House Rules

3.5 Rules

The following are some of the house rules we've established, or will establish.

New combat action;
Full Round action that provokes an attack of opportunity.

Honing-in on your target you block out all other threats and focus intensely on one shot.

With a ranged weapon you may take the round to aim at a single target (up to the maximum range of your weapon). As part of this action you make a single attack at your highest bonus. You may not move in the same round you aim, though you're still entitled the free 5' step.

You gain a +2 insight bonus to hit, but are -2 to AC until your next turn.

If your character is at the receiving end of a critical hit or sneak attack, it is considered a hit against a weak or crucial point (i.e. a vein, artery, etc.).

-The wound bleeds at the end of every subsequent round of that character 1/8 of the initial damage dealt; minimum 1 point, maximum 5 points- per wound.

-Even if the hit somehow only causes 1 point of damage, the wounded party still takes one point of bleeding damage per round.

-Multiple Bleeders are cumulative, up to a maximum 10 points per round.

-Bleeders caused by weapons with the wounding enchantment stack with bleeders from crits and sneak attacks (max of 10hp/rd).

-The wounded party continues to take bleeding damage until they;

  1. Receive a successful Heal check DC 15
  2. Reach 0 hp or less (though you might still bleed 1 point each round, see Death and Dying below).

-Creatures immune to critical hits are also immune to bleeders.

Critical Hits
Critical hits can be nasty, but they are exceedingly rare. And what good are they if you roll like crap for damage. We fixed that;

-If you roll a critical hit in combat, you don't need to roll damage. Figure the maximum damage of your weapon plus the magic enhancement bonus (before STR, Feat, Sneak Attack, etc…) and double, triple, or quadruple it (depending on the weapon). Then add your other bonuses. This is your critical hit damage.

-If your roll to confirm comes up another natural 20, then refer to the chart below and roll a d4.

-There are 4 areas on an opponent that can be affected by a double-critical;

  1. The Head
  2. The Arms (left or right)
  3. The Torso
  4. The Legs (left or right)

-Depending on where the blow lands there are two possible outcomes;

  • Against an arm or leg, if the target fails their Fort save (DC:5+1/4 damage dealt) the limb is severed and the target bleeds the maximum each round- 10 points. In the case of either limb the target falls prone as well. Limbs can be reattached during magical healing. If lost, they can only be regained through regeneration.
  • Against the head or torso, if the target fails the Fort save (DC:5+1/4 damage dealt) they die instantly. If they make their save they still bleed the max each round- 10 points.

-Creatures immune to critical hits are, of course, immune to double-criticals.

-Critical hits cause bleeders (see Bleeders above)

Critical Misses
Oops! Rolled a 1. So what happens? Here is the method for resolving a roll of 1;

-If you roll a 1 in combat it is considered a critical miss. These are handled much the same way as critical hits with a few small differences.

-You must roll again to confirm the miss. If your second roll would hit the target, then its just a miss with no penalties. If your second roll would still miss your target then it is, in fact, a critical miss.

-Depending on your roll to confirm there are a few different things that could happen;

  • If you miss by 10 or less you are -2 to your rolls to hit for 1 round. This includes any AoOs you might make, and it is not limited only to the target on whom you critically missed.
  • If you miss by 11 or more you fumble; your weapon slips from your grip. It falls in a square adjacent to you and you must spend the appropriate action to retrieve it (usually a Move Action). In addition; you incur the -2 penalty on attack rolls for 1 round.
  • If you roll another 1, may the gods have mercy on you; you fall prone, drop your weapon in an adjacent square, and are -2 to your attacks for one round (including any penalties for being prone). This represents slapping yourself with the flat of the weapon or getting smacked by the recoil of your bow or crossbow and attempting to avoid it by falling, or falling because of it (use your imagination).

-Those using unarmed attacks and locked gauntlets are, of course, exempt from dropping their weapons. Also, if you possess a class feature or feat that prevents you from being disarmed, you do not drop your weapon.

-If you possess the feat Combat Acrobat (PHII) you may make a Balance check DC20 to avoid falling prone.

Getting hit in combat is generally a common occurrence. As such, its easy to shrug off small hits as inconsequential. With our new damage rule, any hit has the potential to cause problems for the receiver;

-If reduced to 1/4 your total HP or less you are considered Bloodied.
You are -2 to hit, damage, AC, saves, and skills

-Spellcasters must make a Concentration check to cast any spell while bloodied; DC 7+spell level (-2 penalty included), or loose the spell. This does not apply to spell-like or supernatural abilities, even if they mimic spells.

-If a single hit causes you 1/2 your total HP or more, but doesn't knock you out or kill you, you must make a Fort save (DC 5+1/4 damage dealt) or be stunned for one round.

-If you take 50 HP damage or more in one hit you must make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 5+1/4 damage dealt) or fall unconscious at -9 HP. (if the damage itself didn't kill you) {modified rule- Death from Massive Damage}.

-Undead and other creatures immune to critical hits are immune to the Bloodied status and Death from Massive Damage.

-Barbarians or other classes with the Rage ability are immune to the Bloodied status whilst Raging.

Death and Dying
For this aspect we've adapted the 4E rules;

  1. At 0 or lower hp you are unconscious and dying. Further damage is treated normally and may kill you (see line 2)
  2. You are considered dead if you reach -10 hp or -1/4 of your total hp, whichever is larger.
  3. If you are dying at the end of your turn roll a d20 and add you CON modifier; on a result of 10 or less you get worse (i.e. you take 1 hp bleeding dmg); on a result of 11-19 there is no change but you may get better (see line 4); on a result of 20 or more you get better, you wake up with 1/4 your total hp, though you may still suffer from any poisons or other stat altering effects like ability damage that you had prior to being K.O.'d (remember; at 1/4 HP you are considered Bloodied {see above}).
  4. If you roll three consecutive results of 11-19 you stabilize, meaning you no longer roll each round but you are still unconscious (i.e. you stop bleeding).
  5. Should you receive medical attention (i.e. a successful Heal check DC15 from an ally) you stabalize.
  6. Should you receive magical healing, all hp gained start at 0. In other words, you don't count the negative hp loss. If your character is at -5 hp and he receives a cure light wounds for 8 hp, he is now at 8 hp, not 3.

Fate Points
The gods are petty and fickle. They use mortals as little better than pawns in their designs. Heroes that have proven their cause to a higher power or whom have gained notoriety worthy of a deity's notice find themselves able to avoid potentially fatal mistakes.

-Fate Points; much like the Fates card from the Deck of Many Things, are extremely valuable. Once a PC reaches 7th level they start to accumulate Fate Points. They gain one at 7th level and another each time they level-up. Fate Points can be used in a few different ways, most commonly to avoid being killed, but they may also be used to ensure automatic success on skill checks and saving throws.

-Once a Fate Point is used its gone, but they accumulate. So if you never use one you should have 14 by the time you're 20th level.

-You may use a fate point to automatically succeed on one Check (ability, skill, caster level, etc…), or Saving Throw. Likewise, if you are having an NPC attempt a check for you or on your behalf, you may use it to have them automatically succeed (checks only).

-You may use a fate point to re-roll an attack; This does not ensure automatic success like when used for skills and saves, but it does provide you with a +5 luck modifier to your re-roll.

-You may use a fate point to influence an NPC's actions in combat; This is pretty much limited to preventing a coup-de-grace.

-You may use a fate point to avoid lethal damage; If an attack would kill you (-10, or -1/4 your HP), you may have it drop you to 0 instead. If you would rather have the attack miss, that is also an acceptable use of a fate. However, if the same foe would most likely hit you anyway next round, it might me better to have him knock you out and ignore your unconscious body. Then, hope you make your check to stabilize or come-to in the coming rounds (or just use another fate point, if you have it).

-Probably most importantly; Fate Points may be used by a PC on behalf of another PC. This must be consensual and beneficial. For instance; a PC can't use his fate point to make another PCs saving throw fail, skill check fail, or attack miss just because he's pissed at the other PC.

-You can't use fate points to force NPCs to re-roll; Unless they are attempting a check on your behalf (but even in that instance it isn't considered a re-roll, but an auto success).

-Cohorts do not get fate points; Though a cohort's leader may use a fate point on their behalf.

-In all other respects Fate Points mimic the Fates card of the Deck of Many Things.

Humans kind of get the doo-doo end of the stick in 3.5. So I souped them up with some extra feats;

-In addition to the standard human traits in the PHB, humans receive one extra feat at levels 6, 12, and 18.

Here is a running list of custom-made items for our campaign, either encountered or owned by the PCs;

- Pauldron; New Exotic Shield-
This thick metal buckler extends from wrist to collar in wide interlocking plates. At the throat it rises to protect the jugular and it includes an armored gauntlet that may be modified with spikes. Being an exotic shield, it requires the Exotic Shield Proficiency (Races of Stone) feat to be used effectively. A shield bash with this shield is counted as an attack with a gauntlet or spiked gauntlet. It provides the following benefits and penalties;
+2 shield bonus to AC
-1 Armor Check Penalty
Arcane spell failure of 50%
It may be used freely with a 2-handed weapon, like a buckler, applying the same -1 penalty to attack rolls. It weighs 10 pounds. Base Craft- Armorsmithing DC18 to create. Cost to create- 30gp
Market Price: 300 gp

- Darkflame; New Grenade-like Missile / Alchemical Item
Like alchemist fire but made with shadowlight oil, darkflame is a strategists best friend. In addition to dealing 1d6 fire damage upon a direct hit, it also radiates shadowy illumination in a 5' radius for 1 round. This provides concealment for the target, but at the same time conceals everything from him, applying the appropriate movement and combat penalties.
A vial of Darkflame weighs 1 pound. Craft- Alchemy DC18 to create (must have access to shadowlight oil). Cost to create- 13gp
Market Price: 130 gp

- Fleshreave; New Grenade-like Missile / Alchemical Item
Fleshreave is an insidious concoction thought-up by an Amnian alchemist. It combines the properties of acid and the debilitating toxin of Sassone Leaf Residue. On a direct hit it deals 1d6 acid damage and the target must make a Fortitude save DC16 or suffer the effects of the poison; 2d12 dmg / 1d6 CON. Splash still only does 1 point of damage. Sassone Leaf Residue seems to be the only poison to retain its integrity when mixed with acid. The process is time-consuming and expensive.
A vial of Fleshreave weighs 1 pound. Craft- Alchemy DC20 to create (must have access to Sassone Leaf Residue). Cost to create- 25gp
Market Price: 250 gp

Magic Item Identification
What is the point of being able to craft magic items if you're always adventuring and never have access to the proper facilities to utilize your feat? This is one of the major reasons that we've tweaked the item creation feats;

If you have an item creation feat and you encounter a magic item of that category (i.e. rings, wondrous items, potions, weapons and armor, rods, staves, wands) you may attempt a Spellcraft check to identify it.

-The DC equals 10 + the caster level of the item-

This only applies to the proper corresponding feats and items and it never applies to artifacts (of any degree). If you are a specialist wizard, the usual minuses apply (-4) to identify an item from a prohibited school. And Shadow Weave Items may only be identified in this manner if the character has the Shadow Weave Magic feat.

Recharging Wands and Staves
You just found a wand of charm person, but it only has one charge left on it. After you use that charge its basically a fancy stick. Not anymore.

-If you have the ability to cast a spell for which you also possess a wand, you may prepare that spell like normal and cast it into the wand, effectively adding a charge to it. Any material components or XP costs are expended as normal.

-The Spellcraft DC to accomplish this is 10+ the caster level of the item. Failure simply means that the spell you intended to use to recharge, fizzles. Specialist wizards gain the usual bonuses (+2) for their specialist schools.

-You must roll the Spellcraft check separately for each charge you wish to add.

-Recharging an item takes time: You must spend 10 minutes per charge added in deep concentration without interruption. You may engage in other activities between each charge, but each 10 min duration must be uninterrupted.

-The cost to have a spellcaster recharge an item for you is basically the cost of a scroll of the same spell and caster level, per charge.

-If you possess a natural (i.e. not granted from a magic item) spell-like ability for which you also possess a wand, you may expend one of your uses of that ability (per day, per round or whatever) to add one charge to the item. However, the DC to recharge with a spell-like ability is 15+ the caster level of the item. This may be done as a full round (6 seconds) action that provokes an attack of opportunity, as opposed to the 10 minute duration for recharging with a spell.

-You may not add more charges than a wand or staff can normally hold (50 charges).

-You may not add spells from scrolls or other magic items (including other wands and staves) into wands or staves.

-You may not add spells of a different type into a wand or staff. In other words, you cannot put a magic missile spell into a wand of cure light wounds.

-You may not recharge items other than wands or staves (i.e. ring of three wishes, nine lives stealer, etc…).

-You may not, specifically, recharge the staff of the magi or other artifact class wands and staves.

-Rods cannot be recharged.

-Wands and staves hold spells at the caster level at which they were created. If you have a wand that casts 5th level fireballs and you, being a 9th level caster, recharge the wand with one of your own fireballs, it will be cast from the wand at 5th level, not 9th.

-Wands with enhancement gems such as rubys, diamonds, moonbars, etc… (see Magic of Faerun) that enhance the caster level or DC of the spell in the wand, have the same Spellcraft DC of a wand without a gem (CL before the enhancement bonus).

-Staves that have multiple abilities that require different quantity expenditures of charges can only be recharged by casting the highest level spell ability into the staff. For instance if you have a staff of fire and you want to add a charge you must cast wall of fire, its highest level ability (4th level spell), into the staff to regain one charge.


Spellcasters don't really have the staying power of some of the other classes. And while its understandable that they need some limits so as not to make them overpowered, they quickly become a liability in lengthy dungeon-crawls. Rationing their spells does little good when the group needs to move from one encounter to the next in rapid succession. So, in an attempt to even the playing field we've introduced a 're-study'.

-A spellcaster, arcane divine or psychic, may replenish the spells/powers in her memory once per day.

-A spellcaster can attempt a re-study at any time after her initial preparation. Only one re-study is allowed per day. The spellcaster may choose to replenish all of her spell slots or just the ones she's used so far that day. Any slots unused are wasted.

-A spellcaster need not take a restudy if they wish not to or are unable to.

-Regardless of how many spells are renewed, the process takes one hour of rest and one hour of uninterrupted study/concentration/meditation/prayer (2 hours).

-Spontaneous casters regain their used spells per day and psychics regain any used power points. Shadowcasters regain the daily use of only the mysteries they cast as spells.

-Spells cast within eight hours of the following day do not count toward the next day's limit.

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