House Rules

Animal Companions/Familiars

The GM will be in control of all actions pertaining to your animal companions/familiars. You will have to use skills to get them to do tricks or to get them to perform. The GM will roll attacks and damage.

Your companion will have a personality dictated by the GM and may choose not to follow orders that could conflict with its personality.

Automatic Bonus Progression and Magic Items

According to Unchained, this is the ruling for magic armor and weapons:
In this system, magic weapons, armor, and shields never have enhancement bonuses of their own; those bonuses are granted only through attunement. Any weapon, armor, or shield special abilities on attuned items count against a character’s enhancement bonus from attunement. To determine an attuned magic item’s enhancement bonus, subtract the cost of its special ability from the enhancement bonus granted by attunement. (This applies only to special abilities whose cost is equivalent to an enhancement bonus, not to those that cost a flat amount of gold pieces.) For example, if a character with a +3 enhancement bonus from weapon attunement wields a keen scimitar, she subtracts 1 point of her enhancement bonus (for the cost of keen), leaving her with a +2 keen scimitar. If a character doesn’t have enough of an enhancement bonus to afford the special ability (such as a 4th-level character with a vorpal longsword), she can still use the weapon’s power on its own, but the weapon gains no enhancement bonus.

Our house rule will change the bolded text above to read: Any weapon, armor, or shield special abilities on attuned items do not account against a character’s enhancement bonus.

In Hero Lab, you will need to make an adjustment to add back the bonus removed by this rule. I recommend doing this in the Personal tab.

Called Shots

We will be using the Called Shots optional system from Ultimate Combat.

Continual Flame

This spell creates a permanent mundane flame and not a magical flame. This spell cannot be used to override any darkness spells, no matter the level. Darkness cast in the area of a continual flame functions as a torch, the flame’s light will be suppressed until it leaves the area of darkness.

Difficult Terrain

Difficult Terrain is relative to size. For all medium creatures, movement speed is adjusted as listed in the rules; however, for each size step under/over medium your effective terrain modifier moves one step. For example, 1/4 movement speed for a medium creature would become 1/8 speed for a small creature, but only 1/2 speed for a large creature. This same value would be zero for a huge creatures.


For weapons to bypass DR/Magic, they must possess their own magic qualities. Attunements that provide an enhancement bonus (e.g., +1) will be considered extraordinary abilities and not count towards bypassing DR/Magic. For example, a Flaming sword with no enhancement bonus will still be considered a magical sword that will bypass DR/Magic, regardless of whether the enemy is immune to fire. The enemy will not take the associated fire damage, but will take full damage for the magic weapon bypassing DR. Furthermore, Dispel Magic (or an Antimagic Field) could suppress the Flaming ability of a +1 Flaming sword but not the +1 enhancement bonus.

Edge of Death

If a PC is brought below their negative hit points that would cause death, they have one full round to be saved before they die. For example, if a character has a 14 con and his is brought to -14 hit points, his allies have until that initiative order comes around again to bring him to -13 hit points before death sets in.

This is a change from the previous house rule that only allowed salvation at the end of the initiative order.

If a character has the breath of life spell, the spell extends this by another round.

Hero Points

All starting characters begin play with 2 hero points. In addition, characters can have a maximum of 5 hero points at any given time.

Hero Points can be used for the following four items:

  1. Inspiration: If you feel stuck at one point in the adventure, you can spend a hero point and petition the GM for a hint about what to do next. If the GM feels that there is no information to be gained, the hero point is not spent.
  2. Recall: You can spend a hero point to recall a spell you have already cast or to gain another use of a special ability that is otherwise limited. This should only be used on spells and abilities possessed by your character that recharge on a daily basis.
  3. Reroll: You may spend a hero point to reroll any one d20 roll you just made before the results are known. You must take the results of the second roll, even if it is worse.
  4. Cheat Death: A character can spend 2 hero points to cheat death. How this plays out is up to the GM, but generally the character is left alive, with negative hit points but stable. For example, a character is about to be slain by a critical hit from an arrow. If the character spends 2 hero points, the GM decides that the arrow pierced the character’s holy symbol, reducing the damage enough to prevent him from being killed, and that he made his stabilization roll at the end of his turn. Cheating death is the only way for a character to spend more than 1 hero point in a turn. The character can spend hero points in this way to prevent the death of a familiar, animal companion, eidolon, or special mount, but not another character or NPC.

Hero Points are gained in the following ways:

  • Writing Adventure Logs
  • Faith: In a campaign where the gods play an important role in every character’s life, hero points might represent their favor. In such a setting, the GM can award hero points to characters whenever they uphold the tenets of their faith in a grand way, or whenever they take on one of the faith’s major enemies. Such hero points might be temporary, and if not spent on the task at hand, they fade away.
  • Heroic Acts: Whenever a character performs an exceptionally heroic act, she can be awarded a hero point. This might include anything from slaying an evil dragon when the rest of the group has fled to rescuing townsfolk from a burning building despite being terribly wounded. It does not have to be related to combat. Convincing the reticent king to send troops to help with a bandit problem or successfully jumping a wide chasm might earn a character a hero point, depending on the circumstances. Note that a hero point should only be awarded if the PC involved did not spend a hero point to accomplish the task.
  • Staying True to your Character: There are times when a players is presented with a moment that conflicts with the table. Players that choose the “hard road” and stay true to themselves over the meta of the game may be awarded a hero point.

Hit Points

Hit points will be rolled at every level after 1st level. The minimum points gained are 50% of the maximum amount no matter the die roll. For example, if you are a d10 class, your minimum is 5 at each level (not 5.5). If you roll a 2 on a 10 sided dice, you still get 5 hit points. No hero points for hit point rerolls.


Common (Taldan) is a trade language only and is not normally spoken in day to day life. Player characters will receive this language for free, NPC’s will need to purchase this language with a point of linguistics. Speaking the trade language for every day use is improper and extremely limited since the language is focused on business and trade instead of descriptive words.

For more information on Golorian language, you can read more here.

Magic Arms & Armor Resizing

Magic arms and armor will resize a maximum of one size category smaller or larger than the original created size. For example, a medium set of full plate will resize down to small or up to large, but not to tiny or huge.

Skill Unlocks

We will be using the skill unlock system from Pathfinder Unchained with the following alterations:

  • The Signature Skill feat is available at 1st level and advancing your skill unlock tier by 5 levels, meaning you get the 5th level skill unlock at 1st level and the 10th level skill unlock at 5th level.
  • All skills are unlocked for every character, but there are some modification to how the skill unlocks work per skill due to balance issues. Once you have 5 ranks in the skill you qualify for the 5th level unlock.
  • If you reach 20th level and have the Signature Skill feat, you can automatically retrain it for a new feat without expending the time or cost associated with retraining.

Spell Manifestations

All spells and spell-like abilities have manifestations. These manifestations appear as arcane/divine words that surround the casters hands or self during the time of casting. These sigils are lit, floating in the air, but do not produce enough light to create illumination. These sigils appear even if the caster is invisible. Any spell that would normally mask magical illumination can hide the sigils if the spell cast is of lower level than the masking spell. For example, darkness can obscure the sigils of any 0 and 1st level spells if the prevailing light conditions would normally block vision. A 2nd level spells sigils would not be hidden.


Scrying a location to teleport does will not give enough information for teleportation. Normally, the rules allow scry to give the “viewed once” familiarity; this is removed for this campaign.

Use Magic Device Skill

This skill is modified from the original rules as follows:

  • Out of combat, you can take 10. Any class that has this feature can now take 10 in stressful situations (in combat)
  • The DC to active a wand is 15 + double spell level:
    • 1st level: 17
    • 2nd level: 19
    • 3rd level: 21
    • 4th level: 23

Wound Thresholds

We will be using the wound threshold rules from Pathfinder Unchained with the following alterations:

  • Wound thresholds do not prevent access to a caster’s highest spell levels.

House Rules

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