Author Topic: [M] The Rules Have Changed!  (Read 156 times)


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[M] The Rules Have Changed!
« on: December 27, 2012, 02:21:29 PM »
I have found that the 4th Edition of D&D (4e) does not fit particularly well with the style of role-playing that I like to DM. I can see it in my players as well: 4e is too limited to fully encapsulate the characters they want to play. 4e is geared more toward tactical, map-based combat and has a distinct World of Warcraft feeling to it. In addition, all of the powers that everyone gets has their own rules, conditions, prerequisites, and other idiosyncrasies. One of the most important issues with 4e is that it is a pain to use in a non-combat situation since almost all of the character's abilities and powers are geared for combat whether to be used in combat or to initiate combat.

While the group has been successfully (in my opinion) been role-playing on a weekly basis, we have not been using 4e to support the non-combat aspect of the game. Sure there are some skill checks, but aside from taking 10, taking 20, or being given the information, we have not been using any system to govern what can be done when out of combat.

I had been attempting to bring in some of the support from D&D 3rd edition (3.0, 3.5, and Pathfinder) it had dawned on me that what we needed was to move completely to the Pathfinder rules (PF). Aside from some small changes from 3.5 and some slightly larger changes from 3.0, there has been an enormous amount of material written for the d20 system that gave birth to PF. I have many books and a lot more material freely available on the Internet for these versions of D&D.

As a result, a house ruled version of PF will be used as our rule set going into the future. For the purposes of house rules, I am bringing in rules from other d20 products such as d20 Modern, Iron Kingdoms, and other settings/alternate rules. As such, I will be publishing to the blog, a complete list of house rules and their sources. 4e will also be used for some things such as feats and for PC races that are currently in use.

Of these house rules, I will be providing the following as FREE to all characters both old and new:
  • The first level of an NPC class:
    • This is to be Commoner unless you wish to draw from a hat for the possibility of something different.

    • Possible classes are Adept, Aristocrat, Commoner, Expert, and Warrior. The list may grow if more NPC classes are found.

    • You MAY choose this as a favored class (though it is not recommended unless you can choose more than one) with all the benefits such a distinction is afforded.

    • You MAY advance in levels in this class in which case you treat it like a normal class to gain hit points, saves, and class features as normal.

    • If you increase your level in the class, all levels but the first count toward your Character Level.

  • The first level of a d20 Modern base class:
    • This is based on your highest ability score, in the case of a tie, you may choose (for a new character) or based on the prime requisite ability for your class (for an existing character).

    • The available classes are Strong Hero (Str), Fast Hero (Dex), Tough Hero (Con), Smart Hero (Int), Dedicated Hero (Wis), and Charismatic Hero (Cha).

    • You MAY choose this as a favored class (though it is not recommended unless you can choose more than one) with all the benefits such a distinction is afforded.

    • You MAY advance in levels in this class in which case you treat it like a normal class to gain hit points, saves, and class features as normal.

    • You DO NOT gain the skill points or class skills for this class. If you gain levels in this class, you do not gain class skills but you DO gain skill points.

    • The talent you receive at first level is RANDOM, though if you gain levels in this class, you can choose talents when they are awarded.

    • If you increase your level in the class, all levels but the first count toward your Character Level.

  • You receive ONE racial feat, 0-level spell, wild talent, or other benefit for free at first level in addition to the stuff you would normally get. This is a birthday boon from me, the DM, that I gave out on my birthday. It is retroactive and ALL characters will receive this. Future birthdays, holidays, or whatnot that I decide to do this for may or may not be abilities, features, items, or anything else. I might not do this again, but you will get at least one due to my 2012 birthday.

  • For those characters who have been converted: You retain your 4e race, but you must rebuild your class using PF-available classes. Hit points are not associated with race, but with class (the same for skill ranks). All other features such as bonus skills, racial features, and whatnot that are a part of the race write-up are fine.

In addition to the above house rules, I am bringing these rules into effect immediately:
  • The concept of gold is still there in an abstract sense:
    • Instead of starting gold, every character will receive a starting Wealth Bonus (taken from d20 Modern) that will grow and shrink throughout the life of your character.

    • I am compiling a list of starting Wealth Bonuses for all classes that I have access to and can provide the bonus for any class that lists starting wealth.

    • The d20 Modern rules for reducing and growing Wealth will remain as is. This will be given out at the next session including a simple chart that converts GP cost into Wealth Bonus.

    • When a Wealth Bonus award is given out, it must be divvied up by the players. If you receive a 7 point award, you must decide how much to spread to each player. In a 5-player game, that means two players will gain an additional point (1 point for each player, 1 point more for two players).

    • If you do not fully distribute the Wealth award, you will lose the unassigned points!

    • You MUST BE PRESENT at the table to receive Wealth Bonus awards. However, a player may give his points to another player at a later time, but this reduces the gifter's Wealth Bonus.

    • All converted characters will have their starting Wealth Bonus. Since equipment and enslavement have happened since the start of the game, along with Wealth gains, I have decided that using the starting Wealth Bonus is adequate.

  • There aren't experience points in the game. Instead, I will tell you when you can level up.

  • Even if you are absent from the table, if anyone at the table levels up, you all level up.

  • Skills that have alternate uses or sub-skills (referred to as sub-skills) associated with them can be customized:
    • All sub-skills have a base rank that is identical to the parent skill (IE: Acrobatics is the parent skill of Balance).

    • You may increase a sub-skill's rank by adding 1 to it's rank and decreasing another sub-skill's rank by one (IE: Balance goes up by 1 while Jump goes down by 1). Both sub-skills MUST be associated with the same skill. In other words, YOU CAN'T decrease Hide (a part of Stealth) by 3 points and increase Balance (a part of Acrobatics) by 3 points.

    • You may not increase a sub-skill's rank by more than the ability modifier of the governing ability (IE: Acrobatics is governed by Dex. If Dex has +3 mod, then no more than 3 points can be added to Balance.)

    • You may do this for any skill which has sub-skills. Those skills without sub-skills retain their full, normal skill rank.

    • You cannot decrease a sub-skill to less than 0.

    • I am compiling a list of all skills I can find with their alternate uses from other sources. I am going to attempt to put everything into the PF skill system so something like Jump from D&D 3e, which has been moved to Acrobatics in PF, will be listed under Acrobatics.

  • Concentration will be brought back as a specialized skill. Pathfinder changed the 3e Concentration skill into a check. This check is based on d20 + caster level + governing ability modifier. The skill does not gain skill ranks as normal skills do but it will be listed in the skill list. If Psionics requires concentration checks, this will also be applied to that discipline as well.

  • Everyone will have a Reputation score. This will be applied to NPC interactions. This score will increase and decrease based on the deeds you perform. So if you do evil things, your Rep will go down. If you do good things, your Rep will go up. If your Rep is negative, you are considered infamous. The same thing as famous (positive Rep) only people will fear you due to your reputation rather than revere you.

  • I will be using the Sanity rules from d20 Call of Cthulhu. This means that all characters will start with 5 x Wisdom score in Sanity points. Each level, you gain 1d6 Sanity Points. The maximum sanity is 99. From here on out, you will gain and lose sanity based on events that happen and any healing. The sanity rules are re-represented in Unearthed Arcana (3e).

  • Every race will have racial levels. This will bring basic races (Elf, Human, Dwarf, etc) into the realm of "Paragon Races" while races that would normally have an "ECL" (which PF did away with-this is strictly a 3e mechanic) can start off a bit more balanced with the basic races. THIS IS 100% OPTIONAL! Though Talek liked his racial levels since it gives him more options. Racial levels count toward Character Level.

  • I am adding a revamped Fighter class to the repertoire of classes. This is someone else's homebrew class, but I'm going to make it an alternate Fighter class. Details will be posted in due time. What I can tell you is that it adds a Combat Mastery mechanic to the Fighter which is similar to Rogue and Ninja tricks or the Barbarian's Rage powers. The awesome thing about it? You can take it if you choose to do so, it is not mandatory.

  • We will be using the PF Hero Point System. Everyone starts with 1 hero point. If you don't have the Advanced Player's Guide, look here:

  • We will be using the Piecemeal Armor system found in the PF rules - Optional to use piecemeal armor since you can use a full suit, but the rules are available.

  • Comeliness, from AD&D's Unearthed Arcana, is making a comeback. This is physical beauty and is influenced by Charisma but is no longer a part of it. Roll 4d6, drop the lowest roll, and add your Charisma modifier for your Comeliness. This is purely for role-playing and may provide some effect on how NPCs interact with you (Rispah is the prettiest rat I've ever seen...)

« Last Edit: December 28, 2012, 12:41:09 AM by Excalibur »