Stan’s 5e House Rules
Experience Rules: XP is awarded for defeating monsters, and occasionally for good roleplaying. No XP for treasure. You can also earn additional XP through these ways:
- Beginner’s Luck XP: When new characters (whether new players or old players with new characters) join an existing campaign they start a game with XP equal to the XP midpoint one level below the party average level, or equal to the XP of the PC with the lowest XP level, whichever is lower. If the average party level is 1, the new PC starts at 0 XP. For example, if the average party level is 6, and the XP range for 5th level is 6,500 to 13,999, then the character begins with 10,249 XP.
- Story XP: Receive 250 XP If you write and post your PC’s “story” (the last game session written up from the point of view of your character, or your character’s activity during downtime, minimum 250 words). At higher levels we may increase the XP award.
- Home Hex Writeup XP: Receive a one-time 500 XP bonus for writing up a few paragraphs about your ‘Home Hex’ (minimum 500 words). Home Hex is your place of origin, and can be in any region, regardless of the region’s owner. Writeup could include your history and connections to that area, your family and friends there, notable NPCs, local politics, etc. Specify the Hex number (e.g. ‘1023’).
- Region Writeup XP: Receive a one-time 1,500 XP bonus if you completely detail a region, minimum 1,500 words.
Simplified Initiative: PC with highest dex check result goes first; turns rotate clockwise thereafter. The DM acts as a player and is in the turn order; when it’s the DM’s turn, the PCs’ opponents act. Occasional the DM may have the order go counter-clockwise for variety. This gives a bonus to the person with the highest Dex roll, but simplifies and speeds up turn order.
Hit Points: After 1st level, take the better of rolling for your hit points, or the average (rounding up), whichever is better.
Inspiration Awards: The DM puts inspiration tokens in a pool at the center of the table. In addition to the DM, players can nominate and distribute the inspiration points. Inspiration follows rules as written, but can also be awarded for generally amazing roleplaying, actions that increase the drama, but not usually for getting a good laugh (unless the laugh was for amazing roleplaying).
Rotating DMs: If rotating DMs, the DM earns XP equivalent to the highest players’ XP award in each game, assignable to the DM’s PC of choice.
Home Base and Absent Players: While adventuring in a dungeon, PCs may spike doors and rest while in the middle of a game session. However, at the end of game, exploring PCs should always return to their nearest home base to rest and recuperate between sessions. Players who don’t make a game session have remained at the home base or are away on business. DM’s should aim when possible to have a game session close at some logical stopping point when not exploring or dungeoneering to provide a narrative explanation for future absent players (PCs are returning to town to gather supplies, guarding a campsite, visiting relatives, paying off gambling debts, etc.).