Do you go to the dungeon?

Houseruled Spells & Abilities


Spells That Make Food Or Light

Most of these spells have seen a nerf (by me your cruel DM) and the most common nerf is that the spell now requires and consumes components.

The RAW in 5e is that if a material component costs money (like the 300 gp diamond for Revivify), you need to actually have the component. And if the material component doesn't cost money, there are two ways to get around the material component: you can assume that it's something you already happened to have in your component bag, or, you can use your arcane focus instead of the material component. (Of course if you happen to not have your component bag or your arcane focus at hand, but happen to have the actual material components, that's good too.)

I think this is a very good rule and I want to keep using it.

However I'm going to add prices to some of the components, for light-giving and food-giving spells. I want you guys to be starving and lost in the dark.

New players… I don't want them to be overwhelmed by all the rules, both RAW and house. Anyone who can genuinely convince me that they were unaware of this rule are assumed to have components enough for four uses of these spells and I'll also waive the weight requirement for those four uses.

Continual Flame

In the RAW, this already costs 50GP, but then burns forever.

In the house rule:

Put in rubies worth… to get…
50 GP 50 hours
100 GP 100 hours
500 GP 1000 hours (over a month)
2500 GP 10000 hours (over a year)
12500 GP 100000 hours (over a decade)
Generally, for n bigger than two: 10ⁿ/2⁽ⁿ¯²⁾ GP10ⁿ hours

Rubies are tiny items regardless of value. Finding that many rubies, or rubies of especially high value, is a quest of its own…

Dancing Lights

A bit of phosphorus or wychwood, or a glowworm. Is a tiny item (coin sized) and costs two copper pieces.


No added components. Works like RAW.


A sprig of mistletoe worth 5sp and is a small item.

Same weight as a day's ration and feeds ten people instead of one? A good deal for one slot.

Leomund's Tiny Hut

Firefly or phosphorescent moss as per Light, or rubies as per Continual Flame. This is only if you want light in there, you can sit in the darkness for free.


A firefly or phosphorescent moss. Six uses costs 1 silver and is a small item. If the spell is ended prematurely, you can reuse that component later for the remaining time. For example you shine the light for 40 minutes. Later you can shine the light for 20 minutes. But then it goes out. In that regard, it's more similar to a bundle of torches than a flask of oil.

Produce Flame

Dry balsa wood. A six-pack costs 1 silver and is a small item.

Purify Food and Drink

Works normally.

Create Food and Water

Can't reset starvation days, but does count as eating normally for the day.

Heroes' Feast

Resets all starvation for sure. What a great spell

Other food- and light- giving spells

Just because I missed them doesn't mean that they don't cost. Let me know and I'll add them here.

Movement and targets

Generally, all spells that hit an area now affect a specific number of people. (This is an option from the DMG.)

The general formula is the area divided by five and rounded up. Except cones, divide them by ten. And lines, divide them by thirty. So a 100 long line can hit 4 people.

Fire Elemental "walk-through"

  • No more than 6 people per round can be lit just by moving through them. Also, if you want to light people who are in separate mêlée groups, you need to light everyone who is in your group before moving on.

Thorn Whip

  • If you attack someone in another mêlée group, you pull them out of it.
  • If you attack someone outside any mêlée group, you may pull them into yours.
  • If you attack someone in your own mêlée group, it's just another attack.
  • You can also pull them into caltrops or similar, instead.

Thorn Whip in Chase or Volley works with the listed ranges.

Getting pulled out doesn't trigger opportunity attacks, the rule book says:

"You also don’t provoke an opportunity attack when you teleport or when someone or something moves you without using your movement, action, or reaction. For example, you don’t provoke an opportunity attack if an explosion hurls you out of a foe’s reach or if gravity causes you to fall past an enemy."


With Haste, you can make your extra mêlée attack in the last volley round, the same round as you cast your Haste spell.

Healing Spirit

(We are switching over to Crawford's suggested house rule.)

The amount of d6 that can be handed out is now limited to twice your casting mod.

Word of Radiance

Houserule: max six targets.


You can use "Mending" to help you fix broken ammo, if you can find it.

Mending cannot heal creatures such as robots or animated corpses.

Reactions & countering


XGE opened a can of worms on how to adjudicate counterspelling. But, I don't want to change our normal flow of the game too much, even if our normal flow makes Counterspell stronger than Brian intended. So this is how it's gonna work.

There are now two ways of casting a spell. Once is the normal way we've been using, "Drooma you get five fireballs to the dome". In that case, you can counterspell the fireballs right away as normal. And one is saying "I'm casting a mysterious spell". In which case you can either try to counterspell it unseen, without knowing what it is, or you can try to identify it (int ability check vs DC15 + [Spell level], adv if it's from your own class), but not both. But two people can work as a team, one to identify and one to counter.

Casting "mysterious spells" this way is something that both player characters and non-player characters can do. It is annoying af but that's how it's gonna be. Most of the time the spells cast probably won't be "mysterious" and we'll just go "ok you get a couple of lightning bolts roll saves" "nuh-uh, I'm countering that!" and that is fine.

If the spell casting is imperceptible (such as Subtle Spell sorcerer ability or Innate Spellcasting monster ability, if that ability removes all three component requirements), that means it's also uncounterable! #scragnoth

TL;DR: saying your spell is "mysterious" means that that's people's window to counter it unseen (or roll to identify it); otherwise you can just counter it normally.

Wall of Force

This spell is changed so that

  • You can't telefrag enemies with it
  • You can't squeeze them between the wall and another object, wall, or floor.
  • You can push them prone but they can crawl out
  • If you want to keep them trapped in there, use the Dome shape. Two medium (or smaller) targets or one large target.

Mold Earth

Houseruled to use a six foot cube.

Find Familiar

The PHB says “the familiar has the statistics of the chosen form, though it is a celestial, fey, or fiend (your choice) instead of a beast”. For Zakharan characters, the familiar is instead always an elemental instead of its normal type.

Remove Curse

This spell is not changed from RAW, but please be aware that Ravenloft book DM section says:

While more general curses can lifted by a *remove curse* spell, morespecific or dramatic curses can't be permanently lifted throughspells. Magic can offer temporary respite, though. A *remove curse*spell cast on the victim of such a curse suppresses the burden for 1hour. A *greater restoration* spell suppresses the burden until thevictim finishes a long rest. Death usually ends a curse, but the cursereturns in full force if the cursed character returns to life withoutresolving the curse.

These curses are called "more specific curses" and it's not always clear diegetically which curses are "more specific curses" and which are more your vanilla every day curse.


"Any creature who hasn't taken a turn yet" counts main actions obv, being surprised don't make you immune to assassination.

Dread Ambusher

"At the start of your first turn of each combat" means in association with your first main action each combat.

Reincarnation in Zakhara

  • 01 Earth Genasi
  • 02 Water Genasi
  • 03 Fire Genasi
  • 04 Air Genasi
  • 05-13 Dwarf, hill
  • 14-21 Dwarf, mountain
  • 22-25 Orc
  • 26-34 Elf, high
  • 35-42 Elf, wood
  • 43-46 Gnome, forest
  • 47-52 Gnome, rock
  • 53-56 Half-elf
  • 57-60 Half-orc
  • 61-68 Halfling, lightfoot
  • 69-76 Halfling, stout
  • 77-96 Human
  • 97-00 Goblin

Zone of Truth

A la Pathfinder: you only get one save (when you first enter the zone the first time) but you can choose to fail.

Charisma-based Saves

Most wisdom saves are now going to be charisma saves. For example Toll the Dead.

There are two exceptions:

  • Dangers that depend on attention and awareness to avoid will still be wisdom based.
  • Unintelligent animals like rats will still use wisdom instead of charisma for these saves.


We use Introducing Late Night Fighting (a fighting system more similar to The One Ring or Wizardry than to any edition of D&D) and Oh, Injury! along with Players roll.

Start of combat

Abilities that grant initiative bonus

These gain firster strike than light.

  • Rakish Audacity or other special ability (like weapon guardian whispers)? If equal,
  • Light, if equal
  • Home turf

Combat options

Momentum attacks

One-shot? Keep swinging!

Whenever you one-shot an enemy with a mêlée attack, and have damage remaining, you get a free additional "momentum attack", but do not reroll any dice. Use the same to-hit roll result as previously, and the damage you had remaining from the last attack. You cannot move between the attacks. If you then one-shot another enemy, you get an other momentum attack, so can keep doing this as many times as you want as long as you've got damage remaining and enemies within reach.

This is only for attacks against AC, not against their other saves, and not ranged attacks, and it's only for attacks against enemies with full HP.

If you used mob rules to land the one-shotting attack instead of a dice roll, you've got to roll for the first of the momentum attacks. If that hits, you're golden. Otherwise, the attack is over.

These momentum attacks are free, they're in addition to any bonus actions, extra attacks, offhand weapon attacks etc, but unlike them, you can never move before a momentum attack. It's limited to what you've already got in front of you and only works for mêlée attacks.

Also unlike other variants of extra, bonus, and off-hand atttacks, you've got to keep selecting new targets even if the downed character is still alive (for example, they have death saves remaining).

This replaces the "Cleave" option we used previously. This is available for all characters regardless of class or level.

Reckless Defense against mobs

When a mob is attacking you, you can decide to defend recklessly. You are desperately trying to fend off the attack, pushing yourself to the utmost of your capability. That doesn't cost any actions, it's free. Make a defense check, and that value replaces your static defense value against the mob this round.

If the DM has said the damage die expression, you need to decide whether or not to defend recklessly (a.k.a. defending wildly or defending desperately) before those damage die are rolled.

Weapon Maneuvers

Weapon Maneuvers are allowed. That's pretty advanced so don't worry about that when you're first starting out. Any class can use them.

Non-lethal fighting

Character building

Ability Scores

No point buy. Choose between rolling 4d6-drop-the-lowest six times, or from your choice of any of these stat arrays:

  • 14, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8
  • 15, 13, 12, 11, 10, 8
  • 15, 14, 12, 10, 9, 8
  • 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8 ← the best one
  • 15, 13, 13, 12, 10, 8
  • 15, 14, 12, 12, 10, 7

Then arrange the stats in any order.

Tool Proficiencies Tasha's Limit

When using the "proficiency swaps" from Tasha's, you can now get only two tool proficiencies from your type of being, total, combining swaps and intrinsic. If you get more, you can give them to other player characters. We want a lot of tool proficiencies in the party, but, we wanna divvy up the crafting spotlight. This only applies to tool proficiencies from your type of being, not to tool proficiencies from other sources.



Changed so it works with ability check proficiencies. You gain proficiency in one ability and one tool, or in three tools.

Keen Mind

Please don't use the 5e version of this feat. One D&D makes more sense.



Tool expertise

Rogue can get expertise in two tools instead of an ability; it only works on some tools, see expertise for full details.


These abilities are stolen from an OSR-game, GLOG by Arnold Kemp. I wanted to buff the assassin a little bit!

Infiltration Expertise

Starting at 9th level, you gain the ability to create false identities for yourself. At any time, you may declare that you are walking off. Later on in the session, you may reveal yourself to have been a minor NPC in the background “all along” as long as there actually are minor NPCs present. You can walk back on at any time, even climbing in a window. This ability is limited by plausibility. You can't have been seen at the same time as the NPC since they are (retroactively revealed to be) an alternate persona you've created and maintained. Creating a persona like this costs 25 GP and 7 full workdays, but, you can pay that retroactively, after the reveal, by removing any 7 days from your character's past and by paying 25 GP. (However, if you neither have spent 25 GP on this in the past nor have it available now, you can't use this ability.)


At 13th level, you no longer have to create personas for your Infiltration Expertise, you learn to replace pre-existing people, body snatcher style. You need to study them for at least three hours. This doesn't cost GP.


Ear for Deceit

is kinda worthless the way we run but it works with the Insightful Fighting feature

Eye For Detail

is also pretty crap as written. As a houserule, you also gain the following ability:
You search faster; you can investigate twice as big an area (for every side, so eight times the volume) per exploration turn.

I mean this is still a pretty bad rogue compared to the other fantastic rogues.


Second-Story Work

This is a level three Thief feature. You gain two additional benefits, in addition to the ones listed (faster climbing speed and longer jumps).

Fast Hands

It's not clear whether Fast Hands work with the Healer feat or not, so let's rule that it does work.

It does not work with potions.


Patient Defense

This is a level 2 monk Ki feature that allows you to spend a bonus action to dodge. This one, we still play like the RAW, but that's worth pointing out here since our normal dodge action used to work differently. (It's still a really good use of a bonus action, if you predict you are going to be attacked!)

Level 9 Monk Unarmored Movement

You can run along routes abseling, sloping, and hard climbs without rolling. If you end your movement there, you need to climb in order to grab hold.


Reckful Fighting

As a houserule, the cavalier gets a level 3 feature called "Reckful Fighting"; they can make attacks with disadvantage even when they are otherwise dodging. They can not do this if they already have disadvantage, but they can if they had advantage (and will now fight normally). Cavaliers are already one of the best classes in the game but I want to buff them even more. It's the opposite of the barbarian's "Reckless Attack".


Transmuted Spell in Zakhara

You can learn off-school spells (even as a single-element mage) if you always spend sorcery points to transmute them with the Transmuted Spell metamagic. However, they do not cost as half-slot known.

XP and levels

Injuries and XP

Injuries help you level faster as long as you remember to bring them in play. See Scar XP (School of the Hard Knocks) for details.

Trading and XP

When you buy trade goods, choose one:

  • You individually get 1 xp for every ten dinars you spent, or
  • The party can split 3 xp for every twenty dinars you spent

If you establish holdings you can get better prices in a region, as does clearing out trouble and danger from the region.

Monster XP

Overcoming challenges (such as monsters) gives you XP (killing them, sneaking past them, or any other way). You can't double dip (if you kill a monster that you earlier snuck past, you don't get more.)

You don't get this XP right away. It's withheld until you succeed on goals; the default goal is finding treasure (optionally a character might have some other goal; decide with DM and group ahead of time).

I just freestyle it to the best of my ability: I eyeball it and go like "OK, this seems like a big treasure, but they don't have that much withheld XP left, so how about 300 xp for them".

Sidekicks and henches

This is how the party splits XP:

Count all party members, counting full PCs twice. Split the XP into that—that's a half-share. Then all players get a full share (two half-shares). Sidekicks don't need XP (they follow the party), and other henches and hangers-on get a half-share.

So if there are two PCs and two sidekicks, the PCs get one third of the XP each. (2 + 2 + 1 + 1 is six, so a half share is a sixth, and a full share is twice that).

If there are two PCs, two sidekick, and a follower, the PCs get ²⁄₇ each and the follower gets ⅐.

If a player is playing a sidekick class, they still get full XP but only count as half when determining shares. So players playing sidekick classes are good for the party, they get more XP overall.