Like most 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons DMs, I’m constantly tinkering with the rules in hopes of improving the experience at the table. But it takes a bit of time and testing before I consider an idea worthy of officially adding to my game. As such, I’ve been testing out some ideas on Twitter for feedback. These are the various rules I’ve thrown out for feedback during up through the end of April 2021. After a time, if they seem worthwhile I’ll officially add them to my own house rules list.
- You may use your reaction to use the Dodge action when an attack has been declared against you, but before the results have been rolled. When you do so, you may only use the Dodge, Hide, Help, Dash, or Disengage action on your next turn.
Comments So Far
My motivation here is to create slightly more dynamic options in combat. In particular this rule would benefit intelligent group base combat. Additionally it would mitigate the devastation of a single high damage Big Bad Evil Guy (BBEG) attack. This being more common in many adventures now. Taken together, the intent would be to have another option to manage combat though choices.
The overall feedback has been positive on this. One notable commenters thought this would give too many options to power gamers to cheese in and out of combat. However, I’m not sure disadvantage is as much protection as people think. In particular, it benefits characters with high ACs the most, but they are less likely to be inclined to use it. So, for my part the theory seems solid here, the feedback generally positive enough to think about testing this in my game.
- You may use your Bonus Action to perform Help against a creature you are grappling.
- If you are able to make multiple attacks with the Attack action, you can replace one of them with an attempt to Escape a Grapple.
- Every character starts with The Grappler feat.
Comments So Far
Like the defensive options above, my thinking here is again to provide some more dynamic options in combat. Currently, grapple is used to control someones movement and has no option to pin anyone. I believe the logic is that pinning someone is ‘winning’ and that is already handle in Hitpoints. However, I think it could be fun and return some potions to anyone in melee.
The feedback here was overwhelmingly positive. Several commenters replied with house rules of their own, many using some mix of these options already. Again, the theory seemingly solid and feedback being good, this is definitely moving to testing at my table.
Request for More Feedback
If you find any of these house rules interesting or have thoughts, please hit me up on Twitter with any comments. If you try any of these out at your table please let me know how it goes. In the months ahead I’ll try to add additional features with rolled up house rules for that period. Perhaps I’ll return with feedback from testing on these as well.