View Full Version : House Rules w/ Incarnum

2009-11-10, 11:44 AM
Recently, I've been thinking about running an Incarnum-based D&D game. None of my prospective players have used this system before, so it'll be a nice change of pace for them. I've got some house rules I'd want to run with the system, which I would appreciate some feedback on. For reference, my game will be using only PHB, PrCs and magic items from the DMG, Magic of Incarnum, and some stuff from the MIC.

On to the rules...
1) Druids and Wizards are being pulled. The first is due to overlap of flavor with Totemist. Wizards are being pulled because A) my group never use them and B) I've decided arcane magic is something gained through heritage. All Incarnum classes save Soulborn are in.
2) Paladins can smite once per five rounds, rather than once per day at 1st level. At every level where they would normally gain an additional smite, their "recharge" time decreases by one instead.
3) Paladins base their spellcasting off Charisma.
4) Clerics do not have proficiency with heavy armor or heavy shields.

What do you think?

1) Thank you, Tavar, for the Cloistered Cleric suggestion. That had completely slipped my mind. Also, editted initial rules for clarity.
2) After some consideration, I've decided to just rely on the materials listed above. Ergo, cloistered cleric is out. Also, since the majority of posts feel the Soulborn is much weaker than even a fighter, I've decided to exclude it from the game and put the paladin back in, with my usual house rules for it.

2009-11-10, 11:46 AM
I'd suggest using the cloistered cleric variant fount on the SRD.

The Incarnate doesn't really replace the Wizard.

2009-11-10, 12:12 PM
Cloistered Cleric...yes. That'll do.

As far as Wizards go, I know Incarnates don't really replicate them. I meant I'm just pulling them those three classes and putting the Incarnum classes in their place. I'll clarify that in the initial post.

2009-11-10, 12:25 PM
For Cloistered Cleric, toss away the melee combat spells; at least Righteous Might, Divine Power and Divine Favor. That way they'll be mostly casters, instead of caster/warriors right out of the box.

For Soulborn, just give them full Meldshaping levels. That won't be breaking anything; they still have sucky Chakras and all.

2009-11-10, 02:09 PM
Soulborn don't actually get a meld to shape until fourth level. They don't get to bind anything until eighth. I'd almost rather play a fighter than a stock Soulborn. Your proposed changes help, but I don't think they're enough. Consider one of the several fixes for the Soulborn floating around this site (meaning mine, link is in sig).

Thrice Dead Cat
2009-11-10, 03:54 PM
Another idea, if you want a cleric replacement, fluff-wise, could be the binder. Admittedly, they're more combat-orientated than anything, but they do have a lot of neat tricks. I believe Buer comes online with all-day healing at 5th, so, if no one packed ones, the binder could aid in that.

For wizards, if you have complete arcane, you could instead use the Wu Jen spell list if you're worried about the vast quantity out there, possibly opting to add actual wizard spells down the line.

As for the Incarnum itself, I'd definitely take a look at Glimbur's stuff. No where else do I know where I can wrassle bears who have Freedom of Movement!

2009-11-10, 04:47 PM
What about... all clerics must take the ACF which trades turn undead for an incarnum booster?

Also, combine all the features of the soulborn and paladin classes (including spells). It won't be overpowered. Heck, you can throw in the soulknife too.

2009-11-10, 05:22 PM
What about... all clerics must take the ACF which trades turn undead for an incarnum booster?

Also, combine all the features of the soulborn and paladin classes (including spells). It won't be overpowered. Heck, you can throw in the soulknife too.It's sad when you can gestalt 3 classes into 1 and still not have it be a tenth as powerful as a single-classed wizard...

Maybe at levels 5 and below, but beyond that, no.

2009-11-10, 11:04 PM
You want to know how bad the soulborn is? A non-meldshaper, using only feats (Shape Soulmeld, Open X Chakra) get binds before the Soulborn does. Which means that a character without a single meldshaping level can bind, say, the Fearsome Mask before the Soulborn itself can.

I'm sure there's some good houserules you can use to get them up to par... but just a small Smite fix isn't going to cut it. Off the top of my head, I'd say that you should keep the Smite fix and shift their entire meld/bind table down, oh, three levels or so. If you insist on keeping them at the paltry number of melds and binds (which isn't entirely impossible to keep useful if you give them really nice Smite bonuses and similar boons), at least give them their smaller doses at a level that would still be useful. Keep their meldshaping more akin to a bard's spellcasting than to a paladin's.

2009-11-11, 12:24 AM
The incarnate always felt much more like a cloistered cleric to me than a wizard. Subbing out the wizard and leaving the cleric seems... weird.

The Soulborn needs full meldshaper level, accelerated binds, more essentia, more soulmelds and more binds.

By level 20, it should be looking at 6 Soulmelds, 18 Essentia, 4 Binds and 5 capacity before feats and items.

It wouldn't hurt to give it 2-3 more bonus feats, either (level 1 and every multiple of 4 or 5).

I'd like its Incarnum defense to be useful. Maybe activating as a free action, affecting all allies and granting scaling numeric bonuses to different commonly-used stats?

Say what you like about the divine mind, when it tried to do party support, at least it was somewhat useful.

2009-11-11, 10:21 AM
Wow. I knew the Soulborn was considered weak (hence the suggested rules I had for it), but I never realized just how bad off it was. Unfortunately I haven't had the chance to play one yet. However, I've learned to trust the judgement of my fellow gamers here. If the Soulborn is just going to be deadweight in my campaign, I'm just going to pull it out (it doesn't seem like it had anything really exclusive going for it anyway).

I've update the house rules accordingly, including explaining the full reasons why certain classes were pulled (which I should have done in the first place). I guess I'm putting the paladin back in, along with the standard house rules I have for them. They seem to have worked pretty well in the past (especially since it helps cut down on MAD).

Thank you all for your feedback thus far.