While we play D&D 5e at Reckless Moves, we have adopted some House Rules. These are designed to reward good play, simplify actions and make gameplay faster. You can listen to this from DM Michael Cremean on Podcast Season 1 Episode 1. (Some of these rules have been altered since that recording, and some are newer. This page represents the current state) Most of these are from D&D 3.5, 4e or optional rules from 5e.
Max Healing Potions
When taking a Healing Potion, it is maxed. So, for example, a Healing Potion heals for 2d4+2. We just max it, so it heals for 10HP. The primary reason for doing this is when you spend Gold for a Healing Potion, it truly sucks to roll two 1s and get a Healing of 4 HP. Also, it is simpler and avoids needless rolling. Greater Healing heals 20HP, etc.
Using Healing Potions
A Character can consume a Healing Potion as a Bonus Action. Giving someone ELSE a Healing Potion can be used an Action.
Better Critical Hits
A Critical Hit occurs in combat when you roll a Natural 20 on your 20 sided-dice for an attack. (Much cheering and yelling also ensue) We make the dice you roll for your damage maxed.
Example. You are using a Rapier (1d8 damage) and have a +2 Proficiency. On your turn to attack, you roll a Natural 20! Your Damage would be 2d8+2 normally, but with our rule, your dice are maxed. So your damage is 16, plus your proficiency, +2. If you roll a 4, your Total Damage will be 18.
The reason for this approach is to reward the Natty 20 better. It is exciting to roll a Crit. Then you roll a 1 and a 2, which in the above case would yield a Total Damage of a 5. Lame. In our method, the excited party is rewarded. Also, it greatly speeds combat in case of Crit.
We use the Optional Melee Flanking rule. Basically this means if you are directly across from another Melee Player, you would get Advantage on your Attack. So you would roll 2 d20 and take the higher roll. Bear in mind that you must be directly opposite the other Player. A simple way to think about this is if you can draw a straight line between one Player, the Enemy, and another Player, they are Flanking the Enemy and you get Advantage.
Inspiration is an optional rule to allow a Player to get advantage on a roll. The DM awards Inspiration from good play, epic victories, helping people, etc, etc. However, we allow the use Inspiration to roll a dice AFTER the first roll, as long as the result of the roll is not given.
For example, you get Inspiration from fighting a tough enemy. Later in the session you roll a 4 on a Saving Throw. You can THEN use your Inspiration to roll another, perhaps a 16.
In D&D 5e there is an Optional rule called Hero Points. It’s a little complicated and you only get 5 per level. Well, at higher levels, each level up requires much more experience, so we opted out of that. In 3.5e they were called Action Points, and worked differently.
However, there is a great system combining the best of Hero Point Variants in previous editions with an upgrade for 5e called ‘Action Points’ created by Benjamin Eastman and Matt Dunn. (It’s a whopping $1.49) It is a great system, to combine the best of previous editions with an upgrade for 5e.
Basically, every TWO encounters each Player in the Party gets an Action Point. (AP) We use an on/off token to recall who has one. They can’t be stockpiled, so it encourages players to use them quickly.
For AP usage several add a d6 to a roll. This increases to d8 at 5th Level, d10 at 10th Level, and d12 at 17th Level. So below, where you see d6, remember that grows as you Level Up.
AP can be used for several benefits, and here’s a partial list:
- Push Luck – Add a d6 to your Attack, Saving Throw or Ability Check.
- Alacrity – Re-roll your Initiative Roll.
- Boost Damage – Add a d6 to your Damage Roll.
- Bolster Defense – Use an AP to roll d6 and add it to your AC until then end of the turn.
- Cheat Death – Use an AP to Stabilize if Unconscious. If you are at 0HP and Stable, you can use the AP to gain 1 HP.
- Push Yourself – You spend an AP to gain an additional Action for Dash, Disengage or Use an Object.
- Gain Health – Spending 1 minute, you use an AP to recover 1 of your available Short Rest Hit Dice.
- Sudden Proficiency – Spend an AP and you gain Proficiency on a Skill or Tool for 10 minutes.
There are also several Class-specific benefits, and you can buy the PDF to see all of them.
There are many bonuses to game play by using AP, but the main ones for our D&D game are:
- Encourage Players to Continue without Resting – Thus avoiding the ‘need a rest’ syndrome that Players can fall into. Nothing slows a game as fast as Players holding back and always seeking a short or long rest in a Dungeon.
- Allow some Healing out-of-combat without resting or consuming potions
- Reward exciting play
- Allow Players to have more choices
We have our own Death Save system. Here’s the overview:
- Failed Death Saves don’t reset upon healing. 1 goes away on Short rest, all go away on long rest.
- Taking damage while unconscious fails a DS
- Death saves happen at the beginning of turn
- DM rolls DS, and doesn’t tell party what happened, until result*
- If you succeed on 3 DS, you awesomely recover with 1hp without any healing
* Why? Well, if you are in combat and someone goes down, you don’t have godlike awareness of ‘if they are close to death or not’. Also, raises the stakes for everyone to take care of each other.
Modified Resurrection (Revivify, Resurrection, True Resurrection)
Dying sucks. Raising someone back should have either consequences and/or a chance of success, or failure.
- To start, each Character has a Resurrection DC 10. You get +2 for every time you die.
- The party can have 3 people help with the Resurrection, in whatever way they want. (Ex. Prayer, tribute, sacrificing something you care about. )
- A Magical Sacrifice succeeds automatically for a max of 3. That means a Character sacrifices a Rare or higher Magic Item.
- Those Resurrection Helps will have skill checks. The more creative and self-sacrificing, the lower that check. Succeeding lowers the dead characters Resurrection DC by 3.
Twig has died before, and dies a second time. He now has a DC 12 to succeed in coming back from the dead with Sariel’s Revivify, which has to be cast within 1 minute of Death. The party scrambles and Brynn throws her Slippers of Climbing in the circle, automatically succeeding and reducing the Resurrection DC to 9. Talfeth prays to Pelor, and rolls a Religion check and succeeds.(DM determines the roll based on what you do) Now the Resurrection DC is 6. Crispin tries to use his Produce Flame to intimidate Death to leave Twig alone! The Intimidation check fails.
Twig has to roll a D20 and exceed a 6. He rolls and…