17 January 2009

House Rules

This could also be subtitled as, "Big name publisher made hundreds of rules to control your little imaginative world, but you thought of stuff they didnt think of and made even more".

I read on a forum recently that it is a good idea to write down your house rules so they are not forgotten, misunderstood, or at least so there is a reference of them so the players don't think you're just making stuff up arbitrarily.

So, here's my top rules that follow me pretty much any d20 (or similar) system I play:

  1. Character Creation - When rolling ability scores, roll 4d6, dropping the lowest die, re-rolling all 1's. If you roll a set and you aren't happy with them, you can roll again, up to four times, but you can't go back to any previous set you've rolled. You have to use one of those five sets.
    Typically, this gives us heroic characters. Like... very heroic characters. If we compare our current Star Wars character's ability scores to the point buy system (which recommends 24-28 points), my party characters range more around 48-54. Are they overballanced? Maybe. But c'mon.. They're heroes. And no one likes to have an 8.
  2. Encumberance - This is kind of a tough one. I view it more like the video game equipment. You are not encumbered by things that you won't be using. Such as the seven suits of storm trooper armor that you plan on selling in the next shadowport. But all your gear that you wear and use on a regular basis should be accounted for.
  3. Ammo - You have enough ammo for just about any situation, unless you roll a 1 on your attack. (because rolling a 1 on attack is so confusing about what should happen, I like this rule. No worrying about if it blows up or shoots your buddy instead.) If you roll a 1 on the attack, roll 1d4. On a 1, you are out of ammo. Looks like you should have remembered to recharge that e-clip, or the e-clip failed. I might expand this to make 2-4 do other stuff on fails, but for now, I'm happy with that.
  4. Party bag of holding - I did this one to help with my wife's need to loot abso-freaking-lutely every baddie they kill. She sells the majority for 50%, keeps all grenades and explosives in this party bag that anyone can grab from. It's just for little stuff like grenades, that can be easily shared, without having to worry about who had them. I guess I can see the challenges that can be part of: "I throw the thermal detonator at the four clones and the badass bodyguard coming to capture me." "Nope, Sorry. Elzebub has them and she's on the other side of the station, " But i'm more of the mind that worrying about inventory takes away from the fun part. So, yeah. bag o' grenades ftw!
  5. Shooting into Melee - If you miss the shot by more than 5, random roll to decide who it hits. Damage is base weapon damage only, no bonuses of any kind. (level, sneak attack, etc) If you miss by more than 10 or less than 5, complete miss.

What are some of your house rules and where did they get their start?


Anonymous,  January 17, 2009 at 11:26 PM  

Am interesting set of house rules. I agree that people play RPGs as escapism, and why should you have to worry about the limitations of reality in games where you are the hero :)

Anonymous,  February 8, 2009 at 11:30 PM  

Well here's a couple of my house rules.

1) Character creation roll 4d6, drop the lowest, reroll 1's (once, if you roll a second 1 you keep it) for 3 sets of stats then pick the one you like best. Much the same reasons as you it genereates "Heroic" characters while retaining a degree of randomness (never liked point buy myself).

2) Roll 3d6 to determine a "luck" score. Mainly introduced this just so I'd have something to use when determining random events e.g. if a character wants to grab a nearby object (pitchfork, shovel, fallen branch) to use as a makeshift weapon a luck check (D20 + luck modifier) provides an easy way to determine whether something suitable is nearby and/or what quality its in. Also provides a bit of roleplaying flavour (the longest living original character in my current game has a lousy luck score which causes bad things to happen to him, a lot but he relies on skill so he's still around whereas the other original characters have died one by one.

4) Special powers (magic, psionics, force ability) can only be taken at first level. This is just a personal preference thing but I've always felt that people should either have them or not. I don't stop any player fromd deciding they'd like to play a mage/psychic/jedi/dragon disciple but they must state their intent at first level and take an appropriate level/feat. You can't be a fighter for 15+ levels then suddenly go wait I'm now a mage (and take a level in that). On the other hand you could be a mage bloodline (took the feat at first level) wandered around the low magic world as a merc (3 levels of strong, 2 of fighter) and then when you got involved with magic began developing your abilities (levels of mage). Just a personal quirk that thankfully doesn't annoy my players since they tend to play what they want from first level anyway.

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