Houserules

David’s Campaign, Date: 6-16-17, Version: 1.8

Campaign Setting (High Fantasy)

Clearwater is remote village located in the foothills at the base of the Nord Mountains.  The village has a population of approximately 130 people.  Subsistence farming in the foothills around the village provides the bulk of the villagers’ food.  Hunting and trapping in the nearby Mountains provides skins and other materials for trade.  Clearwater itself is landlocked.  It sits on a creek, but the creek is too small for trade boats.  Once every few months a trading wagon comes from the larger town of Windrush, located a day’s ride away.

Reshayin as a country is less than 100 years old.  Its population belongs primarily to two factions: one composed of traditional tribal groups who have lived there for generations, and another composed of the “civilized” immigrants from the south, who invaded and unified the country and rule it.  Reshayin is led by King Corus the Second who lives in the King’s City, several week’s ride to the south.

Clearwater was settled by a bunch of former adventurers and explorers decades ago.  As such, its population features a more diverse blend of races than found in most of the country.  A half day’s hike away in the nearby mountains are the ruins of an ancient compound.  Those ruins were infested with monsters and drew adventurers.  Your ancestors came to the ruins and cleared them out, then settled down and created Clearwater.

You, the party, all grew up in Clearwater and you live there with your parents and other family.  None of you have traveled outside Clearwater further than Windrush.  None of you have any real adventuring experience, though you may have received some minimal training from your parents.  You are all friends and often go on hunting trips in the nearby mountains together.

House Rules

Note:  I may modify or ban material at any time if I find it unbalanced, regardless of whether I previously approved it or whether it is listed below.

Rulebooks allowed:

  • Core Rulebook
  • Advanced Player’s Guide
  • Ultimate Magic
  • Ultimate Combat
  • Things from other books may be allowed on a case-by-case basis, but only with prior DM approval.

    • This may include items, playable races, classes, archetypes, spells, etc.
    • If I approve of something, please bug me about it until I add it to the houserules.  If it’s not added to the rules and I forget about it, I’m more likely to change my mind later.

Character creation:

  1. Starting level: 1
  2. 20-point buy.
  3. Standard PC races from core rulebook.
  4. Non-evil character alignments only.  Classes that require evil alignments (such as Blackguard) are banned.
  5. Starting Gold: standard average starting gold for your character class.
  6. The party’s primary healer starts the game with Rich Parents as a free bonus trait (+900g).  Only one member of the party gets this, so if there is more than 1 primary healer, roll-off.
  7. Deities:  If your character has a deity, you must select from the deities listed in the Core rulebook (page 43).

Hit points:

  1. Rolling hit points: at level-up player rolls appropriate hit point die.  Player then chooses whether to accept that roll or have the DM roll.  If the player chooses to have the DM roll the player must accept that roll even if it is lower. 
  2. Bonus campaign HP:  I may periodically grant the party bonus campaign hit points.  If I choose to do this it will likely be that everyone rolls their hit die an extra time and permanently adds that to their total.  There is no set time when or if I will do this, so please do not rely on it.

 

Increased ability points from leveling up.  Normally at levels 4, 8, 12, etc. you gain 1 ability point.  However, if both of the following conditions are met you instead gain 2 points.  Both points must be added to the same ability score:

  1. First Condition: Your lowest ability score must be at least 10.

    1. For purposes of calculating this, include racial modifiers.  For instance, a dwarf with 0 points in Charisma (base 10 minus 2 for racial modifier = 8) would not qualify.
  2. Second Condition: The ability to be increased is 13 or less

Classes:

  1. Barbarian – Can use Core or Pathfinder Unchained versions.
  2. Summoner – Pathfinder Unchained version only
  3. Paladin – Smite Evil does not bypass DR.
  4. Rogue – Can use Core or Pathfinder Unchained versions. 

    1. For Pathfinder Unchained Rogues:

      1. Level 3 effect of Finesse Training no longer adds dex to damage.  Instead, at 3rd level the rogue gains weapon focus with the finesse weapon as a free feat.
    2. All rogue abilities that reduce the target’s AC, saves or attack rating no longer debuff the target.  Instead they give a corresponding circumstance bonus to the party against that target.  It will be up to the party to track these buffs.

      1. Example:  If a rogue has an ability that reduces the target’s AC by 2, instead the party gets a +2 circumstance bonus on attack rolls against that particular target for the same duration.
  5. Oracle – Oracle Curse: Tongues is banned.  All other Oracle curses are ok.
  6. Gunslinger – banned for now.  Nobody in the village is familiar with guns.  However, it is possible I might allow this class at higher level.  Guns do exist in this world, but they are very rare.
  7. Alchemist –

    1. Bombs – The duration of the area effect of any bomb with a duration that was previously 1 round is now instantaneous.  This is to speed the game up so we aren’t constantly drawing clouds that only last one round.  This only applies to the area (such as the cloud), it does not apply to any effect on a target who was in the area when the bomb detonated.  (a harfing target still harfs for 1 round, etc.).  This rule does not apply to any bomb area effect with a duration of 1 round per level such as smoke bomb.
    2. Discoveries – banned: Stink Bomb, Tanglefoot Bomb.
    3. Mutagen –

      1. Preparing mutagens other than at the start of the day takes 2 hours. 
      2. You cannot have more than 1 mutagen prepared at a time.
    4. Brew Potion – replaced with Potion Study gained at level 3 as a free bonus feat.
  8. Specific archetypes / classes that I have been asked to review are as follows:

    1. The following archetypes have been reviewed and are are allowed (not an inclusive list):

      1. Cleric: Separatist
      2. Warpriest
      3. Slayer
      4. Hunter
      5. Magus: Black Blade & Hexcrafter
      6. Wizard: Spellslinger (note that if your starting character is a spellslinger, your gun is an heirloom leftover from your adventuring parents.  Nobody else in the village is familiar with guns and you will not be able to buy ammunition for it (but you may be able to craft it if you have appropriate crafting skill).
      7. Inquisitor: Witch Hunter, Sanctified Slayer
    2. The following archetypes have been reviewed and are banned (not an inclusive list):

      1. Oracle – Warsighted archetype

Character modification:

  1. Rebuilds – banned.
  2. Retraining – banned.

Traits: 

  1. No player chosen traits.  Additional Traits feat is banned.
  2. DM may assign everyone a trait at the start of the campaign.  Possibly at higher level, I may assign an additional trait. 

    1. Note that the traits I assign will most likely be the weaker ones only.  Do not expect to powergame based on traits.
    2. These traits represent preferences or talents your character only discovered after he or she had already almost completed their current training.  As such, you will NOT be allowed to edit your character based on what trait you get.   
  3. Exception: The party’s primary healer starts the game with the Rich Parents trait as a free bonus trait (+900g), in addition to their DM-assigned trait.  Only 1 player can get this free trait.

Cohorts and followers: banned (at campaign start.  I might allow them at higher level).

Feats:

Banned feats:

  1. Additional Traits, Outflank, Lookout, Escape Route, all grit feats, Leadership

 

Modified feats:

  1. Except for Scribe Scroll, all item creation feats are replaced with corresponding “Study” feats.  For example: “Brew Potion” is now “Potion Study”. 

    1. Study feats grant the following benefits when you purchase the corresponding item for yourself (and only yourself):

      1. -20% to cost when shopping for magic items of that type.
      2. +5 circumstance bonus to your percentile roll shopping for items of that type.
    2. Anything that requires a particular item creation feat now instead requires the corresponding Study feat, except for Scribe Scroll.
    3. Scribe Scroll is the exception.  It is still in-game as written in the core rules.  There is no corresponding “Scroll Study” feat.
  2. Player characters cannot take any other item creation feats besides scribe scroll.  However, that may change at higher level.

Allowed Feats:

  1. Fey Founding (at first level)

Character death:

Death occurs when a character’s health reaches negative con score.  This is not reduced if the character suffers penalties to their con from ability damage or drain.

 

Second Wind (Ex): (full round action that provokes an AOO)(once per day)  Regain HP equal to your class hit die (roll the appropriate die or average if dual-class) + twice your hit dice.  Can be used in or out of combat.

Ignore (Ex):  (free action at the start of your round)(Effect duration: lasts until start of your next round).  You decide an opponent is so non-threatening you decide to simply ignore that target’s attacks.  At the start of your round you may declare that you are ignoring one or more opponents in combat.  This has the following effects:

  1. You lose your dex bonus against the ignored opponent(s) and they get +2 on attack rolls against you.  The ignored opponent(s) also no longer provoke AOOs from you. 
  2. From your perspective, an ignored opponent(s) is treated as if not threatening you in melee.  It doesn’t grant flank benefits to other opponents threatening you, though it still gains flank benefits itself.
  3. You may target and attack an ignored opponent normally.

Equipment and Magic Items:

  1. Equipment from the 4 books listed above only.  Nothing from Ultimate Equipment or any other source without prior DM approval on a case-by-case basis.
  2. Characters may purchase non-magic equipment from the 4 books with relatively little restriction.  No guns though.

Purchasing magic items:

  1. Characters seeking to purchase specific magic items roll percentile to see if the item is available.  The Formula I’m thinking of is as follows: d100 + your class level + either of (your diplomacy ranks (base ranks with no modifiers – NOT a diplomacy skill check), or half your knowledge arcana skill (skill check including all modifiers, not just ranks)) – caster level of the item sought.  DC = 1-50 item not available, 51-75 item not available but a similar item might be available at DM discretion, 76-100 item is available). 
  2. Only 1 roll is allowed per shopping interlude per item.  If you wish to roll again for the same item, you must wait at least 2 weeks or go to a different town. 
  3. You cannot shop or assist in shopping for items for other characters.  Shopping is individual to each character.  You cannot sell any item you got from shopping to another PC, unless you character has had it for at least a month.
  4. Once the party gets to high enough level, as decided by the DM, there will either be a big bonus or rolls will no longer be needed for some lower level magic items.
  5. DM discretion:  DM may choose to limit availability of some items to provide flavor to the campaign.
  6. No partial wands.  If you buy a wand, you must buy it fully charged.
  7. Yes, you can upgrade gear.  No need to always buy fresh.

Additional Shopping Rules added 6/13/17:

1. If you seek to purchase multiple copies of the same thing I will make a separate roll for each copy.  At the first failed roll, the item is no longer available.

Example:  Joey wishes to purchase three first level Pearls of Power from Desdemona.  For the first pearl, I roll for availability per the formula listed in the houserules and get a final score of "21"… the item is not available.  Since I got a failed roll, I do not roll again for the remaining 2 copies.  RESULT: Desdemona does not have any Pearls of Power to sell to Joey.

Example: Joey wishes to purchase three first level Pearls of Power from Desdemona.  For the first pearl, I roll for availability per the formula listed in the houserules and get a final score of "90", which means the item is available.  I then roll again for the second Pearl and get a final score of 10, which means the item is not available.  Since I got a failed roll, I do not roll for the third Pearl.  RESULT:  Desdemona offers to sell Joey one Pearl of Power.

2. The above rule won't apply to potions or scrolls.  For those items, I'll probably roll for availability, then if successful, make a separate die roll to determine how many are for sale.  Depending on how basic the scroll or potion you are seeking I may add a circumstance bonus to the die roll for availability.

3. Wands with Cure spells are not available for sale through the shopping system.  Other wands without cure spells on them are available, but as per the previously listed houserules must be purchased full (no partially charged wands).

Experience and Leveling up:

I will not track experience points.  Entire party will level-up at the same time as dictated by DM.

I expect initially to level up the party quite quickly.  Probably every 2 sessions or so.  When the party gets to level 3 or so, I plan to slow progression to every 4-6 sessions.

Loot:

DM will occasionally ask for every character’s wealth, their current magic items, and their open body slots.  I will use this to help generate hopefully interesting and useful loot.  If you don’t get this information to me when I request it, useful loot for your character might not drop.  “Wealth” includes the total value of all the character’s items, both consumable and permanent, excluding obvious party loot items (such as a wand of cure light wounds).

Spells

  1. Spells that boost skill checks are only effective if the spell’s duration lasts long enough to cover the entirety of the activity being checked. 

    1. Example:  If you are spending 10 minutes tracking, you cannot use Guidance to boost your skill check since Guidance does not have a 10 minute duration.
  2. Summoning spells – A character can have a maximum of 1 summoned creature at a time active from conjuration (summoning) spells or effects.  Animal Companions and Familiars are not summoned and do not count towards this limit. 
  3. “Detect” spells (such as detect evil, detect magic, etc.) – cannot be used as “radars” out of combat to sweep for foes, etc.
  4. Detect Magic and similar spells do not detect invisible foes – invisibility makes the magical auras of the target invisible too.
  5. Mirror Image

    1. Figments from Mirror Image are sight only, not sound.  An opponent can completely bypass the figments by closing its eyes, but is then treated as blind with 50% mischance.
    2. Reduced number of images: Mirror image produces 1d4+1 images per 6 caster levels (maximum 1d4+3 at 18th level)

6-second Rule

  • Each round of combat is supposedly 6 seconds of action.  While I don’t expect players to take only 6 seconds on their turn, I do like to keep combat flowing fast and smoothly.  Ideally when your turn comes up you should have pre-planned what you want to do so that you can move forward with your turn quickly and efficiently.  Pre-rolling attack rolls is allowed and encouraged. 
  • If I feel that combat is taking too long I may declare “delay” and go on to the next player.  At my discretion, I may or may not give a 10-second warning before doing so.  If things bog down too much I may enforce a 6-second rule like in Martyn’s campaign.  If you get “delayed” due to this rule you may un-delay as normal as long as you are ready to immediately do your turn.  If you un-delay and are not ready, I will then declare “pass” and your character will lose a turn.

    • NOTE: In-character, I feel there is nothing wrong with delaying in combat to gain time to decide what to do.  Combat should be fast and hectic, but sometimes your character may need a little extra time to survey the battlefield and select a plan of action.
  • DM has total discretion on when to enforce this rule. 

    • For instance, if the tactical situation changes unexpectedly and as such your prerolling is wasted, you will probably get extra time to do your turn. 
    • On the other hand, if there’s no obvious reason why you hadn’t already preplanned your turn beforehand (such as you didn’t have your spells looked up in advance, etc.), I’m much more likely to enforce the 6-second Rule.
  • Note that I am not using Martyn’s 6-second rule regarding player and character dialog.  While not completely realistic, the characters and players are free to talk among each other during combat even when not your turn, within reason.

Expected Final level – I don't have one. 

  • Initially I'll start with accelerated leveling.  Probably 1 level every 2-3 sessions.
  • Once we get to level 3 or 4 I'll probably slow down leveling to every 4 to 8 sessions or so.
  • I don't have a planned end level.  If the campaign lasts long enough we could end up level 10 or 15+.

Combat v. Skills – Campaign will involve some skill checks but will probably mostly be combat oriented.  I like combat.

Fractional Base Bonuses and Saves – for multiclassing, use the table: “Fractional Bonuses by Class Level” from Pathfinder Unchained to determine BAP and base saves.

<u>New Rule – One player challenge per game session</u>:

If you wish to know how another player did something rules-related in-game you may ask the player how they did it.  Doing so counts as a "challenge". 

When you challenge another player during combat that player must then explain to you how they did what they did.  If that player is correct, your daily challenge is used up.  If you are correct, your challenge is not used up.

If your daily challenge is not used up, you may no longer make challenges of any players for the rest of the game session.  If you do, the challenged player does not have to answer, AND you lose your next round of combat action.

<u>Some additional notes on this rule</u>:

1. An implied challenge is still a challenge.  Making a challenging statement in such a way that a question is implied but not outright stated still counts as a challenge.  However, there is some flexibility.  It's ok for your character to look on in awe at another player doing something amazing… but please try to keep it in the spirit of role-playing unless you mean to issue a challenge.

2. The DM has the final word in deciding whether or not a challenge was made.

3. Challenge rules apply during combat.  Asking someone a rules question about their character in-combat always counts as a challenge.  If you really want to know how someone did something, you may ask them after the combat.  Doing so doesn't count as a challenge if the other player voluntarily answers.  If the other player chooses not to answer, then you can make it a challenge to require an answer.  However, then all the above restrictions on number of challenges applies.

4. These rules do not apply to the DM.  The DM is free to ask the players how they did things without restriction.  There is also no restriction on players asking the DM questions (though the DM might decide not to answer).

MOUNTED COMBAT – Interpretation and Houserules

1. No split initiatives – Your mount must act when you act.  A mount and rider must act on the same initiative.  Anything that would violate this, such as the rider readying an action while the mount acts, is prohibited.  If the rider readies an action, the mount must also ready (even if the ready is "go where the rider directs when the rider acts".  This is my interpretation RAW which states “your mount acts on your initiative as you direct it.”

2. Allowable full-round actions for riders in battle.  If your mount moves more than 5’ and you make your ride check to control your mount in battle as a free action, you can take a full round action with the following limitations:

  • Melee attacks: if your mount moves more than 5’ the rider can only make a single melee attack.
  • Ranged attacks: (a) if your mount moves up to a single move, you can take a full attack at no penalty, (b) If your mount moves up to a double-move, you can take a full attack at -4 penalty on attack rolls, or © If your mount runs, you can take a full attack at -8 penalty on attack rolls.
  • For full-round actions that do not count as melee or ranged attacks (casting spells, pulling items from bags, etc.), there is usually no limitation.  However, depending on what you are trying to do and how realistic it sounds to be doing it mounted the DM at his option may declare it impossible or require a skill or ability check.  

Example: attempting brain surgery while riding on your running mount = heal check DC 100.

3. Mounting / Dismounting Houserules:

Before mounting you must enter your mount's square.  If you start adjacent to your mount, you may take your free 5' step to enter your mount's square before doing your ride check to mount.  This applies to all mounting (both fast and regular).

When you dismount you appear in your mount's square sharing with your mount (or if a large mount, one of its squares).  If you wish to dismount to an adjacent square you must move into it after dismounting.  If available, you may take your free 5' step to move to an adjacent square.

Special rule for "Fast Mount or Dismount".  Add "once per round" to the start of the description for fast mount or dismount.

This is to avoid the weird situation of someone vaulting over their mount or trying to use a large mount to gain free movement.  You can only attempt a fast mount or dismount check once per round. 

Example: If you use a fast mount check to mount as a swift action, you cannot then fast dismount in the same round.  Instead dismounting the same round counts as a move action.  If you want to fast dismount you must wait till the following round.

Houserules

David's Campaign DavidMar