dnd 3.5e – How many uses of bardic music does the Heartfire Fanner get?

I am having a really hard time making sense of the heartfire fanner here.

First, it says you “immediately” gain access to all bardic music effects, “subject to their usual Performance skill and level requirements,” which is not really “immediate” at all. It also says you “do[] not gain the normal bardic music abilities as [you] advance[] in heartfire fanner levels,” which seems to directly contradict the previous statement that all of those become available. And it specifies a 5th-level bard, before saying to stack heartfire fanner levels with bard levels to calculate things.

In other words, it’s a complete mess. Almost every statement is seemingly contradicted by another one. And taken literally, the way it treats a bard entry and a non-bard entry have some really weird consequences.

For instance, the line about “All bardic music effects […] become available to [you] immediately” seems to be referring to a non-bard heartfire fanner. The line about “not gain[ing] the normal bard music abilities” seems to be referring only to a bard who enters the class. Why would a non-bard get all of those things, but a bard would not?

Worse, it keys off of whether you are a bard or not, not off of how many levels of bard you have. In other words, a 1st-level bard gets nothing and at best counts as a 2nd-level bard, while someone with zero levels in bard gets the abilities of a 5th-level bard. That makes no sense.

And it still gives us no answer to the actual question here. I have no idea if you have 1, 5, or 6 uses of bardic music each day.

You are going to have to discuss this with your DM. I would suggest that, at best, heartfire fanner works like Practiced Spellcaster but for bardic music: you start with a base of your bard level plus your heartfire fanner level, and then on top of that you get a +5 bonus but that bonus cannot cause you to exceed your actual total level. Thus a 5th-level bard/1st-level heartfire fanner counts as a 6th-level bard—and so does a 5th-level something else/1st-level heartfire fanner, and a 1st-level bard/4th-level whatever/1st-level heartfire fanner. And so on.

I still don’t know if you’re supposed to get the various usual bardic music abilities, though. It really seems to say you both do and don’t get those.

dnd 3.5e – Where does it say that a warlock can stack empower and maximize spell like abilities in single round without effecting caster level?

Complete Arcane, page 81. I’d give some more details to show that the Warlock is allowed to do this, but the description of Maximize Spell-Like Ability does the work for me – it uses the Warlock as an example:

For example, a 10th-level warlock’s maximized eldritch blast deals 36 points of damage three times per day.

and it also covers Empowering:

An empowered maximized spell-like ability gains the benefit of each feat separately (getting the maximum result plus one-half the normally rolled result).

As for why this doesn’t affect caster level. It doesn’t because it doesn’t say that it does.

dnd 3.5e – Can a specialist fighter take fighter ACFs/bonus feats from splatbooks?

Dragon Magazine #310 lists a bunch of specialist versions of the fighter class. It sounds like it treats them as different classes that just have a lot in common with fighters, but it also says they “are to the fighter what specialist wizards are to the wizard core class”.

As far as I’m aware, a wizard that specializes in a school of magic has no general restrictions placed on its ACF/feat choices–only specific ones for certain feats and features (an evoker can’t take an ACF for conjurers, for example)

So, what about specialist fighters? Could a pugilist take the Overpowering Attack feature from PHB II, or gain ToB’s Martial Stance feat as a bonus feat?

dnd 3.5e – Can a Divine Crusader that have more domains choose different spells of the same level from different domains?

Yes, you can.

The divine crusader specifically prepares spells—which is almost pointless for the typical divine crusader, as they only have one spell of each level. They could have metamagic feats that make the preparation non-trivial, but they aren’t really expected to. Or they could get more spells, e.g. through an extra domain. Complete Divine—the same source as the divine crusader itself—details how extra domains work, making it very likely that this interaction was anticipated but the authors. And those details say someone who can prepare spells (but isn’t a cleric) can choose to prepare spells from the extra domain in any slot (of sufficient level, of course).

dnd 3.5e – Would Extend metamagic feat increase the duration of Warlock’s eldritch essences?

Extend spell like ability mentions:

The creature can use that ability as an extended spell-like ability
three times per day (or less, if the ability normally usable only once
or twice per day). When a creature uses an extended spell-like
ability, its duration is doubled. Spell-like abilities whose durations
are instantaneous, concentration, or permanent are not affected. The
creature can only select a spell-like ability duplicating a spell with
a level less than or equal to half its caster level (round down) -1.

Based on this, can a warlock apply this feat on any of its essences such as Brimstone Blast or Beshadowed Blast to increase the duration of the effect?

Example: Applying Extend on Beshadowed Blast would case victim to be blinded for two rounds instead of one. With Brimstone Blast, it is calculated by 1 round per five class levels you have, so normally for a level 10 warlock target would burn for two rounds but with extend, four.

dnd 3.5e – Barbed Devil as grappler vs. Medium PCs

There’s no errata for the barbed devil (Monster Manual 51), and the issue the question raises is unchanged by the premium edition of the Monster Manual (2012).

According the stat block the barbed devil does, indeed, possess but does not meet the prerequisites for the feat Improved Grapple (PH 95-6).1 Further, this discrepancy also goes unmentioned in, for example, John Cooper’s otherwise excellent Cooper’s Compendium of Corrected Creatures.

The easiest thing for the DM to do is say that barbed devils just can’t use their Improved Grapple feat, the DM ruling that barbed devils simply somehow came to possess a useless feat. Almost as easy is the DM making a house rule saying that the Improved Grapple feat of the barbed devil is now a bonus feat (so that even though barbed devils “do not have the prerequisites for (the) feat… the creature(s) can still use the feat” (7)) and giving the barbed devil another, reasonable feat that’s unlikely to change its challenge rating.

There is a another tack that can be taken, but it’s more difficult and comes with some baggage. While the Monster Manual on Feats really does straight-up say, “A creature cannot have a feat that is not a bonus feat unless it has the feat’s prerequisites” (7), Oriental Adventures on Feats amends and softens this absolutist stance a little, saying

Certain monster special abilities count as feats for purposes of meeting prerequisites for other feats. A monster with any natural attack form is considered to have the Improved Unarmed Strike feat. A monster with the improved grab special ability is considered to have the Improved Grapple feat. (143)

(Link added.) A strict reading simply ignores the rule above: Oriental Adventures is not a primary source, and, as this rule contradicts the Monster Manual, it is safely and easily discarded. Alternatively, a reader going to Gamer Court could make the case that the rule above only applies to Oriental Adventures creatures.2

But a looser reading can accommodate instead of dismiss the Oriental Adventures rule, viewing it as expanding and clarifying the Monster Manual‘s rules instead of contradicting them. In fact, while attempting to make such an accommodation, the barbed devil may even be used as evidence that the Oriental Adventures rule was a thing all along!3 Such a reading does solve the barbed devil problem, but it also makes it so, for example, any creature with a natural attack or the special ability improved grab gets a secret and otherwise-unstated-elsewhere natural ability that allows it to meet prerequisites and requirements it otherwise couldn’t.4

Keep in mind that while it’s unusual for the game to secrete new or updated rules in unusual, often unread places in ancillary texts, this isn’t wholly unprecedented (cf. the accepted answer to this question).

What this DM would do

This DM imagines the designers did, in fact, want the barbed devil to be able to use the feat Improved Grapple as the feat was assigned to the barbed devil. I assume that a deliberate design choice to give a monster a feat that it can’t use would probably be mentioned in the monster’s text. I also suspect the barbed devil’s challenge rating includes the barbed devil using the feat Improved Grapple rather than its challenge rating including the creature possessing a useless feat! For this reason, I’d avoid the Oriental Adventures rules, make a house rule that adds the B to the barbed devil’s Improved Grapple feat, and add to the barbed devil the feat Stealthy (PH 101), a feat that shouldn’t have an significant impact on the barbed devil’s challenge rating.


1 Now that I’ve looked for it, the feat Improved Unarmed Strike is also absent from the Monster Manual‘s other creature with the feat Improved Grapple: the bebilith (42)).
2 Despite context implying otherwise. That is, the paragraph after the rule above begins When a monster described here…, a turn phrase omitted from the Oriental Adventures rule quoted above, therefore a strong (but not airtight) case for the rule above seeming to be intended as a general rule.
3Oriental Adventures is, in fact, the original source for the feat Improved Grapple (63), the feat having been later reprinted in Deities and Demigods (51) and Dragon #290 (91), but in these cases lacking the burdensome Dexterity 13 prerequisite that was added by Unapproachable East (May 2003). Sadly, it was this last version that was adopted by the 3.5 revision of the Player’s Handbook (July 2003).
4 Note that this is, in most cases, really not a big deal. However, the DM risks opening a Pandora’s box of subsequent judgment calls if the DM extends the Oriental Adventures rule to cover feats beyond Improved Grapple and Improved Unarmed strike!

dnd 3.5e – Can I swap a maneuver known with another one if I have te requisite before the swap but stop having it after?

The Tome of Battle states the following:

Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered swordsage level
after that (6th, 8th, 10th, and so on), you can choose to learn a new
maneuver in place of one you already know. In effect, you lose the old
maneuver in exchange for the new one. You can choose a new maneuver of
any level you like, as long as you observe your restriction on the
highest- level maneuvers you know; you need not replace the old
maneuver with a maneuver of the same level. For example, upon reaching
10th level, you could trade in a single 1st-, 2nd-, 3rd- or 4th-level
maneuver for a maneuver of 5th level or lower, as long as you meet the
prerequisite of the new maneuver. You can swap only a single maneuver
at any given level.

So, let’s say my PC (Monk 4, Swordsage 4) has Mighty Throw as his only Setting Sun maneuver and wants to swap it at level 4 with Devastating Throw. He accomplishes the requisite of having 1 Setting Sun maneuver before the swap, however, he no longer accomplishes the requisite after the swap (unless you count the Devastating Throw itself). Is this swap possible?

dnd 3.5e – Is the megaraptor’s fortitude saving throw correct?

This is, indeed, an error, and the megaraptor (Monster Manual 60–1) should have a Fortutide saving throw bonus of +11. This remains uncorrected by the premium edition Monster Manual (2012) that incorporates errata making the megaraptor instead size Large. Cooper’s Compendium A–D agrees that the creature’s Fortitude saving throw is an error, saying

The megaraptor was downgraded, via official errata, from a Huge animal to a Large one. The changes I (i.e. the author of the Compendium not this writer) made to the creature’s stats (in the Compendium) all stem from this change in size, with one exception: I bumped its Fortitude save up from +10 to +11 (it gets +6 as an 8-HD animal and +5 from its Constitution). (93)

So you know, Cooper’s Compendium corrects most of the Monster Manual creatures that need correction. (Many, many do!) While the Compendium does still gloss over some gray areas (see, for example, here), it addresses many of the Monster Manual‘s minor oversights like this one. I’m not associated with Cooper’s Compendium, but I recommend it to any DM for whom customizing monsters is serious bunsiness.

dnd 3.5e – How many wagons do you need for arming 500 irregulars?

I think more of a common sense approach would apply here, and you would probably see more wagons even if it wasn’t necessarily needed from a gameplay perspective.

You have the weights of everything and the max weight a horse can pull, though not many owners would want to push their horse to 100% all the time. Additionally, you can count the weight of the wagon which is (at least in 5E) 400 lbs. You need to account for the horses food, supplies for the people manning the wagon, tools to fix if one of those wheels popped off (we all played Oregon Trail and know how bad it sucks to not be able to fix it).

Then, you would need to take risk into consideration. Would the person sending supplies want to put them all in two wagons? Why not spread them out so if one is lost, at least most of the supplies get through?

I think what is happening is you’re running into a gameplay mechanic when you need to look for a story mechanic to justify more horses and carts until it sounds right and realistic to you.

dnd 3.5e – Can the half-dragon template have a negative impact on fly speed?

First example: A half-dragon astral deva. Astral devas normally have wings, but they’re Medium, and the Half-Dragon template states that Medium half-dragons don’t have wings. Does the Astral deva lose its wings due to the template?

Second example: A half-dragon solar. Solars have a land speed of 50 ft., and a fly speed of 150 ft. The Half-Dragon template states that a creature of this size can fly at twice its base land speed, with a maximum of 120 ft. Does the solar have its fly speed reduced to double its land speed (100 ft.), or to the Half-Dragon template’s maximum fly speed (120 ft.), or does it keep its base fly speed (150 ft.)? Similarly, what (if anything) happens to its maneuverability?

Third example, based on the maneuverability part of the previous point: a half-dragon great wyrm (or any creature with a fly speed greater than 120 ft. but worse than the average maneuverability given by the Half-Dragon template). Does it keep the best aspects of its flight sources, or the worst aspects, or does it take one source for its wings in its entirety?