House Rules

Titan House Rules

If you have played in my AD@D campaigns in the past, you will be familiar with some of these rules.  However a few are new to this campaign. (Check changes to weapon weights, damages and usage!)

 

Experience Points

In my games it is NOT necessary to kill an encounter in order to gain experience points for the encounter.  Talking, negotiating, intimidating, bartering, fast talking, sweet talking, bribery are all perfectly acceptable ways to resolve a situation without killing something!  Will you get the same number of hit points?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Much will depend on cleverness and role play.  Simply relying on a reaction roll to accomplish a task won’t earn as much as concocting a good story and role playing the encounter.  
Traps do have EXP value.
In my games you will NOT get experience points for the treasure you gain.  The gold, silver, jewels and such are enough of a reward in itself!  You’ve seen one gold piece, you’ve seen them all!  ALSO, you do NOT gain experience for magic items you find.  However, IF the monsters actually USED the magic item against the party, that will add into the experience point totals for the encounter. 
Experience points are totaled at the end of a session/adventure.  The total is DIVIDED by all SURVIVING party members with the following modifications.  Players who are absent from the session but whose character was present and run by the DM, count as 1/2 characters (unless they were kept out of the action completely, then they do not count at all and do not receive EXP.)  Major NPCs that assisted in the adventure, count as FULL characters (these are generally of roughly equal or greater level to the party’s average level.)  Minor NPCs (usually lower level then the party average.)  That participated in combat and were at risk, or contributed to success in a meaningful way, count as 1/2 characters.  If they stayed outside and held the horses, they do not count.  The resulting number is the Base Exp given to everyone.  Individual bonuses are usually awarded based on individual character actions and role playing.
NOTE: Advancement is slow in my games.  Low level campaigns are the norm.  You can take comfort that ultra high NPCs are also uncommon!  If this is not the type of campaign/game you like, you will not be happy!

Leveling Up
Characters may level up during the next 8 hour rest period after receiving sufficient EXP to do so.  This means that characters can increase in level during an extended adventure.  However, they do not level up in the middle of action!

Training

In general I do NOT require training to increase in levels and do not require money to be spent to improve.  There are a few exceptions!  You MUST find a teacher if you wish to add a new Weapon Proficiency.  The teacher must have the proficiency to teach it.  They cannot be a zero level, even if they do know how to use the weapon.   They do not have to be of higher level then the student.
For Magic Users learning new spells.  If there is a spell on your ‘Wish List’  then there is no cost to learn it, the research has already been done (See Magic Users)  Otherwise, the Magic User must spend time and money doing research for a new spell, or find a MU able to cast it and buy or trade for access to his or her notes.
Clerics learn new ‘spells’ from their Missals (See Clerics and Equipment) The information needed was always there, but the Clerics Enlightenment and Comprehension was lacking until gaining a level.
Druids study the Scrolls of Tiastron that they have available.

For most other skills, languages and such, generally a teacher is required.

 

Weapon Specialization
This is ONLY available to straight Fighters (Rangers have enough class benefits!)

ONLY one weapon, not a general weapon type. The fighter CANNOT be a specialist in ‘swords.’  A fighter can specialize in only one weapon and that weapon is specific. For example, the fighter may specialize in Broadsword but that expertise does not extend to other sword types. Long bow is not a short bow.  A footman’s mace is not the same as a horseman’s mace. A battle axe is not a hand axe and so on.

A fighter MAY NOT start at 1st level with a specialization, but may elect to specialize starting at 4th level when the fighter gains a new Weapon Proficiency. That proficiency is a ‘doubling’ of an existing proficiency. The fighter MUST specialize in one of the four weapon proficiencies he/she started with at first level.

A fighter may specialize ONLY ONCE, multiple specializations of the same weapon or other weapons, is not allowed.

BENEFIT:  A Specialist gains +1 to Hit and +1 Damage with the specialized weapon type AND, when using the specialized weapon (only) attacks as one level HIGHER. This will allow for multiple attacks with the specialized weapon earlier then otherwise would be allowed.

 

Initiative

Initiative is rolled at the start of EVERY combat round. It determines when, in the course of the round, a character may act. A Combat Round in AD&D is 1 minute long, 60 seconds. That round it divided into 6 segments of 10 seconds each. Initiative is rolled using a D6 to determine when your character’s actions take place. The lower the roll, the earlier in the round it occurs. Ties are resolved using a D10 to determine which second of the segment the character or non player character, acts. Further ties are resolved by comparing Reaction Adjustments and/or base Dexterity. (Continued ties are resolved by random dice roll.)
The Reaction Adjustments from High Dexterity DO impact the character’s Initiative Roll!

 

Actions in Combat

The AD&D Combat Round is 1 minute long, and allows only one attack!  While workable for the game, is totally unrealistic.  The presumption is that the combatants circle and feint and make other, unsuccessful attacks while waiting for an opportunity for one really good attach.  Considering that a minute is a very long time in a high stress moment, it seems reasonable that a few other minor but related things can be accomplished during that minute without creating a major problem.  So, the following actions WILL NOT consume an entire round and will not prevent a character from making an attack in that round.

Changing Weapons:  You were holding your bow but now you need your sword?  You may drop your bow and draw your sword and attack with it in the same round.  Any weapon that is ON the character and ‘at hand’ may be switched.  At Hand means in a belt scabbard or sheath, tucked in a belt or girdle, in a frog or similar.  If it is in your pack, it is NOT available! The discarded weapon, unless it has an empty and ready sheath on you, is dropped to the ground.  You CANNOT unstring your bow and put it carefully aside!

Ready a Shied:  You were using a bow or other two handed activity and slung your shield over a shoulder, you can ready it for melee in the first round.

Ready an Item:  Get out a potion, vial of Holy Water, flask of oil, scroll… You can get them in hand in the same round as an attack IF:  You had an empty/free hand for the entire round.  A weapon in one hand and a shield on the other DOES NOT  allow you to get a potion out!  You cannot drink the potion, read the scroll, light the oil… in that round, but it will be ready to employ the next round.

 

Infravision

The ability to see Infrared Light. This is an ability of many non human races (Humans cannot see Infra Red without magical aid.) What can be seen in terms of detail is a reflection of the quality of the vision, not just the range.

A character with 60′ infravision would be able to see a lava flow much farther than 60′ away, just not very clearly. At the same time, a large stone in the passageway at ambient temperature would only be visible at 20’ range. Reading is not possible.

Characters can use regular vision OR infra vision at any given time, never both at once. ANY light source will wash out Infra Vision.

Someone with Fair infravision can track warm-blooded creatures by their footprints for 1 round, and Good infravision for 2 rounds, after their passing, if their quarry is not wearing thick-soled boots or shoes. Soft boots or shoes (or hooves) might allow tracking for 1 round, and very warm creatures such as red dragons could be tracked for a while longer. Similarly, touching a wall can leave a visible hand print for 2 rounds (1 round if wearing a leather glove, as people in armor normally would), and if a warm-blooded animal has sat or lain in one spot for a while it will leave a visible impression for up to 6 rounds. Poor infravision is unable to track or distinguish heat residue.

Good Infravision: The individual is able to distinguish wooden doors from walls at close range 20’ or less. Recognizing the face of a comrade is limited to 20’ range.

Fair Infravision: The individual is only able to see things noticeably warmer or colder than their environment—they could spot, and recognize, a goblin as a goblin. But they’d have to feel the walls to find a door, they’d trip over obstacles, and faces could be made out only very close up, 5’ or less.

Poor Infravision: The individual is usually seeing heat signatures only as vague blobs: they might know where the monster was coming from, but not what it was; anything at ambient temperature would be invisible and recognizing faces is pretty much impossible.

Character Race

Quality

Range

Dwarf

Good

Infravision 60′

Elf

Fair

Infravision 60′

Half Elf

Fair

Infravision 60′

Halflings

Stout

Mixed

Tallfellows

 

Good

Fair

None

 

Infravision 60′

Infravision 30′

None

Humanoids*

Common Goblin

Hob-Goblin

Bug-Bear

 

Very Good

Good

Fair

 

Infravision 60’+

Infravision 60′

Infravision 30′

 

  • NOT Player Character Races!

Magic Spells and Items that grant Infravision do so at Good Quality and 60’ Range unless stated otherwise.

 

Armor and Padding

Most armors require wearing an under layer of padding, multiple layers of cloth or leather. Metal armors, with or without under layers, are very good at stopping/deflecting cutting and impaling attacks, but are poor at preventing damage from crushing damage. The padding helps take up the slack vs crushing damage. Wearing mail, lamellar, splint, plate, studded leather or boiled leather WITHOUT an under layer will cause crushing damage to be increased 50%. Example: A blow from a mace does 6hp damage. The target is not wearing an under layer beneath his mail. He takes 9hp damage from the blow.

Bulk and what it means

The Bulk of an object is different then the Weight of an object. Weight, and how much your character can carry before being slowed down is addressed by the character’s strength. But Bulkiness impacts an indidual’s ability to move about, squeeze through spaces, bend and stretch and so on. Specifically it impacts the character’s Dexterity.

Generally speaking, the things that most impacts a player character’s ‘bulkiness’ are armor, shields and back packs, Of the three, armor is the most important. (A character can easily drop a shield or pack as needed, armor is harder to set aside.)

Armor is specifically designed for Defense and as such will NOT impact a character’s Defensive Adjustment in a negative way. However, it WILL impact the character’s Reaction Adjustment. Specifically in the character’s Reaction Roll for Initiative. Note: It DOES NOT impact Surprise rolls! Just because the heavily armored fighter may be slower getting to his feet or unlimbering shields and weapons, it does not mean that he or she was less attentive or aware and more easily surprised. Nor, does it mean that once a missile weapon is in hand, the armored fighter is impaired in ability to use it. It strictly impacts the Initiative Roll in determing who gets to act when in the combat round.

Some armors, especially those that need padding underneath them, are very Bulky. Some of this type can benefit from custom fittings and high levels of craftsmanship to reduce their bulkiness to some degree. These, along with many armors made of multiple material layers, are Fairly bulky. Some armor types are, by nature, stiff and unyielding. For example, Molded or ‘Boiled’ Leather or a Gambeson. These are Slightly bulky. And some armors do not inhibit at all. These are Non bulky. An armor types Bulk can be found on the chart alon with weight, price and AC.

Degree of Bulkiness

Impact on Initiative Rolls

Bulky

+3 to Reaction Adjustment

Fairly

+2 to Reaction Adjustment

Slightly

+1 to Reaction Adjustment

Non

No effect. Normal Reaction Adjustment

Note: A + to reaction adjustment means that the penalty is ADDED to a character’s initiative roll. Lengthing the time the character takes to react to a crisis situation.

Magic Armor: The enchantment effect of magic armor reduces the armor type’s Bulkiness by 1 level. Bulky to Fairly. Fairly to Slightly. Slightly to Non. Non cannot be reduced further. The enchantment also reduces armor weight slightly, typically 20% unless specified otherwise.

 

WEAPONS

There are several notable changes to Weapons.  These are primarily in terms of weight and damage as well as description.

Swords
In general, ALL sword weights are being revised downwards.  With particular attention to the Two Handed Sword!

Long Swords vs ‘Bastard Swords’ (Hand and a Half Swords) Long Swords ARE by definition a ‘hand and a half sword’.  A significant part of their length, that makes them ‘long’ IS the longer grip then is found on a one handed sword like a Broadsword or Short Sword.   Consequently, the PHB entry for ‘Bastard Sword’ is being amended.  Longsword damages are being upped, when used with two hands.  While the ‘Bastard Sword’ entry will now reference a heavier, hand and a half sword with a broader, heavier, blade.  When used One Handed it will be treated as a Broadsword.
Two Handed Swords (Great Swords)  The PHB weight for a Two Handed Sword (here after called a ‘Great Sword‘) is absolutely ridiculous! It lists a  weight of 250gp or 25lbs!  This is being reduced to 5lbs. 
Broadswords  The Broadsword is a one handed weapon.  The extra blade width, (which makes it ‘broad’) starting at the tang, helps to balance the weapon for one handed use.   If the PC intends to use a shield routinely, then the Broadsword is a good choice.

MACES

The standard Footman’s Mace can be used one handed or two handed (like the Long Sword.)  The Horseman’s Mace is a one handed weapon (you don’t need to be mounted to use it!) Neither of these maces qualify as ‘bloodless’ weapons for Kostrin Clerics.  (See Bar Mace for that.)  They usually have flanges, spikes, blades or bumps on the striking surface to enhance their effectiveness.
Similarly, Battle Axes, Flails, Morningstars, Picks, Clubs, and some Hammers (see Weapons for details) can be used two handed or one handed.  Two handed attacks yield extra damage but prevent the use of any shield except a Buckler.

 

Magic Weapons:

Unless stated otherwise, magic blades DO NOT GLOW!

 

Crossbows & Bows

Several changes to damage, cost and accuracy can be found on the appropriate pages.

BOWS

CROSSBOWS

 

SHIELDS

The DM is of the opinion that shields and their usage is very under rated in the rules, so there are some major change to Shields and their use.  AC bonuses are changed (increased) Also, Shields now have ‘Hit Points.’ Once they take enough damage they are destroyed and must be replaced. Shields can be repaired by a skilled armorer.
Shields take 1 (one) Hit Point damage for EACH round of combat that the user DOES NOT GET HIT!  A shield ONLY takes damage if it successfully did its job and blocked attacks aimed at its owner. Damage is ONLY inflicted by melee weapons. Arrows, light and medium crossbow bolts, thrown darts, daggers etc do not cause serious damage to a shield. (Heavy Crossbow bolts and missiles from siege weapons such as a catapult, DO damage shields!)
See the Chart on the Shields & Helms page for more information.

 

Mounted Combat

While most people in a predominantly agrarian world can ride well enough to stay on a horse or pony, actually ‘fighting’ from horseback is another matter.  This requires training!  Specifically, a character who wishes to be able to conduct a fight from horse back MUST take ‘Mounted Combat’ as a Weapon Proficiency.

 

Healer Sub Class

Healer is NOT a stand alone class but is intended to be paired with any other class. It has no hit points, attack roll or saving throws. It is simply a mechanism to learn how to create certain non magical healing substances. Experience points are used to advance in the sub class, but since the craft of healing does not benefit from fighting monsters, looting tombs and engaging in combat (the stuff that brings in most EXP for players) only a small percentage of earned points may be applied to Healer. The purpose of this sub class is to take some of the weight off of Clerics as the primary source of healing, especially at low levels, and make small parties without Clerics viable from a healing view point.  See the page Healer & Healing  for more details.

 

Healing Spells

Cure Light Wounds heals 1D8 hit points as per the PHB.
Cure Serious Wounds  heals 1D8+9 (Instead of 2D8+1)
Cure Critical Wounds heals 1D8+18 (Instead of 3D8+3)

This eliminates a situation where a low level spell is potentially more effective then a high level spell.