Rule Changes

For the most part, we will be using the general rules as laid out in the various 5E books. If you have not read these, don’t worry. Below is a very brief summary of the mechanics used in the game:

  • When a d20 is used, rolling high is always better.
  • Most checks are made using a d20 and rolling against a given target number based on the difficulty of the task. Modifiers are given based on conditions and strengths/weaknesses of the character involved.
  • Skill or task checks are tied to the most relevant of the character’s Ability Scores. For those using raw ability to perform a task, add/subtract that abilities modifier to the die roll. For those with a relevant proficiency, add both the ability modifier and the characters current Proficiency bonus to the die roll.
  • Some actions will be declared as having Advantage or Disadvantage. This is in place of trying to determine a whole lot of basic modifiers. When the action is done at Advantage, roll two (2) d20s and take the higher roll. Likewise, when an action is done at Disadvantage, roll two (2) d20s and take the lower roll. These modifiers never stack (i.e. you can’t have two different conditions that give you Advantage and roll three (3) d20s) and they immediately cancel each other out if one condition grants Advantage and another Disadvantage.
  • Attack rolls are made against the opponent’s AC
  • The DM will generally not give you the exact DC or AC that you need.
  • Checks are only made when there is either a meaningful chance of failure or where chance would add to the story.
  • Failure may not always mean the character actually fails in the task – it may mean there was unforeseen ramifications or that the character has to take much longer to perform the task.
  • It is better to describe what you are trying to do and have the DM ask for a roll then to just say “I roll my X, it got a 14, what happens?”


Dual Wielding Weapons

Characters can dual wield weapons, but I use different mechanics for this. A character that wields two weapons can make attacks with both weapons in the same round, but any melee attack made against them subsequently until the character’s next turn is done at Advantage. If the second weapon is not used to attack that round, the character gains a +1 to their AC as if they were carrying a buckler shield. All other modifiers listed in the PHB still apply.

Hit Points on Level Change

Each character starts with the maximum amount of Hit Points possible at 1st level (Hit Die type + Con. Bonus). Each subsequent level, the player will roll their Hit Die type and add that number to their total. Each character will gain at minimum one (1) Hit Point when gaining a new level, regardless of the fact that a negative Con. bonus would result in zero or less Hit Points gained.

System Shock/Massive Damage Rule

Any character or creature that suffers in a single attack damage that surpasses both twice their Hit Die type and is half or more of their total Hit Points must pass a System Shock check. System Shock tests are as written in the DMG. For example, Grigg the 3rd Level Fighter (d10 Hit Die, 24 HP total) is struck a heavy blow on his shoulder that cleaves through his mail and deep in the bone and muscle below, dealing 22 HP damage. This is both more than twice his Hit Die type ( d10 X 2 = 20) and more than half his total Hit Points (24/2 = 12). Grigg will now have to roll for System Shock as well. This also applies to NPCs and Monsters as well.


Damage is not always in the form of cuts or open wounds. Hit Points are an abstraction of how each character deals with wounds, fatigue, loss of reaction and maneuverability, “guts”, and plain out luck. The DM will narrate out the results of combat. Attacks that deal damage may not even be the result of what we think of as “damage”. For example, a blow that the character flinches back from just enough that their opponent’s blade brushed their eyelashes. The character gets a bit shaky and flinches from the next few blows in unconscious reaction. Take 4 HP damage.

When the characters rest, they have the chance to regain Hit Points. Additionally, several character classes have abilities that let them recover Hit Points without the use of magic. In these cases, this doesn’t mean that the physical wounds they’ve sustained have knitted back together. Instead, it means that the character has survived the initial trauma and treated the wound enough that immediate risk is gone. They’ve been able to work past the pain and discomfort to some degree and continue on. New damage may represent these existing wounds reopening, for example.

Characters can regain Hit Points in three ways:

1. Receiving magical healing.
2. Using a class ability that allows for the regaining of lost Hit Points
3. Spending Hit Dice during a short or long rest.

During either a short or long rest, each character can roll from their pool of Hit Dice to determine how many Hit Points they regain during that rest. For example, Grigg the 3rd Level Fighter has 3 Hit Dice (one for every level). During a rest, he can roll up to 3d10 to determine how many Hit Points he regains by resting. Once expended, these Hit Dice must regenerate prior to being used again. Characters regain half of their spent Hit Dice per long rest, minimum of one (1) Hit Dice. Characters who are administrated to by a character or NPC with proficiency in the Healers toolkit can roll an additional “free” Hit Die per 10 minutes they are administered to. Each Healer can only administer to one character during that time frame.

Action Options

For those that know about some of the alternative action options in the DMG, we will not be playing with these, per se. Most of them are actions that can just be declared such as “I block his sword and grab and twist his wrist, trying to make him drop it”. The one exception is the Mark action, which has no corollary. If you want to try and give Advantage to another player by your action, tell what you want to do and we’ll figure out if it works out that way.

Rule Changes

Paragons of Greyhawk Mortious josh_little_5015