Good house rules for 1-on-1 game

I’m DMing a game for my son so this is his solo game, and first D&D game. For any dads or anyone else with 1 on 1 gaming experience, what are some good house rules to add? I was thinking of bonuses like doubling his proficiency, giving him an extra HD per level, extra actions, etc to make his character more survivable. Especially at low levels, as a single unlucky critical hit can end his game. But I don’t want to break the game.

Something I’d rather not do is just throw 1 enemy at him at a time. We had 2 encounters so far. The 1st encounter with 2 goblins was successful but he almost died. The 2nd encounter with 3 goblins had him drop to 0 HP, but I wrote it off by saying they captured him instead of killing him outright. For his next session he’ll have to find a way to escape.

So rather than just giving him 1 thing to fight every time, what are some other ways I can make his character more survivable while giving him exciting fights?

If it matters, he’s a 1st level fighter.

House Rule – Upcasting Enlarge / Reduce to extend duration

The party is deep into my 5e-updated classic Greyhawk Giants series.

The hill giants and their orc and goblin minions have attacked the Sterish city of Headwater and have taken about a quarter of the city. The party is about to embark on a mission to go behind enemy lines, kidnap and assassinate a stone giant who is critical to the hill giants’ city / siege offensive as being their only trained engineer. While the party’s patron recognizes that the stone giant needs to die, she also recognizes that at present the Stone Giant Thane has not joined the giant alliance and wants to keep it that way. Thus, she is requesting that they carry the body of the slain giant honorably back to his Thane in an effort to preserve a fragile peace between the humans and the stone giants. I would like the party to be able to accept this mission, without it becoming either a logistical challenge involving wagons and draft animals, or without loaning them a portable hole.

Instead, I would like to provide them with a version of the Enlarge / Reduce spell which is in all aspects identical to the original except that it can be upcast to extend the duration.

I figure the giant is 17 feet high and 1000 pounds; after reduce it would be 8.5 feet and a manageable 125 pounds.

For this version of Enlarge / Reduce I am proposing that:

When cast at 3rd level against living creatures, it lasts 10 minutes

When cast at 3rd level against objects, it lasts 1 hour

When cast at 4th level against living creatures, it lasts 1 hour (similar to polymorph)

When cast at 4th level against objects, it lasts 8 hours

When cast at 5th level against living creatures, it lasts 8 hours (much less than geas)

When cast at 5th level against objects, it lasts 24 hours

The party Wizard is currently 8th level and getting close to 9th. Requiring her to use both her fourth level slots and maintain concentration for the duration of travel every day in order to move swiftly and stealthily into the mountains with the body is just the right level of challenge for the group.

My only concern is that allowing this version of the spell to the party wizard permanently will have some unforeseen interaction with some other spell, ability, or item that I will later regret. This question, for example, asks about upcasting enlarge to permit two changes in creature size, and answers identify the interaction with levitation and grappling being problematic. I am interested in a similar troubleshooting review.

What balance pitfalls result from this house rule regarding levitating creatures?

My table is considering the following house rule:

A creature suspended above the ground and unable to move on its own (e.g., under the effect of the levitate spell) is especially susceptible to forces that would push or pull it. When you successfully target a suspended creature with an effect that would move it, you can choose to move it an additional number of feet equal to 5 times your relevant ability modifier (e.g., your Strength modifier if you shoved the creature with a special melee attack, or your spellcasting ability modifier if you used a magical effect, such as the gust spell or the shove effect of the Telekinetic feat). The additional movement must be in the same direction as the normal movement caused by the effect you used.

A creature with a flying speed is not affected by this rule.

The logic here should be obvious — a creature hanging in mid-air, with no ability whatsoever to stop itself from being moved, should be easy to move. But what are the implications of such a house rule from a balance standpoint? Are we setting ourselves up for headaches?

(For context: this might seem like a corner case, but we’re playing a heavily psionics-themed campaign, and so maximizing players’ opportunities to embody the tropes of telekinesis even at low levels is important. It isn’t inconceivable that someone else in a similarly-themed campaign might have similar ideas.)

Is it a game breaking house rule, if all in combat healing source heals the rollable maximum?

In the next week I will start a new campaign where I will be the DM. The players will be totally new to the DnD World, and because of that, I want to let them to freely choose the class and race which they want to play, but it seems like there will be no healer PC, just damage dealers and some kind of PC which maybe will have some healing.

I want to play with them in a relatively long campaign (I’m planning from level 1 to 20) and because of that, I really want to give them more opportunity to overcome the missing healing power. Will it break anything, if I let the semi-healer PC to heal the maximum roll-able number with any healing skill, which he/she uses in combat? For short rest I wouldn’t allow this house rule, so I really want to know, if it would be too powerful in combat house rule or not, and why?

House rules for Force Fields

We are thinking about changing the rules for Force Fields in our Rogue Trader RPG as we see some problems:

  • The percentage is rather cumbersome and adds a lot of rolling dices during the combat.
  • The "complete or no" negation is an issue. With that kind of rules, a Force Field can completely negate the shots of tanks or even titans for several rounds, specially the stronger fields like the Eldar Force Field with a shield rating of 75.
  • It doesn’t really match with the fluff. Goge Vandire had himself shot and was protected only by a force field, a risk he’d probably not have taken if the Rosarius only had a 50% chance of stopping the shot.

Has anybody created house rules for those shield in order to address these issues? I’ve found a discussion in the FFG forum and there are some interesting suggestions but in the end, they all lack of the problems mentioned above.

We’ve thought about a fixed number of hit points for each shield but a member of the party is not happy about that. I therefore thought somebody here might have an idea on how to solve the issue. Suggestions from other systems using force fields are also very welcome.

Is my accidental house rules on weapon damage in D&D 5e balaced?

TLDR: In my game, finesse and ranged weapons don’t get a stat damage bonus and Dueling gives the damage bonus to 1- and 2- handed weapons. Is this balanced?

Starting running a game for the first time in several years. Two of the players are new to D&D (a Warlock and a Bard). The other hasn’t played since 2nd edition (a Ranger).

During character creation, I gave them incorrect rules about weapon damage which I must have misremembered. I told them that Finesse and Ranged weapons don’t get a damage bonus, whereas other weapons get a strength bonus. The correct rule, having checked, is that Finesse and Ranged weapons get a damage bonus from dexterity.

Now, the Ranger player, remembering 2nd edition, gave his character a high dexterity for archery, but chose to have them wield a longsword with no shield. That means has base damage dice is the same as the bard with his rapier – both a d8. However, his bonuses are actually lower. At 1st level, he was a worse fighter than the bard!

After the first session, I took his player over the bonus and dual-weapon rules and checked if he wanted to keep using the longsword and not use a shield, and he did: he just chose to wield it two-handed for the higher damage dice. So I decided to keep my rules error a feature of the game. That way at least the Ranger gets a bonus on his damage dice, and the Bard does not.

I’m not sure why the Ranger wants to keep the longsword, I think he’s just got a strong image in his head from his 2nd edition Ranger characters. As a result, I also rejected the obvious compromise of letting the Ranger have a "longsword" that’s actually a rapier. I figured that might also cause problems with distributing magic items (is it a rapier? is it a sword?).

At 2nd level, the Ranger chose Duelling and, again, I’ve let him keep it as +2 damage with his longsword even though, strictly speaking, it’s not supposed to be used two-handed.

I haven’t explained to the players that I’ve got the rule wrong. Not out of fear of losing face but because it makes the party a little better balanced, and I don’t want the Bard claiming his +3 damage, putting him back in front of the Ranger. None of the other players has a rulebook.

I don’t believe this is in any way game breaking: it just gives the party a marginally lower damage output. So long as I tailor the encounters accordingly, I don’t see it as an issue. But I know D&D 5e is much better "mechanically balanced" that some older editions and I might have missed something. Is my approach here balanced and fair?

How much does a house cost?

I’m running my players through the Lost Mines of Phandelver starter campaign and the fighter character with an aversion to low standard living arrangements is interested in buying a local home that she could be comfortable in on their downtime. I have searched through the Player’s Handbook and DM Guide and I cannot find anything about what kind of price range a simple house would cost. The closest I have found are some of the ships players could buy.

Am I missing something and one of the books has a starting point? Or is there perhaps something in the greater D&D materials I could use as a base guide?

Dangers of hosting .onion from my house?

so i have a pure html web page which is static, and i want to host it in an other pc , i am going to use kali linux as operation system and did not decide for web server which one do you suggest ? is there any better option for OS? i am not going to connect this pc to my personal router since i am afraid to breached instead i am going to usb tethering with my phone , this is my personal phone.

can some one help me to know what i am going to face? for internet connection i am afraid breach from my phone , i really do know much about these things i would really appreciate if some one help me to host an onion safely. thanks.

What specific threats could a haunted house contain?

I‘m currently working on an haunted house scenario and need some threats to the characters to heighten the tension.

The setting:

  • It is a Hunter the Vigil Game
  • Set in 2020 in Germany (no Corona)

The House:

  • It is a three storied building with about 15 rooms.
  • In this story, the house itself is the antagonist/monster
  • The house contains a mysterious machine that is no longer working. The purpose of the machine is not important to the story (I don’t even know it myself). But the house wants the 2 characters to fix it. The problem with that is, that some parts for the repair would need to be made, out of one of the characters bones.
  • The characters are not able to leave the house. But I don’t know how the house could try to force them to do want it wants.

Ideally each room room should have some sort of physical thread to the characters, that is not lethal but threatening. Threads I already have:

  • The gas stove will leek some gas that the house can ignite when the characters enter the kitchen. Not enough for a huge explosion but definitively threatening. Causing some burns.
  • A chandelier will swing down from the ceiling trying to hit a character.
  • Some parts of the floor a made of metal and can give the characters electric shocks.
  • Doors can suddenly slam shut hitting someone who walks through. (I don’t really like this one because it disincentivizes moving through the house to find a method of escape.)

What other threats could I use?