House Rules

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House Rules

Post Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:42 am

In general we will follow the Basic Fantasy RPG core rulebook. However, there will be a few aspects of the game in which we deviate from those rules, or where we adopt a particular optional rule, or where we extend the ruleset. To ensure consistency, I will try to summarise all these ‘house rules’ in this topic. The page numbers refer to the relevant section of the BFRPG rule book (2nd Edition, release 75). I’ll update this topic as the game progresses. Recent updates are shown in red.

Character Creation

Character Ability Scores (p3-4, p139). We will follow the “Score Swapping” (exchange any two Ability Scores, once per character) and “Hopeless Character” (net Ability Score bonus cannot be negative) rules when rolling Ability Scores.

Starting hit points (p3-4). Level 1 characters may take an automatic maximum hit die roll. This rule does not apply for levels 2 and above. For 'advanced' classes with two starting hit dice (e.g. Monk, Ranger), only one of those dice is an automatic maximum; the other must be rolled.

Starting languages (p4). Those characters with an intelligence bonus above 13 are free to choose their additional language.

Character races (p5-6). In addition to the races in the core rulebook, Gnomes (using the Basic Fantasy supplement of the same name), as well as Half-Elves and Half-Orcs (both using the "Half-Humans" Basic Fantasy supplement) are permitted.

Cleric/Thief combination class (p6). d5 for hit points. No metal armour. No weapon restrictions.

Character classes (p7-9). In addition to the character classes in the core rulebook, the following "advanced" classes are permitted: Assassins, Druids, Illusionists, Monks, Paladins and Rangers. We will use the class descriptions in the "Labyrinth Lord Advanced Edition Companion" for these additional classes. A complimentary no art version available of this rulebook is available at

Magic-User starting spells (p8). 1st level Magic-Users start with ‘Read Magic’ and one other 1st level spell of their choice. Note that ‘Read Magic’ is not listed in the Spells section of the BFRPG rulebook. It is distinct from ‘Read Languages’.

Thief ability progression (p142). Thieves may customise the level-by-level increments in their thief abilities in accordance with the optional rule on page 142 of the BFRPG rulebook.


Spell casting (p15). The sentence "If a spellcaster is attacked on the Initiative number on which he or she is casting a spell, the spell is spoiled and lost" is deleted from the rules. It is not possible to disrupt spells in this way. For initiative purposes, spell casting is handled like any other attack.

0 Level Spells. Spellcasting characters may use 0 level spells in accordance with the BFRPG supplement. Non-spellcasting characters may not. One point of clarification is that 0 level 'next event' spells (e.g. modification to the next attack roll or saving throw) expire after 1 turn if an opportunity to exploit them doesn't arise. In the interests of game balance, it is not permissible to cast a 0 level spell AND attack or cast another spell in the same round, although other reasonable actions (movement, switching weapons, defending yourself, etc.) are allowed.

The Adventure

Doors (p37). When listening at doors, dwarves, humans and half-elves will be successful on a roll of 1 on 1d10. Elves, halflings, gnomes and half-orcs will be successful on a roll of 1-2 on 1d10. Thieves use their higher Listen skill. Each character may only attempt to listen at a given door once.

Loyalty of retainers (P39). In general, retainers will only be required to make a Loyalty check when they are asked to do something very risky or strongly against their interests. Routine Loyalty checks (e.g. at the end of each adventure) are not required. The GM will (secretly!) track each retainer's loyalty.

Experience points (p42, p141). Experience points will be awarded for monsters defeated and specific objectives completed. Experience points can also be ‘purchased’ through training at a cost of 1 GP = 1 XP. Monster and completed objective experience points will be awarded to characters at the end of each episode (i.e. part-way through an adventure). This is to give a better sense of character progression in a relatively slow-paced play-by-post game. Training experience points can only be obtained when there is adequate time and teaching expertise available (i.e. generally between adventures).

The Encounter

Fighting Withdrawal (p46). Rule clarification - a fighting withdrawal simply allows a combatant to avoid a "parting shot" as they move away. The withdrawing combatant doesn't get an attack that round, unless an opponent subsequently comes into melee range.

Missiles That Miss (p47). When firing into melee, checks to see whether allies have been hit by a missile that has missed should only be made if the original modified "to hit" roll is 10 or less (i.e. when even an unarmoured AC 11 opponent would have been missed). Missing modified "to hit" rolls higher than 10 are assumed to have hit the intended target but inflicted no damage (due to the target's armour, etc.); in such cases there is no danger of allies being hit. Furthermore, when determining whether an ally has been hit by a missile that has missed, the shooter's attack modifiers (AB, DEX, STR, etc.) should not be applied to the subsequent "to hit" roll. Any modifiers applicable to the ally concerned, or any situational modifiers (distance, cover, etc.), should be applied.

Death and Dying (p48, p141). We will use the optional 'Negative Hit Point' rule on p141 of the rulebook. A character reduced to zero hit points or less is rendered unconscious and bleeding. They will continue to lose 1 hit point per round due to blood loss. They will die when their hit points reach a negative number equal to their Constitution score. This hit point loss may be stopped through magical healing or by someone binding the dying characters wounds. The binding process takes one full round during which the binding character may take no other action, including defending themselves. Once treated, an injured character remains unconscious until their hit points are again greater than zero.

Saving Throws (p52). Rule clarification - saving throws against will-affecting spells (e.g. Cause Fear) are adjusted by a character's Wisdom ability bonus.

Combat Options. We will use the BFRPG "Combat Options" supplement for weapon specialisation, criticals/fumbles, two-weapon combat and defending. Weapon specialisation is only available to Fighters (NOT warrior subclasses, such as Paladins and Rangers). A torch may be used as the off-hand weapon for two-weapon combat (damage = 1d3).

Summary of Supplements used in the Game

Basic Fantasy - 0 Level Spells.
Basic Fantasy - Combat Options
Basic Fantasy - Gnomes.
Basic Fantasy - Half Humans.
Labyrinth Lord - Advanced Edition Companion.

Dice Rolling

If player wishes to do so (and this is strictly optional) they may perform their own die rolls using the ‘EvilDM Dice Server’ ( For any roll to be valid, it must be clearly labelled and e. mailed to the GM ( EvilDM has facilities for annotating and mailing rolls. Otherwise, the GM will roll on behalf of the players. The GM also reserves the right to roll on behalf of a player in order to progress the game if it becomes temporarily stalled.

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