D&D House Rules

Last 3 Edits

13th Jan 2020

  • Cleaned the page up a bit. Hopefully it is now useful and less confusing. Hopefully links go to right places.
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This page lists all the House Rules we are using to modify the Basic Rules for D&D. They are listed below in the same order and under the same headings used in the Player's Handbook.

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CHAPTER 1: STEP-BY-STEP CHARACTERS

You still follow the process as outlined in the 5E D&D Player's Handbook (PHB) with the following changes/additions.

  • Determine Ability Scores. We use (and have always used) roll 4d6 (drop the lowest die) for each stat IN ORDER. When done, you may make one swap. This means you can still play the class you want, but some of the other stats will make your character unique.
  • Standard Array or Point Buy. If a player despises random rolls for ability scores and really wants to build their character from the ground up, they can use these options outlined in the PHB.
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CHAPTER 2: RACES

All of the racial rules have been modified. Our Races Page outlines the changes listed below. All descriptive text from the PHB can be used as is, but of course may vary for different settings. HOWEVER - when choosing a race, you should select from those available on the individual campaign setting page.
Races vary in the following ways:

  • Subraces. New subraces. These may be available according to the setting.
  • Adjusted & New Features. Some of these have been modified and new ones have been added. Use the features from the setting page of the campaign you are playing, INSTEAD of those in the PHB.
  • Drawbacks. Our races start with negative features/traits too (in the style of 1E through to 3E).
  • Bonus Proficiencies (and Racial Feats). To compensate for the assigned drawbacks, races may have extra proficiencies or feats to choose from.
  • Racial Feats. We have written a bunch of racial feats for many races and those available are listed at the bottom of racial entries.
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CHAPTER 3: CLASSES

You really need to open the the relevant class page and follow the guidelines there when creating a character. Whilst one from the PHB would fit in, we have several alterations and options available.

  • Additional Classes. Whilst every class from the PHB gets its own page, there is another with all other available classes, such as the artificer from Eberron and Matt Mercer's Bloodhunter.
  • Additional Subclasses. Additional subclasses may be available (especially in specific settings). There is a list on each class page and links to other sources of subclasses too.
  • Expanded Skill Lists. As we have extra skills, they have been added to the skills each class can choose from.
  • Spells. Divine casters create a list of spells that that they know. They do NOT automatically know all spells on their lists. This is to better cater to new spells being added without lists being overwhelming. Full casters (clerics and druids) put together lists with 12 spells for spell levels 1st to 3rd; 8 spells for spell levels 4th to 6th; and 4 spells for spell levels 7th to 9th. (Extra spells for subclasses, such as domains are added to this list). 'Half-casters' (paladins) create lists with half the number of spells for full casters.
  • Weapon Group Proficiencies. Classes choose a limited number of weapon groups for proficiency, in place of the listed weapons in the PHB.
  • Variant Features. On some of the class pages there may be variant or additional feature choices for your class, such as the Unfettered option for fighters or the martial (non-spellcasting) ranger.
  • Adjusted Class Features. Some features just don't gel with our game style or expectations, so we have modified some features. This is especially true of rangers. Make sure you check the D&D Class Pages for these.
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CHAPTER 4: PERSONALITY & BACKGROUNDS

Backgrounds and personality development work as usual, though there are a number of additional steps you can take.

  • Backgrounds.. I have compiled all the backgrounds we have access to in books on the Backgrounds & Roleplaying Page, just in case you wish to seek something outside the PHB. Feel free to access others on the internet too.
  • Drawbacks. Many races have starting drawbacks you do not get to select, but players are free to choose additional ones in order to gain bonus proficiencies or even feats. (See the ALL - Drawbacks Page.)
  • Proficiencies & Skills. There have been some skills added to the list on our Proficiencies Page. Some of the new skills may be more appropriate for the existing Backgrounds, so check with the DM if you wish to swap them. This page also lists item group and weapon group proficiencies. For example, you choose a vehicle or musical instrument group, rather than a sole choice as in the PHB.
  • Renown & Relationships. Along with the Renown (explained in the DMG), PCs gain Relationship Dice to roll each session. (This is based upon an idea from the 13th Age RPG and allows characters' backgrounds and relationships to have an effect on play). If you wish to use this mechanic to bring in your PC's background and contacts, see the ALL - Renown & Relationships Page.
  • One Unique Thing. This is not so much a rule, as an idea. It is not compulsory (or even needed), but feel free to choose something that makes your PC different to all other characters in the world. The idea is outlined in the 13th Age SRD and book.
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CHAPTER 5: EQUIPMENT

  • Weapon Groups. Weapons are now in groups for the purpose of proficiency. Races and classes grant you proficiency in Weapon Groups. The groups are on the ALL - Weapon Stats Page. Each group is sorted into Simple and Martial, which do not necessarily follow those categories from the PHB. They work more as a division within the group only.
  • Weapon Qualities. Listed on the ALL - Weapon Properties Page. We have an expanded list of weapon qualities, to make wielding different weapons a more varied experience.
  • Encumbrance. We use the variant rule, outlined on the ALL - Encumbrance Page.
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CHAPTER 6: CUSTOMISATION

  • Multiclassing. This option is available. See PHB p163.
  • Feats. This option is available. See PHB p165. (You can gain access to feats at character creation by taking Drawbacks). See the Feats Page.
  • Feats Additional Features. Check the Feats Page to see if your feat choices have additional 'riders'. We often tag feat features to your initiative card.
  • New Feats. The Feats Page also has a few unique feats we have written that you may choose.
  • Racial Feats. We use racial feats. We have written MANY of these for existing races and the many new races we use. These are compulsory for races that receive major drawbacks, but you are free to choose from them if your race allows.
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CHAPTER 8: ADVENTURING

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CHAPTER 9: COMBAT

  • Initiative Players are dealt cards for initiative, as outlined on the ALL - Card Initiative Page.
  • Gang-Up Bonuses. We are also currently trialling this rule: For each side of a target beyond the first you and your allies occupy, you gain +1 attack. This will encourage tactical movement, but you don't have to be on opposite sides. To get full benefits (+3) you would have to surround the enemy.
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CHAPTER 11: SPELLS

Make use of our Spells page for the following:

  • New Spells. At the bottom we have written up some of our own spells, or more likely, converted from other editions.
  • Complete Spell Lists. Use this page instead of the lists in the PHB for a comprehensive list of all the spells available to your class. We have added many new spells from sources outside the PHB and they are all compiled here.
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