House Rules

D&D 3.5e


  • All source-books are generally available for use (but if it’s unfamiliar to me, I will ask to review it first).
  • All spells listed/introduced in Spell Compendium must be approved by the DM.
  • All magic items introduced in Magic Item Compendium must be approved by the DM. If the item in question is found to be a reprint, the most recent printing will be used (unless in-game reasons state otherwise).
  • Anyone wishing to bring in a new character (due to death) comes in with XP equal to the lowest member of the party. Anyone wishing to switch characters gets to bring in their first switched character with the same XP as the lowest member of the party; any switches thereafter will be subject to penalty, subject to DM decision (typically lower XP or money).
  • Natural healing will function at a rate of 1hp per HD + CON modifier (minimum 0) per day. All other rules and modifiers are as written.
  • Non-Combat Healing: when the caster/user is not being threatened or distracted, all variable, numeric effects of Conjuration (healing) spells are automatically maximized. This also applies to scrolls, potions, and wands.
  • Feed the DM, get stuff in return. Feed the table, get even more. [Exception: if someone regularly shares, this goes away (to prevent over-rewarding).]
  • At the end of a session, during “session XP rewards time”, I will go around the table and ask if anyone feels they deserve additional XP for something that occurred in-game that I might have missed. If I agree, I may reward additional XP. However, things for which the character(s) already received a bonus in-game for will not be additionally rewarded.

Character Creation

  • Stats roll-up is done as follows: roll 4d6, dropping the lowest. Do this 7 times, and drop the lowest of the 7. This gives one set of stats. Do this three times and then select a set to use. You may place your stats wherever you choose. This must be performed with the DM as a witness.
  • PCs may select one of the following feats at character creation as a bonus feat (does not count against total feats known): Acrobatic, Agile, Alertness, Animal Affinity, Athletic, Deceitful, Deft Hands, Diligent, Investigator, Magical Aptitude, Negotiator, Nimble Fingers, Persuasive, Run, Self-Sufficient, Stealthy, Toughness.
    NOTE: Some exceptions may apply, generally based on character class, race, and/or character type/personality.
  • One may give up a language known at character creation to gain 2 additional skill points per language lost. Alternatively, one can be illiterate or unable to converse in one (or more, if known) starting language(s) to gain 1 additional skill point per language. Furthermore, Common is not required. In fact, if it makes sense for the character, no language is.
  • Backstory is required. It doesn’t have to be in depth, but you must provide something. I also highly recommend an image for your character page, but a good description will do if you cannot find a suitable image.
  • Bonuses are rewarded for backstory and character depth…even more-so if they are not predictable/cliché. These may take the form of extra skill ranks/points, extra items, cost reductions for starting purchases, etc. You will also receive an extra green gem in my Gem System.


  • Favored Class and Multi-class penalties are not enforced.
  • Spellcasting classes do not need to keep track of material components unless it is a valuable item required for the spell. Focuses are still required. (Casters essentially gain the Eschew Materials feat.)
  • Sorcerers gain the same feat progression as Wizards. They may add Heritage Feats to their list of options.
  • The Fast Movement (EX) class feature granted to the Barbarian, Monk, Scout, Dervish (PrC), and any other class which grants Fast Movement are to be “untyped” bonuses, just like the Barbarian version. This allows them to stack.
  • All divine casters (aside from Cleric) gain one Domain (as approved by DM) related to their class (e.g. Druids gain access to one Nature-based domain, paladins gain access to one of their deity’s Domains). This extra Domain functions as per the Cleric rules.
  • Players using one of the martial classes from Tome of Battle may swap schools of training, with some exceptions. These would be reviewed during character creation or when the PC levels into one of the classes.


  • Improved Toughness may be used in place of Toughness for prerequisites where not already stated.
  • The Improved Familiar feat covers all iterations of this feat from any source-book.
  • The Poison Expert feat from Complete Scoundrel scales as the character levels at first and every fifth level (1, 5, 10, 15, 20), to a maximum bonus of +5 at level 20.


  • Regarding critical threat attacks: if the first and second rolls are a 20, and the third is not a 20 but confirms a hit, deal the maximum of your critical damage. All other critical rules apply as normal.
  • Do not engage in “combat conferencing.” Your characters may work together as a unit, but they do not have the ability to work out extremely detailed strategies in the middle of a battle (at least not for long). Thus, players should not advise each other on any tactics during combat; however, characters can certainly shout out suggestions (using the “free action” rules for speaking in the Player’s Handbook, page 144). Under no circumstance should other players plot out your strategies for you. Exceptions to long-term advising will be given to players new to D&D (for a time), or if there is something that needs to be definitively clarified.

Special (will be stated if used)

  • All spells, magic items, and effects regarding language, unless specifically granted by a racial or class feature, do not exist. Language is a thing that MUST be learned, not bypassed by means of magic. There are unique, mysterious forces that may grant one a finite means around this rule, however…
  • I will be utilizing Rich Burlew’s variation of the Diplomacy Skill, found here.
  • The Research skill will be used.
  • Feel free to take skills that are not listed or spelled out specifically. Craft, Knowledge, Profession, and Perform allow for so much variety. The core knowledge skills cover pretty generally, but feel free to take more specific knowledge skills. They will give you lower check DCs in the specific area. For example, Knowledge(Arch/Eng) generally covers physical science, but you could take knowledge(mathematics) if you wanted to be especially good in that area. Knowledge(dungeoneering) will make you knowledgeable about many various creatures, but Knowledge(Dragons) makes you a true dragon expert. Customize as you see fit; if your character isn’t a healer, but has studied the body’s weak point, take Knowledge(anatomy) instead of Heal.

House Rules

The Vault Maesenko