Questions tagged [house-rules]

House rules are small fan-created additions and replacements to core rules in a rules set, and this tag should be used when there are locally-created rules at the core of the question. In most cases, they are not officially sanctioned by the designer, in contrast to optional rules (see the [optional-rules] tag). For creation of substantial new content or rules subsystems, use the [homebrew] tag instead.

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148
votes
22answers
19k views

How do you help players not focus on the rules?

Background - My Group's Gaming Style When I GM, I run games loosely from a rules standpoint, and do not feel bound to adhere to what the rulebook says when it doesn't make sense in a given situation. ...
22
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3answers
9k 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 ...
20
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3answers
4k views

What effects do critical and fumble tables have on D&D 3.5?

Just getting some extra damage, and just missing, seem pretty boring. A lot of people like to spruce things up by having critical hits and natural-1 fumbles result in a roll on a special table, which ...
26
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5answers
2k views

Which balancing issues, if any, would arise from allowing PCs to spend actions on bonus action features?

I understand that RAW, features/spells/etc. that require a bonus action (e.g. Bardic Inspiration or Healing Word) cannot be used with a regular action instead (see this question). However, what would ...
100
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13answers
30k views

3d6 vs a d20: What is the effect of a different probability curve?

What is the effect on game play of replacing d20 rolls with 3d6 rolls in a D&D 4e campaign? I started thinking about this after reading this question where the example was given of playing a d20 ...
20
votes
11answers
61k views

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 ...
34
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3answers
3k views

What overpowered combinations would be available if I allow a bonus action to be used in place of a standard action?

It has come up in game a couple of times that a player might want to cast a spell that has a casting time of 1 bonus action using their "main" action (if they have another bonus action they also want ...
21
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3answers
4k views

How can I convert D&D 5e 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 ...
18
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4answers
13k views

If Beast Master Rangers could use bonus actions to attack with their companion, what problems would occur?

If a clause was added to Beast Master Rangers to allow them to spend a bonus action to have their companion to make a single attack after the ranger makes their own Attack action, what would the ...
5
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3answers
3k views

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 something ...
26
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5answers
5k 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. ...
18
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3answers
2k views

Balance implications of removing unseen-attacker advantage when mutually unseen

The rules for unseen attackers (PHB p. 194-195) specify that attacking a creature that cannot see you = advantage, and attacking a creature you cannot see = disadvantage: When you attack a target ...
13
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3answers
2k 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
13k views

How do I adjudicate attempting to put manacles on an unwilling creature?

I have a player in my campaign who has recently wanted to use manacles. While the Player's Handbook entry for manacles describes in a pretty detailed way how difficult it is to escape from manacles, ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

What if standing up from prone didn't provoke attacks of opportunity?

For an upcoming campaign I'm considering making a house rule saying that A creature can take a move action that doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity to stand up from prone. Alternatively, I'm ...
6
votes
4answers
779 views

What effects would allowing same-class multiclassing have on interclass balance?

In Pathfinder, taking multiple copies of a class is controversial from a rules-based perspective. Most of the groups I have played with allow same-class multiclassing in 3.5 but not Pathfinder. I ...
65
votes
15answers
71k views

I dislike how players accurately place fireballs. Is there an alternative?

I'm running 5e on a grid with minis. The one thing that I hate is when sorcerers or wizards cast a fireball that perfectly hits enemies in the AOE. The player counts the squares on the grid to ...
17
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3answers
3k views

How to determine PC genetics in D&D for the purpose of creating 2nd generation PC's [closed]

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 ...
21
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10answers
4k views

How do I tweak this crouching rule to balance it?

My ranger uses light crossbow. A few sessions back, he flavored his movement and attack as "I move there, and crouch before attacking." In character, previously he taught the others that it ...
21
votes
7answers
3k views

What are the consequences of removing the potential for critical hit extra damage on spell attacks?

Current table has a house rule that spells attacks can not deal extra damage through critical hits. They have the rule that you can critically succeed or fail on a natural 20 or 1 on saving throws. ...
20
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7answers
3k views

What balance issues would arise from a house rule imposing a saving throw versus exhaustion after a PC falls unconscious?

In my last campaign, some combat encounters got pretty ridiculous, mainly due to some player characters falling unconscious and getting back up every turn. I remember one combat encounter in ...
19
votes
7answers
3k views

Is this alternative initiative house-rule balanced?

As a fairly new DM, one thing that has commonly occurred in my sessions so far is my PC's starting combat outside of initiative. For example after a telepathic conversation with a Nothic was going ...
18
votes
3answers
3k views

How would changing critical hits like this affect my game?

Everyone gets excited when they see that dice roll turning up a 20. A 20 on a test means that you succeeded on what you were trying to do in the best way possible — it's a rewarding situation that ...
21
votes
6answers
4k views

What issues could arise with this Advantage/Disadvantage Variant?

Background In the Player's Handbook, it is specified that Advantage and Disadvange sources effectively "cancel out" regardless of how many there are of each: If circumstances cause a roll ...
20
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3answers
4k views

Can an invisible creature see themselves and their own gear?

Suppose there's an everyday ordinary human character who becomes invisible, either due to quaffing a potion of invisibility or from somebody casting the invisibility spell on him. This causes both him ...
4
votes
2answers
30k views

Where can I find Matt Mercer's Critical Role House Rules?

I'd like to use house rules from Critical Role in my own campaigns, and while we may tweak them once we've tried them, they seem to work well for Matt and his players, so what they use would be a good ...
19
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4answers
2k views

How to use table seating order for initiative without nerfing initiative-based features?

Although I've experimented with the alternative initiative rules in the DMG and with other ideas I've read about online, I always return to the standard initiative rules in 5e combined with initiative ...
14
votes
1answer
978 views

Impact of swapping Flags for Bonds in Dungeon World?

An answer on this site recently pointed me to Rob Donoghue's Flags system as a possible replacement for Dungeon World's Bonds. How does this system impact game play and table dynamics? I'm ...
36
votes
6answers
17k views

Making aging relevant: How can I translate premature aging into a mechanical effect?

My group is about to come across a haunted sunken keep with an adversarial Ghost mini-boss. Being mostly composed of Humans (because who doesn't want a free feat?), I expect them to be particularly ...
25
votes
10answers
5k views

Does rolling AC to oppose an Attack Roll impact game balance?

I really like the concept of rolling d20 against each other during ability checks like grappling, etc. I want the same thing for normal attacks, so the defender would also roll a d20 + (AC-10). Would ...
16
votes
5answers
19k views

Drawing and sheathing weapons as one item interaction

In PHB, page 190, it explains about the free item interaction: You can also interact with one object or feature of the environment for free, during either your move or your action. For example, you ...
16
votes
9answers
1k 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 ...
27
votes
3answers
12k views

Would allowing a Thief (with Fast Hands) to use the Healer feat's tending action as a bonus action be balanced?

Related: usable objects with Fast Hands The Healer feat states: [...] As an action, you can spend one use of a healer’s kit to tend to a creature and restore 1d6 + 4 hit points to it, plus ...
13
votes
3answers
5k views

What are the impacts of permitting casters to concentrate on 2 spells?

A common lament at tables I play at from players is often the inherent limitation on being able to maintain concentration on only one spell at a time. This doesn't just come from casters, but also ...
11
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
20k views

What is the conversion rate for Sorcery Points to Spell Points?

On page 288-289 of the DMG, there is an optional rule: Variant: Spell Points. I frequently use this optional rule at my table. I'm interested in streamlining resource-management even further, by ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Would allowing a cantrip cast as a bonus action to be used on the same turn as a non-cantrip cast as an action break the game?

In my group I was planning on making some house rule changes to the section on bonus action spells, as I'm not a fan of how it's currently written. I'd prefer the normal action(spell) + bonus action(...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

How can giving skill checks critical fails and successes affect game balance?

At my table there is the house rule that skills can crit on a natural 1 and 20. At least I think a natural 20 would be treated special over a 19. But I do know that 1's give harsh consequences. In ...
6
votes
1answer
855 views

What issues could occur if I allow a Bard to use their instrument to fulfill verbal components? [closed]

One of my players messaged me about a new character they were creating, and they proposed the concept of a mute bard. Long story short, they wanted to RP a cursed character, and I was really intrigued ...
21
votes
2answers
5k views

Why is allowing players to stack their skill proficiency bonus overpowered?

I am the DM for a campaign and play with the following house rules: When gaining proficiency in any skill (during character creation, taking the Skilled feat, etc.), you may choose a skill more than ...
16
votes
4answers
4k views

Will this house-rule method of choosing prepared spells unbalance the game?

I have a party consisting of two PCs; a lv5 fighter (3 fighter, 1 rogue, 1 barbarian) , and a lv5 ranger (4 ranger, 1 cleric). Focusing on the ranger for the purposes of this question. She doubles as ...
15
votes
6answers
3k views

Consequences of having half damage on attacks that tie AC as house rule?

Typically if an attack roll equals the AC of a target then the attack does normal damage. I quite like the idea of making it a glancing blow, dealing half damage instead, this would help clue the PCs ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

How does replacing Advantage with a flat +2 affect Champion critical hit damage output?

My DM does not like Advantage/Disadvantage. While I disagree with his reasons on this, he has decided to replace it with a +2/-2 rule and I respect him (mostly) enough to follow his rules. I recently ...
13
votes
3answers
7k views

Is this the correct way to resolve a missed Ice Knife?

Ice Knife: Make a ranged spell attack against the target. On a hit, the target takes 1d10 piercing damage. Hit or miss, the shard then explodes. The target and each creature within 5 feet of the ...
13
votes
3answers
18k views

Will adding helmets unbalance the game?

I can't find any mention of a helmet in the Player Handbook in the armour table, and the only helmets I can find are magic items like The Helm of Telepathy. Would it be unbalanced to allow helmets to ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Are there any balance issues with allowing thrown Javelins to be drawn for free like ammunition weapons?

Weapons that have the ammunition property, such as bows and crossbows, can be used without having to worry about the action economy with regards to the ammunition itself (such as arrows or bolts) as ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Would these multi-classing house rules cause unintended problems?

I'm part of an RPG Group that plays multiple campaigns in multiple systems. Lately, two of our members have announced interest in a D&D 5e campaign, which isn't a system this group has played ...
11
votes
2answers
9k views

Would it be game breaking to allow a Warlock to use his Mystic Arcanum to cast his spells at a higher level?

I'm looking for ways to make the Warlock feel more flexible with his castings, and I like this solution, especially since it's limited by how few spellslots Warlocks have of higher level spells (...
10
votes
3answers
6k views

Would adding Necromancy spells to the Druid's spell list break anything?

I am new to D&D and will be starting with a group of other beginners in a few days. We got ourselves 5e and will have a four-character group: a rogue GMPC, a barbarian, a paladin and a wizard (or ...
9
votes
2answers
447 views

What are the possible balance implications for houseruling INT as Paladin's spellcasting ability and class features?

Related (yet different): What is the source of a Paladin's spell-casting ability? Related (strongly): What are the impacts of changing a Ranger's spellcasting ability? (I don't know if everything ...