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64

Speaking as a Rules Lawyer (I try to think of myself as a good guy, i.e. "how can the rules let you do what you want to do"?) and the occasional TD, I've found a couple simple rules work out. No checking the rules on your turn. Look it up while you're waiting. That includes the DM - if you ask the DM if you can do something, you get their best guess; we're ...


56

Here's a technique I've used. When I invite people to a game I tell them that the game we're playing is a homebrew system called "Valadil's Game" which is loosely based on D&D. This does a couple things. Firstly, it scares off rules lawyers who want to play RAW. I figure those players aren't compatible with my games anyway and I'd rather just nip ...


48

A good way to analyze the differences between the two distributions is to imagine a head-to-head contest between characters. First, suppose you have two identical characters, A and B, rolling off against each other with d20. They tie 5% of the time; 47.5% of the time one wins; 47.5% of the time the other wins. In contrast, if you use 3d6, ties occur 9.2% ...


39

First off, those little +1s and +2s are going to be much more important. Being flanked is suddenly a matter of, say, a 50% increase in their chance to hit you rather than a 10% increase. You noticed this with Aid Another, but it'll come up other places as well. Any power that forces an enemy to grant combat advantage becomes much, much more powerful. Being ...


39

How do I tell the players "This house rule sucks and we shouldn't do it anymore?" That's exactly how you do it! Say, "This house rule sucks and I think we shouldn't do it anymore." If they object, well... then they don't mind the paperwork. If they agree, then you don't have a problem. Either way they don't feel cheated, because they're part of ...


39

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder I’ve always found that the most difficult problem with appearance stats is that it’s supposed to be one single stat, that applies to all people. Even within the human race, there are people attracted to others that I’d personally find ugly, even repulsive, and people who would find those I am attracted ...


26

The most important thing I do to achieve this, I think, is to communicate to my players that, while I am responsible for handling the actions of their enemies, I am not their enemy. In fact, I am on their side, because what we are all working to do is enjoy ourselves and put together some bits of story worth remembering. A lot of factors go into this, from ...


25

Good News! There's actually a template for that in the official rules - see here. That link contains all the information on creating a lycanthrope template for any were-thingy you can think of :) The specific details for a were-rex follow. rule quotes are shown like this specific details will appear below them like this. Creating a Lycanthrope ...


21

That's actually not even a house rule — it's by the book. See pages 179-180 of the Player's Handbook, which discuss monster knowledge checks. On page 180: Monster Knowledge: No action required — either you know the answer or you don't.


21

D&D 3.5 actually has rules for this sort of thing: Unearthed Arcana's character traits and character flaws systems. Traits give you a small bonus for a small penalty. For example, for a fey who can't lie, you might use the Honest trait: +1 Diplomacy, -1 Bluff and Sense Motive. Flaws give you a bonus feat in exchange for a significant non-story penalty. ...


21

These are bascially listed in order from “smallest and easiest” to “biggest and hardest.” Step One: Eliminate the lost spellcasting level at 3rd There’s literally no reason for it. At the time, it may have been believed that there were advantages to spontaneous casting that demanded it as a balancing factor, or, as rumored, Monte Cook may have just hated ...


21

Some years ago I made just such a system; I've made it work for D&D, RuneQuest 2/3, Pendragon & Ars Magica, so I suppose it is reasonably generic. This is a "pure genetic" system, and does not allow for the effects of environment. The first step is to retrieve - or recreate - the original dice rolls involved in creating the parent characters' ...


20

I'm going to reword the question: How could you, as a GM, help me, as a PC, learn to relax about the rules? This answer is written in a completely subjective "appeal to Brian" case study. I hope that it tells a persuasive story. T-2: Before the character When I join a group, I expect to discuss how the group works with the GM. I'm very aware of different ...


18

To preserve the probabilities exactly, the new DC should be "14 + monster defense." How I got that number So, you want to convert this: d20 + monster_save vs. 8 + caster_modifiers Into this: d20 + caster_modifiers vs. ?? + monster_save Here's how to figure out the "??" using a bit of intuition about probability: Ignore the modifiers for a ...


18

Yes, it is By level 30 there are all sorts of epic tier powers available to players to regen health, have massive heals, avoid taking damage at all, or basically avoid death once per day. All of these powers are in there to compensate for the deadliness of the creatures that players will face at that point. Contrariwise Different classes (generally by ...


17

Some solutions: Give everyone a free level adjustment of +1 to +3. If they want to play a standard race, they can have an equivalent number of levels in their racial paragon class. Apply templates to the core races to raise their level adjustment. For example, all elves from a certain plane have the half-celestial template. Or, just allow PCs free level ...


17

Abstractions Before you tweak the combat system, make sure you understand how its abstraction works. A single attack roll is not necessarily a single swipe of a character's sword. Rather, it represents your character trying hard to kill his opponent for the round. It could be a single slash, or it could be a lengthy clash of steel-on-steel coupled with ...


16

The Shock Treatment I run a short (one-off) game session using some (not all) of the Original D&D rule set. Each player chooses a class, race, and name; then I give them stats, "all standard equipment", and 5-10 gp (and a couple of spells for mages & elves of course); finally they choose armor and a weapon (fixed dmg 1d6) and max hp. That's it. ...


16

I've played with a GM who was extremely adamant about NOT playing by the book. His method was extremely simple: players were forbidden to mention the artifacts of the game during the session dice results rules meta-information The first few times we slipped, he warned about it, then accidents would happen. We never got the meteor he had promised us, but ...


15

Wizards has pretty carefully balanced combat advantage and flanking and it might be inadvisable to change it. Let's look at some reasons why. This makes the rogue incredibly overpowered. Instead of having to use an at-will power like Clever Strike to get CA when she is around an enemy with an ally, she now has the freedom (with no expenditure of action) to ...


15

I want rid of the constraints of virtually costless material components So basically, you want to get rid of the metagamey excel calculations of how many chicken feathers and sulfur is still left. That's great and a very common houserule. Most of the rounds I know don't even give a feat for this. It's simply ruled that non-costly materials do not have ...


15

Now I don't know what to do. I want to play the game properly Properly means everyone is having fun. If you've got a group that wants to bash heads and fear no pain, why take that away from them? Ultimately it's the GM's call. If the GM thinks the group needs a safety net to have fun, he should keep the rule. If he doesn't, he should drop it. He ...


14

A few thoughts from a mostly reformed rules lawyer: Hopefully understanding where the lawyer is coming from will help you to reach out better to them. I realize that Rule 0 is that what the DM says, goes. If the player wants to argue and won't listen to anything in game, maybe it's time for a break. Go to the bathroom, smoke a cigarette, walk around the ...


14

Yes, you can craft without spending gold. The description of the craft skill does indeed include paying one third of the item's price for the cost of the raw materials. This is an abstraction, a simplification of the crafting, relieving players and the DM of the shopping for the multitude of different ingredients required for the process. If one can not ...


14

From the perspective of a Game Designer, there is no difference between an official version of the game and homebrew rules. Pathfinder is nothing more than a homebrew itself from the point-of-view of the people who created it (it is a mod of 3.5, the way that the people who crafted it thought would be better). Do not hold the creators of published worked ...


14

I would hope in most games that there is no harm in asking your DM anything. Just be very clear that you are asking and not passive-aggressively demanding.


14

It doesn't need to be. Paranoia already has that play mode baked in. Choose to play Paranoia (xp) "Straight / Dark" and make sure that they start with a higher security clearance, such that they're not the designated punching bags of the complex. By taking inspiration from The Prisoner and playing the computer as competent and not at all slapstick, the ...


14

Since you are doing away with a feat because you feel like the benefit of the feat should be the default, you can look at "mundane" feats that you feel should be the default behavior. Some feats that that in my opinion fit the criteria: Improved Unarmed Strike. You really need a feat to effectively punch someone in the face? What kind of a Barbarian can't ...


13

Rule number 1: This is your world. Your rule. If you think that firearms would be common to the point of like, even the commoner protects his farm with a shotgun, hey..go for it! Just keep in mind that you would have to make the guns Martial weapon instead of requiring a specific feat. So that any military-grade training will provide training with guns. Or ...


13

Fate Worlds: Kriegszeppelin Valkyrie You might find what you want in Fate Worlds Vol.1, specifically "Kriegszeppelin Valkyrie" (KV). It is a mod/campaign where PCs are WWI pilots. Their planes are stationed on a giant flying aircraft carrier, the eponym Kriegszeppelin Valkyrie. Change "planes" to fighters and "flying aircraft carrier" to "capital ship", and ...



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