Gameplay Rules

Game Rulings

All decisions made by the Gamemaster are word as law. There will be no arguing about decisions during gameplay. If a player disagrees with a ruling made it can be discussed after the session has ended.

Cardic Inspiration

Replaces the regular inspiration system of 5e. Each player starts with 3 inspiration. When spending a point, you then draw a card from the deck, the results may be used to affect yourself, another player, or the GM. You regain 1 inspiration at the start of each session and more can be rewarded during a session or activities that enhance the campaign (ie. Keeping a player journal). Reducing a roll to 1 or raising it to 20 does not make it a critical.

  • Number Cards = face value
  • Face Card = +10 (or In-Combat = +5 & 1 extra dmg die of lowest type)
  • Ace = +15 (or In-Combat = AutoCritical)
  • Joker = Automatic Success (or In-Combat = AutoCritical)


  • Standard 5-5 diagonal movement rule.
  • Sprint: Sacrifice all actions (actions, bonus action, movement) to move at 5x your movement speed in a straight line. You are subject to opportunity attacks at advantage. Any obstacle impeding travel on that straight path will cause your sprint to end at that point.


  • Non-Worn Attunement Slots: Limited for three slots for non-wearable equipment such as weapons, shields, wonderous items, etc.
  • Worn Attunement Slots: Slots are based on equipment slots
    • Head - Helmets, Hats, Headpieces
    • Neck - Amulets, Necklaces
    • Face - Masks, Glasses
    • Ears - Earrings
    • Chest - Armor, Robes
    • Back - Capes, Vestments
    • Arms - Bracers, Bracelets
    • Hands - Gloves, Gauntlets
    • Finger (1 per hand) - Rings
    • Feet - Shoes, Boots

Skills & Saves

  • Modified "Help" Action (Skills): When taking the Help action, roll 1d8 You can rule that the Helper must be proficient in order to Help.
  • Non-Critical Skill/Tool Checks: Criticals (natural 20 or 1) do not count as an automatic success or failure.
  • Death Saves: Death Saves are rolled by the GM. I will not reveal the results of the player. I found this has led to better tension and roleplaying, it prevents metagaming and creates a sense of urgency.
  • Player(s) Assisted Death Saving Throw: One or more party members may spend their action in combat to assist in helping a down party member. This assistance gives the player advantage on their next Death Saving Throw.
  • Automatic Death Save Fails: (Modifier of RAW) When taking damage while already unconscious the damage taken now determines the amount of automatically failed Death Saves. Percentages based on your maximum HP.
      ►33% or less damage = 1 Death Save Fail
      ►33-66% damage = 2 Death Save Fail
      ►66+% damage = 3 Death Save Fail
  • Skill with Different Abilities: Normally, your proficiency in a skill applies only to a specific kind of ability check. Proficiency in Athletics, for example, usually applied to Strength checks. In some situations, though, your proficiency might reasonably apply to a different kind of check. In such cases, the DM might ask for a check using an unusual combination of ability and skill, or you might ask your DM if you can apply a proficiency to a different check. For example, if you have to swim from an offshore island to the mainland, your DM might call for a Constitution check to see if you have the stamina to make it that far. In this case, your DM might allow you to apply your proficiency in Athletics and ask for a Constitution (Athletics) check. So if you're proficient in Athletics, you apply your proficiency bonus to the Constitution check just as you would normally do for a Strength (Athletics) check. Similarly, when your half-orc barbarian uses a display of raw strength to intimidate an enemy, your DM might ask for a Strength (Intimidation) check, even though Intimidation is normally associated with Charisma.
  • Passive Proficiencies as Knowledge: All Proficiencies (skills, tools, weapons, and armor) are assumed to represent both active uses of those things and relevant background knowledge, lore, information, and awareness. When a player with a Proficiency encounters something in the game, the GM will simply give them any relevant information based on their expertise. The GM will to gate information based on skill proficiencies in the flavor text and descriptions of items and monsters. In addition, advanced knowledge may be gated behind specific levels of knowledge. A character’s Passive Skill is equal to 8 + Ability Modifier + Proficiency Bonus. If the character has Advantage on such skill checks, the Passive Skill gains an additional +5. If the character has a Disadvantage, the character suffers an additional -5. Any bonus that can be granted to a skill roll, such as from Bardic Inspiration or from a Cleric’s bless spell may also be applied to Passive Skills.
  • Out-of-Combat Opposed Rolls: When a character attempts an action that puts it in direct opposition with another character’s skills or proficiencies, the DC for the character’s action is 8 + target’s Ability Modifier + target’s Proficiency Bonus for the relevant skill. If the target has Advantage or Disadvantage on the skill, apply +5 or -5 to the DC. Any bonus that can be granted to the target’s skill roll, such as from Bardic Inspiration or from a Cleric’s bless spell may also be applied to the DC. The notation for this is an Ability (Skill) Check vs. Ability (Skill). Example: Roll a Dexterity (Stealth) check vs. the scout’s Wisdom (Perception).
  • Working Together: When two or more characters work together to accomplish the same task, the character with the higher:” modifier leads the effort. The leader makes the appropriate ability check and enjoys a +2 bonus for one or two helpers or a +5 bonus for three or more helpers. Characters can only work together if it is a task where such help is feasible and possible. In addition, a character can only help with a task if they would not be incapable of attempting the task on their own (due to a lack of Proficiency for instance).
  • Group Checks: When several PCs are trying to accomplish something as a group, the GM can call for a group check. First, the GM determines whether the group will succeed if any member succeeds (such as with searching) or if the group will fail if any member fails (such as with stealth). In the first scenario, the character with the highest base Ability Check modifier (Proficiency Bonus + Ability Bonus) rolls the check. In the second scenario, the character with the lowest base Ability Check modifier (Proficiency Bonus + Ability Bonus) rolls the check. Bonuses, penalties, Advantage, and Disadvantage are applied normally to the character rolling the check, but these should only be applied after the GM has determined which player has rolled the check.

Feats Changes

  • Great Weapon Master
    1. Before you make a melee attack with a heavy weapon that you are proficient with, you can choose to take a penalty equal to your proficiency bonus from the attack roll. If the attack hits, you add x2 your proficiency bonus to the attack’s damage.
  • Sharpshooter
    1. Before you make an attack with a ranged weapon that you are proficient with, you can choose to take a penalty equal to your proficiency bonus from the attack roll. If the attack hits, you add x2 your proficiency bonus to the attack’s damage.


  • House-Rule Flanking: For every two characters in flanking positions, all flanking attackers on the target gain +2 per pair (+6 max bonus).
  • Tandem Turns: Players with the same initiative roll can choose to take their turns at the same time, interacting with each other.
  • Held Turns: After initiative is rolled, you may hold your turn until after a specific combatant’s turn (enemy or ally). This method is less restrictive than taking the ready action and does not use your reaction, however doing so will permanently lower your initiative position to the number you acted on.
  • Advantage/Disadvantage Stacking: In combat, if mechanics grant multiple advantages or disadvantages you are granted an extra bonus/penalty. Each advantage increases the bonus, bonuses do no stack but increase to the total bonus for the stack. +-2/+-5/+-11
  • Targeted Attacks: May target a specific point on an enemy, but that attack roll is at disadvantage. However, if hit, the target suffers an additional effect determined by the GM. A targeted area may have a damage threshold before an additional effect is applied.
  • Attacks of Opportunity: Only martial classes using melee weapons may make attacks of opportunity.
  • Update Prone Mechanic: Recovering from being prone now costs half your movement speed and your reaction. Standing up from prone now provokes attacks of opportunity.
  • Heroic Recovery: If you succeed in making all three of your death saving throws in a row, you instantly stabilize and may roll one hit die and gain that many hit points you may also take either a move or an action.
  • Better Criticals: When you score a Critical Hit, roll for damage normally. Then determine the maximum damage you can roll with your attack before applying modifiers. Combine the maximum results with your rolled damage, and then add any modifiers. This is your Critical Hit damage, however, this does not apply to spell damage. (ex. Longsword 1d8 = 8 + 1D8 + Modifier)
  • Dual Weilding: When wielding two light weapons, you may make an off-hand attack as a free action when you have the Extra Attack feature, all other two-weapon fighting mechanics still apply. This changes how the Two-Weapon Fighting bonus works for martial classes.
  • Massive Damage Lingering Injury: If you sustain more than ½ your HP in damage in a single hit or go unconscious, you suffer a lingering injury from the massive injury.
  • Better Healing Potions: When using a potion as action, you would normally roll one or more dice to restore hit points with a potion, you instead use the highest number possible for each die. (ex. Potion of Healing 2d4+2 always heals for 10 points)
  • Bonus Action Healing Potions: You may drink a healing potion as a Bonus Action, when using a potion in this way you must roll the dice according to the potion. Drinking any other potion or using a potion on another PC/NPC still requires an Action.
  • The Reaction Rule: A GM can use the Reaction Rule whenever a character has a moment to respond to something unexpected. The GM describes what the character is aware of. The player then describes their reaction. The GM then determines if the reaction could avoid or mitigate the unexpected event, whether it can succeed, and whether it can fail. The GM then asks for a Saving Throw or Ability Check based on the action. Any spell that can be cast as a Reaction can be used in this instance. This will not replace all standard saving throws in all uses and will be used situational.
      ► Example: A player has stepped on a pressure plate that will trigger a trap-door opening underneath the forward rank members of the party, Alice and Bob. The GM tells the party “Alice, as your foot hits the ground, you feel a tile give way and hear an audible click. You’ve triggered a pressure plate. What do you do?” Alice, not knowing what is coming, says “I tumble forwards, trying to roll out of the way.” Bob, also unaware of what is coming, says “I raise my shield and stand my ground, gritting my teeth and trying to absorb whatever is about to hit me.” The GM determines that Alice’s action could conceivably carry her forward away from the pit trap. He asks her to make a Dexterity Saving Throw. Bob’s action, however, won’t do him any good. He plunges into the pit.
      ► Example: Carol is trying to sneak past a patrolling goblin to steal a valuable thing. The goblin is walking ahead of her and she’s creeping silently behind, several feet back. Unbeknownst to Carol, she has failed her stealth check and the goblin is about to turn around because he thought he heard her breathing. “Suddenly, the goblin freezes. He’s about to turn, what do you do?” Carol thinks for a minute. “Is the cave wall irregular enough? Can I hide in the folds and crevices?” The GM says, “You could, but you’ll have Disadvantage since you have to move fast.” Carol thinks and says, “I’ll whip my dagger and try to take out the goblin before he turns.” The GM says “okay, give me a ranged attack roll with Advantage since the goblin is currently unaware of you.
  • Throwing Creatures: As an action, you can throw a creature that is one size or smaller than yourself. If the thrower rolled higher than 10, you can round up the total to the nearest 5 (7 becomes 10, 13 becomes 15 etc.). If the creature being thrown rolls higher than 10, they land safely on their feet and don’t take any damage from losing balance. They take 1d6 bludgeoning damage for the first 5ft and 1d4 bludgeoning damage for every 5ft after they were thrown otherwise.
      If The Creature Is Friendly To You: The thrower makes an athletics check and the creature being thrown makes an acrobatics check. Add the two results together to get the maximum number of feet they can be thrown. You may throw the creature any number of feet, up to this maximum.
      If The Creature Is Hostile To You: Before you can attempt to throw an enemy, you must have them grappled. The thrower makes an athletics check to determine how far you can throw them. If you throw them into a solid object, the thrown creature takes 1d4 bludgeoning damage for every 5ft they would have been thrown. If you throw this creature into another creature, the damage is split evenly between them. The thrown creature can make a DC10 acrobatics check, taking half the damage on a success.
      If The Creature Is The Same Size As You: You can follow the rules as above, but halve all of the results.
      If Two Creatures Are Throwing Together: If two creatures are both throwing a single creature, they both need to be grappling that creature. Both throwers make athletics checks and the results are added together to determine how far it can be thrown. If the creature being thrown is friendly, it can also make an acrobatics check (as per the rule above).

Death & Resurrection

  • Character death can often prove to become a minor inconvenience in some campaigns once the adventuring party reaches a certain level, with spells being available to return fallen comrades from the afterlife with temporary setbacks, robbing a small element of danger, and a threat to future conflicts and challenges within the story.
  • If a character is dead, and resurrection is attempted by a spell or spell effect with longer than a 1 action casting time, a Resurrection Challenge is initiated. Up to 3 members of the adventuring party can offer to contribute to the ritual via a Contribution Skill Check. The DM asks them each to make a skill check based on their form of contribution, with the DC of the check adjusting to how helpful/impactful the DM feels the contribution would be.
      ► Example: For example, praying to the god of the devout, fallen character may require an Intelligence (Religion) check at an easy to medium difficulty, where loudly demanding the soul of the fallen to return from the aether may require a Charisma (Intimidation) check at a very hard or nearly impossible difficulty. Advantage and disadvantage can apply here based on how perfect, or off base, the contribution offered is.
  • After all the contributions are completed, the DM then rolls a single, final Resurrection success check with no modifier. The base DC for the final resurrection check is 10, increasing by 1 for each previous successful resurrection the character has undergone (signifying the slow erosion of the soul’s connection to this world). For each successful contribution skill check, this DC is decreased by 3, whereas each failed contribution skill check increases the DC by 1.
  • Upon a successful resurrection check, the player’s soul (should it be willing) will be returned to the body, and the ritual succeeded. On a failed check, the soul does not return and the character is lost.
  • Only the strongest of magical incantations can bypass this resurrection challenge, in the form of the True Resurrection or Wish spells. These spells can also restore a character to life who was lost due to a failed resurrection ritual.
  • If a spell with a casting time of 1 action is used to attempt to restore life (via the Revivify spell or similar effects), no contribution skill checks are allowed. The character casting the spell makes a Rapid Resurrection check, rolling a d20 and adding their spellcasting ability modifier. The DC is 10, increasing by 1 for each previous successful resurrection the character has undergone. On a failure, the character’s soul is not lost, but the resurrection fails and increases any future Resurrection checks’ DC by 1. No further attempts can be made to restore this character to life until a resurrection spell with a casting time higher than 1 action is attempted.

Cover image: Bravely Second by Akihiko Yoshida


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