D&D 5E What are your 5e houserules

Lyxen

Great Old One
One thing 5e doesn't get enough credit for is changing a lot of bonuses to extra dice.

While I agree, the main change was bonuses to advantage/disadvantage, the extra-dice are extremely occasional, very welcome but (thankfully too) limited.

It's so much easier to remember when you can simply put the die in front of the player, and it just feels better to literally hand someone else a dice as a bard.

Indeed, as long as there are few of them.
 

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el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
I had a read through the portal and the extended rests mentioned something about spending hit dice on domain actions. I know extended rests were used in strongholds and followers, have you built upon these rules?
Oops! I meant to include that - but yes. This variation of rules is a still a work in progress and the "domain powers" are still only additional class abilities though at higher levels I plan to make them more about the domain itself and building armies/followers.
Edit to add: @cbwjm, I can send you what I came up with so far and what we are playing with/testing. The thing about S&F I did not like is that for a cooperative party-based game it presumes that each member of the group will have their own domain or that one of them will be the main master of the domain, when the group wanted something as a group. As such, I came up with the idea of the "Adventurer's Lodge" - it is not a castle or fort (though it could eventually be built up into one), but a place to spend downtime, hire servants and other hirelings, for henchman to stay, where messages are sent, etc. . and that belongs to all of them.

The hit dice expended for domain powers cannot be regained until a character spends an extended rest at the domain - so the price can be hefty. So far I have only had on character make use of one once, but I just introduced them session before last.
 
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Rule zero Don't be a jerk.
Rule one Let them play.
Natural one always a miss. (Does not cause extra consequences unless the situation calls for it).
Natural 20 always a hit (does not trump success being impossible).
Surprise can happen anytime that the target is unaware of any threat, even if combat is already going on.
i.e. incapacitated may be an acceptable substitute for purposes of surprise. Knocked out, Sleep spell, etc.
Extra consequences possible for falling. (max damage, need to heal to be able to stand/walk etc.) possible.
 

1. HP is rolled every level including first. No CON mod added.
2. HP Max is capped at 50.
3. Completely revised weapon and armour list based off of how rare a piece of gear is in the world. Made gauntlets, greaves and helmets separate pieces of armour that increase AC or give damage reduction.
4. Some pieces of armour provides damage reduction, the highest value being a 6 from a full suit of plate (which is a very rare piece of equipment).
5. The static proficiency value is replaced with the proficiency dice rules from the DMG.
6. Warlocks are the only class that can up-cast a spell. They also can cast the same spell multiple times a day, whereas other spellcasters cannot. This comes at a price however. Whenever a warlock casts a spell they lose HP max equal to the spell level.
7. If a character reaches zero HP, they succumb to their wounds and die if no one comes and stabilizes them with a healers kit or magical healing before the start of their next turn. Coming back from zero HP costs a hit die. If your character doesn’t have any hit die left, they can only be stabilized with magic healing. Additionally, a healers kit only brings a character back to 1 HP, which is dangerous because I also play that if a characters HP would be reduced to -10 they are dead outright. Being at 1 HP means the character is one or two good whacks away from certain death.
8. Gold for XP
9. 4D6 drop the lowest but in order from Strength to Charisma.
10. Slotted inventory. The number of slots depends on the type of backpack and belt set up the character is using. A basic has 6 backspace slots and two belt slots. Things like shields, bows and quivers are slung onto the person so don’t take up space.

I’m also using a lot of what is included in the greatest supplement I’ve laid hands on: 5E Hardcore Mode. Currently using these rules in conjunction with 5EHM to run the mega-dungeon of Barrowmaze. It’s been a blast.
 

BookTenTiger

He / Him
It's fun reading everyone's house rules!

Here are mine for the current campaign:

1. Drinking a Potion is a Bonus Action

2. Flanking increases the chance of a Critical Hit by 1, instead of providing advantage

3) All enemies have some form of Immunity, Resistance, and Vulnerability. This was a player request, they like the puzzle aspect of it.

4) Combatants get a Wound Point when they receive a Critical Hit or reach 0 HP. If your Wound Points reach your 1st Level HP, you are dead. Wound Points heal during Downtime.

5) We roll randomly to see which character has Inspiration. When they use their Inspiration, it goes randomly to another character. Every time a character gets Inspiration, they have to answer a question from the 36 Questions to Fall in Love. I cannot recommend this House Rule enough, it's so much fun!
 

Stalker0

Legend
if you make 2Handed style +1d6 damage instead of whatever we skip now excuse for a style and change one handed from +2 to +d4.
I condensed TWF, THF, and dueling into a single "offense" fighting style that gives +2 damage to melee weapons. Has worked really well, you don't have to think about it, its always useful, you can switch around your weapons and still get a bonus so your not pigeonholed, its great.
 



Laurefindel

Legend
I have a few houserules, most campaign-specific for immersion.

One I'm trying (had been in effect only for one game so far) is a Dark Souls RPG-inspired initiative rule whereas monsters and NPCs all act on initiative 12. Then, players either roll normally, with advantage, or with disadvantage given the situation. Players immediately know where they stand and the combat starts smoother. Reactions from players have been positive so far.

In our present game we don't care much about equipment but in one of my previous campaigns, encumbrance worked like this.

You have an amount of equipment slots equal to your Strength score. (Dwarves added CON modifier to STR score)
Light items, weapons, and armours weight 1
Medium items, weapons, and armours weight 2
Heavy items, weapons, and armours weight 3
Backpack weights either 1, 2, or 3, in turn affecting the "supplies DC" to know whether you run out of water, food, arrows etc. That part needed work. I'm anxious to get my Level-Up book and see if I can make it better.

In the same campaign, bucklers were considered a 1d4 bludgeoning light weapon (for TWF) and you could spend your reaction to gain +2 AC against one attack. Medium shields were standard, plus you could spend an action to raise your shield for 1/2 cover (+2 AC on top). Heavy shield gave +2 AC and you could use your reaction to gain +2 bonus to Dex saves vs fireball-like spells, and you could spend an action to raise your shield for 3/4 cover (+5 AC on top).
 

RoughCoronet0

Dragon Lover
This has me intrigued. I'm guessing there is a story reason and I'm very interested in knowing more. :)
Yes, it is for story reasons.

To make a long story short (or to try to at least, I can go on for days) Salvera is a proto-world, the oldest existing world in the multiverse (it is unknown if Salvera is the first world but it is the first to survive it’s initial creation age). It went through its own version of the Dawn Wars but instead of the gods remaining after winning, they abandoned the crumbling and damaged plane and another group of beings known as the Colossi (which act as benevolent gods on Salvera) bound themselves to the world in order to stabilize it and severed it from the rest of the multiverse and the other planes save its own ethereal plane.

99.9% of the time Salvera is disconnected from the the other crystal spheres. However, occasionally it will briefly reconnect to one of the spheres as create a wormhole-like effect that suck in all manner of space debris, as well as satellites, smaller space stations, and Spelljammer ships. Once the debris is pulled into Salvera’s crystal sphere, it is magically pulled towards a specific point on the planet by some unknown force. No one knows why this happens.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
I certainly don’t think current dual-wielding is too good, that’s why I buffed it.

Bonus actions are too important for so many subclasses and spells and magic items to have your base attack style consume them.
That's interesting - my gut reaction to that change is that it's a nerf rather than a boost. Since it's cutting an additional attack per round down to a more "reliable" attack reroll on a miss. Mathematically I think you're right that it's a boost - especially since it lets you keep your bonus action - but my initial response was "don't take away my extra attack - I gave up my AC for it!"
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
That's interesting - my gut reaction to that change is that it's a nerf rather than a boost. Since it's cutting an additional attack per round down to a more "reliable" attack reroll on a miss. Mathematically I think you're right that it's a boost - especially since it lets you keep your bonus action - but my initial response was "don't take away my extra attack - I gave up my AC for it!"
It's a nerf at low levels, I would agree, (Tier 1 is where dual-wielding is actually a really good option) but it becomes a buff once you have 2 attacks and almost any other bonus action worth using, which most characters at Tier 2 and above will have.

Mathwise, it's pretty close to using a greatsword/maul in terms of overall DPR, but with more accuracy instead of higher damage. That makes it favor effects that trigger on-hit (hunter's mark/hex, sneak attack, other bonus dice on hit), whereas 2H weapons tend to favor effects that grant accuracy/advantage.

I forgot to mention it in my other post, but I also changed Dual Wielder feat to grant -3/+6 to one-handed weapon attacks, which also lets Dual Wielding stay competitive with GWM and SS based martials.
 

cbwjm

Legend
Oops! I meant to include that - but yes. This variation of rules is a still a work in progress and the "domain powers" are still only additional class abilities though at higher levels I plan to make them more about the domain itself and building armies/followers.
Edit to add: @cbwjm, I can send you what I came up with so far and what we are playing with/testing. The thing about S&F I did not like is that for a cooperative party-based game it presumes that each member of the group will have their own domain or that one of them will be the main master of the domain, when the group wanted something as a group. As such, I came up with the idea of the "Adventurer's Lodge" - it is not a castle or fort (though it could eventually be built up into one), but a place to spend downtime, hire servants and other hirelings, for henchman to stay, where messages are sent, etc. . and that belongs to all of them.

The hit dice expended for domain powers cannot be regained until a character spends an extended rest at the domain - so the price can be hefty. So far I have only had on character make use of one once, but I just introduced them session before last.
I'm keen to see what you've got. I like domain rules and want to find a way to integrate them into 5e. Adventurer's lodge sounds like it could be good as a concept.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The thing that stands out to me the most in threads like this is always the things DMs ban, specifically for balance concerns, that just....aren't outside the power band of the PHB.

I get banning the Scribe if another player wants to play a sorcerer, because that's easier than giving the Sorcerer extra special better damage type swapping, and some of y'all care a lot more about niche protection than I do, but because it's too powerful? I am a confuse.

Even the terrible 4Elements monk can play alongside Rapier and Shield Vengeance Dexadins, and Hexadinorers can play alongside Sorcerers from the PHB, and unless your players are really counting total damage per round/combat/day on a regular basis, none of it should be "broken", IMO/IME.

But, I am also of the school of thought that we uplift that which has been left wanting, and only then think about bringing down that which has a little more.

In that light, I have very few houserules.

1. Sorcerers can choose a signature meta-magic at levels 5, 11, and 15. They have Proficiency Bonus number of uses of these meta-magics (collectively, not individually) at no spell point cost, every day. 1a. They also have broader latitude in improvising spell effects than I give to other casters.
1b. Sorcerers get to regain Cha mod sorcery points buy taking a ten minute breather (can be done as part of a shortrest), PB/LR.

2. At level 1, everyone gets either a free feat, Theros/Theros inspired supernatural gift, Strixhaven Background, or similar setting specific character option. No, there are no restrictions on the feats. No, it hasn't caused any balance issues. The few human PCs we see haven't taken GWM+PAM at level 1, but I just don't see it being a problem if one ever does.

3. We do a +1 and a feat at ASI levels, instead of a choice between, but that may change as rolling for stats has been moving back toward being our norm again. That extra +1 was more there to help make up for 5e's very low point buy, than for any balance reason, but we haven't decided yet.

4. Crits are max damage + roll.

5. New and in testing- Monks can regain half their ki points by spending 1 minute in concentration, PB/LR, and Warlocks can do the same to regain 1 spell slot.

That's about it. I have some rulings that differ from Sage Advice, like treating the reaction attack in the Mage Slayer feat as interrupting the spell, and thus requiring a concentration check just like if the caster had readied the spell, but since that is just the reading of the spell I and my other DMs had until SA informed us all of the official reading, I wouldn't count it as a houserule.

The only thing I ban is evil characters.
 

The only thing I ban is evil characters.

How do you handle good characters doing evil things?

Assume your CG Fighter spots some Orcs (they're from a local village, and are out foraging for food). He Leeroy Jenkins them, and kills several, keeping a prisoner alive. He then proceeds to torture that Orc to locate the village location.

At what point do you intervene as DM?
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
How do you handle good characters doing evil things?

Assume your CG Fighter spots some Orcs (they're from a local village, and are out foraging for food). He Leeroy Jenkins them, and kills several, keeping a prisoner alive. He then proceeds to torture that Orc to locate the village location.

At what point do you intervene as DM?

I don't really "intervene", the player can always play their character as they see fit. That being said, it's an evil act for sure, but no-one is completely consistent within their alignment anyway. It might warrant a shift of alignment depending on the circumstances and whether it's a repeat offense, a consistent trend, or something very bizarre for the character. And it pushes the character close to an alignment change to evil, and evil PCs are not allowed in that particular campaign (they are in some, but not all, we have LE characters in our Avernus campaign and they are perfect as they are), I will warn the player at the end of the session that he is close to losing his character, as if from permadeath, the character would become a NPC.

But I would not call it a house rule, it's a campaign rule, just as we have some specific backgrounds for specific campaigns.
 

Horwath

Hero
How do you handle good characters doing evil things?

Assume your CG Fighter spots some Orcs (they're from a local village, and are out foraging for food). He Leeroy Jenkins them, and kills several, keeping a prisoner alive. He then proceeds to torture that Orc to locate the village location.

At what point do you intervene as DM?
killing Orcs is an evil act now?

Now, on topic of evil characters; if player does not play a Chaotic stupid character(subclass of Chaotic evil/neutral) it should not be a problem.
Entering a tavern and starting slaying everyone with your greatsword in very bad and would end with city guard rallying and killing your PC or just make then unplayable if they manage to escape. Or making PvP combat.


running black market, using intimidate for information, saving civilians from orc raid just to secretly(or openly) rob them of their valuables, killing evil NPCs "Dexter style" could fly under the radar as evil activities.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
killing Orcs is an evil act now?

Now, on topic of evil characters; if player does not play a Chaotic stupid character(subclass of Chaotic evil/neutral) it should not be a problem.
Entering a tavern and starting slaying everyone with your greatsword in very bad and would end with city guard rallying and killing your PC or just make then unplayable if they manage to escape. Or making PvP combat.


running black market, using intimidate for information, saving civilians from orc raid just to secretly(or openly) rob them of their valuables, killing evil NPCs "Dexter style" could fly under the radar as evil activities.
Well yes, haven't you heard? Orcs are no longer "always evil" so that means that when the Lawful Evil villagers hire you to kick the Chaotic Good Orcs off of their land, which they have been occupying ever since Gruumsh claimed the worst parts of the world for his people, you are the villains.
 

I don't really "intervene", the player can always play their character as they see fit. That being said, it's an evil act for sure, but no-one is completely consistent within their alignment anyway.

Id argue unprovoked mass murder of a bunch of people foraging in the woods, and brutal torture or a survivor, in order to locate the rest of those people, in order to engage in some light genocide, is a bit more than simply 'inconsistent with the CG alignment' but I otherwise agree with your post.

Personally, I'd let the player know then and there of this, the instant he told me he was going to massacre them, that's the fact what he's about to do is evil, that this fact is absolute and the view of the Gods, and to pull their head in because (as a non evil, heroic campaign) we're not doing that kind of stuff at this table.

Do it, and your PC is obviously not Heroic, nor Good, and (according to the restrictions of the game) not a PC anymore.

If they bitched at that point, we likely have a bigger problem on our hands.
 

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