House Rules

Character Creation:

Start at first level.

For attributes, use 4D6 and drop the lowest, then assign to stats according to your preference. Point trading is OK on a 2-for-1 basis. Don’t be upset if you have some low attributes. Try to view this as an interesting roleplaying challenge for your character.

Character Alignment:

I prefer player characters be of good or neutral alignment. If you wish to play an evil character, you will need to justify this to me and explain your reasoning for why the character would choose to be part of an adventuring party and work as part of a group. In general, I will not permit evil characters and if I do, it will be on a trial basis.

Player Character Death:

My philosophy is that untimely character death detracts from storytelling and continuity and can leave players discouraged. Also, this campaign is planned with an emphasis on roleplaying and with less importance placed on combat. For this reason, disregard the Player’s Handbook treatment for character death. I won’t guarantee your character isn’t going to die, but your character won’t die cheaply unless you do something I view as obviously stupid and careless.

When a PC reaches 0 hit points, they are unconscious and dying. If they continue to take damage for some reason, they will die when they reach negative 10 hit points.

An unconscious and dying PC will make a saving throw each round until they receive medical attention: a roll of 1-10 is a failure, and 11-19 means no change in condition. Three failed saving throws and the PC dies.

A 20 returns the character to 0 hit points. They are conscious, but only barely, and unable to take action.

These are based on the 4E rules for PC death. From the website I learned about it on: “The death saving throw system creates a sense of urgency, and also gives players enough hope of recovery that they stay engaged with the game even while their characters are down.”


Detect Magic is a natural ability for divine spellcasters and requires an intelligence check. It can be used once a day (basically just treat this as you get a free extra spell per day, but it’s always Detect Magic).

It is assumed that arcane spellcasters know how to read magic without casting the spell Read Magic. An intelligence check is required, which will vary depending on the complexity of the spell.

Material components with a specific cost are required (for instance, Augury requires material components costing around 1,000 GP and your character must specifically acquire this). Trivial material components with no specific cost (i.e. Grease requires “a bit of pork rind or butter”) should be handled by appropriate role-playing (“My character goes to the market to stock up on herbs and pork rinds”).

Disregard the rules requiring that arcane spellcasters choose and memorize specific spells on a daily basis. Instead, the spellcaster studies his spellbook for an hour each morning. Assume that this study means that mages are familiar enough with their known spells to cast them at will. Spells per day per level rules still apply.

Divine spellcasters still spend an hour in devotion/prayer/meditation each morning. The specifics of this ritual can be determined by the player.

Character Secrets:

My attitude about character secrets is that they are often a lot of fun and can encourage a lot of dramatic excitement for the game – assuming that the secret is revealed to the other characters at some point in the course of game play. Otherwise I think it can be a bit annoying to have someone attempt to play a permanently mysterious character, with no payoff for everyone else who was agreeable enough to play along with the gimmick. If you want a character secret, I’m all for it, but know that your secret will be unmasked at some point, possibly not at a time you expected.

Updated 7/10/2011.

House Rules

The Temporal Travelers melissa_kck