The Altera Chronicles
House Rules - Equipment
House Rules: Equipment and Magic Items
Contained here are modifications and clarifications on equipment, both mundane and magical.
As always, I am making these notations because somewhere someone either misinformed or withheld information from the players, or the rules need clarification.
Many campaign settings and supplement books introduce “extra” pieces that can be added to certain other armor to supplement the character’s overall AC.
Chahair-Aina (Oriental Adventures)
This armor extra stacks with Chain Shirt, Leather, or Padded Armor, as well as the Dastana. If more than one such piece is magical, only the higher enhancement bonus applies.
Dastana (Oriental Adventures)
This armor extra stacks with Chain Shirt, Leather, or Padded Armor, as well as the Chahair-Aina (subject to that item’s stacking rules). If more than one such piece is magical, only the higher enhancement bonus applies.
Great Coat (Iron Kingdoms)
This armor extra stacks with any Light armor, as well as the Chahair-Aina (subject to that item’s stacking rules), as well as the Dastana. If more than one such piece is magical, only the higher enhancement bonus applies.
Khopesh: Exotic One-handed slashing weapon; damage 1d8; crit 19-20/x3
Fullblade: Exotic Two-Handed Slashing Weapon; damage 2d8; crit 19-20/x2
Ability Score Increase Manuals and Tomes: Specific items include Manual of Bodily Health, Manual of Gainful Exercise, Manual of Quickness in Action, Tome of Clear Thought, Tome of Leadership and Influence, and Tome of Understanding, at all values ranging from +1 to +5. Any other non-standard replacements for these items (I have personally created a few over the years) are also covered by this rule.
These items may still appear as part of “Random” treasure, but may not be purchased on the open market or with starting money (rare crazy NPC “vendors” may be willing to sell one, but they’re crazy anyway). They are considered Lesser Artifacts, with an effective Caster Level of 20th and a Market Value Equivalent of 10 times their listed (DMG) price. The +5 book for any given ability score is considered a Major Artifact, with a caster level of 25th, and a market price equivalent of 3,437,500 gold.
A single character may only use any given book (manual or tome) once; this applies to each individual “Plus” value associated with the books. (A character may only use the +1 Strength tome once, but may later use the +2 and +3, and so on, if they happen to find them.)
Once a tome is used, it vanishes from the character’s possession, reappearing at a random location on its home plane (as determined by the DM; books found in Altera games default to Altera) 1d20 days later. No form of mortal magic (non-epic spells) has the ability to locate one of these tomes.
All Inherent Bonuses are being modified as follows:
• Inherent bonuses of the same value do not stack; a +1 Inherent bonus does not stack with another +1 Inherent bonus to the same ability score.
• Inherent bonuses of different values stack; a +2 Inherent bonus does stack with a +1 Inherent bonus to the same ability score.
• A higher Inherent bonus no longer replaces any lower Inherent bonuses to the same ability score.
• The spells “Wish” and “Miracle” no longer have the ability to grant Inherent bonuses; the same applies to all other non-epic spells, spell-like or psi-like abilities, supernatural abilities, and psionic abilities.
Magical Projectile Weapons and Ammunition
We are using the 3.0 rule: The numerical enhancement bonus on magical projectile weapons (bows, crossbows, and firearms) stacks with that on any ammunition (of the proper type) fired from that weapon. All special abilities on both also apply, with the exception of those that contradict (Bane and Merciful, for example); you choose which applies when firing the shot.
Also includes “Holy Devastator” (epic upgrade version), as well as other alignment counterparts.
This magical weapon may not be purchased under any circumstances. It may not be crafted. The standard DMG version may appear as random treasure (although the DM always has the option to reroll if such a result is undesirable for their campaign).
A Paladin (any alignment or deity-specific variant) can “earn” one of these weapons through gameplay, at the DM’s discretion.
The DM has the option (and is encouraged to) add other special abilities to the weapon, as desired.
Footnote from Chad: I’m generous; if you’re playing your paladin well, you will probably earn one around 10th-15th level.
The way I give these to players of paladins who earn them is by upgrading an existing weapon, one that the character has been using for some time. If the character continues to exist and gains enough levels, they will eventually be able to earn the higher-level version.
This enchantment may not be purchased or crafted. The only Vorpal weapons in existence are those specific weapons noted in monster or NPC descriptions (Molydeus, Solar Aasimon, and Balor, possible others from sourcebooks I don’t remember right now).
The creatures that own these weapons jealously guard them, and will actively hunt down anyone who steals one from one of their brethren. (Note that this does not just mean the specific creatures mentioned, but all creatures that share their subtype.)
All Vorpal weapons in the possession of monsters (currently: Solar Aasimon, Balor, Molydeus so far) have their numerical enhancement bonus increased to +5. (Eventually need to make modified monster statistic blocks for these creatures to reflect this change.)
Feat: Additional Magic Item Space
This feat is perfectly acceptable, but needs one notation (so far):
If you select “Armor” for this feat’s benefits, the non-magical armor bonus does not stack, but the armor check penalty and spell failure do stack, and the lower of the two Maximum Dexterity Bonus values applies. The restrictions further increase (get worse for you) by 1 for each suit of armor beyond the first.
The psionics-magic transparency rule applies to items as well; any effect that specifies “Power Points” applies equally to Spell Points. Some specific items require attention:
Weapon Special Property: Parrying
This special property has an effective enhancement bonus equivalent of +1 for classes that may imbue their own weapon (Samurai from Oriental Adventures, Kensai prestige class from Complete Warrior, etc.); the price is unchanged.
Weapon Special Property: Psibane
This ability functions only on characters with Psionic ability (including those with the Wild Talent feat or described as having psi-like abilities); it is effectively the “Bane” enchantment targeting psionic creatures.
Weapon Special Property: Psychokinetic and Psychokinetic Burst
The bonus damage from these enhancements is purely magical or ectoplasmic in nature (depending on which semantic version you want to use), and is not subject to damage reduction or energy resistance of any type.
Finish reviewing psionic sources for additional special cases.
Magic Item Compendium
This book will receive a lot of attention, since it has a ton of new and revised magic items and special properties for weapons and armor.
It is very highly advised that players look over this book when purchasing magic items.
Most of these have no limit on duration.
Armor, Shield, and Weapon Special Properties
Many of the limitations on uses per day will be removed; 1 or 3 times per day for a +1 or higher enhancement bonus equivalent is almost an insult in most cases.
Holy Surge (pg. 36)
You can spend a Turn attempt as a swift action to activate this property, in addition to its normal usage.
Metalline (pg. 38)
You can alter this weapon’s composition to any special metal required to overcome damage reduction. The other properties of the weapon are based on its current special material.