S3 House Rules

Universal Rules Index

The world of Dark Earth has three different sorts of house rules beyond the core rules of D&D: Global Systems, Regional Rules, and Universal House Rules. Most if not all of them are defined or used on the certificates that we give to our players.

Certificates (“Certs”)

When you create your character for Dark Earth, you will receive a Legacy Item Certificate which details the special item (or tattoo, or mount, or other magical effect) that will grow with you as a character. As well, at the end of each module you play in, you will receive a piece of paper known as a Dark Earth Adventure Certificate or Cert. You may also receive other Certs as you play—favors, boons, or individual items. All of the rules you will need to know about how these systems function will be on those certs, so as long as you keep them, you should be fine. If you would like electronic copies of them, let your DM know.


Global Systems

Global Systems are designed to enhance players’ experiences by eliminating unnecessary accounting. We replace the tracking of experience points and the quest for more and more treasure, magic items, and gold pieces to afford things with the Milestone System (so that all Dark Earth characters advance evenly), the Wealth System (which represents not just gold, but the rewards that reputation, renown, and the gratitude of those you save earn you) and the Legacy System (which grants you a legacy item that is customized, fulfills the role of several items, and grows with your character).

We have also made Inspiration a regular reward for each module and provided interesting options for Downtime days. Perhaps the most unique system in Dark Earth is the Heroism statistic, which measures your individual character’s selfish and selfless actions around the world, which then may affect things within your home region.

Regional Rules

Individual DMs or regions may have specific table policies that pertain solely to their region or table. These will be spelled out on their wiki pages, but a link will be provided at Regional Rules for ease of reference.


3rd-Level abjuration
Casting Time: 1 reaction, which you take when you see a creature within 60 feet of you take the Cast a Spell action.
Range: 60 feet
Components: S
Duration: Instantaneous
You attempt to interrupt a creature in the process of casting a spell. If the creature is casting a spell of 3rd level or lower, its spell fails and has no effect. If it is casting a spell of 4th level or higher, make an ability check using your spellcasting ability. The DC equals 10 + the spell’s level. On a success, the creature’s spell fails and has no effect. This spell can not be used to counter very fast magic, such as spells cast as a reaction or bonus action.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the interrupted spell has no effect if its level is less than or equal to the level of the spell slot you used.

Dispel Magic

3rd level abjuration, Ritual
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 120 feet
Components: V, S
Duration: Instantaneous
Choose one creature, object, or magical effect within range. All spells of 3rd level or lower on the target ends. For each spell of 4th level or higher on the target, make an ability check using your spellcasting ability. The DC equals 10 + the spell’s level. On a successful check, the spell ends. If the spell is a permanent magical effect, such as a Teleportation Circle, Leomund’s Secret Chest, Hallow, Forbiddence, or similar, the effect is not dispelled, but is suppressed for one minute.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, you automatically end the effects of a spell on the target if the spell’s level is equal to or less than the level of the spell slot you used.

Universal House Rules

Universal House Rules fall into two categories. Character Creation rules define what races, classes feats, equipment, spells and gear are allowed in Dark Earth, and include original content by the DMs of Dark Earth as well as a guide to what Unearthed Arcana and third party material is available.

Specific in-play changes to official D&D rules are limited to scrolls, Dispel Magic, Counterspell, and the way Nondetection works. Individual tables may make exceptions to these rules, and if they do so it will be indicated on their table policies page.

Spell Changes

Replace the text for the spell Dispel Magic (PHB p.234) and Counterspell (PHB p.228) with the versions in the sidebar on the right. These allow for both a limit on the number of counterspells per round, as well as the ability to suppress magical effects and not simply spells.


Any spell with a casting time of one minute or less can be cast from a scroll in one action, consuming the scroll.


Nondetection – Higher-level effects counter lower-level effects when it comes to who sees/is undetectable by whom.

Specifics – Nondetection (3rd level spell) renders you hidden from divination magic, and means that you cannot be targeted by divination magic nor perceived through magical scrying sensors. Mind Blank (8th level spell) makes you immune to being sensed by divination spells and the charmed condition, as well as wish spells or powers to affect the target’s mind. True Seeing (6th level spell) gives a creature the ability to see things as they actually are and gives them magical truesight via a divination spell. Characters with Truesight gained via True Seeing cannot see invisible or stealthed characters shielded by Mind Blank. However, characters shielded by Mind Blank who are also invisible can be spotted by creatures or characters with natural Tremorsense, Blindsight or Truesight granted by means other than a divination spell.

S3 House Rules

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