House Rules

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Philosophy

Game play comes first, everything else is secondary. That includes the rules. I want my players engaged and involved in the story that is unfolding before them and anything that detracts from that is subject to removal or modification.

For more of my philosophy check out the My Philosophy page. For an interesting read check out the intro by Steve Chenault in the Castles & Crusades Quick Start Guide linked below.

Castles & Crusades

We’re using the Castles & Crusades system for this game. If you don’t know what C&C is imagine it’s the love child of the original AD&D system and D20/3E. I like it because the rules are simplified and easy to learn, putting the story and adventure in the forefront.

C&C was released in 2005 by Troll Lord Games. Check out the Quick Start Guide for an overview, and everything you need to get started.

Leveling

I’m not actually tracking experience points in this particular game. Rather, the campaign modules have been designed for a specific party in a way that will advance each character one level for every module completed.

It’s not the way I usually do it, but I’m trying it for this campaign.

Initiative

We use party based initiative. One player roles for the party, I role for the creatures. Whoever wins all members of that group gain initiative. I really got tired of trying to keep track of who rolled what.

Turn Sequence

I use a specialized turn sequence for combat that breaks actions up into specific phases, like this:

  1. Magic
  2. Missile
  3. Melee
  4. Movement

Combats that follow this sequence seem to resolve faster and smoother.

Spell Points

Over the years of playing with another gaming group we developed some rules for spellcasters that involved spell points (think of these as Mana if that’s more familiar). Higher level spells require more spell points to cast, and you may cast any spell you know if you have the points for it, without needing to memorize the spells beforehand.

With this system the player is also able to cast higher level spells they wouldn’t normally be able to cast, though die roll modifiers exist, both adding or subtracting, for casting above or below your normal spell skill level.

More information is available on the Spell Points page.

Death and Dismemberment

This is a blatant steal from Oxtales OP site.

  • When a character’s hit point total is 0 or below, a character is not necessarily dead or unconscious.
  • They must roll on the ‘Death and Dismemberment’ table.
  • Each successive roll after the first is at a cumulative -1.
  • Damage to a body part on this chart can be negated by sacrificing your metal armor covering that body part, or a shield if the damaged limb is on the shield side.

Dismemberment Table

Roll 3d6 Effect
18 You laugh at the threat of death, and gain 1d4 hitpoints.
16-17 Your life passes before your eyes, but you’re lucky. No additional effect.
14-15 You’re seeing stars. Still standing, but stunned and unable to act for a round.
13 Knocked down and stunned, unable to act for a round.
11-12 Knocked unconscious for 2d6 rounds, unless you’re wearing a helmet. If you are, it’s ruined, but you’re only stunned for a round.
9-10 Broken limb bone (roll d8: 1-2: weapon/dominant arm, 3: non weapon arm, 4-5: dominant leg, 6: non-dominant leg 7-8: ribs ) 2d4+9 weeks or a Cure Serious to heal. Stunned one round, but can keep fighting with a deficit.
8 Bleeding out. You can still fight for 1d4 rounds, but you’ll be dead in 2d4 rounds unless your wound is healed by a spell or cauterized.
6-7 Severed limb (roll d6: 1-2: weapon/dominant arm, 3: non weapon arm, 4-5: dominant leg, 6: non-dominant leg). Con save for one more round of action, then unconscious while you bleed out in 2d4 rounds unless healed by higher magic than Cure Light Wounds or are cauterized. First healing spell will only stop the bleeding, other cure spells will be required to heal the hit points lost. A regenerate spell is required to replace the severed limb.
4-5 Fatal Wound. Character dies in 2d4 rounds unless magical healing is applied. Cure Serious will prevent death, but unless a Cure Critical spell is cast, the character is completely incapacitated and will remain an invalid for 3d6 weeks.
3 Instant Death.

Movement

This is a handy guide I use for determining travel time over distances. Numbers listed are miles per day.

Terrain Horse Wagon Foot
Road – Flat 40 20 20
Road – Hilly 30 15 15
Road – Mountaineous 20 10 9
Off-Road – Flat 30 15 15
Off-Road – Hilly 25 10 12
Off-Road – Mountaineous 10 5 6
Off-Road – Thick Forest/Scrub 15 8
Off-Road – Swampy 10 5

Road would also include a well groomed trail for horses or on foot. This assumes healthy horses/people with average load and a ten hour travel day – adjust as needed. Armored knights riding small ponies are not going to cover the distance listed above. Also, a lightly burdened rider pushing his mount could typically cover 100 miles or more in a day. Note that wagons don’t travel well in thick forests or swamps.

House Rules

Chronicles of Rilim RedpointC