can do whatever they want. For example, if your character is somewhat chaotic in his or her decisions that character should stay constant with being chaotic. Yes, chaos does have order.
• Exceptions: If you are going to play a class that requires a certain alignment your character must act accordingly before he or she can enter the class. If you are going to play, or are playing a character that requires a “code of conduct” or some other form of demeanor that is directly related to the alignment required for the class, (e.g. Paladin) you must declare your alignment to me. If at any time I need to determine your alignment (e.g. overcoming damage reduction) you and I will discuss what your appropriate alignment should be.
• Alignment is one of those things in D&D that is very subjective. Every player views alignment slightly different. Therefore, if you and I disagree on what your alignment is, the GM has the final word. Always!
• I request that parties remain within range of each other’s alignment to avoid intra-party catastrophe. For example, a PC killing her companions while they are sleeping. I pride myself on running a very open game and will allow PCs to have opposite alignments within the same party. The players must however, come up with a way for the situation to work (e.g. PC background etc.) and I do not advise it.
• I award experience points based off your characters ability to overcome encounters. Therefore, if your character successfully sneaks around the giant, for example, rather than killing it, your character is awarded the same amount of experience as if he or she killed it.
• Often times it is far easier to escape from the red dragon rather than killing it—so you may not receive the same amount of experience points as you would have for killing it, but you will receive a fair amount based off GM discretion. Each situation is different and the GM will award PCs experience points as he see fit.
• Experience point delivery is subject to the GM and will vary with each situation. Be forewarned, avoid thinking the GM owes you experience points for something because he awarded you or someone else for the same thing or simply you believe the GM just owe you experience points; not necessarily.
Hero Points (aka Action Points):
• Action points are used by the GM as a way to reward PCs without having to give EXP as a reward. Rules for action points can be found on pg. 322 of Advanced Players Guide (APG). The following are exceptions to those rules.
• The inspiration effect is replaced by reroll HD (see below).
• Reroll HD: This use of action points replaces the inspiration effect. One action point can be spent to reroll any HD when a PC levels. If the reroll is not satisfactory to the player she may spend double the action points previously spent to reroll the HD. For example, Max spends an action point to reroll his HD after leveling to level 10. The result is a one. He then spends two action points to reroll. The result is an 8.
• All D&D (3.0 & 3.5) and Pathfinder books are available to you during game play.
• Forbidden books: You are not to look through the following books during game play: MM, MM2, MM3, MM4, MM5, Fiend Folio, Forgotten Realms – Monsters of Faerun, Eberron –Monsters of Eberron, any other relevant books containing monsters, and the book of the campaign setting I am using.
• Some PCs may look through the forbidden books during game play for the purpose of spells & spell-like abilities. For example, spells that summon creatures from the forbidden books. Looking through the forbidden books for any other purpose is considered cheating.
• Note on Unearthed Arcana: PCs may choose one flaw from this book and no more. If you wish to use additional information from this book you must consult the GM.
• In the case that a player does not show up for game, I will make up some story dialog explaining why the PC is not in the game. Most likely we will not need to play the missing character, but this will not always be the case.
• Moreover, the players missing PC will not rise in ECL should the rest of the party advance in level during the missed game session. Players that miss more than one game session will never fall more than two ECL’s behind the highest leveled PC in the party. Thankfully, the lower level PCs will eventually catch up to the rest of the party in levels (see subheading, “Beginning Characters” of this document for more information).
• Additionally, missing players will not receive action points.
Calendar (times, dates, and seasons):
• PCs will be able to tell time based off the sun and stars requiring no skill checks. I will tell the PCs about what time it is within the hour. If any of these things are not visible, time telling becomes more difficult and a more approximate time will be given when asked. For example, if the PCs are in a dungeon.
• Years, centuries, and millennia passing through time will be referred to as ages. For example, 1st age, 2nd age, 3rd age etc.
• For in game calendar I use the Forgotten Realms calendar (Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting Pg. 77).
• December through February is considered winter, March through May is considered spring, June through August is considered summer, and September through November is considered fall. Instead of telling you what month it is I will tell you how early or late you are in the seasons. For example, if it is April I would say, “It’s the middle of spring.” Or if it is Dec. I would say, “It is early winter.”
• Rolling for HP (at first level or subsequent levels) the GM must be present.
• Anytime a PC rolls for HP (at first level or subsequent levels) I will also roll for your characters HP. You will have the option to take your own roll or mine. However, you will not know the number I rolled.
• You may not spend action points to modify the number I roll should you choose my roll.
• During game play it is not impossible for PCs to run into adversaries too powerful for them, however, PCs will never have this happen to them without proper warning. Sometimes I will give PCs some vague idea of the CR they are faced with by describing how the PC might feel around the encounter. However, this feeling only means that there is potential danger and may not always result in overly powerful encounters. This way PCs should know full well the potential danger of the situation. Sometimes these warnings may come from NPCs, other times I may ask you to make specific skill or ability checks to see the amount of knowledge and/or experience one may have that would result in a better understanding of the situation in question. For example, if the PCs find themselves traveling through an obscure swamp and they run into an old hermit who warns them of a black worm in the area and the PCs are not sure if they can defeat this foe, it is a good idea to stay away.
• Knowing when to run and when to fight is your responsibility. So choose your battles carefully. It is not my fault that you made bad decisions. And remember, if you find yourself in a bad situation, you can always run.
• I use 3.5 cosmology wheel and gods. Any questions about the cosmology (i.e origins, avatars, history etc) please ask the GM or see Campaign Setting.
CMB & CMD:
• The rules for CMB & CMD are exactly as they are written in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook with the following one exception:
• CMD: Replace the stagnant 10 # with a d20 role. For example, on page 199 of the Pathfinder Core Rulebook CMD is displayed as follows: CMD = 10 + BAB + Str. mod. + Dex mod. + size mod. This formula should be changed to: CMD = d20 + BAB + Str. mod. + Dex mod. + size mod.
• Grappling rules: The rules for grappling are exactly as they are written in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook with the following exceptions:
• Tie up with rope/manacling: At any time during a grapple the attacker may attempt to restrain her opponent with either rope or another restraint device. To restrain an opponent – whether the attacker is grappling or pinning, or using rope or something else – make opposed CMB/CMD checks. Apply the appropriate penalties (see below) to the attackers CMB check and, if applicable, to her Use Rope skill check. If the attacker is using rope she may make a Use Rope skill check as a free action after the CMB check (although the Use Rope check does not need to be made until the restrained opponent tries to escape the bonds).
To restrain an opponent with rope follow these rules: Follow the Use Rope skill found on pg. 86 of the 3.5 Dungeons and Dragons Players Handbook. Restraining a grappled opponent incurs a -4 penalty to the attackers CMB check and a -20 penalty to Use Rope Skill check because it is difficult to tie an opponent up while engaged in a grapple. Restraining a pinned opponent incurs a -2 penalty to the attackers CMB check and a -10 penalty to Use Rope Skill check.
To restrain an opponent with something other than rope follow these rules: Restraining a grappled opponent incurs a -2 penalty to the attackers CMB check. Restraining a pinned opponent incurs a -1 penalty to the attackers CMB check.
If at any time another character aids in restraining the grappled or pinned opponent reduce the attackers CMB penalty by 2 (to a minimum of +0).
• Attacking with a one handed weapon: Attacking with a one handed weapon is difficult and doing so incurs a -4 penalty on to the attackers CMB check & attack checks.
• Bags of Holding: Bags of Holding cost half as much as the normal listed price. This is because I lack concern for the rules on weight.
• XP costs: There are no XP costs as per the rules in Pathfinder.
• Material Components: All of the rules for material components are as they are written in the Core Rule book with the following exceptions: PCs are not required to purchase costly material components ahead of time. If a costly material component is required for a spell or spell like ability, all the PC must have is the proper amount of gold to purchase the component at the time it is needed. PCs may not barrow money for this purpose. They must have the appropriate amount at the time it is needed. There are some exceptions to this rule as the GM deems necessary.
• Favored Class: Favored class options are available for every class taken. You are not limited to one favored class. This is set forth as a way to encourage multi-classing.
• Libraries: Libraries allow a PC to make a knowledge skill check they have made and failed this level. In addition, the library may give the PCs a bonus on certain knowledge checks based on what books are in the library.
• Death: At the time a PC dies, his or her spirit exits the body and is immediately transported to the “Demi-plane of Choice”. Its traits consist of normal gravity, flowing time (time moves much slower here than on the material plane), and is finite. The PC is immediately confronted with two wooden doors. One to the right and one to the left. This is the expanse of this plane. The only portal to this plane is through death.
• The door to the PCs right takes the PCs spirit to the Ethereal plane at which point the PC takes on the “Ghost Template” or some other similar template and becomes a ghost for the remainder of his or her days or until he or she is brought back from the dead. For further information see the book “Ghostwalk” page 10. After the ghost manifests (MM page 118) he or she then chooses some body part on his or her original body (e.g. a finger, arm etc.) in which he or she can now move in a 40 foot radius around that body part, whether the body part is still attached to the body or not. If at any point the body part is ever destroyed, the ghost is then automatically transported back to the resting grounds where his or her original body lies and then designates another part of the body to be the moving focal point.
• Everything as stated in the D&D 3.5 MM concerning the Ghost Template is the same excepts as noted here: PC ghosts whose hp are reduced to 0 are destroyed.
• The door to the PC’s left leads to death as is stated in the rules.
• For PC’s that are not brought back to life by their companions and the PC that is dead decides to take the door on his or her left and wants to be brought back to life, fate will force the body to be brought back to life by some means.
• All of the rules for bringing a PC or creature back to life are the same as stated in the Core Rule book except as noted here: The material component (diamond) needed for the spells, Raise Dead and Resurrection are at a much lower cost than normal. Raise Dead material component costs 1,000gp. Resurrection material component costs 5,000gp.
• PCs that die of old age do not go to the “Demi-plane of Choice”.
• In the world of D&D and Pathfinder there are many dangerous and perilous obstacles PCs can run into. As a result, PCs may die. Remember, because your PC is adventuring his or her chance of dying is greatly enhanced; so don’t get all upset if your PC dies.
• Commenting on death, the Dungeon Masters Guide reads, “It happens. Adventuring is a high risk enterprise. Characters in your campaign will die, sometimes because they were reckless and sometimes because luck was against them.”
• Turns: Be sure to have your turns planned out before your turn comes around.
• Spells: In order to cast a spell you must have the spells description in front of you.
• Gm style: My style of gming is less concerned with moving the game forward and more focused on looking up, and learning the rules, and running an open game where the players have many options with many books to access. However, this style of gming further has the potential to slow game speed down. I will do everything in my power to keep the game running smooth and fast. Furthermore, I will make more GM calls to move the game on faster. In addition, I encourage using computers and smartphones to enhance your gaming experience. As long as everyone is having fun and not bored and/or not having fun I have no problem engaging in small debates.
• In addition, I will most likely designate individuals to help me look up rules as I see fit.
Notes on Campaign Setting:
• While there will be an overarching story arc I will provide many episodic quests that may or may not have anything to do with the main saga. For example, the party may find themselves in a tavern overhearing the local talk. One commoner may mention to the bar keep that his daughter has been recently kidnapped by a band of Orcs. Please resist the urge to think that the GM is batting the PCs into taking the quest or that he wants the PCs to rescue the kidnapped daughter. You will find quests of this nature pervasive throughout the campaign. The quest may simply be a side mission where the PCs can have a little more adventure, campaign flavor, & treasure. Nothing more.