2nd Edition House Rules

The Unfettered Blades Campaign is a 2nd Edition AD&D campaign that uses a limited amount of rules from the Player’s Option series and a few home-brewed rules.


  • Permitted Races from the PHB include: Human, Dwarf, Gnome, and Halfling. No elves, sorry.
  • Permitted races from Skills & Powers include: Goblin, Mongrelman
  • Humans: Humans are the only race permitted access to kits. Other races have significant racial abilities already and kits level the playing field.
  • Infravision: Any race with infravision instead has low-light vision.



  • Permitted Classes: Fighter, Barbarian (Frontiersman), Paladin
  • When a fighter reaches 9th level he may choose one of the following benefits:
    • The fighter may establish a fortress in the wilderness, extending the reach of civilization further into unknown territories. Once complete the fighter attracts followers as per the PHB.
    • The fighter may establish a fighting academy within a major urban center. This academy attracts 4d6 1st level fighters who seek to learn from a master swordsman. Each of these students pays the fighter 1 gp per fighter level each month.
  • The barbarian class from the Barbarian’s Handbook is available. Europeans can take this class and are referred to as Frontiersmen.
  • Rangers are not permitted.


  • Classes: Cleric (Christian), Diabolist (Satanist-NPC only), Shaman
  • Clerics represent Christian priests.
    • Clerics are prohibited from using their magic (God’s power) to harm a sentient creature who is not an enemy of God. However, they are required to destroy Diabolists whether by physical or divine force. This prohibition applies to preachers as well.
    • Clerics possess to power to channel divine energy in far more potent ways than do normal AD&D clerics. The cleric’s turn undead ability also turns all creatures from another plane of existence and acts as a dispel magic as if cast by the cleric. A cleric can only attempt to dispel a specific magical affect once per level.
    • Clerics may wield any weapon, they are not limited to bludgeoning weapons.
  • Barbarian Clerics (Shamans) represent priests of native or African faiths.



  • All damage dice explode.
    • If the maximum result is rolled on a damage die roll again and add to the total.
    • Repeat until maximum damage is not rolled.
  • Critical Hits
    • If a natural 20 is rolled on an attack roll (or 19 for some weapons) the struck creature must roll a saving throw vs. death magic. Failure results in a critical hit.
    • Critical hits are rolled on the table in the Combat & Tactics. Each weapon has its own critical damage die.


Kits permitted from the Complete Paladin’s Handbook:

  • Fighters: Chevalier, Militarist

Kits permitted from the Complete Bard’s Handbook:

  • Dabblers: Charlatan, Herald, Loremaster, Professor, Riddlemaster
  • Preachers: True Bard, Chanter, Herald, Professor, Skald, Whistler
  • Thief: True Bard, Blade, Chanter, Charlatan, Gallant, Gypsy (no psionics), Herald, Jongleur, Professor, Skald, Thespian. Thieves who take a bard kit must sacrifice one thief skill for each special ability they receive. The thief may select from 0 to 4 kit special abilities.


Unfettered Blades is a lower-magic setting than the D&D standard. As a consequence:

  • Spells cast at standard casting time count as one level higher. These spells are runes, carving a rune requires the same amount of time normally required to memorize a spell.
  • Spells may also be cast as a ritual at no level adjustment. Rituals bump up the time required to cast by one increment: segments become rounds, rounds become turns, turns become hours, hours become days, etc.
  • Some spells are modified. Check the Spell House Rules page for specifics.

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2nd Edition House Rules

Unfettered Blades DireHammer DireHammer