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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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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3answers
1k views

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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5answers
2k views

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. ...
4
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1answer
289 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 ...
4
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5answers
273 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 ...
7
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1answer
369 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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2answers
100 views

Creating new minor talents for an Empath/Telepath

I'm an old GM, new to DFRPG. How would you create an empath or mind reader minor talent? I was thinking: Empath: You can use your empathy skill to roll an assessment check and reveal a character's ...
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1answer
153 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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3answers
611 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 ...
7
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2answers
446 views

How would I make custom items into a set?

Magic Item Compendium introduced us to magic item sets, which as their name implied were thematically-linked sets of magic items that provided bonus benefits for wearing multiple items from that set ...
2
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1answer
173 views

Does a disguise check using magical aid take less time?

In Player's Handbook, the rules for Disguise say creating a disguise takes 1d3x10 minutes, and that using magic like alter self, shapechange, polymorph self, or disguise self adds a +10 modifier to ...
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3answers
224 views

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

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 ...
9
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3answers
931 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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5answers
3k views

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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5answers
1k 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 ...
5
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1answer
151 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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3answers
249 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
54 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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3answers
453 views

Where does a traveler arrive when a planar location's unspecified?

When a creature is successfully targeted by an effect that transports the creature to another plane but no location on that plane is specified, where does the creature arrive? If the plane is the ...
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1answer
140 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 ...
6
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3answers
505 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
960 views

How to address Damage/Toughness bias in M&M Tradeoffs

The Basic Problem Right, Mutants and Masterminds is a True20 system where everything is resolved via rolling a d20. Attacks are made by rolling a d20 and adding the attack bonus, trying to match or ...
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3answers
2k views

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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2answers
265 views

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 ...
8
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3answers
498 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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1answer
257 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
277 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 ...
7
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1answer
911 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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2answers
1k views

How can I convert D&D Next Saving Throws into Defences?

In D&D 5, the saving throws for spells has the following formula: The DC is set to 8 + prof bonus + magical stat bonus. The target then makes a saving throw, adding their stat bonus and hoping ...
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3answers
271 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, ...
3
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1answer
201 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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8answers
522 views

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 ...
12
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1answer
359 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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4answers
387 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 : ...
7
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1answer
317 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
200 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 ...
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2answers
192 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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5answers
1k 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 ...
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6answers
791 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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5answers
435 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
votes
4answers
278 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
votes
4answers
459 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
242 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 ...
7
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5answers
594 views

Removing attack spells from Cantrips [closed]

I have been thinking about removing the Cantrip spells that are exclusively used as attack spells (i.e. the description lists it as doing damage only). This in effect will make Cantrips non-lethal ...
12
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2answers
676 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
177 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
2k 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 ...
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1answer
217 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
3k views

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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4answers
736 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 ...