Game Mechanic and House Rules

Game Mechanics and House Rules


Largely, this game is D&D 3.5, using Gestalt character sets. Optionally, single class characters of a higher level are possible. Due to the setting, certain class-race combinations are more likely than in standard D&D, see the History Background for some idea on this. With certain setting-related restrictions aside, any 3.5 D&D character can be converted to this system.

* Magic – the distinction between wizards and clerics is more hazy, but the way in which the two classes operate differs. Whilst both can cast either arcane or divine spell, the cleric is not as proficient overall, but has better abilities in combat. The wizard (and sorcerer) are more specialised in magic.

* Abilities, Attacks (Offensives), Skills, Saves (Defences) – The system for rolling is 4d6, drop lowest. Attacks are more elaborate, as are saves. There are two base attack bonuses (one for the physical abilities – Strength, Dexterity and Constitution; one for the mental abilities – Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma), and six defences (one for each ability). Any attack (be it a swipe of the sword or a magical blast) is following this pattern:

1d20 + Relevant Base Attack Bonus + Relevant Ability Modifier + Implement Modifer


1d20 + Relevant Ability Defense/Save Modifier (unless "flat-footed") + Relevant class bonus + Relevant Protection (Armour Rating = Material Armour Bonuses OR Magic Resistance = Spell Resistance – 10, if any)

* Strength is used for melee attacks, physical strength skill checks and defences against petrification, polymorph, paralysis and the like.

* Dexterity is used for ranged attacks, agility centered skill checks and defences against pits traps, breath weapons and similar.

* Constitution is used for attacks with natural weapons (including eg poisoned spittle, acid jet or breath weapons), skill checks relating to bodily exertion and defences against poison and any death effects.

* Intelligence is used for arcana and casting spells of that heritage, skills relating to knowledge and defences against material spells.

* Wisdom is used for the planar energy effects and spells derived from this, skills relating to common sense and defences against mind affecting spells.

* Charisma is used for metamagical (i.e. supernatural or spell-like) abilities, skills relating to social skills and defences against metamagical effects.

There is a pecking order for both attacks and saves, if for example an attack deals physical and magical damage or two saves would be appropriate: For Saves, the order is Charisma, Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Wisdom / Intelligence. For attacks, that base bonus which has the highest potential damage carries, should there be a tie, the MAB is used.

MAB's are quite easy to determine. For any class level, it is the opposite of the BAB. For example, a fighter has a good BAB, and will therefore have the poor MAB. E.g. a 9th level fighter has a BAB of +9/+4 but only an MAB of +4 (MAB and BAB have the same level progressions.) It is possible for a character without spell slots to cast spells, but very very hard and exhausting.

* Hit Points, Lethal and Bruising Damage, KOs and Death – All hit dice are maximised (even for monsters). However, should an attack hit a "flat-footed" defence, the attack will deal non-lethal (i.e. bruising/bashing) damage. This heals quite quickly, but if another non-leathal hit scores more damage, the lowest of the two damages made is converted into lethal. If a character hits 0 hit points bruising, he becomes unconscious at the end of his next turn, if he hits 0hp lethal he will start to die. This is converted into unconsciousness by passing a saving throw against a DC of 10 + damage below zero. Unconscious characters can stabilise by passing a similar saving throw against a DC of 10 + damage below zero.

For both saves, each other round after the first, the DC for this check increases, +1 in the third round, +3 in the fifth, +6 in the seventh. If after the eighth round, the save is not made, the character will slip back into dying if unconscious, or will end his life on this battle field. 

Miscellaneous House Rules:

* Attacks of Opportunity – Unlesss a character does something grossly stupid, there is none given or taken. I will allow them if I am convinced they are in order, and that the NPC would nonetheless do this act of stupidity. I will warn players they are facing an attack of opportunity, at which point they can reconsider their course of action.

* Character Development – I encourage good role-play, and want PCs to develop their characters. However, this is a special homebrew setting, and I am not likely to give my approval to stuff which doesn't immediately fit in. I will go away, I may discuss it openly, and I may allow it (whether with some words of caution or not) or not. Anything exotic or apparently at odds with the setting or frivolous may be banned unless it has been presented in advance for approval. Don't say I didn't warn you. The same is true for class changes etc.

* NPCs – Don't underestimate them, you may do so at your peril. Some are weaker than the average PC, some are a bit more powerful. Some quite a lot more so.

* Items found or presented – See NPCs.

* Collaboration with other PCs – I am taking this as seriously as I am good role-playing of a well-defined character. Bonus XP as well as docking of XP are options in either case. Strike a good balance, and you're laughing to the next level.

* Novel Solutions and Cool Role-play – is another potential candidate for bonus XP.

* Encounter/Monster based XP – is estimated using common sense, not punched through a calculator using some DMG table.

* Ability Scores – can be fudged (up to three) – i.e. Strength of 12 goes to 10, 12 and 14, then apply one each with the respective bonus to an attack, skill and defense, to get e.g 10/0 for skill 12/+1 for Melee Attack and 14/+2 for Strength defences. Highest allowable fudge is +/- 3 from average.


Game Mechanic and House Rules

Realms in Turmoil Azenutine