Press "Enter" to skip to content

House Rules – Ep172

We’re not talking about the shit your dad used to say when you sassed him. We’re talking about rules that have been implemented in games, or omitted, by the players and GMs.

If you have some input on this, leave a comment here, via email or on our Facebook page.

Cast – Eric, Dan, Mike and Shawn

Items Mentioned:
Dungeons & Dragons, Warhammer 40k, Dungeon Crawl Classics, HERO System, GURPS, Mutants & Masterminds, Dungeon World, Pathfinder, Shadowrun, City of Heroes, Savage Worlds, Hackmaster, Conan, Star Wars: Edge of the Empire


  1. Rick
    Rick July 29, 2014

    A very simple house rule that I didn’t know was a house rule at the time had to do with the grapple rule. Grappling is really a do or don’t thing. My group used percentile dice. Your strength vs. the opponents strength. If yours is higher then you have a better chance of sucsess. I.E. if you have a 13 and your opponent has a 15 you would have a 95% chance to fail. He’s stronger so it’s harder. Enchantments didn’t count because they were not for grappling. They were for brute strength feats.
    Other house rules were if you bribed the GM for something you would get it, but you would also face death to keep it. I bribed the GM to jump 15 levels above everyone and we then had to deal with a green dragon as punishment.

  2. Patrick
    Patrick August 4, 2014

    Hi guys, thought I would share what I used back in the day…Summer of 2003+

    Here is listed some house rules that have mainly been discussed and agreed to as a whole. Any disagreement is to be addressed to the GM. It will be discussed as a group, with the final decision being made by the GM. These rules are not hard and fast, but unless otherwise challenged, are to be maintained.

    1. The attack roll of a 0ne (1) on a d20 (natural one) is always a miss. A second roll is then done to determine a fumble or a miss. If the second roll is a hitting score, then a miss is called, BUT if the second roll is another miss score, then a fumble occurs and a Fumble Chart is referred to.

    2. The attack roll of a Twenty (20) on a d20 (natural twenty) is always a hit. A second roll is then done to determine a critical hit or a normal hit. If the second roll is a hitting score, then a “critical hit” is called (Critical Hit Table referred), BUT if the second roll is a miss score, then normal damage is inflicted.

    3. The “Critical Damage” multiplier is applied to additional die rolls as per modifier to determine the critical damage done.

    Example: “critical damage” is “times” three (3), the damage is inflicted with a dagger (1d4 damage). The character has a +1 modifier for strength, so the damage would be +3 for strength, plus three additional 1d4 die rolls to determine the critical damaged inflicted.

    4. Initiative Rolls are as per 3Ed D&D rules, page 120 Player’s Handbook.

    5. Death of a player character is measured against their Constitution Attribute Score, NOT the minus 10 rating in the core rules.

    Example: Paul’s warrior PC has an 18 Constitution, his PC can go to “minus 18” before his PC dies, where as Samantha’s wizard PC has an 8 Constitution, her PC can go to “minus 8” before her PC dies.

    Note: Resurrections are a rare, wonderful, and expensive process. Do not be careless with your PC’s life.

    6. If a PC takes 50% or more to their damage to their full HP score, a Fortitude Save is required. A passing score has no effect; a failed score results in the PC being stunned for 1 round (one combat round if in combat or for one full round otherwise).

    7. It is the player’s responsibility to record and maintain any damaged received to their armour. See attachment on Armour Point System.

    8. The introduction of any new/additional Prestige Classes will be scrutinized for game balance by the group with final approval of its “introduction” to the game by the GM.

    9. Maximum hit points are awarded for “First Level Characters” only. Second level characters roll for hit points but will receive no less than half the hit die score. Third level and beyond, normal die rolling for hp.

    10. For Character Attribute rolls, 5d6 are rolled; the 3 highest die added and place to the desired attribute (player’s choice). The lowest attribute score may be re-rolled BUT at GM’s discretion. Other methods of determining PC attributes may be utilized prior to a campaign, GM’s prerogative.

    11. If there is a rule(s) dispute, the core rules will be referred to first and dependent upon the problem/ circumstance the GM will make the final approval/acceptance, after all arguments are heard. Not stating that the rules will be ignored, but rules are guidelines, with the structure of application as determined/used by the Game Master in a fair, fun and logical manner. If you have a disagreement or problem, please talk to the GM about it after the game. Grumbling or complaining about it to someone else only breeds grievance and animosity and does not address the issue.

    12. No “rules lawyers” please. The only book players are requested to have at the game table is the Player’s Handbook. If there is a “gross” miss-carriage of rules by the GM, address it in a manner as to not interrupt the game play unless it is absolutely necessary at the moment. Note the GM will be open to interpretation and a kind reminder to rules at the table.

    13. Monsters/creatures/NPC encounters… do not bother presuming they are as listed from any of the game book materials. Call it GM’s prerogative  .

    14. No Evil alignment Player Characters (or players  ) in the games. If you can’t play any other way, please do not attend (more on alignment in paragraph 19).

    15. Players must have a copy of their characters available to the GM for his/her records. In your absence these character sheets will be used and referred to, so please ensure they are kept relatively up-to-date.

    16. In a Players absents, their character will be treated as an NPC run either by the GM or a delegated Player. They will only be entitled to one half of the treasure accrued and one half of experience awarded for the missed game session.

    17. Spells/Spell casting. Spell using PC’s who require the use of Spell components start off with a pouch of Spell Components allowing 10 castings of listed spells. Players must maintain a record of how many times a spell has been cast. If the components are common enough, they may replenish the loss. Spell Component pouches are purchased/acquired from any Town/City apothecary, alchemist, or mage specialist or at General Stores providing such. Spell casting requiring verbal cantations are to be spoken out loud at the game table in a language not of the Standard English. Latin, Cantonese, German, Spanish, Norwegian, etc…, is sought. This must remain consistent to the spell and a copy of this is to be provided to the GM.

    Note: some regions can regard “magic” with distain.

    18. There will be no loss of experience for creation of scrolls/potions, etc…, however time and costs associated with the creation will be longer/greater.

    19. Alignment. Player’s are asked to choose a listed (non-evil) alignment for their PC’s which they believe would best suit the PC. It is encouraged that Players maintain a consistency with their PC’s alignment actions and maintain ethical (right and wrong) ideals. Classes which are guided by alignment, like the Paladin, will be monitored and any serious infraction may mean the loss of the class (as per core rules with GM temperament). Maintain a sense of what is acceptable behavior to the type of society PC’s may be interacting with or the situation they may be confronted with. Common sense will prevail and alignment will not be too strictly adhered to, however it is a mitigating factor.

    20. Be kind & patient with the GM and with your gaming peers. Maintain a sense of integrity and honesty. Everyone is at the table as a group for the group. Maintain best interests for the group and try and resolve any PC misgivings fairly. A group spokesperson should be delegated to speak for the group on decisions that affect everyone.

    21. Dice. Rolls must be made on the table and stay on the table to be counted. Rolls are only counted when it is the time for the roll. A “cocked” die, may be re-rolled if a score can not be properly determined. No throwing of dice…especially at the GM! 

  3. Charger347
    Charger347 August 17, 2016

    Here’s an idea for a house rule to add onto the gamerstable house rule of 3d6 down the line. I sent this idea to Eric about a year ago and he loved it, so hopefully you all like it too.

    You roll 3D6 and reroll all 1’s with a +1 bonus to the next roll. So if the original roll was 2+2+1=5, then the reroll of the 1 was a 3, then the new total is 2+2+1+3=8. This also makes the lowest possible stat achievable 2+2+2= 6 instead of 1+1+1= 3.

    Now if you want, you can make it more interesting by making any additional 1’s stackable. So let’s assume that instead of a 3 on the first reroll you defied odds and got another 1, defied odds again by getting another 1, and finally rolled a 3, so 2+2+1+1+1+3=10. So now your new total is now a 10 instead of the original 5.

    Now to make the stackable 1’s not ridiculous, I would put the stipulation that the stackable 1’s can’t add up to more than 18 with the dice total. So if you rolled 6+6+1+1+6, your stat would still only be 18 even though it actually adds up to 20. This prevents getting too high of stats in a stat system that is indented to keep your stats low. Thus your character is prevented from having game breaking bad stats without also having game breaking good stats.

    I hope you guys like the idea and I hope it saves somebody from getting a 3 in any stat regardless what type of character you play.

Leave a Reply