Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
Words that soak into your ears are whispered… not yelled.
Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.
Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.
Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.
You cannot unsay a cruel word.
Every path has a few puddles.
When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
The best sermons are lived, not preached.
Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.
Don’t judge folks by their relatives.
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
Live a good, honorable life… Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.
Don ‘t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t bothering you none.
Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a Rain dance.
If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.
Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’.
Always drink upstream from the herd.
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.
If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.
Most times, it just gets down to common sense.
“The dwarves of yore made mighty spells,
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep, where dark things sleep,
In hollow halls beneath the fells.”
The Underdark is a cruel, strange, and mysterious place. Many parts of the Underdark of Faerûn are suffused with a magical radiation that the drow call faerzress. A remnant of the mighty forces that originally shaped the terrain of the Underdark, faerzress distorts and interferes with certain types of magic. It also changes things, mutating them into the odd and wonderous. Below are a few examples of materials within the Underdark that have been altered due to their fusion with faerzress.
Originally discovered by the ancient sage James Jacobs, sickstone is found deep within the tunnels and caverns of the Underdark. The radiation of the faerzress has permeated the stone itself, sickening it on a primeval level. Sickstone is found in large deposits and veins, easily identifiable by its glimmering silvery-green color. The illumination provided by sickstone radiates to a distance of 40 feet, and those within its glow feel a sense of dread and unease. If a living being remains within the glow of sickstone for more than one minute, saving throws are required. A living creature must succeed at Constitution Saving Throw (DC:13) or become affected by the Poisoned condition. A poisoned creature has disadvantage on Attack rolls and Ability Checks. Every hour that the creature remains within the illumination provided by sickstone after becoming Poisoned, the creature temporarily loses 1d2 Constitution points as its health, stamina, and vital force are sapped. Creatures that are immune to disease are immune to the debilitating effects of sickstone. Apart from its glow and sickening aura, sickstone should be treated as normal stone, with the exception that natural sunlight causes it to crumble to chalky, inert powder in a matter of seconds.
Sourstone is identified by its color and smell. A being coming into contact with sourstone will notice that it glows with a faintly lavender hue and smells of soured milk. It has a bitter taste and is unpleasant to consume. As with sickstone, the illumination of sourstone is debilitating. Remaining within 10 feet of sourstone’s glow causes a living creature to slowly become exhausted. After being within 10 feet of sourstone for a full hour living creatures must succeed at a Constitution Saving Throw (DC: 15) for become affected by the Exhaustion condition, level 1. Every additional hour of exposure threatens to increase this condition to a deeper level, ending in death at level 6. Every hour after the creature becomes Exhausted due to sourstone, the creature must make another Constituion Saving Throw (DC:15) with a -1 to the roll. Each additional hour adds another -1. Failure adds another level of Exhaustion. The effect of this condition cannot be ended without leaving the area of sourstone.
On the high seas, an encounter
with an alien merchant ship leads to a brisk battle, after which the victorious
party examines the cargo hold to determine their booty. This
captured treasure can turn out to be either highly valuable or next to
Small merchant ships can hold up to
twelve units of cargo, while large merchant ships can hold up to thirty
units. Roll 1d12 for each kind of treasure possible. The DM should determine how many units will be awarded to the playing characters based on the size of the ship.
HIGH SEAS CARGO CHART (1d12)
COOKING SPICES: Bags of Pepper, Cinnamon, and Cloves worth 500 gold per unit.
SILK: Rolls of fabric worth 1000 gold per unit.
PRECIOUS STONES: Small sacks of Amber, flint, jade, marble, and emeralds worth 1000 gold per unit.
TEAK: Bundles of precious wood worth 300 gold per unit.
BARLEY TEA: Barrels of tea leaves worth 350 gold per unit.
COTTON FABRIC: Bolts of fabric worth 250 gold per unit.
FLOUR: Bags of fine flour worth 200 gold per unit.
BITTER ORANGES: Baskets of oranges worth 250 gold per unit.
CABBAGE: Baskets of cabbage worth 150 gold per unit.
COOKBOOKS: Boxes of these books worth 750 gold per unit.
HERRING KIPPERS: Boxes of seafood worth 350 gold per unit.
SALTED MEATS: Hung by hooks, this meat is mainly Peafowl worth 300 gold per unit.
The Waterdeep City Watch is the everday police force within the city as opposed to the City Guard which is the standing army of the city. Watch Patrols pass along main streets once between bells, and vary their routes as often as possible. Locations known to be “High Crime Areas” receive around five patrols per bell, as do known seedy taverns and inns. Temples are policed lightly, because clergy are assumed to police their own grounds and buildings. Watch patrols are on foot but can call horsedrawn watch prison carts to carry off prisoners or confiscated goods.
Members of the Watch enjoy a wide but legally undefined immunity from most Waterdhavian laws while exercising their duties. They can appeal any sentence uttered against them by any Black Robed Magistrate to the Lords of Waterdeep.
On the other hand, watch members hate “bad” Watch members and will hound a suspected bad apple until they flee the city, agree to all investigations, or clearly establish their innocence. Watch members found guilty of crimes or misbehavior are often fined by the watch as well as punished under law. Conversely, distinguished service often earns handsome retirement bonuses from the Lords.
Most Waterdhavians grumble at the Watch, but obey them, because the Watch is seen as fair and helpful as well as jack-booted.
Persons arrested by the Watch are often taken to holding cells in the city wall towers, but the main lockup is a level of ironbar cells in the “dungeons” of Castle Waterdeep, with dangerous prisoners being handed over to the Guard for imprisonment in caverns inside Mount Waterdeep.
We recently started playing a swashbuckling pirate themed campaign set in Forgotten Realms called “Really Bad Eggs.” Since I enjoy using random charts to hand out treasure, I created two different downloadable charts that you can add to your collection if you like.
Here’s an example of one of the charts:
LOOT THE BODY d6
75 cp, 55 sp, 22 ep, 15 gp, and a Gold Earring set with a tiny ruby (30 gp).
180 sp, 130 gp, and a silk pouch containing five carnelians (10 gp each), two peridots (15 gp each), and one pearl (100 gp)
Scroll of charm person and a scroll of fireball.
Leather bag containing 35 sp, 20 ep, 20 gp, 5 pp, one pearl (100 gp) 5 55 cp, 75 sp, 22 gp
Wizards of the Coast has had a lot of surveys, and the one thing I always make sure to address in my comments is … GAME BLOAT!
Back in 2000, Wizards of the Coast released the Third Edition of Dungeons & Dragons … and it was a good thing! They also released an Open Content third party rule system called “The D20 System.” This was a new an exciting way to allow other publishers to make “official” D&D Third edition sourcebooks and material. It made sense, because back in the days of AD&D there were always some companies making AD&D books that were “unofficial” supplements to the game. For example, Role-Aids jumps to mind with their yellow corner shouting that it is compatiable with AD&D.
So anyway, the D20 license comes out and suddenly all these Third Party companies are making books for D&D Third Edition. At first it seemed great! It was a unprecedented phenomenon. Suddenly the market was flooded with all kinds of adventures and sourcebooks for use with D&D Third. We had companies like Necromancer Games, Malhavoc Press, Green Ronin, Goodman Games, and Mystic Eye pumping out all kinds of (usually affordable) books that flooded the market.
… FLOODED THE MARKET AND BLOATED THE GAME …
And FEATS were the worst part of it as far as I am concerned. There were a gazillion books that added a gamillion feats and they were usually absolutely terrible and annoying. It made the job of a Dungeon Master more difficult because players wanted to use all these KEWL POWERS that made the game unbalanced and less fun.
I remember sitting down with a player who wanted to make an Eldritch Knight. When we got together to create the character, he slapped down ive different Third Party books along with the Player’s Handbook. By the end of the session, I wanted to strangle him. It was horrible.
In fact, at one point there was an entire marketing campaign by D20 Monkey to create a Character Builder that allowed you to make a character for D&D Third using all the Core and Third Party publishers. It literally took a computer program to sort through all the nonsense a make a single character. By the time a player had a character built, and a DM could actually run a game it was obvious that there would be no killing that character within the storyline. I mean, who wanted to kill a character off and have to go through all the trouble of making another FREAKING character with that Character Builder program??! It suddenly made sense why Marcie was so upset. She didn’t want to have to use the D20 Character Builder to remake Black Leaf.
After a few years the D20 System wasn’t that awesome anymore. It actually started to become associated with licensed garbage. If you saw the pretty like white and red D20 symbol the first thing that came to mind was “yuck.” Most of the products being released were half-assed and absolutely horrible. “Oh look,” I’d think to myself. “The D20 Book of Half-Gnomes. Just what I wanted to go with the D20 Book of Erotica and the D20 Ultimate Guide to Treasure #5.” These low quality products filled the marketplace with junk and annoying material, including rules that were poorly tested and not thought out for game balance. All it was for these companies was a money grab with twenty sides.
Don’t get me wrong, some of the D20 products were great. I loved just aout everything that was put out by Necromancer Games, Swords & Sorcery, and Malhavoc Press. Rappan Athuk, Iron Heroes, and Blackmoor are some of my favorite D20 books. I also was happy to see D20 versions of Call of Cthuhlu and Star Wars but only so I could loot the contents and add things to my games of Dungeons & Dragons. If I wanted to play either of those games, I’d be playing the Classic version. For example, there is no better game of Star Wars – in my opinon – than the classic d6 system games! And I really enjoyed games lke D20 Modern and Dark*Matter. But the low quality of these other Third Party companies gave the impression that the D20 product line was garbage.
I’d like to point out books like “Good” and “Evil” by Alderac Entertainment Group. I admit that I did buy their “Dungeons” book but it was regretful to be honest. They literally just released a series of ONE WORD BOOKS with mostly fluff material and some half-hearted artwork.
As a Dungeon Master, I was happy to see that there were a lot of adventurers hitting the scene with the D20 System. There were awesome ones like the Rappan Athuk series.
But in the end there was just too much crap out there and the game suffered for it.
I’m glad to see that for the past few years, Wizards has introduced a good amount of material for D&D 5th edition without creating BLOAT. I like the idea that Wizards is working hand in hand with companies like Kobold, Sasquatch, and Green Ronin to produce materials. I’m happy that they made the DM’s Guild to allow folks to create materials under a license that it’s like the D20 license. And I’m really glad that Wizards is being smart in playtesting additions to their game through the use of articles and surveys.
Hopefully in 2017 the game continues to expand without BLOAT.
When you create your character, you receive equipment based on a combination of your class and background. Alternatively, you can start with a number of gold pieces based on your class and spend them on items from the lists in this chapter. See the Starting Wealth by Class table to determine how much gold you have to spend.
(It might be a good idea to check with your DM too!)
You decide how your character came by this starting equipment. It might have been an inheritance, or goods that the character purchased during his or her upbringing. You might have been equipped with a weapon, armor, and a backpack as part of military service. You might even have stolen your gear. A weapon could be a family heirloom, passed down from generation to generation until your character finally took up the mantle and followed in an ancestor’s adventurous footsteps.
A lot of times your starting equipment includes a least one tool.
A tool helps you to do something you couldn’t otherwise do, such as craft or repair an item, forge a document, or pick a lock. Your race, class, background, or feats give you proficiency with certain tools. Proficiency with a tool allows you to add your proficiency bonus to any ability check you make using that tool.
Tool use is not tied to a single ability, since proficiency with a tool represents broader knowledge of its use. For example, the DM might ask you to make a Dexterity check to carve a fine detail with your woodcarver’s tools, or a Strength check to make something out of particularly hard wood.
In the picture above, the playing character is choosing to flee rather than fight. Maybe because his companions are all fallen, victimds of the vile undead chasing him. Maybe because he wants to get the high ground to cast a spell or Turn Undead, Or maybe he’s just smart enough not to try to fight those things in that environment. Either way, he’s using tools to escape!
See that rope? Yeah. We always have rope, right? Rope. Rope, whether made of hemp or silk, has 2 hit points and can be burst with a DC 17 Strength check.
∇ Climbing, Swimming, and Crawling ∇
While climbing or swimming, each foot of movement costs 1 extra foot (2 extra feet in difficult terrain), unless a creature has a climbing or swimming speed. At the DM’s option, climbing a slippery vertical surface or one with few handholds requires a successful Strength (Athletics) check. Similarly, gaining any distance in rough water might require a successful Strength (Athletics) check.
And he’s got a torch! Seeing is a good thing. Torch. A torch burns for 1 hour, providing bright light in a 20-foot radius and dim light for an additional 20 feet. If you make a melee attack with a burning torch and hit, it deals 1 fire damage.
∇ Vision and Light ∇
The most fundamental tasks of adventuring—noticing danger, finding hidden objects, hitting an enemy in combat, and targeting a spell, to name just a few—rely heavily on a character’s ability to see. Darkness and other effects that obscure vision can prove a significant hindrance.
A given area might be lightly or heavily obscured. In a lightly obscured area, such as dim light, patchy fog, or moderate foliage, creatures have disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.
A heavily obscured area—such as darkness, opaque fog, or dense foliage—blocks vision entirely. A creature in a heavily obscured area effectively suffers from the blinded condition when trying to see something in that area.
The presence or absence of light in an environment creates three categories of illumination: bright light, dim light, and darkness.
Bright light lets most creatures see normally. Even gloomy days provide bright light, as do torches, lanterns, fires, and other sources of illumination within a specific radius.
Dim light, also called shadows, creates a lightly obscured area. An area of dim light is usually a boundary between a source of bright light, such as a torch, and surrounding darkness. The soft light of twilight and dawn also counts as dim light. A particularly brilliant full moon might bathe the land in dim light.
Darkness creates a heavily obscured area. Characters face darkness outdoors at night (even most moonlit nights), within the confines of an unlit dungeon or a subterranean vault, or in an area of magical darkness.
Always make sure you check out what is included in your character equipment packs! It may mean the difference between life and death for your character:
Clerics are intermediaries between the mortal world and the distant planes of the gods. As varied as the gods they serve, clerics strive to embody the handiwork of their deities. No ordinary priest, a cleric is imbued with divine magic.
Not every acolyte or officiant at a temple or shrine is a cleric. Some priests are called to a simple life of temple service, carrying out their gods’ will through prayer and sacrifice, not by magic and strength of arms. In some cities, priesthood amounts to a political office, viewed as a stepping stone to higher positions of authority and involving no communion with a god at all. True clerics are rare in most hierarchies.
When a cleric takes up an adventuring life, it is usually because his or her god demands it. Pursuing the goals of the gods often involves braving dangers beyond the walls of civilization, smiting evil or seeking holy relics in ancient tombs. Many clerics are also expected to protect their deities’ worshipers, which can mean fighting rampaging orcs, negotiating peace between warring nations, or sealing a portal that would allow a demon prince to enter the world.
Most adventuring clerics maintain some connection to established temples and orders of their faiths. A temple might ask for a cleric’s aid, or a high priest might be in a position to demand it.