Revision Spotlight
Compiled D&D Revision Spotlight

We know that you're curious, excited, and concerned about what's going on behind the scenes in the preparation of D&D 3.5. The last thing we want is for anyone to lose sleep over this (unless it's because you stayed up too late playing the game). Adequate rest is essential to good health. In an effort to promote healthy gaming, therefore, we're going to present weekly answers to some of the most-asked questions about D&D 3.5.

Our guest physician is Ed Stark, RpD (doctor of roleplaying) and D&D design manager. We'll be talking to Ed a lot over the next few months -- as much as his patience allows.

02/11/03 - Why "3.5" and More

Q: I'm nervous about the label "3.5." It implies that this upgrade will move us halfway toward a completely new version 4.0. Why was this number chosen, as opposed to 3.01 or 3.1?

A: We actually talked about this quite a bit. We feel the changes we're making to the D&D RPG are important enough to warrant the "3.5" label, but not nearly significant enough to be a 4th edition. We also want to send the message that this is an upgrade, not a new edition. Whether we're "halfway" to a new edition, I couldn't say. I will say that I would have a hard time backing any upgrade beyond this that wasn't a new edition. A "3.1" label might imply there could be a bunch more upgrades before 4.0, and we don't want to imply that at all.

Q: Will there be a rebate program for previous owners who buy the new books?

A: Not to my knowledge. Your 3.0 rulebooks should work very well with any support product that is post-3.5, and vice versa. The older books won't be useless, but they won't be perfectly up to date, either; there will be changes. Anyone who wants to investigate the changes before purchasing new books can download the upgraded SRD. You can do that for free.

Q: What will be the new page counts?

A: All three core books will be 320 pages.

Q: Will the books have better bindings?

A: I hope so.

We thought that the books had great bindings to start with, and we were dismayed to hear that the second printing of the PH had lower-quality bindings than the first printing. My books have held up well, and I use them literally every day (and night) as part of my job. Still, we're going to make sure the 3.5 books have the best bindings we possibly can.

02/18/03 - How Easy Will it be to Update Characters

Q: Will existing characters be easily and instantly portable to 3.5 rules?

A: Easily, yes. Instantly -- depends on what you want to do. NPCs and monsters from existing products can be run right out of the original books with few or no changes necessary. They won't be 100% "3.5," but they will be compatible. I just ran an adventure composed entirely of 3.0 monsters, and I was able to convert on the fly.

Players and DMs who want "true precision" probably should spend a few minutes upgrading. I play a 17th-level druid in one game. It took me less than 10 minutes to make every change to the character needed to make him 100% 3.5-compatible. I'm familiar with the revisions, of course, but the druid is one of the classes with the most revisions to it. Considering that, 10 minutes for a 17th-level character isn't rough at all.

Q: Are any spells changing level?

A: Yes, but we tried to keep that to a minimum. If we had a 6th-level spell that was overpowered or underpowered, we felt it would do much less damage to the system to make the spell fit its 6th-level slot rather than move it up or down the list. I think people will be much happier with the way the spells interact. When we did move a spell up or down in level, we tried to fill the gaps with new spells. The new Player's Handbook has even more spells than the old one, if you can believe it.

Q: Will there be any new iconic characters? Will any of the old ones go away?

A: None of the old iconics will go away, but we will have at least one new one. This isn't a huge issue -- we already have more iconics than classes.

Q: Can we see this new character?

A: Here he is courtesy of D&D Art Director Dawn Murin -- Gimble, a gnome bard, by illustrator Wayne Reynolds.

02/25/03 - Influences, Taking 10, and a New Feat

Q: Will skill descriptions state explicitly whether you can take 10 or 20?

A: We took a page from d20 Modern and Star Wars there, but we broadened our approach. The 3.0 rules already state that you can take 10 on skills only when you're not under duress (unless you have a particular character ability). We've made that more clear and provided better examples. So, you can take 10 when riding down a road (on your Ride check, of course) and the ground suddenly becomes very uneven, but you can't take 10 in those same circumstances with goblins firing crossbows at you. As for taking 20, again the rules pretty specifically state when you can and can't take 20. If there's a skill that has a penalty for failure, you can't take 20, since taking 20 means you'd roll every number, 1-20, in two minutes. Other skills have "you know it or you don't" answers, like Knowledge, and you can't take 20 on them, either. Finally, skills that take longer than 1 round to accomplish don't allow you to take 20 (at least, not usually), as taking 20 takes, well, twenty tries, or two minutes.

Q: What other changes in D&D came about as a result of work on d20 Modern and the Star Wars game?

A: We learned a lot from d20 Modern, the Star Wars RPG, and even material published by other d20 companies. You'll definitely notice some d20 Modern "elements" in 3.5, but you'll see places where we diverged, too. Dungeons & Dragons has its own needs in terms of game mechanics. We won't force things together that just don't fit, but we'll take advantage of evolving rules development as much as possible.

Q: That wasn't very specific. Why are you being so stingy with information?

A: Context, development, and delivery. We don't like to give away "teasers" or bits of information that lead to misinformation. When we put up the pit fiend's stats, for example, it turned into a furor as people tried to extrapolate revision elements from the stats. We were prepared to discuss those elements in more detail -- DR will be featured in an upcoming Dragon Magazinearticle, for example, and I've answered other questions involving monster stats.

What we don't want is for people to get upset from drawing incorrect conclusions, from reading someone else's incorrect conclusions, or from seeing material from us that isn't fully developed. Let's face it, folks, we're still working on this. If we could release all the information now, we'd do it in the form of three hardcover books, but we aren't done.

Case in point: Many people noticed that the pit fiend stats had no CR rating. Some of them jumped on that to declare that we're scrapping the Challenge Rating system. In fact, we didn't include a CR because we weren't sure yet what the pit fiend's CR should be. Rather than release the wrong number, we left it off. A few people drew the wrong conclusions and stirred up a firestorm of controversy.

We like to learn from our mistakes. As things get finished, we'll release samples for everyone to examine and comment on, and we'll keep the work-in-progress under wraps.

Q: Anything like that you can let us see right now?

A: Well, here's a new feat, Manyshot, along with the sketch of its illustration.

Manyshot [General]

You can fire multiple arrows as a single attack against a nearby target.

Prerequisites: Dex 17, Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, base attack bonus +6.

Benefit: As a standard action, you may fire two arrows at a single opponent within 30 feet. Both arrows use the same attack roll (with a -4 penalty) to determine success and deal damage normally (but see Special).

For every five points of base attack bonus you have above +6, you may add one additional arrow to this attack, to a maximum of four arrows at a base attack bonus of +16. However, each arrow after the second adds a cumulative -2 penalty on the attack roll (for a total of -6 on the third arrow and -8 on the fourth).

Damage reduction and other resistances apply separately against each arrow fired.

Special: Regardless of the number of arrows you fire, you apply precision-based damage (such as sneak attack damage) only once. If you score a critical hit, only the first arrow fired deals critical damage; all others deal regular damage.

A fighter may select Manyshot as one of his fighter bonus feats.

A 6th-level ranger who has chosen the archery combat style is treated as having Manyshot even if he does not have the prerequisites for it, but only when he is wearing light or no armor.

03/04/03 - Monsters, beasts, and the WWW

Q: Do the people designing the games read the bulletin boards and forums and take those comments seriously?

A: We read the message boards constantly. We try to take the comments seriously, but there are so many comments that we need to scan them pretty quickly. Anything that looks abusive or badly reasoned gets largely ignored. Personally, I spend about an hour a day reading our message boards and surfing the rest of the web. Other members of the RPG R&D team spend similar amounts of time online.

Q: Why was the beast type removed from the creature list?

A: It was redundant and confusing. Originally, the animal type was for real-world animals. The beast type was for nonmagical but nonexistent creatures. The magical beast type was for fanciful, magical creatures. That sounded good, but then we started wondering why dinosaurs, which did exist, were beasts right alongside griffons, which we're pretty sure didn't. What if an existing animal became extinct? Would that shift it from being an animal to a beast? Why could druids and various spells that affect animals not affect dinosaurs or other "natural" beasts just because we didn't want them to affect fanciful ones?

In the end, we answered a lot of questions by putting real-world critters (along with their extinct and dire cousins) in with the animals they were most like. Those few fanciful beasts went into the magical beast category.

Q: You revised the Monster Manual. Will the Monster Manual II also be revised at some point?

A: Maybe, but I expect we can handle the "revision" to the Monster Manual II with a web article. It won't need much adjusting.

Q: Will this revision eventually lead to updated versions of Oriental Adventures, Manual of the Planes, Epic Level Handbook, Forgotten Realms, or any of the other hardcover books that I bought in lieu of food and life-saving medication?

A: I knew people who used to sell blood to pay their rent. When they went to Gen Con, they'd debate whether to pay rent that month or buy the newest game releases. I expect they eventually got kicked out of their apartment. Oh, well -- you can play games pretty much anywhere.

We don't anticipate revising any of those books. In most cases, it just isn't necessary -- the necessary updates will either be intuitive or simple things we can make people aware of through the website. In the spirit of never saying never, I suppose it's possible that certain material might need more extensive updating and that we might revise a particularly important or popular subject, but we'd rather focus our effort on providing new material.

03/11/03 - Singles -- Biggest, Most Important, Most Impactful, and Favorite Changes

Q: What's the single biggest change?

A: The size of the books. Each book is going up to 320 pages.

Q: What's the single most important change?

A: That depends on what you care about. The fact that we went through the Monster Manual and tightened up the CRs is pretty important to me. (I DM a lot.) I also play a druid, and I really like the changes that were made to the druid's spell lists and wild shape ability. I think the most important overall change to the game isn't just one change, it's all the changes that make the D&D game more like what people expect it to be -- rules that support fun and interesting fantasy roleplaying.

Q: What change do you think will have the biggest impact and why?

A: Again, this really depends on what you care about. As a most-of-the-time-DM, I think the changes to the monsters will have the largest positive impact on the game. We worked hard to make monsters easier for DMs to play, modify, and create. We made the monsters fit their CRs better (or moved their CRs to where they do fit), and we really tried hard to fill in the gaps where monsters had obvious problems everyone was noticing and complaining about.

Elemental Plane of Fire by Raven MimuraQ: What's the one improvement that is your personal favorite, the one that as a player or as a DM you most welcome?

A: That's tough. I like a lot of things, both as a player and as a DM. I really like the retooling we've done with the damage reduction system. It's an interesting and meaningful thing, now, which is what it was intended to be all along. I like the tweaks made to the classes. We had places in 3.0 where classes missed what players wanted them to be and 3.5 addresses those problems. As both a player and a DM, I like it when characters can follow the rules and still come out just the way players want. We're getting closer to that goal with 3.5.

Q: What's really hot?

A: The Elemental Plane of Fire, as drawn by Raven Mimura! Have a look at this new illustration from the Dungeon Master's Guide.

03/18/03 - The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

This week we look at things that won't be changing from 3 to 3.5. In real terms, that's most of the game, but people still worry about their favorite features. Here are just a few important points of continuity between the new and the not-quite-as-new versions of D&D.

Q: Have there been any changes to alignment?

A: No.

Q: Skills?

A: No changes in the way they're used. Roll a d20, add your modifier, and compare to DC. Some of those DCs are changing, either up or down depending on specifics. Most DCs didn't need adjustment. We tried generally to provide more examples based on player feedback.

Q: Initiative?

A: No changes.

Q: Multiclassing?

A: No changes to the way it works, but some of the classes have been rebalanced to avoid front-loading of abilities. The ranger, for example, no longer gets all the best abilities at 1st level. The changes encourage multiclassing characters to gain more than one level in each class. That might make multiclassing less attractive to aggressive min-maxers, but then, that was the idea. It's still a great character option, but one with fewer opportunities for cherry picking.

Q: Greyhawk deities?

A: They're still the default pantheon.

Q: Page design?

A: There will be no significant change to the look of the books, aside from some new art, like the new blackguard illustration by Sam Wood, and of course, new covers.

Q: Philosophy?

A: Some people might consider this to be a minor or obvious point, but we think it's important to state it emphatically. The philosophy that forms the game's foundation hasn't changed in any way. What's being done is mostly clarifying things that weren't explained well and fixing things that didn't work well. Our philosophy hasn't changed, so neither has the game's. We've had three years and millions of hours of consumer use to identify where we could have done a better job of implementing that philosophy. If anything, the changes are designed to bring the game closer to our original philosophy in those areas where we didn't achieve our ideal, not to push it in some other direction.

Q: Is anything being done to half-orcs and half-elves?

A: Many of the races in the Player's Handbook received minor changes, but both half-orcs and half-elves are extremely popular as PCs. If we changed them significantly (particularly the half-orc, which is a very powerful and popular PC race) we would do a disservice to fans of those races and the revision.

Q: Have the core classes become any more flexible, or is that still the province of prestige classes, feats, and multiclassing?

A: That's an interesting question. I'd say the core classes have always been more flexible than the prestige classes, but those are becoming more flexible now, too. The monk and some of the other "narrow" core classes gain a few more choices. Having more feats to choose from also increases the opportunities for customization.

03/25/03 - The Improved 3.5 Combat Chapter

Combat is one of the most important and most complex aspects of the D&D game. Designers want to keep things simple and clean while players constantly strive to push the envelope and stretch the boundaries of both what's allowed and what's possible. In D&D 3.5, the designers have pulled off a real-life feat of their own in the way they're streamlining the combat chapter and making the rules easier to understand.

Q: How have attacks of opportunity changed?

A: They haven't, really, but the rules have been clarified. Attacks of opportunity are an important balancing factor in the game. Too many people weren't using them, unfortunately, mainly because they didn't understand how attacks of opportunity worked. That section of the rules was rewritten to make it easier to understand and implement for both players and DMs.

Q: Eliminating partial actions will help clean up the system. Are any other changes being considered for the action categories?

A: Similar to attacks of opportunity, the "changes" are mostly clarifications. The new text is easier to understand. We're really proud of the fact that the revised combat chapter is both clearer and shorter than before without really taking anything away from the players. When you start working on combat rules, you're trying to reduce some pretty complex activity into just a few relatively simple options. With 3.0, we were happy with the combat rules and actions as they played -- the difficulty was explaining them in a way that let everyone grasp our intent and implement the rules the same way whether you're playing with Ph.D.s at NASA or with 12-year-olds in the middle school lunch hall. With the rewrite, we focused on laying out the basic system in clear, unambiguous language. We eliminated redundancies and stuck rigorously to the fundamentals. For example, you won't find any discussion of charging, grappling, turning undead, or other heroic or fantastic actions in the generalized discussion of combat. We want people to focus completely on understanding the basics before we start layering on all the "special actions" that make this fantasy combat. The special actions are still there but in their own section, so it's easier to see how they add onto the basic system without disrupting it. The end result is combat rules that are tighter, cleaner, and easier to grasp than any we've done before. After reading this chapter, determining whether something is a standard action, a move action, a full-round action, a free action, a restricted activity, or not an action at all should be simple and intuitive.

Q: Which feats have been changed?

A: Most of them remain the same, with only some clarifications. A few are being changed to improve balance. The most noticeable difference will be that quite a few feats were renamed for reasons of internal logic. The feat Sunder, for example, is being renamed Improved Sunder, and sunder is now a combat action. We determined (based on feedback!) that there was no real reason a character without the Sunder feat couldn't break a weapon, and players wanted to try. Actually doing it is a lot easier if you have the feat, plus then you don't draw an attack of opportunity.

Q: Are there any other tidbits about combat that you're willing to share?

A: The Dungeon Master's Guide is going to cover some conditions and environments that weren't dealt with in the original 3.0 books. Underwater combat, for example, gets a nifty little section of its own, complete with an illustration.

04/02/03 - Meet the Mystic Theurge

The mystic theurge offers unparalleled magic diversity and outrageous spell advancement -- but at a deceptive price. You'll be able to cast nearly any spell in the Player's Handbook, and you have two sets of spell slots so you can cast spells all day long. But you face a choice every round -- am I casting as a cleric or a wizard? You'll find that while you're as good as a cleric or a wizard, you aren't as good as a cleric and a wizard.

Illustration by Matt Cavotta

Illustration by Matt Cavotta.

Mystic Theurge

Blurring the line between divine and arcane, mystic theurges draw power from divine sources and musty tomes alike. While most spellcasters choose one path to magical power, mystic theurges walk two roads at once, simultaneously mastering spells common to clerics and wizards.

Mystic theurges have unparalleled diversity of spells. In time, a mystic theurge can cast almost any spell in the Player's Handbook. While a mystic theurge doesn't have the uninterrupted spell advancement that a cleric, wizard, or sorcerer has, he makes up for this with versatility. Mystic theurges are often obsessed with magical lore, traveling to the ends of the earth to learn some new arcane secret or divine insight.

Because a mystic theurge casts both arcane and divine spells, all members of this class are multiclass spellcasters. Cleric/sorcerers and cleric/wizards are the most common mystic theurges, with druid/sorcerers more rare and druid/wizards almost unheard of.

Mystic theurges tend to be fascinated with magic in whatever form it takes. They're always on the hunt for powerful magic items and new arcane spells. Those mystic theurges who worship a deity use the power of their spellcasting to further their deity's agenda.

Hit Die: d4.

Requirements

To qualify to become a mystic theurge, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Skills: Knowledge (arcana) 6 ranks, Knowledge (religion) 6 ranks.
Spells: Able to cast 2nd-level divine spells and 2nd-level arcane spells.

Class Skills

The mystic theurge's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int). See Chapter 4 of the Player's Handbook for skill descriptions.

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are features of the mystic theurge prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Mystic theurges gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.

Spells per Day: When a new mystic theurge level is gained, the character gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in any one arcane spellcasting class she belonged to before she added the prestige class and any one divine spellcasting class she belonged to previously. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character that class would have gained (bonus metamagic or item creation feats, bard or assassin abilities, and so on). This essentially means that she adds the level of mystic theurge to the level of whatever other arcane spellcasting class and divine spellcasting class the character has, then determines spells per day and caster level accordingly.

For example, a 3rd-level cleric/3rd-level wizard who takes a level in mystic theurge has the same access to spells as a 4th-level cleric and a 4th-level wizard. But she continues to turn undead as a 3rd-level cleric, and her wizard familiar won't gain any new abilities.

If a character had more than one arcane spellcasting class or more than one divine spellcasting class before she became a mystic theurge, she must decide to which class she adds each level of mystic theurge for the purpose of determining spells per day.

Table 6-14: The Mystic Theurge

Level Base
Attack
Bonus
Fort
Save
Ref
Save
Will
Save
Spells per Day
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/
+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/
+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/
+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/
+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/
+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/
+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/
+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/
+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/
+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/
+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
04/08/03 - DMG Prestige Class List

For the D&D 3.5 Dungeon Master's Guide, the list of prestige classes has been expanded from six to sixteen. We previewed one of them last week -- the Mystic Theurge. This week, we offer a tiny peek at all sixteen.(Those marked with an * are the new ten.)

Arcane Archer: Master of the elven warbands, the arcane archer is a warrior skilled in using magic to supplement her combat prowess. Beyond the woods, arcane archers gain renown throughout entire kingdoms for their supernatural accuracy with a bow and their ability to imbue their arrows with magic.

*Arcane Trickster: Arcane tricksters combine their knowledge of spells with a taste for intrigue, larceny, or just plain mischief. They are among the most adaptable of adventurers.

*Archmage: The highest art is magic -- often referred to as the Art. Its most advanced practitioners are frequently archmages, characters who bend spells in ways unavailable to other spellcasters. An archmage gains strange powers and the ability to alter spells in remarkable ways, but must sacrifice some of her spell capability in order to master these arcane secrets.

Assassin: The assassin is the master of dealing quick, lethal blows. Assassins also excel at infiltration and disguise. Assassins often function as spies, informants, killers for hire, or agents of vengeance. Their training in anatomy, stealth, poison, and the dark arts allows them to carry out missions of death with shocking, terrifying precision.

Blackguard: The blackguard epitomizes evil. He is nothing short of a mortal fiend. The quintessential black knight, this villain carries a reputation of the foulest sort that is very well deserved. Consorting with demons and devils and serving dark deities, the blackguard is hated and feared by all. Some people call these villains antipaladins due to their completely evil nature.

*Dragon Disciple: It is known that certain dragons can take humanoid form and even have humanoid lovers. Sometimes a child is born of this union, and every child of that child unto the thousandth generation claims a bit of dragon blood, be it ever so small. Usually, little comes of it, though mighty sorcerers occasionally credit their powers to draconic heritage. For some, however, dragon blood beckons irresistibly. These characters become dragon disciples, who use their magical power as a catalyst to ignite their dragon blood, realizing its fullest potential.

*Duelist: The duelist (sometimes known as the swashbuckler) is a nimble, intelligent fighter trained in making precise attacks with light weapons, such as the rapier. He always takes full advantage of his quick reflexes and wits in a fight. Rather than wearing bulky armor, a duelist feels the best way to protect himself is not to get hit at all.

Dwarven Defender: The defender is a sponsored champion of a dwarven cause, a dwarf aristocrat, a dwarven deity, or the dwarven way of life. As the name might imply, this character is a skilled combatant trained in the arts of defense. A line of dwarven defenders is a far better defense than a 10-foot-thick wall of stone, and much more dangerous.

*Eldritch Knight: Studying the martial and arcane arts to equal degree, the eldritch knight is a versatile combatant who can cast a fireball on his foes or charge them with sword drawn. The eldritch knight takes pride in his ability to use the right technique for the job: spells against physically tough foes and force of arms against spellcasting enemies.

*Hierophant: A divine spellcaster who rises high in the service of his deity gains access to spells and abilities of which lesser faithful can only dream. The hierophant prestige class is open to powerful divine spellcasters who are approaching access to the strongest and most difficult divine spells. They delay the acquisition of these greatest gifts in exchange for a deeper understanding of and ability to control the power they channel.

Horizon Walker*Horizon Walker: The horizon walker is an unceasing traveler to the universe's most dangerous places. As her journeys take her from place to place, she adapts to become one with her environment. In time, she develops a mystic connection with the ground beneath her. But she is by no means tied to a particular place; her restless feet are ever leading her toward the horizon, where new adventures await.

Loremaster: Loremasters are spellcasters who concentrate on knowledge, valuing lore and secrets over gold. They uncover secrets that they then use to better themselves mentally, physically, and spiritually.

*Mystic Theurge: Blurring the line between divine and arcane, mystic theurges draw power from divine sources and musty tomes alike. While most spellcasters choose one path to magical power, mystic theurges walk two roads at once, simultaneously mastering spells common to clerics and wizards.

*Red Wizard: The Red Wizards are the masters of Thay, the would-be magical overlords of the land of Faerun (in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting). They focus on a school of magic more intently than any specialist, achieving incredible mastery of magic within a very narrow focus. Seen as cruel and evil tyrants by people across the worl of Toril, a few choose to leave their region, assume secret identities, and practice magic without having to worry about political alliances and possible slave uprisings.

Shadowdancer: Operating in the border between light and darkness, shadowdancers are nimble artists of deception. They are mysterious and unknown, never completely trusted but always inducing wonder when met.

*Thaumaturgist: The thaumaturgist reaches out with divine power to other planes of existence, calling creatures there to do his bidding. Evil thaumaturgists conspire with demons and devils to gain power on the Material Plane, while good thaumaturgists send powerful angels or eladrins on holy quests.

04/15/03 - A Gathering of Feats

ManyshotThe choices you make about feats are some of the most important options you have for making your D&D character different from all the thousands of others of the same class and level and for shaping the character into the archetypal hero you envision. This week we're offering up the new list of feats for review. Feats listed in boldface are new; those in italics are renamed.

General Feats
Acrobatic
Agile
Alertness
Animal Affinity
Armor Proficiency (light)
Armor Proficiency (medium)
Armor Proficiency (heavy)
Athletic
Augment Summoning
Blind-Fight
Combat Casting
Combat Expertise
Improved Disarm
Improved Feint
Improved Trip
Whirlwind Attack
Combat Reflexes
Deceitful
Deft Hands
Diligent
Dodge
Mobility
Spring Attack
Endurance
Diehard
Eschew Materials
Exotic Weapon Proficiency
Extra Turning
Great Fortitude
Improved Counterspell
Improved Critical
Improved Initiative
Improved Turning
Improved Unarmed Strike
Improved Grapple
Deflect Arrows
Snatch Arrows
Stunning Fist
Investigator
Iron Will
Leadership
Lightning Reflexes
Magical Affinity
Martial Weapon Proficiency
Mounted Combat
Mounted Archery
Ride-By Attack
Spirited Charge
Trample
Natural Spell
Negotiator
Nimble Fingers
Persuasive
Point Blank Shot
Far Shot
Precise Shot
Rapid Shot
Manyshot
Shot on the Run
Improved Precise Shot
Power Attack
Cleave
Great Cleave
Improved Bull Rush
Improved Overrun
Improved Sunder
Quick Draw
Rapid Reload
Run
Self-Sufficient
Shield Proficiency
Improved Shield Bash
Tower Shield Proficiency
Simple Weapon Proficiency
Skill Focus
Spell Focus
Greater Spell Focus
Spell Mastery
Spell Penetration
Greater Spell Penetration
Stealthy
Toughness
Track
Two-Weapon Fighting
Two-Weapon Defense
Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
Greater Two-Weapon Fighting
Weapon Finesse
Weapon Focus
Weapon Specialization
Greater Weapon Focus
Greater Weapon Specialization

Item Creation Feats
Brew Potion
Craft Magic Arms and Armor
Craft Rod
Craft Staff
Craft Wand
Craft Wondrous Item
Forge Ring
Scribe Scroll

Metamagic Feats
Empower Spell
Enlarge Spell
Extend Spell
Heighten Spell
Maximize Spell
Quicken Spell
Silent Spell
Still Spell
Widen Spell

04/22/03 - The New Mummy and Mummy Lord Unwrapped

This week we offer a tantalizing whiff of the revised mummy and mummy lord. The mummy is an excellent example of a monster that was made tougher and then expanded with an interesting, more powerful variant. While the mummy is currently in a pretty advanced state of composition, bear in mind that nothing is complete or final until you buy the book in the store.

Mummy

This creature looks like a withered and desiccated corpse, with features hidden beneath centuries-old funereal wrappings. It moves with a slow, shambling gait and groans with the weight of the ages.

Mummies are preserved corpses animated through the auspices of dark desert gods best forgotten. They usually inhabit great tombs or temple complexes, maintaining a timeless vigil and destroying would-be grave robbers.

These horrid creatures are often marked with symbols of the dire gods they serve. While other undead often stink of carrion, the herbs and powders used to create a mummy give off a sharp, pungent odor like that of a spice cabinet.

Mummies attack intruders without pause or mercy. They never attempt to communicate with their enemies and never retreat. An encounter with a mummy can end only with the destruction of one combatant or the other (unless the mummy's foe elects to retreat).

Most mummies are 5 to 6 feet tall and weigh about 120 pounds.

Mummies can speak Common, but seldom bother to do so.

Combat

In melee combat, a mummy delivers a powerful blow. Even if it had no other abilities, its great strength and grim determination would make it a formidable opponent.

Despair (Su): At the mere sight of a mummy, the viewer must succeed on a DC 16 Will save or be paralyzed with fear for 1d4 rounds. Whether or not the save is successful, that creature cannot be affected again by the same mummy's despair ability for 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Mummy Rot (Su): Supernatural disease -- slam, Fortitude DC 16, incubation period 1 minute; damage 1d6 Con and 1d6 Cha. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Unlike normal diseases, mummy rot continues until the victim reaches Constitution 0 (and dies) or is cured as described below.

Mummy rot is a powerful curse, not a natural disease. A character attempting to cast any conjuration (healing) spell on a creature afflicted with mummy rot must succeed on a DC 20 caster level check, or the spell has no effect on the afflicted character.

To eliminate mummy rot, the curse must first be broken with break enchantment or remove curse (requiring a DC 20 caster level check for either spell), after which a caster level check is no longer necessary to cast healing spells on the victim, and the mummy rot can be magically cured as any normal disease.

An afflicted creature who dies of mummy rot shrivels away into sand and dust that blow away into nothing at the first wind.

Mummy Mummy Lord, 10th-Level Cleric
Medium Undead Medium Undead
Hit Dice: 8d12+3 (55 hp) 8d12 plus 10d8 (97 hp)
Initiative: +0 +5
Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares) 15 ft. in half-plate armor (3 squares); base speed 20 ft.
Armor Class: 20 (+10 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 20 30 (+1 Dex, +10 natural, +9 +2 half-plate armor), touch 11, flat-footed 29
Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+11 +11/+19
Attack: Slam +11 melee (1d6+10 plus mummy rot) Slam +20 melee (1d6+12/19-20 plus mummy rot)
Full Attack: Slam +11 melee (1d6+10 plus mummy rot) Slam +20 melee (1d6+12/19-20 plus mummy rot)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft. 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Despair, mummy rot Despair, mummy rot, rebuke undead, spells
Special Qualities: Damage reduction 5/--, darkvision 60 ft., undead traits, vulnerability to fire Damage reduction 5/--, darkvision 60 ft., resistance to fire 10, undead traits, vulnerability to fire
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +8 Fort +13, Ref +8, Will +20
Abilities: Str 24, Dex 10, Con --, Int 6, Wis 14, Cha 15 Str 26, Dex 12, Con --, Int 8, Wis 20, Cha 17
Skills: Hide +7, Listen +8, Move Silently +7, Spot +8 Concentration +8, Knowledge (religion) +4, Listen +18, Move Silently +5, Spot +18
Feats: Alertness, Great Fortitude, Toughness Alertness, Combat Casting, Great Fortitude, Improved Critical (slam), Improved Initiative, Weapon Focus (slam)
Environment: Any Any
Organization: Solitary, warden squad (2-4), or guardian detail (6-10) Solitary or tomb guard (1 mummy lord and 6-10 mummies)
Treasure: Standard Standard plus possessions noted below
Advancement: 9-16 HD (Medium); 17-24 HD (Large) By character class
Level Adjustment: -- --

Mummy Lord

Unusually powerful or evil individuals preserved as mummies sometimes rise as greater mummies after death. A mummy lord resembles its lesser fellows, but often wears or carries equipment it used in life -- ancient bronze armor, a rune-marked sword, or a magic staff.

Mummy lords are often potent spellcasters. They are found as guardians of the tombs of high lords, priests, and mages. Most are sworn to defend for eternity the resting place of those whom they served in life, but in some cases a mummy lord's unliving state is the result of a terrible curse or rite designed to punish treason, infidelity, or crimes of an even more abhorrent nature. A mummy lord of this sort is usually imprisoned in a tomb that is never meant to be opened again.

Despair (Su): The save DC against this mummy lord's despair is 17.

Mummy Rot (Su): The save DC against this mummy lord's mummy rot is 17.

Typical Cleric Spells Prepared (6/7/6/5/5/4; save DC 15 + spell level): 0 -- detect magic (2), guidance, read magic, resistance, virtue; 1st -- bane, command, deathwatch, divine favor, doom, sanctuary*, shield of faith; 2nd -- bull's strength, death knell*, hold person, resist energy, silence, spiritual weapon; 3rd -- animate dead*, deeper darkness, dispel magic, invisibility purge, searing light; 4th -- air walk, dismissal, divine power, giant vermin, spell immunity*; 5th -- insect plague, slay living*, spell resistance, symbol of pain.

*Domain Spell. Domains: Death and Protection.

Possessions: +2 half-plate armor, cloak of resistance +2, ring of minor elemental resistance (fire), brooch of shielding. (Different mummy lords may have different possessions.)

04/29/03 - New Haste Spell Hurry Or You'll Miss It!
Although it's not hasted, the blink dog is wicked fast. No quick brown foxes will be jumping over its lazy butt in this new illustration for the Monster Manual.

You've waited -- you've wondered -- you've waited some more. This week we finally get around to showing off the new haste spell that everyone's been harping about. The big question is, were we just procrastinating, or intentionally prolonging your antici ... (wait for it) ... pation?

The spell had several problems as published -- mainly, it was just too good, especially for sorcerers. It overshadowed most other 3rd-level spells and made the Quicken Spell feat largely redundant. Haste was really meant to be a fighter buff, but wizards and sorcerers seemed to be the main beneficiaries. This new version brings it back to its intended function and should also eliminate the confusion that all those extra actions were causing.

As always, remember that nothing is complete or final until you buy the book in the store.

Haste
Transmutation
Level: Brd 3, Sor/Wiz 3
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Targets: One creature/level, no two of which can be more than 30 ft. apart
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: Fortitude negates (harmless)
Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)

The transmuted creatures move and act more quickly than normal. This extra speed has several effects.

When making a full attack action, a hasted creature may make one extra attack with any weapon he is holding. The attack is made using the creature's full base attack bonus, plus any modifiers appropriate to the situation. (This effect is not cumulative with similar effects, such as that provided by a weapon of speed, nor does it actually grant an extra action, so you can't use it to cast a second spell or otherwise take an extra action in the round.)

A hasted creature gains a +1 bonus on attack rolls and a +1 dodge bonus to AC and Reflex saves. Any condition that makes you lose your Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) also makes you lose dodge bonuses.

All of the hasted creature's modes of movement (including land movement, burrow, climb, fly, and swim) increase by 30 feet, to a maximum of twice the subject's normal speed using that form of movement. This increase counts as an enhancement bonus, and it affects the creature's jumping distance as normal for increased speed.

Multiple haste effects don't stack. Haste dispels and counters slow.

Material Component: A shaving of licorice root.

05/06/03 - Attacks of Opportunity

Attacks of opportunity are important to the overall balance of the D&D combat rules. They're also a little bit confusing and easy to ignore. One of the many, many goals of D&D 3.5 is to deal with issues just like that. The new combat chapter is both shorter and easier to understand than the earlier version. As an example of the type of change we're talking about, here's the new description of attacks of opportunity.

As always, remember that nothing is complete or final until you buy the book in the store.

Attacks of Opportunity

The melee combat rules assume that combatants are actively avoiding attacks. A player doesn't have to declare anything special for her character to be on the defensive. Even if a character's miniature figure is just standing there on the battle grid, you can be sure that if some orc with a battleaxe attacks the character, she is weaving, dodging, and even threatening the orc with a weapon to keep the orc a little worried for his own hide.

Sometimes, however, a combatant in a melee lets her guard down, and she doesn't maintain a defensive posture as usual. In this case, combatants near her can take advantage of her lapse in defense to attack her for free. These free attacks are called attacks of opportunity.

Threatened Squares: You threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your action. Generally, that means everything in all squares adjacent to your space (including diagonally). An enemy that takes certain actions while in a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity from you. If you're unarmed, you don't normally threaten any squares and thus can't make attacks of opportunity (but see Unarmed Combat).

Reach Weapons: Most creatures of Medium or smaller size have a reach of only 5 feet. This means that they can make melee attacks only against creatures up to 5 feet (1 square) away. However, Small and Medium creatures wielding reach weapons (such as a longspear) threaten more squares than a typical creature. For instance, a longspear-wielding human threatens all squares 10 feet (2 squares) away, even diagonally. (This is an exception to the rule that 2 squares of diagonal distance is measured as 15 feet.) In addition, most creatures larger than Medium have a natural reach of 10 feet or more; see Big and Little Creatures in Combat.

Provoking an Attack of Opportunity: Two kinds of actions can provoke attacks of opportunity: moving out of a threatened square and performing an action within a threatened square.

Moving: Moving out of a threatened square usually provokes an attack of opportunity from the threatening opponent. There are two common methods of avoiding such an attack -- the 5-foot-step (see Miscellaneous Actions) and the withdraw action (see Full-Round Actions).

Performing a Distracting Act: Some actions, when performed in a threatened square, provoke attacks of opportunity as you divert your attention from the battle. Casting a spell and attacking with a ranged weapon, for example, are distracting actions. Table 8-2: Actions in Combat notes many of the actions that provoke attacks of opportunity.

Remember that even actions that normally provoke attacks of opportunity may have exceptions to this rule. For instance, a character with the Improved Unarmed Strike feat doesn't incur an attack of opportunity for making an unarmed attack.

Making an Attack of Opportunity: An attack of opportunity is a single melee attack, and you can only make one per round. You don't have to make an attack of opportunity if you don't want to.

An experienced character gets additional regular melee attacks (by using the full attack action), but at a lower attack bonus. You make your attack of opportunity, however, at your normal attack bonus -- even if you've already attacked in the round.

An attack of opportunity "interrupts" the normal flow of actions in the round. If an attack of opportunity is provoked, immediately resolve the attack of opportunity, then continue with the next character's turn (or complete the current turn, if the attack of opportunity was provoked in the midst of a character's turn).

Combat Reflexes and Additional Attacks of Opportunity: If you have the Combat Reflexes feat, you can add your Dexterity modifier to the number of attacks of opportunity you can make in a round. This feat does not let you make more than one attack for a given opportunity, but if the same opponent provokes two attacks of opportunity from you -- such as by moving out of a threatened square and then casting a spell in a threatened square -- you could make two separate attacks of opportunity (since each one represents a different opportunity). Moving out of more than one square threatened by the same opponent in the same round doesn't count as more than one opportunity for that opponent. All these attacks are at your normal attack bonus. You do not reduce your attack bonus for making multiple attacks of opportunity.

Finally, there'll be a diagram to go along with this explanation of attacks of opportunity, but it's not available yet. So instead, we'll share a pair of critters whose threatened spaces you'd rather not invade -- the balor and marilith.

05/13/03 - Familiars

Few investments yield greater riches than the time and gold spent to acquire a familiar. A lifelong companion, guard, spy, and servant, it is every spellcaster's best friend and most trusted confidante. The new Player's Handbook makes a few changes to familiars (most notably: bonuses are increased from +2 to +3, and a few bonuses are altered a bit; a bat now confers a +3 bonus on Listen checks and a hawk gives a +3 bonus on Spot checks in bright light; and "lizard" joins the list, with a +3 bonus on Climb checks). The really exciting change, however, comes in the Dungeon Master's Guide with the introduction of the Improved Familiar variant feat.

As always, remember that nothing is complete or final until you buy the book in the store.

Improved Familiar [General]

This feat allows spellcasters to acquire a new familiar from a nonstandard list, but only when they could normally acquire a new familiar (see Player's Handbook).

Prerequisites: Ability to acquire a new familiar, compatible alignment, sufficiently high level (see below).

Benefit: When choosing a familiar, the creatures listed below are also available to the spellcaster. The spellcaster may choose a familiar with an alignment up to one step away on each of the alignment axes (lawful through chaotic, good through evil). For example, a chaotic good spellcaster could acquire a neutral familiar. A lawful neutral spellcaster could acquire any familiar that isn't chaotic.

Familiar Alignment Arcane Spellcaster Level
Shocker lizard Neutral 5th
Stirge Neutral 5th
Formian worker Lawful neutral 7th
Imp Lawful evil 7th
Pseudodragon Neutral good 7th
Quasit Chaotic evil 7th

Improved familiars otherwise use the rules in the Player's Handbook, with two exceptions: If the creature's type is something other than animal, its type does not change; and improved familiars do not gain the ability to speak with other creatures of their kind (although many of them already have the ability to communicate).

The list in the table above presents only a few possible improved familiars. Almost any creature of the same general size and power as those on the list makes a suitable familiar. Nor is the master's alignment the only possible categorization. For instance, improved familiars could be assigned by the master's creature type or subtype, as shown below.

Familiar Type/Subtype Arcane Spellcaster Level
Celestial hawk(1) Good 3rd
Fiendish Tiny viper snake(2) Evil 3rd
Air elemental, Small Air 5th
Earth elemental, Small Earth 5th
Fire elemental, Small Fire 5th
Shocker lizard Electricity 5th
Water elemental, Small Water 5th
Homunculus(3) Undead 7th
Ice mephit Cold 7th
(1) Or other celestial animal from the standard familiar list.
(2) Or other fiendish animal from the standard familiar list.
(3) The master must first create the homunculus, substituting ichor or another part of the master's body for blood if necessary.

Granted Abilities: In addition to their own special qualities, all familiars grant their masters the Alertness feat, the benefit of an empathic link, and the ability to share spells with the familiar.

Improved Evasion (Ex): When subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, a familiar takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and half damage even if the saving throw fails.

Each of the potential familiars on these tables also is described in greater detail under its own listing. For example:

Pseudodragon Familiar: CR --; Tiny dragon; HD 7; hp 1/2 master's; Init +0; Spd 15 ft., fly 60 ft. (good); AC 22, touch 14, flat-footed 20; Base Atk +2/-8; Atk +4 melee (1d3-2 plus poison, sting); Full Atk +4 melee (1d3-2 plus poison, sting) and +0 melee (1, bite); Space/Reach 2.5 ft./0 ft. (5 ft. with tail); SA poison; SQ blindsense 60 ft., deliver touch spells, dragon type, improved evasion, speak with master, telepathy, granted abilities; AL NG; SV Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +6; Str 11, Dex 11, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10.

Skills and Feats: Hide +16/+24 in forest or overgrown areas, Survival +3, Listen +5, Search +2, Spot +5; Alertness

Blindsense (Ex): Can locate creatures within 60 feet by nonvisual means.

Dragon Type: Darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, immunity to sleep and paralysis effects.

Poison (Ex): Injury, Fortitude DC 12, initial damage sleep for 1 minute, secondary damage sleep for 1d3 days.

Telepathy (Su): Communicate telepathically with creatures within 60 feet that speak Common or Sylvan.

05/20/03 - Bone Devils

From the pages of the revised Monster Manual, a devil raises its ugly head this week, and we do mean ugly. The bone devil is one muy desagradable y feo customer. Even if your characters laugh at the prospect of fighting a bone devil or two, remember that in Baator, there's almost always someone bigger and badder around the next bend, and bone devils love to tattle.

As always, remember that nothing is complete or final until you buy the book in the store.

Devil

The scourge of humanity and the cosmos, devils are fiends from the Nine Hells of Baator, a lawful evil realm. Devils enjoy bullying those weaker than themselves and often attack good creatures just to gain a trophy or three. The most powerful devils occupy themselves with plots to seize power, wreck civilizations, and inflict misery upon mortals.

Many devils are surrounded by a fear aura, which they use to break up powerful groups and defeat opponents piecemeal. Devils with spell-like abilities use their illusion abilities to delude and confuse foes as much as possible. A favorite trick is to create illusory reinforcements; enemies can never be entirely sure if a threat is only a figment or real summoned devils joining the fray.

The most numerous devils are the baatezu, infamous for their strength, evil temperament, and ruthlessly efficient organization. Baatezu have a rigid caste system, in which authority derives not only from power but also from station. They occupy themselves mainly with extending their influence throughout the planes by corrupting mortals. Baatezu who further this goal are usually rewarded with improved stations.

Baatezu Traits: A baatezu possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).

  • Immunity to fire and poison.
  • Resistance to acid 10 and cold 10.
  • See in Darkness (Su): All baatezu can see perfectly in darkness of any kind, even that created by a deeper darkness spell.
  • Summon (Sp): Baatezu share the ability to summon others of their kind (the success chance and type of baatezu summoned are noted in each monster description).
  • Telepathy.

Except when otherwise noted, devils speak Infernal, Celestial, and Draconic.

Bone Devil (Osyluth)
Large Outsider (Baatezu, Evil, Extraplanar, Lawful)
Hit Dice: 10d8 +50 (95 hp)
Initiative: +9
Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares)
Armor Class: 25 (-1 size, +5 Dex, +11 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 20
Base Attack/Grapple: +10/+19
Attack: Bite +14 melee (1d8 +5)
Full Attack: Bite +14 melee (1d8 +5) and 2 claws +12 melee (1d4 +2) and sting +12 melee (3d4 +2 plus poison)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks: Spell-like abilities, fear aura, poison, summon baatezu
Special Qualities: Damage reduction 10/good, darkvision 60 ft., immunity to fire and poison, resistance to acid 10 and cold 10, see in darkness, spell resistance 21, telepathy 100 ft.
Saves: Fort +12, Ref +12, Will +11
Abilities: Str 21, Dex 21, Con 21, Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 14
Skills: Bluff +15, Concentration +18, Diplomacy +6, Disguise +2 (+4 acting), Hide +14, Intimidate +17, Knowledge (any one) +15, Listen +17, Move Silently +18, Search +15, Sense Motive +15, Spot +17, Survival +2 (+4 following tracks)
Feats: Alertness, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Multiattack
Environment: Nine Hells of Baator
Organization: Solitary, team (2-4), or squad (6-10)
Challenge Rating: 9
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Always lawful evil
Advancement: 11-20 HD (Large); 21-30 HD (Huge)
Level Adjustment: --

This tall creature looks skeletal and wretched, almost a husk of a humanoid form, with dried skin stretched so tight as to outline and emphasize every bone. It has a fearsome, skull-like head and a tail like a scorpion's, and a foul odor of decay hangs in the air around it.

Bone devils, also called osyluths, often serve as the police and informers of the Nine Hells, monitoring other devils' activities and reporting on their service.

Bone devils stand about 9 feet tall and weigh about 500 pounds.

Combat

Bone devils hate all other creatures and attack ruthlessly. They freely use wall of ice to keep the enemy divided.

A bone devil's natural weapons, as well as any weapons it wields, are treated as evil-aligned and lawful-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Fear Aura (Su): Bone devils can radiate a 5-foot radius fear aura as a free action. Affected creatures must succeed on a DC 17 Will save or be affected as though by a fear spell (caster level 7th). A creature that successfully saves cannot be affected again by the same bone devil's aura for 24 hours. Other baatezu are immune to the aura. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Poison (Ex): Injury, Fortitude DC 20, initial damage 1d6 Str, secondary damage 2d6 Str. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Spell-Like Abilities: At will -- greater teleport (self plus 50 pounds of objects only), dimensional anchor, fly, invisibility (self only), major image (DC 15), wall of ice. Caster level 12th. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Summon Baatezu (Sp): Once per day a bone devil can attempt to summon 2d10 lemures with a 50% chance of success, or another bone devil with a 35% chance of success. This ability is the equivalent of a 4th-level spell.

05/27/03 - Gnomes

We mentioned in an earlier update that a new character is joining the ranks of the D&D iconics. This week, you find out why when we list the revised racial traits of the gnomes.

The gnome is getting as many tweaks as, or even more tweaks than, any of the other races. With that in mind, you can also take this update as a guide to the degree of change that you can expect to see in Chapter 2.

As always, remember that nothing is complete or final until you buy the book in the store.


Even though you've seen him before, that was as a black-and-white sketch. Here's Gimble, the new, iconic gnome bard, in full color.

Gnome Racial Traits

  • +2 Constitution, -2 Strength: Like dwarves, gnomes are tough, but they are small and therefore not as strong as larger humanoids.
  • Small: As a Small creature, a gnome gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but he uses smaller weapons than humans use and his lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.
  • Gnome base land speed is 20 feet.
  • Low-light vision: A gnome can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. He retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
  • Weapon Familiarity: Gnomes may treat gnome hooked hammers as martial weapons rather then exotic weapons.
  • +2 racial bonus on saving throws against illusions: Gnomes are innately familiar with illusions of all kinds.
  • Add +1 to the Difficulty Class for all saving throws against illusion spells cast by gnomes. Their innate familiarity with these effects make their illusions more difficult to see through. This adjustment stacks with those from similar effects, such as the Spell Focus feat.
  • +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against kobolds and goblinoids (including goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears): Gnomes battle these creatures frequently and practice special techniques for fighting them.
  • +4 dodge bonus to Armor Class against monsters of the giant type (such as ogres, trolls, and hill giants): This bonus represents special training that gnomes undergo, during which they learn tricks that previous generations developed in their battles with giants. Any time a creature loses its Dexterity bonus (if any) to Armor Class, such as when it's caught flat-footed, it loses its dodge bonus, too. The Monster Manual has information on which creatures are of the giant type.
  • +2 racial bonus on Listen checks: Gnomes have keen ears.
  • +2 racial bonus on Craft (alchemy) checks: A gnome's sensitive nose allows him to monitor alchemical processes by smell.
  • Automatic Languages: Common and Gnome. Bonus Languages: Draconic Dwarven, Elven, Giant, Goblin, and Orc. Gnomes deal more with elves and dwarves than elves and dwarves deal with one another, and they learn the languages of their enemies (kobolds, giants, goblins, and orcs) as well. In addition, a gnome can speak with a burrowing mammal (a badger, fox, rabbit, or the like, see below). This ability is innate to gnomes. See the speak with animals spell description.
  • Spell-Like Abilities: 1/day -- speak with animals (burrowing mammal only, duration 1 minute). A gnome with a Charisma score of at least 10 also has the following spell-like abilities: 1/day -- dancing lights, ghost sound, prestidigitation. Caster level 1st; save DC 10 + gnome's Cha modifier + spell level. See the spell descriptions.
  • Favored Class: Bard. A multiclass gnome's bard class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty (see XP for Multiclass Characters)
06/03/03 - Waves of Fatigue and Exhaustion

This week we look at two new spells. They're short, simple, and closely related, but we think you'll like them. We know you'll find a use for them. You know, we never get tired of this stuff.


We never get tired of slumming on the Astral Plane, either, but sometimes the neighbors get obnoxious. Looks like someone skipped nap time.

As always, remember that nothing is complete or final until you buy the book in the store.

Waves of Fatigue
Necromancy
Level: Sor/Wiz 5
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 30 ft.
Area: Cone-shaped burst
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: No
Spell Resistance: Yes

Waves of negative energy render all living creatures in the spell's area fatigued. This spell has no effect on a creature that is already fatigued.

Waves of Exhaustion
Necromancy
Level: Sor/Wiz 7
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 60 ft.
Area: Cone-shaped burst
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: No
Spell Resistance: Yes

Waves of negative energy cause all living creatures in the spell's area to become exhausted. This spell has no effect on a creature that is already exhausted.

06/10/03 - Druids

What can you say about druids? Well, they make terrific villains. And hey, they're pretty darn cool as PCs, too. It's never wise to disrespect someone who can turn into a coral snake and crawl into your bedroll as a "practical joke."

As always, remember that nothing is complete or final until you buy the book in the store.

Druids have the following game statistics.

Abilities: Wisdom determines how powerful a spell a druid can cast, how many spells she can cast per day, and how hard those spells are to resist. To cast a spell, a druid must have a Wisdom score of 10 + the spell's level. A druid gets bonus spells based on Wisdom. The Difficulty Class of a saving throw against a druid's spell is 10 + the spell's level + the druid's Wisdom modifier.

Since a druid wears only light or medium armor, a high Dexterity score greatly improves her defensive ability.

Alignment: Neutral good, lawful neutral, neutral, chaotic neutral, or neutral evil.

Hit Die: d8.

Class Skills

The druid's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str). See Chapter 4: Skills for skill descriptions.

Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) x 4.

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the druid.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Druids are proficient with the following weapons: club, dagger, dart, quarterstaff, scimitar, sickle, shortspear, sling, and spear. They are also proficient with all natural attacks (claw, bite, and so forth) of any form they assume with wild shape (see below). Druids are proficient with light and medium armor but are prohibited from wearing metal armor; thus, they may wear only padded, leather, or hide armor. (A druid may also wear wooden armor that has been altered by the ironwood spell so that it functions as though it were steel. See the ironwood spell description.) Druids are proficient with shields (except tower shields) but must use only wooden ones.

A druid who wears prohibited armor or carries a prohibited shield is unable to cast druid spells or use any of her supernatural or spell-like class abilities while doing so and for 24 hours thereafter.

Spells: A druid casts divine spells (the same type of spells available to the cleric, paladin, and ranger), which are drawn from the druid spell list. Her alignment may restrict her from casting certain spells opposed to her moral or ethical beliefs; see Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful Spells, below. A druid must choose and prepare her spells in advance (see below).

To prepare or cast a spell, the druid must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level (Wis 10 for 0-level spells, Wis 11 for 1st-level spells, and so forth). The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a druid's spell is 10 + the spell level + the druid's Wisdom modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a druid can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table 3-8: The Druid. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Wisdom score (see Table 1-1: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells). She does not have access to any domain spells or granted powers, as a cleric does.

A druid prepares and casts spells the way a cleric does, though she cannot lose a prepared spell to cast a cure spell in its place (but see Spontaneous Casting, below). A druid may prepare and cast any spell on the druid spell list, provided that she can cast spells of that level, but she must choose which spells to prepare during her daily meditation.

Spontaneous Casting: A druid can channel stored spell energy into summoning spells that she hasn't prepared ahead of time. She can "lose" a prepared spell in order to cast any summon nature's ally spell of the same level or lower. For example, a druid who has prepared repel vermin (a 4th-level spell) may lose repel vermin in order to cast summon nature's ally IV (also a 4th-level spell).

Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful Spells: A druid can't cast spells of an alignment opposed to her own or her deity's (if she has one). For example, a neutral good druid cannot cast evil spells. Spells associated with particular alignments are indicated by the chaos, evil, good, and law descriptors in their spell descriptions (see Chapter 11: Spells).

Bonus Languages: A druid's bonus language options include Sylvan, the language of woodland creatures. This choice is in addition to the bonus languages available to the character because of her race (see Race and Languages and the Speak Language skill).

A druid also knows Druidic, a secret language known only to druids, which she learns upon becoming a 1st-level druid. Druidic is a free language for a druid; that is, she knows it in addition to her regular allotment of languages and it doesn't take up a language slot. Druids are forbidden to teach this language to nondruids. Druidic has its own alphabet.

Animal Companion (Ex): A druid may begin play with an animal companion selected from the following list: badger, camel, dire rat, dog, riding dog, eagle, hawk, horse (light or heavy), owl, pony, snake (Small or Medium viper), or wolf. If the DM's campaign takes place wholly or partly in an aquatic environment, the DM may add the following creatures to the druid's list of options: crocodile, porpoise, Medium shark, and squid. This animal is a loyal companion that accompanies the druid on her adventures as appropriate for its kind.

A 1st-level druid's companion is completely typical for its kind except as noted in the sidebar on page 36. As a druid advances in level, the animal's power increases as shown on the table in the sidebar.

If a druid releases her companion from service, she may gain a new one by performing a ceremony requiring 24 uninterrupted hours of prayer. This ceremony can also replace an animal companion that has perished.

A druid of 4th level or higher may select from alternative lists of animals (see the sidebar). Should she select an animal companion from one of these alternative lists, the creature gains abilities as if the character's druid level were lower than it actually is. Subtract the value indicated in the appropriate list header from the character's druid level and compare the result with the druid level entry on the table in the sidebar to determine the animal companion's powers. (If this adjustment would reduce the druid's effective level to 0 or lower, she can't have that animal as a companion.) For example, a 6th-level druid could select a leopard as an animal companion. The leopard would have characteristics and special abilities as if the druid were 3rd level (taking into account the -3 adjustment) instead of 6th level.

Nature Sense (Ex): A druid gains a +2 bonus on Knowledge (nature) and Survival checks.

Wild Empathy (Ex): A druid can use body language, vocalizations, and demeanor to improve the attitude of an animal (such as a bear or a monitor lizard). This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check made to improve the attitude of a person (see Chapter 4: Skills). The druid rolls 1d20 and adds her druid level and her Charisma modifier to determine the wild empathy check result. The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly.

To use wild empathy, the druid and the animal must be able to study each other, which means that they must be within 30 feet of one another under normal conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time.

A druid can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2 (such as a basilisk or a girallon), but she takes a -4 penalty on the check.

Woodland Stride (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a druid may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at her normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. However, thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion still affect her.

Trackless Step (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a druid leaves no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked. She may choose to leave a trail if so desired.

Resist Nature's Lure (Ex): Starting at 4th level, a druid gains a +4 bonus on saving throws against the spell-like abilities of fey (such as dryads, pixies, and sprites).

Wild Shape (Su): At 5th level, a druid gains the ability to turn herself into any Small or Medium animal and back again once per day. Her options for new forms include all creatures with the animal type (see the Monster Manual). This ability functions like the polymorph spell, except as noted here. The effect lasts for 1 hour per druid level, or until she changes back. Changing form (to animal or back) is a standard action and doesn't provoke an attack of opportunity.

The form chosen must be that of an animal the druid is familiar with. For example, a druid who has never been outside a temperate forest could not become a polar bear.

A druid loses her ability to speak while in animal form because she is limited to the sounds that a normal, untrained animal can make, but she can communicate normally with other animals of the same general grouping as her new form. (The normal sound a wild parrot makes is a squawk, so changing to this form does not permit speech.)

A druid can use this ability more times per day at 6th, 7th, 10th, 14th, and 18th level, as noted on Table 3-8: The Druid. In addition, she gains the ability to take the shape of a Large animal at 8th level, a Tiny animal at 11th level, and a Huge animal at 15th level. The new form's Hit Dice can't exceed the character's druid level. For instance, a druid can't take the form of a dire bear (a Large creature that always has at least 12 HD) until 12th level, even though she can begin taking Large forms at 8th level.

At 12th level, a druid becomes able to use wild shape to change into a plant creature, such as a shambling mound, with the same size restrictions as for animal forms. (A druid can't use this ability to take the form of a plant that isn't a creature, such as a tree or a rose bush.)

At 16th level, a druid becomes able to use wild shape to change into a Small, Medium, or Large elemental (air, earth, fire, or water) once per day. These elemental forms are in addition to her normal wild shape usage. In addition to the normal effects of wild shape, the druid gains all the elemental's extraordinary, supernatural, and spell-like abilities. She also gains the elemental's feats for as long as she maintains the wild shape, but she retains her own creature type (humanoid, in most cases).

At 18th level, a druid becomes able to assume elemental form twice per day, and at 20th level she can do so three times per day. At 20th level, a druid may use this wild shape ability to change into a Huge elemental.

Venom Immunity (Ex): At 9th level, a druid gains immunity to all poisons.

A Thousand Faces (Su): At 13th level, a druid gains the ability to change her appearance at will, as if using the alter self spell, but only while in her normal form.

Timeless Body (Ex): After attaining 15th level, a druid no longer takes ability score penalties for aging (see Table 6-5: Aging Effects) and cannot be magically aged. Any penalties she may have already incurred, however, remain in place. Bonuses still accrue, and the druid still dies of old age when her time is up.

Ex-Druids

A druid who ceases to revere nature, changes to a prohibited alignment, or teaches the Druidic language to a nondruid loses all spells and druid abilities (including her animal companion, but not including weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies). She cannot thereafter gain levels as a druid until she atones (see the atonement spell description).

Table 3-8: The Druid
Level Base
Attack
Bonus
Fort
Save
Ref
Save
Will
Save
Special
Spells per Day
0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Animal companion, nature sense, wild empathy 3 1 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Wodland stride 4 2 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 Trackless step 4 2 1 -- -- -- -- -- -- --
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 Resist nature's lure 5 3 2 -- -- -- -- -- -- --
5th +3 +4 +1 +4 Wild shape (1/day) 5 3 2 1 -- -- -- -- -- --
6th +4 +5 +2 +5 Wild shape (2/day) 5 3 3 2 -- -- -- -- -- --
7th +5 +5 +2 +5 Wild shape (3/day) 6 4 3 2 1 -- -- -- -- --
8th +6/+1 +6 +2 +6 Wild shape (Large) 6 4 3 3 2 -- -- -- -- --
9th +6/+1 +6 +3 +6 Venom immunity 6 4 4 3 2 1 -- -- -- --
10th +7/+2 +7 +3 +7 Wild shape (4/day) 6 4 4 3 3 2 -- -- -- --
11th +8/+3 +7 +3 +7 Wild shape (Tiny) 6 5 4 4 3 2 1 -- -- --
12th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Wild shape (plant) 6 5 4 4 3 3 2 -- -- --
13th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 A thousand faces 6 5 5 4 3 3 2 1 -- --
14th +10/+5 +9 +4 +9 Wild shape (5/day) 6 5 5 4 4 3 3 2 -- --
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +5 +9 Timeless body, wild shape (Huge) 6 5 5 5 4 4 3 2 1 --
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Wild shape (elemental 1/day) 6 5 5 5 4 4 3 3 2 --
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 6 5 5 5 5 4 4 3 2 1
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Wild shape (6/day, elemental 2/day) 6 5 5 5 5 4 4 3 3 2
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 6 5 5 5 5 5 4 4 3 3
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Wild shape (elemental 3/day, Huge elemental) 6 5 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 4
06/17/03 - Deflect and Snatch Arrows

Astute readers will notice only a few minor changes to the Deflect Arrows feat, but Snatch Arrows is almost too cool for the internet. Imagine the look on the bad guy's stupid, monkey face when you make like your favorite Hong Kong action star by catching his dagger and flinging it right back at him!

As always, remember that nothing is complete or final until you buy the book in the store.

Deflect Arrows [General]

You can deflect incoming arrows, as well as crossbow bolts, spears, and other projectile or thrown weapons.

Prerequisites: Dex 13, Improved Unarmed Strike.

Benefit: You must have at least one hand free (holding nothing) to use this feat. Once per round when you would normally be hit with a ranged weapon, you may deflect it so that you take no damage from it. You must be aware of the attack and not flat-footed. Attempting to deflect a ranged weapon doesn't count as an action. Unusually massive ranged weapons, such as boulders hurled by giants, and ranged attacks generated by spell effects, such as Melf's acid arrow, can't be deflected.

Special: A monk may select Deflect Arrows as a bonus feat at 2nd level, even if she does not meet the prerequisites.

A fighter may select Deflect Arrows as one of his fighter bonus feats.

Snatch Arrows [General]

You are adept at grabbing incoming arrows, as well as crossbow bolts, spears, and other projectile or thrown weapons.

Prerequisites: Dex 15, Deflect Arrows, Improved Unarmed Strike.

Benefit: When using the Deflect Arrows feat, you may catch the weapon instead of just deflecting it. Thrown weapons, such as spears or axes, can immediately be thrown back at the original attacker (even though it isn't your turn) or kept for later use.

You must have at least one hand free (holding nothing) to use this feat.

Special: A fighter may select Snatch Arrows as one of his fighter bonus feats.

"You have learned much, grasshopper ...
but now you must snatch the ioun stone
from around my head!"

06/24/03 - Red Dragons

It's big, it's red, and it's breath is a real killer. Get reacquainted with the baddest of the bad. You may not find a ton of changes in the red dragon description, but there's enough different to warrant a careful reading. (We're not including the Red Dragons by Age and Red Dragon Abilities by Age tables here because they've changed hardly at all.) It's like one of those puzzles -- "How many differences are there between these two pictures of a dragon?" One of the most obvious changes is the addition of a typical example of a very old red dragon. What else can you find?

Red Dragon

Dragon (Fire)

Environment: Warm mountains

Organization: Wyrmling, very young, young, juvenile, and young adult: solitary or clutch (2-5); adult, mature adult, old, very old, ancient, wyrm, or great wyrm: solitary, pair, or family (1-2 and 2-5 offspring)

Challenge Ratings: Wyrmling 4; very young 5; young 7; juvenile 10; young adult 13; adult 15; mature adult 18; old 20; very old 21; ancient 23; wyrm 24; great wyrm 26

Treasure: Triple standard

Alignment: Always chaotic evil

Advancement: Wyrmling 8-9 HD; very young 11-12 HD; young 14-15 HD; juvenile 17-18 HD; young adult 20-21 HD; adult 23-24 HD; mature adult 26-27 HD; old 29-30 HD; very old 32-33 HD; ancient 35-36 HD; wyrm 38-39 HD; great wyrm 41+ HD

Level Adjustment: Wyrmling +4; very young +5; young +6; others -

The dragon has horns extending back over the neck, frilled ears, and smaller horns at the cheeks and chin, with rows of horns over the brows. The nose is beaklike and sports a small horn. A frill begins behind the head and runs to the tip of the tail. The dragon reeks of smoke and sulfur, and its scales shine with shades of crimson and scarlet.

Red dragons are the most covetous of all dragons, forever seeking to increase their treasure hoards. They are exceptionally vain, which is reflected in their proud bearing and disdainful expression.

The small scales of a wyrmling red dragon are a bright glossy scarlet, making the dragon easily spotted by predators and hunters, so it stays underground and does not venture outside until it is more able to take care of itself. Toward the end of young age, the scales turn a deeper red, and the glossy texture is replaced by a smooth, dull finish. As the dragon grows older, the scales become large, thick, and as strong as metal. The neck frill and wings are an ash blue or purple-gray toward the edges, becoming darker with age. The pupils of a red dragon fade as it ages; the oldest red dragons have eyes that resemble molten lava orbs.

Red dragons lair in large caves that extend deep into the earth, which shimmer with the heat of their bodies and are marked by a sulfurous, smoky odor. However, they always have a high perch nearby from which to haughtily survey their territory, which they consider to be everything in sight. This high perch sometimes intrudes upon the territory of a silver dragon, and for this reason red dragons and silver dragons are often enemies.

Red dragons are meat eaters by preference, and their favorite food is a human or elven youth. Sometimes they charm villagers into regularly sacrificing townsfolk to them.

Combat

Because red dragons are so confident, they seldom pause to appraise an adversary. On spotting a target, they make a snap decision whether to attack, using one of many strategies worked out ahead of time. A red dragon lands to attack small, weak creatures with its claws and bite rather than obliterating them with its breath weapon, so as not to destroy any treasure they might be carrying.

Breath Weapon (Su): A red dragon has one type of breath weapon, a cone of fire.

Locate Object (Sp): A juvenile or older red dragon can use this ability as the spell of the same name, once per day per age category.

Other Spell-Like Abilities: 3/day-suggestion (old or older); 1/day-find the path (ancient or older), discern location (great wyrm).

Skills: Appraise, Bluff, and Jump are considered class skills for red dragons.

Very Old Red Dragon: CR 21; Gargantuan dragon (fire); HD 31d12+248, hp 449; Init +4; Spd 40 ft., fly 200 ft. (clumsy); AC 36, touch 6, flat-footed 36; Base Atk +31; Grp +56; Atk +40 melee (4d6+13, bite); Full Atk +40 melee (4d6+13, bite), +35 melee (2d8+6, 2 claws), +35 melee (2d6+6, 2 wings), +35 melee (2d8+19, tail slap); Space/Reach 20 ft./15 ft. (bite 20 ft.); SA breath weapon, crush, frightful presence, snatch, spell-like abilities, spells, tail sweep; SQ damage reduction 15/magic, darkvision 120 ft., immunity to fire, sleep, and paralysis, low-light vision, spell resistance 25, vulnerability to cold; AL CE; SV Fort +25, Ref +19, Will +25; Str 37, Dex 10, Con 27, Int 22, Wis 23, Cha 22.

Skills and Feats: Appraise +31, Bluff +37, Concentration +28, Craft (trapmaking) +18, Hide +2, Intimidate +39, Jump +48, Knowledge (arcana) +31, Knowledge (local) +31, Knowledge (religion) +31, Listen +37, Search +37, Sense Motive +37, Spellcraft +39, Spot +37, Use Magic Device +22; Awesome Blow, Flyby Attack, Cleave, Great Cleave, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Snatch, Wingover.

Breath Weapon (Su): 60-ft. cone, damage 18d10 fire, Reflex DC 33 half.

Crush (Ex): Area 20 ft. by 20 ft.; Medium or smaller opponents take 4d6+19 points of bludgeoning damage, and must succeed on a DC 33 Reflex save or be pinned; grapple bonus +56.

Frightful Presence (Ex): 270-ft. radius, HD 30 or less, Will DC 29 negates.

Snatch (Ex): Grapple bonus +56; claw against creature of Medium or smaller for 2d8+6/round, bite against Large or smaller for 4d6+13/round, or 8d6+26 if the dragon does not move; snatched creature can be flung 90 ft. for 9d6 points of damage.

Spell-Like Abilities: 9/day-locate object; 3/day-suggestion. Caster level 13th; save DC 16 + spell level.

Spells: As 13th-level sorcerer.

Typical Sorcerer Spells Known (6/8/8/7/7/7/5; save DC 16 + spell level):0-arcane mark, dancing lights, detect magic, ghost sound, guidance, mage hand, prestidigitation, read magic, resistance; 1st-alarm, chill touch, divine favor, magic missile, shield; 2nd-cat's grace, cure moderate wounds, darkness, detect thoughts, invisibility; 3rd-deeper darkness, dispel magic, haste, protection from elements; 4th-charm monster, emotion, restoration, spell immunity; 5th-circle of doom, feeblemind, shadow evocation; 6th-acid fog, heal.

Tail Sweep (Ex): Half-circle 30 ft. in diameter, Small or smaller opponents take 2d6+19 points of bludgeoning damage, Reflex DC 33 half.

07/01/03 - Player's Handbook -- Table of Contents

Here's an update you've been salivating for -- the complete table of contents from the revised Player's Handbook, from Introduction to Appendix plus everything in between. Maybe you can't judge a book by its cover, but you can tell a lot from the table of contents. In this case, it's only a hint of the fascinating treasures stored inside.

Player's Handbook 3.5 Table of Contents

Introduction

Character Creation Summary

Chapter 1: Abilities
Ability Scores
The Abilities
Changing Ability Scores

Chapter 2: Races
Choosing a Race
Racial Characteristics
Humans
Dwarves
Elves
Gnomes
Half-Elves
Half-Orcs
Halflings

Chapter 3: Classes
The Classes
Class and Level Bonuses
Level-Dependent Benefits
Class Descriptions
Barbarian
Bard
Cleric
Druid
Fighter
Monk
Paladin
Ranger
Rogue
Sorcerer
Wizard
Experience and Levels
Multiclass Characters

Chapter 4: Skills
Skills Summary
Acquiring Skill Ranks
Using Skills
Skill Descriptions

Chapter 5: Feats
Acquiring Feats
Prerequisites
Types of Feats
Feat Descriptions

Chapter 6: Description
Alignment
Religion
Vital Statistics
Looks, Personality, and Background
Customizing Your Character

Chapter 7: Equipment
Equipping a Character
Wealth and Money
Weapons
Armor
Goods and Services

Chapter 8: Combat
The Battle Grid
How Combat Works
Combat Statistics
Combat Basics
Initiative
Attacks of Opportunity
Actions in Combat
Injury and Death
Movement, Position, and Distance
Combat Modifiers
Special Attacks
Special Initiative Actions

Chapter 9: Adventuring
Carrying Capacity
Movement
Exploration
Treasure
Other Rewards

Chapter 10: Magic
Casting Spells
Spell Descriptions
Arcane Spells
Divine Spells
Special Abilities

Chapter 11: Spells
Bard Spells
Cleric Spells
Cleric Domains
Druid Spells
Paladin Spells
Ranger Spells
Sorcerer/Wizard Spells
Spells

Appendix: General Guidelines and Glossary

Index

Character Sheet

List of Numbered Tables

07/08/03 - Dungeon Master's Guide -- Table of Contents.

We can think of lots of good reasons why someone might not have seen the new Dungeon Master's Guide in the store yet -- or better yet, brought one home. Maybe a landslide sealed you off inside a lost canyon. Maybe your legs are pinned beneath a ferris wheel. Maybe you live in an abandoned molybdenum mine and the elevator to the surface is on the fritz. (Let's face it, nobody wants to shinny up a mile of cable.) Maybe your household pets have locked you in the closet while they methodically transfer all your assets to untraceable, offshore accounts.

We don't mean to minimize your problems, but you owe it to yourself to get out and see the new D&D 3.5 handbooks in person. For those of you who really, really can't, we offer this glimpse at the Dungeon Master's Guide table of contents. Once you see what's in store at the end, that long climb up the cable won't be so daunting.

Dungeon Master's Guide 3.5 Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1: Running the Game
What is a DM
Style of Play
Example of Play
Running a Game Session

Chapter 2: Using the Rules
More Movement Rules
Movement and the Grid
Moving in Three Dimensions
Evasion and Pursuit
Moving Around in Squares
Bonus Types
Combat
Line of Sight
Starting an Encounter
New Combatants
Keeping Things Moving
Combat Actions
Attack Rolls
Damage
Effect of Weapon Size
Splash Weapons
Area Spells
Big and Little Creatures in Combat
Skill and Ability Checks
Saving Throws
Adjudicating Magic
Describing Spell Effects
Handling Divinations
Creating New Spells
Rewards
Experience Awards
Story Awards
Character Death
Making a New Character

Chapter 3: Adventures
Motivation
Structure
Site-Based Adventures
The End (?)
Encounters
Tailored or Status Quo
Challenge Ratings and Encounter Levels
Difficulty
Tougher Monsters
Location
Rewards and Behavior
Treasure
Bringing Adventures Together
Between Adventures
The Dungeon
Dungeon Terrain
Walls
Doors
Rooms
Corridors
Miscellaneous Features
Cave-Ins and Collapses
Illumination
Traps
Elements of a Trap
Sample Traps
Designing a Trap
Dungeon Ecology
Dungeon Animals
Wandering Monsters
Random Dungeons
Dungeon Level
The Map and the Key
Random Dungeon Encounters
A Sample Adventure
Statistics Blocks
Wilderness Adventures
Getting Lost
Forest Terrain
Marsh Terrain
Hills Terrain
Mountain Terrain
Desert Terrain
Plains Terrain
Aquatic Terrain
Underwater Combat
Weather
Random Wilderness Encounters
Urban Adventures
Weapon and Spell Restrictions
Urban Features
Urban Encounters

Chapter 4: Nonplayer Characters
Everyone in the World
NPC Classes
Adept
Aristocrat
Commoner
Expert
Warrior
NPC Statistics
NPC Attitudes
Fleshing Out NPCs

Chapter 5: Campaigns
Establishing a Campaign
Maintaining a Campaign
Characters and the World Around Them
War and Other Calamities
Other Campaign Issues
World-Building
Building a Different World
Adventuring on Other Planes
Plane Descriptions
Creating a Cosmology

Chapter 6: Characters
Ability Scores
Races
Subraces
Modifying a Common Race
Changes through Addition and Subtraction
Class/Race Restrictions
New Races
Monsters as Races
Classes
Modifying Character Classes
Creating New Classes
Prestige Classes
Arcane Archer
Arcane Trickster
Archmage
Assassin
Blackguard
Dragon Disciple
Duelist
Dwarven Defender
Eldritch Knight
Hierophant
Horizon Walker
Loremaster
Mystic Theurge
Red Wizard
Shadowdancer
Thaumaturgist
How PCs Improve
Learning Skills and Feats
Learning New Spells
Gaining Class Benefits
General Downtime
Gaining Fixed Hit Points
Creating PCs above 1st Level
Special Cohorts
Familiars
Mounts
Animal Companions
Epic Characters

Chapter 7: Magic Items
Handling Magic Items
Magic Item Descriptions
Armor
Weapons
Potions and Oils
Rings
Rods
Scrolls
Staffs
Wands
Wondrous Items
Intelligent Items
Cursed Items
Artifacts
Creating Magic Items
Masterwork Items
Special Materials

Chapter 8: Glossary
Special Abilities
Condition Summary
The Environment

Visual Aids

Index


1995-2008 Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.