House Rules

Adventuring

Encumbrance & Movement

I will not be enforcing encumbrance effects (i.e. reduced movement rate) from carried weight. However, this does not mean that players can carry hundreds of pounds of equipment on their person; players are still limited by their maximum carried loads. Also, movement rates are affected normally by armor: the listed penalties to movement with heavier armors still apply.

Rapid Reload Feat

At the player’s option, the Rapid Reload feat from Player’s Handbook may be used for any ranged weapon that requires a move-action to load (i.e., slings). Please note however: when taking take the feat, the player must still select which specific ranged weapon the feat applies to (i.e., hand crossbow, heavy crossbow, light crossbow, sling, etc.); taking the feat once does not apply to ALL such ranged weapons.

Beast Heart Adept Prestige Class

The Beast Heart Adept prestige class from Dungeonscape is an excellent class option for players interested in monstrous adventuring companions. Although the prestige class is made to build on animal-influencing abilities (Handle Animal skill, Wild Empathy ability), it would not be unusual for the class to be based on NPC-influencing abilities (Diplomacy skill, etc), especially when dealing with sentient monsters and magical beasts.

At the player’s option, the Beast Heart Adept prestige class may be taken with the following alterations (underlined):
  • Requirements:
    • Diplomacy Skill: 8 ranks
    • Knowledge (arcana) Skill: 4 ranks
    • Knowledge (dungeoneering) Skill: 4 ranks
    • Negotiator Feat
Notable class abilities are summarized here, some with alterations (underlined):
  • Monstrous Companion ability: The Beast Heart Adept gains a +4 bonus on Diplomacy checks and Monster Empathy checks with his Monstrous Companion. A Diplomacy-based Beast Heart Adept does NOT gain a +4 bonus to Handle Animal checks with his Monstrous Companion. Consequently, it is recommended that the player select only creatures with an Intelligence score of 3 or higher as companions.
  • Monster Empathy ability: This ability is largely unchanged, except that a Beast Heart Adept with 5 or more ranks in the Diplomacy skill gains a +2 bonus on Monster Empathy checks. For reference, a monster empathy check is 1d20 + Beast Heart Adept level + Charisma modifier; the ability functions like Diplomacy for changing the attitudes of magical beasts or non-sentient aberrations (the latter with a -4 penalty).
  • Monster Handler ability: This ability normally uses the Handle Animal skill to affect magical beasts and aberrations with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2. Without ranks in the Handle Animal skill, a Beast Heart Adept may instead use the Diplomacy skill to ‘Handle’ or ‘Push’ non-sentient magical beasts and aberrations (not animals), but with a -8 penalty. Note: the Diplomacy skill cannot be used in this fashion to ‘Teach a trick’, ‘Train an aberration/magical beast’, or ‘Rear an aberration/magical beast’ (all as described under the Handle Animal skill). Even though Dimplomacy is language-based, it is not unreasonable that body language, tone, and emotions can still convey intent.

Leveling Up

Taking New Skills

The cost of purchasing a skill point in a new skill (i.e., one without any previous ranks) is one (1) for class skills and two (2) for cross-class skills, as opposed to the published rules. [The rulebooks state that the cost is 3 + (character level).] Also, if a character is multiclassing, any skills obtained from a previous class will always count as class skills, even if the skill is not a class skill in the new class.

Hit Points at New Levels

Players can choose the average value (rounded down) for hit points instead of rolling at new levels. For example, instead of rolling a 1d10, a player can choose to get 5 hit points at a new level (the average of a 1d10 roll is 5.5; rounded down it is 5). Average of the die rolls are as follows: 1d4 – 2.5; 1d6 – 3.5; 1d8 – 4.5; 1d10 – 5.5; 1d12 – 6.5.

House Rules

Serenity, Indeed ghostofeasthalls