Our D&D House Rules

LASTING INJURIES

Beginning at Level 2 a PC can sustain a lasting injury when their health drops to 0 (or lower).

PC must make a DC 15 CON saving throw. Failure results in a Lasting Injury, which should be denoted on the character sheet until healed. (DMG 272)

If a PC hits their negative maximum (-17 if you have 17HP), you don’t automatically die. Instead you gain one Failed Death Save, and must roll for a Lasting Injury (no CON saving throw)

To determine which Lasting Injury, roll a d20:

  • 1 Damaged Eye – Disadvantage on ranged attack rolls and Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight. Advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks. If you lose both eyes you are Blinded.
  • 2-5 Crippled Limb – Player chooses which limb.
    • Arm – Can’t hold two different objects or wield two-handed weapons. Disadvantage to some STR saving throws/checks.
    • Leg – Speed is halved, can’t use the Dash Action, Disadvantage to most DEX ability checks and saving throws.
    • Crippling both arms means you cannot wield anything, crippling both legs means you can’t move at all.
  • 6-9 Internal Injury – Disadvantage on CON saving throws/checks. Roll again if already suffering from this.
  • 10-13 Concussion/Head Trauma – Disadvantage on Intelligence saving throws/checks. Roll again if already suffering from this.
  • 14-19 Nasty Scar – Disadvantage on Charisma saving throws/checks, except Advantage on Intimidation checks. Can choose where the scar is, but must be visible.
  • 20 Minor Scar – Not immediately visible. Confers no advantages or disadvantages. Builds character.

A PC can have more than one Lasting Injury, though some do not stack or have obvious limits (only unlimited one are the scars).

All injuries can be healed via Greater Restoration (or better) healing spell or service. Healing spells can remove multiple Lasting Injuries at a time.

If proficient in the Medicine skill, can attempt a DC 20 Medicine check (requires Healer’s Kit and expends one use regardless of success) once per day to heal a PC’s Lasting Injury (PC can not heal their own injury). Medicine check can only work for one Lasting Injury at a time.

These rules apply only to PCs, however NPC foes can suffer Massive Damage (see below).

MASSIVE DAMAGE

Massive Damage applies only to NPCs, and triggers whenever a single blow does equal to or greater than half their max HP. The target must make a DC 15 CON saving throw, failure results in System Shock. DM rolls a 1d10 (DMG 273):

  • 1 Target immediately drops to 0 hit points, dead
  • 2-3 Target drops to 0 hit points but is stable
  • 4-5 Target is stunned and cannot take any actions/reactions until the end of its next turn
  • 6-7 Target can’t take reactions and has disadvantage on all attacks until the end of its next turn
  • 8-10 Target can’t take reactions until the end of its next turn

D&D

LEVELING

Upon reaching a new level, players roll their hit dice to gain new maximum hit points. If it’s less than the average + 1, they can take the average + 1 (d10 is 6, D8 is 5, etc). Then also add their CON modifier.

INITIATIVE TIE

If there’s a tie between two (or more) PCs and/or NPCs the tiebreaker goes to the higher DEX modifier, then higher DEX stat. If still tied, all tied parties roll a d20.

EXAMINE A CREATURE (Free Action)

Skill check depends on the creature type (DM will tell you).

  • Aberration  – Arcana/Nature  
  • Beast  – Nature  
  • Celestial  – Religion  
  • Construct  – Arcana
  • Dragon  – History/Nature  
  • Elemental  – Arcana
  • Fey  – History/Nature  
  • Fiend  – Religion  
  • Giant  – History/Nature  
  • Humanoid  – History/Nature  
  • Monstrosity  – Nature
  • Ooze  – Nature  
  • Plant  – Nature  
  • Undead  – Religion/Arcana

<10 = You know nothing, Jon Snow.

10+ = A bit of background info, general strength vs party.

15+ = Unique attacks and traits

20+ = Any resistances and weaknesses

GAINING NEW BEAST SHAPES

Upon reaching level 2, all druids will get to start with 3 beast shapes that a relevant to their backgrounds (forest, underdark, hills, etc).

There are two methods for gaining additional beast shapes:

Observation: Spend at least 1 hour observing a beast from a vantage point of no more than 150 feet away. Then make a Intelligence (Nature) check, with the DC equal to 10 + the Beast’s CR.

Interaction: Directly and peacefully interact with a non-hostile beast for at least 10 minutes, remaining within at least 15 feet. Then make a Wisdom (Animal Handling) check with a DC equal to 10 + the beast’s CR.

RESTING IN DANGEROUS AREAS

A Dangerous Area is generally any campsite outside of an inn or protected area.

GUARD – Up to 4 PCs (or NPCs) can be designated as guards during any Long Rest in a Dangerous Area. The DM will first roll to see when a possible encounter could take place and if so, which guard shift. A Guard uses his or her Passive Perception to spot any incoming threats.

LONG RESTS & EXHAUSTION

If a PC goes 24 hours without a Long Rest, they must succeed on a DC 10 CON saving throw, or gain a level of exhaustion.

It becomes harder to stave of exhaustion if you stay awake for multiple days. The DC increases by 5 for every 24-hour period without a Long Rest.

Finishing a Long Rest reduces Exhaustion level by one.

STEALTH/HIDING

Stealth during combat will always be contested by every opponents’ Passive Perception. Advantage or disadvantage can be granted under certain circumstances, and the stealther must always break line of sight in a reasonable way. “Reasonable” is ultimately determined by the DM.

D&D

LOCK PICKING

Picking a lock requires Thieve’s Tools and proficiency in the kit. The skill check modifier is DEX + PB. You will not know the Difficulty Challenge for any given lock, but the DM can tell you if it looks ‘Easy’, ‘Medium,’ or ‘Hard.’

Picking a lock takes approximately 10 minutes. Locks cannot be picked in combat (unless you have the Fast Hands ability from the Thief subclass).

  • Rolling a natural 20, or succeeding the check by 5 or more lets you almost instantly picking the lock, taking only 1 minute instead of 10.
  • Failing the check by 5 or more damages your tool kit, conferring Disadvantage on future uses until the kit is repaired. A damaged kit can be repaired by any skilled artisan in cities and most towns for 10gp, or via the Mending Spell.
  • Failing the check by 10 or more jams the lock, preventing any further attempts (including with a key).

Note that many doors and chests could be bashed open, but this generates a lot of noise, and in the case of containers, could damage or destroy whatever’s inside.

STEALING

Stealing from an NPC is normally a Sleight of Hand check contested by their Passive Perception, though it may be impossible to steal obvious things (the shirt off someone’s back).

  • Success = steal the item without detection
  • Failure by 5 or less = fail to steal the item, but the attempt was undetected.
  • Failure by 6+ = fail to steal the item, and your attempt was detected.

SPELLS WITH MATERIAL COMPONENTS

As per PHB 203, a spellcasting focus can take the place of material components EXCEPT for those that have a monetary value, such as a 50gp Diamond for Chromatic Orb or a 500gp Diamond for Raise Dead. Such materials will need to be purchased, logged, and deducted in the spellcaster’s inventory.

Note that some components are NOT consumed upon casting. Read the spell descriptions!

OFFICIAL RULING ON FOG CLOUD

Fog Cloud renders the affected area as Heavily Obscured. Anyone inside the Fog Cloud has Total Cover and cannot be targeted by those outside the Fog Cloud (AOE spells and effects can still hit them), nor targeted by anyone inside the Fog Cloud who are more than 5 feet away from them.

Targets within the Fog Cloud can be targeted if within 5 feet of an opponent, but attack rolls and skill checks that rely on sight have Disadvantage. Flanking Advantage does not apply in the Fog Cloud.

Note that Darkvision does not see through magical darkness such as Fog Cloud, but Blindsense or Tremorsense would since they don’t rely on sight.

Moving through the Fog Cloud counts as Difficult Terrain.

OFFICIAL RULING ON MINOR ILLUSION

Minor Illusion can only create sounds or static images of objects, no bigger than a 5ft cube (PHB 260).

Any physical interaction with the illusion reveals it as such, like an arrow going through it.

Plunking down an illusion in front of non-mindless creatures will grant them advantage on their Investigation check. The illusion still works for other creatures until it’s physically interacted with.

IDENTIFYING A SPELL (Counterspell Rule)

When an NPC casts a spell that a PC can see, the DM shall first explain that a spell is being cast, and describe any material and/or unique somatic components or visualizations.

The PC that wishes to use Counterspell must make an Arcana check as a Free Action.

The PC has Advantage on the check if the spell is on the same class list as the PC (If a spell is part of a monster’s Innate Spellcasting trait, no advantage is conferred).

The DC is 15+ the spell’s level.

Once a spell is cast through Roll20, Counterspell cannot be used. DM must provide time for the PC to make appropriate checks.

As per Xanather’s pg 85, identifying a spell is an Arcana check regardless if the PC uses WIS or CHA for spellcasting – “Being able to cast spells doesn’t by itself make you adept at deducing exactly what others are doing why they cast their spells.”

D&D

ADDITIONAL COMBAT ACTIONS

Climb Onto Larger Creatures – Make a Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check vs the target’s Dexterity (Acrobatics). Climbing onto a larger creature this way grants advantage to the grappler/climber. The larger creature can attempt a Strength (Athletics) check vs the climber’s skill check to shake them off.

Disarm – Make a normal attack roll, but vs foe’s Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) rather than AC. Does no damage if successful but causes the foe to drop their weapon/item.

Tumble – As an action or bonus action, make a Dexterity (Acrobatics) check vs target’s Dexterity (Acrobatics). If successful, you can move through the target’s space and adjacent spaces without incurring an opportunity attack.

Flanking – Flanking is not an action, it occurs whenever two allies are adjacent to an opponent and on opposite sides. Both gain advantage on attack rolls as long as the situation remains in effect. This does not apply to NPCs (though some have similar built-in abilities).

Grapple (this is directly from the PHB/SRD)

When you want to grab a creature or wrestle with it, you can use the Attack action to make a Special melee Attack, a grapple. If you’re able to make multiple attacks with the Attack action, this Attack replaces one of them.

The target of your grapple must be no more than one size larger than you and must be within your reach. Using at least one free hand, you try to seize the target by making a grapple check instead of an Attack roll: a Strength (Athletics) check contested by the target’s Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check (the target chooses the ability to use). If you succeed, you subject the target to the Grappled condition (see Conditions ). The condition specifies the things that end it, and you can release the target whenever you like (no action required).

Escaping a Grapple: A Grappled creature can use its action to escape. To do so, it must succeed on a Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check contested by your Strength (Athletics) check.

Moving a Grappled Creature: When you move, you can drag or carry the Grappled creature with you, but your speed is halved, unless the creature is two or more sizes smaller than you.

MOVING THROUGH ALLIES

You may move through (but not land on) the same space an ally occupies at the cost of double the movement for that space (shoving them aside without injuring them). Assuming a small/medium ally, it would take 10ft of movement to cross that ally’s 5ft square.

SUFFOCATION

(DMG 183)

If a PC has time and is not under duress when performing a task, normal Suffocating rules apply – You can hold your breath for a number of minutes equal to 1+CON modifier.

However if you’re under duress, such as the middle of combat, or have something happen to you (such as a saving throw) then you are considered out of breath and choking. At that point you can survive a number of ROUNDS equal to your CON modifier (minimum 1 round).

At the start of the turn after your rounds are up, you drop to 0 hit points and can’t be stabilized or regain hit points until you can breathe again.

SPELLCASTING SERVICES

A town’s local priest or temple can provide healing and information spells, for a price, up to 3 times per day. Those with Acolyte background can get the first spell for free (50gp or less), once per day.

  • Cure Wounds 10gp
  • Identify 10gp
  • Lesser Restoration 40gp
  • Prayer of Healing 40gp
  • Remove Curse 50gp
  • Speak with Dead 90gp
  • Divination 210gp
  • Greater Restoration 450gp
  • Raise Dead 1000gp

My D&D House Rules

The official house rules we use for our D&D campaigns.

THESE RULES ARE OUT OF DATE. PLEASE SEE UPDATED HOUSE RULES HERE.


LEVELING
PCs can only level up during a Long Rest after they’ve gained sufficient experience, and only at the beginning/end of a session so everyone can prepare between sessions.
Upon reaching a new level, players roll their hit dice to gain new maximum hit points. If it’s less than the average + 1, they can take the average + 1 (d10 is 6, D8 is 5, etc). Then also add their CON modifier.

LIGHT INJURIES
Whenever you take a short rest and do not spend any hit die during it to heal, if you are not at your maximum number of hit die you can regain 1d3 hit die up to your maximum.

RESTING
PCs are generally given 2 Short Rests and 1 Long Rest per Adventuring Day (Adventuring Day is ultimately at the discretion of the DM). If performing a Long Rest outside of an inn, PCs use 1 ration each. PCs expend 1 ration for each Short Rest beyond 2 in a single day.
PCs can still perform a Long Rest without rations and fully heal, but they cannot regain any spent hit dice.
RESTING IN DANGEROUS AREAS
A Dangerous Area is generally any campsite outside of an inn or protected area.
FORAGE – Up to 1 PC can perform a Wisdom (Survival) check to forage for food and water. A successful test negates the ration expenditure for the Long Rest. The DC of the test depends on the region. The foraging PC cannot also be a guarding PC.
GUARD – Up to 2 PCs can be designated as guards during any Long Rest in a Dangerous Area. The DM will first roll to see when a possible encounter could take place (either first or second shift, which may or may not have an active guard), then roll to see if an encounter takes place. A Guard uses a Wisdom (Perception) test (or passive perception if higher) to spot any incoming threats.

d&d

OVERWORLD TRAVEL
Note, these are not house rules, but simply converting the travel rules in the PHB to our Roll20 map.

Each hex = 5 miles on the world map. PCs traveling at a Normal pace cover about 25 miles (5 hexes) in a day moving over normal terrain (half speed in Difficult Terrain).
The DM will make an encounter roll up to 4 times per travel day – twice during the day, once in the evening, and once at night (see Resting in Dangerous Areas above).
PCs can opt to travel at a Fast pace and cover 30 miles (6 hexes) in a day. Doing so gives a -5 penalty to passive perception scores for any possible encounters that day.
PCs can opt to travel at a Slow pace and cover 20 miles (4 hexes) in a day. This allows them to use stealth checks while traveling for any possible encounters that day.

INSPIRATION
Inspiration can be declared after a roll, but a second roll must be made (using only the first number).

STEALTH/HIDING
Beginning a combat sequence through successfully winning a stealth check vs Perception is the way to gain a Surprise Round at the beginning. Advantage on attacks from stealth is only granted under special circumstances, such as a distracted foe. This is not a house rule. Ultimately advantage with stealth, as with advantage in general, is up to the DM in each scenario.

OFFICIAL RULING ON FOG CLOUD
Fog Cloud renders the affected area as Heavily Obscured, and blocks vision entirely. Any creatures within the Fog Cloud suffer from the Blinded condition.
Blinded (PHB 290) – Can’t see, automatically fails checks that require sight. Attack rolls against blinded creatures have advantage, and the blinded creature’s attacks have disadvantage.
However, you also can’t target a creature you can’t see. Here’s the ruling:
Attempting to attack a creature inside the Fog Cloud from outside the Cloud is extremely difficult, and has the potential to hit different targets, including allies. This attack has Disadvantage and only a Critical Hit will find its target. A Critical Fail will randomly hit another target within the Cloud. You are essentially blind-firing into darkness.
If someone attempts to attack a target outside the Cloud while inside the Fog Cloud, same rules as above. Also same ruling as attempting to shoot through a Fog Cloud at a target on the other side.
Attacking a creature within a Fog Cloud while also inside the Fog Cloud requires a Perception check (w/ Disadvantage) vs the target’s Stealth check to locate them, even within melee range. The target doesn’t have to actively hide, the Stealth check is just used as a target number to find them. Attacks of Opportunity also first require the Perception vs Stealth check.
Moving through a Fog Cloud halves speed as if difficult terrain, but checks are only required to locate a specific target, Use the Perception vs Stealth checks as above.

OFFICIAL RULING ON MINOR ILLUSION
Minor Illusion can only create sounds or static images of objects, no bigger than a 5ft cube (PHB 260). Sorry sexy goblin.
Any physical interaction with the illusion reveals it as such, like an arrow going through it.
Plunking down an illusion in front of non-mindless creatures will grant them advantage on their Investigation check. The illusion still works for other creatures until it’s physically interacted with.

OFFICIAL RULING ON COUNTERSPELL
When an NPC casts a spell, the DM shall first describe that a spell is being cast, and describe any material and/or unique somatic components or visualizations. If the PC is unaware, the DM shall also explain if it’s an Arcane or Divine spell.
The PC that wishes to use Counterspell must make a free Arcana or Religion check for Arcane or Divine spells respectively.
The PC has Advantage on the check if the spell is on his or her spell list.
10+ PC learns the spell’s school
15+ PC also learns the spell’s base level
20+ PC also learns the exact spell name
25+ PC also learns the spell level being cast
Once a spell is cast through Roll20, Counterspell cannot be used. DM must provide time for the PC to make appropriate checks.

d&d

ADDITIONAL COMBAT ACTIONS
Climb Onto Larger Creatures – Make a Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check vs the target’s Dexterity (Acrobatics). Climbing onto a larger creature this way grants advantage to the grappler/climber. The larger creature can attempt a Strength (Athletics) check vs the climber’s skill check to shake them off.
Disarm – Make a normal attack roll, but vs foe’s Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) rather than AC. Does no damage if successful but causes the foe to drop their weapon/item.
Mark – When making a melee attack, the attacker can choose to Mark its target. Until the end of the attacker’s next turn, any opportunity attack against the marked target has advantage and doesn’t expend the attacker’s reaction.
Tumble – As an action or bonus action, make a Dexterity (Acrobatics) check vs target’s Dexterity (Acrobatics). If successful, you can move through the target’s space and adjacent spaces without incurring an opportunity attack.
Flanking – Flanking is not an action, it occurs whenever two allies are adjacent to an opponent and on opposite sides. Both gain advantage on attack rolls as long as the situation remains in effect. This does not apply to NPCs (though some have similar built-in abilities)

MOVING THROUGH ALLIES
You may move through (but not land on) the same space an ally occupies at the cost of double the movement for that space (shoving them aside without injuring them). Assuming a small/medium ally, it would take 10ft of movement to cross that ally’s 5ft square.

LASTING INJURIES
Beginning at Level 2 a PC can sustain a lasting injury when their health drops to 0 (or lower).
PC must make a DC 15 CON saving throw. Failure results in a Lasting Injury, which should be denoted on the character sheet until healed. (DMG 272)
If a PC hits their negative maximum (-17 if you have 17HP), you don’t automatically die. Instead you gain one Failed Death Save, and must roll for a Lasting Injury (no saving throw)
To determine which Lasting Injury, roll a d20:
1 Lose/damaged Eye – Disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight and ranged attacks. Advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks). If you lose both eyes you are blinded.
2-5 Crippled Limb – Player chooses which limb. Arm – Can’t hold two different objects or wield two-handed weapons. Disadvantage to some STR saving throws/checks. Leg – Speed is halved, can’t use the Dash Action, Disadvantage to most DEX ability checks and saving throws. Crippling both arms means you cannot wield anything, crippling both legs means you can’t move at all.
6-9 Internal Injury – Disadvantage on Constitution saving throws/checks. Roll again if already suffering from this.
10-13 Concussion/Head Trauma – Disadvantage on Intelligence saving throws/checks. Roll again if already suffering from this.
14-19 Nasty Scar – Disadvantage on Charisma (Persuasion) checks, Advantage on Charisma (Intimidation checks). Can choose where the scar is, but must be somewhat visible.
20 Minor Scar – Not immediately visible. Confers no advantages or disadvantages. Builds character.

A PC can have more than one Lasting Injury, though some do not stack or have obvious limits (only unlimited one are the scars).
All injuries can be healed via a DC 20 Medicine check (can try once between short and/or long rests, failure doesn’t expend a healing kit unless rolling a 1) or via a Lesser Restoration (or better) healing spell or service (40gp). Healing spells can remove multiple Lasting Injuries at a time, Medicine check can only work for one Lasting Injury at a time.
Concussion and Internal Injury will eventually heal on their own if the PC rests for one solid day.
These rules apply only to PCs, however NPC foes can suffer Massive Damage (see below).

MASSIVE DAMAGE
Massive Damage applies only to NPCs, and triggers whenever a single blow does equal to or greater than half their max HP. The target must make a DC 15 CON saving throw, failure results in System Shock. DM rolls a 1d10 (DMG 273):
1 Target immediately drops to 0 hit points, dead
2-3 Target drops to 0 hit points but is stable
4-5 Target is stunned and cannot take any actions/reactions until the end of its next turn
6-7 Target can’t take reactions and has disadvantage on all attacks until the end of its next turn
8-10 Target can’t take reactions until the end of its next turn

lost mine of phandelver

GAIN KNOWLEDGE
Upon encountering a new creature, location, or object, a PC can roll a skill to see if they can recall that information from their studies or travels. The skill check varies. Wisdom (Survival) could be used for a wilderness location or Beast, while Intelligence (History or Arcana) could be used for some ruins or magical creatures. Most items and objects would be Intelligence (Investigation).
For creatures, Succeeding on a DC 15 gives you the character card in Roll20 with pic and description, while a roll of 20 gives you that as well as some clues as to its abilities, vulnerabilities, etc.
The knowledge roll can be used during combat as a free action, though each PC can only ever attempt it once per target. Knowledge on creatures can be gained automatically if the PCs encounter enough of them – ask your DM!

MORALE
Under certain circumstances (creatures are surprised, leader is taken out, things are looking bad), the DM can make a DC 10 Wisdom saving throw for the NPC with the highest saving throw. Failure results in the creature (or creatures) fleeing the PCs. PCs gain XP as if they had slain any that fled (if they don’t pursue), though they don’t get any individual treasure the fleeing monsters had. (DMG 273)

SPELLCASTING SERVICES
A town’s local priest or temple can provide healing and information spells, for a price, up to 3 times per day. Those with Acolyte background can get the first spell for free (50gp or less), once per day.

  • Cure Wounds 10gp
  • Identify 10gp
  • Lesser Restoration 40gp
  • Prayer of Healing 40gp
  • Remove Curse 50gp
  • Speak with Dead 90gp
  • Divination 210gp
  • Greater Restoration 450gp
  • Raise Dead 1000gp

RECAP
A Player can volunteer to recap last session’s events instead of the DM. This Player will be rewarded Inspiration (assuming they do an adequate job – DM’s discretion). Remember you can’t have more than one use of Inspiration. The same player cannot do back-to-back recaps two weeks in a row.