Sunday, September 11, 2016

My [Current] D&D House Rules

Here are the house rules I'm using going into this year's after school D&D campaign:

Character Generation
    Image result for basic d&d willingham
  • roll stats 3d6 in order ("roll em and weep")
  • stat bonus range of -4 to +4 (3rd edition style), just because it is easy for me to remember
  • race-as-class is the default (but I'll make exceptions)
  • no level limits (not that it's likely to matter)
  • two human classes: fighter and magic-user (all rangers, barbarians, swashbucklers, paladins, etc. = fighters; all mystics, wizards, sorcerers, witches, etc. = magic-users ... players can still call them whatever they want of course)
  • B/X races (gnomes = halflings, half-orcs = ugly humans)
  • 1d6 for hit dice, fighters & dwarves get 1d6+2
  • no weapon restrictions by class (weapons do 1d6, two-handed 2d6)
  • no armor restrictions by class (but metal armor prevents casting)
  • 3d6 x 10 starting money or chain mail and four pieces of gear

  • fighters and dwarves add their level to hit rolls, magic-users do not
  • ascending AC (leather +2, chain +4, plate +6)
  • most shields grant +2 to AC
  • natural 20 always hits
  • natural 20 = double damage, 1 = broken weapon (unless it is magical)
  • fighters can forfeit 5 points of attack bonus to take an additional, unmodified attack

Image result for basic d&d willinghamSaving Throws
  • single, universal saving throw, starting at 15+ for all classes
  • poison inflicts damage (e.g. 1 hp/round until successful save, 3d6 after 2 rounds, etc.)
  • natural 20 always saves

  • no xp bonuses for stats / prime requisites
  • retainers take a full share of xp, but only advance at half-rate
  • 100 xp / hit die for monsters defeated
  • 1 xp / gp spent
Other Bits
  • no skills (roll under stat on d20 or saving throw if vaguely class-related)
  • death checks at zero hp (1 fail = d6 days to recover, 2 fails = maimed/stat reduction, 3 fails = dead)
  • advantage/disadvantage vs fiddly situational modifiers on attacks or saves for things like cover
  • no encumbrance, characters can run and fight while bearing 4 "regular" items, more than that incurs disadvantage 
  • no declaration phase (spells never get interrupted)
  • retainers pass morale check at end of each adventure or retire
  • halfling sneakiness: this is just a Dexterity check.  Most halflings have high Dex.
  • elven door-spotting: this is just a Wisdom check.  Most elves have high Wis stats.
  • dwarf trap spotting:  this is just a Wisdom check.  Most dwarves have high Wis stats.
  • magic-users begin with Read Magic + Int mod random level 1 spells in their books.  They have to go out and find others.
  • magic-users can cast 5th ed. Prestidigitation cantrip at will, no other cantrips exist
  • no "chance to learn" rolls for spells found
  • magic-users have spell slots equal to their level, so a level 3 M-U could cast 3 Charm Person spells or one Fireball (3 hit dice of course) if those spells are in his book
  • magic-users spells include everything from the B/X cleric lists (except Continual Light, which is deleted)
  • Sleep affects 1D6 HD per level slot used to cast it, Magic Missile hits automatically (if you are lucky enough to have it)
  • only magic-users can use scrolls
  • magic-users can use spellbook like a scroll in a pinch
  • metal armor grants advantage on saves vs magical enchantments
  • wearing metal armor prevents casting
  • Raise Dead only works on humans, and reduces the recipient one experience level (Normal Man types cannot be raised)
  • elves have a smaller spell list.  They cannot use scrolls and do not utilize spellbooks.  Instead, elves spontaneously learn one random spell each time they level up.
Elf spell list:

Fear/Remove Fear
Mirror Image
Phantasmal Force
Equipment, Treasure, and Such
  • plate mail is expensive (c. 600 gp)
  • scrolls/potions can be purchased for 500 gp / level (minimum)
  • scrolls/potions can be created for 500 gp / level AND a successful saving throw (rolled when the item is used).  Read Magic or Brew Potion must be cast along with the target spell when scrolls or potions are created.
  • +1, +2, +3 magic items don't exist, but weapons of quality do
  • coins weigh about 50 per pound
  • no flaming lantern oil, but alchemist's fire at potion cost
  • hoards of coins are described by weight, value is determined back in town
Image result for basic d&d willingham
  • d6 for hit dice
  • number of hit dice = monster's attack and save bonus
  • breath attacks do 1d6 per hit die
  • no level drain, instead attacks from wights, wraiths, and vampires cause permanent hp loss
  • only 7 types of "true undead" exist; mindless, animated corpses are merely magical constructs and cannot be turned
  • turning intelligent undead: anyone can attempt to turn (creature gets a saving throw)
Still Pondering ...
  • pondering 1/10/500 values on copper, silver, gold ("silver standard")
  • how to handle picking locks? Dexterity check?  I like the idea of traps, secret doors, and locks having "levels."  Perhaps the lock gets a save?

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