House Rules

Player's Handbook:

Material Spell Components:

Edited - everyone happy with this?
- Craigo

Any material components that are consumed by the act of spellcasting are removed from the game. For example, the Magic Mirror spell has components including a 1000gp silver mirror that survives the casting, and an eagle's eye, nitric acid, copper & zinc that are consumed. In our world, the only required material component is the mirror. This saves getting tied up in maintaining enormous inventories of spell components and makes combat DMing smoother. We also feel that it balances out the benefits/costs of being a mage in the game system.

Attacking with Two Weapons:

The modifications/clarifications outlined here form the base rules for two-weapon fighting. The Player's Option books expand the rules further; see below for details.

PHB (p127) is modified as follows: "The secondary weapon must be at least one size smaller than the primary weapon - unless the primary weapon is at least one size smaller than the character's racial size, in which case the secondary weapon can be up to the same size as the primary weapon". This is more consistent with the two-weapon fighting rules as set out in Skills & Powers (p117), and expands the rule to cover characters and creatures larger than size M. A half-ogre using two long swords is now treated the same as a human using two short swords.

Examples of allowable two-weapon combinations for a halfling (size S) include: short sword & dagger, short sword & knife, dagger & dagger.

Examples of allowable two-weapon combinations for a human (size M) include: long sword & short sword, long sword & dagger, short sword & short sword.

Examples of allowable two-weapon combinations for a half-ogre (size L) include: two-handed sword & long sword, two-handed sword & short sword, long sword & long sword.

The to-hit penalties for attacking with two weapons remain the same; -2 for the primary weapon and -4 for the secondary weapon. These penalties can be either partially or completely offset with a positive reaction bonus due to high Dexterity(/Balance), the Ambidexterity trait, and/or the Two Weapon Style specialisation (see below).

THAC0 Tables:

The Priest THAC0 table is amended such that every third level (3, 6, 9 etc.) is 1 less than listed, i.e.

Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
THAC0 20 20 19 18 18 17 16 16 15 14

This is done for two reasons:

  • It makes the Priest's THAC0 advancement smoother.
  • It deals with the weird event where a 3rd level Rogue has a better THAC0 than a 3rd level Priest. At 6th and 9th level, they are the same and the poor Priest only finally overtakes the rogue for good at 12th level.

Dungeon Master's Guide:

Monster THAC0:

I see no reason why monsters should not progress at the same rate as fighters. Therefore, the Monster THAC0 table is amended such that THAC0 reduces by 1 per hit die, as opposed to 2 per 2 hit die, i.e.

Hit Dice ½ or less 1-1 1+ 2+ 3+ 4+ 5+ 6+ 7+ 8+ 9+ 10+
THAC0 20 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10

An easy way to calculate monster THAC0 is to subtract the monster's hit dice from 20.

Player’s Option:

Ability Scores:

It is our experience that a 1st level character with a Strength/Muscle score of 20 (+3 to hit, +8 damage) unbalances the game. Therefore, the exception whereby Strength subabilities may exceed 18 is removed. Put differently, Strength subabilities (like any other subability) may only exceed 18 if a racial modifier is applied.

Classes:

Fighter
Multiple Specialisation also allows the character to choose multiple Weapons of Choice. Note however, it does not allow multiple Weapon Mastery.

Ranger
The Ranger's Two-Weapon Style class ability (Skills & Powers p51) is modified as follows. The ability costs 5/7CP. It is similar to, but separate from the Two Weapon Style Specialisation rules (Skills & Powers p117). The entry-level ability costs 5CP and can only be purchased at the start of the Ranger's career. It completely negates the standard two-weapon to-hit penalties (i.e -2 / -4 becomes +0 / +0), but only if (a) the Ranger wears studded leather (or lighter) armour; and (b) the Ranger adheres to the standard two-weapon size restrictions. If purchased for 7CP, it also includes the ability to wield weapons of equal size; i.e. restriction (b) is lifted.

The Two-Weapon Style Specialisation weapon proficiency costs a Ranger 2CP at any time in the Ranger's career. It only partially offsets the standard two-weapon to-hit penalties (i.e. -2 / -4 becomes +0 / -2), and can be used with any armour. It can be upgraded as per the normal rules.

A Ranger is able to purchase both abilities. However, there are few cases where it is particularly advantageous to do so.

Please also see the notes on the Two-Weapon Style Specialisation weapon proficiency below.

Multi-Classed Characters:

A multi-classed character gains additional proficiencies at the fastest rate based on their classes (i.e. the lowest "#levels" number for their given classes). Use the character's highest class level (i.e. the class that advances levels the fastest) to determine when the proficiency is gained. For example, a Fighter/Thief gains a weapon proficiency per 3 levels and a nonweapon proficiency per 3 levels. The character uses whichever class level gains the 3 levels first, i.e. their highest class level (in this case it will be at Thief levels 3, 6, 9 etc.)

Dual-Classed Characters:

These are largely just clarifications of the basic dual-class rules as set out in PHB (p62) and Skills & Powers (p63), with rules, guidelines and examples for situations where the standard rules are ambiguous.

Unless specifically condoned by the DM (and with exceptionally good reason), a dual-classed character may only purchase traits and disadvantages once, at the time of character creation. This is the one portion of the Player's Option character creation process that is not repeated when a character opts for another class under the dual-class rules.

When a dual-classed character changes classes, they get their bonus CPs for high Intelligence/Knowledge again.

The following rules apply to dual-classed characters whose current class is not a higher level than the maximum level in any of their previous classes:

  • If the character uses a THAC0 gained from any previous class, the character must abide by any weapon restrictions that the previous class imposes and additionally suffers XP penalties as detailed. A Cleric 7 / Thief 2 can opt to use the Cleric class' THAC0, but incurs XP penalties and cannot do so with a non-bludgeoning weapon.
  • If the character uses armour and/or shield available to a previous class but prohibited by the current class, the character suffers XP penalties as detailed. A Fighter 5 / Druid 2 can use chain mail, but incurs XP penalties in doing so. The same character may use a wooden shield without XP penalty, but not a metal shield.
  • If the character uses any weapon proficiencies gained from any previous class, the character suffers XP penalties as detailed. A Cleric 5 / Thief 2 can use their club proficiency gained as a Cleric, but incurs XP penalties in doing so. Note that the character may purchase a weapon proficiency again, under the current class rules, to avoid the XP penalty - so long as they use the skill level as purchased in the current class (i.e. the character must use the THAC0 of the current class). Alternatively, the character may use a weapon in which proficiency was gained in a previous class, provided they do not use that weapon with any proficiencies gained from previous classes. The character chooses to operate under the standard weapon restrictions, non-proficiency and/or familiarity rules for their current class. A Mage 6 / Thief 3 who purchased the quarterstaff proficiency as a Mage (and has not re-purchased it as a Thief) may, without XP penalty, use a club as a non-proficient Thief.
  • If the character uses any non-weapon proficiencies gained from any previous class, they suffer XP penalties as detailed. The only exception to this rule is for non-weapon proficiencies from the General table - the character is able to access these proficiencies without penalty. Note that the character may purchase a non-General non-weapon proficiency again, under the current class rules, to avoid the XP penalty - so long as they use the skill level as purchased in the current class (i.e. the character must use the proficiency level as purchased in the current class). A Thief 5 / Mage 2 can use their Tumbling proficiency gained as a Thief, but incurs XP penalties in doing so. The same character may use their Modern Languages (Elf) proficiency gained as a Thief without penalty.

The following rules apply to dual-classed characters whose current class is a higher level than the maximum level in any of their previous classes:

  • The character can use any weapon proficiency gained from any class, except if one of their classes is a Priest class that imposes weapon restrictions. In this case, the character is restricted to weapons allowable to the Priest class. A Cleric 3 / Fighter 2 may become proficient (and even specialise) in an edged weapon, but as soon as the character becomes a Cleric 3 / Fighter 4 (and the Cleric abilities become available without penalty), the character cannot use that weapon.
  • The character uses the best THAC0 from any class.
  • The character can use any non-weapon proficiency gained from any class. Any non-weapon proficiency purchased multiple times under different classes has a proficiency level equal to the initial rating plus any character points spent from any class on improving the proficiency. The character wastes character points by purchasing the proficiency twice, but any character points spent in any class on improving the proficiency are not wasted.
  • The character uses the best saving throw gained from any class.
  • The character must still abide by any class-related armour restrictions incurred when using any class-related abilities, except for THAC0 and saving throws. For example, a Thief 3 / Cleric 12 must use the Thief armour rules while moving silently or backstabbing, but not when swinging their long sword. A Cleric 3 / Mage 4 can wear armour while casting priest spells, but not wizard spells. Note that some class abilities are exempt from this rule. The Immunity to Charm class ability of a Fighter 4 / Druid 5 is not impaired while wearing chain mail, but their Shapechange class ability is. Judge each ability on a case-by-case basis.

Kits:

The recommended non-weapon proficiencies list for the Spy kit (Skills & Powers p82) is expanded to include Observation (Spells & Magic p61).

The recommended non-weapon proficiencies list for the Mystic kit (Skills & Powers p74) is expanded to include Orienteering (Skills & Powers p101).

Traits:

The Ambidexterity trait (Skills & Powers p106) reduces the two-weapon to-hit penalties to -2 (primary) / -2 (secondary); i.e. it provides a +2 bonus to offset the secondary hand to-hit penalty, but provides no bonus to alter the primary hand's to-hit penalty. This then agrees with the rules introduced in Combat & Tactics (p78), in which Ambidexterity is described as having "two primary hands". In other words, the Ambidexterity trait confers a to-hit bonus of +0 / +2 to offset the standard -2 / -4 penalties for two-weapon fighting. See also the Two Weapon Style Specialisation weapon proficiency below.

Weapon Proficiencies:

Tight and Broad Weapon Group Proficiencies
Warriors can "upgrade" a tight group to a broad group by the expenditure of one additional weapon proficiency slot or 2CP.

Shield Proficiency
A Shield proficiency costs warriors one weapon proficiency slot (2CP). Non-warriors pay two weapon proficiency slots (6CP) for a Shield proficiency. Combat & Tactics (p72) makes no such distinction between warriors and non-warriors, whereas Skills & Powers (p115) does. The Skills & Powers ruling takes precedence, as it was written after the Combat & Tactics ruling. Additionally, the Combat & Tactics volume is quite obviously warrior-focused and as such, its ruling on Shield proficiencies possibly didn't consider non-warrior classes.

Weapon of Choice / Weapon Expertise / Weapon Specialisation
Characters can have only one Weapon of Choice. The only exceptions are as follows:

  • Dual-classed characters can have one Weapon of Choice per class.
  • Fighters that purchase the Multiple Specialisation class ability can choose multiple Weapons of Choice in addition to multiple Weapon Specialisations. The character point cost must be met for each individual item as per normal.

Weapon Expertise is considered as "specialisation for those characters that couldn’t otherwise specialise". Hence, characters can have only one Weapon Expertise. The only exceptions are:

  • Dual-classed characters can have one Weapon Expertise per class.
  • Fighters that purchased Multiple Specialisation as a class ability can have as many Weapon Expertises and/or Weapon Specialisations as they like. Such a character is likely to choose multiple Weapon Specialisations over multiple Weapon Expertises, as they provide more benefit to the character.

A character (or each character class for a dual-classed character) without the Multiple Specialisation class ability can have both one Weapon of Choice, and one of either Weapon Expertise or Weapon Specialisation (the latter only being available if purchased as a class ability).

A Fighter (or Fighter class of a dual-classed character) that has purchased the Multiple Specialisation class ability can have as many Weapons of Choice, and as many Weapon Expertises or Weapon Specialisations as they like.

The Weapon of Choice, Weapon Expertise and Weapon Specialisation abilities can be tied to the same weapon, or they can be tied to different weapons.

The number of attacks per round granted by Weapon Expertise or Weapon Specialisation is always determined by the class and level in which it was purchased.

Weapon Style Specialisations
A non-fighter dual-classed character can learn one fighting style specialisation per class.

The Two-Weapon Style Specialisation rules from Skills & Powers (p117) take precedence over those from Combat & Tactics (p77), and build upon the modified base rules for two-weapon fighting (see Player's Handbook - Attacking with Two Weapons, above). A medium-sized character who wants to offset the standard two-weapon to-hit penalties while using two short swords is able to do so with the first level of this style specialisation, i.e. it does not cost an additional 2CP. If the same character wanted to use two long swords, the additional 2CP would need to be spent. Note that the option to use two short swords without the Two-Weapon Style Specialisation is open to the character, albeit with the standard two-weapon to-hit penalties. The option to use two long swords is impossible without the upgraded Two-Weapon Style Specialisation.

The rule for allowable weapon sizes for the first level of the Two Weapon Style Specialisation remains the same as the modified PHB rule: "The secondary weapon must be at least one size smaller than the primary weapon - unless the primary weapon is at least one size smaller than the character's racial size, in which case the secondary weapon can be up to the same size as the primary weapon". The additional 2CP allows the character to wield two weapons of equal size, so long as each is able to be wielded with one hand.

The Two Weapon Style Specialisation confers a to-hit bonus of +2 / +2 to offset the standard -2 / -4 penalties for two-weapon fighting. Combining the Two Weapon Style Specialisation with the Ambidexterity trait confers a to-hit bonus of +2 / +4 to offset the standard -2 / -4 penalties for two-weapon fighting; i.e. it completely negates the standard two-weapon penalties.

Equipment:

  • A short sword costs 10gp, not 15gp (kept consistent with the PHB).
  • Rogues can use rapiers.

Delayed Acquisition of Abilities:

A character receives no CP benefit by delaying an ability to a level that the ability would ordinarily start at. However, the ability may be further delayed, awarding the character 1CP per additional 2 levels of delay.

The rule stating that no ability may be delayed longer than 11th level is modified to say that no ability may be delayed more than 10 levels.

For example, there is no CP award for a Priest "delaying" Weapon Specialisation to 5th level, as that is the minimum level at which a Priest may specialise anyway. The character may opt to delay Weapon Specialisation to 7th level however, for an additional 1CP (not 4), or may delay to a maximum of 15th level, saving 5CP (total cost 1CP).

Other:

Critical Hits & Fumbles:

Critical Hit
If a character rolls a natural 20 to-hit and hits the target, then there is a chance for the successful attack to score a Critical Hit. The character makes another to-hit roll. If the second roll is successful, then the attack scores a Critical Hit, and scores double damage dice. If the second roll misses, the attack is a standard successful hit and damage is calculated normally. If the second roll is another natural 20, then the character makes an additional to-hit roll to determine if the hit scores triple damage dice (and so on).

For example, Aluwet the 4th level Cleric with 17 Strength attacks a gnoll with his footman’s mace. Aluwet’s adjusted THAC0 is 17, his mace does 1d6+1 damage to the gnoll, plus an extra 1 point for high Strength. The gnoll is AC4. Aluwet rolls a natural 20 - a hit! Aluwet rolls again and rolls a 13 - a second hit (just). The hit scores [ (1d6+1) x 2 ] + 1 points of damage.

Fumble
If a character rolls a natural 1 to-hit, then there is a chance for the character to Fumble. The character makes another to-hit roll. If the second roll is successful, then the attack is a standard miss and the character suffers no additional disadvantage. If the second roll misses, the failed attack is considered a Fumble. The result of a Fumble is generally left to the discretion of the DM, and is often related to the degree by which the character failed the second roll. Various results include dropping a weapon close by, throwing a weapon, tripping & falling, wrenching a muscle, hitting yourself, hitting a companion, etc. If the second roll is another natural 1, then the character had better make sure their life insurance premiums are up-to-date!

For example, Aluwet later attacks an ogre, whose AC is 3. He unfortunately rolls a natural 1. Aluwet rolls again and rolls a 13 - a near miss. The DM decides that because the roll was failed by a small margin, the effects are minimal - Aluwet has hit a neighbouring wall, jarred his hand and has consequently dropped his mace at his feet.

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