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DM's House Rules
DM's House Rule #1 — Don't Touch The DM's Books

That pretty much sums it up. I've spent a lot of money on my books and they are not there for others to mangle, write upon, sneeze upon, drool over or otherwise mistreat: IF, and that's a big 'if', I determine that a given individual makes a habit of treating books as I treat my own books, I may make an exception for that person and allow them, on rare ocassion, to carefully use one of my books for reference purposes.

DM's House Rule #2 — Generating Characters for the Daeorian Campaign

I like characters to be well empowered to confront the tasks before them. Consequently, I tend to be generous in Rolling Stats. Here's the scoop:

To generate a stat score, roll 4d6. Re-roll any 1s. Drop the lowest die. Add the remaining 3.

Using the above method, generate 7 (not 6) stat scores. Drop the lowest. Assign the remaining 6 as you wish.

After determining the appropriate hit dice for your character's class, take the maximun points for your 1st level character.

Select for your character one primary and one secondary non-magical weapon.

Choose from the Player's Handbook non-magical tools and supplies appropriate for your character. (Your selections will be reviewed before gameplay commences. Extravagance and greed will be penalized.) No masterwork or expensive items.

Finally, roll 2d8 (re-roll any 1s) to determine your in-pocket gold.

You will roll up 1st-level characters for the beginning of the Daeorian campaign.

DM's House Rule #3 — Action Points

I use Action Points as described in the Eberron Campaign Setting and Unearthed Arcana except as indicated below:

I was first introduced to "Action Points" last fall when playing a character in an Eberron campaign run by another DM. It's a neat idea and I will use it in my game. For more information about action points, see Eberron Campaign Setting, pg. 45 or Unearthed Arcana, pg. 122-123. (Be advised, there's an error in the awarding of Action Points in Unearthed Arcana. PCs get 5 APs at level 1, then add one for every even-numbered level after that.)

I will allow one significant difference. The rules prohibit players from using more than 1 action point at a time. I will not impose this restriction. However, I will make it progressively more expensive for a player to use more than 1 action point per action. The following example should illustrate my thinking on this matter.

A player (we'll call him Edgar) really, really wants to make his attack roll succeed because he's the last PC of his party still standing and he's only got 4 HP left. If he misses and the enemy monster hits him, then he and the rest of his party are screwed.

So, Edgar rolls. He may not know the exact number he needs to roll to make a hit, but he's pretty sure a 16 is just a little bit short. Then Edgar remembers that he's got 6 action points to use. He spends an action point and rolls a d6 to add to his attack roll. The d6 comes up a 1. A stinking 1! He decides to use another action roll on this same attack action. For a second action point roll on the same action, however, it's going to cost him two action points. So he spends two more action points... and rolls another freakin' 1! Well, realizing that if he doesn't make the attack, he's going to have to make up a new character anyway, he decides to go for broke. The third action point roll for the same attack action is going to cost him his last three action points. He spends the points and rolls the d6. It's a 5!

Edgar spent 6 action points for three d6 rolls totaling 7 points to add to his original d20 roll of 16 yielding a total of 23. It's a hit! He rolls 7 for damage. Fortunately for him the monster was in almost as bad shape as he was, and it goes down.

DM's House Rule #4 — Character Selection

Alignment: Evil characters aren’t usually prone to get along well and play nice with others. I believe the best campaigns are those in which the players (and their characters) develop a trust and camaraderie with one another. PCs that double-cross or backstab their companions (as evil characters may well do on occasion) are usually more trouble than they’re worth. They may be fun for the player of the evil character, but usually not so much for the other players.

Race: Daeoria is a basic, simple D&D world. Try to avoid characters that are likely to attract a lot of attention by being conspicuously out of place. (I.e. No Warforged from Eberron.) In Daeoria, that can get you killed. If you try to choose a race that is considered an enemy of Xox (i.e. Yeti or Halfling) your PC will not last 5 minutes.

Class: Like race, character classes that don’t belong in the setting shouldn’t be there.

Background: Your characters are not from Daeoria. As is indicated on the Daeoria web site (, your characters are from another world and have traveled to Daeoria through inter-planar, magical transport. Your background should include your character’s place in his/her home world. We will role-play in-game your actual arrival in Ashtakahr.

DM's House Rule #5 — Role-playing

I believe that whatever the players say aloud their characters have just said. So it's probably inadvisable to shout out "pass the pizza" when sneaking up on a band of orcs. The orcs may not know what a pizza is, but they'll know how to react to sneaky PCs carelessly discussing their pizza when they should be trying to sneak silently.

If you really need to say something that you don’t want coming out of your PC’s mouth, start by announcing “Out of character,” then say what you must.

Any necessary speech to the DM is assumed to be out of character. (“I’m going to ready my crossbow.” “I’ll cast Detect Magic on the shop keeper to see if he’s concealing that wand.”)

Extraneous, non-game chatter is discouraged and may have unfortunate consequences for your characters.

DM's House Rule #6 — Temp (Guest) Players

I approve of and encourage players to bring along "A" friend from time to time to participate for a session or two. Such temp players may enjoy the game enough to request "permanent" status. The established members at the time such a petition is made will consult one another "off line", and if all are in agreement the temp player may become a full-time, permanent member of the group.

Most importantly, the courtesy of checking with the host is also expected. We can't have everybody show up with a new/temp player on the same day and overrun the host's home. After all, we're not a bunch of dwarves looking to hire a burglar.

Whoever has invited the guest player is responsible for ensuring that the guest has a character rolled up and ready to play. We will not delay game play waiting for a guest to prepare a character.

DM's House Rule #7 — Missing a Session

When players cannot attend a session, the DM will not run the absent player's PC as an NPC.

1st) I can't know a player's character as well as the player can. I don't want the situation to develop such that a player get's upset with me because I had his PC do something that the player thinks I 'should' have known his PC would never do. (Especially if I got the PC killed.)

2nd) I've got my hands full just trying to run the game. Sometimes I forget that the absent player's character is even present. If you want your PC to participate in your absence, arrange for another player to run your PC for you. (That way, if he get's your PC killed, it's between you two and I stay out of the line of fire.)

Your PC may follow along with the party as a disembodied entity unable to interact with or otherwise influence events. Now, this second alternative is a little less realistic, but let's not forget that we're playing a game, not living an alternate reality.

If somebody else plays your PC for you, then your PC has participated in the events and gets a share of the XP. If he/she floats around safely out of danger, then the PC has not participated and gets no XP for the session.

Unless explicit arrangements are made, it will be assumed that second method (disembodied, non-participating) will be used.

DM's House Rule #8 — X-players

If a given individual's behavior, mannerisms, playing style, punctuality, attendance, body odor, etc. should prove offensive or difficult to work with for a majority of the regular participants, that player may be invited to find another group with which to play.

DM's House Rule #9 — Level-up the Morning After

XP from the previous session will be given prior to commencing the next session. When a PC has gained enough experience points to level up, that PC will remain at their old level until they've had a full night's rest. When they awaken the next morning, they will be at the new level.

PCs will NOT level-up in the middle of a battle.

DM's House Rule #10 — Re-roll 1s

NOTE: This never applies to a d20 roll for an attack, save check (Will, Fortitude, or Reflex) or ability check.

When rolling the dice the player may, as a general rule, re-roll any 1s. However, if the die comes up a 1 on three consecutive rolls, the player will take a 3 and finish. We won't be rolling indefinitely if the dice are saying they really want to be a 1.

  1. You may re-roll 1s when rolling d6s for statistics when you create your character.
  2. You may re-roll 1s when rolling for damage after an attack.
  3. You may re-roll 1s when healing a party member.
  4. And, you may re-roll 1s when making an action point roll.

DM's House Rule #11 — Stablization by Action Point

When a PC is in negative Hit Points and failing to stabilize, the player may spend an Action Point to stabilize the PC. This doesn't help if the PC drops below –10, or is injured with enough damage to put the PC below –10 points.

DM's House Rule #12 — Attack Rolls

When rolling for an attack, roll the d20 and your damage and report both. I won't tell you if your attack scored a hit. You'll have to wait to see if you observe any damage accumulating on your enemy.

This is to prevent players from being able to discern the AC of the monster/enemy they are fighting. When players can figure out the AC of their enemy they tend to engage in metagaming rather than role playing.

You can roll the d20 and follow it with the damage roll, or roll both the d20 attack and the damage at the same time.

DM's House Rule #13 — Psionics

I generally feel that psionics don't really fit in a D&D campaign and am not likely to allow it. However, I will not discourage a player from proposing something they feel might work. I try to be open minded about these things, but I am focused on making the campaign work and won't make exceptions that don't fit.

DM's House Rule #14 — Player Knowledge vs. PC Knowledge

Players need to know the difference. Just because the player knows (or thinks they know) something, it doesn't mean that their PC has the same knowledge. I may, from time to time, drop hints to the players to stimulate suspence and interest in the campaign. Unless I specifically state that the information is generally available and is likely to be known by the PCs, that information is not known by the players' character. The information must be acquired by the PCs through in-game play (i.e. through a knowledge/<something> check or by questioning NPCs via role playing.)

If PCs behave in a way that suggests they are acting on knowledge that they couldn't possibly have, I might have to be stingier with the information I leak to players – and that would take a little of the fun out of the game for me and you.

DM's House Rule #x — xxxxxxxx


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