common house rules?

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What are the most common house rules for 4th edition?

What house rules do you use and WHY?

thanks for the info in advance
We really only have 1 static House Rule in our game.  Any class where the Powers have Melee Weapon, but use Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma as the Attack value, is not allowed in our game unless you convert those powers to use either Strength, or if thematically fitting, Dexterity.

So, basically, to play a Paladin, you have to convert ALL the powers that are Melee Weapon to Strength.  Basically, nobody in our games play those classes much anyhows, so not a huge problem, but if someone is pondering between 2 different classes, chances are, that rule simplifies the choice.  And oddly enough, this rule went into play because a Player wanted to play a Paladin, but couldn't believe (thematically) that his attacks weren't based on his Strength.  It only became "official" when Swordmages came into being... Intelligence to hit made that decrepit old-man a sword-saint.  :P

Oh... and he's very picky on races.  Deva, Giths, Shards, etc, not allowed.  Most are, we have grey elves (eladrin), elves, dwarves, dragonborn, even a Gnome and Half-Orc, but if he gets a bad vibe about a race, can't play it.  :P
So I can be like everybody else!!! :D :D :D You are Red/Blue!

That sounds pretty harsh

Houserules in my game.. Expertise feats you get as a bonus at fifth level.

You don't track arrows, rations, water, etc. I assume you purchase them. If they become a plot point, I will inform you of it and we'll deal with it then.
You are assumed to carry anything that is really cheap and makes sense for your character to have, no need to put it on your sheet. If it's questionable I'll let you roll to see if you have it. The definition of "really cheap" varies as you gain levels; if you are 20th level a basic healing potion is considered "really cheap" too.

If you come up with a convicing description, I'll come up with a mechanic. You can try anything, but not everything will work. If it's cool and fitting your character, I'll give you a bonus.

The other stuff is more about the world fluff, and less mechanical... so not really useful to add here. 

Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
recent alteration to the ritual scribing rules and scroll copying rules:

scribe from book to book costs 20% o' market price in ritual components. the cost of buying a book from a magic shop is still market price so that the store is making a profit.

scribe from book to scroll costs 20% o' market price in ritual components. cost of buying a scroll from a magic shop is still market price so that a store can make a profit.

selling found, scribed, or stolen scrolls: opening bid is likely to be 80% o' market price to attract buyers that might want the discount, but will still bring a bit of profit to the PC selling.

copying scrolls or rituals using Amaneusis costs 20% o' market price and cost of casting Amaneusis.
learning ritual occupies 4x casting time up to 8 hours in heroic, 16 in paragon, etc. thus, Pyrotechnics takes 4 minutes to learn as it takes 1 minute to cast. Tenser's Floating Disc takes 40 minutes to learn as it takes 10 minutes to cast.

scribing takes 8x casting time up to 16 hours in heroic, 32 in paragon, etc. thus scribing a scroll of Pyrotechnics takes 8 minutes to scribe, TFD takes 80 minutes to scribe. Caster may choose to expend ritual components required to cast while scribing for convenience. While a scroll takes longer to scribe, it is faster to cast, so having scrolls prepped is a worthwhile idea if time is of the essence.

Declared rule for all that are new to the game:

Passive Percept and Passive Insight is similar to taking a 10 at all times; however, Active use of those skills will result in increased clues and such even if you roll lower than passive because you are actively looking for something and are looking for something specific.

Declared rule for large groups:

All knowledge skills gain Passive status at times designated by DM to reduce rolls. When there is a large group, skipping some of the monster knowledge rolls and other knowledge rolls helps the game move smoother.
recent alteration to the ritual scribing rules and scroll copying rules:

scribe from book to book costs 20% o' market price in ritual components. the cost of buying a book from a magic shop is still market price so that the store is making a profit.

scribe from book to scroll costs 20% o' market price in ritual components. cost of buying a scroll from a magic shop is still market price so that a store can make a profit.

selling found, scribed, or stolen scrolls: opening bid is likely to be 80% o' market price to attract buyers that might want the discount, but will still bring a bit of profit to the PC selling.

copying scrolls or rituals using Amaneusis costs 20% o' market price and cost of casting Amaneusis.
learning ritual occupies 4x casting time up to 8 hours in heroic, 16 in paragon, etc. thus, Pyrotechnics takes 4 minutes to learn as it takes 1 minute to cast. Tenser's Floating Disc takes 40 minutes to learn as it takes 10 minutes to cast.

scribing takes 8x casting time up to 16 hours in heroic, 32 in paragon, etc. thus scribing a scroll of Pyrotechnics takes 8 minutes to scribe, TFD takes 80 minutes to scribe. Caster may choose to expend ritual components required to cast while scribing for convenience. While a scroll takes longer to scribe, it is faster to cast, so having scrolls prepped is a worthwhile idea if time is of the essence.

Declared rule for all that are new to the game:

Passive Percept and Passive Insight is similar to taking a 10 at all times; however, Active use of those skills will result in increased clues and such even if you roll lower than passive because you are actively looking for something and are looking for something specific.

Declared rule for large groups:

All knowledge skills gain Passive status at times designated by DM to reduce rolls. When there is a large group, skipping some of the monster knowledge rolls and other knowledge rolls helps the game move smoother.



has the possibility of increased gold for your PC unbalanced your game at all?

has anyone else done the passive monster knowledge check for combat for their parties?
this is something i was strongly considering. 
One I've commonly seen on these boards is that people ignore the XP system. The DM will keep track of XP and encounter budgets and design an adventure that would bring the party to the next level--but he doesn't hand out XP, he simply tells them to level at the end of the adventure or when it's most convenient.

I house rule that you have to use point buy (and it is a house rule; 4d6 is allowed by the game rules, I just don't do it).

I also have a neat house rule: halve a cowardly NPC's XP worth and make it cower/flee when bloodied. It makes for realistic battles which aren't more difficult since it's easier to kill the enemies, but there are twice as many.

I also have a weather system
Show

Weather


Even characters in more or less urban areas are often faced with the threats of weather. Torrential rain can stop a journey dead in its tracks, and a blizzard can leave a party frozen where they stand. There may even be worse weather conditions to contend with, like a rain of hellfire or acidic fog.


The system for generating weather patterns is relatively simple, and requires only a minor amount of record-keeping. The GM rolls a weather check (d20 + the number of days since a storm or major storm). The DCs below tell what weather pattern results occur with each check. When a weather pattern says "(save ends)" it uses a similar mechanic as ongoing effects: at the end of each extended rest, the GM rolls a d20. On a 10 or higher, the weather stops.


Since minor weather conditions like simple rain do not count as a storm, the weather check modifier increases even over light precipitation days which haven't saved yet. Therefore, light precipitation which lasts for days could suddenly spring into a major storm, such as a hurricane, when the save finally succeeds.


WEATHER CONDITION DC TABLE













Check DCWeather Conditions
14 or lessClear
15Fog or light precipitation (save ends)
25Heavy precipitation (save ends)
30Storm (save ends)
35Major storm (save ends)


[edit]Fog or Light Precipitation


Fog or light precipitation creates lightly obscured terrain (targets in lightly obscured terrain have concealment).



[edit]Heavy Precipitation


Heavy precipitation creates heavily obscured terrain (targets in heavily obscured terrain have concealment when adjacent, or total concealment when not adjacent).



[edit]Storm


Storms have heavy precipitation which provides heavy obscurement (targets in heavily obscured terrain have concealment when adjacent, or total concealment when not adjacent). In addition, storms have one of the following properties (you can also invent your own, such as patches of slime from an elemental storm):


  • Lightning Strikes: Once every hour of travel, one PC is attacked: +10 vs. Reflex; 3d8 + 9 lightning damage.

  • Gusting Winds: Creatures moving in the direction of the wind must make an Athletics check every 1d4 rounds as though swimming in rough waters, except a failure of 5 or more slides the creature 1 square in a random direction. In narrow passes, or near buildings, the Athletics check must be made each round.

  • Extreme Temperature: Between the wind, the precipitate, and the temperature, the PCs must make an Endurance check every hour instead of every 8 hours to avoid losing a healing surge (see "Environmental Dangers" on page 158, DMG).

  • Precipitate: A snowstorm, a hailstorm, or a particularly strong windstorm can leave the ground covered in ice or debris. It leaves difficult terrain in all exposed terrain, and may also impose a -5 penalty on Stealth checks to cross the terrain silently.


[edit]Major Storm


Major storms are similar to normal storms, except they often include all conditions to the extreme--impassible winds, blinding snow or rain, extreme temperatures, and difficult terrain. In addition, buildings are often damaged or destroyed from the winds.




You're penalized with a -2 to attack rolls and are weakened when not wielding an implement as a spellcaster (making your strength roughly proportional to a fighter without a sword).

When a creature hits 0 hit points, it's not the killing blow-dealer who decides if it's knocked unconscious but ANYONE who dealt it damage (this is how it was in 3.5--where if anyone dealt nonlethal damage, it would be knocked unconscious at 0 hp).

I also have some bribery rules (gp equal to 10% of a magic item of your level, gain a +10 bonus on a noncombat Diplomacy check), I award roleplaying XP (1 hour of quality roleplaying = one encounter). I use the Inherent Bonus rules from the DMG2. I have firearms in my games.

Oh yeah, and I enjoy writing up minigames--I have an overland travel minigame, as well as a simplified miniatures game for large-scale combats between armies with the PCs as generals.
[snip]
has the possibility of increased gold for your PC unbalanced your game at all? 

i'm not certain yet if it is going to become unbalancing. i still manage whether they find buyers and i manage to a degree what they can find to buy in settled areas.

other players hadn't made mention of the cost of rituals, and aren't too concerned with monetary earnings. only one player has used it to make a bit of extra coin--but this was as expected. i wanted to deliver more money, but not simply, "you find that you have an extra bag of coin in your purse". he has some expensive scrolls and if he is willing to spend some money to copy and then spend some time and a brief skill challenge to sell, then he can make a bit of money.

Common house rules I like / use are

Like and will be testing:

   Passive skills use 1d10 for there skill check rather then 1d20 and simply add to the passive check so that a person activly searching doesn't become less able to find things (still tring to incorporate crit successes and crit failures I think I will prob just roll the D10 myself and have the player roll a D20 for crit success and crit failure. *still working on it

Activly use:

  Potions don't use up healing surges *players have a ton of minor action and standard actions to heal a healing surge value and they have such a limited number of surges anyhows that I got rid of the healing surge cost thus making healing potions usefull again, as well as making other potions more apealing.

Magic gear * I am still testing and working on it but I prefer the old style of magic gear where it has a more constent effect instead of just once a day so I ben testing by swapping encounter gear ability to at will and daily to encounter for powers that already at will I ben toying with modifing the action used. still a work in progress

Platemail for fighter *why there not automaticaly proficient with it is beyond me.  so I added it back to there armor list

Languages *I like every monster to have it's own language so I great greatly expanded the language list

trained skills *istead of just 5 points when trained we made it 5 points per tier when trained so that trained skills where continualy noticeable difrence even at high lvl

critical failure/critical hit chance  *we still use them for most rolls, it's just fun

An' ye harm none, do what ye will
The games I run and play in have some in common.

Action Points have additional uses. Besides taking an extra action, a point can be spent to recover a spent encounter power or to treat a failed death saving throw as a natural 20. Each type of use (action, recovery, or save) can only be used once per encounter, but up to three can be spent per encounter. Wizards can spend an AP to reverse a spell preparation decision as well - for instance, if you have Sleep prepared but find yourself fighting a solo ice monster, you can spend an AP to make Flaming Sphere available instead.

After a session, the players vote for one of their own to receive a "golden" action point, usually on the basis of excellent roleplaying or awesome tactics. The golden point doesn't expire with an extended rest.

If a monster choose to knock out a PC instead of kill when its strike brings the PC to 0 HP, the PC can make "recovery saves." Recovery saves are like death saves - after three strikes, you are unconscious until after a short rest or healing. If you roll a natural 20 (or gain one by spending an action point), you can regain consciousness. The reason for this house rule is that under RAW, knockouts would naturally become the default tactic of a monster: a lethal strike grants the PCs a chance to roll a 20 and return to consciousness, but a nonlethal strike under RAW offers no way for the player to get out, so it's a guaranteed way to remove a PC from the fight (both RAW techniques are still broken by healing, though). A smart monster who "knows the rules" would just knock out every PC and then kill them all while they are unconscious.
Sarlax Chicago, IL --- Find local gamers via Google Maps @ http://nearbygamers.com/
The most common house rule is probably removing feat taxes. That and a few other house rules I use are here: docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B13rBX1CAB0...
trained skills *istead of just 5 points when trained we made it 5 points per tier when trained so that trained skills where continualy noticeable difrence even at high lvl



You may want to rethink this one. A +5 bonus for a trained skill is equally relevant at all levels. It doesn't need to scale at all. For example:

A hard DC at level 1 might be 18. Let's say, a diplomacy check. The party warlock and the party paladin both have 18 charisma (+4), but the paladin is trained in diplomacy (for a total bonus of +9, discounting either of them being a half elf or any other modifiers).

The warlock succeeds on a 14, and the paladin succeeds on a 9. The paladin has a 60% chance of success, but the warlock has a 35% chance of success.

Let's go up 29 levels. Both now have 26 charisma (+8), while the paladin is still the only one with skill training. And of course both get +15 for their level. The Warlock has +23 and the paladin has +28.

For a DC 37 task, the paladin still has a 60% chance of success, and the warlock still has a 35% chance of success. The paladin's chance is still almost twice that of the warlock.

However, if you instead gave the paladin +5 per tier, his bonus would be +38. There'd be no way for him to fail! If you wanted him to have even a slight chance of failure, say, 20%, you'd need the DC to be at least 43. On a DC 43 task, the warlock, who has the exact same charisma score as the paladin, mind you, only succeeds on a natural 20. He has the same chance of success as the fighter with 8 charisma (assuming you rule that a natural 20 is an automatic success, which some people still do).

Basically, this recreates a problem that 3.5 had, where trained people always succeed on tasks that untrained people have a fair chance at, or untrained people have no chance of success at tasks that trained people find difficult.

This might not be a huge problem for diplomacy checks, but what about stealth? If your level 30 party has to sneak somewhere, do you set the low enough that everyone has at least a chance to succeed? If so, the trained people don't even need to roll, which ruins the fun. Or do you set the DC high enough to challenge the trained people? In that case, several party members auto-fail, and you might as well not have included a stealth section.

TL;DR version: +5 represents an average of +25% success chance, which is significant at all levels. Making the bonus +10 or +15 destroys the balance of skill challenges, creating either automatic success for those with bonuses, or automatic failure for those without.
The only one I like to see used, and it's been pretty universal throughout every game I've played is that a double 20 is an instant kill, no matter how big or small the monster is.
The only one I like to see used, and it's been pretty universal throughout every game I've played is that a double 20 is an instant kill, no matter how big or small the monster is.


But... in 4e you don't roll to confirm a crit.  So how would you get a double 20?

The house rule I'm implementing next time I run a game:  weapons and implements are different.  A given feat or power either applies to weapon attacks or implement attacks, but not both.  If there's some doubt about which way it goes, the DM decides (ahead of time, of course).  And there's an Implement Focus feat that does what you would expect.  (This is on top of removing the expertise feat tax, so there's no issue there.)
We really only have 1 static House Rule in our game.  Any class where the Powers have Melee Weapon, but use Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma as the Attack value, is not allowed in our game unless you convert those powers to use either Strength, or if thematically fitting, Dexterity.

So, basically, to play a Paladin, you have to convert ALL the powers that are Melee Weapon to Strength.  Basically, nobody in our games play those classes much anyhows, so not a huge problem, but if someone is pondering between 2 different classes, chances are, that rule simplifies the choice.  And oddly enough, this rule went into play because a Player wanted to play a Paladin, but couldn't believe (thematically) that his attacks weren't based on his Strength.  It only became "official" when Swordmages came into being... Intelligence to hit made that decrepit old-man a sword-saint.  :P

Oh... and he's very picky on races.  Deva, Giths, Shards, etc, not allowed.  Most are, we have grey elves (eladrin), elves, dwarves, dragonborn, even a Gnome and Half-Orc, but if he gets a bad vibe about a race, can't play it.  :P



So, basically, Swordmages are completely unplayable for your group?

TL;DR version: +5 represents an average of +25% success chance, which is significant at all levels. Making the bonus +10 or +15 destroys the balance of skill challenges, creating either automatic success for those with bonuses, or automatic failure for those without.



While 5/10/15 is obviously broken, there is some logic to something like 5/7/9 or similar - to let trained skills on an off stat keep up with untrained skills on a boost stat.
The only one I like to see used, and it's been pretty universal throughout every game I've played is that a double 20 is an instant kill, no matter how big or small the monster is.


But... in 4e you don't roll to confirm a crit.  So how would you get a double 20?

The house rule I'm implementing next time I run a game:  weapons and implements are different.  A given feat or power either applies to weapon attacks or implement attacks, but not both.  If there's some doubt about which way it goes, the DM decides (ahead of time, of course).  And there's an Implement Focus feat that does what you would expect.  (This is on top of removing the expertise feat tax, so there's no issue there.)

A double 20 kills, if the second misses, then a crit goes by the book.
The only one I like to see used, and it's been pretty universal throughout every game I've played is that a double 20 is an instant kill, no matter how big or small the monster is.


But... in 4e you don't roll to confirm a crit.  So how would you get a double 20?

The house rule I'm implementing next time I run a game:  weapons and implements are different.  A given feat or power either applies to weapon attacks or implement attacks, but not both.  If there's some doubt about which way it goes, the DM decides (ahead of time, of course).  And there's an Implement Focus feat that does what you would expect.  (This is on top of removing the expertise feat tax, so there's no issue there.)



So, basically, you're completely nerfing any class that uses both types of power?

I don't understand the fascination with rules that amount to "I'm going to make a bunch of classes unplayable".

So, basically, you're completely nerfing any class that uses both types of power?

I don't understand the fascination with rules that amount to "I'm going to make a bunch of classes unplayable".


Depends what you mean by unplayable, I suppose.  If you thought that getting Weapon Focus on both your weapon and implement attacks was so critical, I would probably make a Versatile Focus feat for you.  If you think it is critical to use your net implement to immobilize enemies hit by your fireball, then yes, I'm making your class unplayable.
The entire purpose of ki foci, and a main strength of the Assassin class (oh, and Swordmages), is that they can use their ki focus for everything and it saves them the cost of a magic item.
I would follow the normal rules for magic items.  If you use a magic sword as both an implement and a weapon, you would get the enhancement bonus and relevant properties for both kinds of attacks. 
The one houserule, I used in every 4E game so far is increased flexibility on racial ability boni. Only one of your +2s has to be one of those in the racial writeup, the other one is floating. Humans get two +2s of their choice. I felt this one greatly encourages players to consider other race choices than just "for my fighter I need a race with a Str-bonus".

Also since PHB2 came out, characters get any expertise feats they are eligible for as bonus feats.
I'm DMing for the first time on Wednesday, and I'm toying with adding a house rule for natural 20s in non-damaging situations.  For example:

Roll a 20 for initiative: get a free move or minor action before the regular start of combat (sort of a half-surprise round)

buff/debuff powers might add an extra point to the debuff or last for an extra round:
Roll a 20 on Astral Seal (Hit = -2 to defenses for a round):  Either -3 to defenses for a round or -2 for two rounds

powers with effects that a save ends result in an automatic fail on the first save
Roll a 20 on Sleep (Hit - slowed (save ends, failed-save = lose conciousness(save ends))) - Slowed for a round and then auto-fail the save against slow so the target autmatically loses conciousness

Skill check crits might grant bonuses on subsequent skill checks in the same encounter (not sure on this one... it might be on a case by case basis - for example, critting on a diplomacy check ought to result in the subject being almost hypnotized by your allure, so +2 to your next request, or he'll double the reward money.  Critting on an endurance check might mean that you are able to carry the wizard's pack also, giving him a +2 on his check.  Critting on a nature check to identify a monster means that you know all his weak spots, so +2 to your next attack etc)

Of course, all that will apply to NPCs and Monsters as well :-)
My house rules don't really change the rules a lot.  I like playing within a given ruleset.  I do, however, have some rules regarding character creation.  Most of this is in regards to the flavor of my home campaign world of Antheron.  All material is classified into one of 3 categories, Green Light, yellow Light, or Red Light.

[u]Green Light:[/u] This material is permissable without any special considerations.  But backstories are always nice.
-All PHB1 Material
-All PHB2 Material
-Genasi
-Swordmage
-Seeker
-Runepriest
-All "____ Power" book material.

[u]Yellow Light:[/u] This material is permissable under certain conditions, detailed below.
-Drow: Drow PCs must hail from one of 2 surface locations; Elisana (a town on the surface founded hundreds of years ago by drow, and now inhabited primarily by drow and half-drow, as well as a few members of other races) or Cyran (a Large City in Antheron which, due to its history, is openly accepting of surface drow).  It should be noted that NONE of the above surface drow communities worship, or tolerate the worship of, Lolth.  I don't want "chaotic good rebel drow yearning to throw off the reputation of their evil kin".  Most surface drow have spent their entire lives on the surface and never encountered a Lolth worshipper.
-Githzerai: Backstory required to explain presence on this plane.  Well suited to psionic classes.
-Shadar-Kai: Backstory required for similar reasons.  Special considerations can be made for a PC Shadar-kai who worships "the god who is yet to be" (this in relation to a storyline I plan to run in the future).
-Wilden: Origin story (if no full backstory) required.  Primal classes preferred.
-Shardmind: All Shardminds in Antheron are psionic, and all of them are motivated by the racial goals mentioned in the PHB3.  So Psionic classes only and the PC is either working to eliminate Far Realm influence/creatures, and/or working towards the eventual goal of restoring the Living Gate (This may seem odd, but as living constructs, Shardminds don't have the same level of free will that humanoids do.  They are constructed and activated with specific purposes only). 
-Psionic Classes: Allowable, but if not a naturally psionic race (Githzerai, Shardmind), some backstory is required to explain aquisition of powers, as psionics are very uncommon in Antheron (with the exception of monks).
-Assassin: FULL Backstory required.  The exchange of (at least part of) one's soul for power requires some exposition.
-Kobold: Kobold PCs must hail from the one city of civilized kobolds in Antheron, Scalyheart.  The kobolds are distinguishable from other kobolds in that they tend to be cleaner, their scales well maintained (sometimes even appearing buffed and polished), and often willing to cooperate with other races.  They generally have a disdain for their more savage cousins, and feel no kinship towards them.  PC kobolds may choose to be CON/DEX or CON/CHA.

[u]Red Light:[/u] By default, this material is inadmissable.  An EXCEPTIONAL backstory with good roleplaying (judged by my previous experience with a player, or perhaps, with a new player, some in-depth discussion before the game) is required for a player to use this, if at all.  Propositions to use this material are still subject to veto by the DM.
-Gnolls: This seems odd to those that know me, because I LOVE Gnolls, but in Antheron, most Gnolls are Evil.  About 30% worship Yeeohgnu, most (about 60%) are somehwhat more attuned to the natural world, but worship Ragashak (My chaotic evil nature god of slaughter, and winter).  Of those that remain (10% or less), are non-evil, tribal folk as described in the Dragon article.  However, they tend to be isolationist in self-sustaining communities, knowing full well the reputation of their more savage kin.
-Minotaurs: Almost all minotaurs in Antheron are evil and worship Baphomet.  Of these most are savages.  There are a limited number of minotaur cites, remnants of a devastated ancient empire, in the Underdark.  Of these, most are evil and worship Baphomet.  And the handful of remaining minotaurs in non-evil communities are all profoundly xenophobic.
-Eberron Material: I like Eberron, but there's no place for changelings, kalashater, artificers, or warforged in Antheron.

EDIT: Added kobolds.  It just occurred to me, since I allowed them in 3.x.  Back then, I had an issue with sorcerers in my game, and only allowed races with dragon blood to be sorcerers.  Since I usually didn't allow level adjustment races, that meant a player could either A) Be a bard, work towards Dragon Disciple, THEN take level 1 of Sorcerer, or B) Be a kobold.  Since kobolds got screwed in stats (-4STR, +2 DEX), I allowed kobolds from Scalyheart (which a PC still had to be) to have +2 CHA.  I eventually changed my mind on Sorcerers, but liked the idea of kobold players.
I'm working a number of house rules into our game at present. First, all PCs automatically have Toughness as a bonus feat. Looking at another option for more ranged fighters ATM. Second, all feats that add flat +1 bonuses to attack or damage for different damage types or weapons (or similar bonuses to armor and defenses) are axed, wrapped up with magic item bonuses, and made into inherent bonuses to attack, damage, and all defenses.

+2 per tier, +1 per subtier. Magic items now no longer confer bonuses to hit/defense, but are instead used pretty much strictly for their powers. Also fiddling with the idea of making bonus dice on critical hits are role, and not part of magic items either, but not implementing it yet.

Also working on, ATM axing dual implement caster and just giving implements prof bonuses and properties like weapons (based on Superior Implements from PHB3). Implement users should not have to pay a feat tax to get as much bang from their implements as a fighter does from his sword. Thus, Superior Implement Training is now gone as well.

As a general rule, I'm just trying to get rid of the "But I have to have this to be good (or even decent) at what I do" mentality about feats and items. I want my PCs to take feats and choose items much more for the flavor than for some +1 that they think they need.
I wouldnt go as far as to say these are all common. These are the ones that are common to all my games I am running though. I do use pieces and parts of many of these house rules mentioned here. I will list a bunch I don't recall seeing that I can remember right now..

Skill Checks
Heres kind of a big one for some players who like to have dice in their hands the whole time. The following skill checks I roll for a player when called for, and hide the result:
  • Arcana

  • Diplomacy (at times, when the NPC might be pretending)

  • Dungeoneering (Knowledge and Monster Knowledge)

  • History 

  • Insight 

  • Nature (Knowledge and Monster Knowledge)

  • Perception

  • Religion

  • Streetwise

  • Thievery (Open Lock)


Basically any time I call for a check where that the player might see the roll, and go - "hey I should retry bc I got a low roll" or when the result should not be immediately apparent like with info-revealing checks - I perform the roll behind the screen and then dole out the information as appropriate.

Monster HP and Damage
I use the 75% hp, and +1/2 level to damage rolls mechanic.

Attribute Scores
I restrict to standard point-buy and arrays (same difference), or a blind roll in front of me. I feel if its gonna be random, its random. So if they roll well, they got those stats - if they roll crappy, they have those stats unless there is no stat with a +3 modifier in their set of rolls (in which case standard point buy is ok). I use 4d6 drop lowest for the rolling.

Magic Item Importance
I am currently subscribing to the One-Stone system (except when players express wanting to play a high-magic campaign, in which case I will probably use another variant listed here)

Nature Skill - Handle Animal
Some of this is houserule, but most of it is just my skill challenge rules (in its most basic form). Make a check to make a beast calm. Make another check to approach and bind the beast. Make a check once a week on a bound beast as part of a skill challenge which ends when 3 failures are achieved. Each success brings the character closer to gaining a level of familiarity with the animal. After 8 successes, the character can move the beast like a beastmaster can. Further training the beast and doing so more easily is possible, up to and including teaching it to perform a mild attack (and other tricks) if he or she has the Beast Trainer feat (which requires Nature training), or Primal Companion feat (basically, the character has to have a semi-trained beast and this converts it to a familiar). Check can be made by a non-trained character, though the animal might attack if failure occurs during those crucial first two attempts.

0 HP
Using a system very close to this one: community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

Party Initiative
Initiative is decided by a d10 roll for both sides, thus - one roll. For those who come into combat later, a third d10 roll for the new combatants might apply. The players add their modifiers to that single roll, and the monsters do the same. You get the same order every time but it eliminates alot of the rolling prior to combat and I can reasonably predict the order to some degree (at least within each side). The reason for the d10 and not d20 is because the roll is obviously more important now, so less variance. This results in 1 of 2 situations:
-either the party can all go in one block (either first, last, or in-between the monsters) 
-or some can go before and some must wait for the monsters (only the case when there are similar rolls on the d10).

Quickie Intimidate
Intimidate can used as a minor action on a single target only, with success imposing a -2 to that target's attack rolls until the beginning of your next turn. I also allow the PC to try to perform the full effects of Intimidate on a single target in this way, but at a +5 to the DC.

Intimidate DCs
Altered such that they are level checks. Factors in training in Intimidate for you and training in Insight for target.

Perception
Active perception never reveals less information than passive. Same goes for insight.

Not really a houserule, but I use index cards for order of actions to keep things running smoothly.

"Can I do this?"-"Sure!"
I am an "almost never say no" DM when it comes to players wanting to try something unorthodox, or generally not allowed. I let PC's pretty much TRY whatever they want. Though maneuvers that are reasonably near-impossible are still reasonably near-impossible.  

Classes
I reflavor the Swordmage to be from a place in the traditional D&D setting, not a certain place in Forgotten Realms so that the class is available outside the FR setting. I do the same sort of thing for Artificers, as they are a good class and shouldn't be exclusive to a world all wrecked like it is in Eberron.

Races
I do not allow PCs to play a race that is not from PHB1 or PHB2. At least not without backstory that is commensurate with the obscurity or "monster-ness" (if you will) of the race.

Short Rituals Made Useful On-The-Fly
Rituals that normally take 10 minutes now only take 10% as long; or 1 minute (10 rounds) of uninterrupted casting. All others take half as long to cast.

Rituals Books and Scrolls
Creating a Ritual Scroll: Creating a ritual scroll takes half as long as creating a ritual book. For example: A scroll of Consult Mystic Sages takes 4 hours to create (a book takes 8 hours).
Using a Ritual Scroll: It takes a standard action to cast a ritual from its scroll if the ritual normally takes 10 minutes. It takes one minute to cast a ritual from its scroll if the ritual normally takes 30 minutes. It takes 10 minutes to cast a ritual from its scroll if the ritual normally takes one hour to cast. 

The last 2 houserules encourage more use of rituals on the fly and via scrolls (which seemed to have little to no use before).
Locke: [after mugging a merchant for his clothes] It's a little tight, but the price was right.
I have a very laissez faire attitude about PC options. I think one of D&D's primary appeals is its 'everything but the kitchen sink' milieu, so the only reason I restrict options is to maintain balance. (Except if I'm running an unusual world, like Exalted's Creation.)

In 3e I felt I needed to modify or ban a lot of stuff, particularly classes and spells, to maintain a semblance of balance. But every class and race is essentially functional in 4e*, so anything goes in my game, even campaign-specific stuff. The only thing I don't allow is anything with 'expertise' in the title.

*Except the starlock and the bear shaman, which require one tweak each. 
The most common house rule I've seen is banning or giving away free the Expertise Feats.

In most other cases, I've seen house rules banning a questionable or overpowered mechanic that was eventually fixed by an 'update.'


One of the few ways in which D&D has progressed over time is that each new ed seems to need fewer variants to pummel it into a playable system. 

 

 

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Some simple ones:

To-Hit is equal to 3+Level+Relevant Modifiers;

all characters receive an automatic +2 bonus to NADS at 11th level and +3 at 21st level;

all characters receive two bonus feats at 1st level {including Humans}, another bonus feat at 11th level, and a final bonus feat at 21st level;

all characters receive a bonus At-Will power at 1st level {including humans};

all Paragon Paths offer a permanent +2 bonus to a single Attribute of a characters choice;

all Epic Destinies offer two +2 bonuses to two Attributes of the characters choice, unless already available.

Why? Player enjoyment and the ability to keep up with the off-kilter math found in the manuals. My players enjoy it, it makes life easier for me, and finally it lets me throw some harder encounters at them without the risk of the group being under-prepared for the unexpected. We like playing in a system where we're the Hero's, so we've had to do some major modifications here and there. If we feel like playing a system that works from "Level 1" onward, we use the Storytelling system or another non-class based system.
clearly no cared to address this. [removed]
Some simple ones:

To-Hit is equal to 3+Level+Relevant Modifiers;

all characters receive an automatic +2 bonus to NADS at 11th level and +3 at 21st level;

all characters receive two bonus feats at 1st level {including Humans}, another bonus feat at 11th level, and a final bonus feat at 21st level;

all characters receive a bonus At-Will power at 1st level {including humans};

all Paragon Paths offer a permanent +2 bonus to a single Attribute of a characters choice;

all Epic Destinies offer two +2 bonuses to two Attributes of the characters choice, unless already available.

Why? Player enjoyment and the ability to keep up with the off-kilter math found in the manuals. My players enjoy it, it makes life easier for me, and finally it lets me throw some harder encounters at them without the risk of the group being under-prepared for the unexpected. We like playing in a system where we're the Hero's, so we've had to do some major modifications here and there. If we feel like playing a system that works from "Level 1" onward, we use the Storytelling system or another non-class based system.




this seems a little over powered for me but all that matters is player enjoyment, but my players tend to go lower power hence i see this as too OP
We have a couple house rules we use, some were just the way things were in 3.5 that we felt we wanted to carry over and whatnot;

1. Combat advantage- If two players are flanking an enemy, that enemy grants combat advantage to anyone attacking it while flanked.  Instead of how 4th has it that the enemy only grants combat advantage to the players flanking.  The reason is this is how we've played from 3.5, and we felt that if an enemy is being flanked and having to worry about those two players thus granting CA, it makes sense that they're distracted from other attacks as well.

2. Criticals- This was made for fun(relatively speaking), back in 3.5 that we carried over.  But we made a Crit chart that basically when a crit is rolled we roll a percentage and depending on the result various things can occur.  This goes for enemies and players both.  Things like broken bone, lose a limb, an eye, even instant kill if it lands on 100 but along with that the 100 doesn't count against players.


Other than that we've homebrewed powers, weapons, etc.  Some because our main game is a continuation from our 3.5 game so there were things some of our characters gained that don't have rules, feats, or items to duplicate so homebrewing needed to occur but that's just in our main game though we are all generally open to discussing homebrews.
We have a couple house rules we use, some were just the way things were in 3.5 that we felt we wanted to carry over and whatnot;

1. Combat advantage- If two players are flanking an enemy, that enemy grants combat advantage to anyone attacking it while flanked.  Instead of how 4th has it that the enemy only grants combat advantage to the players flanking.  The reason is this is how we've played from 3.5, and we felt that if an enemy is being flanked and having to worry about those two players thus granting CA, it makes sense that they're distracted from other attacks as well.



That wasn't how it worked in 3rd, for the record.

Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
We have a couple house rules we use, some were just the way things were in 3.5 that we felt we wanted to carry over and whatnot;

1. Combat advantage- If two players are flanking an enemy, that enemy grants combat advantage to anyone attacking it while flanked.  Instead of how 4th has it that the enemy only grants combat advantage to the players flanking.  The reason is this is how we've played from 3.5, and we felt that if an enemy is being flanked and having to worry about those two players thus granting CA, it makes sense that they're distracted from other attacks as well.



That wasn't how it worked in 3rd, for the record.




Ah well I couldn't remember, that's just how we've always played it then whatever.
One houserule my groups started using last week taht I love (as the DM) is letting the players roll for defense against a static monster attack score.  The defense bonus for the players is just their defense score -10, and the monster attack score is 12 + the attack bonus.  It works great and I love it. The players like being more involved during monster turns as well, the defender in particular gets to do lots of roling.

 Any Edition

One houserule my groups started using last week taht I love (as the DM) is letting the players roll for defense against a static monster attack score.  The defense bonus for the players is just their defense score -10, and the monster attack score is 12 + the attack bonus.  It works great and I love it. The players like being more involved during monster turns as well, the defender in particular gets to do lots of roling.




why 12?
One houserule my groups started using last week taht I love (as the DM) is letting the players roll for defense against a static monster attack score.  The defense bonus for the players is just their defense score -10, and the monster attack score is 12 + the attack bonus.  It works great and I love it. The players like being more involved during monster turns as well, the defender in particular gets to do lots of roling.




why 12?



That's the way the math works out.  A monster with an attack bonus of +8 needs to roll a nine to hit an AC of 17 (60% chance of hitting).  When the PC is rolling then the monster still needs a 60% chance of hitting so a PC roll of 12 or lower lets the monster hit.  With a +7 the PC will get an AC roll of 19 so the monster attack DC needs to be 20 for the PC to fail on 12 or lower and monster t fail on 13+.

Normally the PC gets a static +10 on the defense score (55% chance of the monster hitting with equal monster attack bonus and PC defense bonus).  When the roll is flipped (i.e. lower is better for monster) then the static number moves to 11.  And since it is a meet or beat mechanic the monster wins ties the normal way and PCs wins ties the houseruled way.  So the monster needs an extra +1 for their static attack score (11 + 1 = 12) to keep the meet or beat mechanic.

I forgot to mention when the players roll defense a natural 1 is a crit for the monster and a natural 20 is an auto miss for the monster.

 Any Edition

2. Criticals- This was made for fun(relatively speaking), back in 3.5 that we carried over.  But we made a Crit chart that basically when a crit is rolled we roll a percentage and depending on the result various things can occur.  This goes for enemies and players both.  Things like broken bone, lose a limb, an eye, even instant kill if it lands on 100 but along with that the 100 doesn't count against players.


Not only do you have a Rolemaster-like crit system (which I'm very happy 4E doesn't have officially), you apply it unevenly? The players can insta-kill on 100 but can't be killed when a monster rolls the same? Weak.
"As a minor action [disarm] is even less of a 'detraction from fun,' as if somehow occasionally having a penalty in a strategy-based miniatures game is 'unfun'. Obviously, Luke wasn't having fun in the ice cave, so the DM remembered he couldn't be disarmed and gave him his light saber back..." -- EvilVegan

I allow every PC six bonus feats spread throughout the tiers. These feats allow PCs to take expertise, weapon focus, armor specialization, & paragon/robust defenses as well as epic FRW feats. Instead of having to do an ad-hoc adjustment to monster attacks or defenses, these extra feats allow each PC to cover whatever weaknesses their character concept may have & still ensure a 60% hit rate for both them and their opponents while still leaving room for feats that flesh out their character.


The other thing I've done is double monster at-will attack damage, half their HP, and double their recharge rate. This ensures all combats are over in 6 rounds or less. This has greatly sped up combat encounters, allowing our group (which has limited playtime) to get more encounters in, but encounter still consume a similar amount of resources.


We have other house rules such as fate points, players roll defense instead of monsters roll attacks, and profession or hobby skills, which have roleplaying purposes, but the above ones have solved all mechanical worries for us, and made combat both fast and threatening for PCs as well as allowing even suboptimal builds to be effective.


I allow every PC six bonus feats spread throughout the tiers. These feats allow PCs to take expertise, weapon focus, armor specialization, & paragon/robust defenses as well as epic FRW feats. Instead of having to do an ad-hoc adjustment to monster attacks or defenses, these extra feats allow each PC to cover whatever weaknesses their character concept may have & still ensure a 60% hit rate for both them and their opponents while still leaving room for feats that flesh out their character.


The other thing I've done is double monster at-will attack damage, half their HP, and double their recharge rate. This ensures all combats are over in 6 rounds or less. This has greatly sped up combat encounters, allowing our group (which has limited playtime) to get more encounters in, but encounter still consume a similar amount of resources.


We have other house rules such as fate points, players roll defense instead of monsters roll attacks, and profession or hobby skills, which have roleplaying purposes, but the above ones have solved all mechanical worries for us, and made combat both fast and threatening for PCs as well as allowing even suboptimal builds to be effective.





i may try your combat fix in my group to see if they like it, what tiers of play have you used this houserul at?
2. Criticals- This was made for fun(relatively speaking), back in 3.5 that we carried over.  But we made a Crit chart that basically when a crit is rolled we roll a percentage and depending on the result various things can occur.  This goes for enemies and players both.  Things like broken bone, lose a limb, an eye, even instant kill if it lands on 100 but along with that the 100 doesn't count against players.


ewww
Locke: [after mugging a merchant for his clothes] It's a little tight, but the price was right.
2. Criticals- This was made for fun(relatively speaking), back in 3.5 that we carried over.  But we made a Crit chart that basically when a crit is rolled we roll a percentage and depending on the result various things can occur.  This goes for enemies and players both.  Things like broken bone, lose a limb, an eye, even instant kill if it lands on 100 but along with that the 100 doesn't count against players.


Not only do you have a Rolemaster-like crit system (which I'm very happy 4E doesn't have officially), you apply it unevenly? The players can insta-kill on 100 but can't be killed when a monster rolls the same? Weak.



Actually it's not really all that uneven.  We just decided when crits are rolled against the players that monsters can't roll 100.  Otherwise everything else goes.  And frankly we haven't rolled a 100 yet anyway.  Mostly just broken bones, or losing an eye.

But I will ask what do you mean by "rolemaster-like crit system"?  We still have to roll a natural 20 for a crit same as usual, we just added something extra into the mix on top of the normal crit damage done.