Sunday, September 12, 2010

Receding Rules - House Rules Selection

I've been blogging more than a year now but it seemed weird to celebrate that anniversary because I'd disappeared for three or four months when work got rough last winter; it wasn't a full year.  This is my 365th post.  And I realize that some of those posts were pretty trivial, but I figure it can still symbolically stand for me sticking this blogging business out.

To celebrate I wanted to share what I consider some of the coolest house rules I've encountered in that time.

Keep in mind, my blog has always been about simplicity, minimalism, doing more with less, and, really, how all those things might help bring new players and DMs into our hobby.  So, there are no charts, no lists of contextual bonuses, nothing you couldn't explain to a new player across a noisy game table.

Thanks to everyone for the fun ride so far and here is the pdf.

Update: Ahh, sorry.  Apparently I had a pdf splicing issue.  I'm working on a fix.  Until then here is the intro and here are the other 3 pages.

Update 2: Fixed due to the help of ze Bulette, scholar and gentleman.


  1. First of all, thank you. The simple combat maneuvers rule is pure gold; I've been using that at the table since you first pointed me to it. Also love Trollsmyth's shield rules.

    The second page of the document is riddled with quotation marks that obscure the text. Just FYI.

    Thanks for putting these together in one document.

  2. This is all kinds of awesome and very handy. Thanks for putting it together!

  3. I've heard that the mass combat rules in the B/X Companion are pretty good.

    I should mention that I provided art for the book, but I have no involvement with the rules within, and to be honest, I don't know D&D well enough to really make sense of them, but every review of the book I've seen has mentioned how good the battle rules are.

  4. Thanks folks and I'll have to check out those rules, kelvingreen.

  5. Stumbled upon this through your post at the Mythmere forums. Thanks for sharing! :)

    I especially liked: Shields Shall Be Splintered, Shield Walls, and Simple Combat Maneuvers. I think they all add just enough to the tactical options without foregoing their simplicity for "realism", the latter being a fate that seems to befall a lot of players devising house rules.

    I think it's key to make any rules we add to the game as simple and straightforward (and thus widely applicable, for crafty players) as possible, thus keeping the theme of the basic rules, given how spare and straightforward they are.

    Ah, the bit about choosing to splinter/not splinter, under Shield Wall.. delightful!