D&D 5E Ten House Rules for More Dynamic 5E Combat

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
We use flanking in my group and honestly I'm not a fan. It works well against large groups of mooks because they also get flanking on the PCs, but when the PCs outnumber the monsters (which tends to be the case when fighting powerful foes) the PCs, which already have an advantage because of action economy, get all the benefit.

On the other hand, I'm a big fan of Ad Hoc Advantage. I will frequently require an ability check to grant it, though.

The other rule I would suggest is allowing Inspiration to be used after the roll.
 

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Stormonu

Legend
I wish squares were 3 feet, instead of 5.

I've been playing with "making everyone a battlemaster", allowing folks to use bonus actions for effects beyond trading d20 rolls and depleting sacks of hit points.

# Advanced Combat Options
During their turn, any character, with the DM's approval, can attempt any one of the following stunts as a bonus action or reaction, as indicated by the ability. To qualify for an action that activates on an attack, you must have made a melee weapon, melee spell, ranged weapon or ranged spell attack. Spells that have an effect on a failed save cannot be used with combat options that require an attack to be used. At the DM's option, a character may expend a point of inspiration to perform one of the listed actions below without it taking up a bonus action or reaction. In any case, no more than one combat option listed below can be used by a single character per round.

These combat options are not suggested for use by creatures run by the DM, unless it is an extraordinary example of its kind (in general, a "named" NPC or otherwise unique NPC).

DMs and players are encouraged to create their own additional combat options to further spice up combats and cover unusual or one-shot actions that might occur in the combat - such as interacting with furniture or obstacles, targeting specific opponents or performing unusual tactics.

### Avenge
You swear to wreck vengenance on an opponent who felled an ally.
As a reaction when an opponent drops an ally to 0 hit points, you can move half your speed and make a single weapon attack or a single cantrip attack.

### Avoid
You give ground to avoid an opponent's attack.
As a reaction when an opponent misses you with an attack, you can move up to half your speed away. This does not provoke an attack of opportunity for the opponent that just missed, but may provoke opportunity attacks from other creatures.

### Blind
You take a moment to render your opponent unable to see.
As a bonus action against an opponent you just hit, you can force them to make a Dexterity saving throw against a DC of 8 + your attack bonus. On a failure, the target is blinded until the end of its next turn.

### Brace
You prepare for an opponent's approach.
You convert your bonus action into an extra reaction that triggers the original bonus action when an opponent moves into your reach.

### Cleave
Your attack continues through a fallen enemy.
When you reduce a foe to 0 hit points with a melee or ranged weapon attack, as a bonus action you can choose an adjacent opponent with the same or worse AC. Any damage you did in excess to the original target's hit points is applied to the secondary target.

### Cower
You make yourself look unworthy of being harmed.
As a reaction, if you have not attacked an opponent who is about to attack you, you can force the opponent to make a Wisdom saving throw against a DC of 8 + your Persuasion (Cha) skill. On a failure, the opponent chooses another target in range to attack, if able.

### Deafen
You deliver a blow that leaves the enemy's ears ringing.
As a bonus action against an opponent you just hit, you can force them to make a Constitution saving throw against a DC of 8 + your attack bonus. On a failure, the target is deafened until the end of its next turn.

### Fluster
You make a snide remark designed to unbalance your opponent.
As a reaction you choose an opponent that can hear you within 30 feet. The opponent must make a Wisdom saving throw against a DC of 8 + your Intimidate (Cha) skill. On a failure, the target's next attack has disadvantage.

### Focus
You steady your resolve.
As a bonus action, you ready yourself for action. Until your next action, when you are required to make a saving throw or concentration check, as a reaction you can gain advantage on the roll.

### Frighten
You strike fear into your foe, diminishing their resolve.
As a reaction when you have more than half your hit points and an opponent targeting you has less than half their hit point total, you can force them to make a Wisdom saving throw with a DC of 8 + your Intimidate (Cha) skill. On a failure, the target is frightened of you until the end of its next turn.

### Guard
You protect an ally from harm.
When an opponent attacks an ally within 5 feet of you, as a reaction you can force the opponent to make their next attack with disadvantage.

### Hound
You prevent an enemy from easily escaping.
As a bonus action, you can select an enemy within melee range of you. If the selected opponent attempts to move away, even by means of disengaging, as a reaction you can make an attack of opportunity against them or move half your movement rate to follow them.

### Interact
You use a piece of furniture or other item to your advantage.
You gain one of the following, but you cannot use both in the same turn. After interacting with an item, the DM should adjucate if it can be used again or is destroyed or expended by the interaction.

  • As a bonus action you gain advantage on your next attack.
  • As a reaction, you inflict disadvantage on your opponent's next attack.

### Limber
You prepare yourself for physical activity.
As a bonus action, you give yourself advantage on the next Athletics (Str) or Acrobatics (Dex) skill check you make during your turn. If you climb or jump, you increase the distance you cover by 50%.

### Goad
You bully your opponent into attacking you.
As a reaction you choose an opponent that can hear you within 30 feet. The opponent must make a Wisdom saving throw against a DC of 8 + your Intimidate (Cha) skill. On a failure, the target must target you for its next attack.

### Grapple
You grab your opponent.
As a bonus action against an opponent no more than one size category larger than you that you hit with a melee weapon or unarmed attack, you can force the target to make a Strength saving throw against a DC of 8 + your Athletics (Str) skill. On a failure, the target is grappled.

### Pin
You nail your opponent in place, preventing them from moving.
As a bonus action against an opponent you just hit, you can force the target to make a Strength saving throw against a DC of 8 + your Athletics (Str) skill. On a failure, the target is restrained until the end of its next turn.

### Push
You shove an opponent.
As a bonus action against an opponent you just hit, you can force the target to make a Strength saving throw against a DC of 8 + your Athletics (Str) skill. On a failure, you can move the target up to 5 feet x your Strength modifier.

### Stun
You knock your opponent senseless.
As a bonus action against an opponent that you score a critical hit against, you can force the target to make a Constitution saving throw against a DC of 8 + your attack bonus. On a failure, the target is incapacitated until the end of its next turn.

### Target
You set your sights on a single opponent.
As a bonus action, you can choose an opponent that you can see and make an Insight (Int) check against the target's passive Perception. On a success, when you make your first attack roll against the target in the same turn, you gain advantage on the attack roll.

### Trip
You knock your opponent to the ground.
As a bonus action against an opponent no more than one size category larger than you that you hit, you can force the target to make a Dexterity saving throw against a DC of 8 + your Athletics (Str) skill. On a failure, the target is knocked prone.


### Tumble
As a bonus action, if you are in light armor or no armor, your have an AC of 10 + your Acrobatics (Dex) skill when opponents make an opportunity attack when you attempt to move out of their reach.
 

Because most buildings are rectangular?

However, very few rectangles in real life are actually built in 5' increments. If you're going to use ad hoc approximations anyway, you might as well use hexes instead. It's a much more elegant solution than the bizarre non-euclidian geometry created by all the weird math games people play with diagonals in square grids.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
However, very few rectangles in real life are actually built in 5' increments. If you're going to use ad hoc approximations anyway, you might as well use hexes instead. It's a much more elegant solution than the bizarre non-euclidian geometry created by all the weird math games people play with diagonals in square grids.

That's why I use a Bolyai-Lobachevskian grid.
 



I’m a supporter of the 3-foot square, because you can use the yard (or meter for those who prefer metric) as the basic unit of distance and have them correspond 1:1 with squares.
That's what Shadow of the Demon Lord does. However in my experience I don't think in a pratical sense it makes much difference to 5 foot squares.
 


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