Dungeon Master Assistance

A place to share thoughts and ideas about Dungeons and Dragons

Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 – Lite

D&D Lite Cover

Cover page for D&D Lite

The following is a document of House Rules. In this document are alternatives to the normal Dungeons & Dragons v3.5 d20 rules.

I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons since it came out in the late 1970’s. I eagerly awaited each new release of the game and embraced all of the new rules. With each new release it got better. When 3.0 was released I saw it as a re-visioning of the original game with more logical and consistent rules. It was soon followed by 3.5 which corrected some of 3.0s failings. I had great expectations for the 4.0 release, but I was greatly disappointed. Instead of streamlining and simplifying the rules, it was a whole new game. I’m not saying that it is a bad game, it simply isn’t one that I choose to play. Others felt the way that I do and other companies have tried to “fix” D&D v3.5. The Pathfinder RPG is an attempt to improve on 3.5. While Pathfinder is an improvement over 3.5 they didn’t go far enough, in my opinion, to simplify the 3.5 rules. There are also some rules-light game systems based on the d20 SRD v3.5 such as Basic Fantasy and others but after reviewing them  I found most of them to be too light on the rules for my taste.  So, instead of throwing it all out and starting over, I decided to simply make the changes that I felt v3.5 needed to make it easier and faster to play.


This is a set of “House Rules” designed to meet the following criteria:

1. Character creation and promotion should be simple, fast and easy.

2. The rule set should be fully compatible with other v3.5 stuff (adventures, sourcebooks, etc).

3. Complicated rules should be simplified to the point where you can play 90% of the time without having to look up a rule.

The intention is to simplify and speed up play, bringing back a lot the feel of the original D&D game while preserving most of the enhancements that the d20 game provides.

To accomplish this we will use the Players Handbook v3.5 (abbreviated here as PHB), with some modifications. The major changes are:

No Multiclass characters. You will be playing iconic D&D characters. These are the 11 core classes, without regard to race or sex, with each class being the “typical” stereotype character for that class.

No Feats. Each character class has its own set of special abilities; additional abilities are added as the character advances in level.

No selection and distribution of Skill Points. You get a set of core skills by class. These increase as you increase in level.

No Proficiencies. You can use the weapons and armor you start with and can quickly learn to use others in-campaign.

No Alignment. Or, more accurately, there are no alignment related game rules and effects. Character alignment is optional.  We will substitute “Unholy” for “Evil” in most Clerical spells and effects.

No separate rules for Bull rush, Disarm, Overrun, Sunder or Trip. These are replaced with one simple “heroic actions” mechanic.

No Attacks of Opportunity. Characters are required to make an ability check (a “heroic action”) to attempt to pass through a threatened square, or perform non-attack actions within a threatened square. This eliminates the need for Attacks of Opportunity.

Rules for Grapple, Turn Undead, nonlethal damage and Counterspells have all been simplified.

This document is not intended to replace the PHB, but to supplement it. Many of the rules from the PHB have been repeated here for convince. Wherever something is mentioned for which I haven’t provided adequate information (Darkvision for instance) refer to the PHB.

You can download a free copy of this PDF file here: Dungeon-n-Dragon-Lite

The above file contains a Character Record Sheet, but here it is as a seperate PDF file: Character Sheet

Here are some Fast-Play Character Sheets.

Hare is an Animal Companion / Familiar Character Sheet.

Corrections and changes are  posted in this addendum.

As always, I would greatly appreciate any comments or suggestions.

5 responses to “Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 – Lite

  1. nikotin September 18, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Hi there, I found your blog via Google whilst searching for a comparable topic, your web site got here up, it looks good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  2. Nancy Hutchins July 18, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Planning on running a RPG for the first time, could not decided what system to use until I ran across this “Lite” version. Fantastic! Is there any chance on you posting an editable version of the Character Sheet?

    • Ronny July 18, 2016 at 6:31 pm

      Welcome to my site. I am glad you found something you like. I had a good time putting together my “Lite” version of 3.5. It plays faster and is somewhat simpler than the full 3.5 rules. As for as a fillable version of the character sheet, I am sorry but no. I am no longer playing this version and no longer support it. I have found that the latest version (fifth edition) is all I had hoped that the fourth edition would be. It addresses all of the problems that I had with v3.5 that resulted in my creation of this lite version.
      Let me strongly recommend that you play 5e instead of this lite version of 3.5. I do have a fillable version of the 5e character sheet that also does most of the math for you. You can download it here : http://wp.me/p2usJa-mP
      You can download the basic 5e rules for free. They kinda forgot about 4th edition and went back to 3rd edition, stripped it down to the basics and made it play faster and easier than before.
      The version you decide to play is entirely up to you. Whichever version you decide to go with, I hope that it brings you as much enjoyment as it has me. Have fun and let me know how it goes.

      • Nancy Hutchins July 18, 2016 at 6:43 pm

        Thank you for the quick response! I am going to stick with 3.5. A) I played that version with my son and B) I have all the books for it already.

      • Ronny July 18, 2016 at 9:32 pm

        I understand completely. Let me know how my lite rules work for you. Perhaps a post after your first game with a brief synopsis. – Happy Gaming –

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