Yep. House Rules. They’re like in every recipe you read. Season to taste. My philosophic rambles I’ll put in the Playing It Wrong Podcast. As mater of fact, here’s Episode 28: House Rules: Season To Taste. But then you’re here on the blog to read. So a reading you shall do. I’ve come up with a couple more house rules for my White Box campaign.
Why are you cool? Each player character gets a +1 bonus to something specific (HP, Attack, Save, AC, etc) or an extra “skill”(Roll 1d6: 1=1 in 6, 2-5=2 in 6, 6=3 in 6). Talk it out. Up to GM approval. Just a little boost to make the player characters been more special and customized without being overpowering.
Death & Dying: Save or Die=Dead. Level drain and so. Still dead. If “Normal” damage takes a character to Negative CON score HP then dead. Otherwise the character is at 0 HP. Make a System Shock check*. Failure means the character is dead. If successful then character then the character is still alive but will bleed out in a number of rounds equal to the number rolled on the System Shock check.
* System Shock: That’s in the Version 1 of the house rules. Here’s the quick version. X in d6 Chance based on character’s Constitution score.
3 to 5: 1 in d6
6 to 8: 2 in d6
9 to 12: 3 in d6
13 to 16: 4 in d6
17 to 18: 5 in d6
For reference: Here’s a link to the free PDF of the Third Printing of the Swords & Wizardry version; or the Fantastic Medieval Adventures by Seattle Hill Games. They’re both great and nearly identical. So get both…
Yes, I’m still working/prepping for a White Box (Swords & Wizardry/Fantastic Medieval Adventures) campaign. But if you’ve been around this blog more than one then you know that I just love house rules. So I put together my Version 1 of them. Because I know I’m going to change up some the stuff in there before I start. Ideas will come up and some feedback (Hopefully) will happen. So this is very much a living document.
I’m also hacking the basic classes and putting together my own versions of the “Advanced” classes plus some others that I just think are cool. And since I’m messing with classes I’ll probably do some other races too. And do some versions of the classic spells that are from Supplement 1: Greyhawk. Chances are that will end up as a cheap PDF on RPGNow. It’s been way too long since I’ve published anything but then I’ve said that before. Sigh.
White Box House Rules Ver 1
Like I said. Changes will happen to it. And remember folks. Roll Dice. Have Fun. That’s always a house rule.
Despite all the stuff that’s distracting me. I’m still planning on a White Box game that will be heavily hacked. So let me do this little rant about the basic (or core) four classes along with some random thoughts on each.
Cleric: What’s really bugged me the most about cleric’s is their spell casting. It never made sense to me that they would pray for the spells they need later on. I’ve always imaged them as praying as they need them. I’m playing with the idea of the spontaneous prayer for spells. It just take one round/spell level. Which limits their abilities during combat but smart use just prior to encounter can save the party’s bacon. Also, there’s something we did way back when. The DM at the time let cleric’s do “God Calls” basically ask for divine intervention at a cost. I’m still brainstorming exactly how I want to do this. I’m bouncing around some ideas using a pair of d20’s and if they match good things happen. But that’s still in buried in the depths of my brain category.
Fighter: Hey, the most common class. And also the pretty much the most boring in the old games. So first, I admit that I never liked the additional attacks based against opponents with less than one HD. Meh. I’m leaning towards the “chop when you drop” sort of thing. Drop an opponent get another attack. I’ve heard rumors on the Internet that it was Dave Arneson’s house rule but that’s just an Internet rumor. I’m also thinking of adding a very simple “fighting style” type thing. Either ranged or melee and giving a +1 to-hit and damage. Not much but enough to keep the plain old fighter the best at fighting.
Magic-User: This is probably, the one that I’m going to mess with the most. First, I’m thinking about using and x in d6 mechanic based on INT for chance to learn spells. Also, to use it for spell research and may be more. Also, magic is just too safe and predictable. I don’t want something as gonzo as DCC but I do want some risk. So every time a magic-user casts a spell there’s a spell-level in d20 chance that something could go horribly wrong. I’m thinking of reducing the chance by use of special spell components or even specific types of magic items. Hey, a wizard’s staff that helps with spell casting.
Thief: So I’ll be using the Thief from White Box Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game from Seattle Hill Games. However, I think I’ll opt for two Thief Skills. The first Thievery for locks, traps, stealth and climbing. The second Skullduggery; for picking pockets, disguise, and general streetwise. So basically, Thievery is mechanical devices and the environment while Skullduggery is the social side of the underworld.
I’ll probably mess around with some additional classes too. I know I’ve talked about keeping to the basic four. But if they actually do get changed up enough, then they are worth the add. I’m also having a running internal debate on nonhuman races. I’ll probably go all crazy Cantina Scene to give the players some extra options but haven’t decided if I should run with Racial Classes or a limited selection of classes and multiclassing. I still have plenty of time to ponder and play around with that. Heck, if all this stuff turns out pretty decent I may throw it up on RPGNow as a cheap little PDF. We shall see.
Plus I need to clean up my House Rules document and redo and clean up the world stuff. So stay tuned for those posts.
So on Episode 9 of the podcast I talked about some house rules for Swords & Wizardry but heck they’re pretty much usable for any of your OSR type games and as I’ve mentioned, I planning on starting up a Swords & Wizardry White Box campaign in the future so this is all in prep for that. So here they are in the written form as sort of liner notes.
Two Weapon Fighting: +1 to-hit. Fighters (and other martial types) roll both weapon’s damage and take the best. Others average the damage.
Shattered Shields and Sundered Helms: Sacrifice your shield and avoid the damage from an attack. Sacrifice your helmet and turn a crit into a normal hit. Reminds me. I need to write up a new crit/fumble table because those are always fun.
Attacks of Opportunity: I just wrote this.
Weapons and Armor by type: Let the characters describe their weapons. Just do the light, medium and heavy of each: d4, d6, d8 or +2/+4/+6
Changing up the Fighter: Instead of extra attacks against opponents of 1 HD or less. They get an extra attack when they drop an opponent. The total number of extra attacks a fighter can get is equal to their level.
Other stuff that’s coming soon: Going to tweak the skills from Lamentations of the Flame Princess. Basically an x in d6 type system with my own take on a few things. Tweaks to the Cleric, Magic-User, and probably some other classes too.
So here’s the link to Episode 9 of Playing It Wrong.