General Rule Questions
Q. Will the game be based on the old 3E rules or the new D&D 3.5E rules?
A1. (I.B. 2/12) They won't say one way or another. It must be a WotC contract thing.
A2. (S.M. 2/26) At this time nobody can confirm nor deny anything. We're tricky like that.
Q. How close to the core rules are you trying to stick to?
A1. (S.M. 3/4) We call ourselves the most faithful D&D game ever. We are also keeping a document of all the changes from the rules and the module so that people aren't surprised either way.
A2. (T.C. 3/4) We are sticking VERY close to the rules in the core books. We are the stickiest. We call ourselves lots of things. We are trying to remain very faithful to the rules and the module. That's a little hard, since the module is 1st edition. Usually 3rd edition wins any conflict. I will add the list of differences to the manual, too
A3. (S.C. 3/4) We're sticking to the rules like something very sticky. When you include the class specific and expansion sets, there are A LOT of rules. So when we're considering making a new feat or implementing one more of the many out there, we're pretty much always going with the one's out there. We love the core rules, and we don't want to break them.
A4. (M.M. 3/4) There has never been a DnD game that sticks closer to the rules than ours. I think people will be very pleased when they discover that the same tactics and playing styles in PnP work in our game.
Q. How closely do you follow the updated 3E source material?
A. (S.C. 2/13) We have been following the errata and FAQ's. They upped the cost of boots of striding and spring and wings of flying, darn it.
[I.B.: Hmmmmm... They follow the errata and FAQs on 3E... They dodge the 3.5E question... Hmmmmmm...]
Q. Will there be any feats taken from material outside the core rules?
A. (S.C. 2/13) Some non core feats, mostly from the class books, are on our cool stuff list.
Q. Will ToEE contain anything from the Book of Vile Darkness?
A. (S.M. 2/3) In the module there are some demons that have abilities that are similar to spells in book of vile darkness. However, I do not think we are going to support and Book of Vile Darkness stuff for players. Maybe if we do something else (I'd like to) but it came out too late in the games production to really incorporate much.
Leveling and Experience
Q. How does the game calculate EXP awards?
A1. (S.C. 3/4) Experience is granted as per the experience point award chart on p. 166 of the DMG. Basically, each monster has a challenge rating. The challenge rating is compared against the average party level to determine how much experience points to award. A 1st level party taking on a CR5 monster gets more experience than a 5th level party. This has the effect of autobalancing - low level parties in tough situations level up quickly. Below a certain threshold (for example, a level 9 party fighting a CR 1 monster) you don't get any experience (there was no risk involved in the encounter).
A2. (T.C. 3/28) All experience is party based. It never goes to just one character. Experience is awarded for killing things, finishing quests, and disarming traps. Basically anything that gets assigned a Challenge Rating (CR) rewards experience.
Q. How does the game resolve combat-based EXP awards?
A. (S.C. 3/4) Experience is awarded on a per-combat basis - after combat is over, all the experience for all the monsters is added up and divided among party members. Any remainder is lost. But you never get just 4 xp; even if you killed one measly goblin at level 8 you'd get at least 50 xp.
Q. Will combat and non-combat options have balanced EXP awards?
A. (T.C. 3/28) Yes, we are trying to make sure the talking solutions provide xp and items on par with the combat solutions. The biggest problem we have run into is that you can talk to people to get their quests, and then kill them later. However, it's doubtful that the combat-oriented characters can do many of the high powered talk quests.
Q. Will ToEE follow the DnD challenge rating (CR) tables for EXP awards?
A. (H.N. 2/1) scaling down the XP in the CR chart may be something we have to look at as well during game balancing. as it stands right now, XP handouts in ToEE should be exactly what they are in the CR tables. story XP awards will have to be looked at during balancing as well.
Q. Will there be a level cap?
A1. (S.M. 1/6) Level cap is planned to be at Level 10. It fits very well for the module while still giving the characters cool stuff. (Up to 5th level spells/At least 4 feats/2 ability score increases)
A2. (T.C. - Game Banshee - 2/3) We have a level cap of 10, and we expect that any size party (from 1 to 5) will be able to attain this level before the end of the game. However, since we are including the magic item creation feats, some players may opt to spend experience points to make their own magic items, which makes it hard to judge at which point any group will hit the cap. Even a first level wizard can start to scribe scrolls, so players will have individual control on their characters advancement from the start of the game.
A3. (T.C. 3/27) While it is possible in Greyhawk for a single character to reach our level cap of 10 before the end of the game, you can make a party of up to five player characters who share the experience points and therefore need more total xps before they reach level 10 together. In addition (and this is something I really like about 3rd edition D&D), you can spend xps to make new magic items. So it will never be a waste of experience to reach the level cap, because you can simply task your casters with magic item creation. You can make magic items that don't appear in the game as treasure (so no one will have this item unless you make it), and you can also make weapons tailored against particular foes, like a flaming scythe to use against trolls.
Q. If I have 4 characters at the level 10 cap, and one character at level 9, will the level 9 character get all the EXP, or just their share of it?
A. (S.M. 2/18) Just his share. The other guys did help.
Q. Will characters continue to gain EXP after they hit the level 10 cap, but just not be able to level up?
A. (S.M. 2/18) We're not sure if we are going to stop you right before you hit level 11, or right as you hit level 10.
Q. At what level will the average party be at when they reach the final part of the game?
A. (T.C. 3/6) When we balance the levels I expect to be adjusting experience points a bit. You should be at least level 8 before you hit the last few areas, and you could make 10 before that by doing every quest and killing every beastie. Then you could use your extra experience points to make flaming darts or something.
Q. Will there be combat situations that are challenging for a max-level party?
A. (T.C. 3/28) Yes, there will be challenges. We are putting in some tough creatures that are not on the main story arc and do not have to killed to complete the game. But clever players will find a way to defeat them.
Q. In 3E rules, a spellcaster only has to make one concentration check a round to avoid attacks of opportunities, is this true in ToEE?
A1. (S.M. 2/11) You should be able to cast defensively to avoid all attacks of opportunity. Once you take damage I don't recall if you make concentration checks each hit, or at the end.
A2. (S.C. 2/11) You make one concentration check. It's dc is the total of all damage inflected through [attacks of opportunities] incurred when casting the spell +10.
Q. Will you be able to use weapons you're not proficient in?
A. (H.N. 2/11) [Yes.] the -4 non-proficient penalty [to-hit] is in.
Q. If a character multiclasses from a cleric to a paladin, does he get two turnings?
A. (T.C. 2/5) A paladin-cleric multiclass doesn't get extra turnings, but they do turn at a higher level.
Q. Will the proper 3rd edition bonus stacking rules be implemented?
A1. (S.M. 2/1) All bonuses have a type (some are "unnamed"). Bonuses of the same type overlap, bonuses of different types stack.
A2. (S.M. 2/3) Yup, they are nearly identical to the 3rd edition rules. We added a few extra bonus types that we found were named in various abilities or spells that were not called out, but we documented all of this and it will be in the manual. In general, unnamed stack, otherwise they don't, except dodge bonuses which do stack except with other dodge bonuses that specifically say they don't stack. Muahahahaha, now you know the pain Sean had to go thru implementing this.