House Rules

I know that this list may seem a bit daunting, but most of these are situational, and as such irrelevant to some characters. All rules subject to change, emails will be sent if changes are made.


  • All source-books are generally available for use (but if it’s unfamiliar, I will ask to review it first). Exceptions will be stated in relation to the campaign.
  • All spells listed/introduced in Spell Compendium must be approved by the DM.
  • All items introduced in Magic Item Compendium must be approved by the DM.
  • Anyone wishing to bring in a new character (due to character death or a new player) comes in at the level equal to the average level of the party. Anyone wishing to switch characters brings in their first switched character at the same level as the lowest-level party member; any switches thereafter will be subject to penalty, subject to DM decision (typically lower XP or money).
  • Natural healing will function at a rate of 1hp per HD + CON modifier (minimum 0) per day. All other rules and modifiers are as written.
  • A character dies when their HP reaches -CON score, instead of -10.
  • Non-Combat Healing: When the caster/user is not being threatened or distracted, all variable, numeric effects of Conjuration (healing) spells are automatically maximized. This also applies to scrolls and wands. Potions are resolved as normal.
  • Players are always allowed to take half of their HD when leveling up instead of rolling.

Character Creation

  • Stats roll-up is done as follows: roll 4d6, dropping the lowest of the 4. Re-roll anything totaling 8 or lower. Do this 7 times, and drop the lowest of the 7. This gives one set of stats. Do this three times and then select a set to use. You may place your stats wherever you choose. This must be performed with the DM as a witness.
  • The auto-approved list of races may be found here. Players who wish to play anything not found there must be approved by the DM.
  • The auto-approved list of classes may be found here. Players who wish to play anything not listed there must be approved by the DM.
  • PCs may select one feat from this list at character creation as a bonus feat. It does not count against total feats known. It cannot be retrained, as it is considered an inherent effect.
  • One may give up a language known at character creation to gain 2 additional skill points per language lost. Alternatively, one can be illiterate or unable to converse in one (or more, if known) starting language(s) to gain 1 additional skill point per language. Furthermore, automatic language(s) are not required.
  • Backstory is required. It doesn’t have to be incredibly in-depth, but you must provide something coherent. I also highly recommend an image for your character page, but a good description will do if you cannot find a suitable image.
  • Bonuses are rewarded for backstory and character depth…even more-so if they are not predictable/cliché. These may take the form of extra skill ranks/points, extra items, cost reductions for starting purchases, etc. You will also receive an extra green gem in my Gem System.
  • All characters are given one backpack, one belt pouch, and two standard sets of clothing (one worn, one extra) at no cost or weight. These may not be sold for extra coin, but they may be refused or destroyed.


  • All classes gain Listen, Search, and Spot as class skills.
  • Favored Class and Multi-class penalties are not enforced. However, when switching between classes the character must learn their basic training (first level of new class) from a character (PC or NPC) who has at least one level in that class.
  • Spellcasting classes do not need to keep track of material components unless there is a stated price for the item(s) required for the spell. Focuses are still required.
  • Sorcerers gain the same feat progression as Wizards. They may add Heritage Feats to their list of options.
  • The Fast Movement (EX) class feature granted to the Barbarian, Monk, Scout, Dervish (PrC), and any other class which grants Fast Movement (EX) are to be “untyped” bonuses, as the Barbarian version. This allows them to stack.
  • Paladins may be of any alignment, but must be within one step of their chosen deity. The Paladin variants from Unearthed Arcana will be used to determine class features.
  • All divine casters which do not normally gain Domain access (e.g. Cleric) gain access to one Domain (as approved by DM) related to their class (e.g. Druids gain access to one Nature-based domain, Paladins gain access to one of their deity’s Domains). This Domain follows the rules for Domain Powers as normal; Domain Spells are granted at the rate the class would ordinarily acquire spells.
  • The Craft Reserve of the Artificer stacks at each level, as opposed to the written rule of “use it or lose it”.
  • The following are my working “fixes” for the Tome of Battle:
    • Players using one of the martial classes from Tome of Battle may swap schools of training if it fits flavor. These would be reviewed during character creation or when the PC levels into one of the classes.
    • The Warblade gains Sense Motive as a class skill.
    • The Warblade recovers maneuvers in the same manner as the Swordsage.
    • A successful Concentration check is needed to recover maneuvers (DC 10 + maneuver level + damage dealt).
    • The Warblade and Swordsage classes do provoke attacks of opportunity for recovering maneuvers.
    • Stances are deactivated upon initiating a maneuver, and cannot be reactivated until that player’s next turn. Stances do not function automatically and indefinitely outside of combat.


  • Improved Toughness may be used in place of Toughness for prerequisites where not already stated.
  • The Improved Familiar feat covers all iterations of this feat from any source-book.
  • The Poison Expert feat (C. Scoundrel) scales as the character levels at first and every fifth level (1, 5, 10, 15, 20), to a maximum bonus of +5 at level 20.


  • Regarding critical threat attacks: if the first and second rolls are a 20, and the third is not a 20 but confirms a hit, increase your critical multiplier by one. All other critical rules apply as normal.
  • Do not engage in “combat conferencing.” Your characters may work together as a unit, but they do not have the ability to work out extremely detailed strategies in the middle of a battle (at least not for long). As such, players should not advise each other on any tactics during combat; however, characters can certainly shout out suggestions (using the “free action” rules for speaking in the Player’s Handbook, page 144). Under no circumstance should other players plot out your strategies for you. Exceptions to long-term advising will be given to players new to D&D or a particular concept for a time (e.g. casting, two-weapon rules) or if there is something that needs to be definitively clarified.

Special (Campaign-Specific)

  • All spells, magic items, and effects regarding language, unless specifically granted by a racial or class feature, do not exist. Language is a thing that MUST be learned, not bypassed by means of magic. There are unique, mysterious forces that may grant one a finite means around this rule, however…
  • If diplomacy is used heavily, I will be utilizing Rich Burlew’s variation of the Diplomacy Skill, found here. If it is used only sparingly, we will use the standard rules.
  • The Research skill will be used.
  • In place of Common, characters know Trade and one Continental (Corren, Qennalcine, Valna, Vandik, Zieric/Folgari) at creation. Trade is a gesturing-heavy language and is meant specifically for trading or bartering, and as such cannot be used to carry out a full conversation outside of transactions. The Continental automatically known is dictated by your origins.
  • Feel free to take skills that are not listed or spelled out specifically. Craft, Knowledge, Profession, and Perform allow for so much variety. The core knowledge skills cover pretty generally, but feel free to take more specific knowledge skills. They will give you lower check DCs in the specific area. For example, Knowledge(Arch/Eng) generally covers physical science, but you could take knowledge(mathematics) if you wanted to be especially good in that area. Knowledge (Dungeoneering) will make you knowledgeable about many various creatures, but Knowledge (Dragons) makes you a true dragon expert. Customize as you see fit; if your character isn’t a healer, but has studied the body’s weak point, take Knowledge(anatomy) instead of Heal.

House Rules

The Vault Maesenko