House rules are small 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. For substantial new material and rules subsystems, use the [homebrew] tag instead.

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Is a Staff with Finesse balanced?

If you've seen the movie Ip Man, you'll remember that he used long wooden implements in a way akin to a staff, yet focused on quick, precise strikes, rather than brute-strength bashing. What's a ...
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Making a rules-light non-combat version of Call of Cthulhu

I'm familiar with the very basics of BRP system and I have 6th edition CoC corebook, but right now my schedule doesn't allow me to even glance through it. Aside from the obviously essential skill ...
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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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How can I check to make sure my homebrew class is balanced compared to pre-existing classes?

A friend and I are embarking on a little project for fun: creating a new class for 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons. We have already referred to the DMG section about modifying classes and races etc. ...
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What are the consequences of eliminating the experience points cost to craft magic items?

I'm DMing a Warcraft-themed campaign using the World of Warcraft Role-playing Game books and some Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 books. The players are interested in crafting their own equipement, but it ...
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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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Can a Monk use/trigger Defensive Duelist while wielding a monk weapon (or unarmed)?

Defensive Duelist requires wielding a finesse weapon, yet one of Monks' abilities is to treat Monk weapons (including staves and unarmed strikes) as "having finesse" (in all but name: it allows monks ...
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879 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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Balance issues for gestalt melee (or other lower Tier) characters

An idea I had for balancing higher level play is to allow characters who are not tier 1 spellcasters to gestalt. The worries I have are What is the cutoff where a character becomes tier 1? generally ...
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262 views

How can a wizard research spells from his list on his own without expending money?

One of the players in our group, a wizard with the Spellslinger archetype, has asked me the possibility to research spells on his own. With this I mean that he is not concerned neither in creating new ...
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Playing (some) monster races without racial HD

I'm interested in whether it is possible to play certain (monstruous) humanoids from MM without adding their racial HD, whist at the same time preserving balance. What exactly would I need to do to ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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276 views

Using a 'confidence' buff to reduce party splitting up

I am GMing a game for the first time and we are 2 sessions in. We are playing D6 star wars, and its tending to be comic, which is great. There are 5 players, which manageable but quite busy. They are ...
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555 views

What would being able to split the move action do to combat?

In D&D5e a player can choose to do his standard action while moving. So a character (who can normally move 30 feet) may move 10 feet, then attack, and then move again in any direction up to his ...
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Modifying spell components to add flavor

One of my player's character is playing a tiefling wizard (evil party). He asked me if he could modify the spells components to add flavor and narrative uniqueness. I said yes, of course, and we ...
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246 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 ...
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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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71 views

What needs to change to make 1st-edition Earthdawn a single-roll initiative system?

The first edition Earthdawn combat system involves declaring actions and rolling initiative every round, which for me is tedious; I want combat to flow, so I want to skip rerolling initiative every ...
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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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How to allow cantrips to be changed

The wizard in my game has requested the ability to change out his cantrips similarly to his higher level spells. His justification is that every other wizard spell is memorizable, so having fixed ...
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765 views

A fast rule to replace iterative attacks

In D&D 3.5, higher-level players and monsters get iterative attacks. This can slow down the game sometimes. Therefore, I am looking for an alternative rule that fulfills the following requisites: ...
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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 ...
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What are the implications of allowing Dex to Hit and Damage?

While in the process of building a Magus character, I got annoyed that paizo decided to make Dex to damage quite difficult to obtain. Apart from Agile weaponry, I know of three feats that do this: ...
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Overall mechanical effects of 16 point buy in 5e

Our DM allows a point buy of ability 16, with a cost of 12. The total cost is still at 27. I feel this is harmful for balance, because a +1 on your main ability allows reaching a stat of 20 by level ...
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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 ...
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375 views

Getting my group to commit to house rules?

Our group has been playing RPGs in changing formations for the last 10 years or more. We have played many different systems, but some of them we always eventually return to (Rolemaster/MERP, Star Wars ...
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On-the-Fly Crafting

I do not believe there are any 5e rules for this, so this is as much asking for potential houserules as anything else. If there is an official rule somewhere, by all means, please point it out. Let's ...
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225 views

Firing Ranged Attacks past Other Creatures

I have recently come up against the problem that players want to fire ranged attackes through multiple enemies, or place AoE spells behind multiple enemies. The idea that one could fire an arrow past ...
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Recovering ammunition (bolts, etc.) in Numenera

Suppose a ranged combat character in the Numenera setting, using a non-artifact ranged/thrown weapon. Say, a heavy crossbow. There is limited ammunition that players usually have to buy. After a ...
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What would be the pros and cons of removing ability scores from O D&D?

Recently, I've been playing quite a bit of a variant on the Swords & Wizardy retroclone of O-D&D. What our group has noticed in general is that high and low scores rarely matter, and even ...
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492 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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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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Is my house rule for Eladrin Armor too powerful?

Eladrin Armor, found on page 230 of the PHB has the following as one of it's properties This armor has no speed or skill check penalties Now, it's clearly not RAW, but I have a hard time not ...
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What are the consequences of denying Quickened Eldritch Blasts?

A follow up to Can you use Quickened Spell to cast cantrips? (and asked in the spirit of this question and this question), a L18 Sorcerer/L2 Warlock has 18 Sorcery points, and "recovers" 2 (so to ...
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1answer
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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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How can I add house rules for interesting wrestling moves for a wrestler PC?

I'm a fledgling DM trying to help a player make a wrestler PC. (I saw How can I make a grappling Fighter?, but it's for Pathfinder.) My friend would like the following if possible: Size: Large (...
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What class features or items can be given to a fighter in Dungeons and Dragons 4e to allow him to parry as his mark punishment?

In a game I am in, the DM wants to encourage the fighter, who is a very reluctant defender to more actively defend. The fighter is built on the "gentleman adventurer" lines, and the DM has expressed ...
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1answer
388 views

Penalties to running long distances outside of combat?

I'm running a game with a couple of friends, one of which is a druid with a base speed of 8, and the party has hired some horses (speed 10) but almost lost one in combat as an enemy tried to escape on ...
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148 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 ...
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742 views

How would using the 3.5e rules for gestalt characters work in 5e? [closed]

I recently saw a post on Reddit describing some home-brew rules for gestalt characters in 5e. It seemed interesting so I looked up the original 3.5e gestalt character rules (which can be found here ...
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1answer
305 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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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 <...
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1answer
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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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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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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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Should I allow Prestidigitation to ignite Grease (the game allows the Grease to be flammable)?

In 3.5 Prestidigitation is used mostly as a "flavor" spell. However, I noticed that in Next they added a new use for it. You instantaneously light or snuff out a candle, a torch, or a small ...
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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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Writing a better Weapon Focus feat

Last time a played D&D it was 3.0, and I remember thinking the Weapon Focus feat is kind of dull, but it's sometimes a prerequisite for more advanced feats. So I would like to rewrite it ...
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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 ...