List Your House Rules!

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Can't find a thread like this, so here's one.

List your own House Rules in a simple, easy-to-read format!
Important Note: While discussing other people's House Rules is fine (and part of the thread's purpose), try not to bash people's House Rules needlessly.  Remember that House Rules are often made to fit the flavor of a specific campaign, and not meant to be a "this should be in the official Erratta" statement.


My House Rules:

1.  Orb of Imposition House Rule
Orb of Imposition: For every failed save the monster has had under this power, it gets a cumulative +2 bonus (Example: First Save: +0; Second Save: +2; Third Save: +4; etc.).
Reason:  Going by the Player's Handbook, Orb of Imposition was too powerful.  Using the Erratta, it was too nerfed.  This makes it last only a couple rounds longer than usual, which was it's intent.

2. Raise Dead Ritual
Raise Dead: When a character dies, a Raise Dead ritual must be started within a few hours of the character's death.  The spirit of the dead PC has not yet "moved on", but will do so very soon.
Once the spirit has moved on (a few hours after the death), then the Raise Dead ritual can still be cast, but the person casting the ritual basically meets with the diety of the dead PC, and needs to make a case to let him come back to life.  This almost always meets with denial.
Reason: It makes death more meaningful. 

3. Rituals House Rule
Rituals: In order to obtain the Ritual Casting feat, you must be a spellcasting class (Wizard, Cleric, Warlock, etc) or be multi-classed into such a class.  If you are not, Ritual Casting is not available to you.
Reason: The "feel" and "flavor" of casting rituals in our campaign-setting belongs to one devoted to the study of it (a single feat doesn't cut it).

4. Rituals Specific to Class House Rule
Rituals and Class: Some rituals are only avaiable to arcane classes, while others are only available to divine classes.  I won't divy up the list completely here, but a few examples: Cure Disease and Raise Dead are only available to divine classes, while Wizard's Sight and Magic Mouth are only available to arcane classes.
Most rituals are available to both.
Reason: Rituals that lean heavily toward divine or arcane origins maintain that flavor by being limited to that class type.

5. Frostcheese and Weapons
Frostcheese with Frost Weapons: It doesn't work.  Whatever power you use doesn't gain the cold keyword because of your frost weapon.
Reason: Frostcheese is cheesy.
Why do you hate the frost combo so much?  It's not cheesy at all, it's a good combination of powers, items, and feats.  By the logic of that houserule then all the elemental weapons are useless, because none of them should grant their respected element keyword if the frost doesn't.  I don't know, maybe you have your reasons but honestly to me it just seems like you just don't like a legitimently nice combo that does take a little time to acquire and all it does is grant the potential to combat advantage(so a +2 to hit), and a little extra damage.  The same mechanical benefits can be obtained through different items and such anyway, so why the big beef with this combo(eh, repeating one's self).

But that curiousity aside...lets see...

1. Well, if a party is flanking a target that target grants combat advantage to everyone, not just the people flanking it.  So that feat, Vexing Flanker I believe, is useless.
Reason: One, this is how it was for us in 3.5 and we're use to it.  Two, we felt that it didn't make sense for the CA to only be granted to the flankers.  The whole reasoning for flanking and CA is that the creature's attention is split between the two(or more) flankers and thus his defenses are weakened.  Well that doesn't change whether the attacker is flanking the target or not.  The creature is still being distracted by the flankers and defense is lowered regardless of where the attack comes from.

2. We play with a Crit chart.  Basically, when you crit you roll a percentage and that percentage dictates what happens in addition to the normal crit.  So like, 0-67 is just normal crit damage.  Then after that is broken bone, loss of limb, lose and eye, then internal bleeding(the target takes their bloodied value in damage, this replaces whatever damage you'd do with the crit), and 100% is instant death.  Though the instant death doesn't work for monsters rolling crits on players, just for players.  And we have yet to roll a 100...sadly.
Reason: It makes things more interesting and we've been doing it since 3.5, we just modified it a bit when we changed to 4th.  And while some people here on the forums express dislike of this, we find it adds for fun and flavor to crits.  And while it can suck to lose a limb in combat...we deal and usually there's a way to get it replaced eventually, so it's never really permanent.

Eh, can't really think of any more at the moment though there are probably a couple more that may come to me.   
Why do you hate the frost combo so much?  It's not cheesy at all, it's a good combination of powers, items, and feats.  By the logic of that houserule then all the elemental weapons are useless. 


I just find it cheesy.  It's so cheesy, it's actually gotten it's own special name of recognition: "Frostcheese".
It doesn't make them useless, since you still do damage of that element's type, which can affect Vulnerabilities.  The only change we made for House Rules was that is doesn't add the keyword to the power, so it doesn't set off Frostcheese.

1. Well, if a party is flanking a target that target grants combat advantage to everyone, not just the people flanking it.  So that feat, Vexing Flanker I believe, is useless.
Reason: One, this is how it was for us in 3.5 and we're use to it.  Two, we felt that it didn't make sense for the CA to only be granted to the flankers.  The whole reasoning for flanking and CA is that the creature's attention is split between the two(or more) flankers and thus his defenses are weakened.  Well that doesn't change whether the attacker is flanking the target or not.  The creature is still being distracted by the flankers and defense is lowered regardless of where the attack comes from.


Makes good sense, I like it.

2. We play with a Crit chart.  Basically, when you crit you roll a percentage and that percentage dictates what happens in addition to the normal crit.  So like, 0-67 is just normal crit damage.  Then after that is broken bone, loss of limb, lose and eye, then internal bleeding(the target takes their bloodied value in damage, this replaces whatever damage you'd do with the crit), and 100% is instant death.  Though the instant death doesn't work for monsters rolling crits on players, just for players.  And we have yet to roll a 100...sadly.
Reason: It makes things more interesting and we've been doing it since 3.5, we just modified it a bit when we changed to 4th.  And while some people here on the forums express dislike of this, we find it adds for fun and flavor to crits.  And while it can suck to lose a limb in combat...we deal and usually there's a way to get it replaced eventually, so it's never really permanent.


That actually sounds like fun, and would add more detail to what's actually happening in the fight.

I like this houserule that our DM uses.

Two-Weapon Fighting Houserule
Anyone can make an attack using two weapons, but takes a -5 penalty to both attack rolls for doing so. Taking the Two-Weapon Fighting feat eliminates this penalty.

I like this because, suddenly, the ranger just isn't quite as overpowered compared to other classes.
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I have quite a few house rules to balance the game. The biggest are:

No feat taxes or math holes. Players get the bonuses they need just for sitting down at the table.

My own multiclass feats replace the official MC feats and hybriding. I'm hoping mine are the best of both worlds, with the failings of neither.

I fixed a few gimped builds. For example, I made the star pact a purely Con/Int build before this month's errata finally fixed the build officially.

Regular saves are rolled at the end of the attacker's turn; bonus saves can end pretty much any condition, even conditions that normally last until the end of someone's turn.

My house rule list is massive, and there are others, but nobody wants to read a wall o' text!

I like this houserule that our DM uses.

Two-Weapon Fighting Houserule
Anyone can make an attack using two weapons, but takes a -5 penalty to both attack rolls for doing so. Taking the Two-Weapon Fighting feat eliminates this penalty.

I like this because, suddenly, the ranger just isn't quite as overpowered compared to other classes.


Hm, that sounds a lot like burning the village to save it from the dragon. I guess it depends on the details of the rule though.
The two weapon fighting houserule is nice because it doesn't make much sense that the ranger and a few other classes are the only classes that can really use multi-attacks. I don't imagine my character not being able to attack with both of his weapons in one attack, despite the fact that he's trained in the art of dual-wielding for 10 years.
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The two weapon fighting houserule is nice because it doesn't make much sense that the ranger and a few other classes are the only classes that can really use multi-attacks. I don't imagine my character not being able to attack with both of his weapons in one attack, despite the fact that he's trained in the art of dual-wielding for 10 years.



That would be because dual-wielding, quite simply, does not work.  Good look with that suspension of disbelief. Innocent
A)This is a fantasy game with giant, fire-breathing, winged reptiles. Just about anything is possible. B)Dual-wielding did work, just not in the way that most people today think of. Dual-wielding was traditionally done with a full or mid-length sword in the dominant hand, with a dagger or similarly sized blade in the off hand. The dagger was used mostly for defense, whereas the sword was used mostly for offense. A person that could dual-wield two full length weapons was either extremely skilled, or extremely stupid. If said person was standing in front of you with all of his limbs intact, they were not extremely stupid.

EDIT: Also, this is not the place for such an argument, and, as such, I am going to stop. 
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How does your dual attack work rule work exactly? Does it apply to basic melee attacks, or to any and all powers? The rule sounds incomplete and as such I can't judge if it'd be awesome or broken. And if it were awesome I might copy it

As for my own games, I don't have a lot of houserules. Except in my group of "players whom you can't trust around NPCs" there is a rule of "you cannot be in a city because I do not trust you to not raze it to the ground" but that's not a very mechanical rule.
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It's tough to say exactly how it works. Since I play as an executioner, I only really make melee basic attacks, but I think it applies to all powers. There could be many ways to interpret it, but what it seems like to me is that it gives you a melee basic attack with your off-hand weapon as a free action every turn. Then again, we can use it for a second chance at getting the effect of an attack, so it's almost halfway between a free action melee basic attack and another attack roll for your next attack. It's tough to explain.

Another houserule that our DM uses, that I absolutely love is that crits are double max damage. He ruled it this way because he wanted the campaign we're running to be epic. And it has been. Our crits rarely fully kill something, and we usually don't hit anything if we don't roll 14 or higher. Our DM is awesome. 
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Yeah... that's real wide on the overpowered side of things I'm afraid I'm not going to copy that.
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Yeah, I figured. But you could still tweak it to work the way you wanted. Off hand weapon damage, no modifiers or bonuses apply would still keep the dual-wielding facet without too much extra power. That's the beauty of D&D. My DM faced us up against a Zombie Ninja (long story, don't ask) that could redirect our melee attacks, then he told us that we could take a feat that would let us do that. I'm excited for level 14.
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This is a house rule I instituted in my games:

All wizards need not memorize spells at the start of the day.  All other spellbook rules apply.  Basically, you have a certain number of daily/encounter attack spells you can cast per interval.  You need not select which ones you need beforehand, but you cannot go over your limit.  You also cannot cast the same spell more than once per interval.

Reasoning: I never liked Vancian magic, at least in regards to having to guess what was coming up in the next day's adventure.  This also allows wizards some extra flexibility with their spell selection, as they can choose the spell they need when they need it.  In addition, it makes the Expanded Spellbook feat much more attractive.
This is a house rule I instituted in my games:

All wizards need not memorize spells at the start of the day.  All other spellbook rules apply.  Basically, you have a certain number of daily/encounter attack spells you can cast per interval.  You need not select which ones you need beforehand, but you cannot go over your limit.  You also cannot cast the same spell more than once per interval.


I do this too. It cuts down on bookkeeping, and basically turns the wizard into a spontaneous caster. Which fits better with his inability to add spells to his "spell book."

(It's a pet peeve of mine: if you can't add spells to it or learn spells from it, it's not a spell book. It's just a ritual book.) 
This is a house rule I instituted in my games:

All wizards need not memorize spells at the start of the day.  All other spellbook rules apply.  Basically, you have a certain number of daily/encounter attack spells you can cast per interval.  You need not select which ones you need beforehand, but you cannot go over your limit.  You also cannot cast the same spell more than once per interval.


I do this too. It cuts down on bookkeeping, and basically turns the wizard into a spontaneous caster. Which fits better with his inability to add spells to his "spell book."

(It's a pet peeve of mine: if you can't add spells to it or learn spells from it, it's not a spell book. It's just a ritual book.) 



And why isnt a ritual a spell ... "exactly"
You see to me knowing how to work a magic so well that you can do it fast in a chaotic battle context requires a very focused and practiced understanding of that specific magic and really shouldnt be something you can swap out with perusal of a tome.
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The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Mechanics

Cover:

If a group of pcs are ganging up on a lone monster, any ranged attacks against said monster can either suffer a cover penalty as appropriate (against a large creature, maybe one or two points) or they can risk it- miss by that much hit a random person (if their AC is good enough, said arrow would deflect off of plate armor, etc). The general basis is cover (partial, half, full).

Characters that would be trained specifically in use of such weapons (archers, ranged rangers, assassins, halflings with sling depending on culture) etc ignore these. It applies to monsters as well- if 4 kobolds are surrounding a halfling, the kobolds firing in suffer a penalty.

This rule was instituted in my games by agreement with players, who enjoyed the extra in game drama of firing into melee, where people are constantly moving. Sharpshooters have an advantage over average theif that picks up a bow.

Style/fluff

Improvised weapons system:

Your character wants to wield two daggers, but you dont want the feats, just the rule of cool? You 'technically' are using a shortsword, make a single attack, using shortswords damage, have no free hands, and describe it as twin knives.

'Improvised' armor:

You want to play a paladin who shields himself with faith? Buy the plate armor, you get that bonus, but can be described as in cloth. Said faith takes a prayer to bring to full effect, (conveniently) equal to time to put on plate armor.
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This is a house rule I instituted in my games:

All wizards need not memorize spells at the start of the day.  All other spellbook rules apply.  Basically, you have a certain number of daily/encounter attack spells you can cast per interval.  You need not select which ones you need beforehand, but you cannot go over your limit.  You also cannot cast the same spell more than once per interval.


I do this too. It cuts down on bookkeeping, and basically turns the wizard into a spontaneous caster. Which fits better with his inability to add spells to his "spell book."

(It's a pet peeve of mine: if you can't add spells to it or learn spells from it, it's not a spell book. It's just a ritual book.) 



And why isnt a ritual a spell ... "exactly"
You see to me knowing how to work a magic so well that you can do it fast in a chaotic battle context requires a very focused and practiced understanding of that specific magic and really shouldnt be something you can swap out with perusal of a tome.


A wizard who pulls a ritual book from the cold dead hands of his enemy can open up that book, and learn the rituals inside. He can then go back to town and purchase even more rituals, learning and adding them all to his own ritual book. He can share his ritual book with friendly characters, who can learn those rituals for themselves. Anyone who knows a ritual can cast that ritual as often as he wants, so long as he has components to spare.

On the other hand, a wizard only knows a certain number of spells and can only learn more by leveling up. He can take the Expanded "Spellbook" feat, but his repertoire is still limited to a certain number of slots. No matter how many "spellbooks" he loots or buys, he can never learn beyond his alloted number of spells, nor can he teach anyone else his own spells. With the exception of at-wills, he can only cast so many spells in a given period, and he can't cast the same spell twice within a given period.

So while rituals and spells are both a kind of magic, there are clear thematic differences. One fits well with the wizard's scholarly flavor text, the other fits better with the innate powers flavor text of every other class.

So while rituals and spells are both a kind of magic, there are clear thematic differences. One fits well with the wizard's scholarly flavor text, the other fits better with the innate powers flavor text of every other class.



I think of spells as being the same fundamental thing as rituals but which have been mastered either by talent or innate gifts just as you say or by ultra long hours of practice (... I say get rid of the standard spellbook swap let alone the extended one its incongruous - how can you swap out the mastery of something gained by long hours of practice? or talent for that matter)  the difference between a spell and a ritual is then just "can this be mastered to perform really fast under untoward circumstances... or cant it."   And you could even see spells as simply having trivialized cost or reusable components in the form of implements.

The additional restriction of daily or encounter could be seen as representing the extra effort involved in such fast casting if you take a daily and spend 4 hours casting it with N amounts of components you could probably do it more than once per day too... shrug.

Fictional example ... In the book Elric of Melnibone, the character descovers he could when desparate fast cast a certain rather potent ritual without any components etc. It was an eye awakening. (wow we has dailies!!!)
 
Breaking things is always faster than fixing or creating them...battle field magic is closer to raw expression of power.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

 
A wizard who pulls a ritual book from the cold dead hands of his enemy can open up that book, and learn the rituals inside. 
 [ snipped  ]
On the other hand, a wizard only knows a certain number of spells and can only learn more by leveling up. 


How do you imagine that learning more spells when your character levels up? ... because its off camera doesnt mean it isnt something found in that dead enemies spell book gets studied and practiced and mastered. See that learning part is your choice doesnt mean its a ping.... level up.... magically entering his brain (but it could be). Its you doing the imagining and its under the players control. 

Surely you arent imagining Ping look I just took the linguist feat now I speak Dragon and Giant and ....so on?

I remember when it was the DM who basically determined what spells my character had (AD&D).. it was icky. my wizards style was determined by the DM and that really sucked.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 


  • Reskin/refluff/reflavor your heart out.  I am not a huge stickler for keeping things as they are or banning mechanical concepts based on flavor disagreements.  We can work things out.

  • Feats at every level: There are hundreds of them, if not a thousand.  Plenty for people to further tailor their characters.  If you're worried about people building the ultimate death machines, limit the feats they get at abnormal levels to stuff that isn't as combat-useful or almost completely combat-independent (or just come up with more situations you can't entirely solve by charging with a gouge)

  • All races gain +2 to two different ability scores.  Racial penalties are abolished (including weapon limitations for the Small size.  Maybe you use a sword bigger than you are, or a small-sized sword that you wield with heroic skill).  Don't let your cool concept be held back by mechanical limitations.



  • At-Will Advancement: The only thing that changes about your at-wills normally is damage.  For at-wills that do more than damage, consider increasing certain aspects




    • Cleave (and cleave-like powers): At 11th level, it damages two adjacent enemies instead of one, while at 21st it's each adjacent enemy other than the original target.  It might even trigger on a miss or be an effect.  It might also be treated as a close attack for ignoring the defenses of swarms



    • Some ranged implement attacks increase in range to match with the increased range that weapon users can take advantage of



    • Attacks that allow for forced movement or the characters to move/shift increase in distance.  Some might allow teleporting an equal distance instead of their normal movement.  With reach, flying and teleportation common at higher tiers, it's not that big of a deal



    • Powers that offer defense and offense bonuses shouldn't scale by much, but it is an option, especially with the powers that offer a low bonus to begin with.



    • Powers that offer healing or temporary hit points increase their benefit at higher levels.  They have to anyways, since just an ability score modifier doesn't scale up fast enough to match monster damage



    • Some powers may pick up additional features, such as Disheartening Strike granting CA to the next attack against it

    • Some powers might target additional defenses (usually Attacks vs. AC targeting Fortitude or Reflex)







  • Double utility powers: You get two utility powers per slot instead of one.  This is to encourage people to use ones that aren't just combat boosters, though it really depends on your group



  • No need for class skills: Take whatever you can justify.  Your primary and secondary ability scores only support so much, so it's not as though you'll be easily acing hard DCs with a skill outside the norm.



  • Alternate ability scores for some skills: It's really sad when a wizard is the one telling the cleric all about religion.  So give more options to more people.  Some examples:




    • Clerics, Avengers and Invokers can use Wisdom for Religion, Paladins can use Charisma or Wisdom.  Sorcerers, Warlocks and Bards can use Charisma for Arcana (some Warlocks might use Constitution).  Trust your instincts, they're how you channel that power source to begin with!  Psionic classes might also be able to use Charisma or Wisdom for Arcana.



    • You might use Dexterity for Athletics



    • You might use Intelligence for some of the various Knowledge checks such as Nature



    • You might use Charisma or Intelligence for Insight or maybe even Perception



    • You might use Strength or perhaps a different physical score for Intimidate



    • Leader classes can use other ability scores for Heal

    • Some classes might use different skills/ability modifiers, such as a telekinetic psion using Arcana or Intelligence for Athletics and Strength checks, to represent floating around and lifting things with the power of your mind.




      • If you find this stuff to be too much, then you can limit it to one or two alternate ability score uses per character, limit things to be based on class (such as Strength for Intimidate being given to fighters or brutal rogues) or require a feat (with the caveat that the feat can give training/skill bonus so it's not just a tax.  This works better if you give more feats), or you can just run it case-by-case and have your player characters tell you how they're using Strength to Intimidate the guards.  I'd still hand out the fixes to classes who are automatically trained in a skill though (cleric, paladin, bard, sorcerer, warlock).  It's nice not to have a free albatross around your neck when it comes to skills, since that erodes your choices.









  • Backgrounds give you an additional trained skill: It's just more fun this way.  Plus, being the class with only three trained skills (Fighters, Battleminds) is just unfun during skill challenges.



  • Born Under A Bad Sign and other similar "use your highest stat for HP" backgrounds don't actually do that anymore.  Instead you just get that benefit, because it's otherwise something everyone picked up.  It's just too useful not to pick.  Extra HP over the course of the campaign won't do that much later on (though it can be the difference between consciousness after a blow or not in early heroic tier), and if it's a problem just up monster damage by one or two points per tier.  Healing surge totals are where the real battle is.



  • Similar to the above, feat taxes that everyone goes for because they're required (Expertise, Improved Defenses) are handed out for free.  Your Expertise bonus is added to your racial attacks that need it.



  • Bards are proficient in the rapier: It's an oversight that was missed in the latest round of errata.  Rogues get both the shuriken increased damage size and the +1 to hit that they get with daggers to make it even remotely competitive with slings, handcrossbows and daggers, and also gain proficiency with shortbows/can use them with other rogue powers.

  • Classes which need MBAs get them.  Classes who have light armor but no score which boosts AC (Str-Wis rangers, no-Int warlocks, non-Dex barbarians, Con-shamans, swarm druids) get either heavy armor or the ability to use a secondary ability score for AC (barbarians have to trade in Barbarian Agility to get it.  May or may not nerf Barbarian Agility for Whirling Barbarians).  Classes whose primary and secondary ability scores are tied to the same defense (Str-Con/Dex-Int/Wis-Cha) get to use their secondary on a different defense, and maybe other skills as well (such as a Cunning Rogue using Int for Will, Insight, and Perception instead of Wisdom).

 
A wizard who pulls a ritual book from the cold dead hands of his enemy can open up that book, and learn the rituals inside. 
 [ snipped  ]
On the other hand, a wizard only knows a certain number of spells and can only learn more by leveling up. 


How do you imagine that learning more spells when your character levels up? ... because its off camera doesnt mean it isnt something found in that dead enemies spell book gets studied and practiced and mastered. See that learning part is your choice doesnt mean its a ping.... level up.... magically entering his brain (but it could be). Its you doing the imagining and its under the players control. 


If a player wants to imagine his wizard learning his spells the way wizards of previous editions learned their spells, I won't say no. But my own wizards learn new spells the way other 4e characters learn new powers: by practicing and honing their innate magical talent.

Neither way is wrong, but there isn't much rules-based 'evidence' for the former explanation.


  • All races gain +2 to two different ability scores.  Racial penalties are abolished (including weapon limitations for the Small size.  Maybe you use a sword bigger than you are, or a small-sized sword that you wield with heroic skill).  Don't let your cool concept be held back by mechanical limitations.



  • No need for class skills: Take whatever you can justify.  Your primary and secondary ability scores only support so much, so it's not as though you'll be easily acing hard DCs with a skill outside the norm.



  • Similar to the above, feat taxes that everyone goes for because they're required (Expertise, Improved Defenses) are handed out for free.  Your Expertise bonus is added to your racial attacks that need it.

  • Classes which need MBAs get them.  Classes who have light armor but no score which boosts AC (Str-Wis rangers, no-Int warlocks, non-Dex barbarians, Con-shamans, swarm druids) get either heavy armor or the ability to use a secondary ability score for AC (barbarians have to trade in Barbarian Agility to get it.



Yes, yes, and yes!

I also grant +1 to every stat at all the usual stat-boost levels. (Instead of just +1 to two stats.) This nicely fixes the NAD hole.
 
A wizard who pulls a ritual book from the cold dead hands of his enemy can open up that book, and learn the rituals inside. 
 [ snipped  ]
On the other hand, a wizard only knows a certain number of spells and can only learn more by leveling up. 


How do you imagine that learning more spells when your character levels up? ... because its off camera doesnt mean it isnt something found in that dead enemies spell book gets studied and practiced and mastered. See that learning part is your choice doesnt mean its a ping.... level up.... magically entering his brain (but it could be). Its you doing the imagining and its under the players control. 


If a player wants to imagine his wizard learning his spells the way wizards of previous editions learned their spells, I won't say no. But my own wizards learn new spells the way other 4e characters learn new powers: by practicing and honing their innate magical talent.

Neither way is wrong, but there isn't much rules-based 'evidence' for the former explanation.


What does he practice this new thing based on...ie what inspires the new element which may be dramatically different than what he has done before? especially for Wizards (....Yes, it could be reading between the lines on spells he already had in his spell book or discovering the language key he hadnt been able to decipher before ... kind of like your Arcana going up let you decipher and ingredient you lacked before.)
There is no rules based requirement for visualizing any method of levelling up!!!!!! Dont blame the game for not restricting you.

A bard might hear a new melody sung by a faery and be unable to keep it out of his head until it blossoms into something arcane or might be explicitly trained in it by a master of the bardic colleges.

Speaking of how bards do things. I have seen an interesting suggestion that allowed bards to ahem... squander wealth inorder to purchase inspiration (in place of ritual ingredients) - effectively he donates with his name hidden to charities .. starts stupid barroom brawls then pays the establishment to make up for lost favor and repair the places -- Attends masquerades where noone knows his name buying his way in with huge bribes and so on..)  Woos women in empty relationships and expensive parties see above and  but leaves them with gifts or does expensive things to soften the sting. You know misbehaving like entertainers do.

Inspiration is hard to sell or give away but also cant be stolen so it seems a balanced options  
Seems like a fun house rule.

  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 



  • Reskin/refluff/reflavor your heart out.  I am not a huge stickler for keeping things as they are or banning mechanical concepts based on flavor disagreements.  We can work things out.

  • Feats at every level: There are hundreds of them, if not a thousand.  Plenty for people to further tailor their characters.  If you're worried about people building the ultimate death machines, limit the feats they get at abnormal levels to stuff that isn't as combat-useful or almost completely combat-independent (or just come up with more situations you can't entirely solve by charging with a gouge)

  • All races gain +2 to two different ability scores.  Racial penalties are abolished (including weapon limitations for the Small size.  Maybe you use a sword bigger than you are, or a small-sized sword that you wield with heroic skill).  Don't let your cool concept be held back by mechanical limitations.



  • At-Will Advancement: The only thing that changes about your at-wills normally is damage.  For at-wills that do more than damage, consider increasing certain aspects




    • Cleave (and cleave-like powers): At 11th level, it damages two adjacent enemies instead of one, while at 21st it's each adjacent enemy other than the original target.  It might even trigger on a miss or be an effect.  It might also be treated as a close attack for ignoring the defenses of swarms



    • Some ranged implement attacks increase in range to match with the increased range that weapon users can take advantage of



    • Attacks that allow for forced movement or the characters to move/shift increase in distance.  Some might allow teleporting an equal distance instead of their normal movement.  With reach, flying and teleportation common at higher tiers, it's not that big of a deal



    • Powers that offer defense and offense bonuses shouldn't scale by much, but it is an option, especially with the powers that offer a low bonus to begin with.



    • Powers that offer healing or temporary hit points increase their benefit at higher levels.  They have to anyways, since just an ability score modifier doesn't scale up fast enough to match monster damage



    • Some powers may pick up additional features, such as Disheartening Strike granting CA to the next attack against it

    • Some powers might target additional defenses (usually Attacks vs. AC targeting Fortitude or Reflex)







  • Double utility powers: You get two utility powers per slot instead of one.  This is to encourage people to use ones that aren't just combat boosters, though it really depends on your group



  • No need for class skills: Take whatever you can justify.  Your primary and secondary ability scores only support so much, so it's not as though you'll be easily acing hard DCs with a skill outside the norm.



  • Alternate ability scores for some skills: It's really sad when a wizard is the one telling the cleric all about religion.  So give more options to more people.  Some examples:




    • Clerics, Avengers and Invokers can use Wisdom for Religion, Paladins can use Charisma or Wisdom.  Sorcerers, Warlocks and Bards can use Charisma for Arcana (some Warlocks might use Constitution).  Trust your instincts, they're how you channel that power source to begin with!  Psionic classes might also be able to use Charisma or Wisdom for Arcana.



    • You might use Dexterity for Athletics



    • You might use Intelligence for some of the various Knowledge checks such as Nature



    • You might use Charisma or Intelligence for Insight or maybe even Perception



    • You might use Strength or perhaps a different physical score for Intimidate



    • Leader classes can use other ability scores for Heal

    • Some classes might use different skills/ability modifiers, such as a telekinetic psion using Arcana or Intelligence for Athletics and Strength checks, to represent floating around and lifting things with the power of your mind.




      • If you find this stuff to be too much, then you can limit it to one or two alternate ability score uses per character, limit things to be based on class (such as Strength for Intimidate being given to fighters or brutal rogues) or require a feat (with the caveat that the feat can give training/skill bonus so it's not just a tax.  This works better if you give more feats), or you can just run it case-by-case and have your player characters tell you how they're using Strength to Intimidate the guards.  I'd still hand out the fixes to classes who are automatically trained in a skill though (cleric, paladin, bard, sorcerer, warlock).  It's nice not to have a free albatross around your neck when it comes to skills, since that erodes your choices.









  • Backgrounds give you an additional trained skill: It's just more fun this way.  Plus, being the class with only three trained skills (Fighters, Battleminds) is just unfun during skill challenges.



  • Born Under A Bad Sign and other similar "use your highest stat for HP" backgrounds don't actually do that anymore.  Instead you just get that benefit, because it's otherwise something everyone picked up.  It's just too useful not to pick.  Extra HP over the course of the campaign won't do that much later on (though it can be the difference between consciousness after a blow or not in early heroic tier), and if it's a problem just up monster damage by one or two points per tier.  Healing surge totals are where the real battle is.



  • Similar to the above, feat taxes that everyone goes for because they're required (Expertise, Improved Defenses) are handed out for free.  Your Expertise bonus is added to your racial attacks that need it.



  • Bards are proficient in the rapier: It's an oversight that was missed in the latest round of errata.  Rogues get both the shuriken increased damage size and the +1 to hit that they get with daggers to make it even remotely competitive with slings, handcrossbows and daggers, and also gain proficiency with shortbows/can use them with other rogue powers.

  • Classes which need MBAs get them.  Classes who have light armor but no score which boosts AC (Str-Wis rangers, no-Int warlocks, non-Dex barbarians, Con-shamans, swarm druids) get either heavy armor or the ability to use a secondary ability score for AC (barbarians have to trade in Barbarian Agility to get it.  May or may not nerf Barbarian Agility for Whirling Barbarians).  Classes whose primary and secondary ability scores are tied to the same defense (Str-Con/Dex-Int/Wis-Cha) get to use their secondary on a different defense, and maybe other skills as well (such as a Cunning Rogue using Int for Will, Insight, and Perception instead of Wisdom).




Awesome -- is Quoting or Awesome allowed? You see QFT all the time we need QFA.
you at-will advancement sounds very interesting... but a bit haphazzard. 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Style/fluff

Improvised weapons system:

Your character wants to wield two daggers, but you dont want the feats, just the rule of cool? You 'technically' are using a shortsword, make a single attack, using shortswords damage, have no free hands, and describe it as twin knives.

'Improvised' armor:

You want to play a paladin who shields himself with faith? Buy the plate armor, you get that bonus, but can be described as in cloth. Said faith takes a prayer to bring to full effect, (conveniently) equal to time to put on plate armor.



This is great, and I do stuff like this all the time.  The mechanics, feat/stat requirements, math, etc. all remain the same, but the description of how it looks can be anything that makes the most sense for the PC and campaign.

My example: there is a Rogue who's style/background is that of an assassin born from a desert-culture (Conan-esque, Scopion King-esque).  He got the feat for a Rapier, but describes it as a "Light Scimitar", where it looks like a lighter, slightly smaller version of a scimitar.  All stats are exactly the same as a Rapier, and spent a feat to use it (just as he would need to for the Rapier), so the math and mechanics are exactly the same, only the flavor changes.

This simple thing alone fixes a lot of percieved problems.  For example, the discussion in this thread regarding someone wielding two weapons.  All you need to do is get the Two Weapon Fighting feat, and hold a weapon in each hand.  Sure, the math is that you just get a +1 to your damage, but as far as how it looks, the PC is kicking some butt using dual weapons.  IMHO, it doesn't really matter if he lacks a Ranger's Powers that let him make two separate attacks--he is still skilled at using two weapons, and is hacking and slashing orcs to pieces with both blades! =)

You totally lost me after your first question, so I'll answer that one and leave the rest.

What does he practice this new thing based on...ie what inspires the new element which may be dramatically different than what he has done before?


A wizard might have inborn talent like a sorcerer, or practiced discipline like a psion, or even an agreement with a higher power like a warlock or divine type. In any case, he has the potential to learn dramatically different spells the same way they do. Through practice, discipline and/or personal experimentation, a wizard's repertoire can include a wide array of effects.
Awesome -- is Quoting or Awesome allowed? You see QFT all the time we need QFA.
you at-will advancement sounds very interesting... but a bit haphazzard. 



The at-will thing is extremely rudimentary at the moment, based solely on the fact that epic at-wills just don't feel epic.  I'm also sort of tempted to increase the damage by one die at paragon tier in addition to epic simply because the numbers don't really match the increase in HP of enemies.  It's mostly just poking at it and seeing what's interesting.

It's all theoretical since I don't have any epic-tier game.
Awesome -- is Quoting or Awesome allowed? You see QFT all the time we need QFA.
you at-will advancement sounds very interesting... but a bit haphazzard. 



The at-will thing is extremely rudimentary at the moment, based solely on the fact that epic at-wills just don't feel epic.  I'm also sort of tempted to increase the damage by one die at paragon tier in addition to epic simply because the numbers don't really match the increase in HP of enemies.  It's mostly just poking at it and seeing what's interesting.

It's all theoretical since I don't have any epic-tier game.


OK well one thing you might notice is that at-wills get large numbers of enhancements by way of feats... For instance in arcane there is White Lotus and Rose King sets of feats and others .... for Martial its sometimes the Fighting Styles and others.... and so on and so forth. 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

You totally lost me after your first question, so I'll answer that one and leave the rest.



heh I wondered off and presented a house rule for Bardic Ritual Components


What does he practice this new thing based on...ie what inspires the new element which may be dramatically different than what he has done before?


A wizard might have inborn talent like a sorcerer, or practiced discipline like a psion, or even an agreement with a higher power like a warlock or divine type. In any case, he has the potential to learn dramatically different spells the same way they do. Through practice, discipline and/or personal experimentation, a wizard's repertoire can include a wide array of effects.


You seemed to be complaining that wizardly advancement acquiring of new spells didnt feel like that of a "wizard" I guess I was just saying (its not the games fault gunga din) on the other hand
personal experimentation really sounds like a technique of a Wizard. I had granted you the new thing he learns is already in his library and he just uncovered its key element that he didnt quite understand before (or that makes it use-able in a battlefield context).
I assume spellbooks are complex things with lots of the information encrypted or obtuse not necessarily like a recipe book on a shelf though certain elements of them might be obvious... note dont wizards get free rituals by levelling up too... where did those come from perhaps they too are already in his library and not yet understood?

Any way this has diverged quite a bit from all the interesting house rules..
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

1. Resurrection and Soulsevered

Resurrection is not cheap. First of all, only those killed directly by magic or an outsider can be resurrected, as it is considered unnatural. Natural deaths hold no chance of resurrection. Secondly the body must be intact and the woud, and can only be done within 24 hours before the body decays too much. Secondly, there is only a 10% chance it will even work, as the magics involved are precarious and can easily fizzle out.
When a resurrection is successful, the person in question becomes Soulsevered. There is a 25% chance they come back completely devoid of a soul, with no morality or goals or emotion whatsoever. Otherwise, they find their soul ripped in two - part of them remains in the afterlife, and they experience what happens to it through dreams. In addition, healing magic damages them. Instead, they regenerate health. This is generally less effective, but if used tactically well, it can be quite a help.

2. Divine and Arcane Magic Appearance

Divine spellcaster's magic comes from their god, and so manifests in a way their god finds pleasing. They cannot decide what their spells look like, while arcane spellcasters get to describe their magical effects. Instead, divine spellcasters get a transparent magical aura when they cast that their player does get to describe - it could be a suit of armour, a crown, chains, a dragon coiled around them - they decide. However, regardless of your spellcaster type, consistency is important.

3. XP Handouts

As with many DMs, my characters recieve extra XP for good roleplaying. However, if they roleplay badly, they recieve and XP penalty - the XP they earn from that point on is significantly less unless they start playing better. Note that this is only for acting out of character for no reason.
Also, I give them Awesomeness points - if they do something awesome or creative in combat, they get a huge payoff. This is things like loading a kobold minecart with explosives, then pushing it down the mine, or jumping off a cliffside onto a Tarrasque. Depending on the levels of awesomeness, they can get the equivalent of killing something quite powerful.



I've been toying with how to keep divine characters on the straight and narrow, so to speak.  I like the previous editions' notion of divine power being a direct gift from a divine source.  I think 4E speaks to that some (despite the devs' insistence to the contrary) by calling divine powers "prayers."

So, I'm trying to think up a way both to punish people who repeatedly and willfully go against their gods' wishes and to reward those who seem to really be in tune with the same.  This is what I've come up with so far:

Going against your god: Divine characters derive their powers from their deities.  In general, the deities can maintain a watchful and indirect presence in the world because of their agents.  But, the gods do not take well to those who use their names without thought to their decrees.

Going against the wishes of your god can result in the loss of powers.  However, as the gods know that they need their mortal agents just as much as their agents need them, this is a process, and it does not happen immediately.  No matter how unforgiving a god's tenets may be, he or she will give every chance for the agent to turn back to the god's path.

When deviating from a god's wishes, the character is informed he or she has done so.  This can be through a dream, the character's conscience, whatever.  The point is that the character is aware that he is going against the tenets of his faith, and that he needs to turn back before more harm is done.

Repeatedly going against a deity can then result in some loss of power.  Perhaps a simple prayer is denied, or perhaps a singularly powerful prayer is made less so (i.e. a crit becomes normal damage).  This may put the character and his party into a more serious situation, but it should be one that is well within the group's abilities to handle, though it is more difficult.  No religion check is needed for the character to know that his or her deity is displeased with the current trend away from the deity.

Still more repeated ignoring of a god's tenets can result in a more blatant display of power.  The time for warnings is past, and the character loses the ability to use powers with the Divine keyword.

Atonement should be roleplayed, and it should be a challenge for the character.  Perhaps a cleric of Erathis must roll up his sleeves and help build a temple for a new settlement in the wilderness.

Another way to regain powers is to find a deity to accept the character as he is.  Perhaps the character's new world view is more in line with Avandra than Erathis.  Avandra may accept the character under her domain and grant powers to the character.  Any domain chosen by the character must line up with the new god's portfolio.  This may completely change how a character plays.

Either way, the character's desire must be genuine.

Acting in accordance with your god: A character who acts constantly in accordance with his or her deity becomes more "in tune" with that deity's power.  Perhaps a near-hit becomes a hit.  Or perhaps that natural 19 counts as a 20.  The reward is at the control of the DM, and it should not happen too often (and maybe even kept secret for the most part).  The idea is to reward good roleplaying--not to force someone to make certain decisions.  Personally, I'd like to keep this for appropriate story moments.  Like, against the BBEG, an avenger rolls a 19 in a last-ditch all-or-nothing hit on the monster.  Pleased with the avenger's spirit (and since the monster is somehow inhibiting the spread of the god's influence), the power of the god flows through the avenger, and that 19 becomes a 20 and a crit.

 
1. Magical bows, crossbows, and slings create their own nonmagical ammunition when used.  It's not worth the effort to track ammo.

2. You only die at negative bloodied HP, or if you want your character to die.  When you reach zero HP, you are 'down'; you can speak, and are aware, but cannot take other actions.  When you fail three 'death' saves, you are 'out'; you'll have to wait for the short or extended rest after the battle to be healed.

3. Raise Dead does not exist.  Once you're dead, you're dead.
3a.  Game stops at 20th level, because once you're dead you're dead, and 3/4s of the Epic Destinies screw that up.

4. No XP.  We level up after story arcs.

5. No class skill list, no mandatory trained skills.  Mandatory trained skills are replaced with free choices (so, wizards get any 4, rogues get any 6, etc).
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
1. Magical bows, crossbows, and slings create their own nonmagical ammunition when used.  It's not worth the effort to track ammo.


I did this as well.  A player of mine got a magical longbow, and I told her that when she pulled it back to test its draw, an arrow appeared ready to fly.  I don't mind keeping track of ammo in games like Shadowrun or Stargate.  But, for D&D, tracking ammo is the pits, and it's hardly fair to rangers that they have to pay money to contribute to the fight.

4. No XP.  We level up after story arcs.


I'm instituting this in my current campaign.  I found that my players were worried about how much xp they just got, rather than staying focused on the story.  Also, I may wwant to buck the trend and just have them level up after 3 or so fights, or even no fights after a good bit of non-combat roleplaying.  I also don't want to have to write up/find close to 300 encounters and skill challenges.

2. You only die at negative bloodied HP, or if you want your character to die.  When you reach zero HP, you are 'down'; you can speak, and are aware, but cannot take other actions.  When you fail three 'death' saves, you are 'out'; you'll have to wait for the short or extended rest after the battle to be healed.



Okay, kinda curious here.  So basically...this is the exact same as how dying works in the normal game.  You die when you hit bloodied, fail three death saving throws.  The only difference I see is that you let the person remain conscious, though no actions can be taken.  Which seems odd, but whatever I guess.  But if a player can't be healed in combat does this only apply when they're dying or do you ban all healing in combat?  To me the latter seems extremely excessive, so I'm going to assume you just mean when a person is dying.

Curious though, why even bother with the whole "fail 3 death saving throws" part then if they have to wait for a rest after battle to heal from dying?  What I mean is, unless the person dies at basically the end of combat, it's basically a given that they'll die.  To me it seems just simpler to say when PCs drop to 0 or lower, they're dead that's it.  Like I said, just curious.

Though I will say that we pretty much function on the basis that when your character dies he's dead.  We rarely bring a character back except on certain occasions.  Thought Raise Dead and such are always still available, we just generally want to try new characters and stuff so we don't mind a dead character just being dead.     
What he basically says is that when you fail 3 death saves you don't die, instead you are considered "out" and have to wait until the end of the battle to be healed again, but you can be healed once the encounter is over. On the other hand, until you fail 3 saves you can be healed as normal and you can still talk.
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
1. Magical bows, crossbows, and slings create their own nonmagical ammunition when used.  It's not worth the effort to track ammo.


I'd call this more an explanation of RAW than a house rule, but I like it.

4. No XP.  We level up after story arcs.


Ditto. It's so much better, all around.
What he basically says is that when you fail 3 death saves you don't die, instead you are considered "out" and have to wait until the end of the battle to be healed again, but you can be healed once the encounter is over. On the other hand, until you fail 3 saves you can be healed as normal and you can still talk.



Huh okay, so not an almost copy of the rules then after all.
ive been playing with pretty much the same group of players since 3.5. We've developed alot of rules but im going to list some of the more prominent ones.

1: If a race has powers associatted with it you get them all. It doesn't make sense to me that some drow can use cloud of darknes and others can use darkfire. If it's a benefit to the race thats inherit they get it.

2: All ability scores are capped at 20. This has been voted on and agreed by the players. It gets them to look into the other abilities and put some points out then fonuses on ubering out someone

3: If you find someplace that can train you in a feat, you can train to receive it with some sort of payment (monetary/adventure/job). HOWEVER you can only have as many feats as you have levels

4: you do not Miraciously lose powers by leveling up. If you had a power and learned it you keep it. Makes things a little more big on the keeping track sort but also keeps it interesting.

5: Alot of 3.5 racial feats and bonuses follow over into 4e. For instance, halflings still receive their +1 to thrown weapon attacks. Halflings receive an automatic +1 to their saving throws. Drow hit by an attack with the Arcane Keyword may make a save to take half damage. Drow receive a -1 penalty to attacks in bright sunlight. (you take the good with the bad)

6: Reunderstanding of multi-class feats. (we use our own type)

7: Special reflavoring (based off of other games). We use a birthsign chart that players roll randomly on at time of creation. a 1D12. Depending on what sign your born under gives you benefits. We also have a chart for players to choose two fields they specialise in to receive additionial bonuses.

8: Talents - all classes have talents that players may choose in place of feats. these do everything from increase certain abilities to give inherent passive bonuses. EG: a ranger can pick up the talent "Stationiary quiver" If they do not move in the same round they make an attack they receive +1 to their attack rolls. A Rogue may pick up the talent "Weak Spot" If his target is granting combat advantage and is bloodied his sneak attack damage raises by 1 die (2D6 instead of 1D6). (this offers players a chance to further specialise their characters)

9: Critical hits and fumbles are more epic. They can be anything from allowing a second attack to dropping your weapon. Unfortunatly it works for monsters as well

10: Counters and dodges. Each encounter you are allowed 3 counters or dodges (increase by 3 each tier). Simply declare you are using a counter or a dodge then make a d20 roll. If your roll is greater then the enemies base d20 (no modifier) rolls then you take no damage or make make an opportunity attack in responce. (keep in mind if you dodge it the attack does no damage. If you counter it the attack still does damage you just get to attack back). cumulative feats are available to raise this number.

11: Spell casters may expend the use of an ENCOUNTER OR DAILY power with the same keyword (arcane/divine) as an attack against them to cancel out the offending casters attack. Unless your attacker has combat advantage.

12: Action points have more uses then just receiving an additionial action.

2: All ability scores are capped at 20. This has been voted on and agreed by the players. It gets them to look into the other abilities and put some points out then fonuses on ubering out someone



I like your reasoning here, but in my experience this will make characters weak in Epic Tiers compared to even-leveled monsters, and they'll get eaten alive.  
Maybe allow them one ability score that is not capped? (just my 2 cents)

well truthfully my players havnt lasted long enough for epic tier yet,  their the type that like to throw wrenches into things, take their own routes, tempt fate. It makes for an awesome roleplaying but things always end up with a big shabang. you always know your in for some fun when they step up to a known beholder lair and their only responce is "we can skin it for magical reagants"

Secondly im kinda on the edge on if itll work out or not simply because there is only two players and with the added talent system, the ability to keep all of their powers, the added benefits from the character customizations i have, and the fact of how they always seem to come up with crazy schemes to get enough gold to get what they want. they're never too far behind on magic bonuses. So while the abilities do get capped they find other ways to balance that.

Im also the type of dm that doesnt award magical items but instead aways generic items in the form of Arcanium dust or power crystals. these can be taken to a smithy or shop owner and broken down to create whatever magical item they desire from the books.

I wont get into the specialised gear i drop either. the unique suit of armor gifted by the thieves guild, that special dagger crafted from a dragons tooth, the ring given by the spirit of a forlorned lover. Put blatently ill try this out in epic and get back to ya, if the players ever make it that far.

After 4 encounters you get back 3 heal surges and the use of your daylies