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title = 'House Rules for Dungeons and Dragons'
date = 2022-02-22T10:05:00
## _Heavy_ Weapon Cleave
> 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.
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?
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.
- If the original attack was a melee weapon attack (and not _thrown_), choose a target within your reach that is adjacent to your original target.
- If the original attack was a _ranged_ or _thrown_ weapon attack, choose a target within the weapon's base range which is behind the original target along your line of sight.
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
> 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.
> Which balances it out with the 3 level dip in artificer for Intelligence weapons.
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.
> #### 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
> Warlocks used Charisma in previous editions.
> Playtest feedback wanted that carried forward.
> (Our preference was to use Intelligence.)
> [Jeremy Crawford](https://twitter.com/JeremyECrawford/status/810215324784193536), via [Sage Advice Compendium](https://www.sageadvice.eu/why-are-warlock-charisma-casters/)
I like it; 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](https://www.dndbeyond.com/sources/phb/warlock#Warlock)
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!
Note that the change applies to most Warlock features (like the Celestial Warlock's [Healing Light](https://www.dndbeyond.com/sources/xgte/subclasses#HealingLight) and invocations _except_ [Cloak of Flies](https://www.dndbeyond.com/sources/xgte/subclasses#CloakofFlies), 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](#pact-of-the-blade) ruling above.
> #### 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](https://www.dndbeyond.com/sources/basic-rules/classes#PactMagic)
> #### 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](https://www.dndbeyond.com/sources/basic-rules/classes#AgonizingBlast)
> House Rule #1: No Shield Spell
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](https://www.dndbeyond.com/sources/dmg/running-the-game#AdjudicatingReactionTiming) 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](https://www.dndbeyond.com/sources/dmg/running-the-game#AdjudicatingReactionTiming) 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](https://www.dndbeyond.com/spells/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.
> #### 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](https://www.dndbeyond.com/sources/basic-rules/spells#MagicMissile) 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](https://www.dndbeyond.com/sources/basic-rules/spells#MagicMissile).
> [Basic Rules](https://www.dndbeyond.com/sources/basic-rules/spells#Shield)