Landsoftheblacksea:Main Page/house rules

From RPGnet
Jump to: navigation, search

<< Back to Main Page

Character Generation[edit]

  • Start at 2nd level
  • Mages start with 5 spells (players choice, subject to any class constraints, see below)
  • All abilities should sum to 80 or less points (exceptions as authorized by the DM).
  • You can equip your character with any non-magical items that you want, but again, they should fit with the backstory for the character. I will be allowing each character to have 1 non-standard (not magical) item to start with; examples might include a particularly well-made suit a mail, a weapon handed down through the ages, a familiar, a pet or mount (again, normal creatures only, no magical creatures), etc. – use your imagination, but please ensure the item fits into your backstory.
  • Keep in mind that the character will start the campaign travelling across a civilized land, so I would expect to see equipment that is in line with this. There will be opportunities to obtain further equipment in the early stages of the game. Equipment costs can be found here
  • Spellcasters - please see attached House Rules for Spellcasting
  • What is the character’s name? What are his/her likes? Dislikes? Why is this character even bothering to leave home to become an adventurer? What does the character want to get out of adventuring? Out of life? What does the character look like? What does her or she like to wear? What special and distinctive mannerisms or quirks does the character have? What has the character done before now? What training or schooling has he or she had? Does he or she belong to any groups? What is his or her membership status (active, former, banished, apprentice, etc.)? What is his or her family situation, home town, and obligations (if any)? What does the character believe in? Reject? Love? Hate?


The Lands of the Black Sea campaign uses AD&D 2nd Edition Rulebooks. Rulebooks that will be considered as core rules for the campaign are:

  • Dungeon Master’s Guide
  • Player’s Handbook
  • Monster Manual

Rulebooks that are considered conditionally usable (see below) for the campaign are:

  • Complete Bard’s Handbook
  • Complete Druid’s Handbook
  • Complete Fighter’s Handbook
  • Complete Paladin’s Handbook
  • Complete Priests Handbook
  • Complete Ranger’s Handbook
  • Complete Thief’s Handbook
  • Complete Wizard’s Handbook
  • Complete Book of Elves
  • Complete Book of Dwarves
  • Complete Book of Gnomes & Halflings
  • Tome of Magic
  • Player’s Option Combat & Tactics
  • Player’s Option Skills & Powers
  • Player’s Option Spells & Magic
  • Arms & Equipment Guide
  • Wizard’s Spell Compendium

Conditionally usable: The DM has access to these books; Player’s that want confirmation of a rule from these books being in place should ask before taking an action. I’m open to using the books, but I will need to become familiar with a particular area of them and ensure it fits within the campaign before you exercise rules from them. Lands of the Black Sea is intended to be a plot and character-driven game, not a test of encyclopedic knowledge of rules (I’ll go play Star Fleet Battles if I want that…?), so relax and enjoy!


We'll use the Group Initiative Roll w/ Individual Modifiers system for Initiative: Both sides roll 1d10 initiative Each individual (character or NPC or Monster) has their group's number modified based on their individual actions - if a character is using a weapon, the weapon speed for it added to the group roll for that character; if casting a spell, the casting time is added to the group roll for the spellcaster. After all modifiers are made, the resulting numbers are listed lowest to highest, and that is the order of the actions for the round.

Example: Initiative Roll: Party – 9; creatures – 4


  1. Creatures: +0 (natural attacks) = 4
  2. Illusion: +0 (hand crossbow) = 9
  3. Markel: +2 (dagger) = 11, Darithe: +2 (dagger) = 11
  4. Fariya: +5 (scimitar) = 14, Markel: +5 (longsword) = 14
  5. Violet: +6 (spear) =15

Critical Hits[edit]

  • I have a critical hit table/fumble table (not sure of copyright, so you'll just have to trust me) based on a 1 - 100 scale.
  • Higher numbers are more impact both in terms of criticals (more damage or other impacts) and fumbles (worse outcome for fumbler and/or their team).
  • A Natural 1 always misses; a natural 20 always hits (exception is creature only hit by magical or silver or whatever and you are not using that). Both also trigger a roll for a critical or fumble.
  • If there are "to hit" bonuses or penalties that would have modified the to hit roll (e.g., Violet's +1 STR and +1 Champion bonuses), they become bonuses or penalties to the % roll for the critical or fumble.
    • So Violet rolls a natural 20, so her +2 to hit becomes (+2/20 =) +10% to the critical table - that's good. If she rolled a 1, that would be a -10% to the fumble table (also good, makes fumble have less impact).
    • Likewise, if someone was -1 to hit with a weapon and rolls a 20, they will get a -5% to the critical table (bad); if they roll a 1, they will get a +5% to the fumble table (bad). Numbers never go below 01 or above 100 regardless of these modifiers.
  • For damage multipliers (2X, 3X is the upper limit) - should be interpreted as 3X number of damage dice; any damage modifiers (STR bonus, Violet's Champion bonus) should be added to this number.


Facing Diagrams

See picture to the right.

  • Flank attack = +1 to hit.
  • Rear attack = +2 to hit (for non-thieves).
  • Thieves wanting to backstab (+4 to hit, damage multiplier) must be in a "rear" square in order to attempt, and defender must be unaware of their presence.

Magic Use & Spellcasting[edit]

Spell users do not have to memorize their spells in advance. Such a character may cast any spell he or she knows at any time, so long as he or she has an available "slot" to cast it. If the character does not have an available slot of the correct level, he or she may use an available higher-level slot instead; this gives no bonus, and is referred to as "demotion". This applies to all spellcasting classes (Priests, Wizards, Paladins, Rangers, Bards, etc.). “Slots” are assigned per the core rules in the PHB (Table 21 for Wizards, Table 24 for Priests, etc. etc.).

Magic Users (including Bards & Illusionists)[edit]

Mages within the Lands of the Black Sea are typically trained within a Magical School. These schools are typically located either in large urban settings, or are secreted in inaccessible, difficult to find locales. Some magical schools specialize in certain Schools of Magic (see The Complete Wizard), giving them advantages within that sphere, but restricting them from using spells in the opposition sphere(s). Illusionists in the Lands of the Black Sea are considered Mages that specialize to the Sphere of Illusion (e.g., no separate class).

Wizards, Bards, and other users of arcane magic still must abide by the core rules that dictate their ability to learn a given spell that is found, based on their intelligence score. An arcane spellcaster must spend some time every day studying from their spell book in order to be able to cast these spells. The amount of time needed for the spellcaster to do so is approximately one hour per day, regardless of the number of spells he has. A simple "I spend some time studying my spell book" announcement by your player is sufficient to consider it done. It can also be divided into many separate sessions of time during the day like in the morning, at lunch, before going to bed, etc.

If 5 days in a row goes by without the player being able to study his spell book, there is a chance that some spells may be forgotten temporarily. This chance is based on the spellcaster's Intelligence score in the following manner: In this situation, when a spellcaster attempts to cast a spell, a cross-check against the Intelligence of the spellcaster with the "Chance to Learn Spell" column in the AD&D Player's Handbook is made. The percentage shown is deducted from 100%. The result is the percentage of chance that the spellcaster has forgotten the spell. Spells forgotten in this manner are subject to ruling by the DM – spells’ that are frequently or recently used are less likely to be forgotten than a spell the wizard has never actually cast before. The chance to forget a spell is independent of its level. Each day after the 5th that the spellcaster is unable to study their spell book, the spellcaster adds 5% to his chance of forgetting a spell. Spells that were learned and then forgotten in this manner needs to be relearned, but this in a different way than when the spellcaster first learns them. The spellcaster will always be able to relearn such a spell with a (i.e., chance of 100% - thus there is no chance that the spell will be forgotten forever unless a source, such as the characters spell book or a scroll, etc., cannot be acquired).

Relearning a spell requires a total of 5 hours per spell level must be spent by the spellcaster to relearn a forgotten spell. These hours need not be spent consecutively, but a session of less than 2 hours will not count toward diminishing this time. No more than 10 hours per day can be devoted to relearning spells.

Priests (including Druids)[edit]

The spells that priests, rangers, druids, and paladins will have access to will depend heavily on the diety they worship. The DM will provide a list of allowed/disallowed spells to the player as part of the character generation process.

When users of divine magic cast a spell, they invoke a prayer to their patron entity or power; usually the lower the spell level, the lower level of minion or servant of the higher power that will be granting the request. Users of divine magic do not need to spend time studying spell books, as users of arcane magic do, but they do need to spend some time in daily prayer to keep their relations with the higher powers on a sound footing. In game terms, this equates to about an hour per day. Failure to do so for a period of days will eventually manifest itself in the form of spells not being granted – the caster will perform the motions and invoke the words or gestures of power, but no effect will manifest itself, and the “slot” will be used. There are no percentages or rules associated with this effect – it is dependent on deity and situation, and is essentially a DM’s ruling.

Spell Failure[edit]

When spells fail (due to checks described in the spell description or due to interruption from attack, etc.), the DM will consult rules on what the effects of this are. They can range from nothing, to having the spell effects directed at the caster or a member of their party.

Movement & Spellcasting[edit]

Characters can move and cast up to a limit - take the spell casting time and subtract from 10, then divide result by 10 - characters can move up to this percent of their movement rate. Penalty is that characters will suffer an initiative penalty related to how much time they use moving before they cast.

Example: Gabriel is going to cast a spell with a casting time of 3; that means at most he can move (10 - 7) = 7/10 = 0.7 or 70% of his base move (8" = 80 feet per round right now due to light encumbrance). 0.7 * 80 feet per round = 56 feet. But in this case, Gabriel would suffer a +10 modifier to the initiative roll (+3 for the spellcasting, and +7 for using 70% of the round to move first).

If Gabriel decided not to move at all, his initiative modifier would just be the +3 for the spell.

If Gabriel decides to move 25 feet then cast, initiative modifier would be +3 for the spell, and an additional 25/56*7 = +3 for movement, total of +6.

If Gabriel casts and then moves, he can still move up to 56 feet after casting, his initiative modifier is just +3 for the spell; but we would only resolve his movement after the rest of combat happens (e.g., everyone else completes their actions for the round, and if he is still able, THEN he moves to where he wanted to).

I'll do the math for you if you want to do it, but above if how I've always handled movement in combat.

I do similar things for melee & missile attacks - in melee, weapon speed takes the place of spell casting time (which means for weapons with a speed of 10 or more, you cannot both move and attack). Likewise, for missile attacks with a rate of fire of more than one, it's not usually possible to fire more than one shot and still move in a turn (since the second shot has a modifier of 2x weapon speed, 3rd shot has 3x weapon speed, etc. etc.).