There are two types of campaigns: newbie campaigns and veteran campaigns. Some of the following rules apply only to one type of campaign or the other. Those rules will clarify which campaigns they apply to, all other rules apply to all campaigns.
My goal with these house rules is to make a more clear and balanced D&D that is still playable in Roll20. They are not set in stone, and may change at any time. However, I will do my best not to change them in a way that screws over players.
Yes, much of this was taken from other places. Demoralizing, the exploration rules, and probably the some other things were lifted from Pathfinder. The magic item pricing rules were inspired by an article from the Angry DM.
- The whole document is reorganized to match the chapters of the Player’s Handbook, with some extra sections afterward.
- All characters get 31 points for point buy, regardless of race.
- Artificers are banned. (Architect is grandfathered in).
- Some Lazer Llama domains for clerics.
- Changes to druid wild shaping.
- Switching to Lazer Llama’s Alternate Monk.
- Switching to Lazar Llama’s Alternate Sorcerer.
- Rules for whips tripping and wrapping around objects.
- Add the lack of alignment.
- Sages gain study as a free exploration activity.
- Added a note about the cover rules we were already using.
- Added that flanked creatures cannot provide flanking to other creatures.
- Added limits to hiding.
- Added some rules on underwater combat.
- The sound rules were simplified
- Proficiency is required for aid
- Medicine check to wake up unconscious characters.
- Alchemist’s fire and holy water as simple weapons.
- Rules for transferring item enchantments.
- Added random options for point buy.
- Revised costs for potions of healing.
- Added height and weight tables.
- Added gunner to the list of banned feats.
Table of Contents
Numerical bonuses are applied in the order the effects were applied. So if you cast longstrider (+10 to speed) and then haste (double speed) on the same 30 foot speed character in that order, their speed is now 80 ((30 + 10) x 2) feet. If you do it haste first and then longstrider, their speed is now 70 ((30 x 2) + 10) feet.
If two effects double something, such tabaxi feline agility and haste, the thing doubled is quadrupled. All calculations are not rounded down until the end of the calculation, unless otherwise specified.
Out of Character Conversation
If your character is in an interaction with an NPC, and you say something, then your character says it. To say something out of character either say “OOC” (pronounced like the monkey sound “ook”) for Out of Character, or make moose ears (thumb to the side of your head, fingers spread and pointing up, you only need to do it with one hand).
Players vs. The Universe
If you as a player tries to do something that breaks the game, like give you infinite spell slots or something like that, you have to understand the in-game perspective. When the player tries to break the game, the character in the game is trying to break the universe. The universe is not the character’s to break. If the character tries to break the universe, the universe will instead break the character.
During play I will generally try to make quick rulings so play can continue. If you have an objection, make it quick. I will make a decision on your objection, and then that is it until the end of session. After session we can have a fuller discussion and I will make a final ruling, which will probably go in this document.
If at any time failing a roll could give you information, the DM may make the roll secretly and tell you the result.
If it seriously bothers you that the DM is making rolls for you, you can make 20 d20 rolls at the beginning of each session, and the DM will randomly select from these rolls when a secret roll is required. Unfortunately, Roll20 does not allow you to make a roll that only the DM sees, unless the DM has a Pro subscription.
Ability scores will be generated with point buy. However, you get 31 points and can buy a 16 for 12 points. This allows you to buy the median roll of 4d6 drop low.
If you really want to roll for abilities, you can choose one or both of two options. First, you can roll d100 to get a random set of abilities that can be generated with the above point buy rules. Second, after generating a set of ability scores, roll 1d6 for each ability, assigning that ability the Nth score where N is the number rolled (rerolling any duplicate rolls).
Each player character race has an age of maturity, an old age, and an age rate (see the Dome of Heaven Player’s Guide for details). The age of maturity is the youngest age an adventurer can be for that race. When a character reaches old age, they must make a DC 10 saving throw for each ability. Any save that fails reduces that ability score by 1. If any ability score ever reaches 0, the character dies. These save must be repeated every N years, where N is equal to the race’s age rate. Every time these saves are repeated, the DC goes up by one.
In order to assist the feeling of the world, all character must have names appropriate to their race and/or culture. Exceptions may be made with reasonable backgrounds.
Once you have enough experience points, you must take a long rest before you can level up. If the campaign is using session-based or story-based advancement, you will be told when you are ready to level up, and you will level up after your next long rest.
See the Dome of Heaven Player’s Guide for the races available in the Dome of Heaven. Note the changes below for official races.
Races may be customized as per “Customizing Your Origin” in Tasha’s, p. 7. Standard languages can only be replaced with other standard languages. Exotic or planar languages can be replaced with any language. All changes require a supporting background.
Dragonborn may use their breath weapon a number of times equal to their proficiency bonus. They regain all uses after a long rest. This replaces the one use per short or long rest given in the Player’s Handbook. In addition, dragonborn get darkvision and proficiency in either perception or stealth. Black, green, bronze, and gold dragonborn may swap out darkvision for amphibious.
All PHB classes are available, although many have alternate rules. See below for details. Artificers are not available.
Most subclasses from Xanathar’s and Tasha’s are available. However, Sorcerer/Aberrant Mind, Fighter/Psi Warrior, and Rogue/Soul Knife are banned. This is done for world building reasons, mainly that humanoid psionics are developed until the Biological Age.
Changes to barbarians only involve the sub-classes.
Bear totem barbarians only have resistance to physical, natural, and elemental damage. That is, bludgeoning, piercing, slashing, acid, cold, fire, lightning, poison, and thunder. They are not resistant to force, necrotic, psychic, or radiant damage.
At the end of a frenzy, berserker barbarians must make a Constitution save with a DC of 15 plus five for each level of exhaustion they have. Only if they fail the save do they get the level of exhaustion after a frenzy. In addition, Intimidating Presence can be used as a bonus action.
Clerics have access to the following Lazer Llama domains: Blood, Chaos, Hearth, Luck, and Shadow.
At 3rd level, a druid may choose one cantrip that does not consume material components. They may cast that cantrip while wild shaped. Thereafter, every time a druid gains one or more spell slots of a new level, they may choose a spell that is two levels lower than the spell slot gained, and does not consume material components, which they may cast while wild shaped.
Druids of second level or higher may wild shape a number of times equal to their proficiency bonus. They regain all uses of wild shape after a short or long rest.
While wild shaped, druids do not assume the creature’s hit points and hit dice. However, they have damage resistance to all damage except magic damage (psychic, force, necrotic, and radiant) while wild shaped. When you are knocked unconscious, you revert to your normal form.
As specified in 13. Monsters, the following monstrosities are considered beasts in my campaigns: ankheg, carrion crawler, death dog, griffon, hippogriff, owlbear, roc, and sea lion. Therefore, druids can wild shape into them.
Changes to fighters only involve the sub-classes and the two-weapon fighting style.
Improved Critical gives champions a critical hit on 18, 19, or 20. In addition, any time a champion scores a critical hit, they may immediately make a free attack. Critical hits on the free attack do not count toward getting free attacks.
Superior Critical gives champions a critical hit on 16-20.
Two-Weapon Fighting Style
The two-weapon fighting style allows you to use a non-light weapon in your primary hand. In addition, if you have the Extra Attack feature, it applies to both the attacks made with your primary weapon and your off-hand weapon.
Note that this replaces the standard fighting style, it does not add to it. So all off-hand weapon attack are done without the ability bonus to damage.
These changes are available to any class that can normally take the two-weapon fighting style.
We will be using Lazer Llama’s alternate monk class.
Changes to rogues only involve sub-classes.
In addition to the stated benefits, Second Story Work gives advantage to all Strength (Athletics) checks for climbing or leaping.
We will be using Lazer Llama’s alternate sorcerer class.
4. Personality and Background
I do not use alignment. However, instead of choosing an alignment, you need to state three moral principles that your character follows.
Please refer to the Dome of Heaven Player’s Guide for information on languages used in the Dome.
Inspiration allows a reroll rather than a roll at advantage.
The creatures of the Lovecraft/Cthulhu mythos do not exist in my games. So there are no mind flayers. In addition, there no aboleths, alhoons, elder brains, kuo-toa, gibbering mouthers, mind witnesses, neogi, neothelids, or ulitharids. Therefore, you should not reference these creatures in your character backgrounds.
There are extensive changes to magic items. See section 12 for more information.
Alchemist’s fire, holy water, and similar items are simple ranged weapons with a range of 20/60.
Whips may be used to make trip attacks. If you hit someone with a whip attack, in the same round you may use another attack or bonus action to try and trip them. This is an Athletics check contested by their Acrobatics. If you win, the target is prone. If the opponent is one size larger than you they have advantage on the check, if they are two or more sizes larger than you they automatically succeed. If they are smaller than you, you have advantage on the check.
You may make an attack on a unattended physical object with a whip. If you hit AC 15 the whip wraps around the object (the AC may be adjusted by the DM). The whip then acts as a 10 foot rope attached to the object.
What equipment you can buy is based on where you are. Particular towns may have more or less than is listed here. A town just hit by an orc attack would have less, and important trading town might have more. A town known for raising horses will have more in the way of horses and gear for them. In addition, towns may have trouble getting adventuring gear, and prices may be increased to take that into account.
Middle of Nowhere
There is nothing to buy unless a merchant happens to wander by.
Villages generally have light armor, simple weapons, adventuring gear worth 10 gp or less, tools worth 20 gp or less, mounts worth 50 gp or less, tack and vehicles worth 35 gp or less, a rowboat if there is a significant water source. Money lenders will have at most 50 of each type of coin (no platinum) and 100 gp in non-diamond gems. It costs 5% to exchange coins for higher value coins or gems.
Unskilled hirelings are available. Skilled hirelings are available at the DMs discretion, but only if tools for that hireling are available in town.
Lodgings and food are at best modest. If this is a village off the beaten path, only poor lodgings and food are available.
There is a 20% chance of their being a travelling merchant with more expensive goods of one particular kind (armor, swords, adventuring gear, or tools). Items available in a town may be commissioned or ordered. You may make one investigation check to find a source.
Villages generally have minor magic items that cost no more than 50 gp. This would include all non-permanent minor common items. Expensive spell components costing up to 25 gp would also be available (except diamonds).
Towns generally have everything in the Player’s Handbook that costs less than 1,000 gp, as long as it is reasonable for the area. Items more expensive than that can generally be obtained, but it will take time to either manufacture it or get it delivered from another town/city. In towns near the water, a keelboat will probably be available for rent, but not purchase. Money lenders will have at most 500 of each coin, and 1,000 gp in non-diamond gems. There is a 25% chance in any given month that 100 gp in diamonds may be bought.
Lodgings and food are at best comfortable. If this is a town off the beaten path, only modest lodgings and food are available.
Magic items that are available in cities can be commissioned or ordered. You may make one investigation check per day for one week. Each failed investigation check adds one to the DC of the associated persuasion check.
Towns generally have magic items that cost no more than 600 gp. This basically limits it to common or uncommon items. Items more than 400 gp will be available, but maybe not the particular one you want. For example, there will be some +1 weapons, but maybe not a +1 scimitar. Expensive spell components costing up to 300 gp would also be available.
Anything in the Player’s Handbook is available in a city, within reason. You are not going to find a sea going ship in a city without access to the sea. Money lenders will not have more than a town does on hand, but will be able to get more extensive resources in a day or two. There is a 10% chance that a 1,000 gp diamond is available in any given month. No more than 100 gp in diamonds may be bought in any given month.
Cities generally have magic items that cost no more than 15,000 gp. Items more than 10,000 will be available, but maybe not the specific one you want. Expensive spell components costing up to 1,000 gp would also be available.
Magic items that are available in a metropolis can be commissioned or ordered. You may make one investigation check per day for one month. Each failed investigation check adds one to the DC of the associated persuasion check.
Metropolises generally have magic items that cost no more than 50,000 gp. Items more than 40,000 gp will be available, but maybe not the specific one you want. All expensive spell components will be available, except for 1,000 gp diamonds. There is a 25% chance that 1,000 gp diamond is available in any given month. No more than 100 gp in diamonds may be bought in any given week.
Other magic items can be commissioned or ordered, as per cities.
6. Customization Options
Multiclass characters must keep all of their levels within two of each other. That means you can be a Sorcerer 3/Warlock 1 (3-1=2), but not a Fighter 5/Rogue 2 (5-2=3). It also means that if you are going to multiclass, you must do it by 4th level (total).
Alternatively, if the campaign uses some form of experience points, you may have your class levels off by more than 2. However, if you do, you suffer a 20% penalty to experience points gained.
If you gain an extra attack feature that does not stack with a previous extra attack feature, you may take a feat instead.
Characters may get feats, and all feats are available except artificer initiate, gunner telekinetic, and telepathic. This is done for lore reasons, specifically there not being artificers, guns not being developed until the Steam Age, and humanoid psionics not being developed until the Biological Age.
7. Using Ability Scores
To aid someone on a skilled activity, you generally need to be proficient in the skill.
Group checks are generally done with the average or median modifier, whichever is lower. A random person in the group rolls a check with that modifier to represent the whole group. See the Strength sub-section for an exception.
Some checks can not reasonably be repeated if you fail. For example, if you make a check to see if you know something, that can’t be repeated. You either know it or you don’t.
Ability checks that have a penalty for failure, like falling with a failed Athletics check to climb, can be repeated. Knock yourself out, quite literally in some cases.
All other ability checks can be repeated, unless you fail the check by 10 or more. Once you do that, you can not try that particular check again until you go up a level.
We will be using the tool rules from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. Keep this in mind, as having and being proficient in various tools gives you advantage on certain skill checks.
Strength Athletics checks may be made to jump a longer distance than normal. Make the check, and for every point over 10, you jump an additional two feet. However, for every point under 10, you jump two feet less.
Group athletics checks to drag, pull, or push something may be made with the total modifier, if it is reasonable for all members in the group to work on the task at the same time. One random person in the group makes the check with that modifier to represent the whole group.
When you run into a monster, you can roll a skill check to see what your character knows about the monster. The DC is 10 + half the monster’s CR. That will give you the monster’s name and most important feature (in the DM’s opinion). Each point over that gives you another feature. The particular skill you use depends on the creature type:
- Arcana: aberrations, constructs, dragons, elementals, and undead.
- History: humanoids and giants.
- Nature: beasts, elementals, fey, monstrosities, oozes, and plants.
- Religion: archons, celestials, fey, fiends, and undead
At the beginning of combat you are told as much information as your passive skill check would get you. To learn more, you need to take an action to make a skill check. If you are a bard, or the skill is listed by name in your class’s skill section, you may make the check as a bonus action.
You may make a Medicine check at DC 15 to wake up an unconscious character during a short rest. If the check is successful, the character may benefit from the short rest. Each character may only make this check once per short rest, and only if they were conscious at the start of the short rest.
I am using the social interaction rules in the DMG (p. 244). Creatures have a starting attitude toward you. You can shift this in your favor by appealing to their personality traits. Note that you can screw this up and shift their attitude against you. You can find out their personality traits by having a conversation with them and making an Insight check. You can also find it out other ways, like learning rumors about them, or talking to people they know. Then you make your final pitch and your Intimidation or Persuasion check, and the result depends on the result and their attitude.
Time that is not an encounter or downtime is exploration time. Each player must have a default exploration activity. This is just the activity you are assumed to be doing, you can do any other exploration activity by telling the DM. Once the new activity is done, you are assumed to be continuing the default exploration activity, unless you explicitly state you are changing your default exploration activity.
There possible exploration activities are listed below. None of them impact the speed of travel. The whole group moving stealthily does that, halving your speed. The whole group not taking any default exploration activity increases their speed by half, but puts them at disadvantage to perception rolls to avoid surprise. The DM may also give advantage to rolls to find or notice the characters if the party is moving at high speed.
Each character may only take one exploration at a time. The exceptions are rangers, druids, and certain backgrounds. Rangers can always have two default exploration activities, and druids may have two default exploration activities when outdoors.
You disguise the tracks that you and your allies make, so it is harder for anyone to track you. This requires repeated Survival checks.
You take a careful stance as you travel, to be ready for combat. If any combat occurs, you are considered to be Dodging until your first chance to act in combat. You also gain the Dodging bonus to reflex saves for any trap or hazard encountered.
If a vehicle is being used, someone with proficiency with the vehicle must take this activity. Otherwise the group’s speed is halved.
You forage for food and or water, using the survival skill.
Continually cast guidance, so a particular ally gets an extra 1d4 added on to any skill checks based on their exploration activity. Note that guidance has a verbal component, so any character using the Guide activity is at disadvantage for stealth checks.
If any pack animals are being used, someone must take the lead activity and succeed on a Animal Handling check each hour. The DC of the check is determined by the terrain. If the check fails, the group’s speed is halved for that hour.
Keep a map of your travels. This requires having something to write with and something to write on. Furthermore, the DM may require that you purchase writing materials at regular intervals. You as a player may not get a physical map, but the DM will truthfully answer any questions about areas you have seen (as far as a map could show), and note anytime that your mapping uncovers a discrepancy. Characters with the Wanderer background may map as a second exploration activity.
In the wilderness, a person who takes the orient exploration activity makes a Survival check to make sure the party is still headed in the right direction. Failure of the Survival check results in movement at half speed and an extra wandering monster check. The DC of the Survival check depends on the terrain.
If no one is orienting as an exploration activity in the wilderness, it counts as an automatic failure.
You keep your eyes out for potential enemies. If combat occurs while you are scouting, you and all of your allies get a +2 to initiative.
You look for hidden doors, traps, and similar hazards. You may make a Perception or Investigation check whenever such secret items are encountered, as appropriate.
You take extra care in moving quietly. If your whole group is moving stealthily, this removes the lowest stealth bonus from the calculation of the group check bonus. You must have proficiency in Stealth to take this action, and you cannot use it to remove your stealth bonus from the calculation.
You use knowledge skills such as arcana, history, nature, and religion to study your surroundings. If anything relevant to those skills is encountered, you may make the relevant skill check. Characters with the Sage background may study as a second exploration activity.
You keep an eye out for tracks made by other creatures. Any time such tracks would come into view, you may make a Survival check to read the tracks.
Alternatively, you may be following specific tracks. This will require periodic Survival to stay with the tracks and additional checks when terrain changes, as determined by the DM. Failure of these checks may result in you losing the tracks or wasting time following false trails.
Your character can become inebriated. The first two drinks do not have a mechanical effect. Each drink after the second requires a constitution saving throw with a DC equal to 10 + the number of drinks you have had. Each failure gives you one level of inebriation. Inebriation is basically the same as exhaustion, but it does not stack with exhaustion.
Anything that can remove a level of exhaustion can relieve a level of inebriation. A long rest removes all levels of inebriation. However, if you have three or more levels of inebriation, you still have one level of inebriation for four hours after a long rest, to simulate a hangover.
Extreme Cold and Frigid Water
A creature in temperatures at or below 0 degrees Fahrenheit must succeed at Constitution save each hour or gain a level of exhaustion. The DC for the save is 10 plus the number of hours the creature has been at those temperatures. Creatures in frigid water must save every minute, at DC 10 plus the number of minutes in frigid water.
Creatures with cold resistance, cold immunity, cold weather gear, or natural adaptation to cold environments is immune to these saves.
A creature in temperatures at or above 100 degrees Fahrenheit must succeed at Constitution save each hour or gain a level of exhaustion. The DC for the save is 5 plus two times the number of hours the creature has been at those temperatures. Creatures in heavy clothing, medium armor, or heavy armor have disadvantage on the save.
Creatures with fire resistance, fire immunity, or natural adaptation to hot environments is immune to these saves.
Generally combat can be heard two rooms away, and conversation can be heard one room away. A door counts as a room unless you are listening at the door. Passageways 10 feet wide or less and 30 feet long or less do not count as rooms. Distances are doubled underwater.
If an effect causes suffocation and is unexpected or causes damage, you must make a Constitution save with a DC of 10 or half the damage taken, whichever is higher. If you make the save, you can hold your breath as stated in the PHB. Otherwise you are choking, and can survive for a number of rounds equal to your Constitution bonus, minimum one round. At the end of that time you drop to 0 hit points and you are dying. You cannot regain hit points or be stabilized until you can breathe again.
In veteran campaigns, long rests in medium or heavy armor only give half the benefit: You heal hit points equal to half your hit point maximum, you recover one-quarter of your spent hit dice (minimum one), and you do not recover any exhaustion.
Sleeping characters must make perception check in order to wake up during combat. This is generally going to be DC 4 at disadvantage, if the combat is right next to you. However, it may change due to circumstances. They may make this check at the start of each turn. If a character takes damage, they wake up automatically. Additionally another character can wake them up as a bonus action, if they are within 5 ft
The following activities may be taken during downtime. Each one takes about one week to perform, unless otherwise specified. Each activity has a skill check, which can often be modified with money spent, and a result of the check. Living expenses must be paid for each week of downtime.
Carousing can be used to find helpful contacts in the area. Lower class carousing costs 10 gp a week, middle class carousing costs 50 gp a week. If the character has the noble background, already has a noble contact, or can successfully pass themselves off as a noble, they may carouse with the nobility for 250 gp a week.
Carousing requires a DC 15 Persuasion check. Failure by 10 or more results in a hostile contact who works against you. Success indicates a contact who will do you one favor. Success by 10 or more gets two favors, either from the same or different contacts.
Alternatively, you can use a Diplomacy check to learn rumors going around town, instead of gaining favors.
You may craft a mundane item (see Magic Items for crafting magic items). For each week spent crafting you can make a 50 gp item, or 50 gp of a larger item, for half the cost.
You must be proficient with the tools and make a DC 10 check with those tools. Failure indicates no progress for the week, but 25 gp must still be paid for materials. A fumble on a larger project adds an extra week to the time required to make the item.
Pick a DC on the Work a Job table, and make either a Insight or Deception check at advantage. If you succeed you make the listed amount, if you fail you lose the listed amount.
If you use Deception and succeed you roll twice for earnings and take the higher amount. However, if you fail by 10 or more or fumble, you run into trouble with the law or local criminals, depending on the legality of the gambling.
If you fail and cannot pay your losses, you must work a job at DC 5 using straight Strength, Constitution, or Intelligence checks, paying all earnings to the debt until it is paid off. This represents doing some form of menial labor for the person you owe money to. They money can also be paid off with money acquired outside of down time.
Do nothing but pay living expenses. If you pay at least modest lifestyle expenses, you gain the benefits of a lesser restoration spell. If you pay comfortable lifestyle expenses, you gain the benefits of a greater restoration spell (except removing petrification or curses).
If you are accepted at a local temple, you may volunteer to help with the temple. This grants you a poor lifestyle, although you can pay for a more expensive one if you wish. You also gain inspiration each day for 1d6 days after serving.
You must spend 50 gp for access to a library (if you do not already have such access). At the end of the week make a DC 15 Investigation check (other knowledge skills may be allowed depending on the subject). You may spend up to 250 gp for research assistance, gaining a +1 bonus to the roll for every 50 gp spent. Success gets you one piece of lore on the subject. Success by 10 or more gets you two pieces of lore.
Run a Business
If you own a business, you may make an Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma check with a DC of 15. If another character takes the Run a Business for the same business, you make the check at advantage. Success earns half the business’s maintenance costs in profit, failure earns no profit. Success by 10 or more or critical success earns the business’s full maintenance cost in profit. Failure by 10 or results in a loss of half the business’s maintenance cost, and fumble results in a loss of the full maintenance cost.
If you own a business but are not present, you must make the roll at disadvantage, without help.
You may train to learn a language or gain proficiency with a tool, skill, armor, or weapon. Training costs 50 gp per week. At the end of the week make a DC 19 ability check. Success means you have gained the proficiency. The ability check depends on what you are trying to learn. Languages use Intelligence, skills use the key ability for that skill, tools use the key ability they would generally be used with, armor and weapons use Strength (or Dexterity for ranged and finesse weapons). You must have light armor proficiency to train for medium armor, and medium armor proficiency to train for heavy armor.
Work a Job
If you have a skill that could be reasonably make money with, you can make a skill check with that skill. You choose the DC on the table below. Success gets the listed gold and failure indicates no money was earned. Failure by 10 or more (or a natural 1) indicates you may not use that skill to work a job until you work another successful week at DC 15 with no pay, representing a week spent finding a new boss. For certain skills, failure by 10 or more may involve problems with the law.
You may use your unarmed attack bonus to try and earn money in underground boxing clubs (this can result in problems with the law). Monks have advantage on the check. If gladiatorial combat is legal where you are, you can use any attack bonus.
In general we will be using the combat rules described under “Using Miniatures” in the DMG, p. 250. This includes the optional rules for flanking, cover, and diagonals. Note that to effectively flank, a creature must be capable of making an actual melee threat, and a creature may not be flanked themselves.
Order of Combat
If you are surprised in combat, you do not get a turn in the first round of combat. In addition, you may not use reactions until you take your turn in the second round of combat.
Actions in Combat
In veteran campaigns, additional combat actions are available. These include disarm, overrun, shove aside, and tumble. These are all detailed in the DMG, pp. 271-272. In addition, you can take the Delay and Demoralize actions described below. Also note the changes to the Help and Hide actions.
You may take the Delay action at the start of your turn. You do not take a turn and are removed from the initiative order. You may reenter the initiative order immediately after any other combatant’s turn ends.
During combat you may take a Demoralize action if you have proficiency in Intimidation. This action targets one creature. If your Intimidation check beats the passive Wisdom save of that creature it is frightened of you until the end of your next turn.
This may be done once per creature per combat, and you must be able to communicate with the creature to do so.
Barbarians, Fighters, Monks, and any character with expertise in intimidation may take the Demoralize action as a bonus action.
Note that you generally must be proficient in a skill to help with skilled actions. To help an attack you must be able to make a viable melee attack.
You may not hide in the same location twice in a row. In addition, barring visibility problems, you cannot move more than 5 feet from hiding and retain the benefits of being unseen.
Making an Attack
Spells with somatic components provoke an attack of opportunity, unless they involve a melee spell attack or an area of effect that must start next to the caster.
Unseen Attackers and Targets
As an unseen attacker, you only gain advantage if you can see your target.
We will be using the hitting cover rules from the DMG, p. 272.
Damage and Healing
If you are unconscious and healed back to consciousness, your initiative changes to just after the turn in which you were healed.
I have five levels for how wounded monsters are: fine (not hit yet), wounded (hit, but still over 50% hp), bloody (at most 50% hp left), foot in the grave (one good hit could take them out), and dead (0 hp).
Dropping to 0 Hit Points
Death Saving Throws
The DM rolls all death saves secretly. Any time you go to 0 hit points, you must roll an immediate death save for each level of exhaustion you have. When you stabilize or are healed back above 0 hit points, you gain another level of exhaustion if you failed any death saves.
If you drop to 0 hit points in a veteran campaign, you may instead choose to get one last turn. You are immune to damage that does not exceed your hit point maximum. You have advantage on all rolls until the end of that turn. At the end of that turn you are dead, and cannot be brought back to life.
Being prone underwater doesn’t have a lot of meaning. If you are knocked prone underwater, you are discombobulated, and still at disadvantage for attacks. All attacks against you are at advantage. Being discombobulated does not affect movement, and automatically ends at the start of your turn.
Diagonal movement is suspended underwater, as it is too complicated. However, while you may move straight and up or down 5 feet, you may not move up or down while moving diagonally.
You cannot carry more than 10 times your strength while swimming. If you are carrying more than 5 times your Strength score while swimming and go unconscious, you start to sink.
Spells that cause fire damage do not work if cast underwater at an underwater target.
What is Magic?
I am going to classify all abilities into three categories: extraordinary, supernatural, and spell-like. Spell-like abilities can be counterspelled and are affected by antimagic fields. Supernatural abilities are affected by antimagic fields, but cannot be counterspelled. Extraordinary abilities are affected by neither counterspells nor antimagic.
Which abilities are which will mainly be determined by referencing similar abilities in D&D 3.5. However, if it mentions working like a particular spell, it is spell-like, and if it mentions that it is magical it is supernatural.
I am not going to enumerate every ability in D&D for you, but I will let you know about your class abilities. Other abilities can be checked in-character with the Arcana skill.
Barkskin gives 18 AC and is not concentration.
Fireball does not go around corners.
Friends is an instantaneous spell targeting one creature. If they fail a Wisdom save they are charmed, and their attitude shifts from indifferent to friendly, or from hostile to indifferent.
Glibness is a 5th level spell. You can only replace a bad roll with 10, not 15.
The action guidance applies to must occur completely within the duration of the spell. Guidance can be cast as a ritual to extend it’s casting time, but the caster must remain with the person doing the action affected by the spell.
Lesser restoration can also remove one level of exhaustion in veteran campaigns.
Lightning arrow does 6d8 damage to the target, and 3d8 damage to creatures near the target.
You must declare the targets of magic missile before rolling for damage. Multiple missiles from the same casting count each require a concentration check (if one is relevant).
If polymorph is used on an unwilling target, and they fail the save, they don’t transform immediately. They take on aspects of the transformation, and at the end of their next turn they must make a second save. If they fail the second save they transform.
True strike is a bonus action to cast. The target must make a Dexterity saving throw. If they fail you have advantage on your next attack during the spell, if it is against that target.
12. Magic Items
Cost of Magic Items
The cost of a magic item is based on three things: impact, rarity, and usage.
The impact of a magic item is the minor/major distinction highlighted in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. It is basically whether the item is on magic item tables A through E (minor) or tables F through I (major).
The rarity is given in the magic item description. It is basically how hard the item is to find.
The usage of a magic item is how many uses you can get out of the item. It can be single, for single use items like potions or scrolls; charged, for items with charges like wands; or permanent for items that work constantly. Items with a set number of uses cost the appropriate multiple of a similar single use item. A charged item with a very small number of charges (like a figurine of wondrous power) may have a discounted cost at the DM’s discretion.
|Minor||Very Rare||Single||800 gp|
|Minor||Very Rare||Charged||1,440 gp|
|Minor||Very Rare||Permanent||2,400 gp|
|Major||Very Rare||Charged||5,400 gp|
|Major||Very Rare||Permanent||9,000 gp|
Potions of healing are an exception to the above costs. A potion of healing costs 25gp, a potion of greater healing costs 50 gp, a potion of superior healing costs 75 gp, and a potion of supreme healing costs 100 gp.
You may be looking at those prices an thinking, “Wow, that’s really cheap.” In 5E terms, it is. So expect to get a lot less gold, especially at higher levels.
Magic items are not available in every one horse town. Based on the size of the settlement, there is a limit on the cost of magic items available. This limit can be adjusted by the DM based on the characteristics of the specific settlement.
|Settlement||Max Magic Item Cost|
|Village (pop. < 1,000)||50 gp|
|Town (pop. < 6,000)||1,000 gp|
|City (pop. < 25,000)||4,000 gp|
|Metropolis (pop. > 25,000)||9,000 gp|
At the higher end of the available magic items, exactly what you are looking for may not be available. For example, in a town you can get a +1 weapon (a major, uncommon, and permanent item) for 1,000 gp. However, there might only be one or two available, and it may not be the specific weapon you are looking for.
Crafting Magic Items
If you wish to craft your own magic items, it takes time and special materials. The time cost is one day per 25 gp in the cost of the item. The ingredients are based on the item’s impact, rarity, and usage, as shown below. The time and ingredient costs are halved for transferring an enchantment from one item to another.
The cost of the individual components varies by the rarity of the item, as shown below:
|Very Rare||120 gp||12-15|
Materials for common items can generally be purchased in any town, and materials for uncommon items can generally be purchased in any city. For less common items, they will generally have to be acquired from monsters of the listed CR.
To harvest materials from a monster, you must make a nature or arcana check with a DC equal to 10 plus the monster’s CR. This must be done immediately after the creature dies, and takes a number of minutes equal to five times the monster’s CR. This is due to the materials needing to be carefully removed from the body and carefully packed in an alchemical container (which costs 25 gp per material harvested, and can be reused).
Which monsters and which materials are needed to make a magic item is determined by the formula for the magic item, which is determined by the DM. A magical weapon would require claws or a jaw, and muscles from an especially strong or dexterous monster, depending on the type of weapon being made. An item aiding subterfuge might require the feet of a creature with proficiency in stealth. Some things will be more obvious than others. A potion of storm giant strength is going to require blood from a storm giant.
A formula for a magic item typically costs one fifth of the cost of the item itself. The can only be found in a settlement that has items twice the cost of the item you want to craft. Furthermore, they will not be sold without promises not sell the crafted item in the same area. You could break those promises, if you are willing to cross a powerful spell caster.
And you must be a powerful spell caster yourself to craft an item. You must be able to cast spells of a level equal to the number of materials required for the item. The one exception to this rule is healing potions, which can also be brewed by anyone with proficiency with an herbalism kit.
Finally, you will need equipment to craft an item. Common items can be crafted with an alchemist’s kit, but any item more rare than common will require access to a magical laboratory. The rarer the magic item, the more extensive a laboratory is required.
|Uncommon||120 gp||1 gp||0 gp|
|Rare||1,500 gp||2 gp||1 gp|
|Very Rare||3,000 gp||4 gp||2 gp|
|Legendary||7,500 gp||8 gp||4 gp|
You can build one for the cost given. The cost is doubled if you are building one in a settlement that would not have a magic item of that cost. If the settlement you are in can have a magic item of that cost, you may be able to rent one for the rent/day cost listed. However, you cannot rent a legendary laboratory. For each day you use a laboratory, you must also pay the rent/cost in replacing common materials that are used in the process. This cost must be paid whether you are renting or own the laboratory. Finally, there is a daily space cost if you own the laboratory, but do not own the building it is in. This is paid every day, regardless of whether or not you are using the laboratory.
Identifying Magic Items
In veteran campaigns, magic items cannot be automatically identified during a short rest. You must either use the identify spell, or experiment with the item and make an Arcana check. The DC for the check is based on the rarity of the item.
Gnomes get double their proficiency bonus on this check. Alchemist’s supplies give advantage on this check for identifying potions.
The identify spell cannot identify legendary magic items or artifacts, that requires the legend lore spell or additional research during downtime. This research requires an arcana check. Gnomes get double their proficiency bonus on this check.
Magic items generally do not work before they are identified, as they require secret words or gestures to activate them. These are part of what is discovered by the Arcana check or spell used to identify them.
Limits on Magic Items
You may only have six magic items on you at a time. Excluded from this limit are limited use items that don’t recharge, and minor common items. Having more items warps the Weave that is the source of magic, interfering with it’s ability to power those same items.
If you have more than six magic items on you, two of your magic items stop working for every extra item you have. The DM decides which items stop working.
Artificers are an exception to this rule. Magic Item Adept additionally increases an artificer’s magic item limit to eight. Magic Item Savant increases that limit to ten, and and Magic Item Master increases that limit to twelve. In addition, Magic Item Adept allows the artificer’s infused items not count again the magic item limit for non-artificers. They may do this with a number of infused items equal to their infused item limit minus three.
Modified Magic Items
The Alchemy Jug can produce one use of any liquid listed in the equipment chapter of the PHB. Once used it cannot be used again until the next dawn. At the next dawn, any liquid it has produced turns into fresh water.
New Magic Items
Cesti, +1, +2, or +3
Weapon, uncommon (+1), rare (+2), or very rare (+3)
These weighted gloves give a bonus to unarmed attack rolls and damage.
The following creatures are considered beasts in my campaigns: ankheg, carrion crawler, death dog, griffon, hippogriff, owlbear, roc, and sea lion. This means that druids may wild shape into them.
Dragon’s breath (and similar monster features) will be done as dice pools. Dragons will start with the dice listed for their breath weapon. They can use all or only some of those dice to breathe. Every round they regain one-third of their maximum dice.
For example, an adult red dragon has a breath weapon that does 18d6 damage, so they start with 18 dice in their breath weapon pool. Their first round they can breathe for anywhere between 1 and 18 dice of damage. Assume they breathe for 10d6 damage on the first round. This leaves 8 in their pool. At the start of their next turn, they regain 6 dice, and can breathe anywhere from 1 to 14 dice. If they breathe all 14d6 on their second round, they have no dice left in their pool. However, at the start of their third round, they regain 6 dice again, and can breathe anywhere from 1 to 6 dice.
All feline creatures have darkvision.