Not Using

The ones with a + on the title row are the ones I'm more likely to use

Thinking about (i.e. not using)

Finding magical items to buy

You may occasionally find someone selling magic items in your adventures, if so, the listed prices and conditions apply, and you don't need to use these rules. (Mostly these will be potions...)

For each item you want to buy, if you are in a location where the DM agrees there might be someone selling magic items (such as major tradehubs, great temples, top arcane universities, etc) make a (depending on desired magic item rarity, starting with Uncommon) DC 25/30/35 Intelligence(Investigation) check to find someone selling magic items of the desired rarity (taking the same time as if you tried to sell a magic item.) On a success, roll a random item of the desired rarity. On a critical success or a success by 10 or more, roll 1d3 items. These are available to buy, cash on delivery.

Roll Charisma(Persuasion) with DC as per above to be considered a serious buyer (i.e. to be able to proceed.)

To find the cost to buy the item roll a d100 with +10 for common, -10 for rare, -20 for very rare.

01-20 buy at 15 x base cost

21-40 buy at 10 x base cost, or 6 x creation cost from shady seller

41-80 buy at 5 x base cost

81-90 buy at 2 x base cost

91-00 buy at 1x base cost from shady seller

Whether buying or selling, also roll a DC 20/25/30 Charisma(Intimidation) skill check to avoid being targeted by thieves and/or the authorities for stealth/taxation/confiscation. The check dc increases by 5 if a shady buyer or seller appears, and another 5 if the group actually deals with the shady merchant. A failure results in a Deadly/2xDeadly/4xDeadly/8xDeadly encounter calculated for the higher of the group's average level and the minimum crafting level for the item at some appropriate time. If there is a failure and a shady merchant is involved the payment/magic item most likely doesn't exist/is fake/is not as advertised.

All charged items (wands, staffs, etc)

Charged items work differently than the dmg says. Instead of keeping track of charges, look up the number of charges the item has, and each time you use the item roll a die of that size (rounded up to nearest normal die size, i.e. for 7 charges roll a d8, for 13 roll a d20), a number equal to or less than the number of charges spent/lost that round means the item has run out of charges. If the item has specific rules as to what happens when the charges run out, follow them. If the item is still a charged item after that, it becomes charged again according to the item rules for when it regains charges (or a Long Rest if not explicitly stated on the item.)

Power Focusing Items (inspired by this article

All charged magic items (wands, staffs, etc) instead use these rules, replace the bold bits by inserting the proper variable from the original item

(Charged item name), (rarity) (requires attunement)

Non-spellcasting items: While holding the (charged item name) you can use an action to expend resources to power one of the item's powers. A power requires as many power points as the number of charges required.

Spellcasting items: While holding the (charged item name) you can use an action to expend resources to power one of the item's spells. A power requires as many power points as the noted caster level of the spell, you can spend more points to increase the caster level.

Resources convert to power points as follows:

Hit dice and sorcery points all produce one power point.

Levels of exhaustion produce their 'exhaustion level' points. E.g. If you go from no exhaustion to level 3 exhaustion you have produced 1 + 2 +3 points.

Spell slots produce their 'level' points. E.g. a third level slot produces three power points.

After you have used the item (number of charges) times, you are no longer attuned to it. (But may reattune once you have the time and opportunity.)

The net effect of the above is that all classes can use wands and staves, they can't be spammed freely, using several different ones is encouraged, spellcasters in general are better at it, and sorcerers are natural item users. I.e. just the way I want it.

Chase (houserule)

The DMG rules are too finicky. So:

  • Track the distances between the pursued and each pursuer in five steps: adjacent, close, medium, far, and extreme. For spells, ranged weapons and starting position consider adjacent to be within 30 feet, close within 150 feet, medium within 500 feet, far within 1000 feet, extreme within 2000 feet (~a half mile).
  • Each participant in the chase makes a DC 10 Con or Str (Athletics) check at the end of its turn to stay in the chase.
  • On a failure, a pursuer moves backwards one step OR adds a level of Exhaustion and does not drop back, dropping out of the chase altogether if they fall beyond extreme range. If the pursued fails its check, all pursuers move one step closer OR the pursued adds a level of Exhaustion.
  • On a success of 15 or higher, a pursuer moves one step closer. If the pursued scores 15 or higher, all pursuers fall back one step.
  • All participants can take an action on their turn to attack or cast a spell, but doing so counts as an automatic failure on their Athletics check. (Must be adjacent to attack in melee, for ranged attacks and spells: close and succeed in Perception dc 10, medium and Perception dc 15, far and Perception dc 20, at extreme range affecting the pursued is not possible. For area attacks, see dmg249, you must target all valid targets in the same zone, in whatever order you prefer until you run out of valid targets.)
  • Each participant in the chase rolls on the chase complications table at the end of their turn. Complications affect the next participant in the initiative order, not the participant who rolled. Either participant may spend inspiration to negate the result.

Use the normal chase complications tables (or the ones from here Quick reference chase rules), with the following changes (also covers the effects of spells, dirty tricks, etc):

Prone, Restrained, Grappled, Incapacitated -> automatically fail next Athletics check as long as condition lasts

Difficult terrain, speed is lowered, Blinded, -> Disadvantage on next Athletics roll

If current pursuer has 50% higher speed than the slowest pursued -> Advantage on the next Athletics roll (e.g. speed 9 vs speed 6)

In cities each round is 6 seconds, in open country each round is 1 minute, in wilderness each round is 10 minutes.

When a pursued drops out of the race, all pursuers can choose to also drop out of the race to start a normal combat with the pursued, and all pursued can choose to drop out of the chase to join the combat. Combat starts at 1d100% of the ranges given in the first point above.

++Players roll all the dice

Used something like it back towards the end of Savage Tide. Worked quite well.

+Travel Rules

+Lifestyle Die

You get an extra 'Hit Die' depending on your lifestyle that you can use to heal with (refreshes as the last of your hit dice.) Note that you have to pay this even when on adventures if you want to keep the hit die (prepaying is fine, it's assumed that you spend money along the way to get assorted luxuries/necessities.)

The die size is:

+4e Durations for non-Concentration spells

+Replacing crafting rules

+Wall of Force (houserule, source

15 AC, 200 hp, a damage threshold of 15, immunity to force, resistance to all magic/elemental damage forms. If cast at a higher level, the AC increases by 1, HP by 30 and threshold by 1 per level.

+Saving Throws (houserule, source

Replace the "Resilient" feat with these three feats:


You are fit and able to endure great physical stress. You gain the following benefits:

* Increase your Strength or Constitution by 1, to a maximum of 20.

* You gain proficiency in saving throws using Strength and in saving throws using Constitution.


You are quick to think and to get out of the way. You gain the following benefits:

* Increase your Dexterity or Intelligence by 1, to a maximum of 20.

* You gain proficiency in saving throws using Dexterity and in saving throws using Intelligence.


You have a strong personality and amazing willpower. You gain the following benefits:

* Increase your Wisdom or Charisma by 1, to a maximum of 20.

* You gain proficiency in saving throws using Wisdom and in saving throws using Charisma.

+Food and Water (houserule/clarification,

This replaces the normal rules.

Characters who don’t eat or drink suffer the effects of exhaustion (see appendix A). Exhaustion caused by lack of food or water can’t be removed until the character spends a day eating (or drinking) the full required amount.

A character needs two pounds of food and eight pounds of water (about a gallon - double the amount of water if the weather is hot) per day. After every day without enough water or three days without enough food, she suffers one level of exhaustion and must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw, or suffer two levels instead. Consuming at least half the required amount of food (or water) doubles the number of days before each saving throw.


+Firing into Melee (houserule, source:

This replaces Hitting Cover (dmg272)

If you attack with a non-melee attack against a target in melee roll with Disadvantage. If the attack is a miss, use the higher die with no modifiers as the attack value against the AC of the appropriate unintended target. (If there are several, roll for which is hit.)


Darkvision Downgrade (houserule/clarification)

Most creatures, spells and items that refer to Darkvision of 60' or less instead should refer to Low-Light Vision. Exceptions: All undead have Darkvision. Possibly other monsters. (houserule)

Normal: Can see normally in Bright light, everything is lightly obscured in Dim light, and heavily obscured in Darkness (i.e. effectively blind.) (clarification)

Low-Light: As above, but treats Dim light as Bright light except they can't see colors in Dim light. (houserule)

Darkvision: As Normal, but treats Dim light as Bright light and Darkness as Dim Light except they can't see colors in Darkness. (clarification)


Wildshape is overpowered at lower levels, most of this relates to the excessive amount of hit points available. This fix limits them at lower levels, but it becomes less of a problem at higher levels. (Some of the combat capable forms are still scary, but, more fragile at lower levels.)

The first bullet point in the Wildshape description changes to:

* When you transform, you keep your hit points but replace your Hit Dice with the beast’s. On top of your hit points you get a number of temporary hit points equal to the lower of the beast's hit points and your current hit points. You automatically revert to your normal form when you run out of temporary hit points (and any excess damage reduces your hit points.)

Medicine/Healer feat/Healing Kit (houserule/clarification, replaces description of Medicine skill and Healer feat)

DC varies, diagnose an illness.

DC 10, stabilize a dying creature. Regain 0 hp. (If healer has the Healer feat the patient EITHER regains 1 hp OR gains Temporary hp equal to patient's max HD.)

DC 20, first aid. Patient regains hp equal to 1d6+4+patient's max HD+healer's Medicine bonus. Can only be used once per short rest for each patient.

Roll with Advantage if one use of a Healer's kit is expended. Reduce DC by 10 if healer has the Healer feat.

Conjure Spells (Conjure Animals, Conjure Minor Elementals, Conjure Woodland Beings, Conjure Celestial, Conjure Elementals, etc...)

These spells now have a duration of Concentration, up to 1 minute. Further, creatures summoned by these spells can take no actions on their turn other than the Dodge action unless their summoner used an Action to command them, or summon them prior to their turn.

Maybe do the same to the creations of the Animate Dead and Animate Object spells?

Narrative Rests (houserule, source

The time required for a short rest or long rest will fluctuate based on the speed of plot. If we are doing a dungeon crawl, finding 45 minutes for a short rest will be good. Long rest will likely mean finding somewhere to hole up and take a day off to recuperate. When tracking through a jungle where nothing notable happens for days at a time, a short rest might be one good night's sleep, whereas a long rest might require finding somewhere to hole up for several days, repair equipment, forage for supplies, etc. Along with narrative speed their will be another guiding principle on rests. Has the party made an effort and created an opportunity to rest. Discovering a secret room during a dungeon crawl and heading back their to hole up? Short rest no problem. Finding a rarely used area and taking a breather there? Sure, short rest, though you may have to pretend to blend in or swap to a different area partway through (making the short rest take longer to complete). Killing an important priest and staying in their room while having the party's disguise expert pretend to mimic his voice and demand to be left alone. Sounds fun, short rest. (Though missing evening devotions, that could require some tapdancing on the party's part).In other words, be asking questions and making preparations that let me know that you are figuring out where and how to take a rest.

Fate Points (houserule, source

These will be replacing inspiration. Each game session everyone will get one fate point. Additional fate points occasionally be given out, generally for playing a character in an interesting, story inspired way that improves the game session for all involved. Uses for fate points follow.

  • Reroll a d20: Simple, straight forward. Also, you may have another creature directly effecting you with an attack or ability, or being affected by one of your abilities, reroll a d20 instead. So you can make sure your character doesn't die to the third crit of the random hobgoblin, or force in the boss to reroll their saving throw for a dramatic hail mary.
  • Declarations: You may declare a previously unspecified fact about the world to be true, provided the DM and other party members agree. Facts that tie into your character's background and make the game more fun will be very likely to get an enthusiastic okay. Declaring you win dnd will get you a virtual Gibbs smack to the back of the head. Some examples include: As we search the chamber for signs of the missing cultist I find the king's signet ring laying behind a bookcase. A member of a local mages guild recognizes me by the robes I inherited from my master. They ask for help recovering a trinket from an unscrupulous collector. My underground contacts inform me that a secretive auction of a magical weapon and other valuables is going to occur in two nights time. The buy in is 1,000gp. While in the middle of trying to solve the puzzle that would allow us entrance, we are attacked by an incredibly large orc wearing a helmet shaped like a ram's head.
  • Pushing the limits: You may use a fate point to attempt something that may not normally be possible, or to use your abilities in a unique way. For example: Spend a fate point to make an arcana check to see if you can attune yourmagic to the gem in the golems forehead and ignore his magic resistance. Recognize that the huntsman will be swayed by those who share his interests, and use survival in place of pursuasion to get his help. Throw your sword to cut the ropes holding up a chandelier and drop it on a group of charging orcs.

Magic items

Amulet of Health. The first sentence changes to 'Your Constitution score is increased by 1 (to a maximum of 19) while you wear this amulet.'

Belt of Giant Strength. The first sentence changes to 'While wearing this belt, your Strength score is increased by 3/5/7/9/11 (depending on whether it is a hill/stone/fire/cloud/storm giant belt, with a maximum as per the table).'

Gauntlets of Ogre Power. The first sentence changes to 'Your Strength score is increased by 1 (to a maximum of 19) while you wear these gauntlets.'

Headband of Intellect. The first sentence changes to 'Your Intelligence score is increased by 1 (to a maximum of 19) while you wear this amulet.'

Manual of Bodily Health/Gainful Exercise/Quickness of Action. Add this sentence to the end. 'Manuals of (xxx) have a tendency to somehow wander off/get stolen/be misfiled/etc after having been successfully used.'

Official variants I'm thinking about (i.e. not using)

Proficiency Die (dmg263) Replace bonus with die, i.e. +2>+1d4, +3>+1d6, etc...



In d&d 5, use the following table. The magic items will be handled by for each item rolling twice on the appropriate list on the magic items by rarity list (reroll duplicates) and you choosing one of the rolled items. If you choose a scroll you get 1d3 scrolls of the same spell of the appropriate level (roll twice on the class list of your choice and choose one, reroll duplicates), if it's a potion you get 1d4 potions of that type. Weapons and armor will be handled by rolling on the armor and weapon tables found here (either two rolls of type + weapon/armor and choose, or one roll for the weapon/armor type of your choice.) For magic ammunition either roll on the ammunition table in the above link and get 1d3 of that ammunition, or get 1 of the ammunition of your choice.

Maximum Level

As I'm probably using adventure paths that expect characters to have certain levels at certain times, I use the following rules (basically the ones I used during Savage Tide.)

The maximum level is considered to be the lower of:

  • The level indicated as appropriate for the next adventure
  • Two levels above the lowest level character currently in play.

If you reach the maximum level, you only get half xp.

Once you get to 1 xp from leveling up past maximum level, you stop gaining xp entirely until the maximum level is raised (i.e. by entering the next adventure and/or no longer being two levels above the lowest level character.)

Any xp you do not receive is shared out equally among all characters of the lowest level in the group, as long as it's lower than yours.

Racial variants. All races except Human can, at character creation, trade in 3 points of Ability Increase for a Feat, IF they can convince me this is appropriate for a member of their race (generally, feats that only increase abilities that the character has just traded away.) (E.g. a Dwarf could easily convince me to get the feats Durable, Heavily Armored, Heavy Armor Master, Resilient, Tavern Brawler.) The ones that don't increase an ability (e.g. Alert, Charger, etc), or offer a choice to either increase one that was traded away or one that was not (e.g. for a Dwarf: Athlete, Lightly Armored, etc) require a better reason. And the ones that increase ability scores that were not traded away (e.g. for a Dwarf: Actor, Keen Mind, etc) require a really good story, possibly some other drawback/nerf to their character, and should definitely affect ideals, bonds, flaws and probably background as well.

  • Fifth Edition Feats, a book full of feats (162 of them.) All except the ones listed below are available, i.e. 100+ new feats are added, mostly old 3.5 feats. Incomplete implementations of most are in the Hero Lab community pack.

Weird, or too strong:

Animal Affinity, Arcane Shield, Augmented Conjuring, Backstab, Combat Reflexes, Cleave, Concussive Spell, Danger Sense, Darting Strike, Deadly Stroke, Defensive Combat, Defensive Expertise, Disrupting Strike, Dreadful Carnage, Healing Chakra, Herbal Healer, Ironskin, Manyshot, Parry Spell, Point Blank Shot, Power Attack, Rapid Shot, Rousing Performance, Shield of Swings, Spell Focus, Spell Penetration, Taunt, Weapon Specialization.

A very similar PHB feat already exists (given in paranthesis):

Alertness (Alert), Athletic (Athlete), Charging Expertise (Charger), Combat Caster (War Caster), Crossbow Expertise (Crossbow Expert), Dungeoneer (Dungeon Delver), Eagle-Eyed (Observant), Elemental Mastery (Elemental Adept), Extra Skills (Skilled), Fortuitous (Lucky), Grappling Expertise (Grappler), Great Fortitude (Resilient), Great Strength (Resilient), Great Weapon Expertise (Great Weapon Master), Heavy Armor (Heavily Armored), Heavy Armor Expertise (Heavy Armor Master), Initiate (Magic Initiate), Inspiring Leadership (Inspiring Leader), Iron Will (Resilient), Light Armor (Lightly Armored), Keen Intellect (Keen Mind), Lightning Reflexes (Resilient), Linguistics Expert (Linguist), Mage Killer (Mage Slayer), Medium Armor Expertise (Medium Armor Master), Medium Armor Proficiency (Moderately Armored), Mobility (Mobile), Mounted Warrior (Mounted Combatant), Physician (Healer), Polearm Expertise (Polearm Master), Ritualist (Ritual Caster), Savage Warrior (Savage Attacker), Sharp Shot (Sharpshooter), Shield Expertise (Shield Master), Spell Assassin (Spell Sniper), Stealthy (Skulker), Steeled Mind (Resilient), Strong Personality (Resilient), Thespian (Actor), Toughness (Tough), Two-Weapon Fighter (Dual Wielder), Unarmed Fighting (Tavern Brawler), Weapon Expert (Weapon Master).

And these feats depend on one of the feats I've listed above:

Deadly Stroke, Improved Critical, Penetrating Strike, Shield Mastery, Stand Still, Two-Weapon Fighting Mastery, Two-Weapon Rend.

These feats introduce a new subsystem that's too similar to Sorcerer Metamagic.

Bouncing Spell, Burning Spell, Concussive Spell, Disruptive Spell, Distant Spell, Elemental Spell, Empowered Spell, Extended Spell, Heighten Spell, Persistent Spell, Quicken Spell, Selective Spell, Subtle Spell, Thundering Spell, Toppling Spell, Twinned Spell, Widen Spell


Arcane Strike - Only works on NON-magical weapons...

Slam Expertise - Everytime it mentions slam, read as shove...