Dungeon Master Assistance

A place to share thoughts and ideas about Dungeons and Dragons

D&D 5E – My House Rules


House Rules

Below are the house rules I use when I run a 5th Edition D&D game.

1) Inspiration
You can wait until the d20 is cast to decide if you’re going to use your inspiration to roll the second die to get advantage.

2) Initiative Order
On the first round only – On your turn you can change your initiative to one less than another character which has a lower initiative.
Clarification: This will change your initiative to that lower number for the rest of the encounter.

3) Passive Perception
I very seldom use it.
Clarification: If it is something you would probably notice, you notice it. If it is something you might not notice, I have you make a Perception check.

4) Changing weapons
Attacking with a weapon includes drawing the weapon.
Clarification: If you have a weapon in your hand and want to change to a different weapon you can use “interact with one object” to sheath the weapon you are holding and then draw and attack with a different weapon.

5) Secret Doors
If you are searching for a secret door and there is one, you will automatically find it.
Clarification: This also means that if there is some kind of trap there, you will activate it. You have to say where and how you are searching. Saying “I am always searching for secret doors” is not allowed. Sometimes I may require you to make an investigation check to determine how to open it.

6) Invisible Creatures
If a creature can’t be detected by using any of your senses then you can only guess at its location.
Clarification: If you can notice some clue as to its location you must succeed in a Perception check to locate it. You can make this check with advantage if you use the Search action. If it has taken the Hide action your Perception check will be against its Stealth check.

7) Attacking unseen creature
You only get advantage on attack against a creature that can’t see you if you can see the creature.

8) Magic Spells – Components
V – Verbal: It must be spoken in a clear voice that could normally be heard 20 feet away. It cannot be whispered.
S – Somatic: You cannot cast a spell that requires a somatic component if your hands are bound or tied together.
M – Material: 1) A spellcasting focus must be presented boldly. 2) It is assumed that you stocked up on material components with no listed value during your downtime. 3) For a material component with a listed value under 100gp you can assume that your character acquired it during your down time and you can simply deduct its value from your character sheet at the time you cast the spell. 4) For more valuable components you must have procured the item and have it listed on your character sheet.

9) Magic Spells – Area of Effect
A creature is considered to be in the area of effect if the center of the square it occupies is wholly inside the defined area.
Clarification: You can aim your AoE any way you want, but if it just touches the center the creature’s square it is unaffected. So if a 5 ft. wide “line” AoE runs horizontally or vertically between two 5 ft. squares, it won’t effect creatures on either side.

—LINKS TO MY OTHER HOUSE RULES—
1) Falling
2) Falling Times & Distance
3) Falling Objects
4) Detecting & Identifying Magic
5) Underwater
6) Playing on a 1″=10′ Grid
7) Learning New Languages

7 responses to “D&D 5E – My House Rules

  1. Anonymous June 23, 2021 at 11:15 am

    So great to see your posts again. Any reason for the hiatus?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Miztres June 29, 2021 at 6:53 pm

    Great timing. I’m running at my library to introduce staff to Dungeons and Dragons with the outcome that some will eventually go on to be DMs and run games for their communities (or at least host them with decent knowledge of what is required).

    Do you and your community have any tips for me on what this group of event planners and program presenters need to know about the game?

    And for those who are more adventurous, what are the essential skills of a DM?

    Like

  3. Jason July 2, 2021 at 12:16 am

    I always enjoyed reading your house rules — they often make me consider the situations/experience that caused the ruling and give me something to chew on. Thanks!

    Like

    • Ronny July 2, 2021 at 9:26 am

      That’s great. I never expected anyone to play the same way that I do, but if it can get anyone to THINK it’s all worth it.
      May all your rolls be natural 20s.

      Like

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