Critique my House Rules

DarrenGMiller

First Post
I am going to post some house rules derived from various sources, published and unpublished, that I plan on using in a Van Helsing style early Renaissance setting game that I am working on. If you are familiar with any of the rules, please let me know what you think. If you are familiar with more than one of them, let me know how you think they will work together.

Here goes:

V. House Rules
The following are non-standard rules that will be used in the campaign:

A. Action Points – Eberron Campaign Setting, p. 45
B. Class Defense Bonus – Unearthed Arcana, p. 109
C. Dread – Heroes of Horror, p. 59
D. Fear – Heroes of Horror, p. 61
E. Behavioral Alignment – Heroes of Horror, p. 76
F. Death and Resurrection – A PC must be within a temple dedicated to his/her own
deity or an area consecrated to the deity to be returned from the dead
(Location). Also, the “Coming Back Wrong” rules apply. Heroes of Horror, p. 79
G. Divine Favor – Representatives of good deities will receive a Divine Favor of the
DM’s choice each level. PC backgrounds and traits will be used to assist the DM in
choosing a Divine Favor tree at first level. The PC will become aware of the
nature of the gift when the talent manifests. (This is along the lines of the Heroic
Paths from the Midnight Campaign Setting)
H. Fear Immunity – Immunity to fear, such as that granted by the Paladin instead
grants a +10 bonus to all saves vs. Fear effects. (Idea from an ENWORLD thread)
I. Turning Undead – The Turn Undead ability will function basically as set forth in
Complete Divine, p. 87. When the ability is used, its area of effect is a 30’ cone.
Undead get a Will save for half damage (DC 10 + Cleric level + Cha modifier).
Turning Undead is a Standard Action that deals damage equal to 1d6/Cleric level.

Please let me know what you think. I want the PC's to be pretty souped up, as many of the creatures will have special circumstances under which they can be harmed. The PC's should be heroic in the vein of Batman or Van Helsing.

DM
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Sadrik

First Post
I. Turning Undead – The Turn Undead ability will function basically as set forth in
Complete Divine, p. 87. When the ability is used, its area of effect is a 30’ cone.
Undead get a Will save for half damage (DC 10 + Cleric level + Cha modifier).
Turning Undead is a Standard Action that deals damage equal to 1d6/Cleric level.

If your undead have only limited ways to kill them. Will this ability trump all of their various anti-damaging abilities?

What will prevent everyone from selecting paladins and clerics in your game?
 

Thia Halmades

First Post
Sadrik: ... I see your point here, but I consider this somewhat better balanced than the regular turning rules, which are a bit more chaotic in their operation. This does two things I like; it deals straight damage, and it gives the undead a save against (which I was always under the opinion they needed).

In my Ravenloft setting, I've seriously considered granting them a save, but I'm still waffling a bit. The players say its fine the way it is, but I don't like that tremendous X factor. I want something a bit more reasonable.

And, what keeps everyone from selecting Pally's and Clerics is usually player choice; it's doubtful you'll get an entire team of a single class or pair of classes, and in the event that such is the case, a nice pack of chewy demons who aren't susecptible to turning will change their minds quickly. It's checks & balances.

~DEM
 

DarrenGMiller

First Post
Sadrik said:
I. Turning Undead – The Turn Undead ability will function basically as set forth in
Complete Divine, p. 87. When the ability is used, its area of effect is a 30’ cone.
Undead get a Will save for half damage (DC 10 + Cleric level + Cha modifier).
Turning Undead is a Standard Action that deals damage equal to 1d6/Cleric level.

If your undead have only limited ways to kill them. Will this ability trump all of their various anti-damaging abilities?

What will prevent everyone from selecting paladins and clerics in your game?

I should have been clearer on one thing... Only my "special" creatures will get unique vulnerabilities/resistances. The average zombie/skeleton/ghoul encountered in the cemetary at night is killable in the standard ways. The Wraith-King using them to soften up the local militia for an attack on the town may only be susceptible to the sword that the last king used to kill him in the first place. It happens to be in his crypt, guarded. The Turning damage will not affect Mr. Wraith-King, just his minions.

As for the class selections, they are all going to be part of an organization working for their various deities to crush the evil that is overcoming the kingdom. If they are all divine-based, I have no problem with that.

DM
 

Sadrik

First Post
Basically, the turn ability becomes a cone of cold that affects undead only. Do evil clerics do cones of cold that only affect the living? Or do they still have the ability to make undead cower (rebuke)?

Another note: cause light wounds and spells of their ilk have a save for 0 damage. So full or no damage. I want to say will save without looking it up. That might be a way to proceed here.
 

Nyaricus

First Post
wolf70 said:
F. Death and Resurrection – A PC must be within a temple dedicated to his/her own
deity or an area consecrated to the deity to be returned from the dead
(Location). Also, the “Coming Back Wrong” rules apply. Heroes of Horror, p. 79
G. Divine Favor – Representatives of good deities will receive a Divine Favor of the
DM’s choice each level. PC backgrounds and traits will be used to assist the DM in
choosing a Divine Favor tree at first level. The PC will become aware of the
nature of the gift when the talent manifests. (This is along the lines of the Heroic
Paths from the Midnight Campaign Setting)
H. Fear Immunity – Immunity to fear, such as that granted by the Paladin instead
grants a +10 bonus to all saves vs. Fear effects. (Idea from an ENWORLD thread)
I. Turning Undead – The Turn Undead ability will function basically as set forth in
Complete Divine, p. 87. When the ability is used, its area of effect is a 30’ cone.
Undead get a Will save for half damage (DC 10 + Cleric level + Cha modifier).
Turning Undead is a Standard Action that deals damage equal to 1d6/Cleric level.
F > this makes SO much sense; i might pick up HoH just on this basis. It really creates a challenge when the PC's are in, say, Unther, adn half the party is taken out and they have to go aaaaaaaaaaaall the way back to mulhorand to ressurect their buddies :devil smiley:

G > what company makes this book? I might want to check it out; it sounds cool

H > care to clarify? I have no idea what you are getting at here.

I > I like this varient of a varient. I think I'll use it :)

overall, you are convincing me to buy HoH, it seems to have some nice things in it > cool house rule list. Maybe the only thing i could add to that is Armour=DR, but thats what i like :D
 

Dog Moon

Adventurer
Originally posted by Nyaricus
G > what company makes this book? I might want to check it out; it sounds cool

IIRC, Fantasy Flight Games.

Originally posted by wolf70
F. Death and Resurrection – A PC must be within a temple dedicated to his/her own
deity or an area consecrated to the deity to be returned from the dead
(Location). Also, the “Coming Back Wrong” rules apply. Heroes of Horror, p. 79

You might also want to check out the Iron Kingdoms character guide. It has a couple additional bad effects for people trying to return from the dead, such as being haunted by a spirit which travels back with the character. I think some of the effects are similar to HoH, but it might be worth it to glance at it.

Originally posted by wolf70
Representatives of good deities will receive a Divine Favor of the DM’s choice each level.

Out of curiosity, why only good? I believe that any God would grant their worshippers benefits if they felt the recipient worthy of their granted boon.

The other stuff either looks good or I don't know what it is specifically [such as some of the stuff from HoH].
 

LostSoul

Adventurer
wolf70 said:
G. Divine Favor – Representatives of good deities will receive a Divine Favor of the DM’s choice each level.

Are you sure you don't want to let the PCs pick what favour they will get? If you pull it from their backgrounds and from play, it's pretty much the same thing - but you could get it wrong. And players like to be able to choose this sort of thing.
 

DarrenGMiller

First Post
Nyaricus said:
F > this makes SO much sense; i might pick up HoH just on this basis. It really creates a challenge when the PC's are in, say, Unther, adn half the party is taken out and they have to go aaaaaaaaaaaall the way back to mulhorand to ressurect their buddies :devil smiley:

G > what company makes this book? I might want to check it out; it sounds cool

H > care to clarify? I have no idea what you are getting at here.

I > I like this varient of a varient. I think I'll use it :)

overall, you are convincing me to buy HoH, it seems to have some nice things in it > cool house rule list. Maybe the only thing i could add to that is Armour=DR, but thats what i like :D

Thanks. I did not set out to promote the book, but I do like it and plan on using it quite a bit for this game. It has some neat things in it.

The Heroic Paths are from the Midnight Campaign Setting from Fantasy Flight Games. You can check out the products here.

LostSoul said:
Are you sure you don't want to let the PCs pick what favour they will get? If you pull it from their backgrounds and from play, it's pretty much the same thing - but you could get it wrong. And players like to be able to choose this sort of thing.

I am still undecided as to my final decision, but I would like the powers to be neat things that they learn about as they are able to do them. The Heroic Paths from Midnight are kind of like feat chains that stack up into some nice abilities. I also am consciously trying to distance this from the players just picking a path like in Midnight, because we have played that setting not too long ago and I want to avoid people having a mindset for that game, since the flavor is quite different from what I am going for.

Dog_Moon2003 said:
Out of curiosity, why only good? I believe that any God would grant their worshippers benefits if they felt the recipient worthy of their granted boon.

All of the PC's are going to be a part of the same alliance of good churches. None of them are interested in playing evil PC's. I want their heroes to stand out as having an advantage. I am going to give the important "bad guys" some immunities and resistances that will make them harder to kill, such as needing a unique weapon or set of circumstances to achieve their permanent death. I suppose that some particularly favored evil NPC's could have these boons as well.

Thanks for the suggestions and critiques so far.

DM
 

DarrenGMiller

First Post
One thing I forgot to mention:

With the Behavioral Alignment rule, that pretty much scraps the traditional D&D concept of alignment. Along with that goes all of the alignment spells. Magic Circle Against X spells all become one generic Magic Circle spell, etc. Smite Evil just becomes Smite Enemy. Has anyone else ditched Alignment as we know it? How did that go?

DM
 

mirivor

First Post
I found the Class Defense Bonus system in UA to be unwieldy and abusable. What I did was decide that a character's defense bonus equaled his Base Attack Bonus divided by two and rounded down. This way it is really easy to figure out a multiclass character's bonus and allows for characters that don't wear armor but are still difficult to strike, especially the iconic seafaring swashbuckler types. Under this system a high-level fighter is more protected by his own skill than by a suit of full plate.

Later!
 

Thia Halmades

First Post
Alignment: I've semi-ditched it. Alot of what your doing is similar to how my Ravenloft campaign is structured in terms of how fear works; you can't not have fear in a horror setting, nor can you be immune to the kind of terror that has your bones try to crawl out of your skin. You lose all the investment of being in that setting in the first place. Heroes of Horror is doing things very similarly. You might also include:

- Tainted Areas which make turning undead that much harder (better saving throws/negation of die rolls).

- Ravenloft specifically tells us that alignment is indecipherable; you can't detect good or evil, so the entire thing is bunk. The Protection circles just don't exist; I yield that you make a good case here for simply being "protected" but your players might get too much mileage out of it, hard to say.

- However, I split the difference. Everyone still has an alignment because I'm a big proponent of positive vs. negative energy. We're embroiled in a discussion currently as to whether a Neg. Cleric should even be able to cast Cure spells, or summon Celestial Creatures; vice versa, a Pos. Channeler shouldn't be able to cast Inflict Spells or use spells with the Evil descriptor, even if they're Neutral.

It's a huge issue with the way RAW is phrased; if you're Neutral, you can summon (and cast) anything. I like having alignments for PCs, as it gives them something to build their character off of, instead of a strait jacket that constrains them. Basically, a snap shot of how you'll react in a given situation.

Smite Evil: This one is a dead giveaway, innit? Agreed, "Smite Enemy" is the way to go here; you're channeling your power and it manifests; if the target cons as a threat to you, kablam. Off goes Smite. Whose to say Good can't be on opposite sides?
 

Hodgie

First Post
In regards to your Turn Undead Mechanic:

I think the typical formula is 10 + 1/2 cleric level + cha mod. This will keep things more in line as your 20th level cleric has DCs of 25 rather than 35. Most undead have poor Will save iirc, so this will keep the saving throw from being a pretense before the cleric gets to roll his 20d6.
 

DarrenGMiller

First Post
Hodgie said:
In regards to your Turn Undead Mechanic:

I think the typical formula is 10 + 1/2 cleric level + cha mod. This will keep things more in line as your 20th level cleric has DCs of 25 rather than 35. Most undead have poor Will save iirc, so this will keep the saving throw from being a pretense before the cleric gets to roll his 20d6.

Excellent. Thanks for the suggestion.

DM
 

glass

(he, him)
Thia Halmades said:
Smite Evil: This one is a dead giveaway, innit? Agreed, "Smite Enemy" is the way to go here; you're channeling your power and it manifests; if the target cons as a threat to you, kablam. Off goes Smite. Whose to say Good can't be on opposite sides?
Or 'smite infidel', perhaps.


glass.
 

Dungeon Delver's Guide

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top