7 Exciting Hardcore Homebrew Rules for DnD 5e - Dungeon Goblin (2023)

Since I've been playing DnD 5e for a long time, I started making something more out of it. And to be honest, I'm craving more tactical, down-to-earth, and darker tones in my games. This makes me feel that DnD 5e is very forgiving in some aspects. DnD 5e is great for beginners, but sometimes avoids mistakes, flaws and tragedies, making for unforgettable moments. It's almost taboo to play games related to "Ultra-Mega-Hard-CoreMechanic that can evoke some negative emotions. Nobody likes it when their character dies or fails, but I think players should learn to deal with their mistakes and not just be a hero all the time. Let's find a way to add spice to our game and balance everything with the happiness of your players.

First off, all of these homebrew rules should not be added to your D&D campaign if they don't make sense to you or your players. Failing to balance the cons of these homebrew rules with the positives will result in boring gameplay. Therefore, I recommend that you only use these rules if you and your players feel they are a good fit for your table and you can benefit from these rules. Also, maybe try all the rules you want to implement before committing and see what works for you.

This line contains all the rules that I will present here. This rule is a "mega hardcore idea" that many players and dungeon masters don't like to think about, namely: nobody wants to die. Fear and morale are sometimes even more important than a sharp sword or a powerful spell. Make your enemies feel the fear of death. When you see that more than half of your battlemates are gonzos, their leader will tremble from barbarian-induced head trauma, which should demoralize you. So much so that the enemies would put down their weapons, give in, or run at full speed to avoid ending up like others.

This rule also helps players tell the difference between monsters, beasts, and mortals. Maybe orcs or dwarves aren't so afraid of death in battle? This rule helps expand the roleplay and provides a healthy balance to the exciting rules to come.

Why this line makes sense for my game:

This line makes for a slightly more satisfying ending when I feel like the fight is pointless on my part, or when I see it's going to be a boring fight. This homemade rule allows my retreating enemies to ambush, warn, or prepare for the next encounter, making their retreat a victory. In addition, the one who lays down arms can provide information or roleplay moments.

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Why this line makes sense for my game:

I don't like long and boring fights. I prefer high-risk, high-reward, tactical combat where my players are on their feet and their decisions matter, but so do the enemies.

This rule applies to monsters and players. It's a mechanic that creates a nasty wound on a critical hit. On damage, you can target the damage with a double damage penalty if you want. You can drug check the wound to stabilize it with one action (eliminating the possibility of double damage), or use a healing set for 2 hours to remove the wound or cast spells like Cure Wound, to create a wound to close.

Optional extra line:

Damage types offer some minor disadvantages. For example, Bulge Geoning/Power Critical shifts the target by -5 ft movement or removes -2 AC for the damaged armor. Slam/Poison reduces Attack by -3, or Pierce/Acid opens a bleeding wound that deals -1 to -5 HP per hit. Spin (I don't think this should continue while you're doing death rolls, it's up to you). It's more for combat flair, which increases healing requirements, but it should only improve combat flair and not be a tool to kill players. So be careful with these optional rule numbers.

This is one of my biggest complaints about D&D 5e. Heroes were almost defeated by a dragon and narrowly escaped death, but players go into hibernation and regain all their life points. As good as new, continue your adventure. I don't like it at all because players feel like they can rest in the dungeon or just go out and have a sweet healing break. It interrupts the immersion. It breaks my will to DM when I see that the players are afraid to continue and try to eliminate all risks. But I don't apply this rule to slot recovery, just health.

Why this line makes sense for my game

I'm running a game where the players are less heroic and more human. Additionally, the game is more of a sandbox and villains have one action per week to do something to further their plans (which is why I want my players to have downtime/rest). With this in mind, players have a greater sense of urgency that the world will not wait forever for them to enter a dungeon to solve the case while patiently waiting for them. Enemies may advance or weaken over the next week or session, so it's up to them to decide what to do, continue or better prepare for the encounters.

So I think complete rest should last about a week. See, this line can get annoying in a matter of seconds if you don't balance it. My favorite thing to do is use Hit Dice as a reference point for rests. Every day you get back a portion of your Hit Dice. For example, levels 1-3 can restore one cube per night, while levels 4-6 can restore two cubes. You can choose how many Hitdice you recover, but I think it seems balanced, at least to me, to increase your remaining Hitdice recovery by 1 Hitdice every 3-4 levels.

One way to even things out for players is to stay at the inn or spend a night with a group with a better lifestyle, in return for which they get more Hit Dice. What would it look like in terms of lifestyle, for example?

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Misery – Chance of a –2 Hit Die. (Terrible, building the camp fails critically).

Squalid (1 SP) – Chance to gain a -1 Hit Die. (Poorly set up for a camp or something).

Bad (2 SP) +0 Hit Dice (normal camp)

Modest (1 gp) +1 Trefferwürfel (Critical Success Camp)

Comfortable (2 gp) +2 dice

Empire (4 gp) +3 dice

Aristocratic (10+ gp) +4 dice

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That means the better places get better rest, but there are also new ideas for showcasing the places in your world. Maybe the inn has its own healer, baths, spa, whatever helps the group with their recovery.

Another reason why this makes sense for my game:

If I wanted to have a little more impact on my game, players might feel that losing health points is crucial. Therefore, the base bandit can take a few dice with him to use in battle against a larger threat. Maybe I should talk/intimidate/persuade instead of fighting?

An optional addition to this rule:

This lifestyle/Hit Dice restoration can also be combined with items/food/potions and some spells. For example, any HP potion can spawn a Hit Die or healing spells like Cure Wounds. But it's up to you what works best.

This rule is more about the fact that players who have left themselves on the battlefield after a death roll should be extra careful after getting up again. I mean, when you're dying, I don't expect a person's body with seven stitches in the chest to be fine and go on like nothing. You collect three death rolls. Well, that's too much for your character body. However, I think we could have an optional rule where medical abilities, healing spells, and other things can override that rule. For example, you may need to devote two hours to a rescue operation. Perhaps the hospices and doctors have some value in your world now.

I like turning ordinary Joes into impressive Joes when they fight together. This rule applies to both players and enemies, as flanking takes your attention away from defending against an attack. This rule works well when basic zombies with +3 to attack can get up to +16 to attack when surrounded. Those are frightening numbers for not-so-dangerous creatures. Although these types of zombies are unlikely to surround anyone, this encourages the group to think more strategically and be aware of their decisions. It also helps take down enemies faster when the group works together.

The same goes for in-game cover. Whether it's players or enemies, this is great for spongy mages, rogues, or ranged enemies. And I think this rule encourages movement into more advantageous positions during combat, thereby making the combat encounter more dynamic. This rule also works well when flanking.

Skills/tool ​​knowledge are important

There are times in D&D when the player looks just for fun. And others join if the main skill player fails the test. And I feel like the tools in the game are underused and not that important. This rule might be obvious, but that's how I usually see skill checks and tools.

The skill bonus allows you to perform complex tasks related to the skill, while anyone can try simple ones. If the player wants to jump over a simple obstacle, it is a test, while an experienced person could perform a complex task. Suppose the player has no skills and tries a complex task - it is a disadvantage test. The same applies to kits. Dressing changes can be simple, but surgery is complex. This attitude toward throws helps distinguish characters from one another and makes the most of their gear and abilities.

Optional additional rule: Repeated checks lead to disadvantages

There are times in the games when players feel that the control performed can be repeated, or that crucial moments call for it (e.g. a drug control to stabilize death, save a rolling person). I give a disadvantage if the player has tried the check before, perhaps with some risk.

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What ruleset does critical role use? ›

Hence, Critical Role's house rules have some pretty substantial variations and additions compared to the Rules As Written (RAW) of D&D 5e. All three Critical Role campaigns so far take place in the great D&D setting of Exandria, a homebrew world created by Mercer himself.

What is the rule of cool in Dungeons and Dragons? ›

From D&D's perspective, the Rule of Cool dictates that if a player comes up with something Totally Awesome to try that is not really contemplated by The Rules, the DM's response, instead of saying, “No, that's not possible,” or worse, “No, you can't do that,” should be “Roll it.”

What is any content within a dungeons and dragons game that cannot be found in an official rulebook? ›

Simply put any content within a Dungeons and Dragons game that cannot be found in an official rulebook is considered homebrew.

How do you spice up a DnD character? ›

Dungeons & Dragons: 10 Things To Spice Up A Meandering Campaign
  1. 1 Have Something Tragic Happen To A Beloved Character.
  2. 2 Set Up A Shocking Twist. ...
  3. 3 Focus On One Of The Other Pillars For A Time. ...
  4. 4 Have The Main Antagonist Make An Appearance. ...
  5. 5 Put A Favorite NPC In Danger. ...
  6. 6 Add In An Element Of Mystery To The Story. ...
Feb 5, 2022

Does Critical Role swear? ›

A general content warning for Violence, Death, Swearing, Alcohol and Sexual Language applies to all Critical Role content.

What homebrew rules does Matt Mercer use? ›

Matt Mercer includes a homebrew rule that inspiration adds 1d6 to a roll. This not only makes it a little more special, it also can stack with advantage, in case a player has a roll that they really need to succeed on.

What is 77 Critical Role? ›

Related Articles. "Clash at Daxio" (1x77) is the seventy-seventh episode of the first campaign of Critical Role. Vox Machina returns from the Elemental Plane of Fire, only to discover Fort Daxio under siege. With no word from Allura, they rush into battle to save as many of their allies as they can.

What is the golden rule of DnD? ›

The golden rule of D&D is that the word of the DM is the final say on any matter when it comes to rules. Even if it directly goes against what it says in the Player's Handbook or Dungeon Master's Guide. While this can be a useful tool to introduce cool aspects into the game it can also take away from player enjoyment.

What is the most important rule in DnD? ›

While D&D is a trademarked game sold by Wizards of the Coast, the practices surrounding how it's played vary from place to place. As such, there's no one official wording on what the "Rule of Cool" is. However, it's most easily summed up this way: if something makes the game more exciting, let it happen.

What is the most fun character in D&D? ›

Monks are some of the most fun characters you can make in D&D. Being able to dodge attacks with little armor and punch enemies to death never gets old. You can take this to the next level with Shadow Monks.

Why do Christians not play Dungeons and Dragons? ›

Some Christians will answer that in the affirmative, citing the D&D game system (complete with magic, monsters, and mana) as incompatible with a biblical worldview.

What is wrong with Dungeons and Dragons? ›

Historically, some races in Dungeons & Dragons have been depicted as automatically evil, and one critic states that they have been described with "language used to denigrate non-white peoples of the real world, specifically those of Asian or Black ethnicity".

What are the 6 characteristics in Dungeons and Dragons? ›

To finish off our Dungeons & Dragons-themed month, we'd like to discuss “attributes.” Dungeons & Dragons uses the following six attributes: Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Each attribute/ability has a score which defines the magnitude of each attribute.

Can you make up your own personality traits in DND? ›

D&D is customizable in that you can create your own house rules or your own unique traits, mannerisms, habits, beliefs, and character dislikes or fears. If you are interested in the game or you just want to know more about it, below is an easy-to-understand list of traits.

Is it okay to change characters in DND? ›

If your player is getting bored or feels limited by the character they are playing, it is perfectly fine to have them switch out characters. However, it is important to talk live with the player one to one and understand why they want to change characters.

What is the best point system for D&D? ›

The point buy system is relatively fair, not overly complex, and allows the player the most control over their character's abilities scores. And control nurtures player agency, which is why most gamers agree that point buy is the best choice – it allows you to play D&D your way!

What does it mean to roll a 20 in DnD? ›

In several editions of the D&D rules, a natural 20 is an automatic hit on an attack roll, regardless of the opponent's armor class. This occurs in AD&D 1st edition, 2nd edition, D&D 3rd edition, 4th edition, and 5th edition. In D&D 3rd edition, a natural 20 is an automatic success on a saving throw.

What stats are best for D&D? ›

The six main stats in DnD are Dexterity, Strength, Constitution, Intelligence, Charisma, and Wisdom. These six stats are meant to sum up the physical and mental abilities of any given character. In other words, each ability represents a different field of abilities that are separate from each other.

What streamer swears the most? ›

And the results revealed that Félix Lengyel - more commonly referred to as xQc - was the most 'sweary streamer', cursing on average 77 times per every 15 minutes of gameplay. Based on the streams viewed, xQc has a swearing run rate of 308 expletives per hour which translates to an expletive every 12 seconds.

Is Vecna originally from Critical Role? ›

In the Exandria setting, Vecna is a Betrayer God also known as the Whispered One. He was introduced to this setting in the Dungeons & Dragons web series Critical Role as the main villain in the last arc of the first campaign.

Who was banned from Critical Role? ›

Why Orion Acaba Officially Left Critical Role. Orion Acaba left Critical Role 27 episodes into the show's very first campaign, which obviously led to his character Tiberius Stormwind, a Dragonborn Sorceror, exiting the party, Vox Machina.

What is the Know a Guy homebrew rule? ›

The rules allow players to declare that they "know a guy" and instantly create an NPC with connections to their character. After creating the NPC, the DM then takes control of the character and has the player make a Charisma check to see how the NPC reacts to seeing the character.

Can revivify fail? ›

This means that spells like Revivify have a maximum of 75% chance of working, but luckily failing these checks doesn't completely kill the character; it only means that players need to attempt a proper resurrection ritual.

Why did Matthew Mercer change his name? ›

He decided to adopt "Mercer", which members of his family had used in the past, as his stage surname because his birth name was too similar to someone already represented by the actor's union SAG-AFTRA. He had a stint as a member of The Groundlings.

What is Vecna's goal in Critical Role? ›

He sought to "play with the toys" left by other gods beyond the Divine Gate and reshape the world, his Exandria, to his liking.

What campaign is Vecna in Critical Role? ›

The Hand of Vecna appeared in the final story arc of the first season of Critical Role, during the Vox Machina campaign.

What is the hidden rule in DnD? ›

Generally, you can hide if the creature you want to hide from can't see you, and you can't hide if they can see you, but this is subject to the DM's discretion. Hiding ends if you make excessive noise, make an attack, or come out of hiding and approach a creature.

What is the death rule in D&D? ›

When damage reduces you to O hit points and there is damage remaining, you die if the remaining damage equals or exceeds your hit point maximum. For example, a cleric with a maximum of 12 hit points currently has 6 hit points. If she takes 18 damage from an attack, she is reduced to O hit points, but 12 damage remains.

What is the 80 20 rule in DnD? ›

When a call center business obtains a service level target of 80-20 call center rule, this means the agent of the business is expected to answer 80% of calls in less than or within 20 seconds. 80% of calls shown on your call center should have a queue time of fewer than 20 seconds.

What is the 1 to 10 Rule in DND? ›

The 1:10 rule is a commonly used roleplaying mechanic that limits the time players can make choices about their actions to ten times the length of action their character can take. In combat this means that when a player's turn comes up, they are given one minute to make up their mind about what they want to do.

What are the three pillars of DND? ›

The D&D Player's Handbook describes three pillars of gameplay: exploration, social interaction, and combat. We can think of these pillars as things to discover, people to talk to, and monsters to fight.

How many is too many for D&D? ›

There's no upper limit either, as you could play a campaign with more than 10 players but doing so will most likely create too much chaos. Your character will not get enough space in the story to create and explore the character's background story, for one.

What is the least played class in D&D? ›

“In the last eight years, as we have looked at player data, we have found that for as beloved as the Druid is from a sentiment standpoint, in actual play the Druid is the least played class in Fifth Edition of the classes that are in the player's handbook,” Crawford reveals.

Who is #1 D&D villain? ›

1 Strahd Von Zarovich Holds His Entire Campaign Together

Strahd von Zarovich is one of the most iconic antagonists in all of Dungeons & Dragons, dating back to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.

Who is the god of dungeons and dragons? ›

Core D&D-pantheons

Boccob, god of magic, arcane knowledge, balance and foresight. Corellon Larethian, god of elves, magic, music, and arts (also a demihuman power). Garl Glittergold, god of gnomes, humor, and gemcutting (also a demihuman power). Gruumsh, god of orcs (also a monster power).

What is the DND version of Christianity? ›

DragonRaid is a Christian discipleship learning game set in a fantasy world.

Can you play as a god in D&D? ›

Players can become gods in D&D. To become a god, players must create a portfolio, gain power, gather followers, perform rituals, collect artifacts, cast god-making spells, and ascend to deity status. You can also kill and replace an existing deity. This process is difficult and takes years.

Who is the biggest bad in Dungeons and Dragons? ›

8 Strongest D&D Villains, Ranked
  • 8 Xanathar.
  • 7 Jarlaxle Baenre.
  • 6 Strahd Von Zarovich.
  • 5 Orcus.
  • 4 Zariel.
  • 3 Demogorgon.
  • 2 Vecna.
  • 1 Tiamat.
Mar 15, 2023

Why playing D&D is actually good for you? ›

D&D provides an opportunity for players to develop social-emotional skills, build confidence, and learn to express themselves. As kids learn and grow, they need safe spaces to try new things. They need to know it's okay that you won't always succeed the first time—or even at all.

Am I too old to play Dungeons and Dragons? ›

It's never too late to start playing D&D.

Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) is what is known as a Tabletop Role-playing Game, or TTRPG. A collaborative storytelling and boardgame experience where various dice rolls help to decide how the game and story progress.

What D&D character is 11? ›

Eleven – Mage

No other D&D class would fit this Stranger Things hero.

What is an ideal in D&D? ›

Ideals. D&D ideals are beliefs that drive a character. They can include ideas like Generosity or Greed, Respect or Might, Tradition or Freedom.

What are the different Devil types in Dungeons and Dragons? ›

Hellforged devils
  • Coal Devil: Enforcers and shock troops.
  • Glass Devil: Spies and watchers.
  • Lead Devil: Dispatched to capture prisoners alive.
  • Obsidian Devil: Police force of the Nine Hells.
  • Sand Devil: Spies and informers.
  • Spiked Devil: Covered with sharp iron spikes.

Where do I put spells on a DND character sheet? ›

Spells and Spell Slots

The number of spells you can choose at level 1 is equal to the number of Spell Slots you have. Both your spells and your Spell Slots can be tracked on the third page of your character sheet. Actually, spells make up basically ALL of the 3rd page of the D&D character sheet.

How do you write a character sheet? ›

You can start by listing the basic information about your character: name, age, place of birth, where they live, their nationality/ethnicity/race/religion/etc., all the way down to education level (if applicable), occupation(s), and marital status.

How do you calculate how much a DND character can carry? ›

Carrying Capacity = 15 x Strength Score

This means a creature that has a Strength of 10 can carry 150 pounds; Strength 8 can still carry 120 pounds.

How should a DND character sheet look? ›

What Should Be Included in a D&D Character Sheet 5e?
  1. Race/species and class.
  2. Background.
  3. Ability scores.
  4. Character description.
  5. Equipment.
  6. Proficiencies and language.
  7. Attacks and spellcasting.
Sep 24, 2021

Can you print a DND character sheet? ›

Official Character Sheets

These files are zipped PDFs; you may print and photocopy them for your personal use.

How to create a dnd 5e character in roll 20? ›

Character Creation
  1. Choose a Class. Look over the character classes and choose one that interests you. ...
  2. Choose a Race. Some classes have race options. ...
  3. Choose a Name. Choose your character's name from the list. ...
  4. Choose Look. ...
  5. Choose Stats. ...
  6. Figure Out Modifiers. ...
  7. Set Maximum HP. ...
  8. Choose Starting Moves.

Can you use DND to write a book? ›

Randomize for Creativity

The fun thing about D&D is that it's based on random events and improvisation - both things that make for excellent writing challenges. If you're stuck for a story prompt, consider looking at D&D campaign setups and tables for inspiration.

How do you pick cantrips? ›

You can click on the name of each spell to see a description of the spell. Depending on your class, you can choose anywhere from 2 to 4 cantrips at 1st level. You won't be able to change your cantrips once you've chosen them, but you will gain more as you level up, so don't stress out about this choice too much.

How do you determine hit dice 5e? ›

In general, every character has a hit dice that is determined by their class. At level 1, you have one hit die and your max hit points equal the number of sides of your hit die plus your Constitution modifier. For example, a level 1 barbarian has a CON modifier of +2 and a 1d12 hit die.

What age should my character be? ›

You'll ideally want to make your protagonist somewhere between 13 and 19 and the exact age will depend on several factors: Does the story require your protagonist to be at a particular stage in their education, e.g. starting a new school, taking exams or applying for university?

How do you create a character if you can't draw? ›

You'll need to write a description, or collect photos and objects that remind you of the character or are relevant to them. Ideally, both. Though I am an artist, I often create characters purely in text form, only drawing them later if at all.

What should a character sheet include? ›

General characteristics

A character sheet is likely to include stable attributes, such as the character's name and physical characteristics. It may also include values that change often such as experience, abilities, health/vitality (e.g. hit points) and an inventory of items possessed.

What is the 80 20 rule in DND? ›

When a call center business obtains a service level target of 80-20 call center rule, this means the agent of the business is expected to answer 80% of calls in less than or within 20 seconds. 80% of calls shown on your call center should have a queue time of fewer than 20 seconds.

How much can a goblin lift? ›

Psychotic Strengths. As a result of the Goblin Formula, Norman possesses super human strength (able to lift nine tons), speed, reflexes, endurance, and healing.

How much can a 20 Strength character lift? ›

Carrying Capacity
Strength ScoreLight LoadHeavy Load
20133 lb. or less267-400 lb.
21153 lb. or less307-460 lb.
22173 lb. or less347-520 lb.
23200 lb. or less401-600 lb.
26 more rows


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