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Pen & Paper House Rules
Here are the house rules I currently use in my paper and pencil (PnP) AD&D campaigns. These guidelines are always under modification as DM preference and player input changes. I will not try to implement all of these rules under the Neverwinter Nights game system, but will try to stick as close as possible to the official rules of 3E Dungeons and Dragons.
Starting Level: All characters will begin at a minimum of third level. Single class mages and rogues will begin at fourth level.
Existing Characters: Experienced players may have favorite characters that they wish to play. If you wish to use such a character, look over the players guide, adjust the character seems necessary to fit into the Eradain campaign. I will review the character and make any changes necessary. *Keep in mind that at the beginning of the campaign all the characters will begin at roughly the same level. Later in the campaign higher level characters may be introduced.
Starting Equipment: Players may equip their characters with any basic equipment that can be found in the player's handbook, and 100gp per level of experience. Animals or any unusual items must be purchased with the characters starting money or obtained during play.
History: All characters who submit a history or background for their characters will start with a magical item of some sort. The item can be of the players choice, but may only be a mid to low power item. For example, a ring of invisibility is a powerful item and would not be allowed, but a +1 sword would be fine. If you have an idea for a unique item or would like a suggestion, let me know.
Character Generation: The method of character generation I use should allow a player to obtain the character class they wish to play.
In order to achieve the type of intrigue that I would like to have in this campaign, I am not using the AD&D alignment system. In this campaign you will not know if the advisor to the king is "evil" by just casting a spell, and player interaction with NPC's is not easily classified into good or evil.
Spell Casting and Armor
The second edition rules are very harsh on multi-class characters using magic and wearing armor. I am using a variation that will allow characters to use proficiency slots in order to wear armor.
By using a weapon proficiency, characters who are mages or bards may wear armor. This is a progressive proficiency, and a character must be proficient at wearing a lighter armor before moving up to heavier armor. The generic name of the armor class is given, but counts for any armor of roughly equivalent encumbrance and AC.
All characters must be proficient in at least one weapon, warrior-mage combinations must be proficient in at least two weapons.
*Example: A fourth level fighter-mage has five weapon proficiencies. Two have been used on weapons, long sword and bow. The additional three slots have been used for leather armor, studded leather and scale mail. This allows the character to wear scale mail armor and still be able to cast spells.
I am using a modification of the standard D&D spell system. Single Class mages and priests can select what spell they wish to cast directly from their list of available spells at the time of casting. Multi-class spell casters must record their selection of spells for that day, but may cast any of those spells up to their normal limit.
For example: Wondo the fighter/magic-user has 2 1st and 1 2nd level spells. He memorizes detect magic, magic missile, and invisibility. He can cast detect magic once or twice, or magic missile once or twice, but may only cast invisibility for his 2nd level spell. Whereas Marak, a single class mage of the same level can cast any two of his first level spells and any one of his seconds.
Only fighters may specialize in wielding a particular weapon. Dual wielding is considered a specialization and may not be taken in addition to specialization in a particular weapon. Multi-class fighters, rangers and paladins may spend extra proficiency slots to gain weapon expertise. Weapon expertise allows characters to gain extra attacks, but no combat bonuses.
Criticals and Fumbles
Any character rolling a natural 20 to hit on an attack roll will score double damage on that attack. This is calculated by doubling the damage die rolled then adding any other bonuses for damage. When a player rolls a natural 1 to hit the player must immediately make a second to hit, without adding any bonuses. If the result is a hit, no fumble occurs and the player merely misses. If the second roll is also a miss, then they have fumbled and the DM will determine the outcome, with the default being loss of the next rounds attackers.
I will use the optional deaths door rule from the Players Option: Combat and Tactics handbook. A character that is reduced below zero hit points will not actually die until dropping to -10 or lower.
Hero Point System
I have devised a system to reward players who have successfully pulled off some daring or bold action. From time to time during game play I will award Hero Points, which can be used as follows:
In any action where a Hero Point is used, the player will automatically receive a 50 experience point bonus.
Division of Experience
I will record, track and divide all the experience earned by the players.
Miscellaneous Spell Changes
Training and Level Advancement
Characters who receive enough experience to advance in level must obtain training to actually gain the benefits of increased level. This training must be from someone of the same class at least three levels higher than the one to be gained. The time and cost of this training will vary, but the minimum is 2 days and 100gp per level. Characters of 8th level or higher may train themselves.
Mages Starting Spell Books
All the options available in the handbook are open to players, if you wish to use any of the kits please show me the details. With the exception of a mage's starting spells, I will adhere to all the rules regarding the chance to learn spells, memorization times, and spell books. A mage will be required to keep a record with specific details about his or her spell book. This will include the size (standard or traveling book), construction (certain types are more resistant to damage), any magical protections (if anyone tampers with it), and of course the spells contained within the book.
Example: A 4th level magic user would have the basic "primer spells" and his choice of additional spells adding up to 16 spell levels. This could be one additional 1st level spell, one 3rd level and six 2nd level spells or any other combination.
Players wishing to become a Paladin will be required to be part of specific religious orders, so a potential Paladin should review the information under priests. The religious orders that have paladins are the Swords of Tyr, and the Knights of the Horn. Most paladins will be of the Danrae noble class. A paladin's detect evil ability will function with more accuracy than a mage or priest spell.
Paladin's Code of Conduct: Valor, Mercy, Honesty, Piety, and Moderation. Valor- Courage on the battlefield, a Paladin will be at the forefront of any engagement. Mercy- It is unchivalrous to slay prisoners who have surrendered. Honesty- A paladin's word is his bond, treachery and deceit are the tools of evil. Piety- Reverence for your gods and priests of your faith. Worldly goods shall be donated to the church. Moderation- Valor does not mean poor battle tactics. Mercy does not apply to genuinely evil beings (like demons) or vile monsters (such as trolls). Honesty does not preclude stealth. Piety is not lip service.
A Paladin will begin with 10 honor points and will gain or loose these points by their personal actions as determined by the DM. If a Paladin slips into negative honor points they must immediately go on a quest to atone or lose their Paladin-hood. A Paladin sacrificing personal honor for the greater good will never go below zero honor points.