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[5e] Your house rules.

Cale Knight

Eight Bits
Validated User
For those of you who are running or playing 5e campaigns, I'm interested in hearing about any house rules that have been implemented in these games. More specifically, your thoughts about how well they are or aren't working and whether the rule was needed at all.

In my game:

Rule: Druids can change into any beast-type creature they have seen before (constrained by CR and movement type).
My House Rule: Upon reaching 2nd level, I had my moon druid draw a random assortment of critters, spread out among available CRs for a balanced sampling. She will gain new forms as she levels.
Implementation: A bit too early to tell, since they've only been 2nd level for a few adventures. She seemed to enjoy the drawing process, though, and even though I gave her the option to do a redraw (after getting both "riding horse" and warhorse"), she stuck with what she got. She's considering her "suite" of animals to be a reflection of her character's personality and has been letting that inform her roleplay. So far, I call this rule a success.

Rule: Barbarian rage ends if you end your turn and haven't attacked an enemy or taken damage during that turn.
My House Rule: Barbarians can maintain rage so long as they're doing something that makes use of rage's benefits. So a barbarian can rage if he wants to, say, get advantage on holding up a portcullis, or brute force his way through a trap so that he can smash the mechanism on the other side.
Implementation: This rule came about because I wasn't aware of the actual rule, and I let the barbarian rage during a lumberjacking competition to gain advantage on a series of athletics checks. The player (who almost always plays a barbarian or barbarian-type in whatever system we're using) was thrilled at the fact that barbarian rage had out-of-combat context. When I noticed the actual wording of the rule, I decided to ignore it altogether. The player's happy and so I am too.
 

EvilSchemer

Well, I never!
Validated User
So far, after ten sessions, my only house rules are:

1. no XP for monsters. I'm just telling players to level their characters at milestones. I should probably at least award progress XP though so they have a sense of how close they are.

2. I still let players know when a monster is "bloodied" (half HP) and "woozy" (1-3 HP).

3. I've allowed attackers to forego damage in lieu of conditions, like restrained for "shooting an arrow and pinning them to the wall" or "catching each other weapons in a dramatic parry-clinch".

4. I award inspiration on the spot for doing cool stunts. They can either use it for the stunt or keep it for later, but it goes away at the end of the encounter.

5. Edit: I also allow players to tinker with the Background proficiencies, swapping them out for whatever is appropriate. For example, Medicine for soldiers with the Medic history.
 
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Asacolips

Registered User
Validated User
I actually haven't had a need to houserule it all yet, which is surprising for me. With that said, I think your houserule for barbarians is a good call, especially since it's making a class feature useful in situations other than combat. I'll probably steal that one if the situation ever comes up in my games.
 

Kanye the Giant

New member
Banned
One I'm thinking of, tinkering with rests:
After the long rest period, roll a d6. If you get equal to or higher than a target number based on your lifestyle, you get the full effects of a long rest; otherwise, you get the effect of a short rest instead. If you go a week (seven days) without a long rest because of this, you automatically succeed.
(insert table that I don't have here, basically the target is 1 for every level below Comfortable)
The goal is to make characters not necessarily able to dump lifestyle and to increase the importance of skills or equipment that can increase their effective lifestyle while traveling.

Also, until I have the DMG, I'm granting the full modified XP for a combat encounter (counting the multiplier for number of opponents) so that players don't get screwed on advancement because they're facing multiple lower-challenge enemies.

That's about it so far.
 

Bupp

Registered User
Validated User
I use 13th Age's Escalation Die.

The fighter henchman (being run by the player), chose the Sentinel subclass. I posted it here awhile back, but it's also on my blog. Leveled up at the end of the session, and haven't played yet, so we'll see how it works out.

I'm seriously thinking about using "roll damage as your hit die", so that no matter what weapon they use, fighters cause more damage than wizards. Use what weapon you like, for what you imagine the character having, instead of always going with the same choice. Thinking about either doubling Strength modifier or adding proficiency bonus to two handed weapons, to offset the loss of AC for not using a shield. Why shouldn't rogues use a d8 for daggers?

I don't bother with spell memorization rules either. Never liked them. You have your known spells, and your spell slots, cast what you want. Clerics and druids don't get the full list, either, but a selection of known spells.
 

Stone-Tharp

Registered User
Validated User
So far I've not used house rules in the game I'm running, nor has the game I'm playing in instituted any.

I like that barbarian one up above and will probably steal it if it ever becomes relevant. I also would allow multiclass paladins with a 13 Dex instead of a 13 Str because I want to make sure that Dex-based paladins are as viable in my games as Str-based ones and can see no good reason to them unusually hard for multiclass characters.

Edit to add: And per my usual practice in all editions of D&D I've ever played, alignment doesn't exist.
 
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Asacolips

Registered User
Validated User
I use 13th Age's Escalation Die.
How has this worked out for you so far? I've been considering adding it in, but possibly as a d4 instead of a d6 due to bounded accuracy. I've also been considering using it for damage instead of attack rolls, since 5e scales primarily in HP rather than AC.

Thinking about either doubling Strength modifier or adding proficiency bonus to two handed weapons, to offset the loss of AC for not using a shield.
The main incentive for two-handed weapons is for great weapon fighters and anyone using the great weapon feats. The ability to make extra attacks on kills/crits is a good incentive, as is the ability to reroll 1s and 2s (which can be very common when you get into multiple attacks. If it's a character that gets extra crit dice, like a half orc, great axes and pole arms have a nice incentive of giving the most bang for the buck.

There are benefits to taking a two-handed weapon over a shield, but they're fairly specialized and for the melee centric classes.
 

Ornithopter

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Validated User
I'm seriously thinking about using "roll damage as your hit die", so that no matter what weapon they use, fighters cause more damage than wizards. Use what weapon you like, for what you imagine the character having, instead of always going with the same choice…. Why shouldn't rogues use a d8 for daggers?
I'm not sure that this will generate the result you hope for, in terms of weapon choice diversity. Daggers are the only weapons that combine light, finesse, and thrown. If they did the same damage as everything else, that's all I'd ever use for any Rogue I ever made. Well, that and whips maybe. Actually, expect to see a lot of Fighters and Barbarians going whip + shield.
 

Sir Corvus

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Character creation begins with Background choice prior to Class. I like this thematically because it encourages the players to think about who their characters were, pre-adventurer and it helps to avoid skill choice redundancies.

Also, I use ability score saves the same way that they're handled in Dungeon World (a la Defy Danger). I get more use of them, although sometimes I have to give players ideas ("Sure you can save with your Intelligence to avoid that trap: think the new Sherlock Holmes movies wherein your character is thinking so fast that the world is in slow-motion").

No initiative order. I just roll with it as it is handled in Dungeon World (as in, whatever order makes narrative sense and I move around the table, keeping everyone included and in the spotlight).
 

Sir Corvus

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Validated User
I'm not sure that this will generate the result you hope for, in terms of weapon choice diversity. Daggers are the only weapons that combine light, finesse, and thrown. If they did the same damage as everything else, that's all I'd ever use for any Rogue I ever made. Well, that and whips maybe. Actually, expect to see a lot of Fighters and Barbarians going whip + shield.
This is where context becomes important (especially with damage type and descriptive tags). Sure heroes could use only daggers, but that usually means that they have to get in closer to enemies, some of whom one might not want to get close to. And some enemies have resistance to piercing damage. On the flip side, big weapons can cause a Disadvantage in cramped quarters (unless they're spears used only for thrusting). But even then it might really depend on the situation.

I've played a lot of Dungeon World, which uses damage by class as well, and I've never had the problem of players exploiting the rule. Most players have just had the freedom to pick weapons that they like or that they felt were appropriate to their character's style. But yeah, if you have players who are kind of sleazy that way, it could be a problem.
 
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