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5E Your Favorite 5e Houserule


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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
1/ Rangers can either play the Revised Ranger, or use the PHB Ranger with the UA "Replacements" made into "Enhancements"

2/ 4 Elements Monks reduce ki cost of all disciplines by 1 ki, to a minimum of 1 ki, and gain 1 EE cantrip per archetype level

3/ Bonus Feat at level 1, and +1 to any 1 stat when you choose a feat over an ASI when your class gives you that choice.

4/ Crits maximize damage dice, and then roll the damage dice, and then add any static mods. (so a crit with a 1d4+4 dagger attack deals 4+1d4+4 damage)

5/ Assassin Rogues crit on any successful hit against a creature that is surprised, or who is unaware of the presence of the rogue. So, if the party rushes in, but the rogue is hidden, their first attack still works as if they'd surprised the target.

6/ Skill challenges. Similar to the 4e mechanic, count as level appropriate encounter in the odd occassion that I count up XP.

Often I'll pair up PCs and ask them to make a pair of rolls. So, I'll have two PCs make Survival and Perception checks to scout, 2 to make Stealth and Deception checks to leave misleading trails, 2 to decipher the weird archetecture of the wizard's tower with Riddle, Arcana, or Int (Mason's Tools), and have Success, Failure, Mixed Success, outcomes for each task based on whether both succeed, fail, or split results.
Other times, I'll use an initiative order and ask each PC in turn what they think they can contribute to the situation. WHen solving a puzzle room in order to operate the strange control room in the wizard's tower tonight, they found a central metal tube with a magical furnace heating a hydraulic fluid of some kind, leading to a "pipe dream" game style puzzle of levers and wheels that moved different parts of the tower depending on the flow of the fluid.

They had to:


decipher the coded language of the controls
figure out what the wheels, levers, and movable slats with instructive runes on a blackboard, all do
figure out the geography of the tower's multi-dimensional architecture as it relates to the controls
plot a safe path through the tower
align the moving parts of the tower using the control devices, according to the plotted course
figure out how to map the tower in such a way that the patrols of abominations that had infested the tower would be turned in circles and not find them

Bonus checks based on what they thought of and tried included

figure out the purpose of the device. turns out it isn't for defense, but a sort of magical multi-dimensional tiny house invention. Like when your stairs fold up and become bookshelves, and fold a different way to be a desk, and fold another way to be a couch, except with added dimensions where you turn a room clockwise and it's one room, but counterclockwise and it's another room, and if your rotate it all the way and then quarter turn the other way, it's a hallway. Packing an immense complex of rooms equal to several buildings into a relatively small tower.

Find an access panel underneath the magical furnace in the center of the room that with a successful theives tools check gave them essentially admin access to the system, and also netted the rogue some neat new tools that will let her better tinker with magical systems and devices, ie arcane thieves tools.

Give a floating Inspiration to the group to use on a type of check, such as "examining how part of the system works" or "determining how to align things to do what we want".

A complex challenge like this, which basically determines how hard the next leg of the adventure will be, is worth a major encounter/quest completion. They leveled up from the two challenges I've described, and a fight with a patrol of dolgaunts, dolgrims, and a chuul-drake, combined with a caper adventure I ran before this one, that was 90% skill challenge with some individual rounds of combat-as-contest.

7/ Flashbacks using Inspiration. Inspiration is given out a bit more freely. You begin the adventure with Inspiration, and regain it when you solve a problem, do something spectacular with a real chance of failure, or just wow the group. One use of Inspiration is as a "plot coupon", which must be used to enter a brief flashback where we figure out what you or someone else did before this moment that allows you to get out of a bad situation, had the tool you need for this moment, or otherwise have that movie/tv moment where we flash back to a scene that shows us why actually things aren't going pair shaped, and this turn of events needed to happen, or you have a solve for it, or you planned for it, or whatever.
 




Tallifer

Hero
I once played for a dungeon master who gave a bit of bonus XP for art, journals, maps, anything cool to add to the campaign. We would post it on our local gaming group's Facebook page.

I continue that tradition with my own campaign. It means we have a wonderfully evocative record of our adventures.

Ripper Thidrek Karl.jpg
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
For my newest campaign, which was created for two newbs (the wife and fiance of two guys I've been gaming with for the past two decades), I have only one house rule (not counting fast swapping, which I actually forgot to put under house rules).

We typically rarely remember to use the features from backgrounds in our games. Therefore, I've replaced them with the following:

If you can explain how your background applies to an ability check, you gain a +1 bonus. If it strongly applies, gain a +2. You can gain this bonus even after rolling.

So far it's only been used once in the two or three sessions I've run, but that's one more time than the features probably would have been so I'm taking it as a win. As the campaign progresses, and players start missing checks by 1 or 2, I'm hoping I'll see more of it.
 

I homebrew some special (and rather powerless) feats that I give to players to flavor their characters. It's very difficult to use these things in combat, and it doesn't even add much for the quests, but it's used a LOT in the downtime roleplay and players just love it.

For example, a Wizard Evoker Elemental Adept (fire) who casts fire-spells all the time and also played with firebolts in his downtime got a feat where he is now a Fire Juggler. He got advantage on Performance checks with burning items, and is able to use an action to make a bonfire crackle as if it creates voices (an enthusiastic crowd, but no audible words) or applause.

I print these in my best imitation of the D&D format, and I also add a picture, so they can add it to the character sheet.
 

Quartz

Adventurer
Not specific to 5E, but Hit Points per level are fixed as Max (HD) - N where N varies by campaign. For a normal campaign N would be 2 or 3 so Wizards get 4 or 3 HP per level and Fighters get 8 or 7 HP per level. Plus CON bonus, of course.
 

Dausuul

Legend
Short rest take five minutes. You can only take a rest once per hour and no more than three times per day.
Same here, except I limit it to two per day (the question rarely comes up; if the party has used both its short rests, it is usually running on empty and desperate for a long rest by the time it's ready to rest again).

It makes a world of difference for characters with a lot of short-rest resources.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
1/ Rangers can either play the Revised Ranger, or use the PHB Ranger with the UA "Replacements" made into "Enhancements"

2/ 4 Elements Monks reduce ki cost of all disciplines by 1 ki, to a minimum of 1 ki, and gain 1 EE cantrip per archetype level

3/ Bonus Feat at level 1, and +1 to any 1 stat when you choose a feat over an ASI when your class gives you that choice.

4/ Crits maximize damage dice, and then roll the damage dice, and then add any static mods. (so a crit with a 1d4+4 dagger attack deals 4+1d4+4 damage)

5/ Assassin Rogues crit on any successful hit against a creature that is surprised, or who is unaware of the presence of the rogue. So, if the party rushes in, but the rogue is hidden, their first attack still works as if they'd surprised the target.

6/ Skill challenges. Similar to the 4e mechanic, count as level appropriate encounter in the odd occassion that I count up XP.

Often I'll pair up PCs and ask them to make a pair of rolls. So, I'll have two PCs make Survival and Perception checks to scout, 2 to make Stealth and Deception checks to leave misleading trails, 2 to decipher the weird archetecture of the wizard's tower with Riddle, Arcana, or Int (Mason's Tools), and have Success, Failure, Mixed Success, outcomes for each task based on whether both succeed, fail, or split results.
Other times, I'll use an initiative order and ask each PC in turn what they think they can contribute to the situation. WHen solving a puzzle room in order to operate the strange control room in the wizard's tower tonight, they found a central metal tube with a magical furnace heating a hydraulic fluid of some kind, leading to a "pipe dream" game style puzzle of levers and wheels that moved different parts of the tower depending on the flow of the fluid.

They had to:


decipher the coded language of the controls
figure out what the wheels, levers, and movable slats with instructive runes on a blackboard, all do
figure out the geography of the tower's multi-dimensional architecture as it relates to the controls
plot a safe path through the tower
align the moving parts of the tower using the control devices, according to the plotted course
figure out how to map the tower in such a way that the patrols of abominations that had infested the tower would be turned in circles and not find them

Bonus checks based on what they thought of and tried included

figure out the purpose of the device. turns out it isn't for defense, but a sort of magical multi-dimensional tiny house invention. Like when your stairs fold up and become bookshelves, and fold a different way to be a desk, and fold another way to be a couch, except with added dimensions where you turn a room clockwise and it's one room, but counterclockwise and it's another room, and if your rotate it all the way and then quarter turn the other way, it's a hallway. Packing an immense complex of rooms equal to several buildings into a relatively small tower.

Find an access panel underneath the magical furnace in the center of the room that with a successful theives tools check gave them essentially admin access to the system, and also netted the rogue some neat new tools that will let her better tinker with magical systems and devices, ie arcane thieves tools.

Give a floating Inspiration to the group to use on a type of check, such as "examining how part of the system works" or "determining how to align things to do what we want".

A complex challenge like this, which basically determines how hard the next leg of the adventure will be, is worth a major encounter/quest completion. They leveled up from the two challenges I've described, and a fight with a patrol of dolgaunts, dolgrims, and a chuul-drake, combined with a caper adventure I ran before this one, that was 90% skill challenge with some individual rounds of combat-as-contest.

7/ Flashbacks using Inspiration. Inspiration is given out a bit more freely. You begin the adventure with Inspiration, and regain it when you solve a problem, do something spectacular with a real chance of failure, or just wow the group. One use of Inspiration is as a "plot coupon", which must be used to enter a brief flashback where we figure out what you or someone else did before this moment that allows you to get out of a bad situation, had the tool you need for this moment, or otherwise have that movie/tv moment where we flash back to a scene that shows us why actually things aren't going pair shaped, and this turn of events needed to happen, or you have a solve for it, or you planned for it, or whatever.
Forgot! Handaxes are Finesse, all classes with Fighting Styles have access to all Fighting Styles, and I allow much more crafting and customised spells and feats than the standard game, and encourage going full pulp action with skill use.
 

1/ Rangers can either play the Revised Ranger, or use the PHB Ranger with the UA "Replacements" made into "Enhancements"

2/ 4 Elements Monks reduce ki cost of all disciplines by 1 ki, to a minimum of 1 ki, and gain 1 EE cantrip per archetype level

3/ Bonus Feat at level 1, and +1 to any 1 stat when you choose a feat over an ASI when your class gives you that choice.

4/ Crits maximize damage dice, and then roll the damage dice, and then add any static mods. (so a crit with a 1d4+4 dagger attack deals 4+1d4+4 damage)

5/ Assassin Rogues crit on any successful hit against a creature that is surprised, or who is unaware of the presence of the rogue. So, if the party rushes in, but the rogue is hidden, their first attack still works as if they'd surprised the target.

6/ Skill challenges. Similar to the 4e mechanic, count as level appropriate encounter in the odd occassion that I count up XP.

Often I'll pair up PCs and ask them to make a pair of rolls. So, I'll have two PCs make Survival and Perception checks to scout, 2 to make Stealth and Deception checks to leave misleading trails, 2 to decipher the weird archetecture of the wizard's tower with Riddle, Arcana, or Int (Mason's Tools), and have Success, Failure, Mixed Success, outcomes for each task based on whether both succeed, fail, or split results.
Other times, I'll use an initiative order and ask each PC in turn what they think they can contribute to the situation. WHen solving a puzzle room in order to operate the strange control room in the wizard's tower tonight, they found a central metal tube with a magical furnace heating a hydraulic fluid of some kind, leading to a "pipe dream" game style puzzle of levers and wheels that moved different parts of the tower depending on the flow of the fluid.

They had to:


decipher the coded language of the controls
figure out what the wheels, levers, and movable slats with instructive runes on a blackboard, all do
figure out the geography of the tower's multi-dimensional architecture as it relates to the controls
plot a safe path through the tower
align the moving parts of the tower using the control devices, according to the plotted course
figure out how to map the tower in such a way that the patrols of abominations that had infested the tower would be turned in circles and not find them

Bonus checks based on what they thought of and tried included

figure out the purpose of the device. turns out it isn't for defense, but a sort of magical multi-dimensional tiny house invention. Like when your stairs fold up and become bookshelves, and fold a different way to be a desk, and fold another way to be a couch, except with added dimensions where you turn a room clockwise and it's one room, but counterclockwise and it's another room, and if your rotate it all the way and then quarter turn the other way, it's a hallway. Packing an immense complex of rooms equal to several buildings into a relatively small tower.

Find an access panel underneath the magical furnace in the center of the room that with a successful theives tools check gave them essentially admin access to the system, and also netted the rogue some neat new tools that will let her better tinker with magical systems and devices, ie arcane thieves tools.

Give a floating Inspiration to the group to use on a type of check, such as "examining how part of the system works" or "determining how to align things to do what we want".

A complex challenge like this, which basically determines how hard the next leg of the adventure will be, is worth a major encounter/quest completion. They leveled up from the two challenges I've described, and a fight with a patrol of dolgaunts, dolgrims, and a chuul-drake, combined with a caper adventure I ran before this one, that was 90% skill challenge with some individual rounds of combat-as-contest.

7/ Flashbacks using Inspiration. Inspiration is given out a bit more freely. You begin the adventure with Inspiration, and regain it when you solve a problem, do something spectacular with a real chance of failure, or just wow the group. One use of Inspiration is as a "plot coupon", which must be used to enter a brief flashback where we figure out what you or someone else did before this moment that allows you to get out of a bad situation, had the tool you need for this moment, or otherwise have that movie/tv moment where we flash back to a scene that shows us why actually things aren't going pair shaped, and this turn of events needed to happen, or you have a solve for it, or you planned for it, or whatever.

I'm stealing that Flashback rule.
 





Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
4/ Crits maximize damage dice, and then roll the damage dice, and then add any static mods. (so a crit with a 1d4+4 dagger attack deals 4+1d4+4 damage)

Does this also apply to things like Hunter's Mark, Sneak Attack, and Divine Smite? Or just the base weapon dice?
 

mach1.9pants

Adventurer
Intelligence (speed of mind) for initiative and dividing Perception (what you see at a glance and normally a passive check, tho you can take an action to 'look around') and Investigation (What you find by searching, involving physical interaction, normally more than a single round to do) - for ex the Perception DC to spot a key under the doormat would be very high, the Investigation DC would be very low! Also Int bonus gives extra Tool Prof or language known (double cost for exotic).

This is to give Int some love and slightly de-power both Dex and the Perception proficiency
 

1) Monk get a wee bit more ki point. Wisdom modifier now adds with Ki. This give the monk a chance to either raise his dex or wisdom. Otherwise the choice was rather meh... 100% of the monks at my table were raising their dex. Now I see some of them raising wisdom instead.

2) HP are recovered only by spending HD.

But the real gem is for the DM and my players are well aware of that rule.
Single encounter big bad guys
Add 1 feat/ASI per 4 CR (save the first four)
Add 1 legendary action per PC above 4.
Multiply HP by 1 +0.25 per PC above 4.
Add 1.5 AC (round up) per PC above 4.

Here is a modified lich my players defeated at 17th level in a previous campaign.


AC: 17 (natural armor + dex) Now 23 (+1.5 AC x 2 for players number, Staff of power and +1 ring. It could go up to 25 for one attack because of the shield guardian and I am not counting shield. Since shield was an at will power, it became and AC 28 and 30 for one attack)
HP: 135 (18d8 + 54) Now 238 for a 1.5 multiplier for number of players and tough feat (+36hp).
Spd: 30' (unchanged)
Stats: Unchanged (decided to use feats instead...)
Added: Warcaster, Elemental Adept Fire (that one was a surprise for my players), Tough.
Mage feature added: Shield and Mirror image at will (I counted that one as a feat)
Spell list was changed to reflect the added mage feature and feats.
Cantrips: Removed prestidigitation and added Fire Bolt. Rose number of cantrips to four and added Green Flame blade (players were dismayed by the lich going hand to hand with a staff...)
Level 1: Removed shield and added disguise self (Lich used it to appear human as she did in her life.)
Level 2: Removed Mirror image and added Misty step instead.

Legendary action Rose to 5 (again 6 players)

Lich was also using Staff Of Power And a Shield Guardian.
 

13th Age Mook rules work well. Because of the way bounded accuracy works you don't even need to have a special monster category.

This allows Fighters to wade through hordes of goblins at higher levels.

Mooks are weaker monsters that can be cut down in large numbers in a single turn. Damage is not tracked against single mooks, but against the entire mob of mooks you’re facing. If you roll damage against a mook and it is greater than the single mook’s hit points, then another mook takes the remainder. In this way, damage can cascade to multiple mooks, and a player can kill multiple in one turn, even if they’re not all directly within your attack range.

This gives a fairly good simulation of the 1e Fighter's ability to attack a number of 1hd monsters equal to their level. If the last part above bothers you just say the monster has to be within plausible range to take damage.
 

Halloween Horror For 5E

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