Miscellaneous RPG Stuff: New Rules, Variants, and Clarifications

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9/16/09 Alternative Level Advancement--The Step System, a different way of advancing characters that doesn't involve XP. This originally was some unpublished house rules I wrote, which I adapted to publish in Monte Cook's World of Darkness, which I've fiddled with slightly to revert back to standard terminology for compatibility with non-MCWOD d20-based games. (PDF)

6/5/05 Variant: Fewer Absolutes--Part 2, giving variants for races, classes, and skills so they don't have absolute effects.

6/5/05 Variant: Fewer Absolutes--Part 1, a discussion of a systematic problem in some d20 rules and a proposal to fix them.

11/26/04 Variant: Recharging Items, a way to handle recharging these items without unbalancing things.

11/9/04 Variants for Forge Ring, three variant rules to make the Forge Feat worthwhile compared to Craft Wondrous Item.

5/4/04 Concentration Against Poison, a variant rule for temporarily staving off poison damage.

12/27/03 Logs, of my play by email (PBEM) game that I ran in college, set in a fantasy historical England. Sort of a funny read, looking back.

10/23/03 Feat Point System, a more precise method for rating and acquiring feats.

9/20/03 The Phil Athans Rule, for dealing with very weak creatures that somehow manage to be deadly threats.

4/1/03 Spellcasting Underwater, an opinion piece about what should be possible.

4/1/03 Bounties for Monsters, what to offer for orc ears and such.

4/1/03 How ECLs work in-character, or "Why are drow so lazy." :)

2/16/03 Variant Sor/Wiz Skills, a pair of interesting class skill options for sorcerers and wizards.

12/14/02 Iron Golems Are Hollow, an explanation why.

11/9/02 Take 20 which skills you can and can't, any why.

10/28/02 Magic Item Creation, an essay about the ins and outs of this complex topic.

10/14/02 The Difference Between Incorporeal and Ethereal, because there are some who think they mean almost the same thing.

10/14/02 Metamagic, DCs, and Ability Scores, a short primer on how any why these work.

10/14/02 Why Items You Craft Count Half, an explanation for why characters with item creation feats should get to use them when creating a character from scratch.

10/14/02 Why Monk BAB Should Stack With Other Class BAB, a series of questions and answers explaining why it is so.

10/3/02 Grappling Step By Step, since the description in the PH can be confusing.

10/3/02 Lycanthropic Wild Shape, an option for druids who want to emulate a lycanthrope.

8/26/02 Problems With High-Level Challenges, some things to watch out for.

7/24/02 Gravity, Large and Small, rules for high and low gravity (nominally for Spelljammer, but useable in regular D&D).

7/24/02 Nebulas and Quasars, theories on the D&D (Spelljammer) equivalents of these astronomical bodies.

7/24/02 Nonbinary Gravity, a short theory on why gravity is either flat or spherical in Spelljammer. Also includes three gravity spells useable in any D&D.

7/5/02 Energy Types, an article explaining that steam does fire damage, and similar almost-obvious things.

6/18/02 Fractional Spellcasting Advancement, a new way to handle spellcaster prestige classes.

6/5/02 Handling Large Parties, advice on designing appropriate-challenge encounters for more than 4 PCs.

5/15/02 A Theory About Peasants, or another way of determining class levels for NPC-class characters.

5/1/02 Hitting and Grabbing Ioun Stones, a clarification.

4/26/02 Donations and Intervention, or a way to convince your players of the use of making donations to temples.

4/21/02 Path magic, or the benefits of learning similar spells.

4/8/02 Poison as a spell designator, applying some common sense.

Continuing Poison Damage, a variant rule for ... poison damage.

Slower Dying, a variant rule for handling characters at negative hit points.

Explanation: CR and the Effective Characer Level: a must-read for anyone that plans to use "monsters" as PC races.

Hex paper a single sheet of hex paper (in PDF format) - I created this, but I give it up to the public domain, because it's of no real value.

My magic system - a spell system for just about any RPG, in which the desired effects are built up from different spell types (such as elements, illusion, life-force, etc.). I used it in my (now ended) PBEM for two years.

A character sheet (in PDF format) for Steve Jackson Games' IN NOMINE role-playing game.