What are your favorite/non-favorite house rules?

My favourite house rules are those which don't really change the RAW of a game but instead define something around the game.

For example I always enforce the house rule that "attacking, stealing from or betraying another party member without her player's consent is forbidden". As far as I know this is never really a rule in any game, neither explicitly allowed nor forbidden, so it's pretty much a house rule by definition. But it's rather something a DM should make clear before starting a game.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Yes and that amount would be all you have levels 1 through how far you play unless you take a "feat".
So if a typical 1st-level character has on average something north of 100 hit points, how many hit points does a typical commoner have; and if there's a big gap between commoner and 1st-level, what justifies it?

Also, do your low-grade monsters (e.g. Kobolds, Orcs, Goblins) also have Con x 10 h.p.? If yes, your combats must take forever to resolve; and if no then what can ever seriously threaten a low-level character in that system?
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Folks, let's keep this on focus of your favorite and least favorite as the OP requested. People who play with house rules often have a list of them and we've had threads to list them all.

However this thread seems focused on seeing what one you think makes the single biggest improvement in your game and I think that's actually a pretty cool distinction. And the idea of the least favorite - be it one you've tried and it didn't work out, or one you've had "inflicted" on you - is a pretty cool idea.
 

delphonso

Explorer
I played a game where a crit fail meant you fall prone. This was in 3.5 - so standing would get you AoO. Basically made crit fails a death sentence. I really hated it - because it made melee characters much worse. We also fought mostly groups of things, so when an enemy fell, it wasn't a big deal.

It did change the game, though. By the end, we were all ranged except two melee characters who were grapplers.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
So if a typical 1st-level character has on average something north of 100 hit points, how many hit points does a typical commoner have; and if there's a big gap between commoner and 1st-level, what justifies it?

Also, do your low-grade monsters (e.g. Kobolds, Orcs, Goblins) also have Con x 10 h.p.? If yes, your combats must take forever to resolve; and if no then what can ever seriously threaten a low-level character in that system?
That's what I was wondering. Well, not the commoner portion, but good point. Rather, I was wondering how encounters are balanced. It's not even low level monsters. The game doesn't expect 100-180 hit points on PCs until mid to high levels.
 

Jd Smith1

Explorer
Favorites:
No evil PCs (very seldom is it played as other than silly or random)
Druids cannot shape change (hated that since AD&D 1e)
Play your own gender. (If you had seen what happened before this rule, you would understand. And probably be in therapy.)
Don't use Inspiration.
PHB only, except for some feats.
No XP for killing
; instead, a system of Honor for role-playing, ideas, insights, and the like. 40 Honor buys a new level.

Beyond that, just tweaks based on the setting.
 

Eltab

Adventurer
My favorite example of 'critical fail' came when one player rolled a '1' with a bow and arrow, and I as DM told him "You hold the arrow tightly and shoot the bow at your enemy. It wobbles into the square ahead of you and falls to the ground." This was an 'Intro to D&D' scenario and I did not want him to be totally hosed. Everybody got a laugh from the mental image. Next turn he stepped forward, picked up his bow, and resumed firing.
 

Draegn

Explorer
So if a typical 1st-level character has on average something north of 100 hit points, how many hit points does a typical commoner have; and if there's a big gap between commoner and 1st-level, what justifies it?

Also, do your low-grade monsters (e.g. Kobolds, Orcs, Goblins) also have Con x 10 h.p.? If yes, your combats must take forever to resolve; and if no then what can ever seriously threaten a low-level character in that system?
@Lanefan My game also has additional attributes and uses far more skills than WotC does. Assume all physical attributes are a 15 a fighter would have 150 hp and 3 attacks per 10 second melee round or a +3 shots added to the rate of fire for a missile weapon. Assuming a weapon skill of 5 any natural roll of 15 or higher is a critical hit which range from 2x - 5x plus special effects.

The foes in my game have the same attributes as players do.

I suggest you play my game before you judge it.
 

tetrasodium

Adventurer
These are two rules from Fate, but they are ridiculously useful & something that can really help a gm be "our awesome gm" once they are comfortable with them. While fate is so rules light it makes 5e look like the crunchiest of crunchy 80's rpg's by comparison, these two apply to any system.
Before we go into specifics, here’s our general Golden Rule of Fate:
• Decide what you’re trying to accomplish first, then consult the rules
to help you do it.
This might seem like common sense, but we call it out because the order is important. In other words, don’t look at the rules as a straitjacket or a hard limit on an action. Instead, use them as a variety of potential tools to model whatever you’re trying to do. Your intent, whatever it is, always takes precedence over the mechanics.
Most of the time, the very definition of an action makes this easy—any time your intent is to harm someone,you know that’s an attack. Any time
you’re trying to avoid harm, you know that’s a defense. But sometimes, you’re going to get into situations where it’s not immediately clear what type of action is the most appropriate. As a GM, don’t respond to these situations by forbidding the action. Instead, try to nail down a specific intent, in order to point more clearly to one (or more) of the basic game actions.

the corollary to the golden Rule is as follows: Never let the rules get in the way of what makes narrative sense. if you or the players narrate something in the game and it makes sense to apply a certain rule outside of the normal circumstances where you would do so, go ahead and do it.the most common example of this has to do with consequences (p. 162). the rules say that by default, a consequence is something a
player chooses to take after getting hit by an attack in a conflict.But say you’re in a scene where a player decides that, as part of trying to intimidate his way past someone, his pc is going to punch through a glass-top table with a bare fist.
everyone likes the idea and thinks it’s cool, so no one’s interested in what happens if the pc fails the roll. however, everyone agrees that it also makes sense that the pc would injure his hand in the process (which is part of what makes it intimidating).
it’s totally fine to assign a mild consequence of Glass in My Hand in that case, because it fits with the narration, even though there’s no conflict and nothing technically attacked the pc.
as with the golden Rule, make sure everyone’s on the same page before you do stuff like this
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
My favourite house rules are those which don't really change the RAW of a game but instead define something around the game.

For example I always enforce the house rule that "attacking, stealing from or betraying another party member without her player's consent is forbidden". As far as I know this is never really a rule in any game, neither explicitly allowed nor forbidden, so it's pretty much a house rule by definition. But it's rather something a DM should make clear before starting a game.
I believe the DMG refers to such things as “table rules”
 

Jd Smith1

Explorer
@Lanefan My game also has additional attributes and uses far more skills than WotC does. Assume all physical attributes are a 15 a fighter would have 150 hp and 3 attacks per 10 second melee round or a +3 shots added to the rate of fire for a missile weapon. Assuming a weapon skill of 5 any natural roll of 15 or higher is a critical hit which range from 2x - 5x plus special effects.

The foes in my game have the same attributes as players do.

I suggest you play my game before you judge it.
I find this intriguing. So, you have basically ramped up combat by 300%. The attacks should offset the extra hit points, so other than a little extra math there's no down side or imbalance. Combat shouldn't take much longer, not that the 5e system takes long anyway. So how does this rule play out? Does it allow for greater tactical depth? This sounds like something worth examining.
 

Saelorn

Adventurer
I guess I just don’t understand what’s funny about a house-rule being “meta.”
There's a time and a place when meta-gaming is better than the alternative. I just think that it's funny how you've identified one of those times, and your solution is to also hand over narrative control. The cure is worse than the disease!
 

Stormonu

Hero
My favorite is that using an Inspiration point is an automatic success (used by invoking your Bond). You can only have one Inspiration point at a time and to regain it you have to invoke your Flaw and fail a (significant) action.

Can't think of a least favorite houserule, unless you count one that promotes PvP play or DMvP dynamics.
 

Draegn

Explorer
I find this intriguing. So, you have basically ramped up combat by 300%. The attacks should offset the extra hit points, so other than a little extra math there's no down side or imbalance. Combat shouldn't take much longer, not that the 5e system takes long anyway. So how does this rule play out? Does it allow for greater tactical depth? This sounds like something worth examining.
My players can divide their attacks between opponents. They might declare attacking the orc once but the troll twice. In game very few fight until death. There are retreats, taking prisoners for ransom, breaking enemy moral and so forth.

Not entirely sure what you mean by tactical depth. I've been writing on another site, I'll post a link when finished with the rules there.
 

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