A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: "Good" 5e Houserules

    In circumstances where initiative is called for due to the specific actions of one character then I will usually advance the initiative counter so that they go first.

    Examples:
    - If the paladin is opening the door then the paladin should take the first action even if they did not roll the highest.
    - if in a social situation and a character wants to take an action that could start combat or anything else that should be resolved in order then roll initiative and start with the person taking the specific action that caused the situation

    I find this avoids the issue of a player coming up with a cool idea they want to do, rolling low on initiative, having everyone else in the party do something (often without in character knowledge that the other character was going to do something) then having to change their action since the activities of everyone else have invalidated it. This is especially true in situations where the only reason initiative was rolled was due to the one player saying "I want to do X" and none of the other players or NPCs were doing anything.

    I also find it works pretty well for ambushes ... assuming that everyone is hidden, the one attacking first is the one who goes first.

    Yes, the usual initiative order can be explained by saying that the character did something to give away what they intended and that everyone else is reacting to the intention but honestly, most of the time, that explanation doesn't make much sense to me.

    P.S. In most general combat situations, however, which don't have a specific role playing trigger, standard initiative rules apply.

    P.P.S. This approach can be considered within RAW if the DM just decides that everyone with higher initiatives are surprised. The rules state that the DM decides when surprise applies and goes on to give one example of stealth vs perception but it doesn't say that the DM can't decide that surprise can exist in other circumstances. So if the DM decides to make everyone surprised (PCs and NPCs) until the character taking their action has their initiative then you get the same effect.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: "Good" 5e Houserules

    I track XP behind the scenes just to see where the party is vs. levelup.

    In my high-level current game, they get to level up if they take out an enemy temple (primary campaign objective), or if they complete 2 dungeons or other major accomplishments.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keravath View Post
    In circumstances where initiative is called for due to the specific actions of one character then I will usually advance the initiative counter so that they go first.

    Examples:
    - If the paladin is opening the door then the paladin should take the first action even if they did not roll the highest.
    - if in a social situation and a character wants to take an action that could start combat or anything else that should be resolved in order then roll initiative and start with the person taking the specific action that caused the situation
    This is what I've been doing also.

  3. - Top - End - #33
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: "Good" 5e Houserules

    Quote Originally Posted by Khrysaes View Post
    Unless… it is specifically for the opposite use, to allow strength to be used instead of dex?
    Bingo. This is both a nod to realism and giving a viable ranged option to an otherwise much worse stat.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: "Good" 5e Houserules

    The main houserule I use is for generating stats.

    Ability Scores: Pick six numbers. These are your pre-racial stats. No number may be higher than 18 or less than 8. You may modify them freely up until the game starts, and may pick duplicate numbers.
    I've made a few other houserules that I don't commonly use, but the main one I think that can be slotted in easily is a simple durability buff to low-level PCs.

    All PCs add their Constitution score to their HP.
    It'll more than double your HP at level one, but stops having a huge effect by Tier Two. It's still there, just not nearly as significant.
    I have a LOT of Homebrew!

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  5. - Top - End - #35
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    ElfWarriorGuy

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    Default Re: "Good" 5e Houserules

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    -
    - For Tier 1 games specifically: at level 1 you add your Con score to your HP instead of your Con modifier, and when you level up you don't add Con modifier to your HP. Con Mod still applies to Hit Dice spent during rests
    Doesn't this make casters physically weaker.
    16 con is +3. So over 20 levels is 60hp vs only 16 extra at level one. Fine for tier 1 play.

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: "Good" 5e Houserules

    One specific houserule that my table brought up is:

    If you hit exactly the opponent's AC with an attack, that attack deals half its total damage (meaning you have resistance to that instance of damage, mechanically speaking).

    This was done to ease the transition from "fully miss" to "fully hit" a little, as well as making single points into AC a bit more meaningful.
    Sure, sometimes it results in little damage done by the PCs, but it has quite often protected PCs from succumbing to lots of hits that all just barely hit their AC (or bigger attacks that would've taken down a squishy backline instantly).

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Post Re: "Good" 5e Houserules

    I have many house rules, so I’l try and limit myself to the more impactful ones

    • I significantly tweaked the Warlock class to be more viable without having to have a 6-8 Medium-to-Hard Encounter Adventuring day, as well as making it less of an obvious multi class choice, with Eldritch Blast being a class feature that scales with class level rather than a cantrip and thus scaling with character level. This also allows me to include Agonizing Blast as part of the feature, and therefore eliminate an Invocation tax. I scrap the Hexblade entirely, moving Hex Warrior to Pact of the Blade and am in the process of turning the other features into Invocations. I also allow warlocks to use INT as their primary stat instead of CHA, though so far only one warlock player has taken me up on the offer.
    • I haven’t really had the chance to try this out in practice, but to encourage short rests I plan to make the first SR taking after a long rest take only 10 minutes, and the second one only half an hour.
    • I grant non-Tasha’s sorcerers thematic bonus spells
    • In order to use Polearm Master’s bonus action attack, the PC must wield the weapon with two hands. This is to excise Spear/Quarterstaff and Shield cheese.
    • Twilight Sanctuary requires concentration
    • Twilight and Peace Clerics cannot multiclass
    • I replace the Fighter’s Indomitable feature with Legendary Resistance, i.e., if the fighter fails a save, they can choose to succeed instead.
    • I adopt the AL rule about simulacra being unable to make more simulacra, and the simulacrum and its creator both having to risk not being able to cast Wish again when using the spell for something other than replicating a spell of 8th level or lower.
    • If two creatures cannot see each other, they attack each other with disadvantage.
    • Arcane Archers have a number of Arcane Shot uses equal to their proficiency bonus.
    • Rangers’ Favored Foe does not require concentration on a single-classed Ranger that doesn’t know Hunter’s Mark
    • Forcecage consumes its material component
    • College of Eloquence Bards’ Silver Tongue feature has been nerfed to treat a roll of 7 or lower as an 8 (à la the Inquisitive Rogue) rather than 9 or lower as a 10.
    • Soulknife Rogues can use their Psychic Blades to make opportunity attacks.

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: "Good" 5e Houserules

    One I forgot to mention:

    Summoned or created creatures will not cast any spell or use any ability that would summon or create another creature.

    This, along with the AL "sim is you and you are sim" rule stops any kind of sim or summoning chaining. You can still summon multiple things (familiar + simulacrum, for instance)--that's only a "please don't bog down the table" rule, not a hard-and-fast "you can't" rule.
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  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: "Good" 5e Houserules

    Quote Originally Posted by KyleG View Post
    Doesn't this make casters physically weaker.
    16 con is +3. So over 20 levels is 60hp vs only 16 extra at level one. Fine for tier 1 play.
    Yes its specifically for games where the intention is not to go past Tier 2, so everyone can spend a lot more time at levels 1-4 and not feel so squishy.
    Edit: Unless the DM also wants you to be slightly squishier at higher levels. Some do think HP can get bloated at the tail end of the game, i'm ambivalent on it personally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amnestic View Post
    The Champion and Purple Dragon Knight/Banneret subclasses are now combined into one subclass, called the Champion.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ganryu View Post
    - Inspiration is now portent.
    - Anyone can use spell scrolls.
    Quote Originally Posted by P. G. Macer View Post
    Twilight Sanctuary requires concentration
    Replace the Fighter’s Indomitable feature with Legendary Resistance
    Arcane Archers have a number of Arcane Shot uses equal to their proficiency bonus
    College of Eloquence Bards’ Silver Tongue feature has been nerfed to treat a roll of 7 or lower as an 8 (à la the Inquisitive Rogue) rather than 9 or lower as a 10
    Soulknife Rogues can use their Psychic Blades to make opportunity attacks
    Yoink!
    Last edited by Kane0; 2022-01-13 at 04:22 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: "Good" 5e Houserules

    My house rules:

    For anything you want to Search, use Investigation. For anything you want to Spot, use Perception. It makes things a lot easier deciding between the two. Even when the PHB says use Perception to search for traps it says sometimes use Investigation. I go by the 3E terms, and everything falls into place.

    Get back all HD spent on a long rest. I've played in so many games where no one knows the rule is supposed to be half HD, and it hasn't broken anything. It eases the burden on those who heal.

    You may use a Bonus Action to roll a Knowledge check to recall what your character knows about a creature you're facing in combat.

    You may use an Action to do something that normally costs a Bonus Action, Any requirements for that Bonus Action to happen at all still applies. This means a monk may not use an Action to do Flurry of Blows because he had to have already used his Action to take the attack action to allow Flurry of Blows.
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  11. - Top - End - #41
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: "Good" 5e Houserules

    I've seen and used a lot, but treantmonk's are by far the most interesting (and apparently controversial) house rules I've seen. Armored casters have annoyed me forever. I love to see that nerfed.

    I also tend to like Mercer's house rule of potions as a bonus action, although for me it's only if you take it yourself. Administering potions is always an action.
    Last edited by CMCC; 2022-01-13 at 06:02 PM.
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  12. - Top - End - #42
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: "Good" 5e Houserules

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    The main houserule I use is for generating stats.
    Why would anyone pick something that wasn't all 18s?

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: "Good" 5e Houserules

    Quote Originally Posted by DarknessEternal View Post
    Why would anyone pick something that wasn't all 18s?
    Because the people I've played with like having variety in their stats.

    Yes, it's less pure power than all 18s. But it's also less interesting.

    The main issue I had, before I changed the rule from its original incarnation, was people putting stats too LOW. I had someone want to roll up with a 3 in Wisdom-so I had to change it to set the minimum to 8 so people wouldn't gimp themselves too hard.
    I have a LOT of Homebrew!

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  14. - Top - End - #44
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: "Good" 5e Houserules

    Quote Originally Posted by Keravath View Post
    In circumstances where initiative is called for due to the specific actions of one character then I will usually advance the initiative counter so that they go first.
    I like the intent behind this, but the problem is that it makes high initiative a bad thing. The people who rolled worse than the initiator get to go earlier, and the people who rolled better have to go later. I think just giving the initiator top initiative accomplishes the same thing less disruptively.
    Last edited by Lalliman; 2022-01-14 at 06:55 AM.

  15. - Top - End - #45
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: "Good" 5e Houserules

    -either a dex or strenght check can be used to determine initiative.
    -heavy armor provide a damage reduction of 2 if the wearer is proficient and check the strenght requirement, stack with the heavy armor feat.
    -every martial subclass without access to spellcasting or equivalent gain access to battlemaster maneuvers. Champion subclass is rolled into battlemaster.
    -wizard are removed of the game. Believe it or not this is the best thing I ever made for balance, the rest of the spellcasters are really easy to balance, wizard are a game design aberration. Sorcerers takes their place as a generalist spellcasters, each subclass get a non modifiable additional spell list. It's spellcasting stat is Intel and it's proficiencies are the wizard's ones.
    -some spells are banned, some spells are changed.
    -many skills can be used with the player choice between 2 attributes. For example nature is either Intel or wisdom.
    -every time a player fall unconscious, he gains one level of exhaustion.

    Plus many more small changes for balance and fun.

  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Default Re: "Good" 5e Houserules

    Oh I forgot my favorite one. Dex or str can be used during the initial grapple challenge but only str can be used to escape one besides monks who can use dex starting at lv 5.
    what is the point of living if you can't deadlift?

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  17. - Top - End - #47
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    BardGirl

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    Default Re: "Good" 5e Houserules

    Short Rests take about ten minutes, but you only benefit from two between long rests. One hour is a strange awkward unit of time, which means that if you can safely take a short rest, you can also take a long rest.

    Free feat at level 1, chosen from my list of "feats I have never seen in a charop guide".

    Charisma to attacks and damage is moved to Pact of the Blade.

    Running Rime of the Frostmaiden at the moment, and I ruled for that one that you don;t get the benefits of a long rest without shelter and warmth (also, Leomund's Tiny Hut does not exist). Intended to give wilderness encounters a bit more teeth.

    And a more petty one; owls don't have Flyby Attack. Familiars are already amazing scout drones, perma-advantage with very little counter is too much for a level 1 slot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobthewizard View Post
    Here are the houserules I am using in my latest play by post game. The biggest change is that I've doubled short rest resources with the opportunity to recover the base amount on a short rest once per day. This puts the SR and LR classes on more equal footing for short adventuring days and I no longer have to worry about getting them two short rests and a 6 encounter day.
    Regular reminder that the DMG gives 6-8 encounters as an example of how an adventuring day might go, not any sort of mandate or recommendation.
    Last edited by Azuresun; 2022-01-14 at 07:19 AM.

  18. - Top - End - #48
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    Default Re: "Good" 5e Houserules

    Quote Originally Posted by stoutstien View Post
    Oh I forgot my favorite one. Dex or str can be used during the initial grapple challenge but only str can be used to escape one besides monks who can use dex starting at lv 5.
    Defenders already get to choose between Acrobatics and Athletics (dex or str) to resist being grabbed.

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    Default Re: "Good" 5e Houserules

    Quote Originally Posted by J-H View Post
    Defenders already get to choose between Acrobatics and Athletics (dex or str) to resist being grabbed.
    And to escape them which is what I changed.
    what is the point of living if you can't deadlift?

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  20. - Top - End - #50
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    Zombie

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    Default Re: "Good" 5e Houserules

    Quote Originally Posted by stoutstien View Post
    Oh I forgot my favorite one. Dex or str can be used during the initial grapple challenge but only str can be used to escape one besides monks who can use dex starting at lv 5.
    I don't run my own table but something like this would be on the top of the list if I did: Monks get to use Acrobatics for grappling. It is extremely silly that they can't.

  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Chimera

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    Default Re: "Good" 5e Houserules

    I have a bunch, but the ones I remember now are:
    Weapons and Armor related:
    • GWM/Sharpshooter's -5/+10 is now -prof/+2xprof and anyone can do them with the appropriate weapons (the feats themselves become half-feats with +1 str/dex to compensate for their former benefit being universalized). Sharpshooter now is for thrown weapons (why not throw them that bones), and 2-handed ammo'd weapons (sorry hand crossbows, you get enough already).
    • Quarterstaves are two-handed weapons that deal 1d6
    • Spears, when wielded by someone with martial weapon proficiency, deal +1 damage; tridents are not a distinct item.
    • Two-weapon fighting does not take up your bonus action (I've heard arguments for potential abuse, it has not occurred in our games).
    • Hide armor is now a light armor. Druid's get light armor and shields as their default armor proficiency. Their shapechanging gets the same 'can't in armor in which you are not proficient' clause that spellcasting gets. They no longer have armor restrictions (so if they get medium or heavy armor proficiencies somehow, they can wear metal armor).

    Class related:
    • See hide armor above in relation to druids
    • Hexblades casting attribute* to weapons moved to blade pact. *-so phrased because we've gone back and forth on Warlocks being Cha-/Int-based.
    • Berserker barbarian rage ability no longer imposes exhaustion -- this too I understand the abuse potential, but it has not come up in our game (of course our most-loved berserker was an battle-axe-and-shield wielder, since 'why would you be a berserker if you can't gnaw on your shield?,' so they weren't getting an extra reckless/GWM-effect attack every round)
    • We've had any number of Ranger iterations. I don't know where we stand at the moment on this. However...
    • Normal Eldritch Knights can use spells from any wizard school (1/3 casting just isn't so powerful as to make this limitation necessary), and there are druid and cleric-themed EK-equivalents that are used as alternate implementations of the ranger and paladin concepts.
    • We also have a 1/2 casting arcane class to go alongside Ranger and Paladin (yes, this predates Artificer, and they will likely be merged at some point).
    • No one has tried to play a twilight cleric (I suspect because it'd be 'sure they did well, but, y'know, by picking Twilight Cleric'), but if someone wanted to I'm sure we'd agree on some houserule for them.

    Other:
    • Initiative is d20+ proficiency modifier (sleigh nerf to Dex-supremacy, plus nod to the realism that combat experience is the primary determinant of how readily you run into the breach at the right moment, not any specific native aptitude that attributes tend to represent).
    • You get all your HD back on a long rest, but no full-HP refresh (so presumably you get all your HD back, spend them, and then rest again, taking 2 days to recharge everything as normal, but not necessarily).
    • Many variant resource recharge rates overall, including things like 'gritty realism rules for overland travel, change to base core book rules if you do a dungeon-crawl' which I know would drive some of the board nuts.
    • Simulacrum loops and infinite wish cycles of any kind are off the table (no one has felt the need to clarify exactly the constraints on it, just 'no').

    That's what stands out to me atm.
    Last edited by Willie the Duck; 2022-01-14 at 10:28 AM.

  22. - Top - End - #52
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: "Good" 5e Houserules

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    [*]Quarterstaves are two-handed weapons that deal 1d6
    why are you nerfing quarterstaves? is shillelagh with a shield really so powerful that you need to effectively remove it from the game? This is a huge hit to spores druids and some cleric builds that are far from overpowered.

    [*]Spears, when wielded by someone with martial weapon proficiency, deal +1 damage; tridents are not a distinct item.
    Spears are already strong, why the buff? What is this fixing?

    [*]Two-weapon fighting does not take up your bonus action (I've heard arguments for potential abuse, it has not occurred in our games).
    TWF is really strong in T1 and this makes it much stronger. Why not push this into the dual wielder feat?

  23. - Top - End - #53
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    PaladinGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    Class related:
    • Normal Eldritch Knights can use spells from any wizard school (1/3 casting just isn't so powerful as to make this limitation necessary), and there are druid and cleric-themed EK-equivalents that are used as alternate implementations of the ranger and paladin concepts.
    • We also have a 1/2 casting arcane class to go alongside Ranger and Paladin (yes, this predates Artificer, and they will likely be merged at some point).

    That's what stands out to me atm.
    So you have 1/2 And 1/3-casting versions of paladins and rangers? What are the features of the 1/3 paladins and rangers, besides spells?

    I tend to prefer paladins and rangers that are more fighter than caster. I really prefer spell-less versions, but the 1/3 might be an ok compromise. I'd love to develop them as fighter archetypes (as they started out).

  24. - Top - End - #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by paladinn View Post
    So you have 1/2 And 1/3-casting versions of paladins and rangers? What are the features of the 1/3 paladins and rangers, besides spells?

    I tend to prefer paladins and rangers that are more fighter than caster. I really prefer spell-less versions, but the 1/3 might be an ok compromise. I'd love to develop them as fighter archetypes (as they started out).
    Thus far, all the Eldritch Knight stuff. Ranger would get the same favored wilderness benefits a 1/2caster ranger would get, but we're in-process in changing those rules). Paladin version got turn undead. Oh!, I forgot to mention that all of our fighters get another skill and Jack of all Trades (we're all proponents of fighters having out-of-combat utility and remember back in late-AD&D and AD&D 2e when fighters got more non-weapon proficiencies than most anyone else).

  25. - Top - End - #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaervaak View Post
    why are you nerfing quarterstaves? is shillelagh with a shield really so powerful that you need to effectively remove it from the game? This is a huge hit to spores druids and some cleric builds that are far from overpowered.
    We do not like one-handed quarterstaff and shield shenanigans (with or without PAM). If you want to use shillelagh, use a shillelagh.

    I'm sure there are some very compelling arguments for why it isn't overpowered. It's also not needed and breaks our verisimilitude. Yes by now we've all seen those youtube videos of someone making one-handed quarterstaff fighting work IRL (otoh, you can also throw swords IRL, and the game doesn't see fit to need rules for that). Ask yourself this: if you'd bought the PHB back in 2014 and opened it up to the weapons chart and quarterstaves had been listed as two-handed weapons -- just like every other edition and every other RPG you've ever played -- would you have had a problem with it then? Oh, I suppose I should mention...

    Spears are already strong, why the buff? What is this fixing?
    We also do not include one-handed spear, shield, and PAM cheeze. It is fixing that spears, while obviously wieldable by relative novices and thus need to be on the simple weapons list (and balanced as such), it also was a weapon used by seasoned soldiers. This gives them (and only them, as gated by needing martial weapon proficiency) a boost and makes it roughly on par with warhammers and longswords.

    TWF is really strong in T1 and this makes it much stronger. Why not push this into the dual wielder feat?
    As I said, we haven't run into any problems. Melee Rogues already tend to be AT (who cannot 2wf with booming blade regardless) or swashbucklers (who already have a 'attack with two weapons and then retreat' option). Fighters don't tend to have continuous bonus action uses. Rangers do have other uses for their bonus actions and 'rangers aren't good at 2wf' is a major complaint about both 2wf and rangers, from what I gather.

  26. - Top - End - #56
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    PaladinGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    Thus far, all the Eldritch Knight stuff. Ranger would get the same favored wilderness benefits a 1/2caster ranger would get, but we're in-process in changing those rules). Paladin version got turn undead. Oh!, I forgot to mention that all of our fighters get another skill and Jack of all Trades (we're all proponents of fighters having out-of-combat utility and remember back in late-AD&D and AD&D 2e when fighters got more non-weapon proficiencies than most anyone else).
    I'm not sure Weapon Bond or Arcane Charge (i.e. Teleport) really scream "Paladin" or "Ranger" to me; and if you substitute Divine Smite for Eldritch Strike, a paladin won't get it till L10, which seems kind of late in the game. War Magic is debatable.

    Outside of Favored Foe (not Favored Enemy), a lot of the Ranger core abilities are honestly ribbons. More than any other class, I think rangers get a lot of their power from their subclass. How/do you bring in ranger (or even paladin) subclass abilities when they are already a subclass?

    Oh, for spells: do you let the 1/3 paladins and rangers select from a combined cleric+paladin or druid+ranger spell list, or just the caster list, or ?
    Last edited by paladinn; 2022-01-14 at 04:07 PM.

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    Default Re: "Good" 5e Houserules

    Quote Originally Posted by paladinn View Post
    I'm not sure Weapon Bond or Arcane Charge (i.e. Teleport) really scream "Paladin" or "Ranger" to me; and if you substitute Divine Smite for Eldritch Strike, a paladin won't get it till L10, which seems kind of late in the game. War Magic is debatable.
    Yeah, it's not a perfect matchup. We didn't include divine smite because we thought that being a fighter was enough to make the character martially a paladin (plus we all got into the game before smiting was a defining feature of paladins). I'm not going to dispute that this is more of a 'fighter with 1/3 cleric (and yes paladin) spells' than an attempt to bring the 5e paladin into the fighter class.

    Outside of Favored Foe (not Favored Enemy), a lot of the Ranger core abilities are honestly ribbons. More than any other class, I think rangers get a lot of their power from their subclass. How/do you bring in ranger (or even paladin) subclass abilities when they are already a subclass?
    Well the 5e existing ranger certainly pulls a lot of it's flavor (and potentially power) from the subclass, but (certainly given how many different interpretations for what makes a ranger a ranger) it certainly doesn't have to be the case. Would a Dex-based fighter with Favored Foe (and whatever wilderness travel ribbons your given travel rules would allow) and solid stealth and survival skills and low-level druid (and yes ranger) spells fit the concept of 'a ranger?' we think so, although that does leave out beastmaster rangers, which is a nut we hadn't yet cracked.

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