Favorite House Rule?


So recently a comment was left on Core (thanks Twiggy!) stating how he liked one of our house rules and it made me wonder what other sort of fun house rules are out there. Share some of your favorites!

The Squid Head Rule: Sadly I didn't come up with this one, picked it up from a GM who didn't always think things through (he put two citadels on the map, one was "The Last Citadel" and the other was "The Forgotten Citadel"). People must “Squid Head” to table talk, which frankly looks quite silly and helps keep table talk to a minimum. Squid Heading is when you put the back of your hand on your forehead and make your fingers wiggle around like tentacles. I reserve the right to say that anyone who talks while not squid heading is talking in game.

The D30 Rule: Players who have purchased (not received as a gift) a d30 may use it once per session in place of any d20 roll that they need to make. If they choose to do this on an attack roll and they roll a 20 or higher the d30 may also be used to attempt to confirm the critical hit. This adds a bit more excitement to die rolling and it makes the d30 actually have a purpose.

The Roleplaying Reward Rule: At the end of every session the players vote for whomever they think has earned the “Roleplaying Reward”, this is generally a bunch of bonus XP that is equivalent to about half of the session XP total. Alternatively that player may choose to gain one RP Point instead to use on the RP Points page.


Core's House Rules page for reference


  • Kallak
    Posts: 1,090

    I like the d30 rule, I might steal that at some point. I've got that sucker in my dice bag and literally never get to use it.

    All the best,
    - Kallak
  • Abersade
    Posts: 277 edited April 2019

    Kallak, that right there is why I created the D30 House Rule nearly 13 years ago. I'm a big fan of getting to use all of the dice I have (well, except my d24 because that thing is just weird) and I have never once seen any reason at all to own a D30. What perplexes me though is that the gaming stores in my area ALWAYS have 5 or 6 different D30s in stock. They must be selling them, I just can't figure out who actually uses them aside from folks who've played in games I've run.

    I nearly forgot the best part; the look on a players face when they roll a 1 on their d30 is worth every penny I've ever spent on them and I think I own four at this point.

    Post edited by Abersade on
  • Krothos
    Posts: 230

    Always been a fan of exploding crits... roll nat 20 on crit confirm, roll again to confirm multiplier increase. Had one series where my player was able to make his x4 scythe at x8 confirmed crit.


  • Abersade
    Posts: 277

    The first House Rule I created for D&D 3.0/3.5:

    The Intimidate Rule: Characters may use their strength modifier instead of their charisma modifier when making Intimidate checks.

  • Conan_Lybarian
    Posts: 240

    Wall damage: If you are moved by force of spell or physical mean, and your movement is stopped by a wall or sole other barrier, you take 1d6 wall damage per 10ft you cannot move. Save for half damage as per falling rules. It's added a lot of fun thematics to brutal brawls or against spell casters.

    The Traits system I made for my Cold Truce campaign and Achievement Points for Bones of Palor have both been big hits with my parties too. 

  • Conan_Lybarian
    Posts: 240

    "Bones of Pelor"- wow, misspelling my own campaign... need more coffee. I know it's not spelled right to begin with, but that's part of the campiness.

  • Keryth987
    Posts: 992

    That Squid Head rul is kinda harsh and I know for a fact it would never hold up at my table. RPGs are a social thing, and that means there will be side talk. However, my players tend to keep it down and manage to always still be aware of what is going on

  • Omegabase
    Posts: 36

    Critical misses have been a hit...pardon the pun.  These are always memorable and sometimes hilarious.  Applied equally to PCs and NPCs alike.





    Gammaworld 2754

  • Abersade
    Posts: 277

    Regarding the squid head rule, I don't enforce it constantly (or even very often). It's more of a discouragement from ongoing side conversations which have nothing to do with the game. We meet up almost an hour before we start playing to give folks time to socialize and the games themselves only run for a couple of hours so time is valuable. With that said, roughly half the players are of the always in character sort of mindset once the game starts and frown upon table talk anyways. It works for us but it could definitely be burdensome if it was enforced strictly.

  • Johnprime
    Posts: 252

    One of the groups I was in years ago used to do the Moose Antlers head when we wished to speak out of character. You place each hand, finger spread, with your thumb to your temple on either side of your head and then you can talk out of character at the table. Very similar to the Squid Head idea, but you're using both hands now! Looks just as ridiculous!


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  • twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,900 edited May 2019

    I have a house rule for a first dragon attack that allows a devastating single first attack.  So far, I have only had one dragon attack and it made off with a dead NPC.  Now that the group have moved into the Dragon Empire, there may be another...

    Dragon Attack from above:

    Dragons get a special attack (ONCE PER ENCOUNTER) when attacking from above. In its first melee attack, if it so chooses, the dragon may "POUNCE"on opponents. This will be treated as a charge with FULL ATTACK. (+2 to each attack, -2 to AC, attack with bite, four claws, two wings and tail swipe) Opponents hit by claws in this attack must also make grapple rolls or be pinned!

    N.B: In some special circumstances this initial attack will also be allowed without the dive e.g. a planned ambush, attack from underwater, etc.



    Post edited by twiggyleaf on

    "I met a traveller from an antique land....."

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  • UselessTriviaMan
    Posts: 541


    The GM should have let Danaerys Targaryen have one of these attacks last week. ;)

    Ptolus, City by the Spire - 2016 Campaign of the Year

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  • Krothos
    Posts: 230

    I've always wanted to sneak attack with a ballista!


  • Bortas
    Posts: 645

    You can't sneak attack with a siege weapon! ;-)

    Oh I have pants, I just want to see if I can take his.


  • thaen
    Posts: 939

    Oooh, I like that Yazan rule.  That would really help with making sure one battle doesn't take the whole session.

    Obsidian Portal Developer

  • Abersade
    Posts: 277

    It's kinda too bad that you can't sneak attack with a seige weapon if it's shot within absurdly close range, like a ballista being shot at a target 30' away that happened to already be in the line of fire. I know that if I were hit by a ballista bolt from that range that I'd certainly be surprised even if I knew that the ballista was there and I was absentmindedly trying to avoid it while in combat nearby and thus distracted. I'd reason that by the time you hear the ballista shot you've already been hit so sound as a warning shouldn't be a factor, and while it's true that a ballista bolt doesn't hit a small specific weak point I'd argue that the weak point (as well as the generally surrounding tissues/organs) was also hit. I think that if the player reasoned it this way that I'd allow sneak attack damage. That is of course for a ballista/scorpion etc. Harder to argue for this if the seige weapon is an onager or gods forbid... a trebuchet.

  • GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,956

    @abersade  Always Trebuchet for the win-  I agree that there should be checks on surprise- Savage Worlds handles this well.....

    Just trying to help out.

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