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Hilarious House Rules

posted Monday, December 8th 2008 by Jonathan Drain
Dungeon Mastering Advice

A post over at By Decree of the Czar got me thinking about the dozens of variants and table rules I’ve employed in years as a Dungeon Master. Here are ten of the most memorable.

I swear they’re all real.

  1. A character turned to stone can attempt to strike a heroic pose, in order to make a better looking statue. If sold, his statue fetches 100 gp times the result of a Charisma check.
  2. If the party forgets to loot the bodies, the party forgets to loot the bodies.
  3. Regardless of your feral minotaur’s Strength score, an adamantine door is not a melee weapon.
  4. You cannot take weapon proficiency in “bag of holding plus portable hole”.
  5. You always get what you wish for, but not necessarily what you wanted.
  6. The peasant railgun does not work that way.
  7. While it is a valid use of the skill, bards cannot inspire confidence using “Perform (interpretive dance)”.
  8. The variant called shot rules are there for a reason. That reason is not so you can “punch the red dragon in the happysack”.
  9. Alchemist fire is thrown one vial at the time. You cannot kill a creature in one hit by “tying a hundred vials together”.
  10. As a last resort, you can make a God Call. If you don’t have a deity, there’s a scramble for the celestial telephone and you get one at random. The last time this happened the guy got Erythnul. Messy.


  1. Asmor

    December 8th, 2008

  2. Zaratustra

    December 9th, 2008

    Every animal skin can be made into armor.

  3. Branitar

    December 9th, 2008

    I’m still laughing about the peasant railgun :D

  4. David

    December 10th, 2008

    Heh, these are good, and the Peasant Railgun made me laugh hard when I first read about it. Abusing game mechanics for the win!

    I’ve had a door used a weapon in a number of my campaigns. This number is neither zero nor one. However, large constructions of adamantine (door sized or so) generally get stolen. “Fabricate”, I think, is a middle-level arcane spell that can change that door into ingots, which can be carried in a bag o’ holding and sold for a fortune.

    The ‘God Call’ is an interesting thing that I’ve done lazily before. Generally I say that any player has a class levels / 2 in 100 chance of getting their god’s attention, if they have a patron god. Clerics/other religious classes get class levels in 100 instead. Non religious are just boned. Of course, most gods don’t really care about mortal matters all that much, and since most of the PCs in my games are chaotic neutral, the gods get a bit weird on occasion.

    Altogether fun times.

  5. #12/365 - The D&D Edition « The Winter of My Discount Tent

    March 14th, 2009

    [...] Told, and trying to decide if fruit leather armor is effective protection. There are a million in-jokes as a game progresses, which you’ll remember long after you’ve misplaced your shiny new [...]

  6. Nick

    June 7th, 2009

    No mentioning of the name Frank at any point whatsoever. d=

  7. Nick

    June 7th, 2009

    Also I really like the statue rule, I might steal that. d=

  8. Shyft

    October 6th, 2009

    reminds me of this list:
    Things Mr. Welch can no longer do in an RPG


  9. Marty

    December 6th, 2009

    There is a sentient race of eagles with a highly develloped code of honour in this world. This code of honour leads them to patrol the skies and drop heavy objects (anvils, pianos, hippos or VW Camper vans) on Adventurers that they see doing stupid things.They have a racial bonus of +30 to Spot checks and a BAB of +30 as well.

  10. D&D House Rules « Psyche Pollution

    February 14th, 2011

    [...] All but the first two have been taken from this awesome place. The first two are from here. [...]

  11. D&D House Rules « Psyche Pollution

    February 14th, 2011

    [...] but the first two have been taken from this awesome place. The first two are from here. [...]

  12. Emma

    October 16th, 2012

    LOL! The sad thing is over the years my games have developed some fairly similar rules.

  13. Carter

    April 13th, 2013

    If you annoy the DM, I will take it out on you in game. Yes. I will drop rocks on your character’s head because you won’t stop talking. Being my boyfriend doesn’t save your character.

  14. Cole

    August 31st, 2013

    The groups I play with have similar rules to half of these. The biggest difference lies in the crazy idea department. We always encourage finding new ways to make things happen.

    Portable holes are not a “weapon” but you are encouraged to use one to your advantage in ways the DM won’t anticipate.

    The point is not to hit the dragon in the happy sack. You can use it that way, but be aware dragons don’t look favorably on that.

    And you can’t exactly THROW a giant bundle of alchemists fire, but if you can find a way to deliver it, one shot kills will work. Just remember; a good idea can come back to haunt you.

    P.S. Yes, we have used the rule to strike a pose while being turned to stone. Somewhere there’s a gnome who rolled a 1 on his charisma check and became the ugliest statue ever erected.

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