Sorry for the lack of updates last week, both of us had things come up at all the wrong times!! Unfortunately, most of them involving the porcelain god in one way or another.
You may have noticed that we added a new page in the tabs for House Rules after the Gestalt post last week. If you've checked it out, there's a few other rules in there on top of gestalt. House rules are basically ways to expand upon the game or change the standard rules around to make the game slightly different. Read: ways to make the game more fun. As is standard, it's up to the DM what house rules are used. Players can ask about certain house rules, but the final decision is the DM's, whether it's for better or worse (worse for example would be Ravi's other DM who tried to scam his players out of well more than their fair share of starting gold.) (better for example would be our DM letting Ravi have a modified winged template. Please? Pretty please?)
All of the existing house rules on the page are in some form created and approved by WotC. One our DM frequently imposes is "It's You, Not Your Equipment." It was posted originally on the Wizards forum along with a list of other house rules they had developed. The basic idea is that the characters are what's important, and not the equipment they purchase or find. As such, players take a 10-15% hit on their starting gold, and they cannot purchase equipment that provide an enhancement bonus to ability scores. This applies to the Belt of Giant Strength, Gloves of Dexterity, Amulet of Health, Headband of Intellect, Periapt of Wisdom, and Cloak of Charisma. It doesn't apply to the stat-boosting books or wands that use temporary boosting spells. However, because of these limitations, the player receives an extra ability point every even level and an extra feat every odd level. This is supposed to give the player the feeling that their character is improving rather than depending on their gear to survive encounters. Play this with Epic characters. The results are AMAZING.
The other house rule posted is the "Expanded Threshhold" rule. I believe it was originally posted in the Epic Level Handbook. Usually, the rule is that once a character reaches 0 hit points (HP), they're unconcious. They then have 10 HP past 0 (-1 to -10) before they are dead. For low-level characters, this can be a saving grace, because 10 HP is a considerable amount. For some level 1 casters, it may be more than double their own HP. Once the characters reach higher levels, though, some encounters may just blow through those 10 extra HP with one good spell or full attack. The expanded threshhold house rule works to help the players as they gain levels. From level 1 to 10, the HP limit is -10 before death. From then on, with levels 11 and up, the HP limit is equal to the level of the character. For example, if you play a level 14 character, and you're knocked unconcious, you have until you reach -14 HP before your character is dead. YAAAAY longevity!
Do you play with another house rule you want to share? Let us know, and we'll share it on the House Rules page!