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Thread: Homebrew Rules. Everyone has a few. What are some of yours?

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    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    Thumbs up Homebrew Rules. Everyone has a few. What are some of yours?

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    Everyone has their own Homebrew Rules. Please share some of yours with the rest of us. Be sure to list the game, and the edition, if applicable. All rpg homebrew rules are welcomed.

    What share you?
    Thoth-Amon, Lord of the Underworld and the Undead
    Once you know what the magician knows, it's not magick. It's a 'tool of Creation'. -Archmagus H.H.
    The first step to expanding your reality is to discard the tendency to exclude things from possibility. - Meridjet

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    For Palladium Fantasy i use a special set of rules for Pole-arms: Opponents must spend one action to move within striking range of the wielder. The wielder can counter the action by both characters rolling 1D20 + their P.P. bonuses; the highest roll wins. If the oppoent is in strike range of the wielder then the wielder is at a -2 to strike with either end of the weapon and -1 to disarm.
    I do not play them here or there, I do not play them anywhere, I do not play them with a fox. I do not mash that button box. I do not like MMO games. In the end ther're all the same.
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    It's a fairly minor one, but in my D&D 3.5 games, the Paladin's lay on hands is an immediate or swift action, rather than a standard action. It's just not enough healing to waste a standard action, or to really heal you between battles, all it's good for, in most cases, is an emergency "Oh crap I'm gonna die save me jesus" moment lol.
    Masaru Academy, a roleplaying experience you'll never forget.

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    for a nat 1, we had more dire consequences happen than just miss.

    If nat 20 gives you something cool, nat 1 should give you something uncool.

    In 1e, we rolled 1d6. No matter the roll, the opponent got a free atk on you. On a 1-2, you fumbled your weapon, but recover. On a 3-4, you threw your weapon in a random direction. On a 5-6, you hit yourself, roll d20 to see if you hit AC, then roll dam if hit AC.

    In 4e, trying something similar with my new group, but it only provokes an opportunity atk on a 5-6, if not using a weapon 3-4 dazes you until end of you next turn, and a 1-2 you lose a healing surge (analogous to hitting one's self).
    "I'm not going crazy. I'm going sane in a CRAZY world!"

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    If I ever get enough interest in a Star Wars Saga Edition game, I'd totally steal FATE's aspects rules and apply them to Force Points; they're asking - nay, begging - to be used in such a manner. "Refresh each level" seems so ... arbitrary. Along with that, make Force powers take a point to activate, and waive the per-encounter limits; means taking the same power multiple times is silly ... 'cause it is silly.

    Natural <any roll> ... I really, really want to change, to explicitly have no effect, but I dunno if I'd implement it right off the bat.

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    One thing I have done in my D&D games (although I did slack off there for a bit), was training before leveling up. It takes one week game time and will cost you 50 gp per level. That is after you find a NPC of the target level or higher to teach you. I started this when I started running 3.5 D&D. It didn't make sense to me that you just automaticly gain a level and go "cool new feat/power I just got"
    Never trust a smiling GM, that's when they're dangerous.

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    I'm mostly the opposite. I don't agree with the whole training to increase a level. That's the whole concept of experience. Sure, train to learn a new class if you want to run that rule, but to me it's stupid to have the concept of gaining experience to earn levels and then paying somebody to train that level into you and spending time to do it.

    The time and effort is spent killing the monsters and practicing your moves, you learn new spells or develop new capabilities (read: Feats and skill ranks) during your adventures. In my mind, if people could train levels, just scrap the whole experience concept entirely, just have the monsters give more treasure, and have progressive levels cost more and more to train.

    Maybe it's a houserule, and thus belongs in this thread, and maybe it's just one of several choices given somewhere in the DMG or whatever, but my characters level up right in the middle of the adventure. When they've achieved sufficient combat experience, been put through enough hell, they achieve 'the next level of skill and power," aka go up to the next level. For multi-classing or prestige classes I do require they have some training in it, but that only needs to be in their background, they don't have to be put through 'basic training' every time they want to study a new trade.
    Masaru Academy, a roleplaying experience you'll never forget.

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    I have 2 really 3 homebrews

    I have 2 really 3 homebrew rules.

    1. in 3.5 D&D I would increase the skill points a character receives by 8 at first level and by 2 each additional level. I love the diversity you can do with skills, but no one can really do it with the level they give to each class.

    2. In Scion I state in character creation you buy the highest level power and get the lower one or ones for free in your purviews since otherwise it makes little sense for people to get the over just buying Epic stats. Epics give you bonus successes and a power for each level you have.

    3. In Runequest, now we are talking some old school shit here, I have a modified character creation system based on points so you can do more with the game, along with extended magic and martial arts manuevers. A.k.a. I have updated the system so it could appeal to more players who are not used to the more realistic style low to mid magic fantasy games.

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    nWOD - For Mortals and Mages the damage track is changed to -1, -2, -3, -4, -5, INC

    D&D 3.5 - 1st level you get double hit dice
    Playing: Pathfinder
    Running: infrequent VtM game


    "I'm beautifully hideous!" - Sven the Nosferatu

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    For Shadowrun 2e and 3e, when I ran it, d6 was not the standard that was used, I changed it to d10. It was simple enough to modify target numbers and made for a more enjoyable game.

    In DnD 3E, BAB stacked from class to class when multi-classing, making your attack improve no matter how you multi-classed. THe same couldn't be said about spells, if you were a spellcaster. I set it up that 1/2 (rounded down) of your non-spellcaster class level counted towards the spells that multi-classed spellcasters were able to cast in regard to duration, damage, range, or other level based factor. Thus a 15th level character that had 9 levels of Wizard and 6 levels of Thief cast all his spells as though he was a 12th level wizard. Which was his effective caster level.

    I have always despised how Force Points have been handled since the game began being produced by WotC. ANyone familiar with the WEG d6 system new that spending a force point in that game resulted in heaping handful of dice to toss, as FP in WEG doubled the number of dice you tossed for all skills during that particular round, and once spent they were gone unless GM judged that it was used in a Heroic fashion. This is what I did in WotC Star Wars d20:
    - If not Force-Sensitive, max FP equal to 1/2 Wisdom score. Force-Sensitive characters had no limit on number of FP they could have.
    - Spending a Force Point granted a Force bonus to all task resolution rolls equal to 1/2 your character level plus the number of Force Points you currently had.
    - Any use of Force Skills that did damage to others was ruled an aggressive use of the Force, regardless of the why, resulting in a Darkside Point.
    - Once you spent a Force Point it was gone.
    - You began play with a number of Force Points equal to your Wisdom modifier, that once spent, they did not return, and you didn't automatically gain a Force Point each level.

    With the Saga edition, A Force Point Functions like a Destiny Point. You get 1 per level, and have a max of 1/2 wisdom for non-Jedi/non-force sensitive and no limit for Jedi/Force Sensitives. You can earn more by performing acts of dramatic heroism, but no more than 1 in any adventure. Due to how Force Points work, their are Character Points for the purpose of Talents, Feats, or other class features that require a Force Point to activate.

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    AC in D&D has always bothered me. Armor doesn't prevent you from getting hit, it prevents you from getting wounded. So all armor in my D20 has damage reduction instead of AC. In order to compensate the drop in AC I allow all characters to spend any of their attack bonus to their defense bonus instead. So someone with +7 base attack could spend 4 on attack and 3 on defense. This gives a little more feel for a character adept with a weapon to parry and defend himself with it or a character taking 'cautious attacks' instead of an all out swing with everything he's got.

    I also introduce a variant of fighting defensively which is 'avoid melee' and characters receive a +6 dodge bonus with no attacks. Think of all those movies where a nimble character is being chased by some huge warrior with a weapon and manages to keep avoiding being hit by staying away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sascha View Post
    If I ever get enough interest in a Star Wars Saga Edition game, I'd totally steal FATE's aspects rules and apply them to Force Points; they're asking - nay, begging - to be used in such a manner. "Refresh each level" seems so ... arbitrary. Along with that, make Force powers take a point to activate, and waive the per-encounter limits; means taking the same power multiple times is silly ... 'cause it is silly.
    Actually, this has changed over time in Saga with new talents that have been introduced, particularly in the Jedi Training Manual. Jedi recuperate force points at a lightning quick pace with the right talents. And you can spend a force point to recover a power you've already used in combat. At low levels, sure, it kinda can seem limited for Jedi... but you have to remember that until you cross into the Jedi Knight prestige class, you're just a padawan. I mean, you don't even build your own lightsaber until level 7. And by the time you're a Jedi Knight, you have a nice suite of powers. I like how they did Force Powers in Saga... heck, I think I'd like powers in D&D 4E even better if they worked like Saga's Force Powers.
    --- Merged from Double Post ---
    Quote Originally Posted by Thelrain View Post
    AC in D&D has always bothered me. Armor doesn't prevent you from getting hit, it prevents you from getting wounded. So all armor in my D20 has damage reduction instead of AC. In order to compensate the drop in AC I allow all characters to spend any of their attack bonus to their defense bonus instead. So someone with +7 base attack could spend 4 on attack and 3 on defense. This gives a little more feel for a character adept with a weapon to parry and defend himself with it or a character taking 'cautious attacks' instead of an all out swing with everything he's got.

    I also introduce a variant of fighting defensively which is 'avoid melee' and characters receive a +6 dodge bonus with no attacks. Think of all those movies where a nimble character is being chased by some huge warrior with a weapon and manages to keep avoiding being hit by staying away.
    Actually, armor making you harder to hit makes sense. If you're wearing heavy platemail, the reason it's effective at all is that when you do get hit, it's supposed to deflect the blow. The way that I've always played d20 games is to take your base AC, and then add armor to it. If an attack would've hit you without your armor on, but it misses with your armor bonus, then the attack bounced off the armor. Also, I use the same theory for cover... if the bonus you receive from cover is what saves you, then the attack hits the cover. In a game with guns and bulletproof vests however, you're exactly right, armor reduces damage, and doesn't make you any harder to hit.

    What you have to remember is D&D and d20 as a whole abstract a lot of the combat. Does it matter whether you got hit or just resisted the damage? Not really, from a mechanical standpoint. So abstract it. That said, I like your attack/parry thing... reminiscent of another game I can't think of the name of right now, so that'll keep me up at night trying to remember. Do you let mages and other ranged characters have a similar ability though? Or is that just a melee power?

    As for fighting defensively... eh. I like the normal fight defensive, and I also like Saga edition's Fight Defensive (+2 bonus to defense if you attack, +5 if you don't, and there's a feat to change those numbers to +5 and +10 respectively. There's a penalty to the attacks if you take them, but it's not relevant to the discussion). I think that as far as your small nimble character vs. big warrior thing goes, size category differences and the normal fight defensive cover it well enough already.
    --- Merged from Double Post ---
    Quote Originally Posted by Dytrrnikl View Post
    I have always despised how Force Points have been handled since the game began being produced by WotC. ANyone familiar with the WEG d6 system new that spending a force point in that game resulted in heaping handful of dice to toss, as FP in WEG doubled the number of dice you tossed for all skills during that particular round, and once spent they were gone unless GM judged that it was used in a Heroic fashion. This is what I did in WotC Star Wars d20:
    - If not Force-Sensitive, max FP equal to 1/2 Wisdom score. Force-Sensitive characters had no limit on number of FP they could have.
    - Spending a Force Point granted a Force bonus to all task resolution rolls equal to 1/2 your character level plus the number of Force Points you currently had.
    - Any use of Force Skills that did damage to others was ruled an aggressive use of the Force, regardless of the why, resulting in a Darkside Point.
    - Once you spent a Force Point it was gone.
    - You began play with a number of Force Points equal to your Wisdom modifier, that once spent, they did not return, and you didn't automatically gain a Force Point each level.

    With the Saga edition, A Force Point Functions like a Destiny Point. You get 1 per level, and have a max of 1/2 wisdom for non-Jedi/non-force sensitive and no limit for Jedi/Force Sensitives. You can earn more by performing acts of dramatic heroism, but no more than 1 in any adventure. Due to how Force Points work, their are Character Points for the purpose of Talents, Feats, or other class features that require a Force Point to activate.
    I think you're kind of missing the point of Force Points in Saga. The Force is not a Bennie, or a mana pool in the Star Wars universe, it permeates everything. Characters who are force sensitive merely use the Force knowingly and in a controlled manner. Non-Force sensitive characters merely think they have good luck or some such thing, but they simply don't know that they're manipulating the Force too, just typically in a more subtle manner. You don't run out of Force either, though as a balance mechanic I can see why RPGs and video games set in the Star Wars universe tend to treat the Force as a (often quickly regenerating) mana pool. Sure, it may not seem like a level 1 Jedi has that many more Force Points than a level 1 Noble (they don't) but compare, say, 10th level characters. The Jedi (who has probably crossed into Jedi Knight) now has Force Points coming out the wazoo and they regenerate quickly, while the Noble is still only going to have a few, and they won't regenerate in nearly the same way.

    And ANY use of the Force that causes harm is Dark Side? I don't think so. It's the emotionality behind your actions that causes the Dark Side to rise in someone. The reason why no one kills the Emperor when they had him on the ropes at the end of The Force Unleashed is that no one could kill him without hate and anger in their hearts. The reason why Vader is able to kill the Emperor at the end of RotJ is that his heart isn't filled with hate, it's filled with love and compassion for Luke. Beyond that, all lightsaber fighting styles are infused with the Force, many of the combat force powers deal damage (as Saga doesn't differentiate between types of damage, some of the powers are obviously from the descriptions only talking someone down, and they still deal damage, and even stun damage also does not get counted separately)... this rule above all others hamstrings your players beyond measure in a combat scenario. Using the Force to torture earns you a Dark Side point. Using the Force to harm innocents, the helpless, or those who are surrendering earns you a Dark Side point. Using the Force in combat, however, does not. Hothead that he is, even Anakin's fall is not due entirely to his actions in combat. Sure, he invested himself emotionally into some fights, such as versus Dooku in Ep. II, probably resulting in a Dark Side point or two. And his execution of Dooku at the beginning of Ep. III was definitely Dark Side worthy. Over time, though, Palpatine had been inflicting Dark Side upon Anakin because Anakin believed what Palpatine was saying. By the time he goes on his murder spree, he's already full Dark Side, owing very little of that to his actions in combat.

    Do I think WotC's game is perfect? No. But it is well done, well balanced, and I believe gives the effect you are going for far better than you realize.
    Last edited by korhal23; 07-02-2009 at 12:54 AM. Reason: Automerged Double Post

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    Actually, armor making you harder to hit makes sense. If you're wearing heavy platemail, the reason it's effective at all is that when you do get hit, it's supposed to deflect the blow. The way that I've always played d20 games is to take your base AC, and then add armor to it. If an attack would've hit you without your armor on, but it misses with your armor bonus, then the attack bounced off the armor. Also, I use the same theory for cover... if the bonus you receive from cover is what saves you, then the attack hits the cover. In a game with guns and bulletproof vests however, you're exactly right, armor reduces damage, and doesn't make you any harder to hit.

    What you have to remember is D&D and d20 as a whole abstract a lot of the combat. Does it matter whether you got hit or just resisted the damage? Not really, from a mechanical standpoint. So abstract it. That said, I like your attack/parry thing... reminiscent of another game I can't think of the name of right now, so that'll keep me up at night trying to remember. Do you let mages and other ranged characters have a similar ability though? Or is that just a melee power?

    I based the splitting of the attack bonus for defense on the Rolemaster/MERP system which would allow you to use some of your % attack on your % defense. Maybe that is the system you are thinking of. For mages/rogues if they are proficient with the weapon then yes! A quarterstaff or dagger can deflect/parry melee attacks.

    For me it does matter if a character does get hit while wearing armor. I understand the AC concept but I just don't like it. Armor doesn't last forever. It takes damage from being hit. Leather can be cut, plate can be dented, chainmail can be punctured.

    If two people were standing side by side, one in plate and one in leather and you hauled off and hit them both with a baseball bat, both would hit but only one would probably be damaged.

    In a case where someone has a flaming sword, or an electrical charged sword, touch attacks, crush attacks, etc it can make a big difference. If you are being squeezed by a giant the leather armor isn't going to help much but that plate will! A plate wearer getting kicked by an giant might not take any damage might go flying! Just a preference when handling certain damaging situations and since damage reduction is already in the game, why not use it where it should really be used. I just like a 'hit' to be a 'hit' and not a 'just not wounded'.

    "Rick your warrior has taken about 20 hits from those pesky lil kobolds and although you are unhurt your armor needs a little adjusting. "

    As for fighting defensively... eh. I like the normal fight defensive, and I also like Saga edition's Fight Defensive (+2 bonus to defense if you attack, +5 if you don't, and there's a feat to change those numbers to +5 and +10 respectively. There's a penalty to the attacks if you take them, but it's not relevant to the discussion). I think that as far as your small nimble character vs. big warrior thing goes, size category differences and the normal fight defensive cover it well enough already.
    I'm not familiar with Saga's version of defensive fighting. There just aren't any rules that I am aware of that give you a bonus of completely avoiding combat and being as defensive as possible. The fighting defensively assumes you are still going to make an attack. What about if you are just interested in saving your own hide and forgoing any attacks? That's why I introduced it.

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    I also like the split your attack bonus rule.

    There are several house rules that I like to use for all of my games, some of them are just jokes that started, others are serious.

    For example, Rule 0 - As a player, never give the DM ideas. For example, we use natural 1s as critical failures, if Player A rolls a 1, Player B shouldn't say "OH MAN, he's gonna chop off his toe!"

    This sort of gave birth to what my old group called "The 0th Amendment" (as in the Constitution) which protects the American Right to *****. As in, "I always get hit, my mountain dew is warm." "Great, JoeBob is using his 0th Amendment rights."

    And, my personal favorite house rule, the Platypus Rule. This refers to the apparent error God made when he created the platypus. The rule reads: All mistakes are final. It's impossible for anyone to remember all of the rules in a game, especially one with a lot of rules like D&D or GURPS. So. If it is brought to the attention of the DM that a spell should have had a will save instead of a reflex save, or whatever, the old rulings still stand, but future rulings will use the correct system. This eliminates a lot of tension, aggravation, arguing, and speeds up gameplay because people aren't stopping to look up rules to end quibbles. Just at the beginning of the game, let everyone know about the Platypus Rule.
    "Wit is educated insolence." - Aristotle

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