RIDICULOUS House Rules - A Place to Vent About Your Crazy DM

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player: ok i have this awsome idea to make a frost mage all my powers come from ice, my eyes are blue and the ground frosts over where i step,here are my stats
DM: sweet sounds cool, now here are your spells, mage hand, light, feather fall and whisper wind
player: umm dude there are no frost spells there, and come to think of it no attack spells either
DM: hmm guess not, ok are you ready to start
player: umm my frost mage is kinda underpowered
DM: not my fault, you going to play or not

Player: of course not, why would I play a game where I can't even control what my character learns? This is such a screaming beacon that you're a control freak DM that I'd literally need a <40 IQ to not notice.
Every five fights, each used Weapon takes a hit (every 4 or less if the fights are with hard Foes)...
Upon reaching 3 hits the Weapon is broken and you can start crying...
Player: of course not, why would I play a game where I can't even control what my character learns? This is such a screaming beacon that you're a control freak DM that I'd literally need a >40 IQ to not notice.

Player 2: Uhm, you know that ">" means "greater than", right? ;)
Player 2: Uhm, you know that ">" means "greater than", right? ;)

Player 3: Guys, how do you manage to use mathematical symbols in a conversation without saying them?
Player 2: Uhm, you know that ">" means "greater than", right? ;)

Silence you! I'm allowed a typo!
Player 3: Guys, how do you manage to use mathematical symbols in a conversation without saying them?

Player 2: It's Magic, silly! ;)
Every five fights, each used Weapon takes a hit (every 4 or less if the fights are with hard Foes)...
Upon reaching 3 hits the Weapon is broken and you can start crying...

that's more than a little harsh. if I was going to do something like that, I'd probably break out the item saves table, and a fail = -1 hit and damage, non-magic items only need to save. I'm too used to tolkien where magic swords normally last for millennia.

side note, I know item saves existed in 1e, not too sure about after that.
we had a rule that if you rolled 3 d20s in a row and they all landed on 20, what ever action you completed would be godly.

lets say we are facing the end monster in the expedition to under mountain campaign. Our ranger rolls a 20, crits, 20 to confirm, we give him a 3rd roll, and its 20. he automatically slays said beast.

it has only happened one time.
had a DM for ages who forced arcane spell casters to take random starting spells, no input at all from the player,
player: ok i have this awsome idea to make a frost mage all my powers come from ice, my eyes are blue and the ground frosts over where i step,here are my stats
DM: sweet sounds cool, now here are your spells, mage hand, light, feather fall and whisper wind
player: umm dude there are no frost spells there, and come to think of it no attack spells either
DM: hmm guess not, ok are you ready to start
player: umm my frost mage is kinda underpowered
DM: not my fault, you going to play or not

I cant tell you how many arguments we had over the years!

i forgot to mention he eventually let my wife take starting spells that suited her backstory (dragon blooded elf) but that was only cause he had a crush on her, and by her i mean the character not my wife, he was a strange little man
Reading this thread reminded me of an odd DM experience I had a few years ago. One time, I played with a DM who had an aversion to odd numbers. I'm talking neurotic-level here. Any time an odd number was rolled, he would automatically treat as the next lower even number. If you rolled a 17, it was a 16, etc. I would've thought that this was just quirky, and not really annoying, until I noticed that my cleric seemed to have an odd habit of missing by 1 every time he attacked...
Had a DM that got sick and tired of heroes kicking in doors all the time, so he quietly implemented a world glitch where upon kicking down a door, said offender would be time frozen (with foot outstretched) for a full round. Needless to say, it made for interesting first rounds of combat.
I have just started a game with a friend (newbie), his gf (knows some of the rules and will be the topic of posting), and my gf (new to 3e but not RP). Friend's GF used to play with a group of kids that I can only describe as painfully munchkin. I'm betting that I'm going to be hearing a bunch of house rules that she has been taught as core in the near future, but here's a couple of the really comically good ones:

- Druids gain a +1 to everything if they touch a tree that day.
- The DM has to roll randomly for random encounters in the night. (cue desciption of crazy convoluted rules to determine what/if you get attacked by)
- since artifacts have no price, PCs should be able to get them on creation

Not to mention that every time they find gems, she asks if any of them is a chaos diamond. They're level 6. Oh, we're gonna have fun working these house rules out of her as they come to pass.
So i have been a DM a few times and personally, i bleeped over a few of my players. One did nothing but talk about non story related topics, and "role-played" himself, poorly. The other guy had the dumb luck of choosing the number that popped up on my "who do i attack, even at the odds that physics would never really allow it?" die (for those interested this is a d6, or the Die of Fate as my first DM dubbed it, before chucking it up or down a flight of stairs). That being said we tend to have at least two DMs in game, the one playing, and the one DMing. Now on to the most craptastic things that have happened to me:

1. Our halfling rogue, who the DM loved, never was attacked first, and never had to roll anything but a reflex save.
2. In the same campaign, our wizard was always attacked first, no matter how many people (three, Our meat shield fighter, the rouge, and me the Cleric of Hextor/St Cuthbert), and he was always brought to the near brink of death, until i joined the game.
3. Before i joined that campaign, The guys would get killed at least once a month, only to be resurrected at a local monastery with all of their worldly possessions except for the wizards spell book, and the rouges thieves tools (Because why would monks either want or need these things, that tend to sell for a hefty sum) taken away

Oh yeah, some one was talking about a multiple critical roll. This is from what I've seen, usually only applied to attack rolls as an instant kill roll. And finally, Critical failure rules make sense to me, cause, well, if you have a chance to succeed unbelievably well, then should have to fail horribly. I know none of these things are house rules, but they are examples of DMs gone their own particular brand eccentricity
Meant to add earlier:

Same guy, had an odd way of counting challenge for an encounter. If the HD of the characters outweighed the HD of the creature, he considered it balanced. He would then wonder why we couldn't take a balor at 5th level.
Color me flattered.

LIFE CYCLE OF A RULES THREAD

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Thank_Dog wrote:

2Chlorobutanal wrote:
I think that if you have to argue to convince others about the clarity of something, it's probably not as objectively clear as you think.

No, what it means is that some people just like to be obtuse.

My DM loves psionics, but he doesn't use psionics/magic transparency.
I had a house rule for critical hits. If you rolled a 20 to confirm, the multiple would go up by one step, and you rolled again. This continued until you stopped rolling 20's.

In a convention game I ran, I had a minotaur take out a 7th level paladin with a single hit. I rolled the first 20 behind my screen, and the other 4 out in front of the players. Nobody (not even the player of the paladin) was upset about it, and they actually really liked the rule. Especially as I used it the same way when the rogue rolled 3 20's in a row on a sneak attack.
I had a house rule for critical hits. If you rolled a 20 to confirm, the multiple would go up by one step, and you rolled again. This continued until you stopped rolling 20's.

In a convention game I ran, I had a minotaur take out a 7th level paladin with a single hit. I rolled the first 20 behind my screen, and the other 4 out in front of the players. Nobody (not even the player of the paladin) was upset about it, and they actually really liked the rule. Especially as I used it the same way when the rogue rolled 3 20's in a row on a sneak attack.

That reminds me of Savage Worlds system where you can technically do an infinite amount of damage with a single attack.

Also, regarding another post, I don't think triple 20's causing an instant kill is a foolish idea. Sometimes you just get godlike ass whooping abilities.
When the GM claims that he "wins" because his players don't want to touch the OBVIOUSLY EVIL CRYSTALS OF DEATH AND DOOM and instead use a belt pouch and a stick to scoop them up instead.
Reshuffling seating every combat so that everyone sits in initiative order going clock-wise around the table...actually, I just made that up. I think I need to try that one on my group so it makes the list here.

Mwahaha...DM on the player boards!!!!
I had a house rule for critical hits. If you rolled a 20 to confirm, the multiple would go up by one step, and you rolled again. This continued until you stopped rolling 20's.

In a convention game I ran, I had a minotaur take out a 7th level paladin with a single hit. I rolled the first 20 behind my screen, and the other 4 out in front of the players. Nobody (not even the player of the paladin) was upset about it, and they actually really liked the rule. Especially as I used it the same way when the rogue rolled 3 20's in a row on a sneak attack.

Out of curiousity, why would you use your house rules in a convention game, especially wthout discussing it with the players before hand?
The only one I ever had a problem with was my DM who had terrible grammar. I'm a huge spelling/grammar advocate, and it just bugged the hell out of me that he couldn't say prerequisite, coterminus and a few other things. He said prerequisite as pre-quist and coterminus as coter-minus. He also has trouble starting his sentences, he would start one sentence six times before finally settling on a good beginning. One time I just snapped and told him to spit it out already and he got all ****** off and said that if I ever said that again he'd dock me XP.

So his house rule became: The DM's pronunciations are always correct.

If me DM reads this it is not an attack, this thread is about venting, so don't chew me out please!

Me thinks you are misremembering the difference between grammar and pronunciation. Someone who learns largely through reading rather than talking is likely to have good reading comprehension but doesn’t necessarily know the pronunciation. I must have read the 1E DMG a hundred times when I was kid but didn’t necessarily know how to properly pronounce “melee,” “milieu,” “ennui,” or all the other words that Lord Gygax included before they decided to make D&D books as interesting to read as a DVD player manual.

I remember as a little kid being meanly corrected for pronouncing Prague as “pray-goo” and thinking, “Jerk, how many ten years old know the capital of Czechoslovakia?”
Me thinks you are misremembering the difference between grammar and pronunciation. Someone who learns largely through reading rather than talking is likely to have good reading comprehension but doesn’t necessarily know the pronunciation. I must have read the 1E DMG a hundred times when I was kid but didn’t necessarily know how to properly pronounce “melee,” “milieu,” “ennui,” or all the other words that Lord Gygax included before they decided to make D&D books as interesting to read as a DVD player manual.

I remember as a little kid being meanly corrected for pronouncing Prague as “pray-goo” and thinking, “Jerk, how many ten years old know the capital of Czechoslovakia?”

That's near where my family is from!
the DM letting the fighter of the group take the Frenzied berzerker prestige class with out meeting the rquirement of having the rage ability a 110 pound femal elf fighter should not hanve a strength of 24 when raging
That depends...

Is her kid trapped uner a car?
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Me thinks you are misremembering the difference between grammar and pronunciation. Someone who learns largely through reading rather than talking is likely to have good reading comprehension but doesn’t necessarily know the pronunciation. I must have read the 1E DMG a hundred times when I was kid but didn’t necessarily know how to properly pronounce “melee,” “milieu,” “ennui,” or all the other words that Lord Gygax included before they decided to make D&D books as interesting to read as a DVD player manual.

I remember as a little kid being meanly corrected for pronouncing Prague as “pray-goo” and thinking, “Jerk, how many ten years old know the capital of Czechoslovakia?”

Oh good, its not just me. I first encountered the word 'Paladin' in D&D when I was a youngster and it was many years before I learned that it did NOT precisely rhyme with 'Alladin'
Reshuffling seating every combat so that everyone sits in initiative order going clock-wise around the table...actually, I just made that up. I think I need to try that one on my group so it makes the list here.

That would make me want to KILL!

I like my warm seat. I would totally have to go RAGE on someone!

I hate it when DMs on the spot rule the MOST INSANE things.

I once took 'shrapnel' damage standing behind a heavy reinforced wall that was being pelted by giants throwing boulders. The giants were several range increments away, so it wasn't like they were close. AND it wasn't just a little damage, it was full damage with full STRENGTH MODIFIER!

Why even hide behind the wall? It was even worse, because if I had been in the open the Giant would have to hit little ol' me. Inside the castle, all they had to hit was the FREAKING HUGE 40' STONE WALL!!! :headexplo

I had to take a break, so I walked into the next room where someone was watching professional wrestling. I am not a wrestling fan, but I felt like I just had to get some realism back into my life. :D
Everyone wish me luck--my home just burnt down today!! Ironically, the only thing that was unscathed was my 4e set!
the DM letting the fighter of the group take the Frenzied berzerker prestige class with out meeting the rquirement of having the rage ability

All you needed to say, really.

a 110 pound female elf fighter should not have a strength of 24 when raging

Fixed your typing.
In addition:
Female Wood elf, 32 point buy:

STR 18
DEX 14
CON 14
INT 12
WIS 8
CHA 12

Level 10: two points to STR. Classes: Barbarian 3, Bard 3, Dragon Disciple 4.
Base STR: 24. STR while raging: 28.
Without items.

It's not that much.
I once had a DM who thought the magic items we had were making us too powerful.. so when he started his next midlevel campaign he decided he was going to give us a personalized list of magic items.
Which is fine.. I have no real issue with that...

But the I got the list. In my opinion, the items he handed out were far below our level.

+1 and +2 weapons for level 12 characters in Forgotten Realms?
Hmm.  Makes me wonder if 4th Edition is less likely to have bad house rules than previous editions.  Or perhaps people are still getting used to the new rule set to bother with house rules?
Eh, the only House Rules we have so far are still rolling for abilities (although the exact method results in pretty powerful characters, which is how we like it), nerfing Intimidate's "bloodied enemy surrenders," ruling that Frost weapons do not give power the Cold keyword (and thus being subject to Lasting Frost), and making people change their power selection if a power is clearly too strong (most of which like Rain of Blows now have errata that fixes them).
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my major (ie consistant from world to world) are

massive damage is crap

same with crit fail (i have a very specific set of rolls and dcs for this but the chance of a low level char failing is ~1/2000)

here are some that apply to some worlds

if it is a particulaly hard world/adventure i have players roll 5d6 and drop 2 dice per score, arrange as desired (also if the chars will be resting in dungeon, as i do do random encounters, even while chars are asleep!)

in a no psionics campain, i occasionally put in psionic items that can be activated with the use magic device skill, but other wise magic/psi transperency is gone. in other campains the magic/psi transperency rules apply to everything relevent
my major (ie consistant from world to world) are

massive damage is crap

same with crit fail (i have a very specific set of rolls and dcs for this but the chance of a low level char failing is ~1/2000)

here are some that apply to some worlds

if it is a particulaly hard world/adventure i have players roll 5d6 and drop 2 dice per score, arrange as desired (also if the chars will be resting in dungeon, as i do do random encounters, even while chars are asleep!)

in a no psionics campain, i occasionally put in psionic items that can be activated with the use magic device skill, but other wise magic/psi transperency is gone. in other campains the magic/psi transperency rules apply to everything relevent



By the time you can actually get massive damage, the only way to fail it is a 1.  It is a stupid concept though and I never bother with it.  I do the same with crit failure too.
Its not the answer that matters, its the questions. This is the sarcasm point ---> {.) the period can be substituted for whatever punctuation mark is appropriate. Use it so show sarcasm in written text.
I had a GM once demand an oil and hot stone massage before he would let the players level.

Okay, that's a joke. But I did have a GM angrly tell - his tone was an order - me once I was supposed to break the rules. He even said he would punish me when I did that. I am still not certian what he wanted or what he actually excepted. 

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Okay, that's a joke. But I did have a GM angrly tell - his tone was an order - me once I was supposed to break the rules. He even said he would punish me when I did that. I am still not certian what he wanted or what he actually excepted. 



We are definitely going to need a lot more info on this one.
We are definitely going to need a lot more info on this one.


Well, I am not certain what to say. He did that. This happened about 10-years and so the specifics have faded though the incident in general still stands out in my memory. Everyone is the group was young (and inexperienced in dealing with people) and the GM was intractable and difficult to negotiate with on many points. For example, he was deeply set against the characters purchasing an inn – it would stop us from going on dungeon crawls and adventurers are only supposed to spend their money on ale and whores. Looking back on it now, I think he felt a deep need to control the characters and dominate the players.In any event, the group began breaking apart not long afterwards as several players departed for greener pastures.

 



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This same GM made the Paladin PC stop distributing blankets to NPC peasants during a winter. The Paladin PC was supposed to be out killing orcs and what not.
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This same GM made the Paladin PC stop distributing blankets to NPC peasants during a winter. The Paladin PC was supposed to be out killing orcs and what not.



Giving blankets to the poor?  Wow...I think that's the most heart-felt thing I've ever heard of in D&D.  Have to say, that's a first.

I can just imagine the DM saying..."Stop helping people!  You're supposed to be killing things!"  lol

I can just imagine the DM saying..."Stop helping people!  You're supposed to be killing things!"



Pretty much, yeah. That was why he was opposed to PC purchasing and running inns/taverns, giving to the poor, teaching people how to read, throwing big parties and the like. The structure of the campaign included lots of down time for some characters (all the players had at least two or three different PCs in the same campaign)... but we were just supposed to be unapologetic killers.
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Your DM hates his players. He wants all the power. I'm an advocate for dice rolling character creation, but that's rediculous. It's even worse than pre3E since even though 3d6 in order was the official rule, you got to pick your class after your roll. There was a reason pre3E 4d6 drop lowest was a common house rule; RAW dice rolling at the time sucked. 3d6 straight still does.



4d6, reroll 1s, ditch lowest. in all but one campaign where we used it, that was done in three sets of six(so three full sets) and then either you picked the one you liked most, or the DM picked one, depending on various factors, including the mood of the DM. :P

It worked great. We always had room to try wierd builds that otherwise would have been too MAD to live, and no one felt gipped. My bard/rogue/ranger was pretty fun.

some houserules I've seen/used:
"half-casters" use their character level, rather than class level, to determine caster level when calculating DCs and such, but for the purposes of gaining new spells.

EDIT: only the spells from their half-caster class or classes counted for this. various multi-class combos of bard, ranger, pally(not that anyone ever played one), monk and interestingly, rogue, popped up once this was implimented.

multi-classing penalties don't exist. forget them.

class alignment restrictions don't exist. forget them.

there were some reworks of LA races to get rid of their level adjustments. The masterpiece of this was the centaur, who ended up only having a level adjustment of one, while still capturing the essence of the race. we had a few centaur pcs after that, as well as satyrs and dryads.
heh...oh man...there was this one dryad pc...nevermind. I'll shut up.

no rolling hit dice. we either maxed, and fought harder enemies, or used a system that calculated an average number of hit points per level. (in star wars RCR, we used max vit, and then faced greuling encounters that threatened to tap us out of resources anyway.)

wands and scrolls were kept competitive, but not quite as good as, actual caster spells. In other words, they were useful, but couldn't outshine a real caster. there was also a lot of custom magic equipment made for pure non magic people. things like a percentage chance of a fear effect against an enemy that hits the wearer and deals damage.

in late game, there were homebrew feats that allowed various class features to have their range extended, the most obvious example being sneak attacks.

there were plenty of others, many of which were geared towards allowing non casters to compete with well made, well played casters.
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More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
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