Dispel Confusion Vol. 3, No. 1
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All references to the three Dungeons & Dragons core rulebooks refer to the version 3.5.
Much of the information in this FAQ will be added to the next version of the Living Greyhawk Campaign Sourcebook. This particular Dispel Confusion has clarifications and errata regarding Dispel Confusion and LGCS updates, slot zero and playtest ARs, evil acts, benefits from non-adventuring activity, new printings of rules items, stacking of metaorg skill bonuses, standard items, the Disfavour of Lady Karistyne, and magic item creation.
Q: When are Dispel Confusion issues released? When do changes or additions from Dispel Confusion become effective?
A: Starting in 2007, Dispel Confusion will be released on the first Tuesday of each month. A new Dispel Confusion likely will be released each month, unless there are no pressing questions to be addressed. Changes and additions from Dispel Confusion become effective immediately upon publication.
Q: When will the LGCS be updated? When will the player review period begin for the draft of the new LGCS?
A: The 2007 update to the LGCS will be released shortly before D&D Experience, which takes place during the third weekend in February, 2007. The new LGCS will come into effect beginning with D&D Experience. The draft discussion period for players will likely begin around the 1st of February, 2007.
Q: I played in a playtest for a year 7 adventure on 31 December of year 6. At the same gaming session, I played a slot zero of a year 6 adventure for a convention that occurs on January 1st of year 7. When should I get my ARs, when should they be dated, and from what year’s TUs do I pay for the adventures?
A: These two questions involve distinctly different situations and answers. A playtest AR is valid only when the adventure has been released for play. As such, your AR for a playtest should be dated on the first day the adventure is available for convention play; this is usually the first day of the convention where the adventure is released. TUs must be paid out of the year during which the adventure becomes available for play. So, for this example, the date of the AR would be January 1, 2007, and TUs would come out of your 597 CY TUs.
However, slot zeroes are slightly more complicated. If the adventure is not yet available for convention play, you would follow the rules of playtests, using the first date that the adventure is available for play and TUs from that year. For this example, the slot zero would be dated January 1, 2007, and TUs would come out of your 597 CY TUs. If the adventure is already available for convention play, the slot zero should be dated on the day that you play, and TUs should come out of that year’s TUs. For this example, the slot zero would be dated December 31, 2006, and TUs would come out of your 596 CY TUs.
A convention coordinator may, from time to time, hand out ARs for playtests and slot zeroes at the convention for various pragmatic reasons. The coordinator should date the ARs in accordance with the above answer.
Q: Is casting a spell with the [Evil] descriptor an evil act? If so, can I cast these spells?
A: The Players Handbook is unclear on this issue, and it has led to much debate. Fortunately, the Book of Vile Darkness, the authoritative source on evil deeds, provides insight into this topic. Page 8 of this source lists casting evil spells as an evil act while page 77 indicates that spells with the evil descriptor are evil spells. While the Book of Vile Darkness is not an a player resource in the Living Greyhawk campaign, these statements provide a fairly definitive statement that casting spells with the evil descriptor is an evil act.
That said, the Book of Vile Darkness goes on to say “[s]ometimes, a nonevil spellcaster can get away with casting a few evil spells, as long as he or she does not do so for an evil purpose. But the path of evil magic leads quickly to corruption and destruction.” Player characters cannot have an evil alignment in the Living Greyhawk campaign, but occasional evil acts are not forbidden. Your PC can cast an [Evil] spell without necessarily becoming evil; however, we urge casters of evil spells not to cross over into true corruption, or one day you will be turned over to your Triad, and on that day you may become an NPC.
Q: Under the Benefits from Nonadventuring Activity section in the LGCS, I understand that I may only spend one TU to earn money by using a skill (unless stated otherwise, such as for an extraordinary Perform or Tumble performance); however, how many different skills can I use for nonadventuring activity after each adventure? May I attempt as many as I wish, or only one per adventure.
A: You may attempt to earn benefits from nonadventuring activity from only one skill per adventure. You may not both Perform and attempt Sleight of Hand.
Q: In Living Greyhawk, we are supposed to use the most current printing of rules items. What happens when a new book comes out but has not yet been incorporated into the campaign?
A: The above statement is mostly true, in that we use the most current printing of rules items from campaign-approved sources. If a book has not yet been addressed by the LGCS, a Dispel Confusion, or a specific AR entry, you would not use its updating rules to replace existing rules items. For a concrete example, suppose a new book, entitled Rules That Will Never Be Used in LG, reprints and updates several rules items from the Player's Handbook, including Power Attack. Until RTWNBUiLG is addressed by the LGCS, a Dispel Confusion, or a specific AR entry, you would continue using the Player's Handbook version of Power Attack.
Q: I have bonuses from multiple metaorgs to the same skills. Do these bonuses stack?
A: As Circumstance bonuses (all metaorg skill bonuses are Circumstance bonuses), they will only stack if they result from different circumstances. While there could be endless debate about the exact circumstance that elicits a particular metaorg benefit, they are essentially all bonuses derived from the circumstance of being a member of a metaorganization and, hence, do not stack. Allowing otherwise would create immeasurable headaches for both GMs and metaorganization coordinators and lead to abuse of the system.
Q: If I have the Disfavour of Lady Karistyne, will I be able to play other Blood on Bright Sands adventures?
Q: I am having some trouble understanding the differences between standard and nonstandard magic items for the purposes of upgrading items. Could you clarify this please? How do special materials affect whether an item is standard?
A: A +2 adamantine longsword that had a special property allowing it to be upgraded with holy at half cost would be nonstandard, as that is not an ability you can normally place on a weapon. A +2 adamantine longsword that was upgraded with holy at half cost because of a favor would be standard, as the half cost upgrade was not a property of the weapon.
Q: How do special materials affect whether an item is standard? What about a dragoncraft weapons and armor?
A: Special materials do not impact whether an item is considered standard. Dragoncraft weapons, armors, and shields are considered to be items made of a special material. Therefore, if a steel or wood version of the same item would be considered standard, a dragoncraft version would also be considered standard. Note, this does not include dragonhide mantles; dragonhide mantles would be considered a nonstandard item.
Q: If I want to craft a +1 adamantine longsword, how much gold, experience, and time do I have to spend?
A: Assuming you have access to an adamantine longsword, you compute the crafting time and prices based on the magical materials, per the Dungeon Master's Guide. The 3,015 gp cost for the adamantine longsword would not be included in the gold, experience, or time requirements. You would spend a full 3,015 gp for the sword, and then the gold, experience, and time to upgrade it. Since upgrading a weapon to +1 costs 2,000 gp market price, you would spend 1,000 gp (plus the 3,015 gp for the sword), 25 XP, and 1 TU.
Q: The LGCS rules for Magic Item Creation (MIC) fall under a heading that specifies the Dungeon Master's Guide magic item tables only; however, many people interpret that these rules apply to items from all sources, not just the DMG. (1) Can a character with Craft Wondrous Item and CL7 craft a CL5 3,000gp item from Complete Arcane without having had AR purchase access, nor other campaign access to purchase or craft that item? (2) Can that same character craft a CL7 3,000gp item from Complete Arcane to which she has had purchase access only?
A: The rules on MIC only allow for the creation of items in the Dungeon Master's Guide or from campaign documentation that provides the opportunity to create items from another source. There are no rules on what qualifies as campaign documentation providing such opportunity. There is a bullet point specifying that an item "with frequency any, adventure, regional, metaregional, or core is valid purchase source for magic item creation;" however, there is no rule mentioning what a "valid purchase source" does for a crafter.
So, by the rules-as-written (RAW), you would need a specifically worded favor on an AR in order to craft anything outside the specific entries in the DMG, as listed in the LGCS. Having access to purchase an item from a source other than the DMG would not grant the ability to craft said item, under the RAW. Items priced 2,500 gp or less from the DMG lists can be created once the prerequisites are met. For items on the specified DMG lists over 2,500 gp, you must satisfy the crafting prerequisites plus meet one of the following criteria: you must have access to purchase the item, or you must exceed the caster level requirement by two levels. This situation was not the intent of the rules; the intent of the rules was that access to purchase an item from a source other than the DMG qualified the crafter to create the item once the prerequisites were met. Despite this intent, there is no indication of in, at all, in the RAW.
So the short answer to the initial questions based on the intent of the rules:
This issue will be corrected in the 597 LGCS. For now, follow the intent of the rules, as listed above.
Q: The rules for MIC allow scrolls to be used while crafting. Can a wand be used?
A: Yes, you may use a wand as well. You must use one charge from the wand per day of crafting the item.
Q: When a PC is crafting up to five items with a total value less than or equal to 5,000 gp, is this the total limit or is it the equivalent of five "days" with a 1,000 gp limit each? In other words, would the following item crafting be legal, or would each 5th-level scroll take two "days" out of the five assumed?
A: The LGCS states that “[y]ou may create, at most, one magic item with a market value worth no more than 1,000 gp per day.” In the above example, crafting all five items within five days would require you to craft more than one item per day. As such, the above example would not be possible within five days. If an item costs 1,001 gp, you would need to work for two days and the extra time on the second day is lost.
New Campaign Items
The Second Wind player reward card is legal in the Living Greyhawk campaign.
The following spell from Spell Compendium is now Restricted: last breath.
The Raging Spell Campaign Card is no longer legal in the Living Greyhawk campaign.
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