20 Untimate Questions
1. Ability scores generation method? Roll 4d6 (do NOT roll 1’s over) and take the highest three; do this six times, and arrange to taste
2. How are death and dying handled? Rather complicated, actually, so I’ll post the rule as I have it written:
• When you are reduced to between 0 hit points and a number of negative hit points equal to your level, you may make a saving throw versus Poison; if you succeed, you remain conscious, but are sickened, and all you can do is crawl, groan, and mumble (you cannot attack, defend yourself, cast a spell, use a magic device, pull a lever, shout, pull something from a backpack, or perform any other action, and if you try to do so, you automatically FAIL and immediately fall unconscious). You can drink a potion that is ready and at hand (i.e. in a pocket or pouch, not in a backpack). If you fail the save, or otherwise fall unconscious through attempting an action, you must make a second saving throw, as below, or start bleeding, though you get a +2 bonus to the saving throw (each time you must make it) as your wounds are not as severe.
• When you are reduced to a number of negative hit points between the negative of your level plus one to -10 plus your negative level, you are unconscious. You must make a saving throw against Poison or you are bleeding; you bleed one hit point every round, at the end of the round after all attacks and spells and other actions have been accounted for. If you make your saving throw, you are temporarily stabilized; however, after every turn (10 rounds) which unconscious you must make another saving throw, or start bleeding.
• When you reach a number of negative hit points equal to -10 plus the negative of your level plus one, you die.
o EXAMPLE: Bobby the Bold is a 5th level fighter. From 0 to -5 he has a chance of remaining conscious, though barely able to move or speak. At -6 he is automatically unconscious, and must make a saving throw every turn or start bleeding 1 hit point per round. When he reaches -16 he dies.
• Any character can stop an unconscious character’s wounds from bleeding by applying first aid. This requires one full round (must start the round at the wounded character’s side and end it there) where the rescuer remains uninterrupted (i.e., cannot be attacked). Remember, during this time you are prone and not using your Dexterity bonus (if any), so any attackers gain applicable bonuses to hit you. At the end of that round, the wounded character can attempt another saving throw against Poison; if successful, he stops bleeding, if he fails, he bleeds again. If the saving throw is a “Natural 1,” you do 1d4 points of damage to him by doing something stupid. If the saving throw is a “Natural 20,” you stop the bleeding completely and restore 1d4 hit points. If you fail you can try again next round. If successful and it is not a “Natural 20,” you must spend the next full round bandaging the wounds (remember, these are one minute rounds, not 10 second rounds), or one turn later, he must again make a saving throw or start bleeding again. Once the bleeding has been stopped and bandaged, the wounded character need not make anymore saving throws.
• Any magical cure, from cure light wounds to heal, or potion of healing, etc., that cures at least one hit point of damage automatically stops bleeding without the need to bandage the wound.
• Any character reduced to a sickened state through hit point loss and then revived to greater than 0 hit points will remain in a weakened state for 1d6 turns. While weakened he suffers a -2 penalty to hit, a -2 penalty to damage, and a -2 penalty to all saving throws, cannot cast spells or use magic devices, and moves at only half speed.
• Any character reduced to unconsciousness through hit point loss and then revived to greater than 0 hit points will remain in a coma for 1d6 turns. Thereafter, he must rest until he regains half his hit points, or no less than a full week at minimum. He will be incapable of any activity other than that necessary to move slowly to a place to rest, eat, and sleep. He cannot attack, defend, cast spells, use magic devices, carry burdens, run, study, research, or do anything else. This is true even if curing spells and/or healing potions are used to return him to full hit points, though if a full heal spell is used the restrictions no longer apply. (DMG p82)
• For each day of complete bed rest in a clean, normal environment (i.e. NOT in a dungeon) you heal 1 hit point, up to 7 per week. However, if you suffer a Constitution penalty to hit points, your healing for the full week is reduced by that many points (from the first day of rest). If you have a -2 penalty to hit points, you would only gain 5 hit points back from a full week of rest, gaining NO healing on the first two days!
• The second week of complete bed rest any character with a bonus to hit points from Constitution adds the bonus to his hit points restored for the COMPLETE week of rest.
• On the third and subsequent weeks of complete bed rest you gain DOUBLE the normal hit points (after first subtracting or adding) each week.
3. What about raising the dead? Raise dead spells are generally reserved for heroes of the faith, though some of the more mercenary temples are open to selling their miracles for cash and services (a cash payment or equivalent of no less than 6000 gp plus a magically-induced quest). The only cleric in the party is a 4th level cleric of Thor; it is highly unlikely that Thor would allow the return of a hero gathered by the Valkyries!
4. How are replacement PCs handled? The new PC is rolled up in standard fashion, and begins with an amount of XP equal to half that of the previous PC. He has a chance of having his own magic items (based on class and level), unless he was bequeathed the items from the previous character (in which case he must be of the same race, and of the family or close family friend of the former character).
5. Initiative: individual, group, or something else? Group initiative, with situational positions determining who goes first, with Dexterity breaking ties if there are any questions.
6. Are there critical hits and fumbles? How do they work? Critical hits on Natural 20 (if not needed to hit the target) mean maximum damage only; Fumble on a Natural 1 means you miss automatically, and if it would have been a miss anyway you drop your weapon (or the bowstring breaks, etc), plus you lose any other attacks that round.
7. Do I get any benefits for wearing a helmet? Nope, but if you do not, opponents can target your head at no penalty (per DMG p 28)
8. Can I hurt my friends if I fire into melee or do something similarly silly? Yes, most definitely, as per the DMG.
9. Will we need to run from some encounters, or will we be able to kill everything? Running away is a perfectly viable and often preferred tactic.
10. Level-draining monsters: yes or no? Yes.
11. Are there going to be cases where a failed save results in PC death? Definitely.
12. How strictly are encumbrance & resources tracked? I call for an encumbrance audit when a big treasure is found. Resources only when something pertinent comes up (what, you don’t have any rope?)
13. What's required when my PC gains a level? Training? Do I get new spells
automatically? Can it happen in the middle of an adventure, or do I have to wait for down
time? No training required for the basic stuff, but in the case of spells, study is required. Magic-users get one spell of any level they can cast each new level “free,” though it cannot be a “named” spell and must be chosen from the Player’s Handbook. Oh, and as XP is given only after the PCs get back to "home base," it won't happen in the midst of the dungeon.
14. What do I get experience for? Killing, avoiding, or otherwise overcoming monsters; gaining treasure; spending treasure appropriately or carousing; 100 xp per level of the dungeon for the first time you get to the level; role-playing appropriately; making the DM or players laugh.
15. How are traps located? Description, dice rolling, or some combination? All of the above.
16. Are retainers encouraged and how does morale work? Encouraged. Morale per combat as the situation warrants, then at return to town to see if he remains employed.
17. How do I identify magic items? Identify spell for quick and expensive, or one week of study of the item per feature by a PC magic-user for cheap and slow.
18. Can I buy magic items? Oh, come on: how about just potions? Potions and scrolls generally, yes, in the city. The village alchemist, mage, and cleric have a few items each, but at very dear cost.
19. Can I create magic items? When and how? Not for quite a few levels, except for minor potions and scrolls. Requires lots of down time, and either lots of gold or specific monster parts.
20. What about splitting the party? Please do… oh please oh please do…