Here’s a list of our house rules, from least to greatest in changes. Feel free to dispute them or make suggestions.
In order to gain a level, characters require X weeks of downtime where X is their new Effective Character Level. Downtime requires a location of safety and with access to general goods and services. A character who gains enough experience to level while adventuring will continue to accrue experience but not actually gain any new levels until they get some downtime.
Each class’s skill point allocation has been increased by two, so a Fighter receives 4+Int mod skill points per level, while a Rogue receives 10+Int mod.
Instead of rolling hit dice, characters and creatures gain the maximum hitpoints they could have rolled at each level.
Multiclassing and Favoured Classes
XP penalties gained from multiclassing are waived. There’s no sense in punishing diversity.
Instead of multiplying damage, a critical hit deals maximum damage (A longsword crit would automatically deal 8 points of damage, instead of 1d8). Weapons with increased threat ranges keep them, and weapons with critical multipliers above x2 (Such as a Greataxe or a Scythe) deals an extra 1d6 damage on a critical hit (So a weapon with a x3 multiplier like the greataxe deals 12 (maximum damage roll) +1d6 on an ordinary crit, while a scythe would deal 8 (maximum damage roll) +2d6 on an ordinary crit).
Death and Dying
We have adopted the 3.5 version of the 4th edition Death and Dying rules suggested in one of the Design and Development articles on the WotC website, rather than the ever fun “Bleed to death while failing to stabilize” system currently in place. The rules in question read as follows:
“If you want to try out a version of this system in your current game, try the following house rule. It’s not quite the 4th Edition system, but it should give you an idea of how it’ll feel.
- At 0 hp or less, you fall unconscious and are dying.
Any damage dealt to a dying character is applied normally, and might kill him if it reduces his hit points far enough (see #2).
- Characters die when their negative hit point total reaches -10 or one-quarter of their full normal hit points, whichever is a larger value.
This is less than a 4th Edition character would have, but each monster attack is dealing a smaller fraction of the character’s total hit points, so it should be reasonable. If it feels too small, increase it to one-third full normal hit points and try again.
- If you’re dying at the end of your turn, roll 1d20.
Lower than 10: You get worse. If you get this result three times before you are healed or stabilized (as per the Heal skill), you die.
10-19: No change.
20: You get better! You wake up with hit points equal to one-quarter your full normal hit points.
- If a character with negative hit points receives healing, he returns to 0 hp before any healing is applied.
In other words, he’ll wake up again with hit points equal to the healing provided by the effect—a cure light wounds spell for 7 hp will bring any dying character back to 7 hp, no matter what his negative hit point total had reached.)
- A dying character who’s been stabilized (via the Heal skill) doesn’t roll a d20 at the end of his turn unless he takes more damage."
Characters gain one feat at first level and every even level beyond that, instead of the traditional feat progression.
All creatures with more than three hit dice or levels receive a +1 enhancement bonus to any weapon, shield, and armor used. This bonus increases by +1 for every four hit dice or levels the creature has, to a maximum of +10 (so +2 at level 7, +3 at level 11, etc). This bonus persists only so long as the character wields the item in question, a general rule of thumb being that if you are gaining the bonus from it (ie. dealing damage with the weapon, or gaining an armor/shield bonus from the protective item), you gain the enhancement bonus. This bonus does apply to unarmed attacks if you have the Improved Unarmed Strike feat (and are thus considered armed), but it does not apply to clothing or other items that do not provide an armor or shield bonus to AC. It also applies to natural attacks made by the character in question. As with all other typed bonuses, this enhancement bonus does not stack with other bonuses of the same kind, such as those from Magic Weapon, Magic Vestment, or Spikes. Instead, they overlap as usual, and you simply take the highest bonus.
Since everyone past level 3 will have a +1 enhancement bonus with any weapon, shield, or armor they use, it makes sense to remove the minimum +1 enhancement bonus normally required for an item to have any other special abilities. The item must still be masterwork. Specific items, such as the nine lives stealer or holy avenger must still be created according to their formulas.
Instead of bonus xp being awarded for roleplaying, I will periodically award Bennies (singular “Benny”) instead. They should be recorded on your character sheet, and may be spent to either reroll a single roll of any kind, or to add a +4 to something already rolled. Only one Benny may be spent on a single roll. The final function of Bennies is to seize control of the narrative briefly. If a player is looking for a hiding place, for example, they may spend a Benny to find one, within reason.
The Player Vote
At the end of each session, any player may make a motion to call for a player vote to recognize the a particularly good session or action by one of the players at the table. Only one such vote may be called per session, and names are never to be used. Votes are conducted anonymously, and the winner’s character is awarded xp as if the party had defeated an encounter of its appropriate CR. In the event of a tie, the GM will act as a tiebreaker.
Having logs is something which I find very helpful for reviewing sessions and recapping. Unfortunately, given all the other things I’m doing during a session, I often don’t find the time to take the kind of notes which I’d like. Every session we’ll call for a volunteer to update the Adventure Journal, serving as an impartial scribe and providing a synopsis of the session. If the update is completed before the following session, that player’s character will be awarded their level x 50 experience points. Once a player has updated the journal, they may not volunteer again until all of the other players have updated it, unless every other player declines to update it for a session. This is to keep one PC from advancing a great deal faster than the others. The Adventure Journal should be updated directly to the wiki.
After each session, players also have an opportunity to submit a reflection, a few paragraphs in character which reflect on the events of the session. This could be an in character journal, an internal monologue, or any other form. Reflections should be submitted to the GM through email, and will only be posted to the wiki with the player’s permission. If the reflection is submitted before the following session, that player’s character will be awarded their level x 50 experience points.
Ilderan Tales does not require 100% attendance as a rule. We’re all busy people, and sometimes life intrudes on the game. The game must go on however, and so long as there are three players present, it will do so. If you’re unable to attend, please designate another player to control your character in combat. Your character will otherwise remain a silent partner for the session.
Starting in the new year, we’ll have a Wiki Blitz once per quarter.
- Everyone can submit up to three articles they’ve contributed to the wiki unless they’ve been submitted to a previous Wiki Blitz.
- At that point I go through them and essentially grade them, as well as tweaking them for fit with the setting.
- Every article gets a reward. It could be a benny, a single piece of treasure totalling no more than 1000gp in value, and or even your character’s level x 50 in XP.
- There are also two players’ choice awards. Every player gets two votes, on the stipulation that they can’t vote for themselves, to vote for the submitted articles. The author(s) of the top two in those votes also receive their level x 50 in xp.
Unless specifically stated otherwise, such as being labelled common knowledge, information on the wiki is strictly out of character. This holds especially true for the individual character pages which players manage, as well as any reflections which are posted to the wiki. This is a space to share our collective creativity, not to gain an edge in game.
Flaws and Traits from Unearthed Arcana.
Any Wizards of the Coast 3.5 book or book listed as 3.5 compatible (usually by being referenced by books of the former variety). No base or prestige classes from 3.5 edition Dragon and Dungeon magazines or the Dragon Compendium, but other things contained there, such as feats or races, alternate class features, substitution levels, spells, and items are allowed. Not permitted things from the magazines include but are not limited to classes and prestige classes. Variant races, paragon classes, variant classes and bloodlines from Unearthed Arcana are permitted.