It's been a while since I posted and I'm struggling with the last pieces of the next adventure. But today is supposedly the last day of the Google+ OSR group, and I felt I wanted to post something to commemorate this occasion. During my time at G+, this group has filled my feed with a constant stream of inspiration and creativity, and led me to discover a wealth of outstanding blogs and creators that I might otherwise have missed.
So, in lieu of a proper post with actual content, I offer my house rules.
The starting idea behind these rules was to provide a sense of weight. This is the reason for using damage reduction instead of AC, and for the size die and ability requirements for equipment. But this reasoning also resulted in two rules that might perhaps be of some interest to others: fatigue, and pressing.
Fatigue basically provides an extended range for critical failures. To not make the book-keeping too burdensome, normal equipment and normal actions do not result in fatigue. Opportunity attacks, wielding heavy weapons - and in my game wearing heavy armor - do. In my game, it's treated as a "mild" critical miss: you become easier to hit and attacks deal more damage to you until your next turn.
Pressing, in turn, is a way of gambling a success on getting another success. After an attack hits, the player can opt to attack again instead of rolling damage. If the second attack is also successful, they score two hits. If not, they lose the first. However, for each time the attack is pressed, fatigue goes up by one. I stole this rule from detect magic where it is more unforgiving, but I scaled it back since I want to keep HP roughly in the same spectrum as ability scores (max 20). If you use standard HP progression, the original rule is probably better.