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7 Hex Dragon: A resource for The Fantasy Trip

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Note! These are just a snippet of the 7Hex Dragon House Rules that are referenced frequently in this web site making for easier reference..
  1. Pick/Hammer IQ 8 Talent (2)
    A weapon talent more amenable to the hammer lover. The Hammer/Pick talent lets you use a good range of weapons without having to have multiple talents to get them. The sword people get the dagger (which everyone has to have to survive HTH), really good one handed weapons like the bastard sword and the highest damage weapon Great Sword. So they can have a dagger (which doubles as a buckler via Main-Gauche) at their belt, a bastard sword and a backup Great Sword all for 2 talent points. Everyone else has to pick up knife for one and then if they go with PoleArm, there are no good one handed weapons (the spear does a whopping 1+1) so many pick up sword to get the dagger and good backup weapon. Even the Axe/Hammer/Mace people have to pick up an extra 1 for knife and maybe 1 for shield. So we have the Hammer/Pick talent which trains in:
    Military Pick
    Great Hammer
    Pole Hammer (Bec-de-Corbin)
    Heavy Pole Hammer (Lucern Hammer)
    Now we still need the knife talent, but at least we have a good backup weapon if our Bec-de-Corbin breaks (the Military Pick!), or a good two handed backup if our millitary pick breaks.

  2. Weapon Mastery IQ 10 Talent (3)
    Prerequisite - Relevant Weapon/Shield Talent. This replaces the Fencing Talent for any non-missile/non-thrown weapon (but note you can have mastery with an Axe, you just don't get any Mastery advantages if you throw it). The lower of DX or AdjDX with the mastered weapon must be 13 (i.e. an unarmoured swordsman with DX 12 and a +1DX Fine Broadsword is not eligible to be a Master at all and a DX 14 Swordsman in Chainmail can have the talent, but will get no benefit until he gets his AdjDX up to 13). If the lower of DX and AdjDX is 13, 14, or 15 he does +2 Damage with the weapon. Also, attackers are at -2DX to hit you when you are using your Mastered weapon and they are in your front hexes. Finally, attempts to engage in HTH combat from a Master's front hexes while using the Mastered Weapon rolls at +1 for HTH results (i.e. resulting in less likely that the HTH will occur). If the lower DX and AdjDX with the Mastered Weapon is 16 or higher, he gets +3 Damage, opponents are at -3DX to hit, and the Master adds 2 to HTH outcome rolls for attempts to engage in the Master's front hexes while wielding the Mastered Weapon. This seems to reflect what I have seen of advanced swordsmen, they are better attackers (being more accurate and using leverage not strength for smoother, flowing attacks) and better defenders (knowing and keeping the right distance, using the weapon to keep the opponent away, etc) making them harder to hit.

    One of the deficits of TFT was the high DX fighter one-shot kill. We have tried to curb that with slowing character advancement past 50 points and adding better defense possibilities with Weapon/Shield Master (so even the 15AdjDX fighter would be reduced to 12AdjDX facing a Weapon Master and 10AdjDX facing a Weapon/Shield Master).

    Note: I have generally only applied this to one weapon and not a weapon type (i.e. not all swords or all axes/maces/hammers, etc like the basic talents). Rather you are Master of 1Handed Axe, or 1 Handed Hammer/Pick, or 2H Sword, etc. I do tend to allow very close weapons to count like: Broadsword and Bastard Sword (used one handed only), Halberd and PikeAx (but not spear or naginata), Javelin and 1 Handed Spear (but not 2 handed spear), etc.

  3. Shield Mastery: IQ 10 Talent (3) Prerequisite - Shield talent and the lower of DX or AdjDX must be 12. Similar to Weapon Mastery (and same IQ level as Fencing), but gives the user +2 hits stopped and -2DX to an opponent to hit you when you have a Shield ready and your attacker is in one of your front hexes. Additionally, "spiked shield rushes" do +2 damage. This can be combined with weapon mastery for a potent combo of -4 or -5DX and an extra 2 hits stopped, but note the 3 IQ cost for both (plus the weapon talent, shield talent would take up 9 IQ points and the high DX requirement would limit armour in all but the highest point super-characters). The Shield Master does not get the HTH bonus (the idea is that the attempt to engage in HTH is met with the business end of a deadly weapon).

  4. Pole Arms
    Please see the full 7Hex Dragon House Rules for damage tables and a fuller discussion. We have some real PoleArm addicts so we reworked the PoleArm section to better balace them (we take away some of the high level charge damage but add a just a little back with 2 new pole arms).

    First a new PoleArm that does just a little more damage than the Halberd and PikeAx, the PoleHammer. This is a PoleArm of the Bec-de-Corbin type, see damage table above. If you want to integrate it into the classic TFT, then it will do 2d like the halberd and weigh the same and be 2 meters long, but will ignore up to 2hits of armour. It was made with both a fluke/spike designed to puncture thin armour and a four pronged hammer designed to heavily percuss and even significantly damage thicker armour (and a long spike on top to take a charge). These kinds of weapons start to take over the sword in duels after the advent of Plate Armour (with the recognition that the PoleHammer will do more damage to a man in PlateArmour than a sword, but a little less than against an unarmoured man). Minimum ST is 14. Shields do not count as armour and are still effective in blocking hits, but hides/scales/fur/StoneSkin, etc do count as armour. Examples: a Gargoyle attacked with a PoleHammer will only have 1 effective hit armour. A man with cloth armour and a small shield will still block 1 point of damage for the shield, but the cloth armour is negated by the PoleHammer. A bear would have no effective armour against a PoleHammer. You can also have a Heavy PoleHammer, like the Lucern Hammer, that does the same 2+2 damage as the PikeAx, but ignores up to 3 hits of armour and minimum ST of 16 to wield it. It has the same weight and length as the PikeAx. If you are using 7Hex Dragon House Rules, the damages for the PoleHammer and Heavy PoleHammer are given in the weapons table there.

    Now that we have given the PoleArm user some new toys, we take away some of the insane Charge Attack damage. If you are using the 7HexDragon damages for weapons (see below, or the full House Rules), then you do double the weapon portion of damage (not the total damage, the ST modifier is not doubled), but that is much less (the PoleHammer only does 1+1 and the Heavy PoleHammer only does 1+2, plus non-doubled ST modifier). For example, a 16ST Hero wielding a HeavyPolehammer charge attacks a wolf. Since it is a Heavy PoleHammer it ignores the armour of the wolf (note the Heavy PoleHammer actually ignores up to 3 hits armour, but does not get any further bonus after ignoring the wolf's 1 hit armour: i.e. the PoleHammer does not get to do an additional 2 points of damage since the wolf only had 1 hit armour). The Base Unarmed Damage for a 16ST Hero is 1d, the Heavy PoleHammer does 1+2, doubled for charge, 2+4. Total charge damage is 3+4 and ignores the wolf's 1 point fur. In to alter Classic TFT to cut back the charge damage: Heavy PoleArms (Halberd, PoleHammer, PikeAx) do an extra 1.5xdamage (basically 3D and 3D+4), not double. Light PoleArms (Javelin, Naginata, Spear) do an extra 1d damage in a Charge Attack situation. This is much less damage for the heavy ones (halberd averages 10hits vs 14 in cannonical TFT, Pike Axe does 14 as opposed to 18 in cannonical TFT which we deem reasonable for all the handicaps that pole arms bring to the table), but we tried to compensate a bit with the PoleHammer and the Mastery Talent above. Reducing armour gives some controlled damage back without the huge potential of doing 4+4 (28 hits or more if it is Fine or Enchanted!). We would also like to note that the idea of a recipient of a charge attack attacking the halberd of the attacker and chop it in half is patently ridiculous both in terms of basic physics (a war spear is a hefty round of treated hard wood and most halberd/bec-de-corbin/etc had steel languets down the side, there is no way a sword or axe can come anywhere close to cutting through that by hitting it in mid-air) and, in terms of balance, renders the pole arm utterly useless (no on in their right mind would take a two handed weapon that only does 2D and does not allow you to have a good 1 handed backup weapon and will likely be useless in any give combat situation).

    HTH vs. PoleArms: If a charging attacker is successfully hit by a polearm user for extra damage due to being set to take a charge attack, the charging character cannot initiate HTH combat that turn (i.e. he has been impaled at a distance of 3-5 feet away and can only swing a weapon on his turn). He is stopped in the adjacent hex. Next turn charging attacker may attempt HTH. Additionally flying creatures dropping down into HTH are considered to be charge attacking and can be impaled. If they are hit for extra damage they fall into a random hex (roll 1d6) next to the PoleArm wielder and must save 3DvsDX to avoid falling down into that hex. They may attack if they do not fall down, but not initiate HTH.

  5. New Armour
    We have added Bringandine/Scale armour consisting of a lightly treated layer of leather with scales or thin plates riveted under the treated leather, then soft Leather under that. The plates were very effective against blades and the triple layers spread the impact of blunt weapons around a bit. Stops 4 hits and is -4 DX.

    We allow Fine Chainmail and Fine Brigandine/Scale to take the same number of hits, but take one less point off of DX (-2 for Chainmail and -3 for Scale/Bringandine). The cost is 10x that of regular Chain/Brigandine (it can be made with lighter materials and overall better workmanship to reduce weight and to form fit the user), it has to be custom made for the user like Fine Plate and can't be "found".
  6. Spirit Magic
    There are two kinds of magic, normal/mana and spirit. Spirit Magic uses the Spirit Field. The Spirit Field is distantly analogous to the Gravity Field. Live individual spirits carry with them a weak Field that attracts other spirits and Spirit Energy, the stronger the Spirit the stronger the Field. Spirit Energy is the imprints and remnants of significant spiritual events (death, strong emotion, high creativity, etc) and the vague spirit life of plants and animals that floats about us, unrecognized. Normal magic and spirit magic have some similar characteristics and are not entirely disjunct, but learning one does put you at a disadvange for learning the most different parts of the other. So Necromancers, who use Spirit Magic, can learn elemental spells like Lighting at a cost of 3IQ points per spell, and a regular wizard can learn purely Necromantic spells such as Spirit Jar at a cost of 3IQ points. Spirit Magic is adept at affecting living organisms (see Decrepitude, Induce Fear), manipulating and binding the Spirit Field (see Spirit Jar, Golem or Become Lich) or recalling spirits to do your bidding (see Spectre, Summon Skeleton Lord). Spirit Magic is un-adept at manipulating non-living matter (Lightning, Open Tunnel, Drop Weapon, Rope, non-Demon/non-undead summoning spells).

    Other properties of the Field is that it flows around the Necromancer and he can "focus" it on certain objects in different ways. This limits the number of kinds of Spirit things he can have at once. The Spirit Jar creates a flow focus that is disrupted if another Spirit Jar is added to the Necromancer's Field. Similarly with the Golem. Additionally, the Field is weak and certain things cannot go too far from the Necromancer. General rule of thumb is 6 feet (or two hexes) for Spirit Jar/NecroStaff and 50 feet (or a little more than 5MH) for Golems since they actually carry their own even weaker Field so can go further than the purely inanimate Spirit Jar. Summoned beings can go as far as they want, as they have their own full strength Fields.

    The idea was to create a new character type that would lend some richness to the game, keep the balance and stay true to the spirit of TFT that any character can learn any skill if he works hard enough. We figured that the non-elemental spells (like Control Person, Detect magic) were accessible to both Necromancer and Wizard since they had enough in common. So anything that did not directly manipulate matter was allowed to the Necromancer. Play balance (which we have played around with a good bit and are happy, though it is imperfect), involves a trade off between the Necromancer's cheaper and lower IQ requirement summoning type spells (Spectre, Skeleton Lord, etc) vs. not having other summoning spells (like Gargoyle and Dragon) and no missile or elemental spells. The ability to have a Lich summon a Skeleton Lord who summons a Skeleton Warrior means the Necromancer can summon 3 beings for a cost of 2ST/turn. Though note that each of them are not particularly strong (i.e. the Lich can do little damage directly, and the Skeleton warrior is not particularly deadly compared to a 4 hex dragon). So even though it looks like a lot of firepower for 2ST/Turn, a Lich, Skeleton Lord and Skeleton Warrior are no match for a 7 hex dragon in straight combat (possibly even a 4 hex dragon played well!). Couple that with no Missile Spells and the Necromancer is a fairly weak in straight duels. The Necromancer's summoned undead make up a bit for that with a good bit of flexibility in non-duel circumstances. For example, Lich summons Skeleton Lord and makes him invisible, now you have a Lich and an Invisible Skeleton Lord, all for only 2ST/round to the Necromancer! Or using the Lich to cast expensive spells during hot combat (MH Induce Fear, then Spell Shield, and Invisibility on the Necromancer, etc), saving the Necromancer from spending strength for those kinds of spells when he needs them. The Lich as ST battery is quite a common scenario and Necromancers do well in dungeon crawls, but not duels.

    As an additional bonus, you can use this kind of magic to give weapons and staves and such intelligence and spells. If a sword/staff/crown has a Spirit Field it will have ST and IQ and can even have a spell or two. Note we have generally assigned an "IQ" to items, but don't really think of it as self-reflective/linguistic intelligence, just a marker for how powerful a spell it could wield in conjunction with the owner/user.

    Please see 7Hex Dragons Full House Rules for a fuller discussion, the Necromancer character type that uses Spirit Magic and several new spells!

  7. Contest Save
    A Contest Save is taken from the Advanced Melee HTH section called "Pinning: (For Greeks Only)". It was a good idea and we have made general use out of it. Similar to pinning a foe, a Contest Save pits two attributes (say the IQ of a Wizard vs. the IQ of another person he is trying to control or the ST of a disease against the IQ of the physiker trying to cure it). The saving roll is then adjusted by the difference between the attribure being rolled against and the strength of the opposing attribute. For example, a 15 IQ wizard is trying to control an IQ 12 Hero. The hero has to roll three dice plus 3 (the difference between his IQ and the Wizard's) and get 12 or under. Conversely, a ST 8 disease is trying to infect a ST10 hero. The hero would roll 3 dice minus 2 (the difference between the ST of the disease and the hero's ST). This allows a slightly more fine grained approach then just the usual 2die, 3die, 4die, etc saving throw. This can be used for traps and secret doors (an IQ 15 trap would require an IQ 13 trap remover to roll three dice plus 2 to get 13 or less). We use Contest Saves in several places including Disease, many spells and Rear Hex Shield Rush.

  8. Disease
    Some of our new nasties carry disease so we needed a frame work. I stole Runequest's! There are three diseases: Creeping Chills, Brain Fever and The Shakes. They all behave similarly in that they attack one attribute (ST, IQ, DX, respectively) and can be cured by a Physiker or Master Physiker or a new 7HexDragon spell Cure Disease depending on their severity. Each disease is given a ST rating that is used to make a Contest Save (see above) against the victim's ST to avoid it. For instance a Winged Shadow Demon can carry a Creeping Chills 15. So to avoid contraction the character exposed (through damage inflicted, any HTH or handling the body in a messy way) must make a Contest Save: his ST against the Disease having a "ST" score of 15. If the character contracts the disease, they will loose the the total amount of ST, IQ or DX per month as is the base ST of the disease. So in the example above, if the character contracts the 15ST Creeping Chills, then he will lose 15ST per month until he dies (about 1ST every 2 days). He can be cured by Wish, Cure Disease spell or by a Physiker or Master Physiker. The Physiker gets one and only one attempt to cure the disease and he makes a Contest Save the ST of the disease vs. his IQ. If he makes it, he will cure the disease in one week (hope you have a week's worth of ST/IQ/DX left in you!). A Master Physiker makes a Contest Save but gets to roll one less die for the save. A creature can have more than one disease (or you can say it is a new disease that attacks more than one attribute, which I tend to make have a high IQ to cure). Physikers will charge for curing diseases at about 100 Silver per IQ point of the disease as this involves a week of care, expensive ingredients and personal risk via exposure. He collects half if he does not cure the disease. PC Physikers who try to cure diseases can be paid, but have to make their Contest Save to avoid contraction if they fail to cure it. They can attempt to cure themselves once. Once cured, you recover your attribute points at 1 every other day. While sick, characters will be treated as if their current diseased attribute really is their total attribute. So a hero with ST 14 who has lost 4 points of ST due to the Creeping Chills will no longer be able to wield his Halberd (with a ST requirement of 13). A wizard with 14IQ who has lost 1IQ to Brain Fever will not be able to cast Lighting (IQ14 Spell). GM should roll for contraction and only tell the character they have a disease when they lose their first attribute point. I have managed player to player contagion by context (i.e. if there is reason to believe PCs have very close contact like one carrying the other after injury, or any Physiker curing injuries, etc then I make a contagion roll in secret).

    Please see 7Hex Dragons Full House Rules for a table of creatures and the diseases they carry.

  9. Avatar: The Last Airbender
    See our Bending Arts House Rules for ways to play Avatar: The Last Airbender with Wizard/Melee. We generally don't mix Last Airbender characters with normal TFT as the Airbender characters are a bit overmuch (both magic and combat), but it could be fun.

  10. Harry Potter Conversion

    Harry Potter conversion: We had an 8 year old who recevied homework credit if he reads, writes or does math for 20 or more minutes. Wizard and Melee!! He is a Harry Potter addict, so spell names and one rule change.

    • If a wizard drops/breaks his staff/wand, he can only cast spells 5 below his IQ.
    • Spell conversions:
      1. Alohomora - Unlock
      2. Colloportus - Lock
      3. Confundo - Confusion
      4. Expeliarmus - Drop Weapon with a roll to see where (1d3 distance)
      5. Finite Encantatem - Remove Thrown Spell
      6. Homenum Revelio - Detect Life
      7. Impedimenta - Avert
      8. Imperio - Control Person/Animal
      9. Incarcerous - Rope
      10. Incendio - Fire
      11. Invisibility - Invisibility
      12. Legillimens - Telepathy (resited by Occlumency)
      13. Locomotor - Telekenesis
      14. Lumos - Light
      15. Nox - Un-Light
      16. Petrificus Totalus - Freeze
      17. Piertotum Locomotor - animates statue or suit of armour
      18. Protego (Horribilis) - Spell Shield
      19. Reparo - Repair
      20. Serpensortia - Staff to Snake
      21. Silencio - Silent Movement
      22. Specialis Revelio - Reveal Magic/Analyze Magic
      23. Stupify - Sleep
      24. Wingardia Leviosa - Levitate

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