These are the house rules for the Ring Around the World game. This page has general rules, while the subpages listed below cover certain rules in more detail.
A character’s alignment as written on their sheet indicates their internal moral leanings. Spells like Detect Good do not function on this written stat, but instead on the average of the character’s deeds. Someone who is NE on their sheet but typically does good works will register as NG or even LG.
Planar creatures typically act in accordance with their alignments, and Align Weapon functions as normal against alignment-based protections.
Protection from Evil and its counterparts work as written against planar creatures. Against mundane enemies, the AC and Save bonuses apply against correctly-aligned spells and aligned weapons. Unaligned weapons are not affected, unless their wielder truly embodies their alignment. For example, a Neutral Evil guardsman who typically acts Lawful Neutral for their job, wielding a normal sword, ignores the AC bonus.
Beast Form is an activated Supernatural Ability similar to Alternate Form that is possessed by the PCs and certain NPCs. Activation can be prompted, forced, or done by choice by spending a Beast Mark (see Mark of the Beast). When activated, it takes a Standard Action to transform. Beast Form is an expression of the creature cohabitating their bodies and is not fully under the character’s control.
They physical changes of Beast Form are mostly visual, as the body twists and deforms. Tight clothes risk being destroyed, but looser-fitting clothing and armor can still be worn. While in Beast Form, characters gain the following temporary effects:
+2 bonus to Strength
+2 bonus to Constitution
+2 bonus to Fortitude Saves
+2 bonus to Reflex Saves
+2 bonus to Initiative
+1 bonus to Grapple checks
+4 Natural Armor bonus
Claw natural melee attack (1d4 damage)
-2 penalty to use melee weapons as the claws interfere
Cannot fire bows as the claws cut the string
Additional +10 speed
Spellcasting becomes impossible without the Natural Spell feat.
Track bonus feat
Scent special ability
+2 bonus to Hide skill checks
+2 bonus to Move Silently skill checks
+4 bonus to Survival skill checks to track by scent
+5 bonus to Climb and Jump skill checks
This alternate form lasts up to 1 minute per PC character level, and is dismissable at will.
When a monstrous beast dies, its fellows nearby gain bonuses based on the total number of dead and critically wounded (negative health).
Beasts who arrive from elsewhere after one or more of their fellows have died do not receive bonuses retroactively. Instead, they start at the beginning of the table.
|3||Multiattack (2x claw, 1x bite)|
Risen characters who are in their beast form also gain these bonuses if their own companions fall in battle.
Ranks of any skill may be purchased for 1 skill point up through fifth level regardless of whether the skill is in-class or not. After the fifth rank, the usual costs apply.
Every class gets either Spot or Listen as an in-class skill. If the class does not already have one of these, the player may choose which is in-class upon taking their first level.
Characters get the maximum hitpoints for their class on their very first level. At all subsequent levels, they get 3/4 of the hit die.
Most other creatures get the benefits of this rule retroactively.
While resting overnight and being tended, a wounded person will recover one hitpoint per character level plus their con bonus. When resting and not being tended, they recover only a single point of health.
When tending someone overnight, checks for other skills take a -5 penalty.
A coup de grace automatically crits and deals the maximum possible damage for the weapon. There is no automatic death effect, and if this maximized crit does not kill the target, they will likely be very angry.
Falling is much more dangerous than the core rules imply. When you land from a fall, you take a number of lethal damage as described in the table below.
There are multiple ways to reduce your effective fall distance. First, a DC 15 Tumble check upon landing will remove 10ft from your fall damage. Second, intentionally jumping allows a DC 15 Jump check to remove another 10ft.
Finally, people on the ground can try to catch you. Their catch attempt uses a Strength check at the DC listed on the table. Use the DC indicated after any reduction from successful Jump and Tumble checks. Normal Aid Another rules apply to the catch check, but using a net or large piece of fabric allows helpers to automatically succeed at their Aid Another actions with no roll.
Whether wholly successful or not, the catcher is likely to reduce your falling damage. Compare their catch result to the Catch DC column. If their result beats the DC for your fall, you land unharmed. If it doesn’t, subtract the listed distance for their result from your fall height to determine how much damage you take.
For example, Bob is pushed off of a 40ft rooftop. He makes his Tumble check, so his fall damage distance is 30ft. His friend Chuck tries to catch him, requiring a Strength check at DC 20. Chuck rolls an 18. This isn’t enough to beat the whole DC, but it does sutract 20ft from Bob’s damage distance, bringing it to 10ft. Bob falls in Chuck’s arms and takes 1d4 damage.
Small adjustments to the way some skills work or are assigned.
Instead of relying on Charisma for intimidation, characters use the higher of their Charisma or Strength attributes as the linked stat for Intimidate. The attribute much be chosen at character creation and cannot be changed later.
Monks, with their emphasis on mobility, now receive Tumble as an in-class skill.
Although Handle Animal is a Charisma-linked skill, most creatures don’t care how ugly you are. Rolls for Handle Animal are not typically penalized by a negative Charisma modifier, though they do benefit from a positive one.
Summoned extraplanar creatures are always able to understand the native language of their plane. If they do not have this ability already, they gain it for free. Thus, a summoned Celestial Bison can understand commands in Celestial.
When a character’s Intelligence bonus increases, they gain a new language for free.
Learning new spoken languages in this game is generally left to roleplay and can happen fairly quickly with enough exposure. Learning written languages, on the other hand, is a long and involved process that takes many months of study.
In order to even attempt to learn a written language, you must have some text written in both the language you are studying, and a language that you already know.
Then, make a DC 30 Decipher Script check. This roll gains a +1 bonus for every language you know beyond your native tongue. Dedicated, extensive academic resources might grant an additional bonus on top of this.
A character or group of characters may roll only once per day to learn a written language. Learning it successfully requires 100 total successful checks. Failed checks do not subtract from this total, they only delay the eventual completion.
Blake is a ninth level character with 12 points in Decipher Script and a +5 intelligence bonus, giving her a +17 to normal uses of that skill. She also knows six languages (Common and five others), which gives her an additional +5 in this situation. In total, she rolls +22 Decipher Script to learn a written language.
Even partial knowledge of a written language can be useful. After at least one successful check, there is some chance that you will be able to read any given example of that language. When you encounter such writing, roll a percentile die. If the number rolled is less than or equal to your total number of successful Decipher Script checks, you are able to read this example. If this roll fails, you may not retry until you have scored at least one more successful Decipher Script check to learn the written language.
Blake has been studying nuvop’uak for some time. She has managed to score 8 successful Decipher Script checks. On an adventure, she encounters a slip of parchment with nuvop’uak writing on it. She rolls 1d100 and gets a 7, so she is able to read the text on the bit of parchment.
Later, she finds a few symbols scrawled on the wall of a house. She rolls a new 1d100, but gets 28. She is not able to read this bit of writing. She takes a minute to copy it meticulously into her notes so that she can try again when she’s had a chance to learn more of the writing.
The spell Comprehend Languages spell does not last long enough to be of significant help in deciphering a full written language. It is most useful for spot-checking a given translation or verifying some detail of the work.
I’m trying out a change to crit ranges in this game. I hope it won’t alter the feel of the game too much!
At the core of the changes is this rule: all crafted weapons are changed to crit on a 19-20 with a x2 multiplier. All natural or improvised weapons crit on a 20 with a x2 multipler.
Shields used to bash someone have a 20/x2 crit stat by default, but the Improved Shield Bash feat raises that to 19-20/x2. Monk fists gain 19-20/x2 as part of the Ki Strike ability gained at 4th level.
Weapons enhanced by the Magic Weapon or Magic Fang spells also gain 19-20/x2 crit.
Changes and additions to tactical movement in combat.
A character who is using a crossbow which can be reloaded as a Movement action can take a 5ft step as part of reloading without needing to dedicate a separate Movement action to the step.
While prone, you can use the Withdraw action to crawl up to 10 feet. The square you start out in is not considered threatened by any opponent you can see, and therefore visible enemies do not get attacks of opportunity against you when you move from that square.
Some spells from the core book are prohibited in this game.
Some spells have had their casting time adjusted to make more sense.
|True Strike||Swift Action|
Some spells have had their durations adjusted to fit better within the setting, or for fairness.
|Spell||Old Duration||New Duration|
|Mage Armor||1hr/lvl (D)||2hr/lvl (D)|
|Explosive Runes||permanent (D)||1 week/lvl (D)|
The duration of this spell is unchanged, but the amount of time before spell auras fade has been lengthened.
|Original Strength||Duration of Lingering Aura|
Some spells have had their material components altered to better fit the setting.
|Spell||Old Component||New Component|
|Animate Dead||25gp of onyx per HD of reanimated creature||1gp of onyx† per HD of reanimated creature|
|Bless Water||5 lb powdered silver (worth 25 gp)||1oz of silver dust in water, valued at 1sp|
|Consecrate||5 lb powdered silver (worth 25 gp)||5oz silver dust, valued at 5sp|
|Identify||100gp pearl, crushed and mixed in wine with owl feather||1sp pearl†, crushed|
|Reincarnate||1,000 gp of rare oils and unguents||Unchanged|
|Restoration||Diamond dust worth 100 gp that is sprinkled over the target||10 gp of powdered gemstones† mixed with blessed holy water|
|Resurrection||Holy water and 10,000 gp of diamonds||Holy water and 10,000 gp of any gemstones†|
|Stoneskin||Granite and 250 gp worth of diamond dust sprinkled on the target’s skin||Handful of granite chips and a small stone of diamond costing 20 gp†. The diamond can be reused.|
† Spells that require a gemstone or similar expensive component technically require a stone of the appropriate size and clarity. Such specimens are typically valued at the price listed, but the price paid may be haggled down or affected by other factors. Casters without the Appraise skill can judge whether a potential component will work by touching it and concentrating for a few moments.
The pearl used for this spell must still be crushed, but there is no wine or owl feather involved any more. Instead, the pearl powder is sprinkled over the item to identify. The spell causes this powder to glow and coalesce into words from an indecipherable language. The words linger for one minute, during which time the spell’s magic imparts their meaning to the caster. Then the pearl dust fades to dirt.
The rare oils for this spell can be gathered by anyone highly skilled in Survival and Knowledge Nature. Finding the right plants and animals requires all day and a DC 30 Knowledge Nature check. Extracting the oils and preparing the unguents requires another full day and a DC 30 Survival check. Failure on either check ruins the ingredients and the character must move to another region to try again, since the local rare resources have been exhausted.
Clerics with an elmental domain benefit from a flat +2 Elemental Resistance toward the element of the domain. This replaces the original benefit.
The Travel domain’s granted power acts exactly like the Freedom of Movement spell, including immunity to non-magical restraints as well as magical ones.
All casters must get a good night’s rest of eight hours before studying, meditating, or praying for an hour to refresh their spells. Once they’re done, all prior spells are entirely replaced by the newly prepared spells. Prepared spells linger until they are used or replaced by new spells.
Spontaneous casters must still rest for eight hours, but their spell slots refresh naturally after that.
New spells cannot be prepared and spell slots cannot be refreshed until at least 16 hours have passed since the last refresh: 8 hours of activity and 8 hours of rest.
It does not matter when a spell was cast, be it hours ago or moments before meditation. As long as the caster has gotten enough rest, they are able to prepare their full complement of spells.
A wizard’s spellbook can be made of any material and does not have to be written with special ink. Most wizards will use durable materials to prevent ruining their notes, but a stick on dirt would technically work as well. Each book is written in that wizard’s shorthand style, so a Decypher Script check is required to interpret someone else’s writing.
When preparing spells, a wizard par-casts each spell, leaving its final completion hanging on some words and/or gestures as appropriate for the spell. It is very difficult to maintain these magical constructs for more than a day, and almost impossible to keep them intact when asleep.
This class ability is lightly upgraded, allowing spells to be shared at a range of 30ft.
Rulings, clarifications, and changes to the mechanics of individual spells.
This spell no longer requires the caster to touch a person who they wish to understand.
The difficulty of escaping Entangle varies based on the plantlife nearby:
The increase to movement speed from Haste only applies to modes of movement that the target natively possesses. This means that a human who receives the Fly spell and the Haste spell can still only fly at a speed of 60ft.
Invisibility granted by the Invisibility spell can be lost when one of your spells or minions attempts to do damage. Casting Call Lightning does not break invisibility, but striking at someone with that spell’s power makes you visible.
Casting a summoning spell does not break invisibility, but when one of your summons makes an attack, you do become visible. This is a change from the spell’s description.
The target and their belongings are invisible to everyone, including the target.
In addition to a creature, this spell can be cast on a location. This usage requires that the caster has first-hand knowledge of the location to scry: they have visited or seen it themselves. Once cast, the spell automatically succeeds with no will save. The spell’s sensor appears anywhere within the target location, but cannot be inside a building or similarly obscured area that the caster has not specifically targeted. In addition to its listed abilities, the sensor has an unlimited viewing distance, but cannot move at all.
Viewing some far-away place through a scrying spell does allow the caster to become familiar with the viewed location, effectively letting the caster walk their scrying into unknown places.
For this spell, being familiar with a target means either having met them, or having a good likeness and knowing their name.
The visual effects of this spell do not create light and are pretty hard to see in the dark.
Applies to all Summon Monster and Summon Nature’s Ally spells
Summons appear in the same round as the Summon spell is cast and can act immediately. That round counts against their duration. On the last turn of their duration, summons linger until the start of their caster’s next turn, then disappear.
This spell is now also on the Druid spell list at Level 2.