Friday, May 18, 2012, 6:36 PM
ese are houserules and homebrew content which will be available in all the games i run consolidated on a general page.General Houserules
- FUMBLE: Whenever you make an attack roll of natural 1, your turn immediately ends, and you grant combat advantage to all attackers until the start of your next turn. If the roll is part of a close or area attack, resolve all the other attack rolls before ending your turn. (DMG 189)
- CRITICAL SUCCESS AND FAILURE: On a skill or ability check, a roll of natural 20 is a critical success and a roll of natural 1 is a critical failure. On a critical success, the check automatically succeeds, and you gain a +5 bonus to checks with that skill until the end of your next turn. In a skill challenge, add one extra victory to the tally. On a critical failure, the check automatically fails, and you take a –5 penalty to checks with that skill until the end of your next turn. In a skill challenge, add one extra defeat to the tally. (DMG 189)
- Massive Damage Threshold: When a creature takes damage equal to or greater than its bloodied value from a single attack it must make an endurance check. If the the check fails it is immediately reduced to 0 hit points.
- Death threshold: A creature dies when it reaches its negative surge value or fewer hit points. Down from bloodied.
- Assassination: A creature unaware of your presence that has not drawn their weapon that the player is hidden from. The creature gets to make a perception check as a free action against the players stealth check, if the check does not succeed then the creature is considered helpless for the attack. If the check succeeds the player is spotted, and the creature instead grants combat advantage for the attack.
- Light weapons now use the higher of your dexterity or strength for melee basic attacks
- Scroll of Retraining: Target: Self, Effect: Allows a single retraining as if you had leveled up.
- Two new languages are available exclusively to druids which they may take as their bonus language. Sylvan and Druidic
- Sylvan: Allows the druid to communicate on a basic level with beasts. Only simple thoughts may be conveyed that the creature may understamd and it will communicate back in kind. Use of this language does not change the creatures disposition towards you, and it is under no compulsion to obey anything you say.
- Druidic: A secret language only taught only to members of a druid grove.
- Weapon Proficiency: Rogues are proficient with all simple weapons, plus the hand crossbow, rapier, shuriken, shortbow, and short sword.
- Magic Missile (Changed back to original design): Int vs Ref; 2d4+INT mod force damage.
- Animate Dead: Target comes back to life with bloodied value hit points and is DOMINATED until the end of the encounter at which point it returns to death. It is also considered undead with vulnerable 10 radiant.
- Many ritual's component costs have been altered however there are too many to list at this time so it will be done on a case by case basis.
- Enchant Magic Item is broken up into having to know the individual enchantments of the items
- Many new rituals have been added to the game that will be available for discovery.
- Creative Thaumaturgy: I will work with ritual casting pcs in order to create rituals to their own designs based on their level of skill and a small challenge.
- Scales of War Adventure Path
Friday, March 9, 2012, 5:16 PM
This is my 4e guide to oriental adventures item conversion. Pretty much all of the items needed are already in the game its just figuring out what item is what in terms of an oriental game.
Tanto -> Dagger
Short Sword -> Wakizashi
Bastard Sword -> Dueling Katana
Greatsword -> Katana war sword
Fullblade -> Nodachi
Lotulis -> Lajatang or Korobokuru Lajatang
Spiked Chain -> Kau Sin Ke
Spiked Gauntlet -> Nekode
Dragon Paw -> Sang kauw
Blowgun -> Blowgun
Wakizashi -> Shortsword *
Nagamaki -> Falcion
Naginata -> Glaive
Nekode -> Spiked Gauntlet
Tail spikes -> Type of Shuriken
Ninja-to -> Shortsword
Katana -> Bastard Sword if fencing sword
Greatsword if war sword
Kau sin ke Δ -> Spiked CHain
KawanagaΔ -> Alhulak
Lajatang, korobokuru Δ -> Lotulis
Sang kauw Δ
Three-section staff Δ
Fukimi-Bari* Δ (Mouth Darts)
Sunday, February 5, 2012, 5:50 PM
Okay, So i have been toying with the idea of PC run cities now for quite some time and think ill finally put together a coherent guide onto how to do this or at least of what ive been thinking.
When to use this: This is for player towns central to a campaign setting if you want to put your players in charge of their own town. It requires a little book keeping and can eventually expand into empire building.
Why: This really doesnt need an explanation.
Anyways the idea behind a player run town is similar to that of a stronghold, by upgrading the town more options become available to players including tools, equipment, magic item, allies and pretty much every resource you can imagine including a steady income of gold. The players spend the gold they earn from the town or through adventuring in making the town bigger and better. This post will focus on the town itself i will have a future post regarding how to run army on army combat, seiges and eventually how to manage regions as opposed to individual towns. Lets start with a level 1 city.
Main headquarters for the heroes and should provide sanctuary, a place to sleep and a place for their activities within the town.
Upgrading this provides basic equipment and tools depending on its level.
Can become either weaponsmith or armorsmith
Provides Hide and leather armors
For all your wood needs including bows, spears and even fishing poles.
Provides Cloth Armor
Provides Poisons and Remedies
Provides service of Arcanists
Provides access to clerics and paladins.
Provides access to druids and shamans.
Can turn into a spirit lodge or druid circle.
Provides basic soldiers.
Upgrades to Barracks.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011, 7:22 PM
For some reason lately there has been a huge thing about making the game more difficult. At least this is the case on the VT because of said optimizers so i decided to compile a list of houserules that might be used to tweak the system to make even vanilla adventures a tad more dangerous. Using a few of these rules can increase the challenge rating of the game without the need for too much tougher monsters or over elaborate death-trap style dungeons and could work in even a regular game assuming players are cool with it. Anyways i am going to post each rule with a few variations under each on how the rules can be adjusted. I am aiming for a few things here, the first being simplicity. I dont want to over complicate the game with elaborate rules so they are something easily memorized. Second they should make the existing game more challenging and last they should actually speed up the game instead of bog it down.
-FUMBLE: Whenever you make an attack roll of natural 1, your
turn immediately ends, and you grant combat advantage
to all attackers until the start of your next turn.
If the roll is part of a close or area attack, resolve
all the other attack rolls before ending your turn. (DMG 189)
-CRITICAL SUCCESS AND FAILURE: On a skill or ability check, a roll of natural 20 is a critical success and a roll of natural 1 is a critical failure.
On a critical success, the check automatically succeeds, and you gain a +5 bonus to checks with that skill until the end of your next turn. In a skill challenge,
add one extra victory to the tally. On a critical failure, the check automatically fails, and you take a –5 penalty to checks with that skill until the end of your next turn. In a skill challenge, add one extra defeat to the tally. (DMG 189)
NOTE: I usually default all my games to the two rules above.
-Massive Damage Threshold: When a creature takes damage equal to or greater than its bloodied value from a single attack it must make a saving throw with a bonus equal to his/her Con modifier. If the saving throw fails it is immediately reduced to 0 hit points.
1) The damage threshold doesnt have to be bloodied, you can assign any reasonable amount of damage to constitute a 1 hit KO. These thresholds can be 25 to 50 damage and get similar results
2) Instead of a saving throw one can call for an endurance check since its 1/2 level + con mod +training to succeed. In that case make it equal to a medium or hard DC for the level of the creature that dealt the blow.
NOTE: This will likely be dangerous to use for characters. Standard creatures usually cannot deal bloodied value damage on a critical hit, however elite monsters and solo monsters will be able to deal this sort of damage to some players, most should be able to on a critical encounter power. It will speed up combat however due to more creatures dying quicker since PCs can deal that sort of damage to a monster much more frequently. At level 1 with a PC of 28 HP, an attack will need to deal 14 or more damage to based on the original variation.
Death threshold: A creature dies when it reaches -10 or fewer hit points.
Variations: This can be adjusted to a fixed number below 0 that it will take to die. Also using a player's surge value instead of bloodied value is a viable option. So they die at negative surge instead of negative bloodied.
NOTE: This here will be extremely perilous to impose on players. It seems it has become common for at least 1 pc in every major battle to fall unconcious due to damage and be miraculously revived. This will make the thread of 0 hit points much more real and more avoided than oh ill just get healed. However this also means players will die more frequently due to damage than failed saving throws.
TOUGHER MINIONS: The Minion can be targeted by melee or ranged attacks, although it lacks hit points. If a single melee or ranged attack deals damage to the minion equal to 10 + one-half its level or higher, the minion dies. Otherwise, the minion is unaffected by the attack.
Also giving it a 1d4+ Its current damage value. At level 1 it would be 1d4+5 would also do the trick wouldnt be a bad idea.
NOTE: This last rule may increase encounter durations but it would negate those spells that do stupid low amounts of damage to kill a minion. Like the 2 damage area from Orbmasters incendiary detonations from the zone itself. Any direct hit should be enough to kill the minion but i was using the spirit companion rules for their HP. This requires a certain amount of damage in order for them to be killed so they arent killed using what people now refer to as "minion poppers" howeevr i would no longer consider them minion kills for the purposes of player powers
Monday, October 10, 2011, 8:32 AM
I just thought id talk about this. It seemed like a pretty big theme on hiding dice rolls and numbers and i couldnt agree more. I cant say how many times skill challenges turn into a guessing game of which skills to use making even the most outrageous stretch to justify a very loosely associated skill to apply. Hearing words such as "I wanna use arcana to scale the wall" just hurts every time. Anyways i have begun using skill challenge as a hidden mechanic, the party is not to know how many successes or failures they have had but rather have to judge a success based on the events described. But this post will be about social skill challenges as they are much easier to do this with. I have been running my social challenges as a roleplaying event having each character associate in character with their social encounter and after describing their current action i may give out a penalty, a higher DC or a bonus to a skill check when called. This promotes more roleplay and less metagaming because a character with a low bluff score might in fact be called to make a bluff check because of an attempted lie. Rather than look for the PC with the highest skill modifier to perform the check even though it was the action of another PC. In this method the PCs simply feel like they are roleplaying and their skills are having an RP effect when in actuality it is a skill challenge and i am carefully recording each success and failure and giving out information regarding their progress
Example Social Challenge complexity 2:
Convince the stubborn Lord of Winterhaven to give you aid for your delve into the Starlight's family tomb.
PC: "Greetings my lord, we have come seeking aid to rid the starlight family tomb of the undead that plague the outlying village"
Lord: "You were hired to do a task and were compensated in gold, if i had the resources i would have done it myself instead of asking for help"
PC: "The undead come from the tomb every night to bring fresh victems to their body count, a village has just been burned bolstering their number so our job has now become more difficult raising the stakes"
DM: "Good point, roll me diplomacy with a +2 bonus"
*Rolls a d20+5 and gets a 10. DM makes a subtle mark behind the DM screen* (This shows the characters charismatic ability despite the well made statement he simply lacks the social posture/tone of voice to be convincing)
Lord: "We have no additional resources to spare, believe me if i could spare anything i would"
PC: "Can be insight tell me if he is lying"
DM: "Okay, roll insight"
*PC rolls a d20 with no modifiers and rolls a 15 just high enough opposed to the lords bluff +10*
DM: "The lord has a superb poker face, but you can see he is not lying but is not telling you everything"
In this example i never tell the player if they made a success or fail and were not permitted to discuss the challenge as it would have been out of character discussion. If they discussed their best course of action during the challenge it would have been as blatant as them discussing how they will lie in front of the lord which would have resulted in a "fold" skill challenge condition and failed the challenge all together. The players are allowed to interact with the Lord of Winterhaven as normal asking for rolls where appropriate and this may eventually clue players in to the skill challenge but do not mention if they hit or missed the DC or tell them "okay this is a skill challenge." I have been working on a way to apply this method to physical challenges as well however it is difficult without DM guidance to get players to do anything thus far so sometimes i have had to just tell them its a skill challenge however the word "skill challenge" should never be mentioned if at all possible.
Sometimes on a sidenote for some things a skill challenge would be inappropriate but rather let them suffer the consequences of individual failures on certain checks. Like trying to cross an 80 foot chasm without a bridge a skill challenge seems appropriate however making a mistake with rope could lead someone to falling to their death midway. Here they can try and accept the results of death or find a safer route.