02 January 2012

Re-Stocking the Dungeon; Comments and Updates on Old Material

Since you have a new hostess here, I mentioned that I wanted to comment on a few of the old articles, pointing out anything I don't use or think needs updating. I'll cover a couple posts at a time, so as to quickly get through them and move on with some new material.

Death's Door House Rules

While I like the idea, in theory at least, that a PC can take a couple points of damage after hitting 0 HP before being totally dead, I think using the entire Con score as the negative HP threshold is a bit much, this effectively triples or quadruples the amount of damage a first level PC can sustain before death!

I revise this and use the PC's constitution "bonus" plus 1 as the negative threshold. A PC with a constitution of 18 has a bonus of +3, so death's door unconsciousness lasts until -4 HP. At -5, that PC is dead. A character with a really low constitution, that has a negative "bonus", cannot take any damage past 0 HP. At -1 HP, this character is dead.

All PCs and monsters, npcs, etc are considered unconscious and dying at 0 HP. They will lose 1 HP per turn unless healed until death takes them.

Any PC, NPC, or monster that falls to -1 HP and recovers must make a Saving Throw vs. Death with a +2 bonus, or permanently lose a point of Constitution.

It's worth mentioning that my house rule for raising and resurrection is that the PC must make a Save vs. Death at -4 or permanently lose a point of Con.

Expanded XP awards

I really like this, and use it regularly. Like chatdemon, I do not award XP for treasure gained, so the XP value for monsters defeated and the awards on this table are all you get in my campaigns. It has the benefit of both slowing advancement down a little bit, to allow more character development along the way, and encouraging, almost mandating good role playing and clever thinking.

Just be careful not to penalize shy players, or those who might not be as creative as the others.

Lock and Trap Qualities

I like this, and always use it. The notes about multiple attempts to pick a lock after failing to do so on the first try are especially good advice, if you ask me.

Variant Non-Magical Arrows

This one is also great as written, it has my endorsement.

More next time!

1 comment:

  1. The Expanded XP awards is very nearly (90%) like what I use to do. My inspiration was Star Frontiers, which would have a small reward section at the end of the encounter. The rewards would be based off of how they handled the situation and their characters, not on how much gold they acquired or monsters they defeated. However, for my latest campaign, when we decided to give 4E D&D a go, I decided to try and stick as close to the book as I could so they we would gain an understanding of the rules as written. And now that we have for a year now, I may soon adopt similar handling experience reward rules again.

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Thanks for your comments!