House Rules

Ok so I am still dealing with a lot of life being life, house, wedding plans, work and so on. SO I am pretty sure knowing that most who read blogs could understand a lack of posts.

Todays topic is not a game review but it is sort of essential to games and gaming. House Rules.

What really got me thinking about this was looking at a copy of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness. Published by Palladium Books back in 1985, and giving credit to the real original turtles by Eastman and Laird. The game had a published rule in the book in first edition (not really sure about later editions) that actually stated that normally you create a character at first level, but when you are creating a team, everyone that shares the same origin on the team actually boosts the level of all the characters by one per person. So if you have five players, and three share the same origin, everyone starts the game at level three.

Now then I have carried that rule over into other games a few times. Usually it gets a good reception from players because it lets them be a little stronger at the start of the game. However from a game master standpoint it also makes things easier on me. It unifies the players a little and makes it possible to really put a big bad or background element into play that I can bring everyone into easier. More depth equals better story. Or so it has seemed.

So that is a published rule becoming a house rule.

Almost everyone I have ever gamed with has used house rules of some kind. Either taking out rules from the books, or adding new things in. House rules just seem to pop up where ever you play. And yet strangely rules lawyers (players and game masters who insist that all rules be followed not only to the letter but in spirit as well) usually seem to want to have as little to do with them as possible, unless they have created them.

Now then I have not asked for feedback up to this point other than suggestions on another page, but I was really wondering if any of the folks who may happen to read this blog have any favorite or least favorite house rules they would like to share? If so please so it in the comments below.

Personally for me favorites include the shared origin I told you about above, and running a live table. That means that when players are sitting at the table everything they say is in character, it becomes a part of the game. You want to be safe to crack jokes or run with something in person and not in your characters voice you get up and move away from the game.

So yeah this is a short post, I hope everyone is out there playing safe, and having a great summer…

Now gimme the dice, I need to see if I can roll up a discount on a power washer for the house… heh

  1. #1 by dantherpgman on August 7, 2016 - 8:36 pm

    Like you say, almost every tabletop RPG ever has some house rules built in; those games have so much going on and such a diverse group of players that everyone is going to need to do at least a little bit of customizing.

    At the moment I can’t recall any particularly good or bad house rules for tabletop games…what actually springs to mind is Lords of Waterdeep. I’ve enacted so many house rules on that thing (no mandatory quests, moons equal 4 gold each instead of 5, draw two lords at the beginning, keep one of them, etc.) that when I teach new people the game now it’s hard to figure out which set of rules I’m actually teaching them.


    • #2 by authortao on August 7, 2016 - 11:35 pm

      That can be a challenge. It can also be part of the fun. I remember a very bad kung fu spoof movie where they introduce a character and tell everyone that he was so bad they taught him martial arts wrong on purpose. He had mastered the “This is my face on your fist” technique. Makes me wonder if we could do the same thing with house rules to a gamer 🙂


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