House rules are arbitrary and used according to whim. However, this set is intended to make Hyracanbum feel more cinematic and the logic behind each rule is explained.
1: New Round, New Initiative
Roll initiative every round instead of just once and sticking to that order.
Reason: Combat is a chaotic mess where fortunes can change unexpectedly, not an orderly dance.
2: Five-Second Rule
When your number comes up in initiative, the player has five seconds to decide on a course of action or lose that action to indecision.
Reason: It takes so long to get around the table in combat that every player has ample time to figure out what they want to do. No excuses.
3: Friendly Fire
Firing into a melee carries the risk of hitting an unintended target. If you roll a 2 on your attack, the shot hits a randomly determined target besides the intended in the line of fire.
NOTE: the Crossbow Expert, Sharpshooter and Spell Sniper feats nullify this rule.
Reason: Unless you are a Robin Hood-level archer, shooting into a group of people, or even just a couple, carries a risk of hitting the wrong target.
On an attack roll of 1, you automatically lose any further actions that round and roll next round’s initiative at Disadvantage.
Reason: There needs to be a counterbalance to the critical hit rule and slipping in the mud or having sweat run in your eyes should set you on your back foot.
5: Ranger’s Enemy
Rangers gain Advantage to attack rolls against their favoured enemy.
Reason: Being an expert on one’s opponent should convey some extra edge in a combat scenario.
6: Undead Qualities
There are a few:
- ALL undead are immune to poison of any kind, but Holy water acts like acid or poison on them.
- Mindless undead (skeletons and zombies) are immune to magical sleep, charm or fear effects.
- Corporeal undead have Resistance to Necrotic damage, non-corporeal undead have Immunity to Necrotic damage. (As beings powered by the Negative Material Plane, the source of all necrosis, it has limited effect on tissue and no effect on ectoplasm)
- Zombies always go last in Initiative. (Slow speed)
- Skeletons have Resistance to Slashing and Piercing damage but are Vulnerable to Bludgeoning damage. (Brittle bones)
7: Selective Literacy
The ability to read complicated text is limited to classes with a literary aspect such as Bards, Clerics, Rogues, Warlocks and Wizards, as well as those of Acolyte, Charlatan, Guild Artisan, Noble or Sage background.
Reason: In pre-industrial, mostly oral-tradition cultures, reading and writing are rare skills. People may be functionally literate and INT may also factor into things, but reading and writing are specialized abilities.
8: Elven Chain-mail
There is no such thing. There is, however, Gnomish chain-mail which has the same properties.
Reason: Elves lack metal-working abilities sufficient to smith weapons and armour, but Gnomes are excellent metal-workers.
9: Six-Sider Said It
In general, a Player Character says what the player says. Sometimes we say embarassing things, however, and players may take back what they said, unless another player or the DM invokes this rule and a d6 roll by the player results in a 6.
Reason: It makes for great comedy when paladins swear!