House Rules

House Rules

House rules and rules clarifications will be noted here.




• Have fun!
• Respect the other players. This includes making sure your fun isn’t ruining everyone else’s fun.
• Don’t let in character conflicts spill into out of character conflicts. Take a break if you get frustrated.
• Respect the G.M. rulings during the game. If you disagree, let’s discuss after the game.
• The G.M. is here to help the players experience a fun story with their characters. This game is not, nor will it ever be, the G.M. versus the Players.
• Have fun!



We will be using the rules for Perception as noted on page 66 of Palladium’s Nightbane game book, with some modification.

To determine a character’s Perception bonus:
• Add +0 to +3 based on Education and Profession (G.M. discretion using other Palladium games as a guide).
• Add +0 to +3 based on Powers, Abilities, and Power Category (G.M. discretion using other Palladium games as a guide).
• Add +1 at levels three, nine, and fifteen.
• Add +1 for every 2 I.Q. points above 15. This bonus caps at +8 for a 30 I.Q. See table below:

16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
+1 +1 +2 +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 +6 +6 +7 +7 +8


To check Perception, the character rolls 1D20 and adds their perception bonus. If the total is above the difficulty then the roll is successful. Difficulties are as follows:

Easy: 4+ (Examples: Hearing a loud noise, finding a bright-colored object against a white background.)
Moderate: 8+ (Examples: looking for somebody in a well-lit area, hearing a slight noise.)
Challenging: 14+ (Examples: looking for something in poor light, hearing something over a noisy background.)
Difficult: 17+ (Examples: finding something in the dark, hearing a snake sliding over a carpet.)

Successful use of certain skills can increase the difficulty of the Perception roll by +1 for every full 15 percentage points in the skill.

NOTE: The Perception roll does not replace the need for skill rolls. Being able to notice something is not the same as understanding the significance of it!

Strike Rolls


Natural 1’s on 1D20 rolls are an automatic miss and will prompt a roll on a “Critical Failure” table. A Natural 2, 3, or 4 on 1D20 is only a miss if, after adding bonuses, the final result is still below the required target number (as noted in Heroes Unlimited 2nd Edition pages 63 and 75-78).

Soft Cap on Bonuses


No 1D20 roll can have greater than a +10 bonus or -10 penalty applied. Characters can have their bonuses be higher on their sheet and all effects which reduce that bonus will apply to the entire number prior to the roll.

Hard Cap on Attacks per Melee


No combatant can have more than 10 attacks in a melee round. Any character or NPC who receives an 11th attack instead receives a +2 bonus to initiative.

Called Shots


The Palladium Megaversal® system uses an abstract damage system. To work it relies on comparing the damage rolled from the attack to the target’s S.D.C./ H.P. in order to determine lethality or criticality. Called Shots to vital areas will not bypass this! In other words, Called Shots intended to do extra damage will not be allowed. Describe your Called Shots accordingly in order to avoid narrative inconsistencies.

In addition, any called shot which misses the target number will miss the target completely, even if the roll to strike is still above the target number to strike the main body.



Characters are able to move up to their Spd in feet during an action and still act. This will make ranged attacks Wild shots. When a character dodges (not autododge) they may move up to their Spd. in feet. When it comes to movement powers, the formula to convert mph to Spd. is ((M.P.H.)×22/15). A quicker, less accurate conversion is ((M.P.H.)×2/3).

Official Log and Other Logs


Every game there will be one player asked to write up an “Official Log” or “Chronicle” of that game’s events. The deadline for this chronicle to be posted is 11:59 pm PST of the Wednesday prior to the next game. The character tasked to write this chronicle will receive an XP reward, as well as the usual reward, if the chronicle is posted by the deadline. Extenuating circumstances can push out that deadline. Discuss with the G.M. when this is the case.

Other players are encouraged, but not required, to write chronicles for their characters or other characters as approved by the G.M..

Players who write and post chronicles by 11:59 pm PST of the Wednesday prior to the next game will be able to draw a Drama Card or receive a Luck Point. No more than two chronicles between games can earn such a bonus. Either is usable starting the next game session but are still subject to all the normal limitations of acquisition and use (see their sections below).

Character Updates


Players are responsible for keeping their character sheets and other support pages updated appropriately. Characters and support pages must be up to date no later than one hour prior to game time. Pages not updated on time will be used by the player and referenced by the G.M. either as they appear (un-updated) or as they should have been (updated), whichever is less advantageous to the character.



Attendance will be tracked. Every 8 games players will be rewarded as follows:

• Every game in which the player was on time (within 10 minutes of start) and played for the full game will earn 0.5 Luck Points. (that’s one-half, not five!)
• Being up to two hours late or leaving up to two hours early will earn 0.25 Luck Points.
• Being more than two hours late and/or leaving more than two hours early will earn 0 Luck Points. (But we’d still love to have you and you’ll at least get some XP!)

After 8 game sessions these attendance luck points will be added up and rewarded to the players. Any fractions will be rounded appropriately. MVP’s and Guest G.M.’s will also receive 1 luck point, to be awarded at the end of the 8 game period.

A player who can’t make the game will have their character played by another player of their choice (with G.M. approval) or played by another player of the G.M.’s choice. The character of the absent player will still receive XP for the game, equal to 1/4 the XP which could have been earned by the substitute player’s actions. The substitute player will also receive that same amount of XP as a bonus to their main character. This applies if a player needs to leave early.

Go to Attendance page



At the end of each game the players will be asked to vote for a player they feel was MVP, or “Most Valuable Player,” during the session. Players cannot vote for themselves. The winner will receive bonus XP as per the XP page and a bonus luck point when the attendance period is reset. If there’s a tie the winner(s) will split those rewards evenly.

Luck Points


Players can earn Luck Points through logs, attendance, MVP, and G.M. discretion. A Luck Point allows the player to re-roll any 1D20 or 1D100 roll, as long as that roll was not a critical success or failure (defined as a 1 or 20 on 1D20, and an 01 or (1)00 on 1D100). Luck Points can also be used to make a minor declaration (defined as when the player tries to impose some sort of change onto the scene that doesn’t conflict with what’s already been established) subject to G.M. approval.

When used to re-roll a die, the new result cannot be equal to or worse than the previous result.

When used to make a declaration, if the G.M. determines the declaration is not possible then the Luck Point will be refunded.

There is no limit to the number of Luck Points a player can have. Each player can only play up to 3 luck points in one game, regardless of whether they are played for their own character or another’s.

Drama Cards


This game uses a selection of Clockwork Drama cards to enhance game play and support outside-the-box shenanigans. The rules for their acquisition and use are as follows:

A player can have up to three Drama Cards at any given time. If a fourth one is earned the player can either:

• Draw the fourth, and then choose and discard one card (unless the fourth one is a “Must Play” card, in which case there is no need to do anything).
• Instead of drawing a fourth card, discard all three cards currently held and draw two new ones.

Drama Cards are earned as a result of Logs. Each log written between games by the deadline earns one Drama Card, unless a Luck Point was selected. No more than two cards can be earned this way. Drama Cards do not expire.

A player can only play one card per game session. “Must Play” cards do not count towards this limit. Cards can only be played for the benefit of that player unless the card text says otherwise. Players may trade cards between games or during breaks, but not during the game itself.

Some Drama Cards are “Must Play” cards – they cannot be held and must be played upon receiving them. Those cards automatically take effect during the next game and do not count against the limit of playing one card per game. If you have zero cards when you draw one of these “Must Play” cards, you may draw a second one. If you already have one or more cards when you draw that card, you do not get to draw again. While some of these types of cards work against the character, there are others that can be construed as neutral or even positive.

Click here for the list of all Drama Cards available.



The skill list as per Heroes Unlimited 2nd Edition pages 49-50 has been expanded to include numerous skills from across Palladium’s catalog of books.

The list of available secondary skills has also been expanded to account for the new skills.

A new technical skill has been made available to players:

Lore: Superhuman: Knowledge about super powers, how they are believed to work, how they affect people, their limitations, and the rumors and conspiracy theories surrounding the origins of super humans. This skill also provides a rudimentary knowledge about people and beings who possess super powers such as aliens, experiments, mutants, super soldiers, and the most infamous super humans (Ultramarine, Anna Barnes, Morbius, The Centurions, etc.). The character will also have a passing knowledge about famous super humans in the local region, technology as it relates to super human enhancement, and may be able to recognize the difference between super powers and magic, psionics, technology, talents, and extraordinary skill. Base Skill: 30% +5% per level of experience.

Click here for the list of all Skills available.

Hand to Hand


A character who takes Wrestling or a Hand to Hand skill as part of a Skill Program will learn Holds as follows:

• Wrestling: All Holds are available starting at the level Wrestling is acquired.
• Hand to Hand Basic: All Holds are available at the 5th level of advancement in this combat style.
• Hand to Hand Expert: All Holds are available at the 4th level of advancement in this combat style.
• Hand to Hand Martial Arts: All Holds are available at the 3rd level of advancement in this combat style.

If the Hand to Hand styles are taken as a Secondary skill then the Holds are only available if the character selects Wrestling as part of a skill program.



In addition to the two secondary skills each character receives at levels 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15, players will also have a chance at those levels to develop “stunts” for their characters based on their powers, skills, role-play, and other factors (G.M. discretion). A stunt should be no more powerful than what a minor power sub-ability can do, must be related to or tied in some way to abilities the character currently has or has displayed, and will take the place of one of the Secondary skills. Only one stunt can be learned at each of these levels.

The rules for returning to school and learning new skills as per page 48 of Heroes Unlimited 2nd Edition are expanded to allow online courses. The time requirements must still be met based on the type of school. Base skill level will be -10% in addition to any other skill penalty or bonus received.

Armor Rating


Armor Rating falls into two categories: Body Armor A.R., and Natural or Robotic A.R.. Each type functions as listed in the book with the following exception: only the weapon proficiency bonus to strike plus the d20 strike roll is considered for the purpose of bypassing A.R.. Other bonuses the character has to strike apply as normal versus parries, dodges, and called shots.

Example: Character A has a +1 to strike from Hand to Hand, +2 to strike from a high P.P., and +2 to strike from his weapon proficiency. He rolls 1D20 to strike Character B, who is wearing Body Armor with an A.R. of 10. The d20 roll is 7. 7+1+2+2=12. 12 is the number that Character B must roll against to parry or dodge. But versus Character B’s armor, the total is only 7+2=9; not enough to penetrate the Body Armor A.R. of 10. So if Character B fails to parry or dodge, at least their armor will take the damage from this strike.

If Character B had a Natural or Robotic A.R. of 10 instead, the only difference is that Character B would take NO DAMAGE from the strike if he failed to parry or dodge.

S.D.C. / H.P.


As per usual, a character taking damage marks it off their Structural Damage Capacity (S.D.C.) first, and only when S.D.C. reaches zero do they begin to take Hit Point (H.P.) damage. S.D.C. damage is the stuff you brush off; Hit Point damage is the stuff that hurts. To prevent combat from becoming absurdly lethal, enemy combatants will usually drop out of the fight and/or surrender once they begin to take H.P. damage. In the rare cases where enemies take H.P. damage while they still have personal S.D.C. points, they are likely to continue to fight until they have taken at least ¼ of their H.P. in damage.

When player characters lose all their S.D.C. and begin to take H.P. damage, they may “drop” and take themselves out of the fight. Enemies will generally stop attacking them at this point and move on to other targets or objectives. Players who choose to “play possum” and try to use this to make sneak attacks will not get a second chance among those combatants.

Pull Punch


A character can declare pulling punch after the strike is called, as a sort of reflexive action to try and minimize damage. The characters can adjust damage as per normal, but in cases where enemy S.D.C./ H.P. is unknown, they can declare to “Just do enough damage to reduce S.D.C. to zero and do one H.P. of damage” or “Just do enough damage to reduce S.D.C. to zero and bring H.P. to one.”

Pull Punch can be used on almost any attack, whether it’s punches, hand to hand combat, ancient weapons, energy blasts, or even modern weapons. If there’s a way to justify that the character had control of the attack and deliberately tried to minimize the damage, then usually Pull Punch can be attempted.



Attacks which do a multiplier of damage do not add damage multipliers directly. Using the note on Critical strikes on page 65 of Heroes Unlimited 2nd Edition as a guideline, multipliers will add together by subtracting 1 from each multiplier after the first.

For example:

A high level character with a silver weapon (1D8 damage normally) strikes a supernatural creature vulnerable to silver (×2 damage), with a power punch (×2), and rolls a critical hit (×3). The damage will be 1D8×5, not ×12.

Another way to look at this example is to convert critical multipliers into percentage increases:

A high level character with a silver weapon (1D8 damage normally) strikes a supernatural creature vulnerable to silver (+100% damage), with a power punch (+100% damage), and rolls a critical hit (+200% damage). The damage will be 1D8 increased by 400%, which is a multiplier of ×5.



We’ll be using the Optional Damage Rules: Knock-Down as presented on page 73 of Heroes Unlimited 2nd Edition. Generally speaking, when a target is hit by an explosion, energy blast, powerful punch, or other significant impact there is a percentage chance the target may be knocked off their feet.

For Human-sized, non-augmented individuals, attacks which do 16 S.D.C. or more have a chance to knock the target off their feet (higher damages have higher chances). Attacks which do 71 or more S.D.C. have a 100% chance to knock the target off their feet and stun them for an entire melee round!

For all other individuals (which generally includes the player characters), attacks which do 31 S.D.C. or more have a chance to knock the target off their feet (higher damages have higher chances). Attacks which do 201 or more S.D.C. have a 100% chance to knock the target off their feet and stun them for an entire melee round!

Critical Failure


When a P.C. or N.P.C. rolls a Natural 1 on a 1D20 to strike, a player will roll 1D100 and consult a randomized Critical Failure table to determine the resulting fumble. This applies equally to players and G.M. controlled characters. The table before randomization is listed below for reference:

% Fumble Description
01-10% Just a miss. Sometimes a natural 1 is it’s own penalty.
11-20% Everybody saw! Could your face be any redder? Ridiculous. Stop embarrassing yourself.
21-30% Stumble but catch yourself. It was almost pretty bad, but you recovered at the last second. Halve all combat bonuses until completion of next action.
31-40% Stumble and fall. Luckily that faceplant only hurt your pride. If you were flying or swimming, you’re instead knocked away somehow. Either way, lose your next action to recover.
41-50% Minor malfunction. A weapon misfires or is dropped, or natural weapons are somehow impeded. You cannot use that weapon/attack again until you’ve spent an action to fix the problem.
51-55% Major malfunction. Yeah, it’s done. Your weapon/attack won’t work again until you can take some time and an appropriate action out of combat in order to fix it.
56-70% Collateral damage. Boy, you’re in it now. Your miss managed to cause some expensive damage to the scene.
71-75% A danger to others. Chance to strike a random target in range. Roll a straight d20 with no bonuses (nat 1, injure yourself; nat 20, choose to crit target or yourself).
76-80% A danger to others. Chance to strike a random enemy in range. Roll a straight d20 with no bonuses (nat 1, injure yourself; nat 20, choose to crit target or yourself).
81-85% A danger to others. Chance to strike a random ally in range. Roll a straight d20 with no bonuses (nat 1, injure yourself; nat 20, choose to crit target or yourself).
86-90% A danger to others. Chance to strike a random bystander in range. Roll a straight d20 with no bonuses (nat 1, injure yourself; nat 20, choose to crit target or yourself).
91-95% A danger to yourself. You manage to injure yourself. Roll your attack damage against yourself. Roll a straight d20 to see if it bypasses A.R. (ignore misses or criticals).
96-98% So bad you’re… good? Somehow you impossibly hit the original target! Roll your attack damage. Roll a straight d20 to see if it bypasses A.R. (ignore misses or criticals).
99-00% Public menace! You not only managed to cause collateral damage, but that damage has also placed innocents in imminent mortal peril!

Birthday Bonuses


When the in-game calendar advances such that a player character’s birthday occurs, then either during the game it happens or during the following game that character will enjoy the Birthday Bonus.

When the real world calendar advances such that a player’s birthday occurs between games or the weekend of the game, that player’s characters will enjoy the Birthday Bonus. In certain circumstances a future birthdays can be celebrated a game early.

Birthday Bonus: Happy Birthday! For the duration of the game add a +2 bonus to all 1D20 rolls and a +10% bonus to all 1D100 rolls. These bonuses will bypass the caps for those rolls. These bonuses do not offset critical failure or critical success chances.

Go to Miscellanea
Go to Main Page