House Rules (These are currently out of date. The links to races and classes are fine, as well as character creation information)Herein lays a complete list of house rules as ran by Wes, updated to the date listed above.
• All Standard WotC, non-level adjustment.
• Level adjustments may be permitted at higher levels
• Custom races will be examined on a case by case basis
• Human Paragon
Submit a background about your character. Keep it fairly generic and we can negotiate details (town names, etc.). We can discuss specifics before submitting the background, too.
Limit: 3 backgrounds. Background elements can be compounded for greater benefit. Backgrounds may be used to get small benefits, such as +1 or +2 skill points, or combined to get +1 to a low attribute or a feat-like ability. Backgrounds can also be used to acquire wealth (up to 250 gold per).
For players who don’t write well or don’t care to negotiate an elaborate background, simply choose three important historic events that helped shape your character and I’ll assign decent (but minimal) benefits based on them.
Players may take inspiration (or use) Pathfinder traits, found here: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/traits/traits-db
Gaining Level Adjustments and Templates
If your character dies, you may replace him or her with a new character (when plot allows) 1 level lower than the average level of the group. This may allow you to play a level-adjusted race or even start with a template. These will require backstory explanations and must be considered balanced for the current group. If the group is level 19 and has all UBER gear, having the Paragon template makes much more sense than at level 11 with decent stuff, for example. Otherwise, you may earn templates and become new, more interesting, races through roleplay. If you want to see what can happen, try stepping into a Chaos Field a few times. Who knows, you might not turn into mush or grow a penis on your forehead.
Because our games are story and plot oriented, players can quest for anything at one point or another; sometimes it just takes a really long time to earn that Paragon-Spell-Stealing-Uber-Drow template-class-race of doomy-woomy.
Prior to the first session, I require a full copy of your character sheet in my email. This should include all of your characters special powers and abilities.
We now allow most of the classes and prestige classes from Pathfinder, but only on a case-by-case basis.
Concentration checks made to cast a spell when threatened have been made more challenging. The DC is now 10 + 2X spell level.
We now allow most of the spells from Pathfinder, but only on a case-by-case basis.
Spell-casters may cast an unlimited number of 0 level spells.
We now allow most of the feats from Pathfinder, but only on a case-by-case basis. We are using 3.5 item creation feats and rules.
All characters begin with a base of 4 skill points (rather than 2 for Barbarians, etc.). Characters who start with fewer than 10 skill points have their skill points increased to 10.
- Speak Language, Decipher Script, and Forgery have been combined into Linguistics. It is intelligence based and if any of the three skills are class, Linguistics is, too.
- Diplomacy and Gather Information have been rolled into Diplomacy. If either was a class skill before, Diplomacy remains one now. They are charisma based.
- Search, Spot and Listen have been combined into one skill called “Perception” – it is wisdom based and replaces “Search” when considering whether the skill is class or cross-class.
- Hide and Move Silent are “Stealth” and any class that treats Hide as a class skill qualifies for the new skill as class. Rules for these combined skills remain applicable as normal.
- Balance and Tumble are “Acrobatics” and any class that treats Balance or Tumble as a class skill qualifies for the new skill as class. Rules for these combined skills remain applicable as normal.
- Climb, Swim, and Jump are “Athletics” and any class that treats Climb or Swim, or Jump as a class skill qualifies for the new skill as class. Rules for these combined skills remain applicable as normal.
- Having at least 1 rank in Knowledge: History grants you access to the historical timeline overview of your starting region. Ranks in knowledge: history (location) are required for insight into other locations.
- Having at least 1 rank in Knowledge: Religion grants you access to a list of the gods, their dispositions and their domains.
- Having at least 1 rank in Knowledge: Laws (location) grants you access to an overview of the laws of a region.
The Heal skill the following additional traits, treated like skill tricks, however each does not count against your skill trick maximum and costs 2 skill points to purchase:
Immediate Care: So long as you perform a heal check (DC = 15) in the round following damage being dealt (doing so provokes an attack of opportunity), you reduce the overall damage suffered by up to 2.
Critical Care: You may perform critical care once a day on any creature whose hit points are below half. Making a critical care check requires you spend at least an hour tending the target and that you succeed at a DC 22 heal check. If you succeed at the check the recipient heals your wisdom bonus +2.
Knowledge: Tactics, Logistics and similar War-Based skills have been combined into Profession: Military Strategist – the benefits of which are listed below. Martial classes treat this skill as class.
Automatic Gold – Professions: Once a week, a player who spends at least 4 hours a day and has at least 1 rank in a profession skill may attempt to find work. In most cities, success is guaranteed and therefore not rolled; in other locations (thorps, hamlets and such) a luck check DC 12 (modified by circumstance) is required. If the player finds work, he earns 1 silver a week per his ranks in his profession skill. If he or she has a related craft skill, they earn an additional silver per 2 ranks had in that craft skill. Players who are not present for game sessions and who have ranks in professions are assumed (if they are in a city) to be working.
Automatic Gold – Mercenary Work: Players may hire themselves out as mercenaries; fighters as body guards and bouncers, rogues as locksmiths and spies, spell casters for consultations or research assistants, etc. In any city with an adventurers guild or an active population with an income per-capita over 5 silver a month (major cities), adventurers may spend an entire week hiring their services out for 1 gold per their level up to level 5, 2 gold per level from 6-10, 8 gold per level from 11-15, and 10 gold per level from 16-20. During this time the player has no control over his or her character. Players may hire themselves out for fractions of a week and reduce the appropriately reduced pay. In cities that do not offer great wealth, a luck check (DC 20) is required each week to find work.
Critical Skill Successes: A skill may critical if a player rolls a natural 20 and then meets the DC on a follow up roll, just like a weapon critical; such a success is considered a critical success. In the case of skills, unlike weapons, the two rolls are added together (the 20 + the new roll + your skill bonus).
h6. New Profession: Military Strategist
A Military Strategist is a student of war in all of its forms; from history to the application of formations and troop logistics to the management of resources. As a strategist you may attempt any of the following once a day:
DC 12: You spend a few minutes during the day to review current movement practices for ways to increase efficiency. If you succeed at your skill check, you increase overall troop movement by 10% for the day. Functionally this adds 5 miles a day to cavalry, 2 miles to infantry, 1 mile to a heavily laden force, and 3 miles to the standard adventuring party.
DC 15: After spending a minute speaking with your troops (or troop captains if your army is large) you may make a check to improve morale. If you succeed, the morale of your army is increased by 1 step, troops gain a +2 moral bonus to attacks, saves and AC. This benefit lasts for 1 minute, + 1 minute per 2 you make the DC by. Functionally, this can be used to provide a quick boost to allies during combat.
DC 18: So long as you have a full hour to study terrain and speak with your troops, or allies, about tactics – benefits from using tactics, such as flanking or maneuver-based feats increased by 1 for the remainder of the combat.
Dice Rolling Rules
- Clear View: All dice must be rolled in clear view of those on the table; they must be rolled in an unobstructed state.
- Dice at Rest: All dice must remain at rest when you call their results out; do not pick them up until the total check is calculated. Picking dice up immediately after a roll, before calculating a total will constitute a reason for a re-roll, no matter the result. Once dice come to rest, your action cannot be taken back. If you roll, there is no “ret-conning.”
- Be Honest, Even After the Fact: Mistakes happen; if you notice a mistake has been made (such as you having cast your 6th fireball out of 4 for the day), let the GM know – you will never suffer dire consequences for honesty (in this example, a small experience penalty is likely, not a ret-con).
h6. General Rules
- Next Life: If you have died in a campaign, you may not play the same class in that campaign immediately thereafter. You may not play the same race three times in a row.
- Joining a Game: New players will not start at the level of the established group. A new player will start with 75% of the average party experience, not including bonus experience, with appropriate gold for their level. Magical equipment will be negotiated for.
- Missing Sessions: Characters who miss sessions will be given 50 experience times their character level per missed session for “side adventures” their character was embarking on during the down time. If there is a significant difference in levels when you rejoin the game, you may gain up to 1 free level to help catch you up.
- Collaborative: I restrict only the chaotic/evil alignment. All other alignments are allowed, however I strongly encourage group participation in character creation. This does not mean each player needs to “tell-all” to the other players (I like a degree of mystery), but generally knowing that Wes is playing a “Fighter type” will help others compliment him.
- Alignment: The alignment “non-aligned” is available; characters with that alignment are generally in it for themselves but not specifically evil and gain no benefits or penalties from alignment-based effects.
- Catching Up: If the game is at a place where you cannot easily join, or if you just want to catch up, you may request a special session or two just to catch you up.
- Clarification Rule: Any ruling of the GM may be questioned immediately when an event occurs. If a ruling is found wrong, a correction will (usually) be made in standing with the established rules. If another player’s initiative has come up, or a new scene has begun, there will be no “ret-conning.”
- Player Versus Player: I discourage but do not prevent player versus player encounters; sometimes they are inevitable. Player versus player death is all but final; only other players or some extremely rare NPCs can bring these dead back to life. I choose to make this more difficult to make the loss of a party member a bigger deal; if you choose to kill a party member, you must deal with the consequences of that loss.
- D20s: Whenever a player rolls a natural 20, they may store a 20 tally (max 2 per round) Players may store a number of natural 20 rolls equal to their luck bonus (minimum 1). One 20 tally may be spent to re-roll a skill or save. Two 20 tallies may be spent to reroll an attack or damage.
- Penalties: Sometimes players make mistakes; occasionally 8 words in a combat round becomes a strategic paragraph on top of combat actions. Sometimes players react on out of character information, in character. In these cases a small experience penalty will be levied a player simply to enforce rules without breaking the stride of the game – and will be revealed only to that player during experience handouts (generally no more than 10 experience X character level). If you have any questions about rules or what you might be penalized for, please let me know.
- Experience Pool: Players are only allowed to gain so much experience for any given act; leveling each session will be all but impossible. Any experience not spent for leveling is automatically placed in an experience pool that can be used to purchase maximum hit points, additional skill points, ability points, feats or to unlock special abilities. This is referred to as Bonus Experience.
- Natural 20: A natural 20 is treated as a 30 for the purposes of determining success (and does not generate an automatic success); a natural 20 automatically ignores any situational penalties due to previous actions in a round. A wide arc with a natural 20 allows the player to ignore the attack and damage penalty for a single creature on top of counting as a 30, for example.
- Natural 1: Natural 1s are always treated as -10 for the purposes of determining success. If your total score is less than 1, a luck roll is required for potential botch or self-damaging results.
- Skill Criticals: If you roll a natural 20 on a skill check do not treat it as a 30; instead, roll again. Add the results of the subsequent roll to your total check.
Experience and Alternative Rewards
Experience and Bonus experience are awarded for Combat and Roleplay, with combat being about 60-70% of the award and roleplay being subjective. Most roleplay experience goes toward the bonus pool.
Tallies may be awarded for particular acts that go above and beyond the norm. These tallies may be called many things (awesomesauce, cool points, etc.) They can be turned in for a reward at any time, subject to GM discretion. 5 such points (for example) can be turned in after a character dies to have your next character have 100% of the experience as your previous.
We award experience at the end of the game; everyone gets an equal share of combat experience, and penalty experience individually awarded via notes. Penalty experience is usually only awarded for breaking character and giving things away that are crucial to combat/plot.
Combat House Rules
- Stabilizing: Like Pathfinder, in these games, a Constitution check (DC 10) stabilizes a character.
- Declaration Rule: All combat oriented feats, class abilities etc that alter how damage would be dealt or your combat abilities (such as multi-shot, quick shot, maximize fireball or using a strange power I give you) must be declared before you know the results of your dice. If you do not declare it before, the power is not used (nor is the use wasted).
- Wide Arc: When multiple opponents are within the reach of a single attack (in a row, side-by side or otherwise logically in an arc-shaped attack), any character may attempt a wide arc (which must be designated prior to rolling the first attack check). A wide arc is a full round action that does provoke an attack of opportunity. When making a wide arc attack, roll to attack the first opponent at the beginning of the arc with a -2 penalty to attack and damage. If you hit, you may roll to hit the subsequent enemy with a -4 penalty to attack and damage. If you hit, the penalty for the subsequent enemy is -6 to attack and damage and so on (decreasing both attack and damage by 2 each time). If you miss any opponent your wide arc cannot continue to subsequent opponents in that round.
- Rules Checks: Rules checks are fine immediately before, during, or after an event – not after the next player begins his or her turn. GM always has final rule.
- OOC Comments: OOC Comments out of combat are much more okay than in combat; as a general rule, I prefer each person’s turn during combat to take no longer than 3 minutes. If OOC comments lead to an event happening that should not (I’ve got 3 fireball spells prepared, you really aughta duck) while your character is silenced, for example, I won’t mention anything but experience will be docked with a note at the end of the session. I realize that there are times when it makes sense from a tactical perspective to blurt something out – if you’re willing to risk the EXP for it, that’s fine.
- Player Death: You only die when you reach your constitution score in negative hit points. This exceeds and replaces the -10 rule. This also gives you more to heal in serious combat, so come prepared. Feats impacted by this rule will be modified as appropriate.
Magic House Rules:
Alternate Objects: Various objects and items can be used to automatically empower spells per the optional rules in the books.
Training anything other than maximum hit points takes time. To get the skill increase, your character must dedicate 4 hours a day for a week to skill training. Feats take 8 hours a day for two weeks. Re-training a feat, though it costs no experience, requires the same amount of training as a new feat. Ability score increases require 8 hours of training every day for 3 days per the new score. You may train anything, provided you have the experience for it. Supernatural, esoteric, or odd stuff may still require a trainer to educate you.
Note: You cannot “save” upgrades if you’ve leveled and pay the previous cost. If you adventure and train at the same time, you risk the chance of having to pay the additional cost of the new level and the chance to pick up additional skills/feats for the previous one.
Maximum Hit Points: Cost 250 experience times the new character level (500 at level 2, 750 at level 3, etc). You gain maximum hit points for your level without rolling.
New Feats: You may purchase an additional new feat for which you meet the prerequisites once each level in which you do not already gain a feat; class-specific bonus feats do not count against your allotment for this purpose. Feats cost 500 experience times your level.
Re-training Feats: You may re-train 1 feat each time you level. New feat selection may not invalidate a previous selection.
Ability Score Increases: You may increase 1 ability score once each level.
An ability score costs 500 experience points times your current level to increase it up to 12.
An ability score costs 1,000 experience points times your current level to increase it up to 14.
1,500 X current level up to 17
2,000 X current level up to 19
3,000 X current level up to 22.
4,000 X current level up to 24
8,000 X current level up to 26 etc.