Over at Topless Robot they had a contest for the worst RPG character. If you haven’t read it just head on over there and give it read. It’s worth it. This got me thinking. There have got to some just god awful house rules or even crazy GM rulings out there that just made you scratch head and say ,”WTF?”
I’ll be fair and start this off with a couple from my long distant past. One GM had us fighting a bunch of heavily armored lion men (OK, they were thinly veiled Kziniti.) We were playing Fantasy Hero and these guys totally kicked the party’s ass. He looked at dumbfounded and asked why we didn’t aim at their unarmored tails. OK, that might make them clumsy. “No. their tails are their vitals!” Really attacking their tail would have done double damage?
We also had a killer DM with an OK rule but added some bad math to it. If your character died then your next character would be one level lower. No problem. So if your 5th Level Wizard bought it, you could come back with a 4th level Cleric. Or if you came back as a multiclass character, you’d be a 4th level Cleric/4th Level Rogue because like you just lost “one” level.
So come, folks. Share you pain. Or heck even your embarrassment for that silly house rule you made up in high school.

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10 Responses to “Worst House Rule Ever. C’mon hit me with ‘em.”

  1. MobiusNo Gravatar says:

    i think the worst house rule i had used was the “first time you ever cast a spell/power you have a chance of misfire”…we soon stoppped that after the event we now refer to as “the short distance fireball”

  2. Rev. LazaroNo Gravatar says:

    I sat in on an AD&D 2E game…..aside from the fact that everytime someone belched/farted everyone stuck their thumbs on their foreheads and said “Me not eat it”…….I was playing a Barbarian someone else rolled up. The main weapon was a two-handed staff, covered in fish hooks. I was told every time I hit the monsters, it would deal extra 1d4 damage for smacking them with fishhooks and “ripping them off” the enemy.

    First round of combat, I rolled a 1, and the DM rolled an 8 sided die, and told me I had 6 fish hooks in me. Each round that I had fish hooks in me, I lost 2 hp. For every fish hook I pulled out of me (one per turn as the DM ruling) I took 1d4 hit points.

    I died (being a 2nd level character) rather quickly. My buddy who showed up with me prayed for the “Blue Light Special.” He got nuked from orbit via the willing DM, and we left.

  3. When I was still playing 2e a GM decided that he didn’t saving throws at all and wanted to do away with them, however he didn’t do away with anything that required a saving throw. We honestly didn’t question it when he first mentioned this house rule, however we were hit with a sledge hammer when he started throwing poisonous darts at us, and creatures with stone gaze, etc and we were all dying with no resistances.

    When we complained about it he said that it was more fun and realistic. Needless-to-say, that was the last session of that campaign.
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  4. Sean HollandNo Gravatar says:

    I cannot think of any in particular that were as painful as the examples above.

    Though I do remember a wizard being on top of a burning tower, having been forced back to the edge of the battlement by some sort of humanoids and when I cast sleep, the GM ruled that it effected me as well (since I had to cast it “point blank” and was inside the area) and my character plunged to his (untimely) death. At least he was unconscious when he hit the ground.

  5. Jason DawsonNo Gravatar says:

    House rules covering “hooking up with local chicks” and percentile rolls for getting them pregnant. I was 15. It still makes me cringe a decade and a half later.

  6. ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Oh, I remember the silly days of yore. Keep ‘em coming guys! Share your pain.

  7. SwordgleamNo Gravatar says:

    I can still complain that something is a bad house rule even if I shamelessly take advantage of it, right?

    For whatever reason our Star Wars Saga Edition DM decided that instead of being able to use each of your force powers once per encounter, you can use as many powers as you have. So you could, say, use Force Stun eight times in a row instead of using each of your eight force powers once. Two of our three PCs are force users with the highest possible charisma for their level, meaning our average Force Stun knocks someone halfway down the condition track. I don’t think our DM understands why all of his baddies keep getting stunned unconscious in two rounds or less.

  8. Sitting DuckNo Gravatar says:

    You may or may not recall this guy who posted on the Pinnacle Forum about his disapproval over the mechanics for pot helms. For those not familiar, there’s a 50% chance that an aimed shot to the head of someone wearing a pot helm will bypass the armor. So he goes and posts this complete overhaul of the armor rules which was like something out of Rolemaster. Needless to say, it was subjected to much derision (at least as much as is tolerated by Clint).

  9. BanesfingerNo Gravatar says:

    Playing Rolemaster (aka chart-master) in high school. One player pleaded his case to the GM: that a dagger in the hands of a Halfling would be the equivilant to a short sword in the hands of a human. Since the charts for various weapons (one for each) reflect how you use it (e.g. blunt, swing, thrust, slash), he felt his dagger should use the shortsword chart.

  10. TourqNo Gravatar says:

    Way back when, I was the House Rule King. We played Spycraft for a year straight, and I hacked that game to pieces. My worst? Writing a full page of rules to determine accurate horizontal and vertical jumping distances.

    However, I have to give it up to the rule for “Hooking up with local chicks, and % chance of getting them pregnant.” That just rocks.

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