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House Rules for D&D 4e
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Thread: House Rules for D&D 4e

  1. #1
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    House Rules for D&D 4e

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    Anyone have any?

    Here are mine so far:

    I will award experience points at extended rests and story appropriate times.

    Ability scores will be generated using Methods 1 or 2 from the PHB.

    Gnomes are allowed as a playable race.

    At first level if you choose a multiclass feat you may select your Daily Powers from both classes that you have chosen.

    Also there is no limit to the number of multiclass feats you can choose as long as the character meets all the necessary prereqs., meaning you can multiclass into however many classes you wish. But the choice to select Daily Powers only applies at first level.

    Anyone have any others so far?
    "I'm afraid it is you who are mistaken. About a great, many things."

    "It is not the rules that make or break a game, it's the GM and the players."


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    I allowed any of the monster races.

    For my campaign:
    http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/935

    I gave some additional powers for the group when they took an officer position.

    Since they are still 1st level I have yet to see what else needs to be changed.

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    I'm trying to stay houserule-free, but I'm close to breaking that by saying that minions only take damage from attacks that overcome their defenses. Otherwise there is secondary or incidental damage that can kill them automatically (Rod of Reaving, Lightning or Thunder weapon, Flaming Sphere, etc.)

    I allowed all the monster races within reason (no Drow), and invented a new weapon:

    Cutlass: d6, +2 prof, off-hand, high crit, light blade (just a shortsword that trades +1 prof for high crit).

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    We have a rule for critfails on a natural 1. Melee attacks usually grant combat advantage. Ranged attacks....all I can say is if I get one more of the Ranger's arrows in my ass, I'm blasting him.
    "You know spies gamers, a bunch of *****y little girls." - Sam Axe

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    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    Pretty much everything listed so far i have implemented. Nothing new for me though for i have always instituted many houserules... depending on the theme of the game. I love to spice the rules for added flavor.

    I do love gnomes and anyone who knows me knows this and also, i have never run a game without crit hits and failures. I love the specificity of karmic occurrences(good or bad) and a player/s being tested accordingly.

    Drow? Love them and always will. That said, a party will typically only come across them at high levels and under extremely rare situations, for they fall into the cool, mysterious and dangerous group along with Dragons, MindFlayers, et al. Even if a monster isnt in the MM, if i like that monster and it fits the theme, i'll just GM one up for the game. Less is more with these monsters... yes i know, understatement of the year.

    I've always made arrows more dangerous in all editions but seems, to me anyway... so far, that they are dangerous enough as is. Jury is still out on this one.

    Traps: Excellent and most probably even more dangerous than any monster encounter in 4.0. Now, someone is speaking my language for i love that!

    Thoth-Amon
    Last edited by Arch Lich Thoth-Amon; 09-03-2008 at 04:28 PM.

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    Not many, but the house rule we use the most is a modification to flanking.

    Our rule stats that you can flank an enemy with a ranged weapon as long as you are within 1 square (5 feet) of the enemy and directly across from an ally.

    Just something we carried over from 3.5 that we were doing.

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    The only house rules my group has adopted for fourth edition so far is for critical failures, basically as it was suggested in the DMG. We have ad hoc'd some rules where there were none, such as determining what level of concealment tall grass might provide, and to what range, etc. But, that's about the only customization we've done so far.
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    I have yet to play, but reading through the rules I've identified a few thing I might alter eventually.

    What I was thinking so far...

    Falling damage, falling causes no damage, it is of course the landing that is the problem. Will probably adjust damage stepwise +/- for ground hardness / softness.

    HP surges, just don't know how I'm gonna like this. I've thought about assigning HP's to the following hit locations: Head (Half), Chest (Full), L. Arm (Half), R. Arm (Half), L. Leg (Half), R. Leg (Half). Then subtracting five from the characters healing surges and then multiplying what's left by two and adding that into their HP. In order to keep combat from bogging down with hit location rolls I thought I would just let the players subtract damage however they wanted. With the stipulation that all damage from one attack goes to one hit location. Any damage that puts an area below zero means death or incapacitation and permanent damage to that area. In the case of a limb that takes damage beyond zero, that damage carries over to the chest (main HP). In addition, the character also takes 1d6 damage from blood loss to the chest (main HP) until he dies or receives medical aid

    anyway, just a thought

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    Quote Originally Posted by kirksmithicus View Post
    HP surges, just don't know how I'm gonna like this. I've thought about assigning HP's to the following hit locations: Head (Half), Chest (Full), L. Arm (Half), R. Arm (Half), L. Leg (Half), R. Leg (Half).
    Mearls was discussing an optional lasting injury system that might make it into DMG2- it would follow the same game mechanic as disease and poison-

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valdar View Post
    Mearls was discussing an optional lasting injury system that might make it into DMG2- it would follow the same game mechanic as disease and poison-
    I'd like to see that when he's done.


    I was reading through the players manual again tonight and noticed that punch does 1d4 and so does a dagger, and improvised weapons. So why bother with either of the latter, except for the prof. bonus with the dagger?

    So I'll probably up the damage on improvised weapons damage to 1d6, and scale all other weapon damage up stepwise also.

    punch = 1d4, stout tankard to the head = 1d6, dagger = 1d6

    Thrown weapons will get a stepwise (or possibly two) damage rank up when thrown and normal listed damage when used as a melee weapon.

    dagger = 1d6, thrown = 1d8
    javelin = 1d8, thrown = 1d10

    The crossbow does less damage than a longbow......huh? Both weapons fire projectiles by means of stored energy, and as far as I know most crossbows have a greater pull than a long bow and heavier bolts.

    Increase crossbow and handbow damage x 2, thus making them ambush and first strike weapons to be feared (at least by first level characters anyway). The general weapon damage increase should put the short bow damage at 1d12 and longbow damage at 2d6. Which is fine with me because it just highlights the tactical advantages of each, utility in confined spaces and on horse back, versus range.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kirksmithicus View Post
    I'd like to see that when he's done.


    I was reading through the players manual again tonight and noticed that punch does 1d4 and so does a dagger, and improvised weapons. So why bother with either of the latter, except for the prof. bonus with the dagger?

    So I'll probably up the damage on improvised weapons damage to 1d6, and scale all other weapon damage up stepwise also.

    punch = 1d4, stout tankard to the head = 1d6, dagger = 1d6

    Thrown weapons will get a stepwise (or possibly two) damage rank up when thrown and normal listed damage when used as a melee weapon.

    dagger = 1d6, thrown = 1d8
    javelin = 1d8, thrown = 1d10
    I don't know that I would suggest amping up the dagger damage. The rogue in the party I DM for has hit for as high as 42 at level 3 with his dagger on a critical hit. The weapon can be quite powerful in the right hands.

    Improvised weapons doing 1d4 has worked out well so far, and in those cases where they were used I would add this or that depending on the weapon of choice. In one instance it was a barrel, where Strength was added to the roll. In another, it was a belaying pin from a ship's deck and that was a Dexterity thing. In both cases the damage was lower because it was not a weapon and the attacker was using it in a way other than intended. This meant that they could not put their full skill into the use of the item and there by were not as capable of doing more damage. In the case of the barrel it was filled with black powder, and the character crit with the throw, so after hitting the monster on the head for 7 damage, another character tossed a tourch and ignited the powder to make it a much large damage amount.

    Nothing wrong with changing them if you want, I just advise against it.

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    The DM in the game I play in houseruled that fighters do not get attacks against marked opponents when they use an attack of opportunity versus someone other than the fighter.
    "Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth." - JFK

    "If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all."
    - Noam Chomsky

  13. #13
    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    Quote Originally Posted by kirksmithicus View Post
    I have yet to play, but reading through the rules I've identified a few thing I might alter eventually.

    What I was thinking so far...

    Falling damage, falling causes no damage, it is of course the landing that is the problem. Will probably adjust damage stepwise +/- for ground hardness / softness.

    HP surges, just don't know how I'm gonna like this. I've thought about assigning HP's to the following hit locations: Head (Half), Chest (Full), L. Arm (Half), R. Arm (Half), L. Leg (Half), R. Leg (Half). Then subtracting five from the characters healing surges and then multiplying what's left by two and adding that into their HP. In order to keep combat from bogging down with hit location rolls I thought I would just let the players subtract damage however they wanted. With the stipulation that all damage from one attack goes to one hit location. Any damage that puts an area below zero means death or incapacitation and permanent damage to that area. In the case of a limb that takes damage beyond zero, that damage carries over to the chest (main HP). In addition, the character also takes 1d6 damage from blood loss to the chest (main HP) until he dies or receives medical aid

    anyway, just a thought
    Hit locations can be covered with crit hits and crit failures/fumbles. Now if you want to target certain areas specifically, i'd suggest adding a bit of difficulty. Just some ideas that are easy to impliment w/o slowing the game down. All this being said, if you do implement your idea, be sure to share with us on its success.

    Thoth-Amon
    Last edited by Arch Lich Thoth-Amon; 09-05-2008 at 10:52 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoth-Amon View Post
    I've always made arrows more dangerous in all editions but seems, to me anyway... so far, that they are dangerous enough as is. Jury is still out on this one.
    Arrows ramped up to full dangerousness would own the game. Oh heck any realism would own the game. I wouldn't change it.

    As to House Ruling the game so early in, I agree with the school that says play the thing as is before you start making changes. Complex systems (And D&D is a complex system) break in "interesting" ways when changed. Know the system, then consider changes.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

  15. #15
    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    Seems, that's what i was saying.

    Thoth-Amon

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