OotA House Rules

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Scavenged Armor

Outside of magical armor, not all armor fits every wearer. As such, it is common for denizens of the Underdark who do not have access to skilled craftsmen to wear bits and pieces of scavenged mail, cutting and binding sections together to form piecemeal armor.

  • Piecemeal Armor: Piecemeal armor provides an AC equal to one less than the best armor used in its construction.
    • After any encounter where combat occurs, the armor requires maintenance, which can take place over a short or long rest. This requires either a leatherworker's or smith's tools, depending on the type of armor. Absent either of these types of tools, an Intelligence (DC equal to the base AC of the armor granted) check will suffice to keep it going.
    • Taking into combat before this is done risks the armor failing during a critical point.
    • In any combat where the wearer has not had the chance to tend to their armor, rolling a 1 on an attack roll or being hit by a critical hit causes a loss of 1d4 points of protection the armor provides. This loss is permanent; the wearer will need to scavenge new armor pieces to increase its protection again.

Milestone Experience

Milestones Level
0 1st
1 2nd
3 3rd
6 4th
10 5th
15 6th
21 7th
28 8th
36 9th
45 10th
55 11th
66 12th
78 13th
101 14th
115 15th
130 16th
146 17th
163 18th
181 19th
200 20th

Because this campaign will have the possibility of player characters going out of their way to seek out additional tasks, rather than depend on the old stand by of "level every couple of game sessions", I am implementing this Milestone Experience system. Milestones are earned as a group.

Milestone Rewards

  • Discoveries: .5 Milestone. Unlocking and discovering key pieces of information pertinent to the campaign can reward milestones. These pieces of information are never simple to find, and may be the result of chasing down a chain of clues or trail of other discoveries. Those who pay attention to the revelations in the game will have an easier time of accomplishing this.
  • Accomplishing Goals: 1 to 2 Milestones. Accomplishing specific goals rewards the heroes with milestones toward level advancement as well. Standard missions and tasks usually have one of these, and complex ones may have several.
  • Defeating Key Adversaries: .5 to 1 Milestones. Defeating key adversaries results in the accrual of milestones as well. This defeat doesn't necessarily always have to be in combat; outmaneuvering them so they have no choice but to abandon plans, tricking or threatening them, and even allying with them can all result in the reward of these milestones.

Downtime Actions

Unless otherwise indicated, this campaign uses the Downtime Activities from Xanathar's Guide to Everything.

Healing Rules

There are multiple ways for characters to gain the benefit of non-magical healing.

During Encounters

  • Healing Surge: As an action, you may spend a Hero point to roll a number of your Hit Dice (maximum equal to your Proficiency bonus), and add your Constitution bonus to each die result. You recover that many hit points.

Short Rest

  • Tending Wounds: There are two ways to end wounds by characters during a short rest.
    • Healer's Kit: You may use one use of a healer's kit to allow you to spend as many of your Hit Dice as you like to recover hit points. You may use this on yourself or on someone else. This constitutes both of your actions during the short rest.
    • Medicine Check: Alternately, another character may make a Wisdom (Medicine) check while working on you during the short rest. This is a DC 12 check, and constitutes both of your actions during the short rest. You may make a check for yourself, but this check is made at disadvantage.

Long Rest

  • Recuperating Strength: During a long rest, characters recover up to half of their Hit Dice.
  • Healing Rest: During a long rest, you may spend as many Hit Dice as you like in order to recover hit points. This comes about as a natural part of the long rest.

Lingering Injuries

  • Anytime one of the following occurs, check for Lingering Injury, using this chart.
    • When a character takes a critical hit.
    • When a character drops to 0 hit points, but isn't killed outright.
    • When a character suffers a fall of 40' or more without any kind of mitigation.
  • Make a save based on the potential Lingering Injury; this is a Constitution save, DC 10 + the proficiency bonus of the attacker.

Hero Points

  • A character starts with hero points equal to their character level. Each time the character gains a level, he or she loses any unspent hero points and gains a new total equal to their new character’s level.
  • Gain Advantage: A player can spend a hero point whenever he or she makes an attack roll, an ability check, or a saving throw to make that check at advantage.
  • Gain a Reroll: On a failed roll, the player may spend a hero point to re-roll.
  • Healing Surge: As an action, you may spend a Hero point to roll a number of your Hit Dice (maximum equal to your Proficiency bonus), and add your Constitution bonus to each die result. You recover that many hit points.
  • Heroes can gain additional Hero Points through Social Traits.

Social Traits

  • Personality Traits: These are simply quirks and habits of the character. They do not gain Hero Points.
  • Bonds: These are the entities, places, and things that that character holds dear.
  • Ideals: These are the personal beliefs and philosophies that drive the character's decision making.
  • Flaws: These are the limitations, weaknesses, vices, and phobias that inhibit the character in some way.

Player-Generated Difficulties

  • When you roleplay your character's decision making with these in mind, you can gain additional Hero Points.
  • You must make a decision that is unwise, tactically unsound, or otherwise causes difficulties for you or the other PCs.
  • If this decision is motivated by one of your Social Traits, the DM may grant you an extra Hero Point.
    • Bonds can motivate decisions in order to preserve or assist your Bonds.
    • Ideals can motivate decisions as part of upholding that belief or philosophy.
    • Flaws can motivate decisions because of the character's limitations or weaknesses.
  • If you make such a choice, inform the DM of your doing so, and indicate which Social Trait you are motivated by.
  • If the DM agrees, they will award you 1 Hero Point. You may only gain 1 Hero Point in this way per encounter.

DM-Generated Difficulties

  • The DM may also choose to take advantage of your Social Traits in order to make the scene more difficult.
  • The effects of this may vary, but can include the triggering of traps, arrival of additional enemies, the infliction of disadvantage on a PC's roll or the addition of advantage to an NPC's roll.
  • When the DM does this, they will award you 1 Hero Point. You can only gain 1 Hero Point this way per encounter.

Magic Item Attunement

  • Characters can attune a number of magic items equal to their Proficiency Bonus +1.

Sneak Attack

  • You can perform a Sneak Attack (Rogue ability) with a Finesse, Light, or ranged weapon.
  • Normal: Sneak Attacks can normally only be performed with Finesse or ranged weapons.


Add the following equipment and rules to characters.

  • Alchemy: This campaign uses the Solve et Coagula alchemy rules.
  • Forgotten Realms Firearms: The rules for firearms in the Realms.
  • Additional Armor: Add these pieces of armor to standard equipment. From this list, svirfneblin and derro frequentl use bucklers, while duergar are known for fielding teams of tower shield infantry.
  • Additional Weapons: Add these weapons to standard equipment.
  • Additional Equipment: Add these items to standard equipment.

Underdark Weapons

Weapon Type Cost Damage Weight Properties
Hooked shortspear Martial melee 2 gp 1d4 piercing 2 lb Light, Trip
Light repeating crossbow Martial ranged 50 gp 1d8 piercing 5 lb Ammunition (range 40/160), loading (6), two-handed
  • Hooked Shortspear: A short spear with a hook just under the spearhead, the derro are specialists in the use of this wickedly barbed weapon. On a hit, the weilder can forego dealing damage and instead declare the hit a trip instead. The target must make a Strength save or fall prone; the DC for this save equals 8 + the weilder's Strength modifier + the weilder's proficiency bonus.
  • Light Repeating Crossbow: The six of a normal crossbow, this derro device has been improved with a built-in crank and a cartridge of six pre-loaded bolts, which drop into place when the crossbow is cocked. The weapon's Loading property doesn't come into play until after six shots, after which it takes an action to load another cartridge into the crossbow.