House Rules.   Posted by Chronicler.Group: 0
 GM, 2 posts
Mon 16 Dec 2019
at 03:33
House Rules
Stolen from Keith Baker


" . . . Per page 46-47 of the Eberron Campaign Setting, each plane has its own language. There’s Infernal, Risian, and a language called “Daelkyr.” But that’s not how I do things in my campaign… because again, how is it fun? Are your characters supposed to devote one of their limited language slots to the language of Irian? How often is that actually going to be useful? And if no one takes it, do they make a perilous journey to Irian only to find that they can’t speak to any of the inhabitants? Is that fun?

So personally, I do a few things in my campaign. First, most powerful outsiders can essentially activate a tongues effect. If an angel of Syrania wishes to be understood, you simply understand what it is saying. Lesser inhabitants of the plane likely won’t have this ability and will speak the planar language. With that said, I reduce the number of languages in existence, planar and otherwise. In my campaign, I use the following major languages.

  • Common is the shared language of the humans of Khorvaire. Originally people spoke a number of regional languages from Sarlona, but when Galifar was established a single language was set as the Common tongue and use of the others was discouraged; traces of these linger in regional dialects and slang.
  • Riedran is the dominant language of Sarlona. It was established by the Inspired after they unified Riedra. It is sometimes called Old Common, because there’s a few places in Khorvaire (notably Valenar) where people speak it; but it’s simply a different regional language from the old kingdoms of Sarlona.
  • Goblin can be considered Dhakaani Common. It spread across Khorvaire during the long reign of the Dhakaani Empire and smothered most existing languages, and it remains the dominant language of the pre-human “monstrous” inhabitants of Khorvaire — goblins, orcs, ogres, gnolls, etc. Many of the inhabitants of Droaam and Darguun don’t speak Common, but they all know Goblin.
  • Giant can be seen as Xen’drik Common and is understood by most of the civilized peoples of the Shattered Land. This isn’t to say that the bee-people won’t have their own language, but Giant is the recognized trade language.
  • Draconic is — surprise! — Celestial Common. While it is spoken by dragons, it is also spoken by a majority of celestials (including denizens of Syrania, Irian and Shavarath); most likely the dragons learned it from the couatl. Some scholars call it the language of Siberys, and it also forms the foundation of many systems of arcane incantation;  as a result, many wizards and artificers understand Draconic but never actually speak it.
  • Abyssal can be considered Fiendish Common and is sometimes considered the language of Khyber. It’s spoken by most fiends, including both the rakshasa and the fiends of Mabar and Shavarath. Native aberrations could also speak Abyssal.
  • Undercommon is the language of Xoriat, and is spoken by the Daelkyr and most aberrations that have a connection to Xoriat. Undercommon seems to constantly evolve, but anyone who understands it understands the current form of it. Curiously, this means that ancient inscriptions in Undercommon can actually take on new meanings because of this linguistic evolution.
  • Elven is the language of Thelanis, and in my Eberron it essentially combines traditional Elven and Sylvan; it’s the language of Aerenal, but also spoken by most Fey.

I call these major languages because pretty much anything you meet will speak one of them. In Khorvaire, you can talk to almost anyone using either Common or Goblin. The other languages are regional — and members of those communities will generally either speak Common or Goblin. Such regional languages include Dwarven in the Mror Holds, Halfling in the Talenta Plains, Gnomish in Zilargo, and the tongue of the Gnolls. Speaking one of these languages essentially allows you to have private conversations with a member of that community and can win you some social points… but Mror children learn Common as well as Dwarven, and in many holds Common is the first language used. A mechanical side effect of this is that if a player is making a character who’s biologically of one species but raised in a different culture — IE, a dwarf raised in Zilargo or a halfling from Sharn — I may let them drop their “racial” language for something more common to their background. The Zil Dwarf might know Common and Gnomish, while the Sharn halfling might speak Common and Goblin. As it stands I’ve had the Ghaash’kala orcs speak Goblin… but on consideration, it might make more sense for them to speak Draconic or Abyssal, as they had very little contact with the Dhakaani.

While most creatures respond to one of the common languages, the more obscure languages come up in exploration and adventure. Go exploring the ruins beneath the Mror Holds and you’ll only find Dwarvish (or Undercommon!). You could find an isolated tribe of orcs that still speak the long-dead Orcish tongue. Go to Sarlona and you might find old scrolls written in the lost language of Pyrine, requiring magic to decipher. PCs may not encounter dragons or demons often, but any artifacts or ruins from the Age of Demons will use one of their languages.

And as I mentioned above, I do consider the Quori to have their own language… but Quori immortals definitely fall into the category of “If they want you to understand them, you do.” They may be speaking Quori, but you’ll hear it as the language you know best.

'Certain languages, such as Draconic, are usually important for magic. Would you say this is an innate property of the language or a result of early users and traditions?'

Consider this: mortal languages were created by mortals. Human developed their own languages over time. The languages of immortals — which per my list include Draconic, Abyssal, Undercommon, Elvish and Quori — are part of the fundamental structure of reality. There wasn’t a time when primitive angels slowly developed language; they were created with inherent knowledge of Draconic, hence some calling it “the tongue of Siberys.” With this in mind, yes: I would say that both Draconic, Elvish and Abyssal are mystically relevant languages. They are often found in systems of mystical incantations because they do have more inherent power than mortal languages." (Keith Baker, Lightning Round 2/26/18: Languages, Elementals and Pirates!)

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:15, Mon 16 Dec 2019.

 GM, 8 posts
Mon 30 Dec 2019
at 03:09
Action Points
Earning Action Points
Characters begin play with Action points equal to 4+ character level. They are replenished whenever a level is gained, or when an adventure path (usually 3-5 sessions) is completed (At DM's discretion). Action points may also be given out at the DM's discretion when a PC performs an especially heroic, epic or otherwise amazing feat. Examples include jumping off a tower to attack a fleeing wizard, even though the PC possesses no personal protection from falling damage and the Wizard can fly, or running back into a burning building to rescue an orphan, or trying to right a falling airship so it doesn't hit a halfling village only jumping off at the last minute.

Using Action Points
Action points provide a player with the means to alter d20 rolls in dramatic situations, reflecting the luck that can change crushing failure into heroic success. Your character has a limited number of action points, and you must use them wisely, since you don’t replenish this supply until your character attains a new level.

Main Use: You can spend an action point to improve the result of an attack roll, a skill check, an ability check, a level check, or a saving throw. Certain feats and prestige class features allow you to spend action points in different ways, but this is their most basic use. When you spend an action point, you add the result of a roll of 1d6 to your d20 roll to help you meet or exceed the target number for the roll. You can declare that you are spending an action point after you have already rolled the d20, but you must do so before the Dungeon Master reveals the result of your roll (whether the attack roll or check or saving throw succeeded or failed). You can’t use an action point on a skill check or ability check when you are taking 10 or taking 20.

You can only use action points once in a round. If you spend 1 or more action points on a special action (see below), you can’t spend a point in the same round to improve a die roll, and vice versa. No spell, power, or other special ability can allow a character to reroll an action point die. If a character suffers permanent level loss, he does not lose any action points he has remaining, and any subsequent level advancement provides new action points as normal.

If your character level is 8th or higher, you can roll more than one d6 when you spend an action point. If you do so, apply the highest result and disregard the other rolls. As a 15th-level character, for example, you can roll 3d6 and take the best result of the three. So, if you rolled 1, 2, and 4, you would apply the 4 to your d20 roll.

Character Level Action Point Dice (d6) Rolled
1st–7th:        1
8th–14th:       2
15th–20th:      3

Other Action Point Uses
Instead of altering the result of a d20 roll, you can use action points to perform one of the special actions described below. In addition, some prestige classes and feats allow you to spend action points to gain or activate specific abilities.

Activate Class Feature: You can spend 2 action points to gain another use of one of the following class features that has a limited number of uses per day: bardic music, rage, smite evil, Stunning Fist, turn or rebuke undead, or wild shape.

Hasten Infusion: On his turn, an artificer can spend 1 action point to imbue an infusion in 1 round, even if the infusion’s casting time is normally longer than 1 round.

Stabilize: When your character is dying, you can spend 1 action point to stabilize at your current hit point total. Spending an action point does nothing for you if you’re already dead.

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:56, Wed 01 Jan 2020.

 GM, 132 posts
Tue 4 Feb 2020
at 16:50
Race House Rules
Half-Elves (Khorovar) have the following racial features
  • Medium: As Medium creatures, half-elves have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Half-elf base land speed is 30 feet.
  • Immunity to sleep spells and similar magical effects, and a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against enchantment spells or effects.
  • Low-Light Vision: A half-elf can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. She retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
  • +2 racial bonus on Listen, Search, and Spot checks.
  • +2 racial bonus on Diplomacy and Gather Information checks.
  • Half-elves grant an additional +1 bonus when using aid another (for a total +3) and on flanking (for a total +3 attack bonus)
  • Elven Blood: For all effects related to race, a half-elf is considered an elf.
  • Automatic Languages: Common and Elven. Bonus Languages: Any (other than secret languages, such as Druidic).
  • Favored Class: Any. When determining whether a multiclass half-elf takes an experience point penalty, her highest-level class does not count.

Half-Orcs (Jhor'guntaal) have the following racial features
  • +2 Strength, either -2 Intelligence or -2 Charisma.
  • Medium: As Medium creatures, half-orcs have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Half-orc base land speed is 30 feet.
  • Darkvision: Half-orcs (and orcs) can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and half-orcs can function just fine with no light at all.
  • +2 racial bonus on Intimidate checks
  • Orc Ferocity: Once per day, when reduced to 0 hit points or lower, a half-orc immediately heals 1d8+half their character level (rounded up) hit points.
  • Orc Blood: For all effects related to race, a half-orc is considered an orc.
  • Automatic Languages: Common and Orc. Bonus Languages: Draconic, Giant, Gnoll, Goblin, and Abyssal.
  • Favored Class: Barbarian. A multiclass half-orc’s barbarian class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty.

Half-Dwarves (Toldunkarrn) have the following racial features
  • +4 Strength, +2 Constitution, –2 Charisma
  • Humanoid (dwarf): half-dwarves are humanoid creatures
    with the dwarf subtype.
  • Medium: As Medium creatures, half-dwarves have no
    bonuses or penalties due to size.
  • Half-dwarf base land speed is 30 feet.
  • Darkvision: Half-dwarves can see in the dark up to 30 feet.
    Darkvision is black and white only, but is otherwise like
    normal sight, and half-dwarves can function just fine with no light
    at all.
  • Tireless: Half-dwarves get a +4 racial bonus to checks for
    performing a physical action that extends over a period of
    time (running, swimming, holding breath, and so on).
    This bonus stacks with the Endurance feat. This bonus
    may also be applied to savings throws against spells and
    magical effects that cause weakness, fatigue, exhaustion
    or enfeeblement.
  • Extended Activity: Half-dwarves may engage in up to 12
    hours of hard labor or forced marching without suffering
    from fatigue.
  • Dwarven Blood: For all effects related to race, a half-dwarf
    is considered a dwarf. Half-dwarves, for example, are just as
    vulnerable to effects that affect dwarves as their dwarf
    ancestors are, and they can use magic items that are only
    usable by dwarves.
  • Nonlethal Damage Resistance 1/–. Half-dwarves are difficult
    to subdue, and do not notice minor bruises, scrapes, and
    other discomforts that pain creatures of other races.
  • Favored Class: Fighter
  • Automatic Language: Common. Bonus Languages:
    Dwarven, Elven, Giant, and Halfling.
  • Level Adjustment: +1

Warforged Scouts have the following racial features
  • +2 Dexterity, –2 Strength, –2 Wisdom, –2 Charisma.
  • Small size. +1 bonus to Armor Class, +1 bonus on attack rolls, +4 bonus on Hide checks, –4 penalty on grapple checks, lifting and carrying limits 3/4 those of Medium characters.
  • A warforged scout’s base land speed is 30 feet.
  • Special Qualities (see above): Composite plating, light fortification, living construct traits.
  • Automatic Languages: Common. Bonus Languages: None.
  • Favored Class: Rogue

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:22, Tue 03 Mar 2020.