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

  1. #46
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    The DM has to have fun too. If I had a player that named his character Minmax and wanted to just kill stuff, I'd show him the door, however much he argued that it was his brand of fun.

    If everyone at the table was ok with playing "Medieval killing game, no computer required" as 3e was occasionally called, then sure, go nuts. But in my experience, it's never everyone (sometimes it's even everyone but the DM).

    Every year computer games get better, and RPGs get to be a worse choice for this sort of gaming.

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    We get more and more off topic here. But I agree with Valdar : everybody is entitled to play hack'n'slash but what is the real value of doing it with pen and paper ? You're better off playing diablo or a MMORPG. I'm looking at Lizards of the Coast strategy like they seem to want to compete with those games. I think their choice will lead them to let down role play as we know it, and be more and more combat focused.
    Au gibet noir, manchot aimable, dansent, dansent les paladins
    Les maigres paladins du diable les squelettes de Saladins.

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    Quote Originally Posted by boulet View Post
    We get more and more off topic here. But I agree with Valdar : everybody is entitled to play hack'n'slash but what is the real value of doing it with pen and paper ? You're better off playing diablo or a MMORPG. I'm looking at Lizards of the Coast strategy like they seem to want to compete with those games. I think their choice will lead them to let down role play as we know it, and be more and more combat focused.
    In spite of what Lizards might prefer, the words don't fall off the older books when they produce a new edition. We are as capable of creating as the Lizard's hacks are. My ideas are a good as anyone else's and so are yours.

    We don't need the game producers. They are nice to have, but we don't need them. Offical rules are not the be all and end all.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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    Quote Originally Posted by boulet View Post
    We get more and more off topic here. But I agree with Valdar : everybody is entitled to play hack'n'slash but what is the real value of doing it with pen and paper ? You're better off playing diablo or a MMORPG. I'm looking at Lizards of the Coast strategy like they seem to want to compete with those games. I think their choice will lead them to let down role play as we know it, and be more and more combat focused.
    Check out the new non-combat challenge system. It's as brilliant as it is controversial. There's nothing like it anywhere. It's what I've been waiting for- something besides "sling a single D20 and then get back to the killin' ".

    And the "Is D&D 4e WoW" debate is long and historied. D&D is getting to be more streamlined- some things will look a lot like things in MMOGs, just because MMOGs need to be streamlined. And if D&D wanted to be like WoW, they would have made Tieflings be from space =)

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    Okay, getting back on topic...

    This isn't so much a house rule as it is a home brew skill/proficiency. I'm writing it out in the 2e Skills & Powers format, for that's easily adapted into the 3.Xe d20 format (for all the "3.X Or Nothing" gamers out there).

    ROGUE PROFICIENCY: SEDUCTION

    CHARACTER POINT COST: 3

    BASE CHANCE OF SUCCESS: 7

    PRIMARY ABILITYSCORES: CHARISMA & COMELINESS

    DISCRIPTION: Using their strong personality and good looks, a rogue uses the seduction proficiency to talk members of the opposite sex out of something, whether it be information, their property, or their clothes. This proficiency bestows upon the rogue the knowledge of body language and subtle inuendo which suggests to the person targetted that she likes this rogue and wants to be with him. If he makes his proficiency check, the targetted girl makes a Wisdom Check. If she fails, she responds favorably towards him. But if she succeeds, she sees the game for what it is. Seducers/seductresses who also have the Allure trait can adjust the targetted person's Wisdom Check by as much as a -3 penalty.
    Last edited by Tony Misfeldt; 05-16-2008 at 07:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Misfeldt View Post
    Okay, getting back on topic...

    This isn't so much a house rule as it is a home brew skill/proficiency. I'm writing it out in the 2e Skills & Powers format, for that's easily adapted into the 3.Xe d20 format (for all the "3.X Or Nothing" gamers out there).

    ROGUE PROFICIENCY: SEDUCTION

    CHARACTER POINT COST: 3

    BASE CHANCE OF SUCCESS: 7

    PRIMARY ABILITYSCORES: CHARISMA & COMELINESS

    DISCRIPTION: Using their strong personality and good looks, a rogue uses the seduction proficiency to talk members of the opposite sex out of something, whether it be information, their property, or their clothes. This proficiency bestows upon the rogue the knowledge of body language and subtle inuendo which suggests to the person targetted that she likes this rogue and wants to be with him. If he makes his proficiency check, the targetted girl makes a Wisdom Check. If she fails, she responds favorably towards him. But if she succeeds, she sees the game for what it is. Seducers/seductresses who also have the Allure trait can adjust the targetted person's Wisdom Check by as much as a -3 penalty.


    So in 2E, this would use a proficiency slot?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    We don't need the game producers. They are nice to have, but we don't need them. Offical rules are not the be all and end all.
    True, you don't need them, but I think using their rules as much as you can has some value. I know that their rules have been playtested over a variety of game styles, and having the players have some idea of how the game is going to work gives them agency in the game. If they have no idea how likely their character is going to succeed at anything, you wind up with a game where nobody leaves the bar.

    Small house rules are nice to smooth out the corners of a game, but I would only use them if things are seriously broken (which happened a lot in 3e, as the developers of 4e realized). If I wanted to get rid of the horribly unrealistic "hit point" game mechanic, I would hope my players would talk some sense into me, because it's such a fundamental part of the game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valdar View Post
    Small house rules are nice to smooth out the corners of a game, but I would only use them if things are seriously broken (which happened a lot in 3e, as the developers of 4e realized). If I wanted to get rid of the horribly unrealistic "hit point" game mechanic, I would hope my players would talk some sense into me, because it's such a fundamental part of the game.
    Well, expect it to happen a lot in 4e. Had Lizards concentrated on fixing the glitchs and not on changing things to the sake of changing them 4e would be smoother. However this they didn't do. They changed things all over and things that frankly did not need to be changed.

    Considering how thoughtly playtested 3.x was suppose to be and how many glitchs in the rules turned up, I think you can expect a similar rate of rule failure for 4. Simply going on past performance.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplmac View Post

    So in 2E, this would use a proficiency slot?
    Perhaps two proficiency slots. Typically, when converting a proficiency from the proficiency slot system to the character point system, one proficiency slot = two character points. If you read through Skills & Powers, you'll find that some proficiencies cost three character points. I wasn't sure how many slots it should have so I decided to split the diff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    They changed things all over and things that frankly did not need to be changed.

    Considering how thoughtly playtested 3.x was suppose to be and how many glitchs in the rules turned up, I think you can expect a similar rate of rule failure for 4. Simply going on past performance.
    What things were changed that didn't need to be changed? I've been following the design discussions, and a lot of their choices make sense. They're fixing fundamental things like "fighters are boring because you spend most of the combat doing your basic attack" and "rogues' main shtick is the sneak attack, which is hard to set up, and lots of monsters are immune to it".

    And no, 3.x wasn't playtested at all at the higher levels, which is why so many games fall apart when character levels go into the double digits.

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    [quote=Valdar;31366]What things were changed that didn't need to be changed?[/qupte]

    Where do I start? Saving throws worked fine, it didn't need fixing. Gnomes removed as a core race, tiflings put in as a core race. No doubt there is much much more.


    Quote Originally Posted by Valdar View Post
    And no, 3.x wasn't playtested at all at the higher levels, which is why so many games fall apart when character levels go into the double digits.
    The d20 mechanic doesn't scale. It will break at higher levels and you cannot do much about it. 3e mainly starts to break when you get away from the core books and include some 300 odd feats a hundred classes and prestige classes and so forth.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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    The Olde Phoenix Inn
    Metro Detroit Linux Users Group

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    I have always thought that I would let magic users at 10th level be able to know their maximum # of 1st level spells without having to rememorize after using it. Reason being that I feel that a 1st level spell is rather easy for that high of a level mage. This would go up as the mage would continue to rise in levels (gain 2nd level spells as a level 11 mage, 3rd level spells at 12th level and so on). Unfortunately, I have never had a mage make it to level 10 to see if this works.

    I also do not have clerics have to rememorize their spells, since I feel that they are granted by the god that they follow. If they do something that goes against their god, they can lose the use of any particular spell or possibly all their spells until they redeem themself with their god.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cplmac View Post
    I have always thought that I would let magic users at 10th level be able to know their maximum # of 1st level spells without having to rememorize after using it. Reason being that I feel that a 1st level spell is rather easy for that high of a level mage. This would go up as the mage would continue to rise in levels (gain 2nd level spells as a level 11 mage, 3rd level spells at 12th level and so on). Unfortunately, I have never had a mage make it to level 10 to see if this works.

    I also do not have clerics have to rememorize their spells, since I feel that they are granted by the god that they follow. If they do something that goes against their god, they can lose the use of any particular spell or possibly all their spells until they redeem themself with their god.
    I've used fire and don't forget for decades. Clerics don't have to memorize. It works.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    The Dean of Old School
    The Olde Phoenix Inn
    Metro Detroit Linux Users Group

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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    I've used fire and don't forget for decades. Clerics don't have to memorize. It works.


    Yes, I have found the same result for the clerics.

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    A lot of these wouldn't work for most people, but my group has been essentially the same people for 9 years, so it works for us really well.

    1) Fun, fun, fun. If it's not fun, it's broken. Some stuff is less fun, and some fun things require some not-so-fun effort, but the overall tone needs to be fun.

    2) No XP. Everyone levels when the DM says they level, as a group. I'll probably get chewed out for that one, but there's a few things. We all hate having characters of different levels, and we don't like to focus on leveling like it was an MMO. Things that cost XP just get substituted and cost something else - like, for a scroll, one of your daily spellcasts is gone for the next week (or whatever). Things that give bonus XP to an individual, like good roleplaying, get +boosts. Sort of like the various Luck feats/spells - if you RP something and blow me away, you get a +2 bonus you can add to anything at all, at any time during the campaign. I know this would probably be very bad for most groups, but if you've got a group that can handle it, I highly recommend it. It's so much more fun when a group cares more about exploring and creativity than when they just want to grind XP.

    3) +boosts. I find, both as a DM and a player, that rewarding creativity and RP with these +1 or +2 bonuses (to be used whenever the player wants) really encourages more of the same. If someone knows they have a +2 they can add to any roll, they're more likely to take a long-shot, difficult, really creative tactic. I just keep track of which players have how many.

    4) No attacks of opportunity unless the DM says so. Big, obvious ones, like the monster you're in melee with turns and runs? Sure. Overly complicated ones because someone crossed within 10 feet of you while you were equipped with a Glaive on a Tuesday morning after you had a cup of coffee but did NOT have oatmeal? No. On a related note:

    5) No nitpicking. No rules lawyering. This one is more flexible, but generally we say that, if you can't explain the rules in question within 5 minutes, they're bad rules :P

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