House Rules

      Included here are DALMGG's House Rules and adopted variant rules for the Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition D20 system. Character Creation Guidelines have received specific attention, and therefore have their own Outline. Earning even greater attention than character creation, is the development of Character Backgrounds. To help with the creation of your character's background, check out the Creation Points System.

Character Advancement
Learning Skills & Feats

      Skills that the character already has may be improved with skill points earned upon leveling so long as that skill had been used during the previous level. If it had not been used, you may save your skill points to raise the skill once the character uses the skill.

      New Skills must either be taught by other PCs/NPCs and a successful relative ability check (DC 10 for a class skill or DC 15 for a cross-class skill), or through trial and error practice. Trial and error practice is defined as spending twenty hours per aspired rank attempting practice at the skill, with a successful relative ability check (DC 15 for a class skill or DC 20 for a cross-class skill). In either case, a character can not learn a skill unless conditions permit. i.e. You can not learn or be taught to swim unless you have a body of water to practice in.

      Feats also must either be taught by other PCs/NPCs and a successful relative ability check (DC 15 for a class' special feat or DC 20 for a normal feat), or through trial and error practice. Trial and error practice is defined as speding fourty hours attempting practice at the feat, with a successful relative ability check (DC 18 for a class' special feat or DC 22 (meaning you must have a minimum +2 ability modifier to even attempt it) for a normal feat). In either case, a character can not learn a feat unless conditions permit. i.e. You can not learn or be taught Mounted Archery without a mount or a Craft Item feat without the necessary components.

Learning New Spells

      Clerics gain access to all domain spells, and two other spells for their new level per day. Sorcerers may attempt to duplicate a spell they have witnessed within the past month upon a successful Spellcraft check at a DC 15 + the Spell Level, otherwise they must learn the spell from a spellbook or scroll. Wizards follow the rules in the PHB (P.155) with the exception of the changes to spell books as listed in the equipment section below.

Gaining Class Abilities

      Class abilities are a natural progression for the class and are gained automatically upon reaching the appropriate level.

Gaining Hit Points

      There is nothing worse then attaining a new level of power and rolling a 1 for your hit points. Therefore, characters will use a modified version of the fixed hit point variant presented in the DMG. Upon rolling your hit die, if you roll lower than your class minimum, you get the minimum plus your Con bonus. This allows for some randomness, without you being able to say, "Hey, you're a 7th level Fighter with a 16 Con so you have 61 Hit Points!" (Sorry RPGA!)

Min. HP
Sor, Wiz
Brd, Rog
Clr, Drd, Mnk
Ftr, Pal, Rgr
Gaining A Familiar

      This table replaces Table 3-18: Familiars on page 51 of the Player's Handbook. All other rules apply normally.

Experience System

      Experience will be based solely on your role-playing for the evening. The DM will track every character's awards in each of six categories (Overall Role Playing, Ideas and Solutions, PC Interaction, Conflict Performance, NPC Interaction, and Alignment Compliance). Points earned are tallied and multiplied by the character's current level for their night's experience total.

The Surprise Round

      "Whether one side is aware of the other or not, the... first round of combat as a surprise round. In this round, only partial actions are allowed. Only those on a side aware of the other side can take any action at all."

Critical Hit: Specific Area

      On a successful critical hit, the DM will roll the body die. If an appendage is rolled, see the Damage to Specific Areas rule. If 'torso' or 'head' is rolled, the struck character is considered clobbered.

Critical Hit: Instant Kill

      "When a player rolls a natural 20 on an atack roll, a critical roll is made to see if a critical hit is scored. If that critical roll is also a 20, it is considered a threat for an instant kill. Now, a 3rd roll, an instant kill roll is made. If this roll scores a hit on the target in question (just like a normal crit roll after a threat), the target is instantly slain. Creatures immune to critical hits are also immune to instant kills."

Critical Misses: Table

      If a player rolls a natural 1 for an attack roll, it is an automatic miss, and he must make another roll to see if it is a critical miss. If the second roll is also a miss, then a critical miss chart will be consulted by the DM to determine the outcome. If the second roll is not a miss, the roll is considered an automatic miss.


      "If a character takes half her current hit points in damage from a single blow, she is clobbered. On her next turn, she can only take a partial action, and after that turn she is no longer clobbered."

Death from Massive Damage Based on Size

      "If a creature takes [massive] damage from a single attack, she must make a fortitude save or die. This rule exists primarily so there is at least a nod toward realism in the abstract system of hitpoint loss." Massive damage is defined as 50 points for medium-sized creatures, 40 points for small-sized creatures, etc.

Damage to Specific Areas

      "When a specific body part takes damage, you can apply a -2 penalty to any action that the character undertakes using that portion of his body... a character [may] make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + damage taken) to "tough it out" and ignore the penalty."

Undead Turning

      Any attack against a turned undead by any member of the party breaks the turning effect.

Skills & Feats
Critical Success or Failure

      "If a player rolls a natural (unmodified) 20 on a check, allow him or her to make another check. If the second check is successful, the character has achieved a critical success with the use of that skill or ability, and something particularly good happens. Likewise, if a player rolls a natural 1, he rolls again. If the second check is a failure, the character has achieved a critical failure (made a critical blunder), and something really bad happens."

Knowledge Skills

      All official (WotC) skills are eligible for characters to learn. Any additional skills are subject to DM approval. For every two ranks in each of the following sub-skills, you may choose one additional topic that your character has learned. If you have not learned a topic, you may make an untrained Intelligence check to see if your character has the knowledge in question.

Sub-Skill Topic
Arcana elemental magic, elven high magic, Faerunian, gem magic, Halruaan, Imaskari, Netherese, mageduels, Mulhorandi, Rashemi, Raumathari, rune magic, shadow magic, spellfire, spell pools, Thavian
Architecture & Engineering general, region
Geography general, region
History region
Local region
Monster Lore Aberrations, Animals, Beasts, Constructs, Dragons, Elementals, Fey, Giants, Humanoids (specific type), Magical Beasts, Oozes, Outsiders (specific type), Plants, Shapechangers, Undead, Vermin
Nature arctic, aquatic, desert, forest, jungle, hill, mountain, plains, swamp, underdark
Nobility & Royalty etiquette, region
The Planes general, specific plane
Religion general, specific deity

      If a topic lists 'region', choose one of the regions from Table 1-4: Character Regions on page 30 of the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. A 'general' topic covers Faerun as a whole. For example, a (Geography - general) question would be finding Sembia on a map of the continent.

      Region-specific knowledge skills work similarly to the Perform skill. There is only one skill, and one skill modifier, but it may be applied to more than one region. For example, there is no such thing as Knowledge (Cormyr local) or Knowledge (Sembia local) that get separate ranks. There is just one skill Knowledge (local - Cormyr, Sembia) just as there is Perform (sing, dance).

      At character creation, you automatically gain two ranks in any region-specific skill. This applies only to the region you grew up in and no other. After 1st level, divide the number of ranks in the skill by 2 and round down to determine how many other regions besides your home region you may select skills for. The same skill modifier applies to all regions selected; ranks are not tracked separately by region.

      Note that for Knowledge (Local) in particular, a character may only select a region for this skill if he has lived in that region for at least 6 months.

Spell Component Pouches

      Not liking the idea of unlimited spell components so long as a character has their pouch, we've placed a restriction. A full spell component pouch is considered to have 30 spell reagents. Each spell that requires material spell components that would normally be covered by the pouch cost one reagent per level of the spell (1/2 reagent for 0-level). You may obviously refill your pouch, usually through the purchase of more reagents from a wizard's guild for the price of 1gp per reagent.


      Spells only take one page per level, half a page for 0-level spells. The cost per page is normal.

Piecemeal Armor

      In the interest of realism (hey, this is what all the 3e artwork is about anyways!), the DM has adopted the Piecemeal Armor rules as presented in the 2nd Edition Complete Fighter's Handbook and converted to Third Edition by Colin Chapman. You can find the rules in .rtf format at the Community 3E Website.