House Rules

Patyrsun's House Rules for the Adarian Campaign

What follows are the current "House Rules" of the Adarian Campaign. The following rules are subject to change. Some rules may be discarded while additional ones may be add. Someday I may even organize them better.

Move Sequence
Combat Sequence is determined as follows:

Basic Speed
+1 If you have Combat Reflexes.
+1 If you have Tactics 10 or higher.
+1 Additional if you have Tactics 20 or higher.
+1 For for every 10 full levels you have in your weapon skill or Magery
(whichever is highest). minus Encumberance Level

In cases of two characters having tied Sequence scores, the characters will roll 3d6 at the begining of the session, whoever has the highest score moves first for the rest of that Session.

Strength and Health House Rules

In the campaign Strength is used to determine Hit Points, while Health is used to determine Fatigue.

I also use the Enhanced Strength Costs from GURPS Compendium I (p.7).

ST 15 or less - normal cost
ST 16-23 - 10 points per +1 ST
ST 24-30 - 5 points per level
ST 31+ - 1/2 point per +1 ST

Intelligence and Will House Rules

IQ in the Adarian Campaign is limited in a couple of major respects. First only Half of IQ is used to determine Lanaguage skills, because under the official rules, highly intelligent people never have an accent which I find highly unrealistic.

Secondly, Perception (or Sense skills): Sight, Hearing, Smell, Taste, Touch - are not based upon IQ, instead they are based upon a starting point of 10. The reasoning is that just because someone might be highly intelligent does not mean that they will always have acute senses.

A learned sage with IQ 16 who has spent his entire life in the city studying his dusty tomes should be at a no more advantage to notice the pit trap in the wilderness than the IQ 9 Orc Scout who has been been around such things his whole life.

A player wishing his character have Acute Senses can of course buy advantages to impove the sense(s) the player wants improved or buy the Alertness Advantage to improve all the character's senses.

As for Will I use a couple of Optional Will Rules, first off for the mental disadvantages I use the "Frequency of Submission" optional rule as written on p. 10 GURPS Compendium I. Basically you can buy levels of a disadvantage depending upon your roll to resist acting upon that disadvantage, the harder it is to resist, the more points the disadvantage is worth...

Basically it works like this...

If the character submits to the disadvantage...

...almost all of the time (roll of 15 or less) - triple the listed value
...quite often (roll of 12 or less) - double the listed value
...fairly often (roll of 9 or less) - use the listed value
...quite rarely (roll of 6 or less) - halve the listed value

So say you want a Berserker character that almost always goes berserk, that would be a -45 point disadvantage and if you wanted the character to avoid going berserk for some reason, you would have to roll a 16 or higher for him to resist the urge to going berserk...

On the other hand, a Berserker might very rarely go off, perhaps only under extreme conditions, a Bersek character able to control himself most of the time would resist going Berserk on a roll of 6 or higher, of course this makes the Berserk disadvantage worth much less, in this case 7.5 points...

For other Will rolls I use The Three-Pronged Approach as written on p. 9 GURPS Compendium I. Basically Will Rolls are broken down into...

Mental Will (IQ + Strong or Weak Will) Used to resist Mental Attacks

Physical Will (HT + Strong or Weak Will) Roll against this instead of straight HT to avoid unconsciousness, or death due to injuries, and to avoid being stunned by blows to the head and the like.

Emptional Will (10 + Strong or Weak Will) Roll against this for Fright checks and to avoid succumbing to their mental advantages (that are not covered by the Frequency of Submission rules above.

Language and Literacy House Rules

Language skills are based on one-half of Intelligence rather than full intelligence. Thus a character with IQ 15 that spends 1/2 point on a mentally easy foreign language would have that foreign language skill at 8. (I do allow language skill to be rounded up if IQ is an odd number). So even intelligence non-natives have accents, especially when they just start learning a foreign language, and even someone that has been speaking a foreign language for years may retain an accent (even if the character is highly intelligent Ever heard Albert Einstein speak in English?).

In the Adarian campaign this rule seems right as it has a more realistic feel and helps add color to the background...

The Language Talent Advantage is changed to a one shot advantage that adds +3 on all language skills for 10 points.

Full Literacy is a 5 point advantage.
Illiteracy is a -5 point disadvantage.
Semi-literacy is the campaign norm and is based on one-half of intelligence (as are language skills).

Language skills (and semi-literate characters) use the Language Skills table below. (And remember that on the following table, only 1/2 the Intelligence score is used, rounding up).

4 or less: Recongnizes some important words.
5-6: Usually understands simple sentences, spoken slowly.
7-8: Adequate reading and speaking vocabulary. Non-natives speakers will have a thick accent, very amusing to natives.
9-10: Command of the language equivalent to that of an average native speaker. Non-natives will retain a distinct foreign accent.
11-12: Command of the language equivalent to that of an educated native. Non-natives will have a slight foreign accent.
13-14: Full mastery of the language, including idioms. No foreign accent. Can adopt regional accents if desired.
15 or better: Absolute fluency. If a non-native, can think in the language.


Native Adarian Characters of Status 1+ will have High Adarian (M/H).
Native Adarian Characters of Status 0 or less, have Low Adarian (M/A).
Non-natives may learn either of the above or Trade Adarian (M/E).
Mages and those planning to do research should learn Old Adarian (M/VH).
A "common" language of the "Darker" or "evil" races is Vile Rune (M/E).
A "common" language that many woodland creatures speak is Fay (M/A).

Nearly all the races and most nations (except for the Kats) have their own language. Most are Mental Average skills. Unless otherwise noted elsewhere, the following rules apply...

Races with lower than average IQs normally have (M/E) Languages.
Races with average IQs normally have (M/A) languages.
Races with higher than average IQs normally have (M/H) languages.

Basic Speed, Extra Fatigue & Extra Hit Points House Rules

Basic Speed, Extra Fatigue and Extra Hit Points can be raised by up to three levels above normal (but they cannot be lowered using this rule).

Basic Speed can be raised at the cost of 25 points per level.
Extra Fatigue can be raised at the cost of 3 points per level.
Extra Hit Points can be raised at the cost of 5 points per level.

Dodge Skill (P/E, defaults to (HT+DX)/4) Based upon Basic Speed Formula

Why wouldn't a fighter who dodges a lot (as a user of unbalanced weapons might) learn to dodge better than a Fencer who does nothing but parry?

Dodge skill is the ability to anticipate and avoid blows in combat; compute Basic Speed normally then use it as the Controlling Ability for Dodge skill. Note that Move remains the same.

Dodge Skill Progression
(HT+DX)/4 +1 2 points
(HT+DX)/4 +2 4 points
(HT+DX)/4 +3 8 points
(HT+DX)/4 +4 16 points
(HT+DX)/4 +5 24 points
(HT+DX)/4 +6 32 points
(HT+DX)/4 +7 40 points

For example, a Dwarf with ST 13, DX 12, IQ 10, HT 10, under heavy encumbrance (heavy field plate and adventuring gear) would have a basic speed of 4.75 modified with -3 for encumbrance for a Move and Dodge of 1 each. With his armor's PD of 4 this mighty Dwarf warrior has a Dodge of 5. Armed with a two-handed battleaxe, this Dwarf has to depend on his armor's damage resistance, as he will nearly always be hit unless he forgoes his attack and makes a parry, and he has a fair chance of Critically Failing a Dodge roll.

By spending 16 points on Dodge Skill, this Dwarf warrior gains Dodge +4 or a Dodge of 9. His armor will still get hit a lot and he is still painfully slow with a Move of 1, but he can use his preferred weapon, be heavily armored and still have a reasonable active defense roll.

Required Advantage and Disadvantage House Rule

All players are considered to have the Sense of Duty to Party Members equal to -10 points, as well as 2 levels of the Hard to Kill advantage. The reasoning is that the party is required to be working towards common goals and will be expected to try and get along with one another. The Hard to Kill advantage gives the characters a better chance to survive and balances the required disadvantage. These do not have to be recorded as they are (assumed). If someone wishes to take a Sense of Duty to Friends and Companions the player should be prepared to play it as if he spent -20 points for it...

Combat House Rules

The following Combat House Rules are being used...

Critical Hits

As currently written, my opinion is that the GURPS system has a major flaw with critical hits as skill levels go above 16. The following Critical Hit Rules are in effect.

Any roll or 3 or 4 is always a Critical Hit
Any roll 10 or above the roll required to hit is a Critical Hit
Any roll (Combat or otherwise) with a skill of 25 or higher will have the following results:
3 - 15 Criticial Sucess
16 - Normal Sucess
17 - Normal Failure
18 - Critical Failure

Also believing strongly that every critical hit should have a special effect, I use Patyrsun's Critical Hit Table to determine the results of Critical Hits...

Damage Modifier

For every +3 modifier a character has, I add another dice of damage (discarding the +3). Thus a character doing 3d+5 damage would do 4d+2 damage in this campaign, while a character doing 3d+7 damage would do 5d+1 damage.

Concentrated Defense allows characters a better chance to defend themselves in combat.

Dodge and Drop is like a retreating Dodge, giving a +3 bonus, very useful against missile attacks even if you end up with your face in the dirt...

All-Out Defense +2 basically allows a defender to gain +2 on Defense rolls instead of two defenses against the same attack...

High-Skill Feinting Allows better trained warriors a bonus with Feints...

Sweeping Counter Parry is usable only by Fencers to make their foe's weapons unready, allowing the Fencer the chance of gaining a free action...

The last four of the above Optional Combat Rules are all part of...

Building Better Battles: Five Optional Rules for Advanced Combat

The Character Point for +4 Bonus House Rule

A character has the option of spending 1 earned character point for a one time bonus of +4 on his next die roll. This roll can be on any roll that the player wishes, as long as it is a roll that the character has to make (i.e., no GM made rolls for the character).

Luck Advantage House Rule

I will allow character with the Luck Advantage (at whatever level) to reroll a failed roll if they wish. The first roll is discarded and the player is stuck with the second roll, even if it is worse than the first roll!


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Patyrsun's Adarian Campaign
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