In our games we follow the D&D 3.5 Player's Handbook with some modifications. The aim of most of them is to make the experience more fluid and the DM can always overrule these.
Our house rules so far are the following:
- To speed up combat every player who plan to attack on his/her round should roll for attack before his/her turn.
- Food/water consumption of characters is not tracked (unless DM specifies)
- Encumbrance is not tracked as long as the load is not unrealistic (e.g. halfling carrying a smith's hammer and anvil in his backpack).
- Equipment HP and hardness are not tracked unless DM specifies or there is an action directly affecting them (e.g. sundering).
- Camping/survival equipment and food is by default assumed to be carried by the party's horses or in bags of holding (if available).
- For spellcasters: all (not forbidden) 0-2 level spells are known, while lvl 0-1 can also be cast without spell preparation. Spells/day allowances still matter.
- Wizards: to emulate wizards learning new spells from other sources, during level-up in addition to the canonical 2 freely chosen spells (of any castable level) wizards can learn 1 extra spell that is at least one level below their maximum castable spell level (e.g. on lvl 7 the wizard can learn 2 lvl 0-4 spells and an extra lvl 0-3 spell)
- In conversations that are role played the character might be better at gathering information than the player IRL. That's why with a Gather Information skill check the player can ask the DM for hints on what to ask.
- Arrows/bolts that miss their target can be recovered after battle (if terrain allows it, e.g. not a swamp or they don’t hit something hard and break) with a Search check. By default rolling 10,15,20,25 allows one to recover 25,50,75,100% of these (only the shooter can roll).
- If a character can attack several times per round, only the first attack counts for critical hit/failure. On subsequent attacks a roll of 1 means an automatic miss and ends the character's turn.
- For critical hits: a natural 20 is a proper critical hit whose effect is to be rolled from our critical hit table. Any other critical hit only applies the critical damage multiplier of the weapon.
- Bolts/arrows cost only half of their SRD cost. E.g. +1 bolts cost only 20 gp each.
- Items by default cost the market price stated in the books (same on the wiki). If a player sells an item he/she receives half of its original value (used item, player not a merchant, might not have skills/contacts to get full price)
- When crafting items the player needs to pay a reduced amount of the market price listed in the book/wiki. There is a 50% reduction for crafting yourself and additional reductions if appropriate. For details see DM guide.
- When facing a (previously unmet) monster in combat, players can roll a knowledge check to determine whether they recognize the monster. If the check succeeds, players are allowed to look up the monster’s stats in the monster manual. The DM should tailor the accepted knowledge skill and the DC to the monster. He/she should also comment if the monster faced in combat is larger or younger compared to the average stats.
- Invisible combat rules (unless otherwise specified by DM): if a character doesn’t know where the invisible opponent is, the player will 1. roll for a melee touch attack (will first have to move in range, but the touch attack itself is a free action) to find the opponent; if that succeeds they can 2. proceed with the attack from the new position, but still have a 50% chance of missing the opponent. A character knows where the invisible opponent is, and thus doesn’t have to do the touch attack if:
- the creature just attacked them in its turn
- the creature just attacked a nearby party member
- the creature is seen by the character due to e.g. glitter dust.
- Resurrection/reincarnation spells follow the additional rules outlined on the Resurrection page.
- Introducing “Legendary Actions” to 3.5: later versions of D&D have “legendary actions”, these are essentially interrupts that a large, powerful monster can do during battle. If a monster has X number of legendary actions, they can do at most X number of actions each round when it’s not their turn. This should be a standard or move action, but ultimately DM specifies the set of actions that can be done as a legendary action. Note: Legendary actions are rare, not every monster has them, and even if one of them does, the number of such actions should be at most 2-3.
- Characters are knocked unconscious at -1 HP and are killed at Min(-10, -0.25*Max_HP), where Max_HP is the maximum HP of the character. So an 80 HP character dies at -20 HP while a 15 HP character dies at -10 HP. This way high level characters won’t always get killed outright in combat.
- At level 5 and every 5 levels afterwards (e.g. 10,15,20) every character develops ONE new quirk, see the Quirks page for more info.
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