Thursday, March 8, 2012

My Castles & Crusades House Rules

I thought I'd share my house rules for my Castles & Crusades campaign (Paragons of Waterdeep), in the spirit of...well, sharing. I've also included the rules I currently use from the Castle Keeper's Guide, which aren't house rules per se but I wanted to show them as well. Please let me know what you think, and please share your own house rules for your preferred game system if you care to do so.


Hit Points: max at first level.

Wizards: can use HPs to cast spells if they have cast all their prepared spells (1 HP for each level of spell).

Counterspell: a wizard can counter another wizard’s spell by casting a spell of the same level as the target spell. The countering wizard can make an INT check in order to determine the level of the spell to be countered (as long as the spell is of a level that the wizard can cast). The countering is an automatic success, with both spells cancelling each other out.
Clerics: can select one spell per level that they can spontaneously cast (i.e. use a spell slot currently filled by a prepared spell). This selection of spontaneous spells can be changed every day when selecting spells for the day.
Reversible Spells: reversible spells for wizards do not need to be memorized in reversed form (i.e. a spell can be cast in its reversed form “on the fly.”)
Fighters: Bonus to Hit starts at +2 at level 1 (to give them a leg up over the BtH of Fighter "sub-classes" like ranger, barbarian, and paladin) and improves by one each level thereafter. In addition, Fighters have the Cleave ability (stolen from ACKS, replaces Combat Dominance). Whenever a Fighter kills or incapacitates an opponent with a melee or missile attack, he may immediately make an attack against another opponent within 5' of the target he has just dropped. Fighters may make a maximum number of cleave attacks per round equal to their level. When making cleave attacks with missile weapons, Fighters are limited to a maximum of 2 with a crossbow, 3 with longbow, and 4 with composite bow, shortbow, slings, or thrown darts, daggers, or javelins.
Two-Weapon Fighting: roll two damage dice, keep whichever you want. Forego extra dice roll to get +1 defense for round (declared at beginning of round).
Shields: can be used for shield bashes (declared at beginning of round). Gives extra dice roll for damage (1d6 for bucklers or small shields/1d4 for large shields) but sacrifice AC bonus for round. Instead of inflicting damage on a successful bash, the attacker can choose to stun an opponent. Defender must make a CON save or be stunned (cannot take actions for 1 round). Large shields can also give their bonus to certain saving throws (such as breath weapons).
Natural 1 and Natural 20 (combat only): a natural 1 is always a miss and a “fumble,” the effects of which are up to the GM. Natural 20 is an automatic hit and does maximum damage. GM may also allow for some “fantastic effect.”
Hold Action: during combat, a player can hold their action for use later in the round. However, held actions not used in a round are lost at the end of the round.
Injury before Action: if a wizard is injured during the casting of a spell, they must make a CON save or have their casting fail.  Also, if a character with a ranged weapon is injured while aiming, they must make a CON save or have their aiming disrupted.

Fate Points (p. 277): players get three Fate Points to spend per game session in order to influence the game in some way. The following is a list of the most common uses (once per round).
·         Down But Not Out (3 points): a character that would normally die at -10 HP is stabilized at -10.

·         Fortune’s Fool (1 point): can be used to reroll an attribute check or attack roll. Can also be used to force a reroll of an attack against a character.

·         I Just Made It (2 points): automatic success on saving throw.

·         Might Blow (1 point): once per game session, a player can use this to turn an attack roll into a natural 20.

·         Providence Smiles (1 or more points): character asks GM for a “plot break.” The GM may overrule the request, and the point is not spent. Alternately, the GM may require the player to spend more than one Fate Point. Can only be used once per game session.

·         You Missed Me! (2 points): a blow that would have hit a character misses instead.

·         Sound the Charge (1 point): double movement rate for one round.
Checks against Prime Attributes (p. 234): against opponent with applicable prime attribute(s), +6 is added to player attribute check(s).
Action Description “Bonus” (p. 235): when attempting an action that requires an attribute check, a player’s description of their character’s actions may earn the player a bonus to their roll.
Combat Maneuvers (with modifications, p. 256):
Firing into Melee: on a roll of 1-3, a character hits a friendly. Roll another to-hit to see if the friendly takes damage. Chance to hit friendlies is eliminated if a player takes time to aim. Aiming and firing in the same round confers a to-hit penalty of -4. Aiming and waiting until the next round to fire lowers penalty to -2. Waiting another round eliminates penalty.
Called Shot: performed at a -8 penalty, but a hit means automatic critical (full damage). Taking rounds to aim lowers penalty by 1 for each round taken.
Offensive Focus (declared at beginning of round): confers a +3 to hit and -6 to AC for round
Fighting Defensively (declare at beginning of round): -2 to hit, +2 AC
Full Defense (declare at beginning of round): no attack, +4 AC

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