House Rules Archive

Dark Sun 3.5 / Trailblazer House Rules

Last updated: 01-Mar-2012.

Major House Rules

No Alignment: Alignment will not be used. There are no alignment restrictions for anything.

  • If a spell/power/item/whatever involves alignment (e.g. chaos hammer, protection from law, etc.) it is either removed or generalized.
  • Detect <insert> spells are removed entirely.
  • Protection from <insert> spells are replaced by one spell called protection, which grants the effects from protection from evil against all creatures in its duration.
  • Dispel <insert> spells are replaced by one spell called dispel (not to be confused with dispel magic), which grants the effects from dispel evil against all creatures.
  • Cleric domains that pertain to alignment are simply removed.
    etc…

Defiler Points/Score: Anytime an arcane caster defiles, he earns Defiler points. These are explained in detail on page 33 of the Dark Sun 3.5 .pdf. Defiling gives a caster free metamagic and things at the toll of fertile land and his own mind and body. These points can be assumed/absorbed into a defiler score, or resisted and meditated on to rid yourself of.

When you accumulate defiler points, you begin to look and feel like a meth-head. Defiler points may be meditated away, whereas a defiler score cannot. If you assume defiler points into your defiler score, the associated ability, skill, and fatigue penalties go away. Having a defiler score increases your defiler aura and all druids will want to destroy you.

Spell Flavor: Create water is limited to 1/2 gallon per caster level. The ability score boosting spells named after animals (Bull’s Strength, Cat’s Grace, Bear’s Endurance, Fox’s Cunning, Owl’s Wisdom, and Eagle’s Splendor) are replaced by Warrior’s Strength, Thief’s Grace, Gladiator’s Endurance, Sage’s Wisdom, Minstrel’s Splendor, respectively.

Hit Points: No Trailblazer CON boost at 1st level. This is done in order to increase the game’s difficulty.

Weapon Breakage: Weapons risk being damaged on rolls of 1 or 20. If a critical hit or critical fumble are confirmed on these rolls, the weapon being wielded takes on damage. Below are various materials and their hardness (in parentheses) along with any special traits they may have. Weapons like staves, bows, and crossbows ignore these breakage rules.

  • Wood (5)
  • Bone (6) Typically weigh about 25% less than what is listed.
  • Chitin (7)
  • Agafari wood (7) Bows have +20% range
  • Obsidian (7)
  • Stone (8)
  • Bronze (9)
  • Blood-Obsidian/Deep-Obsidian (9) +1 to confirm crits

Uncommon to extremely rare materials:

  • Steel (10)
  • Darkwood (5) All weapons are masterwork and weigh 50% less.
  • Silver, alchemical (8; steel weapons only) -1 damage; bypasses certain creatures’ DR.
  • Cold Iron (10) bypasses certain creatures’ DR.
  • Mundane crystal (6)
  • Deep Crystal (9) Can be powered by psionic characters to increase damage.
  • Mithral (15) Items weigh 50% less.
  • Adamantine (20) +1 attack rolls; armor reduces damage taken

If the weapon suffers breakage, simply roll damage with all normal modifiers and apply the damage rolled to the weapon (this damage is never multiplied on a crit). Keep in mind that the damage needs to bypass the material’s hardness to reduce the weapon’s HP. If the weapon is enchanted/powered, do not apply the enhanced damage to the breakage damage roll.

Weapons that have been damaged to 50% HP are considered broken. Broken weapons take -2 to attack and damage rolls. Broken weapons can be repaired with Craft (Weaponsmithing). Once a weapon’s HP reaches 0, it is destroyed, and cannot be repaired.

Classes

Added some stuff here, including new sets of weapon proficiencies for most classes (so pay attention to those). If you find a weapon that you can’t see a certain class using, that class probably isn’t proficient with it.

Barbarian

Weapons: all simple and martial except sap, cahbik/rapier, and any polearms. The barbarian is also proficient with the ever-exotic spiked chain (good luck finding one).

Bard

  • Bards gain ‘poison use’ at 4th level.
  • Use ‘Bard Spells Known’ from the 3.5 PHB.
    Weapons: any weapon with the word ‘bard’ in it.

Cleric

  • No Aura.
  • Elemental clerics can attempt to turn opposing elementals, as well as undead.
    Armor: Clerics are not proficient with heavy armor.
    Weapons: all simple except punching dagger, sickle, longspear, javelin, and sling.

Druid

Weapons: Druids are not proficient with the scimitar.

Monk

Weapons: Monks are proficient with whips.

Paladin

  • More often called templars, since paladins get their powers from a sorcerer-king (note that paladins aren’t the only templars, though). Even though there is no alignment, paladins in Dark Sun are never truly ‘good’.
  • Due to detect alignment spells being removed, the paladin now gains the Skill-focus (Sense motive) feat as a bonus feat at 1st level.
  • They can now smite anything. Even goddamn doors.
  • No Aura.
    Renamed Class abilities:
  • Smite (1st)
  • Templar’s Grace (2nd)
  • Aura of Dauntlessness/Dread (3rd)
  • Templar’s Gift (3rd, replaces Divine health)
  • Templar’s Weapon (replaces Divine Weapon, and the paladin gains specific weapon-enhancements based on his/her task and/or Sorcerer-King)
  • Templar’s Boon/Cruelty (6th).
  • Paladins gain access to both ‘good’ and ‘evil’ class ability powers freely (as with Lay on Hands, Aura of Dauntlessness/Dread, and Templar’s Boon/Cruelty).
    Weapons: all simple and martial except punching dagger, sickle, dart, sling, kukri, light pick, sap, heavy pick, rapier, scimitar, scythe, and bows.

Ranger

Weapons: all simple and martial except bard’s friend, puchik, light pick, heavy pick, impaler, and any polearms. Rangers are also proficient with whips, bolas, nets, and hand crossbows.

Rogue

Armor: Rogues are proficient with buckler shields.
Weapons: Rogues are proficient with the bard’s friend, quabone, widow’s knife, wrist razors, net, puchik, singing stick, tortoise blade, and master’s whip.

Sorcerer

  • Use ‘Sorcerer Spells Known’ from the 3.5 PHB. Because of Base Magic Bonus, count each level on the chart as a level lower than it actually is (e.g: What’s listed below as spells known at 2nd level is actually what a sorcerer knows at 1st, and so on).

Wizard

  • Use ‘Spellbooks’ from 3.5 PHB. Wizards begin play with all 0-level spells, plus three 1st-level spells (plus an extra 1st-level spell for each point of INT modifier he has). Wizards then gain two spells of their choice per level. As long as they are able to cast spells of a certain level, they may add them to their spellbooks upon leveling.
  • Wizards gain the ‘Scribe Scroll’ feat at 1st level.

Base Psionic Bonus

All characters have a base psionic bonus (BPB) just like all characters have a base magic bonus. This is an addition to simply make multiclassing easier and keep psionics congruent with Trailblazer’s unified base magic rules.

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BPB progression for classes

(1:1) Psion and Wilder
(2/3) Psychic Warrior
(1/2) Monk, Soulknife
(1/3) All other classes, generally

As with Base Magic Bonuses, use your best judgement when figuring out the BPB of prestige classes. As a general rule, martial, divine, and arcane PrCs and base classes will have a 1/3 BPB progression (the weakest progression). Monk-related PrCs and PrCs with psionic abilities will have better BPB progressions.

For reference…
2/3 is equal to a Bard’s BMB progression
1/2 is equal to a Monk’s BMB progression
1/3 is equal to a Fighter’s BMB progression

Skills

Alternative Craft Rules

  • Calculate raw material costs normally (and masterwork cost, if necessary).
  • Roll your relative Craft skill vs. the item’s DC. Keep in mind whatever quality of tools, special materials, and other creative variables you are using (as the item’s DC may be adjusted). You must roll for masterwork quality as a separate component before you begin working on the actual piece.
  • You must pass the item’s DC to make significant progress in a day (standard 8 hours). If you fail a craft check by 10 or more, you botch your raw materials and need to buy new materials again.
  • Take whatever surplus your check grants you from exceeding the craft DC and add it to a “completion pool”.
  • Repeat step 4 each 8-hour workday until the completion pool result equals or exceeds the item’s craft DC.
  • When this completion pool is equal to or greater than the item’s craft DC, the item was successfully created.

Example: Ronald is a 3rd level Expert, trained in Craft (Armorsmithing), who has been asked by a local lord to craft a masterwork suit of banded mail. Ronald is very competent in his work; his Int score is 13, he has maximum ranks in Craft (Armorsmithing), skill focus for his craft, and masterwork tools, which means he has a total score in Craft (Armorsmithing) of:

3 (ranks) + 3 (class skil) + 1 (Int) + 3 (feat) + 2 (masterwork tools) = +12

Ronald begins to work on the suit of armor, beginning with the masterwork component. Because this component is DC 20, he needs at least a roll of 9 to make any real progress.

Because he is skilled enough, Ronald could take 10 and complete the masterwork component in 10 days (2 completion points a day adding up to 20 at day 10), but he decides to work hard enough to try and get it done faster. This means he will roll a craft check for each work day.

  • Day 1: He makes his roll and gets a 15, which means he got a check result of 27: subtracting the DC from the roll gives a result of 7, so in his completion pool value is 7/20. He is already nearly half-way to finishing the masterwork component.
  • Day 2: He rolls a 10, for a check result of 22: this means that the completion pool value is 9/20.
  • Day 3: He gets a 5, for a result of 17, not enough to make progress this day.
  • Day 4: He gets a natural 20, for a result of 32. This means that he adds 12 points to the completion pool, for a total of 21/20. His completion pool exceeds the DC for the masterwork component, so, in 4 days, he finished it! He can now move on to the suit itself.

For simplicity, this check assumes that the creator is using a full business day (8 hours) to work almost entirely on the particular item. However, other tasks may take priority during this time, and the creator may only spend a certain amount of time on the craft object:

  • 6 hours: only add 3/4 of the result surplus to the completion pool.
  • 4 hours: only add 1/2 of the result surplus to the completion pool.
  • 2 hours: only add 1/4 of the result surplus to the completion pool.
    (always round down; minimum of 1).

A crafter may spend more than 8 consecutive hours on a single object. Because crafting items takes a significant amount of mental focus, each additional 2 hours spent crafting after the initial work day requires the crafter make a fortitude save (DC 10 +2 for each additional 2 hours). Failure means the crafter becomes fatigued. The Endurance feat applies to each fortitude save.

Repairing broken weapons and armor with the Craft skill

Broken weapons can be repaired with a successful Craft (Weaponsmithing) check (see the new crafting rules below under Skills). The DC for a repair depends on the weapon type:

  • DC 10 (simple weapons)
  • DC 15 (martial weapons)
  • DC 20 (exotic weapons)
  • DC +2 for masterwork quality

This check takes about 1 hour per DC 5 (round up) and requires raw materials that cost 1/2 of the weapon’s base cost (round up). If the weapon being repaired is masterwork or enhanced by magic/psionics, you must also pay the full masterwork price (300 cp) to fix a broken weapon.

The repairer can choose to forgo fixing the masterwork quality and repair the weapon as non-masterwork if he chooses; doing so only costs 1/2 the weapon’s base price in materials and doesn’t increase the craft DC by +2. If the repair is successful, the weapon is no longer masterwork. You cannot forgo the masterwork cost if the weapon is enchanted/powered.

Example: Derpina wants to repair her broken bone spear that was fragmented in an attempt to catch a critic lizard. Women in her village are not allowed to go near repairing equipment, so she takes the broken spear to old Phil the weaponsmith expert. Old Phil has a respectable Craft (weaponsmithing) skill of +8. He tells Derpina that she must pay him 1 cp for materials (half the cost of a spear), which she does so gleefully. Old Phil shoos her away and he shuts himself in his dirty ol’ shop.
The spear is a simple weapon, so the DC to repair it is 10. So, it will take Old Phil 2 hours to fix the splinters and slap another flint spearhead on the thing. Old Phil rolls a 3 + 8 = 11 on his craft check, which is just barely enough to exceed the DC of 10. He brushes his dusty pants off and takes the spear back to Derpina, and tells her to never chase lizards with a spear again.

Feats

Point Blank Shot: This feat no longer exists. Its benefits are now included in Precise shot.

Weapon Finesse: This feat no longer exists. Attack rolls for light piercing and slashing weapons are now used with Dex rather than Str. You still apply your Str score to their damage rolls, as usual. Monks and those with the improved unarmed fighting feat can choose to use either Str or Dex for their unarmed attacks.

New Feats

Armor Focus [General]
Prereq: (Medium or Heavy Armor Proficiency, Str 13)
Benefits: Reduce Armor Check Penalties by 2. Increase Max Dex Bonus for armor by 2.

Armor Specialization [General]
Prereq: (BAB +6, Armor Focus)
Benefits: You get +2 AC with a specific chosen Armor type (light, medium, or heavy). You may gain this feat multiple times. Each additional time, you gain the benefits with a new type of armor.

Equipment

Armor: Use house-ruled armor.

Athasian weapons: See weapons.

Shields: All shields grant an additional +1 to AC, except bucklers. See: Armor

Bastard Sword: No longer an exotic weapon. Must have Str 13+ to wield 1-handed.

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