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House Rules


An Introduction to the Acriun Campaign Setting
Initiative
Attack Bonuses
Psionics
Non-Weapon Proficiencies
Kits
Weapon Specializations
Called Shots
Attacking Invisible Opponents
Additional Followers
Bladesingers and their Songs
Weaponstyles
Martial Arts
Thieving Skill Rolls
Bonus Spells for Mages
Using Languages Slots for Proficiencies.

Introduction to the Acriun Campaign Setting.

Welcome. Acrius is one segment of a campaign world which I have been running since 1979. The following is a list of campaign specific decisions or rulings which have come up over the years. Some of them will pretain directly to creating and maintaining your character. Others may be obscure points of argument which have been settled but needed a place to sit out in the open for everyone to discuss. All of these rules have been agonized and ruminated throughly either between myself and a particular Player or several folks whose opinions I agree with. The way most of these House Rules came about was during the course of a gaming session. The question was the dismal resident of the gray zone which exists between rules and inspirations...

Initiative

All characters are allowed to apply their Dexterity Reaction Adjustment to Initiative. This applies to lowering casting times for spellusers as well. Spellcasters add the casting time of their spell to their rolled initiative. Warriors or anyone using a weapon must add their weapon speed factor to their total initiative roll,(this could get messy and slow the game down, but I would like to try and apply this so bear with me. :) Initiative is rolled on a d10.

Attack Bonuses

I do not allow the bonuses for strength and dexterity to be added to attack rolls for hurled or thrown missle weapons simultanoeusly. This is an old standing rule of mine. It is also one which I have argued a great deal with many people. I know what it says in the DMG but I just don't think the rule is valid or worthwhile. It creates problems for game balance which I don't wish to invite. I do allow either Strength or Dexterity to be applied to attack rolls for hurled or thrown weapons. It is your choice as to whether you want to chuck something with full force or aim carefully and throw with precision.
Related to the above is something which has come up in many conversations around smoky rooms. Why can't the Dexterity bonus be applied to melee attacks? I am of the opinion that it can be, but not simultaneously with Strength bonuses being applied, (unless someone has devoted weapon proficiencies to a specific fighting style which would allow this. If you would like more information on this fighting stye, look "Here"

Psionics

Psionic disciplines can be interupted much like spells caught in the casting. There is a list of those which cannot be interupted by physically damaging the Psionicist,(during the time in which he is attempting to use the discipline) provided at left under the link Heading "Undisruptables".

Non-Weapon Proficiencies

I will allow the use of any of the Non-Weapon Proficiencies listed at NWP Database. You will find the link either in my obligatory,"Links" section, or you can click "this" for convienience sake.

Kits

I allow multi-classed characters to use kits. The reasoning behind this is purely a matter of common sense. There is no difference in experience points to be earned for a warrior who is single classed and trying to make level, and a warrior who is multi-classed and trying to make that same level.
The game already has built in rules which make taking a kit both benificial and problematic. I think you achieve a far greater variety of available roles by allowing someone to play a War Wizard/Pit Fighter, than you would if everyone was constrained to Warrior/Mage, etc. I seek variety and increased variables in my game. This is one way to get them.

Weapon Specializations

I allow multi-classed warriors, paladins, and rangers to specialize. Why shouldn't they? I also allow weapon expertise for all other classes. Anyone can learn (with a weapon proficiency slot) to hit their foes a little better. It only makes sense in my book.

Called Shots and Critical Hits

As per the Players Options rules, called shots can be used for a lot of things but not for critical attacks.

Attacking Invisible Opponents

I allow missile fire against invisible opponents,( who are making no sounds and who also do not stink to an extent which will give away their position to a ranged weapon user) but at an extremely high penalty,(-8). This is only allowed if the invisible opponent is within range, and within a 90 degree arc of fire directly ahead of the shooter. If the invisible target is making enough sound to be heard at a distance by a ranged weapon user, or if this same ranged weapon user has the ability to detect someone who stinks badly enough to be detected at such ranges, the penalty is halved.
The target is entitled to a dexterity roll versus this "blind attack" if they observe the shooter aiming at them and are able to move out of the way irregardless if they have or do not have initiative. A successful dexterity roll indicates that the target avoided the "blind shots" completely. One successful dexterity roll is nesscessary per shot taken by a shooter to avoid each shot from this assailant during the course of the melee round.
For spells which are line of sight and which are meant to be targeted on an opponent, (see Magic Missle spell) those spells will fail, as there is no object for the spell to be fixed upon and thus they cannot be used against an invisible opponent, unless the target is loud or smelly.
Spell requiring a to-hit roll will suffer the -8 penalty to hit. The penalty might be lowered by 4 if the target is not observing the missle fire, or is unprepared to avoid it. The penalty might be increased due to prevailing circumstances, such as Invisible Opponents who are taking cover. Keep in mind also that most area effect spells are launched with a to-hit goal in mind. You might miss:)

Additional Followers

At the suggestion of Ryan Burke,(the Player of the character Devon Montoya), I have looked into expanding the rate of acquisiton of followers at higher levels. The only reference I could find to this in DMO: High Level Campaigns was regarding Rangers, so this is a fine area for game expansion. Thank you Ryan for the contribution.
Warriors and Rogues gain additional followers at 15th level, again at 21st level, and one last time at 26th level. They will be rolled for on the appropriate tables provided in the Players Handbook.

Bladesingers and their Songs

My long time friend and fellow adventurer, Dave, convinced me that the Bladesinger was emminently viable as a stand alone Fighter Sub-Class as opposed to the use of it as a Kit. As much as Paladin is to Ranger, so Ranger is to Bladesinger and so on. He has produced an experience point progression table, a hierachy of titles, a moral code, and some background information on the Class. With his permission I will be presenting the material here soon.
To compliment this fine work I was inspired to create these Sub-Class specific weapon proficiencys called,"Bladesongs" for use only by the Bladesinger. Dave has incorporated them into his plan for the Sub-Class and I present them to you here for your review.

Reiayha's Song of Twelve Blades

This song was first breathed to life by the famed Bladesinger, Lady Reiayha Shyunsagor, during the height of Kar-Kan-Iz' expansionistic period. Beloved of her folk for more than her beauty and wisdom, Lady Reiayha was the undisputed master of martial disciplines during her lifetime. Her most valuable gift to Elvendom was a song of lilting lethality...
As this complex song is woven with painstaking lyrical grace, the Bladesinger patiently acquires the ability to add twelve forestalled attacks later on during the course of an extended battle.
Slowly, methodically, the Bladesinger chooses to forego attacks, keeping them stored within a spiritual reserve for some future hellish hail of blows.
For game purposes it is neccessary for the Bladesinger to declare intention of using this Bladesong at the beginning of the round, and no other Song may be attempted during the course of it's play, (else the Bladesinger forgoes the further storing of forestalled blows and the Song ends).
Every round that the Bladesinger wishes to forestall attacks and add them to his or her spiritual reserve, this must be declared at the beginning of the combat round. Only a defensive posture may be maintained during the round in which blows are being stored.
Once the Bladesinger has stored blows, they may choose to use them anytime thereafter, again declaring such use at the beginning of said round. There is a limit of twelve stored blows being used in one round. Any combination of blows may be used during the course of the song, six here and three more there then two and one the following round, etc. Stored blows could either be used defensively or as a mightly flurry of attacks. Defensively, they are applied as parrying manuvers.
If all 12 stored blows are used in one round, the Song ends abruptly following this steel storm. Also, during the rounds in which the stored blows are used, the Bladesinger throws caution to the wind, losing all benefit from Dexerity Defensive Adjustments. They suffer an aditional penalty of +1 to their Armor Class for each stored blow used during a round.
The whole of this Song in motion to an objective observer looks as if the Bladesinger is alternately reserved and apparently slashing and hacking with near blind fury, but each is in reality a calculated adjustment meant to push the Singer to heights of unbelievable swordsmanship.
If used in conjunction with a Haste or Improved Haste spell, it makes of the Bladesinger a veritable whirlwind of destruction which few mortal beings could hope to withstand...

Malik's Song of Arcane Bonding

Malik of Royt was well known for his successful attempts to bring more accute harmony and unity to the arts Arcane and Martial. He sought out the means to extend his offensive magical capabilities into and through his weapons, thus bringing into being if only briefly a "oneness between Steel, Spell, and Elf."
What this Song allows is very simple. Once per three levels after acquiring this discipline, the Bladesinger is able to choose "one" spell with which to become intimately entwined, to such a degree as to make the Singer capable of incorporating it directly into this Song and through it, his or her chosen weapon.
Upon declaration of intent to use this Bladesong at the beginning of the combat round, the Songsmith is able only to assume a defensive posture in order to cast the desired spell. The spell is transferred directly into the Singers Blade, and is stored for a period between 1 and 4 rounds, no matter the listed duration of the spell. Anytime following the storing round, the Singers may assume an offensive posture, and discharge the stored spell on a successful hit. The spell discharged is considered a No-Save spell due to the means of delivery. If items possessed by the recipient of the spell are endangered, (such as if a Lightning Bolt were discharged) the subject must make successful item saving throws versus lightning for all of their worn or carried possessions. If this blow is parried by the prospective victim, both the Bladesinger and the vicitm share the full damage of the discharged spell, with no saving throw allowed for either of them...

Pahrulon's Song of Paramount Defense.

Pahrulon was a well known and loved Knight of Kar-Kan-Iz who search for meaning in life concentrated on bringing a greater measure of Order to the Chaos he found surrounding him. Unusual for an Elf to say the least...
This Song concentrates on a,"there not there" type maneuver which relies heavily on a Blink or Improved Blink and a Haste or Improved Haste spell(which must be cast prior to the Song's first words) and putting them into mind-numbing overdrive. It makes the singer almost impossible to track as he is moving through dimensions and parrying blows meant for every member of his cadre within the range of the Blink spell.
The Singer may parry as many blows as allowed during a combat round if Hasted, but uses them solely to defend his comrades, or some innocent unfortunate, etc. The Bladesinger him/herself loses all benefit from Dexterity based Defensive Adjustments, (although it is very difficult to predict where the Bladesinger will appear next in order to strike them personally) and applies them to his chosen protected allies. The Bladesinger is able to use quarter moves within the range of the spell, and seems to slide in and out of view as the Blink occurs sporadically, rather than just once per round. Unfortunately for the Bladesinger, the Blink spell's duration is divided by four, as is the Haste or Improved Haste spell.
Optionally,(and declared prior to use during the round) the Songsmith may actually parry attacks directed at his friends rather than applying his dexterity defense adjustment to them. This is an either/or decision, not both.

Sedrik's Song of Corruption.

The Bladesinger endeavors to so impress their enemy with calculated strikes and fients that do not actually strike the foe,(but come so close there is no doubt they could have) as to either demoralize them into early surrender or to encourage an impression as to have them consider joining the bladesinger's cause out of admiration for such superior skill. The foe and the Bladesinger may make opposed attack rolls during each round that this Song is in effect.
If the Bladesinger achieves an edge on their opponent,(rolling a to successful to hit which is lower than that of his foe) the opponent is forced onto the defensive, unable to make offensive intitiatives against the Bladesinger in the round in which they lost their "edge".
If the Bladesinger presses this point further, winning an opposed attack roll in the following round, the foe is forced into shamed submission, either retiring from combat, or surrendering to superior swordsmanship.
If at any point the foe wins an opposed attack roll, the Song ends, as the Bladesinger has met someone who cannot be so easily dazzled by swordplay.

Lanthom's Song of the Black Dance.

Used in conjunction with any Darkness spell, its measured steps and high pitched song is only usable by a soprano.
The Singer and blade throw off specific sound waves that give a slight sonar like effect which the Songsmith has become attuned to. Moreso than this, memory tells the sightless singer where the blinded foe was, and well honed skill identifys where the enemy "should be" at every turn of the battle.
The result of this Song's use causes the Bladesinger to fight at no penalty in absolute Darkness granting that his/her foe is within 10 feet during the entire course of the Song. If at any time the foe moves beyond the range of the Song, it is thereafter useless against this particular foe.

Gydryn's Song of Defying Thrusts.

This ancient Song is known by a scant few skill Songsmiths, and can only be learned by those who are able to perform the Death Blow Manuver. This Song is a known counter to such lethal strikes. It is used to anticipate the intention of a skilled opponent's use of such a critical strike and allow a saving throw versus it. The Song itself must have been in use before the strike was telegraphed to the Bladesinger and not as an afterthought. It is effective also against lethal blows from such magically enhanced maiming weapons as the Swords of Wounding, Sharpness, and the dread Vorpal Weapon.

Nahanthyr's Song of the Fatal Stroke.

Another ancient Elven Bladesong, taught to a select few, which removes one attack per round of Singing and adding one plus per each saved attack to one final telling blow.
Each round that the Song is in use, one attack is subtracted from the total number of attacks which the bladesinger may make. Force from up to eight such attacks may be so stored, and then released, causing +8 to hit and +16 to damage. The Song ends at the point of release.

Weapon Styles

Fencing

Many times I have heard the arguement that a character should be allowed to apply both their strength and their dexterity to their physical attacks. This fighting style is my answer to the arguement.
Fencing is the fine art of sword-play. It requires strength and dexterity to be balanced on the razors edge of perfection. A sword is created with but one purpose. To be used to kill other sentient intelligent beings. It can be used crudely to achieve the desired effect. It can also be applied with skill by those highly proficient in it's use.
Those who favor the sword above all other weapons may begin to delve into the mystery that is steel. Others, a dedicated few, seek to master this weapon in ways which stupify novice and practiced user alike. Any who wish to rise above specialization in the use of the sword are required to be proficient in fencing. This means, anyone who wishes to gain Mastery or above in the use of the sword's listed below, is required to know the Fencing Fighting Style. "Note; Mastery of any other weapon, does not require the non-weapon proficiency of Fencing". Fencer's must devote 2 weapon proficieny slots in order to begin to use it's manuevers.
Proficient fencers may apply both their strength and dexterity to attack rolls, favoring one attribute above the other at this stage of their development. The initiate fencer is given full bonus to hit for the attribute chosen. If the attribute is dexterity, they may apply one + of their strength bonus to their attack roll, and their full damage bonus based on exceptional strength when using a sword. If strength is the chosen basis for their "style" of fencing, they may gain one + from their dexterity to apply to their attack roll, and the full damage bonus for exceptional strength.
Applying a third weapon proficiency slots to the art of fencing, gives the practiced fencer full benefit of both strength and dexterity combined. The full bonus to hit for dexterity is added to that of strength for determination of attack rolls, and the full bonus for exceptional strength damage adjustments are applied.
Fencing is only applicable to the following swords;
  • Rapier
  • Saber
  • Foil
  • Katana
  • Long sword
  • Ninja-to
  • Short sword
  • Scimitar
  • Wakizashi
  • Cutlass
  • Martial Arts


    Martial Arts usuage will conform to whichever rules style is agreed upon between the Player and the Game Master. I will accept characters using 1st Edition, 2nd Edition Complete Fighters Handbook, or 2nd Edition Players Options rules.
    With regards to Knockouts or KO's in 2nd Edition Complete Fighters Handbook, the percent chance of KO is not a cumulative number when calculating for multiple hits in a single round. Each KO percentage is figured on each hit. Thank you Gabriel Darkwalker for bringing this needed rules clarification to light.

    Thieving Skill Rolls


    Whenever your character is required to make a roll for a thieving skill,(such as move silently for instance) the Game Master,(Me/I) will make this roll for you. My reasoning in this is that if you don't know you're not silent, you won't act the same way as if you knew someone heard you, saw you, etc. There are exceptions to this rule. Picking locks, reading languages, and climbing walls. Your character would certainly know if they had succeeded in picking a lock or fell, etc.

    Bonus Spells for Mages

    Wizards are allowed to add bonus spells for high intelligence as a Priest would,(for high wisdom scores) using the intelligence score and comparing it to the Wisdom Table. For instance, a wizard with a 14 Intelligence would gain 2 bonus 1st level spells. Those of you utilizing the Spell Point System will need to use the same table for resolution of your bonus, but convert the number to spell points for the level.

    Using Language Slots for Proficiencies

    After a brief but informative discussion with a Godslayer and an Ox guru, I am going to declare open season on Language slots. They may be used for either non-weapon proficiencies or weapon proficiencies, (however the Player sees fit to use them) and they may not be,"sat upon" meaning, you can't save them. Use'em or lose'em. They need to be declared at the time of the creation of the character or forfieted.

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