Ithmong House Rules
Bandaging - In a game without hit locations, bandaging has to be rather abstract. It will be assumed that whatever training brought you to first level included rudimentary first aid training sufficient to use a "bandage" to stop further loss of hit points. Someone with the healing proficiency can stop further damage and restore 1d3 points without making a proficiency check, as long as they have the kind of "bandage" you normally buy for about 1g. A successful proficiency check lets you improvise a bandage. The benefits of any wound dressing, poultice, ointment, etc., is added and requires no proficiency check. A proficiency check may be required to bring a dying character to 0 without magic or to deal with poison, burns, or other trauma. If bandaging is attempted during combat, both participants are considered "helpless" for that round. You can only benefit from "bandaging" once per battle, and only during or within 1 turn of the end of the combat. It does not help old wounds.
Criticals & Fumbles - We will be using new crit and fumble charts. Spells and other magic that requires a "to hit" roll, are subject to crits and fumbles. Magical crits will generally be handled on the new Enhanced Magic table. Magical fumbles may be rolled on the DM's "Miscast Table".
Death - Constitution does not drop when you die, but the recovery needed after a raise dead, reincarnate, or resurrection will be enforced. Different temples and NPC clerics will consider which god or gods you worship when deciding if they will attempt to raise you and how much that will cost. Gods will not usually allow their clerics to raise the followers of their enemies. Your original Con is the total number of times you can be raised. Period. Even with a wish.
Death's Door - At 0 hit points or less (except for characters with "iron will" and a few monsters) you are stunned and can no longer function normally. You cannot attack, defend, move, activate an item that requires manipulating it, or get something out of your pouch, belt, pack, etc. You can speak, including a verbal command to activate an item or cast a "verbal only" spell. You can see, including any gaze attack. You can breathe, including any breath weapon. You can swallow, including drinking a potion if someone else brings the liquid to your lips. And you can use any innate or mentally activated items or abilities.
At -1 or less you are mortally wounded and will die if you do not receive help. But you do NOT lose consciousness until you go below zero by 1 pt per level or hit die. A cure wounds spell or any potion of healing magically brings you to exactly 0 hit points. (Keoghtom's Ointment restores x hit points, which may leave you at positive or negative, but it can be applied even if you are at less than -10 if done within 1 turn. ) Death occurs when you reach -10 hit points, or -1 per Con point, whichever is greater.
Economics - We will be using the following coins: copper, silver, gold, platinum, and a new one made of mithril. Each is worth 10 of the one before it. (Note: that is 10 gold to a plat, not 5.) They vary in size and shape (but still average 50 to a pound), and each is stamped with the local marks, but they are basically worth nearly the same as the pure metal they contain, so foreign coins are acceptable to many merchants and the incentive for counterfeiting is small.
A silver coin will be worth approximately one dollar in buying power. An average worker (farmer, foot soldier, etc.) makes about 4s per hour, or around 50g per month, before taxes.
Familiars - Familiars are not normal animals, as they appear. They are spirits from the resident plane of the wizard's god, sent by the deity in answer to the summoning spell find familiar.
Familiars gain 2 hit pts and 1 pt of intelligence each time their wizard goes up a level. The familiar's intelligence can never go above its wizard's. Its damage and THAC0 do NOT go up with these increases. The familiar has the same saving throws as its wizard, and if it is in contact with its wizard it saves for no damage and fails for 1/2. All familiars can communicate telepathically with their wizard with a range of line of sight or 10' per wizard's lvl if the familiar is out of sight. Each familiar will also grant some special protection or ability to its wizard.
Familiars can use magic items they can wear, carry, or hold and they can be healed, raised, etc. with appropriate spells. If the familiar is killed, it's wizard loses 1 life energy level just as if drained by an undead and must save vs death. If you fail, you go insane for 3d6 rounds. This temporary insanity may cause the wizard to be helpless, suicidal, or enraged.
Familiars have the same "death's door" benefit as player characters, so it does not die until it reaches -10 hit points, but then, being extra-planer, it "poofs". A wizard may be able to have a slain familiar returned by the god. There is a 1% chance per level, and this can be attempted once per day. The god will require some sort of sacrifice or obligation for the return of the familiar.
Haggling - Prices can vary based on success at this non-weapon proficiency. Each NPC trying to sell you a product or service will have this skill. You can pay the asking price without haggling, or you can try to get a better price. To try to get a reduced price, you and the vendor each make a proficiency check. If you both fail, or both succeed, you pay the normal price. If the vendor fails but you succeed, you pay 50% less. And if you fail and the vendor succeeds, you pay 50% more.
Heraldry - Ranking nobles, knights, and officials, clerical orders, merchant costers, mercenary groups, and adventuring companies, own and bear distinctive coats of arms. In addition, awards of status and privilege are accompanied by distinctive medals and badges. The non-weapon proficiency of Heraldry will be quite useful in this campaign.
Hit Points - At 1st lvl you get max hit points for your class, with any adjustments for exceptionally high or low Con. This is also your "body points". This is how much damage you can sustain if sleeping, or immobilized. (Monsters have "body points" equal to twice their hit dice plus any bonus hit points. So a troll, with its 6+6 hit dice, has 18 body points.) Body points do not go up as you gain levels. Dual and multi-classed characters get the better of the two, not the average. To kill a helpless victim, you must roll anything but a 1 to hit, then do at least the "body points" of damage. Thieves can get their backstab multiplier.
Items and Spells - Some weapons, armor, magic items, and wizard spells you are used to will not be available, and some new ones will be introduced. Most of the changes will be to keep the power level moderate, but some changes will be made to capture a more "southern" feel, a la Al Qadim, or just to introduce some novelty. No changes in priestly spells are contemplated at this time, but some gods may be known by unfamiliar names in the south, and there is a slightly different "mix" of local temples. Weapons, armor, and shields that ARE made available, will conform to the rules in C&T.
There will be fewer magic items made available. As a rule of thumb, you can expect a character to get 1 useful, permanent item every 2 levels and the magic "plus" of weapons will be around 1 per 4 levels. AC enhancers will be especially limited and rules about combining them will be strictly enforced. Most permanent items will at least be distinctive looking, with a picture wherever possible for the card, even if it is a simple +1. Many items will be unique, custom designed for your character, to be sought as the object of an adventure.
Level Drains - The level draining of some undead, items, and spells, does not drain experience. It drains "life energy levels", or LEL's. Every living being has at least 1 LEL, and you get another for every level of experience. So you have 2 LEL's at 1st level. When you are hit by something that drains life energy levels, you lose 1 LEL and 1 Con point per level drained. You do not lose experience, spells, or other PC abilities. However, the loss of Con may cause a hit point adjustment immediately.
If LEL or Con goes to 0, you die. You will rise as an undead of the same type that killed you (or some type of undead determined by the DM if you were drained by certain spells or items) in 1d% hours unless you receive one of the following spells: bless, prayer, consecrate, negative plane protection, raise dead, restoration, limited wish, reincarnate, resurrection, or wish, or your body is anointed with holy water or certain holy oils before the onset of the undead state. If you are killed by damage sustained from the attack of an undead, rather than the level drain, you are simply dead and will not become an undead from the damage sustained. If you rise as an undead, and then are killed, it will take a reincarnate, resurrection, or wish to bring you back.
LEL's are regained at 1 per 12 hours.
1 Con point is regained by each hour spent in the sunshine, 4 hours on the surface, or 1 day underground. The negative plane protection spell restores the drained Con fully, but only for the duration of the spell. A restoration, limited wish, or wish restores all the drained Con permanently.
Non-corporeal Creatures - Wraiths, ghosts, and other such undead, and other creatures with non-substantial forms pass through armor without hindrance, thus armor does not count for AC against them except magic armor counts the magic "plus" and some armor is enchanted especially to keep such creatures at bay.
Polymorph Other - This spell, as written, is a 6th level spell, with appropriate change in casting time, called Change Other. The 4th level spell is changed so the victim who fails the save changes form only, just like the Polymorph Self spell, with the same restrictions, and duration. There is no change in the mentality of the victim and there will always be some visual resemblance to the original form. No hit points can be gained with this spell.
Raising Stats - We are going to try allowing character points to be used to raise stats. We will keep track of initial stats (a copy of the original character sheet given to the DM), so we can go back to them if this doesn't work out. If that happens, you will be given back the character points you spent for raising the stats. So you must keep a record of them, preferably on the copy of the character sheet, so everything stays together.
If anyone thinks trading character points for a chance to raise stats is not working, you can call for a vote.
You will get 5 character points each time you go up a level. Multi-class characters must add the total needed to got to the next level for both classes, and will be given the 5 character points when they reach that total, not half for each side.
Each time you go up a level, you can try to raise one stat by 1 point, automatically raising both subabilities by 1. Racial maximums apply. If one subability is already at max, you cannot use this method to raise the other subability by 2 points. You cannot use this to raise exceptional strength. This was originally proposed as compensation for the relatively low stats of straight rolled characters, not to raise stats to new highs.
To try to raise the stat, you can spend 1 CP and then roll 3d6. If the result is higher than the stat, you get to raise it 1 point. If you spend 2 CP's, you can roll 4d6 and throw out the lowest. For 3 CP's you can roll 5d6 and throw out the lowest two. But you must decide, and spend the points, before you roll. If the roll was not higher than the stat you are trying to raise, you will have to wait until you go up another level before you can try again, no matter how many CP's you have saved up.
Resting & Regaining Spells (Clerics) - If you get at least 8 hours of restful sleep, you can pray for spells normally. If you get less rest than that, you can try to regain the spells, but you will have to make a Fitness check, at -1 per hour of rest missed, for each spell, to properly prepare the spell for casting. It takes 10 minutes per spell level to pray for them (10 minutes gets you ALL your 1st level spells, ½ hour gets all the 1st through 3rd levels, etc.). You make the check after you have spent the time for that level of spells. If the check fails, you lost the spell and the slot for the day. The penalty for lack of sleep is cumulative from day to day until you get a good 8 hours of rest. You can only regain spells once per day.
Resting & Regaining Spells (Wizards) - If you get at least 8 hours of restful sleep, you can memorize your spells normally. If you get less rest than that, you can try to regain the spells, but you will have to make a Fitness check, at -1 per hour of rest missed, for each spell, to memorize it properly. It takes 10 minutes per spell level to memorize them (10 minutes gets you ALL your 1st level spells, ½ hour gets all the 1st through 3rd levels, etc.). You make the check after you have spent the time for that level of spells. If the check fails, you have failed to properly prepare to cast the spell. You are aware of the problem and can elect to let the spell slip harmlessly from your memory, without casting it, but you lose that slot for the day. Or you can try to cast the spell. It will work normally if you can roll 1d% higher than the percent of restful sleep you lost. So, if you only got 7 hours of restful sleep, you would have to roll over 12%. If you fail, the spell is subject to the DM's Miscast Table. The penalty is cumulative as for priests. You can only regain spells once per day.
Saving Throws - Magic items will only have to save in extraordinary situations. Non-magical items will have to save vs the various kinds of destruction from time to time. There will be no "save or die" poisons, and very few "save or die" spells, in this campaign. If you take "massive damage" of a number of points equal to 3 times your Con or more from a single blow, spell, or event, you will have to make a system shock roll or be reduced to -1 hit point, dying but not dead yet.
Copyright © 1998-2006 Phillip Riley
Last Updated Sat Aug 11, 2007