What are your favorite/non-favorite house rules?

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
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.
Is all this at 1st level? If yes, how does it develop as the fighter levels up?

The foes in my game have the same attributes as players do.
Which levels things out for combat purposes, good to hear. NPCs, commoners, non-adventurers etc., on the same system?

I suggest you play my game before you judge it.
Questioning something is not the same as judging it; and "question everything" is how I roll. :)
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
For those who might not have believed me when I mentioned seeing this as a houserule in here before, may I present as evidence found just upthread:
Favorites:
...
Play your own gender. (If you had seen what happened before this rule, you would understand. And probably be in therapy.)
...
Hmmm...whatever it is that 'happened before this rule', I guess I haven't seen it (and thus don't need therapy?); but round here players of any gender can choose to play characters of any gender and so far it hasn't presented any problems.

Of the three most successful characters I've ever had*, one's a female Human, one's a female Part-Elf (she was the best!), and the other is - like me in real life - a male Human.

* - and it's a fair-size drop from those three to the next tier, which are also a mix of genders.
 

Jd Smith1

Explorer
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.
Interesting. I look forward to seeing more of what you have to offer.
 

Doc_Klueless

Doors and Corners
I guess I just don’t understand what’s funny about a house-rule being “meta.”
I wouldn't go down that rabbit hole, @Charlaquin , if I were you. Saelorn has a history of being quite vocal about his vast disdain for anyone who uses anything he deems as "meta" even if it isn't actually meta or makes the game run better for your group.

You're just getting yourself into a long, fruitless and frustrating time as you're unlikely to see eye-to-eye on this sort of thing.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
--- a ban on playing characters of a gender not your own
I have experienced men playing women in an excruciating way, and therefore typically do impose such a ban. I'm not heavily committed to it as I do not see such poor portrayal as inevitable... just very likely. I could easily be talked out of it on a case-by-case basis. Perhaps controversially, my standing ban is one-way, because in my experience portrayals going the other way have been far better. Stressing again, that is not something I see as inevitable... only consistent with my experience.

Something I haven't tried, but might be a great house rule for a future campaign would be to draw from Left Hand of Darkness and have one, flexible gender.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
Of my house rules, I think my favourite in terms of its value to the game is my rests rule: a day for short and three days for long, with a breather of an hour for spending hit dice.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
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
The counter-point, never let the narrative get in the way of great mechanics!
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
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!
I disagree, I’ve found it works wonderfully. Players who are interested in exploring PvP are able to do so at precisely the level they are comfortable with.
 

Draegn

Explorer
Is all this at 1st level? If yes, how does it develop as the fighter levels up?

Which levels things out for combat purposes, good to hear. NPCs, commoners, non-adventurers etc., on the same system?
Yes all is at 1st level. It is part of chargen. To summarize my game, your character is the sum of your backgrounds. You start at age 5, choose backgrounds which have a variable aging until your character is between age 15-25. Sometimes you might be older than 25 depending on choices. For example street urchin ages you two years, magician apprentice ages you seven.

As you play you gain both experience points which grant level abilities, and improvement points 1 for every 1000 experience. Every level grants an ability, improvement points are used to increase attributes and skill ratings.

There are four groups of level abilities. Social boons that anyone can choose, divine miracles for those with a divine background, arcane abilities for those with an arcane background, and Combat maneuvers/tricks. Admittedly the combat maneuvers/tricks was the most difficult to create as they apply to purely mundane characters; fighter types and thief types.

Quick examples of each level ability

Social boon: High functioning alcoholic, poison resistance (choose one)
Divine: Druid shape shifting form, summoning servant of deity, banish fiends
Arcane: Higher magic order (spell slots), meta magic ability
Combat: Fancy footwork, kick or trip foe as situation warrants, Favored weapon increases weapon skill for a single weapon, Distracting sound; cause foe to look wrong way gain bonus on attack


Commoners use a simpler system for their skills, 3 skill points per year of age above 5. These are always non casters with very limited weapon skills. The 16 year old inn keeper's daughter can cook, brew beer, sew and stitch clothing, fight with improvised weapon (frying pan, rolling pin) if necessary as last resort.
 
Last edited:

Sadras

Adventurer
1. Incorporeal creatures ignore the benefits of armour (except the +x component)
2. Exhaustion at 0hp
3. Roll Death Saves once rescue attempt made or at the end of combat (whichever is sooner)
4. Recovery mechanic of all SR and LR powers tied to exhaustion
5. Coup De Grace allowed on those paralyzed
6. Exhaustion condition prohibits HD recovery
7. Casters can alter spells midday, but it requires much time (idea stolen from Dungeon/Dragon article)
8. Flanking provides a +1 benefit
9. Casting rituals costs 1HD
10. Inspiration treated as a Fate point by DM
 
Last edited:

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
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.
My "favorite" crit fail was where you had a chance of hitting a different target. First time D&D player (though RPG veteran) in the first encounter of a new campaign shot and a guard-turned-bandit, crit missed, and hit and killed the child near him.

Pathos. And the nickname Childslayer.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
[1 - 10 snipped ]
So, which is your favorite? If 9 are going to be struck down, which do you want to stay? That's what this thread is about - what you find the best. And worst - what's your least favorite, if you've come ever across any that haven't worked for you.
 

Sadras

Adventurer
So, which is your favorite? If 9 are going to be struck down, which do you want to stay? That's what this thread is about - what you find the best. And worst - what's your least favorite, if you've come ever across any that haven't worked for you.
Crap - misread.
Favourite is the rather simple and intuitive rule that incorporeal creatures ignore the effects of armour.

Least favourite house rule
Hmmm...removing a spell from a spell list because I don't want x in the campaign. It irks me that I have to remove it. For instance I removed raise dead and resurrection in our Mystara campaign. I don't like doing it, but it messes with my world-building if I do not. I'm weird that way.
 

TiwazTyrsfist

Adventurer
Favorite: Randomly roll for Race, Class, and Background. Roll 3-5 times and pick your favorite.

Good: Fixed stat array, no xp level via Milestones.

Least Favorite: Anything that's purpose is "Slow down power recovery, keep the players from having their spells/limited abilities".
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
Least Favorite: Anything that's purpose is "Slow down power recovery, keep the players from having their spells/limited abilities".
It's interesting different table's preferences for different game balances. Like, a least favourite for me would be all-alpha-all-the-time, which is a consequence one sees when players always have spells/limited abilities up. I'm interested in sometimes-alpha, sometimes-attrition.

I'm not knocking the all-alpha approach. One benefit is that once that is the assumption it is hard for players to take further advantage of recovery rates. Also, for fluff-focused tables, it might be rather moot: perhaps their combats are always rare and epic.
 

Coroc

Adventurer
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.
Whew whew, ;P glad you did not get traumatized here, that sounds like "velociraptor- Conan" was the best friend of both DMs, haha good story.
 

Ath-kethin

Adventurer
Whew whew, ;P glad you did not get traumatized here, that sounds like "velociraptor- Conan" was the best friend of both DMs, haha good story.
I wish I was making it up. And somehow, neither of those guys gets the "worst GM I ever played under" award.

/derailment. I hope.
 

Coroc

Adventurer
I wish I was making it up. And somehow, neither of those guys gets the "worst GM I ever played under" award.

/derailment. I hope.
Yea but you did not confirm my speculation: Where those best friends one and the same or two unrelated people because then it would be almost a case for the X-files?
 

Advertisement

Top