Krippler's D&D House Rules

(I'd love a new thread for Krippler's House Rules, too.)
Me too! I love talking about my stuff.

These rules were mostly written before I started my campaign almost exactly 1 year ago. A few things have been revised, added or modified during play. I play with a group of friends online, our sessions are ~4 hours long.

The base rules are ACKS which in turn are based on D&D B/X

One of the major changes and least tested aspects is how clerics work. Instead of turning undead they Invoke the Divine granting themselves temporary hit points and usually a few other bonuses. The few clerics who graced the campaign died or were brutally mauled before getting much use of their abilities. I have never been crazy about the concept of clerics in the first place and I don't know if they really fit the theme or gameplay of the campaign.

I'm very happy with the Binding Wounds rule as it turns water rations into miniature healing potions increasing both the staying power of adventurers and verisimilitude. For a short while I let the wound recovery roll be affected by the Constitution bonus but it felt wrong to further widen the gap between tought and frail characters.

Bodings also work well to give mages some utility beyond their nuke.

A big part of the campaign is the clash of cultures as the supernaturally scrambled geography has created untested boundaries. If you adress someone in their mother tongue you get a large bonus to the reaction roll, the well travelled adventurer will have a lot more luck dealing with foreigners.

Another campaign rule which is not mentioned on the blog is the Pokémon like level system for non-humans @Eero_Tuovinen suggested in this thread:

So far there are two races using this system, Svartalfr (The Orthogonal Dwarf, who must first map old stonework before getting a promotion, then they must found a magical forge (which is typically very expensive). The Bushi are diminutive warrior spirits who get their first promotion after slaying 12 enemies and their second when they conquer a throne. They can gain more HD by conqueror more thrones. So far one Svartalfr has returned home to get promoted and one player transformed into a Bushi lord after claiming their throne and staying months in the underworld as their leader.

Any questions and critiques are welcome!


  • Oh, you did the demihumans-as-monster-templates thing! Where's that... ♥

    Are the template jumps between e.g. the bushi and the bushi lord radical? Multiple HD at once? As I discussed earlier in that thread, I feel like they should be considerably bigger than the gradual step-up that normal character classes get, to increase the alieness and compensate for this sort of character probably not being anybody's "main".

    Looks good to me. As you probably know, I'm big on the notion of treating D&D mechanics as essentially campaign-specific, so I like seeing GMs take a specific handle on things, based on their own vision.
  • edited May 2018
    There's a lot of good stuff here. Thanks for sharing!

    I share your view on Clerics (and don't really use them in my own D&D drafts), but the Invocation of the Divine is a very interesting alternative. Hmmm! That makes Clerics much more interesting, in my book.

    A quick question:

    Have you tested the "bodings" rules into high levels? I can imagine they would get... pretty wild for high-level magic-users. For instance, if you know a 9th level spell which deals incredible amounts of damage, does that mean you can use a 1/3 strength version of that at will?

    Or do you plan to keep all the "bodings" at very minor levels?

    How do you determine Armor Class?
  • edited May 2018
    The Svartalfr have big leaps, their chassi is a mage with 1, 4 and 9 HD. They gain two additional abilities going from standard to foremen, as kings they become leaders of their forge and can create magic items as mages.

    The Bushi do small leaps going from 1-1HD to 1+1HD to 3HD with 16 HP. The final transformation is more significant as they grow to human size and their strength goes from average to 16, their armor (which is actually their skin) becomes tougher and as leader of their clan they command an army of eager warriors who replenish their numbers automatically and mysteriously. They essentially reach name level as 3HD creatures and start a miniature version of the domain game, conquering other dungeon dwelling tribes instead of productive domains. Of course, when the clan rolls low on loyalty after a set back they have to face the inevitable coup attempt by their captains.
  • Oh, that's beautiful pokemon stuff. The bushi with small leaps seem rather interesting, and I like how their final form is essentially mid-level with 3 HD [grin].
  • edited May 2018
    @Paul_T I think part of the reason they have been in the background is that the style of the party is ambitious morally gray wealth seekers. If they had an ideological motivation for adventuring clerics would fit better.

    The highest level mage is 3rd level so we have just gotten into 2nd level spells. Those Bodings let you affect coin sized objects so they are even weaker generally. My initial plan was to keep them all at 0th level power to give early mages a bit of a boost, at high level I think they already have a wide and deep enough toolbox. But I think I'll let "what makes sense" rule in the end, the Boding of Cloudkill would obviously be able to kill a weak creature at short range, the Boding of Disintegrate would probably function like a short range magic missile (easily killing a normal man, nothing out of the ordinary for a high level mage). Stuff like Teleport will have to be considered more carefully, being able to teleport coin sized items might break the game by allowing unlimited high bandwidth (if one-way) communication. It would be funny for an adventuring wizard to teleport gems and other valuables directly to his treasury though.

    Armor Class is like normal, worn armor + dex modifier. The only difference is shields give +2 AC if you're in mail or lighter, to promote the aesthetic of the 11th century warrior. Samurai mostly use lamellar armor which happens to be suboptimal together with a shield (you want to go lighter or heavier to get the best use out of it).

    If you're asking about the mages penalty to armor wearing it's based on the weight of carried armor, so each point of AC adds 5% risk of a slow casting, shields only adding 5%. This makes magic armor very attractive to mages as they are usually lighter than their normal variants, I wonder if there will be a problem in the future if the mages get priority for that gear.
  • Ah, cool. But doesn't your system require AC numbers to be very small, and ascending? So, then, what kinds of numbers does it use?
  • Normal armor provides 1 to 6 AC.
  • Cool. That's what I was curious about! Seems like a narrower range that standard D&D, though, right? How does that break down?
  • edited May 2018
    It works out as exactly the same as AC8 to 3. The only difference is it's faster for me to read a hit knowing the AC and hit value of a creature, especially since the hit value of a monster is always 10+HD. Another bonus is that you can always tell if it's the armor or hit value that caused a miss so it feels less like whiffing when you describe it as being deflected and it feels more like it's your equipment rather than enemy incompetense that protects you.
  • I like the two separate ranges; I do the same thing in my house d&d.

    But does the smaller range mean that there is no difference between being unarmoured or having leather armour? Or that plate mail doesn't exist? I'm curious what happens with the reduced range.
  • I don't know why you think the range is reduced. Unarmored is 0, full mail (plate equalent) is 6 and full mail + shield is 7.
  • edited May 2018
    Ok! I understand now. I initially didn't see that you could still hit an opponent on a "1", for example. I like those numbers; clean and simple.

    EDIT: To clarify, when you said "1 to 6", I thought that was the full range. But now I see that it's actually "0 to 7". Gotcha, thanks for clarifiying!
  • edited May 2018
    Outside AD&D's additional armour types I think that is the standard range, usually in the form 10/12/14/16+1 (or 9/7/5/3-1)
  • @Paul_T I've conciously excluded something like a "critical miss" because I think it's cooler if enemies break your weapon through their own crits than if the characters get messed up because of their own clumsiness.
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