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5E Weirdest House Rules You've Encountered in the Wild

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
"I'm not sure how this is a house rule... can you elaborate?"

As I recall, In first and second edition, a backstab (that's what it was called) only worked when you actually attacked an opponent from behind who was completely unaware of your presence. So doing it multiple times in a combat was very uncommon without magic items or very special circumstance.
Yes, this is about right; though if the target had other people fighting it a Thief (or Assassin) could spend a round withdrawing from combat and attempting to Hide in Shadows, and if successful come in for another backstrike the following round. Thus, best case scenario would be one backstrike per two rounds.

Give your Thief a device of invisibility and the backstrike-attempt-per-two-rounds was almost guaranteed, unless the Thief was the foe's only opponent. Cast Improved Invisibility - the one that doesn't last long but stays in place even if you attack etc. - on your Thief and the opponent was toast.
 

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glass

(he, him)
"I'm not sure how this is a house rule... can you elaborate?"

As I recall, In first and second edition, a backstab (that's what it was called) only worked when you actually attacked an opponent from behind who was completely unaware of your presence. So doing it multiple times in a combat was very uncommon without magic items or very special circumstance.
That is true for a Thief using Backstab, but @commandercrud said a Rogue using Sneak Attack and they are considerably less restricted in every edition in which they exist.

Anyway, on the topic of the thread, I have a friend who houseruled that all prepared casters in PF1 did not have to prepare spells and instead could cast any spell they knew (wizards) or on their list (druids and clerics) just like a sorcerer. I never actually played under that rule (since I have only played PFS with the guy), but I can only assume they do not have a lot of actual sorcerers....

_
glass.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Anyway, on the topic of the thread, I have a friend who houseruled that all prepared casters in PF1 did not have to prepare spells and instead could cast any spell they knew (wizards) or on their list (druids and clerics) just like a sorcerer.
That's exactly what I've done in my 1e-variant game: you've got x-slots per level and if the spell's on your list and you've got a slot left of that level, cast away (there's no up-casting etc., a spell can only ever be cast at its own level). Means I actually get to see some different spells get cast now and then, other than the usual few; never mind that over the years as a player I've come to absolutely loathe spell pre-memorization and thus don't want to inflict it on my players. :)
 





Sir Brennen

Adventurer
And for some reason all new characters got to roll for a random magic item (some high-level stuff, too) and a mutant ability. Yep, a mutant ability.
Maybe by "mutant" they meant "psionic", because DMs using those rules in 1E could let players roll to see if their PCs had psionics. It was like a 2 or 3 percent chance you did, but a chance.

Had one DM found of using psionic monsters who would say "Do you get to roll for psionics? In my game, you have to roll for psionics."
 
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monsmord

Explorer
Maybe by "mutant" they meant "psionic", because DMs using those rules in 1E could let players roll to see if their PCs had psionics. It was like a 2 or 3 percent chance you did, but a chance.

Had one DM found of using psionic monsters who would say "Do you get to roll for psionics? In my game, you have to roll for psionics."

In this case he really meant "mutant," as he was an uber-fan of X-Men. "Mutant abilities" he borrowed from comics and made up himself. Stuff like "You have 1 million hit points, but can never heal by any means," or "You have retractable claws" or "You can fly" and such.

But now that you mention it, I recall rolling for psionics as well, and the chant the DM did when a player got some. It didn't occur to me here because it was RAW.
 

Pretty much how 1e worked
Yeah, and you had to roll the d% chance to learn a spell from a book or scroll based on your Int. If you failed, you had to gain a level to try again.

I remember some DMs having the magic-user roll the d% for each spell on the list when they gained a level. That way you had a list of spells possible in the book, a list of spells that your character could learn, and then the list of spells that you actually had in your spellbook.

It sounds like a waste of time, but the DM did it just so they knew what spells would be immediately useful and those that the character had to wait for.
 

Jediking

Explorer
Cover rules: no penalty on ranged attacks shooting into melee, no bonus for taking covers, no +Dex saves...

and of course everyone complained about static combats and no movement....
 


Esbee

Explorer
Yeah, and you had to roll the d% chance to learn a spell from a book or scroll based on your Int. If you failed, you had to gain a level to try again.

I remember some DMs having the magic-user roll the d% for each spell on the list when they gained a level. That way you had a list of spells possible in the book, a list of spells that your character could learn, and then the list of spells that you actually had in your spellbook.

You actually have to wait until your Intelligence score changed, not when you gain a level, so rerolling for spells you fail to learn is far less common. (BTB at least)

As for the 2nd paragraph, that's what the minimum and maximum spells known # with INT is for - you make the list of spells you already know (this includes the 4 starting spells in your book), rolling until you achieve that minimum, but if you want to keep going and max out your spells known then that's up to the player. (Most just take the minimum and see what comes in-game). Once you know your max, that's it, you're done unless your INT increases and your max # along with it.
 

commandercrud

Adventurer
My houserule on wizard spells is you don't get 2 new ones automatically on levelling. That's it. Most wizard PCs will have a mentor who will usually give them one, if they're in good standing, and that is mentor's choice (really I just roll randomly). Any others they must research themselves or find scrolls or copy from found spellbooks.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
A barbarian could instead of Rage, could go into other extreme emotionial states like Horror or Joy.
Just not Calm as it would turn you into a monk.
I actually think that would make for an interesting concept for a character class....the emotionalist.

I think id roll up X # of characters representing X # of emotional states and the character would morph between them as their state changed.

I like it!
 

Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
The first time I played AD&D 1e, the DM thought that the AC adjustment for weapons referred to the wielder's AC instead of that of the target, so that my ranger, with splint mail and shield, improved his AC by two when wielding a broad sword.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I'm not sure how weird it is, but restricting wizards to spells they find in-game rather than full automatic access to anything in the rulebooks is one I've seen used and often use myself.
That was the standard in some earlier editions of D&D. I remember playing a 6th level Wizard who still hadn't found a 3rd level spell. And there was no upcasting in those editions.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Played in an AD&D game with a lot of player where if a player didn't show their character got "Zombie Rot". This disease would rot them into an indestructible (and unlootable) zombie that would follow the party, and when the player returned it would go into remission. Just an in-game explanation of missing players, but so odd.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I don't know if it qualifies as a houserule, but when I was in high school, some friends of mine believed that weapons made of charcoal were the only appropriate weapons for fighting demons.

I still don't know where that one came from...
AAAAAND we're off to a great start. I'm gonna like this thread!

As for the inspiration for that rule...were your friends anime fans? Seems to be a lot of charcoal-Demon connections in Japanese Anime. In Demon Slayer or Kimetsu No Yaiba, Tanjro's Nichirin's Sword is charcoal colored and he comes from a family of charcoal harvesters. But the blade itself is made from a fictional ore called "scarlet ore."

In the Dark Souls video game, there is a demon that you kill using a charcoal pine resin-coated weapon.
 

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