Game Mechanics, House Rules
General Character Creation Notes
Point buy or standard array for ability scores. Max hp at level 1, and average hp gain at each level (don’t roll).
Create two characters. A level 1 character which you will play at the start, and a level 2 character which is a friend or relation of your first character (your choice how they know each other) who will serve as a backup if your first character dies.
For equipment, either take the set items for class, or maximum possible roll for gold and buy your own. For the 2nd level backup character, start with the same, no extra gold or equipment despite the character’s level. Even though the characters may be friends, no pooling or sharing of gold.
Dragonborn & Tiefling discouraged, in order to play as one of these races your character needs a plausible way to hide his/her monstrous features and exist in human controlled lands. Any other PHB race is fine, including the variant human.
Any background is okay, except you can’t be an ancient gold dragon. Remember that your two characters should know each other in some way, sharing a background might be the easiest way to explain that.
Deities & Religion
Most of the humans of Quartos recognize the Norse pantheon (Odin, Thor, Loki, etc). Unlike other worlds, the gods don’t grant any powers to anyone. Some doubt they exist, others claim it’s just a test or a punishment.
Cleric characters still exist, and work mechanically almost exactly as described in the PHB, but they are not getting spells from a deity. The magic can come from the cleric’s own power, something like a sorcerer, or it can come from an extraplanar being who wants to see the particular Deity’s ends furthered, or perhaps it comes from an ancient artifact or a natural force (the sun!). It’s up to the cleric’s player to decide how it works in his character’s case.
This is not a carte blanche for the cleric. There may be a time when the gods do return. Odin, for example, might not be too pleased if he finds some particular mortal slaying and murdering and pillaging in his name. There also exist NPC church organizations that may have issues with a cleric abusing his powers. It’s suggested that clerics follow the ethos they claim to represent, or there may be consequences.
Non-human and some “uncivilized” humans might worship other gods from other pantheons, or basic elemental forces, this all works the same way as above.
Most of the human towns of Quartos forbid magic use among common folks (i.e., player characters). No distinction is made between wizard or cleric or any other type of magic, all is forbidden. This does not mean you can’t play a spellcaster, you can. You just can’t be too overt about your magical abilities, especially within the walls of a major city.
This does put a hamper on learning spells, though. For the lowest level spells (1-2 & cantrips), the spells are simple enough that the magic system works exactly as described in the PHB.
Beyond that, spells must be discovered before they can be used. When a wizard gains a level, there is some restriction on what spells can be chosen. Even clerics, sorcerers, and other casters have a “known spells” list almost like a wizard, in that the higher level spells must be discovered before they can be used. When a wizard reaches level 5, for example, he can not simply select any 3rd level spells. They must be discovered in some way or another through the campaign.
Note: spells gained through a class ability, for example a cleric’s domain spells, are an exception to this. Those spells are gained normally without any special ingame effort required to discover them.
This is not limited to killing enemy spellcasters and taking their spellbook. At some point the party might befriend an NPC wizard who can share some spells, or the runes to a powerful clerical spell might be sitting in plain sight within an ancient temple.
This is not intended to make spellcasters hate life, I intend to make it fairly easy to obtain a great variety of spells. It will, however, restrict access to some of the most powerful spells.
Stealth, I feel, is a little bit overly complex in the rules as written. Some of the rules seem contradictory as well. I just want to go over how I plan to handle hiding and stealth.
You must be concealed to hide. You can’t just arbitrarily hide in a room if there is nothing to hide behind, for example. The only exceptions are the lightfoot halfling racial ability and the wood elf racial ability. Even then, the ability allows you to hide, it doesn’t mean you will remain hidden if the condition changes.
When attacking from stealth, your stealth skill can make you silent, but it doesn’t make you invisible. If a monster is watching a doorway, you have no chance to attack from stealth from that doorway unless you can make yourself invisible or put something in the way to give yourself concealment. If the monster is facing the other way, then you may be able to sneak out and attack it from stealth with full benefits.
If a monster is aware of you- for example if you just hit the monster in the previous round- it’s going to normally be carefully watching in your direction even if you do stealth again. In this case, if you have a chance to stealth, it will likely be at disadvantage, or the monster’s perception will be at advantage. You might be able to pull it off, but it’s going to be tough- the monster knows you are there and isn’t just going to turn his back on you again if he can help it.
I will use this optional rule. The intent is not to make the game a bookkeeping chore, small objects can be estimated or even just ignored, but if (for example) an 8 str cleric is wearing plate armor and a shield and carrying 4 weapons, he might be slowed down a bit.
Healing and Rest
Technically I will play by the book on this, but certain monster creations may have attacks that cause aggravated wounds, which heal slower (no free full heal after a long rest). Also, in most hostile locations, there will be wandering monsters that come into play if the party decides to camp out for an hour or eight.
Aggravated Wounds. When a player is damaged by this creature, his wounds are considered aggravated and will take longer than normal to heal. Until the character is healed to full hp (through any means), the character no longer regains hp after a long rest. Other benefits of the long rest, such as restoring spent hit dice, apply as normal, and the character may spend hit dice to heal during the long rest as if it was a short rest.
A short rest should normally be possible with some small risk of an encounter. A long rest will be very difficult to pull off in any sort of hostile area, but if the party can find a secure enough location and somehow make it safe, it might be possible.