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Spacefarers House Rules

We used 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons rules, with the following house rules. Dungeon Master Chris also leveraged 2nd Edition Spelljammer PDFs from DriveThruRPG to homebrew his own 5th Edition Spelljammer rules.

  • Action Points
    • Your character gains one action point at the end of a long rest if they don’t already have one. You can only spend an action point on your turn and it doesn’t cost any sort of action to spend an action point. An action point can be used to cast a cantrip or a bonus action spell, make a single melee or ranged weapon attack, or take the Dash action.
  • Bloodied
    • When a creature is at less than half its maximum hit points.
  • Custom Magic Items
    • Adrenaline Shot – Wondrous item, rare.
      • Cost 500 gp. Weight: 1 lb.
      • This unique magic item heals and bolsters a creature, but at a cost far beyond its monetary value. Each use increasingly exhausts the creature’s bodily systems. When used irresponsibly, death can occur. In the 10 minutes after each use, the creature feels no pain, and experiences a general feeling of euphoria. It is not uncommon for desperate and troubled humanoids to be found dead with an adrenaline shot in their hand.
      • An adrenaline shot is a thin tube, made from metal, five inches in length, with six windowed chambers that show a glowing green liquid inside called adrenaline. Each time this item is used, the glowing green liquid leaves the top most chamber, giving a clear indication of how many of the six doses remain.
      • This item is similar to a potion for the purpose of other activity on your turn (PH, page 190). It requires a free hand to use and a bonus action to activate. When used on a living creature, on an exposed area of soft flesh, the creature regains an amount of hit points equal to one quarter their maximum hit points (round down, minimum of 1), and an amount of temporary hit points equal to their constitution score. In addition, they gain advantage on their next attack roll before the end of their next turn. Immediately following each use of this item, the creature gains one level of exhaustion.
    • Anti-gravity Belt – Wondrous item, rare (requires attunement).
      • Cost: 500 gp. Weight: 2 lb.
      • This belt is identical to Boots of Levitation from page 155 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide, except it’s a belt, and it’s powered by an energy cell.
    • Jetpack – Wondrous item, rare (requires attunement).
      • Cost: 700 gp. Weight: 30 lb.
      • Magical jets of energy shoot out of the thrusters of this pack. While wearing this item, you have a flying speed of 60 feet, and you can hover as long as you are not incapacitated. You can’t wear a cloak or similar piece of equipment while wearing a jetpack, nor can you wear a backpack. You can’t wear this item while wearing medium or heavy armor. This item is powered by an energy cell.
    • Rocket Boots – Wondrous item, rare (requires attunement).
      • Cost: 600 gp. Weight: 4 lb.
      • Each boot has two small rockets, one on each side, that enable flight. While wearing these boots, you have a flying speed equal to your walking speed. They are powered by an energy cell.
  • Custom Laser Weapons
    • Laser pistol (different from the Dungeon Master’s Guide).
      • 100 gp 1d4 force 2 lb. Dual-wielding, power source, ranged (40/120).
      • Dual-wielding: When you take the Attack action and attack with a light melee weapon that you’re holding in one hand, or a weapon with the dual-wielding property, you can use a bonus action to attack with a laser pistol that you’re holding in the other hand. You don’t add your ability modifier to the damage of the bonus attack, unless that modifier is negative.
      • Power source: This weapon uses energy cells created by magic. An energy cell radiates magical energy, but the weapon it is loaded into does not (unless it is otherwise magical). An energy cell contains enough power for all shots for the life of the weapon.
    • Laser rifle (different from the Dungeon Master’s Guide).
      • 85 gp 1d6 force 7 lb. Aiming, heavy, power source, two-handed, ranged (200/800).
      • Aiming: You do not roll with disadvantage when making attacks with this weapon while prone. Additionally, ranged weapon attacks with this weapon ignore half cover if you make them while prone.
      • Power source: This weapon uses energy cells created by magic. An energy cell radiates magical energy, but the weapon it is loaded into does not (unless it is otherwise magical). An energy cell contains enough power for all shots for the life of the weapon.
      • Xaxos Issue Laser Rifle (from adventure 23 forward): Cost: NA Damage: 1d8 force Weight: 6 lb. Range: 40/120 No other properties.
    • Lasersword.
      • 100 gp 1d8 force 1 lb. Power source, versatile (2d4).
      • A lasersword is a hilt with a button on it. When the button is pushed, the lasersword extends from the handle or retracts. The button requires no action to push and the lasersword turns off when not being held. It is powered by an energy cell.
  • Custom Associated Feats
    • Ranged Laser Weapons Expert.
      • Thanks to your extensive practice with ranged laser weapons, you gain the following benefits:
      • Your ranged weapon attacks with laser weapons ignore half cover and three-quarters cover. If those attacks are made with a laser rifle while prone, you gain a +2 bonus to the attack roll.
      • Being within 5 feet of a hostile creature doesn’t impose disadvantage on your ranged attack rolls.
      • You can draw or stow two laser pistols when you would normally be able to draw or stow only one.
    • Lasersword Expert.
      • Thanks to your extensive practice with laserswords, you gain the following benefits:
      • Attacks you make with a lasersword score a critical hit on a roll of 19-20.
      • A lasersword wielded by you is considered to have the finesse property.
      • When you are hit by a ranged weapon attack that you can see, you can use your reaction to reduce the attack’s damage (arrow/bullet/laser/handaxe/etc.). The damage you take from the attack is reduced by 1d10 + your Dex mod + half your character’s level (rounded down, minimum of one). If the attack is from a ranged laser weapon, and you reduce the damage to 0, you can redirect the laser by making a ranged weapon attack with proficiency at any target within a range of 40/120. The damage from this attack is equal to the ranged weapon’s normal damage, plus your Dex mod.
  • Custom Black Powder Weapons
    • Black powder pistol (different from the Dungeon Master’s Guide).
      • 100 gp 1d8 piercing 3 lb. Ammunition (range 20/60), dual-wielding, loading.
      • Dual-wielding: When you take the Attack action and attack with a light melee weapon that you’re holding in one hand, or a weapon with the dual-wielding property, you can use a bonus action to attack with a loaded black powder pistol that you’re holding in the other hand. You don’t add your ability modifier to the damage of the bonus attack, unless that modifier is negative. Note: You need a free hand to reload a black powder pistol.
    • Musket (different from the Dungeon Master’s Guide).
      • 75 gp 1d10 piercing 10 lb. Ammunition (range 40/120), heavy, loading, two-handed.
    • Blunderbuss.
      • 150 gp 1d12 piercing 10 lb. Ammunition (range 15/30), heavy, loading, two-handed.
    • Bullets (10).
      • 3gp 2 lb.
    • Bomb.
      • 150 gp 1 lb.
      • As an action, a character can light this bomb and throw it at a point up to 60 feet away. Each creature within 5 feet of that point must succeed on a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw or take 3d6 fire damage.
  • Custom Associated Feat
    • Black Powder Weapons Expert.
      • Thanks to your extensive practice with black powder weapons, you gain the following benefits:
      • You ignore the loading property of black powder weapons with which you are proficient. You still need a free hand to load the weapon, but you can attack more than once per turn with it.
      • Being within 5 feet of a hostile creature doesn’t impose disadvantage on your ranged attack rolls.
      • When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for a bomb or a ranged weapon attack you make with a black powder weapon, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll.
  • Custom Shield
    • Energy Shield.
      • 25 gp +1 AC or +3 AC vs laser weapons 2 lb.
      • An energy shield is a bracer worn on the forearm that can be activated to emit a magical shield of energy. A bonus action is required to turn the shield on or off. While off, you are considered to have a free hand for the corresponding arm. Putting the bracer on or off follows the normal rules for other activity on your turn from page 190 of the Player’s Handbook. You can’t wear two bracers on the same arm, meaning you can’t wear magical bracers and an energy shield. You can’t activate an energy shield if a regular shield is on the same arm.
      • The shield contains an energy cell created by magic. An energy cell radiates magical energy, but the bracer it is loaded into does not (unless it is otherwise magical). An energy cell contains enough power for the life of the energy shield. If the energy cell is removed from the energy shield, the shield no longer functions.
      • You can substitute an energy shield for a regular shield in your starting equipment.
  • Custom Adventuring Gear
    • Energy Cell (power source).
      • Ammunition – Cost: 25 gp Weight: 5 oz.
      • Energy cells are magically created power sources used in many items including laser weapons and energy shields. 15 gp worth of material components are used to magically enchant a gem worth 10 gp. They have unlimited life spans. This item has an armor class of 5 and 1 hit point.
    • Personal Atmosphere (for survival in wildspace)
      • Miscellaneous – Cost: 5 gp Weight: 1 lb.
      • This special magical item is common place in the spacefarers universe. It is a small, square device measuring 3 inches on a side and two inches in depth, made from stone, with an energy cell visible in the center. It has a clip to fasten it to a belt or strap. When there is no air around this item, or the air quality around this item is fouled or deadly, it automatically creates an air envelope of fresh air around the wearer that lasts for 24 hours. Due to the unique protective properties in this item, the air envelope created by it does not mix with other air envelopes. This item has one use. It has an armor class of 10, resistance to all damage, and 10 hit points.
  • Custom Vehicles (I never made stats for these)
    • Hoversled.
    • Hovercart (not self-propelled).
    • Hoverwagon.
    • Hovercarraige.
  • Letter Markers
    • We use double-sided markers with letters on them to track damage and other effects on creatures during combat. One side of the marker is green (starting orientation) and the other side is red to indicate the bloodied condition (see above).
  • Wild Magic Surge
    • Sarah liked the idea of her character (Jainey) rolling for wild surges on all spells, rather than just spells of 1st level or higher, so that was our rule for this campaign. A wild surge was triggered on a roll of 1-4 on a d20.
  • Homebrew Mechanics for Ship-to-Ship Combat (Episode #90 The Death Brain)
    • Theater of the mind combat.
    • Smalljammer Stats: AC 18, HP 100, Speed 300’, +10 attack bonus, 3d10 force damage. STR 18 DEX 18 CON 18 INT 0 WIS 0 CHA 0.
    • Paralarvae Stats: AC 15, HP 50, Speed 200’, +7 attack bonus, 2d10 force damage. STR 16 DEX 16 CON 16 INT 0 WIS 0 CHA 0.
    • Ships at zero hit points do not blow up. They are adrift. Three hits on them causes the ship to explode. A critical counts as two hits.
    • Default attitude for ships is that they do not have position on each other.
    • On a character’s turn, if they control a ship, they can attempt to gain position on another ship (ship speed isn’t a factor in these homebrew rules).
    • Maneuvering: Apposed Dexterity (Acrobatics) or Intelligence (Arcana) or Strength (Athletics) checks (pilot’s choice) to position for firing. Shocktrooper pilots make opposed checks with a static +10 bonus.
    • A ship has advantage on the skill check if an allied ship already has position.
    • If a ship gains or maintains position, attacks with the ship’s weapons are normal. If a ship does not have position, attacks are made with disadvantage and the opposing ship maintains position if it already had it.
    • The feature Extra Attack may be used.
    • Sneak Attack applies if the attacker has advantage on the attack roll.
    • Characters can make ranged attacks from the cockpit of the smalljammers if the canopy is open. With the canopy closed, the pilot has total cover from effects outside the smalljammer.
    • Make a judgement call regarding spells, class features, and any other traits or abilities that may come up. I allowed Haste for Strakx’s smalljammer because they do technically count as creatures. Other ships probably would not.
    • Laser Turrets: AC 12, HP 25, +7 attack bonus, 2d6 force damage.

GH-88 (homebrew creation by Chris, based on Steel Defender).