View Full Version : Gaols and Giants - Compilation Thread

2012-10-13, 09:33 AM

Welcome to Gaols and Giants (the name is temporary). Here, you will find a compliation of rules written by the Playground, intended to redo the basic mechancis in 3.5 in a way to provide a more balanced, fun system while staying as close as possible to the roots of the game we love. We don't want to change the game too much, but we have all seen that it has its problem.
This thread is merely to gather up all the rules we have discussed and argued about in other threads. If you want to discuss them further, I would like to ask you to go to the respective threads, which have names like G&G: Magic, as this one is intended as a handy reference.
One more thing: this thread is not intended as a full G&G rulebook for people who do not know D&D. Instead, it is meant more as a reference for changes made compared to 3.5. Maybe I will write a real rulebook sometime, but for now, it is assumed that you know what a character or a DM is, how to roll dice, how to run a campaign and other such things.

The Bascis

The Basic Mechanic

Unless said otherwise, the same mechanic is used to resolve all actions in Gaols and Giants:

The active party rolls 1d20, adds all bonuses and subtracts all penalties. Then, the result is compared to either a static difficulty (DC) for actions that are not made against a creature, an appropriate statistic, such as armour class of a creature targeted, or another 1d20 plus bonuses and minus penalties against a creature actively opposed to the roll. If the active party rolls higher or equal to the DC or the opponent's roll, the action succeeds.

1d20+bonus-penalty vs. DC or opposed roll

Example 1: Khaira wants to climb a wall. Her Dungeon Master looks up the DC for climbing that specific wall in the appropriate section of the rules and sets her a static DC of 20, since the action is not made against another creature, but against the environment. Khaira now rolls 1d20 and adds her strength modifier of +2 and her climb skill of +8, as described in the section on skills. She rolls a 15 (a good roll) and adds her modifier, for a total of 15+2+8=25 and succeeds, as her roll is higher than the DC of 20.

Example 2: Eldan tries to tell an opponent a convincing lie. He rolls 1d20, rolling 12, and adds his bluff skill of +10 and his charisma score of +1, for an end result of 23. The DM rolls a 15 for his opponent and adds a sense motive skill of +6 and a wisdom score of +3, for a total of 24. The opponent has rolled higher than Eldan, so the bluff fails and the opponent does not believe the lie.


Modifiers are anything, either bonus or penalty, that can be added to a roll. Every modifier comes with a type. Bonuses or penalties with the same name do not stack, meaning that if a creature has two bonuses or penalties with the same name, only the higher one applies. If a creature has both a penalty and a bonus of the same type, they will both apply, but partially cancel each other out, as one is positive and the other negative.

Table 1: A list of modifier types, what they can apply to, and a short description of what they represent.
{table=head]Name|Ability|AC|Initiative|Save|Attack|Damage|Skil ls|Description
Arcane|Yes|Yes|No|Yes|Yes|Yes|Yes|Spells and magic items
Armour|No|Yes|No|No|No|No|No|Pieces of Armour worn for protection
Competence|Yes|Yes|Yes|Yes|Yes|Yes|Yes|Training gained from class feature
Divine|Yes|Yes|Yes|Yes|Yes|Yes|Yes|Divine power granted by the gods
Luck|No|Yes|No|Yes|Yes|Yes|Yes|Pure luck
Morale|Yes|No|No|Will|Yes|Yes|Yes|Sheer determination, gained from motivating events
Shield|No|Yes|No|No|No|No|No|Deflecting attacks
Size|No|Yes|No|No|Yes|No|No|Being more difficult or easier to hit thanks to a difference in size.

There are six attributes a character or creature has:
Strength, which determines physical power, how much weight someone can carry, attempts at breaking or pushing objects and brute force in combat.
Dexterity, which determines reflexes, how nimble someone's fingers are, how quickly someone can dodge attacks and quick attacks with light weapons.
Constitution, which determines a character's stamina, how much damage they can take before dying, and how well they can resist poisons and diseases.
Intelligence, which determines a character's intellectual capacity, how well they learn and understand new things and how good they are at prepared arcane magic.
Wisdom, which determines a character's insight, perception, memory, common sense and how good they are at prepared divine magic.
Charisma, which determines how attractive a character is, as well as how good at getting others to do what they want. It also determines willpower and the inborn capacity for magic.

Attributes are normally set at a level of 0, which is the level of the average human adult. Most individuals, especially the extraordinary ones such as great heroes, as well as certain species of creature, will be different from the mathematical average in some of their attributes.
An attribute can not normally be below a level of -5, which is already a crippling weakness. If any attribute ever reaches -6, through damage or penalties, there are dire effects: strenght or dexterity, when reduced to 0, leave a creature paralyzed, while constitution leaves it dead. All three mental attributes leave a creature commatose when reduced to -6.
Just as there are low attributes, there are high ones. Human attributes rarely reach above +4, and those that have attributes of +5 or even higher are the most exceptional individuals there can be.

Many characteristics, such as base attack bonus, armour class, skill points and saves in Gaols and Giants advance based on the character's level, based on one of the three progressions (high, medium, low), in the table below.

Table 2: Value progression by level







Every character gains skill points from his class, which can be spent on any skill, giving a character ranks in that skill.
There is a maximum number of ranks that can be bought in any skill depending on level, equal to the medium progression. However, character may also wish to specialize in a sub-area of a skill. Specializing unlocks the high progression, but only for that sub-area. Players are adviced to work with their DMs in finding relevant sub-areas for specialization that are neither too broad nor too general.

Example: Findelwald the Scholar is level 9, so he can have up to 9 ranks in any skill. His player has bought 9 ranks in Occult, spending 9 skill points. However, as the character is an expert on other planes of existence, he specializes in Occult (The Planes). This allows him to spend another 3 points on Occult (The Planes), which makes his modifier +12 when trying to answer questions about the planes.

When rolling skill checks, a d20 is rolled and the skill ranks, any relevant modifier and the key ability named after each skill below.
All skills give special abilities that are listed further down, which are gained when a character

Note for third edition players: there are no class skills anymore. Everyone can buy whatever skills he wants.

Acrobatics Dexterity. This represents a character's ability to tumble past his enemies, fit into small spaces and perform other, similar feats of dextrous movement.
Animals Wisdom. This represents a character's ability to gain an animal's trust or train them, as well as his ability to care for them and ride them.
Athletics Strength. A character's ability to climb, run, swim, jump and perform other extraordinary physical feats.
Concentration Wisdom. A character's ability to ignore pain and distracting events around him.
Deception Charisma. A character's ability to deceive others by lying, feinting or disguising their mannerisms.
Devices Dexterity. A character's ability to manipulate, repair or jam delicate machinery or pick locks.
Expertise Intelligence. A character's knowledge about street culture, current events and politics, noteworthy locals and other such applies knowledge.
Heal Wisdom. A character's ability to care for the wounds and ailments of others.
Insight Wisdom. A character's ability to prevent being deceived, as well as recognizing the mental state of others.
Intimidation Charisma. A character's ability to bend others to their will.
Investigation Intelligence. A character's ability to find tiny clues and find necessary information.
Linguistics Intelligence. A character's ability in forging documents and finding forgeries, knowledge about ancient manuscript and obscure languages, learning new languges.
Lore Intelligence. Knowledge of religious customs, dogma and hierarchies, history, nobility and other ancient and current events.
Occult Intelligence. Knowledge about distant planes, rare creatures and magical occurences and rituals.
Perception Wisdom. The ability to notice small details, detect hidden enemies and react to them quickly.
Persuasion Charisma. The ability to convince others of one's viewpoint through words and to make deals.
Sleight of Hand Dexterity. The ability to pick pockets, perform small tricks of legerdemain, and move small objects around without being noticed.
Stealth: Dexterity: A character's ability to move silently and covertly without being noticed.
Survival Wisdom. Practial knowledge about navigation, foraging in the wilderness, tracking, findign shelter and other such wilderness abilities.


Equipment and Magical Items