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[Age of Worms] House Rules and Clarifications

 
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duck



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:50 pm    Post subject: [Age of Worms] House Rules and Clarifications Reply with quote

Identification of magic items via Spellcraft.

Per the existing RAW, Spellcraft can be used to identify the following spells, effects and items:

Spells being cast - begin at DC15 (15+spell level), no action required.
Spells in effect - begin at DC20 (20+spell level), no action required.
Scrolls - begin at DC 20 (20+spell level), full-round action.
Potions - DC25. 1 minute. No retry.

In a wizards.com article on 'Identifying Magic Items' (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/sg/20051125a), it discusses Identify, and suggests expanding Spellcraft based identification to all magic items.

For this campaign, Spellcraft identification checks can be used to identify the base ability of magic items, with the following DC's:

Potions - DC25, 1 minute.
Arms and Armor, Minor Wondrous Items, Wands - DC30, 1 minute.
Medium Wondrous Items, Rods - DC35, 1 minute
Major Wondrous Items, Rings, Staves - DC40, 1 minute.

What is identified is the base ability. Other abilities require additional checks, and curses and flaws are difficult to notice if noticeable at all. It is not possible to determine the number of charges in a wand or similar charged item.

Identify and Analyse Dweomer are still of use (no chance of failure, gives # of charges, etc), but this should allow for quicker identification in general.
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Last edited by duck on Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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duck



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rules for drawing or sheathing a weapon discuss how it can be a free action when combined with a 'regular move' - http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/actionsInCombat.htm#draworSheatheaWeapon :
Quote:
Draw or Sheathe a Weapon
Drawing a weapon so that you can use it in combat, or putting it away so that you have a free hand, requires a move action. This action also applies to weapon-like objects carried in easy reach, such as wands. If your weapon or weapon-like object is stored in a pack or otherwise out of easy reach, treat this action as retrieving a stored item.
If you have a base attack bonus of +1 or higher, you may draw a weapon as a free action combined with a regular move. If you have the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, you can draw two light or one-handed weapons in the time it would normally take you to draw one.
Drawing ammunition for use with a ranged weapon (such as arrows, bolts, sling bullets, or shuriken) is a free action.

what is a 'regular move' is problematic however, since the rules don't define that clearly - the Rules of the Game column on Wizards.com touched on the matter however and define it as emphasized below - http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rg/20050628a :
Quote:
Drawing or Sheathing a Weapon: Drawing a weapon so that you can use it in combat, or putting it away so that you have a free hand, usually is a move action. If you have a base attack bonus of +1 or higher, drawing (but not sheathing) a weapon is a nonaction that you can take along with a regular move (that is, a move action that you use to move up to your speed across the battlefield). If you have the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, you can draw two weapons (either light or one-handed weapons) either as a move action or as a nonaction along with a regular move.

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duck



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As per http://www.boardgames.co.nz/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=2453 :

Quote:

Any time a character is raised from the dead (by any effect that would normally cause a level loss), instead of losing a level, he picks up a special negative level. Note that characters still may not accrue more negative levels than they have actual levels when being raised; instead they lose 2 Con points.

Unlike a normal negative level, this one can't be eliminated with restoration or any other kind of magic short of a miracle or wish. The character suffers all the normal penalties for a negative level—
A) -1 penalty on all attack rolls and saving throws;
B) -1 penalty on all ability [Str, Dex etc] and skill checks;
C) -5 hp;
D) -1 to effective level for determining the effect of special abilities (whenever the creature’s level is used in a die roll or calculation, reduce it by 1 for each negative level – see Note at end for further clarifications);
E) lose 1 spell or spell slot from the highest level currently available (which will change to the highest spell level when the spells are next prepared).

This negative level remains until the next time the character gains a level. Each time you gain a level, you remove one of your special negative levels (it's kind of like going up two levels at the same time). If you're carrying around more than one of these special negative levels, you only lose one of them this time; you'll have to wait until your next level to lose another one.

True Resurrection (and similar effects that restore life without causing level loss) bring a character back without this special negative level, making the choice to spend the extra money a more interesting decision.

Energy Drain will also use this same mechanic:

If the saving throw caused by an energy draining attack fails, the negative level simply becomes "permanent" until the character gains another level. However, because spells such as Restoration and Greater Restoration work to remove the permanent negative level created by energy drain (within the time-limits of the spells), Players must keep track of the origin of each of their special negative levels (since Restoration can fix those from energy drain, but not from Resurrection).
Of course, accruing negative levels that equal the creature’s actual level or HD results in the death of that creature as normal.


coming back from the dead results in a negative level as above.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since it came up during play in tonight's game - per http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/wondrousItems.htm:

Quote:
Pearl of Power

This seemingly normal pearl of average size and luster is a potent aid to all spellcasters who prepare spells (clerics, druids, rangers, paladins, and wizards). Once per day on command, a pearl of power enables the possessor to recall any one spell that she had prepared and then cast. The spell is then prepared again, just as if it had not been cast. ...


A pearl of power is a command word activated item. Activating a command word magic item is a standard action and so the pearl can't be used in the same round as you cast a spell. Also, there doesn't appear to be a need to use it immediately after casting the spell you wish to recover.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:54 pm    Post subject: Identify focus Reply with quote

This was how the rule worked over in the AP campaign.

Quote:
The 100GP Pearl (etc) component can be replaced with a more permanent focus for use with the arcane version of Identify. The focus costs 150gp for each 100gp worth of the gem at the centre of the focus.

The number of times such a focus can be used in a day is determined by the cost of the focus - for each 100gp worth of the central gem, the focus can be used once. i.e. Wilson the Wizard has an Identify focus made with a 500gp gem as the 'lens' - the total cost to him is 750gp. He can use this focus up to five times a day - if he has that number of identify spells prepared and available to cast.
-----

That's the crunchy rules. In Another Place they work per this extract from the book "Fogerty's Fantastic Folio" :

"*Arcane Identify Focii*

An arcane identify focus is an item crafted by a spellcaster to assist in the casting of spells to divine the abilities and functions of magic items.
The construction of such an item requires fine metals and a single perfect gemstone to provide the core of the focus, with the spellcaster performing the final construction themselves. Precise details depend on the spell involved, and are often taught at the same time as the spell itself is taught to apprentice wizards.
No one is entirely sure who invented the arcane Identify focus first, but since there are Elvencraft and Dragoncraft items that possess similar abilities that are older than the first human recording of such an item (Ersen Nauh, "Arcan uses for gemmes", TY 17) it seems unlikely the claim of some that the Archmages of Traal were first."

Non renegade wizards won't have a hard time constructing one, but renegade or hedge wizards, and most sorcerers will need to seek out the details of construction.


Notes: Exact 'how this gets created in game' details aren't spelled out in the above - however:

Wilson the Wizard has an Identify focus made

and

the spellcaster performing the final construction themselves

should give some illumination - my original concept was an item where the focus could be largely crafted by someone other than a wizard (since not every wizard would have the time, relevant skills, etc) and then finished off by a wizard applying the final touches.

I'm also trending away from this item as a solution to the cost of identifying magic items - hence the extra use of spellcraft detailed elsewhere.

NB2: There are other methods for identification that will be revealed through the game. It's up to players to investigate those.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dodge gives a +1 AC bonus against all opponents you know of.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Per http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rg/20050118a :

Quote:
A Completely Unofficial Rule: Cooperative Item Creation

As noted back in Part One, more than one character can cooperate in the creation of an item, with each participant providing one or more of the prerequisites. According to the rules, however, XP costs cannot be shared. One character must shoulder the XP burden alone.

If players in your game are avid magic item creators, you might want to experiment with shared XP costs. You can allow characters who work together on a magic item to divide up the XP cost any way they like. To share the cost, a character must provide at least one of the item's prerequisites. Any division of the XP cost is possible, provided that all the creators agree to the scheme.

If you have the kind of campaign in which some of your players pester the others to make magic items for them, you might want to allow any character to share the XP cost to make an item. An XP donor must be present each day during the item's creation (or at least when work begins on the item each day). Allow the XP donation to be strictly voluntary -- it doesn't work if the donor is magically charmed or compelled, or if the donor is bullied or intimidated into contributing. On the other hand, allowing evil spellcasters to force XP from unwilling victims might just add the right touch of nastiness to dark fantasy campaigns.


Cooperative Item Creation is allowed in this campaign. Futhermore, as per the final paragraph above, any living being can provide the XP required to make an item. The knowledge of how to use voluntarily offered 'life force' is known to many item creators. The knowledge of how to use 'life force' from unwilling contributors may be talked of in dark places.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This campaign uses the Daily Uses option for Spontaneous Metamagic: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/spontaneousMetamagic.htm

Quote:

Daily Uses

With this variant, a character who selects a metamagic feat gains three daily uses of that feat that she can opt to use “on the fly” without previous preparation, increased spell level, or extended casting time. The character must decide when casting the spell if she wishes to apply the effect of one of her metamagic feats to the spell.

The maximum level of spell to which a caster can apply a metamagic feat is equal to the maximum spell level she is capable of casting (based on her level and ability scores), minus the spell level adjustment of the metamagic feat. If the result of this calculation is less than 0, the character can’t apply the metamagic feat to any of her spells.

For instance, a 5th-level wizard is normally capable of casting spells of up to 3rd level. If she chooses to apply her Silent Spell metamagic feat (which uses a spell slot one level higher than normal) to a spell, the maximum level of spell that she can apply it to is equal to 3 minus 1, or 2nd. Thus, she may make any of her 0-, 1st-, or 2nd-level spells silent. If she had the Maximize Spell feat, she could apply it only to 0-level spells (since a maximized spell is normally cast as a spell three levels higher, and 3 minus 3 is 0). Quicken Spell would be of no use to this wizard, since she couldn’t even apply it to 0-level spells.

A caster can apply more than one metamagic feat to a spell, or even the same metamagic effect more than once (if allowed by the feat’s description). However, to determine the maximum level of spell that can be so affected, add together all the spell level adjustments given for the various feats. A 9th-level wizard could enlarge and empower any spell of 2nd level or lower (since her maximum spell level is 5th, and the total spell level adjustment for Empower Spell and Enlarge Spell is 3). If a feat may be applied more than once to the same spell (such as Empower Spell), each application counts as one of the caster’s three daily uses.

Each time a character selects a metamagic feat, she gains three daily uses of that feat. Multiple selections of the same feat are cumulative. For instance, if a caster selects Empower Spell twice, she may use the feat six times per day rather than three.

In this variant system, the Heighten Spell feat functions slightly differently from other metamagic feats. You may use the Heighten Spell feat to increase a spell’s effective level (for purposes of such factors as save DCs and so on) up to the maximum spell level you are capable of casting. For instance, a 3rd-level cleric could heighten a 0- or 1st-level spell to 2nd level, while a 17th-level druid could heighten a 0- through 8th-level spell to 9th level. The spell is treated as a spell of that level for purpose of save DC and similar effects, but doesn’t require a higher-level spell slot.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 5:55 pm    Post subject: Action Points Reply with quote

Action Points
This campaign uses the Action Points option rules from Unearthed Arcana.

Clarification
Quote:
Acquiring Action Points
...
Every time a character advances, he gains a number of action points equal to 5 + 1/2 his new character level. Some prestige classes might allow a faster rate of accrual, at the GM’s option.


Any action points remaining from the previous level when a character advances are lost.

Modification
Spell Recall
Spells above 3rd level will cost more action points to recall. 4th and 5th level spells cost two (2) action points to recall. 6th and above will cost more. (this is subject to change)
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Current considering: Mongoose Traveller.


Last edited by duck on Wed Jun 11, 2008 5:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 5:57 pm    Post subject: Using Some of the Pathfinder Changes. Reply with quote

This campaign will be using the following two tweaks inspired from the Pathfinder changes.

Class Hit Dice
P35:
"Classes such as wizard and sorcerer, which advance the slowest, now receive d6 Hit Dice. Bards, clerics, druids, monks, and rogues, who advance at a moderate pace, now all receive d8 Hit Dice. Classes that feature a fast base attack bonus progression, such as fighters, paladins, and rangers, receive d10 Hit Dice. The only exception to this rule is the barbarian, who retains his impressive d12 Hit Dice."

Changes: Wizards, Sorcerors now get d6 hit dice. Bards and Rogues now get d8. Rangers now get d10.

Implications for existing characters: +2 hp for 1st level in an affected class, +1 hp for each subsequent level, roll the larger die at the next level increase. (NB: Yes, this applies for NPC's. There's a double edge to this tweak.)

Negative Levels

P121:
" For each negative level a creature has, it takes a cumulative –1 penalty on all ability checks, attack rolls, combat maneuver checks, saving throws, and skill checks. In addition, the creature reduces its current and total hit points by 5 for each negative level it possesses. The creature is also treated as one level lower for the purpose of level dependent variables (such as spellcasting) for each negative level possessed. Spellcasters do not lose any prepared spells or slots as a result of negative levels. If a creature’s negative levels equals or exceeds it total Hit Dice, it dies."

Change: Spellcasters no longer get one less spell slot at their highest spell level.

Implications for existing characters: Spellcasters don't suffer the loss of their most powerful powers.
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