Each level-up a PC attains allows a roll of their level in pips on the die(so 4th level is a d4, 8th level is a d8 - odd levels are based upon the level previous' die(+1), so 5th level would allow a roll on a d4+1, 9th level is a d8+1, etc) to find our how many Luck Points a PC has to use during the course of adventuring at that level.
More can be gained upon a roll of '20' on the d20, and once all subsequent open-ended rolls have been made(see below) and the results of the roll adjudicated upon, the Player will make another roll to see if he can roll a '17' or more(to reflect the 1% or above chance the old Rolemaster system we used allowed the reward of a Luck point.)
Luck points can add +d6 to any d20 result but only before the DC of whatever check/AC/etc is known. As many Luck points as one has can be used but the number used must be declared and rolled at the same time. You cannot roll a few then decide to roll more once the results of those have been seen.
Luck points add a bit of a safety element to untimely PC deaths and actually leads to exciting times where one decides they really need to splurge to get over that last wall to assault the Sorcerous sniper picking off his friends with tactically placed area effect spells!
Critical Success or Failure
Skills and Saving Throws use the same rules as Combat Criticals or Fumbles(to be discussed later) whereby a roll of a '20' is considered open-ended and another roll is allowed and added to the result as well. A roll of a '1' is the same in reverse and subsequent rolls of a '20' once a '1' preceded it count in the negative direction!
For every 20 points over the original DC a result is, another application of the skill can be added to itself. If the check involves actual traveling movement, one cannot exceed the regular land Speed of the creature attempting the check.
Example: Stonesmart needs to climb 20' on a knotted rope(DC5) but needs to do it in a single round to prevent his nemesis from slitting an ugly notch into his beloved hand-tooled Dwarven belt!
He rolls the d20 and it comes up a '20'! Stonesmart rolls again and AGAIN rolls a '20'! Finally he rolls and doesn't get the rare '20' side to come up again; it results in a 16, though! Nice rolling!
Adding his Climb Skill of +15 = Stonesmart climbs the knotted rope like crazy as adrenaline kicks in(DC5 to climb 7.5' or one-quarter his 30' Base land Speed is normal but with a result of '71'-5-20-20-20 he would have been able to climb up to 30')! If the result was calculated to allow yet another 7.5 increment to be gained, it would be forfeited due to Stonesmart's Base land Speed of 30'.
Big Skill Changes!
-We have combined the skills of Spot/Listen and Move Silently/Hide into 'Awareness' and 'Sneak' respectively. Both work and use the same Stats to derive bonii(heh-heh) to the skill. If one of the old skills was a Class skill, the new Skill Group will remain as so for spending skill points into.
To better help all Classes(including the Rogues/Rangers) not have to divvy up skill points to distinguish inane differences...why not Smell, Taste and Touch, Wizards?!
-Concentration is based upon either CON for Arms based PC's or the Magic Stat for SpellCasters: Wisdom or Charisma for Divine Casters, Intelligence or Charisma for Arcane ones)
-Tumble checks are DC-based upon the Attack roll(s) of your opponent(s)+5 for every square past the second tumbled into or through. The path is declared first and one roll is made. You are stopped in the closest previous square depending upon the threshold this is failed by - this can result in you NOT moving at all as a failed roll pushes you back to your original space.
Example: Faylen is wedged behind his fellows in combat and wants to provide a Flank bonus to them. The crew are fighting a Large creature and the squares he needs to get through to provide what he wants is 3. He points out the path he will be taking and makes a Skill Check roll vs DC Total of No cost+5+5+Attack Roll from foe. If going through a creature's actual space, the penalty per square doubles.
Being stuck on watch while the party sleeps the rigours of the day off isn't fun - it's friggin' boring no matter how tenacious one tries to attend to their surroundings. To help with this each PC on watch will roll a 'Perception' check with a FORT DC of the difference from DC20 they failed by.
If failed, the PC has fallen asleep whilst on watch.
A +2 bonus to the FORT check is given for each additional person/familiar/companion on watch as conversation and other things(punches, kicks, and practical jokes too!) help to keep each PC awake during duty.
Example: Loeben is on watch as his group gets to rest after a long day of slaughtering Ghouls terrorizing a Druid Gardening Party.
His companion Max is with him, grumbling about his ghoul-smelly paws.
When everyone is settled, a DC20 Perception check is made to which Loeben rolls a total check of 16. So now Loeben has to roll a (20-16=)DC 4 FORT save or he will have likewise fallen asleep. To also help offset this, however, Loeben gets a +2 from Max for his lamentations keeping Loeben annoyed enough that his Bear friend wasn't made of sterner stuff...). So the final Difficulty to remain awake is actually only DC2! Will Loeben succumb to the blissful peace of sleep too?
-While sleeping, PC's gain HP equal to the hours slept and can add their CON bonus to this if a full night's sleep is gained.
(4 hours for Elves, or 8 hours for everyone else constitutes a full night's sleep).
-While on guard duty or just hanging out, PC's gain a HP for every 2 hours they have done so.
-While traveling, there is still recovery to be had(riding, etc) but this is much slower resulting in a HP gained for every 4 hours spent in this manner.
I didn't like how whole weeks or even months would have to be spent regaining HP at lower levels so we came up with this method vs the old method of Level x 1HP gained per sleep?!
EDIT 06-10-12 We are testing a D&DNext rule for Resting where HD are used throughout a day and one can spend as much as they want to "catch their breath".
The ability to recoup Magic that was spent by a spelluser during the previous day or so is only recovered from a full night's uninterrupted sleep/rest.
(4 uninterrupted hours for Elves, or 8 uninterrupted hours for everyone else constitutes a full night's sleep).
Thrown/Missile item/weapon ranges
Thrown items can be thrown a greater distance based on a PC's Strength. STR Bonus x 5' is added(or taken away!) to the range increment a weapon has in its info block.
Example: Faylen, through high quality breeding from his forebears, is not just a pretty face or quick on the draw...he's a powerhouse!
Faylen hides a few daggers on his person for emergencies. Daggers normally have a range increment of 10'. Since Faylen has a +3 STR bonus due to his impressive physique, he is able to get the most out of his throws and adds another 15' to his range increments! So at 1-24' he can throw a dagger with no penalty; 25-49' is penalized by 2 and so on...
To hit someone 50' away he'd only suffer a -4 whilst someone of regular stock(STR +0) would lament a penalty against of -10!!! Heroes are heroic!
Missile Weapons can only benefit from this rule if they have the 'Mighty' weapon property.
When not using an item for its intended purpose, damage to the item will result.
During combat where cover(say the floor when fighting an incorporeal foe) is hit with a weapon, take the Hardness away from the item's Hardness total and keep track of it.
Later, if this Hardness total is passed before repair can be made, the item takes 1 point of damage.
Keep track of any further Hardness points in arrears and repeat the process until the item is either repaired by skill or magic or destroyed.
Magic Efficacy rolls
Upon casting any spell and before any other attack or rolling occurs, the spell caster must roll a d20 non open-ended.
-Upon a '20' showing, the spell has a Meta-Magic effect applied to it as per the Caster's wishes but for most spells, this is a Maximized effect(Healing spells heal the max able to be rolled, etc).
-Upon a '1' showing, the spell has a chance for Spell Failure.
The Caster rolls the die again, adds his Magic Stat Modifier(the one responsible for deciding his Spells per Level and/or Spells per Day: Wisdom or Charisma for Divine Casters, Intelligence or Charisma for Arcane ones)and must beat DC15.
If not, d6/level of attempted spell in damage occurs to the caster OR if an attack spell: the caster internalizes the spell and suffers the damage it would otherwise have visited upon its foes. If an area effect spell, the Caster becomes ground zero for the effect and this may catch his allies Flat Footed if AC-based.
Healing(Disease, Poison, Curse) - Nonautomatic Remedies
The Healers spell arsenal allows him to basically remedy any malady that a character can encounter. Being struck blind, being cursed, falling victim to a disease, or being poisoned become fairly trivialor at least mundane matterswhen you have a Healer-type ally. Worse, a DM is hard-pressed to create a plot where an important person has been struck with a malady and a quest must be undertaken to find its cure.
We treat Remove Disease, Neutralize Poison, Remove Blindness/Deafness, Remove Paralysis, and Remove Curse in a similar manner to Dispel Magic. That is to say, using these spells would involve a caster level check.
For diseases, poisons, curses, blindness, and so on that result from a spell, the Healer should make a d20 check, adding his own caster level plus their Magic Stat.
The Difficulty Class for this check is 11 plus the level of the original caster plus their Magic Stat.
For afflictions that do not result from a spell, such as Wyvern poison or Mummy rot, use the saving throw Difficulty Class of the poison, disease, or other malady as the Difficulty Class for the caster level check.
In regards to the HEAL skill: a successful use of the skill vs the poison's DC will only delay the onset of it's effects by the number of Ranks the Healer has in the skill itself measured in Rounds.
EDIT: 09/20/09 Poisons
So you say you wanna use poison?
Poison use is a Chaotic act first of all - not evil. There are tribes of humans in RL that use it to incapacitate game when hunting...it can be used with evil intent but its use is such that for gameplay purposes it will be a Chaotic aligned action.
Other than that, a poison remains viable on a blade 25% of the time EVEN AFTER it has struck something. This is rolled after an attack is made with such a weapon. The same rules apply as in regular D&D when applying the poison in the first place(unless you have the Posion Use feat).
During the course of battle if you are struck or strike something with a poisoned weapon the effects act immediately and round for round thusly:
Take whatever the old school poison was for Initial and Secondary effects(ie 1d6CON/1d6CON) and combine them concurrently.
So in the above example this poison becomes a 2CON/round poison that is effective for d6 rounds.
When a character takes damage from an attack with a poisoned weapon,
touches an item smeared with contact poison, consumes poisoned food or
drink, or is otherwise poisoned, he must make a Fortitude save. If he
fails, he takes the poison’s damage (usually ability damage) and must make one or more additional successful
Fortitude saves, depending on the poison's strength as above.
The Fortitude save DC against a creature’s natural poison attack is given in the creature's descriptive text.
Any poison smeared on an object or exposed to the elements in any way remains potent until it is touched or used.
Although supernatural and spell-like poisons are possible, poisonous effects are almost always extraordinary.
Anyone can cast spells from scrolls with the Use Magic Device or Spellcraft skill if already a Spell Caster(if the spell in question is on the Caster's spell list - at later levels, of course)!
In the case of Use Magic Device, apply modifiers as normal.
For SpellCraft, and using a spell level that is above one's own, the difference in Spell's level is taken x(-5) as a penalty with an additional x(-1) penalty for what the required Spell Caster Level must be.
The DC starts at a base of 20.
A separate roll is required to spoof the Magic Stat itself as per UMD:Emulate an Ability Score, if less than what is required to be able to cast the spell(IE. To cast 6th level spells a Cleric must be 11th level or greater and have a Wisdom stat of 16 or more).
Example: Loeben, a 12th level Druid, tries to cast, a 7th level Druid spell requiring a caster level of 13, from a scroll. He has the requisite Wisdom of 17 or more to cast it, but is both 1 Caster Level and Spell Level short of doing so for a grand penalty total of (-5 Spell Level + -1 Caster Level)-6 to his SpellCraft check. This is applied to the skill check to see if it fails or not as well as to the Spell Efficacy roll! So, on a roll less than '26' the skill check fails and Spell Failure results.
If it succeeds one proceeds to Spell Efficacy: a roll of (1+6=)7 or less is now a Spell Failure!
Overcasting can be deadly!!!
The Concentration DC is based upon the Attack roll(s) of your opponent(s) + Spell Level of Spell being attempted. Failure means you are subject to AoO's and you may end up losing the spell based upon those attacks dealing damage requiring renewed Concentration checks.
We use the Variant Rule in the Unearthed Arcana book, Pg. 66.
A foe or dangers that are unperceived until it is too late results in a Surprise round of actions.
To calculate this: an opposed 'Awareness' check is made against the DC of whatever it was that precluded the PC's arriving at the conclusion of danger whether it was an Assassin hiding(opposed by its Sneak check).
When a '20' is rolled during an attack, a confirmation roll is NOT made!
PC's have the option to apply regular damage OR draw a card from GameMastery's Critical Deck.
Critical confirmation of any other Critical strikes also allows the above process to occur.
Major NPC's(those with an actual name vs just their race, etc.) likewise get to draw from this deck upon critical confirmation or a '20' rolled.
Minor foes do not get to draw from the deck at all, but use all other Critical confirmation techniques as normal.
If a Saving Throw is called for in the description text of the card, the DC is set via the confirmation roll's total.
On the roll of a '1' on a d20 attack, a confirmation roll is made whereby the base attack bonus ONLY is added and determined to miss the foe's AC.
If so, the player will draw one card from the deck and apply the results based on his weapon type: Bludgeoning, Slashing, Puncturing or Natural(Slam, Claw, Bash, etc).
If one has extra attacks that are not Natural attacks any further attacks are considered ruined for being out of position etc from the Fumble on...
We use the DMG Variant Rule for Death due to Massive Damage whereby your size affects when you must roll a save...
The DC for the Fortitude save is Half(rounded down) of the damage inflicted upon the creature.
Handle Animal use vs Altered States of Companions
If one can restrict the movements of their Companion while being in a safe position from harm, the following proceeds to occur: