House Rules

Called Shots
A player may choose to aim for a specific area of his opponent when making an attack in the hopes of having a greater (or more specialized) effect with his attack. Any called shot made against an opponent suffers double the range increment penalty. In addition, different areas of the body are harder to hit than others and have various effects when damaged, such as if a critical hit is scored. A called shot falls into one of three difficulties: Tricky(-4), Challenging(-8), or Impractical(-12). Here is a simple breakdown of some common called shots and the effects they have:

Arm
Arms are the manipulating limbs of a creature, including tentacles. Wings are also considered to be arms for purposes of a called shot. Called shots to the arm are tricky (–4 penalty). A called shot to an arm deals no additional damage, but for 1d4 rounds, any attack rolls, ability checks, or skill checks made using the wounded arm take a –2 penalty. A critical hit to the arm deals 1d4 points of Strength damage and renders the arm useless until healed unless the target succeeds at a Fortitude saving throw. If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, the arm is severed or otherwise mangled such that only regeneration or similar effects can repair it. The target also suffers the effects of a called shot to the arm (if the arm remains usable) for 2d6 minutes.

Chest
Called shots to the chest are aimed at the well-protected center of mass of a creature. Called shots to the chest are tricky (–4 penalty). A called shot to the chest deals no additional damage, but any skill checks caused by the hit take a –2 penalty. A critical hit to the chest deals 1d4 points of Constitution damage and fatigues the target. A successful Fortitude saving throw (made after the Constitution damage is applied) negates the fatigue. The creature also automatically fails any skill checks that the hit would have caused.

Ear
Ears are the organs used to hear. Creatures without visible ears generally aren’t susceptible to called shots to that location. Called shots to the ear are impractical (–12 penalty). A called shot to the ear deafens that ear for 2d6 minutes and leaves the target staggered for 1 round. A creature that loses hearing in all ears is deafened until hearing is returned by way of the remove blindness/deafness spell or a similar effect. A critical hit to the ear destroys that ear and stuns the target for 1 round, then leaves it staggered for 1d4 rounds, and deafened until removed with the remove blindness/deafness spell or a similar effect.

Eye
Eyes include whatever organs a creature uses to see. At the Game Master’s discretion, a called shot to the eye can also target sensory organs such as antennae, potentially negating abilities like blindsense. Generally, a creature can’t be blinded until it has lost all vision in all of its eyes. Creatures with five or more eyes take no penalties from called shots to their eyes until they’re blinded in enough eyes to bring them down a single functional eye, but can still be blinded in that eye by a critical hit. Called shots to the eye are impractical (–12 penalty).
A called shot to the eye costs the target sight in that eye for 1d4 minutes and gives it a –2 penalty on spot checks. If the creature only has one functional eye prior to the called shot, it is blinded instead. A critical hit to the eye destroys that eye, causes blindness until the condition is removed with a remove blindness/deafness spell or similar effect, and deals 1d6 points of bleed damage. A successful Reflex saving throw reduces this to 1d4 hours of loss of sight in that eye and eliminates the bleeding.

Hand
Hands include most extremities used for fine manipulation. Called shots to the hand are challenging (–8 penalty). For 1d10 rounds, any attack rolls, damage rolls, ability checks, or skill checks made using the wounded hand take a –2 penalty, including attack and damage rolls with two-handed weapons. In addition, the target takes a –4 penalty to resist disarm attempts, and drops its weapon (if any) on an attack roll result of a natural 1. A critical hit to the hand deals 1d4 points of Dexterity damage. The blow renders the hand useless until healed unless the target succeeds at a Reflex saving throw. If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, the hand is severed or otherwise mangled such that only regeneration or similar effects can repair it. Regardless of the result of the saving throw, anything held in the wounded hand is automatically dropped, even items held in two or more hands. The target also suffers the effects of a called shot to the hand (if the hand remains usable) for 2d6 minutes.

Head
Called shots to the head are challenging (–8 penalty), as most creatures show some skill at dodging attacks aimed at their faces. Some creatures, such as otyughs and purple worms, lack a proper head altogether. Creatures with multiple heads must be hit by called shots to all their heads in a single round to suffer ill effects, and even then, only suffer the least effect that is inflicted on any single head (so for example, an ettin would need to take critical hits to both heads to receive the effects of a critical called shot to the head). A called shot to the head leaves the target sickened for 1d10 rounds. A critical hit to the head deals 1d6 points of Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma damage (randomly determine which) and knocks the target unconscious for 1d10 rounds. A successful Fortitude saving throw prevents the target from being knocked unconscious, but leaves it staggered for 1d10 rounds instead. If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, the target is rendered senseless by severe brain trauma (as the feeblemind spell) until it receives a heal, greater restoration, or similar effect. The target also suffers the effects of a called shot to the head for 2d6 minutes.

Heart
A called shot to the heart represents an attempt at a killing blow. A called shot to the heart can be used for any small, likely fatal location on a creature. Called shots to the heart are impractical (–12 penalty). A called shot to the heart stuns the target for 1 round. A critical hit to the heart pierces or otherwise ruptures the organ, causing exhaustion and 1d6 points of Constitution bleed damage. A successful Fortitude save reduces this to fatigue and 1d4 points of Constitution bleed damage. In either case, stopping the bleeding requires either regeneration (spell or special ability), greater magical healing (such as Heal, Restoration, or Greater Restoration), or a successful DC 25 heal check that takes 1d4 rounds to complete It also stuns the target for 1 round.

Leg
Legs are the ambulatory limbs of a creature, including feet. Called shots to the leg have no special effect on creatures with five or more legs. Called shots to the leg are tricky (–4 penalty). A called shot to a leg lowers the target creature’s speed by 10 feet for 1d4 rounds if it has two or fewer legs, and by 5 feet if it has three or four legs. In either case, the creature’s speed cannot be reduced below 5 feet per round. Called shots to the leg have no effect on creatures with five or more legs. Hitting the same leg more than once has no extra effect, but the speed penalty for hits on different legs stack. Additionally, any skill or ability checks involving movement take a –2 penalty for 1d4 rounds. A critical hit to the leg deals 1d4 points of Dexterity damage. The blow renders the leg entirely useless until healed unless the target succeeds at a Fortitude saving throw. If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, the leg is severed or otherwise mangled such that only regeneration or similar effects can repair it. If the save succeeds, the target is instead lamed and moves at half speed until the leg is healed, or until it receives a successful DC 20 Heal check. A creature with a useless or severed leg moves at half speed if it still has more than half of its legs usable; otherwise, it cannot stand up and must crawl to move. The target also suffers the effects of a called shot to the leg (if the leg remains usable) for 2d6 minutes.

Neck
The neck makes for a difficult but rewarding target. Injuries to the neck keep a creature from speaking easily, and if blood vessels or the windpipe are damaged, such injuries rapidly lead to death. Creatures that lack vulnerable heads generally can’t be attacked in the neck either. Called shots to the neck are impractical (–12 penalty). A called shot to the neck makes speaking above a hoarse whisper impossible for 1d4 minutes. Spells with verbal components have a 20% chance of failing outright, as do attempts to activate command-word items (although for magic items, the use of the item is not wasted). A critical hit to the neck deals 1d6 points of bleed damage. In addition, the target must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw or suffer a crushed windpipe and be unable to breathe or speak, possibly suffocating. A crushed windpipe can be repaired by magical healing (from one or more sources) that heals as many hit points of damage as the original hit dealt, or by a DC 25 Heal check to open up a hole into the windpipe. The latter check deals 2d6 hit points of damage, and leaves the creature still unable to speak. If target makes its saving throw, it still suffers the effects of a called shot to the neck for 2d6 minutes.

Critical Hits
No roll is ever required to “confirm” critical hits. If a die roll falls under the critical threat range of the weapon, it is a critical hit. However, if that roll is also a natural 20, a percentile roll is made on the critical hit chart. On this chart, a weapon may never have a damage multiplier that is less than its printed multiplier. Therefore, if I score a critical hit with a greataxe (whose critical multiplier is x3) and I roll a 17 on the percentile roll (which results in x2 damage) I will still do x3 damage because that is the base multiplier for my weapon. In the case of a spell critical, the critical hit deck will be used.

Haste
I use the 3.0 version of this spell, with one added drawback. For every five rounds a creature is under the effects of this spell, they age one full year (that’s a little over 12 days a second). This is considered natural aging and can only be reversed with a limited wish, wish, or miracle spell.

Ambidexterity
I use the 3.0 version of the penalties associated with fighting with two weapons. The base penalties for dual-wielding are negative six in the main hand and negative 10 in the off-hand. With Two-Weapon Fighting, the penalties are reduced to negative four for the main hand and negative eight for the off-hand. Ambidexterity removes the -4 penalty for using your off-hand. With no Two-Weapon Fighting feat, the penalties would be a negative six in both hands. With both feats, the penalties are reduced to four for both hands. Using a light weapon in the off-hand reduces the penalty for using two weapons by two. The best results, gained from having the Ambidexterity and Two-Weapon Fighting feats, and using a light weapon in the off-hand, are a negative two to both hands.

Faith
This will be another stat that players have. All players’ faith will start at a base of 10. Faith will be gained by acting in a manner that is exceptionally aligned with a character’s patron deity. Faith will be lost by acting in a manner that is exceptionally against a character’s patron deity’s dogma. If a divine spellcasting class’s faith score ever falls below zero, he/she will be unable to cast divine spells until they improve their faith score to 0 or better either by earning faith points in the normal manner or by undergoing an atonement spell. Faith will function as a normal score with a modifier and will be used to make certain “Faith rolls” in certain situations. Faith may also be spent in a number of ways as follows:

  • 1 point spent before an attack roll, a skill roll, or a saving throw will add 4 to that roll.
  • 1 point spent before a damage roll made against you will half the damage total. (note: critical hits will be halved but the character may still suffer a greater effect based on the critical hit chart, e.g. “arm cut off”).
  • 1 point per spell level (minimum 1 point) may be spent before a spell is cast to retain the spell slot.
  • 1 point spent while adjacent to an ally who has just been hit by an attack that required a roll will allow the player to recieve the attack in place of his ally. (note: this attack’s damage may not also be halved using faith points.)
  • 1 point may be spent to maximize a single die when casting a healing spell.
  • 2 points may be spent to reroll any one die (note: this must be decided before the result of the roll is revealed).
  • 2 points may be spent to automatically stabilize when current hit points are below zero.
  • 2 points may be spent to attempt any skill roll again that normally can only be attempted once.
  • 3 points may be spent to ignore damage reduction or spell resistance for one attack.
  • 3 points may be spent to “take 10” on a skill roll which a player cannot normally “take 10” on.
  • 5 points may be spent to cast augury as a cleric of your level.
  • 10 points may be spent to recieve a “hint” from the DM.
  • 20 points may be spent immediately after death to return to life unconscious, at -9 hit points, and one level lower. (note: if a first level character uses this ability, their experience total becomes -500)
  • Players are also welcome to suggest any other use for faith points to the DM that is not listed here.

House Rules

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