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 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 ...
5
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1answer
107 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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1answer
32 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 ...
8
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3answers
214 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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1answer
91 views

Combining Swordsage and Broken One Substitution Levels [on hold]

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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5answers
1k 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 ...
6
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2answers
322 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
175 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 ...
2
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1answer
340 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 ...
5
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4answers
258 views

Are there any skill rank house rules?

My group is fairly small (3 characters including my own), and ranks in skills seem to be a bit off for us. We are calculating skill ranks properly for each of our characters, but our ranger seems to ...
10
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5answers
293 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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1answer
94 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
102 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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3answers
669 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 ...
3
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3answers
152 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
40 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 ...
6
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3answers
160 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 ...
9
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2answers
220 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
70 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 ...
9
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8answers
456 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 ...
5
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2answers
177 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 ...
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1answer
84 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 ...
5
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3answers
187 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
509 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 ...
2
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1answer
153 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 ...
3
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1answer
164 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 ...
11
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1answer
386 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 ...
8
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2answers
234 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, ...
3
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1answer
396 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 ...
6
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4answers
316 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
78 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 ...
5
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2answers
278 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 ...
10
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1answer
220 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 ...
11
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5answers
271 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
394 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, ...
3
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4answers
262 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
229 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
140 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
146 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 ...
2
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2answers
132 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 ...
14
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5answers
567 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 ...
14
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6answers
639 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 ...
5
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4answers
200 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 ...
8
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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
463 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
136 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
553 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
458 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
131 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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4answers
406 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 ...