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|D&D Basic Game Rules|
|Topic Started: Apr 27 2012, 05:10 PM (420 Views)|
|Dryth||Apr 27 2012, 05:10 PM Post #1|
Dungeons & Dragons is the prime, classic tabletop RPG system, created by Gary Gigax and currently published by Wizards of the Coast. With the Open Game License, the basic rules of the game are open for personal use and distribution on the internet, so we can do this. The rules I'm giving you are official summarized rules modified for forum use, originally taken from the D&D rule reference site, D&D.Wiki. You can go there for more detailed rules if you like. Enjoy!
For the record, these rules are very tldr, and I don't expect anybody to read all of them. If you don't know anything about D&D it may be a good way to learn the rules, but it is intended as more of a rule reference guide for people who don't have the physical game resources at their disposal.
+The Core Mechanic
Whenever you attempt an action that has some chance of failure, you:
-Roll a d20 (20 sided die).
-Add any relevant modifiers.
-Compare the result to a target number.
If the result equals or exceeds the target number, your character succeeds. If the result is lower than the target number, you fail. In the event that the target number is known, success or failure may be known by the players and gameplay may continue without direction, but in the event that the target is not known, wait for the GM to reveal the result of the roll before continuing. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT alter dice rolls of your own or anyone else's if you've the ability to edit posts. It's just unsportsmanlike.
Dice rolls are described with expressions such as "3d4+3" which means "roll 3 4-sided dice and add 3" (resulting in a number between 6 and 15). The first number tells you how many dice to roll to be added together. The number immediately after the "d" tells you the type of die to use. Any number added or subtracted after that is a modifier to the result of the full roll.
If you don't know how to roll dice on the forum, visit the Dice Rolling Topic.
Your character will fill out a sheet similar to the following, and I will explain how.
Official D&D 3.5 Character Sheet
All Text Character Sheet
Spoiler: click to toggle
To build a character, follow this basic order outline:
-Choose a race.
-Determine ability points.
-Choose a class.
-Select feats and skills.
-Add descriptive traits.
There are many races, classes, and feats in Dungeons & Dragons, core, expanded, and home-made. Typically it's recommended to stick with the core races and classes, but there's no restriction on the races. GMs retain the power to limit what can be used.
Race is the species of your character. It does not determine what class you may have at all, but modifies some skills and ability scores. Some expanded races have special feats and many have special traits. (ex. a dwarve's land speed is not reduced by encumbrance or armor.)
Each ability partially describes your character and affects some of his or her actions.When an ability score changes, all attributes associated with that score change accordingly. A character does not retroactively get additional skill points for previous levels if she increases her intelligence.
If you don't know what an ability does, click on it to learn more about it.
-Determining your Ability Points
To determine your character's ability points, there are several methods. Given the forum setting, I rule the official method to be the "point buy" system. All of your ability scores start at 8. You have a number of points to divide between your abilities as you wish, the number varying between RP based on the campaign difficulty level. Recommended points would be 18, 24, or 36. The more points you begin with, the easier the campaign. When dividing these points between abilities, increases from 11-14 cost 1pt. Increases 15 and 16 cost 2pts. Increases 17 and 18 cost 3pts, and increases 19-20 cost 4pts. After you've finished adding all of your points, add in the racial modifiers to your abilities and you're done.
Each ability, after changes made because of race, has a modifier ranging from -5 to +5. Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells, as seen below, shows the modifier for each score. It also shows bonus spells, which you'll need to know about if your character is a spellcaster.
The modifier is the number you apply to the die roll when your character tries to do something related to that ability. You also use the modifier with some numbers that aren't die rolls. A positive modifier is called a bonus, and a negative modifier is called a penalty.
-Abilities and Spellcasters
The ability that governs bonus spells depends on what type of spellcaster your character is: Intelligence for wizards; Wisdom for clerics, druids, paladins, and rangers; or Charisma for sorcerers and bards. In addition to having a high ability score, a spellcaster must be of high enough class level to be able to cast spells of a given spell level.
Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells
AS=Ability Score...Mod=Ability Modifier.
.................Bonus Spells (spell lvl)
AS__Mod__.1 .2 .3 .4 .5 .6 .7 .8 .9
4-5___|-3|...Can't cast spells tied to this ability.
10-11_| 0 | -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
12-13_|+1| -- .1 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
14-15_|+2| -- .1 .1 -- -- -- -- -- -- --
16-17_|+3| -- .1 .1 .1 -- -- -- -- -- --
18-19_|+4| -- .1 .1 .1 .1 -- -- -- -- --
20-21_|+5| -- .2 .1 .1 .1 .1 -- -- -- --
Class is the kind of character you have, be they a fighter, a caster, an arger, or whatever. There are many to choose from with variations. Each class modifies your character upon taking levels in that class. Every time your character levels in a class, the class guides the increase of your hit-points (HP), attack bonus, saving throws, and special class abilities.
The link to the D&D Wiki class list above will be your class selection. It has all the information about each individual class.
Every class has its own hp increase rate (hit die). Every level, you roll a die based on your class and add your Con modifier to the resulting roll. You then add the resulting number to your max HP.
-Base Attack Bonus
Every class has its own attack bonus increase rate. Every level, your base attack bonus increases the amount your class's attack bonus increases. If you retain only one class, your base attack bonus will always be exactly the number in the table.
When something negative has happened that you need to react to, excluding a direct attack, a saving throw is what you must roll. When you level up in a class, it will tell you how much your base save increases. Add this base to the save's ability modifier and you'll have your Saving Throw. The ability modifiers are Fortitude (CON), Reflex(DEX), Will(WIS). If you want to know more, go to the link.
+Feats & Skills
Feats are pretty strait forward. Your class will tell you when you get feats, and if so, which feats you can get. If you meet the prerequisites, you just add the feat to your feats list and do what it says. The link is a comprehensive feats list for D&D. There are a lot of them. I recommend sticking to the General Feats
Every level, you get skill points for your class + your INT modifier. So if you were, say, a Fighter with 14 INT (modifier of +2), you would have 4 skill points to add every level. You may add these points to the "Ranks" column on any skill you wish, but non-class skills will cost 2 points for every 1 rank increase. Every skill has an ability tied to it. Also add the ability modifier of the ability tied to the skill to the skill's total score. Only skills marked with a ">" may be used without having points put into them. Racial skill modifiers go in the "Misc" column
I can't guide you through what items you may need, but the costs of items and their relevant information are all listed there on the linked page. Be wary of how much you carry. All items have weight. Should the total weight of your inventory reach over a light load, you will start to recieve penalties. Visit the Carrying Capacity page to determine your character's light, medium, and heavy loads.
The penalty of a medium load are a max DEX modifier of +3, speed reduction, and a -3 on all armor check skills. The penalties of a heavy load are max DEX of +1, same speed reduction, and a -6 on all armor check skills.
Separate from normal equipment, the most used items are armor and weapons.
...Armor provides Armor Class (AC), which determines how hard you are to hit. Skills with a "*" next to them receive an "armor check penalty" whenever they're used while your character is wearing armor. Each suit of armor has its own armor check penalty. Add this penalty to the "Misc" column of every skill with a "*" next to it. Armor also limits maximum speed and causes a percent spell failure.
...Weapons kill things much better than non-weapons. You must have proficiency in the type of weapon used, be it Simple, Martial, or Exotic, or else you will receive a -6 penalty when using it. Your class will list your weapon proficiencies, but you can take added weapon proficiencies as feats. You may wield 2 weapons at once if you wish, but at a penalty. See the Two-Weapon Fighting page.
Combat is cyclical; everybody acts in turn in a regular cycle of rounds. Combat follows this sequence:
1. All characters are flat-footed until made aware of the enemy threat. Once aware of the threat, they are no longer flat-footed, in which case, attacks are put against your flat-footed AC instead of your normal AC. If some but not all of the characters are aware of their opponents, a surprise round happens before the normal rounds of combat begin. The characters aware of the enemy threat can act in the surprise round.
2. Initiative determines the turn order of each battle. In initiative order (highest to lowest), characters who started the battle aware of their opponents each take one action (either a standard action or a move action) during the surprise round. Characters who are unaware do not get to act in the surprise round. If no one or everyone starts the battle aware, there is no surprise round.
3. When the surprise round is over, and all aware characters have had their turn, unaware characters are made aware of the combat, unless special circumstances apply, and all remaining characters are to roll their initiatives and enter the battle in sequence. All combatants are now ready to begin their first regular round of combat.
click for more about Initiative.
+Normal Combat Rounds
4. If some but not all of the combatants are aware of their opponents, a surprise round happens before regular rounds of combat begin. The combatants who are aware of the opponents can act in the surprise round, so they roll for initiative. All combatants, now with ordered initiative, take full rounds in turn. Each round represents 6 seconds in the game world. A round presents an opportunity for each character involved in a combat situation to take actions. A character may take the following actions in a round.
(All Action types description and examples.)
Combatants act in initiative order (highest to lowest).
When everyone has had a turn, the combatant with the highest initiative acts again, and steps 4 and 5 repeat until combat ends.
more coming as soon as D&D wiki comes back online. Let me know if this is way too confusing and I'll try to clarify it. Please contact me with any questions.
Example combat grid map:
Blank Grid Map
Spoiler: click to toggle
Edited by Dryth, Apr 29 2012, 07:24 AM.
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