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5E Your Favorite 5e Houserule


Another rule I have been using in 5e a lot is not tracking HP as much for low level monsters when having high level PCs. Some of them are one- hit monsters and some are 2-hit monsters. This works well with young players.

I also tend to place a red circle on the monster when they have about 1-hit left for HP giving the players some information of the viability of monsters. A left over from 4e bloodied condition, but instead of half HP it is showing near death. An example is having 7th level PCs fighting orcs with 15hp each. A few of the PCs can do 15 each swing and I just pick up the orc mini but a few can only damage the orc for 8-12. I just put a ring on the orc and any damage kills it thinking that any roll the PCs make will do the 3-7 remaining needed. It just speeds up combat when I throw a lot of monsters at the players and I do not want to track 15 orcs for HP.

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Another rule I have been using in 5e a lot is not tracking HP as much for low level monsters when having high level PCs. Some of them are one- hit monsters and some are 2-hit monsters. This works well with young players.
I've been intending to use that as well: minions and improved minions, which are just 1 hit and 2 hit enemies. I think it would work fine in 5e, and cleaving and power attacks to wipe out a few at once would be quite fun.


Flanking: It does not give advantage. Instead, a flanked creature provokes OAs from all creatures that have it within their reach when it moves. It can, however, elect to ignore a creature for purposes of determining if flanking exists. If it does so, that creature makes an OA with advantage that does not require a reaction.

This turns down the dial on flanking as a too easy source of advantage, and instead turns it into a semi-lockdown method.


Some of our house rules currently:

Help action (ability checks/skills only, not combat): add the helping character's skill modifier to the check (from Deborah Ann Woll's Relics & Rareties show).

Changing prepared spells after long rest: takes 10 minutes flat.

Healing Potions: heals maximum number of hit points.

Low-level monster hp: players keep track of how much damage each monster has taken, then informs the DM of the total, and the DM describes if the monster dies or is still alive.

House rules I'm considering in the future:
Fireball becomes a 4th level spell instead of 3rd level.

Higher level hp: PCs receive a flat hp increase at higher levels (same as older editions where you stopped rolling dice for hp after level 9).

Li Shenron

No 5e specific house rules but a couple of "house rulings" i.e. particular interpretations of the RAW which someone might consider a house rule, but we don't. These house rulings are related to controlling the amount of Guidance usage, and druids armors.

We have non-5e specific, more general "house rules" that don't modify the RAW from the books but are related to general behaviour at the table, such as disallowing PvP. Not sure if these should be really called house rules, because once again they are behavioural rules not mechanical rules.


The only one I've used consistently is: bonus action to drink a potion. It just makes potions much more useful.

Beyond that I have a vague "all lists are merely suggestions" policy: especially spell lists are assumed to be guidelines, but any other list is assumed to be, at the very least, non-exhaustive.So long as the theme and power level are maintained.


Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I have a few
  • Ability modifying items increase existing ability scores, they don’t replace them. Items that increase your ability to 20 or less do not require attunement. Max value is rounded up to the nearest even number.
    • I want people's ability scores to matter.
  • Mighty strength bows can be purchased and add your strength mod instead of dex mod to attack and damage.
    • I've debated making longbows just strength based because historically you had to be quite strong to use one.
  • Getting raised (or resurrected) from the dead Is not as simple as casting a spell. Souls travel through the Shadowfell to their final resting place and once there you have to pay Hel herself to get out and she doesn’t come cheap.
    • I want death to mean something. Revivify still works because the soul hasn't moved on yet.
  • Teleportation that’s not line-of-site is extremely limited. PCs don’t have access to Teleportation Circle or Teleport.
    • This is just because of other things going on in my world and because I find teleportation circles annoying.
  • Since we use alternate rest rules (short rest overnight, long rest a week or more), spells that have duration of more than half an hour have duration multiplied by 5.


We use a few houserules at our table.

Hero points: technically not a houserule and more of an alternate rule from the DMG but we use it and like it.

Luck (can't remember what system it's borrowed from): sometimes things just happen out of the blue or are more random happenstance and the DM will call for a "luck" roll, which is 3d6. 6's are good (up), 1's are bad (down), everything else is neutral (even). So for instance a player is looking for something specific in town and the DM has them roll luck for it. They roll 3d6 and get a 1, 4, and 6. This would be even (ups and downs cancel each other out) and the DM determines an outcome based on the roll. 3 up (3 x 6's) is incredible, while 3 down (3 x 1's) is abysmally unlucky.

We also use a homegrown multiple concentration mechanic. Spell casters can concentrate on more than 1 spell based on spell level divided by 3. So once a spellcaster has access to 3rd level spells they can concentrate on 1 spell of up to their highest spell level and 1 more spell of a level no greater than 1/3rd the highest level spell they can cast (rounded down). So a 5th level full caster could concentrate on any spell of up to 3rd level and also on an additional 1st level spell (2 x 1st, or 1 x 1st and 1 x 2nd, or 1 x 1st and 1 x 3rd). A 9th level full caster could do any spell up to 5th level plus a 1st level spell. Once they get access to 6th level spells then its up to a 6th and up to a 2nd (6/3 =2). A 17th level full caster with 9th level spells can actually concentrate on 3 spells, 1 spell up to 9th, 1 spell up to 3rd (9/3 = 3), and 1 spell of 1st level (3/3 =1). My last campaign actually went to 17th level and we never really found this unbalanced things at all (enemy spellcasters can do the same). You made concentration checks on each individual spell.


Lil something for the Mountain Dwarves out there,

Dwarven Armor Training - You have proficiency with Light and Medium armor, if your gain proficiency in these armor types from another source and use Light or Medium armor add a +1 bonus to your AC.

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