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Thread: House Rules. Do you have them and what are they?

  1. #16
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    Some of my groups have used audible spells as well. Though I do admit it works better with younger groups. Osaba nay obata will forever be ingrained in my memory.

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    Oh, I forgot "Pansi man"'

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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    Where are you getting the vocal component? It isn't in the books.
    Vocal component, verbal component... tomato, tomawto. Call it what you will, the V part of V, S, M, and F. As for why I require spellcasters (and not just wizards, clerics, bards, druids, anyone who casts spells) to use vocal components is because I got sick and tired of people wanting to just sit around rolling dice. People didn't want to try and do anything unless they could do it by rolling dice. I keep telling people that you spell roleplaying R-O-L-E not R-O-L-L. They say they know the difference, but when locked in the cargo hold of a slave ship they would rather be sold into slavery than come up with something inventive to get out of their predicament. Thus the Paul Rule and the Vocal Components Rule came into effect. If all you want to do is roll dice at a table, go to Vegas and shoot craps!

    Quote Originally Posted by Valdar View Post
    Well, if you're going to rip off Zatanna's schtick for spellcasting, are you going to make the magic users wear tophats and fishnets too?

    Also, visual rep of the fix to the Paul rule in the webcomic I recently started:

    http://www.worldsedge.org
    Nice comic on that website. I don't know how that 4th Ed rule works, so I'll save my comments until I can get my hands on a Player's/DMG (whichever book the rule is in). I may absorb it into my hybrid game. Until then The Paul Rule will stay in effect.

    If the players want their mages to wear tophats and fishnets while adventuring, that's up to them. But They may get some strange looks from NPCs if their characters happen to be male.
    Last edited by Farcaster; 05-08-2008 at 01:26 PM. Reason: Use muti-quote

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Misfeldt View Post
    Players can choose whatever vocal components they want, as long as they say them. They can rip off Harry Potter "Occulus Reparem!", Sesame Street "Abra-Peanutbutter-Sandwitches!", make up ryming couplets, use the spell name to come up with an anagram, say the spell name in elvish, dwarven, drow, French, Polish, Russian or whatever foriegn/imaginary language they wish.
    Anything but the spell name it seems. No, too much work for no reasonable return.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Misfeldt View Post
    Nice comic on that website. I don't know how that 4th Ed rule works, so I'll save my comments until I can get my hands on a Player's/DMG (whichever book the rule is in). I may absorb it into my hybrid game. Until then The Paul Rule will stay in effect.
    Thank you! Basically, the noncombat game mechanic is that the DM sets a DC for an encounter, and decides on a certain number of successes and failures that will determine success or failure for the encounter. The players have the option of an "easy" roll (five less than the DC), "average" (the DC), or "hard" (five more than the DC). Failing an easy roll counts as two failures, and succeeding at a hard roll grants +2 to the next roll. Players then take turns rolling against a skill, with a justification of why the skill applies to the given encounter.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Misfeldt View Post
    If the players want their mages to wear tophats and fishnets while adventuring, that's up to them. But They may get some strange looks from NPCs if their characters happen to be male.
    As an aside, when the male version of Zatanna (the original character's little brother) was introduced in "52", the layout artist drew him in fishnets and a leotard as a joke. Due to time constraints (it was a weekly book), that panel almost made it in as-is...

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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    Anything but the spell name it seems. No, too much work for no reasonable return.
    Having it be just the spell name would be a little too anime-ish... though it seems to have become the standard in at least one webcomic that I can think of...

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    Farcaster's House Rules

    There are plenty of things that I adhoc all the time, but here are some of my standard house rules (snipped from a post to my current group):

    On Prestige Classes...
    I believe prestige classes should truly be a matter of prestige, and should make sense from a roleplaying perspective. So, to take levels in a prestige class, your character will almost always have to receive training of some sort. Generally, this would be from an organization that is in effect teaching the character certain "secret arts," fight styles, or what have you.

    In other cases, it might also be environmental. Something may happen to your character that alters him in someway, thus facilitating these new abilities. For instance, I had a player in one of my games that wanted his character to become a Gate Crasher. So, during the course of the game, his character actually died in a most unusual way in the planes. When he was resurrected, he came back altered by the experience, and his character slowly began to realize that he had these new abilities.

    So, if you are interested in a prestige class, definitely let me know ahead of time, and if it makes sense to work it in, we will. There will also be opportunities that come up during the course of the game to join organizations that will allow you to take levels in custom prestige classes.

    On Skill Increases...
    Once again, I like character improvements to make sense from a roleplaying perspective. When you are leveling your character, try to distribute your points in skills that your character either used or studied during the course of the previous game. I reserve the right to veto skill increases for skills that your character did not logically have the opportunity to improve.

    On Hitpoint Tracking...
    In my previous games, I have generally kept track of hit points for the group. In fact, the group doesn't even know what their exact hitpoints are. Instead of saying, the big, nasty ogre hits you for 16 points of damage, I describe the damage and your current status, i.e. "The smelly bohemeth swings his massive great club, splintering it against your shield with a solid blow that leaves your entire arm feeling numb." And, I will then tell you your current status, i.e., "You are injured." The possible statuses from best to worst are:
    • Uninjured
    • Scratched
    • Bruised
    • Injured
    • Seriously Injured
    • Wounded
    • Seriously Wounded
    • Critically Wounded
    • Unconscious
    • Dead

    On Spells Memorization...
    We use the alternate system for spell memorization and spell points presented in the Unearthed Arcana.

    On Rules Disputes...
    I hate it when a game breaks down because of a dispute over a ruling. I don't mind if you disagree with me about a judgment I make as a DM; I am far from perfect, especially when it comes to the minutia of the various rules. However, during the game, I generally limit rules disputes to one to two minutes maximum. After that, if my rule still stands, it still stands, and I don't want to continue arguing about it. Now, after the game, I'm more than willing to hash out the particulars of a rule and figure out how to do it right the next time. The only exception to this would be if my ruling is going to result in your character's death. Then understandably, we should make sure we get the ruling right before it has severe consequences.

    Fate Points...
    In many of my games, I have used "fate points," which are somewhat of a holdover from Warhammer: The RPG. In my version, characters have one fate point per session that can be used to force one reroll. It doesn't matter who rolled the dice (me, you, or a party member), you can use your fate point to have the dice rolled again. The only caveat is that you have to announce the reroll BEFORE any other dice are cast. Thus, if I roll a natural-20 and then after announcing it, roll a confirmation, you can only make me reroll the confirmation, not the original critical. Only one fate point can be spent on any single roll.

    While each of you has a fate point to use at every session, I will also have one "anti-fate" point. I almost never use this, but if it is important for story reasons, or whatever, I may choose to spend my anti-fate point to negate a reroll. In which case, you still have spent your fate point and it is lost.

    Dramatic Combat...
    This is something I recently started doing with my group actually. To encourage players to be more descriptive about what their characters are doing in combat, I give players a +1 circumstance bonus to attack (and possibly damage as well) if they give good descriptions of what their characters are doing. So, instead of simply rolling a d20 and their damage, it encourages the players to visualize the scene, and certainly makes things more interesting.

    On Grappling...
    Grappling in 3rd edition seems to be a little over-powerful and was becoming a little overused in my game. Instead of making any drastic changes to the rules on grappling, I simply did away with the Improved Grapple feat as a player option. Since grapples can then be thwarted more easily, it makes it a less attractive option to use against an armed opponent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valdar View Post
    Having it be just the spell name would be a little too anime-ish... though it seems to have become the standard in at least one webcomic that I can think of...
    Well the magic rules require no special formula be spoken by the player other than an intent to take a spell casing action. I.E. "I cast a fireball to go off ten feet behind the lead fighter."

    Quote Originally Posted by Farcaster View Post
    There are plenty of things that I adhoc all the time, but here are some of my standard house rules (snipped from a post to my current group):
    You need a book.
    Last edited by Farcaster; 05-08-2008 at 11:17 PM. Reason: Use multi-quote

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    You need a book.
    I have plenty of books, but I don't always remember every rule for every situation, and I am loathe to stop the action for too long to find a ruling. Not to mention the fact that the rules don't cover everything, nor do I agree with all the rules.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farcaster View Post
    I have plenty of books, but I don't always remember every rule for every situation, and I am loathe to stop the action for too long to find a ruling. Not to mention the fact that the rules don't cover everything, nor do I agree with all the rules.
    That's why you need a book. A book of house rules. Everyone has them, some have more than others.

    I eliminate good deal of the added complexity that 3e put into combat. My players don't really care about that, they want the combat quick and done. They would not enjoy spending all evening in complex combat encounter, but will gladly spend all evening dealing with RP issues. It all depends on who you are writing for.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

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    I do criticals a little different. If a nat 20 is rolled to confirm, then the weapon does max damage times whatever weapon multipliers there are. If the original to hit roll was also a nat 20, then it does max damage times one extra multiple (a x2 weapon does x3). Back to back 20's are veddy nasty. Yet to happen.

    Players automatically get max hp at generation and when leveling up.

    If you reach -10 hp or lower, you're dead. UNLESS someone can heal you before the current combat round ends. And they have to get you to at least 0. I stole this from a DM at a con I recently attended.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    Well the magic rules require no special formula be spoken by the player other than an intent to take a spell casing action.
    True. This is a thread about house rules though.

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    Multiclassing:
    Players may take up to 2 additional classes (2 core classes, 1 core and 1 prestige, or 2 prestige).

    Natural 1's are always a huge failure and natural 20's are almost always a success (within reason, no jumping a 60' chasm on a nat 20 Jump check)

    Comeliness: Always a fixture in my campaigns though I make PC's roll a Will save whenever they encounter someone with a higher Comeliness than themselves.

    nat 20+nat 20+nat 20= Instant Kill

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    Quote Originally Posted by dankster1221 View Post
    nat 20+nat 20+nat 20= Instant Kill
    That's one chance out of 8000 if I succeeded on my probability skill. You could play a few years and never see this one happening...
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    In the past year I've rolled three nat 20's in a row twice during skill uses effectively never having to spellcraft during a fight and never having to make a dungeoneering knowledge check. The last time was while fighting some elementals. I effectively used my dragon's breath to destroy fire elementals. My dragon was a red.

    My DM makes me roll my d20 in front of everyone is I use my "magic" d20 during play.

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