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3rd Edition D&D Ruleset by DSimpson

Version: 2.4 | Updated: 04/18/2009
Highest Rated Guide


                              3rd Edition D&D FAQ

         for the following games based on the 3rd Edition D&D Ruleset:

                  Icewind Dale II
                  Neverwinter Nights
                  Pool of Radiance II: Ruins of Myth Drannor


                                October 4, 2002
                                 Version  2.4

                        Written by:  Dan Simpson
                             Email:  dsimpson.faqs@gmail.com

  If emailing me, use this subject:  D&D Rules
  (Emails that don't use the proper subject may be deleted)

You will find the most up to date version of this FAQ at:


This little FAQ is the sequel to my previous effort detailing the rules of the
2nd Edition "Advanced" Dungeons and Dragons. As of the 3rd edition of the
rules, D&D has dropped the "Advanced" and become simply "D&D." The intention of
this guide is to detail the rules for the game player who has never seen the
Pen and Paper (PnP) edition of D&D. Essentially making D&D accessible to

This guide is NOT a walkthrough for any of the above games, it merely explains
the rules.

This is also NOT the Player's Handbook, and won't let you play the Pen and
Paper edition of D&D.

Also remember that not every game runs the rules the exact same way.


Table of Contents


    Ø.  Basic Concepts
    1.  Base Attack Bonus (BAB) and Armor Class (AC)
    2.  Magic and Saving Throws
    3.  Multiclassing in 3rd Edition

  Frequently Asked Questions

  Final Words...

Article Ø:  Basic Concepts

  Dice = Everyone knows what dice are.  The most recognized form of dice is the
         "D6" or the six sided die.  If you find a weapon that deals out 3d6
         worth of Damage, then that means the weapon uses 3 six sided dice for
         a Damage Range of 3 to 18.

  d20  = 3rd Edition (3E) is a "Base 20" system, which means that most rolls
         use a 20 sided die. (Attacks, Saves, Skills, etc.)

  +,-  = Throughout D&D there are modifiers in both the positive and negative
         directions.  Any + modifier improves a stat, any - modifier degrades
         a stat.  Modifiers are also sorted by type, i.e. the spell "Bull's
         Strength" gives an ENHANCEMENT bonus of + 1d4 + 1 to your Strength
         score. Knowing what type of bonus is important because you can only
         have one of each type of bonus. That is, if two spells or effects
         give an ENHANCEMENT bonus to Strength, only the greater one is

  Encumberance = The weight that your character is currently holding.
         Depending on how strong she is, she will be able to carry more things.
         In D&D when you carry close to your limit, you will move slower, and
         if you go over your limit, you won't be able to move at all. For
         example, a character with 10 STR should be able to carry up to 100
         pounds of gear. However, because that is his upper limit, he will
         be considered to be "encumbered" and will move slowly. If he carries
         more than 100 pounds, then he can't move at all.

  Feat = A Special Ability gained at 1st level and every level divisible by 3
         after that. Fighters and Wizards gain bonus feats in addition to

  Roll = To roll the dice. Most of 3rd Edition is based off the d20 (20 sided)
         die, which has a range of 1 to 20. Attack rolls, Saving Throws are
         based off the d20.

  Stat Modifiers = Each of the 6 stats (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution,
         Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma) modify various things. Strength
         affects your ability to hit in melee and your damage. Modifiers
         increase by +1 for every 2 points of the statistic. A stat of 10 is
         considered to be +0, while 12 would be +1, 14 would be +2, etc.

         This holds true for all stats. A 14 Strength gives +2 to hit and
         damage while a 14 Charisma gives a +2 to Diplomacy and Intimidate

          Ability         Ability
           Stat           Modifier
            1                -5
            2- 3             -4
            4- 5             -3
            6- 7             -2
            8- 9             -1
           10-11             +0
           12-13             +1
           14-15             +2
           16-17             +3
           18-19             +4
           20-21             +5
           22-23             +6

         The difference between your ABILITY STAT and your ABILITY MODIFIER is
         important.  Casting Bull's Strength gives a +1d4+1 to your Strength,
         but even if you get the full +5 to your STR that translates to only +2
         to your modifier (to hit and damage).

Article 1: Base Attack Bonus (BAB) and Armor Class (AC)

  With the coming of 3rd Edition, the old THAC0 (To Hit Armor Class 0) system
  was trashed. In its place is the Base Attack system, which is fairly simple
  when you get used to it.

  BAB = Base Attack Bonus. The raw ability to succeed at an attack. For
        instance, a character with a +1 BAB will need to roll a 19 or 20 to
        hit a monster with a 20 AC. Large BAB's are better than small ones.
        A 20th level fighter will have a +20 BAB and could only fail to hit a
        20 AC on a CRITICAL MISS (on any roll to hit, a 1 is always a miss and
        a 20 is always a hit).

  AC = Armor Class. Essentially how difficult something is to hit. The higher
       the number, the better. All Armor Classes start at 10 then add modifiers
       as they go along.

       AC = 10 + Dexterity + Armor + Shield + Other Modifiers

  Critical Hit = On a BAB roll, when a character rolls a 20 (or sometimes, 19,
        18 or even 17 and lower) he scores a critical threat. He immediately
        rolls again (called the "Threat Roll") to see if he did Critical
        Damage. If the Threat roll (using the same To Hit modifiers as the
        original roll) would hit the monster, then the hit is Critical and
        does AT LEAST double damage.

        Any original attack roll of a 20 automatically hits.  The same is not
        true of the "threat" roll, where the 20 still needs to beat the AC of
        the creature/monster/person you are attacking.

        Here is a critical hit line for a Sword:


        This tells you that you get a Critical on rolls of 19 or 20, and that
        you will do double damamge. Remember that only a 20 is an automatic hit
        (and critical).  If you roll a 19 and hit, (with a sword) it would be
        a critical, but if you roll a 19, but that STILL isn't enough to hit,
        you miss.

        Here is a critical hit line for an Axe:


        The axe criticals ONLY on a 20, but does TRIPLE damage.

        The default critical is at 20/x2. If the weapon doesn't tell you what
        it criticals at, it goes to the default.

        If you roll a 20, then miss the Critical Threat roll (that determines
        whether you actually did Critical Damage), you STILL HIT, you just
        don't get the extra damage.

          Note:  You can only do Critical Damage to living targets. Undead and
                 Constructs (Golems) are immune to critical hits.

  Two Weapon Fighting - Fighting with a weapon in each hand, though at a
        penalty to hit.  More information on this is in the FAQ below.

Base Attack and the Attack Roll:

  Base Attack is the only thing that is rolled here. The attacker rolls the
  Attack roll, adds his BAB (and any other modifiers, such as Strength for a
  melee or Dexterity for a Ranged weapon) then compares it to the AC. If his
  roll is equal or greater than the Armor Class, he hits.

    Attack Roll = BAB + Ability Modifier (STR or DEX) + Weapon Enhancement +
                  Feats + Misc. (Spell effects, usually)

    For Example:  Kragg a 10th level fighter with 20 Strength using a normal
                  (not magical) weapon would have a +15 to hit.

                    BAB (+10) + STR (+5) = +15

                  If he is attacking an Elf with a 25 AC, then he needs to
                  roll a 10 or above to hit, giving him about a 55% to hit.
                  If he rolls a 9, then you add the 15 to get 24 a miss. But
                  if he rolls a 10, then you add the 15 to get 25 and that

                  Now say Kragg is using a +2 Axe and that he has the feat
                  Weapon Focus (Battleaxe). He would now do:

                    Attack Roll = +10 (BAB) + 5 (STR) + 2 (Magic Axe)
                                  + 1 (Weapon Focus) = +18 to hit

                  Now his odds of hitting that 25 AC elf go up to 70%.

    Another Example:  Lyssa, a Tiefling Rogue with 20 Dexterity and Weapon
                  Finesse (a Feat that allows you to use your Dexterity
                  Modifier in place of Strength in Attack rolls, NOT Damage
                  rolls), at 10th level attacks Kragg with a non-magical
                  weapon would have +12 to hit.

                    BAB (+7) + DEX (+5) = +12

                  Now, if she hits, her damage does NOT get to add in the Dex
                  bonus, but still takes the Strength bonus.

  As with previous editions, fighters gain Base Attack at the best rate,
  wizards at the worst:

    Base Attack Bonus Chart:

                    Fighter,            Cleric, Druid,  Wizard or
                    Barbarian,          Rogue, Bard,    Sorcerer
                    Paladin, or Ranger  or Monk         Base
      Class         Base Attack         Base Attack     Attack
      Level         Bonus               Bonus           Bonus
      1             +1                  +0              +0
      2             +2                  +1              +1
      3             +3                  +2              +1
      4             +4                  +3              +2
      5             +5                  +3              +2
      6             +6/+1               +4              +3
      7             +7/+2               +5              +3
      8             +8/+3               +6/+1           +4
      9             +9/+4               +6/+1           +4
      10            +10/+5              +7/+2           +5
      11            +11/+6/+1           +8/+3           +5
      12            +12/+7/+2           +9/+4           +6/+1
      13            +13/+8/+3           +9/+4           +6/+1
      14            +14/+9/+4           +10/+5          +7/+2
      15            +15/+10/+5          +11/+6/+1       +7/+2
      16            +16/+11/+6/+1       +12/+7/+2       +8/+3
      17            +17/+12/+7/+2       +12/+7/+2       +8/+3
      18            +18/+13/+8/+3       +13/+8/+3       +9/+4
      19            +19/+14/+9/+4       +14/+9/+4       +9/+4
      20            +20/+15/+10/+5      +15/+10/+5      +10/+5

  The number of attacks you can see in the above chart. Each number in the
  line separated by a slash represents an additional attack. So, my fighter
  Kragg at 10th level would have 2 attacks, with a BAB of +10 and +5. The
  pattern is that you get a new attack for every +5 of BAB you have (with the
  new attack coming the next level, or at the "6").

  Unlike previous editions of the game, even Wizards can now get extra attacks.

    Monk Note:  Monks get even more attacks than that. They gain new attacks
                at every 3 points of BAB. A 20th level monk would get 5 attacks

    Feats Note: The other way to gain more attacks are through Feats. For
                instance, the Rapid Shot feat allows an archer one extra shot.
                Such extra attacks are usually done at the HIGHEST base attack
                bonus (the first number in the line, such as +20 for a 20th
                level fighter) with a small penalty attached. Both Rapid Shot
                and the Monk's Flurry of Blows have a penalty of -2.

                So, a 20th level Ranger using a Rapid Shot would get 5 attacks,
                at +18/+18/+13/+8/+3. (After that you would then add his Dex
                bonus, weapon bonus and any misc bonuses to hit)

    Note:  Because of the way number of attacks are determined, only fighters
           (and fighter-types) will ever get the 4th attack (excluding monks).
           If you want a Cleric/Druid/Rogue/Bard to get the 4th attack, they
           need at least 4 levels of a fighter-type class.

Armor Class:

  All Armor Classes start at 10.  Positive numbers are better, and there is
  no limit to how high it can get.  You can usually only have one type of
  bonus at a time.  Here are the main elements of Armor Class: (not all types
  are in all games)

    Armor - Ranging in quality from Padded (+1 AC) to Full Plate (+8 AC).

            Max Dex Bonus:

            However, wearing armor will limit how well your character can move,
            meaning that it limits how much of your Dexterity Modifier will
            be used for AC.  For instance, Padded Armor gives a +1 bonus to
            AC and allows up to +8 DEX bonus to AC.  So, an Elf with 20 DEX
            (Dex adds +5 to AC) wears padded armor, his total AC would be 16.
            That same Elf wearing a Full Plate (+8 AC, max dex of +1) would
            have a 19 AC.

            Skill Penalties:

            Armor restricts movement and creates noise when you move, so
            skills that require stealth, or agility have a certain penalty
            associated with them.  Padded armor barely restricts movement,
            while full plate barely allows you to breath.

            Arcane Spell Failure:

            A mage can wear armor and still cast a spell. (He shouldn't try it
            without getting a proficiency in that armor first) However, each
            armor has a percentage chance of failure associated with a wizard
            spell (This only applies to Arcane casters: Bards, Sorcerers and
            Wizards).  Padded Armor gives only a 5% chance of failure, while
            Full Plate has a 35% chance of failure. (roughly 1 in 3 spells will
            fail) This is why the Feat "Still Spell" was invented; it negates
            Arcane Spell Failure chances.  (Metamagic feats such as Still Spell
            are not in IWD2)

            You can also get Armor bonuses from magical spells and items, such
            as Mage Armor (1st level, Wizard/Sorcerer) and Bracers of Armor +1.
            Remember that single bonuses don't stack with each other. So, a
            fighter wearing Full Plate gets no benefit from Mage Armor.
            (Although Neverwinter Nights does Mage Armor differently... instead
            of a +4 armor bonus, it gives +1 bonuses from 4 different AC

    Shield - Using a shield fully stacks with the armor bonus.  Small shields
            are worth +1 AC, large shields are +2 AC.  Tower Shields are
            meant to provide cover (up to +10 AC if you completely hide behind
            it). However, none of the current games implement Tower Shields
            that way, and they usually just give a +3 to AC.

            There is both a Skill Penalty and Arcane Spell Failure associated
            with Shields.

    Dexterity - How quickly you can move out of the way of an attack.  As
            noted above, this is limited by what armor you wear.  You do not
            lose Dexterity when determining "Touch Attacks." (see the Magic
            section below)

    Deflection - Magical Bonus.  Typically found in Rings of Protection and
            spells.  You do not lose Deflection bonuses when determining
            "Touch Attacks."

    Dodge - From feats (the Dodge feat), magic (Haste... usually), or racial
            bonuses (Dwarves vs. Giants).  Dodge bonuses always stack with
            other dodge bonuses.

    Natural - Either representing your tough skin (i.e. dragons) or a magical
            alteration to same. (Barkskin)

    Size - Related somewhat to "Natural" armor, this represents the idea that
            smaller things are harder to hit than larger things. (Think of the
            different between hitting a Flea with a staff and hitting a barn)
            To represent this, all creatures have an innate size AC modifier
            just as they have an innate natural AC modifier. In most cases,
            both of these are at 0. Smaller creatures (like Halflings and
            Gnomes) get a +1 AC from size. They also get a +1 to hit
            everything because most everything else is larger than them. And if
            a Halfling tries to hit another halfling, the AC bonus and To Hit
            bonus would cancel each other out.

    Insight - The ability to dodge blows BEFORE the attack. This is what Monks
            do with their Wisdom bonus. You do not lose Insight when
            determining "Touch Attacks."

    "Unnamed" - All the other bonuses that aren't specific stack together.
            So, if a spell says that it gives "+6 to AC" but doesn't say which
            category it falls under, it will then stack will everything.
            The major example of this is the Feat "Expertise" which gives a
            bonus up to +5 AC.

Table of Common Armors

                         Armor   Maximum         Skill     Arcane
  Armor                  Bonus   Dex Bonus     Penalty     Spell Failure
  Light armor
    Padded                 +1      +8              0         5%
    Leather                +2      +6              0        10%
    Studded leather        +3      +5             -1        15%
    Chain shirt            +4      +4             -2        20%
  Medium armor
    Hide                   +3      +4             -3        20%
    Scale mail             +4      +3             -4        25%
    Chainmail              +5      +2             -5        30%
    Breastplate            +5      +3             -4        25%
  Heavy armor
    Splint mail            +6      +0             -7        40%
    Banded mail            +6      +1             -6        35%
    Half-plate             +7      +0             -7        40%
    Full plate             +8      +1             -6        35%
    Buckler                +1       -             -1         5%
    Shield, small, wooden  +1       -             -1         5%
    Shield, small, steel   +1       -             -1         5%
    Shield, large, wooden  +2       -             -2        15%
    Shield, large, steel   +2       -             -2        15%
    Shield, tower          **       -            -10        50%

Dexterity Based AC vs. Armor Based AC

  These are the 2 basic philosophies regarding AC. You can either go for a
  large Dexterity bonus, or skip Dexterity and wear Full Plate. Naturally,
  class choice determines what is best (most of the time, anyway).

  Usual Dex Based Classes:


  Usual Armor Based Classes:


  An Elven Rogue with 30 Dex (+10 AC bonus) isn't too likely to wear Full
  Plate. He'd be best off with Leather Armor (magical if he can get it), but
  better still would be Bracers of Armor, which allow an unlimited Dex bonus.
  However, a Dwarven Fighter would be just fine with a mere 12 DEX (+1 to AC)
  because that is the most Dex a set of Full Plate will allow.  All in what
  your goal is, really.

    High Dex Note:  How can you get high Dex's to appear in your game?  Well,
                    it helps to start at 20 (Halflings and Elves can), then
                    increase it every 4 levels (to 25 at 20th level).
                    Magic can also enhance your Dex, usually by another +5
                    (either through the spell Cat's Grace, or an item that
                    emulates it).

  The weakness of basing your AC on Dexterity comes when you are attacked by
  Invisible (or hiding) opponents, where you LOSE your Dex bonus. The advantage
  is that when determining "Touch" attacks, you DON'T lose your Dex bonus,
  while you DO lose your Armor bonus. (An example of a "Touch" attack would
  be the Harm spell. Once cast, the caster must then "touch" the target.
  Because touching the armor is just as good as touching the person, Armor
  bonuses don't protect you)

Magical Enhancments

  Just as swords can be enchanted to do more damage and hit more accurately,
  so too can armors be enchanted to increase their effectiveness.  The usual
  range of "Enhancement" is +1 to +5.  Magical Armors have 1 better Skill

  A Full Plate +5 would have +13 Armor Bonus to AC, Max Dex +1 and -5 to

Article 2.  Magic and Saving Throws

  Most classes in 3E D&D get to cast spells.  They are:

    Class          Prime Ability
    Bards      --  Charisma
    Clerics    --  Wisdom
    Druids     --  Wisdom
    Paladins   --  Wisdom
    Rangers    --  Wisdom
    Sorcerers  --  Charisma
    Wizards    --  Intelligence

  All spellcasters (except Bards and Sorcerers) have to PREPARE SPELLS AHEAD
  OF TIME by Memorizing, then Resting.  If a spell is memorized ONCE it can be
  cast ONCE. (Sorcerers and Bards can cast any spell they want up to a number
  of times per day, per level)  Wizards (and ONLY Wizards) have the additional
  penalty of having to find Scrolls to learn spells from.  Every other caster
  automatically learns spells when they level up.

  All spells have LEVELS associated with them.  For example, Magic Missile is
  a First Level Spell.  These levels are not to be confused with CHARACTER
  Levels (and Class Levels, which aren't the same thing either).  Your
  character gains access to new levels of spells depending on his class.
  Wizards, Clerics and Druids get a new spell level at every other Class Level.
  So, he will start level 1 being able to cast 1st level spells.  At level 3
  he'll get 2nd level spells, at level 5 he'll get 3rd and so on.

    Tip: A quick way to tell what the highest level of spell your Wizard,
         Cleric or Druid can cast is to divide his level in half, then round
         up. (3/2 = 1.5, rounded to 2... so a 3rd level character can cast 2nd
         level spells)

         Sorcerers simply don't round up when you divide their level by 2.
         So, a 4th level Sorcerer gets 2nd level spells, 6th get 3rd level
         spells, etc.

  In order to even be ABLE to cast a spell, your character needs enough
  Intelligence (Wizard), Wisdom (Cleric/Druid/Paladin/Ranger) or Charisma
  (Sorcerer/Bard).  How much?  10 + Spell Level.  So, a Cleric with a Wisdom
  of 11 could cast 1st level Clerical spells, but NOT 2nd level.  Until his
  Wisdom is raised.

    Tip:  Rangers and Paladins only have 4 spell levels, so is a Wisdom of more
          than 14 needed? (IWD2 notwithstanding, it gives them 6 levels) Not
          really, however...

  Beyond the minimum requirement, having MORE of your Prime Stat is always
  good, it will give you BONUS SPELLS to cast!

  Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells
                   ---------- Bonus Spells (by Spell Level) -------------------
  Score   Modifier      0     1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9
      1    -5      ----------- Can't cast spells tied to this ability ---------
    2-3    -4      ----------- Can't cast spells tied to this ability ---------
    4-5    -3      ----------- Can't cast spells tied to this ability ---------
    6-7    -2      ----------- Can't cast spells tied to this ability ---------
    8-9    -1      ----------- Can't cast spells tied to this ability ---------
  10-11     0           -     -     -     -     -     -     -     -     -     -
  12-13    +1           -     1     -     -     -     -     -     -     -     -
  14-15    +2           -     1     1     -     -     -     -     -     -     -
  16-17    +3           -     1     1     1     -     -     -     -     -     -
  18-19    +4           -     1     1     1     1     -     -     -     -     -
  20-21    +5           -     2     1     1     1     1     -     -     -     -
  22-23    +6           -     2     2     1     1     1     1     -     -     -
  24-25    +7           -     2     2     2     1     1     1     1     -     -
  26-27    +8           -     2     2     2     2     1     1     1     1     -
  28-29    +9           -     3     2     2     2     2     1     1     1     1
  30-31   +10           -     3     3     2     2     2     2     1     1     1
  32-33   +11           -     3     3     3     2     2     2     2     1     1
  34-35   +12           -     3     3     3     3     2     2     2     2     1
  36-37   +13           -     4     3     3     3     3     2     2     2     2
  38-39   +14           -     4     4     3     3     3     3     2     2     2
  40-41   +15           -     4     4     4     3     3     3     3     2     2
  42-43   +16           -     4     4     4     4     3     3     3     3     2
  44-45   +17           -     5     4     4     4     4     3     3     3     3
  etc. . . .

    (Scores going over 30 are a LITTLE unlikely, but not impossible)

The "Difficulty Class" (DC)

  ...is essentially how hard a spell is to resist via Saving Throws.

  If a spell has a "Saving Throw" associated with it (essentially a way for
  the target of the spell to avoid, or reduce the effects of the spell), then
  the Difficulty Class of the caster is set, and the target rolls a save to
  avoid the spell.

  DC = 10 + Spell Level + Stat Modifier

  Spell Level is just what it says, the level of the spell from 1 to 9.

  Stat Modifier is your caster's key stat.  For Wizards this is Intelligence;
  for Clerics, Druids, Paladins and Rangers this is Wisdom; for Bards and
  Sorcerers this is Charisma.

  So, let's say our Sorcerer, Mordule, casts Wail of the Banshee at his
  enemies.  It is a 9th level spell, and he has a 22 Charisma (+6 bonus).  His
  DC would be set at...

  DC = 10 + 9 (Spell Level) + 6 (Charisma Modifier) = 25

  So, his enemies would need to roll a Saving Throw (Fortitude in this case)
  of at least a 25 to survive.

  In our example, if a Goblin hears the Wail, he needs to roll a Saving Throw
  Fortitude, or die.  Let's say the Goblin has a +2 on Fortitude Saves.
  Normally there is no way he can roll a 25 (even a roll of natural 20, the
  best he could roll, would be only 22 with his bonus).  However, some games
  put it that any roll of a 20 is considered a success, just like in the
  attack roll. Similarly any roll of a 1 would be a failure, no matter what
  your bonus.  So, in those cases there would always a 5% of failure and
  another 5% chance of success, no matter your stats.

  Feats can be used to increase your DC, specifically Spell Focus.  To take
  a spell focus in Necromancy, for instance, will cause your Instant Death
  spells to have a DC +2.  Some games also have the Greater Spell Focus which
  grants another +2 for a total of +4 to the DC.

Saving Throws

  There are 3 types of saves in 3E D&D:

    Fortitude - based on Constitution, determines how physically tough a body
                is and its ability to resist poisons, disease and most instant
                death spells
    Reflex    - based on Dexterity, determines your ability to dodge out of the
                way of a harmful spell (like Fireball).
    Will      - based on Wisdom, determines ability to resist invasions of the
                mind... or just being afraid of a really large dragon.

  Saves improve as you gain levels.  Each class has at least 1 good save, and
  usually 2 bad saves (the Monk has ALL good saves, Clerics have 2 good saves,

  When your class is good at a particular Save (for instance, Fighters are
  tough, and get a good Fortitude save), they start with +2 at that save, and
  increase +1 every 2 levels until they reach +12 at level 20.

  Save = Base Save (from level) + Ability Modifier

  So, Kragg at 20th level, with a 20 CON (+5 bonus), would have a Fortitude
  Save of...

  Fortitude = +12 (Base) + 5 (Con) = +17

  "Bad" saves (like a Fighter's Will Save) start out at +0 and increase every
  roughly every 3 levels until they're +6 at 20th level.

  So, Kragg, still at 20th level, with a 10 WIS (+0 bonus), would have a really
  bad Will Save of...

  Will = +6 (Base) + 0 (WIS) = +6

  So, even at 20th level, a 1st level Bard casting "Cause Fear" COULD get
  Kragg to run away like a baby. (Although Kragg is a Dwarf, and Dwarves get
  bonuses to their saves vs. magical effects)

  Class        Good Saves                 Bad Saves
  Fighter    > Fortitude                > Will, Reflex

  Cleric     > Fortitude, Will          > Reflex

  Bard       > Will, Reflex             > Fortitude

  Rogue      > Reflex                   > Fortitude, Will

  Wizard     > Will                     > Fortitude, Reflex

  Monk       > Fortitude, Will, Reflex  > n/a

    Class      Saves
    Level   Bad    Good
    1        +0     +2
    2        +0     +3
    3        +1     +3
    4        +1     +4
    5        +1     +4
    6        +2     +5
    7        +2     +5
    8        +2     +6
    9        +3     +6
    10       +3     +7
    11       +3     +7
    12       +4     +8
    13       +4     +8
    14       +4     +9
    15       +5     +9
    16       +5    +10
    17       +5    +10
    18       +6    +11
    19       +6    +11
    20       +6    +12

  So, even a Monk with all 10 Ability Stats, would have +12 to all saves at
  level 20.

Article 3.  Multiclassing in 3rd Edition

  Multiclassing in 3rd Edition works similar to the 2nd Edition concept of
  "Dual Classing."  Still, they're completely different.  In 2nd Ed. you had
  to worry about whether it was a valid multiclass, you had to have certain
  Ability Stats and on and on.

  In 3rd Ed. there are less things to worry about -- you could multiclass a
  Dwarven Fighter to Barbarian (and later add a few levels of Ranger if you
  wanted) -- but there are a few new concepts as well.

  Since your character can be a Fighter 7 / Barbarian 4 (total level 11) we
  need to differentiate his levels a little bit.

  Character Level  -- Total character level. Add up all the class levels and
                      this is what you get.  Some spells use your character
                      level to determine how powerful the spell effect is.
                      (Divine Power, for instance)

  Class Level  --  The number of levels your character has in a specific
                      class.  In our example, the character (Kragg) would have
                      class level 7 for fighter and class level 4 for

  You could do a Fighter 1 / Barbarian 1 / Ranger 1 / Rogue 1 / Wizard 1 /
  Sorcerer 1 if you wanted. He would be a very weak character compared to a
  single class character, but you COULD do it.  Generally single classed
  characters ARE more powerful, especially spell-casters.  A 20th level cleric
  would wipe the floor with a Cleric 10 / Sorcerer 10 character.

    Tip:  My favorite way to use multiclasses is to have a character pick up
          4 levels of Fighter.  A Cleric 16 / Fighter 4 is a much better
          warrior than a Cleric 20.  The Cleric 16 / Fighter 4 would get one
          extra attack and 3 extra feats.  Of course, you would get less
          spells... and wouldn't even have 9th level spells at that point.

  Character Level/Experience Table

                    Class           Cross-Class
    Character       Skill Max       Skill Max                    Ability
    Level   XP      Ranks           Ranks        Feats          Increases
    1       0         4               2           1st                -
    2       1,000     5               2 1/2        -                 -
    3       3,000     6               3           2nd                -
    4       6,000     7               3 1/2        -                1st
    5       10,000    8               4            -                 -
    6       15,000    9               4 1/2       3rd                -
    7       21,000    10              5            -                 -
    8       28,000    11              5 1/2        -                2nd
    9       36,000    12              6           4th                -
    10      45,000    13              6 1/2        -                 -
    11      55,000    14              7            -                 -
    12      66,000    15              7 1/2       5th               3rd
    13      78,000    16              8            -                 -
    14      91,000    17              8 1/2        -                 -
    15      105,000   18              9           6th                -
    16      120,000   19              9 1/2        -                4th
    17      136,000   20              10           -                 -
    18      153,000   21              10 1/2      7th                -
    19      171,000   22              11           -                 -
    20      190,000   23              11 1/2       -                5th

  Example:  Kragg is a fighter at 1st level.  He gains 1000 experience, enough
            to get to level 2.  At this point he can simply improve his
            fighter levels, or he could take a new class level.  In both
            cases he'll still be at character level 2.

            Let's say that he takes a level of Barbarian.  Here is the top
            stat line for the Barbarian class.

            Lvl BAB   Fort.    Refl.   Will     Other
            1   +1      +2      +0      +0      Rage 1/day; fast movement

            This is ADDED to the stats Kragg currently has.  Since Kragg was a
            fighter, his total level related stats would look like this:

            Lvl BAB   Fort     Refl.   Will     Other
            2   +2      +4      +0      +0      Fighter Feat (1st level)
                                                Rage 1/day; fast movement

            Kragg would be 2nd level, a Fighter 1 / Barbarian 1.

            So, to level your character up, you simply add the CLASS LEVEL
            into your CURRENT LEVEL and get your new CHARACTER LEVEL.

  The only major limit on what CLASSES you can take is ALIGNMENT.  Monks
  must be lawful, Paladins MUST be Lawful Good, Barbarians can't be lawful,
  Druids need to be Neutral (Neutral Good, Neutral Evil, anything neutral) and
  Bards can't be Lawful.

  Experience Penalties and Favored Classes:

    If Kragg, a dwarf, were a Fighter 8 / Barbarian 2 / Ranger 2 he would have
    NO experience penalties.  If, however, he were a Barbarian 8 / Fighter 2 /
    Ranger 2, he would. (20%)  From that point on, everytime he gains exp
    he'd take it at -20%. (So, if he gains 1000 exp for killing a big monster,
    he actually only gains 800)  This is because of Favored Classes.

    Every race has a favored class:

      Dwarf    > Fighter
      Elf      > Wizard (any)
      Gnome    > Illusionist (Wizard)
      Human    > Any
      Half-Elf > Any
      Halfling > Rogue
      Half-Orc > Barbarian

    When determining Exp Penalties, a Favored Class is not counted.  So,
    to look at the exp penalty of Kragg, you ignore his Fighter Levels (he's
    a Dwarf).  So if he's Fighter 8 / Barbarian 2 / Ranger 2, for the purposes
    of Exp Penalties, you look only at Barbarian 2 / Ranger 2.  Humans and
    Half-Elves take their HIGHEST CLASS LEVEL as their favored class.  So, a
    human would be OK with either Fighter 8 / Barbarian 2 / Ranger 2 or
    Barbarian 8 / Fighter 2 / Ranger 2.

    Experience Penalties pop up whenever your multiple classes are no longer
    even or within ONE level of each other. (again, not counting your favored
    class)  For each class out of balance, you take a 20% experience penalty.

    Let's look at Kragg again.

      Fighter 8 / Barbarian 2 / Ranger 2 > Ignore the Fighter levels, this
                                           makes him a Barbarian 2 / Ranger 2.
                                           Levels are even, so no Exp Penalty.

      Barbarian 8 / Fighter 2 / Ranger 2 > Ignore the Fighter 2, so Kragg is
                                           then Barbarian 8 / Ranger 2.  Since
                                           these are not even OR within 1
                                           level, he takes a 20% exp penalty.

      Fighter 8 / Barbarian 8 / Ranger 2 > Ignore the Fighter 8, so Kragg is
                                           again a Barbarian 8 / Ranger 2.
                                           20% Exp Penalty applies.

      Druid 8 / Barbarian 6 / Ranger 3   > No favored class here, so all 3
                                           classes need to be balanced.  They
                                           obviously aren't, so he takes
                                           multiple experience penalties (40%).

      Druid 6 / Barbarian 6/ Ranger 6    > No favored class here, but all 3
                                           classes are in balance, so there are
                                           no penalties.  Note that a 5/5/4
                                           combination would also be in
                                           balance, but a 6/5/4 would not be.

                < < < < < Frequently Asked Questions > > > > >

  Q:  My question is; how does the 'resistance' system work now?

      Previously I was used to an item or spell in BG2 conferring a %
      resistance.  EG. Ring of Fire Resistance = 50% fire resistance.  In IWD2
      there seems to be some new convention. Items have a value like 1/- cold
      resistance, or an Aasimar starts with 5/- fire resistance. What does this
      mean? Surely an item doesn't attract a measly 1% cold resistance?

  A:  No, it's not 1%.  A "cold resistance" of 1/- means that your character
      will ignore the first point of cold damage directed at it.  So, for
      example, your Aasimar is hit by a Fireball that would normally do 20
      damage.  Since aasimars have 5/- fire damage reduction then he only
      takes 15 points of damage.

      Also, since most spell damage is figured AFTER you make/fail a reflex
      save, your damage reduction is figured after as well.  So, if our aasimar
      from before makes his save to take half damage (20 / 2 = 10), then he'll
      ignore the first 5 points of damage and only take 5 total.

      Each type of Damage Reduction (DR) works on something new.  For instance,
      Stoneskin offers 10/+5 reduction against WEAPON damage only.  It will
      block the first 10 points of damage UNLESS that weapon is +5 enchantment
      or better.  If there is no second number (i.e. 5/-) then that DR will
      work no matter what.

  Q:  How does 2 Weapon Fighting Work?

  A:  The standard 2 weapon penalty is -6, -10.

      Table of Two-Weapon Fighting Penalties
                                    Primary Hand    Off Hand
        Normal penalties                -6            -10
        Off-hand weapon is light        -4             -8
        Ambidexterity feat              -6             -6
        Two-Weapon Fighting feat        -4             -8
        Off-hand weapon is light and    -4             -4
          Ambidexterity feat
        Off-hand weapon is light and    -2             -6
          Two-Weapon Fighting feat
        Ambidexterity feat and          -4             -4
          Two-Weapon Fighting feat
        Off-hand weapon is light and    -2             -2
          Ambidexterity feat and
          Two-Weapon Fighting feat

      Penalties are taken from your HIGHEST attack bonus.  So, Kragg, a 10th
      level fighter with 20 STR using a normal weapon in both hands (light
      in the offhand):

      Attack Roll = STR (+5) + BAB (+10) - Penalty (-2) = 13

      So, both his first attack and off-hand attacks would be at a +13.  His
      total attack line would then be:

      Main Hand: +13/+8   Offhand: +13

      Damage from strength is 1x on the main hand, but only 0.5x on the
      offhand.  Always round odd numbers down.  So, with Kragg, he'd do the
      full +5 from STR with his main hand, but only +2 from STR with his
      offhand attack.

      Improved Two Weapon Fighting gives your character another offhand
      attack.  It is at the standard -5 to hit that normal extra attacks are
      at.  So, if Kragg had the Improved Two Weapon Fighting feat, his attack
      line would be:

      Main Hand:  +13/+8  Offhand: +13/+8

      Light Weapons are determined by whatever game you're playing.  Usually
      they are:  Daggers, Short Swords and Handaxes.  You can fight with any
      2 weapons you want.  If you want to use a Bastard Sword in each hand you
      can, but at a steeper penalty than if you used a lighter weapon.

      Rangers wearing Light Armor get the effects of both Ambidexterity and
      Two Weapon Fighting for free.

  Q:  How does "Turn Undead" work in 3E D&Ds (Charisma-Modifier etc.)?

  A:  First you get a number of Turn attempts equal to 3 + your Charisma Mod.
      Next a d20 is rolled, adding in your Charisma mod again.  This result
      is checked on this table:

        Turning Check     Most Powerful Undead
        Result            Affected (Maximum Hit Dice)
        Up to 0           Cleric's level - 4
        1-3               Cleric's level - 3
        4-6               Cleric's level - 2
        7-9               Cleric's level - 1
        10-12             Cleric's level
        13-15             Cleric's level + 1
        16-18             Cleric's level + 2
        19-21             Cleric's level + 3
        22+               Cleric's level + 4

      So, Corvus, a 12th level cleric with 18 Charisma (+4 mod) turns undead.
      His turning check rolls a 12 (8 + 4 from Charisma).  Looking at the table
      a result of 12 drops you right in the middle, with your result being
      "Cleric's Level."  This means that Corvus could turn any Undead that has
      as many or fewer Hit Dice as he has levels (12).  If he'd rolled a 22 on
      his check, then he could turn Undead with 16 Hit Dice. (Hit Dice are
      roughly equivalent to levels, and indicate the power, and overall hit
      points, of the undead)

      Once we've determined the MAXIMUM possible, you need to still roll to
      decide the total number of undead creatures that will be affected.  This
      roll is a:

        2d6 + Cha Mod. + Cleric Level

      Let's say when Corvus rolls his 2d6, he gets 12.  So his result would be
      28 (12 + 4 + 12).  He could affect a TOTAL of 28 hit dice of undead.

      So, with our previous result, the most powerful undead affected can have
      up to 12 hit dice, and the total affected can have 28 hit dice.  If
      Corvus were in a room turning Skeletons (1 HD each), he could turn 28 of
      them.  If, however, he were fighting Wraiths (5 HD), he could only turn
      5 of them.

      Any undead with more HD than you can turn are unaffected.  Any undead
      who has half or less HD than you have levels would be destroyed (for a
      good cleric) or controlled (for an evil cleric).  So, Corvus would
      destroy any undead with 6 or fewer HD.

  Q:  How do Challenge Ratings (CR) work?

  A:  Not well.  Ok, personal opinion out of the way... the basic idea is that
      killing a goblin at level 1 is difficult and should give a good amount
      of experience, but that killing the same goblin at level 20 is so
      ridiculously easy that you should gain no experience from it.  Each
      monster/encounter is given a challenge rating.  That challenge rating
      states at what level a standard party can defeat that monster, but still
      have a challenging time at it.  So, a CR 1 would be a challenging fight
      for a group of level 1 characters.  Group level is simply an average of
      your party's level.  The party is given a lump sum of experience, which
      is then divided amongst the party.  So, a smaller party gains more

      An example would be a CR 1 Orc.  A bunch of first level characters defeat
      it gaining, let's say, 200 experience.  Now they fight a CR 5 monters and
      SOMEHOW manage to defeat it anyway.  They get 1000 experience. (examples
      only)  Now let's say a level 10 party comes by and kills a CR 1 Orc.
      They get nothing.  They fight the CR 5 monster and get 50 experience.

      Where CR's fail are when monsters are considered "tough" because of a
      property they have.  Why?  Say the monster is "tough" because of a 20/+3
      damage reduction.  For any party that has no +3 weapons, this would be a
      tough fight.  However, a low level party could have a +3 or better
      weapon, which would make this creature MUCH easier.  This is even worse
      for monsters that have special abilities.  Say, a Beholder shoots at you
      with his eyestalks, but you have really good Saving Throws, even at a
      low level.  You won't have anything to fear at all.  Furthermore, it is
      very often the strategy of the monsters that leads to them being
      difficult.  Thieves that don't hide in the shadows and sneak attack are
      not too fearsome. (/rant)

      One of the main ideas behind the 3E rules is arguably 'simplicity'. We
      have left behind us the cryptic THAC0 system from AD&D, we no longer have
      the ludicrous 18/xx strength stats. You can probably see where I'm
      headed, by now? Yes, the CR system is ineffective and useless, because
      the experience point system is already designed to achieve the same
      effect. You don't need two rules to balance the same issue! It
      PER 1000 EXPERIENCE). (from Steinar)

  Q:  Why don't you include Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance in your list of games
      at the top?

  A:  Because that game has VERY little to do with the 3E rules.

  Got a question?  Email me!


  Use this subject:  D&D Rules
  (Emails that don't use the proper subject may be deleted)

                     < < < < < Final Words.... > > > > >

This FAQ was written entirely using the GWD Text Editor:  (shareware)

Special Thanks To:

  Andrei Shkolnikov
  Daniel Warsén
  Lord Yorien Dragonard

Shameless Self Promotion:
  I have also written FAQs for:
    NES:      Disney Adventures in the Magic Kingdom
              Final Fantasy -- Magic FAQ
              The Legend of Zelda
    SNES:     Aerobiz
              Aerobiz Supersonic
              Utopia: Creation of a Nation
    Genesis:  StarFlight
    PSX:      Thousand Arms -- Walkthrough
                            -- Forging/Dating FAQ
    PS2:      Madden NFL 2001
    PC:       AD&D Rules FAQ
              Baldur's Gate & Tales of the Sword Coast -- FAQ/Walkthrough
                                                          NPC List
                                                          Creature List
              Baldur's Gate II & Throne of Bhaal -- FAQ/Walkthrough
                                                 -- Items List
                                                 -- Class FAQ
                                                 -- Creature List
              Civilization III (incomplete)
              Colonization -- the Single Colony Strategy Guide
                           -- the Cheat Guide
              Drakan: Order of the Flame
              Dungeon Hack
              Icewind Dale & Heart of Winter -- FAQ/Walkthrough
                                                Items List
                                                Kresselack's Tomb Map (JPG)
                                                Burial Isle Map (JPG)
                                                Shattered Hand Map (JPG)
              Icewind Dale II                -- Items List
              Master of Magic (revision)
              Pharaoh (currently being edited by Red Phoenix)
              Planescape: Torment  -- FAQ/Walkthrough
                                      Items Listing
              Rollercoaster Tycoon
              Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri
              The Sims
              Ultima 4: Quest of the Avatar
              Ultima 7: The Black Gate
              Ultima 7 Part 2: Serpent Isle
              Ultima Underworld -- Keyboard Commands
              Ultima Underworld II -- Keyboard Commands
                                   -- Spell List
  All of my FAQs can be found at:

Version History:
  Version 1.0  September 11, 2002  34k

  Version 2.0  September 20, 2002  42k

    Filled in the Mulitclassing article. Fixed a mistake regarding critical
    hits. Cleared up a small matter in Saving Throws.

  Version 2.1  September 23, 2002  43k

    Added a Frequently Asked Question dealing with Damage Reduction.

  Version 2.2  September 24, 2002  46k

    Added a Frequently Asked Question dealing with Two Weapon Fighting.

  Version 2.3  September 27, 2002  48k

    Corrected a couple things in Multiclassing.  Added a FAQ on Challenge

  Version 2.4  October 4, 2002  51k

    Added a FAQ dealing with Turning Undead.

This Document is Copyright 2002 by Dan Simpson and is intended SOLELY to
help people with little or no D&D experience get by in oft confusing CRPGs.

marks are Trademarks, Registered Trademarks, or Copyrights owned by Wizards of
the Coast, Inc. All rights reserved.

This FAQ may be posted on any site so long as NOTHING IS CHANGED and you EMAIL
ME telling me that you are posting it.  You may not charge for, or in any way
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