House Rules

Bennies (Benefit Points)

Bennies are similar to action points. Everyone begins play with one Bennie and gains an additional Bennie at every level. Bennies refresh at the end of every gaming session except for any “burned” bennies (see below). A bennie can be used to add a d6 (or 2 or 3 depending on level) to an attack roll, saving throw, ability check, level check or skill check. This must be decided before the results of the test are known.
A bennie can be burned to make the result of a d20 check a 20 or a 1 on your die roll or an opponent’s die roll. A bennie may also be burned to allow an additional standard action in a turn, to gain one additional activation of a class feature or to automatically stabilize if you fall below 0 hit points. You cannot burn bennies for your allies. Note that the DM gets a bennie to use as he pleases for every character in the game as well as 2 bennies for each significant NPC. (The Captain of the Guard would not get two bennies but you bet Dragon High Lord Verminaard would have a couple bennies). If each side burns a bennie they counteract each other.
One bennie can be earned for every 500 words written in you character logs or journal. A player can roll 1d6 and add it to the result of a d20 roll at 1st-7th level; at 8th-14th level the player may roll 2d6 and add the higher to the d20 roll; at 15th-20th level the player may roll 3d6 and add the highest roll to a d20 test.

Critical Hits and Misses

Critical Hits: All natural rolls of 20 are considered critical hits—we don’t roll to confirm. For player characters rolling a 20 they can either choose to do maximum damage or roll and double or triple damage as appropriate for their weapon. For NPC’s a card is drawn from the critical hits deck.. This can lead to some interesting results as our archery based ranger learned when his dominant hand was cut off.

Critical Misses: Both player characters and NPCs draw a card from the critical miss deck.


Perception: Previously we had combined listen, search, spot, and sense motive into this skill. Pathfinder does the same with the exception of sense motive. I would like to use our house rule so whenever a sense motive check is called for you can use your perception level. Also, this is a class skill for everyone.

Knowledge Skills: Scott had established using the Iron Heroes rules for Knowledge checks when we played Dragons of Autumn Twilight.
Knowledge is a skill that encompasses a number of different areas of study. You can expand the scope of your knowledge without taking wholly new skills by investing skill points in Knowledge to cover new areas—after all, few academics focus on one area to the exclusion of all others. For example, an expert on history also likely has knowledge of nobility and geography, as those areas play an important role in the context of history.
Below are the available fields of study. When you first spend ranks on this skill, you must choose an area of study. You may then gain additional areas of study for 1 skill point each. Resolving Knowledge checks in any of your chosen areas uses your Knowledge ranks and bonuses. Feats and other abilities that grant a benefit to Knowledge checks apply to all the fields that you have purchased.

  • Arcana (ancient mysteries, magic traditions, arcane symbols, cryptic phrases, constructs, dragons, magical beasts)
  • Architecture and engineering (buildings, aqueducts, bridges, fortifications)
  • Dungeoneering (aberrations, caves, oozes, spelunking)
  • Geography (lands, terrain, climate, people)
  • History (royalty, wars, colonies, migrations, founding of cities)
  • Local (legends, personalities, inhabitants, laws, customs, traditions, humanoids)
  • Nature (animals, fey, giants, monstrous humanoids, plants, seasons and cycles, weather, vermin)
  • Nobility and Royalty (lineages, heraldry, family trees, mottoes, personalities)
  • Religion (gods and goddesses, mythic history, ecclesiastic tradition, holy symbols, undead
  • The Planes (the inner planes, the outer planes, the astral plane, the ethereal plane, outsiders, elementals, magic related to the planes)
Check: Answering a question within your fields of study has a Difficulty Class of 10 (for really tough questions), 15 (for basic questions), or 20 to 30 (for really tough questions).
In many cases, you can use this skill to identify monsters and their special powers or vulnerabilities (DC 10 + twice the monster’s Hit Dice). A successful check allows you to remember a bit of useful information about that monster.
For every 5 points by which your check result exceeds the Difficulty Class, you recall another piece of useful information.
See Pathfinder Core Rulebook for other rules regarding this skill.

Perform Skill: We are also using the Iron Heroes skill for Perform
Like Knowledge, Perform actually covers a number of separate areas. You can invest skill points into expanding this skill to cover as many of them as you like.
Each of the nine areas of the Perform skill includes a variety of methods, instruments, or techniques, a small list of which is provided for each category below.

  • Acting (comedy, drama, mime)
  • Comedy (bummoonery, limericks, joke-telling)
  • Dance (ballet, waltz, jig)
  • Keyboard instruments (harpsichord, piano, pipe organ)
  • Oratory (epic, ode, storytelling)
  • Percussion instruments (bells, chimes, drums, gong)
  • String instruments (fiddle, harp, lute, mandolin)
  • Wind instruments (flute, pan pipes, recorder, trumpet)
  • Singing (ballad, chant, melody)
When you purchase ranks in Perform, you gain one of the above areas. You can purchase additional ones at the rate of one per skill point spent. These skill points do not improve your Perform ability, they simply grant you additional areas of Perform. Use your Perform skill for all the areas that you have purchased. You do not keep track of separate ranks for each.
Purchasing a Perform area allows you to play or perform all the methods and instruments listed under it, along with any other instruments that the DM feels would logically fit into a category.

House Rules

Dragonlance, the New Heroes of the Lance DocSandman