UPDATE 9/21/2010: I changed the Expertise section to make it so players get a new feat called Expertise as a bonus feat at 1st level that gives a +1 feat bonus to all attacks per tier. Similar feats may not be taken.
UPDATE 9/12/2010: With the advent of Essentials feats and some more thought in general, I’ve made some tweaks to this list of house rules. Expertise, Item Bonuses to Damage, and Item Properties got updated, and I made a new entry for Damage Focus.
I realized my old house rules list was a little outdated since the latest errata, so I’ve created this new one instead.
This errata includes many of the item changes I hinted at in Item Issues. I should note that many of the item changes might not qualify strictly as errata with the new item rarity rules (since the DM has a lot of control over what items are given out), but could instead be considered as advice regarding which items tend to be very powerful and should be given out sparingly if at all:
- Expertise: All players get a feat called Expertise at 1st level that gives a +1 feat bonus to attacks per tier. No other Expertise feats may be taken. Reason: The Expertise feats are must takes for every character, which makes them boring. Also, they were included to fix a problem with attack bonuses not scaling properly with defenses so they might as well be inherent abilities. This house rule allows non weapon/implement attacks to benefit from the attack bonus too, such as racial attacks, and it supports the use of multiple weapons and implements. I considered allowing players to get bonuses from the new feats in Heroes of the Fallen Lands but decided against it since the feats don’t balance very well with each other and because that’s a lot of a punch to get with a bonus feat. Updated: 9/21/2010.
- Item Bonuses to Damage: All items that give an item bonus to damage no longer do so (making most such items useless). However, all PCs have a trinket that they acquired early in their adventuring career. The trinket takes up no slot (unless it’s something that would, like a hat), and it gives a +1 item bonus to damage per tier. If a PC loses the trinket somehow (if it is stolen from them, for example, or they give it away), the PC may not acquire a new trinket until they level up. Reason: Items that give item bonuses are super powerful and basically must haves for every class. Furthermore, different items give different item bonuses to damage, making for discrepancies in how much damage a class can do with certain weapons/implements. However, I don’t want to ban this entirely since more damage means faster combats, which is usually nice. Plus, I like the idea of players having a personal item that gives them strength, and which they may have had since the beginning of their adventuring life! Updated: 9/12/2010.
- Damage Focus: The feats weapon focus and implement focus are replaced with a feat blandly named “Damage Focus”. It simply gives a +1 feat bonus to damage per tier. Reason: Feats that encourage a player to overly specialize in one item are not very interesting, especially since players are basically doing that anyway. It would be nice if a fighter could fork over some extra cash for a decent bow or javelin and not feel like a doofus because they’re sacrificing even more damage since they don’t have weapon focus. Created: 9/12/2010
- Items with Properties: Uncommon items with properties are banned. Exceptions for the following: item bonuses to skills and items that mitigate multiple item dependency (i.e. any item that counts as an implement and a weapon or multiple implements). Exceptions made on a case to case basis or as part of a special quest. Reason: Items that have properties are almost always must picks over items with even powerful daily powers, since they always apply and are sometimes quite powerful. Also, with the restrictions being lifted on number of daily powers a player can use, players still have a lot of options for adding extra powers to their character through item usage. I’ve allowed common items with properties since the properties are fairly basic and not game breaking. Updated 9/12/2010.
- Items with at-will keywords: Items that allow a player to apply keywords to all powers with at-will attacks now only allow a player to apply the keyword as part of that items daily power. The daily power applies the key word to all attacks for the rest of the encounter when used. Reason: This should sufficiently discourage people from taking feats that benefit from a certain keyword, such as lasting frost or psychic lock when their powers don’t normally have that keyword.
- Items with Encounter Powers: Items with encounter powers are banned. Exceptions made on a case to case basis or as part of a special quest. Reason: These powers tend to be pretty potent and are often no-brainers for the slots they take up.