House rules are fan created additions and replacements to core rules in a rules set. In most cases, they are not officially sanctioned by the designer, in contrast to optional rules.

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Legend of the Five Rings Jiujitsu Alternate Rules [closed]

I love L5R. The setting is in depth and has just the right mix of different Asian cultures. I'm gearing up to play 4th edition and I'm excited to see what changes are in effect. The only problem with ...
3
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1answer
190 views

Any house-rule for buying negative qualities after character creation?

During character creation, Shadowrun 4E allows player to buy negative qualities such as Infirm in exchange for additional Build Points. Some negative qualities are heavily background-related, so I ...
3
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1answer
610 views

Using 3d6 instead of d20 for D&D Next

I am currently running a campaign with D&D Next playtest packet released at September. My player has been complaining about his terrible attack rolls (He didn't prevail because of fumbles, even at ...
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4answers
364 views

Game design differences between contested rolls and general attack rolls in combat

Background: Our group does D&D 3.5/4e one week, and a different system the other week (we've done GURPS and Serenity, and I'm going to be running Mutants and Masterminds 3rd edition). I've ...
3
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1answer
133 views

Even simpler RISUS character generation

So, as it's the Christmas season, I'm spending time with family - specifically three cousins and my younger brother. I want to get them into an RPG, and RISUS fits the bill perfectly, as the oldest of ...
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2answers
320 views

How can one houserule a fighter's class feature in 3.5 for improvised weapons?

I am looking for a feat or alternate class feature that would enable a fighter to use improvised weapons while maintaining balance. If you are familiar with Kambei from 7 Samurai or Afro from Afro ...
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5answers
315 views

House rules and mixing aspects of various editions

Taking best parts of the editions, say 3.5 and Pathfinder, perhaps even some aspects of D&D4e, as long as the group feels it is fair, would this be unheard of? An example is, two of our members ...
4
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3answers
442 views

Counter-Attack Houserule

I'm thinking of making a house rule for Pathfinder which lets you counter attack when your opponent rolls a natural 1 to attack. First, is there already a counter attack system in Pathfinder? If not, ...
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4answers
308 views

Alternate class system for MtG inspired setting

I'm trying to create some house rules to run a Pathfinder campaign in Ravnica, a M:tG plane which has 10 guilds, each one with a very specific philosophy and societal role. I wish guilds to be : ...
6
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1answer
263 views

How can I add a cultural game mechanic to Pathfinder?

I was reading this article on how most people play all races exactly the same. The author hinted at replacing races in Pathfinder with a culture mechanic, but didn't really go into the details. I ...
3
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2answers
150 views

Would it be OK to change a Dragonfire Adept's base breath weapon?

Would there be anything wrong with changing a Dragonfire Adept's base breath weapon element to something other than fire? I was working on a Dragonfire Adept that was supposed to have been descended ...
3
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2answers
184 views

How can I make up a Familiar Companion Edge?

I've been thinking about it a lot, and well... there's already the beastmaster edge out there, however it doesn't really seems fit for an arcane character, as in other systems familiars are far more ...
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2answers
149 views

Can a Warforged add his Slam attack damage to a shield bash attack?

Just a thought a friend of mine brought up while working on a Warforged character: since a shield bash attack theoretically has about the same movements as a Warforged slam attack, shouldn't you be ...
15
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5answers
803 views

How can I offer players a balanced opportunity to take powerful races, without adjusting their level?

I'm planning to run a Planescape game in 3.5 and want to offer players the opportunity to play unusual characters within the system. Ideally power level wouldn't be a concern, but some players might ...
5
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4answers
230 views

How can I simplify Duel of Wits to make it more like Bloody Versus?

My problem We're playing Burning Wheel (Gold). About once every two sessions, we run into this problem with Duel of Wits: We want the graduated outcomes of Duel of Wits: we'd like to start with two ...
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5answers
1k views

What alternatives are there for replacing the D&D memorize and forget magic rules

I'm starting a campaign and will be the DM. We are basing our system off the D&D 3rd ed. Most of us (players and myself) don't really like the rules surrounding Wizards / Sorcerers when they have ...
12
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2answers
535 views

Replacing skills with approaches and vice versa

One of the most noticeable differences between Fate Core and FAE is that FAE replaces skills with approaches. This is really great for forcing characterization and getting games running quickly, but ...
3
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1answer
146 views

How to handle initiative while keeping the spotlight on a duel within a larger combat?

In some weeks we will play 7th Sea, an RPG with much fencing. I want to make fights more like a duel between players and minions. I think some (most?) battles will be one player duelling a minion, ...
6
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4answers
649 views

Creating rules for jumping or climbing onto monsters?

Partly inspired by this thread's discussion about creative role-playing and one answer there referring to stunts, I wanted to adapt a similar concept to the fairly rules-strict D&D 4th Edition. ...
17
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3answers
511 views

How to houserule merits?

Merits as a system does not seem to be well balanced. Some merits (such as resources 1) seem like they should be mandatory (or a flaw to not have them). Other merits such as housing ones (haven, ...
5
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1answer
158 views

How can I adapt elements of the Gumshoe investigation system to Ars Magica?

Many of my games feature a heavy investigation influence. Gumshoe, being designed for investigation, provides a way of finding clues and manipulating clues that provides for a far more enjoyable ...
3
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4answers
494 views

How to discourage players from roleplaying out of their alignment when using a 3.5e alignment system in a 4e game?

My GM would like to implement the 3.5e grid-based alignment system in his 4th edition game. He would also like to implement better penalties for not playing within your alignment. I understand that ...
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3answers
235 views

Respawn with stat reductions system

(We play Death Watch, but that is not central to my question.) My idea is that the players enter a sentient dungeon that wants them to conquer it and is actively helping them by keeping them alive. ...
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0answers
147 views

How should someone react to this version of Zone of Truth? [closed]

Well, I guess the Actual question would be "How the save?" but that's terrible grammar. In my group, we have a house-rule that makes the use of Zone of Truth a bit more... useful, for lack of a ...
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5answers
354 views

Games with a granular alignment system?

I've recently started out a Basic Fantasy campaign with several new players. In this campaign, I want their characters to gradually gain their alignments based on they actions they take. For example, ...
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3answers
144 views

Should house rules and custom material be created before experiencing the game? [closed]

Let's take a new GM. New in the sense of "new to a specific game", not new to GMing. The GM read all the rules from cover to cover and he understands them, but never played. Should he start house ...
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3answers
378 views

House rules for flanking

I am currently considering house ruling flanking to be: If two or more enemies are adjacent to you, you are considered flanked. I do this because I want to break up the conga line of death that ...
7
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3answers
536 views

How useful would a house ruled immediate Counterspell ability in Pathfinder be?

I have been GMing for 10 years, and we are currently are using Pathfinder with little to no house rules. The only character that has ever used counterspell is when we made a prestige class up that ...
5
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5answers
913 views

Impact of allowing characters to change their main casting stat

I have never really understood the rationale of "wizards use Int, clerics use Wis and sorcerers use Cha". So for my new campaign, I am considering getting rid of that rule, and allowing characters to ...
4
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1answer
2k views

Question about the Assassin (Executioner) Ninja Build

I'm just getting into 4e D&D, and when I wanted to make an Assassin (Executioner) because of his ability to use poisons, I saw the "Way of the Ninja" as a guild choice, looked at it and loved the ...
78
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19answers
3k views

How do you help players not focus on the rules?

Background - My Group's Gaming Style When I GM, I run games loosely from a rules standpoint, and do not feel bound to adhere to what the rulebook says when it doesn't make sense in a given situation. ...
7
votes
2answers
272 views

Does crafting necessarily require spending gold?

I know the crafting rules say you have to spend gold to represent the cost of materials used in crafting something, but what about in a situation where you aren't in a city and can't reasonably just ...
5
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1answer
113 views

Is there a penalty for rolling consecutive tens?

In 2nd edition Legend of the Five Rings, is there a penalty for rolling too many tens in a row (like in monopoly for rolling doubles 3 times in a row)? For some reason I'm convinced there is, but it ...
9
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3answers
438 views

3.5e Variant Rules

I'm thinking of starting a new campaign with a laundry list of house rules. The variant rules on the SRD seem worth while. As an example, using 'armor as DR' and 'Spell Points' are at the top of my ...
9
votes
1answer
513 views

How does non-magical healing work in AD&D 2nd Edition?

I'm unclear on how natural non-magical healing is supposed to work in AD&D 2nd Edition. In the Dungeon Master Guide, Chapter 9 : Combat, in the section titled "Natural Healing" it states : ...
3
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1answer
320 views

Are there rules for or against unusual or alternate weapon types?

In DnD 3.5 and Pathfinder, are there any provisions for characters wielding weapon types not on the given lists, like meat cleavers or swordcanes? Are those not allowed, do you use them as equivalent ...
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4answers
1k views

Will I ruin Pathfinder if I discount firearms?

I'm going for an Old West feel; my players wanted something like Shadowrun but Western instead of Cyberpunk (I love my players so much). Think Trigun with halflings and dragons. They like ...
5
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2answers
466 views

Mini Six: How can I avoid the “dodge” skill tax?

I have been reading over the "fast static combat" rules for Mini Six. A character's dodge value is equal to the number of pips in their dodge score, so a character with dodge of 6D would be hit if the ...
4
votes
2answers
562 views

Is there an oldschool-style morale system for D&D 3e?

Oldschool D&D has rules for morale, such as these from Labyrinth Lord: Monsters have a listing for morale, which represents how likely they are to fight or flee when in an aencounter. Morale ...
16
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3answers
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How do you make 4th Edition Rituals more accessible?

So here’s the situation: Rituals should be awesome. They’re typically a little bit open-ended, they’re not direct combat actions, they’re ripe for interesting roleplaying, and they’re fairly ...
8
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4answers
352 views

Will a house-rule for trained skills work?

I've been using a house rule for a while now. If you have a trained skill, and you are making a knowledge check it's free. For example, if you are trained in nature, and fighting natural beasts; you ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

How can I incorporate Betrayal at the house on the Hill to my game of supernatural?

In Betrayal at the house on the Hill you explore a haunted house with characters until the haunt happens and stuff gets real. Whilst playing this board game a friend of mine stated it'd make a ...
17
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4answers
528 views

Rules for generating a game world as you go?

As an alternative to pre-fabricated game worlds (whether published or home-brewed), I'd like to create some rules for generating a game world gradually and organically. It would work in a manner ...
4
votes
2answers
330 views

Castle Falkenstein: Is there a faster Magic system?

I love running games in the Castle Falkenstein diceless system. However, I find the CF magic system to be a little slow (to set up, run and play) for a high-fantasy campaign. Can anyone suggest ...
14
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5answers
1k views

Firearms for DnD

My DM would like to run a DnD adventure set in 1930s-tech era, replacing technology with magic-punk stuff. He's pulling a lot from Eberron. Guns will exist, however, and he's just "renaming" bows ...
5
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1answer
106 views

What kind of equipment rules for low bonus dice and low pool points game?

Background I've played in and story guided several games of the Shadow of Yesterday and Solar system, but in none of those we have used any formal equipment rules. Equipment has mostly made some ...
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3answers
532 views

Repeating The Same Half Action and other Combat Enhancers

When my previous group and I got a hold of the Dark Heresy rulebook (practically the day it came out), we were all pretty satisfied with the rules, with the exception of one. We noticed that the ...
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2answers
457 views

How do I avoid Paranoia Combat in Exalted?

Paranoia combat reduces Exalted combat to a solved problem: Paranoia Combat" is largely the brainchild of Jon Chung, a poster on rpg.net. You can see some of the basic implementations (and ...
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4answers
3k views

Suggested house-rules for Pathfinder one-on-one storytelling

I'll introduce myself quickly. Played a lot of RPG in teens; mostly AD&D for fantasy, but also Call of Cthulhu and Cyberpunk for those other settings. I lived kind of remote, so all we played was ...
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3answers
1k views

Can I acquire cantrips with the Wizard multi-class feat?

The multiclass feat for wizards in the PHB says you gain a 1st level wizard at-will ability. Now, the cantrips in there are gained at first level, and they are at-will. I'm guessing that, since they ...