Rules, Custom Mechanics, & other important data.

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Postby Zanaikin » Fri Apr 28, 2006 2:49 am


This list of game rules isn’t nearly as intimidating and long as it first seems. While all DMs have a few minor houserules and a lot of custom rulings on specific classes, feats, abilities, etc that they find unbalanced, unrealistic, or unfitting, so do I. The only difference is that I write them all down on this long list here rather than make the players remember it all.
The only rule extremely complicated here is Character Rule #3: Gestalt Classing, Magic Rule #3: Free Spells/Powers (which is optional & few people actually use it), and Action Point rules (which are optionally used but highly recommended to learn).

Basic Game-Play Rule: Rule of Conflict of Rules
When a conflict of rules exists with no obvious answer, the defender automatically overrules the attacker. The attacker is considered the character that triggers the conflict thus his actions.
For example, the common Thicket of Blades versus Spring Attack conflict. The spring attacker who triggers the thicket of blades is considered the attacker, and the responder (one using thicket of blades) is considered the defender.
The DM reserves the right to overrule this at any time should he decide an alternate response would make more sense and preserve balance more.

1. Stat scores: 32 point buy

2. Sources: All Wizard of the Coast sources allowed (including Dragon Magazine & Dungeon Magazine), with exceptions to Magic of Incarnum, Tome of Magic (except Binders), Psionics (only classes with up to level 9 powers). A copy of the used material is required if the DM does not have the available source.
The DM reserves the right to deny any class, feat, or spell due to character history, location, and campaign world design.

3. Gestalt Classing:
All characters will have dual class lines, as gestalt classes (described in Unearthed Arcana), with the following exceptions:
• You receive skill points each level equal to first class + second class – INT – 2.
Example: Rogue/Monk is (8+Int)+(4+Int)–Int–2 = 10+Int
• You receive character feats at level one and every even level. This replaces the normal feat progression (at level one and every three levels).
• Due to all the double-classing Prestige classes Wizards have been making, I am allowing them in this system. Double-classing Prestige classes include stuff as: Arcane Hierophant, Arcane Trickster, Eldritch Disciple, Eldritch Theurge, Jade Phoenix Mage, Knight Vindicator, Mystic Theurge, Ultimate Magus, etc (The point is: there’s too many of them but the borderline between PrCs that double-class or not is getting blurry).
• Certain class abilities and caster levels will be capped based on your HD, thus having both lines provide caster level progression to one casting class won’t help you. Specific class abilities & feats (such as Ultimate Magus’ Arcane Spell Power, Chameleon’s double class level caster level, or the Shadow Hand Assassin’s Stance) may allow you to exceed this limit. Items and equipment that increases your caster level and class abilities are also not restricted by this rule:
---Maximum caster level is equal to your HD.
---Maximum effective cleric level for turn undead & domain powers is equal to your HD.
---Maximum effective druid level for wild shape & animal companion is equal to your HD.
---Maximum effective class level for familiar & special mount is equal to your HD.
---Maximum smite level equal to your HD.
---Initiator level is equal to total martial class levels + (HD – total martial class levels)/2, up to a maximum equal to your HD.
---Maximum sneak attack & sudden strike is equal to +1d6 plus 1d6 per two HD (rounded down).
---Maximum skirmish is equal to +1d6 per four HD (rounded up).
---Maximum eldritch blast is equal to +1d6 plus 1d6 per two HD (rounded down).

4. Hit Points
Instead of rolling for character hit points, you take the average hit points based on your hit dice (d4 = 2.5, d6 = 3.5, d8 = 4.5, d10 = 5.5, d12 = 6.5), rounded up after all hit dice as been calculated (ex: 3d4 = 8, 4d4 = 10). You still gain maximum hit points for character level one.

5. Starting Level, Equipment, Reserve XP:
You start at one level below the average party level, with a maximum starting level of 16 (at 128,000xp). You receive starting gold to purchase equipment as defined by the DMG. If you have the ability to create or imbue magic items (e.g. Kensai class ability), you receive a reserve XP pool of 100 x character level. This reserve XP pool may only be used to create and imbue magic items.

6. Epic
You continue progression of Base Attack Bonus and all Base Saves as normal when above level twenty (consult DM for the BAB and saves of any WOTC Epic Prestige Class).
Furthermore, upon reaching level twenty-one, your character receives an one time bonus of 4 ‘stat-buy’ points to your ability scores, increasing your effective starting scores (before taking in bonuses from stat boost gained by leveling) from 32 point buy to 36 point buy. Upon reaching level twenty-six, you receive another 4 ‘stat-buy’ points, raising your effective starting scores to 40 point buy.

DM Note: The following rules come as a set for the maintenance of game balance.
1. Basics
Base Defense Bonus is a class and level dependent boost to AC as a dodge bonus. This bonus is denied if you are wearing any armor, carrying more than a light load, or denied your dexterity modifier to AC. This bonus is calculated by the following equation:
Base Defense Bonus = Base Attack Bonus + Base Reflex Save – Character Level
Your Base Defense Bonus is a minimum of 0 (it cannot penalize your AC).

2. Armor to DR
You receive DR/– equal to half your armor AC (rounded down). If you are wearing adamantine armor, you receive DR/– equal to your armor AC instead.

3. Mage Armor
Mage Armor, Bracers of Armor, and similar spells and items no longer grant armor AC. They now grant deflection AC instead. Armor AC may only be gained through real physical armor or magically enhanced clothing (e.g. +5 robes)
DM Suggestion: Arcane spellcasters who do not benefit from Base Defense Bonus should invest upon Twilight Mithral Chain Shirts (0% ASF).

1. Half-Elf Skill Points
Half-elves get 4 extra skill points at level 1, plus 1 extra skill point per level at level two and afterwards.

1. Alignment/Code-restricted Classes:
Characters with alignment/code-restricted classes that violated the requirements do not necessarily lose class abilities. However, in most cases the character cannot continue progression and the class abilities may change to some extent. Players are advised to consult the DM regarding this issue.

2. Classes with organization-based requirements, organization-based alignment requirements, or deity specifications:
These classes are normally campaign specific but may be easily adapted to a different organization or deity. Consult the DM if you wish to play a class but has trouble dealing with the requirements.

3. Artificers
Artificer may only substitute for arcane spells with their Item Creation ability. To craft any item that requires a divine spell, the artificer must still have the spell available to cast.
Artificer infusions are considered arcane spells for all purposes (including qualifying for feats and prestige classes and using runestaves), but do not suffer arcane spell failure from armor and shields. Any other source that causes arcane spell failure still apply.

1. Free Action Feats:
You gain a free action feat at level six (heroic spirit)
You gain a free action feat at level eleven (action boost).
You gain a free action feat at level sixteen (action surge).
You gain a free action feat at level twenty-one (heroic destiny).
You gain a free action feat at level twenty-six (heroic surge).
If you have taken all action feats that you qualify for, you may switch a previous feat to this slot and use the previous feat slot for other purposes.
A full list of action point uses is described below.
At any time you gain a free action feat, you may choose to take a luck feat instead. This signifies your character’s reliance on luck instead of sheer determination. You must meet all prerequisites for the luck feat.

2. Combat Focus Feats
Feats that specialization in a specific weapon (such as Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, etc) may be used to specialize in a weapon group instead. This also applies to Armor and Shields (all armor of each category are in a group, shields are categorized as either light or heavy shields). Melee/Ranged Weapon Mastery applies to all melee/ranged weapons.

3. Focus Feats
Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus will provide a +2 bonus to DC, while Epic Spell Focus provide +4 DC (like in 3.0 version).
Similarly, Blade Meditation [ToB] will provide a +2 bonus to DC.

5. Arrow Deflection
Deflect Arrows & Armed Deflection [see custom feats] uses up attacks of opportunity, and can be used as long as more attacks of opportunity are available.
You can deflect not just arrows aimed at you, but also any arrow that passes through the area you threaten.
A reflex save is required for successful deflection (see 3.0 rules on Deflect Arrows). The base save DC for most ranged weapons (of your size) is 20, +1 per enhancement, +5 per size smaller (DC 25 for normal arrows, DC 30 for normal bolts).

6. Epic Extension Feats
Epic extension of non-epic feats, such as item creation feats (craft epic arms & armor, forge epic ring, scribe epic scroll, etc), metamagic feats (improved heighten spell), attack action feats (improved manyshot), and skill feats (improved iaijutsu focus) are no longer necessary. Instead, a character with the appropriate item creation feat automatically knows how to make epic versions of item, and all other limits between non-epic and epic for metamagic and skills feats are removed.

7. Bonus Class Feats
Due to the fact that class feat lists are never expanded by new material (with exception to Fighters), you may consider any feat that has a prerequisite feat which exists in the class bonus feat list to also be an option for the bonus feat.

1. Disciplines Availability
An initiator may select the disciplines for which he/she could learn maneuvers from:
Crusaders: Devoted Spirit, plus any three.
Swordsages: Any six, cannot learn supernatural maneuvers from Devoted Spirit.
Warblades: Any five, cannot learn supernatural maneuvers from any discipline.

2. Devoted Spirit Maneuvers
The following Devoted Spirit maneuvers are considered supernatural:
Aura of Chaos, Aura of Perfect Order, Aura of Triumph, Aura of Tyranny, Castigating Strike, Divine Surge, Doom Charge, Greater Divine Surge, Law Bearer, Radiant Charge, Strike of Righteous Vitality, Tide of Chaos.
Also, Devoted Spirit maneuvers that recover hit points may only be used to heal your own hit points (not that of allies). The exception to this is Rallying Strike, which requires all benefactors to be able to see and hear you.

3. Single Maneuver Rules:
Insightful Strike, Greater Insightful Strike – The damage dealt by this strike is halved.
Commanding Volley, War Master's Charge, White Raven Tactics - You may not receive bonuses from any of these maneuvers more than once a round (e.g. partake in charge but not its initiator). This does not affect the number of times you may initiate these maneuvers yourself.
War Master’s Charge – Avoids attacks of opportunity from basic movement rules, but still provokes from special effects such as Hold the Line or Thicket of Blades.

1. Magic / Psionic Relation:
Spell resistance and power resistance are not exchangeable. Antimagic fields and antipsionic fields are equivalent, suppressing all magic, supernatural, and psionic abilities. However, dispel magic and dispel psionics do not mix. A dispel magic cannot dispel psionic effects or suppress psionic items, while a dispel psionics cannot dispel spells or suppress magical items. Mage’s disjunction is a dispel effect.

2. Spellbooks & Prayerbooks
A wizard may add spells of any arcane spellcasting class into his/her spellbook, just as an archivist can for divine spells. However he/she is still limited to the sorcerer/wizard spell list for free spells, but may copy spells from other arcane spell lists from scrolls and other spellbooks.
A spontaneous arcane spellcaster may use a spellbook to prepare and cast spells just as a wizard does if he/she has the Arcane Preparation and Scribe Scroll feats. However, unlike a wizard, he/she does not gain any free spells to his/her spell book at each level.
A spontaneous divine spellcaster may use a prayerbook to prepare and caster spells just as an archivist does if he/she has the Divine Preparation and Scribe Scroll feats. However, unlike an archivist, he/she does not gain any free spells to his/her spell book at each level.
Preparing spells from a spell/prayerbook requires intelligence equal to 10 + spell level, regardless of class.
Arcane spellbooks may acquire spells from the artificer, bard, and wizard spell-lists (but not sorcerer-only spells).
Divine prayerbooks may acquire spells from the cleric, evangelist (divine bard), and paladin spell-lists.
You may not record spells added to a spell-list from a class ability (e.g. Domains) or feat (e.g. Arcane Disciple) to your spellbook unless you also have said class ability or feat. You may add sorcerer-only spells to your spellbook only if you have sufficient sorcerer casting to cast it.

3. Free Cantrips/Orisons
Level 0 spells of all classes are considered ‘free’ spells and may be cast with no daily limit.

4. Healing Nerf:
When casting healing spells, you have to make a heal check against DC10. If you make the check, the spell is cast normally. If you fail the check, the spell merely converts the damage to non-lethal damage instead. This represents your character’s abilities to apply healing magic in an effective manner.
Potions & spell created foods always heal as if the check succeeded, however all other magical items that generates a healing spell requires the user to make this check.
Healing spells does not heal both lethal AND nonlethal damage at the same time - it only heals one of them.
DM’s discretion: there are certain cases where higher heal check will be required to heal an injury, such as regenerating lost limbs and healing vile damage.

5. Resurrection Nerf:
Raise Dead can revive a person dead for a maximum amount of time equal to one minute per caster level. Resurrection can revive a person dead for a maximum amount of time equal to one day per caster level, and only if their body still exists. A True Resurrection act as both a Resurrection and a Regenerate spell at once (but does not create a body if lost or destroyed). If the body is damaged, then the resurrected person will suffer appropriate penalties (which may be regenerated). A Wish or Miracle may also be required occasionally in order to reforge shattered organs of a corpse that received far too much damage, but not yet destroyed beyond resurrection.

6. Energy Resistance/Immunity
When casting resist energy, protection from energy, energy immunity, and similar spells, you may choose pure energy, positive energy, or negative energy instead of one of the five elemental energy types (acid, fire, cold, electricity, sonic). If you choose pure energy, the resistance granted is cut down by half. Only divine spellcasters may choose positive or negative energy.
*Pure energy damage is mostly dealt by light based spells and advanced weaponry.

7. Conjuration Attack Spells
Elemental attack spells of the conjuration school or creation subschool are considered to create and fire physical shots, which are no longer treated as normal spells once they are created. They may only be countered while casting and not after being created (opposed range). They pierce AMF, may ignore spell-only wards such as Dispelling Screen and Globe of Invulnerability, and cannot be affected by abilities (e.g. Absorb Spell) or items (e.g. Absorption Rods) that only affect spells.

8. Single Spell Rules
Celerity, Greater, Lesser; Time Stop – Banned.
Mage’s Disjunction – Now requires a successful dispel check to bring down buffs. Magic items with higher caster level than the spell’s caster level are unaffected.
Resilient Sphere, Telekinetic Sphere, Wall of Force – And similar force effects may be shattered piecewise or entirely by powerful bursts of kinetic energy, such as that of a cannon shot or tactical explosive spell (in which case a caster level check is required).

9. Bonus Type Clarifications (Also for Items):
• Armor bonus are no longer granted by spells as Mage Armor or items as Bracers of Armor, instead they grant deflection bonus.
• Competence bonus is implied if a spell or item grants an unspecified bonus and does not stack. There is no such thing as competence bonus to AC or saves.
• Competence bonus, enhancement bonus, and insight bonus to skills do not stack (that +30 for nonepic is more than enough).
• Competence bonus to initiative costs (bonus^2 x 500gps), competence bonus and enhancement bonus to initiative do not stack.
• Dodge bonuses from spells & items counts as an enhancement bonus to dodge and do not stack.
• Deflection bonus to AC may be up to +10 for non-epic equipment and costs (bonus^2 x 1,000gps)
• Insight bonus to fortitude & will saves do not exist, insight bonus to reflex will cost (bonus^2 x 1,000gps)
• Luck bonuses (to AC, saves, etc) may not be rendered as a permanent enhancement or enchantment.
• Resistance bonus to saves may be up to +10 for non-epic equipment.
• Sacred (good), Profane (evil), & Divine bonuses do not stack and are only made available to Misalin & Norinth militaries at standard price.

10. Antimagic Fields
Due to the contradicting nature of overlapping antimagic field, the DM makes no promises on whatever may happen within the an area where more than one antimagic field crosses one another. Any magic item or spell that would normally be affected by antimagic fields may behave normally, become suppressed, dispelled, disjunctioned, or struck by other strange effects when operating within the area of an overlapping AMF (as determine by the DM's at-the-moment judgment of circumstantial factors, and his dice). Unless extreme circumstances this will not affect any item worn by an entity who emanates an AMF, but no promises will be given to his or her weapons. There will be no arguments - cross antimagic fields at your own risk.

11. Spell Components
Any spell with a material component that is modified to multiple-targeting must pay the material component separately for each target.

1. Custom magic items that reproduces a spell “at will” becomes changed to “5/day” instead (which costs Spell Level x Caster Level x 2000 or Spell Level x Caster Level x 1800 with command word). A magic item can only reproduce an “at will” effect if it follows the rules for constant duration and thus can be turned off and on (–10% cost if command word activated). Spells with instantaneous duration cannot be used to reproduce an “at will” effect.

2. Saving throw DC of spells and special attacks may be increased based on the enhancement of your weapon.
A weapon enhancement bonus will increase the DC of any extraordinary or supernatural special attack made with the weapon, such as an assassin’s Death Attack or any martial strike maneuver. The DC increase is equal to the weapon’s enhancement bonus.
A focus enhancement (see Custom Equipment Rules) will increase the DC of any spell-like ability or spell cast through it. The DC is equal to the weapon’s enhancement bonus.

3. Tower shields, Shield spell, and similar effects grant cover instead of +4 shield AC. Cover provides +4 cover AC (applicable against touch spells), +2 reflex saves, and stacks with shield AC. Bonuses to AC from a tower shield from enhancement, the Shield Specialization feat, or similar abilities increase the cover AC (but not the reflex save bonus).

4. Single Item Rules:
Rod of Absorption – Must be in hand to absorb spell, requires an immediate action from wielder.

5. Item Sets
You may not buy item sets, nor individual items from item sets, nor individual properties of items from item sets.

6. Poisons
Poisons require a constitution check instead of a fortitude save, with the same DC as current (maximum DC 25).
(Note: Diseases will also require a constitution check instead of a fortitude save of the same DC. However, due to the abundance of healing potions distributed by Misalin creationists, this is not a problem players need to worry about).

7. Weapon/Armor Crystals
Your weapon may slot one crystal for a light weapon or one-handed weapon, or two crystals for a two-handed weapon. Bows count as one-handed (other hand is needed for arrow).
Your armor may slot one crystal for light armor, two crystals for medium armor, three crystals for heavy armor, and five for golem armor. Enhanced clothing may not slot armor crystals. Armor crystals are placed within armor plates and cannot be accessed without getting out of armor (no combat switching).
Crystal bonuses do not stack with each other.

1. A character with the Heroic Spirit feat (free feat at character level six) may use action points. At each level, the character gains action points equal to half the character level. Characters may regain lost action points at the rate of 1 per week, up to a maximum of half character level. The Heroic Spirit feat allows a character to spend up to 1 action point per round (at any time before the result of an action is declared) to perform one of the following:
• Boost any attack roll, saving throw, ability check, skill check, AC (dodge bonus) against a single attack, or DC for a single effect by rolling 1d6 per seven character levels (rounded up) and adding the best resulting die.
• Re-roll any d20 or d100 (e.g. miss chance, disjunction) roll. You must keep the result, even if it is worse than the original roll.
• Make an extra attack during a full attack at your highest base attack bonus.
• Take an extra swift action or 5ft step.
• Double the bonuses (and penalties) of any one feat you have again a single target of your choice for 1 round. You may also double the effects of feats such as Combat Expertise and Power Attack.
• Self-Rally as a free action, using the character’s will save (same DC as a normal rally action, as described in Heroes of Battle). Only base will save, untyped, morale, competence, & circumstantial bonuses apply (not including resistance, insight, divine, sacred, profane, etc). This counts as a mind-affecting effect.
• Increase effective casting level of a spell, effective manifesting level of a power, or effective turning level of a turn / rebuke undead action by +1 per seven character levels (rounded up). Powers may be augmented to their boosted manifesting level.
• Initiate any maneuver you know, even if you did not ready it or have expended it.
• Apply any one metamagic feat with +1 spell level increase you know without increasing the spell’s slot level, or reduce the spell level increase of one metamagic application by +1 level.
• Use any class ability or feat that you could normally use 5/day or more one additional time.
• Continue to fight without penalty even while disabled or dying for one round (you still die upon reaching –10 hit points).

2. A character with the Action Boost feat (free feat at character level eleven) may roll d8s instead of d6s for determining the bonuses of action point boosts.

3. A character with the Action Surge feat (free feat at character level sixteen) may spend up to 2 action points per round. You may not spend multiple action points for the same 1AP boost (e.g. simulate two feats, take two extra swift actions). This grants the ability to use two action points to perform any one of the following:
• Take an extra standard action or move action.
• Force your opponent to re-roll a natural-20 roll on an attack action.
• Use any class ability or feat that has a limited number of uses per specified time period (e.g. 1d4rounds, encounter, day, week) one additional time.
• Cast any spell you have prepared (even if the spell has been expended).
• Cast any spontaneous spell or manifest any power without expending a spell slot. All normal rules apply.
• Apply any one metamagic feat you know without increasing the spell’s slot level. The casting time is increased as if you had cast it spontaneously with metamagic.
• Continue to fight without penalty even when reduced to –10 hit points or below for one round. You must be conscious and above a hit point amount equal to the negative of half your maximum hit points to use this ability. The ‘no penalty’ implies only to the penalties of disabled or dying, but not to the results of major bodily damage (such as loss of limbs) from being critically damaged.

4. A character with the Heroic Destiny feat (free feat at character level twenty-one) regains lost action points at the rate of 1 per day instead of 1 per week.

5. A character with the Heroic Surge feat (free feat at character level twenty-five) may activate it at any time to gain 1 temporary action point per round (each lasting until the end of round) for one round per character level (see Heroic Surge in custom feats for details). The character may spend up to 3 action points per round during this time. This grants the ability to use three action points to perform any of the following:
• Grant a +20 luck bonus on any attack roll, ability check, or skill check.
• Take 20 on any saving throw, or automatically resist any one condition (even if it doesn't allow a save).
• Automatically succeed on any concentration check.
• Take a full-round action.

6. A character who has consumed his limited amount of action points for the round may continue to use his remaining reserve action points, but at a penalty. For every action point you would normally spent, you must now consume three times that amount. You may not use this ability to produce an action point effect above your standard limits (e.g. take an extra standard action when you do not have the Action Surge feat), nor may you spend above double your normal limit (prior to the tripling of AP costs, thus a character with the Action Surge feat may produce up to the effects of four action points in one round, costing him eight action points total). After using this ability, your character becomes fatigued (or exhausted if already fatigued) for the next 10 minutes, which applies even if you have immunity to fatigue or exhaustion. Exhausted characters may not use this ability. Players are advised to reserve this ability only for emergency life-or-death situations.

1. Morale Status
Heartened morale status (see Heroes of Battle) provides +2 morale bonus to attack rolls, saving throws, and skill checks. This status may also be simulated by Good Hope, Heroism, and other similar spells.
Fanatical morale status provides +4 morale bonus to attack rolls, saving throws, and skill checks. This status may also be simulated by the Greater Heroism spell. Rallying DC for fanatical status is increased by +40 from that of Heartened status, or a DC40 rallying check if they are already at Hearten status.
Immunity to Fear, whether extraordinary or magical, will prevent you from dropping into negative morale. However, fear effects may still reduce your morale from a positive status to normal status (thus no morale bonuses).
Immunity to Mind-Affecting effects (such as Mind Blank) prevents you from being affected by all morale effects, both good and bad.

2. The Leadership feat and Epic Leadership feat are considered obsolete. All characters are treated as having a leadership score and capable of acquiring both cohorts and followers. A character’s leadership score is their character level + charisma modifier + rank + reputation modifiers (DM’s discretion).
A character may try to gain multiple cohorts, although they take a –2 to their leadership modifier for each cohort they already have. Cohorts do not have to be at least two levels lower than your character level (thus a character with high charisma, high rank, and renowned reputation may obtain a cohort of higher level).
A character must still refer to the leadership table for the number of cohorts they have. However you may treat all followers of level one thru five as ‘level 1’ under the table, while level six followers are considered ‘level 2’ under the table, and so on. The tenfold drop between level five and six signifies the major difference between level five and level six NPCs, those of level six has the Heroic Spirit feat and may access action points.
Cohorts and followers can only be acquired through the means of in-game roleplaying with NPCs. Therefore players don’t design their cohorts; they try to get a NPC to join the party under their flag. The player have control of their cohorts for most actions, although the DM may interfere for roleplaying, NPC history, and other character design and plot related reasons. When a cohort levels up, the DM has control of the levels, abilities, skills, spells, and feats to gain (with player consultation).

3. Ranking
The full ranking system is as followed. This system is not strictly military, and may be adapted to any organization.
Private (0)
Corporal (1)
Sergeant (2)
Lieutenant (3)
Captain (4)
Major (5)
Colonel (6)
Brigadier General (7)
Major General (8)
Lieutenant General (9)
Marshal (10)
You may add your rank as an untyped modifier to any of the following:
• Leadership score (as described above), but only for the purpose of attracting cohorts and followers from within your organization.
• Rally checks (see Heroes of Battle p73).
• Diplomacy, gather information, intimidate, and opposed charisma check made against another member of the same organization.

1. Critical Strike
A critical strike (or critical shot, if ranged) is an attack aimed specifically to be a critical hit. The attacker must make a single attack as a full action against the target’s critical AC (normal AC +12 [8size +4cover]), with a bonus equal to your critical threat range –1 (i.e. a critical range of 18-20/x2 would gain a +2 attack bonus when making a critical strike). If the attack beats the critical AC, the attack is an automatic threat. If the attack fails to hit the critical AC but beats the normal AC, the attack is still considered a normal hit. The attacker must still confirm the hit to be a critical. Upon a successful critical strike, you may automatically deal all precision damage (sneak attack, sudden strike, skirmish, ranged precision, etc.) as if you had the Telling Blow feat.
When making a critical strike, you take a –5 penalty to dexterity/dodge AC and reflex saves (to a minimum of 0 total dexterity & dodge AC) unless you have uncanny dodge. You may not use Combat Expertise or fight defensively when making a critical strike. Natural-20-rule does not apply to Critical Strike attacks.
If your opponent is at least two sizes bigger than you, you may make a critical strike as a standard action instead and take only a –2 penalty to dexterity/dodge AC and reflex saves. If your opponent is at least four sizes bigger than you, you may make a critical strike as an attack action instead, take no penalty to AC, and may use combat expertise as normal. If your opponent is smaller than you by two sizes or more, you may not perform a Critical Strike against them.

2. Knockout Attack
A knockout attack must be done with either bludgeoning or non-lethal damage against an enemy unaware of your presence (you can’t use this if they even sense your location). If the enemy is engaged in melee combat you must also flank it with a character it is aware of. A knockout attack takes a full action and requires a successful attack against the opponent’s critical AC. A successful knockout attack is treated as an automatic critical hit. Also, the opponent must make a fortitude save (DC = damage) or fall unconscious for 1d6+1 minutes. If they target fails the save by 5 or more, they fall unconscious for 1d3 hours instead. Creatures immune to stunning or critical hits are also immune to knockout attacks (if which case your attack is resolved normally). Performing a knockout attack provokes attack of opportunity from any foe who threatens you (which may alert the target of your attack and thus cause your knockout attack to automatically fail and be resolved normally).

3. Parrying/Deflecting (Combat Expertise)
• You may activate Combat Expertise as long as you are holding a melee weapon (unless you have Improved Unarmed Strike feat). However, this bonus is halved if you take a standard action to do anything other than attacking in melee during your turn.
• You may gain a bonus up to +5 or your base attack bonus, whichever is higher. This obsoletes the Improved Combat Expertise feat.
• You may activate combat expertise as an aid other action (standard action), allowing you to apply the bonus to AC to an adjacent ally instead of yourself.
• You may activate combat expertise when casting spells defensively or using items. If you cast defensively, add your penalty to attack to the concentration check DC. If you are using items, you must make a concentration check (DC = Item Use DC [20 if there is none] + attack penalty). If you have an ability or feat that allows you to cast without provoking attacks or opportunity, you must still make a concentration check (DC 10 + attack penalty).
• You may activate Combat Expertise when readying an action. If you do, you must use the action in a manner that allows combat expertise to be used.
• Whenever you take a penalty of at least –2 on Combat Expertise, you are treated as fighting defensively.
• You may activate combat expertise even when out of combat order if you have Uncanny Dodge ability.

4. Aid Other (Standard Action)
• The bonuses of your aid other check increases by +1 for every 5 base attack bonus or 5 skill ranks you have.
• You may also accept a –4 penalty to your skill checks to provide a +2 circumstantial bonus to the skill checks of all allies within 30ft. For every 5 ranks you have in the skill, you may take an additional –2 penalty to provide an additional +1 bonus.

5. Take Aim
Taking Aim involves taking additional actions to aim at the target before making a ranged attack. You may normally take aim with a move action or full-round action. Taking aim as a move action allows you to ignore half a target’s cover bonus to AC (or penalty for firing into melee) on your next ranged attack. Taking aim as a full-round action allows you to ignore all of the target’s cover bonus to AC on your next ranged attack. Taking Aim does not allow you to reduce or negate the effects of full cover.
These bonuses are lost if you perform any action requiring physical movement between the time of taking aim and the ranged attack. If your opponent moves more than 5ft during this time, you lose any bonuses of taking aim with a move action, and gains only half the bonus of taking aim as a full-round action (as if you used a move action instead).
Last edited by Zanaikin on Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:19 pm, edited 46 times in total.


"Hurrah, Warsaw's ours!" / "Hurrah, Field Marshal!" - Battle report & promotion notice between Alexander Suvorov & Catherine the Great

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Postby Zanaikin » Thu Aug 10, 2006 6:17 am


Due to a certain person's slowness I decided upon this rule:
Anyone who does not decide upon an action within 1 minute immediate has their character set to full-defense action (or full combat expertise) for the round.
Exceptions will be made for reasonable delays (such as when a person is looking up the rules or the effects of a certain spell).
Reminder: This rule is not absolutely strict and will not be enforced unless you REALLY are SLOW and completely INDECISIVE, or just simply not paying attention.

I do not give XP for roleplaying, I give XP for accomplishing tasks through good roleplaying, and the more in-character you were during the process the more I'll be tempted to give. The meaning of this is simple: don't spend time needlessly glorifying unnecessary details... if talking is all it needs to gain experience, we would all be epic characters by now. Save that roleplaying ability for where it is useful, whether it be conversing with NPCs, handing out orders, or bartering on the diplomatic table.

Combat XP is typically evenly divided amongst all party members who PARTICIPATED in defeating the challenge. I do not give bonus XP for killing more foes than others/etc, for that is dependent on the capabilities of a character. I will however give bonus XP for optimizing the available potential of a character to its maximum, this means making intelligent and creative decisions on the scene, and executing it via your own char or relaying it to others in a proper (non-metagaming) manner.


If a battle sequence is run PBP, you have 24 Hours after it becomes you turn to post an action. If you take longer than this, I will dish out the same effect I give to those who take too long to decide on their turn: your character is set to full-defense mode and does not perform any other actions.
If you drop me a note (IM or PM) that you're busy I'll extend this to 48 hours, although I will reserve every right to not offer this should someone abuse this rule excessively. Appropriate considerations will be given for those who requires clarification of details from the DM to decide (again, abusing this rule to ask something stupid will not grant your a postponing).
If you are unable to reach the internet or simply away from a position for which you can access your character sheet (say: visiting relatives, having a school network crash, going on a trip) you'll be excused from this. However if it becomes stuck on your character for more than two days you should assign another player (or the DM will assign for you) to act on your behalf, just as if you have to be absent for a meeting.

Reason why I do this:
1. You should not spend more than a few minutes (<5) deciding on what your character's actions are. And if you have to open more than 3 books/PDFs to research possibilities or figure out what spells/maneuvers do (or worse: where its from), then I suggest you organize your character-sheet better. Good roleplaying is nice to have but it is a bonus, not a requirement. Either way, you should not spend more than 5mins TOPS figuring out what your character does, and I know you guys have the typing speed to type out your action within 1min. If it takes any longer, you're probably trying to do more than you should, or you character is simply being too indecisive during the round -> cannot makeup his mind -> I have right to skip him.
2. If you consistently take multiple days to post an action, then any other player also has the right to take multiple days to post an action... roll this up for 6 players and 1 DM and we'll have 2-3 weeks time to go thru ONE ROUND, meaning = we'll NEVER get anything done. Don't give me crap on other PBP games' posting speed because the typical PBP post speed is reason why most PBP games fail!


"Hurrah, Warsaw's ours!" / "Hurrah, Field Marshal!" - Battle report & promotion notice between Alexander Suvorov & Catherine the Great

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