Spice Up Combat In Dungeons And Dragons With These Three House Rules

By Francis Tunwase

Dungeons and Dragons is a game that has lasted generations, with each new edition bringing something fresh to the table. The game allows house rules to customize the gaming experience to your taste. 

Combat is an integral part of Dungeons and Dragons, and if done right, it can serve as a beautiful conclusion to an arc or alter the trajectory of a particular story. With time though, combat becomes dull and repetitive. Tweaking house rules can help you spice up your game combat and restore the excitement to your gameplay.

Here are three house rules you can use for this purpose:

Tweak the initiative order

After the first round, set a player turn and an enemy turn. This would allow the party to react as a unit and strategize collectively, combining powers in the proper order to gain an advantage over their opponents. A group initiative check could be used to determine turn order.

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Change the pace

Take a page out of Shadows of the Demon Lord. This game’s combat has fast and slow-paced sequences. The GM and players choose fast or slow turns at the start of combat. Those that choose the fast phase determine their order among themselves. Slow turners get extra actions. They can only take their turn after those who chose the fast phase have taken theirs; this could result in receiving damage.

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Add stamina

You can also decide to add a stamina ability. This could be done like in Elden Ring, where a stamina pool was spent when making a weapon attack or dodging and blocking enemy attacks. Stamina could then be replenished at the end of each round. 

Do you have any favorite house rules that didn’t make this list?