Rules.   Posted by DM - Jeff.Group: public
DM - Jeff
 GM, 7 posts
Fri 18 Jul 2008
at 20:25
I stick very close to the D&D 3.5 Rules, with a few minor variants here and there.  I like to use the variant for errant missiles during combat, I feel it adds a bit more chaos and fun.  I also use a home-brew variant on heal checks that allows a few hit points to be converted to sub-dual damage, which can be valuable at low levels (I'll give more precise documents on this later).

I am open to other variants but will run those by the group first to see if it is something that is a good fit for everyone.

Books I Own and Use for this game:
PHB 3.5
DMG 3.5
MM  3.5
FRCS (3.0)
Races of Faerun
Players guide to Faerun 3.5
Complete Adventurer
Spell Compendium
Magic Item Compendium
Rules Compendium (most up do date rules for 3.5)
(I have access to quite a few others so let me know if you want something from another book)


  I love combat, so we'll be playing out every action, no matter how long it takes.  I use detailed maps so it is easy to see precisely what is happening.  I roll initiative for every creature individually.  I will work my way down the initiative order as far as I can go based on who has currently posted their move, pausing at the player that hasn't posted yet.  I will never skip someones turn do to a lack of post but I may make up a logical move for them if they haven't posted in a few days.  If a PC has already posted and I feel the combat map has changed enough that their action might be affected I will give the player a chance to revise their move.  Because of this a single round of combat may be spread over several DM posts, I always update the initiative order and combat map every time I post to keep confusion to a minimum.


  All player rolls will be made using the Dice Roller in game.  My rolls, I use a combination of real dice and the Dice Roller, depending on where I'm posting from.  It is much faster for me to use real dice to roll and during combat (especially) I have to do a lot of rolls.  I am honest about my rolls and stick to them, I've only rarely fudged a roll, and it has only been in the favor of the players.  That being said, don't expect me to bail you out at every turn, those were extreme situations to benefit the story.
  I like the players to roll as much as possible, but any roll that where the outcome may give false information, the roll will be made by me in secret.

These rolls will always be made by the DM:
  • Appraise
  • Bluff
  • Decipher Script
  • Diplomacy
  • Disable Device
  • Disguise
  • Forgery
  • Gather Information
  • Hide
  • Intimidate
  • Knowledge
  • Listen
  • Move Silently
  • Search
  • Sense Motive
  • Slight of Hand
  • Spot
  • Survival

Other skill rolls will be made in secret depending on the situation; Mainly when using that skill to gather information.
  • Using the Alchemy skill to identify a potion.
  • Using Spellcraft to identify a spell.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:56, Tue 04 Aug 2009.

DM - Jeff
 GM, 13 posts
Mon 21 Jul 2008
at 08:35
Heal Variant
A few people have asked about this so here it is.  I've recently made some changes to it that I haven't thoroughly tested yet though.

Bandage Wounds:
With the use of a Healing Kit or some form of clean bandages one can attempt a Heal Check that can convert a small amount of lost hit points into nonlethal damage.

This process takes a full minute and there are a few restrictions:
  • Must use a Healing Kit (or equivalent medical supplies/equipment) or some form of clean bandages (improvised).
  • The wounds must be fresh, within the last hour.
  • Once attempted it cannot be attempted again for the same wounds. ( attempting first-aid to stabilize a dieing character does not count against this, only other bandage attempts )
  • It can only heal up to the amount of damage of fresh untreated wounds.

DC's for success (no bonus for use of healing kit):
  • 15 convert 1 HP to nonlethal
  • 20 convert 1d4/2 HP to nonlethal (round up)
  • 26 convert 1d4 HP to nonlethal
  • +2 to DC for improvised bandages (no healing kit)

The advantage of this, of course, is nonlethal damage heals much faster than standard damage.  Also, when using magical healing, both nonlethal and standard damage are healed equally.  So if a character is down 4 hippoints and also has 4 nonlethal points, a spell that heals 4 hp would heal both the standard HP and the nonlethal, completely healing the character.  In this case it effectivly doubles the ability of the spell.

The recent changes I made were because it was a bit too powerful.  I made the Healing Kit a requirement (though added improvised bandages at a penalty) and took away the bonus for using a kit.  Made it take a full minute, instead of a full round action (people trying to bandage during combat).  I also made the DC's a bit more difficult.
This may get refined further with play but I don't think it is an unbalancing thing in this form.  It simply allows the players to regain a few more hitpoints and perhaps save a few spells for further encounters that day.  It also allows you to do a bit more with those heal skill points.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:47, Mon 21 July 2008.

DM - Jeff
 GM, 350 posts
Fri 13 Mar 2009
at 00:14
Bonus 0-Level Spells
I'm allowing Bonus 0-Level Spells:
Taking the chart for level-1 spells and shifting it up one but clipping it at 12... so an ability of 10-11 would still yield no bonus.

    Ability   Bonus Spells
      12-17 = +1
      18-25 = +2
      26-35 = +3
DM - Jeff
 GM, 375 posts
Mon 30 Mar 2009
at 04:42
Combat Map Usage/Info
Welcome to Graphical Combat Maps 101

I don't use the grids explicitly I use them for rough position.  I use a measuring tool within the program I use to get distances so don't worry about counting diagonal squares for distance.  If you want to estimate a distance that isn't Horizontal or Vertical Just measure the distance with your fingers then see how many grid squares that would be.  You can specify a target square like F10, and I'll get you as close to that square as I can.  You could also say, move to F10 via I14 for an intended path around something.

Character Icons have at least two rings associated with them:
  • The Space Ring - which represents the amount of space your character occupies during combat.
  • The Melee Threat Ring - which represents the area that character can make an attack in.

The Space Ring's color denotes it's status and threat to you:

If a character does not have a melee threat range it is because it may not have a melee weapon readied, is disabled or just unable to attack.

You do not have to be directly adjacent to an enemy to attack them, your threat range just needs to intersect with their space ring.
In the below example Durl is out of melee attack range with the goblin (and vice versa).  Rath and Carlo are both within melee range with the Goblin, and flank it to boot.

Reach weapons are handled a bit differently, we'll deal with those when one is used in combat.

This technique basically gives the same results as fighting on a standard combat grid but gives more movement options and realism.
DM - Jeff
 GM, 412 posts
Tue 28 Apr 2009
at 19:17
Fun with Prestidigitation
Fun With Prestidigitation

    The prestidigitation spell gives you the ability to perform minor magical effects for 1 hour. You can slowly lift 1 pound of material. You can color, clean, or soil items in a 1-foot cube each round. You can chill, warm, or flavor 1 pound of nonliving material. You can create small objects, but they look crude and artificial, and they are fragile.  Any actual change to an object (beyond moving, cleaning, or soiling it) persists only 1 hour.
    So, what’s the use of prestidigitation? Actually, it’s one of the handiest cantrips around.

    Change: You transform one object of Fine size or smaller into another object of roughly the same size. The object can weigh no more than 8 ounces.
    The change must be within the same kingdom (animal, vegetable, or mineral). For example, you could change a piece of paper into scrap of linen, and then change that into a rose. Likewise, you could change a coin into a ring. You could not, however, turn a strip of leather into a piece of paper.

    Chill: You reduce the temperature of an object by about 40° F, but never below freezing (32° F). After an hour the object’s temperature returns to normal.

    Clean: You remove dirt, dust, and stains from floors, walls, dishes, windows, and the like, leaving these surfaces or objects spotless. You can clean an object with a volume of 1 cubic foot, or 1 square foot of the surface of a larger object, each round. The effect does not remove any foreign object of Fine size or larger. Dirt you remove is permanently gone, but objects you clean can get dirty again just like anything else.

    Color: You bring color to an object. You can restore faded hues or give it a new color. If you add color, it must be from the visible spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, or violet). You cannot change an object’s pattern, such as adding or removing stripes or polka dots, but you can change the color in a pattern so that, for example, a blue garment with white stripes becomes green with yellow stripes.

    Dampen: You leave an object damp to the touch for 1 hour. Damp objects have fire resistance 2 while the effect lasts.

    Dirty: You soil, spot, and sully walls, floors, dishes, garments, or the like, leaving them dusty, filthy, or stained. You can dirty an object with a volume of 1 cubic foot, or 1 square foot of the surface of a larger object, each round. Dirt you add remains after the effect ends, but objects you soil can be cleaned again just like anything else.

    Dry: You remove dampness and excess moisture from an object. Moisture you remove does not return after the effect ends, but the object can become wet again just like anything else.

    Firefinger: You cause a jet of flame up to 1/2 foot long to shoot forth from your finger. The flame is hot and ignites combustible materials. Lighting a torch with this effect is a standard action (rather than a full-round action), but lighting any other fire with it takes at least a standard action (DM’s discretion).

    Flavor: You give a substance a better, worse, or different flavor. You could, for example, make porridge taste like lobster bisque. You do not change the substance’s quality or wholesomeness. Spoiled food remains spoiled, a poisoned drink is still deadly, and inedible material provides no nourishment—you can make a twig taste like steak, but it remains a twig.

    Gather: You neatly collect numerous objects. The objects you gather can be no larger than Fine size, no two items can be more than 10 feet apart, and their total weight cannot exceed 1 pound. You can place the gathered objects into a container you touch, or you can form a stack or pile that you touch.
    You can gather selectively; for instance, you can pick up just the coins from an area.

    Polish: You bring luster to a wood, metal, stone, leather, glass, or ceramic object. The object must be clean to start with. It remains shiny after the effect ends but can become dull again like anything else.

    Sketch: You create a two-dimensional visual figment of whatever you desire. You can leave the image hanging in the air, in which case it is immobile, or place it on a mobile object, such as a shield. The image can be no more than 1-foot square, and it lasts a maximum of 1 hour.

    Stitch: You magically sew seams in textiles or leather. You can create new stitching or repair old work. Unlike the mending cantrip, you cannot heal rips, holes, or tears (though you can patch or sew them together). If you have thread on hand, the stitches you make remain after the effect ends, but they are no stronger or weaker than normal stitching. You also can sew without thread, but then the seams last only an hour.

    Tie: You magically tie a firm knot (as though taking 10 with the Use Rope skill) in a thread, string, cord, rope, or cable up to 10 feet long. You can knot together two such objects if they’re within 1 foot of each other.

    Warm: You increase the temperature of an object by about 40° F, but never above 140° F. After an hour the object’s temperature returns to normal.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:19, Tue 28 Apr 2009.

DM - Jeff
 GM, 436 posts
Wed 13 May 2009
at 21:49
Rules of the Game
The Wizards articles on this page are really great sources of knowledge and do a lot to clear up certain rules that are a bit fuzzy in the core books.  When the source book and the FAQ's fail me I resort to these for rulings.

Rules of the Game:

DM - Jeff
 GM, 452 posts
Tue 4 Aug 2009
at 19:55
Re: Rules of the Game
Added the books I Own and Use for this game to the first post in this thread.