What are your favorite/non-favorite house rules?

dagger

Explorer
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.
That’s sounds like a great story to me!

We use the critical hit card deck and it’s amazing.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Outside of flipping the switches of standard variants (feats=on, long rests variant=on, multiclass=on), I don't play with a lot of non-setting specific house rules. Is what books are allowed a house rule?

I don't consider things like "no evil characters" a house rule. We mutually agree on the type of game we want in session 0.

I have a tie for favorites that address very different things.

Favorite: Summons are played in combat by the other players. You can play a summoner, but the other players don't lose focus time in combat. Please make sure to have stat sheets to hand out for the common ones I may say arrive. (This doesn't apply to long term summons like Find Familiar or Find Steed.)

Favorite: Players award Inspiration to other players. Just makes it flow better. But I have mature players I've been gaming with for years.

Ultra-Bonus-Too-specific-to-win Runner Up: Wild Magic Sorcerer Tides of Chaos changes from "DM" to "DM or any other player" can activate. So yes, others can call for a surge if they think it's appropriate. Or funny. Or epic.

Least Favorite: Exhaustion on hitting 0 HP.
 

Legatus_Legionis

< BLAH HA Ha ha >
Favorite House Rule(s): Oh, there are a few;

1.) I person is in charge of all PC sheets. (creation, updating/printing out, etc.)
2.) We use random treasure tables from Encyclopedia Magica instead of those from the DMG.
3.) We use critical hits/fumble charts.
4.) ABSOLUTELY NO PSIONICS!

Most Disliked house rule:
1.) When we had a campaign were only certain classes/race/alignments were allowed to be played.
 

Ath-kethin

Explorer
Hahaaha. Really? They didn't compare notes at all? What are the odds of that wow
I'm pretty sure they didn't even know each other! One other player was with me in both and I remember us rolling out eyes in sync when the second campaign started.

Must have been something in the water, or maybe just the zeitgeist. This would have been right when/just after Jurassic Park was in theaters.
 

pogre

Adventurer
Favorite: Players award Inspiration to other players. Just makes it flow better. But I have mature players I've been gaming with for years. copy pasted from @Blue - but it is my favorite 5e houserule.

Least Favorite: I almost DM exclusively and limiting PC choices is something I used to do, but realized it took away some of the zaniness that is D&D and let it go. A couple of my players love to build unusual characters.
 

Ilbranteloth

Explorer
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.
My campaign is similar, pretty much houserules.

The only one on your list here that generally does apply in my campaign is no evil characters. I don't mind having evil PCs per se, but I can't stand poorly played evil characters. In addition, it has caused issues too often, and my players don't want to have evil PCs in the campaign. So that one is up to the table and usually falls on no evil characters.

So it's not really a ban, so much as it's an agreement between the players that they won't play evil PCs. Otherwise, there's quite a bit on your list that I would not only not ban, but I'd encourage them. Particularly romances, etc. and henchmen.
 

MiraMels

Explorer
The one I've stuck with over multiple games and campaigns is that when someone is down and dying in combat, they aren't out cold. They can't speak or interact much (save for perhaps, a faltering word or two), but the character staying aware of what's going on around them stops players from needing to enforce some strict player/character knowledge separation during an already chaotic time.
 

Nebulous

Adventurer
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!
We max the first set of dice, then roll the weapon dice again on top. This has worked well for us. ONCE someone rolled a double 20, and we maximized everything, no dice rolled.
 

Nebulous

Adventurer
Last summer I put together a big Word doc of house rules I wanted to tinker with. I didn't end up using most of them, but one was wands that don't recharge, they have set charges like in old D&D and are used up when done. I also wanted to rework Perception but haven't done that yet.
 

Laurefindel

Explorer
I’m a big rule-tinkerer and I surprise myself playing very close to RAW.

I use my own encumbrance system in my games which comes down to:

Character can carry a burden equal to STR score, or twice as much while encumbered. Significant items have a load, counting against the character’a burden.

1-handed weapon/item/bundle/light armour = 1 load.
2-handed weapon/item/bundle/medium armour = 2 load.
Big/cumbersome item/bundle/heavy armour = 3 load.

Small items have negligible load. Very large items cannot be carried over long distances or during combat, as common sense dictates.
 

tetrasodium

Explorer
What are some of your favorite house rules?

Alternatively, what are some house rules you detest the most?
Here are a few I use.
  • Use the Coleville method for rolling stats, everyone gets nice stats& the interesting flavor of unpredictable arrays forcing people out of their comfort zone rather than yet another $trope almost the same as the last three they ran.
  • Rather than the default languages, use the eberron reflavoring. Previously that was this, but rising has a pretty good spin on it& I don't see a need to overhaul my current campaign for that alone yet. The next campaign I'll have to decide which to use
  • Public education is a thing, magic is a science... everyone is capable of learning their int mod number of cantrips, these use int for their stat when relevant. This assumes they can do something r find someone to teach it to them, it's not just a matter of picking from the list at level 1.
  • Max hitpoints+con at level 1. fter than roll+con but any roll less than your strength mod is strength mod+con.
  • I use a bunch of things from an extended 5e ruleset called darker dungeons. From that I pull
    • An equipment decay/wear & tear system I will probably adjust to make more pronounced in a future campaign
    • Ammunition dice get used for magical ammunition. Instead of a stack with # +1 arrows (or whatever), there is a stack of them with an ammunition die (ie a d6). Every time one is used you roll the ammunition die & if you get a 1 then the ammunition die drops a notch(ie d8>d6>d4>1>all used up)
    • Potion flasks are a thing. Think of them like a healing potion tied to an ammunition die. It results in having a safety net as well as the uncertainty of not being 100% sure of your limits
    • Using your own potion/flask is a bonus action. feeding a potion to someone else is an action.
    • Healing potions heal 2hd+2 not 2d4+2. This results in shifting potions from "I'm only mostly dead I'll wait till after the fight" into "drink early, drink often". It also makes having a larger hit die more attractive & ensures healing potions are proportionally (in)effective for everyone to a similar degree.
    • Eldritch blast is a level 1 warlock class feature not a cantrip, as such it does not count against warlock cantrips known & more importantly scales based on warlock level rather than class level. I use milestones and advancement by training levels using downtime.
  • "Here is a black sharpy/permanent magic marker, black out the alignment box on your sheet because you are playing a mortal with free will & the ability to choose their own actions.
  • I know there are a bunch I'm forgetting
 

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
I have got some house rules:

Added new abilities scores.
  • Courage (bravery against fear)
  • Acuity (perception and astuteness, noticing about little details as clues for an investigation, and social manipulation, fast mind to improvise).
  • Spirit (defense against supernatural attacks, luck, karma, fate, guardian angel, divine blessing, but also faith for a cause, hope).

Alignment and allegiance together, and even a character with two opposite, for example a zealot would be evil align with good alleg and a sheriff who breaks the rules to defend the law and order would be chao align with law alleg. Power with align key can hurt enemies with same align but different allegiance (usually religion) for example an orc shaman vs a drow cleric.

A mental health or sanity system as Unknown Armies, with pillars: violence, loneliness, helplessness, reality and remorse.
 

Quartz

Explorer
What are some of your favorite house rules?
Hit points. Instead of using average hit points plus or minus, I prepfer naximum minus a number. Or, insteadd of AVG (HD) + N, I use MAX (HD) - N. If N is 2, the Barbarian gets 10 HP per level and the Wizard 4; if N is 4, the numbers are 8 and 2 (for that 1E feel). Plus Con bonus, of course.
 

Draegn

Explorer
House rules we use:

Hit points are constitution x10 at first level. This is all a character has unless choosing a "feat" when gaining a level. Choosing this particular "feat" means not having other "feats" which may be more desirable later on.

Negative hit points, equal to your constitution score allows you to crawl drag yourself away to find or use healing. You cannot engage in combat or cast spells unless you have a specific background that allows you to do so. For those with the background it is a choice or gamble depending upon point of view.
 

bedir than

Adventurer
XP for any victory over monsters (death, surrender, turning them to your side, etc).
Social and exploration gates grant XP per an average encounter at the level.
I keep saying I want a free racial or half Feat at 1st level, but my inexperienced players aren't interested.
Point buy or Redrick Roller (I use this for 100% of my characters).
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
House rules we use:

Hit points are constitution x10 at first level. This is all a character has unless choosing a "feat" when gaining a level. Choosing this particular "feat" means not having other "feats" which may be more desirable later on.

Negative hit points, equal to your constitution score allows you to crawl drag yourself away to find or use healing. You cannot engage in combat or cast spells unless you have a specific background that allows you to do so. For those with the background it is a choice or gamble depending upon point of view.
So if I have a 15 con, I would start with 150 hit points at first level?
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I think my favorite house rule is the target of any PvP action gets to adjudicate the action.

I’m also a big fan of the skills with different abilities variant rule, but I wouldn’t consider that a house rule.

Least favorite is hard to pick, I’ve seen some real stinkers. I’ll probably jump aboard the “critical hit/fumble tables” bandwagon though.
 

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