Short list of house rules. What are yours?

Charging - Gain advantage on your attack, all attacks against you are made at advantage until the start of your next turn.

Outnumbered - If you are outnumbered by 3-1 or more you are at disadvantage.

Flanking - Flanking gives you advantage.

Feinting - Int/Wis/Dex check, DC is 10+ Opponent's Int or Wis bonus.  Next attack has advantage.

Two Weapon Fighting - If Dex is less than 15, 2 attacks each at Disadvantage.  If Dex is 16+, first attack is normal, second is at disadvantage.  Neither weapon can be two-handed or versatile.

Taunting (drawing aggro) - Cha vs DC 10+Opponent's Int or Wis bonus.  If successful opponent must attack you on its next action.  Critical success means the opponent must make an Int or Wis save to attack someone else.

We also assign advantage/disadvantage to all rolls during social interaction based on RP.  When the dirty, smelly, surly dwarf was trying to find a place to stay in the village one night we got lots of laughs from his bungled attempts.  As he got more frustrated and more doors slammed in his face, the players were all having a great time because he would often roll really high on one die on really crappy on the other and even knowing that his blood and mud covered self was causing his problems the player was having too much fun playing the increasingly hostile fighter
As much as I love the Advantage/Disadvantage system, this is kindof what I fear about it.  If it ends up being a catch-all for every situation that calls for some kind of penalty or benefit, the novelty (speaking for myself; I'm sure others disagree strongly) wears off in a hurry.  I'm already skeptical about it being baked into a lot of spells, skills, or circumstances.  Basically, I think flat +2 or -2s still have a place in the game (or something similar) alongside Advantage/Disadvantage, but don't agree with the new mechanic replacing those old bonuses wholesale.  Obviously, I can just houserule it however I want (and will) but I don't want to see "fresh new gimmicks" being overemphasized in the core ruleset.
I agree that the "flat" use of advantage/disadvantage can be overused easily. But the idea of rolling more dice and choosing one or more results can be used in other ways.

For charge I used the orc special ability (d6 extra damage, grant disadvantage) I figured it is good enough for PC's.

The fighter (a player new to D&D) wanted to hit several opponents in one blow. I allowed it the first time with a disadvantage but the auto damage made that a tad powerfull, even on a miss he killed the goblins. I came up with: roll #opponents+1 dice and discard highest, use the rest to determine hit, half damage (auto damage is also half) and grant advantage to all untill next turn. In this way he can't autokill more than one goblin or kobold (maybe rats but that's okay) and any opponent left standing is a bigger threat.

Other ideas: jumping down on someone and hitting for extra damage. Roll 2 dice plus damage plus 1d6 extra damage. Choose which die to use for attack or for DC 15 dex/acrobatics check. A missed acrobatics check means 1d6 falling damage and prone. In this way it is possible to hit the opponent for extra damage but still fall prone. Alternatively, don't allow the choice but let the player designate 1 d20 for attack and other for dex check before rolling. This method could work for other maneuvres that call for an attack and attribute/skill check, as long as there is a penalty (damage, disadvantage next turn, grant advantage to opponents etc.) for a missed check.



No custom races. (e.g. No Anubians)

No custom classes. (What's a "Pirate?")

No smoking at the table. (Your DM {me} is allergic to cig smoke.)

No being a huge rules lawyer. (Lawyer: But the rules suggest.. DM: No.)

General beats defined in some cases.

In combat, if you don't attack, you don't get xp. (Bystander rule.)

Players keep track of their own health. (The DM keeps track of monster health.)

Monsters always go after the players. Their iniative bonus defines who goes when. (Less confusion.)

The DM grants a boon to a player when they join. (Mind flayer in brain, forge like a dwarf when you're a gnome, etc.)

Crits deal 3x rolled damage if advantage is present.

You have as many days as your level to be revived if dead.

Try not to suggest ideas to the DM, it gives him (in this case me) evil plans.

Give the DM a reason for all you do.




I think that's a majority of them.
And the #1 item for the morally bankrupt... Why settle for a statue of a nude elf in your bedroom when you have a real, live nude elf, petrified and unpetrified on your command. She wears a tiara, when you utter a command word, she will be petrified, unpetrified, or disciplined. Any attempts by her to remove the tiara will be futile. Use her only as a statue, or to entertain any debauched desires you may have. 125,000 GP.
As much as I love the Advantage/Disadvantage system, this is kindof what I fear about it.  If it ends up being a catch-all for every situation that calls for some kind of penalty or benefit, the novelty (speaking for myself; I'm sure others disagree strongly) wears off in a hurry.



I am one who disagrees; I think it's a great way to handle those situations and I don't care how many times I see it:  it's easy to use / remember!  By contrast, I'm ready to scrap +/-2 completely.  I hate how much math we used to do - constantly - and I love how much less adv/dis gives you.  It's all about making the crunchy parts go fast so the fun parts come up more often!



As for my own house rules:


- No tracking ammo (or food).


- Cover is cover is cover:  any cover grants disadvantage on attacks.  Done.


- Rename "hit dice" something useful and make the rolls an average instead of random.


- Spell durations are changed to "until the end of the battle" and "until the next long rest."  All that 10 minute, 1 hour, 1 minute junk - useless.


- I ignored all the stuff about negative HP, which was complex and different for each character.  Anyone who went down made death saving throws; 3 successes got them stable and 3 fails got them dead.  (No one went more than 2 total rolls, ever.)


Also, as per my opinion above:  any time I read an odd +2 here or there, I just changed it to advantage so I wouldn't have to remember the exceptions.  (Like using a crowbar or being attacked while prone and all that.  And yes:  ironically, I remembered those exceptions...)

As much as I love the Advantage/Disadvantage system, this is kindof what I fear about it.  If it ends up being a catch-all for every situation that calls for some kind of penalty or benefit, the novelty (speaking for myself; I'm sure others disagree strongly) wears off in a hurry.



I am one who disagrees; I think it's a great way to handle those situations and I don't care how many times I see it:  it's easy to use / remember!  By contrast, I'm ready to scrap +/-2 completely.  I hate how much math we used to do - constantly - and I love how much less adv/dis gives you.  It's all about making the crunchy parts go fast so the fun parts come up more often!


..,



Im with nukunuku on this.  I am over doing the math with the + bonus/ - penalty.  Besides I'm a gambler, advantage/ disadvantage, as good and bad as those can be is still a big gamble.  
As much as I love the Advantage/Disadvantage system, this is kindof what I fear about it.  If it ends up being a catch-all for every situation that calls for some kind of penalty or benefit, the novelty (speaking for myself; I'm sure others disagree strongly) wears off in a hurry.



I am one who disagrees; I think it's a great way to handle those situations and I don't care how many times I see it:  it's easy to use / remember!  By contrast, I'm ready to scrap +/-2 completely.  I hate how much math we used to do - constantly - and I love how much less adv/dis gives you.  It's all about making the crunchy parts go fast so the fun parts come up more often!


..,



Im with nukunuku on this.  I am over doing the math with the + bonus/ - penalty.  Besides I'm a gambler, advantage/ disadvantage, as good and bad as those can be is still a big gamble.  



My concern, beyond it just being overused to the point that it seems like it's being forced, is that Advantage might be granted even though circumstances are disparate; where a very small edge over an opponent is being rewarded the same as a "perfect storm"/planets align scenario.
 
My concern, beyond it just being overused to the point that it seems like it's being forced, is that Advantage might be granted even though circumstances are disparate; where a very small edge over an opponent is being rewarded the same as a "perfect storm"/planets align scenario.
 


That's fair.  It may be early to worry too much, though.  This playtest seemed to be more about whether or not people liked the idea; advice for DMs on how to use it was scarce and I would certainly expect to see more of that.  I know I read somewhere that gaining advantage should be about the equivelent of taking an action (like the rogue hiding or the aid another action), so in the short term I think it's well-balanced with the gain.
My concern, beyond it just being overused to the point that it seems like it's being forced, is that Advantage might be granted even though circumstances are disparate; where a very small edge over an opponent is being rewarded the same as a "perfect storm"/planets align scenario.
 


That's fair.  It may be early to worry too much, though.  This playtest seemed to be more about whether or not people liked the idea; advice for DMs on how to use it was scarce and I would certainly expect to see more of that.  I know I read somewhere that gaining advantage should be about the equivelent of taking an action (like the rogue hiding or the aid another action), so in the short term I think it's well-balanced with the gain.



Right.  I don't want to misrepresent where I stand on the topic, to be certain.  I love the Advantage/Disadvantage system overall.  It's not a big deal either way, I suppose.  If I don't like what the rules suggest, I'll just houserule it into something our table would prefer.
Ω - The main downside I've seen for advantage/disadvantage is the players' constant jockeying for any excuse for the additional die.  Granted, in a real-world situation a combatant will always try to gain the upper hand, but the players seemed to take it a little too far at times.  As for bogging down with too many rolls (which seems a common complaint): aren't people using multiple dice?


Anyways, house rules:


Light blades and Thrown weapons use DEX for attack, STR for damage

When a character drops into negative hit points, s/he may continue to fight (weakened and slowed) with a successful Endurance roll (TN: 10 + negative hp) each round

When a character goes into negative hit points, they lose 100 xp for each point they go into negatives 

When making a skill roll, a character may roll 2d10 instead of 1d20 (personally, I like the bell curve and it makes for more consistent results)

Static initiative: our players sit around the table in initiative order (with each character's initiative being base 10 + modifiers).  The GM rolls initiative for the opponents each round to determine where in the initiative order they will go.  Significantly speeds up game play and players have a sense of battle order when working together.


And a couple I'm considering:


Crossbows take a standard action to reload (but do 2W damage on a hit) - let's face it, crossbows do NOT reload as fast as a bow 

Having armor grant damage resistance instead of AC (more realistic from my PoV and makes certain attacks like shoving, tripping, etc. more reasonable as armor should NOT add to the defense)

 
Ω - The main downside I've seen for advantage/disadvantage is the players' constant jockeying for any excuse for the additional die.


 


After four sessions, that has not been my experience, but for one exception, the rogue.  But we have yet to get into an arguement on what grants advantage and grants disadvantage.  The rogue is always looking for a place to hide and gain advantage.  But the rules are built for the rogue to seek advantage with sneak attack and the lurker theme has the rogue hiding all the time to gain advantage.

For the most part I've been making a case by case basis on granting advantage/ disadvantage and rarely, in and out of combat, mostly for creative narrative or coolness.

The one house rule I did make cooncerns the slayer's reaper feature which grants the fighter's attack 3 damage on a miss.  A roll of one or a fumble does no damage even with the slayer's reaper feature. 

Recently we played through part of the kobold cave, kobolds were dying on a miss by the slayer and magic missile was a guarantee death for a kobold.  The kobolds also had advantage when they outnumbered the party, which last one or two rounds, which makes ambush and gaining that suprise important for kobolds.  But eight kobolds with advantage for a round, is punishing if not overwhelming for a group of  five 1st level DnDnext pcs.


Rogue has advantage searching for traps (offsets the -1 for wisdom).  Logic = Training.

Rogue does not necessarily get spotted whilst attacking from hiding.  (The "where did that shot come from syndrome").  Each round the DC for being spotted gets better for the enemy.  So the rogue can now get 2 or 3 sneak attacks before being spotted and losing sneak attack.  Own rules here.  Make your own up.  Bright light?  Kobolds get a penalty. So on and so forth.  A "Rehide" resets the DC.

Heal spells cast out of combat get a d20 roll first.  If greater than 15, full heal as the healer was focused.  Otherwise, roll as normal.  (The check was implemented as too many people were going unconcious as the 'healer held off')
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />AD
Are you playtesting? That means playing by the rules as given by WoTC. If you are house-ruling, then perhaps the rule needs fixing. Tell someone. I am.

But eight kobolds with advantage for a round, is punishing if not overwhelming for a group of  five 1st level DnDnext pcs.

I also found this to be very true!  Eight coordinated kobolds on open ground are murder, but eight surprised kobolds in a narrow hall are cannon fodder.  It seems to emphasize tactics in a nice, non-obvious way.

Having armor grant damage resistance instead of AC (more realistic from my PoV and makes certain attacks like shoving, tripping, etc. more reasonable as armor should NOT add to the defense)

I will be shocked if the devs don't have some module that changes AC rules to DR either from the beginning or soon after release - it's probably one of the most common modifications/house rules to combat I've ever seen, in any version of D&D.  Clearly, a lot of people want these rules!
Ω - The main downside I've seen for advantage/disadvantage is the players' constant jockeying for any excuse for the additional die.


 


After four sessions, that has not been my experience, but for one exception, the rogue.  But we have yet to get into an arguement on what grants advantage and grants disadvantage.  The rogue is always looking for a place to hide and gain advantage.  But the rules are built for the rogue to seek advantage with sneak attack and the lurker theme has the rogue hiding all the time to gain advantage.

For the most part I've been making a case by case basis on granting advantage/ disadvantage and rarely, in and out of combat, mostly for creative narrative or coolness.

The one house rule I did make cooncerns the slayer's reaper feature which grants the fighter's attack 3 damage on a miss.  A roll of one or a fumble does no damage even with the slayer's reaper feature. 

Recently we played through part of the kobold cave, kobolds were dying on a miss by the slayer and magic missile was a guarantee death for a kobold.  The kobolds also had advantage when they outnumbered the party, which last one or two rounds, which makes ambush and gaining that suprise important for kobolds.  But eight kobolds with advantage for a round, is punishing if not overwhelming for a group of  five 1st level DnDnext pcs.



What happens when the reaper who never misses encounters the dodger who can never be hit? Undecided
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
As much as I love the Advantage/Disadvantage system, this is kindof what I fear about it.  If it ends up being a catch-all for every situation that calls for some kind of penalty or benefit, the novelty (speaking for myself; I'm sure others disagree strongly) wears off in a hurry.



I am one who disagrees; I think it's a great way to handle those situations and I don't care how many times I see it:  it's easy to use / remember!  By contrast, I'm ready to scrap +/-2 completely.  I hate how much math we used to do - constantly - and I love how much less adv/dis gives you.  It's all about making the crunchy parts go fast so the fun parts come up more often!


..,



Im with nukunuku on this.  I am over doing the math with the + bonus/ - penalty.  Besides I'm a gambler, advantage/ disadvantage, as good and bad as those can be is still a big gamble.  

I like the idea of the DM having the extra d20 at hand and can apply or not apply the higher or lower roll as he sees fit.

As far as a fear of characters having high mortality rates... when I played in 3.5e I gave all the players Max HP per level every level, but I got rid of confirming criticals. Not confirming made criticals a lot more common, but that was a two-edged sword. A low-level could get lucky and slay powerful monsters with a lucky blow and conversely, even a goblin spear through the belly was dangerous (as it should be, in my humble...).

A major plus side of max hp means the barbarian doesn't have to worry about some low rolls, forcing him to hide behind a lucky-rolling wizard. This concept might carry over well in 5e.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
As much as I love the Advantage/Disadvantage system, this is kindof what I fear about it.  If it ends up being a catch-all for every situation that calls for some kind of penalty or benefit, the novelty (speaking for myself; I'm sure others disagree strongly) wears off in a hurry.



I am one who disagrees; I think it's a great way to handle those situations and I don't care how many times I see it:  it's easy to use / remember!  By contrast, I'm ready to scrap +/-2 completely.  I hate how much math we used to do - constantly - and I love how much less adv/dis gives you.  It's all about making the crunchy parts go fast so the fun parts come up more often!


..,



Im with nukunuku on this.  I am over doing the math with the + bonus/ - penalty.  Besides I'm a gambler, advantage/ disadvantage, as good and bad as those can be is still a big gamble.  

Main reason I like the advantage/disadvantage is that I seem to be the unlucky die roller. But maybe that's just DnD superstition. I have been witnessed to roll 14 1's in a row. Now I can roll the 1's twice as fast, lol.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
As much as I love the Advantage/Disadvantage system, this is kindof what I fear about it.  If it ends up being a catch-all for every situation that calls for some kind of penalty or benefit, the novelty (speaking for myself; I'm sure others disagree strongly) wears off in a hurry.



I am one who disagrees; I think it's a great way to handle those situations and I don't care how many times I see it:  it's easy to use / remember!  By contrast, I'm ready to scrap +/-2 completely.  I hate how much math we used to do - constantly - and I love how much less adv/dis gives you.  It's all about making the crunchy parts go fast so the fun parts come up more often!


..,



Im with nukunuku on this.  I am over doing the math with the + bonus/ - penalty.  Besides I'm a gambler, advantage/ disadvantage, as good and bad as those can be is still a big gamble.  



My concern, beyond it just being overused to the point that it seems like it's being forced, is that Advantage might be granted even though circumstances are disparate; where a very small edge over an opponent is being rewarded the same as a "perfect storm"/planets align scenario.
 

That's why our 1 house rule was that advantage/disavantage stack.

You have advantage, and more advantage, and more advantage?  Roll 4 times, take the highest.

Mathmaticly you get diminishing returns, and there's no cap, so it actually works better then stacking bonuses, as well as more chances to 1 or 20.

Assuming you need a 11+ to hit.. you have.

50% for normal
75% for double roll
87.5% for tripple
93.75% for quad

Not that we got past 2 (rogue hidden against a kobold in bright light). 

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

House rules I had in 3.5ed;

- money weight nothing.

- non-magic ammo isn't tracked. Instead automatically remove 1 gp per week from party gold.

- max HP each lvl. This goes for the monsters too

- IF there is no boss monster and the heroes is obviously winning then the remaining few mobs autodie so we can get back to roleplaying a bit faster. Less work for the DM.

- This isn't my doing but there dosen't appear to be any personal money. It's always 'party money' this, 'party money' that. Social economy, anyone? Anyway, I like it.



Also I let each player track their own things like HP. I have other things to do after all... Also they can make up sidequests between session and maybe we can use it. Even less work for the DM. 
Norwegian fan page at facebook; DndRogaland
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />When a character goes into negative hit points, they lose 100 xp for each point they go into negatives 

 



How does that work out for you?  It seems unduly harsh to me (-10 hit points = -1,000xp?), but I am curious as to how it works.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />When a character goes into negative hit points, they lose 100 xp for each point they go into negatives 

 



How does that work out for you?  It seems unduly harsh to me (-10 hit points = -1,000xp?), but I am curious as to how it works.



Ω - It's worked out very well, actually.  It makes my player more cautious and less likely to do something that would otherwise get them killed.  My players still do some foolhardy stuff, but only when they're relatively healthy.  One their hp's start to dwindle they start rethinking plans that involve leaping off tall structures or setting the building on fire while everyone is still inside

     For me, it's made 'death' the threat it should be.  I've only killed handful of characters in my games (and only because they put themselves in a situation that there was NO way the outcome could be otherwise), as I don't believe is prmanently killing PCs.  This option allows players to keep their characters and at the same time worry that doing something that could potentially get them seriously hurt might need rethinking.  I've played undead negative energy the same way.
The group I am putting together is not experienced in Pen and Paper.  This is giving me a great deal of freedom to play with the system and test the new set up.  I will be introducing them to the new set soon, and placing Caves of Chaos in Eberron.


  1. First level HD is health points and only takes damage when fatigue points are gone.  All other HD are fatigue points.

  2. First level receives max HP.

  3. Fatigue points returned from rest.  Health points returned from healing.

  4. Weapon damage by weapon size, not individual weapon.

  5. Pole-arms carry blocking/parry bonus.

  6. Simple crit and fumble table tied to conditions.  (Made 6 additional conditions.)

  7. Standardized ability and skill check table.

  8. Casters required to take or create a domain concept.  Caster has adv. with spells in that domain and disadv. with opposed concept.  (Air, Fire, Shadow, Horror, Hospitality, Containers, Light, etc.)

  9. Using spell point system from DDO.

  10. Want to determine spell power by spell effects in dmg, aoe size, and shape so that each caster can effect their own domain as a damage output spell, if appropriate.

  11. Oh, and Friendly Fire isn't.  You may throw a fire ball, but the melee guys who survive may kill you.


Hoping to reduce the system down to 3 pages of charts max and run Eberron setting using it.

Post Script:  The DM gets free sweet tea if anyone wants to live...


House rules: Crit Chaining; if you make a crit, roll a d20.  If this second roll is a 20, roll again; if it's not a Natural 20, no bonus, just a standard critical.  Basically, add a multiplier each time you roll a Natural 20, so your first Nat 20 gets you 2X (Double) damage.  If you get a Natural 20 on your 2nd roll it's 3X (Triple) damge.  And so on.  This is obviously rare so it doesn't slow the game down at all... AND it means that even the lowliest LV1 Wizard can sometimes, in rare instances, score a really great hit with a crossbow.

Equipment and Armor wear.  If a character is the victim of a bunch of critical hits or drops down into the negative 3 or more times I rule that their armor is damaged and in need of repair.  It can't take punishment forever.  Sure, you can just handwave this when not pressed for time AND in an area where an amorer is available... but this is not always the case.

Consistency (and Precedents): without allowing for rule-lawyering, if there was a precedent made earlier in a campaign that worked, it stays... even if I (as DM) forget it; they can remind me.  In the interest of fairness.

Fudging Rolls: As DM, I will on occasion, have the damage be a little less or have what should have been a hit become a miss.  Several reasons for this but the main one is this: the Dice should never decide the story and while they do bring fun, chance and randomness into the game, when my players have a good plan, play well and should be kicking arse but their dice are cold they should not become victims of a TPK (Total Party Kill) just because of a random element.  On the other side of the coin, when their good rolls (and my cold ones) change what should have been a challenging encounter into a cake-walk, I've been known to give some secret extra HP to a few bad guys or grant them a hit or 2 on the PCs before they're all killed off.

Missile Weapons:  Bows, Crossbows & such are nowhere near as dangerous in our beloved D&D game as they would have been in a medieval world.  I adjudicate some special circumstances when the PCs are facing skilled enemy archers (let's say 4 or more).  Standing out in the open is not a good idea.  In medieval times, unless you had some mobile hard cover such as a tower shield (or siege engine) you usually ended up dead unless you were extraordinarily lucky... or some sort of high level monk/ninja who could dodge and/or block.  Even then, if there are 20 archers on the wall firing down upon said Monk, he'd become a pin-cushion.  To make it easy, I usualy just rule double damage when struck if a character advances through a field of fire without a shield, magical or otherwise.  This is enough to make the PCs respect bows and make them more deadly.  Or at least keep their heads down (or hide behind the shield-wielding fighter)
House rules: Crit Chaining; if you make a crit, roll a d20.  If this second roll is a 20, roll again; if it's not a Natural 20, no bonus, just a standard critical.  Basically, add a multiplier each time you roll a Natural 20, so your first Nat 20 gets you 2X (Double) damage.  If you get a Natural 20 on your 2nd roll it's 3X (Triple) damge.  And so on.

Exploding crits - nice!
I also use exploding crits, but I just have them do MAX damage plus 1d6.  The d6 is the exploding die.  The fighter in my last game did 40 points of damage in one hit...unfortunately he was thwacking a cave rat.  lol.

 

A Brave Knight of WTF - "Wielder of the Sword of Balance"

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

I added the following houserules in the last few sessions:

-shield save; if an attack deals enough damage to kill someone and that person has a shield he can opt to block it with the shield, destroying the shield in the proces. (I stole this one from epées et sorcelerie). It saved the Knight in the last session, it ads a nice touch.
-made a random encounter table for the ravine and surrounding hill/forest
-lifted the suprise, encounter distance and reaction table from earlier editions for when a ra=ndom encounter was rolled.
-started using the reaction table (from 2nd edition) for some of the encounters
-started using moral (scores lifted from earlier editions/retroclone)
-added a divider between rounds (is also written in the initiative whiteboard) where I ask the group how they will proceed in the coming rounds:flee, surrender, parley, continue fighting. It's also in this instance the opponents can call for parley, surrender or flee

The added (controlled) randomness might not be for everyone but I like it. It forces me to be more on my toes, I not only have to react and improvise to my players choices but also to what I roll for the monsters. I find it makes the more interesting for me as a DM. I hope it frees up the players a bit because not everything happens because I decide it does and "guessing-what-the-DM-is-thinking" becomes less a factor.
Shield save actually sounds like it would make a pretty good feat, or maybe a class/background/specialty feature. I'd modify it slightly though, so that you can simply sacrifice your shield to block any attack after damage is rolled. So, if you just got critically hit by the ogre, which would put you to 1 life with 3 goblins standing around you, you can block that as well, instead of needing to take that hit, then have your shield explode when the goblin punches you for 1 damage.
I also like the shield save idea!  Although if I implemented it I might remove the AC bonus from shields in order to mitigate the bonus.  Although making it a feat/theme would be good, too!
Assorted Rules I'm using or which I have stopped using:

Charging:  I started out using +1d6 damage/ grant advantage till your next turn. I also tried gain advantage, grant advantage till your next turn.  My final determination was that I really wasn't sure I wanted people charging for no reason other than to gain the advantage, as I see it presently - the advantage of charging is that you can get to an opponent you couldn't reach earlier.  As such, charging grants a +1 to attack (simply because my players are used to that from 4E) and has no penalty.  I'm tempted to apply what I always thought would be a good rule in 4E which is that you gain a benefit based upon the distance of your charge.  If you are doing a little 'two -step' charge, you don't get anything, but if you charge halfway across the battlefield you get a significant bonus.    But this hasn't been finalized or tested yet.


Flanking:  Flanking does not give you advantage.  Flanking is too easy to get (especially with limited restrictions on movement - see below) and advantage is much much much better than CA in 4E/ 3.x.   Note:  The lack of advantage on flanking helps the PCs more than the creatures because there are often more creatures than PCs and its often easier for the critters to get flanking.  IMHO, it's to the PCs benefit to not allow flanking to give advantage.  That said, I can see logic to a surrounded (opponents on at least three sides) to give one of the attackers advantage - but I'm not sure the necessary complexity is worth it.  Especially since my group rarely has three melee combatants all surrounding the same creature.


Movement in Melee:  I use the following rules (described in prior posts):  It takes one extra square of movement to leave a square adjacent to an enemy; If you move into a square adjacent to an enemy, your movement must stop for that action; You can ignore either of these rules but if you do so, the opponent gets an attack on you.  The result of this is that it is difficult to just run past someone; you can 'shift' (takes two squares of movement but movement must stop) but getting out of combat is relatively easy (extra square to move away and split).


"Hit Dice" represents healing available following any 10-minute rest, not once per day (I prefer to encourage the party to keep going.  The Vancian spell casting already encourages them to quit, I don't see needing 'no healing left' as  another good reason.   On the other hand, I put some limits on the availability of healing potion ingredients (roughly enough for one potion per player per session).


Hiding in the same spot (popping in and out of the same cover) reduces the effectiveness of the rogues attempt to hide, eventually granting the target advantage in its attempt to spot the rogue.  If the rogue moves around (especially if she moves while hidden) this is not the case and hiding remains very effective.


Aside:  I'm not sure I like the rogue knowing whether or not she was spotted based on whether I tell her to roll one die or two for the attack.  Last session I jokingly suggested she roll a primary die and a secondary die and tell me what she hit with both and I'll tell her if she hit or not - and she can guess if she was spotted or not from that.  Not sure whether this is worth the extra effort or not (although I suspect if it becomes 'standard' it won't take that much longer).


Surprise:  After trying as written and I've decided to just go back a version of the "surprise round - you get one action".  (Aside: Based on some posts elsewhere I am considering bringing back a true surprise roll - which is NOT the same as a perception check although I'll let keen senses, and perhaps other things, modify it.  Still working on the details for that one.)   In any case - if the PCs have surprise on the monsters, the presumption is that the creatures are unaware of them until a PC takes an action that reveals them to the monsters (such as attacking them).  If the PCs withdraw, the monsters may never know that they were there.  Once the PCs reveal their presence, we enter initiative and any surprise benefit is gone.  However, since PCs can, as their surprise action, delay an action (reaction) to go off on a specific trigger - a typical attack is more like:  PC1 - I do .  PC 2 - When the monsters get to the intersection, I'll open fire on the one in the lead.  PCs3-6 - when I see PC2 make his attack (trigger) I'll (whatever they wanted for their action).   Naturally, more precise timing is possible ("PC3, I am going to use buring hands.  PC4, after he uses burning hands, I charge in and attack the closest still standing).  In some cases the PC (especially if they rolled well on initiative) may choose not to do their triggered action and simply wait for their turn to come up.  Note:  This often has the same general effect as the "add 20 to the initiative" approach but its not an abstract mechanic, its the natural result of player actions and the initiative and reaction systems.


Shield Save (Otherwise known as "Shields shall be splintered") is a rule that's been banging around the back allys of the OSR for awhile and I like it.  I've never used it, but it's one that I'll probably put on the table for the PCs to use if they wish.  


Healing:  Because I thought that clerics needed more healing, I granted them one extra heal spell of their highest level.  This will probably go away with the new Channel Divinity healing.  


Spells,  General:  The Fluff IS the mechanic.  If you can convince me that a logical consequence of the spells description would allow you to do something innovative with it, I'll probably allow it (filtered by my own sense of balance).  Thus, although Grease is not flammable (as one mage wished), I would allow Ray of Frost to create a one-square (5' diameter) slick spot with effects similar to grease which lasts for only one round.  

Spells, SpecificRay of Frost is overpowering as it stands (too easy to shut down creatures who lack a ranged attack.  Especially if they should have the misfortune to fall prone).  Solution:  A creature can make a Strength Check as an action to break free from the Ice.  This means that creatures have a chance to move if hit by a ray of frost - but they have to give up their attack to do so.   This makes it still very potent, but not the too-powerful ability it had the potential to be.

Spells, Specific:  Comprehend Languages can be cast as a ritual.   

There are likely others, but these are the ones that come to mind.
   

Under consideration, but not changed yet, pending what they actually do with the next packet:

Spells, Specific:  Magic Missile  - The spell does 1d4 damage per missile plus spell modifier damage to each target.  I.e. If the mage casts one missile, it does 1d4+IntMod damage.  If the mage casts two missiles at the same target, it does 2d4+IntMod damage; if the mage splits the missiles they each do 1d4+intMod damage.  Yes, this makes the spell more effective when split then when fired at a single target.  I'm Ok with that.

Critical Hits:  I want to do something more 'interesting' - but I'm not sure what it will be.  There was a sort of exploding mechanic in an earlier version (you keep rolling attacks and as long as you keep hitting you keep doing more damage) - and that sounded interesting but went away.  I kinda like the idea of a crit table or crit card deck (I may pick up the Paizo deck at GenCon).  I'm kinda leaning towards rolling an exploding die and cross-referencing the die with a table but I haven't given it much thought yet. Once concern is that deadly criticals eventually work to the PCs disadvantage because a deadly crit by a PC just ends a battle while a deadly crit by a monster ends a career.  With that in mind, I liked the ideas of the injury rules that were recently suggested for 4E and may adapt something like that for a crit system.    I also played with a system in 4E which allowed characters to 'accept' an injury to negate some of the damage from an attack or negate a crit.  Something like this might also work:  Crits are deadly (exploding damage) but if the PC wishes to 'accept' an injury (with long-term consequences) they can negate the extra crit damage.   Or something like that....  Not sure how I'd work this for attacks on NPCs.  Maybe max damage and the PC decides whether to go for an injury (which do affect combat immediately as well) or try for the exploding damage.

Carl


     
   

  


      


     


   


  
Wondered how (if) the help action would work in combat?  I could see a buch of monsters surrounding an opponent, several strike out, as the character tries to avoid their many blows it becomes easier for some of them to hit.
Perhaps an attack roll vs AC10, if successful grants advantage to the next creatures attack?  This could balance the idea that just flanking giving advantage is too easy to achieve.
 

We definitely didn't do flanking - but I thought that was part of the rules already?  Maybe I missed it.  I also figured there should be a "gang up" rule, where if you're pretty much surrounded you do give advantage to attacks.  Not sure any of this ever really came up in our playthrough, though, especially with a ranged rogue.


I also thought healing surges (aka "hit dice," the silliest name ever) were available after any rest?  If not we implemented that house rule as well!


Coming back to the shield save idea, I can see how that'd be pretty amazing at low levels - when shields cost 10 or 20 gold - but at high levels, a +X shield is much more difficult to come by than a healing potion.  Not sure I'd make the trade once I got a magic shield, unless the situation was "break shield or TPK."


I agree completely about spells being cast as rituals; we did that, too.  Many have commented that ray of frost is powerful against single, non-ranged attackers, but I honestly really like it.  The wizard still has to hit each round, and nearly all the most powerful attacks are melee.  If the players are smart enough to figure out how to lock down an enemy long enough to take it out, that's just good tactics in my opinion.


Surprise round rules are definitely changing; I loved how simple they were but I agree something seemed off.  Some sort of exploding crits are also really cool, as above - maybe if you get a crit, roll damage as normal and if you roll max you explode, but otherwise you just take max damage?  Of course, that favors d4 weapons over d12 and that sort of thing, so maybe that's not a good idea, either...




Flanking - Flanking gives you advantage.

 



I agree with CarlT.  Flanking should NOT give advantage.  Especially with rogue sneak attack and how there seems to be no attack of opportunity anymore. 

With the old +2 for flank, you would always get an extra 10% chance to hit (2/20).

With an advantage, the bonus you get depends on the difficulty class of the target. Not sure I agree with that. For example:


(I think the math is right here, but feel free to point out mistakes)


DC 10, without any modifiers = 55% (11/20)


Rolling twice and taking highest = 79.75% (55% + (45% * 55%))


DC 20, without any modifiers = 5% (1/20)


Rolling twice and taking highest = 9.75% (5% + (95% * 5%))


So, you can see that at DC 10, advantage is a much greater bonus than +2, and at DC 20, it is less. That could be argued as good or bad. I would tend to think the bonus is too high at DC 10 and too low at DC 20.

Wondered how (if) the help action would work in combat?  I could see a buch of monsters surrounding an opponent, several strike out, as the character tries to avoid their many blows it becomes easier for some of them to hit.
Perhaps an attack roll vs AC10, if successful grants advantage to the next creatures attack?  This could balance the idea that just flanking giving advantage is too easy to achieve.
 


There was a rule similar to this in an earlier iteration of the playtest.  I'm not sure why it's not in this version (Help doesn't seem to address combat although it is worded generally and does show up under "Actions in Combat").    It doesn't seem to require a roll - if you spend your action, you get the benefit.  I think that this is because players in general don't seem to like giving up their action for a chance at an increased probability (making it guaranteed benefit sweetens the deal a bit) and because the general 'cost' for gaining advantage seems to be 'one action'.


Kelnozz:  The math on Advantage has been done in depth multiple times on these forums.  If the PC is hitting  50% of the time before advantage, the effect of advantage is equivalent to a +5 bonus.  It drops from there, but it remains better than +2 over most of the range.  


My own rules of thumb is that things fall into +1, +2 and advantage; anything for which I would have granted a +3 or better bonus under the old rules I usually turn into advantage. 

On a related note, I am bit concerned for how some of the advantage rules are coming together with bounded accuracy, but until I see more details on how higher level monsters attack bonuses are calculated I'm reserving judgement.  My biggest concern is the combination of a fighter in plate and shield (AC 19 or possibly more with magic) combined with Shield of Faith - this makes the fighter virtually unhittable.  The best attack in the packet (only a couple of monsters) is a +6; those monsters only have a 12% chance to hit him when protected; Most creatures are around a +3 or +4 to attack; they have only 4% to 6% chance to hit him when protected.   

If creature attacks remain bounded so that level 9 or 10 monsters are equally unable to hit him, I see a potential problem (especially as the clerics get more and more 1st level spells/ shields of faith and need that spell slot less and less for healing).


But we'll just have to see the next packet before I start considering a houseruled fix for this problem  For now, my party's fighter is enjoying his near invulnerability a couple of encounters a day.     

Carl
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