Fix & Ban List for DMs

D&D 3.55e FIX & BAN LIST

This is a list I have compiled of things that I think most sane DMs should ban in new groups (groups of players that they are unfamiliar with) to prevent serious cheese from ruining anyone's fun. Obviously, take what you like off of the list, but for the most part, these things can be exploited to, at worst, really break games or at least create unfairness between highly experienced powergamers and regular players, so unless you trust yourself and your players, I find it best to keep them out of the game. Obviously, some things I ban are pretty iconic/controversial (Polymorph and Alter Self are banned), so you should certainly use only what you like in that case!

Changes

All rules here are not banned, but function instead as described.

Races/Creatures/Templates

  • Greensnake Naga's telepathy is considered to have a 30 foot range for the purposes of mindsight.
  • Kobolds may not qualify for Lore-drake.

Actions/Processes

  • I like to use this rework of the Diplomacy Skill from Giant in the Playground by Rich Burlew.
  • You may gain membership benefits from only one organization with mechanical benefits.
  • Touch Range is not a fixed range.
  • Bonus hit dice are not counted when leveling up or retraining, nor are they counted by Psychic Reformation and similar effects.
  • Splitting and similar effects copy only the item, not spells or other effects currently on it.
  • The hide skill cannot be used when obtaining total cover from your own tower shield. However, another character can use the hide skill if they are not wielding the tower shield.
  • You may not order a creature or player to fail a save in any manner. Failing a save is a metagame concept.
  • Lost levels restored by Restoration and similar effects must be in the same class or classes in which they were originally taken.
  • Embrace\Shun The Dark Chaos is permitted, but cannot be done during character creation. Good luck pulling it off in front of your DM.

Classes/Class Features

  • Ultimate Magus cannot progress the same class twice. If it would do so at a given level, it offers only one level of progress instead. Consider this to be the general rule in similar cases.
  • Ur-Priests cannot disqualify themselves from Ur-Priest upon taking a level in Ur-Priest.
  • 10th-level Dragon Disciples cannot disqualify themselves from their class through Dragon Apotheosis.
  • A Void Disciple's Voidsense has a duration of 1 minute per level in Void Disciple.

Items

  • Turn attempts or their equivalents from multiples of the same item are considered unnamed bonuses from the same source, and thus do not stack.
  • Starmantle Cloak and Evasion do not stack.

Spells/Powers

  • There are no free Wishes.
  • "All derivatives" normally includes spells that use the wording "as <Spellname>. . .".
  • Planeshift works unless you accidentally shift to the Plane of Cheese, which is a common occurrence in planar travel these days.
  • Dweomer of Transference only converts spells cast by its caster.
  • Anything you bring in via Planar Binding or Planar Ally cannot leave, and will be incredibly, stubbornly, angry about this.

Bans

Anything listed here is hard-banned and cannot be obtained or created during character creation or in the game.

Races/Creatures/Templates

  • Dragonlance's Dragonspawn templates are banned.
  • Ghostwalk's LA+0 Ghost template is banned.
  • Due to ongoing interference of the Dark Powers That Be, Divinely-granted templates are not permitted, with the exclusion of Saint, which both the Divines and The Dark Powers That Be rightly find hilarious.
  • Shambling mounds do not exist.
  • Dusk Giants do not exist.
  • Sarrukh do not exist.
  • Pazuzu does not exist.

Actions/Processes

  • Obtaining infinity as a bonus to any skill check, or as the value of any stat or attribute, is not allowed. (Omnificer/Cancer Mage cheese-type things.)
  • Creation of hive-minds through any mechanism is banned.
  • Creation of magic item machines or experience machines (infinite, costless gains) is banned.
  • Time travel of any sort through any means is banned, with the exception of two cases detailed below.
  • The following feats are banned: Leadership, Undead Leadership, Thrallherd, and Dragon Cohort. Similar or derivative feats are also banned.
  • Purchased cohorts of any kind from any source are also banned.

Classes/Class Features

  • Erudite is banned.
  • Subverted Psion is banned.
  • Spelldancer is banned.
  • Planar Shepherd is banned.
  • Dweomerkeeper is banned.
  • Initiate of Mystra is banned.
  • Vermin Lord is banned.
  • Master of Many Forms is impossible to qualify for, or ought to be, and is banned.
  • Master Transmogrist is impossible to qualify for, or ought to be, and is banned.
  • The Magic of Hunger secret of the Black Robes Wizard of High Sorcery is banned.

Items

  • The Stronghold Builder's Guide and anything in it is banned.
  • Aboleth Mucus is banned.
  • Acorn of Far Travel is banned.
  • Thoughtbottle is banned.
  • Candles of Invocation are banned.
  • Nightsticks are banned.

Spells/Powers

  • Genesis is banned.
  • Metaconcert is banned.
  • Forced Dream is banned.
  • Love's Pain is banned.
  • Planar Binding and direct derivatives are banned.
  • Planar Ally and direct derivatives are banned.
  • Polymorph, Alter Self, Metamorphosis, and all derivatives not specifying a single shape are banned.
  • All forms of Awaken are banned.
  • Leech Ghost Skill is banned.
  • Fusion is banned.
  • When Two Become One is banned.
  • Simulacrum is banned.
  • Fimbulwinter is banned.
  • Power Leech is banned.

Allowed By Permission

Everything here is normally banned unless you have permission of the DM to use something listed here.

  • Use of the rebuilding rules.
  • Anything in the Arms & Equipment Guide.
  • Changing the elemental descriptor of a spell such as Fire Shield without the requisite feats.
  • Dragon Magazine and Dungeon Magazine contents are allowed by permission.
  • Temporal Regression is permitted, but long chains (x>2) are not. Time Hop and similar things are permitted.
  • Iron Kingdoms material is allowed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Serpent Kingdoms is approval-only material.
  • Savage Species is approval-only material.
  • Instantaneous retraining is not permitted except in a case where a Feat becomes totally useless and/or can no longer exist on a character. Regular retraining is allowed by permission, but does take time in the game.
  • Homebrew classes are allowed by permission.
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2 comments

    • Thank you!

      I’ve not given up! I just haven’t been working on it lately, but I do check in from time to time. People use this site a lot actually, to the point where I KNOW I have to go back and get it closer to a “finished” state.

      I just finished writing my first book, and I plan to resume work here soon.

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