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Updated on July 27, 2000

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General | Ability Scores | Classes | Races 
Alignment | Skills & Feats
| Character Close-Up

Characters in General:
  • Character Creation:  Sean Reynolds quoted the 3E rules verbatim on the basics of creating a character:  "Step Zero:  Check with Your Dungeon Master.  Your Dungeon Master (DM) may have house rules or campaign standards that vary from the standard rules."   In other words, dwarven mages and evil gnoll rangers might be permitted as PCs per the 3E rules, but not necessarily by a DM in his or her campaign.
  • There will be free Character Generator program shipped on CD-ROMs included with the Player's Handbook and the August 2000 issue of Dragon Magazine.
  • Character Hit Dice: Ryan Dancey revealed the slaughter of what some assumed would be a sacred cow of D&D -- the character hit die limit: "There's no upper limit on the number of times you roll for hit points in 3e. You roll the appropriate die every time you level in a class." Responding to an example posted, he indicated that 10th-level fighter/10th-level mage has hit points equaling 10d10 + 10d4 + 20xCON Mod (i.e. ten hit dice for the ten levels of fighter, ten more hit dice for ten levels of wizard, plus 20 levels of Constitution bonuses).
  • So, can we make 3E characters yet?  We know quite a bit about 3E characters by this point, and if we use modifications of certain 2E tables, we can get pretty close to accomplishing this.  My examples are twin brothers -- so I can also demonstrate the new multi-classing principles.

Tweedledee, 10th-Level Fighter
Human 1
XP 45,000 2
HP 10d10 3

ST 13  (+1)  DX 16 (+3) CN 10 (+0)
IN 15 (+2)  WI 7 (-2)  CH 8 (-1) 4

Melee Attack Bonus: 5 

  • First attack -- +10 (Base Attack for 10th level Fighter) 6 , +1 (for ST), for a total of +11
  • Second attack 14 -- is at five less than the first, so +6
  • no third attack -- he doesn't have a high enough Base Attack to earn a third attack.

Missile Attack Bonus: 5 

  • First attack -- +10 (Base Attack for 10th level Fighter) 6,  +3 (for DX), for a total of +13
  • Second attack 14 -- is at five less than the first, so +8
  • Note that default rate of fire for missile weapons is one per round.

Damage Bonus:  +1 (for ST)

Initiative Bonus: 8  +3 (due to DEX) 7

Armor Class: 16 9 -- splint mail (armor bonus of +6) 10, no bonuses for high DX because of the weight of this kind of armor 7

Saving Throw Bonuses: Fortitude +7, Reflex +6, Will +1 11

Class Abilities: 12  proficient in all Simple and Martial weapons and armor, and all shields; bonus combat-related feats; the only class permitted to take Weapon Specialization13

Skills:15 65 Skill points spent on the following: Climb +13, Jump +13, Ride +13, Swim +13, Craft: Armorsmithing +13. These base scores would be adjusted by the appropriate ability, and some are adjusted negatively by wearing heavy armor.

Feats: Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Expertise, Weapon Focus: Longsword, Weapon Specialization: Longsword, Improved Critical: Longsword, Blind-Fight, Mobility, Quick Draw.  16

Tweedledum, 6th-Level Fighter / 4th-level Wizard 17
Human 1
XP 45,000 2
HP 6d10+4d4 3

ST 13  (+1)  DX 16 (+3) CN 10 (+0)
IN 15 (+2)  WI 7 (-2)  CH 8 (-1) 4

Melee Attack Bonus: 5 

  • First attack -- +6 (Base Attack for 6th level Fighter)6, +2 (Base Attack for 4th level Wizard) 6, +1 (for ST), for a total of +9
  • Second attack14 -- his first attack had +8 in Base Attack bonuses, so the second is at five less, or +3, then add +1 for ST, so +4

Missile Attack Bonus:

  • First Attack -- +6 (for 6th level Fighter)6, +2 (for 4th level Wizard) 6, +3 (for DX), for a total of +11
  • Second attack14 -- is at five less than the first, so +6
  • Note that default rate of fire for missile weapons is one per round.

Damage Bonus:  +1 (for ST)

Initiative Bonus: 8 +3 (for high DX)

Armor Class: 9ring of deflection +2, +3 for high DX, for a total 15

Saving Throw Bonuses: Fortitude +6, Reflex +6, Will +4 11

Class Abilities: 12 spellcasting, bonus feats related to meta-magic and magic item creation.

Spells:  4x0th18, 4x1st, 3x2nd (bonus spells due to high INT) 19

Skills:15 65 skill points spent on the following: Concentration +5, Craft: Weaponsmithing +9, Climb +9, Ride +9, Swim +9, Spellcraft +5, Jump +9, Scry +5, Knowledge: Arcana +5. These base scores would be adjusted by the appropriate ability.

Weapon Focus: Longsword, Weapon Specialization: Longwsord, Improved Critical: Longsword, Quick Draw, Scribe Scroll, Brew Potion, Craft Wondrous Item, Extend Spell, Empower Spell, Still Spell. 16


1.  Humans can multiclass.  Level limits for demihumans have been removed.
2.  All classes use the same XP table.  XP awards will be adjusted to help balance these changes.
3. Hit points, like many other character features, are additive for multiclass characters.
4.  Atributes will range from 3-18 for beginning player characters.  Characters can improve their scores as they gain levels.  Monsters are also rated on these attributes, and can have far higher scores.  The adjustments in parentheses are based on the Ability Score chart.
5.  Instead of a gradually decreasing THAC0, characters will receive a gradually increasing Attack Bonus.  Each class has a different chart.  The Attack Bonus chart I am using now reflects the fact that all classes gain extra attacks per round, but each extra attack has a decreasing attack bonus.  As in 2E, missile and melee combat scores will be different because they rely on different attributes (ST for melee, DX for missile). 
6.  Single-class characters use one value from the Attack Bonus chart to calculate their bonus, while a multiclass character adds the bonuses from each class.
7.  This partial Armor Table released by WotC reveals that heavy armors will impose a DX Bonus cap, keeping dextrous characters from gaining the benefits of tough armor and agility at the same time.
8.  Initiative in 3E is (like all other checks) made on a d20, with the highest going first.  It is adjusted by DX.  Once the initiative order is set, it stays that way for the entire combat unless someone gives up an attack in order to attack first in the next round ("Refocus"), voluntarily delays until the end of the current round ("Delay"), or holds an attack until a pre-determined event occurs ("Ready").
9.  AC in 3E ranges from 10 (no armor) up to 30 and beyond.  That number is the number an attacker must achieve (on a d20 plus all bonuses) in order to score a hit.
10.  This comes from the Armor Table; if one were to "reverse engineer" Splint's 2E AC, it would be AC 16.  In the new AC tables, some armors have shifted around a bit (Full Plate and Field Plate seem to be one in the same, for instance).
11.  There are three categories of saving throw:  Reflex (adjusted by DX), Fortitude (adjusted by CN), and Will (adjusted by WI).  Instead of a score that changes as characters increase in level, however, 3E saves are expressed in terms of saving throw bonuses that increase with level (much like the Attack Bonuses), and Difficulty Classes (differing levels of danger will have different "target numbers" to achieve).  A multiclassed character adds up all of the bonuses from all classes. The charts used have been derived from other sample characters and have been confirmed as accurate.
12.  Some classes will have a lot of built-in class abilities. Some will gain a lot of Skill points. Some will have access to a lot of feats. And some will have access to powerful spells. The fighter class happens to be mostly based on Feats. The Wizard class is mostly based on spellcasting with a few bonus feats. Neither class has an extraordinary amount of built-in class abilities.
13.  It has been confirmed that Weapon Specialization is a feat that can only be taken by Fighters, and then only after taking the Weapon Focus feat. Weapon Focus grants a +1 attac bonus, while Weapon Specialization grants a +2 damage bonus.
14.  All 3E characters can achieve multiple attacks per round; some just gain the ability earlier than others. How does a multiclassed character know when he has multiple attacks? Take the totalled combat bonuses derived from character class only. Now, subtract five. If there's still a bonus left, that remainder is the bonus for the second attack. Now subtract five again. If there's a bonus left, that remainder is the bonus for the third attack. Each attack in a round is at a cumulative -5 to hit, in other words. Other Attack Bonuses are added after this calculation is done.
15.  Skills are the equivalent of 2E non-weapon proficiencies. They're purchased with skill points. At first character level, characters get a fairly big pot of points to spend on buying skills and buying additional ranks in skills (four times the normal amount). The number of skill points is impacted by class (Fighters and Wizards both gain 2 skill points per level as the base amount), INT (add your INT bonus to your skill points each level), and race in the case of humans (one bonus skill point per level if human). Each class has a selection of "class skills" which are cheaper to buy and improve than non-class skills.  Different levels of difficulty will be expressed as DCs ("Difficulty Class," e.g. a target number).  Character ability scores will impact these checks, and characters can improve their scores as they gain levels by spending additional Skill Points on them (Skill Points are gained each level). Some known skills include Spellcraft, Concentration, Heal, Wilderness Lore, and Perform. Certain movement-related Skills are adjusted downward by heavy armor. An easy way to deal with NPCs: pick 4+Int bonus "Class Skills," max them out at level+3 ranks.
16.  Feats are special abilities, some of them combat-related.  They aren't tied to any one class, but certain classes will be better than others at particular feats.  Feats are "pick-and-choose" abilities that will help make characters unique. Known feats include Scribe Scroll, Brew Potion, Alertness, Combat Casting, Tracking, Quicken Spell, Silent Spell, Still Spell, and Whirlwind Attack. All characters gain one feat at first level and then one every 3 levels. Fighters gain bonus feats from a more limited list of combat-related feats every other level plus a bonus at first level. Wizards gain bonus feats from a more limited list of magic-related feats every five levels plus a bonus (Scribe Scroll) at first level. Some feats have prerequisites, including other feats.
17.  Characters can start out as one class and add other classes along the way.  A 4th level fighter will need as much experience to achieve 5th level as a fighter as she would to attain first level as a wizard.  Multiclassing in 3E is additive.  Combat bonuses, saving throw bonuses, and hit points are combined from each class.
18.  Some former 1st level spells have been moved to the Cantrip list (0-level spells), including Light, Mending, Detect Magic, Read Magic and Wizard Mark. There will be 0-level Divine spells as well, called orisons
19.  I'm using the wizard spell chart.  The extra spells are due to high Intelligence.  Clerics and druids will gain extra spells for high Wisdom, and Sorcerers and Bards gain extra spells for high Charisma. The Bonus Spell chart appears at the bottom of the Ability Score Table.

Character Ability Scores:

  • Ability Score Generation: The standard method of generating ability scores is to roll 4d6, drop the lowest die, arrange the scores to suit the player.
  • Alternate Character Generation System:  One of the alternate methods of generating character ability scores will use a "graduated cost system," as described below.  A number of alternative methods of generating character scores will be presented in the 3E DMG.

    3E "Graduated Cost" Ability Score Generation System

    You have up to 28 character creation points to purchase your character's Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Dexterity, Constitution, and Charisma from the following table: 
    Ability Score Cost 
    8            0
    9            1 
    10           2 
    11           3 
    12           4 
    13           5 
    14           6 
    15           8 
    16          10 
    17          13 
    18          16 
    For example, using the full 28 character creation points a character's attributes might be purchased as follows: 

    Ability Cost
    Str 15      8 points 
    Dex 13      5 points 
    Con 14      6 points 
    Int 10      2 points 
    Wis 11      3 points 
    Cha 12      4 points 
    Total       28 points 

    Racial modifiers to attributes are applied AFTER the base scores are determined in this manner (and thus can cause stats to range from 6-20).  Attribute points that characters earn later though level advancement are 
    applied normally. 

  • "Exceptional strength" has been removed, and there will be options for scores beyond 18 in ST (and other abilities).  This is in part due to the fact that characters can increase their scores over time (increase any stat by one point, every fourth level is the current rumor), and also because the ratings have to include higher ranges for monsters, which will also be described in terms of the six stats.
  • There will be no XP bonus for characters who have a high prime requisite.
  • Ryan Dancey indicates that there are no minimum ability requirements for classes in 3E:  There aren't any ability score requirements in 3e.  There are some special  abilities and feats that won't work, or will work poorly unless the character has certain ability scores over a threshold value, but there are no minimums required to take any class.  There are still some alignment restrictions, but no score restrictions.
  • Constitution Hit Point Bonus:  Non-warriors can take advantage of high Constitution to gain extra hit points: "All classes get the full benefits of their ability scores (within reason ... a fighter doesn't get bonus spells for high Int because fighters don't _get_ spells) - another layer of needless complexity removed."
  • Charisma attribute defined: "Charisma measures a character’s force of personality, persuasiveness, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and physical attractiveness. It represents actual personal strength, not merely how one is perceived by others in a social setting."  Playtester Der Verdammte elaborates:  "It's more of a clarification than a change.  The real "change" is in how the ability affects the game mechanically.  Charisma has much more of an impact on class abilities, NPC relations, and skills than it used to.  Basically, the idea of charisma isn't just getting lip service now."  In 3E, as we've seen, Charisma affects a number of things -- from a Bard's or Sorerer's ability to learn more spells to a Cleric's ability to Turn Undead.
  • Wisdom Defined: "Wisdom describes a character's willpower, common sense, perception and intuition. Compared to Intelligence, Wisdom is more related to being in tune with and aware of one's surroundings, while Intelligence represents one's ability to analyze information."
  • Effects of Aging: A character who attains Old Age gets a –2 decrease to all of his physical ability scores (Str, Dex, Con) and a +2 increase to all of his mental ability scores (Int. Wis, Cha). When that character reaches Venerable age, he loses an additional 3 points from each of his physical ability scores and gains 1 more point to each of his mental ability scores.
  • Ability Score Chart: 

Ability Score Chart

Ability Score


































What do the Adjustments Impact?
(This part is a combo of previously known info and speculation)

Strength Bonus/Penalty adjusts Melee Attack Roll, Damage Roll, Strength-related actions such as Opening Doors, and Strength-related Skills and Feats (Jumping and Swimming).
Dexterity Bonus/Penalty adjusts Armor Class, Initiative Roll, Reflex Saving Throws, Ranged/Missile Attack Roll, and Dexterity-related Skills and Feats (such as Move Silently, Hide, Pick Pocket).
Constitution Bonus/Penalty adjusts Hit Points (penalty/bonus per level), Fortitude Saving Throws, and Constitution-related Skills and Feats.
Intelligence Bonus/Penalty adjusts Intelligence-Related Skills and Feats (such as Decipher Script).  Bonus spells for Wizards are based on Intelligence, but use the chart below. Impacts how many points you get to spend on acquiring and improving skills. Impacts number of languages known.
Wisdom Bonus/Penalty adjusts Will Saving Throws and Wisdom-Related Skills and Feats (for instance, Listen and Spot).  Bonus spells for Clerics and Druids are based on Wisdom, but use the chart below. Monk AC is impacted by Wisdom.
Charisma Bonus/Penalty adjusts Reaction Checks and Charisma-Related Skills and Feats.  Affects Clerical turning of undead. Figures into a Paladin skill called Smite Evil. Could affect the Morale of NPC allies.  Bonus spells for Bards and Sorcerers are based on Charisma, but use the chart below.

Bonus Spells for High Ability Scores
(confirmed numbers are in gold)









Can't cast spells tied to this ability


No bonus spells





























Relevant Ability:

Cleric, Druid, Ranger, Paladin: Wisdom 
Bard, Sorcerer: Charisma 
Wizard: Intelligence

  • Carrying Capacity: Here's the chart for deterimining how much you can carry based on your strength.

Carrying Capacity (in pounds, Medium-sized Character)














































































  • Light Load: Max Dex Bonus +20, Check Penalty 0, Speed 30 ft., Run x4.
  • Medium Load: Max Dex Bonus +3, Check Penalty -3, Speed 20 ft., Run x4.
  • Heavy Load: Max Dex Bonus +1, Check Penalty -6, Speed 20 ft., Run x3.

Note that these penalties do not stack with Armor penalties -- if wearing armor and carrying a load, use only the worse of the two penalties.

The amount of weight you can "Lift Over Your Head" is equal to your Max Load.

The amount of weight you can "Lift Off the Ground" is equal to 2 times your Max Load.

The amount of weight you can "Push or Drag" is equal to 5 times your Max Load.

Size and Encumbrance:

  • Larger creatures can carry more weight depending on size category: Large (x2), Huge (x4), Gargantuan (x8), and Colossal (x16).
  • Smaller creatures can carry less weight depending on size category: Small (3/4), Tiny (1/2), Diminuative (1/4), and Fine (1/8).

  • The list of classes to be supported in the core 3E rules:  Fighter, Paladin, Ranger, Barbarian, Rogue, Bard, Assassin (like other "prestige classes," the Assassin will appear in the DMG, not the PHB), Wizard, Sorcerer, Cleric, Druid, Monk.
  • There will be one XP table that will apply to all classes.  This implies that each class will be made roughly equivalent in power.
  • Der Verdammte on Experience: The experience system has been completely changed. Without a complete picture of how it works (which I will not give you), it is impossible to judge it fairly. Advancement occurs at a steady rate in a properly run game, and awards are given according to the difficulty of challenges overcome by the party. If a challenge is too easy, no experience is gained (for example, if a 15th level fighter runs into 4 normal (1 HD) orcs and slaughters them, he gets NO experience, rather than getting 60 xp, as it works in 2nd edition). Likewise, if a challenge is difficult but possible to overcome, the party gets extra experience (for instance, a 2nd level party who kills 4 normal ogres--incurring some casualties--would gain more experience than a fourth-level party that did the same thing).

3E Character Experience Point Chart



Rewards of Experience 



Skill Points x 4



Able to multiclass; Skill points



Gain Feat; Skill points



Increase Attribute; Skill points



Skill points



Gain Feat; Skill points



Skill points



Increase Attribute; Skill points



Gain Feat; Skill points



Skill points 



Skill points 



Increase Attribute; Gain Feat; Skill points



Skill points 



Skill points 



Gain Feat; Skill points



Increase Attribute; Skill points



Skill points 



Gain Feat; Skill points



Skill points 



Increase Attribute; Skill points


Able to Multiclass: Current info is that 1st level characters will be unable to multiclass. You can add your first additional class once you've earned enough XP for 2nd level.

Gain Feat: Characters gain one feat every 3 levels. Humans gain a free feat at 1st level, and certain classes gain bonus feats.

Skill Points: At each character level, characters gain 2, 4 or 8 skill points (depends on character class -- 2 for cleric, 8 for rogue, for example), plus the character's INT bonus, plus one more if the character is human. At first character level the skill point allotment is multiplied times four.

Increase Attribute: Characters can increase ability scores (STR, INT, etc.) by one point every four levels.

  • Multiclass characters do not "average" their hit points for each of their classes, they actually add them on.  A 4th-level fighter/3rd-level wizard would be in effect a 7th level character with 4d10+3d4 hp.  Combat bonuses for multiclass characters will accumulate as well as hit points.  So the 4th-level fighter/3rd-level wizard would have a combat bonus of something like +4 + +1 = +5, the same as a 5th level fighter, as well as 4d10+3d4 hit points.  Presumably other level-related attributes (e.g., proficiency slots) would also accumulate instead of average.
  • Further clarification on multiclassed characters:  let's say you're a 5th-level fighter/2nd level wizard.  That makes you a 7th level character on the XP chart.  Once you reach enough XP for 8th level, you can choose to either increase your fighter level to 6th, or your wizard level to 3rd.  However, there's a built-in XP penalty for characters who don't keep their multi-classed levels roughly equal (within a level of each other).  So to avoid that penalty, you'd want to alternate which class would increase in level so as to keep them equal or within one level of each other.
  • Here's a table that shows the nature of multiclassing with two, three and five classes:

Total XP Earned five-class triple-class dual-class single-class
0 can't do it yet can't do it yet level 1/1 level 1
5000 can't do it yet level 1/1/1 level 1/2 level 3
15000 level 1/1/1/1/2 level 2/2/2 level 3/3 level 6
30000 level 1/1/2/2/2 level 2/3/3 level 4/4 level 8
50000 level 2/2/2/2/2 level 3/3/4 level 5/5 level 10
75000 level 3/3/2/2/2 level 4/4/4 level 6/6 level 12
105000 level 3/3/3/3/3 level 5/5/5 level 7/8 level 15
190000 level 4/4/4/4/4 level 6/7/7 level 10/10 level 20

  • Preferred Class and Experience Penalties: Playtester Der Verdammte explains what is meant by a "preferred class" and how that concept applies to race and class combinations and experience point penalties (on the 3E Message Board):

All ... races have one or more "preferred classes." Having a preferred class has no effect unless the character multiclasses. If the character is multiclassed, and one of his classes is a preferred class for his race, there is STILL no effect until there's a significant level difference between his preferred class and his other classes. Then, and only then, it comes into play, negating the 20% experience penalty for having a big difference in class levels.

When a character has a preferred class, his level in that class is not counted when calculating multiclassing penalties.

... there is NO penalty for multiclassing except for the 20% penalty for having a big difference between classes. Let me use an elf for an example:

Classes               Levels Penalty
Fighter                 4      0%
Fighter/wizard         4/1     0% 
  (wizard is a preferred class)
Fighter/wizard/rogue  4/1/1   20%
Fighter/wizard/rogue  4/1/3    0%

And a couple other examples:

Elven fighter/wizard/barbarian/rogue, levels 5/1/2/2 -- 40% penalty
Same as above, levels 5/1/4/4 -- 0% penalty

Favored Multiclass by Race

Race Favored Multiclass
Dwarf Fighter
Elf Wizard
Gnome Illusionist
Half-Elf Any
Half-Orc Barbarian
Halfling Rogue
Human Any

  • Multiclass XP Penalty: The experience point penalty that multiclass characters suffer when their classes are too far apart in level is a little tricky to figure out. When does it kick in? How far apart is too far apart? How big can the penalties get? Anonymous explains:

Depending on the character's class levels and race, he or she might or might not suffer an XP penalty.

Even Levels: If your multiclass character's classes are nearly the same level (all withing one level of each other), then he or she can balance the needs of his or her classes and suffers no penalty.

Uneven levels: If any two of your multiclass character's classes are two or more levels apart, the strain of developing and maintain different skills at different levels takes its toll. Your multiclass character suffers a -20% XP penalty for each class that is not within one level of his most experienced class. For instance, a 4th-level wizard/3rd-level rogue gets no penalty, but if that character raises his wizard level to 5th, then he would receive the -20% penalty from that point on until his levels were nearly even again.

Races and Multiclass XP: A racially favored class does not count against the character for purposes of the -20% XP penalty. In such cases, calculate the XP penalty as if the character did not have that class. A human's or half-elf's highest-level class is always considered his or her favored class.

Example: Begwin is an 11th-level gnome character (a 9th-level rogue/2nd-level illusionist). He suffers no XP penalty because he has only one nonfavored class. (Illusionist is favored for gnomes.) Suppose he then achieves 12th-level and adds 1st-level fighter to his classes, becoming a 9th-level rogue/2nd-level illusionist/1st-level fighter. He suffers a -20% XP penalty on future XP he earns because his fighter level is so much lower than his rogue level. Were he awarded 1,200 XP for an adventure, he would receive 80% of that amount, or 960 XP. If he rose to 13th level and picked up 1st-level as cleric, he would suffer a -40% XP penalty from then on.

  • Sean Reynolds on 2E multiclassed characters vs. 3E multis: "In 2E, being multiclassed at 1st level was a no brainer because technically you were a level ahead of everyone else; you made up for it later by being at least a level behind everyone else. Now it's such that a multiclassed character is the same power level as the other characters of the same character level.  Here's an example from a playtest campaign I was in. We converted over at about 10th level. My character was a single-classed wizard. Bruce Cordell was running a thief that had dual-classed to wizard (he was about T6/W6 when we converted, I think, because thieves advance faster). After his conversion (Monte told him that [his character] was to be 10th level after the conversion), Bruce made him Thief 6/Wizard 4. Even without his lightning bolt spell, he was still a good character (heck, he was 10th level), and I wouldn't want Nosh (my character) to go toe-to-toe with him (he'd start from far away and use his heat-seeking custom fireballs to whack on him a while :))."
  • TSR VP Ryan Dancey responded to a few questions posed by "Remathilis Eveningwind"on the TSR Message Board:
    • Are some of the "power combos" (paladin/bard, ranger/mage, ranger/bard, cleric/bard) more balanced now?  "Yes."
    • [Do the 3E rules] cover redundant abilities? (I'm a ranger/thief, what is my MS/HS?, or how many spells does a mage/bard get?)  "Yes. Yes.  (You keep separate lists of spells for each class.  You keep track of which spell, from which list, you're casting.  So you may be able (example only here) to learn a 5HD fireball and a 7HD fireball.)"
  • Paladin and Monk Multiclassing Restrictions: WotC's Keith Strohm discusses the rationale behind limiting how and when Paladins and Monks can multiclass: Originally, there were no restrictions on multiclassing/moving in and out of the monk or paladin classes. However, a majority of playtester feedback indicated that there were sufficient numbers of people who felt that there were enough roleplaying reasons to restrict monks and paladins in regards to multiclassing. This is a clear example of playtester input influencing the design and development of 3rd Edition D&D. The great news is that, like everything else in the game, your DM can easily say that paladins and monks can indeed multiclass and gain levels in their monk or paladin class. The "fix" is easy and painless.
  • Class Flexibility:  According to Ryan Dancey (posting to the 3E Message Board), using standard 3E classes and feats will make it possible to customize characters to a great degree.  For example, if you wanted a ranger-like character who did not have two-weapon style...
    • "The only specific thing Rangers have that no other class has is a 'Favored Enemy'.  Everything else is either a feat given for free, or things like spellcasting that other classes have (though the Ranger's specific spell list is custom tailored; it's not just the same list as the Cleric list).  So you could be a Druid that has developed some skill with arms, armor and tracking, or a fighter who multiclasses into Cleric with an emphasis on a god with nature related Domains, etc."
  • Are there still class-based weapon restrictions?  Says Jonathan Tweet:  "There are class-based starting points -- what a characters starts the game knowing -- but you can have your character learn to use new weapons.  Also, the crossbow is now the 'simple ranged weapon.'  After all, you just point and shoot.  Even wizards can use crossbows."
  • Sorcerer:
    • Sorcerers don't have to memorize spells -- they are apparently more like spell-like abilities, naturally occurring but with fewer choices (less flexibility).
    • Sorcerer's Source of Magic: The difference between the Sorcerer's and the Wizard's spellcasting power is briefly detailed on the March Playtest Group of the Month's page.

Sorcerers create magic the way a poet creates poems, with inborn talent honed by practice. They have no books, no mentors, no theories—just raw power that they direct at will.

Some sorcerers claim that the blood of dragons courses through their veins. It may even be true—it is common knowledge that certain powerful dragons can take humanoid form and even have humanoid lovers, and it’s difficult to prove that a given sorcerer does not have a dragon ancestor.

    • Sorcerer Spellcasting Secrets: A scooper named Penn Davies spills the beans on how Sorcerer Spellcasting differs from that of the standard Wizard:

I played in a D&D3E demo at a local gaming con, Gryphcon, in Guelph, Ontario. I played a Sorcerer, and can clarify exactly how their spell casting differs that of wizards. Essentially, at any given spell level, a sorcerer will have more slots available for casting spells per day, and doesn't have to decide what spell is in each slot before the actual time of casting. To balance this they get new levels of spells [at a] slower [rate], and are capable of knowing many fewer spells per level. As an example, as a first level sorcerer, I [could cast] four first level spells [per day] as compared to the two that the wizard had, but I had a maximum of 2 spells of first level that I knew. I could pick either one on the fly when I cast, but that's still not much selection. It seemed balanced, and a lot of fun.

    • Do Sorcerers still need spellbooks? Not according to Anonymous...

Sorcerers don't need spellbooks at all, although they might voluntarily keep a few notes around on spells they were just learning to cast. Since sorcerers aquire spells in ways unrelated to "book-lairnin'", even owning a spellbook serves no purpose.

Also, the Spell Mastery feat allows wizards to prepare specific spells without using a spellbook. There is little, if any, similarity between Spell Mastery and the sorcerous method of spellcasting.

    • Sorcerers can use higher level spell slots to cast lower level spells. Out of 2nd level slots but really need to cast knock? Cast it as a 3rd level spell if you have a slot open.
    • Wizards start out knowing all cantrips and at least three 1st-level spells of their choice, while Sorcerers begin with knowledge of only four cantrips and two 1st-level spells.
    • Blurb in Dragon #273 says "Play a Sorcerer ... to gain a familiar at 1st level."
  • Female Barbarian by Todd LockwoodBarbarians start out with Rage and Fast Movement abilities. They later gain Uncanny Dodge and Damage Reduction.
    • Rage grants a temporary +4 to STR and CON and a +2 to Will saves; at 15th level, the bonuses increase (+6 to STR and CON, +3 to Will saves). Rage does cause an AC penalty, it's only temporary (3 rounds +1 per point of CON bonus -- including the temporary CON bonus), and can only be used once per day per 4 levels (1/day at levels 1-3, 2/day at levels 4-7, and so forth up to 6/day at 20th level). When the Rage ends, the Barbarian suffers penalties for the rest of the encounter. At 20th level, those penalties go away.
    • Fast Movement adds 33% to the speed of medium-sized barbarians and 50% to the speed of small-sized barbarians.
    • Uncanny Dodge (gained at 2nd level) allows the barbarian to keep his DEX bonuses even when surprised or attacked from the rear, and at 5th level the barbarian can't be flanked (which negates the Flanking attack bonus, and helps negate Rogue sneak attacks against them). A Rogue who's 4+ levels higher than the barbarian can still successfully sneak attack a barbarian, however.
    • Damage Resistance allows the barbarian to ignore small amounts of damage per attack against them -- 1 point at 11th level, 2 at 14th, 3 at 17th and 4 at 20th.
    • Barbarians will use a d12 hit die.
    • In the December Playtesters at Work section, we learn something about the powers of the Barbarian:  "Barbarian Rage: When he needs to, the barbarian can fly into a screaming blood frenzy. In a rage, a barbarian gains phenomenal strength and durability but becomes reckless and less able to defend himself. He temporarily gains +4 Strength, +4 Constitution, and a +2 morale bonus on Will saves, but suffers a -2 penalty to Armor Class." 
  • Prestige Classes
    • A "prestige class" is something along the lines of the 1E Bard -- i.e., a class that one could only take after progressing in different character classes beforehand.  (The 1E Bard had you take a few levels of Fighter, then dual-class to Thief, then later dual-class to Druid -- at that point, you became a Bard.)
    • WotC's Sean Reynolds indicates that a character who has adopted a prestige class can still opt to advance his other classes if desired. He also says that characters can belong to more than one prestige class if desired.
    • Prestige classes were compared to the old computer game Wizardry, where you could change into a "host of new kick-butt classes that weren't available before" when you hit certain levels - such as "the anti-paladin, the arcane archer, the dwarven defender, etc."
    • Spell-Casting Prestige Classes: Sean Reynolds illuminates the masses: Prestige classes aren't supposed to be class-specific; most classes should be able to qualify for one (you could have a Wizard become as Assassin, for example) but some classes (such as Rogue, in the Assassin example) could get there it faster or easier. Spellcaster classes are a slight exception, but theoretically you could make a "Fire Master" prestige class that required knowledge of a certain number of fire spells and a minimum spellcaster level ... so any spellcaster might eventually qualify for it.
    • The anti-paladin prestige class is known as the Blackguard.
    • The Assassin's Path? Anthony Valterra (identified on the WotC site as an Associate Business Manager) dropped some interesting tidbits about the possible Feat requirements (or at least suggested feats) for a character to take the Assassin prestige class. In this example, he's speaking hypothetically of creating a character that would balanced against an equal level fighter: " Rogue/Sorcerer takes this route - Weapon Finesse/Point Blank/Far Shot/Improved Critical and takes the Assassin Prestige class. By the time we both reach a high enough level to get all of these feats I'll have about 6 levels in Assassin.... I've got a darn good chance of taking you down in one shot and I can keep firing at you even into melee."
    • Assassins: In addition to the skill ranks in hide, move silent and disguise, characters must kill someone for no other reason than to become an assassin. Assassins get up to 4th level arcane spells! The spell list is very "stealth driven" in terms of selection and there are only four choices per spell level. Examples: Spider Climb; Dimension Door; Deepen Darkness; Poison.
    • Assassins vs. Assassins: What makes the Assassin prestige class different from your run-of-the-mill hired killer? WotC's Ryan Dancey says, "A supernatural ability to stun or kill with one successful sneak attack."
    • "The Shadowdancer seems to basically be a ninja. The requirements for entering include minimum numbers of ranks in several skills, including Hide, Move Silently, and others. The rank requirements are all in the 8-11 range, [so given the fact that there's a limit to how many skill points you can allocate to a given skill per level], you're only going to be able to get it at higher character levels. The shadowdancer has several neat tricks having to do with sneaking and playing around with shadows. The one I was able to get out of the GM is called 'Hide in Plain Sight'. As long as you are in or near some shadows, you can stand there without anyone seeing you. BTW, it is considered a 'Supernatural' ability, meaning while it can't be disrupted, an Anti-Magic field will prevent it."
    • "The Arcane Archer has abilties like being able to place spells into their arrows. On top of this, apparently at very high levels they can create arrows of slaying."
    • The Dwarven Defender uses a d12 hit dice and has damage resistance (starting at -3 damage per blow and later getting higher). "On top of this, they can 'set' themselves. As long as they don't move from a spot, they get AC bonuses, CON and STR bonuses, damage bonuses, plus a wad of other extra bonuses."
    • Prestige Classes: Aside from having prerequisites, are prestige classes all that much different from any other class? WotC's Ryan Dancey elaborates: "Prestige Classes are just classes you can't take at 1st level and can't take without meeting some prerequisites. All other class rules apply normally. The individual Prestige Classes might contain further restrictions on future choices; but that's an artifact of the class, not the system."
    • Cook on Prestige Classes: DMG author Monte Cook provided scooper Lance R. Goetz with some info on prestige classes:
      • Why are prestige classes only developed up to 10th level? They have 10 levels to stress that they are not full classes. The knowledge that you can gain from them is finite. Conceivably, you could have a prestige class with more or even less than 10 levels, but 10 is standard. You can still multiclass or take levels of your original class, just like any multiclass, so you're not cheated out of any levels.
      • Will the high-level book address prestige classes? Absolutely.
      • Will prestige classes be addressed in other products? The idea all along has been that we would provide more prestige classes to help define and develop important roles (like a quick, unarmored, swashbuckling fighter) or specific groups (like the Red Wizards of Thay in the Forgotten Realms). Expect to see more.
    • Prestige Class Requirements:
      • Dwarven Defender:
        • Alignment: any lawful
        • Race: dwarf
        • Base Attack bonus: +7
        • Feats: Dodge, Endurance, Toughness
      • Shadowdancer:
        • Move Silently ranks: 8
        • Hide ranks: 10
        • Perform ranks: 5
        • Feats: Dodge, Mobility, Combat Reflexes
      • Assassin:
        • Alignment: any evil
        • Move Silently ranks: 8
        • Hide ranks: 8
        • Disguise ranks: 4
  • Bards:
    • Bards get bonus spells for high Charisma, not Intelligence as indicated in the Dragon version of the "10 Ways to Play 3E Today" article.
    • Class abilities, all based on the Bard's success with the Perform skill, include Inspire Courage (allies gain +1 attack and damage bonus), Countersong (use Bard's Perform check result in place of an ally's saving throw result to counteract sound-based attacks), Fascinate (capture the attention of a creature and attempt to make a magical suggestion), Inspire Competence (grants a +2 bonus to ally' skill checks), and Inspire Greatness (grants additional hit dice, +2 to hit, +1 on Fortitude saves). Bards also have a lore ability -- the check is d20 + Bard's level + INT bonus, and the higher the result the more obscure the information regarding an area, an individual, or a magical item.
    • Inspire Courage: January's Playtest Group (at the WotC 3E site) helped refine the Bard's special ability to Inspire Courage:
      • Inspire Courage: A bard with 3 or more ranks in Perform can use song or poetics to inspire courage in his allies, bolstering them against fear and improving their combat abilities. To be affected, an ally must hear the bard sing for a full round. The effect lasts as long as the bard sings and for 5 rounds after the bard stops singing (or 5 rounds after the ally can no longer hear the bard). Affected allies receive a +2 morale bonus to saving throws versus charm and fear effects and a +1 morale bonus to attack and weapon damage rolls.
  • Wizards:
    • Sean Reynolds on "wimpy wizards":  "If your problem is 'Wizards are too weak to stand up to much,' then yes, I see it, and we have upped the power of wizards a bit in 3E D&D to compensate for that - now people can play a single-classed wizard at all levels and not think they need to be protected from goblins, giant centipedes, and stray pebbles. Not only do wizards get bonus spells for high Int, they also have better familiars and some cool feats. :)  Basically, I'll repeat what we have said often: the classes are now balanced at all levels, and so there's no obvious fantastic or lame character class."
    • See the Magic page for more information on Wizards and spellcasting.
    • According to Sean Reynolds, there are still specialist wizards in 3E even though there is only one "wizard class": "Just as a ranger can choose a favored enemy, or a cleric can choose domains from a god, a wizard can choose a specialized school and forbidden schools."
  • Kits:
    • Kits will in the future be used as a "template" for purchasing skills and feats. They won't have "significant" game benefits, but will be used as help with character concepts.
    • Character Kits:  TSR VP Ryan Dancey mentioned a possible system to replace the "kit" system for designing different flavors of character classes:  "We're working on a system that I jokingly call a "Recipe", in other words, a set of instructions that start at first level and extend as long as necessary to result in a character with the skills and abilities of a 2e Kit.  Since most 2e kits are too powerful at 1st level, the 3e approach will be to gain powers over the first several levels in a "programmed" way - i.e., the recipie tells you - at 2nd level, take the following new Skills - x, y, and z. Raise Skills q, r, and s by 2 points.  Some kits just can't be replicated easily with recipies (because the requisite skills, feats, and multiclassed abilities don't exist) but we're confident that most of them can be at least reasonably approximated."
  • Fighters:
    • From the March Playtesters: "fighters ... know how to use every kind of weapon." However, this actually only includes weapons in the Simple and Martial groups; Fighters must take the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat to gain proficiency in one Exotic Weapon.
    • All characters gain one feat at first level, and one every three levels; Fighters gain bonus feats (from a select list of combat-oriented feats) starting at 2nd level and every other level thereafter. "A typical 10th-level fighter has ten feats, while the typical 10th-level non-fighter has four."
    • There are four categories of armor: light, medium and heavy armor, and shields. Fighters begin with proficiency in all types of armor and shields.
    • Weapon Specialization is a feat only available to Fighters. Its requirement is Weapon Focus (+1 attack bonus with one particular weapon). Weapon Specialization grants +2 to damage to all melee attacks with the chosen weapon, or if a missile weapon, +2 to damage if within point blank range.
  • Male Ranger by Sam WoodRangers:
    • Rangers and Tracking:  Tracking is treated as a Feat, and every Ranger starts out with this feat for free, though other character classes could earn this feat as well.
    • A ranger is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light armor, medium armor, and shields. When wearing light armor, a ranger can fight with two weapons as if he had the feats Ambidexterity and Two-Weapon Fighting.
    • Rangers no longer have alignment restrictions. Rangers "have only one special class ability aside from spellcasting ability" (divine spells, starts at 4th level) and free feats like Tracking, Two-Weapon Fighting and Ambidexterity. This ability is Favored Enemy.
    • The basic perk of Favored Enemy is +1 damage against them with melee attacks or missile attacks within a 30' range. At levels 5, 10, 15 and 20, this damage bonus increases by +1. In addition, at levels 5, 10, 15 and 20, the ranger can choose another category (with the bonus starting at +1). So by level 10, the ranger could have the following Favored Enemies (and bonuses): Undead +3, Elementals +2, and Dragons +1.
    • Ranger Favored Enemies: Here's the list of possible candidates for the critters a ranger may love to hate: Abberations, Animals, Beasts, Constructs, Demons, Devils, Dragons, Dwarves, Efreet, Elementals, Elves, Fey, Giants, Gnolls, Gnomes, Goblinoids, Half-elves, Halflings, Half-orcs, Humans, Magical Beasts, Monstrous Humanoids, Oozes, Orcs, Plants, Reptilian Humanoids, Shapechangers, Slaadi, Undead, Vermin.
    • The Favored Enemy bonus doesn't just apply to damage though -- it applies when using skills such as Bluff, Sense Motive, Listen, Spot and Wilderness Lore (used with the Tracking feat) against the favored enemy.
  • Paladins:
    • Paladin Abilities:
      • 1st level: divine grace, detect aura of evil, lay on hands, divine health
      • 2nd level: aura of courage, smite evil
      • 3rd level: remove disease 2x/week, turn undead
      • 4th level: spells
      • 5th level: war horse
    • Paladins and Charisma:  The Paladin's charisma modifier applies to all saving throws, the number of hit points cured with the Lay Hands ability, and influences a new ability called "Smite Evil."
    • New "Smite Evil" Paladin ability:  "Once a day, a paladin of 2nd level or higher may attempt to smite evil with one normal melee attack. She adds her Charisma modifier (if positive) to her attack roll and inflicts 1 extra point of damage per level.  Note that the Charisma modifier doesn't affect damage, but it does improve the paladin's chance to score a successful hit."
    • "The Paladin needs to be lawful good. The Paladin's god needs to have an alignment within one 'step' of LG." So it looks like paladins can worship gods of LG, LN or NG alignments.
    • Paladins don't necessarily have to worship a god or be tied to a church, however. They may venerate an ethos, or they can choose to serve a pantheon rather than a single god.
    • On Paladins (playtester John Troy): "In 3rd Edition, a paladin is 'Called.' The PHB specifically states that a Paladin is not a choice. A person can deny his destiny, fail at the goal of advancement, or become something else beforehand, but paladins are called to a higher purpose, and they can't 'learn' to be a paladin, it is an instinctive thing."
    • Paladin's "Lay On Hands" ability, which normally cures wounds, acts as a "bane" to undead, dealing out the same damge they could otherwise heal with this power.
  • Non-Adventuring Classes:
    • Non-Adventuring Types:  Ryan Dancey indicates that the DMG will have information on fleshing out NPCs who aren't adventurers but who need to have significant Skills or Feats not necessarily tied to a character class:  "There are classes in the DMG for nonheroic character types.  You could have an NPC who is just an average joe with a few skills and maybe a feat or two....  So there's classes for people who are "members of the watch" but aren't Fighters, and "Farmers" who aren't Druids..."
    • NPC Classes: While a lot of NPCs in adventures will have typical "adventurer" classes just like the PCs, some will not. Here are the abreviations for some of the "NPC classes" (or non-adventuring classes, so to speak): Exp = Expert NPC ; Nob = Noble NPC ; Com = Commoner NPC ; War = Warrior NPC ; Adp = Adept NPC.
      • Adept NPC: About the Adept NPC class, playtester John Troy says, "Think of Adept as the Shaman/Witchdoctor of AD&D, or a 'hedge wizard.'"
  • Rogues
    • 3E Rogues: "Rogues share little in common with each other. Some are stealthy thieves. Others are silver-tongued tricksters. Still others are scouts, infiltrators, spies, or thugs. What they share is versatility, adaptability, and resourcefulness. In general, rogues are skilled at getting what others don't want them to get: entrance into a locked treasure vault, safe passage past a deadly trap, secret battle plans, a guard's trust, or some random person's pocket money."
    • Rogues in Dragon #269: As promised, the March issue of Dragon focuses its Countdown to 3E article on Rogues. Here are some of the more interesting revelations:
      • Class Abilities available to the Rogue include Sneak Attack, Detecting and Disabling Traps, Evasion, and Uncanny Dodge.
        • Sneak Attack is more versatile than the 2E Backstab:
          • As previously noted, instead of a "multiplier" to damage, sneak attacks deliver an additional d6 of damage for every odd level the Rogue posesses.
          • "Any attack that would deny the target an AC bonus from Dexterity or any flanking attack can be a sneak attack."
          • "Ranged attacks within 30 feet can count as sneak attacks."
          • "With a sap or an unarmed strike, the rogue can deal subdual damage with a sneak attack."
        • Detecting and Disabling Traps: While anyone can have the Search and Disable Device skills, a rogue can use them to detect magical and mechanical traps, and then neutralize them or bypass them.
        • Evasion: Starting at 2nd level, Rogues who successfully make a Reflex save for half damage suffer no damage instead. Since the Reflex save is modified by Dexterity, more agile rogues will have a distinct advantage.
        • Uncanny Dodge: Starting at 3rd level, the Rogue gains "a sort of danger sense that lets the character keep her AC bonus for Dexterity even when caught flat-footed or attacked by an invisible foe." Starting at 6th level, the Rogue cannot normally be flanked; and at 11th level the Rogue gains a bonus to avoid traps.
        • More Abilities: Starting at 10th level, and every 3rd level after that, the Rogue can choose one more special ability from a group of six such abilities unique to the Rogue.
          • High-Level Rogue Class Abilities: Rogue special abilities: Crippling Strike, Defensive Roll, Improved Evasion, Opportunist, Skill Mastery, Slippery mind, Bonus Feat.
      • Skills Rogues gain flexibility from their large pool of class skills and access to more skill points than any other class.
  • Druids:
    • Druid abilities include: lots of shapechanging, stealthy movement in natural environments, an animal companion, the ability to stop natural aging, a different "core spell list" than clerics with spells that deal with nature, and immunities to natural poisons.
    • Druid Weapon Restrictions: WotC's Jim Bishop quotes the PHB on the subject of druid weapons (on my message boards, thanks to PA for alerting me): Druids are proficient with the following weapons: club, dagger, dart, longspear, quarterstaff, scimitar, sickle, shortspear, and sling. Their spiritual oaths prohibit them from using weapons other than these. They are proficient with light and medium armors but are prohibited from wearing metal armor. They are skilled with shields but must use only wooden ones. A druid who wears prohibited armor or wields a prohibited weapon is unable to use any of her magical powers while doing so, and for 24 hours thereafter.
  • Monks:
    • Jonathan Tweet on monks:  "...the higher a monk's Wisdom, the better his AC."
    • Monk Junk: On the topic of the Monk's abilities at low character levels, Keith Strohm says: "The monk gets several abilities at low levels.... the class gets a respectable amount of abilities right off the starting block." And as to their unarmed combat skills: "...other heroes using bare-handed attacks against opponents with weapons invoke attacks of opportunity against them, while monks do not invoke the attack of opportunity." Keith also added this on DND-L: " can be a monk, wear no armor, take the correct skills and feats, and take an all out defense action for an A.C. of about 25. Of course, you can't attack that round. That's that darn stacking thing again :) Seriously, the variety of options and ways to build your character and choose combat tactics is one of the many cool things about 3rd Edition."
    • Monks: A lucky fellow named Peter B. got to try a 3E demo at MegaCon in Orlando. Here's what he had to say about monks.
    • What a 1st level Monk gets:
      • +0 to hit [i.e. it probably uses the Cleric/Rogue combat chart]
      • 1d6 in unarmed attacks
      • 4 [base] skill points at start
      • 1d8 HD
      • Monks do not provoke an attack of opportunity when attacking unarmed
      • Stun Attack: 1/day, if target is hit it cannot act for one round unless it makes a Fort save at 10+level of monk
      • Monk armor class is ajusted not only by their Dex adjustment but also by their Wisdom
      • +4 to AC vs. attacks of opportunity
  • High-Level Monks: "The monk, upon reaching 20th level, is considered to have reached ultimate harmony, and from then on counts as an 'outsider' [i.e., extra-planar]. In addition, they become immune to non-magical weapons" and other forms of non-magical damage as long as it doesn't instantly cause more damage than the monk's current hp total.
  • Monk Abilities:
    • Improved Evasion: Half damage on a failed reflex save, no damage on save (gained at level 9?)
    • Spell Resistance 10+level of the monk (gained at level 13)
    • Perfect Self: Gains Damage Reduction (20/+1) (gained at level 20)
    • Monks gain an AC bonus as they gain levels beginning with +0 and ending with +4 at level 20; this is considered "natural armor."
    • Monks begin with unarmed damage of 1d6 and have 1d20 on level 20.
    • Monk has all saves as GOOD saves (so +2 on all at level 1, +12 on all at level 20).
  • Monk Movement: Monk movement progression Levels 1-2 30'; L3-5 40'; L6-8 50', L9-11 60' etc. (This would be presumably for a Medium-sized monk.)
  • Monk Chat Transcript: Did you (like me) miss last month's chat with Jonathan Tweet and Todd Lockwood about Monks? You can read the transcript of the chat right here. Here are some highlights:
      • Monks in New D&D get to add their Wisdom bonuses to AC as well as Dexterity bonuses. They get to keep their Wisdom bonus even when surprised (when the Dexterity bonus goes away).
      • Their attack bonus isn't as strong as a fighters (because we wanted fighters to be the best…fighters), but they get extra attacks at a favorable rate, starting at 1st level.
      • a 10th-level monk can strike ghosts and werewolves as if her hands were a magic weapon because they are magic.
      • The monk's unarmed attack bonus is the same as their armed attack bonus. The big difference is that when fighting unarmed they get extra attacks starting at 6th-level (as a fighter does), but if they fight with non-monk weapons they don't get secondary attacks until 8th level (as a cleric or rogue does).
      • There are three monk weapons that monks can use and still get favorable secondary attacks (as if fighting unarmed). They're all Asian weapons: The nunchaku, the siangham, and the kama.
      • Other classes can use ki a little. There's a Stunning Fist feat for non-monks, but you have to have a Wisdom of 13+ to use it, and it's not as good as the monk's Stunning Fist.
      • Leap of the Clouds lets you jump farther than normally possible. Perfect Self means that you're no longer human-you're now an extraplanar being that can't be struck by normal weapons any more. Wholeness of Body allows you to self-cure twice your level in hit points per day. It uses ki to reorient your body back to the way it's supposed to be in the first place.

D&D Class Summary by Hecubus (updated 7/24/00)

This information was compiled from the D&D Character Generator. There may be class features in the rules that do not display in that program due to bugs or other considerations. Please contact the author at with comments or corrections. He will compile any corrections and send them my way. Thanks!


Hit Die:

Base Skill Points: 4

Saving Throws: Reflex (Poor), Fortitude (Good), Will (Poor)

Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons: All, Light Armor, Medium Armor, Shield

Class Skills: Climb, Craft, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Intuit Direction, Jump, Listen, Ride, Swim, Wilderness Lore, Literacy

1st Rage (1/day every 4 Levels until 20th not winded)
Fast Movement (+10 Speed)

2nd Uncanny Dodge (Retain Dex Bonus)

5th Uncanny Dodge (Can’t be flanked)

10th Uncanny Dodge (+1 vs. traps)

11th Damage Reduction (1 hp)

13th Uncanny Dodge (+2 vs. traps)

14th Damage Reduction (2 hp)

15th Uncanny Dodge (+3 vs. traps)

16th Damage Reduction (3 hp)

18th Uncanny Dodge (+4 vs traps)

20th Damage Reduction (4 hp)



Hit Die:

Base Skill Points: 2

Saving Throws: Reflex (Poor), Fortitude (Good), Will (Poor)

Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons: All, Light Armor, Medium Armor, Heavy Armor, Shield

Class Skills: Climb, Craft, Jump, Ride, Swim.

1st Bonus Feats (At 1st & 2nd and every 2 after that)

4th Weapon Specialization Feat Access



Hit Die:

Base Skill Points: 4

Saving Throws: Reflex (Poor), Fortitude (Good), Will (Poor)

Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons: All, Light Armor, Medium Armor, Shield

Class Skills: Animal Empathy, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Handle Animal, Heal, Hide, Intuit Direction, Jump, Knowledge: Nature, Listen, Move Silently, Profession, Ride, Search, Spot, Swim, Use Rope, Wilderness Lore.

1st Tracking Feat; Favored Enemy (1 every 5 Levels); Special Two Weapon Fighting (In light armor or no armor, treated as having Two-Weapon Fighting and Ambidexterity feats)

4th Spell Casting



Hit Die:

Base Skill Points: 2

Saving Throws: Reflex (Poor), Fortitude (Good), Will (Poor)

Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons: All, Light Armor, Medium Armor, Heavy Armor, Shield

Class Skills: Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Heal, Knowledge (Religion), Profession, Ride

1st Detect Aura of Evil

Grace (Charisma bonus to Saving throws)

Lay on Hands (Heal Hp = char X your level)

Divine Health (Immune Disease)

Code of Conduct


Extra Turning Feat Access
(can take the Extra Turning feat; can't actually use it until 3rd level though)

Aura of Courage

Evil (1/day Cha + Level to damage)

3rd Remove Disease (1/week, 1 more every 3 Levels)

Turn Undead (as cleric 2 levels lower)

4th Spell Casting

5th Special



Hit Die:

Base Skill Points: 2

Saving Throws: Reflex (Poor), Fortitude (Good), Will (Good)

Simple Weapons, Light Armor, Medium Armor, Heavy Armor, Shield

Class Skills: Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Heal, Knowledge (Arcana), Knowledge (Religion), Profession, Scry, Spellcraft.

1st Turn Undead or Rebuke Undead, Extra Turning Feat Access (can take the Extra Turning feat), Spell Casting, Spontaneous Casting, Domain Spells, Domain Granted Powers


Hit Die:

Base Skill Points: 4

Saving Throws: Reflex (Poor), Fortitude (Good), Will (Good)

Druidic Weapons (Club Dagger, Dart, Spear, Quarterstaff, Scimitar, Sickle, Sling) Druidic Armor (Padded, Leather Hide, Wooden Shields)

Class Skills: Animal Empathy, Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Heal, Intuit Direction, Knowledge (Nature), Profession, Scry, Spellcraft, Swim, Wilderness Lore.

1st Natural Sense



Level Woodland Stride

Trackless Step

Resist Natures Lure (+4 vs Nature Magic)

5th Wild Shape (shapechange; Small or Medium creature, 1/day)

6th Wild Shape (2/day)

7th Wild Shape (3/day)

8th Wild Shape (Large)

9th Venom Immunity

Wild Shape (4/day)

11th Wild Shape (Tiny)

12th Wild Shape (Huge)

13th A Thousand Faces (Alter appearance)

14th Wild Shape (5/day)

15th Timeless Body

Wild Shape (Elemental 1x)

17th Wild Shape (Elemental 3x)

18th Wild Shape (6/day)

Hit Die:

Base Skill Points: 4

Saving Throws: Reflex (Good), Fortitude (Good), Will (Good)

Simple Weapons, Monk Weapons (Club, Crossbow, Dagger, Handaxe, Javelin, Kama, Nunchaku, Quarterstaff, Shuriken, Singham, Sling)

Class Skills: Balance, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Knowledge (Arcana), Listen, Move Silently, Perform, Profession, Swim, Tumble.

1st AC Wisdom Bonus

Strike (1d6, +1 die type / 4 levels; note that "Flurry of Blows" isn't mentioned in the Character Generator; unsure if this means it's part of another abilty or no longer exists)

Stunning Attack (1/rd Foe fail DC last 1 round)

Evasion (Reflex save for no damage)

Fast Movement +10 speed wearing Light armor

Increased Speed +10 Speed every 3 levels

2nd Deflect Arrows

Still Mind (+2 Save Enchantments & Charms)

4th Slow Fall (20 ft)

5th Purity of Body (Immune to all Disease)

AC Bonus (+1 and +1 every 5 Levels)

6th Improved Trip (take the feat no Prerequisite)

7th Slow Fall (30 ft)

Wholeness of Body (Heal 2 x Level in Hp / day)

Leap of Clouds (Jump not limited by Height)

8th Slow Fall (50 ft)

9th Improved Evasion

Ki Strike (Acts as +1 magic for damage reduction)

11th Diamond Body (Immune to all Poisons)

12th Abundant Step (1/day Dimension Door)

13th Diamond Soul (Spell Resistance = Level)

Ki Strike (+2)

15th Quivering Palm (Will lower level person to die)

16th Ki Strike (+3)

17th Timeless Body (No penalties for aging, no haste)

Tongue of Sun and Moon (Speak w/any creature)

18th Empty Body (Ethereal 1/rd/level/day)

Slow Fall (any distance)

20th Perfect Self (Extra Planer, DR 20/+1)


Hit Die:

Base Skill Points: 8

Saving Throws: Reflex (Good), Fortitude (Poor), Will (Poor)

Light Armor, Small Size Rogue Weapons (Light or Hand Crossbow, Dagger, Dart, Light Mace, Sap, Shortbow, Short Sword) Medium Size Rogue Weapons (Club, Heavy Crossbow, Heavy Mace, Morningstar, Quarterstaff, Rapier)

Class Skills: Appraise, Balance, Bluff, Climb, Craft, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Disable Device, Disguise, Escape Artist, Forgery, Gather Information, Hide, Innuendo, Intimidate, Intuit Direction, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Open Lock, Perform, Pick Pocket, Profession, Read Lips, Search, Sense Motive, Spot, Swim, Tumble, Use Magical Device, Use Rope.

1st Sneak Attack (every odd Level +1d6 in damage)

Search for and Disable Traps


Uncanny Dodge (Retain Dex bonus)

6th Uncanny Dodge (Can’t be Flanked)

10th Gain Special Ability (1 every 3 Levels, choose from list below)

11th Uncanny Dodge (+1 vs Traps +1 every 3 levels)

Special Abilities

Crippling Strike
: When a victim is damaged in Sneak attack, the victim loses 1 point of Strength.

Defensive Roll: You may Reflex Save for ½ damage for a blow that would normally kill you.

Improved Evasion: ½ damage on failed reflex save.

Skill Mastery: Choose skills equal to 3 +Int bonus with these skill you can take 10 during a check.

Slippery Mind: When you failed a save vs enchantment you can roll a save the next round.

Extra Feat

1/rd you can make AoO on victim that has been struck in Melee comabat.



Hit Die:

Base Skill Points: 4

Saving Throws: Reflex (Good), Fortitude (Poor), Will (Good)

Simple Weapons, Light Armor, Medium Armor, Shield

Bardic Weapons (choose: Longbow, Longsword, Rapier, Sap, Shortbow, Shortsword, Whip)

Class Skills: Alchemy, Appraise, Balance, Bluff, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Disguise, Escape Artist, Gather Information, Hide, Intuit Direction, Jump, Knowledge (any field), Listen, Move Silently, Perform, Pick Pocket, Profession, Scry, Sense Motive, Speak Language, Spellcraft, Swim, Tumble, Use Magical Device.

1st Bardic Music

Bardic Knowledge

Spell Casting

Weapon Proficiency
(Select one weapon. Choices Long Bow, Long sword, Rapier, Sap, Short Bow, Short Sword, Whip)


Hit Die:

Base Skill Points: 2

Saving Throws: Reflex (Poor), Fortitude (Poor), Will (Good)

Simple Weapons

Class Skills: Alchemy, Concentration, Craft, Knowledge (Arcana), Profession, Scry, Spellcraft.

1st Summon familiar

Spell Casting


Hit Die:

Base Skill Points: 2

Saving Throws: Reflex (Poor), Fortitude (Poor), Will (Good)

Wizard Weapons (Club, Dagger, Crossbow Light or Heavy, Quarterstaff)

Class Skills: Alchemy, Concentration, Craft, Knowledge (all areas), Profession, Scry, Spellcraft.

1st Summon Familiar

Scroll Metamagic Feat

Spell Casting From Spell Book, Spell Mastery

Bonus Feats (Every 5 Levels)

  • Races are Elf, Half-Elf, Human, Gnome, Dwarf, Halfling, Half-Orc.
  • Dwarf Stat Block:
    • Size Medium, but base Movement Rate is 20'
    • +2 Con, -2 Cha
    • Darkvision
    • Stonecunning: +2 to notice unusual stonework; automatically sense depth underground
    • +2 save vs. poison
    • +2 save vs. spells
    • +1 attack vs. orcs
    • +1 attack vs. goblinoids (incl. goblins, hobgoblins and bugbears)
    • +4 to AC when fighting giants (incl. ogres)
    • +2 to Appraise stone and metal objects, +2 to Craft stone and metal objects
    • Preferred multiclass: Fighter
    • Bonus Languages (chosen by player, 1 per INT bonus): Giant, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, Terran, and Undercommon. Dwarves are familiar with the languages of their enemies and their subterranean allies.
  • Elf Stat Block:
    • Size Medium
    • +2 DEX, -2 CON
    • Immunity to sleep spells
    • +2 save vs. enchantment spells
    • Low Light Vision
    • Proficient: Longsword or Rapier
    • Proficient: Shortbow, Longbow, Composite Shortbow, Composite Longbow
    • +2 to Search, Spot & Listen checks
    • Passing within 5' of a concealed door gives an automatic Spot roll
    • Favored Multiclass: Wizard
    • Bonus Languages (chosen by player, 1 per INT bonus): Draconic, Gnoll, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, and Sylvan. Elves
      commonly know the languages of their enemies and of their friends, as well as Draconic, the language commonly found in ancient tomes of secret knowledge.
  • Gnome Stat Block:
    • Small Sized: +1 AC and +1 to Hit. +4 to hide
    • +2 Con, -2 Str
    • +2 Save vs. Illusions
    • +1 bonus to attack vs Kobolds and Goblinoids
    • Low Light Vision
    • +4 Dodge Vs. Giants
    • +2 Listen Checks, +2 Alchemy Checks
    • Speak with burrowing mammals: once per day a gnome can use Speak with Animals as a spell-like ability to speak with a burrowing mammal (a badger, fox, rabbit, etc.). This ability is innate to gnomes. It has a duration of 1 minute (the gnome is considered a 1st level caster when he uses this ability regardless of his actual level).
    • Gnomes who have an Int of 10+ can cast the following cantrips once each per day: dancing lights, ghost sound, and prestidigitation.
    • Preferred multiclass: Illusionist
    • Bonus Languages (chosen by player, 1 per INT bonus): Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Giant, Goblin, and Orc. Gnomes deal more with elves and dwarves than elves and dwarves deal with one another, and they learn the languages of their enemies (kobolds, giants, goblins, and orcs) as well.
  • Half-Elf Stat Block:
    • Size Medium
    • Immune to sleep spells
    • +2 vs. enchantment spells
    • Low-light vision
    • +1 Listen, +1 Search, +1 Spot
    • Elven Blood: can use elven weapons and magic items
    • Preferred multiclass: Any
    • Bonus Languages (chosen by player, 1 per INT bonus): Any. (other than secret languages, such as Druidic).
      Half-Elves have all the versatility and broad (if shallow) experience that humans have.
  • Half-Orc Stat Block:
    • Size Medium
    • +2 STR, -2 INT, -2 CHA
    • Darkvision
    • Orc Blood: can use orcish weapons and magic items
    • Preferred multiclass: Barbarian
    • Bonus Languages (chosen by player, 1 per INT bonus): Draconic, Giant, Gnoll, Goblin, and Infernal. Smart
      half-orcs (who are rare) may know the languages of their allies or rivals.
  • Halfling "Stat Block":
    • Small size: +1 AC, +1 to hit, +4 Hide, must use small sized equipment.
    • +2 DEX, -2 STR
    • +2 Climb, +2 Jump, +2 Move silently, +2 Listen
    • +1 to hit with thrown weapons
    • +1 to all saving throws
    • +2 morale bonus vs. fear
    • Preferred multiclass: Rogue
    • Bonus Languages (chosen by player, 1 per INT bonus): Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Goblin, and Orc. Smart halflings learn the languages of their friends and enemies.
  • Human Stat Block:
    • Size Medium
    • Bonus feat at first level
    • Bonus skill points (4 at first level, 1 per level after that)
    • Preferred multiclass: Any
    • Bonus Languages (chosen by player, 1 per INT bonus): Any (other than secret languages, such as Druidic). Humans mingle with all kinds of other folk and thus can learn any language found in the area.
  • Infravision (all-purpose see-in-the-dark vision) has been replaced with two variants:  darkvision (for seeing in total darkness) and low-light vision (for seeing outside at night or in otherwise dim lighting).  Dwarves would have darkvision and elves would have low-light vision.
  • Gnomes & Halflings: The small size of gnomes and halflings will make a difference in ways that it never did in 2E: "their ACs and attack bonuses change, their equipment, armor and weapon weights and prices change, and ... their weapons inflict different amounts of damage."
  • Racial Size and Age: A fan has extracted height and weight tables from the D&D Character Generator, and has provided a sample age the program assigns from a range of ages for starting characters.



Min Hgt

Max Hgt

Min Wgt

Max Wgt

Sample Age





134 lbs.

226 lbs.






104 lbs.

196 lbs.






134 lbs.

290 lbs.






94 lbs.

250 lbs.






124 lbs.

280 lbs.






89 lbs.

245 lbs.






104 lbs.

228 lbs.






84 lbs.

208 lbs.






87 lbs.

157 lbs.






82 lbs.

152 lbs.






42 lbs.

48 lbs.






37 lbs.

43 lbs.






32 lbs.

38 lbs.






27 lbs.

33 lbs.


  • Char Gen Credits Movie Image: The Character Generator program has a movie listing the credits for the program and for D&D in general, with dark text over different pieces of 3E art kind of washed out to make a background. Right at the end is an illustration of the 3E PC races lined up, giving us a good impression of relative size. Looks to me like we have Human, Halfling, Gnome, Half-Orc, Dwarf, Half-Elf and Elf. (thanks to Allister Huggins for the idea)

  • Alignment Requirements: There are only five classes that have alignment requirements in 3E.

Alignment Requirements by Class

Class Requirement
Barbarian non-Lawful
Bard non-Lawful
Druid some Neutral required
Monk some Lawful required
Paladin Lawful Good

  • One playtester had this to say about alignment in 3E:  "...there will be suggestions for alternate personality mechanics in the DMG for those who don't like the standard alignment system.  Also, the descriptions of the various alignments have been cleaned up."
  • Ryan Dancey on alignment in 3E:  "The rules about alignment haven't changed much.  There is no longer a relationship between your experience and your alignment - shifts in alignment are handled on a class by class basis.  The DM is still the final arbiter of what your alignment is, based on your character's actions and behavior.  The descriptions of how alignment affects a character's behavior are pretty clearly written.  The axis' are still the same (law/chaos, good/evil), and they still mean basically the same thing (respect for authority, effect on others)."
  • Some Words about Alignment: Anonymous slipped a note under my door with some quotes about alignment you may find in the PHB somewhere...

Alignment is a tool for developing your character's identity. It is not a straitjacket for restricting your character. Each alignment represents a broad range of personality types or personal philosophies, so two lawful good characters can be quite different from each other. In addition, few people are completely consistent. A lawful good character may have a greedy streak, occasionally tempting him to take something, or hoard something he has even if that's not the lawful or good thing to do. People are also not consistent from day to day. Good characters can lose their tempers, neutral characters can be inspired to perform noble acts, and so on.

Being good or evil can be a conscious choice, as with the paladin who attempts to live up to her ideals or the evil cleric who causes pain and terror to emulate his god. For most people, though, being good or evil is an attitude that one recognizes but does not choose.

Lawful characters tell the truth, keep their word, respect authority, honor tradition, and judge those who fall short of their duties. "Law" impiles honor, trustworthiness, obedience to authority, and reliability. On the downside, lawfulness can include closemindedness, reactionary adherence to tradition, judgementalness, and a lack of adaptability. Those who consciously promote lawfulness say that only lawful behavior creats a society in which people can depend on each other and make the right decisions in full confidence that others will act as they should.

Chaotic characters follow their consciences, resent being told what to do, favor new ideas over tradition, and do what they promise if they feel like it. "Chaos" implies freedom, adaptability, and flexibility. On the downside, chaos can include recklessness, resentment towards legitimate authority, arbitrary actions, and irresponsibility. Those who promote chaotic behavior say that only unfettered personal freedom allows people to express themselves fully and lets society benefit from the potential that its individuals have within them.

  • Lawful Evil:  "In 3e, LE is described (in part) thus:  'A lawful evil villain methodically takes what he wants within the limits of his code of conduct without regard to who it hurts.  He cares about tradition, loyalty and order, but not about freedom, dignity or life.'"
  • Chaotic Evil:  "In 3e, CE is described (in part) thus:  'A chaotic evil character does whatever his greed, hatred, and lust for destruction drive him to do.  He is hot-tempered, vicious, arbitrarily violent, and unpredictable.  If simply out for whatever he can get, he is ruthless and brutal.'"

Skills & Feats:
  • See the list of Feats and the list of Skills at the end of this section.
  • Skill System Summary: Ryan Dancey provided information on how the 3E skill system works:

Every time a character levels, they get more skill points, based on a formula using their INT modifier and the class they are leveling in.

Those skill points can be used to increase the character's "rank" in a skill or to add a new skill at rank 1.

Skills that are "class skills" (i.e., designated as skills directly relevant to a class) cost one point per rank. "Cross class skills" (i.e., skills that are not relevant to a class) cost two points per rank. There are some "restricted skills" that can only be used by a subset of the classes.

There are caps as to how many ranks a skill can have, based on character level ("character level" is the total of all a character's class levels added together).

The mechanism for using a skill is:

D20 + Relevant Ability Mod + Skill Rank + Other Modifiers vs. Difficulty Class (Target Number). So each "rank" of skill is worth approximately 5%.

Most skills link to an ability by definition; but the rules allow the DM/GM to substitute another ability mod based on circumstances.

  • Skill Points: Characters get 2, 4 or 8 skill points, plus their Intelligence bonus, each level (at first level, multiply that by four). Rogues are a class that gains 8 skill points. The maximum number of skill points you can use to buy ranks in any one class skill is equal to the character's level +3. Class skills cost one skill point per rank; cross-class skills cost two points per rank. So, at 1st level, no class skill can be promoted higher than rank 4, and no cross-class skill can be higher than rank 2. The system for using skills (d20 + rank + modifiers) is also described.
  • Opposed Skill Checks: When you use a skill that a character or creature could counter through the successful use of another skill, there will be opposed skill checks. Some examples: Bluff vs. Sense Motive; Use Rope vs. Escape Artist; Move Silently vs. Listen; and Pick Pockets vs. Spot. The mechanic for resolving these checks is described: compare the totals of each roll (and modifiers) -- the highest successful roll wins the contest.
  • Taking 10: If a character attempting a skill isn't under stress or isn't being distracted, then instead of rolling a d20, you simply add all of your modifiers to 10 -- and if that total meets or exceeds the Difficulty Class, the task succeeds.
  • Taking 20: If a character has the luxury of spending 20 times longer than normal for a task, proceed as above but add your bonuses to 20.
  • Success and Failure: For skills, at least, "a roll of '1' is not an automatic failure, and a roll of '20' is not an automatic success."
  • Skill Points: The final list of which classes get how many skill points (these numbers are modified by INT, and you get 4x the amount at first character level):
    • 2 skill points -- Paladin, Cleric, Fighter, Wizard, Sorcerer
    • 4 skill points -- Monk, Bard, Ranger, Barbarian, Druid
    • 8 skill points -- Rogue
  • "...skills before limited to one class such as pick locks will now be a skill that can be picked by any class, just the thief will always be better at it."  Not all skills are available to all classes, however -- there are a few "exclusive" skills.
  • Sagacious Skills: Sean Reynolds illuminates the masses as to what 3rd Edition skills would be good choices for a sage-like character:

There are 9 categories of knowledge presented for the Knowledge skill, with the option to create more. Alchemy and Spellcraft are good knowledge-ish skills that a sage might have, and I could see many of the Profession skills and the Wilderness lore skill being suitable as well.

  • What are Feats? Feats are described as "bonuses that PCs can apply to skills, combat or other actions." Feats don't cost points, don't require a roll to succeed (they're bonuses rather than skills), they have prerequisites, and some of them can be taken more than once to enhance the bonus they provide. There are more than 70 feats in the Player's Handbook. Some feat specifics:
    • All characters gain one feat at first level, and one every three levels; Fighters gain bonus feats (from a select list of combat-oriented feats) starting at 2nd level and every other level thereafter. "A typical 10th-level fighter has ten feats, while the typical 10th-level non-fighter has four." [Note: so far, the consensus is that a 10th level fighter has only 9 feats -- the normal feats for levels 1, 3, 6 and 9, plus the fighter bonus feats at levels 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10. However, the sidebar in the article also says "Start with a bonus feat." So maybe that's the mysterious tenth feat.]
    • Dodge "lets you designate one opponent against whom your character gains a +1 bonus to AC." Its prerequisites is a DX of 13 or highter. Dodge is, in turn, the prerequisite for a feat called Mobility; and Mobility is the prerequisite for a feat called Spring Attack.
    • Alertness provides a +2 bonus to Listen or Spot checks.
    • Whirlwind Attack allows a Fighter to give up his regular attacks to make one melee attack against all opponents within 5'. It has a lot of requirements, including INT 13+, DEX 13+, base attack of +4 or higher, and all of the following feats: Expertise, Dodge, Mobility, and Spring Attack. Note that you don't have to be a Fighter to take this feat; but a Fighter will be able to take it earlier than a non-fighter because of the base attack minimum.
    • Toughness grants +3 to hit points, and can be taken more than once.
  • Many of the Feats have minimum ability requirements, and those minimum requirements are odd numbered.  So the min/maxing type will have to consider whether to position a stat so it is ready to be bumped up to the next bonus when it comes time to increase one stat by one point, or whether it just barely makes it so a certain Feat can be taken.
  • All Feats Equal? WotC's Skip "The Sage" Williams admits that some feats are more powerful or useful than others, and explains why (on DND-L): 

Indeed, feats are *not* balanced with each other. So, why are they there? Several reasons:

1. To support folks who just aren't interested in cranking out the best possible character; these include players who are more interested in character development that min/maxing, and DMs creating NPCs (NPCs don't read the rulebooks).

2. To provide development paths and themes for characters. For example, the "weak" +1 to AC feat [e.g. Dodge] comes early in a chain of feats that together build up to some pretty hefty abilities. The "attack everyone nearby" [e.g. Whirlwind Attack] comes late in a chain. It a great feat, but you have to know other feats before you can get. (This is an example of prequisites in action).

3. To provide flexibility and in character creation and distinction among characters. Sure, a feat that lets you make magical items is cool, but making available as a feat also lets you forgo that ability and take some other cool feat instead.

  • Designer Sean Reynolds commented on the topic of whether it is possible for DMs to create new Feats: "You can easily create new feats and skills (I'm already tinkering with ideas for Realms-specific feats in the FR 3E D&D book) but as there are already over 50 of them you'll find that most of what you'd want to do without getting really campaign-specific are covered (I suppose you could come up with, say, a bunch of dwarven feats that cover fighting opponents a lot bigger than you, elven feats for casting a spell with your weapon hand or firing two arrows at once, etc.)."
  • Finesse: Here's a list of the weapons that can be used with the Finesse feat (of course, you must take the Finesse feat for each weapon you'd like to use in this manner): Armor Spikes, Throwing Axe, Spiked Chain, Dagger, Gauntlet (normal, Locked and Spiked), Light Hammer, Hand Axe, Kama, Kukri, Light Lance, Light Mace, Nunchaku, Light Pick, Rapier, Siangham, Sap, Shield Spikes, Short Sword, Sickle, Unarmed.
  • The Playtesters at Work section for the November Playtest Group of the Month has been updated again.  The playtest group suggested a possible remedy to the problem of a wizard's vulnerability to Attacks of Opportunity when casting spells in close combat: "The rules now include a feat called Combat Casting, which any spellcasting character can have as early as 1st level if he or she desires to have it. A character who is capable of this feat gets a +4 bonus to any Concentration skill checks that are required while the character is casting a spell. (There's more to it than that, but the central point is that Combat Casting might not have come into existence if John's group hadn't brought it up.)"
  • Followers: In tonight's Monte Cook chat, Monte was asked about followers for high-level characters. Here's his response: "...followers are in the game. It's a special feat that you can take that, based on your Charisma, whether or not you've got a holding or a castle, your reputation and your level, you get followers that come to you to serve."
  • Tracking Feet ... er, Feat:  Ryan Dancey addressed the issue of why Tracking is treated as a Feat rather than a Skill in 3E:
    • In the beginning, "Tracking" was a skill.  In general, a character will have more skills than feats, so feats are supposed to be more "valuable" than skills.  One the skills is "Wilderness Lore".  "Tracking" doesn't seem at first to be the kind of thing you could improve in a vacuum; you might learn the basics of how to read a trail, but you're going to have to learn a lot more about the geology, botany, ecology and biology of the wild in order to be come a really good tracker.  These two parts of the game seem to be working at cross purposes.

      What we found was that for a variety of in-game reasons, characters would probably not regularly take "Wilderness Lore".  It's a very useful skill, and we want to be able to count on some portion of the characters in any given situation having a good chance to have it for the purposes of adventure design.  However, when creating a character there are lots of things that look a lot "sexier".

      Plus, we wanted to make Rangers (and to a greatly lesser extent) Barbarians "people of the woods" - experienced at surviving in the wild.

      So, the Design Team came up with this interesting twist.  Your ability to "Track" is directly related to your skill rank in Wilderness Lore.  You can track with no Lore skill, but the more you have, the better you are at tracking.  So the rangers (who get Track as a bonus feat) will almost certainly take Wilderness Lore at some number of ranks, and voila!  We have an excellent in game solution to two picky problems.

  • Tracking Tidbits:  Okay, so you know Tracking will be a Feat related to a Skill called Wilderness Lore. How does it all work?  Ryan Dancey provides an example:

Tracking Feat Example from Ryan Dancey

First, Ryan sets up the example situation -- tracking a pixie across a stone floor:

bare stone - DC 25
diminutive creature - DC +4 
[he indicates he gets his numbers from the PHB, presumably a chart or list of some sort]
Total DC = 29; in other words, no chance of success by 1st level person without substantial attribute or skill bonuses. 

Then he explains the various bonuses that would be needed to achieve this roll:

A character will, on average, need a +18.5 adjustment from whatever sources to detect this track.  (d20 roll average results = 10.5 + modifiers to reach DC 29).  Assuming a Ranger with a relevant attribute of 18 (+4 adjustment), the character would require 5 ranks of Wilderness Lore (or some magical enhancement) to succeed in this attempt 5% of the time (d20 roll of 20).

Finally, Ryan explains that simple tracking can be accomplished with a more common skill called Search:

A person without the Tracking Feat can use the Search Skill (even untrained) but the DC of the track must be 10 or less.  So you're talking about fairly heavy beasts or monsters (at least size Small or larger) walking across a surface that would hold a fairly visible track (mud, grass, fresh snow, etc.)

What this example reveals:

  • Skills are much like the old Non-Weapon Proficiencies -- they can be improved ("ranks").  One wonders if there are "rank benefits" -- i.e., if you've reached rank X of Wilderness Lore, is there an extra-special perk besides just getting a bonus to your check?
  • Skills that haven't been purchased by a character can still be attempted ("untrained"), presumably at a substantial penalty.
  • Some skills are related to some feats -- in this example, gaining 5 ranks of Wilderness Lore provides a +5 to the die roll for the Tracking feat.  In fact, it looks like the way to improve one's Tracking chances is to improve one's Wilderness Lore skill.
  • Ryan does not mention what the "relevant attribute" is for tracking -- probably Wisdom (as it was in 2nd Ed).  Either way, high (or low) scores in this relevant attribute provide bonuses to the roll (as given on the Ability Score Adjustment chart).

  • Opposed Rolls: Playtester Der Verdammte has been clarifying issues relating to opposed rolls on the 3E Message Board. For instance, he mentions that there's no set Difficulty Class for a skill like Hide. If a Rogue attempts to Hide, the creature/opponent a Rogue might be Hiding from makes the opposing check (in this case, a Spot skill check). The results of that check are the DC of the Rogue's Hide skill check. As with all DCs, you roll a d20, add all modifiers, and that total must be equal to or greater than the DC in order to succeed.
    • Here's a more concrete example: Linda the Rogue has 4 ranks in Hide, and a DX of 18 (+4 to Dexterity related skills, like Hide). She's escaped from a Beholder, who as we've seen, has total bonuses of +20 to its Spot check. With all of those eyes, Linda's going to have a tough time! The DM rolls for the Beholder: he rolls very poorly -- a 1 -- but with +20 in bonuses, the final DC is 21, still quite a challenge. Linda then attempts her Hide skill check and rolls a 14. With +4 for her ranks and +4 for her Dexterity, her total is 22 -- good enough. The Beholder fails to spot Linda, and floats past her. If she encounters another Beholder on her way to freedom, the whole process starts again, with the Beholder making a fresh Spot roll, and Linda making a fresh Hide roll. Note that if both Linda and the Beholder achieve average results on their d20 rolls (rolling 10s or 11s before modifiers), the Beholder will easily win this kind of contest. Also note that it really doesn't matter if the Beholder "goes first" or Linda "goes first" -- ultimately what matters is that the highest successful roll is the "winner" of the contest.
      • Follow-up: Ties: RBB wrote in with the following observation: "It does matter who goes first, because of ties. For instance I would've thought in this example that Linda was hiding '1st,' and this means she sets the DC. So if she and the beholder both totalled 21, the beholder would win. You assumed that the spot would set the DC, so Linda would win ties. So, it's not clear cut." He's right, of course. Posts from Ryan Dancey and Der Verdammte seem to indicate that the DM adjudicates which skill "happens first"; that skill's roll result becomes the DC for the skill that opposes it. Ryan adds, "In the case of a test like arm wrestling where neither side is rolling 'against' the other, I'd have both sides roll for "initiative" just like a combat round, only I wouldn't allow any modifiers to the roll unless (as DM) I thought those modifiers would apply to the situation. I might allow a DEX modifier (how fast can you react to the "go!" signal) or I might just go with a straight roll. The person with the higher initiative roll would then test against the person with the lower roll - in a sense, gaining a 5% bonus (wins on ties)." Or, might I suggest, just re-roll ties -- they won't happen too often. (Thanks to James Hoover for the scoop)
      • Follow-up: Situational Modifiers? Another question, this time about situational modifiers, from "Brian": "About the concrete example on opposed rolls; It seems odd to me that there was no mention on how carefully Linda hid. Did she duck out of the way an instant before the beholder came by, or did she spend hours making the best blind she could? It seem to me that stuff like this is how the DM picks a DC. But with opposed rolls, it apperars the DM has little say." I would say that there would indeed be situational modifiers. If you recall the revealing "Tracking a Pixie Across a Stone Floor" example (just above), there could have been modifiers for the size of the creature being tracked, the age of the tracks, the type of surface, and so forth. My example above assumes no situational modifiers, but there could easily be some based on the amount of light, the clothing being worn, the time spent setting up the Hide attempt, and so forth. I would be interested to see if there are similar modifiers for Spot and Hide -- if "Bright Light" gives a +4 bonus to Spot, does it give a -4 penalty to Hide, and if so isn't that kind of double jeopardy? Ryan Dancey gave another example about a Cleric trying to Move Silently past an alert Rogue: "If [the sneaking cleric is] wearing noisy armor, or the rogue knows to watch for someone sneaking by, or any number of other potential environmental factors the DM might consider applicable, that chance can drop even lower."
      • Follow-up: Keeping Ranks and Modifiers Separate: Der Verdammte confirms that it is generally a good idea to keep separate tallies of a character's ranks in a skill and any bonuses (from high ability scores, magical items, etc.). While the ranks and bonuses are all added together, a skill's ranks (purchased with skill points) may be a minimal requirement for a feat.
  • Innuendo, Know What I Mean? Nudge, Nudge: Anonymous dropped by with the first complete description of a 3E skill we've seen. Innuendo, a class skill for Rogues, is the 3E equivalent of 2nd Edition's Thieves' Cant, a secret code that thieves use to communicate private ideas out in public. Not only is the skill itself of interest, but this gives us a good idea of how the skill descriptions in general will be laid out and what information they will contain:

Innuendo (Wis; Trained Only)

You know how to give and understand secret messages while appearing to be speaking about other things. Two rogues, for example, might seem to be talking about bakery goods when they're really planning how to break into the evil wizard's laboratory.

Check: You can get a message across to another character with the Innuendo skill. The DC for a basic message is 10. The DC is 15 or 20 for complex messages, especially those that rely on getting across new information.

Also, the character can try to discern the hidden message in a conversation between two other characters who are using this skill. The DC is the skill check of the character using Innuendo, and for each piece of information that the eavesdropper is missing, that character suffers a -2 penalty on the check. For rexample, if a character evesdrops on people planning to assassinate a visiting diplomat, the evesdropper suffers a -2 penalty if he doesn't know about the diplomat. Whether trying to send or intercept a message, a failure by 5 or more points means that some false information has been implied or inferred.

The DM makes your Innuendo check secretly so that you don't necessarily know whether you were successful.

Retry: Generally, retries are allowed when trying to send a message, but not when receiving or intercepting one. Each retry caries the chance of miscommunication.

Special: If you have 5 or more ranks in Bluff, you get a +2 synergy bonus on your check to transmit (but not to receive) a message. If you have 5 or more ranks in Sense Motive, you get a +2 synergy bonus on your check to receive or intercept (but not transmit) a message.

Feats (updated 7/10/00)



Armor, Light

Armor, Medium

Armor, Heavy

Armor, Shield



Combat Casting

Combat Reflex

Deflect Arrows




Extra Turning

Greater Cleave

Greater Fortitude

Improved Bull Rush

Improved Critical

Improved Disarm

Improved Initiative

Improved Trip

Improved Two Weapon Fighting

Improved Unarmed Strike

Iron Will

Lightning Reflex

Magic Craft: Brew Potion

Magic Craft: Rod

Magic Craft: Staff

Magic Craft: Wand

Magic Craft: Arms & Armor

Magic Craft: Wondrous Items

Magic Craft: Forge Ring

Magic Craft: Scribe Scroll

Metamagic: Spell Focus

Metamagic: Spell Penetration

Metamagic: Empower Spell

Metamagic: Enlarge Spell

Metamagic: Extend Spell

Metamagic: Heighten Spell

Metamagic: Maximize Spell

Metamagic: Quicken Spell

Metamagic: Silent Spell

Metamagic: Still Spell


Mounted Combat

Mounted Archery

Mounted Trample

Mounted Ride-by Attack

Mounted Spirited Attack

Power Attack

Quick Draw

Range: Point Blank Shot

Range: Far Shot

Range: Precise Shot

Range: Rapid Shot

Range: Shot on the Run


Skill Focus

Spring Attack

Stunning Fist




Two Weapon Fighting

Weapon Finesse

Weapon Focus

Weapon Specialization

Weapon Proficiency, Exotic

Weapon Proficiency, Martial

Weapon Proficiency, Simple

Whirlwind Attack

Monster-Only Feats

  • Fly-by Attack
  • Hover
  • Multiattack
  • Snatch
  • Wingover

Diagram of Feat Prerequisites
(by Mauric Rynnar)

+2 Listen, Spot Checks

Ambidexterity: Normally the base penalties for attacking with two weapons are –6 to the primary / -10 to the offhand weapons. However; the Ambidexterity feat can reduce the off-hand weapon penalty by 4. Also allows full STR damage bonus with off-hand weapon (instead of half). Pre: Dex 15

Armor, Light: Light Armor Proficiency

Armor, Medium: Medium Armor Proficiency

Armor, Heavy: Heavy Armor Proficiency

Armor, Shield: Shield Proficiency

Blind-Fight: When you miss hitting a concealed target, you may Re-roll the attack.

Cleave: When opponent is dropped, take an extra attack against nearby opponent. Pre: Power Attack

Combat Casting: +4 Concentrate

Combat Reflex: Make "Attacks of Opportunities" a number of times equal to Dex bonus

Deflect Arrows: Make a reflex save to deflect incoming arrows. Pre: Dex 13, Improved Unarmed Strike

Dodge: +1 AC against a single opponent. Pre: Dex 13

Endurance: +4 to actions with extended physical exertion.

Expertise: Take a Penalty to attack for an equal bonus to AC. Pre: Int 13

Extra Turning: Additional Turning attempts per day. Pre: Cleric, or Paladin

Greater Cleave: As Cleave with no limit to uses in a round. Pre: Cleave, base attack +4

Greater Fortitude: +2 Fortitude

Improved Bull Rush: Suffer no "Attack of Opportunity" when Bull Rushing. Pre: Power Attack

Improved Critical: Double critical threat range with a selected weapon. Pre: base attack +8

Improved Disarm: Suffer No "Attack of Opportunity" on disarm attempts. Pre: Expertise

Improved Initiative: +4 Initiative

Improved Trip: If you Trip opponent you gain an extra attack on tripped opponent. Pre: Expertise

Improved Two Weapon Fighting: Extra attack with off hand weapon. Pre: Two handed Fighting, Ambidexterity, base attack +9

Improved Unarmed Strike: Incurs no "Attack of Opportunity" against a weapon-wielding opponent.

Iron Will: +2 Will

Lightning Reflex: +2 Reflex

Magic Craft; Brew Potion: Create potions with Spell effects. Pre: Spellcaster 3rd Level

Magic Craft; Rod: Create Magic Wands. Pre: Spellcaster 9th Level

Magic Craft; Staff: Create Staff Magic Staffs. Pre: Spellcaster 12th Level

Magic Craft; Wand: Create Magic Wands. Pre: Spellcaster 5th Level

Magic Craft; Arms & Armor: Create Magic Weapons and Armor. Pre: Spellcaster 5th Level

Magic Craft; Wondrous Items: Create Misc. Magic Items. Pre: Spellcaster 3rd Level

Magic Craft; Forge Ring: Create Magic Rings. Pre: Spellcaster 12th Level

Magic Craft; Scribe Scroll: Create Magic Scrolls. Pre: Spellcaster 1st Level

Metamagic; Spell Focus: Choose School all spells from school gain +2 Bonus to DC

Metamagic; Spell Penetration: +2 bonus caster level checks versus spell resistant subjects.

Metamagic; Empower Spell: + ½ to all variable, and numeric effects of spell. Pre Prepare spell 2 levels higher

Metamagic; Enlarge Spell: Double Spell Range, add to "Attack of Opportunity". Pre: Prepare spell 1 level higher

Metamagic; Extend Spell: Duration doubled. Pre: Prepare spell 1 level higher

Metamagic; Heighten Spell: Prepare Spell as if a higher level spell. Pre: Prepare spell at effective level

Metamagic; Maximize Spell: Numeric effects of spell are maximized. Pre: Prepare spell 3 levels higher

Metamagic; Quicken Spell: Cast spell as a free action. Pre: Prepare spell 4 levels higher

Metamagic; Silent Spell: Cast with no Verbal component. Pre: Prepare spell 1 level higher

Metamagic; Still Spell: Cast with no Somatic component. Pre: Prepare spell 1 level higher

Mobility: +4 to AC versus "Attacks of Opportunities" within a threatened area. Pre: Dodge

Mounted Combat: Negate attack with ride check when mount is hit. Pre: Ride Skill

Mounted Archery: Half penalty for firing missile on horseback. Pre Mounted Combat

Mounted Trample: Opponent can’t avoid mounted overrun attack. Pre: Mounted Combat

Mounted Ride by Attack: Move, Charge, continue moving. Pre: Mounted Combat

Mounted Spirited Attack: Triple Damage with lance, when charging. Pre: Mounted Ride by Attack

Power Attack: Take a penalty to attack, and gain an equal damage bonus. Pre: Str 13

Quick Draw: Draw Weapon as a free action, versus being a move equivalent action. Pre: base attack +1

Range; Point Blank Shot: +1 attack & damage within 30 feet.

Range; Far Shot: Add ½ to range, double range when missile it thrown. Pre: Point Blank Shot

Range; Precise Shot: Fire into melee without a –4 penalty to attack. Pre: Point Blank Shot

Range; Rapid Shot: Extra ranged attack, both shots are –2. Pre: Point Blank Shot, Dex 13

Range; Shot on the Run: Move before and after ranged attack. Pre: Point Blank Shot, Mobility

Run: Run 5 times as fast instead of 4 times. Increase Running Jump by ¼.

Skill Focus: +2 to selected skill

Spring Attack: Move before and after a Melee attack. Pre: Mobility, Base Attack +4

Stunning Fist: Stun Opponent. Pre: Dex 13, Wis 13, Improved Unarmed Strike, Base Attack +8

Sunder: Attack weapon with no "Attack of Opportunity". Pre: Power Attack.

Toughness: +3 Hit Points

Tracking: Ability to track using Wilderness Lore Skill.

Two Weapon Fighting: Reduction of 2 for both hands.

Weapon Finesse: Use Dex for Attack Bonus in Melee attacks with selected weapon. Pre: base attack +1, Proficient with weapon

Weapon Focus: +1 to attack with Selected Weapon. Pre: base attack +1, Proficient with weapon

Weapon Specialization: +2 Damage with focused weapon. Pre: Fighter 4th Level, Weapon Focus

Weapon Proficiency, Exotic: Single Exotic weapon proficiency.

Weapon Proficiency, Martial: Single Martial weapon proficiency.

Weapon Proficiency, Simple: Proficiency in all Simple weapons.

Whirlwind Attack: A character to strike two adjacent (within 5’) opponents with a single attack. Roll to hit once against the higher AC of the two opponents; on a hit, both take damage. If the character takes this Feat twice, she can attack a number of adjacent opponents equal to her level with a single attack. Pre: INT 13+, DEX 13+, base attack of +4 Expertise, Spring Attack

Skills (updated 6/30/00)

Class Skills:

  • Barbarian: Climb, Craft, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Intuit Direction, Jump, Listen, Ride, Swim, Wilderness Lore. Special: the only class that can (or needs to) take the Literacy skill.
  • Bard: Alchemy, Appraise, Balance, Bluff, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Disguise, Escape Artist, Gather Information, Hide, Intuit Direction, Jump, Knowledge (any field), Listen, Move Silently, Perform, Pick Pocket, Profession, Scry, Sense Movtive, Speak Language, Spellcraft, Swim, Tumble, Use Magical Device.
  • Cleric: Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Heal, Knowledge (Arcana), Knowledge (Religion), Profession, Scry, Spellcraft.
  • Druid: Animal Empathy, Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Heal, Intuit Direction, Knowledge (Nature), Profession, Scry, Spellcraft, Swim, Wilderness Lore.
  • Fighter: Climb, Craft, Jump, Ride, Swim.
  • Monk: Balance, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Knowledge (Arcana), Listen, Move Silently, Perform, Profession, Swim, Tumble.
  • Paladin: Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Heal, Knowledge (Religion), Profession, Ride.
  • Ranger: Animal Empathy, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Handle Animal, Heal, Hide, Intuit Direction, Jump, Knowledge: Nature, Listen, Move Silently, Profession, Ride, Search, Spot, Swim, Use Rope, Wilderness Lore.
  • Rogue: Appraise, Balance, Bluff, Climb, Craft, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Disable Device, Disguise, Escape Artist, Forgery, Gather Information, Hide, Innuendo, Intimidate, Intuit Direction, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Open Lock, Perform, Pick Pocket, Professoin, Read Lips, Search, Sense Motive, Spot, Swim, Tumble, Use Magical Device, Use Rope.
  • Sorcerer: Alchemy, Concentration, Craft, Knowledge (Arcana), Profession, Scry, Spellcraft.
  • Wizard: Alchemy, Concentration, Craft, Knowledge (all areas), Profession, Scry, Spellcraft.

Crafts: Blacksmithing, Brewing, Carpentry, Cobbling, Cooking, Leatherworking, Pottery, Sewing, Stonemason, Weaving, Gemcutting, Armorer, Bowyer, Weaponsmith, Bookbinding, Calligraphy, Sculpture, Painting

Knowledge: Arcana, Nature, Religion, Heraldry, Weather, History, Astrology, Dragonkind, Planar Lore, Geography

Perform: Acting, Singing, Dancing, Storytelling, Bufoonery, Prestidigitation, Musical Instrument

Professions: Farmer, Miner, Sailor, Engineer, Herbalist, Navigator, Gambler, Hunter, Butler, Apothecary, Tailor


  • Class skills are purchased and improved at a cost of 1 skill point per rank.
  • Skills that are not class skills are called "cross-class skills." They are purchased at a cost of 2 skill points per rank.
  • Certain skills are "exclusive" to a few classes -- these are noted in the next column.


  • Climb A U
  • Jump A U
  • Swim U


  • Balance A U
  • Escape Artist A U
  • Hide A U
  • Move Silently A U
  • Open Lock
  • Pick Pocket A
  • Ride U
  • Tumble A
  • Use Rope U


  • Concentration U


  • Alchemy
  • Appraise U
  • Craft (Specific) U
  • Decipher Script EX2
  • Disable Device U
  • Forgery U
  • Knowledge (specific)
  • Read Lips U EX4
  • Scry EX1
  • Search U
  • Spellcraft


  • Heal U
  • Innuendo
  • Intuit Direction
  • Listen U
  • Sense Motive U
  • Spot U
  • Wilderness Lore U
  • Profession (specific)


  • Animal Empathy EX3
  • Bluff U
  • Diplomacy U
  • Disguise U
  • Gather Information U
  • Handle Animal
  • Intimidate U
  • Perform (specific) U
  • Use Magic Device U EX2 (allows character a chance to use items s/he normally couldn't use)


  • Literacy EX5

A - Armor Penalty Applies
U - Unskilled Use Allowed
EX1 -- Exclusive Class Skill for Cleric, Druid, Wizard, Sorcerer, Bard
EX2 -- Exclusive Class Skill for Rogue and Bard
EX3 -- Exclusive Class Skill for Ranger and Druid
EX4 -- Exclusive Class Skill for Rogue
EX5 -- Exclusive Class Skill for Barbarian -- all other classes start out Literate, but Barbarians must purchase it at a cost of 2 skill points

Character Close-up:

The official site includes a feature called Character Close-up. We're shown the partial character sheet of a character at three different points in his or her career, including Feats, Skills, Spells, Gear, and Saving Throws.

Jozan, 1st-level Human Cleric of Pelor






















Initiative Modifier: -1  
Movement: 20 ft.  
Armor Class: 15  
Hit Points: 10  
Saving Throws: Fortitude +4
  Reflex -1
  Will +4
Gear: Mace
Large Shield
Light Crossbow
Scale Armor
Feats: Alertness
Scribe Scroll
Skills: Spellcraft (+4)
Concentration (+6)
Heal (+8)
Spells: 0-level:
Detect Magic
  1st level:
Protection from Evil
Special Abilities: Turn Undead  

Jozan, 4th-level Human Cleric of Pelor






















Initiative Modifier: -1  
Movement: 20 ft.  
Armor Class: 20  
Hit Points: 29  
Saving Throws: Fortitude +7
  Reflex +1
  Will +8
Gear: +1 Mace
Large Shield
Light Crossbow
+1 Full Plate
+1 Cloak
Feats: Alertness
Scribe Scroll
Brew Potion
Skills: Spellcraft (+7)
Concentration (+9)
Heal (+12)
Spells: 0-level:
Detect Magic
Read Magic
1st level:
Protection from Evil
Summon Monster I
Cause Fear
  2nd level:
Hold Person
Special Abilities: Turn Undead  

Jozan, 7th-level Human Cleric of Pelor

















16 (18)

+3 (+4)




Initiative Modifier: -1  
Movement: 20 ft.  
Armor Class: 21  
Hit Points: 45  
Saving Throws: Fortitude +8
  Reflex +2
  Will +10


Wand of Hold
Person w/ charges
Pearl of Wisdom (+2)
+1 Heavy Mace
+1 Shield
+1 Crossbow
+1 Full Plate
+1 Cloak of Resistance
Cure Light Wounds
Slow Poison
Feats: Alertness
Scribe Scroll
Brew Potion
Combat Casting
Skills: Spellcraft (+10)
Concentration (+12)
Heal (+16)
Spells: 0-level:
Detect Magic
Read Magic
1st level:
Protection from Evil
Summon Monster I
Cause Fear
Detect Undead
  2nd level:
Hold Person
Spiritual Weapon
3rd level:
Dispel Magic
Searing Light
Magic Circle vs. Evil
Continual Flame
  4th level:
Free Action
Neutralize Poison
Holy Smite

Special Abilities:

Turn Undead

Jozan the Cleric

MialeeWizard Close-up Analysis: I have held back doing a full analysis of the recent Wizard Close-up that showed the character sheets for the elven wizard Mialee because there are a couple of typos or mistakes on her sheets that muddy the waters. I have, however, explored her saving throws and hit points:
  • Here's how I break down Mialee's saving throws (based on Zimbel42's saving throw charts; see my Combat Page for details):

    level one
    Fortitude +0 (base), = +0
    Reflex +0 (base), +3 (DX) = +3
    Will +2 (base), +1 (WI) = +3

    level four
    Fortitude +1 (base), +1 (cloak of resistance) = +2
    Reflex +1 (base), +3 (DX), +1 (cloak of resistance) = +5
    Will +4 (base), +1 (WI), +1 (cloak of resistance) = +6

    level seven
    Fortitude +2 (base), +1 (cloak of resistance) = +3
    Reflex +2 (base), +3 (DX), +1 (cloak of resistance) = +6
    Will +5 (base), +1 (WI), +1 (cloak of resistance) = +7

    "Resistance" is a special term that specifically refers to receiving Saving Throw bonuses (there's a minor spell called Resistance that grants a bonus to saves).

  • A first level wizard with 7 hp and no Constitution bonus? It works like this: like all characters, Mialee gained maximum hit points at first level; the feat Toughness adds +3 to her hp total.

Lidda the Halfling Rogue:
Not much to say about her. No, I'm not going to guess how many points she spent on her skills! We do see a new feat -- Finesse (Specific Weapon), which allows her to use her DX bonus instead of her ST bonus as a bonus to her attack rolls with this weapon. Note that her Sneak Attack is a class ability and not really a Skill per se (not purchased with Skill Points).

Lidda the Halfling Rogue - Click for her Character Closeup

TordekTordek the Dwarven Fighter: The official 3E site has been updated with April's Character Closeup -- the dwarven fighter, Tordek. "From the underground kingdom of his ancestors, a sturdy warrior emerges to earn his place in legend. Everything about him - his armor, his weapons, his demeanor - suggests a resolve as unyielding as the stone walls of his dwarven home."

My Analysis:
  • Dwarf Abilities: We learn that dwarves receive 60' range darkvision, the ability to "intuit unusual stonework," +2 save vs. poison, +2 save vs. spells, and a +1 to hit goblinoids and orcs.
  • Armor and Movement: Tordek's armor may holding him back a touch. We do know that heavy armors can reduce movement rates, thus Tordek's very slow rate of 15' at all levels.
  • Exotic Weapons: A reliable anonymous source indicates that the "dwarven waraxe" is not the same as the "dwarven urgrosh" described in the April Dragon Magazine.
  • Saving Throws: Looks like we can safely guess that the Fighter Saving Throw chart looks a lot like the others, but with Fortitude as the "good" category and Reflex and Will as "bad."

EmberEmber the Monk: The May Character Close-up, Ember the Monk, has been posted. My observations:
  • Interesting new features, as well as the inevitable mistakes on the character sheet...
    • New: Confirmation that Wisdom and Dexterity impact Monk AC; new feats (Skill Focus and Deflect Arrows); new skill (Balance); monk movement rate increases (note that the 100' movement rate at 7th-level is due to her boots).
    • Mistakes: WIS bonus increase between 1st and 3rd (either the WIS didn't increase, or the bonus didn't increase); Skill Focus feat listed so it doesn't appear to be a feat; Ember loses a special monk class ability between 3rd and 7th levels.

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