Original D&D Houserules

Updated 10/26/18

Ability Scores. Roll 3d6 in order; swap any two scores if you wish; no other adjustments.

Ability Modifiers. +5% is counted as +25%, and +10% is counted as +50%; DEX modifiers as written except affects AC and NOT to-hit rolls with ranged weapons.

Human Fighting-Men. Use monster combat table, based on hit dice; when rolling hit points, re-roll 1's and 2's.

Human Magic-Users and Clerics. Get one bonus first-level spell.

Demi-Humans. In the rules as written, these are scattered across various parts of the D&D and CHAINMAIL rules. For simplicity and clarity, we will use the following replacing the rules as written unless otherwise noted. 
  • Dwarves. Infravision up to 6"; +4 to saves vs. magic; take half damage from giant types; 4/6 chance to detect stone features (including traps); speak dwarvish, gnome, kobold, goblin; no two-handed weapons or longbows.
  • Elves. Multi-classed, as written; can cast spells while wearing magic armor; 4/6 chance to hide in wilderness, 4/6 chance (active) and 2/6 chance (passive) to find secret doors; speak elvish, orc, hobgoblin, gnoll. 
  • Halflings. +2 to hit with missiles; +4 to saves vs. magic, take half damage from giant types; 4/6 chance to hide in wilderness; no two-handed weapons or longbows. 
Demi-humans advance beyond level limits but pay a 50% XP penalty when doing so.

Hit Points. Re-roll all hit dice when leveling up; minimum gain of hp is "1". Remember CON bonuses apply per HD, not per level. Human fighting-men reroll 1's and 2's; others re-roll 1's.

Weapons. 1d6 damage, however: bows and dual-wielders in melee get +1 to hit; two-handed melee weapons and crossbows get +1 to damage. 

Encumbrance. A character can carry 15 items plus 1000 coins of treasure. Each "line item" from the equipment list (such as "plate mail" or "torches, 6") counts as one item. Gems and rings count as coins. Other treasure objects count as one item. The DM will disallow abuses. All characters have a base movement rate of 12". 

Burning Oil. Covers a 1" x 1" area and does 1d6 damage for two rounds. Flasks can be used as medieval "molotov cocktails," with a throwing range of 3". 

Currency. 1 gold piece (gp) = 10 silver pieces (sp) = 100 copper pieces (cp).


  1. hey!
    I'm applying similar modifiers to my upcoming White Box RPG campaign, even If I'll probably tend to wider bonuses (thinkin' about something in between B/X and Old, like in the -2/+2 range).

    For the bigger weapons (two handed and longbows/heavy crossbows) I'm opting for the "roll 2d6, keep highest", which is reminiscent of the 5e advantage/disadvantage, a mechanic that is easy to include as an old school mechanic and (why not) class design option. :)

    I like your style anyway. :)

    1. Hi Artemis, that sounds interesting. I've considered the "2d6 keep highest" too -- it's not a bad option to use at all. Thanks for visiting!