A Masked Robot wrote:First, do ability scores increase when a character advances?
No. But I know some might House Rule such an occurrence into their game. Third edition's one point every 4 levels is reasonable, and I don't think it would unreasonably break balance, especially when one uses 3d6 in order to make characters. Using more liberal methods (creating already more powerful characters) may need to be considered carefully with such a house rule.
A Masked Robot wrote:Second, does a magic-user/cleric prepare each individual spell? (In other words, would a level 3 cleric be able to prepare, say, Cure Light Wounds and Detect Evil OR two instances of Cure Light Wounds, but not both?)
A spellcaster prepares each spell individually, so your 3rd level cleric could memorize 2 instances of Cure Light Wounds, or 1 instance of Cure Light Wounds and 1 instance of Detect Evil.
Various house rules may exist that tweak this area. For instance, I tend to allow Clerics to spontaneous cast certain spells instead of their normal memorized choice, but this may vary with the deity or mythos. For instance a God of Healing may in fact be able to cast Cure Light Wounds instead of their otherwise memorized spells (using up one of those spells). A God of Death & Destruction might only be able to cast Cause Light Wounds (reversed version of Cure). For Magic Users, if one prefers, the Sorcerer Supplement (in Dungeoneer's Almanack) is more of a spontaneous caster which may be a good choice for a player who desires that kind of arrangement.
A Masked Robot wrote:And third, is there anything else I'm missing?
Of course! even gamers from ages almost forgotten still find things to question and discuss.
A Masked Robot wrote:My apologies for these extraordinarily newbish questions. I hope I haven't been too annoying!
No apologies necessary. Welcome!!!