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What variant rules (not house rules) have you used in your game?


The EN World kitten
So I was recently flipping through some old d20 materials, thinking about all of the interesting tidbits that they had which I haven't (yet) had a chance to actually use in play. That got me thinking about how there's currently a large number of products out there that are add-ons for someone else's RPG system. From supplements DM's Guild supplements to third-party products published under the OGL to stuff on fan-sites, there's a lot out there that takes the "base game" and modifies or adds to it somehow.

Using "variant rules" as a catch-all for material that a third party has written for a given RPG (with "house rules" being stuff that you or your group have invented yourselves, rather than using something someone else made), what variant rules have you used?

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Mod Squad
Staff member
My Ashen Stars game uses what some call "popcorn initiative".

None of the games I've seen use it actually call it by that lousy name, but there it is.

I can honestly say that, for d20, not one rule I've used counts as variant in your definition, as the non-D&D ones have all been whole standalone cores: D20 Star Wars (not Saga Ed), T20 traveller's handbook, and an abortive attempt at d20 Fading Suns, and another at Judge Dredd. Each one, I ran only with its core rules, even if the core could have been done as a variant, because they were a core ruleset.

Now, for Traveller.... Desert Environment, Undersea Environment (both from Gamelords), IISS Ship Files (Games Workshop UK), ship designs from a variety... sectors from JUdges Guild (including their variant encounter tables)

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