Alternate, House, and Optional Rules


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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So what alternate/optional rules from Pathfinder does your DM/party use?

What optional rules does your DM/party use?


My house rules got pretty expansive, but the favorites were automatic bonus progression (from Unchained) and the condensing of core feats. Most of the problem child feats are really all in the corebook, with a handful in the APG. Condensing some feat lines and removing some feats makes for a much better character building experience.


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We use crit-cards and fumble cards.

They just add a bit more excitement to those extreme rolls.


Use the original printed version of crane style, crane wing, crane riposte, scarred witch doctor, and jingasa of the fortunate soldier.


A new one I started a month or two ago is that potions heal the maximum amount that they can, based on being made by a caster of the lowest level. (9 for light, 19 for moderate, 29 for serious).
Wands and spells are used all the time, potions usually just end up taking up space on the list of loot. Using this rule has made it so that my players use them in combat a little more often.

Years ago I got rid of the rule that if you're at 0 hit points you're staggered and can only do one action and if it's a standard action then you lose one hit point after doing that action.
At 0 hit points you're unconscious and dying.
Have a rule for being at a single numerical value of hit points is ridiculous.


I think there are too many item creation feats, so I reduced them to 2 feats: Consumables (scrolls, potions, wands, and staves) and Permanent (Arms & Armor, Rings, Rods, and Wondrous) magic items.

I converted the Improved Scroll Casting from the Scrollmaster Wizard archetype and made it a discovery. A discovery that you can pick at 10th level. I consider the archetype silly, but I liked the ability it had.


Automatic bonus progression (slightly modified to make weapon/armor special abilities more available), death threshold is minus (Con + level) rather than just -Con, spells higher than 4th level don't exist, and a handful of spot bans on spells. That was my list in the last PF game I ran.


-A Nat 20 on a critical confirmation raises your critical multiple (and can keep confirming)
-You don't die until one round after whenever you were brought down
-Wands of healing give the average amount when out of combat


I have a lot of these, but my players like them and they give me interesting games. I'd love to hear what people think of them and I'm happy to explain why I chose to do something. When I give advice or answer questions, I do so ignoring my own house rules because I assume folks are playing as close to PF RAW as possible.

Sil's House Rules:
- Players may choose to take a bonus feat instead of two traits

- PCs get bonus "free" skill points based upon their backstory (Ranks = Character Level in one Profession/Performance/Craft skill and one knowledge skill related to said profession)

- Classes have been rebalanced, all classes have at minimum 4+Int skills per level. (To compensate, Alchemist is bumped up to 6+Int and Investigator to 8+Int) Additionally, all classes now have two good saves and one poor saving throw.

- Ranger favored enemy applies to creature TYPES now instead of the regular ranger chart. Outsider applies to all outsiders and Humanoid applies to all humanoids.

- Rogue, Ninja, and Vigilante are full BAB classes with D10 HP. Additionally, the Vital Strike chain of feats applies sneak attack according to the number of dice rolled.

- As the above rule makes Avenger Vigilante's worse, the Vigilante no longer needs to choose between Stalker or Avenger. Archetypes that trade out Vigilante specialization don't get this benefit (but archetypes that force you into choosing Stalker or Avenger do).

- Fighter, Barbarian, Brawler, Cavalier, Gunslinger, Monk, Ninja, Rogue, Samurai, Shifter, Slayer, Swashbuckler, and Vigilante gain access to the combat stamina system if they choose. Archetypes that get access to spellcasting do not get this choice.

- All classes with Martial Weapon Proficiency gain Exotic Weapon Proficiency at 1st, 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th levels. Weapon mods as a system are expanded and cheaper in my campaign so this helps players use them.

- Crossbows and "guns" can be made into composite weaponry just like longbows and shortbows. Rapid Reload counts for entire "classes" of weapons like Slings, Crossbows, Clockwork Guns, and etc

- "Guns" are not blackpowder weapons and instead rely either on clockwork, steam, or magic to function. Instead of ignoring the entire AC of a target within 1 range increment they ignore a certain amount based on the gun's caliber. Smaller guns ignore less, bigger guns ignore more. Guns no longer risk exploding, so the Gunslinger is in the shop to get reworked for my campaign setting. Ninja is too, I wanna get an Unchained Ninja built but I can't decide if I like what I have built or not.

- On level up, Players can reroll an HP result equal to or less than their Constitution modifier. This allows you to bypass the normal HP limit (a Wizard with 24 Constitution is treated as having rolled a 7 on their six sided dice). This rule is applied to enemy HP rolls as well. Lich Sorcerers are terrifying.

- Natural 20 on your critical hit confirmation roll increases the multiplier and you get to try again until you stop rolling 20s.

- Death happens at the start of your turn the round after you hit negative Con mod. If you get stabbed and you haven't acted yet this round, you have until the start of your turn on the following round to get healed. If you have acted this round, you have until the start of your next turn.

- Avoiding death in the manner described above inflicts an injury that lasts a week and cannot be healed with magic. Injuries are nasty, but Resurrection is worse.


We used the automatic bonus progression in the last campaign but unfortunately we are not using it in our current one.

House rules that we are currently using.
-Healing spells, items, and effects are at max when not in combat.
-No XP, just level up when the AP says to do so.
-Coins do not count to carrying capacity/encumbrance.
-No leadership feat.
-3 traits but one has to be AP specific.

Albatoonoe, what are the feats that you banned?

Warped Savant, I like the idea of potions being maximized.

ShroudedInLight for the classes that had only one good save that you gave two good saves, what are these classes new good save?


Dragon78 wrote:

-No XP, just level up when the AP says to do so.

-Coins do not count to carrying capacity/encumbrance.
-No leadership feat.
-3 traits but one has to be AP specific.

We actually use all of these as well.

The traits one varies from campaign to campaign, but that's the most common variant.

The others I assume are all very common house rules.


Off the top of my head:
Breath of life counts as a cure spell for spontaneous casting.
Abilities that shove enemies around can put them in dangerous positions. (If you fight with your back to a cliff you deserve to be pushed off it.)
Any ability that allows fighting at negative hp also allows staying concious until nonlethal damage = current hp + con.
If you receive a feat that you chose from a fixed source later you may immediately swap the chosen feat for some form of upgrade. (Easy example: a cleric buys a martial weapon proficiency, later if they take a fighter level the feat spent on martial proficiency is upgraded to weapon focus.)
Background skills from Unchained are used.
Any time the strength modifier to damage is adjusted power attack scaling (+1/2/3 per -1) is automatically adjusted to match (this only applies to a couple odd bits like flurrying with a 2 handed weapon or double slice.)


Rolling a Natural 20 Does full damage even if you don’t confirm it.
Minimum average HP per level
Several 3.5 feats and spells
Druids elemental form does damage based on the closest elemental HD to their level.


Also our group uses average HP(1/2HD+1).

Evilthorne, you mean max damage even if they don't confirm?

Anyone play Wrath of the Righteous without mythic rules? If you did, did you give the players anything in return?


Java Man wrote:
Breath of life counts as a cure spell for spontaneous casting.

MVP Award.


Anyone do alternate stat growth rules?

examples would be...

-Gain +1 physical stat and +1 mental stat at every even level.

-Gain +2 to three stats at 4th and every 4 levels after.

-Gain a +1 stat every level, never for the same stat twice in a row.


This applies to all games that require rolling hp, but the GM and player both roll and take the higher.

The Exchange

I have a House Rules that "Playing Dead" is an immediate action that can be taken whenever your PC takes damage.

This allows someone to "fall over dead" when they get hit, instead of having to wait until their Initiative....

GM: "The troll hits you for 36HP damage..."
Player: "Ouch! I fall down and play dead before it takes another swing!"
GM: "Roll me a bluff..."
Player: "You know, after doing the math, it looks like I'm not playing... guess my bluff just got a lot better..."


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I have a house rule that the summoning spells can't be used to summon multiples from a lower level, to prevent crowding the field and slowing down play. Superior Summoning instead allows you to summon from a lower level and add the advanced template to it.


So far a gentlemen's agreement with my players who use summons, animate dead or the like has been enough to not impose a rule sucb as Melkiador's above, but I have considered it.


They're is already another 890 post thread on this same subject; I'm not saying Necro that one or stop this one. But I actually read it and pulled a lot from that to soften the edges of the house rules I already use. So it's another resource if anything.

My fun ones?
You roll a 20 and confirm with a 20? Automatic max damage.

If you botch with a roll of 1, you announce it to the group by playing the fail horn sound from The Price is Right. ;D


Forgot one of my other main ones, the only alignment restrictions for classes are that Divine casters/empowered characters must meet the restrictions imposed by their deity/faith. Not all deities/faiths have paladins, but some that are not LG do.


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Oh yeah, alignment. Gone in my game. For spells and similar there were some types added & accordingly effected (divine, infernal, arcane and fey) but most people and creatures had none of those types.


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Biggest is using most of the changes involving the "Feat Tax Relief".

Highlights:

My Changes:
**I use most of the changes proposed by Michael Iantoro to reduce the cumbersome feat taxes in Pathfinder. http://michaeliantorno.com/feat-taxes-in-pathfinder/

Keep in mind the above changes are a huge buff for characters.
Most of my other changes nerf things a bit, but I think they make sense, and balance things out overall.

**On a confirmed critical hit, the base weapon damage is max by default. The extra dice from the critical, and any bonus damage, are still rolled as normal. This way you get at least full normal damage for your attack.
(Max total damage is a common house rule, but I think that's too much. I'm also a big supporter of confirming criticals - reasons available on request)

**Feats taken for specific weapons (like focus or specialization) apply to any weapon in it's weapon group (see Fighter's Advanced Weapon Training for groups), as long as character otherwise meets prerequisite for the weapon. (So just because an exotic weapon is in group you have focus for, you wouldn't gain benefit of weapon focus if you weren't proficient in it).

**From Unchained: I use Signature Skill unlocks and the unchained versions of those classes.

**Divine Casters: I always though it was overpowered that certain divine casters could prepare from their ENTIRE class list. So cleric, druid, etc., are treated like wizards for the number of spells they start with and can learn/have access to. Use Wisdom or whatever their spell-casting key ability is.
They don't have a physical 'spellbook' they need to use or prepare from, but player will keep track of the spell repertoire they can prepare from. They can add/learn to their list available the same way a wizard does by expending time, resources and making rolls. Spontaneous spells for the class (like cures or summon nature's ally) are automatically accessible and don't count against their number available.
**This only changes things for 'full list' casters. Divine casters that already have a limited list of "know spells" aren't effected by this.

Languages: Speaking and being literate in a language are gained separately. Character speaks the starting languages for their race, but are only literate in their primary racial tongue. INT bonus can be used to read/write starting languages or to add speaking OR literacy in another available to them. In the same way, each Linguistics rank allows either speaking OR literacy in a new language.

Leadership Feat is gone. Cohorts and followers are gained through game-play. Numbers and level are not dependent on character's level.

Endurance doesn't allow sleeping in armor without fatigue. Sleeping in any armor with a effective -3 armor check penalty or worse, will be fatigued/un-rested when they wake.
Armor training, masterwork/magic armor and other effects that bring armor check penalties down, will mitigate this.

Encumbrance: I apply an additional 5ft movement penalty for heavy armor/loads. (Otherwise there is little difference between medium & heavy encumbrance).

*Weapons:
Norm: A masterwork weapon provides a +1 enhancement bonus on attack rolls.
House Rule Addition: Masterwork weapons also add a +1 equipment bonus to use, or defend against, relevant combat maneuvers.

*Armor:
Norm: Masterwork armor has its armor check penalty lessened by 1.
House Rule Addition: Masterwork armor also has its spell failure chance reduced by 5%.

Changes to Masterwork Weapon/Armor Costs:
It shouldn't cost exact same to masterwork a dagger and a greatsword.
Same thoughts for armor/shields, so:

Light Armor: +100gp___________Light Weapon: +50gp
Medium Armor: +200gp__________One-Hand Weapon: +100gp
Heavy Armor: +300gp___________Two-Hand Weapon: +150gp
Bklr/Lt. Shields: +50gp_______Martial Weapon: +100gp
Hvy. /Twr Shields: +100gp_____Exotic Weapon: +200gp

*Weapon cost is cumulative: A one-handed, martial weapon will cost an additional 200gp.
*Adding the masterwork quality to a double weapon costs twice the normal amount.

Injury & Death:

**Wounded** status: If you have less than half of your total HP, you are 'wounded' and suffer a -2 penalty on all die rolls. Same for enemies.

*If you have a Con bonus, you are not "Dying" until your negative HP total exceeds you con bonus. You are 'dead-deceased-done for at negative HP equal to Con score.
example: 15 CON (+2 bonus) is disabled at 0 HP down to -2 HP; and are 'dying' at -3 HP or lower. Dead at -15 as normal.

** I also tweaked added or deleted some things for some feats and skills. Plus a few minor changes, and my own character generation method. But the above cover most of it. The Feat Tax thing changes a LOT.


PodTrooper wrote:

* Weapons: 

Norm: A masterwork weapon provides a +1 enhancement bonus on attack rolls. 
House Rule Addition: Masterwork weapons also add a +1 equipment bonus to use, or defend against, relevant combat maneuvers.

I don't understand what you mean here, could you gove us an example?

(All I can think is that the MW enhancement bonus would also apply to your trip attemts etc - this is true in the base game and doesn't need a house rule.)

PodTrooper wrote:

*If you have a Con bonus, you are not "Dying" until your negative HP total exceeds you con bonus. You are 'dead-deceased-done for at negative HP equal to Con score. 

example: 15 CON (+2 bonus) is disabled at 0 HP down to -2 HP; and are 'dying' at -3 HP or lower. Dead at -15 as normal.

I think someone upthread already pointed out how weird it is that there's a special set of rules for being at one specific HP amount. I like this solution, I might talk to my group about it.


Anyone use average(1/2HD+1) hit points?

How about full hit points?


Dragon78 wrote:

Anyone use average(1/2HD+1) hit points?

How about full hit points?

I wish we did -_-

We roll twice and take the higher result (I roll one the GM rolls one).

I've already had one character get screwed by low rolls - he died in his first combat (I was expecting it so I had a backup). Luckily he was an investigator with the middle-aged template so it made sense that he was fragile. It totally fit the story and I used his death to introduce my new character.

I'm now playing a Bloodrager (until last session the only front-liner) and last level-up the GM rolled a 2 on his HP (I rolled a 1). He's level 5 and I've already spent 2 feats on HP. Low rolls could absolutely make this character unplayable.

I think this is the only leveling mechanic that's still randomised. It doesn't matter at all to wizards/archers/etc, but it can totally screw some characters.


We use max for 1st, and at each level up the players choose avg+1 or roll. Very few times has anyone rolled.

Retraining rules for increasing HP are also in use, so HP totals tend to be higher.


Dragon78 wrote:

Anyone use average(1/2HD+1) hit points?

How about full hit points?

Max at first level, average after that. Round up on odd levels, down on even. No rolling allowed; rolling favors characters with low hit die.

A few others that haven't been mentioned yet:

Starting ability scores- pick any scores you want, 3 odd and three even. The sum of the six modifiers must equal 6 after racial modifiers. Minimum 3/5 and maximum 16/18/20, depending on racial modifiers.

All those goofy 3+(spellcasting ability mod)/day rays and touches "obviously a spell but isn't" abilities from bloodlines, domains and the like are gone. Instead, you get 1 first level spell at-will. It cannot restore hit points.

All of the physical skills (Climb, Swim, etc) are gone. New Skill: Athletics. Acrobatics is for feats of agility and precision, where Athletics is about power and endurance. Jump across a gorge? Athletics. Jump through a stagecoach window? Acrobatics.


No stats below an 8 at character creation, even after racial modifiers are applied.

Max HP per level.

Monsters have max HP.

Milestone leveling, not XP.


Dragon78 wrote:

Anyone use average(1/2HD+1) hit points?

How about full hit points?

I give full hit points for low level (1st-2nd) beginning characters to start with.

After that, the player has the option of rolling the die, or taking 1/2HD+1 by default when they advance.
If they choose to roll, they have to accept the result.

Since people are also posting about stats, I usually use point-buy. Mainly just to keep the player characters on par with each other, and prevent big differences because of good/bad luck.
For rolling though, I've always liked 2d6+6 (arrange as desired). it gives a 8-18 range (13 average). Being the heroes, with many challenges ahead, I think it's OK for them to be a bit faster/smarter/stronger than the typical townsfolk.


MrCharisma wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:

Anyone use average(1/2HD+1) hit points?

How about full hit points?

I wish we did -_-

We roll twice and take the higher result (I roll one the GM rolls one).

I've already had one character get screwed by low rolls - he died in his first combat (I was expecting it so I had a backup). Luckily he was an investigator with the middle-aged template so it made sense that he was fragile. It totally fit the story and I used his death to introduce my new character.

I'm now playing a Bloodrager (until last session the only front-liner) and last level-up the GM rolled a 2 on his HP (I rolled a 1). He's level 5 and I've already spent 2 feats on HP. Low rolls could absolutely make this character unplayable.

I think this is the only leveling mechanic that's still randomised. It doesn't matter at all to wizards/archers/etc, but it can totally screw some characters.

I once had a paladin who rolled so bad, I had less hps than the wizard (same con). That's why I always do hps as a DM, Max 1st (and sometimes 2nd), then take avg(rnd up).


For character creation I always use point buy (typically 20 points).
HP are max at first level, then (like a lot of others) 1/2HD rounded up.


We're using a different stat levling system in our iron gods game at the moment.

15 point buy at 1st level.
No stat upgrades at level 4/8/12/16/20.
Instead you get one extra point to spend at every level, using the same rules as the initial point buy.

So my 15 point Bloodrager used his 2nd and 3rd level points to buy a 12 in DEX (from 10). I'm now saving for 5 levels to increase my STR from 16 to 18 at level 8 (this would normally cost 7 points, but it was 14+2racial=16 with racial modifiers).

I kind of like this, as it basically solves the MAD vs SAD problems with point buys.


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Valandil Ancalime wrote:
I once had a paladin who rolled so bad, I had less hps than the wizard...

This is why I'll never understand rolling for hit points and ability scores. Rolling dice serves to represent random chance and gives us the points of tension in a game. Rolling dice outside of the game doesn't offer any tension, and can lead to differences in character's abilities that are both significant and long-lasting.

Rolling bad results in failure. Failure isn't enjoyable on it's own, but it's necessary to create tension, which is enjoyable. Rolling poorly on an attack, save or skill means you fail a specific attempt. Rolling bad ability scores or hp means you'll be less likely to succeed at everything involving that statistics forever and always.

I ran a game where the average sum of a character's ability score modifiers was +10. One of those characters had a +5. The difference between 13/10/16/8/14/11 and 10/15/16/18/16/10 does not a fair, enjoyable game make.


Anyone use MP type rules?

Example: MP = Lv + highest mental stat modifier. Is used for wands,staves, and other charge based magic items. MP used is 1 for every spell level of the spell.

Anyone use any AC rules?

Example(1): AC bonus optional rule- add 1/2 character level to AC(standard, touch, and flatfooted) and to CMD. No amulets of natural armor and no rings of protection.

Example(2): Every class with any armor prof. has a monk-like AC bonus option when not when wearing armor. Uses highest current mental stat.

Example(3): Force Armor- basically a constant mage armor effect as a super natural ability. AC bonus increases based on level, maxing out at +9.

Anyone else make all skills class skills?


Dragon78 wrote:
Anyone use any AC rules?

I had been working on a complete reverse-engineering of the system to create what's more or less an entirely new game where you purchase everything separately; hit dice, skills, defense, etc.

I figured, if you can increase your ability to strike opponents in combat, surely you can increase your ability to avoid being struck.

Dragon78 wrote:
Anyone else make all skills class skills?

I think Pathfinder's handling of class vs cross-class skill is especially simple and elegant, so I never felt much of a reason to change it. Though I will often swap around class skills so they fit a given concept better.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:

Anyone use any AC rules?

Example(1): AC bonus optional rule- add 1/2 character level to AC(standard, touch, and flatfooted) and to CMD. No amulets of natural armor and no rings of protection.

I've played around with this idea exactly, calling it Base Defense Bonus. It works really well in my experience, but it requires various tweaks to other stuff (you have to houserule how every deflection bonus or nat armor bonus works after that). Plus you have to adjust treasure once you do, as the cost of natural armor amulets and rings of protection eats a lot of treasure budget.

Together with the above, I've also played around with, but never used, the idea that natural armor works like normal armor, ie - it has an AC, max dex bonus, etc. And that just like two sets of armor don't stack, manufactured armor and natural armor don't stack. Kind of makes spells like barkskin work more like mage armor.


I've gone to increasing the Base10 AC starting point by 2 every 4 levels when ability scores increase.

Base 12 AC at 4th, 14 at 8th, etc. Obviously it in no way out paces the martials BAB progression, but its a little bit that helps in the long run. (I also don't run very magic heavy campaigns. None of my gamers run with +5 weapons and armor by the end).


Quixote wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Anyone use any AC rules?

I had been working on a complete reverse-engineering of the system to create what's more or less an entirely new game where you purchase everything separately; hit dice, skills, defense, etc.

I figured, if you can increase your ability to strike opponents in combat, surely you can increase your ability to avoid being struck.

I am also undergoing a rework to fix the things that do not work well together. This has led to a great degree of updating since so much crosses over into different parts of the game. I have a great interest in your idea Quixote if you are willing to share, via PM of course.


Thedmstrikes wrote:
I have a great interest in your idea Quixote if you are willing to share, via PM of course.

Why via PM? You could start a thread about it so people can share ideas.

You could name that thread something like: "Alternate, House, and Optional Rules".

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Or even use a dedicated subforum which exists solely for the purpose of stuff in this thread!


Gorbacz wrote:
Or even use a dedicated subforum which exists solely for the purpose of stuff in this thread!

You're blowin'my mind man!


Another house rule that I enjoy is community stat rolling. Individual rolling can result in disappointing disparities between party members and point-buy can leave characters feeling a little bland.

With community rolling every player rolls an array of scores and any player is free to pull from any array. The GM can even throw his own array into the mix, to be part of the action. You can use any of the other rolling methods to achieve the arrays, but I find 4d6(drop the lowest) to be the most fun for this. If you have a player that seems to always roll really well, then he gets to be the guy who helped everyone, instead of the guy who's just naturally better than everyone. And though it's possible for there to be one array that's clearly better than the others, it's more likely that different arrays will fit different character concepts better. Maybe one array will be the only one with an 18, but the rest of its scores are subpar. And maybe one array will have a lot of good but mediocre scores.

The only real downside is that you will want to hang onto the starting arrays for when a new character is needed.


Anyone house rule that weapon finesse and/or power attack is part of the combat system(no feat)?

How about combat maneuvers not provoking as long as you have a +1 base attack bonus?

Who has allowed Dex to damage without feats/class features, basically any/all finesse based weapons?


From using Iantoro's popular feat tax document for ideas, weapon finesse is now a weapon quality, not a needed feat.

I don't go as far as power attack being a part of combat, that sounds too powerful in my estimation. I don't do that for Deadly Aim either.

Only failing on a combat manuever causes an AOO. If you have the relevant feat, that of course is still negated. I want my players to try combat options.


We have several House Rules in use at our table, many of which came about from only having two or three players at a time.

-Players get max HP at first level, adding their Con score instead of modifier. This buffers early survivability.
-Many of our feats have been overhauled to provide scaling bonuses and remove feat taxes. Combat feats scale with BAB, others scale with level.
-Advantage/Disadvantage from 5e.
-Characters gain skill ranks from either Int or Wis, chosen at character creation.
-We use a skill check system where if a Skill DC can be met be taking ten and adding their modifier, they automatically succeed. This has streamlined alot of things, and adds some drama to when a skill check actually matters.

There are many others, but these are the ones off the top of my head. There are also quite a few that have been garnered from a variety of sources over the years.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
PodTrooper wrote:
**Wounded** status: If you have less than half of your total HP, you are 'wounded' and suffer a -2 penalty on all die rolls. Same for enemies.

I do something similar, but here's my beef with doing "half of your total hp"... A 10th level paladin with 25 hp is "wounded" and pays penalties while a 1st level wizard with 7 hp is perfectly healthy with no penalties. It punishes bigger, tougher characters. I've settled on "below 10 hp (but not full)." That means a 1st level wizard who takes even 1 pt of damage is "battered", but it's a small penalty and it makes sense a weak person or adventuring rookie would be more affected by pain, even small pain. Barbarians are immune to this, fighters and dwarves aren't battered until 5 hp. A feat lets you reduce it by 5 hp, too.

I do dying more cinematically, too. Dying doesn't depend on HP. Once a creature hits 0, the GM rolls 2d4+Con and it has that many rounds to be brought up above it's negative Constitution. -100 hp isn't dead yet, but it's going to take TONS of healing to get to -9 before time runs out. Stabilize spells and successful Constitution checks just extend time by 1d4. The secret timer creates a lot of tension and yet PC's will die less often with this and I like that. I don't love PCs dying unless they want to. It can and should happen now and then, but never in a silly situation or by accident.

I use Evil Lincoln's "strain and injury" system, too.


It varies from group to group, and too many for me to bother trying to remember them all and write them down. Potential house rules which are possibly going to end up in future games I run are even greater in number.

A few I use are:
- limited 0th level slots and the introduction of new cantrips to do stuff (potentially) previously done by Prestidigitation. All because of one player.
- feinting is a move action, becomes swift with Improved Feint, and applies to all attacks that round with Greater Feint.
- All other Improved/Greater [combat maneuver] feats are collapsed into a single feat
- the Clone spell works as it did in 2e. It's so much more fun that way.
- removal of alignment limits on Bards, Monks and Barbs
- Vital Strike works as long as you only make a single attack that round (extra fun for superchargers or Flyby attacks)


My group uses the following:

Starting gold for all first-level characters is 150 gp.

Point buy depends on class (20 points for 9-level casters, 25 points for 6-level casters, 30 points for 4-level and non casters). You cannot multiclass into a class would get you fewer points until you have at least three levels.

All classes that are not Int-base 9-level casters get a minimum of 4 points per level.

Using a swift action does not impact your ability to use immediate actions, and vice versa.

Levelling up requires a night's rest.

Third party and D&D 3.5 content is available, subject to GM approval. We have a list of standard skill swaps, etc, for the latter which covers most of the differences. Other things (such as the Artificer's Craft Reserve) are addressed on a case-by-case basis.

_
glass.

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