View Full Version : House-rules for 4e

2012-01-30, 06:06 AM
Hey!! I'm starting a new 6-player 4e campaign in a couple of weeks and I have a few ideas that I'd like to include. I'd appreciate any advice/opinions on these ideas.

1. Barbarian frenzy

When the barbarian is blooded, he has to make a wisdom check at the start of his turn. The DC is 1/2 level+5*the times he was hit since the end of his last turn. (Obviously if he is not hit at all, the DC is 1/2 level so, unless he has dumped wisdom, he doesn't have to roll.)
If the check fails, he in in a frenzy.
Which means: -2 to all defenses, +2/4/6 (per tier) bonus to dmg rolls, and he is obligated to attack either his closest target/s or one of the enemies that hit him since the end of his last turn.
When he is frenzied, he makes a wisdom check at the start of his turn. the DC drops by 5 each round, but is increased by 5 each time he is hit.
The effect ends, when he beats the DC or when he is no longer bloodied.

2. Wizard spellbook

The wizard can prepare spells or any level equal/lower to his spell slots. The same spell can be prepared more than one time, but must be of the same type as the normal spell he would prepare.
For example, a 7 level wizard has:
~2 At-will powers
~a level 1 encounter slot: he must prepare a level 1 encounter spell
~a level 1 daily slot: he must prepare a level 1 daily spell
~a level 2 utility slot: he must prepare a level 2 utility spell
~a level 3 encounter slot: he must prepare an encounter spell form lever 1 or level 3
~a level 5 daily slot: he must prepare a daily spell from level 1 or level 5
~a level 6 utility slot: he must prepare a utility spell from level 2 or level 6
~a level 7 encounter slot: he must prepare an encounter spell from level 1, 3 or 7

3. The sorcerer

Once per encounter he can use a lower level spell (or the same type) instead of his normal spell. This can only be used for attack powers, not utilities.
That means, that he can use his level 3 encounter spell instead of his level 7 encounter spell. Which means that he might use the level 3 encounter spell twice.

4. Injuries

There are injuries to several parts of the body.

4a: what injuries do

Injuries have 4 stages. Lesser, Normal, Greater, Severe.
For example an arm injury
~Lesser: -1 to weapon attack rolls using that arm, -1 to thievery checks
Duration: 1d6 days
~Normal: -2 to weapon attack rolls using that arm, -2 to thievery checks
Duration: +1d6 days
~Greater: -5 to weapon attack rolls using that arm, -5 to thievery checks, can't use shields
Duration: +1d6 days
~Severe: can't use that arm
Duration: flip a coin: ~Heads: +2d6 days ~Tails: the arm is permanently damaged

4b: How injuries occur

~When a PC drops to 0 hit points he gets a random injury
~When someone gets a critical hit we roll an extra d20 (on a second natural 20 the attacks does double dmg) On a 18 or higher, the target of the attack gets a random injury (or an extra rank of injury to the specific body part: see below)
~Anyone using a basic attack, can aim at a certain part of his enemies body (if he wants of course). He takes a penalty to the attack roll, but if the attack hits, the target gets an injury to that part.

4c: How injuries are treated

At the end of an extended rest someone trained in heal can use a heal check on an injury. On a DC of 15 or higher, he can treat the injury. The duration of each injury is the number of successful heal checks required.
If an injury isn't treated at all or if the check fails, the duration is increased by 1.
Someone not trained in Heal, can use a DC 10 heal check to stabilize an injury, which means that it won't be treated for that day, but at least it will not get worse.

5. All spells include verbal and somatic components. I'm also adding 2 new feats, Still spell and silent spell, which permanently remove those components from your spells.

I'll add more to this post later.

So...what do u think??

Edit: added Rule n.5 and reduced the duration of injuries

2012-01-30, 06:33 AM
Uhm. Aside from making things more "realistic"/3.5ish, what are you hoping to attain? Barbarians already have mechanics for getting pissed, they just channel the power of Nature in addition to doing so. And your houserule for sorcerers, unless you're specifically calling back to spell slots, gives no reason why anybody else of any other class shouldn't be able to do the same. (Being able to spend a higher level encounter/daily/utility power to activate another of a lower level is not necessarily a bad rule, powers like Sleep excepted. But that applies to everybody.)

The injury system, meanwhile, is just bad. Not only are the durations excessive - one of the underlying assumptions of the system is that extended rest = complete refresh - but injuries cause encounter-long (or longer) penalties for minimal cost in resources. Why wouldn't you make a high-accuracy party and have everybody focus on destroying the enemy's ability to attack? Given how much focus was put on making sure everybody played the same "deplete the other side's HP" game, offering another win condition for stacking injuries is a step backwards.

2012-01-30, 08:03 AM
Well I had serious doubts about how good/balanced those house rules were in the first place, that's why I posted here.
Well as you said, the main reason was to give a more 3.5ish feel. My group is not familiar with 3.5, so we have to play 4e.

Well ,the barbarian frenzy was my attempt to make barbarians more realistic, since rage is now a primal thing. I was going for a getting-pissed-off-and-losing-control thing.

The wizard-sorcerer thing is clearly an attempt to revert to 3.5, but I have very serious doubts about it. It is a huge buff for those classes, but I intend to make all spells require verbal and somatic components as well, so I thought it might balance things out.

As for the injuries, it's not so easy to get one, and even more difficult to get a higher stack. The duration does seem a little high, now that you mention it, though.
Also, causing an injury requires you to use a basic attack, which means that the party has to sacrifice damage in order to stack injuries on an enemy. And then they still have to get him to 0 hp.

The idea behind those injuries, was that adventurers always fearlessly walk into a dungeon without any consideration for their lives, "cuz healing is always an option". A simple potion and a good night's sleep and you're as good as new. In a real life situation, though, one would think twice before risking his life. In a real combat situation, a single attack might as well cut your arm off. I was going for a little more realism I guess. I dunno how it might work out, I'm hoping to test it before I actually use it. There is a huge possibility that everyone might hate it right away.

Edited my first post: added Rule n.5 and reduced the duration of injuries