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Dungeons and Dragons at Pokemon Quarantine - Help and Signup - DungeonBot now active!!!

Post by Hytheter on Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:47 pm

They want the D... and D.

Ok folks, this thread will stand as a central place to organise any DnD sessions that may or may not take place in future. This OP in particular will stand as a one-stop repository of helpful resources and explanations for everyone to use.
Remember, most of this post is written under the assumption that most of you have little to no experience with DnD, while I am fairly knowledgeable (except in 4th ed). If anything comes across as cocky or condescending that's not my intent; I'm just trying to be clear and understand...able? (bad start...) And to make sure you guys know that I'm here to help.

Current/Upcoming Games
We now have enough interest to get organised I think.
We Will be Playing Dungeons and Dragons 3.5. Level 1 Characters with 30 Point Buy for Ability Scores(see character creation post). I (Hytheter) will DM.
Currently interested players:
OverlordJ - Warlock or Dread Necromancer
Hanky Panky (tentative) - Beguiler
Xaber: Tallis Windlayer, Elf Ranger
Spark Elektran - Maybe Monk
DicksMcgee: Aella Hollyswood, Half-Elf Rogue
Dregadude - Undecided
Other players welcome, though we're pushing the boundary; we may break into two groups if necessary (but I doubt it will come to that)
All that's left is for everyone to create characters and decide on a time. Feel free to nominate potential dates. For example... next Friday? who's available then? Who isn't?

The Medium
Until further notice, we'll be playing via IRC - specifically the channel #pqdnd on the Mibbit server.
How to Connect to the Channel via Mibbit:

Step 1: Follow this link to Mibbit. Wouldn't hurt to bookmark that either.
Step 2: There is a drop down box under the heading "Connect:". It should say "Mibbit [webirc]". If so, don't touch it! If it says something else though, select it manuwall from the drop down box.
Step 3: In the text box after "Nick:" write the username (or nick as its known on irc) you'd like to use. Wouldn't hurt to make this the name of your character. You can change your nick later so don't stress about it.
Step 4: In the text box after "Channel:", type " #pqdnd ".
Step 5: Hit the connect button or press enter. Ta-da! You're now connected. Unless the site is screwed up. Or you screwed up. Or I screwed up the directions. If it worked you should see the channel topic, which will be something to the effect of "This channel exists or all the sexy dudes and dudettes of Pokemon Quarantine to play some Dungeons and Dragons!"
DungeonBot:

DungeonBot is a tool I've created that runs mIRC scripts that aid and simplify gameplay on IRC. The main function is a dice roller, but he can also record your vital stats, track your wealth, experience and spells per day, and let's you check the status of yourself and others.
To use DungeonBot, type commands in IRC. Commands have the format ![command] [paramters].
Command List:

!roll
Correct Format: !roll [number of dice] [number of dice's faces] [optional modifiers]
Rolls the specified number of specified-sided dice and adds the specified modifiers. Outputs the raw results, the raw results with the mdofiers added, the totals of each set and the total of the raw results with the modifier added once afterward. !roll 4 6 would roll 4 d6s. The number of dice has to be 1-15, and the dice can't have more than 100 faces.
The modifiers are optional; the script can run without them. You can add a flat numerical modifier after the number of faces. For example !roll 2 6 2 will roll 2 d6's and add 2 to each roll. Then, you can add additional modifiers based on the stats you set with other commands, such as Strength, Dexterity, Base Attack Bonus etc. A regular attack roll might be !roll 1 20 bab str. That will roll a d20 and add your Strength and Base Attack Modifier. If you charged, it would be !roll 1 20 2 bab str. Note that the numerical modifier must always go before the stat based modifiers. You can't have more than 5 modifiers.
Valid modifiers include: str dex con int wis cha fort ref will bab ac hp hpmax gp level exp
!set
Correct Format: !set[stat] [number]
Sets a numerical stat for later reference. "stat" can be many things, and the valid values for "number" vary; unless noted, however, all values range from 0-99.
Valid Stats:
An ability score, using its trhee letter abbreviation - str for Strength, dex for Dexterity etc. For example !setcha 14 sets your charisma to 14. Ability modifiers are calculated and set automatically.
A saving throw, using its abbreviation; fort for Fortitude, ref for Reflex and will for Will. !setfort 7 sets your fortitude save to 7.
Base Attack Bonus, abbreviated to bab. !setbab 5 sets your Attack bonus to 5.
HP; Maximum and current hp are done separately  using hpmax and hp respectively. !sethpmax 20 sets your max hp to 20, !sethp 10 sets your current HP to 10. HP can go as high as 999
Armor Class, abbreviated to ac. !setac 19 sets your Armor Class to 19.
Your wealth in Gold Pieces, abbreviated gp. !setgp 1020 sets your wealth to 1020 gold pieces. There is no limit on GP.
Level, written as is. !setlevel 5 sets your level to 5. Your experience will be calculated and set automatically for that level and can be altered separately.
!setscores
Correct format: !setscores [str] [dex] [con] [int] [wis] [cha]
Sets all ability scores at once. Order is important.
!setsaves
Correct format: !setsaves [fort] [ref] [will]
Sets all saving throws at once. Order is important.
!setspells
Correct format: !setspells [Level 0 Spells] [Level 1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]
Sets your maximum and remaining spells per day for every spell level. Order is important.
!setspecial
Correct Format: !setspecial [variable] [number]
Creates a special variable just for you! This can be anything, and is useful for tracking highly specific class features. For example, a Level 5 Paladin might use !setspecial Smite 2 to track his smites per day. "variable" must be a 1 word variable you want to track, "number" can be any number.
!check
Correct format: !check[stat] [optional - person]
If typed without the modifier, the command tells you your value in the chosen stat - !checkscores will show you your ability scores. By adding the modifier, you can check someone else's stats; !checkscores hytheter will give you my ability scores.
Valid stats for this command: hp (shows current and max hp) scores (shows all abilities and modifiers) saves (shows all saves) spells (shows spells per day for all levels) level (shows Level and experience) ac bab gp
!checkspecial
Correct format: !checkspecial [variable] [optional - person]
Returns the value for the specified value. Like !check, returns your own value unless someone else is specified. This is meant for use with the !setspecial command.
!dmg
Correct format: !dmg [number]
Subtracts the number from your current HP. Gives an alert when HP drops to 0 and below.
!heal
Correct format: !heal [number]
Adds the number from your current HP. Automatically caps at your max HP.
!exp
Correct format: !exp [number]
Adds or subtracts the number from your current experience (use - to subtract - eg !exp -1000 removes 1000 experience). Alerts you when you gain enough to level up and automatically sets that variable appropriately.
!gp
Correct format: !gp [number]
Adds or subtracts the number from your current wealth. Alerts you when you gain enough to level up and automatically sets that variable appropriately.
!usespell
Correct format: !usespell [spell level]
Decreases your remaining spells per day by 1 and alerts you if you are out of spell slots at that level.
!refreshspells
Increases your remaining spells per day to the maximum for every spell level.
!modspecial
Correct Format: !modspecial [variable] [number]
Changes your value of the specified variable by the specified number. For use with the !setspecial command.

The System
The main choices we have are DnD 3.5, Pathfinder, and Dnd 4th Ed. I have a significant preference for 3.5 and especially Pathfinder but I'll run through the pros and cons of each and see what you guys have to say.
System Rundown:

Dnd 3.5: The official revised version of Dnd 3rd Edition. Probably the most popular edition around.
+ Most of the content is freely available as Open Gaming Content, and a lot of the rest is findable online anyway. This means its very easy to access information on classes, feats etc just from your browser. Excellent resources include the d20 SRD and D&D Tools. Don't trust D&D Wiki, its clogged with shitty homebrew and doesn't have nearly as much content as DnD Tools anyway. There are other DnD wikis that have the same issues.
+ A huge range of published materials that allow almost any concept to be fulfilled. Probably won't matter too much for our purposes, at least at first; since most of you are new to the game we'll probably stick with mostly core stuff. Worth mentioning regardless, especially if we keep up the habit.
+I personally am very familiar and well read with this system. This sounds like a bias, and it is, but it also means that you guys will have me as a resource, to help you understand the rules and give advice on what to do with your characters etc, and ensures that we aren't collectively going in blind. System familiarity is also a useful trait in a DM when they players are new.
- It's a "dead" system. Wizards no longer supports DnD 3.5 in favour of their current product (4e - which will soon be dead too). Again, not really an issue especially for us, but worth noting.
Pathfinder: Sometimes called Dnd 3.75, Pathfinder came out after 3.5 was discontinued and is in part an attempt to fix certain issues with 3.5 while keeping the heart of it intact.
+ Like 3.5 it has great online accessability due to its Open Gaming License and in fact has less restricted material than 3.5. All relevant material can be found online on sites like the Pathfinder SRD.
+ Slightly simpler than 3.5 in some aspects, without forfeiting flexibility. Its also designed to be an improvement, and is in many ways; for example, individual classes tend to be more exciting, gaining something new at every level as opposed to the occasional "dead level" in 3.5
+ Again, personal familiarity. I haven't actually played Pathfinder but I'm well read on it and its very similar to 3.5 anyway.
+ A wide range of material to pick from, which is bolstered by partial backwards compatability with 3.5 Additionally, Pathfinder material is still being produced by the company that makes it. Like some of the points in 3.5, this probably isn't relevant to us in the short term, but its nice to know.
- I can't really think of any serious negatives.
DnD 4th Edition: The fourth edition of DnD (wow!). Shares core concepts with the others but diverges significantly in the details. I know little about this system, so I can't say whether these changes are for the better or worse.
+ Though I'm not familiar with the system, OverlordJ knows a bit about it. I'm not sure just how familiar he is though.
- Lack of online resources. 4th ed is a little more restricted with its usage policies. I haven't found any good online databases for it, so to play we'd need to buy/illegally download the relevant material. This for me is the main turn-off, since it really hampers the availability of information.

Those in the know, feel free to present any other arguments, but I personally feel 4th ed is too hard to get into without some commitment and/or legal shadiness. I think Pathfinder looks to be a simpler and more interesting than 3.5, but that's fairly subjective.

Signing Up
...which sounds more formal than it is; this is just an interest check. Anyone who wants to play, just post with the following details:
the details that are to follow:
- General Availability in terms of days in a week and/or weeks in the next few months. We'll sort out more specific times later.
- System Preference. Obviously I favour PF > 3.5 > 4e, but feel free to cast a different vote and present any arguments for why.
- Willingness to DM. Keep in mind that I myself am quite willing, so this is obviously optional. I'm thinking in particular of running a simple campaign that gradually introduces you guys to game mechanics.
- What kind of character/s you want to play. This can either be very vague (I wanna be like... a Fighter dude) or highly specific (I want to be a daring acrobat who dual wields katanas and has a small degree of spellcasting! Oh and he's an elf too), though the latter is preferable. This serves two purposes: firstly, it helps us balance the party, since we don't want to end up with 5 wizards and a sorcerer. Secondly, it means I can help you guys out with your builds! As far as I know I'm the most experience and knowledgeable player here, and I'm quite happy to help you guys get the concept you're going for and hopefully not suck.

Helpful Links:
Heroes of Hyrule within:

Mibbit - A good in browser IRC client - remember, we are #pqdnd on Mibbit
d20 SRD - DnD 3.5's SRD in hypertext format
D&D Tools - Contains the vast majority of non SRD content for 3.5.
Pathfinder SRD - For all your Pathfinder needs
Myth-Weavers - A host for Character Sheets of all kinds. The sheets also fill in certain details automatically from your input to save you from computing everything. Very useful.

So then what?
Find out who wants to play, and when we can all do it. Then its a matter of creating characters (more on that later), getting on IRC at the chosen time and playing some DnD!

My current plan (which may be subject to change) is to DM myself and craft a simple campaign that will walk you guys through all the rules. That way we can get right into playing without having to explain so much beforehand (though some will still be necessary). In the same vein, unless people particular want to do it all themselves I can make your character sheets for you based on what you want to play. Making a character can be intimidating when you don't even know all the rules, and I think it'd be smoother to put all the numbers and words in and explain as they come up rather than trying to get you to take in everything at once.

Regardless, I'm going to write up a simple overview of the rules and put them in posts anyway so that you can read up and get some idea, if not a total understanding. And of course I'm not actively discouraging you from making a character yourself, but don't forget that I'm here for advice, either here or on the IRC channel. Have a character concept but don't know how to execute it? Don't understand a game concept? Need to know whether a feat is worth taking? Just ask.

[I'm gonna do the rest in the next two posts since I don't know how much can fit in one post, so don't post just yet]


Last edited by Hytheter on Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:09 am; edited 7 times in total
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons at Pokemon Quarantine - Help and Signup - DungeonBot now active!!!

Post by Hytheter on Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:48 pm

A Quick How To Play for new Players

Here I hope to cover the most important recurring aspects of DnD 3.5/Pathfinder so that you guys have some idea of whats happening and it will also be necessary for character creation if you want to do it yourself.

The Most Important thing - Players and the DM
I mean, obviously players are important.
The DM or Dungeon Master (Also called Game Master or GM) however is what holds everything together. He's the one who runs the game, controlling NPCs and enemies, describing whats happening and making the plot happen, all while trying to accommodate the wants and actions of the players. He has a lot of responsibility but also a lot of Power. In DnD the DM is a stern but generally benevolent god.
DM Responsibilities:

- Providing and controlling NPCs and enemies
- Crafting the game world and plot
- Doing lots of "behind the scenes" action
- Ensuring that the story moves forward while also encouraging player agency
DM Power:

- Secrecy and Secret Rolls - The DM doesn't have to tell players all the facts and figures about their situation. Likewise, he is allowed to make rolls in secret. This helps maintain mystery and suspense and limits "metagaming". Saying "make a perception check everyone" tells them immediately that there's something to percieved. Making the roll for them in secret means they won't know what's coming unless the check succeeds.
- DM Fiat - The DM ultimately has the final say on anything. This could be interpretations of the rules, deciding whether something works or receives a bonus or whatever. This is especially important for unclear or absent rules. It shouldn't be used to completely negate player decisions or railroad them, however. Moderation is key.

The Second Most Important Thing - the d20 Check
The underlying foundation of Dungeons and Dragons and many derivative games is the d20 'check'. This is where you roll a twenty sided dice or d20, add relevant modifiers, and hope that you beat the Difficulty Class (DC) of the task you are trying to accomplish. These things can go under different names (eg Attack Roll vs AC) but the principle is the same.
Sidebar - Bonuses and Stacking:

One of the most common modifiers to a check, and to many other aspects of characters, is a "bonus". Bonuses add flat increases to the result of a check or whatever they apply to.

In general, Bonuses don't stack if:
- They come from the same source. You can't have multiple people cast Bull's Strength on you for a ridiculous amount of strength, because Bull's Strength counts as a single source.
- They have the same name. You'll notice many bonuses have a name, like Shield Bonus, Enhancement Bonus, Profane Bonus, Dodge Bonus, Morale Bonus etc. If two bonuses have the same name, they don't stack; use the higher value. Dodge and Luck bonuses are an exception. Also note that some things will increase a bonus rather than providing a new one. These stack.
Bonuses without a name always stack unless they're from the same source.

Everything else should stack. Your shield bonus, armor bonus, natural armor bonus, dodge bonus and unnamed bonus can all add to your AC, for example.

Parts of a Character
These are the Basic Parts of every Character that you'll need to know about. Listed roughly in order of importance.
Race and Class:

These are the most defining aspects of a character. You don't think of yourself as that green guy who gets angry and charges people. You remember yourself as Grorg the Half-Orc Barbarian.
I'll cover them in more detail under Character Creation, but essentially:
Race is your... well, race. Human, Orc, Elf, Dwarf, Halfling and so on. This only has a minor (but not unimportant!) impact on the mechanics of your character but critical from a roleplaying perspective.
Your class is the main thing - the chassis for everything you are and will be capable of doing. Unless you multiclass, but one step at a time eh?
Level and Experience:

I shouldn't have to explain these, but just in case:
Your Level indicates roughly how spowerful and competent you are. Everything depends on your level in some way.
Experience is just a way of counting towards your next level. Nothing complicated.
Abilities, Ability Scores and Ability Modifiers:

The Abilities are six stats that represent your fundamental capabilities. They are as follows:
STR or Strength: Pretty self explanatory. It's how physically strong you are. Most useful for melee attacking and some ranged attacks, but also for carrying loads and busting down doors. Used in skills that require raw physical prowess, like Swim. Important for Barbarians, Fighters and the like.
DEX or Dexterity: This is how agile and coordinated you are. It's important for ranged attacks and some melee attacks. It also helps determine who acts first in battle, and helps you avoid being hit. Also important for many skills, like Stealth. Important for Rangers, Rogues and Two-Weapon Fighters.
CON or Constitution: Represents your resilience and fortitude. It's main use is to directly increase your HP, as well as help you resist toxins and diseases. Important for everyone! HP means not being dead.
INT or Intellegence: How smart you are, in regards to raw knowledge and problem solving. Book Smarts, in a sense. Determines how many skills you can get and helps in some skills. Its most important for Wizards and certain other casters (usually Prepared Arcane Casters) who rely on it for their spells, but also useful for skill-monkeys like Bards and Rogues.
WIS or Wisdom: It sounds similar to Intellegence I know, but it serves different mechanical purposes. Wisdom is how perceptive you are, your innate understanding and gut instinct. Kinda like Street-smarts to Intellegence's book-smarts. It also determines your Willpower. Usually involved in skills that involve understanding the actions of others like Perception and Sense motive. It's especially important for Divine Casters like Clerics and Druids, who almost universally use WIS as their casting stat. Also fuels many of the Monk's special abilities.
CHA or Charisma: A weird one this. Basically its your force of personality and presence. It reflects how likeable (or horrifying) you are. Generally useful for social skills like Diplomacy. It's especially important for the spellcasting of Sorcerers and Bards, and also plays a key part in the Paladin's abilities.
(Note: You will see the three letter abbreviations eg DEX, STR, WIS much more often than the full words)

For each Ability you have a Score which states your competence for that ability. 10-11 is the human "average". 4-5 and below is basically subhuman, while a 16-17 is the pinnacle of man. 18 and beyond is the realm of pure fantasy - so its a good thing we're playing fantasy. In fact, you'll probably notice that your abilities tend to all be above average. That's because DnD is not about average humans, its about heroes.

Your ability score isn't all that useful though, except for determining the much more important Ability Modifier. While your Strength will be a number like 8 or 15, your Strength Modifier will be something like +3 or -2. The score is based on how far you are from the average score of 10 (which has a 0 modifer). The modifier increases at every even numbered score such that:
0-1 = -5
2-3 = -4
4-5 = -3
6-7 = -2
8-9 = -1
10-11 = 0
12-13 = +1
14-15 = +2
16-17 = +3 and so on.
Alternatively you could think of it via a formula of (Score-10)/2, rounded down. The ability score is what will be used in almost all game mechanics, so they're very important; The fact that you have 15 Strength isn't helpful to remember, but the fact your have a +2 STR modifier is.
HP or Hit Points:

Your HP is your Health - how much damage you can take before you're out of the game. As Pokemon players you shouldn't struggle with this concept. Your HP is determined by 2 things - your Class's Hit Die and your Constitution Modifier.
You always have at least CON HP per level. For example, if you're level 5 and have a +3 CON Modifier, that's 15 HP right there. This is modified retroactively; if you somehow increase your CON modifier to +4 while still at level 5 you will now have 20 HP from your Constitution.
The Hit Die is a variable depending on your Class. Every time you take a level in a class, you roll the appropriate dice and then gain that much HP. For a Sorcerer you'd roll a d4 (or a d6 in Pathfinder), while a Fighter has a d10.
At first level you generally get the maximum value just to make sure you aren't too squishy. For a 3.5 sorcerer, only having 4+CON HP is bad enough, but imagine if you rolled a 1!
So in essence, your HP at any level is Level x (Hit Die + CON modifier). This gets a little less straightforward if you multiclass but let's worry about that later.
AC or Armor Class:

Your Armor Class (AC) is essentially the Difficulty Class for opponents attacking you. It reflects your ability to not be hit, whether by moving around with agility or due to sturdy equipment. You know, like... Armour?
The basic formula for AC is
AC = 10 + Armor Bonus + Shield Bonus + Dexterity Bonus + Misc
But there are some caveats. You don't necessarily need to understand them just yet, but here they are:
The Armor and Shield bonuses are straight forward - it's the bonus provided by your Armor or Shield (or equivelant).
The Dexterity Bonus is just your Dexterity Modifier... sort of. Each kind of Armor has a "Maximum Dexterity Bonus" which reflects how mobile you can be in that armor. If your DEX modifer is greater than this than some of it is wasted in terms of AC. For example, Full Plate Armor has a Max Dex Bonus of +1. So even if you have a +3 Dex Modifier it only increases your AC by 1. As a result characters with high dexterity will generally wear light armor or none at all, while low Dexterity character will wear something more protective.
Now, sometimes you will be hit by a touch attack. This means that the attack doesn't need to penetrate or otherwise ignores your armor - it only needs to touch you to succeed. In this case, you don't get an Armor Bonus to AC. Better hope you can dodge!
Conversely, some conditions such as being Stunned or "surprised" hamper your mobility such that you will be "denied your dexterity bonus to AC". Trust me, you'll be seeing that phrase a lot in the material (since a lot of feat effects and class abilities are also lost in these situations). It just means that you're a sitting duck. If you're Armor fails you you're in trouble.
BAB or Base Attack Bonus:

This is how generally competent you are at using weapons and attacks, represented by a number like +6. There are three BAB progressions:
Martial - Your BAB is equal to your class level.
Semi-Martial - Your BAB is equal to a 3/4 of your level rounded down.
Non-Martial - Your BAB equals half your level rounded down.
So a level 8 Fighter will have a BAB of +8. His Cleric ally would have a BAB of +6 and the party Wizard would have +4. Though Multiclassing messes with it a little.
Saves:

Saves are something that don't come up too often in my experience but they're important when they do. Some attacks and abilities will permit you a save to reduce or negate its effects. Your base saves are based on your Class/es and Level, and recieve modifers based on your Ability Modifiers and certain miscellaneous bonuses.
Reflex: Your ability to jump out of the way or duck for cover. Usually helps you avoid traps and area effects like Fireball. You add your Dex Modifier to your Reflex Save.
Fort or Fortitude: Your ability to resist poison and disease, and effects that target your very substance like Disintegrate. You add your Con Modifier to your Fort Save.
Will: Your willpower. Allows you to resist mind-affecting abilities like compulsion and mind-control. You add your Wis Modifier to your Fort Save.
Skills:

I'm going to cover this in more detail later under Character Creation, but in essence skills represent your combat in areas which don't necessarily involve combat. Using skills involves a d20 Skill Check adding your Ranks in that skill and a relevant ability modifer. The DCs however vary wildly both between and within skills, depending on the circumstances. Its a very case by case thing and I am absolutely not dumping everything down here. If you want to read on, use the d20 or Pathfinder SRDs. Note that this is one of the ways Pathfinder improves on 3.5 in my opinion, due to simplifying the Skill Point system.
CMB and CMD:

These are technically Pathfinder only, but they exist namelessly in 3.5. Pathfinder just simplifies things by giving them a name and making them more consistent.
CMB and CMD are involved in Combat Maneuvers - special techniques that you can use in battle like tripping, sundering and disarming. This is semi-advanced stuff with a lot of details, and you won't see it a whole lot anyway, so I won't cover it in detail but I'll briefly explain:
CMB is your Combat Maneuver Bonus. It's essentially Attack Bonus for combat maneuvers, and is your BAB + STR modifier + Size Modifier.
CMD is your Combat Maneuver Defense - essentially AC for manuevers. Its 10 + BAB + STR mod + DEX mod + Size Modifier. 3.5 doesn't use CMD but uses an opposed roll with similar modifiers, producing similar results, but with more confusion and little consistency between maneuvers.
Feats, Spells, Class Features, Racial Features and other Miscellaneous Abilities:

This stuff will all be covered later! Generally these are the things that will mkae your character unique and interesting, so they're pretty important, but they vary wildly from character to character.

Combat
The bulk of the actual DnD rules (though not necessarily playing itself) revolve around combat. These are the main elements of combat, listed roughly in order of occurence.
Note: For a detailed breakdown try here (for Pathfinder) or here (for 3.5).
Roll for Initiative:

At the start of a new combat, the turn order is determined. Everyone makes an Initiative check by rolling a d20 and adding their Dexterity Modifier and any other bonuses they might have such as the Improved initiative feat. Whoever gets the highest total goes first (unless its a surprise round - see below), second highest goes second and so on. In the case of a tie, the highest modifier (as opposed to the roll) wins. Any remaining ties between players can be decided by negotiation or a coin flip. Ties between characters and their opponents can be decided by a coin flip or DM fiat ("I'll let the player go first to give them a decent chance" or "I'll let the wolves go first because this is an ambush that the players weren't expecting"). In each round, each combatant takes a turn in initiative order until every one has moved. The process repeats until combat ends. Any new combatants will need to make new initiative rolls as they enter the battle.
Surprise! The Surprise Round and First Round:

This only occurs if one or more combatants is not yet aware of the combat. For example, the party is ambushed by a gang of goblins and only the Monk succeeds on a perception check to hear them coming. Lacking time to warn his allies, the characters are unaware of the combat and surprise round occurs.
In the surprise round, only combatants who aren't surprised can act. So the goblins can act, and so can the Monk, but the rest of the party are sitting ducks! In the surprise round, everyone who acts gets either 1 Standard Action OR 1 Move Action (more on that later), acting in initative order.
Until a character acts, they are Flat-Footed, which is a fancy way of saying they haven't gotten into the swing of things yet. In game terms, this means they are denied their dexterity bonus to AC. This is especially significant in the surprise round, because surprised combatants will be vulnerable for that entire round.
After the surprise round (if any) everyone acts in initiative order as normal. But combatants who have not yet acted are still Flat-Footed until they take their first turn!
Rounds, Turns and Actions:

In each round, each player gets one turn (usually). In a turn, under normal circumstances, you can use the following Actions in any order:
- Any number of Free Actions
- One Swift Action OR Immediate Action
- One Move Action and One Standard Action OR one Full Action

Free Actions: Take a marginal amount of time and effort. Includes things like talking, dropping an item, activating certain abilities and much more. You can do these things "infinitely"; however some specific actions have restrictions, and the DM may rule that a particular action or amount of actions is unreasonable ("No, this 10 minute monologue does not constitute a single free action. While talking you were stabbed by Goblins and died before you reached the end of your speech.").
Swift and Immediate Actions: Take slightly more time/effort than a Free Action. Includes a variety of things, usually activating certain abilities or casting Quickened Spells. Swift and Immediate Actions are mostly the same, with one major difference: An immediate action can be used when it isn't your turn! However, using one when its not your turn prevents you from using a Swift/Immediate action in your next turn. Also, you can't use Immediate Actions while flat-footed.
Move Actions: Mostly involve... moving! In a movement action you can make a standard move up to your movement speed. However, there are other things that can be done instead of moving but still take a movement action: Drawing a weapon, standing froma prone position and many abilities (which is usually better than using your standard action) are a few examples.
Standard Actions: This is where you get stuff done. Basic Attacks and many spells are standard actions, as are a wide variety of special abilities. However, you can always take an extra move action instead of a Standard Action.
Full Actions: You're already where you need to be, weapons drawn, all preparations complete. Its time for a full action! Full Actions are like Standard Actions but with extra "oomph". Instead of a single attack, you might be able to use several. Instead of a simple spell, you might be able to cast a more powerful one. Full Actions can be difficult to pull off but are almost always worth it.
Movement and the Grid:

Combat in DnD takes place on a square grid where each square or space represents a 5 foot by 5 foot area (Users of the vastly superior Metric system are allowed to sigh now). Each square you move into decreases your remaining movement by 5'.
Note - Diagonal Movement: The first time you move diagonally in a given action counts as one square or 5', while the second counts as 2 squares or 10'. This pattern repeats for continued diagonal movement. You can't move diagonally past corners or impassable obstacles.

The 5' Step
Once during your turn you can make a single 5' step. This doesn't use an action, and can be used between or even within actions, such as between strikes in a full attack. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity. However, you can't make a 5' step if you use any other sort of movement based action, such as moving, running or charging.

The Move Action
The most basic form of locomotion. Each character has a movement speed depending on various factors. The move action allows you to move any distance up to your movement speed. Funnily enough, moving this way uses up your move action in a turn. You can also move in place of your standard action if you want.

Running
Running is a full action in which you lose your dexterity bonus (there it is again! phrased differently, but still) but may move up to four times your movement speed, with some limitations that aren't really worth listing just now.

Other forms of movement include crawling, climbing, withdrawing and charging.
Attacking:

Ok, this where a lot of stuff starts coming together and making sense.

Attacks
To attack, you make an Attack Roll. Pick a target you can hit, roll a d20 and add your Base Attack Bonus, as well as:
- Your STR Modifier for a Melee Attack
- Your DEX modifier for a Ranged Attack
And any other bonuses you might have.
If the total is higher than your opponent's AC, you hit him! However, note that a natural 20 is always a hit and a natural 1 is always a miss.

You then roll for damage. Each weapon has a different damage dice - a longsword has a d8, while a Greatsword has 2d6. Roll the weapons damage dice and add your STR* if its a Melee Attack (Ranged attacks don't usually get bonus damage based on ayour abilities) and any other bonuses. The opponent then loses that much HP.
*With a one-handed weapon. Two handed attacks add 1.5x STR, while off-hand attacks only add half your STR.

Critical Hits
If your attack hits, and the natural value of your attack roll (ie, the number the dice shows) is in your weapons Critical Threat range (19-20 for most swords, just 20 for many weapons, but can be as high as 15-20) then you may score a critical hit. Make a second Attack Roll. If this roll "misses" you still hit as normal, but if it hits then the threat is confirmed and you score a critical hit. This multiplies the damage you deal - usually by 2, but more for some weapons.

The Attack Action
A simple Attack action uses up your Standard action. A single Attack Action permits only one attack, with few exceptions. If you want to unleash a flurry of attack you'll need to use...

Full Attacks
A Full Attack is a full action that permits more attacks than usual, provided you meet certain criteria:
Dual Wielding: If you are carrying more than one weapon then a Full Attack allows you to attack with both instead of just one. However, it comes at a cost to accuracy. The base penalty is -6 for your primary weapon and -10 for your off-hand weapon. That's a lot! However, you can reduce these penalties by 2 (-4,-Cool by making sure your off-hand weapon is a Light Weapon. That's still a lot though; realistically, if you want to fight this way you need the Two-Weapon Fighting Feat which reduces the penalties to -4/-4 or -2/-2 if the off-hand weapon is Light.
High Base Attack Bonus: As your BAB increases, you can get more attacks in a Full Attack regardless of the weapon. At +6 BAB you get one extra attack with a -5 Penalty. This is sometimes indicated by saying that the character has a +6/+1 BAB. You get an extra attack for every 5 BAB after that, but each extra attack has a more severe penalty than the last. At Level 20, a Fighter has a BAB of +20/+15/+10/+5.
Feats And Abilities: Some special abilities just give you extra attacks. Yay!
Threatening and Attacks of Opportunity:

You are said to be threatening a space if you hold a melee weapon that can reach said space. Usually this means a character with say, a sword, threatens the 8 spaces around him. This is important for certain game features like Flanking and Attacks of Opportunity. Ranged weapons don't normally threaten spaces.

Attacks of Opportunity:
An attack of opportunity is essentially a free attack that you can make in certain circumstances. It's a single attack -like the attack action - but doesn't use any of your actions up and can be used in an opponents turn. You normally only get one AoO per round. You can use an attack of opportunity when an opponent your threaten:
- Tries to use a ranged attack
- Tries to cast a spell - this can stop spells from working
- Tries to move out a space you threaten
- Tries a combat maneuver against you
- Other random stuff
Spells:

Magic! Wizardry! Witchcraft! Sorcery! Whatever you want to call it, the effect is the same. The caster says some magic words and waves his hands around a little and reality bends to his will.

Time
Each Spell has a different casting time. Some are swift actions. Some are standard actions. Some are full actions. Some take even longer: minutes, hours or even days! Obviously the latter group are not suitable for combat. The ones that are just use the appropriate action.

Casting
Choose a spell you know/have prepared (More on Spontaneous vs Prepared casters later...), do the thing it says in the time it takes and its done! Pretty simple in theory. The complexity comes more from the variety of spells themselves, and the bookwork of keeping track of them. I'll expand on all that at a more appropriate time.
Advanced Combat Techniques:

A quick overview of some special techniques you may consider using.

Feinting
You may consider using this, but shouldn't. Its cool in theory but it uses a standard action by default which means you won't get the benefit (which is minimal) until next turn! I may consider house-ruling this to make it more appealing though.

Combat Maneuvers
These range from cool and nifty to useless and have a variety of effects. They can be pretty complicated though. Most are standard actions, but some can be used in place of any attack and others have ongoing effects. They include Tripping, Sundering, Grappling, Overrunning, Disarming and Bull Rushing, as well as Dragging, Repositioning, Stealing and Dirty Tricks in Pathfinder. These don't come up a whole lot, so you may not need to know about them, but if you're interested you can look them up on the pages I've linked.

Charging
A Full Action that combines moving and attacking. Seems kind silly when phrased like that since you get a standard and move action anyway, but I'll clarify: You can move up to twice your movement as long as its in an unhindered straight line towards your target. Then you gain a +2 bonus on the Attack roll but take a -2 penalty to AC until your next turn.

Outside of Combat
Non-combat situations are usually dealt with through a combination of Skill checks and free-form roleplay. You don't need to roll to decide whether you succeed on basic things like walking through a door, but you may need to succeed on a Diplomacy check to convince the guards to let you in.

Dying and Death
If you ever drop to 0 health points or less you fall unconcious and begin dying. When you are dying, your health slowly decreases until you either stabilise or reach -10 HP - when you reach -10 HP by any means you straight up die.
If you die, you aren't necessarily out of the game. There are a couple of options:
In case of emergency, break glass:

- Wait. DnD is a game where people can, and do, come back to life. The party may already have someone capable of casting such a spell, or they may be able to find and NPC who can. This does mean you'll be doing nothing until you are revived; however this option can be combined with one of the other options.
- Roll up a new character. Obviously you'll need to be written into the story, which may not be immediate, but perhaps quicker than a revival (especially at low levels). You'll probably need to start at a level higher than first to be balanced with the party, too.
- Take over an NPC. Sometimes there may be appropriately levelled NPCs associating or even travelling with the party. To save time, such a character could be handed to a player who has lost his own. Usually an excellent band-aid solution if you want to wait for a revival, but depends on the campaign.


And that's all the basics and some other helpful stuff. Obviously there are many more details, but that's the gist of what you need to play. If you wanna know more check out the SRDs I've linked. The next post will be a guide to creating characters, including expanded information on skills, spells and feats.


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Post by Hytheter on Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:48 pm

So You Want To Be An Adventurer? - Character Creation and Levelling

This post will be a rough guide to creating and levelling your character. The SRD's already have similar things, but I also want to fit in some other information as we go. So let's go.

Character Creation
Step 1 - Character Sheet:

This is pretty important.
My recommended method is to sign up to Myth-Weavers. They have sheets for a wide variety of systems. They're especially useful because they compute certain details for you. No need to calculate how much stuff you can carry, just put your Strength in and it should be ready to go. Either way, you definitely need to use some sort of sheet system that is shareable online. Pen and paper is fine for an IRL game, but useless for our purposes.
Step 2 - Race, Class and Concept:

For some reason official sources recommend doing ability scores first, but I think this is more important - how can you know how to assign abilities until you know what you want to be?
So what do you want to be? Some people just pick a class an a race first and take it from there. And that's fine, of course. Another way to tackle it is to come up with an idea, then try to find the class/es that will get you to that concept. This will probably require you to look ahead to other steps to decide what you need to make it work, but it usually ends up with something you think is cool and fun to play.
Sidebar - Race Overview:

A quick summary of the core races for both 3.5 and Pathfinder.
Human
+2 to any Stat in Pathfinder
Gets a Bonus Feat at level 1 and an extra Skill Point per level. Pretty hard to go wrong with a Human, but kinda boring in a way.
Elf
+2 DEX, -2 CON (as well as +2 INT in Pathfinder)
They get some bonuses to perception and low-light vision, plus immunity to sleep. 3.5 also gives them the absurdly specific ability to find secret doors that they walk past.
There are variety of varying subraces as well for those who care to look.
Dwarf
+2 CON, -2 CHA (as well as +2 WIS in Pathfinder)
Slower than other races, but not hampered by armor. They have a natural resistance to poisons and spells, are good at staying on their feet. Bonuses against orcs, goblins and giants.
Gnome
+2 CON, -2 STR (as well as +2 CHA in Pathfinder)
Small sized (which has its own set of positives and negatives). Similar bonuses to dwarves against enemies except with Kobolds over orcs. Bonuses to perception and item based checks. Some small boosts to using and defending against illusions, moreso in Pathfinder.
Halfling
+2 DEX, -2 STR (as well as +2 CHA in Pathfinder)
Also small. Has a boost to saving throws, especially against Fear. Has minor boosts to perception, stealth and some acrobatics (more so in Pathfinder). As a trade-off, 3.5 Halflings get a bonus with thrown weapons and slings.
Half-Elf
+2 to any Stat in Pathfinder
They have the Elves' Sleep Immunity and get Skill Focus as a bonus feat to represent their human heritage. Bonuses to perception; Pathfinder has better, but 3.5 also gives them a boost to social skills.
Half-Orc
3.5: +2 STR, -2 CHA, -2 INT | Pathfinder: +2 to any Stat
3.5 Half Orcs kinda suck hard. They get shitty stats, and the only recompense is Darkvision. Pathfinder half-orcs get better stats I guess, bonus to intimidate and a really situational ability that let's him keep fighting for 1 round at 0 hit points (but not less than 0 hit points). I wouldn't use either version frankly.
Non-Core Races and Monsters
There's a lot of races out there, but a lot of them have balancing issues. Always run them by the DM before using them; he may want to make changes or outright forbid its use, and he does reserve that right.
In 3.5 Material, be wary of things with Racial Hit dice and Level Adjustment. LA is an attempt to balance powerful races, but it usually ends up hurting them. Both LA and RHD also change your effective level, making characters unusable in a level 1 campaign. Talk to the DM though, they may let you nerf/boost the character to avoid these issues.
In Pathfinder they don't really make any attempt to balance the races aside from a poorly defined and non-universal Race-Point system. So its pretty bad too. So again, run things by the DM before you use them. Generally its easiest to stick the core, or at least simple, races.
If it helps, 3.5 has lots of sub-races and Pathfinder has alternate racial features to a similar end, so you shouldn't be left wanting for options.
Sidebar - Class Overview:

A quick summary of the Core classes. You'll notice from my commentary that a lot of these classes seem to be better in Pathfinder, and they are. Bard, Barbarian and Cleric are about the same and Druid isn't as good (but the nerfed feature was pretty ridiculous anyway). The rest are either slightly or significantly improved. I don't mean to use that as an argument for PF over 3.5, I'm just stating the facts so that people know what they're dealing with if that's the system we go with.
Barbarian
d12 Hit Die, full BAB
This is for all your "crazed beserker needs". The main class feature is Rage which gives you enhanced STR and CON at the cost of AC and certain skills, for a limited period of time. The Rages get better as you level up, and you also gain Trap Sense, Uncanny Dodge and Damage Reduction.
Bard
d6 Hit Die (d8 in Pathfinder), 3/4 BAB
A jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none support class. Decent skill list and points, moderate spell-casting, average attacking capability. And of course, Bardic Music which makes the whole party a little stronger. If you want to do a little bit of everything, this is the class for you, but odds are that at least one party member will outshine you most of the time.
Cleric
d8 Hit Die, 3/4 BAB
AKA Divine Wizard. A holy (or unholy) man who recieves spells from a higher power. Clerics can prepare a vast array of spells, of all spell levels, and can also cast a variety of healing spells spontaneously. But wait, there's more! The cleric is also capable at melee combat, especially with certain buffing spells. He can also turn the undead, raise the totally dead and is generally a powerful dude.
Druid
d8 Hit Die, 3/4 BAB
And then there's this asshole. Basically Cleric but with a Nature theme instead of a religious one. Except the druid also gets a powerful animal companion. And he can turn into an animal. This class is considered by many to be overpowered, and when your character is a bear with a pet bear and can summon an army of bears, its easy to see why. (Bears can also be substituted with Wolves, Dinosaurs, Giant Squid...)
Fighter
d10 Hit Die, full BAB
The Fighter is highly generic but also very flexible. In lieu of actual class features, the Fighter instead gets a bonus Feat at first level and every even numbered level. That's a lot of feats! With these you can customise your Fighter to be capable in a wide range of Martial fighting styles, or the absolute undisputed master of a single style. Pathfinder also gives the Fighter some small but helpful boosts for those odd-numbered levels, mainly boosting your capabilities with certain weapons and equipment.
Monk
d8 Hit Die, 3/4 BAB
The Monk is a Martial Artist who fights with no armor and armed with nothing but his fists. But don't let that turn you off; his unarmed strike gets stronger as you level up, rivalling and exceeding ordinary weapons by far. He's also very mobile, and has excellent Saves, some Ki based abilities and a small selection of bonus feats (more in Pathfinder).
Paladin
d10 Hit Die, full BAB
The archetypical Holy Knight, sworn to protect the innocent and destroy all evil. The Paladin is a fearsome combatant with a limited selection of divine spells to boot (which are easier to use in Pathfiner). He can also heal himself and others and gains a powerful, loyal mount (In Pathfinder you can also ditch the mount for a special weapon). His signature ability is Smite Evil, which gives you nice juicy bonuses against an Evil Target of your choice a limited number of times per day. And yes, that's better and more frequent in Pathfinder too. The Pathfinder Paladin is just vastly superior (read: actually worth using) to the 3.5 one. Hell, even if we play 3.5 I will straight up let you use the Pathfinder Paladin instead.
Ranger
d8 Hit Die (d10 in Pathfinder), full BAB
The Ranger is to the Druid as the Paladin is to the Cleric. A Warrior of nature, with a handul of nature based spells and a cute little pet. However, while the Paladin is typically an armored knight, the Ranger is nimble and stealthy. The Ranger gets good skill capability, and a few class features to help him hide and survive in the wild. His favored enemy ability let's him say "fuck that thing in particular" and his combat style let's him focus on either Archery or Two-Weapon Fighting (with some additional options in Pathfinder).
Rogue
d6 Hit Die (d8 in Pathfinder), 3/4 BAB
The ultimate skill monkey, and a contemptible sneak. Rogues get 2 main features: a large skill list with loads of skill points, and Sneak Attack, bitch! Rogue's are no frontline fighters, but their skill set makes them very competent outside of battle, and his Sneak Attacks deal hefty damage to foes unaware of/flanked by the rogue. Together, these features make the rogue a stealthy assassin and exceptional skill-monkey, and learns a number of talents to assist these capabilities.
Sorcerer and Wizard
d4 Hit die (d6 in Pathfinder), 1/2 BAB
These guys I think are similar enough together, and they go to alphabetically anyway. These are your Arcane spellcasters, who learn their magic either by devoted study (Wizard) or innate talent (Sorcerer). These guys are less physically capable than their Divine Equivelants, but their spells are often more powerful and versatile. The main difference is that Sorcers cast spontaneously, with a narrower selection of spells but more on the go flexibility. They also get more spells per day. Meanwhile, Wizards must prepare and decide which spells to use in advance, but have a comparatively huge selection of spells (read: all of them) compared to the sorcerer, and get access to higher levels spells slightly faster. The sorcerer also gets some good, differentiating stuff in Pathfinder.
Other Classes
There are plenty of non-core classes for both systems. Some are better than others though, and its always a good idea to run it by the DM first.
Advanced Option: 3.5 Alternate Class Features and Pathfinder Archetypes
2 Different names for what is essentially the same thing; ACFs and Archetypes is when you swap out certain class features for different ones. This can put a subtle twist on your class or carry it off in a radical new direction. If you're willing to look into it, these can be a great way to customise your character and get exactly the concept you want, but sometimes it can be a little complicated. But again, run things by the DM.
Sidebar - Favored Classes:

In 3.5 races have a favoured class (which may be tour choice). This only matters if you're multiclassing, and even then the rule it applies to is almost universally ignored on account of being terrible.

If you're playing Pathfinder, you get to choose what your favoured class is regardless of race, and it does provide a small bonus: Every time you level up, you may gain either an extra hit point or an extra skill point (your choice). Or, depending on your Race/Class combination, you may have other choices.
Now, if you aren't planning to multiclass than the class you've chosen is definitely your favoured class - you will recieve that bonus now and at every level. If not, you must decide. Generally, whichever class you plan to take the most levels in should be the one you favour.
Step 3 - Ability Scores and Modifiers:

Now that we know your class, race and what you want to be, we can assign Ability Scores.
There are two main ways of generating Ability Scores (and a third that I use with my friends), which will depend on what the DM sets out at the start of the game:
Random
Scores are determined by the dice. Methods vary, but I think the most common is:
Roll 4d6. Discard the lowest result. Record the result somewhere. Repeat this six times to get six different scores, then assign each to a different ability of your choosing. If you're ballsy, you can apply them in the order you roll them, but then maybe you actually should do this step first and then pick classes accordingly. The main issues with this system are lack of control and the possibility of very good or very bad scores, and a need for the DM to either monitor or trust the rolls of players, and frankly I don't trust you people to hold my sandwich without taking a bite. mspa
Point Buy
In this system, the DM declares a certain point limit, then the players select their ability scores with each different value incurring a certain cost. The cost differs slightly between 3.5 and PF, but not in any significant way. Rather than listing it all, I'll just link this Point Buy Calculator which works for both systems and even adds your Racial Modifier for you for core races. This method allows for maximum control over your scores, but could be seen as "unrealistic". Not that we're here for realism.
Set Values to be Assigned
The DM just gives you six values that everyone assigns. My group has always used a simple 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 10 system, possibly allowing a few 2 point tweaks. It ends up similar to point buy, and is probably less balanced, but I thought I'd mention it.

Assigning the Values
Once you have your values (or while buying them) you need to decide which score needs to go in which stat, generally by putting the highest scores in the most important stats and so on. For primary casters you absolutely want your highest stat to be your casting stat. That's Wisdom for Divine Casters, Int for Wizards and Cha for Sorvcerers, Bards and PF Paladins. Fighters (as in the role, not the class) will either want Strength, Dexterity or both depending on their chosen fighting style. Dexterity is important for anyone who won't be wearing any armor, like Monks or Arcane casters, and also helps Rogues with their skills. Intellegence is helpful if you need Skill Points but that and the other mental stats aren't really that useful to non-casters (though Monks need Wisdom and Paladins need Charisma). Constitution is just good for everyone, and will usually be between your primary stats and your dump stats (dump = the stats you won't be using and thus assign low scores to).
After you've assigned your scores, apply the racial modifiers of your selected race. If you rolled a 16 for Strength, but you're a Half-Orc, that goes up to 18. You can then calculate your modifiers.
Step 4 - Skills:

Skill System Explanation:
Ok, so this is the Skill system. Pathfinder and 3.5 have some serious differences (in PF's favour, imo) but the principles are the same.
- Each Level you get a number of skill points according to your class, plus a number equal to your Int Modifier.
- You invest these Skill points to gain Skill Ranks in skills that you select at a usual rate of 1 Skill Point = 1 rank.
- Each rank in a skill adds +1 to your Skill Checks. Each Skill also has an associated ability; add the modifier for that ability to these rolls as well. Eg a Fighter with 4 ranks in Stealth and a +2 Dex Modifier adds 6 to his Stealth Checks.
- Each Class has "Class Skills" which it uses better than Other skills ("Cross-Class Skills"), though the implementation differs.
The Differences
- In 3.5, it takes 2 skill points to increase ranks in cross-class skills instead of just one. This limitation is absent in Pathfinder.
- In 3.5, the maximum number of ranks you can have in a class skill is your level +3, while the limit for cross-class skills is (Level+3)/2. In Pathfinder, the limit for all skills is the same, and that is just your level. This means that 3.5 can have "more" points for class skills (but see the next point). It also allows more cross-class ranks at level 1, but PF closes the gap at levels 2 and 3 and far exceeds it after that.
- In PF, any class skill with at least one rank recieves a +3 bonus. No such bonus exists in 3.5, but due to the higher maximum it means that the bonuses you receive are equal for maxed class skills.
-In 3.5 you recieve 4x the normal number of skill points at level 1. This sounds like a lot, but PF's +3 bonus to Class Skills and cheaper Cross-Class skills achieve the exact same result, assuming you max every skill you invest in. The advantage of 3.5 is greater flexibility (ie you can choose to invest in a skill without maxing it to invest in more skills overall) but at the cost of some simplicity.
- The Cross-Class business in 3.5 gets even uglier with Multiclassing, trust me, but I won't get into that now.
- Pathfinder has less skills; by which I mean, some of the 3.5 skills were condensed into single skills. While a 3.5 rogue had to spend skill points on both Hide and Move Silently, a PF rogue only has to invest in the combined Stealth Skill, saving his points for something else. Likewise, Search, Spot and Listen were combined into Perception, and Balance, Jump and Tumble became the singular acrobatics. This allows characters to focus on more skills.
Overall, 3.5 is slightly more flexible but much more complex, and Pathfinder gets you much more use out of your cross-class skills AND allows you to invest in "more" skills thanks to the condensed skills.
Assigning Skill Points for 3.5:

1. Work out how many skill points you get, which is the normal skill points your character would gain upon levelling up times 4. In other words 4x(Class Skill Points + Int Modifier + Miscellaneous). For example, a dumb fighter with 8 Int will only get 4x1=4 Skill points. A genius Rogue with 18 Intellegence will get a whopping 48. Miscellaneous boosts are things that increase the amount of skill points you get, for example a Human gets a bonus skill point at every level (which is also multiplied by 4) - so our example Rogue would get 52 skill points.
2. Assign skill points as you please. At level 1, you can have a maximum of 4 Skill Points in any skill, yielding 4 ranks for class skills and half as many for cross class skills. The easiest way to do this is to just max any skill you invest in (so our rogue would max out 13 skills) but you don't have to do it that way.
3. That's... actually it. The explanation takes a lot longer than the actual process. :/
Assigning Skill Points for Pathfinder:

1. Work out how many skill points you get, which is the normal skill points your character would gain upon levelling up. In other words Class Skill Points + Int Modifier + Miscellaneous. For example, a dumb fighter with 8 Int will only get 1 Skill point. A genius Rogue with 18 Intellegence will get a whopping 12. Miscellaneous boosts are things that increase the amount of skill points you get, for example a Human gets a bonus skill point at every level. Your Favoured Class bonus can also add an extra skill point if you so choose. So out example rogue would have 14 skill points.
2. Assign skill points as you please. You can only put 1 skill point in a skill at first level.
3. That's... actually it. The explanation takes a lot longer than the actual process. :/
Step 5 - Feats:

Most characters only get one feat at level 1. Some races and classes may also provide bonus feats (though there may be limitations of the feats available).
The feats you choose will go a long way to shaping your character. Generally you can pick any feat for which you meet the pre-requisites, but look for feats that match your concept, work with your class or seem generally good. Pathfinder has an easily ctrl+f searchable [ur=www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/feat-tree]Feat List/Tree[/url] that may come in handy, and DnD tools has a Filterable List for 3.5.
Step 6 - Spells (if applicable):

Unless you're a spellcaster, skip this step. Fighters, Barbarians, Rogues, move on. But Clerics, Sorcerers, Wizards, Druids and Bard's should stick around. Rangers and Paladins don't need this yet, but they will, so it wouldn't hurt to read it now.
Types of Magic:

Arcane vs Divine
Arcane Magic is directly from the user, and usually goes off Int or Cha. Arcane Magic can be dusrupted by the use of shields and armor. Sorcerers, Bards and Wizards cast Arcane Magic.
Divine Magic is power obtained from another source, like a God or higher power. Divine Magic does not suffer from failure chance when wearing armor. Druids, Clerics, Paladins and Rangers practice Divine Magic.
Spontaneous vs Prepared
I touched on this when explaining the difference between Sorcerers and Wizards.
Prepared Casters have more options for spells. Divine Casters have immediate access to their whole spell list, while Wizards can add any number of Spells to their spellbook so long as they can find them. However, Prepared Casters must choose which specific spells they want to use at the start of the day, and usually can't change their mind later.
Spontaneous Casters have access to a smaller amount of spells, referred to as their "Spells Known". However, no advanced planning is required, allowing them to choose which spells to use as the need arises.
So essentially its a matter of versatility vs flexibility. Prepared casters are more versatile but less flexible; spontaneous casters are more flexible but less versatile.
Important Spellcasting Concepts:

Spell Levels
Every Spell has a level which indicates how powerful it is. Levels range from 0 to 9. 0 level spells are barely more useful than party tricks - in Pathfinder they don't even have a usage limit, so a Bard could continously cast Ghost Sound all day (read: accomplish nothing all day). But approaching 9th Level you learn spells which can end encounters, derail plots and fundamentally alter realities in a single casting (read: totally OP).
You can't use spells of a higher level than your casting stat -10. So A Wizard with 16 Intellegence can only cast level 6 spells and below, while one with 9 Int can't cast at all.
Spells Known
For Spontaneous casters only, this indicates the maximum number of spells that they can know in a given spell level. Although, there are ways to gain spells that don't count towards this limit.
Spell Slots/Spells Per Day
The number of spells that you can cast from from a given spell level per day. Remember that Prepared casters have to choose which spells that will be cast from those spell slots.
You recieved a number of bonus spells per day based on your casting stat. You can find that here in the Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells.
If the spells per day for a given spell level at a given class level is "-" that means you can't cast spells from that level even if you would have Bonus Spells per day from your casting ability.
Your Characters Spells:

To work out your Characters spellcasting capabilities do the following (or use the page for your class - that should explain it well enough):
1. Find the Spells Per Day for each spell level at your class level. Your class level will be 1, and you should only be able to cast 0 and 1st level spells. Add any bonus spells from your ability and write that down.
Prepared Divine Casters are done now, but everyone else needs to select spells.
2a: Spontaneous Casters - Look for your Spells Known table, and find the appropriate number of Spells Known for each spell level at your class level. Select a number of spells from your Spell List until you know that many spells for each spell level.
2b: Spellbook casters - Wizards and some non-core classes cast from a spellbook, the rules for which may differ. Wizards Spellbooks start with all 0 levels spells and a number of 1st level spells equal to 3 + Your Int Modifier. You can pick which spells.
And that's all! The tricky part for Divine Casters and Wizards with big lists is deciding what to use at the start of the day. It wouldn't hurt to write a list of spells you expect to use often or want to remember.
Step 7 - Basic But Important Numbers and Stats:

Most of this stuff will come straight from your class, with some modifiers based on race, abilities and feats.
Saves: From your class, add Dex for Reflex, Con for Fortitude and Wis for Will. You may also have racial bonuses - halfling provides a +1 bonus to all saves. Don't add situational bonuses like the Halfling's fear resistance, not them somewhere else.
HP: For first level this is the maximum value of your Hit Die plus your constitution modifier. 10+Con for Fighters, 4+Con for 3.5 Wizards. You can use your Pathfinder favoured Class bonus to increase it by an additional point if you so choose.
BAB: Straight from your class. NEXT.
Attack rolls: It's not a bad idea to calculate your Melee and Ranged attack bonuses. That's your BAB+STR and BAB+DEX respectively.
Initiative: This is just your DEX mod plus additional modifers; this'll be the number you add to your initiative rolls.
AC: Whoa hold on. Wait til you've gotten your equipment first.
Step 8 - Equipment:

Buy your character some stuff! Each class has a starting wealth value that determines how much gold you have available to start your character. Then use the equipment sections in the SRDs and get yourself some weapons and armor etc.
Don't fret too much about picking the right equipment. Your stuff can and will be regularly replaced by better stuff as you go through an adventure.
This is the time to figure out your Armor Class based on whether you bought Armor and Shields, and what kinds.
AC = 10 + Armor Bonus + Shield Bonus + Dexterity Bonus + Misc
Remember that your Dexterity Bonus may be limited by your choice of armour.
Step 9 - Fluff and Flavour:

This is stuff like your name, gender, appearance, personality, backstory etc. Things that aren't usually relevant to gameplay mechanics but are important for roleplaying.
The only Game Impacting thing that fits this category is your Alignment.
Depending on your class, this may be partially decided already; Barbarians can't be Lawful, but Monks must be, and Paladin's are exclusively Lawful Good.
The simple way to look at alignment is this:
Lawful represents a tendency to respect rules, regulations, traditions, order and structure. Chaotic on the other hand is a tendency towards personal freeding, following your whims and rejecting restrictions.
Good is a tendency towards helping and protecting others. Evil is a tendency to disregard how actions might affect others or actively seek to harm them.
Neutral on both Axes can include elements of both extremes, or it could have elements of neither.
There's more to it than that, some of which is debatable, but that's the gist of it I think.

Ding! Level Up
Whenever you reach a particular amount of experience, your level increases. The process for levelling is much like the process for creating your character, except with much of the particulars already decided for you.
Update Stats:

Your saves and BAB increase according to your new level, which you can find easily from the appropriate table.
For HP, you need to roll your hit die. Your HP increases by the result + your Con Modifier. You can use your Pathfinder Favored Class Bonus for an additional point.
Increase Ability Scores:

At 4th Level and every 4 levels after that you can increase one of your Ability scores by 1 point. I know, that's not much, it won't even increase your modifier half the time, but these things add up, you know? Plus you'll probably get boosts from other sources, so stop being greedy.
Skills:

You gain a number of Skill points equal to your Class Skill Points + Your INT Modifier, plus any other miscellaneous modifiers. In other words, exactly what you got at first level in Pathfinder, or a quarter of your starting amount in 3.5.
You can then apply these as normal.
Note: If your Intellegence Modifier increases, you get more skill points when you level up, but you don't gain retroactive skill points for previous levels.
New Feats:

At some levels you will get new feats. In 3.5 this happens at third level and every three levels after that. In Pathfinder you get a new feat at every odd-numbered level. You may also get bonus feats from a class level.
If any of these things occur, just... pick a new feat. Simple.
New Spells:

Just use the tables for your class to determine your new spells per day. If you're a Wizard, you can add two new spells of any spell level you can cast to your Spellbook. If you're a spontaneous caster you may have increased your spells know, in which case you can select some new spells from your list.
Advanced:

Now this is where things sometimes get tricky and/or awesome.
When you level up, instead of increasing the power of your class, you can instead take a level in another class.
Class and Character Level
This doesn't matter for single-class characters, but for multiclassers a distinction must be made between your Character level - the total number of class levels you have obtained - and your Class Level/s - the levels you have obtained in a given class.
Gaining new feats and Increasing your Abilities, as well as the limits on Skill Points, occurs based on your Character Level. Gaining new Class features and their scaling depend on your class level.
How Classes Combine
Basic things like Saves and BAB stack; just add the values for the two(or more) classes at your class level together, then add modifiers like your ability modifiers.
For HP, roll the hit die of whatever class you're taking a level in and apply appropriate modifiers.
Skills
For skills, you gain skill points according to the class you're taking a level. When spending skill points in 3.5, only Class Skills for the class you are levelling in recieve the full 1 point = 1 rank investment. Cross-class skills only give half-ranks even if they are class skills in another class. However, the upper limit on skill ranks remains Level+3 as long as at least one class has that skill as a class skill. In Pathfinder old class skills retain their +3 bonus and new Class skills can get it as well, and obviously the half rank rule is non-existent.
Spells and Class Features
Class Features only change depending on your individual class levels unless otherwise noted, and usually don't stack. This includes spells; your spells per day/spells known only increase if you increase your level in the relevant spellcasting class. There are Prestige Classes that break this rule though. If you have levels in two different spellcasting classes, you have to track the spells separately, and you can't cast spells from one class in another's slots.
Prestige Classes
Prestige Classes are special classes that have prerequisites - you can't take levels in the class until your meet the criteria. Other than that, they work the same as regular multiclassing, but may advance the progression of existing class features.

Whenever you Level up, you can choose to advance one of your existing classes or take a level in a new one. However, some classes have restrictions on multiclassing, and some classes may be incompatible due to alignment. Remember that in Pathfinder only one class can receive favored class bonuses. 3.5 has rules that can make multiclassing difficult in the form of an EXP penalty if the levels of each class differ greatly, but nobody pays attention to that rule because it sucks.

Planning Ahead
It's usually a good idea to have some idea where you're going and what choices you'll be making in future. This serves a few purposes:
- It speeds up the levelling process, wince you already know what you want instead of having to decide right then
- It let's you make decisions not based on what you are, but what you will be; if you want to take the Improved Trip feat, you'll need to take Combat Expertise first.
- It let's you define your character concept even before you get the skills to pull it off. Sure, you don't have the skills of a master assassin yet, but you can think of yourself as one, or at least an aspiring one.


Last edited by Hytheter on Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:04 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Post by Hanky Panky on Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:25 pm

i will consider creating a character. i recommend 3.5 because of its prevalence.

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Post by Hytheter on Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:57 am

My Opening Posts are complete for now. Hope they're helpful!
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Post by OverlordJ on Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:47 am

They are helpful.

I'd vote for 3.5 myself.

Both systems are much more complicated then 4e but the fact that 3.5 has good online sources IS an important fact.

I'm no fan of d20 SRD, especially since I can't seem to find a good list of all races there and their definition of Evil highly infuriates me. D&D Tools seems helpful.

I found a neat thing about the stats by the way

Spoiler:

Also, I was thinking about playing a Tiefling and I see that they have LA in 3.5 apparently. Can you perhaps explain what exactly that does? You only said it's supposed to balance but you didn't explain HOW
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Post by Hytheter on Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:42 am

Ok so LA means that even though you're level 1, you can't as being a higher level. Say a race has a +2 LA; that means they count as Level 3 for experience purposes (and makes them ineligible in campaigns starting at level 1 or 2). Racial Hit Die also add to this.

I don't know why the Evil definition ifnuriates you, d20 SRD only uses the official text from the official System Reference Document...

edit: It looks like Tieflings mostly have LA because of their Extra Ability Score bonus and maybe their elemental resistances. For 3.5 I'd say you can waive the LA by picking either the Int or Dex bonus. They can fit in with Pathfiner races without problem since they also get extra boosts, but the trend so far (you and Hanky) seems to be tending towards 3.5.
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Post by OverlordJ on Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:59 am

Hytheter wrote:Ok so LA means that even though you're level 1, you can't as being a higher level. Say a race has a +2 LA; that means they count as Level 3 for experience purposes (and makes them ineligible in campaigns starting at level 1 or 2). Racial Hit Die also add to this.

I don't know why the Evil definition ifnuriates you, d20 SRD only uses the official text from the official System Reference Document...

I don't quite get how counting as a higher level is a bad thing...

Also
""Evil" implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some evil deity or master."
Yeah, as an Evil guy, no idea why this angers me.
While I dislike hwo the 4e simplified the alignment system, let me look up what they say about Evil: "Evil characters don't necessarily go out of their way to hurt people, but they're perfectly willing to take advantage of the weakness of other to acquire what they want.
Evil characters use rules and order to maximize personal gain. They don't care whether laws hurt other people. They support insitutional structures that give them power, even if that power comes at the expense of the freedom of others. Slavery and rigid caste structures are not only acceptable but desirable to evil characters, as long as they are in a position to benefit from the order they provide."
Now, as a quick reminder, 4e sort of puts Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil and the more mellow members of Chaotic Evil all in this category.

Do you see the difference? Between someone who's selfish and willing to use the weakness of others as opposed to a guy who's at best heartless and has no trouble killing and at worst does that just for the heck of it?

Hytheter wrote:edit: It looks like Tieflings mostly have LA because of their Extra Ability Score bonus and maybe their elemental resistances. For 3.5 I'd say you can waive the LA by picking either the Int or Dex bonus. They can fit in with Pathfiner races without problem since they also get extra boosts, but the trend so far (you and Hanky) seems to be tending towards 3.5.

Could you maybe tell me where you got those informations from? I am using these DnD Tools you linked and there seems to be quite a few things that they don't list for certain classes and races.

Also, I was unaware of their elemental resistance in 3.5, the DnD tools said nothing about that...
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Post by Hytheter on Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:41 am

OverlordJ wrote:I don't quite get how counting as a higher level is a bad thing...
It means you level up slower, so you don't gain Class Features as quickly. This is bad, because the bonuses from your race are usually vastly inferior to class features. Also, while your effective level is increased, your true character level isn't, meaning you don't get HP, ability score increases feats or Skills that Levelling normally provides. So the Tiefling would miss 1 hit die worth of HP, a levels worth of Skills, a level worth of class features, won't earn feats until a level after his Teammates etc. It's more noticeable with big LAs of course; a Vampire gets some pretty good bonuses but he'll be nothing compared to his level 9 teammates with many times as many feats, skills and health.
And again, since characters with LA are always at least level 2 or more, they can't be used in campaigns that start below that. So if you want to play Tiefling, everyone else has to start at level 2 or you can't play.


Could you maybe tell me where you got those informations from? I am using these DnD Tools you linked and there seems to be quite a few things that they don't list for certain classes and races.

Also, I was unaware of their elemental resistance in 3.5, the DnD tools said nothing about that...

Yeah, I should have mentioned that DnD tools is very useful for Feats, Spells and Classes, the site isn't complete, and lacks certain things especially for races.
That's when d20 SRD is superior, but it doesn't have all the non-core races, because a lot of them aren't on the SRD. You'll have to search for those elsewhere. Tiefling is SRD, but it's technically a monster I think, so you'll find it under the relevant section. This is the SRD for Planetouched, which includes Aasimar and Tieflings. d20 has a searchbar remember; I searched Tiefling and that was the first result.
I also probably should've been less dismissive of DnD Wiki; while a lot of it is shitty homebrew, any page that has "SRD:" in the title is usable content, and its a little more search friendly than d20 SRD sometimes.
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Post by OverlordJ on Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:55 pm

Hmm, I am not as interested in Tieflings now, they are VERY different from their 4e counter parts and don't quite fit what I was hoping to play as.

Honestly, there races and classes are all WAY more confusing then they are in 4e, though maybe that's because I'm trying to find all the information on the web instead of looking in a book...
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Post by Hytheter on Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:18 pm

Well, what are you hoping to play as? I may be able to help you out.
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Post by OverlordJ on Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:25 pm

1) I usualy go for a caster class or something similar. I did play a few assassines but that's a different story.

2) Okay, so, before you get angry or anything, the two classes that currently interesst me the most are the Warlock, which is a pretty interessting class in 4e and seems pretty neat in 3.5 as well but the big problem is that the page linked does NOT contain any of their "spells" (spellike abilities, whatever) and the other class needs a fair bit of charisma to work well, which 3.5 Tieflings obviously DON'T have that much (As opposed to 4e Tieflings who actually always have a +2 BONUS to CHA as opposed to a -2 penality). The class I am talking about is the Dread Necromancer by the way and I know, this might sound a bit bad but come on. They turn into Lichlords. I always wanted to be a Lichlord and the closest thing I know in 4e is the Archlich Epic Destiny which IS pretty awesome, don't get me wrong, but you need to get to level 21 before you can even THINK about turning your caster into a Lich. With the Dread Necromancer, the whole thing beginns as early as SECOND LEVEL. I mean, sure, you're not a proper Lich untill you reach Level 20 but screw it, I wouldn't have been an Archlich untill Level 21 and while I think that the Archlich got some REALLY neat stuff, again, it's an epic destiny. Untill you reach level 21 there would have been NO sign of you turning undead AT ALL.

Okay, so maybe I just really want to play as someone trying to turn into a Lich.

Yeah, that's basically what I want to play.

A nonhuman humanoid, if possible medium sized, without any INT or CHA penalities and maybe even bonuses if possible and hey, if they got Darkvision, that'd be even better, who is a spellcaster and who is trying to obtain imortality by becoming a Lich.
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Post by Hytheter on Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:37 pm

A quick google search turned up this list of invocations: http://eberronunlimited.wikidot.com/warlock-invocations

Dread Necro is interesting. Might be a troublesome team player in-character, but I'm sure it could work.

Not many races in 3.5 seem to boost Charisma. Apparently there's something called a Star Elf that boosts it for no LA. Aasimar boosts it, but does have LA and doesn't really fit the them of either class (since they're half-celestial).

I found a list of non LA races and the stats they boost here: http://community.wizards.com/forum/previous-editions-general/threads/1078216
It doesn't give all the info on them though. You'll have to search for those; DnD 3.5 has a lot of content but sometimes its obscure and hard to find.

I'd seriously consider Humans though, bonus feats are awesome. Halfling is good too; as a caster you don't want to be hit and you can't wear armor, so being small and dextrous won't hurt. It's not like you're using your Strength anyway either. Or Gnome, for similar survival purposes.

Pathfinder had CHA boosting races in core, but no Dread Necromancer. Although Clerics and Wizards/Scorecers can fullfil a similar purpose depending on the spells they select in either system; Clerics actually learn Animate Dead before the DN, and Pathfinder gives them an Archetype for Undead Controlling.

Both games have a Lich Template that lets you become a Lich regardless of class (though you have to be a caster), which may be worked into the story somehow, much lower than Level 20. It has a Level Adjustment though in 3.5, and we'd probably have to work out a way to balance it in Pathfinder lest you outshine your companions.
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Post by Hanky Panky on Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:37 am

if I made a character, it'd be a non-elf race. class would be kind of a sorcerer-rogueish type with a focus on illusion magic more than anything else. like a magical thief? probably gnome.

i don't want to have to prepare spells so wizard is out. strength isn't a hugely important stat for me in most games. i would probably have a weapon that works off my dexterity stat anyway.

espionage/utility character rather than one focused on being able to carry a fight.

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Post by Hytheter on Fri Dec 13, 2013 1:25 am

Hanky Panky that sounds exactly like a Beguiler, or maybe a Bard.
Beguilers have lots of skills, and a limited splll list focusing on Illusion and manipulation. They don't have to prepare or even choose spells - they always have full access to their spell list. They're basically rogues + spells - sneak attack. Oh, and they aren't as good at combat, since they only have half BAB instead of 3/4. Still, it sounds like precisely the thing you want.
Bards can pull it off too, since their spell list gives them some illusion and manipulation too. The beguiler is better at spellcasting (and skills, since they cast using Int which increases skill points), but the Bard is better at fighting.
Halfling and Gnome would be good since small creatures get bonuses to sneaking. Halfling is probably better due to the increased dexterity.

If you want to key attacks off Dex you'll need a feat called weapon finesse, and you still use STR for damage usually. But the beguiler usually has ways to avoid fighting altogether.

If you just want a mundane stealthy character (as in no spells) use Rogue, or maybe Ninja in Pathfinder.

That's casters and skill-monkey covered, hopefully someone else wants to play a fighter-type. Razz
You guys are turning into a pretty shady crew, we might have to play a non-good campaign... Paladins as enemies? I can get behind that.
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Post by OverlordJ on Fri Dec 13, 2013 2:49 am

Hytheter wrote:A quick google search turned up this list of invocations: http://eberronunlimited.wikidot.com/warlock-invocations

Dread Necro is interesting. Might be a troublesome team player in-character, but I'm sure it could work.

Not many races in 3.5 seem to boost Charisma. Apparently there's something called a Star Elf that boosts it for no LA. Aasimar boosts it, but does have LA and doesn't really fit the them of either class (since they're half-celestial).

I found a list of non LA races and the stats they boost here: http://community.wizards.com/forum/previous-editions-general/threads/1078216
It doesn't give all the info on them though. You'll have to search for those; DnD 3.5 has a lot of content but sometimes its obscure and hard to find.

I'd seriously consider Humans though, bonus feats are awesome. Halfling is good too; as a caster you don't want to be hit and you can't wear armor, so being small and dextrous won't hurt. It's not like you're using your Strength anyway either. Or Gnome, for similar survival purposes.

Pathfinder had CHA boosting races in core, but no Dread Necromancer. Although Clerics and Wizards/Scorecers can fullfil a similar purpose depending on the spells they select in either system; Clerics actually learn Animate Dead before the DN, and Pathfinder gives them an Archetype for Undead Controlling.

Both games have a Lich Template that lets you become a Lich regardless of class (though you have to be a caster), which may be worked into the story somehow, much lower than Level 20. It has a Level Adjustment though in 3.5, and we'd probably have to work out a way to balance it in Pathfinder lest you outshine your companions.

Hmm, say, what about a Pixie? They are small and their speed and Strength aren't all that much but they got both INT and CHA bonus and if the linked page isn't wrong they have no LA plus they got some pretty awesome DEX. And that I can't use as many weapons isn't that big a deal for a caster, right? Though the page also says something about ELC and low hit dice, so I'm a little confused...

Also, Dread Necromancer CAN use armour, thought they get in trouble with their spells if it isn't light armour.

Hmm, What do you think about the Underfolk?

Oh also, I saw some really awesome feats. I figured that maybe using those might be a bit much but if we are considering doing a non-good campaign, what are your thoughts on "Vile" Feats, more specifically the ones based onWilling Deformity?

EDIT: Never mind about pixies, apparently it was just that the page didn't have all the info, this one lists various abilities and a LA of either +4 or even +6, so that's not an option
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Post by Xaber on Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:43 am

Right. May as well sign up. I'm available almost all of the time over the next 2 months. After that I'll have school and won't be able to play very much. I don't mind what system, since I'm pretty unfamiliar with all of them. I'd rather not DM. For a character, I'd like to play a True Neutral archer ranger, probably as some kind of elf.
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Post by Spark Eletran on Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:12 am

I'll probably join too though this all seems really complicated and all
I'm thinking of just being a human monk (and xaber suggested chaotic good)

Also Nelly wants to join too and she said she'll be like a chaotic neutral half-elf Rogue yeah
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Post by Dregadude on Fri Dec 13, 2013 2:23 pm

If I get time to figure this all out, I also would like to join. I don't really care what I end up being, so I suppose I'll wait and see what's needed.
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Post by DicksMcgee on Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:25 pm

I'm joining! I can be here about every day but Thursdays and every other weekend. I started making a character, I picked out a name, class, and race, but uhhhh how do I stat help plz. (I'm good at the roleplaying, but not really the mathing)

Oh! Also I'm gonna be a Half-Elf Rogue.
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Post by Hanky Panky on Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:27 pm

True Neutral Gnome Beguiler sounds fine with me. But keep in mind that i'm still on the fence about whether or not I'm actually playing. I'll be working close to 40 hours a week and taking college courses full-time come January. Plus, I'll have MTG and my own DnD playgroup to take care of.

Feel free to build an NPC based off of what I would run, though. And yes, I was thinking that the skill was called weapon finesse. Although I have seen it that certain kinds of weapons get their base damage from different stats. A lot of games have it that knives and daggers proc on dex rather than str


my dude would be in on the campaign solely for the money, but eventually he would probably realize that these people are his friends or some sappy shit like that. Of course, he could always come across a really nice profit and just disappear from the campaign entirely.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons at Pokemon Quarantine - Help and Signup - DungeonBot now active!!!

Post by DicksMcgee on Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:35 pm

Also have a thing from yesterday. I used a generator to make an NPC for fun and...
[00:11:14 13/12/13] DicksMcgee : So I generated an NPC and got a pretty compelling motivation

[00:11:18 13/12/13] DicksMcgee : Primary motivation: A deep fear of the Good. The character is terrified, and will act out of fear.
[00:11:29 13/12/13] DicksMcgee : Explain to me what the Good is please
[00:11:54 13/12/13] Spark Eletran : i dont know but if i had to guess just good itself????
[00:11:59 13/12/13] Spark Eletran : like good actions make him scared
[00:13:28 13/12/13] DicksMcgee : Who is this guy
[00:13:30 13/12/13] DicksMcgee : Satan
[00:14:33 13/12/13] Spark Eletran : yes
[00:14:42 13/12/13] Spark Eletran : precisel
[00:14:44 13/12/13] Spark Eletran : y
[00:15:07 13/12/13] DicksMcgee : If Satan is your average NPC, this is gonna be a good roleplay.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons at Pokemon Quarantine - Help and Signup - DungeonBot now active!!!

Post by Spark Eletran on Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:42 pm

btw nelly you got ninja'd i said you were joining before you did mspa

also i had forgot completely about mr satan the npc
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons at Pokemon Quarantine - Help and Signup - DungeonBot now active!!!

Post by Hytheter on Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:01 am

edit: Also, I should mention for everyone that I will endeavour to stay on the IRC channel. That's a good place to ask for advice if you spot me.
On that note, can everyone connect? It'd be a good idea to make sure you know how to join the channel. Tell me if you're having any trouble.

DicksMcgee wrote:how do I stat help plz. (I'm good at the roleplaying, but not really the mathing)

Oh! Also I'm gonna be a Half-Elf Rogue.

Ok, I think for ability scores we'll use point buy. Let's say... 30 points?

use this: http://tools.digitalightbulb.com/pbcalc.html
scroll down to DnD, then decide what scores you want, and make sure they add up to 30 points.

For a rogue you'll probably want to focus on Dexterity, so make that high. Charisma can help if you want to be a party face/social manipulator, and it also allows rogues to use magical devices better. Intellegence can be helpful for skills, but you'll have lots of skill points already. Wisdom isn't that good unless you want to invest in perception. Strength isn't really important for damage since you have sneak attack. Constitution is always good.
So In order of importance I think Dex > Con > Cha > Wis/Int > Str
This spread should serve:
10 STR, 16 DEX, 14 CON, 12 INT, 10 WIS, 14 CHA
But feel free to play around with the point-buy calculator and get something more to your liking. With that spread you may need to get Weapon Finesse or focus on ranged attacks to make sure you can hit things.

Spark Eletran wrote:I'll probably join too though this all seems really complicated and all
I'm thinking of just being a human monk (and xaber suggested chaotic good)

Also Nelly wants to join too and she said she'll be like a chaotic neutral half-elf Rogue yeah

Monks have to be Lawful, so you can't be a chaotic good Monk.
In case you were wondering, Monks should focus on Wisdom, Dexterity and Strength.

OverlordJ wrote:
Oh also, I saw some really awesome feats. I figured that maybe using those might be a bit much but if we are considering doing a non-good campaign, what are your thoughts on "Vile" Feats, more specifically the ones based onWilling Deformity?

Seems more flavourful than useful, but not certainly not terrible.

If you go with Dread Necromancer an awesome feat is Tomb Tainted Soul. Since you have an unlimited negative energy touch it will let you heal yourself to full health between encounters. It becomes a waste when you actually turn undead though. It may also frustrate your allies that they have to use spells and healing potions while you selfishly heal yourself all day. Razz
I think that's how it works anyway. DnD Tools isn't working atm so I can't confirm.

Xaber wrote:Right. May as well sign up. I'm available almost all of the time over the next 2 months. After that I'll have school and won't be able to play very much. I don't mind what system, since I'm pretty unfamiliar with all of them. I'd rather not DM. For a character, I'd like to play a True Neutral archer ranger, probably as some kind of elf.

Not a bad choice for a ranger at all. The standard Elf boosts Dexterity, which archers want.
Surprisingly, you actually may want some Strength too. Archers sometimes use bows that add Str to damage. Wis is good for spells and perception, and tracking which Rangers are good at.

Dregadude wrote:If I get time to figure this all out, I also would like to join. I don't really care what I end up being, so I suppose I'll wait and see what's needed.

You could go a Fighter or Barbarian, since the Monk is currently the only Melee Fighter (undead army notwithstanding). Alternately, the party lacks innate healing so a Cleric wouldn't go astray. Paladin combines those roles, but you may have some issues with the party...
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons at Pokemon Quarantine - Help and Signup - DungeonBot now active!!!

Post by Hytheter on Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:47 am

Whoa Ok there are a few people online right now, so I'm going to ask, is this approximate time good for people on most days? For reference I think that's... 4:00am GMT?
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons at Pokemon Quarantine - Help and Signup - DungeonBot now active!!!

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