The ruleset under which play in the world of Gymalle takes place is a horrible mishmash of 2E, 1E, BECMI Rules Cyclopedia, and some 3E rules. The entirety of the house rules is as follows:
A. Character Generation
1. New character statistics are produced by rolling 3d6 six times, generating STR, INT, WIS, DEX, CON, and CHR in order. After these stats are generated, a player has the option of keeping them for his/her character or dumping the lot and having them all rerolled.
a. A person may have up to three sets of stats generated in this manner, as a balance between fairness to the player and the Random Number Gods and in the interest of getting play underway.
b. If the sum total of all stats is less than 60, the player may deem the potential character a “hopeless hero” and gains an additional reroll.
c. Bonuses based on ability scores are for the most part treated as in the Basic D&D ruleset. See Appendix A for the full tables.
2. After stat generation, a character selects his/her race. They have statistic modifications as noted below. Racial benefits or drawbacks aside from statistic changes are noted in Appendix B.
a. Human: No change
b. Elf: +1 DEX, -1 CON
c. Dwarf: -1 DEX, +1 CON, -1 CHR
d. Halfling: -1 STR, +1 DEX
e. Gnome: +1 INT, -1 WIS
f. Half-Orc: +1 STR, -1 INT, -2 CHR
g. Half-Elf: No change
h. Riichna: +1 WIS, -2 CHR
i. Any exotic player races (considered to include all monstrous races) are allowable based on the DM’s willingness to include them and generally have the stat modifications as described in The Complete Book of Humanoids.
3. Following this, the player selects a class, either single or (optional for all non-humans) multiclassed. Multiclassed characters have all gained XP divided equally between the two classes, in addition to one-half the HP for each HD, rounded up. Constitution bonuses to HP only count once for each “double level”; the player chooses which of the two classes’ additional HP it modifies. The available classes with their HD and required statistics are as follows, further divided by class type. A multiclassed character may only have one class from each type.
a. Warrior Types
i. Fighter: d12, minimum 8 STR
ii. Ranger: d10, minimum 13 STR and 13 CON
iii. Paladin: d10, minimum 11 STR, 13 WIS, 13 CHR
b. Priest Types
i. Cleric: d8, minimum 8 WIS
ii. Druid: d8, minimum 11 STR and 13 WIS
iii. Monk: d8, minimum 9 WIS, 13 DEX, 13 CON
c. Mage Types
i. Wizard: d4, minimum 9 INT—There are no wizard “specialists.”
ii. Oracle: d6, minimum 11 INT and 9 DEX
d. Rogue Types
i. Thief: d6, minimum 8 DEX
ii. Bard: d6, minimum 9 INT, 9 DEX, 13 CHR
e. Upon reaching “name” level (generally 9th), Hit Dice continue to be gained at a level-up, instead of the flat HP increase, to the level cap or 15th level. After this, NO further health increases through leveling apply, though health may still be gained through magic, items, etc.
f. Multiclass characters must have the minimum ability score(s) plus 3 for any multiclass combination (i.e. a fighter/thief needs at least 11 STR and 11 DEX).
g. Druid/wizard multiclass characters are not allowed; a druid’s affinity for the natural flow is disrupted by the tinkering and physics-rule-bending of wizardly magics.
h. Spell levels gained as a multiclass wizard/bard may not be “stacked.” The character uses the most favorable spell progression available (usually wizard). Multiclass wizard/clerics or bard/clerics do, however, gain the benefits of both clerical and wizardly spell access.
i. At first level, a player is given HP rerolls until the value on the die is within at least the upper 2/3 of possible values; minimum rolled values by die are 5 (d12), 4 (d10), 3 (d8), 3 (d6) and 2 (d4). Constitution modifiers are applied after this roll is achieved. For second level and beyond, Hit Points are not rerolled.
j. Class kits are disallowed under most circumstances; players are free to role-play their characters in a manner befitting a chosen kit.
4. The race/class combinations disallowed are noted below.
a. Human: None disallowed
b. Elf: Paladin, monk, oracle
c. Dwarf: Ranger, paladin, druid, wizard, oracle, bard
d. Halfling: Ranger, paladin, druid, monk, wizard, oracle
e. Gnome: Ranger, paladin, monk, oracle
f. Half-Orc: Paladin, oracle, bard
g. Half-Elf: Paladin, oracle
h. Riichna: Ranger, paladin, cleric, druid, wizard, bard
i. Any exotic player races (considered to include all monstrous races) are allowed classes as described in The Complete Book of Humanoids, though the DM may allow additional classes. Subclass kits as described in the book are treated as the “core” version of that class types—shaman are clerics, while witch doctors are wizards, though role-playing differences are still encouraged.
j. Multiclass wizards must be limited to studded leather armor or lighter (based on encumbrance, not AC value) in order to use wizardly magic; multiclass oracles are limited to padded robes (again based on encumbrance). Multiclass thieves are otherwise not limited in armor if heavier armor is allowed the other class, but suffer penalties to thieving skills as described in the PHB.
k. Halfling bards do NOT gain spells as do bards of other races.
5. Class level limits are generally as described in the 2nd edition Player’s Handbook. For class combinations that are not allowed by-the-book (such as elf druids), the limits are as follows.
a. Elves are limited to 12th level as druids.
b. Dwarves are limited to 10th level as monks.
c. Halflings are limited to 13th level as bards.
d. Gnomes are limited to 9th level as druids, 15th level as wizards, and 10th level as bards.
e. Half-orcs are not described in the 2nd edition PHB. They are in The Complete Book of Humanoids, and have class/level restrictions as follows within Nexus or Gymalle: Fighter 15, ranger 10, cleric 10, druid 8, monk 10, wizard 6, thief 11.
f. Half-elves are limited to 11th level as monks.
g. Riichnas are a homebrew race, and have class-level limits as follows: Fighter 13, monk 15, oracle U, thief 11.
h. Any exotic player races have the limits as described in The Complete Book of Humanoids, though the DM may make changes to those limits.
i. Multiclass characters’ level limits are one lower than the maximum allowed for a given class.
j. XP continues to be gained by the character after reaching the level cap. While Hit Points, THAC0, saving throws, spell castings, and class skills no longer increment upon reaching the hard caps needed to level, weapon and nonweapon proficiencies are still gained when the character reaches an XP total equal to that required for a level at which those abilities would be gained.
6. THAC0, AC, saving throws, and weapon damage for the classes are as described on the DM’s screen, which may be referenced by players at any time the DM allows them to view them. Allowable weapons by class are generally as described in the 2nd edition PHB and DMG.
a. Monks are only allowed to use daggers, spears, staves, slings, darts, and cestus-type punching weapons, though they deal more damage than other classes when striking without a weapon. They may not wear any armor bulkier than padded robes (base AC 9) which may be available.
b. Oracles are only allowed to use daggers, staves, slings, darts, spears, and cestus-type punching weapons. They may not wear any armor bulkier than padded robes (base AC 9) which may be available.
c. Wizards may wear padded robes (base AC 9) if they are available.
7. Weapon and nonweapon proficiencies are given and gained as described in the 2nd edition PHB. Initial weapon proficiencies must be spent immediately or are lost, but nonweapon proficiency choices may be deferred no more than two gaming sessions before they are lost (to save on character creation time during those sessions, given adventurer mortality rates).
a. ALL classes may receive bonuses to hit and damage from increased weapon specialization, if they have enough skill placed in the weapon. There are five levels of skill for each weapon, and weapon proficiency “points” may be used to fill in those slots as desired. A player may place these points as desired (even initial ones), but is urged to weigh the benefits and drawbacks in overspecializing in a particular weapon.
b. The five levels of skill are as follows.
i. No ticks—nonproficient. Suffers the attack penalty to hit as described in the PHB.
ii. One tick—proficient. The attack penalty is removed from this specific weapon.
iii. Two ticks—skilled. The character gains +1 to hit when using this weapon.
iv. Three ticks—highly skilled. The character gains +1 to hit and +1 damage when using this weapon.
v. Four ticks—master. The character gains +2 to hit and +1 damage when using this weapon.
vi. Five ticks—grandmaster. The character gains +2 to hit and +2 damage when using this weapon.
c. Monks gain both weapon and nonweapon proficiencies as clerics. They may choose skills from the priest and rogue tables without penalty. They are automatically proficient in weaponless fighting.
d. Oracles gain weapon proficiencies as thieves, but nonweapon proficiencies as wizards. They may choose skills from the wizard table without penalty.
e. The Spellcrafting nonweapon proficiency must be “specialized”—while both priest and wizard classes have it listed, they must choose whether their studies are in regards to clerical magic, druidic magic, wizardly magic, or oracular magic.
f. Every character gains a “free” nonweapon proficiency based on his/her class selection. These do not count as one of the starting nonweapon proficiencies.
i. Fighter: Endurance
ii. Ranger: Wilderness Lore
iii. Paladin: Religion (religion of adherence)
iv. Cleric: Religion (religion of adherence)
v. Druid: Wilderness Lore
vi. Monk: Endurance
vii. Wizard: Spellcraft (Wizardly)
viii. Oracle: Spellcract (Oracular)
ix. Thief: Appraising OR Gambling OR Tumbling OR Haggling
x. Bard: Singing OR another performance-based skill
g. Modificiations from INT allow additional starting nonweapon proficiencies; see Appendix 1 for more information.
h. Any desired nonweapon proficiencies not listed in the PHB are allowable with the DM’s permission.
8. Following all this, a player may “stat shuffle” a limited amount. As described in the Basic D&D Rulesbook (the “red” book for Classic D&D), players may take two stats out of certain stats to increase another stat by 1, though a player may not reduce a stat below 9 in doing so. The player may only draw out of the first four stats—STR, INT, WIS, and DEX—and may only place stats into the first three—STR, INT, and WIS—and his class’s prime requisite(s), which are as follows.
a. Fighter: STR
b. Ranger: STR and CON
c. Paladin: STR and CHR
d. Cleric: WIS
e. Druid: STR and WIS
f. Monk: WIS and DEX
g. Wizard: INT
h. Oracle: INT and DEX
g. Thief: DEX
h. Bard: DEX and CHR
9. Alignment must be chosen with class restrictions in mind. For the most part, any class may have any given alignment, though limitations are as follows.
a. Paladins must be a fervent believer of their god; because humans tend to worship one of The Three, each with an alignment “ideal” associated with it, paladins must be either Lawful Good (for those of the Creator), True Neutral (the Preserver), or Chaotic Evil (the Destroyer). This does not mean they must act Lawful, True, or Chaotic Stupid, though role-playing frictions should arise if the alignment of a party is too out of synch with a paladin’s ethos (and this can in turn lead to a loss of paladin abilities if the violation is too egregious, as described in the PHB). Paladins of conflicting faiths are, at best, indifferent to one another.
b. Druids may be of any alignment with a Neutral component—Neutral Good, Lawful Neutral, True Neutral, Chaotic Neutral, or Neutral Evil. Each of these takes a different interpretation on the natural order: Good druids push for a degree of respect of all life (including that which may on occasion or by nature despoil the wilds), while Evil druids embrace the destructive and vengeful aspects of nature and lash out at all creatures unable or unwilling to embrace a druid’s ascetic lifestyle. Lawful druids seek to bring all beings into a harmonious relationship with nature, Chaotic ones have a “survival of the fittest” anarchical worldview, and True Neutral druids are “watchers” who generate overall balance from the myriad ethical differences of all life, including the assorted druid sects.
c. Monks may not be of any Chaotic alignment, and must seek penance as would a paladin if overly Chaotic acts are performed.
d. Bards may not be of any Lawful alignment, though they only suffer role-playing punishment if they act in an overly Lawful manner.
10. Height, weight, age, hair and eye color, and other such factors may be chosen by the player or rolled using the tables in the PHB, as desired.
B. Changes to General Game Rules
1. Clerics and druids are limited in available spells based on their alignment and/or the god to which they pray. See Appendix B: Clerics for a more complete explanation of this spell/alignment breakdown.
2. The methods through which classes prepare and cast spells are as follows.
a. Clerics must pray to their god(s) to grant spells, as described in the PHB, after having 8 hours of rest or the equivalent. It takes 10 minutes of praying for each spell (so a 3rd level cleric must pray 30 minutes to regain all spells—2 1st level and 1 2nd).
b. Druids have their powers through a direct link to the natural energy that pervades the world. While they do not need to pray for spells like clerics, they are much more limited in the range of available spells—the spells they have available at any given time are gained at druidic ceremonies (usually related to phases of the moon) and may only be altered at such a time. A druid has a selection of six “potential” spells available at any time for each spell level, but only may cast the number allowed by his/her available spells per day; multiple instances of these spells may be cast if desired.
c. Wizards must scribe spells into their spellbooks, which they then study to gain spells. It takes 10 minutes of study per spell level to memorize a particular spell; Magic Missile only takes 10 minutes, while Fireball would require 30.
d. Oracles also channel energies directly through manipulating the elemental building blocks of Existence. They are like druids in that all their available spells are “potential” for a given spell level and may be cast as many times as allowed by available spells per day; however, they gain their spells through months of study with a higher-leveled oracular tutor. This process takes one month per spell level for a given spell, after which the spell is available for use from then on, provided the training is a success. See Appendix B: Oracles for a more complete explanation and how high Intelligence may speed up this process.
3. Every five levels, a character gains a permanent increase of 1 point to a prime requisite statistic of his/her choice. Multiclass characters place this point into any prime requisite statistic of component classes, but only gain this bonus every 10 total levels.
4. Human characters may dual class at any time, provided they have an ability score in the prime requisite(s) of the new class that is at least the minimum plus 5 and the necessary funds for any training. Humans may dual class into ANY combination not forbidden by alignment, so long as it is from a different class type. Once a human dual classes into a new class, no further levels may be gained in the old class.
a. A dual-classed human starts his/her new class off at first level. Hit Points and saving throws are carried over; THAC0 is treated as the appropriate value for the new class. No additional Hit Dice are gained until the level in the new class surpasses that of the old, at which point Hit Points are gained in the new class. The player may not use any skills from the old class without forfeiting ALL experience from an adventure; all gained XP is also given a penalty equal to 10% per level difference between the new class and old.
b. Once the character’s new class exceeds the old, skills from both classes may be used without penalty; however, any class-based restrictions apply—for instance, a fighter-druid may not wear metallic armor and may only wield druid-approved weapons; a fighter-wizard may not cast spells in armor, and so forth. Thief characters may still use thief skills in heavy armor, though with penalties to those skills.
c. As with multiclass characters, bard/wizards do not gain “stacked” spell levels for wizardly magic.
5. Temporary ability loss is regained at a rate of 1 point per 3 days of bed rest; if the character maintains an adventuring or traveling lifestyle, this becomes 1 point per week. Permanent ability loss may be regained by a Restoration spell; likewise, Restoration spells always restore temporary ability loss. Hit points are naturally regained at a rate of 1 per day if the character rests and has access to some sort of basic medical treatment; this may be increased through visiting healers and, of course, applying healing magics.
6. XP is gained after adventures upon return to a safe location (generally the nearest city or village). Monster XP is divided up equally among all participants who take fight in a given battle; players are also awarded XP for any treasures found and returned on a 1 gp/1 XP basis (as described in the Basic D&D rulebook). These XP are NOT divided equally, but rather are distributed based on which treasures are found by which characters. Players may, however, opt to make treasure “communal” through some arrangement with the other players, in which case treasure XP will be divided equally as well. Players are also awarded bonus XP for excellence in role-playing or being a good sport “above the table.”
7. For purposes of resurrection or other abilities requiring a system shock roll, the default value is 60%, which is then modified by CON (see Appendix A). Upon being raised or resurrected, a character permanently loses 1 point from his/her CON score.
Appendix B: Races
There are eight races normally available to players: humans, elves, half-elves, dwarves, gnomes, half-orcs, halflings, and riichnas. These races may have various racial bonuses and penalties as described below, in addition to ability score adjustments as described above and any thieving skill modifiers described in the PHB.
Humans: No racial bonuses or penalties.
Elves: Low-light vision (can see twice as far by torch-, lantern-, or starlight). Immunity to ghoul (but not ghast) paralyzation. Immunity to magical sleep spells. +20% bonus to detecting secret doors. Cannot be raised or resurrected, but may be reincarnated.
Dwarf: 60’ infravision. +10% bonus to detecting stonework anomalies (sliding walls, traps, etc.). Intuit depth, slope, and other aspects of underground passages on a roll of 4-6 on a d6. 20% failure rate for magical items not specifically crafted for or by dwarves.
Gnome: 60’ infravision. +5% bonus to detecting stonework anomalies. Intuit depth, slope, and other aspects of underground passages on a 5-6 on a d6. +10% bonus to any rolls made to recognize illusionary magic for what it is and attempts to disbelieve it.
Half-elf: +1 on saving throws versus paralyzation (ghoul only) and magical sleep spells.
Half-orc: 30’ infravision. +1 bonus on saving throws versus poison. Half-orc thieves gain a +10% bonus to climb walls and a -5% penalty to finding/removing traps and picking locks.
Halfling: +1 to hit with missile weapons. May not wield large-sized weaponry.
Riichna: Elemental alignment of the player’s choice (or randomly determined). Cannot be raised or resurrected, but may be reincarnated. Riichna thieves gain a +5% bonus to climb walls and a -10% penalty to picking pockets.