House Rules


Our style of play is cinematic heroism. My hope is to encourage creative, bold heroic play. When in doubt ask yourself, “What would Indiana Jones do?” The idea is to have fun, take chances and for your creativity and decisions to drive the action of the game. Best of all the new 4E rules encourage and promote this kind of play! Characters have massive hit points, natural healing reserves and crazy powers! Besides, what’s the worst that could happen? Roll a new character!


These rules are our current agreed upon aberrations and clarifications from the DND 4E rules as written.

Action Points (New for 2010) In addition to using Action Points to take an extra action, you may also use them for game changing stunts! Limited only by player creativity and DM discretion you may use your Action Point for a stunt that would normally be beyond the prevue of your character. The better the narrative for your proposed stunt the more awesome it can be!

Class and Race Not all classes and races are equally popular. Fighters, rogues and humans are common. All other classes and races in the original Player’s Handbook are uncommon. Any other player character classes and races presented in subsequent material are rare. This distinction comes in most often when role playing reactions with non-player characters.

Critical Effects If you roll a natural 1 or 20 on your first attack in a round you automatically miss or hit, respectively, and the 20 does extra damage as stated in the rules as written. Additionally, the DM may roll at his discretion an additional d20 to determine further critical effects which last until the end of the player’s turn. Also, critical effects may be enforced for non-combat dice rolls at the DM’s discretion.

Delayed Attacks (New for 2010) 1. When delaying your action within the same initiative turn you do not lose your place in the initiative order. This allows “fast” characters an advantage throughout combat even in the event that they delay. 2. If you delay your action until the next initiative turn, you lose last turn’s minor and move action, but can take two attack actions in the current turn. In essence you store up an attack for a “flurry of blows”. Attacks taken in this matter can be at-wills or encounters, but not dailies. The attacks must be taken back-to-back, not attack-move-attack unless your first attack has a movement component within the power description. Dice Etiquette 1. Player declares what he is going to do and what he is going to target, “Legolas will target the orc’s AC with his Careful Attack.” 2. DM gives the player the modified target number, “Ok, roll a 12.” 3. Player then rolls his hit die and damage dice together and gives the complete narrative, [Player rolls 12 to hit, and 15 damage] “Legolas draws back his bow and carefully shoots the orc for 15 points of damage in the arse!” 4. DM consults notes and adds to narrative if damage is catastrophic, “The shot to the arse put the orc over the top! You kill him!” 5. DM, as always, may reward especially good role playing with a Karma Card!

Healing Surges (New for 2010) Healing surges may be used for anything that feasibly uses an extra “oomph” of physical exertion. Uses are limited by player’s imagination, DM’s approval, the availability of healing surges and the ability to access a healing surge via second wind, power use, item use, etc. Options include, but are not limited to, healing, recharging an encounter power, increasing damage given, lowering damage taken and rerolling a saving throw.

Karma Cards (Updated for 2010) Karma Cards provide small temporary boosts and may be rewarded for good role playing. They may be used at any time, but expire at the end of the adventure. Also, a player can trade in a pair of the same Karma Cards to use a second Action Point in an encounter. Bring your “A” game!

Monster Defenses Before attacking a player may use a knowledge check to deduce what is a monster’s weakest defense. The skill to be used and difficulty is set by the DM. The check is a free action as is sharing the information with nearby ally.

Shot Clock Anybody may call, “clock”, on another player’s turn. That player then has until the end of one run of the sand dial to complete their turn including declaration of damage and effects. If they do not complete their turn then their action is delayed until after the next person in initiative order. If they are delayed twice in the same round they forfeit their turn for that round.

Underground Magic Emporium (Updated for 2010) 4E discourages magic trade, however, players may find a member of the Artificer Guild running an underground magic emporium to help outfit heroes with basic magic items and aid in advancing magic items. Going to visit the local artificer is a weighty encounter, though, steeped in ritual and mystery.

A player may go to see an artificer only once per level and attempt to purchase d6 magic items found in any published material of his level or lower (-1 penalty for unaligned characters and -1 penalty if any item is from a non-core rule book). Consumable magic items are stocked in 4 packs. Rituals are stocked both as books and 4 packs of scrolls. If a player gets an item from an artificer and then gives it or sells it to another in an effort to deceive the artificer and get around the protocols all parties involved incur a -4 penalty to all further dealings with any artificer and a 50% markup on all purchases until amends are made at the DM’s discretion.

The party knows three Artificer Guild members. Old Roy is a mystical old artificer serving Sparrow Down and the Valley of Light. The midnight black half-orc is one part black market trader and one part sage. “Ya, man! Ol’ Roy gets you some good magic stuff, man!” Generous is a frightening old artificer tiefling in the swamp of Xorn outside the Credit River Township. “How may I serve you my tasty young hero?” The mysterious tiefling Future is a seer and artificer with the Clan of the Cavebear in the foothills of the Falenkor Range. “I see you may need my assistance to travel the road ahead.”


4E is an entirely new edition of DND, not a small modification of a previous version like 3.5E. Therefore, I would highly encourage you to buy a new 4E Players Handbook and read it cover-to-cover several times. One of the big ideas of 4E is a lot more rules and effects are written into players’ powers to move more of the responsibility of rules management from the DM to the players. Below are summarized a few rules with which you need to be most familiar.

Advancing Magic Items Apparently DND liked our house rules and added them to the standard rules. The Adventurer’s Vault officially introduces the idea of advancing magic items versus adding magic items. Three options are given: level scaling, granting item levels as treasure or transferring enchantment. The rules are detailed in the aforementioned book on pages 197-199. If after reviewing these rules you feel it is appropriate for your character please inform me as we plan out treasure parcels before the beginning of a scene.

Backgrounds Page 178-183 of PH2 introduces the idea of Background. Now the silly exercise I make you go through to flesh out your player’s back story and motivation will have a real in game advantage! Let your imagination, and my approval, be your guide.

Critical Hits Roll 20 and do max damage. No threat ratings. No re-rolls. Just do max damage. Some magic items, high critical weapons and powers do additional damage which is rolled. If a 20 is not a hit then you simply automatically hit and do regular damage.

Difficulty Checks Essentially how the entire 4E rules work—and they’re easy! For example, a rogue has an open lock 8 and a door has a lock of 15; if the rogue rolls a 7 or higher on d20 he succeeds. Or, a fighter has a battle axe of 6 and a bugbear has armor of 16; if the fighter rolls a 10 or higher on d20 he succeeds. If there is no pressure to succeed (i.e. you are opening the lock to your own house because you locked yourself out) you can assume you rolled a 10. If you are in a no pressure situation with 2 minutes to spare you can assume you rolled a 20.

Powers Powers allow wizards to cast magic missile all day long and fighters to cleave on every attack! Powers fall into three categories: at-will, per encounter and per day. They are extraordinary abilities specific to your character that separate him from every other character of that race, level and class. Please read up on your character’s powers, record them on your character sheet and commit them to memory.

House Rules

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