Here are my current 5e House Rules that players in my campaigns should know, and readers might be interested to see. Anything not covered here is run using the regular 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons rules.
These House Rules mostly deal with stuff I’ve found to be overpowered or ruin fun for other players. If on the other hand you have fallen in love with a feature, or subclass that sucks mechanically let me know, and can look into bringing it up to par.
Ignore any armour proficiencies granted by race.
Additionally, gnomes and dwarves now have a life expectancy of 200, and elves of 250 years.
Classes + Class Features
Some changes below… don’t forget to read the sections of Feats and Spells if you’re creating a character for one of my campaigns.
We will use the Hipster’s Remixed Table for the Circle of the Moon Wild Shape ability.
Large-sized creatures have advantage on saving throws against Trip Attack and Menacing Attack, while creatures with no legs, or four legs or more, have advantage on saves against Trip Attacks (and other abilities that would knock them prone). A creature that saves successfully against Menacing Attack is immune to this effect for 24 hours.
Enjoy three buffs mentioned here.
Only creatures that fail their saving throw by 5 are stunned. Otherwise they are Staggered (see bottom of this article). When you roll a 20 you deal a Stunning Strike without expending any ki.
Divine Smite is a spell, which you automatically have prepared as a paladin, and it reads like the other smite spells.
Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
Appealing to your god’s anger, you channel their divine wrath into your weapon. The first time you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack during this spell’s duration your attack deals an extra 2d8 radiant damage to the target. The damage increases by 1d8 if the target is an undead or a fiend.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the extra damage dealt by the attack increases by 1d8 for each slot above 1st level.
Enjoy these Cunning Tricks.
Your sneak attack damage dice are d4s when you do not have advantage on the attack roll.
You can apply a portent die to any d20 rolls you make, or to replace an attack roll made against you.
As 90% of multiclassing is about over-optimisation and/or breaking the game, any multiclassing decisions need to be pre-approved by the DM.
Using Ability Scores
Attack Rolls and Damage
Negative Strength modifiers apply to damage rolls, even on Dexterity-based attacks.
Lifting and Carrying
We will use the Variant Encumbrance rules on p.176 of the PH.
1. Rolling a 1
If a creature rolls a 1 on an attack roll they automatically miss and must roll on the Hipsters’ Critical Fumbles table. (Those who have the Extra Attack or Multi Attack feature can disregard 1s on all but the first attack of their action).
– Quick Fumble. If I don’t have the table to hand, a creature must make a DC 15 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check, falling prone on a failure. Their speed is 0 until the end of their turn. Creatures with four or more legs have advantage on the check.
2. Rolling a 20
If a creature rolls a 20 on an attack roll they automatically hit, scoring a critical hit. Additionally the target must roll on the Hipster’s Lingering Injuries Table.
– Quick Crit. If I don’t have the table to hand, the target is Staggered until the end of their turn.
Advantage and disadvantage may stack at the DM’s discretion. Alternatively double advantage may be presented by advantage with +2 modifier and triple advantage may be presented as advantage with a +5 modifier. Similarly, -2 and then -5 may be applied for increased levels of disadvantage.
4. Opportunity Attacks
When you make an opportunity attack against a creature, you provoke opportunity attacks from other creatures within melee range of you, which take place after your attack is resolved.
5. Two Weapon Fighting
You can use your Interact with an Object action instead of a Bonus Action, provided you target the same foe.
The grappling rules are replaced by the One D&D playtest rules, but with incremental disadvantage for grappling creatures larger than you (but no advantage to grappling smaller creatures).
The relevant new rules are copied below (slightly adapted)
While you are Grappled, you experience the following effects:
Speed 0. Your Speed is 0 and can’t change.
Attacks Affected. You have Disadvantage on attack rolls against any target other than the grappler.
Movable. The grappler can drag or carry you, but the grappler suffers the Slowed Condition while moving, unless you are Tiny or two or more Sizes smaller than the grappler.
Escape. While Grappled, you can make a Dexterity or Strength saving throw against the grapple’s escape DC at the end of each of your turns, ending the Condition on yourself on a success. The Condition also ends if the grappler is Incapacitated or if something moves you outside the grapple’s range without using your Speed.
While you are Slowed, you experience the following effects:
Limited Movement. You must spend 1 extra foot of movement for every foot you move using your Speed.
Attacks Affected. Attack rolls against you have Advantage.
Dexterity Saves Affected. You have Disadvantage on Dexterity saving throws.
An Unarmed Strike is a melee attack that involves you using your body to damage, grapple, or shove a target within your Reach. Your bonus to hit with an Unarmed Strike equals your Strength modifier plus your Proficiency Bonus. On a hit, your Unarmed Strike causes one of the following effects of your choice:
Damage. The target takes Bludgeoning Damage equal to 1 + your Strength modifier.
Grapple. The target is Grappled, and the grapple’s escape DC equals 8 + your Strength modifier + your Proficiency Bonus. Unarmed strikes that made to impose the Grappled condition require a free hand and are made with disadvantage if your target is one size larger than you, double disadvantage if it is two sizes larger etc.
Shove. You either push the target 5 feet away or knock the target Prone. This shove is possible only if the target is no more than one Size larger than you.
7. Dropping to 0 Hit Points
You gain one level of exhaustion when you drop to 0 hit points, and an additional level of exhaustion when you fail a death saving throw.
You may recover one level of exhaustion incurred in this way after a short rest, after which the normal rules apply for recovery.
8. Drinking a Potion in Combat
Drinking a potion in combat requires a free hand, the use of your ‘interact with an object’ free action to fetch the potion from your belt or pocket, and a bonus action to consume. Doing so provokes opportunity attacks from creatures within melee range.
The Hipster’s Armour Table (coming soon!) replaces that in the Player’s Handbook.
To help differentiate weapons, they get the following perks dependent of the type of damage they deal.
Bludgeoning. Impactful. When you miss by 1, you hit instead, doing half your usual damage.
Piercing. Deadly crits. When you score a critical hit, you also double your Str or Dex damage modifier (as well as the weapon’s damage dice, as normal).
Slashing. Vicious. When you roll a 19 or 20 to hit, you may add your proficiency bonus to the damage of the attack (For axes, glaives, greatswords, halberds and long swords wielded with two hands).
Slashing. Defense. When you are hit by a melee weapon attack that, you may use your reaction to add 1 to your AC, potentially causing that attack to miss (Sickle, longsword and scimitar). [This feature can be used in conjunction with Defensive Duellist feat, when using a scimitar. If you use a rapier you can choose to benefit from this feature, instead of the Deadly Crits feature].
Apart from that I’ll keep the Handy property for daggers from the Hipsters Weapon Table table (and enforce Unwieldy as well).
Below are the Hipster Remixes of certain annoying / overpowered feats, and a buff to Shieldmaster.
Great Weapon Master
You’ve learned to put the weight of a weapon to your advantage, letting its momentum empower your strikes. You gain the following benefits:
- When you attack with a heavy weapon, you score a critical hit on a 19 or 20.
- On your turn, when you score a critical hit with a melee weapon or reduce a creature to 0 hit points with one, you can make one melee weapon attack as a bonus action.
You have 3 luck points. Whenever you fail a d20 test, you can spend one luck point to roll a d6 and add the number rolled to the result, potentially turning narrow failure into success. You regain your expended luck points when you finish a long rest.
You gain the following benefits:
- When you take the Attack action and attack with a glaive, halberd, quarterstaff or spear, using two hands, you can use a bonus action to make a melee attack with the opposite end of the weapon. This attack uses the same ability modifier as the primary attack. The weapon’s damage die for this attack is d4, it has a reach of 5 feet and it deals bludgeoning damage.
- While you are wielding a glaive, halberd, pike, quarterstaff or spear, other creatures provoke an opportunity attack from you when they enter your reach.
- Your mastery of polearms means that when you wield a spear it has the reach property, and your weapon damage die increases from a d6 to a d8 (and from a d8 to a d10, when used two-handed).
You have mastered ranged weapons and can make shots that others find impossible. You gain the following benefits:
• Your ranged weapon attacks ignore half cover and three-quarters cover at short range.
• As a bonus action, you can concentrate on your next shot. If your next ranged attack is made at short range and you hit, you double your weapon’s damage die. If your next ranged attack is made at long range, then you negate the disadvantage on the attack roll.
You use shields not just for protection but also for offense. You gain the following benefits while you are wielding a shield:
- If you take the Attack action on your turn, you can use a bonus action to make a melee weapon attack (1d4 + Str modifier of bludgeoning damage) or try to shove a creature within 5 feet of you with your shield. If you move at least 10 feet in a straight line first, you can make this bonus action attack before taking the Attack action.
- If you aren’t incapacitated, you can add your shield’s AC bonus to any Dexterity saving throw you make against a spell or other harmful effect that targets only you.
- If you are subjected to an effect that allows you to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, you can use your reaction to take no damage if you succeed on the saving throw, interposing your shield between yourself and the source of the effect.
I would much rather play without familiars, but if you are desperate to have one can try this House Rule: When your familiar dies you take 1d4 + your level of psychic damage and you can’t summon another familiar for 1d4 days.
Shield spell works the same, but the trigger for using your reaction and casting it is being attacked (not being hit).
Like shield, the trigger is a creature about to make an attack roll, save etc. So you don’t get to see if they fail first anyway, you have to commit to using a spell slot. Also there is no bestowed advantage… the next person to make an attack roll against the spell’s target has advantage (like guiding bolt).
We’ll play a remix of my Remix, but brewing up on 1-3, and ready to be unleashed on a 4-6.
You can summon 1 x CR 2, 2 x CR 1, 3 x CR 0.5 and 4 x CR 0.25. And you know a number of animal forms equal to your level, to choose from. More info here.
Not sure what to do with this, but likely to create a house rule at some stage.
Works the same, but targets can retake the saving throw at the end of each of their turns.
Does 8d6 damage in a radius of 10 feet, but only 6d6 damage in a radius of 10 to 20 feet. Meanwhile, casters can make an Intelligence (Nature) check when casting fireball in an enclosed space to judge if they can cast it safely, or there will be blowback (the size of which will be ad libbed by the DM).
Targets wearing metal armour have disadvantage on their saving throw, and the AoE is 15 feet by 100 feet in water.
I would rather play without this spell.
Conjure Woodland Beings
See Conjure Animals, plus will probably make this a 5th level spell.