Building a Museum
These are the house rules for my campaign. I picked these after a lot of thought towards how they will affect the game, and how easy they are to implement. They allow for a lot of character customization, and they bridge the gap a bit between melee and casters as well as helping out the fighter and monk classes. The main thing I was aiming for with these was to add a bit more power to help compensate for the way I plan on building and playing the bad guys, also to add a bit more fun to the game. That being said, while I am DMing, I am DMing for you guys. If you don’t want any of these house rules feel free to address it and we can drop some of em. Also, several of these houserules are things we already do, I just wanted to put them in writing so we don’t get confused on if a 1 is an auto miss or a -10.
-Wheel of Time type time period. Post Age of Legends. I’ve borrowed a few terms that I think you guys are familiar with, dont hate. I’m not an author.
-E8 setting, fast xp track. Starting at level 1.
-Pathfinder PRD and dream scarred press material allowed. If you find something 3rd party you like, talk to me about it and I’ll work with you if I’m able to.
-If I think something is unbalanced I reserve the right to ask you to retrain or tone it down a bit.
-If you’re not playing a core race, get approval. LA is allowed on an approval basis. (Core race meaning Players handbook; the LA is applicable for if your character dies and you come back in level 2+)
- LA Buy off is allowed as follows. Things will go normally until level 4. You turn level three at 3300 xp. You turn level 4 at 6000 xp. Once you have 6000 xp you will pay 2700 xp to remove the LA from your character. This will put you back at the start of level 3 when the rest of the party will be level 4. Being a level behind means that you will gain xp faster than your fellow party members and you will catch up to the rest of the party at about level 6. This is to help compensate for the fact that a LA is helpful for about the first 5 levels, but after that it is a burden placed on a character because the racial traits are considerably less powerful than a class level at that point. (Once again, this is applicable if you bring in someone with LA after we’ve hit level 2.)
-Overall character mod of +8 (before racial mods). No single stat lower than an 8, or higher than an 19 before racial mods. Pick and choose what you want for your char. I.E. +2 str +4 Dex +4 con +0 int -1 wis – 1 cha = +8 char mod (protip: pick odd numbers for an easy stat boost). I picked a +8 bonus because I feel like that is a good place to sit. It is a bit less powerful than Jeromys campaign, but a bit more powerful than Wongs. If you guys would prefer a different number we can talk about it.
-At 4th level you gain +1 to two separate stats, and at 8th level you gain +1 to all stats.
-Two traits. Lets RP this bitch.
-Fractional BAB / Saves: Fractional saves/bab means that if you multiclass two classes that have partial AB advancement (for instance cleric and monk) you gain AB as if your levels were combined for the chart, instead of having your AB determined by your individual class levels. For instance a cleric 5/monk 5 by the PHB would have a 6 BAB, 3 from each class. This hurts your character because of the way partial AB works, the fractional AB rules mean that you would just look at the chart and total it up, meaning you have a 7 BAB exactly as if you had taken 10 levels in a single class with partial AB advancement. This is much easier to explain with a book in front of you, so if this is confusing I can explain it better then.
-When leveling for HP we will do so as follows.
• d6 will be treated as a d3+3
• d8 will be treated as a d4+4
• d10 will be treated as a d5+5
• d12 will be treated as a d6+6
-No XP penalties for multiclassing.
-If leveling in a class gives you a feat that you already have, then that class feature feat becomes an open feat. For instance, a character with a thrower build might have chosen Quick Draw before taking his first level of Master Thrower.
-One feat can be retrained upon level up; if you retrain any prereq for a feat then the feat you no longer meet the prereqs for is no longer usable.
-Three 20’s in a row is an insta kill if used by a PC. If used on a PC it automatically reduced the PC to -1 HP.
-Ignore encumbrance unless it gets silly.
-Spontaneous casters don’t take longer than normal to apply metamagic feats to spells.
-Monks: full BAB, use wisdom to hit (but still str for dmg), flurry as a standard action, Special Monk weapons deal damage equal to the Monk’s unarmed strike damage, Monk’s can enchant their body at the same cost of enchanting a weapon thru an 8 hour meditation process using expensive incense.
-Fighters: Ignore the printed bonus feat acquisition table. Fighters gain a bonus feat at first level and again at every even level.
-For saves and attack rolls a 1 is equal to a -10, and a 20 is equal to a 30.
-All healing spells can be treated as though they were maximized (per the metamagic feat Maximize) at the cost of increasing their cast time to 1 minute.
-Full attack is a standard action.
-Plane shifting is out.
-Teleport and Greater Teleport (as well as the psionic counterparts) is non-combat only
-Deities and outsiders are fickle. Sometimes they will answer commune spells, sometimes they won’t.
-If you roll more than 4 dice, average dmg is encouraged (but not mandatory).
-WTF tokens will be used for the standard purpose, or for any of the uses listed under the hero point system.
• Act Out of Turn: You can spend a hero point to take your turn immediately. Treat this as a readied action, moving your initiative to just before the currently acting creature. You may only take a move or a standard action on this turn.
• Bonus: If used before a roll is made, a hero point grants you a + 8 luck bonus to any one d20 roll. If used after a roll is made, this bonus is reduced to + 4. You can use a hero point to grant this bonus to another character, as long as you are in the same location and your character can reasonably affect the outcome of the roll (such as distracting a monster, shouting words of encouragement, or otherwise aiding another with the check). Hero points spent to aid another character grant only half the listed bonus (+ 4 before the roll, + 2 after the roll).
• Extra Action: You can spend a hero point on your turn to gain an additional standard or move action this turn.
• Inspiration: If you feel stuck at one point in the adventure, you can spend a hero point and petition the GM for a hint about what to do next. If the GM feels that there is no information to be gained, the hero point is not spent.
• Recall: You can spend a hero point to recall a spell you have already cast or to gain another use of a special ability that is otherwise limited. This should only be used on spells and abilities possessed by your character that recharge on a daily basis.
• Reroll: You may spend a hero point to reroll any one d20 roll you just made. You must take the results of the second roll, even if it is worse.
• Special: You can petition the GM to allow a hero point to be used to attempt nearly anything that would normally be almost impossible. Such uses are not guaranteed and should be considered carefully by the GM. Possibilities include casting a single spell that is one level higher than you could normally cast (or a 1st-level spell if you are not a spellcaster), making an attack that blinds a foe or bypasses its damage reduction entirely, or attempting to use Diplomacy to convince a raging dragon to give up its attack. Regardless of the desired action, the attempt should be accompanied by a difficult check or penalty on the attack roll. No additional hero points may be spent on such an attempt, either by the character or her allies.
• Cheat Death: A character can spend 2 hero points to cheat death. How this plays out is up to the GM, but generally the character is left alive, with negative hit points but stable. For example, a character is about to be slain by a critical hit from an arrow. If the character spends 2 hero points, the GM decides that the arrow pierced the character’s holy symbol, reducing the damage enough to prevent him from being killed, and that he made his stabilization roll at the end of his turn. Cheating death is the only way for a character to spend more than 1 hero point in a turn. The character can spend hero points in this way to prevent the death of a familiar, animal companion, eidolon, or special mount, but not another character or NPC.
I’ve given a lot of thought to all of these house rules and I feel like they will add a lot to our game, for the most part they’re pretty simple but if there are any you guys don’t like, or any you’d like to add then feel free to talk to me. Also, feel free to ask if you’d like me to explain my reasoning for one of them. A good gentleman’s agreement to have is to be transparent in your character. In the past Galin/Lawrence/I have built character that we didn’t show anyone and then they go from doing like 11 dmg / round to 1100 dmg/ round or some shit at level 13. I’d prefer if that didn’t happen. If I don’t know what to plan for then I’m going to end up over compensating on the fly and then people will die. I don’t plan on pulling any punches here, but I’m not aiming to kill you.
Our story begins with each of you as young men. You were recruited from your various farms and villages as young men with the potential to earn yourselves a life of prestige and a hefty fortune. You were recruited by a guild known as the Hand. Make no mistake, you are not members of the guild, but you are employed by it. The Hand is made up by the most intelligent and the wealthiest members of society. They have decided that they will be the ones responsible for bringing the world back to the status of the Age of Legends. Their basic game plan is to recruit young men who show a certain level of aptitude and offer them more money than they will ever earn on a farm. They take these young men and give them basic training and send them off to explore ruins of lost cities or down into the deepest caves to reclaim lost knowledge, lost artifacts, and the secrets to the magic from the Age of Legends. The standard agreement is that you’re given a 300 gp bonus up front, and 3 months of training. After you’ve proven your worth by finishing your first mission things become much more relaxed. You’re required to work 1 mission per month while you are in the guilds employments, and when you come for your mission they will typically have two or three missions to choose from. Once you pick a mission they will supply you the information of where to go, and what they’re looking for. You bring back what they’re looking for and you get to keep anything else you’ve plundered (it works a bit differently for the first mission. For the first mission you keep all of the mundane items, but turn in all of the magical items to the guild for them to recoup [and turn a profit on] their initial 300 gp advance). If you decide to sell any of the other loot the guild gets first dibs on buying it at 50% of book value. There have been times where people were sent on missions to reclaim things and they decided to keep them instead of turning it into the guild. They were made examples of, and the guild currently has every item that it has send teams looking for. After a bit of training you’ve all been deemed able bodied young adventurers and called to the briefing room to get your first mission. This is where we’ll start.
What I would like to do from here is use this as the basic plot hook for our campaign. We can use this as a basis to keep you guys out adventuring, kicking in doors, smashing stuff and getting loot, while it gives me a bit of time to build a bit of confidence in DMing. If you guys don’t like the way it’s working, you’re free to either run away from the guild and risk their wrath for the money they paid you up front, or stay long enough to have earned the guild enough money to cover what they spent paying you and giving you training. I plan on this being a relatively open world type campaign, where you guys are more or less free to do anything you’d like. I want it to be low stress, low commitment type things where you have the option to either stay and risk your life for the cause, or bail because the magic sword isn’t worth dying for. If you guys have anything you’d like to see, be it dungeon crawls or raids on established outposts or whatever, just let me know and I’ll find a way to work it into a mission. Give you guys a bit of a chance to try out some tactics. In a perfect world, I’d like you guys to have a level in advance planned out. Especially at low levels it should only take like 5 minutes to level if you have your next feat and new spells picked out. More or less just write it on the char sheet and roll HP. This will allow me to give a level (if it’s been earned) if I’ve miscalculated a CR and you guys are getting beaten down in a dungeon. Dnd is a game that greatly rewards prep work, and I feel like that’s a good idea. The more you prep, the more I’ll work with you to help you build a character you like. Feel free to plan more than a level in advance, but at the same time remember that there are those who aren’t going to be planning everything out. Don’t built Pun-Pun in a campaign that is low-to-mid OP level. And don’t get your feelings hurt if I ask you to step it back a notch or two.