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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What Are Freedom of Movement's Limits?

What conditions and effects does the spell freedom of movement [abjur] (PH 233) overcome? I want a fair, reasonable, and consistent method to determine what spells and conditions are overcome by the ...
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283 views

What sort of check should be used for my frenzy ability's stay-in-control aspect?

My D&D 3.5e character is a half-shark/half-man, and I want to give him a boost ability that allows him to indulge in his frenzy or instinct and gain bonuses during battle. Doing so, however, would ...
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Balancing Spellcasters; Spontaneous Casters versus Prepared Casters

So ask any optimizer and they'll almost always tell you the same thing: in 3.5 classes that prepare spells are better than spontaneous spellcasters. It's generally not thought of as even a contest. ...
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Slayer Weapon Specialization with More Weapon Groups

I made a half-orc slayer to use in a DnD 4E Neverwinter campaign. I got him all set up to use a longspear. The Spear Expertise feat adds damage on a charge, half-orcs' Swift Charge feature gives them ...
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How to determine PC genetics in D&D for the purpose of creating 2nd generation PC's

I remember watching "The Dungeons & Dragons Experience" and one of the people featured in the documentary mentioned how him and his friends had developed a way to blend and randomize attributes of ...
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778 views

Would it be fair to ask the GM for benefits for self-imposed character limitations?

Is it fair to ask the DM for some kind of benefit if you give your character self-imposed weaknesses/downsides with definite consequences/mechanics behind them? For example, if I had a character with ...
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892 views

How can I use improvised consequences to make combat more interesting?

In DnD 4e, the consequences for being hit by basic attacks are a simple loss of HP, and narration is what gives the basic attacks their 'spice'. The use of encounter and daily powers is the main ...
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268 views

Making skill-based feats attractive

So everyone knows that the feats that give bonuses to skills are... lackluster at best. I was wondering if anyone has tried implementing any changes to these feats to make them more attractive choices ...
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Improving Animal Companions for E6 Gestalt Characters

In my experience, Animal Companions for Gestalt characters seem especially underpowered. As the DM, I have a 2-part plan to address this. Max out HP vs Rolling Allow Gestalt Druid/Rangers to ...
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326 views

Can Paranoia be revamped to be a cooperative game?

So, some of you may or may not remember a previous question that I had asked on this site. Now I may be asking for the exact opposite. My group wasn't very impressed with the whole "we're playing ...
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1answer
319 views

Making monks better but not broken

I am about to run a campaign where 2 of the 3 PCs are monk-based classes. They will be starting at level 10 and I expect the campaign to run till 15 or 16. One is a Monk 2/ Sorcerer 4/ Enlightened ...
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How do you improve Death Saves for the character?

I don't know if my group is particularly incompetent in combat or if its our own feckless dice at fault, but we frequently find ourselves locked in desperate combat, with multiple members of the party ...
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3answers
517 views

Expand the numeric scale of Strands of Fate

I haven't played any of these narrative focused games like Fate but would like to. My players are very used to other more hands-on type of game where the numbers are plainly what your character is. ...
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460 views

How to ensure players spend XP on both short- and long-term benefits in Numenera?

I recently bought the core rulebook for Numenera. As well as reading through it to learn the system, I've been reading online reviews. It seems from reading what other experienced Role-Players think, ...
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5answers
966 views

Spaceship Combat in Fate Core

I'm trying to run a space-opera RPG in Fate Core, and ship-to-ship combat is a central focus. I'm looking to emulate the kind of fighting we see in Star Wars, Wing Commander, FreeSpace, etc, but ...
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How do I remove a poorly-designed rule without my players feeling cheated?

(This question is inspired by by Neil Slater's answer here: What are the acceptable limits for questions using the probability tag?. Other related questions are: Rules for increasing ability scores in ...
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1answer
140 views

What unfortunate side effects am I missing in allowing a feint as part of movement at a -10 penalty?

Within Mutants and Masterminds, if you have a feat called Acrobatic Bluff, you can make use an Acrobatics check in place of Bluff for the purpose of feinting to make someone flat-footed for your next ...
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506 views

Is it possible to substitute actual items for the material components in spells?

Generally speaking, material components and focus objects for spells (or at least, the ones without costs listed) are there purely for flavour and the occasional lame joke (like using fur and an amber ...
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143 views

Combining Swordsage and Broken One Substitution Levels [closed]

I want to be able to offer my DM suggestions about how this can work mechanically. I want to use the Broken One monk substitution levels from Champions of Valor 36-7 but use Tome of Battle's swordsage ...
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Rules for increasing ability scores in Basic D&D?

Are there any rules (house or otherwise) for increasing ability scores after character creation in Basic D&D or any of its retro clones? (Other than magic items or wishes.) When we generated ...
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1answer
191 views

Looking for a story board alike sheet for a custom rpg

I am playing via Skype to a custom role playing game with some friends. The game is like an Age of Empires by turns and no one but the GM knows about anyone. I don't know the rules (dice based) but ...
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199 views

House rules for making specific components matter for spells, magical and mundane item creation?

I started getting back into D&D edition 3.5 a few weeks ago as a DM. I do not like the generalizations in which are written into the magical item creation. I am trying to make a more specific ...
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232 views

homerule for experience sharing between party members

There are possibly huge gap between caster and non-caster characters in a party. Caster have plenty of options of getting rid of own experience in exchange for various boosts. Item creation, wish ...
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1answer
52 views

What happens when a Dragonfire Adept with a template uses Humanshape?

If a Dragonfire Adept has the Draconic template (LA+1) then uses Humanshape, does that affect his alternate forms in any way? Would that allow him to apply his template to his other forms, or perhaps ...
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425 views

Can a player create an AI?

Skimming the web and source books I have yet to find anything that discusses players programming AIs. I'd imagine it would be a very complicated process, but I'm curious what would go into it. Is it ...
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Keeping house-ruled handout feats fair across classes

I'm drafting some new house rules for a coming campaign. First on the chopping block: eschew materials. I want rid of the constraints of virtually costless material components so I'm going to just ...
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132 views

How can you discover illusions?

Manipulation spells have a mechanic that allows the victim to slowly overcome mental control. Illusions do not work this way, but I feel they should. In our last session the bad guys spent 2 Combat ...
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248 views

What's the purpose of not allowing tests to be converted in Burning Wheel?

I'm currently reading through Burning Wheel Gold and found a very odd quirk; the rules say that tests for advancing Skills or Stats cannot be converted to a different sort of test (for example, ...
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9answers
546 views

What are the pros, cons, and hitches of having only the players roll dice?

I ran a variant of DnD3.5 a few years a go with this house rule Player Only Rolls. The basic of the idea was that the referee never rolls at all. The players roll to attack vers the creatures AC. They ...
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1answer
247 views

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 ...
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1answer
236 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 ...
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826 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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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 ...
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1answer
178 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
364 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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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 ...
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487 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
359 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 : ...
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301 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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2answers
222 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
175 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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
257 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
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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 ...
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623 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 ...
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1answer
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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, ...
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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. ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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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 ...