House Rules


Abilities are rolled 3d6 in order. However, after doing so the player may roll 3d6 a seventh time and swap the results of this roll with any ability of his or her choosing. If, after doing so, the character is still below-average in every single ability, he may be deemed unsuitable for the rigors of adventuring and left at home, and a new character generated.

A new character starts with 5000 experience points.

Strength, dexterity, or constitution of 18 grant a +2 to damage, initiative/missile rolls, or hit dice, respectively. A character wearing light or no armor can use their dexterity bonus to increase both their chance to surprise and their armor class.

Wisdom does not grant additional languages. Instead, any character other than a cleric with a 13 or higher in wisdom gets a 5% bonus to their experience points (the cleric’s bonus is worked into their low experience requirements to advance). In addition, any character with a 15 or higher wisdom who has been loyal to their alignment has a small (5% per level) chance of being able to invoke divine (or infernal) aid in extremis. This chance is halved for each previous intervention on behalf of the character, though at the referee’s discretion, special service to the alignment may eliminate this penalty.


Fighters progress as shown on p. 20 with one exception: At level 4, they fight on the level 5 attack matrix (i.e., 17 to hit armor class 0), so that their progression is 1-2, 3, 4-5, 6, etc. Fighters also can apply their strength bonus to their to-hit roll as well as their damage roll and may roll two dice (taking the higher of the two) to determine damage if they have “combat advantage” with their weapon (see below).

Cleric canons, which is to say their scriptures (spellbooks), contain all of the standard spells for each level. A cleric in good standing can simply commission a copy of the needed spell level at a cost of 2000gp per spell level. A cleric with a 15 or greater wisdom gets an additional 1st level spell per day; i.e., 1 1st level spell at level 1, 2 at level 2, 3 at level 3, 3 1st level and 1 2nd level at level four. A cleric can prepare spells of a level equal to their wisdom / 3, so that only those with 15 or greater wisdom can prepare 5th level spells in advance.

Wizards with a 15 or greater intelligence can cast an additional 1st level spell per day. A wizard can memorize spells of a level equal to their intelligence / 3, so that only those with an 18 or greater intelligence can memorize 6th level spells.

Elves and Dwarves with at least 200,000 xp (as a magic-user, in the case of elves) may create magic items appropriate to their race. Elves are restricted by their intelligence in the spells they can memorize just as human wizards.

Halflings can hide in shadows as a thief even as a fighter, regardless of armor worn. In addition, in wilderness settings, they can hide and move undetected 90% of the time as long as they are not taking undue risks.

Thieves are allowed, and function as shown, but for each level of difference between them and their target (whether NPC, monster, or dungeon level), a +/-1 modifier is assessed. For example, a 3rd level thief on the 4th level of a dungeon could only succeed in a open locks roll of 1-3, while one on the 2nd level would succeed on a roll of 1-5. A roll of 6 always indicates failure, while 1-2 always indicates success.

Note that any character, regardless of class, can move stealthily so as to gain surprise, hear noises, pilfer small items, and detect traps by rolling 1-2 on a d6, and those wearing light to no armor add 1 to their surprise rolls (2 if they have a dexterity of 15 or more). In addition, any character can climb a wall with the proper equipment. These chances are also modified by the difference in level between the character and his target just as a thief’s abilities.

Any character, regardless of race, may dual-class as long as they have at least a 16 in the prime-requisite of the 2nd class. Going back-and-forth between classes (with the exception of elven fighter-magi) is only possible if the character has a 16 in both prime-requisites.

At first level, the player rolls twice for hit points, keeping the higher of the two rolls.

Hit point totals are re-rolled at each level. If the new roll results in fewer hit points than the character already had, the old balance is retained. This is also true for multi- and dual-classed characters who gain a level in either class. For example, an elf with 4 levels in fighter and 15 hit points who reaches 6th level as a magic-user would roll 3 six-sided die and add 1 to the result. If he rolled 14 or fewer hit points, he would still have 15 hit points; but if he rolled high and got 16 to 19 hit points, he would keep the new number.

In the event a character is level-drained, hit dice are re-rolled as per the new level and the lesser of the new or old hit point totals is kept.

A character can survive being reduced to zero hit points or a negative number of hit points equal to their number of hit dice plus their constitution bonus, if any. Those with 12 or less in constitution must make a system shock roll to survive.


Weapons all do 1d6 damage, but in the hands of a fighter, a weapon that has a distinct combat advantage rolls two dice, taking the higher for damage. Examples of combat advantage include, but are not limited to, a two-handed weapon against most other weapons, a mace or pick used against heavy armor, or a dagger wielded in a narrow space against a clumsier weapon or while grappling with a clumsily armored opponent. The referee has the final word on what constitutes combat advantage, but players are encouraged to be inventive.

Two-handed swords, spears, and pole-axes automatically grant initiative against any opponent using a smaller (one-handed, non-pole) weapon due to reach. A successful hit keeps the opponent from closing enough to use their own weapon. However, a character with a dagger or short sword who both avoids being hit and makes a successful attack is considered to have closed and grappled, making the larger weapon useless unless the one wielding it can break free.

Dual-wielding with a dagger, hand-axe, or similarly light weapon in the off-hand grants a bonus on your attack roll equal to the character’s dexterity bonus (if any), but still grants only a single attack roll per round.

Not wearing a helmet inflicts a -1 penalty to Armor Class except if no armor at all is worn.

Shields grant a +1 bonus to Armor Class (as shown on the combat tables) when they are readied. (Surprised characters do not benefit from their shields.) In addition:

Shields Shall Be Splintered: Whenever the character is to take damage, the player can opt to have the damage absorbed by your shield. The shield is splintered and destroyed, but you don’t take any damage from the blow.

Magic Shields: You can do the same with a magic shield, but the shield won’t be destroyed. Instead there will be a 75% chance that the shield will lose +1 of its enchantment.
Magic Shields vs. Spells: In addition, you can automatically sacrifice +1 from a magic shield in order to make a successful save vs. any physical attack spell, breath weapon, gaze, or similar effect.

Surprise is handled slightly differently than as explained in DD. When one side achieves “surprise,” it will usually be interpreted by the referee to mean that they become aware of the other side first. (There are exceptions, such as when bursting through a door, but these will be handled on a case-by-case basis.) This means that they have a round or two in which to withdraw and hide, set up an ambush, or whatever else they may wish. In the event an ambush is set, they will have the advantage of both choosing the place of the encounter and a free round to attack before initiative is rolled.

Encumbrance will use The Alexandrian’s Encumbrance by Stone rules for easy tracking. You can find the equipment tracking sheet here.

House Rules

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