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DQ's D&D 3.5 House Rules

For my D&D 3.5 campaigns, I follow the rules in the core rulebooks with the exceptions that follow. Players need to read this before they create characters for a game I run. Otherwise I publish this here for 3.5 players and GMs looking for ideas, although they should keep in mind some of these rules are qualified by roleplaying and setting factors in the particular games that I run–not to mention I have the luck of running for players who don't need a lot of reining in, rules/balance-wise.


  1. Neutral characters can become Assassins, provided they fulfill the other requirements for the Prestige Class, both listed in the rulebook and the roleplaying requirements I will demand of any player wishing to take on a Prestige Class.
  2. Clerics are always proficient in the favored weapon of their deity, even if martial or exotic. In my campaigns, it is assumed temples train their priests in the use of their deity's favored weapon (I also assume, however, that most of my players are into roleplaying enough to use this appropriately).
  3. Rogues and Duelists are proficient in bucklers (but no other kinds of shields). Duelists must wield masterwork-equivalent bucklers to avoid any penalties for having anything in or on their off hands. This is a "flavory" adjustment based on the fact that bucklers are specifically meant to be unobstructive and were designed to be used by finesse-style combatants, which the duelist represents.
  4. Rangers and druids may not choose war-animals (warhorses, war ponies, etc.) as animal companions. They can choose normal non-war trained mounts and of course train them to become combat ready using the bonus tricks they get.
  5. Monks get an additional +2 skill points per level (using base rules, this is 6+Int per level; when using my "extra skill point rule" below, this means they get 8+int per level).
  1. The divine spell Deathwatch is not considered an "Evil" spell, as it certainly has practical uses for non-evil persons.
  2. The druid/ranger spell Entangle has a duration of two rounds per level, max 10.
  3. Ray of Enfeeblement does 1d4 Strength damage, not 1d6.
  4. Spells: Note the Righteous Might spell has errata on it and is different than as printed in the Player's Handbook (the bonuses are 4/2/1, not 8/4/2). However, I do keep the pre-errata alterations to damage reduction (5/10/15 instead of 3/9/12).
  5. Not a rule, but: WoTC recently errataed Polymorph and druid shapechanging. If you want to get the Polymorph spell or play a druid, please let me know and talk to me so we're clear with each other on the rules and restrictions.
  1. Mounted Combat: If you are riding a mount, both you and your mount cannot attack on the same turn. You may choose to attack, or your mount may choose to attack, but never both in the same round. This may seem unfair, but I've unfortunately watched players nearly break my game by exploiting mounted attacks.
  2. A mind flayer holding onto a jar on a table is not helpless/prone (don't ask).
Character Creation and Building
  1. Character Creation: Use "point buy" at 28 points to create your characters. A standard heroic array may look something like 8 10 12 13 15 16, or 10 10 12 13 15 15.
  2. Skills: Everyone may choose Appraise or a Knowledge or Perform skill that reflects their upbringing or non/pre-adventuring livelihood and make it a class skill. Alternatively, they may choose one of the above skills or a Craft IF IT IS ALREADY A CLASS SKILL and get a +1 bonus to any rolls using that skill. Please discuss this skill choice and your character background with me before you finalize this choice.
  3. Skills: EVERYONE gets an additional +2 skill points per level. Everyone also MUST invest 4 of their allotted first level skill points into one of the following: Appraise, Craft (Any), Knowledge (Any), Perform (Any), or Profession, again also reflecting a certain upbringing or livelihood.
  4. "Trapfinding" is a feat, identical to the Rogue ability. Anyone with 4 ranks in Search AND in one of the following–Craft: Trapmaking, Knowledge: Architecture and Engineering, Knowledge: Dungeoneering, or Survival– may take this feat. Rogues still get this ability as a class feature.
  1. Dragonhide: Ignore the stats for dragonhide armor in the DMG and the Monster Manual; instead, these are the statistics: Armor bonus +5, Dexterity Bonus +4, Armor Check Penalty -2, Arcane Spell Failure Chance 20%, Max Movement 20', weight 25 lb, Medium. It is considered Masterwork armor. The armor itself ignores any damage from the appropriate element (e.g., red dragonhide cannot be damaged by fire) but does not necessarily protect the wearer from that element; however, crafters of magic armor need only pay a quarter of the market price (rather than half) for the materials cost of enchanting that armor to protect the wearer from that element. A deeper explanation of these rules is explained here.. The statistics for dragonhide's properties (i.e., hardness, hit points, etc.) are as they are in the core rules.
  2. Oozes: All oozes are Immune to Acid. Grey Oozes are not Immune to Fire, but have Fire Resistance 5.
  3. Mind Flayers: A mind flayer holding on with all 4 tentacles does 2d4 Int damage rather than have a chance at killing instantly. However, if a mind flayer manages to drop the Int to 0, the victim then must make a Fortitude saving throw or die. If they make the save, they are alive but helpless until a Greater Restoration spell is cast upon them.


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All original materials © 2003 R. Pickard