All rules on this page are general modifications to the 3rd Edition rules or modifications of other rules pages in this section. The modifications to 3e rules are ones too small to warrant their own html page, and which most of you already know. The modifications to other rules on these pages are playtest changes to those rules, which I've since altered but am loathe to put back into those rules pages where nobody will ever see them. Many of the following rules will look familiar if you've read the Blood & Iron rules page.
Critical Hits and Instant Kill - Characters will only roll single critical hits. There will be no double or triple criticals, no matter how wide a weapon's threat range gets. This also applies to Instant Kill; a twenty followed by another twenty is simply a critical hit, not a threat for instant death. On this note, vorpal weapons that critical hit will be treated in all ways as casting Finger of Death on the subject (allowing a Fort save to take damage instead of death). Rationale: I don't like the time taken to roll, roll, roll your 20s with a wide threat range, or the potential for destruction that open criticals and instant death provide. I also had a bad experience with a vorpal weapon, and don't wish others to have to share the misery that is an instant death effect with no save.
Flanking - Henceforth, we will be using the book standard Flanking rules with a slight variant. As per standard rules, characters do not lose their Dex bonus to AC when flanked, simply suffer from being easier to hit (attackers get the standard +2). However, any character with Sneak Attack can get their bonus on a flanked character as if the character had lost his Dex bonus (i.e. sneak attacking characters do not have to be the ones doing the flanking). A character with Uncanny Dodge 2 must still have a higher-level Sneak-Attack-capable character involved in the flanking attempt to be considered flanked. Rationale: It has been pointed out that the losing of dex when flanked was my misreading of the text, and I'd rather not continue this misinterpretation forever since it doesn't really add anything to the game, imo. However, I don't want to make ranged-attack using rogue-types useless in combat.
Ranged Weapons - Ranged weapons will generally only be fully effective at two range increments, and will start doing less damage on the third, and will run out of enough momentum to do any significant damage by the fourth or fifth increment. Strong winds will reduce this even further. Enchanted bows and other ranged weapons continue to bestow their enchantment on their ammo and ammo enchantment stacks with this, but, unlike the normal rules, both stack for bypassing DR (e.g. a +3 bow with +1 arrows bypasses DR X/+4). Rationale: For the range increments, I lose suspension of disbelief when a high-level fighter or mage with True Strike can somehow, without accelerating magic, project a missile for over the length of a football field with absolutely no decrease in damage. As for the DR stacking, I just don't feel like keeping up with what plus comes from arrows and what comes from the bow just to make high DR creatures nastier.
Unarmed Strikes and Subdual Damage - A character can not deal normal damage with an unarmed strike or subdual weapon. However, a character that takes 10 more subdual damage than current HP takes further subdual damage as normal damage, and an unconscious character can be Coup de Grace'd (strangled) for normal damage with bare hands (this will generally do 1d6+Str normal damage for the Coup de Grace). Rationale: I find the distinction between subdual and normal damage to be meaningless for high level characters if their only difference is a -4 attack penalty. Plus, it makes it confusing as to whether you can't just take a -4 penalty to bypass a creature's Regeneration.
Curing - When a cure spell is cast, the caster rolls a die the size of the subject's majority hit die rather than a standard d8. For example, a character with 5d4 hit dice is cured with d4s while a character with 4d8 + 5d12 hit dice is cured with d12s. Rationale: As in many games, the tough guys are the ones that are hardest to heal for some reason, and this rule slightly mitigates that effect.
Dispel Magic - Dispel Magic has its normal effects. In addition, a character using magic items that affect him directly with a spell is counted as being under the effects of that spell when testing the effects of the Dispel. Further, an item effect that is dispelled suppresses the item's ability to manifest that effect for 1d4 rounds just as if it had been targeted directly. For example, a character with Boots of Flying or a Scimitar of Speed may lose the ability to Fly or the Haste action from the weapon, and will not be able to re-activate for 1d4 rounds. This does not effect items that give a continual, unchanging bonus such as Ability or Skill enhancements. Rationale: Under the standard rules a character with 50 different items is in no danger from a targeted dispel, while a spellcaster that actually buffed himself has a lot to fear.
Disruption - Instead of its normal rules, a Disruption weapon does maximum damage against undead (as if all damage dice had rolled their highest result) and can Threat and Crit on Undead. Non-bludgeoning weapons can be made Disruption. Rationale: A weapon that forces an Undead to make a Fort save against dc 14 or be destroyed is a terrible weapon indeed since Undead have no Con and weak Fort saves. Essentially, the most powerful undead will likely be disrupted within three hits from a disruption weapon. I have changed it to try to make Disruption still a nasty effect against undead, but not one that makes it too easy to deal with them.
Item Creation - As the party recently discovered, Nostervium may be on some sort of magical wellspring. Thus, characters should not assume that the magic item creation rules elsewhere on the rules page are anywhere near universal. Outside of Nostervium you may well be required to spend experience to make non-perpetual items, and may be required to spend experience plus mythic components on perpetual items. Rationale: It's plot flavor. Figure out why you're getting off cheaply and you get a cookie. Figuring out the entire rationale may get you the whole box of cookies.
Magical Creation - Spells that create or alter matter are somewhat limited. First off, those with a duration of Permanent (like Transmute Mud to Rock/Rock to Mud) can be subjected to a Targeted or Area Dispel to return them to their unmagicked state. Secondly, those with an Instantaneous duration are formed from modified Ether from the Ethereal plane. As such, those with certain magical senses, such as True Sight, can tell that the creations are made of magical materials. Further, specially researched spells or other magical abilities may exist to allow Instantaneous creations of this sort to be unwoven and returned to the Ether. In almost all cases these powers will be equivalent to spells that can just blow the creation up, but some might prefer a quieter approach. Lastly, any creation made by magic is inferior to a creation made of mundane materials. A Wall of Stone is made of low-grade granite that is not at all pretty and will erode faster than real granite. A Wall of Iron is made of pig-iron that has slightly less hardness than normal iron and which rusts very easily. A Fabricated item contains minor flaws and imperfections that makes it inferior to what the caster could do with mundane materials. Essentially, the Ether is forced into a mundane shape, but cannot fully replicate this shape. Rationale: With the power and versatility of Conjuration and Alteration spells there needs to be some reason why wizards wouldn't just constantly use their powers to make an unlimited supply of exceptional creations, putting mortal craftsmen out of business and flooding the market with iron and other conjurable goods. This option makes these spells still useful in a time or labor limited situation, but inferior to doing things the mundane way in the long term.
Natural Healing - Characters heal their Hit Dice + Con mod in HP per day of natural healing, rather than just their Hit Dice, to a minimum of 1 per day. Rationale: Again, why do the tough guys take the longest to heal of any wounded individuals?
Other Spells - The current list of acceptable non-core spells is as
Flame Bolt (Fire Domain spell, see the Domains List),
Improved Magic Missile (researched by Nalole, a third level spell that grants 1 magic missile per caster level to a maximum of 10, and is otherwise like the first level spell),
Cold Feet (researched by Nalole, a cold-energy version of Burning Hands),
Quick Sober (researched by Nalole, as the 0 level Relics and Rituals spell),
Seal of Nalole (researched by Nalole, as Seal of Hedrada from Relics and Rituals).
Rationale: Non core spells must be researched as invented spells to be brought into the game, and may well be changed in effect if I feel that something about them is inappropriate or unbalancing. Any spells originating from a non-core book I don't have (i.e. from any source but the Relics and Rituals books or Manual of the Planes) should be typed up or photocopied so I can have a copy to reference.
Polymorph/Shapeshifting Spells - A character casting Alter Self, Polymorph Self/Other, and other physiology altering spells must mimic an extent race or creature type. Further, the character must have seen this creature type "in the flesh" long enough to get an idea of how to mimic the creature's actual physical appearance (typically one conflict is enough for this, but just seeing the creature for a few moments at a distance may not be). This condition might be waived in view of a very detailed anatomy book, but these are not widely available. Changing standard colorations and appearances within the race is permissible (e.g. a human caster can easily change his appearance to look like a human of any appearance, not just to mimic specific individuals he has seen). For example, a character wanting to Polymorph Self into an Ogre must have actually seen one at some point. Rationale: If this is not in effect, there is nothing stopping a caster from polymorphing himself or another into "a human, looking exactly the same, only with +10s in Str, Dex, and Con" or similar manipulations of the rules, or, at the very least, finding the most combat effective monster in the MM and changing into that, whether or not it is unheard of in the setting. With this change I know that the only modifications to character physiology will be to creature types that I have put into play.
Scry - The Scry spell gives a perfect image of its subject and what that subject is saying. All other images and sounds are very faint, so it is a real chore of deduction to figure out where a scryed subject is, who he is talking to, and what they are talking about. A character attempting to Teleport to a scryed location only has a 10% chance of arriving On Target, a 40% chance of arriving Off Target, a 30% chance of a Similar Area, and a 20% chance of a Mishap. Rationale: Hearing about the horrors of the Scry-Teleport attack, I have endeavored to make it harder to pull off. Don't worry, it's also much harder for your enemies to pull off.
Spell Like Abilities - As listed in the PHB, most spell-like abilities (like Lay on Hands) and some supernatural abilities require the same concentration and AoO provocation as casting a spell. I may rule that specific abilities are free actions, move equivalent actions, and/or don't provoke attacks of opportunity, but most will follow the standard rule. Rationale: This is just a return to the standard rules that we have been ignoring in many cases.
Alignments - I'm scrapping the idea of morality-based alignments entirely, after briefly toying with a racial and honor based system. Character "Alignment" represents which god or mythos the character is aligned with. Alignment beneficial spells will help those that worship the same pantheon as the caster, while alignment detrimental spells will harm those that worship a hostile pantheon to the character. Athiests, uninspired worshippers, and members of unrelated religions are treated as Neutral. For worshippers of the Council deities other council worshippers count as "Good" or "Lawful", worshippers of Arkand or the Orcish deities count as "Evil" or "Chaotic", and athiests, the weakly religious, and members of religions such as the moon-worship amongst the beast men count as "Neutral". A PC with no priestly abilities or deity-bond can decide whether or not to be counted as Neutral or Good towards Council worshippers, but right now that qualification only actually includes Vharachthe (since four of the active PCs have divine spells and Sebrand is bound to Earthmother). Erela's Holy longsword now deals its damage to Arkandites and followers of the Orcish pantheon, and this includes such things as Undead that are animated by Atrahne's will (but not necessarily free-willed undead) and any creature type that she can make a case about Oathbinder especially disliking. Rationale: I don't like the old alignment system for a game of moral grays, but my new one was unweildy and limited in its implementation.
Downtime Experience - Characters typically receive experience from their normal home trials and tribulations during downtimes. Most human characters receive between 6 and 12 exp per year of downtime, with adventurers and those that they tell their stories to gaining the higher end of 12. This amount is halved (to 6) for any year in which the character got exp from adventures, for reasons that can be ascribed to learning curve. An adventurer who gains less than 6 exp from adventures will get the difference made up to have earned 12 exp that year. Rationale: Characters learn things during the course of everyday life, just not as quickly as when doing really exciting things.
Downtime for Demihumans- Characters of a race with a longer lifespan than humans receive proportionally less benefit from downtime growth. For ease of calculation, Elves gain 1/6 as many downtime Exp and Checks as humans, and Dwarves receive 1/3. This means that Elven adventurers gain 2 exp for any year they have not had an adventure and 1 exp for any year they have had an adventure, as well as 2 skill checks per year. Dwarven adventurers gain 4 exp for non-adventure years and 2 exp for adventuring years, as well as 4 skill checks per year. Demihumans do not receive a reduced share of adventure exp, so will not likely fall terribly behind in a party of active adventurers. Rationale: If Elves and Dwarves gained the same exp per year as humans, even their slowest learners would be 20th level by age 208. Therefore, they get a smaller share that still makes it likely that really old demihumans will be slightly better than really old humans for their time on the planet.
Downtime Points - A character now gains a flat +20 points in any downtime area (craft, spellcraft, etc.) when making a monthly check on top of the normal points earned for that month from skill total. This replaces the roll of two skill checks granting points that is listed in all the different point groups. Rationale: Rolling tons and tons of d20s was making downtimes take a loooong time, and this has been done to streamline the process.
Races and Creatures - Many races and creatures have been changed slightly or greatly from their PHB or MM entries. Do not assume to know a monster or race's statistics just because you have read their core entry. Characters can buy Knowledge: Monsters as a skill, which allows the player to roll when encountering a new creature type and gain an idea of its abilities. However, many monsters are so rare or new as to not be in the texts that would be studied to gain lore on monsters, to Nalole's frequent annoyance. Elves are pretty much standard to the PHB, save that they are generally around a foot taller than humans and are more likely to develop druidic or ranger abilities than they are to develop wizardry (though they are by no means deficient wizards). Dwarves have a -2 Dex instead of a -2 Cha, have no special bonus against Orcs and Goblinoids (who they rarely encounter these days) or Giants (which don't exist as far as anyone knows), gain a +2 racial bonus to their clan's favored craft or profession (which can add to the bonus to stone or metalwork), and are otherwise standard to the PHB version. There are not a wide variety of sub-races such as might be found in the MM or Forgotten Realms, and those that do exist are rare, basically unheard of, and unsuitable for player characters. Rationale: I adjust creatures to be appropriate to my cosmology and world rather than to the generic D&D cosmology. Further, I often adjust monsters just so players don't get complacent with their standard knowledge. In most cases, creatures will be identifiable without being entirely familiar.