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Molan's 3e House Rules



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This page is where I am posting House Rules for use with 3e. Some have come from me, some from others. These are intended to alter play as little as possible and still maintain game balance. The purpose of these house rules is to make some things make more sense and to make the game more into the style of play I enjoy running. Also, please not that at this time none of these house rules have been instituted or play-tested by me. For those that do try them out, please give me some feedback so I know how they work out.

I have this page divided into two sections. The first is for House rules that I would/will use in my 3e campaign once I start it (in October). The second is for interesting ideas that are still under development and probably needing refinement.

Section 1

Rangers can use their pseudo feats for fighting with two weapons on a Quarter staff. This allows them to fight with a quarter staff as a double weapon without penalty. This only applies as long as they meat the requirements for their normal two weapon style.

A spear may be used as a quarter staff by anyone proficient in both.

High ability scores can grant 0 level bonus spells. The same progression for first level spells is used. This makes it much more likely that players will use such 0 level spells.

The Barbarian class shall be called the Berserker class in character. This better reflects the elite nature of the class and justifies it being more than a cultural thing.

New metamagic feat
Sensory Shift
This feat allows the spell caster to modify one of three sensory features pertaining to the spell: color, sound, or patterned visual appearance of the spell effect. The changes produced by this spell do not affect the functions of the affected spell nor any saving throws that apply against their effects. This does not increase the level of the spell as it is only a cosmetic change. Bards and Sorcerers may use this feat without the increased casting time.
Sensory Shift cannot create any form of invisibility. It cannot completely silence a spell effect (thus, a fireball's blast might be muted, but not wholly eliminated).

Favoured Classes by race

Each race in the PHB has a Favoured class in which they excel and do not suffer from experience point penalties when multiclassing with them (See the PHB for specifics on those penalties). Each race is given one class that is Favoured. Humans and Half-elves are stated as having their highest class level be considered their Favoured class. This means it can change for those races as they gain levels. This house rules allows more options in the Favoured class part for each race. Below are the PHB races, some different Favoured classes and why I think they should be allowed as Favoured classes. The way this rule works is that the Player (or DM) chooses what the favoured class will be for the character based upon race and character concept. This rule does not change anything for Humans and Half-elves, nor does it allow more than one Favoured class for just allows a little more flexibility in the racial makeup's of the humanoids.

  • Dwarves are a fierce race of people who excel in many areas but especially combat. This allows them to have the Fighter class as their Favoured class. However, they are quite devout and loyal people and I believe that they should also be allowed to choose the Cleric class as their Favoured class.
  • Elves: are depicted as innately magical and having a rich oral tradition and connection to their history. because of this I think they should be allowed to choose either Sorcerer or Bard as their Favoured class instead of Wizard.
  • Half-Orcs: are some of the most fierce some warriors alive. They are capable of developing their fighting skills to incredible degrees just hoping to be able to fit in somewhere. Because of this I think they should be allowed to take Fighter as a choose for a Favoured class.
  • Halflings: are short people who live out their lives in the shadows of others. They are often farm workers and sometimes live in areas where visible weapons are not allowed. This could cause them to develop not only martial arts but the martial arts weapons (in the PHB) as well. Be cause of this I think they should be allowed to choose the Monk class as a favoured class. This should not take away the normal restrictions Monks have for multiclassing.
  • Gnomes: Gnomes are a wondrous race who can learn to cast some spells innately. Although those spells are primarily Illusion based, this innate talent should allow them to choose Sorcerer as their Favoured class.

Section 2

Bards can cast some divines spells as arcane spells (most notably Cure spells. A Bard with the Scribe Scroll feature can scribe such spells to a scroll for later use. As a house rule it would be OK to allow Sorcerers to learn these spells (when they gain a level) instead of spells on their list.

The PHB doesn't specifically state that you must spend skill points or take a feat as soon as you get it, so here are three options. Each one is more abusive than the one before it.

  1. You must choose a feat/skill when you gain the slot.
  2. You can choose your feat/skills at any time during that level in which you gain a slot (so you could suddenly develop Iron Will when you realised you were fighting a mind flayer at level 6).
  3. You can hold your feats/skills as long as you want and spend them at any point after you get them.

The following is from Ryan S. Dancey as posted on the WotC message boards. It is a change in the hit points are handled to allow more realistic and lethal combat to exist but still allow the 10th level fighter to shrug off the effects of a Fireball.

  1. In addition to Hit Points, you get Wound Points. You have a number of WP equal to your character's CON score.
  2. Any time you are sneak attacked or take a critical hit, lose a WP. Each and every time you take any damage when you are unconscious, lose a WP. Any time you fail a Fortitude Save, lose a WP.
  3. Apply a 1 point Wound Penalty to all D20 die rolls you make per WP lost. (When I use this system, I am not going to use this rule; and it doesn't appear in the last draft of the SW rules I read. Some DM/GMs like to degrade player abilities as they take damage; I find it a vicious circle that tends to make people unhappy so I avoid it.)
  4. When you have zero WP, you are dead, regardless of how many HP you have left.
  5. Regain 1 WP per week of game time through natural healing when the character engages in no strenuous activity (combat, day-long travel, or any activity resulting in an XP loss or gain).
  6. Healing magic can restore WP at a rate of 1WP restored per 10HP healed -- spellcaster must specify if the healing attempt should apply to HP or WP before casting, and if the result is less than 10HP, no WP are restored.
  7. WARNING! This system makes the game much more dangerous for PCs. You should plan on scaling monsters and traps accordingly.

Ryan S Dancey (August 16th, 2000)

This is an alternate system of healing for 3e. It takes into account that people generally at about the same rate. It uses the same logic as is applied to the 3e rules for natural healing (i.e. 1pt/level per day). With this system each Cure spell heals a certain percentage of damage done to the character. Each spell always cures the same percentage but since it is based upon the character's maximum hit points the spells continue to be useful at all levels. After all, why should a 1st level mage be completely healed by a cure light wounds, but not be when he has reached 20th level.

Each character (player) should figure out the percentages based upon their maximum hit points. As they gain more hit points they should refigure these hit points. The spells would always heal x% of the max. Remember to always drop fractions.

LevelSpellAmount cured
0Cure Minor Wounds5%, minimum of 1
1Cure Light Wounds20% of max hit points, minimum of 4 pts
2Cure Moderate Wounds40% of max hit points, minimum of 8 pts
3Cure Serious Wounds60% of max hit points, minimum of 12 pts
4Cure Critical Wounds80% of max hit points, minimum of 16 pts
5Healing Circle30% of max hit points, minimum of 6 pts

For example, let us use Billy-Bob the wonder Ranger. He is 5th level and has a maximum hit point total of 32. The table below shows what healing he would get from each spell, regardless of how much damage he has taken. Remember that a character cannot gain more hit points than his max, so any extra points are lost.

LevelSpellAmount cured
0Cure Minor Wounds1 hp
1Cure Light Wounds6 hp
2Cure Moderate Wounds12 hps
3Cure Serious Wounds19 hp
4Cure Critical Wounds25 hp
5Healing Circle9 hp

Now to continue the example, let us say that the ranger had gained a few more levels and now had a max hit point total of 53. After figuring out his hit point maximum he would take a few minutes to figure out how much each spell would now cure him.

LevelSpellAmount cured
0Cure Minor Wounds2 hp
1Cure Light Wounds10 hp
2Cure Moderate Wounds21 hps
3Cure Serious Wounds31 hp
4Cure Critical Wounds42 hp
5Healing Circle15 hp

One of the nice things about this system is that a Character that has access to healing could do a Heal check (I suggest DC 18) and determine which spell would be best based upon the wounds the victim is suffering from.

Modern day Firearms for D20

All firearms are considered "Lethal" damage. All weapons that have the damage type of Lethal have the possibility of killing a person regardless of hit points. Whenever a person is damaged by a Lethal weapon or effect, he must make a Fortitude save vs. a DC of 10 + the damage taken from that hit. If he fails, he immediately drops to -1 and is unstable. He then has the normal chance to become stable.

Use the following chart to convert Story Teller firearms to D20. The number of dots corresponds to the D20 damage done. Most Firearms have a Critical range of 19-20, x2. Shotgun/scatter type weapons have a critical threat range of 18-20, x3. Beam weapons have a critical threat range of 20, x4.

  1. 1d3
  2. 1d4
  3. 1d6
  4. 1d8
  5. 1d10
  6. 1d12
  7. 2d6+2
  8. 2d8
  9. 2d8+2
  10. 2d10