Begun in February 2009, How U Mine 4 Fish? is the first campaign to be created by JoeSomebody2, as a means to be more than a player and learn 3.5 Core rules down pat to new players of the game. The adventures take place on an unnamed world of the Material Plane, in the kingdoms of Corneria, Elfland, Farmonia and the surrounding lands and cities. Play beginning at PC Level 2, ending at Level 20 with optional epilogue at Level 21.


The only available books the DM and PCs can draw from are the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and Monster Manual of 3.5 Core. Should it ever come to it, PCs can also draw resources from the Epic Player’s Handbook, which also has Non-epic General Feats players can take should they have the prerequisites. Also, should any information from other source books be more fitting to what the DM is needing in the game, he may incorporate as needed.

However, the focus of the game is to learn the basic idea of how Core rules work without the inclusion of supplement books. The DM is given some headway if necessary, as always, but he has a guilty conscience.

PC Creation

PCs roll stats via 4d6, keeping the best numbers of three, and allot totaled numbers as they see fit to their stats. If the total is below 10, then it’s just a 10. Which means if you roll all 1’s you luck out because it’s still a 10. If racial adjustments lower the score below 10, it’s still a 10. This was done to get the new PCs acquainted with the numbers of the game and to tone down the belly aching of having a negative number.

Races available for play are those available in the PHP and MM, as long as the Effective Character Level (ECL = classes + racial hit dice + level adjustment) isn’t higher than the current highest leveled PC. As noted above, should a race have negative scores to abilities, the number will always be 10 (a facet not taken advantage of yet).

Classes available to PCs are in the PHB, and no Prestige Classes are available for PC use from the DMG. The DM is of course free to use as such, in order to make for interesting NPCs to come across. This is done so PCs can better know how to work with the base classes, and to hold off on opening up other supplement books due to the DMG not having many options for PCs (other PCs would miss out on something neat while those with options reaped benefits).

Should a Player wish to play a different PC after death or wishes to play something new in general, they will begin one level lower than the character they last played, as if that character had died and came back to life via magic that wasn’t True Resurrection. The starting GP available to that PC will be the listed value in the DMG p.135. Also, the value of any single item will never exceed 25% of that GP, and they must be within limits of what current PCs have come across.

Only one PC can be used by a Player at a time (there are exceptions should there be less than 4 players at session). Sidelined PCs are still an important part of the world, and can still be active in certain ways. New PCs cannot officially become a part of the campaign until they have at least joined in a session of play.

Game Sessions

Games take place Tuesday once every two weeks, though that may change should the DM get insane enough to actually consider running weekly (with work and him driving from Milwaukee, he would HAVE to be insane). Intended start at 5 PM, though everything usually manages to come together by 6 PM, and wished end between 9PM – 10PM.

Experience Points

Experience Points (EXP/XP for short) usually gets handed out at the end of every session, based on what CR’s were faced, what roleplaying occurred, and general random urges the DM has (100 XP has been given for being helpful and trying the DM’s snacks). Should a PC be in the middle of an adventure or battle, however, all XP gained during the session is kept track of by the DM (or PCs if they are accidentally shared), and full XP would be rewarded the next session (or whenever the adventure/battle was finished). Should XP be accidentally given to PCs, it’s suggested the PCs not Level Up and keep track of their XP value. This actually works out in the PCs favor at times, because higher level PCs get less XP than those of lower Level when facing the same CR.

Players that have more than one PC only gain full XP for the PC they are using at time of XP share at the table, but half of what is given to that PC can be applied to all PCs the Player has Sidelined (this XP is also given to Players who don’t show for the session). This XP can also be shared with a PCs Cohort. Example: Main PC gets 1000 XP, and all Sideline PCs get 500 XP. Those with Cohorts get a percentage of the 500 XP as per normal Cohort XP gain. This is done so that Sidelined PCs can reenter play at a Level which is much closer to another Sidelined or Slain Main PC. It is believed to be a fair trade for the Sidelined Player PCs, for while they still gain XP, they do not gain any gold, magic, or other useful wealth that the Main PCs gain (though special circumstances may apply). PCs that have not joined the campaign via one session of play are not considered sidelined, and therefore cannot take part of this XP share.

At minimum, the XP PCs get for each session will be of equal CR to the highest Level PC of the party. Example: During a dungeons delve, the party defeats two CR 12’s and a CR 14. Coupled with the fact their highest Level PC is 16, they get XP equal to a CR 18. For bonus XP, Players can also submit a back-story for their PC, which will get them 1000 XP. This can be done only once for each PC the player has.

House Rules

Due to how the DM was originally taught the game (almost all source books available, house rules extreme, messing one rule set with another, etc.), the DM has accepted some alterations and worked with some freedom of rules (though he has tried to hold back).

  • A Natural 1 or 20 isn’t an automatic fail or success. Instead, Nat 20’s act as a base 30 and add on whatever bonuses get added to the roll making it possible for really high AC to make a difference. If a Nat 1 is rolled, the base number become -10, and if the bonuses added to that number are enough to still succeed at their action, there is no fail.
  • All magic users are treated as if having the Eschew Materials Feat, so as to not complicate and disturb play. Magic users will still need to supply gold amounts it if it mentioned in the description of the of the spell (including focus), and should the PC be aiming for a Feat that requires Eschew Materials (only in Epic, I know, but still), the PC will have to get it.

Former House Rules

  • Caster Levels of lower Level “Cure” Potions are “Maximized”, because it’s bothersome to worry and wonder what the CL is of each individual Healing Potion you have. If you have a Cure Light Wounds Potion, it’s CL will always be 5. Higher Level “Cure” potions such as Cure Moderate Wounds may not always be 10, and the same goes for the rest of the “Cure” spells once PCs have a general understanding of magic items with CL.

This rule has since been taken out due to the ease at which PCs (and DM for that matter) are now capable of understanding how the CL of magic items works. There was plenty of confusion on how it worked in the past, requiring its precense, but the group is now more than capable of understanding it. So check your notes on the CL of items you have! Because now it will always be minimum unless otherwise noted.

How U Mine 4 Fish?