The Forgotten Company
Wiki > House Rules
House rules are customizations to the core rules, typically made by the DM or gaming group. These are more often than not small changes that deal with issues a particular DM or group sees with the core rules, or to clarify things felt to be confusing.
Critical Hit Deck/Fumble Deck
The critical fumble and hit deck are a deck of cards that represent alternatives to the standard critical rules. The deck is completely optional on a character by character basis. NPC’s and enemies do not use these decks.
Generally it improves the capabilities of a weapon, especially those with a x2 modifier, but at the cost of damage, particularly on those with a x3/4 modifier. These decks do not stack with critical effect feats.
The cards offer alternatives to the mere extra damage based on your damage type, such as: “I See Stars: Normal Damage + target has a 20% miss chance for 1d4 rounds for a blunt weapon”, or “Pinhole: Double damage and 1 bleed, Target takes 1 additional bleed each round until healed for a piecing weapon”, and “Disembowel: Double damage and 1d4 Con damage and 1d6 bleed for slashing weapons”. Obviously some of these abilities surpass the normal critical damage, whereas some are more situational. A weapon with a x3 or x4 modifier do not get twice the effects, but get to draw multiple cards and pick the effect they prefer from it. The cost however is that on a confirmed fumble, you must draw from the fumble deck. These are based on the weapon types of a different nature, such as melee, ranged, natural, and magic. The effects here are like the following: “No Way: you attack hits, but deals minimum damage for melee”, “Amazing miss: You are stunned for one round for ranged”, “Bone Bruise: You take 1d2 con damage for natural weapons”, and “You Made Him Bigger: Target increases one size category for 1d4 rounds for magic.”
Long story short, if you want some wild and crazy variations on your crits, the decks will keep things interesting, but its entirely optional.
The most fun character i’ve played was the ever bragging wyvern puncher, Lughaidh Mac Triath. His ability to embellish his exploits was well known, but occasionally truth would ring in his tales.
The hero however couldn’t do it without his long time companion and ally in boasting, Kayess, a Faerie Dragon who acted as his familiar.
Familiars can be an important part of a characters identity, and add a great deal to the roleplay of them. I for one wouldn’t have seen Lughaidh continue beyond the death of Kayess, such a loss would have been too much to take. As such when I see the 3.5 edition ruleset, along with pathfinder, and see the limited familiar list, and the requirement of a feat to get anything noteworthy, I am sad. As such, ignore it. If you want a familiar for a character who can have one, feel free to pick from the improved familiar list and ignore level or feat requirements. Depending on the selected familiar some abilities might be level limited, but it will offer you a chance to truly enjoy some RP that wouldn’t otherwise exist and add flavor to your caster.