Clarifications and House Rules
Some of this will let you know what to expect where the books are vague other bits are deviations from the normal text. This edition makes it very hard to clarify everything up front, but I want to let you know what to expect as much as possible.
See picture of area of effect spells. Cubes are not pictured here, as it is from an earlier edition. Cubes are easy with squares; a 15’ cube looks like a rubix cube. But for hexes, the caster picks how it shifts to accommodate the board. E.G. for a 15’ cube, pick any 9 hexes that closely resemble a box and has the point of origin on one side of them. The area of effect also travels 15’ worth of vertical coverage for that area as well. Something like this could be a 20’ cube.
All combat rolls are out in the open – For a lot of non-combat rolls it is hard to avoid applying metagame knowledge, so many of those may be hidden. E.G. “The NPC rolled a 1 on bluff, he must really be telling the truth or I would know.”
Keep combat talk to things your characters could say (as best as possible) – While you are going to hear a lot of damage numbers being thrown around, please refrain from phrases like “I need 13 more HP,” or “I have 8 life left.” You are very welcome to describe the nature of your injuries “I am a little scratched up but feeling good,” or “I am barely able to stand” but don’t make it code specific numerical value. The same idea applies to battle planning during combat, speak as your character in the timeframe they are working with.
Test Idea: Death Saves are made when someone interacts with you – If four rounds have passed since you fell, you make four death saves immediately before your party member cures you and not before. This also prevents metagame knowledge of when to help a fallen ally. I have only read about this; if everyone seems to think this really hurts the game, we can scrap it.
Cover – To determine what cover penalties are in place, chose any corner of your hex and draw lines to the corners of the hex you are attacking. If you can only draw a line to 3 corners of an enemy hex, they have 1/2 cover. If you can only draw lines to 2 or 1 corner, they have 3/4 cover. You can always tell me what cover you counted up ahead of time when you attack, otherwise I will make a quick call about what it looks like at a glance to keep things moving. We can count up corners after that call if you think my quick call doesn’t look right to you. If there are height circumstances that would make cover irrational, no cover penalties apply. NEW AFTER FIRST SESSION: The edges of occupied squares do no interfere with your cover. So in the instance where John Doe wanted to shoot in between two comrades at an enemy, he would have been able to draw a line to two of the enemies corners, hence 3/4 cover and not full.
Delay – Is still a valid combat option as in 3.P so long as you aren’t under some penalty that triggers at the end/start of your turn. If you are under a beneficial effect that triggers at the end/start of turn, you must lose that effect if you choose to delay.
Two Weapon Fighting – If you hit with both weapons in the same round, add your proficiency bonus as rend damage.
Knowledge Checks – The book is vague on this. Something similar will be done as in 3.P. The higher you roll the more information you will get compared to CR and Rarity, but it won’t be in question and answer format. Instead you will get the most “well known” information first. This speeds things up and is a little more realistic. NEW AFTER FIRST SESSION AND PARTY OPINIONS: You must have some feature on your character relating to arcane or divine magic to attempt to recognize spells as they are being cast. Identifying an illusion does not cause you to disbelieve the illusion, but it does give you a good reason to investigate it. Follow 3.P rules for the DC to identify spells.
Stealth in Combat– If you can’t see your opponents you generally don’t know the hex they are in unless some special sense states otherwise (Feral Sense, Blindsense, See Invisible etc.) Making loud noises like attacking generally give away the location that these things occurred. The dash action generally gives away any movement you take that turn. There may be times where circumstances call for a stealth/perception challenge. The investigate/hide options are available as usual if you want to spend an action better hiding/detecting.
You may write session summary on this website from the perspective of your character. Doing so is worth an inspiration point. Inspiration is not capped at one.
I plan to do a lot of monster ports from other editions and not force the 6-8 combat days. I want to make things interesting more than forcing numbers, and I think how much you fight in a day is largely up to you and how the story as it unfolds. As such, experience will be simplified to resemble more of an organized play setting. In general, each session is worth 1 point. You get 3 points, you level. Some sessions that are particularly meaningful in terms of story arcs or general badassery could be worth 2 points instead.
If you die, your new character comes in at one level below your previous character. There will never be more than a two level difference between the lowest and highest level character. New players come in at a level equal to the lowest level player. NEW SINCE FIRST GAME: If you are of lower level than another party member, you earn an additional 0.5 credit per session. This will help people get back on par and more closely resemble the level re-balancing that happens on the experience table.
While standing inside Darkness, Fog, etc you get the vision penalties, even if on the outside edge.
The cleric/paladin focus on shield and druid focus on staff rule extends to everyone. You can pay to have your focus be part of your shield or weapon. While it is against the intent of this rule to just throw your focus on a weapon you never use so you can make OAs, I am not going to rule it out. I am just asking you make it make sense in-character.
Increased Intelligence value – For every -1 you have in INT lose one non-weapon/armor skill of your choice. For every +1 INT you have, gain one non-weapon/armor skill of your choice.