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Aetis
2018-11-06, 01:30 PM
We've all heard the tales of horrifying house rules poor souls were subjected to in their day-to-day tabletop gaming.

Well, say no more! Tell us some of the BEST house rules you have ever seen. :smallsmile:

MrSandman
2018-11-06, 01:37 PM
D&D 3.5 with wounds instead of hit points. It made combat so much faster.

Arbane
2018-11-06, 03:02 PM
One free reroll a session.

Rodimal
2018-11-06, 03:25 PM
On player creation we use: Roll 4d6 drop the lowest, reroll Ones.
Also, Rolling a natural twenty is always a hit and always double damage. We instead roll to confirm max damage.
Eschew Materials counts for all materials not just cheap ones.

Aetis
2018-11-06, 03:26 PM
One free reroll a session.

But can it be purchased with a large pizza?

Darth Ultron
2018-11-06, 04:38 PM
1.During a game, the DM's word is the final say. As a player don't bring the game to a halt to question a situation. If you feel something is wrong, bring it up after the game.

2. Spells & items that create or morph extradimensional spaces, manipulate time, or involve teleportation risk creating planar breaches and other such anomalies each time they are cast/used.

3.Teleportation spells of 4th level or lower (which includes dimension door) can’t transport you further than you can see. The range of these abilities is reduced to line of sight. Spells of levels 5 to 7 allow you to teleport sight unseen

4.The caster must have a clear mental picture of the teleport destination. For the best results the caster must physically be in the target location for a full hour and make careful notes of the sight, sound, smell and feel of the area. The caster must pick a mostly static location, one that does not change with the passage of time. A destination only remains valid if less then 50% of area remains the same to match the mental picture in the casters mind. Small changes, such as a tree blowing in the wind have no effect, however cutting down the tree makes the destination invalid for a caster that has the tree as part of their mental destination picture. If the caster does not have a full hour of physical study in a location, the chance of the teleportation success is only 20%, plus one percent per caster level.

6.Extradimensional spaces are hazardous to teleport. There is a flat 50% chance that anything teleorted in or out of an extradimensional space is lost. There is a further 50% chance that the contents are simply utterly destroyed or teleported to a random location(often, but not always, the Astral Plane).

6.The fatigued condition imposes a -2 penalty to caster level and a -1 penalty to spell save DCs. The exhausted condition imposes a -6 penalty to caster level, and a -3 penalty to spell save DCs

7.No form of metamagic reduction may reduce the spell's level below its original level.

8.A character does not believe in her own illusions, even if she wants to.

9.You can only emulate spells you know or have in your spellbook with shadow evocation and shadow conjuration

10.By default, all creation type magic creates things that are slightly less then average in quality. Divine magic often allows creation of superior things in accordance with the deities ethos. Anything created has a slight feeling of wrongness to it such as the wrong weight(often lighter then the real thing), the reflectivity or shine(often much duller then the real thing), and the texture(often soft and sponge-like). A DC check of 10 for Spellcraft, or any appropriate craft or profession skill can tell the artificial nature of a magically created item.

11.By default, magic that summons or creates objects have as an additional material component a piece of material that was once part of a creature or object of the type to be summoned/created. Pieces of certain exotic monsters will have a high market value. (So Eschew Materials will be ineffective). Only some divine magic can ignore this.

12.The strain of binding and controlling a summoned creature imposes a cumulative -1 penalty to caster level for each creature currently summoned.

13.When casting a summoning spell, there is a 1% chance per spell level that the spell goes horribly awry and summons something else entirely.

14.Magic that summons/calls have as an additional material component a piece of material that was once part of a creature or object of the type to be summoned/called.

15.Any magic that Changes your body and brain is an inherently risky business. Every hour a character spends in a form with a type other than his own, he must make a Will save, with a DC equal to normal DC of a spell of this level, +1 for each hour they’ve spent in the form, +1 for each of these saves they’ve failed. In any sort of stress or combat this save must be made each round. Failure means the character becomes the form it has taken in body and mind.

16.Magic that changes your body have as an additional material component a piece of material that was once part of a creature or object of the type to be changed to/polymorphed. Pieces of certain exotic monsters will have a high market value. (So Eschew Materials will be ineffective).

17. Divination spells do not grant sufficient information to become familiar with an area, meaning they cannot be used to teleport.

18.Ability Damage and Drain: Spells 3rd level and under provide Ability Penalties instead of Ability Drain and Ability Damage.

19.Using a scroll is a Full Round Action, that provokes AoO and cannot be done Casting Defensively.

20.Divine magic is power sent from a deity to a mortal. And what that power does depends on the target: A friendly target gets a positive effect., and a hostile target gets a negative effect.

Quertus
2018-11-06, 06:14 PM
What a cool thread! Kudos to the OP.

Best "house rule", for me, was "RAW". And, if there was any question what RAW was, we'd look it up. And, if there was any question what RAW meant, we'd argue it until we agreed, however many hours that took. Best. Games. Ever.

Sadly, only my brother agreed with my assessment on the value and enjoyability of those sessions.

Best for overall enjoyment of players who don't share our last name / proclivities for enjoying a good, friendly, constructive debate? We play "by RAW", which actually meant "by the rules, as everyone at the table remembers them". If there was any debate as to what the rule is, we'd have "five minutes" to make our arguments - which can, IME, be of the form, "here the RAW entry in the book", or "but, if X, then Y - and nobody wants Y". If no decision is reached within "5 minutes", then the GM flipped a duplex cookie. White side up, it worked however was best for the party right this second - and was permanently written into the house rules. Black side up, it worked however was worst for the party right this second - and was permanently written into the house rules. This way, reality was consistent, your character's story was always consistent, and you could plan based on a reliable reality - even without hours of my beloved rules lawyering.

-----

Most memorable addition? D&D characters, with added Avatar (the last air Bender) powers. Sadly, we didn't play that game for long.

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Best for my chosen Higher Goal of Role-playing? Probably the group that would often ask questions of the form, "The version of your character who lives in my head wouldn't have done X, they would have done Y. You had them do X. Why?"

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Best non-D&D house rule? Hmmm... I'ma go with, "you can take as many flaws as you want".

Son of A Lich!
2018-11-06, 06:37 PM
- Roll 3d6 in place of a D20 for attacks, damage, etc. The bell curve probability is a huge boon to Mundane characters, as having a +2 in a roll can make or break a combat encounter, Especially if you are going to be making that roll numerous times.

-Popcorn initiative, Roll off for who goes first, they pick who goes next after their turn. Can't pick someone twice until everyone has gone, familiars, animals companions and summons all go on the controllers turn, Hydras, Ettins and some aberrants get multiple rounds instead of multi-attack benefits. I read about this from Angry DM and have used it ever since, Everyone becomes invested in the tactics of when to let the opponent go and if they will be picked next, and thank god, you never have to worry about "Wait, you skipped me!" ever again.

Seto
2018-11-06, 06:44 PM
In 3.5, everyone gets Power Attack and Weapon Finesse for free. That way they become tactical options rather than feats, and they're not a tax on feat chains.

Quertus
2018-11-06, 08:05 PM
11.By default, magic that summons or creates objects have as an additional material component a piece of material that was once part of a creature or object of the type to be summoned/created. Pieces of certain exotic monsters will have a high market value. (So Eschew Materials will be ineffective). Only some divine magic can ignore this.

16.Magic that changes your body have as an additional material component a piece of material that was once part of a creature or object of the type to be changed to/polymorphed. Pieces of certain exotic monsters will have a high market value. (So Eschew Materials will be ineffective).


I would totally game this, harvesting my monsters (or just clipping their hair, fingernails, etc) for fun and profit. Especially profit.

Problem is, the default "best" monster - the Hydra - lacks hair or nails. Fortunately, good ones regrow heads.

Something I really like about this rule - gaming it for fun and profit aside - is that, if you find a monster with templates - say, a half-dragon Hydra - one should be able to use pieces of it to summon or transform into templated versions of monsters.

So, in this regard, I like these rules better than the default "no templates" rule.

Arbane
2018-11-06, 10:12 PM
I would totally game this, harvesting my monsters (or just clipping their hair, fingernails, etc) for fun and profit. Especially profit.


The only thing you're going to be summoning is ORCUS!

:smalltongue:

Darth Ultron
2018-11-06, 10:17 PM
I would totally game this, harvesting my monsters (or just clipping their hair, fingernails, etc) for fun and profit. Especially profit.
So, in this regard, I like these rules better than the default "no templates" rule.

The basic idea is to, of course, stop players from just opening a book and saying ''I create or summon this". It is 100% effective on stopping players from cherry picking things from books.

It also has the nice effect of making many creatures and substances of much greater value and usefulness. It does make for a nice magical economy, as everyone will pay for a bottle of 'X' creature.

And even better is most of the time you can only buy a couple pounds of anything...and it will be very expensive. So it does make for a perfect instinctive for going on a hunt yourself to get a whole creature or two.

Eldan
2018-11-07, 05:38 AM
No rolling for stats. Players just write down what stats they like. Honestly, this has saved me so much headache and debate as a DM. And if they really think they need all 18s, eh, let them have their power fantasy.

Likewise, no class skills. Everyone gets the entire skill list. I trust my players not to abuse it too much.

Base attack bonus/weapon focus is now a skill, by weapon groups. I.e. a fighter would take four ranks in Attack (polearm) and have a +4 to hit.

Based on that, everyone gets 6+ intelligence bonus skill points per level, except rogues and bards (and a few other skill classes), who get 8+. I gently remind my players that yes, profession, obscure knowledge and crafting will occasionally help in a situation.

DigoDragon
2018-11-07, 08:35 AM
One free reroll a session.

I liked this one when we tried it once for D&D. It really helps in a Save-or-Die situation.


In Shadowrun 4e, one houserule that turned out pretty good was where I only awarded the payments the Johnson for missions completed, not karma. To get karma, players would spend 2,000 Nuyen per karma point. To better balance this, I increased the payments a little bit per runner. Also, to keep karma inflation in check, only the payment from the Johnson counted for converting to karma (no stealing/selling cars to bank karma points). This worked out because each player had different cash and karma needs, so they could choose how much of each to take in.

Pelle
2018-11-07, 10:40 AM
In 3.5, changing 'negative 10 HP = death' to 'roll on table of permanent injuries with only a small chance of lethal injury'. Although not universally appropriate, it worked very well for the specifics of the campaign it was used.

Quertus
2018-11-07, 10:50 AM
The basic idea is to, of course, stop players from just opening a book and saying ''I create or summon this". It is 100% effective on stopping players from cherry picking things from books.

It also has the nice effect of making many creatures and substances of much greater value and usefulness. It does make for a nice magical economy, as everyone will pay for a bottle of 'X' creature.

And even better is most of the time you can only buy a couple pounds of anything...and it will be very expensive. So it does make for a perfect instinctive for going on a hunt yourself to get a whole creature or two.

How many PCs profited by selling off monster parts?

Oh, thanks for reminding me - one if the most fun sounding house rules I've heard of but never played with involved using monster parts for items and foci. Want to cast Fireball? You don't need to research the spell per se, but you do need to create a focus made from appropriate materials - which is usually the body parts of monsters.

So, the Wizard wants to learn Fireball? He decides to track down a Red Dragon, and create a wand tipped with one of its teeth as his focus. The Fighter decides to inset a Tooth or two into his sword to give it the Flaming property. The Thief decides to prefer some scales, make a paste from them, and use it to stain his clothes to gain Fire Resistance. Maybe the Cleric takes the wings, and turns them into a Winged Cloak. Or dries the dragon's gizzard, and uses it as the fire half of his own focus for Flame Strike.

This gives people a reason to adventure, ties their abilities into their history, and makes their items much more cool than the Christmas tree of another +4 item off the rack.

Faily
2018-11-07, 10:53 AM
Great Destiny (D&D): Once per session, instead of dying, one PC will be stabilized at -9. This is a party resource, so it can only happen once per session. Has been very nice for the group that has a very unlucky player.
Backgrounds in Star Wars (FFG). Players can choose from a list of backgrounds of what kind of life their character come from, and will get 1 free skill rank tied to that background (i.e military can give a rank in Warfare or Ranged: Light). It's a minor bonus that also helps some players flesh out their character more.
Improving feinting in combat (Pathfinder). Feinting for normal folks is a move action instead of a standard action, improved feint makes it a swift action for one attack, greater feint makes it apply to all attacks. Makes feinting a viable tactic in combat.
Doubling the bonus from Combat Expertise (Pathfinder). Since attack bonuses quickly outpace AC after starting levels, Combat Expertise now doubles the bonus gained. So -1 to attack means +2AC.

Darth Ultron
2018-11-07, 12:24 PM
How many PCs profited by selling off monster parts?

Several hundred.




This gives people a reason to adventure, ties their abilities into their history, and makes their items much more cool than the Christmas tree of another +4 item off the rack.

Well, I do that for magic item creation:

*At 3rd level all non spellcasting classes gain the Create Magic Item Ability. This ability allows them to take magic item creation feats. They may pick one at 3rd level and one more every three levels. Magic item creation is essentially unchanged from the way a spell caster does it. Except that the spell need not be cast by them, or they can drain the spell from a scroll or magic item(destroying the item in the posses).

And Magic Item Creation

All magic items need three components: Mundane, Rare and Exotic.
*The mundane component is simply the physical form of the object. It must be made out of special materials to hold the magic.
*The rare component is something that locks the magic effect into the item. This is most often a creature part, but can be any physical thing.
*The exotic component is not physical thing, it is a process. It is what needs to be done to finish the item. It is a process of what to do at a set time and maybe place.

As the caster level increases, so does the hardness of the components. A 5CL item might only need oak wood, but a 10CL item might need 100 year old oak wood, and a 15CL item might need 100 year old oak wood that has been struck by lightning. A rare component that is a creature part is must be from a creature of HD at least equal to the CL. After 10 CL, many items get extreme rare components, such as a daisy steeped on by a dragon at midnight. Proses get harder as CL's go up. At 5CL the item might just have to be made at night. 10 CL on a high mountain in the winter, and 15CL and above often have a exact location like the ''Fire Pit of Doom''.

Some components are set, but most change depending on the time. A character must research what components are needed, or otherwise gain the information. Or optionally, the character can simply self experiment to know the right components. A set of components only remains valid for roughly three months, then they will change.

A Knowledge(Arcane or Divine, as appropriate) check can be made anywhere the character can do research, with a DC of 10, plus the caster level of the item. Divination magic can also be used. Self Experimentation requires a full hour with the component in question, and a primary spellcasting ability check of 10 plus the caster level of the item(Mundanes use whatever ability of Int, Wis or Chr is highest). Each component, mundane, race and exotic must be checks separately.

Example: Dorst wishes to make a minor circlet of blasting. He knows it must be made primarily of gold(from the item description). He checks the research (DC 10 +6 =16) and discovers that phosphorus is needed as well. He uses a divination to get the crypic knowledge that he figures out to be the rare component: seven pryolisk feathers. For the exotic component he simply tries self experimentation. Each hour he tries a flame related posses, making a check (DC 16 again) to see if it is the right one. If he does not stumble upon it, he goes back to research what it might be or cast another divination for a clue.

Hunter Noventa
2018-11-07, 02:28 PM
It's usually pretty easy to disagree with you Ultron, but you've got some good ones in there.



6.The fatigued condition imposes a -2 penalty to caster level and a -1 penalty to spell save DCs. The exhausted condition imposes a -6 penalty to caster level, and a -3 penalty to spell save DCs

7.No form of metamagic reduction may reduce the spell's level below its original level.

8.A character does not believe in her own illusions, even if she wants to.


6 is actually quite good I think. Makes something like Ray of Exhaustion a more serious threat. 7 is just plain common sense as is 8.

Rhedyn
2018-11-07, 02:35 PM
For Savage Worlds, I make D&D bosses by giving the boss multiple initiatives and every time the party "kills" the boss it removes one initiative and only one initiative can be killed per attack. It's like making the party fight a whole squad of Wildcards but they look like one monster.

Koo Rehtorb
2018-11-07, 02:36 PM
Masks: Adding "Is your character telling the truth?" to the list of Pierce the Mask questions.

Burning Wheel: Adding a new subsystem called Bloody Adventuring, designed along the lines of the Bloody Versus subsystem, which lets you make a few rolls to go "adventuring", getting cash and/or wounds out of the process depending on how well you roll.

Tvtyrant
2018-11-07, 03:07 PM
In 3.5, changing 'negative 10 HP = death' to 'roll on table of permanent injuries with only a small chance of lethal injury'. Although not universally appropriate, it worked very well for the specifics of the campaign it was used.

My group did something similar, where a crit made you roll on a minor wound chart and dropping below 0 rolled on a major wound chart. These couldn't be healed by low level magic and left permanent scars. It was pretty popular.

Tron Troll
2018-11-07, 04:36 PM
3.Teleportation spells of 4th level or lower (which includes dimension door) can’t transport you further than you can see. The range of these abilities is reduced to line of sight. Spells of levels 5 to 7 allow you to teleport sight unseen

4.The caster must have a clear mental picture of the teleport destination. For the best results the caster must physically be in the target location for a full hour and make careful notes of the sight, sound, smell and feel of the area. The caster must pick a mostly static location, one that does not change with the passage of time. A destination only remains valid if less then 50% of area remains the same to match the mental picture in the casters mind. Small changes, such as a tree blowing in the wind have no effect, however cutting down the tree makes the destination invalid for a caster that has the tree as part of their mental destination picture. If the caster does not have a full hour of physical study in a location, the chance of the teleportation success is only 20%, plus one percent per caster level.

I like them...they are going to be added to my game!



6.The fatigued condition imposes a -2 penalty to caster level and a -1 penalty to spell save DCs. The exhausted condition imposes a -6 penalty to caster level, and a -3 penalty to spell save DCs

Humm..I notice lots of spell caster ones....but this one does seem right to me too.



9.You can only emulate spells you know or have in your spellbook with shadow evocation and shadow conjuration

This seriously nerfs the two spells...




12.The strain of binding and controlling a summoned creature imposes a cumulative -1 penalty to caster level for each creature currently summoned.

This...humm...might be nice to nerf summoners.



17. Divination spells do not grant sufficient information to become familiar with an area, meaning they cannot be used to teleport.

Another good one.




20.Divine magic is power sent from a deity to a mortal. And what that power does depends on the target: A friendly target gets a positive effect., and a hostile target gets a negative effect.

This is a big vague, what do you mean here?




Well, I do that for magic item creation:



So everyone can make magic items? This feels unbalanced, but I do like the idea. It might lessen the thing where everyone has to reliy on the spell casters to make magic items.

For magic item creation, how do you decide what to set the additional components as?

JeenLeen
2018-11-07, 05:31 PM
For D&D 3.5, everyone gets 1 free "trash feat", which is limited in power and is generally a feat tax (e.g., feat you don't actually care about but a pre-req for another feat), Eschew Materials, or something akin to Skill Focus for boosting a skill.

The main purpose was to allow access to some feats that were otherwise annoying to get OR limit annoying factors in the game OR allow us to flesh out a character by giving some skill points to something we otherwise might not get.

---

For World of Darkness & other d10 games: death tokens.
You start with 1, and earn others by really good RP. You can trade in a death token to negate 1 point of damage IF that damage would kill you or leave you unconscious in a situation that would kill you.
Alternatively, you could save the death tokens to negate some xp loss upon death. (We had a houserule that, in usual circumstances, a new PC started with the xp of an old one, minus 3. This penalty might be decreased if the situation made it really hard to survive, or increased if we seemed not to really care and be eager to die to get a new character.)

Even without the xp-based rules, it really helped some circumstances where you'd die. Gave a chance to heal, teleport way, or regroup.

Also changed a lot of rules on initiative and splitting actions to make it easier and faster to play.

Kurald Galain
2018-11-07, 05:48 PM
The Dodge feat gives a flat +1 to AC instead of slowing the game down every single turn to pick one target for it.

kebusmaximus
2018-11-07, 06:21 PM
In 3.5, changing 'negative 10 HP = death' to 'roll on table of permanent injuries with only a small chance of lethal injury'. Although not universally appropriate, it worked very well for the specifics of the campaign it was used.

I have also done something similar. In my current pathfinder game, we replaced the normal death rules with 5e's system. So, when you go down to 0 hp, you begin "death saving throws" instead of negative hp.

Ken Murikumo
2018-11-08, 09:45 AM
3.Pathfinder:

We use the content in the "pathfinder feat tax" article that made its rounds a while back. I've made a few small modifications, like adding deadly aim to the list of feats everyone can do (i cant remember if it was part of the article, but i include it anyways seeing as its a ranged power attack).

I added some weapon enchantments to the list for my players, specifically the ones falling behind on damage:
First one makes it so the weapon can use the chosen stat to make attacks (like a sword that you use intelligence to attack with instead of strength or a bow that uses charisma). This replaces the normal attack stat and trying to fight the weapon and use the normal stat imposes a -4 penalty (using strength on the mentioned sword would impose said penalty).
Second adds an untyped bonus to damage equal to attack stat of the weapon. This does work in tandem with the first enchantment but does not require it. For instance a bow could have a dex to damage bonus granted, or even a finesse weapon (assuming they are using dex to attack). The damage only takes place if you use the same stat to attack, dex-dex, wis-wis, etc.
It's worked out well so far as most of my players don't go book diving to get multiple stats for attack and damage. The players that do know some trick (two to be exact, myself included) generally don't use them in favor of the "thrill of the hunt" for obscure stuff. The only weirdness is technically you can use the second enchantment to get an untyped damage bonus equal to strength on normal melee weapons seeing as their attack stat by default is strength. Combined with a few levels of two-handed fighter to get the 2x str. feature and you can get some decent damage racking up. I would, however, kindly ask the players not to use this if they figure it out, lest they face single hit damage in range of 100k+ using mythic vital strike shenanigans.

For weapon damage i came up with a system where you don't roll weapon damage, instead you deal minimum, average, or maximum damage depending on how much you beat the enemies' AC by. Just beating is minimum, beating it by 5 or better is average, and 10 or more is max damage. Sneak attack (and its kin) and weapon abilities like flaming also follow this mantra. This speeds up combat soooo much for us. We also have a player that doesn't math very good and another who maths excellently but slowly. They insisted on rolling spell damage, so we do. I had mentioned this a while ago and was faced with overwhelming negativity from this forum, but in practice it's worked better than i would have thought, so that's a thing...

Combine all of the above with a huge homebrew modern gun roster that includes fallout style weapon & armor mods for all ranged & melee weapons and armors giving the players get access to some new tactics and variety in combat.


Mutants & Masterminds 3rd:

I started limiting the parry/dodge/toughness ratios to 3:1. In other words 1.5x your PL is max, and .5 is minimum for those numbers; at pl 10, max toughness would be 15, in turn making minimum dodge/parry 5. The opposite is true with toughness 5 and dodge/parry 15. We had some issues with maximum toughness and dodge/parry characters resulting in some really long or really short combats. Mostly it was the other GMs creating "bosses" with maximum toughness that took way to long to damage. I was scouting around the ronin army forums and saw that this was pretty common.

Another thing i started was for "high lethal" campaigns damage degrees beyond first created higher toughness penalties. Normally the chart is 1st: -1, 2nd: -1 & dazed, 3rd: -1 & stunned, 4th: incap. My chart is 1st: -1, 2nd: -2 & dazed, 3rd: -3 & stunned, 4th: dying or incap. The other DMs adopted this because it makes combat run smoother with lots of enemies (non-minions) where before it took lots of effort to bring down each guy.

The trade off to the above is that the stunned condition from a 3rd degree failure lasts only 1 round then goes to dazed, rather than lasting a minute.

Darth Ultron
2018-11-10, 09:22 PM
So everyone can make magic items? This feels unbalanced, but I do like the idea. It might lessen the thing where everyone has to reliy on the spell casters to make magic items.

For magic item creation, how do you decide what to set the additional components as?

Yes, the idea is every character can make magic items, not just spellcasters. It's not unbalanced at all, in fact, it brings lots of balance to the game. Now everyone, even a commoner of high enough level can make magic items.

I don't really have a method for picking additional components...it's just whatever I think of...the more powerful the item is, the harder the components are. Often players find it better to just create the needed bit and not try and find it or just wait for it to happen.

Quertus
2018-11-10, 10:32 PM
even a commoner of high enough level can make magic items.

Can you explain that bit?

The translations I've thought of are...

If he has enough XP.

If he can match the item's "caster level".

If he has the power to take down the creatures to use as components.

Or possibly even something to do with WBL.

So what does that bit really mean?

Darth Ultron
2018-11-11, 12:58 AM
Can you explain that bit?


The commoner would need to be of at least 3rd level, when they get their pick of free magic item creation feat. Then they would need to meet the things like XP and ''creator"(not caster) level. The big difference is they enchant the item by a ritual and don't have to personalty cast the spell(s) needed.

Note also cooperative magic item creation is already in the rules, just add the option (from the long ago Wizards.com) that creators can share costs like XP however they want.

The idea is not that the average commoner is making a vorpal sword +10, but more that are making an Everfull Mug or a Yoke of Unseen Oxen. And in a lot of cases people will make cheap or very cheap items, like items useable only once a day or that only have a couple charges(the MiC idea of three charges per day works perfectly too).

It does have characters that gain XP for things other then pure combat.

The over all effect is a lot more magic in the world, but not all powerful magic.

Pippa the Pixie
2018-11-11, 10:36 PM
It does have characters that gain XP for things other then pure combat.



Are you talking about things like XP for an Adventure Story Award? If so, how does a commoner get that XP?

Whyrocknodie
2018-11-12, 07:56 AM
[5e] Counterspell does not exist at all.

There are some others...

[5e] Leomund's tiny hut does not prevent a conscious effort to move through it. It keeps out the bad weather.

[5e] Large monsters get bonuses to grapple/shove of +5 per size category over their adversary. Tiny animals get vast bonuses to stealth [+10] - so turning into a mouse is a good idea if you don't want to be detected.

[5e] Eldritch blast invocation (whatever it's called) cannot push back huge creatures, and large ones only move 10 feet.

[any D&D] You do not need to supply material components for a spell you know that is lower than the highest level of spells you can cast.

[any D&D] Area's underground often have 'magnetic anomalies' that prevent the use of teleportation effects at long ranges (like a mile or so) - this refers to the 'underdark' rather than any old cave or dungeon.

[CP2020] You can spend 1 Luck to move the hit location you were just shot in from the head to the torso.

[CP2020] All 'special abilities' removed from the game entirely. Combat Sense, Authority, etc etc.

[CP2020] The 'BTM' stat removed from the game entirely. The damage required to destroy a limb scaled up to 10.

...actually there are tons of these. I think I'll stop!

RedMage125
2018-11-14, 10:49 AM
7.No form of metamagic reduction may reduce the spell's level below its original level.

8.A character does not believe in her own illusions, even if she wants to.
Pretty sure, those are not houserules, but rather, RAW.


9.You can only emulate spells you know or have in your spellbook with shadow evocation and shadow conjuration
That's a pretty harsh nerf. I would at least amend to also include "Spells that the caster has seen used, researched about, or is familiar with". In effect, a sorcerer who has seen an enemy wizard use a spell may emulate it with Shadow X.

17. Divination spells do not grant sufficient information to become familiar with an area, meaning they cannot be used to teleport.
That's kind of covered in the main "Teleport" spell. If one uses Clairvoyance, for example, to view a location as if through a window, there's a table entry for "Has seen/viewed location" for familiarity.


19.Using a scroll is a Full Round Action, that provokes AoO and cannot be done Casting Defensively.
Seems a bit harsh.


I tend to argue a lot in favor of RAW on these boards, but that's primarily an academic issue, and relates only to discussions. For when I run a game, I stick fairly close to RAW. Not because I think that RAW is somehow a "better" way to play, but because I believe in being Fair, above all else. And I prefer that my players can access the same rules that I am going to use to make my judgement calls, so they can have a reasonable idea of how I might rule in advance. I do use a handful of house rules, but these are always laid out to my players in advance. And since they tend to correct what I see as "issues", they are largely in players' favor. Funny thing is, I made a lot of these BEFORE I'd ever seen Pathfinder's rule changes. Most of it was adapting some good 4e idea's.

Ok, so I'm a bit biased, but here's my house rules, which I like to think are pretty good.

3.5e:
-Hide and Move Silently, are one skill: Stealth (Dex). I think that, while 2 skills is more realistic simulationism, that one skill streamlines things and makes it more fun.
-Pursuant to that, Listen and Spot are one skill, Perception (Wis). This is so that enemies do not get 2 chances to locate a Stealthed PC. Search remains a separate, INT-based skill, as it represents actively looking, instead of a chance to notice. If something gives a +2 bonus to both Listen and Spot (Elves, for example), they instead get a +3 bonus to Perception.
-Read Magic is a stupid spell. Its effects are folded into Detect Magic.
-Arcane Classes have easier access to Detect Magic. Sorcerers get it as a free known cantrip, but must still spend a 0-level slot to cast it. Wizards never need to prepare it, they may spontaneously convert any 0-level prepared spell to Detect Magic. This is because Wizards spent so much time studying magic, and Sorcerers have magic inherent in their blood. It also keeps Warlocks' at-will ability unique and useful.
-Magic Item Creation uses Pathfinder's rules. Making Spellcasters spend XP AND feat resources is needlessly player-harmful.
-Healing always "resets" a PC's hp to 0 before applying healing numbers. If you are at -7, and the cleric rolls terrible on his cure spell, only healing you for 5, you are at 5 hp. This keeps players who went down from having to sit out yet another round doing nothing, and also keeps up the fun for the person playing the healer. EXCEPTION (since this came up in a game I ran): A Frenzied Berserker with Deathless Frenzy who goes below -10 hp MUST be healed though all those negative hit points to get above -10 before his frenzy ends.
-I let my players decide on Critical hit rulings. They can either go with "no confirmation roll, so threat=crit" or "standard confirmation rules". I let them know the math involved, and how "no confirmation rolls" may actually result in the party RECIEVING more crits, due to the fact that PC Armor Class generally outstrips monsters'. If they choose no confirmation, they will have ONE chance to decide (and must be unanimous) to go back to confirm rolls. But once confirm rolls is chosen, it will be adhered to.

3.5e and 5e:
-At level 2, PCs get max hp. Low levels are rough enough. At further levels, players roll for hp, and if they roll too low, they may take "half plus one" for the die roll. Yes, this means d4 Hit Die classes can only get 3 or 4, but it also prevents level 6+ d10/d12 classes from having super low hp due to bad rolls.
-Not so much a "rule" but a "policy" at my table...but I incorporate the "bloodied" condition from 4e. That is, whenever a creature is at 50% or lower hp, it is considered "bloodied". I will not reveal enemy hp to the players, but I will let them know when it is "bloodied", or if it is not. I also try and discourage discussion of hp totals in combat. When the cleric says "who needs healing?", the Barbarian may say "I'm not quite bloodied yet", or "I was bloodied 2 hits ago", or even "I'm pretty messed up". All are preferable to "I have 24 out of 78 hit points". I don't actually penalize players who slip and discuss hp totals in combat, but I do give them the Stern DM Look of Disapproval +1. That's just something I do to keep immersion at my game. Kind of like how I will always refer to my players by their character names (even when calling out initiative order), unless I am addressing something OOC to that player.

I have a few other little things I do, but a lot of those are setting-specific to the flavor of my home setting. Such as "no 'underdark rebel' drow. There are 2 communities where drow can originate on the surface, drow PCs come from one of these", or "dragonborn Dragon Sorcerers must choose the same dragon type as their Draconis Ancestry racial trait". I don't really consider those "house rules", especially because I suspend them if I run pre-published modules, which are usually set in FR.

Resileaf
2018-11-14, 11:09 AM
Are you talking about things like XP for an Adventure Story Award? If so, how does a commoner get that XP?

With life experience. :smallbiggrin:

Anonymouswizard
2018-11-14, 05:39 PM
No rolling for stats. Players just write down what stats they like. Honestly, this has saved me so much headache and debate as a DM. And if they really think they need all 18s, eh, let them have their power fantasy.

Likewise, no class skills. Everyone gets the entire skill list. I trust my players not to abuse it too much.

Base attack bonus/weapon focus is now a skill, by weapon groups. I.e. a fighter would take four ranks in Attack (polearm) and have a +4 to hit.

Based on that, everyone gets 6+ intelligence bonus skill points per level, except rogues and bards (and a few other skill classes), who get 8+. I gently remind my players that yes, profession, obscure knowledge and crafting will occasionally help in a situation.

I quite like these, although I tend towards point-buy over declaration. I will note that the last two only work if they're there together, otherwise Fighters have to take Attack (melee option), Attack (ranged option) and have no more skill points.

In games I've run/played in?

Neutralise Poison must be cast before the poisoning. This single spell, available to one of the most common priesthoods in the setting, negated any attempts at poisoning important people or PCs. This required us to actually be careful, as my character could cast it twice before having to rest for two hours.

Six sessions in you can retcon your build, because we're all unused to the system.

Instead of looting the main source of PC income is them getting a paycheck every month, coming out to Starting Wealth/10 after lifestyle expenditures. The exact source of this money varied based on game and PC, some from employers, some from investments, some were just scrounging up cash with odd jobs outside PC-time.

No pimping characters without the player's permission.

No matter how low my Strength modifier I can't heal people by stabbing them.

Darth Ultron
2018-11-14, 11:30 PM
Seems a bit harsh.


My Houserules are intended to be that way. I want to play a fun adventure game, not the ''I'm a cool jerk who found a Rule loop hole" vs DM game.

And they work great for that....many a player looks at my shadow magic house rule and will say "but then I can't be a super jerk", and will refuse to play in my game.

Luccan
2018-11-14, 11:33 PM
My Houserules are intended to be that way. I want to play a fun adventure game, not the ''I'm a cool jerk who found a Rule loop hole" vs DM game.

And they work great for that....many a player looks at my shadow magic house rule and will say "but then I can't be a super jerk", and will refuse to play in my game.

I'm actually confused as to the purpose of the spell in your games if it doesn't let you emulate spells you couldn't otherwise cast. That's kinda the point. It seems simpler to ban it.

Edit: I guess it has some versatility benefit for wizards, but they're literally wastes of spells known for anyone else.

Mendicant
2018-11-15, 12:00 AM
E6. Does so many things that I want it to.

Related to that:
Pathfinder: Level 1 PCs start with HP equal to their HD x 2 plus Con modifier. PCs are *much* more durable in the beginning, which gives me more flexibility in encounter creation and makes 1st level much less of a swing meatgrinder.

MrSandman
2018-11-17, 04:29 AM
I've never used this rule yet, but if I ever GM a D&D or PF game, I'll just do away with simple weapon and martial weapon proficinecies (so everyone can choose whichever weapon they want regardless of their class) and change weapon stats to the following:
Light weapon: 1d6 damage
One-handed weapon: 1d8 damage
Two-handed weapon (reach): 1d10 damage
Two-handed weapon (no reach): 1d12 damage (or maybe 2d6)

RedMage125
2018-11-18, 05:28 PM
My Houserules are intended to be that way. I want to play a fun adventure game, not the ''I'm a cool jerk who found a Rule loop hole" vs DM game.

And they work great for that....many a player looks at my shadow magic house rule and will say "but then I can't be a super jerk", and will refuse to play in my game.

If I may be bluntly honest with you here for a moment...by this statement, you actually give me the perception that YOU are the one with the "adversarial player vs DM mindset", and not the average player. I'm not trying to put you on the defensive, but that is the perception you are creating with this statement.

I again ask if there are exceptions to that rule narratively. If an illusionist sees an enemy spellcaster use a Conjuration/Evocation spell that he, himself, does not know (and was not in his spellbook), but was able to identify as being of that school, would he be able to replicate it with Shadow X?

The Random NPC
2018-11-18, 08:20 PM
If I may be bluntly honest with you here for a moment...by this statement, you actually give me the perception that YOU are the one with the "adversarial player vs DM mindset", and not the average player. I'm not trying to put you on the defensive, but that is the perception you are creating with this statement.

I again ask if there are exceptions to that rule narratively. If an illusionist sees an enemy spellcaster use a Conjuration/Evocation spell that he, himself, does not know (and was not in his spellbook), but was able to identify as being of that school, would he be able to replicate it with Shadow X?

From my conversation with Darth in the Teir vs Anti-teir thread, no they have to have the spell in their book/known. Which yes, it makes nearly useless.

Darth Ultron
2018-11-18, 08:33 PM
If I may be bluntly honest with you here for a moment...by this statement, you actually give me the perception that YOU are the one with the "adversarial player vs DM mindset", and not the average player. I'm not trying to put you on the defensive, but that is the perception you are creating with this statement.

I again ask if there are exceptions to that rule narratively. If an illusionist sees an enemy spellcaster use a Conjuration/Evocation spell that he, himself, does not know (and was not in his spellbook), but was able to identify as being of that school, would he be able to replicate it with Shadow X?

My house rules are not adversarial, they create the style of game I like to play in. And they work perfectly. Plenty of players refuse to play in my game with my house rules..and I think that is a good thing.

And, no, you can't just ''see a spell" and then spontaneously become an expert on the spell so much that you can cast an illusion of it.

TheYell
2018-11-18, 09:05 PM
My house rules are not adversarial, they create the style of game I like to play in. And they work perfectly. Plenty of players refuse to play in my game with my house rules..and I think that is a good thing

your first rule is not to interrupt your game to question your decisions. How do you enforce that?

Darth Ultron
2018-11-18, 09:35 PM
your first rule is not to interrupt your game to question your decisions. How do you enforce that?

Well, generally ignoring such questions works for a lot of people. They will ask, I ignore, and they will sit in the corner and say "I'm still waiting for an answer"...and I might say back "I know".

If the player wants to be childish and say ''I won't play until you answer", I'm just fine skipping the player and letting them sit there and do nothing for the whole game.

Of course, I'm not above telling a player to...ahem..''just be quiet".

In general, smart people avoid asking me questions as....at best, I often give sarcastic answers...and at worse...watch out. Just check out most of my typed answers here...lol.

Also I am available any time the game is not being played to talk and answer questions and discuss the game. I'm more then open to saying to a player "hey, how about you come over for dinner tomorrow...I still have 300 pounds of deer steaks and we can talk about your problem." Amazingly few players ever want to do that...but I offer.

TheYell
2018-11-18, 09:45 PM
That's not how I do it, but then I have experience as a charity chairman, where you don't want people to quit and you're constantly preparing to train a successor chairman. I explain gladly. I maintain my authority at the end of the day, but everybody should see a rational decision to do it a way they won't like. I see it as part of my role as DM to broaden a player's knowledge of the system.

Darth Ultron
2018-11-19, 07:31 AM
That's not how I do it, but then I have experience as a charity chairman, where you don't want people to quit and you're constantly preparing to train a successor chairman. I explain gladly. I maintain my authority at the end of the day, but everybody should see a rational decision to do it a way they won't like. I see it as part of my role as DM to broaden a player's knowledge of the system.

It's not that I don't explain gladly, I just don't do it during the game. And I do see it as part of my role to broaden a player's knowledge of the system.


Like...lets see for a charity example:

We have a bake sale! So during the bake sale I'm sitting there selling my table full of brownies. Joe comes over all mad: he says my brownies taste bad and that his are better! He demands I go with him right now to a nearby kitchen where he will bake his ''better brownies".

Now, I tell Joe, no: I'm not going to just leave the bake sale right now. How about you come over tomorrow at 3 pm and bake me your brownies then?

And then, if, Joe does come over to bake, I will explain to him that no ''brownies are better" and that everyone just has ''different tastes".

RedMage125
2018-11-19, 08:41 AM
My house rules are not adversarial, they create the style of game I like to play in. And they work perfectly. Plenty of players refuse to play in my game with my house rules..and I think that is a good thing.

And, no, you can't just ''see a spell" and then spontaneously become an expert on the spell so much that you can cast an illusion of it.

You frequently act (and your house rules seem to reinforce this idea) that you think that players trying to do cool things outside of what you planned for are somehow "wrecking" your game. And that you believe this is something that needs to be curtailed. To me, this is adversarial.

And why not? If it's an illusion, partially real due to pulling from shadow, why would you need to know anything else about the spell other than what it looked like, and what it did? Furthermore, what about Illusionist wizards with high ranks of Knowledge Arcana and Spellcraft (who in-character are frequently researching about a lot of spells and magic), who has Evocation as his banned school? Can he not use Shadow Evocation to replicate partially real versions of spells that he has studied about, but cannot cast due to prohibition? Even if he has role played studying those evocation spells? Could he give you a short list of evocation spells that he has studied explicitly FOR use with shadow evocation?

Anonymouswizard
2018-11-19, 09:27 AM
Probably the best houserule I've ever used:

Everybody's racial stats are human. If you want to play a member of another species put skill and feat selections into areas your species might be good at.

Sure, it limits the racial variety in terms of ability, but once players get past the disconnect of their sheet saying 'elf' but getting a feat and extra skill points you get a lot more variety in races and culture. An elf can see well, so obviously they have higher Perception. Dwarves are tough and hardy, so I took the Endurance feat. My character is the bastard child of a terrapin-man and a shark-woman, so I have high CON, lots of ranks in swimming, and a taste for meat.

Darth Ultron
2018-11-19, 11:51 AM
You frequently act (and your house rules seem to reinforce this idea) that you think that players trying to do cool things outside of what you planned for are somehow "wrecking" your game. And that you believe this is something that needs to be curtailed. To me, this is adversarial.

I guess that is another way of saying I like a Set Type of game and my house rules reflect things. When I DM a game, I want things ''way X".




And why not? If it's an illusion, partially real due to pulling from shadow, why would you need to know anything else about the spell other than what it looked like, and what it did? Furthermore, what about Illusionist wizards with high ranks of Knowledge Arcana and Spellcraft (who in-character are frequently researching about a lot of spells and magic), who has Evocation as his banned school? Can he not use Shadow Evocation to replicate partially real versions of spells that he has studied about, but cannot cast due to prohibition? Even if he has role played studying those evocation spells? Could he give you a short list of evocation spells that he has studied explicitly FOR use with shadow evocation?

I sure don't agree that is a spellcaster just sees a spell effect that they instantaneously know all the spell details. My game also has a LOT of spells.

The illusionist that banned evocation would still need to know the spell (that is have it in their spellbook). And the ''short list" would be the characters spellbook.

Anonymouswizard
2018-11-19, 12:10 PM
I guess that is another way of saying I like a Set Type of game and my house rules reflect things. When I DM a game, I want things ''way X".

Yes, but in many ways the way you talk about your GMing style comes off as very adversarial (especially as the Playground seems to lean towards a more PC-driven style of game). Now none of us play at your table, and so can't talk about your house rules as they work in play, but these house rules come periously close to punishing players because they don't like what you like. As an example, while rule 3 doesn't have much effect rule 4 essentially removes long distance teleportation from the game (because of how little has to change to render a mental picture invalid). Now admittedly you mainly effect builds that'll tend to dominate the game or wreck the setting, but it still comes off as adversarial, especially rule 1 (I'm used to negotiating as a GM, and sometimes I will let my players have final say on something).

In fact, I'm somewhat reminded of the Angry GM, who claims he allows psionics but bans you if you take the option. While you don't get near that level, I tend to hate 'sure, you can take option X' and then limiting it without explicitly telling me that it's limited and allowing me some input.


I sure don't agree that is a spellcaster just sees a spell effect that they instantaneously know all the spell details. My game also has a LOT of spells.

The illusionist that banned evocation would still need to know the spell (that is have it in their spellbook). And the ''short list" would be the characters spellbook.

Eh, I'd probably houserule in a Knowledge (Arcana) check to determine enough about a spell to bluff it with Shadow X, probably something like DC 15+(spell level*2), with spells the caster knows being automatic. Especially if they'd just seen the effect. I get the idea that a single spell should open up as much as the Shaow X lines do by default, but by requiring the caster to know the spell they're emulating there's no real benefit (a relatively tiny versatility boost, especially as you can generally use that slot for much more powerful spells). Remember that the caster isn't actually casting the spell, they're casting something that looks like the spell infused with some shadowstuff.

Then again I tend to play in games where there's a lot less spells flying around, so spells a caster could concievably blag are much more limited and might not even be the entire PhB list.

Resileaf
2018-11-19, 12:56 PM
Eh, I'd probably houserule in a Knowledge (Arcana) check to determine enough about a spell to bluff it with Shadow X, probably something like DC 15+(spell level*2), with spells the caster knows being automatic. Especially if they'd just seen the effect. I get the idea that a single spell should open up as much as the Shaow X lines do by default, but by requiring the caster to know the spell they're emulating there's no real benefit (a relatively tiny versatility boost, especially as you can generally use that slot for much more powerful spells). Remember that the caster isn't actually casting the spell, they're casting something that looks like the spell infused with some shadowstuff.

Then again I tend to play in games where there's a lot less spells flying around, so spells a caster could concievably blag are much more limited and might not even be the entire PhB list.

Wouldn't an enemy caster be able to instantly recognize that the illusionist is casting an illusion with a spellcraft check of their own? It's not like mimicking a spell with illusions changes the incantations of the illusion in the first place.

Anonymouswizard
2018-11-19, 01:23 PM
Wouldn't an enemy caster be able to instantly recognize that the illusionist is casting an illusion with a spellcraft check of their own? It's not like mimicking a spell with illusions changes the incantations of the illusion in the first place.

Oh, I'd probably make this more complex. Have incantations and gestures differ somewhat depending on class and where they learnt their magic. Therefore identifying the school of a spell being cast be something like DC25 to DC30 for somebody from a different tradition, that somebody of the same class but from another tradition is DC20 (DC15 if you're particularly familiar with the tradition), and somebody from the same class and tradition is DC10. Of course if the Illusionist uses Shadow Evocation/Conjuration twice in a short amount of time then all subsequent castings are easier to identify (he used the same incantation for Lightning Bolt as he did Cone of Cold!), because we want a bit of common sense here.

Plus I think I've been screwed over by such systems beforehand, and found it fun. Cast stealthily, because if somebody clocks onto the fact you're casting an Illusion or Enchantment they get a bonus to their save. Considering how much I abuse magic when I play a magician (never, ever let me have mind control, I will use it liberally unless I sense a big encounter coming up) it tends to make me consider other options than throwing spells at social encounters.

Darth Ultron
2018-11-19, 04:28 PM
Yes, but in many ways the way you talk about your GMing style comes off as very adversarial (especially as the Playground seems to lean towards a more PC-driven style of game).

I'm so much cooler off line. And I'm definitely against the ''Everyone Playground Style". And I do come off as ''very adversarial", but that is a whole other problem.

My games are fun for everyone, as I make them that way. A LOT of people don't want that sort of game. My game is where all the players have fun and work together and do things as a group(maybe even a family). I hate the jerks that want to be ''better" then others and do so by ''putting others down" or the people whose idea of fun is to ruin the fun of others. Amazingly, for some reason, my games attract a lot more female players too....



In fact, I'm somewhat reminded of the Angry GM, who claims he allows psionics but bans you if you take the option. While you don't get near that level, I tend to hate 'sure, you can take option X' and then limiting it without explicitly telling me that it's limited and allowing me some input.

I just ban then 100%.



Then again I tend to play in games where there's a lot less spells flying around, so spells a caster could concievably blag are much more limited and might not even be the entire PhB list.

I go for the massive spell overload myself.

Man_Over_Game
2018-11-19, 04:37 PM
I made a sort of "sustained initiative" in 5E that works really well. Basically, you only roll initiative at the end of a rest. Throughout the day, stuff might happen that improves or decreases an individual player's initiative. Initiative is mostly irrelevant until something needs to bleed, and then you just ask the person who has the highest initiative what they're going to do.

Initiative

Bob : 3

Goblin: 5

Tony : 17


Bob: "I go to stab the goblin while he's talking!"

God: "Sure, but Tony is very well aware of what you're trying to do. Tony, what are you doing?"

Tony: "Well, I grab Bob's wrist and shoulder, like I'm just giving him a comforting pat. I try to stop him from SCREWING UP MY DEAL."

God: "Cool. The goblin looks suspicious, but he continues on with the details..."


It allows for a lot of fluidity, and removes the concept of "Combat vs. RP" timing due to initiative. Players don't know when threats are nearby, or when they're relevant. They are relevant when I say they are, so it creates a lot of tension for my players. They seem to like it a lot.

----------------------------

I allow alternate spellcasting modifiers, as long as they make sense. You want your Archfey Warlock to use Wisdom? Sure. You want your Horizon Walker Ranger to use Intelligence? Sure. As long as you can directly tie a link with the specific class and the spellcasting modifier, I'm cool with it.

So far, I've done these things:

Bladesinger with Charisma
Great Old One with Intelligence
Archfey with Wisdom
Undying with Constitution or any intellectual spellcasting modifier, whichever is less.
Arcane Archer with Wisdom

There's a few things you need to watch out for, like multiclassing, but I just make it clear that I allow these changes to fit players into the roles they enjoy, not to allow them to break the game, and they get it.

-----------------------------

I have an expanded list of weapons, utilizing traits like:

Grappling: You may use your weapon's reach and attack modifier for grapple checks, but doing so means you cannot use the weapon while grappling with it. Grappling weapons include the Whip, the Chain, and the Garrote.

Unbalanced: You have disadvantage to use this weapon while an enemy is adjacent to you. Unbalanced weapons include the Pike (reduced to a Simple Weapon) and the Whip.

Professional: This weapon gains additional traits (listed in parenthesis) if you have Martial Proficiency in this weapon. Weapons with Professional Traits include the Crossbows (moved to Simple Weapons with reduced range, but they gain range with Professional), Dart (reduced range, increased with Professional), and Javelins (which don't get Thrown without it).

I also give Darts the Light feat, and I also buff the Light feat so that you can draw a second light weapon in a turn, as long as both weapons are Light.

-----------------------------

Lastly, I use slotted proficiencies, which is the best thing I've ever started using.

Rather than saying "Make a Stealth Check", I just tell my players "Make a Dexterity Check". They then can tell me a proficiency that matches the check, and I can give the go ahead to use it. If they provide me two proficiencies, they get advantage on their check. They can also try to tie in things from their background, as long as it's relevant.

Bob the Eldritch Knight Fighter: "Do I know what kind of war strategy the orcs might use?"

God: "Make an Intelligence check".

Bob: "Can I use History?"

God: *Nods*

Bob: "I also am a war veteran. Does that apply?"

God: "Yes. Make it with advantage".


This throws out any kind of funny business trying to fit in how skills in musical devices fits into a Performance check, or how Sleight of Hand works with a Thieves' Tools set, or whether or not Performance or Deception applies to impersonating someone. Screw all of that. It ALL applies, but YOU tell me how it does. The players feel more engaged and rewarded not being stuck in a situation where their abundance of relevant options can't apply more than once, and they naturally try to think about what their character has to offer in any situation.

Pelle
2018-11-20, 04:29 AM
Lastly, I use slotted proficiencies, which is the best thing I've ever started using.

Rather than saying "Make a Stealth Check", I just tell my players "Make a Dexterity Check".

If this is in 5e, it is not really a house rule, though. Allowing different profs is in theory only a variant rule, but you are supposed to call for Dex checks. Or do you use it for different games?

RedMage125
2018-11-20, 10:03 AM
I actually forgot a few of my house rules for 3.5e. Although, I believe the first is actually covered as an "optional rule" in the DMG.

-Opposed Skill Checks. Which is, to say, skill checks where the DC is "set" by another character, monster, or NPC making a check of their own (Stealth/Perception, Bluff/Sense Motive, etc). On an opposed check, a natural 20 is considered to be a 30 before modifiers are added, and a natural 1 is considered to be -10 before modifiers are added. This is especially useful in high level play, when characters who have invested max ranks in a skill their whole career (say, Stealth for a Rogue), still have a decent chance at success against non-exceptional individuals, even when at their worst. Example: level 17 Rogue, whose Stealth mod is +30. Player rolls a 1. So his total Stealth check is 20. He is attempting to sneak past a group of palace guards (let's say they're all level 5 warriors, so their Perception mod is
...oh...+3. The high level Rogue is SO ADEPT at being sneaky, that even at his worst, he's still pretty hard to notice.
-On that note, a natural 1 or 20 is not necessarily "auto fail or success" for skill checks with flat DCs.
-Search checks to look for traps will me made by me (the DM). This is because when I used to let the Rogue roll his own checks, they would behave differently about a chest or door if he rolled a 4, than if he rolled a 19. So when they search for traps, I ask for their Search modifier, and I roll a die behind the screen and tell them simply "you found a trap", or "you found no traps". Helps immersion.
Pursuant to the rule about opposed checks is that, when players are paranoid and ask to make a skill check for something, I let them make it, and I will roll a die behind the screen, even if there's no check to make. Players suspect there may be a stealthy creature in the room? I let them roll Perception, and I will roll a die as if making a Stealth check even if there is nothing in the room. Also, if a player doubts the veracity of something being said, he may ask for a Sense Motive check, which he can then make. I will roll a die behind the screen, whether the creature is lying or not. And I let my players know (and here's the house rule part of it), that any creature who genuinely believes that it is telling the truth gets a +30 circumstance bonus to these "Bluff" checks. It helps keep immersion. There is either nothing in the room, or the creature is hiding very well. The person is either genuinely telling the truth, or is a GREAT liar. Either way, the players are encouraged by this rule to act as if they believe their check was successful. Note, that this DID once get them, as, after over a year of playing in my campaign, they made a Sense Motive check against a Very Old Vampiric Dragon polymorphed into an elf woman, who had a GREAT Bluff check. They actually only missed the opposed check by a narrow margin, and continued to believe that she was on the up and up.

Like all my house rules, my players are made aware of this at the start of the game.

Resileaf
2018-11-20, 10:35 AM
I actually forgot a few of my house rules for 3.5e. Although, I believe the first is actually covered as an "optional rule" in the DMG.

-Opposed Skill Checks. Which is, to say, skill checks where the DC is "set" by another character, monster, or NPC making a check of their own (Stealth/Perception, Bluff/Sense Motive, etc). On an opposed check, a natural 20 is considered to be a 30 before modifiers are added, and a natural 1 is considered to be -10 before modifiers are added. This is especially useful in high level play, when characters who have invested max ranks in a skill their whole career (say, Stealth for a Rogue), still have a decent chance at success against non-exceptional individuals, even when at their worst. Example: level 17 Rogue, whose Stealth mod is +30. Player rolls a 1. So his total Stealth check is 20. He is attempting to sneak past a group of palace guards (let's say they're all level 5 warriors, so their Perception mod is
...oh...+3. The high level Rogue is SO ADEPT at being sneaky, that even at his worst, he's still pretty hard to notice.
-On that note, a natural 1 or 20 is not necessarily "auto fail or success" for skill checks with flat DCs.
-Search checks to look for traps will me made by me (the DM). This is because when I used to let the Rogue roll his own checks, they would behave differently about a chest or door if he rolled a 4, than if he rolled a 19. So when they search for traps, I ask for their Search modifier, and I roll a die behind the screen and tell them simply "you found a trap", or "you found no traps". Helps immersion.
Pursuant to the rule about opposed checks is that, when players are paranoid and ask to make a skill check for something, I let them make it, and I will roll a die behind the screen, even if there's no check to make. Players suspect there may be a stealthy creature in the room? I let them roll Perception, and I will roll a die as if making a Stealth check even if there is nothing in the room. Also, if a player doubts the veracity of something being said, he may ask for a Sense Motive check, which he can then make. I will roll a die behind the screen, whether the creature is lying or not. And I let my players know (and here's the house rule part of it), that any creature who genuinely believes that it is telling the truth gets a +30 circumstance bonus to these "Bluff" checks. It helps keep immersion. There is either nothing in the room, or the creature is hiding very well. The person is either genuinely telling the truth, or is a GREAT liar. Either way, the players are encouraged by this rule to act as if they believe their check was successful. Note, that this DID once get them, as, after over a year of playing in my campaign, they made a Sense Motive check against a Very Old Vampiric Dragon polymorphed into an elf woman, who had a GREAT Bluff check. They actually only missed the opposed check by a narrow margin, and continued to believe that she was on the up and up.

Like all my house rules, my players are made aware of this at the start of the game.

I think the game encourages DMs to have opposed checks be like that? And that sense motive checks are better made hidden to prevent players using out-of-game knowledge from tainting their actions? I imagine that most DMs have those very same rules as you, in any case.

NecroDancer
2018-11-20, 10:54 AM
At the end of each session we vote on which character was “the best each session” and that character gets one free re-roll next session. The same character can’t be chosen twice in a row.

EggKookoo
2018-11-20, 12:32 PM
4.The caster must have a clear mental picture of the teleport destination. For the best results the caster must physically be in the target location for a full hour and make careful notes of the sight, sound, smell and feel of the area. The caster must pick a mostly static location, one that does not change with the passage of time. A destination only remains valid if less then 50% of area remains the same to match the mental picture in the casters mind. Small changes, such as a tree blowing in the wind have no effect, however cutting down the tree makes the destination invalid for a caster that has the tree as part of their mental destination picture. If the caster does not have a full hour of physical study in a location, the chance of the teleportation success is only 20%, plus one percent per caster level.

In my previous campaign I ruled that short-distance teleports (Misty Step and the like) require a clear path that the character could fit through. So no Misty Stepping through a keyhole (or out of jail). The creature can bypass such a barrier if there's a "clear" path around it, but at the cost of the distance.

Darth Ultron
2018-11-24, 09:29 PM
In my previous campaign I ruled that short-distance teleports (Misty Step and the like) require a clear path that the character could fit through. So no Misty Stepping through a keyhole (or out of jail). The creature can bypass such a barrier if there's a "clear" path around it, but at the cost of the distance.

A clear path for low level teleports feels like a bit much to me. I don't see a problem with say teleporting past some iron bars or through a window.

EggKookoo
2018-11-25, 06:41 AM
A clear path for low level teleports feels like a bit much to me. I don't see a problem with say teleporting past some iron bars or through a window.

It turned out not to be a factor in practice. However, I'm considering keeping it for an upcoming new campaign. I suppose I should go through the various teleportation spells and feats and make sure that such a limitation doesn't make them useless. It wouldn't apply to Teleport or Teleportation Circle.

Cluedrew
2018-11-25, 08:03 AM
Well my favourite system is a homebrew game my friend made, so I guess that system, might actually be my favourite house rules.

I am still waiting for the day it gets published and I can make thread for it.

Xuc Xac
2018-11-27, 11:23 AM
In my previous campaign I ruled that short-distance teleports (Misty Step and the like) require a clear path that the character could fit through. So no Misty Stepping through a keyhole (or out of jail). The creature can bypass such a barrier if there's a "clear" path around it, but at the cost of the distance.

I can already do that without magic. It's called "walking".

EggKookoo
2018-11-27, 12:16 PM
I can already do that without magic. It's called "walking".

No, it's not that you have to have a walkable path. I mean for example you can't Misty Step through a keyhole. You can still go across chasms or up to a ledge or something.

Basically, if there's no route you could take that you can physically fit through, with an overall distance no greater than the teleport range, you can't do it. I don't make the player waste the spell/feature, they gain an intuitive understanding if it will work before they execute it (kind of like feeling for a landing spot).

Quertus
2018-11-27, 12:39 PM
I can already do that without magic. It's called "walking".

Yes, it's very important for game balance that magic can't do anything that can't be done mundanely. Magic should just be reskinned realism. :smalltongue:

Xuc Xac
2018-11-27, 12:40 PM
No, it's not that you have to have a walkable path. I mean for example you can't Misty Step through a keyhole. You can still go across chasms or up to a ledge or something.


So it's not "walking", it's "jumping". There's already a level 1 spell that does that. What do you gain with Misty Step to justify the higher level?

EggKookoo
2018-11-27, 12:51 PM
So it's not "walking", it's "jumping". There's already a level 1 spell that does that. What do you gain with Misty Step to justify the higher level?

It's a 2nd level spell, not all that high.

So how else do you move/jump 30' (without consuming any movement) without being concerned about opportunity attacks and without opponents automatically knowing where you ended up? Sure, it uses your bonus action but the RAW version does that anyway.

Having a 2nd level spell allow you to bypass just about any restriction seemed a bit potent to me. I also rule you can't use it to get out of shackles (they come with you) and if you're shackled to the wall you can't use it. I'm a fairly lenient DM overall but MS is a tad OP. The campaign ended before we got too far with it but I could see lifting those restrictions when cast with a higher level slot (say 5th).

PairO'Dice Lost
2018-11-27, 09:05 PM
Most of my houserules are pretty large overhauls so listing the best parts here would probably overflow the character count, but here are two interrelated houserules that have been particular favorites of my current group:

1) Consolidating various mechanics into a single Proficiencies system (quoting myself from a previous thread on the subject, and spoilered for length):


So, the basic goals of the system are (A) to fold in the boring-but-useful feats into things you get for free at starting levels, (B) to add "hooks" for downtime activities like training and crafting, and (C) to provide a way for low-level characters to be very good smiths, sages, guards, and so forth without requiring them to have lots of HD for the feats or skill ranks they'd otherwise require to fill those roles.

There are six proficiency categories and three proficiency ranks. The categories are Weapon, Armor, Knowledge, Profession, Region, and Faction. The first two map to weapon and armor proficiencies, the second two map to Knowledge and Profession/Perform subskills, and the last two sorta kinda map to affiliation rules and the variant Knowledge (Local) rules for Forgotten Realms. The proficiency ranks are Basic, Expert, and Master. Basic proficiency removes nonproficiency penalties and Expert and Master each grant a general benefit by category, and each proficiency has its own Basic/Expert/Master perks as well that are roughly on the scale of a feat.

Various other parts of the rules are modified to use proficiencies as prerequisites as much as possible, such as shortening feat trees and taking feat and skill taxes out of PrC prerequisites. They can also be used numerically for certain things (Basic = 1, Expert = 2, Master = 3), like multiplying crafting progress or adding to a weapon's threat range and other things that would be nice to scale to a small degree.

Weapon Proficiencies
These are by weapon type and fighting style: Axes, Crossbows, Dual Weapons, Mobile Fighting, Natural Weapons, etc. The general Expert perk is to not provoke AoOs when making combat maneuvers with associated weapons and the general Master perk is to reduce iterative or multiattack penalties with associated weapons; specific perks include things like Reflexive Toss for Master Thrown Weapons (threaten an area and make AoOs with thrown weapons) or Never Surrounded for Expert Dual Weapons (negate flanking bonuses while wielding two weapons).

Armor Proficiencies
These are by weight and material: Light Armor, Light Shields, Hide Armor, Scale Armor, Unarmored, etc. The general Expert perk is to increase AC by +1 and the general Master perk is to decrease ASF and effective armor weight for encumbrance; specific perks include things like Duck and Cover for Master Heavy Shields (take a move action to gain cover or improved cover) or Scorn Blows for Expert Heavy Armor (adds DR).

Because weapons and armor use a build-your-own system in conjunction to these rules, weapon and armor proficiencies are used to determine whether you can use common/rare/exotic armors and wield simple/martial/exotic weapons, and they also replace "boring" feats like Shield Specialization or Two-Weapon Defense.

Knowledge Proficiencies
These are by knowledge category: Outer Planes, Fey, Ancient History, Warfare, Commerce, etc. The general Expert perk is +5 to Knowledge checks in a sub-field like Outer Planes (Upper Planes) and the ability to take 10 on all such checks even under pressure and the general Master perk is +10 in a sub-sub-field like Outer Planes (Lower Planes [Gehenna]) and the ability to take 15 on those checks; specific perks include Art of War for Master Warfare (predict enemies' mass combat maneuvers) and Portal Hound for Expert Outer Planes (sense nearby portals and gain some idea of how to activate them).

Profession Proficiencies
These are by profession: Craftsman, Sailor, Barrister, Steward, Herbalist, etc. The general Expert perk is +5 to Profession checks in a sub-field like Craftsman (Blacksmithing) and the ability to roll Profession in place of other skill checks in a limited fashion (e.g. Expert Sailor could let you roll Profession instead of Climb to climb a ship's rigging, instead of Use Rope to tie up a ship, and so on) and the general Master perk is +10 in a sub-sub-field like Craftsman (Blacksmithing [Swords]) and a large reduction in the time required for relevant long-term tasks like crafting or researching things; specific perks include Common Language Families for Master Linguist (be able to speak and understand unknown languages at a basic level) and Pack Mule for Expert Laborer (increase encumbrance limits and reduce speed penalties for being encumbered).

Knowledge and profession proficiencies are used to replace Knowledge and Profession subskills in the core rules or to augment the skill tasks in the revised skill system posted earlier, and to replace "boring" feats like Skill Focus. The sub-field/sub-sub-field thing lets you have, say, a sage who's an expert on famous red dragons during the Third Suloise Dynasty or a blacksmith capable of reforging that broken legendary dwarven hammer without needing them to be ~12th level to let them reliably make DC 30 checks.

Region Proficiencies
These are by political region or natural region: Cormyr, The Sword Coast, North Underdark, The Sea of Swords, The Plane Of Fire, etc. Each rank gives you some knowledge of the area in all categories as a Knowledge proficiency one rank lower (so e.g. Basic Cormyr would give a Thayan the kind of common knowledge known by anyone who grew up in Cormyr, Expert Cormyr would give him Basic Politics, Basic Geography, Basic History, etc. knowledge strictly as it relates to Cormyr, and Master Cormyr would give him Expert Politics, Expert Geography, Expert History, etc. knowledge) and lets you speak some of the dominant languages of the region with varying levels of fluency (including things like local accents, handy for rogueish or diplomatic types).

Faction Proficiencies
These are by group: Cormyrean Nobility, Waterdeep Thieves Guild, Suel Arcanamachs, House Cannith, The Athar, etc. Each rank gives you some insider knowledge relevant to the faction in all categories as a Knowledge proficiency one rank lower, as Region proficiencies do, and gives you appropriate social benefits (and drawbacks) when your allegiance is known.

There are no specific perks for Region or Faction proficiencies, as they're very setting-specific and there are a bazillion regions and factions that would need to be filled out, but each rank gives a character a benefit of the player's choice from a short list of perks, including things like taking a regional feat after 1st level, meeting a race or affiliation PrC prereq despite not being that race or a member of that organization, gaining a big bonus to a certain Affiliation score, making a local contacts in a new area, and the like.

These proficiencies are used to address some rules quirks like "commoners can't make the Knowledge DC to identify a cow" or "this elf grew up in a forbidding forest but can't navigate it because the Survival DCs are too high," and to give mechanical weight to flavor/background things like an elf who grew up among dwarves or an orphan taken in by the Assassin's Guild so players and DMs don't have to have "But my character would know/have X!" conversations.


Each class and each race grants a fixed set weapon and armor proficiencies at the Basic level; (sub)races grant certain region proficiencies (often some fixed and some player-selectable from a certain) set, and (sub)classes grant fixed and selectable knowledge proficiencies. Characters can start with N profession and faction proficiencies of their choice (where N is higher if you start at higher levels). Multiple granted proficiencies stack to increase their rank, and each character gains bonus proficiency ranks like they gain bonus skill ranks from Int which may be spent to increase any proficiencies they like or to gain Basic proficiencies they weren't granted through their race or class.

For a very basic example, let's say elf grants Basic Swords and Basic Bows, fighter grants Basic proficiency with all weapon and armor proficiencies, wood elf lets you choose between Basic Dalelands and Basic High Forest, and fighter lets you choose between Basic History and Basic Warfare. A wood elf fighter would start with Expert Bows, Expert Swords, Basic High Forest, and Basic Warfare, and could pick any Profession or Faction proficiency desired; if the character has bonus proficiency ranks from Int, he could increase Expert Bows to Master Bows, increase Basic Warfare to Expert Warfare, or pick up, say, Basic Fey.

2) Adding a Downtime Training system for gaining capabilities between levels.

Whenever a character has at least 4 hours of downtime in a quiet and safe environment, they can spend time training to gain or improve all sorts of capabilities, both generic ones (gain skill ranks, gain feats, improve proficiencies, learn languages, retrain things, etc.) and class-specific ones (add spells known and spell slots, gain essentia and unlock chakra binds, etc.). The base unit of work is the "workday" (a continuous 8-hour period), and usually 1 workday = 8 hours of training but characters can roll Int and Con checks to train longer or more effectively to speed up the training and make more than one workday's worth of progress per day.

Training times for things are generally measured in weeks, with some modifiers like gaining ranks in cross-class skills taking more time and training with someone who already has the skill/feat/spell/etc. desired taking less time. There are of course limits in place so e.g. a wizard can't just gain more skill ranks than the rogue or more combat feats than the fighter through training, either hard limits like "you can only gain one extra domain through training" or soft limits like a cumulative increase in training time every time you choose the same option again.

This houserule has three major consequences. First, it gives noncasters and partial casters a lot of versatility and breadth that they would otherwise lack; given enough downtime, a fighter can train up more than one fighting style and avoid becoming a one-trick pony, a ranger can train up all sorts of Knowledge and Region proficiencies so he's as comfortable tracking dragons through the mountains as he is tracking drow through the Underdark or undead through the swamps, a shadowcaster can improve upon his painfully low number of mysteries per day, and so on.

Second, it leads to more organic or stress-free builds for players who don't like to spend time dumpster-diving. Figuring out just the right multiclass combination and feat selection to make it into your PrC on time is less pressing when you can pick up a lot of useless-except-for-meeting-prerequisites abilities during downtime. Otherwise-undesirable skills and feats are suddenly worth taking when a niche feat requires an investment of just 2-3 in-game weeks rather than 1 out of the only 7 feat slots you'll get in your entire career.

Third, it encourages taking breathers between adventures and adventuring days instead of going all-out all the time. If spending 4 hours per night for a month working on your swordplay around the campfire has tangible benefits, and there are mechanical incentives for the wizard and ranger to spend several weekends in the library while the rogue and bard go carousing through the city, the party is less likely to go from encounter to encounter to encounter and gain 10 levels in a month. This allows things to happen on a more sensible timescale (it's hard to do things like "the evil army is attacking when the snow melts in a month, time to training-montage the villagers into a standing militia" or "...and then you hop on a ship for the three-week voyage to the New World" when any downtime between adventures feels like wasted time) and encourages roleplaying during the breathers (the party spends time talking about what they're doing between adventuring days instead of just "okay, we sleep and prepare spells, on to day 2" so inter-character scenes tend to naturally follow).

Using the downtime system effectively does require avoiding an end-of-the-world plot with a short and fixed deadline, but when you can use it it works very well. In my current campaign, over two and a half in-game years have passed, with long enough stretches between offensives against (and counterattacks by) the three major antagonist factions that my party has had plenty of downtime to work with. They look forward to the long overland and sea voyages and the resulting training and roleplaying time; I can throw in encounters/plot hooks like "you've ticked off the Winter Court elves and they plan to interfere with the harvest next season" and "the Wild Hunt will ride on the winter solstice and you need to be prepared" and "the Alţthing meets in two months, you need to pick some representatives, gather some tribute, and set sail for the homeland soon"; the PCs can craft lots of magic items, ward the heck out of their settlement, train their followers in phalanx tactics, and so forth in relative comfort; and by this point I'm pretty sure the party fighter has more [Fighter] feats than the party wizard has spells known. Thanks to the slower in-game pace, the campaign has the kind of verisimilitude and emotional heft that the standard fast-paced "start off slaying goblins today, stop the world-eating BBEG next month" plotline lacks.

Maat Mons
2018-11-28, 03:41 AM
I used to have to DM who would sometimes point to one of the players, and say a number. The first person to physically strike that player got an amount of bonus xp equal to the number stated. It was loads of fun... for everyone but Phil.