Landsoftheblacksea:Main Page/house rules

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Character Generation

  • 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.
  • 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!

Magic Use & Spellcasting

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)

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)

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

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.