House Rules

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House Rules

Postby Grim Luck » Wed Aug 03, 2005 3:42 pm

Okay,

I'd like to get an overview of the house rules that we use for True20 (or are planning on using).

After all, its kind of slow on this board.

So, I'll start. Here are some my group uses:

Familiarity Skill Option - A character may choose to take two skills at half ranks (called a familiar level) instead of one at full trained ranks any time they would normally gain a skill. So a warrior might start with 2 trained skills, 1 trained skill and 2 skills at the familiar level, or four skills at the familiar level.

Background Bonuses - Backgrounds in our games typically provide an additional +1 to some attribute, and an additional appropriate feat.

The Wild Talent Feat - We disregard the 'lack of control' aspect of this feat. It can still only be taken once. It must also be taken at first level.

Talented Expert Feat - As a special benefit to Experts only, when an expert takes the Talented Feat (as an expert feat) they may choose three related skills to apply the +2 bonus as opposed to just two.

Craftsman Expert Feat - This allows an Expert attempting to gain materials for a Craft that they're fully trained in to buy those materials at a reduced cost by adding the Craft rating to their Diplomacy skill to reduce the cost of the materials.

Power Specific Abilities - Some powers in our games are always linked to specific abilities, despite who the caster is. I.E. Healing Powers are almost always linked to Wisdom. This has the side effect of making different magical characters magical aresenals more varied in power as the Intelligent Guy may be better at Blasting you with fire, while the Wise Guy may be better at Healing you.

CON as a Power Ability - In some cases, some powers might use Constitution as the Ability used to modify power check rolls.

Here are some I haven't yet addopted, but I'm toying with:

Automatic Criticals - A roll of 20 is always a crit, and requires no confirmation roll. A critical threat of less than 20 still needs to be confirmed, however.

Counter Magic - If a character is trained in the use of a power that is being used against them (or a power that is directly opposed - I.E. Elemental Strike Cold Vs. Elemental Strike Fire), they may expend a Conviction point in an attempt to counter the spell. This requires a fatigue roll on the part of the character attempting to counter the effect. If, MANA is involved (see below) then spend a point of mana instead of conviction, and there is no fatigue roll required. When a character wishes to counter an effect they simply make a power roll using that same power (or the diametrically opposed power) and reduce the result of the attacking power by the result.
I.E. A Fire Wizard (3rd level Adept) makes a Flame Attack against an Ice Cleric (2nd level Adept). The Fire Wizard's power roll was 15. the Ice Cleric attempts to counter the effect using Cold Strike. The Narrator gives his approval on the powers being diametrically opposed. The Ice Cleric spends a point of conviction and makes a fatigue check. He then rolls his Ice Strike to counter the attack. His result is a 12. The Fire Wizard's effect then goes off as though he had only rolled a 3 (15-12=3), greatly reducing the difficulty of the damage save. If the Ice Cleric had rolled a result of 15 or higher, the Fire Attack would have been snuffed out. I'd allow this effect to take place out-of sequence (as long as the Ice Cleric has an unused standard action available in a given round), though some narrators may require that the Ice Cleric have a 'readied' action.

Mana - In some settings I'm considering allowing Adpets torecieve a number of points of 'mana' equal to their level. They regain one point of mana a day (or somesuch). Mana may be spent in order to ignore fatiguing effects of one casting of one spell. Not only is fatigue not rolled for that use of the spell, but the spell simply doesn't count towards future rolls. Mana may be invested (with a maximum of one to three points) into certain very pricey artifacts (like gems). As a side effect of using mana, the magical effect is more 'flashy'.

Mental Finesse Feat - This feat allows Adepts to make use of their Wisdom rating as the modifier to ranged magical attacks, as opposed to Dexterity. The idea is that the magic is transferred along the lines of the wielder's perception as opposed to being targeted by their agility.

Here are some I've heard about, but won't be adopting, but I've seen them around enough so I thought I'd mention them:

Using Skill Points - Instead of trained/untrained (or even trained/familiar/untrained) levels, this option allows characters to gain skill points each time they level. These points can then be put into various skills limited by the character concept.

Level Gained Dependant Skill Improvement - When a character learns a new skill at a level other than first, they begin that skill as though they were 1st level (maximum 4 ranks). This skill then increases by one each time the character levels. This happens each time a new skill is learned after the first level so players must mark down at what level they learned a specific skill. Its more bookkeeping, but some feel its more realistic.

Strength Based Melee Attack Modifier - Instead of using Dexterity as the sole Combat modifying ability, Melee attacks rely on Strength as per traditional D20.

Anyway, that's all I can think of now. Got any more?
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Postby Grim Luck » Wed Aug 03, 2005 5:45 pm

*sound of crickets chirping*
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Postby JBowtie » Wed Aug 03, 2005 6:05 pm

Here's a couple of my house rules, just to keep you happy.

Feats
Literacy
Prerequisites: Fluency or 4 ranks in Language

Select a language in which you are proficient. You can read and write the language about as well as you speak it.

A phonetic language is one in which the symbols or letters represent sounds made while speaking. This means that unfamiliar words can be sounded out when reading or writing, giving speakers a +2 bonus when doing so.

In an ideographic language, on the other hand, the symbols are pictures representing entire words or concepts. This means one cannot leverage one's speaking knowledge as effectively and that there are many more symbols to memorize. The extra difficulty is reflected by increasing the DC of reading and writing by 5.

Special: Scholars, mages, and runemasters are automatically literate in their native tongue, as well as any languages in which they have received a fluency. Characters that have courtier as their first character level are literate in their native tongue.

Fluency
Prerequisites: Can be taken at first character level only

You are fluent in a foreign language and may treat it as if you were a native. You may always take 10 on Language checks for this language and gain a +5 fluency bonus to such checks.

Arcana
Creature Lore
Knowledge, Fatiguing

If you know a creature's truename, you gain a +10 bonus to the check. In addition, the creature automatically fails the Will save or Psychic Shield check.

* Intimate Knowledge: You can learn something significant about a creature (living or dead). Make a Creature Lore check against a DC of 15. You must be able to touch the creature, and a living creature can choose to make a Will save or Psychic Shield check to prevent you from learning this information. Go through this list, in order--the first bit of lore you do not know, you learn through this spell:

1. Creature's race or type.
2. Creature's name (if none, then skip).
3. Creature's class (if none, then skip).
4. How the creature died (if not applicable, skip).
5. Creature's most recent, basic goal (obtain food, carry out the orders of its superior, get some sleep, etc.).
6. Creature's attitude toward you.
7. Creature that this creature interacted with most recently (other than you).
8. Creature's most valuable possession, if any.
9. Location of the creature's home or lair, if any.
10. Creature's current thoughts (if the creature is dead, the last thoughts the creature had).

Multiple castings allow you to gain multiple bits of information. If you know all of the above information, this spell teaches you nothing.

* Locate Living Creature: Make a Creature Lore check against a DC of 20, modified by familiarity. The creature can make a Will save or Psychic Shield check to prevent you from learning its location. If you succeed, you know in which direction the creature lies. If you succeed by 5 or more, you also know which direction the creature is moving, if any. If you succeed by 10 or more, you also know the distance between yourself and the creature.

* Learn Truename: You can learn a creature's truename using this spell. You must be in mental contact or be touching the creature to do so, and a living creature may make a Will save or Psychic Shield check to prevent you from learning this information. The DC is 35, modified by familarity. If you succeed, you know the creature's truename; if the creature does not have a truename you know this as well. If the subject's truename was taken by a witch, you learn the name of the witch who did so.

Time: Casting Creature Lore is a full-round action.
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Postby JBowtie » Wed Aug 03, 2005 6:09 pm

The Wild Talent Feat - We disregard the 'lack of control' aspect of this feat. It can still only be taken once. It must also be taken at first level.


We apply the loss of control when the caster rolls a natural one.
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Postby Grim Luck » Wed Aug 03, 2005 6:10 pm

Thanks, that makes me happy!


:P
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Postby Grim Luck » Wed Aug 03, 2005 6:11 pm

I like that variant of the 'Wild Talent' feat. Losing control on a natural '1' is a good idea.
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Postby skywalker » Thu Aug 04, 2005 11:55 am

I only have some house rules regarding damage, in an attempt to simplify the application of the system.

1. Every successful hit causes a Hurt (or Bruised).
2. Damage DC is 10 + damage bonus and determines whether any serious injury is suffered.
3. A successful Toughness roll means no further injury is taken (just the Hurt).
4. A failed roll means a Wound is also suffered (as well as the Hurt).
5. A failed roll by 5 or more means a Disabled is also suffered (as well as the Hurt and Wounded).
6. A failed roll by 10 or more means a Dying is also suffered (as well as the Hurt, Wounded and Disabled).

This allows me to:

- reduce the base of the Damage DC to 10 the same as Defence. I like the symmetry of using the base 10.
- get around high Toughness saves as every hit at least scores a Hurt.
- avoid the strangeness of suffering a Dying result and recovery to suddenly be perfectly fine.

The result is a fraction more lethal but it adds a lot of ease to use. Also, it avoids the strange text bits like where a Wound also acts as a Hurt etc.
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Postby anonymous_zombie » Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:11 pm

not really major stuf but...

1. Cold Shaping: we allow a Fort DC for half damage (since is a always hit power, as opposed to Fire Shaping, or even Elemental Strike)

2. Move Object: we dont use the power check vs Strength to disarm mechanic (as it turns out it becomes really easy to disarm anyone after 3rd level). We use an opposed check vs weapon wielder Str vs the Move Object damage bonus (as read by the table and modified by using fatigue)

3. No automatically Conviction gain, only through Virtues/Vices

Thats all i can think of.
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Postby Azza » Thu Aug 04, 2005 6:50 pm

Im working on splitting the combat round in half.
As the current rules stand there is little point in disarming or tripping especially when fighting one on one as there are very few extra attacks involved in this system.
ie. I use my attack to trip. In his round my opponent simply stands and attacks.

This means that full round actions take 2 short rounds to complete.

A new action is included; Rushed action. A character can use a rushed action to gain a free standard action in a round when he has made a move action, or to complete a full round action. Any rolls the character must make, except toughness and saving throws, are at -2 and Def is at -2 until the next round.(I suppose I could just make character who are retrieving weapons or standing up have this penalty but I never did like the idea of one person being able to charge 60' and attack. Maybe its just me!!)

Haven't tried it out yet.

Alsos increased the two handed sword damage to +5. It looks like it was converted by taking the average of each d6, 3.5, rounding down and subtracting 1. As it was done to each dice it comes out at the rounded down average of 2d6 minus 2, instead of an overall -1.

Also came up with a variant for Bulls Rush and Overun that revolved around the opposed roll then a saving throw depending on how difficult/easyily the oppoent would fall for it. I havent go the rules here but will post once i reread them ;)
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Postby Grim Luck » Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:12 pm

Interesting decision on the trip attack idea.

My thought is that MAYBE:

A. Attacks against a prone target should be a move action rather than a standard action. This starts the round after they've been knocked down.

B. If a character that hasn't gone yet in a round gets knocked down they must make a reflex save DC 10 (or a fort save DC 15) or lose any actions that round.

C. Getting back near an opponent who still has a 'move action' left should be an opposed roll, because its hard to get back up when the guy standing right there is ready to knock you down again.

I think that some variant of these would likely make tripping more realistic, but they could overpower tripping.

Thoughts?
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Postby aaronil » Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:17 pm

Well, this is really a stretch of the rules, but in my Arabian d20 setting we allow mages with Wind Shaping to simulate flight by creating Windstorm strength winds under a magic carpet. This requires a DC 15 Concentration check to pull off. Think magic carpets with the serious possibility of pilot error, ranging from blowing yourself off your own damn carpet to catching a sudden updraft and hurtling hundreds of feet into the clouds! :)
The way I run it windstorm strength winds lift a carpet with one person while hurrican strength winds lift a carpet with up to 8 people (though they require a DC 20 Concentration check to handle. The Concentration check is made in secret, meaning that the pilot error might not occur right away, but sometime while you're airbound. Keeping the carpet flying in considered a concentration effect for wind shaping.
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Postby Grim Luck » Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:18 pm

I like that aaronil. It definitely fits the setting.
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Postby Grim Luck » Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:46 pm

Here's one I forgot:

All POWER ratings are based on character level and not Adept level.
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Postby JBowtie » Thu Aug 04, 2005 8:13 pm

Tripping
With regards to tripping - as written, tripping is useful when:
1) You have allies (default in a party)
2) You spend Conviction to get an extra action.

Good enough for my game.

Arcana
Dispel
From Visions of Aestia

Knowledge, Fatiguing

While the Ward spell seeks to prevent spellcasting altogether, Dispel checks are used to counter spells that have been cast. The difference is subtle but important - Ward will prevent someone from casting Illusion, but Dispel forces an illusion out of existence.

* Dispel Magic: You can attempt to end an existing magical or supernatural effect. The Difficulty is 20 + opponent's caster level. A successful Spellcraft check to identify the spell reduces the Difficulty by 10. If you succeed, you end the spell or effect as if its duration had just run out.

* Counterspell: You can attempt to dispel magic immediately after a spell is cast but before it takes effect. Such usage is known as counterspelling. You must ready an action or spend a Conviction point to counter another spellcaster, and your opponent's check result opposes your check.

* Wrest Control: If you beat the Difficulty by 10 or more, you can choose to wrest control of the effect instead. If counterspelling, you gain control of the spell and can choose the target and other parameters. For an existing effect, your options are more limited. You can end the spell at your command, rather than immediately. You can change the specifics of an Illusion spell, feed the caster false impressions, or change the wording of a compulsion.
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Postby Azza » Thu Aug 04, 2005 9:13 pm

JBowtie wrote:Tripping
With regards to tripping - as written, tripping is useful when:
1) You have allies (default in a party)
2) You spend Conviction to get an extra action.

Good enough for my game.


1) Not questioning its usefullness when you have allies. Assuming you can gang up.
2) You would spend a conviction point to get an extra attack, presumeably that is the extra action your talking about, against a prone target when it took your original attack to trip them?
Isn't that effectively hitting them normally, as you have to hit to trip, only to have to spend a conviction point to have a chance to attack them again and take advantage of them being prone? Why not just hit them normally to start with.

There were actual advantages that fighters could take advantage of one on one in standard d20 when it came to tripping. In True 20 there are none, aside form tripping people off ledges, but in that case youd be better off bull rushing as it doesnt take an attack roll.

The same applies to Disarm, unless your unarmed.

Char1: Ah ha I have disarmed you..
Char2: I pick up my sword(manipulate object-move) and hit him(standard).

So why bother disarming? Again, maybe if you have allies and your opponent is relying on parry and hasnt anther weapon in his hand.

Grim's ideas could be ok but as you said I think they might be overpowered. One character prone with 3 opponetns next to him having to try to make three opposed rolls to get up is probably a little hard!!
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Postby Grim Luck » Thu Aug 04, 2005 9:55 pm

A character who knocks an opponent prone, and then uses a conviction point to take an extra attack gains the benefit of facing an opponent who's flat footed (don't they?) Or at the very least they gain an advantage to hit of +2 right? I can't check, my copy of True 20 isn't readily available.

Regarding my previous suggestions, I was just throwing around some ideas. I doubt I'd use them.

Here is another few ideas for tripping. Maybe one of them will be worth consideration.

* Maybe prone characters shouldn't be allowed to take standard actions.

* Maybe characters who are knocked prone should be placed last in the initiative order.

These are much more minor alterations to the current rules that seem to make sense.
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Postby Azza » Thu Aug 04, 2005 10:47 pm

I'm sorry that I seem to have changed your house rules thread into a discussion about trip! My bad.
The rules don't say anything about you being flat footed when prone. Yes you do get a bonus to hit a prone opponent, +4, and can take advantage on this the same round you trip them using a conviction point. My point is you had to hit them first to have a chance to trip them. So if your intention is to hurt them in a round, and you decide to trip, instead of rolling a normal attack you are;
Rolling a normal attack(you have to do this to start the trip!!)
make an opposed check, if you fail you may be tripped yourself.
spending a conviction point
rolling another normal attack, but at +4.

One on one if you just decided to hurt them on the normal attack you'd end up with the same thing. But not spend a conviction point. :wink:

I think your idea of the tripped character being placed last in the initiative order could work well. That would encourage the character attempting the trip to delay his action until after his opponent and if he is successful in the trip he would get his next action before the tripped charcter has a chance to get up.

I'm guessing that most TRUE20 players have some knowledge of standard D20. Nearly all the advantages of tripping and disarming an opponent in D20 are rules removed in True20. Provoking AOOP in standing, being prone for any of the trippers extra attacks, loosing extra attacks in standing up etc. While I applaud the simpleness of TRUE20 and much prefer it to D20, trip and disarm simply don't port across well.
That is one of the major reasons I decided to go the short round option! :D
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Postby Grim Luck » Fri Aug 05, 2005 12:32 am

Actually, I wanted to create discussion with this thread. I was hoping to see MORE conversations about house rules. What we liked about them, what we didn't. To really think outside the box and discuss things like your last post did.

You're absolutely right, of course, about tripping. I got to look it up.

It is kind of a waste of action in a one on one duel. Its really up to the narrator to lay out negatives to it in such a situation.

Example: I trip you, and then laugh at you. I get additional pluses to demoralize you.

Looking back over my suggested house rules, I really think that making a prone target lose their place in initiative is a good step.

The rest, perhaps, should be left up to the narrator.
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Postby langeweile » Fri Aug 05, 2005 1:12 am

on disarm: i think that one is good, because i would rule that your weapon does not drop right to your feet.
so getting it back would be 2 move actions (at least more than one).
that one is ecspecially nasty with weapon bind.

on tripping: i would take the rule from d20, that you get a free extra attack if your trip succeeds. tripping is already harder (you can counter with dex or str or acrobatics).
also, trip becomes useful to hinder dudes from running: trip them - pin them.
the last point where it comes handy is im combination with other actions that require move actions, so the other dude cannot simply run away. also providing a circumstancial bonus for taunt and stuff is good.

btw: that is a problem in true20 anyway - anything that requires more than a standartaction for melee is too easily countered by others moving back like 10 feet (feint, two weapon fighting, etc).
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Postby Grim Luck » Sat Aug 06, 2005 9:44 pm

I forgot a house-rule that I've heard around this forum a few times:

All Roles Begin With No Preassigned Feats - None of these feats are preassigned. Adepts and Experts begin with 4 feats chosen from the appropriate feat groups (i.e. an Adept may choose four feats from the General and Adept Feats Lists, an Expert may choose four feats from the General and Expert Feat lists). Warriors begin with 5 feats chosen from the appropriate feats groups. This works particularly well in different settings where armor training isn't appropriate for all warriors, such as modern or futuristic settings.


-message edited 8/7/05-
Last edited by Grim Luck on Sun Aug 07, 2005 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Grim Luck » Sun Aug 07, 2005 12:59 pm

Sorry, Please change that to read:

Adepts and Experts begin with 4 feats chosen from the appropriate groups. Warriors begin with 5.
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Postby Azza » Sun Aug 07, 2005 4:39 pm

Grim Luck wrote:Sorry, Please change that to read:

Adepts and Experts begin with 4 feats chosen from the appropriate groups. Warriors begin with 5.


I like the idea of the classes being fully customisable but doesnt this give warriors even more of an edge at low level? One of their starting feat, Armor Prof heavy, isn't likely to be useable for a couple of levels. Some warriors, won't even use it at all. By giving them the choice to delay, or not take it at all, seems to me to give them an even greater edge.
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Postby Grim Luck » Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:24 pm

In the book at 1st level, Warriors get 2 skills, +1 combat mod, Armor Training (light & Medium), Weapon Training, and two other feats.

My option gives Warriors 2 skills, +1 combat mod (as usual), and five feats. These could easily them be spent on Armor Training (light & medium), Weapon training, and then two other feats.

The actual total number of feats, however, remains the same.

I didn't intend to overpower them, just to keep things the same.

I personally don't think warriors are overpowered at low levels.

I mean, I broke down all class benefits, and tried to set them up as feats to count and compare.

Doing that, Warriors got the best combat bonus (counted as two feats), One good save (counted as NO feats), low reputation (counted as no feats), two skills (counted as no feats) , access to combat useful warrior feats (two feats) and five total feats - as demonstrated above. Theoretically, using this method, Warriors get 9 feats.

Experts get the second best combat bonus (counted as one feat), two good saves (coutned as one feat), good reputation (counted as one feat), six skills (counted as two feats), access to moderately useful expert feats (one feat) and four additional free feats. This is a total of 10 feats.

Adepts get the worst combat bonus (counted as no feat), one good save (coutned as no feats), good reputation (counted as one feat), two skills (counted as no feat), access to incredibly powerful Adept feats (counted as four feats), and four additional free feats. using this method, this gives them a total of 9 feats.

Now, some may disagree with me, but of the people I've talked to - the most common view is that the Expert Role is the most 'useful' starting class in a typical game. Obviously, a game requiring more magic will be skewed towards Adepts, and a Combat heavy game will lean more towards Warriors.

Still, I don't see that even by freeing up Armor Training (light & heavy) & Weapon Training to become three free feats doesn't give too much of an advantage to Warriors.

But that's just my point of view.
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Postby Azza » Sun Aug 07, 2005 6:55 pm

Ok I see you went into more than just freeing all the feats up for each class. Thanks for the reasoning and explanation. I was giving my first impression but now I've changed my mind and agree :D .
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Postby Dork Elf » Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:03 am

Grim:
You have some good ideas here, and some I plan to use. I'm just at the just nuts and bolts stage right now... nothing much new in the way of powers or feats till I get familiar with the system. I like:

Freeing up all feats at chargen (expert and adept 4 and warrior 5).

Ability-specific powers: I like the idea of certain powers requiring certain ability mods, though I am considering a few options based on supernatural "traditions" (source from whence powers are recieved)... but my basic adept will use whatever mod the power calls for, for the most part, depending on setting. I definitely don't care for the "choose your own ability" thing for the settings I have in mind.

Your Counter-Magic ideas are sound. I have been toying with an adept tradition that focuses on fast-casting via shouts and songs and specializes in counterspell-type powers and utility, and I think your mechanic there will help flesh that out and gimme some ideas :)

Mental Finesse: velly velly nice. Definitely needed imo.

Some of my own/others I am thinking of using:

Skill Training: each time you take this feat, add two known skills. The rank for these skills is (character level +3) /2 or expert level, whichever is higher. Alternately, select one skill at character level +3. Increases the expert's skill-based advantage over warrior and adept while overall making gaining skills harder. I like each skill to be something meaningful for characters in my games since so much of the adventures tend to be light on combat and heavy on interaction and skills. Maybe harsh, but playtesting will tell. Maybe straight-up d20 skill points would work better, I dunno.

Parry: modifier is STR/DEX rounded up. Allows for full Str bonus even if Dex is only slightly lower (or vice versa). Balances the logic of parrying and the balance of the mechanic in the game I think. Very minor and possibly inconsequential issue, but it makes me feel better inside.

Weapons have Str requirements. If Str of character is lower than req, subtract the difference from all attack and initiative rolls with that weapon. One-handed weapons may be wielded with 2 hands to lower this penalty by one. (optional: materwork/empowered reduces str req by one?)

Weapon damage bonus is subtracted from initiative roll. Masterwork weapons reduce this penalty by one.

Wild Talents: a character may take a number of Wild Talents equal to WIS+1. Normal control loss is applied to these powers. All Corruption checks have a -2 applied to any Wild Power use if it warrants a check. Additional Wild Talents may be taken past this "safe" number, but all Corruption and Fatigue checks for these additional powers suffer a -2 penalty, and a Corruption check is made every time one of them is used, even during loss of control. (if you can't tell I LIKE loss of control!)

Any use of a fatiguing power is subject to an armor check penalty +1 (i.e. the penalty is one worse than it normally would be) if armor is worn while casting.

New Feat:
Strength of Power: allows one's STR to subtract from the armor check penalty applied to fatiguing powers.

About it for now.
Last edited by Dork Elf on Mon Sep 05, 2005 6:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
Dork Elf
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