Thursday, June 20, 2019

House Rules

The new school year will be upon us before we know it. This means that I will be starting my new OSR campaign for my students at school. I am planning on using Old School Essentials with some of the expanded content from the two new books. I am also planning on running B2 Keep on the Borderlands as the setting to begin with. I am assuming this will take them most of the year to complete, if they do finish it I will move onto X1 Isle of Dread. The real focus of this article will be to discuss the house rules that I am planning on using in my game. It talking with the community, I don’t think a single person I talk with runs the game straight, so these are mine.

General Rules

  • Stats are 4d6 drop the lowest in order.
  • At first level Hit Point rolls of 1 or 2 can be rerolled.
  • Hit Points are rerolled at each level, minimum 1 hit point increase.
  • Alignment Languages will not be used.
  • Death & Dismemberment is being used.
  • Attempting player facing defense. With 1s being a crit fail for something bad happening, 20 is an extra attack.
  • Healing is with Advantage outside of combat, including potions.



  • If loaded and ready, can fire before combat begins.
  • Must reload
  • All missile weapons can Aim one round, crossbows can aim up to 3.



  • Wizards can Read Magic naturally and does not need to be cast. Does not apply to elves.
  • Wizards get bonus spells based on WIS bonus.
  • Wizards have a 10% chance per level to Identify magic items. (Max 90%)
  • Wizards can use staves.
  • Spell research costs 1,000 GP and two week’s time, per level of spell.
  • Mentors cut the time in half, but twice the cost.
  • Scrolls/Spellbooks cut the time and cost in half.
  • Cannot memorize the same spell twice in one day.
  • B/X Blackrazor’s article Magical Skills (Cantrips).



  • Fighters can specialize in one weapon at level 1 granting a +1/+1 bonus in that weapon.
  • Fighters may use Shields shall be splintered



  • Clerics get bonus spells for WIS.



  • Backstab does not literally have to be a stab in the back, but an attack at an unaware target with any weapon.
  • Thieves Cant is added
  • All Thief Abilities are a Hear Noise Check.


Does not need a spell book, gets spells back at dawn every day.

Learns new spells naturally.

This is a living document that I will update as time goes on. Updated 9/11/2020


  1. All rules I will be using as well.... interesting that its WIS for magic users and not INT

    i am also considering DEX based bonus's for thief skills - but using a 2D6 thieves skills chart instead

  2. All spell bonuses for me are WIS. INT is good for more languages and learning new spells.