Friday, November 5, 2010

DM Tips: My House Rules

It suddenly came to me not too long ago. "Damn. Do I have too many house rules? Is this still D&D I'm playing?" Okay, maybe it isn't that bad. But still, I have a good amount and by God, it is actually helping my players enjoy the game. Originally, upon introducing some of these elements, I was worried about it bogging down an already rules-y game. Somehow, somewhere, is all coming together nicely.

More after the jump break...

House Rule 1: Avandra's Luck
In D&D 4th edition, Avandra is the goddess of Luck. Thus, I introduced the Avandra's Luck (AL) mechanic. At the beginning of each game session, each player rolls a 1d6. This represents their AL for that night. These can be spent to raise a d20 roll or a damage roll by 1 per point spent. I am debating if I should allow the players to use it as a defense mechanic as well.

House Rule 2: Dungeon Master Action Points
In D&D 4th edition, each player has their Action Points reset to 1 after each extended rest no matter how much they have or don't have. My players tend to have a lot of time in between each encounter, rendering the gathering of Action Points practically useless. So I introduced Dungeon Master Action Points (DMAP) to try to allow my players the thrill of extra standard actions. DMAPs can be attained by entertaining me. This usually involves making me Laugh Out Loud, but not always. DMAPs do not disappear with extended rests. If you have it, you have it until you spend it. Simple as that.

House Rule 3: High or Low
When there is a moment where I or my players are indecisive, I ask my players high or low and then roll my percentile die. Their choice usually applies to the positive result.

And finally...

House Rule 4: Achievements
This is a big one that I introduced in the last game and it went over fantastically. This Achievement system helps build up my players' experience point totals. There has been complaint of slow progression and I had already doubled the XP gained per encounter. So, we have our achievements. They range from ones that you can gain per session or per quest, and from the easy to the weird. XP gained is based on monsters of the player's level, or party's average level. The specific achievements are mostly borrowed from various sources across the net but the reward system is mine.

If need be, click the image to enlarge.


  1. I'm going through your archives, and the achievement house rule is genius. Do you let the playerss know what the conditions for getting them are?

    1. I'm on the fence on the issue of letting them know. Usually, I let them know what the condition was after achieving it and since my players can't even remember the name of the city they have been playing in since Game 1, I don't have to worry about them remembering the achievement conditions.