As you could probably tell from my best virtual tabletop software and best D&D soundtracks articles, I love Dungeons & Dragons. So of course I'm going to talk about the latest announcements. For those who don't know, Wizards of the Coast unveiled that a new D&D ruleset is coming in 2024.
This new ruleset, predicted to be as huge as a D&D 5.5e or D&D 6e, was announced by D&D's Executive Producer Ray Winninger during the Future of D&D panel. We don't know much about what the ruleset entails, but we do know that it's backward-compatible with D&D 5th Edition, which is wonderful news for those that have invested a lot in 5e (like me).
But you know, this ruleset is not coming out for a few years, so why wait when you can add new rules yourself?
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Here are some homebrew D&D rules you should add
If you're a die-hard RAW (rules-as-written) fan, this is not for you. If you're on the fence when adding homebrew rules then let me tell you this: D&D is not perfect, and it doesn't accommodate everyone. As a DM (dungeon master) you want your players to have fun, so adding rules to provide more engagement is an easy choice.
If you haven't already, buy Tasha's Cauldron of Everything and start to add those new rules because they add a whole new realm of possibilities for players. Some popular homebrew rules that I've added to my game are:
- Drinking potions as a bonus action
- Using Spell Points instead of Spell Slots
- Getting max damage on your first set of dice on Critical Hits
- Letting players swap initiative rolls with one another before combat starts.
- Making resurrection more strict using the Critical Role method
I've also created my own homebrew rules. I'm sure other DMs have created some sort of variation of what I'm using, but here are some that I've made:
Character Death: If your character dies in-game, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the end of their story. If you do not feel like it is time for your character to go, we will have a private discussion about the best way to narratively handle what happens, whether that be the party going on a quest to retrieve your soul, or you making a deal with an eldritch being to come back to life. Regardless, your death or unnatural resurrection will have consequences.
Taxed Bonus Action: You can take an Action as a Bonus Action at the risk of exhaustion. You'll roll a Con Save against a set DC.
The Badass Die: At some point, you’ll cross paths with someone significantly weaker than you, and instead of fully fleshing out the encounter (doesn’t have to be combat-related), you can roll The Badass Die. Roll a d20 and add your primary ability + proficiency bonus. If you meet or beat the set DC, I’ll let you describe how you overcome the encounter. For example, if you’re in a bar with 20 or so thugs, beat the DC and you can just describe how you Ip Man those fools.
These are only a few rules that I've added in a very long document of rules for my players. I've also fleshed out some additional bonus actions and stealth action rules from other homebrew rulesets I've discovered online.
Ultimately, I recommend going to your players for rule recommendations. You don't have to accept everything, but keep an open mind, but there are some frustrating rules in D&D, like how dual-wielding is handled. This is my personal rule on dual-wielding:
Dual-wielding: When dual-wielding, you have only one additional attack via bonus action. However, if you have the Dual-Wielder feat, you can use your bonus action as your full attack action. So if you have two attacks via Extra Attack, you get two bonus attacks.
You might say that a dual-wielding player is overpowered. Well, you're right, but being over-powered is better than being underpowered. Players just want to have fun, and that's what's most important.