Armant uses a few standard house rules that most of my campaigns take advantage of, as well as several new, setting-specific rules. Additionally, there are two optional rules that characters can choose to employ if they desire, or ignore without affecting the game at all: Called Shots and Magic Item Creation.
Improved Unarmed Strike
Martial arts are a common pursuit of the populace of Armant, and it is not unusual to see characters trained in unarmed combat, even if they are not hand-to-hand masters like monks. When creating a character, if they are proficient with all martial weapons, you can choose to replace this proficiency with the feat Improved Unarmed Strike. Characters who do so inflict 1d4 damage with their unarmed attacks (instead of the usual 1d3), until they reach 5th level. At this point, they calculate their unarmed damage as if they were a monk of a level equal to their character level - 4.
Some classes (such as bard, druid, and inquisitor) are proficient in only a few martial weapons; these classes are also eligible to trade out all these proficiencies for Improved Unarmed Strike. They inflict normal unarmed damage until 5th level, when their damage improves to 1d4. Starting at 9th level, they calculate their unarmed damage as if they were a monk of a level equal to their character level - 8.
Regardless of what Martial Weapon Proficiencies the character trades in, they retain any Simple Weapon Proficiencies they have. If a character who has taken advantage of this rule gains levels as a monk, they calculate their unarmed attack damage (but no other class abilities) by adding the 'virtual' monk level of their original class to their actual monk level.
Automatic Bonus Progression
Due to how magic and lineage work in the Armant setting, characters with a lineage gain the benefits of the Automatic Bonus Progression rules, with two major modifications:
- When using your ABP to improve armor and shields, you can only increase the enhancement bonus to armor class; you cannot grant the armor or shield any special abilities. These can only be gained by finding or purchasing armor or shields that has been manufacted with the specific special ability or abilities you are looking for.
- As with armor and shields, when using your ABP to improve weapons, you can only increase the enhancement bonus to attacks; you cannot grant the weapon any special abilities. However, this enhancement bonus applies only to your attack rolls, not to damage. Instead, consult the next house rule for improving weapon damage. Note: other effects that grant an enhancement bonus to damage (such as the spell magic weapon) provide that bonus as normal.
In addition to normal magic weapon special abilities, there are five new magical improvements that a weapon can receive: imbued (+1), enchanted (+2), mystic (+3), extraordinary (+4), and legendary (+5). A weapon can only be enhanced with one of these special abilities at a given time and each version is considered an improvement of the preceeding versions.
Every time a character wielding a weapon with one of these special abilities confirms an attack, the weapon inflicts an amount of extra damage equal to the weapon's base damage die. This extra damage is the same type as the base weapon's damage. For instance, every hit with an imbued rapier would inflict an extra +1d6 piercing damage, a mystic glaive would inflict an extra +3d6 slashing damage, and an extraordinary longhammer would inflict an extra +8d6 bludgeoning damage (since its base damage is 2d6).
This extra damage is not multiplied on a critical hit and is not factored into the extra damage die rolled when using Vital Strike (though the extra damage from both sources does stack).
Mechanically, this bonus is designed to replace the lost enhancement bonus to damage from the changes made to the Automatic Bonus Progression.
Your character has an action point they can use each day that grants them an additional standard action per day or a +1d6 to any one d20 roll they make. At 6th level it increases to +2d6 and at 12th level to +3d6. They must declare they are using the bonus prior to rolling.
You can stack critical rolls on attacks if you roll a natural 20 on a confirmation (and only on a 20, regardless of the weapon's threat range). You then confirm the double-critical as normal, with additional rolls of natural 20 stacking more potential criticals. Every potential new critical confirms the previous one (i.e., if you threaten to crit and then roll a 20, you have confirmed the normal critical; even if you fail to confirm the double-critical, you would still inflict the normal critical). For every additional critical you add to a super-critical, increase the weapon's multiplier by +1 (x2 on a longsword becomes x3 on a double-critical, x4 on a triple-critical, etc.).
In addition to automatically failing an attack on a roll of 1 (or failing a skill check in combination with a natural 1), you threaten for a critical failure. You must "confirm" the failure by rolling again with the same bonuses and/or penalties as the original attack or check. If you fail the roll a second time, you screw up in a context-appropriate way. A critical failure in an attack might have you dropping your weapon and losing the rest of your attacks in the round, or having your bowstring snap and having to spend a round restringing it. Critically failing to pick a lock might damage your lockpicks.
One of the most annoying things about Pathfinder is all the effects that can one-shot even powerful characters. Thus, for PCs and certain powerful NPCs, they have a second-chance save against these sorts of effects. If you are struck by an instant-death effect and fail your save, you drop immediately to -1 hit points. The next round, you make a second save at the same DC. Failure means death, but success means you remain alive (but not stabilized) at -1 hit points. If an effect does not allow for a saving throw (such as a critical hit with a vorpal weapon or the power word: kill spell), you are treated as having automatically failed your initial save and then gain a save based on relevant factors (usually 10 + spell level or 1/2 character level + applicable ability score modifier).