Post Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:41 am

House Rules (Circa 2013)

This Thread Has Been Superseded: Please See HERE For the 2014 House Rules!

Here be a complete summary of all the latest house rules so that there is a single "goto" place to find everything.


C H A R A C T E R S

You may elect to play Men, Elves, Dwarfs or Halflings.
PCs may be Fighters, Magic-Users, Thieves.
Men can also be Templars (a paladin/cleric mashup).

Other PC classes which have been employed to date include Elvish Templars, Marksmen, Alchemists, and Warlocks.


Ability Scores
I will roll 3d6 for each of strength, intelligence, wisdom, dexterity, constitution and charisma, in order. Each player may replace any one die with a 6 except that doing so must not make an 18.
  • Men may substitute a 6 in any ability score.
  • Elves may substitute a 6 in intelligence or wisdom only.
  • Dwarfs may substitute a 6 in strength or constitution only.
  • Halflings may substitute a 6 in charisma or dexterity only.

Adjustments due to Ability Scores
  Code:
Ability  General  Starting  Max Langs  Starting  XP Bonus  Henchmen
 Score     Adj    hp (Con)  (Int/Wis)   Spells     (Wis)    (Cha)
===================================================================
  3-5      -1        +0         2          0         .        2
  6-7      -1        +1         2          0         .        2     
   8        .        +1         2          0         .        2
 9-10       .        +2         2          0        +5%       2
  11        .        +2         3          1        +5%       3
  12        .        +2         4          2       +10%       4
  13        .        +3         5          3       +10%       5
  14       +1        +3         6          4       +10%       6
  15       +1        +3         7          5       +15%       7
  16       +1        +4         8          6       +15%       8
  17       +1        +4         9          7       +15%       9
  18       +2        +4        10          8       +20%      10


"Chances in 6" of performing various feats and deeds are determined by class (it proved too fiddly to be continually looking up ability scores in dozens of PC sheets -- but I can remember what class each PC is).

Strength:
Determines how much can be carried. Adjusts melee attack rolls.

Intelligence:
Determines (if equal to or higher than wisdom) maximum number of languages known, and number of starting spells for a magic-user (and warlock).

Wisdom:
Determines (if equal to or higher than intelligence) maximum number of languages known. Determines XP bonus.

Dexterity:
Adjusts AC, initiative rolls, and missile attack rolls.

Constitution:
Adjusts maximum number of HD, number of starting hit-points at 1st level, and chance of surviving resurrection.

Charisma:
Adjusts hireling morale/NPC reactions. Determines maximum henchmen. Determines number of starting spells for a templar.


PC Classes
Following is a brief summary of the pro and cons of each PC class presently in action...

Fighters
A fighter has use of all arms, including spears and missiles, and can attack from the second rank with a spear.
A fighter has use of all armour, including helms and shields, and can move freely (retaining his full movement rate) even in heavy armour.
A fighter has 4 chances in 6 of performing any feat of physical prowess.
A fighter adds +2 to saving throws versus paralysis or petrification.

Thieves
A thief has use of light arms only including dagger, hammer, hand axe, short sword, sling, and staff.
A thief eschews helms and shields but can move freely (retaining his full movement rate) in light armour.
A thief has 4 chances in 6 of performing any feat of subterfuge including (among other things) surprising enemy and locating secret doors, while operating in an urban or dungeon environment.
When attacking by surprise with a melee weapon, a thief is considered to have treble his actual HD for a single attack against one man-type.
A thief adds +2 to saving throws versus all wands and ray-like effects.
A thief earns +50% XP bonus for loot acquired in secret (not divided fairly among the other players).

Magic-Users
A magic-user eschews armour, helms and shields, and has the use of only daggers and staves.
A magic-user has 4 chances in 6 chance of performing any feat of history or great lore, (including identifying magic items).
A magic-user suffers only half damage from any magic which would cause him direct harm.
A magic-user adds +2 to saving throws versus wands, staves, and magic spells.
A magic-user begins with a spellbook containing one 1st level wizard spell for each point of intelligence he has over 10.
A magic-user can memorise 1 wizard spell for each experience level he has.
The number of spells he can memorise is adjusted by intelligence.
No memorised spell's level can exceed his own level.
A magic-user will unlock one new spell of his choice with each new experience level.
A magic-user can learn additional spells from texts captured during play.
A magic-user can construct a scroll of a spell he already knows for 50 sp per spell level, requiring a day per spell level to do so.

Templars
A templar must be lawful.
A templar has use of all metal armour and knightly arms (mace, flail, battle axe, sword, war hammer, pole axe, two-handed sword only).
A templar has 4 chances in 6 of knowing any Holy lore or wisdom.
A templar adds +2 to saving throws versus poison.
A templar begins with a spellbook containing one 1st level cleric spell for each point of charisma over 10.
A templar can memorise 1 cleric spell for every two whole experience levels he has.
The number of spells he can memorise is adjusted by his wisdom.
No memorised spell's level can exceed half his own level (rounded up).
A templar will unlock one new spell of his choice with each new odd numbered experience level.
A templar can learn additional spells from texts captured during play.
A templar cannot turn undead except by use of magic spell or device.

Warlocks
A warlock must not be lawful.
A warlock has the same HD advancement as the thief.
A warlock earns no XP bonus.
A warlock has use of light armour and specific arms (dagger, spear, staff and sword only).
A warlock has 4 chances in 6 chance of performing any feat of history or great lore, (including identifying magic items).
A warlock suffers only half damage from any magic which would cause him direct harm.
A warlock adds +2 to saving throws versus wands, staves, and magic spells.
A warlock begins with a spellbook containing one 1st level wizard spell for each point of intelligence he has over 10.
A warlock can memorise 1 magic-user spell for every odd numbered experience levels he has.
The number of spells he can memorise is adjusted by his intelligence.
No memorised spell's level can exceed his own level.
A warlock will unlock one new spell of his choice with each new even numbered experience level.
A warlock can learn additional spells from texts captured during play.


Saving Throws
A level 1 PC needs to roll a 14+ on a d20 to save.
Each even numbered level thereafter reduces the required number by 1.

Fighters add +2 versus paralysis/petrification,
Thieves add +2 versus wands/rays.
Wizards (and warlocks) add +2 versus staves/spells,
Templars add +2 versus poison/death,

Dwarfs and Halflings add a further +2 to all saves.


Hit Dice Progression
Number of Hit Dice are determined accordingly to class and experience level, as follows;
  Code:
Experience   Cleric,    Warlock,  Marksman,
  Level     Magic-User   Thief     Templar   Fighter
====================================================
    1         1/2+0        1        1+1        1+3
    2           1         1+2        2         2+2
    3          1+2         2         3         3+2
    4           2          3         4         4+2
    5          2+2        3+2        5         5+2
    6           3          4         6         6+2
    7          3+2         5         7         7+2
    8           4         5+2        8         8+2
    9          4+2         6         9         9+2

A 1/2 HD yields 1-4 hit points.

Hit Points
All PC hit points are adjusted by constitution at 1st level only.

All HD are re-rolled after an uninterrupted full-night's bed rest (at an inn, for example).


Healing
Pausing for a breather and a refreshing draft, or taking time to dress and bind wounds, or just to rub some dirt in it, is all considered to be "healing".

Healing takes a full turn (10 minutes) during which time the PC is assumed to stow arms, remove helmet and shield, sit down and take refreshments.

The chance of being surprised while "healing" is doubled. However, a rested PC regains 1d6 lost hit-points (but never more than were lost in the immediately preceding fight).

Consecutive rests are not cumulative; only the highest roll counts.


Dying
PCs are incapacitated at 0 hit-points. They can crawl, beg, and utter famous last words, but that is all. Any unhindered foe can automatically perform a coup de grace and end it all.

A PC is slain instantly upon reaching -1 or fewer hit points.



Demi-Humans

Level Limits for Demi-Humans
There are no racial level limits.
There are racial Hit Die limits instead.
Men have at most 8 HD, Dwarfs have at most 6 HD, Elves have at most 5 HD, and Halflings have at most 4 HD.
The HD limit is modified by constitution score.
When maximum HD have been attained further experience levels yield +2 hp (templars and fighting men) or +1 hp (wizards and thieves).

Dual-Classed Elves?
Elves are not automatically dual-classed.
Any demi-human PC can change to another class (i.e., become dual-classed) whenever he has just gained a level (i.e., at a safe break between adventures).
A dual-classed PC enjoys the benefits of each of his classes simultaneously.
A dual-classed PC divides any XP earned thereafter evenly between his classes, forevermore.

Experience Points
PCs of all classes require the same number of experience points per level, as per the OD&D Fighting Man (M&M, p16). I.e., 0, 2,000, 4,000, 8,000, 16,000, 32,000, etc.

Bonus to Earned Experience
PCs of the core classes are entitled to a bonus to earned XP determined by their wisdom score. PCs of "fancy" extra classes typically do not get any XP bonus.

If your PC is multi-classed you only consider the prime requisite for his current class.

Languages
You do not need to choose all your languages up front. You can fill in missing languages as play progresses.

All PCs can speak at least two languages; the common tongue (called Illiberal), and one other tongue. Demi-human PCs must choose their own racial tongue first, of course.

Alignment tongues are not automatically known.

Here is an overview of some of the languages in use:

. The "Common" tongue of Men is called Illiberal. It is spoken by all PCs and most monsters too.

. Merovingian, Radjemian and Xanthem are tongues of foreign Men.

. Serayenon is spoken by Elves, Urulgar by dwarfs, and Lilliputian by Halflings.

. Faerie is a collection of dialects spoken by woodland creatures.

. Dogeral is the debased from of Illiberal spoken by goblin types.

. Draconic is spoken by dragons, with the lesser reptiles speaking debased dialects.

. Vulgar is a collection of dialects spoken by giants.

. The "Lawful" tongue is called Empyrean, and it is used for reading (lawful) clerical scrolls, and communicating with/within the lawful temples of Man.

. Similarly, the "Chaotic" tongue is called Stygian, and it is mainly useful for (chaotic) clerical scrolls and the temples of chaos, etc.

. Archaic, Historic, Old Elvish, and Old Dwarfish are scholarly tongues of some importance.

. There are also Celestial and Infernal tongues, and many more.

Magic-Users (and Warlocks) and Templars are the only PCs who are automatically literate.

All other PCs must "expend" a language to become literate. This is absolutely required for PCs who wish to read spells from spell books and scrolls.


Starting Wealth
The silver piece is the basic unit of trade and also the basic unit of earning XP.

1 gp = 6 sp = 36 cp

All PCs begin with ordinary clothing, a backpack, rations for one week, a water skin and a coin purse containing approximately 20 to 120 silver pieces worth of coin.
I will determine the weight of your coin purse along with your ability scores.

Additionally, each player will be granted a starting boon according to race and class. Your boon may be worth a small fortune -- or scarcely two coppers, depending on how fate smiles upon you.


C O M B A T

While the "dd" (damage dice) method has more or less "worked", it has been fully explored. It's time to move on and so the combat mechanics have been largely revised.

Armour
The weapons versus armour table turned out to be more hassle than it was worth so armour gets simplified back to light medium and heavy.

As mentioned above, fighters can employ heavy armour at full movement rate. Templars can employ medium armour at full movement rate. Thieves (and warlocks) can employ light armour at full movement rate.

Light (leather, ringmail), medium (mail, field plate) and heavy (plate armour) are AC 7, 6 and 5, respectively.

Helmets
Helmets are not included with any suit of armour but can be purchased separately.
Wearing a helmet improves AC by 1, but will also halve the odds of finding secret doors and surprising enemy, and double the odds of being surprised. It takes one full round to put on or take off a helm.

A helmet will be dashed off if any physical blow results in a damage die of 6. Damage suffered from that one die will be reduced to 1 hit point and the helmet must make a saving throw or be ruined.

Shields
Shields are heavy or light. Carrying either type of shield will improve AC by 2 while not attacked from behind.

It takes one full round to equip either type of shield properly, but it can be flung aside very quickly.

A shield will be splintered in the event that a frontal physical blow would otherwise slay the wielder. Damage suffered from that blow (possibly multiple d6s) is reduced by up to 6 points for a light shield, or by up to 10 points for a heavy shield. The shield is ruined in either case.

A shield may (at the player's option) be sacrificed to blunt a non-fatal blow.

Dexterity
A dexterity of 14+ will improve AC by 1 while not wearing heavy armour, surprised, restrained, or attacked from behind. Low dexterity will not affect AC.

Rolling To Hit
The roll required on a d20 to hit an opponent is as follows:

  Code:
Target AC      |  9   8   7   6   5   4   3   2   1   0
---------------+----------------------------------------
Roll Required  | 11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20


This applies for all players and monsters alike and does not improve with level or HD.


Multiple Attacks

Rather than adjusting the number required to hit, more dangerous PCs and monsters instead get more attacks. The number of attacks is based on number of HD, as follows:

  Code:
 Hit  Num. of  Attack
Dice  Attacks   Adj.
=====================
 1/4     1      -4
 1/2     1      -2
  1      1       .
  2      1      +4
  3      2       .
  4      2      +2
  5      3       .
  6      3      +1
 7-8     4       .
 9-10    5       .
11-12    6       .
 etc.    .


Damage
All hits score 1-6 points of damage. More threatening monsters can do more damage by landing more hits.


Strength
Strength adjusts melee attack rolls (and hence ultimately causes more/less damage over time).


Variable Damage by Weapon Type
Variable damage by weapon type is achieved via increased/decreased hit frequency, as follows:

  Code:
Weapon               Attack Adj.
====================================
Dagger!*$           -2
Staff!*$2           +0
Spear*              -2 vs shields
Hammer              -1
Hand axe            -1/+1 vs shields
Short sword         +1/-1 vs shields
Pick                +2/+0 vs shields
Mace+               +1
Flail+              +0/+2 vs shields
Battle axe+         +1/+3 vs shields
Sword*+             +2
Morning star        +3/+1 vs shields
War hammer2+        +3
Pole axe2+          +3/+5 vs shields
Two-handed sword2+  +4
Lance               +4/+2 vs shields
Sling$              -1/-3 vs shields
Crossbow2           +0/-2 vs shields
Shortbow2           +1/-1 vs shields
Longbow2            +2/+0 vs shields
Non-class weapon    -4 (cumulative)
Unarmed#            -2 (subdual dam)

# Usable by all
! Magic-user weapon
* Warlock weapon
$ Thief weapon
+ Templar weapon
2 two-handed weapon


Allocating Attacks
A player can choose to divide his attacks up against multiple foes, or focus them on a single target.


Defensive Fighting
A player can defend rather than attack, improving his frontal AC by 2 for each attach that he doesn't make.


Using Two Weapons
Employing two weapons offensively allows the possibility of scoring two hits. An even numbered attack roll hits with the primary weapon. And odd numbered attack roll hits with the secondary weapon. A 20 hits with both (and hence deal 2-12 points of damage).

Employing a second weapon defensively (as a main gauche) adds 1 pip to frontal AC.


Using Two Hands
Using a suitably sized one-handed weapon with two-handed means a PC is less likely to drop his weapon if struck by surprise (he would have to fail two rolls instead of one).

Additionally, his attack adjustment is increased by +1.




Additional Damage Due to Magical Effects
Additional damage from enchanted weapons is only added once per round (assuming that the enchanted weapon hits).


Shooting
A PC (or monster) can loose either a volley of shots or a single shot during a one minute long melee round. A single shot conserves ammunition and allows for half movement. However, frugal shooting (any single hurled or loosed missile) is less likely to cause harm and is adjusted by -2 on the attack roll.

Otherwise, bows can loose a volley of 2-8 arrows +1 arrow per attack roll each round.
Crossbows loose a volley of 1-4 bolts + 1 bolt per attack roll each round.
Slings fire at the same rate as do crossbows, but will not usually lack for ammunition.


M A G I C

The "recast" rule was fun to try out but it did make additional book-keeping without adding much beyond what casting from scrolls would offer, so I've decided to take it back to basics.

Casting From Memory
  • Only one copy of any spell can be memorised at a time.
  • A memorised spell can be cast exactly once.
  • Casting a memorised spell erases it from memory.

The number of spells which can be memorised each day has not changed (see the class descriptions, above).


Casting From Text
Magic-user spells are all written in a magical text which defies comprehension by anyone other than the author.

Templar spells are all written in Lawful or Chaotic, and can be comprehended (and thereafter memorised and/or cast) immediately by any caster of clerical spells familiar with that language.

Use of The Effable Apperception spell will enable a spell caster to comprehend (and thereafter memorise and/or cast) an otherwise incomprehensible spell, subject to the usual class and level limits.

Revision of The Effable Apperception spell is as follows:

The Effable Apperception Enables the caster or touched recipient to comprehend glyphs and inscriptions written in languages otherwise unknown. It enables a spell caster to comprehend (and thereafter memorise and/or cast) an unknown spell. It does not, however, solve written puzzles or imbue any ability to communicate verbally. The magic lasts long enough to comprehend one spell, or otherwise for as long as the recipient concentrates upon the symbols to be deciphered.


  • Any comprehended spell can be cast from text (scrolls or spellbooks) without memorising it. This includes spells of a higher level than can be memorised, but excludes spells not usable by the PC's class.
  • Casting a spell from a text consumes it.

Spells in Summary
Scrolls and spellbooks are effectively the same thing.
A scroll contains exactly one spell.
A spellbook can contain many spells -- about eight 1st-3rd level spells, or six 4th-6th level spells, or four 7th-9th level spells will fit into a typical tome.

All cleric spells are written in lawful or chaotic.
All magic-user spells are written in an enchanted script which defies comprehension by anyone other than the author.

An Effable Apperception spell is required to make someone else's magic-user spell legible.

Once a spell is legible, it can (subject to class and level restrictions) be memorised, cast, or copied.

Copying a spell (either to a spellbook or scroll) takes a day, and costs 50 sp per spell level.

. Copying a spell does not consume the source text.
. Memorising a spell does not consume the source text.
. Casting a spell from a spellbook or scroll consumes the source text.
. Casting a spell from memory wipes it from memory.



edit: clarified dual-classed XP.
edit: clarified number of spells per spell book.
edit: added explanation of using weapons with two hands.
edit: added explanation of using main-gauche.
edit: deleted "free" literacy for magic-using sorts.
edit: added summary of spells and scrolls.
edit: rewrote tables as text.
[f=32]Golgildir the Elf Medium (MV 12", AC 9, HD 1, hp 1/1, AL N) great cloak, lantern; spells: color spray; scrolls: sleep, sleep, charm person
Hirelings: Georges; torch[/f]