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    Default [4E] Essential House Rules

    #1: Ritual mastery, and surge powered rituals:

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    Mastering Rituals:

    Rituals require 8 hours to learn.

    When learning a ritual, a character makes a skill check against a Hard DC of that ritual's level against one of that ritual's key skills (the character's choice). For every 5 points he exceeds the DC by, the time required to learn the ritual decreases by 2 hours to a minimum of 1 hour. For every 5 points he fails the DC by, the time required to learn the ritual increases by 2 hours instead. Once this time has been determined, no subsequent attempts can be made to change it (except via Aid Another or Triviality rules as below).

    Aid Another: Rituals can be learned in half the normal time (to a minimum of 1 hour) if the person learning the ritual benefits from a successful Aid Another attempt on the skill check to master that ritual by another creature who has already learned it. On a failure, the ritual takes twice as long to learn as the student is mislead and confused. Only one creature can use Aid Another in this way.

    Triviality: Rituals half a character's level or less are considered trivial for that character and can be learned in the duration of a short rest without a check (5 minutes).


    Transcribing Rituals/Creating Ritual Books:

    Rituals require 8 hours to transcribe, including for scrolls.

    The time required to transcribe a ritual can be reduced as per the rules for learning them (this includes the rules pertaining to trivial rituals).


    Surge Casting:

    Mastered rituals that are half the caster's level or less (rounded down) count as being Memorized and have the following properties:
    • Memorized: They don't require a ritual book, spellshard or any other such receptacle to use for the caster.
    • Surge Spending: Their component costs can be paid for by losing a healing surge rather than the normally required cost.
    • Faster Cast Time: They can be done within the duration of a short rest (or 5 minutes/50 rounds), or half their normal cast time (minimum 1 minute/10 rounds, unless their default cast time is less, in which case it doesn't decrease), whichever is faster.
    • Expediting: They can be cast in 5 rounds (expedited) by losing an additional healing surge, quickening its completion with an investiture of raw life force. These surges are lost at the time the ritual's cast time starts before any checks are made on its behalf.
    • Greater Expediting: Once expedited, the caster may lose up to 2 additional surges to further reduce the cast time by 1 round per surge expended in this way. These surges are lost at the time the ritual's cast time starts before any checks are made on its behalf.
    • Extending: They can be extended. When a mastered ritual is cast, its caster may lose any number of healing surges to extend it if it has a duration other than Instantaneous or Permanent. For each healing surge lost in this way, the ritual's duration is extended by its initial duration.
    • Termination After Extended Rest: They end upon their caster's completion of an extended rest, even if extended as above. Only permanent duration rituals are an exception to this rule. For rituals with a permanent duration paid for with healing surges in this way, you must lose a healing surge to sustain it at the end of each extended rest, or its effects end. A ritual sustained in this way for a year and a day becomes permanent.



    Variable Cost Rituals:

    Special rituals with variable costs like Raise Dead are either excepted from being paid for with surges (DM's discretion; they may be expedited), or value healing surges at 5 GP * 5/50/500 per tier (so 25 GP for a heroic character per surge, 250 GP / paragon surge, 2500 GP / epic surge). A character spending surges in lieu of components must equal or exceed the component cost with surges spent in this way. The latter option permits use of variable cost rituals with healing surges without allowing for abuse of rituals such as Raise Dead, given the exceedingly high cost of its components.


    Focuses and Wealth Creating Rituals:

    Focuses, and the component costs of any ritual that creates a permanent item or effect with a defined monetary value (such as Brew Potion or Enchant Magical Item) can _never_ be paid for in this way with healing surges (but they may be expedited).


    Healing Surges Lost to Ritual Casting/Sustaining:

    Any creature that loses healing surges to sustain or cast rituals with this rule supplement cannot have more healing surges than their normal allotment of healing surges per day minus any healing surges lost in this way until the end of their next extended rest. Any healing surges above this maximum are immediately lost.


    Cooperative Casting:

    1. Subtract the number of creatures that unsuccessfully used Aid Another to assist in performing a ritual from those that did so successfully.
    2. If this difference is positive, divide the casting time by 1 + this difference. Otherwise multiply it by 1 + this difference (as a positive number).


    Note that any character using Aid Another in this way will be preoccupied for the full duration of the ritual.

    The casting time of a ritual cannot be reduced to less than 5 rounds in this way. These casting time modifiers apply before all others.


    Rituals Without Skill Checks:

    For rituals with no skill check, you instead make a skill check against a Hard DC of that ritual's associated skill (you choose if there are multiple associated skills) and level. If your check succeeds, you can reduce the casting time of that ritual by 20% of its post-modifier cast time, plus another 20% for every 5 points your check exceeds this DC to a minimum of 5 rounds. Failure by 5 or more points means you take twice as long to perform the ritual instead.


    Why?

    This allows for the more consistent application and utility of rituals, particularly at the lower levels by making them practical to use and affordable, while simultaneously retaining definitive limits on their frequency of use. It also helps with issues of purchasing insufficient quantities of the needed reagent/component type. In the context of a 'work/adventuring day' it further presents a risk vs reward component, and introduces resource management depth to the game, particularly for casters with smaller healing surge pools (like the Wizard); the healing surges they spend could make all the difference between life and death. Lastly, it makes all rituals benefit from having a high score in their associated skill, rendering ritual casting more consistent and 'fair'.

    Overall, this would neatly solve and address the problem of rituals rarely seeing use because of uncertain utility and prohibitive and recurring costs (especially at the lower levels) which are highly unpopular or even truly untenable for most players and campaigns, as well as no check rituals completely failing to reward/penalize high or low skill checks. It also makes them situationally but potentially useful in combat encounters given the 5 round cast time floor, perhaps permitting an interesting scenario where the party wizard struggles to conjure an escape portal while he's defended by his allies.


    #2: Each player gains one free expertise and one free defense bolstering feat of that player's choice. The defense feat chosen must permanently and unconditionally increase at least one defense. An expertise feat gained in this way may only be retrained into another expertise feat. A defense bolstering feat gained in this way may only be retrained into another defense bolstering feat as defined here.

    Why? Both Expertise and defense boosting feats are required to keep pace with monster defense and attack roll progressions; these are universal feat taxes.

    Further, these feats are so powerful relative to other feats of the same tier (particularly by Paragon) that they are de facto feat taxes.


    #3: Each defender that has a primary ability other than strength gains a free Melee Training or other feat that enables them to substitute their Strength with their primary ability score for the attack rolls of opportunity and/or melee basic attacks. This feat may only be retrained into another feat of the same type as defined here.

    Why? Precludes non-strength defenders from suffering an unnecessary feat tax in the form of Melee Training and equivalents. These feats are required if the defender wants a strong opportunity attack, which is essential for the role.


    #4: A creature can only take damage from entering or exiting a zone, square, space, aura or area once per turn.

    Why? Prevents degenerate forced movement combos accumulating massive amounts of automatic damage (see Storm Pillar + readied forced movement as an example).


    #5: PCs are only allowed one (1) slotless Alternative Reward item (boons, grandmaster training, etc...) per tier.

    Why? Generally, these items are incredibly and disproportionately powerful for their cost and rarity. Coupled with the fact that they're slotless, they're far too strong to be permitted without any such limiter.


    #6: Elites gain a +5 bonus to resist Intimidate checks and Solos gain a +20 bonus to resist Intimidate checks to force surrender if their level is equal to or greater than an Intimidating creature's. A creature gains a +1 bonus to resist Intimidate checks to force surrender for each level they're above an Intimidating creature, and for each ally it is aware of (including the creature) that exceeds the total number of enemies it is aware of.

    Why? Helps reduce the impact of Intimidate optimization abuse in a way that conforms to verisimilitude. Without such rules, Intimidate optimization can easily and instantly eliminate bloodied threats en masse, including Solos and Elites.


    #7: Hidden status and/or the benefits of Hidden status cannot be used to satisfy the requirements/prerequisites for becoming Hidden or remaining Hidden.

    Why? Because letting Hidden status satisfy its own prerequisites is broken and recursive and yet this is entirely legal per the RAW. On a personal note, it's truly sad that the stealth rules are so poorly worded as to require this addition.


    If I'm missing any other high priority/important house rules, be sure to let me know.


    Less Essential Houserules:

    Though not as critical to an enjoyable 4e experience as the above changes, I find the game does work better with these additions:

    Added the following under "Less Essential Houserules":


    #1: PCs have a +1 innate enhancement bonus to all attack rolls and damage rolls for implement or weapon attacks and to all defenses at level 5. This bonus increases by +1 every additional 5 levels thereafter. PCs further have bonus critical damage dice equal to +1d6 per enhancement bonus gained in this way. These bonuses overlap but do not stack with enhancement bonuses from other sources.

    Why? Allows PCs to viably use a broader variety of gear in combat, notably increasing player options without penalizing and disincentivizing investments in primary gear overtly. Normally secondary gear sets far too fall behind to be useful at higher levels, which results in stagnant, fixed loadouts.


    #2: Basic, mundane ammo isn't tracked. Currency weight isn't tracked, nor are currency denominations except where necessary. Players are always assumed to have adequate food and water unless in situations where these essentials are scarce at which point it's up to the DM to decide what rations the PCs have unless they've undertaken especial efforts to stock sustenance.

    Why? Prevents the game from being bogged down in pointless, simulationist minutiae. Most games follow this rule in practice anyways.


    #3: Super Minions

    There is a new creature type called the Super Minion. It's worth twice as much XP as a Minion of its level. Whenever a Super Minion takes damage while unbloodied, unless that damage is equal to or greater than their Soak, they are bloodied instead of destroyed. Whenever a Super Minion spends a healing surge to regain hit points, or regains hit points equal to or greater than its Soak while bloodied it is no longer bloodied.

    Soak is usually defined as the bloodied value of that creature if it were a Standard.

    Why? Adds a 'happy medium' option between Standards and Minions which can exploit and interact with bloodied/unbloodied states/mechanics.

    #4: Improved Generic Attacks:

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    Bull Rush - Attack
    You hurl yourself at your foe and push it back.
    At-Will ✦
    Standard Action - Melee touch
    Target: One creature. You cannot target enemies with phasing if you don't have phasing.
    Attack: Strength +3/6/9 vs. highest of Reflex and Fortitude; If this attack was made as part of a charge, increase the attack bonus from charging by +2. You automatically hit willing allies and creatures that can't take actions (make an attack roll to determine how far you push the target).
    Hit: You push the target 1 square plus 1 square for every 2 points your attack roll beat the target's defense by. You shift into the space the target left by the most direct route each time you push the target 1 square in this way. If you cannot, you cannot push the target any further. If you exceed the target's defense by 5+, you can then choose to knock the target prone. You cannot shift or push the target more squares in this way than your speed.
    Special: You can use this power in place of a melee basic attack during a charge.


    Grab - Attack
    You reach out and grasp your foe, preventing it from moving.
    At-Will ✦
    Standard Action - Melee touch
    Requirement: You must have a hand free.
    Target: One creature. You cannot target enemies with phasing if you don't have phasing.
    Attack: Strength +3/6/9 vs. highest of Reflex and Fortitude. You automatically hit willing allies and creatures that can't take actions (make an attack roll to determine if you immobilize a larger target if necessary).
    Special: For each size category beyond the first the target is larger than you, your attack roll must have exceeded its defense by 5+, or the creature isn't immobilized by your grab, though you may still use the Hold On Tight! power as though you waived your grab's immobilization.
    Hit: You grab the target until the end of your next turn, or until the target gains phasing while you don't have phasing. The target has a +5 bonus on all checks to escape this grab for each size category it is larger than you beyond the first. You can end the grab as a free action.
    Sustain Minor: The grab persists per the hit clause.


    Grabbed: The grabbing creature can perform the following actions against a creature it's grabbing. The Grabbed status is otherwise identical to that in the Rules Compendium.

    Drag - Attack
    You lurch your foe about.
    At-Will ✦
    Move Action - Melee touch
    Target: One creature you are grabbing. You cannot target enemies with phasing if you don't have phasing.
    Attack: Strength +3/6/9 vs. highest of Reflex and Fortitude. The target gains a +5 bonus to its Fortitude defense for each size category it is larger than you beyond the first. You automatically hit willing allies and targets that can't take actions.
    Hit: You move up to half your speed and pull the target with you. You and the target don't provoke opportunity attacks against each other for moving in this way. If you hit by 5+, or succeed on a Strength check against an Easy DC of the target's level if you automatically hit, you can move your full speed instead.

    Pin - Attack
    You force your opponent to the ground.
    At-Will ✦
    Standard Action - Melee touch
    Target: One creature you are grabbing. You cannot target enemies with phasing if you don't have phasing.
    Attack: Strength +3/6/9 vs. highest of Reflex and Fortitude. The target gains a +5 bonus to its Fortitude defense for each size category it is larger than you beyond the first. You automatically hit willing allies and targets that can't take actions.
    Hit: You and the target fall prone and neither of you can stand from prone until your grab on the target ends. You don't grant combat advantage to the target for being prone.

    Hold On Tight!
    Caught in your grasp, the dragon seeks to become airborne in order to shake you loose; you decide to come along for the ride.
    At-Will ✦
    Free Action - Melee touch
    Trigger: A creature you are grabbing that is larger than you attempts to move willingly without teleporting
    Target: The triggering creature
    Effect: You can waive the immobilized effect of your grab on the target for the triggering movement. If you don't, the target can perform the Escape action if it spent a Standard or Move action to attempt the triggering movement. If you do, you move with the target (including vertically if it flies) and can take an opportunity attack against the target as normal if the triggering movement would provoke. You don't provoke opportunity attacks for this movement.


    A grabbed creature can perform the Escape action:

    Escape
    You pry free from your opponent's grasp or slip through its fingers.
    At-Will ✦
    Move Action - Personal
    Target: The creature or game element grabbing you
    Effect: Make an Athletics check against the target's Fortitude or an Acrobatics check (or the DC provided with the Grab if any) against the target's Reflex. On a success, the target's grab on you ends and you can shift 1 square.

    These rules replace Grab's 'move a grabbed target' option, replace the Escape option and redefine the Grabbed condition.


    Why? Makes the Grab and Bull Rush options less situational and more interesting to use. Improves verisimilitude by preventing grabs/bull rushes on targets with phasing while you don't have phasing.


    #5: Attack rolls of attacks that use neither weapons or implements and have a scaling attack bonus that's less than +3 per tier (+3/+6/+9) according to their power description now have an attack bonus that scales at a rate of +3 per tier (+3/+6/+9).

    Why? This scaling is more proportionate/commensurate to the real attack bonus advancement enjoyed by weapon and implement attacks over the tiers and has been adopted by new WotC material as a new standard for implement & weapon free attacks. Unfortunately this new standard has not been applied retroactively hence the need for this rule.


    #6: Skill Save Ends and Skill Save Cures:

    Skill Save Ends:
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    The DM may assign certain effects (normally monster effects) a Skill Save Ends duration. Skill Save Ends durations are identical to a (save ends) duration for all purposes and in all ways with the exception that a skill check is made against a DC in place of a simple 1d20 against a target number of 10. If this skill check is a success, the associated effect ends. These can be substituted for (save ends) durations as desired; a Skill Save Ends duration requires the following parameters: one or more skills to be checked, the action cost to use that skill (No Action by default), and the target DC for each of those skills; I recommend consulting the DC table on Page 126 of the Rules Compendium for an appropriate DC. If multiple skills can be checked to end a Skill Save Ends effect, the creature making the check chooses only one to make a skill check for. In order to make a skill check with an action cost other than No Action, a creature must be able to satisfy that cost with any actions he has remaining and available for use at the end of his turn.

    While subject to a Skill Save Ends duration, whenever a creature would normally make a saving throw against an effect, including from powers and effects, that creature can make a Skill Save check as above. Checks made in this way are subject to all applicable bonuses and penalties to both saving throws and skill checks. As with (save ends), effects with a Skill Save Ends duration may have alternate ways of ending them (such as with a Skill Cure as below).

    Example: Lotharos has taken ongoing 5 force damage (skill check ends, Arcana DC 21 Free Action, Endurance DC 26). When the end of his turn comes up Lotharos would normally decide to use Arcana, but he is unfortunately stunned, and so cannot expend the Free Action required. He makes an Endurance check instead, and succeeds with an Endurance check of 27 thereby ending the effect.


    Skill Cures:
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    Skill Cures: The DM may assign certain effects (normally monster effects) a Skill Cure Ends duration. Though Skill Cures effects may have other termination conditions/methods (such as save ends, or Skill Save Ends), they normally last until the end of the encounter or until ended via a successful Skill Cure. A Skill Cure Ends duration requires the following parameters: one or more skill to be checked, an action cost for each of these skills (Minor, Move, Standard, etc...), and the target DC for each of those skills; I recommend consulting the DC table on Page 126 of the Rules Compendium for an appropriate DC. If multiple skills can be checked to end a Skill Cure Ends effect, the creature making the Skill Cure check chooses one of them to make a skill check for.

    By default Skill Cures require a Standard action, and that the user be within reach of the target, but as above, other parameters may be specified.

    Example: Tombak has taken ongoing 10 necrotic and poison damage (Skill Cure Ends, Heal DC 21 Minor Action, Religion DC 26 Standard Action within close burst 5). His ally Melhved is 3 squares from him; too far away to make the Heal check, so she makes a Religion check instead, ending the effect with a roll of 30.


    Why: Helps skills become more useful in combat and rewards their investment outside of Acrobatics and Athletics, and niche skill challenges.


    #7: Melee Training & Generic Attacks:

    Melee Training allows a character to substitute a Melee Training attribute of their choice for Strength or Dexterity when it comes to making Generic Attacks as detailed in 'Less Essential Houserule' #5.

    Why? Allows PCs other than Strength specialized builds to effectively use the new Generic Attacks.

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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Both good rules.

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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealistik View Post
    #2: Each player gains one free expertise and one free defense bolstering feat of that player's choice. The defense feat chosen must permanently and unconditionally increase at least one defense.

    Why? Both Expertise and Defense boosting feats are required to keep pace with monster defense and attack roll progressions; these are universal feat taxes.
    You might want to go further on this: Give Weapon/Implement Expertise (all), and the Paragon/Epic Defenses feats when appropriate. Maybe even Melee Training (player's choice), for tanks if no one else.
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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Belobog View Post
    You might want to go further on this: Give Weapon/Implement Expertise (all), and the Paragon/Epic Defenses feats when appropriate. Maybe even Melee Training (player's choice), for tanks if no one else.
    I made it a defense feat of the player's choice because players may want to go for the Superior Fortitude/Will/Reflex line instead of the Improved Defenses feat. Likewise, there are now specific Expertise feats (e.g. Light Blade Expertise, Orb Expertise) that offer secondary benefits.

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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    I'd probably throw in melee training feat of choice and one trained skill from their backstory just for fun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealistik View Post
    I made it a defense feat of the player's choice because players may want to go for the Superior Fortitude/Will/Reflex line instead of the Improved Defenses feat. Likewise, there are now specific Expertise feats (e.g. Light Blade Expertise, Orb Expertise) that offer secondary benefits.
    That makes sense. My concerns were for 'fixing the math' that those feats claim to do, and thus focusing on making sure that the math doesn't change with weapon choice, and that no defenses don't fall behind. You know your group, though, and the offer of a selection is probably a better idea.
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    While giving a free Expertise feat is probably the most common house rule ever, I don't agree that giving a Defense feat is either a priority, or even necessary in the first place.

    Why? Well, if you don't give them for free, every character (except Lazylords) will eventually take the Expertise feat, usually around the end of heroic tier. On the other hand, if you don't give them for free, many people won't bother ever picking up Improved Defenses, because it isn't all that impressive for many kinds of character.

    If you take an average level-11 character, it'll have seven feats; almost universally, Expertise will be one of those; and also almost universally, Imp Defenses will not be, because there are many better feats.
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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    While giving a free Expertise feat is probably the most common house rule ever, I don't agree that giving a Defense feat is either a priority, or even necessary in the first place.

    Why? Well, if you don't give them for free, every character (except Lazylords) will eventually take the Expertise feat, usually around the end of heroic tier. On the other hand, if you don't give them for free, many people won't bother ever picking up Improved Defenses, because it isn't all that impressive for many kinds of character.

    If you take an average level-11 character, it'll have seven feats; almost universally, Expertise will be one of those; and also almost universally, Imp Defenses will not be, because there are many better feats.
    And yet it is rated light blue to gold in paragon and up for virtually every class in the game, and is about universally agreed as necessary to have NADs keep pace with monster attack bonuses. While Heroic characters may well not take ID, most characters will take it at some point in Paragon. At the very least, it will be taken/retrained into by Epic (unless the Superior line is being pursued). Ultimately it is a feat nearly every build in the game will choose at some point. It tends not to be picked as early as 11 because there's usually a super high priority Paragon feat or two that must be taken ASAP (such as Lasting Frost or Spell Focus).

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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Not necessarily essential, but almost every game in which I play has decided that readying an action does not move initiative. First, it seems like already using your standard for an immediate action is enough of a trade-off. Second, it makes a bit more bookkeeping for a DM. Third, it kind of lowers incentive to ready over delaying. Fourth, if the trigger of the readied action doesn't happen, the character wastes their entire turn.

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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Not really a change I'd be adverse to, but changing your sequence doesn't matter too much after the first round. Also, there are plenty of incentives for readying over delaying, especially if you have any 'at the end of turn' effects outstanding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaidu View Post
    Not necessarily essential, but almost every game in which I play has decided that readying an action does not move initiative. First, it seems like already using your standard for an immediate action is enough of a trade-off. Second, it makes a bit more bookkeeping for a DM. Third, it kind of lowers incentive to ready over delaying. Fourth, if the trigger of the readied action doesn't happen, the character wastes their entire turn.
    You can use this to burst down enemies by taking two actions without giving them a chance to react in between (three with an action point).

    That's completely fine if your group doesn't abuse it, just saying.

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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Ready lets you:
    1> Do part of your action before hand, such as getting into a better position, healing an ally, etc
    2> React to someone's turn in the middle of their turn

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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Yakk View Post
    Ready lets you:
    1> Do part of your action before hand, such as getting into a better position, healing an ally, etc
    2> React to someone's turn in the middle of their turn
    3> Apply Sneak Attack damage twice. Move into place, Minor for Low Slash + sneak attack, Standard for Readying whatever at-will for whenever whoever goes next does whatever they tell you they will do (make sure it's an ally and the trigger can be something as easy as "they attack" or "they move".) Since you are attacking on someone else's turn... sneak attack!
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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Added the following:

    #3: Each defender that has a primary ability other than strength gains a free Melee Training or other feat that enables them to substitute their strength with their primary ability score for the attack rolls of opportunity or melee basic attacks.

    Why? Precludes non-strength defenders from suffering an unnecessary feat tax in the form of Melee Training and equivalents. These feats are required if the defender wants a strong opportunity attack, which is essential for the role.

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    Talk during combat: Less a house rule and more a clarification -- you can talk combat tactics OC as much as you like during anybody's turn provided it doesn't start slowing things down, but you can't use that free talk to persuade another character of something. So "Ready an action to attack him once he's flanked; I'm going to move into that square on my turn" is fine, but "No, stop it -- if you kill him the Duke will never help us again!" isn't.

    Why? IC, this represents the fact that the characters have been together long enough to know how to co-ordinate as a team without needing to talk about it. OC, a character's ability to fight well shouldn't be hampered by their player's knowledge of the combat system.
    Last edited by Whybird; 2011-07-12 at 05:44 AM.

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    Added the following house rule. Found this one to be especially important when using rarity rules. I think even this may be too lenient; restricting the # of alternative rewards to one period may be better still.

    #5: PCs are only allowed one (1) slotless Alternative Reward item (boons, grandmaster training, etc...) per tier.

    Why? Generally, these items are incredibly and disproportionately powerful for their cost and rarity. Coupled with the fact that they're slotless, they're far too strong to be permitted without any such limiter.


    Also updated the Ritual Casting houserule with Cooperative Casting:

    Cooperative Casting:

    Divide the casting time of rituals by one plus the number of creatures that successfully used Aid Another to assist in a ritual performance, then multiply the casting time by one plus the number of creatures that unsuccessfully use Aid Another in this way. The casting time of a ritual cannot be reduced to less than 1 minute in this way. These casting time modifiers apply before all others.

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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Whybird View Post
    Talk during combat: Less a house rule and more a clarification -- you can talk combat tactics OC as much as you like during anybody's turn provided it doesn't start slowing things down, but you can't use that free talk to persuade another character of something. So "Ready an action to attack him once he's flanked; I'm going to move into that square on my turn" is fine, but "No, stop it -- if you kill him the Duke will never help us again!" isn't.

    Why? IC, this represents the fact that the characters have been together long enough to know how to co-ordinate as a team without needing to talk about it. OC, a character's ability to fight well shouldn't be hampered by their player's knowledge of the combat system.
    All combat happens in a zone of muteness? Why can't i talk to my buddys especially if it is just one short sentence?
    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    I swear, about 50% of what makes BW awesome is the little stuff like that that's applicable to just about any system.

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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Siegel View Post
    All combat happens in a zone of muteness? Why can't i talk to my buddys especially if it is just one short sentence?
    Other characters aren't actually announcing their actions -- they are just doing it. If you are paying enough attention to the others that you can study what they are doing and shout instructions to them, you're probably not paying enough attention to your own actions to do something yourself.
    Indigo is a much more appropriate colour for sarcasm, don't you think?
    Blue is strictly for emphasis.
    And grey is kind of like an aside to my main point.

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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    Other characters aren't actually announcing their actions -- they are just doing it. If you are paying enough attention to the others that you can study what they are doing and shout instructions to them, you're probably not paying enough attention to your own actions to do something yourself.
    So you just don't like roleplaying in your combat?
    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    I swear, about 50% of what makes BW awesome is the little stuff like that that's applicable to just about any system.

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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    There's a difference between the OOC "I use Twin Strike on those goblins." and the IC "I fire a pair of arrows at the goblins in the back." OOC you ask who needs healing, IC you just heal. The concept I believe is that the characters know their own abilities and those of their allies so well that they can interpret what each other needs, and they see things that we don't, while at the same time only the players are aware of the system rules. Talking is a free action, and as such can happen any time, but if you interrupt another player's turn with a ton of dialogue that's rude, and slows the game down.

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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Siegel View Post
    So you just don't like roleplaying in your combat?
    Nothing quite like an ad hominem attack at the end of the day
    Indigo is a much more appropriate colour for sarcasm, don't you think?
    Blue is strictly for emphasis.
    And grey is kind of like an aside to my main point.

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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    For all the (heated) discussion of this houserule, I chose not to include it because it doesn't really seem to fit the criterion of being 'essential'. Houserules here generally tend to address fundamental design/balance flaws.

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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    It's interesting how often "essential" house rules change mechanics for the players, rather than adjusting encounters to fit what they've brought to the table.

    Quote Originally Posted by Siegel View Post
    All combat happens in a zone of muteness? Why can't i talk to my buddys especially if it is just one short sentence?
    If it's not your turn, such dialogue should be treated as reactive, not active. If the result changes another player's action, I see no issue with it costing you one action from your next turn.
    Last edited by Shatteredtower; 2012-05-03 at 03:53 PM.

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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Even if you're willing to rebalance mobs to scale with default attack/defense progression thereby obviating the need for #2, you're not about to address the issues these other house rules cover.

    Also I'm toying with the idea of limiting free/no actions to 1/turn from the same named game element as a response to item swap cheese and abusive infinite and near infinite free/no action chains.

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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    The rules on free actions have changed slightly. Now the rule is:

    Free actions take almost no time or effort. You can take as many free actions as you want during your or another combatant’s turn. There is an exception to that rule: A creature can take a free action to use an attack power only once per turn.
    That means that all you really need to do is say that all granted attacks are free actions unless specified otherwise in the power. I'd also make an exception when the granted attack is achieved by someone else sacrificing their action (eg, Commander's Strike).

    I'm not sure you need to limit no action effects the same way. Could you give me an example where that would be necessary, given the above house rule?

    Doing damage to yourself doesn't count for recharging powers or generating attacks (unless that is specifically an effect of the power you are using).

    Among other things, this should remove the loophole of dragonborn characters damaging themselves to recharge their dragon breath.

    Vulnerabilities only trigger 1/turn

    This one is controversial, but I think it's necessary given how many people are using attack powers which allow more than one attack per round (eg, Twin Strike). The basic idea is similar to your rule #4.

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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by fallenwarrior View Post
    I'm not sure you need to limit no action effects the same way. Could you give me an example where that would be necessary, given the above house rule?
    I'm aware of the limitation on free action attacks. My concern is with, as a solitary example, unlimited free action item swapping via the Disembodied Hand/Rakshasa familiars (which is not subject to the attack limitation). This can be problematic in that a player can receive a disproportionate benefit from a lot of cheap but cumulatively very powerful items (Staff of Aversion, Orbs of Nimble Thought, Orbs of Mental Constitution, etc).

    As for problems with no action attacks, some examples from the Handbook of Broken:

    Spam of Kings
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    The Sword of Kings feature of Legendary Sovereign assumes that all weapon encounter attack powers have attack rolls. Power Strike (or some of the attack power Subs from the Iron Warrior theme) would beg to differ. You never attack: therefore you can't miss. So infinitely use one power on a hit.


    Scion of World Ending
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    Scion of Sacrifice has a level 16 feature to allow you to use an at-will power whenever you drop below zero. You know that's gonna be trouble. Attack yourself (Throw and Stab, or various AoE at-will powers have been suggested), have enough resistance that you will kill yourself very very slowly, some way of healing regularly (like a staff that heals you when you kill a monster), add something else to move around a lot (Mobile Warrior), and destroy the world.

    Bag of Rats can be argued to address this however.


    Doing damage to yourself doesn't count for recharging powers or generating attacks (unless that is specifically an effect of the power you are using).
    You can rules lawyer this into oblivion with existing restrictions by citing the 'Bag of Rats' rule from the DMG, P40:

    Quote Originally Posted by DMG P40
    When a power has an effect that occurs upon hitting a target—or reducing a target to 0 hit points—the power functions only when the target in question is a meaningful threat. Characters can gain no benefit from carrying a sack of rats in hopes of healing their allies by hitting the rats.
    Quote Originally Posted by fallenwarrior
    Vulnerabilities only trigger 1/turn

    This one is controversial, but I think it's necessary given how many people are using attack powers which allow more than one attack per round (eg, Twin Strike). The basic idea is similar to your rule #4.
    I'm not sure whether I'd call this one 'essential', in that the rule doesn't address a fundamental design/scaling flaw or prevent something from bending/breaking the game. Multiple exploitation of vulnerabilities is certainly powerful, and can be cheesy, but it's rarely if ever a show stopper.

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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealistik View Post
    I'm aware of the limitation on free action attacks. My concern is with, as a solitary example, unlimited free action item swapping via the Disembodied Hand/Rakshasa familiars (which is not subject to the attack limitation). This can be problematic in that a player can receive a disproportionate benefit from a lot of cheap but cumulatively very powerful items (Staff of Aversion, Orbs of Nimble Thought, Orbs of Mental Constitution, etc).
    I think a lot of that problem would go away if you just say you must be wielding the item for at least 1 round to gain its benefit.

    Mind you, that brings Mage's Weapon abuse to my mind. A rule like item encounter and daily powers can only be used once, even if you have multiple items with that power, until the power is recharged should cover it.

    Spam of Kings
    You're right. This needs 2 fixes IMO. 1) The suggested house rule on the handbook of broken seems to fix the problem with this specific power.

    2) Add a rule that encounter and daily powers can only be used at most 1/turn, even if they aren't expended.

    Scion of World Ending
    Bag of Rats stops this already, but my suggested house rule about self damage would also apply.

    You can rules lawyer this into oblivion with existing restrictions by citing the 'Bag of Rats' rule from the DMG, P40.
    Bag of Rats doesn't really address the dragonborn breath recovery situation, since it talks about hits or reducing a target 0 hp. It would cover it if you add "take damage from a target" to the line. Which is more or less what my house rule is about.

    I'm not sure whether I'd call this one 'essential', in that the rule doesn't address a fundamental design/scaling flaw or prevent something from bending/breaking the game.
    I'll agree with that, but I think it's still a useful house rule which cuts down on some of the power of multi-attacks.

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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by fallenwarrior View Post
    I think a lot of that problem would go away if you just say you must be wielding the item for at least 1 round to gain its benefit.

    Mind you, that brings Mage's Weapon abuse to my mind. A rule like item encounter and daily powers can only be used once, even if you have multiple items with that power, until the power is recharged should cover it.

    You're right. This needs 2 fixes IMO. 1) The suggested house rule on the handbook of broken seems to fix the problem with this specific power.

    2) Add a rule that encounter and daily powers can only be used at most 1/turn, even if they aren't expended.
    Keep in mind that these are individual examples. I like my fix in that it is universal and addresses virtually all such issues, with minimal exceptions that require DM adjudication (either because it's too lenient, or too constricting).

    Bag of Rats doesn't really address the dragonborn breath recovery situation, since it talks about hits or reducing a target 0 hp. It would cover it if you add "take damage from a target" to the line. Which is more or less what my house rule is about.
    It does in the sense that the Breath power needs to hit to deal damage of its type.

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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealistik View Post
    It does in the sense that the Breath power needs to hit to deal damage of its type.
    It depends on how the breath weapon is being recharged. If the character is using the Ancient Soul + Nusemnee's Atonement combo, then the hit is on an ally. You could go with a bag of rats ruling on that, but to be consistent you'd need to apply that rule every time friendly fire occurs.

    On the other hand, my proposed house rule covers the situation without needing to do that.
    Last edited by fallenwarrior; 2012-06-02 at 06:00 AM.

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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by fallenwarrior View Post
    It depends on how the breath weapon is being recharged. If the character is using the Ancient Soul + Nusemnee's Atonement combo, then the hit is on an ally. You could go with a bag of rats ruling on that, but to be consistent you'd need to apply that rule every time friendly fire occurs.

    On the other hand, my proposed house rule covers the situation without needing to do that.
    That would be a definite Bag of Rats instance, and I don't see the problem/flaw with the rule when consistently applied since it's specifically orientated for abusive situations where you derive a benefit from attacking an ally (or other nonthreatening target) and covers these contingencies well. Of course, there are exceptions where you are explicitly and obviously meant to gain a benefit from targeting/hitting an ally, Coordinated Explosion being one; in these cases it doesn't apply.

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