House Rules

House Rules

5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons: Revision 3 (09/16/2017)

 

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

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: You gain the maximum value for your hit dice at 2nd and 3rd level. Thereafter, you may take the listed book value or roll. When you roll for hit points, you may take the result of the roll or the average result, rounded down (3 for d6, 4 for d8, 5 for d10, and 6 for d12), whichever is higher.

Skill Proficiencies

At 1st level, you gain one additional skill proficiency. You gain another skill proficiency upon achieving 5th, 11th, and 17th level.

Ability Score Improvement

Ability score improvements are tied to your total character level, not your level in a certain class. All characters gain an ability score improvement at 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level. Fighters gain an additional ability score increase upon taking their 6th and 12th Fighter levels. Rogues gain an additional ability score increase upon taking their 10th Rogue level.

Feats

Feats will be used in this game. At 1st level, you gain a bonus selected from the following list: Athlete, Actor, Dungeon Delver, Healer, Inspiring Leader, Keen Mind, Linguist, Observant, or Ritual Caster. You may also select any Racial or Skill feat.

You gain an additional bonus Feat at 5th, 11th, and 17th level.

Saving Throws

You gain an additional saving throw proficiency of your choice at 5th, 11th, and 17th level. If you gain proficiency in a saving throw with which you’re already proficient, you instead gain an additional +2 bonus to that saving throw.

Class Changes

The following changes have been made to the classes. Entries marked with an “*” are modifications to existing features.

Barbarian

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, Two-Weapon Fighting

Tireless: At 3rd level, your stamina becomes legendary. When you finish a short rest, you reduce your exhaustion level by one.

Bard

College of Valor

Bonus Proficiencies*: Add the following paragraph to the bottom of the College of Valor Bonus Proficiencies:

If you're proficient with a simple or martial melee weapon, you can use it as a spellcasting focus for your bard spells.

Druid

Wild Shape*: Add the following bullet points:

  • When you transform, you may calculate your AC by adding your proficiency bonus to that of the beast.
  • When you transform, you may use either your own proficiency bonus or that of the beast, whichever is higher, for calculating attack, skill, and save bonuses.

Combat Wild Shape*: Add the following sentence to the end of the second paragraph:

You also deal extra damage with your melee and ranged attacks while transformed. The extra damage is equal to your proficiency bonus.

Fighter

Action Surge*: Add the following sentence at the end:

You cannot use action surge to cast a spell.

Champion

Remarkable Athlete*: Add the following sentence to the end of the first paragraph.

If you would make a Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution check that uses your proficiency bonus, you can add double your proficiency bonus instead.

Eldritch Knight

War Magic*: Change this feature to read:

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

Improved War Magic*: Change this feature to read:

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

Monk

Skills*: Change the skills line to read:

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

Way of the Four Elements

This way is poorly balanced. We will be using this revision: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1pdYIcfHauwNDM2My1XeWFYSDA/view

Ranger

The ranger is poorly balanced. We will be using this revision: https://media.wizards.com/2016/dnd/downloads/UA_RevisedRanger.pdf

Spells Known of 1st Level and Higher: Change the section to read:

Preparing Spells

You prepare the list of ranger spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from the ranger spell list. When you do so, choose a number of ranger 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.

Rogue

Slippery Mind*: Add the following sentence to the end of the paragraph:

If you already have proficiency in Wisdom saving throws, you instead gain advantage on Wisdom saving throws against enchantment spells and effects.

Sorcerer

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.

Flexible Casting*: Add the following entry to this feature.

Spell Knowledge: You can transform unexpended sorcery points into temporary knowledge of a spell. As a bonus action on your turn, select one of your known spells and spend a number of sorcery points equal to the spell level. You can temporarily replace that spell with a different sorcerer spell of the same level. This replacement lasts until you take a short rest or use this feature again, at which point you regain your original known spell.

Soul Spells: Beginning at 3rd level, you learn additional spells that are the true expression of your sorcerous power. 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 your Charisma modifier later increases, you learn an additional number of spells equal to the increase.

              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 soul spells more easily than your normal spells. The sorcery point cost to use Metamagic on a soul spell is reduced by 1, to a minimum of 0. If this would reduce the sorcery point cost to 0, you can use that Metamagic option on that spell every time you cast it, but still cannot use more than one Metamagic option on that spell, unless otherwise noted.

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.

Sorcerous Restoration*: Change this feature to read:

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

Draconic Bloodline

Dragon Ancestor*: Change the Damage Type for the Blue and Bronze dragons to Lightning and Thunder.

Elemental Affinity*: Change the feature to read:

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

Tides of Chaos*: Change the second sentence of the first paragraph to read:

Once you do so, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use this feature again.

Wizard

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.

Adventuring Options

DMG Options

I am using the following optional rules found in the Dungeon Masters Guide:

  • Healing Surges (page 266)

Healing

Bind Wounds

If you are proficient in the Medicine skill, you can attempt to bind the wounds of the injured during a short rest. Doing so requires a successful DC 15 Wisdom (Medicine) check and one minute of work. If successful, the creature heals 1d6+4 hit points, plus an additional number of hit points equal to its Hit Dice.  In addition, the creature regains the maximum value of its Hit Die when spending Hit Dice during this rest. A creature can only benefit from this action once per short rest.

Treat Ailment

If you are proficient in the Medicine skill, you can attempt to 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. The creature you treat can then use your Wisdom (Medicine) check in the place of the next saving throw they would make against the disease or poison.

Combat Options

DMG Options

I am using the following optional rules found in the Dungeon Master’s Guide:

  • Action Options (page 271): Climb Onto a Bigger Creature, Disarm, Mark, Overrun, Shove Aside, Tumble
  • Cleaving Through Creatures (272)
  • Morale (page 273)

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.

House Rules

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