D&D 5E Common house rules for 5e.

darjr

I crit!
Idea swiped from here D&D 1E - Common House Rules for AD&D?

What are your most used house rules or common ones.

One I use is on a crit the first set of dice is maxed out. Curiously I find that new players prefer to roll all the dice instead.

So I’m interested in what your doing? Feat for everyone at first level? Zero level funnels? What?
 

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Cruentus

Adventurer
Slow healing, based on older DnD, the gritty healing in the DMG is half baked. Though you could still spend HD. Medicine skill sped up natural healing.
Fatigue when you get healed from 0 hp during combat. Again, modified negatives rather than the 5e Fatigue, which is also half baked.
Lingering Injuries, but again, used a 3PP version that wasn't so much "lop off limbs", but had recovery times for major injuries. (See a pattern here?)
Enemy gained Advantage to hit if you cast a spell while in melee, and didn't target the creature you were in melee with
No Flanking (Advantage), instead +2 to hit if you came behind someone engaged
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Magic item attunement is equal to proficiency bonus, and most items don't have attunement unless attunement unlocks additional powers for the item.

Variant Human is banned, but everyone gets a Feat at level 1.

ASI's are based on character level, not class level (save for "bonus" ASI's like the Fighter and Rogue).

Bonus Action spells can be used in the same turn as leveled spells.

Casters do not need a free hand to cast spells (originally this was for Clerics only, but thinking about it, I didn't see a real need to prevent Eldritch Knights from using shields).

Concentration is no longer determined by a Constitution saving throw. It uses the same mechanic, but now all casters use Constitution modifier + proficiency bonus by default, whether or not they have Con save proficiency.

Resilient can be taken multiple times.

Customizable Backgrounds.

Instead of Short Rests taking an hour, characters can take 5 minutes to get the benefits of a Short Rest a number of times per day equal to their proficiency bonus.

Wild Magic Sorcerers regain the use of Tides of Chaos under the following circumstances:

*any natural 1 or 20 is rolled at the table (whether or not it would be ignored due to advantage/disadvantage, or would be rerolled).
*if they have Inspiration, they can trade it in to regain Tides of Chaos.

Half-cover for a Medium creatures is considered to be three-quarters cover for a Small or Tiny creature. Three-quarters cover for a Medium creature is considered to be total cover for a Small or Tiny creature.

Bonus action to drink a potion (forgot this until I saw it was mentioned above!).
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
We roll hit points twice at level-up. Player takes the higher of the two.

Drinking potions as a bonus action, mainly because I want to encourage more use of consumables.

I'm also thinking pretty hard about using Strength saves more. I think too many situations may look at Strength (athletics) checks rather than Strength saves. And I think I'd rather balance the saves among themselves better.
 


Emirikol

Adventurer
Players choice to miss..or break your weapon on a natty 1 but get a crit.

No electronics on the game table.

Species (race) restrictions are specific to the campaign and cultural Alignment is a thing for races. Yes, orcs and drow are naturally evil by the same way devils are and "anything goes for race" isnt a thing in our Hyboria, Lankhmar, or Spelljammer campaigns. If you cant come up with an interesting character personality, a different rubber mask on you head isnt going to change that.

Replacement characters come in same xp as previous character because the dm isnt a dick and character death is a thing.
 

darjr

I crit!
Players choice to miss..or break your weapon on a natty 1 but get a crit.

No electronics on the game table.

Species (race) restrictions are specific to the campaign and cultural Alignment is a thing for races. Yes, orcs and drow are naturally evil by the same way devils are and "anything goes for race" isnt a thing in our Hyboria, Lankhmar, or Spelljammer campaigns. If you cant come up with an interesting character personality, a different rubber mask on you head isnt going to change that.

Replacement characters come in same xp as previous character because the dm isnt a dick and character death is a thing.
Oh! I have a player that has a glass sword. It’s going to get this property now.

Note he does have a chance to get more.
 

Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
Anybody use alternate stats for skill checks?
Like Dex for medicine check if the injured player is shrunk to tiny?
Not sure about your specific example, but I use alternate stats all the time. In fact, normally I think about it as: you need to roll a specific ability; if you have an appropriate skill, tool proficiency or background, you add your proficiency bonus.
 

Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
Other house rules that I use:

  • 5 minutes short rests, max per hour, 2 per long rest
  • variant humans only
  • certain checks can be rolled only if you have a relevant proficiency
 

darjr

I crit!
Other house rules that I use:

  • 5 minutes short rests, max per hour, 2 per long rest
  • variant humans only
  • certain checks can be rolled only if you have a relevant proficiency
The proficiency one comes up a lot in my games too. Weirdly I’ve never asked for it players just seem to do it that way.
 

rooneg

Explorer
Eldritch Blast scaling with Warlock level instead of character level.

Sharpshooter and Great Weapon Master working via -prof bonus/+double prof bonus instead of -5/+10.

Sadly, I don't get to use these often, as I mostly DM for AL games.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
What are your most used house rules or common ones.
Oh, so many...

Currently, this is a "brief summary" of many of them (but not all...):
1660676727074.png
1660676798223.png


It is continually being added to. :D
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
  • Slow Natural Healing from the DMG
  • Short rests are 5 minutes, 2 max per day.
  • No ASI at chargen or no ASI after chargen, I'm still on the face which I prefer.
  • Minimum HP for monsters, but + #HD in damage on a hit.
  • CON score HP + 1 HD rolled HP at 1st level.
  • No limit on concentration spells (1 hit may make you lose all of them, though)
  • Long Rest in the wilds require a Con check at dawn to see if you benefit from the rest.
  • Better spell progression for 1/3 casters, no limitation on schools

in the work:

  • Equipment proficiency based on the character's STR score.
  • Front loading the class features.

maybe:

- Removing the archetypes and using their features to make classes that are the ''optimal classic experience'' . In tandem with front-loaded features.
 

Reynard

Legend
The proficiency one comes up a lot in my games too. Weirdly I’ve never asked for it players just seem to do it that way.
Yeah, "trained only" seems to have just wormed its way into our games without anyone actively suggesting it.

I started using initiative rolls per round recently and love it. We play on Fantasy grounds, so it doesn't increase our workload and adds a sense of chaos to the fighting which i appreciate. Next time I am going to have individual enemies even of the same type roll seperately (again, because using the VTT means it is no extra effort).

I think i will institute the "bonus action" potion rule. There needs to be a set of standard bonus actions, IMO.
 

darjr

I crit!
Yeah, "trained only" seems to have just wormed its way into our games without anyone actively suggesting it.

I started using initiative rolls per round recently and love it. We play on Fantasy grounds, so it doesn't increase our workload and adds a sense of chaos to the fighting which i appreciate. Next time I am going to have individual enemies even of the same type roll seperately (again, because using the VTT means it is no extra effort).

I think i will institute the "bonus action" potion rule. There needs to be a set of standard bonus actions, IMO.
Oh! That initiative change sounds interesting
 

Bolares

Hero
I do free feats for everyone, use a free form version of skill challenges where you can also cast spells instead of rolling skills for successess, but most of the time I just make rullings during the game.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I mostly house rule 5E to get it to work more like older editions where exploration is actually a challenge, combat isn’t a foregone conclusion and slog, etc.

I ban a few races, backgrounds, spells, feats, and subclasses.

I do five-minute short rests, no more than two per long rest.

Potions as a bonus action or standard action. As a bonus action, you roll healing. As a standard action, you heal the max.

I do genre-based inspiration, allow players to spend it after a roll, and let players get more than one at a time. Haven’t settled on the number. Prof bonus, double prof bonus, something else.

I’m also leaning hard into the idea of gritty realism when out of civilization or as the default all the time.

ETA: I also use verisimilitude over rules. You take a swan dive off a 200ft tower, you die when you hit the ground. I don't care how many hp you have. Take a lava bath? Time to roll a new character unless you're resistant or immune to fire. I care way more about the world and the fiction than the rules. If the rules get in the way, chuck 'em.
 
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