What are your favorite/non-favorite house rules?

Jd Smith1

Explorer
I hate that optional flanking rule in the DMG that gives you advantage. It is lazy and unbalanced, especially toward PCs who will normally be the ones swamped by smaller, more numerous foes. I changed it to +1 damage if you hit, my own houserule. It's not enough to be too much, but enough to make you think twice about getting flanked, and enough to position yourself for bonus damage.
I disagree. Flanking a foe has been the desired goal of melee combat since the earliest days; ever been sacked from the side in football?
 
I disagree. Flanking a foe has been the desired goal of melee combat since the earliest days; ever been sacked from the side in football?
That's a fair point, but the issue most people have is not over it doing something, but over it doing too much. Advantage is not only an average +4 or so with double the chance of critting, but also triggers a number of special abilities on top of that.

WotC seems to be leaning a lot on adding an extra d4 (so average +2.5) for minor benefits in both the Eberron book and the UA class feature options. Were they to write the rules today I wouldn't be surprised if they went for something along those lines.
 

Nebulous

Adventurer
I disagree. Flanking a foe has been the desired goal of melee combat since the earliest days; ever been sacked from the side in football?
That's not the point. Flanking is awesome and a highly desired goal of any combat, real or imaginary. But as far as balance issues in this imaginary game, giving floods of enemies/allies advantage all the time detracts from any special quality it had.

And to use your football analogy, this would be sacked from the side EVERY round EVERY combat because there's no way to stop the advantage. It's overkill.
 

Nebulous

Adventurer
WotC seems to be leaning a lot on adding an extra d4 (so average +2.5) for minor benefits in both the Eberron book and the UA class feature options. Were they to write the rules today I wouldn't be surprised if they went for something along those lines.
I could see that. I personally like the little bit of damage bonus. Bless already gives PCs a readily available 1d4, but 1d4 damage from flanking would be interesting. Or just a flat +2 to avoid any extra dice. My idea is to use +1 at lower tier and raise it at higher tiers.
 

Jd Smith1

Explorer
That's not the point. Flanking is awesome and a highly desired goal of any combat, real or imaginary. But as far as balance issues in this imaginary game, giving floods of enemies/allies advantage all the time detracts from any special quality it had.

And to use your football analogy, this would be sacked from the side EVERY round EVERY combat because there's no way to stop the advantage. It's overkill.
Balance encourages slackness. You need to condition your players to fighting against heavy odds. That is the only path to glory. No one ever wrote ballads about warriors who won a fair fight; it is always standing against incredible odds the gets the songs.

You rarely hear about Conan the Basically Equal to the Task, or Beowulf the Competent.

PCs need to bleed for their loot and magical gear.
They need to suffer.
It builds character.
 

Nebulous

Adventurer
Balance encourages slackness. You need to condition your players to fighting against heavy odds. That is the only path to glory. No one ever wrote ballads about warriors who won a fair fight; it is always standing against incredible odds the gets the songs.

You rarely hear about Conan the Basically Equal to the Task, or Beowulf the Competent.

PCs need to bleed for their loot and magical gear.
They need to suffer.
It builds character.
Jesus man. You can have your players fight a dragon 10 CR over their level if you want a challenge.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I hate that optional flanking rule in the DMG that gives you advantage. It is lazy and unbalanced, especially toward PCs who will normally be the ones swamped by smaller, more numerous foes. I changed it to +1 damage if you hit, my own houserule. It's not enough to be too much, but enough to make you think twice about getting flanked, and enough to position yourself for bonus damage.
These weren't quite bad enough to make my least favorite, but I agree with you. Two official variants we tried and then removed-with-prejudice were the flanking=advantage, and spell points.

Spell points worked okay-ish at lower levels, but at high levels it was a lot more castign of PC's highest level spells (better nova and more bang for your action economy) followed by casters begging for a 5 minute adventuring day as they had blown all their points and were bored cantripping for 4-5 more encounters while the martial classes finally got a chance to be the effective ones.
 
Last edited:

Sadras

Adventurer
I disagree. Flanking a foe has been the desired goal of melee combat since the earliest days; ever been sacked from the side in football?
Let's take real life out of it for a moment and just discuss the mechanic.
It costs NOTHING but movement as opposed to other editions where if you moved more than 5 feet past a foe you suffered an AoO. There is no such risk/cost for the full benefit in a system that uses BA and the current benefit, Advantage, is even more than the +2 offered in non-BA editions. That is an absolutely terrible mechanic.
And if that is not enough it cheapens other costing methods to get Advantage as well as Pack Tactics

So yeah pretty much a +1 is the only thing it should given (at maximum).
 

Sadras

Adventurer
PCs need to bleed for their loot and magical gear.
They need to suffer. It builds character.
I'm more concerned with PCs using it, rather than monsters.
I mean there is no second-guessing if you have the Heavy Weapon Master feat (-5 to hit, +10 damage). Advantage comes too freely with the DMG's flanking rule.

Monsters have Pack Tactics and Mob rules and DM can always add more critters. No worries there.
 
Last edited:

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I disagree. Flanking a foe has been the desired goal of melee combat since the earliest days; ever been sacked from the side in football?
Then do it with some other bonus besides advantage, like the poster you were replying to changed it to. Plentiful Advantage really cheapens the characters that have features or other investments in order to generate it. And it pairs two well with things like crit hunting, Great Weapon Mastery, and the like.
 

Jd Smith1

Explorer
I disagree. If your PCs can double up on creatures, your tactics are at fault, not the rules. My players very seldom get the flanking Advantage because they are nearly always outnumbered, and they have to protect the squishier members of the party. They can't afford to break formation just to pick up an Advantage.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I agree with @Benjamin Olson - I have no problem with using Advantage occasionally. But when players try to rig their characters to always get Advantage over and over again for every die roll ever, it makes me crazy. It's not about about realism or balance for me; I find it friggin' annoying and makes me want to play something else.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
You rarely hear about Conan the Basically Equal to the Task, or Beowulf the Competent.
How about Hercules, Exemplar of All That is Average?

No?

Perseus the Almost Heroic? Surely you've heard of him....hm?

History - and D&D character folders - are full of these: the common foot soldiers who by their very existence allow the real stars to stand out and shine. :)
 

Advertisement

Top