5th Age Campaigns' home rules
Advantages and Disadvantages – cumulative effects
The rules of 5th edition (PHB p173) do not account for multiple advantage versus a disadvantage, or vice versa.
If you have advantage for a specific check, regardless of the number of sources you get it from, and you have one disadvantage condition, they cancel each others out, and you do not benefit from the extra advantages and only roll one dice for the given check.
This campaign account for a cumulative effect in the following way:
Advantages and disadvantages cancels each other out, as usual.
For one extra advantage/disadvantage, a bonus/penalty of +2/-2 applies to the check.
For two or more advantage/disadvantage, a bonus/penalty of +5/-5 applies to the check.
(Note that these bonuses/penalties do not grant neither advantage or disadvantage conditions as they still cancel each others out)
All low level characters and commoners have an alignment tendency, but this starting alignment box is all contained within the Neutral box of the Alignment mapping used in this campaign. Becoming good or evil can only occur based on actions and choices made by each character as they level-up.
See the Alignment Mapping page.
Armors (Medium and Heavy) and helmets
Medium and heavy armors in the campaign affects characters in a more realistic ways. When a check can be impaired by an armor, like climbing, swimming, or doing acrobatics, or other circumstances determined by the DM, an armor penalty kicks in [-2 for medium armor, and -5 for heavy armor]. Magic armors reduces this penalty up to 0.
This campaign also uses the Xanathar rule for resting in medium or heavy armor, as well as the PHB time to don and doff. Each such armor comes with a padded armor, which can be kept on for the night when doffing the armor. Heavy armors also requires two people to don and doff (squires, or alternatively an unseen servant or a mage hand)
Heavy armor protect against some type of lingering injuries (see combat), and helmet and full helms are also available to that end.
Chasing opponents and tracking them.
The rules for chasing or tracking someone can be found here.
See Combat rules
This campaign uses the variant encumbrance rule, including coins weight. See the details for Encumbrance penalties
This campaign makes a difference between equipment worn and equipment carried.
Worn equipment can be pulled as a free action in combat, and is always on the character (using small pouch/pockets, scabbard,…). Everything worn is tracked via the avrae bot.
Carried equipment is located in bags or backpacks carried by the character, and equipment in those require an action to be accessed.
Inventory content can be accessed using the Avrae !bag command in Discord.
See the details for Exhaustion effects.
Creatures with a Leap ability remove one d6 of fall damage for every 10’ of Leap.
Creatures falling from a mount or a vehicle in motion see fall damage increased by +d6 per 30’ of move speed of the mount/vehicle during its fastest move or dash action of this round or the previous one, but can make an acrobatic check to see how they handle the fall.
When fall damage results in at least 3 dice results of 6, one roll on the lingering injuries table is done for every three 6 rolled.
Falling damage is capped at 20d6 (for a 200’ high fall) by RAW, but in this campaign, for each extra 10’ of fall, add 1d10 damage, up to the number of dice indicated on the Damage by Level and Severity table, under the deadly column .
Those can be trained to acquire classes and levels.
See Skill’s rules
Hit points per level
All PC characters roll their class’s hit dice for hit points increase at each level after the first. They then take the best of the die result or the default hit point value for their class.
The Ceremony spell is used to create holy/unholy water.
A vial of Holy/Unholy water can be sprinkled on the ground for 1 minute to consecrate/desecrate a 10’ radius area where the water is sprinkled. The effect lasts for 12 hours, and standing on consecrated/desecrated ground provides a bonus to any saving throw made by good/evil creatures equal to the strength of their Alignment Mapping.
This campaign use passive investigation to identify illusions as such, and uses an Illusion check for each illusion created, as well as the option to disbelieve that something they are seeing is real or not using a reaction. Check the spells’ rules section for more details.
Players can collect and store up to 3 inspiration points at a given time.
Inspiration points are earned for at the discretion of the DM for excellent role play, inventive solutions, great achievements, major battle victory with no loss of lives, or natural 20 result with elating results..
Players that just have been granted at least one inspiration may instead give one (and only one) of them to another player currently with them.
If you spend Inspiration points as shown below, you can do the following:
1 point – Gain advantage on any one ability check, attack roll or saving throw (including death save rolls). The point must be spent prior to the roll. Or, you can trade 1 inspiration for another free interaction action for this round.
2 points – Re-roll one d20 on any one ability check, attack roll or saving throw (including death save rolls).
3 points – During your action, you can gain another attack or cast another cantrip.
While in a civilization center, you must chose the level of lifestyle your character is spending for. Lifestyle expenses includes food and lodging, as well all the surrounding services.
See the Lifestyle page for more details.
Gaining a new level in this campaign requires both hitting the XP threshold for next level, as well as completing a downtime activity that requires as many workweeks (5 days) as the next level spent doing class training.
Each character class has different ways of training, some providing advantage and reducing the amount of downtime activity required. Those are listed there.
If a character hits the XP threshold before completing their class training, they will immediately gain as many hit points as a hit die roll for their next class level, but none of its powers (including the CON bonus benefit from the level) until the class training is completed. Furthermore, any XP gained beyond the threshold for the next level is reduced by 90% until the class training for that level is completed.
If the class training is completed before a character hits the XP threshold, there is no loss of XP, the Hit points increase occurs at the end of the current combat, and the class powers are unlocked at the end of the next short rest.
We use the DMG variant rule that creates adverse effect if drinking two different magical potions.
Perception and senses
Check the Perception page for details.
Sounds made by thunder, tolling bells, bells or whistles and any items designed to be loud can be heard much farther than other regular sounds. Those sounds will attract attention, and possibly generate an extra random encounter check.
In this campaign poisons are a bit more potent.
Injury poison requires a saving throw on every hit while they retain their potency, inflicting damage until the target makes a save. They do not wash off at the first hit.
Ingested poisons keep doing damage until cured or an antidote is absorbed.
inhaled poisons remains in the air for longer time.
See the crafting rules for details on basic poisons effects.
Potions of healing
In this campaign, those potions are not magical, and can be gulped with a bonus action or an action (magical potions still require strictly a full action). Making someone else drink a healing potion is still a full action. When a potion of healing is drank, roll a d20, and on a roll of 1 the potion is inert.
A healing potion, and its exact potency, can be identified as part of a bonus action while about to drink it with a very easy medicine check (DC5).
Larger creatures can gulp larger size potions (vial (Mx1), flask (Lx2), flagon (Hx3), jug (Gx4)), increasing the base number of dice accordingly but without any bonus increase, and rolling the d20 one more time for each size above the vial..
Trying to drink a potion that is not a healing potion as a bonus action, without knowing what the potion is, will result in spilling it unless the bonus action is followed up by an action in the same round.
See the details for Renown
Resting with medium and heavy armors
The time to don or doff armors is in PHB p146
We use the XgtE rule about sleeping in medium or heavy armor causing HD to restore at half their normal rate per long rest, and prevents recovering exhaustion.
Furthermore, Heavy armors carry an extra penalty if worn during a long rest, as keeping such armor on during a long rest accrues one level of exhaustion at the end of a long rest.
Unlike light or medium armors, heavy armors can never be donned or doffed without someone helping, hence the usual need for squires or helpers for characters using heavy armors.
Note: A Mage Hand or an unseen servant can also help to don or doff heavy armor.
A mount’s saddle provides advantage to all animal handling checks when on a saddled mount. A military saddle gives an extra +2 bonus on Dexterity checks to avoid falling.
Every time you use a Dash in combat, you lose one point of Stamina.
If your Stamina (which starts at your constitution score x2) reaches zero, you gain one level of exhaustion, and your running stamina is reset.
You recover Stamina at the rate of 1 point per minute passed without using any dash.
Cantrip Spell Scrolls can be used by anyone, but require a DC10 spellcasting attribute check, using the attribute related to the class the cantrip is from, unless the caster already has this class.
Spell scrolls can only be cast by characters that have the spell in their class list. Those can use the scroll without a check if the caster can cast spells of that level already, else the action requires a DC10+spell level spellcasting attribute check.
If a spell scroll check fails, the scroll simply disappears without effects, its magic consumed (we are not using the scroll mishap table)
See Special materials page.
See Stealth and Hiding summary
Must-read for any rogues
Without a swimming speed, swimming is done with half your speed, rounded down.
Forced movements from current or sinking (see encumbrance) are always applied at the start of a character’s turn. The character can use part or all of their movement speed then to remain immobile before using his own move action (where the character can only use the remaining movement speed left for that round).
An Athletics check may be required, according to the circumstances (See Skills)
Thunder is loud and can be heard without any perception checks up to 100 yards per spell level outdoor, and up to 100 feet per spell level indoor. Outdoors areas where echo can take place multiply this range by 3.
Tools and Kits
Most tools can be used by anyone, even if they are not proficient with them. The rule for specialized checks apply in that case. For example, with access to the right equipment, anyone can try to forge a weapon, but those not proficient with Smith’s tools have disadvantage to the checks required to forge a weapon.
When a character is not proficient making a check using a tool or kit, any natural roll of 1 on any of the dice, or a result of 1 or less, indicates Complications, including the loss of the material being used and the time spent on the activity, while a natural roll of 20 indicates gaining one learning tick toward the relevant proficiency.
If the character is in the process of learning the proficiency, they can make a progress check (a percentage check with their current progress value as the DC) to attempt to avoid the effect of a natural 1.
Once a character is proficient with a tool, a natural roll of 1 indicates a defect in the product that may not be visible to others, and in some cases loss of material (Crafting with ingredients, for example).
A total result of 20+ indicates a masterwork grade result, if applicable (note that crafting with unusual material do require a masterwork result for the item to be properly crafted).
See rules for Travels.
In this campaign, leveling up is done through gaining experience points (XP). We do not use the milestones system. Most people in the world actively avoid combat or risking their lives. If they do have some class level, they level up very slowly.
There is no XP gain from encounters that do not end into a fight (i.e. when the opponents have not attacked at all, even if being attacked). Avoiding an encounter through smart play will bring its own reward in the story, as well as possible inspiration points.
XP are handed according to the calculated challenge ratings of the encounters when characters put their live at stake, regardless of the result of the encounter (i.e. even if the attackers did not die but fled after attacking for example).
Note that a given monster will give out XP only once, at the time of the first encounter.
- Calculate the total value in XP of the encounter.
(use the D&D Beyond encounter builder at https://www.dndbeyond.com/encounter-builder)
- This number is then increased by 3% for each character that either died or made at least one death check.
- This number is then decreased by 2% for each character that did not get bloodied during the combat.
Note that all participants in a combat (including allies) share the total XP pool equally
Gaining a new level requires both a XP treshold for the next level and class training.
Beyond combat and specific achievements, the following activities earn XPs as follow
- Traveling: 1 XP per 5 miles of travel, up to a maximum of 5 XP/day.
- Daily activities: 1xp/day