STMA

House Rules for Dungeons and Dragons



Heavy Weapon Cleave §

Source §

In my campaigns, we use a variant rule that allows “overflow” damage to cleave through adjacent enemies when using heavy melee weapons. For example, say you hit a kobold with your greatsword and do 11 damage. The kobold only has something like 5 hit points, so you can make an extra attack against an enemy adjacent to the kobold (in your reach, of course). If this attack hits, you apply the remainder of your damage. This continues until either you miss an attack roll or run out of damage from your initial attack.

beef_swellington

Discussion §

Heck yes! If a goliath with a greataxe wades into a sea of kobolds packed together, one swipe of that axe ought to be able to take out more than one foe. A two-weapon fighting character with two attacks and one bonus attack using handaxes can probably kill two or three foes in one turn; why not let the great weapon fighter do the same? And who doesn’t want to shoot an arrow through one goblin and skewer a second?

Ruling §

When you make an attack using a weapon with which you are proficient and which has the heavy property, and the damage which the target of your attack receives (after applying resistances, etc) exceeds the target’s current hit points, any remaining damage can be carried over to another target.

Make an attack roll against the new target’s armor class, using the same modifiers as the original attack. On a hit, the remaining damage from your original damage roll is applied to the new target. If the applied damage (after applying resistances, etc) exceeds the new target’s current hit points, you may cascade the remaining damage according to the same rules.

Hex Warrior §

Source §

The entirety of Hex Warrior could be transferred to the base abilities of Pact of the Blade, making a 1-level dip into a 3-level dip for charisma weapons while still keeping Hexblade as arguably the strongest patron.

Pineato

Which balances it out with the 3 level dip in artificer for Intelligence weapons.

Jsamue

Discussion §

Basically what they said. If you can get everything you need from charisma, well, I strongly dislike (and envy) you in real life and it’s too powerful for the game. So let’s push the Charisma weapons back a bit so every Bard, Paladin, and Sorcerer or (or Wizard, using the Pact Magic house rule) doesn’t jump into Hexblade for a single-level goodie bag.

Ruling §

Hex Warrior §

At 1st level, you acquire the training necessary to effectively arm yourself for battle. You gain proficiency with medium armor, shields, and martial weapons.

Remaining text moved to Pact of the Blade, below.

Pact of the Blade §

Amended to add:

The influence of your patron also allows you to mystically channel your will through a particular your pact weapon. Whenever you finish a long rest, you can touch one weapon that you are proficient with and that lacks the two-handed property. When you attack with that your pact weapon, you can use your Charisma Pact Magic spellcasting ability modifier, instead of Strength or Dexterity, for the attack and damage rolls. This benefit lasts until you finish a long rest. If you later gain the Pact of the Blade feature, this benefit extends to every pact weapon you conjure with that feature, no matter the weapon’s type.

Pact Magic §

Source §

Warlocks used Charisma in previous editions. Playtest feedback wanted that carried forward. (Our preference was to use Intelligence.) #DnD

Jeremy Crawford, via Sage Advice Compendium

Discussion §

The idea of different spellcasting ability choices for Warlock spells is supported by errata for Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, which is substituted into the text on DnDBeyond, regarding Eldritch Adept.

Eldritch Adept (pg. 79). The first sentence has been replaced with the following: “Studying occult lore, you learn one Eldritch Invocation option of your choice from the warlock class. Your spellcasting ability for the invocation is Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma (choose when you select this feat).”

Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything

I like Warlocks using intelligence; I prefer the class fantasy of a seeker of knowledge instead of a strong personality. Making the change improves Gnomish Warlock characters’ options, as well as Artificer or Wizard multi-classes. It means the Warlock is no longer a party’s face, which is OK: someone delving into the depths of forbidden knowledge is not generally going to be exceptionally deft, socially speaking.

Warlocks are seekers of the knowledge that lies hidden in the fabric of the multiverse. Through pacts made with mysterious beings of supernatural power, warlocks unlock magical effects both subtle and spectacular. Drawing on the ancient knowledge of beings such as fey nobles, demons, devils, hags, and alien entities of the Far Realm, warlocks piece together arcane secrets to bolster their own power.

Player’s Handbook

These are hackers, people. Of course, if you want to play a charisma Warlock — a suave, power-hungry maniac — I’m OK with that too! I might allow a wisdom Warlock, but someone will have to convince me that a Peace Cleric or Moon Druid multiclass wouldn’t just be too ridiculous.

Note that the change applies to most Warlock features (like the Celestial Warlock’s Healing Light and invocations except Cloak of Flies, which deals specifically with Charisma. Agonizing Blast is shown as an example below, and the change is also marked in the Pact of the Blade ruling above.

Ruling §

Pact Magic §

Spellcasting Ability §

At level one, choose either Charisma or Intelligence is as your spellcasting ability for your warlock spells, so you and use your Charisma chosen ability whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Charisma chosen ability modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a warlock spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one. The chosen ability cannot be changed.

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma chosen ability modifier

Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Charisma chosen ability modifier

Basic Rules

Agonizing Blast §

Prerequisite: eldritch blast cantrip

When you cast eldritch blast, add your Charisma Pact Magic spellcasting ability modifier to the damage it deals on a hit.

Basic Rules

Shield §

Source §

House Rule #1: No Shield Spell

Treantmonk

Discussion §

Meh. I’m not much for banning it outright, but it seems ridiculous to be able to throw up a forcefield after being hit. You need to react quickly and throw up the forcefield as soon as you notice the attack being made.

Note that the change made below does not contradict Adjudicating Reaction Timing from the Dungeon Master’s Guide. The reaction trigger (the attack or magic missile spell) is still interrupted; we’re just changing the trigger.

wax eagle points out that “waiting to see if the attack would otherwise hit them and only casting shield then” is the way the rule is written, and claims it’s better as written “than requiring a wizard to use a valuable spell (especially at early levels) for something that wouldn’t have affected them anyways.” This house rule is explicitly designed to do that: require resource usage without knowing how effective that usage will be. Most of the time, that’s how the game works: you cast a spell and see if the monsters make their saves, or spend your action making an attack without knowing beforehand whether it will hit or go to waste.

At first glance, it looks like absorb elements should work the same way: it’s a reaction that occurs when something hits the character. However, in this case it makes sense as a reaction to actually taking damage, since it explicitly absorbs some of the damage that hits. Shield, by contrast, prevents the attack (or magic missile) from hitting at all, so it should be cast before the damage hits. This house rule codifies that intuition.

Ruling §

Shield §

1st-level abjuration

Casting Time: 1 reaction, which you take when you are hit by an attack or targeted by an attack or the magic missile spell which you can see, hear, or otherwise detect

Range: Self

Components: V, S

Duration: 1 round

An invisible barrier of magical force appears and protects you. Until the start of your next turn, you have a +5 bonus to AC, including against the triggering attack, and you take no damage from magic missile.

Basic Rules

Shield Master §

Source §

Clarification about bonus actions: if a feature says you can do X as a bonus action if you do Y, you must do Y before you can do X. For Shield Master, that means the bonus action must come after the Attack action. You decide when it happens afterward that turn. #DnD

Jeremy Crawford

Discussion §

I’ll defer to ThinkDM.

Ruling §

Shield Master §

Prerequisite: Proficiency with shields

You use shields not just for protection but also for offense. You gain the following benefits while you are wielding a shield:

  • If you take the Attack action on your turn, you can use a bonus action to try to shove a creature within 5 feet of you with your shield.
  • If you aren’t incapacitated, you can add your shield’s AC bonus to any Dexterity saving throw you make against a spell or other harmful effect that targets only you.
  • If you are subjected to an effect that allows you to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, you can use your reaction to take no damage if you succeed on the saving throw, interposing your shield between yourself and the source of the effect.

Player’s Handbook