Monday, November 9, 2015

B/X Open Table House Rules

I have been running a B/X Open Table game set in The Borderlands for about a year now.  These limited house rules have developed over time.  Some to address some mechanical imbalances I see in the ruleset and to facilitate the 2.5 hour time slot we usually run in.  Others have been rulings based on player questions that I remembered to write down!

B/X House Rules


Zero Hit Points
When a character reaches zero hit points or below he is out of the combat. After combat the player may roll a Save vs. Death. If successful the character is clinging to life, but grievously wounded. He will stay unconscious without magical healing or one full day of bed rest. When the character is revived the player must roll on the permanent injury table.

Sundered Shields
A character wielding a shield may sacrifice the shield to negate any one attack against the character or an ally adjacent to the character. The shield is ruined afterwards. If the shield is magical, the attack may be blocked at the cost of one of the magical bonuses of the shield for the remainder of the session.  If all of the magical bonuses are used up and the shield is used to block yet another attack it is irrevocably ruined, otherwise the magical bonuses will return at the beginning of the next game session.

Reach Weapons
The following weapons have reach and can attack enemies 10' away; lance, pole arm, staff, spear. A pole arm cannot be used to attack enemies that are only 5' away, however.
Carousing for XP
Player characters can spend treasure in town to gain XP. Typically 1 XP for each GP spent. The DM has a table you must roll on that can modify that for good or ill, however.

Payment rates are negotiated separately at the time of hiring. Hirelings may have one PC employer only.  That PCs Charisma determines Loyalty.

0-level Torchbearers become Men-at-Arms after surviving 2 sessions.
0-level human Men-at-Arms become 1st level characters after surviving 3 sessions (usually Fighter).
Demi-human Men-at-Arms become 1st level characters after surviving 4 sessions.

Hirelings that gain a class level in service to one PC are henceforth considered a Henchman of that PC.  In the event of PC death, the Henchman may become a PC and inherit the possessions of the deceased at a 10% tax penalty.

After each session the Hirelings loyalty must be tested to see if they will stay with their employer, leave, or ask to renegotiate for higher pay.

Changes and Clarification to Class Abilities

Maximum Hit Points for all classes at first level.

Magic-User and Elf Spell Acquisition
Magic-Users and Elves may add spells to their spellbooks from scrolls or other spell books.  Once added the spell disappears from the original source.  Adding a spell to a character's spellbook may only be done during downtime in a safe location.  A spell may only be added to one spellbook.  Read Magic is not necessary.

Wisdom modifies the number of First Level spells a Cleric can memorize per day. 13-15 +1, 16-17 +2, 18 +3.

Fighters may 'Cleave' after any attack in which they kill their target. The Cleave is one extra attack at a living enemy that must be within melee reach of the fighter at the time.

Thieves add +2 to their current experience level when consulting the Thief Abilities chart.
Thieves also add their Dexterity score to all Thief Abilities.

Intelligence modifies the number of First Level spells a M-U can memorize per day. 13-15 +1, 16-17 +2, 18 +3.  A M-U may pick their one starting spell, or let the DM roll randomly.  If they let the DM roll randomly the character will start play with three first level spells.

Dwarf, Elf, Halfling
No changes.  Elves start with one spell of their choice or two spells rolled randomly by the DM.  They may memorize extra First Level spells as a M-U.