Game Mechanics


Curses are 'permanent' magical effects that cannot be dispelled with normal magical spells, but require instead Negate Magic or Remove Curse, or very, very long time. Curses are usually caused by appropriate spell or spell-like power.

Typical Curses
A typical curse makes target vulnerable to certain non-physical attack type ('I curse thee to suffer eternally from fire'), make target stupid ('I curse thee to continuously lose your thoughts'), cause loss of fertility ('I curse thee to live without any offsprings') or cause character to aggravate creatures of certain type ('You shall be bitten by dogs wherever ya go'). The curser is free to invite something, but too strong curses never become true.

Cursed Items
A cursed item is much more common than cursed creatures, but much harder to get rid off. If a cursed item is put on, it will stick and cannot be taken off. A cursed tool or weapon may become stick to hand or just appear back to hand each time it is dropped or put away. A cursed potion or scroll will produce unexpected results and cursed wands and arrows will break or slip out of hands.


The death is not always final in HDD3. As long as there is some physical remains, the character can be bought back to life - most of time. Disintegrated are beyond help, but otherwise proper spells can be used to restore life. There is some limitation to that, however. Petrified creatures must be first turned back to flesh. Non-living creatures cannot be restored, naturally.

Final Death
Each time the character is bought back to life, roll d20. Roll an extra d20 for each previous 'rebirth'. If any of these d20's end as '1', the character's soul now belongs to Death, and it soon arrives to get it. The character may still try to reason with Death that one time, but his or her days are counted, and Death will arrive again in a few days. Character slain by Death is unrecovarable. Note that Destiny rerolls can be used on this roll.

Raising the Dead
Use of some life-restoring power like Resurrect or Reincarnate increases caster's 'rebirth' counter, too. It means that when the caster or priest finally dies, it is much more likely, that Death will claim him or her immediately, because he or she has brought other people back.


Experience is awarded to player characters when they overcome obstacles, achieve something great or simply encounter some very experiencing. There is no exact guidelines, but up to 5-8 from one session is reasonable, if the play went well. Experience is given for each character separately, but the base should be same for all in most cases. Modify base in two ways:
  • Humans advance a bit faster than other races, especially at higher levels. Give extra point now and then.
  • Low level characters advance faster than high level ones. Increase their experience by one for each level less than highest level character.


    A destiny is an attribute that makes player characters special: they have destiny and won't die as easily as would common folk. This means that a fatal roll could be changed to successful one character may 'luckily' fall down just before a huge scythe would slice his or her head away.

    Gaining Destiny
    Each character may start with some destiny points, which can be negative. When a character gains a level, he or she may gain 1-2 new destiny points - roll d10 twice, and each roll same or more than gained HPs that level entitles for one destiny point. After level 10, character automatically gains 1 destiny point, no dice is rolled. In addition, for each faith level a character gains one destiny point more, if the deity is content or pleased with the character. No destiny can be used before destiny points are positive, and characters starting with negative points may require multiple levels before they reach that.

    Using Destiny
    As simplest form, a destiny point is used to reroll one saving throw or other critical roll, which will result in character death or similar fate if unsuccessful. This can be done only once for each roll.
    Alternatively, the GM may use destiny point to alter some situation or action done by the enemy to save the character from death, or if already dead, from permanent death.
  • Polymorphing

    New Random Form
    New form is quite probably very similar to that original, and HD or level will stay quite same. When polymorphing, there is always danger of permanent polymorph into a bit different original creature.

    1Original (stats may change, permanent)
    2A very similar creature of the same type
    3Same type (humanoid, giant humanoid, animal, undead etc.)
    4-5Some common creature (common humanoids and animals)
    6Exotic (any creature possible to polymorph into)
    When polymorphing to new original form (not returning to it), the creature gains d6-d10 HP (so quite probably some HPs are lost). In addition, roll d20 for each stat, except INT and WIS:
    1-3Stat drops by 1
    4-18Remain same
    19-20Stat raises by 1
    If the stat is already at maximum, reroll once. These stat losses cannot be recovered with restoration spells! This polymorphation is permanent, even if done with shape shift. For temporary polymorph into creature of same type, result 2 is needed from original roll.

    If polymorphing to another form, same rolling can be done for temporary stats. Then, modify them by average values of these creatures when comparing to average values of original type. For example, STR +2 human is polymorphed into giant (STR +8). His strength is raised to +9, unless GM chooses otherwise, because normal human has STR +1 and so that giant has 7 higher.

    New Chosen Form
    When a polymorph is tried to chosen creature type, the change of success depends mainly on how close the target form is from the original. If the desired form is very different and especially of much higher level or HD, the shapeshift will transform creature into something smaller or simply modify him or her as with result 1 in table above.

    During transformation, no items appear or disappear. If the creature had any torso armor, it will probably break if creature transforms into something larger. Gauntlets and boots are quite probably only pushed out of too large extremes, but bracers may break, too.
    If creature had some hard metal armor without any joints to break, the transformation may become quite a mess, and at least painful.

    Creature in new form has HD, AC, extra and other attributes of the new form. Magical powers and mental stats are retained from original form. Maximum hit points are determined normally, but some bonus or penalty should be given for big HD difference. Actual hit points are proportional to those in former form - if the creature had lost about 20% of its hit points, so has the new form. Similarly any missing parts are still missing. When the transformation is reversed, the hit points are again calculated at the same way.

    Permanent attributes gained from magical effects or from deity remain during transformation, but race-specified resistances are lost.


    Players may gain wishes from some items, and they should be handled very carefully.
    a) too greedy wish gives less than reasonable one.
    b) badly worded wish may give unpredictable results.

    Roll a die for any other than very reasonable wish, and more greedy wish will 'fail' more easily and give something much reduced in value.

    Quite reasonable wishes are:
  • Any typical weapon or armor piece up to +4 (+2 to non-body armor).
  • Almost any magical item.
  • Stat raise by +3, or by +1 if over racial maximum.
  • Up to 15 hit points or 10 magic points.
  • Teleportation with a small group to any place.
  • Any spell effect.
  • Any permanent resistance, except physical.

  • Divine Powers


    In player section there is a some general types of deities, but these should not be allowed to players without some modifications: at least the name and typical rituals must be specified, and type of normal follower. Most deities are worshiped with ridiculous and stupid ceremonies (as in real life) and character followers should perform these now and then - or face the displeasure from the deity.

    Deity Avatars
    When in need, the deity can send his or her angel or similar power to punish or help his followers, or in extreme cases him or herself assume an avatar form to walk on earth. Such avatar forms have 30-50 HD and massive powers.

    Demon Deities
    Note that deities are not limited to real deities, but can be also a powerful outer planar creature like the ruler of Hell or Abyss. Powers from such creatures is usually permanent powers, but they will also come back to you if displeased...

    Faith Levels

    Faith Levels should reflect how devoted worshiper the character is, and how favored he or she is. The character may lose temporary his or her faith levels if the deity is displeased or angry. Very angry deity will probably remove all powers and resistances until character has redeemed him or herself.


    Praying is usually the last hope of a follower, when all other means are used - or should be, at least. The deity will hear the pleads of his or her follower, and possibly help him or her. Roll a d20, and adjust with following modifiers:
    +WIS Prayer wisdom
    +8 Deity very pleased
    +4 Deity pleased
    -4 Deity displeased
    -8 Deity angry
    -8 Second try at the same day
    +4 Real despair
    -4 No real despair
    The final result is:
    25+ Very generous
    16+ Grants
    10+ Ignores
    -9 Angried
    Very generous: The deity not only helps the follower, but does it very generously, or gives some extra (random permanent resistance or d6 hit points).
    Grants: The deity will fulfill a reasonable prayer (see below).
    Ignores: The deity will ignore the pleads.
    Angried: The deity becomes angry to character. If already angry or displeased, may immediately zap the follower or send angel, or just become displeased or angry if previously pleased or very pleased.

    Prayer effects
    There is list of typical miracles that deity can do in behalf of the follower:
  • Cure disease, blindness, poisoning or remove curse.
  • Heal all wounds
  • Fill stomach
    For very successful prayers, the deity can do one of the following:
  • Grant temporary faith levels to allow use of some miracle
  • Teleport follower and his or her friends
  • Fill multiple stomaches
  • Remove multiple curses or negate certain magic
  • Blast opponent

    Pissed God

    If the character does something which may irritate his or her deity, character may lose faith levels or some powers temporary. Or if the action is too blatant, the deity can zap a bolt of lightning or disintegration at character, or send his or her angel to teach character a lesson. Or just curse his or her items, and refuse to give any aid until character has redeemed him or herself.

  • HDD3 RPG system (c) Kalle Marjola 1996-97. All rights reserved.