The Dark City (3.5e Campaign Setting)/Character Life, Death and Advancement

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Character Life, Death and Advancement[edit]

Life is precious and unique but in the city it is treated as a cheap commodity. While I don’t like killing PC’s offhand, especially when players put effort into them, I do feel that the theme of this game should be darker and more dangerous. Players that wish to keep their characters may petition to do so with the understanding that some things may happen to them to indicate their closeness with death. It will be up to the DM to decide. Players will do well to keep their characters alive for many reasons.

Rarity of NPC Magical Healing. Frankly there is none. Churches do not serve the gods as much as the priest. There are no clerics in these institutions except on rare occasion. Experts take over the duties and may be able to help in long term care but not in other functions. Players should be wise to have their own healing available.

Raise the dead and resurrection are rare. These spells are usually limited by the clerics to use on their own believers. The same is true of cure disease, restoration, and remove curse.

Players that lose a PC may start a new one at the lowest EL of the current group. Player that start new characters in the same affiliation may keep all of the equipment the other PC possessed (Provided it’s available). Those that start new PC’s in a different affiliation use only the starting equipment gold total in the DMG.

Switching Characters Occasionally a player may want to swap out a character for various reasons; not liking their current or wanting to play a +1 LA race. Use the same rules as in the character death section with one change: Player only receives the gold and equipment of the last character. This is to prevent players from changing PC’s arbitrarily and gaining an advantage by new equipment buys.

Self Sacrifice versus killing off your PC. In the case where a PC wants to change his/her character and tries to kill off their PC, they will find that it may cause more problems than solve. As a DM, I won’t allow that to be so easy. If the PC could provide information to the enemies from torture or probing their thoughts, most likely they will be captured. Unless the PC wishes to continue the character, it effectively becomes an NPC and a future plot device. However, a PC dying for their cause or comrades will be considered good roleplay and treated as such. Some classes do better at playing the martyr like Paladins, Clerics, Favored Souls, Samurai and Knights and Exalted characters.


Players gain experience after every adventure. The totals are based on the average EL of the party. Those below the average EL gain an extra 50% until they equal to the average EL. Those two or lower EL of the average gain twice as much of the XP total until they reach 1 below or equal to average EL.

Objective Based Experience[edit]

Players are rewarded with experience points based on achieving objectives spelled out in the adventure. It is up to the players how they accomplish these objectives. If the objective is to obtain a object then how the PC’s manage that is the challenge. They could slay every guard that stands before them, sneak into the complex it is stored, or swindle it from the owner. The experience reward remains the same.

Occasionally PC’s may earn bonus experience for good roleplay or exceeding objectives.

The Passage of Time[edit]

The time that passes between sessions is the same as in the campaign. It is assumed unless otherwise noted, that two weeks pass between the adventures. During that time, the players may use the down time to craft and request magic items. Players may also use that time to recover from ability damage, disease, and hit point loss. Players may also use the time to take gather information checks or try to gain contacts. A week long gather information check is like taking 20 but without exposing themselves to observation.

If a player misses a session, then it is assumed they used those missing weeks (4 weeks or more).

In cases where the players have not finished an adventure by session end, the weeks passages occur after the players finish the adventure and begin a new one, as determined by the DM.

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