There are a number of important house rules to be aware of. If you have a copy of Unearthed Arcana, that will be very helpful.
Weapon Group Feats – (UA 94) – If your class isn’t listed, talk to me. Feats that affect a specific weapon can instead affect a weapon group.
Power Components – (UA 36)
Psionics vs Magic – Psionics are the “Third Magic”. Treat the overlap between psionics and magic the same way Arcane and Divine magic interact.
Natural 1/20 – When a d20 is rolled and there is no “automatic success” or “automatic failure” option, such as an opposed roll, treat a 1 as a -10 and a 20 as a 30. This applies for contested combat checks (trip, grapple, etc), initiative, and opposed skill checks (bluff, diplomacy, spot, hide, etc). A natural 1 on a saving throw is treated as a -10 and does not allow special save conditions (such as evasion) to function. This way the rogue with an amazing dexterity and reflex save can still avoid things on a poor roll, but may not save as well as normal.
Critical Hits and MIsses – I have a rather extensive chart for critical hits and misses that I will be using in this game. I will at some point link it so that everybody can view it, but it should add a lot of interesting effects to crits. An important thing to understand about these charts, however, is that they carry an increased lethality and more long term risk than the standard crit rules do. This is my method for adding “realism” to the Hit Point system. It will be possible to experience serious bodily harm or even long term injuries as a result. Fortunately, magics exist to counteract these penalties, and any injury will include the required healing needed. For example, a broken leg will reduce movement, and can only be healed with HDx3 days of complete rest when at full hit points. For a severed limb, a grafted component or powerful magic may be required to restore use of the limb (Heal and Regeneration spells both list restoring lost limbs). These rules include critical hit and failure rules for spell casting as well!
Death and Dying – Death occurs at -CON score, rather than -10. Any hit that would drop you below this value from conscious drops you to within 1 HP of death. While in the negatives, roll a d20. You may not spend an action point on this roll. 2-5, lose 2 hit points. 6-10 lose 1 hit point. 11-19, no change. On a natural 1, slip to within 1 point of death. On a natural 20, move to 0 HP. Any healing done while in the negatives automatically restores the character to -1 before applying healing (this circumvents the cure minor to stand up exploit, as it will only bring you to 0 total).
Returning from the Dead – Death is a serious issue, but one that can be overcome relatively easily at this point. Rather than bestowing permanent level loss, any spell used to restore a character from death incurs temporary negative levels for a duration of (9-spell level) days. Add 1 additional negative level (which comes off after an additional number of days) if the body cannot be recovered. The soul must be available to return. If you’re good at math, that means that True Resurrection still brings you back with no level loss, no matter if the body is available or not.
Pay the Church – Healing spells, especially curative ones, can substitute power components for the standard gold costs. As a result, a church will often take service as payment rather than always requiring a gold piece donation. Church members in good standing obviously are expected to do less to receive healing than non-members, but are expected to do a certain amount all of the time to stay in good standing.
Action Points – Action points can be used in one of 3 ways:
- Modify a roll – Add 1d6 to the roll. This can be used even after rolling and seeing the result of the d20, but only before hearing the success or failure. This adds to the roll as a modifier, it does not change the natural roll, meaning a natural 1 still fails and a natural 20 still succeeds.
- Confirm or Deny – An action point can be spent to confirm a critical hit without a confirmation roll, deny a fumble without a confirmation roll, or deny a critical against you. It does not turn a critical into a miss, just into a standard hit. It does not turn a fumble into a hit, just a normal miss.
- Take another action – An action point can be spent to take an additional standard action once per combat.
No more than one action point can be spent per round.
There are a few other rules regarding Taint, Sanity and Reputation that appear in Unearthed Arcana. I am still adapting these and they will be used in a modified way when appropriate.