Heart of the Dungeonlands
Google docs is probably more readable: http://tinyurl.com/qz87equ"
Elevator pitch: Pathfinder hexcrawlish thing with loose leveling and treasure rules that is centered around the town of Not-Tristram from Not-Diablo.
You are a group of elite adventurers sent to keep the kingdom safe from the dread monsters that usually lurk beneath the earth and begin to surface every hundred years. Perhaps you are motivated by fame, duty or greed, but you went forth all the same. To that end, you have traveled to an outpost called “The Bulwark”. It is a town on the border of the dungeonlands that stands as a barrier between horrific monsters and the more civilized inner lands. Currently it is little more than a shanty town, barely capable of affording you a standard suit of armor and weapons with its current resources despite the skill of the inhabitants. But in the Dungeonlands, you will find powerful artifacts that can enhance the abilities of the townsfolk to provide you with more advanced arms and armor. And indeed, you will need to if you and the million of inhabitants of the inner lands wish to survive.
In the best of conditions, perhaps you will find a way to stop this evil once and for all. There is some legend that at the center, the very heart of the Dungeonlands, there lies an ancient evil that is the root of it all, but so far none of the adventurers that managed to even seal the evil away for another century have even returned to tell the tale.
The City, Bulwark:
The city operates by crafting rules. They make things for you at half cost and so on, but in less time.
The maximum gold value of and types of various categories of items they craft can be increased by doing quests or finding items in dungeons.
Items are sold back for ¼ value.
All mundane non-consumable gear is free.
The town will be more or less safe from raids from dungeon inhabitants as long as the party remains successful. If not, some of the crafting or other artifacts may be stolen in a counterattack and need recovering. This is intended to replace the regular kinds of penalties for death or failure (see houserules).
Healing wands are non-craftable. You’ll have to buy potions or find healing consumables in dungeons.
Levels will be dispensed when it feels appropriate and/or after certain objectives are met. These objectives will generally be marked in some way.
Things generally die only when coup de grace’d after reaching negative con hp. This includes the players. Expect to soft “die” by getting to negative con but not coup de grace’d more often than usual. When you reach negative con, you must still be revived by Raise Dead et al or have a full nights rest in a hospital type environment (such as in Bulwark).
Raise Dead and such do not give permanent negative levels or cost gold when used on players or NPC heroes. The negative levels are instead temporary and are removed entirely upon resting back at Bulwark.
Full party wipes are the death to be more concerned about, as that is typically when you will start to have party members die die.
In the case of a party wipe, everyone can reroll new characters of the same level and using the best standard gear that can be crafted in town. You can bring in a clone of the character that just died (you can bring out your Bigbys, Higbys and Rigbys), but the new characters generally do not get any special perks or items that may have been found by the old characters. Some or all of the items can probably be recovered by taking them back from the murdering monsters later, however.
I’m pretty lenient about bending archetype or prestige class requirements if there’s some kind of mechanical flavor you want but the fluff demands mechanics you’d rather be something else. Run it by me and something can probably be worked out.
No encumbrance rules.
No limits to your standard +X magic ammo, but an infinite quantity “stack” will cost as much as a regular weapon. Smaller limited amounts of especially powerful ammo may still be found, however.
Amulet of Mighty Fists gets regular cost if you’re going to use it for unarmed attacks. If you want it for natural weapons, get an Amulet of Natural Weapons that works and costs like the current Amulet of Mighty Fists. Offer may not be valid for all builds, but we’ll deal with that later if it’s a problem.
You get a matched pair of weapons for the cost of one if you two weapon fight with the weapons.
Expect few monsters to match the Pathfinder listed monster stats identically. You’re going to be souped up, and likely so are they!
Initial character creation
Level 1. Max HP at all levels. 0 starting gold (but you get free equipment, see below).
27 point buy, no stats below 10 except after race modifiers. Before race ability modifiers, that’s enough for these stat arrays (which you’ll probably want to pick one of):
You can bring any amount of mundane, non-masterwork, non-alchemical equipment that is not made of special materials you want. For free. You don’t even need to list it. I’ll just assume you always have a basic golf bag of mundane weapons like slings and bullets or spears or throwing axes or whatever mundane thing you feel like pulling out at any given time. It’s on you to remember you have the option when combat time comes though. List anything you think you’ll commonly use to keep the stats handy. Like what armor you’re going to be wearing if you don’t pick up a magical armor piece.
You get one +1 weapon and one other +1 or equivalent magic item of your choice. Basically, anything 1000gp or less. If you want a piece of armor for your magic item you just get a +1 piece of whatever kind of armor you want. If you want something that’s a little more costly than 1000gp or special, run it by me and I might approve it. If you want an infinite “stack” of alchemical weapons of some sort, you’ll have to work something out with me first to make sure it’s ok to start with.
You automatically have enough food and random living consumables, plus all the tents, rope, grappling hooks, torches and all the other cheap non-combat doodads you’ll ever want. Don’t list them unless you really want to.
The generic skill kit bonuses will be ignored, and only special ones found in dungeons will give a bonus. Same for any other similar mundane objects.
You don’t need an in-depth background since this will be more of a kick-in-the-door (if it’s not deathtrapped) hack n’ slash, but bring a little personality even if it is of the goofy popcorn type.