House Rules

Touch Attacks

The ability score modifier for all touch attacks, whether they are ranged touch attacks or not, will be based on the attacker’s dexterity rather than the attacker’s strength. After all, what does a creature’s strength have anything to do with its ability to touch another creature?

Critical Fumbles

On a roll of a natural 1 on any attack roll, the player or GM will roll percentile dice and compare the number to a Fumble Chart. This applies to all PCs, NPCs and monsters alike. On the Fumble Chart are a variety of possible outcomes ranging from as harmless to nothing unusual happening (20% chance of this, although a 1 always stops any chance for further attacks by that creature in that round), to as harmful as damaging an ally, damaging the weapon and dropping the weapon out of reach. The chart, in my opinion, is very simple, is not particularly deadly, and does not have unrealistic outcomes on it. Of course, common sense will overrule anything impossible and should a number be rolled which indicates something that is impossible (for example, a monk dropping his unarmed strike out of reach), then it will be assumed that nothing unusual happens as far as this impossibility is concerned.

Item Damage and Destruction

The chance of items being damaged or destroyed is far greater than that presented in the Pathfinder rules, and there are a number of ways this can happen:
1) Anytime a creature fails a saving throw versus a damage causing energy effect (as opposed to only rolling a natural 1), and takes damage because of it, the items carried by that creature are also subject to damage. Each item will get a saving throw. Those that fail will take damage. I keep a running tally of possessions carried by each character which list each item’s saving throw bonus, hit points and hardness, and I will inform the players if any of their items become damaged, broken or destroyed.
For anyone who has not played older versions of the game (D&D 1e, or 2e) this rule may seem awfully harsh. But after having play-tested it for a couple of years, I have found that it is still rather difficult to completely destroy a magic item, especially considering the fact that magic items can be mended (although, here again, I have a strict rule on that as well – see below). But, due to the abundance of magic items in many 2e modules (which I use a great deal of), I find that this rule is necessary to keep PCs from amassing an overwhelming and unwieldy number of magic items over a long career. And occasionally losing a magic item here and there, gives the players a reason to use other magic items, and gives me a reason to introduce new magic items. Over time, players will see that, in general, the more powerful a magic item is, the less likely it is to be destroyed.

2) The same rule applies for what I would term, a crushing blow, which is similar to a sunder combat maneuver. However, a crushing blow can also apply to a fall where a character takes lethal damage, or a similar damage-causing effect such as an avalanche, a cave-in, a crushing block of stone falling from above, or even being struck by an adamantine golem. In many of these cases though, only certain items will need to make saving throws, depending on the cause of the damage, and will be handled on a case-by-case basis. For example, someone being struck in the front by a crushing blow would not have to worry about the cloak on his back being damaged.

3) As for all non-magical items, they too will be subject to damage as above. The only difference is that I will not pay as strict attention to most of these items and only mention an occasional problem on a case-by-case basis (for example, telling you your backpack has ripped open spilling the contents out or if the item is particularly expensive). It is assumed that most of these items will eventually be mended or replaced as part of each character’s monthly expenses.

4) As already noted, critical Fumbles can also cause damage to weapons.

*See the list of the character’s possessions and item saving throws for further details on these rules.

Mending Magic Items with Magic

Much like creating magic items (see below), using magic to mend magic items is also more difficult. While spells such as mending and make whole can be used to mend magic items as stated in the spell, in my campaigns, in order to mend magic items with these spells, the mender of the item must have the proper facilities at his disposal – this means a laboratory for arcane items, an altar for divine items, or a workshop for magic items that are created in workshops (see below) – where the mender can properly clean the item and prepare it before it is mended. Magic items, therefore, cannot be mended “in the field” so to speak. The mending spell and make whole spell however do eliminate any other material costs and time required to otherwise mend a magic item, and also greatly reduce the possibility of accidentally causing further damage to the item. Also, neither the mending spell, nor the make whole spell can restore a magic item that is completely destroyed or has completely lost its enchantment.

Creating and Buying Magic items

The creation of magic items in my campaigns is more difficult and time consuming than presented in the Pathfinder rules.


Anyone wishing to create magic items must have a proper facility in which to do the work and it must be worth a minimum amount depending on what item is to be created. The proper facility needs to be a laboratory, altar or workshop depending on what is appropriate. If the item being created has an arcane spell as a requirement, it must be a laboratory. If the item being created has a divine spell as a requirement, it must be an altar. If the item being created has a spell for a requirement that is both arcane and divine, either a laboratory or a shrine will do. If the item being created has a craft skill other than an arcane or divine spell as a requirement, it must be a workshop of the appropriate type (a smithy for metal armor and weapons, an alchemist’s workshop for an alchemist craft, etc.) Some items, such as a weapon that has an arcane spell requirement must have both a laboratory and a workshop. The minimum cost of each facility depends on the craft feat being used:
• Brew Potion – 200 gp (This is a requirement only for the brewing of magic potions and does not apply to an alchemist’s extracts, mutagens and bombs which are not magical).
• Craft Magic Arms and Armor – 250 gp
• Craft Rod – 400 gp
• Craft Staff – 500 gp
• Craft Wand – 250 gp
• Craft Wondrous Item – 300 gp
• Forge Ring – 300 gp
• Scribe Scroll – 250 gp
*Certain kits and tools can be applied to these costs as appropriate, such as an alchemist’s lab, artisan’s tools, bellows, a forger’s kit, masterwork tools and a portable altar.

Time spent on research and the gathering of materials:

For minor magic items, a minimum of 1 week (or 40 hours) must be spent on research and gathering construction materials. For medium items, a minimum of 2 weeks (or 80 hours) must be spent, and 3 weeks (or 120 hours) must be spent on major items. Note that part of the gathering process can include the searching for and purchasing the masterwork item to be enchanted.

Item quality:

All permanent and rechargeable magic items must be of masterwork quality (not just weapons and armor) and must be either made specifically for the final item, or must undergo additional procedures in order to be enchanted. A masterwork item can be bought from a dealer, it can be part of a treasure pick, or a craftsman other than the person with the item’s crafting feat can be hired to make the masterwork item. Items created to be enchanted must be made using the rules on crafting masterwork items on pg. 91 – 93 of the Core Rules. Time spent on creating this masterwork item is in addition to that listed in the rules under Magic Item Creation though the cost is included in the overall cost of creating the item. The DC for creating the base component will be 20 and the cost of the base component including its masterwork quality (for the purposes of determining construction time only) will usually be 100 gp unless the market price of the magic item being created is less than 200 gp, in which case it will be half of the market price.

Creating the masterwork item specifically for the final item will take longer than buying one, but it may be necessary if one cannot be bought and it will reduce the overall cost of creating the item by 100 gp or by half the amount if the amount used in determining construction time is under 200 gp. Using a bought item or an item from a treasure pick will be quicker, but it must be an item of the appropriate type or research time is doubled. And the value of the masterwork item can be applied to the cost of constructing the item, but only up to 2/3 of the construction cost, as the other 1/3 must be used for special materials and procedures. Any amount of worth for the masterwork item that exceeds 2/3 of the construction cost is lost, and 1/3 of the construction cost must still be paid in addition to the value of the masterwork item.

Enchanting the item:

The rest of the process for creating magic items follows the rules starting on pg 548 of the Core Rules, with a few exceptions. The time listed for the creation of magic items covers only the time spent enchanting an item and does not include the research time or any time spent making the masterwork item. Only half of the time spent enchanting a magic item can be done while “out adventuring.” The other half must be done in the proper facility as noted above.

Buying Magic Items:

Following the rules in the Core Rules (pg 460 – 461), magic items can be bought (and sold), depending on the size of the community where one is trying to buy them. In the City of Greyhawk, for example, any minor magic item can be found and bought fairly easily given enough time and effort. But there is a limit to the number of medium and major magic items. These will be dealt with in the Greyhawk Magic Store rules. The list of medium and major magic items available for sale will change periodically, usually once per game month.

One can also pay wizards, clerics and craftsmen to make magic items for them. Or craftsmen can be paid to make non-magical masterwork items for the purpose of turning them into magic items, as well as masterwork armor and weapons. But these highly skilled wizards, clerics and craftsmen are often much sought after for their business which means there is often a waiting list before these people can even begin to make anything for you. In Greyhawk, anytime a wizard, cleric or craftsman is hired to do a job, there is a waiting period of 2d12 days + 1 day per level of the character before they begin to make the item.

Channeling Healing Energy

Channeling energy works as it is stated in the Core Rules with one exception: When channeling healing energy (whether it heals the living or heals the undead) the range is touch and it only affects one target, rather than a burst that affects all within a 30’ radius. Channeling damaging energy remains the same (a 30’ radius burst) as does all other aspects of channeling energy from the amount it heals or damages, to the number of times per day it can be used, to the DC for it. While this house rule might at first glance appear to have a huge negative effect on the cleric class, it actually has a greater negative effect on the cleric’s allies who depend on the cleric’s ability to heal injuries. But I found this rule change to be a necessary alteration in order to insure that certain aspects and situations that occasionally arise in my game remain the challenge that they were intended to be and not just a minor annoyance that the cleric could easily dismiss with a wave of his hand (I can provide several examples where this happened in game-play and which led me to make this rule change). Keep in mind the fact that a cleric that can channel energy at all, is still superior to a cleric using 3e D&D rules or any other version that came before. But this house rule also means that a few of the clerical feats will be less useful.
Learning and Researching Arcane Spells

Learning arcane spells:

This is more time consuming in my campaigns than it is in the Core Rules. Learning how to cast spells should not come so easily, or spell casters would be far more common than they are.

In my campaigns, the amount of time it takes for a spell caster that casts arcane spells to learn a spell is: six days minus the number of days equal to the spell caster’s relevant ability modifier, or a minimum of one day, whichever is greater. Only one full hour of study is needed however, on each of these days, which normally allows the spell caster to adventure and learn spells at the same time. But these days must be consecutive or the spell caster will have to start learning the spell over again. Anytime a spell caster is in the process of learning a new spell, one spell slot should be left open for that spell. These rules apply to any class that casts arcane spells including: wizards, sorcerers, bards, witches, magi, summoners and alchemists (which actually create extracts that act like arcane spells).

Researching Arcane Spells:

In order to research arcane spells, a wizard needs to have a library worth a certain amount based on the level of the spell being researched. (See pg 91 of the 2e Wizard’s Handbook,)

House Rules

Greyhawk: Gem of the Flanaess arkhemedes