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A house rule is a change to the game rules adopted by a group of players. House rules override the standard game rules for that group.

House rules in fourth edition Dungeons & Dragons can vary widely from group to group, from free feats to using hexagonal maps instead of square grids.

In contrast to homebrew, which invents new content for use with the existing game mechanics, house rules alter the game mechanics themselves. Both house rules and homebrew content can be used in combination by a group.

Groups who do not adopt house rules may be described as playing RAW Dungeons & Dragons.

See Also

  • Dragon Magazine 382, Confessions of a Full-Time Wizard, where lead designers give house rules concerning retraining (as long as they're outside the dungeon), Formulas for determining who gets a magic item, Extra damage rules, action points based on music play, and bonuses based on good roleplay.