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Advanced Dungeons &


Dungeon Master

The revised and updated Dungeon Master

Guide for the AD&D

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DRAG32$ GR#4&A(0$ D/2G#32 MAST#R$ DM$ DRAG32LA2"#$ and the TSR
5ogo are registered trademar's o6ned )% TSR Inc.
7ore6ord to the 2nd #dition
A fore6ord is norma55% the p5ace 6here the author of a )oo' e8presses than's and
gratitude. I9m not going to do that here. It9s not that ever%one invo5ved doesn9t deserve
congratu5ations and praise$ it9s :ust that I a5read% said a55 those things in the fore6ord to
the AD&D Player's Handbook. #ver%thing I said there is true for this )oo'$ too. 3n to
other things.
Let9s assume that since %ou9re reading this$ %our are$ or p5an to )e$ a Dungeon
Master. *% no6$ %ou shou5d )e fami5iar 6ith the ru5es in the Player's Handbook. 4ou9ve
pro)a)5% a5read% noticed things %ou 5i'e or things %ou 6ou5d have done different5%. If
%ou have$ congratu5ations. 4ou9ve got the spirit ever% Dungeon Master needs. As %ou go
through this ru5e )oo'$ I encourage %ou to continue to ma'e these choices.
"hoice is 6hat the AD&D game is a55 a)out. (e9ve tried to offer %ou 6hat 6e
thin' are the )est choices for %our AD&D campaign$ )ut each of us has different 5i'es
and dis5i'es. The game that I en:o% ma% )e ;uite different from %our o6n campaign. *ut
it is not for me to sa% 6hat is right or 6rong for %our game. True$ I and ever%one 6or'ing
on the AD&D game have had to ma'e fundamenta5 decisions$ )ut 6e9ve tried to avoid
)eing dogmatic and inf5e8i)5e. The AD&D game is %ours$ it9s mine$ it9s ever% p5a%er9s
So is there an <officia5< AD&D game= 4es$ )ut on5% 6hen there needs to )e.
A5though I don9t have a cr%sta5 )a55$ it9s 5i'e5% that tournaments and other officia5 events
6i55 use a55 of the core ru5es in these )oo's. 3ptiona5 ru5es ma% or ma% not )e used$ )ut
it9s fair to sa% that a55 p5a%ers need to 'no6 a)out them even if the% don9t have the
The Player's Handbook and the Dungeon Master Guide give %ou 6hat %ou9re
e8pected to 'no6$ )ut that doesn9t mean the game )egins and ends there. 4our game 6i55
go in directions not %et e8p5ored and %our p5a%ers 6i55 tr% things others thin' strange.
Sometimes these strange things 6i55 6or'? sometimes the% 6on9t. @ust accept this$ )e
read% for it$ and en:o% it.
Ta'e the time to have fun 6ith the AD&D ru5es. Add$ create$ e8pand$ and
e8trapo5ate. Don9t :ust 5et the game sit there$ and don9t )ecome a ru5es 5a6%er 6orr%ing
a)out each pidd5% 5itt5e detai5. If %ou can9t figure out the ans6er$ MA0# IT /AB And
6hatever %ou do$ don9t fa55 into the trap of )e5ieving these ru5es are comp5ete. The% are
not. 4ou cannot sit )ac' and 5et the ru5e )oo' do ever%thing for %ou. Ta'e the time and
effort to )ecome not :ust a good DM$ )ut a )ri55iant one.
At conventions$ in 5etters$ and over the phone I9m often as'ed for the instant
ans6er to a fine point of the game ru5es. More often than not$ I come )ac' 6ith a
;uestionC6hat do you fee5 is right= And the peop5e as'ing the ;uestions discover that
not on5% can the% create an ans6er$ )ut that their ans6er is as good as an%one e5se9s. The
ru5es are on5% guide5ines.
At the )eginning of the first Dungeon Master Guide$ Gar% G%ga8 stressed that
each of us$ 6or'ing from a common )ase$ 6ou5d ma'e the AD&D game gro6 in a
variet% of different directions. That is more true toda% than ever. Don9t )e afraid of
e8perimentation$ )ut do )e carefu5. As a Dungeon Master$ %ou have great po6er$ and
<6ith great po6er comes great responsi)i5it%.< /se it 6ise5%.
David <De)< "oo'
2nd Edition Designer: David <De)< "oo'
Development: Steve (inter and @on Aic'ens
Playtest Coordination: @on Aic'ens
Editing: (arren Spector$ @ean Ra)e$ Steven Schend
Graphic Design: Dee *arnett
Art Coordination: Aegg% "ooper
&undreds of p5a%ers assisted us in p5a%testing the AD&D 2nd #dition game. Their efforts
6ere inva5ua)5e in improving the manuscript. The 5ist that fo55o6s is not comp5ete$ )ut
6e 6ou5d 5i'e to than' Mi'e A)raham$ @eff A5)anese$ Roger Anderson$ Susan Anderson$
(a5ter *ass$ Scott *ec'$ Doug *ehringer$ @ohn *ennie$ Andre6 *eth'e$ Don *ing5e$
Linda *ing5e$ Aaron *oa>$ Teresa *oa>$ Ra% *ooth$ Ric' *re6er$ @eff *roemme5$ Dan
*ro6n$ 7ran' "a)anas$ *i55 "iers$ Ro)ert "orn$ Dennis "ouch$ *i55 "urtis$ Scott Dai5%$
Ahi55ip Dear$ 7ran' and Terri Disarro$ #rro5 7arstad$ @ohn 7it>patric'$ *i55 75att$ "her%5
7rech$ De6e% 7rech$ @ohn Gam)5e$ 1ince Garcia$ 0%ra G5ass$ @ohn Goff$ Aeter Gregor%$
Greg &and5eton$ David &ansom$ Gordon &o5com)$ Ro) &ue)ner$ #d Issac$ Larr%
@ohnson$ Re%no5d ". @ones$ @eff 0e55%$ @eff 0ing$ @im 0ir'5e%$ Aeter 0o'inder$ Dan
0ramars'%$ #d 0ramer$ Aau5 0rausnic'$ @on 0ugath$ Michae5 Lach$ Todd Laing$ Len
La'of'a$ Randa55 Lemon$ David Machim$ @eff Martin$ Theron Martin$ Scott Ma%o$
Mi5ton McGorri5$ 0evin Me5'a$ @ohn Mende>$ *i55 Mercer$ 7ran' and Mar% Me%er$ 2ea5
Me%er$ Mar' Midd5eton$ @im Mi5am$ 7ran' Mi55er$ @im Moe55er$ Mi'e Mu55en$ Lance
Murph%$ Scott 2eedham$ Stance 2i8on$ 0evin 2orton$ Steve 2u55$ Ra% 3ue55ette$
Rem)ert Aar'er$ 2athan Aatron's%$ #d Aeterson$ 0eith Ao5ster$ *ruce Ra)e$ 2orm
Ritchie$ 0ip Romaine$ Tim Ro%apa$ Marc Rush$ Michae5 Ru>>a$ Aau5 Schmidt$ #ugene
Schuma'er$ Mar' Schuma'er$ Greg Sch6ar>$ Michae5 Simpson$ (arren Snider$ Michae5
@. Somers$ &a5 St. "5air$ @eff Stevens$ @ustin Stevens$ Aau5 Stevens$ Dorence Stova55$ *rad
Stump$ Lourdes Su55ivan$ #55en Terra$ @ohn Terra$ Mar' TeTai$ (i55iam Trac%$ @a%
Tumme5son$ Ro)ert /ng5au)$ "ar5 1an Devendeer$ Steven 1aughnH2icho5s$ 1irginia
1aughnH2icho5s$ *r%an 1i55area5$ Mar' (a55ace$ Mi'e (ah5$ Aeter (a5'er$ Doris (e55s$
0evin (e55s$ "o55een (et>e5$ Dave (et>e5$ @osh (hitmer$ @ett (herr%$ S'ip (i55iams$
@ames (i55iams$ Aeter Dinda$ and the fo55o6ing groupsI Dragon"on Gaming Staff$
#5f5ords of #riador$ #8ca5i)re Gamers Association$ Games /n5imited$ and MA"#.
7ina55%$ credit must a5so )e shared 6ith an%one 6ho has ever as'ed a ;uestion$
offered a suggestion$ 6ritten an artic5e$ or made a comment a)out the AD&D game.
This is a derivative 6or' )ased on the origina5 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
Players Handbook and Dungeon Master Guide )% Gar% G%ga8 and Unearthed Arcana
and other materia5s )% Gar% G%ga8 and others.
Random &ouse and its affi5iate companies have 6or5d6ide distri)ution rights in the )oo'
trade for #ng5ish 5anguage products of TSR Inc. Distri)uted to the )oo' and ho))% trade
in the /nited 0ingdom )% TSR Ltd. Distri)uted to the to% and ho))% trade )% regiona5
distri)utors. J!FGF$ !FF, TSR Inc. A55 rights reserved. This 6or' is protected under the
cop%right 5a6s of the /nited States of America. An% reproduction or unauthori>ed use of
the materia5 or art6or' presented herein is prohi)ited 6ithout the e8press 6ritten consent
of TSR$ Inc.
3ne of the toughest cha55enges facing a DM Land I can on5% assume that ever%one
reading this either is$ or 6ants to )e$ a DMM is 'eeping his game sessions fresh and
Those of us 6ho produce ne6 materia5 for the AD&D game as a 6ho5e have a
more or 5ess simi5ar tas'$ a5though on a 5arger sca5e. (e are constant5% searching for 6a%s
to ma'e adventures and game accessories uni;ue$ or at 5east origina5 and distinctive. Li'e
Sir Isaac 2e6ton$ 6e9ve 5earned from e8perience that 6hen faced 6ith mu5tip5e choices$
the simp5est a5ternative is often the )est.
&ence the )oo' %ou ho5d in %our hands.
After si8 %ears$ it 6as time for the Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master
Guide$ the t6o most important AD&D ru5e )oo's$ to get freshened up. (hat cou5d )e
)etter and simp5er than a ne6 coat of paint= Aroducts that 6e pu)5ish toda% don9t 5oo'
5i'e products 6e pu)5ished in !FGF$ or even in !FF+. (e haven9t changed the game in an%
su)stantia5 6a% Laside from the usua5 c5arifications and corrections that go a5ong 6ith an%
reprintM. *ut 6e have 5et these )oo's catch up to our ne6 standards. The%9re 5arger$ more
co5orfu5$ and more reada)5e$ a55 6ith an e%e to6ard ma'ing %our DMing :o) easier.
*ringing this pro:ect together re'ind5ed a 5ot of memories. In particu5ar$ one da%
from !FG. stands out in m% mind. I remem)er it vivid5% )ecause it 6as the da% 6hen
Dave "oo' and I dre6 up the ver% first out5ine and schedu5e for the 2nd #dition of the
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game. (hat needed to )e done$ and ho6 it shou5d )e
done$ 5oo'ed c5ear and simp5e on our neat$ fourHpage report. In fact$ that massive
underta'ing occupied a5most t6o %ears of our 5ives$ and I9ve spent most of m% time since
then caring for the AD&D game.
That9s a :o) that 6e en:o%$ or 6e 6ou5dn9t )e doing it. Most of us fee5 that 6e
have a sta'e$ to one e8tent or another$ in ever% AD&D campaign out there. (hen %ou and
%our p5a%ers get together$ the months Loften %earsM of designing$ discussing$ p5a%testing$
redesigning$ arguing$ editing$ s'etching$ and head scratching disappear into the
)ac'ground. *ut no matter 6hether %ou p5a% )% the )oo's or 6ith a )inder fu55 of home
ru5es$ 6e9re a55 in this together$ united )% the common thread of the AD&D game.
Steve (inter
7e)ruar% K$ !FF,
Ta)5e of "ontents
A (ord A)out 3rgani>ation
The 7ine Art of *eing a DM
Chapter 1: Player Character Ability Scores
Giving A5a%ers (hat The% (ant
"hoosing a "haracter "reation Method
Method I L+dK$ in orderM
Method II L+dK t6ice$ 'eep desired scoreM
Method III L+dK$ arranged to tasteM
Method I1 L+dK t6ice$ arranged to tasteM
Method 1 L-dK$ drop 5o6est$ arrange as desiredM
Super "haracters
Identif%ing TooHAo6erfu5 "haracters
Dea5ing 6ith TooHAo6erfu5 "haracters
&ope5ess "haracters
Dea5ing 6ith &ope5ess "haracters
Dea5ing 6ith Dissatisfied A5a%ers
(ishes and A)i5it% Scores
A5a%ers 6ith Mu5tip5e "haracters
Mu5tip5e "haracter Aro)5ems
"haracter *ac'ground
Letting A5a%ers Do the (or'
Aro)5em *ac'grounds
Chapter 2: Player Character aces
A 2onH&uman (or5d
Racia5 Leve5 Restrictions
Slow Advancement
Standard "5ass and Leve5 Limits
!ceeding "evel "imits
"reating 2e6 A5a%er "haracter Races
Chapter !: Player Character Classes
"5ass$ Leve5$ and the "ommon Man
HLeve5 "haracters
Adventurers and Societ%
"haracter "5asses in 4our "ampaign
&ighHLeve5 "haracters
Defining <&igh Leve5<
"hanging "ampaign St%5es
A)ove 2th Leve5
*eginning "haracter Leve5s
Mi8ing 2e6 and 35d "haracters
AreHRo55ed "haracters
#reating a $ew #haracter #lass
Chapter ": Alignment
A5a%er "haracter A5ignment
Ro5eHA5a%ing A5ignment
2A" A5ignment
The Limits of 2A" A5ignment
Societ% A5ignment
/sing Area A5ignments
1ar%ing Socia5 A5ignment
A5ignment of Re5igions
A5ignment of Magica5 Items
Magica5 A5ignment "hanges
A5ignment as a (or5d 1ie6
A5ignments in "onf5ict
2everHending "onf5ict
A5ignment as a Too5
Detecting A5ignment
"asting a Spe55
"5ass A)i5ities
0eeping A5a%ers in the Dar'
"hanging A5ignment
De5i)erate "hange
/nconscious "hange
Invo5untar% "hange
"harting the "hanges
#ffects of "hanging A5ignment
Chapter #: Pro$iciencies
%ea&on Pro'iciencies
$P# Pro'iciencies
Adding $ew Pro'iciencies
Chapter %: &oney and E'uipment
"ontro55ing the Mone% Supp5%
Monetar% S%stem
A Short &istor% of "ommerce
Letters of "redit
T%pes of "oins
S;ua5id "onditions
Aoor "onditions
Midd5eH"5ass "onditions
(ea5th% "onditions
Draining the "offers
#8panding the #;uipment Lists
A5tering Arices
#;uipment )% Time Aeriod
The Ancient (or5d
The Dar' Ages
The Midd5e Ages
The Renaissance
Ad:usting #;uipment Lists
Nua5it% of #;uipment
Loc' Nua5it%
&orse Nua5it%
Horse )raits
Ris's of &orse *u%ing
(eapon Nua5it%
Armor Made o' Unusual Metals
Damaging #;uipment
Genera5 (eapon Damage
Attac' 7orms
Chapter (: &agic
Initia5 (i>ard Spe55s
A5a%er "hoice
A5a%erEDM "o55a)oration
Ac;uisition of Spe55s *e%ond !st Leve5
Going /p in Leve5s
"op%ing from Spe55 *oo's
Scro55 Research
Stud% 6ith a Mentor
DM "ontro5 of Spe55 Ac;uisition
Spe55 *oo's
A55 Si>es and Shapes
Spe55 *oo' Areparation
Spe55 *oo' "ost
&o6 Man% Aages in a Spe55 *oo'=
#8panding the Schoo5s of Magic
Adding 2e6 Spe55s
#8pansion Through "ampaign Detai5
Spe55 Research
Suggesting a 2e6 Spe55
Ana5%>ing a Spe55
So5ving the Aro)5ems of a 2e6 Spe55
Setting a Spe559s Leve5
Determining S&ell #om&onents
Determining Research Time
The "ost of Spe55 Research
Adding a 2e6 Spe55 to the Spe55 *oo'
*esearching !tra %i+ard S&ells
Chapter ): E*perience
The Importance of #8perience
Too Litt5e or Too Much
"onstant Goa5s
"haracter Surviva5
1aria)5e Goa5s
Stor% Goa5s
#8perience Aoint A6ards
Group A6ards
,ndividual !&erience Awards
(hen to A6ard #8perience Aoints
#ffects of #8perience
Rate of Advancement
Chapter +: Combat
"reating 1ivid "om)at Scenes
More Than @ust &ac'HandHS5ash
The Attac' Ro55
7iguring the ToH&it 2um)er
Modifiers to the Attac' Ro55
%ea&on )y&e vs- Armor Modi'iers
The 1arious T%pes of (eapons
Impossi)5e ToH&it 2um)ers
"a5cu5ating T&A"3
"om)at and #ncounters
The "om)at Round
(hat 4ou "an Do in 3ne Round
The "om)at Se;uence
Standard Initiative Arocedure
Initiative Modifiers
Grou& ,nitiative
,ndividual ,nitiative
Mu5tip5e Attac's and Initiative
Spe55casting and Initiative
%ea&on S&eed and ,nitiative
2um)er of Attac'ers
(eapon Length
Aosition of Attac'ers and Attac' Ro55s
Pole Arms and %ea&on .rontage
Shields and %ea&on .rontage
&itting a Specific Target
"a55ed Shots
Movement in "om)at
Movement in Me5ee
Movement and Missi5e "om)at
"harging an 3pponent
Attac'ing (ithout 0i55ing
Aunching and (rest5ing
(eapons in 2onHLetha5 "om)at
2onHLetha5 "om)at and "reatures
Touch Spe55s and "om)at
#ritical Hits
(h% 2o "ritica5 &it Ta)5es=
T6o (or'a)5e "ritica5 &it S%stems
"ritica5 7um)5es
Missi5e (eapons in "om)at
Rate of 7ire
A)i5it% Modifiers in Missi5e "om)at
7iring into a Me5ee
Ta'ing "over Against Missi5e 7ire
GrenadeHLi'e Missi5es
Scatter Diagram
T%pes of GrenadeHLi'e Missi5es
*ou5ders as Missi5e (eapons
Specia5 Attac's
Attac'ing (ith "harmed "reatures
Ga>e Attac's
Innate A)i5ities
Great (eapons
Specia5 Defenses
The Saving Thro6
Ro55ing Saving Thro6s
Saving Thro6 Ariorit%
1o5untari5% 7ai5ing Saving Thro6s
A)i5it% "hec's as Saving Thro6s
Modif%ing Saving Thro6s
Magic Resistance
#ffects of Magic Resistance
(hen Magic Resistance App5ies
Successfu5 Magic Resistance Ro55s
Turning /ndead
#vi5 Ariests and /ndead
Immunit% to (eapons
#ffects of (eapon &its
Si5ver (eapons
"reature vs. "reature
/sing Immune Monsters in a "ampaign
The Ro5eHA5a%ing So5ution
Dicing for Mora5e
&o6 to Ma'e a Mora5e "hec'
7ai5ing a Mora5e "hec'
In:ur% and Death
Specia5 Damage
#nerg% Drain
S&eci'ic ,n/uries
Is This In:ur% 2ecessar%=
2atura5 &ea5ing
Magica5 &ea5ing
&er)a5ism & &ea5ing Aroficiencies
"haracter Death
Death from Aoison
Death from Massive Damage
Inescapa)5e Death
Raising the Dead
Hovering on Death's Door
/nusua5 "om)at Situations
Siege Damage
Mounted "om)at
Aerial #ombat
/nder6ater "om)at
Chapter 1,: -reasure and &agical Items
(ho 2eeds Mone%=
7orms of Treasure
A5acement of Treasure
(ho9s Got the Treasure
A5anned and Random #ncounter Treasures
Treasure Ta)5es
Maintaining *a5ance
Too Litt5e Treasure
Mont% &au5 "ampaigns
Magica5 Items
"reatures and Magica5 Items
*u%ing Magica5 Items
MagicCRare or "ommon
Researching Magica5 Items
The 2ature of Magica5 7a)rication
Scro55s and Aotions
"reating 3ther Magica5 Items
Recharging Magica5 Items
Destro%ing Magica5 Items
Arti'acts and *elics
Designing an Artifact or Re5ic
Samp5e Artifacts and Re5ics
Chapter 11: Encounter
(hat is an #ncounter=
A5anned #ncounters
"om)ining 0e%s and Triggers
Random #ncounters
Shou5d 4ou /se Random #ncounters=
"haracteristics of Random #ncounter Ta)5es
"reating #ncounter Ta)5es
The 2H2 Ta)5e
The Aercenti5e Ta)5e
Dungeon #ncounter Ta)5es
(i5derness #ncounter Ta)5es
Specia5 #ncounter Ta)5es
Spicing /p #ncounter Ta)5es
DMing #ncounters
#ncounter "hec's
Is This #ncounter 2ecessar%=
#ncounter Si>e
#ncounter Distance
#ncounter Reactions
7i8ing Things in A5a%
The #ncounter is Too Difficu5t
The #ncounter Gave A6a% Too Much Treasure
The #ncounter (as Too #as%
Chapter 12: .PCs
Medieva5 3ccupations
The Assassin$ the Sp%$ and the Sage
Description of Troop T%pes
#mp5o%ing &ire5ings
(ho Might *e 3ffended
Depopu5ate at 4our 36n Ris'
Securing Aermission
7inding the Right Aeop5e
The (ee'5% (age
An 2A" *ecomes a &enchman
The A5a%er Ta'es 3ver
Ro5eHp5a%ing &enchmen
&enchmen and *oo''eeping
3fficia5s and Socia5 Ran'
Tit5es$ 3ffices$ and Aositions
7inding a Spe55caster
"onvincing an 2A" to &e5p
2A" Magica5 Items
(a5'Hon 2A"s
Significant 2A"s
3ther 2A" "haracteristics
Nuic' 2A"s
Chapter 1!: /ision and 0ight
#ffects of Light Sources
*eing Seen
"reatures and Light Sources
Light Tric's and Traps
Standard Infravision
3ther forms of Sight
Detecting Invisi)5e "reatures
Chapter 1": -ime and &ovement
Detai5ed Time'eeping
Areparing a "a5endar
Time as a GameH*a5ancer
Mounted 3ver5and Movement
"are of Anima5s
)errain ''ects on Movement
Dar'ness and Ice
Terrain Modifiers in 3ver5and Movement
Roads and Trai5s
Terrain 3)stac5es and &indrances
Movement on (ater
3cean 1o%aging
(eather and Ship Trave5
Aeria5 Movement
Getting Lost
Chapter 1#: A D&1s &iscellany
"oncea5ed and Secret Doors
3ther Magica5 Diseases
The A5anes
The Arime Materia5 A5anes
The #therea5 A5ane
The Inner A5anes
The Astra5 A5ane
The 3uter A5anes
Appendi* 1: -reasure -ables
3):ects of Art
Appendi* 2: &agical Items -ables
Magica5 Items
Armor and Shie5ds
Magica5 (eapons
Appendi* !: &agical Items Descriptions
Identif%ing a Aotion
"om)ining Aotions
Aotion Duration
List of Aotions
Spe55 Leve5 of Scro55 Spe55s
Magica5 Spe55 7ai5ure
/se of Scro55 Spe55s
"asting Scro55 #ffects
Arotection Scro55 #ffects
(ho "an /se Scro55 Spe55s=
Spe55 Leve5 Range
"ursed Scro55s
List of Arotection Scro55s
List of Rings
#ommand %ords
List of Rods
#ommand %ords
List of Staves
#ommand %ords
List of (ands
Misce55aneous Magic
"ategories of Magica5 Items
Armor and Shie5ds
Magica5 (eapons
Light Generation
/n'no6n or /nusua5 Nua5ities
Magica5 (eapon List
Inte55igent (eapons
Inte55igent (eapon A5ignment
(eapon A)i5ities
(eapon #go
(eapon 1ersus "haracters
Ta)5e !I Method I "haracters
Ta)5e 2I Method II "haracters
Ta)5e +I Method III "haracters
Ta)5e -I Method I1 "haracters
Ta)5e ,I Method 1 "haracters
Ta)5e KI Method 1I "haracters
Ta)5e .I Racia5 "5ass and Leve5 Limits
Ta)5e GI Arime Re;uisite *onuses
Ta)5e FI Ma8imum Leve5 for 1ariant Races
Ta)5e !I HLeve5 &it Aoints )% Tit5e
Ta)5e !!I Race
Ta)5e !2I "om)at 1a5ue /sed
Ta)5e !+I Saving Thro6 Ta)5e /sed
Ta)5e !-I &it Dice Aer 5eve5
Ta)5e !,I Armor A55o6ed
Ta)5e !KI (eapons A55o6ed
Ta)5e !.I &it Aoints Aer 5eve5 *e%ond Fth
Ta)5e !GI 3ptiona5 A)i5ities
Ta)5e !FI Thief Average A)i5it% Ta)5e
Ta)5e 2I Restrictions
Ta)5e 2!I *ase #8perience Aoints
Ta)5e 22I A5a%er "haracter Living #8penses
Ta)5e 2+I #;uipment *% Time Aeriod
Ta)5e 2-I Loc' Nua5it%
Ta)5e 2,I &orse Nua5it%
Ta)5e 2KI &orse Traits
Ta)5e 2.I /nusua5 Meta5 Armors
Ta)5e 2GI &it Aoints of Items
Ta)5e 2FI Item Saving Thro6s
Ta)5e +I Spe55 *oo' "apacities
Ta)5e +!I "reature #8perience Aoint 1a5ues
Ta)5e +2I &it Dice 1a5ue Modifiers
Ta)5e ++I "ommon Individua5 A6ards
Ta)5e +-I Individua5 "5ass A6ards
Ta)5e +,I "om)at Modifiers
Ta)5e +KI (eapon T%pe 1s. Amor Modifiers
Ta)5e +.I T&A" Advancement
Ta)5e +GI "a5cu5ated T&A"
Ta)5e +FI "reature T&A"
Ta)5e -I Standard Modifiers to Initiative
Ta)5e -!I 3ptiona5 Modifiers to Initiative
Ta)5e -2I Armor Modifiers 7or (rest5ing
Ta)5e -+I Aunching and (rest5ing Resu5ts
Ta)5e --I "over and "oncea5ment Modifiers
Ta)5e -,I Genade5i'e Missi5e #ffects
Ta)5e -KI "haracter Saving Thro6s
Ta)5e -.I Turning /ndead
Ta)5e -GI &it Dice 1s. Immunit%
Ta)5e -FI Mora5e Ratings
Ta)5e ,I Situationa5 Modifiers
Ta)5e ,!I Aoison Strength
Ta)5e ,2I Structura5 Saving Thro6s
Ta)5e ,+I Mounted Missi5e 7ire
Ta)5e ,-I 2H2 #ncounter Ta)5e
Ta)5e ,,I Dungeon Leve5
Ta)5e ,KI 7re;uenc% and "hance of (i5derness #ncounters
Ta)5e ,.I Surprise Modifiers
Ta)5e ,GI #ncounter Distance
Ta)5e ,FI #ncounter Reactions
Ta)5e KI 2A" Arofessions
Ta)5e K!I 7ie5ds of Stud%
Ta)5e K2I Sage Modifiers
Ta)5e K+I Research Times
Ta)5e K-I Mi5itar% 3ccupations
Ta)5e K,I "ommon (ages
Ta)5e KKI #uropean Tit5es
Ta)5e K.I 3rienta5 Tit5es
Ta)5e KGI Re5igious Tit5es
Ta)5e KFI 2A" Spe55 "osts
Ta)5e .I Genera5 Traits
Ta)5e .!I Aermanent Mora5e Modifiers
Ta)5e .2I 3ptiona5 Degrees of Dar'ness
Ta)5e .+I Terrain #ffects on Movement
Ta)5e .-I Terrain "osts for 3ver5and Movement
Ta)5e .,I Terrain Modifiers
Ta)5e .KI *oat Movement
Ta)5e ..I Ship T%pes
Ta)5e .GI Sai5ing Movement Modifiers
Ta)5e .FI (eather "onditions
Ta)5e GI Aeria5 Movement Modifiers
Ta)5e G!I "hance of Getting &ope5ess5% Lost
Ta)5e G2I Lost Modifiers
Ta)5e G+I "hance to &ear 2oise )% Race
Ta)5e G-I Treasure T%pes
Ta)5e G,I Gem Ta)5e
Ta)5e GKI Gem 1ariations
Ta)5e G.I 3):ects of Art
Ta)5e GGI Magica5 Items
Ta)5e GFI Aotions and 3i5s
Ta)5e FI Scro55s
Ta)5e F!I Rings
Ta)5e F2I Rods
Ta)5e F+I Staves
Ta)5e F-I (ands
Ta)5e F,I *oo's$ Li)rams$ Manua5s$ Tomes
Ta)5e FKI @e6e5s$ @e6e5r%$ Ah%5acteries
Ta)5e F.I "5oa's and Ro)es
Ta)5e FGI *oots$ *racers$ G5oves
Ta)5e FFI Gird5es$ &ats$ &e5ms
Ta)5e !I *ags$ *ott5es$ Aouches$ "ontainers
Ta)5e !!I "and5es$ Dusts$ 3intments$ Incense$ Stones
Ta)5e !2I &ouseho5d Items and Too5s
Ta)5e !+I Musica5 Instruments
Ta)5e !-I The (eird Stuff
Ta)5e !,I Armor T%pe
Ta)5e !KI Armor "5ass Ad:ustment
Ta)5e !.I Specia5 Armors
Ta)5e !GI (eapon T%pe
Ta)5e !FI Attac' Ro55 Ad:ustment
Ta)5e !!I Specia5 (eapons
Ta)5e !!!I Aotion "ompati)i5it%
Ta)5e !!2I Spe55 7ai5ure
Ta)5e !!+I (eapon Inte55igence and "apa)i5ities
Ta)5e !!-I (eapon A5ignment
Ta)5e !!,I (eapon Arimar% A)i5ities
Ta)5e !!KI (eapon #8traordinar% Ao6ers
Ta)5e !!.I Specia5 Aurpose (eapons
Ta)5e !!GI Languages Spo'en )% (eapon
Ta)5e !!FI (eapon #go

4ou are one of a ver% specia5 group of peop5eI AD&D game Dungeon Masters. 4our
:o) is not an eas% one. It re;uires 6it$ imagination$ and the a)i5it% to thin' and act
e8temporaneous5%. A rea55% good Dungeon Master is essentia5 to a good game.
The Dungeon Master Guide is reserved for Dungeon Masters. Discourage p5a%ers
from reading this )oo'$ and certain5% don9t 5et p5a%ers consu5t it during the game. As 5ong
as the p5a%ers don9t 'no6 e8act5% 6hat9s in the Dungeon Master Guide$ the%955 a56a%s
6onder 6hat %ou 'no6 that the% don9t. It doesn9t matter 6hether %ou have secret
information? even if %ou don9t$ as 5ong as the p5a%ers thin' %ou do$ their sense of m%ster%
and uncertaint% is maintained.
A5so$ this )oo' contains essentia5 ru5es that are not discussed in the Player's
Handbook. Some of these ru5es the p5a%ers 6i55 5earn ;uic'5% during p5a%Cspecia5
com)at situations$ the costs of hiring 2A"s$ etc. 3thers$ ho6ever$ cover more esoteric or
m%sterious situations$ such as the nature of artifacts and other magica5 items. This
information is in the Dungeon Master Guide so the DM can contro5 the p5a%ers9 Land
hence the characters9M access to certain )its of 'no65edge. In a fantas% 6or5d$ as in this
6or5d$ information is po6er. (hat the characters don9t 'no6 can hurt them Lor 5ead them
on a merr% chase to no6hereM. (hi5e the p5a%ers aren9t %our enemies$ the% aren9t %our
a55ies$ either$ and %ou aren9t o)5igated to give an%thing a6a% for nothing. If characters go
hunting 6ererats 6ithout doing an% research )eforehand$ fee5 free to thro6 5ots of curves
their 6a%. Re6ard those characters 6ho ta'e the time to do some chec'ing.
*esides ru5es$ %ou955 find a 5arge portion of this )oo' devoted to discussions of the
princip5es )ehind the ru5es. A5ong 6ith this are e8aminations of the pros and cons of
changing the ru5es to fit %our campaign. The purpose of this )oo'$ after a55$ is to )etter
prepare %ou for %our ro5e as game moderator and referee. The )etter %ou understand the
game$ the )etter e;uipped %ou955 )e to hand5e unforeseen deve5opments and unusua5
3ne of the princip5es guiding this pro:ect from the ver% )eginning$ and 6hich is
e8pressed throughout this )oo'$ is thisI The DM has the primar% responsi)i5it% for the
success of his campaign$ and he must ta'e an active hand in guiding it. That is an
important concept. If %ou are s'imming through this introduction$ s5o6 do6n and read it
again. It is crucia5 %ou understand 6hat %ou are getting into.
The DM9s <active hand< e8tends even to the ru5es. Man% decisions a)out %our
campaign can )e made )% on5% one personI %ou. Tai5or %our campaign to fit %our o6n
st%5e and the st%5e of %our p5a%ers.
4ou 6i55 find a 5ot of information in this )oo'$ )ut %ou 6on9t find pat ans6ers to
a55 %our ;uestions and eas% so5utions for a55 %our game pro)5ems. (hat %ou 6i55 find
instead is a discussion of various pro)5ems and numerous triggers intended to guide %ou
through a thoughtfu5 ana5%sis of situations that pertain to %our campaign.
The ru5es to the AD&D 2nd #dition game are )a5anced and eas% to use. 2o ro5eH
p5a%ing game 6e 'no6 of has )een p5a%tested more heavi5% than this one. *ut that
doesn9t mean it9s perfect. (hat 6e consider to )e right ma% )e un)a5anced or
anachronistic in %our campaign. The on5% thing that can ma'e the AD&D game <right99
for a55 p5a%ers is the inte55igent app5ication of DM discretion.
A perfect e8amp5e of this is the 5imit p5aced on e8perience 5eve5s for demihumans.
A 5ot of peop5e comp5ained that these 5imits 6ere too 5o6. (e agreed$ and 6e raised the
5imits. The ne6 5imits 6ere tested$ e8amined$ and ad:usted unti5 6e decided the% 6ere
right. *ut %ou ma% )e one of the fe6 peop5e 6ho prefer the o5der$ 5o6er 5imits. 3r %ou
ma% thin' there shou5d )e no 5imits. In the chapter on character c5asses$ %ou955 find a
discussion of this topic that considers the pros and cons of 5eve5 5imits. (e don9t as' %ou
to )5ind5% accept ever% 5imit 6e9ve esta)5ished. *ut 6e do as' that )efore %ou ma'e an%
changes %ou read this chapter and carefu55% consider 6hat %ou are a)out to do. If$ after
6eighing the evidence$ %ou decide that a change is :ustified in %our game$ )% a55 means
ma'e the change.
In short$ fo55o6 the ru5es as the% are 6ritten if doing so improves %our game. *ut
)% the same to'en$ )rea' the ru5es on5% if doing so improves %our game.
A 2ord About 3rgani4ation
#ver%thing in this )oo' is )ased on the assumption that %ou are fami5iar 6ith the
Player's Handbook. To ma'e %our :o) easier$ the Player's Handbook and Dungeon
Master Guide have para55e5 organi>ation. "hapters appear in the same order in )oth
)oo's. That means if %ou 'no6 6here to find something in the Player's Handbook$ %ou
a5so 'no6 6here to find it in this )oo'.
A5so$ the inde8 in this )oo' a5so covers )oth the Player's Handbook. 4ou can find
a55 the references to an% specific topic )% chec'ing this inde8.
-he 5ine Art o$ 6eing a D&
*eing a good Dungeon Master invo5ves a 5ot more than 'no6ing the ru5es. It ca55s
for ;uic' 6it$ theatrica5 f5air$ and a good sense of dramatic timingCamong other things.
Most of us can c5aim these attri)utes to some degree$ )ut there9s a56a%s room for
7ortunate5%$ s'i55s 5i'e these can )e 5earned and improved 6ith practice. There are
hundreds of tric's$ shortcuts$ and simp5e princip5es that can ma'e %ou a )etter$ more
dramatic$ and more creative game master.
*ut %ou 6on9t find them in the Dungeon Master Guide. This is a reference )oo'
for running the AD&D game. (e tried to minimi>e materia5 that doesn9t pertain to the
immediate conduct of the game. If %ou are interested in reading more a)out this aspect of
refereeing$ 6e refer %ou to Dragon Maga>ine$ pu)5ished month5% )% TSR$ Inc. Dragon
Maga>ine is devoted to ro5eHp5a%ing in genera5 and the AD&D game in particu5ar. 7or
more than !K %ears$ Dragon Maga>ine has pu)5ished artic5es on ever% facet of ro5eH
p5a%ing. It is inva5ua)5e for DMs and p5a%ers.
If %ou have never p5a%ed a ro5eHp5a%ing game )efore )ut are eager to 5earn$ our
advice from the Player's Handbook is sti55 the )estI 7ind a group of peop5e 6ho a5read%
p5a% the game and :oin them for a fe6 sessions. If that is impractica5$ the )est a5ternative
is to get a cop% of the ,ntroduction to Advanced Dungeons 0 Dragons Game. It covers a55
the )asics of fantas% ro5eHp5a%ing 6ith the AD&D game$ )ut in a much simp5er
presentation 6hich teaches as %ou p5a%. It inc5udes severa5 introductor% ro5eHp5a%ing
adventures. These 6i55 sho6 %ou 6hat goes on during the game and give %ou stepH)%Hstep
instructions on ho6 to set up and run a game 6ith %our friends.
Chapter 1:
Player Character Ability Scores
#ach p5a%er is responsi)5e for creating his character. As the DM$ ho6ever$ %our decisions
have a huge impact on the process. 4ou have fina5 approva5 over an% p5a%er character that
is created. This chapter out5ines 6hat %ou shou5d consider a)out character creation and
gives guide5ines on ho6 to dea5 6ith some of the common pro)5ems that arise during
character creation.
Giving A5a%ers (hat The% (ant
A5a%ers in most AD&D games use the same character over man% game sessions.
Most p5a%ers deve5op strong ties to their characters and get a thri55 from 6atching them
advance$ gro6$ and )ecome more successfu5 and po6erfu5. 4our game9s success depends
on ho6 much %our p5a%ers care a)out their characters. 7or these reasons$ it is important
to 5et the% p5a%ers create the t%pe of characters the% rea55% 6ant to p5a%.
At the same time$ 6atch out for a tendenc% in some p5a%ers to 6ant the most
po6erfu5 character possi)5e. Ao6erfu5 characters are fine if that9s the sort of campaign
%ou 6ant. A pro)5em arises$ ho6ever$ if p5a%ers are a55o6ed to e8p5oit the ru5es$ or %our
good nature$ to create a character 6ho is much more po6erfu5 than ever%one e5se9s
characters. At )est$ this 5eads to an un)a5anced game. At 6orst$ it 5eads to )ored p5a%ers
and hurt fee5ings.
Therefore$ )efore an% p5a%er in %our game creates his first character$ decide 6hich
diceHro55ing method to a55o6I 6i55 %ou use method I$ an% of the five a5ternate methods$ or
a seventh method of %our o6n devising= *e prepared 6ith an ans6er right a6a%$ )ecause
this is one of the first ;uestions %our p5a%ers 6i55 as'.
"hoosing a "haracter "reation Method
The fo55o6ing methods are different from one another. Some produce more
po6erfu5 characters than others La5though none produces e8treme5% po6erfu5 charactersM.
7or this reason$ ever% p5a%er in %our game shou5d start out using the same method.
If$ at some 5ater point in %our campaign$ %ou 6ant to change methods$ simp5%
announce this to %our p5a%ers. Tr% to avoid ma'ing the announcement :ust as a p5a%er
starts ro55ing up a ne6 character$ 5est the other p5a%ers accuse %ou of favoritism. 4ou
'no6 %ou aren9t p5a%ing favorites$ )ut it doesn9t hurt to avoid the appearance.
The advantages and disadvantages of each diceHro55ing method are descri)ed
)e5o6 La5so see page !+ of the Player's HandbookM. 7ive samp5e characters created 6ith
each method i55ustrate t%pica5 outcomes the different methods are 5i'e5% to produce.
Method I L+dK$ In orderMI
This is the fastest and most straightfor6ard. There are no decisions to ma'e 6hi5e
ro55ing the dice$ and dice ro55ing is 'ept to a minimum. A)i5it% scores range from + to !G$
)ut the ma:orit% fa55 in a range from F to !2.
T%pica55%$ a character 6i55 have four scores in the average range$ one )e5o6H
average score$ and one a)oveHaverage score. A fe6 5uc'% p5a%ers 6i55 get severa5 high
scores and a fe6 un5uc'% ones 6i55 get :ust the opposite.
1er% high scores are rare$ so character c5asses that re;uire high scores Lpa5adin$
ranger$ i55usionist$ druid$ )ardM are corresponding5% rare. This ma'es characters 6ho
;ua5if% for those c5asses ver% specia5 indeed. The ma:orit% of the p5a%er characters 6i55 )e
fighters$ c5erics$ mages$ and thieves. "haracters 6ith e8ceptiona5 a)i5it% scores 6i55 tend
to stand out from their comrades.
&ethod I Disadvantages: 7irst$ some p5a%ers ma% consider their characters to )e
hope5ess5% average. Second$ the p5a%ers don9t get man% choices.
/sing method I$ on5% 5uc' ena)5es a p5a%er to get a character of a particu5ar t%pe$
since he has no contro5 over the dice. Most characters have 5itt5e choice over 6hich c5ass
the% )ecomeI 3n5% one or t6o options 6i55 )e open to them. 4ou might 5et p5a%ers discard
a character 6ho is tota55% unsuita)5e and start over.
-able 1:
&ethod I Characters
71 72 7! 7" 7#
Strength ! G !+ K !K
De8terit% G . G !, !
"onstitution !2 G F ! !-
Inte55igence !+ G !- F !2
(isdom !2 ! !! F !+
"harisma . !2 !- . G
Suggested Class Ma "5 7EMa Th 7
Method II L+dK t6ice$ 'eep desired scoreMI
This method gives p5a%ers )etter scores 6ithout introducing serious a)i5it%
inf5ation. It a5so gives them more contro5 over their characters. The average a)i5it% is sti55
in the F to !2 range$ and p5a%ers can manipu5ate their resu5ts to )ring the characters the%
create c5oser to the idea5 characters the% imagine.
#8ceptiona5 p5a%er characters are sti55 rare$ and unusua5 character c5asses are sti55
uncommon$ )ut fe6 characters 6i55 have )e5o6Haverage scores.
&ethod II Disadvantages: "reating the character ta'es s5ight5% 5onger )ecause there are
more dice to ro55. Despite the improved choices$ a character might sti55 not )e e5igi)5e for
the race or c5ass the p5a%er 6ants.
-able 2:
&ethod II Characters
71 72 7! 7" 7#
Strength !2 !! F F !,
De8terit% ! !, !2 !+ !-
"onstitution !! !! !K !- !-
Inte55igence !+ !! !2 !+ !-
(isdom !K !+ !+ !! !+
"harisma ! !! !- F !2
Suggested Class "5 Th "5 Ma 7
Method III L+dK$ arranged to tasteMI
This method gives the p5a%ers more choice 6hen creating their characters %et sti55
ensures that$ overa55$ a)i5it% scores are not e8cessive. *ad characters are sti55 possi)5e$
especia55% if a p5a%er has severa5 poor ro55s. The ma:orit% of characters have average
Since p5a%ers can arrange their scores ho6ever the% 6ant$ it is easier to meet the
re;uirements for an unusua5 c5ass. "5asses 6ith e8ceptiona55% strict standards Lthe pa5adin
in particu5arM are sti55 uncommon.
&ethod III Disadvantages: This method is more timeHconsuming than I or II$ especia55%
if p5a%ers tr% to <minimi>eEma8imi>e< their choice of race and c5ass. LTo
minimi>eEma8imi>e$ or minEma8$ is to e8amine ever% possi)i5it% for the greatest
advantage.M A5a%ers ma% need to )e encouraged to create the character the% see in their
imaginations$ not the one that gains the most p5uses on dice ro55s. The e8amp5e )e5o6
sho6s fighters created using this method.
-able !:
&ethod III Characters
71 72 7! 7" 7#
Strength !, !+ !- !, !-
De8terit% !! !2 F ! !2
"onstitution !, !+ !+ !2 !-
Inte55igence . G G F !!
(isdom G . . K F
"harisma . !2 . . !!
Method I1 L+dK t6ice$ arranged to tasteMI
This method has a55 the )enefits of methods II and III. 7e6$ if an%$ characters are
5i'e5% to have poor scores. Most scores are a)ove average. The individua5 score ranges
are sti55 not e8cessive5% high$ so tru5% e8ceptiona5 characters are sti55 ver% rare. &o6ever$
the ma:orit% of characters are significant5% a)ove the norm.
&ethod I/ Disadvantages: This method tends to )e ;uite s5o6. A5a%ers spend a 5ot of
time comparing different num)er com)inations 6ith the re;uirements of different races
and c5asses. 2e6 p5a%ers easi5% can )e over6he5med )% the 5arge num)er of choices
during this process. The e8amp5es )e5o6 are arranged for fighters.
-able ":
&ethod I/ Characters
71 72 7! 7" 7#
Strength !, !- !, !K !,
De8terit% !+ ! !+ !, !+
"onstitution !+ !2 !, !+ !+
Inte55igence !+ F !+ !2 !+
(isdom !+ F !! !+ !2
"harisma ! F !! !+ !2
Method 1 L-dK$ drop 5o6est$ arrange as desiredMI
*efore choosing to use this method$ thin' a)out ho6 adventurers fit into the
popu5ation as a 6ho5e. There are t6o schoo5s of thought.
3ne ho5ds that adventurers are no different from ever%one e5se Le8cept for )eing a
5itt5e more foo5hard%$ headstrong$ or rest5essM. The man or 6oman do6n the street cou5d
)e an adventurerHHa55 that9s re;uired is the desire to go out and )e one. Therefore$
adventurers shou5d get no specia5 )onuses on their a)i5it% ro55s.
The other schoo5 ho5ds that adventurers are specia5 peop5e$ a cut a)ove the
common cro6d. If the% 6eren9t e8ceptiona5$ the% 6ou5d )e 5a)orers and )usinessmen 5i'e
ever%one e5se. A5a%er characters are heroes$ so the% shou5d get )onuses on their a)i5it%
ro55s to 5ift them a)ove the ra))5e.
If %ou choose method 1 for creating p5a%er characters$ then %ou agree 6ith this
second vie6 and )e5ieve that adventurers shou5d )e )etter than ever%one e5se.
This method creates a)oveHaverage characters. The% 6on9t )e perfect$ )ut the
odds are that even their 6orst a)i5it% scores 6i55 )e average or )etter. More scores push
into the e8ceptiona5 range L!, and greaterM. It is eas% for a p5a%er to create a character of
an% c5ass and race.
&ethod / Disadvantages: Li'e other methods that a55o6 de5i)erate arrangement of
a)i5it% scores$ this one ta'es some time. It a5so creates a tendenc% to6ard <super<
/n5ess %ou have a considera)5e amount of e8perience as a DM$ ho6ever$ )e6are
of e8treme5% po6erfu5 characters. The% are much more difficu5t to cha55enge and contro5
than characters of moderate po6er. 3n the p5us side$ their chance for surviva5 at 5o6er
5eve5s is )etter than <ordinar%< characters. LSee <Super "haracters$< )e5o6$ for more on
this su):ect.M
3ne 5ast point a)out method 1I &igh a)i5it% scores are 5ess e8citing under this
method$ since the% are much more common$ as the fighter characters )e5o6 indicateI
-able #:
&ethod / Characters
71 72 7! 7" 7#
Strength !. !, !K !- !GE+.
De8terit% !- !- !+ !, !2
"onstitution !, !- !- !, !.
Inte55igence !+ !! ! !- G
(isdom !+ ! !! !, G
"harisma F !+ G . F
Method 1I Lpoints p5us diceMI
This gives p5a%ers more contro5 over their characters than the other methods. A
points s%stem ma'es it ;uite 5i'e5% that a p5a%er can get the character he 6antsHHor at 5east
the c5ass and race. &o6ever$ in doing so the p5a%er must ma'e some serious
It is un5i'e5% that his dice are going to )e good enough to ma'e ever% score as
high as he 6ou5d 5i'e. In a55 5i'e5ihood$ on5% one or t6o a)i5it% scores 6i55 )e e8ceptiona5$
and misera)5e dice ro55ing cou5d 5o6er this even further. The p5a%er must carefu55% 6eigh
the pros and cons of his choices 6hen creating the character.
&ethod I/ Disadvantages: This method 6or's )est for e8perienced p5a%ers. A5a%ers
6ho are not fami5iar 6ith the different character c5asses and races have a hard time
ma'ing the necessar% Land difficu5tM decisions. Ta)5e K sho6s fighters constructed using
this method.
-able %:
&ethod /I Characters
71 72 7! 7" 7#
Strength !. !, !K !. !GE.!
De8terit% !2 !! !! !+ !2
"onstitution !2 F !2 !G !-
Inte55igence !! F ! !! !!
(isdom F F ! G !
"harisma G G F F !+
Super "haracters
3ne of the great temptations for p5a%ers is to create super characters. (hi5e this is
not true of ever% p5a%er a55 the time$ the desire for po6er a)ove ever%thing e5se aff5icts
most p5a%ers at one time or another.
Man% p5a%ers see their characters as nothing more than a co55ection of num)ers
that affects game s%stems. The% don9t thin' of their characters as persona5ities to )e
deve5oped. A5a%ers 5i'e this 6ant to <6in< the game. These p5a%ers are missing out on a
5ot of fun.
If p5a%ers are creating ne6 characters for %our campaign$ %ou pro)a)5% 6on9t have
to dea5 6ith such super characters. A5a%ers can start 6ith a)i5it% scores greater than !G
on5% if the race grants a )onus$ )ut this is e8treme5% rare. Later in the campaign$ magic
might raise a)i5it% scores higher.
The greatest difficu5t% occurs 6hen a p5a%er as's to )ring in a character from
another campaign 6here characters are more po6erfu5. /n5ess %ou are prepared to hand5e
them$ super characters can serious5% disrupt a campaignI A5a%ers 6ith average characters
gradua55% )ecome )ored and irritated as the po6erfu5 characters dominate the action. And
p5a%ers 6ith po6erfu5 characters fee5 he5d )ac' )% their 6ea'er companions. 2one of this
contri)utes to harmon% and cooperation among the characters or the p5a%ers.
"ooperation is a 'e% e5ement of ro5eHp5a%ing. In an% group of p5a%er characters$
ever%one has strengths to contri)ute and 6ea'nesses to overcome. This is the )asis for
the adventuring part%HHeven a sma55 group 6ith sufficient5% diverse ta5ents can
accomp5ish deeds far greater than its si>e 6ou5d indicate.
2o6$ thro6 in a character 6ho is an arm% )% himse5f. &e doesn9t need the other
characters$ e8cept perhaps as cannon fodder or )earers. &e doesn9t need a55ies. &is
presence a5one destro%s one of the most fundamenta5 aspects of the gameHHcooperation.
Identif%ing TooHAo6erfu5 "haracters
There are no a)so5ute ru5es to define a tooHpo6erfu5 character$ since the definition
6i55 var% from campaign to campaign. "haracters 6ho are average in %our game ma% )e
6ea'5ings in %our friend9s campaign. &is characters$ in turn$ cou5d )e frai5 compared to
other groups. Some e8perience is re;uired to stri'e the right )a5ance of po6er$ )ut
characters created using the same method shou5d$ at 5east$ )e compara)5e.
(hen someone )rings a character from a different campaign and 6ants to use him
in %our game$ compare the proposed character to those a5read% in the game. 4ou don9t
6ant him to )e too strong or too 6ea'. "ertain5% %ou shou5d )e 6ar% of a character
6hose a)i5it% scores are a55 !GsB
Dea5ing 6ith TooHAo6erfu5 "haracters
If %ou decide a character is too po6erfu5$ the p5a%er has t6o choices. 7irst$ he can
agree to 6ea'en the character in some fashion Lsu):ect to %our approva5M. This ma% )e as
simp5e as e8c5uding a fe6 magica5 items L<2o$ %ou can9t )ring that holy avenger sword
12 that shoots +Hdice fire)a55s into m% campaignB<M. Second$ the p5a%er can agree not to
use some specia5 a)i5it% L<I don9t care if %our previous DM gave %our character the #vi5
#%e$ %ou can9t :in8 m% dice ro55sB<M. If this sort of change seems too drastic or re;uires
a5tering a)i5it% scores or 5eve5s$ a )etter option is simp5% to have the p5a%er create a ne6
character. The o5d character can )e used$ 6ithout tin'ering$ in the campaign for 6hich he
6as created. The ne6 character$ more appropriate to %our campaign$ can deve5op in %our
game. Remem)er that :ust )ecause another DM a55o6ed something is no reason %ou have
to do the sameB
&ope5ess "haracters
At the other e8treme from the super character is the character 6ho appears
hope5ess. The p5a%er is convinced his ne6 character has a fata5 f5a6 that guarantees a
;uic' and ug5% death under the c5a6s of some imaginar% foe. Discouraged$ he as's to
scrap the character and create another.
In rea5it%$ fe6$ if an%$ characters are tru5% hope5ess. "ertain5%$ a)i5it% scores have
an effect on the game$ )ut the% are not the over6he5ming factor in a character9s success or
fai5ure. 7ar more important is the c5everness and ingenuit% the p5a%er )rings to the
(hen a p5a%er )emoans his )ad 5uc' and <hope5ess< character$ he ma% :ust )e
upset )ecause the character is not e8act5% 6hat he 6anted. Some p5a%ers 6rite off an%
character 6ho has on5% one a)oveHaverage a)i5it% score. Some comp5ain if a ne6
character does not ;ua5if% for a favorite c5ass or race. 3thers comp5ain if even one a)i5it%
score is )e5o6 average. Some p5a%ers )ecome stuc' in superHcharacter mode. Some 6ant
a character 6ith no pena5ties. Some a56a%s 6ant to p5a% a particu5ar character c5ass and
fee5 cheated if their scores 6on9t a55o6 it.
Some p5a%ers cite numerica5 formu5as as proof of a character9s hope5essness L<A
character needs at 5east ., a)i5it% points to survive< or <A character 6ithout t6o scores of
!, or more is a 6aste of time<M. In rea5it%$ there is no such hard and fast formu5a. There
are$ in fact$ fe6 rea55% hope5ess characters.
Dea5ing 6ith &ope5ess "haracters
*efore %ou agree that a character is hope5ess$ consider the p5a%er9s motives. Tr% to
)e firm and encourage p5a%ers to give <)ad< characters a tr%. The% might actua55% en:o%
p5a%ing something different for a change.
A character 6ith one or more ver% 5o6 score LK or 5essM ma% seem 5i'e a 5oser$ 5i'e
it 6ou5d )e no fun to p5a%. Nuite simp5%$ this isn9t trueB @ust as e8ceptiona55% high scores
ma'e a character uni;ue$ so do ver% 5o6 scores. In the hands of good ro5eHp5a%ers$ such
characters are tremendous fun. #ncourage the p5a%er to )e daring and creative. Some of
the most memora)5e characters from histor% and 5iterature rose to greatness despite their
In man% 6a%s$ the comp5ete5% average character is the 6orst of a55. #8ceptiona55%
good or e8ceptiona55% )ad a)i5it% scores give a p5a%er something to )ase his ro5eHp5a%ing
onHH6hether nim)5e as a cat or dum) as a )o8 of roc's$ at 5east the character provides
something e8citing to ro5eHp5a%.
Average characters don9t have these simp5e foca5 points. The uni;ue$ specia5
something that ma'es a character stand out in a cro6d must )e provided )% the p5a%er$
and this is not a56a%s eas%. Too man% p5a%ers fa55 into the <he9s :ust %our )asic fighter<
In truth$ ho6ever$ even an average character is o'a%. The on5% rea55% hope5ess
character is the rare one that cannot ;ua5if% for an% character c5ass. The p5a%a)i5it% of a55
other characters is up to %ou.
Dea5ing 6ith Dissatisfied A5a%ers
A55 of the a)ove not6ithstanding$ %ou don9t 6ant to force a p5a%er to accept a
character he doesn9t rea55% 5i'e. A55 %ou 6i55 do is 5ose a p5a%er. If someone rea55% is
dissatisfied$ either ma'e some ad:ustments to the character or 5et him ro55 up a ne6 one.
(hen ad:usting a)i5it% scores$ fo55o6 these guide5inesI
8 Don9t ad:ust an a)i5it% score a)ove the minimum re;uired to ;ua5if% for a particu5ar
c5ass or race. 4ou are )eing 'ind enough a5read% 6ithout giving a6a% ! percent
e8perience )onuses.
8 Don9t ad:ust an a)i5it% score a)ove !,. 3n5% t6o c5asses have a)i5it% minimums higher
than !,I pa5adins and i55usionists. 3n5% ver% specia5 characters can )ecome pa5adins and
i55usionists. If %ou give these c5asses a6a%$ the% 5ose their charm.
8 Don9t ad:ust an a)i5it% score that isn9t re;uired for the race or c5ass the p5a%er 6ants his
character to )e.
8 Thin' t6ice )efore raising an a)i5it% score to 5et a character into an optiona5 c5ass if he
a5read% ;ua5ifies for the standard c5ass in that group. 7or e8amp5e$ if 0iri>ov has the
scores he needs to )e a ha5fHe5f fighter$ does he rea55% need to )e a ha5fHe5f ranger=
#ncourage the p5a%er to deve5op a character 6ho a56a%s 6anted to )e a ranger )ut :ust
never got the chance$ or 6ho fancies himse5f a ranger )ut is a55ergic to trees. #ncourage
(ishes and A)i5it% Scores
Sooner or 5ater p5a%er characters are going to gain 6ishes. (ishes are 6onderfu5
things that a55o6 creative p5a%ers to )rea' the ru5es in marve5ous 6a%s. Inevita)5%$ some
p5a%er is going to use a 6ish to raise his character9s a)i5it% scores. This is fine. A5a%er
characters shou5d have the chance to raise their a)i5it% scores. It can9t )e too eas%$
ho6ever$ or soon ever% character in %our campaign 6i55 have severa5 !Gs.
(hen a 6ish is used to increase a score that is !, or 5o6er$ each 6ish raises the
a)i5it% one point. A character 6ith a De8terit% of !,$ for e8amp5e$ can use a 6ish to raise
his De8terit% to !K.
If the a)i5it% score is )et6een !K and 2$ each 6ish increases the a)i5it% score )%
on5% oneHtenth of a point. The character must use ! 6ishes to raise his De8terit% score
from !K to !.. The p5a%er can record this on his character sheet as !K.!$ !K.2$ etc.
7ractions of a point have no effect unti5 a55 ! 6ishes have )een made.
If a character of the 6arrior group has a Strength score of !G$ each 6ish increases
the percenti5e score )% ! percent. Thus$ !! 6ishes are needed to reach Strength !F.
This ru5e app5ies on5% to 6ishes and 6ishH5i'e po6ers. Magica5 items Lmanua5s$
)oo's$ etc.M and the intervention of greater po6ers can automatica55% increase an a)i5it%
score )% one point$ regard5ess of its current va5ue.
A5a%ers 6ith Mu5tip5e "haracters
#ach p5a%er usua55% contro5s one character$ )ut sometimes p5a%ers ma% 6ant or
need more. Mu5tip5e p5a%er characters are fine in the right situation.
3nce %our campaign is under6a% and p5a%ers 5earn more a)out the game 6or5d$
the% ma% 6ant to have characters in severa5 6ide5% scattered areas throughout that 6or5d.
&aving mu5tip5e characters 6ho 5ive and adventure in different regions a55o6s a 5ot of
variet% in the game. The characters usua55% are spread far enough apart so that events in
one region don9t affect 6hat transpires in the other.
Sometimes p5a%ers 6ant to tr% a different c5ass or race of character )ut do not
6ant to a)andon their o5der$ more e8perienced heroes. Again$ spreading these characters
out across the 6or5d is an effective means of 'eeping them separate and uni;ue.
(henever possi)5e$ avoid 5etting p5a%ers have more than one character in the
same area. If$ for some reason$ p5a%ers must have more than one character in an area$
ma'e sure that the characters are of significant5% different e8perience 5eve5s. #ven this
difference shou5d 'eep them from crossing paths ver% often.
If mu5tip5e p5a%er characters are a55o6ed$ each character shou5d )e distinct and
different. It is perfect5% fair to ru5e that mu5tip5e characters contro55ed )% one person must
)e different c5assesHHperhaps even different races. This he5ps the p5a%er 'eep them
separate in his imagination.
If a p5a%er has more than one character avai5a)5e$ as' him to choose 6hich
character he 6ants to use for the adventureHH)efore he 'no6s 6hat the adventure is a)out.
If a sing5e adventure stretches across severa5 p5a%ing sessions$ the same character shou5d
)e used throughout. A55 of the p5a%er9s other characters are considered )us% 6ith
something e5se during this time.
Avoid 5etting p5a%ers ta'e more than one character a5ong on a sing5e adventure.
This usua55% comes up 6hen the group of characters assem)5ed for the p5anned adventure
is too sma55 to underta'e it safe5%. The )est so5ution to this pro)5em is to ad:ust the
adventure$ use a different adventure entire5%$ or supp5ement the part% 6ith 2A" hire5ings.
Mu5tip5e "haracter Aro)5ems
A5a%ing the ro5e of a sing5e character in depth is more than enough 6or' for one
person. Adding a second character usua55% means that )oth )ecome 5ists of num)ers
rather than persona5ities.
Shared Items: 3ne sing5e p5a%erEmu5tip5e character pro)5em that needs to )e nipped in
the )ud is that of shared e;uipment. Some p5a%ers 6i55 trade magica5 items$ treasure$
maps$ and gear )ac' and forth among their characters.
7or e8amp5e$ 6hen Ahaedre goes adventuring she ta'es a5ong *ertramm9s ring o'
invisibility. *ertramm$ in e8change$ gets the use of Ahaedre9s boots o' s&eed. In short$
each character has the accumu5ated treasure of t6o adventurers to dra6 on.
Do not a55o6 thisB #ven though one p5a%er contro5s )oth characters$ those
characters are not c5ones. Their e;uipment and treasure is e8treme5% va5ua)5e. (ou5d
Ahaedre 5oan her )oots to a character contro55ed )% another p5a%er= &o6 a)out an 2A"=
Aro)a)5% not$ on )oth counts. /n5ess the character is Lfoo5ish5%M generous in a55 aspects of
his persona5it%$ %ou have ever% right Lsome might ca55 it a dut%M to disa55o6 this sort of
Shared In$ormation: Information is a much more difficu5t pro)5em. 4our p5a%ers must
understand the distinction )et6een 6hat the% 'no6 as p5a%ers and 6hat their characters
'no6. 4our p5a%ers have read the ru5es and shared stories a)out each other9s games.
The%9ve torn out their hair as the entire part% of adventurers 6as turned into 5a6n
ornaments )% the medusa 6ho 5ives )e%ond the )5ac' gate6a%. That is a55 p5a%er
information. 2o other characters 'no6 6hat happened to that group$ e8cept thisI the%
6ent through the )5ac' gate6a% and never returned.
The pro)5em of p5a%er 'no65edgeEcharacter 'no65edge is a56a%s present$ )ut it is
much 6orse 6hen p5a%ers contro5 more than one character in the same region. It ta'es
good p5a%ers to ignore information their characters have no 6a% of 'no6ing$ especia55% if
it concerns something dangerous. The )est so5ution is to avoid the situation. If it comes
up and p5a%ers seem to )e ta'ing advantage of 'no65edge the% shou5dn9t have$ %ou can
discourage them )% changing things a )it. Sti55$ prevention is the )est cure.
And remem)er$ 6hen pro)5ems arise L6hich the% 6i55M$ don9t give up or give in.
Instead$ 5oo' for 6a%s to turn the pro)5em into an adventure.
"haracter *ac'ground
(hen %ou 5oo' at a comp5eted character$ %ou 6i55 notice there are sti55 man%
unans6ered ;uestionsI (ho 6ere the character9s parents= Are the% sti55 a5ive= Does the
character have )rothers and sisters= (here 6as he )orn= Does he have an% nota)5e
friends or enemies= Are his parents 6ea5th% or are the% poor= Does he have a fami5%
home= Is he an outcast= Is he civi5i>ed and cu5tured$ or )ar)aric and primitive= In short$
:ust ho6 does this character fit into the campaign 6or5d=
There are no ru5es to ans6er these ;uestions. The Player's Handbook and
Dungeon Master's Guide are designed to he5p %ou un5oc' %our imagination. The
AD&D ru5es do not presume to te55 %ou e8act5% 6hat %our campaign 6or5d 6i55 )e 5i'e.
These decisions are 5eft to %ou.
"onsider 6hat 6ou5d happen if the ru5es dictated ans6ers to the ;uestions a)ove.
7or e8amp5e$ suppose the ru5es said that ,O of a55 characters come from primitive$
)ar)aric )ac'grounds...and %ou9re running a campaign set in a huge$ sophisticated cit%
Lthe 2e6 Rome of %our 6or5dM. #ven more ridicu5ous 6ou5d )e the reverse$ 6here the
ru5es sa% ,O of the characters are cit% d6e55ers and %our campaign is set in a )ar)aric
6i5derness. 3r ho6 6ou5d %ou e8p5ain things if 2O of a55 characters 6ere seafarers and
%ou had set %our adventures in the heart of a desert 5arger than the Sahara=
These pages contain guide5ines and advice a)out ho6 to create a campaign$ )ut
there is nothing that sa%s e8act5% 6here this campaign must )e set or 6hat it must )e 5i'e.
This does not mean that a character9s )ac'ground shou5dn9t )e deve5opedHHsuch
)ac'ground adds a 5ot to the depth and ro5eHp5a%ing of %our p5a%ers and their characters.
&o6ever$ it is up to %ou to tai5or character )ac'grounds to the needs of %our campaign.
Letting A5a%ers Do the (or'
3f course$ %ou don9t have to do a55 the 6or'. 4our p5a%ers can provide most of the
energ%$ enthusiasm$ and ideas needed. 4our tas' is to provide direction and contro5.
A55o6 %our p5a%ers to decide 6hat 'ind of peop5e their characters are. 3ne cou5d
)e a rough nomad$ another an overHcivi5i>ed fop$ others$ homespun farm)o%s or sa5t%
seadogs. Let the p5a%ers decide$ and then te55 them if$ and ho6$ their characters fit into
%our campaign 6or5d.
(hen a p5a%er sa%s$ <M% d6arf9s a rude and tough 5itt5e gu% 6ho doesn9t 5i'e
humans or e5ves$< %ou can respond 6ith <7ine$ he9s pro)a)5% one of the Thangor "5an
from the deep mountain regions.< This t%pe of cooperation spurs %our creativit%$ and
invo5ves the p5a%ers in %our 6or5d right from the start. 4ou must come up 6ith ans6ers to
their ;uestions and 6a%s to ma'e their desires 6or' in the campaign. The 6i55 )e
re6arded 6ith the fee5ing of getting the characters the% 6ant.
A carefu55% 6e55Hcrafted character )ac'ground can do more than :ust provide
emotiona5 satisfaction. It can a5so provide motivation for the p5a%er characters to
underta'e specific adventuresI
@ust 6hat is a d6arf of the Thangor "5an doing outside his c5an9s mountainous
home5and= Is he an outcast 5oo'ing for some 6a% to redeem himse5f= Ma%)e he9s a
rest5ess sou5 eager to see the )right 5ights of the )ig cit% and the 6or5d.
A character can have parents to avenge$ 5ongH5ost si)5ings to trac' do6n$ a name
to c5ear$ or even a 5ost 5ove to recapture. *ac'ground can )e used to )ui5d su)Hp5ots
6ithin the overa55 frame6or' of the campaign$ enriching character descriptions$ and
*ac'ground shou5d not )e forcedI Do not insist that a p5a%er ta'e upon his
character a cripp5ed grandmother$ three sisters sto5en )% g%psies$ a )5ac'Hhearted riva5$
and a stain on the fami5% name. Instead$ see if the p5a%er has an% ideas a)out his
character. 2ot ever% p5a%er 6i55$ )ut the AD&D game depends as much on the p5a%ers9
fantasies as it does on %ours.
"haracters 6ho p5a%ers are happ% 6ith and fee5 comforta)5e a)out 6i55 create
their o6n specia5 e8citement and interest. A5a%ers 6ho are interested in their characters9
)ac'grounds can )e a source of creative energ%$ as the% offer %ou a constant stream of
ne6 ideas.
Aro)5em *ac'grounds
"ertain points of )ac'ground can and do create pro)5ems in campaigns$ ho6ever.
7irst and foremost of these is no)i5it%$ fo55o6ed c5ose5% )% great 6ea5th.
Problems o$ .obility: Some p5a%ers 5i'e the idea of their character )eing Arince SoHandH
So or the son of Du'e Dunderhead. A55 too often this 5eads to an a)use of po6er.
The p5a%er assumes$ some6hat rightfu55% and some6hat not$ that the tit5e endo6s
his character 6ith specia5 privi5egesHHthe right to instant income$ the right to f5aunt the
5a6$ the right to end5ess 2A"s$ information$ and resourcesHHor$ 6orst of a55$ the right to
use c5out to push the other mem)ers of the part% around. This 'ind of character ;uic'5%
)ecomes tiresome to the other p5a%ers and 6i55 constant5% find 6a%s to upset carefu55%
p5anned adventures.
Tit5es can )e a55o6ed$ )ut the DM 6i55 have to put some contro5s on no)5e
characters. The easiest and most effective method is to strip the tit5e of a55 )enefits that$
)% rights$ shou5d go 6ith it.
The no)5e character cou5d )e the son of a penurious du'e. The son ma% )e ne8t in
5ine to inherit the tit5e 6hen his father dies$ )ut he9s a5so in 5ine to inherit his father9s
de)tsB Instead of see'ing to impress others in pu)5ic$ the poor son might )e ;uite happ%
to 'eep a 5o6 profi5e so as not to attract his father9s creditors. After a55$ it9s hard to amass a
fortune through adventuring 6hen the )i55 co55ectors are a56a%s on hand to ta'e it a6a%.
Li'e6ise$ a prince5% character cou5d )e the son of an unpopu5ar and despotic or
incompetent 'ingHHperhaps even one 6ho 6as overthro6n for his a)uses. Such a son
might not 6ant his 5ineage 6e55H'no6n$ since most of the peasants 6ou5d have 5ess than
happ% reco55ections of his father9s ru5e.
3f course$ these 'inds of manipu5ations on %our part soon )ecome tiresome$ )oth
to %ourse5f and the p5a%ers. 2ot ever% du'e can )e impoverished$ nor ever% throne
usurped. Going too far 6ith this strateg% 6i55 on5% destro% the va5idit% of no)i5it% and
tit5es in %our game.
In the 5ong run$ it is )etter for %our p5a%er characters to )egin untit5ed$ 6ith one of
their goa5s )eing the possi)i5it% of earning the right to p5ace a <Sir99 or <Lad%99 )efore their
names. Imagine their pride as %ou confer this tit5e on their character Land imagine the
tria5s the% must have gone through to earn this rightM.
Problems o$ 2ealth: Another pro)5em %ou might have to dea5 6ith is characters from
6ea5th%$ upperHc5ass fami5ies. LThis is often associated 6ith the pro)5em of tit5es since the
no)i5it% norma55% is the upper c5ass.M Such characters$ )eing 6ea5th%$ 5ac' one of the
)asic reasons to adventureHHthe desire to ma'e a fortune.
Indeed$ the% see their o6n mone% as a 6a% to )u% so5utions to their pro)5ems.
3ften the% 6i55 propose eminent5% reasona)5% Land$ to the DM9s carefu55% p5anned
adventures$ ;uite disastrousM schemes to ma'e their adventuring 5ife easier. It is$ of
course$ possi)5e to hire a 6i>ard to construct magica5 items. And a 6ea5th% !stH5eve5
character cou5d )u% a vast arm%. *ut these sorts of things 6i55 have undesira)5e effects on
%our campaign.
There are 6a%s to contro5 these pro)5ems 6hi5e sti55 a55o6ing p5a%ers the character
)ac'grounds the% desire. Thin' of the rea5 6or5d and ho6 difficu5t it is to convince
fami5% and friends to give %ou mone%$ especia55% si>ea)5e amounts of cash. 4ou ma% have
a 5oving fami5% and generous friends$ )ut there is a 5imit.
In %our campaign$ parents ma% gro6 tired of supporting their chi5dren. *rothers
cou5d )ecome upset at ho6 p5a%er character re5atives are cheating them out of their share
of an inheritance. Sisters ma% ta'e e8ception to the s;uandering of their do6ries.
Standard medieva5 custom ca55ed for inheritancesHH5and and chatte5sHHto )e
divided e;ua55% among a55 of a man9s sons. LThis is one reason "har5emagne9s empire
crum)5ed after his death.M 4ou can use this custom to 6hitt5e a 6ea5th% character9s purse
do6n to si>e.
7urther$ fami5ies are not immune to the effects of greed and covetousnessHHman% a
ta5e revo5ves around the treacher% one )rother has 6rought upon another. A rich character
cou5d a6a'en to discover that his fami5% has )een s6ind5ed of a55 it o6ns.
*ac'ground as *ac'ground
A character9s )ac'ground is a ro5eHp5a%ing too5. It provides the p5a%er 6ith more
information a)out his character$ more )eginning persona5it% on 6hich to )ui5d. It shou5d
comp5ement %our campaign and spur it for6ard. *ac'ground detai5s shou5d sta% thereHHin
the )ac'ground. (hat %our characters are doing no6 and 6i55 do in the future is more
important than 6hat the% 6ere and 6hat the% did.
Chapter 2:
Player Character aces
Man% factors affect a character9s )ac'ground. T6o of the most important are his race and
his character c5ass Lsee "hapter +$ <A5a%er "haracter "5asses<M. In a sense$ a character9s
c5ass is his profession. Some characters are fighters$ some are mages$ some are c5erics$
and so on. A character9s race affects 6hich character c5asses are avai5a)5e to him. 3n5%
humans have un5imited c5ass options. A55 nonHhuman races are 5imited to some e8tent.
There are t6o reasons for thisI
7irst$ the restrictions are intended to channe5 p5a%ers into careers that ma'e sense
for the various races. D6arves are$ to a certain degree$ antiHmagica5 and incapa)5e of
shaping magica5 energ%HHthe% can9t )e 6i>ards. &a5f5ings$ despite their ties to nature$ 5ac'
the devotion and ph%sica5 6i55 to )e druids. Simi5ar situations e8ist for the other
demihuman races.
Second$ the demihuman races have advantages that are not avai5a)5e to humans.
75e8i)i5it%$ the a)i5it% to choose from among a55 the c5asses$ is one of ver% fe6 human
A 2onH&uman (or5d
The DM can$ if he chooses$ ma'e an% c5ass avai5a)5e to an% race. This 6i55
certain5% ma'e %our p5a%ers happ%. *ut )efore thro6ing the doors open$ consider the
If the on5% specia5 advantage humans have is given to a55 the races$ 6ho 6i55 6ant
to p5a% a human= &umans 6ou5d )e the 6ea'est race in %our 6or5d. (h% p5a% a 2thH
5eve5 human pa5adin 6hen %ou cou5d p5a% a 2thH5eve5 e5ven pa5adin and have a55 the
a)i5ities of pa5adins and e5ves=
If none of the p5a%er characters are human$ it is pro)a)5% safe to assume that no
nonHp5a%er characters of an% importance are human either. 4our 6or5d 6ou5d have no
human 'ingdoms$ or human 'ings$ emperors$ or po6erfu5 6i>ards. It 6ou5d )e run )%
d6arves$ e5ves$ and gnomes.
This is not necessari5% a )ad thing$ )ut %ou must consider 6hat 'ind of 6or5d nonH
humans 6ou5d create. *ui5ding a )e5ieva)5e fantas% 6or5d is a daunting tas'? creating a
)e5ieva)5e alien fantas% 6or5d L6hich is 6hat a 6or5d dominated )% nonHhumans 6ou5d
)eM is a huge cha55enge even for the )est 6riters of fantas%.
(hat 6ou5d nonHhuman fami5ies )e 5i'e= (hat 6ou5d the popu5ar entertainment
)e= (hat 6ou5d nonHhumans va5ue= (hat 6ou5d the% eat= (hat 6ou5d their
governments )e 5i'e= A societ% governed )% natureH5oving e5ves 6ou5d )e a ver% different
p5ace than a humanHdominated 6or5d.
It is possi)5e that certain character c5asses might not even e8ist. Aa5adinhood$ for
e8amp5e$ cou5d )e a uni;ue5% human perspective. (ou5d e5ves and d6arves ho5d the
same va5ues of 5a6$ order$ god$ and communit% to 6hich a pa5adin aspires= If %ou on5%
change the image Li.e.$ have e5ven pa5adins )ehave e8act5% 5i'e human pa5adinsM$ 6hat
%ou9ve got is the <humansHinHfunn%Hsuits< s%ndrome. #ven 6ithin the human race there
are vast cu5tura5 differences. Thin' ho6 much greater these differences 6ou5d )e if the
)5ood 6ere entire5% different.
A5so$ if humans are 6ea'$ 6i55 the other races treat them 6ith contempt= (ith
pit%= (i55 humans )e ens5aved= A55 things considered$ humans cou5d have a ver% )ad
time of it. If$ after considering a55 the potentia5 pitfa55s$ %ou decide to e8periment 6ith
nonHstandard c5ass se5ections$ do so carefu55%. (e offer the fo55o6ing adviceI
A55o6 nonstandard raceEc5ass com)inations on5% on a caseH)%Hcase )asis. If %ou
institute a genera5 ru5eHH<Gnomes can no6 )e pa5adins<HH%ou 6i55 sudden5% find %ourse5f
6ith si8 p5a%er character gnome pa5adins.
If a p5a%er desperate5% 6ants to p5a% a gnome pa5adin$ as' him to come up 6ith a
thoughtfu5 rationa5e e8p5aining 6h% this gnome is a pa5adin. It must )e p5ausi)5e and
consistent 6ith %our campaign setting. If the rationa5e satisfies %ou$ a55o6 that p5a%er$ and
on5% that p5a%er$ to p5a% a gnome pa5adin. #8p5ain to the other p5a%ers that this is an
Don9t a55o6 an% other gnome pa5adins in the game unti5 %ou have seen the first
one in action 5ong enough to decide 6hether the c5ass fits into %our game. If it does$
congratu5ationsHH%ou9ve )roadened %our p5a%ers9 hori>ons. If it doesn9t$ don9t hesitate to
te55 the gnome pa5adin p5a%er that he has to retire the character or convert him to a norma5
fighter. 2ever a55o6 someone to continue p5a%ing a character 6ho is upsetting %our game.
*% fo55o6ing this simp5e ru5e$ %ou can test ne6 raceEc5ass com)inations 6ithout
threatening %our campaign. Moderation is the 'e% to this t%pe of e8perimentation.
Racia5 Leve5 Restrictions
In addition to un5imited c5ass choice$ humans can attain an% 5eve5 in an% c5ass.
3nce again$ this is a human specia5 a)i5it%$ something no other race has. In the AD&D
game$ humans are more motivated )% am)ition and the desire for po6er than the
demihuman races are. Thus$ humans advance further and more ;uic'5%.
Demihumans can attain significant 5eve5s in certain c5asses$ )ut the% do not have
the same un5imited access. Some p5a%ers ma% argue that the greater age of various nonH
humans automatica55% means the% 6i55 attain greater 5eve5s. That can present pro)5ems.
Demihuman characters are 5imited in ho6 high a 5eve5 the% can achieve )oth to
preserve interna5 consistenc% Lhumans are more f5e8i)5e than nonHhumansM and to enforce
game )a5ance. A DM$ ho6ever$ can change or e5iminate these 5imits as he sees fit. As
6ith c5ass restrictions$ the conse;uences must )e e8amined in detai5.
Given their e8treme5% 5ong 5ifespans$ demihumans 6ithout 5imitations 6ou5d
;uic'5% reach 5eve5s of po6er far )e%ond an%thing attaina)5e )% humans. The 6or5d
6ou5d )e dominated )% these e8treme5% po6erfu5 )eings$ to the e8c5usion of humans.
&uman heroes 6ou5d )e fee)5e compared to the heroes of e5ves and d6arves.
Given their numerous advantages$ demihumans 6ou5d )e the most attractive
racesHHno one 6ou5d p5a% a human. Again$ this isn9t necessari5% )ad$ )ut it9s ver% different.
The resu5ting game 6i55 )e comp5ete5% un5i'e the standard s6ordHandHsorcer% mi5ieu. 4ou
might need to set the campaign in an ancient age$ )efore the ascendance of men Lthough
given the situation$ it9s un5i'e5% that men 6ou5d ever )ecome dominantM.
S5o6 Advancement L3ptiona5 Ru5eM
If %ou decide to a55o6 demihumans un5imited advancement$ consider this optionI
To counteract the demihumans9 5ong 5ife$ s5o6 do6n their advancement. Re;uire
demihumans to earn t6o$ three$ or even four times as man% e8perience points as a human
to advance a 5eve5.
This a55o6s the shortH5ived humans to advance more ;uic'5% than their 5ongH5ived
comrades$ 6ho 6i55 eventua55% catch up after the humans9 demise. If this so5ution$ though
5ogica5$ is unaccepta)5e to %our p5a%ers$ a compromise ma% )e ca55ed for.
The )est compromise is to a55o6 demihumans norma5 Lor dou)5eHcostM
advancement to their <ma8imum< 5eve5s. Then re;uire them to earn trip5e or ;uadrup5e
e8perience points to advance )e%ond that point. The% 6i55 advance ver% s5o65%$ )ut the
p5a%ers 6i55 sti55 have a goa5 and the sense of accomp5ishment that comes 6ith rising a
Standard "5ass and Leve5 Limits
*efore removing or modif%ing 5eve5 5imits$ fami5iari>e %ourse5f 6ith the game and
the )a5ances that current5% e8ist. 3n5% after %ou are e8perienced and comforta)5e 6ith
these shou5d %ou )egin a5teration of the nonHhuman 5eve5 5imits. The standard 5eve5 5imits
for a55 races and c5asses are given in Ta)5e ..
-able (:
acial Class and 0evel 0imits9
Character Class Character aces
&umanD6arf #5f Gnome&a5fHe5f &a5f5ing
*ard / P P P / P
"5eric / ! !2 F !- G
Druid / P P P F P
7ighter / !, !2 !! !- F
I55us. / P P !, P P
Mage / P !, P !2 P
Aa5adin / P P P P P
Ranger / P !, P !K P
Thief / !2 !2 !+ !2 !,
: A p5a%er character can advance to the ma8imum possi)5e 5eve5 in a given c5ass. The
Player's Handbook gives ru5es for advancing the p5a%er characters to 2th 5eve5.
P A p5a%er character cannot )e5ong to the 5isted c5ass.
Q A5a%er characters 6ith 5ess than e8ceptiona5 prime re;uisites cannot advance )e%ond the
5isted 5eve5.
#8ceeding Leve5 Limits L3ptiona5 Ru5eM
Demihuman characters 6ith e8treme5% high a)i5it% scores in their prime re;uisites
can e8ceed the racia5 ma8imum 5eve5s. In cases 6here mu5tip5e prime re;uisites e8ist$ the
5o6est prime re;uisite is used to ca5cu5ate an% additiona5 5eve5s.
The )onus 5eve5s avai5a)5e to characters 6ith high prime re;uisite scores are
summari>ed on Ta)5e G. The additiona5 5eve5s 5isted in Ta)5e G are added to the norma5
ma8imum a55o6ed$ regard5ess of 6hat c5ass or race is invo5ved.
7or e8amp5e$ a ha5fHe5f is 5imited to !2th 5eve5 as a thief. A ha5fHe5f thief 6ith a
De8terit% score of !.$ ho6ever$ is a55o6ed t6o )onus 5eve5s$ so he cou5d advance to !-th
-able ):
Prime e'uisite 6onuses
Ability Score Additional 0evels
!-$ !, R!
!K$ !. R2
!G R+
!F R-
"reating 2e6 A5a%er "haracter Races
The races 5isted in the Player's Handbook are on5% a fe6 of the possi)5e
inte55igent races popu5ating the 6or5ds of the AD&D game. Adventurous DMs and
p5a%ers ma% 6ant to e8periment 6ith characters of other races$ such as orcs$
5%canthropes$ ogres$ 5i>ardmen$ or even dragons.
*efore %ou do this$ ho6ever$ %ou need to 'no6 ver% c5ear5% 6hat %ou are getting
into. /nrestricted or i55Hconsidered use of nonHstandard races can easi5% and ;uic'5%
destro% a campaign. A56a%s consider a ne6 race from a variet% of ang5esI
&o6 does the ne6 race fit 6ith the other p5a%er characters= &o6 does it fit in the
campaign in genera5= (hat cou5d %ou accomp5ish 6ith this race that %ou cou5dn9t 6ith
The ma:orit% of p5a%ers 6ho 6ant to p5a% an unusua5 race desire on5% the thri55
and e8citement of a tru5% cha55enging ro5eHp5a%ing situation. There are$ ho6ever$ a fe6
p5a%ers 6ho see such races as a 6a% to ta'e advantage of game s%stems and campaign
situations. As 6ith changing 5eve5 5imits and c5asses a55o6ed$ %ou are 6e55 advised to
move s5o65% and carefu55% in this area.
A55o6ing p5a%er characters of unusua5 races introduces a 6ho5e ne6 set of
pro)5ems. In creating a ne6 nonHhuman or demihuman p5a%er character race$ the ru5es
and guide5ines )e5o6 shou5d )e fo55o6ed to preserve game )a5ance.
-he race should be humanoid Li.e.$ it must have t6o hands$ at 5east t6o 5egs$
and stand genera55% uprightM. The race must )e a)5e to move a)out on 5and. It must a5so
)e inte55igent. An orc or a centaur 6ou5d )e accepta)5e.
-he race cannot possess special abilities )e%ond the scope of those a5read%
given for the other p5a%er character races. A5though a dragon can po5%morph into human
form$ it ma'es an un5i'e5% p5a%er character )ecause it has a )reath 6eapon$ can change
shape$ can cast spe55s$ and is not humanoid in its natura5 state. A )ro6nie pro)a)5% 6ou5d
not )e a p5a%er character )ecause it$ too$ has a)i5ities )e%ond those of the standard p5a%er
character races.
-he race cannot be e*tra;dimensional or dra6 on e8traHdimensiona5 po6ers. It
cannot have innate spe55casting a)i5it%$ )e undead$ or possess magic resistance.
-he race must be cooperative and 6i55ing to interact 6ith the human 6or5d. The
duergar$ a race of deepHd6e55ing d6arves$ have no desire to dea5 6ith humans and avoid
contact 6henever possi)5e. Sat%rs resent intruders into their 6oods and g5ades$ 6hich
ru5es them out as p5a%er characters. 4ou must :udge this criterion )ased on the conditions
in %our game 6or5d.
If these conditions are met$ the race can )e considered as a possi)5e p5a%er
character race. Some e8amp5es of races that definite5% fit the profi5e are ha5fHorcs$ orcs$
ha5fHogres$ 5i>ardmen$ go)5ins$ centaurs$ and 'o)o5ds.
(hen e8perimenting 6ith a ne6 p5a%er character race$ a55o6 on5% one at the start.
Do not )egin %our e8periment 6ith a 6ho5e part% of ha5fHogresB Start s5o65%$ invo5ving
on5% one p5a%er. If the ne6 race is too po6erfu5$ it can )e easi5% e5iminated.
3nce the ne6 race is se5ected$ the rea5 6or' )egins. #8amine the race and app5%
a55 of the fo55o6ing guide5ines to it.
Character Abilities: A55 races$ regard5ess of t%pe$ use the same a)i5it% generation
method as a55 other p5a%er characters. Their scores 6i55 range from + to !G un5ess
modified )% p5uses or minuses.
"reature si>es$ defined in the Monstrous Manua5$ affect a)i5ities as fo55o6sI
"reatures of tin% LTM si>e have a H+ modifier to Strength. "reatures of sma55 LSM
si>e have a H! modifier to Strength. "reatures of 5arge LLM si>e have a R! modifier to
Strength. &uge L&M creatures gain a R2 to Strength and Gigantic LGM creatures have a R-.
Those 6ith an Inte55igence 5ess than average Las determined )% the DM or as
5isted in the Monstrous Manua5M suffer a H! pena5t% to Inte55igence and those
e8ceptiona55% Inte55igent or greater gain a R! )onus.
A55 other a)i5it% modifiers are assigned )% the DM. Li'e5% candidates inc5ude
minuses to "harisma and (isdom and p5us or minus ad:ustments to De8terit%. In a55
cases$ )onuses and pena5ties shou5d )a5ance out. If a creature has a R! )onus to Strength$
it shou5d have a H! pena5t% to another a)i5it%. (ith the e8ception of Strength$ no creature
can have a modifier greater than R2 or H2 to an% score.
acial Ability e'uirements: It is possi)5e for a creature to have seeming5%
i55ogica5 a)i5it% scores. &o6ever$ %ou can set minimums and ma8imums on these. Ta)5e .
in the Player's Handbook sho6s these 5imits for the standard p5a%er character races. It is
the DM9s :o) to do the same for nonstandard races.
As a guide$ creatures of 5arge si>e shou5d have at 5east an !! Strength and$ un5ess
the% are descri)ed as agi5e or ;uic'$ shou5d have a cei5ing of !. to De8terit%. Du55H6itted
creatures Lthose of 5o6 Inte55igenceM shou5d have a 5imit of !K to Inte55igence.
The DM can 6aive an% re;uirements if$ for e8amp5e$ a p5a%er 6ants Lor getsM a
hi55 giant character 6ith Strength K. Some rationa5e shou5d )e offered$ ho6ever. LIn the
case of the 6ea'5ing hi55 giant$ perhaps he 6as the runt of the fami5%$ cast out )% his
fe55o6s$ and forced to ta'e up adventuring.M
Character Classes: The DM must :udge 6hat character c5asses the ne6 race can
)e. /se the information in the ne8t chapter as %our guide$ and start 6ith a narro6 range
of options. 4ou can a56a%s 6iden it 5ater.
A5most an% sort of creature can )e a fighter. 2one Le8cept humansM can )e
pa5adins. Those favoring the outdoors Lcentaurs$ for e8amp5eM can )e rangers.
Those 6ith pena5ties to (isdom cannot )e priests? others can )e priests on5% if
their game description mentions 2A" priests and the creature has some t%pe of socia5
organi>ation La tri)e$ c5an$ etc.M. 2o nonstandard creature can )e a druid$ as this is a
human )e5ief s%stem.
Those 6ith pena5ties to Inte55igence cannot )e 6i>ards. If the description in the
Monstrous Manua5 imp5ies that a creature is stupid$ du55H6itted$ or in an% 6a% averse to
magic and spe55 casting$ it cannot )e a priest or 6i>ard.
A De8terit% pena5t% prevents the character from )eing a thief. "reatures of 5arge
si>e or greater cannot )e thieves. If it is imp5ied that a creature is c5ums% or a6'6ard$ it
cannot )e a thief.
A ne6 character race can )e mu5tiHc5assed if there is more than one potentia5 c5ass
open to it Le.g.$ fighter and mageM. "5asses from the same group cannot com)ine into
mu5tiHc5asses Le.g.$ fighterErangerM. "haracters from variant races must a5so have scores of
!- or higher in the prime re;uisites of )oth c5asses to ;ua5if% for mu5tiHc5ass standing.
This particu5ar condition does not app5% to norma5 p5a%er character races.
0evel 0imits: Li'e a55 nonHhumans$ ne6 p5a%er character races have 5eve5 5imits.
&o6ever$ these 5imits are 5o6er than those for other nonHhumans$ since these races are
often unsuited to adventuring. LAerhaps this e8p5ains 6h% p5a%er characters of these races
are so rare.M
The ma8imum 5eve5 a character from a variant race can attain depends on the
character9s prime re;uisite a)i5it% score Lor scoresM. /se Ta)5e F to determine the
character9s ma8imum 5eve5.
-able +:
&a*imum 0evels $or /ariant aces
Prime e'uisite Score 0evel 0imit
F +
! -
!! ,
!2 K
!+ .
!- G
!, F
!K !
!. !!
!GR !2
/n5i'e the standard demihuman races$ ne6 character races never gain additiona5
5eve5s for high a)i5it% scores. It is unusua5 enough that a mem)er of the race has )ecome a
p5a%er character at a55B (ithout the aid of man% wish spe55s$ a character from a nonH
standard race can never rise a)ove !2th 5eve5.
A5ignmentI The Monstrous Manua5 5ists a5ignments for most races. If an a)so5ute
a5ignment is 5isted Le.g.$ <good<M$ the p5a%er character has that a5ignment. If on5%
a5ignment tendencies are given$ the p5a%er can choose an% a5ignment.
&it AointsI A55 creatures ro55 their hit points using the die appropriate to their
chosen c5ass. At !st 5eve5$ Large and greater si>e creatures gain one additiona5 hit point
for ever% &it Die the creatures 6ou5d norma55% receive Lp5uses to the die are ignoredM in
addition to their norma5 "onstitution )onus. Thus$ an ogre fighter 6ith a "onstitution of
!2 6ou5d sti55 gain a R- hit point )onus at first 5eve5$ since ogres norma55% have - &it
Dice. LRemem)er that Large si>e creatures suffer 5argerHthanHmanHsi>ed damage from
6eaponsBM Thereafter$ a55 ne6 races earn hit points according to 5eve5 advancement$
"onstitution$ and character c5ass.
Leve5 AdvancementI The character progresses 5i'e a55 others of the same character
c5ass. *eing a nonstandard race does not give the p5a%er character an% specia5 )enefits to
his character c5ass.
ArmorI Most creatures Lorcs$ gno55s$ go)5insM have an Armor "5ass of ! Land thus
6ear armor for protectionM. Some creatures$ ho6ever$ have natura5 armor 6hich is
retained )% the p5a%er character. These characters gain the )enefit of a R! )onus to their
A" on5% if the armor 6orn is 6orse than or e;ua5 to their natura5 Armor "5ass Las per
horse )ardingM.
If )etter armor is 6orn$ natura5 armor is ignored and Armor "5ass is determined
)% the armor )eing 6orn. 3ddHsi>ed and oddHshaped creatures can9t 6ear offHtheHshe5f
armor? it must )e made to order and costs e8tra Land ta'es 5onger to ma'eM.
MovementI The creature9s movement rate is the same as that 5isted in the
Monstrous Manua5.
Attac'sI The p5a%er character is a55o6ed the num)er of attac's given his character
c5ass and 5eve5$ not the num)er 5isted in the monster description in the Monstrous
Si>e Aro)5emsI A5a%ers 6ho p5a% LargeHsi>ed creatures hoping to get an advantage
over others shou5d ;uic'5% discover man% pro)5ems the% didn9t anticipate. "onsider the
p5ight of the p5a%er 6ho decides to have a hi55 giant. Right a6a%$ he955 have a hard time
)u%ing )asic e;uipment. (ho ma'es pants for giants in a human to6n= #ver%thing must
)e specia5 ordered at t6o to four timesHHor moreHHits norma5 cost.
This is a minor inconvenience compared to other difficu5ties. *ui5dings and
dungeons are )ui5t for humans and other MediumHsi>ed creatures$ den%ing the 5arge
fe55o6 the opportunit% for )oth a heart% drin' and e8citing adventure. #ven the toughest
character 6i55 tire of drin'ing from meas5% cups and )u%ing five dinners at a time. (i55 he
en:o% spending the night in a 5ea'% sta)5e 6hi5e his companions en:o% 6arm feather )eds
upstairs in the inn=
Da%s of trave5ing 6i55 ;uic'5% sho6 him the :o%s of 6a5'ing 6hi5e ever%one e5se
rides Lno horse can carr% himM$ especia55% 6hen his companions ga55op spr%5% a6a% from
oncoming danger$ 5eaving him in its path. The costs of rep5acing )ro'en furniture 6i55
;uic'5% )ecome prohi)itive. Ropes 6i55 have an anno%ing tendenc% to )rea' 6hen the )ig
5un' tries to c5im) them. And the hi55 giant )etter have at 5east 2 friends hand% to pu55
him out of that +Hfoot pitB
2A" ReactionsI 3n the persona5 side$ e8pect 2A"s to have strong negative
fee5ings a)out unusua5 p5a%er character races$ even to the point of )igotr% and hatred.
These reactions 6i55 ma'e 5ife more difficu5t for the p5a%er character$ )ut the% are the
price the p5a%er pa%s for his unusua5 choice.
"hapter +I
A5a%er "haracter "5asses
The Player's Handbook covers the nuts and )o5ts of character c5asses$ e8p5aining the
mechanics of ho6 the% 6or' and 6hat the% can do$ )ut there is more to )eing a DM than
:ust 'no6ing the hard and fast ru5es. "haracter c5asses form the heart of the AD&D game$
so it is usefu5 to understand some of the concepts and re5ationships that define c5asses and
ho6 the% function.
"5ass$ Leve5$ and the "ommon Man
"haracter c5ass and 5eve5 are usefu5 game measures of a character9s ta5ents and
a)i5ities. #ver% c5ass out5ines a )asic ro5e for the character$ a position and career in 5ife.
#ach 5eve5 defines additiona5 po6er and provides a s%stem 6here)% %ou can ;uantif% and
)a5ance encounters.
(ith on5% a 5itt5e practice %ou 5earn that characters of S c5asses and 5eve5s can
easi5% defeat monster 4$ )ut that monster D 6i55 give them serious pro)5ems. This he5ps
%ou create e8citing$ )a5anced adventures for %our p5a%ers.
4et$ at the same time$ %ou 'no6 that the concept of c5asses and 5eve5s doesn9t
rea55% app5% to the rea5 6or5d. The teamster driving the 6agon that passes the characters
isn9t a !stH$ ,thH$ or !thH5eve5 teamster. &e is a man$ 6hose :o) it is to drive 6agons and
hau5 goods. The cham)ermaid is not a specia5 c5ass$ nor are her a)i5ities defined )%
The teamster or cham)ermaid ma% )e e8ceptiona55% s'i55ed and competent$ )ut for
them this is not measured in character c5asses. There is no such thing as a teamster or
cham)ermaid c5ass$ an% more than there are merchant$ sai5or$ prince$ )5ac'smith$ hermit$
navigator$ tin'er$ )eggar$ g%ps%$ or c5er' c5asses. These are the things peop5e do$ not a55H
encompassing descriptions.
2or are a55 the peop5e in %our campaign 6or5d fighters$ mages$ thieves$ or
6hatever. The situation 6ou5d )e utter5% ridicu5ous if ever% 2A" had a character c5ass.
4ou 6ou5d have fighter cham)ermaids$ mage teamsters$ thief merchants$ and ranger
chi5dren. The 6ho5e thing defies 5ogic and )ogg5es the mind. Most nonHp5a%er characters
are peop5e$ :ust peop5e$ and nothing more.
3n5% a fe6 peop5e actua55% attain an% character 5eve5. 2ot ever% so5dier 6ho fights
in a 6ar )ecomes a fighter. 2ot ever% urchin 6ho stea5s an app5e from the mar'etp5ace
)ecomes a thief. The characters 6ith c5asses and 5eve5s have them )ecause the% are in
some 6a% specia5.
This specia5ness has nothing to do 6ith a)i5it% scores$ c5ass a)i5ities$ or 5eve5s.
Such characters are specia5 )% definition. The fact that p5a%er characters are contro55ed )%
p5a%ers renders them specia5. Aerhaps these specia5 characters are more driven or have
some un'no6n inner spar' or :ust the right com)ination of ta5ents and desires. That9s up
to the p5a%ers. Simi5ar5%$ nonHp5a%er characters 6ith c5asses are specia5 )ecause the DM
sa%s so. A5ain and simp5e. There is no secret reason for thisHHit :ust is.
HLeve5 "haracters
The great mass of humanit%$ e5fH'ind$ the d6arven c5ans$ and ha5f5ings$ are <H
5eve5< L>eroH5eve5M characters. The% can gain in 6isdom and s'i55$ )ut the% do not earn
e8perience points for their activities. These common fo5' form the )ac')one of ever%
fantas% 6or5d$ doing the 5a)or$ ma'ing goods$ se55ing cargos$ sai5ing oceans$ )ui5ding
ships$ cutting trees$ hau5ing 5um)er$ tending horses$ raising crops and more. Man% are
;uite ta5ented in the various arts and crafts. Some are even more proficient than p5a%er
characters 6ith the same training. After a55$ H5eve5 characters earn their 5ivings doing this
'ind of 6or'. 7or p5a%er characters such proficiencies are a5most more of a ho))%.
7or the vast ma:orit% of H5eve5 2A"s %ou create and use in %our game$ a55 %ou
need to 'no6 is a name$ a persona5it%$ and an occupation. (hen the characters dea5 6ith
the )5ac'smith or the inn'eeper$ there9s no need to create a)i5it% scores$ T&A"3$ toHhit
ad:ustments$ Armor "5ass$ and the 5i'e. This does assume$ of course$ that %our p5a%er
characters don9t go attac'ing ever% )5ac'smith and inn'eeper in sight. If the% do$ %ou
need to 'no6 a 5itt5e more a)out H5eve5 characters.
A)i5it% ScoresI These range from +H!G. 7or simp5icit%$ don9t 6orr% a)out racia5
modifiers for the demihuman races. Racia5 modifiers to com)at$ Armor "5ass$ hit points$
etc.$ do app5%.
AroficienciesI At )est$ a H5eve5 character 6i55 have one 6eapon proficienc%$ if
that character9s profession reasona)5% a55o6s for it. 7or e8amp5e$ a )5ac'smith cou5d )e
proficient 6ith a 6arhammer and an inn'eeper might )e a55o6ed s'i55 6ith a c5u) Lthe
a8e hand5e under the )ar...M$ )ut there9s 5itt5e chance a c5er' is going to )e s'i55ed 6ith an%
t%pe of 6eapon.
In non6eapon proficiencies$ H5eve5 characters have as man% as are needed Land
reasona)5eM given their profession and age. Thus$ a )5ac'smith might )e ;uite
accomp5ished at the forge$ having spent severa5 proficiencies on the s5ot. 2ovices and
incompetent craftsmen have the )are minimum training and s'i55. T%pica5 :ourne%men
spend t6o or three s5ots on their main s'i55. #8perts and )ri55iant artists usua55% devote a55
their a)i5it% to a sing5e proficienc%. Masters$ 6ho 6atch over the 6or' of :ourne%men and
apprentices$ are norma55% no more accomp5ished than :ourne%men )ut have additiona5
proficiencies in other )usiness areas.
&it AointsI The ma:orit% of peop5e have from !HK hit points. D6arves and gnomes
average from !HG hit points. Ad:ustments can )e made for occupation or condition as
indicated on Ta)5e !$ )e5o6.
Ta)5e !I
HLeve5 &it Aoints )% Tit5e
Arofession Die Range
Manua5 La)orer !dG
So5dier !dGR!
"raftsman !dK
Scho5ar !d+
Inva5id !d-
"hi5d !d2
4outh !dK
Some p5a%ers thin' it is unrea5istic that a t%pica5 peasant can )e 'i55ed )% a sing5e
s6ord )5o6$ a fa55 from a horse$ or a thro6n roc'. In the rea5 6or5d$ peop5e can and do die
from these causes. At the same time$ ho6ever$ others survive incredi)5e in:uries and
(hen it is necessar% to the success of an adventure Land on5% on e8treme5% rare
occasionsM$ %ou can give H5eve5 characters more hit points. The situation cou5d have
come a)out for an% num)er of reasonsI magic$ )5essings from on high$ some particu5ar5%
t6isted curse Lthe peasant 6ho cou5d not dieBMHH%ou name it.
It is a5so usefu5 to ma'e important 2A"s$ such as H5eve5 'ings or princes$ tougher
than the average person. This is particu5ar5% important in the case of ru5ers$ other6ise
some cra>ed p5a%er character is going to overthro6 the campaign 'ingdom 6ith a sing5e
s6ipe of his s6ord. This is norma55% not a desira)5e resu5t.
Adventurers and Societ%
If most peop5e do not fa55 into a particu5ar character c5ass$ ho6 common are those
6ith character c5asses and ho6 do the% fit into the societ% around them=
This is an important ;uestion$ one %ou 6i55 ans6er as %ou create %our campaign.
4ou don9t have to sit do6n and thin' out an e8act ans6er L<2O of the popu5ation are
adventurers<M$ a5though %ou can get that precise if %ou 6ant. More 5i'e5%$ the ans6er 6i55
form over time as %ou popu5ate vi55ages$ create encounters$ and DM game sessionsHH%ou
6i55 unconscious5% ma'e %our choices a)out fre;uenc% and character ro5e. There are$
ho6ever$ differences in ho6 fre;uent5% the different c5asses 6i55 5ogica55% sho6 up.
7ighters are )% far the most common character t%pes in norma5 campaigns. The%
must meet the 5east stringent c5ass re;uirements and are dra6n from the )iggest poo5 of
ta5entHHso5diers of innumera)5e armies$ mercenar% companies$ mi5itias$ pa5ace guards$
temp5e hosts$ and sheriff9s men. In these and other forces$ the potentia5 fighter 5earns his
trade. &e is taught ho6 to hand5e 6eapons and care for them. &e pic's up some )asic
tactics and earns acceptance as a fighting man.
7rom these ran's some go on to )ecome !stH5eve5 fighters. Such men are often
given ran' in recognition of their ta5ents. Thus$ a !stH5eve5 fighter ma% )ecome a corpora5
or a sergeant. As the ran's )ecome greater and more inf5uentia5$ the tendenc% is to a6ard
these to higher 5eve5 fighters. &o6ever$ this trend is not a)so5ute and often )rea's do6n
at the highest 5eve5s. The captain of the compan% ma% )e a !2thH5eve5 fighter$ )ut he
6ou5d sti55 ta'e orders from a H5eve5 princeB
Leve5 is no guarantee of ran'$ nor is ran' fi8ed to 5eve5. Some peop5e don9t 6ant
responsi)i5it% and a55 that comes 6ith it. The% 6ou5d rather 5et other peop5e te55 them
6hat to do. Such characters ma% )ecome accomp5ished fighters )ut never advance
)e%ond the ran' of common so5dier. Ao5itica5 maneuvering and favoritism can raise even
the 5o6est 5eve5 character to the highest positions of authorit%.
Since fighters tend to rise a)ove the 5eve5 of the common so5dier$ fe6 armies are
composed of highH or even 5o6H5eve5 fighters. (hi5e there is 5itt5e difference in a)i5it%
)et6een the t%pica5 foot so5dier and a !stH5eve5 fighter$ it is :ust not possi)5e to find an
arm% of 2$ -thH5eve5 fighters. It9s rare enough to find !$ or so 2ndH5eve5 fighters in
a sing5e unit. Such units are e5ite$ super)5% trained and outfitted$ and are norma55% he5d in
reserve for specia5 tas's. The% ma% )e the shoc' troops of an assau5t$ a specia5
)od%guard$ or the reserve of an arm% he5d )ac' for pursuit.
Adventurer fighters L6hether p5a%er characters or 2A"sM are those 6ho have
struc' out on their o6n. 2ot ever% man is content to ta'e orders or give orders$ and fame
se5dom comes to the common foot so5dier. Some men are 6i55ing to tr% to rise through the
ran's$ )ut it is )% no means an eas% or speed% process. There aren9t man% openings$ nor is
it a path 6here s'i55 at arms guarantees success.
Given a55 this$ it9s not surprising that most fighters opt for the more direct method
of adventuring. In the course of adventuring$ though$ man% fighters find themse5ves
)ecoming 5eaders and commanders$ assem)5ing men around them as the% carve their o6n
p5ace in the 6or5d.
Aa5adins are rare$ in part )ecause of the statistics of dice ro55ing and in part
)ecause pa5adinhood is an e8acting road for characters to fo55o6. It is eas% to err and fa55
from the specia5 state of grace re;uired. 2ot ever% character is up to these demands$ )ut
those fe6 that are can )e tru5% specia5. 4ou 6i55 not find units 6ith thousands$ hundreds$
or even tens of pa5adins. At )est$ the% form sma55 groups Lsuch as the T6e5ve Aeers of
"har5emagne or some of the 0nights of the Round Ta)5eM.
3ften$ )ecause of the ster5ing e8amp5e the% set$ pa5adins 5ead others in )att5e. *ut$
at the same time$ the% tend to )e i55Hsuited to the tas' of ru5ing$ 6hich too often re;uires
compromise of one9s princip5es. It is common to find the pa5adin 6or'ing in association
6ith the c5erg% of his re5igion$ )ut 5one pa5adins$ carr%ing their faith into the 6i5derness$
a5so appear in the ta5es of )ards.
Rangers tend to )e 5oners$ uncomforta)5e in the compan% of <civi5i>ed< men.
The% are a5so uncommon$ again due to the demanding a)i5it% re;uirements of the c5ass.
These t6o factors ma'e armies or companies of rangers most un5i'e5%$ on5% margina55%
5ess common than hordes of pa5adins.
A5though 5oners$ the% do not mind the compan% of other rangers$ those 6ho
understand the 6a%s of the 6i5derness and the need for space. Sma55 groups of rangers
6i55 sometimes :oin an arm% as its scouts$ especia55% if the need is pressing. The% 6i55
occasiona55% )e found in forest vi55ages or near untrac'ed 6i5dernesses. &ere$ guides$
scouts$ 6oodsmen$ trappers$ pioneers$ and sta5'ers form the poo5 from 6hich the ranger
ran's are fi55ed. 7e6 can )e found in civi5i>ed 5andsHHrangers in cities are tru5% oddities.
(i>ards are the most iconoc5astic and se5fHimportant of a55 the character c5asses$
for the% are uni;ue among a55 character c5asses. The peasant can pic' up a s6ord and
fight? a pious man can hope to serve his faith? a 5oca5 6ag can spin a good ta5e? and an
unprincip5ed cad can ro) the 5oca5 merchants. *ut no one other than a 6i>ard can cast
magica5 spe55s. The need for high5% specia5i>ed training tru5% sets them apart$ and the%
'no6 it.
(hen mages gather$ the% tend to form societies or associations$ organi>ations for
men 6ho spea' of things not understood )% the common fo5' Lmuch 5i'e scientists
toda%M. *ut 6i>ards are too fractious and independent a 5ot to organi>e themse5ves into
proper unionsHHthe% can )are5% manage to form moderate5% organi>ed gui5ds.
Genera55%$ their groups e8ist for such highHminded reasons as to <faci5itate the
e8change of 'no65edge< or <advance the state of the science of magic.< Some prepare
te8ts or papers to share 6ith fe55o6 mages$ detai5ing their 5atest e8periments and
discoveries or out5ining some ne6 theor%. The% en:o% the recognition of their peers as
much as an%one.
To outsiders$ 6i>ards seem a5oof and daunting. Li'e craftsmen$ the% are most
comforta)5e in the compan% of their fe55o6s$ spea'ing a 5anguage the% a55 understand.
The untrained$ even apprentices$ are intruders upon this fe55o6ship and are apt to receive
an ic% and rude reception.
(i>ards are an eccentric$ even perverse$ 5ot. The%9re 5i'e5% to )e found :ust a)out
an%6here. 2onethe5ess$ the% have an affinit% for civi5i>ation$ ranging from sma55 vi55ages
to vast cities. 3n5% a fe6 mages actua55% care to adventure since it is an e8treme5%
dangerous underta'ing to 6hich the% are i55Htrained and i55Hsuited. The vast ma:orit%
spend their time e8perimenting in sec5usion or 6or'ing in the service of others$
prefera)5% 6e55 paid.
Man% mages$ especia55% those of 5esser a)i5it%$ turn their art to practica5 endsHH
a5most ever% vi55age has a fe55o6 6ho can 6hip up a fe6 usefu5 spe55s to he5p 6ith the
5am)ing or simp5if% the construction of a house. In 5arger cities$ these mages )ecome
more specia5i>ed$ such that one might 5end his ta5ents to construction$ another to the
finding of 5ost things$ and a third to aiding the 5oca5 :e6e5ers in their craft.
2ear5% a55 ma:or fami5ies$ merchant princes$ and no)5es have a mage or t6o in
their emp5o%. A fe6 attempt Lgenera55% 6ithout successM to have these 6i>ards massH
produce magica5 items. The pro)5em is that 6i>ards are as difficu5t to manage as rangers
or pa5adins. The% do not care for others )ossing them around or encroaching upon their
perceived privi5eges and rights$ especia55% since the% have the magica5 resources to ma'e
their disp5easure 'no6n. A5so$ the% are usua55% 'ept )us% finding 6a%s to stri'e at their
emp5o%er9s riva5s Lor th6arting such attempts against their o6n 5ordM. 7oo5ish is the 'ing
6ho does not have a persona5 6i>ard$ and 5amenta)5e is the ru5er 6ho trusts the 6rong
2ot a55 6i>ards spend their time in the service of others. Some see' naught )ut
'no65edge. These scho5arHmages tend to )e vie6ed much 5i'e great universit% professors
toda%HHno)5e and distant$ pursuing truth for its o6n sa'e. (hi5e not direct5% in the service
of others$ the% can sometimes )e commissioned to perform some dut% or ans6er some
The 6ea5th% often provide endo6ments for such men$ not to )u% their services
L6hich aren9t for sa5eM )ut to curr% their favor in hopes that the% 6i55 provide honor$ g5or%$
and :ust perhaps something usefu5. This situation is not un5i'e that of the great artists of
the Renaissance 6ho 6ere supported )% princes hoping to impress and outdo their riva5s.
There are 6i>ards 6ho spend a55 their time shut a6a% from humanit% in dar'$
for)idding to6ers or g5oom%$ )atHinfested caves. &ere the% ma% 5ive in rooms 6here
opu5ent sp5endor ming5es 6ith damp fou5ness. Aerhaps the strains and demands of their
art have driven them mad. Aerhaps the% 5ive as the% do )ecause the% see and 'no6 more
than other men. (ho 'no6s= The% are$ after a55$ eccentric in the e8treme.
Ariest characters are not re;uired to ta'e up arms and set out on adventures to
smite evi5. 2o$ their hierarchies re;uire administrators$ c5er's$ and devout 6or'ers of a55
t%pes. Thus$ a5though there ma% )e man% c5erg%men and 6omen at a temp5e or
monaster%$ on5% a fe6 6i55 have a character c5ass and 5eve5s.
2ot a55 mon's at a monaster% are !stH5eve5 Lor higherM c5erics. Most are mon's or
nuns$ devout men and 6omen 6or'ing to serve their faith. 2onHadventuring c5erg% are no
5ess devout than their adventuring )rethren$ nor do the% receive an% 5ess respect. Thus$ it
is possi)5e to have 5eaders 6ithin a re5igious hierarch% 6ho sho6 no signs of specia5
c5erica5 a)i5it%$ on5% proper faith and piet%.
#ven more so than 6ith mi5itar% men$ though$ 5eve5 is not a determiner of ran'.
(isdom and its use$ not the app5ication of firepo6er or the num)er of foemen smitten$
are the true pear5s of the c5erg%. Indeed the goa5 of some )e5iefs is to demonstrate the
greatest 6isdom )% divesting onese5f of a55 earth5% )ondsHHpo6er$ 6ea5th$ pride$ and even
5eve5 a)i5itiesHHin an attempt to attain perfect harmon% 6ith ever%thing.
In the end$ adventuring priests tend to form a sma55 nuc5eus of crusaders for the
faith. The% are the ones 6ho demonstrate their faith )% )raving the dangers that threaten
their )e5iefs$ the ones 6ho set e8amp5es through tria5s and hardships. 7rom these$ others
ma% spiritua55% profit.
Thieves are often peop5e 6ho don9t fit in e5se6here. /n5i'e other c5asses$ near5%
a55 thieves are adventurers$ often )% necessit%. True$ man% sett5e permanent5% in a sing5e
are and 5ive off the 5oca5 popu5ation$ )ut 6hen %our 5ife tends to )e in defiance of the
5oca5 5a6$ %ou have to )e read% to 5eave at a moment9s noticeB #ach :o) is an adventure
invo5ving great ris's Linc5uding$ possi)5%$ deathM$ and there are precious fe6 opportunities
to re5a8 and 5et %our guard do6n.
Thieves occasiona55% form gui5ds$ especia55% in ma:or cities and p5aces 6ith a
strong sense of 5a6 and order. In man% cases$ the% are forced to cooperate mere5% to
survive. Inf5uentia5 thieves see gui5ds as a 6a% to increase their o6n profits and grant
them the image of respecta)i5it%. The% )ecome dons and crime5ords$ directing operations
6ithout ever having to dirt% their hands.
At the same time$ the mem)ership of a thieves9 gui5d is )% definition composed of
5iars$ cheats$ s6ind5ers$ and dangerous5% vio5ent peop5e. Thus$ such gui5ds are hot)eds of
deceit$ treacher%$ and )ac'Hsta))ing L5itera55%M. 3n5% the most cunning and po6erfu5 rise
to the top. Sometimes this rise is associated 6ith 5eve5 a)i5it%$ )ut more often it is a
measure of the don9s :udge of character and po5itica5 adeptness.
"urious5%$ thieves 6ho are masters of their craft tend not to advance too high in
the organi>ation. Their ta5ents in the fie5d are too va5ua)5e to 5ose$ and their effort is
e8pended on their art$ not on maneuvering and toad%ing. There is$ in fact$ no ru5e that
sa%s the 5eader of the thieves9 gui5d has to )e a thief. The 5eader9s :o) invo5ves charisma$
character appraisa5s$ and po5itic'ingHHthe po6erfu5 crime5ord cou5d turn out to )e a craft%
merchant$ a 6e55Heducated no)5eman$ or even an insidious mind f5a%er.
*ards are rare and$ 5i'e thieves$ tend to )e adventurers$ )ut for some6hat different
reasons. The% do occasiona55% vio5ate the 5a6 and find it necessar% to move on to the ne8t
to6nHHand the ne8t adventureHH)ut more often the% are driven )% curiosit% and
6ander5ust. A5though some )ards sett5e do6n in a to6n or cit%$ most trave5 from p5ace to
p5ace. #ven <tamed< )ards Las the sett5ed ones are sometimes ca55edM fee5 the urge to go
out and e8p5ore$ gather a fe6 more ta5es$ and come home 6ith a ne6 set of songs. After
a55$ the entertainment )usiness demands variet%.
There are genera55% no )ard gui5ds or schoo5s$ no co55eges$ societies$ or c5u)s.
Instead$ )ards sometimes )and in secret societies$ 5oose affi5iations that a55o6 them to
improve their art 6hi5e maintaining an aura of m%ster%.
Most fre;uent5%$ ho6ever$ )ards re5% on the informa5 hospita5it% of their 'ind.
Shou5d one )ard arrive in the to6n of another$ he can reasona)5% e8pect to sta% 6ith his
fe55o6 for a 5itt5e 6hi5e$ provided he shares some of his 5ore and doesn9t cut into his host9s
)usiness. After a time$ during 6hich )oth )ards 5earn a fe6 of the other9s ta5es and songs$
the visitor is e8pected to move on. #ven among )ards it is possi)5e to oversta% one9s
3f course$ there are times 6hen a )ard decides not to 5eave )ut to set up shop and
sta%. If the popu5ation is )ig enough to support )oth )ards$ the% ma% get a5ong. If it isn9t$
there 6i55 a5most certain5% )e )ad )5ood )et6een the t6o. 7ortunate5%$ though$ one or the
other can usua55% )e counted on to get 6ander5ust and set out on some great$ ne6
adventure. *ards do tend to )e incura)5e romantics$ after a55.
"haracter "5asses in 4our "ampaign
(hi5e the character discussion a)ove provides a structure for adventurers in the
game$ %our o6n campaign might )e ;uite different. 7or e8amp5e$ there is no ru5e that
sa%s mages can9t form strong gui5ds. Such a group 6ou5d have a profound impact on the
campaign 6or5d$ ho6ever. (ith their magica5 might$ the% cou5d contro5 virtua55% an%
facet of 5ife the% choseHHpo5itics$ trade$ c5ass structure$ even private )ehavior. Such a
group 6ou5d a5ter the amount of magic in %our campaign and 6ho possessed it.
3rgani>ed mages might even attempt to 5imit the activities of those 6ho present a
threat to their po6er$ such as adventurers. (henever %ou a5ter the )a5ance of the
character c5asses$ )e sure %ou consider 6hat the changes cou5d do to %our campaign.
&ighHLeve5 "haracters
A5ong 6ith character c5asses and 5eve5s comes the natura5 tendenc% to c5assif%
campaigns according to the 5eve5 of the characters. #8perienced p5a%ers spea' of <5o6H
5eve5< or <highH5eve5< games in different terms and$ indeed$ such games are different from
one another. A5so differing from game to game$ ho6ever$ is the definition of high 5eve5.
Defining <&igh Leve5<
(hat constitutes a 5o6H or highH5eve5 game is a matter of taste. Genera55%$ DMs
and p5a%ers find a range of character 5eve5s that is comforta)5e for their st%5e of p5a%.
"ampaigns that common5% have -thH to GthH5eve5 characters consider those 6ith !2thH
5eve5 or more to )e high 5eve5$ 6hi5e those 6ith !2thH5eve5 characters set the 5imit c5oser
to !Gth or 2th 5eve5. (hi5e there is no set )rea'Hpoint for high 5eve5$ character duties and
responsi)i5ities )egin to change around )et6een Fth and !2th 5eve5.
Genera55%$ p5a%ers find )att5ing monsters and discovering treasure to )e 5ess and
5ess satisf%ing as time goes on. Their characters9 a)i5ities are such that monsters need to
)e a5most ridicu5ous5% po6erfu5 to threaten them. Treasures must )e vast to ma'e an
impression. (hi5e incredi)5e foes and huge treasures are good once in a 6hi5e$ the thri55
;uic'5% 6ears thin.
"hanging "ampaign St%5es
(hen p5a%ers )egin to get :aded$ consider changing the st%5e of the campaign.
&igher 5eve5 characters have great po6erHHthe% shou5d have adventures 6here that po6er
inf5uences and invo5ves them in the campaign 6or5d. As 5eaders$ ru5ers$ and 6ise men$
their actions affect more than :ust themse5ves$ spreading out6ard in ripp5es over those
the% ru5e and those the% see' to con;uer. Ao5itica5 machinations$ sp%ing$ )ac'room dea5s$
treacher%$ and fraud )ecome more pronounced. (hi5e these e5ements can p5a% a part in a
5o6H5eve5 campaign$ at higher 5eve5s$ the sta'es are much greater.
Added intrigue can )e introduced into a campaign gradua55%. 7or e8amp5e$
1arrac'$ a midH5eve5 fighter$ is appointed sheriff of a 5oca5 vi55age as a re6ard for his
ster5ing deeds. &e can sti55 adventure as he has )een accustomed to$ )ut no6 he must a5so
6atch over the vi55agers. The DM has the 5oca5 )andits raid the trade road. As sheriff$
1arrac' must stop them. &e goes 6ith a sma55 group$ on5% to discover a camp of ,
out5a6s. Rea5i>ing he9s )ad5% outnum)ered$ he )eats a hast% retreat$ raises a sma55 mi5itia$
and c5ears the countr%side of the enem%.
(ith this he rises in 5eve5. In addition$ his 5ord is p5eased and grants 1arrac'
ste6ardship of severa5 vi55ages$ 6ith sheriffs under his command. The neigh)oring )aron
L6ho organi>ed and sent the )anditsM notes 1arrac'9s success 6ith mi5d disp5easure$
p5anting the seed of a festering hate. More immediate5%$ the craven and vengefu5 sheriff
of the ne8t vi55age on the road L6hose incompetence a55o6ed the )andits to f5ourishM
sudden5% finds himse5f out of favor. &e )5ames 1arrac' and searches for a 6a% to )ring
the ne6 ste6ard do6n.
As the campaign progresses$ the DM can s5o65% spin a 6e) of intrigue around
1arrac' as enemies$ open and hidden$ see' to )5oc' his progress or use him to topp5e his
o6n 5ord. Against the odds$ 1arrac' ma% find himse5f destined to )ecome the 'ing9s
champion$ gaining ne6 tit5es$ responsi)i5ities$ friends$ and enemies a5ong the 6a%.
A)ove 2th Leve5
Theoretica55%$ there is no upper 5imit to character c5ass 5eve5s La5though there are
racia5 5imitationsM. The materia5 presented here ta'es characters on5% to 2th 5eve5HH
e8perience has sho6n that p5a%er characters are most en:o%a)5e 6hen p5a%ed 6ithin the
!H2 range. A)ove 2th 5eve5$ characters gain fe6 additiona5 po6ers and face even fe6er
tru5% daunting adventures.
"onsummate s'i55 and creativit% are re;uired to construct adventures for
e8treme5% po6erfu5 characters Lat 5east adventures that consist of more than :ust thro6ing
)igger and )igger monsters at the near5% un)eata)5e part%M. 1er% high 5eve5 p5a%er
characters have so fe6 5imitations that ever% threat must )e directed against the same
6ea'nesses. And there are on5% so man% times a DM can 'idnap friends and fami5%$ stea5
spe55 )oo's$ or e8i5e po6erfu5 5ords )efore it )ecomes o5d hat.
etirement: (hen characters reach the 5eve5 6here adventures are no 5onger a
cha55enge$ p5a%ers shou5d )e encouraged to retire them. Retired characters enter a <semiH
2A"< state. The character sheets and a55 information are entrusted to the DM9s care.
A retired character sti55 5ives in the campaign 6or5d$ usua55% sett5ed in one spot$
and norma55% has duties that prevent him from adventuring. (hi5e in the DM9s care$ he
does not gain e8perience$ use his magic items$ or spend his treasure. It is assumed that he
has income to meet his norma5 e8penses.
The retired character can )e used to provide p5a%ers 6ith information$ advice$ and
some materia5 assistance Lif this is not a)usedM. &o6ever$ his or her overa55 actions are
contro55ed )% the DM$ not the p5a%er 6ho origina55% created the character.
If at a55 possi)5e$ p5a%er characters shou5d )e encouraged to retire as a group. This
6a% a55 p5a%ers can create and p5a% ne6 characters of appro8imate5% the same 5eve5. If
on5% one p5a%er retires his character to start a ne6 !stH5eve5 character 6hi5e a55 the others
continue 6ith 2thH5eve5 characters$ the poor ne6comer can9t rea55% adventure 6ith them.
LIf he does$ the p5a%er 6on9t get to do much or the character 6i55 have a ver% short 5ife
Some p5a%ers ma% )e re5uctant to retire a favorite character. #8p5ain to these
p5a%ers that retirement doesn9t mean the character can never )e used again. *e sure to
create specia5 adventures that re;uire those highH5eve5 heroes to come out and do )att5e.
#ver% once in a 6hi5e the o5d adventuring group ma% have to reassem)5e to dea5
6ith some threat to the 'ingdom or the 6or5d. It9s the chance to sho6 those upstart ne6
characters :ust 6hat a rea55% po6erfu5 group can doB It a5so gives the p5a%ers the
opportunit% to ro5eHp5a% some the their o5d favorites.
If the p5a%ers see the opportunit% to use their po6erfu5 characters$ even
infre;uent5%$ the% 6i55 )e 5ess re5uctant to spend most of their p5a%ing time 6ith ne6$
5o6erH5eve5 characters.
*eginning "haracter Leve5s
If at a55 possi)5e$ start characters at !st 5eve5. The 5o6est character 5eve5s are 5i'e
the ear5% %ears of chi5dhood. (hat happens to a character during these first adventures
6i55 do much to determine ho6 that character 6i55 )e ro5eHp5a%ed. Did Rath the D6arf
save the da% )% foo5Hhardi5% charging into )att5e 6hen he 6as a mere !st 5eve5= If he did$
the odds are good the p5a%er 6i55 tr% it again and 6i55 )egin to p5a% Rath as a )o5d and
rec'5ess fe55o6.
3n the other hand$ if Rath 6as c5o))ered the first fe6 times he rushed in$ the
p5a%er 6ou5d )egin to p5a% Rath as a cautious$ prudent fe55o6. #ven the sma55est events
can have a great effect on 5o6H5eve5 characters$ so these events sharp5% etch the )ehavior
of the character. Den% the p5a%er these )eginning 5eve5s and %ou are stripping him of the
opportunit% to deve5op his character9s persona5it%.
Mi8ing 2e6 and 35d "haracters
Letting p5a%ers start at the )eginning is fine 6hen %ou first open a campaign$ and
a55 p5a%er characters can )egin at the same 5eve5. As sessions are p5a%ed$ ho6ever$ a
disparit% in character 5eve5s 6i55 deve5op. 2e6 p5a%ers 6i55 :oin the game and o5d p5a%ers
6i55 create ne6 characters. #ventua55%$ %ou955 reach a point 6here the origina5 group of
p5a%ers has characters man% 5eve5s higher than 6hen the% )egan. &o6$ then$ do %ou
introduce ne6 p5a%ers and ne6 p5a%er characters into %our game=
There are times 6hen %ou shou5d a55o6 a character to start a)ove !st 5eve5. A
ne65%Hcreated character shou5d )egin a campaign no higher than -th 5eve5 un5ess the
group is ver% po6erfu5. If this is the case$ he shou5d )egin no higher than the 5o6est 5eve5
character in the part% Land it ma% )e )etter to start a 5eve5 or t6o 5o6erM.
The ne6 character shou5d have e;uipment simi5ar to that of his adventuring
companionsI If the% have horses$ he shou5d have a horse$ too. *ut do not give him free
magica5 items. These he must earn. &e shou5d start 6ith a sma55 amount of cash.
Sometimes a p5a%er can rep5ace a fa55en character )% promoting an 2A"
henchman to p5a%er character status. This is a good method )ecause the p5a%er is a5read%
fami5iar 6ith the 2A" and ma% have created a persona5it% for him. (hen this happens$
the p5a%er is given the 2A" character sheet and a55o6ed to ta'e fu55 contro5 of it.
AreHRo55ed "haracters
It is usefu5 to have a fe6 preHro55ed characters on hand. These shou5d )e of severa5
different 5eve5s and c5asses$ 6ith e;uipment and persona5it% ;uir's noted. These <instant<
p5a%er characters can )e used )% guest p5a%ers Lthose on5% a)5e to p5a% in a fe6 sessionsM
and )% regu5ar p5a%ers 6hose characters have died during the course of a session.
(hen the 5atter occurs$ introduce the ne6 character at an appropriate point and
then a55o6 the p5a%er to contro5 it for the rest of the evening. This 'eeps that p5a%er from
)eing )ored. If the p5a%er en:o%s the character Land %ou are p5eased 6ith the
arrangementM$ %ou can a55o6 him to continue p5a%ing that character in future sessions.
"reating 2e6 "haracter "5asses L3ptiona5 Ru5eM
The character c5asses 5isted in the ru5es are not the on5% ones that can e8ist in the
AD&D game. Man% other character c5asses$ either genera5 or high5% specia5i>ed$ cou5d
a5so e8ist. Indeed$ a common reaction of p5a%ers to the character c5asses is to ;uestion
6h% their characters can9t have the po6ers or s'i55s of another c5ass. 4ou can even create
entire5% ne6 c5asses or com)inations of e8isting character a)i5ities.
"reating a ne6 character c5ass is not recommended for novice DMs or p5a%ers.
*efore attempting this$ )e sure that %ou are fami5iar and comforta)5e 6ith the AD&D
ru5es. 7urthermore$ it is not a good idea to use this s%stem in a )randHne6 campaign
6hich has no )ac'ground for p5a%ers to )ase actions and decisions on.
The c5assHcreation s%stem here re;uires %ou to use %our :udgmentHHit isn9t foo5H
proof. (ithout carefu5 thought$ %ou ma% find %ou9ve created an over5% forcefu5
com)ination of po6ers or a )i>arre$ unp5a%a)5e character c5ass. As 6ith ne6 character
races$ start 6ith a sing5e test case )efore %ou approve the c5ass for a55 p5a%ers.
2atura55%$ the DM must approve a c5ass )efore a p5a%er can )egin using it. The
DM a5so has the right to ma'e an% changes he sees fit$ even after the character has )een
p5a%ed for some timeB
4ou are advised not to tr% to create a super c5assHHa c5ass that a55o6s p5a%ers to do
ever%thing. "onsider 6hat is 5ostI A super character 6ou5d re;uire an immense amount of
e8perience :ust to reach 2nd 5eve5. 2orma5 characters 6ou5d reach much higher 5eve5s$
much sooner$ and ma% even surpass the super character in a)i5it%. A super character a5so
destro%s part% cooperation and group p5a%. If %ou have a character 6ho can do
ever%thing$ %ou don9t need other characters Land hence other p5a%ersM. 7urther$ a 6ho5e
group of super characters is nothing more than a group of oneHc5ass characters. 4ou 5ose
as much variet%$ as much co5or$ as if %ou had a group consisting on5% of fighters. And a
group of fighters Lor an% other sing5e c5assM$ no matter 6hat their a)i5ities$ is )oring.
There is nothing to distinguish @oe 7ighter from 7red 7ighter in a)i5it%.
Another factor to consider 6hen creating ne6 character c5asses is 6hether a ne6
c5ass is rea55% needed. Some p5a%ers 6ant to create a character c5ass for ever% profession
or a)i5it%HH:esters$ 6itches$ vampire hunters$ vi'ings$ mountaineers$ etc. The% forget that
these are rea55% ro5es$ not c5asses.
(hat is a vi'ing )ut a fighter 6ith a certain out5oo' on 5ife and 6arfare= A 6itch
is rea55% nothing )ut a fema5e 6i>ard. A vampire hunter is on5% a tit5e assumed )% a
character of an% c5ass 6ho is dedicated to the destruction and e5imination of those
5oathsome creatures.
The same is true of assassins. 0i55ing for profit re;uires no specia5 po6ers$ on5% a
specific reprehensi)5e out5oo'. "hoosing the tit5e does not imp5% an% specia5 po6ers or
a)i5ities. The character :ust uses his current s'i55s to fu5fi55 a specific$ persona5 set of
*efore creating a character c5ass$ stop and as' %ourse5f$ <Is there a5read% a
character c5ass that can fi55 the niche=< Thin' of 6a%s an e8isting c5ass cou5d fu5fi55 the
desired goa5 through ro5eHp5a%ing and carefu5 choice of proficiencies. A mountaineer
cou5d easi5% )e a fighter or ranger$ )orn and )red on the s5opes$ 6ith a 5ove of the rugged
pea's and proficiencies in c5im)ing$ mountaineering$ and the 5i'e. There is no need for a
mountaineer c5ass.
A5so$ consider ho6 much fun the character is going to )e to p5a%. This is
particu5ar5% true 6hen %ou p5an to create c5asses 6ith high5% specia5i>ed a)i5ities. True$
there ma% )e a p5ace for 6ise o5d sages or a5chemists$ )ut 6ou5d the% )e fun to p5a%=
"onsider that a55 the sage does is conduct research and ans6er ;uestions. An important
tas'$ perhaps$ )ut )oring 6hen compared to fighters$ mages$ and the 5i'e. "5ear5% there is
no great demand for the sage as a p5a%er character. So$ there is no need for the character
7ina55%$ remem)er that there is no such thing as an e8c5usive5% 2A" character
c5ass. (hat is the 5ogic of sa%ing a nonHp5a%er character can )e suchHandHsuch$ )ut a
p5a%er character cannot= 2one. This is a fa5se restriction. #ver% character c5ass %ou create
shou5d )e open to p5a%er characters and nonHp5a%er characters a5i'e.
(ith a55 these considerations in mind$ %ou can use the s%stem descri)ed )e5o6 to
create ne6 character c5asses. 4ou are encouraged to modif% the s%stem or create one of
%our o6n. the method used here 6i55 give %ou a good starting p5ace.
To use this method$ choose different a)i5ities %ou 6ant the c5ass to have. 4ou must
inc5ude some aptitudes such as fighting. *ut other a)i5ities$ such as spe55casting$ are
optiona5. #ach a)i5it% %ou choose has a mu5tip5e attached to it. As %ou se5ect the a)i5ities
for %our c5ass and add the mu5tip5es together. After %ou have chosen a55 the a)i5ities$
mu5tip5% the )ase e8perience va5ue Lsee Ta)5e 2!M )% this tota5. The resu5t is the num)er
of e8perience points %our ne6 c5ass must earn to go up in 5eve5s.
e'uired Abilities: 7or each of the categories$ choose one of the options 5isted.
*e sure to note this choice a5ong 6ith the mu5tip5e cost.
-able 11:
ace &ultiple
3ther !
-able 12:
Combat /alue :sed
0evel &ultiple
H5eve5 &umanQ H2
Monster R+
(arrior R2
(i>ard H!
Rogue H!
H5eve5 humans never improve in com)at a)i5it%$ regard5ess of 5eve5.
-able 1!:
Saving -hro< -able :sed
0evel &ultiple
H5eve5 &uman Saving Thro6sQ H2
An% other saving thro6 ta)5e
Q H5eve5 humans never improve in saving thro6s.
-able 1":
=it Dice Per 0evel
0evel &ultiple
!d- R.,
!dK R..,
!dG R!
!d! R2.,
!d!2 R-
-able 1#:
Armor Allo<ed
0evel &ultiple
2one H!
Limited A"Q H.,
Q Limited A" means the character can on5% use armor of A" , or 6orse.
-able 1%:
2eapons Allo<ed
0evel &ultiple
LimitedQ H!.,
3ne c5assQQ H!
Q The c5ass is 5imited to a ma8imum of - different 6eapons$ none of 6hich can inf5ict
more than !dK points of damage.
QQ The c5ass is 5imited to one 6eapon categor% Ls5ashing$ piercing$ or )5udgeoningM.
-able 1(:
=it Points Per 0evel 6eyond +th
R! R.,
R2 R2
R+ R2
3ptional Abilities: In addition to the re;uired a)i5ities 5isted a)ove$ %ou can
choose an% of the optiona5 a)i5ities )e5o6. Again$ these a)i5ities 6i55 increase %our )ase
mu5tip5ier$ ma'ing it more difficu5t to increase in 5eve5s.
-able 1):
3ptional Abilities
7ighter "onstitution )onus R!
7ighter e8ceptiona5 Strength )onus R!
Anima5 empath% R!.,
*onus R! to hit a creatureQ R!
Aer initia5 proficienc% s5ot R.2,
Read 5anguagesQQ R.,
Aura of protection$ as pa5adin R2
*ac'sta) R!
"ast an% priest spe55 RG
"ast one sphere of spe55s R2
"5im) 6a55sQQ R!
7indEremove trapsQQ R!
&ea5ing$ as pa5adin R2
&ear noiseQQ R.,
&ide in shado6sQQ R!
Learn and cast an% schoo5 R!K
Learn and cast one schoo5 R+
Move si5ent5%QQ R!
3pen 5oc'sQQ R!
Aic' poc'etsQQ R!
Ao6er Li.e. shapechangeM R+
/se magica5 items R!
3ther R+
Q This app5ies on5% to a sing5e t%pe of creature Lorcs$ etc.M. More than one creature
can )e chosen$ so 5ong as the mu5tip5ier is increased for each choice.
QQ The character uses Ta)5e !F.
-able 1+:
-hie$ Average Ability -able
0evel 5ind?
o$ Pic@ 3pen emove &ove =ide In =ear Climb ead
-hie$ Poc@ets 0oc@s -raps Silently Shado<s .oise 2alls 0anguages
! +O 2,O 2O !,O !O !O G,O HH
2 +,O 2FO 2,O 2!O !,O !O GKO HH
+ -O ++O +O 2.O 2O !,O G.O HH
" "#A !(A !#A !!A 2#A 1#A ))A 2,A
# #,A "2A ",A ",A !1A 2,A +,A 2#A
% ##A "(A "#A "(A !(A 2,A +2A !,A
. KO ,2O ,O ,,O -+O 2,O F-O +,O
G K,O ,.O ,,O K2O -FO 2,O FKO -O
F .O K2O KO .O ,KO +O FGO -,O
1, ),A %(A %#A ()A %!A !,A ++A #,A
11 +,A (2A (,A )%A (,A !#A ++A ##A
12 +#A ((A (#A +"A ((A !#A ++A %,A
1% ++A +(A +#A ++A ++A #,A ++A ),A
1( ++A ++A ++A ++A ++A ##A ++A ),A
estrictions: To 5o6er the overa55 mu5tip5e of the c5ass$ restrictions a5so can )e
chosen that 6i55 affect the )ehavior and a)i5ities of the c5ass. These mu5tip5es are
su)tracted from the current tota5. "haracters must honor the restrictions of their c5ass.
-able 2,:
estriction &ultiple
Must )e 5a6fu5 H!
Must )e neutra5 H!
Must )e good H!
"annot 'eep more than can carr% H.,
Must donate !O of treasure H.,
2onHhuman 5eve5 5imit of FQ H!
2onHhuman 5eve5 5imit of !2QH.,
&as ethos that must )e o)e%ed H!
"annot o6n more than ! magica5 items H.,
"annot o6n more than K magica5 items H!
"annot associate 6ith one c5ass H!
"annot associate 6ith one a5ignment H!
A)i5it% use de5a%ed to higher 5eve5QQ H.,
Q If the character is nonHhuman.
QQ De5a%ed a)i5it% use prevents the character from having the po6er unti5 he
reaches the stated 5eve5. 2o more than t6o a)i5ities can )e de5a%ed. The DM determines
the 5eve5 at 6hich a)i5ities )ecome avai5a)5e for use.
6ase E*perience: After a55 mu5tip5es have )een ca5cu5ated$ %ou must determine
the e8perience points re;uired per 5eve5. Ta'e %our mu5tip5e num)er and mu5tip5% it )%
the )ase e8perience va5ue for each 5eve5 as given in Ta)5e 2!. (hen %ou are finished$ %ou
6i55 have a comp5ete #8perience Aoint Ta)5e for %our ne6 character c5ass.
-able 21:
6ase E*perience Points
0evel 6ase E*perience
2 2
+ -
- G
, 2$
K -$
. G$
G !,$
F 2G$
!R +$Eadditiona5 5eve5
4ou can9t reconstruct the e8isting character c5asses using this method. The standard
c5asses give p5a%ers advantages over customHdesigned c5asses. Standard c5ass characters
advance in 5eve5s more ;uic'5% and$ genera55%$ have )etter a)i5ities than customHdesigned
Chapter ":
A5ignment is a shorthand description of a comp5e8 mora5 code. It s'etches out the )asic
attitudes of a person$ p5ace$ or thing. It is a too5 for the DM. In sudden or surprising
situations$ it guides the DM9s eva5uation of 2A" or creature reactions. *% imp5ication$ it
predicts the t%pes of 5a6s and enforcement found in a given area. It affects the use of
certain high5% specia5i>ed magica5 items.
7or a55 the things a5ignment is$ there are some ver% important things that it is not.
It is not a hammer to pound over the heads of p5a%er characters 6ho mis)ehave. It is not a
code of )ehavior carved in stone. It is not a)so5ute$ )ut it can var% from p5ace to p5ace.
2either shou5d a5ignment )e confused 6ith persona5it%. It shapes persona5it%$ )ut there is
more to a person than :ust a5ignment.
A5a%er "haracter A5ignment
It is essentia5 that each character9s a5ignment )e noted in the DM9s records for that
character. Are the a5ignments too different= Are the% different enough to )rea' the part%
apart= (i55 this interfere 6ith the p5anned adventure or campaign=
Sometimes characters of different a5ignments possess such radica55% varied 6or5d
vie6s to ma'e cooperation impossi)5e. 7or e8amp5e$ a strict 5a6fu5 good and a chaotic
neutra5 6ou5d find their adventuring mar'ed )% animosit% and mistrust. A true chaotic
neutra5 6ou5d ma'e :ust a)out an%one tr%ing to 6or' 6ith him cra>%.
There are t6o approaches to an a5ignment pro)5em in the group. The first is to
e8p5ain the pro)5em to the p5a%ers invo5ved. #8p5ain 6h% their a5ignments cou5d cause
pro)5ems and see if the% agree or disagree. If necessar%$ suggest some a5ignment
changesHH)ut never force a p5a%er to choose a ne6 a5ignment.
It is his character$ after a55. (i5d5% different characters might find 6a%s to 6or'
together$ ma'ing adventures amusing Lat 5eastM and ma%)e even successfu5 in spite of the
group9s pro)5ems.
The second approach re;uires that p5a%ers 'eep their a5ignments secret. Don9t te55
an%one that there might )e a pro)5em. Let p5a%ers ro5eHp5a% their characters and discover
the pro)5ems on their o6n. (hen pro)5ems arise$ 5et the characters 6or' them out
themse5ves. This approach is )est suited to e8perienced ro5eHp5a%ers$ and even then it can
p5a% havoc 6ith a campaign. Since secrec% imp5ies mistrust$ this method shou5d )e used
6ith e8treme caution.
Ro5eHA5a%ing A5ignment
During p5a%$ pa% attention to the actions of the p5a%er characters. 3ccasiona55%
compare these against the characters9 a5ignments. 2ote instances in 6hich the character
acted against the princip5es of his a5ignment. (atch for tendencies to drift to6ard another$
specific a5ignment.
If a character9s c5ass re;uires that he adhere to a specific a5ignment$ caution him
6hen a proposed action seems contrar% to that a5ignment. A55o6 the p5a%er to reconsider.
2ever te55 a p5a%er that his character cannot do something )ecause of his
a5ignment. A5a%er characters are contro55ed )% the p5a%ers. The DM intervenes on5% in
rare cases L6hen the character is contro55ed )% a spe55 or magica5 item$ for e8amp5eM.
7ina55% as in a55 points of disagreement 6ith %our p5a%ers$ 5isten to their arguments
6hen %our understanding of an a5ignment differs from theirs. #ven though %ou go to
great effort in preparing %our game$ the campaign 6or5d is not %ours a5oneHHit a5so
)e5ongs to %our p5a%ers.
2A" A5ignment
@ust as a 6e55Hp5a%ed character acts 6ithin the 5imits of his a5ignment$ 2A"s
shou5d act consistent5% 6ith their a5ignments. @udicious and imaginative use of 2A"s is
6hat creates a )e5ieva)5e fantas% 6or5d.
A5ignment is a ;uic' guide to 2A" and monster reactions. It9s most usefu5 6hen
%ou don9t 6ant to ta'e the time to consu5t a page of ta)5es and %ou haven9t devised a
comp5ete persona5it% for ever% casua55% encountered 2A". 2A"s tend to act in
accordance 6ith their a5ignment Lthough the% are no more perfect in this regard than
p5a%er charactersM.
Thus$ a chaotic evi5 gno55 tends to react 6ith threats and a sho6 of might. It
considers someone 6ho appea5s to its compassion as a 6ea'5ing$ and it automatica55%
suspects the motives of an%one 6ho tries to )e friend5%. According to the gno559s vie6 of
societ%$ fear and )u55%ing are the 'e%s to success$ merc% and 'indness are for the 6ea'$
and friends are good on5% for the things the% can provideHHmone%$ protection$ or she5ter. A
5a6fu5 good merchant$ mean6hi5e$ 6ou5d tend to ho5d the opposite vie6 of things.
The Limits of 2A" A5ignment
Remem)er$ ho6ever$ that a5ignment is not persona5it%. If ever% 5a6fu5 good
merchant is p5a%ed as an upright$ honest$ and friend5% fe55o6$ 2A"s 6i55 )ecome )oring
in a hurr%. @ust )ecause a merchant is 5a6fu5 good doesn9t mean he 6on9t hagg5e for the
)est price$ or even ta'e advantage of some gu55i)5e adventurer 6ho is :ust passing
through. Merchants 5ive )% ma'ing mone%$ and there is nothing evi5 a)out charging as
much as a character is 6i55ing to pa%. A chaotic good inn'eeper might$ ;uite reasona)5%$
)e suspicious of or hosti5e to a )unch of ragged$ heavi5% armed strangers 6ho stomp into
his inn 5ate at night. A chaotic evi5 6i>ard might )e )ored and happ% for a 5itt5e
companionship as he sits )% the inn9s fire.
To create memora)5e 2A"s$ don9t re5% so5e5% on their a5ignment. Add
characteristics that ma'e them interesting$ adapting these to fit the character9s a5ignment.
The merchant$ perhaps fee5ing a 5itt5e gui5t% a)out overHcharging the adventurer$ might
give the ne8t customer a )rea' on the price. The inn'eeper might )e rude to the
adventurers 6hi5e c5ear5% )eing friend5% to other patrons. The chaotic evi5 6i>ard might
discover that$ 6hi5e he 6anted some companionship$ he doesn9t 5i'e the compan% he got.
&e might even 5eave )ehind a to'en of his irritation$ such as )esto6ing the head of a
don'e% on the most anno%ing character.
Societ% A5ignment
A5a%er characters$ 2A"s$ and monsters are not a5one in having a5ignment. Since a
'ingdom is nothing )ut a co55ection of peop5e$ united in some fashion L)% 5anguage$
common interest$ or fear$ for e8amp5eM$ it can have an overa55 a5ignment. The a5ignment
of a )aron%$ principa5it%$ or other sma55 )od% is )ased on the attitude of the ru5er and the
a5ignment of the ma:orit% of the popu5ation.
The a5ignment of the ru5er determines the nature of man% of the 5a6s of the 5and.
La6fu5 good ru5ers usua55% tr% to protect their territor% and do 6hat9s )est for their
su):ects. "haotic good ru5ers tr% to he5p peop5e$ )ut irregu5ar5%$ )eing un6i55ing to enact
s6eeping 5egis5ation to correct a socia5 i55.
At the same time$ the enforcement of the 5a6s and the attitudes found in the
countr% come not from the ru5er )ut the su):ects. (hi5e a 5a6fu5 good 'ing issues decrees
for the good of a55$ his 5a6fu5 evi5 su):ects cou5d consider them inconveniences to 6or'
around. *ri)er% might )ecome a standard method for doing )usiness.
If the situation is reversed La 5a6fu5 evi5 'ing 6ith most5% 5a6fu5 good su):ectsM$
the 'ingdom )ecomes an unhapp% p5ace$ fi55ed 6ith grum)5ing a)out the evi5 reign that
p5agues it. The 'ing$ in turn$ resorts to severe measures to si5ence his critics$ creating
even more grum)5ing. The situation is simi5ar to romantic portra%a5s of 2orman #ng5and$
6ith the good and true peasants strugg5ing under the evi5 %o'e of Arince @ohn Las in
*obin Hood and ,vanhoeM.
The genera5 a5ignment of an area is determined )% the interaction )et6een ru5er
and ru5ed. (here the ru5er and the popu5ation are in harmon%$ the a5ignment tendenc% of
the region is strong. (hen the t6o conf5ict$ the attitudes of the peop5e have the strongest
effect$ since the p5a%er characters most often dea5 6ith peop5e at this 5eve5. &o6ever$ the
conf5ict )et6een the t6o groupsHHsu):ects and 5ordHHover a5ignment differences can create
/sing Area A5ignments
/sing a genera5 a5ignment for an area a55o6s a ;uic' assessment of the 'ind of
treatment p5a%er characters can e8pect there. The fo55o6ing gives ideas for each
0a<$ul good: the peop5e are genera55% honest$ 5a6Ha)iding$ and he5pfu5. The%
mean 6e55 Lat 5east most of them doM. The% respect the 5a6. As a ru5e$ peop5e don9t 6a5'
around 6earing armor and carr%ing 6eapons. Those 6ho do are vie6ed 6ith suspicion or
as trou)5eHma'ers. Some societies tend to dis5i'e adventurers$ since the% often )ring
0a<$ul .eutral: The peop5e are not on5% 5a6Ha)iding$ the% are passionate
creators of arcane )ureaucracies. The tendenc% to organi>e and regu5ate ever%thing easi5%
gets out of contro5.
In 5arge empires there are ministries$ counci5s$ commissions$ departments$ offices$
and ca)inets for ever%thing. If the region attracts a 5ot of adventurers$ there are specia5
ministries$ 6ith their o6n specia5 ta8es and 5icenses$ to dea5 6ith the pro)5em. The peop5e
are not tremendous5% concerned 6ith the effectiveness of the government$ so 5ong as it
0a<$ul Evil: The government is mar'ed )% its severe 5a6s$ invo5ving harsh
punishments regard5ess of gui5t or innocence. La6s are not intended to preserve :ustice so
much as to maintain the status ;uo. Socia5 c5ass is crucia5. *ri)er% and corruption are
often 6a%s of 5ife. Adventurers$ since the% are outsiders 6ho ma% )e foreign agents$ are
vie6ed 6ith great suspicion. La6fu5 evi5 'ingdoms often find themse5ves ;uashing
re)e55ions of oppressed peasants c5amoring for humane treatment.
.eutral evilB neutral goodB and true neutral: Areas dominated )% these three
a5ignments tend to adopt 6hatever government seems most e8pedient at the moment. A
particu5ar form of government 5asts as 5ong as the ru5er or d%nast% in po6er can maintain
it. The peop5e cooperate 6hen it suits themHHor$ in the case of true neutra5s$ 6hen the
)a5ance of forces must )e preserved.
Such neutra5 territories often act as )uffer states )et6een 5ands of e8treme
a5ignment difference Lfor e8amp5e$ )et6een a 5a6fu5 good )aron% and a vi5e chaotic evi5
principa5it%M. The% shift a55egiance artfu55% to preserve their )orders against the advances
of )oth sides in a conf5ict.
2eutra5 evi5 countries tend to )e )enign L)ut not p5easantM dictatorships 6hi5e
neutra5 good countries are genera55% <en5ightened< dictatorships. Transfers of po6er are
usua55% mar'ed )% shifts in government$ though these are often )5ood5ess coups. There is
a certain apath% a)out po5itics and government. Adventurers are treated the same as
ever%one e5se.
Chaotic Good: The peop5e mean 6e55 and tr% to do right$ )ut are hampered )% a
natura5 dis5i'e of )ig government. A5though there ma% )e a sing5e ru5er$ most
communities are a55o6ed to manage themse5ves$ so 5ong as their ta8es are paid and the%
o)e% a fe6 )road edicts. Such areas tend to have 6ea' 5a6 enforcement organi>ations. A
5oca5 sheriff$ )aron$ or counci5 ma% hire adventurers to fi55 the gap. "ommunities often
ta'e the 5a6 into their o6n hands 6hen it seems necessar%. Lands on the fringes of vast
empires far from the capita5 tend to have this t%pe of a5ignment.
Chaotic .eutral: There is no government. Anarch% is the ru5e. A stranger to such
a to6n ma% fee5 as if he has ridden into a to6n of madmen.
Chaotic Evil: The peop5e are ru5ed )%$ and 5ive in fear of$ those more po6erfu5
than themse5ves. Loca5 government usua55% amounts to a series of strongarm )osses 6ho
o)e% the centra5 government out of fear. Aeop5e 5oo' for 6a%s to gain po6er or 'eep the
po6er the%9ve got. Assassination is an accepted method of advancement$ a5ong 6ith
coups$ conspiracies$ and purges. Adventurers are often used as pa6ns in po5itica5 po6er
games$ on5% to )e e5iminated 6hen the adventurers themse5ves )ecome a threat.
1ar%ing Socia5 A5ignment
(ithin these a5ignments$ of course$ man% other government t%pes are possi)5e.
7urthermore$ even 6ithin the same 'ingdom or empire$ there ma% )e areas of different
a5ignment. The capita5 cit%$ for e8amp5e$ 6here merchants and po5iticians congregate$
ma% )e much more 5a6fu5 Lor evi5$ etc.M than a remote farming communit%.
And a5ignment is on5% one pattern of socia5 organi>ation. 2ot ever% nation or
)aron% is defined )% its a5ignment. 3ther methods of descri)ing a group of peop5e can
a5so )e usedHHpeacefu5$ 6ar5i'e$ )ar)aric$ decadent$ dictatoria5$ and civi5i>ed are a55
possi)5e descriptions.
4ou need on5% 5oo' at the 6or5d toda% to see the variet% of societies and cu5tures
that a)ound in the rea5ms of man. A good DM 6i55 sprin'5e his campaign 6or5d 6ith
e8otic cu5tures created from his o6n imagination or researched at the 5oca5 5i)rar%.
A5ignment of Re5igions

Genera5 a5ignments a5so can )e app5ied to re5igions. The )e5iefs and practices of
the re5igion determine its a5ignment. A re5igion that espouses understanding$ 6or'ing in
harmon% 6ith others$ and good deeds is more than 5i'e5% 5a6fu5 good. those that stress
the importance of individua5 perfection and purification are pro)a)5% chaotic good.
It is e8pected that the priests of a re5igion 6i55 adhere to its a5ignment$ since the%
are supposed to )e 5iving e8amp5es of these )e5iefs. 3ther fo55o6ers of the re5igion need
not adhere e8act5% to its a5ignment. If a person9s a5ignment is ver% different from his
re5igion9s$ ho6ever$ a priest is certain5% :ustified in 6ondering 6h% that person adheres to
a re5igion 6hich is opposed to his )e5iefs and phi5osoph%.
A5ignment of Magica5 Items
"ertain po6erfu5 magica5 items$ particu5ar5% inte55igent ones$ have a5ignments.
A5ignment in these cases is not an indication of the mora5 properties of the item. Rather$
it is a means of 5imiting the num)er and t%pes of characters capa)5e of using the itemHHthe
user9s a5ignment must match the item9s a5ignment for the magic to 6or' proper5%. A5igned
magica5 items$ usua55% 6eapons$ 6ere created 6ith a specific ethos in mind. the item 6as
attuned to this ethos )% its creator.
A5igned items revea5 their true po6ers on5% to o6ners 6ho share the same )e5iefs.
In the hands of an%one e5se$ the item9s po6ers remain dormant. An e8treme5% po6erfu5
item ma% even harm a character of another a5ignment 6ho hand5es the item$ especia55% if
the character9s a5ignment is opposed to the item9s.
A5igned magica5 items shou5d )e rare. (hen an item has an a5ignment$ it is a sign
of great po6er and purpose. This creates opportunities for high5% dramatic adventures as
the p5a%er characters 5earn a)out the item$ research its histor%$ trac' it across the countr%$
and fina55% discover its ancient resting p5ace and overcome the guards and traps set to
protect it.
Magica5 A5ignment "hanges
A second$ more insidious$ t%pe of magica5 item is the one that changes a
character9s a5ignment. /n5i'e the usua5$ gradua5 methods )% 6hich a character changes
a5ignment$ magica5 a5ignment changes are instantaneous. The character9s persona5it%
undergoes an immediate transformation$ something 5i'e magica5 )rain6ashing.
Depending on the ne6 a5ignment$ the change ma% or ma% not )e immediate5% noticea)5e.
&o6ever$ %ou shou5d insist that the p5a%er ro5eHp5a% his ne6 situation. Do not a55o6 him
to ignore the effects the a5ignment change 6i55 have on his character9s persona5it%. Indeed$
good ro5eHp5a%ers 6i55 ta'e this as an opportunit% to stretch their s'i55s.
A5ignment as a (or5d 1ie6
In addition to a55 its other uses$ a5ignment can )ecome the centra5 focus of a
campaign. Is the 6or5d caught in an unending strugg5e )et6een the forces of good and
evi5$ 5a6 and chaos= The ans6er affects ho6 the campaign 6or5d is created$ ho6 the
campaign is run$ and ho6 adventures are constructed. It a5so affects p5a%ers9 perspectives
on and reactions to various situations and events.
In a t%pica5 campaign$ the primar% conf5ict in the 6or5d is not a strugg5e )et6een
a5ignments. The campaign 6or5d is one in 6hich passion$ desire$ coincidence$ intrigue$
and even virtue create events and situations. Things happen for man% of the same reasons
as in the rea5 6or5d. 7or this reason$ it ma% )e easier to create adventures for this t%pe of
campaign. Adventure variet% and e8citement depend on the DM9s sense of drama and his
a)i5it% as a stor%te55er. 3ccasiona55% p5a%er characters discover a grand and hideous p5ot$
)ut such things are iso5ated affairs$ not part of an overa55 scheme.
&o6ever$ for conspirac%Hconscious DMs$ a different 6or5d vie6 might )e more
suita)5e$ one 6here the po6ers of a5ignment Lgods$ cu5ts$ 'ingdoms$ e5ementa5 forcesM are
active5% strugg5ing against each other. the p5a%er characters and 2A"s ma% )e agents of
this strugg5e. Sometimes$ the% are a6are of their ro5e. At other times$ the% have no idea of
their purpose in the grand scheme of things.
#ven rarer are those campaigns 6here the p5a%er characters represent a third force
in the )att5e$ ignored or forgotten )% the others. In such a 6or5d$ the actions of
adventurers can have surprising effects.
A5ignments in "onf5ict
There are advantages and disadvantages to )ui5ding a campaign around a5ignment
strugg5es. 3n the p5us side$ p5a%ers a56a%s have a goa5$ even if the%9re not a56a%s a6are
of it. This goa5 is usefu5 6hen constructing adventures. It motivates p5a%er characters and
provides a continuing stor%5ine? it ensures that characters a56a%s have something to do
L<Restore the )a5ance of La6$ 5o%a5 fo55o6ersB<M. A5so$ a sense of heroism permeates the
game. A5a%ers 'no6 that their characters are doing something important$ something that
has an effect on the histor% of the campaign 6or5d.
There are disadvantages to this approach$ too$ )ut none that can9t )e avoided )% a
c5ever DM. 7irst is the ;uestion of )oredom. If ever% adventure revo5ves around
maintaining )a5ance or crusading for the cause$ p5a%ers might get tired of the 6ho5e thing.
The so5ution is simp5% to ma'e sure adventures are varied in goa5 and theme.
Sometimes characters strive in the name of the great cause. 3ther times the% adventure
for their o6n )enefit. 2ot ever% )att5e needs to )e a titanic strugg5e of good vs. evi5 or
5ight vs. dar'ness.
Another concern is that ever%thing the characters do ma% affect their ;uest. An
a5igned game universe is one of massive and intricate causeHandHeffect chains. If S
happens over here$ then 4 must happen over there. Most adventures must )e 6oven into
the thread of the stor%5ine$ even those that don9t seem to )e a part of it.
This is in direct conf5ict 6ith the need for variet%$ and the DM must do some
carefu5 :ugg5ing. A )ig ;uest is eas% to 6or' into the stor%$ )ut 6hat happens 6hen the
p5a%er characters ta'e some time off to go on their o6n adventure= Are the% needed :ust
then= (hat happens in their a)sence= &o6 do the% get )ac' on trac'= (hat happens
6hen someone discovers something no one 6as meant to 'no6= 7or these pro)5ems there
are no eas% ans6ers. A creative DM 6i55 never )e id5e 6ith this sort of campaign.
7ina55%$ there is the pro)5em of success and fai5ure. An a5igned universe tends to
create an epic adventure. A5a%er characters )ecome invo5ved in earthsha'ing events and
dea5 6ith cosmic )eings. *eing at the center of the game$ p5a%er characters assume great
importance Lif the% don9t$ the% 6i55 ;uic'5% get )oredM. This is standard stuff in s6ordH
andHsorcer% fiction$ so it is natura5 that it a5so appears in a s6ordHandHsorcer% ro5eH
p5a%ing adventure.
7iction 6riters have an advantage DMs do not$ ho6everHHthe% can end the stor%
and never return to it. At the end of the )oo'$ the good gu%s 6in$ the 6or5d is set right$
and the covers are c5osed. The 6riter never has to 6orr% a)out it again$ un5ess he 6ants
to. (hat happens 6hen characters 6in the fina5 conf5ict$ the )att5e that puts a55 to right=
(hat can )e done after peace and harmon% come to the universe=
7urther$ the author 'no6s 6ho is going to 6in. &e starts )% 'no6ing the good
gu%s 6i55 triumph. There ma% )e man% t6ists$ )ut eventua55% the heroes come out on top.
Man% DMs ma'e the same assumption. The% are 6rong.
2ever simp5% assume that the characters 6i55 6in. (hat if the% don9t= (hat if the
forces of dar'ness and evi5 6in the fina5 )att5e= 2o matter ho6 high the odds are stac'ed
in their favor$ there is a56a%s a chance that the characters 6i55 do something so stupid or
un5uc'% that the% 5ose. 1ictor% cannot )e guaranteed. If it is$ p5a%ers 6i55 ;uic'5% sense
this and ta'e advantage of it.
2everH#nding "onf5ict
The )est 6a% to avoid the pro)5ems descri)ed a)ove is to design the characters9
strugg5e so it is neverHending. At the ver% 5east$ the conf5ict is one that 5asts for
mi55enniaHH6e55 )e%ond the 5ifetimes of the p5a%er characters.
&o6ever$ to 'eep the p5a%ers from fee5ing frustrated$ certain the% can never
accomp5ish an%thing$ their characters must )e a)5e to underta'e si>a)5e tas's and 6in
significant victories. A5a%er characters fighting for the cause of good ma% eventua55%
drive )ac' the gro6ing inf5uence of the chief vi55ain$ )ut the% defeat on5% a s%mptom$ not
the disease itse5f.
There a56a%s can )e a ne6 threat. Aerhaps the evi5 vi55ain himse5f returns in a ne6
and more hideous manifestation. The DM must )e prepared 6ith a series of fantastic %et
rea5istic threats. These gradua55% increase in scope as the characters )ecome more
Thus$ it is possi)5e to )ui5d a campaign 6here the forces of a5ignment p5a% an
active ro5e in things. It is difficu5t$ and there are man% ha>ards$ )ut imagination and
p5anning can overcome the o)stac5es.
A5ignment as a Too5
#ven though it has )een said severa5 times a5read%$ this point is important enough
to repeatHHa5ignment is a too5 to aid ro5eHp5a%ing$ not a hammer to force characters to do
things the% don9t 6ant to do.
The DM shou5d never te55 a p5a%er$ <4our character can9t do that )ecause it9s
against his a5ignment$< un5ess that character is under some t%pe of specia5 magica5
contro5. Let p5a%ers ma'e their o6n decisions and their o6n mista'es. the DM has
enough to do 6ithout ta'ing over the p5a%ers9 :o)s$ too.
Despite this prohi)ition$ the DM can suggest to a p5a%er that an action invo5ves
considera)5e ris'$ especia55% 6here a5ignment is concerned. If the p5a%er sti55 decides to
go ahead$ the conse;uences are his responsi)i5it%. Don9t get upset a)out 6hat happens to
the character. If the pa5adin is no 5onger a pa5adin$ 6e55$ that9s :ust the 6a% things are.
Such suggestions need not )e )ra>en. True$ the DM can as'$ <Are %ou sure that9s a
good idea$ given %our a5ignment=< &e can a5so use more su)t5e forms of suggestion
6oven into the p5ot of the adventure. Tomorro6 the c5eric intends to go on a mission that
6ou5d compromise his a5ignment. That night$ he has a nightmare 6hich prevents an%
restfu5 s5eep. In the morning he runs into an o5d soothsa%er 6ho sees i55 omens and
predicts dire resu5ts. &is ho5% s%m)o5 appears m%sterious5% tarnished and du55. The
cand5es on the a5ter f5ic'er and dim as he enters the temp5e. Attentive p5a%ers 6i55 note
these 6arnings and ma% reconsider their p5ans. If the% do not$ it is their choice to ma'e$
not the DM9s.
Detecting A5ignment
Sometimes characters tr% to use spe55s or magica5 items to 5earn the a5ignment of a
p5a%er character or 2A". This is a high5% insu5ting$ if not hosti5e$ action.
As'ing another character <So$ 6hat9s %our a5ignment=< is a rude ;uestion. At )est$
an% character 6ho is )oorish enough to )ring up the issue is 5i'e5% to receive a ver% ic%
stare Lturning to shoc'ed horror from more refined charactersM.
As'ing another character his a5ignment is futi5e$ an%6a%HHa 5a6fu5 good character
ma% fee5 compe55ed to te55 the truth$ )ut a chaotic evi5 character certain5% 6on9t. A chaotic
evi5 character 6ith an% 6it 6ou5d rep5% <5a6fu5 good.<
A5a%er characters can on5% sa% 6hat the% thin' their a5ignment is. 3nce the% have
chosen their a5ignment$ the DM is the on5% person in the game 6ho 'no6s 6here it
current5% stands. A chaotic good ranger ma% )e on the verge of changing a5ignmentHHone
more co5dH)5ooded deed and over the edge he goes. *ut he doesn9t 'no6 that. &e sti55
thin's he is chaotic good through and through.
"asting a Spe55
"asting a spe55 to revea5 a character9s a5ignment is :ust as offensive as as'ing him
direct5%. This is the sort of thing that starts fights and ends friendships. &ire5ings and
henchmen ma% decide that a p5a%er character 6ho does this is too distrustfu5. Strangers
often figure the spe55 is the pre5ude to an attac' and ma% stri'e first.
#ven those 6ho consent to the spe55 are 5i'e5% to insist that the% )e a55o6ed to cast
the same in return. /sing these spe55s$ )esides )eing rude$ indicates a )asic 5ac' of trust
on the part of the caster or ;uestioner.
"5ass A)i5ities
Some charactersHHthe pa5adin$ in particu5arHHpossess a 5imited a)i5it% to detect
a5ignments$ particu5ar5% good and evi5. #ven this po6er has more 5imitations than the
p5a%er is 5i'e5% to consider. The a)i5it% to detect evi5 is rea55% on5% usefu5 to spot
characters or creatures 6ith evi5 intentions or those 6ho are so thorough5% corrupted that
the% are evi5 to the core$ not the evi5 aspect of an a5ignment.
@ust )ecause a fighter is chaotic evi5 doesn9t mean he can )e detected as a source
of evi5 6hi5e he is having a drin' at the tavern. &e ma% have no particu5ar5% evi5
intentions at that moment. At the other end of the spectrum$ a po6erfu5$ evi5 c5eric ma%
have committed so man% fou5 and hideous deeds that the aura of evi5 hangs inescapa)5%
over him.
0eeping A5a%ers in the Dar'
"haracters shou5d never )e sure of other characters9 a5ignments. This is one of the
DM9s most po6erfu5 too5sHH'eep the p5a%ers guessing. The% 6i55 pa% more attention to
6hat is going on if the% must deduce the true motivations and attitudes of those the%
emp5o% and encounter.
"hanging A5ignment
Sooner or 5ater$ a p5a%er character 6i55 change a5ignment. A character might
change a5ignment for man% reasons$ most of them have nothing to do 6ith the p5a%er
<fai5ing< to p5a% his character9s ro5e or the DM <fai5ing< to create the right environment.
A5a%er characters are imaginar% peop5e. *ut$ 5i'e rea5 peop5e$ the% gro6 and
change as their persona5ities deve5op. Sometimes circumstances conspire against the
p5a%er character. Sometimes the p5a%er has a change of attitude. Sometimes the
persona5it% created for the p5a%er character :ust seems to pu55 in an une8pected direction.
These are natura5 changes. There might )e more cause for concern if no p5a%er character
ever changes a5ignment in a campaign.
There is no ru5e or %ardstic' to determine 6hen a character changes a5ignment.
A5ignment can change de5i)erate5%$ unconscious5%$ or invo5untari5%. This is one of those
things that ma'es the game fun. A5a%ers are free to act$ and the DM decides if Land 6henM
a change goes into effect. This ca55s for some rea5 ad:udication. There are severa5 factors
to consider.
De5i)erate "hange
De5i)erate change is engineered )% the p5a%er. &e decides he doesn9t 6ant to p5a%
the a5ignment he origina55% chose. Aerhaps he doesn9t understand it$ or it9s not as much
fun as he imagined$ or it9s c5ear that the p5a%er character 6i55 have a more interesting
persona5it% 6ith a different a5ignment.
A55 the p5a%er has to do is have his character start acting according to the ne6
a5ignment. Depending on the severit% of the actions and the determination of the p5a%er$
the change can )e ;uic' or s5o6.
/nconscious "hange
/nconscious change happens 6hen the character9s actions are suited to a different
a5ignment 6ithout the p5a%er rea5i>ing it. As in the case of a de5i)erate a5ignment change$
the DM must 'eep trac' of the character9s actions. If the DM suspects that the p5a%er
)e5ieves his character is acting 6ithin his a5ignment$ the DM shou5d 6arn the p5a%er that
his character9s a5ignment is coming into ;uestion. An unconscious a5ignment change
shou5d not surprise the p5a%erHHnot comp5ete5%$ an%6a%.
Invo5untar% "hange
Invo5untar% a5ignment change is forced on the character. Most often this is the
resu5t of a spe55 or magica5 item. Invo5untar% changes are immediate$ and the character9s
previous actions have 5itt5e )earing on the change.
"harting the "hanges
During the course of p5a%$ 'eep notes on the actions of the p5a%er characters. At
the end of each session$ read through those notes$ pa%ing attention to an% unusua5
)ehavior. 2ote 6hich a5ignment seems most appropriate to each character9s actions.
If$ over the course of severa5 p5a%ing sessions$ a character9s actions consistent5% fit
an a5ignment different from the character9s chosen a5ignment$ an a5ignment change is
pro)a)5% in order. If sma55 actions are ta'ing a character outside his a5ignment$ the change
shou5d )e gradua5HHma%)e even temporar%. Severe actions cou5d re;uire an immediate
and permanent a5ignment change.
In the meantime$ the pa5adin cou5d recogni>e his danger and amend his 6a%s$
preventing the change and preserving his pa5adinhood. If the pa5adin )urns the vi55age to
prevent the disease from spreading$ he commits a serious5% evi5 act.
In this case$ the DM is :ustified in instituting an immediate a5ignment change to
5a6fu5 evi5 or even chaotic evi5. The character eventua55% might )e a)5e to change )ac' to
5a6fu5 good a5ignment$ )ut he 6i55 never again )e a pa5adin.
#ffects of "hanging A5ignment
A5though p5a%er characters can change a5ignment$ it is not something that shou5d
)e approached 5ight5%$ since there are serious conse;uences. (hen a character changes
a5ignment$ he does more than :ust change his attitudes. &e is a5tering his perception of the
6or5d and his re5ationship to it. Much of 6hat he 5earned previous5% 6as f5avored )% his
a5ignment. (hen the phi5osophica5 foundations of his 5ife change$ the character discovers
that he must re5earn things he thought he 'ne6.
There are t6o possi)5e effects of changing a5ignment$ depending on the situation
and circumstances of the change. The first resu5ts in no pena5t%. This effect on5% shou5d
)e used 6hen the p5a%er and the DM mutua55% agree that the character9s a5ignment shou5d
)e changed to improve the p5a% of the game.
Most often this occurs 6ith 5o6H5eve5 characters. The p5a%er character9s a5ignment
ma% prove to )e incompati)5e 6ith the rest of the part%. A p5a%er character ma% simp5% )e
more interesting for ever%one if his a5ignment 6ere different. Ine8perienced p5a%ers ma%
se5ect an a5ignment 6ithout fu55% understanding its ramifications. Discovering the%
simp5% do not 5i'e the a5ignment$ the% ma% as' to change. Such changes must )e made
6ith mutua5 agreement. As DM$ tr% to accommodate the desires of %our p5a%ers.
In the second t%pe of vo5untar% change$ the case cannot )e made that the
a5ignment change 6ou5d )e for the good of the game. This genera55% invo5ves more
esta)5ished characters 6ho have )een p5a%ed according to one a5ignment for some time.
&ere$ the effects of a5ignment change are severe and noticea)5e.
The instant a character vo5untari5% changes a5ignment$ the e8perience point cost to
gain the ne8t 5eve5 Lor 5eve5s in the case of mu5tiHc5ass charactersM is dou)5ed. To
determine the num)er of e8perience points needed to gain the ne8t 5eve5 Land only the
ne8t 5eve5M$ dou)5e the num)er of e8perience points 5isted on the appropriate #8perience
Leve5s ta)5e.
7or e8amp5e$ De5senora the mage )egan the game neutra5 good. &o6ever$ as she
adventured$ she regu5ar5% supported the do6ntrodden and the oppressed$ fighting for their
rights and their p5ace in societ%. A)out the time she reached ,th 5eve5$ it 6as c5ear to the
DM that De5senora 6as )ehaving more as a 5a6fu5 good character and he enforced an
a5ignment change. 2orma55%$ a mage needs -$ e8perience pointsHH2$ points
)e%ond ,th 5eve5HHto reach Kth 5eve5. De5senora must earn -$ additiona5 e8perience
points$ instead of the norma5 2$. #ver% t6o e8perience points counts as one to6ard
De5senora started the adventure 6ith 2$ e8perience points. At its conc5usion$
the DM a6arded her ,$+ points$ )ringing her tota5 to 2,$+. Instead of needing :ust
!-$. points to reach the ne8t 5eve5$ she no6 needs +-$. )ecause of her a5ignment
If an a5ignment change is invo5untar%$ the dou)5ed e8perience pena5t% is not
enforced. Instead$ the character earns no e8perience 6hatever unti5 his former a5ignment
is regained. This assumes$ of course$ that the character 6ants to regain his former
If the character decides that the ne6 a5ignment isn9t so )ad after a55$ he )egins
earning e8perience again$ )ut the dou)5ing pena5t% goes into effect. The p5a%er does not
have to announce this decision. If the DM fee5s the character has resigned himse5f to the
situation$ that is sufficient.
7or e8amp5e$ *eornhe5m the Ranger care5ess5% dons a helm o' alignment change
and s6itches to chaotic evi5 a5ignmentHHsomething he didn9t 6ant to doB #8erting its
inf5uence over him$ the he5m compe5s *eornhe5m to commit a55 manner of destructive
acts. A5though una)5e to resist$ *eornhe5m 'eeps 5oo'ing for an opportunit% to escape the
accursed he5m. 7ina55%$ after severa5 misadventures$ he c5ever5% manages to tric' an evi5
mage into removing the he5m$ at 6hich point he is restored to his previous a5ignment.
&e gains no e8perience from the time he dons the he5m to the time he removes it
Lthough the DM ma% grant a sma55 a6ard if *eornhe5m9s p5an 6as particu5ar5%
ingeniousM. If *eornhe5m had chosen not to tric' the mage )ut to 6or' 6ith him$ the
change 6ou5d immediate5% )e considered a p5a%er choice. 7rom that point on *eornhe5m
6ou5d earn e8perience$ )ut he 6ou5d have to earn t6ice as much to reach the ne8t
e8perience 5eve5.
A character can change a5ignment an% num)er of times. If more than one change
occurs per 5eve5$ ho6ever$ the severit% of the pena5t% increases. LThe character is
o)vious5% suffering from severe menta5 confusion$ a'in to a modernHda% persona5it%
crisis.M (hen a character ma'es a second or su)se;uent a5ignment change at a given
5eve5$ a55 e8perience points earned to6ard the ne8t 5eve5 are immediate5% 5ost. The
character must sti55 earn dou)5e the norma5 e8perience.
De5senora drifted into 5a6fu5 good. 2o6 she finds 5a6fu5 good too restrictive. She
is confused. She doesn9t 'no6 6hat she )e5ieves in. &er head hurts. The character reverts
to her ear5ier neutra5 good ha)its. *edevi5ed )% indecision$ she 5oses the ,$+ e8perience
points she had a5read% gained and no6 has to earn -$ to achieve Kth 5eve5B
Chapter #:
Pro$iciencies C3ptionalD
A character in the AD&D game$ 5i'e an%one e5se$ has a variet% of s'i55s and ta5ents. &e is
good at some things L)ecause the% are used in his profession or ho))%M and poor at those
he has studied casua55% or not at a55. These s'i55s and ta5ents are ca55ed proficiencies.
Aroficiencies aren9t e8act5% 5i'e the s'i55s peop5e pic' up in schoo5 or in the <rea5<
6or5d. The% tend to )e unrea5istica55% )road or narro6$ depending on the su):ect. The
fishing proficienc%$ for e8amp5e$ assumes the character 'no6s ever%thing a)out )oth rodH
andHree5 fishing and net fishing. In rea5it%$ these are t6o vast5% different s'i55s.
At the other end of the spectrum$ 6eapon proficiencies tend to )e ver% precise$
high5ighting the su)t5e differences )et6een 6eapons. A 5ong )o6 and a short )o6 differ
in si>e$ 6eight$ pu55$ arro6 5ength$ and )a5ance. #ach demands different practices to get
optimum uti5it%.
(hen using proficiencies$ remem)er that these ru5es are not intended to recreate
rea5it%. It might have )een more rea5istic to 5ist different proficiencies for each aspect of
medieva5 )otan%HHhorticu5ture$ her)a5ism$ m%co5og%$ etc. *ut in the conte8t of a game$
these are much )etter grouped under a sing5e proficienc%. Individua55%$ each proficienc%
6ou5d )e of such 5imited usefu5ness that a55 of them 6ou5d )ecome 6orth5ess. 3ther
proficiencies$ particu5ar5% 6eapons$ go to the other e8treme.
(eapon Aroficiencies
Sooner or 5ater a p5a%er 6i55 comp5ain that the 6eapon proficiencies are too
restrictive. *ut the rea5 comp5aint ma% )e that the ru5es don9t a55o6 a character to do
ever%thing the p5a%er 6ants.
7or e8amp5e$ sa% a p5a%er character is proficient 6ith a 5ong s6ord. &e9s a)out to
)e over6he5med )% a horde of 'o)o5ds$ )ut he has the sense to retreat. /nfortunate5%$ he
trips over his feet and fa55s faceHfirst to the f5oorB &is faithfu5$ trusted 5ong s6ord s'itters
from his grip and the 5itt5e monsters are upon him. Sti55 fu55 of fight$ the character 6rests
a short s6ord from the nearest )eastie and )egins to do )att5e.
At this point$ the DM te55s the p5a%er to app5% the nonproficienc% pena5t%. The
p5a%er ho65s in outrage. <It9s a s6ord$< he moans. <M% character can use a 5ong s6ord$ I
can9t )e5ieve %ou 6on9t 5et him use a short s6ordB It9s the same thing$ :ust sma55erB<
*efore giving in to the p5a%er9s protests$ consider the differences in 6hat seem to )e
simi5ar 6eapons.
The character9s customar% 6eapon$ the 5ong s6ord$ is a s5ashing 6eapon. It is
threeH to fourHfeet 5ong$ heav%$ and )a5anced to6ard the )5ade to increase momentum in a
s5ash. A short s6ord is a piercing 6eapon. It is !2 to !G inches 5ong$ 5ight Lfor a s6ordM$
and )a5anced 6ith most of the 6eight to6ard the hand5e for ;uic' reaction.
So$ in our e8amp5e$ the character 5eaps into the fight using the short s6ord
instinctive5%HHthe 6a% he 6ou5d use a 5ong s6ord. &e tries to s5ash$ )ut the 6eapon is too
short and 5ight for s5ashing. &e tries to )5oc' and parr% and finds the 6eapon a)sor)s
much 5ess impact than his massive 5ong s6ord. &e tends to attac' the air$ )ecause he is
used to the reach and s6eep of the 5ong s6ord. &e thro6s himse5f off )a5ance )%
s6inging the 5ight 6eapon too hard. A55 these minor errors ma'e him 5ess effective 6ith
the short s6ord$ even though it seems simi5ar to his 5ong s6ord. The nonproficienc%
pena5t% )egins to ma'e sense.
7urther$ 6eapon proficiencies are :ust some of the man% factors that must )e
)a5anced for a successfu5 adventure. If a variet% of factors com)ine to give a character
e8cessive com)at )onuses$ the DM shou5d create situations in 6hich that character9s
favorite 6eapon is not the )est choice.
7or e8amp5e$ a character 6ho is proficient 6ith a55 t%pes of s6ords$ )ut no other
6eapons$ is at a )ig disadvantage 6hen confronted )% s'e5etons. &is s6ord is 5ess
effective than a mace. #ventua55%$ the p5a%er 6i55 have to )roaden his character9s 6eapon
proficiencies if he 6ants to thrive in the AD&D game 6or5d.
Sometimes p5a%ers resort to <minEma8ing< 6hen se5ecting 6eapon proficiencies.
MinEma8ing occurs 6hen a p5a%er ca5cu5ates a55 the odds and numerica5 advantages and
disadvantages of a particu5ar 6eapon. The p5a%er9s decision isn9t )ased on his
imagination$ the campaign$ ro5eHp5a%ing$ or character deve5opment. It is )ased on game
mechanicsHH6hat 6i55 give the p5a%er the )iggest modifier and cause the most damage in
an% situation.
A certain amount of minEma8ing is unavoida)5e$ and even good Lit sho6s that the
p5a%er is interested in the gameM$ )ut an e8cessive minEma8er is missing the point.
Reducing a character to a 5ist of com)at modifiers and dice ro55s is not ro5eHp5a%ing.
7ortunate5%$ this t%pe of p5a%er is eas% to dea5 6ith. @ust create a situation in
6hich his carefu55% chosen 6eapon$ the one intended to give him an edge over ever%one
e5se$ is either use5ess or puts him at a disadvantage. &e 6i55 sudden5% discover the
dra6)ac' of minEma8ing. It is impossi)5e to create a com)ination of factors that is
superior in ever% situation$ )ecause situations can var% so much.
7ina55%$ a character9s 5ac' of proficienc% can )e used to create dramatic tension$ a
vita5 part of the game. In the encounter 6ith 'o)o5ds descri)ed ear5ier$ the p5a%er ho65ed
in surprise )ecause the situation sudden5% got a 5ot more dangerous than he e8pected it to.
The pena5t% for nonproficienc% increases the ris' to the p5a%er character$ and that
increases the scene9s tension.
(hen a nonproficienc% pena5t% is used to create tension$ )e sure the odds aren9t
stac'ed against the character too much. Dramatic tension e8ists on5% 6hi5e the p5a%er
thin's his character has a chance to escape$ even if it9s on5% a s5im chance. If a p5a%er
decides the situation is hope5ess$ he 6i55 give up. &is reaction 6i55 s6itch from
e8citement to despair.
2A" Aroficiencies
As a convenience for the DM$ nonHp5a%er characters are assumed to )e proficient
6ith the 6eapons the% carr%. &o6ever$ this need not a56a%s )e the case. If %ou 6ant to
ma'e an 2A" easier to defeat or 5ess dangerous$ ru5e that he is not proficient 6ith his
6eapon. This is most 5i'e5% the case 6ith simp5e inn'eepers or to6nsmen impressed into
the mi5itia.
The inn'eeper ma% )e adept 6ith a c5u) Loccasiona55% usefu5 in his tradeM$ )ut the
niceties of s6ordp5a% are not 6ithin the norma5 rea5m of his )usiness. *% adding to or
su)tracting from the a)i5ities of an 2A"$ the game can )e )a5anced and enriched.
2on6eapon Aroficiencies
2on6eapon proficiencies are optiona5$ )ut$ if chosen$ can )e ver% usefu5. If %ou
are uncertain 6hether to use these proficiencies$ the fo55o6ing points shou5d ma'e the
decision easierI
.on<eapon pro$iciencies help determine the success o$ character actions
)e%ond 6hat is defined )% the )asic a)i5ities of the character races and c5asses. The%
provide a usefu5 gauge 6hen a character tries to )ui5d a )oat or )ehave proper5% at court.
This frees the DM to thin' a)out more important parts of the stor% instead of 5itt5e$
perhaps even insignificant$ detai5s.
2ot ever%one agrees 6ith thisB Some DMs prefer to hand5e )% themse5ves a55 the
situations covered )% proficiencies. This re;uires a ;uic' 6it and good memor%. In
return$ the DM is freed from the restraints of ru5es. &e can create the scene he 6ants
6ithout 6orr%ing 6hether it )rea's the ru5es. *ut tread soft5% hereHHthis is not an eas%
6a% to :udge a gameB Tr% this on5% if %ou are e8perienced at DMing or are a spontaneous
and entertaining stor%te55er.
.on<eapon pro$iciencies give a player character more depthE /sed c5ever5%$
the% te55 the p5a%er more a)out the persona5it% and )ac'ground of his character and give
him more too5s to 6or' 6ith. App5ied :udicious5% and thoughtfu55%$ non6eapon
proficiencies vast5% increase a character9s ro5eHp5a%ing potentia5.
*e6are$ ho6ever$ )ecause non6eapon proficiencies can have e8act5% the opposite
effect. The% can )ecome a crutch for p5a%ers 6ho are un6i55ing to ro5eHp5a%$ an e8cuse
not to deve5op a character9s persona5it% or histor%. Some p5a%ers decide that proficiencies
define ever%thing the character 'no6s? the% ma'e no effort to deve5op an%thing e5se.
Avoid this )% encouraging p5a%ers to dig deeper and e8p5ore the possi)i5ities in
their characters. As' a p5a%er to e8p5ain 6h% his character has specific proficiencies.
(hat did that character do )efore )ecoming an adventurer= Nuestions 5i'e this stimu5ate
p5a%ers to de5ve into their characters9 persona5ities and )ac'grounds. Ma'e a note of the
p5a%er9s reasons and then %ou can use them during p5a%.
.on<eapon pro$iciencies can be used to de$ine the campaign and create
atmosphereE The proficienc% 5ists can )e tai5ored to match specific regions or historica5
periods$ or to define the differences )et6een nationa5ities.
If the characters9 home )ase is a fishing vi55age$ the 5ists can )e a5tered to a55o6 a55
characters to 5earn s6imming$ sai5ing$ fishing$ and navigation at the same cost Lin
proficienc% s5otsM. These are common s'i55s among seafaring peop5e.
At the same time$ d6arves$ 6ho come to this to6n from the near)% mountains$
must devote e8tra s5ots to 5earn these proficiencies. A %outh spent in dr%$ so5id tunne5s
hasn9t prepared them for a 5ife at sea. Instead$ the% can 5earn mining$ gemcutting$ and
other stone6or' s'i55s cheap5%.
The proficienc% 5ists in the Player's Handbook are on5% a )eginning. 4our
campaign 6i55 deve5op a much more interesting f5avor if separate 5ists are tai5ored to
different regions.
This sti55 5eaves the pro)5em of minEma8ing. A5a%ers are encouraged to ma'e
inte55igent and sensi)5e choices for their characters$ )ut not at the e8pense of ro5eHp5a%ing.
If tai5ored 5ists are in use$ encourage p5a%ers to 5ist the proficiencies the% 6ant 6ithout
getting to see the 5ists of proficiencies. Then co55ect the 5ists and figure out 6hich
proficiencies the characters can get Lsome ma% )e unavai5a)5e and others too e8pensiveM.
A5a%ers 6i55 sti55 re;uest the proficiencies the% thin' are most advantageous$ )ut at
5east the se5ections are dra6n partia55% from the p5a%ers9 imaginations instead of a 5ist of
7ina55%$ proficiencies are on5% as usefu5 as the DM ma'es them. 3nce a decision is
made to use proficiencies in the campaign$ the DM must strive to create situations 6here
the% are usefu5. A56a%s remem)er to design encounters$ traps$ and scenes 6here
proficiencies have a practica5 app5ication to the pro)5em at hand. 3ther6ise$ p5a%ers are
going to 6rite off proficiencies as a 6aste of time and miss out on a 6onderfu5 chance to
e8pand their characters.
/5timate5%$ proficiencies add much richness$ detai5$ and ro5eHp5a%ing to a
campaign at on5% a sma55 cost in increased comp5e8it%. The DM has to remem)er a fe6
more ru5es and the p5a%ers have to ma'e a fe6 more choices 6hen creating their
characters. *ut in return$ the game is )igger$ )etter$ and more fun.
Adding 2e6 Aroficiencies
The proficienc% 5ists in the Player's Handbook are e8tensive$ )ut not
comprehensive. The proficiencies given are the ones that characters 6i55 most common5%
6ant or need$ and those that have significant$ specia5i>ed effects 6orth% of e8p5anation.
DMs and p5a%ers 6i55 certain5% thin' of proficiencies the%9d 5i'e to add.
(herever the idea for a ne6 proficienc% comes from$ the DM is the person 6ho
decides 6hether to inc5ude it in the game and 6hat its effects are. This is not a decision
for the p5a%ers$ a5though the% can offer suggestions and advice. 3n5% after a ne6
proficienc% is approved )% the DM can it )e used in p5a%.
3ne important factor to remem)er is that no proficienc% shou5d )e )e%ond the
science and techno5og% of the age. There9s no proficienc% on the 5ist that a55o6s a
character to )ui5d a gaso5ine engine$ and 6ith good reason. A gaso5ine engine is far
)e%ond the pseudoHmedieva5 societ% presented in the AD&D game.
At the same time$ this is a fantas% game fi55ed 6ith magica5 effects and strange
po6ers. (ith magic$ it is not impossi)5e to have out5andish and ama>ing proficiencies if
p5a%ers and DMs 6ant them. The% ma% have a serious effect on the game$ ho6ever$ and
must )e carefu55% considered.
The ma:orit% of ne6 proficiencies are going to )e those re5ated to trades. Most of
these have a ver% minor game effect$ if an% at a55. The% give the character specia5i>ed
'no65edge$ )ut it is up to the p5a%er to ma'e some use of it.
A character 6ith the s'i55s of a g5a>ier Lg5assHma'erM does not gain a great
advantage. A5though$ if necessar%$ he cou5d support himse5f )% ma'ing sma55 g5ass via5s
and other items for 5oca5 mages and adventurers. Sti55$ there might come a da% 6hen
'no65edge of g5ass and g5assHma'ing )ecomes vita5 to the success of an adventure. A
c5ever p5a%er is a56a%s 5oo'ing for a 6a% to turn 'no65edge to his advantage.
(hen a p5a%er proposes a ne6 proficienc%$ have him prepare a description of
6hat the proficienc% entai5s and a55o6s. Then consider 6hat the character cou5d gain
from it. This is not to sa% that the p5a%er is tr%ing to pu55 a fast one Lsome 6i55$ )ut give
them the )enefit of the dou)tM. Instead$ it is usefu5 to imagine 6a%s the proficienc% cou5d
)e a)used. If something horri)5e or gameH)usting comes to mind$ fi8 it. 2ever a55o6 a
proficienc% into the game if it seems too po6erfu5.
Ma'e 6hatever changes are necessar% in the description and then offer it to the
p5a%er. If he sti55 5i'es it Lafter a55 the secret po6ers are stripped outM$ introduce it into the
game and have fun. Sometimes the on5% thing that can )e 'ept is the name of the
proficienc%. Don9t )e distressed )% this. Most p5a%ers 6i55 )e satisfied 6ith DM changes$
content simp5% to contri)ute something to the game.
Chapter %:
&oney and E'uipment
"ontro55ing the f5o6 of mone% is an important 6a% of )a5ancing %our campaign.
Too muchHHor t6o 5itt5eHHmone% can ruin the fun of %our game. Give %our characters
mountains of go5d and game is spoi5ed. Sudden5% 6ea5th%$ the% no 5onger have the urgent
need to adventure that impending povert% can provide. Too often the% can )u% their 6a%
out of difficu5t situations through )ri)er% or <thro6ing mone% at the pro)5em.<
(orse sti55$ the% attempt to app5% modern$ capita5ist ideas to a ;uasiHmedieva5
6or5d. The% ma% tr% to hire an enormous staff of 6i>ards to mass produce potions and
scro55s. The% ma% set up shops to ma'e assem)5%H5ine armor. Advances in organi>ation
and production 5i'e these come s5o65% over time$ not a55 at once. 4ou ma% have to remind
%our p5a%ers to 5imit themse5ves to the 'no65edge and attitudes of the times.
It is e;ua55% )ad to 'eep %our characters too poor. 4ou are creating a game 6or5d
for a fantas% ro5eHp5a%ing game. If the characters are so poor that the% must count ever%
penn% the% spend$ the% are 5eading s;ua5id and unhapp% 5ives. Re6ard them 6hen the%
accomp5ish things. 4ou shou5dn9t a56a%s frustrate their desire to get rich. It9s :ust that
6ea5th shou5d come s5o65%$ matched to the 5eve5 of the character.
Monetar% S%stems
#ven )efore %ou p5a% the first session in %our campaign$ %ou can use mone% as a
too5 in creating %our game 6or5d. The form and shape mone% ta'es is )% no means
standardi>ed. The simp5e monetar% s%stem given in the Player's Handbook is :ust thatHHa
simp5ified s%stem for coinage. It is not a)so5ute5% true to the rea5$ historica5 6or5d and is
not even an accurate ref5ection of most fantas% 6or5ds %ou find in )oo's. It9s :ust one 6a%
to approach mone%.
A Short &istor% of "ommerce
Monetar% s%stems aren9t a56a%s )ased on coins. Man% different forms of
e8change can )e in use simu5taneous5%. Ta'e$ for e8amp5e$ the rea5 6or5d around the %ear
!2. "urrenc% inc5uded the regu5ated go5d and si5ver coins of *%>antium and the Midd5e
#ast$ the 5icensed mints of #ng5and$ the paper currenc% of "hina$ the co6rie she55s of
3ceania$ and the carved stones of A>tec 5ands. These 6ere on5% a fe6 forms mone% cou5d
1igorous trade 6as done in goods. Grain$ catt5e$ sheep$ 6oo5$ :e6e5r%$ foodstuffs$
and c5oth 6ere a55 items of va5ue. A cann% 1enetian merchant 6ou5d sai5 from 1enice to
#ng5and 6ith a 5oad of si5's$ trading it there for good #ng5ish 6oo5 Lma'ing sure he made
a profitM$ and return to 1enice to se55 the 6oo5 for another 5oad of goods for #ng5and.
Letters of "redit
#ventua55% 5etters of credit and contracts gre6. 2o6 the 1enetian merchant cou5d
sai5 to #ng5and to co55ect 6oo5 gathered )% contract from a monaster%. In return for their
6oo5 shearing for five %ears$ he 6ou5d guarantee them set pa%ments in ducats or f5orins$
a5though he norma55% )rought them goods the% ordered from 1enetian merchantsHHsi5's$
spices$ g5ass6are$ or 6ine. Thus he made a profit from the 6oo5 )ac' in 1enice and a
profit from )u%ing goods for the #ng5ish monaster%.
3n his return to 1enice$ the enterprising merchant 6ou5d se55 his cargo to the 6oo5
merchant in return for a note$ and then ta'e this note to a g5assma'er and se55 it for a 5oad
of va5ua)5e 1enetian g5ass.
In time$ the notes 5ed to the rise of )an'ing houses$ though much different from
the )an's 6e 'no6 toda%. Intended main5% to finance 5arge dea5s and serve the 6ea5th%
merchants$ there 6ere fe6 contro5s on these )an's. The% 6ere definite5% not for the
common man. The% 6ere not p5aces %ou stored %our mone% for a rain% da%$ )ut houses
that guaranteed the va5ue of a merchant9s note or contract$ a55 for a fee.
3ther economies$ especia55% those of primitive 5ands$ 6or'ed entire5% on a )arter
s%stem. (hat a man cou5d produce )ecame his mone%. The farmer paid the mi55er in
)ushe5s of grain. The mi55er paid his 5ord in ground f5our. (hen the f5our 6as )a'ed into
)read$ the )a'er 6as paid in 5oaves of )read. These he cou5d se55 for the fe6 coins$ fresh
eggs$ or 6hatever 5u8uries might )e avai5a)5e.
During the Dar' Ages even a man9s 5ife cou5d )e measured in co6s$ horses$ or
sheep. 0i55 a serf and %ou had to pa%HHperhaps five sheep$ some to his 5ord and some to
his fami5%. The cost for a freedman 6ou5d )e even higher. Rents$ ta8es$ and fines cou5d )e
assessed in go5d or grain. #ventua55% o):ects 6ere assigned specific va5ues. In parts of
medieva5 Russia$ furs 6ere used a5most 5i'e coins. S;uirre5$ ermine$ and martin pe5ts a55
had va5ues and 6ere treated :ust as 6e treat mone% toda%.
As )arter s%stems )ecame more sophisticated$ the% inc5uded more things.
3)5igations and duties )ecame part of the formu5a. A 'night received 5and from his 5ord$
)ut part of his <rent< 6as the o)5igation to ma'e himse5f and a set num)er of mounted
so5diers avai5a)5e to serve in his 5ord9s armies for - da%s each %ear. The serf 6as
o)5igated to 6or' his 5ord9s 5and and 5ive in the same vi55age a55 his 5ife. 4ou might adopt
an econom% 5i'e this in %our campaign 6or5dHHone )ased on o)5igations.
7or the most part$ the economies of the medieva5 period 6ere )ased on a
com)ination of coins$ goods$ and services. The 'night cou5d escape mi5itar% service )%
pa%ing a specia5 ta8 to his 5ord. The 'ing cou5d insist that foreign merchants ac;uire
goods on5% through )arter. The )a'er cou5d )e paid a sma55 6age for his services.
Genera55%$ changes occurred s5o65% as medieva5 man moved from a )arter s%stem to a
coinH)ased econom%. Thus$ man% different methods e8isted sideH)%Hside.
Genera55%$ 5ands near each other$ sharing a common group of peop5e or a common
5anguage have ver% simi5ar economies. The countries of medieva5 #urope traded 6ith
each other regu5ar5% and so deve5oped ver% simi5ar coins and va5ues. 0ingdoms a5so tend
to imitate the econom% of the most po6erfu5 countr% in the region. The *%>antine #mpire
had a sta)5e go5d currenc%$ and its coins 6ere the mode5 for ru5ers from *aghdad to
The va5ue of a foreign coin 6as )ased on the 6eight of the coin$ )ut a5so on the
po6er of the issuer. The *%>antine )esant 6as not on5% 5imited )% other 5ands$ )ut it 6as
high5% va5ued in trade. An #ng5ish merchant 6ou5d accept these coins from a 1enetian
trader )ecause he 'ne6 their va5ue. &is price might increase if the trader paid him in
Aersian dinars. To the merchant$ the dinar 6as simp5% not as va5ua)5e as the )esant.
4ou can add co5or to %our campaign )% choosing to have different s%stems of
trade in different 5ands. *% creating different currencies and 6a%s of trading$ %ou ma'e
%our p5a%ers a6are of the different 'ingdoms in %our fantas% campaign. This ma'es them
pa% attention and 5earn a)out %our 6or5d. A trave5ing merchant 6ho trades in )esants
)ecomes a 6ea5th% trader from the rich 5ands of *%>antium$ 6hi5e one 6ho dea5s in
hac'si5ver is a northerner from the co5d shores of Scandinavia. These names and p5aces
create images$ images more compe55ing and e8citing than those created )% the p5ain
6ords <merchant99 or <trader.<
T%pes of "oins
The terms <go5d piece< LgpM$ <si5ver piece< LspM$ and <copper piece< LcpM are c5ear
and the% are used throughout these game ru5es. *ut %ou can spice them up a )it. Aeop5e
give coins names$ 6hether as p5ain as <dime< or 5ive5% as <go5d dou)5eHeag5e.< The
imaginar% popu5ation of a fantas% 6or5d shou5d )e no different. Medieva5 histor% is fi55ed
6ith different t%pes of coinage$ a55 of 6hich can add 5oca5 co5or to %our campaign.
Ta'e$ for e8amp5e$ the situation of a mercenar% captain in A;uitaine. Through
6ages$ )oot%$ and trading he has assem)5ed ;uite a fe6 coins. 7oremost of his horde are
the go5d and si5ver coins of *%>antiumHHthe )esant$ h%perp%ron$ or nomisma as the% 6ere
'no6n at different times. An Ita5ian genera5 paid him in coins a5most e;ua55% va5ua)5e$
the go5d f5orin and ducat. Mi8ed in 6ith these 6ere other coins of the Ita5ian statesHHsi5ver
grossi and ecu. 7rom the 7rench he co55ected gros tournois$ Rouen pennies$ and 5ouis. A
Moorish hostage )ought his freedom 6ith si5ver drachmas and a German merchant of the
&anse paid the heav% to55 of a go5d mar'. Aart of the spoi5s of 6ar inc5ude so5idus aureus
and denarii of Ancient Rome$ though these coins are so )ad5% 6orn their va5ue has
dropped great5%.
3ne of his men even came across a horde of hac'si5ver )race5etsB 7ina55%$ from
his #ng5ish emp5o%ers he received pounds$ shi55ings$ and pence. "5ear5% the captain is
faced 6ith a pro)5em 6hen he tries to figure out :ust ho6 much mone% he has. (hat do
these coins add up to=
The )esant$ h%perp%ron$ and nomisma 6ere the standard coins of the *%>antine
#mpire. The% 6ere of a regu5ar si>e and the precious meta5 6as not de)ased 6ith 5ead or
copper. *ac'ed )% the po6er of the #mperor$ each coin had a stead% va5ue. In %our game$
%ou cou5d esta)5ish their va5ue at one or t6o go5d pieces each.
The f5orin and the ducat 6ere the coins of different Ita5ian states. These 5ands$
rising in trading po6er$ needed a stead% econom%. Thus their coins 6ere a5most the e;ua5
of the )esant and 6ere used for trade throughout #urope. #ach f5orin might )e e;ua5 to a
go5d piece. The gross 6as a si5ver penn% and$ norma55%$ !2 e;ua55ed one f5orin.
The coins of 7rance 6ere much 5i'e those of Ita5% and cou5d )e va5ued the same
6a%. The 5ouis and the sous 6ere the e;ua5 of the f5orin 6hi5e the gros tournis and the
denarius 6ere si5ver pennies. &o6ever$ the Rouen penn% 6as specia55% minted and not
considered as va5ua)5e )% most traders.
The Midd5e #astern drachma 6as mode5ed on the )esant. 2orma55% !2 to 2 6ere
e;ua5 to a sing5e )esant LKH! 6ou5d e;ua5 one gpM )ut in A;uitaine the% 6ere often
va5ued :ust 5i'e other si5ver pennies. The go5d mar' 6asn9t so much a coin as a measure.
It 6as norma55% figured to )e 6orth si8 #ng5ish pounds. There 6ere a5so si5ver mar's
6orth a)out !+ shi55ings$ and Scandinavian ora 6orth !K pence. *ut the true va5ue of
these coins 6as 6hat %ou cou5d get for them.
The #ng5ish coins inc5uded the rare5% seen pound$ e;ua5 perhaps to one gp. More
common 6ere si5ver shi55ings$ officia55% figured at 2 to a pound Lor ha5f a spM. *e5o6 the
shi55ing 6as the pence$ !2 to a shi55ing$ and )e5o6 the pence 6as the farthing$ four to a
pence. Mean6hi5e$ the 5o65% Rouen penn% 6as figured to )e e;ua5 to ha5f a pence.
3f the ancient coins$ the Roman so5idus aureus 6as the mode5 for the )esant and
thus near5% a55 other coins. It in turn 6as divided into si5ver denarii 6ith !2 to - e;ua5ing
a sing5e so5idus. &o6ever$ age and counterfeiters reduced the va5ue of these coins so
much that their on5% true 6orth cou5d )e found in 6hat the% 6eighed. During the same
time$ Scandinavians used hac'si5verHHsi5ver :e6e5r%. (hen the% needed to pa%$ the% cou5d
cut off a chun' from an arm)and or )race5et and 6eigh it$ thus the name hac'si5ver. The%
5itera55% 6ore their mone%B
"5ear5%$ mone% is no simp5e$ universa5 thing. #ach nation and each time has its
o6n coins 6ith its o6n va5ues. 4our p5a%er characters ma% trave5 through man% different
5ands and find 5ongH5ost treasures. It 6i55 )e much more e8citing for %our characters to
find K ancient tremissa from the ru5e of #mperor 3tto - %ears )efore than to find %et
another K si5ver pieces. (ith a 5itt5e imagination and research at %our 5oca5 5i)rar%$ %ou
can find man% different e8amp5es to add to %our campaign.
As e8citing and important as mone% is for p5a%er characters$ tracing da%HtoHda%
e8penses :ust isn9t ver% interesting. 7orcing p5a%ers to record ever% purchase their
characters ma'e is timeHconsuming and$ p5ain5% put$ not ver% heroic. It9s )etter simp5% to
charge p5a%er characters a month5% 5iving e8pense.
This 5iving e8pense covers a55 norma5 room and )oard charges 6henever a
character is operating out of his home )ase. Separate charges for mea5s and )eds need )e
made on5% 6hen the character is trave5ing a6a% from home.
A5a%ers descri)e ho6 6e55 Lor poor5%M the% 6ant their characters to 5ive. 7rom this
the DM decides if the% are 5iving in s;ua5id$ poor$ midd5eHc5ass$ or 6ea5th% surroundings.
The A5a%er "haracter Living #8penses ta)5e$ )e5o6$ gives estimated )ase costs for each
S;ua5id and poor 5iving conditions cost the same for a55 characters regard5ess of
race or 5eve5. &o6ever$ as a character increases in 5eve5$ his needs increase according to
Lor )e%ondM his means. "haracters 5iving midd5eHc5ass or 6ea5th% 5ifest%5es mu5tip5% the
)ase 5iving e8pense )% their 5eve5 to determine the cost. "haracters of races other than the
predominant one of the area Le.g.$ d6arves in a human cit% or humans in an e5ven vi55ageM
pa% dou)5e the norma5 rate. This is due to suspicion and a scarcit% of goods the character
is accustomed to.
The on5% direct game effect of 5iving conditions is the e8pense invo5ved$ )ut
5iving conditions can a5so determine some ro5eHp5a%ing events and conditions in %our
game. 4our p5a%er characters9 5ifest%5es even can )e used as a starting point for man%
different t%pes of adventures.
S;ua5id "onditions
Dirt% stra6 in 5ea'% sta)5es$ muc'Hf5oored huts outside the 6a55s of to6n$
contempt$ and random vio5enceHHthese t%pif% s;ua5id 5iving conditions. "haracters 5iving
5i'e this aren9t 5i'e5% to )e ro))ed Lsince no one thin's the% have an% mone%M$ )ut the%
ma% )e tormented or attac'ed :ust for the fun of it. Their 5ega5 protections 6i55 )e fe6
Aoor "onditions
In poor conditions$ characters )enefit from some 5ega5 protection$ a5though there
ma% )e genera5 indifference to their trou)5es. The% must a5so cope 6ith a high 5eve5 of
vio5ence$ periodic ro))eries$ and random fights.
Midd5eH"5ass "onditions
Midd5eHc5ass 5ife tends to )e safe and some6hat )oring. "haracters receive
ade;uate protection and 6i55 not )e the main target of most )urg5ars. Thieves are
genera55% attracted to the homes of the 6ea5th%.
(ea5th% "onditions
(ea5th% peop5e receive the greatest )enefits$ )ut the% must a5so dea5 6ith the
highest 5eve5 of deceit$ tric'er%$ and treacher%. 2ear5% a55 6ith 6ea5th are dra6n into
dangerous po5itica5 maneuverings$ main5% to protect their o6n privi5eges.
/pon )ui5ding or c5aiming his o6n strongho5d$ a p5a%er character sudden5%
ac;uires a 6ho5e ne6 set of e8penses. The character no 5onger pa%s 5iving e8penses )ut
must pa% for the maintenance of his propert%.
-able 22:
Player Character 0iving E*penses
0i$estyle Cost?&onth
S;ua5id + gp
Aoor , gp
Midd5eH"5ass , gp per 5eve5
(ea5th% 2 gp per 5eve5
Draining the "offers
Sometimes %ou discover %ou have given the p5a%er characters too much mone%.
(hi5e 5iving e8penses 6i55 ta'e a 5itt5e of that Lespecia55% if the characters 5ive )igM$ it
doesn9t come c5ose to so5ving the pro)5em. 7ortunate5%$ there are other 6a%s %ou can get
mone% out of their hands.
A 6ide variet% of ta8es 6as app5ied during the Midd5e Ages. Some caused
minima5 hardship 6hi5e others 6ere ;uite e8pensive. "haracters cou5d )e forced to pa% a
6erege5d$ a fine paid to the re5atives of someone the% have s5ain.
The 'ing cou5d demand scutage$ a fee to avoid mi5itar% service. Specia5
assessments cou5d )e made to repair roads or re)ui5d )ridges. There cou5d )e minor ta8es
to enter to6ns on mar'et da%s or 6ander through the streets as a stro55ing minstre5. Ta8es
cou5d )e charged according to the si>e of the person9s househo5d.
In addition to ta8es$ there might )e other une8pected costs. A fire cou5d s6eep
through the character9s manor$ re;uiring a cost5% repair program. Termites cou5d 6rea'
havoc 6ith the character9s f5eet. The 5oca5 5ord cou5d assess his vassa5s a share of the
tri)ute he must pa% the enem%. Magica5 m%steries and daring thefts can a5so 5o6er a
character9s financia5 position.
A56a%s find a different$ tota55% une8pected approach to ta'ing e8cess cash from
p5a%er characters. Let them defeat some of %our attempts to drain their coffers. Set up
some of %our mone%Hremoving attempts to fai5 from the startHHif the p5a%er characters
ta'e some action. Turn %our attempts into adventures. If a thief ro)s the p5a%er character9s
cast5e$ )e read% 6ith an adventure 6here the character can tr% to trac' him do6n. In fact$
he ma% even catch the thief$ )ut on5% after the scoundre5 has s;uandered the character9s
#8panding the #;uipment Lists
The items 5isted in the Player's Handbook are )% no means the on5% things ever
made in the 6or5dHHor even in a medieva5 fantas% setting. The% are 5isted )ecause the% are
the most 5i'e5% things the characters 6i55 need. &o6ever$ %ou can certain5% add missing
or p5a%erHre;uested items to this 5ist.
(hen %ou add an item to the 5ists$ first consider the reasona)5eness of its
presence. Given the setting of the AD&D game$ adding an M- Sherman tan' as a regu5ar
item of e;uipment is :ust not a 5ogica5$ sensi)5e$ or 6ise thing to do.
3nce %ou decide that a ne6 item is reasona)5e$ %ou must assign it a cost. /se %our
:udgment. "onsider the intricac% of the item$ the craftsmanship re;uired to ma'e it$ and
the cost of simi5ar items a5read% on the 5ists. 7rom these$ %ou shou5d )e a)5e to assign an
appropriate price.
If$ 5ater on$ %ou discover %ou made the item too cheap and a55 the characters are
)u%ing one$ raise the price and sa% supp5iers can9t 'eep up 6ith the demand. If an item is
too e8pensive$ %ou can 5o6er the price and no one 6i55 comp5ain.
A5tering Arices
Remem)er that the prices 5isted in the Player's Handbook are not a)so5ute. There
is no reason %ou can9t raise or 5o6er the price of an% item on the e;uipment 5ists. Demand
can increase or decrease a price. Different 5ands in %our campaign ma% )e 'no6n for
specific goods$ a55o6ing them to charge more.
#ven in the Midd5e Ages$ Spain and the Midd5e #ast 6ere 'no6n for stee5$
German% for )eer$ 7rance for 6ine$ #ng5and for 6oo5$ and the Ita5% for armor. These
reputations a55o6ed higher prices to )e charged for these goods$ especia55% finished items.
Greed can a5so raise prices. Merchants 5ive to ma'e mone%$ so the% 6i55 norma55%
charge 6hat the% can get a6a% 6ith. There 6ere ver% fe6 price contro5s or regu5ating
agencies during these times.
7ina55%$ adventurers tend to disrupt 5oca5 economies$ sudden5% )ringing in 5arge
amounts of cash. Merchants raise prices to match. Situations not un5i'e the 05ondi'e go5d
rush deve5op$ in 6hich even the simp5est items cost outrageous amounts. In short$ don9t
)e afraid to charge characters as much as %ou thin' %ou can get a6a% 6ith. If the% don9t
5i'e the prices$ the%955 find some 6a% to 5et the merchant 'no6 of their dissatisfaction.
#;uipment )% Time Aeriod
The e;uipment 5ists given in the Player's Handbook assume %our campaign is set
in a generic medieva5 fantas% 6or5d. In practica5 terms$ this means %ou haven9t tied %our
campaign to an% particu5ar date in histor%. A55 this is perfect5% fine and is common5% done
in fantas% stories and fantas% campaignsHH%ou are dea5ing 6ith fantas%$ after a55.
&o6ever$ it is a5so possi)5e to create e8citing and interesting campaigns that are
tied to specific time periods$ )ut this 6i55 6or' on5% if %ou 'no6 something a)out the
time period. This is importantB A 5ot of peop5e assume things a)out the past 6ithout
'no6ing the facts. The truth of the matter ma% )e far different. Go to the 5i)rar% and do
%our home6or' )efore %ou )egin designing a timeHspecific campaign. #ven if %ou don9t
do such a campaign$ it9s usefu5 to 5earn a 5itt5e more a)out medieva5 histor%. It 6i55 on5%
improve %our o6n fantas% 6or5d.
It is not necessar% to pic' a precise date to mode5$ such as !2+. A.D.$ a5though
again there is nothing 6rong 6ith this. &istor% and historians tend to divide the past into
different ages$ and %ou can do the same. 7our different ages are covered hereHHthe
Ancient (or5d$ the Dar' Ages$ the Midd5e Ages$ and the Renaissance. #ach has its
pecu5iarities and differences$ some of 6hich are descri)ed )e5o6.
The Ancient (or5d
This covers a period of great empires spreading from the Mediterranean. Some
6eapons and armor 6ere made of )ron>e$ others of iron$ and a fe6 6ere made of stee5.
Most househo5d items 6ere potter%$ 6ood$ stone$ and 6ic'er. *ron>e 6eapons 6ere
easi5% du55ed and$ in game terms$ )rea' or )end 6hen a <!< is ro55ed on the attac' ro55.
Stirrups hadn9t )een invented$ so characters can9t use heav% 5ances$ and charge attac's
can9t )e made 6ith norma5 5ances.
The Dar' Ages
This 6as the period after the co55apse of the Roman #mpire$ from -, A.D. to
a)out !! A.D. (hi5e much of the 5earning and cu5ture of the ancient 6or5d 6as 5ost$ it
6as not as )5ea' and ignorant a period as some )e5ieve. Sti55$ in man% 6a%s$ it 6as a step
)ac'6ard from the previous age. During this time the stirrup 6as introduced$ a55o6ing
riders to gain fu55 use of the 5ance.
The Midd5e Ages
The Midd5e Ages Lrough5% from !! to !-,M is the period in 6hich most fantas%
campaigns are set. It 6as the period most peop5e associate 6ith 'nighthood and chiva5r%.
The 'nights 6ent off on the "rusades. Great stone cast5es 6ere )ui5t. The ro5e of traders
and merchants )egan to gro6. 1irtua55% a55 the items on the e;uipment 5ist 6ere avai5a)5e
in this time period.
-he enaissance
The 5atest time period that shou5d )e considered as a setting for a norma5 AD&D
campaign$ the Renaissance 6as a time of great change. The co55apse of the feuda5 s%stem
had )egun throughout much of #urope. There 6as great gro6th in 5iterature$ art$ and
science. The po6er of the o5d no)i5it% )egan to dec5ine 6hi5e the inf5uence and 6ea5th of
merchants and )usinessmen continued to gro6. Gunpo6der and simp5e guns
revo5utioni>ed the face of 6arfare. 7oot so5diers )ecame more important than cava5r%$
and armor 6as not near5% as usefu5 as it once had )een.
-able 2!:
#N/IAM#2T *4 TIM# A#RI3D
Item Ancient Dar@ Ages &iddle Ages enaissance
Ar;ue)us 2A 2A 2A A1
A65 Ai'e 2A 2A A1 A1
*astard S6ord2A A1 A1 A1
*5oc' and Tac'5e 2A 2A A1 A1
*o5t "ase 2A 2A A1 A1
*rigandine 2A 2A A1 A1
*ron>e A5ate Mai5 A1 2A 2A 2A
"arriage$ an% 2A 2A 2A A1
"hain Mai5 2A A1 A1 A1
"omposite Long *o62A 2A A1 A1
"ross)o6$ an%2A 2A A1 A1
7ie5d A5ate 2A 2A A1 A1
75ai5$ an% 2A A1 A1 A1
7u55 A5ate 2A 2A 2A A1
7u55 A5ate *arding 2A 2A 2A A1
G5aive 2A 2A 2A A1
G5ass 2A A1 A1 A1
G5ass *ott5e 2A 2A A1 A1
Great &e5m 2A 2A A1 A1
Gree' 7ire 2A A1 A1 A1
&eav% &orse Lance 2A A1 A1 A1
&eav% (ar &orse 2A A1 A1 A1
&orse 4o'e 2A 2A A1 A1
&ose 2A 2A A1 A1
@ousting Lance 2A 2A A1 A1
0opesh S6ordA1 2A 2A 2A
Lantern$ an% 2A 2A A1 A1
Loc'$ an% 2A Aoor Average Good
Long *o6 2A A1 A1 A1
Magnif%ing G5ass 2A 2A 2A A1
Mancatcher 2A 2A A1 A1
Morning Star 2A A1 A1 A1
Aaper 2A A1 A1 A1
Aap%rus A1 2A 2A 2A
A5ate Mai5 2A 2A A1 A1
Ao5e arms$ not pi'e 2A A1 A1 A1
Aon% "art 2A 2A A1 A1
Ring Mai5 2A A1 A1 2A
Sai5ing ship 2A 2A A1 A1
Scimitar 2A A1 A1 A1
Si5' "5othes 2A 1er% Rare Rare Rare
Si5' Rope 2A 1er% Rare Rare Rare
Sp%g5ass 2A 2A 2A A1
T6oH&anded S6ord 2A A1 A1 A1
1ou5ge 2A A1 A1 A1
2AH2ot Avai5a)5e$ A1HAvai5a)5e
Ad:usting #;uipment Lists
(hen %ou set %our campaign in a specific time period$ %ou might 6ant to ad:ust
the e;uipment 5ists to ref5ect changes in avai5a)i5it% and price. Some suggested changes
are 5isted in Ta)5e 2+. Li'e the capsu5e descriptions$ the ta)5e is not !O accurate.
Instead$ it ref5ects 6hether items 6ere common5% used in the time period. 7or e8amp5e$
f5ai5s Las an agricu5tura5 instrumentM have e8isted for time immemoria5. &o6ever$ the%
6ere not common5% used as 6eapons in most time periods$ e8cept in cases of emergenc%.
*% doing further research$ %ou can refine and e8pand this 5ist.
Nua5it% of #;uipment
Most of the e;uipment a character )u%s is assumed to )e of average ;ua5it%HH
neither too cheap5% made nor too e5a)orate. Thus$ 6eapons are servicea)5e 6ith stout
hafts and sturd% )5ades. The meta5 is not so poor5% tempered as to ma'e the )5ade
hope5ess5% )ritt5e. The )5ade is not e5a)orate5% etched and the hi5t is not encrusted 6ith
go5d. 3ther items are of ever%da% ma'e$ usefu5ness and function superseding artistic
&o6ever$ ;ua5it% can var% from item to item. 7or some items it is important to
'no6 the ;ua5it%$ since this affects a game a)i5it%. The three items 6here ;ua5it% is most
significant are 5oc's$ horses$ and 6eapons. In other instances$ ;ua5it% )ecomes important
on5% if %ou or one of %our p5a%ers 6ants an item of e8ceptiona5 )eaut% or of e8ceptiona55%
shodd% construction.
Loc' Nua5it%
The ;ua5it% of a 5oc' can increase$ decrease$ or 5eave unchanged a thief9s chance
of pic'ing that 5oc'. The higher the ;ua5it% of the 5oc'$ the harder it is for the thief to
pic'. Ta)5e 2- 5ists the different 5oc' ;ua5ities and the amount the% add or su)tract from a
thief9s percentage chance to open it. /n5ess other6ise noted$ assume that a55 5oc's are of
good ;ua5it%.
-able 2":
0oc@ Fuality
Fuality &odi$ication
(retched R+O
Aoor R!,O
Good O
#8ce55ent H2O
Superior H-O
Masterfu5 HKO
The ;ua5it% of a 5oc' cannot )e discerned :ust )% 5oo'ing at it. Indeed$ one of the
tric's of the master craftsman is to disguise the difficu5t% of the 5oc' )% housing it in a
cheapH5oo'ing case. A thief can 5earn the ;ua5it% of a 5oc' )% attempting to pic' it. This
attempt need not )e successfu5 L<Gee$ this 5oc' must )e a rea55% superior :o). It9s a 5ot
harder than it 5oo's.<M
&orse Nua5it%
Another matter 6here ;ua5it% is important is in horsef5esh. There is a 6or5d of
difference )et6een a highHspirited sta55ion and a )ro'enHdo6n nag. And it is not a56a%s
apparent to the e%e$ a5though it is usua55% prett% eas% to te55 a scra6n%$ s6a%H)ac'ed o5d
mare from a fier% sta55ion. *u%ing of a horse is something the p5a%er characters shou5d
a56a%s approach 6ith care$ 5est some unscrupu5ous horse merchant pu55 a fast one on
7urther$ horses often have irritating traits that can ma'e them 5ess than p5easant to
)e around. Ta)5e 2, 5ists the different ;ua5ities of horses and the effects of each. 2ote that
not a55 horses need to )e assigned a ;ua5it%. 7or simp5icit%$ %ou can assume a55 horses are
of average ;ua5it%.
Ta)5e 2,I
&orse Nua5it%
Fuality &ovement ate Carrying Capacity Cost
&odi$ier &odi$ier &odi$ier
2ag ,O 2,O HH
*ro'enHdo6n .,O ,O HH
Average HH HH HH
&ighHspirited !++O !2,O 82
"harger !,O !++O 8-
The movement rate modi'ier is the ad:ustment app5ied to the )ase movement rate
for that t%pe of horse. A )ro'enHdo6n 5ight 6ar horse 6ou5d have a movement rate of !G$
.,O of the norma5 2-. A highHspirited 5ight 6ar horse 6ou5d have a movement rate of +2$
oneHthird more than norma5. 7ractions shou5d
)e rounded do6n.
The carrying ca&acity modi'ier is the percentage of the )ase 6eight the horse can
carr%. A nag can on5% carr% ,O as much as a norma5 horse of the same t%pe$ 6hi5e a
charger can carr% oneHthird more than norma5. Again$ fractions shou5d )e rounded do6n.
The cost modi'ier gives a genera5 idea of the mar'up that shou5d )e app5ied to the
horse. Aoor ;ua5it% horses do not have negative modifiers$ since merchants 6i55 a56a%s
tr% to get at 5east the average price for a horse. In this case$ it is the :o) of the p5a%er to
ta5' do6n the price.
&orse Traits L3ptiona5 Ru5eM
#ach horse has one or t6o traits that define its <persona5it%.< In poor ;ua5it%
horses$ these traits are genera55% undesira)5e$ )ut even good horses can have unp5easant
;uir's. 7or each horse$ determine the traits on Ta)5e 2K$ using the co5umn appropriate to
the ;ua5it% of the horse. It is strong5% recommended that %ou se5ect the trait rather than
ro55ing random5%$ since these traits can rea55% enhance the humor and co5or of %our
*iters tend to ta'e nips at their riders or those 5eading them$ an uncomforta)5e )ut
not dangerous ha)it. 0ic'ers never seem to 5ash out on command$ )ut on5% 6hen a
character doesn9t 6ant it to happen. The )est idea is not to fo55o6 a 'ic'er too c5ose5%.
7enceHche6ers are simi5ar to )iters e8cept that the% seem to have a taste for 6ood instead
of their rider. (hi5e fenceHche6ing ma% )e caused )% a )ad diet$ it9s a hard ha)it to )rea'.
-able 2%:
=orse -raits
D1, oll .agB bro@en;do<nB and average =igh;spirited and chargers
! *iter *uc's
2 0ic's *oneH:arring
+ Steps on feet *ites
- (on9t ga55op Sing5e rider
, "he6s fences Rears
K Stops occasiona55% &eadstrong
. Ru)s against fences 0ic's
G *uc's Leaper
F /ntrained 0no6s tric'
! /se other co5umn /se other co5umn$ or DM choiceQ
Q 3ther possi)i5ities inc5ude ro)ust$ f5eet$ fear5ess$ s'ittish$ strong$ sta)5e$ gent5e$
sureHfooted$ etc.
Some horses have a seeming5% ma5icious tendenc% to step on feet as the% are
)eing sadd5ed and groomedHHand then the% refuse to move. Some refuse to ga55op un5ess
forced. Some stu))orn horses :ust stop in the midd5e of a march and a5most have to )e
dragged for6ard. 3thers ta'e an a5most human p5easure in ru))ing against fences$ 6a55s$
and trees tr%ing to scrape their rider off. *uc'ing
horses are a56a%s unp5easant$ though at 5east the rider can usua55% fee5 the horse tense up
:ust )efore it happens.
/ntrained horses$ even those )ro'en for riding$ haven9t 5earned the )asic
commands of horsemanshipHH5eft$ right$ speed up$ or s5o6 do6n. The% do 6hat the% thin'
the% are supposed to$ )ut that isn9t a56a%s right.
Some$ 6hi5e trained$ are :ust p5ain headstrong and$ figuring the% 'no6 more than
their riders$ tr% to do 6hat the% 6ant. Sing5eHrider horses have )een trained too 6e55$
recogni>ing on5% a sing5e master. (ith time the% can )e ridden )% a ne6 o6ner$ )ut the%
6i55 not respond 6e55 to others$ even friends of the o6ner. 3n rare occasions a horse ma%
actua55% 'no6 a minor tric'$ usua55% 5earned 6ithout specia5 training. These tric's are
ver% simp5eHHto come 6hen 6hist5ed for$ to rear on a tug of the reins$ or to turn 6hen the
rider presses 6ith his 'nees.
Aarticu5ar5% 5ive5% horses have their o6n specia5 ;uir's. Some :ust cannot seem to
move at a s5o6 stead% pace. #ver% step is a :o5ting$ )ouncing )oneH:arring ride. 3thers are
)orn 5eapers$ ma'ing corra5s and fences on5% an occasiona5 )arrier. An i55Htempered fe6
6i55 rear sudden5% at the most surprising moments$ especia55% in the midst of com)at.
(hen the horse does this$ it is not attac'ing so much as reacting in fear and surprise.
Man% a rider has )een dumped )% this sudden move.
Ris's of &orse *u%ing
*e%ond :ust the ;ua5it% and ;uir's of horses$ there are other reasons to )e carefu5
6hen )u%ing a horse. &orse theft a56a%s has )een a popu5ar pastime$ and punishments
are often e;ua55% severe for )oth the thief and the )u%erHHassuming$ of course$ that the
)u%er isn9t mista'en for the thief. /nscrupu5ous merchants often tr% to pass horses off as
6hat the% are not L<4eah$ this is a heav% 6ar horse$ rea55% it is.<M &orses ma% not )e
trained$ a5though merchants a56a%s c5aim the% are. (hi5e it is eas% to spot a horse not
)ro'en to the sadd5e$ it9s not so simp5e to te55 if a horse has )een trained for 6ar.
"haracters 6ith the riding proficienc% can avoid man% of the ha>ards of horseH
)u%ing on a successfu5 proficienc% chec'. The character must choose to use the
proficienc% L)ut considering the investment he 6ou5d )e foo5ish not toM. A successfu5 ro55
6i55 revea5 a horse9s true ;ua5it% and perhaps some of its o)vious ;uir's. 2atura55%$ there
is no 6a% to ascertain the origin of the mount$ un5ess %ou decide the horse has )een
)randed or mar'ed in some 6a%. #ven this ma% not )e foo5proof$ since c5ever thieves can
find 6a%s to a5ter virtua55% an% mar'ing.
(eapon Nua5it%
Nua5it% 6eapons are those of e8ceptiona55% fine craftsmanship. The )5ade ma% )e
forged from the finest stee5 for f5e8i)i5it% and sharpness. The s6ordsmith ma% have
carefu55% fo5ded$ hammered$ and tempered the stee5 to a super) edge. The 6ho5e s6ord
ma% )e perfect5% )a5anced$ 5ight in the hand$ )ut heav% in the )5o6. There are man%
reasons 6h% a s6ord or other 6eapon cou5d )e a)ove average.
"arefu5 craftsmanship and high ;ua5it% give a 6eapon a )onus on the chance to
hit or a )onus to damage. The )onus shou5d never )e more than R!. The )onus on the
chance to hit is for those 6eapons that are e8ceptiona55% 6e55H)a5anced$ 5ight$ or ;uic'.
(eapons of perfect5% tempered stee5 or carefu55% hammered )5ades gain the )onus to
damage. The meta5 retains its ra>or sharpness$ c5eaving through armor 5i'e a hot need5e
through 6a8. *ecause the% re5% on mass and impact$ )5udgeoning 6eapons rare5% gain a
)onus to damage. Those that do get a )onus are )ecause the% have carefu55% shaped and
)a5anced heads.
The ;ua5it% of a 6eapon is not immediate5% apparent to the average person. (hi5e
an%one using the 6eapon gets the ;ua5it% )onus Leven if the% don9t rea5i>e itM$ on5% those
proficient in that 6eaponHt%pe or proficient in 6eaponsmithing can immediate5%
recogni>e the true craftsmanship that 6ent into the ma'ing of the 6eapon.
#ven then$ the character must hand5e the 6eapon to appreciate its true va5ue. 7or
some reason$ ho6ever$ merchants a5most a56a%s seem to 'no6 the va5ue of their goods
Lat 5east the successfu5 merchants doM. Thus$ 6eapons of ;ua5it% cost from , to 2 times
more than norma5.
In %our campaign$ %ou might 6ant to create 2A"s or regions 'no6n for their fine
;ua5it% 6eapons. @ust as Damascus stee5 6as va5ued in the rea5 6or5d for its fine strength
and f5e8i)i5it%$ a given 'ingdom$ cit%$ or vi55age ma% )e noted for the production of
s6ords or other 6eapons. The mar' of a specific s6ordsmith and his apprentices can )e a
sure sign of ;ua5it%. Again$ )% introducing one or t6o of these Lremote and difficu5t to
reachM areas into %our campaign$ %ou increase the depth and detai5 of %our 6or5d.
(hi5e ornamentation has no effect on the function of an item$ it does increase the
cost. 3rnamented items can a5so enhance the status of the o6ner as a man of 6ea5th and
inf5uence. 3f course$ it a5so mar's the character as a target for thieves and ro))ers.
Among the more popu5ar t%pes of ornamentation are :e6e5ed mountings$
engraving$ em)ossing$ in5a%ing$ painting$ p5ating$ chise5ing$ chasing$ etching$ ename5ing$
5ac;uering$ carving$ and gi5ding. "ommon items a5so can )e made from rare and fantastic
materia5sHHperhaps as simp5e as si5' or the 6onderfu55% rare and incredi)5% supp5e hides
of )a)% dragons. The cost of such items depends on the difficu5t% and s'i55 of the 6or'. It
is )est for %ou to decide a price Lhigh5% inf5ated over the origina5M$ a5though ! times the
norma5 cost can )e used as a starting figure.
Armor Made of /nusua5 Meta5sL3ptiona5 Ru5eM
(ith the e8ception of )ron>e p5ate mai5$ it is assumed that a55 meta5 armors are
made from a fair5% common %et sturd% form of stee5. &o6ever$ this need not a56a%s )e
the case.
Since this is a fantas% campaign$ there is nothing to prevent armors )eing made
from rare and fantastic meta5s. Different meta5s have different properties 6hich must )e
ta'en into account 6hen such armors are used. Ta)5e 2. 5ists severa5 different t%pes of
meta5s and the effects the% have on Armor "5ass$ encum)rance$ and cost.
-able 2(:
:nusual &etal Armors
&etal AC AdGustment 2eight AdGE Cost &ultiplier
Adamantite R! H2,O 8,
*ron>e H! 82E+
#5ven Stee5 H,O QQ
7ine Stee5 H!O 82
Go5d H- R!O 8+Q
Iron R2,O
Si5ver H2 82Q
The A# ad/ustment in no 6a% imp5ies that the armor has magica5 properties$ on5%
that the materia5 is )etter or 6orse than norma5. Thus$ no )onuses are gained for saving
thro6s$ etc.
Q The character must provide the amount of meta5 needed to ma'e the suit
Ldetermined )% 6eightM. In addition$ the character must mu5tip5% the norma5 cost of the
armor )% the mu5tip5ier 5isted and pa% this as fa)rication cost.
QQ #5ven armors can9t norma55% )e purchased$ )eing given as gifts to those the
e5ves deem 6orth%.
Damaging #;uipment
7or the most part$ specific damage isn9t app5ied to e;uipment under the AD&D
ru5es. This doesn9t mean that e;uipment is never damaged or )ro'en. Instead$ it is
assumed that 6hatever norma5 6ear and tear an item ma% suffer Lsuch as dents in a suit of
p5ate mai5M are repaired during moments Lor da%s$ or monthsM of inactivit%.
The fighter spends time in camp sharpening his 6eapons$ patching the rips in his
chain mai5$ and hammering out the dents in his )reastp5ate. The thief repairs the padding
that muff5es the c5in's of his meta5 )uc'5es. The mage se6s patches onto his c5othes. A55
characters have amp5e time to ma'e repairs. It9s not ver% interesting to ro5eHp5a%$ so it is
assumed a55 characters maintain their e;uipment.
&o6ever$ there are times 6hen the p5a%er characters or %our 2A"s 6i55 6ant to
cut a rope$ snap a po5e$ or s5ash out the )ottom of a )ac'pac'. Specific damage is done to
achieve a specific effect. There are t6o 6a%s such an attac' can )e made. the first is to
attac' a specific point or area 6ith a 6eaponHHs5ashing the rope that ho5ds the heav%
curtain up. The second is an attac' that stri'es ever%thing in a given area 6ith
considera)5e forceHHa )ou5der 5anding on a character9s )ac'pac'. The first attac' uses
Armor "5ass and hit points of damage. The second attac' uses a saving thro6.
(hen a character tries to damage a specific part of an item$ use common sense to
determine the effect a particu5ar 6eapon 6i55 have against certain materia5s. Tr%ing to cut
open a sac' 6ith a mace is futi5e. Tr%ing to chop do6n a door 6ith a dagger is e;ua55%
futi5e Lun5ess the character has a 5ot of timeM. *e sure %ou consider the hardness of the
item and the amount of time the character has. A mace can )e used to )atter do6n a
6ooden door$ )ut an a8 6i55 )e faster. An a8 6on9t do much of an%thing to a stone 6a55.
If the character has an appropriate 6eapon$ determine the Armor "5ass of the
item. This ma% )e as )road as <can9t miss< or as precise as a specific Armor "5ass va5ue.
A5a%ers don9t have to ro55 to see if the% hit some items. "an9tHmiss items inc5ude
5arge nonHmoving o):ects that characters attac' 6ith me5ee 6eaponsHHdoors$ )arre5s$ and
)ac'pac's 5a%ing on the f5oor. 3ther can9tHmiss situations inc5ude missi5e 6eapon attac's
against huge o):ects Lthose )ig enough to fi55 a character9s fie5d of vision$ 5i'e the
prover)ia5 )road side of a )arn.
Some attac's re;uire an attac' ro55 Lthro6ing a mug at a fu55H5ength mirror$ for
e8amp5eM. In cases 5i'e this$ assign an Armor "5ass to the target$ ta'ing into consideration
the si>e$ movement$ and hardness of the o):ect. A 6ooden po5e has a minimum A" of ..
A meta5 rod of a)out the same thic'ness has an A" of . A rope has an A" of K$ )etter
than a 6ooden po5e )ecause the rope is more resi5ient and 5ess )ritt5e. If the o):ect is
sma55 or moving$ the A" shou5d )e )etter. A f5ai5ing rope )ecomes A" + or -. Smashing a
sma55 via5 as it ro55s on the f5oor cou5d )e A" 2 or !.
7ina55%$ 6hen attempting to hit a ver% specific spot$ the additiona5 pena5t% for a
ca55ed shot must )e app5ied. Shooting at the )u55sHe%e of a target or s5itting the )ac'pac'
of an enem% in com)at are difficu5t feats )ecause of the precision needed.
4ou must a5so decide ho6 much damage the item can ta'e )efore it is )ro'en.
Ta)5e 2G gives the standard range for some common items and materia5s. The fina5
co5umn on the ta)5e 5ists the t%pes of attac' most 5i'e5% to cause damage to the item$
a5though other t%pes ma% a5so )e effective. /sing these as guide5ines$ %ou can decide the
num)er of hit points to assign to most materia5s.
-able 2):
=it Points o$ Items
Item =it Point ange Attac@ &odes9
"hair 2HF *5udgeon$ S5ash
"ommon Leather 2HG S5ash$ Aierce
G5ass *ott5e !H2 *5udgeon
G5ass AaneEMirror ! A55
Rope 2H, S5ash
(ooden Door +H, S5ash
(ooden Ao5e 2H!2 S5ash
QThe three attac' modes are )5udgeon$ s5ash$ and pierce. #ach 6eapon is
c5assified )% one or more of these attac' modes.
Item Saving Thro6s
(hen 6eapons are su):ected to a genera5 dangerHHthe f5ames of a fire)a55$ the ic%
chi55 of a co5d ra%$ or the smashing )5o6 of a giant9s )ou5derHHthe ro55 to hit and hit points
do not app5%. Instead$ the fo55o6ing Item Saving Thro6 ta)5e is used. This saving thro6
represents an item9s genera5 a)i5it% to 6ithstand the effects of the attac'. It is ro55ed :ust
5i'e a norma5 saving thro6 Lsee <"om)at<M.
The item saving thro6 shou5d )e used on5% 6hen the item is not )eing carried )%
a character or 6hen a character fai5s his saving thro6 against the same attac'. A character
6ho successfu55% saves against the )5ast of a 'ireball spe55 need not ma'e separate saving
thro6s for his potions. The character 6ho fai5ed the same save fai5ed to protect himse5f
ade;uate5% and must therefore chec' for his potions Land pro)a)5% his scro55s$ tooM. 2ot
a55 items need ma'e a save in ever% instance. It is perfect5% reasona)5e to ignore the save
for a character9s s6ord and armor in the same fire)a55 situation descri)ed a)ove$ since
there is so 5itt5e chance that these 6i55 )e affected.
7urthermore$ magica5 items are more resistant to damage$ gaining )onuses to the
saving thro6. Items 6ith a p5us La sword 13$ for e8amp5eM gain that p5us as a )onus to the
die ro55. If the item possesses additiona5 specia5 a)i5ities$ it shou5d have an e8tra p5us for
each of these. Magica5 items 6ith no stated p5uses shou5d gain a )onus re5ative to their
po6er. A potion 6ou5d have a R! 6hi5e a misce55aneous magica5 item cou5d have a R, or
RK. 7urther$ if the saving thro6 is versus an attac' the device 6as designed to counter
Le.g.$ e8treme co5d vs. a ring o' warmthM$ an additiona5 )onus of R2 is a55o6ed.
-able 2+:
Item Saving -hro<s
Crushing Disinte; &agical .ormal
Item Acid *5o6 gration 7a55 7ire 7ire "o5d Lightning #5ectricit%
*one or Ivor% !! !K !F K F + 2 G 2
"5oth !2 HH !F HH !K !+ 2 !G 2
G5ass , 2 !F !- . - K !. 2
Leather ! + !F 2 K - + !+ 2
Meta5 !+ . !. + K 2 2 !2 2
3i5sQ !KQQ HH !F HH !F !. , !F !K
Aaper$ etc. !K . !F HH !F !F 2 !F 2
AotionsQ !,QQ HH !F HH !. - !+ !G !,
Aotter% - !G !F !! + 2 - 2 2
Roc'$ cr%sta5 + !. !G G + 2 2 !- 2
Rope !2 2 !F HH ! K 2 !2 2
(ood$ thic' G ! !F 2 . , 2 F 2
(ood$ thin F !+ !F 2 !! F 2 ! 2
Q This save does not inc5ude the container$ on5% the 5i;uid contents.
QQ 3f course$ even though the save is made$ the item is pro)a)5% hope5ess5%
mi8ed 6ith the acid.
Attac' 7orms
Acid attac's LAcidM assume there is either a si>ea)5e ;uantit% of acid or that
contact 6ith the acid is pro5onged.
"rushing *5o6s L"r. *5o6M inc5ude stri'es )% the c5u)s of creatures of giant si>e
or greater. *5o6s )% norma5 peop5e on sma55$ fragi5e o):ects a5so fa55 into this categor%. A
norma5 human cou5d not do a crushing )5o6 on a rope$ 6hich isn9t ver% fragi5e$ )ut cou5d
certain5% do so on a potion f5as'. *rea'a)5e items hur5ed against hard surfacesHH)ott5es
thro6n against 6a55s$ for e8amp5eHHa5so use the crushing )5o6 co5umn.
Disintegration LDis.M app5ies on5% to the magica5 effects of the spe55 or spe55H5i'e
7a55s L7a55M must )e greater than five feet. If the surface is hard$ the 5isted saving
thro6 is used. If the surface is soft$ give a R, )onus to the saving thro6. 7or ever% five
feet fa55en )e%ond the first$ app5% a H! pena5t% to the saving thro6.
Magica5 fires LMag. 7ireM inc5ude fire)a55s$ dragonH)reath$ and an% si>ea)5e )od%
of f5ame created )% a spe55 or spe55H5i'e effect. #8traordinari5% hot norma5 fires$ such as
the 5ava from a vo5cano$ shou5d a5so use this saving thro6.
2orma5 fires L2or. 7ireM inc5ude campfires$ cand5e f5ames$ and )onfires.
3)vious5%$ the item must )e in the f5ame for a sufficient time to )e affected.
"o5d L"o5dM covers an% intense$ a)norma5$ or magica5 co5d. If the temperature
change is gradua5$ a R2 )onus is app5ied to the saving thro6.
Lightning )o5t LLight.M app5ies to attac's )% the spe55 or spe55H5i'e po6er of the
same name.
#5ectrica5 L#5ec.M is for those e5ectrica5 attac's that do not carr% the 6a55op of the
5ightning )o5t. #5ectric ee5s and magica5 traps fa55 into this categor%.
"hapter .I
3f a55 the areas of the AD&D game that %ou 6i55 )e ca55ed upon to :udge$ magic is
perhaps the most diverse and demanding. Magic a55o6s characters to )rea' a55 the natura5
5a6s of the universe$ a situation that can 5ead to unforeseen$ )ut high5% e8citing
situations. *e sure %ou understand ho6 magic 6or's in the AD&D game and the
different 6a%s %ou can contro5 its use.
Initia5 (i>ard Spe55s
3ne contro5 %ou have over the po6er of 6i>ards is the choice of spe55s avai5a)5e
at the start of the game. #ach 6i>ard )egins the game 6ith a spe55 )oo'$ )ut he has no
information on 6hat that )oo' contains. 4ou te55 him. 4ou can choose from severa5
different ans6ers. *ased on %our choice$ the p5a%er ac;uires spe55s Land their reverseM for
his character9s spe55 )oo'.
A5a%er "hoice
The simp5est 6a% to give a 6i>ard spe55s is to thro6 the )a55 )ac' into the p5a%er9s
courtHHas' him 6hat spe55s he 6ou5d 5i'e. As he names a spe55$ have him ro55 to see if his
character can 5earn it. If he can$ the p5a%er 6rites the spe55 on his character sheet. If he
can9t$ one of %ou shou5d note that he cannot 5earn that spe55.
0eep doing this unti5 a55 the !stH5eve5 spe55s have )een chec'ed or unti5 the
character reaches the ma8imum num)er of spe55s his character is a55o6ed to 5earn
Ldepending on the character9s Inte55igenceM. This a55o6s the p5a%er to get the spe55s he
6ants for his character$ 6hich usua55% ma'es the p5a%er happ%. &o6ever$ it has some
7irst$ p5a%ers tend to pic' the spe55s the% consider the most po6erfu5. (hi5e this is
not )ad if %ou have on5% one or t6o 6i>ards$ a 6ho5e horde of the fe55o6s$ a55 6ith
identica5 spe55s$ gets prett% )oring.
There is a5so a chance the character 6i55 over5oo' some )asic spe55s he rea55%
needs to function as a 6i>ardHHread magic and detect magic$ in particu5ar. A 6i>ard 6ho
cannot read a magica5 scro55 is deprived of one of the important a)i5ities of his c5ass.
There is even a s5im chance the character 6i55 hard5% get an% spe55s. And$ 6hi5e
there is no minimum num)er of spe55s a character must 'no6$ a 6i>ard 6ithout spe55s is
hard5% the t%pe of character a p5a%er 6ants. If this happens$ give the poor p5a%er a )rea'
and a55o6 him to ma'e some second chec's on spe55s unti5 %ou )e5ieve he has an
ade;uate num)er.
DM "hoice
4ou can automatica55% give the p5a%er character read magic and detect magic and
four other spe55s of %our choice. This starts a55 p5a%er characters off 6ith the same num)er
of spe55s. (hi5e it is not necessar% to give each character the same spe55s$ %ou shou5d see
that ever%one has rough5% the same )a5ance of po6er. 2o ro55s to 5earn these spe55s need
)e made. The character is assumed to have mastered them during his apprenticeship.
A5a%erEDM "o55a)oration
7ina55%$ %ou can a55o6 the p5a%er character to start 6ith +d- Lor up to the 5imit of
his Inte55igenceM !stH5eve5 spe55s. T6o of these are automatica55% read magic and detect
magic$ 6hich a55 6i>ards 5earn as part of their training. The remaining spe55s can either )e
chosen )% the p5a%er$ determined random5%$ or se5ected )% %ou.
If %ou se5ect the spe55s$ )e sure to give the p5a%er a fair mi8$ a55o6ing him to do a
variet% of things. Tr% to ensure that the p5a%er has a fe6 of the spe55s he rea55% 6ants.
If the character is a specia5ist in a particu5ar schoo5 of magic$ %ou shou5d a55o6
him to 'no6 one spe55 of his schoo5 automatica55% a5ong 6ith read magic and detect
magic. A55 other spe55s must )e chec'ed for norma55% or discovered.
Ac;uisition of Spe55s *e%ond !st Leve5
3nce a character has )egun adventuring$ he 6on9t )e a)5e to have additiona5 spe55 )oo's
instant5% appear each time he goes up in 5eve5. Instead$ the p5a%er character must find
some 6a% to get additiona5 higher 5eve5 spe55s. As 6ith initia5 spe55s$ there are severa5
6a%s this can )e done. An% or a55 of these can )e used in %our campaign.
Gaining Leve5s
7irst$ 6henever a character attains a ne6 spe55 5eve5$ a55o6 the p5a%er one ne6
spe55 immediate5%. 4ou can choose this spe55$ 5et the p5a%er choose it$ or se5ect it
The rationa5e )ehind this is simp5eI A55 the 5ong hours of stud% and reading the
character has )een doing fina55% :e55s into something rea5 and understanda)5e.
2o ro55 is needed to 5earn this spe55$ un5ess %ou a55o6 the character to choose it. If
the character is a specia5ist in a schoo5 of magic$ the ne6 spe55 shou5d )e from that
schoo5HHif there is a spe55 avai5a)5e.
"op%ing from Spe55 *oo's
The second 6a% to ac;uire ne6 spe55s is to cop% them from the spe55 )oo's of
other 6i>ards. A character can cop% from other p5a%er characters Lif the% 6i55 a55o6 itM$
pa% 2A" 6i>ards for the privi5ege Lsee "hapter !2I 2A"sM$ or ta'e them from captured
spe55 )oo's. (hen cop%ing spe55s$ a character must ro55 to see if the character can 5earn
the spe55. 2o character can cop% 6ithout magica5 aid of a spe55 of a 5eve5 he cannot cast.
Scro55 Research
Third$ a character can research a spe55 using a scro55 6ith the same spe55 as a )ase.
The time and cost re;uired for the research is ha5f norma5 and the p5a%er character must
sti55 chec' to see if he can 5earn the spe55. Regard5ess of the success or fai5ure of the
research$ the scro55 is destro%edHHthe 6i>ard had to read it a5oud to ana5%>e its effects.
Scro55 research cannot )e done in an adventuring situation. The 6i>ard must have
carefu55% contro55ed conditions even to attempt it.
Stud% 6ith a Mentor
7ourth$ and on5% if %ou a55o6 it$ the 6i>ard can return to his o5d mentor and$ 6ith
5uc'$ cop% a fe6 spe55s out of his master9s spe55 )oo'. /se this method if$ and on5% if$ %ou
fee5 it is important for p5a%er characters to have more than a fe6 ne6 spe55s each time
the% advance to a ne6 spe55 5eve5. A55o6 the characters to gain too much this 6a%$ or too
fre;uent5%$ and the% 6i55 come to re5% upon it$ not using their o6n p5a%ing a)i5it% to
deve5op their characters.
DM "ontro5 of Spe55 Ac;uisition
&o6ever characters ac;uire ne6 spe55s$ a56a%s remem)er that %ou are in charge.
4ou have comp5ete contro5 over 6hat spe55s the p5a%er characters get.
If a p5a%er character has a spe55 %ou don9t 5i'e or one that severe5% disrupts or
un)a5ances %our game$ it is not the p5a%er9s fau5t. (ho gave the character the spe55= (ho
a55o6ed it in the game= "ontro55ing spe55 ac;uisition is an important responsi)i5it%.
"onsider %our choices carefu55%.
*% 'eeping the se5ection of spe55s 5imited$ %ou automatica55% increase their
importance and va5ue to the 6i>ards in %our campaign. A simp5e scro55 6ith a sing5e spe55
)ecomes a rea5 treasure if it has a spe55 on it the 6i>ard has never seen. This gives the
p5a%er a touch choice. Shou5d he cast the scro55 during an adventure 6here it might )e
usefu5= Shou5d he save it unti5 he can ta'e the time to research the spe55 for his spe55
(hen the characters overcome a hosti5e mage$ the first concern of the 6i>ard 6i55
)e for his spe55 )oo'. (here is it= (hat spe55s does it have in it= #ven a nonmagica5 item
5i'e a spe55 )oo' )ecomes ver% important. 0no6ing their va5ue$ 2A" 6i>ards 6i55 go to
great pains to protect their o6n spe55 )oo's$ hiding them carefu55%$ 5oc'ing them in
trapped chests$ and scattering magica5 traps throughout the pages.
Spe55 *oo's
A 6i>ard9s most important treasure is his spe55 )oo'. *ecause it is so important$
%ou and the p5a%ers need to 'no6 some )asics a)out it. (hat e8act5% is a spe55 )oo'=
&o6 man% pages does it have= (hat is it made of=
A55 Si>es and Shapes
There is no standard si>e or shape for a spe55 )oo'. A p5a%er character can9t 6a5'
into a 6i>ard9s 5a) or stud% and instant5% spot the spe55 )oo' )ecause it is the )iggest$
5ongest$ fattest$ s;uarest$ roundest$ or thinnest )oo' there. 2either can he measure a55 the
)oo's to find the one that conforms to the dimensions of a spe55 )oo'. The spe55 )oo'9s
si>e and shape is determined 5arge5% )% the cu5ture of the 6i>ard 6ho o6ns it.
"onsider$ for e8amp5e$ the )oo' %ou are reading right no6. &o6 6ou5d one of
these pages have appeared in other times and p5aces= In medieva5 #urope$ this page
6ou5d most 5i'e5% have )een ! or more handH5ettered sheets of parchment$ perhaps
em)e55ished 6ith i55uminations and painted scenes. In ancient "hina$ this page 6ou5d
have )een severa5 handHprinted pages on co5ored paper and )ound 6ith red 5acings. The
#g%ptians 6ou5d have used a ro55ed scro55 of pap%rus$ 6ith severa5 re;uired to ma'e a
)oo'. #ven more cum)ersome$ the ancient *a)%5onians 6ou5d have used c5a% ta)5es
mar'ed in cuneiform and dried. American Indians 6ou5d have 6ritten it on 5eaves of
)irch )ar' or painted it on a cured )uffa5o hide.
(riting and 6ritten 6or's have changed great5% through the centuries of #arth
histor%. A fantas% game 6or5d is no different. Spe55 )oo's shou5d come in a variet% of
shapes and formsHH6hatever seems )est for the campaign.
A spe55 )oo' ma% )e a heav% tome$ )ound in 5eather 6ith crisp parchment pages.
It ma% )e a co55ection of pap%rus scro55s tied 6ith red si5' strings. It might )e a pi5e of
c5a% ta)5es mar'ed in cuneiform$ or a cheapH5oo'ing fo5io printed on 5inen rag paper. It
even cou5d )e thin sheets of em)ossed go5d )et6een covers made from the hide of a
If %ou don9t 6ant to create a uni;ue spe55 )oo' for %our campaign 6or5d$ here9s
one standard %ou can fa55 )ac' onI "ompare them to )u5'% coffeeHta)5e )oo's of toda% or
5arge$ heft% dictionaries. #ven if %ou do create uni;ue spe55 )oo's$ this standard shou5d
give %ou some idea of the appropriate si>e and )u5'.
3ften a 6i>ard9s comp5ete set of spe55 )oo's occupies severa5 she5ves of his
5i)rar%$ especia55% 6hen the character reaches the highest 5eve5s. At this point$ it is no
5onger practica5 for the character to carr% a55 of his spe55 )oo's 6ith him 6hen he trave5s.
Therefore$ man% 6i>ards opt to ma'e trave5ing spe55 )oo's.
The trave5ing spe55 )oo' is a more se5ective$ more porta)5e version of the
character9s comp5ete spe55 )oo's La5though there is 5itt5e that can )e done to ma'e c5a%
ta)5ets porta)5eM. In the trave5ing spe55 )oo'$ the 6i>ard p5aces on5% those spe55s he
)e5ieves he 6i55 need 6hi5e trave5ing.
There is no 5imitation on 6hich spe55s can )e inc5uded$ )ut a trave5ing spe55 )oo'
has a 5imited num)er of pages. Thus$ a highH5eve5 6i>ard ma% need severa5 trave5ing spe55
)oo's to contain a55 the spe55s he thin's are necessar%.
Spe55 *oo' Areparation
The )oo's themse5ves re;uire fe6 specia5 materia5s$ )ut the 6or'manship must )e
e8act$ f5a65ess. #ven the s5ightest mista'e in cop%ing a spe55 ruins it. This is not 6or' for
a common scri)e.
"ompounding the pro)5em$ the )i>arre formu5as and diagrams found in a spe55
)oo' can9t )e reproduced )% norma5 medieva5 printing methods. Spe55 )oo' 6or' must )e
done s5o65% and 5a)orious5% )% hand. The standard amount of time re;uired to prepare a
spe55 )oo' is one to t6o da%s of 6or' per spe55 5eve5 of the spe55 )eing entered.
3ccasiona55%$ prepared spe55 )oo's can )e found for sa5e$ )ut fe6 6i>ards choose
to trust the success or fai5ure of their magica5 efforts to the 6or' of others. Rare is the
6i>ard 6ho doesn9t prepare his o6n spe55 )oo's.
Materia5s used in a spe55 )oo' must )e of the highest ;ua5it%. 2o 6i>ard 6ants to
run the ris' of dampness causing his in' to run$ a )5ot on the parchment causing a spe55 to
)e misinterpreted$ )oo'6orms ma'ing a feast of page si8$ the 6ind )5o6ing a 5oose page
a6a%$ or a spi55ed retort turning the 6ho5e )oo' into a sodden mass.
"arefu5 treatment$ common sense$ and ;ua5it% materia5s are essentia5 to prevent
these disasters. Strong )indings or cases are used to protect the interiors. "5ear sheets are
needed to record the spe55s. The )est )o5d in's and the sharpest pens must )e used for
6riting. Aromatic compounds are recommended to deter )oo'6orms and moths$ 6hi5e
other preparations shou5d )e used to protect against mo5d$ mi5de6$ and dr% rot. A55 this
costs mone%.
Spe55 *oo' "ost
The one thing a55 spe55 )oo's have in common is their cost. *oo's are never
cheap$ and a 6i>ard9s spe55 )oo's are more e8pensive than most.
7or the materia5s and their preparation$ the 6i>ard must pa% , gp per page.
Trave5ing spe55 )oo's$ 6hich are even more compact$ cost ! gp per page.
&o6 Man% Aages in a Spe55 *oo'=
#ach spe55 re;uires a num)er of pages e;ua5 to its 5eve5 p5us H, L!dKH!M
additiona5 pages. The actua5 num)er of pages a spe55 ta'es differs for each 6i>ard. #ven if
t6o or more 6i>ards are recording the same spe55$ the num)er of pages varies$ since there
are differences in hand6riting and notations.
7urther$ no spe55 )oo' can have more than ! pages$ no ordinar% nonHmagica5
scro55 more than 2,$ and no trave5ing spe55 )oo' more than ,. Thus$ at )est$ a spe55 )oo'
fi55ed 6ith FthH5eve5 spe55s cou5d on5% ho5d !! spe55s LFF pagesM$ a55o6ing on5% one )5an'
page to ho5d a magica5 protection Lsuch as a 'iretra& spe55M. A55 too 5i'e5%$ this spe55 )oo'
6ou5d )e fi55ed 6e55 )efore !! spe55s had )een entered.
7or convenience in creating 2A" spe55 )oo's$ the ma8imum and minimum
num)er of spe55s for each 5eve5 and t%pe of spe55 )oo' is given in Ta)5e +. The ta)5e
presumes that a55 the spe55s 6ithin a )oo' are of the same 5eve5 L6hich ma% or ma% not )e
the case$ especia55% for trave5ing )oo'sM.
In addition$ a5though a spe55 )oo' never can have more than its ma8imum at a
given spe55 5eve5$ there is no re;uirement that the )oo' )e fi55ed even to its minimum
num)er. The ranges given on the fo55o6ing ta)5e presume the spe55 )oo' is fi55ed as
efficient5% as possi)5e 6ith spe55s$ 5eaving 5itt5e or no room for protective devices.
Ta)5e +I
Spe55 *oo' "apacities
Leve5 Standard Scro55 Trave5ing
!st !KH! spe55s -H2, spe55s GH, spe55s
2nd !-H, spe55s +H!2 spe55s .H2, spe55s
+rd !2H++ spe55s +HG spe55s KH!K spe55s
-th !!H2, spe55s 2HK spe55s ,H!2 spe55s
,th !H2 spe55s 2H, spe55s ,H! spe55s
Kth FH!K spe55s 2H- spe55s -HG spe55s
.th GH!- spe55s 2H+ spe55s -H. spe55s
Gth .H!2 spe55s !H+ spe55s +HK spe55s
Fth .H!! spe55s !H2 spe55s +H, spe55s
#8panding the Schoo5s of Magic
"urrent5%$ the different schoo5s of 6i>ard magic are mere5% s'etched out and ver%
5ight5% defined. The different schoo5s can )e used as descri)ed$ )ut the% 5ac' detai5 and$
in a fe6 cases$ a fu55 range of spe55s. There are$ for e8amp5e$ ver% fe6 necromantic spe55s$
thus discouraging p5a%er characters from )eing necromancer specia5ists. There is nothing
6rong in thisHHnothing re;uires schoo5s of magic to )e e;ua5. &o6ever$ %ou might 6ant
to customi>e and e8pand the schoo5s of magic to suit %our campaign.
Adding 2e6 Spe55s
A schoo5 can )e e8panded simp5% )% adding ne6 spe55s. The necromantic
specia5i>ation cou5d )e made more appea5ing if a comp5ete spe55 5ist 6ere created. *e
carefu5 that the ne6 spe55s don9t ma'e the schoo5 too po6erfu5. In the case of the
necromantic schoo5$ the first reaction is to add some of the priest hea5ing spe55s. &o6ever$
this ta'es from the ro5e of the c5eric and ma'es the necromantic specia5ist too po6erfu5.
In the 5ong run$ it9s pro)a)5% )etter to create ne6 necromantic spe55s$ spe55s that do not
invo5ve hea5ing or do so on5% in a minor 6a%. "arefu5 :udgment must )e app5ied 6hen
adding ne6 spe55s.
#8pansion Through "ampaign Detai5
A5though the term <schoo5< is used throughout the Player's Handbook and this
)oo' there are no ru5es to e8p5ain an% forma5 structures or institutions. There is no hard
and fast definition of a necromantic schoo5. There ma% or ma% not )e such a schoo5 in the
campaign. This choice is 5eft to individua5 DMs.
3ne possi)i5it% is that 6i>ards 5earn their specia5ties 6ithout forma5 training.
Materros the 2ecromancer has a natura5 curiosit% a)out necromantic spe55s$ so he
specia5i>es in them.
Another possi)i5it% is that there are forma5 co55eges or academies 6here spe55s are
taught. These institutions 6ou5d have their o6n hierarchies$ traditions$ regu5ations$ and
7or e8amp5e$ Materros the 2ecromancer cou5d )e a )rother of the "a)a5 of TharH
Dad$ a necromantic societ%. As a sign of his standing high 6ithin its hierarch%$ he is
a55o6ed to 6ear the red and green ro)es of a master. 3f course$ 6hen he 6ears these$ his
occupation is easi5% identified )% those 6ho 'no6 something of the "a)a5. This is not a55
)ad$ since the "a)a5 of TharHDad has a reputation as a dangerous and mean )unch. *%
adding such detai5s$ the DM )rings his campaign to 5ife. &e can ma'e a seeming5%
5imited magica5 schoo5 more appea5ing to p5a%ers.
Spe55 Research
3ne of the most over5oo'ed assets of the 6i>ard or priest is the a)i5it% to research
ne6 spe55s. In the hands of a c5ever p5a%er$ this a)i5it% resu5ts in po6erfu5 and uni;ue
p5a%er characters. Since the p5a%er has to get invo5ved to ma'e the research ru5es 6or'$ it
is a5so an e8ce55ent method for getting p5a%er ideas into the campaign. &o6ever$ since
there are so man% different possi)i5ities in spe55 research$ there are fe6 set ru5es. /se the
fo55o6ing as guide5ines 6hen faced 6ith magica5 research in the campaign.
Suggesting a 2e6 Spe55
Spe55 research is not something the DM does 6ithout p5a%er inputHHor vice versa.
The first step is for the p5a%er to decide 6hat he 6ants his character to accomp5ish. 3n5%
after the p5a%er has presented his suggested spe55 does the DM )ecome invo5ved.
Ana5%>ing a Spe55
(hen the p5a%er presents his suggested spe55$ ta5' it over 6ith him. (hat does the
p5a%er rea55% 6ant to accomp5ish= Is this the same as 6hat he c5aims the spe55 6i55 do=
Sometimes 6hat is 6ritten for a spe55 description and 6hat 6as intended are t6o different
things. This shou5d )ecome c5ear in ta5'ing to the p5a%er.
Are there a5read% spe55s or com)inations of spe55s that can do the same thing= If a
spe55 e8ists in the character9s group that does the same thing$ no research shou5d )e
a55o6ed. If the ne6 spe55 is a com)ination of severa5 spe55s or a more po6erfu5 version of
a 6ea'er spe55$ it can )e a55o6ed$ a5though it 6i55 )e difficu5t to research. (ea'er versions
of a more po6erfu5 spe55 are certain5% possi)5e.
Is the p5a%er tr%ing to gain a specia5 advantage over the norma5 ru5es= Sometimes
p5a%ers propose ne6 spe55s 6ith the unspo'en purpose of <)rea'ing the s%stem$< and$
6hi5e spe55 research does 5et a p5a%er character get an edge$ it is not a 6a% to cheat. 2e6
spe55s shou5d fa55 6ithin the rea5m and st%5e of e8isting spe55s. "5erics casting 'ireball
spe55s or mages hea5ing in:ured characters is contrar% to the st%5es of the t6o c5asses.
Spe55s a55o6ing changes in the game ru5es$ godH5i'e a)i5ities$ or guaranteed
success are not good and shou5dn9t )e a55o6ed in a campaign. 7ortunate5%$ this pro)5em
doesn9t come up too often. (hat 5imits does the p5a%er thin' the spe55 has=
In their desire to have their spe55s approved$ p5a%ers often create more 5imitations
and conditions on a spe55 than the DM 6ou5d norma55% re;uire. *e sure to as' the p5a%er
6hat 5imits he thin's the spe55 has.
So5ving the Aro)5em of a 2e6 Spe55
If the spe55 seems unaccepta)5e$ te55 the p5a%er 6hat the concerns are. /sua55%$ an
agreement can )e reached on an% pro)5ems.
&o6ever$ if there don9t seem to )e an% pro)5ems 6ith the spe55$ the ne8t step can
2ever immediate5% approve a spe55 6hen it is first presented. Ta'e the spe55
description and consider a55 the 6a%s it cou5d )e a)used. If some g5aring misuse )ecomes
apparent$ fi8 the spe55 so this cannot happen. 0eep doing this unti5 a55 the o)vious
pro)5ems and a)uses have )een fi8ed. The p5a%er shou5d then have a chance to 5oo' at a55
the changes in his spe55. After a55$ once the DM has finished 6ith it$ the p5a%er ma% no
5onger 6ant to research it.
After the p5a%er and DM have agreed on the description of the spe55$ the DM must
decide the 5eve5 of the spe55$ its components$ research time$ and research cost.
Setting a Spe559s Leve5
The 5eve5 can )e determined )% comparing the spe55 to a5read% e8isting ones.
If the spe55 inf5icts damage$ its 5eve5 shou5d )e 6ithin one or t6o of the num)er of
dice of damage it causesHHthus a spe55 6hich inf5icts ,dK points of damage shou5d )e
a)out +rd to ,th 5eve5.
If the spe55 is an improvement of an e8isting spe55$ it shou5d )e at 5east t6o 5eve5s
greater than that spe55. If the spe55 is one of the other group La priest researching a
6i>ard9s spe55M$ it a56a%s shou5d )e at a higher 5eve5 than it is in its natura5 group. Nuite
often it 6i55 a5so )e 5ess effective than the spe55 that inspired it.
Determining Spe55 "omponents L3ptiona5 Ru5eM
Spe55 components are 5imited on5% )% %our imagination$ )ut shou5d )e tempered
)% the spe559s po6er and usefu5ness. Spe55s 6ith great po6er re;uire significant or hardH
toHfind components. Spe55s of 5imited use need on5% fair5% simp5e components. Indeed$
one important t%pe of spe55 research is to create a po6erfu5 spe55 6ith 5itt5e in the 6a% of
Determining Research Time
Research time re;uires the character )e in good hea5th. 7urther$ he must refrain
from adventuring 6hi5e underta'ing the stud%. During research$ 6i>ards stud% over o5d
manuscripts and priests 6or' at their devotions.
The minimum amount of time needed to research a spe55 is t6o 6ee's per spe55
5eve5. At the end of this time$ a chec' is made. 7or 6i>ards$ this is the same as their
chance to 5earn a spe55 L)e sure to account for an% specia5i>ationM. 7or priests a (isdom
chec' is made.
If this chec' succeeds$ the character has researched the spe55. If the chec' fai5s$
the character must spend another 6ee' in stud% )efore ma'ing another chec'. This
continues unti5 the character either succeeds or gives up.
The "ost of Spe55 Research
Research a5so costs mone%. If the character has access to a 6i>ard9s 5a)orator% or
an appropriate p5ace of 6orship$ the cost of research is !H!$ gp per spe55 5eve5. The
DM can choose the actua5 cost or determine it random5%.
It is )est to )ase the cost on 6hatever the character can :ust )are5% afford Lor
s5ight5% moreM. As such$ the cost of research ma% var% great5% from campaign to
Research costs are a ver% important incentive for p5a%er characters to go on
adventures$ gathering funds to support their studies. And$ of course$ a 6i>ard 6ho 5ac's a
5a)orator% must come up 6ith the cost of assem)5ing one. Again$ the cost of this shou5d
)e :ust )e%ond 6hat the p5a%er character can current5% afford$ perhaps !$ to !$ gp.
3nce the 5a)orator% is assem)5ed$ it remains as part of the character9s possessions.
Ariests 6ho 5ac' a proper p5ace of 6orship can pa% a simi5ar cost Lin donations or
6hateverM to prepare a sma55 househo5d shrine. 2either the 5a)orator% nor the shrine is
particu5ar5% porta)5e.
Adding a 2e6 Spe55 to the Spe55 *oo'
3nce a character has successfu55% researched a spe55$ it is added to his spe55 5ists or spe55
)oo's. 3nce researched$ the spe55 is treated 5i'e a norma5 spe55. The p5a%er character can
choose to share the spe55 6ith others La5though other 6i>ards must ro55 to 5earn the spe55M
or 'eep it to himse5f.
Researching #8tra (i>ard Spe55s L3ptiona5 Ru5eM
Some DMs and p5a%ers fee5 it is unfair that a 6i>ard can9t research a spe55 simp5%
)ecause he has as man% spe55s of a particu5ar 5eve5 as he is a55o6ed to have. The DM can
a55o6 a 6i>ard to have spe55s in his spe55 )oo' )e%ond the ma8imum a55o6ed )% the
character9s Inte55igenceHHprovided that character goes to the trou)5e of researching ne6
A55 the standard ru5es for spe55 research app5%. In addition$ the DM shou5d a55o6
on5% those ne6 spe55s that the p5a%er himse5f has created. A5a%ers cannot use this as an
e8cuse to add a spe55 the% 6ou5d other6ise not )e a)5e to 5earn.
7or e8amp5e$ sa% a p5a%er character has fai5ed to 5earn the 'ireball spe55 )efore his
)oo' is fi55ed. A5though the p5a%er can sti55 research and add ne6 spe55s$ he cannot do so
for a fire)a55Ht%pe spe55 that inf5icts !d- points of damage per 5eve5.
The spe55s researched must )e ne6 and origina5HHthis forces p5a%ers to )e creative
and invo5ved. *e%ond these restrictions$ there is no 5imit to the num)er of spe55s a
character can research at a given 5eve5.
"hapter GI
This chapter contains instructions for determining specific e8perience a6ards. It a5so
gives guide5ines a)out a6arding e8perience in genera5. &o6ever$ it does not provide
a)so5ute mathematica5 formu5as for ca5cu5ating e8perience in ever% situation.
A6arding e8perience points LSAM is one of the DM9s most difficu5t :o)s. The :o)
is difficu5t )ecause there are on5% a fe6 ru5es Land a 5ot of guide5inesM for the DM to re5%
on. The DM must 5earn near5% ever%thing he 'no6s a)out e8perience points from running
game sessions. There is no magica5 formu5a or die ro55 to determine if he is doing the
right or 6rong thing. 3n5% time$ instinct$ and p5a%er reactions 6i55 te55.
The Importance of #8perience
It is often said that the AD&D game is not a <6innersHandH5osers< game. This is
true. The AD&D game is not a game in 6hich one p5a%er 6ins at the e8pense of the
others. *ut at the same time there is 6inning and 5osing$ )ased on ho6 6e55 the group
p5a%s and ho6 6e55 it achieves the goa5s set for it.
This does not mean that individua5s in the group compete against each other
L6inning and 5osingM or that different groups of p5a%ers compete against each other Las in
foot)a55M. If an%thing$ an AD&D game p5a%er competes against himse5f. &e tries to
improve his ro5eHp5a%ing and to deve5op his character ever% time he p5a%s.
#8perience points are a measure of this improvement$ and the num)er of points
given a p5a%er for a game session is a signa5 of ho6 6e55 the DM thin's the p5a%er did in
the gameHHa re6ard for good ro5eHp5a%ing. As 6ith an% other re6ard s%stem$ there are
potentia5 pro)5ems.
Too Litt5e or Too Much=
If the DM consistent5% gives too 5itt5e e8perience to p5a%ers$ the% )ecome
frustrated. 7rustrated p5a%ers don9t have fun and$ usua55%$ ;uit the game. #ven if the%
don9t ;uit$ p5a%ers can deve5op an <ItHdoesn9tHmatterH6hatHIHdoHsoH6h%H)other< attitude.
The% stop tr%ing to do their )est$ figuring the% 6i55 on5% get a meas5% amount of
e8perience 6hether the% p5a% their )est or :ust coast a5ong.
3n the other hand$ p5a%ers can )e given too man% e8perience points too ;uic'5%.
A5a%ers in this situation deve5op an <ItHdoesn9tHmatterH6hatHIHdoH)ecauseHI9mHgoingHtoH
6in< attitude. The% ;uit tr%ing to )e inventive and c5ever$ and the% :ust get )%.
"onse;uent5%$ the DM must ta'e care not to give characters too 5itt5e e8perience
or too much. The )est approach is to var% the a6ards given from game to game$ )ased on
the actions of the characters. A5a%ers shou5d )e re6arded according to ho6 hard the% tr%
and ho6 6e55 the% accomp5ish various goa5s.
#ver% game session shou5d have a goa5. Some goa5s are constant$ app5ica)5e to
an% AD&D game. 3thers are dependent on the individua5 campaign$ stor%5ine$ character
5eve5s$ and specific adventure. A55 goa5s shou5d )e c5ear$ understanda)5e ones that p5a%ers
can see or decipher from c5ues the% get during p5a%.
"onstant Goa5s
Three goa5s are constantHHfun$ character surviva5$ and improvement. #ach of these
shou5d )e possi)5e in a sing5e game session.
#ver%one gathered around an AD&D game ta)5e is p5a%ing a game. Games are
entertainment$ and entertainment is supposed to )e fun. If the p5a%ers don9t have a good
time p5a%ing in AD&D game sessions$ it sho6s.
Therefore$ one of the goa5s of the AD&D game is to have fun. Much of the
pressure to provide this e5usive ;ua5it% rests on the DM9s shou5ders$ )ut the p5a%ers can
a5so contri)ute. (hen the% do$ p5a%ers shou5d )e re6arded 6ith e8perience points since
the% are ma'ing the game a good e8perience for a55. The DM 6ho do5es out a6ards for
adding to the fun 6i55 find more p5a%ers ma'ing the effort to contri)ute.
To give out e8perience points for fun the DM shou5d consider the fo55o6ingI
!. Did the p5a%er active5% get invo5ved in the game= A p5a%er 6ho does nothing
)ut te55 one funn% :o'e during the course of the game isn9t rea55% participating. The DM
shou5d )e carefu5$ ho6ever$ not to pena5i>e p5a%ers 6ho are natura55% sh%. Invo5vement
shou5d )e measured against a p5a%er9s persona5it%.
2. Did the p5a%er ma'e the game fun for others or ma'e fun at their e8pense= The
second is not rea55% deserving of an% re6ard.
+. (as the p5a%er disrupting or interfering 6ith the f5o6 of the game= This is
se5dom en:o%a)5e and tends to get on ever%one9s nerves ;uic'5%.
-. (as the p5a%er argumentative or a <ru5es 5a6%er=< These are p5a%ers 6ho can
;uote ever% ru5e in the game and tr% to use even the most o)scure ru5es to their
advantage$ often to the detriment of the spirit of the game. This is definite5% not fun for
the DM$ )ut the DM shou5d a55o6 a reasona)5e amount of disagreement 6ith his
decisions. A5a%ers 6i55 6ant Land shou5d )e a55o6edM to argue their vie6s from time to
time. &o6ever$ ru5es arguments proper5% )e5ong outside the actua5 game session. The
DM shou5d ma'e a ru5ing for the moment and then hear appea5s to his decision after the
adventure. This 6a% the game is not interrupted.
"haracter Surviva5
A5though having a character 5ive from game session to game session is a re6ard
in itse5f$ a p5a%er shou5d a5so receive e8perience points 6hen his character survives. Since
there are man% 6a%s to )ring a dead character )ac' into the game$ the threat of death$
6hi5e present$ 5oses some of its sting. A5a%ers shou5d )e encouraged to tr% to 'eep their
characters a5ive$ instead of re5%ing on resurrections and 6ishes. To this end$ a sma55
re6ard for ma'ing it through a game session is usefu5. It is a direct 6a% of te55ing a p5a%er
that he p5a%ed 6e55.
The amount given for surviva5 shou5d )e )a5anced against 6hat happened during
the adventure. A5a%er characters 6ho survived )ecause the% did nothing dangerous or
6ho have so man% po6ers and hit points that the%9re near5% invu5nera)5e do not deserve
as man% e8perience points as the character 6ho survived sure death through the use of his
6its. Li'e6ise$ characters 6ho survived )% sheer 5uc' deserve 5ess than those 6ho
survived )ecause of sound strateg% and tactics.
#8perience points are one measure of a character9s improvement$ and the%
trans5ate direct5% into game mechanics. &o6ever$ p5a%ers shou5d a5so improve )% tr%ing
to p5a% more inte55igent5% at each session. As the p5a%ers 5earn more a)out the game$ the
campaign$ and ro5eHp5a%ing$ this shou5d )e ref5ected in their e8perience points. (hen a
p5a%er thin's up a rea55% good ideaHHso5ves a difficu5t pu>>5e$ has his character ta5' the
group out of a tight situation$ or :ust finds a nove5 6a% around a pro)5emHHthat9s 6orth
e8perience points. A5a%ers shou5d )e encouraged to use their )rains and get invo5ved.
1aria)5e Goa5s
In addition to the constant goa5s 5isted a)ove$ ever% game session 6i55 have some
varia)5e goa5s. Most of these come from the adventure. Some ma% come from the p5a%ers9
desires. *oth t%pes can )e used to spur p5a%ers on to more effective ro5eHp5a%ing.
Stor% Goa5s
Stor% goa5s are o):ectives the DM sets up for an adventure. Rescue the prince$
drive a6a% a )and of marauding orcs$ c5eanse the haunted cast5e$ find the assassin of the
5ate ;ueen$ recover the 5ost GeeH(hi> 6and to save the 6or5dHHthese are a55 stor% goa5s.
(hen the DM sets up a stor%$ he decides ho6 man% e8perience points he thin's
the p5a%er characters shou5d get for accomp5ishing the )ig goa5. This must )e )ased on
:ust ho6 difficu5t the 6ho5e adventure 6i55 )e. If the characters successfu55% accomp5ish
this goa5 L6hich is )% no means guaranteedM$ the% 6i55 earn this )onus e8perience.
Sometimes the DM might not have a c5ear idea of 6hat the goa5 of a particu5ar
adventure is. In such a case the p5a%ers can sometimes provide the goa5$ or at 5east a c5ue.
Listen to 6hat the% thin' the% are supposed to do or 6hat the% 6ant to do. These can then
)ecome the goa5 of the adventure. Again$ assign e8perience points )ased on difficu5t% if
the% accomp5ish this.
#8perience Aoint A6ards
There are t6o categories of e8perience point a6ardsI group and individua5. Group
a6ards are divided e;ua55% among a55 mem)ers of the adventuring part%$ regard5ess of
each individua59s contri)ution. The idea here is that simp5% )eing part of a group that
accomp5ishes something teaches the p5a%er character something usefu5.
7rom a strict5% game mechanics point of vie6$ this ensures that a55 p5a%er
characters 6i55 have the opportunit% to advance in e8perience points at rough5% the same
rate. Individua5 a6ards are optiona5$ given to each p5a%er )ased on the actions of his
Group A6ards
A55 characters earn e8perience for victor% over their foes. There are t6o important
things to )ear in mind here. 7irst$ this a6ard app5ies on5% to foes or enemies of the p5a%er
charactersHHthe monster or 2A" must present a rea5 threat. "haracters never receive
e8perience for the defeat of nonHhosti5e creatures Lra))its$ catt5e$ deer$ friend5% unicornsM
or 2A"s Linn'eepers$ )eggars$ peasantsM. Second$ no e8perience is earned for situations
in 6hich the A"s have an over6he5ming advantage over their foes.
A .thH5eve5 p5a%er character 6ho needs one more e8perience point to advance in
5eve5 can9t :ust gather his friends together and hunt do6n a sing5e orc. That orc 6ou5dn9t
stand a chance$ so the p5a%er character 6as never at an% particu5ar ris'. If the same
character had gone off on his o6n$ thus ris'ing am)ush at the hands of a )and of orcs$ the
DM cou5d ru5e that the character had earned the e8perience.
The DM must decide 6hat constitutes a significant ris' to the p5a%er characters.
3ften it is sufficient if the characters thin' the% are in danger$ even 6hen the% are not.
Their o6n paranoia increases the ris' Land enhances the 5earning e8perienceM. Thus$ if the
part% runs into a )and of five 'o)o5ds and )ecomes convinced that there are , more
around the ne8t corner$ the imagined ris' )ecomes rea5 for them. In such a case$ an
e8perience point re6ard might )e appropriate.
The characters must )e victorious over the creature$ 6hich is not necessari5%
s%non%mous 6ith 'i55ing it. 1ictor% can ta'e man% forms. S5a%ing the enem% is o)vious5%
victor%? accepting surrender is victor%? routing the enem% is victor%? pressuring the
enem% to 5eave a particu5ar nec' of the 6oods )ecause things are getting too hot is a 'ind
of victor%.
A creature needn9t die for the characters to score a victor%. If the p5a%er characters
ingenious5% persuade the dragon to 5eave the vi55age a5one$ this is as muchHHif not moreHHa
victor% as chopping the )east into dragon)urgersB
&ere9s an e8amp5e of e8perience point a6ardsI De5senora and Rath$ a5ong 6ith
their henchmen$ have )een hired to drive the orcs out of (ain6ode "opse. After some
scouting$ the% spring severa5 am)ushes on orc raiding parties. *% the third shattering
defeat$ the orcs of (ain6ode decide the%9ve had enough. Leaving their vi55age$ the% cross
the range of hi55s that mar's the )oundar% of the 5and and head off for easier pic'ings
A5though De5senora and Rath have caused the orc vi55age of 2+- to 5eave$ the%
on5% get the e8perience for overcoming the +, the% )ested in am)ushes. A5though the%
did succeed in driving off the others$ the% did not face them and 6ere thus not e8posed to
persona5 ris'. #ven if the% had raided the orc vi55age$ the DM shou5d on5% give them
e8perience for those orcs the% direct5% faced. If$ in the vi55age$ the% routed the guards$
pursued them$ and caused them to run again$ the% 6ou5d on5% receive e8perience for the
guards once during the course of the )att5e. 3nce )eaten$ the guards posed no significant
threat to the part%. &o6ever$ Rath and De5senora have accomp5ished their mission of
driving out the orcs$ ma'ing them e5igi)5e for the SA a6ard for comp5eting a stor% goa5.
To determine the num)er of SA to give for overcoming enemies$ use Ta)5e +!.
7ind the &it Dice of the creature on the ta)5e. Add the additiona5 &it Dice for specia5
po6ers from Ta)5e +2 and find the ad:usted &it Dice. Add this num)er to the current &it
Dice va5ue$ so that a ! R ! &it Die creature 6ith R2 &it Dice of specia5 a)i5ities )ecomes
a + R ! &it Dice creature for ca5cu5ation purposes.
This formu5a produces an e8perience point va5ue. Mu5tip5% this va5ue )% the
num)er of creatures of that t%pe defeated and add together a55 tota5 va5ues. The resu5t is
the tota5 SA the group earns. It shou5d )e divided among a55 of the group9s surviving
p5a%er characters.
Ta)5e +!I
"reature #8perience Aoint 1a5ues
&it Dice or Leve5 SA 1a5ue
Less than !H! .
!H! to ! !,
!R! to 2 +,
2R! to + K,
+R! to - !2
-R! to , !.,
,R! to K 2.
KR! to . -2
.R! to G K,
GR! to F F.,
FR! to !R !$-
!! to !2R 2$
!+R +$ R !$ per additiona5 &it Die over !+
-able !2:
=it Dice /alue &odi$iers
Ability=it Die &odi$ier
Armor "5ass or 5o6er R!
*5ood drain R!
*reath 6eapon R2
"auses disease R!
#nerg% drain R+
75ies R!
7our or more attac's a round R!
Greater than norma5 hit points R!
&igh Inte55igence R!
&it on5% )% magica5Esi5ver 6eapons R!
Immunit% to an% spe55 R!
Immunit% to an% 6eapon$ inc5uding !E2 damage R!
Invisi)5e at 6i55 R!
Leve5 2 or 5o6er spe55s R!
Leve5 + or greater spe55s$ not cumu5ative 6ith previous a6ard R2
Magic resistance R2
Missi5e 6eapons R!
Mu5tip5e attac's causing +R points of damage R2
Aara5%sis R2
Aetrification R+
Aoison R2
Aossesses magica5 items usa)5e against A"s R!
Regeneration R!
Sing5e attac'ing causing 2R points of damage R2
Specia5 defense form$ un5isted R!
Specia5 magica5 attac' form$ un5isted R2
Specia5 nonHmagica5 attac' form$ un5isted R!
S6a55o6s 6ho5e R2
(ea'ness or fear R2
7or e8amp5e$ the p5a%er characters manage to defeat three orcs$ a rust monster$
and a green s5ime. #ach orc is 6orth !, SA$ since the% are one &it Die each and have no
specia5 a)i5ities. The rust monster is 6orth -2 SA. It has five &it Dice )ut gains a )onus
of R2 for a specia5 magica5 attac' form Lrusting e;uipmentM. The green s5ime is 6orth !.,
SA$ since its )ase t6o &it Dice are increased )% + for a specia5 nonHmagica5 attac' form
and immunit% to most spe55s and 6eapons. The p5a%er characters divv% up a tota5 of K-
2ot a55 po6ers and a)i5ities are 5isted on Ta)5e +2. (hen dea5ing 6ith a po6er not
on the 5ist$ either use the specia5 entries or compare the ne6 po6er to one a5read%
The other group a6ard is that earned for the comp5etion of an adventure. This
a6ard is determined )% the DM$ )ased on the adventure9s difficu5t%. There is no formu5a
to determine the si>e of this a6ard$ since too man% varia)5es can come into p5a%.
&o6ever$ the fo55o6ing guide5ines ma% he5p.
The stor% a6ard shou5d not )e greater than the e8perience points that can )e
earned defeating the monsters encountered during the adventure. Thus if the DM 'no6s
there are rough5% !$2 e8perience points 6orth of monsters$ the stor% a6ard shou5d not
e8ceed this amount.
The stor% a6ard shou5d give a character no more than !E!th the e8perience
points he needs to advance a 5eve5. This 6a% the character 6i55 have to underta'e severa5
adventures )efore he can advance to the ne8t 5eve5.
(ithin these guide5ines %ou have a great dea5 of 5ee6a%. 3ne of the most
important uses of stor% a6ards is to maintain 6hat %ou fee5 is the proper rate of
advancement for p5a%er characters. *% monitoring not :ust their 5eve5s$ )ut a5so their
e8perience point tota5s$ %ou can increase or decrease the rate of character advancement
through :udicious use of stor% a6ards.
7ina55%$ %ou can a6ard points on the )asis of surviva5. The amount a6arded is
entire5% up to %ou. &o6ever$ such a6ards shou5d )e 'ept sma55 and reserved for tru5%
momentous occasions. Surviva5 is its o6n re6ard. Since stor% and surviva5 a6ards go
hand in hand$ %ou ma% )e a)5e to factor the surviva5 )onus into the amount %ou give for
comp5eting the adventure.
3nce %ou have ca5cu5ated a55 the e8perience points due %our group of p5a%er
characters Land %ou shou5d do this$ not %our p5a%ersM$ divide the tota5 )% the num)er of
surviving and Lat the DM9s optionM resurrected p5a%er characters. This is the amount each
surviving character gets.
A5though characters 6ho died during the course of an adventure norma55% earn no
e8perience Lone of the pena5ties of d%ingM$ %ou can a55o6 a character to earn some
e8perience for actions ta'en )efore he died$ particu5ar5% if the character died no)5%$
through no fau5t of his o6n$ or at the ver% end of the adventure. In such a case$ it is
simp5er to give the character a f5at a6ard than to tr% to determine separate e8perience
tota5s for those actions the character 6as invo5ved in and those he 6as not.
As an option$ the DM can a6ard SA for the cash va5ue of
nonHmagica5 treasures. 3ne SA can )e given per go5d piece found. &o6ever$ overuse of
this option can increase the tendenc% to give out too much treasure in the campaign.
Individua5 #8perience A6ards L3ptiona5 Ru5eM
Individua5 e8perience point a6ards are given for things a p5a%er does or things he
has his character do. Inte55igent p5a% is 6orth e8perience? good ro5eHp5a%ing is 6orth
e8perience? actions that fit the group9s st%5e are 6orth e8perience.
A5though some of these a6ards are tied to a)i5ities$ giving out these e8perience
points is pure5% a discretionar% act. It is up to the DM to decide if a p5a%er character has
earned the a6ard and$ 6ithin a given range$ to determine the amount of the a6ard. These
a6ards are norma55% given at the end of each session$ )ut this isn9t a hardHandHfast ru5eHH
the DM can a6ard individua5 e8perience points an% time he fee5s it appropriate.
Individua5 e8perience point a6ards are divided into t6o categories. 7irst are
a6ards a55 p5a%er characters can earn$ regard5ess of c5ass. After these are the a6ards
characters can earn according to their character group and c5ass. This information is given
on Ta)5es ++ and +-.
-able !!:
Common Individual A<ards
A5a%er has a c5ever idea ,H!
A5a%er has an idea that saves the part% !H,
A5a%er ro5eHp5a%s his character 6e55Q !H2
A5a%er encourages others to participate !H2
Defeating a creature in a sing5e com)at SA va5ueEcreature
QThis a6ard can )e greater if the p5a%er character sacrifices some game advantage
to ro5eHp5a% his character. A no)5e fighter 6ho refuses a su)stantia5 re6ard )ecause it
6ou5d not )e in character ;ua5ifies.
-able !":
Individual Class A<ards
Aer &it Die of creature defeated ! SAE5eve5
Aer successfu5 use of a granted po6er ! SA
Spe55s cast to further ethos ! SAEspe55 5eve5Q
Ma'ing potion or scro55 SA va5ue
Ma'ing permanent magica5 item SA va5ue
Spe55s cast to overcome foes or pro)5ems , SAEspe55 5eve5
Spe55s successfu55% researched , SAEspe55 5eve5
Ma'ing potion or scro55 SA va5ue
Ma'ing permanent magica5 item SA va5ue
Aer successfu5 use of a specia5 a)i5it%2 SA
Aer go5d piece va5ue of treasure o)tained 2 SA
Aer &it Die of creatures defeated L)ard on5%M , SA
Q The priest character gains e8perience for those spe55s 6hich$ 6hen cast$ support
the )e5iefs and attitudes of his m%thos. Thus$ a priest of a 6ood5and deit% 6ou5d not gain
e8perience for using an entangle spe55 to trap a group of orcs 6ho 6ere attac'ing his
part%$ since this has 5itt5e to do 6ith the 6ood5ands. If the priest 6ere to use the same
spe55 to trap the same orcs :ust as the% 6ere attempting to set fire to the forest$ the
character 6ou5d gain the )onus.
(hen a6arding individua5 e8perience points$ )e sure the use 6arrants the a6ard.
Ma'e it c5ear to p5a%ers that a6ards on5% 6i55 )e given for the significant use of an a)i5it%
or spe55. <Significant use< is defined )% a com)ination of severa5 different factors. 7irst$
there must )e an o)vious reason to use the a)i5it%. A thief 6ho simp5% c5im)s ever% 6a55
he sees$ hoping to gain the e8perience a6ard$ does not meet this standard.
Second$ there must )e significant danger. 2o character shou5d get e8perience for
using his po6ers on a he5p5ess victim. A fighter does not gain e8perience for c5u))ing a
shac'5ed orc. A mage does not gain e8perience for casting a houseHc5eaning cantrip. A
thief does gain e8perience for opening the 5oc' on a merchant9s counting house$ since it
might )e trapped or magica5 a5arms might )e triggered.
Third$ e8perience points shou5d not )e a6arded 6hen a p5a%er is )eing a)usive to
others in the group or attempting to use his a)i5ities at the e8pense of others. A5a%er
characters shou5d cooperate to succeed.
(hen to A6ard #8perience Aoints
As a genera5 guide5ine$ e8perience points shou5d )e given at the end of ever%
gaming session$ 6hi5e the DM sti55 remem)ers 6hat ever%one did. If the a6arding of
e8perience points is de5a%ed for severa5 sessions$ unti5 the end of a given adventure$ there
is a chance the DM 6i55 over5oo' or forget 6hat the characters did in previous gaming
Despite this ris'$ it isn9t a56a%s practica5 to a6ard e8perience immediate5%. If the
p5a%er characters are sti55 in the heart of the dungeon 6hen the gaming session ends$ 6ait
to a6ard points unti5 the% return to the surface. The DM can ru5e that characters receive
e8perience on5% 6hen the% have the opportunit% to rest and te55 others of their e8p5oits.
This means that characters co55ect e8perience 6hen
the% return to their homes$ stop at an inn$ or the 5i'e. Since e8perience is$ in part$
increased confidence and comprehension of their o6n a)i5ities and events$ the rete55ing of
the ta5e )oosts the ego of the characters$ and this trans5ates into e8perience.
Sometimes$ even this ru5e is not app5ica)5e$ ho6ever. 7or e8amp5e$ the p5a%er
characters might )e on a 5ong :ourne% through the desert and not see a sett5ement or
friend5% sou5 for 6ee's on end. In such cases$ e8perience can )e a6arded after the
characters have had time to ref5ect upon and ana5%>e their accomp5ishments. This ma% )e
as short as overnight Lfor sma55 e8perience a6ardsM or as 5ong as severa5 da%s.
If$ for 6hatever reason$ the DM decides not to a6ard e8perience points at the end
of a gaming session$ he shou5d )e sure to ca5cu5ate and record the num)er of e8perience
points each character shou5d receive for the session and not re5% on his memor%.
#ffects of #8perience
The pro6ess of p5a%er characters is measured in 5eve5s. Leve5s are earned through
the accumu5ation of e8perience points. A separate ta)5e for each character group Lsho6n
in "hapter + of the Player's HandbookM te55s ho6 man% e8perience points characters of
that group need to attain each 5eve5.
(hen a character earns enough e8perience to attain the ne8t 5eve5 for his
character c5ass$ he immediate5% gains severa5 )enefits Lun5ess the optiona5 ru5es for
training are usedM. The character gains an additiona5 die of hit points$ or a set num)er of
hit points at higher 5eve5s. These are added to )oth his current tota5 and his ma8imum
num)er of hit points. The character ma% or ma% not improve in other a)i5ities$ inc5uding
com)at and saving thro6s$ dependent upon his character c5ass.
Training L3ptiona5 Ru5eM
Some DMs do not 5i'e the idea that a character can instant5% advance in 5eve5
simp5% )% ac;uiring enough e8perience points. To their minds a55 improvement is
associated 6ith schoo5ing$ practice$ and stud%. 3thers argue that characters are constant5%
doing these things to increase their a)i5it% so forma5 schoo5ing is not re;uired. #ither case
ma% )e true.
The DM might choose to re;uire characters to train )efore the% increase in 5eve5.
To train$ a character must have a tutor or instructor. This tutor must )e of the same c5ass
and higher 5eve5 than the one the character is training for. Thus$ a .thH5eve5 fighter
training for GthH5eve5 must )e taught )% a FthH5eve5 or higher fighter. The tutor must a5so
'no6 the appropriate things. 7ighters specia5i>ed in a given 6eapon must find a tutor a5so
specia5i>ed in that 6eapon. Mages see'ing to stud% a particu5ar spe55 must find a tutor
6ho 'no6s that spe55. A thief see'ing to improve his 5oc'pic'ing must find a higherH5eve5
tutor more accomp5ished in 5oc'pic'ing.
Since not a55 characters are suited to instructing others$ an% p5a%er character 6ho
attempts to train another must ma'e )oth a (isdom chec' and a "harisma chec'. If the
(isdom chec' is passed$ the p5a%er character possesses the patience and insight to
nurture the student. If the "harisma chec' is passed$ the character a5so has the 6it$
firmness$ and authorit% needed to impress the 5essons on the student. If either chec' is
fai5ed$ that character is c5ose$ )ut :ust not a teacher. If )oth chec's are fai5ed$ the character
has a)so5ute5% no aptitude for teaching. A5ternative5%$ the DM can dispense 6ith the die
ro55s and ru5e for each p5a%er character$ )ased on his 'no65edge of that character9s
persona5it%. It is assumed that a55 2A" tutors have successfu55% passed these chec's.
Second$ the character must pa% the tutor. There is no set amount for this. The tutor
6i55 charge 6hat he thin's he can get a6a% 6ith$ )ased on either greed or reputation. The
e8act cost must )e 6or'ed out )et6een p5a%er character and tutor$ )ut an average of !
gp per 5eve5 pr 6ee' is not uncommon.
7ina55%$ the p5a%er character must spend time in training. The amount of time
re;uired depends on the instructor9s (isdom. Su)tract the (isdom score from !F. This is
the minimum num)er of 6ee's the p5a%er character must spend in trainingHHit ta'es his
instructor this 5ong to go through a55 the 5essons and dri55s. At the end of this time$ the
p5a%er character ma'es an Inte55igence or (isdom chec'$ 6hichever is higher.
If the chec' is successfu5$ the 5essons have )een 5earned and the character can
advance in 5eve5. If the chec' is fai5ed$ the character must spend another 6ee' in training.
At the end of this time$ another chec' is made$ 6ith a R! app5ied to the character9s
Inte55igence or (isdom score. The resu5ts are the same as a)ove$ 6ith each additiona5
6ee' spent in training giving another R! to the character9s a)i5it% score. This R! is for the
purpose of determining the success or fai5ure of the chec' on5%. It is not permanent or
3ne o)vious resu5t of the training s%stem is the deve5opment of different
academies that specia5i>e in training different character c5asses. *ecause of their
importance in the adventuring communit%$ these academies can )ecome ;uite po6erfu5 in
the 5ives of the p5a%er characters. Imagine the disastrous effect shou5d one of the p5a%er
characters )e )5ac'5isted )% his appropriate academ%. A5though the DM shou5d not a)use
such po6er$ the p5a%er characters shou5d treat such institutions 6ith care and respect.
Rate of Advancement
The AD&D game is intentiona55% ver% f5e8i)5e concerning ho6 s5o65% or ;uic'5%
characters earn e8perienceHHin genera5$ this is 5eft to the discretion of the DM. Some
p5a%ers prefer a game of s5o6 advancement$ a55o6ing them time to deve5op and e8p5ore
imaginar% persona5ities. 3ther p5a%ers 5i'e a much faster pace and a definite fee5ing of
progress. #ach DM and his p5a%ers 6i55 5i'e5% sett5e into a pace that )est suits their group$
6ithout even rea5i>ing it.
There is on5% one hard and fast ru5e concerning advancement. A5a%er characters
shou5d never advance more than one 5eve5 per time e8perience is a6arded. If a gaming
session ends and a character has earned enough e8perience points to advance t6o 5eve5s$
the e8cess points are 5ost. The DM shou5d give the character enough e8perience to p5ace
him some6here )et6een ha5f6a% and one point )e5o6 the ne8t highest 5eve5.
An average pace in an AD&D game campaign is considered to )e three to si8
adventures per 5eve5$ 6ith more time per 5eve5 as the characters reach higher 5eve5s.
&o6ever$ it is possi)5e to advance as ;uic'5% as one 5eve5 per adventure or as s5o65% as
! or more adventures per 5eve5. The DM shou5d 5isten to his p5a%ers.
If the p5a%ers are en:o%ing themse5ves and aren9t comp5aining a)out <not getting
an%6here$< then things are fine. If$ on the other hand$ the% grouse a)out ho6 the% never
get an% )etter or the%9re ;uic'5% reaching the highest 5eve5s in the game$ the pace of
advancement pro)a)5% needs to )e ad:usted. This$ 5i'e much that dea5s 6ith a6arding
e8perience$ ma% not come to a DM immediate5%. Let e8perience )e %our guide.
Chapter +:
The AD&D game is an adventure game designed to give p5a%ers a fee5ing of e8citement
and danger. "haracters )rave the un'no6n peri5s of mo5dering dungeons and thornH
covered 6i5derness$ facing hideous monsters and evi5 vi55ains. Thus$ it is important for a55
p5a%ers to 'no6 the )asic ru5es for hand5ing com)at.
To create the proper sense of danger and e8citement$ the ru5es for com)at must )e
thorough$ )ut the% a5so must )e p5a%a)5e and e8citing enough to create a vivid picture in
the minds of the p5a%ers. "om)at in the AD&D game has to a55o6 man% different actions
and outcomesHHas man% as the imagination can produce. 0no6ing that an%thing cou5d
happen ne8t$ )ecause the ru5es a55o6 it$ creates e8citement for ever%one.
"reating 1ivid "om)at Scenes
Since this isn9t a com)at game$ the ru5es are not u5traHdetai5ed$ defining the e8act
effect of ever% )5o6$ the su)t5e differences )et6een o)scure 6eapons$ the 5ocation of
ever% piece of armor on the )od%$ or the horrif%ing resu5ts of an actua5 s6ord fight. Too
man% ru5es s5o6 do6n p5a% Lta'ing a6a% from the rea5 adventureM and restrict
imagination. &o6 much fun is it 6hen a character$ read% to tr% an ama>ing and heroic
deed$ is to5d$ <4ou can9t do that )ecause it9s against the ru5es.<
A5a%ers shou5d )e a55o6ed to tr% 6hatever the% 6antHHespecia55% if 6hat the% 6ant
6i55 add to the spirit of adventure and e8citement. @ust remem)er that there is a difference
)et6een tr%ing and succeeding.
To have the most fun p5a%ing the AD&D game$ don9t re5% on5% on the ru5es. Li'e
so much in a good ro5eHp5a%ing adventure$ com)at is a drama$ a staged p5a%. The DM is
)oth the p5a%6right and the director$ creating a theatrica5 com)at. If a character 6ants to
tr% 6rest5ing a storm giant to the ground$ 5et him. And a character 6ho tries 5eaping from
a second f5oor 6indo6 onto the )ac' of a passing orc is adding to ever%one9s fun.
The tric' to ma'ing com)at vivid is to )e 5ess concerned 6ith the ru5es than 6ith
6hat is happening at each instant of p5a%. If com)at is on5% <I hit. I miss. I hit again$< then
something is missing. "om)ats shou5d )e more 5i'e$ <3ne orc duc's under the ta)5e
:a))ing at %our 5egs 6ith his s6ord. The other tries to ma'e a f5%ing tac'5e$ )ut misses
and spra65s to the f5oor in the midd5e of the part%B< This ta'es description$ timing$
strateg%$ humor$ andHHperhaps most important of a55HH'no6ing 6hen to use the ru5es and
6hen to )end them.
More Than @ust &ac'HandHS5ash
As important as fighting is to the AD&D game$ it isn9t the )eHa55 and endHa55 of
p5a%. It9s :ust one 6a% for characters to dea5 6ith situations. If characters cou5d do nothing
)ut fight$ the game 6ou5d ;uic'5% get )oring. #ver% encounter 6ou5d )e the same.
*ecause there is more to the game than fighting$ 6e955 cover much more than simp5e
hac'HandHs5ash com)at in this chapter.
In addition to e8p5aining the )asic mechanics of hitting and missing$ there are
ru5es for turning undead$ specia5 6a%s to attac' and defend$ ru5es a)out poison$ advice for
hand5ing heroic feats$ and more.
Man% game terms are used throughout the com)at ru5es. To understand the ru5es$
p5a%ers must understand these terms$ so )rief e8p5anations appear )e5o6. 7urther detai5s
are provided throughout this chapter.
Armor Class CACD is the protective rating of a t%pe of armor. In some
circumstances$ A" is modified )% the amount of protection gained or 5ost )ecause of the
character9s situation. 7or instance$ crouching )ehind a )ou5der improves a character9s
Armor "5ass$ 6hi5e )eing attac'ed from )ehind 6orsens his A".
A)i5ities and situations can a5so affect a character9s Armor "5ass. &igh De8terit%
gives a )onus to Armor "5ass$ for e8amp5e. *ut even a character 6ith a De8terit% )onus
can have this )onus negated if he is attac'ed from the rear.
Armor provides protection )% reducing the chance that a character is attac'ed
successfu55% Land suffers damageM. Armor does not a)sor) damage$ it prevents it. A
fighter in fu55 p5ate mai5 ma% )e a s5o6Hmoving target$ )ut penetrating his armor to cause
an% damage is no sma55 tas'.
Armor "5ass is measured on a sca5e from !$ the 6orst Lno armorM$ to H!$ the )est
Lver% po6erfu5 magica5 armorsM. The 5o6er the num)er$ the more effective the armor.
Shie5ds can a5so improve the A" of a character.
Damage CDD is 6hat happens to a character 6hen an opponent attac's him
successfu55%. Damage can a5so occur as a resu5t of poison$ fire$ fa55ing$ acid$ and an%thing
even remote5% dangerous in the rea5 6or5d. Damage from most attac's is measured in hit
points. #ach time a character is hit$ he suffers points of damage. It cou5d )e as 5itt5e as !
point to as man% as G or more. These points are su)tracted from the character9s current
hit point tota5. (hen this tota5 reaches $ the character is dead.
Initiative determines the order in 6hich things happen in a com)at round. Li'e so
man% things in the 6or5d$ initiative is determined )% a com)ination of a)i5it%$ situation$
and chance.
At the start of each round of a )att5e$ an initiative ro55 is made )% )oth sides. This
ro55 can )e modified )% the a)i5ities of the com)atants and )% the situation. The person or
side 6ith the 5o6er modified die ro55 acts first.
&elee is an% situation in 6hich characters are )att5ing each other handHtoHhand$
6hether 6ith fists$ teeth$ c5a6s$ s6ords$ a8es$ pi'es$ or something e5se. Strength and
De8terit% are va5ua)5e assets in me5ee.
&issile combat is defined as an% time a 6eapon is shot$ thro6n$ hur5ed$ 'ic'ed$
or other6ise prope55ed. Missi5e and me5ee com)at have the same )asic ru5es$ )ut there are
specia5 situations and modifiers that app5% on5% to missi5e com)at.
Saving thro<s are measures of a character9s resistance to specia5 t%pes of
attac'sHHpoisons$ magic$ and attac's that affect the 6ho5e )od% or mind of the character.
The a)i5it% to ma'e successfu5 saving thro6s improves as the character increases in 5eve5.
Surprise can happen an% time characters une8pected5% meet another group
Lmonsters$ evi5 'nights$ peasants$ etc.M. Surprise is simp5% 6hat happens 6hen one sideHHa
person or part%HHis ta'en una6ares$ una)5e to react unti5 the% gather their 6its. Their
opponents$ if unsurprised$ are a55o6ed a )onus round of action 6hi5e the surprised
characters recover. It9s entire5% possi)5e for )oth sides in a given situation to )e surprisedB
Attac'ing 6ith surprise gives )onuses to the attac' ro55 Lsee Ta)5e +,M. A surprised
character a5so has a decreased chance of ro55ing a successfu5 saving thro6$ if one is
Surprise is determined )% a die ro55 and is norma55% chec'ed at the )eginning of
an encounter. Surprise is ver% unpredicta)5e$ so there are ver% fe6 modifiers to the ro55.
-=AC, is an acron%m for <To &it Armor "5ass .< This is the num)er a
character$ 2A"$ or monster needs to attac' an Armor "5ass target successfu55%. T&A"
depends on a character9s group and 5eve5 or a monster9s &it Dice Lsee Ta)5es +.H+FM. The
T&A" num)er can )e used to ca5cu5ate the num)er needed to hit an% Armor "5ass.
T&A" is refigured each time a character increases in 5eve5. /sing T&A" speeds the
p5a% of com)at great5%.
The Attac' Ro55
At the heart of the com)at s%stem is the attac' ro55. This is the die ro55 that
determines 6hether an attac' succeeds or fai5s. The num)er a p5a%er needs to ma'e a
successfu5 attac' ro55 is a5so ca55ed the <toHhit< num)er.
Attac' ro55s are used for attac's 6ith s6ords$ )o6s$ roc's$ and other 6eapons$ as
6e55 as )5o6s from fists$ tac'5ing$ and various handHtoHhand attac's. Attac' ro55s are a5so
used to reso5ve a variet% of actions that re;uire accurac% Le.g.$ thro6ing a roc' at a sma55
target or tossing a s6ord to a part% mem)er in the midd5e of a fightM.
7iguring the ToH&it 2um)er
The first step in ma'ing an attac' ro55 is to find the num)er needed to hit the
target. Su)tract the Armor "5ass of the target from the attac'er9s T&A". Remem)er that
if the Armor "5ass is a negative num)er$ %ou add it to the attac'er9s T&A". The
character has to ro55 the resu5ting num)er$ or higher$ on !d2 to hit the target. &ere9s a
simp5e e8amp5eI
*ath has reached 4th level as a 'ighter- His )HA#5 is 36 7'ound on )able 89:;
meaning he needs to roll a 36 or better to hit a character or creature o' Armor #lass 5-
,n combat; *ath; attacking an orc wearing chainmail armor 7A# <:; needs to roll
an 9 736=< > 9:- An 9 or higher on 3d?5 will hit the orc- ,' *ath hits; he rolls the
a&&ro&riate dice 7see )able 66 in the Player's Handbook: to determine how much
damage he in'licts-
Modifiers to the Attac' Ro55
The e8amp5e a)ove is ;uite simp5e. In a t%pica5 AD&D game com)at situation$
T&A" is modified )% 6eapon )onuses$ Strength )onuses$ and the 5i'e. 7igure Strength
6eapon modifiers$ su)tract the tota5 from the )ase T&A"$ and record this modified
T&A" for each 6eapon on the character sheet. Su)tract the target9s Armor "5ass from
this modified T&A" 6hen determining the num)er needed to attac' successfu55%.
&ere9s the same e8amp5e$ 6ith some common modifiers thro6n inI
*ath is still a 4th=level 'ighter- He has a Strength o' 39(95 7which gives him a 1?
bonus to his attack roll:- He 'ights with a long sword 13- His )HA#@ is 36; modi'ied to
3? by his Strength and to 33 by his wea&on- ,' attacking the orc 'rom the earlier e!am&le;
*ath would have to roll a 2 or higher on 3d?5 in order to hit 733=<>2:- Again; )able 66 in
the Player's Handbook
would tell him how much damage he in'licts with his wea&on 7this in'ormation should
also be written on his character sheet:-
In com)at$ man% factors can modif% the num)er a character needs for a successfu5
hit. These varia)5es are ref5ected in modifiers to the toHhit num)er or to the attac' ro55.
Strength &odi$iers: A character9s Strength can modif% the die ro55$ a5tering )oth
the chance to hit and the damage caused. This modifier is a56a%s app5ied to me5ees and
attac's 6ith hur5ed missi5e 6eapons La spear or an a8eM.
A positive Strength modifier can )e app5ied to )o6s if the character has a specia5
)o6 made for him$ designed to ta'e advantage of his high Strength. "haracters 6ith
Strength pena5ties a56a%s suffer them 6hen using a )o6. The% simp5% are not a)5e to
dra6 )ac' the )o6string far enough. "haracters never have Strength modifiers 6hen
using cross)o6sHHthe po6er of the shot is imparted )% a machine.
&agical Items: The magica5 properties of a 6eapon can a5so modif% com)at.
Items that impart a )onus to the attac' ro55 or Armor "5ass are identified )% a p5us sign.
7or e8amp5e$ a sword 13 improves a character9s chance to hit )% one. A suit of chain mail
13 improves the Armor "5ass of the character )% one L6hich means %ou su)tract one
from the character9s A"$ changing an A" of , to an A" of -$ for e8amp5eM. "ursed items
have a negative modifier La pena5t%M$ resu5ting in a su)traction from the attac' ro55 or an
addition to Armor "5ass.
There is no 5imit to the num)er of modifiers that can )e app5ied to a sing5e die
ro55. 2or is there a 5imit to the positive or negative num)er Lthe tota5 of a55 modifiersM that
can )e app5ied to a die ro55.
Ta)5e +, 5ists some standard com)at modifiers. Aositive num)ers are )onuses for
the attac'er? negative num)ers are pena5ties.
-able !#:
Combat &odi$iers
Situation Attac@ oll &odi$ier
Attac'er on higher ground R!
Defender invisi)5e H-
Defender offH)a5ance R2
Defender s5eeping or he5d AutomaticQ
Defender stunned or prone R-
Defender surprised R!
Missi5e fire$ 5ong range H,
Missi5e fire$ medium range H2
Rear attac' R2
Q If the defender is attac'ed during the course of a norma5 me5ee$ the attac' automatica55%
hits and causes norma5 damage. If no other fighting is going on Li.e.$ a55 others have )een
s5ain or driven offM$ the defender can )e s5ain automatica55%.
The DM can a5so thro6 in situationa5 modifiers$ Le.g.$ a )onus if the target is
struc' from )ehind$ or a pena5t% if the target is crouching )ehind a )ou5derM. If the fina5$
modified die ro55 on !d2 is e;ua5 to or greater than the num)er needed to hit the target$
the attac' succeeds. If the ro55 is 5o6er than that needed$ the attac' fai5s.
(eapon T%pe vs. Armor Modifiers L3ptiona5 Ru5eM
2ot a55 6eapons perform the same. If the% did$ there 6ou5d )e no need for the
6ide variet% of 6eapons that e8ist. 3n5% one form of each 6eaponHt%pe$ the most usefu5
one$ 6ou5d )e used throughout the 6or5d. This is o)vious5% not the case.
Aside from the differences in si>e$ 6eight$ 5ength$ and shape$ certain t%pes of
6eapons are more usefu5 against some t%pes of armor than others. Indeed$ the different
armors and 6eapons of the 6or5d are the resu5t of an ancient arms race. #ver% ne6
6eapon 5ed to the deve5opment of a ne6 t%pe of armor designed to counter it. This 5ed to
ne6 6eapons$ 6hich 5ed to ne6 armor$ and so on.
-he /arious -ypes o$ 2eapons
In the AD&D game$ 6eapons fa55 into severa5 categories$ )ased on ho6 the% are
used. The three )asic categories are s5ashing$ piercing$ and )5udgeoning.
Slashing <eapons inc5ude s6ords$ a8es$ and 'nives. Damage is caused )% the
com)ination of 6eight$ musc5e$ and a good sharp edge.
Piercing <eapons Lsome s6ords$ spears$ pi'es$ arro6s$ :ave5ins$ etc.M re5% on the
penetrating po6er of a sing5e sharp point and much 5ess on the 6eight of the 6eapon.
6ludgeoning <eapons Lmaces$ hammers$ and f5ai5sM depend a5most entire5% on
the impact caused )% 6eight and musc5e.
A fe6 6eapons$ particu5ar5% some of the more e8otic po5e arms$ fa55 into more
than one of these categories. A ha5)erd can )e used as a po5eHa8e La s5ashing 6eaponM or
as a short pi'e La piercing 6eaponM.
The versati5it% of these 6eapons provides the user 6ith a com)at advantage in
that the mode most favora)5e to the attac'er can )e used$ depending upon the situation.
.atural <eapons can a5so )e c5assified according to their attac' t%pe. "5a6s are
s5ashing 6eapons? a )ite pierces? a tai5Hattac' )5udgeons. The DM must decide 6hich is
most appropriate to the creature and method of attac'.
Armor typesB in turn$ have different ;ua5ities. 7ie5d p5ate is more effective$
overa55$ than other armors )% virtue of the amount and thic'ness of the meta5. *ut it sti55
has 6ea'nesses against certain c5asses of 6eapons.
Ta)5e +K 5ists the 6eapon vs. armor modifiers app5ied to the attac'er9s T&A"$ if
this optiona5 s%stem is used. To use this ta)5e$ the actua5 armor t%pe of the target must )e
'no6n. The )onuses of magica5 armor do not change the t%pe of armor$ on5% the fina5
Armor "5ass.
This s%stem is used on5% 6hen attac'ing creatures in armor. The modifiers are not
used 6hen attac'ing creatures 6ith a natura5 Armor "5ass.
-able !%:
2eapon -ype /sE Armor &odi$iers
Armor -ype Slash Pierce 6ludgeon
*anded mai5 R2 R!
*rigandine R! R!
"hain mai5Q R2 H2
7ie5d p5ate R+ R!
7u55 p5ate R- R+
Leather armorQQ H2
A5ate mai5 R+
Ring mai5 R! R!
Sca5e mai5 R!
Sp5int mai5 R! R2
Studded 5eather R2 R!
Q Inc5udes )ron>e p5ate mai5
QQ Inc5udes padded armor and hides
Impossi)5e ToH&it 2um)ers
Sometimes the attac'er9s toHhit num)er seems impossi)5e to ro55. An attac' might
)e so difficu5t it re;uires a ro55 greater than 2 Lon a 2Hsided dieM$ or so ridicu5ous5% eas%
it can )e made on a ro55 5ess than !. In )oth cases$ an attac' ro55 is sti55 re;uired.
The reason is simp5eI (ith positive die ro55 modifiers Lfor magic$ Strength$
situation$ or 6hateverM$ a num)er greater than 2 can )e ro55ed. Li'e6ise$ die ro55
pena5ties can push the attac' ro55 )e5o6 .
2o matter 6hat num)er a character needs to hit$ a ro55 of 2 is a56a%s considered
a hit and a ro55 of ! is a56a%s a missHHun5ess the DM ru5es other6ise. /nder most
circumstances$ a natura5 2 hits and a natura5 ! misses$ regard5ess of an% modifiers
app5ied to the die ro55.
Thus$ even if a character9s chance to hit a monster is 2+ and the character has a H+
pena5t% app5ied to the die ro55$ he might
)e a)5e to score a hitHH)ut on5% if the die ro55 is a 2 )efore an% modifiers are app5ied.
Li'e6ise$ a character a)5e to hit a monster on a + or )etter$ 6aving a sword 16$ cou5d sti55
miss if a ! is ro55ed on the die.
There are no sure things$ good or )ad$ in the unpredicta)5e chaos of com)at
"a5cu5ating T&A"
To ma'e an attac' ro55$ the character9s T&A" must )e 'no6n. This depends on
the group and 5eve5$ if the attac'er is a p5a%er character or 2A"$ or the &it Dice if the
attac'er is a monster or an anima5. A55 !stH5eve5 characters have T&A"s of 2.
7or a character of 5eve5 ! through 5eve5 2$ consu5t Ta)5e +G. This ta)5e 5ists the
T&A" num)er of each group through 2th 5eve5$ so p5a%ers don9t have to perform an%
7or a character higher than 2th 5eve5$ find the Improvement Rate for the
character9s group in Ta)5e +.. There %ou955 find the num)er of 5eve5s a character must
advance to reduce his T&A" )% ! or more points. "a5cu5ate the character9s T&A"
according to his 5eve5. A priest$ for e8amp5e$ improves )% t6o for ever% three 5eve5s he
advances. A ,th 5eve5 c5eric 6ou5d have a T&A" of !G. A rogue La thief or )ardM
improves one point ever% t6o 5eve5s. A !.thH5eve5 rogue 6ou5d have a T&A" of !2.
Ta)5e +G 5ists the T&A" num)er of each group at each 5eve5.
"reatures do not have character c5asses and 5eve5s$ so the% ca5cu5ate T&A"s
different5%$ )asing it on the &it Dice of the creature. Ta)5e +F 5ists the T&A" num)er for
monsters having various num)ers of &it Dice. (hen a creature has three or more points
added to its &it Dice$ count another die 6hen consu5ting the ta)5e.
-able !(:
-=AC, Advancement
Group Improvement ate Points?0evel
Ariest 2E+
Rogue !E2
(arrior !E!
(i>ard !E+
-able !):
Group ! 2 + - , K . G F ! !!
!2 !+ !- !, !K !. !G !F 2
Ariest 2 2 2 !G !G !G !K !K !K !- !-
!- !2 !2 !2 ! ! ! G G
Rogue 2 2 !F !F !G !G !. !. !K !K !,
!, !- !- !+ !+ !2 !2 !! !!
(arrior 2 !F !G !. !K !, !- !+ !2 !!
! F G . K , - + 2 !
(i>ard2 2 2 !F !F !F !G !G !G !. !.
!. !K !K !K !, !, !, !- !-
Ta)5e +FI
"reature T&A"
&it Dice
!E2 or 5ess !H! !R 2R +R -R ,R KR .R GR FR !R !!R
!2R !+R !-R !,R !KR
2 2 !F !F !. !. !, !, !+ !+ !! !! F F .
. , ,
"om)at and #ncounters
#ncounters are the heart of the AD&D game. And since encounters 6ith monsters and
2A"s often 5ead to com)at$ an understanding of 6hat happens during )att5es is vita5.
There are severa5 factors the DM 6i55 consider in an% com)at$ most of 6hich arise from
the circumstances of the encounter. Is an%one surprised= &o6 far apart are the
opponents= &o6 man% of them are there= Ans6ers to these ;uestions are found in
"hapter !!I #ncounters. These are ;uestions common to a55 encounters$ 6hether com)at
The "om)at Round
If an encounter esca5ates into a com)at situation$ the time sca5e of the game
automatica55% goes to rounds La5so ca55ed me5ee rounds$ or com)at roundsM. Rounds are
used to measure the actions of characters in com)at or other intensive actions in 6hich
time is important.
A round is appro8imate5% one minute. Ten com)at rounds e;ua5 a turn Lor$ put
another 6a%$ a turn e;ua5s ! minutes of game timeM. This is particu5ar5% important to
remem)er for spe55s that 5ast for turns$ rather than rounds.
*ut these are :ust appro8imationsHHprecise time measurements are impossi)5e to
ma'e in com)at. An action that might )e ridicu5ous5% eas% under norma5 circumstances
cou5d )ecome an underta'ing of tru5% heroic sca5e 6hen attempted in the midd5e of a
furious$ chaotic )att5e.
Imagine the simp5e act of im)i)ing a healing &otion. 7irst a character decides to
drin' the potion )efore retiring for the night. A55 he has to do is get it out of his )ac'pac'$
uncor' it$ and drin' the contents. 2o pro)5em.
2o6 imagine the same thing in the midd5e of a fight. The potion is safe5% sto6ed
in the character9s )ac'pac'. 7irst he ta'es stoc' of the situation to see if an%one e5se can
get the potion out for him. &o6ever$ not surprising5%$ ever%one is rather )us%. So$ s6ord
in one hand$ he shrugs one strap of the pac' off his shou5der. Then$ :ust as t6o orcs 5eap
to6ard him$ the other strap threatens to s5ip do6n$ entang5ing his s6ord arm. A5read% the
5oose strap 'eeps him from fu55% using his shie5d.
&o5ding the shie5d as )est as possi)5e in front of him$ he scram)5es )ac'6ard to
avoid the monsters9 6i5d s6ings. &e gets pushed )ac' a fe6 more feet 6hen a companion
shou5ders past to )5oc' and give him a 5itt5e time. So he 'nee5s$ 5a%s do6n his s6ord$ and
s5ips the )ac'pac' a55 the 6a% off. &earing a 6i5d cr%$ he instinctive5% s6ings up his
shie5d :ust in time to 6ard off a g5ancing )5o6.
Rummaging through the pac'$ he fina55% finds the potion$ pu55s it out$ and$
hudd5ing )ehind his shie5d$ 6or's the cor' free. @ust then there is a f5ash of f5ame a55
around himHHa fire)a55B &e grits his teeth against the heat$ shoc'$ and pain and tries not to
crush or spi55 the potion via5. *iting )ac' the pain of the f5ames$ he is re5ieved to see the
potion is intact.
&e ;uic'5% gu5ps it do6n$ rec5aims his s6ord$ 'ic's his )ac'pac' out of the 6a%$
and runs )ac' up to the front 5ine. In game terms$ the character 6ithdre6$ 6as missed )%
one attac'er$ made a successfu5 saving thro6 vs. spe55 Lfrom the 'ireball spe55M$ dran' a
potion$ and 6as read% for com)at the ne8t round.
(hat 4ou "an Do in 3ne Round
(hatever the precise 5ength of a com)at round$ a character can accomp5ish on5%
one )asic action in that round$ )e it ma'ing an attac'$ casting a spe55$ drin'ing a potion$
or tending to a fa55en comrade. The )asic action$ ho6ever$ ma% invo5ve severa5 5esser
(hen ma'ing an attac'$ a character is 5i'e5% to c5ose 6ith his opponent$ circ5e for
an opening$ feint here$ :a) there$ )5oc' a thrust$ 5eap )ac'$ and perhaps fina55% ma'e a
te55ing )5o6. A spe55caster might fum)5e for his components$ dodge an attac'er$ menta55%
revie6 the steps of the spe55$ intone the spe55$ and then move to safet% 6hen it is a55 done.
It a5read% has )een sho6n 6hat drin'ing a potion might entai5. A55 of these things cou5d
happen in a )it 5ess than a minute or more$ )ut the standard is one minute and one action
to the round.
Some e8amp5es of the actions a character can accomp5ish inc5ude the fo55o6ingI
8 Ma'e an attac' Lma'e attac' ro55s up to the ma8imum num)er a55o6ed the
character c5ass at a given 5eve5M
8 "ast one spe55 Lif the casting time is one round or 5essM
8 Drin' a potion
8 Light a torch
8 /se a magica5 item
8 Move to the 5imit of his movement rate
8 Attempt to open a stuc' or secret door
8 *ind a character9s 6ounds
8 Search a )od%
8 &ammer in a spi'e
8 Recover a dropped 6eapon
There are a5so actions that ta'e a neg5igi)5e amount of time$ things the character does
6ithout affecting his a)i5it% to perform a more important tas'. #8amp5es of these inc5ude
the fo55o6ingI
8 Shout 6arnings$ )rief instructions$ or demands for surrenderHH)ut not
6here a rep5% is e8pected.
8 "hange 6eapons )% dropping one and dra6ing another.
8 Drop e8cess e;uipment$ such as )ac'pac's$ 5anterns$ or torches.
The "om)at Se;uence
In rea5 5ife$ com)at is one of the c5osest things to pure anarch%. #ach side is
attempting to harm the other$ essentia55% causing disorder and chaos. Thus$ com)ats are
fi55ed 6ith un'no6nsHHunp5anned events$ fai5ed attac's$ 5ac' of communication$ and
genera5 confusion and uncertaint%. &o6ever$ to p5a% a )att5e in the game$ it is necessar%
to impose some order on the actions. (ithin a com)at round$ there is a set series of steps
that must )e fo55o6ed. These areI
1E The DM decides 6hat actions the monsters or 2A"s 6i55 ta'e$ inc5uding casting
spe55s$ if an%.
2E The p5a%ers indicate 6hat their characters 6i55 do$ inc5uding and casting of
!E Initiative is determined.
"E Attac's are made in order of initiative.
These steps are fo55o6ed unti5 the com)at endsHHeither one side is defeated$
surrenders$ or runs a6a%.
.PC?&onster Determination: In the first step$ the DM secret5% decides in
genera5 terms 6hat each opponent 6i55 do$ such as attac'$ f5ee$ or cast a spe55. &e does
not announce his decisions to the p5a%ers. If a spe55 is to )e cast$ the DM pic's the spe55
)efore the p5a%ers announce their characters9 actions.
Player Determination: 2e8t$ the p5a%ers give a genera5 indication of 6hat their
characters are p5anning to do. This does not have to )e perfect5% precise and can )e
changed some6hat if the DM decides that circumstances 6arrant.
If the characters are )att5ing go)5ins$ a p5a%er can sa%$ <M% fighter 6i55 attac'<
6ithout announcing 6hich go)5in he 6i55 stri'e. If the characters are )att5ing a mi8ed
group of go)5ins and ogres$ the p5a%er has to state 6hether his character is attac'ing
go)5ins or ogres.
Spe55s to )e cast must a5so )e announced at this time and cannot )e changed once
the initiative die is ro55ed. In an% situation 6here the a)i5ities of a character cou5d ma'e a
difference$ a c5ear description must )e given.
*efore moving on$ the DM 6i55 ma'e sure he has a c5ear idea of not on5% 6hat the
p5a%er characters are doing$ )ut a5so 6hat actions an% hire5ings and henchmen are ta'ing.
3nce he has a c5ear vie6 of ever%thing that9s 5i'e5% to happen$ the DM can overru5e an%
announced action that vio5ates the ru5es Lor in the case of an 2A"$ is out of characterM.
&e is not re;uired to overru5e an impossi)5e action$ )ut he can 5et a character
attempt it an%6a%$ 'no6ing fu55 6e55 the character cannot succeed. It is not the DM9s
position to advise p5a%ers on the )est strategies$ most inte55igent actions$ or optimum
maneuvers for their characters.
Initiative: In the third step$ dice are ro55ed to determine initiative$ according to
the ru5es for initiative.
esolution: In the 5ast step$ A"s$ 2A"s$ and monsters ma'e their attac's$ spe55s
occur$ and an% other actions are reso5ved according to the order of initiative.
The a)ove se;uence is not immuta)5e. Indeed$ some monsters vio5ate the standard
se;uence$ and some situations demand the app5ication of common sense. In these cases
the DM9s 6ord is fina5.
&ere9s an e8amp5e of the com)at se;uence in actionI
*ath is leading a &arty through the corridors o' a dungeon- *ight behind him are
*u&ert and Delsenora- *ounding a bend; they see a grou& o' orcs and trolls about ?5 'eet
away- $o one is sur&rised by the encounter-
)he DM has notes telling him that the orcs are hesitant- He secretly decides that
they will 'all back and let the trolls 'ight- )he trolls; able to regenerate; are naturally
overcon'ident and ste& 'orward to the 'ront rank 7cursing the orcs at the same time:-
)urning to the &layers; the DM asks; A%hat are you going to doBA
Harry 7&laying *ath; a dwar' who hates orcsC A@rcsB==#HA*GDA
Anne 7&laying Delsenora the Mage:C AUh; whatDB %ait- Don't do that - - - , was going
to - - - now , can't use a 'ireball s&ell-A
DMC A*ath is charging 'orward- Euick==what are you doingBA
Fon 7&laying *u&ert; the hal'=el'; to Anne:C A#ast a s&ellD 7)o DM: #an , 'ire my bow
over himBA
DMC ASure; he's short-A
FonC A@G; ,'ll shoot at orcs-A
DMC AAnne; tell me what Delsenora's doing or she'll lose the round trying to make u& her
AnneC AGot itD My acid arrow s&ell at the lead troll-A
DMC A.ine- Harry; *ath is in 'ront- *oll 'or initiative-A
The initiative ro55 determines 6ho acts first in an% given com)at round. Initiative
is not set$ )ut changes from round to roundHHcom)at )eing an uncertain thing$ at )est. A
character never 'no6s for certain if he 6i55 get to act )efore another.
Initiative is norma55% determined 6ith a sing5e ro55 for each side in a conf5ict. This
te55s 6hether a55 the mem)ers of the group get to act )efore or after those of the other
There are a5so t6o optiona5 methods that can )e used to determine initiative. #ach
of these optiona5 methods )rea's the group action do6n into more individua5 initiatives.
&o6ever$ the genera5 method of determining initiative remains the same in a55 cases.
Standard Initiative Arocedure
To determine the initiative order for a round of com)at$ ro55 !d! for each side in
the )att5e. 2orma55%$ this means the DM ro55s for the monsters or 2A"s$ 6hi5e one of the
p5a%ers ro55s for the A" part%. Lo6 ro55 6ins initiative. If more than t6o sides are
invo5ved in com)at$ the remaining sides act in ascending order of initiative.
If )oth or a55 sides ro55 the same num)er for initiative$ ever%thing happens
simu5taneous5%HHa55 attac' ro55s$ damage$ spe55s$ and other actions are comp5eted )efore
an% resu5ts are app5ied. It is possi)5e for a mage to )e s5ain )% go)5ins 6ho co55apse from
his slee& spe55 at the end of the round.
Initiative Modifiers
Situationa5 factors can affect 6ho has initiative. To ref5ect this$ modifiers are
added to or su)tracted from the initiative die ro55.
-able ",:
Standard &odi$iers to Initiative
Situation &odi$ier
&asted H2
S5o6ed R2
3n higher ground H!
Set to receive a charge H2
(ading or s5ipper% footing R2
(ading in deep 6ater R-
7oreign environmentQ RK
&indered Ltang5ed$ c5im)ingM R+
(aiting LPlayer's HandbookM R!
Q This app5ies to situations in 6hich the part% is in a different environment
Ls6imming under6ater 6ithout the aid of a ring o' 'ree movement$ for e8amp5eM.
#ver%one in the part% 6ho 6i55 )e invo5ved in the round9s action must ;ua5if% for
the modifier. 7or e8amp5e$ a55 mem)ers of a part% must )e on higher ground than the
opposition to get the higher ground modifier. The DM shou5d as' each p5a%er 6here his
character is standing for c5arification.
The side 6ith the 5o6est modified ro55 on !d! has the initiative and acts first.
#ontinuing the e!am&le above; the DM decides that one initiative roll is su''icient
'or each grou& and no modi'iers are needed- Although *ath is charging; the orcs and
trolls are too busy rearranging their lines to be set to receive his charge- )here'ore; the =?
to receive charge is not used-
Harry; rolling 'or the &layer characters; gets a 4 on a 35=sided die- )he DM rolls
a 35- )he &layer characters; having the lowest number; act 'irst-
Delsenora's acid arrow strikes one o' the trolls /ust as *ath takes a swing at the
last o' the 'leeing orcs- A bowshot 'rom *u&ert dro&s another one o' the creatures as it
takes its &osition in the second rank- $ow the monsters strike back-
)he orcs manage to 'inish 'orming their line- nraged by the acid; the lead troll
tears into *ath; hurting him badly- )he others swarm around him; attem&ting to tear him
limb 'rom limb-
-able "1:
3ptional &odi$iers to Initiative
Situation &odi$ier
Attac'ing 6ith 6eapon (eapon speed
*reath 6eapon R!
"asting a spe55 "asting time
"reature si>e Lmonsters 6ith
natura5 6eapons on5%MQ
Sma55 R+
Medium R+
Large RK
&uge RF
Gargantuan R!2
Innate spe55 a)i5it% R+
Magica5 itemsQQ
Misce55aneous magic R+
Aotion R-
Ring R+
Rods R!
Scro55 "asting time of spe55
Stave R2
(and R+
Q This app5ies on5% to creatures fighting 6ith natura5 6eaponsHHc5a6s$ )ites$ etc.
"reatures using 6eapons use the speed factor of the 6eapon$ regard5ess of the creature9s
QQ /se the initiative modifier 5isted un5ess the item description sa%s other6ise.
Group Initiative C3ptional uleD
Some peop5e )e5ieve that using a sing5e initiative ro55 for ever%one on the same
side is too unrea5istic. It is$ admitted5%$ a simp5ification$ a 6a% to 'eep do6n the num)er
of die ro55s re;uired in a sing5e round. *ut it a55o6s for much faster com)at.
&o6ever$ the actions of different characters$ the t%pes of 6eapons the% use$ and
the situation can a55 )e factors in determining initiative.
/sing this optiona5 method$ one initiative die ro55 is made for each side in the
fight. &o6ever$ more modifiers are app5ied to this ro55$ according to the actions of
individua5 characters. These modifiers are 5isted on Ta)5e -!.
Some of the modifiers depend on a)i5it%$ spe55$ and 6eapon. "haracters casting
spe55s L)ut not monsters using innate a)i5itiesM must add the spe55casting time to the die
ro55. "haracters attac'ing 6ith 6eapons add the 6eapons9 speed factors to the die ro55 Lsee
the Player's Handbook for information on speed factorsM. A55 other modifiers are app5ied
according to each individua59s situation.
,n the second round o' the combat; the DM decides to use the modi'ied grou&
initiative- *ath is surrounded by trolls; and he is not in the best o' health- )he rest o' the
&arty has yet to close with the monsters-
)he DM decides that one troll will continue attacking *ath; with the hel& o' the
orcs; while the other trolls move to block rein'orcements- ,n &articular; the troll burned
by the acid arrow is looking 'or revenge- )he DM then turns to the &layers 'or their
Players 7all at once:C A,'m going to - - -A A,s he goingB -- -A A,'m casting a - - -A
DM 7shouting:C A@ne at a timeD *athBA
HarryC A,'ll blow my horn o' blasting-A
DMC A,t'll take time to dig it out-A
HarryC A, don't care; ,'m doing it-A
FonC ADraw my sword and attack one o' the trollsDA
Anne 7not &aying attention to the other two:C A#ast a 'ireball s&ell-A
Harry and FonC A$@D D@$')DA
DMC A%ell; is that what you're doingB EuicklyDA
AnneC A$o; ,'ll cast a haste s&ellD #entered on me; so *u&ert and *ath are /ust at the
edge and are caught in the s&ell; too-A
DMC A@kay- Harry; roll initiative and everyone modi'y 'or your actions-A
Harry rolls 3d35 and gets a <- )he DM rolls 'or the monsters and gets a 2- ach
&erson's initiative is modi'ied as 'ollowsC
*ath is using a miscellaneous magical item 7modi'ier 18:- His modi'ied initiative
is H 7< 1 8 > H:-
*u&ert is using a bastard sword 13 with two hands 7wea&ons s&eed 4 instead o' 9
because o' the 13:- His modi'ied initiative is 38 7< 1 4 > 38:-
Delsenora is casting a haste s&ell 7casting time 8:- Her modi'ied initiative is the
same as *ath's; H-
)he trolls are attacking with their claws and bites==large creatures attacking with
natural wea&ons 1<- )heir modi'ied initiative is 33 72 1 < > 33:-
)he orcs are using long swords 7wea&on s&eed 2:- )heir modi'ied initiative is 35
72 1 2 > 35:-
A'ter all modi'ied initiatives are 'igured; the combat round goes as 'ollowsC
Delsenora 7initiative H: com&letes her s&ell at the same time that *ath 7H: brings the
house down on the orcs with his horn o' blasting-
A'ter all modi'ied initiatives are 'igured; the combat round goes as 'ollowsC
Delsenora 7initiative H: com&letes her s&ell at the same time that *ath 7H: brings the
house down on the orcs with his horn o' blasting-
)he orcs 7initiative 35: would have gone ne!t; but all o' them have been crushed
under 'alling rock-
)he three trolls 7initiative 33: are un'a+ed and attack; one at *ath and the other
two s&ringing 'orward; hitting Delsenora and missing *u&ert-
.inally; *u&ert 7initiative 38: strikes back- He moved too slowly to block one
troll's &ath to Delsenora; but manages to cut o'' the second- )hings look very grim 'or the
&layer characters-
Individua5 Initiative L3ptiona5 Ru5eM
This method of determining initiative is the same as that given ear5ier$ e8cept that
each A"$ 2A"$ and monster invo5ved in the fight ro55s and then modifies his o6n
initiative. This gives com)at a more rea5istic fee5$ )ut at the e8pense of ;uic' p5a%.
To p5a%ers$ it ma% not seem 5i'e too much for each to ro55 a separate initiative die$
)ut consider the difficu5tiesI Imagine a com)at )et6een si8 p5a%er characters Leach
contro55ed )% a p5a%erM and five hire5ings and henchmen against !K ho)go)5ins and five
ogres La55 of 6hich must )e ro55ed )% the DMM.
In addition$ each die ro55 must )e modified$ according to each individua59s actions.
The resu5ting ro55s ma'e ever% com)at round a ma:or ca5cu5ation.
This method is not recommended for 5argeHsca5e com)ats. It is )est used 6ith
sma55 )att5es in 6hich characters on the same side have vast5% different speeds.
,n the third round o' combat; the DM decides to use individual initiatives- ach
character is involved in his own 'ight- #ut o'' 'rom retreat by 'allen rock; the trolls attack-
)he DM asks the &layers their intentions-
HarryC AHit him with my hammer 16DA
*u&ertC A#ho& him u&-A
Anne 7now in serious trouble:C A#ast a burning hands s&ell-A
ach character or monster now rolls 3d35- )he rolls and modi'ied results areC
*ath rolls a ? and is attacking with his hammer 7wea&on s&eed 5 instead o' 6 due
to 16: and is hasted 7=?:; so his modi'ied initiative is 5-
*ath's troll rolls a 3 and is attacking with natural wea&ons 71< modi'ier: 'or a
total o' 4 73 1 < > 4:-
*u&ert rolls a ? and has a wea&on s&eed o' 4 and is hasted 7=?: 'or a modi'ied
initiative o' 4 7? 1 4 = ? > 4:-
*u&ert's troll rolls a 2 and modi'ies this by 1< 'or an 33 72 1 < > 33:-
Delsenora is very unlucky and rolls a H- Since she is casting a s&ell; she gains no
bene'it 'orm the haste s&ell this round; as the haste enchantment only a''ects movement-
She has a casting time o' 3 'or a total o' 35 7H 1 3 > 35:-
)he troll 'ighting Delsenora is very Iuick and rolls a 3; modi'ied to 4 73 > < > 4:-
)he order o' attacksC *ath 7initiative 5: strikes with his hammer- *u&ert and the
two trolls 7attacking *ath and Delsenora; all initiative 4: attack immediately a'ter- *u&ert
hits- )he troll attacking *ath misses; but Delsenora is hit- Delsenora's s&ell 7initiative 35:
would normally ha&&en ne!t; but instead it 'i++les- Her concentration was ruined by the
blow 'rom the troll- $e!t; *u&ert's troll attacks and misses- Jecause o' the haste s&ell;
*ath and *u&ert now attack again 7in order o' initiative:; *ath 'irst; then *u&ert-
Mu5tip5e Attac's and Initiative
"om)at ma% invo5ve creatures or characters a)5e to attac' more than once in a
sing5e round. This ma% )e due to mu5tip5e attac' forms Lc5a6s and )iteM$ s'i55 6ith a
6eapon$ or character 5eve5. 2o matter 6hat the reason$ a55 mu5tip5e attac's are hand5ed )%
one of t6o methods.
(hen mu5tip5e attac's resu5t from different attac' formsHHfor e8amp5e c5a6s and a
)ite or )ite and tai5$ or a ranger 6ith his t6oH6eapon com)at a)i5it%HHthe attac's occur at
the same time. The creature reso5ves a55 of its attac's in initiative order.
(hen the attac's are true mu5tip5esHHusing the same 6eapon more than onceHHas
in the case of a high5% s'i55ed fighter$ the attac's are staggered. #ver%one invo5ved in the
com)at comp5etes one action )efore the second Lor su)se;uentM attac' ro55 is made.
Ta'e$ for e8amp5e$ a fighter 6ho can attac' t6ice per round$ and sa% he9s )att5ing
creatures that can on5% ma'e one attac'. The fighter 6ins initiative. &e ma'es his first
attac' according to the ro55ed initiative order. Then each creature gets its attac'. 7ina55%$
the fighter gets his second attac'.
If fighters on )oth sides in a )att5e 6ere a)5e to attac' t6ice in a round$ their first
attac's 6ou5d occur according to the initiative ro55. Their second attac's 6ou5d come
after a55 other attac's$ and 6ou5d then a5ternate according to the initiative ro55.
As an option$ a 6arrior fighting creatures 6ith 5ess than one &it Die L!H! or
5o6erM can ma'e a num)er of attac's e;ua5 to his 5eve5 Li.e.$ a .thH5eve5 fighter can ma'e
seven attac'sM. These attac's are hand5ed in order of initiative.
Spe55casting and Initiative
"asting times for spe55s can modif% initiative ro55s$ creating a rea5istic de5a% for
the spe55caster. (hen a spe559s <casting time< parameter is given as a num)er 6ithout an%
units Le.g.$ rounds or turnsM$ then that num)er is added to the caster9s initiative ro55 to
determine his modified initiative. (hen a spe55 re;uires a round or more to cast$ a norma5
initiative ro55 is not madeHHa spe55 re;uiring one round to cast ta'es effect at the end of the
current round$ after a55 other actions are comp5eted.
Spe55s that re;uire more than one round to cast invo5ve some )oo''eeping. The
DM or one of the p5a%ers must 'eep trac' of the rounds spent in casting. If the
spe55casting character is distur)ed during this time$ the spe55 is 5ost. If a55 goes 6e55$ the
spe55 ta'es effect at the ver% end of the 5ast round of the re;uired casting time. Thus$ a
spe55 re;uiring ! minutes to cast 6ou5d re;uire ! com)at rounds$ and 6ou5dn9t ta'e
effect unti5 the ver% end of the !th round.
(eapon Speed and Initiative L3ptiona5 Ru5eM
#ach time a character s6ings a 6eapon$ he p5aces himse5f out of position to ma'e
his ne8t attac'. S6inging a hammer is not as simp5e as tapping in a nai5. A 6arhammer is
heav%. S6ing it in one direction and it pu55s in that direction. It has to )e )rought under
contro5 and repositioned )efore it can )e s6ung again.
The user must regain his )a5ance and p5ant his feet firm5%. 3n5% after doing a55 this
is he read% for his ne8t attac'. "ompare ho6 ;uic'5% someone can thro6 a punch to the
amount of time re;uired to s6ing a chair to get a good idea of 6hat 6eapon speed factors
are a)out.
(eapon speed factors s5o6 the speed of a character9s attac'. The higher the
6eapon speed factor$ the heavier$ c5umsier$ or more 5imited the 6eapon is. 7or the most
part$ 6eapon speed factors app5% to a55 creatures using manufactured 6eapons. The speed
factor of a 6eapon is added to the initiative ro55 of the character to get his modified
initiative ro55.
Thus$ if the DM decides to use 6eapon speed factors for p5a%er characters$ the%
a5so shou5d )e used for giants$ orcs$ centaurs$ and the 5i'e. 3ther6ise the DM isn9t )eing
fair to the p5a%ers. &o6ever$ creatures 6ith natura5 6eapons are not affected )% 6eapon
speed. Their attac's are natura5 e8tensions of their )odies$ giving them much faster
recover% and reaction times.
&agical 2eapon Speeds
Magica5 6eapons are easier to 6ie5d in com)at than ordinar% ones. Ma%)e the
6eapon is 5ighter or )etter )a5anced than norma5? ma%)e it :ust pu55s the character into the
proper position of its o6n vo5ition. (hatever the cause$ each )onus point conferred )% a
magica5 6eapon reduces the speed factor of that 6eapon )% !. LA sword 18 reduces the
6eapon speed factor )% +$ for e8amp5e.M (hen a 6eapon has t6o )onuses$ the 5esser one
is used. 2o 6eapon can have a speed factor of 5ess than .
3nce characters decide to attac' and the order of initiative has )een determined$ it
is time to reso5ve a55 the action. Man% factors must )e considered in each attac'I &o6
man% peop5e can surround a character= (i55 a shie5d )5oc' an attac' from the rear= "an a
character run across a cham)er$ dodging attac'ers$ in a sing5e round= "an a character 6in
6ithout 'i55ing his foe= Is it possi)5e to )5oc' an attac'=
A5though the mechanics of com)at are ver% simp5e$ there are man% different and
unusua5 situations that come up during ro5eHp5a%ing )att5es. #ver% )att5e is uni;ue. 3ne
'e% to DMing memora)5e com)at scenes is to remem)er that not ever% situation can )e
anticipated? %ou :ust have to com)ine the ru5es here 6ith good :udgment.
.umber o$ Attac@ers
There is a 5imit to ho6 man% attac'ers can surround a sing5e target. Man% factors
come into p5a%$ nota)5% the re5ative si>e of the opponent$ the 5ength of the 6eapons used$
and ph%sica5 o)structions in the area. The o)structions 6i55 var% from )att5efie5d to
#ach character or creature is assumed to have a front$ f5an's$ and rear. (hen
creatures of e;ua5 si>e are )att5ing$ up to si8 can surround a sing5e figure.
2orma55%$ a defender attempts to 'eep his opponents in sight. Thus$ if there are no
specia5 circumstances Lsuch as a thief moving si5ent5% )ehind the defenderM$ opponents
first occup% the front$ then the f5an's$ and fina55% the rear. It9s assumed that the defender
6i55 tr% to 'eep attac'ers from getting around him.
The diagram and description app5% on5% 6hen com)at invo5ves creatures of the
same si>e. If the attac'er is one si>e greater than the defenders$ he occupies t6o spaces on
the diagram. 7or creatures t6o si>es or more 5arger Lsma55 creatures attac'ing a 5arge one$
for e8amp5eM$ the attac'er occupies four spaces.
Thus$ a hi55 giant attac'ing &orace the fighter 6ou5d fi55 t6o of the spaces$
a55o6ing on5% four orcs to :oin the attac'. If there 6ere t6o giants attac'ing$ on5% t6o
orcs cou5d :oin the com)at. (hen attac'ing a sma55 creature$ one giant and t6o orcs cou5d
ma'e the attac'. An% more than this and the attac'ers 6ou5d :ust get in each other9s 6a%.
(eapon Length
The actua5 si>e of a 6eapon has 5itt5e to do 6ith the space needed to 6ie5d it. An
a65 pi'e is !2 to 2 feet 5ong$ %et since it is a thrusting 6eapon it needs virtua55% no space
sideHtoHside. It does$ ho6ever$ need that !2 to 2 feet in frontB A sa)re and a )att5eHa8e
are a)out the same si>e$ )ut the )att5e a8e re;uires more spaceHHthe sa)re can )e thrust
straight for6ard into a narro6er space$ 6hi5e the )att5e a8e must )e s6ung mighti5%$
6hich ta'es a 5ot of space.
The DM must decide 6hether a character has enough space to use a particu5ar
6eapon in a particu5ar setting and situation.
As a guide5ine$ the AD&D ru5es assume that t6o fighters using s6ords can 6or'
sideH)%Hside in a !HfootH6ide area. The same space 6ou5d )e fi55ed )% one fighter using
a t6oHhanded s6ord.
Aosition of Attac'ers and Attac' Ro55s
*esides determining the num)er of attac'ers a sing5e character can face$ the
re5ative positions of attac'ers affect the chance to hit.
"haracters attac'ed from the rear do not gain their De8terit%H)ased Armor "5ass
)onus$ and their attac'er gains a R2 )onus to his attac' ro55. There might a5so )e pena5ties
if the optiona5 Shie5ds and (eapon 7rontage ru5e is used.
Ao5e Arms and (eapon 7rontage L3ptiona5 Ru5eM
Ao5e arms and simi5ar thrusting 6eapons are designed primari5% for use in high5%
specia5i>ed formations. The average 5ength of these 6eaponsHH!2 to 2 feetHHma'es their
use in individua5 com)at si55%$ if not futi5e.
An opponent can easi5% s5ip inside the reach of the po5e arm$ at 6hich point the
poor pi'eman can on5% tr% to )ac' up or drop his 6eapon. Litt5e e5se is 5i'e5% to )e
effective. &o6ever$ if the same man 6ith a pi'e is 5ined up 6ith + of his fe55o6s in a
nice tight formation$ he sudden5% )ecomes ver% dangerous. (here one pi'eman presented
on5% a 5one spear point$ + pi'emen present a dead5% thic'et.
The po5e arm9s )ig advantage is the sma55 frontage each man needs to )e effective.
A man using a piercing po5e arm can use his 6eapon effective5% 6ith :ust three feet of
space$ sideHtoHside. This a55o6s a tight5% pac'ed 5ine of pi'emen.
In a group$ men armed 6ith po5e arms shou5d )e set for defense or advancing
s5o65% L!E- norma5 movement rateM. The% automatica55% ma'e their attac' ro55s prior to
an% opponent attempting to c5ose 6ith them. &o6ever$ after the first round of com)at an%
surviving opponents are inside the reach of the po5e arms and the pi'emen must drop
their pi'es and dra6 6eapons more suita)5e for c5oseHin 6or'.
Shie5ds and (eapon 7rontage L3ptiona5 Ru5eM
A shie5d is an item of 5imited si>e$ strapped to on5% one arm or s5ung on a
character9s )ac'. "haracters genera55% position a shie5d so it offers ma8imum protection.
/sua55%$ this means it protects the shie5dHarm side of the )od%$ most fre;uent5% the 5eft
side of a rightHhanded character. In this position$ attac's from the rear or rear f5an's of the
character can9t )e )5oc'ed )% a shie5d. In these cases$ the shie5d9s A" )onus is not app5ied
to the T&A".
It is possi)5e to strap a shie5d to one9s )ac'. If this is done$ the shie5d )onus is
app5ied to the rear of the character$ )ut the character can9t use the shie5d to protect his
front. 7urthermore$ the straps hinder the character9s movement$ giving him a H2 pena5t% to
his attac' ro55.
&itting a Specific Target
AD&D game com)at does not use a hit 5ocation s%stem to determine 6here ever%
)5o6 in a )att5e has 5anded. Sometimes$ ho6ever$ characters and creatures 6i55 find it
necessar% to aim their )5o6s at an e8act point. A fighter ma% 6ant to smash a via5 he5d in
the evi5 6i>ard9s hand? a thief might attempt to shoot the :e6e5ed e%e out of an ido5 6ith
his cross)o6. These are cases 6here the character is attempting a <ca55ed shot.<
"a55ed Shots
To ma'e a ca55ed shot$ a p5a%er must announce his intention )efore an% initiative
dice are ro55ed. /pon doing so$ he suffers a R! pena5t% to his initiative Lrepresenting the
time spent carefu55% aiming his attac'M.
(hen the character does get a chance to act$ his attac' ro55 suffers a H- pena5t%. If
the ro55 succeeds$ the ca55ed shot accomp5ishes 6hat the p5a%er 6anted? if the ro55 missed$
no damage occurs.
*ecause the AD&D game uses a genera5i>ed s%stem for damage$ ca55ed shots
cannot )e used to accomp5ish certain things. Against a creature$ a ca55ed shot 6i55 on5%
cause the norma5 amount of damage a55o6ed the 6eapon. Attempts to )5ind$ cripp5e$ or
maim 6i55 not succeed. So 6hat can it do=
A ca55ed shot can cause a target to drop items or react in some other$ more su)t5e$
6a%. It can penetrate 6ea' points in armor. It a5so can )e used in attempts to 'noc' an
o):ect out of a hand$ shatter a f5as'$ or other6ise damage items. "a55ed shots can )e ver%
usefu5 in activating the trigger of a 'no6n trap Lif this can )e done 6ith a 6eaponM or in
impressing the 5oca5s in an archer% contest.
Movement in "om)at
Since a round is rough5% a minute 5ong$ it shou5d )e eas% for a character to move
:ust a)out an%6here he 6ants during the course of the round. After a55$ 35%mpicHc5ass
sprinters can cover vast amounts of ground in a minute.
&o6ever$ a character in an AD&D game is not an 35%mpic sprinter running in a
straight 5ine. &e is tr%ing to maneuver through a )att5e 6ithout getting 'i55ed. &e is
'eeping his e%es open for trou)5e$ avoiding surprise$ 6atching his )ac'$ 6atching the
)ac's of his partners$ and 5oo'ing for a good opening$ 6hi5e simu5taneous5% p5anning his
ne8t move$ sometimes through a ha>e of pain.
&e ma% )e carr%ing a 5oad of e;uipment that s5o6s him do6n significant5%.
*ecause of a55 these things$ the distance a character can move is considera)5% 5ess than
p5a%ers genera55% thin'.
In a com)at round$ a )eing can move up to ! times its movement rating in feet
Lsee the Player's Handbook for information on character movement.M Thus$ if a character
has a movement rating of F$ he can move up to F feet in a round. &o6ever$ the t%pes of
moves a character can ma'e during com)at are some6hat 5imited.
Movement in Me5ee
The )asic move is to get c5oser for com)atHHi.e.$ move c5ose enough to an enem%
to attac'. This is neither a )5ind rush nor a casua5 stro55. Instead$ the character approaches
;uic'5% )ut 6ith caution. (hen c5osing for com)at$ a character can move up to ha5f his
a55o6ed distance and sti55 ma'e a me5ee attac'.
Movement and Missi5e "om)at
Rather than s5ug it out toe to toe 6ith an opponent$ a character can move up to
oneHha5f his norma5 movement rate and engage in missi5e fire at ha5f his norma5 rate of
fire. Thus a man capa)5e of moving !2 feet and armed 6ith a 5ong )o6 Lt6o shots per
round$ under norma5 circumstancesM cou5d move K feet and sti55 fire one shot. The same
man$ armed 6ith a heav% cross)o6 Lone shot ever% other roundM 6ou5d )e a)5e to shoot
on5% once ever% four rounds 6hi5e on the move.
"harging an 3pponent
A character can a5so charge a foe. A charge increases the character9s movement
rate )% ,O and ena)5es the character to ma'e an attac' at the end of his movement. A
charging character a5so gains a R2 )onus to his attac' ro55$ main5% from momentum.
"ertain 6eapons Lsuch as a 5anceM inf5ict dou)5e the ro55ed damage in a charge.
&o6ever$ charging gives opponents severa5 advantages. 7irst$ the% gain a H2
)onus to their initiative ro55s. Second$ charging characters gain no De8terit% )onuses to
Armor "5ass$ and the% suffer an A" pena5t% of !. 7ina55%$ if the defender is using a spear
or po5e arm 6eapon and sets it against the charge L)racing the )utt against a stone or his
footM$ he inf5icts dou)5e damage on a successfu5 hit.
To get out of a com)at$ characters can ma'e a carefu5 6ithdra6a5 or the% can
simp5% f5ee.
2ithdra<ing: (hen ma'ing a 6ithdra6a5$ a character carefu55% )ac's a6a%
from his opponent$ 6ho can choose to fo55o6. The character moves up to !E+ his norma5
movement rate.
If t6o characters are fighting a sing5e opponent and one of them decides to
6ithdra6$ the remaining character can )5oc' the advance of the opponent. This is a usefu5
method for getting a serious5% in:ured man out of a com)at.
5leeing: To f5ee from com)at$ a character simp5% turns and runs up to his fu55
movement rate. &o6ever$ the f5eeing character drops his defenses and turns his )ac' to
his opponent.
The enem% is a55o6ed a free attac'HHor mu5tip5e attac's if the creature has severa5
attac's per roundHHat the rear of the f5eeing character. This attac' is made the instant the
character f5ees. It doesn9t count against the num)er of attac's that opponent is a55o6ed
during the round$ and initiative is irre5evant. The f5eeing character can )e pursued$ un5ess
a companion )5oc's the advance of the enem%.
Attac'ing (ithout 0i55ing
There are times 6hen a character 6ants to defeat another )eing 6ithout 'i55ing it.
A companion ma% have )een charmed into attac'ing his friends Land his friends don9t
6ant to 'i55 himM? an enem% cou5d have information the A"s can get on5% )% su)duing
him? characters might simp5% see the monetar% va5ue of )ringing )ac' a 5ive monster.
(hatever the case$ sooner or 5ater characters are going to tr% to defeat something 6ithout
stri'ing a fata5 )5o6.
There are three t%pes of nonH5etha5 attac'sHHpunching$ 6rest5ing$ and over)earing.
Aunching is )asic )areHfisted fighting. (rest5ing is the c5assic com)ination of grapp5ing$
ho5ds$ and thro6s. 3ver)earing is simp5% tr%ing to pu55 do6n an opponent )% sheer mass
or 6eight of num)ers$ pinning him to the ground.
Aunching and (rest5ing
These are the most )asic of com)at s'i55s$ un'no6ing5% practiced )% a5most a55
chi5dren as the% rough and tum)5e 6ith each other. Thus a55 characters$ regard5ess of
c5ass$ are assumed to )e some6hat proficient in )oth these forms of fighting.
Aunching occurs 6hen a character attac's 6ith his fists. 2o 6eapons are used$
a5though the character can 6ear an iron gaunt5et or simi5ar item. (rest5ing re;uires )oth
hands free$ unencum)ered )% shie5ds and the 5i'e.
(hen punching or 6rest5ing$ a norma5 attac' ro55 is made. The norma5 Armor
"5ass of the target is used. If a character is attempting to 6rest5e in armor$ the modifiers
on Ta)5e -2 are used Lthese are pena5ties to the foe9s attac' ro55M. 2orma5 modifiers to the
attac' ro55 are a5so app5ied.
-able "2:
Armor &odi$iers $or 2restling
Studded 5eather H!
"hain$ ring$ and sca5e mai5 H2
*anded$ sp5int$ and p5ate mai5 H,
7ie5d p5ate armor HG
7u55 p5ate armor H!
Aena5ties for )eing he5d or attac'ing a he5d opponent do not app5% to 6rest5ers.
(rest5ing invo5ves a 5ot of ho5ding and t6isting$ and the damage reso5ution s%stem for
punching and 6rest5ing ta'es this into account.
If the attac' ro55 is successfu5$ consu5t Ta)5e -+ to find the resu5t of the attac'I
"rossHinde8 the character9s modified attac' ro55 6ith the proper attac' form. If$ for
e8amp5e$ a character successfu55% punched 6ith an !G$ the resu5t 6ou5d )e a ra))it punch.
If he ro55ed an !G on a successfu5 6rest5ing attempt$ the resu5t 6ou5d )e a 'ic'. Aunching
and 6rest5ing attac's can succeed on attac' ro55s of ! or 5ess$ e8ceptions to the genera5
-able "!:
Punching and 2restling esults
Attac@ oll Punch Damage A H32restle
2R &a%ma'er 2 ! *ear hugQ
!F (i5d s6ing ! Arm t6ist
!G Ra))it punch ! + 0ic'
!. 0idne% punch ! , Trip
!K G5ancing )5o6! 2 #5)o6 smash
!, @a) 2 K Arm 5oc'Q
!- /ppercut ! G Leg t6ist
!+ &oo' 2 F Leg 5oc'
!2 0idne% punch ! , Thro6
!! &oo' 2 ! Gouge
! G5ancing )5o6! + #5)o6 smash
F"om)ination ! ! Leg 5oc'Q
G /ppercut ! F &ead5oc'Q
. "om)ination 2 ! Thro6
K @a) 2 G Gouge
, G5ancing )5o6! + 0ic'
- Ra))it punch 2 , Arm 5oc'Q
+ &oo' 2 !2 Gouge
2 /ppercut 2 !, &ead5oc'Q
! (i5d s6ing 2 Leg t6ist
Less than ! &a%ma'er 2 2, *earhugQ
Q A ho5d can )e maintained from round to round unti5 )ro'en.
Punch: This is the t%pe of )5o6 5anded. In game terms$ the t%pe of )5o6 has 5itt5e
effect$ )ut using the names adds spice to the )att5e and ma'es the DM9s :o) of descri)ing
the action easier.
Damage: *areHhanded attac's cause on5% ! or 2 points of damage. Meta5
gaunt5ets$ )rass 'nuc'5es$ and the 5i'e cause !d+ points of damage. A character9s Strength
)onus$ if an%$ app5ies to punching attac's.
Aunching damage is hand5ed a 5itt5e different5% than norma5 damage. 3n5% 2,O of
the damage caused )% a )areHhanded attac' is 5asting damage. The remaining .,O is
temporar%. 7or the sa'e of convenience$ record punching damage separate5% from other
damage and ca5cu5ate the percentage sp5it at the end of a55 com)at.
If a character reaches hit points due to punching damage Lor an% com)ination of
punching and norma5 attac'sM$ he immediate5% fa55s unconscious.
A character can vo5untari5% pu55 his punch$ not causing an% 5asting damage$
provided he sa%s so )efore the damage is app5ied to his enem%. There is sti55 a chance of a
HE3E: A5though a punch does ver% 5itt5e damage$ there is a chance of 'noc'ing an
opponent out. This chance is 5isted on the ta)5e as <O 0.3.< If this num)er or 5ess is
ro55ed on percenti5e dice$ the victim is stunned for !d! rounds.
2restle: This 5ists the action or t%pe of grip the character managed to get.
(rest5ing moves mar'ed 6ith an asteris' LQM are ho5ds maintained from round to round$
un5ess the% are )ro'en. A ho5d is )ro'en )% a thro6$ a gouge$ the assistance of another
person$ or the successfu5 use of a 6eapon. Aena5ties to the attac' ro55 app5% to 6eapon
attac's )% a character 6ho is in a ho5d.
A55 6rest5ing moves inf5ict ! point of damage p5us Strength )onus$ if the attac'er
desires$ 6hi5e continued ho5ds cause cumu5ative5% ! more point of damage for each
round. A head 5oc' he5d for si8 rounds 6ou5d inf5ict 2! points of damage tota5 L! R 2 R +
R - R , R KM. Remem)er$ this is the e;uiva5ent of pressing hard on a fu55Hne5son head5oc'
for rough5% si8 minutes.
Sometimes the most effective attac' is simp5% to pu55 an opponent do6n )% sheer
num)ers. 2o attempt is made to gain a particu5ar ho5d or even to harm the victim. The
on5% concern is to pin and restrain him.
To over)ear an opponent$ a norma5 attac' ro55 is made. 7or ever% 5eve5 of si>e
difference L! if a Large attac'er ta'es on a Medium defender$ for e8amp5eM$ the attac' ro55
is modified )% - LR- if the attac'er is 5arger? H- if the defender is 5argerM.
The defending creature a5so gains a )enefit if it has more than t6o 5egsI a H2
pena5t% to the attac'er9s ro55 for ever% 5eg )e%ond t6o. There is no pena5t% to the defender
if it has no 5egs. A 5one orc attempting to pu55 do6n a horse and rider 6ou5d have at 5east
a HG pena5t% app5ied to the attac' ro55 LH- for si>e and H- for the horse9s four 5egsM.
If the attac' succeeds$ the opponent is pu55ed do6n. A character can )e pinned if
further successfu5 over)earing attac's are ro55ed each round. 7or pinning purposes$ do not
use the prone modifier to com)at Lfrom Ta)5e +,M.
If mu5tip5e attac'ers are a55 attempting to pu55 do6n a sing5e target$ ma'e on5% one
attac' ro55 6ith a R! )onus for each attac'er )e%ond the first. A56a%s use the toHhit
num)er of the 6ea'est attac'er to figure the chance of success$ since cooperation a56a%s
depends on the 6ea'est 5in'. Modifiers for si>e shou5d )e figured for the 5argest attac'er
of the group.
A giant and three pi8ies attempting to pu55 do6n a man 6ou5d use the pi8ies9
attac' ro55$ modified )% R+ for three e8tra attac'ers and RG for the si>e difference of the
giant L&ugeM and the man LMediumM.
(eapons in 2onHLetha5 "om)at
As %ou might e8pect$ 6eapons have their p5ace in nonH5etha5 com)at$ 6hether a
character is defending or pressing the attac'.
2eapons in De$ense: A character attempting to punch$ 6rest5e$ or over)ear an
armed opponent can do so on5% )% p5acing himse5f at great ris'. Ma'ing matters 6orse$
an armed defender is automatica55% a55o6ed to stri'e 6ith his 6eapon )efore the unarmed
attac' is made$ regard5ess of the initiative ro55. Since his opponent must get ver% c5ose$
the defender gains a R- )onus to his attac' and damage ro55s. If the attac'er survives$ he
can then attempt his attac'.
Those invo5ved in a 6rest5ing )out are 5imited to 6eapons of sma55 si>e after the
first round of com)at. It9s ver% difficu5t to use a s6ord against someone 6ho is t6isting
%our s6ord arm or c5inging to %our )ac'$ tr%ing to )rea' %our nec'. 7or this reason$
near5% a55 characters 6i55 6ant to carr% a dagger or a 'nife.
.on;0ethal 2eapon Attac@s: It is possi)5e to ma'e an armed attac' 6ithout
causing serious damageHHstri'ing 6ith the f5at of the )5ade$ for e8amp5e. This is not as
eas% as it sounds$ ho6ever.
7irst$ the character must )e using a 6eapon that ena)5es him to contro5 the
damage he inf5icts. This is impossi)5e 6ith an arro6 or s5ing. It isn9t even feasi)5e 6ith a
6ar hammer or mace. It can )e done 6ith s6ords and a8es$ as 5ong as the )5ade can )e
turned so it doesn9t cut.
Second$ the character has a H- pena5t% to his attac' ro55$ since hand5ing a 6eapon
in this 6a% is c5umsier than usua5. The damage from such an attac' is ,O norma5? oneH
ha5f of this damage is temporar%$ 5asting one turn after the fight is over and causing
unconsciousness Lnever deathM if the character drops )e5o6 >ero hit points.
2onHLetha5 "om)at and "reatures
(hen dea5ing 6ith nonHhumanoid opponents$ a num)er of factors must )e
7irst$ uninte55igent creatures$ as a ru5e$ never tr% to grapp5e$ punch$ or pu55 do6n
an opponent. The% cheerfu55% sett5e for tearing him apart$ 5im) )% 5im). This$ to their
sma55 and anima5istic minds$ is a )etter so5ution.
Second$ the natura5 6eapons of a creature are a56a%s usa)5e. /n5i'e men 6ith
s6ords$ a 5ion or a carnivorous ape doesn9t 5ose the use of its teeth and fangs :ust )ecause
a character is ver% c5ose to it.
7ina55%$ and of greatest importance$ creatures tend to )e )etter natura5 fighters
than humans. A55 attac's for a tiger are the same as punching or 6rest5ing. It9s :ust that the
tiger has c5a6s. 7urthermore$ a tiger can use a55 of its 5egs effective5%.
Touch Spe55s and "om)at
Man% spe55s used )% priests and 6i>ards ta'e effect on5% 6hen the target is
touched )% the caster. /nder norma5 circumstances$ this is no pro)5em. The spe55caster
reaches out and touches the recipient. &o6ever$ if the target is un6i55ing$ or the spe55 is
used in the midst of a genera5 me5ee$ the situation is much different.
:n<illing -argets: The spe55caster must ma'e a successfu5 attac' ro55 for the
spe55 to have an% effect. The 6i>ard or priest ca5cu5ates his T&A" num)er norma55%$
according to the intended victim9s Armor "5ass and other protections. The DM can
modif% the ro55 if the victim is unprepared for or una6are of the attac'. If the ro55
succeeds$ the spe55caster touches the target and the norma5 spe55 effect occurs.
2illing -argets: (hen attempting to cast a spe55 on a 6i55ing target$ the casting is
automatic as 5ong as )oth characters are not engaged in com)at. 7or e8amp5e$ if a fighter
6ithdra6s from me5ee$ a c5eric cou5d hea5 him during the ne8t round.
If the recipient of the spe55 attempts to do an%thing )esides 6aiting for the spe55 to
ta'e effect$ an attac' ro55 against A" ! must )e made. &o6ever$ no A" modifiers for
De8terit% are app5ied$ since the target is not tr%ing to avoid the spe55.
(henever a touch spe55 is successfu5$ the spe55caster suffers from an% specia5
defenses of his target$ if the% are continua55% in operation. A successfu5 touch to a vampire
6ou5d not resu5t in energ% drain$ since the po6er on5% 6or's 6hen the vampire 6i55s it.
*ut touching a fire e5ementa5 6ou5d resu5t in serious )urns.
(hen a touch spe55 is cast$ it norma55% remains effective on5% for that round.
&o6ever$ certain spe55s 5ist specia5 conditions or durations. *e sure to chec' each spe55
description carefu55%.
"ritica5 &its L3ptiona5 Ru5eM
Some p5a%ers fee5 com)at shou5d invo5ve more than :ust the chance to hit and the
amount of damage done. Some propose e5a)orate ta)5esHHcritica5 hit ta)5esHHdetai5ing a55
manner of horri)5e resu5ts and misfortunes.
The simp5est critica5 hit s%stem ma'es ever% natura5 2 ro55ed on the attac' ro55
count for dou)5e damage. Ro55 the appropriate damage dice t6ice for the attac' Ldo not
dou)5e the resu5t of a sing5e damage ro55M and on5% count damage modifiers for Strength$
magic$ etc.$ once.
A second method is to a55o6 characters or monsters to ma'e an e8tra attac' each
time the% ro55 a natura5 2. The additiona5 attac' is made immediate5%$ at the same target$
and is figured :ust 5i'e a norma5 attac'. As 5ong as a natura5 2 is ro55ed$ the character or
monster continues to ma'e additiona5 attac's. A ver% 5uc'% character cou5d ro55 a 2 on
his first attac' and then ro55 a 2 on his additiona5 attac'$ a55o6ing him to ro55 a third
attac'. If this attac' a5so resu5ted in a 2$ a fourth attac' cou5d )e made$ etc. This s%stem
gives characters the chance of causing e8tra damage 6ithout guaranteeing success.
Critical 5umbles
"ritica5 fum)5es are 5ess easi5% defined than critica5 hits. 3ne s%stem that 6or's
ru5es that a die ro55 of ! resu5ts in some unfortunate event happening to the character 6ho
ro55ed it. The DM must decide 6hat the e8act event is )ased on the situation$ a5though it
shou5d not )e one that causes damage.
A character cou5d trip and spra65 to the f5oor$ )rea' his s6ord hitting a stone
pi55ar$ get his a8e 6edged in a 6ooden )eam$ or have one of his )ac'pac' straps s5ip off
his shou5der$ getting in the 6a%. L3f course$ magica5 6eapons are not 5i'e5% to )rea'
under norma5 use.M
The norma5 resu5t of a critica5 fum)5e is the 5oss of the ne8t round9s attac' as the
character gets up off the f5oor$ digs out a ne6 6eapon$ pu55s his a8e out of the )eam$ or
strugg5es to get his pac' 6here it )e5ongs. "ritica5 fai5ures add a dose of e8citement and
humor to com)at.
7ina55%$ a56a%s remem)er that 6hatever happens$ happens to )oth p5a%er
characters and 2A"s.
Aarr%ing L3ptiona5 Ru5eM
During a oneHminute com)at round$ each character is assumed to )5oc' man%
attempted attac's and see man% of his o6n attac's )5oc'ed. In norma5 com)at$ characters
parr% a55 the timeHHthere9s no need to sing5e out each parr%.
(hen a character de5i)erate5% chooses not to parr%$ his chance of )eing hit
increases. A mage casting a spe55$ for instance$ gains no A" ad:ustment for De8terit%.
Thus$ choosing to parr%$ in and of itse5f$ is not a separate option under the AD&D game
At the same time$ the assumption is that characters in com)at are constant5%
e8posing themse5ves to some ris'HHtr%ing to get a c5ear vie6 of a target or 5oo'ing for the
opening to ma'e an attac'. There are times$ ho6ever$ 6hen this is not the case.
Sometimes$ the on5% thing a character 6ants to do is avoid )eing hit.
To ma'e himse5f harder to hit$ a character can parr%HHforfeit a55 actions for the
round. &e can9t attac'$ move$ or cast spe55s. This frees the character to concentrate so5e5%
on defense. At this point$ a55 characters )ut 6arriors gain an A" )onus e;ua5 to ha5f their
5eve5. A KthH5eve5 6i>ard 6ou5d have a R+ )onus to his A" L5o6ering his A" )% +M. A
6arrior gets a )onus e;ua5 to ha5f his 5eve5 p5us one. A KthH5eve5 fighter 6ou5d gain a R-
A" )onus.
This )enefit is not a perfect a55Haround defense$ and it9s not effective against rear
or missi5e attac's. It app5ies on5% to those foes attac'ing the defender from the front. This
optiona5 defense has no effect against magica5 attac's$ so it 6ou5dn9t do an%thing to
protect a character from the force of lightning bolt or 'ireball spe55s.
Missi5e (eapons in "om)at
In genera5$ missi5e com)at is hand5ed identica55% to standard me5ee. Intentions are
announced$ initiative is ro55ed$ and attac' ro55s are made. &o6ever$ there are specia5 ru5es
and situations that app5% on5% to missi5e com)at.
Missi5e 6eapons are divided into t6o genera5 categories. The first inc5udes a55
standard$ directHfire$ sing5eHtarget missi5es$ such as s5ings$ arro6s$ ;uarre5s$ spears$
thro6ing a8es$ and the 5i'e. The second inc5udes a55 grenadeH5i'e missi5es that have an
area effect. Thus an attac' 6ith these 6eapons does not have to hit the target direct5%.
Inc5uded in this group are sma55 f5as's of oi5$ acid$ poison$ ho5% 6ater$ potions$ and
)ou5ders. &ur5ed )ou5ders are inc5uded )ecause the% )ounce and )ound a5ong after the%
hit$ 5eaving a s6ath of destruction.
The first step in ma'ing a missi5e attac' is to find the range from the attac'er to
the target. This is measured in %ards from one point to the other and is compared to the
range categories for the 6eapon used Lsee Ta)5e -, in the Player's HandbookM.
If the distance is greater than the 5ong range given$ the target is out of range. If the
distance is )et6een the 5ongH and mediumHrange num)ers$ the target is at 5ong range.
(hen it is )et6een the mediumH and shortHrange num)ers$ medium range is used. And
6hen it is e;ua5 to or 5ess than the shortHrange distance$ the target is at short range.
ShortHrange attac's suffer no range modifier. MediumHrange attac's suffer a H2
pena5t% to the attac' ro55. LongHrange attac's suffer a H, pena5t%. Some 6eapons have no
short range since the% must arc a certain distance )efore reaching their target. These
attac's are a56a%s made 6ith an attac' ro55 pena5t%.
Rate of 7ire
*o6s$ cross)o6s$ and man% other missi5e 6eapons have different rates of fire
LR37MHHthe num)er of missi5es the% can shoot in a sing5e round.
Sma55$ 5ight 6eapons can )e thro6n ver% ;uic'5%$ so up to three daggers can )e
thro6n in a sing5e round. Arro6s can )e noc'ed and 5et 5oose a5most as ;uic'5%$ so up to
t6o shots can )e fired in a sing5e round.
Some 6eapons Lsuch as heav% cross)o6sM ta'e a 5ong time to 5oad and can )e
fired on5% ever% other round.
(hatever the R37$ mu5tip5e missi5e shots are hand5ed the same 6a% as other
mu5tip5e attac's for the purposes of determining initiative. The R37 of each missi5e
6eapon is 5isted in Ta)5e -, in the Player's Handbook.
A)i5it% Modifiers in Missi5e "om)at
Attac' ro55 and damage modifiers for Strength are a56a%s used 6hen an attac' is
made 6ith a hur5ed 6eapon. &ere the po6er of the character9s arm is a significant factor
in the effectiveness of the attac'.
(hen using a )o6$ the attac' ro55 and damage Strength modifiers app5% on5% if
the character has a proper5% prepared )o6 Lsee "hapter K in the Player's HandbookM.
"haracters never receive Strength )onuses 6hen using cross)o6s or simi5ar mechanica5
De8terit% modifiers to the attac' ro55 are app5ied 6hen ma'ing a missi5e attac'
6ith a handHhe5d 6eapon. Thus$ a character adds his De8terit% modifier 6hen using a
)o6$ cross)o6$ or a8e )ut not 6hen firing a tre)uchet or other siege engine.
7iring Into a Me5ee
Missi5e 6eapons are intended main5% as distance 6eapons. Idea55%$ the% are used
)efore the opponents reach %our 5ine. &o6ever$ idea5 situations are a55 too rare$ and
characters often discover that the on5% effective 6a% to attac' is to shoot arro6s Lor
6hateverM at an enem% a5read% in me5ee com)at 6ith their companions. (hi5e possi)5e$
and certain5% a55o6ed$ this is a ris'% proposition.
(hen missi5es are fired into a me5ee$ the DM counts the num)er of figures in the
immediate area of the intended target. #ach medium figure counts as !. Tin% figures
count as !E+$ Sma55 figures as !E2$ Large as 2$ &uge as -$ and Gargantuan as K. The tota5
va5ue is compared to the va5ue of each character or creature in the target me5ee. /sing
this ratio$ the DM ro55s a die to determine 6ho Lor 6hatM 6i55 )e the target of the shot.
After the DM determines 6ho or 6hat is the target$ a norma5 attac' is ro55ed. The DM
doesn9t te55 the p5a%er 6ho 6i55 )e hit if the attac' succeeds.
7or e8amp5e$ Tarus *5oodheart LmanHsi>ed$ or ! pointM and Rath La5so manHsi>ed$
or ! pointM are fighting a giant Lsi>e G$ K pointsM 6hi5e Thu5e fires a 5ong )o6 at the giant.
The tota5 va5ue of a55 possi)5e targets is G LK R ! R !M. There9s a !HinHG chance that Rath is
the target? a !HinHG chance that Tarus is hit? and a KHinHG chance the shot hits the giant.
The DM cou5d ro55 !dG to determine 6ho gets hit$ or he cou5d reduce the ratios to a
percentage L.,O chance the giant is hit$ etc.M and ro55 percenti5e dice.
Ta'ing "over Against Missi5e 7ire
3ne of the )est 6a%s to avoid )eing hit and in:ured is to hide )ehind somethingHHa
6a55$ a tree$ a )ui5ding corner$ a heap of )ou5ders$ or 6hatever happens to )e avai5a)5e.
Arofessiona5 adventurers$ 6ishing to ma'e this sound heroic$ ca55 this <ta'ing cover.<
Ta'ing cover doesn9t 6or' particu5ar5% 6e55 in a me5ee$ since the cover hampers
defenders and attac'ers e;ua55%. &o6ever$ it is ;uite an effective tactic against missi5e
There are t6o t%pes of protection a character can have. The first is <concea5ment$<
a5so ca55ed soft cover. A character hiding )ehind a c5ump of )ushes is concea5ed. &e can
)e seen$ )ut on5% 6ith difficu5t%$ and it9s no eas% tas' to determine e8act5% 6here he is.
The )ushes cannot stop an arro6$ )ut the% do ma'e it 5ess 5i'e5% that the character is hit.
3ther t%pes of concea5ment inc5ude curtains$ tapestries$ smo'e$ fog$ and )ram)5es.
The other t%pe of protection is <cover$< sometimes ca55ed$ more precise5%$ hard
cover. It is$ as its name imp5ies$ something a character can hide )ehind that 6i55 )5oc' a
missi5e. &ard cover inc5udes stone 6a55s$ the corner of a )ui5ding$ ta)5es$ doors$ earth
em)an'ments$ tree trun's$ and magica5 walls o' 'orce.
"over he5ps a potentia5 target )% giving the attac'er a negative modifier to his
attac' ro55. The e8act modifier for concea5ment or cover depends on the degree to 6hich
it is )eing used as she5ter. A character 6ho stands )ehind a t6oHfoot 6a55 is a prett%
o)vious target$ especia55% 6hen compared to the character 6ho 5ies do6n )ehind that 6a55
and carefu55% peers over it. Ta)5e -- 5ists the different modifiers for var%ing degrees of
cover and concea5ment.
-able "":
Cover and Concealment &odi$iers
-arget is: Cover Concealment
2,O H2 H!
,O H- H2
.,O H. H+
FO H! H-
"over a5so has an affect on saving thro6s$ granting the character the modifier
5isted on Ta)5e -- as a )onus to his saving thro6s against spe55s that cause ph%sica5
damage Le.g.$ 'ireball and lightning bolt spe55sM.
In addition$ a character 6ho has FO cover Lor moreM suffers oneHha5f norma5
damage on a fai5ed saving thro6$ and no damage at a55 if a saving thro6 is successfu5.
This assumes$ of course$ that the cover is )et6een the spe55 effect and the targetHHa man
crouching )ehind a stone 6a55 6ou5d )e protected if a fire)a55 e8p5oded in front of the
6a55$ )ut 6ou5d not )e protected )% cover if the )5ast occurred )ehind him$ on his side of
the 6a55.
GrenadeHLi'e Missi5es
/n5i'e standard missi5es$ 6hich target a specific creature$ a grenadeH5i'e missi5e is
aimed at a point$ 6hether this point is a creature or a spot on the ground. (hen the attac'
is announced$ the p5a%er indicates 6here he 6ants the missi5e to 5and. This then )ecomes
the target point and is used to determine the direction and distance of an% scatter.
Most grenadeH5i'e missi5es are items of opportunit% or necessit%$ such as f5as's of
oi5$ via5s of ho5% 6ater$ or )ea'ers of acid. As such$ these items are not 5isted on the
e;uipment ta)5es for range$ R37$ and damage. The range each can )e thro6n varies 6ith
the Strength of the character and the 6eight of the o):ect.
A missi5e of five pounds or 5ess can )e thro6n a)out + feet. Short range is !
feet$ medium range is 2 feet$ and ever%thing )e%ond is ma8imum range. &eavier items
have reduced ranges. @ust ho6 far an o):ect can )e thro6n is decided )% the DM.
#8ceptiona55% heav% items can )e thro6n on5% if the character ro55s a successfu5
)end )arsE5ift gates chec'. In no case can a character thro6 an item heavier than his
Strength 6ou5d a55o6 him to 5ift. Thus$ the DM can ru5e that a character 6ou5d have 5itt5e
trou)5e chuc'ing a ha5fHempt% )ac'pac' across a !Hfoot chasm$ )ut the character 6ou5d
need to ma'e a chec' to heave an orc ! feet through the air into the faces of his fiendish
3nce a container hits$ it norma55% )rea's immediate5%. &o6ever$ this is not a56a%s
true. Some missi5es$ 5i'e soft 5eather f5as's or hard potter%$ are particu5ar5% resistant. If
there9s some dou)t a)out 6hether a thro6n o):ect 6i55 )rea'$ the DM can re;uire an item
saving thro6 to see if it shatters or rips$ spe6ing its contents ever%6here.
If a missi5e is offHtarget$ it is important to 'no6 6here it 5andedHHan errant
grenadeH5i'e missi5e cou5d present a ha>ard to other characters$ start a fire$ or eat a ho5e in
the f5oor. The process of finding 6here it 5ands is 'no6n as <scatter.< 7irst ro55 !d! and
consu5t the Scatter Diagram.
-able "#:
Grenade;0i@e &issile E$$ects
-ype o$ &issile Area o$ E$$ectDamage $rom Direct =it Splash Damage
Acid !9 diameter 2HG hp ! hp
&o5% 6ater !9 diameter 2H. hp 2 hp
3i5 L5itM +9 diameter 2H!2E!HK hp !H+ hp
Aoison !9 diameter specia5 specia5
2e8t determine ho6 far off the mar' the thro6 is. If the thro6 is at short range$
use a KHsided die. If the range is medium$ use a !Hsided die. If thro6n to 5ong range$ ro55
2d!. The num)er ro55ed is the num)er of feet a6a% from the intended target the missi5e
The damage ta'en from a grenadeH5i'e attac's depends on 6hether a direct hit
6as scored or the target 6as in the sp5ash area. Ta)5e -, 5ists the area of effect for a direct
hit and damages from direct and sp5ash hits.
The <area of effect< is the amount of space covered )% a direct hit. An% creature in
the area of effect 6i55 suffer damage according to the Direct &it co5umn. A55 creatures
6ithin +9 of the area of effect are su):ect to sp5ash damage.
T%pes of GrenadeHLi'e Missi5es
Acid is particu5ar5% grim. Aside from the possi)i5it% of scarring L6hich is 5eft to
the DMM$ acid damage cannot )e hea5ed )% regeneration. It must )e hea5ed norma55%.
Thus$ it is ver% usefu5 against regenerating creatures such as tro55s. Acid is ver% rare.
=oly 2ater affects most forms of undead and creatures from the 5o6er p5anes. It
has no effect against a creature in gaseous form or undead 6ithout materia5 form.
/nho5% 6ater Lessentia55% ho5% 6ater used )% evi5 priestsM affects pa5adins$
creatures 6hose purpose is to defend good L5ammasu$ shedu$ etc.M$ and creatures and
)eings from the upper p5anes.
&o5% Lor unho5%M 6ater affects creatures as does acid$ causing damage that cannot
)e regenerated )ut must )e hea5ed norma55%.
3il causes damage on5% 6hen it is 5it. This norma55% re;uires a t6oHstep processHH
first soa'ing the target in f5amma)5e oi5 and then setting it afire. Thus$ using f5aming oi5
often re;uires t6o successfu5 attac's.
A direct hit from f5aming oi5 )urns for t6o rounds$ causing 2dK points of damage
in the first round and !dK points in the second.
Poison is genera55% not ver% effective as a missi5e 6eapon. Most poisons ta'e
effect on5% if the missi5e scores a direct hit$ and even then on5% if it drops into the gaping
ma6 of some huge creature. "ontact poisons have norma5 poison
effects on a direct hit.
*ou5ders as Missi5e (eapons
&ur5ed )ou5ders are hand5ed using the grenadeH5i'e missi5es ru5es$ even though
the% do not )urst. *ou5ders tend to )ounce )e%ond their initia5 point of impact and can hit
severa5 characters in a sing5e attac'. The% are particu5ar5% devastating against tight5%
pac'ed groups.
(hen attac'ing 6ith a )ou5der$ determine the target$ toHhit num)er$ and scatter Lin
the case of a missM according to the ru5es for grenadeH5i'e missi5es. The distance the
)ou5der scatters shou5d )e dou)5ed$ ho6ever.
If the )ou5der scatters to the 5eft or right$ it moves rough5% -, to K degrees off the
origina5 5ine of attac'. A )ou5der moves a5ong this 5ine for +d! feet. If the targets are in a
re5ative5% open area La group marching through a sno6 fie5d$ for e8amp5eM$ there is on5% a
s5im chance that an%one 6i55 )e hit )% the )ounding missi5e.
If the )ou5der moves through a space occupied )% a character Lor monsterM$ ro55
again for a hit Lreca5cu5ating T&A" as necessar%M$ app5%ing a H2 pena5t% for each !
feet$ or fraction thereof$ the )ou5der has )ounced since it hit.
If the p5a%er characters are in an area 6here movement is restrictedHHa formation
of pi'emen$ for e8amp5e$ or a 5arge part% in a !9 6ide corridorHHno additiona5 )ou5der
attac' is made. The )ou5der stri'es a55 targets in its path.
The damage caused )% a )ou5der as a resu5t of scatter is 5ess than from a direct hit.
Ro55 the damage norma55%$ )ut su)tract the distance in feet the )ou5der has )ounced to
that point. This is the damage inf5icted on the target.
Specia5 Attac's
Some 2A"s Land even A"sM have a)i5ities that can come into p5a% during com)at$
)ut 6hich don9t fa55 into an% of the standard com)at ru5es sections. These specia5 com)at
situations are dea5t 6ith )e5o6.
Attac'ing 6ith "harmed "reatures
There ma% )e times 6hen charmed creatures$ perhaps even part% mem)ers$ 6i55
)e compe55ed to fight their companions. (hen this happens$ remem)er that the creature$
2A"$ or p5a%er character no 5onger has contro5 over his decisions.
If a charmed p5a%er character is compe55ed to attac' his friends$ he must do so in
an effective manner. Grapp5ing or punching is not accepta)5e if the character possesses a
)etter method. At the same time$ the charmed character need use on5% those a)i5ities that
are o)vious to his ne6 Land$ one hopes$ temporar%M master.
Thus$ if a charmed fighter 6ith a s6ord at his side is carr%ing a /avelin o'
lightning$ he fights 6ith his s6ord un5ess specifica55% commanded to do other6ise. The
master in this case cou5d not command him to use the /avelin o' lightning un5ess he had
some 6a% of 'no6ing the fighter carried one.
Simi5ar5%$ a 6i>ard9s master must 'no6 6hich spe55s his charmed spe55caster
possesses$ and 6hich he has memori>ed. This is most common5% 5earned simp5% )%
as'ing. &o6ever$ due to the charmed fe55o69s )efudd5ed state$ there is a 2, percent
chance that he 6i55 un6itting5% cast a spe55 harmfu5 to himse5f and his master. Re5%ing on
charmed spe55casters can )e a ver% ris'% )usiness.
0imits on Charmed Creatures
A charmed creature has t6o critica5 5imitations on its actions. 7irst$ it cannot carr%
out commands re;uiring individua5 initiative. The master cannot sa%$ <7ight 6ith %our
most po6erfu5 magica5 itemB< since this re;uires :udgment on the part of the charmed
character. Second$ the charmed creature 6on9t o)e% an% command that 6ou5d o)vious5%
5ead to se5fHdestruction. Since com)at is composed of man% different varia)5es$ fighting
in itse5f is not c5ear5% se5fHdestructive$ even against hope5essHseeming odds.
Degrees o$ Charm
There are t6o degrees of charm po6er in the AD&D game$ that of monsters and
that of characters.
The charm po6er of monsters$ such as vampires$ ma'es ver)a5 communication
unnecessar%. The charmed creature understands the monster9s desires through menta5
command. A character charmed )% this po6er o)e%s the commands of his master tota55%$
at 5east 6ithin the 5imits of his a)i5it% and the guide5ines a)ove.
The charm po6er of characters is more 5imited. The master must have some
method of ma'ing himse5f understood to the charmed creature$ prefera)5% )% spea'ing
the same 5anguage. 3ther6ise$ charmed creatures can attempt to fo55o6 their master9s
hand gestures. This can )e a usefu5 and entertaining spur to ro5eHp5a%ing.
Ga>e Attac's
Monsters 6ith a ga>e attac'$ such as the )asi5is'$ have the po6er to affect an
opponent simp5% )% ma'ing e%e contact. This ma'es these creatures incredi)5%
dangerous$ for the s5ightest g5ance can cause great harm.
"haracters 6ho 5oo' direct5% at such creatures to attac' them$ or those 6ho are
surprised )% the creature$ automatica55% meet the creature9s ga>e. These unfortunate
characters must ma'e the appropriate saving thro6 or suffer the effects of the creature9s
attac'. Such attac'ers undergo the ga>e attac' each round the% attac'. In 5arge groups$
on5% the front ran' can meet the ga>e$ a fate that can )e avoided if the attac'er
approaches from the rear$ 6here the creature cannot see.
"haracters can a5so attempt to avoid the ga>e )% 5oo'ing in the genera5 direction
of the creature 6ithout actua55% 5oo'ing into its e%es. This ena)5es characters to see the
target 6e55 enough to fight norma55% 6ithout fa55ing victim to its po6er. &o6ever$ there is
a 2O chance each round that an attac'er tr%ing this tric' 6i55 accidenta55% meet the ga>e
of the creature.
7ina55%$ a character can comp5ete5% avert his ga>e or c5ose his e%es 6hen attac'ing
the creature$ preventing an% chance of meeting the creature9s ga>e. This is 5i'e fighting in
the dar'$ and the character suffers a55 the norma5 pena5ties for fighting 6hi5e )5inded.
Safer than a55 of these methods is to use some t%pe of ref5ective surfaceHHa mirror
or high5% po5ished shie5d is ver% hand%. The po6ers of ga>e attac's are not effective in
ref5ections$ so it is safe to o)serve a )asi5is' or medusa in a mirror.
7or this tric' to )e effective$ there must )e some source of 5ight avai5a)5e$ since
nothing can )e ref5ected in dar'ness. A5so$ characters shou5d )e reminded that using a
mirror can )e disorienting. The character must )ac' to6ard his target$ ho5ding the mirror
in his shie5d arm. &e suffers a H2 pena5t% to his chance to hit and does not gain the
)enefits of his shie5d or his Armor "5ass )onus for De8terit% 6hen the creature attac's
"reatures 6ith ga>e attac's can choose not to use their po6er. In this case$ it is the
creature that avoids 5oo'ing at the characters. 2ot meeting their ga>e$ it can9t affect them.
"reatures inte55igent enough to par5e% ma% do this on occasion.
Innate A)i5ities
#specia55% po6erfu5 creatures possess innate a)i5ities$ magica5 po6ers the% can
use at 6i55. The ma:orit% of these function 5i'e spe55s. Thus$ a )ro6nie 6ho is a)5e to
cause confusion has the same effect as a character 6ho casts the con'usion spe55.
"reatures a)5e to )ecome invisi)5e at 6i55 usua55% use a55 the norma5 ru5es for the
invisibility spe55.
Innate a)i5ities are different from spe55s in one ma:or 6a%$ ho6ever. /n5i'e spe55s$
innate a)i5ities are natura5 po6ers and do not re;uire casting times or an% components
La5though there is an initiative modifierM$ inc5uding gestures or 6ordsHHun5ess these things
are used for dramatic effect. LThe monster casua55% points to the p5ace 6here his spe55 6i55
occur and then 5oo's at the part% 6ith a 6ic'ed smi5e.M Innate a)i5ities are activated )%
the merest menta5 command of the creature.
In a55 other respects$ innate a)i5ities function 5i'e spe55s. The% have the same
range$ area of effect$ and duration 5imitations of the spe55 of the same name. (hen the
spe55 in ;uestion varies in po6er according to the 5eve5 of the caster$ the creature is
assumed to have a 5eve5 e;ua5 to its &it Dice. If this means the creature is of insufficient
5eve5 to cast the spe55$ it uses the spe55 at the minimum 5eve5 needed to cast it.
Innate a)i5ities genera55% can )e used :ust once a round. 7urther$ a creature cannot
use an innate a)i5it% and ma'e an attac' in the same round.
*reath (eapons
1arious creatures in the AD&D game possess )reath 6eapons$ the most
memora)5e )eing the roaring gout of f5ame spe6ed out )% a red dragon. These 6eapons
norma55% affect a coneHshaped area. 3ne point is the dragon9s mouth$ and the )reath
6idens as it e8tends out6ard. 2o attac' ro55 is re;uired for a )reath 6eapon. A55
characters and creatures 6ithin the area of effect must ma'e the appropriate saving thro6
and suffer the conse;uences of a successfu5 )reath attac'.
Specia5 Defenses
So far$ the )u5' of this chapter has dea5t 6ith 6a%s to attac'. In addition$ there are
severa5 6a%s to avoid suffering damage. T6o of the most common are the <saving thro6<
and <magic resistance.< Some6hat 5ess common are the a)i5it% to <turn undead< and
immunit% to particu5ar 6eaponHt%pes.
The Saving Thro6
The saving thro6 is a die ro55 that gives a chance$ ho6ever s5im$ that the character
or creature finds some 6a% to save himse5f from certain destruction$ or at 5east 5essen the
damage of a successfu5 attac'.
More often than not$ the saving thro6 represents an instinctive act on the part of
the characterHHdiving to the ground :ust as a fire)a55 scorches the group? )5an'ing the
mind :ust as a menta5 )att5e )egins? )5oc'ing the 6orst of an acid spra% 6ith a shie5d. The
e8act action is not important. DMs and p5a%ers can thin' of 5ive5% and co5orfu5
e8p5anations of 6h% a saving thro6 succeeded or fai5ed. #8p5anations tai5ored to the
events of the moment enhance the e8citement of the game.
Ro55ing Saving Thro6s
To ma'e a saving thro6$ a p5a%er ro55s !d2. The resu5t must )e e;ua5 to or greater
than the character9s saving thro6 num)er. The num)er a character needs to ro55 varies
depending upon his group$ his 5eve5$ and 6hat he is tr%ing to save himse5f from. A
character9s saving thro6 num)ers can )e found in Ta)5e -K. Mu5tiHc5ass characters use the
most advantageous saving ro55.
Saving thro6s are made in a variet% of situationsI 7or attac's invo5ving
para5%>ation$ poison$ or death magic? rod$ staff$ or 6and? petrification or po5%morph?
)reath 6eapon? and spe55s. The t%pe of saving thro6 a character must ro55 is determined
)% the specific spe55$ monster$ magica5 item$ or situation invo5ved.
Monsters a5so use Ta)5e -K. &o6ever$ the% do not find their saving thro6
num)ers )% group and 5eve5$ since the% have neither. A55 creatures save against poison
and death magic at a 5eve5 e;ua5 to the num)er of their &it Dice. Inte55igent monsters save
versus a55 other attac's at this 5eve5 as 6e55.
"reatures 6ith no inte55igence Leven 5ess than anima5 inte55igenceM save at a 5eve5
e;ua5 to ha5f the num)er of their &it Dice. An% additions to their &it Dice are counted as
6e55$ at the rate of one die for ever% four points or fraction thereof. Thus$ an inte55igent
creature 6ith , R K &it Dice 6ou5d save at .th 5eve5 L, &it Dice R another die for the 2
remainingM. A nonHinte55igent )east of the same &it Dice 6ou5d save against a55 )ut
poison and death at -th 5eve5 Lround upM.
Most monsters use the (arrior group ta)5e to determine their save. &o6ever$
those that have a)i5ities of other c5asses use the most favora)5e saving thro6. A creature
a)5e to fight and use a 5arge num)er of spe55s cou5d use either the (arrior or (i>ard
groups$ 6hichever 6as )etter for a particu5ar saving thro6. "reatures that 5ac' fighting
a)i5it% use the group that most c5ose5% resem)5es their o6n a)i5ities. A fungusHcreature
that can on5% cast spe55s 6ou5d use the (i>ard group ta)5e to determine saving thro6s.
-able "%:
Character Saving -hro<s
Character Group and Paraly4ationB PoisonB odB Sta$$B Petri$ication 6reath
E*perience 0evel or Death &agic or 2and or Polymorph9 2eapon99 Spells999
!H+ ! !- !+ !K !,
-HK F !+ !2 !, !-
.HF . !! ! !+ !2
!H!2 K ! F !2 !!
!+H!, , F G !! !
!KH!G - G . ! F
!FR 2 K , G .
!H- !+ !- !2 !K !,
,HG !2 !2 !! !, !+
FH!2 !! ! ! !- !!
!+H!K ! G F !+ F
!.H2 F K G !2 .
2!R G . - !! ,
!K !G !. 2 !F
!H2 !- !K !, !. !.
+H- !+ !, !- !K !K
,HK !! !+ !2 !+ !-
.HG ! !2 !! !2 !+
FH! G ! F F !!
!!H!2 . F G G !
!+H!- , . K , G
!,H!K - K , - .
!.R + , - - K
!H, !- !! !+ !, !2
KH! !+ F !! !+ !
!!H!, !! . F !! G
!KH2 ! , . F K
2!R G + , . -
Q #8c5uding &olymor&h wound attac's.
QQ #8c5uding those that cause petrification or po5%morph.
QQQ #8c5uding those for 6hich another saving thro6 t%pe is specified$ such as death$ petrification$
po5%morph$ etc.
Saving Thro6 Ariorit%
Sometimes the t%pe of saving thro6 re;uired )% a situation or item isn9t c5ear$ or
more than one categor% of saving thro6 ma% seem appropriate. 7or this reason$ the
saving thro6 categories in Ta)5e -K are 5isted in order of importance$ )eginning 6ith
para5%>ation$ poison$ and death magic$ and ending 6ith spe55.
Imagine that Rath is struc' )% the ra% from a wand o' &olymor&hing. *oth a
saving thro6 vs. 6ands and a saving thro6 vs. po5%morph 6ou5d )e appropriate. *ut
Rath must ro55 a saving thro6 vs. 6ands )ecause that categor% has a higher priorit% than
The categories of saving thro6s are as fo55o6s Lin order of priorit%MI
Paraly4ationB PoisonB or Death &agic: this is used 6henever a character is
affected )% a para5%>ing attac' Lregard5ess of sourceM$ poison Lof an% strengthM$ or certain
spe55s and magica5 items that other6ise 'i55 the character outright Las 5isted in their
descriptionsM. This saving thro6 a5so can )e used in situations in 6hich e8ceptiona5 force
of 6i55 or ph%sica5 fortitude is needed.
odB Sta$$B or 2and: As its name imp5ies$ this is used 6henever a character is
affected )% the po6ers of a rod$ staff$ or 6and$ provided another save of higher priorit%
isn9t ca55ed for. This saving thro6 is sometimes specified for situations in 6hich a
character faces a magica5 attac' from an unusua5 source.
Petri$ication or Polymorph: This is used an% time a character is turned to stone
LpetrifiedM or po5%morphed )% a monster$ spe55$ or magica5 item Lother than a 6andM. It
a5so can )e used 6hen the character must 6ithstand some massive ph%sica5 a5teration of
his entire )od%.
6reath 2eapon: A character uses this save 6hen facing monsters 6ith )reath
6eapons$ particu5ar5% the po6erfu5 )5ast of a dragon. This save a5so cou5d )e used in
situations 6here a com)ination of ph%sica5 stamina and De8terit% are critica5 factors in
character surviva5.
Spell: This is used 6henever a character attempts to resist the effects of a magica5
attac'$ either )% a spe55caster or from a magica5 item$ provided no other t%pe of saving
thro6 is specified. This save a5so can )e used to resist an attac' that defies an% other
1o5untari5% 7ai5ing Saving Thro6s
2o saving thro6 is made if the target vo5untari5% chooses not to resist the effect of
a spe55 or specia5 attac'. This is the case even if the character 6as duped as to the e8act
nature of the spe55. (hen a character announces that he is not resisting the spe559s po6er$
that spe55 Lor 6hateverM has its fu55 effect.
The intention not to resist must )e c5ear5% stated or set up through tric'er%$
ho6ever. If a character is attac'ed )% surprise or caught una6ares$ he is norma55% a55o6ed
a saving thro6. The DM can modif% this saving thro6$ ma'ing the chance of success
6orse if the situation 6arrants it. 3n5% in e8treme cases of tric'er% and deception shou5d
an un6itting character )e denied a saving thro6.
A)i5it% "hec's as Saving Thro6s
(hen a character attempts to avoid danger through the use of one of his a)i5ities$
an a)i5it% chec' can )e used in 5ieu of a saving thro6.
7or e8amp5e$ Ragnar the thief has )ro'en into someone9s home 6hen he hears a
grating noise from the cei5ing a)ove him. &e 5oo's up to find a fiveHton )5oc' of the
cei5ing headed straight for himB &e is going to need speed% reactions to get out of the
6a%$ so a De8terit% a)i5it% chec' shou5d )e ro55ed to see if he avoids the trap.
Modif%ing Saving Thro6s
Saving thro6s can )e modified )% magica5 items$ specific ru5es$ and specia5
situations. These modifiers can increase or decrease the chance of a successfu5 saving
Modifiers that increase the chance are given as a num)er preceded )% a p5us sign.
Modifiers that ma'e success more difficu5t are given as a num)er preceded )% a minus
sign LH!$ H2$ etc.M
Saving thro6 modifiers affect a character9s die ro55$ not the saving thro6 num)er
needed. Thus$ if De5senora needed an !! for a successfu5 saving thro6 vs. petrification
and had a R! )onus to her save$ she 6ou5d sti55 need to ro55 an !! or higher after a55
ad:ustments 6ere made. *ut the R! )onus 6ou5d )e added to her die ro55$ so that
effective5% she needs to ro55 on5% a ! on the die to reach her saving thro6 num)er of !!.
=igh ability scores in De8terit% and (isdom sometimes give saving thro6
)onuses. A high (isdom protects against i55usions$ charms$ and other menta5 attac's.
De8terit%$ if high enough$ can give a character a s5ight5% higher chance of avoiding the
effects of fire)a55s$ 5ightning )o5ts$ crushing )ou5ders$ and other attac's 6here nim)5eness
ma% )e a he5p.
&agical items 5i'e c5oa's and rings of protection give )onuses to a character9s
saving thro6 Lthese are 5isted in the item descriptions in the appendicesM.
&agical armor a55o6s a saving thro6 )onus on5% 6hen the save is made
necessar% )% something ph%sica5$ 6hether norma5 or magica5. Magica5 armor never gives
a saving thro6 )onus against gas L6hich it cannot )5oc'M$ poison L6hich operates
interna55%M$ and spe55s that are menta5 or that cause no ph%sica5 damage.
7or e8amp5e$ magica5 armor 6ou5d not he5p a character9s saving thro6 against the
sting of a giant scorpion$ the cho'ing effects of a stinking cloud spe55$ or the
transformation effect of a &olymor&h other spe55. &o6ever$ magica5 armor e8tends its
protective po6er to saving thro6s against acid spra%s or sp5ashes$ disintegration$ magica5
and norma5 fires$ spe55s that cause damage$ and fa55s Lif an% saving thro6 is a55o6ed in
this caseM. 3ther situations must )e hand5ed on a caseH)%Hcase )asis )% the DM.
Speci$ic spells and magical items have effects$ )oth good and i55$ on a character9s
saving thro6s. 3ften$ spe55s force the victim to save 6ith a pena5t%$ 6hich ma'es even the
most innocuous spe55 ;uite dangerous. Specific information can )e found in the spe55
descriptions$ for spe55s$ or in the Magica5 Items section$ for magica5 items.
&inor poisons of verminous creatures such as giant centipedes$ 6hi5e dangerous$
are 6ea' and un5i'e5% to )ring a)out death in a hea5th% man. To recreate this effect in the
game$ a saving thro6 )onus is a55o6ed for an%one affected )% these poisons.
:npredictable situations are sure to crop up. (hen this happens$ the DM must
determine 6hether saving thro6 modifiers are appropriate. As a guide5ine$ modifiers for
situations shou5d range from H- to R-. An evi5 c5eric attac'ed in his shrine cou5d ver% 6e55
have a R+ )onus to a55 his saving thro6s and a H+ pena5t% app5ied to those of his enemies.
The po6erfu5 evi5 of the p5ace cou5d 6arrant the modifier.
DM modifiers shou5d )e used sparing5%$ and on5% 6hen appropriate. If constant5%
assigned$ the% 6i55 no 5onger fee5 specia5 to the p5a%er 6hose character9s fate hangs on the
toss of a sing5e die.
Magic Resistance
Some creatures or items strong5% resist the effects of magic Lor impart such
resistance to othersM. This ma'es them more difficu5t to affect 6ith magica5 energ% than
ordinar% creatures or items.
A rare fe6 creatures are e8treme5% antiHmagica5HHmagic ro55s off them 5i'e 6ater
off a duc'9s )ac'. More common are creatures$ especia55% from the outer p5anes$ that 5ive
in enchanted or sorcerous 5ands and are fi55ed 6ith po6erfu5 arcane energies. These
creatures eat and )reathe the vapors of 6i>ardr%$ and the% have a high to5erance against
Magic resistance is an innate a)i5it%. That is$ the possessor does not have to do
an%thing specia5 to use it. The creature need not even )e a6are of the threat for its magic
resistance to operate. Such resistance is part of the creature or item and cannot )e
separated from it. "reatures$ ho6ever$ can 5o6er their magic resistance at 6i55.
Magic resistance is a5so an individua5 a)i5it%. A creature 6ith magic resistance
cannot impart this po6er to others )% ho5ding their hands or standing in their midst. 3n5%
the rarest of creatures and magica5 items have the a)i5it% to )esto6 magic resistance upon
Magic resistance is given as a percenti5e num)er. 7or a magica5 effect to have an%
chance of success$ the magic resistance must )e overcome. The target Lthe one 6ith the
magic resistanceM ro55s percenti5e dice. If the ro55 is higher than the creature9s magic
resistance$ the spe55 has a norma5 effect. If the ro55 is e;ua5 to or 5ess than the creature9s
magic resistance$ the spe55 has no effect on the creature.
#ffects of Magic Resistance
Magic resistance ena)5es a creature to ignore the effects of spe55s and spe55H5i'e
po6ers. It does not protect the creature from magica5 6eapon attac's or from natura5
forces that can )e a direct or accidenta5 resu5t of a spe55. 2or does it prevent the protected
creature from using his o6n a)i5ities or from casting spe55s and using magica5 items. It
can )e effective against )oth individua55% targeted spe55s and$ 6ithin 5imits$ areaHeffect
If a magic resistance ro55 fai5s$ and the spe55 has norma5 effects$ the target can
ma'e a55 saving thro6s norma55% a55o6ed against the spe55.
(hen Magic Resistance App5ies
Magic resistance app5ies on5% if the successfu5 casting of a spe55 6ou5d direct5%
affect the resistant creature or item. Thus$ magic resistance is effective against a magic
missile Ltargeted at a creature or itemM or a 'ireball spe55 Ldamaging the area the creature
or item is inM.
Magic resistance is not effective against an earth;ua'e caused )% a spe55. (hi5e
the creature cou5d suffer in:ur% or death fa55ing into a chasm the spe55 opens under its feet$
the magica5 energ% of the spe55 6as directed at the ground$ not the creature. Magic
resistant creatures are not immune to events that occur as the conse;uence of spe55s$ on5%
to the direct energ% created or re5eased )% a spe55.
A5a%er characters do not norma55% have magic resistance Lthough the% sti55 get
saving thro6s vs. magica5 spe55s and suchM. This a)i5it% is reserved main5% for specia5
Successfu5 Magic Resistance Ro55s
A successfu5 magic resistance chec' can have four different resu5ts$ depending on
the nature of the spe55 )eing resisted.
Individually -argeted Spells: *% definition$ these spe55s affect :ust one creature$
and on5% the targeted creature ro55s for magic resistance$ if it has an%. If a spe55 of this
t%pe is directed at severa5 targets$ each target ro55s independent5% of the others. An
e8amp5e of this 6ou5d )e a hold &erson spe55 aimed at four creatures$ 6ith each creature
getting a magic resistance ro55$ if the% have magic resistance.
If the magic resistance ro55 is successfu5$ the spe55 has no effect on that creature$
the spe55 fai5s and disappears. If severa5 targets are invo5ved$ the spe55 cou5d sti55 affect
others 6ho fai5 their magic resistance ro55.
Area;E$$ect Spells: These spe55s are not targeted on a sing5e creature$ )ut on a
point. The spe559s effect encompasses ever%thing 6ithin a set distance of that point. A
successfu5 magic resistance chec' ena)5es the creature to ignore the effect of the spe55.
&o6ever$ the spe55 is not negated and sti55 app5ies to a55 others in the area of effect.
In;Place Spells: These spe55s operate continuous5% in a particu5ar p5ace or on a
particu5ar creature$ character$ or item. Protection 'rom evil is one e8amp5e of this 'ind of
Magic resistance comes into p5a% on5% if a creature or item finds himse5f or itse5f
in the p5ace 6here the spe55 is in operation. #ven then$ magic resistance ma% not come
into p5a%. 2othing happens if the spe55 isn9t of a t%pe that affects the character. Thus$ a
&art water spe55 6ou5d not co55apse simp5% )ecause a magic resistant creature 6a5'ed
through the area. A &rotection 'rom evil spe55$ 6hich cou5d affect the creature$ 6ou5d )e
suscepti)5e to magic resistance.
If the DM determines that a magic resistance ro55 is appropriate$ and the ro55
succeeds$ the inHp5ace spe55 co55apses$ usua55% 6ith a dramatic thunderc5ap and puff of
Permanent Spells: Magic resistance is insufficient to destro% a permanent spe55.
Instead$ the spe55 is negated$ 6ithin the same guide5ines given for inHp5ace spe55s$ for as
5ong as the magic resistant creature is in the area of effect.
Thus$ a magicHresistant creature might )e a)5e to step through a permanent wall o'
'orce enchantment as if it 6eren9t there. &o6ever$ the 6a55 6ou5d spring )ac' into
e8istence as soon as the creature passed through Li.e.$ no one e5se can pass throughM.
Turning /ndead
3ne important$ and potentia55% 5ifeHsaving$ com)at a)i5it% avai5a)5e to priests and
pa5adins is the a)i5it% to turn undead. This is a specia5 po6er granted )% the character9s
deit%. Druids cannot turn undead. &o6ever$ priests of specific m%thoi ma% )e a)5e to at
the DM9s option.
Through the priest or pa5adin$ the deit% manifests a portion of its po6er$ terrif%ing
evi5$ undead creatures or )5asting them right out of e8istence. &o6ever$ since the po6er
must )e channe5ed through a morta5 vesse5$ success is not a56a%s assured.
(hen encountering undead$ a priest or pa5adin can attempt to turn the creatures
Lremem)er that the pa5adin turns undead as if he 6as t6o 5eve5s 5o6erHHa ,thH5eve5
pa5adin uses the 5eve5 + co5umn in Ta)5e -.M. 3n5% one attempt can )e made per character
per encounter$ )ut severa5 different characters can ma'e attempts at the same time$ 6ith
the resu5ts determined individua55%.
Attempting to turn counts as an action$ re;uiring one round and occurring during
the character9s turn in the initiative order. Thus$ the undead might get to act )efore the
character can turn them. The mere presence of the character is not enoughHHa touch of
drama from the character is important. Speech and gestures are important$ so the
character must have his hands free and )e in a position to spea'. Sti55$ turning is not 5i'e
spe55casting and is not interrupted if the character is attac'ed during the attempt.
To reso5ve a turning attempt$ 5oo' on Ta)5e -.. "rossHinde8 the &it Dice or t%pe
of the undead 6ith the 5eve5 of the character Lt6o 5eve5s 5o6er for a pa5adinM. If there is a
num)er 5isted$ ro55 !d2. If the num)er ro55ed is e;ua5 to or greater than that 5isted$ the
attempt is successfu5. If the 5etter <T< Lfor <turned<M appears$ the attempt is automatica55%
succeeded 6ithout a die ro55. If the 5etter <D< Lfor <dispe5<M is given$ the turning utter5%
destro%s the undead. A dash LHHM means that a priest or pa5adin of that 5eve5 cannot turn
that t%pe of undead. U& to ?d< undead are turned by a success'ul attem&t- ,' the undead
creatures are a mi!ed grou&; the lowest Hit Dice creatures are a''ected 'irst-
3n5% one die is ro55ed regard5ess of the num)er of undead the character is
attempting to turn in a given round. The resu5t is read individua55% for each t%pe of
7or e8amp5e$ Gorus$ a .thH5eve5 priest$ and his part% are attac'ed )% t6o s'e5etons
5ed )% a 6ight and a spectre. The turning attempt is made$ resu5ting in a ro55 of !2.
Gorus9s p5a%er reads the ta)5e for a55 three t%pes of undead using the same roll==
3?=='or all three. The s'e5etons are destro%ed$ as Gorus 'ne6 the% 6ou5d )e. The 6ight is
turned La - or )etter 6as neededM and f5ees. The spectre$ ho6ever$ continues for6ard
undaunted$ since a !K 6as needed to turn it.
/ndead )ound )% the orders of another Le.g.$ s'e5etonsM simp5% retreat and a55o6
the character and those 6ith him to pass or comp5ete their actions.
7reeH6i55ed undead attempt to f5ee the area of the turning character$ unti5 out of
his sight. If una)5e to escape$ the% circ5e at a distance$ no c5oser than ! feet to the
character$ provided he continues to maintain his turning. 2o further die ro55s are needed.
-able "(:
-urning :ndead
-ype or =it Dice 0evel o$ PriestI
of /ndead ! 2 + - , K . G F !H!!
!2H!+ !-R
S'e5eton or ! &D ! . - T T D D DQ DQ
Dom)ie !+ ! . - T T D D DQ DQ
Ghou5 or 2 &D !K !+ ! . - T T D D
Shado6 or
+H- &D !F !K !+ ! . - T T D D
(ight or , &D2 !F !K !+ ! . - T T D
Ghast HH 2 !F !K !+ ! . - T T D
(raith or K &D HH HH 2 !F !K !+ ! . -
Mumm% or . &D HH HH HH 2 !F !K !+ ! .
- T T
Spectre or G &D HH HH HH HH 2 !F !K !+ !
. - T
1ampire or F &D HH HH HH HH HH 2 !F !K !+
! . -
Ghost or ! &D HH HH HH HH HH HH 2 !F !K
!+ ! .
Lich or !!R &D HH HH HH HH HH HH HH 2 !F
!K !+ !
!K !+
QAn additiona5 2d- creatures of this t%pe are turned.
QQSpecia5 creatures inc5ude uni;ue undead$ freeH6i55ed undead of the 2egative
Materia5 A5ane$ certain Greater and Lesser Ao6ers$ and those undead that d6e55 in the
3uter A5anes.
UAa5adins turn undead as priests 6ho are t6o 5eve5s 5o6er.
If the character forces the freeH6i55ed undead to come c5oser than ! feet$ )%
pressing them into a corner$ for e8amp5e$ the turning is )ro'en and the undead attac'
#vi5 Ariests and /ndead
#vi5 priests are norma55% considered to )e in 5eague 6ith undead creatures$ or at
5east to share their aims and goa5s. Thus$ the% have no a)i5it% to turn undead. &o6ever$
the% can attempt to command these )eings$ forcing them to do their 6i55.
This is reso5ved in the same 6a% as a turning attempt. /p to !2 undead can )e
commanded. A <T< resu5t means the undead automatica55% o)e% the evi5 priest$ 6hi5e a
<D< means the undead )ecome su)servient to the evi5 priest. The% fo55o6 his commands
to the )est of their a)i5it% and understanding unti5 turned$ commanded$ or destro%ed )%
#vi5 priests a5so have the a)i5it% to affect pa5adins$ turning them as if the% 6ere
undead. &o6ever$ since the 5iving spirit of a pa5adin is far more difficu5t to ;ue55 and
su)vert$ pa5adins are vast5% more difficu5t to turn.
An evi5 priest attempting to turn a pa5adin does so as if the priest 6ere three 5eve5s
5o6er than he actua55% is. Thus$ a .thH5eve5 evi5 priest 6ou5d turn pa5adins on the -thH5eve5
co5umn. &e 6ou5d have on5% a s5im chance of turning a .thH5eve5 pa5adin L. &DM and
6ou5d not )e a)5e to turn one of Gth 5eve5 Lusing the pa5adin9s 5eve5 as the &D to )e
Immunit% to (eapons
Some monsters$ particu5ar5% 5%canthropes and po6erfu5 undead such as vampires$
are immune to norma5 6eapons. Attac'ers need specia5 6eapons to hurt them. The most
common of these are si5ver and magica5 6eapons.
Specia5 6eapon re;uirements are 5isted in the monster descriptions as <Si5ver
6eapons or magic to attac'< or <R2 6eapons or )etter to hit$< or something simi5ar. The
5isted 6eapon$ or one of greater po6er$ must )e used to damage the monster. Magica5
6eapons are of greater po6er than si5ver 6eapons and each p5us a magica5 6eapon gets is
a measure of po6er. 3)vious5%$ then$ a sword 1? is more po6erfu5 than a sword 13.
#ven creatures immune to certain 6eapons can )e affected )% magica5 spe55s$
un5ess a specific immunit% to a spe55$ or group of spe55s$ is 5isted in the description$ in the
Monstrous Manua5.
#ffects of (eapon &its
(hen a creature is hit )% a 6eapon to 6hich it is immune$ the attac' appears to
5eave a visi)5e 6ound. &o6ever$ no points of damage are inf5icted.
7or e8amp5e$ a vampire strides across the )an;uet ha55 to6ard the p5a%er
characters. 7earfu55%$ the% 5oose a vo55e% of arro6s at him. Three hit$ )ut he doesn9t even
)rea' his stride. The% 6atch$ aghast$ as he disdainfu55% p5uc's the arro6s from his )od%.
@ust as he c5oses 6ith them$ Targash s6ings and hits him 6ith his sword 18. The
vampire9s smug 5oo' of overconfidence is transformed to one of snar5ing rage as he
rea5i>es 6ith a shoc' that one of these snive5ing humans has hurt himB
Si5ver (eapons
(hen confronting a creature immune to a55 )ut si5ver 6eapons$ p5a%ers 6i55 5earn
Lpro)a)5% the hard 6a%M that :ust an% o5d si5ver 6eapon 6on9t do. 3rdinar% 6eapons
p5ated 6ith a thin 5a%er of si5ver are not effective. The 6eapon$ or at 5east the )5ade$ must
)e made of pure si5ver. Such 6eapons must )e customHmade. In addition$ si5ver is a poor
choice of meta5 for a 6eapon and so cannot )e used for ever%Hda% purposes.
To retain its cutting po6er and shape$ a si5ver 6eapon shou5d )e used on5% 6hen
a)so5ute5% needed. (hi5e there are no ru5es to prevent its constant use Lsince there are too
man% varia)5es for t%pe of 6eapon$ amount of use$ etc.M$ )e read% to surprise characters
6ho constant5% use si5ver 6eapons in p5ace of norma5 ones. <3h$ dear$ %ou hit that orc9s
p5ate mai5 6ith %our si5ver s6ord and the )5ade )entB< or <4ou 'no6$ %ou9ve )een using
%our si5verHheaded spear so much that the point is no 5onger good. It9s 'ind of 5i'e hitting
that 6ere6o5f 6ith a c5ums% c5u) e8cept it doesn9t 6or' as 6e55B<
"reature vs. "reature
3ne o)vious ;uestion that arises in the minds of those 6ith a 5ogica5 )ent is <&o6
do other creatures fight those immune monsters=< In the case of monsters$ sufficient &it
Dice ena)5e them to attac' immune creatures as if the% 6ere fighting 6ith magica5
6eapons. Ta)5e -G 5ists various num)ers of &it Dice and their magica5 6eapon
These &it Dice e;uiva5ents app5% on5% to monsters. A5a%er characters and 2A"s
cannot )enefit from this.
Ta)5e -GI
&it Dice 1s. Immunit%
&it Dice &its creatures re;uiring
-R! or more R! 6eapon
KR2 or more R2 6eapon
GR+ or more R+ 6eapon
!R- or more R- 6eapon
/sing Immune Monsters in a "ampaign
"reatures 6ith po6erfu5 6eapon immunities shou5d )e used 6ith care. A5a%ers
trust the DM to create situations in 6hich the% have a chance to 6in. Don9t use such
creatures un5ess the part% has 6eapons to defeat them$ or there is some other reason for
encountering that monster.
#ver% p5a%er character in the part% needn9t have a 6eapon effective against the
monster$ )ut there shou5d )e at 5east t6o in the part%. Avoid ma'ing an encounter
dependent on the actions of a sing5e character. It9s not much fun for the other p5a%ers and
too man% things can go 6rong 6ith the p5an if the 'e% p5a%er doesn9t cooperate or his
character gets hurt.
The 6arning a)ove is :ust that$ ho6everHHa 6arning. It9s not a ru5e. There are
times 6here using such creatures on an unprepared part% can 5ead to creative and
entertaining p5a%.
7or e8amp5e$ sa% the part% is :ust )eginning an adventure invo5ving 5ots of
6ere6o5ves. #ar5% on$ the% are attac'ed )% a hair% creature and their 6eapons don9t seem
to do an% goodB If not dispatched )% spe55s$ it causes serious in:ur%$ )ut doesn9t manage to
'i55 an%one$ )efore it f5ees for some reason or another. It shou5dn9t ta'e too much for
p5a%ers to figure out 6hat the% need$ and getting appropriate 6eapons can )ecome part of
the adventure.
Immune creatures a5so can )e used to contro5 a part% that has )ecome a)usive or
:ust too po6erfu5. Such uses of ver% potent creatures shou5d )e e8treme5% rare.
The o5d sa%ing$ <the )est defense is a good offense< is c5ear5% true in the AD&D
game. And the )est 6a% to avoid suffering damage is to )eat the foe so )ad5% he 6ants to
cra65 under a roc' or$ )etter %et$ run a6a%. That9s 6here mora5e chec's come in.
The gno55 in front of *eornhe5m smashes a mace against the fighter9s shie5d$ :ust
as the searing heat of 5ightning c5ips a55 the hair on the side of his head. Instant5%$ the heat
is fo55o6ed )% the )ooming thunderc5ap in his ear. A55 the 6hi5e$ some vi5e 5itt5e creature
is tr%ing to gna6 on his shinB It9s rea55% enough to ruin an adventurer9s da%. *ut$
*eornhe5m is coo5$ ca5m and in contro5HH)ecause the p5a%er running him sa%s so. The
same can9t )e said for the monsters.
In a5most a55 situations$ p5a%ers shou5d )e the ones 6ho decide 6hat their
characters do. A DM shou5d never te55 a p5a%er$ <4our character decides he doesn9t 6ant
to get hurt and runs from the fight$< un5ess that character is charmed and therefore
contro55ed )% the DM.
A suggestion that a character might 6ant to retreat$ advance$ open a chest$ or
6hatever$ is a55 right$ )ut a DM shou5dn9t force a p5a%er character to do something )%
simp5% insisting. 3n5% under the most unusua5 circumstancesHHcharm$ magica5 fear$ or
other forced effectsHHshou5d the DM dictate the actions of a p5a%er character.
Monsters and 2A"s are an entire5% different matter$ ho6ever. The DM ma'es
their decisions$ tr%ing to thin' 5i'e each creature or nonHp5a%er character$ in turn.
In com)at$ thin'ing 5i'e a creature main5% means deciding 6hat actions it ta'es
and ho6 )ad5% it 6ants to fight. As a genera5 ru5e$ monsters and 2A"s are no more eager
to die than p5a%er characters. Most 6ithdra6 6hen a fight starts to go )ad5%.
Some panic and f5ee$ even casting their 6eapons aside. If the% thin' the% can get
merc%$ )righter foes might fa55 to their 'nees and surrender. A fe6 )5oodthirst% or
)rain5ess t%pes might fight to the deathHH)ut this doesn9t happen too often. These are the
things that ma'e up mora5e$ things the DM must decide$ either through ro5eHp5a%ing or
dice ro55ing.
The Ro5eHA5a%ing So5ution
The first Land )estM 6a% to hand5e mora5e is to determine it 6ithout ro55ing an%
dice or consu5ting an% ta)5es. This gives the )iggest range of choices and prevents
i55ogica5 things from happening. To decide 6hat a creature does$ thin' a)out its goa5s and
reasons for fighting.
/ninte55igent and anima5 inte55igence creatures attac' and most often for food or
to protect their 5air. 7e6 ever attac' for the sheer :o% of 'i55ing.
Those attac'ing for food attac' the things the% norma55% hunt. A mountain 5ion$
for e8amp5e$ doesn9t hunt humans as a ru5e$ and it doesn9t sta5' and attac' humans as it
6ou5d a deer. Such creatures norma55% a55o6 a part% of adventurers to pass )%
unhindered. 3n5% 6hen the creature is c5ose to its 5air does the chance of attac' come into
p5a%. Anima5s often fight to protect their territor% or their %oung.
(hen the% do )ecome invo5ved in com)at$ anima5s and other creatures rare5%
fight to the death. (hen hunting$ the% certain5% tr% to escape$ especia55% if the% are
in:ured. Their interest is in food. If the% can9t get it easi5%$ the%955 tr% again e5se6here.
Most often$ it is on5% 6hen pressed$ 6ith no avenue of escape$ or perhaps 6hen its %oung
are threatened$ that an anima5 6i55 sacrifice its o6n 5ife.
3f course$ in an AD&D game$ a creature can attac' and fight to the death 6hen
that 6i55 ma'e for the most drama and e8citement. 7or e8amp5e$ sa% a group of characters
spot a gri>>5% )ear )5oc'ing the path ahead of them. Instead of 6ise5% 6aiting for it to
sham)5e off$ the part% foo5ish5% puts some arro6s into it. #nraged$ the )east attac's the
part% 6ith )erser' fur%$ causing serious harm and teaching them an important 5esson
)efore it dies.
Inte55igent creatures have more comp5icated motivations that the need for food
and she5ter. The DM decides 6hat the creatures 6ant. Greed hatred$ fear$ se5fHdefense$
and hunger are a55 motivations$ )ut the% are not 6orth d%ing for.
As a guide5ine for inte55igent creature and 2A" motivation$ consider the actions of
p5a%er characters. &o6 often do the% fight to the death= (h% 6ou5d the%= At 6hat point
do the% usua55% retreat=
"ertain5%$ 2A" adventurer parties shou5d )ehave simi5ar5% to p5a%er characters.
After a55$ their concerns are much the same as those of the p5a%er charactersHHgetting cash
and improving themse5ves. The% are not ver% interested in d%ing.
3n the other hand$ mem)ers of some fanatica5 sects ma% 6i55ing5% sacrifice
themse5ves for the cause. #ven so$ a fe6 have )een 'no6n to reconsider at the 5ast
The mora5e of 2A"s and inte55igent creatures shou5d a5so :i)e 6ith 'no6n facts
a)out his$ her$ or its persona5it%. If an 2A" 6ith the part% has )een portra%ed as co6ard5%$
he pro)a)5% 6on9t 6i55ing5% march into the :a6s of death. 3ne noted for his s5avish
5o%a5t%$ on the other hand$ might stand his ground$ d%ing to protect his friends or master.
There are man% choices$ and the AD&D game 6or's )est 6hen a person$ not the dice$
ma'es the choice.
Dicing for Mora5e
Sometimes there are :ust too man% things going on to 'eep trac' of a55 the
motivations and reactions of the participants. 7or these times$ use the fo55o6ing s%stem to
determine the mora5e of the creature or 2A". 2ever use this s%stem for a p5a%er
7irst$ do not chec' mora5e ever% round of a com)at. Aside from the fact that this
s5o6s ever%thing do6n$ it a5so crates un)a5anced and unrea5istic )att5es. #ver%one going
into a fight e8pects a 5itt5e danger. 3n5% 6hen the danger )ecomes too great shou5d a
mora5e chec' )e ro55ed. @ust 6hen the DM ro55s mora5e chec's is a matter of :udgment$
)ut the fo55o6ing guide5ines shou5d prove usefu5.
"hec' Monster and 2A" Mora5e (henI
V The foes have )een surprised$ )ut on5% on the first round after surprise
V 7aced )% an o)vious5% superior force
V An a55% is s5ain )% magic
V 2,O of their group has fa55en
V ,O of their group has fa55en
V A companion is s5ain after more than ,O of the group has fa55en
V Their 5eader deserts or is s5ain
V 7ighting a creature the% cannot harm due to magica5 protections
V 3rdered to attempt a heroica55% dangerous tas'
V 3ffered temptation L)ri)e$ chance to stea5$ etc.MQ
V To5d to act as a rear guard$ such as covering a fighting 6ithdra6a5
V Directed to use up or use a charge from a persona5 po6erfu5 magica5 itemQ
V Given a chance to surrender Land have met the conditions for one other mora5e
V "omp5ete5% surrounded
Q In this case$ the mora5e chec' can )e used to see if the% agree or refuse.
3)vious5%$ fo55o6ing the guide5ines a)ove too strict5% can 5ead to i55ogica5
situations. A5a%ers$ once the%9ve 5earned the conditions ca55ing for mora5e chec's$ ma% tr%
to a)use the ru5es. 7or e8amp5e$ the% might thin' to offer surrender terms to ever%
monster the% meet$ figuring the odds of the mora5e chec' might 6or' out their 6a%.
Don9t 5et p5a%ers get a6a% 6ith this$ and don9t 5et the dice overru5e 5ogica5 or
drama. (hen !stH5eve5 p5a%er characters offer surrender terms to an ancient red dragon
Lo)vious5% hoping for a 5uc'% )rea' on the diceM$ remem)er 6hat common sense is
sa%ingI <There ain9t no 6a%B<
&o6 to Ma'e a Mora5e "hec'
Ta)5e -F 5ists the )ase mora5e num)er for various t%pes of creatures. Ta)5e , 5ists
conditions and situations that can modif% this )ase mora5e num)er. To ro55 a mora5e
chec'$ find the rating that most c5ose5% matches the creature. Add or su)tract the
modifiers that app5% to the situation. Some modifiers$ such as the num)er of &it Dice can
)e ca5cu5ated in advance. Ro55 2d!.
If the tota5 ro55ed on the dice is e;ua5 to or 5ess than the mora5e rating$ the creature
is unaffected and 'eeps fighting. If the ro55 is greater$ the creature panics and f5ees$ or it
ta'es some other appropriate action.
Ta)5e -FI
Mora5e Ratings
"reature T%pe Mora5e
2onHinte55igent monster !G
Anima5$ norma5 and peacefu5 +
Anima5$ norma5 predator .
Anima5 inte55igence monster !2
SemiHinte55igent monster !!
Lo6 inte55igence !
Average H5eve5 human .
Mo)s F
Mi5itia !
Green or disorgani>ed troops !!
Regu5ar so5diers !2
#5ite so5diers !-
&ire5ings !2
&enchmen !,
-able #,:
Situational &odi$iers
Situation &odi$ier
A)andoned )% friends HK
"reature 5ost 2,O of its hpQ H2
"reature 5ost ,O of its hpQ H-
"reature is chaotic H!
"reature is fighting hated enem% R-
"reature is 5a6fu5 R!
"reature 6as surprised H2
"reatures are fighting 6i>ards or magicHusing foes H2
"reatures 6ith !E2 &D or 5ess H2
"reatures 6ith greater than !E2 &D$ )ut 5ess than ! &D H!
"reatures 6ith - to GR &D R!
"reatures 6ith F to !-R &D R2
"reatures 6ith !, or more &D R+
Defending home R+
Defensive terrain advantage R!
#ach additiona5 chec' re;uired in roundQQ H!
Leader is of different a5ignment H!
Most po6erfu5 a55% 'i55ed H-
2A" has )een favored R2
2A" has )een poor5% treated H-
2o enem% s5ain H2
3utnum)ered )% + or more to ! H-
3utnum)er opponent + or more to ! R2
/na)5e to affect opponentQQQ HG
(i>ard or magicHusing creature on same side R2
Q 3r a group that has 5ost that percentage of monster or creatures.
QQ H!Echec' re;uired.
QQQ "reatures protected from attac' )% magic or 6hich re;uire magic 6eapons to )e
struc' and group does not possess these.
7ai5ing a Mora5e "hec'
(hen a creature or 2A" fai5s a mora5e chec'$ its first concern is to escape or
avoid 6hatever situation caused the chec' in the first p5ace. If it is )eing overpo6ered in
com)at$ it tries to f5ee. If the part%9s mage is )5asting 5ightning )o5ts a)out$ it tries to get
a6a% from him.
If there is no p5ace to go$ the 2A" or monster$ if it is inte55igent enough$ fa55s
do6n and surrendersHHprovided it thin's the part% is 5i'e5% to spare its 5ife. A go)5in is not
a)out to surrender to a )unch of )5oodthirst% d6arves )ecause it 'no6s ho6 'ind5% those
d6arves treat captured go)5insB 2o6$ if there :ust happened to )e a nice$ compassionateH
5oo'ing human there$ the go)5in might give up if the human cou5d promise it safet%.
&o6 drastic a panic'ed creature9s f5ight is depends on the DM9s :udgment and
ho6 much over the )ase mora5e the modified die ro55 6as. If the ro55 6as c5ose to 6hat
6as needed$ the creature tries to )ac' out of the com)at and find safet% near)%. If the
mora5e chec' 6as )5o6n )ad5%$ the creature :ust forgets ever%thing and )ugs out$ casting
aside an%thing that s5o6s it do6n.
La6fu5 creatures norma55% tr% to fa55 )ac' in some sort of organi>ed mannerHH
'eeping together as a group or$ at 5east$ a55 f5eeing to the same p5ace. "haotic creatures
tend to )rea' and run in an% direction that promises safet%.
E*ample o$ &orale: As the p5a%er characters s5ash through thic' under)rush$
the% stum)5e across a )and of ! gno55s gna6ing on roasted game )irds. 2either group is
surprised. An e5f in the part% shouts in the gno55s9 5anguage$ <Surrender$ %ou scum of the
forestB 4ou haven9t a chance and 6e955 5et %ou 'eep %our misera)5e hides.<
The DM refuses to ro55 a mora5e chec'$ since the gno55s don9t 'no6 if their
enemies are strong or 6ea'. *esides$ the DM sees possi)i5ities for a nice dramatic fight
in this encounter.
Snar5ing$ the gno55s hur5 aside their )ad5% coo'ed )irds. The ta55est one grunts out
in the 5oca5 tongue$ <I thin' %ou 6rong$ treeHthing. (e 6in fight. (e ta'e hidesB< &e hefts
a great mace in his hands. The t6o groups attac'. A furious$ s5ashing )att5e ensues.
Sudden5%$ the mage of the part% cuts 5oose 6ith a magic missile spe55$ 'i55ing the
5argest of the gno55s. 2o6 the DM ro55s a mora5e chec'$ )oth for the magic and the 5oss of
the 5eader$ app5%ing appropriate modifiers.
The DM decides the gno55s are disorgani>ed troopsHHa hunting part%$ not a 6ar
part%. This gives them a )ase mora5e of !!. The gno55s have a H- pena5t% Lchaotic$ fighting
mages$ and more than one chec' re;uired in the roundM$ giving an ad:usted resu5t of ..
T6o !Hsided dice are ro55ed$ resu5ting in a + and a 2$ for a tota5 of ,. The% pass
the mora5e chec'$ since the num)er ro55ed is 5ess than their modified mora5e$ and the%
decide to 'eep fighting.
In the ne8t round$ an 2A" fighter 6ith the part% 5oses 2,O of his hit points in
6ounds. The DM ro55s a chec' for him as a hire5ing. &is )ase mora5e is !2$ )ut this is
modified )% H! LR2 for mages on his side$ H2 for his 6ounds$ and H! since his emp5o%er is
5a6fu5 good and he is neutra5M$ giving him a mora5e of !!. &e ro55s a tota5 of !2HHnot good
enough. &e decides he9s had enough and gets out of the fight$ a5though he on5% goes so
far as to hide )ehind a near)% tree and 6atch from safet%.
2o mora5e chec's are made for the p5a%er charactersHHp5a%ers ma'e their o6n
In:ur% and Death
Sometimes$ no degree of 5uc'$ s'i55$ a)i5it%$ or resistance to various attac's can
prevent harm from coming to a character. The adventuring 5ife carries 6ith it unavoida)5e
ris's. Sooner or 5ater a character is going to )e hurt.
To a55o6 characters to )e heroic$ and for ease of p5a%$ damage is hand5ed
a)stract5% in the AD&D game. A55 characters and monsters have a num)er of hit points.
The more hit points a creature has$ the harder it is to defeat.
Damage is su)tracted from a character9s or creature9s hit points. Shou5d one of the
p5a%er characters hit an ogre in the side of the head for G points of damage$ those G points
are su)tracted from the ogre9s tota5 hit points. The damage isn9t app5ied to the head or
divided among different areas of the )od%.
&it point 5oss is cumu5ative unti5 a character dies or has a chance to hea5 his
#well the .ine; with 3< hit &oints; is in/ured by an orc that causes 8 hit &oints o'
damage- .i'teen minutes later; #well runs into a bugbear that in'licts 4 &oints o' damage;
#well has su''ered 35 &oints o' damage- )his 35 &oints o' damage remains until #well
heals; either naturally or through magical means-
(hen a character hits a monster$ or vice versa$ damage is suffered )% the victim.
The amount of damage depends on the 6eapon or method of attac'. In Ta)5e -- of the
Player's Handbook$ a55 6eapons are rated for the amount of damage the% inf5ict to Sma55$
Medium$ and Large targets. This is given as a die range L!dG$ 2dK$ etc.M
#ach time a hit is scored$ the appropriate dice are ro55ed and the resu5tHHdamageHH
is su)tracted from the current hit points of the target. An orc that attac's 6ith a s6ord$ for
e8amp5e$ causes damage according to the information given for the t%pe of s6ord it uses.
A tro55 that )ites once and rends 6ith one of its c5a6ed hands causes 2dK points of
damage 6ith its )ite and !d- R - points 6ith its c5a6. The DM gets this information from
the Monstrous Manua5.
Sometimes damage is 5isted as a die range a5ong 6ith a )onus of R! or more. The
tro559s c5a6 attac'$ a)ove$ is a good e8amp5e. This )onus ma% )e due to high Strength$
magica5 6eapons$ or the sheer ferocit% of the creature9s attac'. The )onus is added to
6hatever num)er comes up on the die ro55$ assuring that some minimum amount of
damage is inf5icted. Li'e6ise$ pena5ties a5so can )e app5ied$ )ut no successfu5 attac' can
resu5t in 5ess than ! point of damage.
Sometimes an attac' has )oth a die ro55 and a damage mu5tip5ier. The num)er
ro55ed on the dice is )oosted )% the mu5tip5ier to determine ho6 much damage is inf5icted.
This occurs main5% in )ac'sta))ing attempts. In cases 6here damage is mu5tip5ied$ on5%
the )ase damage caused )% the 6eapon is mu5tip5ied. *onuses due to Strength or magic
are not mu5tip5ied. *onuses due to Strength or magic are not mu5tip5ied? the% are added
after the ro55ed damage is mu5tip5ied.
Specia5 Damage
Getting struc' )% 6eapons or monsters isn9t the on5% 6a% a character can get hurt.
Indeed$ the 6or5d is fu55 of dangers for poor$ hap5ess p5a%er charactersHHdangers the DM
can occasiona55% spring on them 6ith g5ee. Some of the nastier forms of damage are
descri)ed )e5o6.
A5a%er characters have a marve5ous Land$ to the DM$ vast5% amusingM tendenc% to
fa55 off things$ genera55% from great heights and a5most a56a%s onto hard surfaces. (hi5e
the fa55ing is harm5ess$ the a)rupt stop at the end tends to cause damage.
(hen a character fa55s$ he suffers !dK points of damage for ever% ! feet fa55en$ to
a ma8imum of 2dK$ 6hich for game purposes can )e considered termina5 ve5ocit%. This
method is simp5e and it provides a55 the rea5ism necessar% in the game. It is not a
scientific ca5cu5ation of the rate of acce5eration$ e8act termina5 ve5ocit%$ mass$ impact
energ%$ etc.$ of the fa55ing )od%.
The fact of the matter is that ph%sica5 5a6s can descri)e the e8act motion of a
)od% as it fa55s through space$ )ut re5ative5% 5itt5e is 'no6n a)out the effects of impact.
The distance fa55en is not the on5% determining factor in ho6 )ad5% a person is hurt. 3ther
factors might inc5ude e5asticit% of the fa55ing )od% and the ground$ ang5e of impact$ shoc'
6aves through the fa55ing )od%$ dum) 5uc'$ and more.
Aeop5e have actua55% fa55en from great heights and survived$ a5)eit ver% rare5%.
The current recordHho5der$ 1esna 1u5ovic$ survived a fa55 from a height of ++$++ feet in
!F.2$ a5though she 6as severe5% in:ured. 75ightHSergeant 2icho5as S. A5'emade actua55%
fe55 !G$ feetHHa5most +., mi5esHH6ithout a parachute and 5anded unin:uredB
The point of a55 this is ro55 the dice$ as descri)ed a)ove$ and don9t 6orr% too much
a)out science.
A character or creature affected )% para5%sis )ecomes immo)i5e for the duration
of the spe559s effect. The victim can )reathe$ thin'$ see$ and hear$ )ut he is una)5e to spea'
or move. "oherent thought needed to trigger magica5 items or innate po6ers is sti55
possi)5e. Aara5%sis affects on5% the genera5 motor functions of the )od% and is not the
u5timate destro%er of po6erfu5 creatures. It can )e particu5ar5% potent on f5%ing creatures$
)he adventurers encounter a beholder; a 'earsome creature with magical &owers
that emanate 'rom its many eyes- A'ter several rounds o' combat; the &arty's &riest casts
a hold monster s&ell; &araly+ing the creature- )he &araly+ed beholder still can use the
s&ell=like &owers o' its eyes and move about 7since it levitates at will:- Jut; on the other
hand; it is not able to move its eyestalks to aim- Since all o' its eyes were most likely
'acing 'orward at the moment o' &aralysis; the adventurers cleverly s&read out in a ring
around the creature- )o attack one or two o' them with its &owers; the beholder must turn
its back on the rest-
#nerg% Drain
This is a feature of po6erfu5 undead Land other particu5ar5% nast% monstersM. The
energ% drain is a horri)5e po6er$ since it causes the 5oss of one or more e8perience 5eve5s.
(hen a character is hit )% an energ%Hdraining creature$ he suffers norma5 damage
from the attac'. In addition$ the character 5oses one or more 5eve5s Land thus &it Dice and
hit pointsM.
7or each 5eve5 5ost$ ro55 the &it Dice appropriate to the character9s c5ass and
su)tract that num)er of hit points from the character9s tota5 Lsu)tract the "onstitution
)onus a5so$ if app5ica)5eM. If the 5eve5LsM 5ost 6as one in 6hich the character received a set
num)er of hit points rather than a die ro55$ su)tract the appropriate num)er of hit points.
The ad:usted hit point tota5 is no6 the character9s ma8imum Li.e.$ hit points 5ost )% energ%
drain are not ta'en as damage )ut are 5ost permanent5%M.
The character9s e8perience points drop to ha5f6a% )et6een the minimum needed
for his ne6 LpostHdrainM 5eve5 and the minimum needed for the ne8t 5eve5 a)ove his ne6
Mu5tiHc5ass and dua5Hc5ass characters 5ose their highest 5eve5 first. If )oth 5eve5s
are e;ua5$ the one re;uiring the greater num)er of e8perience points is 5ost first.
A55 po6ers and a)i5ities gained )% the p5a%er character )% virtue of his former
5eve5 are immediate5% 5ost$ inc5uding spe55s. The character must instant5% forget an% spe55s
that are in e8cess of those a55o6ed for his ne6 5eve5. In addition$ a 6i>ard 5oses a55
understanding of spe55s in his spe55 )oo's that are of higher 5eve5 than he can no6 cast.
/pon regaining his previous 5eve5$ the spe55caster must ma'e ne6 ro55s to see if he can
re5earn a spe55$ regard5ess of 6hether he 'ne6 it )efore.
If a character is drained to H5eve5 )ut sti55 retains hit points Li.e.$ he is sti55 a5iveM$
that character9s adventuring career is over. &e cannot regain 5eve5s and has 5ost a55
)enefits of a character c5ass. The adventurer has )ecome an ordinar% person. A
restoration or wish spe55 can )e used to a55o6 the character to resume his adventuring
career. If a H5eve5 character suffers another energ% drain$ he is s5ain instant5%.
If the character is drained to 5ess than 5eve5s Lthere)% s5ain )% the undeadM$ he
returns as an undead of the same t%pe as his s5a%er in 2d- da%s. The ne65% risen undead
has the same character c5ass a)i5ities it had in norma5 5ife$ )ut 6ith on5% ha5f the
e8perience it had at the )eginning of its encounter 6ith the undead that s5e6 it.
The ne6 undead is automatica55% an 2A". &is goa5s and am)itions are utter5%
opposed to those he he5d )efore. &e possesses great hatred and contempt for his former
co55eagues$ 6ea'5ings 6ho fai5ed
him in his time of need. Indeed$ his main am)ition cou5d )e to destro% his former
companions or cause them as much grief as possi)5e.
7urther$ the ne65% undead 2A" is under the tota5 contro5 of the undead 6ho s5e6
it. If this master is s5ain$ its undead minions of 5o6er 5eve5 or fe6er &it Dice gain one
5eve5 or &it Die for each 5eve5 the% drain from victims unti5 the% reach the ma8imum &it
Dice for their 'ind. /pon reaching fu55 &it Dice$ these undead are a)5e to ac;uire their
o6n minions )% s5a%ing characters.
Appropriate actions on the part of the other p5a%er characters can prevent a
drained comrade from )ecoming undead. The steps necessar% var% 6ith each t%pe of
undead and are e8p5ained in the monster descriptions in the Monstrous Manua5.
This is an a55HtooHfre;uent ha>ard faced )% p5a%er characters. *ites$ stings$ dead5%
potions$ drugged 6ines$ and )ad food a55 a6ait characters at the hands of ma5evo5ent
6i>ards$ evi5 assassins$ hideous monsters$ and incompetent inn'eepers. Spiders$ sna'es$
centipedes$ scorpions$ 6%verns$ and some giant frogs a55 have poisons dead5% to
characters. (ise heroes ;uic'5% 5earn to respect and fear such creatures.
The strength of different poisons varies 6i5d5% and is fre;uent5% overestimated.
The )ite of the great5% feared )5ac' 6ido6 spider 'i55s a victim in the /nited States once
ever% other %ear. 3n5% a)out 2O of a55 ratt5esna'e )ites prove fata5.
At the other e8treme$ there are natura5 poisons of intense 5etha5it%. 7ortunate5%$
such poisons tend to )e e8otic and rareHHthe go5den arro6Hpoison frog$ the 6estern taipan
sna'e$ and the stone fish a55 produce high5% dead5% poisons.
7urther$ the effect of a poison depends on ho6 it is de5ivered. Most fre;uent5%$ it
must )e in:ected into the )5oodstream )% )ite or sting. 3ther poisons are effective on5% if
s6a55o6ed? assassins favor these for doctoring food. *% far the most dead5% variet%$
ho6ever$ is contact poison$ 6hich need on5% touch the s'in.
Ta)5e ,! rates poisons for three different factorsHHmethod$ onset$ and strength.
Those poisons 6hich common5% appear in the game$ such as that de5ivered )% the sting of
a giant centipede$ are given a specific rating for convenience. Aoisons are not 5isted )%
name here$ since this is neither a scientific te8t nor a primer on the dead5% nature of man%
p5ants and anima5s.
-able #1:
Poison Strength
Class &ethod 3nset Strength
A In:ected !H+ minutes !,E
* In:ected 2H!2 minutes 2E!H+
" In:ected 2H, minutes 2,E2HG
D In:ected !H2 minutes +E2H!2
# In:ected Immediate DeathE2
7 In:ected Immediate DeathE
G Ingested 2H!2 hours 2E!
& Ingested !H- hours 2E!
I Ingested 2H!2 minutes +E!,
@ Ingested !H- minutes DeathE2
0 "ontact 2HG minutes ,E
L "ontact 2HG minutes !E
M "ontact !H- minutes 2E,
2 "ontact ! minute DeathE2,
3 In:ected 2H2- minutes Aara5%tic
A In:ected !H+ hours De)i5itative
&ethod: The method is the ne6 6a% in 6hich the poison must norma55% )e used
to have fu55 effect. In:ected and ingested have no effect on contact. "ontact poisons have
fu55 effect even if s6a55o6ed or in:ected$ since )oth are forms of contact. In:ected or
ingested poisons have ha5f their norma5 effect if administered in the opposite manner$
resu5ting in the save damage )eing app5ied if the saving thro6 is fai5ed and no damage
occurring if the saving thro6 is successfu5.
3nset: Most poisons re;uire time to 6or' their 6a% through the s%stem to reach
the areas the% affect. 3nset is the time that e5apses )efore the poison9s effect is fe5t. The
effect of immediate poisons is fe5t at the instant the poison is app5ied.
Strength: The num)er )efore the s5ash 5ists the hit points of damage suffered if
the saving thro6 is fai5ed. The num)er after the s5ash 5ists the damage ta'en Lif an%M if the
saving thro6 is successfu5. (here <death< is 5isted$ a55 hit points are immediate5% 5ost$
'i55ing the victim. 2ote that in some cases a character ma% ro55 a successfu5 saving thro6
and sti55 die from the hit point 5oss.
2ot a55 poisons need cause damage. T6o other common effects of poison are to
para5%>e or de)i5itate a victim.
Aara5%tic poisons 5eave the character una)5e to move for 2dK hours. &is )od% is
5imp$ ma'ing it difficu5t for others to move him. The character suffers no other i55 effects
from the poison$ )ut his condition can 5ead to ;uite a fe6 pro)5ems for his companions.
De)i5itating poisons 6ea'en the character for !d+ da%s. A55 of the character9s
a)i5it% scores are reduced )% ha5f during this time. A55 appropriate ad:ustments to attac'
ro55s$ damage$ Armor "5ass$ etc.$ from the 5o6ered a)i5it% scores are app5ied during the
course of the i55ness. In addition$ the character moves at oneHha5f his norma5 movement
rate. 7ina55%$ the character cannot hea5 )% norma5 or magica5 means unti5 the poison is
neutra5i>ed or the duration of the de)i5itation is e5apsed.
-reating Poison /ictims
7ortunate5%$ there are man% 6a%s a character can )e treated for poison. Severa5
spe55s e8ist that either s5o6 the onset time$ ena)5ing the character the chance to get further
treatment$ or negate the poison entire5%.
&o6ever$ cure spe55s Linc5uding healM do not negate the progress of a poison$ and
the neutrali+e &oison spe55 doesn9t recover hit points a5read% 5ost to the effects of poison.
In addition$ characters 6ith the her)a5ism proficienc% can ta'e steps to reduce the danger
poison presents to p5a%er characters.
Creating .e< Poisons
/sing the three )asic characteristicsHHmethod$ onset$ and strengthHHand )earing in
mind the de)i5itating and para5%>ing effects of some poisons$ it is possi)5e to create ne6
&o6ever$ a56a%s introduce poisons and poisonous creatures 6ith great care$
especia55% 6hen dea5ing 6ith 5o6H5eve5 characters. /n5i'e most other 6a%s a character
can )e hurt$ the 5ife or death of a poisoned character often depends on a sing5e die ro55. It
is essentia5 that characters )e treated fair5%$ or their p5a%ers 6i55 ;uic'5% 5ose interest in
the game.
Specific In:uries L3ptiona5 Ru5eM
The AD&D com)at s%stem does not ca55 for specific 6oundsHHscars$ )ro'en
)ones$ missing 5im)s$ and the 5i'e. And in most cases the% shou5dn9t )e app5ied.
Remem)er that this is a game of heroic fantas%. If characters 6ere to suffer rea5H5ife
effects from a55 their )att5es and com)ats$ the% 6ou5d ;uic'5% )e some of the sorriest and
most depressing characters in the campaign 6or5d.
It9s hard to get e8cited 6hen %our character is recovering from a )ro'en 5eg and a
dis5ocated shou5der suffered in a fa55 off a !,Hfoot 6a55. It is not recommended that
characters suffer specific in:uries. In genera5$ stic' 6ith the )asic poo5 of hit points.
Is -his InGury .ecessaryJ
*efore adding specific in:uries to a campaign$ consider a55 the factors. If the
in:ur% is one that can )e hea5ed$ such as a )ro'en arm$ ho6 5ong does this hea5ing ta'e=
(hat are the effects on the character 6hi5e the arm hea5s= Is there some ;uic' 6a% to get
hea5ed= (i55 the p5a%er sti55 )e a)5e to have fun 6hi5e his character is an inva5id= 3n5%
after considering these ;uestions satisfactori5% shou5d a specific in:ur% )e used.
DMs can use specific in:uries to 5essen a character9s a)i5it% scores. A mem)er of
the part% might ac;uire a prominent scar$ 5o6ering his "harisma )% a point. A5though$ in
this case$ %ou955 6ant a read% e8p5anation of 6h% a scar had this effect$ as in some
instances a scar can actua55% enhance the persona5it% of a person. It can ma'e him 5oo'
tougher$ more m%sterious$ more 6or5d5%$ more magnetic$ a55 things that cou5d
conceiva)5% increase a character9s "harisma.
Simi5ar5%$ the 5oss of a character9s finger or e%e cou5d )e used as an e8cuse to
5o6er an e8cessive5% high De8terit%. Loss of an arm cou5d reduce Strength Lamong other
Don9t overdo this )rute force approach to p5a%er contro5. A5a%ers get attached to
their characters? the% get used to thin'ing of them and ro5eHp5a%ing them a particu5ar 6a%.
Mess 6ith this too much and %ou955 find p5a%ers deserting %our campaign.
(ithin reason$ it9s o'a% to 5eave a character ph%sica55% mar'ed. This 5eads to good
ro5eHp5a%ing. It adds to the fee5ing that each character is uni;ue$ ma'ing one p5a%er9s
fighter$ 6i>ard$ or 6hatever different from a55 others. A scar here$ an e%e patch there$ or a
s5ight 5imp a55 resu5t in more of an individua5 character and thus one more interesting to
*ut in these cases ph%sica5 effects are tai5oring the character$ not punishing the
p5a%er. A56a%s tr% to )e fair and as' the ;uestion$ <(ou5d I 6ant to ro5eHp5a% such a
character=< If the ans6er is no$ then it9s 5i'e5% the p5a%er 6on9t 6ant to either. Don9t 5oad
p5a%ers 6ith handicapsHHtheir characters have enough of a cha55enge as it is.
3nce a character is 6ounded$ his p5a%er 6i55 natura55% 6ant to get him hea5ed.
"haracters can hea5 either )% natura5 or magica5 means. 2atura5 hea5ing is s5o6$ )ut it9s
avai5a)5e to a55 characters. Magica5 hea5ing ma% or ma% not )e avai5a)5e$ depending on
the presence of spe55casters or magica5 devices. &ea5ing can never restore more hit points
to a character than his ma8imum hit point tota5.
2atura5 &ea5ing
"haracters hea5 natura55% at a rate of ! hit point per da% of rest. Rest is defined as
5o6 activit%HHnothing more strenuous than riding a horse or trave5ing from one p5ace to
another. 7ighting$ running in fear$ 5ifting a heav% )ou5der$ or an% other ph%sica5 activit%$
prevents resting$ since it strains o5d 6ounds and ma% even reopen them.
If a character has comp5ete )edHrest Ldoing nothing for an entire da%M$ he can
regain + hit points for the da%. 7or each comp5ete 6ee' of )ed rest$ the character can add
an% "onstitution hit point )onus he might have to the )ase of 2! points L+ points per da%M
he regained during that 6ee'.
In )oth cases a)ove$ the character is assumed to )e getting ade;uate food$ 6ater$
and s5eep. If these are 5ac'ing$ the character does not regain an% hit points that da%.
Magica5 &ea5ing
Spe55s$ potions$ and magica5 devices can speed the process of hea5ing
considera)5%. The specifics of such magica5 hea5ing methods are descri)ed in the spe55
descriptions in the Player's Handbook; and in this )oo' for magica5 items. *% using these
methods$ 6ounds c5ose instant5% and vigor is restored.
Magica5 hea5ing is particu5ar5% usefu5 in the midst of com)at or in preparation for
a grievous encounter. Remem)er$ ho6ever$ that the characters9 opponents are :ust as
5i'e5% to have access to magica5 hea5ing as the p5a%er charactersHHan evi5 high priest is
5i'e5% to carr% hea5ing spe55s to )esto6 on his o6n fo55o6ers and guards. &ea5ing is not$
of itse5f$ a good or evi5 act.
Remem)er that under no circumstances can a character )e hea5ed to a point
greater than his origina5 hit point tota5. 7or e8amp5e$ sa% a character has + hit points$ )ut
suffers 2 points of damage in a fight. A 6hi5e 5ater$ he ta'es an additiona5 point of
damage$ )ringing his current hit point tota5 to 2.. A spe55caster cou5dn9t restore more than
+ points to him$ regard5ess of the hea5ing method used.
&er)a5ism and &ea5ing Aroficiencies
"haracters a5so can gain minor hea5ing )enefits from those proficient in the arts of
her)a5ism and hea5ing. These ta5ents are e8p5ained in "hapter , of the Player's
"haracter Death
(hen a character reaches hit points$ that character is s5ain. The character is
immediate5% dead and una)5e to do an%thing un5ess some specia5i>ed magica5 effect ta'es
Death from Aoison
Aoison comp5icates this situation. A character 6ho dies as a resu5t of poisoning
sti55 cou5d have active venom in his s%stem.
Aoisons remain effective for 2dK hours after the death of the victim. If the
character is raised during this time$ some method must )e found to neutra5i>e the poison
)efore the character is restored to 5ife. If this is not done$ then after the character ro55s the
resurrection surviva5 chec' given in <Raising the Dead$< he must immediate5% ro55 a
successfu5 saving thro6 vs. poison or suffer a55 the effects of the poison in his )od%$ as
per the norma5 ru5es.
This ma% on5% in:ure some characters$ )ut it ma% 'i55 other characters seconds
after )eing raisedB
Death from Massive Damage
In addition to d%ing 6hen hit points reach $ a character a5so runs the ris' of
d%ing a)rupt5% 6hen he suffers massive amounts of damage. A character 6ho suffers ,
or more points of damage from a sing5e attac' must ro55 a successfu5 saving thro6 vs.
death$ or he dies.
This app5ies on5% if the damage 6as done )% a sing5e attac'. Mu5tip5e attac's
tota5ing , points in a sing5e round don9t re;uire a saving thro6.
7or e8amp5e$ a character 6ou5d )e re;uired to ma'e a chec' if a dragon )reathed
on him for .2 points of damage. &e 6ou5dn9t have to do so if eight orcs hit him for a tota5
of ,+ points of damage in that round.
If the saving thro6 is successfu5$ the character remains a5ive Lun5ess of course the
,HhitHpoint 5oss reduced his hit points to or )e5o6M. If the saving thro6 fai5s$ the
character immediate5% dies from the intense shoc' his )od% has ta'en. &is hit points are
reduced to . The character sti55 can )e raised in the norma5 6a%s$ ho6ever.
Inescapa)5e Death
There are occasions 6hen death is unavoida)5e$ no matter ho6 man% hit points a
character has.
A character cou5d )e 5oc'ed in a room 6ith no e8its$ 6ith a ,Hton cei5ing
descending to crush him. &e cou5d )e trapped in an escapeHproof )o8 fi55ed 6ith acid.
These e8amp5es are e8treme Land e8treme5% gris5%M$ )ut the% cou5d happen in a fantas%
As a genera5 guide5ine$ inescapa)5e deaths shou5d )e avoidedHHcharacters a56a%s
shou5d have some chance to escape a hope5ess situation$ prefera)5% )% using common
sense and inte55igence. This maintains the interest of the p5a%ers and he5ps them retain
their trust in the DM.
&o6ever$ if a situation of inescapa)5e death occurs$ the character dies$ and there is
no need to p5a% such a situation out roundH)%Hround. A55o6 the p5a%er to attempt
reasona)5e Land perhaps even tru5% heroicM methods of escape. If these fai5$ simp5% inform
the p5a%er of the demise of his character. The doomed character is assumed to have 5ost
a55 hit points.
Raising the Dead
"urative and hea5ing spe55s have no effect on a dead characterHHhe can on5% )e
returned to 5ife 6ith a raise dead or resurrection spe55 Lor a device that accomp5ishes one
of these effectsM. #ach time a character is returned to 5ife$ the p5a%er must ro55 a
resurrection surviva5 chec' )ased on his character9s current "onstitution Lsee Ta)5e + in
the Player's HandbookM.
If the die ro55 is successfu5 Li.e.$ the p5a%er ro55s e;ua5 to or 5ess than his
resurrection surviva5 percentageM$ the character is restored to 5ife in 6hatever condition is
specified )% the spe55 or device.
A character restored to 5ife in this 6a% has his "onstitution permanent5% 5o6ered
)% ! point. This can affect hit points previous5% earned.
Shou5d the character9s "onstitution )onus go do6n$ the character9s hit point tota5
is reduced )% the appropriate num)er of hit points Lthe amount of hit point )onus 5ost is
mu5tip5ied )% the num)er of 5eve5s for 6hich the character gained e8tra hit points from
that )onusM. (hen the character9s "onstitution drops to $ that character can no 5onger )e
raised. &e is permanent5% removed from p5a%.
&overing on Death9s Door L3ptiona5 Ru5eM
4ou might find that %our campaign has )ecome particu5ar5% dead5%. Too man%
p5a%er characters are d%ing. If this happens$ %ou ma% 6ant to a55o6 characters to survive
for short periods of time even after their hit points reach or drop )e5o6 .
(hen this ru5e is in use$ a character can remain a5ive unti5 his hit points reach H!.
&o6ever$ as soon as the character reaches hit points$ he fa55s to the ground
Thereafter$ he automatica55% 5oses one hit point each round. &is surviva5 from this
point on depends on the ;uic' thin'ing of his companions. If the% reach the character
)efore his hit points reach H! and spend at 5east one round tending to his 6oundsHH
stanching the f5o6 of )5ood$ etc.$ the character does not die immediate5%.
If the on5% action is to )ind his 6ounds$ the in:ured character no 5onger 5oses one
hit point each round$ )ut neither does he gain an%. &e remains unconscious and
vu5nera)5e to damage from further attac's.
If a cure spe55 of some t%pe is cast upon him$ the character is immediate5% restored
to ! hit pointHHno more. 7urther cures do the character no good unti5 he has had at 5east
one da% of rest. /nti5 such time$ he is 6ea' and fee)5e$ una)5e to fight and )are5% a)5e to
move. &e must stop and rest often$ can9t cast spe55s Lthe shoc' of near death has 6iped
them from his mindM$ and is genera55% confused and feverish. &e is a)5e to move and can
ho5d some6hat dis:ointed conversations$ )ut that9s it.
If a heal spe55 is cast on the character$ has hit points are restored as per the spe55$
and he has fu55 vita5it% and 6its. An% spe55s he ma% have 'no6n are sti55 6iped from his
memor%. L#ven this po6erfu5 spe55 does not negate the shoc' of the e8perience.M
/nusua5 "om)at Situations
A5though most adventurers spend most of their time on foot$ and on good o5d
so5id 5and 6here common sense and the norma5 com)at ru5es can )e app5ied$ the p5a%er
characters are operating in a fantas% 6or5d.
Sooner or 5ater$ p5a%er characters are going to 5a% siege to a cast5e$ or 5eap on their
horses$ or 5earn ho6 to ride an e8otic f5%ing creature. #ventua55%$ the%9re going to pic' up
and go adventuring in some tota55% 6eird environment 6here the norma5 5a6s of ph%sics
:ust don9t app5%. &ere$ %ou955 find ru5es and guide5ines for some ordinar%$ and not so
ordinar% com)at situations.
Siege Damage
The p5a%ers 6i55 often encounter situations in 6hich it is important that a
strongho5d )e )ro'en into. In these situations$ the overa55 emp5o%ment of siege tactics
shou5d )e secondar% to the thri55 and g5or% of the p5a%ers going <manoHaHmano< 6ith their
foes. In other 6ords$ the )att5e shou5d )e the )ac'ground against 6hich the p5a%ers act.
Si8teen months of siege ma% )e rea5istic$ )ut it isn9t much funB
The critica5 point in a siege is that moment 6hen the 6a55s face a direct assau5t.
This is especia55% true in a ro5eHp5a%ing adventure. The fo55o6ing ta)5e simp5ifies this
process of )rea'ing do6n 6a55s.
To use the ta)5e$ the DM determines 6hat t%pe of 6a55 is )eing assau5ted$ and its
c5osest appro8imation on the Ta)5e. "rossHreference the t%pe of attac' )eing made and
ro55 !D2. If the resu5ting ro55 is higher than the num)er re;uired$ the attac' does no
significant damage? if the ro55 is 5o6er$ the 6a55 )egins to give 6a%.
7or each point )e5o6 the re;uired saving thro6$ the structure 5oses one cu)ic foot
of structure. 7or e8amp5e$ suppose a stone 6a55 !9 thic' fai5s its saving thro6 )% si8
points. The 6a55 no6 5oses a portion of its structure e;ua5 to si8 cu)ic feet of area Li.e.$ a
ho5e t6o feet 6ide$ three feet high$ and one foot deepM.
-able #2:
Structural Saving -hro<s
2all -ype
Attac@ 5orm =ard Stone So$t Stone Earth -hin 2ood -hic@ 2ood
*a55ista 2 + - ! ,
Giant fist + - . !K F
Sma55 catapu5t - G , !. F
Ram , F + 2 !.
Scre6 or dri55 !2 !, !K 2 !2
Large catapu5t G !! ! 2 !+
Mounted "om)at
7ighting on horse)ac' Lor on a 6%vern$ unicorn$ or pegasus$ or 6hateverM is a
different affair from )att5ing on so5id ground. The fighters must dea5 6ith their mountsHH
unpredicta)5e and sometimes s'ittish creatures. A5us$ the )usiness of fighting on
horse)ac' demands different tactics from foot com)at.
&ounts;;-rained and :ntrained
Mounts trained for com)at La heav% 6arhorse$ for e8amp5eM present fe6
pro)5ems. These can )e used in mounted com)at 6ith no pena5ties. &o6ever$ steeds not
trained for com)at are easi5% frightened )% the noise and confusion.
Those fighting from the )ac' of untrained creatures suffer a H2 on their chance to
hit$ since much of their time is spent simp5% tr%ing to 'eep the mount under contro5.
Panic: The rider of an untrained mount must ma'e a Riding proficienc% chec'
6henever the mount is in:ured or start5ed )% a surprising event Lsuch as a lightning bolt
spe55 )5asting the rider or someone c5ose )%M.
If the chec' fai5s$ the mount panics and )o5ts$ carr%ing its rider up to !H!E2 times
its norma5 move. A5though the mount panics in a more or 5ess random direction$ it goes
genera55% for6ard un5ess that carries it straight into the face of danger. If una)5e to f5ee$ a
panic'ed mount rears and )uc's uncontro55a)5%.
"haracters 6ithout the Riding proficienc% automatica55% 5ose contro5 of a
panic'ed mount. A proficient character can attempt to regain contro5 once per round.
Regard5ess of the rider9s proficienc%$ the mount9s panic 5asts on5% !d- rounds.
5ighting $rom =orsebac@
In mounted fighting$ a character gets a R! )onus to his chance to hit creatures
sma55er than his mount. Thus$ a man on horse)ac' gains a R! )onus to his attac' ro55s
against a55 mediumHsi>ed creatures such as other men$ )ut 6ou5d not gain this )onus
against another rider or a giant. Those on foot 6ho fight against a mounted rider$ have a
H! pena5t%? this not app5ied to attac's against the mount$ ho6ever.
0ances are the preferred 6eapons of the mounted rider. &o6ever$ the t%pe of
5ance used L5ight$ medium$ or heav%M can9t )e greater than the si>e of the horse ridden
L5ight$ medium$ or heav%M.
Medium and heav% 5ances gain their stri'ing po6er from the momentum of the
mount. *% themse5ves$ these 5ances are not capa)5e of doing significant damage. Simp5%
sta))ing someone 6ith a heav% 5ance 6on9t produce much in the 6a% of resu5ts.
Therefore$ these 6eapons are most effective 6hen there9s p5ent% of attac' space.
During the first round of a )att5e$ a rider can attac' 6ith a heav% or medium 5ance.
After this$ ho6ever$ the rider must )rea' off Lmost 5i'e5% )% continuing past his
opponentM$ turn his mount$ and ga55op )ac' again. This series of actions ta'es one round.
Thus$ at )est$ a rider can attac' 6ith a 5ance once ever% other round.
If the rider 6ants to continue the fight c5ose in$ he must thro6 the 5ance to the
ground and dra6 another 6eapon. 3ften$ 5ances are used for the first attac' and then
discarded in favor of s6ords$ maces$ etc.
Another consideration to )ear in mind 6hen using a 5ance is that 5ances are
)rea'a)5e. &eav% and medium 5ances are re5ative5% inf5e8i)5e. The DM can ma'e an Item
Saving Thro6 Lfor crushing )5o6M on each successfu5 hit. A 5ight 5ance is made 6ith a
great dea5 of spring L)am)oo or cane are common materia5sM. An Item Saving Thro6 is
made on5% if the num)er needed to hit is ro55ed e8act5%$ after modifiers.
&issile $ire from the )ac' of a moving horse is possi)5e on5% if the rider is
proficient in horsemanship. #ven then$ on5% short )o6s$ composite short )o6s$ and 5ight
cross)o6s can )e fired from horse)ac' )% norma55% proficient characters.
Long )o6s can )e used )% those 6ith specia5i>ation Lif this is usedM. &eav%
cross)o6s can )e fired once$ )ut cannot )e re5oaded )% a mounted man since the )racing
and pu55 is inade;uate.
If the mount is not moving$ the rider can fire norma55% L6ith fu55 R37 and chance
to hitM. (hen firing 6hi5e on the move$ the rider has his rate of fire reduced )% one. A 2H
shotHperHturn R37 )ecomes a ! shot ever% t6o turns? and so on.
In addition$ the distance moved modifies the attac' ro55s according to Ta)5e ,+.
-able #!:
&ounted &issile 5ire
&ount1s Current &ovement &odi$ier
2ot moving
Less than !E2 norma5 rate H!
!E2 to +E- norma5 rate H+
Greater than +E- norma5 rate H,
6eing Dismounted
The other great ha>ard and difficu5t% of mounted com)atants is the ris' of )eing
a)rupt5% and rather rude5% dismounted. An opponent can ma'e this happen in one of
severa5 6a%s.
Hilling the &ount: This is the grim and efficient method. 3nce the horse Loften
an easier targetM is dead$ the rider is certain5% dismounted. The steed automatica55% fa55s to
the ground.
If the rider has the Riding proficienc%$ he can attempt to 5and safe5% on his feet on
a successfu5 chec'. 3ther6ise$ the character a5so fa55s to the ground and suffers !d+
points of damage. The character cannot ta'e an% action that round and must spend
another entire round gathering himse5f )ac' up and getting to his feet.
0assoing the ider: The more heroic method of dismounting someone is to tr% to
)ring do6n the rider 6ithout harming the mount. This is a5so more desira)5e from a
)andit9s point of vie6$ as he 6ou5d rather have a 5ive horse than a dead one.
"ertain 6eapons Lsuch as the 5assoM can )e used to %an' a rider off his speeding
mount. &o6ever$ riders 6ith Riding proficienc% can attempt to stop short$ reining the
horse in )efore the rope is fu55% p5a%ed out. If the chec' is successfu5$ the horse stops
)efore the 5ine goes taut. The rider remains mounted$ a5)eit sti55 5assoed.
(hether the proficienc% chec' is made or missed$ the person or monster 6ie5ding
the 5asso must ma'e a Strength chec' 6ith a R+ )onus for ever% si>e categor% he9s )igger
than the rider Lor a H+ pena5t% for ever% si>e categor% sma55erM.
A 2 is a56a%s a fai5ure and a ! a56a%s succeedsHHun5ess the DM deems the resu5t
utter5% preposterous. If the chec' is successfu5$ the roper remains standing and the rider
fa55s. If the chec' fai5s$ the fe55o6 on the ground gets %an'ed do6n and possi)5% dragged
2eapon Impact: Riders a5so can )e 'noc'ed off )% so5id )5o6s from a variet% of
6eapons. An% time a rider hits another mounted character or creature 6ith a me5ee
6eapon +9 or 5onger and scores a natura5 2 on the ro55$ the other character is 'noc'ed
from the sadd5e$ suffering !d+ points of damage Lif from the )ac' of a norma5 horseM.
7oot so5diers 6ith 6eapons of !9 or greater have the same chance. Riders 6ith
Riding proficienc% can attempt to retain their seating )% ro55ing a successfu5 proficienc%
-he 5lying -ac@le: 7ina55%$ those on horse)ac' can attempt to dive on another
rider )% ma'ing an attac' ro55.
If the attac' ro55 misses$ the attac'er fa55s to the ground$ suffering !d+ points of
damage Lmore$ at the DM9s discretion$ if the mount is 5arger than a horseM.
If the attac' ro55 succeeds$ the target must ro55 a successfu5 De8terit% chec' to
remain in the sadd5e. If this ro55 succeeds$ the rider remains mounted$ )ut the attac'er is
hanging on his side$ feet dang5ing :ust a)ove the ground. If the attac' succeeds and the
De8terit% ro55 is fai5ed$ )oth the rider and the attac'er fa55 to the ground.
7ootso5diers can a5so attempt to pu55 do6n a rider. This is hand5ed )% the ru5es for
Aeria5 "om)at LTournamentM
3n first e8amination$ aeria5 com)at seems :ust 5i'e norma5 ground com)at. The
on5% rea5 difference is that the ground can )e an%6here from ! feet to ! mi5es Lor
moreBM )e5o6. This 5itt5e difference$ ho6ever$ 5eads to a num)er of specia5 pro)5ems and
effects that never come into p5a% during a ground )att5e.
The )iggest difference is that ever%one Le8cept the rare creature a)5e to hoverM
must 'eep moving for6ard. Stop f5%ing and the resu5t is a fa55$ often 6ith disastrous
resu5ts. T6o f5%ing creatures simp5% cannot face off in toeHtoHtoe com)at.
*att5es are fought in a series of passes$ as each creature tries to s6oop do6n on
the other$ attac'$ 6hee5$ and return )efore the other can respond. Speed and
maneuvera)i5it% are even more important factors in an aeria5 )att5e than in an ordinar%
Another )ig difference is that aeria5 )att5es are fought in three dimensions. (hi5e
this is hard5% surprising to creatures of the air$ it often causes the p5ans and tactics of
ground5ings$ accustomed to on5% t6o dimensions$ to go a6r%.
In the air$ attac's can come from ahead$ a5ongside$ a)ove$ )ehind$ )e5o6$ or an%
com)ination of these. A pa5adin riding a pegasus ma% find himse5f )eset )% harpies
s6ooping from high and in front$ 5o6 and to the right side$ high and from the rear$ and
even straight do6n from a)ove. "5ear5%$ standard methods of defense and attac' that
6or' on the ground are going to do him 5itt5e good here.
There are t6o 6a%s of running aeria5 )att5esI the Tournament ru5es and the
3ptiona5 ru5es. The Tournament ru5es can )e used in an% situation$ )ut re5% on the
descriptions of the DM and the imaginations of the p5a%ers for much of their effect. The
3ptiona5 ru5es provide a more detai5ed s%stem for fighting aeria5 )att5es 6ith miniatures.
The Tournament ru5es )egin )e5o6.
&aneuverability Classes
&o6 tight5% a creature is a)5e to turn is an important factor in aeria5 com)at. To
measure this$ a55 f5%ing creatures have a maneuvera)i5it% c5ass ran'ing from A to # L6ith
A )eing the )estM. In genera5$ creatures 6ith a )etter maneuvera)i5it% c5ass can attac'
more often and more effective5%.
Class A creatures have virtua55% tota5 command over their movements in the air? it
is their home. The% can maneuver in the air 6ith the same ease as a norma5 person on the
ground$ turning at 6i55$ stopping ;uic'5%$ and hovering in p5ace. 7or them$ f5%ing is the
same as 6a5'ing or running.
"5ass A creatures can face an% given direction in a round$ and are virtua55%
impossi)5e to outmaneuver in the air. 7ighting in the air is no different from fighting on
the ground for them$ so the% can attac' ever% round. This c5ass inc5udes creatures from
the e5ementa5 p5ane of Air and creatures a)5e to f5% magica55%$ 6ithout 6ings.
Class 6 creatures are the most maneuvera)5e of a55 6inged creatures$ a5though
the% 5ac' the utter ease of movement of c5ass A creatures. The% are a)5e to hover in p5ace$
and so are the on5% 6inged creatures that do not need to maintain for6ard movement in a
The creatures can turn !G degrees in a sing5e round and can ma'e one pass ever%
round. this c5ass inc5udes pi8ies$ sprites$ s%5phs$ and most giant insects.
Class C inc5udes most norma5 )irds and f5%ing magica5 items. 7or6ard
momentum must )e maintained )% moving at 5east ha5f the norma5 movement rate
La5though some magica5 items are e8empted from thisM. "reatures in this c5ass can turn up
to F degrees in a sing5e round and can ma'e one pass ever% t6o rounds. Gargo%5es and
harpies fa55 into this c5ass. Dragons$ a5though huge$ are ama>ing5% maneuvera)5e and a5so
fa55 into this c5ass.
Class D creatures are some6hat s5o6 to reach ma8imum speed$ and the% ma'e
6ide turns. 7or6ard movement e;ua5 to at 5east ha5f the movement rate is re;uired. Turns
are 5imited to K degrees in a sing5e round. "5ass D creatures ma'e on5% one pass ever%
three rounds. Aegasi$ pteranodons$ and sphin8es fa55 into this c5ass.
Class E is for f5%ers so 5arge or c5ums% that tight maneuvering is impossi)5e. The
creature must f5% at 5east ha5f its movement rate$ and can on5% turn up to + degrees in a
sing5e round. Thus$ it can ma'e :ust one pass ever% si8 rounds. This c5ass inc5udes roc's
and other tru5% gigantic creatures.
Levitating creatures don9t tru5% f5%$ and their movement is genera55% 5imited to up
or do6n. Levitating creatures that are a)5e to move free5% are assumed to )e c5ass A.
3ther6ise$ the po6er does not grant an% maneuvera)i5it% and so is not assigned a c5ass.
The re5ative e5evation of com)atants is important for a variet% of reasons$ )ut as
far as com)at goes$ it has 5itt5e rea5 effect. If f5%ing creatures 6ish to fight$ the% must a55
)e f5%ing at appro8imate5% the same height. If one of the creatures f5ees and the others do
not pursue$ he gets a6a%. Simp5e.
A5titude affects the action. The DM shou5d 'eep the fo55o6ing guide5ines in mind
as he 5istens to 6hat p5a%ers 6ant to do and decides ho6 creatures and 2A"s 6i55 react.
"reatures cannot charge those a)ove them$ a5though those a)ove can dive$ gaining
the charge )onus.
3n5% creatures 6ith natura5 6eapons or riders 6ith <L< 6eapons$ such as a 5ance$
can attac' a creature )e5o6 them. Attac's from )e5o6 suffer a H2 pena5t% to the attac'
ro55$ as the reach and ang5e ma'e com)at difficu5t.
Combat Procedure
Aeria5 com)at is )ased on maneuvera)i5it%. (hen f5%ing creatures fight$ compare
the maneuvera)i5it% c5asses of the different com)atants. If these are a55 identica5$ the
com)at is conducted norma55%. (hen maneuvera)i5it% c5asses differ$ creatures 6ith the
)etter c5ass gain severa5 advantages.
7or each difference in c5ass$ the more maneuvera)5e f5%er su)tracts one from its
initiative die ro55s. Its maneuvera)i5it% increases its a)i5it% to stri'e ;uic'5% and to stri'e
areas that are difficu5t to protect.
6reath 2eapons are more pro)5ematic in aeria5 com)at than on the ground.
"reatures using )reath 6eapons find their fie5ds of fire s5ight5% more restricted$ ma'ing
the attac' harder to use. Dragons$ in particu5ar$ find it difficu5t to use their )reath
6eapons to the side and rear 6hi5e f5%ing for6ard.
Those 6ithin a KHdegree arc of the front of the creature ro55 saving thro6s vs.
)reath 6eapons norma55%. "reatures outside this arc save 6ith a R2 )onus to the die ro55.
&issile 5ire is a5so difficu5t in aeria5 com)at. Those mounted on a f5%ing creature
or magica5 device suffer a55 the pena5ties for mounted )o6fire. &overing is the same as
standing sti55 and incurs no pena5t%.
"haracters using missi5e fire 6hi5e 5evitating suffer a H! cumu5ative pena5t% for
each round of fire$ up to a ma8imum of H,. Levitation is not a sta)5e p5atform$ and the
reaction from the missi5e fire creates a gradua55% increasing roc'ing motion. A round
spent doing nothing a55o6s the character to regain his )a5ance. Medium and heav%
cross)o6s cannot )e coc'ed )% 5evitating characters$ since there is no point of 5everage.
Air;to;Ground Combat
(hen attac'ing a creature on the ground Lor one 5evitating and una)5e to moveM$
the f5%er9s attac's are 5imited )% the num)er of rounds needed to comp5ete a pass.
A dragon 'lies out o' its cave to attack the &layer characters as they near its lair-
@n the 'irst round it swoo&s over them; raking the lead character with its claws- Since its
maneuverability is #; it then s&ends a round wheeling about and swoo&ing back to make
another attack on the third round o' combat- @' course; during this time; its 'light will
more than likely take it out o' range o' the &layer characters-
(hen a creature tries to )rea' off from com)at$ its a)i5it% to escape depends on its
maneuvera)i5it% and speed. "reatures )oth faster and more maneuvera)5e than their
opponents can escape com)at 6ith no pena5ties. The free attac' for f5eeing a com)at is
not a55o6ed$ since the other f5%er is a5so in motion Lpro)a)5% in the opposite directionM.
If a creature is faster$ )ut not more maneuvera)5e$ it can )rea' off )% simp5%
outrunning its opponent. The other cannot 'eep pace. In this case$ a free attac' for f5eeing
is a55o6ed.
If the creature is s5o6er$ regard5ess of maneuvera)i5it%$ an initiative ro55 must )e
made Lmodified )% the maneuvera)i5it% of the f5%ersM. If the f5eeing creature9s initiative
ro55 is 5o6er than that of the pursuer$ the creature has managed to f5ee$ a5though suffering
the usua5 attac' for f5eeing.
An% 6inged creature that 5oses more than ,O of its hit points cannot sustain
itse5f in the air and must 5and as soon as possi)5e. The creature can g5ide safe5% to the
ground$ )ut cannot gain a5titude or f5% faster than ha5f its norma5 movement rate. If no
safe 5anding point is avai5a)5e$ the creature is :ust out of 5uc'. Since the circumstances of
a crash 5anding can var% great5%$ the e8act hand5ing of the situation is 5eft to the DM. The
fa55ing ru5es ma% come in hand%$ though a vivid imagination ma% )e even more he5pfu5.
Aeria5 "om)at L3ptiona5 Ru5esM
These optiona5 ru5es provide more precision a)out :ust 6hat is happening in an
aeria5 )att5e. &o6ever$ these )att5es re;uire the use of miniatures or counters and
genera55% ta'e 5onger to reso5ve. A55 of the aeria5 com)at ru5es a)ove remain in effect
e8cept 6here specifica55% contradicted )e5o6.
Movement is measured in inches L! inch W ! feet of movementM and the pieces
are moved on the ta)5etop or f5oor. The maneuvera)i5it% c5asses determine ho6 far a
figure can turn in a sing5e round. A protractor is hand% for figuring this. Turns can )e
made at an% point in the round$ provided the tota5 num)er of degrees turned is not
e8ceeded in the round and there is at 5east ! inch of movement )et6een turns.
Climbing and Diving
A5a%ers 'eep trac' of the a5titude of their f5%ers )% noting the current a5titude on a
s5ip of paper. Li'e movement$ this can )e recorded as inches of a5titude. A creature can
c5im) ! inch for ever% inch of for6ard movement.
"reatures of c5ass " and 6orse have a minimum air speed$ and the% must spend at
5east ha5f their movement rate going for6ard. Thus$ the% cannot f5% straight up and can
on5% c5im) at a ma8imum of !E2 their norma5 movement rate.
Diving creatures gain speed$ earning an additiona5 inch to their movement for
ever% inch the% dive$ up to their ma8imum movement rate. Thus$ a creature a)5e to f5% !2
cou5d move 2- )% diving for its entire movement$ since each inch of diving adds one inch
of movement.
A diving creature must f5% the fu55 distance it gains diving$ a5though it need not f5%
its fu55 norma5 movement. A creature 6ith a movement of !2 cou5d not dive F and f5%
on5% K for6ard. It must move for6ard at 5east F$ the distance it dove.
Since the e8act positions of the f5%ing units are mar'ed )% miniatures$ severa5
a)stractions for aeria5 com)at are not used. Die ro55 modifiers for maneuvera)i5it% are
ignored. These simu5ate the a)i5it% of more acro)atic creatures gaining an advantage over
c5umsier f5%ers. (hen p5a%ing 6ith miniatures or counters$ this tas' is 5eft to the p5a%ers.
Li'e6ise$ the num)er of rounds re;uired to ma'e a pass are not used$ as this
)ecomes evident from the position of the pieces.
(hen a diving creature ma'es an attac'$ it is considered to )e charging. "harging
creatures gain the norma5 com)at )onus. Lances and spears inf5ict dou)5e damage in a
charge. 7urther$ creatures 6ith ta5ons or c5a6s cause dou)5e damage 6hen the% hit during
a dive.
/nder6ater "om)at
An oftHneg5ected$ )ut fascinating$ area for adventure is that great and m%sterious
rea5m that 5ies )eneath the 6aves. &ere$ ancient civi5i>ations$ green and dar'$ 5ie 6aiting
to )e discovered. 1ast treasure hordes are said to 5ie scattered and open on the mur'%
)ottom. "reatures$ fearsome and fancifu5$ ru5e 'ingdoms un'no6n to man. Man% are the
m%steries of the ocean$ )ut$ to so5ve them$ p5a%ers must dea5 6ith some unusua5
The )iggest pro)5em facing characters under6ater is$ natura55%$ )reathing. *efore
an% 'ind of under6ater adventure is underta'en$ the% have to find some 6a% to sta%
under6ater for 5ong periods. "haracters can use magica5 spe55s or devices? the% can use
water breathing &otions? the% can even po5%morph themse5ves into under6ater creatures
La5though this might 5ead to other$ une8pected pro)5emsM. If none of these so5utions seems
6or'a)5e$ the DM can provide o8%genHsupp5%ing sea6eeds or 'e5ps the characters can
(ithout some method of )reathing under6ater$ the characters are going to have a
ver% short adventureB Ru5es for ho5ding one9s )reath La short term so5ution$ at )estBM and
dro6ning can )e found in the Player's Handbook.
There are t6o )asic 6a%s to move in 6aterHHs6imming or sin'ing 5i'e a stone and
6a5'ing on the )ottom. Ru5es for s6imming can )e found in the Player's Handbook. In
rare cases$ p5a%er characters ma% )e a)5e to find and use trained
mounts such as giant seahorses.
3ne ma:or 5imitation of under6ater com)at is the 5ac' of avai5a)5e 5ight. In fresh
6ater$ vision is 5imited to a )ase of ,9. This is reduced )% !9 for ever% !9 of depth.
"haracters e8p5oring the depths of a mur'% 5a'e$ ,9 )e5o6 the surface$ cou5d see a)out
!9. *e5o6 this$ the dar'ness 6ou5d c5ose in a)out them.
In sa5t 6ater$ 6hich has some6hat 5ess a5gae$ the )ase e8tends out to !9$
modified for depth in the same 6a% as fresh 6ater.
.atural and Arti$icial 0ight
The vision guide5ines a)ove assume a )right sun5ight da% on the surface overhead.
3n overcast da%s$ the distance a character sees can )e reduced )% ha5f or more. 3n
moon5ess nights a character9s range of vision is virtua55% ni5.
Artificia5 5ight sources function under6ater La5though p5a%ers 6i55 have to thin'
fast to 'eep torches and 5anterns 5itM. Artificia5 5ight sources i55uminate ha5f the space
under 6ater that the% 6ou5d 5ight on the surfaceE
3bscured /ision
In addition to 5o6 5ight$ vision can )e o)scured )% sea6eed$ sea grass$ and 'e5p
forests. These hamper vision in much the same 6a% as thic' )rush on the surface.
Schoo5s of fish 6ith their often si5ver% sca5es can ref5ect and scatter 5ight in
hundreds of different directions$ creating a shining c5oud of confusion. #ven 6ithout the
ref5ection$ their darting forms o)scure an area.
7ina55%$ the in' from a giant s;uid$ or even mud stirred up from the )ottom$ have
a55 the effects of a darkness spe55. Infravision and 5ight have no success penetrating such
mur'% 6aters.
Infravision functions under6ater$ though not 6ith the same efficienc% as on the
surface. In no case does it e8tend past the norma5 ranges a55o6ed in dungeons. In
addition$ the sheer a5ienness of the environment ma'es it difficu5t for the character to )e
certain of a55 he sees.
The greatest factor in fighting under6ater is overcoming the resistance of the
6ater. #ven though a 6eapon sti55 retains its mass and densit%$ the resistance of the 6ater
great5% 6ea'ens the impact of an% )5o6. Thus$ on5% thrust 6eapons can )e used
effective5% under6ater Le8cept for those possessing magica5 items that ena)5e free
Thro6n and hur5ed 6eapons Le8cept netsM are use5ess under6ater. 3f the missi5e
6eapons$ on5% specia55% made cross)o6s can )e used effective5% under6ater. #ven so$ a55
rangers on these 6eapons are reduced )% ha5f.
2ets are particu5ar5% effective in under6ater com)at. The% tend to remain spread
once opened$ and characters shou5d find them usefu5 for c5oseHin com)at. Aroper5%
6eighted$ nets can )e thro6n )% tossing them 6ith a s5ight spin$ so that the force of
rotation 'eeps the 5ines taut. The range is ver% short$ on5% !9 for ever% point of the
thro6er9s Strength.
Combat Problems o$ Sur$ace;D<ellers
In com)at$ surfaceHd6e55ers suffer specia5 disadvantages 6hen fighting the races
of the sea.
*eing unaccustomed to the 6ater resistance and changed in apparent 6eight$
surfaceHd6e55ers add four to their initiative to55s in handHtoHhand com)at. This does not
app5% to missi5e fire or spe55casting. SurfaceHD6e55ers a5so suffer a H- pena5t% to their
attac' ro55s$ due to the s5o6ness of their movements.
:nder<ater &agic
Spe55s are a5so affected )% the under6ater 6or5d. 2ot surprising5%$ fireH)ased
spe55s have no effect un5ess cast in an area of free o8%gen Lsuch as a domed cit%M.
#5ectrica5 spe55s conduct their energ% into the surrounding 6ater. Thus$ a lightning
bolt originating K9 a6a% from the caster acts 5i'e a 'ireball at the point of origin.
Spe55s affecting forces of nature not norma55% found under6ater have no effectHH
call lightning$ for e8amp5e. Spe55s that summon or command creatures not native to the
depths are a5so point5ess.
Chapter 1,:
-reasure and &agical Items
"haracters in a ro5eHp5a%ing game strive for man% thingsCfame$ g5or%$ e8perience$
among them. *ut for those 6ho are not fu55% satisfied 6ith such intangi)5e re6ards$ there
is one other goa5Cfortune.
Strands of g5ittering go5den chains$ stac's of si5ver coin$ heaps of marten fur$
)e:e6e5ed cro6ns$ ename5ed sceptres$ si5'en c5oths$ and po6erfu5 magica5 items a55 6ait
to )e discoveredCor 6rested from the grasp of po6erfu5 monsters. (ith such treasures
a6aiting$ ho6 cou5d an% )o5d adventurer )e content to remain peacefu55% at home=
(ho 2eeds Mone%=
Treasure is more than :ust a goa5$ a measure of materia5 6ea5th$ ho6ever. <It ta'es
mone% to get mone%$< so the o5d sa%ing goes$ and for adventurers one cou5d even sa%$ <It
ta'es mone% to sta% a5ive.< As characters survive and succeed$ their cha55enges )ecome
greater and more dead5%.
At first 5eve5 a simp5e suit of studded armor$ a stout pair of )oots$ and a fe6
simp5e spe55s 6ere a55 a character needed? at higher 5eve5s such simp5e impediments no
5onger suffice. 7aced 6ith terri)5e foes$ characters ;uic'5% discover that the% need strong
armors$ )arded horses$ a variet% of 6eapons$ fortifications$ menHatHarms$ potions$ scro55s$
and potent magica5 items.
These are the 'inds of things the characters have to find$ ma'e$ or )u%. And
ho6ever the% go a)out ac;uiring them$ the%9re going to need mone%. In a sense$ then$
treasure is a5so a method of measuring a character9s po6er. #ven a 5o6H5eve5 character
6ith mone% and magic to spare is more than a match for an impoverished fe55o6 of
higher 5eve5. Thus$ getting rich and getting ahead are re6ards in and of themse5ves.
7orms of Treasure
There are man% different 'inds of treasure. Some of these are o)vious$ their
appro8imate va5ue 'no6n to a55. 3thers are 5ess eas% to spot$ their va5ue more difficu5t to
The simp5est treasures are items of set va5ueCgo5d$ si5ver$ p5atinum$ and copper
coins. 1irtua55% an%one can te55 the 6orth of these. Those 6ith a trained e%e can assess the
va5ue of semiHprecious and precious stones$ )oth cut and uncut. A trained :e6e5er$
go5dsmith$ or si5versmith can appraise man9s 6or' in precious meta5sCp5ate6are$
nec'5aces$ )rooches$ tiaras$ )race5ets$ rings$ and other pieces of :e6e5r%. Tradesmen can
eva5uate the handi6or' of their craft$ )e it ename56are$ )5o6n g5ass$ statuar%$ or de5icate
3vereager adventurers can easi5% over5oo' vast treasures in the form of common
goods. 7e6 pa% attention to )o5ts of fine 5inen$ stac's of sa)5e marten fur$ cas's of 6ine$
or tons of ra6 iron ore$ %et these can )e 6orth great fortunes. 2ot ever% fortune shines$
g5itters$ or can even )e touched.
(hat if the characters find a sheaf of crac'ed papers in an ancient horde$ and one
of the papers turns out to )e a 5ongH5ost 5and deed= Is it va5ua)5e= "ou5d the characters
use it to enforce a c5aim= Documents granting 5and$ privi5eges$ tit5es$ offices$ and rights
of ta8ation Lor freedom from itM are a55 va5ua)5e. The characters ma% not 6ish to )ecome
5andHo6ners$ )ut the% can certain5% find some merchant 6i55ing to pa% cash mone% for the
7ina55%$ there are magica5 items$ desired and coveted )% virtua55% ever% p5a%er
character. These items give the character po6er )e%ond his 5eve5. The% e8cite the
imagination$ and fi55 the campaign 6ith m%sterious 6onder and romance. "arefu55%
chosen and carefu55% a6arded$ magica5 items add an e8otic e5ement important to an%
AD&D game.
The DM p5aces$ a6ards$ and contro5s the treasures that appear in his campaign.
The amount of treasure$ )oth monetar% and magica5$ the characters receive 6i55 have
great effects on the deve5opment of the campaign. 7or this reason$ severa5 ;uestions
shou5d )e ans6ered )efore p5a% )eginsI
Is the 6or5d poor in magica5 items$ such that the discover% of a simp5e potion 6i55
)e seen as a great re6ard= 3r is it rich in magica5 items$ such that the p5a%er characters
6i55 have man% and 6i55 use them often :ust to survive= (i55 their supp5% of magica5
items )e so great as to render them a55 )ut unstoppa)5e=
(i55 the p5a%er characters )e forced to underta'e dangerous adventures :ust to
have food from da% to da%$ or 6i55 the% have so much 6ea5th that their adventures 6i55
invo5ve those of the highest 5eve5s of societ% and po6er= (i55 the characters have too
much mone%$ ma'ing them difficu5t to coerce$ )ri)e$ threaten$ or even cha55enge= (i55
the% )e poor Land$ possi)5%$ depressed and frustratedM=
3n5% the DM can ans6er these ;uestions. And ans6er them he shou5d$ for the%
6i55 shape the campaign as sure5% as an% other sing5e factor.
A5acement of Treasure
3ne given in the AD&D game is that there is a significant amount of treasure
Lmonetar% and magica5M that is not circu5ated in the societ%. These treasures are not used
to purchase goods or pa% for services. The% do not co55ect interest in )an's La foreign
concept to the age$ an%6a%M. The% do not represent co55atera5 used to secure 5oans or
maintain prestige. The% are not the underpinnings of monetar% s%stems. The% are :ust
pi5es of unused treasure$ apparent5% forgotten$ their potentia5 unrea5i>ed. *% norma5
standards$ this is an i55ogica5 situation. So$ :ust 6h% is there so much treasure 5a%ing
2o6$ it is not important to create a detai5ed )ac'ground that goes into the
economic theories of dragonHhoarding or the supp5%HandHdemand trade structures of
d6arves. *ut it doesn9t hurt to 5oo' at some of the )asic premises )ehind a55 this 5oose
treasure. Ta'e these three re5ated premisesI
Premise 71: Long ago the 6or5d 6as a 6ea5thier p5ace$ since a55 this mone% has
)een ta'en out of circu5ation.
Premise 72: 3nce the 6or5d 6as more cu5tura55% advanced$ since on5% an
organi>ed societ% can contro5 things 5i'e minting on a 5arge sca5e.
Premise 7!: The 6or5d has fa55en into a dar' age$ since no6 these same hoards
are eager5% sought after )% adventurers and there are fe6 governments a)5e to mint such
amounts of coinage.
7rom these premises$ the DM )egins to create a )ac'ground for his campaign
6or5d. &ere are some possi)i5itiesI
3nce in ages 5ong )efore the present time$ there 6as a Go5den Age of 5earning and
cu5ture. LIt cou5d have )een the Reign of the #5ven Lords$ the #mpire of the D6arves$ the
Great Age of Aeace$ the Time *efore the "oming of Man$ or the Ru5e of Good 0ing
Then came a great disaster and evi5 times. LSudden5% the DragonH7ire )egan$ the
Sin'ing of the Gruen Mountains occurred$ the Dar'5ing invaded$ Man arrived$ or Therope
usurped 0ing &aring9s throne.M
2o6$ the 6or5d is s5o65% )eginning to recover from this disastrous time$ )ut much
of 6hat once 6as has )een 5ost. There are hidden treasures of )%gone ages$ ancient ruins$
forgotten 6onders$ and might% magics no6 5ost.
Ancient civi5i>ations$ no6 in ruins$ are the source of man% of the treasures
adventurers see'. 3f course$ there are a5so ne6 treasures )eing made and amassed. some
of 6hich are ripe for the pic'ing.
3ther deductions cou5d )e made and different premises reached from the same
)eginning. The ones given a)ove provide a )road range of e8cuses for adventures$ )oth
for the p5a%ers and the DM. Recovering that 6hich 6as 5ost 5eads to a55 manner of
possi)i5itiesI treasure maps$ ruined empires overs6ept )% desert$ 5egends of po6erfu5
6i>ards 6ith spe55s no6 unheard of$ magica5 devices of un'no6n function$ re5ics and
artifacts from the previous age$ even greater po6ers no 5onger 6orshiped.
(ho9s Got the Treasure=
The ne8t ;uestion re5ating to treasure hoards is :ust 6ho assem)5es these treasures
and to 6hat end= The ans6er can )e divided into t6o simp5e categories$ the uninte55igent
and the inte55igent creature. /ninte55igent creatures here refers not to those tota55%
mind5ess )eings$ rather to those of anima5 nature for 6hom 6ea5th has no meaning.
:nintelligent Creatures: 7e6 uninte55igent creatures set out 6ith the intention of
amassing a fortune. Such treasures gro6 )% chance and happenstance.
The remains of victims dragged )ac' to the creature9s 5air ma% inc5ude 6hat
fortune$ arms$ armor$ and magica5 items that victim 6as carr%ing. These$ unsavor% and
indigesti)5e$ cou5d )e thro6n aside or scattered among the )ones and refuse of previous
7ortunate5% for adventurers$ most anima5s have some sanitar% ha)its and regu5ar5%
c5ean their dens of refuse$ creating sma55 gar)age dumps :ust outside their doors. Thus$
the un6anted 5itter from the aerie of a giant eag5e cou5d )e scattered around the )ase of
its tree$ 6hi5e the remains of a cave )ear9s 'i55 cou5d )e found some6here near the
opening to its den.
At the same time$ anima5s Land anima5H5i'e monstersM often have a fascination
6ith the strangest of o):ects. Aac'rats and magpies are 'no6n to carr% off shin% o):ects$
pet ferrets 6i55 carr% off pennies and shoes$ and )irds 6i55 6eave a55 manner of things into
their nests. Thus it is possi)5e for virtua55% an% item of interest to )e found in the 5air of a
There 6on9t )e man% items in a 5air$ since fe6 anima5s ma'e an industr% of such
gathering. &o6ever$ the nest of a giant otter might inc5ude a set of 5eather armor and fine
si5's for )edding materia5$ 6hi5e the nest of a roc cou5d have a magica5 rope 6oven into
In the rarest of instances$ the creature cou5d actua55% eat its treasure$ though hard5%
)% design. This is most often the case for creatures 5ac'ing the 5im)s to separate the
edi)5e from the inedi)5e and especia55% for those 6ith voracious appetites. Shar's9 )e55ies
have )een 'no6n to ho5d such strange items as 5icense p5ates$ suits of armor$ hu)caps$
and other indigesti)5e )its of meta5. In adventuring$ such instances shou5d )e 5imited to
)easts 6ith massive ma6s Lpurp5e 6orms$ 'i55er 6ha5es$ and ge5atinous cu)esM.
7ina55%$ there are a fe6 creatures that actua55% feed on items others consider
treasure. The )east ma% eat gems or precious meta5s. 3f course$ such creatures are not
5i'e5% to have a si>ea)5e hoard$ and treasures found )% them 6i55 not remain around
Intelligent Creatures: &ere$ the DM can )egin ascri)ing emotions and motives.
Inte55igent creatures ma% hoard )ecause of greed and avarice. The% ma% do so for socia5
status or materia5 comforts. Indeed$ man% norma5 reasons can )e given. &o6ever$ the
reasons are not a56a%s c5ear5% apparent.
(hi5e a ho)go)5in ma% 'i55 and stea5 to gain a treasure he can use to )ecome the
chief of his tri)e or to )u% goods from unscrupu5ous merchants$ 6hat are the reasons for a
dragon to )ui5d a treasure hoard= Dragons don9t go into to6n and )u% goods$ and the%
don9t pa% )ui5ders to construct homes. The% :ust don9t seem to have an% use for the vast
sums of mone% the% co55ect Land co55ect the% doBM.
7or dragons and other inte55igent creatures$ the DM must create more )i>arre and
a5ien motives. Dragons ma% hoard treasure )ecause the% are o)sessive a)out such things.
The% ma% have the notion that the% are the guardians and recoverers of those things of
the earth. The% ma% simp5% fee5 it is their right to possess a55 that the% can. (ithin their
o6n re5ationships$ the si>e of a hoard ma% have some )earing on the perceived might of
the creature. It cou5d even )e that the 6ondrous )eaut% of treasure items )rings an inner
harmon% and peace to the creature.
#ven for those inte55igent creatures 6ith understanda)5e motives$ things are apt to
)e a )it different from norma5. A ho)go)5in societ% is vast5% different from that of
humans or most other p5a%er character races. &o)go)5ins don9t go to cities and spend
mone% on pa5aces$ fine drin'$ and e5a)orate gardens. Their e8penditures are apt to )e
much more )ruta5 or mundane. At the same time the% do not have an econom% as
deve5oped as that of human societ%. Aerhaps the% need vast sums of mone% )ecause the
price re5ationships are so )i>arre.
(eapons ma% )e astronomica5 in price and armor out5andish. Ao6erfu5 chieftains
ma% demand regu5ar gifts and tri)ute from their under5ings. Such pa%ments ma% )e made
eager5% since death is the a5ternative. Indeed such a s%stem of gifting ma% )e cu5tura55%
ingrained$ each 6arrior attempting to prove he is sti55 fit to )e a mem)er of the tri)e.
#ver%thing a)ove not6ithstanding$ it isn9t necessar% to :ustif% ever% hoard in
e8istence. &o6ever$ doing so provides c5ues a)out the si>e of a treasure and ho6 the
o6ner might react to someone tr%ing to snatch it.
A dragon might ta'e an e8treme vie6 of an%one ta'ing even the s5ightest amount
of treasure from its vast pi5e. A ho)go)5in might go )erser' if the characters attempt to
ro) him. The ho)go)5in9s companions might ta'e 5itt5e interest in their friend9s pro)5em.
The p5a%er characters represent a threat$ )ut after a55$ each ho)go)5in must prove he can
defend himse5f.
3n the other hand$ 5ooting the chieftain9s treasure room 6ou5d a5most certain5%
5ead to upheava5s 6ithin the tri)e. The chief is )ound )% the same customs as his
6arriors$ and if he can9t protect his treasures$ he doesn9t deserve to )e chieftainCat 5east
)% this particu5ar phi5osoph%.
Inte55igent monsters 6i55 ta'e precautions to guard their treasure that 6ou5d never
da6n on uninte55igent )easts. The ho)go)5in chieftain isn9t going to 5eave his treasur%
7urthermore$ he isn9t going to trust his o6n guards$ either$ and so is 5i'e5% to have
the treasur% rigged 6ith at 5east one Land pro)a)5% severa5M dangerous traps. Shou5d he )e
so 5uc'%$ the chieftain 6i55 even have a trained guard)east or t6o to discourage thieves.
#ven a 5o65% ho)go)5in 6arrior is going to ma'e an effort to protect 6hat is his.
If his horde is sma55$ he ma% carr% his 6ea5th 6ith him at a55 times. &e ma% )ur% it 6here
on5% he can find it. &e ma% p5ace it in a trapped and 5oc'ed chest$ prefera)5% one that is
chained to the 6a55 or f5oor. This is not a societ% 6ith an overa)undance of 5ove and trust$
after a55.
A dragon$ at the other e8treme$ ma% simp5% consider his reputation sufficient
deterrent. "ertain5% this is true 6hi5e the dragon is presentB LAnd p5a%er characters shou5d
never :ust come across an unoccupied dragon hoard.M
A5anned and Random #ncounter Treasures
It is important for the DM to distinguish )et6een p5aced treasures and those found
6ith random encounters. The sca5e of the t6o is vast5% different.
Monster descriptions in the Monstrous #om&endium differentiate )et6een
treasures found in a creature9s 5air$ den$ or )ase and those carried )% individua5s. Treasure
gained through a random encounter 6i55 )e sma55er than treasure gained through a
p5anned encounter. If a random treasure is 5arger or more significant than a p5aced one$
the p5a%ers are going to remem)er and va5ue the random encounter more than the p5ot.
Treasures shou5d )e used to )ui5d the adventure$ deve5op a p5ot$ and re6ard
inte55igent and daring p5a%. If the% :ust appear random5%$ not on5% is the DM thro6ing
a6a% a usefu5 adventureH)ui5ding device$ he is threatening his overa55 campaign. In
genera5$ a 5arge treasure shou5d )e a p5anned part of an adventure$ a 6a% to motivate
p5a%ers$ or a goa5 to )e achieved )% the characters.
And remem)er$ as important as treasure is$ it need not )e the so5e motivator for a
stor%. Indeed$ there are times 6hen it 6i55 )e unimportant to the adventure. In these cases$
the p5ot doesn9t need the outside motivation of cash to interest the p5a%ers. Sti55$ sma55
re6ards shou5d sti55 )e made avai5a)5e to the p5a%ers. A treasure re6ard$ no matter ho6
sma55$ gives the p5a%ers the fee5ing that their characters are succeeding and moving
Treasure Ta)5es
To simp5if% the assignment of treasures to 5airs and monsters$ the AD&D

uses a set of a5pha)etic codes to categori>e different si>es and t%pes of treasure. #ach
monster 5isting in the Monstrous #om&endium has a <Treasure T%pe< 5isting fo55o6ed )%
a series of 5etters. These 5etters refer to Ta)5e G+ in Appendi8 ! of the DMG-
Maintaining *a5ance
7or a55 his good intentions$ sooner or 5ater the DM is 5i'e5% to err in the a6arding
of treasure. #ither he 6i55 a6ard too 5itt5e or hand out too much. The first is :ust tightH
fistedness? the second 5eads to highHpo6ered$ 5o6Hro5eHp5a%ing campaigns Lsometimes
ca55ed <Mont% &au599 dungeonsM.
2o6$ if )oth DM and p5a%ers en:o% a particu5ar t%pe of campaign and are having a
good time$ there is no pro)5em to fi8. &o6ever$ more often than not$ these t6o e8treme
adventuring st%5es 5ead to game pro)5ems.
Too Litt5e Treasure
In the case of a tightHfisted DM$ the most o)vious signs that the p5a%ers are not
having fun are frustration$ c%nicism$ and 5o6 e8pectations. If the characters are not
finding treasures commensurate to the ris's the% too'$ the p5a%ers are going to 6onder if
a55 the effort of p5a%ing is rea55% 6orth it. The% )ecome frustrated 6hen$ upon so5ving a
devious trap$ the% discover a pittance$ or nothing at a55.
Their c%nicism sho6s as the% start to ma'e snide remar's a)out the 5eve5 of
re6ards the% have received or are 5i'e5% to get for future efforts. 7ina55%$ the% :ust )egin
to e8pect 5ess and 5ess from the DM9s campaign$ unti5 it reaches the point 6here the%
e8pect nothing and the% go homeB In such a campaign$ the DM ma% have a fine time$
creating detai5ed settings and e5a)orate adventures. *ut if he does not have the
enthusiasm of his p5a%ers$ there isn9t much point in p5a%ing.
Such a campaign can succeed if there are other re6ards that invo5ve the p5a%ers in
the game. Aerhaps there are amp5e opportunities for character advancement or persona5it%
deve5opment. The characters ma% have the opportunit% to p5a% a decisive ro5e in 6or5d
affairs. These things are possi)5e$ )ut on5% a DM of e8traordinar% s'i55 can overcome the
dra6)ac's he has created.
7ortunate5%$ the pro)5ems of too 5itt5e treasure are easi5% fi8edCsimp5% introduce
more treasure into the campaign. 2o ad:ustments need to )e made to the characters. The
treasures avai5a)5e in the game 6or5d can )e increased 6ithout the p5a%ers even a6are
that the change has )een effected.
Mont% &au5 "ampaigns
At the other e8treme$ the pro)5ems of too much treasure are not so easi5% so5ved.
&ere p5a%ers ma% en:o% the gameCand 6h% not= Their characters are doing ;uite 6e55.
The% have sufficient mone% and magic to )est an% situation the DM can devise.
&o6ever$ the DM se5dom has the same en:o%ment. &e is faced 6ith the tas' of
topping the 5ast 5ucrative adventure. &e must ma'e each adventure a greater cha55enge
than the 5ast. (hi5e this is true for a55 DMs$ it is gross5% e8aggerated for the DM 6ho has
given out too muchI &o6 do %ou top the adventure 6here the fighter got the &ammer of
Thor or some e;ua55% va5ua)5e item=
Invaria)5%$ the p5a%ers reach a point 6here the%$ too$ )ecome frustrated.
#ver%thing is the sameC<3h$ 6e did this )efore$< or <&oHhum. Another S6ord of Instant
Monster Destruction.< Soon there are no cha55enges 5eft$ )ecause the characters have
earned ever%thing in the )oo'B
7i8ing such a situation is far from eas%. The first thing to do is to stop giving out
so much treasure in future adventures. #ven this isn9t as simp5e as it sounds$ since p5a%ers
have a5read% had their e8pectations )ui5t up. Imagine p5a%ing for months or %ears in a
6or5d 6here %ou routine5% find , magica5 items and tens of thousands of go5d pieces each
adventure and then$ one da%$ finding on5% t6o or three magica5 items and a thousand go5d
piecesB Sti55$ painfu5 as it ma% )e for p5a%ers$ cutting )ac' on future treasure hau5s is a
The second part of the fi8 is far more difficu5tCremove from the campaign some
of 6hat has a5read% )een given. Most p5a%ers 6on9t vo5untari5% surrender their goods and
e;uipment :ust )ecause the DM made a mista'e. The inventive DM must )e inventive$
resorting to ne6 and )i>arre ta8es$ accidents$ theft$ and an%thing e5se he can thin' of. /se
a given method on5% once and )e sure to a55o6 the characters a fair chance. 2othing 6i55
upset and anger p5a%ers more than having their characters :er'ed a)out 5i'e a dog on a
Sometimes the situation has :ust gotten so far out of hand that there is no 6a% to
)ring it )ac' under contro5. 7or e8amp5e$ )ecause the DM has given out e8cessive magic$
the p5a%ers have nearHgod5i'e po6ers. The% have used wishes to e8ceed a)i5it% score
5imits and enhance their c5asses 6ith permanent a)i5ities. The% have fashioned otherH
p5anar strongho5d impervious to an%thing. The% have reached the point 6here the% are
dictating the structure of the game to the DM. There is on5% one cureCstarting over.
Re;uire a55 the characters to retire$ and )egin ane6 6ith !stH5eve5 characters$
)eing carefu5 not to ma'e the same mista'es again. The p5a%ers ma% grum)5e and
comp5ain$ )ut if the DM is fair$ the comp5aints shou5d eventua55% )e overcome. To this
end$ the DM ma% even 6ant to set the ne6 characters in a different part of his campaign
6or5d$ one that has not )een e8p5ored )efore.
Magica5 Items
3ne of the most important t%pes of treasure a character can earn is a magica5 item.
2ot on5% does the item act as an immediate re6ard for good p5a%$ it increases the po6er
and surviva)i5it% of the character. Such items add to the 6onder and romance of the
game$ a55o6ing the character to perform feats far )e%ond those of ordinar% morta5s. Rare
indeed is the p5a%er character 6ho does not 6ant the re6ards of magica5 items.
"reatures and Magica5 Items
Li'e other treasures$ magica5 items ma% )e found in the 5airs of uninte55igent and
inte55igent monsters. Random encounters 6ith uninte55igent monsters shou5dn9t %ie5d
magica5 items Le8cept in rare cases 6here the )east has s6a55o6ed themM. After a55$ 6h%
L5et a5one ho6M 6ou5d a giant sna'e carr% around a sword 13B
/ninte55igent creatures ma% have a fe6 items in or near their 5airs$ the former
possessions of their victims. #ven this 6i55 )e rare$ ho6ever. Such monsters don9t
recogni>e the 6orth of magica5 items and se5dom ma'e a specia5 effort to co55ect them.
The comments re5ating to treasure and uninte55igent creatures can )e app5ied here.
Inte55igent creatures$ on the other hand$ tend to va5ue magica5 items a)ove other
items of treasure. The% recogni>e such items for 6hat the% are Lun5ess the item is ver%
6e55 disguised or uni;ueM and ta'e them. 0no6ing such items can )e used to their
)enefit$ the% 6i55 attempt to 5earn the function of the item. A creature that can use an item
6i55 use it. /sefu5 magica5 items that are part of treasure 6i55 therefore )e in the creature9s
hands$ not hidden a6a%.
7or e8amp5e$ ta'e the treasure of the ho)go)5in chieftain. 3ver the %ears he has
come into possession of a num)er of minor magica5 items. "urrent5% the tri)e9s treasure
inc5udes three potions of hea5ing$ a scro55 of 6i>ard spe55s$ a sword 13; and t6o suits of
chain mail 13- This is not a horde the craft%$ o5d chieftain is going to ignore.
&e 6ears one suit of armor at a55 times$ carries the s6ord at his side$ and has the
three potions hidden a6a% )ut c5ose at hand shou5d he need them. The other suit of armor
he gives to the most faithfu5 of his )od%guards.
As for the scro55$ since no)od% in the tri)e can use it$ it is rather care5ess5% tossed
in 6ith the rest of the treasure in the chieftain9s strongroom. &e figures to trade it for
something usefu5 the ne8t time a renegade merchant comes around. A5a%er characters
6ho hope to get the tri)e9s magica5 items 6i55 have to 6rest them$ 5itera55%$ from the
fingers of the ho)go)5ins. That9s something to ma'e the earning of magic more of a
*u%ing Magica5 Items
As p5a%er characters earn more mone% and )egin facing greater dangers$ some of
them 6i55 )egin 6ondering 6here the% can )u% magica5 items. /sing 2thHcentur%$ rea5H
6or5d economics$ the% 6i55 figure there must )e stores that )u% and se55 such goods.
2atura55% the% 6i55 6ant to find and patroni>e such stores. &o6ever$ no magica5 stores
*efore the DM goes rushing off to create magica5 item shops$ consider the p5a%er
characters and their )ehavior. @ust ho6 often do p5a%er characters se55 those potions and
scro55s the% find= "ast in a sword 13B /n5oad a horn o' blasting or a ring o' 'ree actionB
More often than not$ p5a%er characters save such items. "ertain5% the% don9t give
a6a% oneHuse items. 3ne can never have too man% &otions o' healing or scro55s 6ith e8tra
spe55s. Sooner or 5ater the character might run out. A5read% have a sword 13B Ma%)e a
henchman or hire5ing cou5d use such a 6eapon Land deve5op a greater respect for his
masterM. Give up the on5% horn o' blasting the part% has= 2ot ver% 5i'e5% at a55.
It is reasona)5e to assume that if the p5a%er characters aren9t giving up their goods$
neither are an% nonHp5a%er characters. And if adventurers aren9t se55ing their finds$ then
there isn9t enough trade in magica5 items to sustain such a )usiness.
#ven if the characters do occasiona55% se55 a magica5 item$ setting up a magic shop
is not a good idea. (here is the sense of adventure in going into a store and )u%ing a
sword 13B &agg5ing over the price of a 6and= A5a%er characters shou5d fee5 5i'e
adventurers$ not merchants or greengrocers.
"onsider this as 6e55I If a 6i>ard or priest can )u% an% item he needs$ 6h% shou5d
he 6aste time attempting to ma'e the item himse5f= Magica5 item research is an
important ro5eHp5a%ing e5ement in the game$ and opening a magic emporium 'i55s it.
There is a far different sense of pride on the p5a%er9s part 6hen using a 6and his character
has made$ or found after peri5ous adventure$ as opposed to one he :ust )ought.
7ina55%$ )u%ing and trading magic presumes a 5arge num)er of magica5 items in
the societ%. This 5essens the DM9s contro5 over the 6ho5e )usiness. Logica55%Hminded
p5a%ers 6i55 point out the inconsistenc% of a 6e55Hstoc'ed magic shop in a campaign
other6ise sparse in such re6ards.
MagicHRare or "ommon=
3ne of the things the DM decides is :ust ho6 common magic is in his campaign.
Is the 6or5d rich in magica5 items such that ever% 5o65% fighter has access to at 5east a
sword 13B A5a%ers en:o% having a 6ide variet% of interesting magica5 items$ )ut there9s
the ris' of creating an outHofHcontro5 Mont% &au5 situation. And a magicHrich 6or5d has
conse;uences unforeseen )% most DMs.
If magic is common$ then norma5 peop5e 6i55 )egin to )ui5d inventions around it.
There ma% )e d:inniHpo6ered steam engines$ cr%sta5 )a55 te5ecommunications net6or's$
and other ver% unHmedieva5 resu5ts. This can )e entertaining$ )ut it does drastica55%
change the shape of the campaign 6or5d.
The charm of discovering a magica5 item is 5ost if ever%one has one$ )ut too fe6
magica5 items can a5so ruin a game. This is especia55% true at higher 5eve5s 6here magic is
so important to character surviva5. 4ou don9t 6ant to 'i55 ha5f the part% :ust so the
survivors can )e e8cited at discovering a sword 13-
The DM 6ants each magica5 treasure$ no matter ho6 sma55$ to fee5 specia5$ )ut at
the same time he must )e a)5e to )a5ance the pain of its ac;uisition against the re6ard.
This is not a thing the DM can 5earn through formu5ae or ta)5es. It ta'es time and
Researching Magica5 Items
3ne of the a)i5ities shared )% the 6i>ard and priest groups is their a)i5it% to
construct magica5 items. This is a potent a)i5it%$ )ut it is not one easi5% used. As DM %ou
do not 6ant %our p5a%er characters constructing ever% magica5 item avai5a)5e. #ach one
shou5d )e an accomp5ishment and the spring)oard for a ne6 adventure.
The 6i>ard9s a)i5it% to research items is divided into different phases. A5though a
6i>ard can cast a magic missile at !st 5eve5$ he cannot transcri)e that spe55 onto a scro55
unti5 he reaches Fth 5eve5. The same is true of )re6ing potions. 3n5% 6hen he reaches
!!th 5eve5 can a 6i>ard attempt to create other magica5 items. #ven then he ma% not )e
a)5e to create man% items if he 5ac's the a)i5it% to cast the necessar% spe55s.
The priest can )egin creating scro55s at .th 5eve5 and can )re6 a fe6 potions
Lmain5% those invo5ving hea5ingM at Fth 5eve5. "5erics can fa)ricate on5% a fe6 other
magica5 items and cannot attempt these unti5 the% reach at 5east !!th 5eve5. As 6ith the
6i>ard$ their a)i5it% even then ma% )e 5imited )% the spe55s the% have access to at the
"reating a magica5 item is much 5i'e researching a ne6 spe55. The DM and the
p5a%er must cooperate and 6or' together to )ring a)out the desired goa5. &o6ever$ there
are differences.
In magica5 item research$ the desired goa5 is usua55% 6e55H'no6n to )oth the
p5a%er and the DM. The p5a%er sa%s$ <Rupert 6ants to create a &otion o' clairaudience-<
The effect is 'no6n? 6hat must )e done to create it isn9t. Therefore$ once the p5a%er has
stated his desire$ the DM decides 6hat materia5s$ formu5ae$ spe55s$ and rites must )e
ac;uired andEor performed to create the item.
3nce the DM 'no6s this$ the p5a%er can proceed. =e does not tell the player
<hat he needs to doK It is up to the p5a%er to discover the processes and steps re;uired to
create a magica5 item$ ho6ever sma55. &e ma% consu5t a sage$ see' the guidance of a
higher 5eve5 spe55caster$ or even use spe55s to ca55 upon greater po6ers.
#ven after 5earning 6hat he must do$ the spe55caster ma% have to do further
research to 5earn the techni;ues re;uired for each step. A55 of this 6i55 cost the character
time and mone%$ so his dedication and resources must )e su)stantia5 if he hopes to
succeed. The process of gathering the needed information and materia5s is a grand e8cuse
for one adventure after another. This is part of the fun of the AD&D game. Ma'ing a
magica5 item is more than :ust a mechanica5 process. It shou5d a5so )e an opportunit% for
e8citement and ro5eHp5a%ing.
The 2ature of Magica5 7a)rication
The construction of magica5 items is a rea5m of the AD&D

ru5es open to )road

DM interpretation. @ust ho6 the DM decides to approach it 6i55 affect the 6a% magic is
vie6ed in his game. There are t6o )asic attitudes to6ard the ma'ing of magica5 itemsI
The practica5 method and the fantastic method.
-he practical method sa%s that magica5 item manufacture is someho6 tied to
common sense? the materia5s needed to ma'e the item ref5ect the properties of the item
)eing constructed$ and the steps re;uired are fair5% 6e55Hdefined.
7or e8amp5e$ a &otion o' climbing might re;uire the hair of a c5im)ing creature
such as a giant spider or the 5egs of a giant insect. A wand o' lightning bolts might have to
)e carved from the heart 6ood of an oa' struc' )% 5ightning. Petri'ication might re;uire
the sca5es of a )asi5is'$ a sna'e from a medusa$ or a feather from a 5ive coc'atrice. .ear
might re;uire a drop of dragon s6eat or the grave earth of a ghost. In each case$ the
re5ationship )et6een the items needed and the o):ect desired is re5ative5% c5ear.
7urthermore$ the component items themse5ves are ph%sica5 and understanda)5e.
The% ma% )e rare$ )ut the% can9t )e gathered 6ithout specia5 preparations Lother than
those re;uired for norma5 adventuringM. In essence$ the DM creates a <grocer% 5ist99 that
the p5a%er character must fi55. The character goes out adventuring$ see'ing out the
creatures or things that 6i55 provide him 6ith the materia5s he needs.
This method has advantages$ not the 5east )eing that it simp5ifies the DM9s tas'.
(hen confronted )% a p5a%er 6ho 6ants to create some )i>arre magica5 item$ the DM
need on5% 5ist materia5s that seem appropriate to the magica5 effect.
At the same time$ ho6ever$ the practica5 method can )e a)used )% c5ever p5a%ers.
The% ma% figure out that ever% monster encountered has a potentia5 usefu5ness to 6i>ards
and so )egin co55ecting tissue samp5es$ )5ood$ hair$ organs$ and more. The% )ecome
6a5'ing )utcher shopsCnot at a55 6hat is desiredB
7urthermore$ p5a%ers e8pect to find shops specia5i>ing in magica5 materia5s$ )oth
to se55 and )u% their needed goods. This defeats the need to adventure for one9s materia5s
and ruins part of the ro5eHp5a%ing invo5ved in magica5 item creation.
-he $antastical approach ta'es a drastica55% different vie6 of magica5 item
construction. &ere$ 6hen the p5a%er sa%s$ <I 6ant to create a ro&e o' climbing;< the DM
provides a 5ist of impossi)5e ingredients. It then )ecomes the p5a%er9s o)5igation to
discover the means to co55ect each ingredient.
Thus$ to ma'e the ro&e o' climbing; the DM cou5d re;uire a s'ein of unspun %arn$
the voice of a spider$ and the courage of a daring thief. The p5a%er 6ou5d then have to
discover the meaning of each ingredient or the means to produce it. This$ in turn$ cou5d
re;uire more research and spe55s to accomp5ish the goa5.
7or the ro&e o' climbing; the p5a%er might so5ve it )% finding a magica5 sheep
6hose 6oo5 is so thic' it needs no spinning. This he cou5d form into a rope$ casting spe55s
to give a spider voice so it can sa% a fe6 6ords over the cord. 7ina55%$ he cou5d tric' a
reno6ned thief into using the unfinished rope on a dangerous mission. After a55 this$ the
6i>ard 6ou5d cast the spe55s necessar% to )ind the various e5ements and$ violaKa ro&e o'
climbing 6ou5d )e the resu5t.
7o5'ta5es$ m%ths$ and 5egends are fi55ed 6ith instances of impossi)5e tas's and
impossi)5e ingredients. To )ind the 7enris (o5f of 2orse m%tho5og%$ the d6arves forged
an un)rea'a)5e chain from such things as the roots of a mountain$ the noise of a cat$ and
the )reath of a fish. 7o5'ta5es te55 of heroes and heroines faced 6ith impossi)5e tas'sCto
p5o6 the ocean or ma'e a shirt 6ithout seams. &ercu5es 6as faced 6ith T6e5ve La)ors$
deemed impossi)5e )% others. "u55h6ch Lof "e5tic 5egendM had to produce s6eet hone%
6ithout )ees. If the p5a%er characters aspire to such ran's of heroism and 6onder$ sure5%
the% can accomp5ish deeds such as these.
The fantastica5 method gives the campaign a high fantas% e5ement$ for such
impossi)5e tas's are part of the 6onder and enchantment of such a 6or5d. 7urthermore$ it
ensures that each ingredient or step 6i55 )e an adventure. (i>ards 6on9t casua55%
assem)5e their ingredients at the 5oca5 magic supp5% 6arehouse. It a5so provides the DM
6ith a means to contro5 the time re;uired Lsince assem)5ing components can )e ;uite a
tas'M and a method for draining e8cess cash from the character9s accounts.
At the same time$ p5a%ers can perceive this method as too difficu5t and too
restrictive. The% ma% )ecome discouraged )% the DM9s demands. To a55eviate this$ at
5east partia55%$ the DM shou5d )a5ance the re;uirements against the potenc% of the item
)eing created.
Combining the practical <ith the $antastical is a 6or'a)5e a5ternative to either
method. 2ot ever% magica5 item can )e created )% gathering the organs of creatures or
the essences of rare p5ants$ nor does each re;uire the spe55caster to overcome the
Simp5e and common magica5 items L&otions o' healing; scro55s 6ith various
spe55s$ wands o' detectionM cou5d re;uire on5% that the proper things )e )rought together
and ensorce55ed. Ao6erfu5$ e8otic$ and high5% usefu5 items Lsuch as a sword 13M might
test the spe55caster9s a)i5ities and resourcefu5ness$ re;uiring that he so5ve pu>>5es and
ridd5es far )e%ond the norma5 'en.
The com)ination of the t6o phi5osophies can even )e used to e8p5ain the fact that
some magica5 items are so common and others so rareCpotions are ever%6here$ )ut
maces o' disru&tion are hard to come )%. Aotions re;uire simp5e ingredients? maces
re;uire the moving of mountains.
Scro55s and Aotions
@ust )ecause a spe55caster 'no6s a spe55$ he isn9t automatica55% endo6ed 6ith the
'no65edge to create a scro55 or potion of simi5ar function. The processes and formu5ae
used in each are different.
A spe55 on a page in a 6i>ard9s spe55)oo' is different from a spe55 contained on a
scro55. The first re;uires memori>ation and ma% need components or gestures to activate.
The 5atter needs on5% an utterance to )e effective. A potion$ ingested to )e effective$ is
c5ear5% a different form of the same thing.
*ecause of these differences$ a 6i>ard must 5earn more of his art )efore
attempting to ma'e scro55s and potions. &e is assumed to have attained the appropriate
degree of training )% the time he reaches Fth 5eve5. #ven then the 'no65edge of ho6 to
create such items does not :ust 5eap into his )rain.
Rather$ at ninth 5eve5 he has the potentia5 to create such items. &e 'no6s enough
)asics of the art and has 5earned 6here to 5oo' for the information he needs to ma'e the
attempt. The e8act process for each spe55 is sti55 a m%ster% to him.
The first step in creating a spe55 scro55 Lnot a protection scro55M is for the 6i>ard or
priest to 'no6 and )e a)5e to cast the appropriate spe55Cthe desired spe55 must e8ist in
his spe55 )oo's. If he has never seen the desired spe55 or has fai5ed to 5earn it$ he certain5%
cannot create a scro55 for that spe55. (hen creating a protection scro55$ the 6i>ard is
5imited to those protective spe55s that fa55 6ithin the purvie6 of his art$ for e8amp5e$
protection from e5ementa5s$ magic$ and petrification.
If a 6i>ard 'no6s the spe55$ he can )egin fa)rication. &is first step is to assem)5e
the appropriate materia5sI ;ui55$ in'$ and paper. These materia5s can9t )e commonp5ace
items 5est the% mar the fina5 product or )e consumed )% the ver% magica5 energies the
6i>ard see's to enscri)e.
-he 'uill used for each spe55 must )e fresh and unused. Lingering energies of the
spe55 :ust transcri)ed c5ing to the ;ui55. If the ;ui55 6ere used again$ these energies 6ou5d
f5o6 and interming5e 6ith 5ater attempts$ causing them to fai5.
7urthermore$ the pen can9t )e :ust an ordinar% goose ;ui55. It must )e from a
strange and magica5 creature$ perhaps one appropriate to the nature of the spe55 Lthe
feather of a coc'atrice for a 'lesh to stone; etc.M. The tas' of gathering the right ;ui55 can
)e an adventure in itse5f. Nui55s handHpic'ed )% the 6i>ard himse5f increase the chance of
success )% ,O.
-he paper or other materia5 upon 6hich the scro55 is inscri)ed must a5so )e of
fine ;ua5it%. Aaper is )est for this purpose$ fo55o6ed )% parchment$ and then pap%rus.
#ach affects the chance of success as fo55o6sI
Aaper R,O
Aarchment O
Aap%rus H,O
-he in@ is the fina5 consideration. In this area$ the DM has the greatest 5ee6a% to
demand the most e8otic ingredients and processes. The ingredients cou5d )e simp5eCthe
in' of a giant s;uid mi8ed 6ith the venom of a 6%vern9s sting$ or the mus' of a giant
s'un' )re6ed 6ith the )5ood of a gorgon. The% cou5d a5so )e comp5e8 in meaningCthe
tears of a crocodi5e and a drop of 6ater from the )ottom of the deepest ocean$ or a drop of
mead from the cup of 0ing Th%as )5ended 6ith the 5amentations of the 6omen from the
funera5 of a great hero.
In genera5$ the in'9s ingredients shou5d re5ate to the overa55 purpose of the scro55.
As 6ith the ;ui55$ the in' re;uired for each spe55 shou5d )e different and even each
inscription of the same spe55 re;uires the )atch to )e )re6ed ane6.
After the character has gathered and )re6ed a55 the materia5s$ he can )egin the
actua5 process of 6riting. (i>ards must have their spe55 )oo's at hand to guide their
6or'$ 6hi5e priests and others must 6or' on a specia55% prepared a5tar. The actua5 process
of 6riting the scro55 re;uires one fu55 da% for each 5eve5 of the spe55 inscri)ed.
Arotection scro55s re;uire si8 da%s of 6or'. During this time$ the spe55caster must
)e undistur)ed$ )rea'ing on5% for food and s5eep Land then for a minimum of eachM. If the
spe55caster ha5ts )efore the transcription is comp5eted$ the entire effort fai5s and a55 6or'
done to that point is for naught.
After the 6or' is comp5eted$ the DM secret5% chec's for success. The )ase chance
is GO. This can )e increased or decreased )% the materia5s used. 7or ever% 5eve5 of the
spe55$ !O is su)tracted from the success chance$ )ut ever% 5eve5 of the spe55caster adds
!O. Thus$ a !,thH5eve5 mage LR!,M ma'ing a scro55 of a .thH5eve5 spe55 LH.M$ using pap%rus
LH,M and 6riting 6ith a coc'atrice ;ui55 p5uc'ed 6ith his o6n hand LR,M 6ou5d have an
LG R !, H . H , R , WM GGO chance of success.
If the num)er ro55ed on percenti5e dice is e;ua5 to or 5ess than the re;uired
num)er$ the attempt succeeds. If the ro55 is higher$ the attempt fai5s$ though the p5a%er has
no 6a% of 'no6ing this.
If the attempt fai5s$ the scro55 is cursed in some 6a%. The DM secret5% decides an
appropriate effect )ased on the spe55 that 6as attempted. A fai5ed attempt to create a
'ireball scro55 ma% resu5t in a cursed scro55 that e8p5odes in a fier% )a55 of f5ame upon
reading. The p5a%er character cannot detect the cursed effect unti5 it is too 5ate.
2oteI A remove curse spe55 6i55 cause this fau5t% scro55 to turn to dust.
A sing5e scro55 can contain ! to K spe55s$ the num)er determined random5% )% the
DM. The p5a%er can never )e certain of the amount of space re;uired even for the same
spe55 on t6o different scro55s. A fai5ed attempt to transcri)e a scro55 automatica55% fi55s the
remainder of the page$ a5though other spe55s successfu55% 6ritten )efore the fai5ure
remain. In this case$ the cursed effect of the fai5ed spe55 6i55 not come into effect unti5 that
spe55 is read.
(hen using a scro55 he himse5f has prepared$ a 6i>ard does not need to resort to a
read magic spe55 to understand the 6riting.
Aotions are primari5% the province of 6i>ards$ a5though priests can prepare those
potions re5ating to hea5ing and cures. LAriests of other m%thos ma% or ma% not )e a)5e to
prepare such potions$ depending on the spe55 spheres avai5a)5e to them.M &ea5ing and
curing potions are )e%ond the 'en of 6i>ards.
As 6ith other magica5 items$ the character must identif% and gather the materia5s
needed to )re6 a potion )efore he can )egin 6or'. The formu5a can )e as straightfor6ard
or )i>arre as the DM desires. It ma% re;uire the )5ood of a rare creature$ po6dered gems$
the s6eat of a mare$ or the )reath of a d%ing hero.
In addition$ a potion re;uires a num)er of mundane ingredients. The )asic cost of
these ingredients ranges from 2 to !$ gp. The DM shou5d decide this )ased on ho6
common the potion is$ its po6er$ and the nature of the ingredients he has specified. A
&otion o' dragon control is a rare item of great po6er and so shou5d cost the fu55 !$
gp. A &otion o' healing is a fair5% necessar% item$ something the DM ma% 6ant to )e
readi5% avai5a)5e to the characters. Therefore$ it shou5d )e cheap$ costing no more than
2 gp.
2i4ards must do more than ac;uire ingredientsI The% a5so need a comp5ete
a5chemica5 5a)orator%. Aotions are not something %ou can )re6 up over the 'itchen stoveB
This 5a)orator% must )e furnished 6ith furnaces$ a5em)ics$ retorts$ )ea'ers$ disti55ing
coi5s$ and smo5dering )ra>iersCin short$ a55 the trappings of a mad scientist9s 5a)orator%
Lcirca !- ADM.
The )asic cost for such a 5a)orator% is at 5east 2$ gp if a55 the s'i55ed craftsmen
are readi5% avai5a)5e to construct the e;uipment to the 6i>ard9s specifications. And this
cost covers on5% the furnishings? the 6i>ard must a5so have an appropriate p5ace to put a55
these things and to conduct his 6or'. Given the strange noises and fou5 sme55s that issue
at a55 hours from such a 5a)orator%$ man% a 5and5ord ma% )e 5ess than 6i55ing to have his
rooms used for such purposes.
3nce the 5a)orator% is esta)5ished$ the 6i>ard must pa% !O of its va5ue ever%
month to maintain the e;uipment$ rep5acing things )ro'en in e8periments and minor
ingredients that 5ose potenc% 6ith age.
Priests do not ma'e use of a 5a)orator%Csuch e;uipment smac's of impious and
heretica5 5earning. Instead$ the priest p5aces his faith in greater po6ers to perform the
actua5 transformations needed to )5end the potion. As such$ he uses an a5tar specia55%
consecrated to the purpose. (hen constructing such an a5tar$ the character must )e read%
to ma'e some sacrifice of 6orth$ either a monetar% sacrifice or$ even more significant5%$ a
specia5 service to his deit%. Thereafter$ the priest need on5% respect the a5tar as 6ou5d )e
norma5 for his faith.
Creating the Potion: (ith a55 this e;uipment assem)5ed$ the 6i>ard or priest is
read% to )egin. The cost a5read% determined$ the time to )re6$ infuse$ disti55$ decant$ and
e8tract the potion is measured in da%s e;ua5 to the cost divided )% !. During this time$
the character must remain uninterrupted e8cept for the norma5 needs of s5eep and food. If
the 6or' is distur)ed$ the potion is hope5ess5% ruined as are a55 ingredients used in it.
After the 6or' is done$ the DM secret5% ro55s percenti5e dice to determine if the
potion has ta'en. The )ase chance of success .O. 7or ever% ! gp 6orth of
ingredients$ !O is su)tracted. 7or ever% t6o 5eve5s of the spe55caster Lor fraction thereofM$
!O is added to the )ase.
If the percenti5e ro55 is e;ua5 to or 5ess than the chance of success$ the potion
succeeds. If the potion fai5s$ the spe55caster has un6itting5% )re6ed either a dead5% poison
or a &otion o' delusion; at the DM9s discretion. 3f course$ the p5a%er 6on9t 'no6 6hether
a potion is good unti5 it9s too 5ate. In an% case$ the 6i>ard or priest is 6ise to 5a)e5 his
creation$ for there is no sure 6a% to distinguish )et6een different potions )% sight a5one.
"reating 3ther Magica5 Items
Aotions and scro55s are not the on5% magica5 items spe55casters can create. 3ther
t%pes of magica5 item can )e madeC6eapons$ 6ands$ staves$ rods$ rings$ )racers$
)ra>iers$ c5oa's$ and more.
There are a5so certain items the p5a%er characters can9t create. Artifacts$ re5ics$
)oo's Le8cept spe55 )oo'sM$ and inte55igent 6eapons are the rea5m of the DM on5%. Such
items can )e found )% the p5a%er characters$ )ut never manufactured )% them. This
ensures that the DM contro5s certain e5ements that can appear on5% during the course of
an adventure he designs.
7urthermore$ certain magica5 items have a particu5ar racia5 connection$
particu5ar5% the dwarven warhammer 18; elven cloaks; boots o' elvenkind; elven bows;
and certain t%pes of hammers and a8es. These items can on5% )e fashioned )% 2A"
d6arves and e5ves of particu5ar5% ancient age. The ma'ing and a6arding of these items is
the tas' of the DM on5%.
7ina55%$ the DM has the right to e8c5ude from p5a%er manufacture an% magica5
item he fee5s is too po6erfu5 or too significant a part of his campaign 6or5d. L7or
e8amp5e$ if a55 magica5 6eapons in the DM9s campaign are the product of an ancient
civi5i>ation and the art of their manufacture has no6 )een 5ost$ he can den% the a)i5it% to
create such items to the p5a%er characters.M
These 5imitations not6ithstanding$ p5a%ers shou5d )e invited to su)mit their o6n
ideas for ne6 or uni;ue items. The possi)i5ities for ne6 items are 5imited on5% )% the
constraints of game )a5ance. Aerhaps the character 6ants an arro6 that e8p5odes in a
f5ash of )ri55iant 5ight or a 6and that causes those touched to suffer amnesia.
/sing the same giveHandHta'e process descri)ed for ne6 p5a%er spe55s$ the DM
shou5d have the p5a%er 6rite up a description of the desired item. The DM studies this$
a5ters it as needed$ and discusses the changes 6ith the p5a%er. (hen )oth are in
agreement$ the character can )egin the actua5 process of research and construction.
(hen a p5a%er announces the desire to construct a given item$ it is not the DM9s
tas' to te55 him 6hether this is 6ithin his capa)i5ities or not. It is the DM9s responsi)i5it%
to decide the materia5s and steps needed to construct the item. The p5a%er can then have
his character consu5t a sage$ fe55o6 spe55caster$ or higher po6er to 5earn 6hat he needs. In
the process he ma% discover he 5ac's the appropriate po6ers to create the item. This is
one of the ris's inherent in magica5 research.
5inding the ight &aterials: 7irst the character needs appropriate materia5s.
(hen constructing a magica5 item$ no ordinar% s6ord$ stoc'$ c5oa'$ nec'5ace$ or
6hatever 6i55 do. The item must )e e8traordinar% in some 6a%. (eapons must )e of
highH;ua5it% craftsmanship. (oods must )e rare$ specia55% gro6n$ or cut in a particu5ar
6a% at a particu5ar time. "5oth must )e 6oven to e8acting specifications. The materia5
itse5f ma% )e of an impossi)5e nature La shirt 6ithout seams or a hammer forged in a
vo5cano9s heart and ;uenched in the deepest oceanM.
3ften$ the on5% 6a% to ensure the appropriate vesse5 for the enchantment is for the
spe55caster to fashion or gather the item himse5f. &o6ever it is o)tained$ the vesse5 shou5d
cost far more than a norma5 item of the same t%pe. The price can range from !$ to
!$ Lor moreBM go5d pieces depending on the materia5.
Preparing the &aterials: 3nce the vesse5 for the magic is o)tained$ the character
6i55 have to prepare it. A s6ord ma% need to )e dipped in rare acids to )urn a6a%
impurities. *one ma% need to )e pic'ed c5ean )% giant ants. (ood cou5d re;uire soa'ing
in rare oi5s and her)s.
Though the item is$ as %et$ far from gaining an% sorcerous po6er$ this stage is
vita5Cfai5ure here means the spe55 6i55 fai5 to ta'e. 2orma55% this stage ta'es from t6o
6ee's to a month :ust to prepare the vesse5. Additiona5 ingredients at this stage 6i55 cost
at 5east , go5d pieces$ if not more.
Enchanting the Item: The spe55caster is no6 read% to )egin the actua5
enchantment. (i>ards must first successfu55% cast an enchant an item Lor have another do
it for themM on the vesse5 according to the conditions descri)ed for that spe55. 3nce he is
finished$ the 6i>ard can cast other spe55s into the vesse5$ provide the 5ast ingredients$ or
perform the fina5 steps in the enchantment process Las defined )% the DMM.
The character might have to ta'e the enchanted item to the pea' of the highest
mountain to e8pose it to the ra%s of the da6ning sun )efore it 6i55 )e read%. &e cou5d
have to immerse it in the disti55ed sorro6s of nightinga5es. If spe55s are necessar%$ these$
instead of e8pending their energies$ are a)sor)ed and transformed )% the enchanted
The spe55 that must )e cast into the enchanted vesse5 is the one that matches the
po6er desired. If there is no direct spe55 e;uiva5ent$ a more po6erfu5 spe55 6ith
essentia55% the same function can )e cast instead. If there is no spe55 e;uiva5ent at a55$ the
6i>ard must research the appropriate spe55 )efore he )egins the process of ma'ing the
magica5 item$ or he must provide e8otic ingredients capa)5e of conferring the po6er on
the item$ 6hichever the DM decides.
Thus$ at this step$ the 6i>ard cou5d cast lightning bolt on a 6and to ma'e it a
wand o' lightning; )ut he 6ou5d have to research a ne6 spe55 of create gauntlets o'
De!terity Lsince no spe55 e8ists to improve De8terit%M or )athe the gaunt5ets in the )ott5ed
essence of humming)ird dreams Las an e8amp5eM.
7ina55%$ if the item is to ho5d its magic for more than a sing5e use$ a &ermanency
spe55 must )e cast. This 5oc's the trapped magic into the vesse5$ empo6ering it at the
command chosen )% the 6i>ard. If the &ermanency is not used$ the vesse5 on5% ho5ds
charges e;ua5 to the num)er of spe55s cast upon it.
If a55 these steps have )een performed correct5% and 6ithout interruptions$ the
item 6i55 )e created...ma%)e. The process is 5ong and invo5ved and there are man%
opportunities for unintended error. Thus$ 6hen a55 is said and done$ a success ro55 must )e
made. The )asic chance of success is KO. #ach 5eve5 of the 6i>ard adds !O to the
chance$ 6hi5e each spe55$ specia5 process$ or uni;ue ingredient used 5o6ers the chance )%
!O. The DM can further ad:ust the percentage for an% e8traHspecia5 precautions or
notorious shortcuts the character might ta'e.
If the chec' is passed L)% ro55ing e;ua5 to or 5o6er than the success chanceM the
desired item has )een created. If the chec' fai5s$ the item is cursed$ a5though this ma% not
)e 'no6n unti5 a much 5ater time. The function of the item )ecomes perverted$ the
opposite of the character9s intention. A cursed s6ord$ for e8amp5e$ cou5d 5o6er the
character9s chances of hitting$ 6hi5e cursed gaunt5ets cou5d render the 6earer c5ums%.
A character can9t see' to ma'e a cursed item 6ith the hope and intention that the
process 6i55 fai5 Lthere)% gaining a usefu5 magica5 itemM. The nature of magica5 fai5ure is
such that the desired resu5t$ spo'en or unspo'en$ never occurs.
7or e8amp5e$ suppose Thi)au5t the 4ounger$ a mage of !.th 5eve5$ see's to ma'e a
po6erfu5 sword 12- /sing the contact other &lane spe55 and mone%$ he 5earns the steps he
must perform and the items he needs. &is first tas' is to shape a s6ord )5ade 6ith his
o6n hands from the ore of Mount Lothrian$ at the ver% center of the D6arven #states.
&e trave5s there$ on5% to discover that the D6arven Lords consider this iron a
treasure a)ove a55 others$ not to )e given out to a5iens not of the )5ood. After much
carefu5 )argaining$ the D6arven Lords agree to a55o6 him to undergo the 3rdea5 of the
Ait$ the rite of d6arven manhood. Thi)au5t is 5o6ered into the caverns 6here even
d6arves are 5oath to tread$ 6here$ in a so5o adventure$ he )are5% escapes 6ith his 5ife. *%
the time he has recovered and hea5ed$ the d6arves hai5 him as one of their o6n and
re6ard him 6ith the ore he see's. As an e8tra )enefit$ during his time among the
d6arves$ Thi)au5t 5earns a fe6 more tric's of )5adesmithing$ increasing his proficienc%.
2o6 Thi)au5t has the ore and$ on his :ourne% home$ stops )% the Spring of
Masters to get the second item he needsCpure spring 6ater. A short time 5ater$ he is
safe5% home. There$ he spends a month hammering$ fo5ding$ ;uenching$ and hammering
again on the )5ade$ spending ,$ gp on the tas'.
7ina55% the 6or' is done and the )5ade is finished$ the 5ast step )eing to etch it in a
)ath of )5ac' pudding acid. According to the instructions he received$ Thi)au5t must ne8t
insti55 the )5ade 6ith the po6er of purit%. @ust 6hat this means is not e8act5% c5ear$ )ut his
finances are running 5o6 and he doesn9t 6ant to 6aste more time for investigation. &e
decides to have the )5ade consecrated at a 5oca5 temp5e and then has a pa5adin 5a% hands
upon it.
A55 these steps comp5eted$ Thi)au5t )egins his spe55casting. 7or da%s he 6or's on
casting the enchant an item spe55. The spe55 succeeds. To ma'e a R, 6eapon he uses the
enchanted wea&on spe55$ one for each p5us. &o6ever$ after four castings$ the enchant an
item spe55 fades and Thi)au5t must spend more time reHenchanting it. 3nce again
successfu5$ he casts the 5ast enchanted wea&on and then sea5s ever%thing 6ith a
&ermanency spe55.
The DM secret5% ma'es a chec' for success. The chance is KO L)aseM R !.O
LThi)au5t9s 5eve5M H!2O Lfor the ore$ handHforging$ etching$ insti55ing 6ith purit%$
enchanting t6ice$ five p5uses$ and the &ermanencyM W K,O. The DM ro55s a -,. The 6or'
is successfu5 and the s6ord is finished. 2eed5ess to sa%$ Thi)au5t is not tremendous5%
eager to do this again right a6a%.
Clerics and other priests can a5so ma'e magica5 items appropriate to their
ca55ing. The process )egins 6ith the se5ection of an appropriate vesse5 of the finest or
most perfect materia5s. 3nce the vesse5 is at hand$ the priest must spend t6o 6ee's in
meditation and purification ceremonies and then another 6ee' in fasting and purification.
Then he must 5i'e6ise purif% the item and see' to invo'e it 6ith a sma55 portion of his
deit%9s grandeur. 7ortunate5%$ this step ta'es )ut a sing5e da% and night.
3nce this is done$ the item is read% for the fina5 p5ea. As it rests upon an a5tar$ the
priest must pra% for the )5essed sign that the deit% 6i55 endo6 the vesse5 6ith the desired
po6ers. #ach da% there is a !O cumu5ative chance that the pra%ers 6i55 )e heard.
3nce this step is comp5eted$ the item need on5% )e sanctified and consecrated$
un5ess it is to possess charges in 6hich case the priest has 2- hours to cast the appropriate
spe55s into the item. Shou5d the tas' to )e incomp5ete at the end of this time$ the priest
6i55 once again have to see' his deit%9s favor )efore continuing the process Lin other
6ords$ start over at the )eginningM.
The priest is assumed to )e perfect5% faithfu5 and true to his ca55ing. Shou5d this
not )e the case$ in the DM9s estimation$ the process ma% fai5 or %ie5d some resu5t
unanticipated )% the priest. The enchantment ma% fai5 or the character9s deit% ma% curse
the item in retri)ution for the priest9s impudence in see'ing favor so i55Hdeserved. The
DM must :udge the standing of the priest )ased on his previous actions and his current
Recharging Magica5 Items
Some items that carr% severa5 charges are rechargea)5e. Recharging isn9t eas%$ )ut
it is easier than creating an entire5% ne6 magica5 item. &ighH5eve5 6i>ards or priests ma%
find it usefu5 to )oost up an o5d item.
To recharge an item$ it must first )e enchanted either through the use of an
enchant an item spe55 or pra%er$ as noted a)ove. 3nce prepared$ ne6 charges can )e cast
into the item. 3ne )enefit of recharging an item is that each charge re;uires on5% the
spe55s9 norma5 casting time Lnot the 2d- hours per spe55 5eve5 norma55% re;uired )% the
enchant an item spe55M.
&o6ever$ recharging is not 6ithout ris' to the item. #ach time the item is
enchanted to recharge$ it must ro55 a saving thro6 vs. spe55 Lusing the saving thro6 of the
casterM 6ith a H! pena5t%. If this saving thro6 is fai5ed$ the character has accidenta55%
interfered 6ith the magic of the item and it crum)5es into use5ess dust.
Destro%ing Magica5 Items
3ccasiona55% characters ma% find it desira)5e$ usefu5$ or vita55% necessar% to )ring
a)out the destruction of a magica5 item. Magica5 items are more resistant than ordinar%
ones$ )ut the% are hard5% indestructi)5e$ as Ta)5e 2F sho6s.
"haracters 6ho have possession of a device and are determined to destro% it can
do so at 6i55. The% need on5% snap the )5ade of a magica5 s6ord or )urn a 5oc' or
It is possi)5e to target specific magica5 items he5d )% others$ )ut it is ver% difficu5t.
LIn fact$ it is no easier or harder than attac'ing a nonHmagica5 item.M Attempting to
destro% an enem%9s magica5 item ma% re;uire attac' ro55s$ saving thro6s$ and item saving
The )rea'ing of a magica5 item shou5d resu5t in something more dramatic than the
)rea'ing of a vase or a 6indo6pane. As DM %ou are perfect5% :ustified in descri)ing a
dramatic e8p5osion of force$ a sma55 6hir56ind$ a fou5 stench$ or 6hatever seems most
appropriate to the moment.
7or some items$ particu5ar5% some staves$ there are specific ru5es that define the
effects of the item9s destruction. Such cases are rare and the effects are devastating$ so
the% are recommended on5% for those in the area. 4ou might$ for e8amp5e$ dictate that
characters 6ithin ! foot$ , feet$ or even ! feet suffer !dG points of damage.
This is :ust an e8amp5eCthe actua5 damage can var%$ at %our discretion.
Remem)er$ ho6ever$ that such damage shou5d on5% )e used for effect? it shou5d never 'i55
or serious5% in:ure a character. After a55$ 'i55ing the character in the e8p5osion of his o6n
magica5 s6ord is pi5ing in:ur% upon insu5t? the 5oss of a pri>ed magica5 treasure is )ad
Artifacts and Re5ics L3ptiona5 Ru5esM
1ast5% more potent than the most po6erfu5 magica5 items are e8treme5% rare items
of ancient po6er and ma:est%Cartifacts$ constructs of the utmost 6i>ard5% might$ and
re5ics$ the remains of a6esome po6ers and the greatest of ho5% men. These are items of
great import and effect$ so their use must )e strict5% contro55ed. The fo55o6ing a)so5ute
conditions are a56a%s in effect 6hen dea5ing 6ith artifacts and re5ics.
The appearance of an artifact or re5ic must a56a%s )e the )asis of an adventure.
These items shou5d never )e casua55% introduced into p5a%.
Characteristics o$ Arti$acts and elics: #ach artifact and re5ic is uni;ue. There
can on5% )e one of that item in e8istence in a given campaign. It appears in a campaign
on5% 6hen it has )een p5aced there )% the DM. These devices never form part of a
random5% p5aced treasure and so are not on an% treasure ta)5e. The DM must choose to
inc5ude each particu5ar artifact in his game.
Artifacts and re5ics a56a%s possess dangerous and possi)5% dead5% side effects.
These effects are a55 )ut irreversi)5e$ unaffected )% 6ishes and most greater po6ers.
Artifacts can on5% )e destro%ed )% e8traordinar% means.
Artifacts and re5ics can never )e transferred from one campaign to another. If
p5a%er characters from another DM9s campaign enter %ours$ the% automatica55% do so
6ithout an% artifacts the% might possess.
So$ given a55 these 6arnings and admonitions$ :ust 6hat is it that ma'es artifacts
and re5ics so potentia55% dangerous to use in a ro5eHp5a%ing game=
At the top of the 5ist is the fact that$ in game terms$ artifacts and re5ics are nothing
more than e8cuses for the DM to )rea' an% and ever% ru5e he cares to. /pon 5earning the
proper command$ an artifact or re5ic might a55o6 a character to raise a55 his a)i5it% scores
immediate5% to their ma8imum or turn an enem%9s )ones to :e55%.
The artifact might a55o6 the character to summon meteor s6arms$ utter a po6er
6ord$ resurrect$ or stop time once per da% at 6i55. &e might )e a)5e to summon po6erfu5
monsters and easi5% )end them to his 6i55. &e cou5d discover the po6er to dominate the
minds of others$ ens5aving them to his desires. And this might on5% )e a sma55 part of
6hat the artifact 6ou5d a55o6 him to do. In short$ there is no 5imit to 6hat %ou$ as the
DM$ decide an artifact can accomp5ish.
3rigins o$ Arti$acts and elics: A55 of these items have )een handed do6n from
ancient times and have histories shrouded in m%th and 5egend. An artifact has the same
)ac'ground and aura a)out it as$ for e8amp5e$ 0ing Arthur9s #8ca5i)ur$ the s'in of the
2emean 5ion 6orn )% &ercu5es$ Aandora9s )o8$ the Go5den 75eece$ the s6ord$ :e6e5s$ and
mirror of ancient @apan$ or the hammer of Thor.
These uni;ue o):ects 6ere once he5d and used )% gods and morta5s far greater and
more po6erfu5 than norma5 men. 3ften these items e8isted for an e8press purposeCto )e
used )% a particu5ar hero$ to fight a particu5ar foe. So c5ose5% associated is an artifact 6ith
a person$ time$ or p5ace that its po6ers can se5dom )e fu55% used e8cept )% specific
individua5s 6ho meet certain standards. A 6ea'5ing cou5d not hur5 Thor9s hammer$ nor
cou5d :ust an%one command *a)a 4aga9s hut. An artifact ma% sho6 its fu55 po6ers on5% to
dea5 6ith particu5ar$ ver% specific$ threats or dangers. Artifacts have purposes$ sometimes
fu5fi55ed 5ong in the past and sometimes neverHending.
Introducing Arti$acts and elics into a Campaign: *ecause the impact of an
artifact is so great$ %ou shou5d use them on5% in the most earthHsha'ing adventures %ou
can devise. 4ou must a56a%s have a reason for )ringing an artifact into %our game. It
shou5d never appear :ust )ecause %ou 6ant to give the characters something )igger and
If discovered at the )eginning of an adventure$ it shou5d )e the pre5ude to some
great threat to the 'ingdom$ empire$ continent$ or 6or5d 6here the item 6i55 ma'e a
difference. Rather than simp5% giving the item to the characters$ %ou can introduce the
danger first and then set the p5a%er characters searching for the artifact that 6i55 defeat or
stem the tide of evi5 that threatens to overs6eep the 5and. A5ternative5%$ the p5a%er
characters cou5d )e faced 6ith the 6orst of a55 situationsCone in 6hich the artifact is in
the hands of the enem% and the p5a%ers must get it a6a% from them. #ach of these creates
an adventure or$ more 5i'e5%$ a series of adventures centered around the device.
3nce the adventure is over$ it is )est for %ou to find some 6a% to get the artifact
out of the p5a%ers9 hands. In essence$ the artifact 6as a MacGuffinCthe thing that made
the p5ot goCnot something %ou 6ant to remain in %our campaign no6 that the need for
the item is gone. This is ver% much in 'eeping 6ith the nature of artifacts and re5ics$ since
the% have a maddening ha)it of disappearing once their tas' is done. To 5eave the artifact
in the campaign is to invite a)use )% the p5a%er characters$ perhaps for no)5e ends$ )ut
a)use a55 the same. There are$ even in a fantas% game$ <some things man 6as not meant to
*ecause of their grand impact and titanic significance in the scheme of things$
artifacts shou5d )e used sparing5%. There are on5% so man% times the characters can save
the 6or5d )efore it )ecomes o5d hat.
Don9t )e too eager to introduce these items into p5a% and don9t )ring them in too
often. Artifacts and re5ics represent the epitome of magica5 items. The% are going to 5ose a
5ot of effect if ever% 'ing in ever% 'ingdom has one in his treasure cham)ers. If characters
on5% find one artifact in their entire careers$ it 6i55 )e enough. (e55Hp5a%ed for a55 its
drama$ it 6i55 5ead to an adventure the p5a%ers 6i55 remem)er for a 5ong time to come.
Designing an Artifact or Re5ic
(hen %ou do decide to introduce an artifact or re5ic$ %ou design it specia55% for
%our campaign. Some e8amp5es are given at the end of this section$ )ut artifacts shou5d
a56a%s )e made to fit %our campaign$ not the other 6a% around. In this 6a%$ the p5a%ers
6i55 never 'no6 6hat to e8pectCnot its shape$ its histor%$ its po6ers$ or its purpose. A55
these things 6i55 ma'e the discover% and use of the item more e8citing. In addition$ %ou
6i55 have the 'no65edge that %ou have created something ma:or$ perhaps the most
significant thing$ for %our campaign. That is no sma55 accomp5ishment.
Appearance: The first step in creating an artifact is to decide its form. It cou5d )e
an%thingI a 6eapon$ a hut 6ith chic'en 5egs$ a )oo'$ a mas'$ a cro6n$ a tooth$ a throne$ a
mechanica5 nightinga5e$ a cr%sta5 or)$ a p5ain ring$ a 6and$ or 6hatever.
=istory: After %ou 'no6 6hat it 5oo's 5i'e$ create a histor% for it. This histor%
6i55 guide %ou in deciding 6hat po6ers the artifact has and 6hat it is used for. In this
histor%$ decide 6ho created the item and 6hat their reasons for creating it 6ere. Then$
out5ine 6hat has )efa55en the item over the centuriesC6here has it surfaced and 6hat has
happened at those times= 7ina55%$ em)e55ish this histor% 6ith c5ues to its po6ers and the
erroneous 5egends that have come to surround the item.
Alignment: "hoose an appropriate a5ignment for the artifact La55 artifacts are
heavi5% identified 6ith an a5ignmentM.
&inor Po<ers: After %ou have a histor% of the item$ )egin to assign it po6ers.
Artifacts norma55% have a num)er of re5ative5% minor po6ers and one or t6o ma:or
a)i5ities. Some minor a)i5ities areI
8 "ast a given !stH5eve5 spe55 at 6i55
8 "ast a ,thH5eve5 or 5esser spe55 once per da% or 6ee'
8 "ast a spe55 of +rd 5eve5 or 5ess once or t6ice per da%
8 #ure serious wounds; disease; blindness; or dea'ness one or more times per da%
8 Detect good(evil; invisibility; charm; or magic at 6i55
8 Dou)5e the character9s movement rate
8 7reedom from hunger and fatigue
8 75%
8 Grant the possessor immunit% to one t%pe of harmI poison$ fear$ disease$ gas$
missi5es$ acid$ norma5 fire or co5d$ etc.
8 Grant 6ater )reathing 6hen he5d
8 Improve the 6ie5der9s Armor "5ass )% one or more points
8 Increase an a)i5it% score )% one point
8 Aara5%>e at a touch
8 Regenerate 2 hp per turn
8 Spea' 6ith dead once per da%
8 Spea' 6ith p5ants or anima5s at 6i55
8 Turn undead as a c5eric of the A"9s 5eve5
8 /nderstand an% spo'en 5anguage
8 /nderstand an% 6ritten 5anguage
&aGor Po<ers: After choosing minor po6ers$ %ou can se5ect the ma:or po6ers.
There shou5d norma55% )e no more than one or t6o of these. The ma:or po6er must )e in
'eeping 6ith the histor% of the item. If %ou descri)e a s6ord 6ie5ded )% a )5oodthirst%
and depraved t%rant$ it ma'es 5itt5e sense for the ma:or po6er to )e to resurrect others
once per da%. Rather one 6ou5d e8pect something terri)5eCde5i;uescing an enem% or
summoning some e8traHp5anar )east to 'i55 upon command. Some suggested ma:or
po6ers areI
8 Automatica55% 6arn of impending danger
8 *esto6 magic resistance of ,O to .O 6hen he5d
8 "ast a FthH5eve5 spe55 or 5ess once per da% or 6ee'
8 Death ra% 6ith no saving thro6 once per da%
8 Aermanent5% raise a55 a)i5it% scores to their ma8imum
8 Ao5%morph se5f at 6i55
8 Restore %outh upon touch once per month
8 Summon a d:inni once per da%
8 Summon and contro5 e5ementa5s once per da%
8 Te5eport at 6i55 6ith no error
8 Tota5 immunit% to a55 t%pes of fire or co5d
8 Tota5 immunit% to a55 t%pes of menta5 attac's Lcharms$ etc.M
Dangers: After designing the )eneficia5 or usefu5 po6ers of the artifact$ create the
dangers inherent in its use. A55 artifacts have grave ris'sCsuch is the nature of their
po6er. The item 6as origina55% used )% someone of great 6i55 and po6er$ and even the%
p5aced themse5ves in danger to use the po6er the artifact possessed. 7or the p5a%er
characters$ such danger is near5% inescapa)5e. These dangers are usua55% drastic ph%sica5
side effects that affect the character. Again %ou 6ant the dra6)ac's of the artifact to mesh
6ith the histor% %ou have created. Some suggested dra6)ac's inc5udeI
8 A5ignment gradua55% )ecomes that of the item
8 A55 p5ants 6ithin ! feet of character 6ither and die
8 A55 6ho see the artifact covet it
8 Artifact a56a%s causes user to attac' specific creature t%pes
8 Artifact drains one 5eve5 of e8perience from user 6henever a ma:or po6er is
8 "haracter is contro55ed )% artifact if saving thro6 is fai5ed
8 &o5% 6ater )urns the character
8 /ser ages +d! %ears 6ith each use unti5 he is reduced to a >om)ie
8 /ser causes fear in a55 6ho see him
8 /ser contracts an incura)5e disease that reduces a)i5it% scores )% ! point each
8 /ser has a ,O cumu5ative chance per use of )eing stric'en )% incura)5e
8 /ser9s touch causes petrification
Corrupting E$$ect: As if this 6eren9t enough$ a55 artifacts have a corrupting
effect. "haracters )ecome suspicious of others and possessive of the item. The% )egin to
see threats 6here none 6ere intended. /5timate5% the% 6i55 turn upon their friends and
companions$ seeing them as scheming enemies out to destro% them and stea5 the artifact.
As 6ith the dra6)ac's$ this effect is caused )% the fact that the p5a%er character is
not the one the artifact 6as first intended for. &is persona5it% is different$ and no matter
ho6 great he is$ he 5ac's the force of 6i55 of the great hero$ archH6i>ard$ high priest$ or
demigod$ 6ho origina55% 6ie5ded the item.
2ea@ness: 7ina55%$ prepare some method )% 6hich the artifact can )e destro%ed.
Destro%ing an artifact is never eas%Cin fact$ it9s near5% impossi)5e. Artifacts and re5ics
are impervious to a55 norma5 harm and magica5 attac's. The% cannot )e crushed$
disso5ved in acid$ me5ted or )ro'en norma55%.
At )est$ the ph%sica5 form can )e disrupted for a period of time$ )ut 6ithin a
centur% or 5ess it 6i55 reHform in some ne6 5ocation. To tru5% destro% an artifact$ the
characters must fu5fi55 some e8acting set of conditions as uni;ue as the artifact itse5f.
Aossi)5e 6a%s to destro% an artifact inc5udeI
8 "arr% it to the 3uter A5anes and presume upon the deit% that made it to strip it of
its po6er.
8 "ast it into the searing f5ames of the Sun.
8 "rush it under the hee5 of an honest man Lharder than it seemsM.
8 Disso5ve it in the /niversa5 So5vent L6hich eats through an%thingM.
8 #8pose it to the )5inding 5ight of the Lamp of Aure Reason.
8 7eed it to the #arth Serpent 6ho coi5s at the )ase of the (or5d Tree.
8 Me5t it do6n in the heart of the vo5cano 6here it 6as forged.
8 A5ace it at the ver% )ottom of the (e55 of Deca%.
8 /tter a5oud its ,$$! secret names.
8 (e5d it into the Gates of &e5.
3nce a55 this is done$ %ou 6i55 have an artifact or re5ic read% for use in %our
Samp5e Artifacts and Re5ics
Listed )e5o6 are some e8amp5es of artifacts. *ecause each artifact must )e
uni;ue$ no a)so5ute po6ers are given. Suggested po6ers are 5isted$ )ut the DM can a5ter
these as he 6ishes.
-he =and o$ /ecna: Se5dom is the name 1ecna spo'en$ and even then on5% in the
most hushed and terrified tones$ for 5egends sa% the shade of this most supreme of a55
5iches sti55 roams the 6or5d.
Litt5e is 'no6n of this )eing e8cept that he eventua55% met his doom in some
a6esome conf5agrationCor at 5east that his ph%sica5 )od% 6as destro%ed. Sti55 rumors
persist that one hand Land perhaps an e%eM survived even this destruction.
These rumors ascri)e strange and po6erfu5 a)i5ities to the Hand o' Lecna$ sti55
im)ued 6ith the un;uencha)5e spirit of 1ecna. The &and is various5% descri)ed as 5arge
and sma55$ )ut a55 accounts agree that it is e8treme5% 6ithered and )5ac'ened$ as if from a
)urned )od%.
The first recorded appearance of the &and 6as during the Insurrection of the
4aheetes$ !+K %ears after the passing of 1ecna. (ith the overthro6 of Aaddin the 1ain$
5eader of the c5an$ the &and apparent5% disappeared.
During the reign of &amoch of T%rus$ the hand 6as discovered )% the fisherman
Gise5. 7or severa5 decades he 'ept it as a curiosit%$ unti5 he 6as s5ain )% his )rother 6ho
sto5e the artifact. The )rother 6as 6a%5aid en route to T%rus and the &and fe55 into the
possession of the out5a6 Mace.
(ith a sing5e gesture of the &and$ Mace is said to have struc' do6n the gates of
T%rus and )rought p5ague onto the ro%a5 house. Stories are to5d ho6 he spent one night in
the ro%a5 )edcham)er 6here he 6as visited )% the spirit of 1ecna. /ndou)ted5% he
changed$ for the ne8t da% he ordered the e8ecution of his former fo55o6ers to appease the
6rathfu5 shade.
In the ! %ears of Mace9s reign$ the cit% of T%rus gre6 in po6er$ )ut it )ecame
i55Hfamed as the S5aughterhouse of the (estern Shore. Mace Lno6 st%5ed 1ecna the
SecondM 6as struc' do6n )% a 4emishite assassin 6hen the po6er of the &and
ine8p5ica)5% fai5ed him.
Since that time the &and has appeared )rief5% in a num)er of 6ide5% scattered
5ands. Most of these appearances are unsu)stantiated$ )ut the corruption of the Aa5adinH
0ing of Miro is a 6e55Hdocumented case. 7oo5ish5% fi8ing the &and onto his o6n arm$ the
Aa5adinH0ing discovered too 5ate that he cou5d not remove it and in the end it destro%ed
7or the &and to function$ it must )e touched to the stump of an arm$ to 6hich it
grafts instant5%. The grip is immense5% strong L!F Strength$ no attac' ro55 or damage
)onuses ho6everM.
At first$ the &and seems usefu5 and harm5ess enough$ )ut 6ithin it resides some
portion of 1ecna9s evi5 spirit. Gradua55% the o6ner comes to )e5ieve he is 1ecna. Good
characters )ecoming crue5 and ma5evo5ent? evi5 characters )ecome the em)odiment of
corruption$ eventua55% turning on their friends and a55ies.
Suggested po6ers for the &and inc5udeI death ray Lno saving thro6$ once a da%M$
cause disease L!Hfoot 8 !Hfoot areaE2 times per da%M$ animate dead L!Eda%M$ darkness
Lat 6i55M$ R2 &rotection; web L!Eda%M$ disintegrate L!Eda%M$ regenerate 2 hpEturn$ lightning
bolt L!2 dice$ !Eda%M$ and time sto& L!E6ee'M.
Aside from the fact that the &and is corruptive$ its other ma:or dra6)ac's inc5ude
the fact that it cannot )e removed short of chopping off the arm and the fact that those
6ho see the &and 6i55 covet it$ attempting to ta'e it from its current o6ner. 7ina55%$ the
&and foresees the moment of its o6ner9s doom and its po6ers 6i55 fai5 :ust at that given
-he od o$ Seven Parts: It is said that the (ind Du'es of Aa;a 6ere the creators
of this 5egendar% artifact. Manifesting themse5ves upon the 6or5d at the )att5e of Aesh$
6here the po6ers of "haos and La6 arra%ed themse5ves$ the Du'es presented the Rod to
the "aptains of La6. In the )att5e$ the Rod 6as supposed5% sundered in the s5a%ing of
Mis'a$ the (o5fHSpider$ consort of the Nueen of "haos.
The Du'es$ to prevent the Rod9s capture$ snatched up the seven parts and scattered
them throughout the 6or5d. #ver since$ agents of the Nueen have sought out the Rod. It is
rumored that if she regains a55 the parts$ she can return Mis'a to the rea5ms of men.
The origina5 rod 6as said to )e a)out , feet 5ong$ )ut the pieces are irregu5ar in
5ength. The parts go together in a specific order$ the first )eing narro6est and each 5ater
piece increasing in diameter. Assem)5ing the Rod is difficu5t$ ho6ever$ )ecause the item
is sti55 protected )% the (ind Du'es. #ach section conve%s a sense of the direction to the
ne8t piece. Aieces assem)5ed to each other in the correct order 6i55 )ond together?
ho6ever$ if an% piece is p5aced out of se;uence$ it 6i55 instant5% disappear$ to appear
random5% some6here e5se in the 6or5d. /pon assem)5ing the first three pieces$ the o6ner
6i55 refuse to part 6ith the item at an% time$ even 6hen s5eeping$ eating$ )athing$ or
engaging in other persona5 activities.
*ecause it 6as once shattered$ the Rod is fragi5e. There is a ,O chance that it 6i55
)rea' apart Land )e scattered )% the (ind Du'esM each time its ma:or po6er is used.
#ach piece of the Rod has a minor po6er. Suggested po6ers areI immunity to one
attac' form$ 'ly at will; cure light wounds L!Eda%M$ true seeing L!Eda%M$ hold monster
L!Eda%M$ double character's movement; slow L!Eda%M. (hen comp5ete5% assem)5ed$ the
Rod can have ma:or po6ers. Suggested po6ers areI restoration L!Eda%M and sha&e change
"reated to the service of order$ the Rod changes its user to an a)so5ute fo55o6er of
5a6$ even more so than the most rigid 5a6fu5 good. The character 6i55 fee5 compe55ed to
intervene in a55 things to maintain the primac% of 5a6 over chaos$ heed5ess of the effects
for good or i55. Those not adhering to the RodHho5der9s strict vie6s are perceived as
enemies. 3nce a55 the parts are assem)5ed$ the Rod a5so radiates an aura of fearsome$ ic%
5a6 affecting a55 6ithin a 2Hfoot radius. (hen its ma:or po6ers are used$ those 6ho fai5
to save must f5ee in panic.
=e<ard1s &ystical 3rgan: In the 7a)5es of *urdoc' readers find mention of a
musica5 instrument$ an organ of 5arge si>e and m%stica5 enchantment. It 6as said to have
)een fashioned )% &e6ard$ Aatron of *ards$ to teach man'ind the art of song and to )ring
6onder and :o% into the 6or5d. Through its 'e%s and music$ the Aatron 6as a)5e to spread
the gifts of harmon%$ composing$ grace$ and )eaut%. Through his songs$ &e6ard 6atched
over and protected the 5ands$ guiding the 6eather to g5orious sunsets$ rain to fa55 on
parched soi5$ )read to rise firm and fresh$ chi5dren to )e happ%$ and indeed protecting a55
that man'ind no6 5oves.
/nfortunate5%$ the 7a)5es sa%$ mice among the frets gna6ed at the 6or'ings$
causing sour notes to escape$ giving voice to the harpies$ sirens$ and other evi5 creatures
that entice and trap )% song. #nraged$ the Aatron cursed the mice to remain forever 5o65%
and mee' of voice. *e5ieving the 3rgan ruined$ the Aatron a)andoned it Land too' up the
The 5ocation of the M%stica5 3rgan is un'no6n$ )ut the 5egends of severa5 great
and po6erfu5 )ards re5ate its discover% and su)se;uent 5oss. 35den)urg the *5ind
supposed5% discovered it and from its 'e%s 5earned the F #nchanting La%s 6here)% he
6on the heart of Arincess Leir$ daughter of the evi5 7airieHLord Marrad. Mad 3ssam 6as
supposed5% stric'en upon tr%ing to compose a tune at the 3rgan. "ursed 6ith the po6er
of )5ight and despair$ he )rought )aronies to their 'nees in his trave5s. Man% a )ard has
c5aimed to have studied at the 3rgan$ )ut these are certain5% nothing more than the
e8aggerations of sho6men.
The 3rgan is a massive$ immova)5e o):ect. The pipes easi5% e8tended the height
of a cathedra5 chape5. The 'e%)oard has three different sets$ and there are 2. ivor% stops.
2ine great peda5s contro5 the )ass notes. #ach pipe is sounded )% a )ound e5ementa5 of
appropriate si>e. The stops$ 6hen arranged in different settings$ a5ter the pitch and voice
of each pipe$ 6hi5e the 'e%s stri'e the notes. Age$ disuse Lfor even an artifact of such
de5icac% must )e tendedM$ and the ravages of the spitefu5 mice have rendered man% of the
pipes$ 'e%s$ and stops inopera)5e.
To use the 3rgan one must p5a% a tune upon it. &o6ever$ this is a tremendous5%
dangerous )usiness since there are so man% possi)5e com)inations of settings and notes.
Arior research and faith in the gods must serve as a guide. LAs an option$ p5a%ers can
compose or at 5east hum a 5itt5e ditt% of their o6n 6hen their characters attempt to use the
(hen a tune is p5a%ed$ the magic ta'es effect. @ust 6hat magica5 resu5t occurs is
5eft to the DM. &e shou5d )ase this upon the ;ua5it% of the p5a%ing$ the tastefu5ness and
master% of the music$ and the desires of the p5a%er.
Theoretica55%$ &e6ard9s M%stica5 3rgan can have as man% po6ers as there are
settings and tunes to )e p5a%ed. (ith such a )road range$ the DM can create virtua55% an%
resu5t. The press of a 'e% ma% cause f5o6ers or stra6 to rain over a sma55 vi55age !
mi5es a6a%$ 6hi5e a fugue ma% resu5t in the sin'ing of severa5 is5ands off the coast or the
reshaping of the organist into a ne6t Lespecia55% if he hits a )ad noteM.
/n5i'e other artifacts L6hich possess po6ers the character must discoverM$ users
of the 3rgan shou5d decide upon the effect the% 6ish to create and then research the notes
and stops needed to create it. The DM can$ of course$ a5ter the end resu5t Lmorta5s p5a%ing
6ith the to%s of gods se5dom get 6hat the% rea55% 6antM and a chec' shou5d )e made to
see if an% errors La missed note or )eatM occur in the p5a%ing.
If an error is made$ the DM can have dra6)ac's and unfortunate resu5ts prepared.
Some of these can inc5udeI permanent5% &olymor&hing the p5a%er into a sma55 5i>ard or
insect$ permanent deafness or madness$ or immediate a5ignment change. The character
cou5d )e endo6ed 6ith a voice e;ua5 to a horn o' blasting Lso he can9t spea' 6ithout
causing harmM$ or he might )e forever compe55ed to spea' in rh%me or in song. 3ne or
more 5eve5s might )e drained )% the 3rgan. A55 magica5 items 6ithin ! feet cou5d )e
permanent5% negated. The organist cou5d )e te5eported to another p5anet$ etc.
In addition$ the tones of the 3rgan$ no matter ho6 )ad5% set or p5a%ed$ are of
unearth5% )eaut%. (henever it is p5a%ed$ a55 hearing it Linc5uding the organistM must ro55 a
successfu5 saving thro6 vs. spe55 or )e enchanted forever.
Those so stric'en cannot a)ide an% other sound. Deprived of its tones$ the%
despair and see no 6onder or greatness Lin either good or evi5M in the 6or5d. Gradua55%$
those enchanted ta'e 5ess and 5ess interest in 5ife unti5 the% fina55% reach the point 6here
even the finest food is an anathema to them. These s5o65% 6asting creatures are tru5%
piteous sights.
The 5ocation of the 3rgan is constant5% changing. A55 the 5egends agree that it
e8ists no6here in the 6or5d$ )ut in some mist% other rea5m. 2ote6orth% too is the fact
that those 6ho 5eave its ha55 are never a)5e to find it again.
Chapter 11:
If the imagination of p5a%ers and DMs are fue5 of the AD&D game$ encounters are the
engine that ma'es it go. (ithout encounters$ nothing happens. (ithout encounters$ p5a%er
can9t s5a% fearsome tro55s$ rescue the vi55agers from a )and of orcs$ chase do6n a pett%
thief$ out6it an evi5 6i>ard$ or hum)5e a might% t%rant. #ncounters ma'e up the p5ot of
the adventure$ each in some 6a% furthering the ta5e or )ui5ding the )ac'ground of %our
campaign 6or5d. (ithout encounters$ 6ithout the opportunit% to meet and dea5 6ith
others$ %our campaign 6or5d is :ust going no6here.
To use encounters$ it is important to understand 6hat the% are. An encounter is a
meeting 6ith an 2A" or monster$ or an event that might affect the p5a%er characters. As
DM$ %ouI
8 "reate in advance the thing$ person$ event$ or monster encountered
8 Descri)e the scene of the encounter to the p5a%ers
8 Ro5eHp5a% the reaction of a55 the creatures invo5ved$ e8cept the p5a%er
8 Descri)e the resu5ts of p5a%er character actions during the encounter.
These are a )ig part of the DM9s duties in a ro5eHp5a%ing game Lin addition to the tas'
of interpreting the ru5es and hand5ing the mechanics of p5a%M.
(hat is an #ncounter=
An encounter is )est defined )% t6o )road criteria. If the descri)ed event 5ac's
either of these$ it isn9t a true encounter. It ma% )e a descri)ed scene$ an event$ or a )it of
mundane )usiness$ )ut it is not a ro5eHp5a%ing encounter.
7irst$ an encounter must invo5ve a thing$ an event$ 2A"s Lcharacters or monstersM$
or a DMHcontro55ed p5a%er character. A meeting of t6o p5a%er characters Lhand5ed )% the
p5a%er a5oneM is not an encounter. It is an action )et6een the p5a%ers themse5ves.
Second$ an encounter must present the possi)i5it% of a meaningfu5 change in a
p5a%er character9s a)i5ities$ possessions$ or 'no65edge$ depending upon the p5a%er9s
decisions. The 'e%s here are meaningfu5 change and p5a%er decision. 7or each character
6ith , gp in his poc'et$ going into a tavern and spending three gp on drin's is not
meaningfu5 change. If the character had to spend the same , gp in the same tavern to
get information a)out the *5ac' To6er across the river$ the character has e8perienced a
meaningfu5 changeHhe9s no6 )ro'e.
If the p5a%er doesn9t ma'e a decision$ then he9s :ust coasting a5ong$ 5etting the DM
do ever%thing. Going to the tavern and spending three go5d pieces on food and drin' isn9t
much of a decision. "hoosing to go )an'rupt to 5earn 6hat ma% or ma% not )e usefu5
information is fair5% significant. The p5a%er is going to have to thin' a)out the choice.
&o6 )ad5% does he 6ant this information= &o6 re5ia)5e is this informant= Does he need
the mone% for something e5seH5i'e ne6 e;uipment= "an he get a )etter price=
The presence of an active force and the possi)i5it% for change )ased on p5a%er
decision are 6hat ma'e a true ro5eHp5a%ing encounter. Ta'e$ for e8amp5e$ the situations
given )e5o6. Tr% to figure out 6hich of the four is a true encounter$ as defined a)ove.
!. Rupert and A5gorond$ a gnome$ are e8p5oring a cave. A5gorond is in the 5ead.
(ithout an% 6arning the cei5ing direct5% over him co55apses$ crushing the 5itt5e gnome
instant5%. &e is dead$ and a55 Rupert can do is dig out the )od%.
2. Rupert$ a !thH5eve5 fighter$ meets three 5o65% orcs. The% charge and$ not
surprising5% Rupert s5ices them to ri))ons. &e isn9t even harmed. Searching the cham)er$
he finds a sword 13. Rupert a5read% has a sword 18 and is not particu5ar5% interested in
this 6eapon.
+. Rupert reaches into his poc'et on5% to discover that the gem he pried from a
heathen ido5 is goneB Thin'ing a)out it$ he decides the on5% person 6ho cou5d have ta'en
it 6as his fe55o6 part% mem)er Land p5a%er characterM Rangnar the Thief. /nhesitating5%$
he 6hips out his s6ord and ho5ds it at Rangnar9s throat. Rangnar reaches for his hidden
-. Rupert and Taras *5oodheart are riding across the p5ain. @ust as the% crest a 5o6
ridge$ the% see a c5oud of smo'e and dust in the distance. The% ha5t and 6atch for a 5itt5e
6hi5e. The dust c5oud s5o65% moves on their direction$ 6hi5e the smo'e d6ind5es.
Moving their horses to a ho55o6$ the 6atch the approach of the m%sterious c5oud from a
So$ 6hich of these four is a true encounter= 3n5% the 5ast one. The first didn9t
invo5ve an% p5a%er choice. The gnome is crushed$ and there 6asn9t an%thing either p5a%er
character cou5d do a)out it. 2ot on5% is this not an encounter$ it isn9t fair. It cou5d have
)een an encounter L6ith a trapped cei5ingM$ if there had )een signs )eforehand Lc5attering
stones$ previous deadfa55s$ groaning stonesM and if the gnome had )een given the
opportunit% to act )efore the roc' s;uashed him. The p5a%er choice cou5d have )een to
heed or ignore the 6arnings and 5eap for6ard$ )ac'$ or stand confused 6hen the roc' fe55.
The second had p5a%er choice$ )ut it 6asn9t particu5ar5% meaningfu5 or )a5anced.
The p5a%er 'ne6 his character cou5d 6in the com)at so his choice to fight 6as
insignificant. &e 'ne6 the s6ord 6as 5ess potent than the one he a5read% had$ so his
choice not to 'eep it 6as$ 5i'e6ise$ not a choice at a55. The situation cou5d have )een an
encounter if the orcs had actua55% )een ogres concea5ed )% an i55usion or if the s6ord had
specia5 unrevea5ed po6ers. #ither of these 6ou5d have made the character9s actions
The third situation has a55 the trappings of an encounter. There is meaningfu5
choice and an%thing cou5d happen ne8t. &o6ever$ this is a s;ua))5e )et6een p5a%er
characters$ not something the DM has contro5 over. It does not further the p5ot or deve5op
campaign )ac'ground. Indeed$ such disharmon% 6i55 on5% hurt the game in the 5ong run.
It cou5d have )ecome an encounter if an invisi)5e 2A" thief had done the deed instead of
Ragnar. Rupert and Ragnar$ eventua55% rea5i>ing the confusion$ 6ou5d have sudden5%
found themse5ves united in a ne6 purposeCto find the cu5prit. 3f course$ there 6ou5d
a5so )e ro5eHp5a%ing opportunit% as Rupert tried to ma'e amends 6hi5e Ragnar
remem)ered the insu5tB
The fourth e8amp5e is a true encounter$ even though it doesn9t seem 5i'e much is
happening. The p5a%ers have made significant decisions$ particu5ar5% to sta% and
investigate$ and the% are faced )% an un'no6n creature. The% do not 'no6 6hat the% face
and the% do not 'no6 if it 6i55 )e for good or i55. The dust c5oud cou5d )e a d:inni or a
hosti5e air e5ementa5. It cou5d )e a 6arH)and of ! orcs or giant 5i>ards. The p5a%ers don9t
'no6 )ut have decided to ta'e the ris' of finding out.
In ro5eHp5a%ing games$ encounters fa55 into one of t6o genera5 categoriesC
p5anned Lor p5acedM encounters and random Lor 6anderingM encounters. #ach contri)utes
to the overa55 e8citement and adventure of the game.
A5anned #ncounters
A p5anned encounter is one of the DM has prepared in advance$ one tied to a
specific p5ace$ event$ or condition. These can )e divided into 'e%s and triggers.
The simp5est of p5anned encounters is ca55ed a 'e%Ca 5isting of 6ho 5ives 6here$
6hat the% have$ and 6hat the% might do if a character enters their room$ visits their farm$
or e8p5ores their cave. This 'e% can a5so contain co5orfu5 detai5s a)out other6ise )oring
or empt% rooms$ creating detai5 for the p5a%er characters to e8p5ore. &ere9s ho6 a samp5e
'e% for an ogre9s den$ a threeHcham)ered cave$ might )e 6ritten.
!. &ain Chamber: 3ne passage of this cham)er 5eads to the outside$ a narro6 c5eft in
the roc' hidden )ehind some )ushes. 7o55o6ing this$ the passage 6idens after ! feet.
The 6a55s are coated 6ith soot and there is a 5arge pit in the center of the f5oor fi55ed 6ith
ashes and charred )its of )one. The ashes are 6arm and the roc's of the pit are sti55 hot to
the touch. The cham)er stin's of )urned meat and 5eather. There is a 5ot of ru))ish on the
f5oor )ut there is nothing of va5ue here. At the far end$ the c5eft once again narro6s to a
2. Sleeping Chamber: &ere the air is thic' 6ith sme55s of anima5 s6eat and 6orse. There
is a 5oud rum)5ing from the far side of the cham)er. There$ s5eeping under a mound of
crude5% s'inned furs$ is a 5arge ogre. 2e8t to him is a 5arge 6ooden c5u). &anging from
the 6a55s are )its of )right c5oth$ shin% )uc'5es$ and tarnished )adges. A fe6 simp5e
torches$ no6 un5it$ are 6edged in the crac's.
If the characters don9t move s5o65% in this room$ one 6i55 'ic' a meta5 he5met
across the f5oor$ 6a'ing the ogre. Grogg% for one round$ he then attac's the group. @ust
)e%ond the nest is another passage.
+. -reasure oom: The entrance to this cham)er is )5oc'ed )% a 5arge )ou5der that must
)e ro55ed into the room to get it out of the 6a%. "haracters must get it out of the 6a%.
"haracters must ro55 a successfu5 )end )arE5ift gates chec' to move it. LSevera5 characters
can 6or' together$ tota5ing their chances into a sing5e ro55.M Inside the room are the
treasures of the ogre. These inc5ude , gp$ + gems L6orth !$ ,$ and ! gpM$ a suit of
chain mail 13 the )east cannot use$ and a mound of horse trappings$ )rid5es$ and sadd5es.
Aside from the )ats$ there are no creatures in the cham)er.
(hen %ou 6rite a 'e%$ descri)e the 6a% the scene 5oo's as accurate5% as possi)5e.
A5so thin' 6hat sounds the p5a%er characters might hear$ 6hat the%9d sme55$ 6hat the
p5ace fee5s 5i'e$ and so on. (riting a good 'e% is 5i'e 6riting a good stor%. At the ver%
5east$ inc5ude the fo55o6ing information for ever% 5ocationI
8 An% monsters or 2A"s found there.
8 (hat e;uipment and magica5 items the monsters 6i55 use.
8 An% treasure Land its 5ocationM.
8 An% other unusua5 items of interest. This can inc5ude co5orfu5 detai5s to he5p
%ou descri)e the area or c5ues to 6arn characters of danger ahead.
The 'e% can a5so inc5ude specia5 conditions that must )e met 6hi5e in the area. In
the e8amp5e a)ove$ there 6ere pena5ties for not )eing a5ert and cautious L'ic'ing the
he5metM and re;uirements for Strength Lmoving the )ou5derM.
&o6ever$ 'e%s are staticCthings don9t change that much. 2o matter 6hether the
characters enter at noon or midnight$ the ogre 6i55 )e s5eeping. &e 6on9t )e coo'ing his
dinner$ out hunting$ or pic'ing his teeth 6ith his toes.
7or fair5% simp5e scenes this is fine$ )ut the situation gets ridicu5ous for more
comp5icated situations. Imagine a farm 6here the farmer 6as a56a%s in the fie5d or a
cast5e 6here dinner 6as continua55% )eing servedB
Static a5so means that events in one p5ace don9t affect things in another. If the
characters heave the )ou5der out of the 6a%$ 6on9t the noise a6a'en the ogre= 2ot
according to the description as it is given$ a5though a good DM 6ou5d certain5% consider
the possi)i5it%. (riting a 'e% that ta'es a55 these potentia5 inconsistencies into account
isn9t eas%. To )e comp5ete$ %ou 6ou5d have to design the 'e% in %our head$ figuring out a55
the interconnections$ )efore %ou 6rote an%thing do6n.
There are t6o so5utions to this pro)5emI 4ou can tr% to )e comp5ete and thorough$
preparing ans6ers for ever% possi)5e situation$ or %ou can reduce the amount of detai5
%ou give a)out creature )ehaviors and improvise ans6ers as %ou p5a%. To descri)e a
farmhouse$ %ou cou5d simp5% note the occupants Ltheir ages and the 5i'eM and the
significant possessions at the farm. The activit% of the 2A"s can )e ad:usted to the
momentC6or'ing in fie5ds$ s5eeping$ eating$ etc.
Tr%ing to preHp5an for ever% eventua5it% is timeHconsumingCthere is a fair
amount of p5anning and 6riting %ou must do. Improvising cuts do6n on preparation$ )ut
forces %ou to 6or' harder during the game. The )est so5ution is to compromiseI "arefu55%
detai5 the most important p5anned encounters and simp5% s'etch out and improvise the
sma55 encounters. This 6a% %ou are not over6he5med in preparation or p5a%.
Another t%pe of p5anned encounter is the trigger. It can )e used 6ith a 'e% or )%
itse5f. A trigger is a simp5e eitherEor or ifEthen t%pe of statement. It is used for more
interactive t%pes of encounters$ 6here the action of the event is 6hat is important$ such as
the 'idnapping descri)ed )e5o6.
The ne8t episode occurs at ! o9c5oc' in the morningI If an% character is sti55 a6a'e$ he
hears a muff5ed scream coming from the )a5con% of the room ne8t door. If the characters
investigate$ the% 6i55 discover t6o hooded men LKthH5eve5 thievesM attempting to drag a
strugg5ing %oung 6oman over the rai5ing. 3ne man has her firm5% gripped from )ehind$
his hand c5amped over her mouth. The other is hoisting her 5egs over the side. A
confederate 6aits 6ith the horses on the ground )e5o6. If the characters do nothing$ there
6i55 )e a crash as she 'ic's over a f5o6er urn$ fo55o6ed )% a muttered curse and then the
ga55oping of horses.
If the characters are noticed$ the un)urdened man 6hee5s to face them$ dra6ing
t6o s6ords$ one in each hand. The 6oman attempts to )rea' free$ on5% to )e struc'
unconscious )% the other man. The man on the ground ;uiet5% coc's a cross)o6 and aims
it at the part%$ 'eeping an e%e out for spe55casters.
&ere ever%thing is dependent upon previous and current choices of action. Is a
character a6a'e= (i55 the characters investigate= &o6 6i55 the% react to the 'idnappers=
#ach decision mo5ds su)se;uent events. The characters might 5eap to the %oung 6oman9s
rescue or the% might rouse themse5ves on5% in time to see the 'idnappers ga55op off 6ith
her tied to the sadd5e. Their actions cou5d a5ter p5anned events. "oming to her aid$ the
characters rescue the 5ad%. As DM %ou must )e read% to te55 her stor%. (h% 6as she
attac'ed= (ho 6ere the%= Are there an% c5ues the characters can find=
To 6rite this t%pe of encounter$ first out5ine the )asic se;uence of events that
6ou5d happen if the characters did not interfere. 2e8t$ thin' 5i'e a p5a%er and tr% to
anticipate 6hat the characters might do. (ou5d the% aid the 5ad%= If so$ %ou 6i55 need
com)at informationCho6 the attac'ers 6i55 fight and 6hat 6eapons and tactics the% 6i55
use. (hat happens if the characters tr% to sound the a5arm or ta5' to the 'idnappers= (hat
6i55 the 5ad% sa% if rescued= At 5east a )rief note shou5d )e made to account for the
pro)a)5e reactions of the p5a%er characters.
As comp5ete as %ou ma'e them$ triggers are not 6ithout their 6ea'nesses. (hi5e
ver% good at descri)ing a scene$ a trigger does not provide much )ac'ground
information. In the event a)ove$ there is no description of the room$ the attac'ers$ the
5ad%9s histor%$ etc. There cou5d )e$ )ut inc5uding it 6ou5d )e e8tra 6or'$ and description
6ou5d a5so get in the 6a% of the action.
A 5ess critica5 pro)5em is that DMs can9t anticipate ever% action of the p5a%er
characters. 2o matter ho6 carefu55% a trigger is constructed$ there is a56a%s something
the characters can do to upset the situation. In the e8amp5e a)ove$ 6hat if the characters
panic and a mage 5aunches a 'ireball at the attac'ers= In a f5ash of f5ame$ the% and their
victim are 'i55ed and the )ui5ding is on fire. Arescient is the DM 6ho can anticipate this
There is no simp5e so5ution for unpredicta)5e p5a%ers Lnor 6ou5d %ou 6ant oneBM.
As a DM %ou are never going to )e a)5e to predict ever% p5a%er decision. #8perience$
)oth as a p5a%er and a DM$ teaches %ou 6hat the most 5i'e5% actions are. *e%ond these
%ou must improvise$ re5%ing on %our s'i55 as a DM.
"om)ining 0e%s and Triggers
Man% DMs ma'e use of a dua5 arrangement for preparing encounters. 7irst the%
prepare a 'e%$ descri)ing the appearance of the encounter 5ocations$ items in them$ and
other things that are re5ative5% nonHchanging. Then the% 6rite triggers focusing on the
characters and the actions.
(hen the% need to descri)e a room$ the% re5% on the 'e%$ 6hi5e the trigger
descri)es the p5ot of the adventure. A5though this re;uires a 5itt5e more setHup$ this a55o6s
different events to happen in the same p5ace or area$ giving a fee5ing of continuit% to the
adventure and campaign.
Random #ncounters
In addition to p5anned encounters$ the DM a5so runs random encounters. These
aren9t tied to a specific p5ace or event. The% are )ased on chance.
During the course of an adventure$ the DM ma'es encounter chec's$ ro55ing a die
to determine if a random encounter occurs. If one does$ the DM chooses or random5%
ro55s for an encounter using a random encounter ta)5e he has prepared or one provided
6ith a pu)5ished adventure. "omp5ete random encounter ta)5es are provided in the
Monstrous #om&endium- These can )e updated and rep5aced as ne6 creatures are added
to the 2nd #dition AD&D game.
(hen a chec' indicates an encounter is imminent$ a creature or 2A" determined
)% the encounter ta)5es 6i55 arrive in the area in the ne8t fe6 minutes to investigate.
Man% encounters end in com)at$ )ut this isn9t necessar%Cit is possi)5e to ta5' to
inte55igent creatures$ 6hether in the dungeon$ out in the 6i5derness$ or on the streets of a
to6n or cit%.
Shou5d 4ou /se Random #ncounters=
Some argue that random encounters are foo5ish and shou5d not )e used. These
peop5e maintain that ever%thing shou5d )e under the contro5 of the DM$ that there shou5d
)e no surprises for him 6hi5e p5a%ing the game.
"ertain5%$ random encounters can )e a)used through overuse$ and the% can create
i55ogica5 encounters. LThe 6ord foo5ish 6ou5d certain5% app5% to the DM 6ho a55o6ed the
characters to )e attac'ed )% an orc 6arH)and in the midd5e of a peacefu5 human cit%BM
&o6ever$ 6hen used :udicious5%$ random encounters add to ever%one9s fun in a coup5e of
/ariety: Random encounters introduce variet% the p5a%er characters didn9t e8pect.
The characters$ e8p5oring a dungeon$ )ecome overconfident if the% on5% encounter
monsters in cham)ers and rooms. Random encounters reminds them that an% second
cou5d )e dangerous$ no matter 6here the% are.
D& Challenge: Random encounters ma'e the game more e8citing for the DM.
The game has to )e fun and cha55enging for him as 6e55 as the p5a%ers. Aart of the
cha55enge for the DM is to improvise an encounter on the spot. The DM gets invo5ved and
e8cited$ improving the p5a% of the game.
To use a random encounter$ the DM doesn9t :ust open his ru5e)oo' and )5ind5%
pic' a monster La5though there is nothing that sa%s he can9t do thisM. Instead$ he uses or
creates specific ta)5es that are tai5ored to the needs of the adventure and adventuring area$
)% inc5uding on5% those monsters or 2A"s that are appropriate to the setting.
"haracteristics of Random #ncounter Ta)5es
A55 encounter ta)5es share certain concepts. *efore %ou )egin creating %our o6n
ta)5es$ some understanding of these )asics is necessar%.
:ni'ueness: A5though one cou5d create a sing5e encounter ta)5e and use it for
ever% situation$ this is a grievous 5imitation on the 6ea5th and detai5 possi)5e in a
campaign 6or5d. #ncounter ta)5es add distinction and differentiation to areas. #ncounter
ta)5es can ref5ect conditions as )asic as terrain or as comp5icated as entire socia5
This in mind$ the DM shou5d decide 6here in the campaign 6or5d each encounter
ta)5e app5ies. A sing5e ta)5e cou5d )e made for a55 deserts? a separate ta)5e cou5d )e made
for the Desert of Shaar$ 6hich is noted for its fa)u5ous )easts? a further ta)5e cou5d )e
made for the tenHmi5e area around the Aa5ace of 4asath in the Desert of Shaar$ 6here the
#mir of 4asath maintains patro5s to 'eep the )easts at )a%. (ithin the pa5ace an entire5%
different encounter ta)5e 6ou5d )e needed$ since the patro5s don9t tramp through the
ha556a%s and harems.
#ach ta)5e sa%s something a)out the conditions in a particu5ar areaCthe 5eve5 of
civi5i>ation$ the degree of danger$ even the magica5 6eirdness of the area. A5though the
p5a%ers never see the entire ta)5e$ such ta)5es he5p the DM define for himse5f the nature
of his campaign 6or5d.
5re'uency: A55 monsters have a fre;uenc% of appearance$ 6hether given in the
monster9s description or assumed )% the DM. 3rcs are more common than minotaurs$
6hich are seen more often than dragons$ 6hich$ in turn$ are seen more often than Tiamat$
#vi5 Nueen of the Dragons. 7re;uenc% of appearance is norma55% 5isted as common$
uncommon$ rare$ ver% rare$ and uni;ue.
#ommon creatures norma55% account for .O of the 5oca5 popu5ation. The% ma%
)e more pro5ific or :ust more outgoing$ more 5i'e5% to sho6 themse5ves to strangers.
Uncommon monsters fi55 the ne8t 2O. The% are fe6er in num)er and tend to )e
more 6ar% of outsiders.
*are creatures account for another .O. Such creatures are norma55% so5itar%$
e8ceptiona55% po6erfu5$ or ver% retiring.
Lery rare creatures constitute on5% +O of the popu5ation. The% are tru5% e8otic and
a5most a56a%s e8treme5% po6erfu5. The% ma% )e creatures 6ho have 6andered far from
their norma5 range or 6hose magica5 nature is such that not man% can possi)5% e8ist at
an% one time in an% one p5ace.
UniIue monsters are :ust that. The% are individua5s$ specific and named. Such
creatures shou5d never )e used on random encounter ta)5es. The% are reserved for
p5anned encounters.
The chance of encounter is not determined so5e5% )% the fre;uenc% 5isting$
ho6ever. The DM shou5d a5so ta'e into account a 5ocation9s terrain or dead5iness. A po5ar
)ear can )e considered uni;ue on5% in the tropics and is ver% rare at )est even in the
northernmost reaches of temperate 5ands. An orc 5iving in the dead5iest area of an ancient
ruin$ an area popu5ated )% a dragon$ mind f5a%ers$ and medusae$ 6ou5d )e ver% rare
indeed Land ver% 5uc'% to )e a5iveM. 7re;uenc% must )e modified to suit conditions.
7re;uenc% must a5so )e su)servient to the conditions the DM desires to create. If
the DM 6ants a va55e% fi55ed 6ith magica5 creatures of incredi)5e dead5iness$ then rare
and ver% rare creatures are going to )e more fre;uent. A 5ost va55e% fi55ed 6ith dinosaurs
defies the norma5 chances of encountering such )easts. Indeed$ the% cou5d on5% )e
considered uni;ue e5se6here.
7urthermore$ fre;uenc% does not mean characters 6i55 encounter a creature .O
or 2O of the time$ on5% that it fa55s into a group that composes that percentage of the
popu5ation. The percentages and ratings given are not demographic data? the% are on5%
Severa5 common creatures 6i55 compose the )u5' of the popu5ation$ so that the
chance of meeting an% particu5ar t%pe is 5ess than .O. The same is true for a55 the other
categories. In the end$ the chance of meeting a particu5ar t%pe of common creature is sti55
greater than that of meeting an uncommon or ver% rare creature.
0ogic: The other significant factor restricting encounter ta)5es is rationa5it%.
#ver%thing on the encounter ta)5e shou5d )e :ustifia)5e for one reason or another. *%
re;uiring :ustification$ the DM can ;uic'5% narro6 his range of creature choices do6n to
a reasona)5e num)er$ in essence 6inno6ing the chaff from the 6heat.
The first and easiest criteria are terrain and temperature. "ame5s aren9t found in
:ung5esI 'ra'en don9t cra65 across deserts. G5aring contradictions of 5ogic must )e
:ustified. Aroduce a 6ood5and dr%ad in the midd5e of a )arren 6aste and the p5a%ers are
going to demand some e8p5anation. (orse %et$ the% ma% assume the encounter is
significant to the adventure )ecause it is so i55ogica5$ 6hich ma% in turn thro6 %our entire
adventure off trac'.
#ven if the creature fits a given terrain$ it ma% not )e appropriate to the setting.
@ust )ecause an orc can appear on the p5ains doesn9t mean it shou5d$ not if those p5ains are
at the heart of a fierce5% guarded human empire. 3ut on the fringes 6here raiding )ands
cou5d s5ip across the )order 6ou5d )e a far more appropriate p5ace.
As important as terrain and temperature in assessing the 5ogic of a random
encounter is the character of the societ% the ta)5e is supposed to ref5ect. *a5ance 6hat the
p5a%ers e8pect to meet 6ith 6hat 6ou5d ma'e a good adventure. At the heart of an
empire$ the characters 6ou5d e8pect to find farmers$ merchants$ no)5es$ priests$ and the
5i'e. The tas' for the DM is to find 6a%s to ma'e these seeming5% ordinar% encounters
In 6i5derness areas and a)andoned ruins$ there ma% not )e a particu5ar cu5ture to
consider. &o6ever$ there is a societ% of sorts or$ more accurate5%$ an ecos%stem. This is
often over5oo'ed in dungeon settings. @ust 6hich creatures feed on 6hich= (hat
re5ationships e8ist that a55o6 a55 manner of diverse creatures to 5ive in the same p5ace
6ithout annihi5ating each other= Does a creature9s random appearance ma'e sense 6ith
6hat the characters 'no6 a)out the p5ace= Medusae ma'e poor 6andering monsters$
since 5ogic sa%s there shou5d )e statues of their victims in areas 6here the% 5ive. To round
a corner and run into a medusa 6ho :ust happens to )e stro55ing the caverns grates against
E$$ect: 7ina55%$ as DM$ consider the ro5e of the random encounter. Such an
encounter is not a part of the adventure )eing to5d? it hasn9t )een 6or'ed into the p5ot and
doesn9t advance the conf5icts. A random encounter shou5d not )e the most e8citing event
of an adventure. 4ou don9t 6ant the p5a%ers remem)ering on5% the random encounter and
forgetting the stor% %ou 6or'ed to createB
Random encounters provide )rea's in the action and can )ui5d or re5ease tension.
The characters are ga55oping after the desperate5% f5eeing 'idnappers. Sudden5% a f5ight of
griffins$ attracted )% the c5amor of the chase$ s6oop do6n$ aiming to ma'e a mea5 of the
p5a%er characters9 horses. The 'idnappers ma% escape un5ess the characters can e8tricate
themse5ves from the attac' in mere momentsB The tension 5eve5 goes up.
Random encounters can a5so 6ear the p5a%er characters do6n in preparation for a
5arger$ p5anned encounter. The uncertaint% of the encounters adds an e5ement of ris' for
the p5a%ers. (i55 the characters )e strong enough= A random encounter shou5d rare5%
cripp5e a part% Lun5ess the% are in a sorr% state to )egin 6ithM$ )ut each one shou5d
6ea'en them a 5itt5e.
It doesn9t matter if the p5a%er characters 6in ever% random encounter$ especia55%
not if the% are do6n a fe6 more hit points$ spe55s$ and magica5 items after each. @ust
'no6ing the% are not at pea' form and that the% have e8pended their a)i5ities on
6andering monsters ma'es the p5a%ers nervous.
7or these reasons$ %ou don9t 6ant to use the most po6erfu5 and significant
creatures 6hen creating random encounter ta)5es. 4ou certain5% don9t 6ant to use
creatures that are more po6erfu5 than those in the rest of %our adventureB Random
monsters shou5d )e 5ess significant than those %ou have p5anned.
"reating #ncounter Ta)5es
There are a mu5titude of 6a%s a DM can create encounter ta)5es Las man% 6a%s as
there are different ranges of die ro55sM. The choices range from ver% simp5e Lro55 !dK for
one of si8 possi)5e choicesM to ver% comp5icated Lro55 percenti5e dice$ modif% for time of
da% and 6eather and crossHinde8 the resu5t 6ith the terrainM. (ith this$ and the common
characteristics descri)ed a)ove$ in mind$ %ou can create random encounter ta)5es for
virtua55% an% situation.
As a5read% noted$ an encounter ta)5e can )e constructed around virtua55% an% t%pe
of die or dice ro55. T6o of the )est$ ho6ever$ are the 2H2 ta)5e and the percenti5e ta)5e.
*oth provide a 6ide enough range of resu5ts to account for the var%ing fre;uenc% of
appearance of the monsters the DM 6ants to use.
The 2H2 Ta)5e
This ta)5e has nineteen openings La5though$ )% dou)5ing up on some entries$ more
or 5ess than nineteen different encounters can appear on the ta)5eM. The 2H2 num)er is
generated )% adding the ro55 of !dG to that of !d!2. Thus$ 2s and 2s are ver% rare$ 6hi5e
there is an e;ua5 chance for resu5ts from F through !+. Monsters are assigned specific
positions on the ta)5e according to their fre;uenc%$ as sho6n on Ta)5e ,-.
-able #":
2;2, Encounter -able
Ro55 7re;uenc%
2 1er% rare
+ 1er% rare
- 1er% rare or rare LDM9s choiceM
, Rare
K Rare
. /ncommonQ
G /ncommonQ
F "ommonQQ
! "ommonQQ
!! "ommonQQ
!2 "ommonQQ
!+ "ommonQQ
!- /ncommonQ
!, /ncommonQ
!K Rare
!. Rare
!G 1er% rare or rare LDM9s choiceM
!F 1er% rare
2 1er% rare
Q 3r choice of t6o ver% rare creatures$ ,O chance of each.
QQ 3r choice of t6o rare creatures$ ,O chance of each.
To fi55 the ta)5e$ the DM first se5ects those monsters he 6ishes to use on the ta)5e
and counts ho6 man% of each t%pe he has. If he has fe6er of a given t%pe than the chart
provides for$ he can repeat entries. If he has more$ he either drops some creatures or
dou)5es up some entries.
7or e8amp5e$ sa% the DM is creating an encounter chart for the Desert of Shaar.
7irst he chooses his possi)5e encountersI
Common :ncommon
"ame5 *asi5is'
Giant centipede *rass dragon
&erd anima5 "aravan
3gre &o)go)5in
3rc 2omads
&uge spider Giant scorpion
are /ery rare
"himera D:inni
Ai5grims #freeti
&arp% Lamia
The ta)5e has si8 common entries$ si8 uncommon entries$ five rare$ and three ver%
rare entries. There are a5so t6o spots that cou5d )e rare or ver% rare. The DM chooses to
arrange his encounters as sho6nI
oll 5re'uency
2 Lamia
+ D:inni
- &arp%
, Ai5grims
K Dervishes
. *asi5is'
G "aravanE&o)go)5ins
F &uge spider
! 3gre
!! "ame5E&erd anima5
!2 Giant centipede
!+ 3rc
!- 2omads
!, Giant scorpion
!K Dervishes
!. "himera
!G Sa5amander
!F Lamia
2 D:inni
The DM chose not to use the )rass dragon or the efreeti$ saving these po6erfu5
creatures for a specia5$ p5anned encounter in his adventure. &e :ustifies the presence of
the d:inni on the ta)5e )% deciding that it 6i55 )e he5pfu5 to the part%$ giving them a usefu5
c5ue a)out the adventure Lun5ess$ of course$ the% foo5ish5% attac' itM. To fi55 the spots of
the creatures he set aside$ the DM repeated a fe6 entries$ meaning the% ma% sho6 up
s5ight5% more fre;uent5% than might )e e8pected.
The Aercenti5e Ta)5e
This is another simp5e form of encounter ta)5e. &ere$ the creature fre;uenc%
percentages can )e used direct5%. To create a percenti5e ta)5e$ the DM repeats the steps
given a)ove for se5ecting and grouping his encounters$ again opting not to use the efreeti
or the )rass dragon. Then the num)er of creatures at each fre;uenc% is divided into the
percentage for that fre;uenc% L.O$ 2O$ .O$ and +O$ respective5%$ for common$
uncommon$ rare$ and ver% rareM. In the ear5ier e8amp5e$ the 5ist inc5udes si8 common
monsters. L.OM$ resu5ting in an !!O spread per monster LKKO tota5M. This is repeated for
the monsters in each categor%. The resu5ting num)er is the dice range for each creature.
/sing these va5ues as a guide$ he arranges the creatures into a ta)5e.
oll Creature
!H!! "ame5
!2H22 Giant centipede
2+H++ &erd anima5
+-H-- 3gre
-,H,, 3rc
,KHKK &uge spider
K.H. *asi5is'
.!H.- "aravan
.,H.G &o)go)5ins
.FHG2 2omads
G+HGK Giant scorpion
G.HGG "himera
GFHF Ai5grims
F!HF2 &arp%
F+HF, Dervishes
FKHF. Sa5amander
1er% Rare
! D:inni
/sing this method the DM 6as a)5e to remain reasona)5% faithfu5 to the fre;uenc%
percentages for different creaturesI KKO as opposed to .O for common? 2O e8act5% for
uncommon? !!O as opposed to .O for rare? and +O for ver% rare. In creating this ta)5e$
the DM had to ma'e ad:ustments here and there to account for a55 percentage num)ers$
)ut doing so a55o6ed him to increase the emphasis on certain monsters.
Dungeon #ncounter Ta)5es
Dungeon encounter ta)5es are norma55% set up according to 5eve5sC!st$ 2nd$ +rd$
etc. #ach 5eve5 is a re5ative measure of the po6er of those creatures on it. In genera5$ the
5eve5 of the ta)5e corresponds to character 5eve5$ a5though characters ma% a5so encounter
and defeat Lor )e cha55enged )%M creatures from higher or 5o6er 5eve5 ta)5es. Genera55%$
6hen adventuring in a dungeon$ characters shou5d meet random encounters that are e;ua5
to or no more than t6o 5eve5s higher or 5o6er than their o6n.
Sometimes dungeons themse5ves are arranged in 5eve5s La5though this is )% no
means re;uiredM. In this case$ the dungeon 5eve5 and the encounter ta)5e correspond.
"haracters on the !stH5eve5 of the dungeon 6ou5d encounter creatures from the first 5eve5
encounter ta)5e. This not on5% 'eeps the po6er of the monsters in 5ine 6ith the strength of
a t%pica5 part%$ it a5so maintains the 5ogica5 structure of the dungeon 5eve5. It doesn9t ma'e
much sense for e8treme5% po6erfu5 monsters to ming5e free5% Land 6ithout conse;uenceM
among the 6ea'er creatures that inha)it the 5eve5.
Determining dungeon level: 7iguring the appropriate 5eve5 for a particu5ar
creature is simp5e. Loo' up or ca5cu5ate the e8perience points of the creature and chec'
this num)er on Ta)5e ,,$ )e5o6. This 6i55 te55 %ou 6here to p5ace the creature.
-able ##:
Dungeon 0evel
SA Leve5
!H2 !
2!H, 2
,!H!, +
!,!H2, -
2,!H, ,
,!H!$ K
!$!H+$ .
+$!H,$, G
,$,!H!$ F
!$! R !
(hen constructing the encounter ta)5e$ creatures 6ith a greater or 5esser po6er
than the ta)5e )eing designed can )e used. &o6ever$ each 5eve5 of difference )et6een
creature and ta)5e decreases the fre;uenc% of appearance )% one La common creature
)ecomes uncommon$ a rare creature 6ou5d )e ver% rare$ and so onM. "reatures 5ess
po6erfu5 than the given 5eve5 se5dom venture into such dangerous territor%. "reatures
more po6erfu5 are se5dom met to ensure the p5a%er characters have a decent chance of
surviva5. After ad:ustment$ these creatures can )e added to the ta)5e.
In addition$ there is a chance that an encountered creature 6i55 )e more po6erfu5
than e8pectedI (hen designing a 2H2 ta)5e$ the 2 resu5t cou5d )e </se ne8t highest
ta)5e<? if a percenti5e ta)5e is used$ FGH! cou5d )ump the DM to the ne8t ta)5e. Thus$
p5a%ers 6ou5d never )e assured of safet% or good odds.
(i5derness #ncounter Ta)5es
/n5i'e the dungeon ta)5es$ those used for the 6i5derness are not so neat5%
organi>ed according to dead5iness or po6er. 3ne princip5e of 6i5derness adventuring
L6hich ma'es it more dangerous for 5o6H5eve5 charactersM is that virtua55% an% creature
can )e metCand often in si>ea)5e num)ers. This is a ris' the p5a%ers shou5d )e a6are of
)efore the% ta'e their characters out into the untrac'ed forest.
This does not mean that 6i5derness adventuring shou5d )e impossi)5e for 5o6H
5eve5 characters. It shou5dn9t )e so dead5% that the% can9t 6a5' three steps )efore a f5ight of
red dragons appears and turns them to ash 6ith one fier% )reathB That9s :ust )ad
refereeing. Lo6H5eve5 characters shou5d have the opportunit% to go on 6i5derness
adventures that the% can survive.
Aerhaps an area of the near)% forest is regu5ar5% patro55ed )% the 0ing9s (ardens
6ho drive off the greater threats to the safet% of the popu5ation. Lone monsters often
escape their notice and sometimes raid the out5%ing farms. Specia5 encounter ta)5es can
)e created to ref5ect the 5o6er 5eve5s of monsters that do manage to 5ur' in these 6oods$
providing 5o6H5eve5 characters 6ith a decent )ut not overpo6ering cha55enge.
The greatest consideration in creating 6i5derness encounter ta)5es is to have a
separate ta)5e for each t%pe of terrain. These need not )e created a55 at once$ a5though
ta)5es must e8ist for the terrain t%pes the characters have to enter during the course of an
adventure. Different terrain t%pes that can )e used inc5ude the fo55o6ingI
Desert$ hot or co5d
@ung5e$ su)tropica5
@ung5e$ tropica5
Mountains$ high
Mountains$ 5o6
3cean$ deep
3cean$ sha55o6s
Rain forest
Sa5t marsh
S6amp$ tropica5
S6amp$ temperate
Temperate forest
(i5derness encounter ta)5es can ref5ect more than :ust terrain. There are
differences )et6een the :ung5es of Africa and those of Asia or South America. Different
areas of :ung5e Lor p5ains or 6hateverM can have different properties in a fantas% 6or5d$
7urthermore$ an area9s 5eve5 of civi5i>ation shou5d )e ta'en into account. There
might )e ta)5es for sett5ed farm5ands$ )order areas$ and )are5% e8p5ored p5ains. A55 cover
the same t%pe of terrain$ )ut there are vast differences in the t%pes of encounters.
Specia5 #ncounter Ta)5es
In addition to ta)5es for dungeons and 6i5derness areas$ the DM can create others
for an% t%pe of specia5 situation he creates. The most common of these are encounter
ta)5es for to6ns and cities. These are not proper5% 6i5derness and certain5% aren9t
dungeons. The p5a%ers shou5dn9t e8pect to meet )ands of ravening )easts intent on death
and destruction Lun5ess it9s a ver% pecu5iar cit%BM.
To6n and cit% encounters 6i55 )e 6ith peop5e$ most5% p5a%er character races$ of
different socia5 c5asses and occupations. Guardsmen$ merchants$ )eggars$ urchins$
teamsters$ and craftsmen p5%ing their trade are a55 5i'e5% encounters for a cit%.
A sing5e encounter ta)5e 6i55 do for most sma55 vi55ages and to6ns. Such p5aces
have a great dea5 in common$ a5though the DM can certain5% create distinctions )et6een
vi55ages on the coast and those 6e55 in5and.
"ities$ ho6ever$ tend to have uni;ue characters. @ust as Los Ange5es is different
from 2e6 4or' or Aaris from Marsei55es$ different cities in a fantas% 6or5d shou5d fee5
different to the characters. #ach ma:or cit% shou5d have a uni;ue encounter ta)5e to ref5ect
these differences.
Indeed$ even 6ithin a cit% there ma% )e different encounter ta)5es to ref5ect the
character of the cit%9s districts. The vi55as on the hi55side are no 5ess dangerous than the
6aterfront$ )ut these dangers ta'e more su)t5e and insidious forms.
In the end$ there is no 5imit to the degree of su)division that can )e app5ied to
encounter ta)5es. "ities$ individua5 districts$ specific comp5e8es 6ithin those districts$ and
)ui5dings 6ithin those comp5e8es cou5d a55 have separate encounter ta)5es. &o6ever$ the%
do not need to. The DM shou5d on5% concern himse5f 6ith those areas he 'no6s or thin's
the p5a%ers are going to fre;uentB There is no reason to do point5ess 6or'Cthe DM has
enough responsi)i5it% a5read%.
7or e8amp5e$ suppose the DM decides to create ta)5es for the #mpire of 3rrim.
3rrim stretches from the &arr Mountains to the Sea of 7a5dor. 2orth of it 5ies the 7orest
of *ane$ a p5ace noted for its evi5 deni>ens. Most of the empire is agricu5tura5$ )ut the
mountain district is heavi5% devoted to mining. Severa5 5arge$ underground comp5e8es
have )een )ui5t.
There are t6o ma:or citiesCSu5idam$ the capita5$ 5ocated on the coast$ and
"ora5port$ a pirate strongho5d on an is5and offshore. To 5imit his 6or'$ the DM decides to
start the characters in a sma55 vi55age of the mining district$ c5ose to an a)andoned mine
Lhis dungeonM.
7irst$ the DM creates the fo55o6ing ta)5esI
8 Dungeon 5eve5s !H- Lfor the a)andoned mineM
8 1i55age encounters
8 *5ac' 3pa5 Inn Lthe residence of the p5a%er charactersM
After a 6hi5e$ the characters 6ant to go e8p5oring. 2o6 the DM adds some ne6
encounter ta)5es to his co55ection. These inc5udeI
8 Sett5ed mountains Lfor 5o6H5eve5 6i5dernessM
8 &igh mountains Lfor more dangerous adventuresM
8 Sett5ed p5ains Lfor 6hen the characters trave5 to the capita5M
(or'ing in this manner$ the DM gradua55% creates a comp5ete set of encounter
ta)5es. (hen he is finished$ his co55ection might 5oo' 5i'e this$ in addition to those
a5read% mentioned.
7orest of *ane
7orest )order5ands
Mountain )order5ands
Sett5ed seacoast
Sha55o6 ocean
(aterfront district$ Su5idam
2o)5es9 district$ Su5idam
Artisan9s district$ Su5idam
S5ums$ Su5idam
Temp5e of Martens La po6erfu5 cu5t of Su5idamM
Se6ers of Su5idam
#mperor9s Aa5ace
"it% of "r%pts La cemeter% outside Su5idamM
Dungeon of Theos Lunder an evi5 6i>ard9s vi55a in Su5idamM
"ora5port :ung5es
The &arpooned (ha5e$ an inn of "ora5port
&argast Mine Lan opening to the /nderdar'M
*% creating the ta)5es gradua55%$ the campaign 6or5d s5o65% )egins to define itse5f
and ta'e shape )efore p5a%ers9 e%es.
Spicing /p #ncounter Ta)5es
There are severa5 things that can )e done to ma'e encounter ta)5es )oth easier and
more e8citing to use. Some of these are strict5% for the convenience of the DM$ ma'ing
the :o) of running the game easier. 3thers are different 6a%s to pose e8citing cha55enges
for p5a%ers$ 'eeping ever%one from )eing )ored.
The first tric' is to inc5ude )asic monster statistics a5ong 6ith each entr% on an
encounter ta)5e. (hi5e this means ta'ing a 5itt5e 5onger to set up an encounter ta)5e$ it
a5so means the DM doesn9t have to stop and 5oo' up information as often in the midd5e of
the game. A shorthand notation simi5ar to the one given )e5o6 can )e used.
"reatureCAAA X$ AT X$ T&A"3 X$ D X$ A" X$ &D X$ M1 X$ specia5 notes on
attac's and defenses.
APP 5ists the num)er of creatures 5i'e5% to appear. This is given as a die range.
A- is the num)er of attac's the creature can ma'e.
-=AC, is the com)at va5ue of the creature Lsee "hapter FI "om)atM.
D is the damage caused )% a successfu5 hit? more than one entr% ma% )e needed
AC is the creature9s Armor "5ass.
=D te55s ho6 man% &it Dice the creature has? hit points aren9t given since this
shou5d var% from encounter to encounter.
&/ is the creature9s movement rate.
Special notes shou5d remind the DM of an% specia5 a)i5ities$ magica5 items$ or
defenses the creature might possess.
7or DMs 6i55ing to devote more time to advance preparation$ another good tric'
is to s5o65% )ui5d a co55ection of fi5e cards descri)ing specia5 encounters. #ach card cou5d
have a more detai5ed description of a person$ creature$ group$ or thing on it.
3nce the DM has this co55ection$ <Specia5 #ncounter< entries can )e added to
random encounter ta)5es. (hen a specia5 encounter occurs$ the DM chooses a card from
his co55ection and uses the detai5ed information there to ro5eHp5a% the encounter. Some
possi)5e specia5 encounters inc5udeI
-he den or lair of a creature$ comp5ete 6ith a sma55 map$ short 'e%$ tactics$ and
specia5 treasure. L7or e8amp5e$ <The nest of a fema5e 6%vern and her )rood 5ocated in an
aerie on the side of a c5iff. (oven into the nest are t6o suits of chain mail 13-AM
A detailed description of an 2A"$ inc5uding 6eapons$ magica5 items$ spe55s Lif
an%M$ goods$ ph%sica5 appearance$ attitudes$ companions$ and perhaps even a mission or
stor%. L7or e8amp5e$ <The friar see'ing companionship a5ong a 5one5% trai5 6ho is rea55% a
)andit 5eading the part% into a trap.<M
A cunning trap descri)ing detai5ed 6or'ings and effects. L7or e8amp5e$ <A
'o)o5d deadfa55 meant to gather fresh meat rigged in an o5d mine corridor.<M
A vignette comp5ete 6ith characters$ actions$ and motives. L7or e8amp5e$ <A near
riot )rea's out on a cit% street after a )and of 1oorish out5anders$ s;ua))5ing 6ith a
merchant$ overturn his me5on cart.<M
The great advantage of these specia5 encounters is that there is no re;uirement to
use them at an% given time. The DM can prepare such cards in his spare time and produce
them 6henever he needs them. A5a%ers 6i55 )ecome convinced that the DM is a genius$
and his game 6i55 never )e du55.
Random encounters need not )e 5imited to 2A"s and monsters. A55 manner of
things can )e inc5uded$ dangerous or :ust m%sterious. 3ther possi)i5ities for encounter
ta)5es inc5udeI
Shrie's in the distance
"hanges in the 6eather
Rust5ing of near)% )ushes
Lights in the distance
"e5estia5 6onders
Sudden gusts of 6ind
The c5atter of a roc' fa55ing from the cei5ing
A55 of these he5p )ui5d atmosphere. 7urthermore$ if these are c5ever5% mi8ed 6ith
rea5 encounters that )egin in simi5ar 6a%s$ p5a%ers )ecome attentive and invo5ved.
#8p5oring a dar'$ dan' cave 6here hideous )easts ma% 5ive$ 6ith on5% a guttering torch$
shou5d )e a nervous and scar% event. Adding <fa'e99 random encounters 6i55 give p5a%ers
some idea of the uncertaint% their characters e8perience. If nothing e5se$ this 'ind of
encounter 6i55 give p5a%ers some respect for the ris's their imaginar% characters are
DMing #ncounters
#ncounter ta)5es are created )efore p5a% )egins. During a game session$ the DM
has to ta'e the information he has put into the encounter ta)5es and )ring it to 5ife.
To use an encounter ta)5e and run an encounter$ the DM needs to 'no6 severa5
thingsI &o6 often shou5d he chec' for encounters= (hat is encountered= &o6 man%
creatures are there= &o6 far a6a% are the%= Did the% surprise$ or 6ere the% surprised )%$
the characters= (hat 6i55 the encountered group do= The ru5es )e5o6 te55 %ou ho6 to
ans6er these ;uestions.
#ncounter "hec's
The DM 'no6s 6hen a p5anned encounter is to occur$ )ased on the conditions or
5ocation he has prepared. The same is not true of random encounters. 7or these$ the DM
must ma'e encounter chec's.
5re'uency o$ Encounter Chec@s: &o6 often the DM ma'es encounter chec's
depends on the situation. Different t%pes of terrain Lor dungeonsM ma% ma'e chec's more
or 5ess fre;uent. 7urthermore$ the t%pe of terrain and popu5ation densit% 6i55 affect the
chance the characters have a meaningfu5 encounter. Ta)5e ,K 5ists )oth the fre;uenc% of
chec's and the chance that an encounter 6i55 occur for the most common 6i5derness
situations. If characters are adventuring in other t%pes of terrain$ the DM can use a
compara)5e entr% from the ta)5e or can determine fre;uenc% and chance of encounter
Encounter Chance: This 5ists the num)er or 5ess that must )e ro55ed on !d! for
an encounter to occur.
-ime o$ Day: If an 8 appears under a specific time of da%$ an encounter chec'
shou5d )e made. This does not ensure an encounter$ it on5% re;uires the chec' for one.
The chance of having an encounter can )e modified )% severa5 factors. 7oremost
of these is popu5ation densit%. The chances of an encounter 5isted on Ta)5e ,K assume an
unpopu5ated 6i5derness area.
2ilderness Chec@s: If the region is patro55ed or sparse5% sett5ed$ the chance of an
encounter increases )% one. In heavi5% popu5ated areas$ the chance of an encounter
increases )% t6o. These modifiers shou5d not )e used un5ess the DM has specia55%
prepared encounter ta)5es to ref5ect the differences )et6een sett5ed 5ands and 6i5derness$
The DM can a5so choose to modif% the chance of an encounter for an% other
reason he fee5s is :ustified. If the characters have )een ma'ing e8cessive noise or if the
vi55age a5arm has )een sounded$ the DM can increase the chance of an encounter. The
DM can even decide ar)itrari5% that an encounter 6i55 occur$ a5though it can hard5% )e
considered random an% more.
Dungeon Chec@s: #ncounter chec's in the dungeon are not affected )% terrain
Lsince there isn9t rea55% an% terrain to considerM. 2orma55%$ one encounter chec' is made
ever% hour$ 6ith an encounter occurring on a ro55 of ! on !d!.
If the DM deems part of a dungeon particu5ar5% dangerous$ the num)er of chec's
can )e increased to once per turn L! minutes of game timeM. The DM can a5so increase
the chance of an encounter occurring. If the characters engage in an activit% that ma'es
e8cessive noise Lhammering spi'es or ta'ing part in a 5oud )att5eM$ an encounter chec'
shou5d )e made immediate5%.
-able #%:
5re'uency L Chance o$ 2ilderness Encounters
-errain Encounter -ime o$ Day
T%pe "hance .H! a.m. !! a.m.H2 p.m. +HK p.m. .H! p.m. !!
p.m.H2 a.m. +HK a.m.
A5ain ! 8 C 8 C 8 C
Scru)E)rush ! 8 C 8 8 C 8
7orest 2 8 8 8 8 8 8
Desert ! 8 C C 8 C 8
&i55s 2 C 8 C 8 C 8
Mountains + 8 C C 8 8 C
S6amp - 8 8 8 8 8 8
@ung5e + 8 8 8 8 8 C
3cean ! C 8 C C 8 C
Arctic ! C C 8 8 C C
Is This #ncounter 2ecessar%=
An% time the DM fee5s his adventure is dragging a5ong or that characters are
getting overHconfident$ he can dec5are a random encounter. Li'e6ise if he fee5s that a
random encounter 6ou5d hurt the adventure$ he can ignore one that9s ca55ed for. Good
:udgment and stor% considerations are more important than s5avish devotion to procedure.
#ncounter Si>e
If the DM decides that %es$ this encounter shou5d happen$ he determines ho6
man% creatures or 2A"s appear. There is no ;uic' and eas% formu5a for this. #8perience
is the )est guide. The Monstrous #om&endium 5ists a t%pica5 encounter si>e for each
monster. /se this as a guide5ine$ especia55% 6hen %ou9re first starting out as a DM$ )ut
don9t fo55o6 this inf5e8i)5%.
(hen uncertain$ use a sma55 encounter. It is far )etter for a random encounter to
)e easi5% defeated )% the p5a%er characters than it is for the monster to over6he5m them.
An eas% A" victor% gives the DM information and e8perience Lso he955 'no6 to increase
the difficu5t% of the ne8t encounterM 6ithout harming the p5a%er characters and his
campaign. A crushing A" defeat is a5most impossi)5e to correct 6ithout o)vious
manipu5ation once the encounter has )egun.
As a56a%s$ use common sense 6hen determining ho6 )ig an encounter is. 2ature
provides some guide5ines. *ear these in mind 6hen figuring encounter si>e.
Man% predators$ especia55% those that hunt )% night$ are so5itar% creatures. A
nocturna5 fantas% creature might sho6 up a5one$ as 6e55.
3f the predators that hunt )% da%5ight$ some 6or' a5one 6hi5e others cooperate in
groups of t6o or three. 3ne or t6o 6i55 attac' the pre% from one direction 6hi5e the
others 6ait for it to )e f5ushed to6ard them. Such hunters are usua55% stronger and faster
than their pre%. Again$ fantas% creatures can fo55o6 this pattern.
Sma55er predators sometimes hunt in pac's of , to !2$ attempting to surround and
harr% a chosen victim. &er)ivorous anima5s tend to f5avor herds and the compan% of
others. 3mnivores 5ive in sma55er groups and often have o5der mem)ers that act as
guards. A55 of these factors can p5a% a part in the si>e of a given encounter.
Ta)5e ,.I
Surprise Modifiers
3ther Aart% isI Modifier
Si5enced H2
Invisi)5e H2
Distinctive odor Lsmo'e$ po6erfu5 stench$ etc.M R2
#ver% ! mem)ers R!
"amouf5aged H! to H+
PC Party is:
75eeing H2
In poor 5ight H!
In dar'ness H-
Aanic'ed H2
Anticipating attac'Q R2
SuspiciousQ R2
Conditions are:
Rain% H!
&eav% fog H2
#8treme5% sti55 R2
Q A part% anticipates attac' 6hen the% have good cause to suspect immediate
danger and 'no6 the 5i'e5% genera5 direction of an attac'. A suspicious part% is one that
has grounds to )e5ieve another group might tr% to ma'e a hosti5e move against them.
*efore an encounter )egins$ a chec' for surprise ma% )e necessar%. Given the
right conditions$ it is possi)5e for either side in an encounter to surprise the other. In
essence$ the encounter is :ust as random for the monsters as it is for the p5a%er characters.
As noted in the Player's Handbook; surprise is not a56a%s assured nor is the chec'
a56a%s necessar%. Light$ e8cessive noise$ and other t%pes of prior 6arning can cance5 the
need for the chec'. Surprise isn9t usua55% possi)5e 6hen no form of concea5ment is
possi)5e Las in the case of t6o ships at seaM$ though dar'ness$ storms$ fog$ and the 5i'e do
act as concea5ment.
In some cases$ one side ma% )e a)5e to surprise the other 6ithout the other group
having the same opportunit%. This is particu5ar5% true 6hen the p5a%er characters are
using 5anterns or torches and the monsters are not. Seeing the 5ight$ the monsters can tr%
to snea' c5oser and get the :ump on the p5a%er characters.
(hen ma'ing a surprise ro55$ there are man% factors that can increase or decrease
the chance of surprise. Some of these are ver% e8otic or ver% particu5ar to a situation$ )ut
others can )e anticipated. The more common modifiers are 5isted on Ta)5e ,.. *%
comparing other situations to these modifiers$ the DM has a guide5ine for ma'ing
appropriate ad:ustments.
#ncounter Distance
3nce an encounter occurs$ it is necessar% to 'no6 the range at 6hich the creatures might
first )e noticed. This distance is dependent first on 6hether or not either group is
surprised or$ if no surprise occurs$ on the t%pe of terrain the encounter occurs in.
#ncounter distances for different conditions and terrains are 5isted on Ta)5e ,G.
-able #):
Encounter Distance
Situation or -errain ange in 5eet
*oth groups surprised +dK
3ne group surprised -dK
2o surpriseI
Smo'e or heav% fog KdK
@ung5e or dense forest !d! 8 !
Light forest 2dK 8 !
Scru)$ )rush or )ush 2d!2 8 !
Grass5and$ 5itt5e cover ,d! 8 !
2ighttime or dungeon Limit of sight
In situations 6here no cover is possi)5e$ encounters 6i55 occur at the 5imit of
vision un5ess specia5 circumstances dictate other6ise.
(hi5e it is possi)5e to spot another group at ;uite a distance$ the characters or
creatures ma% not )e a)5e to identif% them immediate5%. The o)servation ranges given in
the Player's Handbook ma% re;uire creatures to c5ose in order to ma'e a positive
#ncounter Reactions
3nce the encounter is set and the DM is read% to ro5eHp5a% the situation$ he needs
to 'no6 ho6 the 2A"s or monsters 6i55 react. The creatures shou5d react in the manner
the DM thin's is most appropriate to the situation.
If the p5a%er characters charge a )and of random5% encountered orcs 6ith 6eapons
dra6n$ the DM can easi5% sa%$ <The% snar5 and 5eap to the defenseB< Se5ection of the
reaction )ased on the situation ensures rationa5 )ehavior and avoids the i55ogica5 resu5ts
that random die ro55s can often give.
&o6ever$ there are times 6hen the DM doesn9t have a c5ue a)out 6hat the
monsters 6i55 do. This is not a disasterCit9s not even a55 that unusua5. (hen this happens$
the DM can random5% determine an encounter reaction )% ro55ing for a resu5t on Ta)5e ,F.
To use the ta)5e$ ro55 2d! and add the num)ers on the t6o dice. Increase or decrease this
num)er )% an% modifiers in the creature description or the mora5e modifiers Lsee Ta)5e ,
in "hapter FI "om)atM.
/sing the co5umn that most c5ose5% matches the )ehavior of the p5a%er characters$
find the entr% 5isted for modified die ro55. The resu5t is a genera5 indication of ho6 the
creatures 6i55 react. This reaction must )e interpreted )% the DM to fit the situation.
-able #+:
E.C3:.-E EAC-I3.S
&odi$ied Player Characters are:
Die oll 5riendly Indi$$erent -hreatening =ostile
2 or 5ess 7riend5% 7riend5% 7riend5% 75ight
+ 7riend5% 7riend5% 7riend5% 75ight
- 7riend5% 7riend5% "autious 75ight
, 7riend5% 7riend5% "autious 75ight
K 7riend5% 7riend5% "autious "autious
. 7riend5% Indifferent "autious "autious
G Indifferent Indifferent "autious "autious
F Indifferent Indifferent "autious Threatening
! Indifferent Indifferent Threatening Threatening
!! Indifferent Indifferent Threatening Threatening
!2 "autious "autious Threatening Threatening
!+ "autious "autious Threatening &osti5e
!- "autious "autious Threatening &osti5e
!, "autious Threatening Threatening &osti5e
!K Threatening Threatening &osti5e&osti5e
!. Threatening Threatening &osti5e&osti5e
!G Threatening Threatening &osti5e&osti5e
!F &osti5e&osti5e&osti5e&osti5e
2 &osti5e&osti5e&osti5e&osti5e
(ithin these )road guide5ines$ a 5arge num)er of specific reactions are possi)5e.
5light: Avoidance$ panic$ terror$ or surrender.
5riendly: 0ind$ he5pfu5$ conci5iator%$ or simp5% nonHaggressive.
Indi$$erent: 2eutra5$ )ored$ )usiness5i'e$ unconcerned$ unimpressed$ or simp5%
Cautious: Suspicious$ 6ar%$ du)ious$ paranoid$ guarded$ untrusting$ or mi5d5%
-hreatening: *oastfu5$ )ravado$ )5ustering$ intimidating$ shortHtempered$ or
=ostile: Irrita)5e$ hotHtempered$ aggressive$ or vio5ent.
3f course$ a DM shou5d never use a reaction he can9t :ustif%. If the DM can9t see
an% reason for an evi5 efreeti to surrender to the charging p5a%er characters$ it shou5dn9t.
The ta)5e is meant to )e an aid to the DM$ not an a)so5ute decisionHma'er.
7i8ing Things in A5a%
Sometimes$ for a55 the good intentions of the DM$ encounters don9t 6or' out right.
"orrecting pro)5ems in p5a% can )e difficu5t$ )ut there are times 6hen it9s unavoida)5e.
&ere are some tric's %ou can use.
The #ncounter is Too Difficu5t
The DM has accidenta55% pitted his p5a%er characters against a group of creatures
too po6erfu5 for them$ so much so that the p5a%er characters are doomed. To fi8 things$
the DM can have the monsters f5ee in ine8p5ica)5e panic? secret5% 5o6er their hit points?
a55o6 the p5a%er characters to hit or inf5ict more damage than the% rea55% shou5d? have the
monsters miss on attac's 6hen the% actua55% hit? have the creatures ma'e grievous
mista'es in strateg% L5i'e ignoring the thief moving in to stri'e from )ehindM.
The #ncounter Gave A6a% Too Much Treasure
Sometimes the DM discovers his random encounters gave a6a% too much
treasure. In this case$ he can have more monsters of the same or more po6erfu5 t%pe
appear on the scene. LThe first group sto5e the treasure and these fe55o6s 6ant it )ac'? or
the first 6as carr%ing the tri)e9s treasur% to safeH'eeping? or the ne6 group has )een
trai5ing the first to ro) them$ and no6 ta'es a ver% dim vie6 of the characters getting a55
the 5oot.M In man% 6a%s this is 5i'e those 6esterns 6here ever%one 6inds up fighting over
the go5d. In this case$ the monsters don9t 6ant to annihi5ate the p5a%er characters so much
as get the 5oot and run.
The #ncounter (as Too #as%
As 5ong as the treasure the characters earned 6as not e8cessive$ this is not a
pro)5em. The DM can a56a%s ma'e things tougher for them in the ne8t encounter.
Chapter 12:
3f a55 the things the DM doesC:udging com)ats$ interpreting the actions of the p5a%er
characters$ creating adventures$ assigning e8perienceCof a55 the things he can possi)5%
do$ nothing is more important to the AD&D game than the creation and hand5ing of
nonp5a%er characters L2A"sM. (ithout nonp5a%er characters$ the AD&D game is nothing$
an empt% 5im)o. The AD&D game is a ro5eHp5a%ing game$ and for the p5a%ers to ro5eH
p5a%$ the% must have something or someone to interact 6ith. That9s 6hat 2A"s are for$ to
provide the p5a%er characters 6ith friends$ a55ies$ and vi55ains. (ithout these$ ro5eHp5a%ing
6ou5d )e ver% du55.
An 2A" is an% person or creature the p5a%er characters must dea5 6ith and that
the DM has to ro5eHp5a%. The p5a%er characters must dea5 6ith a trap$ )ut the DM doesn9t
ro5eHp5a% a trap. It9s not an 2A". A charging dragon is an 2A"Cthe DM acts out the part
of the dragon and the p5a%ers decide ho6 their characters are going to react to it. There
are times 6hen the DM9s ro5eHp5a%ing choices are simp5e Lrun a6a% or chargeM$ )ut often
the DM9s ro5es are ;uite cha55enging.
7or convenience$ 2A" encounters are genera55% divided into t6o )road
categoriesI monsters Lthose 5iving things that aren9t p5a%er character racesM and fu55 2A"s
Lraces the p5a%er characters common5% dea5 6ithM. The range of reactions in a monster
encounter is genera55% 5ess than in a fu55 2A" encounter.
The DM has to thin' of himse5f as a master actor$ ;uic'Hchange artist$ and
impressionist. #ach 2A" is a different ro5e or part the DM must ;uic'5% assume. (hi5e
this ma% )e difficu5t at first$ practice ma'es the tas' much easier. #ach DM deve5ops
certain stoc' characters and 5earns the persona5ities of fre;uent5% used 2A"s.
There are man% different categories of 2A"s$ )ut the most fre;uent5% encountered
are common$ ever%da% fo5'. A5a%er characters dea5 6ith inn'eepers$ sta)5ers$ )5ac'smiths$
minstre5s$ 6atchmen$ pett% no)5es$ and others$ man% of 6hom can )e emp5o%ed )% p5a%er
characters. These 2A"s are grouped together as hire5ings.
There are three t%pes of hire5ingsI common$ e8perts$ and so5diers. "ommon
hire5ings form the vast ma:orit% of an% popu5ation$ particu5ar5% in an agricu5tura5
Common hirelings are farmers$ mi55ers$ inn'eepers$ porters$ and the 5i'e. (hi5e
some of these professions re;uire specia5 'no65edge$ the% don9t$ as a ru5e$ re;uire high5%
specia5i>ed training. These are the men and 6omen 6hose 6or' forms the )ase upon
6hich civi5i>ed 5ife is )ui5t.
E*pert hirelings are those 6hose training is specia5i>ed. This group inc5udes
craftsmen$ sages$ spies$ assassins$ a5chemists$ anima5 trainers$ and the 5i'e. Since not
ever%one is trained in these s'i55s$ fe6 e8perts are avai5a)5e for hire$ and these fe6 earn
more than the common hire5ing. Indeed$ tru5% e8otic e8perts Lsuch as spiesM are ver% rare
and e8treme5% e8pensive.
The s'i55s and a)i5ities of e8pert hire5ings can )e determined )% using the optiona5
proficienc% s%stem given in the Player's Handbook- These define the 5imits of an e8pert9s
a)i5it% and$ in genera5$ the time needed to e8ercise man% crafts.
Medieva5 3ccupations
"ommon and e8pert hire5ings are 5isted on Ta)5e K. This ta)5e$ organi>ed
a5pha)etica55%$ 5ists and descri)es common medieva5 occupations. #8p5anations are
provided for the more o)scure or unusua5 professions )e5o6. This 5ist provides co5orfu5
tit5es and unusua5 occupations to ma'e %our ordinar% hire5ings more interesting.
-able %,:
.PC Pro$essions
Apothecar%I A chemist$ druggist$ or pharmacist
Arro6smithI A ma'er of arro6heads
AssassinI A 'i55er for hire
Astro5ogerI A reader of stars and fates
*ar)erI A surgeon$ )5ood5etter$ dentist$ and haircutter
*arristerI A 5a6%er or one 6ho p5eads the case of another )efore a no)5e9s court
*e55founderI A caster of )e55s
*5oomerI A man 6ho 6or' an iron sme5ting forge
*5adesmithI A smith 6ho specia5i>es in s6ord )5ades
*oo')inderI A ma'er of )oo's
*o6%erI A ma'er of )o6s
*ra>ierI A smith 6ho 6or's in )rass$ sometimes a trave5ing 6or'man
*re6erI A ma'er of a5es$ )itters$ stouts$ and )eer
*ric'5a%erI A 5a)orer 6ho )ui5ds 6a55s and )ui5dings
"arrierI 3ne 6ho hau5s messages or sma55 goods
"arterI A teamster$ a hau5er of goods
"art6rightI A )ui5der of 6agons and carts
"arverI A scu5ptor in 6ood
"hand5erI A ma'er of cand5es
"hapmanI A trave5ing pedd5er 6ho norma55% fre;uents sma55 vi55ages
"hur5I A freedom farmer of some 6ea5th
"5er'I A scri)e 6ho genera55% hand5es )usiness accounts
"o))5erI A mender of o5d shoes
"o55ierI A )urner of charcoa5 for sme5ting
"oppersmithI A copper 6or'er
"ooperI A )arre5ma'er
"ord6ainerI A shoema'er
"ut5erI A ma'er of 'nives and si5ver6are
DragomanI An officia5 interpreter or guide
DraperI A c5oth merchant
D%erI 3ne 6ho d%es c5othing
#m)roidererI A need5e6or'er 6ho decorates fa)ric 6ith intricate designs of
#name5erI A :e6e5er specia5i>ing in ename5 6or'.
#ngraverI A :e6e5er specia5i>ing in decorative engraving
7arrierI A ma'er of horseshoes
7ishmongerI A fish dea5er
75etcherI An arro6ma'er
7oresterI An officia5 responsi)5e for the 5ord9s 6ood5ands
7u55erI A fe5tHma'er
7urrierI A tai5or of fur garments
GemHcutterI A :e6e5er specia5i>ing in gemstones
Gi5derI A craftsman of gi5t go5d and si5ver
Gird5erI A ma'er of )e5ts and gird5es
G5ass)5o6erI A ma'er of items made of g5ass
G5a>ierI 3ne 6ho cuts and sets g5ass
G5overI A ma'er of g5oves
Go5d)eaterI A ma'er of go5d foi5
Go5dsmithI A :e6e5er 6ho 6or's 6ith go5d
GrocerI A 6ho5esa5er$ particu5ar5% of ever%da% items
GroomI A man 6ho tends horses
&a)erdasherI A merchant of sma55 notions$ thread$ and need5es
&atterI 3ne 6ho ma'es hats
&era5dI A courtier s'i55ed in eti;uette and hera5dr%
&er)a5istI A practitioner of her)a5 cures
&e6erI 3ne 6ho digs coa5 or other minera5s
&ornerI A 6or'er of horn
&osierI A ma'er of hose and garters
&oste5erI An inn'eeper
InterpreterI A trans5ator
IronmongerI A dea5er$ not ma'er$ of iron6or'
@oinerI A ca)inet or furnitureHma'er
0nifeHgrinderI A sharpener of 'nives
LatonerI A )rassH6or'er
LeechI A nonc5erica5 doctor
Lime)urnerI A ma'er of 5ime for mortar
LimnerI A painter
Lin')o%I A 5anternH or torchH)earer
Mar)5erI A cutter and carver of mar)5e
MasonI A 6or'er in )ui5ding stone$ )ric'$ and p5aster
MercerI A c5oth dea5er
Mi55erI 3ne 6ho operates a grain mi55
MinterI A ma'er of coins
2ai5smithI A smith specia5i>ing in nai5s
2avigatorI 3ne s'i55ed in the arts of directionHfinding and navigation
AaviourI A mason specia5i>ed in paving streets
Ae6tererI 3ne 6ho 6or's pe6ter
A5astererI A specia5ist in p5astering
A5oughmanI A 6or'er of the fie5d
AorterI A hau5er of goods
AotterI A ma'er of meta5 or$ a5ternative5%$ c5a% pots
Aou5tererI A dea5er of chic'ens or other forms of pou5tr%
NuarrierI 3ne 6ho digs and cuts stone
Sadd5erI A ma'er of sadd5es
SageI A scho5ar
Saucema'erI A coo' 6ho specia5i>es in preparing sauces
Scri)eI A secretar% or one 6ho can 6rite
ScrivenerI A cop%ist
SeamstressI 3ne 6hose occupation is se6ing
ShearmanI A man 6ho trims the 5oose 6oo5 from the c5oth to finish it
SheatherI A ma'er of sca))ards and 'nife sheaths
Ship6rightI A )ui5der of ships and )oats
S'innerI A )utcher 6ho prepares hides for tanning
SpurrierI A ma'er of spurs
S6ineherdI A 'eeper of pigs
TannerI A 5eatherHma'er
TeamsterI A hau5er of goods )% 6agon or cart
Tin'erI A trave5ing craftsman 6ho repairs tin pots and simi5ar items
TinnerI A tin miner
1intnerI A ma'er of 6ines
(a55erI A mason 6ho sets stones and )ric' for 6a55s
(ater5eaderI A 6ater hau5er
(eaverI 3ne 6ho ma'es fa)ric
(hee56rightI 3ne 6ho ma'es and repairs 6hee5s
(iredra6erI A ma'er of 6ire
(oodturnerI A 5atheH6or'er
The 5ist a)ove is )% no means comp5ete. Medieva5 occupations 6ere high5%
specia5i>ed. A man might spend a55 his 5ife 6or'ing as a miner of iron and )e considered
to have a ver% different occupation from a miner of tin. Research in a 5oca5 5i)rar% 6i55
pro)a)5% %ie5d more such distinctions and even more occupations.
The Assassin$ the Sp%$ and the Sage
Three e8perts$ the assassin$ sp%$ and sage$ re;uire specia5 treatment. #ach of these$
un5i'e other hire5ings$ can affect the direction and content of an onHgoing adventure. /sed
carefu55% and sparing5%$ these three are va5ua)5e DM too5s to create and shape stories in a
ro5eHp5a%ing campaign.
Assassination is not a discreet occupation per se$ )ut a reprehensi)5e mindHset.
The assassin re;uires no specia5 s'i55s$ though fighting$ stea5th$ and even magic are
usefu5. A55 that is rea55% needed to )e an assassin is the desire and the opportunit%.
=iring an Assassin: (hen a p5a%er character hires an assassin L6hich is not a
good or 5a6fu5 actM$ he is ta'ing a chance. There is virtua55% no 6a% to assure onese5f of
the re5ia)i5it% and dependa)i5it% of such a person. An%one 6i55ing to ma'e a )usiness out
of murder is not 5i'e5% to have a high degree of mora5s of an% t%pe. "5ear5%$ this is a case
of <5et the )u%er )e6areB<
3nce a character has hired an assassin$ it is up to the DM to determine the success
of the deed. There are no simp5e ta)5es or formu5ae to )e fo55o6ed.
Consider the intended victim: Assassination attempts )% one p5a%er character
against another shou5d not )e a55o6ed. This t%pe of )ehavior on5% 5eads to )itterness$
)ic'ering$ and anger among the p5a%ers. 2A"Hsponsored assassination attempts against
p5a%er characters shou5d )e used sparing5%$ and then on5% as p5ot motivators$ not as
punishment or p5a%er contro5s. An% time a p5a%er character is targeted$ ro5eHp5a% the
encounter fair5%Cgive the A" a chance.
If the intended victim is an 2A"$ the DM shou5d decide the effect of the
assassination on his game. Sometimes$ p5a%er characters do these things out of spite. At
other times the deed ma% )e motivated )% simp5e greed. 2either of these is a particu5ar5%
good motive to encourage in a campaign.
If the death of the 2A" 6ou5d resu5t in a ma:or re6or'ing of the campaign for no
good reason$ consider serious5% the idea of ma'ing the attempt fai5. If the death of the
2A" 6ou5d a55o6 the p5a%er characters to )%Hpass or )ree>e through an adventure %ou
have p5anned$ then it9s not a good idea. Don9t :ust te55 the p5a%ers$ <3h$ that9d )e )ad for
the game so %ou can9t even tr% to 'noc' that gu% off.< (or' the attemptCand its fai5ure
Cinto the stor%5ine.
Precautions: If %ou decide the attempt is 5egitimate$ consider the precautions the
intended 2A" victim norma55% ta'es. These ma% ma'e the :o) particu5ar5% difficu5t or
eas%. 0ings$ emperors$ high priests$ and other important officia5s tend to )e ver% cautious
and 6e55Hprotected. (i>ards$ 6ith 6ise magica5 precautions$ can )e virtua55% impossi)5e
to assassinateB Devise specific 2A" precautions )efore %ou 'no6 the assassin9s p5ans.
(i>ards ma'e use of magic mouth; alarm; e!&losive runes; and other trap spe55s.
Ariests often re5% on divinationHoriented items to foresee the intentions of others. *oth
cou5d have e8traHdimensiona5 or otherHp5anar servants and guards. The% ma% a5so have
precautions to foi5 common spe55s such as SP; clairvoyance; and detect magic- 0ings$
princes$ and other no)5es have the )enefit of )oth magica5 and c5erica5 protection in
addition to a host of possi)5% fanatica55% 5o%a5 )od%guards. If the victim has advance
6arning or suspects an attempt$ further precautions ma% )e ta'en$ and the :o) can )ecome
even more difficu5t.
-he Plan: After %ou have decided Lsecret5%M 6hat precautions are reasona)5e$
have the p5a%er descri)e the p5an he thin's 6ou5d 6or' )est. This can )e simp5e or
invo5ved$ depending on the cunning of the p5a%er. This is the p5an the assassin$ not the
p5a%er character$ 6i55 use$ therefore the p5a%er can presume some resources not avai5a)5e
to the p5a%er character. &o6ever$ %ou must decide if these resources are reasona)5e and
tru5% e8ist.
7or e8amp5e$ if the p5a%er sa%s the assassin has a map of the cast5e$ %ou must te55
him if this is reasona)5e Land$ un5ess the victim is e8treme5% secretive and paranoid$ it isM.
A p5an invo5ving a thousand men or an !GthH5eve5 thief is not reasona)5e. The p5a%er
character hasn9t hired an entire arsena5B
7ina55%$ compare 6hat %ou 'no6 of the precautions to the p5an and the success or
fai5ure 6i55 usua55% )ecome c5ear. /5timate5%$ the DM shou5d not a55o6 assassinations to
succeed if he doesn9t 6ant them to succeedB
In genera5$ a55o6ing p5a%er characters to hire assassins shou5d not )e encouraged.
&iring an 2A" to 'i55 even a horri)5e vi55ain defeats the purpose of heroic ro5eHp5a%ing. If
the p5a%er characters can9t accomp5ish the deed$ 6h% shou5d the% )e a55o6ed to hire 2A"s
to do the same thing=
3veruse of assassins can often resu5t in )itter fee5ings and outright feudingC
p5a%er vs. p5a%er or p5a%er vs DM. 2either of these is fun or hea5th% for a game. 7ina55%$ it
is a ver% ris'% )usiness. Assassins do get caught and genera55% have no compunctions
a)out confessing 6ho their emp5o%er is. 3nce the target 5earns this$ the p5a%er character
6i55 have a ver% dangerous 5ife. Then the p5a%er character can discover the :o% and
e8citement of having assassins 5oo'ing for himB
(hi5e 5ess reprehensi)5e LperhapsM than assassins$ spies invo5ve man% of the same
ris's and pro)5ems. 7irst and foremost$ a sp%$ even more than an assassin$ is inherent5%
untrust6orth%. Sp%ing invo5ves )rea'ing a trust.
A sp%$ un5i'e a scout$ active5% :oins a group in order to )etra% it. A person 6ho
can so g5i)5% )etra% one group cou5d ;uite easi5% )etra% another$ his emp5o%er perhaps.
(hi5e some spies ma% )e no)5% motivated$ these fe55o6s are fe6 and far )et6een.
7urthermore$ there is no 6a% to )e sure of the trust6orthiness of the sp%. It is a parado8
that the )etter the sp% is$ the 5ess he can )e trusted. Good spies are master 5iars and
deceivers even 5ess trust6orth% than )ad spies L6ho tend to get caught an% 6a%M.
In ro5eHp5a%ing$ spies create man% of the same pro)5ems as assassins. 7irst$ in
a55o6ing p5a%er characters to hire spies$ the DM is thro6ing a6a% a perfect5% good ro5eH
p5a%ing adventureB &aving the characters do their o6n sp%ing can 5ead to a55 manner of
interesting possi)i5ities.
#ven if 2A" spies are a55o6ed$ there is sti55 the pro)5em of success. Man%
varia)5es shou5d )e consideredI (hat precautions against spies have )een ta'en= &o6
rare or secret is the information the character is tr%ing to 5earn= &o6 ta5ented is the 2A"
sp%= &o6 formida)5e is the 2A" )eing spied upon=
In the end$ the ru5e to use 6hen :udging a sp%9s success is that of dramatic effect.
If the sp%9s information 6i55 create an e8citing adventure for the p5a%er characters 6ithout
destro%ing the 6or' the DM has put into the campaign 6or5d$ it is )est for the sp% to
If the sp%9s information 6i55 shortHcircuit a 6e55Hprepared adventure or force the
DM to re6or' vast sections of the campaign 6or5d$ the sp% shou5d not succeed. 7ina55%$
the sp% can appear to succeed 6hi5e$ actua55%$ fai5ingCeven if he does return 6ith
information$ it ma% not )e 6ho55% accurate. It ma% )e s5ight5% off or 6i5d5% inaccurate.
The fina5 decision a)out the accurac% of a sp%9s information shou5d )e )ased on 6hat 6i55
ma'e for the )est adventure for the p5a%er characters.
/n5i'e other e8pert hire5ings$ sages are e8perts in a sing5e fie5d of academic stud%.
The% are most usefu5 to p5a%er characters in ans6ering specific ;uestions$ so5ving ridd5es$
or deciphering ancient 5ore. The% are norma55% hired on a oneHshot )asis$ to ans6er a
sing5e ;uestion or provide guidance for a specific pro)5em. A sage9s 'no65edge can )e in
an% area that fits 6ithin the 5imits of the campaign. T%pica5 sage areas are 5isted on Ta)5e
-able %1:
5ields o$ Study
Study 5re'uency Abilities and 0imitations
A5chem% !O "an attempt to )re6 poisons and acids
Architecture ,O Specific race on5% Lhuman$ e5f$ etc.M
Art 2O Specific race on5% Lhuman$ e5f$ etc.M
Astro5og% !O 2avigation$ astro5og% proficiencies
Astronom% 2O 2avigation$ astronom% proficiencies
"artograph% !O
"hemistr% ,O "an attempt to )re6 poisons and acids
"r%ptograph% ,O
#ngineering +O
7o5'5ore 2,O 3ne raceEregion on5%
Genea5og% 2,O 3ne raceEregion on5%
Geograph% !O
Geo5og% !,O Mining proficienc%
&era5dr% +O
&istor% +O 3ne raceEregion on5%
Languages -O 3ne 5anguage group on5%
La6 +,O
Mathematics 2O
Medicine !O
Metaph%sics ,O 3ne p5ane Linner or outerM on5%
Meteoro5og% 2O
Music +O 3ne race on5%
M%cono5og% 2O 0no65edge of fungi
3ceanograph% !,O
Ahi5osoph% 2,O 3ne race on5%
Ah%sics !O
Socio5og% -O 3ne race or region on5%
Theo5og% 2,O 3ne region on5%
Doo5og% 2O
5re'uency is the chance of finding a sage 6ith that particu5ar s'i55 in a 5arge cit%
Ca universit% to6n of provincia5 capita5$ at 5east$ 2orma55%$ sages do not reside in sma55
vi55ages or 6e55 a6a% from popu5ation centers. The% re;uire contact 6ith trave5ers and
access to 5i)raries in order to gain their information. Ro55 for fre;uenc% on5% 6hen %ou
can9t decide if such a sage is present. As a56a%s$ consider the dramatic effect. (i55 the
services of a sage further the stor% in some e8citing 6a%=
Abilities and limitations define specific 5imitations or ru5es effects. If this
co5umn is )5an'$ the sage9s 'no65edge is genera55% thorough on a55 aspects of the topic.
@ne race only means the sage can ans6er ;uestions that dea5 6ith a particu5ar race. @ne
region only 5imits his 'no65edge to a specific areaCa 'ingdom or province. The si>e of
the area depends on the campaign. @ne &lane 5imits the sage to the stud% of creatures$
conditions$ and 6or'ings of a sing5e e8traHdimensiona5 p5ane. (here no 5imitations are
given$ the sage is on5% 5imited )% the current state of that science or art in %our campaign.
2hat does a sage @no<J A sage9s a)i5it% can )e hand5ed in one of t6o 6a%s.
7irst$ since the DM must ans6er the ;uestion an% 6a%$ he can simp5% decide if the sage
'no6s the ans6er. As usua5$ the consideration of 6hat is )est for the stor% must )e )orne
in mind.
If the p5a%er characters simp5% can9t proceed 6ith the adventure 6ithout this
ans6er$ then the sage 'no6s the ans6er. If the ans6er 6i55 re6ard c5ever p5a%ers Lfor
thin'ing to hire a sage$ for e8amp5eM and 6i55 not destro% the adventure$ then the sage
ma% 'no6 a55 or part of the ans6er. If ans6ering the ;uestion 6i55 comp5ete5% un)a5ance
the adventure$ the sage doesn9t 'no6 the ans6er.
3f course$ there are times it is impossi)5e to te55 the effect of 'no6ing or not
'no6ing something. In this case$ the sage9s ans6er can )e determined )% a proficienc%
chec'$ modified )% the nature of the ;uestion. The DM can decide the sage9s a)i5it% or
use the fo55o6ing standardI Sage a)i5it% is e;ua5 to !- p5us !dK Lthis factors in his
proficienc% and norma5 a)i5it% scoresM.
If the proficienc% chec' is passed Lthe num)er re;uired$ or 5ess$ on !d2M$ the sage
provides an ans6er. If a die ro55 of 2 is made$ the sage comes up 6ith an incorrect
ans6er. The DM shou5d create an incorrect ans6er that 6i55 )e )e5ieva)5e and consistent
6ith 6hat the p5a%ers a5read% 'no6 a)out the adventure.
Fuestions should be categori4ed as general L<(hat t%pes of )easts 5ive in the
1a55e% of Terror=<M$ s&eci'ic L<Do medusae 5ive in the 1a55e% of Terror=<M$ or e!acting
L<Does the medusa #rin8%es 5ive in the 1a55e% of Terror=<M. The precision of the ;uestion
modifies the chance of receiving an accurate ans6er. Arecision modifiers are 5isted on
Ta)5e K2.
If a ;uestion is particu5ar5% comp5e8$ the DM can divide it into severa5 parts$ each
re;uiring a separate ro55. Thus$ a sage ma% on5% 'no6 part of the information needed.
This can )e ver% good for the stor%$ especia55% if some 'e% piece of information is 5eft
-he resources re'uired )% a sage can )e formida)5e. At the ver% 5east$ a sage
must have access to a 5i)rar% of considera)5e si>e to comp5ete his 6or'. &e is not a
6a5'ing enc%c5opedia$ a)5e to spout facts on command. A sage ans6ers ;uestions )%
having the right resources at hand and 'no6ing ho6 to use them. The si>e and ;ua5it% of
the sage9s 5i)rar% affect his chance of giving a correct ans6er.
This 5i)rar% can )e5ong to the sage or can )e part of an institution. Monasteries
and universities t%pica55% maintained 5i)raries in medieva5 times. If a persona5 5i)rar%$ it
must )e at 5east 2 s;uare feet of rare and e8otic manuscripts$ genera55% no 5ess than
!$ gp per )oo'. If the 5i)rar% is connected 6ith an institution$ the sage Lor his
emp5o%erM 6i55 )e e8pected to ma'e appropriate pa%ments or tithes for its use. #8penses
in the range of !$ gp a da% cou5d )e 5evied against the character. 3f course$ a sage can
attempt to ans6er a ;uestion 6ith 5itt5e or no 5i)rar%$ )ut his chances of getting the right
ans6er 6i55 )e reduced as given on Ta)5e K2.
Sages need time to find ans6ers$ sometimes more time than a p5a%er character
can afford. A5a%er characters can attempt to rush a sage in his 6or'$ )ut on5% at the ris' of
a 6rong ans6er. The norma5 5ength of time depends on the nature of the ;uestion and is
5isted on Ta)5e K+. A5a%er characters can reduce the sage9s time )% one categor% on this
ta)5e$ )ut the chance that the sage9s ans6er 6i55 )e incorrect or not avai5a)5e gro6s. These
modifiers are a5so 5isted on Ta)5e K2.
-able %2:
Sage &odi$iers
Success Chance
Situation Penalty
Fuestion is:
Genera5 H
Specific H2
#8acting H-
0ibrary is:
"omp5ete H
Aartia5 H2
2one8istent HK
ushed H-
-able %!:
esearch -imes
-ype o$ -ime
Fuestion e'uired
Genera5 !dK hours
Specific !dK da%s
#8acting +d! da%s
So5diers are the 5ast group of hire5ings. In a sense$ the% are e8pert hire5ings s'i55ed
in the science of 6arfare Lor at 5east so p5a%er characters hopeM. &o6ever$ un5i'e most
e8perts$ their 5ives are forfeit if their s'i55s are )e5o6 par. *ecause of this$ the% re;uire
specia5 treatment. In hindsight$ man% a deposed t%rant 6ishes he9d treated his so5diers
)etterB Some of the different t%pes of so5dier characters can hire or encounter are 5isted on
Ta)5e K-.
-able %":
&ilitary 3ccupations
-itle 2age
Archer - gp
Arti55erist - gp
*o6man$ mounted - gp
"ava5r%$ heav% ! gp
"ava5r%$ 5ight - gp
"ava5r%$ medium K gp
"ross)o6man$ heav% + gp
"ross)o6man$ 5ight 2 gp
"ross)o6man$ mounted - gp
#ngineer !, gp
7ootman$ heav% 2 gp
7ootman$ irregu5ar , sp
7ootman$ 5ight ! gp
7ootman$ mi5itia , sp
&andgunner L3ptiona5M K gp
Long)o6man G gp
Marine + gp
Sapper ! gp
Shie5d)earer , sp
Descriptions of Troop T%pes
A genera5 description of each troop t%pe is given here. In addition$ specific
historica5 e8amp5es are a5so provided. More e8amp5es can )e found in )oo's o)taina)5e
at a good 6argame shop or at %our 5oca5 5i)rar%. The more specific %ou ma'e %our so5dier
descriptions$ the more detai5 and co5or can )e added to a fantas% campaign.
"5ear5%$ though$ this is a fantas% game. 2o mention is made in these ru5es of the
vast num)ers of strange and )i>arre troops that might guard a cast5e or appear on a
)att5efie5d. It is assumed that a55 troop t%pes descri)ed here are human. /nits of d6arves$
e5ves$ and more are certain5% possi)5e$ )ut the% are not readi5% avai5a)5e as hire5ings. The
opportunit% to emp5o% these t%pes is going to depend on the nature of the campaign and
the DM9s 6ishes. As a guide5ine$ ho6ever$ no commander Lsuch as the 'night of a cast5eM
shou5d have more than one or t6o e8ceptiona5 Li.e.$ different from his o6n raceM units
under his command.
Archer: This is a footso5dier$ t%pica55% armed 6ith a short)o6$ arro6s$ short
s6ord$ and 5eather armor. In histor%$ archers 6ere 'no6n to operate as 5ight infantr%
6hen necessar%$ )ut this 6as far from universa5. &igh5and Scots carried )o6s$ arro6s$
t6oHhanded s6ords$ and shie5ds$ )ut no armor. Tur'ish :anissaries 6ere e5ite troops
armed 6ith )o6 and scimitar$ )ut unarmored. *%>antine psi5os carried composite short
)o6s$ hand a8es$ and$ if 5uc'%$ chain or sca5e armor. A 1enetian stradiot archer Loften
found on shipsM norma55% had a short )o6$ 5ong s6ord$ and )anded armor.
Artillerist: These troops are more specia5ists than regu5ar so5diers. Since their
dut% is to 6or' and service heav% catapu5ts and siege e;uipment$ the% don9t norma55%
enter into com)at. The% dress and outfit themse5ves as the% p5ease. Arti55erists sta% 6ith
their e;uipment$ 6hich is found in the siege train.
6o<menB mounted: These are norma55% 5ight cava5r%. The% carr% short )o6s$ a
5ong s6ord or scimitar$ and 5eather armor$ a5though armor up to chain is sometimes 6orn.
&istorica55%$ most mounted )o6men came from nomadic tri)es or areas of vast p5ains.
The most famous mounted )o6men 6ere the Mongo5 horsemen$ 6ho common5%
armed themse5ves 6ith composite short )o6$ scimitar$ mace$ a8e$ and dagger. Some a5so
carried 5ight 5ances. The% 6ore studded 5eathers or 6hatever e5se the% cou5d find$ and
carried medium shie5ds. Aecheneg horsemen used the composite short )o6$ hand a8e$
5asso$ and 5ight 5ance$ and 6ore sca5e armor. Russian troops carried the short )o6 and
dagger and 6ore padded armor.
CavalryB heavy: The c5assic image of the heav% cava5r%man is the mounted
'night. Such men are t%pica55% armed 6ith heav% 5ance$ 5ong s6ord$ and mace. The%
6ear p5ate mai5 or fie5d p5ate armor. The horse is a heav% 6ar horse and )arded$ a5though
the t%pe of )arding varies.
#8amp5es inc5ude the ear5% *%>antine 'ataphractos$ armed 6ith medium 5ance$
5ong s6ord$ )anded armor$ and a 5arge shie5d. The% rode heav% 6ar horses fitted 6ith
sca5e )arding. The 7rench "ompagnies d93rdonnance fitted 6ith heav% 5ance$ 5ong
s6ord$ mace$ and fu55 p5ate on chain or p5ate )arded horses 6ere c5assic 'nights of the
5ate medieva5 period.
In other 5ands$ the Ao5ish hussar 6as a dashing sight 6ith his tigerHs'in c5oa'
f5uttering in the charge. &e 6ore p5ate mai5 armor and rode an un)arded horse )ut carried
an arsena5 of 6eaponsCmedium 5ance$ 5ong s6ord$ scimitar$ 6arhammer$ and a )race of
pisto5s La5though the 5atter 6on9t norma55% appear in an AD&D

CavalryB light: These are s'irmishers 6hose ro5e in com)at is to ga55op in
;uic'5%$ ma'e a sudden attac'$ and get a6a% )efore the% can attac'ed in force. The% are
a5so used as scouts and foragers$ and to screen advances and retreats. The% carr% a 6ide
variet% of 6eapons$ sometimes inc5uding a missi5e 6eapon. Their armor is none8istent or
ver% 5ightCpadded 5eathers and shie5ds. Speed is their main strength. In man% 6a%s the%
are indistinguisha)5e from mounted )o6men and often come from the same groups of
The stradiotii of the Ita5ian (ars 6ere unarmored and fought 6ith :ave5ins$ sa)er$
and shie5d. &ussars 6ere armed 6ith scimitar and 5ance. *%>antine trape>itos carried
simi5ar 6eapons$ )ut 6ore padded armor and carried a medium shie5d. Tur'ish sipahis$
noted 5ight cava5r%men$ carried a 6ide variet% of 6eapons$ usua55% a s6ord$ mace$ 5ance$
short )o6$ and sma55 shie5d.
CavalryB medium: This trooper forms the )ac')one of most mounted forcesCit9s
cheaper to raise medium cava5r% than heav% 'nights$ and the medium cava5r%man pac's
more punch than 5ight cava5r%. The% norma55% ride unarmored horses and 6ear sca5e$
chain$ or )anded armor. T%pica5 arms inc5ude 5ance$ 5ong s6ord$ mace$ and medium
A good e8amp5e of medium cava5r% 6as the 2orma5 'night 6ith 5ance$ s6ord$
chain mai5$ and 'ite shie5d. 3thers inc5ude the *urgundian cousti55ier L)rigandine or
sp5int$ 5ight 5ance$ 5ong s6ord$ and daggerM$ Aersian cava5r% Lchain mai5$ medium shie5d$
mace$ scimitar$ and short )o6M$ and Lithuanian )o%ars Lsca5e$ medium 5ance$ 5ong s6ord$
and 5arge shie5dM.
Crossbo<menB heavy: 3n5% rare5% used )% medieva5 princes$ heav%
cross)o6men are norma55% assigned to garrison and siege duties. #ach norma55% has a
heav% cross)o6$ short s6ord$ and dagger$ and 6ears chain mai5. The services of a shie5d
)earer is often supp5ied to each man.
1enetian cross)o6men fre;uent5% served on ga55e%s and 6ore chain or )rigandine
armor. Genoese men in German service sometimes 6ore sca5e armor for even greater
Crossbo<menB light: Light cross)o6men are favored )% some commanders$
rep5acing regu5ar archers in man% armies. The cross)o6 re;uires 5ess training than the
)o6$ and is easier to hand5e$ ma'ing these so5diers cheaper in the 5ong run to maintain.
#ach man norma55% has a 5ight cross)o6$ short s6ord$ and dagger. /sua55% the% do not
6ear armor. "ross)o6men fight handHtoHhand on5% to save themse5ves and 6i55 fa55 )ac'
or f5ee from attac'ers.
Ita5ian cross)o6men common5% 6ore padded armor and carried a 5ong s6ord$
)uc'5er$ and 5ight cross)o6. *urgundians 6ore a 5ight coat of chain and carried no
6eapons other than their cross)o6s. Gree' cross)o6men carried a variet% of 6eapons
inc5uding cross)o6$ s6ord$ and spear or :ave5in.
Crossbo<menB mounted: (hen possi)5e$ cross)o6men are given horses$ for
e8tra mo)i5it%. A55 use 5ight cross)o6s$ since heavier ones cannot )e coc'ed on
horse)ac'. The horse is un)arded$ and the rider norma55% 6ears 5itt5e or no armor. As 6ith
most 5ight troops$ the mounted cross)o6men re5ies on speed to 6his' him out of danger.
An unusua5 e8amp5e of a mounted cross)o6men 6as the German mercenar% Lp5ate mai5$
5ight cross)o6$ and 5ong s6ordM.
Engineer: This profession$ 5i'e that of the arti55erist$ is high5% specia5i>ed$ and
those s'i55ed in it are not common so5diers. #ngineers norma55% supervise siege
operations$ )oth inside and outside. The% are responsi)5e for mining cast5e 6a55s$ fi55ing
or draining moats$ repairing damage$ constructing siege engines$ and )ui5ding )ridges.
Since their s'i55s are specia5i>ed and rare$ engineers command a high 6age. 7urthermore$
engineers e8pect re6ards for successfu55% storming cast5es and to6ns or for repe55ing
such attac's.
5ootmanB heavy: Depending on the arm%$ heav% infantr% either forms its
)ac')one or is none8istent. &eav% footmen norma55% have chain mai5 or )etter armor$ a
5arge shie5d$ and an% 6eapons.
#8amp5es of heav% infantr% inc5ude *%>antine s'utatoi Lsca5e mai5$ 5arge shie5d$
spear$ and 5ong s6ordM$ 2orman footmen Lchain mai5$ 'ite shie5d$ and 5ong s6ordM$
1arangian Guardsmen Lchain mai5$ 5arge shie5d$ )att5e a8e$ 5ong s6ord$ and short s6ordM$
5ate German menHatHarms Lp5ate mai5$ )att5e a8e$ 5ong s6ord$ and daggerM$ 75emish
pi'emen Lp5ate mai5$ 5ong s6ord$ and pi'eM$ Ita5ian mercenaries Lp5ate mai5$ 5ong s6ord$
g5aive$ and daggerM$ Irish ga55o6g5asses Lchain mai5$ ha5)erd$ 5ong s6ord$ and dartsM$ and
Ao5ish dra)s Lchain mai5$ scimitar$ and ha5)erdM.
5ootmenB irregular: These are t%pica55% 6i5d tri)esmen 6ith 5itt5e or no armor
and virtua55% no discip5ine. The% norma55% :oin an arm% for 5oot or to protect their
home5and. Their 6eapons var% 6ide5%$ a5though most favor some traditiona5 item.
#8amp5es of irregu5ars inc5ude 1i'ing )erser'ers Lno armor$ )ut shie5d$ and )att5e
a8e or s6ordM$ Scottish &igh5anders Loften stripped )are 6ith shie5d and a8e$ vou5ge$
s6ord$ or spearM$ Daporo>ian cossac's L)areHchested 6ith a )ardicheM$ or a &ussite
cepnici Lpadded or no armor$ f5ai5$ s5ing$ and scimitarM.
5ootmanB light: The )u5' of infantr% tend to )e 5ight footmen. Such units are
cheap raise and train. Most come from the 5o6er c5asses. The% are distinguished from
irregu5ar infantr% )% a L)are5%M greater degree of discip5ine. Arms and armor are often the
same as irregu5ars.
T%pica5 of 5ight infantr% 6ere S6iss and German pi'emen Lno armor$ pi'e$ and
short s6ordM$ Spanish s6ordHandH)uc'5er men L5eather armor$ short s6ord$ and )uc'5erM$
*%>antine pe5tastos Lpadded armor$ medium shie5d$ :ave5ins$ and s6ordM$ even &indu
pa%a's Lno armor$ sma55 shie5d$ and scimitar or c5u)M.
5ootmanB militia: These are to6nsfo5' and peasants ca55ed up to serve. The%
norma55% fa55 some6here )et6een irregu5ars and 5ight infantr% in e;uipment and ;ua5it%.
&o6ever$ in areas 6ith a 5ongHstanding tradition of mi5itar% service$ mi5itiamen can )e
;uite formida)5e.
Some Ita5ian mi5itias 6ere 6e55He;uipped 6ith )anded or p5ate mai5 armor and
g5aives. The Irish <risingHout99 t%pica55% had no armor and fought 6ith :ave5ins and 5ong
s6ords. *%>antine mi5itias 6ere 6e55Horgani>ed and often 6or'ed as archers Lshort )o6
and padded armorM in defense of cit% 6a55s. The Sa8ons9 f%rd 6as supposed5% composed
of the freemen of a district.
=andgunner: This troop t%pe can )e a55o6ed on5% if the DM approves the use of
ar;ue)uses in the campaign. If the% are for)idden$ this troop t%pe doesn9t e8ist.
&andgunners t%pica55% have an ar;ue)us and short s6ord$ and 6ear a 6ide variet% of
0ongbo<man: &igh5% trained and rare$ these archers are va5ua)5e in )att5e. The%
are a5so hard to recruit and e8pensive to fie5d. A 5ong )o6man t%pica55% 6ears padded or
5eather armor and carries a 5ong )o6 6ith short s6ord or dir'. &istorica55%$ virtua55% a55
5ong )o6man 6ere #ng5ish or (e5sh$ a5though the% free5% acted as mercenaries
throughout #urope.
&arines: These are heav% footmen 6ho serve a)oard 5arge ships.
Sapper: These men$ a5so 'no6n as miners or pioneers$ provide the 5a)or for fie5d
6or' and siege operations. The% are genera55% under the command of a master engineer.
2orma55% the% retreat )efore com)at$ )ut if pressed$ 6i55 fight as 5ight infantr%. The% 6ear
no armor and carr% too5s Lpic's$ a8es$ and the 5i'eM that can easi5% dou)5e as 6eapons.
The% are usua55% found 6ith siege trains$ )aggage trains$ and cast5es.
Shieldbearer: This is a 5ight infantr%man 6hose :o) is to carr% and set up shie5ds
for archers and cross)o6men. &istorica55%$ these shie5ds Lor pavisesM 6ere even 5arger
than a norma5 5arge shie5d. Some re;uired t6o men to move. 7rom )ehind this cover$ the
)o6man or gunner cou5d re5oad in re5ative safet%. If the position 6as attac'ed$ the
shie5d)earer 6as e8pected to fight as an infantr%man. 7or this reason$ shie5d)earers have
the same e;uipment as 5ight infantr%.
#mp5o%ing &ire5ings
(hether see'ing ever%da% 6or'ers or rare e8perts$ the methods A"s use for
emp5o%ing hire5ings are genera55% the same. *asica55%$ a p5a%er character advertises his
needs and see's out the recommendations of others. Given enough notice$ hire5ings 6i55
then see' out the p5a%er character.
(ho Might *e 3ffended=
(hen hiring$ the first step is to figure out if the p5a%er character is going to offend
an%one$ particu5ar5% the ru5er of the cit% or to6n. 7euda5 5ords have ver% specific ideas
a)out their 5and and their propert% Lthe 5atter of 6hich sometimes inc5udes the peop5e on
his 5andM.
If the hire5ings are true freedmen$ the% can decide to come and go as the% p5ease.
More often$ the case is that the hire5ings are )ound to the fief. The% are not s5aves$ )ut
the% cannot 5eave the 5and 6ithout the permission of their 5ord.
Depopu5ate at 4our 36n Ris'
Depopu5ating an area 6i55 get a strong negative reaction from 5oca5 officia5s. If the
p5a%er character see's on5% a fe6 hire5ings$ he is not 5i'e5% to run into difficu5t% un5ess he
6ishes to ta'e them a6a% Li.e.$ )ac' to his o6n cast5eM. This t%pe of poaching 6i55
certain5% create trou)5e.
If Targash$ having esta)5ished his pa5adin9s cast5e$ needs + peasants to 6or' the
fie5d$ he cannot go into the near)% to6n and recruit + peop5e 6ithout causing a
reactionB The 5ord and the to6n )urghers are going to consider this tantamount to
6ho5esa5e 'idnapping.
7ina55%$ 5oca5 officia5s have this funn% 6a% of getting upset a)out strange armies.
If Targash comes into to6n to raise + heav% cava5r%$ the 5oca5 5ord is sure to noticeB 2o
one 5i'es strangers raising armies in their territor%. It is$ after a55$ a threat to their po6er.
Securing Aermission
Thus$ in at 5east these three situations$ p5a%er characters 6ou5d do 6e55 to secure
the cooperation of 5oca5 officia5s )efore the% do an%thing. Such cooperation is rare5%
forthcoming 6ithout some 'ind of conditionsI A no)5e ma% re;uire a cash )ond )efore he
6i55 agree to re5ease those under him? gui5ds ma% demand concessions to regu5ate their
craft 6ithin the )oundaries of the p5a%er character9s 5ands? du'es and 'ings ma% re;uire
treaties or even dip5omatic marriages? )urghers cou5d as' for protection or a free charter.
An%thing the DM can imagine and negotiate 6ith the p5a%er is a possi)i5it%.
7inding the Right Aeop5e
3nce a character has secured permission$ he can )egin searching for the hire5ings
he needs. If he needs craftsmen 6ith specific s'i55s$ it is )est to 6or' through the gui5d or
5oca5 authorities. The% can ma'e the necessar% arrangements for the p5a%er character. This
a5so o)viates the need to ro5eHp5a% a genera55% uninteresting situation. 3f course$ gui5ds
genera55% charge a fee for their services.
If the character is see'ing a 5arge num)er of uns'i55ed men or so5diers$ he can hire
a crier to spread the 6ord. LArinting$ )eing undiscovered or in an infant state$ is genera55%
not a practica5 so5ution.M 7ortunate5%$ criers are easi5% found and can )e hired 6ithout
comp5icated searching. Indeed$ even %oung chi5dren can )e paid for this purpose.
At the same time$ the p5a%er character 6ou5d )e 6ise to do his o6n advertising )%
5eaving 6ord 6ith inn'eepers$ sta)5ers$ and the o6ners of pu)5ic houses. Gradua55%$ the
DM ma'es app5icants arrive.
If the p5a%er character is searching for a fair5% common sort of hire5ingC5a)orers$
most common5%Cthe response is e;ua5 to appro8imate5% !O of the popu5ation in the
area Lgiven norma5 circumstancesM.
If the position )eing fi55ed is uncommon$ the response 6i55 )e a)out ,O of the
popu5ation. 3penings for so5diers might get one or t6o respondents in a vi55age of ,. In
a cit% of ,$ it 6ou5dn9t )e unusua5 to get 2, app5icants$ a respecta)5e compan%.
If searching for a particu5ar craft or specia5istCa )5ac'smith or armorer$ for
instanceCthe average response is !O of the popu5ation or 5ess. Thus$ in a vi55age of ,$
the character :ust isn9t 5i'e5% to find a smith in need of emp5o%ment. In a s5ight5% 5arger
vi55age$ he might find the )5ac'smith9s apprenticed son 6i55ing to go 6ith him.
/nusua5 circumstances such as a p5ague$ a famine$ a despotic t%rant$ or a
depressed econom%$ can easi5% a5ter these percentages. In these cases$ the DM decides
6hat is most suita)5e for his campaign. 7urthermore$ the p5a%er character can increase the
turnout )% offering specia5 inducementsChigher pa%$ greater socia5 status$ or specia5
re6ards. These can increase the )ase percentage )% !O to !O of the popu5ation.
The 6ho5e )usiness )ecomes much more comp5icated 6hen hiring e8otic e8perts
Csages$ spies$ assassins$ and the 5i'e. Such ta5ents are not found in ever% cit%. Sages 5ive
on5% 6here the% can continue their studies and 6here men of 5earning are va5ued. Thus
the% tend to d6e55 in great cities and centers of cu5ture$ though the% don9t a56a%s see'
fame and notoriet% there. Ma'ing discreet en;uiries among the 5earned and 6ea5th% is an
effective 6a% to find sages. 3ther e8perts ma'e a point not to advertise at a55.
"haracters 6ho )5urt out that the% are see'ing to hire a sp% or an assassin are
going to get more than :ust a raised e%e)ro6 in reactionB &iring these specia5ists shou5d
)e an adventure in itse5f.
7or e8amp5e$ 7iera the #5f has decided she needs the services of a sp% to
investigate the doings of her archriva5. The p5a%er$ 0aren$ te55s the DM 6hat she intends$
setting the devious 6hee5s of the DM9s mind in motion. The DM p5ans out a rough
adventure and$ 6hen he is read%$ te55s 0aren that her character can )egin the search.
2ot 'no6ing 6here to )egin Lafter a55$ 6here does one hire a sp%=M$ 7iera starts to
fre;uent seam% and unp5easant )ars$ doing her )est to concea5 her true identit%. She
5eaves a 5itt5e coin 6ith the hoste5ers and 6ord of her needs. The DM is read% for this. &e
has prepared severa5 encounters to ma'e 7iera9s search interesting. There are drun'en$
overHfriend5% mercenaries$ 5itt5e ferretHfaced snitches$ dar' m%sterious strangers$ and
vena5 consta)5es to )e dea5t 6ith.
#ventua55%$ the DM has severa5 2A"s contact 7iera$ a55 interested in the :o).
/n'no6n to the p5a%er Lor her characterM the DM has decided that one app5icant is rea55%
a sp% sent )% her riva5 to act as a dou)5e agentB Thus$ from a notHsoHsimp5e hiring$ one
adventure has )een p5a%ed and the potentia5 for more has )een created.
The (ee'5% (age
3nce app5icants have arrived Land the p5a%er has re:ected an% that seem
unsuita)5eM$ the issue of pa% must )e negotiated. 7ortunate5%$ this is some6hat
standardi>ed for most occupations.
Ta)5e K, 5ists the amount different trades and craftsmen e8pect under norma5
circumstances. 7rom these$ sa5aries for other 2A"s can )e decided. The 6ages for
so5diers$ )ecause of their high5% specia5i>ed 6or'$ are 5isted on Ta)5e K-.
-able %#:
Common 2ages
2ee@ly &onthly
Arofession (age (age
"5er' 2 gp G gp
Stonemason ! gp - gp
La)orer ! sp ! gp
"arpenter ! gp , gp
Groom2 sp ! gp
&untsman 2 gp ! gp
or officia5 ,H!, gp 2HK gp
Architect , gp 2 gp
These amounts ma% seem 5o6$ )ut most emp5o%ers provide other )enefits to their
hire5ings. Appropriate room and )oard is e8pected for a55 )ut common 5a)orers and higher
officia5s. Those fa55ing in the midd5e range e8pect this to )e ta'en care of. Trave5ing
e8penses must come out of the A"9s poc'et$ as must an% e8ceptiona5 items of e;uipment
or dress.
Important hire5ings 6i55 a5so e8pect gifts and perhaps offices to supp5ement their
income. So5diers e8pect to )e ransomed if captured$ to have their e;uipment rep5aced as
needed$ and to receive ne6 mounts for those 5ost in com)at. A55 of these e8tra )enefits
add up ;uic'5%. 7urthermore$ most activities are much more 5a)orHintensive 6hen
compared to modern standards. More 6or'ers are needed to perform a given :o). More
6or'ers means greater overa55 e8penses and 5o6er 6ages for each individua5 5a)orer.
7or e8amp5e$ consider Targash at his cast5e. &e has assem)5ed the officia5s$
craftsmen$ and so5diers he fee5s he needs to maintain his standing and protect his sma55
fief. These )rea' do6n as fo55o6sI
2, 5ight infantr% 2, gp
, heav% infantr% ! gp
! 5ong)o6men G gp
., 5ight cava5r% + gp
2, heav% cava5r% 2, gp
! master arti55erist , gp
! arti55erists - gp
! master engineer !, gp
! master armorer ! gp
, armorers , gp
! master )5adesmith ! gp
, )5adesmiths , gp
! master )o6%er , gp
! )o6%er ! gp
! master f5etcher + gp
! master of the hunt ! gp
G huntsmen - gp
! grooms ! gp
2 s'i55ed servants
L)a'er$ coo'$ etc.M - gp
- househo5d servants - gp
! hera5d 2 gp
! caste55an + gp
Tota5 2$F. gp per month
These costs cover on5% the 6ages paid these nonp5a%er characters. It does not
inc5ude the funds necessar% to provide provisions$ maintain e;uipment$ or e8pand
Targash9s rea5m La desire of man% p5a%er charactersM. 3ver the course of a %ear$ Targash
mush )ring in at 5east +,$K- gp :ust to pa% his hire5ings.
"onsidering a reasona)5e ta8 to )e one go5d piece for each person and one or t6o
si5ver for each head of 5ivestoc'$ Targash must have a considera)5e num)er of peop5e or
anima5s 6ithin the )orders of his fief or go into de)tB Supp5ementing one9s income thus
)ecomes a good reason for adventuring. &o6ever$ even po6erfu5$ adventuring 5ords often
find themse5ves forced to )orro6 to maintain their househo5ds.
And these costs don9t even )egin to cover the sa5aries demanded )% an% e8treme5%
rare hire5ings Targash ma% need. Spies and assassins norma55% demand e8or)itant 6ages
C,$ to !$ go5d pieces or more. And the% are in a position to get a6a% 6ith it.
Aside from the fact that not man% can do their :o)$ the% can a5so force an emp5o%er to pa%
through )5ac'mai5. The act of hiring must )e secret$ not on5% to succeed$ )ut to prevent
the character from )eing em)arrassed$ disgraced$ or 6orse. (oe to the emp5o%er 6ho
attempts to cheat his assassinB
3thers can a5so resort to such )5ac'mai5. Mercenaries ma% refuse to go on
campaign unti5 the% are proper5% paid La tactic used )% the condottieri in Ita5%M. Aeasants
have )een 'no6n to revo5t. Gui5ds ma% 6ithdra6 their support. Merchants can a56a%s
trade e5se6here. A55 of these serve as chec's and )a5ances on the uncontro55ed po6er of
an% ru5er from 5oca5 5ord to po6erfu5 emperor.
Sooner or 5ater$ a55 p5a%ers are going to discover the va5ue of henchmen. &o6ever$
'no6ing that henchmen are usefu5 and p5a%ing them proper5% are :ust not the same.
Misused and a)used henchmen can ;uic'5% destro% much of the fun and cha55enge of a
As stressed in the Player's Handbook; a henchman is more than :ust a hire5ing the
p5a%er character can )oss around. A henchman is a A"9s friend$ confidante$ and a55%. If
this aspect of the 2A" is not stressed and p5a%ed 6e55$ the henchman ;uic'5% )ecomes
nothing more than a card)oard character$ depriving the DM of a too5 he can use to create
a comp5ete ro5eHp5a%ing e8perience. 7or the DM$ a henchman is :ust thatCa too5$ a 6a%
of creating an e8citing stor% for the p5a%er characters.
An 2A" *ecomes a &enchman
There is no set time at 6hich a p5a%er character ac;uires a henchman. Running a
p5a%er character and a henchman together is more difficu5t than :ust a p5a%er character
a5one. 2ot ever% p5a%er 6i55 )e read% for this at the same time$ so the DM shou5d contro5
6hich p5a%ers get henchmen and 6hen. (ait unti5 the p5a%er has demonstrated the a)i5it%
to ro5e p5a% his o6n character )efore )urdening him 6ith another. If the p5a%er does not
assume at 5east some of the responsi)i5it% for ro5eHp5a%ing the henchman$ the va5ue is 5ost.
2either is there a set 6a% to ac;uire a henchman. The DM must use his o6n
:udgment. Since a henchman is a friend$ consider those things that )ind friends together.
*eing treated as e;ua5s$ he5ping 6ithout e8pecting re6ard$ trust$ 'indness$ sharing
secrets$ and standing )% each other in times of trou)5e are a55 parts of it.
(hen a character does these things for an 2A"$ a )ond 6i55 deve5op )et6een
them. The DM can a55o6 the p5a%er to have more and more contro5 over the 2A"$
deciding actions$ ro5eHp5a%ing reactions$ and deve5oping a persona5it%. As the p5a%er does
this$ he )egins to thin' of the 2A" a5most as another p5a%er character. (hen the p5a%er is
as concerned a)out the 6e5fare of the 2A" as he 6ou5d )e for a norma5 p5a%er character$
that 2A" can )e treated as a henchman.
The A5a%er Ta'es 3ver
3nce the DM decides that an 2A" is a henchman$ he shou5d ma'e t6o copies of
the 2A"9s character sheet$ one for himse5f and one for the p5a%er. 2ot ever%thing need )e
revea5ed on the p5a%er9s cop%Cthe DM ma% choose to concea5 a5ignment$ e8perience
point tota5s$ specia5 magica5 items$ or character )ac'ground. &o6ever$ the p5a%er shou5d
have enough information to ro5eHp5a% the henchman ade;uate5%. It is hard to run a
character proper5% 6ithout such )asic information as Strength$ Inte55igence$ race$ or 5eve5.
Idea55%$ the p5a%er shou5d not have to as' the DM$ <"an m% henchman do this=<
2atura55%$ the DM9s character sheet shou5d have comp5ete information on the
henchman. Moreover$ the DM shou5d a5so inc5ude a short description of the henchman in
appearance$ ha)its$ pecu5iarities$ persona5it%$ and )ac'ground. The 5ast t6o are
particu5ar5% important.
#sta)5ishing the persona5it% of the henchman a55o6s the DM to sa%$ <2o$ %our
henchman refuses to do that$< 6ith reason. The astute p5a%er 6i55 pic' up on this and
)egin p5a%ing the henchman appropriate5%.
A 5itt5e )ac'ground a55o6s the DM to )ui5d adventures that gro6 out of the
henchman9s past. An evi5 stranger ma% come hunting for him? his father ma% 5eave him a
m%sterious inheritance? his 6ife Lor hus)andM ma% arrive on the doorstep. #ven a 5itt5e
histor% is )etter than nothing.
A henchman shou5d a56a%s )e of 5o6er 5eve5 than the p5a%er character. This 'eeps
the henchman from stea5ing the spot5ight. If the henchman is e;ua5 or greater in 5eve5$ he
cou5d )ecome as$ or more$ important than the p5a%er character. The p5a%er might neg5ect
his o6n character$ an undesira)5e resu5t. Thus$ if a henchman shou5d reach an e;ua5 5eve5$
he 6i55 depart the service of the p5a%er character and set out on his o6n adventures. This
doesn9t mean he disappears forever. &e is sti55 present in the campaign$ can sti55 sho6 up
periodica55% as a DMHcontro55ed 2A"$ and can sti55 )e considered a friend of the p5a%er
Ro5eHA5a%ing &enchmen
The p5a%er is responsi)5e for deciding a henchman9s actions$ provided the% are in
character for the 2A". This is one of the advantages of the henchman over the hire5ing.
The DM shou5d on5% step in 6hen the p5a%er is a)using or ignoring the persona5it% of the
7or e8amp5e$ 7enris$ a henchman 'no6n for his sarcastic and some6hat se5fH
centered vie6$ has )een captured a5ong 6ith his master$ Dre5) the &a5f5ing$ )% a )and of
t6isted tro55s.
DM Lp5a%ing the tro55sMI <&aB M% )rothers and I are going to roast one of %ou and
5et the other one goB So$ 6ho9s going to hang from the spit=<
A5a%erI <(e55$ uh...7enris remem)ers ho6 man% times Dre5) has saved his 5ife. &e
DMI <Is Dre5) te55ing the tro55s this= 7enris is going to )e rea5 upset if he is.<
A5a%erI <2o$ noB It9s :ust 6hat 7enris 6ou5d do.<
DMI <Sure. &e thin's a)out it and$ %ou 'no6$ it doesn9t seem 5i'e a rea5 via)5e
so5ution to the pro)5em. &e 5eans over to Dre5) and sa%s$ <4ou a56a%s 6anted to s6eat
off a fe6 pounds$ Dre5).<
"5ear5%$ there are times 6hen the DM can step in and overru5e a p5a%er decision
regarding henchmen. There are things a henchman simp5% 6i55 not do. The re5ationship is
supposed to )e that of friendship. Therefore$ an%thing that damages a friendship sours a
henchman. The DM shou5d thin' a)out those things he 6ou5d never as' of a friend or
have a soHca55ed friend as' of him. If it 6ou5d ruin one of his o6n friendships$ it 6i55 do
the same in the game.
7or e8amp5e$ henchmen don9t give usefu5 magica5 items to p5a%er characters$ don9t
stand )% ;uiet5% 6hi5e others ta'e a55 the credit$ don9t ta'e the )5ame for things the% didn9t
do$ and don9t 5et themse5ves )e cheated. An%one 6ho tries to do this sort of thing is
c5ear5% not a friend.
&enchmen don9t$ as a ru5e$ go on adventures 6ithout their p5a%er character friend
un5ess the purpose of the adventure is to rescue the A" from danger. The% don9t
appreciate )eing given orders )% strangers Lor even other p5a%er charactersM$ un5ess their
A" friend is a5so ta'ing orders.
&enchman *oo''eeping
As the henchman is p5a%ed$ it is the p5a%er9s responsi)i5it% to 'eep trac' of an%
information a)out the henchman that isn9t 'ept secret. 2ot on5% does this ma'e running
the game a sma55 )it easier for the DM$ it forces the p5a%er to pa% attention to his
Among the things a p5a%er shou5d 'eep trac' of is a henchman9s e8perience point
tota5. &enchmen do earn e8perience points from adventures and can advance in 5eve5.
&o6ever$ since the% are not fu55 p5a%er characters$ the% on5% earn ha5f the e8perience a
character 6ou5d norma55% get.
The% a5so e8pect their fair share of treasure and magica5 items discoveredCmore$
if the% too' a significant ris'. The% e8pect the same care and attention the p5a%er
character receives 6hen the% are in:ured or 'i55ed. Indeed it is possi)5e for a forsa'en
henchman to return as a vengefu5 spirit to 6rea' havoc on those 6ho a)andoned himB
3fficia5s and Socia5 Ran'
Some 2A"s are avai5a)5e for hire? others$ )ecause of socia5 ran' or profession$
can )e hired on5% under specia5 circumstances? sti55 others can on5% )e encountered and$
ma%)e$ )efriended$ )ut never hired. Indeed characters are not defined )% profession on5%.
@ust as important Land sometimes more importantM is the 2A"9s socia5 status.
A serf carpenter is 5o6er than a chur5 p5oughman$ even if his s'i55s are more
comp5icated. Some tit5es prevent an 2A" from pursuing a particu5ar career. A 'ing is not
a tinner or a 6ea5th% draperChe is a 'ing.
The ta)5es )e5o6 5ist some of the different t%pes of 2A"s that can )e encountered
)ased on socia5 organi>ations. #ach grouping is arranged from the greatest to the 5east$
the mightiest to the 5o6est. The DM shou5d not fee5 )ound on5% to the hire5ings and
so5diers given in Ta)5es K and K-. Imagination$ histor%$ and fantas% shou5d a55 contri)ute
to the game.
The ta)5es sho6 socia5 and po5itica5 ran's for different t%pes of historica5 cu5tures$
arranged in descending order of importance. #ach co5umn descri)es a different cu5ture.
-able %%:
European -itles
General Sa*on Germanic
#mperorE#mpress 0ing Afa5>graf
0ingENueen 0ing9s Thegn &er>og
Ro%a5 ArinceEArincess #a5dorman Margrave
Du'eEDuchess ShireHreeve Graf
ArinceEArincess Thegn (a5dgraf
Mar;uisEMar;uise Geneatas 7reiherr
"ountE"ountess "ottar Ritter
1iscountE1iscountess Ge)ur
*aronE*aroness *ondman
-able %(:
3riental -itles
ussian -ur@ish Persian Mapanese &ongol Indian
TsarSu5tan Aadishah #mperor 0haH0han Mahara:a
1e5i'% 'nia> De% Shah Shi''en I5'han Ra:ah
0nia>h mu>h *e% "a5iph Shogun 3r'han 2a6a)
*o%ar *asha6 (i>er Daim%o 0han
S5uga Aasha Amir Samurai
Mu>h #mir Shei'h
Dvorianin Ma5i'
-able %):
eligious -itles
Church =ierarchy Hnights;&ilitant &onastic
Aope Master of the Temp5e A))ot
"ardina5 Senescha5 Sacristan
Arch)ishop Marsha5 "antor
*ishop "ommander Li)rarian
A))ot Drapier Refectorian
Arior "ommander of a &ouse A5moner
7riar "ommander of 0nights &ospita5er
0night *rothers 0itchener
Sergeants of the "ovenant "e55arer
Turcop5ier Infirmarian
/nderHMarsha5 Master of 2ovices
Standard *earer
Rura5 )rother
&ospita5 attendant
Servant )rother
Tit5es$ 3ffices$ and Aositions
A5dermanI A to6n or cit% officia5
A5eHconnerI 3fficia5 6ho tests and approves a55 a5es and ciders
AnchoriteI A re5igious hermit
*ai5iffI A sergeant or commander of the guard
*ead5eI A messenger of the 5a6 courts
*urgomasterI A to6n or cit% officia5
"atchpo55I A commander of the guard
"ham)er5ainI 3verseer of a househo5d$ office or court
"ommonH6eigherI To6n officia5 6ho chec's merchants9 6eights and measures
"onsta)5eI A commander of the 5oca5 guard
"ounci5orI A to6n or cit% officia5 or an advisor of the court
"ustoms agentI 3ne responsi)5e for co55ecting the ta8es on a55 imports and
MagistrateI A :udge
ManHatHarmsI A guardsman
AageI Servant to a no)5e
AardonerI A friar 6ho se55s pardons from the church
ArovostI A magistrate or 'eeper of a prison
ArovostHMarsha5I Mi5itar% magistrate
Aurve%orI An officia5 responsi)5e for o)taining supp5ies for an arm% or a no)5e9s
ReeveI The headman of a vi55age
RegentI The ru5er unti5 a prince reaches the age of ma:orit%
SergeantI The commander of a unit of men$ such as a guard
SheriffI The 'ing9s representative for a given area
S5aughterHmanI 3fficia5 6ho enforces the regu5ations on )utchers in a to6n
Ste6ardI "ustodian of an appointed dut%$ such as a househo5d
Ta8 co55ectorI 3ne 6ho co55ects ta8es
TronagerI Supervisor of the sca5es at a to6n9s port
/mpireI An officia5 6ho ar)itrates disputes )et6een neigh)ors
(ardenI The 'eeper of a no)5e9s 6ood5ands and par's
(ardmanI A sergeant or 6atchman
(atchmanI A guard
There 6i55 come a time 6hen p5a%er characters fee5 in dire need of a particu5ar
spe55 or spe55s to 6hich no one in their group has access. The% ma% need to raise a fa55en
comrade$ remove an evi5 enchantment$ or provide an additiona5 protection. The natura5
so5ution is to find an 2A" 6i55ing and a)5e to cast the spe55. This can create specia5
difficu5ties for )oth the p5a%ers and the DM.
7inding a Spe55caster
Locating a capa)5e 2A" is the first step. 2ot a55 2A"s advertise their a)i5ities?
this is especia55% true in the case of spe55casters. *ragging that one is the great and
po6erfu5 6i>ard (a>oo can )e )ad for one9s hea5th. There is a56a%s a %oung hotHshot
6ho 6i55 ta'e the c5aim as a cha55enge. LSort of 5i'e the 35d (est$ 6here there 6as
a56a%s someone itching to )eat the fastest gun...M
7or this reason$ spe55casters tend to )e m%sterious or$ at 5east$ ;uiet a)out their
a)i5ities. "hurches$ temp5es$ and other ho5% p5aces tend to )e the )est p5aces to 5oo' since
c5erics have some o)5igation to proc5aim the po6ers of their deit% open5%.
"onvincing the 2A" to &e5p
Assuming the p5a%er characters 'no6 of a capa)5e spe55caster$ there is sti55 the
pro)5em of convincing the 2A" to cast the desired spe55. 3ften the 2A" 6on9t even have
the spe55 read% 6hen the characters need it. After a55$ it isn9t ever% da% a c5eric needs to
cast a raise dead spe55. &e 6i55 need a da% :ust to rest and memori>e the desired spe55.
Re5igious DifferencesI The faith of the p5a%er characters and the ethos of the
2A"9s re5igion ma% pose an even greater pro)5em than spe55 avai5a)i5it%. It is ;uite
possi)5e for a c5eric to refuse to cast a spe55 to aid an <un)e5iever$99 <heathen$99 or <heretic.99
Some ma% agree$ )ut on5% at the cost of a donation$ service$ or conversion. A rare fe6
accept an% and a55 6ithout passing an% :udgment. In genera5$ it is )est to see' the services
of a 5i'eHminded c5eric than to go to a stranger.
Mone%I 7or some c5erica5 spe55casters and most nonc5erica5 t%pes$ spe55casting is
more a matter of finances than phi5osophies. If the characters find a capa)5e spe55caster$
the% must )e prepared to pa% Land pa% dear5%M for his services. 7or a desperate5% needed
service$ the 2A" 'no6s he has the p5a%er characters over a )arre5 and 6i55 )argain
Ta)5e KF gives some idea of the costs for different spe55s. These costs are not set$
)% an% means$ and can )e raised L)ut se5dom 5o6eredM for a variet% of reasons.
Ta)5e KFI
2A" Spe55 "osts
Spe55 Re;uiredMinimum "ost
Astral s&ell 2$ gp per person
Atonement Q
Augury2 gp
Jless Q
#harm &erson !$ gp
#lairvoyance , gp per 5eve5 of caster
#ommune Q
#om&rehend languages , gp
#ontact other &lane ,$ gp R !$ per ;uestion
#ontinual light !$ gp
#ontrol weather 2$ gp
#ure blindness, gp
#ure disease , gp
#ure light wounds ! gp per point hea5ed
#ure serious wounds 2 gp per point hea5ed
#ure critical wounds - gp per point hea5ed
Detection s&ells 7any: ! gp
Dis&el magic ! gp per 5eve5 of the caster
Divination , gp
arthIuake Q
nchant an ,tem 2$ gp p5us other spe55s
SP , gp
!&losive runes !$ gp
.ind the &ath !$ gp
.ire tra& , gp
.ools' gold ! gp
Gate Q
Gly&h o' warding ! gp per 5eve5 of the caster
Heal , gp per point hea5ed
,denti'y !$ gp per item or function
,nvisible stalker ,$ gp
,nvisibility , gp
"egend "ore !$ gp
"imited wish 2$ gp QQ
Magic mouth + gp
Mass charm ,$ gp
$eutrali+e &oison ! gp
Permanency 2$ gp QQ
Plane shi't Q
Prayer Q
Protection 'rom evil 2 gp per 5eve5 of caster
*aise dead Q
*ead magic 2 gp
*egenerate 2$ gp
*eincarnation Q
*emove curse ! gp per 5eve5 of caster
*estoration Q
Slow &oison , gp
S&eak with dead ! gp per 5eve5 of caster
Suggestion K gp
Symbol!$ gp per 5eve5 of caster
)ele&ort 2$ gp per person
)ongues ! gp
)rue seeing ,$ gp
%ish ,$ gp QQ
%i+ard lock , gp per 5eve5 of caster
Q This spe55 is norma55% cast on5% for those of simi5ar faith or )e5ief. #ven then a
pa%ment or service ma% )e re;uired.
QQ Some e8ceptiona5 service 6i55 a5so )e re;uired of the p5a%er character.
In genera5$ the costs of purchasing a spe55 are such that it is far )etter for someone
in the part% to 5earn the spe55. In genera5$ the mercenar% use of 2A" spe55casters shou5d )e
discouraged 6henever possi)5e. The p5a%er characters are supposed to face cha55enges on
their o6nB
2A" Magica5 Items
If p5a%er characters have the nerve to as' 2A"s Lnot hire5ings or henchmenM to use
up va5ua)5e magica5 items or charges from these$ the% are going to get a ver% co5d
reaction. "onsider ho6 often p5a%er characters se55 or give a6a% the magic items the%
find during their adventures. 2onp5a%er characters 6i55 have a)out the same 5i'e5ihood of
se55ing Lor givingBM po6erfu5 magic a6a%. 3ffering to )u% a charge from a sta'' o' healing
is :ust p5ain insu5ting. 2o 2A"9s reaction is going to )e improved )% the offer.
More than 6hat the% can do$ ho6 much the% cost$ or ho6 5o%a5 the% are$ 2A"s
5ive on5% 6hen the% have persona5ities. Aoor5% p5a%ed$ an 2A" can easi5% )e reduced to
nothing more than a co55ection of num)ers$ spe55s$ e;uipment$ and automatic reactionsCa
ro5eHp5a%ing automaton. 1ivid 2A"s are much more than this. These characters$
deve5oped and acted )% the DM$ are comp5ete. The% have ;uir's$ 5i'es$ dis5i'es$ ha)its$
am)itions$ and desires. In one 6a% or another the% fire and remain in the imagination of
the p5a%ers
Some DMs have the natura55% a)i5it% to create such characters on the spur of the
moment$ improvising as the% go a5ong. This is a rare gift$ not possessed )% most.
&o6ever$ this doesn9t mean an% DM can9t create good 2A"s. A55 that9s re;uired is a 5itt5e
(a5'H3n 2A"s
There are severa5 shortcut methods that can )e used 6hen ro5eHp5a%ing 2A"s 6ho
on5% have )rief appearancesCthe <6a5'Hons99 and <cameos99 of a ro5eHp5a%ing adventure.
"haracter TraitsI The DM can choose some particu5ar character traitCco6ardice$
greed$ optimism$ precision$ or 6hateverCand e8aggerate it$ ta'e it to an e8treme. This is
most effective for creating comica5 Lor frustratingM situations.
Ah%sica5 TraitsI A particu5ar ph%sica5 traitC)a5dness$ potH)e55ied$ )ad teeth$
6hee>%$ and moreCcan )e stressed. This he5ps fi8 the appearance of the 2A" in the
p5a%ers9 minds$ especia55% usefu5 if the characters must descri)e or find the 2A" again.
&a)itsI Li'e ph%sica5 traits$ simp5e ha)itsCscratches his head$ tugs on his )eard$
stares at the s'% 6hen ta5'ing$ or mum)5esCcan )e used. The DM can actua55% act out
these simp5e ha)its at the ta)5e$ adding a visua5 e5ement to the ro5eHp5a%ing e8perience.
Significant 2A"s
7or ver% important 2A"s$ hire5ings$ and henchmen$ the DM is going to need more
than :ust a sing5e character feature. Sa%ing that a hire5ing is greed% is not enough. It
doesn9t ma'e him an% different from a55 the other greed% 2A"s the p5a%er characters have
Aerhaps he strugg5es to contro5 his natura5 greediness out of 5o%a5t%. &e ma% )rea'
into co5d s6eats and )ecome nervous 6hen the p5a%er character accidenta55% tempts him
L<&ere$ ho5d m% horse 6hi5e I go see 6hat9s ma'ing that noise.<M. (i55 he remain 5o%a5 or
6i55 his )aser nature get the )est of him= The ans6er to this ;uestion shou5d come out
through ro5eHp5a%ing.
#nough 5itt5e ;uestions 5i'e thisCand enough ro5eHp5a%ed ans6ersC6i55 )ring the
2A"9s true character into focus. And if the DM pa%s attention to the persona5it% of the
2A"s$ the p5a%ers 6i55 a5so 5earn and stud% those characters.
"reating an 2A" Aersona5it%I The )est 6a% to create a persona5it% is to use
6hatever seems right and not 6orr% a)out carefu55% constructing a )ac'ground and
rationa5e for the character. The DM has to 'eep carefu5 notes a)out each ma:or 2A"$
adding to it each p5a% session. After severa5 sessions$ the 2A" ma% have a comp5ete
)ac'ground and persona5it%$ one that has come out 5itt5eH)%H5itt5e during p5a%.
A5ternative5%$ the DM can prepare a persona5it% in advance. This simp5% means he
prepares some )ac'ground notes )efore he )egins to p5a% that character. This is usefu5 for
po6erfu5 vi55ains and important officia5s. &o6ever$ during p5a%$ the DM shou5d )e
f5e8i)5e enough to change an% part of the 2A"9s )ac'ground that :ust doesn9t 6or'.
To aid in the process of creating 2A"s$ Ta)5e . 5ists different t%pes of attitudes$
tendencies$ and ha)its. These are organi>ed into ma:or traits$ 6ith simi5ar characteristics
grouped under each.
The DM can choose a ma:or trait and an% appropriate characteristics? he can
random5% determine the ma:or trait Lro55ing !d2M and se5ect appropriate characteristics?
or he can random5% determine ever%thing L!d2 for a ma:or trait$ percenti5e dice for
7or e8amp5e$ the DM random5% determines a hire5ing is care5ess$ se5ects
thought5ess from that su)Hgroup and then ro55s for an additiona5 characteristic$ getting
cheerfu5. The end resu5t is some6hat scatterH)rained$ happ%HgoH5uc'% person.
This ta)5e is provided to spur the imagination of the DM$ a5though it can )e used
to create comp5ete5% random persona5ities. &o6ever$ random methods often 5ead to
confusing and seeming5% impossi)5e com)inationsB If a resu5t seems tota55% impossi)5e or
unp5a%a)5e$ don9t use it simp5% )ecause that9s ho6 the dice ro55s came up. (henever
possi)5e$ the DM shou5d decide the persona5it% of the 2A"B
Ta)5e .I
Genera5 Traits
Die Die
Ro55 ! Genera5 Ro55 2 Specific
LD2M Trait LD!M Trait
! Argumentative! Garru5ous
2 &otHtempered
+ 3ver)earing
- Articu5ate
, Antagonistic
2 Arrogant K &aught%
. #5itist
G Aroud
F Rude
! A5oof
+ "apricious !! Mischievous
!2 Impu5sive
!+ Lust%
!- Irreverent
!, Madcap
- "are5ess !K Thought5ess
!. A)sentHminded
!G Dream%
!F Lac'ing common sense
2 Insensitive
, "ourage 2! *rave
22 "raven
2+ Sh%
2- 7ear5ess
2, 3)se;uious
K "urious 2K In;uisitive
2. Ar%ing
2G Inte55ectua5
2F Aerceptive
+ 0een
. #8acting +! Aerfectionist
+2 Stern
++ &arsh
+- Aunctua5
+, Driven
G 7riend5% +K Trusting
+. 0indHhearted
+G 7orgiving
+F #as%Hgoing
- "ompassionate
F Greed%-! Miser5%
-2 &ardHhearted
-+ "ovetous
-- Avaricious
-, Thrift%
! Generous -K (astre5
-. Spendthrift
-G #8travagant
-F 0ind
, "harita)5e
!! Mood%,! G5oom%
,2 Morose
,+ "ompu5sive
,- Irrita)5e
,, 1engefu5
!2 2aive ,K &onest
,. Truthfu5
,G Innocent
,F Gu55i)5e
K &ic'
!+ 3pinonated K! *igoted
K2 *iased
K+ 2arro6Hminded
K- *5ustering
K, &ideH)ound
!- 3ptimistic KK "heerfu5
K. &app%
KG Dip5omatic
KF A5easant
. 7oo5hard%
!, Aessimistic .! 7ata5istic
.2 Depressing
.+ "%nica5
.- Sarcastic
., Rea5istic
!K Nuiet .K Laconic
.. SoftHspo'en
.G Secretive
.F Retiring
G Mous%
!. So)er G! Aractica5
G2 Leve5Hheaded
G+ Du55
G- Reverent
G, Aonderous
!G Suspicious GK Scheming
G. Aaranoid
GG "autious
GF Deceitfu5
F 2ervous
!F /ncivi5i>ed F! /ncu5tured
F2 *oorish
F+ *ar)aric
F- Grace5ess
F, "rude
2 1io5entFK "rue5
F. Sadistic
FG Immora5
FF @ea5ous
3ther 2A" "haracteristics
3f course$ 2A"s are more than :ust persona5ities and character traits. #ach 2A"$
5i'e each p5a%er character$ has a)i5ities and a uni;ue ph%sica5 appearance. &o6ever$
considering 2A"s come from the entire range of humanit% Land some fantas% races$ as
6e55BM$ no ta)5es are given to fi55 in these detai5s. A fe6 ta)5es simp5% cannot do :ustice to
the huge variet% of an entire game 6or5d.
7urthermore$ the ph%sica5 appearance and a)i5ities shou5d )e determined )% the
needs of the stor%$ not random choice. If the p5a%er characters are dea5ing 6ith an
inn'eeper$ the 2A" shou5d )e an ordinar% person$ not a po6erfu5 mem)er of a character
c5ass. 7urthermore$ he shou5d act$ dress and )ehave 5i'e an inn'eeper. Therefore$ the DM
cou5d decide the inn'eeper is fat and f5orid$ overHta5'ative$ 6ith no e8ceptiona5 a)i5it%
3n the other hand$ sa% the A"s encounter a m%sterious stranger$ a character of
great po6er. &ere$ the DM decides the stranger9s mere appearance radiates a po6erfu5
charismatic appea5. The stranger9s "harisma score is e8ceptiona55% high. To ma'e the
2A" even more impressive$ the DM assigns him a character c5ass and ;uite a high 5eve5.
In )oth e8amp5es a)ove$ the DM decided 6hat effect he 6anted from the 2A"
and )ui5t the character around that.
#ver% aspect of an 2A" is a too5 for the DM. Some are ;uite o)vious$ others ma%
arise on5% in specia5 occasions. Listed )e5o6 are some of the areas a DM can use to create
a distinctive character. Some descriptive 6ords have )een 5isted for each area to spur the
imagination. A good thesaurus can provide even more ad:ectives usefu5 for descri)ing
Game In$ormation: "haracter c5ass Lif an%M$ 5eve5 Lif an%M$ race$ a5ignment.
Age: ancient$ chi5d$ decrepit$ e5der5%$ midd5eHaged$ patriarcha5$ teenHaged$
venera)5e$ %outhfu5.
=eight: )eanHpo5e$ gang5%$ gigantic$ hu5'ing$ 5an'%$ 5ooming$ runt$ short$ sma55$
stump%$ ta55$ tin%$ 6i55o6%.
2eight: )roadHshou5dered$ fat$ gaunt$ o)ese$ p5ump$ potH)e55ied$ rotund$
scarecro6$ s'inn%$ s5ender$ s5im$ statues;ue$ stout$ thin$ trim
=air: )a5d$ )raided$ co5or Lan%M$ cropped$ cur5%$ fra>>5ed$ greas%$ gri>>5ed$
5eonine$ 5imp$ sa5tHandHpepper$ sparse$ straight$ thic'$ thin$ 6av%$ 6ido69s pea'ed$ 6ir%.
&anner o$ speech: accented$ )reath5ess$ crisp$ guttura5$ highHpitched$ 5isp$ 5oud$
nasa5$ s5o6$ s;uea'%$ stutter$ 6hee>%$ 6hin%$ 6hisper%.
5acial characteristics: )earded$ )uc'Htoothed$ chise5ed$ doeHe%ed$ fineHfeatured$
f5orid$ gapHtoothed$ gog