What are your favorite/non-favorite house rules?

Slit518

Explorer
What are some of your favorite house rules?

Alternatively, what are some house rules you detest the most?
 

Maestrino

Explorer
Hmmm. I like your inspiration idea - have you read Angry GM's idea?


It's his Option 1: Angry's Awesome Inspiration System. (Setting the name aside, it works pretty well...)
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Hmmm. I like your inspiration idea - have you read Angry GM's idea?


It's his Option 1: Angry's Awesome Inspiration System. (Setting the name aside, it works pretty well...)
I read an article of his on Inspiration early on in D&D 5e as I recall and I didn't like it because he tied it to a setback. I don't do that.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
My entire game is pretty much houserules so it's hard to come up with any particular one that's a favourite. :)

Houserule I dislike the most: any blanket rule against otherwise-reasonable and-or generally entertaining character types or activities that would otherwise be present and accepted within the setting. Some examples of what I mean that I've seen on this forum (!) over the years:

--- no evil characters
--- no chaotic characters
--- a ban on playing characters of a gender not your own
--- no in-party romances, flirtations, dalliances, etc.
--- no henches, adventuring hirelings, or secondary characters
--- no outright disagreement with another PC's suggestion or idea, no matter how dumb it is

Note that these are all different from setting-based houserules e.g. if a setting has no Elves in it then a houserule saying you can't play an Elf is fully justified. But every setting has evil and chaos in it, every setting has (at least!) two genders, every setting has romance, and so forth...and therefore it should all be playable.
 

jmartkdr2

Villager
Favorite: any re-write to inspiration. Obviously this is 5e specific.

Least favorite: crit fails. The newer the edition, the more I hate it. (heck, in B/X I wouldn't mind at all, but in 5e it's a deal breaker.)
 

Ath-kethin

Explorer
Favorite: max hit points at every level and max healing from spells and potions.

Runner-up: individual initiative and weapon speed modifiers to initiative and keying initiative off of Intelligence instead of Dexterity.

Least favorite: starting the campaign immobilized and/or changed to a wall and powerless to escape until the GM's best friend's PC came to the rescue leading a tribe of velociraptor-riding barbarians. That happened twice, back in like 1994 or 95. Two different GMs and unrelated campaigns, believe it or not.
 

MonkeezOnFire

Adventurer
Favourite: I remove restrictions on item interactions to switch out your own equipment. Need to put away your sword and shield to pull out your bow? Sure. You've got your hands full but need to cast a spell with material components? Go right ahead. I just find the one item interaction a turn in practice means that nobody ever switches out their equipment.

Least favourite: Critical fumbles resulting in anything more than just an automatic miss. It's really frustrating to have your character look like an idiot because of a random chance.
 

delphonso

Explorer
Favorite: First couple levels you roll for HP - if less than half, take half. I like the max HP thing, but prefer this. It ensures players have a healthy amount of HP but also has some variation and luck involved.

Hated: XP to slayer. This makes the table a competitive and toxic place.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Not sure I really have a favorite. I definitely have a least favorite.

Favorite: characters can buy a reinforced bow to add strength mod to attack and damage.

Least favorite: On a critical hit, roll a 6 sided die that has different body parts on it. Hit in the head? You're decapitated. Hit on an arm? Time for that prayer to reattach it! Torso? Cut in half.
 

Nebulous

Adventurer
For house rules, we've been using Max damage on a crit, and then roll the weapon die again. This can get especially brutal when double sneak attack and/or poison damage. It can certainly swing a fight one way or another very quickly.

We also have been using an Initiative card system that is based on Dexterity, so every round your order changes, but there is no dice rolling or math involved, you just shuffle the deck.
 

Nebulous

Adventurer
Least favorite: starting the campaign immobilized and/or changed to a wall and powerless to escape until the GM's best friend's PC came to the rescue leading a tribe of velociraptor-riding barbarians. That happened twice, back in like 1994 or 95. Two different GMs and unrelated campaigns, believe it or not.
Hahaaha. Really? They didn't compare notes at all? What are the odds of that wow
 

Enrico Poli1

Explorer
I usually use these:
  • PHB only (no Xanathar or other splatbooks); exception: setting book of the setting we are actually playing.
  • Do not roll ability scores, use 18, 14, 14, 10, 10, 10 before racial modifiers
  • Alignment coherence in party (all good/neutral or all evil/neutral party members; evil campaigns are rare). No in-party violence, theft...
  • Intimidate skill uses Cha or Str; it's a display of badassery and can be used to impress people; Religion skill uses Int or Wis; Perception can be used for Investigation but not vice-versa (Investigation is still useful for high-Int characters and for Library research)
  • Group initiative (to speed up, in all but the most important fights): a side goes first, then the other. Use median bonus for the Initiative roll.
  • Infinite ammunition. If the party finds more than 20 ammunition of a magical version (ex. +1 Arrows), that becomes infinite too. Must be repeated for different characters.
No encumbrance calculation, within reason.

- Last time, I used a new rule: the party can decide to skip the easy fights, and play only the boss fights and the interesting ones. This is to speed up the game, and focus on the story rather then rollplay. This has functioned so well that I'll always keep this rule.
 

DM Dave1

Adventurer
Exploding crits: The additional die from a crit is automatically the highest number on the die (works for players and monsters)
Very much this. Nothing worse than seeing the excitement of rolling a nat 20 turn into the disappointment of rolling double 1s.

Adding to this, if someone rolls double crit on Advantage or Disadvantage, I'll give an extra set of max dice to add to the damage. It has actually happened once!

While I've abandoned my crit fail table b/c reasaons, I do have the the players decide what has gone wrong when they crit fail. And multiple things on a double crit fail (yep, it happened two sessions ago!) This usually takes the form of slipping prone, losing their grip on a weapon, or hitting themself.
 

Celebrim

Legend
What are some of your favorite house rules?

Alternatively, what are some house rules you detest the most?
Very much depends on the edition of game we are playing.

My games tend to be more house rules than RAW, so asking me to pick a favorite would be like picking a favorite child. I would say that for the size of the change, one of the most dramatically impactful house rules I've ever done was for 3e I altered the computation of spell saving throw DC so that the spell level didn't add to the DC. It dramatically reduced the problem with 'save or suck' and took a ton of focus off casters.

The ratio of me DMing to playing is about 4:1, and most of the DMs I've played under have stuck mostly to convention, so it's also hard for me to pick a least favorite house rule. The DM that didn't allow his players to see their own character sheets was... different. I know what he was going for, but I don't remember any one clamoring for a second session.

I do know that my own attempts to have realistic coinage, realistic languages, quasi-realistic healing, and numinous magic items all were quick failures that were abandoned before they were even fully adopted. I guess those would occupy my biggest failed house rules, though they were less rules than failure to realize that I was trying to put spotlight on a part of the setting largely no one cared about and which not only didn't enhance the game, they actively detracted from it.
 

Shiroiken

Adventurer
Favorite: changing the way xp works for 5E. Monster xp is cut in half, and various exploration and social encounters make up the difference, with possible quest xp for completing the objective. I feel a little bad about using this one as my favorite, because it's mine, but it's also probably because its from the most recent edition (I played with a LOT of houserules over the editions).

Least Favorite: Critical Hit/Fumble tables. Most people complain about the critical fumbles, but I hated the critical hits more. Dismemberment in AD&D was far harder to fix, and stupidly common with these charts. I remember one 2E game where my sword arm was cut off, with the sword knocked into a pit, so I had to pick up my own arm and beat the orc to death with it.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
My favorite house rule: healing potions always heal max, but also cost 50% more.

My least-favorite house rule: anything that makes Advantage even more common.
 

Saelorn

Adventurer
Exploding crits: The additional die from a crit is automatically the highest number on the die (works for players and monsters)
Given how common it is to house rule critical hits into being more effective, I'm surprised that so few tables implement the average damage option. After all, a critical hit that deals +7 damage is never a disappointment.

As to the topic at hand, my favorite house rule, back when I was playing more-or-less RAW: Simplified object interactions. It's possible to sheathe your sword and then throw two javelins in a round, and you can perform the somatic component of any spell as long as you aren't physically tied up.
 

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