From Dungeons and Dragons Wiki
- 1 General Rules
- 2 Character Creation
- 3 Character Advancement
- 4 Starting Characters Above Level 1
Game Style Concerns
- Balance level guidelines are determined on a game-by-game basis. They may include maximums, minimums, and so on. All character selections are limited by these guidelines, including, but not limited to, class, feats, and spells. In some cases a higher balance level class may be allowed as an exception, provided they are limited to options that bring them into line.
- Action Points considered on a game-by-game basis.
- XP is out. Leveling happens when narratively / thematically appropriate (and possibly when the group decides that I've been too stingy with levels and they deserve one).
- Attributes will be capped at a number determined on a game-by-game basis (generally at 20, plus racial attribute adjustments). Neither magic nor training no wishes nor miracles nor books nor anything other than plot fiat can raise an attribute over this cap, so plan accordingly.
- Psionics is almost certainly out. I don't like the fluff of it, don't like the mechanics of it, and don't have a place for it in most settings. It can be added on a game-by-game basis, but it comes at the cost of other magic types and the terms I offer must be unanimously agreed to by all players.
- Magic item body slots are out. Item limits are in, and that limit is 8. You can declare "whatever is wielded in my left/right hand" as an "item" at the cost of 2 item slots and hot swap stuff. Items grabbed do not normally bind to you without you desiring that they do that (unless they're cursed or something and potentially even steal a slot from something else - this is extremely rare but should be pointed out in advance as possible). Items carried in excess of the limit simply don't function.
- Turning something off so you can equip something else basically only happens during downtime and does not currently have a fixed time associated with it.
- +X weapons and armor are boring and effectively constitute a level-up tax. Since I don't feel like reworking all of the monster entries so that I could remove them, they are instead just given out as character level based bonuses. These are described in the advancement section. **For those paying attention, these are similar to other advancement schemes listed under the variant rules on this site. They have been adjusted to account for capped attributes and the retention and houseruling of touch AC.
- Shields add their shield bonus and their enhancement bonus to your touch AC. This is already covered in the character level based bonuses under advancement, and is just listed here for clarity.
- Armor adds its enhancement bonuses, but not armor bonuses, to touch AC. This is already covered in the character level based bonuses under advancement, and is just listed here for clarity.
- Magic weapons and armor are just those with 1 or more +X properties. They do not require a base +1 prior to the special qualities being added, because that would make them impossible to create. Costs of these items are standard cost for their combined +X's.
- I have a strong preference for using the advanced combat maneuvers from Races of War in place of the SRD maneuvers. Also the BAB progression. The edge stuff I could take or leave. The exact implementation can be determined on a game by game basis.
- Teleport and all long range similar spells are out. Warp and related spells take their place. Level of warp can be adjusted based on desired game type.
- Leadership and any other class ability that allows you to pick up a cohort has the cohort's CR capped at your CR - 4. You can not attract followers of a level higher than your CR - 6. Yes, this is a fairly substantial nerf. It is intended to reduce the CR boost the creature gives you (which is unnecessary in most of the cases where they are granted) and also make multi-classing caster classes (assuming custom progressions) less offensive compared to taking a single feat.
- Total of all attributes must be equal to 72. I suppose you could also go with less than that if you feel like hamstringing yourself for some reason.
- No score may be higher than 18 to start. Note that if a race has a particularly large attribute adjustment penalty, or the cap is low for some reason, they may not actually be able to put an 18 in the attribute. The racial cap always overrides this limit.
- No score may be lower than 6 to start.
- Bonus Spells from High Attributes are not in use, largely due to the attribute cap. All spellcasters just get an extra 1 spell slot of each level (including cantrips).
- Core races allowed without approval; other races require approval and may be denied for "bullshit fluff reasons".
- Racial attribute adjustments are not added to your attributes. Your racial attribute adjustments are added to the cap to determine your maximum attribute value.
- Favored classes are not in use. Related - there is no xp penalty for weird multiclassing.
- Any race with a +/-4 or greater attribute adjustment requires approval.
- Any race with an ECL >= 2 requires approval.
- Any race with an LA > +1 will not be allowed.
- Core classes are allowed without approval.
- Good saving throws start 1 point higher, and then continue to grow normally.
- All non-core WotC published classes require approval, as do any wiki classes, and may be denied for "bullshit fluff reasons". Other classes may also be considered.
- If ToP is in use, classes of any balance level are permitted and are not subject to any balance level minimums in play. Low balance classes will get more skills, and should perform at a better than expected level.
- Feats are gained at each odd level, rather than 1st and then every 3 levels.
- Scaling feats are allowed, but restricted to only being gained in the feat slot granted by character levels at 1, 3, and 7 (and maybe 11 as well) and those classes that explicitly grant them as bonus feats. If a character does not select a scaling feat at level 1, they may instead select two standard feats.
- Cross-class skill ranks are purchased on a 1:1 basis with skill points. The 1/2 (level+3) cap remains in place, but is rounded up so there aren't unused cross class skill points floating around.
- In ToP games prefer to use the Max Ranks skill variant from UA, but players are welcome to opt out if they feel like it as long as they understand the risks of hamstringing themselves by spreading things around.
- Classes with full BAB can make one weapon or suit of armor, their choice, masterwork without paying the masterwork premium. They still pay the standard cost of the item.
- Flaws are allowed, but selecting a flaw does not grant you a bonus feat or any 'advantage' other than being able to hamstring yourself mechanically (which is only an 'advantage' in a very skewed sort of way). The limit on flaws is still 2.
- Traits are not allowed.
- There are no xp penalties for ridiculous multiclassing. Do it if it makes sense.
- When taking a second (or third, or fourth, etc.), the good save progressions are reduced by +2 and do not get the houseruled +1 indicated above. This is a straightforward reduction in save divergence.
- When taking a second (or third, or fourth, etc.) BASE class, you may gain additional retroactive skill points. If the new class offers more skill points per level than your current class(es), you gain the difference x3 in addition to normal skill points granted at this level. This is just a patch to reduce bizarre class builds to take advantage of bonus skill points at level 1.
- If you want to figure your BAB and saves out based on the fractional method, you are welcome and encouraged to do so. Again, this is largely a reduction in save divergence (since I don't care about BAB divergence).
- [Multiclass] feats are out. Yes, really. If you really want/need two progressions we'll talk about working something out, either a weird gestalt thing or a custom prestige class or whatever, but you may just have to go without.
- You may increase two attributes by +1 each at level 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20. This is an inherent bonus, the same type you would gain from a wish or a "book of attribute increasing".
- No attribute may have an inherent bonus greater than your character level / 4 (rounded down). This is a straightforward limit on increases due to wish and "book of attribute increasing" spam, and may not even matter in games that elect to gentleman's agreement that right out.
- Exception - If you start with a high attribute, you may not actually be able to use all of that inherent bonus range. Any unusable portion may be added to an attribute's pair, increasing the amount that attribute could be raised. Pairs are: Str <-> Con, Dex <-> Int, Wis <-> Cha. If both attributes of a pair are high and you don't benefit from this roll over, too bad.
- It's worth repeating - these bonuses may not raise an attribute over the attribute cap.
Gear Enhancement / Misc Bonuses
- Due to equipment changes...
- weapons wielded by a creature gain an enhancement bonus equal to +1 per 3 levels (rounded down).
- shields wielded by a creature gain an enhancement bonus equal to +1 per 3 levels (rounded down). Shield bonuses to AC are added to touch AC.
- characters gain a combination enhancement / deflection / natural bonus to regular armor class equal to +1 per 2 levels (rounded down). This does not stack with the touch armor class bonus.
- characters gain a combination enhancement / deflection bonus to touch armor class equal to +1 per 3 levels (rounded down). This does not stack with the regular armor class bonus.
- characters gain an enhancement bonus to saving throws equal to to +1 per 3 levels (rounded down).
- character abilities that require the target to make a save (like all spells ever) gain a +1 bonus to DC at level 2, and an additional +1 per 4 levels over 2 (rounded down). This is a concession to increasing PC saves and monster save bloat in conjunction with the capped attributes.
Starting Characters Above Level 1
- Pretend you started at level 1, and advance as normal per advancement rules.
- You gain standard starting stuff for your class. You may or may not care about this depending on actual starting level.
- You gain 1 item of level 1 through (X-1), where item is defined as the MIC item level and X is your starting character level.
- You gain your choice of 2 items from 6 of level X, randomly determined. If you hate your options you may trade them to other players for things they have selected, or trade them down for items of lower level of your choice. First trade can be made for a level X-1 or lower. Second trade can be made for an item of level X-2 or lower.
- No more than 1/3 of the characters in the party can possess the same item, excluding consumables. I don't do magic item shops in game for setting reasons and so I don't have to staff them with people who can stand up to the party, so you have what you find or can trade for and "geared to spec" PCs are less common. Given the lack of need for numerical boosts this has yet to be a problem.