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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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 ...
15
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6answers
728 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 ...
11
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5answers
319 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 ...
5
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4answers
232 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 ...
6
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4answers
368 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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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 ...
12
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2answers
536 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, ...
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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 ...
5
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1answer
159 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 ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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 ...
6
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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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vote
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 ...
5
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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, ...
4
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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 ...
3
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3answers
379 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
540 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 ...
7
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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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5answers
919 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 ...
5
votes
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
votes
1answer
514 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 : ...
6
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4answers
651 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. ...
3
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1answer
321 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
401 views

Genius: The Transgression house rules

I gather that work on the Genius: The Transgression fansplat has ceased, since there haven't been updates in 2 years on the official site. However, I'm having trouble with some of the gameplay and ...
7
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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 ...
4
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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 ...
4
votes
3answers
443 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, ...
16
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
3
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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 ...
5
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3answers
495 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
478 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. ...
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
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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 ...
4
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2answers
333 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 ...
2
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1answer
181 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 ...
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 ...
8
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2answers
458 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 ...
17
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3answers
514 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, ...
8
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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 ...
5
votes
2answers
321 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 ...
9
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3answers
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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 ...
11
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1answer
1k views

Where can I find rules for firing a Ballista?

More specifically I'm looking for rules for a ship mounted ballista for my players in a 4th Ed. game. I haven't been able to find anything in any of the books, the closest to anything in print is ...
6
votes
1answer
201 views

What are the rules of natural healing?

I've read a few times the core rules of Microlite20, and the Expert Rules, but didn't find a place where it explained how PCs healed naturally. What rules should I use for that? The ones in the ...
3
votes
4answers
482 views

Would adding a Move-Attack-Move “basic combat power” to DnD 4e unbalance the game?

I've been thinking of adding a power to DnD4e as a basic maneuver that all players can do. I'm not certain yet if this power should be regulated to only BRA (Basic ranged attack) or if it's ok for it ...
4
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1answer
141 views

What side effects might arise from modifying the XP cost to increase traits in the Storytelling system by category primacy?

Currently, the Storytelling and Storyteller Systems have primary/secondary/tertiary skills/abilities, and at character creation, the primary have more points, whereas the tertiary have less points. ...
9
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3answers
441 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 ...
12
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3answers
650 views

CoC's Sanity-like rules for the nWoD?

Is there a good adaptation of Call of Cthulhu's Sanity rules to the Storytelling system of the new World of Darkness (possibly replacing Morality)? (Edited the title to make it more precise.)
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6answers
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How to deal with broken combos?

Based on Rob Schwalb's article Stuck in the Middle: How do you, as a player or DM, deal with choosing or forbidding broken combos in your character, group, and system?
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2answers
430 views

What house-rules would be appropriate for a D&D Ironman game?

In a game I'm planning on running, I'm planning to run it in an "Ironman" fashion, reminiscent of Nethack and the Diablo options. I have established that: there will be no possibility of ...