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House rules of the Fallen Empire

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The Cataclysm came at night.

The Fallen Empire campaign falls in the Low Fantasy Sword and Sorcery genre. The optional and house rules used ensure that the game will be gritty and combat deadly. Players will learn to wear armor, use good tactics, and avoid combat when possible.


Optional Rules Used

  • Bleeding (Basic Set page 420) Roll vs HT every minute or lose 1 HP per 5 HP of wounds.
  • Accumulated Wounds (Basic Set page 420) Damage accumulates to cripple a limb.
  • Last Wounds (Basic Set page 420) Minor wounds to extemities are ignored once below 1/3 HP.
  • Targeting chinks in armor is allowed (Basic Set page 400).

House Rules

  • Shock is not limited to -4, and only halves every turn instead of disappearing.
  • Roll 1d for each impaling or piercing weapon that strikes a humanoid in the Torso. On a roll of 1 or 2 it hits Vitals.
  • From the front the Face hit location is -5 to hit and the Skull hit location is -7 to hit as normal. From the rear the penalties are reversed.
  • The Head hit location has a -4 penalty. Then roll 1d. From the front its 1=Eyes, 2-4=Skull, 5-6=Face. From the rear 1-4=Skull, 5-6=Face.
  • Players can buy the following technique for melee weapons only. Hit Location/Average, maximum +4, this reduces the hit location penalty.
  • You get no active defense roll vs bows or crossbows fired at less than half of half-damage range. Past that Block and Dodge are at -4 out to half-damage range. Past that Block and Dodge are at -2 vs direct fire, or no penalty if the shot is arched.
  • Any active defense above 12 is reduced to 12, and the amount reduced is subtracted from the skill of the attacker. This was an optional rule in 3rd edition, and I like it because it keeps duels from lasting forever.


  • Impaling weapons have 1 point of armor piercing. That is they subtract 1 from the DR of the target.
  • Impaling weapons must do at least 50% more damage than the target's DR in order to get the impaling bonus to damage. This does not apply if the DR is from Tough Skin.
  • Cutting weapons must do at least double the DR in order to get the cutting bonus to damage. This does not apply if the DR is from Tough Skin. This means it's possible to beat a man to death in his mail without cutting him.
  • For every cutting or impaling weapon that penetrates armor (unless the impaling weapon remains in the armor) subtract 1 from the penalty to hit a chink in armor. Once the penalty is reduced by the DR of the armor it opens a hole (hit penalty -4) that has no DR coverage on that hit location. If that happens it's time to get your armor repaired.

Experience and Improvement

Players are awarding experience points at the end of each session. They receive one experience point for each of the following:

  • Showing up and participating in the game.
  • Role-playing 1 or more of their disadvantages.
  • Role-playing all of their disadvantages (so a total of 2 for playing them all during the session).
  • Role-playing 4 or more of their quirks.
  • Idea point for coming up with an exceptionally good idea.
  • Success point for completing a mission or quest.

Four experience points equals one character point.

  • Players may not raise their characters Dexterity or Intelligence by more than one point without exceptional magical assistance.
  • Strength and Health can be raised any amount with minimal in game reason.
  • Skills may be raised a maximum of one level per month.

Medical Care

Although the campaign world is Tech Level 3 medical care is at Tech Level 4. This means that First Aid takes 30 minutes and heals 1d-2. Pharmacy knowledge and extended care are also Tech Level 4. Magical healing while rare also exists.


See Magic in the Fallen Empire

No Whining

Players that whine excessively will be smacked with the nearest hard object.

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This page was last modified on 4 March 2006, at 15:16.
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