House Rules

House Rules

5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons: Revision 3.1 (10/17/2017)

Methods and Reasoning

The following house rules are the culmination of years of playing and experience. I feel that these changes make for a more enjoyable and rewarding play experience. In general, I’ve opted to change the rules in favor of the players and a playstyle that rewards heroism, daring action, and fun over gritty realism.

All the rules in this document override those printed in the rulebooks. I’ve done my best to organize and notate the changes in a manner that makes them easy to find.

Rules as Written versus Rules as Intended

I am very much a rules as intended DM and feel that fun trumps a narrow interpretation of the rules every time. No rules is ever written 100% in stone, and my house rules are no different. My house rules are, and should be, a living document: they will change with time as I discover refinements to the system. That’s why I include a revision number in this document.

Character Changes

Class Changes

Class Feature Changes

The following class features have been changed for all classes.

Hit Points

Hit Points at 1st Level: Instead of gaining additional hit points equal to your Constitution modifier, you instead gain additional hit points equal to your Constitution score.

Hit Points at Higher Levels: Instead of rolling, you gain the maximum value of your hit die.

Saving Throws

You add half your proficiency bonus, rounded down, to any save you make that doesn’t already include your proficiency bonus.

Barbarian

The following class features have been modified.

Skills: Choose three from Animal Handling, Athletics, Intimidation, Nature, Perception, and Survival.

The following class features have been added to this class.

Fighting Style

At 2nd level, you adopt a style of fighting as your specialty. Choose one of the following options: Defense, Dueling, Great Weapon Fighting, or Two-Weapon Fighting.

Bard

The following class features have been modified.

Skills: Performance. Choose three additional skills.

Superior Inspiration

At 20th level, when you roll initiative and have no uses of Bardic Inspiration left, you grain all uses.

College of Valor

The following class features have been modified.

Bonus Proficiencies

When you join the College of Valor at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with medium armor, shield, and martial weapons. If you're proficient with a simple or martial melee weapon, you can use it as a spellcasting focus for your bard spells.

Battle Magic

At 14th level, you have mastered the art of weaving spellcasting and weapon use into a single harmonious act. When you use your action to attack, you can cast a bard spell as a bonus action.

Cleric

The following class features have been modified.

Skills: Religion. Choose two from Arcana, History, Insight, Medicine, Persuasion, and Perception.

Replace all instances of the Divine Strike and Potent Spellcasting domain featurse with the following feature.

Battle Blessing

Starting at 8th level, you add your Wisdom modifier to the damage of your melee weapon attacks and to the damage you deal with any cleric cantrip.

Change the Divine Intervention feature to the following.

Divine Intervention

Beginning at 10th level, you can call on your deity to provide extra potency to your spells. When you cast a cleric spell, choose one of the following options.

  • When you would normally roll one more dice when casting a spell, you instead use the highest number possible for each die for this casting.
  • When you cast a spell that forces a creature to make a saving throw to resist its effects, one target of the spell has disadvantage on its first saving throw made against the spell for this casting.
  • When you cast a spell that has a casting time of 1 action, you change the casting time to 1 bonus action for this casting.

Once you use Divine Intervention, you can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.

              At 20th level, you regain the use of this feature when you finish a short or a long rest.

The following class feature has been added.

Healing Prayer

Starting at 2nd level, you learn how to channel divine power to aid the recovery of you and your allies. If you are any friendly creatures can hear your prayer regain hit points at the end of the short rest by spending one or more Hit Dice, each of those creatures use the highest number possible for each Hit Die instead of rolling.

Druid

The following class features have been modified.

Skills: Nature. Choose two from Arcana, Animal Handling, Insight, Medicine, Perception, Religion, and Survival.

Wild Shape

While you are transformed, the following rules apply.

  • Your game statistics are replaced by the statistics of the beast, but you retain your alignment, personality, and Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. You also retain all of your skill and saving throw proficiencies, in addition to gaining those of the creature. If the creature has the same proficiency as you and the bonus in its stat block is higher than yours, use the creature's bonus instead of yours. If the creature has any legendary or lair actions, you can't use them.
  • You may add your Proficiency Bonus to the AC of the beast.
  • When you transform, you retain your hit points and Hit Dice, but gain a number of temporary hit points equal to your Druid level x 2. When you revert to your normal form, you lose any temporary hit points you have remaining.
  • You can't cast spells, and your ability to speak or take any action that requires hands is limited to the capabilities of your beast form. Transforming doesn't break your concentration on a spell you've already cast, however, or prevent you from taking actions that are part of a spell, such as call lightning, that you've already cast.
  • You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them if the new form is physically capable of doing so. However, you can't use any of your special senses, such as darkvision, unless your new form also has that sense.
  • You choose whether your equipment falls to the ground in your space, merges into your new form, or is worn by it. Worn equipment functions as normal, but the DM decides whether it is practical for the new form to wear a piece of equipment, based on the creature's shape and size. Your equipment doesn't change size or shape to match the new form, and any equipment that the new form can't wear must either fall to the ground or merge with it. Equipment that merges with the form has no effect until you leave the form.

Circle of the Moon

The following class features have been modified.

Combat Wild Shape

You gain the ability to use Wild Shape on your turn as a bonus action, rather than as an action.

    Additionally, while you are transformed by Wild Shape, you can use a bonus action to expend one spell slot to regain 1d8 hit points per level of the spell slot expended. You also deal extra damage with your melee and ranged attacks while transformed. The extra damage is equal to your Proficiency Bonus.

Fighter

The following class features have been modified.

Skills: Choose three from Acrobatics, Animal Handling, Athletics, History, Insight, Intimidation, Perception, and Survival.

Fighting Style

The following fighting styles have been modified. This change also applies to any other class that uses these fighting styles.

Protection

When you are wielding a shield, you grant half cover to all allied creatures within 5 feet of you. As a bonus action, you can grant one allied creature within 5 feet of you three quarters cover until the start of your next turn.

Two-Weapon Fighting

When you take the attack action, if you are wielding a light weapon in one hand, you may make an attack with a different light weapon in your other hand. You don’t add your ability modifier to this damage of this attack, unless you spend you bonus action to do so.

Action Surge

Add the following sentence at the end of the second paragraph: You cannot use the action granted by Action Surge to cast a spell.

Champion

The following class feature has been modified.

Remarkable Athlete

Starting at 7th level, you can add half your proficiency bonus (round up) to any Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution check you make.

              In addition, when you make a running long jump, the distance youc an cover increased by a number of feet equal to your Strength modifier.

Eldritch Knight

The following class features have been modified.

War Magic

Beginning at 7th level, when you use your action to attack, you can cast a cantrip as a bonus action.

Improved War Magic

Beginning at 18th level, when you use your action to attack, you can cast a spell as a bonus action.

Monk

The following class feature has been modified.

Skills: Choose three from Acrobatics, Athletics, History, Insight, Medicine, Perception, Performance, Religion, and Stealth

Way of the Four Elements

We will be using the revised Way of the Four Elements, instead of the version printed in the book.

Paladin

The following class feature has been modified.

Skills: Religion. Choose two from Athletics, History, Insight, Intimidation, Medicine, Perception, and Persuasion.

The following class feature has been added.

Cantrips

When you reach 2nd level, you learn two cantrips of your choice from the cleric spell list. You learn an additional cleric cantrip of your choice at 8th level.

Ranger

We will be using the Revised Ranger.

The following class features have been modified.

Skills: Choose four from Animal Handling, Athletics, Insight, Investigation, Medicine, Nature, Perception, Stealth, and Survival.

Spells Known of 1st Level and Higher

You know a number of spells equal to your Wisdom modifier + half your ranger level, rounded down (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots. Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the ranger spells you know and replace it with another spell from the ranger spell list, which also must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

The following class feature has been added.

Cantrips

When you reach 2nd level, you learn two cantrips of your choice from the druid spell list. You learn an additional druid cantrip of your choice at 8th level.

Rogue

The following class features have been modified.

Skills: Choose five from Acrobatics, Athletics, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Investigation, Perception, Performance. Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth.

Slippery Mind

By 15th level, you have acquired greater mental strength. You gain proficiency in Wisdom saving throws. If you already have proficiency in Wisdom saving throws, you instead gain advantage on Wisdom saving throws against enchantment spells and effects.

Sorcerer

The following class features have been modified.

Skills: Choose three from Arcana, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Perception, Persuasion, and Religion.

Sorcerous Restoration

At 20th level, you learn how to reclaim much of your inner power. Once per day, when you finish a short rest, you regain 10 sorcery points.

Metamagic

At 3rd level, you gain the ability to twist your spells to suit your needs. You gain two of the following Metamagic options of your choice. You gain another one at 7th, 10th, and 15th level.

You can use only one Metamagic option on a spell when you cast it, unless otherwise noted.

The following Metamagic options have been added.

Accurate Spell

When you make an attack roll for a spell, you can spend 1 sorcery point to reroll the attack die. You can take either result.

Maximized Spell

When you cast a spell, you can spend a number of sorcery points to deal maximum damage with that spell. The number of sorcery points you must spend is equal to the spell's level, or 1 sorcery point for a cantrip.

Persistent Spell

When you would lose concentration on your spell, you can spend 1 sorcery point as an interrupt to maintain concentration on that spell.

The following class features have been added.

Bloodline Spells

Beginning at 3rd level, you learn additional spells that are the true expression of your bloodline. You learn an additional number of Sorcerer spells equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum 1). Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots. If you later increase your Charisma modifier, you learn additional spells commensurate with the increase. These are your bloodline spells.

              Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of your soul spells and replace it with another spell from the sorcerer spell list, which also must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

              You can manipulate your bloodline spells more easily than your normal spells. The sorcery point cost to use Metamagic on a bloodline spell is reduced by 1, to a minimum of 1 sorcery point. In addition, you may use two Metamagic options on a bloodline spell, instead of one.

Font of Power

At 5th level, you learn how to reclaim some of your spent power. When you finish a short rest, you regain 2 sorcery points. This increase to 3 sorcery points at 10th level, and 4 sorcery points at 15th level.

Draconic Bloodline

The following class features have been modified.

Dragon Ancestor

Change the Damage Type for the Blue and Bronze dragons to Lightning and Thunder.

Elemental Affinity

Starting at 6th level, when you cast a spell that deals damage of the type associated with your draconic ancestry, you can add your Charisma modifier to one damage roll of that spell. You also gain resistance to that damage type and can spend 1 sorcery point to gain immunity to that damage type for 1 hour.

Wild Magic

The following class features has been modified.

Tides of Chaos

Starting at 1st level, you can manipulate the forces of chance and chaos to gain advantage on one attack roll, ability check, or saving throw. Once you do so, you must finish a short rest before you can use this feature again.

    Any time before you regain the use of this feature, the DM can have you roll on the Wild Magic Surge table immediately after you cast a sorcerer spell of 1st level or higher. You then regain the use of this feature.

Warlock

The following class feature has been modified.

Skills: Choose three from Arcana, Deception, History, Intimidation, Investigation, Nature, Perception, Persuasion, and Religion.

Wizard

The following class feature has been modified.

Skills: Choose three from Arcana, History, Insight, Investigation, Medicine, Perception, and Religion.

The following class feature has been added.

Arcane Familiar

Staring at 1st level, you can attract the service of a small creature to serve you as a familiar. You learn the find familiar spell and can cast it as a ritual, ignoring the material components.

Game Rules Changes

New Actions

The following actions have been added to the game.

Charge

When you use your action to Dash, you can choose to Charge. If you do so, you can make one melee attack at the end of your Dash action as a bonus action. This attack has disadvantage.

Climb Onto a Bigger Creature

If one creature wants to jump onto another creature, it can do so by grappling. A Small or Medium creature has little chance of making a successful grapple against a Huge or Gargantuan creature, however, unless magic has granted the grappler supernatural might. As an alternative, a suitably large opponent can be treated as terrain for the purpose of jumping onto its back or clinging to a limb. After making any ability checks necessary to get into position and onto the larger creature, the smaller creature uses its action to make a Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check contested by the target's Dexterity (Acrobatics) check. If it wins the contest, the smaller creature successfully moves into the target creature's space and clings to its body. While in the target's space, the smaller creature moves with the target and has advantage on attack rolls against it.

The smaller creature can move around within the larger creature's space, treating the space as difficult terrain. The larger creature's ability to attack the smaller creature depends on the smaller creature's location, and is left to your discretion. The larger creature can dislodge the smaller creature as an action- knocking it off, scraping it against a wall, or grabbing and throwing it- by making a Strength (Athletics) check contested by the smaller creature's Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check. The smaller creature chooses which ability to use.

Disarm

A creature can use a weapon attack to knock a weapon or another item from a target’s grasp. The attack makes an attack roll contested by the target’s Strength (Athletics) check or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check. If the attacker wins the contest, the attack causes no damage or other ill effect, but the defender drops the item.

The attacker has disadvantage on its attack roll if the target is holding the item with two or more hands. The target has advantage on its ability check if it is larger than the attacking creature, or disadvantage if it is smaller.

Healing Surge

As a bonus action, a character can use a healing surge and spend up to half his or her Hit Dice. For each Hit Dice spent in this way, the player rolls the die and adds the character’s Constitution modifier. The character regains hit points equal to the total. The player can decide to spend an additional Hit Die after each roll. A character who uses a healing surge can’t do so again until he or she finished a short or long rest.

Mark

When a creature makes a melee attack, it can also mark its target. Until the end of the attacker’s next turn, any opportunity attack it makes against the marked target has advantage. The opportunity attack doesn’t expend the attacker’s reaction, but the attack can’t make the attack if anything, such as the incapacitated condition, is preventing it from taking reactions. In addition, the marked target has disadvantage to hit anyone other than the creature that marked it.

Overrun

When a creature tries to move through a hostile creature's space, the mover can try to force its way through by overrunning the hostile creature. As an action or a bonus action, the mover makes a Strength (Athletics) check contested by the hostile creature's Strength (Athletics) check. The creature attempting the overrun has advantage on this check if it is larger than the hostile creature, or disadvantage if it is smaller. If the mover wins the contest, it can move through the hostile creature's space once this turn.

Shove Aside

With this option, a creature uses the special shove attack from the Player's Handbook to force a target to the side, rather than away. The attacker has disadvantage on its Strength (Athletics) check when it does so. If that check is successful, the attacker moves the target 5 feet to a different space within its reach.

Tumble

A creature can try to tumble through a hostile creature's space, ducking and weaving past the opponent. As an action or a bonus action, the tumbler makes a Dexterity (Acrobatics) check contested by the hostile creature's Dexterity (Acrobatics) check. If the tumbler wins the contest, it can move through the hostile creature's space once this turn.

Healing

The following new actions are available to any character who has proficiency in the Medicine skill. If the character also has the Healer feat, he can perform the following actions as a bonus action, instead of an action.

Bind Wounds

You can attempt to bind the wounds of the injured during a short rest. Doing so requires a successful DC 15 Wisdom (Medicine) check when a creature spends Hit Dice during a short rest. If the check is successful, the treated creature use the highest number possible for each Hit Die instead of rolling.

Treat Affliction

You can aid another creature in recovering from a poison or disease. If you do so, you can spend an action to make a Wisdom (Medicine) check with a difficulty equal to the save DC of the poison or disease. If successful, the creature can immediately make another Saving Throw against the poison or disease, at the original difficulty.

House Rules

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