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World of Shantar D&D 5e House Rules

Version 2.0.1


During the course of adventuring you will have to reconcile many things... sleeping, eating, healing, and more.

Short Rests

On a short rest, instead of restoring hit points, you may spend one or more hit dice to restore a spell. You may choose a single spell slot level 3 or lower that you wish to recover. You can spend the level of that spell slot in hit dice to recover that single spell slot.

Long Rests

Characters taking a long rest use the DMG's slow natural healing (p267) rule. Such characters do not regain all hit points at the end of a long rest and instead must spend Hit Dice to heal. In a setting in which comfortable shelter is available, and when you spend a whole day in downtime (not just 8 hours), use the long rest rules as normal.

Magic Item Identification

Under the normal rules you can identify any magic item by handling it and experimenting with it over the course of a short rest. By the end of the short rest, you know all these is to know about the item. I think that’s a bit dull. Magic items are, after all, supposed to be unique items of power in 5th edition. Therefore you’ll need to cast the Identify spell, or embark on some serious empirical research, to learn all there is to learn about a magic item. Some may give up their secrets easily and others may not. You may still handle an item during a short rest and may gain insight into its powers.

Downtime Activities

Learning a Language

You can learn a new language or become fluent in a trained language. You must have an instructor available, or be literate and have a tome that teaches the language. The cost of training is 1 GP / day, and includes the cost of the instructor or tome.

When you finish your time learning a language, you will at least be Trained in the language and must make a successful DC 15 Intelligence Check for fluency. You gain advantage on this roll if you are fluent in at least 2 languages, or if you are already consider trained in this language. If you fail the roll, you are only consider to have a basic training in the language and may attempt the check again as a downtime activity.

Gathering Plants and Ingredients

You can gather herbs, minerals, and other ingredients through exploration. See Herbalism and Alchemy for details.

Crafting a Magical Item (Replacement)

You can craft potions, oils, elixers, weapons, shields, scrolls and more. See Crafting Magic Items (Replacement) for details.


You move at half your normal speed (or at your normal speed with a -5 penalty on the check, or at up to twice your normal speed with a -20 penalty on the check). The DC depends on the surface and the prevailing conditions, as given below:

Very Soft Ground (Base DC 10)
Any surface (fresh snow, thick dust, wet mud) that holds deep, clear impressions of footprints.

Soft Ground (Base DC 15)
Any surface soft enough to yield to pressure, but firmer than wet mud or fresh snow, in which a creature leaves frequent but shallow footprints.

Firm Ground (Base DC 20)
Most normal outdoor surfaces (such as lawns, fields, woods, and the like) or exceptionally soft or dirty indoor surfaces (thick rugs and very dirty or dusty floors). The creature might leave some traces (broken branches or tufts of hair), but it leaves only occasional or partial footprints.

Hard Ground (Base DC 25)
Any surface that doesn’t hold footprints at all, such as bare rock or an indoor floor. Most streambeds fall into this category, since any footprints left behind are obscured or washed away. The creature leaves only traces (scuff marks or displaced pebbles).

Add +1 for every 24 hours since trail was made.
Add +1 for every hour of rain since trail was made.
Add +5 if there is fresh snow or leaf cover since trail was made (+10 if heavy).

Add best stealth of tracked party if they attempt to hide trail (move at half speed).
Add +2 for low visibility (fog, precipitation, dusk).
Add +5 for darkness (+10 if overcast or moonless night).

Subtract 1 for every creature in tracked party.

Inspiration and Hero Point Awards

In the beginning of each session, each player begins with a single Inspiration point award.

If you have Inspiration, you can spend it at any time to take an Inspired Action provided that action somehow ties into one of your character’s personal characteristics. If your ideal is “I will do anything to save a person in danger,” and you want to swing across a ravine on a vine to rescue someone who is about fall into the ravine and hanging by one hand, that fits. You can claim an Inspired Action.

When you take an Inspired Action, you can either gain advantage on an ability check, attack roll, or saving throw OR you can give advantage to someone else’s ability check, attack roll, or saving throw provided you are in a position to assist them directly in some way OR impose disadvantage on someone else’s ability check, attack roll, or saving throw provided you are in a position to hinder their action directly in some way. Whatever it is, the Inspired Action MUST somehow connect to one of your Personal Characteristics.

Hero Point Awards. Hero Points are awarded usually once per adventure or possibly once per game session for roleplaying or composing a game-related journal or log entry. Frequently, they are awarded when you achieve a personal challenge. You may retain a maximum of three Hero Points between gaming sessions. You can use a Hero Point for one of the following benefits:

  • Advantage - Before you roll, apply advantage to any d20 check.
  • D6 Boost - After you cast a d20, but before you resolve it, you may add to or subtract from the result 1d6. This does not negate a natural roll of 1 or 20.
  • Critical Boost - After you roll your attack, but before you resolve it, you temporarily extend your critical threat range by 1. Instead of needing a natural 20, a natural 19 or 20 would be a critical.
  • Reaction - Gain an additional Reaction (not on your turn).
  • Haste - In a single turn, gain the benefits of the Haste spell.
  • Speedy - You are unsurprised and are first in initiative.
  • Lucky Buckle - You reduce the damage from the total damage from a single attack. Damage is halved. Total damage less than 10 HP is reduced to zero.
  • Recall Power - You may restore a single level 1 - 5 spell slot that you have expended (not including your top level spell), or a feature of your character that you replenish during short rest, or multiple uses over a long rest.
  • Cleaving Through Creatures - (DMG p. 272). When a melee attack reduces an undamaged creature to 0 hit points, any excess damage from that attack might carry over to another creature nearby within reach. If the original attack roll can hit it, then the attack applies any remaining damage to it. If that creature was undamaged and is likewise reduced to 0 hit points, repeat this process, carrying over the remaining damage until there are no valid targets, or until the damage carried over fails to reduce an undamaged creature to 0 hit points.
  • Song Weave - You inject a roleplaying element into the story that is accepted as being true.

The Song Weave adds plot information to the storyline. Information that must be accepted as being true. The event may be surprising but should be plausible, and contribute to the overarching storyline. For example, a temple could be open, a dead NPC might be only in a coma and could be awakened, there is a secret door somewhere within the locked room that the party is engaged in battle. A small collapse delays reinforcements from arriving too quickly. The song weave is meant for plot advancement, and not solely for the benefit of the party, or to grant specific advantage in combat. It does not create magic items beyond a common or uncommon single use items.Hero Points are awarded usually once per adventure or possibly once per game session for roleplaying or composing a game-related journal or log entry. Unspent Hero Points are not lost between sessions. You can use a Hero Point for one of the following benefits:

Personal challenges that can gain an award.

  • Acting, Genius! - Play a scene using a character voice 3 different times.
  • You got this! - Help another player engage their character or step into the focus of the story 3 different times.
  • Hero (tm) - Fight and defeat 3 powerful different enemies without assistance.
  • Herbalist - Find three different herbal components, or make a single concoction.
  • Weakness - Play your traits to your detriment 3 different times, or once to great cost.
  • The Fallen - Roll 2 death and dying rolls.
  • Support - Complete 5 encounters without using a short rest between them.
  • Exhausted - Gain two levels of exhaustion.
  • Monster Slayer - You are the killing blow to three different types of creatures.
  • Discovery - You discover a major plot point.
  • Role Player - You spend an entire gaming session speaking in character, except to DM.
  • Treasure Hunter - You recover a gem or jewel worth more than 1000 gp