*Greetings, Delvers!*


This guideline is to help you gain a better understanding about my world of Irith and how I run things within it. I want you to know up front that I won't try to tell you how to run your character. I'll only flesh out rules and parameters to define how I interpret situations, classes, and other things. You will run your character as you see fit. All I might do is give helpful hints like ďmaking an obscene gesture at a giant when you're at first level is baaaaaaaad.Ē You get the picture. What I strive for is consistency.


Bottom line: have some fun and relax from the stresses of our muggle lives. This page has been updated for 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons rules.


For players in my Saturday game, click HERE for game info



Errata and Rules Tweaks

Updated 05/1/16


This section will be devoted  to errata and house rules. As always, I'll try to make things as fair as possible.

Identify Magic Items (added 05/01/16)

Currently in 5th edition, ANY character can play with a magical item during a short rest and know all of its abilities. I don't like this because it waters down the game and takes away the uniqueness of the arcane caster and that only they can identify a magic item with their identify spell.

Going forward, only someone with the identify spell (pg 252 of the PH) or a special item or other granted power (as determined by the DM) can identify the properties and workings of a magic item.

Mounts (added 05/01/16)

When a character is on a mount, that character is positioned in the exact center of the space that the mount occupies, even if it means that character is not positioned inside a square proper. A mount that is caught in an area of effect sees its rider caught in the same area of effect. If an attacker is within 5' of the edge of the mount's occupied space, then the attacker can hit the rider of the mount with a 5' reach (or further) unless that mount has special properties or the DM/character has a special property or circumstance that takes the rider out of that 5' reach (or further).



The new rules are way too light for my tastes, so I've created new grappling rules for my game, which are listed below:

A. Grapple is an attack roll vs. opponentís AC.

B. If the target is armed with a melee weapon (or is a monk with/without a weapon) then the attacker that is attempting a grapple is at a disadvantage for their attack roll. The exception is if the attacker is a monk that is skilled at attacking without weapons and any monsters/creatures who have a grapple attack as part of their normal attack.

C. If the grappled creature chooses to attack the grappler with their weapon, they do so with advantage vs. the grapplerís AC.

D. If the grappled creature chooses to break the grapple, they must make a successful opposed check using their athletics or acrobatics check (whichever is higher) vs. one grappler. Only one grapple can be broken per turn, so if there are two men grappling a third, the third can only break one per turn.

E. If the target is already successfully grappled by someone, then an additional attacker(s) wishing to grapple will not be at a disadvantage, nor will the target creature be at an advantage to attack the additional grappler(s). In other words, the grappled creature can only attack one grappler (of the grappled creatureís choice) with advantage.

F. No more than three creatures of the same size category can grapple with another creature of the same category or smaller. If the creature being grappled is one size larger than those grappling, then double the amount that can grappled; two size categories larger equals quadruple the number that can grapple.

G. Two or more creatures successfully grappling a creature of the same size category or smaller can attempt a pin. While having successfully grapple a creature, both grapplers must make a successful opposed strength roll against the creature being grappled. If successful, the grappled creature is restrained and cannot attack. They can only attempt to break one grapple on their turn following the pin. If they succeed in breaking the grapple, they have broken one grapplerís hold and are no longer pinned but still grappled. If the creature is one size category larger than the grappler, it can normally automatically break free. This will be true of one grappler. In other words, if a large creature is grappled by two more creatures of medium size or smaller, it can automatically break free of one of the grapplers. The exception is if the grappler has the grappler feat, where the break is not automatic for the size difference.

H. Spellcasters who are grappled must make a DC 10 constitution check to successfully continue concentrating on spells theyíve cast, otherwise the spell ends. Each turn they are grappled, they must make the DC check to maintain the spell. Also while grappled, any new spell they attempt to cast requires the DC 10 constitution check.

Monthly expenses for Armor/Weapons/Shields

(see section under Training/Other Expenses)

Spellcasting Ready Action


See the Ready Action rules on page 193 of the 5th ed. PH.


Wall of Force spell redefined


This spell is too wonky and powerful as per the 5th edition rules, so I simplified it. See the revised description on the Spell Page.

Water Combat

If you are swimming in the water, and you don't have any special abilities that allow you to move unhindered by the water, you may attack using any means at your disposal. The order goes like this:

1. On your action, make a DC 10 athletics check (+1 the DC for every 25 lbs. of gear you're carrying).

If you fail, you're done because you're too busy flopping around trying to keep from drowning to do anything else.

If you succeed, continue to #2.

2. If your action requires an attack roll, you will do so at disadvantage. If your attack action is a spell that doesn't require an attack roll, then you will roll a DC 10 conentration check (divine add wisdom bonues/arcane add intelligence bonus).

A fail means the spell did not go off correctly due to any number of reasons due to the water such as: your somantics were thrown off, you had trouble getting out and using your material components, you were trying to verbalize the spell and sucked in a mouthful of water. Remember, the DC 10 athletics check is to see if you can keep your head above water and not sink. You are still subjec to the roll of the tide and water getting into your eyes and mouth.

If you succeed, the spell goes off normally.

3. If the spell you have successfully cast while swimming, and the spell requires concentration. You will maintain the concentration so long as you continue to make successful DC 10 athletics checks (while still in the water attempting to swim). The moment you fail the DC 10 athletics check, you must make another DC 10 concentration check to maintain concentration on that spell.





Alignments are meant to be guidelines on a characterís conduct for the most part. I believe that alignment should be adhered to primarily in cases where it is a specific part of a characterís makeup, such as a paladin, or druid, etc. I will not beat you over the head for not observing the letter of your alignment unless the above rule applies. By the same token, any character who does a 180 degree turn from his/her alignment may draw an inquiry from me. Experienced players need not worry about his, since they donít have to be told all of this junk. I just want new and wet-behind-the-ears players to know how I view this subject.



Character Development

I love nothing more than someone who takes an ordinary character and plays it extraordinarily. Give me a rich character history (that isnít outlandish) and Iíll work it into the tapestry of the campaign. A prior campaign with the FRM (Fine Red Mist) made me realize that in order for me to hold true to the above promise, I really needed to make a campaign as I go rather than try to make one from beginning to end and THEN plop the characters into it. This way I can really have fun with each characterís history and development. This is another reason why showing up is so important. "Well, since Hector the Paladin isn't here today, that cool encounter with the bad guys to rescue his warhorse won't happen." Looks like Hector'll have to ride his battle donkey a little longer.

Another aspect of development is what it takes for a character to live his/her/other life in the world. See the "Training and Other Expenses" section below.


Character Generation

Please use the 27 point buy system as outlined on page 13 in the 5th ed. PH.

Starting gold is standard for each class. If you roll less than half of what you can get, then just take half. You've been a good little piggy in saving your coppers.

It's imperative that you provide me with a full, detailed copy of your character sheet so that I know where you're at. This also helps when you canít make it and we really need your smart-assed thief to help assault the whatever. Also, how can you expect me to kill your character if he/sheís not there? Actually, if you prefer that your character NOT be played in your absence, I will keep him/her out of the fray. Iíll just encase the character in carbonite and let Jabba play handball off of it while Leia talks to it with a really bad cold.




The new combat system is slimmed down a bit, which is good. For now, I plan to adhere to the rules in the PH.

I'm certain there will be questions as we go, which will lead to additions, subtractions and other warping of the rules. Here is where those changes will be posted.




Curtis's Law

(updated 05/03/16)


All heed the law . . .


Law #1

Characters in my game shall never *EVER* be referred to as "toons." The proper term is "character(s)."


Law #2

Players shall be prohibited from referring to any NPC in Curtis's game as "Papa Smurf" unless, or course, said NPC's actual name is "Papa  Smurf."


Law #3

Windows Vista shall not, and I repeat *NOT* be pronounced as "Veeesta" unless Speedy Gonzales is the one doing the pronouncing.


Law #4

Huge, ugly, snarling, vicious, bloodthirsty orcs, who would just as soon tear your heart out as look at you, shall never *EVER* be referred to as "Orci-Poos."


Law #5

Characters have hit points, not "health points," which is something you'd use in an Obamacare role playing game.


Law #6

The DM is allowed to pronounce Trebuchet as "Tray butt shit."



Curtis Berry

ps: if youíre ever in a bar, you should never . . . EVER . . . order a Blue Moon Fizz . . .


DM vs. Player vs. Story

This game is not about Curtis vs. You. It's about you enjoying a story that Curtis lays out for you. My priority is the story. I'm by no means a rules lawyer, so if I'm not up on something, please understand. If I propose something and the rules in the books say otherwise, let me know. I usually change my verdict right away. Very rarely, Iíll say that my ruling will stand even if the rules say otherwise. Bottom line, though, when I (or other DMs) say ďenoughĒ then that means ďenough.Ē

I think if you can focus on the story itself it'll be fun for you. Those who enjoy battle will get some of it. Those who enjoy role playing and investigations will get that too. I guarantee, if we free up our minds and not make this a player vs. DM kind of session, or a rules haggling session, and we all concentrate on the story, youíll find that I can put together some interesting stuff.



I've given up awarding experience points. It turned into another numbers mess I had to deal with, and I simply got tired of it. Not only that, there were always hurt feelings because people got less than others and felt slighted in some way. That, and players would run off on side adventures way too often with the mind of gaining more exps.

As long as everyone participates on a marginal level to promote the good of the party, they'll rise equally. I've developed a feel for when the party is ready for the next level and will raise them all en-masse accordingly. Usually, I'll bump them up fairly rapidly until they reach 4th or 5th level to give them some "survivability." This has worked well and everyone seems to be happy because there is no "why is he raising faster than I am?" to stir up things. Everyone is equal in their progression and people can focus more on the nuance of the game rather than the numbers.



In the PH, you can forego your class's ability score increase at the appropriate level and instead choose a feat. I'm perfectly fine with this feature. For now, the feats in the PH are all that I'll allow. Again, I'm trying to keep the game simple as it was when I first began gaming over 30 years ago.

You can still submit feats for review by myself and my group. You never know, I might be feeling generous that day.  


Meta Gaming

This is one I'm pretty strict on. If you (and your character) know something, but your character isn't present, then keep the hatch battoned down. You canít give out sage if your character isnít around, or dead, or is frozen while trying to play a cursed lute. We wouldnít want any stray anvils hitting your character on the head and causing damage, now would we? Helping with rules and keeping track of hit points and dead guys and other stats as the game is going on is okay.



Your actions will speak for you, individually and collectively, and those actions will have a significant bearing on how you are treated as word gets around. I had a group literally torture some innocent citizen in a church because they thought he had information they needed. Later on, they gaped at me in utter astonishment when word got out concerning their deed and they were literally barred from the next town.

This may be a fantasy game, but I apply real world logic and mechanics in many cases. Please keep that in mind when playing your character and how others react to their deeds or misdeeds.



Psionics are no longer allowed in my world. You may encounter monsters with psionic abilities, but that will occur as part of random encounters or as part of the adventure. You will not be faced with psionic opponents you cannot defeat or run away from.

This may change in the future. But for now, this is the ruling.





The races listed in the PH are basic. You have: Dwarves, Elves, Halflings, Humans, Dragonborns, Gnomes, Half-Elves, Half-Orcs, and Tieflings. Each listed race has their own variants/traits/abilities.


In Irith, dragons are quite uncommon. Dragonborn will be rare and looked upon with fear and derision. Anyone playing a dragonborn will encounter this attitude in nearly any civilization they visit. This can also be a problem for anyone utilizing an uncommon race. Think of a feared drow trying to walk among men in a predominately human town. How long do you think those men will tolerate that drow's presence before a confrontation of some kind ensues?


As for utilizing races not listed here, I'll consider them. They must be submitted to me and my current gaming group for consideration to try to weed out any problems and to check for compatability and balance.






Religion is a funny thing. Some people take it serious to the point of extreme, while others look at it as a way to purge their sins in a formalized way that will cleanse their souls, or at least their guilt de jour. In Irith, there are a great many gods out there for all to worship, which leads to some interesting conflicts and alliances.

The gods in my world are a mix of the most popular and well-known real world deities, as well as those that have been used in the D&D gaming realm.

To see the complete list of deities allowed in the world of Irith, click HERE.


Showing Up

By promising that I'll weave your nice beautiful history into the tapestry of the story, Iím making a commitment to you to create an enjoyable atmosphere. In return, I ask that you show up for my game. There are things that come up, naturally. If your attendance is bad and you always seem to have something come up so that you are unable to make it to the game most of the time, then I may decide to ask you to return later after you've taken care of your life situation.

There are always exceptions and blah blah, which I'll take into consideration, but you get my drift.



This edition of DnD did well to trim down the pure amount of crap that revolved around dice rolling. 3.5 was the ulitimate in choices, but those choices led to spending so much time on battle and other mechanical considerations in the game, that the story was shoved far down the priority list.

The skills listed in the PH are quite solid IMHO. Right now, I don't see any reason to try to expand on them. Of course, I always try to keep an open mind. If you feel the need to have a skill in the game that's not already listed in the PH, by all means submit it and we'll consider it for inclusion.


The Dungeon Master

In any gaming system there are flaws. Dungeons and Dragons is no exception. My goal is to remain consistent in rulings where there is no written rule to refer to. One of my greatest strengths has always been consistency. Fairness is another. By the time Iíve DMed you for a while, weíll have a lot of unwritten rulings that weíll use on a regular basis that we have agreed upon by consensus. We may even post some of them here. Itís a group thang, and Iím all about the group. Iím very good about adjusting to the tempo/experience/other of the group Iím with. In return, I ask that those playing in my group keep an open mind about the game and my style, which is pretty standard. I mix plenty of action with role playing, problem solving, and character history focus to involve everyone equally in the game.

I like to have regular games. When I DMed long ago, we played damned near every week all day long. This, of course, is not going to happen now. However, if we agree to play every other week for 6 hours (for example), Iím going to do everything I can to play along that schedule. With a large-sized group, if one person canít make it, weíll still playóexceptions to this rule are always dealt with on a case-by-case basis. By the same token, it will be my duty to provide a game that is well thought out and exciting to give you all a reason to want to play consistentlyóa type of symbiosis between DM and players.

A good DM always listens to suggestions from new and old players alike, and I have open ears (when the wind blows into my left ear, the hair over my right ear billows up). Nothing is permanent, and a good idea is always welcome. If we all agree to alter a rule in the books and play it a certain way, then weíll do it. DMs who never listen to new ideas and stubbornly insist that his/her way is the only way will find themselves very lonely. In the early days of DMing my young world of Irith, my technique was unrefined. Since I started playing this game 30+ years ago, Iíve battened down a lot of how I want to handle things in my world, resulting in smoother decision-making on my part, thus allowing me to concentrate on the storyline.

Bottom line: if you're going to provide me with your presence and your laughter (and free pizza: j/k) then the least I can do is provide you with a fun game that keeps you coming back for more. Iíll derive my enjoyment from being with a great group of people while holding supreme dictatorship over a fantasy world where I can crush Halfling villages with but a mere thought . . . pardon me. Drugs hadnít kicked in yet. Iím ok now.


The Player

The player is an odd beast. The player can be fun, dull, smart, stupid, cool, an asshole, and a myriad of other descriptions. But I love them all. Really, I do. Itís been rare when I found myself completely unable to deal with a person for any reason. I like people who are involved in the game. Some are completely involved in all phases. Others sit back until ďthe killiní starts,Ē and I respect that. Others only get that gleam in their eye when a good role playing situation comes up. To each his/her own.

The hard players for me to deal with are the disrupters. Iím the first to chuckle with glee when a player takes his thief and tries a little ďpocket fishiníĒ on a kingís guard and then all heck breaks loose on the party. But when a player comes in and starts causing trouble and bringing all heck down on the party ďjust cuzĒ and all the time, I get miffed. Usually, the other party members get pissed off and handle the offending effendi. Of course, if they don't handle the situation, I will.

Iíll never get down on a player who isn't as involved as the rest. I'll ask them if there's something wrong or if they're ok, but I wonít nudge too hard unless their lack of participation is hurting the party. Iíll try everything I can to generate interest in the game for each player. With that in mind, you can help me by providing an interesting history or event concerning your character. Iíve built campaigns around cool backgrounds.

"Help me . . . Spock." Iíll be a bit new on the 5th edition rules, so Iíll be depending on everyone to be understanding as we all learn them.

Role playing is essential. I like people who can role play well and encourage it often. Granted, there are some people who donít have the inclination or the ability to ďget in characterĒ and act like that character. They may be more apt to just say ďmy Halfling steps up and frowns at the King as he tells him what happened in the forestĒ rather than act it out. Thatís perfectly cool. One thing Iím a stickler for is realism in how the world works and how NPCs and monsters react to you. If a drow walks into a small town and is recognized, you can expect those townspeople to promptly shit their pants and take some drastic action unless a special situation exists where they don't have problems with drow.

Just remember, any actions your characters take will have consequences, which can mean good things or bad . . .


Training/Other Expenses


1. Training will come every 3rd level (e.g.. 3rd, 6th, 9th and so forth)

2. You must pay 100 gp per level that you are going for starting at 3rd. If you're multi-classing, you can conceivably have several levels of 1st or 2nd under your belt before having to shell out any cash for training.

3. The person training you must be at least the level you are going for and in the class you are raising in. So, to train to become a 3rd level thief, you must find at least a 3rd level rogue. The important thing to remember is that you must find someone in your class, so a barbarian must train with another to go up, while a sorcerer must train with a sorcerer to go up and so forth. Now for certain prestige classes that have very specific rules on what a character needs to do before being granted certain abilities (such as a stone lord), this must be followed. So a dwarf who has the exps to become 6th level can find a 6th level fighter to get the level. But if this same dwarf wants to become a stone lord, they must find the appropriate place and person to train with and follow the rituals as illustrated, in this case, in the complete warrior. Only after following those additional guidelines will the dwarf be allowed to gain the abilities of the stone lord.

4. You will be allowed to temporarily gain the abilities of your new level (i.e. 3rd, 6th, 9th and so on) once you have the exps to gain that level. You must train before you have enough exps to go up to the NEXT level. So, for example, Pixie the Elven rogue has just killed that gnat, giving him the single exp to go to 3rd. He now has the hit points and abilities of that level for his class and all the benefits forthwith. Pixie can continue to gain exps until he is ready to go to 4th level. But he must train. If he doesn't, he will stop gaining exps and get no more until he does, despite any kills or adventuring he does. An entire level should be time enough for someone to get some training before this prohibition is applied.

5. Training will take one day per level (including the level you are training for). So Bob the Cantankerous Dwarven Orc Basher, who is training for 6th level, must spend 6 days with Grand Master Bones to train to become 6th level.

6. If you are traveling with a party member who is of the appropriate level and class that you wish to train in, then that party member can train you for the gold and time required. So, Aramel, the sweet apple, wishes to train to become a 6th level sorcerer. Kemper the (insert snappy quip here), who is 6th level, can train Aramel and smile while he's doing it. The cost will be 600 gp and the time will be 6 days. Keep in mind that if Kemper has reached the exps to go to 6th level, but he himself has not trained yet, then he is not qualified to train Aramel until he's been trained.

7. Training must be completed within 2 weeks after the day it has begun, plus 2 days for every level that the trainee is going for. So, if Aramel has flaming sphered her way to the exps necessary to become 9th level she must complete her training within 14 days + (2 x 9) = 32 days. This will allow for any interruptions that might take place. Of course, any trainer worth his/her salt will frown darkly upon any student who toys with this stipulation and allows their training to be interrupted for any reason other than the most dire.

Other Expenses

Lifestyle expenses is a table on page 157 of the PH, and something I'll be following. In addition to shelling out money at the beginning of each month to support the lifestyle to which you've become accostomed (i.e. Squalid, Poor, Modest, Comfortable, Wealthy, or Aristocratic, each character will have to pay for armor and weapon maintenance. (see the Training and Other Expenses section)

NOTE: All expenses are paid at the beginning of each calendar month.

Equipment, (mainly armor, weapons, and shields) get dinged and damaged and broken in the course of a character's adventuring and need to be repaired. To keep things relatively easy to follow while still maintaining a healthy dollop of realisim, follow the information below.


Light armor: Padded, leather, and studded leather, require 25 gp per month to maintain.


Medium Armor: Hide, chain shirt, scale mail, breastplate, and half plate require 50 gp per month to maintain.


Heavy Armor: Ring mail, chain mail, splint, and plate require 75 gp per month to maintain.


Shields: Shields require 50 gp per month to maintain.




Simple Melee/Ranged: Clubs, daggers, greatclubs, handaxes, javelins, light Hammers, maces, quarterstaffs, sickles, spears, crossbows (light) and shortbows require require 10 gp per month to maintain. Slings and darts are exempt.


Martial Melee/Ranged: Battleaxes, flails, glaives, greataxes, greatswords, halberds, lances, longswords, mauls, morningstars, pikes, rapiers, scimitars, shortswords, tridents, war picks, warhammers, hand crossbows, heavy crossbows, and longbows require 25 gp per month to maintain. Whips, blowguns, and nets are exempt.


NOTE: Magical Armor/Shields/Weapons cost more to maintain. Use the following information to determine additional costs:


+1 = 75 gp

+2 = 150 gp

+3 = 225 gp

Each magical ability = 100 gp

Artifacts are only destroyed or harmed by special means so do not incur maintenance costs.





In Closing . . .

Donít be intimidated by all this crap Iím throwing at you. Iím quite flexible in allowing things. One thing you can depend upon is my consistency in all things, especially when we all agree on something. There are always exceptions to every rule, and I'm always open to talking about them. What I need the most is for you to have fun and not be afraid to talk to me if you have something on your mind. I hate to see players stew at me when a 2-minute discussion to clear the air would have smoothed some ruffled feathers. In return, Iíll strive to be prepared each week with a dynamic adventure tailored to the group in the hopes that you'll want to be here each week.



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