Advanced Dungeons & Dragons®


Player's Handbook

for the AD&D® Game.







            TSR, Inc.         TSR Ltd.

            201 Sheridan Springs Rd.       120 Church End,

            Lake Geneva,  Cherry Hinton

            WI 53147        Cambridge CB1 3LB

            USA    United Kingdom



Foreword to the 2nd Edition

It has been a long time getting here. I don't mean the months, perhaps even years, you may have waited for a revised, expanded, and improved edition of the AD&D game. I mean the long time it has taken me to reach this point, the writing of the foreword. Forewords are written last, so that you can summarize your feelings and experiences about the book you have written.

            It's not accurate to say this is a book that I alone have written. First off, there are a lot of other names listed in the credits. They, especially the editors, contributed time and talents that I don't have. Improving the organization and readability was one of the reasons we started this project in the first place. These are tasks that can't be done without talented editors who play and care about the game. If you discover that it's easier to find rules during your gaming sessions and that everything seems to make more sense, thank the editors.

            Even with the editors, this is not our work alone. None of this would ever have come into being without interested and involved players. The people who really decided what needed to be done for the AD&D 2nd Edition game are the players who mailed in questions, everyone who wrote an article for DRAGON® Magazine, and everyone who button-holed me (or other designers) at conventions. These were the people who decided what needed to be done, what needed fixing, what was unclear, and what they just didn't like. I didn't sit in a vacuum and make these decisions. As the designer and developer, I had to make the final choice, but those choices were based on your input. And your input is the most valuable asset we have going.

            So how do I feel? Excited, exhausted, relieved, and nervous -- all at once. It's a great bag of emotions. I'm excited to see this book come out. I've spent more time on this than I have on any other single work I've done. That leads to exhaustion. The AD&D 2nd Edition game has demanded and received hours upon months of attention. Now that it is finally coming out, the feeling of relief is beginning to set in. There were times when the task looked impossible, when it seemed it would never end, or when everything was going wrong. Only now, when it's in the final stages of polishing, am I beginning to realize that it is really done. And of course there is the nervousness. The AD&D game is the granddaddy of all role-playing games. You've made it perfectly clear that you liked the original edition of the AD&D game, even with all its warts. I liked (and still like) it. So, now with the arrival of AD&D 2nd Edition, of course I'm nervous.

            None of this comes as any surprise. I volunteered to prepare this Edition because I wanted to do something for the game I liked. The ten years of experience I've had in game design has shown me what works and what doesn't and sometimes even why. At the very start, we outlined the goals: to make it easier to find things, to make the rules easier to understand, to fix the things that did not work, to add the best new ideas from the expansions and other sources, and, most important of all, to make sure the game was still the one you knew and enjoyed. Of them all, the last was the hardest and most demanding, conflicting as it did with my basic desire to design things. Fortunately, things didn't rest on me alone. Lots of eager eyes, from those of fellow designers to those of enthusiastic playtesters, minutely examined this book and restrained me from overzealousness. It hasn't always been easy to walk the fine line between "not enough" and "too much."

            In the past two years, I've talked to interested players many times, hearing their concerns and sharing my ideas. It was at the end of one of these talks (at a convention in Missoula, Montana), just as I described some rules change, that one of the listeners smiled and said, "You know, we've been doing that for years." And that is what AD&D 2nd Edition is all about--collecting and organizing all those things that we, as players, have been doing for years.

David "Zeb" Cook

January, 1989


2nd Edition design: David "Zeb" Cook

Development: Steve Winter and Jon Pickens

Playtest Coordination: Jon Pickens

Editing: Mike Breault, Jean Rabe, Thomas Reid, Steven Schend, and Ray Vallese

Proofreading: Jean Black, Teresa Reid, Curtis Smith, Vallerie Vallese, and James Ward

Graphics Coordinator: Sarah Feggestad

Graphic Design: Dee Barnett

            Too numerous to mention by name are the hundreds of players who assisted us in playtesting the AD&D 2nd Edition game. Their efforts were invaluable in improving the manuscript.

            Finally, credit must also be shared with anyone who has ever asked a question, offered a suggestion, written an article, or made a comment about the AD&D game.

            This is a derivative work based on the original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master® Guide by Gary Gygax and Unearthed Arcana and other materials by Gary Gygax and others.

Dungeons & Dragons, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, AD&D, Dungeon Master, Dragon, Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, and Ravenloft are registered trademarks of TSR, Inc. Dungeon Master, DM, and the TSR Logo are trademarks owned by TSR, Inc.

This book is protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America. Any reproduction or other unauthorized use of the material or artwork contained herein is prohibited without the express written permission of TSR, Inc.

Random House and its affiliate companies have worldwide distribution rights in the book trade for English language products of TSR, Inc. Distributed to the book and hobby trade in the United Kingdom by TSR Ltd. Distributed to the toy and hobby trade by regional distributors.

©1995 TSR, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


0-88038-716-513th          .



Before we even start, I want to make sure everyone understands one very important fact:

This is not AD&D 3rd Edition!

            There, everyone can breathe again.

            Rest assured that this is still the same version of the AD&D game that your friends, classmates, and business partners have been playing for years.

            Yes, there are some small and subtle changes in the rules, but you would have to read the whole book very carefully, and have a tremendous memory, to find them. (The changes are the sorts of minor corrections and clarifications we make every time we reprint, and we've reprinted both the Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master Guide more than 10 times since 1989!)

            So what has changed? Obviously, the books look different. We were awfully proud of them when they were released in 1989, but the world doesn't stand still for anyone. We decided that after six years, it was time for a new look.

            And as long as AD&D was getting a new suit of clothes, we elected to let out the seams a bit, too. Both books are a lot bigger: 25% more pages in the PHB, 33% more in the DMG. And we used them up just looking good. Inside you'll find bigger illustrations, lots more color, and pages that are easy to read. Making the switch turned out to be a lot more work than most of us expected it to be, but it was well worth the effort.

            Since the 2nd Edition was released, the AD&D game has grown in ways we never anticipated. We've traveled to a multitude of fabulous worlds, from the misty horror of Ravenloft, to the exotic bazaars of Al Qadim, and across the burning face of Dark Sun. Now the endless horizons of Planescape beckon to us, and beyond even that we see spearpoints and banners waving above the gathering armies of Birthright. And, of course, presiding over it all is the grand and legendary Forgotten Realms.

            Products change, but our goal stays the same: to publish things that make fantasy gamers exclaim, "That's just what I was looking for!" And we do it for the same reason that you play: because it's fun!

Steve Winter

February 6, 1995


Table of Contents

Welcome to the AD&D® Game

            How the Rule Books are Organized

            Learning the Game

            Coming From the D&D Game

            The AD&D Game Line

            A Note About Pronouns

            Creating a Character

The Real Basics

            The Goal

            Required Materials

            An Example of Play


Step-by-Step Character Generation

Chapter 1: Player Character Ability Scores

            Rolling Ability Scores

                        Alternative Dice-Rolling Methods

            The Ability Scores







            What the Numbers Mean

Chapter 2: Player Character Races

                        Minimum and Maximum Ability Scores

                        Racial Ability Adjustments

                        Class Restrictions and Level Limits








            Other Characteristics

Chapter 3: Player Character Classes

                        Class Ability Score Requirements

            Class Descriptions







                        Schools of Magic

                                    Specialist Wizards




                        Priests of Specific Mythoi


                                    Weapons Allowed

                                    Spells Allowed (Spheres of Influence)

                                    Granted Powers


                                    Priest Titles

                                    Balancing It All


                                    Druid Organization




            Multi-Class and Dual-Class Characters

                        Multi-Class Combinations

                        Multi-Class Benefits and Restrictions

                        Dual-Class Benefits and Restrictions

Chapter 4: Alignment

            Law, Neutrality, and Chaos

            Good, Neutrality, and Evil

            Alignment Combinations

                        Non-Aligned Creatures

            Playing the Character's Alignment

            Changing Alignment

Chapter 5: Proficiencies (Optional)

            Acquiring Proficiencies


            Weapon Proficiencies

                        Effects of Weapon Proficiencies

                        Related Weapon Bonus

                        Weapon Specialization

                                    Cost of Specialization

                                    Effects of Specialization

            Nonweapon Proficiencies

                        Using What You Know

                        Secondary Skills

                        Nonweapon Proficiencies

                        Using Nonweapon Proficiencies

                        Nonweapon Proficiency Descriptions

Chapter 6: Money and Equipment

            Starting Money

            Equipment Lists


                        Daily Food and Lodging

                        Household Provisioning

                        Tack and Harness


                        Miscellaneous Equipment





            Equipment Descriptions

                        Tack and Harness


                        Miscellaneous Equipment



                                    Armor Sizes

                                    Getting Into and Out of Armor

                                    Creatures with Natural Armor Classes

            Encumbrance (Optional Rule)

                        Basic Encumbrance (Tournament Rule)

                        Specific Encumbrance (Optional Rule)

                        Encumbrance and Mounts (Tournament Rule)

                        Magical Armor and Encumbrance

                        Effects of Encumbrance

Chapter 7: Magic

            Wizard Spells

                        Schools of Magic

                        Learning Spells


            Priest Spells

            Casting Spells

                        Spell Components (Optional Rule)

            Magical Research

            Spell Descriptions

Chapter 8: Experience

            Group Experience Awards

            Individual Experience Awards


            Where's the Specific Info?

Chapter 9: Combat

                        More Than Just Hack-and-Slash


            The Attack Roll

                        Figuring the To-Hit Number

                        Modifiers to the Attack Roll

            Weapon Type vs. Armor Modifiers (Optional Rule)

                        The Various Types of Weapons

                        Impossible To-Hit Numbers

            Calculating THAC0

            Combat and Encounters

            The Combat Round

                        What You Can Do in One Round

            The Combat Sequence


                        Standard Initiative Procedure

                        Initiative Modifiers

                        Group Initiative (Optional Rule)

                        Individual Initiative (Optional Rule)

                        Multiple Attacks and Initiative

                        Spellcasting and Initiative

                        Weapon Speed and Initiative (Optional Rule)

                                    Magical Weapon Speeds

            Attacking with Two Weapons

            Movement in Combat

                        Movement in Melee

                        Movement and Missile Combat

                        Charging an Opponent


            Attacking Without Killing

                        Punching and Wrestling


                        Weapons in Non-Lethal Combat

                        Non-Lethal Combat and Creatures

            Touch Spells and Combat

            Missile Weapons in Combat


                        Rate of Fire

                        Ability Modifiers in Missile Combat

                        Firing into a Melee

                        Taking Cover Against Missile Fire

                        Grenade-Like Missiles

                        Types of Grenade-Like Missiles

            Special Defenses

            Parrying (Optional Rule)

            The Saving Throw

                        Rolling Saving Throws

                        Saving Throw Priority

                        Voluntarily Failing Saving Throws

                        Ability Checks as Saving Throws

                        Modifying Saving Throws

            Magic Resistance

                        Effects of Magic Resistance

                        When Magic Resistance Applies

                        Successful Magic Resistance Rolls

            Turning Undead

                        Evil Priests and Undead

            Injury and Death


            Special Damage



                        Energy Drain


                                    Treating Poison Victims


                        Natural Healing

                        Magical Healing

                        Herbalism and Healing Proficiencies

            Character Death

                        Death From Poison

                        Death From Massive Damage

                        Inescapable Death

                        Raising the Dead

Chapter 10: Treasure

            Treasure Types

            Magical Items

            Dividing and Storing Treasure

Chapter 11: Encounters

            The Surprise Roll

                        Effects of Surprise

            Encounter Distance

            Encounter Options

Chapter 12: NPCs




            Player Character Obligations

Chapter 13: Vision and Light

            Limits of Vision



            Using Mirrors

Chapter 14: Time and Movement


                        Jogging and Running (Optional Rule)

                        Cross-Country Movement


                        Holding Your Breath


                        Calculating Success

                        Climbing Rates

                        Types of Surfaces

                        Actions While Climbing

                        Climbing Tools

                        Getting Down

Appendix 1: Spell Lists

Appendix 2: Notes on Spells

Appendix 3: Wizard Spells

            First-Level Spells

            Second-Level Spells

            Third-Level Spells

            Fourth-Level Spells

            Fifth-Level Spells

            Sixth-Level Spells

            Seventh-Level Spells

            Eighth-Level Spells

            Ninth-Level Spells

Appendix 4: Priest Spells

            First-Level Spells

            Second-Level Spells

            Third-Level Spells

            Fourth-Level Spells

            Fifth-Level Spells

            Sixth-Level Spells

            Seventh-Level Spells

Appendix 5: Wizard Spells by School

Appendix 6: Priest Spells by Sphere

Appendix 7: Spell Index

Appendix 8: Compiled Character Generation Tables

            (Tables 1-9, 13, 18, 21, 22, 24, 26-30, 33-36)



Table 1:           Strength

Table 2:           Dexterity

Table 3:           Constitution

Table 4:           Intelligence

Table 5:           Wisdom

Table 6:           Charisma

Table 7:           Racial Ability Requirements

Table 8:           Racial Ability Adjustments

Table 9:           Constitution Saving Throw Bonuses

Table 10:         Average Height and Weight

Table 11:         Age

Table 12:         Aging Effects

Table 13:         Class Ability Minimums

Table 14:         Warrior Experience Levels

Table 15:         Warrior Attacks per Round

Table 16:         Fighter's Followers

Table 17:         Paladin Spell Progression

Table 18:         Ranger Abilities

Table 19:         Ranger's Followers

Table 20:         Wizard Experience Levels

Table 21:         Wizard Spell Progression

Table 22:         Wizard Specialist Requirements

Table 23:         Priest Experience Levels

Table 24:         Priest Spell Progression

Table 25:         Rogue Experience Levels

Table 26:         Thieving Skill Base Scores

Table 27:         Thieving Skill Racial Adjustments

Table 28:         Thieving Skill Dexterity Adjustments

Table 29:         Thieving Skill Armor Adjustments

Table 30:         Backstab Damage Multipliers

Table 31:         Thief's Followers

Table 32:         Bard Spell Progression

Table 33:         Bard Abilities

Table 34:         Proficiency Slots

Table 35:         Specialist Attacks per Round

Table 36:         Secondary Skills

Table 37:         Nonweapon Proficiency Groups

Table 38:         Nonweapon Proficiency Group Crossovers

Table 39:         Tracking Modifiers

Table 40:         Movement While Tracking

Table 41:         Weapon Construction

Table 42:         Standard Exchange Rates

Table 43:         Initial Character Funds

Table 44:         Equipment

Table 45:         Missile Weapon Ranges

Table 46:         Armor Class Ratings

Table 47:         Character Encumbrance

Table 48:         Modified Movement Rates

Table 49:         Carrying Capacities of Animals

Table 50:         Stowage Capacity

Table 51:         Combat Modifiers

Table 52:         Weapon Type vs. Armor Modifiers

Table 53:         Calculated THAC0s

Table 54:         THAC0 Advancement

Table 55:         Standard Modifiers to Initiative

Table 56:         Optional Modifiers to Initiative

Table 57:         Armor Modifiers for Wrestling

Table 58:         Punching and Wrestling Results

Table 59:         Cover and Concealment Modifiers

Table 60:         Character Saving Throws

Table 61:         Turning Undead

Table 62:         Visibility Ranges

Table 63:         Light Sources

Table 64:         Base Movement Rates

Table 65:         Base Climbing Success Rates

Table 66:         Climbing Modifiers

Table 67:         Rates of Climbing


Welcome to the AD&D Game

You are reading the key to the most exciting hobby in the world -- role-playing games.

            These first few pages will introduce you to the second edition of the most successful role-playing game ever published. If you are a novice role-player, stop right here and read the section labeled The Real Basics (on the next page). When you understand what role-playing and the AD&D game are all about, come back to this point and read the rest of the introduction. If you are an experienced role-player, skip The Real Basics.

How the Rule Books are Organized

The AD&D game rule books are intended primarily as reference books. They are designed so any specific rule can be found quickly and easily during a game.

            Everything a player needs to know is in the Player's Handbook. That's not to say that all the rules are in this book. But every rule that a player needs to know in order to play the game is in this book.

            A few rules have been reserved for the Dungeon Master® Guide (DMG). These either cover situations that very seldom arise or give the Dungeon Master (DM) information that players should not have beforehand. Everything else in the DMG is information that only the Dungeon Master needs. If the DM feels that players need to know something that is explained in the DMG, he will tell them.

            Like the DMG, the Monstrous Manual™ supplement is the province of the DM. This gives complete and detailed information about the monsters, people, and other creatures inhabiting the AD&D world. Some DMs don't mind if players read this information, but the game is more fun if players don't know everything about their foes -- it heightens the sense of discovery and danger of the unknown.

Learning the Game

If you have played the AD&D game before, you know almost everything you need to play the 2nd Edition. We advise you to read the entire Player's Handbook, but the biggest changes are in these chapters: Character Classes, Combat, and Experience. Be sure to read at least those three chapters before sitting down to play.

            If you come to a term you do not understand, look for it in the Glossary.

            If you have never played the AD&D game before, the best way to learn to play the game is to find a group of experienced players and join them. They can get you immediately into the game and explain things as you need to know them. You don't need to read anything beforehand. In fact, it's best if you can play the game for several hours with experienced players before reading any of the rules. One of the amazing things about a role-playing game is that the concept is difficult to explain, but marvelously simple to demonstrate.

            If none of your friends are involved in a game, the best place to find experienced players is through your local hobby store. Role-playing and general gaming clubs are common and are always eager to accept new members. Many hobby stores offer a bulletin board through which DMs can advertise for new players and new players can ask for information about new or ongoing games. If there is no hobby store in your area, check at the local library or school.

            If you can't find anyone else who knows the AD&D game, you can teach yourself. Read the Player's Handbook and create some characters. Try to create a variety of character classes. Then pick up a pre-packaged adventure module for low-level characters, round up two or three friends, and dive into it. You probably will make lots of mistakes and wonder constantly whether you are doing everything wrong. Even if you are, don't worry about it. The AD&D game is big, but eventually you'll bring it under control.

Coming from the D&D® Game

If you are switching to the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game from the Dungeons & Dragons® game, you have some special adaptations to make. You know everything you need to about role-playing, but you will need to adjust to doing certain things different ways.

            Much of the jargon of the two games is very similar. Don't let this mislead you into thinking that they are the same game. There are many subtle differences (along with some obvious ones), and you will need to read the rules in this book carefully to catch them all.

            Pay special attention to the chapters on PC races and classes, alignment, weapons and armor, and spell descriptions. The terminology of both games is quite similar, sometimes identical, when discussing these rules. These similarities often hide important differences between the way the rules work or how the numbers line up.

            Overall, it is best to approach the AD&D game as if it is a completely new game and be pleasantly surprised when you find overlapping concepts. Don't make the mistake of assuming that a rule, item, or spell with the same name in both games works the same way in both games.

The AD&D Game Line

Quite a few books and other products are published for the AD&D game. As a player, you need only one of them -- this book. Every player and DM should have a copy of the Player's Handbook. Everything else is either optional or intended for the Dungeon Master.

            The Dungeon Master Guide is essential for the DM and it is for the DM only. Players who are not themselves DMs have no cause to read the DMG.

            The Monstrous Manual supplement is also essential to the DM. It includes the most commonly encountered monsters, mythical beasts, and legendary creatures. Additional supplements, called Monstrous Compendium® Annuals, are available for specific AD&D product lines, such as the Ravenloft® and Forgotten Realms® campaign settings. These supplements expand the variety of monsters available and are highly recommended for DMs who play in those settings.

            Expanded character class books--The Complete Fighter, The Complete Thief, etc.--provide a lot more detail on these character classes than does the Player's Handbook. These books are entirely optional. They are for those players who really want a world of choice for their characters.

            Adventure modules contain complete game adventures. These are especially useful for DMs who aren't sure how to create their own adventures and for DMs who need an adventure quickly and don't have time to write one of their own.

A Note About Pronouns

The male pronoun (he, him, his) is used exclusively throughout the second edition of the AD&D game rules. We hope this won't be construed by anyone to be an attempt to exclude females from the game or imply their exclusion. Centuries of use have neutered the male pronoun. In written material it is clear, concise, and familiar. Nothing else is.


The Real Basics

This section is intended for novice role-players. If you have played role-playing games before, don't be surprised if what you read here sounds familiar.

            Games come in a wide assortment of types: board games, card games, word games, picture games, miniatures games. Even within these categories are subcategories. Board games, for example, can be divided into path games, real estate games, military simulation games, abstract strategy games, mystery games, and a host of others.

            Still, in all this mass of games, role-playing games are unique. They form a category all their own that doesn't overlap any other category.

            For that reason, role-playing games are hard to describe. Comparisons don't work because there isn't anything similar to compare them to. At least, not without stretching your imagination well beyond its normal, everyday extension.

            But then, stretching your imagination is what role-playing is all about. So let's try an analogy.

            Imagine that you are playing a simple board game, called Snakes and Ladders. Your goal is to get from the bottom to the top of the board before all the other players. Along the way are traps that can send you sliding back toward your starting position. There are also ladders that can let you jump ahead, closer to the finish space. So far, it's pretty simple and pretty standard.

            Now let's change a few things. Instead of a flat, featureless board with a path winding from side to side, let's have a maze. You are standing at the entrance, and you know that there's an exit somewhere, but you don't know where. You have to find it.

            Instead of snakes and ladders, we'll put in hidden doors and secret passages. Don't roll a die to see how far you move; you can move as far as you want. Move down the corridor to the intersection. You can turn right, or left, or go straight ahead, or go back the way you came. Or, as long as you're here, you can look for a hidden door. If you find one, it will open into another stretch of corridor. That corridor might take you straight to the exit or lead you into a blind alley. The only way to find out is to step in and start walking.

            Of course, given enough time, eventually you'll find the exit. To keep the game interesting, let's put some other things in the maze with you. Nasty things. Things like vampire bats and hobgoblins and zombies and ogres. Of course, we'll give you a sword and a shield, so if you meet one of these things you can defend yourself. You do know how to use a sword, don't you?

            And there are other players in the maze as well. They have swords and shields, too. How do you suppose another player would react if you chance to meet? He might attack, but he also might offer to team up. After all, even an ogre might think twice about attacking two people carrying sharp swords and stout shields.

            Finally, let's put the board somewhere you can't see it. Let's give it to one of the players and make that player the referee. Instead of looking at the board, you listen to the referee as he describes what you can see from your position on the board. You tell the referee what you want to do and he moves your piece accordingly. As the referee describes your surroundings, try to picture them mentally. Close your eyes and construct the walls of the maze around yourself. Imagine the hobgoblin as the referee describes it whooping and gamboling down the corridor toward you. Now imagine how you would react in that situation and tell the referee what you are going to do about it.

            We have just constructed a simple role-playing game. It is not a sophisticated game, but it has the essential element that makes a role-playing game: The player is placed in the midst of an unknown or dangerous situation created by a referee and must work his way through it.

            This is the heart of role-playing. The player adopts the role of a character and then guides that character through an adventure. The player makes decisions, interacts with other characters and players, and, essentially, "pretends" to be his character during the course of the game. That doesn't mean that the player must jump up and down, dash around, and act like his character. It means that whenever the character is called on to do something or make a decision, the player pretends that he is in that situation and chooses an appropriate course of action.

            Physically, the players and referee (the DM) should be seated comfortably around a table with the referee at the head. Players need plenty of room for papers, pencils, dice, rule books, drinks, and snacks. The referee needs extra space for his maps, dice, rule books, and assorted notes.

The Goal

Another major difference between role-playing games and other games is the ultimate goal. Everyone assumes that a game must have a beginning and an end and that the end comes when someone wins. That doesn't apply to role-playing because no one "wins" in a role-playing game. The point of playing is not to win but to have fun and to socialize.

            An adventure usually has a goal of some sort: protect the villagers from the monsters; rescue the lost princess; explore the ancient ruins. Typically, this goal can be attained in a reasonable playing time: four to eight hours is standard. This might require the players to get together for one, two, or even three playing sessions to reach their goal and complete the adventure.

            But the game doesn't end when an adventure is finished. The same characters can go on to new adventures. Such a series of adventures is called a campaign.

            Remember, the point of an adventure is not to win but to have fun while working toward a common goal. But the length of any particular adventure need not impose an artificial limit on the length of the game. The AD&D game embraces more than enough adventure to keep a group of characters occupied for years.

Required Materials

Aside from a copy of this book, very little is needed to play the AD&D game.

            You will need some sort of character record. TSR publishes character record sheets that are quite handy and easy to use, but any sheet of paper will do. Blank paper, lined paper, or even graph paper can be used. A double-sized sheet of paper (11 × 17 inches), folded in half, is excellent. Keep your character record in pencil, because it will change frequently during the game. A good eraser is also a must.

            A full set of polyhedral dice is necessary. A full set consists of 4-, 6-, 8-, 10-, 12-, and 20-sided dice. A few extra 6- and 10-sided dice are a good idea. Polyhedral dice should be available wherever you got this book.

            Throughout these rules, the various dice are referred to by a code that is in the form: # of dice, followed by "d," followed by a numeral for the type of dice. In other words, if you are to roll one 6-sided die, you would see "roll 1d6." Five 12-sided dice are referred to as "5d12." (If you don't have five 12-sided dice, just roll one five times and add the results.)

            When the rules say to roll "percentile dice" or "d100," you need to generate a random number from 1 to 100. One way to do this is to roll two 10-sided dice of different colors. Before you roll, designate one die as the tens place and the other as the ones place. Rolling them together enables you to generate a number from 1 to 100 (a result of "0" on both dice is read as "00" or "100"). For example, if the blue die (representing the tens place) rolls an "8" and the red die (ones place) rolls a "5," the result is 85. Another, more expensive, way to generate a number from 1 to 100 is to buy one of the dice that actually have numbers from 1 to 100 on them.

            At least one player should have a few sheets of graph paper for mapping the group's progress. Assorted pieces of scratch paper are handy for making quick notes, for passing secret messages to other players or the DM, or for keeping track of odd bits of information that you don't want cluttering up your character record.

            Miniature figures are handy for keeping track of where everyone is in a confusing situation like a battle. These can be as elaborate or simple as you like. Some players use miniature lead or pewter figures painted to resemble their characters. Plastic soldiers, chess pieces, boardgame pawns, dice, or bits of paper can work just as well.

An Example of Play

To further clarify what really goes on during an AD&D game, read the following example. This is typical of the sort of action that occurs during a playing session.

            Shortly before this example begins, three player characters fought a skirmish with a wererat (a creature similar to a werewolf but which becomes an enormous rat instead of a wolf). The wererat was wounded and fled down a tunnel. The characters are in pursuit. The group includes two fighters and a cleric. Fighter 1 is the group's leader.

DM: You've been following this tunnel for about 120 yards. The water on the floor is ankle deep and very cold. Now and then you feel something brush against your foot. The smell of decay is getting stronger. The tunnel is gradually filling with a cold mist.

Fighter 1: I don't like this at all. Can we see anything up ahead that looks like a doorway, or a branch in the tunnel?

DM: Within the range of your torchlight, the tunnel is more or less straight. You don't see any branches or doorways.

Cleric: The wererat we hit had to come this way. There's nowhere else to go.

Fighter 1: Unless we missed a hidden door along the way. I hate this place; it gives me the creeps.

Fighter 2: We have to track down that wererat. I say we keep going.

Fighter 1: OK. We keep moving down the tunnel. But keep your eyes open for anything that might be a door.

DM: Another 30 or 35 yards down the tunnel, you find a stone block on the floor.

Fighter 1: A block? I take a closer look.

DM: It's a cut block, about 12 by 16 inches, and 18 inches or so high. It looks like a different kind of rock than the rest of the tunnel.

Fighter 2: Where is it? Is it in the center of the tunnel or off to the side?

DM: It's right up against the side.

Fighter 1: Can I move it?

DM (checking the character's Strength score): Yeah, you can push it around without too much trouble.

Fighter 1: Hmmm. This is obviously a marker of some sort. I want to check this area for secret doors. Spread out and examine the walls.

DM (rolls several dice behind his rule book, where players can't see the results): Nobody finds anything unusual along the walls.

Fighter 1: It has to be here somewhere. What about the ceiling?

DM: You can't reach the ceiling. It's about a foot beyond your reach.

Cleric: Of course! That block isn't a marker, it's a step. I climb up on the block and start prodding the ceiling.

DM (rolling a few more dice): You poke around for 20 seconds or so, then suddenly part of the tunnel roof shifts. You've found a panel that lifts away.

Fighter 1: Open it very carefully.

Cleric: I pop it up a few inches and push it aside slowly. Can I see anything?

DM: Your head is still below the level of the opening, but you see some dim light from one side.

Fighter 1: We boost him up so he can get a better look.

DM: OK, your friends boost you up into the room . . .

Fighter 1: No, no! We boost him just high enough to get his head through the opening.

DM: OK, you boost him up a foot. The two of you are each holding one of his legs. Cleric, you see another tunnel, pretty much like the one you were in, but it only goes off in one direction. Thee's a doorway about 10 yards away with a soft light inside. A line of muddy pawprints leads from the hole you're in to the doorway.

Cleric: Fine. I want the fighters to go first.

DM: As they're lowering you back to the block, everyone hears some grunts, splashing, and clanking weapons coming from further down the lower tunnel. They seem to be closing fast.

Cleric: Up! Up! Push me back up through the hole! I grab the ledge and haul myself up. I'll help pull the next guy up.

(All three characters scramble up through the hole.)

DM: What about the panel?

Fighter 1: We push it back into place.

DM: It slides back into its slot with a nice, loud "clunk." The grunting from below gets a lot louder.

Fighter 1: Great, they heard it. Cleric, get over here and stand on this panel. We're going to check out that doorway.

DM: Cleric, you hear some shouting and shuffling around below you, then there's a thump and the panel you're standing on lurches.

Cleric: They're trying to batter it open!

DM (to the fighters): When you peer around the doorway, you see a small, dirty room with a small cot, a table, and a couple of stools. On the cot is a wererat curled up into a ball. Its back is toward you. There's another door in the far wall and a small gong in the corner.

Fighter 1: Is the wererat moving?

DM: Not a bit. Cleric, the panel just thumped again. You can see a little crack in it now.

Cleric: Do something quick, you guys. When this panel starts coming apart, I'm getting off it.

Fighter 1: OK already! I step into the room and prod the wererat with my shield. What happens?

DM: Nothing. You see blood on the cot.

Fighter 1: Is this the same wererat we fought before?

DM: Who knows? All wererats look the same to you. Cleric, the panel thumps again. That crack is looking really big.

Cleric: That's it. I get off the panel, I'm moving into the room with everybody else.

DM: There's a tremendous smash and you hear chunks of rock banging around out in the corridor, followed by lots of snarling and squeaking. You see flashes of torchlight and wererat shadows through the doorway.

Fighter 1: All right, the other fighter and I move up to block the doorway. That's the narrowest area, they can only come through it one or two at a time. Cleric, you stay in the room and be ready with your spells.

Fighter 2: At last, a decent, stand-up fight!

DM: As the first wererat appears in the doorway with a spear in his paws, you hear a slam behind you.

Cleric: I spin around. What is it?

DM: The door in the back of the room is broken off its hinges. Standing in the doorway, holding a mace in each paw, is the biggest, ugliest wererat you've ever seen. A couple more pairs of red eyes are shining through the darkness behind him. He's licking his chops in a way that you find very unsettling.

Cleric: Aaaaarrrgh! I scream the name of my deity at the top of my lungs and then flip over the cot with the dead wererat on it so the body lands in front of him. I've got to have some help here, guys.

Fighter 1 (to fighter 2): Help him, I'll handle this end of the room. (To DM:) I'm attacking the wererat in the first doorway.

DM: While fighter 2 is switching positions, the big wererat looks at the body on the floor and his jaw drops. He looks back up and says, "That's Ignatz. He was my brother. You killed my brother." Then he raises both maces and leaps at you.

            At this point a ferocious melee breaks out. The DM uses the combat rules to play out the battle. If the characters survive, they can continue on whatever course they choose.



Ability--any of the six natural traits that represent the basic definition of a player character: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. A player character's abilities are determined at the beginning of a game by rolling 6-sided dice (d6s). The scores continue to be used throughout the game as a means of determining success or failure of many actions.

Ability check--a 1d20 roll against one of your character's ability scores (modifiers may be added to or subtracted from the die roll). A result that is equal to or less than your character's ability score indicates that the attempted action succeeds.

AC--abbreviation for Armor Class.

Alignment--a factor in defining a player character that reflects his basic attitude toward society and the forces of the universe. Basically there are nine categories demonstrating the character's relationship to order vs. chaos and good vs. evil. A player character's alignment is selected by the player when the character is created.

Area of effect--the area in which a magical spell or a breath weapon works on any creatures unless they make a saving throw.

Armor Class (abbr. AC)--a rating for the protective value of a type of armor, figured from 10 (no armor at all) to 0 or even -10 (the best magical armor). The higher the AC, the more vulnerable the character is to attack.

Attack roll--the 1d20 roll used to determine if an attack is successful.

Bend bars/lift gates roll--the roll of percentile dice to determine whether a character succeeds in bending metal bars, lifting a heavy portcullis, or similar task. The result needed is a function of Strength and can be found in Table 1.

Bonus spells--extra spells at various spell levels that a priest is entitled to because of high Wisdom; shown in Table 5.

Breath weapon--the ability of a dragon or other creature to spew a substance out of its mouth just by breathing, without making an attack roll. Those in the area of effect must roll a saving throw.

Cha--abbreviation for Charisma.

Chance of spell failure--the percentage chance that a priest spell will fail when cast. Based on Wisdom, it is shown in Table 5.

Chance to know spell--the percentage chance for a wizard to learn a new spell. Based on Intelligence, it is shown in Table 4.

Charisma (abbr. Cha)--an ability score representing a character's persuasiveness, personal magnetism, and ability to lead.

Class--A character's primary profession or career.

Common--the language that all player characters in the AD&D game world speak. Other languages may require the use of proficiency slots.

Con--abbreviation for Constitution.

Constitution (abbr. Con)--an ability score that represents a character's general physique, hardiness, and state of health.

d--abbreviation for dice or die. A roll that calls for 2d6, for example, means that the player rolls two six-sided dice.

d3--since there is no such thing as a three-sided die, a roll calling for d3 means to use a d6, making 1 and 2 be a 1, 3 and 4 be a 2, and 5 and 6 be a 3.

d4--a four-sided die.

d6--a six-sided die.

d8--an eight-sided die.

d10--a ten-sided die. Two d10s can be used as percentile dice.

d12--a twelve-sided die.

d20--a twenty-sided die.

d100--either an actual 100-sided die or two different-colored ten-sided dice to be rolled as percentile dice.

DMG--a reference to the Dungeon Master Guide.

Damage--the effect of a successful attack or other harmful situation, measured in hit points.

Demihuman--a player character who is not human: a dwarf, elf, gnome, half-elf, or halfling.

Dex--abbreviation for Dexterity.

Dexterity (abbr. Dex)--an ability score representing a combination of a character's agility, reflexes, hand-eye coordination, and the like.

Dual-class character--a human who switches character class after having already progressed several levels. Only humans can be dual-classed.

Encumbrance--the amount, in pounds, that a character is carrying. How much he can carry and how being encumbered affects his movement rate are based on Strength and are shown in Tables 47 and 48. Encumbrance is an optional rule.

Energy drain--the ability of a creature, especially undead, to drain energy in the form of class levels from a character, in addition to the normal loss of hit points.

Experience points (abbr. XP)--points a character earns (determined by the Dungeon Master) for completing an adventure, for doing something related to his class particularly well, or for solving a major problem. Experience points are accumulated, enabling the character to rise in level in his class, as shown in Table 14 for warriors, Table 20 for wizards, Table 23 for priests, and Table 25 for rogues.

Follower--a nonplayer character who works for a character for money but is initially drawn to his reputation.

Gaze attack--the ability of a creature, such as a basilisk, to attack simply by making eye contact with the victim.

Henchmen--nonplayer characters who work for a character mainly out of loyalty and love of adventure. The number of henchmen a character can have is based on Charisma and is shown in Table 6. The DM and the player share control of the henchmen.

Hireling--nonplayer characters who work for a character just for money. Hirelings are completely under the control of the DM.

Hit Dice--the dice rolled to determine a character's hit points. Up to a certain level, one or more new Hit Dice are rolled each time a character attains a new class level. A fighter, for example, has only one 10-sided Hit Die (1d10) at 1st level, but when he rises to the 2nd level, the player rolls a second d10, increasing the character's hit points.

Hit points--a number representing: 1. how much damage a character can suffer before being killed, determined by Hit Dice. The hit points lost to injury can usually be regained by rest or healing; 2. how much damage a specific attack does, determined by weapon or monster statistics, and subtracted from a player's total.

Infravision--the ability of certain character races or monsters to see in the dark. Infravision generally works up to 60 feet in the darkness.

Initiative--the right to attack first in a combat round, usually determined by the lowest roll of a 10-sided die. The initiative roll is eliminated if surprise. is achieved.

Int--abbreviation for Intelligence.

Intelligence (abbr. Int)--an ability score representing a character's memory, reasoning, and learning ability.

Italic type--used primarily to indicate spells and magical items.

Level--any of several different game factors that are variable in degree, especially: 1. class level, a measure of the character's power, starting at the 1st level as a beginning adventurer and rising through the accumulation of experience points to the 20th level or higher. At each level attained, the character receives new powers. 2. spell level, a measure of the power of a magical spell. A magic-using character can use only those spells for which his class level qualifies him. Wizard spells come in nine levels (Table 21); priest spells in seven (Table 24).

Loyalty base--a bonus added to or a penalty subtracted from the probability that henchmen are going to stay around when the going gets tough. Based on the character's Charisma, it is shown in Table 6.

M--abbreviation for material component.

Magical defense adjustment--a bonus added to or a penalty subtracted from saving throws vs. spells that attack the mind. Based on Wisdom, it is shown in Table 5.

Maneuverability class--a ranking for flying creatures that reflects their ability to turn easily in aerial combat. Each class--from a top rank of A to a bottom rank of E--has specific statistical abilities in combat.

Material component (abbr. M)--any specific item that must be handled in some way during the casting of a magical spell.

Maximum press--the most weight a character can pick up and raise over his head. It is a function of Strength and may be found in Table 1.

Melee--combat in which characters are fighting in direct contact, such as with swords, claws, or fists, as opposed to fighting with missile weapons or spells.

Missile combat--combat involving the use of weapons that shoot missiles or items that can be thrown. Because the combat is not "toe-to-toe," the rules are slightly different than those for regular combat.

Movement rate--a number used in calculating how far and how fast a character can move in a round. This number is in units of 10 yards per round outdoors, but it represents 10 feet indoors. Thus, an MR of 6 is 60 yards per round in the wilderness, but only 60 feet per round in a dungeon.

MR--abbreviation for movement rate.

Multi-class character--a demihuman who improves in two or more classes at the same time by dividing experience points between the different classes. Humans cannot be multi-classed.

Mythos (pl. mythoi)--a complete body of belief particular to a certain time or place, including the pantheon of its gods.

Neutrality--a philosophical position, or alignment, of a character that is between belief in good or evil, order or chaos.

Nonhuman--any humanoid creature that is neither a human nor a demihuman.

Nonplayer character (abbr. NPC)--any character controlled by the DM instead of a player.

NPC--abbreviation for nonplayer character.

Open doors roll--the roll of a 20-sided die to see if a character succeeds in opening a heavy or stuck door or performing a similar task. The die roll at which the character succeeds can be found in Table 1.

Opposition school--a school of magic that is directly opposed to a specialist's school of choice, thus preventing him from learning spells from that school, as shown in Table 22.

PC--abbreviation for player character.

Percentage (or percent) chance--a number between 1 and 100 used to represent the probability of something happening. If a character is given an X percentage chance of an event occurring, the player rolls percentile dice.

Percentile dice--either a 100-sided die or two 10-sided dice used in rolling a percentage number. If 2d10 are used, they are of different colors, and one represents the tens digit while the other is the ones.

Player character (abbr. PC)--the characters in a role-playing game who are under the control of the players.

Poison save--a bonus or a penalty to a saving throw vs. poison. Based on Constitution, it is shown in Table 3.

Prime requisite--the ability score that is most important to a character class; for example, Strength to a fighter.

Proficiency--a character's learned skill not defined by his class but which gives him a greater percentage chance to accomplish a specific type of task during an adventure. Weapon and nonweapon proficiency slots are acquired as the character rises in level, as shown in Table 34. The use of proficiencies in the game is optional.

Proficiency check--the roll of a 20-sided die to see if a character succeeds in doing a task by comparing the die roll to the character's relevant ability score plus or minus any modifiers shown in Table 37 (the modified die roll must be equal to or less than the ability score for the action to succeed).

Race--a player character's species: human, elf, dwarf, gnome, half-elf, or halfling. Race puts some limitations on the PC's class.

Rate of fire (abbr. ROF)--number of times a missile-firing or thrown weapon can be shot in a round.

Reaction adjustment--a bonus added to or penalty subtracted from a die roll used in determining the success of a character's action. Such an adjustment is used especially in reference to surprise (shown on Table 2 as a function of Dexterity) and the reaction of other intelligent beings to a character (shown on Table 6 as a function of Charisma).

Regeneration--a special ability to heal faster than usual, based on an extraordinarily high Constitution, as shown in Table 3.

Resistance--the innate ability of a being to withstand attack, such as by magic. Gnomes, for example, have a magic resistance that adds bonuses to their saving throws against magic (Table 9).

Resurrection survival--the percentage chance a character has of being magically raised from death. Based on Constitution, it is shown in Table 3.

Reversible--of a magical spell, able to be cast "backwards," so that the opposite of the usual effect is achieved.

ROF--abbreviation for rate of fire.

Round--in combat, a segment of time approximately 1 minute long, during which a character can accomplish one basic action. Ten combat rounds equal one turn.

S--abbreviation for somatic component.

Saving throw--a measure of a character's ability to resist (to "save vs.") special types of attacks, especially poison, paralyzation, magic, and breath weapons. Success is usually determined by the roll of 1d20.

School of magic--One of nine different categories of magic, based on the type of magical energy utilized. Wizards who concentrate their work on a single school are called specialists. The specific school of which a spell is a part is shown after the name of the spell in the spell section at the end of the book.

Somatic component (abbr. S)--the gestures that a spellcaster must use to cast a specific spell. A bound wizard cannot cast a spell requiring somatic components.

Specialist--a wizard who concentrates on a specific school of magic, as opposed to a mage, who studies all magic in general.

Spell immunity--protection that certain characters have against illusions or other specific spells, based on high Intelligence (Table 4) or Wisdom (Table 5) scores.

Sphere of influence--any of sixteen categories of priest spells to which a priest may have major access (he can eventaully learn them all or minor access (he can learn only the lower level spells). The relevant sphere of influence is shown as the first item in the list of characteristics in the priest spells.

Str--abbreviation for Strength.

Strength (abbr. Str)--an ability score representing a character's muscle power, endurance, and stamina.

Surprise roll--the roll of a ten-sided die by the Dungeon Master to determine if a character or group takes another by surprise. Successful surprise (a roll of 1, 2, or 3) cancels the roll for initiative on the first round of combat.

System shock--a percentage chance that a character survives major magical effects, such as being petrified. Based on Constitution, it is shown in Table 3.

THAC0--an acronym for "To Hit Armor Class 0," the number that a character needs to roll in order to hit a target with AC 0.

To-hit roll--another name for attack roll.

Turn--in game time, approximately 10 minutes; used especially in figuring how long various magic spells may last. In combat, a turn consists of 10 rounds.

Turn undead--an ability of a cleric or paladin to turn away an undead creature, such as a skeleton or a vampire.

V--abbreviation for verbal component.

Verbal component (abbr. V)--specific words or sounds that must be uttered while casting a spell.

Weapon speed--an initiative modifier used in combat that accounts for the time required to get back into position to reuse a weapon.

Wis--abbreviation for Wisdom.

Wisdom (abbr. Wis)--an ability score representing a composite of a character's intuition, judgment, common sense, and will power.

XP--abbreviation for experience points.


Step-by-Step Player Character Generation

To create a character to play in the AD&D game, proceed, in order, through Chapters 1 through 6. (Chapter 5 is optional). These chapters will tell you how to generate your character's ability scores, race, and class, decide on his alignment, pick proficiencies, and buy equipment. The necessary steps are summarized here. Don't be concerned if you encounter terms you don't understand; they are fully explained in chapters 1 through 6. Once you've worked through this list, your character is ready for adventure!

Step 1: Roll Ability Scores (chapter 1)

            Your character needs scores for Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma.

Step 2: Choose a Race (chapter 2)

            See Table 7 for ability score requirements. Then adjust the character's scores according to the race chosen:

            Dwarf  Con +1, Cha -1

            Elf       Dex +1, Con -1

            Gnome Int +1, Wis -1

            Half-elf           no adjustments

            Halfling           Dex +1, Str -1

            Human no adjustments

            Consult tables 1-6 and record the various bonuses and penalties the character receives for having particularly high or low scores.

            Consult the racial descriptions in chapter 2 and record the character's special racial abilities.

            Finally, check Tables 10, 11, and 12 to determine the character's height, weight, starting age, and age effects.

Step 3: Select a Class (chapter 3)

            Select a class that is available to your character's race:

            Dwarf  F, C, T, F/T, F/C

            Elf       F, R, M, C, T, F/M, F/T, M/T, F/M/T

            Gnome F, I, C, T, F/C, F/I, F/T, C/I, C/T, I/T

            Half-elf           F, R, M, C, D, T, B, F/C, F/T, F/D, F/M, C/R, C/M, T/M, F/M/C, F/M/T

            Halfling           F, C, T, F/T

            Human F, P, R, M, I, C, D, T, B

            Check Table 13 for class-based ability score restrictions. Read the class description and record special class abilities and restrictions.

            If your character is a fighter, paladin, or ranger, is not a halfling, and has a Strength score of 18, roll d100 to determine exceptional Strength. Consult Table 1 and readjust those bonuses affected by exceptional Strength.

            If your character is a mage, consult Table 4 and record his maximum spell level, chance to learn spells, and maximum number of spells per level. Ask your DM what spells the character knows.

            If your character is a cleric, consult Table 5 and record bonus spells and his chance of spell failure. Note the spell spheres to which the PC has access.

            If your character is a thief, record his base thieving skills scores from Table 26. Modify these scores according to Tables 27 and 28. Then apportion 60 points between those abilities, assigning no more than 30 points to any one score.

            If your character is a bard, not his thief abilities from Table 33. Modify these percentages according to Tables 27 and 28. Then apportion 20 points between these abilities.

Step 4: Choose an Alignment (chapter 4)

            In selecting your alignment, abide by class restrictions:

            Paladin            lawful good

            Ranger lawful, neutral, or chaotic good

            Mythos Priest  any acceptable to deity

            Bard    any neutral combination

            All others        any

Step 5: Record Saving Throws and THAC0 (chapter 9)

            Consult Table 60 to determine the base saving throws for your character. Consult Table 53 to determine your character's THAC0.

Step 6: Roll Hit Points (chapter 3)

            Roll the appropriate hit die for your character. If the character is multi-classed, roll all applicable hit dice and average the results.

            Warrior           1d10

            Priest   1d8

            Rogue  1d6

            Mage   1d4

Step 7: Record Base Movement (chapter 14)

            Find the character' base movement rate on Table 64 and record it. If the optional encumbrance rules are in effect, also record the encumbrance categories from Table 47 and modified movement rates and combat abilities.

Step 8: Select Proficiencies (optional, chapter 5)

            Consult Table 34 to determine the character's weapon and nonweapon proficiency slots. Add the character's number of languages known (from Table 4) to his number of nonweapon proficiencies.

            Select weapon proficiencies. If the character is a fighter, you may select a weapon specialization.

            Select nonweapon proficiencies. Record their relevant abilities and check modifiers.

Step 9: Equip Your Character (chapter 6)

            Consult Table 43 to determine your character's starting funds. Using Table 44, select and pay for your character's starting equipment.

            Consult Table 46 to determine your character's armor class rating. Modify this base AC by his defensive adjustment.

            Record the weight, size, damage, rate of fire, and range information for each weapon carried. Include type and speed factors if those optional rules are in play.



Chapter 1:

Player Character Ability Scores

To venture into the worlds of the AD&D game, you first need to create a character. The character you create is your alter ego in the fantasy realms of this game, a make-believe person who is under your control and through whom you vicariously explore the world the Dungeon Master (DM) has created.

            Each character in the AD&D game has six abilities: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. The first three abilities represent the physical nature of the character, while the second three quantify his mental and personality traits.

            In various places throughout these rules, the following abbreviations are used for the ability names: Strength--Str; Dexterity--Dex; Constitution--Con; Intelligence--Int; Wisdom--Wis; Charisma--Cha.

Rolling Ability Scores

Let's first see how to generate ability scores for your character, after which definitions of each ability will be given.

            The six ability scores are determined randomly by rolling six-sided dice to obtain a score from 3 to 18. There are several methods for rolling up these scores.

            Method I: Roll three six-sided dice (3d6); the total shown on the dice is your character's Strength ability score. Repeat this for Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Chrisma, in that order. This method gives a range of scores from 3 to 18, with most results in the 9 to 12 range. Only a few characters have high scores (15 and above), so you should treasure these characters.

Alternative Dice-Rolling Methods

            Method I creates characters whose ability scores are usually between 9 and 12. If you would rather play a character of truly heroic proportions, ask your DM if he allows players to use optional methods for rolling up characters. These optional methods are designed to produce above-average characters.

            Method II: Roll 3d6 twice, noting the total of each roll. Use whichever result you prefer for your character's Strength score. Repeat this for Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. This allows you to pick the best score from each pair, generally ensuring that your character does not have any really low ability scores (but low ability scores are not all that bad any way!).

            Method III: Roll 3d6 six times and jot down the total for each roll. Assign the scores to your character's six abilities however you want. This gives you the chance to custom-tailor your character, although you are not guaranteed high scores.

            Method IV: Roll 3d6 twelve times and jot down all twelve totals. Choose six of these rolls (generally the six best rolls) and assign them to your character's abilities however you want. This combines the best of methods II and III, but takes somewhat longer.

            As an example, Joan rolls 3d6 twelve times and gets results of 12, 5, 6, 8, 10, 15, 9, 12, 6, 11, 10, and 7. She chooses the six best rolls (15, 12, 12, 11, 10, and 10) and then assigns them to her character's abilities so as to create the strengths and weaknesses that she wants her character to have (see the ability descriptions following this section for explanations of the abilities).

            Method V: Roll four six-sided dice (4d6). Discard the lowest die and total the remaining three. Repeat this five more times, then assign the six numbers to the character's abilities however you want. This is a fast method that gives you a good character, but you can still get low scores (after all, you could roll 1s on all four dice!).

            Method VI: This method can be used if you want to create a specific type of character. It does not guarantee that you will get the character you want, but it will improve your chances.

            Each ability starts with a score of 8. Then roll seven dice. These dice can be added to your character's abilities as you wish. All the points on a die must be added to the same ability score. For example, if a 6 is rolled on one die, all 6 points must be assigned to one ability. You can add as many dice as you want to any ability, but no ability score can exceed 18 points. If you cannot make an 18 by exact count on the dice, you cannot have an 18 score.

The Ability Scores

The six character abilities are described below. Each description gives an idea of what that ability encompasses. Specific game effects are also given. At the end of each ability description is the table giving all modifiers and game information for each ability score. The blue-shaded ability scores can be obtained only by extraordinary means, whether by good fortune (finding a magical book that raises a score) or ill fortune (an attack by a creature that lowers a score).


            Strength (Str) measures a character's muscle, endurance, and stamina. This ability is the prime requisite of warriors because they must be physically powerful in order to wear armor and wield heavy weapons. A fighter with a score of 16 or more in Strength gains a 10% bonus to the experience points he earns.

            Furthermore, any warrior with a Strength score of 18 is entitled to roll percentile dice (see Glossary) to determine exceptional Strength; exceptional Strength improves the character's chance to hit an enemy, increases the damage he causes with each hit, increases the weight the character is able to carry without a penalty for encumbrance (see below), and increases the character's ability to force open doors and similar portals.

            The rest of this section on Strength consists of explanations of the columns in Table 1. Refer to the table as you read.

            Hit Probability adjustments are added to or subtracted from the attack roll rolled on 1d20 (one 20-sided die) during combat. A bonus (positive number) makes the opponent easier to hit; a penalty (negative number) makes him harder to hit.

            Damage Adjustment also applies to combat. The listed number is added to or subtracted from the dice rolled to determine the damage caused by an attack (regardless of subtractions, a successful attack roll can never cause less than 1 point of damage). For example, a short sword normally causes 1d6 points of damage (a range of 1 to 6). An attacker with Strength 17 causes one extra point of damage, for a range of 2 to 7 points of damage. The damage adjustment also applies to missile weapons, although bows must be specially made to gain the bonus; crossbows never benefit from the user's Strength.

            Weight Allowance is the weight (in pounds) a character can carry without being encumbered (encumbrance measures how a character's possessions hamper his movement--see Glossary). These weights are expressed in pounds. A character carrying up to the listed weight can move his full movement rate.

            Maximum Press is the heaviest weight a character can pick up and lift over his head. A character cannot walk more than a few steps this way. No human or humanoid creature without exceptional Strength can lift more than twice his body weight over his head. In 1987, the world record for lifting a weight overhead in a single move was 465 pounds. A heroic fighter with Strength 18/00 (see Table 1) can lift up to 480 pounds the same way and he can hold it overhead for a longer time!

            Open Doors indicates the character's chance to force open a heavy or stuck door. When a character tries to force a door open, roll 1d20. If the result is equal to or less than the listed number, the door opens. A character can keep trying to open a door until it finally opens, but each attempt takes time (exactly how much is up to the DM) and makes a lot of noise.

            Numbers in parentheses are the chances (on 1d20) to open a locked, barred, or magically held door, but only one attempt per door can ever be made. If it fails, no further attempts by that character can succeed.

            Bend Bars/Lift Gates states the character's percentage chance (rolled on percentile dice) to bend normal, soft iron bars, lift a vertical gate (portcullis), or perform a similar feat of enormous strength. When the character makes the attempt, roll percentile dice. If the number rolled is equal to or less than the number listed on Table 1, the character bends the bar or lifts the gate. If the attempt fails, the character can never succeed at that task. A character can, however, try to bend the bars on a gate that he couldn't lift, and vice versa.

Table 1:


Ability Hit       Dmg.   Weight            Max.   Open   Bend Bars/

Score  Prob.   Adj.     Allow. Press   Doors  Lift Gates      Notes

1          -5         -4        1          3          1         0%

2          -3         -2        1          5          1         0%

3          -3         -1        5          10        2         0%

4-5       -2         -1        10        25        3         0%

6-7       -1         None    20        55        4         0%

8-9       Normal            None    35        90        5         1%

10-11   Normal            None    40        115      6         2%

12-13   Normal            None    45        140      7         4%

14-15   Normal            None    55        170      8         7%

16        Normal            +1       70        195      9         10%

17        +1        +1       85        220      10        13%

18        +1        +2       110      255      11        16%

18/01-50         +1        +3       135      280      12        20%

18/51-75         +2        +3       160      305      13        25%

18/76-90         +2        +4       185      330      14        30%

18/91-99         +2        +5       235      380      15(3)   35%

18/00   +3        +6       335      480      16(6)   40%

19        +3        +7       485      640      16(8)   50%    Hill Giant

20        +3        +8       535      700      17(10) 60%    Stone Giant

21        +4        +9       635      810      17(12) 70%    Frost Giant

22        +4        +10      785      970      18(14) 80%    Fire Giant

23        +5        +11      935      1,130   18(16) 90%    Cloud Giant

24        +6        +12      1,235   1,440   19(17) 95%    Storm Giant

25        +7        +14      1,535   1,750   19(18) 99%    Titan


            Dexterity (Dex) encompasses several physical attributes including hand-eye coordination, agility, reaction speed, reflexes, and balance. Dexterity affects a character's reaction to a threat or surprise, his accuracy with thrown weapons and bows, and his ability to dodge an enemy's blows. It is the prime requisite of rogues and affects their professional skills. A rogue with a Dexterity score of 16 or higher gains a 10% bonus to the experience points he earns.

            Reaction Adjustment modifies the die roll to see if a character is surprised when he unexpectedly encounters NPCs. The more positive the modifier, the less likely the character is to be surprised.

            Missile Attack Adjustment is used to modify a character's die roll whenever he uses a missile weapon (a bow or a thrown weapon). A positive number makes it easier for the character to hit with a missile, while a negative number makes it harder.

            Defensive Adjustment applies to a character's saving throws (see Glossary) against attacks that can be dodged--lightning bolts, boulders, etc. It also modifies the character's Armor Class (see Glossary), representing his ability to dodge normal missiles and parry weapon thrusts. For example, Rath is wearing chain mail, giving him an Armor Class of 5. If his Dexterity score is 16, his Armor Class is modified by -2 to 3, making him harder to hit. If his Dexterity score is 5, his Armor Class is modified by +2 to 7, making him easier to hit. (In some situations, beneficial Dexterity modifiers to Armor Class do not apply. Usually this occurs when a character is attacked from behind or when his movement is restricted--attacked while prone, tied up, on a ledge, climbing a rope, etc.)

Table 2:



            Ability Reaction         Attack Defensive

            Score  Adj.     Adj.     Adj.

            1          -6         -6         +5

            2          -4         -4         +5

            3          -3         -3         +4

            4          -2         -2         +3

            5          -1         -1         +2

            6          0         0         +1

            7          0         0         0

            8          0         0         0

            9          0         0         0

            10-14   0         0         0

            15        0         0         -1

            16        +1        +1        -2

            17        +2        +2        -3

            18        +2        +2        -4

            19        +3        +3        -4

            20        +3        +3        -4

            21        +4        +4        -5

            22        +4        +4        -5

            23        +4        +4        -5

            24        +5        +5        -6

            25        +5        +5        -6


            A character's Constitution (Con) score encompasses his physique, fitness, health, and physical resistance to hardship, injury, and disease. Since this ability affects the character's hit points and chances of surviving such tremendous shocks as being physically reshaped by magic or resurrected from death, it is vitally important to all classes. Some classes have minimum allowable Constitution scores.

            A character's initial Constitution score is the absolute limit to the number of times the character can be raised or resurrected from death. Each such revival reduces the character's Constitution score by one. Magic can restore a reduced Constitution score to its original value or even higher, but this has no effect on the number of times a character can be revived from death! Once the character has exhausted his original Constitution, nothing short of divine intervention can bring him back, and divine intervention is reserved for only the bravest and most faithful heroes!

            For example, Rath's Constitution score at the start of his adventuring career is 12. He can be revived from death 12 times. If he dies a 13th time, he cannot be resurrected or raised.

            Hit Point Adjustment is added to or subtracted from each Hit Die rolled for the character. However, no Hit Die ever yields less than 1 hit point, regardless of modifications. If an adjustment would lower the number rolled to 0 or less, consider the final result to be 1. Always use the character's current Constitution to determine hit point bonuses and penalties.

            Only warriors are entitled to a Constitution bonus of +3 or +4. Non-warrior characters who have Constitution scores of 17 or 18 receive only +2 per die.

            The Constitution bonus ends when a character reaches 10th level (9th for warriors and priests)--neither the Constitution bonus nor Hit Dice are added to a character's hit points after he has passed this level (see the character class descriptions in Chapter 3).

            If a character's Constitution changes during the course of adventuring, his hit points may be adjusted up or down to reflect the change. The difference between the character's current hit point bonus (if any) and the new bonus is multiplied by the character's level (up to 10) and added to or subtracted from the character's total. If Delsenora's Constitution increased from 16 to 17, she would gain 1 hit point for every level she had, up to 10th level.

            System Shock states the percentage chance a character has to survive magical effects that reshape or age his body: petrification (and reversing petrification), polymorph, magical aging, etc. It can also be used to see if the character retains consciousness in particularly difficult situations. For example, an evil wizard polymorphs his dim-witted hireling into a crow. The hireling, whose Constitution score is 13, has an 85% chance to survive the change. Assuming he survives, he must successfully roll for system shock again when he is changed back to his original form or else he will die.

            Resurrection Survival lists a character's percentage chance to be successfully resurrected or raised from death by magic. The player must roll the listed number or less on percentile dice for the character to be revived. If the dice roll fails, the character is dead, regardless of how many times he has previously been revived. Only divine intervention can bring such a character back again.

            Poison Save modifies the saving throw vs. poison for humans, elves, gnomes, and half-elves. Dwarves and halflings do not use this adjustment, since they have special resistances to poison attacks. The DM has specific information on saving throws.

            Regeneration enables those with specially endowed Constitutions (perhaps by a wish or magical item) to heal at an advanced rate, regenerating damage taken. The character heals 1 point of damage after the passage of the listed number of turns. However, fire and acid damage (which are more extensive than normal wounds) cannot be regenerated in this manner. These injuries must heal normally or be dealt with by magical means.


Table 3:


            Ability Hit Point         System            Resurrection  Poison

            Score  Adjustment    Shock  Survival          Save    Regeneration

            1          -3         25%   30%   -2         Nil

            2          -2         30%    35%    -1         Nil

            3          -2         35%    40%    0         Nil

            4          -1         40%    45%    0         Nil

            5          -1         45%    50%    0         Nil

            6          -1         50%    55%    0         Nil

            7          0         55%    60%    0         Nil

            8          0         60%    65%    0         Nil

            9          0         65%    70%    0         Nil

            10        0         70%    75%    0         Nil

            11        0         75%    80%    0         Nil

            12        0         80%    85%    0         Nil

            13        0         85%    90%    0         Nil

            14        0         88%    92%    0         Nil

            15        +1        90%    94%    0         Nil

            16        +2        95%    96%    0         Nil

            17        +2 (+3)*          97%    98%    0         Nil

            18        +2 (+4)*          99%    100%   0         Nil

            19        +2 (+5)*          99%    100%   +1        Nil

            20        +2 (+5)**        99%   100%  +1        1/6 turns

            21        +2 (+6)***      99%   100%  +2        1/5 turns

            22        +2 (+6)***      99%   100%  +2        1/4 turns

            23        +2 (+6)****    99%   100%  +3        1/3 turns

            24        +2 (+7)****    99%   100%  +3        1/2 turns

            25        +2 (+7)****    100%  100%  +4        1/1 turn

* Parenthetical bonus applies to warriors only. All other classes receive maximum bonus of +2 per die.

** All 1s rolled for Hit Dice are automatically considered 2s.

*** All 1s and 2s rolled for Hit Dice are automatically considered 3s.

**** All 1s, 2s, and 3s rolled for Hit Dice are automatically considered 4s.



            Intelligence (Int) represents a character's memory, reasoning, and learning ability, including areas outside those measured by the written word. Intelligence dictates the number of languages a character can learn. Intelligence is the prime requisite of wizards, who must have keen minds to understand and memorize magical spells. A wizard with an Intelligence score of 16 or higher gains a 10% bonus to experience points earned. The wizard's Intelligence dictates which spells he can learn and the number of spells he can memorize at one time. Only those of the highest Intelligence can comprehend the mighty magic of 9th-level spells.

            This ability gives only a general indication of a character's mental acuity. A semi-intelligent character (Int 3 or 4) can speak (with difficulty) and is apt to react instinctively and impulsively. He is not hopeless as a player character (PC), but playing such a character correctly is not easy. A character with low Intelligence (Int 5-7) could also be called dull-witted or slow. A very intelligent person (Int 11 or 12) picks up new ideas quickly and learns easily. A highly intelligent character (Int 13 or 14) is one who can solve most problems without even trying very hard. One with exceptional intelligence (Int 15 or 16) is noticeably above the norm. A genius character is brilliant (Int 17 or 18). A character beyond genius is potentially more clever and more brilliant than can possibly be imagined.

            However, the true capabilities of a mind lie not in numbers--I.Q., Intelligence score, or whatever. Many intelligent, even brilliant, people in the real world fail to apply their minds creatively and usefully, thus falling far below their own potential. Don't rely too heavily on your character's Intelligence score; you must provide your character with the creativity and energy he supposedly possesses!

            Number of Languages lists the number of additional languages the character can speak beyond his native language. Every character can speak his native language, no matter what his Intelligence is. This knowledge extends only to speaking the language; it does not include reading or writing. The DM must decide if your character begins the game already knowing these additional languages or if the number shows only how many languages your character can possibly learn. The first choice will make communication easier, while the second increases your opportunities for role-playing (finding a tutor or creating a reason why you need to know a given language). Furthermore, your DM can limit your language selection based on his campaign. It is perfectly fair to rule that your fighter from the Frozen Wastes hasn't the tongues of the Southlands, simply because he has never met anyone who has been to the Southlands.

Table 4:


Ability # of      Spell    Chance to       Max. # of        Illusion

Score  Lang.  Level  Learn Spell     Spells/Level   Immunity

1          0*                   --                     --                    --                     --

2          1                     --                     --                    --                     --

3          1                     --                     --                    --                     --

4          1                     --                     --                    --                     --

5          1                     --                     --                    --                     --

6          1                     --                     --                    --                     --

7          1                     --                     --                    --                     --

8          1                     --                     --                    --                     --

9          2         4th                   35%                6                     --

10        2         5th                   40%                7                     --

11        2         5th                   45%                7                     --

12        3         6th                   50%                7                     --

13        3         6th                   55%                9                     --

14        4         7th                   60%                9                     --

15        4         7th                   65%                11                    --

16        5         8th                   70%                11                    --

17        6         8th                   75%                14                    --

18        7         9th                   85%                18                    --

19        8         9th                   95%                All       1st-level

20        9         9th                   96%               All       2nd-level

21        10        9th                   97%               All       3rd-level

22        11        9th                   98%               All       4th-level

23        12        9th                   99%               All       5th-level

24        15        9th                   100%              All       6th-level

25        20        9th                   100%              All       7th-level


* While unable to speak a language, the character can still communicate by grunts and gestures.

If the DM allows characters to have proficiencies, this column also indicates the number of extra proficiency slots the character gains due to his Intelligence. These extra proficiency slots can be used however the player desires. The character never needs to spend any proficiency slots to speak his native language.

            Spell Level lists the highest level of spells that can be cast by a wizard with this Intelligence.

            Chance to Learn Spell is the percentage probability that a wizard can learn a particular spell. A check is made as the wizard comes across new spells, not as he advances in level. To make the check, the wizard character must have access to a spell book containing the spell. If the player rolls the listed percentage or less, his character can learn the spell and copy it into his own spell book. If the wizard fails the roll, he cannot check that spell again until he advances to the next level (provided he still has access to the spell).

Maximum Number of Spells per Level (Optional Rule)

            This number indicates the maximum number of spells a wizard can know from any particular spell level. Once a wizard has learned the maximum number of spells he is allowed in a given spell level, he cannot add any more spells of that level to his spell book (unless the optional spell research system is used). Once a spell is learned, it cannot be unlearned and replaced by a new spell.

            For example, Delsenora the wizard has an Intelligence of 14. She currently knows seven 3rd-level spells. During an adventure, she finds a musty old spell book on the shelves of a dank, forgotten library. Blowing away the dust, she sees a 3rd-level spell she has never seen before! Excited, she sits down and carefully studies the arcane notes. Her chance to learn the spell is 60%. Rolling the dice, Delsenora's player rolls a 37. She understands the curious instructions and can copy them into her own spell book. When she is finished, she has eight 3rd-level spells, only one away from her maximum number. If the die roll had been greater than 60, or she already had nine 3rd-level spells in her spell book, or the spell had been greater than 7th level (the maximum level her Intelligence allows her to learn), she could not have added it to her collection.

            Spell Immunity is gained by those with exceptionally high Intelligence scores. Those with the immunity notice some inconsistency or inexactness in the illusion or phantasm, automatically allowing them to make their saving throws. All benefits are cumulative, thus, a character with a 20 Intelligence is not fooled by 1st- or 2nd-level illusion spells.


            Wisdom (Wis) describes a composite of the character's enlightenment, judgment, guile, willpower, common sense, and intuition. It can affect the character's resistance to magical attack. It is the prime requisite of priests; those with a Wisdom score of 16 or higher gain a 10% bonus to experience points earned. Clerics, druids, and other priests with Wisdom scores of 13 or higher also gain bonus spells over and above the number they are normally allowed to use.

            Magical Defense Adjustment listed on Table 5 applies to saving throws against magical spells that attack the mind: beguiling, charm, fear, hypnosis, illusions, possession, suggestion, etc. These bonuses and penalties are applied automatically, without any conscious effort from the character.

            Bonus Spells indicates the number of additional spells a priest (and only a priest) is entitled to because of his extreme Wisdom. Note that these spells are available only when the priest is entitled to spells of the appropriate level. Bonus spells are cumulative, so a priest with a Wisdom of 15 is entitled to two 1st-level bonus spells and one 2nd-level bonus spell.

            Chance of Spell Failure states the percentage chance that any particular spell fails when cast. Priests with low Wisdom scores run the risk of having their spells fizzle. Roll percentile dice every time the priest casts a spell; if the number rolled is less than or equal to the listed chance for spell failure, the spell is expended with absolutely no effect whatsoever. Note that priests with Wisdom scores of 13 or higher don't need to worry about their spells failing.

            Spell Immunity gives those extremely wise characters complete protection from certain spells, spell-like abilities, and magical items as listed. These immunities are cumulative, so that a character with a Wisdom of 23 is immune to all listed spells up to and including those listed on the 23 Wisdom row.


Table 5:


            Magical                       Chance

Ability Defense          Bonus  of Spell           Spell

Score  Adjustment    Spells  Failure            Immunity

1          -6        --         80%                --

2          -4        --         60%                 --

3          -3        --         50%                 --

4          -2        --         45%                 --

5          -1        --         40%                 --

6          -1        --         35%                 --

7          -1        --         30%                 --

8          0         --         25%                 --

9          0         0          20%                 --

10         0         0          15%                 --

11        0         0          10%                 --

12        0         0          5%                  --

13        0         1st       0%                  --

14        0         1st       0%                  --

15        +1        2nd      0%                  --

16        +2        2nd      0%                  --

17        +3        3rd       0%                  --

18        +4        4th       0%                  --

19        +4        1st, 3rd           0%     cause fear, charm person,

                                                            command, friends, hypnotism

20        +4        2nd, 4th           0%     forget, hold person, ray of

                                                            enfeeblement, scare

21        +4        3rd, 5th           0%     fear

22        +4        4th, 5th           0%     charm monster, confusion,

                                                            emotion, fumble, suggestion

23        +4        1st, 6th            0%     chaos, feeblemind, hold

                                                            monster, magic jar, quest

24        +4        5th, 6th           0%     geas, mass suggestion, rod of


25        +4        6th, 7th           0%     antipathy/sympathy, death

                                                            spell, mass charm



            The Charisma (Cha) score measures a character's persuasiveness, personal magnetism, and ability to lead. It is not a reflection of physical attractiveness, although attractiveness certainly plays a role. It is important to all characters, but especially to those who must deal with nonplayer characters (NPCs), mercenary hirelings, retainers, and intelligent monsters. It dictates the total number of henchmen a character can retain and affects the loyalty of henchmen, hirelings, and retainers.

            Maximum Number of Henchmen states the number of nonplayer characters who will serve as permanent retainers of the player character. It does not affect the number of mercenary soldiers, men-at-arms, servitors, or other persons in the pay of the character.

            Loyalty Base shows the subtraction from or addition to the henchmen's and other servitors' loyalty scores (in the DMG). This is crucial during battles, when morale becomes important.

            Reaction Adjustment indicates the penalty or bonus due to the character because of Charisma when dealing with nonplayer characters and intelligent creatures. For example, Rath encounters a centaur, an intelligent creature. Rath's Charisma is only 6, so he is starting off with one strike against him. He probably should try to overcome this slight handicap by making generous offers

of gifts or information.


Table 6:



Ability # of      Loyalty           Reaction

Score  Henchmen      Base   Adjustment

1          0         -8        -7

2          1         -7        -6

3          1         -6        -5

4          1         -5        -4

5          2         -4         -3

6          2         -3        -2

7          3         -2        -1

8          3         -1        0

9          4         0         0

10        4         0         0

11        4         0         0

12        5         0         0

13        5         0         +1

14        6         +1       +2

15         7         +3       +3

16        8         +4       +5

17        10        +6       +6

18        15        +8       +7

19        20        +10      +8

20        25        +12      +9

21        30        +14      +10

22        35        +16      +11

23        40        +18      +12

24        45        +20      +13

25        50        +20      +14


What the Numbers Mean

Now that you have finished creating the ability scores for your character, stop and take a look at them. What does all this mean?

            Suppose you decide to name your character "Rath" and you rolled the following ability scores for him:

            Strength           8

            Dexterity         14

            Constitution     13

            Intelligence      13

            Wisdom           7

            Charisma         6

            Rath has strengths and weaknesses, but it is up to you to interpret what the numbers mean. Here are just two different ways these numbers could be interpreted.

            1) Although Rath is in good health (Con 13), he's not very strong (Str 8) because he's just plain lazy--he never wanted to exercise as a youth and now it's too late. His low Wisdom and Charisma scores (7, 6) show that he lacks the common sense to apply himself properly and projects a slothful, "I'm not going to bother" attitude (which tends to irritate others). Fortunately, Rath's natural wit (Int 13) and Dexterity (14) keep him from being a total loss.

            Thus, you might play Rath as an irritating, smart-alecky twerp forever ducking just out of range of those who want to squash him.

            2) Rath has several good points--he has studied hard (Int 13) and practiced his manual skills (Dex 14). Unfortunately, his Strength is low (8) from a lack of exercise (all those hours spent reading books). Despite that, Rath's health is still good (Con 13). His low Wisdom and Charisma (7, 6) are a result of his lack of contact and involvement with people outside the realm of academics.

            Looking at the scores this way, you could play Rath as a kindly, naive, and shy professorial type who's a good tinkerer, always fiddling with new ideas and inventions.

            Obviously, Rath's ability scores (often called "stats") are not the greatest in the world. Yet it is possible to turn these "disappointing" stats into a character who is both interesting and fun to play. Too often players become obsessed with "good" stats. These players immediately give up on a character if he doesn't have a majority of above-average scores. There are even those who feel a character is hopeless if he does not have at least one ability of 17 or higher! Needless to say, these players would never consider playing a character with an ability score of 6 or 7.

            In truth, Rath's survivability has a lot less to do with his ability scores than with your desire to role-play him. If you give up on him, of course he won't survive! But if you take an interest in the character and role-play him well, then even a character with the lowest possible scores can present a fun, challenging, and all-around exciting time. Does he have a Charisma of 5? Why? Maybe he's got an ugly scar. His table manners could be atrocious. He might mean well but always manage to say the wrong thing at the wrong time. He could be bluntly honest to the point of rudeness, something not likely to endear him to most people. His Dexterity is a 3? Why? Is he naturally clumsy or blind as a bat?

            Don't give up on a character just because he has a low score. Instead, view it as an opportunity to role-play, to create a unique and entertaining personality in the game. Not only will you have fun creating that personality, but other players and the DM will have fun reacting to him.



Chapter 2:

Player Character Races

After creating your character's ability scores, you must select a player character race. This is not a race in the true sense of the word: caucasian, black, asian, etc. It is actually a fantasy species for your character -- human, elf, dwarf, gnome, half-elf, or halfling. Each race is different. Each possesses special powers and has different lists of classes to choose from.

            All six of the standard races are described in detail in this chapter. In many cases, broad statements are made concerning the race in general. Players are not bound by these generalities. For example, the statement that "dwarves tend to be dour and taciturn" does not mean that your character cannot be a jolly dwarf. It means that the garden-variety dwarf is dour and taciturn. If player characters were just like everyone else, they wouldn't be adventurers. Make your character unique and he will be more fun to play.

Minimum and Maximum Ability Scores

            All nonhuman PC races (also called "demihuman" races) have minimum and maximum requirements for their ability scores. If you want to have a demihuman character, the character's ability scores must be within the allowable range. The minimums and maximums for each race are listed on Table 7 (the minimums are listed before the slash; the maximums are listed after the slash). Your character's sex has no effect on these minimums or maximums.

            Consult Table 7 before making any racial adjustments to your character's ability scores. If the basic scores that you rolled up meet the requirements for a particular race, your character can be of that race, even if later modifications change the ability scores so they exceed the maximums or don't meet the minimums. Once you satisfy the requirements at the start, you never have to worry about them again.

            Table 7 gives the minimum and maximum scores a newly created character must have to be a member of a demihuman race. Any character can be a human, if the player so desires.

Table 7:

Racial Ability Requirements

Ability Dwarf Elf      Gnome            Half-Elf          Halfling

Strength           8/18    3/18     6/18    3/18    7/18*

Dexterity         3/17    6/18     3/18    6/18    7/18

Constitution     11/18   7/18     8/18    6/18    10/18

Intelligence      3/18    8/18     6/18    4/18    6/18

Wisdom           3/18    3/18     3/18    3/18    3/17

Charisma         3/17    8/18     3/18    3/18    3/18

            * Halfling fighters do not roll for exceptional Strength.

Racial Ability Adjustments

            If you chose to make your character a dwarf, elf, gnome, or halfling, you now have to adjust some of your character's ability scores. The adjustments are mandatory; all characters of these races receive the adjustments. Even if adjustments raise or lower your character's ability scores beyond the minimums and maximums shown on Table 7, you do not have to pick a new race. The adjustments can also raise a score to 19 or lower it to 2.


Table 8:

Racial Ability Adjustments

Race   Adjustments

Dwarf  +1 Constitution; -1 Charisma

Elf       +1 Dexterity; -1 Constitution

Gnome +1 Intelligence; -1 Wisdom

Halfling           +1 Dexterity; -1 Strength

Class Restrictions and Level Limits

            The human race has one special ability in the AD&D game: Humans can choose to be of any class-- warrior, wizard, priest, or rogue -- and can rise to great level in any class. The other races have fewer choices of character classes and usually are limited in the level they can attain. These restrictions reflect the natural tendencies of the races (dwarves like war and fighting and dislike magic, etc.). The limits are high enough so a demihuman can achieve power and importance in at least one class. A halfling, for example, can become the best thief in the land, but he cannot become a great fighter.

            The limits also exist for play balance. The ability of humans to assume any role and reach any level is their only advantage. The demihuman races have other powers that make them entertaining to play -- particularly the ability to be multi-classed (see Glossary). These powers balance the enjoyment of play against the ability to rise in level. Ask your DM for the level limits imposed on nonhuman characters.


            Racial languages for demihumans can be handled in either of two ways, depending on whether or not your DM uses the optional proficiency system. Either way, your character automatically knows his native language.

            Without the proficiency system, your character starts adventuring already knowing a number of additional languages (the number depends on his Int score, see Table 4). The additional languages must be chosen from among those listed in his race's description.

            If you use the proficiency system, your character receives additional languages by using proficiency slots (see Chapter 5: Proficiencies) to determine how many languages he knows when he starts adventuring (his native language does not cost a slot). Demihumans must choose these languages from among those listed in the following racial descriptions.

            Human PCs generally start the game knowing only their regional language--the language they grew up speaking. The DM may decide to allow beginning PCs additional languages (up to their Int score limit or proficiency slot limit), if he feels the PCs had the opportunity to learn these as they grew up. Otherwise, human PCs may learn additional languages as they adventure.


Dwarves are short, stocky fellows, easily identified by their size and shape. They average 4 to 4-½ feet tall. They have ruddy cheeks, dark eyes, and dark hair. Dwarves generally live for 350 years.

            Dwarves tend to be dour and taciturn. They are given to hard work and care little for most humor. They are strong and brave. They enjoy beer, ale, mead, and even stronger drink. Their chief love, however, is precious metal, particularly gold. They prize gems, of course, especially diamonds and opaque gems (except pearls, which they do not like). Dwarves like the earth and dislike the sea. Not overly fond of elves, they have a fierce hatred of orcs and goblins. Their short, stocky builds make them ill-suited for riding horses or other large mounts (although ponies present no difficulty), so they tend to be a trifle dubious and wary of these creatures. They are ill-disposed toward magic and have little talent for it, but revel in fighting, warcraft, and scientific arts such as engineering.

            Though dwarves are suspicious and avaricious, their courage and tenacity more than compensate for these shortcomings.

            Dwarves typically dwell in hilly or mountainous regions. They prefer life in the comforting gloom and solidness that is found underground. They have several special abilities that relate to their underground life, and they are noted for being particularly resistant to magics and poisons.

            A character of the dwarven race can be a cleric, a fighter, or a thief. He can also choose to be a fighter/cleric or fighter/thief.

            From living underground, dwarves have found it useful to learn the languages of several of their neighbors, both friendly and hostile. The initial languages a dwarf can learn are common, dwarf, gnome, goblin, kobold, orc, and any others your DM allows. The actual number of languages is limited by the Intelligence of the player character (see Table 4) or by the proficiency slots he allots to languages (if that optional system is used).

            By nature, dwarves are nonmagical and never use magical spells (priest spells are allowed however). This gives a bonus to dwarves' saving throws against attacks from magical wands, staves, rods, and spells. This bonus is +1 for every 3 - ½ points of Constitution score. Thus, for example, if a dwarf has a Constitution score of 7 he gains +2 on saving throws. These bonuses are summarized on Table 9.


Table 9:

Constitution Saving Throw Bonuses

Constitution Score     Saving Throw Bonus

             4-6                  +1

             7-10                +2

            11-13               +3

            14-17               +4

            18-19               +5


            Similarly, dwarves have exceptional resistance to toxic substances. All dwarven characters make saving throws against poison with the same bonuses that they get against magical attacks (see Table 9).

            Also because of their nonmagical nature, however, dwarves have trouble using magical items. All magical items that are not specifically suited to the character's class have a 20% chance to malfunction when used by a dwarf. This check is made each time a dwarf uses a magical item. A malfunction affects only the current use; the item may work properly next time. For devices that are continually in operation, the check is made the first time the device is used during an encounter. If the check is passed, the device functions normally until it is turned off. Thus, a dwarf would have to check upon donning a robe of blending but would not check again until he had taken the robe off and then put it on again. If a cursed item malfunctions, the character recognizes its cursed nature and can dispose of the item. Malfunction applies to rods, staves, wands, rings, amulets, potions, horns, jewels, and all other magical items except weapons, shields, armor, gauntlets, and girdles. This penalty does not apply to dwarven clerics using priest items.

            In melee, dwarves add 1 to their dice rolls to hit orcs, half-orcs, goblins, and hobgoblins. When ogres, trolls, ogre magi, giants, or titans attack dwarves, these monsters must subtract 4 from their attack rolls because of the dwarves' small size and combat ability against these much bigger creatures.

            Dwarven infravision enables them to see up to 60 feet in the dark.

            Dwarves are miners of great skill. While underground, they can detect the following information when within 10 feet of the particular phenomenon (but they can determine their approximate depth below the surface at any time).

Detect grade or slope in passage         1-5 on 1d6

Detect new tunnel/passage construction          1-5 on 1d6

Detect sliding/shifting walls or rooms            1-4 on 1d6

Detect stonework traps, pits, and deadfalls     1-3 on 1d6

Determine approximate depth underground     1-3 on 1d6

            Note that the dwarf must deliberately try to make these determinations; the information does not simply spring to mind unbidden.

            Because of their sturdy builds, dwarves add 1 to their initial Constitution scores. Their dour and suspicious natures cause them to subtract 1 from their initial Charisma scores.


Elves tend to be somewhat shorter and slimmer than normal humans. Their features are finely chiseled and delicate, and they speak in melodic tones. Although they appear fragile and weak, as a race they are quick and strong. Elves often live to be over 1,200 years old, although long before this time they feel compelled to depart the realms of men and mortals. Where they go is uncertain, but it is an undeniable urge of their race.

            Elves are often considered frivolous and aloof. In fact, they are not, although humans often find their personalities impossible to fathom. They concern themselves with natural beauty, dancing and frolicking, playing and singing, unless necessity dictates otherwise. They are not fond of ships or mines, but enjoy growing things and gazing at the open sky. Even though elves tend toward haughtiness and arrogance at times, they regard their friends and associates as equals. They do not make friends easily, but a friend (or enemy) is never forgotten. They prefer to distance themselves from humans, have little love for dwarves, and hate the evil denizens of the woods.

            Their humor is clever, as are their songs and poetry. Elves are brave but never foolhardy. They eat sparingly; they drink mead and wine, but seldom to excess. While they find well-wrought jewelry a pleasure to behold, they are not overly interested in money or gain. They find magic and swordplay (or any refined combat art) fascinating. If they have a weakness it lies in these interests.

            There are five branches of the elven race; aquatic, gray, high, wood, and dark. Elf player characters are always assumed to be of the most common type -- high elves -- although a character can be another type of elf with the DM's permission (but the choice grants no additional powers). To the eye of outsiders, the differences between the groups are mostly cosmetic, but most elves maintain that there are important cultural differences between the various groups. Aquatic elves spend their lives beneath the waves and have adapted to these conditions. Gray elves are considered the most noble and serious-minded of this breed. High elves are the most common. Wood elves are considered to be wild, temperamental, and savage. All others hold that the subterranean dark elves are corrupt and evil, no longer part of the elven community.

            A player character elf can be a cleric, fighter, wizard, thief, or ranger. In addition, an elf can choose to be a multi-class fighter/mage, fighter/thief, or ranger. In addition, an elf can choose to be a multi-class fighter/mage, fighter/thief, fighter/mage/thief, or mage/thief. (The rules governing these combinations are explained under "Multi-Class and Dual-Class Characters" in Chapter 3: Player Character Classes).

            Elves have found it useful to learn the languages of several of the forest's children, both the good and the bad. As initial languages, an elf can choose common, elf, gnome, halfling, goblin, hobgoblin, orc, and gnoll. The number of languages an elf can learn is limited by his Intelligence (see Table 4) or the proficiency slots he allots to languages (if that optional system is used).

            Elven characters have 90% resistance to sleep and all charm-related spells. (See Chapter 9: Combat for an explanation of magic resistance.) This is in addition to the normal saving throw allowed against a charm spell.

            When employing a bow of any sort other than a crossbow, or when using a short or long sword, elves gain a bonus of +1 to their attack rolls.

            An elf can gain a bonus to surprise opponents, but only if the elf is not in metal armor. Even then, the elf must either be alone, or with a party comprised only of elves or halflings (also not in metal armor), or 90 feet or more away from his party (the group of characters he is with) to gain this bonus. If he fulfills these conditions, he moves so silently that opponents suffer a -4 penalty to their surprise die rolls. If the elf must open a door or screen to attack, this penalty is reduced to -2.

            Elven infravision enables them to see up to 60 feet in darkness.

            Secret doors (those constructed so as to be hard to notice) and concealed doors (those hidden from sight by screens, curtains, or the like) are difficult to hide from elves. Merely passing within 10 feet of a concealed door gives an elven character a one-in-six chance (roll a 1 on 1d6) to notice it. If actively searching for such doors, elven characters have a one-in-three chance (roll a 1 or 2 on 1d6) to find a secret door and a one-in-two chance (roll a 1, 2, or 3 on 1d6) to discover a concealed portal.

            As stated previously, elven characters add 1 to their initial Dexterity scores. Likewise, as elves are not as sturdy as humans, they deduct 1 from their initial Constitution scores.


Kin to dwarves, gnomes are noticeably smaller than their distant cousins. Gnomes, as they proudly maintain, are also less rotund than dwarves. Their noses, however, are significantly larger. Most gnomes have dark tan or brown skin and white hair. A typical gnome lives for 350 years.

            Gnomes have lively and sly senses of humor, especially for practical jokes. They have a great love of living things and finely wrought items, particularly gems and jewelry. Gnomes love all sorts of precious stones and are masters of gem polishing and cutting.

            Gnomes prefer to live in areas of rolling, rocky hills, well wooded and uninhabited by humans. Their diminutive stature has made them suspicious of the larger races--humans and elves--although they are not hostile. They are sly and furtive with those they do not know or trust, and somewhat reserved even under the best of circumstances. Dwelling in mines and burrows, they are sympathetic to dwarves, but find their cousins' aversion to surface dwellers foolish.

            A gnome character can elect to be a fighter, a thief, a cleric, or an illusionist. A gnome can have two classes, but not three: fighter/thief, illusionist/thief, etc.

            Due to his upbringing, a beginning gnome character can choose to know the following languages, in addition to any others allowed by the DM: common, dwarf, gnome, halfling, goblin, kobold, and the simple common speech of burrowing mammals (moles, badgers, weasels, shrews, ground squirrels, etc.). The actual number of languages a character begins with depends upon his Intelligence score (see Table 4) or the proficiency slots he allots to languages (if that optional system is used).

            Like their cousins the dwarves, gnomes are highly magic resistant. A gnome player character gains a bonus of +1 for every 3½ points of Constitution score, just as dwarves do (see Table 9). This bonus applies to saving throws against magical wands, staves, rods, and spells.

            Gnomes also suffer a 20% chance for failure every time they use any magical item except weapons, armor, shields, illusionist items, and (if the character is a thief) items that duplicate thieving abilities. This check is made each time the gnome attempts to use the device, or, in the case of continuous-use devices, each time the device is activated. Like dwarves, gnomes can sense a cursed item if the device fails to function.

            In melee, gnome characters add 1 to their attack rolls to hit kobolds or goblins. When gnolls, bugbears, ogres, trolls, ogre magi, giants, or titans attack gnomes, these monsters must subtract 4 from their attack rolls because of the gnomes' small size and their combat skills against these much larger creatures.

            Gnomish infravision enables them to see up to 60 feet in the dark.

            Being tunnelers of exceptional merit, gnomes are able to detect the following within 10 feet (exception: They can determine their approximate depth or direction underground at any time.). They must stop and concentrate for one round to use any of these abilities.

Detect grade or slope in passage         1-5 on 1d6

Detect unsafe walls, ceiling, and floors          1-7 on 1d10

Determine approximate depth underground     1-4 on 1d6

Determine approximate direction underground           1-3 on 1d6

            Gnome characters gain a +1 bonus to their Intelligence scores, to reflect their highly inquisitive natures. They suffer a -1 penalty to Wisdom because their curiosity often leads them unknowingly into danger.


Half-elves are the most common mixed-race beings. The relationship between elf, human, and half-elf is defined as follows: 1) Anyone with both elven and human ancestors is either a human or a half-elf (elves have only elven ancestors). 2) If there are more human ancestors than elven, the person is human; if there are equal numbers or more elves, the person is half-elven.

            Half-elves are usually much like their elven parent in appearance. They are handsome folk, with the good features of each of their races. They mingle freely with either race, being only slightly taller than the average elf (5 feet 6 inches on average) and weighing about 150 pounds. They typically live about 160 years. They do not have all the abilities of the elf, nor do they have the flexibility of unlimited level advancement of the human. Finally, in some of the less-civilized nations, half-elves are viewed with suspicion and superstition.

            In general, a half-elf has the curiosity, inventiveness, and ambition of his human ancestors and the refined senses, love of nature, and artistic tastes of his elven ancestors.

            Half-elves do not form communities among themselves; rather, they can be found living in both elven and human communities. The reactions of humans and elves to half-elves ranges from intrigued fascination to outright bigotry.

            Of all the demihuman races, half-elves have the greatest range of choices in character class. They tend to make good druids and rangers. A half-elf can choose to be a cleric, druid, fighter, ranger, mage, specialist wizard, thief, or bard. In addition, a half-elf can choose from the following multi-class combinations: cleric (or druid)/fighter, cleric (or druid)/fighter/mage, cleric (or druid)/ranger, cleric (or druid)/mage, fighter/mage, fighter/thief, fighter/mage/thief, and mage/thief. The half-elf must abide by the rules for multi-class characters.

            Half-elves do not have a language of their own. Their extensive contact with other races enables them to choose any of the following languages (plus any other allowed by the DM): common, elf, gnome, halfling, goblin, hobgoblin, orc, and gnoll. The actual number of languages the character knows is limited by his Intelligence (see Table 4) or by the number of proficiency slots he allots to languages (if that optional system is used).

            Half-elven characters have a 30% resistance to sleep and all charm-related spells.

            Half-elven infravision enables them to see up to 60 feet in darkness.

            Secret or concealed doors are difficult to hide from half-elves, just as they are from elves. Merely passing within 10 feet of a concealed door (one hidden by obstructing curtains, etc.) gives the half-elven character a one-in-six chance (roll a 1 on 1d6) of spotting it. If the character is actively seeking to discover hidden doors, he has a one-in-three chance (roll a 1 or 2 on 1d6) of spotting a secret door (one constructed to be undetectable) and a one-in-two chance (roll a 1, 2, or 3 on 1d6) of locating a concealed door.


Halflings are short, generally plump people, very much like small humans. Their faces are round and broad and often quite florid. Their hair is typically curly and the tops of their feet are covered with coarse hair. They prefer not to wear shoes whenever possible. Their typical life expectancy is approximately 150 years.

            Halflings are sturdy and industrious, generally quiet and peaceful. Overall they prefer the comforts of home to dangerous adventuring. They enjoy good living, rough humor, and homespun stories. In fact, they can be a trifle boring at times. Halflings are not forward, but they are observant and conversational if in friendly company. Halflings see wealth only as a means of gaining creature comforts, which they love. Though they are not overly brave or ambitious, they are generally honest and hard working when there is need.

            Halfling homes are well-furnished burrows, although most of their work is done on the surface. Elves generally like them in a patronizing sort of way. Dwarves cheerfully tolerate them, thinking halflings somewhat soft and harmless. Gnomes, although they drink more and eat less, like halflings best, feeling them kindred spirits. Because halflings are more open and outgoing than any of these other three, they get along with other races far better.

            There are three types of halflings: Hairfeets, Tallfellows, and Stouts. Hairfeets are the most common type, but for player characters, any of the three is acceptable.

            A halfling character can choose to be a cleric, fighter, thief, or a multi-class fighter/thief. The halfling must use the rules provided for multi-class characters.

            Through their contact with other races, halfling characters are allowed to choose initial languages from common, halfling, dwarf, elf, gnome, goblin, and orc, in addition to any other languages the DM allows. The actual number of languages the character knows is limited by his Intelligence (see Table 4) or by the number of proficiency slots he allots to languages (if that optional system is used).

            All halfling characters have a high resistance to magical spells, so for every 3-½ points of Constitution score, the character gains a +1 bonus on saving throws vs. wands, staves, rods, and spells. These bonuses are summarized on Table 9.

            Halflings have a similar resistance to poisons of all sorts, so they gain a Constitution bonus identical to that for saving throws vs. magical attacks when they make saving throws vs. poison (i.e., +1 to +5, depending on Constitution score).

            Halflings have a natural talent with slings and thrown weapons. Rock pitching is a favorite sport of many a halfling child. All halflings gain a +1 bonus to their attack rolls when using thrown weapons and slings.

            A halfling can gain a bonus to surprise opponents, but only if the halfling is not in metal armor. Even then, the halfling must either be alone, or with a party comprised only of halflings or elves, or 90 feet or more away from his party to gain this bonus. If he fulfills any of these conditions, he causes a -4 penalty to opponents' surprise rolls. If a door or other screen must be opened, this penalty is reduced to -2.

            Depending on their lineage, certain halfling characters have infravision. Any halfling character has a 15% chance to have normal infravision (this means he is pure Stout), out to 60 feet; failing that chance, there is a 25% chance that he has limited infravision (mixed Stout/Tallfellow or Stout/Hairfeets lineage), effective out to 30 feet.

            Similarly, halflings with any Stoutish blood can note if a passage is an up or down grade with 75% accuracy (roll a 1, 2, or 3 on 1d4). They can determine direction half the time (roll a 1, 2, or 3 on 1d6). These abilities function only when the character is concentrating on the desired information to the exclusion of all else, and only if the character is pure or partially Stout.

            Halfling characters have a penalty of -1 to their initially generated Strength scores, and they gain a bonus of +1 to Dexterity.


Although humans are treated as a single race in the AD&D game, they come in all the varieties we know on Earth. A human PC can have whatever racial characteristics the DM allows.

            Humans have only one special ability: They can be of any character class and rise to any level in any class. Other PC races have limited choices in these areas.

            Humans are also more social and tolerant than most other races, accepting the company of elves, dwarves, and the like with noticeably less complaint.

            Because of these abilities and tendencies, humans have become significant powers within the world and often rule empires that other races (because of their racial tendencies) would find difficult to manage.

Other Characteristics

After you have selected a race, you may want to fill in the details of your character. You are not required to do so, but there are many situations in which this information is vital or useful to role-playing.

            The sex and name of your character are up to you. Your character can be of the same sex as yourself or of the opposite sex.

            Some people feel it is important to know whether their character is right- or left-handed. Actually, this has no bearing on the play of the game, since all characters are assumed to be reasonably competent with either hand (that doesn't mean everyone is trained to fight with two weapons). It is easiest to say that your character has the same handedness as you. This will result in the normal ratio of right- to left-handed people.

            On occasion it may be useful to know your character's height and weight. The best way to determine height and weight is to choose the appropriate numbers, subject to your DM's approval. If you want a short, pudgy human fighter, you can select an appropriate height and weight. Otherwise, heights and weights can be generated randomly using Table 10. Take the appropriate base score and add the dire roll modifier. As with all tables, this can create some ridiculous results (one of the problems with randomness) and, at the same time, cannot account for the full variety of mankind (or demihumankind). The table only reproduces a fairly average range for each race. Heights and weights for demihuman races not listed on the table must be decided by your DM.

The tallest man on record stood 8 feet 11.1 inches, while the tallest woman was 8 feet 1.25 inches. The shortest man was only 26.5 inches tall and the shortest woman bettered this at only 24 inches in height. While the lightest humans are also among the shortest, the heaviest man weighed an estimated 1,400 pounds and stood only 6 feet 1 inch. The heaviest woman is thought to have weighed 880 pounds. Obviously, these figures indicate that there is a great deal of variety possible for player characters.

            Players may also want to know their characters' starting ages. Human characters can start at any age that is agreeable to both the player and the DM. However, all beginning adventurers are assumed to be at least 16 years old, since they must grow physically, emotionally, and in practical experience before they are ready to undertake the rigors of an adventuring life. Table 11 can be used to give a starting age (add the variable die roll to the base starting age to get the character's starting age) and the possible life span of a character, assuming a quiet and peaceful life. Humans are also included on this list in case you want to determine their ages randomly. The maximum age for a character should be secretly determined and recorded by the DM. Player characters may have an idea of how long they expect to live, but do not know their true allotted life span.

            As a character ages, his ability scores are affected. Upon reaching one-half of his base maximum age (45 for a human), the character loses 1 point of Strength (or half of his exceptional Strength rating) and 1 point of Constitution, but gains 1 point each of Intelligence and Wisdom. At two-thirds of his base maximum age (60 for a human), the character loses 2 more points of Strength (or all his exceptional Strength and 1 point more), 2 points of Dexterity, and 1 more point of Constitution, but he gains 1 point of Wisdom. Upon reaching the base maximum age, the character loses 1 more point from each of Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution, while gaining 1 more point in both Intelligence and Wisdom. All aging adjustments are cumulative. See Table 12 for a summary of these effects.

Although many people have claimed to live to great ages, the oldest human of verifiable age was 113 years old in 1988 and is still alive!

            There may be times when a magical device or spell adds years to or subtracts years from a player character's life. This magical aging can have two different effects. Some magical aging physically affects the character. For example, a haste spell ages those it affects by one year. This aging is added directly to the player character's current age. He physically acquires the appearance of himself one year older (a few more wrinkles, etc.). Characters who increase in age from magical effects do not gain the benefits of increased Wisdom and Intelligence--these are a function of the passage of game time--but the character does suffer the physical losses to Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution associated with aging. These are breakdowns of the body's systems. Physical age can also be removed in the same manner. Some potions give years back to the character. In this case, the physical appearance of the character is restored. The character can regain lost vigor (Str, Dex, and Con) as his body is renewed but he does not lose any of the benefits of aging (Wis and Int).

            Magical aging can also work to increase or decrease the life span of the character. In such a case, the actual age of hte character is unaffected. All adjustments are made by the DM to the character's maximum age (which only the DM knows). For example, a human finds a magical fountain that bestows great longevity (10 to 60 years more). The DM has already determined the human will naturally live to 103 years (base 90 + 2d20, in this case 13). The water of the fountain bestows 40 more years so that, unless the character meets a violent end, he will live to 143 years. He still suffers the effects of aging at the usual ages (45, 60, and 90 years, respectively), but the period in which he would be considered a venerable elder of his people is extended for 40 years.

            There are a number of other personal characteristics your character has--hair and eye color, body shape, voice, noticeable features, and general personality. There are no tables for these things, nor should there be. Your job, as a player, is to add these details, thereby creating the type of character you want. You probably know some from the start (do you want to play a towering, robust warrior, or a slim, unassuming swordsman?); others, especially your character's personality, will grow and take form as you play. Remember, you are an actor and your character is your role!

Table 10:

Average Height and Weight

             Height in Inches        Weight in Pounds

Race   Base*  Modifier         Base*  Modifier

Dwarf  43/41   1d10    130/105           4d10

Elf       55/50   1d10    90/70   3d10

Gnome 38/36   1d6      72/68   5d4

Half-elf           60/58   2d6      110/85 3d12

Halfling           32/30   2d8      52/48   5d4

Human 60/59   2d10    140/100           6d10

            * Females tend to be lighter and shorter than males. Thus, the base numbers for height and weight are divided into male/female values. Note that the modifier still allows for a broad range in each category.


Table 11:


            Starting Age               Maximum Age Range

Race   Base Age        Variable          (Base+Variable)

Dwarf  40       5d6                  250+2d100

Elf       100      5d6                  350+4d100*

Gnome 60       3d12                200+3d100

Half-elf           15       1d6                  125+3d20

Halfling           20       3d4                  100+1d100

Human 15       1d4                  90+2d20

* Upon attaining this age, an elf does not die. Rather he feels compelled to migrate to some mysterious, other land, departing the world of men.


Table 12:

Aging Effects

             Middle Age*  Old Age**     Venerable***

Race   (½ Base Max.)           (2/3 Base Max.)         (Base Max.)

Dwarf  125 years        167 years        250 years

Elf       175 years        233 years        350 years

Gnome 100 years        133 years        200 years

Half-elf           62 years          83 years          125 years

Halfling           50 years          67 years          100 years

Human 45 years          60 years          90 years

            * -1 Str/Con; +1 Int/Wis

            ** -2 Str/Dex, -1 Con; +1 Wis

            *** -1 Str/Dex/Con; +1 Int/Wis


Chapter 3:

Player Character Classes

After choosing your character's race, you select his character class. A character class is like a profession or career. It is what your character has worked and trained at during his younger years. If you wanted to become a doctor, you could not walk out the door and begin work immediately. First you would have to get some training. The same is true of character classes in the AD&D game. Your character is assumed to have some previous training and guidance before beginning his adventuring career. Now, armed with a little knowledge, your character is ready to make his name and fortune.

            The character classes are divided into four groups according to general occupations: warrior, wizard, priest, and rogue. Within each group are several similar character classes. All classes within a group share the same Hit Dice, as well as combat and saving throw progressions. Each character class within a group has different special powers and abilities that are available only to that class. Each player must select a group for his character, then a specific class within that group.

Warrior          Wizard            Priest  Rogue

Fighter Mage   Cleric  Thief

Ranger            Illusionist       Druid  Bard

Paladin           Other   Other

            Fighter, mage, cleric, and thief are the standard classes. They are historical and legendary archetypes that are common to many different cultures. Thus, they are appropriate to any sort of AD&D game campaign. All of the other classes are optional. Your DM may decide that one or more of the optional classes are not appropriate to his campaign setting. Check with your DM before selecting an optional character class.

            To help you choose your character's class, each group and its subordinate classes are described briefly. The groups and classes are described in detail later in this chapter.

            Warrior: There are three different classes within the warrior group: fighter, paladin, and ranger. All are well-trained in the use of weapons and skilled in the martial arts.

            The fighter is a champion, swordsman, soldier, and brawler. He lives or dies by his knowledge of weapons and tactics. Fighters can be found at the front of any battle, contesting toe-to-toe with monsters and villains. A good fighter needs to be strong and healthy if he hopes to survive.

            The paladin is a warrior bold and pure, the exemplar of everything good and true. Like the fighter, the paladin is a man of combat. However, the paladin lives for the ideals of righteousness, justice, honesty, piety, and chivalry. He strives to be a living example of these virtues so that others might learn from him as well as gain by his actions.

            The ranger is a warrior and a woodsman. He is skilled with weapons and is knowledgeable in tracking and woodcraft. The ranger often protects and guides lost travelers and honest peasant-folk. A ranger needs to be strong and wise to the ways of nature to live a full life.

            Wizard: The wizard strives to be a master of magical energies, shaping them and casting them as spells. To do so, he studies strange tongues and obscure facts and devotes much of his time to magical research.

            A wizard must rely on knowledge and wit to survive. Wizards are rarely seen adventuring without a retinue of fighters and men-at-arms.

            Because there are different types (or schools) of magic, there are different types of wizards. The mage studies all types of magic and learns a wide variety of spells. His broad range makes him well suited to the demands of adventuring. The illusionist is an example of how a wizard can specialize in a particular school of magic, illusion in this case.

            Priest: A priest sees to the spiritual needs of a community or location. Two types of priests--clerics and druids--are described in the Player's Handbook. Other types can be created by the DM to suit specific campaigns.

            The cleric is a generic priest (of any mythos) who tends to the needs of a community. He is both protector and healer. He is not purely defensive, however. When evil threatens, the cleric is well-suited to seek it out on its own ground and destroy it.

            The druid class is optional; it is an example of how the priest can be adapted to a certain type of setting. The druid serves the cause of nature and neutrality; the wilderness is his community. He uses his special powers to protect it and to preserve balance in the world.

            Rogue: The rogue can be found throughout the world, wherever people gather and money changes hands. While many rogues are motivated only by a desire to amass fortune in the easiest way possible, some rogues have noble aims; they use their skills to correct injustice, spread good will, or contribute to the success of an adventuring group.

            There are two types of rogues: thieves and bards.

            To accomplish his goals, for good or ill, the thief is a skilled pilferer. Cunning, nimbleness, and stealth are his hallmarks. Whether he turns his talent against innocent passers-by and wealthy merchants or oppressors and monsters is a choice for the thief to make.

            The bard is also a rogue, but he is very different from the thief. His strength is his pleasant and charming personality. With it and his wits he makes his way through the world. A bard is a talented musician and a walking storehouse of gossip, tall tales, and lore. He learns a little bit about everything that crosses his path; he is a jack-of-all-trades but master of none. While many bards are scoundrels, their stories and songs are welcome almost everywhere.

Class Ability Score Requirements

            Each of the character classes has minimum scores in various abilities. A character must satisfy these minimums to be of that class. If your character's scores are too low for him to belong to any character class, ask your DM for permission to reroll one or more of your ability scores or to create an entirely new character. If you desperately want your character to belong to a particular class but have scores that are too low, your DM might allow you to increase these scores to the minimum needed. However, you must ask him first. Don't count on the DM allowing you to raise a score above 16 in any case.

Table 13:

Class Ability Minimums


Class   Str       Dex     Con     Int       Wis      Cha

Fighter 9          --         --         --         --         --

Paladin*          12        --         9          --         13        17

Ranger*           13        13        14        --         14        --

Mage   --         --         --         9          --         --

Specialist*      Var      Var      Var      Var      Var      Var

Cleric  --         --         --         --         9          --

Druid* --         --         --         --         12        15

Thief    --         9          --         --         --         --

Bard*  --         12        --         13        --         15

            * Optional character class. Specialist includes illusionist.

The complete character class descriptions that follow give the specific, detailed information you need about each class. These are organized according to groups. Information that applies to the entire group is presented at the start of the section. Each character class within the group is then explained.

            The descriptions use game terms that may be unfamiliar to you; many of these are explained in this text (or you may look the terms up in the Glossary).

            Experience Points measure what a character has learned and how he has improved his skill during the course of his adventures. Characters earn experience points by completing adventures and by doing things specifically related to their class. A fighter, for example, earns more experience for charging and battling a monster than does a thief, because the fighter's training emphasizes battle while the thief's emphasizes stealth and cleverness. Characters accumulate experience points from adventure to adventure. When they accumulate enough, they rise to the next level of experience, gaining additional abilities and powers. The experience level tables for each character group list the total, accumulated experience points needed to reach each level.

            Some DMs may require that a character spend a certain amount of time or money training before rising to the next experience level. Your DM will tell you the requirements for advancement when the time comes.

            Level is a measure of the character's power. A beginning character starts at 1st level. To advance to the next level, the character must earn a requisite number of experience points. Different character classes improve at different rates. Each increase in level improves the character's survivability and skills.

            Prime Requisite is the ability score or scores that are most important to a particular class. A fighter must be strong and a wizard must be intelligent; their prime requisites, therefore, are Strength and Intelligence, respectively. Some character classes have more than one prime requisite. Any character who has a score of 16 or more in all his prime requisites gains a 10% bonus to his experience point awards.


The warrior group encompasses the character classes of heroes who make their way in the world primarily by skill at arms: fighters, paladins, and rangers.

            Warriors are allowed to use any weapon. They can wear any type of armor. Warriors get 1 to 10 (1d10) hit points per level and can gain a special Constitution hit point bonus that is available only to warriors.

            The disadvantage warriors have is that they are restricted in their selection of magical items and spells.

            All warriors use Table 14 to determine their advancement in level as they earn experience points.

            All warriors gain one 10-sided hit die per level from 1st through 9th. After 9th level, warriors gain just 3 hit points per level and they no longer gain additional hit point bonuses for high Constitution scores.

Table 14:

Warrior Experience Levels


                                     Paladin/         Dice

            Level  Fighter           Ranger           (d10)

             1         0         0         1

             2         2,000  2,250  2

             3         4,000  4,500  3

             4         8,000  9,000  4

             5         16,000            18,000            5

             6         32,000            36,000            6

             7         64,000            75,000            7

             8         125,000          150,000          8

             9         250,000          300,000          9

            10        500,000          600,000          9+3

            11        750,000          900,000          9+6

            12        1,000,000        1,200,000        9+9

            13        1,250,000        1,500,000        9+12

            14        1,500,000        1,800,000        9+15

            15        1,750,000        2,100,000        9+18

            16        2,000,000        2,400,000        9+21

            17        2,250,000        2,700,000        9+24

            18        2,500,000        3,000,000        9+27

            19        2,750,000        3,300,000        9+30

            20        3,000,000        3,600,000        9+33

            All warriors gain the ability to make more than one melee attack per round as they rise in level. Table 15 shows how many melee attacks fighters, paladins, and rangers can make per round, as a function of their levels.

Table 15:

Warrior Melee Attacks per Round

            Warrior Level            Attacks/Round

            1-6       1/round

            7-12     3/2 rounds

            13 & up           2/round


Ability Requirements: Strength 9

Prime Requisite:         Strength

Allowed Races:          All

            The principal attribute of a fighter is Strength. To become a fighter, a character must have a minimum Strength score of 9. A good Dexterity rating is highly desirable.

            A fighter who has a Strength score (his prime requisite) of 16 or more gains a 10% bonus to the experience points he earns.

            Also, high Strength gives the fighter a better chance to hit an opponent and enables him to cause more damage.

            The fighter is a warrior, an expert in weapons and, if he is clever, tactics and strategy. There are many famous fighter from legend: Hercules, Perseus, Hiawatha, Beowulf, Siegfried, Cuchulain, Little John, Tristan, and Sinbad. History is crowded with great generals and warriors: El Cid, Hannibal, Alexander the Great, Charlemagne, Spartacus, Richard the Lionheart, and Belisarius. Your fighter could be modeled after any of these, or he could be unique. A visit to your local library can uncover many heroic fighters.

            Fighters can have any alignment: good or evil, lawful or chaotic, or neutral.

            As a master of weapons, the fighter is the only character able to have weapon specialization (explained in Chapter 5). Weapon specialization enables the fighter to use a particular weapon with exceptional skill, improving his chances to hit and cause damage with that weapon. A fighter character is not required to specialize in a weapon; the choice is up to the player. No other character class--not even ranger or paladin--is allowed weapon specialization.

            While fighters cannot cast magical spells, they can use many magical items, including potions, protection scrolls, most rings, and all forms of enchanted armor, weapons, and shields.

            When a fighter attains 9th level (becomes a "Lord"), he can automatically attract men-at-arms. These soldiers, having heard of the fighter, come for the chance to gain fame, adventure, and cash. They are loyal as long as they are well-treated, successful, and paid well. Abusive treatment or a disastrous campaign can lead to grumbling, desertion, and possibly mutiny. To attract the men, the fighter must have a castle or stronghold and sizeable manor lands around it. As he claims and rules this land, soldiers journey to his domain, thereby increasing his power. Furthermore, the fighter can tax and develop these lands, gaining a steady income from them. Your DM has information about gaining and running a barony.

            In addition to regular men-at-arms, the 9th-level fighter also attracts an elite bodyguard (his "household guards"). Although these soldiers are still mercenaries, they have greater loyalty to their Lord than do common soldiers. In return, they expect better treatment and more pay than the common soldier receives. Although the elite unit can be chosen randomly, it is better to ask your DM what unit your fighter attracts. This allows him to choose a troop consistent with the campaign.

Table 16: Fighter's Followers

            Roll percentile dice on each of the following subtables of Table 16: once for the leader of the troops, once for troops, and once for a bodyguard (household guards) unit.


Roll     Leader (and suggested magical items)

01-40   5th-level fighter, plate mail, shield, battle axe +2

41-75   6th-level fighter, plate mail, shield +1, spear +1, dagger +1

76-95   6th-level fighter, plate mail +1, shield, spear +1, dagger +1, plus 3rd-level

            fighter, splint mail, shield, crossbow of distance

96-99   7th-level fighter, plate mail +1, shield +1, broad sword +2, heavy war horse with

            horseshoes of speed

00        DM's Option


Roll     Troops/Followers (all 0th-level)

01-50   20 cavalry with ring mail, shield, 3 javelins, long sword, hand axe; 100 infantry

            with scale mail, polearm*, club

51-75   20 infantry with splint mail, morning star, hand axe; 60 infantry with leather

            armor, pike, short sword.

76-90   40 infantry with chain mail, heavy crossbow, short sword; 20 infantry with chain

            mail, light crossbow, military fork

91-99   10 cavalry with banded mail, shield, lance, bastard sword, mace; 20 cavalry with

            scale mail, shield, lance, long sword, mace; 30 cavalry with studded leather

            armor, shield, lance, long sword

00        DM's Option (Barbarians, headhunters, armed peasants, extra-heavy cavalry, etc.)

*Player selects type.


Roll     Elite Units

01-10   10 mounted knights; 1st-level fighters with field plate, large shield, lance, broad

            sword, morning star, and heavy war horse with full barding

11-20   10 1st-level elven fighter/mages with chain mail, long sword, long bow, dagger

21-30   15 wardens: 1st-level rangers with scale mail, shield, long sword, spear, long bow

31-40   20 berserkers: 2nd-level fighters with leather armor, shield, battle axe, broad

            sword, dagger (berserkers receive +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls)

41-65   20 expert archers: 1st-level fighters with studded leather armor, long bows or

            crossbows (+2 to hit, or bow specialization, if using that optional rule)

66-99   30 infantry: 1st-level fighters with plate mail, body shield, spear, short sword

00        DM's Option (pegasi cavalry, eagle riders, demihumans, siege train, etc.)

            The DM may design other tables that are more appropriate to his campaign. Check with your DM upon reaching 9th level.

            A fighter can hold property, including a castle or stronghold, long before he reaches 9th level. However, it is only when he reaches this level that his name is so widely known that he attracts the loyalty of other warriors.


Ability Requirements: Strength 12

            Constitution 9

            Wisdom 13

            Charisma 17

Prime Requisites:        Strength, Charisma

Races Allowed:          Human

The paladin is a noble and heroic warrior, the symbol of all that is right and true in the world. As such, he has high ideals that he must maintain at all times. Throughout legend and history there are many heroes who could be called paladins: Roland and the 12 Peers of Charlemagne, Sir Lancelot, Sir Gawain, and Sir Galahad are all examples of the class. However, many brave and heroic soldiers have tried and failed to live up to the ideals of the paladin. It is not an easy task!

            Only a human may become a paladin. He must have minimum ability scores of Strength 12, Constitution 9, Wisdom 13, and Charisma 17. Strength and Charisma are the prime requisites of the paladin. A paladin must be lawful good in alignment and must always remain lawful good. A paladin who changes alignment, either deliberately or inadvertently, loses all his special powers -- sometimes only temporarily and sometimes forever. He can use any weapon and wear any type of armor.

            A paladin who has Strength and Charisma scores of 16 or more gains a 10% bonus to the experience points he earns.

            Lawfulness and good deeds are the meat and drink of a paladin. If a paladin ever knowingly performs a chaotic act, he must seek a high-level (7th or more) cleric of lawful good alignment, confess his sin, and do penance as prescribed by the cleric. If a paladin should ever knowingly and willingly perform an evil act, he loses the status of paladinhood immediately and irrevocably. All benefits are then lost and no deed or magic can restore the character to paladinhood: He is ever after a fighter. The character's level remains unchanged when this occurs and experience points are adjusted accordingly. Thereafter the character is bound by the rules for fighters. He does not gain the benefits of weapon specialization (if this is used) since he did not select this for his character at the start.

            If the paladin commits an evil act while enchanted or controlled by magic, he loses his paladin status until he can atone for the deed. This loss of status means the character loses all his special abilities and essentially functions as a fighter (without weapon specialization) of the same level. Regaining his status undoubtedly requires completion of some dangerous quest or important mission to once again prove his worth and assuage his own guilt. He gains no experience prior to or during the course of this mission, and regains his standing as a paladin only upon completing the quest.

            A paladin has the following special benefits:

            A paladin can detect the presence of evil intent up to 60 feet away by concentrating on locating evil in a particular direction. He can do this as often as desired, but each attempt takes one round. This ability detects evil monsters and characters.

            A paladin receives a +2 bonus to all saving throws.

            A paladin is immune to all forms of disease. (Note that certain magical afflictions --lycanthropy and mummy rot --are curses and not diseases.)

            A paladin can heal by laying on hands. The paladin restores 2 hit points per experience level. He can heal himself or someone else, but only once per day.

            A paladin can cure diseases of all sorts (though not cursed afflictions such as lycanthropy). This can be done only once per week for each five levels of experience (once per week at levels 1 through 5, twice per week at levels 6 through 10, etc.).

            A paladin is surrounded by an aura of protection with a 10-foot radius. Within this radius, all summoned and specifically evil creatures suffer a -1 penalty to their attack rolls, regardless of whom they attack. Creatures affected by this aura can spot its source easily, even if the paladin is disguised.

            A paladin using a holy sword projects a circle of power 10 feet in diameter when the sword is unsheathed and held. This power dispels hostile magic of a level up to the paladin's experience level. (A holy sword is a very special weapon; if your paladin acquires one, the DM will explain its other powers.)

            A paladin gains the power to turn undead and fiends when he reaches 3rd level. He affects these monsters the same as does a cleric two levels lower--for example, at 3rd level he has the turning power of a 1st-level cleric. See the section on priests for more details on this ability.

            A paladin may call for his war horse upon reaching 4th level, or anytime thereafter. This faithful steed need not be a horse; it may be whatever sort of creature is appropriate to the character (as decided by the DM). A paladin's war horse is a very special animal, bonded by fate to the warrior. The paladin does not really "call" the animal, nor does the horse instantly appear in front of him. Rather, the character must find his war horse in some memorable way, most frequently by a specific quest.

            A paladin can cast priest spells once he reaches 9th level. He can cast only spells of the combat, divination, healing, and protective spheres. (Spheres are explained in the Priest section.) The acquisition and casting of these spells abide by the rules given for priests.

            The spell progression and casting level are listed in Table 17. Unlike a priest, the paladin does not gain extra spells for a high Wisdom score. The paladin cannot cast spells from clerical or druidical scrolls nor can he use priest items unless they are allowed to the warrior group.

Table 17:

Paladin Spell Progression

            Paladin            Casting           Priest Spell Level

            Level  Level  1          2          3          4

             9         1         1          --         --         --

            10        2         2          --         --         --

            11        3         2          1          --         --

            12        4         2          2          --         --

            13        5         2          2          1          --

            14        6         3          2          1          --

            15        7         3          2          1          1

            16        8         3          3          2          1

            17        9*       3          3          3          1

            18        9*       3          3          3          1

            19        9*       3          3          3          2

            20*      9*       3          3          3          3

            * Maximum spell ability

            A paladin may not possess more than 10 magical items. Furthermore, these may not exceed one suit of armor, one shield, four weapons (arrows and bolts are not counted), and four other magical items.

            A paladin never retains wealth. He may keep only enough treasure to support himself in a modest manner, pay his henchmen, men-at-arms, and servitors a reasonable rate, and to construct or maintain a small castle or keep (funds can be set aside for this purpose). All excess must be donated to the church or another worthy cause. This money can never be given to another player character or NPC controlled by a player.

            A paladin must tithe to whatever charitable, religious institution of lawful good alignment he serves. A tithe is 10% of the paladin's income, whether coins, jewels, magical items, wages, rewards, or taxes. It must be paid immediately.

            A paladin does not attract a body of followers upon reaching 9th level or building a castle. However, he can still hire soldiers and specialists, although these men must be lawful good in comportment.

            A paladin may employ only lawful good henchmen (or those who act in such a manner when alignment is unknown). A paladin will cooperate with characters of other alignments only as long as they behave themselves. He will try to show them the proper way to live through both word and deed. The paladin realizes that most people simply cannot maintain his high standards. Even thieves can be tolerated, provided they are not evil and are sincerely trying to reform. He will not abide the company of those who commit evil or unrighteous acts. Stealth in the cause of good is acceptable, though only as a last resort.


Ability Requirements: Strength 13

            Dexterity 13

            Constitution 14

            Wisdom 14

Prime Requisites:        Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom

Races Allowed:          Human, Elf, Half-elf

The ranger is a hunter and woodsman who lives by not only his sword, but also his wits. Robin Hood, Orion, Jack the giant killer, and the huntresses of Diana are examples of rangers from history and legend. The abilities of the ranger make him particularly good at tracking, woodcraft, and spying.


Table 18:

Ranger Abilities

            Ranger            Hide in            Move  Casting           Priest Spell Levels

            Level  Shadows         Silently           Level  1          2          3

             1         10%     15%     --         --         --         --

             2         15%     21%     --         --         --         --

             3         20%     27%     --         --         --         --

             4         25%     33%     --         --         --         --

             5         31%     40%     --         --         --         --

             6         37%     47%     --         --         --         --

             7         43%     55%     --         --         --         --

             8         49%     62%     1          1          --         --

             9         56%     70%     2          2          --         --

            10        63%     78%     3          2          1          --

            11        70%     86%     4          2          2          --

            12        77%     94%     5          2          2          1

            13        85%     99%*   6          3          2          1

            14        93%     99%     7          3          2          2

            15        99%*   99%     8          3          3          2

            16        99%     99%     9          3          3**      3

            * Maximum percentile score

            ** Maximum spell ability

            The ranger must have scores not less than 13 in Strength, 14 in Constitution, 13 in Dexterity, and 14 in Wisdom. The prime requisites of the ranger are Strength, Dexterity, and Wisdom. Rangers are always good, but they can be lawful, neutral, or chaotic. It is in the ranger's heart to do good, but not always by the rules.

            A ranger who has Strength, Dexterity, and Wisdom scores of 16 or more gains a 10% bonus to the experience points he earns.

            Although the ranger can use any weapon and wear any armor, several of his special abilities are usable only when he is wearing studded leather or lighter armor.

            Although he has the basic skills of a warrior, the ranger also has several advantages. When wearing studded leather or lighter armor, a ranger can fight two-handed with no penalty to his attack rolls (see "Attacking with Two Weapons" in Chapter 9: Combat). Obviously, the ranger cannot use a shield when fighting this way. A ranger can still fight with two weapons while wearing heavier armor than studded leather, but he suffers the standard attack roll penalties.

            The ranger is skilled woodsman. Even if the optional proficiency rules are not used, the ranger has tracking proficiency. If the proficiency rules are used in your campaign, the ranger knows tracking without expending any points. Furthermore, this skill improves by +1 for every three levels the ranger has earned (3rd to 5th level, +1; 6th to 8th level, +2, etc.). While wearing studded leather or lighter armor, the ranger can try to move silently and hide in shadows. His chance to succeed in natural surroundings is given on Table 18 (modified by the ranger's race and Dexterity, as given on Tables 27 and 28). When attempting these actions in non-natural surroundings (a musty crypt or city streets) the chance of success is halved. Hiding in shadows and moving silently are not possible in any armor heavier than studded leather--the armor is inflexible and makes too much noise.

            In their roles as protector of good, rangers tend to focus their efforts against some particular creature, usually one that marauds their homeland. Before advancing to 2nd level, every ranger must select a species enemy. Typical enemies include giants, orcs, lizard men, trolls, or ghouls; your DM has final approval on the choice. Thereafter, whenever the ranger encounters that enemy, he gains a +4 bonus to his attack rolls. This enmity can be concealed only with great difficulty, so the ranger suffers a -4 penalty on all encounter reactions with creatures of the hated type. Furthermore, the ranger will actively seek out this enemy in combat in preference to all other foes unless someone else presents a much greater danger.

            Rangers are adept with both trained and untamed creatures, having a limited degree of animal empathy. If a ranger carefully approaches or tends any natural animal, he can try to modify the animal's reactions. (A natural animal is one that can be found in the real world -- a bear, snake, zebra, etc.)

            When dealing with domestic or non-hostile animals, a ranger can approach the animal and befriend it automatically. He can easily discern the qualities of the creature (spotting the best horse in the corral or seeing that the runt of the litter actually has great promise).

            When dealing with a wild animal or an animal trained to attack, the animal must roll a saving throw vs. rods to resist the ranger's overtures. (This table is used even though the ranger's power is non-magical.) The ranger imposes a -1 penalty on the die roll for every three experience levels he has earned (-1 at 1st to 3rd, -2 at 4th to 6th, etc.). If the creature fails the saving throw, its reaction can be shifted one category as the ranger chooses. Of course, the ranger must be at the front of the party and must approach the creature fearlessly.

            For example, Beornhelm, a 7th-level ranger, is leading his friends through the woods. On entering a clearing, he spots a hungry black bear blocking the path on the other side. Signaling his friends to wait, Beornhelm approaches the beast, whispering soothing words. The DM rolls a saving throw vs. rods for the bear, modified by -3 for Beornhelm's level. The bear's normal reaction is unfriendly, but Beornhelm's presence reduces this to neutral. The party waits patiently until the bear wanders off to seek its dinner elsewhere.

            Later, Beornhelm goes to the horse market to get a new mount. The dealer shows him a spirited horse, notorious for being vicious and stubborn. Beornhelm approaches it carefully, again speaking soothingly, and mounts the stallion with no difficulty. Ridden by Beornhelm, the horse is spirited but well-behaved. Approached by anyone else, the horse reverts to its old ways.

            A ranger can learn priest spells, but only those of the plant or animal spheres (see "Priest" later in this chapter), when he reaches 8th level (see Table 18). He gains and uses his spells according to the rules given for priests. He does not gain bonus spells for a high Wisdom score, nor is he ever able to use priest scrolls or magical items unless specially noted otherwise.

            Rangers can build castles, forts, or strongholds, but do not gain any special followers by doing so.

            At 10th level, a ranger attracts 2d6 followers. These followers might be normal humans, but they are often animals or even stranger denizens of the land. Table 19 can be used to determine these, or your DM may assign specific followers.

Table 19:

Ranger's Followers


Roll     Follower

01-10   Bear, black

11-20   Bear, brown

21        Brownie*

22-26   Cleric (human)

27-38   Dog/wolf

39-40   Druid

41-50   Falcon

51-53   Fighter (elf)

54-55   Fighter (gnome)

56-57   Fighter (halfling)

58-65   Fighter (human)

66        Fighter/mage (elf)*

67-72   Great cat (tiger, lion, etc.)*

73        Hippogriff

74        Pegasus*

75        Pixie*

76-80   Ranger (half-elf)

81-90   Ranger (human)

91-94   Raven

95        Satyr*

96        Thief (halfling)

97        Thief (human)

98        Treant*

99        Werebear/weretiger*

00        Other wilderness creature (chosen by the DM)

            *If the ranger already has a follower of this type, ignore this result and roll again.

            Of course, your DM can assign particular creatures, either choosing from the list above or from any other source. He can also rule that certain creatures are not found in the region -- it is highly unlikely that a tiger would come wandering through a territory similar to western Europe!

            These followers arrive over the course of several months. often they are encountered during the ranger's adventures (allowing you and your DM a chance to role-play the initial meeting). While the followers are automatically loyal and friendly toward the ranger, their future behavior depends on the ranger's treatment of them. In all cases, the ranger does not gain any special method of communicating with his followers. He must either have some way of speaking to them or they simply mutely accompany him on his journeys. ("Yeah, this bear's been with me for years. Don't know why--he just seems to follow me around. I don't own him and can't tell him to do anything he don't want to do," said the grizzled old woodsman sitting outside the tavern.)

            Of course, the ranger is not obligated to take on followers. If he prefers to remain independent, he can release his followers at any time. They reluctantly depart, but stand ready to answer any call for aid he might put out at a later time.

            Like the paladin, the ranger has a code of behavior.

            A ranger must always retain his good alignment. If the ranger intentionally commits an evil act, he automatically loses his ranger status. Thereafter he is considered a fighter of the same level (if he has more experience points than a fighter of his level, he loses all the excess experience points). His ranger status can never be regained. If the ranger involuntarily commits an evil act (perhaps in a situation of no choice), he cannot earn any more experience points until he has cleansed himself of that evil. This can be accomplished by correcting the wrongs he committed, revenging himself on the person who forced him to commit the act, or releasing those oppressed by evil. The ranger instinctively knows what things he must do to regain his status (i.e., the DM creates a special adventure for the character).

            Furthermore, rangers tend to be loners, men constantly on the move. They cannot have henchmen, hirelings, mercenaries, or even servants until they reach 8th level. While they can have any monetary amount of treasure, they cannot have more treasure than they can carry. Excess treasure must either be converted to a portable form or donated to a worthy institution (an NPC group, not a player character).


The wizard group encompasses all spellcasters working in the various fields of magic--both those who specialize in specific schools of magic and those who study a broad range of magical theories. Spending their lives in pursuit of arcane wisdom, wizards have little time for physical endeavors. They tend to be poor fighters with little knowledge of weaponry. However, they command powerful and dangerous energies with a few simple gestures, rare components, and mystical words.

            Spells are the tools, weapons, and armor of the wizard. He is weak in a toe-to-toe fight, but when prepared he can strike down his foes at a distance, vanish in an instant, become a wholly different creature, or even invade the mind of an enemy and take control of his thoughts and actions. No secrets are safe from a wizard and no fortress is secure. His quest for knowledge and power often leads him into realms where mortals were never meant to go.

            Wizards cannot wear any armor, for several reasons. Firstly, most spells require complicated gestures and odd posturings by the caster and armor restricts the wearer's ability to do these properly. Secondly, the wizard spent his youth (and will spend most of his life) learning arcane languages, poring through old books, and practicing his spells. This leaves no time for learning other things (like how to wear armor properly and use it effectively). If the wizard had spent his time learning about armor, he would not have even the meager skills and powers he begins with. There are even unfounded theories that claim the materials in most armors disrupt the delicate fabric of a spell as it gathers energy; the two cannot exist side by side in harmony. While this idea is popular with the common people, true wizards know this is simply not true. If it were, how would they ever be able to cast spells requiring iron braziers or metal bowls?

            For similar reasons, wizards are severely restricted in the weapons they can use. They are limited to those that are easy to learn or are sometimes useful in their own research. Hence, a wizard can use a dagger or a staff, items that are traditionally useful in magical studies. Other weapons allowed are darts, knives, and slings (weapons that require little skill, little strength, or both).

            Wizards can use more magical items than any other characters. These include potions, rings, wands, rods, scrolls, and most miscellaneous magical items. A wizard can use a magical version of any weapon allowed to his class but cannot use magical armor, because no armor is allowed. Between their spells and magical items, however, wizards wield great power.

            Finally, all wizards (whether mages or specialists) can create new magical items, ranging from simple scrolls and potions to powerful staves and magical swords. Once he reaches 9th level, a wizard can pen magical scrolls and brew potions. He can construct more powerful magical items only after he has learned the appropriate spells (or works with someone who knows them). Your DM should consult the Spell Research and Magical Items sections of the DMG for more information.

            No matter what school of magic the wizard is involved in, Intelligence is his prime requisite (or one of several prime requisites). Characters must have an Intelligence score of at least 9 to qualify to be a wizard.

            All wizards use Table 20 to determine their advancement in level as they earn experience points. They also use Table 21 to determine the levels and numbers of spells they can cast at each experience level.

            All wizards gain one four-sided Hit Die (1d4) per level from 1st through 10th levels. After 10th level, wizards earn 1 hit point per level and they no longer gain additional hit point bonuses for high Constitution scores.

Table 20:

Wizard Experience Levels

            Level  Mage/Specialist         Hit Dice (d4)

             1         0         1

             2         2,500  2

             3         5,000  3

             4         10,000            4

             5         20,000            5

             6         40,000            6

             7         60,000            7

             8         90,000            8

             9         135,000          9

            10        250,000          10

            11        375,000          10+1

            12        750,000          10+2

            13        1,125,000        10+3

            14        1,500,000        10+4

            15        1,875,000        10+5

            16        2,250,000        10+6

            17        2,625,000        10+7

            18        3,000,000        10+8

            19        3,375,000        10+9

            20        3,750,000        10+10


Table 21:

Wizard Spell Progression

            Wizard                                                Spell Level

             Level 1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9

             1         1          --         --         --         --         --         --         --         --

             2         2          --         --         --         --         --         --         --         --

             3         2          1          --         --         --         --         --         --         --

             4         3          2          --         --         --         --         --         --         --

             5         4          2          1          --         --         --         --         --         --

             6         4          2          2          --         --         --         --         --         --

             7         4          3          2          1          --         --         --         --         --

             8         4          3          3          2          --         --         --         --         --

             9         4          3          3          2          1          --         --         --         --

            10        4          4          3          2          2          --         --         --         --

            11        4          4          4          3          3          --         --         --         --

            12        4          4          4          4          4          1          --         --         --

            13        5          5          5          4          4          2          --         --         --

            14        5          5          5          4          4          2          1          --         --

            15        5          5          5          5          5          2          1          --         --

            16        5          5          5          5          5          3          2          1          --

            17        5          5          5          5          5          3          3          2          --

            18        5          5          5          5          5          3          3          2          1

            19        5          5          5          5          5          3          3          3          1

            20        5          5          5          5          5          4          3          3          2


            Learning and casting spells require long study, patience, and research. Once his adventuring life begins, a wizard is largely responsible for his own education; he no longer has a teacher looking over his shoulder and telling him which spell to learn next. This freedom is not without its price, however. It means that the wizard must find his own source for magical knowledge: libraries, guilds, or captured books and scrolls.

            Whenever a wizard discovers instructions for a spell he doesn't know, he can try to read and understand the instructions. The player must roll percentile dice. If the result is equal to or less than the percentage chance to learn a new spell (listed on Table 4), the character understands the spell and how to cast it. He can enter the spell in his spell book (unless he has already learned the maximum number of spells allowed for that level). If this die roll is higher than the character's chance to learn the spell, he doesn't understand the spell. Once a spell is learned, it cannot be unlearned. It remains part of that character's repertoire forever. Thus, a character cannot choose to "forget" a spell so as to replace it with another.

            A wizard's spell book can be a single book, a set of books, a bundle of scrolls, or anything else your DM allows. The spell book is the wizard's diary, laboratory journal, and encyclopedia, containing a record of everything he knows. Naturally, it is his most treasured possession; without it he is almost helpless.

            A spell book contains the complicated instructions for casting the spell -- the spell's recipe, so to speak. Merely reading these instructions aloud or trying to mimic the instructions does not enable one to cast the spell. Spells gather and shape mystical energies; the procedures involved are very demanding, bizarre, and intricate. Before a wizard can actually cast a spell, he must memorize its arcane formula. This locks an energy pattern for that particular spell into his mind. Once he has the spell memorized, it remains in his memory until he uses the exact combination of gestures, words, and materials that triggers the release of this energy pattern. Upon casting, the energy of the spell is spent, wiped clean from the wizard's mind. The wizard cannot cast that spell again until he returns to his spell book and memorizes it again.

            Initially the wizard is able to retain only a few of these magical energies in his mind at one time. Furthermore, some spells are more demanding and complex than others; these are impossible for the inexperienced wizard to memorize. With experience, the wizard's talent expands. He can memorize more spells and more complex spells. Still, he never escapes his need to study; the wizard must always return to his spell books to refresh his powers.

            Another important power of the wizard is his ability to research new spells and construct magical items. Both endeavors are difficult, time-consuming, costly, occasionally even perilous. Through research, a wizard can create an entirely new spell, subject to the DM's approval. Likewise, by consulting with your DM, your character can build magical items, either similar to those already given in the rules or of your own design. Your DM has information concerning spell research and magical item creation.

            Unlike many other characters, wizards gain no special benefits from building a fortress or stronghold. They can own property and receive the normal benefits, such as monthly income and mercenaries for protection. However, the reputations of wizards tend to discourage people from flocking to their doors. At best, a wizard may acquire a few henchmen and apprentices to help in his work.


Ability Requirements: Intelligence 9

Prime Requisite:         Intelligence

Races Allowed:          Human, Elf, Half-elf

            Mages are the most versatile types of wizards, those who choose not to specialize in any single school of magic. This is both an advantage and disadvantage. On the positive side, the mage's selection of spells enables him to deal with many different situations. (Wizards who study within a single school of magic learn highly specialized spells, but at the expense of spells from other areas.) The other side of the coin is that the mage's ability to learn specialized spells is limited compared to the specialist's.

Mages have no historical counterparts; they exist only in legend and myth. However, players can model their characters after such legendary figures as Merlin, Circe, or Medea. Accounts of powerful wizards and sorceresses are rare, since their reputations are based in no small part on the mystery that surrounds them. These legendary figures worked toward secret ends, seldom confiding in the normal folk around them.

            A mage who has an Intelligence score of 16 or higher gains a 10% bonus to the experience points he earns.

The Schools of Magic

            Spells are divided into nine different categories, or schools, according to the types of magical energy they utilize. Each school has its own special methods and practices.

            Although they are called schools, schools of magic are not organized places where a person goes to study. The word "school" identifies a magical discipline. A school is an approach to magic and spellcasting that emphasizes a particular sort of spell. Practitioners of a school of magic may set up a magical university to teach their methods to beginners, but this is not necessary. Many powerful wizards learned their craft studying under reclusive masters in distant lands.

            The nine schools of magic are Abjuration, Alteration, Conjuration/Summoning, Enchantment/Charm, Greater Divination, Illusion, Invocation/Evocation, Necromancy, and Lesser Divination.

Table 22:

Wizard Specialist Requirements



Specialist        School Race   Score  Opposition School(s)

Abjurer            Abjuration       H         15 Wis Alteration & Illusion

Conjurer          Conj./Summ.    H, ½ E 15 Con Gr. Divin. &


Diviner            Gr. Divin.        H, ½ E, E        16 Wis Conj./Summ.

Enchanter        Ench./Charm    H, ½ E, E        16 Cha Invoc./Evoc. &


Illusionist        Illusion            H, G    16 Dex Necro., Invoc./Evoc.,


Invoker            Invoc./Evoc.    H         16 Con Ench./Charm


Necromancer   Necromancy    H         16 Wis Illusion &


Transmuter      Alteration        H, ½ E 15 Dex Abjuration &



            This diagram illustrates the schools that oppose each other. See Table 22 and its entry descriptions for more information.

            Of these schools, eight are greater schools while the ninth, lesser divination, is a minor school. The minor school of lesser divination includes all divination spells of the 4th spell level or less (available to all wizards). Greater divinations are those divination spells of the 5th spell or higher.

Specialist Wizards

            A wizard who concentrates his effort in a single school of magic is called a specialist. There are specialists in each type of magic, although some are extremely rare. Not all specialists are well-suited to adventuring--the diviner's spells are limited and not generally useful in dangerous situations. On the other hand, player characters might want to consult an NPC diviner before starting an adventure.

            Specialist wizards have advantages and disadvantages when compared to mages. Their chance to know spells of their school of magic is greatly increased, but the intensive study results in a smaller chance to know spells outside their school. The number of spells they can cast increases, but they lose the ability to cast spells of the school in opposition to their specialty (opposite it in the diagram). Their ability to research and create new spells within their specialty is increased, but the initial selection of spells in their school may be quite limited. All in all, players must consider the advantages and disadvantages carefully.

            Not all wizards can become specialists. The player character must meet certain requirements to become a specialist. Most specialist wizards must be single-classed; multi-classed characters cannot become specialists, except for gnomes, who seem to have more of a natural bent for the school of illusion than characters of any other race. Dual-class humans can choose to become specialists. The dedication to the particular school of magic requires all the attention and concentration of the character. He does not have time for other class-related pursuits.

            In addition, each school has different restrictions on race, ability scores, and schools of magic allowed. These restrictions are given on Table 22. Note that lesser divination is not available as a specialty. The spells of this group, vital to the functioning of a wizard, are available to all wizards.

            Race lists those races that, either through a natural tendency or a quirk of fate, are allowed to specialize in that art. Note that the gnome, though unable to be a regular mage, can specialize in illusions.

            Minimum Ability Score lists the ability minimums needed to study intensively in that school. All schools require at least the minimum Intelligence demanded of a mage and an additional prime requisite, as listed.

            Opposition School(s) always includes the school directly opposite the character's school of study in the diagram. In addition, the schools to either side of this one may also be disallowed due to the nature of the character's school. For example, an invoker/evoker cannot learn enchantment/charm or conjuration/summoning spells and cannot use magical items that duplicate spells from these schools.

            Being a specialist does have significant advantages to balance the trade-offs the character must make. These are listed here:

            A specialist gains one additional spell per spell level, provided the additional spell is taken in the specialist's school. Thus, a 1st-level illusionist could have two spells--one being any spell he knows and the other limited to spells of the illusion school.

            Because specialists have an enhanced understanding of spells within their school, they receive a +1 bonus when making saving throws against those spells when cast by other wizards. Likewise, other characters suffer a -1 penalty when making saving throws against a specialist casting spells within his school. Both of these modifiers can be in effect at the same time--for example, when an enchanter casts an enchantment spell at another enchanter, the modifiers cancel each other out.

            Specialists receive a bonus of +15% when learning spells from their school and a penalty of -15% when learning spells from other schools. The bonus or penalty is applied to the percentile dice roll the player must make when the character tries to learn a new spell (see Table 4).

            Whenever a specialist reaches a new spell level, he automatically gains one spell of his school to add to his spell books. This spell can be selected by the DM or he can allow the player to pick. No roll for learning the spell need be made. It is assumed that the character has discovered this new spell during the course of his research and study.

            When a specialist wizard attempts to create a new spell (using the rules given in the DMG), the DM should count the new spell as one level less (for determining the difficulty) if the spell falls within the school of the specialist. An enchanter attempting to create a new enchantment spell would have an easier time of it than an illusionist attempting to do the same.


Ability Requirements: Dexterity 16

Prime Requisite:         Intelligence

Races Allowed:          Human, Gnome

            The illusionist is an example of a specialist. The description of the illusionist given here can be used as a guide for creating wizards specializing in other magical schools.

            First, the school of illusion is a very demanding field of study. To specialize as an illusionist, a wizard needs a Dexterity score of at least 16.

            An illusionist who has an Intelligence of 16 or more gains a 10% bonus to the experience points he earns.

            Because the illusionist knows far more about illusions than the standard wizard, he is allowed a +1 bonus when rolling saving throws against illusions; other characters suffer a -1 penalty when rolling saving throws against his illusions. (These modifiers apply only if the spell allows a saving throw.)

            Through the course of his studies, the illusionist has become adept at memorizing illusion spells (though it is still an arduous process). He can memorize an extra illusion spell at each spell level. Thus, as a 1st-level caster he can memorize two spells, although at least one of these must be an illusion spell.

            Later, when he begins to research new spells for his collection, he finds it easier to devise new illusion spells to fill specialized needs. Research in other schools is harder and more time consuming for him.

            Finally, the intense study of illusion magic prevents the character from mastering the other classes of spells that are totally alien to the illusion school (those diametrically opposite illusion on the diagram). Thus, the illusionist cannot learn spells from the schools of necromancy, invocation/evocation, or abjuration.

            As an example, consider Joinville the illusionist. He has an Intelligence score of 15. In the course of his travels he captures an enemy wizard's spell book that contains an improved invisibility spell, a continual light spell, and a fireball spell, none of which are in Joinville's spell book. He has an 80% chance to learn the improved invisibility spell. Continual light is an alteration spell, however, so his chance to learn it is only 50% (consult Table 4 to see where these figures come from). He cannot learn the fireball spell, or even transcribe it into his spell book, because it is an evocation spell.


The priest is a believer and advocate of a god from a particular mythos. More than just a follower, he intercedes and acts on behalf of others, seeking to use his powers to advance the beliefs of his mythos.

            All priests have certain powers: The ability to cast spells, the strength of arm to defend their beliefs, and special, deity-granted powers to aid them in their calling. While priests are not as fierce in combat as warriors, they are trained to use weaponry in the fight for their cause. They can cast spells, primarily to further their god's aims and protect its adherents. They have few offensive spells, but these are very powerful.

            All priests use eight-sided Hit Dice (d8s). Only priests gain additional spells for having high Wisdom scores. All priests have a limited selection of weapons and armor, but the restrictions vary according to the mythos.

            All priests use Table 23 to determine their advancement in level as they gain experience points. They also all use Table 24 to determine how many spells they receive at each level of experience.

            All priests spells are divided into 16 categories called spheres of influence. Different types of priests have access to different spheres; no priest can cast spells from every sphere of influence. The 16 spheres of influence are as follows: All, Animal, Astral, Charm, Combat, Creation, Divination, Elemental, Guardian, Healing, Necromantic, Plant, Protection, Summoning, Sun, and Weather.

             In addition, a priest has either major or minor access to a sphere. A priest with major access to a sphere can (eventually) cast all spells in the sphere. A priest with minor access to a sphere can cast only 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-level spells from that sphere.

            All priests gain one eight-sided Hit Die (1d8) Per level from 1st through 9th. After 9th level, priests earn 2 hit points per level and they no longer gain additional hit point bonuses for high Constitution scores.

Table 23:

Priest Experience Levels

                                                Hit Dice

            Level  Cleric Druid  (d8)

             1         0         0         1

             2         1,500  2,000  2

             3         3,000  4,000  3

             4         6,000  7,500  4

             5         13,000            12,500            5

             6         27,500            20,000            6

             7         55,000            35,000            7

             8         110,000          60,000            8

             9         225,000          90,000            9

            10        450,000          125,000          9+2

            11        675,000          200,000          9+4

            12        900,000          300,000          9+6

            13        1,125,000        750,000          9+8

            14        1,350,000        1,500,000        9+10

            15        1,575,000        3,000,000        9+12

            16        1,800,000        3,500,000        9+14

            17        2,025,000        500,000*         9+16

            18        2,250,000        1,000,000        9+18

            19        2,475,000        1,500,000        9+20

            20        2,700,000        2,000,000        9+22

            * See section on hierophant druids under "Druids" in this chapter.


Table 24:

Priest Spell Progression

            Priest                          Spell Level

            Level  1          2          3          4          5          6*        7**

             1         1          --         --         --         --         --         --

             2         2          --         --         --         --         --         --

             3         2          1          --         --         --         --         --

             4         3          2          --         --         --         --         --

             5         3          3          1          --         --         --         --

             6         3          3          2          --         --         --         --

             7         3          3          2          1          --         --         --

             8         3          3          3          2          --         --         --

             9         4          4          3          2          1          --         --

            10        4          4          3          3          2          --         --

            11        5          4          4          3          2          1          --

            12        6          5          5          3          2          2          --

            13        6          6          6          4          2          2          --

            14        6          6          6          5          3          2          1

            15        6          6          6          6          4          2          1

            16        7          7          7          6          4          3          1

            17        7          7          7          7          5          3          2

            18        8          8          8          8          6          4          2

            19        9          9          8          8          6          4          2

            20        9          9          9          8          7          5          2         

            * Usable only by priests with 17 or greater Wisdom.

            ** Usable only by priests with 18 or greater Wisdom.


Ability Requirement:   Wisdom 9

Prime Requisite:         Wisdom

Races Allowed:          All

            The most common type of priest is the cleric. The cleric may be an adherent of any religion (though if the DM designs a specific mythos, the cleric's abilities and spells may be changed--see following). Clerics are generally good, but are not restricted to good; they can have any alignment acceptable to their order. A cleric must have a Wisdom score of 9 or more. High constitution and Charisma are also particularly useful.

            A cleric who has a Wisdom of 16 or more gains a 10% bonus to the experience points he earns.

            The cleric class is similar to certain religious orders of knighthood of the Middle Ages: the Teutonic Knights, the Knights Templars, and Hospitalers. These orders combined military and religious training with a code of protection and service. Memberswere trained as knights and devoted themselves to the service of the church. These orders were frequently found on the outer edges of the Christian world, either on the fringe of the wilderness or in war-torn lands. Archbishop Turpin (of The Song of Roland) is an example of such a cleric. Similar orders can also be found in other lands, such as the sohei of Japan.

            Clerics are sturdy soldiers, although their selection of weapons is limited. They can wear any type of armor and use any shield. Standard clerics, being reluctant to shed blood or spread violence, are allowed to use only blunt, bludgeoning weapons. They can use a fair number of magical items including priest scrolls, most potions and rings, some wands and rods, staves, armor, shields, and magical versions of any weapons allowed by their order.

            Spells are the main tools of the cleric, however, helping him to serve, fortify, protect, and revitalize those under his care. He has a wide variety of spells to choose from, suitable to many different purposes and needs. (A priest of a specific mythos probably has a more restricted range of spells.) A cleric has major access to every sphere of influence except the plant, animal, weather, and elemental spheres (he has minor access to the elemental sphere and cannot cast spells of the other three spheres).

            The cleric receives his spells as insight directly from his deity (the deity does not need to make a personal appearance to grant the spells the cleric prays for), as a sign of and reward for his faith, so he must take care not to abuse his power lest it be taken away as punishment.

            The cleric is also granted power over undead -- evil creatures that exist in a form of non-life, neither dead nor alive. The cleric is charged with defeating these mockeries of life. His ability to turn undead (see "Turning Undead" in Chapter 9: Combat) enables him to drive away these creatures or destroy them utterly (though a cleric of evil alignment can bind the creatures to his will). Some of the more common undead creatures are ghosts, zombies, skeletons, ghouls, and mummies. Vampires and liches (undead sorcerers) are two of the most powerful undead.

            As a cleric advances in level, he gains additional spells, better combat skills, and a stronger turning ability. Upon reaching 8th level, the cleric automatically attracts a fanatically loyal group of believers, provided the character has established a place of worship of significant size. The cleric can build this place of worship at any time during his career, but he does not attract believers until he reaches 8th level. These followers are normal warriors, 0-level soldiers, ready to fight for the cleric's cause. The cleric attracts 20 to 200 of these followers; they arrive over a period of several weeks. After the initial followers assemble, no new followers trickle in to fill the ranks of those who have fallen in service. The DM decides the exact number and types of followers attracted by the cleric. The character can hire other troops as needed, but these are not as loyal as his followers.

            At 9th level, the cleric may receive official approval to establish a religious stronghold, be it a fortified abbey or a secluded convent. Obviously, the stronghold must contain all the trappings of a place of worship and must be dedicated to the service of the cleric's cause. However, the construction cost of the stronghold is half the normal price, since the work has official sanction and much of the labor is donated. The cleric can hold property and build a stronghold any time before reaching 9th level, but this is done without church sanction and does not receive the benefits described above.

Priests of Specific Mythoi

            In the simplest version of the AD&D game, clerics serve religions that can be generally described as "good" or "evil." Nothing more needs to be said about it; the game will play perfectly well at this level. However, a DM who has taken the time to create a detailed campaign world has often spent some of that time devising elaborate pantheons, either unique creations or adaptations from history or literature. If the option is open (and only your DM can decide), you may want your character to adhere to a particular mythos, taking advantage of the detail and color your DM has provided. If your character follows a particular mythos, expect him to have abilities, spells, and restrictions different from the generic cleric.

            Priesthood in any mythos must be defined in five categories: requirements, weapons allowed, spells allowed, granted powers, and ethos.


            Before a character can become a priest of a particular mythos, certain requirements must be met. These usually involve minimum ability scores and mandatory alignments. All priests, regardless of mythos, must have Wisdom scores of at least 9. Beyond this, your DM can set other requirements as needed. A god of battle, for example, should require strong, healthy priests (13 Str, 12 Con). One whose sphere is art and beauty should demand high Wisdom and Charisma (16 or better). Most deities demand a specific type of behavior from their followers, and this will dictate alignment choices.

Weapons Allowed

            Not all mythoi are opposed to the shedding of blood. Indeed, some require their priests to use swords, spears, or other specific weapons. A war deity might allow his priests to fight with spears or swords. An agricultural deity might emphasize weapons derived from farm implements -- sickles and bills, for example. A deity of peace and harmony might grant only the simplest and least harmful weapons -- perhaps only lassoes and nets. Given below are some suggested weapons, but many more are possible (the DM always has the final word in this matter).

Deity   Weapon

Agriculture      Bill, flail, sickle

Blacksmith      War hammer

Death   Sickle

Disease           Scourge, whip

Earth    Pick

Healing            Man-catcher, quarterstaff

Hunt     Bow and arrows, javelin, light lance, sling, spear

Lightning         Dart, javelin, spear

Love    Bow and arrows, man-catcher

Nature Club, scimitar, sickle

Oceans Harpoon, spear, trident

Peace   Quarterstaff

Strength           Hammer

Thunder           Club, mace, war hammer

War     Battle axe, mace, morning star, spear, sword

Wind   Blowgun, dart

            Of course there are many other reasons a deity might be associated with a particular weapon or group of weapons. These are often cultural, reflecting the weapons used by the people of the area. There may be a particular legend associated with the deity, tying it to some powerful artifact weapon (Thor's hammer, for example). The DM has the final choice in all situations.

Spells Allowed

            A priest of a particular mythos is allowed to cast the spells from only a few, related spheres. The priest's deity will have major and minor accesses to certain spheres, and this determines the spells available to the priest. (Each deity's access to spheres is determined by the DM as he creates the pantheon of his world.) The 16 spheres of influence are defined in the following paragraphs.

            A priest whose deity grants major access to a sphere can choose from any spell within that sphere (provided he is high enough in level to cast it), while one allowed only minor access to the sphere is limited to spells of 3rd level or below in that sphere. The combination of major and minor accesses to spheres results in a wide variation in the spells available to priests who worship different deities.

            All refers to spells usable by any priest, regardless of mythos. There are no Powers (deities) of the Sphere of All. This group includes spells the priest needs to perform basic functions.

            Animal spells are those that affect or alter creatures. It does not include spells that affect people. Deities of nature and husbandry typically operate in this sphere.

            Astral is a small sphere of spells that enable movement or communication between the different planes of existence. The masters of a plane or particularly meddlesome powers often grant spells from this sphere.

            Charm spells are those that affect the attitudes and actions of people. Deities of love, beauty, trickery, and art often allow access to this sphere.

            Combat spells are those that can be used to directly attack or harm the enemies of the priest or his mythos. These are often granted by deities of war or death.

            Creation spells enable the priest to produce something from nothing, often to benefit his followers. This sphere can fill many different roles, from a provider to a trickster.

            Divination enables the priest to learn the safest course of action in a particular situation, find a hidden item, or recover long-forgotten information. Deities of wisdom and knowledge typically have access to this sphere.

            Elemental spells are all those that affect the four basic elements of creation--earth, air, fire, and water. Nature deities, elemental deities, those representing or protecting various crafts, and the deities of sailors would all draw spells from this sphere.

            Guardian spells place magical sentries over an item or person. These spells are more active than protection spells because they create an actual guardian creature of some type. Protective, healing, and trickster deities may all grant spells of this sphere.

            Healing spells are those that cure diseases, remove afflictions, or heal wounds. These spells cannot restore life or regrow lost limbs. Healing spells can be reversed to cause injury, but such use is restricted to evil priests. Protective and merciful deities are most likely to grant these spells, while nature deities may have lesser access to them.

            Necromantic spells restore to a creature some element of its life-force that has been totally destroyed. It might be life, a limb, or an experience level. These spells in reverse are powerfully destructive, and are used only by extremely evil priests. Deities of life or death are most likely to act in this sphere.

            Plant spells affect plants, ranging from simple agriculture (improving crops and the like) to communicating with plant-like creatures. Agricultural and nature Powers grant spells in this sphere.

            Protection spells create mystical shields to defend the priest or his charges from evil attacks. War and protective deities are most likely to use these, although one devoted to mercy and kindness might also bestow these spells.

            Summoning spells serve to call creatures from other places, or even other dimensions, to the service of the priest. Such service is often against the will of the creature, so casting these spells often involves great risk. Since creatures summoned often cause great harm and destruction, these spells are sometimes bestowed by war or death powers.

            Sun spells are those dealing in the basic powers of the solar universe--the purity of light and its counterpart darkness. Sun spells are very common with nature, agricultural, or life-giving powers.

            Weather spells enable the priest to manipulate the forces of weather. Such manipulation can be as simple as providing rain to parched fields, or as complex as unbridling the power of a raging tempest. Not surprisingly, these tend to be the province of nature and agricultural powers and appear in the repertoire of sea and ocean powers.

            Additional spheres can be created by your DM. The listed spheres are typical of the areas in which deities concentrate their interest and power. Spells outside the deity's major and minor spheres of influence are not available to its priests.

            Furthermore, the priest can obtain his spells at a faster or slower pace than the normal cleric. Should the character's ethos place emphasis on self-reliance, the spell progression is slower. Those deities associated with many amazing and wondrous events might grant more spells per level. Of course, your DM has final say on this, and he must balance the gain or loss of spells against the other powers, abilities, and restrictions of the character.

Granted Powers

            Another aspect of a specific mythos is the special powers available to its priests. The cleric's granted power is the ability to turn undead. This ability, however, is not common to all priests. Other deities grant powers in accordance with their spheres. If your DM is using a specific mythos, he must decide what power is granted to your priest. Some possible suggestions are given below.

            *Incite Berserker Rage, adding a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls (War).

            *Soothing Word, able to remove fear and influence hostile reactions (Peace, Mercy, Healing).

            *Charm or Fascination, which could act as a suggestion spell (Love, Beauty, Art).

            *Inspire Fear, radiating an aura of fear similar to the fear spell (Death).

            These are only a few of the granted powers that might be available to a character. As with allowed weapons, much depends on the culture of the region and the tales and legends surrounding the Power and its priests.


            All priests must live by certain tenets and beliefs. These guide the priests' behavior. Clerics generally try to avoid shedding blood and try to aid their community. A war deity may order its priests to be at the forefront of battles and to actively crusade against all enemies. A harvest deity may want its priests to be active in the fields. The ethos may also dictate what alignment the priest must be. The nature of the mythos helps define the strictures the priest must follow.

Priest Titles

            Priests of differing mythoi often go by titles and names other than priest. A priest of nature, for example (especially one based on Western European tradition) could be called a druid (see below). Shamans and witch doctors are also possibilities. A little library research will turn up many more unique and colorful titles, a few of which are listed here:

Abbess, Abbot, Ayatollah, Bonze, Brother, Dom, Eye of the Law, Friar, Guru, Hajji, Imam, Mendicant, Metropolitan, Mullah, Pardoner, Patriarch, Prelate, Prior, Qadi, Rector, Vicar, and Yogi

Balancing It All

            When creating a priest of a specific mythos, careful attention must be given to the balance of the character's different abilities. A priest strong in one area or having a wide range of choice must be appropriately weakened in another area so that he does not become too powerful compared to the other priests in the game. If a war deity allows a priest the use of all weapons and armor, the character should be limited in the spells allowed or powers granted. At the other extreme, a character who follows a deity of peace should have significant spells and granted powers to make up for his extremely limited or non-existent choice of weapons. A druid, for example, has more granted powers than a normal cleric to compensate for his limited armor and spell selection.


Ability Requirements: Wisdom 12

            Charisma 15

Prime Requisites:        Wisdom, Charisma

Races Allowed:          Human, Half-elf

Historically, druids lived among the Germanic tribes of Western Europe and Britain during the days of the Roman Empire. They acted as advisors to chieftains and held great influence over the tribesmen. Central to their thinking was the belief that the earth was the mother and source of all life. They revered many natural things -- the sun, moon, and certain trees -- as deities. Druids in the AD&D game, however, are only loosely patterned after these historical figures. They are not required to behave like or follow the beliefs of historical druids.

            The druid is an example of a priest designed for a specific mythos. His powers and beliefs are different from those of the cleric. The druid is a priest of nature and guardian of the wilderness, be it forest, plains, or jungle.


            A druid must be human or half-elven. He must have a Wisdom score of at least 12 and a Charisma score of 15 or more. Both of these abilities are prime requisites.

Weapons Allowed

            Unlike the cleric, the druid is allowed to use only "natural" armors -- padded, hide, or leather armor and wooden shields, including those with magical enhancements. All other armors are forbidden to him. His weapons are limited to club, sickle, dart, spear, dagger, scimitar, sling, and staff.

Spells Allowed

            Druids do not have the same range of spells as clerics. They have major access to the following spheres: all, animal, elemental, healing, plant, and weather. They have minor access to the divination sphere. Druids can use all magical items normally allowed priests, except for those that are written (books and scrolls) and armor and weapons not normally allowed for druids.

Granted Powers

            A druid makes most saving throws as a priest, but he gains a bonus of +2 to all saving throws vs. fire or electrical attacks.

            All druids can speak a secret language in addition to any other tongues they know. (If the optional proficiency rules are used, this language does not use a proficiency slot.) The vocabulary of this druidic language is limited to dealing with nature and natural events. Druids jealously guard this language; it is the one infallible method they have of recognizing each other.

            Additional powers are granted as the druid reaches higher levels:

            He can identify plants, animals, and pure water with perfect accuracy after he reaches 3rd level.

            He can pass through overgrown areas (thick thorn bushes, tangled vines, briar patches, etc.) without leaving a trail and at his normal movement rate after he reaches 3rd level.

            He can learn the languages of woodland creatures. These include centaurs, dryads, elves, fauns, gnomes, dragons, giants, lizard men, manticores, nixies, pixies, sprites, and treants. The druid can add one language at 3rd level and one more every time he advances a level above 3rd. (If the optional proficiency rules are used, it is the druid's choice whether or not to spend a proficiency slot on one or more of these languages.)

            He is immune to charm spells cast by woodland creatures (dryads, nixies, etc.) after he reaches 7th level.

            He gains the ability to shapechange into a reptile, bird, or mammal up to three times per day after he reaches 7th level. Each animal form (reptile, bird, or mammal) can be used only once per day. The size can vary from that of a bullfrog or small bird to as large as a black bear. Upon assuming a new form, the druid heals 10-60% (1d6 × 10%) of all damage he has suffered (round fractions down). The druid can only assume the form of a normal (real world) animal in its normal proportions, but by doing so he takes on all of that creature's characteristics -- its movement rate and abilities, its Armor Class, number of attacks, and damage per attack.

            Thus, a druid could change into a wren to fly across a river, transform into a black bear on the opposite side and attack the orcs gathered there, and finally change into a snake to escape into the bushes before more orcs arrive.

            The druid's clothing and one item held in each hand also become part of the new body; these reappear when the druid resumes his normal shape. The items cannot be used while the druid is in animal form.

            A druid cannot turn undead.


            As protectors of nature, druids are aloof from the complications of the temporal world. Their greatest concern is for the continuation of the orderly and proper cycles of nature--birth, growth, death, and rebirth. Druids tend to view all things as cyclic and thus, the battles of good and evil are only the rising and falling tides of time. Only when the cycle and balance are disrupted does the druid become concerned. Given this view of things, the druid must be neutral in alignment.

            Druids are charged with protecting wilderness--in particular trees, wild plants, wild animals, and crops. By association, they are also responsible for their followers and their animals. Druids recognize that all creatures (including humans) need food, shelter, and protection from harm. Hunting, farming, and cutting lumber for homes are logical and necessary parts of the natural cycle. However, druids do not tolerate unnecessary destruction or exploitation of nature for profit. Druids often prefer subtle and devious methods of revenge against those who defile nature. It is well known that druids are both very unforgiving and very patient.

            Mistletoe is an important holy symbol to druids and it is a necessary part of some spells (those requiring a holy symbol). To be fully effective, the mistletoe must be gathered by the light of the full moon using a golden or silver sickle specially made for the purpose. Mistletoe gathered by other means halves the effectiveness of a given spell, if it causes damage or has an area of effect, and grants the target a +2 bonus to his saving throw if a saving throw is applicable.

            Druids as a class do not dwell permanently in castles, cities, or towns. All druids prefer to live in sacred groves, where they build small sod, log, or stone cottages.

Druid Organization

            Druids have a worldwide structure. At their upper levels (12th and above), only a few druids can hold each level.

Druids, Archdruids, and the Great Druid

            At 12th level, the druid character acquires the official title of "druid" (all druid characters below 12th level are officially known as "initiates"). There can be only nine 12th-level druids in any geographic region (as defined by oceans, seas, and mountain ranges; a continent may consist of three or four such regions). A character cannot reach 12th level unless he takes his place as one of the nine druids. This is possible only if there are currently fewer than nine druids in the region, or if the character defeats one of the nine druids in magical or hand-to-hand combat, thereby assuming the defeated druid's position. If such combat is not mortal, the loser drops experience points so that he has exactly 200,000 remaining--just enough to be 11th level.

            The precise details of each combat are worked out between the two combatants in advance. The combat can be magical, non-magical, or a mixture of both. It can be fought to the death, until only one character is unconscious, until a predetermined number of hit points is lost, or even until the first blow is landed, although in this case both players would have to be supremely confident of their abilities. Whatever can be agreed upon between the characters is legitimate, so long as there is some element of skill and risk.

            When a character becomes a 12th-level druid, he gains three underlings. Their level depends on the character's position among the nine druids. The druid with the most experience points is served by three initiates of 9th level; the second-most experienced druid is served by three initiates of 8th level; and so on, until the least experienced druid is served by three 1st-level initiates.

            Only three archdruids (13th level) can operate in a geographical region. To become an archdruid, a 12th-level druid must defeat one of the reigning archdruids or advance into a vacant position. Each of the three archdruids is served by three initiates of 10th level. From among the archdruids of the entire world, three are chosen to serve the Grand Druid (see "The Grand Druid and Hierophant Druids" section). These three retain their attendees but are themselves servants of the Grand Druid.

            The Great Druid (14th level) is unique in his region. He, too, won his position from the previous great druid. He is served by three initiates of 11th level.

            The ascendance of a new Great Druid usually sets off shock waves of turmoil and chaos through the druidical hierarchy. The advancement of an archdruid creates an opening that is fiercely contested by the druids, and the advancement of a druid creates an opening in their ranks.

The Grand Druid and Hierophant Druids

            The highest ranking druid in the world is the Grand Druid (15th level). Unlike great druids (several of whom can operate simultaneously in different lands), only one person in a world can ever hold this title at one time. Consequently, only one druid can be 15th level at any time.

            The Grand Druid knows six spells of each level (instead of the normal spell progression) and also can cast up to six additional spell levels, either as a single spell or as several spells whose levels total to six (for example, one 6th-level spell, six 1st-level spells, three 2nd-level spells, etc.).

            The Grand Druid is attended by nine other druids who are subject only to him and have nothing to do with the hierarchy of any specific land or area. Any druid character of any level can seek the Grand Druid and ask to serve him. Three of these nine are archdruids who roam the world, acting as his messengers and agents. Each of them receives four additional spell levels. The remainder are normally druids of 7th to 11th level, although the Grand Druid can request a druid of any level to serve him and often considers applications from humble aspirants.

            The position of Grand Druid is not won through combat. Instead, the Grand Druid selects his successor from the acting great druids. The position is demanding, thankless, and generally unexciting for anyone except a politician. After a few hundred thousand experience points of such stuff, any adventurer worthy of the name probably is ready to move on to something else.

            For this reason, the Grand Druid reaches 16th level after earning only 500,000 more experience points. After reaching 16th level, the Grand Druid can step down from his position at any time, provided he can find a suitable successor (another druid with 3,000,000 experience points).

            Upon stepping down, the former Grand Druid must relinquish the six bonus spell levels and all of his experience points but 1 (he keeps the rest of his abilities). He is now a 16th-level hierophant druid, and begins advancing anew (using the progression given in Table 23). The character may rise as high as 20th level as a hierophant druid (almost always through self training).

            Beyond 15th level, a druid never gains any new spells (ignore the Priest Spell Progression table from this point on). Casting level continues to rise with experience. Rather than spells, spell-like powers are acquired.

            16th level: At 16th level, the hierophant druid gains four powers:

            Immunity to all natural poisons. Natural poisons are ingested or insinuated animal or vegetable poisons, including monster poisons, but not mineral poisons or poison gas.

            Vigorous health for a person of his age. The hierophant is no longer subject to the ability score adjustments for aging.

            The ability to alter his appearance at will. Appearance alteration is accomplished in one round. A height and weight increase or decrease of 50% is possible, with an apparent age from childhood to extreme old age. Body and facial features can resemble any human or humanoid creature. This alteration is not magical, so it cannot be detected by any means short of true seeing.

            17th Level: The character gains the biological ability to hibernate. His body functions slow to the point where the character may appear dead to a casual observer; aging ceases. The character is completely unconscious during hibernation. He awakens either at a preordained time ("I will hibernate for 20 days") or when there is a significant change in his environment (the weather turns cold, someone hits him with a stick, etc.).

            A 17th-level hierophant druid can also enter the Elemental Plane of Earth at will. The transference takes one round to complete. This ability also provides the means to survive on that plane, move around, and return to the Prime Material Plane at will. It does not confer similar abilities or immunities on the Prime Material Plane.

            18th level: The character gains the ability to enter and survive in the Elemental Plane of Fire.

            19th level: The character gains the ability to enter and survive in the Elemental Plane of Water.

            20th level: The character gains the ability to enter and survive in the Elemental Plane of Air.


Rogues are people who feel that the world (and everyone it) somehow owes them a living. They get by day by day, living in the highest style they can afford and doing as little work as possible. The less they have to toil and struggle like everyone else (while maintaining a comfortable standard of living), the better off they think they are. While this attitude is neither evil nor cruel, it does not foster a good reputation. Many a rogue has a questionable past or a shady background he'd prefer was left uninvestigated.

            Rogues combine a few of the qualities of the other character classes. They are allowed to use a wide variety of magical items, weapons, and armor.

            Rogues have some special abilities that are unique to their group. All rogues tend to be adept at languages and thus, have a percentage chance to read strange writings they come across. All are skilled in climbing and clinging to small cracks and outcroppings--even more skilled than the hardy men of the mountains. They are alert and attentive, hearing things that others would miss. Finally, they are dexterous (and just a little bit light-fingered), able to perform tricks and filch small items with varying degrees of success.

            Rogues have a number of special abilities, such as picking pockets and detecting noise, for which they are given a percentage chance of success (this chance depends on the class, level, Dexterity score, and race of the rogue). When a rogue tries to use a special ability, a percentile dice roll determines whether the attempt succeeds or fails. If the dice roll is equal to or less than the special ability score, the attempt succeeds. Otherwise, it fails.

            All rogues use Table 25 to determine their advancement in levels as they gain experience points.

            All rogues gain one six-sided Hit Die (1d6) per level from 1st through 10th. After 10th level, rogues earn 2 hit points per level and no longer receive additional hit point bonuses for high Constitution scores.

Table 25:

Rogue Experience Levels

            Level  Thief/Bard      Hit Dice (d6)

             1         0         1

             2         1,250  2

             3         2,500  3

             4         5,000  4

             5         10,000            5

             6         20,000            6

             7         40,000            7

             8         70,000            8

             9         110,000          9

            10        160,000          10

            11        220,000          10+2

            12        440,000          10+4

            13        660,000          10+6

            14        880,000          10+8

            15        1,100,000        10+10

            16        1,320,000        10+12

            17        1,540,000        10+14

            18        1,760,000        10+16

            19        1,980,000        10+18

            20        2,200,000        10+20



Ability Requirement:   Dexterity 9

Prime Requisite:         Dexterity

Races Allowed:          All

            Thieves come in all sizes and shapes, ready to live off the fat of the land by the easiest means possible. In some ways they are the epitome of roguishness.

            The profession of thief is not honorable, yet it is not entirely dishonorable, either. Many famous folk heroes have been more than a little larcenous -- Reynard the Fox, Robin Goodfellow, and Ali Baba are but a few. At his best, the thief is a romantic hero fired by noble purpose but a little wanting in strength of character. Such a person may truly strive for good but continually run afoul of temptation.

            The thief's prime requisite is Dexterity; a character must have a minimum score of 9 to qualify for the class. While high numbers in other scores (particularly Intelligence) are desirable, they are not necessary. The thief can have any alignment except lawful good. Many are at least partially neutral.

            A thief with a Dexterity score of 16 or more gains a 10% bonus to the experience points he earns.

            Thieves have a limited selection of weapons. Most of their time is spent practicing thieving skills. The allowed weapons are club, dagger, dart, hand crossbow, knife, lasso, short bow, sling, broad sword, long sword, short sword, and staff. A thief can wear leather, studded leather, padded leather, or elven chain armor. When wearing any allowed armor other than leather, the thief's abilities are penalized (see Table 29).

            To determine the initial value of each skill, start with the base scores listed on Table 26. To these base scores, add (or subtract) any appropriate modifiers for race, Dexterity, and armor worn (given on Tables 27, 28 and 29, respectively).

            The scores arrived at in the preceding paragraph do not reflect the effort a thief has spent honing his skills. To simulate this extra training, all thieves at 1st level receive 60 discretionary percentage points that they can add to their base scores. No more than 30 points can be assigned to any single skill. Other than this restriction, the player can distribute the points however he wants.

            Each time the thief rises a level in experience, the player receives another 30 points to distribute. No more than 15 points per level can be assigned to a single skill, and no skill can be raised above 95 percent, including all adjustments for Dexterity, race, and armor. As an option, the DM can rule that some portion of the points earned must be applied to skills used during the course of the adventure.


Table 26:

Thieving Skill Base Scores

Skill     Base Score

Pick Pockets    15%

Open Locks     10%

Find/Remove Traps    5%

Move Silently  10%

Hide in Shadows         5%

Detect Noise   15%

Climb Walls    60%

Read Languages          0%


            In addition to the base percentages listed above, demihuman characters and characters with high or low Dexterity scores have adjustments to their base numbers. Some characters may find that, after adjustments, they have negative scores. In this case, the character must spend points raising his skill percentage to at least 1% before he can use the skill. (Some races just aren't very good at certain things!)

            A thief character uses the "No Armor" column if wearing bracers of defense or a cloak without large or heavy protective clothing.

Table 27:

Thieving Skill Racial Adjustments

Skill     Dwarf Elf      Gnome            Half-elf           Halfling

Pick Pockets    --        +5%   --        +10%  +5%

Open Locks     +10%  -5%    +5%   --        +5%

Find/Remove Traps    +15%  --        +10%  --        +5%

Move Silently  --        +5%   +5%   --        +10%

Hide in Shadows         --        +10%  +5%   +5%   +15%

Detect Noise   --        +5%   +10%  --        +5%

Climb Walls    -10%  --        -15%  --        -15%

Read Languages          -5%    --        --        --        -5%


Table 28:

Thieving Skill Dexterity Adjustments

            Pick     Open   Find/    Move  Hide in

Dexterity        Pockets           Locks  Remove Traps           Silently           Shadows

9          -15%  -10%  -10%  -20%  -10%

10        -10%  -5%    -10%  -15%  -5%

11        -5%    --        -5%    -10%  --

12        --        --        --        -5%    --

13-15   --        --        --        --        --

16        --        +5%   --        --        --

17        +5%   +10%  --        +5%   +5%

18        +10%  +15%  +5%   +10%  +10%

19        +15%  +20%  +10%  +15%  +15%



Table 29:

Thieving Skill Armor Adjustments

                                    Padded, Hide or         Chain mail*

Skill     No Armor       Elven Chain    Studded Leather        or Ring Mail*

Pick Pockets    +5%   -20%               -30%               -25%

Open Locks     --        -5%                -10%               -10%

Find/Remove Traps    --        -5%                -10%               -10%

Move Silently  +10%  -10%               -20%               -15%

Hide in Shadows         +5%   -10%               -20%               -15%

Detect Noise   --        -5%                -10%               -5%

Climb Walls    +10%  -20%               -30%               -25%

Read Languages          --        --                    --                    --

            * Only Bards can wear ring mail or non-elven mail while using thief skills..


Skill Explanations

            Pick Pockets: The thief uses this skill when filching small items from other peoples' pockets, sleeves, girdles, packs, etc., when palming items (such as keys), and when performing simple sleight of hand.

            A failed attempt means the thief did not get an item, but it does not mean that his attempt was detected. To determine whether the victim noticed the thief's indiscretion, subtract three times the victim's level from 100. If the thief's pick pockets roll was equal to or greater than this number, the attempt is detected. A 0th-level victim, for example, notices the attempt only if the roll was 00 (100), while a 13th-level character notices the attempt on a dice roll of 61 or more. In some cases, the attempt may succeed and be noticed at the same time.

If the DM wishes, he can rule that a thief of higher level than his victim is less likely to be caught pilfering. The chance that the victim notices the attempt can be modified by subtracting the victim's level from the thief's level, and then adding this number to the percentage chance the thief is detected. For example, Ragnar, a 15th-level thief, tries to pick the pocket of Horace, a 9th-level fighter. Normally, Ragnar would be detected if his pick pockets roll was 73 or more (100-[3×9]=73). Using this optional system, since Ragnar is six levels higher than Horace, this number is increased by six to 79 (73+6=79). This option only applies if the thief is higher level than his victim.

            A thief can try to pick someone's pocket as many times as he wants. Neither failure nor success prevents additional attempts, but getting caught might!

            Open Locks: A thief can try to pick padlocks, finesse combination locks (if they exist), and solve puzzle locks (locks with sliding panels, hidden releases, and concealed keyholes). Picking a padlock requires tools. Using typical thief's tools grants normal chances for success. Using improvised tools (a bit of wire, a thin dirk, a stick, etc.) imposes a penalty on the character's chance for success. The DM sets the penalty based on the situation; penalties can range from -5 for an improvised but suitable tool, to -60 for an awkward and unsuitable item (like a stick). The amount of time required to pick a lock is 1d10 rounds. A thief can try to pick a particular lock only once per experience level. If the attempt fails, the lock is simply too difficult for the character until he learns more about picking locks (goes up a level).

            Find/Remove Traps: The thief is trained to find small traps and alarms. These include poisoned needles, spring blades, deadly gases, and warning bells. This skill is not effective for finding deadfall ceilings, crushing walls, or other large, mechanical traps.

            To find the trap, the thief must be able to touch and inspect the trapped object. Normally, the DM rolls the dice to determine whether the thief finds a trap. If the DM says, "You didn't find any traps," it's up to the player to decide whether that means there are no traps or there are traps but the thief didn't see them. If the thief finds a trap, he knows its general principle but not its exact nature. A thief can check an item for traps once per experience level. Searching for a trap takes 1d10 rounds.

            Once a trap is found, the thief can try to remove it or disarm it. This also requires 1d10 rounds. If the dice roll indicates success, the trap is disarmed. If the dice roll indicates failure, the trap is beyond the thief's current skill. He can try disarming the trap again when he advances to the next experience level. If the dice roll is 96-100, the thief accidentally triggers the trap and suffers the consequences. Sometimes (usually because his percentages are low) a thief will deliberately spring a trap rather than have unpleasant side effects if the trap doesn't work quite the way the thief thought, and he triggers it while standing in the wrong place.

            This skill is far less useful when dealing with magical or invisible traps. Thieves can attempt to remove these traps, but their chances of success are half their normal percentages.

            Move Silently: A thief can try to move silently at any time simply by announcing that he intends to do so. While moving silently, the thief's movement rate is reduced to 1/3 normal. The DM rolls percentile dice to determine whether the thief is moving silently; the thief always thinks he is being quiet. Successful silent movement improves the thief's chance to surprise a victim, avoid discovery, or move into position to stab an enemy in the back. Obviously, a thief moving silently but in plain view of his enemies is wasting his time.

            Hide in Shadows: A thief can try to disappear into shadows or any other type of concealment -- bushes, curtains, crannies, etc. A thief can hide this way only when no one is looking at him; he remains hidden only as long as he remains virtually motionless. (The thief can make small, slow, careful movements: draw a weapon, uncork a potion, etc.) A thief can never become hidden while a guard is watching him, no matter what his dice roll is--his position is obvious to the guard. However, trying to hide from a creature that is locked in battle with another is possible, as the enemy's attention is fixed elsewhere. The DM rolls the dice and keeps the result secret, but the thief always thinks he is hidden.

            Hiding in shadows cannot be done in total darkness, since the talent lies in fooling the eye as much as in finding real concealment (camouflage, as it were). However, hidden characters are equally concealed to those with or without infravision. Spells, magical items, and special abilities that reveal invisible objects can reveal the location of a hidden thief.

            Detect Noise: A good thief pays attention to every detail, no matter how small, including faint sounds that most others miss. His ability to hear tiny sounds (behind heavy doors, down long hallways, etc.) is much better than the ordinary person's. Listening is not automatic; the thief must stand still and concentrate on what he's hearing for one round. He must have silence in his immediate surroundings and must remove his helmet or hat. Sounds filtering through doors or other barriers are unclear at best.

            Climb Walls: Although everyone can climb rocky cliffs and steep slopes, the thief is far superior to others in this ability. Not only does he have a better climbing percentage than other characters, he can also climb most surfaces without tools, ropes, or devices. Only the thief can climb smooth and very smooth surfaces without climbing gear. Of course, the thief is very limited in his actions while climbing--he is unable to fight or effectively defend himself.

            Read Languages: Out of necessity, thieves tend to learn odd bits of information. Among these is the ability to read various languages, particularly as they apply to treasure maps, deeds, secret notes, and the like. At 4th level, the thief has enough exposure to languages that he has a chance to read most nonmagical writing. This ability naturally improves with more experience. However, your DM can rule that some languages (those the thief has never encountered) are indecipherable to the thief.

            The die roll to read a language must be made every time the character tries to read a document (not just once per language). A successful die roll means the thief puzzled out the meaning of the writing. His understanding of the document is roughly equal to his percentage chance for success: a 20% chance means that, if the thief understands it at all, he gets about 20% of the meaning. A different document in the same language requires another die roll (it probably contains different words). It isn't necessary to keep notes about what languages the thief has read in the past, since each document is handled individually.

            Only one die roll can be made for any particular document at a given experience level. If the die roll fails, the thief can try again after gaining a new experience level.

            If the character knows how to read a given language because he spent a proficiency slot on it, this die roll is unnecessary for documents in that language.

            Thieves have other abilities not listed on Table 26:

            Backstab: Thieves are weak in toe-to-toe hacking matches, but they are masters of the knife in the back. When attacking someone by surprise and from behind, a thief can improve his chance to successfully hit (+4 modifier for rear attack and negate the target's shield and Dexterity bonuses) and greatly increase the amount of damage his blow causes.

            To use this ability, the thief must be behind his victim and the victim must be unaware that the thief intends to attack him. If an enemy sees the thief, hears him approach from a blind side, or is warned by another, he is not caught unaware, and the backstab is handled like a normal attack (although bonuses for a rear attack still apply). Opponents in battle will often notice a thief trying to maneuver behind them--the first rule of fighting is to never turn your back on an enemy! However, someone who isn't expecting to be attacked (a friend or ally, perhaps) can be caught unaware even if he knows the thief is behind him.

            The multiplier given in Table 30 applies to the amount of damage before modifiers for Strength or weapon bonuses are added. The weapon's standard damage is multiplied by the value given in Table 30. Then Strength and magical weapon bonuses are added.

            Backstabbing does have limitations. First, the damage multiplier applies only to the first attack made by the thief, even if multiple attacks are possible. Once a blow is struck, the initial surprise effect is lost. Second, the thief cannot use it on every creature. The victim must be generally humanoid. Part of the skill comes from knowing just where to strike. A thief could backstab an ogre, but he wouldn't be able to do the same to a beholder. The victim must also have a definable back (which leaves out most slimes, jellies, oozes, and the like). Finally, the thief has to be able to reach a significant target area. To backstab a giant, the thief would have to be standing on a ledge or window balcony. Backstabbing him in the ankle just isn't going to be as effective.

Table 30:

Backstab Damage Multipliers

            Thief's Level  Damage Multiplier

                        1-4                   ×2

                        5-8                   ×3

                        9-12                 ×4

                        13+                  ×5

            The ogre marches down the hallway, peering into the gloom ahead. He fails to notice the shadowy form of Ragnar the thief hidden in an alcove. Slipping into the hallway, Ragnar creeps up behind the monster. As he sets himself to strike a mortal blow, his foot scrapes across the stone. The hairy ears of the ogre perk up. The beast whirls around, ruining Ragnar's chance for a backstab and what remains of his day. If Ragnar had made a successful roll to move silently, he could have attacked the ogre with a +4 bonus on his chance to hit and inflicted five times his normal damage (since he is 15th level).

            Thieves' Cant: Thieves' cant is a special form of communication known by all thieves and their associates. It is not a distinct language; it consists of slang words and implied meanings that can be worked into any language. The vocabulary of thieves' cant limits its use to discussing things that interest thieves: stolen loot, easy marks, breaking and entering, mugging, confidence games, and the like. It is not a language, however. Two thieves cannot communicate via thieves' cant unless they know a common language. The cant is useful, however, for identifying fellow cads and bounders by slipping a few tidbits of lingo into a normal conversation.

The concept of thieves' cant is historical (the cant probably is still used today in one form or another), although in the AD&D game it has an ahistorically broad base. A few hours of research at a large library should turn up actual examples of old thieves' cant for those who want to learn more about the subject.

            Use Scrolls: At 10th level, a thief gains a limited ability to use magical and priest scrolls. A thief's understanding of magical writings is far from complete, however. The thief has a 25% chance to read the scroll incorrectly and reverse the spell's effect. This sort of malfunction is almost always detrimental to the thief and his party. It could be as simple as accidentally casting the reverse of the given spell or as complex as a foul-up on a fireball scroll, causing the ball of flame to be centered on the thief instead of its intended target. The exact effect is up to the DM (this is the sort of thing DMs enjoy, so expect the unexpected).

            Thieves do not build castles or fortresses in the usual sense. Instead, they favor small, fortified dwellings, especially if the true purpose of the buildings can easily be disguised. A thief might, for example, construct a well-protected den in a large city behind the facade of a seedy tavern or old warehouse. Naturally, the true nature of the place will be a closely guarded secret! Thieves almost always build their strongholds in or near cities, since that is where they ply their trades most lucratively.

            This, of course, assumes that the thief is interested in operating a band of thieves out of his stronghold. Not all thieves have larceny in their hearts, however. If a character devoted his life to those aspects of thieving that focus on scouting, stealth, and the intricacies of locks and traps, he could build an entirely different sort of stronghold--one filled with the unusual and intriguing objects he has collected during his adventurous life. Like any thief's home, it should blend in with its surroundings; after all, a scout never advertises his whereabouts. It might be a formidable maze of rooms, secret passages, sliding panels, and mysterious paraphernalia from across the world.

            Once a thief reaches 10th level, his reputation is such that he can attract followers -- either a gang of scoundrels and scalawags or a group of scouts eager to learn from a reputed master. The thief attracts 4d6 of these fellows. They are generally loyal to him, but a wise thief is always suspicious of his comrades. Table 31 can be used to determine the type and level of followers, or the DM can choose followers appropriate to his campaign.

Table 31:

Thief's Followers

D100               Level

Roll     Follower         Range

01-03   Dwarf fighter/thief      1-4

04-08   Dwarf thief      1-6

09-13   Elf thief           1-6

14-15   Elf thief/fighter/mage  1-3

16-18   Elf thief/mage  1-4

19-24   Gnome thief     1-6

25-27   Gnome thief/fighter     1-4

28-30   Gnome thief/illusionist            1-4

31-35   Half-elf thief   1-6

36-38   Half-elf thief/fighter    1-4

39-41   Half-elf thief/fighter/mage       1-3

42-46   Halfling thief   1-8

47-50   Halfling thief/fighter    1-6

51-98   Human thief     1-8

99        Human dual-class thief/?         1-8/1-4           

00        Other (DM selection)  --


            Thieves tend to be very jealous of their territory. If more than one thief starts a gang in the same area, the result is usually a war. The feud continues until one side or the other is totally eliminated or forced to move its operation elsewhere.


Ability Requirements: Dexterity 12

            Intelligence 13

            Charisma 15

Prime Requisite:         Dexterity, Charisma

Races Allowed:          Human, Half-elf

            The bard is an optional character class that can be used if your DM allows. He makes his way in life by his charm, talent, and wit. A good bard should be glib of tongue, light of heart, and fleet of foot (when all else fails).

            In precise historical terms, the title "bard" applies only to certain groups of Celtic poets who sang the history of their tribes in long, recitative poems. These bards, found mainly in Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, filled many important roles in their society. They were storehouses of tribal history, reporters of news, messengers, and even ambassadors to other tribes. However, in the AD&D game, the bard is a more generalized character. Historical and legendary examples of the type include Alan-a-Dale, Will Scarlet, Amergin, and even Homer. Indeed, every culture has its storyteller or poet, whether he is called bard, skald, fili, jongleur, or something else.

            To become a bard, a character must have a Dexterity of 12 or more, an Intelligence of 13 or more, and a Charisma of 15 or more. The prime requisites are Dexterity and Charisma. A bard can be lawful, neutral or chaotic, good or evil, but must always be partially neutral. Only by retaining some amount of detachment can he successfully fulfill his role as a bard.

            A bard, by his nature, tends to learn many different skills. He is a jack-of-all-trades but master of none. Although he fights as a rogue, he can use any weapon. He can wear any armor up to, and including, chain mail, but he cannot use a shield.

            All bards are proficient singers, chanters, or vocalists and can play a musical instrument of the player's choice (preferably one that is portable). Additional instruments can be learned if the optional proficiency rules are used -- the bard can learn two instruments for every proficiency slot spent.

            In his travels, a bard also manages to learn a few wizard spells. Like a wizard, a bard's Intelligence determines the number of spells he can know and the chance to know any given spell. These he keeps in his spell book, abiding by all the restrictions on memorization and spell use that bind a wizard, especially in the prohibition of armor. Hence, a bard will tend to use his spells more to entertain and impress than to fight. Table 32 lists the number of spells a bard can cast at each level.

            Since bards are dabblers rather than full-time wizards, their spells tend to be gained by serendipity and happenstance. In no case can a bard choose to specialize in a school of magic. Beginning bards do not have a selection of spells. A 2nd-level bard begins with one to four spells, chosen either randomly or by the DM. (An Intelligence check must still be made to see if the bard can learn a given spell.) The bard is not guaranteed to know read magic, as this is not needed to read the writings in a spell book. The bard can add new spells to his spell book as he finds them, but he does not automatically gain additional spells as he advances in level. All spells beyond those he starts with must be found during the course of adventuring. The bard's casting level is equal to his current level.

Table 32:


Bard                Spell Level

Level  1          2          3          4          5          6

1          --         --         --         --         --         --

2          1          --         --         --         --         --

3          2          --         --         --         --         --

4          2          1          --         --         --         --

5          3          1          --         --         --         --

6          3          2          --         --         --         --

7          3          2          1          --         --         --

8          3          3          1          --         --         --

9          3          3          2          --         --         --

10        3          3          2          1          --         --

11        3          3          3          1          --         --

12        3          3          3          2          --         --

13        3          3          3          2          1          --

14        3          3          3          3          1          --

15        3          3          3          3          2          --

16        4          3          3          3          2          1

17        4          4          3          3          3          1

18        4          4          4          3          3          2

19        4          4          4          4          3          2

20        4          4          4          4          4          3


            Combat and spells, however, are not the main strength of the bard. His expertise is in dealing and communicating with others. To this end, the bard has a number of special powers. The base percentage for each power is listed on Table 33. This base percentage must be adjusted for the race and Dexterity of the bard as given in the Thief description. After all adjustments are made, the player must distribute (however he chooses) 20 additional percentage points to the various special abilities. Thereafter, each time the character advances a level, he receives an additional 15 points to distribute.

Table 33:

Bard Abilities

Climb  Detect Pick     Read

Walls   Noise   Pockets           Languages

50%     20%     10%     5%

            Bard abilities are subject to modifiers for situation and armor as per the thief.

            Climb Walls enables the bard to climb near sheer surfaces without the aid of tools, just like the thief.

            Detect Noise improves the bard's chances of hearing and interpreting sounds. He may be able to overhear parts of a conversation on the other side of a door or pick up the sound of something stalking the party. To use the ability, the bard must stand unhelmeted and concentrate for one round (one minute). During this time, all other party members must remain silent. The DM secretly makes the check and informs the player of the result.

            Pick Pockets enables the bard not only to filch small purses, wallets, keys, and the like, but also to perform small feats of sleight-of-hand (useful for entertaining a crowd). Complete details on pickpocketing (and your character's chances of getting caught) can be found in the Thief description.

            Read Languages is an important ability, since words are the meat and drink of bards. They have some ability to read documents written in languages they do not know, relying on words and phrases they have picked up in their studies and travels. The Read Languages column in Table 33 gives the base percentage chance to puzzle out a foreign tongue. It also represents the degree of comprehension the bard has if he is successful. The DM can rule that a language is too rare or unfamiliar, especially if it has never been previously encountered by the bard, effectively foiling his attempts to translate it. At the other extreme, the bard need not make the dice roll for any language he is proficient in. Success is assumed to be automatic in such cases.

            The bard can also influence reactions of groups of NPCs. When performing before a group that is not attacking (and not intending to attack in just seconds), the bard can try to alter the mood of the listeners. He can try to soften their mood or make it uglier. The method can be whatever is most suitable to the situation at the moment -- a fiery speech, collection of jokes, a sad tale, a fine tune played on a fiddle, a haunting lute melody, or a heroic song from the old homeland. Everyone in the group listening must roll a saving throw vs. paralyzation (if the crowd is large, make saving throws for groups of people using average hit dice). The die roll is modified by -1 for every three experience levels of the bard (round fractions down). If the saving throw fails, the group's reaction can be shifted one level (see the Reactions section in the DMG), toward either the friendly or hostile end of the scale, at the player's option. Those who make a successful saving throw have their reaction shifted one level toward the opposite end of the scale.

            Cwell the Fine has been captured by a group of bandits and hauled into their camp. Although they are not planning to kill him on the spot, any fool can plainly see that his future may be depressingly short. In desperation, Cwell begins spinning a comic tale about Duke Dunderhead and his blundering knights. It has always been a hit with the peasants, and he figures it's worth a try here. Most of the bandits have 1 Hit Die, but the few higher level leaders raise the average level to 3. Cwell is only 2nd level so he gains no modifier. A saving throw is rolled and the group fails (Cwell succeeds!). The ruffians find his tale amusing. The player shifts their reaction from hostile to neutral. The bandits decide not to kill Cwell but to keep him around, under guard, to entertain them. If the bandits' saving throw had succeeded, the bandits would have been offended by the story (perhaps some of them served under Duke Dunderhead!), and their reaction would have shifted from hostile to violent. They probably would have roasted Cwell immediately.

            This ability cannot affect people in the midst of battle; it is effective only when the audience has time to listen. If Cwell tried telling his tale while the bandits were attacking his group, the bandits would have quickly decided that Cwell was a fool and carried on with their business. Furthermore, the form of entertainment used must be appropriate to the audience. Cwell might be able to calm (or enrage) a bear with music, but he won't have much luck telling jokes to orcs unless he speaks their language.

            The music, poetry, and stories of the bard can also be inspirational, rallying friends and allies. If the exact nature of an impending threat is known, the bard can heroically inspire his companions (immortalizing them in word and song), granting a +1 bonus to attack rolls, or a +1 bonus to saving throws, or a +2 bonus to morale (particularly useful in large battles) to those involved in melee. The bard must spend at least three full rounds singing or reciting before the battle begins. This affects those within a range of 10 feet per experience level of the bard.

            The effect lasts one round per level. Once the effect wears off, it can't be renewed if the recipients are still in battle. However, troops who have withdrawn from combat can be reinspired by the bard's words. A troop of soldiers, inspired by Cwell, could charge into battle. After fighting a fierce fight, they retreat and the enemy does not pursue. Cwell, seeing them crestfallen and dispirited, once again rouses their will to fight. Reinvigorated, they charge back into battle with renewed spirit.

            Bards are also able to counter the effects of songs and poetry used as magical attacks. Characters within 30 feet of the bard are immune to the attack as long as the bard sings a counter song (or recites a poem, etc.). While doing this, the bard can perform no other action except a slow walk. Furthermore, if he is struck or fails a saving throw, his effort is ruined. Success is checked by having the bard make a saving throw vs. spell. Success blocks the attack, failure means the attack has its normal effect (everyone affected rolls saving throws, normal damage is inflicted, etc.). The bard can use this ability once per encounter or battle. This power does not affect verbal spell components or command words; it is effective against spells that involve explanations, commands, or suggestions.

            Finally, bards learn a little bit of everything in their studies and travels. Thus, all bards can read and write their native tongue (if a written language exists) and all know local history (without cost if the optional proficiency rules are used). Furthermore, bards have a 5% chance per experience level to identify the general purpose and function of any magical item. The bard need not handle the item but must examine it closely. Even if successful, the exact function of the item is not revealed, only its general nature.

            Since Cwell the Fine is 2nd level, he has a 10% chance to know something about a magical sword +1. If he succeeds, he knows whether the sword is cursed and whether it has an alignment ("This sword was used by the evil warrior Lurdas. I wouldn't touch it if I were you!"). This ability does not enable him to identify the sword's exact properties, only its history and background. He has no idea of its bonuses or penalties or any special magical powers, except as can be inferred from the histories.

            Being something of a warrior, a bard can build a stronghold and attract followers upon reaching 9th level. The bard attracts 10d6 0th-level soldiers into his service. They arrive over a period of time, but they are not automatically replaced if lost in battle. Of course, a bard can build a stronghold any time, but no followers arrive until he reaches 9th level.

            Upon reaching 10th level, a bard can attempt to use magical devices of written nature--scrolls, books, etc. However, his understanding of magic is imperfect (although better than that of a thief), so there is a 15% chance that any written item he uses is read incorrectly. When this happens, the magical power works the opposite of what is intended, generally to the detriment of the bard or his friends. The DM will tell you what happens to your character, based on the situation and particular magical item. The result may be unpleasant, deadly, or embarrassing. (Deciding these things is part of the DM's fun!)

Multi-Class and Dual-Class Characters

A multi-class character improves in two or more classes simultaneously. His experience is divided equally between each class. The available class combinations vary according to race. The character can use the abilities of both classes at any time, with only a few restrictions. Only demihumans can be multi-class characters.

            A dual-class character is one who starts with a single class, advances to moderate level, and then changes to a second character class and starts over again. The character retains the benefits and abilities of the first class but never again earns experience for using them. There are some limitations on combining the abilities of the two classes but, as long as minimum ability and alignment requirements are met, there are no restrictions on the possible character class combinations. Only humans can be dual-class characters.

Multi-Class Combinations

            All of the standard demihuman races are listed here, along with their allowable multi-class combinations. Note that the character class names (not group names) are used below.

Dwarf Halfling

Fighter/Thief   Fighter/Thief



Elf       Fighter/Cleric*

Fighter/Mage   Fighter/Thief

Fighter/Thief   Fighter/Mage

Mage/Thief      Cleric/Ranger


Gnome            Thief/Mage

Fighter/Cleric  Fighter/Mage/Cleric*

Fighter/Illusionist        Fighter/Mage/Thief


Cleric/Illusionist         * or Druid



            As stated earlier in their description, specialist wizards cannot be multi-class (gnome illusionists are the single exception to this rule). The required devotion to their single field prevents specialist wizards from applying themselves to other classes. Priests of a specific mythos might be allowed as a multi-class option; this will depend on the nature of the mythos as determined by the DM.

Multi-Class Benefits and Restrictions

            A multi-class character always uses the most favorable combat value and the best saving throw from his different classes.

            The character's hit points are the average of all his Hit Dice rolls. When the character is first created, the player rolls hit points for each class separately, totals them up, then divides by the number of dice rolled (round fractions down). Any Constitution bonus is then added to the character's hit points. If one of the character's classes is fighter and he has a Constitution of 17 or 18, then he gains the +3 or +4 Constitution bonus available only to warriors (instead of the +2 maximum available to the other character classes).

            Later the character is likely to gain levels in different classes at different times. When this happens, roll the appropriate Hit Die and divide the result by the number of classes the character has (round fractions down, but a Hit Die never yields less than 1 hit point). The character's Constitution bonus is split between his classes; thus, a fighter/mage gets ½ of his Con bonus when he goes up a level as a fighter and the other ½ of the Con bonus when he goes up a level as a mage. A fighter/mage/thief would get 1/3 of his bonus when he goes up as a fighter, 1/3 when he goes up as a mage, and the other 1/3 when he goes up as a thief.

            If the optional proficiency system is used, the character starts with the largest number of proficiency slots of the different classes. Thereafter, he gains new proficiency slots at the fastest of the given rates. To determine the character's initial money, roll according to the most generous of the character's different classes.

            Rupert's character, Morrison the Multi-Faceted, is a half-elf fighter/mage/thief. At 1st level, Morrison rolls three dice for hit points: 1d10 (fighter), 1d6 (thief), and 1d4 (mage). The results are 6, 5, and 2. Their sum (13) is divided by three and rounded down to equal 4 (13/3=4-1/3=4). Morrison begins the game with 4 hit points. Later, Morrison reaches 2nd level as a thief before he reaches 2nd level as a fighter or a mage. He rolls 1d6 for additional hit points and the result is 4. He divides this by 3 (because he has three classes) and rounds down. Morrison gets 1 more hit point when he becomes a 2nd-level thief. (He will also roll 1d10 and 1d4 [both rolls divided by 3] when he reaches 2nd level as a fighter and as a mage, respectively.)

            Multi-class characters can combine abilities from their different classes with the following restrictions:

            Warrior: A multi-classed warrior can use all of his abilities without restriction. The warrior abilities form the base for other character classes.

            Priest: Regardless of his other classes, a multi-classed priest must abide by the weapon restrictions of his mythos. Thus, a fighter/cleric can use only bludgeoning weapons (but he uses the warrior combat value). He retains all his normal priest abilities.

            Wizard: A multi-classed wizard can freely combine the powers of the wizard with any other class allowed, although the wearing of armor is restricted. Elves wearing elven chain can cast spells in armor, as magic is part of the nature of elves. However, elven chain is extremely rare and can never be purchased. It must be given, found, or won.

            Thief: A multi-classed thief cannot use any thieving abilities other than open locks or detect noise if he is wearing armor that is normally not allowed to thieves. He must remove his gauntlets to open locks and his helmet to detect noise.

Dual-Class Benefits and Restrictions

            Only humans can be dual-classed characters. To be dual-classed, the character must have scores of 15 or more in the prime requisites of his first class and scores of 17 or more in the prime requisites of any classes he switches to. The character selects one class to begin his adventuring life. He can advance in this class as many levels as he desires before switching to another class; there is no cut-off point beyond which a character cannot switch. However, he must attain at least 2nd level in his current class before changing to another class. There is no limit to the number of classes a character can acquire, as long as he has the ability scores and wants to make the change. (Certain character classes have alignment restrictions that the character must meet, however.)

            Any time after reaching 2nd level, a human character can enter a new character class, provided he has scores of 17 or better in the prime requisites of the new class. After switching to a new class, the character no longer earns experience points in his previous character class and he can no longer advance in level in that class. Nor can he switch back to his first class at a later date, hoping to resume his advancement where he left off. Once he leaves a class he has finished his studies in it. Instead, he starts over in a new class, at 1st level with 0 experience points, but he does retain his previous Hit Dice and hit points. He gains the abilities, and must abide by all of the restrictions, of the new class. He does not gain or lose any points on his ability scores (for example, an 18 Strength wizard who changes to fighter does not gain the percentile Strength bonus, but likewise a fighter changing to a wizard would not lose it). The character uses the combat and saving throw tables appropriate to his new class and level.

            This is not to imply that a dual-class human forgets everything he knew before; he still has, at his fingertips, all the knowledge, abilities, and proficiencies of his old class. But if he uses any of his previous class's abilities during an encounter, he earns no experience for that encounter and only half experience for the adventure. The only values that can be carried over from the previous class without restriction are the character's Hit Dice and hit points. The character is penalized for using his old attack or saving throw numbers, weapons or armor that are now prohibited, and any special abilities of the old class that are not also abilities of the new class. (The character is trying to learn new ways to do things; by slipping back to his old methods, he has set back his learning in his new character class.)

            In addition, the character earns no additional Hit Dice or hit points while advancing in his new class.

            The restrictions in the previous two paragraphs last until the character reaches a higher level in his new class than his maximum level in any of his previous classes. At that point, both restrictions are dropped: the character gains the abilities of his previous classes without jeopardizing his experience points for the adventure, and he earns additional Hit Dice (those of his new class) and hit points for gaining experience levels in his new class.

            Once these restrictions are lifted, the character must still abide by the restrictions of whichever class he is using at the moment. A dual-class fighter/mage, for example, cannot cast spells while wearing armor.

            Tarus Blood-heart begins his career as a cleric with a Wisdom of 16. He rises to 3rd level and then decides to become a fighter, since his Strength is 17. He keeps his 14 hit points (rolled on 3d8), but in all other ways he is treated as a 1st-level fighter. Upon reaching 4th level, Tarus is allowed to roll 1d10 for additional hit points. He can now cast spells as a 3rd-level cleric and fight as a 4th-level fighter. For the rest of his career, Tarus advances as a fighter but retains his minor clerical powers--a useful advantage when the situation gets ugly!

            When a dual-class or multi-class character is struck by a level-draining creature, he first loses levels in the class in which he has advanced the highest. When his different classes are equal in level, the class level requiring the most experience points is lost first.

            The player character is allowed to regain levels lost by level draining, but until he regains all of his former levels, he must select which class he will use prior to any particular adventure. Using abilities of the other class then subjects him to the experience penalties given earlier. When he regains all of his former levels, he is then free to use all the abilities of all his classes once again. Of course, he cannot raise his earlier class(es) above the level(s) he was at when he switched class.

            Tarus is a 4th-level cleric/3rd-level fighter. He is struck by a wight and loses one level from his cleric class, since it is his highest level. If struck again, he would lose one level from his fighter class. Thereafter he could regain his lost levels, but would have to choose to act as either a fighter or cleric. Once he earned enough experience to regain his previous fighter level, he would not be allowed to advance further in it (restoring himself to his previous level only). But he could still advance as a cleric and use his 3rd-level fighter abilities.




Chapter 4:


After all other steps toward creating a character have been completed, the player must choose an alignment for the character. In some cases (especially the paladin), the choice of alignment may be limited.

            The character's alignment is a guide to his basic moral and ethical attitudes toward others, society, good, evil, and the forces of the universe in general. Use the chosen alignment as a guide to provide a clearer idea of how the character will handle moral dilemmas. Always consider alignment as a tool, not a straitjacket that restricts the character. Although alignment defines general attitudes, it certainly doesn't prevent a character from changing his beliefs, acting irrationally, or behaving out of character.

            Alignment is divided into two sets of attitudes: order and chaos, and good and evil. By combining the different variations within the two sets, nine distinct alignments are created. These nine alignments serve well to define the attitudes of most of the people in the world.

Law, Neutrality, and Chaos

Attitudes toward order and chaos are divided into three opposing beliefs. Picture these beliefs as the points of a triangle, all pulling away from each other. The three beliefs are law, chaos, and neutrality. One of these represents each character's ethos--his understanding of society and relationships.

            Characters who believe in law maintain that order, organization, and society are important, indeed vital, forces of the universe. The relationships between people and governments exist naturally. Lawful philosophers maintain that this order is not created by man but is a natural law of the universe. Although man does not create orderly structures, it is his obligation to function within them, lest the fabric of everything crumble. For less philosophical types, lawfulness manifests itself in the belief that laws should be made and followed, if only to have understandable rules for society. People should not pursue personal vendettas, for example, but should present their claims to the proper authorities. Strength comes through unity of action, as can be seen in guilds, empires, and powerful churches.

            Those espousing neutrality tend to take a more balanced view of things. They hold that for every force in the universe, there is an opposite force somewhere. Where there is lawfulness, there is also chaos; where there is neutrality, there is also partisanship. The same is true of good and evil, life and death. What is important is that all these forces remain in balance with each other. If one factor becomes ascendant over its opposite, the universe becomes unbalanced. If enough of these polarities go out of balance, the fabric of reality could pull itself apart. For example, if death became ascendant over life, the universe would become a barren wasteland.

            Philosophers of neutrality not only presuppose the existence of opposites, but they also theorize that the universe would vanish should one opposite completely destroy the other (since nothing can exist without its opposite). Fortunately for these philosophers (and all sentient life), the universe seems to be efficient at regulating itself. Only when a powerful, unbalancing force appears (which almost never happens) need the defenders of neutrality become seriously concerned.

            The believers in chaos hold that there is no preordained order or careful balance of forces in the universe. Instead they see the universe as a collection of things and events, some related to each other and others completely independent. They tend to hold that individual actions account for the differences in things and that events in one area do not alter the fabric of the universe halfway across the galaxy. Chaotic philosophers believe in the power of the individual over his own destiny and are fond of anarchistic nations. Being more pragmatic, non-philosophers recognize the function of society in protecting their individual rights. Chaotics can be hard to govern as a group, since they place their own needs and desires above those of society.

Good, Neutrality, and Evil

Like law and order, the second set of attitudes is also divided into three parts. These parts describe, more or less, a character's moral outlook; they are his internal guideposts to what is right or wrong.

            Good characters are just that. They try to be honest, charitable, and forthright. People are not perfect, however, so few are good all the time. There are always occasional failings and weaknesses. A good person, however, worries about his errors and normally tries to correct any damage done.

            Remember, however, that goodness has no absolute values. Although many things are commonly accepted as good (helping those in need, protecting the weak), different cultures impose their own interpretations on what is good and what is evil.

            Those with a neutral moral stance often refrain from passing judgment on anything. They do not classify people, things, or events as good or evil; what is, is. In some cases, this is because the creature lacks the capacity to make a moral judgment (animals fall into this category). Few normal creatures do anything for good or evil reasons. They kill because they are hungry or threatened. They sleep where they find shelter. They do not worry about the moral consequences of their actions--their actions are instinctive.

            Evil is the antithesis of good and appears in many ways, some overt and others quite subtle. Only a few people of evil nature actively seek to cause harm or destruction. Most simply do not recognize that what they do is destructive or disruptive. People and things that obstruct the evil character's plans are mere hindrances that must be overcome. If someone is harmed in the process . . . well, that's too bad. Remember that evil, like good, is interpreted differently in different societies.

Alignment Combinations

Nine different alignments result from combining these two sets. Each alignment varies from all others, sometimes in broad, obvious ways, and sometimes in subtle ways. Each alignment is described in the following paragraphs.

            Lawful Good: Characters of this alignment believe that an orderly, strong society with a well-organized government can work to make life better for the majority of the people. To ensure the quality of life, laws must be created and obeyed. When people respect the laws and try to help one another, society as a whole prospers. Therefore, lawful good characters strive for those things that will bring the greatest benefit to the most people and cause the least harm. An honest and hard-working serf, a kindly and wise king, or a stern but forthright minister of justice are all examples of lawful good people.

            Lawful Neutral: Order and organization are of paramount importance to characters of this alignment. They believe in a strong, well-ordered government, whether that government is a tyranny or benevolent democracy. The benefits of organization and regimentation outweigh any moral questions raised by their actions. An inquisitor determined to ferret out traitors at any cost or a soldier who never questions his orders are good examples of lawful neutral behavior.

            Lawful Evil: These characters believe in using society and its laws to benefit themselves. Structure and organization elevate those who deserve to rule as well as provide a clearly defined hierarchy between master and servant. To this end, lawful evil characters support laws and societies that protect their own concerns. If someone is hurt or suffers because of a law that benefits lawful evil characters, too bad. Lawful evil characters obey laws out of fear of punishment. Because they may be forced to honor an unfavorable contract or oath they have made, lawful evil characters are usually very careful about giving their word. Once given, they break their word only if they can find a way to do it legally, within the laws of the society. An iron-fisted tyrant and a devious, greedy merchant are examples of lawful evil beings.

            Neutral Good: These characters believe that a balance of forces is important, but that the concerns of law and chaos do not moderate the need for good. Since the universe is vast and contains many creatures striving for different goals, a determined pursuit of good will not upset the balance; it may even maintain it. If fostering good means supporting organized society, then that is what must be done. If good can only come about through the overthrow of existing social order, so be it. Social structure itself has no innate value to them. A baron who violates the orders of his king to destroy something he sees as evil is an example of a neutral good character.

            True Neutral: True neutral characters believe in the ultimate balance of forces, and they refuse to see actions as either good or evil. Since the majority of people in the world make judgments, true neutral characters are extremely rare. True neutrals do their best to avoid siding with the forces of either good or evil, law or chaos. It is their duty to see that all of these forces remain in balanced contention.

            True neutral characters sometimes find themselves forced into rather peculiar alliances. To a great extent, they are compelled to side with the underdog in any given situation, sometimes even changing sides as the previous loser becomes the winner. A true neutral druid might join the local barony to put down a tribe of evil gnolls, only to drop out or switch sides when the gnolls were brought to the brink of destruction. He would seek to prevent either side from becoming too powerful. Clearly, there are very few true neutral characters in the world.

            Neutral Evil: Neutral evil characters are primarily concerned with themselves and their own advancement. They have no particular objection to working with others or, for that matter, going it on their own. Their only interest is in getting ahead. If there is a quick and easy way to gain a profit, whether it be legal, questionable, or obviously illegal, they take advantage of it. Although neutral evil characters do not have the every-man-for-himself attitude of chaotic characters, they have no qualms about betraying their friends and companions for personal gain. They typically base their allegiance on power and money, which makes them quite receptive to bribes. An unscrupulous mercenary, a common thief, and a double-crossing informer who betrays people to the authorities to protect and advance himself are typical examples of neutral evil characters.

            Chaotic Good: Chaotic good characters are strong individualists marked by a streak of kindness and benevolence. They believe in all the virtues of goodness and right, but they have little use for laws and regulations. They have no use for people who "try to push folk around and tell them what to do." Their actions are guided by their own moral compass which, although good, may not always be in perfect agreement with the rest of society. A brave frontiersman forever moving on as settlers follow in his wake is an example of a chaotic good character.

            Chaotic Neutral: Chaotic neutral characters believe that there is no order to anything, including their own actions. With this as a guiding principle, they tend to follow whatever whim strikes them at the moment. Good and evil are irrelevant when making a decision. Chaotic neutral characters are extremely difficult to deal with. Such characters have been known to cheerfully and for no apparent purpose gamble away everything they have on the roll of a single die. They are almost totally unreliable. In fact, the only reliable thing about them is that they cannot be relied upon! This alignment is perhaps the most difficult to play. Lunatics and madmen tend toward chaotic neutral behavior.

            Chaotic Evil: These characters are the bane of all that is good and organized. Chaotic evil characters are motivated by the desire for personal gain and pleasure. They see absolutely nothing wrong with taking whatever they want by whatever means possible. Laws and governments are the tools of weaklings unable to fend for themselves. The strong have the right to take what they want, and the weak are there to be exploited. When chaotic evil characters band together, they are not motivated by a desire to cooperate, but rather to oppose powerful enemies. Such a group can be held together only by a strong leader capable of bullying his underlings into obedience. Since leadership is based on raw power, a leader is likely to be replaced at the first sign of weakness by anyone who can take his position away from him by any method. Bloodthirsty buccaneers and monsters of low Intelligence are fine examples of chaotic evil personalities.

Non-Aligned Creatures

            In addition to the alignments above, some things--particularly unintelligent monsters (killer plants, etc.) and animals--never bother with moral and ethical concerns. For these creatures, alignment is simply not applicable. A dog, even a well-trained one, is neither good nor evil, lawful nor chaotic. It is simply a dog. For these creatures, alignment is always detected as neutral.

Playing the Character's Alignment

Aside from a few minimal restrictions required for some character classes, a player is free to choose whatever alignment he wants for his character. However, before rushing off and selecting an alignment, there are a few things to consider.

            First, alignment is an aid to role-playing and should be used that way. Don't choose an alignment that will be hard to role play or that won't be fun. A player who chooses an unappealing alignment probably will wind up playing a different alignment anyway. In that case, he might as well have chosen the second alignment to begin with. A player who thinks that lawful good characters are boring goody-two-shoes who don't get to have any fun should play a chaotic good character instead. On the other hand, a player who thinks that properly role-playing a heroic, lawful good fighter would be an interesting challenge is encouraged to try it. No one should be afraid to stretch his imagination. Remember, selecting an alignment is a way of saying, "My character is going to act like a person who believes this."

            Second, the game revolves around cooperation among everyone in the group. The character who tries to go it alone or gets everyone angry at him is likely to have a short career. Always consider the alignments of other characters in the group. Certain combinations, particularly lawful good and any sort of evil, are explosive. Sooner or later the group will find itself spending more time arguing than adventuring. Some of this is unavoidable (and occasionally amusing), but too much is ultimately destructive. As the players argue, they get angry. As they get angry, their characters begin fighting among themselves. As the characters fight, the players continue to get more angry. Once anger and hostility take over a game, no one has fun. And what's the point of playing a game if the players don't have fun?

            Third, some people choose to play evil alignments. Although there is no specific prohibition against this, there are several reasons why it is not a good idea. First, the AD&D game is a game of heroic fantasy. What is heroic about being a villain? If an evilly aligned group plays its alignment correctly, it is as much a battle for the characters to work together as it is to take on the outside world. Neutral evil individuals would be paranoid (with some justification) that the others would betray them for profit or self-aggrandizement. Chaotic evil characters would try to get someone else to take all the risks so that they could become (or remain) strong and take over. Although lawful evil characters might have some code of conduct that governed their party, each member would look for ways to twist the rules to his own favor. A group of players who play a harmonious party of evil characters simply are not playing their alignments correctly. By its nature, evil alignments call for disharmony and squabbling, which destroys the fun.

            Imagine how groups of different alignments might seek to divide a treasure trove. Suppose the adventuring party contains one character of each alignment (a virtually impossible situation, but useful for illustration). Each is then allowed to present his argument:

            The lawful good character says, "Before we went on this adventure, we agreed to split the treasure equally, and that's what we're going to do. First, we'll deduct the costs of the adventure and pay for the resurrection of those who have fallen, since we're sharing all this equally. If someone can't be raised, then his share goes to his family."

            "Since we agreed to split equally, that's fine," replies the lawful evil character thoughtfully. "But there was nothing in this deal about paying for anyone else's expenses. It's not my fault if you spent a lot on equipment! Furthermore, this deal applies only to the surviving partners; I don't remember anything about dead partners. I'm not setting aside any money to raise that klutz. He's someone else's problem."

            Flourishing a sheet of paper, the lawful neutral character breaks in. "It's a good thing for you two that I've got things together, nice and organized. I had the foresight to write down the exact terms of our agreement, and we're all going to follow them."

            The neutral good character balances the issues and decides, "I'm in favor of equal shares--that keeps everybody happy. I feel that expenses are each adventurer's own business: If someone spent too much, then he should be more careful next time. But raising fallen comrades seems like a good idea, so I say we set aside money to do that."

            After listening to the above arguments, the true neutral character decides not to say anything yet. He's not particularly concerned with any choice. If the issue can be solved without his becoming involved, great. But if it looks like one person is going to get everything, that's when he'll step in and cast his vote for a more balanced distribution.

            The neutral evil character died during the adventure, so he doesn't have anything to say. However, if he could make his opinion known, he would gladly argue that the group ought to pay for raising him and set aside a share for him. The neutral evil character would also hope that the group doesn't discover the big gem he secretly pocketed during one of the encounters.

            The chaotic good character objects to the whole business. "Look, it's obvious that the original agreement is messed up. I say we scrap it and reward people for what they did. I saw some of you hiding in the background when the rest of us were doing all the real fighting. I don't see why anyone should be rewarded for being a coward! As far as raising dead partners, I say that's a matter of personal choice. I don't mind chipping in for some of them, but I don't think I want everyone back in the group."

            Outraged at the totally true but tactless accusation of cowardice, the chaotic evil character snaps back, "Look, I was doing an important job, guarding the rear! Can I help it if nothing tried to sneak up behind us? Now, it seems to me that all of you are pretty beat up--and I'm not. So, I don't think there's going to be too much objection if I take all the jewelry and that wand. And I'll take anything interesting those two dead guys have. Now, you can either work with me and do what I say or get lost--permanently!"

            The chaotic neutral character is also dead (after he tried to charge a gorgon), so he doesn't contribute to the argument. However, if he were alive, he would join forces with whichever side appealed to him the most at the moment. If he couldn't decide he'd flip a coin.

            Clearly, widely diverse alignments in a group can make even the simplest task impossible. It is almost certain that the group in the example would come to blows before they could reach a decision. But dividing cash is not the only instance in which this group would have problems. Consider the battle in which they gained the treasure in the first place.

            Upon penetrating the heart of the ruined castle, the party met its foe, a powerful gorgon commanded by a mad warrior. There, chained behind the two, was a helpless peasant kidnapped from a nearby village.

            The lawful good character unhesitatingly (but not foolishly) entered the battle; it was the right thing to do. He considered it his duty to protect the villagers. Besides, he could not abandon an innocent hostage to such fiends. He was willing to fight until he won or was dragged off by his friends. He had no intention of fighting to his own death, but he would not give up until he had tried his utmost to defeat the evil creatures.

            The lawful evil character also entered the battle willingly. Although he cared nothing for the peasant, he could not allow the two fiends to mock him. Still, there was no reason for him to risk all for one peasant. If forced to retreat, he could return with a stronger force, capture the criminals, and execute them publicly. If the peasant died in the meantime, their punishment would be that much more horrible.

            The lawful neutral character was willing to fight, because the villains threatened public order. However, he was not willing to risk his own life. He would have preferred to come back later with reinforcements. If the peasant could be saved, that is good, because he is part of the community. If not, it would be unfortunate but unavoidable.

            The neutral good character did not fight the gorgon or the warrior, but he tried to rescue the peasant. Saving the peasant was worthwhile, but there was no need to risk injury and death along the way. Thus, while the enemy was distracted in combat, he tried to slip past and free the peasant.

            The true neutral character weighed the situation carefully. Although it looked like the forces working for order would have the upper hand in the battle, he knew there had been a general trend toward chaos and destruction in the region that must be combatted. He tried to help, but if the group failed, he could work to restore the balance of law and chaos elsewhere in the kingdom.

            The neutral evil character cared nothing about law, order, or the poor peasant. He figured that there had to be some treasure around somewhere. After all, the villain's lair had once been a powerful temple. He could poke around for cash while the others did the real work. If the group got into real trouble and it looked like the villains would attack him, then he would fight. Unfortunately, a stray magical arrow killed him just after he found a large gem.

            The chaotic good character joined the fight for several reasons. Several people in the group were his friends, and he wanted to fight at their sides. Furthermore, the poor, kidnapped peasant deserved to be rescued. Thus, the chaotic good character fought to aid his companions and save the peasant. He didn't care if the villains were killed, captured, or just driven away. Their attacks against the village didn't concern him.

            The chaotic neutral character decided to charge, screaming bloodthirsty cries, straight for the gorgon. Who knows? He might have broken its nerve and thrown it off guard. He discovered that his plan was a bad one when the gorgon's breath killed him.

            The chaotic evil character saw no point in risking his hide for the villagers, the peasant, or the rest of the party. In fact, he thought of several good reasons not to. If the party was weakened, he might be able to take over. If the villains won, he could probably make a deal with them and join their side. If everyone was killed, he could take everything he wanted and leave. All these sounded a lot better than getting hurt for little or no gain. So he stayed near the back of the battle, watching. If anyone asked, he could say he was watching the rear, making sure no one came to aid the enemy.

            The two preceding examples of alignment are extreme situations. It's not very likely that a player will ever play in a group of alignments as varied as those given here. If such a group ever does form, players should seriously reconsider the alignments of the different members of the party! More often, the adventuring party will consist of characters with relatively compatible alignments. Even then, players who role-play their characters' alignment will discover small issues of disagreement.

Changing Alignment

Alignment is a tool, not a straitjacket. It is possible for a player to change his character's alignment after the character is created, either by action or choice. However, changing alignment is not without its penalties.

            Most often the character's alignment will change because his actions are more in line with a different alignment. This can happen if the player is not paying attention to the character and his actions. The character gradually assumes a different alignment. For example, a lawful good fighter ignores the village council's plea for help because he wants to go fight evil elsewhere. This action is much closer to chaotic good, since the character is placing his desire over the need of the community. The fighter would find himself beginning to drift toward chaotic good alignment.

            All people have minor failings, however, so the character does not instantly become chaotic good. Several occasions of lax behavior are required before the character's alignment changes officially. During that time, extremely lawful good activities can swing the balance back. Although the player may have a good idea of where the character's alignment lies, only the DM knows for sure.

            Likewise, the character cannot wake up one morning and say, "I think I'll become lawful good today." (Well, he can say it, but it won't have any effect.) A player can choose to change his character's alignment, but this change is accomplished by deeds, not words. Tell the DM of the intention and then try to play according to the new choice.

            Finally, there are many magical effects that can change a character's alignment. Rare and cursed magical items can instantly alter a character's alignment. Powerful artifacts may slowly erode a character's determination and willpower, causing subtle shifts in behavior. Spells can compel a character to perform actions against his will. Although all of these have an effect, none are as permanent or damaging as those choices the character makes of his own free will.

            Changing the way a character behaves and thinks will cost him experience points and slow his advancement. Part of a character's experience comes from learning how his own behavior affects him and the world around him. In real life, for example, a person learns that he doesn't like horror movies only by going to see a few of them. Based on that experience, he learns to avoid certain types of movies. Changing behavior means discarding things the character learned previously. Relearning things takes time. This costs the character experience.

            There are other, more immediate effects of changing alignment. Certain character classes require specific alignments. A paladin who is no longer lawful good is no longer a paladin. A character may have magical items usable only to specific alignments (intelligent swords, etc.). Such items don't function (and may even prove dangerous) in the hands of a differently aligned character.

            News of a character's change in behavior will certainly get around to friends and acquaintances. Although some people he never considered friendly may now warm to him, others may take exception to his new attitudes. A few may even try to help him "see the error of his ways." The local clergy, on whom he relies for healing, may look askance on his recent behavior, denying him their special services (while at the same time sermonizing on his plight). The character who changes alignment often finds himself unpopular, depending on the attitudes of the surrounding people. People do not understand him. If the character drifts into chaotic neutral behavior in a highly lawful city, the townspeople might decide that the character is afflicted and needs close supervision, even confinement, for his own good!

            Ultimately, the player is advised to pick an alignment he can play comfortably, one that fits in with those of the rest of the group, and he should stay with that alignment for the course of the character's career. There will be times when the DM, especially if he is clever, creates situations to test the character's resolve and ethics. But finding the right course of action within the character's alignment is part of the fun and challenge of role-playing.


Chapter 5:

Proficiencies (Optional)

Most of what a player character can do is defined by his race, class, and ability scores. These three characteristics don't cover everything, however. Characters can have a wide range of talents, from the potent (and intricate) arts of magic to the simple and mundane knowledge of how to build a good fire. The character's magical ability (or lack thereof) is defined by his class. Lesser abilities, such as fire building, are defined by proficiencies.

            A proficiency is a learned skill that isn't essential to the character's class. A ranger, for example, may find it useful to know something about navigation, especially if he lives near an ocean or sea coast. On the other hand, he isn't likely to suffer if he doesn't know how to navigate; he is a ranger, not a sailor.

            Proficiencies are divided into two groups: weapon proficiencies (those related to weapons and combat) and nonweapon proficiencies (those related to everything else).

            All proficiency rules are additions to the game. Weapon proficiencies are tournament-level rules, optional in regular play, and nonweapon proficiencies are completely optional. Proficiencies are not necessary for a balanced game. They add an additional dimension to characters, however, and anything that enriches characterization is a bonus. If weapon proficiencies are used in your game, expect them to apply to all characters, including NPCs. Nonweapon proficiencies may be used by players who enjoy them and ignored by those who don't without giving unfair advantages to anyone (provided your DM allows this; he's the one who must deal with any problems).

            Once a proficiency slot is filled, it can never be changed or reassigned.

Acquiring Proficiencies

Even newly created, 1st-level characters have proficiencies. The number of proficiency slots that a character starts with is determined by his group, as shown in Table 34. Each proficiency slot is empty until the player "fills" it by selecting a proficiency. If your DM allows nonweapon proficiencies, the character's Intelligence score can modify the number of slots he has, granting him more proficiencies (see Table 4). In both cases, new proficiencies are learned the same way.

            Consider the case of Rath, a dwarf fighter. Table 34 gives him four weapon proficiency slots (he is a warrior). If nonweapon proficiencies are used, he has three slots and his Intelligence of 11 gives him two additional proficiency slots (according to Table 4) for a total of five nonweapon proficiency slots. The player must assign weapon or nonweapon proficiencies to all of these slots before the character goes on his first adventure. These represent what the character has learned before beginning his adventuring career.

Table 34:

Proficiency Slots

             Weapon                     Nonweapon

             Proficiencies             Proficiencies

Group Initial  #Levels           Penalty           Initial  #Levels

Warrior           4          3         -2        3         3

Wizard 1          6         -5        4         3

Priest   2          4         -3        4         3

Rogue  2          4         -3        3         4


            Thereafter, as the character advances in experience levels, he gains additional proficiency slots. The rate at which he gains them depends on the group he belongs to. Table 34 lists how many weapon and nonweapon proficiency slots the character starts with, and how many levels the character must gain before he earns another slot.

            Initial Weapon Proficiencies is the number of weapon proficiency slots received by characters of that group at 1st level.

            # Levels (for both weapon and nonweapon proficiencies) tells how quickly a character gains additional proficiency slots. A new proficiency slot is gained at every experience level that is evenly divisible by the number listed. Rath (a warrior), for example, gains one weapon proficiency slot at every level evenly divisible by 3. He gets one new slot at 3rd level, another at 6th, another at 9th, and so on. (Note that Rath also gains one nonweapon proficiency at 3rd, 6th, 9th, etc.)

            Penalty is the modifier to the character's attack rolls when he fights using a weapon he is not proficient with. Rath, a dwarf, chose to be proficient with the warhammer. Finding himself in a desperate situation, he snatches up a flail, even though he knows little about it (he is not proficient with it). Using with weapon awkwardly, he has a -2 penalty to his chance to hit.

            Initial Nonweapon Proficiencies is the number of nonweapon proficiency slots that character has at 1st level. Even if you are playing with weapon proficiencies, nonweapon proficiencies are optional.


Like all skills and abilities, proficiencies do not leap unbidden and fully realized into a character's mind. Instead, a character must train, study, and practice to learn a new proficiency. However, role-playing the training time needed to learn a new skill is not much fun. Thus, there are no training times or study periods associated with any proficiency. When a character chooses a proficiency, it is assumed that he had been studying it in his spare time.

            Consider just how much spare time the character has. The player is not role-playing every second of his character's life. The player may decide to have his character spend a night in town before setting out on the long journey the next day. Perhaps the character must wait around for several days while his companions heal from the last adventure. Or he might spend weeks on an uneventful ocean voyage. What is he doing during that time?

            Among other things, he is studying whatever new proficiencies he will eventually learn. Using this "down time" to handle the unexciting aspects of a role-playing campaign lets players concentrate on more important (or more interesting) matters.

            Another part of training is finding a teacher. Most skills are easier to learn if someone teaches the character. The DM can handle this in several ways. For those who like simplicity, ignore the need for teachers--there are self-taught people everywhere in the world. For those who want more complexity, make the player characters find someone to teach them any new proficiency they want to learn. This can be another player character or an NPC. Although this adds realism, it tends to limit the PC's adventuring options, especially if he is required to stay in regular contact with his instructor. Furthermore, most teachers want payment. While a barter arrangement might be reached, the normal payment is cash. The actual cost of the service depends on the nature of the skill, the amount of training desired, the availability of tutors, the greed of the instructor, and the desire of the DM to remove excess cash from his campaign.

Weapon Proficiencies

A weapon proficiency measures a character's knowledge and training with a specific weapon. When a character is created, the player checks Table 34 to see how many weapon proficiency slots the character has. These initial slots must be filled immediately, before the character embarks on his first adventure. Any slots that aren't filled by then are lost.

            Each weapon proficiency slot must be assigned to a particular weapon, not just a class of weapons. Each weapon listed in Table 44 (Weapons) requires its own proficiency; each has its own special tricks and quirks that must be mastered before the weapon can be handled properly and effectively. A fencer who is master of the epee, for example, is not necessarily skilled with a saber; the two weapons look similar, but the

fighting styles they are designed for are entirely different. A player character could become proficient with a long bow or a short bow, but not with all bows in general (unless he devotes a proficiency slot to each individually). Furthermore, a character can assign weapon proficiency slots only to those weapons allowed to his character class.

Table 35:

Specialist Attacks Per Round


Fighter            Melee Light   Heavy Thrown           Thrown           (Non-bow)

Level  Weapon          X-bow X-bow Dagger            Dart    Missiles

1-6       3/2       1/1       1/2       3/1       4/1       3/2

7-12     2/1       3/2       1/1       4/1       5/1       2/1

13+      5/2       2/1       3/2       5/1       6/1       5/2

            As a character reaches higher experience levels, he also earns additional weapon proficiencies. The rate at which proficiencies are gained depends on the character's class. Warriors, who concentrate on their martial skills, learn to handle a great number of weapons. They gain weapon proficiencies quickly. Wizards, who spend their time studying forgotten magical arts, have little time to practice with weapons. They gain additional weapon proficiencies very slowly. Multi-class characters can use the most beneficial line on Table 34 to determine their initial proficiencies and when they gain new proficiencies.

Effects of Weapon Proficiencies

            A character who has a specific weapon proficiency is skilled with that weapon and familiar with its use. A character does not gain any bonuses for using a weapon he is proficient with; the combat rules and attack chances assume that everyone uses a weapon he is proficient with. This eliminates the need to add a modifier to every die roll during battle.

            When a character uses a weapon that he is not proficient with, however, he suffers a penalty on his chance to hit. The size of this penalty depends on the character's class. Warriors have the smallest penalty because they are assumed to have passing familiarity with all weapons. Wizards, by comparison, are heavily penalized because of their limited study of weapons. The modifiers for each class (which are taken as penalties to the attack die roll) are listed on Table 34.

Related Weapons Bonus

            When a character gains a weapon proficiency, he is learning to use a particular weapon effectively. However, many weapons have similar characteristics. A long sword, bastard sword, and broad sword, while all different, are all heavy, slashing swords. A character who is trained with one can apply some of his skill to the others. He is not fully proficient with the weapon, but he knows more about it than someone who picks it up without any skill in similar weapons.

            When a character uses a weapon that is similar to a weapon he is proficient with, his attack penalty is only one-half the normal amount (rounded up). A warrior, for example, would have a -1 penalty with a related weapon instead of -2. A wizard would have a -3 penalty instead of -5.

            Specific decisions about which weapons are related are left to the DM. Some likely categories are:

            hand axe, battle axe;

            short bow, long bow, composite bow;

            heavy and light crossbows;

            dagger, knife;

            glaive, halberd, bardiche, voulge, guisarme, glaive-guisarme, guisarme-voulge;

            harpoon, spear, trident, javelin;

            footman's mace, horseman's mace, morning star, flail, hammer, club;

            military fork, ranseur, spetum, partisan;

            scimitar, bastard sword, long sword, broad sword;

            sling, staff sling

Weapon Specialization

            Knowing how to use a weapon without embarrassing yourself is very different from being a master of that weapon. There are warriors, and then there are martial artists. An Olympic fencer is more than just an athlete; he can do things with his weapon that astound most fencers.

            In the AD&D game, part of your character's skill is reflected in the bonuses he earns as he reaches higher levels. As your character advances, he becomes a wiser, more dangerous fighter. Experience has taught him to anticipate his opponents and to pounce on any advantage that presents itself. But this is a general, overall improvement, brought about by the warrior's sharpening senses and timing. It applies equally to all types of fighting.

            Weapon specialization is an optional rule that enables a fighter (only) to choose a single weapon and specialize in its use. Any weapon may be chosen. Specialization is normally announced (and paid for with weapon proficiency slots) when the character is created. But even after a player character earns experience, he can still choose to specialize in a weapon, provided he has the weapon proficiency slots available.

            In one way, a weapon specialist is like a wizard specialist. The specialization requires a single-minded dedication and training. Thus, multi-class characters cannot use weapon specialization; it is available only to single-class fighters.

Cost of Specialization

            Weapon specialization is obtained by devoting extra weapon proficiency slots to the chosen weapon. To specialize in any sort of melee weapon or crossbow, the character must devote two slots--one slot to become proficient with it, and then a second slot to specialize in it. Any bow (other than a crossbow) requires a total of three proficiency slots: one for proficiency and two to specialize. Assume, for the moment, that Rath the dwarf decided to specialize with the warhammer. Two of his four proficiency slots are thus devoted to the warhammer. With the two remaining, he can become proficient with the short sword and short bow (for example).

Effects of Specialization

            When a character specializes with a melee weapon, he gains a +1 bonus to all his attack rolls with that weapon and a +2 bonus to all damage rolls (in addition to bonuses for Strength and magic). The attack bonuses are not magical and do not enable the character to affect a creature that can be injured only by magical weapons.

            Bow and crossbow specialists gain an additional range category: point blank. Point-blank range for bows is from six feet to 30 feet. Point-blank range for crossbows is from six feet to 60 feet. At point-blank range, the character gains a +2 modifier on attack rolls. No additional damage is caused, but Strength (for bows) and magical bonuses apply. Furthermore, if the character has an arrow nocked and drawn, or a bolt loaded and cocked, and has his target in sight, he can fire at the beginning of the round before any initiative rolls are made.

            Fighters who specialize also gain extra attacks earlier than those who don't specialize. Bonus attacks for specialists are listed on Table 35. The use of this table is explained in Chapter 9: Combat. Bow specialists do not gain any additional attacks per round.

Nonweapon Proficiencies

A player character is more than a collection of combat modifiers. Most people have a variety of skills learned over the years. Consider yourself as an example--how many skills do you possess? If you have gone through 12 years of school, were moderately active in after-school programs, and did fairly well on your grades, the following might be a partial list of your skills:

            English reading and writing

            Geometry, algebra, and trigonometry

            Basic chemistry

            Basic physics

            Music (playing an instrument, singing, or both)

            Spanish reading and writing (or French, German, etc.)

            Basic Shop or Home Economics




            Basic biology

            In addition to the things learned in school, you have also learned things from your parents, friends, scouts, or other groups. You might be able to add any of the following to your list:

Swimming       Hunting

Fishing Canoeing

Sailing Horseback riding

First aid           Animal training

Cooking           Sewing

Embroidery     Dancing

            If you consider all your hobbies and all the things you have done, you probably know many more skills. In fact, if you make a list, you probably will be surprised by the large number of basic skills you have. And, at this point, you are (or were) still young!

            Now, having graduated from school, you get a job. Are you just a carpenter, mechanic, electrician, salesman, or secretary? Of course not; you are a lot more than just your job. All those things you learned in school and elsewhere are part of what you are. Shouldn't it be the same for your player character?

            For a really complete role-playing character, you should know what your character can do. There are three different ways to do this: using what you know, using secondary skills, and using nonweapon proficiencies. Each of these is optional, but each increases the amount of detail that rounds out your character.

Using What You Know

            If your DM decides not to use secondary skills or nonweapon proficiencies, situations will arise in which you'll have to determine whether your character has certain skills. For example, Delsenora the wizard slips at the edge of a steep riverbank and tumbles into the water. The current sweeps her into the middle of the river. To escape, she must swim to safety. But does Delsenora know how to swim?

            One way to answer this is to pretend that your character knows most of the things that you know. Do you know how to swim? If you do, then your character can swim. If you know a little about mountain climbing, horseback riding, carpentry, or sewing, your character knows these things, too. This also applies to things your character might want to build. Perhaps your character decides he wants to build a catapult. If you can show your DM how to make such a device, then the DM may allow your character the same knowledge. Indeed, you might visit the local library just to gain this information.

            There are real advantages to this method. You can learn something at the library or school and bring it into your game. Also, there are fewer rules to get in the way of your fun. Since there are fewer rules, your DM has a lot of flexibility and can play out all the drama inherent in a scene.

            There are also problems with this method. First, you probably know a lot of things your character should not--basic electronics, the components of gunpowder, or calculus, for instance. You have a lot of knowledge that is just not available to someone in a medieval world (even a fantasy medieval world). Likewise, there are things that a typical person in a medieval world would know that you, as a modern person, have never needed to learn. Do you know how to make armor? Skin a deer? Salt meat away for the winter? Turn flax into linen? Thatch a roof? Read heraldry? You might, but there is no way you can consider these common skills any more. But in a medieval world they would be common.

            Also, knowing something about a skill or trade doesn't mean you know a lot, and there is a big difference between the two. When Delsenora fell into the raging river, she had to swim out. But was she a strong enough swimmer to pull free of the current? The DM must make up a rule on the spot to handle the situation. Perhaps you can swim, but can you swim well enough to escape a raging torrent?

            The biggest drawback to this method is that there are no rules to resolve tricky situations. The DM must make it up during play. Some players and DMs enjoy doing this. They think up good answers quickly. Many consider this to be a large part of the fun. This method is perfect for them, and they should use it.

            Other players and DMs like to have clear rules to prevent arguments. If this is the case in your group, it is better to use secondary skills or nonweapon proficiencies.

Secondary Skills

            The second method for determining what your character knows is to assign secondary skills. Secondary skills are broad areas of expertise. Most correspond to occupations that your character may have been apprenticed in or otherwise picked up before beginning his adventuring life. Secondary skills are much more general than nonweapon proficiencies. They should not be used in combination with nonweapon proficiencies, which are explained later.

            Every player character has a chance at a secondary skill. Either choose one from Table 36 or take a chance and roll randomly. A random roll may result in one, two, or no secondary skills.

Table 36:

Secondary Skills


Roll     Secondary Skill

01-02   Armorer (make, repair & evaluate armor and weapons)

03-04   Bowyer/Fletcher (make, repair, & evaluate bows and arrows)

05-10   Farmer (basic agriculture)

11-14   Fisher (swimming, nets, and small boat handling)

15-20   Forester (basic wood lore, lumbering)

21-23   Gambler (knowledge of gambling games)

24-27   Groom (animal handling)

28-32   Hunter (basic wood lore, butchering, basic tracking)

33-34   Jeweler (appraisal of gems and jewelry)

35-37   Leather worker (skinning, tanning)

38-39   Limner/Painter (map making, appraisal of art objects)

40-42   Mason (stone-cutting)

43-44   Miner (stone-cutting, assaying)

45-46   Navigator (astronomy, sailing, swimming, navigation)

47-49   Sailor (sailing, swimming)

50-51   Scribe (reading, writing, basic math)

52-53   Shipwright (sailing, carpentry)

54-56   Tailor/Weaver (weaving, sewing, embroidery)

57-59   Teamster/Freighter (animal handling, wagon-repair)

60-62   Trader/Barterer (appraisal of common goods)

63-66   Trapper/Furrier (basic wood lore, skinning)

67-68   Weaponsmith (make, repair, & evaluate weapons)

69-71   Woodworker/Carpenter (carpentry, carving)

72-85   No skill of measurable worth

86-00   Roll twice (reroll any result of 86-00)

            Once a character has a secondary skill, it is up to the player and the DM to determine just what the character can do with it. The items in parentheses after each skill describe some of the things the character knows. Other knowledge may be added with the DM's approval. Thus, a hunter might know the basics of finding food in the wilderness, how to read animal signs to identify the types of creatures in the area, the habits of dangerous animals, and how to stalk wild animals.

            Like the previous method ("Using What You Know"), this method has strengths and weaknesses. Secondary skills do not provide any rules for determining whether a character succeeds when he uses a skill to do something difficult. It is safe to assume that simple jobs succeed automatically. (A hunter could find food for himself without any difficulty.) For more complicated tasks, the DM must assign a chance for success. He can assign a percentage chance, have the character make a saving throw, or require an Ability check (see Glossary). The DM still has a lot of flexibility.

            This flexibility means the DM must sometimes make up the rule to cover the situation, however. As mentioned earlier, some DMs enjoy this; others do not, their strengths being elsewhere. While secondary skills define and limit the player's options, they do not greatly simplify the DM's job.

Nonweapon Proficiencies

The most detailed method for handling character skills is that of nonweapon proficiencies. These are much like weapon proficiencies. Each character starts with a specific number of nonweapon proficiency slots and then earns additional slots as he advances. Initial slots must be assigned immediately; they cannot be saved or held in reserve.

            Nonweapon proficiencies are the most detailed way to handle the question of what the player character knows. They allow the player to choose from a broad selection and define the effects of each choice. Like the other methods, however, this system is not without drawbacks. First, nonweapon proficiencies are rigid. Being so defined, they limit the options of both the player and DM. At the same time, there will still be questions unanswered by these proficiencies. Whereas before such questions were broad, they will now tend to be more precise and detailed. Secondly, using this system increases the amount of time needed to create a character. While the end result is a more complete, well-rounded person, setup time can take up to two or three hours. Novice players especially may be overwhelmed by the number of choices and rules.

            Unlike weapon proficiencies, in which some weapons are not available to certain character classes, all nonweapon proficiencies are available to all characters. Some nonweapon proficiencies are easier for certain character classes to learn, however.

            Table 37 lists all nonweapon proficiencies. They are divided into categories that correspond to character groups. The proficiencies listed under each group can be learned easily by characters of that group. A fifth category--"General"--contains proficiencies that can be learned easily by any character.

            Refer to Table 38. When a player selects a nonweapon proficiency from those categories listed under "Proficiency Groups" for his character's group, it requires the number of proficiency slots listed in Table 37. When a player selects a proficiency from any other category, it requires one additional proficiency slot beyond the number listed.

Table 37:

Nonweapon Proficiency Groups


            # of Slots        Relevant         Check

Proficiency     Required         Ability Modifier

Agriculture      1          Intelligence      0

Animal Handling         1          Wisdom           -1

Animal Training          1          Wisdom           0

Artistic Ability            1          Wisdom           0

Blacksmithing  1          Strength           0

Brewing          1          Intelligence      0

Carpentry        1          Strength           0

Cobbling         1          Dexterity         0

Cooking           1          Intelligence      0

Dancing           1          Dexterity         0

Direction Sense           1          Wisdom           +1

Etiquette          1          Charisma         0

Fire-building   1          Wisdom           -1

Fishing 1          Wisdom           -1

Heraldry          1          Intelligence      0

Languages, Modern     1          Intelligence      0

Leatherworking           1          Intelligence      0

Mining 2          Wisdom           -3

Pottery 1          Dexterity         -2

Riding, Airborne         2          Wisdom           -2

Riding, Land-based     1          Wisdom           +3

Rope Use         1          Dexterity         0

Seamanship     1          Dexterity         +1

Seamstress/Tailor       1          Dexterity         -1

Singing            1          Charisma         0

Stonemasonry  1          Strength           -2

Swimming       1          Strength           0

Weather Sense 1          Wisdom           -1

Weaving          1          Intelligence      -1


            # of Slots        Relevant         Check

Proficiency     Required         Ability Modifier

Ancient History           1          Intelligence      -1

Astrology        2          Intelligence      0

Engineering     2          Intelligence      -3

Healing            2          Wisdom           -2

Herbalism       2          Intelligence      -2

Languages, Ancient     1          Intelligence      0

Local History  1          Charisma         0

Musical Instrument      1          Dexterity         -1

Navigation       1          Intelligence      -2

Reading/Writing          1          Intelligence      +1

Religion          1          Wisdom           0

Spellcraft        1          Intelligence      -2


            # of Slots        Relevant         Check

Proficiency     Required         Ability Modifier

Ancient History           1          Intelligence      -1

Appraising      1          Intelligence      0

Blind-fighting  2          NA      NA

Disguise          1          Charisma         -1

Forgery            1          Dexterity         -1

Gaming            1          Charisma         0

Gem Cutting    2          Dexterity         -2

Juggling           1          Dexterity         -1

Jumping           1          Strength           0

Local History  1          Charisma         0

Musical Instrument      1          Dexterity         -1

Reading Lips   2          Intelligence      -2

Set Snares       1          Dexterity         -1

Tightrope Walking      1          Dexterity         0

Tumbling         1          Dexterity         0

Ventriloquism  1          Intelligence      -2


            # of Slots        Relevant         Check

Proficiency     Required         Ability Modifier

Animal Lore    1          Intelligence      0

Armorer          2          Intelligence      -2

Blind-fighting  2          NA      NA

Bowyer/Fletcher         1          Dexterity         -1

Charioteering  1          Dexterity         +2

Endurance       2          Constitution     0

Gaming            1          Charisma         0

Hunting            1          Wisdom           -1

Mountaineering           1          NA      NA

Navigation       1          Intelligence      -2

Running           1          Constitution     -6

Set Snares       1          Intelligence      -1

Survival          2          Intelligence      0

Tracking          2          Wisdom           0

Weaponsmithing          3          Intelligence      -3


            # of Slots        Relevant         Check

Proficiency     Required         Ability Modifier

Ancient History           1          Intelligence      -1

Astrology        2          Intelligence      0

Engineering     2          Intelligence      -3

Gem Cutting    2          Dexterity         -2

Herbalism       2          Intelligence      -2

Languages, Ancient     1          Intelligence      0

Navigation       1          Intelligence      -2

Reading/Writing          1          Intelligence      +1

Religion          1          Wisdom           0

Spellcraft        1          Intelligence      -2


Table 38:

Nonweapon Proficiency Group Crossovers


Class   Proficiency Groups

Fighter Warrior, General

Paladin            Warrior, Priest, General

Ranger Warrior, Wizard, General

Cleric  Priest, General

Druid   Priest, Warrior, General

Mage   Wizard, General

Illusionist        Wizard, General

Thief    Rogue, General

Bard    Rogue, Warrior, Wizard, General


Using Nonweapon Proficiencies

            When a character uses a proficiency, either the attempt is automatically successful, or the character must roll a proficiency check. If the task is simple or the proficiency has only limited game use (such as cobbling or carpentry), a proficiency check is generally not required. If the task the character is trying to perform is difficult or subject to failure, a proficiency check is required. Read the descriptions of the proficiencies for details about how and when each can be used.

            If a proficiency check is required, Table 37 lists which ability is used with each proficiency. Add the modifier (either positive or negative) listed in Table 37 to the appropriate ability score. Then the player rolls 1d20. If the roll is equal to or less than the character's adjusted ability score, the character accomplished what he was trying to do. If the roll is greater than the character's ability score, the character fails at the task. (A roll of 20 always fails.) The DM determines what effects, if any, accompany failure.

            Of course, to use a proficiency, the character must have any tools and materials needed to do the job. A carpenter can do very little without his tools, and a smith is virtually helpless without a good forge. The character must also have enough time to do the job. Certainly, carpentry proficiency enables your character to build a house, but not in a single day! Some proficiency descriptions state how much time is required for certain jobs. Most, however, are left to the DM's judgment.

            The DM can raise or lower a character's chance of success if the situation calls for it. Factors that can affect a proficiency check include availability and quality of tools, quality of raw material used, time spent doing the job, difficulty of the job, and how familiar the character is with the task. A positive modifier is added to the ability score used for the check. A negative modifier is subtracted from the ability score.

            Rath, skilled as a blacksmith, has been making horseshoes for years. Because he is so familiar with the task and has every tool he needs, the DM lets him make horseshoes automatically, without risk of failure. However, Delsenora has persuaded Rath to make an elaborate wrought-iron cage (she needs it to create a magical item). Rath has never done this before and the work is very intricate, so the DM imposes a penalty of -3 on Rath's ability check.

            When two proficient characters work together on the same task, the highest ability score is used (the one with the greatest chance of success). Furthermore, a +1 bonus is added for the other character's assistance. The bonus can never be more than +1, as having too many assistants is sometimes worse than having none.

            Nonweapon proficiencies can also be improved beyond the ability score the character starts with. For every additional proficiency slot a character spends on a nonweapon proficiency, he gains a +1 bonus to those proficiency checks. Thus, Rath (were he not an adventurer) might spend his additional proficiency slots on blacksmithing, to become a very good blacksmith, gaining a +1, +2, +3, or greater bonus to his ability checks.

            Many nonplayer craftsmen are more accomplished in their fields than player characters, having devoted all their energies to improving a single proficiency. Likewise, old masters normally have more talent than young apprentices--unless the youth has an exceptional ability score! However, age is no assurance of talent. Remember that knowing a skill and being good at it are two different things. There are bad potters, mediocre potters, and true craftsmen. All this has much less to do with age than with dedication and talent.

Nonweapon Proficiency Descriptions

            The following proficiency descriptions are arranged alphabetically, not according to character class. Each description gives a general outline of what a character with the proficiency knows and can do. Furthermore, some descriptions include rules to cover specific uses or situations, or exact instructions on the effects of the proficiency.

            Agriculture: The character has a knowledge of the basics of farming. This includes planting, harvesting, storing crops, tending animals, butchering, and other typical farming chores.

            Ancient History: The character has learned the legends, lore, and history of some ancient time and place. The knowledge must be specific, just as a historian would specialize today in the English Middle Ages, the Italian Renaissance, or the Roman Republic before Caesar. (The DM either can have ancient periods in mind for his game or can allow the players to name and designate them.) Thus, a player character could know details about the Age of Thorac Dragonking or the Time of the Sea-Raiders or whatever else was available.

            The knowledge acquired gives the character familiarity with the principal legends, historical events, characters, locations, battles, breakthroughs (scientific, cultural, and magical), unsolved mysteries, crafts, and oddities of the time. The character must roll a proficiency check to identify places or things he encounters from that age. For example, Rath knows quite a bit about the Coming of the Trolls, a particularly dark period of dwarven history. Moving through some deep caverns, he and his companions stumble across an ancient portal, sealed for untold ages. Studying the handiwork, he realizes (rolls a successful proficiency check) that it bears several seals similar to those he has seen on "banned" portals from the time of Angnar, doorways to the legendary realm of Trolhel.

            Animal Handling: Proficiency in this area enables a character to exercise a greater-than-normal degree of control over pack animals and beasts of burden. A successful proficiency check indicates that the character has succeeded in calming an excited or agitated animal; in contrast, a character without this proficiency has only a 20% chance of succeeding in the attempt.

            Animal Lore: This proficiency enables a character to observe the actions or habitat of an animal and interpret what is going on. Actions can show how dangerous the creature is, whether it is hungry, protecting its young, or defending a nearby den. Furthermore, careful observation of signs and behaviors can even indicate the location of a water hole, animal herd, predator, or impending danger, such as a forest fire. The DM will secretly roll a proficiency check. A successful check means the character understood the basic actions of the creature. If the check fails by 4 or less, no information is gained. If the check fails by 5 or more, the character misinterprets the actions of the animal.

            A character may also imitate the calls and cries of animals that he is reasonably familiar with, based on his background. This ability is limited by volume. The roar of a tyrannosaurus rex would be beyond the abilities of a normal character. A successful proficiency check means that only magical means can distinguish the character's call from that of the true animal. The cry is sufficient to fool animals, perhaps frightening them away or luring them closer. A failed check means the sound is incorrect in some slight way. A failed call may still fool some listeners, but creatures very familiar with the cry automatically detect a false call. All other creatures and characters are allowed a Wisdom check to detect the fake.

            Finally, animal lore increases the chance of successfully setting snares and traps (for hunting) since the character knows the general habits of the creature hunted.

            Animal Training: Characters with this proficiency can train one type of creature (declared when the proficiency is chosen) to obey simple commands and perform tricks. A character can spend additional proficiencies to train other types of creatures or can improve his skill with an already chosen type. Creatures typically trained are dogs, horses, falcons, pigeons, elephants, ferrets, and parrots. A character can choose even more exotic creatures and monsters with animal intelligence (although these are difficult to control).

            A trainer can work with up to three creatures at one time. The trainer may choose to teach general tasks or specific tricks. A general task gives the creature the ability to react to a number of nonspecific commands to do its job. Examples of tasks include guard and attack, carry a rider, perform heavy labor, hunt, track, or fight alongside soldiers (such as a war horse or elephant). A specific trick teaches the trained creature to do one specific action. A horse may rear on command, a falcon may pluck a designated object, a dog may attack a specific person, or a rat may run through a particular maze. With enough time, a creature can be trained to do both general tasks and specific tricks.

            Training for a general task requires three months of uninterrupted work. Training for a specific trick requires 2d6 weeks. At the end of the training time, a proficiency check is made. If successful, the animal is trained. If the die roll fails, the beast is untrainable. An animal can be trained in 2d4 general tasks or specific tricks, or any combination of the two.

            An animal trainer can also try to tame wild animals (preparing them for training later on). Wild animals can be tamed only when they are very young. The taming requires one month of uninterrupted work with the creature. At the end of the month, a proficiency check is made. If successful, the beast is suitable for training. If the check fails, the creature retains enough of its wild behavior to make it untrainable. It can be kept, though it must be leashed or caged.

            Appraising: This proficiency is highly useful for thieves, as it allows characters to estimate the value and authenticity of antiques, art objects, jewelry, cut gemstones, or other crafted items they find (although the DM can exclude those items too exotic or rare to be well known). The character must have the item in hand to examine. A successful proficiency check (rolled by the DM) enables the character to estimate the value of the item to the nearest 100 or 1,000 gp and to identify fakes. On a failed check, the character cannot estimate a price at all. On a roll of 20, the character wildly misreads the value of the item, always to the detriment of the character.

            Armorer: This character can make all of the types of armor listed in the Player's Handbook, given the proper materials and facilities. When making armor, the proficiency check is rolled at the end of the normal construction time.

            The time required to make armor is equal to two weeks per level of AC below 10. For example, a shield would require two weeks of work, whereas a suit of full plate armor would require 18 weeks of work.

            If the proficiency check indicates failure but is within 4 of the amount needed for success, the armorer has created usable, but flawed, armor. Such armor functions as 1 AC worse than usual, although it looks like the armor it was intended to be. Only a character with armorer proficiency can detect the flaws, and this requires careful and detailed inspection.

            If the flawed armor is struck in melee combat with a natural die roll of 19 or 20, it breaks. The character's AC immediately worsens by 4 additional classes (although never above 10), and the broken armor hampers the character's movement. Until the character can remove the broken armor (a process requiring 1d4 rounds), the character moves at ½ of his normal rate and suffers a -4 penalty to all of his attack rolls.

            If an armorer is creating a suit of field plate or full plate armor, the character who will use the armor must be present at least once a week during the creation of the armor, since such types of armor require very exact fitting.

            Artistic Ability: Player characters with artistic ability are naturally accomplished in various forms of the arts. They have an inherent understanding of color, form, space, flow, tone, pitch, and rhythm. Characters with artistic ability must select one art form (painting, sculpture, composition, etc.) to be proficient in. Thereafter they can attempt to create art works or musical compositions in their given field. Although it is not necessary to make a proficiency check, one can be made to determine the quality of the work. If a 1 is rolled on the check, the artist has created a work with some truly lasting value. If the check fails, the artist has created something aesthetically unpleasing or just plain bad.

            Artistic ability also confers a +1 bonus to all proficiency checks requiring artistic skill--music or dance--and to attempts to appraise objects of art.

            Astrology: This proficiency gives the character some understanding of the supposed influences of the stars. Knowing the birth date and time of any person, the astrologer can study the stars and celestial events and then prepare a forecast of the future for that person. The astrologer's insight into the future is limited to the next 30 days, and his knowledge is vague at best. If a successful proficiency check is made, the astrologer can foresee some general event--a great battle, a friend lost, a new friendship made, etc. The DM decides the exact prediction (based on his intentions for the next few gaming sessions). Note that the prediction does not guarantee the result--it only indicates the potential result. If the proficiency check is failed, no information is gained unless a 20 is rolled, in which case the prediction is wildly inaccurate.

            Clearly this proficiency requires preparation and advance knowledge on the part of the DM. Because of this, it is permissible for the DM to avoid the question, although this shouldn't be done all the time. Players who want to make their DM's life easier (always a good idea) should consider using this proficiency at the end of a gaming session, giving the DM until the next session to come up with an answer. The DM can use this proficiency as a catalyst and guide for his adventures--something that will prompt the player characters to go to certain places or to try new things.

            Characters with the astrology proficiency gain a +1 bonus to all navigation proficiency checks, provided the stars can be seen.

            Blacksmithing: A character with blacksmithing proficiency is capable of making tools and implements from iron. Use of the proficiency requires a forge with a coal-fed fire and bellows, as well as a hammer and anvil. The character cannot make armor or most weapons, but can craft crowbars, grappling hooks, horseshoes, nails, hinges, plows, and most other iron objects.

            Blind-fighting: A character with blind-fighting is skilled at fighting in conditions of poor or no light (but this proficiency does not allow spell use). In total darkness, the character suffers only a -2 penalty to his attack roll (as compared to a -4 penalty without this proficiency). Under starlight or moonlight, the character incurs only a -1 penalty. The character suffers no penalties to his AC because of darkness.

            Furthermore, the character retains special abilities that would normally be lost in darkness, although the effectiveness of these are reduced by one-half (proficiency checks are made at half the normal score, etc.). This proficiency is effective only against opponents or threats within melee distance of the character. Blind-fighting does not grant any special protection from missile fire or anything outside the immediate range of the character's melee weapon. Thus, AC penalties remain for missile fire. (By the time the character hears the whoosh of the arrow, for example, it is too late for him to react.)

            While moving in darkness, the character suffers only half the normal movement penalty of those without this proficiency.

            Furthermore, this skill aids the character when dealing with invisible creatures, reducing the attack penalty to -2. However, it does not enable the character to discover invisible creatures; he has only a general idea of their location and cannot target them exactly.

            Bowyer/Fletcher: This character can make bows and arrows of the types given in Table 44.

            A weaponsmith is required to fashion arrowheads, but the bowyer/fletcher can perform all other necessary functions. The construction time for a long or short bow is one week, while composite bows require two weeks, and 1d6 arrows can be made in one day.

            When the construction time for the weapon is completed, the player makes a proficiency check. If the check is successful, the weapon is of fine quality and will last for many years of normal use without breaking. If the check fails, the weapon is still usable, but has a limited life span: An arrow breaks on the first shot; a bow breaks if the character using it rolls an unmodified 1 on his 1d20 attack roll.

            Option: If a character wishes to create a weapon of truly fine quality and the DM allows it, the player can opt to use the following alternative procedure for determining the success of his attempt. When the proficiency check is made, any failure means that the weapon is useless. However, a successful check means that the weapon enables the character to add Strength bonuses to attack and damage rolls. Additionally, if the proficiency check is a natural 1, the range of the bow is increased 10 yards for all range classes or is of such fine work that it is suitable for enchantment.

            Brewing: The character is trained in the art of brewing beers and other strong drink. The character can prepare brewing formulas, select quality ingredients, set up and manage a brewery, control fermentation, and age the finished product.

            Carpentry: The carpentry proficiency enables the character to do woodworking jobs: building houses, cabinetry, joinery, etc. Tools and materials must be available. The character can build basic items from experience, without the need for plans. Unusual and more complicated items (a catapult, for example) require plans prepared by an engineer. Truly unusual or highly complex items (wooden clockwork mechanisms, for example) require a proficiency check.

            Charioteering: A character with proficiency in this skill is able to safely guide a chariot, over any type of terrain that can normally be negotiated, at a rate 1/3 faster than the normal movement rate for a chariot driven by a character without this proficiency. Note that this proficiency does not impart the ability to move a chariot over terrain that it cannot traverse; even the best charioteer in the world cannot take such a vehicle into the mountains.

            Cobbling: The character can fashion and repair shoes, boots, and sandals.

            Cooking: Although all characters have rudimentary cooking skills, the character with this proficiency is an accomplished cook. A proficiency check is required only when attempting to prepare a truly magnificent meal worthy of a master chef.

            Dancing: The character knows many styles and varieties of dance, from folk dances to formal court balls.

            Direction Sense: A character with this proficiency has an innate sense of direction. By concentrating for 1d6 rounds, the character can try to determine the direction the party is headed. If the check fails but is less than 20, the character errs by 90 degrees. If a 20 is rolled, the direction chosen is exactly opposite the true heading. (The DM rolls the check.)

            Furthermore, when traveling in the wilderness, a character with direction sense has the chance of becoming lost reduced by 5%.

            Disguise: The character with this skill is trained in the art of disguise. He can make himself look like any general type of person of about the same height, age, weight, and race. A successful proficiency check indicates that the disguise is successful, while a failed roll means the attempt was too obvious in some way.

            The character can also disguise himself as a member of another race or sex. In this case, a -7 penalty is applied to the proficiency check. The character may also attempt to disguise himself as a specific person, with a -10 penalty to the proficiency check. These modifiers are cumulative, thus, it is extremely difficult for a character to disguise himself as a specific person of another race or sex (a -17 penalty to the check).

            Endurance: A character with endurance proficiency is able to perform continual strenuous physical activity for twice as long as a normal character before becoming subject to the effects of fatigue and exhaustion. In those cases where extreme endurance is required, a successful proficiency check must be made. Note that this proficiency does not enable a character to extend the length of time that he can remain unaffected by a lack of food or water.

            Engineering: The character is trained as a builder of both great and small things. Engineers can prepare plans for everything from simple machines (catapults, river locks, grist mills) to large buildings (fortresses, dams). A proficiency check is required only when designing something particularly complicated or unusual. An engineer must still find talented workmen to carry out his plan, but he is trained to supervise and manage their work.

            An engineer is also familiar with the principles of siegecraft and can detect flaws in the defenses of a castle or similar construction. He knows how to construct and use siege weapons and machines, such as catapults, rams, and screws.

            Etiquette: This proficiency gives the character a basic understanding of the proper forms of behavior and address required in many different situations, especially those involving nobility and persons of rank. Thus, the character will know the correct title to use when addressing a duke, the proper steps of ceremony to greet visiting diplomats, gestures to avoid in the presence of dwarves, etc. For extremely unusual occurrences, a proficiency check must be made for the character to know the proper etiquette for the situation (an imperial visit, for example, is a sufficiently rare event).

            However, having the character know what is correct and actually do what is correct are two different matters. The encounters must still be role-played by the character. Knowledge of etiquette does not give the character protection from a gaffe or faux pas; many people who know the correct thing still manage to do the exact opposite.

            Fire-building: A character with fire-building proficiency does not normally need a tinderbox to start a fire. Given some dry wood and small pieces of tinder, he can start a fire in 2d20 minutes. Flint and steel are not required. Wet wood, high winds, or other adverse conditions increase the time to 3d20, and a successful proficiency check must be rolled to start a fire.

            Fishing: The character is skilled in the art of fishing, be it with hook and line, net, or spear. Each hour the character spends fishing, roll a proficiency check. If the roll is failed, no fish are caught that hour. Otherwise, a hook and line or a spear will land fish equal to the difference between the die roll and the character's Wisdom score. A net will catch three times this amount.

            Of course, no fish can be caught where no fish are found. On the other hand, some areas teem with fish, such as a river or pool during spawning season. The DM may modify the results according to the situation.

            Forgery: This proficiency enables the character to create duplicates of documents and handwriting and to detect such forgeries created by others. To forge a document (military orders, local decrees, etc.) where the handwriting is not specific to a person, the character needs only to have seen a similar document before. To forge a name, an autograph of that person is needed, and a proficiency check with a -2 penalty must be successfully rolled. To forge a longer document written in the hand of some particular person, a large sample of his handwriting is needed, with a -3 penalty to the check.

            It is important to note that the forger always thinks he has been successful; the DM rolls the character's proficiency check in secret and the forger does not learn of a failure until it is too late.

            If the check succeeds, the work will pass examination by all except those intimately familiar with that handwriting or by those with the forgery proficiency who examine the document carefully. If the check is failed, the forgery is detectable to anyone familiar with the type of document or handwriting--if he examines the document closely. If the die roll is a 20, the forgery is immediately detectable to anyone who normally handles such documents without close examination. The forger will not realize this until too late.

            Furthermore, those with forgery proficiency may examine a document to learn if it is a forgery. On a successful proficiency roll, the authenticity of any document can be ascertained. If the die roll is failed but a 20 is not rolled, the answer is unknown. If a 20 is rolled, the character reaches the incorrect conclusion.

            Gaming: The character knows most common games of chance and skill, including cards, dice, bones, draughts, and chess. When playing a game, the character may either play out the actual game (which may take too much time for some) or make a proficiency check, with success indicating victory. If two proficient characters play each other, the one with the highest successful die roll wins. A character with gaming proficiency can also attempt to cheat, thus gaining a +1 bonus to his ability score. If the proficiency check for the game is 17 to 20, however, the character has been caught cheating (even if he won the game).

            Gem Cutting: A character with this proficiency can finish the rough gems that are discovered through mining at a rate of 1d10 stones per day. A gem cutter derives no benefit from the assistance of nonproficient characters. A gem cutter must work with a good light source and must have an assortment of chisels, small hammers, and specially hardened blades.

            Uncut gems, while still of value, are not nearly as valuable as the finished product. If the cutting is successful (as determined by a proficiency check), the gem cutter increases the value of a given stone to the range appropriate for its type. If a 1 is rolled, the work is exceptionally brilliant and the value of the gem falls into the range for the next most valuable gem (the DM has the relevant tables).

            Healing: A character proficient in healing knows how to use natural medicines and basic principles of first aid and doctoring. If the character tends another within one round of wounding (and makes a successful proficiency check), his ministrations restore 1d3 hit points (but no more hit points can be restored than were lost in the previous round). Only one healing attempt can be made on a character per day.

            If a wounded character remains under the care of someone with healing proficiency, that character can recover lost hit points at the rate of 1 per day even when traveling or engaging in nonstrenuous activity. If the wounded character gets complete rest, he can recover 2 hit points per day while under such care. Only characters with both healing and herbalism proficiencies can help others recover at the rate of 3 hit points per day of rest. This care does not require a proficiency check, only the regular attention of the proficient character. Up to six patients can be cared for at any time.

            A character with healing proficiency can also attempt to aid a poisoned individual, provided the poison entered through a wound. If the poisoned character can be tended to immediately (the round after the character is poisoned) and the care continues for the next five rounds, the victim gains a +2 bonus to his saving throw (delay his saving throw until the last round of tending). No proficiency check is required, but the poisoned character must be tended to immediately (normally by sacrificing any other action by the proficient character) and cannot do anything himself. If the care and rest are interrupted, the poisoned character must immediately roll a normal saving throw for the poison. This result is unalterable by normal means (i.e., more healing doesn't help). Only characters with both healing and herbalism proficiencies can attempt the same treatment for poisons the victim has swallowed or touched (the character uses his healing to diagnose the poison and his herbalist knowledge to prepare a purgative).

            A character with healing proficiency can also attempt to diagnose and treat diseases. When dealing with normal diseases, a successful proficiency check automatically reduces the disease to its mildest form and shortest duration. Those who also have herbalism knowledge gain an additional +2 bonus to this check. A proficient character can also attempt to deal with magical diseases, whether caused by spells or creatures. In this case, a successful proficiency check diagnoses the cause of the disease. However, since the disease is magical in nature, it can be treated only by magical means.

            Heraldry: The knowledge of heraldry enables the character to identify the different crests and symbols that denote different persons and groups. Heraldry comes in many forms and is used for many different purposes. It can be used to identify noblemen, families, guilds, sects, legions, political factions, and castes. The symbols may appear on flags, shields, helmets, badges, embroidery, standards, clothing, coins, and more. The symbols used may include geometric patterns, calligraphed lines of script, fantastic beasts, religious symbols, and magical seals (made for the express purpose of identification). Heraldry can vary from the highly formalized rules and regulations of late medieval Europe to the knowledge of different shield patterns and shapes used by African tribesmen.

            The character automatically knows the different heraldic symbols of his homeland and whom they are associated with. In addition, if the character makes a successful proficiency check, he can correctly identify the signs and symbols of other lands, provided he has at least a passing knowledge of the inhabitants of that land. His heraldry skill is of little use upon first entering a foreign land.

            Herbalism: Those with herbalist knowledge can identify plants and fungus and prepare nonmagical potions, poultices, powders, balms, salves, ointments, infusions, and plasters for medical and pseudo-medical purposes. They can also prepare natural plant poisons and purgatives. The DM must decide the exact strength of such poisons based on the poison rules in the DMG. A character with both herbalism and healing proficiencies gains bonuses when using his healing talent (see the Healing proficiency).

            Hunting: When in wilderness settings, the character can attempt to stalk and bring down game. A proficiency check must be made with a -1 penalty to the ability score for every nonproficient hunter in the party. If the die roll is successful, the hunter (and those with him) have come within 101 to 200 yards (100+1d100) of an animal. The group can attempt to close the range, but a proficiency check must be made for each 20 yards closed. If the stalking is successful, the hunter automatically surprises the game. The type of animal stalked depends on the nature of the terrain and the whim of the DM.

            Juggling: The character can juggle, a talent useful for entertainments, diversions, and certain rare emergencies. When juggling normally (to entertain or distract), no proficiency check is required. A check is made when trying spectacular tricks ("Watch me eat this apple in mid-air!"). However, juggling also enables the character to attempt desperate moves. On a successful attack roll vs. AC 0 (not a proficiency check), the character can catch small items thrown to harm him (as opposed to items thrown for him to catch). Thus, the character could catch a dagger or a dart before it hits. If this attack roll fails, however, the character automatically suffers damage (sticking your hand in the path of a dagger is likely to hurt).

            Jumping: The character can attempt exceptional leaps both vertically and horizontally. If the character has at least a 20-foot running start, he can leap (broad jump) 2d6+his level in feet. No character can broad jump more than six times his height, however. With the same start, he can leap vertically (high jump) 1d3 plus half his level in feet. No character can high jump more than 1-½ times his own height.

            From a standing start, a character with this proficiency can broad jump 1d6 plus half his level in feet and high jump only three feet.

            The character can also attempt vaults using a pole. A vault requires at least a 30-foot running start. If a pole is used, it must be four to 10 feet longer than the character's height. The vault spans a distance equal to 1-½ times the length of the pole. The character can clear heights equal to the height of the pole. He can also choose to land on his feet if the vault carries him over an obstacle no higher than ½ the height of his pole. Thus, using a 12-foot pole, the character could either vault through a window 12 feet off the ground (tumbling into the room beyond), land on his feet in an opening six feet off the ground, or vault across a moat 18 feet wide. In all cases, the pole is dropped at the end of the vault.

            Languages, Ancient: The character has mastered a difficult and obscure tongue, now primarily found in the writings of pedantic sages and sorcerers. The main use of the language is to read tomes of ancient secrets written by long-dead mystics. This proficiency enables the character to either read and write or speak the language (his choice).

            Languages, Modern: The character has learned to speak a language of the known world. To do so, there must be a teacher available. This could be another player character, an NPC hireling, or simply a local townsman.

            Leatherworking: This proficiency enables a character to tan and treat leather and to make clothing and other leather objects. The character can make leather armor, as well as backpacks, saddlebags, saddles, and all sorts of harnesses.

            Local History: The character is a storehouse of facts about the history of a region the size of a large county or a small province. The character knows when the ruined tower on the hill was built and who built it (and what happened to him), what great heroes and villains fought and fell at the old battlefield, what great treasure is supposed to be kept in a local temple, how the mayor of the next town miraculously grew hair on his balding pate, and more.

            The DM will provide information about local sites and events as the character needs to know them. Furthermore, the character can try to retell these events as entertaining stories. Once the subject is chosen, he can either make a proficiency check and, if successful, add that tale to his repertoire, or actually tell the story to other characters. If the character succeeds in entertaining them, the player need not make a proficiency roll for the character, since he has succeeded. The character can tell these stories to entertain others, granting him a +2 bonus to his Charisma for the encounter. But telling stories to hostile beings is probably not going to do any good.

            Mining: A character with mining proficiency is needed to site and supervise the operations of any mine. First, the character can attempt to determine what types of ores or gems can be found in a given area. To do this, he must spend at least a week searching a four-square-mile area. The DM may rule that more area must be searched to find anything of value and may thus increase the amount of time required. At the end of the search, the character can say what is likely to be found in this area. After this, the character can site the mine. On a successful proficiency check (made secretly by the DM), the character has found a good site to begin mining for any minerals that may be in the area. The check does not guarantee a successful mine, only that a particular site is the best choice in a given area. The DM must determine what minerals, if any, are to be found in the region of the mine. On a failed check, the character only thinks he has found a good site. Much effort is spent before the character is proved wrong, of course.

            Once the mine is in operation, a character with mining proficiency must remain on site to supervise all work. Although this is a steady job, most player characters will find it better to hire an NPC for this purpose.

            Mountaineering: A character with this proficiency can make difficult and dangerous climbs up steep slopes and cliffs with the aid of spikes, ropes, etc. If a character with mountaineering proficiency leads a party, placing the pitons (spikes) and guiding the others, all in the party can gain the benefit of his knowledge. A mountaineer can guide a party up a cliff face it could not otherwise climb. A character with this proficiency gains a 10% bonus per proficiency slot spent to his chance to climb any surface. Note that mountaineering is not the same as the thief's climbing ability, since the latter does not require aids of any sort.

            Musical Instrument: The character can play a specific musical instrument. An additional instrument can be added for every extra slot devoted to this proficiency. The character plays quite well, and no proficiency check is normally required. The DM may direct the character to make a proficiency check in what he feels are extraordinary circumstances.

            Navigation: The character has learned the arts of navigating by the stars, studying currents, and watching for telltale signs of land, reefs, and hidden danger. This is not particularly useful on land. At sea, a successful proficiency check by the navigator reduces the chance of getting lost by 20 percent.

            Pottery: A character with this proficiency can create any type of clay vessel or container commonly used in the campaign world. The character requires a wheel and a kiln, as well as a supply of clay and glaze. The character can generally create two small- or medium-sized items or one large-sized item per day. The pieces of pottery must then be fired in the kiln for an additional day.

            The raw materials involved cost 3 cp to make a small item, 5 cp to make a medium-sized item, and 1 sp to make a large item.

            Reading Lips: The character can understand the speech of those he can see but not hear. When this proficiency is chosen, the player must specify what language the character can lip read (it must be a language the character can already speak). To use the proficiency, the character must be within 30 feet of the speaker and be able to see him speak. A proficiency check is made. If the check fails, nothing is learned. If the check is successful, 70% of the conversation is understood. Since certain sounds are impossible to differentiate, the understanding of a lip-read conversation is never better than this.

            Reading/Writing: The character can read and write a modern language he can speak, provided there is someone available to teach the character (another PC, a hireling, or an NPC). This proficiency does not enable the character to learn ancient languages (see Languages, Ancient).

            Religion: Characters with religion proficiency know the common beliefs and cults of their homeland and the major faiths of neighboring regions. Ordinary information (type of religious symbol used, basic attitude of the faith, etc.) of any religion is automatically known by the character. Special information, such as how the clergy is organized or the significance of particular holy days, requires a proficiency check.

            Additional proficiencies spent on religion enable the character either to expand his general knowledge into more distant regions (using the guidelines above) or to gain precise information about a single faith. If the latter is chosen, the character is no longer required to make a proficiency check when answering questions about that religion. Such expert knowledge is highly useful to priest characters when dealing with their own and rival faiths.

            Riding, Airborne: The character is trained in handling a flying mount. The particular creature must be chosen when the proficiency is chosen. Additional proficiency slots can be used to learn how to handle other types of mounts. Unlike land-based riding, a character must have this proficiency (or ride with someone who does) to handle a flying mount. In addition, a proficient character can do the following:

            • Leap onto the saddle of the creature (when it is standing on the ground) and spur it airborne as a single action. This requires no proficiency check.

            • Leap from the back of the mount and drop 10 feet to the ground or onto the back of another mount (land-based or flying). Those with only light encumbrance can drop to the ground without a proficiency check. In all other situations, a proficiency check is required. A failed roll means the character takes normal falling damage (for falling flat on his face) or misses his target (perhaps taking large amounts of damage as a result). A character who is dropping to the ground can attempt an immediate melee attack, if his proficiency check is made with a -4 penalty to the ability roll. Failure has the consequences given above.

            • Spur his mount to greater speeds on a successful check, adding 1d4 to the movement rate of the mount. This speed can be maintained for four consecutive rounds. If the check fails, an attempt can be made again the next round. If two checks fail, no attempt can be made for a full turn. After the rounds of increased speed, its movement drops to 2/3 its normal rate and its Maneuverability Class (see Glossary) becomes one class worse. These conditions last until the mount lands and is allowed to rest for at least one hour.

• The rider can guide the mount with his knees and feet, keeping his hands free. A proficiency check is made only after the character suffers damage. If the check is failed, the character is knocked from the saddle. A second check is allowed to see if the character manages to catch himself (thus hanging from the side by one hand or in some equally perilous position). If this fails, the rider falls. Of course a rider can strap himself into the saddle, although this could be a disadvantage if his mount is slain and plummets toward the ground.

            Riding, Land-Based: Those skilled in land riding are proficient in the art of riding and handling horses or other types of ground mounts. When the proficiency slot is filled, the character must declare which type of mount he is proficient in. Possibilities include griffons, unicorns, dire wolves, and virtually any creatures used as mounts by humans, demihumans, or humanoids.

            A character with riding proficiency can perform all of the following feats. Some of them are automatic, while others require a proficiency check for success.

            • The character can vault onto a saddle whenever the horse or other mount is standing still, even when the character is wearing armor. This does not require a proficiency check. The character must make a check, however, if he wishes to get the mount moving during the same round in which he lands in its saddle. He must also make a proficiency check if he attempts to vault onto the saddle of a moving mount. Failure indicates that the character falls to the ground--presumably quite embarrassed.

            • The character can urge the mount to jump tall obstacles or leap across gaps. No check is required if the obstacle is less than three feet tall or the gap is less than 12 feet wide. If the character wants to roll a proficiency check, the mount can be urged to leap obstacles up to seven feet high, or jump across gaps up to 30 feet wide. Success means that the mount has made the jump. Failure indicates that it balks, and the character must make another proficiency check to see whether he retains his seat or falls to the ground.

            • The character can spur his steed on to great speeds, adding 6 feet per round to the animal's movement rate for up to four turns. This requires a proficiency check each turn to see if the mount can be pushed this hard. If the initial check fails, no further attempts may be made, but the mount can move normally. If the second or subsequent check fails, the mount immediately slows to a walk, and the character must dismount and lead the animal for a turn. In any event, after four turns of racing, the steed must be walked by its dismounted rider for one turn.

            • The character can guide his mount with his knees, enabling him to use weapons that require two hands (such as bows and two-handed swords) while mounted. This feat does not require a proficiency check unless the character takes damage while so riding. In this case, a check is required and failure means that the character falls to the ground and sustains an additional 1d6 points of damage.

            • The character can drop down and hang alongside the steed, using it as a shield against attack. The character cannot make an attack or wear armor while performing this feat. The character's Armor Class is lowered by 6 while this maneuver is performed. Any attacks that would have struck the character's normal Armor Class are considered to have struck the mount instead. No proficiency check is required.

            • The character can leap from the back of his steed to the ground and make a melee attack against any character or creature within 10 feet. The player must roll a successful proficiency check with a -4 penalty to succeed. On a failed roll, the character fails to land on his feet, falls clumsily to the ground, and suffers 1d3 points of damage.

            Rope Use: This proficiency enables a character to accomplish amazing feats with rope. A character with rope use proficiency is familiar with all sorts of knots and can tie knots that slip, hold tightly, slide slowly, or loosen with a quick tug. If the character's hands are bound and held with a knot, he can roll a proficiency check (with a -6 penalty) to escape the bonds.

            This character gains a +2 bonus to all attacks made with a lasso. The character also receives a +10% bonus to all climbing checks made while he is using a rope, including attempts to belay (secure the end of a climbing rope) companions.

            Running: The character can move at twice his normal movement rate for a day. At the end of the day he must sleep for eight hours. After the first day's movement, the character must roll a proficiency check for success. If the die roll succeeds, the character can continue his running movement the next day. If the die roll fails, the character cannot use his running ability the next day. If involved in a battle during a day he spent running, he suffers a -1 penalty to his attack rolls.

            Seamanship: The character is familiar with boats and ships. He is qualified to work as a crewman, although he cannot actually navigate. Crews of trained seamen are necessary to manage any ship, and they improve the movement rates of inland boats by 50 percent.

            Seamstress/Tailor: The character can sew and design clothing. He can also do all kinds of embroidery and ornamental work. Although no proficiency check is required, the character must have at least needle and thread to work.

            Set Snares: The character can make simple snares and traps, primarily to catch small game. These can include rope snares and spring traps. A proficiency check must be rolled when the snare is first constructed and every time the snare is set. A failed proficiency check means the trap does not work for some reason. It may be that the workmanship was bad, the character left too much scent in the area, or he poorly concealed the finished work. The exact nature of the problem does not need to be known. The character can also attempt to set traps and snares for larger creatures: tiger pits and net snares, for example. A proficiency check must be rolled, this time with a -4 penalty to the ability score. In both cases, setting a successful snare does not ensure that it catches anything, only that the snare works if triggered. The DM must decide if the trap is triggered.

            Thief characters (and only thieves) with this proficiency can also attempt to rig man-traps. These can involve such things as crossbows, deadfalls, spiked springboards, etc. The procedure is the same as that for setting a large snare. The DM must determine the amount of damage caused by a man-trap.

            Setting a small snare or trap takes one hour of work. Setting a larger trap requires two to three people (only one need have the proficiency) and 2d4 hours of work. Setting a man-trap requires one or more people (depending on its nature) and 1d8 hours of work. To prepare any trap, the character must have appropriate materials on hand.

            Characters with animal lore proficiency gain a +2 bonus to their ability score when attempting to set a snare for the purposes of catching game. Their knowledge of animals and the woods serves them well for this purpose. They gain no benefit when attempting to trap monsters or intelligent beings.

            Singing: The character is an accomplished singer and can use this ability to entertain others and perhaps earn a small living (note that bards can do this automatically). No proficiency check is required to sing. The character can also create choral works on a successful proficiency check.

            Spellcraft: Although this proficiency does not grant the character any spellcasting powers, it does give him familiarity with the different forms and rites of spellcasting. If he observes and overhears someone who is casting a spell, or if he examines the material components used, he can attempt to identify the spell being cast. A proficiency check must be rolled to make a correct identification. Wizard specialists gain a +3 bonus to the check when attempting to identify magic of their own school. Note that since the spellcaster must be observed until the very instant of casting, the spellcraft proficiency does not grant an advantage against combat spells. The proficiency is quite useful, however, for identifying spells that would otherwise have no visible effect.

            Those talented in this proficiency also have a chance (equal to ½ of their normal proficiency check) of recognizing magical or magically endowed constructs for what they are.

            Stonemasonry: A stonemason is able to build structures from stone so that they last many years. He can do simple stone carvings, such as lettering, columns, and flourishes. The stone can be mortared, carefully fitted without mortar, or loosely fitted and chinked with rocks and earth. A stonemason equipped with his tools (hammers, chisels, wedges, block and tackle) can build a plain section of wall one foot thick, ten feet long, and five feet high in one day, provided the stone has already been cut. A stonemason can also supervise the work of unskilled laborers to quarry stone; one stonemason is needed for every five laborers. Dwarves are among the most accomplished stonemasons in the world; they receive a +2 bonus when using this skill.

            Survival: This proficiency must be applied to a specific environment--i.e., a specific type of terrain and weather factors. Typical environments include arctic, woodland, desert, steppe, mountain, or tropical. The character has basic survival knowledge for that terrain type. Additional proficiency slots can be used to add more types of terrain.

            A character skilled in survival has a basic knowledge of the hazards he might face in that land. He understands the effects of the weather and knows the proper steps to lessen the risk of exposure. He knows the methods to locate or gather drinkable water. He knows how to find basic, not necessarily appetizing, food where none is apparent, thus staving off starvation. Furthermore, a character with survival skill can instruct and aid others in the same situation. When using the proficiency to find food or water, the character must roll a proficiency check. If the check is failed, no more attempts can be made that day.

            The survival skill in no way releases the player characters from the hardships and horrors of being lost in the wilderness. At best it alleviates a small portion of the suffering. The food found is barely adequate, and water is discovered in minuscule amounts. It is still quite possible for a character with survival knowledge to die in the wilderness. Indeed, the little knowledge the character has may lead to overconfidence and doom!

            Swimming: A character with swimming proficiency knows how to swim and can move according to the rules given in the Swimming section (Chapter 14: Time and Movement). Those without this proficiency cannot swim. They can hold their breath and float, but they cannot move themselves about in the water.

            Tightrope Walking: The character can attempt to walk narrow ropes or beams with greater than normal chances of success. He can negotiate any narrow surface not angled up or down greater than 45 degrees. Each round the character can walk 60 feet. One proficiency check is made every 60 feet (or part thereof), with failure indicating a fall. The check is made with a -10 penalty to the ability score if the surface is one inch or less in width (a rope), a -5 penalty if two inches to six inches wide, and unmodified if seven inches to 12 inches wide. Wider than one foot requires no check for proficient characters under normal circumstances. Every additional proficiency spent on tightrope walking reduces these penalties by 1. Use of a balancing rod reduces the penalties by 2. Winds or vibrations in the line increases the penalties by 2 to 6.

            The character can attempt to fight while on a tightrope, but he suffers a -5 penalty to his attack roll and must roll a successful proficiency check at the beginning of each round to avoid falling off. Since the character cannot maneuver, he gains no adjustments to his Armor Class for Dexterity. If he is struck while on the rope, he must roll an immediate proficiency check to retain his balance.

            Tracking: Characters with tracking proficiency are able to follow the trail of creatures and characters across most types of terrain. Characters who are not rangers roll a proficiency check with a -6 penalty to their ability scores; rangers have no penalty to their ability scores. In addition, other modifiers are also applied to the attempt, according to Table 39.

Table 39:

Tracking Modifiers

Terrain           Modifier

Soft or muddy ground  +4

Thick brush, vines, or reeds    +3

Occasional signs of passage, dust       +2

Normal ground, wood floor    0

Rocky ground or shallow water          -10

Every two creatures in the group         +1

Every 12 hours since trail was made  -1

Every hour of rain, snow, or sleet       -5

Poor lighting (moon or starlight)         -6

Tracked party attempts to hide trail     -5

            The modifiers in Table 39 are cumulative--total the modifiers for all conditions that apply and combine that with the tracker's Wisdom score to get the modified chance to track.

            For example, if Thule's Wisdom score is 16 and he is trying to track through mud (+4), at night (-6), during a sleet storm (-5), his chance to track is 9 (16+4-6-5). (Thule is a ranger so he does not suffer the -6 penalty for non-rangers tracking.)

            For tracking to succeed, the creature tracked must leave some type of trail. Thus, it is virtually impossible to track flying or noncorporeal creatures. The DM may allow this in rare instances, but he should also assign substantial penalties to the attempt.

            To track a creature, the character must first find the trail. Indoors, the tracker must have seen the creature in the last 30 minutes and must begin tracking from the place last seen. Outdoors, the tracker must either have seen the creature, have eyewitness reports of its recent movement ("Yup, we saw them orcs just high-tail it up that trail there not but yesterday."), or must have obvious evidence that the creature is in the area (such as a well-used game trail). If these conditions are met, a proficiency check is rolled. Success means a trail has been found. Failure means no trail has been found. Another attempt cannot be made until the above conditions are met again under different circumstances.

            Once the trail is found, additional proficiency checks are rolled for the following situations:

            • The chance to track decreases (terrain, rain, creatures leaving the group, darkness, etc.).

            • A second track crosses the first.

            • The party resumes tracking after a halt (to rest, eat, fight, etc.).

            Once the tracker fails a proficiency check, another check can be rolled after spending at least one hour searching the area for new signs. If this check is failed, no further attempts can be made. If several trackers are following a trail, a +1 bonus is added to the ability score of the most adept tracker. Once he loses the trail, it is lost to all.

            If the modifiers lower the chance to track below 0 (for example, the modifiers are -11 and the character's Wisdom is 10), the trail is totally lost to that character and further tracking is impossible (even if the chance later improves). Other characters may be able to continue tracking, but that character cannot.

            A tracking character can also attempt to identify the type of creatures being followed and the approximate number by rolling a proficiency check. All the normal tracking modifiers apply. One identifying check can be rolled each time a check is rolled to follow the trail. A successful check identifies the creatures (provided the character has some knowledge of that type of creature) and gives a rough estimate of their numbers. Just how accurate this estimate is depends on the DM.

            When following a trail, the character (and those with him) must slow down, the speed depending on the character's modified chance to track as found from Table 39.

Table 40:

Movement While Tracking

Chance to Track        Movement Rate

1-6       ¼ normal

7-14     ¼ normal

14 or greater    3/4 normal

            In the earlier example, Thule has a modified tracking chance of 9, so he moves at ½ his normal movement rate.

            Tumbling: The character is practiced in all manner of acrobatics--dives, rolls, somersaults, handstands, flips, etc. Tumbling can only be performed while burdened with light encumbrance or less. Aside from entertaining, the character with tumbling proficiency can improve his Armor Class by 4 against attacks directed solely at him in any round of combat, provided he has the initiative and foregoes all attacks that round. When in unarmed combat he can improve his attack roll by 2.

            On a successful proficiency check, he suffers only one-half the normal damage from falls of 60 feet or less and none from falls of 10 feet or less. Falls from greater heights result in normal damage.

            Ventriloquism: The character has learned the secrets of "throwing his voice." Although not actually making sound come from somewhere else (like the spell), the character can deceive others into believing this to be so. When using ventriloquism, the supposed source of the sound must be relatively close to the character. The nature of the speaking object and the intelligence of those watching can modify the character's chance of success. If the character makes an obviously inanimate object talk (a book, mug, etc.), a -5 penalty is applied to his ability score. If a believable source (a PC or NPC) is made to appear to speak, a +2 bonus is added to his ability score. The observer's intelligence modifies this as follows:

Intelligence    Modifier

less than 3       +6

3-5       +4

6-8       +2

9-14     0

15-16   -1

17-18   -2

19+      -4

            A successful proficiency check means the character has successfully deceived his audience. One check must be made for every sentence or response. The character is limited to sounds he could normally make (thus, the roar of a lion is somewhat beyond him).

            Since ventriloquism relies on deception, people's knowledge of speech, and assumptions about what should and shouldn't talk, it is effective only on intelligent creatures. Thus, it has no effect on animals and the like. Furthermore, the audience must be watching the character since part of the deception is visual ("Hey, his lips don't move!"). Using ventriloquism to get someone to look behind him does not work, since the voice is not actually behind him (this requires the ventriloquism spell). All but those with the gullibility of children realize what is truly happening. They may be amused--or they may not be.

            Weaponsmithing: This highly specialized proficiency enables a character to perform the difficult and highly exacting work involved in making metal weapons, particularly those with blades. The character blends some of the skill of the blacksmith with an ability to create blades of strength and sharpness. A fully equipped smithy is necessary to use this proficiency.

            The time and cost to make various types of weapons are listed on Table 41.

Table 41:

Weapon Construction

            Construction  Material

Weapon          Time   Cost

Arrowhead      10/day            1 cp

Battle Axe       10 days            10 sp

Hand Axe        5 days 5 sp

Dagger 5 days 2 sp

H. Crossbow   20 days            10 sp

L. Crossbow    15 days            5 sp

Fork, Trident   20 days            10 sp

Spear, Lance   4 days 4 sp

Short Sword    20 days            5 sp

Long Sword     30 days            10 sp

2-hd Sword     45 days            2 gp


            Weather Sense: This proficiency enables the character to make intelligent guesses about upcoming weather conditions. A successful proficiency check means the character has correctly guessed the general weather conditions in the next six hours. A failed check means the character read the signs wrong and forecast the weather incorrectly. The DM should roll the check secretly. A proficiency check can be made once every six hours. However, for every six hours of observation, the character gains a +1 bonus to his ability score (as he watches the weather change, the character gets a better sense of what is coming). This modifier is cumulative, although sleep or other activity that occupies the attention of the character for a long period negates any accumulated bonus.

            Sometimes impending weather conditions are so obvious that no proficiency check is required. It is difficult not to notice the tornado funnel tearing across the plain or the mass of dark clouds on the horizon obviously headed the character's way. In these cases, the player should be able to deduce what is about to happen to his character anyway.

            Weaving: A character with weaving proficiency is able to create garments, tapestries, and draperies from wool or cotton. The character requires a spinning apparatus and a loom. A weaver can create two square yards of material per day.



Chapter 6:

Money and Equipment

Although your character has some impressive abilities and skills, he really isn't going to be effective without the equipment necessary for adventuring. To get this equipment, he needs money. Not only does he need money to outfit himself, but your character also has to cover his living expenses.

            Although there are many different types of coins and currencies in the world, all prices and treasures in the AD&D rules are given in standard coinage. Your DM may have specific names for different coins and may have different rates of exchange, but this is material particular to his campaign. He will tell you if there are differences from the coins listed here. The standard rate of exchange for each coin is given in Table 42.

            The basic coins are the copper piece (cp) and the silver piece (sp). These form the backbone of the monetary system and are the coins most frequently found in the hands of the common folk. Above these two coins is the much rarer gold piece (gp). This coin is seldom found in common use and mainly exists on paper as the standard money of account. This means it is used to measure the value of property and goods. Land values, ship cargoes, gemstones, and penalty bonds (royal court fines) are normally calculated in gold pieces, although payment of such vast sums normally takes other forms.

            In addition to these coins, there are other unusual metals used in exchange. Most of these come from failed currencies. As such, they are viewed with skepticism by many honest folk. Principal among these coins are the electrum (ep) and platinum pieces (pp). These coins are rarely circulated, and most are hidden away in ancient treasure hoards.

            However, remember that not all wealth is measured by coins. Wealth can take many forms--land, livestock, the right to collect taxes or customs, and jewelry are all measures of wealth. Coins have no guaranteed value. A gold piece can buy a lot in a small village but won't go very far in a large city. This makes other forms of wealth, land for instance, all the more valuable. Indeed, many a piece of jewelry is actually a way of carrying one's wealth. Silver armbands can be traded for goods, a golden brooch can buy a cow, etc. In your adventures, wealth and riches may take many different forms.

            Furthermore, in your DM's campaign, there may be special situations or considerations to bear in mind. The Kingdom of Gonfli may be at war with the neighboring Principality of Boosk. Patriotic Gonflians might refuse Boosk coins (probably because they think the coins are worthless). Practical Booskites might accept the Gonfli florin at half normal value (so they can melt them down and mint new Boosk drachmas). Of course, both groups would send your character to the local money changer (if there is one), who would cheerfully convert your foreign coins to the local tender. He will, of course, charge a small commission (10-30%) for this service.

Table 42:

Standard Exchange Rates

                        Exchange Value

Coin    CP       SP       EP       GP      PP

Copper Piece (CP) =   1         1/10     1/50     1/100   1/500

Silver Piece (SP) =     10       1         1/5       1/10     1/50

Electrum Piece (EP) = 50       5         1         ½         1/10

Gold Piece (GP) =      100      10        2         1         1/5

Platinum Piece (PP) = 500      50        10        5         1


            Situations such as these can affect the value of any coin. If your characters start flashing about a lot of gold, pumping it into the local economy, merchants will quickly raise prices. As another example, the local lord may commandeer most of the region's horses for his knights, making those left all that much more expensive.

Starting Money

All player characters begin with some amount of cash. This nest egg may be your character's life savings. It may be a gift from his parents to start him out in the world. It may be his booty from an army campaign. Perhaps he stumbled across a small treasure chest, whetting his appetite for greater and more dangerous prizes. How he came by his money is not important (although it may be fun to know). You are free to create any explanation you want.

            To learn your character's starting funds, roll the dice indicated for his group in Table 43. This is the number of gold pieces your character has to obtain equipment. If you are creating a character starting out at a level above 1st level, check with the DM to see if you can increase your character's funds beyond the amounts given here.

            Multi-class characters use the most advantageous die range of their classes.

Table 43:

Initial Character Funds

Character Group       Die Range

Warrior           5d4 x 10 gp

Wizard (1d4+1) x 10 gp

Rogue  2d6 x 10 gp

Priest *            3d6 x 10 gp

            *Priest characters can use their money only to purchase equipment and goods. Once all purchases are made, the priest character must return all but two or three of his remaining gold pieces to his superiors (since his equipment is supplied by his organization). Priests cannot lend any of their initial funds to other characters.

Equipment Lists

The following lists include much of the equipment your character needs for adventuring. The most basic of these are weapons, armor, clothing, and outfitting gear. The other lists provide goods and services your character may need during the course of his many adventures. While most items are always available, your DM may add to or delete from these lists. What you want may not be available or, if your DM has set his game in a specific time period, may not have been discovered or invented yet! While he should tell you which items are and aren't available, you should ask if you have any doubts, particularly on large purchases.

            Many of the uncommon items in these lists are explained in the following pages.

            The price given for each item in the lists is its average price, the amount you can expect the item to cost in a normal economy. However, large cities, barren wildernesses, and places with brave adventurers carrying bags full of gold are not normal economies. In these places you may find yourself paying more (very rarely less) than the amount listed. You can also haggle with merchants over prices, although to speed up the game it's recommended that you save this for your important purchases. If you wind up haggling over the cost of every tankard of ale, your character is going to spend more time being a pennypincher than an adventurer!

Table 44:



Belt     3 sp

Boots   --

Riding 3 gp

Soft      1 gp

Breeches         2 gp

Cap, hat           1 sp

Cloak   --

Good cloth      8 sp

Fine fur            50 gp

Girdle  3 gp

Gloves 1 gp

Gown, common           12 sp

Hose    2 gp

Knife sheath    3 cp

Mittens            3 sp

Pin       6 gp

Plain brooch    10 gp

Robe    --

Common          9 sp

Embroidered   20 gp

Sandals            5 cp

Sash     2 sp

Shoes   1 gp

Silk jacket       80 gp

Surcoat            6 sp

Sword scabbard, hanger, baldric        4 gp

Tabard 6 sp

Toga, coarse    8 cp

Tunic   8 sp

Vest     6 sp

Daily Food and Lodging

Ale (per gallon)          2 sp

Banquet (per person)   10 gp

Bread  5 cp

Cheese 4 sp

City rooms (per month)           --

Common          20 gp

Poor    6 sp

Common wine (pitcher)          2 sp

Egg or fresh vegetables           1 cp

Grain and stabling for horse (daily)    5 sp

Honey  5 sp

Inn lodging (per day/week)     --

Common          5 sp/3 gp

Poor    5 cp/2 sp

Meat for one meal       1 sp

Meals (per day)           --

Good   5 sp

Common          3 sp

Poor    1 sp

Separate latrine for rooms

(per month)      2 gp

Small beer (per gallon)           5 cp

Soup    5 cp

Household Provisioning

Barrel of pickled fish  3 gp

Butter (per lb.)            2 sp

Coarse sugar (per lb.) 1 gp

Dry rations (per week)            10 gp

Eggs (per 100) 8 sp

(per two dozen)           2 sp

Figs (per lb.)   3 sp

Firewood (per day)     1 cp

Herbs (per lb.)            5 cp

Nuts (per lb.)   1 gp

Raisins (per lb.)          2 sp

Rice (per lb.)  2 sp

Salt (per lb.)    1 sp

Salted herring (per 100)          1 gp

Spice (per lb.) --


(for example, saffron, clove)   15 gp

Rare (for example, pepper, ginger)     2 gp

Uncommon (cinnamon)            1 gp

Tun of cider (250 gal.)            8 gp

Tun of good wine (250 gal.)    20 gp


Bath     3 cp

Clerk (per letter)         2 sp

Doctor, leech, or bleeding       3 gp

Guide, in city (per day)           2 sp

Lantern or torchbearer (per night)       1 sp

Laundry (by load)        1 cp

Messenger, in city (per message)        1 sp

Minstrel (per performance)     3 gp

Mourner (per funeral) 2 sp

Teamster w/wagon      1 sp/mile


Transport *

Barge   500 gp

Canoe  --

Small   30 gp

War     50 gp

Caravel           10,000 gp

Carriage          --

Common          150 gp

Coach, ornamented      7,000 gp

Chariot            --

Riding 200 gp

War     500 gp

Coaster            5,000 gp

Cog      10,000 gp

Curragh           500 gp

Drakkar           25,000 gp

Dromond         15,000 gp

Galleon           50,000 gp

Great galley     30,000 gp

Knarr   3,000 gp

Longship          10,000 gp

Oar      --

Common          2 gp

Galley 10 gp

Raft or small keelboat 100 gp

Sail      20 gp

Sedan chair     100 gp

Wagon or cart wheel   5 gp

* Movement rates for this equipment are given in the DMG.



Boar    10 gp

Bull     20 gp

Calf     5 gp

Camel  50 gp

Capon  3 cp

Cat       1 sp

Chicken           2 cp

Cow    10 gp

Dog     --

Guard  25 gp

Hunting            17 gp

War     20 gp

Donkey, mule, or ass   8 gp

Elephant          --

Labor   200 gp

War     500 gp

Falcon (trained)          1,000 gp

Goat    1 gp

Goose  5 cp

Guinea hen      2 cp

Horse  --

Draft    200 gp

Heavy war       400 gp

Light war         150 gp

Medium war    225 gp

Riding 75 gp

Hunting cat (jaguar, etc.)         5,000 gp

Ox       15 gp

Partridge         5 cp

Peacock           5 sp

Pig       3 gp

Pigeon 1 cp

Pigeon, homing            100 gp

Pony    30 gp

Ram     4 gp

Sheep  2 gp

Songbird          10 sp

Swan   5 sp


Tack and Harness

Barding           --         --

Chain   500 gp 70 lbs.

Full plate         2,000 gp          85 lbs.

Full scale        1,000 gp          75 lbs.

Half brigandine           500 gp 45 lbs.

Half padded    100 gp 25 lbs.

Half scale        500 gp 50 lbs.

Leather or padded       150 gp 60 lbs.

Bit and bridle  15 sp   3 lbs.

Cart harness    2 gp     10 lbs.

Halter  5 cp     *

Horseshoes & shoeing 1 gp     10 lbs.

Saddle --         --

Pack    5 gp     15 lbs.

Riding 10 gp   35 lbs.

Saddle bags     --         --

Large   4 gp     8 lbs.

Small   3 gp     5 lbs.

Saddle blanket 3 sp     4 lbs.

Yoke    --         --

Horse  5 gp     15 lbs.

Ox       3 gp     20 lbs.

            * These items weigh little individually. Ten of these items weigh one pound.


Miscellaneous Equipment

Backpack         2 gp     2 lbs.

Barrel, small   2 gp     30 lbs.

Basket --         --

Large   3 sp     1 lbs.

Small   5 cp     *

Bell     1 gp     --

Belt pouch       --         --

Large   1 gp     1 lbs.

Small   7 sp     ½ lbs.

Block and tackle          5 gp     5 lbs.

Bolt case         1 gp     1 lbs.

Bucket 5 sp     3 lbs.

Chain (per ft.)  --         --

Heavy  4 gp     3 lbs.

Light    3 gp     1 lbs.

Chest   --         --

Large   2 gp     25 lbs.

Small   1 gp     10 lbs.

Cloth (per 10 sq. yds.) --         --

Common          7 gp     10 lbs.

Fine     50 gp   10 lbs.

Rich     100 gp 10 lbs.

Candle 1 cp     *

Canvas (per sq. yard)  4 sp     1 lbs.

Chalk   1 cp     *

Crampons        4 gp     2 lbs.

Fishhook          1 sp     **

Fishing net, 10 ft. sq.   4 gp     5 lbs.

Flint and steel  5 sp     *

Glass bottle     10 gp   *

Grappling hook           8 sp     4 lbs.

Holy item (symbol, water, etc.)           25 gp   *

Hourglass        25 gp   1 lbs.

Iron pot            5 sp     2 lbs.

Ladder, 10 ft.   5 cp     20 lbs.

Lantern            --         --

Beacon            150 gp 50 lbs.

Bullseye          12 gp   3 lbs.

Hooded           7 gp     2 lbs.

Lock    --         --

Good   100 gp 1 lbs.

Poor    20 gp   1 lbs.

Magnifying glass         100 gp *

Map or scroll case      8 sp     ½ lbs.

Merchant's scale          2 gp     1 lbs.

Mirror, small metal     10 gp   *

Musical instrument      5-100 gp          ½-3 lbs.

Oil (per flask) --         --

Greek fire        10 gp   2 lbs.

Lamp   6 cp     1 lbs.

Paper (per sheet)         2 gp     **

Papyrus (per sheet)     8 sp     **

Parchment (per sheet)  1 gp     **

Perfume (per vial)       5 gp     *

Piton    3 cp     ½ lbs.

Quiver 8 sp     1 lbs.

Rope (per 50 ft.)         --         --

Hemp   1 gp     20 lbs.

Silk      10 gp   8 lbs.

Sack    --         --

Large   2 sp     ½ lbs.

Small   5 cp     *

Sealing/candle wax (per lb.)   1 gp     1 lbs.

Sewing needle 5 sp*    *

Signal whistle 8 sp     *

Signet ring or personal seal     5 gp     *

Soap (per lb.)  5 sp     1 lbs.

Spyglass          1,000 gp          1 lbs.

Tent     --         --

Large   25 gp   20 lbs.

Pavilion           100 gp 50 lbs.

Small   5 gp     10 lbs.

Thieves' picks 30 gp   1 lbs.

Torch   1 cp     1 lbs.

Water clock     1,000 gp          200 lbs.

Whetstone        2 cp     1 lbs.

Wineskin         8 sp     1 lbs.

Winter blanket 5 sp     3 lbs.

Writing ink (per vial)  8 gp     *

*          These items weigh little individually. Ten of these items weigh one pound.

**        These items have no appreciable weight and should not be considered for encumbrance unless hundreds are carried.

Armor *

Banded mail    200 gp 35 lbs.

Brigandine       120 gp 35 lbs.

Bronze plate mail        400 gp 45 lbs.

Chain mail       75 gp   40 lbs.

Field plate       2000 gp           60 lbs.

Full plate         4,000-10,000 gp          70 lbs.

Helmet --         --

Great helm       30 gp   10 lbs.

Basinet            8 gp     5 lbs.

Hide    15 gp   30 lbs.

Leather            5 gp     15 lbs.

Padded            4 gp     10 lbs.

Plate mail        600 gp 50 lbs.

Ring mail         100 gp 30 lbs.

Scale mail       120 gp 40 lbs.

Shield  --         --

Body    10 gp   15 lbs.

Buckler            1 gp     3 lbs.

Medium           7 gp     10 lbs.

Small   3 gp     5 lbs.

Splint mail       80 gp   40 lbs.

Studded leather           20 gp   25 lbs.

*          See table 46 for the Armor Class ratings of various armor types.



            Weight                        Speed  Damage

Item    Cost    (lb.)     Size     Type6 Factor S-M     L

Arquebus 3      500 gp 10        M         P          15        1d10    1d10

Battle axe        5 gp     7          M         S          7          1d8      1d8

Blowgun          5 gp     2          L          --         5          --         --

Barbed Dart    1 sp     *          S          P          --         1d3      1d2

Needle 2 cp     *          S          P          --         1          1

Bow    --         --         --         --         --         --         --

Composite long bow   100 gp 3          L          --         7          --         --

Composite short bow  75 gp   2          M         --         6          --         --

Flight arrow    3sp/12 *          S          P          --         1d6      1d6

Long bow        75 gp   3          L          --         8          --         --

Sheaf arrow     3 sp/6  *          S          P          --         1d8      1d8

Short bow        30 gp   2          M         --         7          --         --

Club    --         3          M         B         4          1d6      1d3

Crossbow        --         --         --         --         --         --         --

Hand quarrel   1 gp     *          S          P          --         1d3      1d2

Hand crossbow           300 gp 3          S          --         5          --         --

Heavy quarrel 2 sp     *          S          P          --         1d4+1  1d6+1

Heavy crossbow         50 gp   14        M         --         10        --         --

Light quarrel    1 sp     *          S          P          --         1d4      1d4

Light crossbow            35 gp   7          M         --         7          --         --

Dagger or dirk 2 gp     1          S          P          2          1d4      1d3

Dart     5 sp     ½         S          P          2          1d3      1d2

Footman's flail 15 gp   15        M         B         7          1d6+1  2d4

Footman's mace           8 gp     10        M         B         7          1d6+1  1d6

Footman's pick            8 gp     6          M         P          7          1d6+1  2d4

Hand or throwing axe  1 gp     5          M         S          4          1d6      1d4

Harpoon          20 gp   6          L          P          7          2d4      2d6

Horseman's flail          8 gp     5          M         B         6          1d4+1  1d4+1

Horseman's mace        5 gp     6          M         B         6          1d6      1d4

Horseman's pick          7 gp     4          M         P          5          1d4+1  1d4

Javelin 5 sp     2          M         P          4          1d6      1d6

Knife   5 sp     ½         S          P/S      2          1d3      1d2

Lance 4            --         --         --         --         --         --         --

Heavy horse lance       15 gp   15        L          P          8          1d8+1  3d6

Light horse lance         6 gp     5          L          P          6          1d6      1d8

Jousting lance  20 gp   20        L          P          10        1d3-1   1d2-1

Medium horse lance    10 gp   10        L          P          7          1d6+1  2d6

Mancatcher 2   30 gp   8          L          --         7          --         --

Morning star    10 gp   12        M         B         7          2d4      1d6+1

Polearm           --         --         --         --         --         --         --

Awl pike 5      5 gp     12        L          P          13        1d6      1d12

Bardiche          7 gp     12        L          S          9          2d4      2d6

Bec de corbin  8 gp     10        L          P/B      9          1d8      1d6

Bill-guisarme  7 gp     15        L          P/S      10        2d4      1d10

Fauchard         5 gp     7          L          P/S      8          1d6      1d8

Fauchard-fork  8 gp     9          L          P/S      8          1d8      1d10

Glaive 1          6 gp     8          L          S          8          1d6      1d10

Glaive-guisarme 1       10 gp   10        L          P/S      9          2d4      2d6

Guisarme         5 gp     8          L          S          8          2d4      1d8

Guisarme-voulge         8 gp     15        L          P/S      10        2d4      2d4

Halberd           10 gp   15        L          P/S      9          1d10    2d6

Hook fauchard 10 gp   8          L          P/S      9          1d4      1d4

Lucern hammer 5         7 gp     15        L          P/B      9          2d4      1d6

Military fork 1 5 gp     7          L          P          7          1d8      2d4

Partisan 5        10 gp   8          L          P          9          1d6      1d6+1

Ranseur 5        6 gp     7          L          P          8          2d4      2d4

Spetum 5         5 gp     7          L          P          8          1d6+1  2d6

Voulge 5 gp     12        L          S          10        2d4      2d4

Quarterstaff     --         4          L          B         4          1d6      1d6

Scourge           1 gp     2          S          --         5          1d4      1d2

Sickle  6 sp     3          S          S          4          1d4+1  1d4

Sling    5 cp.    *          S          --         6          --         --

Sling bullet      1 cp.    ½         S          B         --         1d4+1  1d6+1

Sling stone       --         ½         S          B         --         1d4      1d4

Spear   8 sp     5          M         P          6          1d6      1d8

Staff sling        2 sp     2          M         --         11        --         --

Sword --         --         --         --         --         --         --

Bastard sword --         --         --         --         --         --         --

One-handed     25 gp   10        M         S          6          1d8      1d12

Two-handed    25 gp   10        M         S          8          2d4      2d8

Broad sword   10 gp   4          M         S          5          2d4      1d6+1

Khopesh          10 gp   7          M         S          9          2d4      1d6

Long sword     15 gp   4          M         S          5          1d8      1d12

Scimitar           15 gp   4          M         S          5          1d8      1d8

Short sword     10 gp   3          S          P          3          1d6      1d8

Two-hand. sword        50 gp   15        L          S          10        1d10    3d6

Trident 15 gp   5          L          P          7          1d6+1  3d4

Warhammer     2 gp     6          M         B         4          1d4+1  1d4

Whip   1 sp     2          M         --         8          1d2      1         

1          This weapon inflicts double damage against charging creatures of L or greater size.

2          This weapon can dismount a rider on a successful hit.

3          This weapon available only if allowed by DM.

4          This weapon inflicts double damage when used from the back of a charging mount.

5          This weapon inflicts double damage when firmly set to receive a charge.

6          The "Type" category is divided into Bludgeoning (B), Piercing (P), and Slashing (S).

This indicates the type of attack made, which may alter the weapon's effectiveness

against different types of armor. See the optional Weapon Type vs. Armor rule in chapter


*          These items weigh little individually. Ten of these weigh one pound.



Table 45:

Missile Weapon Ranges

                         Range (yards)

Weapon          ROF    S          M        L

Arquebus         1/3       50        150      210

Blowgun          2/1       10        20        30

Comp. long bow,

            flight arrow     2/1       60        120      210

Comp. long bow,

            sheaf arrow     2/1       40        80        170

Comp. short bow         2/1       50        100      180


            flight arrow     2/1       70        140      210


            sheaf arrow     2/1       50        100      170

Short bow        2/1       50        100      150

Club    1          10        20        30

Hand crossbow           1          20        40        60

Heavy crossbow         1/2       80        160      240

Light crossbow            1          60        120      180

Dagger 2/1       10        20        30

Dart     3/1       10        20        40

Hammer           1          10        20        30

Hand axe         1          10        20        30

Harpoon          1          10        20        30

Javelin 1          20        40        60

Knife   2/1       10        20        30

Sling bullet      1          50        100      200

Sling stone       1          40        80        160

Spear   1          10        20        30

Staff sling bullet          2/1       --         30-60   90

Staff sling stone           2/1       --         30-60   90

            "ROF" is the rate of fire--how many shots that weapon can fire off in one round. This is independent of the number of melee attacks a character can make in a round.

            Each range category (Short, Medium, or Long) includes attacks from distances equal to or less than the given range. Thus, a heavy crossbow fired at a target 136 yards away uses the medium range modifier.

            The attack roll modifiers for range are -2 for medium range and -5 for long range.

            Arquebuses (if allowed) double all range modifiers.


Equipment Descriptions

Not every piece of equipment is described here. The vast majority of things found on the equipment lists need no description, as their functions, forms, and purposes are obvious. Only those items whose use is obscure or appearance is unusual are described below. Specific game effects of equipment are given in the appropriate sections of the rules.

Tack and Harness

            Barding: A war horse, or any animal trained for combat, is a considerable investment for the average warrior. Therefore, it behooves the owner to see that his mount is as well protected as possible. Other than avoiding risks, the best nonmagical protection is horse armor or barding. Barding is simply some type of armor fitted to be worn by the mount. Full barding covers the neck, chest, and body of the beast, while half barding covers the head, neck, chest, and front quarters. Barding can be made from many different materials; stouter types provide increasing protection according to the Armor Class of the construction. All of this, however, is at the expense of increased weight and lowered maneuverability of the mount. Plate barding, for example, is the equivalent of a warrior's field plate and is made of carefully interlocked plates and joints. It provides an Armor Class of 2 to the mount. It weighs at least 80 to 100 pounds at the lightest and thus, a fully equipped war horse with this armor can manage little more than a steady trot at top speed.

            Barded animals also require special attention. Care must be taken to prevent chafing and sores. The mount cannot wear the armor indefinitely. It must be removed at night and ideally should not be worn except in preparation for a battle or tournament. Removing horse barding takes 15 minutes for leather and 30 minutes for metal armors. Fitting it on takes twice as long. The weight of barding is carefully distributed to account for the weight of the armor and the rider, so barded animals cannot be used as pack animals! It is normal practice to have a second mount for carrying gear and supplies.

            When barding is fitted over a mount whose natural Armor Class is better than the barding, some protection is still gained. This is explained under "Armor" later in this chapter.

            In addition to horses and elephants, it may be possible to fit barding on more fantastic mounts. Flying steeds can wear only leather or magical barding. Aquatic creatures cannot wear normal barding although extremely rare magical pieces may exist. Other land creatures can certainly be barded, provided your DM rules that they are sturdy enough to carry the weight of armor and rider. Camels, for instance, are seldom barded for this reason. A huge ostrich would not be able to carry barding, since its legs would not support the weight.

            Saddles: There are two basic saddles--riding and pack. Riding saddles take many forms, but their basic purpose is to carry a person. If your DM has set his campaign in an ancient or early Medieval setting, saddles may be without stirrups. Ask your DM to be sure. Pack saddles are special frames designed to carry supplies and equipment. The only practical limit to how much a well-stowed pack saddle can carry is the carrying ability of the animal.


            Caravel: This ship was sailed in late Medieval/early Renaissance times and was the type of ship Columbus used to reach the New World. (It should be used only in late Medieval settings.) It normally has two or three masts and square sails. No oars are used. The typical caravel is 70 feet long and 20 feet wide. The normal crew is from 30 to 40 men. The average cargo displacement is 150-200 tons.

            Coaster: Also called a round ship, this is a small merchant ship that hugs the coasts. This is a sailing ship, fitted with two masts and triangular sails. The average size is 60 to 70 feet long and 20 feet wide. The rudder hangs from one side. The crew is 20 to 30 men, and the cargo capacity is about 100 tons. Normally there is only a small sterncastle. A coaster is slow and not tremendously seaworthy, but it can carry large amounts of cargo with smaller crews than galleys.

            Cog: This ship is a larger, improved version of the coaster, able to make ventures into the open sea. Like the coaster, it is a sailing ship with one or two masts, but the cog employs square sails. It is about 75 to 90 feet long and 20 feet wide. The crew is only 18 to 20 men. There is normally one deck and fore- and sterncastle. the cargo capacities of cogs vary greatly, but the average is 100 to 200 tons.     

            Currach: This is an early, primitive vessel. It is made from thick hides stretched over a wood-and-wicker frame. A single mast caries a small square sail, but the currach is usually worked by oars. It is normally 20 to 40 feet long. the crew is approximately six to eight and the cargo space is limited--no more than five tons.

            Drakkar: The largest of the Viking longships is known as a drakkar or dragonship. Built for war, this ship stretches about 100 feet in length. Although a single mast can be raised, oars provide the main source of power. The crew of 60 to 80 men rows, one man to an oar. Up to 160 additional man can be carried for boarding and raiding. Due to its great size, a drakkar is not very seaworthy. This and the fact there is no space on board for many supplies (certainly not enough for 240 men) or sleeping quarters keep the drakkar close to the coast where it can put in for the night. Because of its cost and limited use, a drakkar is usually built by kings and rulers and is not used for the mundane task of shipping cargo.

            Dromond: This ship is the largest of the Byzantine galleys. Although it boasts one or two masts and triangular sails, the main power comes from the 100 oars, 50 to a side. These oars are divided into an upper and lower bank, with one man per oar on the lower bank and three men on the upper bank. Thus, the total crew is about 200 men. The dromond is about 130 to 175 feet long and 15 feet wide, making it a very slender ship. The cargo capacity is around 70 to 100 tons.

            A dromond can be used both for shipping and war. As a warship, a ram projects from the front just above the water line. Castles are built fore, aft, and amidships as firing platforms. The cargo space is then taken up by marines. With such numbers of men, it is a very dangerous ship to attack. A dromond is not a seaworthy craft, however, and usually sails in sight of shore. They beach at night like all galleys, since supplies and sleeping accommodations are very limited.

            Galleon: This is the largest and most advanced sailing ship that might be available in the AD&D game. It should appear only in Renaissance-period settings. It is a sail-driven ship with three or four masts. There are normally three through decks (running the length of the ship), while the castles fore and aft have two decks. The average size is about 130 feet long and 30 feet wide. Crews average about 130 men. Although cargo capacity is about 500 tons, a galleon is mainly used as a warship. (In the real world they were fitted with cannon, something beyond the standard AD&D game rules.) They can easily carry men equal to their tonnage, making capture by pirates nearly impossible.

            Great Galley: Built during the Late Middle Ages, the great galley is an improved version of the dromond. It is slightly smaller than the dromond, about 130 feet long and 20 feet wide. The main power comes from 140 rowers, one man to an oar, but is supplemented by three masts; this combination gives it better speed and handling. The cargo capacity is 150 tons. When outfitted as a warship, the front end is built as a ram and marines are carried instead of cargo. Like all galleys, the great galley is a coastal vessel, rarely venturing into open water. It is not seaworthy in heavy storms and waits in port for these to pass.

            Knarr: This small ship was a common cargo ship of the Scandinavian region. It is 50 to 75 feet long and 15 to 20 feet wide. It has a single mast and a square sail. In times of poor wind, a few oars at the bow and stern can provide more power. The crew ranges from eight to 14 men. The cargo capacity is small, anywhere from ten to 50 tons. The ship is, however, relatively seaworthy and can be used to make long sea voyages (although it cannot be called comfortable). Its flat bottom makes it useful for sailing up rivers and estuaries, and it can be beached easily.

            Longship: This is the standard Viking warship. It is more substantial than the knarr but not nearly as massive as the drakkar. An average longship is 75 feet long with 20 to 25 oars per side. Each oar is worked by a single man for a total crew of 40 to 50 men. There is also a single mast and a square sail. In addition to the crew, the ship can carry 120 to 150 men. A longship can be used for shipping, but its cargo capacity is only about 50 tons. It is, however, fairly seaworthy and can sail across the open sea when necessary.

Miscellaneous Equipment

            Holy Item: Holy items are small representations of all those things revered by religions--stars, crosses, hammers, rosaries, anointed oils, blessed wine, sacred teachings, and more. Just what constitutes a holy item depends on the campaign your character is in. All good holy items have similar effects on undead and other evil creatures, provided they are wielded by a follower of a belief associated with these items. Thus, rules that refer to holy symbols and holy water apply to all similar items, provided these items are specially prepared by the cleric's order.

            Because of their special nature, holy items cannot normally be purchased. Different sects tend to protect the symbols of their faith to prevent their misuse or corruption. Therefore such items must be obtained through the auspices of a local congregation. This is not difficult for sincere followers of that faith, although requests for rare or unusual items must always be justified. Nonbelievers are given holy items only if there is a clear and present danger to the faith.

            Lanterns: A hooded lantern (30-foot radius of light) is a standard lantern with shuttered or hinged sides. It is not directional, as its light is cast equally in all directions. A bullseye lantern (60-foot radius of light) has only a single shutter, the other sides being highly polished to reflect the light in a single direction. Both hooded and bullseye lanterns can be carried in one hand. A single flask of oil (one pint) burns for six hours in either.

            The beacon lantern (240-foot radius of light) is a much larger affair and must be mounted on the prow of a ship, the bed of a wagon, or other large structure. It operates like the bullseye lantern but illuminates to a greater distance. The beacon goes through oil quickly, burning a flask every two hours.

            Locks: Locks are still fairly primitive affairs (except for those complicated by the use of magic). All are worked with a large bulky key. Combination locks are virtually unknown at this time. As with most things, there are good, very complex locks as well as bad, easily opened locks.

            Magnifying Glass: This simple lens is more an oddity than a useful tool. It does not greatly enhance viewing, especially since many are unevenly ground, creating distortion. It is useful as a substitute for tinder and steel when starting fires.

            Merchant's Scale: This is a small balance and pans along with a suitable assortment of weights. Its main use is to weigh coins--a common method of settling a transaction. Merchants are well aware that coins can be undersized, shaved, or plated. The only sound protection is to check the coins against a set of established weights. It is also needed when using foreign coins to make a purchase or exchange. Of course, merchants are no more noble than anyone else and may use sets of false weights--one set heavier than normal for selling an item (causing the customer to pay more) and another set lighter than usual for buying items (letting the merchant pay less). In well-regulated areas, officials verify the accuracy of weights and measures, but this in itself is no protection. Players may wish to have a scale and weights for their own protection.

            Oil: Greek fire is a general name given to all highly flammable oils used in combat. (Historically, Greek fire was a special combination of oil and chemicals that was sticky and difficult to extinguish.) These oils are highly flammable and a little dangerous to carry. Lamp oil is used for lamps and lanterns. It is not particularly explosive although it can be used to feed an existing blaze.

            Spyglass: Like the magnifying glass, the spyglass is more of an oddity than a useful item. Objects viewed through it are a little closer, although not much. For better results magical items are preferred. The spyglass gives from two to three times magnification.

            Thieves' Picks: This is a small collection of tools useful to burglars. The kit includes one or more skeleton keys, long metal picks, a long-nosed clamp, a small hand saw, and a small wedge and hammer. These combined with some common tools (such as a crowbar) make up most of the special equipment a thief needs to perform his trade.

            Water Clock: This bulky item is good for giving the time accurate to a half-hour. Activated by a regulated flow of drops, the water clock is not something you carry in your pocket. For it to work at all, it must have a source of water and be left undisturbed. A very uncommon item, it is primarily an amusement for the wealthy and a tool for the student of arcane lore. The vast majority of society is not concerned with exact time.


            The Weapons Table lists more than just the price of each item. It also gives other game information. Since each weapon is different, you should note this information separately for each weapon your character purchases or finds.

            Weapon Size: All weapons are classed according to a size category--S, M, L, G, or H. Small (S) weapons are approximately two feet or less in size; medium (M) weapons are two to five feet long; large (L) weapons are generally six feet or greater in length. Giant (G) and huge (H) weapons are not found on the lists, since these are items normally used by ogres, giants, and even greater creatures. They are not items of equipment a PC can normally buy!

            A character can always wield a weapon equal to his own size or less. Normally this requires only one hand, except for some missile weapons (bows and crossbows in particular). A character can also use a weapon one size greater than himself although it must be gripped with two hands. Beyond this size limit, the weapon is not usable without special means (most often magical).

            Drelb the halfling (size S) can use a short sword with no difficulty (a size S weapon), or a long sword with two hands (a size M weapon), but a glaive (size L) is just too large for him to wield. Likewise, he can use a short bow but is unable to handle a long bow.

            Type: Weapons are classified according to types--bludgeoning (B), piercing (P), and slashing (S). These types are used to determine armor type modifiers (if these are used). Weapons vs. Armor Type is explained in Chapter 9: Combat.

            Speed Factor: Weapon speed is a relative measure of the clumsiness of the weapon. The lower the number, the quicker and easier the weapon is to use. Weapon speed is explained in Chapter 9: Combat.

            Damage: All weapons are rated for the amount of damage they can cause to small- and medium-sized creatures (S-M) and larger-than-man-sized creatures (L).

            Arquebus: This weapon may be disallowed by your DM and you must check with him before you purchase it. An arquebus is an early form of the musket, almost as dangerous to its user as it is to the target. To use an arquebus, you must have a supply of powder and shot and a piece of slow-burning match or cord. These items may or may not be commonly available. (Powder is treated as a magical item in these rules.) The weapon can be fired only once every three rounds, and then only if the character is not attacked while loading. When firing an arquebus, all penalties for range are doubled.

            If the attack roll for the arquebus is a 1 or 2, the weapon backfires, causing 1d6 points of damage to the firer. It is also fouled and cannot be used again until it has been cleaned, which takes about 30 minutes. When a arquebus scores a hit, it normally does 1 to 9 points of damage on 1d10. When a 10 is rolled, the die is rolled again and this amount is added to 10. Each time a 10 is rolled, the die is rolled again and added to the previous total. Thus, in a rare instance, a single shot could inflict 37 points, for example, if three consecutive 10s were rolled, followed by a 7. The damage caused by an arquebus is never modified for a high Strength score.

            Bows: Bows come in various shapes and sizes. The power of a bow is measured by its pull. The greater the pull, the more Strength needed to work the bow. Thus, it is possible for characters to have bows that grant them damage bonuses for high Strength (it is assumed the character has chosen a bow that has a greater pull). Likewise, characters with low Strengths suffer their usual penalties when using a bow (they are forced to use weaker bows or simply cannot draw back as far). The pull of a bow seldom prevents a character from using the weapon, only from gaining the full effect. The true test of a character's Strength comes in stringing a bow--the bow of a strong hero may simply be unstringable by a lesser man (as was Odysseus's).

            Heavier pull bows are not normally any more expensive than standard bows. The exceptions to this are those bows that enable the fighter to gain bonuses for exceptional Strength (18/01 or greater). These bows must be custom crafted and cost three to five times the normal price. These bows are also difficult to string or use effectively for those without exceptional Strength. These characters must roll a successful bend bars/lift gates roll to string or use such weapons (again, think of the test of the suitors in Odysseus's household).

            Arrows for long bows of all types are divided between lightweight flight arrows and heavier sheaf arrows. Flight arrows have longer ranges and are normally used in hunting. Sheaf arrows have a stronger metal head but a reduced range. They are often used in times of war.

            Crossbow: Strength bonuses or penalties do not apply to crossbows, since these are purely mechanical devices. The hand crossbow is easily held in one hand and cocked with the other. The light crossbow, also called latches, must be braced against an object to be cocked with a lever mounted on the stock. The heavy crossbow, also called arbalest, has a powerful pull and must be cocked with a cranequin (a simple winch or lever) that comes with the weapon. One foot is places in a stirrup at the end of the crossbow while the cranequin is worked. All crossbows fire quarrels or bolts and the correct size must be used with each weapon.

            Lance: The different lances are rated according to size and sturdiness. Each type can be used only if the rider is on the same type of horse or a greater one. A man on a light war horse could not use a heavy horse lance, if only because the impact would bowl him and the horse right over! Furthermore, the heavy and jousting lances require that the rider is firmly in a saddle and using stirrups. The jousting lance is a heavy horse lance modified for use in tournaments, in which the desire is not to kill the opponent. The end of the lance is fitted with a special blunted tip intended to lessen the chance of wounds. Of course, good intentions often go awry, so there is still a chance of injury during a joust.

            Mancatcher: This item is a highly specialized type of polearm designed to capture without killing a victim. It consists of a long pole with a spring-loaded set of sharpened jaws at the end. The victim is caught between the arms, which then snap shut. The mancatcher is effective only on man-sized creatures. The target is always treated as AC 10, modified for Dexterity. If a hit is scored, the character is caught. The caught victim loses all shield and Dexterity bonuses and can be pushed and pulled about. This causes an automatic 1d2 points of damage per round and gives a 25% chance of pulling the victim to the ground. The victim can escape on a successful bend bars/lift gates roll, although this results in 1d2 points more damage. A common tactic is to use the weapon to pull horsemen off their mounts, then pin them to the ground.

            Polearms: A popular group of weapons during the ancient and Medieval periods were the polearms. Their length was a distinct advantage and, for the peasant, they were a relatively easy weapon to make. Thus, there came to be an abundance of polearms of different sizes and shapes. Due to their numbers, there is no standard system for naming polearms. The names used in the AD&D game might possibly be applied to other weapons elsewhere.

            Because of their length, all polearms are infantry weapons and require two hands to use. They are almost always the weapon of the common peasant and soldier, who, lacking a horse and heavy armor, needs some weapon to keep the enemy's knights at bay. Thus, most polearms are intended to be used in close-packed formations that present a forest of sharp points and wicked blades to any knight foolish enough to charge.

            Awl Pike: Essentially this is a long spear 12 to 20 feet long ending in a spike point of tapered spear head. It was a popular weapon during the Renaissance. Since the pike stuck out in front, men could be packed side-by-side in dense formations, and several rows of men could fight. Large blocks of pikemen made formidable troops. However, once the pikemen engaged in close combat, they normally dropped their clumsy awl pikes and fought hand-to-hand with short swords.

            Bardiche: One of the simplest of polearms, the bardiche is an elongated battle axe. A large curving axe-head is mounted on the end of a shaft 5 to 8 feet long. It probably grew out of common peasant tools and was popular with them. One relative disadvantage is that the bardiche required more space to wield than a pike or a spear.

            Bec de corbin: This was a highly specialized weapon of the upper classes during the Late Middle Ages and the early Renaissance. It is an early can-opener designed specifically to deal with plate armor. The pick or beak is made to punch through plate, while the hammer side can be used to give a stiff blow. The end is fitted with a short blade for dealing with unarmored or helpless foes. The weapon is about eight feet long. Since the weapon relies on impact, a great deal of swinging space is needed.

            Bill-guisarme: A particularly bizarre-looking combination weapon, the bill-guisarme is an outgrowth of the common bill hook. Mounted on a seven- to eight-foot-long pole, it has a combination of a heavy cleaver blade, a jutting back spike, and a hook or spike on the end. Thus, it can be used in several different ways. Like most polearms, it requires lots of room to use.

            Fauchard: An outgrowth of the sickle and scythe, the fauchard is a long, inward curving blade mounted on a shaft six to eight feet long. It can slash or thrust, although the inward curving point makes thrusting rather ineffective. Its advantage is that a peasant can easily convert his common scythe into this weapon of war.

            Fauchard-fork: This is an attempted improvement on the fauchard, adding a long spike or fork to the back of the blade. Supposedly this improves the thrusting ability of the weapon. It is still an inefficient weapon.

            Glaive: One of the most basic polearms, the glaive is a single-edged blade mounted on an eight- to ten-foot-long shaft. While not the most efficient weapon, it is relatively easy to make and use. Normally the blade turns outward to increase the cutting area until it almost resembles a cleaver or axe.

            Glaive-guisarme: Another combination weapon, this one takes the basic glaive and adds a spike or hook to the back of the blade. In theory, this increases the usefulness of the weapon although its actual application is somewhat questionable.

            Guisarme: Thought to have derived from a pruning hook, this is an elaborately curved heavy blade. While convenient and handy, it is not very effective.

            Guisarme-voulge: This weapon has a modified axe blade mounted on an eight-foot-long shaft. The end of the blade tapers to a point for thrusting and a back spike is fitted for punching through armor. Sometimes this spike is replaced by a sharpened hook for dismounting riders.

            Halberd: After the awl pike and the bill, this was one of the most popular weapons of the Middle Ages. Fixed on a shaft five to eight feet long is a large axe blade, angled for maximum impact. The end of the blade tapers to a long spear point or awl pike. On the back is a hook for attacking armor or dismounting riders. Originally intended to defeat cavalry, it is not tremendously successful in that role since it lacks the reach of the pike and needs considerable room to swing. It found new life against blocks of pikemen. Should the advance of the main attack stall, halberdiers issue out of the formation and attack the flanks of the enemy. The pikemen with their overlong weapons are nearly defenseless in such close combat.

            Hook fauchard: This combination weapon is another attempted improvement to the fauchard. A back hook is fitted to the back of the blade, supposedly to dismount horsemen. Like the fauchard, this is not a tremendously successful weapon.

            Lucern hammer: This weapon is similar to the bec de corbin. Fitted with a shaft up to ten feet long, it is usually found in the hands of the common soldier. Like the bec de corbin, its main purpose is to punch through armor. The end is fitted with the long point of an awl pike to hold off enemy cavalry.

            Military fork: This is one of the simplest modifications of a peasant's tool since it is little more than a pitchfork fixed to a longer shaft. With tines strengthened and straightened, the military fork serves well. The need for cutting and cleaving eventually often results in combining the fork with other weapons.

            Partisan: Shorter than the awl pike but longer than the spear, the partisan is a broad spear-head mounted on an eight-foot-long shaft. Two smaller blades project out from the base of the main blade, just to increase damage and trap weapons. Since it is a thrusting weapon, it can be used in closely packed formations.

            Ranseur: Very much like the partisan, the ranseur differs in that the main blade is thinner and the projecting blades extended more like tines of a fork. These can trap a weapon and sometimes punch through armor.

            Spetum: The spetum is a modification of the normal spear. The shaft increases to eight to ten feet and side blades are added. Some have blades that angle back, increasing the damage when pulling the weapon out of a wound. These blades can also trap and block weapons or catch and hold an opponent.

            Voulge: The voulge, like the bardich, is a variation on the axe and the cleaver. The voulge is little more than a cleaver on the end of a long (seven- to eight-foot) pole. It is a popular weapon, easy to make and simple to learn. It is also called the Lochaber axe.

            Scourge: This wicked weapon is a short whip with several thongs or tails. Each thong is studded with metal barbs, resulting in a terrible lash. It is sometimes used as an instrument of execution.

            Sword, Bastard: This sword is similar to a long sword in size and weight, but has a longer hilt. It can be used one- or two-handed. Use the speed factor and damage appropriate to the grip. If it is used two-handed, your character cannot employ a shield.

            Sword, Khopesh: This is an Egyptian weapon. A khopesh has about six inches of handle and quillons. Its blade is then straight from the quillons for about two feet. The blade becomes sickle-shaped at this point, being about two additional feet long but effectively extending the overall length of the sword by only 1-½ feet. This makes the khopesh both heavy and unwieldy, difficult to employ properly, and slow to recover, particularly after a badly missed blow. Its sickle-like portion can snag an opponent or an opposing weapon.


            You are going to want your player character to buy armor, if he is allowed to use any. Armor is the easiest and cheapest way to improve your character's chance of surviving the more violent dangers of the adventuring life. Clearly, the better the armor the character possesses, the less likely he is to be hurt. Armor protection is measured by Armor Class (AC), a number rating; the lower the Armor Class number, the better the protection. Table 46 lists the values for all the types of armor found in the equipment lists.

Table 46:

Armor Class Ratings

Type of Armor           AC Rating

None                10

Shield only                  9

Leather or padded armor                     8

Leather or padded armor + shield, studded leather, or ring mail armor                      7

Studded leather or ring mail + shield, brigandine, scale mail, or hide armor 6

Scale mail or hide + shield, chain mail                       5

Chain mail + shield, splint mail, banded mail, bronze plate mail                   4

Splint mail, banded mail, or bronze plate mail + shield, plate mail                3

Plate mail + shield, field plate                        2

Field plate armor + shield, full plate              1

Full plate armor + shield                     0

See "Shields" for more information on the defensive benefits of various shields.


            Although there is some controversy historically over the different types of armor, all known or suspected types are included here. However, not all armor may be available if your DM has chosen to set his campaign in a particular historical era or locale. For example, full plate armor is not available to characters adventuring in an ancient Greek setting.

            Banded: This armor is made of overlapping strips of metal sewn to a backing of leather and chain mail. Generally the strips cover only the more vulnerable areas, while the chain and leather protect the joints where freedom of movement must be ensured. Through straps and buckles, the weight is more or less evenly distributed.

            Brigandine: This armor is made from small metal plates sewn or riveted to a layer of canvas or leather and protected by an outer layer of cloth. It is rather stiff and does not provide adequate protection to the joints where the metal plates must be spaced widely or left off.

            Bronze plate mail: This is a plate mail armor--a combination of metal plates, chain mail or brigandine, leather and padding--made of softer bronze. It is easier and cheaper to make than steel armor, but it does not protect as well. A large breastplate and other metal plates cover areas of the body, but the other materials must protect the joints and movable parts of the body. It is not the full plate armor of the heavy knight of the Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

            Chain mail: This armor is made of interlocking metal rings. It is always worn with a layer of quilted fabric padding underneath to prevent painful chafing and to cushion the impact of blows. Several layers of mail are normally hung over vital areas. The links yield easily to blows, absorbing some of the shock. Most of the weight of this armor is carried on the shoulders and it is uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.

            Field plate armor: This is the most common version of full plate armor, consisting of shaped and fitted metal plates riveted and interlocked to cover the entire body. It includes gauntlets, boots, and a visored helmet. A thick layer of padding must be worn underneath. However, the weight of the suit is well-distributed over the whole body. Such armor hampers movement only slightly. Aside from its expense, the main disadvantages are the lack of ventilation and the time required to put it on and take it off (see the "Getting Into and Out of Armor" section). Each suit of field plate must be individually fitted to its owner by a master armorer, although captured pieces can be resized to fit the new owner (unless such is patently absurd, such as a human trying to resize a halfling's armor).

            Full Plate: This is the impressive, high Gothic-style armor of the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance. It is perfectly forged and fitted. All the plates are interlocking and carefully angled to deflect blows. The surfaces are normally highly ornamented with etching and inlaid metals. Each suit must be carefully custom-fitted to the owner and there is only a 20% chance that a captured suit can be refitted to a new owner of approximately the same size. The metal plates are backed by padding and chain mail. The weight is well-distributed. The armor is hot, slow to don, and extremely expensive. Due to these factors, it tends to be used more for parades and triumphs than actual combat.

            Hide: This is armor prepared from the extremely thick hide of a creature (such as an elephant) or from multiple layers of regular leather. It is stiff and hard to move in.

            Leather: This armor is made of leather hardened in boiling oil and then shaped into breastplate and shoulder protectors. The remainder of the suit is fashioned from more flexible, somewhat softer materials.

            Padded: This is the simplest type of armor, fashioned from quilted layers of cloth and batting. It tends to get hot and after a time becomes foul with sweat, grime, lice, and fleas.

            Plate mail: This armor is a combination of chain or brigandine with metal plates (cuirass, epaulettes, elbow guards, gauntlets, tasets, and greaves) covering vital areas. The weight is distributed over the whole body and the whole thing is held together by buckles and straps. This is the most common form of heavy armor.

            Ring mail: This armor is an early (and less effective) form of chain mail in which metal rings are sewn directly to a leather backing instead of being interlaced. (Historians still debate whether this armor ever existed.)

            Scale mail: This is a coat and leggings (and perhaps a separate skirt) of leather covered with overlapping pieces of metal, much like the scales of a fish.

            Shields: All shields improve a character's Armor Class by 1 or more against a specified number of attacks. A shield is useful only to protect the front and flanks of the user. Attacks from the rear or rear flanks cannot be blocked by a shield (exception: a shield slung across the back does help defend against rear attacks). The reference to the size of the shield is relative to the size of the character. Thus, a human's small shield would have all the effects of a medium shield when used by a gnome.

            A buckler (or target) is a very small shield that fastens on the forearm. It can be worn by crossbowmen and archers with no hindrance. Its small size enables it to protect against only one attack per melee round (of the user's choice), improving the character's Armor Class by 1 against that attack.

            A small shield is carried on the forearm and gripped with the hand. Its light weight permits the user to carry other items in that hand (although he cannot use weapons). It can be used to protect against two frontal attacks of the user's choice.

            The medium shield is carried in the same manner as the small shield. Its weight prevents the character from using his shield hand for other purposes. With a medium shield, a character can protect against any frontal or flank attacks.

            The body shield is a massive shield reaching nearly from chin to toe. It must be firmly fastened to the forearm and the shield hand must grip it at all times. It provides a great deal of protection, improving the Armor Class of the character by 1 against melee attacks and by 2 against missile attacks, for attacks from the front or front flank sides. It is very heavy; the DM may wish to use the optional encumbrance system if he allows this shield.

            Splint Mail: The existence of this armor has been questioned. It is claimed that the armor is made of narrow vertical strips riveted to a backing of leather and cloth padding. Since this is not flexible, the joints are protected by chain mail.

            Studded leather: This armor is made from leather (not hardened as with normal leather armor) reinforced with close-set metal rivets. In some ways it is very similar to brigandine, although the spacing between each metal piece is greater.

            In addition to the types of armor listed above, your DM may have special armors prepared from rare or exotic materials. Since it is highly unlikely that your character can afford these at the start, the DM will tell you when you need to know about such items.

Armor Sizes

            The equipment list reflects the price of a suit of armor (including an appropriate helmet) made for any normal player character race. Although a halfling is much smaller than a human and needs a smaller suit, there are fewer armorers available to meet such specialized needs. Thus, the armor for a halfling is as expensive as that for a human. Armor for nonstandard sizes and shapes is going to cost significantly more and must be custom-made. This is not the kind of thing one can pick up at the local store!

            When armor is found during the course of an adventure, the players should note the creature who wore the armor previously. While a human-sized character might be able to wear the armor of a gnoll, it will do little good for a halfling. Likewise, the armor of a giant is of little use to anyone.

            Armor size also affects the weight of the armor, if the optional encumbrance system is used. The weights listed on the table are for human-sized (Medium) armors. Small armor weighs half the amount listed, while large armor weighs 50% more.

Getting Into and Out of Armor

            There are times when it is important to know how quickly a character can get into or out of his armor. Accidents and unforeseen events happen all the time. The party is attacked at night. Those sleeping around the campfire may want to don their armor before rushing into battle. A character slips and falls into the river where his heavy armor pulls him down like a stone. He greatly desires to get it off before he drowns. Just how long does it take him?

            The time required to don armor depends on its make. Those armors that are a single piece--leather tunics, robes, chain mail--take one round (two for metal items) to don with slight assistance. Without aid, the time is doubled. Armor that is made of separate pieces require 1d6 + 4 rounds, again with assistance. Without help, the time required is tripled. In all cases, the times given assume that the proper undergarments and padding are also worn.

            Sometimes characters need to get into armor in a hurry and thus, they dress hastily. This assumes that some buckles aren't fastened, seatings adjusted, etc. Single suits can be hastily donned in one round at the cost of 1 worse AC (though never worse than 8). Thus, a fighter could hastily pull on his brigandine jack (AC 6) and charge into a fray with an AC of 7. Hastily donning piece armor (plate mail for example) improves the character's AC by 1 (from a base of 10) for every round spent dressing. A fighter could choose to spend three rounds fitting on parts of his plate mail, giving him an AC of 7, before going into battle.

            Removing armor is a much quicker matter. Most can be shed in a single round. Piece armor (particularly full plate) requires 1d4 + 1 rounds. However, if the character is willing to cut straps and bend pins, such armors can be removed in half the time (roll 1d4 + 1, divide by 2, then round fractions up).

Table 47:

Character Encumbrance


Character                                         Encumbrance                    Max.Carried

Strength              Unencumbered  Light     Moderate            Heavy    Severe  Weight

2             0-1         2             3             4             5-6                       6

3             0-5         6             7             8-9         10                         10

4-5         0-10       11-13     14-16     17-19     20-25                   25

6-7         0-20       21-29     30-38     39-46     47-55                   55

8-9         0-35       36-50     51-65     66-80     81-90                   90

10-11     0-40       41-58     59-76     77-96     97-110                110

12-13     0-45       46-69     70-93     94-117  118-140                              140

14-15     0-55       56-85     86-115  116-145               146-170                              170

16           0-70       71-100  101-130               131-160               161-195                              195

17           0-85       86-121  122-157               158-193               194-220                              220

18           0-110     111-149               150-188               189-227               228-255                              255

18/01-50              0-135     136-174               175-213               214-252               253-280                              280

18/51-75              0-160     161-199               200-238               239-277               278-305                              305

18/76-90              0-185     186-224               225-263               264-302               303-330                              330

18/91-99              0-235     236-274               275-313               314-352               353-380                              380

18/00     0-335     336-374               375-413               414-452               453-480                              480


Creatures with Natural Armor Classes

            Some creatures possess a natural Armor Class already superior to some of the armor types (for example, the horse is AC 7). However, these creatures can still benefit from wearing armor of a quality worse than their natural Armor Class. If the AC of armor is equal to or worse than the AC of the creature, the AC of the creature improves by 1.

            For example, a horse has a natural AC of 7. The AC of leather armor is 8, worse than the horse's natural AC. However, if a horse is fitted with leather barding, its AC drops to 6 since it gains the benefit of the additional protection.

Encumbrance (Optional Rule)

            A natural desire is to have your character own one of everything. Thus equipped, your character could just reach into his pack and pull out any item he wants whenever he needs it. Sadly, there are limits to how much your character, his horse, his mule, his elephant, or his whatever can carry. These limits are determined by encumbrance.

            Encumbrance is measured in pounds. To calculate encumbrance, simply total the pounds of gear carried by the creature or character. Add five pounds for clothing, if any is worn. This total is then compared to the carrying capacity of the creature to determine the effects. In general, the more weight carried, the slower the movement and the worse the character is at fighting.

Basic Encumbrance (Tournament Rule)

            Encumbrance is divided into five categories: Unencumbered, Light, Moderate, Heavy, and Severe Encumbrance.

            To calculate your character's encumbrance category, first figure out the total weight he is carrying (including five pounds for clothing). Then look across the row corresponding to your character's Strength on Table 47 until you come to the column that includes your character's carried weight. The heading at the top of that column shows his level of encumbrance.

            Use Table 49 to figure out the encumbrance category of your character's mount or beast of burden.

            The Max. Carried Wgt. column lists the most weight (in pounds) your character can carry and still move. But movement is limited to 10 feet per round, as your character staggers under the heavy load.

Specific Encumbrance (Optional Rule)

            The maximum total weight your character can carry is determined by his Strength, as listed on Table 47.

            The basic encumbrance rule gives general categories of encumbrance but does not allow for fine distinctions. Some players and DMs may take exception to the idea that adding one more pound to a character suddenly shifts that character to the next (and drastically worse) encumbrance category. They may want to use the following optional table; Table 48 reduces a character's movement rating 1 factor at a time.

            To determine your character's movement rate (see "Movement" in Chapter 14: Time and Movement) for a given load, find the row on Table 48 with his Strength score. Read across it until you find the first column in which the number of pounds listed is greater than your character's current load. At the top of that column are two rows for base movement rates. Characters with a base movement rate of 12 use the top row; those with a base movement rate of 6 use the bottom row. The number in the appropriate upper row is your character's modified movement rate.

            Tarus (a human with a base movement of 12) has a Strength of 17 and is carrying a 140-pound load. Looking across on the 17 rows shows that 140 falls between 133 and 145 on the table. Looking at the top of the 145 column shows that Tarus has a modified movement rate of 7. He can carry five more pounds of gear (total 145 pounds) and maintain his speed, or drop seven pounds of equipment (to 133 pounds) and increase his speed to 8.

Table 48:

Modified Movement Rates


Base Move                                                       Modified Movement Rate

Strength              12           11           10           9            8            7            6            5            4            3            2               1

Score     6            5            5            4            4            3            3            2            2            1            1            1

2             1            --           2            --           --           3            --           --           4            --           --           5

3             5            --           6            --           7            --           --           8            --           9            --           --

4-5         10          11          12          13          14          15          16          17          18          19          20          21

6-7         20          23          26          29          32          35          38          41          44          47          50          53

8-9         35          40          45          50          55          60          65          70          75          80          85          89

10-11     40          46          52          58          64          70          76          82          88          94          100        106

12-13     45          53          61          69          77          85          93          101        109        117        125        133

14-15     55          65          75          85          95          105        115        125        135        145        155        165

16           70          80          90          100        110        120        130        140        150        160        170        180

17           85          97          109        121        133        145        157        169        181        193        205        217

18           110        123        136        149        162        175        188        201        214        227        240        253

18/01-50              135        148        161        174        187        200        213        226        239        252        265               278

18/51-75              160        173        186        199        212        225        238        251        264        277        290               303

18/76-90              185        198        211        224        237        250        263        276        289        302        315               328

18/91-99              235        248        261        274        287        300        313        326        339        352        365               378

18/00     335        348        361        374        387        400        413        426        439        452        465        478


Table 49:

Carrying Capacities of Animals

                         2/3      1/3

Mount Base Move     Move Move

Camel  0-330 lbs.        331-500 lbs.    501-660 lbs.

Dog     0-15 lbs.          16-20 lbs.        21-30 lbs.

Elephant          0-500 lbs.        501-750 lbs.    751-1,000 lbs.

Horse, draft     0-260 lbs.        261-390 lbs.    391-520 lbs.

Horse, heavy   0-260 lbs.        261-390 lbs.    391-520 lbs.

Horse, light     0-170 lbs.        171-255 lbs.    256-340 lbs.

Horse, medium            0-220 lbs.        221-330 lbs.    331-440 lbs.

Horse, riding   0-180 lbs.        181-270 lbs.    271-360 lbs.

Mule    0-250 lbs.        251-375 lbs.    376-500 lbs.

Ox       0-220 lbs.        221-330 lbs.    331-440 lbs.

Yak      0-220 lbs.        221-330 lbs.    331-440 lbs.

Aside from knowing the weight limits, your character needs to have ways to hold all his gear. The capacities of different containers are given in Table 50.


Table 50:

Stowage Capacity

Item    Weight Cap.   Volume

Backpack         50 lbs.            3'×2'×1'

Basket, large   20 lbs.            2'×2'×2'

Basket, small   10 lbs.            1'×1'×1'

Belt pouch, large         8 lbs.  6"×8"×2"

Belt pouch, small        5 lbs.  4"×6"×2"

Chest, large     100 lbs.          3'×2'×2'

Chest, small     40 lbs.            2'×1'×1'

Sack, large      30 lbs.            2'×2'×1'

Sack, small      15 lbs.            1'×1'×8"

Saddle bags, large       30 lbs.            18"×1'×6"

Saddle bags, small      20 lbs.            1'×1'×6"


Encumbrance and Mounts (Tournament Rule)

            The "Base Move" column in Table 49 lists the maximum amount an animal can carry and maintain its normal movement rate. Animals can be loaded greater than this, up to a maximum of twice their normal load. However, this causes a drop in the animal's movement rate (as indicated by the column headings). When calculating a mount's load, be sure to include the weight of the rider!

            The values listed in Table 50 for standard-sized items. It is certainly possible for sacks, chests, and backpacks to be larger or smaller than the sizes listed. The weight capacity, however, lists the maximum weight the item can carry, regardless of size. Beyond this point, the material used to construct the item will fail, sooner or later. The volume gives the length, width, and height or depth of the item. Items that exceed the capacity of a container cannot be stored in it.

            Since all player characters are adventurers, it is assumed they know the best methods for packing and stowing equipment. Blankets are rolled into bedrolls, small items are carefully arranged, rope is properly coiled, weapons are slung in the most comfortable manner, etc. While small items can be easily stuffed into a pack, large bulky things may encumber more than their actual weight would indicate. The DM has the right to rule that an object is more encumbering than it actually appears.

            Tarus Bloodheart finds a 5 ft. × 9 ft. flying carpet. He carefully rolls it into a thick cylinder and wisely ties it closed. Even though he has taken this sensible precaution, the carpet is still a large and awkward thing. The DM rules that although the carpet weighs only 20 pounds, its encumbrance is equal to that of an item weighing 50 pounds. Tarus must increase his current encumbrance level by 50 pounds, adding the awkwardness of the rolled carpet slung over his shoulder to his already carefully packed backpack.

Magical Armor and Encumbrance

            One of the special properties of magical armor is its effect on encumbrance. Although magical armor appears to weigh as much as normal armor, the weight of magical armor applies only toward the weight limit of the character. It does not apply when determining the effects of encumbrance on movement and combat. In essence, the armor appears to weigh as much as normal armor but does not restrict or hamper the character.

            Cwell the bard finds a suit of chain mail +1. Lifting it up, he finds it weighs 60 pounds. Cwell is already carrying 50 pounds of gear. Donning the chain mail, he is now carrying 110 lbs. of gear. Cwell's Strength is 12, which means that he can carry only 30 more pounds of equipment. However, when calculating the effect of all this weight on his movement, Cwell is considered to only be carrying 50 pounds of gear--the magical armor doesn't count. Furthermore, he does not suffer any combat penalties for the chain mail's weight.

Effects of Encumbrance

            Encumbrance has two basic effects. First, it reduces your character's movement rate. If encumbrance categories are used, Unencumbered has no effect on movement, Light reduces the movement rate by 1/3 (round fractions down), Moderate reduces it by ½, Heavy reduces it by 2/3, and Severe lowers the movement rate to 1. If the optional system is used, the character's movement rate is reduced to the amount found by using Table 48. The movement rate determines how far your character can move in a round, turn, hour, and day. As his movement rate gets lower, your character moves slower and slower. See "Movement" in Chapter 14: Time and Movement for more details.

            Encumbrance also reduces your character's combat abilities. If encumbrance reduces your character to ½ of his normal movement rate, he suffers a -1 penalty to his attack roll. If he is reduced to 1/3 or less of his normal movement rate, the attack penalty is -2 and there is an additional AC penalty of +1. If your character's movement is reduced to 1, the attack roll penalty is -4 and the AC penalty is +3. Clearly, the wise thing for a heavily encumbered character to do is to quickly drop most of his gear before entering battle.



Chapter 7:



Some of the most powerful weapons player characters have at their disposal in the AD&D game are magical spells. Through spells a player character can control earthquakes, call lightning out of the sky, heal grievous injuries, hurl explosive balls of fire, create barriers of stone, fire, and ice, and learn secrets long forgotten. These are only a few of the things player characters can do once they master the strange lore of spells.

            Not every character is capable of casting spells, however. This ability requires a certain amount of aptitude, depending on the type of spells cast. Wizard spells are best mastered by those with keen intelligence and patience for the long years of study that are required. Priest spells call for inner peace and faith and an intense devotion to one's calling.

            The vast majority of people in a fantasy campaign lack these traits or have never had the opportunity to develop them. The baker may be a bright and clever fellow, but, following in his father's footsteps, he has spent his life learning the arts of bread making. There has simply been no time in his life for the study of old books and crumbling scrolls. The hard-working peasant may be pious and upright in his faith, but he lacks the time for the contemplative and scholarly training required of a priest. So it is only a fortunate few who have the ability and opportunity to learn the arcane lore of spellcasting.

            A few character classes have a limited ability to cast spells. The ranger, through his close association with nature, is able to cast a few spells, though his choices are limited to his natural inclinations. The paladin, through his devotion and humility, can use some of the spells of the priest. The bard, through luck, happenstance, curiosity, and perseverance, can manage a few wizard spells, perhaps by persuading a lonely wizard to reveal his secrets.

            Regardless of their source, all spells fall into the general categories of wizard or priest. Although some spells appear in both categories, in general the categories differ in how spells are acquired, stored, and cast.

Wizard Spells

Wizard spells range from spells of simple utility to great and powerful magics. The wizard spell group has no single theme or purpose. The vast majority of wizard spells were created by ancient wizards for many different purposes. Some are to serve the common man in his everyday needs. Others provide adventurers with the might and firepower they need to survive. Some are relatively simple and safe to use (as safe as magic can be); others are complicated, filled with hazards and snares for the rash and unwary. Perhaps the greatest of all wizard spells is the powerful and tricky wish. It represents the epitome of spell-casting--causing things to happen simply because the wizard desires it to be so. But it is a long and difficult task to attain the mastery needed to learn this spell.

            Although some characters can use spells, the workings of magic are dimly understood at best. There are many theories about where the power comes from. The most commonly accepted idea is that the mysterious combination of words, gestures, and materials that make up a spell somehow taps an extradimensional source of energy that in turn causes the desired effect. Somehow the components of the spells--those words, gestures and materials--route this energy to a specific and desired result. Fortunately, how this happens is not very important to the majority of wizards. It is enough to know that "when you do this, that happens."

            Casting a wizard spell is a very complicated ordeal. The process of learning the correct procedure to cast a spell is difficult and taxing to the mind. Thus, a wizard must check to see if he learns each new spell (according to his Intelligence--see Table 4). Furthermore, there is a limit to just how much of this strangeness--illogical mathematics, alchemical chemistry, structuralist linguistics--a wizard's mind can comprehend, and so he must live with a limit to the number of spells he can know.

            As the wizard learns spells, he records their arcane notes into his spell books. Without spell books, a wizard cannot memorize new spells. Within them are all his instructions for memorizing and casting all the spells he knows. As the wizard successfully learns a new spell, he carefully enters its formula into his spell books. A wizard can never have a spell in his books that he does not know, because if he doesn't understand it, he cannot write the formula. Likewise, he cannot enter a spell into his books that is higher in level than he can cast. If he finds an ancient tome with spells of higher power, he must simply wait until he advances to a level at which he can use them.

            The exact shape and size of a character's spellbooks is a detail your DM will provide. They may be thick tomes of carefully inked parchment, crackling scrolls in bulky cases, or even weighty clay tablets. They are almost never convenient to carry around. Their exact form depends on the type and setting of the campaign world your DM has created.

            Ultimately, it is the memorization that is important. To draw on magical energy, the wizard must shape specific mental patterns in his mind. He uses his spell books to force his mind through mental exercises, preparing it to hold the final, twisted patterns. These patterns are very complicated and alien to normal thought, so they don't register in the mind as normal learning. To shape these patterns, the wizard must spend time memorizing the spell, twisting his thoughts and recasting the energy patterns each time to account for subtle changes--planetary motions, seasons, time of day, and more.

            Once a wizard memorizes a spell, it remains in his memory (as potential energy) until he uses the prescribed components to trigger the release of the energy patterns. The mental patterns apparently release the energy while the components shape and guide it. Upon casting, the energy of the spell is spent, wiped clean from the wizard's mind. The mental patterns are lost until the wizard studies and memorizes that spell again.

            The number of spells a wizard can memorize is given by his level (see Table 21); he can memorize the same spell more than once, but each memorization counts as one spell toward his daily memorization limit. Part of a wizard's intelligence can be seen in the careful selection of spells he has memorized.

            Memorization is not a thing that happens immediately. The wizard must have a clear head gained from a restful night's sleep and then has to spend time studying his spell books. The amount of study time needed is 10 minutes per level of the spell being memorized. Thus, a 9th-level spell (the most powerful) would require 90 minutes of careful study. Clearly, high-level spellcasters do not lightly change their memorized spells.

            Spells remain memorized until they are cast or wiped from the character's mind by a spell or magical item. A wizard cannot choose to forget a memorized spell to replace it with another one. He can, however, cast a spell just to cleanse his mind for another spell. (The DM must make sure that the wizard does not get experience for this.)

Schools of Magic

            Although all wizard spells are learned and memorized the same way, they fall into nine different schools of magic. A school of magic is a group of related spells.

            Abjuration spells are a group of specialized protective spells. Each is used to prevent or banish some magical or nonmagical effect or creature. They are often used to provide safety in times of great danger or when attempting some other particularly dangerous spell.

            Alteration spells cause a change in the properties of some already existing thing, creature, or condition. This is accomplished by magical energy channeled through the wizard.

            Conjuration/summoning spells bring something to the caster from elsewhere. Conjuration normally produces matter or items from some other place. Summoning enables the caster to compel living creatures and powers to appear in his presence or to channel extraplanar energies through himself.

            Enchantment/charm spells cause a change in the quality of an item or the attitude of a person or creature. Enchantments can bestow magical properties on ordinary items, while charms can unduly influence the behavior of beings.

            Greater divinations are more powerful than lesser divinations (see below). These spells enable the wizard to learn secrets long forgotten, to predict the future, and to uncover things hidden or cloaked by spells.

            Illusions deal with spells to deceive the senses or minds of others. Spells that cause people to see things that are not there, hear noises not made, or remember things that never happened are all illusions.

            Invocation/Evocation spells channel magical energy to create specific effects and materials. Invocation normally relies on the intervention of some higher agency (to whom the spell is addressed), while evocation enables the caster to directly shape the energy.

            Lesser divination spells are learnable by all wizards, regardless of their affiliation. This school includes the most basic and vital spells of the wizard--those he needs to practice other aspects of his craft. Lesser divinations include read magic and detect magic.

            Necromancy is one of the most restrictive of all spell schools. It deals with dead things or the restoration of life, limbs, or vitality to living creatures. Although a small school, its spells tend to be powerful. Given the risks of the adventuring world, necromantic spells are considered quite useful.

Learning Spells

            Whether a character chooses to be a mage or a specialist in one of the schools of magic, he must learn his spells from somewhere. While it might be possible for the exceptional wizard to learn the secrets of arcane lore entirely on his own, it isn't very likely. It is far more likely that your character was apprenticed to another wizard as a lad. This kindly (severe), loving (callous), understanding (ill-tempered), generous (mean-spirited), and upright (untrustworthy) master taught your character everything he knows at the start of the game. Then, when it was time, the master sent him into the world (threw him out) with a smile and a pat on the back (snarling with his foot on your character's behind).

            Or perhaps your character studied at a proper academy for wizards (if your DM has such things). There he completed his lessons under the eye of a firm (mean) but patient (irritable) tutor who was ready with praise for good work (a cane for the slightest fault). But alas, your character's parents were impoverished and his studies had to end (fed up with this treatment, your youthful character fled during the night).

            As you can see, there are a number of ways your character might have learned his spells.

            The one good thing that comes from your character's studies is his initial spell book. It may have been a gift from his school or he may have stolen it from his hated master. Whatever the case, your character begins play with a spell book containing up to a few 1st-level spells. Your DM will tell you the exact number of spells and which spells they are. As your character adventures, he will have the opportunity to add more spells to his collection.

            When your character attains a new level, he may or may not receive new spells. This is up to your DM. He may allow your character to return to his mentor (provided he departed on good terms!) and add a few spells to his book. It may be possible for your character to copy spells from the spell book of another player character (with his permission, of course). Or he may have to wait until he can find a spell book with new spells. How he gets his spells is one of the things your DM decides.

            In al cases, before he can add a new spell to his spell book, you have to check to see if your character learns that spell. The chance of learning a spell depends on your wizard's Intelligence, as given in Table 4. This chance may be raised or lowered if your character is a specialist.


            Of all spells, those of the illusion school cause the most problems. Not that they are more difficult for your player character to cast, but these spells are more difficult for you to role-play and for your DM to adjudicate. Illusions rely on the idea of believability, which in turn relies on the situation and the state of mind of the victim. Your DM must determine this for NPCs, which is perhaps an easier job. You must role-play this for your character.

            Spells of this school fall into two basic groups. Illusions are creations that manipulate light, color, shadow, sound, and sometimes even scent. Higher level illusions tap energy from other planes, and are actually quasi-real, being woven of extradimensional energies by the caster. Common illusions create appearances; they cannot make a creature or object look like nothing (i.e., invisible), but they can conceal objects by making them look like something else.

            Phantasms exist only in the minds of their victims; these spells are never even quasi-real. (The exceptions to this are the phantasmal force spells, which are actually illusions rather than phantasms.) Phantasms act upon the mind of the victim to create an intense reaction--fear being most common.

            The key to successful illusions or phantasms is believability, which depends on three main factors: what the caster attempts, what the victim expects, and what is happening at the moment the spell is cast. By combining the information from these three areas, the player and the DM should be able to create and adjudicate reasonable illusions and phantasms.

            When casting an illusion or phantasm, the caster can attempt to do anything he desires within the physical limits of the spell. Prior knowledge of the illusion created is not necessary but is extremely useful.

            Suppose Delsenora decides to cast a phantasmal force spell and can choose between creating the image of a troll (a creature she has seen and battled) or that of a beholder (a creature she has never seen but has heard terrifying descriptions of). She can either use her memory to create a realistic troll or use her imagination to create something that may or may not look like a real beholder. The troll, based on her first-hand knowledge of these creatures, is going to have lots of little details--a big nose, warts, green, scabby skin, and even a shambling troll-like walk. Her illusion of a beholder will be much less precise, just a floating ball with one big eye and eyestalks. She doesn't know its color, size, or behavior.

            The type of image chosen by the caster affects the reaction of the victim. If the victim in the above case has seen both a troll and a beholder, which will be more believable? Almost certainly it will be the troll, which looks and acts the way the victim thinks a troll should. He might not even recognize the other creature as a beholder since it doesn't look like any beholder he's ever seen. Even if the victim has never seen a troll or a beholder, the troll will still be more believable; it acts in a realistic manner, while the beholder does not. Thus, spellcasters are well-advised to create images of things they have seen, for the same reason authors are advised to write about things they know.

            The next important consideration is to ask if the spell creates something that the victim expects. Which of these two illusions would be more believable--a huge dragon rising up behind a rank of attacking kobolds (puny little creatures) or a few ogres forming a line behind the kobolds? Most adventurers would find it hard to believe that a dragon would be working with kobolds. The dragon is far too powerful to associate with such little shrimps. Ogres, however, could very well work with kobolds--bossing them around and using them as cannon fodder. The key to a good illusion is to create something the victim does not expect but can quickly accept.

            The most believable illusion may be that of a solid wall in a dungeon, transforming a passage into a dead end. Unless the victim is familiar with these hallways, he has no reason not to believe that the wall is there.

            Of course, in a fantasy world many more things can be believed than in the real world. Flames do not spring out of nowhere in the real world, but this can happen in a fantasy world. The presence of magic in a fantasy world makes victims more willing to accept things our logic tells us cannot happen. A creature appearing out of nowhere could be an illusion or it could be summoned. At the same time, you must remember that a properly role-played character is familiar with the laws of his world. If a wall of flames appears out of nowhere, he will look for the spellcaster. A wall blocking a corridor may cause him to check for secret doors. If the illusion doesn't conform to his idea of how things work, the character should become suspicious. This is something you have to provide for your character and something you must remember when your character attempts to use illusions.

            This then leads to the third factor in the believability of an illusion, how appropriate the illusion is for the situation. As mentioned before, the victim is going to have certain expectations about any given encounter. The best illusions reinforce these expectations to your character's advantage. Imagine that your group runs into a war party of orcs in the local forest. What could you do that would reinforce what the orcs might already believe? They see your group, armed and ready for battle. They do not know if you are alone or are the advance guard for a bigger troop. A good illusion could be the glint of metal and spear points coming up behind your party. Subtlety has its uses. The orcs will likely interpret your illusion as reinforcements to your group, enough to discourage them from attacking.

            However, the limitations of each spell must be considered when judging appropriateness. A phantasmal force spell creates vision only. It does not provide sound, light, or heat. In the preceding situation, creating a troop of soldiers galloping up behind you would not have been believable. Where is the thunder of hooves, the creak of saddle leather, the shouts of your allies, the clank of drawn metal, or the whinny of horses? Orcs may not be tremendously bright, but they are not fooled that easily. Likewise, a dragon that suddenly appears without a thunderous roar and dragonish stench isn't likely to be accepted as real. A wise spellcaster always considers the limitations of his illusions and finds ways to hide their weaknesses from the enemy.

            An illusion spell, therefore, depends on its believability. Believability is determined by the situation and a saving throw. Under normal circumstances, those observing the illusion are allowed a saving throw vs. spell if they actively disbelieve the illusion. For player characters, disbelieving is an action in itself and takes a round. For NPCs and monsters, a normal saving throw is made if the DM deems it appropriate. The DM can give bonuses or penalties to this saving throw as he thinks appropriate. If the caster has cleverly prepared a realistic illusion, this certainly results in penalties on the victim's saving throw. If the victim were to rely more on scent than sight, on the other hand, it could gain bonuses to its saving throw. If the saving throw is passed, the victim sees the illusion for what it is. If the saving throw is failed, the victim believes the illusion. A good indication of when player characters should receive a positive modifier to their saving throws is when they say they don't believe what they see, especially if they can give reasons why.

            There are rare instances when the saving throw may automatically succeed or fail. There are times when the illusion created is either so perfect or so utterly fantastic as to be impossible even in a fantasy world. Be warned, these occasions are very rare and you should not expect your characters to benefit from them more than once or twice.

            In many encounters, some party members will believe an illusion while others see it for what it really is. In these cases, revealing the truth to those deluded by the spell is not a simple matter of telling them. The magic of the spell has seized their minds. Considered from their point of view, they se a horrible monster (or whatever) while a friend is telling them it isn't real. They know magic can affect people's minds, but whose mind has been affected in this case? At best, having an illusion pointed out grants another saving throw with a +4 bonus.

            Illusions do have other limitations. The caster must maintain a show of reality at all times when conducting an illusion. (If a squad of low-level fighters is created, the caster dictates their hits, misses, damage inflicted, apparent wounds, and so forth, and the referee decides whether the bounds of believability have been exceeded.) Maintaining an illusion normally requires concentration on the part of the caster, preventing him from doing other things. Disturb him and the illusion vanishes.

            Illusions are spells of trickery and deceit, not damage and destruction. Thus, illusions cannot be used to cause real damage. When a creature is caught in the blast of an illusionary fireball or struck by the claws of an illusionary troll, he thinks he takes damage. The DM should record the illusionary damage (but tell the player his character has taken real damage). If the character takes enough damage to "die," he collapses in a faint. A system shock roll should be made for the character. (His mind, believing the damage to be real, may cause his body to cease functioning!) If the character survives, he regains consciousness after 1d3 turns with his illusionary damage healed. In most cases, the character quickly realizes that it was all an illusion.

            When an illusion creates a situation of inescapable death, such as a giant block dropping from the ceiling, all those believing the illusion must roll for system shock. If they fail, they die--killed by the sheer terror of the situation. If they pass, they are allowed a new saving throw with a +4 bonus. Those who pass recognize the illusion for what it is. Those who fail faint for 1d3 turns.

            Illusions do not enable characters to defy normal physical laws. An illusionary bridge cannot support a character who steps on it, even if he believes the bridge is real. An illusionary wall does not actually cause a rock thrown at it to bounce off. However, affected creatures attempt to simulate the reality of what they see as much as possible. A character who falls into an illusionary pit drops to the ground as if he had fallen. A character may lean against an illusionary wall, not realizing that he isn't actually putting his weight on it. If the same character were suddenly pushed, he would find himself falling through the very wall he thought was solid!

            Illusions of creatures do not automatically behave like those creatures, nor do they have those creatures' powers. This depends on the caster's ability and the victim's knowledge of the creatures. Illusionary creatures fight using the caster's combat ability. They take damage and die when their caster dictates it. An illusory orc could continue to fight, showing no damage, even after it had been struck a hundred or a thousand times. Of course, long before this its attackers will become suspicious. Illusionary creatures can have whatever special abilities the caster can make appear (i.e., a dragon's fiery breath or a troll's regeneration), but they do not necessarily have unseen special abilities. There is no way a caster can create the illusion of a basilisk's gaze that turns people to stone. However, these abilities might be manifested through the fears of the victims. For example, Rath the fighter meets an illusionary basilisk. Rath has fought these beasties before and knows what they can do. His gaze accidentally locks with that of the basilisk. Primed by his own fears, Rath must make a system shock roll to remain alive. But if Rath had never seen a basilisk and had no idea that the creature's gaze could turn him to stone, there is no way his mind could generate the fear necessary to kill him. Sometimes ignorance is bliss!

Priest Spells

The spells of a priest, while sometimes having powers similar to those of the wizard, are quite different in their overall tone. The priest's role, more often than not, is as defender and guide for others. Thus, the majority of his spells work to aid others or provide some service to the community in which he lives. Few of his spells are truly offensive, but many can be used cleverly to protect or defend.

            Like the wizard, the priest's level determines how many spells he retains. He must select these spells in advance, demonstrating his wisdom and far-sightedness by choosing those spells he thinks will be most useful in the trials that lurk ahead.

            Unlike the wizard, the priest needs no spell book and does not roll to see if he learns spells. Priest spells are obtained in an entirely different manner. To obtain his spells, a priest must be faithful to the cause of his deity. If the priest feels confident in this (and most do), he can pray for his spells. Through prayer, the priest humbly and politely requests those spells he wishes to memorize. Under normal circumstances, these spells are then granted.

            A priest's spell selection is limited by his level and by the different spheres of spells. (The spheres of influence, into which priest spells are divided, can be found under "Priests of a Specific Mythoi" in Chapter 3: player Character Classes.) Within the major spheres of his deity, a priest can use any spell of a given level when he is able to cast spells of that level. Thus, a druid is able to cast any 2nd-level plant sphere spells when he is able to cast 2nd-level spells. For spells belonging to the minor spheres of the priest's deity, he can cast spells only up to 3rd level. The knowledge of what spells are available to the priest becomes instantly clear as soon as he advances in level. This, too, is bestowed by his deity.

            Priests must pray to obtain spells, as they are requesting their abilities from some greater power, be it their deity or some intermediary agent of this power. The conditions for praying are identical to those needed for the wizard's studying. Clearly then, it behooves the priest to maintain himself in good standing with this power, through word and deed. Priests who slip in their duties, harbor indiscreet thoughts, or neglect their beliefs, find that their deity has an immediate method of redress. If the priest has failed in his duties, the deity can deny him spells as a clear message of dissatisfaction. For minor infractions, the deity can deny minor spells. Major failings result in the denial of major spells or, even worse, all spells. These can be regained if the character immediately begins to make amends for his errors. Perhaps the character only needs to be a little more vigilant, in the case of a minor fault. A serious transgression could require special service, such as a quest or some great sacrifice of goods. These are things your DM will decide, should your character veer from the straight and narrow path of his religion.

            Finally, your DM may rule that not all deities are equal, so that those of lesser power are unable to grant certain spells. If this optional rule is used, powers of demi-god status can only grant spells up to the 5th spell level. Lesser deities can grant 6th-level spells, while the greater deities have all spell levels available to them. You should inquire about this at the time you create your character (and decide which deity he worships), to prevent any unwelcome surprises later on.

Casting Spells

Both wizards and priests use the same rules for casting spells. To cast a spell, the character must first have the spell memorized. If it is not memorized, the spell cannot be cast. The caster must be able to speak (not under the effects of a silence spell or gagged) and have both arms free. (Note that the optional spell component rule [following section] can modify these conditions.) If the spell is targeted on a person, place, or thing, the caster must be able to see the target. It is not enough to cast a fireball 150 feet ahead into the darkness; the caster must be able to see the point of explosion and the intervening distance. Likewise, a magic missile (which always hits its target) cannot be fired into a group of bandits with the instruction to strike the leader; the caster must be able to identify and see the leader.

            Once the casting has begun, the character must stand still. Casting cannot be accomplished while riding a roughly moving beast or a vehicle, unless special efforts are made to stabilize and protect the caster. Thus, a spell cannot be cast from the back of a galloping horse under any conditions, nor can a wizard or priest cast a spell on the deck of a ship during a storm. However, if the caster were below decks, protected from the wind and surging waves, he could cast a spell. While it is not normally possible to cast a spell from a moving chariot, a character who was steadied and supported by others could do so. Your DM will have to make a ruling in these types of extraordinary conditions.

            During the round in which the spell is cast, the caster cannot move to dodge attacks. Therefore, no AC benefit from Dexterity is gained by spellcasters while casting spells. Furthermore, if the spellcaster is struck by a weapon or fails to make a saving throw before the spell is cast, the caster's concentration is disrupted. The spell is lost in a fizzle of useless energy and is wiped clean from the memory of the caster until it can be rememorized. Spellcasters are well advised not to stand at the front of any battle, at least if they want to be able to cast any spells!

Spell Components (Optional Rule)

            When your character casts a spell, it is assumed that he is doing something to activate that spell. He may utter a few words, wave his hand around a couple of times, wiggle his toes, swallow a live spider, etc. But, under the standard rules, you don't have to know exactly what he does to activate the spell. Some of this can be answered if your DM uses the rules for spell components.

            The actions required to cast a spell are divided into three groups: verbal, somatic (gestures), and material. Each spell description (found in Appendices 3 and 4) lists what combination of these components is needed to cast a spell. Verbal components require the caster to speak clearly (not be silenced in any way); somatic components require free gestures (thus, the caster cannot be bound or held); material components must be tossed, dropped, burned, eaten, broken, or whatever for the spell to work. While there is no specific description of the words and gestures that must be performed, the material components are listed in the spell descriptions. Some of these are common and easy to obtain. Others represent items of great value or scarcity. Whatever the component, it is automatically destroyed or lost when the spell is cast, unless the spell description specifically notes otherwise.

            If the spell components optional rule is used in your campaign, your wizard or priest must have these items to cast the spell. Without them, he is helpless, even if the spell is memorized. For simplicity of play, it is best to assume that any spellcaster with any sense has a supply of the common items he is likely to need--wax, feathers, paint, sand, sticks, and fluff, for example. For expensive and rare items, it is perfectly proper for your DM to insist that special efforts be made to obtain these items. After all, you simply cannot assume your character has a valuable pearl handy whenever he needs one!

            The three different aspects of spell components also change the conditions under which your character can cast his spells. No longer does he need to be able to speak, move, and use some item. He only needs to fulfill the required components. Thus, a spell with only a verbal component could be used by a naked, bound spellcaster. One requiring only gestures could be cast even within the radius of a silence spell. Most spells require a combination of components, but clever spellcasters often create new spells that need only a word or a gesture, enabling them to take their enemies by surprise.

Magical Research

One oft-ignored asset of both wizards and priests is magical research. While the spell lists for both groups offer a wide variety of tools and effects, the clever player character can quickly get an edge by researching his own spells. Where other spellcasters may fall quickly into tired and predictable patterns ("Look, it's a wizard! Get ready for the fireball, guys!"), an enterprising character can deliver sudden (and nasty) surprises!

            Although your DM has the rules for handling spell research, there are some things you should know about how to proceed. First and foremost, research means that you and your DM will be working together to expand the game. This is not a job he does for you! Without your input, nothing happens. Second, whatever your character researches, it cannot be more powerful than the spells he is already able to cast. If it is, you must wait until your character can cast spells of an equal power. (Thus, as a 1st-level wizard, you cannot research a spell that is as powerful as a fireball. You must wait until your character can cast a fireball.) Finally, you will have to be patient and willing to have your character spend some money. He won't create the spell immediately, as research takes time. It also takes money, so you can expect your DM to use this opportunity to relieve your character of some of that excess cash. But, after all, how better for a spellcaster to spend his money?

            Knowing these things, you should first write up a description of the spell you want to create. Be sure to include information on components, saving throws, range, duration, and all the other entries you find in the normal spell listings. When you give your DM the written description, tell him what you want the spell to do. (Sometimes what you write isn't really what you mean, and talking to your DM is a good way to prevent confusion.) After this, he will either accept or reject your spell. This is his choice and not all DMs will have the same answer. Don't kick and complain; find out what changes are needed to make the spell acceptable. You can probably iron out the differences.

            Once all these things are done, your character can research the spell. Be ready for this to take some time. Eventually he will succeed, although the spell may not do quite what he expected. Your DM may revise the spell, perhaps reducing the area of effect or damage inflicted. Finally, all you have to do is name your spell. This should be something suitably pompous, such as "Delsenora's Malevolent Steamroller." After all, you want something to impress the locals!

Spell Descriptions

            The spells are organized according to their group (priest or wizard) and level, listed in Appendices 3 and 4. Within each level, the spells are arranged alphabetically. At the start of each spell description is the following important game information:

            Name: Each spell is identified by name. In parentheses after the name is the school (for wizard spells) to which that spell belongs. When more than one is listed, that spell is common to all schools given.

            Some spells are reversible (they can be cast for an effect opposite to that of the standard spell). This is noted after the spell name. Priests with reversible spells must memorize the desired version. For example, a priest who desires a cause light wounds spell must petition for this form of the cure light wounds spell when meditating and praying. Note that severe penalties can result if the spell choice is at variance with the priest's alignment (possible penalties include denial of specific spells, entire spell levels, or even all spells for a certain period). The exact result (if any) depends on the reaction of the priest's patron deity, as determined by the DM.

            Reversible wizard spells operate similarly. When the spell is learned, both forms are recorded in the wizard's spell books. However, the wizard must decide which version of the spell he desires to cast when memorizing the spell, unless the spell description specifically states otherwise. For example, a wizard who has memorized stone to flesh and desires to cast flesh to stone must wait until the latter form of the spell can be memorized (i.e., rest eight hours and study). If he could memorize two 6th-level spells, he could memorize each version once or one version twice.

            School: In parentheses after the spell name is the name of the school of magic to which the spell belongs. For wizard spells, this defines which spells a wizard specialist can learn, depending on the wizard's school of specialization. For priest spells, the school notation is used only for reference purposes, to indicate which school the spell is considered to belong to, in case the DM needs to know for spell resistance (for example, elves' resistance to charm spells).

            Sphere: This entry appears only for priest spells and identifies the sphere or spheres into which that spell falls.

            Range: This lists the distance from the caster at which the spell effect occurs or begins A "0" indicates the spell can be used on the caster only, with the effect embodied within or emanating from him. "Touch" means the caster can use the spell on others if he can physically touch them. Unless otherwise specified, all other spells are centered on a point visible to the caster and within the range of the spell. The point can be a creature or object if desired. In general, a spell that affects a limited number of creatures within an area affects those closest to the center of the area first, unless there are other parameters operating (such as level or Hit Dice). Spells can be cast through narrow openings only if both the caster's vision and the spell energy can be directed simultaneously through the opening. A wizard standing behind an arrow slit can cast through it; sending a fireball through a small peephole he is peering through is another matter.

            Components: This lists the category of components needed, V for verbal, S for somatic, and M for material. When material components are required, these are listed in the spell description. Spell components are expended as the spell is cast, unless otherwise noted. Priest holy symbols are not lost when a spell is cast. For cases in which material components are expended at the end of the spell (free action, shapechange, etc.), premature destruction of the components ends the spell.

            Duration: This lists how long the magical energy of the spell lasts. Spells of instantaneous duration come and go the moment they are cast, although the results of these spells may be permanent and unchangeable by normal means. Spells of permanent duration last until the effects are negated by some means, usually by a dispel magic. Some spells have a variable duration. In most cases, the caster cannot choose the duration of spells. Spells with set durations (for example, 3 rounds/level) must be kept track of by the player. Spells of variable duration (for example, 3 + 1d4 rounds) are secretly rolled and recorded by the DM. Your DM may warn you when spell durations are approaching expiration, but there is usually no sign that a spell is going to expire; check with your DM to determine exactly how he handles this issue.

            Certain spells can be ended at will by the caster. In order to dismiss these spells, the original caster must be within range of the spell's center of effect--within the same range at which the spell can be cast. The caster also must be able to speak words of dismissal. Note that only the original caster can dismiss his spells in this way.

            Casting Time: This entry is important, if the optional casting time rules are used. If only a number is given, the casting time is added to the caster's initiative die rolls. If the spell requires a round or number of rounds to cast, it goes into effect at the end of the last round of casting time. If Delsenora casts a spell that takes one round, it goes into effect at the end of the round in which she begins casting. If the spell requires three rounds to cast, it goes into effect at the end of the third round. Spells requiring a turn or more go into effect at the end of the stated turn.

            Area of Effect: This lists the creatures, volume, dimensions, weight, etc., that can be affected by the spell. Spells with an area or volume that can be shaped by the caster will have a minimum dimension of 10 feet in any direction, unless the spell description specifically states otherwise. Thus, a cloud that has a 10-foot cube per caster level might, when cast by a 12th-level caster, have dimensions 10' × 10' × 120', 20' × 20' × 30', or any similar combination that totals twelve 10-foot cubes. Combinations such as 5' × 10' × 240' are not possible unless specifically allowed.

            Some spells (such as bless) affect the friends or enemies of the caster. In all cases, this refers to the perception of the caster at the time the spell is cast. For example, a chaotic good character allied with a lawful neutral cleric would receive the benefits of the latter's bless spell.

            Saving Throw: This lists whether the spell allows the target a saving throw and the effect of a successful save: "Neg." results in the spell having no effect; "½" means the character suffers half the normal amount of damage; "none" means no saving throw is allowed.

            Wisdom adjustments to saving throws apply to enchantment/charm spells.

            Solid physical barriers provide saving throw bonuses and damage reduction. Cover and concealment may affect saving throws and damage (the DM has additional information about this).

            A creature that successfully saves against a spell with no apparent physical effect (such as a charm, hold, or magic jar) may feel a definite force or tingle that is characteristic of a magical attack, if the DM desires. But the exact hostile spell effect or creature ability used cannot be deduced from this tingle.

            A being's carried equipment and possessions are assumed to make their saving throws against special attacks if the creature makes its saving throw, unless the spell specifically states otherwise. If the creature fails its saving throw, or if the attack form is particularly potent, the possessions may require saving throws using either item saving throws (see the DMG) or the being's saving throw. The DM will inform you when this happens.

            Any character can voluntarily forgo a saving throw. This allows a spell or similar attack that normally grants a saving throw to have full effect on the character. Likewise, any creature can voluntarily lower its magic resistance allowing a spell to automatically function when cast on it. Forgoing a saving throw or magic resistance roll need not always be voluntary. If a creature or character can be tricked into lowering its resistance, the spell will have full effect, even if it is not the spell the victim believed he was going to receive. The victim must consciously choose to lower his resistance; it is not sufficient that he is caught off guard. For example, a character would receive a saving throw if a wizard in the party suddenly attacked him with a fireball, even if the wizard had been friendly to that point. However, the same character would not receive a saving throw if the wizard convinced him that he was about to receive a levitation spell but cast a fireball instead. Your DM will decide when NPCs have lowered their resistances. You must tell your DM when your character is voluntarily lowering his resistance.

            Spell Description: The text provides a complete description of how the spell functions and its game effects. It covers most typical uses of the spell, if there are more than one, but cannot deal with every possible application players might find. In these cases, the spell information in the text should provide guidance on how to adjudicate the situation.

            Spells with multiple functions enable the caster to select which function he wants to use at the time of casting. Usually a single function of a multiple-function spell is weaker than a single-function spell of the same level.

            Spell effects that give bonuses or penalties to abilities, attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, etc., are not usually cumulative with each other or with other magic: the strongest single effect applies. For example, a fighter drinks a potion of giant strength and then receives the 2nd-level wizard spell strength. Only the strongest magic (the potion) is effective. When the potion's duration ends, however, the strength spell is still in effect, until its duration also expires.


Chapter 8:


After a player's character has bravely set out and survived his first adventure, the player will have experienced the entertainment of role-playing games. But what will the character have gained? If the character never improves, he will never be able to survive, let alone overcome the powerful dangers that fill the AD&D game worlds.

                        Fortunately, this isn't the case. Every time a character goes on an adventure he learns something. He may learn a little more about his physical limits, encounter a creature he has never seen before, try a spell as yet unused, or discover a new peculiarity of nature. Indeed, not all his learning experience need be positive. After blowing up half his party with a poorly placed fireball, a wizard may (though there is no guarantee) learn to pay more attention to ranges and areas of effect. After charging a basilisk, a fighter may learn that caution is a better tactic for dealing with the beast (provided the other characters can change him from stone back to flesh). Regardless of the method, the character has managed to learn something.

            Some of the information and skills learned in the game can be applied directly in play. When a wizard toasts his friends with a badly cast fireball, the player learns to pay more attention to the area of effect of a fireball. Though the player made the mistake and his character only carried out the actions, the player's friends will also learn to keep their characters well away from his.

            The reward for this type of learning is direct and immediate. The characters benefit because each of the players has a better understanding of what to do or where to go

            However, a character also improves by increasing his power. Although the player can improve his play, he cannot arbitrarily give his character more hit points, more spells, or a better chance to hit with an attack. These gains are made by earning experience points (XP).

            An experience point is a concrete measure of a character's improvement. It represents a host of abstract factors: increased confidence, physical exercise, insight, and on-the-job training. When a character earns enough experience points to advance to the next experience level, these abstract factors translate into a measurable improvement in the abilities of the character. Just what areas improve and how quickly improvement occurs all depend on the character's class.

Group Experience Awards

Experience points are earned through the activities of the characters, which generally relate to their adventuring goals. Thus, all characters on an adventure receive some experience points for overcoming their enemies or obstacles. Since group cooperation is important, experience points for defeating foes are given to all members of the group, regardless of their actions. Who is to say that the wizard, standing ready with a spell just in case things got ugly, might not have been necessary? Or that the bard who covered the party's escape route wasn't doing something important? A character who never hefts a sword may still have good advice or important suggestions on better tactics. Furthermore, the wizard and the bard can also learn from the actions of others.

Individual Experience Awards

Player characters also earn experience points for individual deeds, as determined by their class. Generally, each character earns points for doing actions appropriate to his group. Warriors earn additional experience points for defeating creatures. The more difficult the battle, the greater the number of experience points. Wizards earn points for using their spells for specific purposes. The wizard who walks into the woods and casts his spells for no reason doesn't gain experience points; the wizard who casts a lightning bolt at a beholder has used his spell for a purpose. He gains experience points. Wizards also earn experience points for researching new spells and creating magical items. Priests can earn experience points for researching new spells and creating magical items. Priests can earn experience points by spreading their beliefs and using their powers in service of their deity. Rogues, who tend to have a larcenous streak, earn experience points by using their special abilities and finding or earning gold.

            A character can also earn experience for the player's actions, such as playing the game well. When a player does a good job creating and pretending to be his character, the DM may give the character experience points for good role-playing. If the player is really involved and takes a major part in the game, the DM can give the player's character extra experience points. If the player uses his head to come up with a really good idea, the DM can give the character experience points for his contribution.

            Finally, a character can earn experience points for successfully completing an adventure or achieving a goal the DM has set. Although a player may have a pretty good idea of what his character is supposed to accomplish, he won't know if he'll be awarded experience points for it until his character actually receives them. However, there is no rule that the DM must be consistent in these awards, or even that he must give a character anything at all.


Even when a character has earned enough experience to attain the next level, the DM may not allow immediate advancement. He may require the character to receive training to advance. When training, a character studies his skills under a tutor, taking the raw knowledge he has gained and honing it into measurable improvement. On the average, this takes a few weeks (depending on the tutor's ability), and it is normally done during the character's nonadventuring time.

            A DM can also rule that the circumstances are not appropriate for the character to advance in level, such as when the game session ends with the characters deep in an abandoned mine complex. The party has just finished a battle with a band of gnolls and faces more such encounters before it can reach the surface. The DM rules that the characters receive no experience until they leave the mines, because he doesn't want them to increase in level in the middle of the adventure. He is perfectly justified in doing this. And if the characters live through the adventure, they will undoubtedly profit from it, either in experience points or knowledge gained.

Where's the Specific Info?

The preceding text has covered general guidelines as to how and why characters receive experience points. Since the DM actually determines how many XP each character actually receives, the detailed rules for awarding experience are given in the Dungeon Master Guide.



Chapter 9:


The AD&D game is an adventure game designed to give players a feeling of excitement and danger. Characters brave the unknown perils of moldering dungeons and thorn-covered wilderness, facing off against hideous monsters and evil villains. Thus, it is important for all players to know the basic rules for handling combat.

            To create the proper sense of danger and excitement, the rules for combat must be thorough, but they must also be playable and exciting enough to create a vivid picture in the minds of the players. Combat in the AD&D game has to allow many different actions and outcomes--as many as the imagination can produce. Knowing that anything could happen next (because the rules allow it) creates excitement for everyone.

More Than Just Hack-and-Slash

            As important as fighting is to the AD&D game, it isn't the be-all and end-all of play. It's just one way for characters to deal with situations. If characters could do nothing but fight, the game would quickly get boring--every encounter would be the same. Because there is more to the game than fighting, we'll cover much more than simple hack-and-slash combat in this chapter.

            In addition to explaining the basic mechanics of hitting and missing, there are rules here for turning undead, special ways to attack and defend, poison, heroic feats, and more.


Many game terms are used throughout the combat rules. To understand the rules, players must understand these terms, so brief explanations appear below. Further details are provided throughout this chapter.

            Armor Class (AC) is the protective rating of a type of armor. In some circumstances, AC is modified by the amount of protection gained or lost because of the character's situation. For instance, crouching behind a boulder improves a character's Armor Class, while being attacked from behind worsens his AC.

            Armor provides protection by reducing the chance that a character is attacked successfully (and suffers damage). Armor does not absorb damage, it prevents it. A fighter in full plate mail may be a slow-moving target, but penetrating his armor to cause any damage is no small task.

            Armor Class is measured on a scale from 10, the worst (no armor), to -10, the best (very powerful magical armors). The lower the number, the more effective the armor. Shields can also improve the AC of a character (see "Shields" in Chapter 6: Money and Equipment).

            Abilities and situations can also affect a character's Armor Class. High Dexterity gives a bonus to Armor Class, for example. But even a character with a Dexterity bonus can have this bonus negated if he is attacked from the rear.

            Damage is what happens to a character when an opponent attacks him successfully. Damage can also occur as a result of poison, fire, falling, acid, and anything even remotely dangerous in the real world. Damage from most attacks is measured in hit points. Each time a character is hit, he suffers points of damage. It could be as little as 1 point to as many as 80 or more. These points are subtracted from the character's current hit point total. When this reaches 0, the character is dead.

            Initiative determines the order in which things happen in a combat round. Like so many things in the world, initiative is determined by a combination of ability, situation, and chance.

            At the start of each round of a battle, an initiative roll is made by both sides. This roll can be modified by the abilities of the combatants and by the situation. The person or side with the lower modified die roll acts first.

            Melee is any situation in which characters are battling each other hand-to-hand, whether with fists, teeth, claws, swords, axes, pikes, or something else. Strength and Dexterity are valuable assets in melee.

            Missile combat is defined as any time a weapon is shot, thrown, hurled, kicked, or otherwise propelled. Missile and melee combat have the same basic rules, but there are special situations and modifiers that apply only to missile combat.

            Saving throws are measures of a character's resistance to special types of attacks--poisons, magic, and attacks that affect the whole body or mind of the character. The ability to make successful saving throws improves as the character increases in level; Dexterity and general mental fortitude aid in honing combat senses. Experience makes saving throws easier.

            Surprise can happen any time characters meet another group unexpectedly (monsters, evil knights, peasants, etc.). Surprise is simply what happens when one side--a person or party--is taken unawares, unable to react until they gather their wits. Their opponents, if unsurprised, are allowed a bonus round of action while the surprised characters recover. It's entirely possible for both sides in a given situation to be surprised!

            Attacking with surprise gives bonuses to the attack roll (see Table 51). A surprised character also has a decreased chance of rolling a successful saving throw, if one is needed.

            Surprise is determined by a die roll and is normally checked at the beginning of an encounter. Surprise is very unpredictable, so there are very few modifiers to the roll.

            THAC0 is an acronym for "To Hit Armor Class 0." This is the number a character, NPC, or monster needs to attack an Armor Class 0 target successfully. THAC0 depends on a character's group and level (see Table 53). The THAC0 number can be used to calculate the number needed to hit any Armor Class. THAC0 is refigured each time a character increases in level. Using THAC0 speeds the play of combat greatly.

The Attack Roll

At the heart of the combat system is the attack roll. This is the die roll that determines whether an attack succeeds or fails. The number a player needs in order to make a successful attack roll is also called the "to-hit" number.

            Attack rolls are used for attacks with swords, bows, rocks, and other weapons, as well as blows from fists, tackling, and other hand-to-hand attacks. Attack rolls are also used to resolve a variety of potentially injury-causing actions that require accuracy (for example, throwing a rock at a small target or tossing a sword to a party member in the middle of a fight).

Figuring the To-Hit Number

            The first step in making an attack roll is to find the number needed to hit the target. Subtract the Armor Class of the target from the attacker's THAC0. (Remember that if the Armor Class is a negative number, you add it to the attacker's THAC0.) The character has to roll the resulting number, or higher, on 1d20 to hit the target.

            Rath has reached 7th level as a fighter. His THAC0 is 14 (found on Table 53), meaning he needs to roll a 14 or better to hit a character or creature of Armor Class 0. In combat, Rath, attacking an orc wearing chainmail armor (AC 6), needs to roll an 8 (14-6=8) to hit the orc. An 8 or higher on 1d20 will hit the orc. If Rath hits, he rolls the appropriate dice (see Table 44) to determine how much damage he inflicts.

            The example above is quite simple--in a typical AD&D game combat situation, THAC0 is modified by weapon bonuses, Strength bonuses, and the like (the next section "Modifiers to the Attack Roll," lists the specifics of these modifiers). Figure Strength and weapon modifiers, subtract the total from the base THAC0, and record this modified THAC0 with each weapon on the character sheet. Subtract the target's Armor Class from this modified THAC0 when determining the to-hit number.

            Rath is still a 7th-level fighter. He has a Strength of 18/80 (which gives him a +2 bonus to his attack roll). He fights with a long sword +1. His THAC0 is 14, modified to 12 by his Strength and to 11 by his weapon. If attacking the orc from the earlier example, Rath would have to roll a 5 or higher on 1d20 in order to hit (11-6=5). Again, table 44 would tell him how much damage he inflicts with his weapon (this information should also be written on his character sheet).

            The DM may also throw in situational modifiers, (for example, a bonus if the target is struck from behind, or a penalty if the target is crouching behind a boulder). If the final, modified die roll on 1d20 is equal to or greater than the number needed to hit the target, the attack succeeds. If the roll is lower than that needed, the attack fails.

Modifiers to the Attack Roll

            In combat, many factors can modify the number a character needs for a successful hit. These variables are reflected in modifiers to the to-hit number or to the attack roll.

            Strength Modifiers: A character's Strength can modify the die roll, altering both the chance to hit and the damage caused. This modifier is always applied to melees and attacks with hurled missile weapons (a spear or an axe).

            A positive Strength modifier can be applied to bows if the character has a special bow made for him, designed to take advantage of his high Strength. Characters with Strength penalties always suffer them when using a bow weapon. They simply are not able to draw back the bowstring far enough. Characters never have Strength modifiers when using crossbows--the power of the shot is imparted by a machine, not the player character.

            Magical items: The magical properties of a weapon can also modify combat. Items that impart a bonus to the attack roll or Armor Class are identified by a plus sign. For example, a sword +1 improves a character's chance to hit by one. A suit of chain mail +1 improves the Armor Class of the character by one (which means you subtract one from the character's AC, changing an AC of 5 to an AC of 4, for example). Cursed items have a negative modifier (a penalty), resulting in a subtraction from the attack roll or an addition to Armor Class.

            There is no limit to the number of modifiers that can be applied to a single die roll. Nor is there a limit to the positive or negative number (the total of all modifiers) that can be applied to a die roll.

            Table 51 lists some standard combat modifiers. Positive numbers are bonuses for the attacker; negative numbers are penalties.

Table 51:

Combat Modifiers

            Attack Roll

Situation         Modifier

Attacker on higher ground       +1

Defender invisible      -4

Defender off-balance  +2

Defender sleeping or held       Automatic*

Defender stunned or prone      +4

Defender surprised      +1

Missile fire, long range           -5

Missile fire, medium range     -2

Rear attack      +2

            *If the defender is attacked during the course of a normal melee, the attack automatically hits and causes normal damage. If no other fighting is going on (i.e., all others have been slain or driven off), the defender can be slain automatically.


Weapon Type vs. Armor Modifiers

(Optional Rule)

            Not all weapons perform the same. If they did, there would be no need for the wide variety of weapons that exists. Only one form of each weapon type, the most useful one, would be used throughout the world. This is obviously not the case.

            Aside from the differences in size, weight, length, and shape, certain types of weapons are more useful against some types of armor than others. Indeed, the different armors and weapons of the world are the result of an ancient arms race. Every new weapon led to the development of a new type of armor designed to counter it. This led to new weapons, which led to new armor, and so on.

            In the AD&D game, weapons fall into several categories, based on how they are used. The basic categories are slashing, piercing, and bludgeoning.

            Slashing weapons include swords, axes, and knives. Damage is caused by the combination of weight, muscle, and a good sharp edge.

            Piercing weapons (some swords, spears, pikes, arrows, javelins, etc.) rely on the penetrating power of a single sharp point and much less on the weight of the weapon.

            Bludgeoning weapons (maces, hammers, and flails) depend almost entirely on the impact caused by weight and muscle.

            A few weapons, particularly some of the more exotic polearms, fall into more than one of these categories. A halberd can be used as a pole-axe (a slashing weapon) or as a short pike (a piercing weapon). The versatility of these weapons provides the user with a combat advantage, in that the mode most favorable to the attacker can be used, depending upon the situation.

            Natural weapons can also be classified according to their attack type. Claws are slashing weapons; a bite pierces; a tail attack bludgeons. The DM must decide which is most appropriate to the creature and method of attack.

            Armor types, in turn, have different qualities. Field plate is more effective, overall, than other armors by virtue of the amount and thickness of the metal, but it still has specific weaknesses against certain classes of weapons.

            Table 52 lists the weapon vs. armor modifiers applied to the attacker's THAC0, if this optional system is used. To use this table, the actual armor type of the target must be known in addition to the target's Armor Class. The bonuses of magical armor do not change the type of armor, only the final Armor Class.

            This system is used only when attacking creatures in armor. The modifiers are not used when attacking creatures with a natural Armor Class.

Table 52:

Weapon Type vs. Armor Modifiers

Armor Type   Slash   Pierce Bludgeon

Banded mail    +2        0         +1

Brigandine       +1        +1        0

Chain mail*     +2        0         -2

Field Plate       +3        +1        0

Full Plate         +4        +3        0

Leather armor**          0         -2        0

Plate mail        +3        0         0

Ring mail         +1        +1        0

Scale mail       0         +1        0

Splint mail       0         +1        +2

Studded leather           +2        +1        0

            * Includes bronze plate mail

            ** Includes padded armor and hides


Impossible To-Hit Numbers

            Sometimes the attacker's to-hit number seems impossible to roll. An attack may be so difficult it requires a roll greater than 20 (on a 20-sided die!), or so ridiculously easy it can be made on a roll less than 1. In both cases, an attack roll is still required!

            The reason is simple: With positive die roll modifiers (for magic, Strength, situation, or whatever), a number greater than 20 can be rolled. Likewise, die roll penalties can push the attack roll below 0.

            No matter what number a character needs to hit, a roll of 20 is always considered a hit and a roll of 1 is always a miss, unless the DM rules otherwise. Under most circumstances, a natural 20 hits and a natural 1 misses, regardless of any modifiers applied to the die roll.

            Thus, even if a character's chance to hit a monster is 23 and the character has a -3 penalty applied to the die roll, he might be able to score a hit--but only if the die roll is a 20 before any modifiers are applied. Likewise, a character able to hit a monster on a 3 or better, waving a sword +4, could still miss if a 1 is rolled on the die.

            There are no sure things, good or bad, in the unpredictable chaos of combat situations.

Table 53:



Group   1             2             3             4             5             6             7             8             9             10           11           12               13           14           15           16           17           18           19           20

Priest     20           20           20           18           18           18           16           16           16           14           14           14               12           12           12           10           10           10           8            8

Rogue    20           20           19           19           18           18           17           17           16           16           15           15               14           14           13           13           12           12           11           11

Warrior 20           19           18           17           16           15           14           13           12           11           10           9               8            7            6            5            4            3            2            1

Wizard   20           20           20           19           19           19           18           18           18           17           17           17               16           16           16           15           15           15           14           14

Table 54:

THAC0 Advancement

                        Improvement Rate

            Group Points/Level

            Priest   2/3

            Rogue  1/2

            Warrior           1/1

            Wizard 1/3      


Calculating THAC0

            To make an attack roll, the character's THAC0 must be known. This depends on the group and level, if the attacker is a player character or NPC, or the Hit Dice if the attacker is a monster or an animal. All 1st-level characters have THAC0s of 20, regardless of class.

            For a character of level 1 through level 20, consult Table 53. This table lists the THAC0 number of each group through 20th level, so players don't have to perform any calculations.

            For a character higher than 20th level, find the Improvement Rate for the character's group in Table 54. There you'll find the number of levels a character must advance to reduce his THAC0 by 1 (or more) points. Calculate the character's THAC0 according to his level.

            The DMG contains the information on monster THAC0s.

Combat and Encounters

Encounters are the heart of the AD&D game. Since encounters with monsters and NPCs often lead to combat, an understanding of what happens during battles is vital for everyone. There are several factors the DM will consider in any combat, most of which arise from the circumstances of the encounter. Is anyone surprised? How far apart are the opponents? How many of them are there? Answers to these questions are found in the Encounter section of the DMG. These are questions common to all encounters, whether combat occurs or not.

The Combat Round

If an encounter escalates into a combat situation, the time scale of the game automatically goes to rounds (also called melee rounds or combat rounds). Rounds are used to measure the actions of characters in combat (or other intensive actions in which time is important).

            A round is approximately one minute long. Ten combat rounds equal a turn (or, put another way, a turn equals 10 minutes of game time). This is particularly important to remember for spells that last for turns, rather than rounds.

            But these are just approximations--precise time measurements are impossible to make in combat. An action that might be ridiculously easy under normal circumstances could become an undertaking of truly heroic scale when attempted in the middle of a furious, chaotic battle.

            Imagine the simple act of imbibing a healing potion. First, a character decides to drink the potion before retiring for the night. All he has to do is get it out of his backpack, uncork it, and drink the contents. No problem.

            Now imagine the same thing in the middle of a fight. The potion is safely stowed in the character's backpack. First, he takes stock of the situation to see if anyone else can get the potion out for him, but, not surprisingly, everyone is rather busy. So, sword in one hand, he shrugs one strap of the pack off his shoulder. Then, just as two orcs leap toward him, the other strap threatens to slip down, entangling his sword arm. Already the loose strap keeps him from fully using his shield.

            Holding the shield as best as possible in front of him, he scrambles backward to avoid the monsters' first wild swings. He gets pushed back a few more feet when a companion shoulders past to block their advance. His companion bought him a little time, so he kneels, lays down his sword, and slips the backpack all the way off. Hearing a wild cry, he instinctively swings his shield up just in time to ward off a glancing blow.

            Rummaging through the pack, he finally finds the potion, pulls it out, and, huddling behind his shield, works the cork free. Just then there is a flash of flame all around him--a fireball! He grits his teeth against the heat, shock, and pain and tries to remember not to crush or spill the potion vial. Biting back the pain of the flames, he is relieved to see the potion is still intact.

            Quickly, he gulps it down, reclaims his sword, kicks his backpack out of the way, and runs back up to the front line. In game terms, the character withdrew, was missed by one attacker, made a successful saving throw vs. spell (from the fireball), drank a potion, and was ready for combat the next round.

What You Can Do in One Round

            Whatever the precise length of a combat round, a character can accomplish only one basic action in that round, be it making an attack, casting a spell, drinking a potion, or tending to a fallen comrade. The basic action, however, may involve several lesser actions.

            When making an attack, a character is likely to close with his opponent, circle for an opening, feint here, jab there, block a thrust, leap back, and perhaps finally make a telling blow. A spellcaster may fumble for his components, dodge an attacker, mentally review the steps of the spell, intone the spell, and then move to safety when it is all done. It has already been shown what drinking a potion might entail. All of these things might happen in a bit less than a minute or a bit more, but the standard is one minute and one action to the round.

            Some examples of the actions a character can accomplish include the following:

Make an attack (make attack rolls up to the maximum number allowed the character class at a given level)

            • Cast one spell (if the casting time is one round or less)

            • Drink a potion

            • Light a torch

            • Use a magical item

            • Move to the limit of his movement rate

            • Attempt to open a stuck or secret door

            • Bind a character's wounds

            • Search a body

            • Hammer in a spike

            • Recover a dropped weapon

            There are also actions that take a negligible amount of time, things the character does without affecting his ability to perform a more important task. Examples of these include the following:

• Shout warnings, brief instructions, or demands for surrender, but not conversations where a reply is expected.

• Change weapons by dropping one and drawing another.

• Drop excess equipment, such as backpacks, lanterns, or torches.

The Combat Sequence

In real life, combat is one of the closest things to pure anarchy. Each side is attempting to harm the other, essentially causing disorder and chaos. Thus, combats are filled with unknowns--unplanned events, failed attacks, lack of communication, and general confusion and uncertainty. However, to play a battle in the game, it is necessary to impose some order on the actions that occur. Within a combat round, there is a set series of steps that must be followed. These steps are:

            1.         The DM decides what actions the monsters or NPCs will take, including casting spells (if any).

            2.         The players indicate what their characters will do, including casting spells (if any).

            3.         Initiative is determined.

            4.         Attacks are made in order of initiative.

            These steps are followed until the combat ends--either one side is defeated, surrenders, or runs away.

            NPC/Monster Determination: In the first step, the DM secretly decides in general terms what each opponent will do--attack, flee, or cast a spell. He does not announce his decisions to the players. If a spell is to be cast, the DM picks the spell before the players announce their characters' actions.

            Player Determination: Next, the players give a general indication of what their characters are planning to do. This does not have to be perfectly precise and can be changed somewhat, if the DM decides circumstances warrant.

            If the characters are battling goblins, a player can say, "My fighter will attack" without having to announce which goblin he will strike. If the characters are battling a mixed group of goblins and ogres, the player has to state whether his character is attacking goblins or ogres.

            Spells to be cast must also be announced at this time and cannot be changed once the initiative die is rolled.

            Before moving on, the DM will make sure he has a clear idea of not only what the player characters are doing, but also what actions any hirelings and henchmen are taking. Once he has a clear view of everything that's likely to happen, the DM can overrule any announced action that violates the rules (or in the case of an NPC, is out of character).

            He is not required to overrule an impossible action, but he can let a character attempt it anyway, knowing full well the character cannot succeed. It is not the DM's position to advise players on the best strategies, most intelligent actions, or optimum maneuvers for their characters.

            Initiative: In the third step, dice are rolled to determine initiative, according to the rules for initiative (see "Initiative" below).

            Resolution: In the last step, PCs, NPCs, and monsters make their attacks, spells occur, and any other actions are resolved according to the order of initiative.

            The above sequence is not immutable. Indeed, some monsters violate the standard sequence, and some situations demand the application of common sense. In these cases the DM's word is final.

            Rath is leading a party through the corridors of a dungeon. Right behind him are Rupert and Delsenora. Rounding a bend, they see a group of orcs and trolls about 20 feet away. No one is surprised by the encounter.

            The DM has notes telling him the orcs are hesitant. He secretly decides that they will fall back and let the trolls fight. The trolls, able to regenerate, are naturally overconfident and step forward to the front rank (cursing the orcs at the same time) and prepare to attack. Turning to the players, the DM asks, "What are you going to do?"

Harry (playing Rath, a dwarf who hates orcs): "Orcs?--CHARGE!"

Anne (playing Delsenora the wizard): "Uh--what!? Wait--don't do that . . . I was going to . . . now I can't use a fireball."

DM: "Rath is charging forward. Quick--what are you doing?"

Jon (playing Rupert, the half-elf, to Anne): "Cast a spell! (To DM) Can I fire my bow over him?"

DM: "Sure, he's short."

Jon: "OK, I'll shoot at orcs."

DM: "Anne, tell me what Delsenora's doing or she'll lose the round trying to make up her mind!"

Anne: "Got it!--Acid arrow spell at the lead troll."

DM: "Fine. Harry, Rath is in front. Roll for initiative."


            The initiative roll determines who acts first in any given combat round. Initiative is not set, but changes from round to round (combat being an uncertain thing, at best). A character never knows for certain if he will get to act before another.

            Initiative is normally determined with a single roll for each side in a conflict. This tells whether all the members of the group get to act before or after those of the other side(s).

            There are also two optional methods that can be used to determine initiative. Each of these optional methods breaks the group action down into more individual initiatives. However, the general method of determining initiative remains the same in all cases.

Standard Initiative Procedure

            To determine the initiative order for a round of combat, roll 1d10 for each side in the battle. Normally, this means the DM rolls for the monsters (or NPCs), while one of the players rolls for the PC party. Low roll wins initiative. If more than two sides are involved in combat, the remaining sides act in ascending order of initiative.

            If both (or all) sides roll the same number for initiative, everything happens simultaneously--all attack rolls, damage, spells, and other actions are completed before any results are applied. It is possible for a wizard to be slain by goblins who collapse from his sleep spell at the end of the round.

Initiative Modifiers

            Situational factors can affect who has initiative. To reflect this, modifiers are added to or subtracted from the initiative die roll.

Table 55:

Standard Modifiers to Initiative

Specific Situation       Modifier

Hasted -2

Slowed            +2

On higher ground         -1

Set to receive a charge            -2

Wading or slippery footing     +2

Wading in deep water +4

Foreign environment*  +6

Hindered (tangled, climbing, held)     +3

Waiting (see p. 112)    +1

            *This applies to situations in which the party is in a completely different environment (swimming underwater without the aid of a ring of free action, for example).

            Everyone in the party who will be involved in the round's action must qualify for the modifier. For example, all members of a party must be on higher ground than the opposition in order to get the higher ground modifier. The DM will probably ask each player where his character is standing in order to clarify this.

            The side with the lowest modified roll on 1d10 has the initiative and acts first.


            The DM decides that one initiative roll is sufficient for each group and no modifiers are needed for either group. (Although Rath is charging, the orcs and trolls are too busy rearranging their lines to be set to receive his charge and so the -2 to receive charge is not used.)

            Harry, rolling for the player characters, gets a 7 on a 10-sided die. The DM rolls a 10. The player characters, having the lowest number, act first.

            Delsenora's acid arrow strikes one of the trolls just as Rath takes a swing at the last of the fleeing orcs. A bowshot from Rupert drops another one of the creatures as it takes its position in the second rank. Now the monsters strike back.

            The orcs manage to finish forming their line. Enraged by the acid, the lead troll tears into Rath, hurting him badly. The others swarm around him, attempting to tear him limb from limb.

Table 56:

Optional Modifiers to Initiative

Specific Situation       Modifier

Attacking with weapon            Weapon speed

Breath weapon            +1

Casting a spell Casting time

Creature size (Monsters attacking

with natural weapons only)*

Tiny     0

Small   +3

Medium           +3

Large   +6

Huge    +9

Gargantuan      +12

Innate spell ability       +3

Magical Items**

Miscellaneous Magic  +3

Potion  +4

Ring     +3

Rods    +1

Scroll  Casting time of spell

Stave   +2

Wand   +3

            *This applies only to creatures fighting with natural weapons--claws, bites, etc. Creatures using weaponry use the speed factor of the weapon, regardless of the creature's size.

            **Use the initiative modifier listed unless the item description says otherwise.


Group Initiative (Optional Rule)

            Some people believe that using a single initiative roll for everyone on the same side is too unrealistic. It is, admittedly, a simplification, a way to keep down the number of die rolls required in a single round, allowing for much faster combat. However, the actions of different characters, the types of weapons they use, and the situation can all be factors in determining initiative.

            Using this optional method, one initiative die roll is still made for each side in the fight. However, more modifiers are applied to this roll, according to the actions of individual characters. These modifiers are listed on Table 56.

            Some of the modifiers depend on ability, spell, and weapon. Characters casting spells (but not monsters using innate abilities) must add the spellcasting time to the die roll. Characters attacking with weapons add the weapons' speed factors to the die roll (see the equipment lists in Chapter 6: Money and Equipment). All other modifiers are applied according to each individual's situation.

            In the second round of the combat, the DM decides to use the modified group initiative. Rath is surrounded by trolls and not in the best of health. The rest of the party has yet to close with the monsters.

            The DM decides that one troll will continue attacking Rath, with the help of the orcs, while the other trolls move to block reinforcements. In particular, the troll burned by the acid arrow is looking for revenge. The DM then turns to the players for their actions.

Players (all at once): "I'm going to . . ." "Is he going? . . ." "I'm casting a . . ."

DM (shouting): "One at a time! Rath?"

Harry: "I'll blow my horn of blasting."

DM: "It'll take time to dig it out."

Harry: "I don't care, I'm doing it."

Jon: "Draw my sword and attack one of the trolls!"

DM: "Anne?"

Anne (not paying attention to the other two): "Cast a fireball."

Harry and Jon: "NO! DON'T!"

DM: "Well, is that what you're doing? Quickly!"

Anne: "No. I'll cast a haste spell! Centered on me, so Rupert and Rath are just at the edge."

DM: "Okay. Harry, roll initiative and everyone modify for your actions."

            Harry rolls 1d10 and gets a 6. The DM rolls for the monsters and gets a 5. Each person's initiative is modified as follows:

            Rath is using a miscellaneous magical item (modifier +3). His modified initiative is 9 (6+3=9).

            Rupert is using a bastard sword +1 with two hands (weapon speed 7 instead of 8 because of the +1). His modified initiative is 13 (6+7=13).

            Delsenora is casting a spell (haste spell, casting time 3). Her modified initiative is the same as Rath's, 9.

            The trolls are attacking with their claws and bites (large creatures attacking with natural weapons +6). Their modified initiative is 11 (5+6=11).

            The orcs are using long swords (weapon speed 5). Their modified initiative is 10 (5 + 5 = 10).

            After all modified initiatives are figured, the combat round goes as follows: Delsenora (initiative 9) completes her spell at the same time that Rath (9) brings the house down on the orcs with his horn of blasting.

            The orcs (initiative 10) would have gone next, but all of them have been crushed under falling rock.

            The three trolls (initiative 11) are unfazed and attack, one at Rath and the other two springing forward, hitting Delsenora and missing Rupert.

            Finally, Rupert (initiative 13) strikes back. He moved too slowly to block one troll's path to Delsenora, but manages to cut off the second. Things look very grim for the player characters.

Individual Initiative (Optional Rule)

            This method of determining initiative is the same as that just given earlier, except that each PC, NPC, and monster involved in the fight rolls and then modifies his own initiative roll. This gives combat a more realistic feel, but at the expense of quick play.

            To players, it may not seem like too much for each to roll a separate initiative die, but consider the difficulties: Imagine a combat between six player characters (each controlled by a player) and five hirelings and henchmen against 16 hobgoblins and five ogres (all of which must be rolled by the DM).

            Furthermore, each die roll must be modified according to each individual's actions. The resulting rolls make every combat round a major calculation.

            This method is not recommended for large-scale combats. It is best used with small battles in which characters on the same side have vastly different speeds.

            In the third round of combat, the DM decides to use individual initiatives. Each character is involved in his own fight and there aren't too many to deal with. Cut off from retreat by fallen rock, the trolls attack. The DM asks the players their intentions.

Harry: "Hit him with my hammer +4!"

Rupert: "Chop him up."

Anne (now in serious trouble): "Cast a burning hands spell."

            Each character or monster now rolls 1d10. The rolls and modified results are:

            Rath rolls a 2 and is attacking with his hammer (weapon speed 0 instead of 4 due to +4) and is hasted (-2), so his modified initiative is 0.

            Rath's troll rolls a 1 and is attacking with natural weapons (+6 modifier) for a total of 7 (1+6=7).

            Rupert rolls a 2 and has a weapon speed of 7 and is hasted (-2) for a modified initiative of 7 (2+7-2=7).

            Rupert's troll rolls a 5 and modifies this by +6 for an 11 (5+6=11).

            Delsenora is very unlucky and rolls a 9. Since she is casting a spell, she gains no benefit from the haste spell, this round. She has a casting time of 1 for a total of 10 (9+1=10).

            The troll fighting Delsenora is very quick and rolls a 1, modified to 7 (1+6=7).

            The order of attacks is: Rath (initiative 0) strikes with his hammer. Rupert and the two trolls (attacking Rath and Delsenora, all initiative 7) attack immediately after. Rupert hits. The troll attacking Rath misses, but Delsenora is hit. Delsenora's spell (initiative 10) would normally happen next, but instead it fizzles, her concentration ruined by the blow from the troll. Next, Rupert's troll attacks and misses. Because of the haste spell, Rath and Rupert now attack again (in order of initiative), Rath first, then Rupert.

Multiple Attacks and Initiative

            Often combat involves creatures or characters able to attack more than once in a single round. This may be due to multiple attack forms (claws and bite), skill with a weapon, or character level. No matter what the reason, all multiple attacks are handled by one of two methods.

            When multiple attacks are the result of different attack forms--claws and a bite or bite and tail or a ranger with his two-weapon combat ability for example--the attacks all occur at the same time. The creature resolves all of its attacks in initiative order.

            When the attacks are true multiples--using the same weapon more than once--as in the case of a highly skilled fighter, the attacks are staggered. Everyone involved in the combat completes one action before the second (or subsequent) attack roll is made.

            Take, for example, a fighter who can attack twice per round, and say he's battling creatures that can only make one attack. The fighter wins initiative. He makes his first attack according to the rolled initiative order. Then each creature gets its attack. Finally, the fighter gets his second attack.

            If fighters on both sides in a battle were able to attack twice in the round, their first attacks would occur according to the initiative roll. Their second attacks would come after all other attacks, and would then alternate according to the initiative roll.

Spellcasting and Initiative

            Casting times for spells can modify initiative rolls, creating a realistic delay for the spellcaster. When a spell's "Casting Time" parameter is given as a number without any units (for example, rounds or turns), then that number is added to the caster's initiative roll to determine his modified initiative. When a spell requires a round or more to cast, a normal initiative roll is not made--a spell requiring one round to cast takes effect at the end of the current round, after all other actions are completed.

            Spells that require more than one round to cast involve some bookkeeping. The DM or one of the players must keep track of the rounds spent in casting. If the spellcasting character is disturbed during this time, the spell is lost. If all goes well, the spell takes effect at the very end of the last round of the required casting time. Thus, a spell requiring 10 minutes to cast would require 10 combat rounds, and wouldn't take effect until the very end of the 10th round.

Weapon Speed and Initiative (Optional Rule)

            Each time a character swings a weapon, he places himself out of position to make his next attack. Swinging a hammer is not as simple as tapping in a nail. A war hammer is heavy. Swing it in one direction and it pulls in that direction. It has to be brought under control and repositioned before it can be swung again. The user must regain his balance and plant his feet firmly. Only after doing all this is he ready for his next attack.

            Compare how quickly someone can throw a punch to the amount of time required to swing a chair to get a good idea of what weapon speed factors are about.

            Weapon speed factors slow the speed of a character's attack. The higher the weapon speed factor, the heavier, clumsier, or more limited the weapon is. For the most part, weapon speed factors apply to all creatures using manufactured weapons. The speed factor of a weapon is added to the initiative roll of the character to get his modified initiative roll.

            Thus, if the DM decides to use weapon speed factors for player characters, they should also be used for giants, orcs, centaurs, and the like. Otherwise the DM isn't being fair to the players. However, creatures with natural weapons are not affected by weapon speed. Their attacks are natural extensions of their bodies, giving them much faster recovery and reaction times.

Magical Weapon Speeds

            Magical weapons are easier to wield in combat than ordinary ones. Maybe the weapon is lighter or better balanced than normal; maybe it just pulls the character into the proper position of its own volition. Whatever the cause, each bonus point conferred by a magical weapon reduces the speed factor of that weapon by 1. (A sword +3 reduces the weapon speed factor by 3, for example.) When a weapon has two bonuses, the lesser one is used. No weapon can have a speed factor of less than 0.

Attacking with Two Weapons

A tricky fighting style available only to warriors and rogues is that of fighting with two weapons simultaneously. The character chooses not to use a shield in favor of another weapon, granting him a greater number of attacks, with a penalty to his attack rolls (rangers are exempt from the attack roll penalty).

            When using a second weapon in his off-hand, a character is limited in his weapon choice. His principal weapon can be whatever he chooses, provided it can be wielded with one hand. The second weapon must be smaller in size and weight than the character's main weapon (though a dagger can always be used as a second weapon, even if the primary weapon is also a dagger). A fighter can use a long sword and a short sword, or a long sword and a dagger, but he cannot use two long swords. Nor can the character use a shield, unless it is kept strapped onto his back.

            When attacking, all characters but rangers suffer penalties to their attack rolls. Attacks made with the main weapon suffer a -2 penalty, and attacks made with the second weapon suffer a -4 penalty. The character's Reaction Adjustment (based on his Dexterity, see Table 2) modifies this penalty. A low Dexterity score will worsen the character's chance to hit with each attack. A high Dexterity can negate this particular penalty, although it cannot result in a positive modifier on the attack rolls for either weapon (i.e., the Reaction Adjustment can, at best, raise the attack roll penalties to 0).

            The use of two weapons enables the character to make one additional attack each combat round, with the second weapon. The character gains only one additional attack each round, regardless of the number of attacks he may normally be allowed. Thus, a warrior able to attack 3/2 (once in the first round and twice in the second) can attack 5/2 (twice in the first round and three times in the second).

Movement in Combat

Since a round is roughly a minute long, it should be easy for a character to move just about anywhere he wants during the course of the round. After all, Olympic-class sprinters can cover vast amounts of ground in a minute.

            However, a character in an AD&D game is not an Olympic sprinter running in a straight line. He is trying to maneuver through a battle without getting killed. He is keeping his eyes open for trouble, avoiding surprise, watching his back, watching the backs of his partners, and looking for a good opening, while simultaneously planning his next move, sometimes through a haze of pain. He may be carrying a load of equipment that slows him down significantly. Because of all these things, the distance a character can move is significantly less than players generally think.

            In a combat round, a being can move up to 10 times its movement rating (see Chapter 14: Time and Movement) in feet. Thus, if a character has a movement rating of 9, he can move up to 90 feet in a round. However, the types of moves a character can make during combat are somewhat limited.

Movement in Melee

            The basic move is to get closer for combat--i.e., move close enough to an enemy to attack. This is neither a blind rush nor a casual stroll. Instead, the character approaches quickly but with caution. When closing for combat, a character can move up to half his allowed distance and still make a melee attack.

Movement and Missile Combat

            Rather than slug it out toe to toe with an opponent, a character can move up to one-half his normal movement rate and engage in missile fire at half his normal rate of fire. Thus, a man capable of moving 120 feet and armed with a long bow (two shots per round, under normal circumstances) could move 60 feet and still fire one shot. The same man, armed with a heavy crossbow (one shot every other round) would be able to shoot only once every four rounds while on the move.

Charging an Opponent

            A character can also charge a foe. A charge increases the character's movement rate by 50% and enables the character to make an attack at the end of his movement. A charging character also gains a +2 bonus to his attack roll, mainly from momentum. Certain weapons (such as a lance) inflict double the rolled damage in a charge.

            However, charging gives the opponents several advantages. First, they gain a -2 bonus to their initiative rolls. Second, charging characters gain no Dexterity bonuses to Armor Class and they suffer an AC penalty of 1. Finally, if the defender is using a spear or polearm weapon and sets it against the charge (bracing the butt against a stone or his foot), he inflicts double damage on a successful hit.


            To get out of a combat, characters can make a careful withdrawal or they can simply flee.

            Withdrawing: When making a withdrawal, a character carefully backs away from his opponent (who can choose to follow). The character moves up to 1/3 his normal movement rate.

            If two characters are fighting a single opponent and one of them decides to withdraw, the remaining character can block the advance of the opponent. This is a useful method for getting a seriously injured man out of a combat.

            Fleeing: To flee from combat, a character simply turns and runs up to his full movement rate. However, the fleeing character drops his defenses and turns his back to his opponent.

            The enemy is allowed a free attack (or multiple attacks if the creature has several attacks per round) at the rear of the fleeing character. This attack is made the instant the character flees: It doesn't count against the number of attacks that opponent is allowed during the round, and initiative is irrelevant.

            The fleeing character can be pursued, unless a companion blocks the advance of the enemy.

Attacking Without Killing

There are times when a character wants to defeat another being without killing it. A companion may have been charmed into attacking his friends (and his friends don't want to kill him to save themselves!); an enemy may have information the PCs can get only by subduing him; characters may simply see the monetary value of bringing back a real, live monster. Whatever the case, sooner or later characters are going to try.

            There are three types of nonlethal attacks--punching, wrestling, and overbearing. Punching is basic bare-fisted fighting. Wrestling is the classic combination of grappling, holds, and throws. Overbearing is simply trying to pull down an opponent by sheer mass or weight of numbers, pinning him to the ground.

Punching and Wrestling

            These are the most basic of combat skills, unknowingly practiced by almost all children as they rough and tumble with each other. Thus, all characters, regardless of class, are assumed to be somewhat proficient in both these forms of fighting.

            Punching occurs when a character attacks with his fists. No weapons are used, although the character can wear an iron gauntlet or similar item. Wrestling requires both hands free, unencumbered by shields and the like.

            When punching or wrestling, a normal attack roll is made. The normal Armor Class of the target is used. If a character is attempting to wrestle in armor, the modifiers on Table 57 are used (these are penalties to the attacker's attack roll). Normal modifiers to the attack roll are also applied.

            Penalties for being held or attacking a held opponent do not apply to wrestlers. Wrestling involves a lot of holding and twisting as it is, and the damage resolution system for punching and wrestling takes this into account.

Table 57:

Armor Modifiers for Wrestling

Armor Modifier

Studded leather           -1

Chain, ring, and scale mail      -2

Banded, splint, and plate mail -5

Field plate armor        -8

Full plate armor          -10


            If the attack roll is successful, consult Table 58 to find the result of the attack: Cross-index the character's modified attack roll with the proper attack form. If, for example, a character successfully punched with an 18, the result would be a rabbit punch (if he rolled an 18 on a successful wrestling attempt, the result would be a kick). Punching and wrestling attacks can succeed on attack rolls of 1 or less (exceptions to the general rule).

Table 58:

Punching and Wrestling Results

Attack Roll     Punch  Damage          % KO Wrestle

20+      Haymaker        2                     10        Bear hug*

19        Wild swing      0                     1         Arm twist

18        Rabbit punch   1                     3         Kick

17        Kidney punch  1                     5         Trip

16        Glancing blow 1                     2         Elbow smash

15        Jab       2                     6         Arm lock*

14        Uppercut          1                     8         Leg twist

13        Hook   2                     9         Leg lock

12        Kidney punch  1                     5         Throw

11        Hook   2                     10        Gouge

10        Glancing blow 1                     3         Elbow smash

9          Combination    1                     10        Leg lock*

8          Uppercut          1                     9         Headlock*

7          Combination    2                     10        Throw

6          Jab       2                     8         Gouge

5          Glancing blow 1                     3         Kick

4          Rabbit punch   2                     5         Arm lock*

3          Hook   2                     12        Gouge

2          Uppercut          2                     15        Headlock*

1          Wild swing      0                     2         Leg twist

Less than 1      Haymaker        2                     25        Bearhug*

            *Hold can be maintained from round to round, until broken.

            Punch: This is the type of blow landed. In game terms, the type of blow has little effect, but using the names adds spice to the battle and makes the DM's job of describing the action easier.

            Damage: Bare-handed attacks cause only 1 or 2 points of damage. Metal gauntlets, brass knuckles, and the like cause 1d3 points of damage. A character's Strength bonus, if any, does apply to punching attacks.

            Punching damage is handled a little differently than normal damage. Only 25% of the damage caused by a bare-handed attack is normal damage. The remaining 75% is temporary. For the sake of convenience, record punching damage separately from other damage and calculate the percentage split at the end of all combat.

            If a character reaches 0 hit points due to punching attacks (or any combination of punching and normal attacks), he immediately falls unconscious.

            A character can voluntarily pull his punch, not causing any hit point damage, provided he says so before the damage is applied to his enemy. There is still a chance of a knockout.

            % K.O.: Although a punch does very little damage, there is a chance of knocking an opponent out. This chance is listed on the table as "% K.O." If this number or less is rolled on percentile dice, the victim is stunned for 1d10 rounds.

            Wrestle: This lists the action or type of grip the character managed to get. Wrestling moves marked with an asterisk (*) are holds maintained from round to round, unless they are broken. A hold is broken by a throw, a gouge, the assistance of another person, or the successful use of a weapon. (Penalties to the attack roll apply to weapon attacks by a character who is in a hold.)

            All wrestling moves inflict 1 point of damage plus Strength bonus (if the attacker desires), while continued holds cause cumulatively 1 more point of damage for each round they are held. A head lock held for six rounds would inflict 21 points of damage total (1+2+3+4+5+6). Remember, this is the equivalent of pressing hard on a full-nelson headlock for roughly six minutes!


            Sometimes the most effective attack is simply to pull an opponent down by sheer numbers. No attempt is made to gain a particular hold or even to harm the victim. The only concern is to pin and restrain him.

            To overbear an opponent, a normal attack roll is made. For every level of size difference (1 if a Large attacker takes on a Medium defender, for example), the attack roll is modified by 4 (+4 if the attacker is larger; -4 if the defender is larger).

            The defender also gains a benefit if it has more than two legs: a -2 penalty to the attacker's roll for every leg beyond two. There is no penalty to the defender if it has no legs. A lone orc attempting to pull down a horse and rider would have at least a -8 penalty applied to the attack roll (-4 for size and -4 for the horse's four legs).

            If the attack succeeds, the opponent is pulled down. A character can be pinned if further successful overbearing attacks are rolled each round. For pinning purposes, do not use the prone modifier to combat (from Table 51).

            If multiple attackers are all attempting to pull down a single target, make only one attack roll with a +1 bonus for each attacker beyond the first. Always use the to-hit number of the weakest attacker to figure the chance of success, since cooperation always depends on the weakest link. Modifiers for size should be figured for the largest attacker of the group.

            A giant and three pixies attempting to pull down a man would use the pixies' attack roll, modified by +3 for three extra attackers and +8 for the size difference of the giant (Huge) and the man (Medium).

Weapons In Nonlethal Combat

            As you might expect, weapons have their place in nonlethal combat, whether a character is defending or pressing the attack.

            Weapons in Defense: A character attempting to punch, wrestle, or overbear an armed opponent can do so only by placing himself at great risk. Making matters worse, an armed defender is automatically allowed to strike with his weapon before the unarmed attack is made, regardless of the initiative die roll. Furthermore, since his opponent must get very close, the defender gains a +4 bonus to his attack and damage rolls. If the attacker survives, he can then attempt his attack.

            Those involved in a wrestling bout are limited to weapons of small size after the first round of combat--it's very difficult to use a sword against someone who is twisting your sword arm or clinging to your back, trying to break your neck. For this reason, nearly all characters will want to carry a dagger or knife.

            Nonlethal Weapon Attacks: It is possible to make an armed attack without causing serious damage (striking with the flat of the blade, for example). This is not as easy as it sounds, however.

            First, the character must be using a weapon that enables him to control the damage he inflicts. This is impossible with an arrow or sling. It isn't even feasible with a war hammer or mace. It can be done with swords and axes, as long as the blade can be turned so it doesn't cut.

            Second, the character has a -4 penalty to his attack roll, since handling a weapon in this way is clumsier than usual. The damage from such an attack is 50% normal; one-half of this damage is temporary.

Nonlethal Combat and Creatures

            When dealing with nonhumanoid opponents, a number of factors must be considered.

            First, unintelligent creatures, as a rule, never try to grapple, punch, or pull down an opponent. They cheerfully settle for tearing him apart, limb by limb. This, to their small and animalistic minds, is a better solution.

            Second, the natural weapon of a creature are always usable. Unlike men with swords, a lion or a carnivorous ape doesn't lose the use of its teeth and fangs just because a character is very close to it.

            Finally, and of greatest importance, creatures tend to be better natural fighters than humans. All attacks for a tiger are the same as punching or wrestling. It's just that the tiger has claws! Furthermore, a tiger can use all of its legs effectively--front and back.

Touch Spells and Combat

Many spells used by priests and wizards take effect only when the target is touched by the caster. Under normal circumstances, this is no problem--the spellcaster reaches out and touches the recipient. However, if the target is unwilling, or the spell is used in the midst of a general melee, the situation is much different.

            Unwilling Targets: The spellcaster must make a successful attack roll for the spell to have any effect. The wizard or priest calculates his to-hit number normally, according to the intended victim's Armor Class and other protections. The DM can modify the roll if the victim is unprepared for or unaware of the attack. If the roll succeeds, the spellcaster touches the target and the normal spell effect occurs.

            Willing Targets: When attempting to cast a spell on a willing target, the casting is automatic as long as both characters are not engaged in combat. For example, if a fighter withdraws from melee, a cleric could heal him the next round.

            If the recipient of the spell attempts to do anything besides waiting for the spell to take effect, an attack roll against AC 10 must be made. However, no AC modifiers for Dexterity are applied, since the target is not trying to avoid the spell!

            Whenever a touch spell is successful, the spellcaster suffers from any special defenses of his target, if they are continually in operation. A successful touch to a vampire would not result in energy drain, since the power only works when the vampire wills it, but touching a fire elemental would result in serious burns.

            When a touch spell is cast, it normally remains effective only for that round. However, certain spells do specify special conditions or durations. Be sure to check each spell description carefully.

Missile Weapons in Combat

            In general, missile combat is handled identically to standard melee. Intentions are announced, initiative is rolled, and attack rolls are made. However, there are some special rules and situations that apply only to missile combat.

            Missile weapons are divided into two general categories. The first includes all standard, direct-fire, single-target missiles--slings, arrows, quarrels, spears, throwing axes, and the like.

            The second category includes all grenade-like missiles that have an area effect, no matter how small. Thus, an attack with these weapons does not have to hit its target directly to have a chance of affecting it. Included in this group are small flasks of oil, acid, poison, holy water, potions, and boulders. Hurled boulders are included because they bounce and bound along after they hit, leaving a swath of destruction.


            The first step in making a missile attack is to find the range from the attacker to the target. This is measured in yards from one point to the other. This distance is compared to the range categories for the weapon used (see Table 45 in Chapter 6: Combat).

            If the distance is greater than the long range given, the target is out of range; if the distance is between the long- and medium-range numbers, the target is at long range; when between the medium- and short-range numbers, medium range is used; when equal to or less than the short-range distance, the target is at short range.

            Short-range attacks suffer no range modifier. Medium-range attacks suffer a -2 penalty to the attack roll. Long-range attacks suffer a -5 penalty. Some weapons have no short range since they must arc a certain distance before reaching their target. These attacks are always made with an attack roll penalty.

Rate of Fire

            Bows, crossbows, and many other missile weapons have different rates of fire (ROF)--the number of missiles they can shoot in a single round.

            Small, light weapons can be thrown very quickly, so up to three darts can be thrown in a single round. Arrows can be nocked and let loose almost as quickly, so up to two shots can be fired in a single round.

            Some weapons (such as heavy crossbows) take a long time to load and can be fired only every other round.

            Whatever the ROF, multiple missile shots are handled the same way as other multiple attacks for the purposes of determining initiative. The ROF of each missile weapon is listed in table 45 in Chapter 6.

Ability Modifiers in Missile Combat

            Attack roll and damage modifiers for Strength are always used when an attack is made with a hurled weapon. Here the power of the character's arm is a significant factor in the effectiveness of the attack.

            When using a bow, the attack roll and damage Strength modifiers apply only if the character has a properly prepared bow (see Chapter 6: Money and Equipment). Characters never receive Strength bonuses when using crossbows or similar mechanical devices.

            Dexterity modifiers to the attack roll are applied when making a missile attack with a hand-held weapon. Thus, a character adds his Dexterity modifier when using a bow, crossbow, or axe but not when firing a trebuchet or other siege engine.

Firing into a Melee

            Missile weapons are intended mainly as long-range weapons. Ideally, they are used before the opponents reach your line. However, ideal situations are all too rare, and characters often discover that the only effective way to attack is to shoot arrows (or whatever) at an enemy already in melee combat with their companions. While possible, and certainly allowed, this is a risky proposition.

            When missiles are fired into a melee, the DM counts the number of figures in the immediate area of the intended target. Each Medium figure counts as 1. Small (S) figures count as ½, Large as 2, Huge as 4, and Gargantuan as 6. The total value is compared to the value of each character or creature in the target melee. Using this ratio, the DM rolls a die to determine who (or what) will be the target of the shot.

            Tarus Bloodheart (man-size, or 1 point) and Rath (also man-size, or 1 point) are fighting a giant (size G, 6 points) while Thule fires a long bow at the giant. The total value of all possible targets is 8 (6+1+1). There's a 1 in 8 chance that Rath is the target; a 1 in 8 chance that Tarus is hit; and a 6 in 8 chance the shot hits the giant. The DM could roll an 8-sided die to determine who gets hit, or he could reduce the ratios to a percentage (75% chance the giant is hit, etc.) and roll percentile dice.

Taking Cover Against Missile Fire

            One of the best ways to avoid being hit and injured is to hide behind something--a wall, a tree, a building corner, a heap of boulders, or whatever happens to be available. Professional adventurers, wishing to make this sound heroic, call this taking cover.

            Taking cover doesn't work particularly well in a melee, since the cover hampers defender and attacker equally. However, it is quite an effective tactic against missile fire.

            There are two types of protection a character can have. The first is concealment, also called soft cover. A character hiding behind a clump of bushes is concealed. He can be seen, but only with difficulty, and it's no easy task to determine exactly where he is. The bushes cannot stop an arrow, but they do make it less likely that the character is hit. Other types of concealment include curtains, tapestries, smoke, fog, and brambles.

            The other type of protection is cover, sometimes called, more precisely, hard cover. It is, as its name implies, something a character can hide behind that will block a missile. Hard cover includes stone walls, the corner of a building, tables, doors, earth embankments, tree trunks, and magical walls of force.

            Cover helps a potential target by giving the attacker a negative modifier to his attack roll. The exact modifier for concealment or cover depends on the degree to which it is being used as shelter. A character who stands behind a two-foot wall is a pretty obvious target, especially when compared to the character who lies down behind that wall and carefully peers over it. Table 59 lists the different modifiers for varying degrees of cover and concealment.

Table 59:

Cover and Concealment Modifiers

Target is:       Cover  Concealment

25% hidden     -2        -1

50% hidden     -4        -2

75% hidden     -7        -3

90% hidden     -10       -4


            Cover also has an affect on saving throws, granting the character the modifier listed on Table 59 as a bonus to his saving throws against spells that cause physical damage (for example, fireball, lightning bolt, etc.)

            Furthermore, a character who has 90% cover (or more) suffers one-half normal damage on a failed save and no damage at all if a saving throw is successful. This assumes, of course, that the fireball, lightning bolt, or whatever, hit the cover--a man crouching behind a stone wall would be protected if a fireball exploded in front of the wall, but would not be protected by cover if the blast occurred behind him, on his side of the wall.

Grenade-Like Missiles

            Unlike standard missiles, which target a specific creature, a grenade-like missile is aimed at a point, whether this point is a creature or a spot on the ground. When the attack is announced, the player indicates where he wants the missile to land. This then becomes the target point and is used to determine the direction and distance of any scatter.

            Most grenade-like missiles are items of opportunity or necessity--rocks, flasks of oil, vials of holy water, or beakers of acid. As such, these items are not listed on the equipment tables for range, ROF, and damage. The range each can be thrown varies with the Strength of the character and the weight of the object.

            A missile of five pounds or less can be thrown about 30 feet. Short range is 10 feet, medium range is 20 feet, and everything beyond is maximum range. Heavier items have reduced ranges. Just how far an object can be thrown is decided by the DM.

            Exceptionally heavy items can be thrown only if the character rolls a successful bend bars/lift gates check. In no case can a character throw an item heavier than his Strength would allow him to lift. Thus, the DM can rule that a character would have little trouble chucking a half-empty backpack across a ten-foot chasm, but the character would need to make a check in order to heave an orc ten feet through the air into the faces of his orcish friends.

            Once a container hits, it normally breaks immediately. However, this is not always true. Some missiles, like soft leather flasks or hard pottery, are particularly resistant. If there's some doubt about whether or not a thrown object will break, the DM can require an item saving throw (this information is in the DMG) to see if it shatters or rips, spewing its contents everywhere.

            The DMG contains information on how to resolve the inevitable situations in which grenade-like missiles miss their targets.

Types of Grenade-Like Missiles

            Acid damage is particularly grim. Aside from the possibility of scarring (which is left to the DM), acid damage cannot be healed by regeneration. It must be healed normally. Thus, it is very useful against regenerating creatures such as trolls. Acid is very rare.

            Holy Water affects most forms of undead and creatures from the Lower Planes. It has no effect against a creature in gaseous form or undead without material form.

            Unholy water (essentially holy water used by evil priests) affects paladins, creatures whose purpose is to defend good (lammasu, shedu, etc.), and creatures and beings from the Upper Planes.

            Holy (or unholy) water affects creatures as does acid, causing damage that cannot be regenerated but must be healed normally.

            Oil causes damage only when it is lit. This normally requires a two-step process--first soaking the target in flammable oil and then setting it afire. Thus, using flaming oil often requires two successful attacks.

            A direct hit from flaming oil burns for two rounds, causing 2d6 points of damage in the first round and 1d6 points in the second round.

            Poison is generally not very effective as a missile weapon. Most poisons take effect only if the missile scores a direct hit, and even then only if it drops into the gaping maw of some huge creature. Contact poisons have normal poison effects on a direct hit. The DM has information about specific poison effects in the DMG.

Special Defenses

So far, the bulk of this chapter has dealt with ways to attack. Now, it's time to turn to defense. There are several ways to avoid taking damage. Two of the most common are the saving throw and magic resistance. Somewhat less common, because its use is limited to clerics and paladins, is the ability to turn undead.

Parrying (Optional Rule)

            During a one-minute combat round, each character is assumed to block many attempted attacks and see many of his own attacks blocked. In normal combat, characters parry all the time--there's no need to single out each parry.

            When a character deliberately chooses not to parry (a wizard casting a spell, for instance), his chance of being hit increases. Thus, choosing to parry, in and of itself, is not a separate option under the AD&D game rules.

            At the same time, the assumption is that characters in combat are constantly exposing themselves to some risk--trying to get a clear view of a target or looking for the opening to make an attack. There are times, however, when this is not the case. Sometimes, the only thing a character wants to do is avoid being hit.

            In order to make himself harder to hit, a character can parry--forfeit all actions for the round--he can't attack, move, or cast spells. This frees the character to concentrate solely on defense. At this point, all characters but warriors gain an AC bonus equal to half their level. A 6th-level wizard would have a +3 bonus to his AC (lowering his AC by 3). A warrior gets a bonus equal to half his level plus one. A 6th-level fighter would gain a +4 AC bonus.

            Note that the benefit is not a perfect all-around defense, and it's not effective against rear or missile attacks. It applies only to those characters attacking the defender with frontal melee attacks. This optional defense has no effect against magical attacks, so it wouldn't do anything to protect a character from the force of a lightning bolt or fireball, for example.

The Saving Throw

The saving throw is a die roll that gives a chance, however slim, that the character or creature finds some way to save himself from certain destruction (or at least lessen the damage of a successful attack).

            More often than not, the saving throw represents an instinctive act on the part of the character--diving to the ground just as a fireball scorches the group, blanking the mind just as a mental battle begins, blocking the worst of an acid spray with a shield. The exact action is not important--DMs and players can think of lively and colorful explanations of why a saving throw succeeded or failed. Explanations tailored to the events of the moment enhance the excitement of the game.

Rolling Saving Throws

            To make a saving throw, a player rolls a 20-sided die (1d20). The result must be equal to or greater than the character's saving throw number. The number a character needs to roll varies depending upon the character's group, his level, and what the character is trying to save himself from. A character's saving throw numbers can be found in Table 60.

            Saving throws are made in a variety of situations: For attacks involving paralyzation, poison, or death magic; petrification or polymorph; rod, staff, or wand; breath weapon; and spells. The type of saving throw a character must roll is determined by the specific spell, monster, magical item, or situation involved.

            Monsters also use Table 60. The DM has specific information about monster saving throws.

Table 60:

Character Saving Throws

                         Attack to be Saved Against


Character Class and        Poison, or           Rod, Staff,           Petrification      Breath

Experience Level             Death Magic       or Wand              or Polymorph*  Weapon**           Spell***


1-3         10           14          13           16           15

4-6         9            13          12           15           14

7-9         7            11          10           13           12

10-12     6            10          9            12           11

13-15     5            9            8            11           10

16-18     4            8            7            10           9

19+        2            6            5            8            7


1-4         13           14          12           16           15

5-8         12            12          11           15           13

9-12       11           10          10           14           11

13-16     10           8            9            13           9

17-20     9            6            8            12           7

21+        8            4            7            11           5


0             16           18          17           20           19

1-2         14           16          15           17           17

3-4         13           15          14           16           16

5-6         11           13          12           13           14

7-8         10           12          11           12           13

9-10       8            10          9            9            11

11-12     7            9            8            8            10

13-14     5            7            6            5            8

15-16     4            6            5            4            7

17+        3            5            4            4            6


1-5         14           11          13           15           12

6-10       13           9            11           13           10

11-15     11           7            9            11           8

16-20     10           5            7            9            6

21+        8            3            5            7            4

               *Excluding polymorph wand attacks.

               **Excluding those that cause petrification or polymorph.

               ***Excluding those for which another saving throw type is specified, such as death, petrification, polymorph, etc.


Saving Throw Priority

            Sometimes the type of saving throw required by a situation or item isn't clear, or more than one category of saving throw may seem appropriate. For this reason, the saving throw categories in Table 60 are listed in order of importance, beginning with paralyzation, poison, and death magic, and ending with spells.

            Imagine that Rath is struck by the ray from a wand of polymorphing. Both a saving throw vs. wands and a saving throw vs. polymorph would be appropriate. But Rath must roll a saving throw vs. wands because that category has a higher priority than polymorph.

            The categories of saving throws are as follows:

            Save vs. Paralyzation, Poison, and Death Magic: This is used whenever a character is affected by a paralyzing attack (regardless of source), poison (of any strength), or certain spells and magical items that otherwise kill the character outright (as listed in their descriptions). This saving throw can also be used in situations in which exceptional force of will or physical fortitude are needed.

            Save vs. Rod, Staff, or Wand: As its name implies, this is used whenever a character is affected by the powers of a rod, staff, or wand, provided another save of higher priority isn't called for. This saving throw is sometimes specified for situations in which a character faces a magical attack from an unusual source.

            Save vs. Petrification or Polymorph: This is used any time a character is turned to stone (petrified) or polymorphed by a monster, spell, or magical item (other than a wand). It can also be used when the character must withstand some massive physical alteration of his entire body.

            Save vs. Breath Weapon: A character uses this save when facing monsters with breath weapons, particularly the powerful blast of a dragon. This save can also be used in situations where a combination of physical stamina and Dexterity are critical factors in survival.

            Save vs. Spell: This is used whenever a character attempts to resist the effects of a magical attack, either by a spellcaster or from a magical item, provided no other type of saving throw is specified. This save can also be used to resist an attack that defies any other classification.

Voluntarily Failing Saving Throws

            No save is made if the target voluntarily chooses not to resist the effect of a spell or special attack. This is the case even if the character was duped as to the exact nature of the spell. When a character announces that he is not resisting the spell's power, that spell (or whatever) has its full effect.

            The intention not to resist must be clearly stated or set up through trickery, however. If a character is attacked by surprise or caught unawares, he is normally allowed a saving throw. The DM can modify this saving throw, making the chance of success worse, if the situation warrants it. Only in extreme cases of trickery and deception should an unwitting character be denied a saving throw.

Ability Checks as Saving Throws

            When a character attempts to avoid danger through the use of one of his abilities, an ability check can be used in lieu of a saving throw.

            For example, Ragnar the thief has broken into someone's home when he hears a grating noise from the ceiling above him. He looks up to find a five-ton block of the ceiling headed straight for him! He is going to need speedy reactions to get out of the way, so a Dexterity ability check should be rolled to see if he avoids the trap.

Modifying Saving Throws

            Saving throws can be modified by magical items, specific rules, and special situations. These modifiers can increase or decrease the chance of a successful saving throw.

            Modifiers that increase the chance are given as a number preceded by a plus sign. Modifiers that make success more difficult are given as a number preceded by a minus sign (-1, -2, etc.).

            Saving throw modifiers affect a character's die roll, not the saving throw number needed. Thus, if Delsenora needed an 11 for a successful saving throw vs. petrification and had a +1 bonus to her save, she would still need to roll an 11 or higher after all adjustments were made (but the +1 bonus would be added to her die roll, so that effectively she needs to roll only a 10 on the die to reach her saving throw number of 11).

            High ability scores in Dexterity and Wisdom sometimes give saving throw bonuses. A high Wisdom protects against illusions, charms, and other mental attacks. Dexterity, if high enough, can give a character a slightly higher chance of avoiding the effects of fireballs, lightning bolts, crushing boulders, and other attacks where nimbleness may be a help. (See Tables 2 and 5.)

            Magical items like cloaks and rings of protection give bonuses to a character's saving throw (these are listed in the item descriptions in the DMG).

            Magical armor allows a saving throw bonus only when the save is made necessary by something physical, whether normal or magical; magical armor never gives a saving throw bonus against gas (which it cannot block), poison (which operates internally), and spells that are mental in nature or that cause no physical damage.

            For example, magical armor would not help a character's saving throw against the sting of a giant scorpion, the choking effects of a stinking cloud spell, or the transformation effect of a polymorph others spell. Magical armor does extend its protective power to saving throws against acid sprays or splashes, disintegration, magical and normal fires, spells that cause damage, and falls (if any saving throw is allowed in this case). Other situations must be handled on a case-by-case basis by the DM.

            Specific spells and magical items have effects, both good and ill, on a character's saving throws. Often, spells force the victim to save with a penalty, which makes even the most innocuous spell quite dangerous. (Specific information can be found in the spell descriptions, for spells, or in the DMG's Magical Items section, for magical items.)

            Minor poisons of verminous creatures such as giant centipedes, while dangerous, are weak and unlikely to bring about death in a healthy man. To recreate this effect in the game, a saving throw bonus is allowed for anyone affected by these poisons. The DM has this information.

            Unpredictable situations are sure to crop up. When this happens, the DM must determine whether saving throw modifiers are appropriate. As a guideline, modifiers for situations should range from -4 to +4. An evil cleric attacked in his shrine could very well have a +3 bonus to all his saving throws and a -3 penalty applied to those of his enemies. The powerful evil of the place could warrant the modifier.

Magic Resistance

Some creatures or items strongly resist the effects of magic (or impart such resistance to others). This makes them more difficult to affect with magical energy than ordinary creatures or items.

            A rare few creatures are extremely anti-magical--magic rolls off them like water off a duck's back. More common are creatures, especially from the Outer Planes of existence, that live in enchanted or sorcerous lands and are filled with powerful magical energies. These creatures eat and breathe the vapors of wizardry, and they have a high tolerance against arcane power.

            Magic resistance is an innate ability--that is, the possessor does not have to do anything special to use it. The creature need not even be aware of the threat for his magic resistance to operate. Such resistance is part of the creature or item and cannot be separated from it. (Creatures, however, can voluntarily lower their magic resistance at will.)

            Magic resistance is also an individual ability. A creature with magic resistance cannot impart this power to others by holding their hands or standing in their midst. Only the rarest of creatures and magical items have the ability to bestow magic resistance upon another.

            Magic resistance is given as a percentile number. For a magical effect to have any chance of success, the magic resistance must be overcome. The target (the one with the magic resistance) rolls percentile dice. If the roll is higher than the creature's magic resistance, the spell has a normal effect. If the roll is equal to or less than the creature's magic resistance, the spell has absolutely no effect on the creature.

Effects of Magic Resistance

            Magic resistance enables a creature to ignore the effects of spells and spell-like powers. It does not protect the creature from magical weapon attacks or from natural forces that may be a direct or accidental result of a spell. Nor does it prevent the protected creature from using his own abilities or from casting spells and using magical items. It can be effective against both individually targeted spells and, within limits, area-effect spells.

            If a magic resistance roll fails, and the spell has normal effect, the target can make all saving throws normally allowed against the spell.

When Magic Resistance Applies

            Magic resistance applies only if the successful casting of a spell would directly affect the resistant creature or item. Thus, magic resistance is effective against magic missile (targeted at a creature or item) or fireball (damaging the area the creature or item is in) spells.

            Magic resistance is not effective against an earthquake caused by a spell. While the creature may suffer injury or death falling into a chasm the spell opens under its feet, the magical energy of the spell was directed at the ground, not the creature. Magic resistant creatures are not immune to events that occur as the consequence of spells, only to the direct energy created or released by a spell.

            Player characters do not normally have magic resistance (though they still get saving throws vs. magical spells and such); this ability is reserved mainly for special monsters.

Successful Magic Resistance Rolls

            A successful magic resistance check can have four different results, depending on the nature of the spell being resisted:

            Individually Targeted Spells: By definition, these spells affect just one creature, and only the targeted creature rolls for magic resistance (if it has any). If a spell of this type is directed at several targets, each rolls independently of the others. (An example of this would be a hold person spell aimed at four creatures, with each creature getting a magic resistance roll, if they have magic resistance.)

            If the magic resistance roll is successful, the spell has no effect on that creature. If the spell is targeted only at the creature, the spell fails completely and disappears. If several targets are involved, the spell may still affect others who fail their magic resistance roll.

            Area-Effect Spells: These spells are not targeted on a single creature, but on a point. The spell's effect encompasses everything within a set distance of that point. A successful magic resistance check enables the creature to ignore the effect of the spell. However, the spell is not negated and still applies to all others in the area of effect.

            In-Place Spells: These spells operate continuously in a particular place or on a particular creature, character, or item. Protection from evil is one example of this kind of spell.

            Magic resistance comes to play only if a creature or item finds himself (or itself) in the place where the spell is in operation. Even then, magic resistance may not come into play--nothing happens if the spell isn't of a type that affects the character. Thus, a part water spell would not collapse simply because a magic resistant creature walked through the area. A protection from evil spell, which could affect the creature, would be susceptible to magic resistance.

            If the DM determines that a magic resistance roll is appropriate, and the roll succeeds, the in-place spell collapses (usually with a dramatic thunderclap and puff of smoke).

            Permanent Spells: Magic resistance is insufficient to destroy a permanent spell. Instead, the spell is negated (within the same guidelines given for in-place spells) for as long as the magic resistant creature is in the area of effect.

            Thus, a magic-resistant creature might be able to step through a permanent wall of force as if it weren't there. However, the wall would spring back into existence as soon as the creature passed through (i.e., no one else can pass through).

Turning Undead

            One important, and potentially life-saving, combat ability available to priests and paladins is the ability to turn undead. This is a special power granted by the character's deity. Druids cannot turn undead; priests of specific mythoi may be able to at the DM's option.

            Through the priest or paladin, the deity manifests a portion of its power, terrifying evil, undead creatures or blasting them right out of existence. However, since the power must be channeled through a mortal vessel, success is not always assured.

            When encountering undead, a priest or paladin can attempt to turn the creatures (remember that the paladin turns undead as if he was two levels lower--a 5th-level paladin uses the level 3 column in Table 61). Only one attempt can be made per character per encounter, but several different characters can make attempts at the same time (with the results determined individually).

Table 61:

Turning Undead

Type or Hit Dice                                                           Level of Priest†

of Undead            1            2            3            4            5            6            7            8            9            10-11     12-13           14+

Skeleton or 1 HD               10           7            4            T            T            D           D           D*         D*         D*               D*         D*

Zombie  13           10           7            4            T            T            D           D           D*         D*         D*         D*

Ghoul or 2 HD     16           13           10           7            4            T            T            D           D           D*         D*               D*

Shadow or 3-4 HD             19           16           13           10           7            4            T            T            D           D               D*         D*

Wight or 5 HD     20           19           16           13           10           7            4            T            T            D           D               D*

Ghast     --            20           19           16           13           10           7            4            T            T            D           D

Wraith or 6 HD   --            --            20           19           16           13           10           7            4            T            T               D

Mummy or 7 HD --            --            --            20           19           16           13           10           7            4            T               T

Spectre or 8 HD  --            --            --            --            20           19           16           13           10           7            4               T

Vampire or 9 HD --            --            --            --            --            20           19           16           13           10           7               4

Ghost or 10 HD   --            --            --            --            --            --            20           19           16           13           10               7

Lich or 11+ HD   --            --            --            --            --            --            --            20           19           16           13               10

Special**             --            --            --            --            --            --            --            --            20           19           16               13


               *An additional 2d4 creatures of this type are turned.

               **Special creatures include unique undead, free-willed undead of the Negative Material Plane, certain Greater and Lesser Powers, and those undead that dwell in the Outer Planes.

               Paladins turn undead as priests who are two levels lower.

            Attempting to turn counts as an action, requiring one round and occurring during the character's turn in the initiative order (thus, the undead may get to act before the character can turn them). The mere presence of the character is not enough--a touch of drama from the character is important. Speech and gestures are important, so the character must have his hands free and be in a position to speak. However, turning is not like spellcasting and is not interrupted if the character is attacked during the attempt.

            To resolve a turning attempt, look on Table 61. Cross-index the Hit Dice or type of the undead with the level of the character (two levels lower for a paladin). If there is a number listed, roll 1d20. If the number rolled is equal to or greater than that listed, the attempt is successful. If the letter "T" (for "turned") appears, the attempt is automatically successful without a die roll. If the letter "D" (for "dispel") is given, the turning utterly destroys the undead. A dash (--) means that a priest or paladin of that level cannot turn that type of undead. A successful turn or dispel affects 2d6 undead. If the undead are a mixed group, the lowest Hit Dice creatures are turned first.

            Only one die is rolled regardless of the number of undead the character is attempting to turn in a given round. The result is read individually for each type of undead.

            For example, Gorus, a 7th-level priest, and his party are attacked by two skeletons led by a wight and a spectre. The turning attempt is made, resulting in a roll of 12.

            Gorus's player reads the table for all three types of undead using the same roll--12--for all three. The skeletons are destroyed (as Gorus knew they would be). The wight is turned (a 4 or better was needed) and flees. The spectre, however, continues forward undaunted (since a 16 was needed to turn the spectre).

            Turned undead bound by the orders of another (for example, skeletons) simply retreat and allow the character and those with him to pass or complete their actions.

            Free-willed undead attempt to flee the area of the turning character, until out of his sight. If unable to escape, they circle at a distance, no closer than ten feet to the character, provided he continues to maintain his turning (no further die rolls are needed).

            If the character forces the free-willed undead to come closer than ten feet (by pressing them into a corner, for example) the turning is broken and the undead attack normally.

Evil Priests and Undead

            Evil priests are normally considered to be in league with undead creatures, or at least to share their aims and goals. Thus, they have no ability to turn undead. However, they can attempt to command these beings.

            This is resolved in the same way as a turning attempt. Up to 12 undead can be commanded. A "T" result means the undead automatically obey the evil priest, while a "D" means the undead become completely subservient to the evil priest. They follow his commands (to the best of their ability and understanding) until turned, commanded, or destroyed by another.

            Evil priests also have the ability to affect paladins, turning them as if they were undead. However, since the living spirit of a paladin is far more difficult to quell and subvert, paladins are vastly more difficult to turn.

            An evil priest attempting to turn a paladin does so as if the priest were three levels lower than he actually is. Thus, a 7th-level evil priest would turn paladins on the 4th-level column. He would have only a slim chance of turning a 7th-level paladin (7 HD) and would not be able to turn one of 8th level at all (using the level of the paladin as the HD to be turned). All "D" results against paladins are treated as "T" results.

Injury and Death

Sometimes, no degree of luck, skill, ability, or resistance to various attacks can prevent harm from coming to a character. The adventuring life carries with it unavoidable risks. Sooner or later a character is going to be hurt.

            To allow characters to be heroic (and for ease of play), damage is handled abstractly in the AD&D game. All characters and monsters have a number of hit points. The more hit points a creature has, the harder it is to defeat.

            Damage is subtracted from a character's (or creature's) hit points. Should one of the player characters hit an ogre in the side of the head for 8 points of damage, those 8 points are subtracted from the ogre's total hit points. The damage isn't applied to the head, or divided among different areas of the body.

            Hit point loss is cumulative until a character dies or has a chance to heal his wounds.

            Cwell the Fine, with 16 hit points, is injured by an orc that causes 3 points of damage. Fifteen minutes later, Cwell runs into a bugbear that inflicts 7 points of damage, Cwell has suffered 10 points of damage. This 10 points of damage remains until Cwell heals, either naturally or through magical means.


            When a character hits a monster, or vice versa, damage is suffered by the victim. The amount of damage depends on the weapon or method of attack. In Table 44 of Chapter 6, all weapons are rated for the amount of damage they inflict to Small, Medium, and Large targets. This is given as a die range (1d8, 2d6, etc.).

            Each time a hit is scored, the appropriate dice are rolled and the damage is subtracted from the current hit points of the target. An orc that attacks with a sword, for example, causes damage according to the information given for the type of sword it uses. A troll that bites once and rends with one of its clawed hands causes 2d6 points of damage with its bite and 1d4 + 4 points with its claw. (The DM gets this information from the Monstrous Manual supplement.)

            Sometimes damage is listed as a die range along with a bonus of +1 or more. The troll's claw attack, above, is a good example. This bonus may be due to high Strength, magical weapons, or the sheer ferocity of the creature's attack. The bonus is added to whatever number comes up on the die roll, assuring that some minimum amount of damage is caused. Likewise, penalties can also be applied, but no successful attack can result in less than 1 point of damage.

            Sometimes an attack has both a die roll and a damage multiplier. The number rolled on the dice is multiplied by the multiplier to determine how much damage is inflicted. This occurs mainly in backstabbing attempts. In cases where damage is multiplied, only the base damage caused by the weapon is multiplied. Bonuses due to Strength or magic are not multiplied; they are added after the rolled damage is multiplied.

Special Damage

Getting hit by weapons or monsters isn't the only way a character can get hurt. Indeed, the world is full of dangers for poor, hapless player characters, dangers the DM can occasionally spring on them with glee. Some of the nastier forms of damage are described below.


            Player characters have a marvelous (and, to the DM, vastly amusing) tendency to fall off things, generally from great heights and almost always onto hard surfaces. While the falling is harmless, the abrupt stop at the end tends to cause damage.

            When a character falls, he suffers 1d6 points of damage for every 10 feet fallen, to a maximum of 20d6 (which for game purposes can be considered terminal velocity).

            This method is simple and it provides all the realism necessary in the game. It is not a scientific calculation of the rate of acceleration, exact terminal velocity, mass, impact energy, etc., of the falling body.

            The fact of the matter is that physical laws may describe the exact motion of a body as it falls through space, but relatively little is known about the effects of impact. The distance fallen is not the only determining factor in how badly a person is hurt. Other factors may include elasticity of the falling body and the ground, angle of impact, shock wave through the falling body, dumb luck, and more.

            People have actually fallen from great heights and survived, albeit very rarely. The current record-holder, Vesna Vulovic, survived a fall from a height of 33,330 feet in 1972, although she was severely injured. Flight-Sergeant Nicholas S. Alkemade actually fell 18,000 feet--almost 3.5 miles--without a parachute and landed uninjured!

            The point of all this is roll the dice, as described above, and don't worry too much about science.


            A character or creature affected by paralysis becomes totally immobile for the duration of the spell's effect. The victim can breathe, think, see, and hear, but he is unable to speak or move in any manner. Coherent thought needed to trigger magical items or innate powers is still possible.

            Paralysis affects only the general motor functions of the body and is not the ultimate destroyer of powerful creatures. It can be particularly potent on flying creatures, however.

            The adventurers encounter a beholder, a fearsome creature with magical powers that emanate from its many eyes.

            After several rounds of combat, the party's priest casts a hold monster spell, paralyzing the creature. The paralyzed beholder can still use the spell-like powers of its eyes and can still move about (since it levitates at will). But, on the other hand, it is not able to move its eyestalks to aim. Since all of its eyes were most likely facing forward at the moment of paralysis, the adventurers cleverly spread out in a ring around the creature. To attack one or two of them with its powers, the beholder must turn its back on the rest.

Energy Drain

            This is a feature of powerful undead (and other particularly nasty monsters). The energy drain is a particularly horrible power, since it causes the loss of one or more experience levels!

            When a character is hit by an energy-draining creature, he suffers normal damage from the attack. In addition, the character loses one or more levels (and thus, Hit Dice and hit points). For each level lost, roll the Hit Dice appropriate to the character's class and subtract that number of hit points from the character's total (subtract the Constitution bonus also, if applicable). If the level(s) lost was one in which the character received a set number of hit points rather than a die roll, subtract the appropriate number of hit points. The adjusted hit point total is now the character's maximum (i.e., hit points lost by energy drain are not taken as damage but are lost permanently).

            The character's experience points drop to halfway between the minimum needed for his new (post-drain) level and the minimum needed for the next level above his new level.

            Multi-class and dual-class characters lose their highest level first. If both levels are equal, the one requiring the greater number of experience points is lost first.

            All powers and abilities gained by the player character by virtue of his former level are immediately lost, including spells. The character must instantly forget any spells that are in excess of those allowed for his new level. In addition, a wizard loses all understanding of spells in his spell books that are of higher level than he can now cast. Upon regaining his previous level, the spellcaster must make new rolls to see if he can relearn a spell, regardless of whether he knew it before.

            If a character is drained to 0 level but still retains hit points (i.e., he is still alive), that character's adventuring career is over. He cannot regain levels and has lost all benefits of a character class. The adventurer has become an ordinary person. A restoration or wish spell can be used to allow the character to resume his adventuring career. If a 0-level character suffers another energy drain, he is slain instantly, regardless of the number of hit points he has remaining.

            If the character is drained to less than 0 levels (thereby slain by the undead), he returns as an undead of the same type as his slayer in 2d4 days. The newly risen undead has the same character class abilities it had in normal life, but with only half the experience it had at the beginning of its encounter with the undead who slew it.

            The new undead is automatically an NPC! His goals and ambitions are utterly opposed to those he held before. He possesses great hatred and contempt for his former colleagues, weaklings who failed him in his time of need. Indeed, one of his main ambitions may be to destroy his former companions or cause them as much grief as possible.

            Furthermore, the newly undead NPC is under the total control of the undead who slew it. If this master is slain, its undead minions gain one level for each level they drain from victims until they reach the maximum Hit Dice for their kind. Upon reaching full Hit Dice, these undead are able to acquire their own minions (by slaying characters).

            Appropriate actions on the part of the other player characters can prevent a drained comrade from becoming undead. The steps necessary vary with each type of undead and are explained in the monster descriptions in the Monstrous Manual supplement.


            This is an all-too frequent hazard faced by player characters. Bites, stings, deadly potions, drugged wines, and bad food all await characters at the hands of malevolent wizards, evil assassins, hideous monsters, and incompetent innkeepers. Spiders, snakes, centipedes, scorpions, wyverns, and certain giant frogs all have poisons deadly to characters. Wise PCs quickly learn to respect and fear such creatures.

            The strength of different poisons varies wildly and is frequently overestimated. The bite of the greatly feared black widow spider kills a victim in the United States only once every other year. Only about 2% of all rattlesnake bites prove fatal.

            At the other extreme, there are natural poisons of intense lethality. Fortunately, such poisons tend to be exotic and rare--the golden arrow-poison frog, the western taipan snake, and the stonefish all produce highly deadly poisons.

            Furthermore, the effect of a poison depends on how it is delivered. Most frequently, it must be injected into the bloodstream by bite or sting. Other poisons are only effective if swallowed; assassins favor these for doctoring food. By far the most deadly variety, however, is contact poison, which need only touch the skin to be effective.

            Paralytic poisons leave the character unable to move for 2d6 hours. His body is limp, making it difficult for others to move him. The character suffers no other ill effects from the poison, but his condition can lead to quite a few problems for his companions.

            Debilitating poisons weaken the character for 1d3 days. All of the character's ability scores are reduced by half during this time. All appropriate adjustments to attack rolls, damage, Armor Class, etc., from the lowered ability scores are applied during the course of the illness. Furthermore, the character moves at one-half his normal movement rate. Finally, the character cannot heal by normal or magical means until the poison is neutralized or the duration of the debilitation is elapsed.

Treating Poison Victims

            Fortunately, there are many ways a character can be treated for poison. Several spells exist that either slow the onset time, enabling the character the chance to get further treatment, or negate the poison entirely. However, cure spells (including heal) do not negate the progress of a poison, and neutralize poison doesn't recover hit points already lost to the effects of poison. In addition, characters with herbalism proficiency can take steps to reduce the danger poison presents to player characters.


Once a character is wounded, his player will naturally want to get him healed. Characters can heal either by natural or magical means. Natural healing is slow, but it's available to all characters, regardless of class. Magical healing may or may not be available, depending on the presence (or absence) of spellcasters or magical devices.

            The only limit to the amount of damage a character can recover through healing is the total hit points the character has. A character cannot exceed this limit until he gains a new level, whereupon another Hit Die (or a set number of points) is added to his total. Healing can never restore more hit points to a character than his maximum hit point total.

Natural Healing

            Characters heal naturally at a rate of 1 hit point per day of rest. Rest is defined as low activity--nothing more strenuous than riding a horse or traveling from one place to another. Fighting, running in fear, lifting a heavy boulder, or any other physical activity prevents resting, since it strains old wounds and may even reopen them.

            If a character has complete bed rest (doing nothing for an entire day), he can regain 3 hit points for the day. For each complete week of bed rest, the character can add any Constitution hit point bonus he might have to the base of 21 points (3 points per day) he regained during that week.

            In both cases above, the character is assumed to be getting adequate food, water, and sleep. If these are lacking, the character does not regain any hit points that day.

Magical Healing

            Healing spells, potions, and magical devices can speed the process of healing considerably. The specifics of such magical healing methods are described in the spell descriptions in this book and in the DMG (for magical items). By using these methods, wounds close instantly and vigor is restored. The effects are immediate.

            Magical healing is particularly useful in the midst of combat or in preparation for a grievous encounter. Remember, however, that the characters' opponents are just as likely to have access to magical healing as the player characters--an evil high priest is likely to carry healing spells to bestow on his own followers and guards. Healing is not, of itself, a good or evil act.

            Remember that under no circumstances can a character be healed to a point greater than his original hit point total. For example, say a character has 30 hit points, but suffers 2 points of damage in a fight. A while later, he takes an additional point of damage, bringing his current hit point total to 27. A spellcaster couldn't restore more than 3 points to him, regardless of the healing method used. Any excess points are lost.

Herbalism & Healing Proficiencies

            Characters can also gain minor healing benefits from those proficient in the arts of herbalism and healing. These talents are explained in Chapter 5.

Character Death

When a character reaches 0 hit points, that character is slain. The character is immediately dead and unable to do anything unless some specialized magical effect takes precedence.

Death From Poison

            Poison complicates this situation, somewhat. A character who dies as a result of poisoning may still have active venom in his system.

            Poisons remain effective for 2d6 hours after the death of the victim. If the character is raised during this time, some method must be found to neutralize the poison before the character is restored to life. If this is not done, then after the character rolls the resurrection survival check as given in "Raising the Dead" later in this chapter (and assuming the roll is successful), he must immediately roll a successful saving throw vs. poison or suffer all the effects of the poison in his body, as per the normal rules. This may only injure some characters, but it may kill other characters seconds after being raised!

Death From Massive Damage

            In addition to dying when hit points reach 0, a character also runs the risk of dying abruptly when he suffers massive amounts of damage. A character who suffers 50 or more points of damage from a single attack must roll a successful saving throw vs. death, or he dies.

            This applies only if the damage was done by a single attack. Multiple attacks totaling 50 points in a single round don't require a saving throw.

            For example, a character would be required to make a check if a dragon breathed on him for 72 points of damage. He wouldn't have to do so if eight orcs hit him for a total of 53 points of damage in that round.

            If the saving throw is successful, the character remains alive (unless of course the 50-hit-point loss reduced his hit points to 0 or below!). If the saving throw fails, the character immediately dies from the intense shock his body has taken. His hit points are reduced to 0.

            The character may still be raised in the normal ways, however.

Inescapable Death

            There are occasions when death is unavoidable, no matter how many hit points a character has.

            A character could be locked in a room with no exits, with a 50-ton ceiling descending to crush him. He could be trapped in an escape-proof box filled completely with acid. These examples are extreme (and extremely grisly), but they could happen in a fantasy world.

Raising the Dead

            Curative and healing spells have no effect on a dead character--he can only be returned to life with a raise dead or resurrection spell (or a device that accomplishes one of these effects). Each time a character is returned to life, the player must make a resurrection survival roll based on his current Constitution (see Table 3). If the die roll is successful (i.e., the player rolls equal to or less than his resurrection survival percentage), the character is restored to life in whatever condition is specified by the spell or device.

            A character restored to life in this way has his Constitution permanently lowered by 1 point. This can affect hit points previously earned. Should the character's Constitution bonus go down, the character's hit point total is reduced by the appropriate number of hit points (the amount of hit point bonus lost is multiplied by the number of levels for which the character gained extra hit points from that bonus). When the character's Constitution drops to 0, that character can no longer be raised. He is permanently removed from play.



Chapter 10:


Hidden out there in the campaign world are great treasures awaiting discovery. Ancient dragons rest on huge hordes of gold, silver, and gems. Orc chieftains greedily garner the loot from the latest raid. Mindless jellies ooze through the bones and armor of unfortunate souls. Foul lords of darkness cunningly leave small fortunes apparently unguarded, like spiders luring in the flies. Stooped wizards assemble shelves of arcane magical items. Some treasures, like those of dragons, are gathered and horded for reasons fully understood only by their collectors. Others are gathered for more mundane purposes--power, luxury, and security. A rare few troves date from eons before, their owners long dead and forgotten. Some treasure hordes are small, such as the pickings of a yellow mold. Others are enormous, such as the Tyrant King's treasury. Treasures may be free for the taking or fiercely trapped and watched over.

Treasure Types

Treasure comes in many different forms and sizes, ranging from the mundane to the exotic. There are of course coins of copper, silver, gold, electrum, and platinum. But precious metals can also be shaped into gilded cups, etched bowls, or even silverware. Characters know the value of coins and will have no difficulty establishing their worth in most cases. However, ancient treasure hordes may contain coins no longer used. It may be that these can be sold only by their weight. Objects made of valuable metal are even more difficult to appraise. Either the characters must find a goldsmith who can value the item and a buyer willing to pay a fair price, or these too must be melted down for their metal. In large cities this is not too difficult. There are always appraisers and fences handy, although getting full value might be difficult. (Accusations of theft are another small problem.) Characters must be aware of cheats and counterfeiters though. An apparently valuable bowl could actually be base metal plated in silver. The metal of coins could be debased with copper or brass. Weights could be rigged to give false prices. Characters must find merchants they can trust.

            Gems are another common form of treasure and here player characters are even more dependent on others. Unless the party has a skilled appraiser of precious stones, they're going to have to trust others. After all, those red stones they found in the last treasure could be cheap glass, richly colored but only marginally valuable quartz, semi-precious garnets, or valuable rubies. Again, the player characters are going to have to find a jeweler they can trust and be watchful for cheats and scams. However, truly tricky DMs might present your characters with uncut gems. These are almost impossible for the untrained eye to spot or appraise. Most characters (and most players) are not going to realize that a piece of unremarkable stone can be a valuable gem when properly cut.

            Perhaps the most difficult of all treasure items to appraise are objects of artistic value. While gems cut or uncut are valuable, their worth can be greatly increased when used in a piece of jewelry. Gold is valuable by weight, but even more so when fashioned into a cup or pin. Dwarven craftsmen from hidden communities practice the finest arts of gem cutting, while gnomish artisans in earthen burrows labor away on elaborate gold and silver filigrees. Ancient elven carvings, done in exquisitely grained woods, stand side by side with the purest of statues chiseled by man. All of these have a value that goes far beyond their mere materials.

            But artistic creations seldom have a fixed value. Their price depends on the player characters finding a buyer and that person's willingness to buy. A few large cities may have brokers in arts, merchants who know the right people and are willing to act as go-betweens. Most of the time, however, the player characters have to go to the effort of peddling their wares personally. This requires tact and delicacy, for such items are seldom bought by any but the wealthy and the wealthy often do not like stooping to business negotiations. Player characters must carefully avoid giving insult to the barons, dukes, counts, and princes they might deal with.

            Finally, there are the truly unusual things your character can find--furs, exotic animals, spices, rare spell components, or even trade goods. As with art objects, the values of these items are highly subjective. First the player characters have to find a buyer. This is not too difficult for everyday things, such as furs or trade goods, but it can be a tremendous enterprise if you have a spell component that is useful only to the most powerful of wizards. Next the PCs must haggle about the price. Furriers and merchants do this as a matter of course. Others haggle because they hope the PCs do not know the true value of what they hold or because they themselves do not know. After all this, the PCs might be able to sell their goods. However, if you enter into this in the true spirit of role-playing and see it as part of the adventure, the whole process is enjoyable.

Magical Items

The treasures mentioned thus far are all monetary. Their usefulness is immediate and obvious. They give characters wealth, and with wealth comes power and influence. However, there are other treasures, very desirable ones, that your characters will not want to sell or give away. These are the magical items that your characters find and use.

            Although priests and wizards can make magical items (according to the guidelines your DM has for magical research), it is far more common for characters to find these items during the course of adventures. Magical items are powerful aids for characters. With them, characters can gain bonuses in combat, cast spells with the mere utterance of a word, withstand the fiercest fire, and perform feats impossible by any other known means. Not all magical items are beneficial, however. Some are cursed, the result of faulty magical construction or, very rarely, the deliberate handiwork of some truly mad or evil wizard.

            A very few magical items are artifacts--items created by beings more powerful than the greatest player characters. These are perilously dangerous items to use. There are only three methods to determine how to use artifacts--dumb luck, trial and error, and diligent research.

            There are many different magical items your character can find, but they all fall into a few basic categories. Each type of magical item has properties you should be aware of.

            Magical Weapons: There can be a magical version of nearly any type of normal weapon, although there are admittedly few magical bardiches or guisarme-voulges. By far the most common magical weapons are swords and daggers. A magical weapon typically gives a +1 or greater bonus to attack rolls, increasing a character's chance to hit and cause damage. Perhaps magical swords are quicker on the attack, or maybe they're sharper than normal steel--the explanation can be whatever the DM desires. Whatever the reason, magical weapons give results far beyond those of even the finest-crafted nonmagical blade.

            A rare few weapons have even greater powers. These may allow your character to sense danger, heal wounds, float in midair, or have the most amazing luck. The rarest of the rare can actually communi