Category Archives: Alternate Rules

Weapon Speed in D&D

Weapon speeds in D&D – expressed as modifiers to initiative rolls – have always bothered me.  I was delighted to see them removed in D&D 3.x after having stuck around through AD&D. Real Life In my experience and observation, both of which I will admit are limited but are verified by people with much more […]

Learning From Experience

I recently posted a description in a comment to a blog post of how I handle experience and level gains that I thought I should include on my own site.  In considering how to write it, I realized it might be worth exploring a few other models of character development and learning as well. Some […]

Called Shots

In considering how to handle ‘fatal blows’, specifically how to cause a particular death blow, I wanted to find a way to target specific body parts. I can see cases where a particular killing blow would be useful (staking a vampire or decapitating it both come to mind). I believe I’ve found a fairly simple […]

Revising Monster Types

In looking at the current monster types, I see a number of cases where the differences between types are fairly small. I think several of these may be merged, reducing the number of monster types in the game.

Divine Channelling

All clerics in a RAW game can either Turn Undead or Rebuke Undead. This doesn’t seem right to me because it seems to me that not all settings or religions would put enough emphasis on undead to make it relevant. Also, I don’t really like the way turning works — it either doesn’t work at […]

Focus and Specialization

A focus and specialization feat tree is used to make a character better at two aspects of a particular ability. These improved abilities apply to a subset of items the character is proficient with, such as a particular type of armor, a particular type of weapon, or a particular school of magic. Feat trees of […]

Evasion Feats

Saving for half damage is nice, but avoiding all the damage is nicer yet.

Sneak Attack Feats

These feats allow you to do additional damage to opponents who are unable to defend themselves effectively, by striking a vital spot. Your character does additional damage any time your opponent is denied Dexterity bonus to AC. Only creatures susceptible to critical hits (living creatures with discernible anatomies) are subject to sneak attacks. Undead, constructs, […]

Hit Points (Wound and Vitality)

This article describes a variant of the Vitality and Wound Points rules from Unearthed Arcana Chapter 4: Adventuring. In considering how to synthesize d20 and HERO system, I considered various hit point and damage models. Vitality and wound points look like they come close, with some modifications. Definitions Vitality points behave much like standard hit […]