The World of Ora
House Rules (Updated as of 2-4-2012)
Note: Consider this a bit in-flux. Some of the names and dates of events may be a bit off (but are more or less correct), and some of the “generic” house feats and starting bonuses may be adjusted. I wanted to get this out ASAP so people could start brain storming about what to play. Player handouts will be individualized based on what people are thinking about playing – this will minimize 40+ page packets of world information.
• Static Spread: 18, 16, 14, 14, 12, 10.
• Luck: Luck is a seventh stat; it is used in situations where nothing else applies. It is always rolled with a D20 (minimum 10). Have a witness for this roll.
Request further details if you are interested in playing one.
• Blooded: Race with an innate ability to manipulate and sense blood
• Elecrian: Cat-like creatures evolved to have innate healing powers
• Earthen: Sentient hybrids of animals and rocks; considered “revered” by the Dwarves
• Dulosian: Over-sized humans capable of expressing supernatural powers through artistic and passionate displays
• Imbued: Humanoid race with the ability to exert their will over events around them. They are the sons and daughters of the Golden Lords.
• Childe of Greatness: Spawn of an ideal, power, or God. Highly mutable, may include level adjustment. 2+ years of roleplay experience required.
• Chosen: Elaborate, paladin-like warrior class with extensive supernatural abilities.
• Jun: Humanoid Asian-Based race with the ability to effect chance.
• Myregar: Metallic aliens capable of absorbing magical properties from ores they consume.
• Sarard: Half-shadow people with shadow-based abilities.
• Unstable: Horribly grotesque experiments with the ability to resist mind-controlling affects.
• Senectus: Incredibly ancient creatures akin to dragons. 2+ years extensive roleplay experience required to play one.
• Shadow Legion: Newly freed race of once-monstrous humanoids. Capable of working in unison via a localized hive mind. Especially good in groups.
• Steel Elf: Archers/assassins. Specializing in trick arrows/shots, similar to elves in second edition DnD.
• Specialty Elves: Blood (insane elves), Ice, Nightmare (read and cause nightmares), Rock, Sound, Steel, and Wind.
• Specialty Dwarves: Blood, Earth, Fire, Ice and Night
• Visigniat: Naturally evolving hybrids of plants and animals; considered “revered” by the Elves. 1+ years roleplay experience required.
• I prefer that a custom race be played for numerous reasons; however, I will negotiate the allowance of standard by-the-books content as well. Discuss with the GM.
Note: List does not include prestige classes available to custom classes, of which there are at least one, if not more, for most of these. Elemental Knights, for example, can prestige into “Mage Knights” and “Magma Knights” among others. If you request information about a specific class, I’ll just email you the whole list for review.
• Chosen Specialty Classes (Chosen Only). These include the 3.5 and 4.0 variants of the Chosen race. As my “pet” class, the Chosen are extremely versatile, but within the framework of being militaristic and extremely driven.
• Elementalist: Casting Class. Core class is 137 pages long, including spells.
• Elemental Knights (Fire, Frozen, Rock, Wind) – Elemental Paladins who use rune “spells” rather than similar supernatural abilities associated with Paladins.
• Galvanist: Psionic-based class that specializes in new “schools” of power.
• Diadem of Force: Rogues and Assassins who worked for the Golden Lords.
• Warrior of Mondyr: Animal/totem-flavored Monks.
• Imprinter: Tattoo-based buffing class.
• Champions of Nature/Earth: Core nature-flavored Paladin class, intended to feel Druid-like.
• Immortals: Very roll-intensive, capable of eventually becoming immortal.
• Puppet Master: Psionic-like individuals who craft “living” puppets.
• Exo-Magus: Alternative spell-casting class, uses a “mana” type system to write custom spells on the fly.
• Pledged Assassin: Base-class Assassin with a 60-level progression built in. Very stealth/accuracy based.
• Black Justicar: Paladin-like executioners.
• Dyn Bonded: Individuals who steal racial or monstrous powers using special stones and learn to harness/use them as their own.
• Jack of All Trades: Gains abilities from each of the core classes.
• Masquerade Vampire: Vampire class based on the game. Very elaborate and roleplay orientated.
• War Born: Navy Seals; supernatural uber warriors.
• Wrath Wrought: Fighters imbued with uncontrollable anger that is released after people they’ve warned keep pushing their buttons.
• Path of 7 Monk: Monk Prestige class.
• Priest of Dulona: Class for Dulosians who wish to use their passion/creativity to create objects/enhancements/in war.
• I will allow most by-the-books classes as well.
Submit a background about your character. Keep it fairly generic and we can negotiate details (town names, etc.). We can discuss specifics before submitting the background, too.
Limit: 3 backgrounds. Background elements can be compounded for greater benefit.
For players who don’t write well or don’t care to negotiate an elaborate background, simply choose three important historic events that helped shape your character and I’ll assign decent (but minimal) benefits based on them.
Gaining Level Adjustments and Templates
If your character dies, you may replace him or her with a new character (when plot allows) 1 level lower than the average level of the group. This may allow you to play a level-adjusted race or even start with a template. These will require backstory explanations and must be considered balanced for the current group. If the group is level 19 and has all UBER gear, having the Paragon template makes much more sense than at level 11 with decent stuff, for example. Otherwise, you may earn templates and become new, more interesting, races through roleplay. If you want to see what can happen, try stepping into a Chaos Field a few times. Who knows, you might not turn into mush or grow a penis on your forehead.
Because my games are story and plot oriented, players can quest for anything at one point or another; sometimes it just takes a really long time to earn that Paragon-Spell-Stealing-Uber-Drow template-class-race of doomy-woomy.
Prior to the first session, I require a full copy of your character sheet in my email. This should include all of your characters special powers and abilities.
Armor class has been modified. A character’s base AC is as follows:
• 10 + ½ character level (rounded down). This is added to the base AC of the character.
• Every 5 ranks in the tumble skill provides a +1 dodge bonus to AC in light or no armor.
Players begin with a minimum of 10 skill points. If you would not otherwise have 10, you begin with 10.
1. Search, Spot and Listen have been combined into one skill called “Awareness” – it is wisdom based and replaces “Search” when considering whether the skill is class or cross-class. Rules for these combined skills remain applicable as normal; in essence this reduces the amount of available similar or overlapping skills.
2. Hide and Move Silent are “Stealth” and any class that treats Hide as a class skill qualifies for the new skill as class. Rules for these combined skills remain applicable as normal.
3. Jump, Swim and Climb are “Athletics” and any class that treats Climb as a class skill qualifies for the new skill as class. Rules for these combined skills remain applicable as normal.
4. Having at least 1 rank in Knowledge: History grants you access to the historical timeline overview of your starting region. Ranks in knowledge: history (location) are required for insight into other locations.
5. Having at least 1 rank in Knowledge: Religion grants you access to a list of the gods, their dispositions and their domains.
6. Having at least 1 rank in Knowledge: Laws (location) grants you access to an overview of the laws of a region.
7. The Heal skill the following additional traits, treated like skill tricks, however each does not count against your skill trick maximum and costs 2 skill points to purchase:
• Immediate Care: So long as you perform a heal check (DC = 15) in the round following damage being dealt (doing so provokes an attack of opportunity), you reduce the overall damage suffered by up to 2.
• Critical Care: You may perform critical care once a day on any creature whose hit points are below half. Making a critical care check requires you spend at least an hour tending the target and that you succeed at a DC 22 heal check. If you succeed at the check the recipient heals your wisdom bonus +2.
8. Knowledge: Tactics, Logistics and similar War-Based skills have been combined into Profession: Military Strategist – the benefits of which are listed below. Martial classes treat this skill as class.
9. Automatic Gold – Professions: Once a week, a player who spends at least 4 hours a day and has at least 1 rank in a profession skill may attempt to find work. In most cities, success is guaranteed and therefore not rolled; in other locations (thorps, hamlets and such) a luck check DC 12 (modified by circumstance) is required. If the player finds work, he earns 1 silver a week per his ranks in his profession skill. If he or she has a related craft skill, they earn an additional silver per 2 ranks had in that craft skill. Players who are not present for game sessions and who have ranks in professions are assumed (if they are in a city) to be working.
10. Automatic Gold – Mercenary Work: Players may hire themselves out as mercenaries; fighters as body guards and bouncers, rogues as locksmiths and spies, spell casters for consultations or research assistants, etc. In any city with an adventurers guild or an active population with an income per-capita over 5 silver a month (major cities), adventurers may spend an entire week hiring their services out for 1 gold per their level up to level 5, 2 gold per level from 6-10, 8 gold per level from 11-15, and 10 gold per level from 16-20. During this time the player has no control over his or her character. Players may hire themselves out for fractions of a week and reduce the appropriately reduced pay. In cities that do not offer great wealth, a luck check (DC 20) is required each week to find work.
11. Critical Skill Successes: A skill may critical if a player rolls a natural 20 and then meets the DC on a follow up roll, just like a weapon critical; such a success is considered a critical success and the overall bonus is increased by an additional New Profession: Military Strategist
A Military Strategist is a student of war in all of its forms; from history to the application of formations and troop logistics to the management of resources. As a strategist you may attempt any of the following once a day:
• DC 12: You spend a few minutes during the day to review current movement practices for ways to increase efficiency. If you succeed at your skill check, you increase overall troop movement by 10% for the day. Functionally this adds 5 miles a day to cavalry, 2 miles to infantry, 1 mile to a heavily laden force, and 3 miles to the standard adventuring party.
• DC 15: After spending a minute speaking with your troops (or troop captains if your army is large) you may make a check to improve morale. If you succeed, the morale of your army is increased by 1 step, troops gain a +2 moral bonus to attacks, saves and AC. This benefit lasts for 1 minute, + 1 minute per 2 you make the DC by. Functionally, this can be used to provide a quick boost to allies during combat.
• DC 18: So long as you have a full hour to study terrain and speak with your troops, or allies, about tactics – benefits from using tactics, such as flanking or maneuver-based feats increased by 1 for the remainder of the combat.
- Dice Rolling Rules*
• Clear View: All dice must be rolled in clear view of those on the table; they must be rolled in an unobstructed state.
• Dice at Rest: All dice must remain at rest when you call their results out; do not pick them up until the total check is calculated. Picking dice up immediately after a roll, before calculating a total will constitute a reason for a re-roll, no matter the result. Once dice come to rest, your action cannot be taken back. If you roll, there is no “ret-conning.”
• Be Honest, Even After the Fact: Mistakes happen; if you notice a mistake has been made (such as you having cast your 6th fireball out of 4 for the day), let the GM know – you will never suffer dire consequences for honesty (in this example, a small experience penalty is likely, not a ret-con).
• Next Life: If you have died in a campaign, you may not play the same class in that campaign immediately thereafter. You may not play the same race three times in a row.
• Joining a Game: New players start as half the level of the current group, with appropriate gold for their level. Magical equipment will be negotiated for.
• Missing Sessions: Characters who miss sessions will be given 50 experience times their character level per missed session for “side adventures” their character was embarking on during the down time. If there is a significant difference in levels when you rejoin the game, you may gain up to 1 free level to help catch you up.
• Collaborative: I restrict only the chaotic/evil alignment. All other alignments are allowed, however I strongly encourage group participation in character creation. This does not mean each player needs to “tell-all” to the other players (I like a degree of mystery), but generally knowing that Wes is playing a “Fighter type” will help others compliment him.
• Alignment: The alignment “non-aligned” is available; characters with that alignment are generally in it for themselves but not specifically evil and gain no benefits or penalties from alignment-based effects.
• Catching Up: If the game is at a place where you cannot easily join, or if you just want to catch up, you may request a special session or two just to catch you up.
• Clarification Rule: Any ruling of the GM may be questioned immediately when an event occurs. If a ruling is found wrong, a correction will (usually) be made in standing with the established rules. If another player’s initiative has come up, or a new scene has begun, there will be no “ret-conning”.
• Player Verses Player: I discourage but do not prevent player verses player encounters; sometimes they are inevitable. Player verses player death is all but final; only other players or some extremely rare NPCs can bring these dead back to life. I choose to make this more difficult to make the loss of a party member a bigger deal; if you choose to kill a party member, you must deal with the consequences of that loss.
• D20s: Players may store a number of natural 20 rolls equal to their luck bonus (minimum 1). One 20 tally may be spent to re-roll a skill or save. Two 20 tallies may be spent to re-roll an attack or damage. Two 20 tallies may also be spent at the beginning of a combat to increase your effective AC and Saves by your Luck Modifier (minimum 1). This benefit lasts the entire combat. Three 20 tallies may be spent to have an opponent re-roll an attack against you or deal minimum damage as an immediate action. 7 20 tallies may be spent as a group immediate action to have an effect that affects the whole group re-rolled or deal minimum damage.
• Penalties: Sometimes players make mistakes; occasionally 8 words in a combat round becomes a strategic paragraph on top of combat actions. Sometimes players react on out of character information, in character. In these cases a small experience penalty will be levied a player simply to enforce rules without breaking the stride of the game – and will be revealed only to that player during experience hand outs (generally no more than 10 experience X character level). If you have any questions about rules or what you might be penalized for, please let me know.
• Experience Pool: Players are only allowed to gain so much experience for any given act; leveling each session will be all but impossible. Any experience not spent for leveling is automatically placed in an experience pool that can be used to purchase maximum hit points, additional skill points, ability points, feats or to unlock special abilities.
• Natural 20: A natural 20 is treated as a 30 for the purposes of determining success (and does not generate an automatic success); a natural 20 automatically ignores any situational penalties due to previous actions in a round. A wide arc with a natural 20 allows the player to ignore the attack and damage penalty for a single creature on top of counting as a 30, for example.
• Natural 1: Natural 1s are always treated as -10 for the purposes of determining success. If your total score is less than 1, a luck roll is required for potential botch or self-damaging results.
Natural 20s Table:
Max 20s: Equal to Luck Modifier (Minimum 1)
Natural 20s Spent Result
1 Re-roll any skill or save (immediate action)
2 Re-roll an attack of damage (immediate)
2 Increase AC and Saves by Luck Modifier for the entire combat.
3 Opponent re-rolls an attack or deals minimum damage to you (immediate)
7 Group effect re-rolled or reduced to minimum damage.
• Experience is awarded for Combat, Roleplay, Problem Solving, Helping Others and Awesomesauce. Awesomesauce is pulling something inventive out of your ass and saving the day. Helping others includes catching them up on missed games.
• I award experience at the end of the game; everyone gets an equal share of combat experience – players get their Roleplay, Problem Solving, Helping Others, Awesomesauce, and penalty experience individually awarded via notes. Penalty experience is usually only awarded for breaking character and giving things away that are crucial to combat/plot.
Combat House Rules
• Declaration Rule: All combat oriented feats, class abilities etc that alter how damage would be dealt or your combat abilities (such as multi-shot, quick shot, maximize fireball or using a strange power I give you) must be declared before you know the results of your dice. If you do not declare it before, the power is not used (nor is the use wasted).
• Wide Arc: When multiple opponents are within the reach of a single attack (in a row, side-by side or otherwise logically in an arc-shaped attack), any character may attempt a wide arc (which must be designated prior to rolling the first attack check). A wide arc is a full round action that does provoke an attack of opportunity. When making a wide arc attack, roll to attack the first opponent at the beginning of the arc with a -2 penalty to attack and damage. If you hit, you may roll to hit the subsequent enemy with a -4 penalty to attack and damage. If you hit, the penalty for the subsequent enemy is -6 to attack and damage and so on (decreasing both attack and damage by 2 each time). If you miss any opponent your wide arc cannot continue to subsequent opponents in that round.
• Rules Checks: Rules checks are fine immediately before, during, or after an event – not after the next player begins his or her turn. GM always has final rule.
• OOC Comments: OOC Comments out of combat are much more okay than in combat; as a general rule, I prefer each person’s turn during combat to take no longer than 3 minutes. If OOC comments lead to an event happening that should not (I’ve got 3 fireball spells prepared, you really aughta duck) while your character is silenced, for example, I won’t mention anything but experience will be docked with a note at the end of the session. I realize that there are times when it makes sense from a tactical perspective to blurt something out – if you’re willing to risk the EXP for it, that’s fine.
• Player Death: You only die when you reach your constitution score in negative hit points. This exceeds and replaces the -10 rule. This also gives you more to heal in serious combat, so come prepared. Feats impacted by this rule will be modified as appropriate.
Magic House Rules:
• Alternate Objects: Various objects and items can be used to automatically empower spells per the optional rules in the books.
Training anything other than maximum hit points takes time. To get the skill increase, your character must dedicate 4 hours a day for a week to skill training. Feats take 8 hours a day for two weeks. Re-training a feat, though it costs no experience, requires the same amount of training as a new feat. Ability score increases require 8 hours of training every day for 3 days per the new score. You may train anything, provided you have the experience for it. Supernatural, esoteric, or odd stuff may still require a trainer to educate you.
Note: You cannot “save” upgrades if you’ve leveled and pay the previous cost. If you adventure and train at the same time, you risk the chance of having to pay the additional cost of the new level and the chance to pick up additional skills/feats for the previous one.
• Maximum Hit Points: Cost 250 experience times your previous level +1 (250 at level 2, 500 at level 3, etc). You gain maximum hit points for your level without rolling.
• Skill increases: You may expend 50 experience times your level to gain an additional 6 skill points. These may not be expended on knowledges, languages, or professions.
• New Feats: You may purchase an additional new feat for which you meet the prerequisites once each level. Feats cost 500 experience times your level.
• Re-training Feats: You may re-train 1 feat each time you level. New feat selection may not invalidate a previous selection.
• Ability Score Increases: You may increase 1 ability score once each level.
o An ability score costs 500 experience points times your current level to increase it up to 12.
o An ability score costs 1,000 experience points times your current level to increase it up to 14.
o 1,500 X current level up to 17
o 2,000 X current level up to 19
o 3,000 X current level up to 22.
o 4,000 X current level up to 24
o 8,000 X current level up to 26 etc.
General House Feats
Prerequisite: Level 1 Only
Benefit: When you take this feat you must choose one of two benefits: Whenever experience is given, you may gain either a 5% bonus to leveling experience or a 10% bonus to the “bonus” experience. You may not re-select this benefit after character creation.
Special: This feat may not be re-trained.
Adroit Wide Arc [General]
Prerequisite: Level 1
Benefit: Swinging a Wide Arc no longer provokes attacks of opportunity.
Improved Wide Arc [General]
Prerequisite: Level 1, Str 14, Dex 13
Benefit: The penalty to rolling for an attack or damage for using a wide arc attack is reduced by 1.
Prerequisite: Level 1 Only
Benefit: Your luck score is considered 4 higher when calculating 20 tallies that you may keep. You also generate one 20 tally each day if you do not already have one.
Special: You may train luck like any other attribute. This feat may not be re-trained.
Normal: You may not train luck at all.
Greater Wide Arc [Fighter]
Prerequisite: Improved Wide Arc, Level 5
Benefit: The penalty to rolling for an attack or damage for using a wide arc attack is reduced by an additional 1.
Perfect Wide Arc [Fighter]
Prerequisite: Greater Wide Arc, Level 13
Benefit: The penalty to rolling for an attack or damage for using a wide arc attack is reduced by an additional 1.