House Rules Cheat Sheet

So I wanted to point out three really cool posts over at Roles, Dice and Fun.

House Rule: Loose and Lazy Initiative
House Rule: Minor or Spontaneous Flashback
House Rule: Major Flashbacks

Each one of these is a great House Rule and I liked them so much I have incorporated (with some minor changes, mostly to Major Flashbacks) to my Pathfinder Game.

I talked to my players about all three of these House Rules and all of them seemed to really like them. We got to try the Initiative Rule first hand last session and I have to say that I really like it, and the players were more excited and apt to help one another and think of cooperative tactics.

We did not get to try Minor or Major Flashbacks, but when I described them, everyone seemed to like sound of them quite a bit.

So with all these inclusions into my House Rules I decided that it is time to create a House Rule Cheat Sheet for quick reference for my players.

I wanted to post it because maybe some of you may like the sound of some of our House Rules. Feel free to ask me some questions or post comments!

Role-Playing Group House Rules

In Our Game(s) You Can:


Initiative is rolled every round now. All Monsters go off of one initiative. This is the defining mark of each round. Players roll their initiative and are then broken into two groups, those who go before the monster(s) and those who go after. Players can go before others in the initiative, so long as it is ok with the person that they are cutting in front of. This allows the players to come up with a fresher brand of team work and camaraderie.


Aspects are simple words, concepts, sayings, etc that the player uses to define their characters. Words like stronger, clever, angry, or disruptive all work. Even sayings like, “In the nick of time,” “Leave no one behind,” or “Always gets what he wants, but at a price.” All work. These are activated by burning an Action Point.
Each character starts with two Aspects and may gain more as the campaign continues. Aspects can only be used once per session save for the Major Flashback Mechanic (See Below).

Plot Twist

A player can burn three Action Points once per level to create a plot twist that aids or hinders them in a special way.

Minor Flashbacks

The player burns an Action Point, and can then utilize this mechanic. Minor Flashbacks are used to describe something small in a characters life.
• Describe or play a brief moment from your past that demonstrates why you have experience with this situation. Afterwards gain +2/+4 skill bonus to your skill check or +2/+4 to Save.
• When describing the player simply tells a brief anecdote, describes an event or plays a monologue that relates to the situation somehow. When playing the past the player sets the scene and appoints other players to be NPCs and then the scene is played out. Such a scene is played without any dice rolls.
• The scene is something that has happened in the past and it helps us to learn the back-story of the character.

Major Flashbacks

Players start with 3 Major Flashbacks and gain an additional per level. These are major events in the characters history. The reward for playing the scene some of the following:
• A flashback refreshes an Aspect or one Action Point
• An automatic critical success roll on a skill or attack.
• Changing a fatal result into successful result.


Goals are created by the players after GM gives overall session goal. These goals are inline with the main goal and are used by the GM to craft a richer more engaging story for all involved. Some sessions some players goals will not be achieved. This is not due to lack of interest on the part of the GM, but perhaps the goal doesn’t really interact or connect with the story, or lack of time to get to everyone involved. If your goal has been realized you gain an additional Action Point.

Complications, Twists, and Conditions

No longer can players reroll a failed skill roll (Action Points cannot be burned either). When a player fails a skill check the GM decides whether to implement a Complication, Twist, or Condition.
• Complication– This is something that adds more to the scene. This could be an additional combat encounter, a trap on a door, etc.
• Twist– This changes the pace and outcome of the original intention. This could be finding the person party was attempting to save dead, or a magical item being cursed instead.
• Condition– To either keep the game moving the game forward or if the player comes up with a really cool idea, the GM can decide to allow the player to succeed, however it comes at a cost. This could be a Ranger who attempts to track something and finds the trail, but has over exerted themselves and is now Fatigued or Exhausted.

Action Points

You regain Action Points by various ways. Some of them are cool ideas in and out of game, help me remember a rule or correcting me when I make a mistake, telling a funny joke, doing some great role-playing, using Major Flashback Mechanic, GM activates your Aspect in a negative way against you or party, etc.
These are used for several different things in the game:
• To gain a healing surge (which is 25% of total HP).
• To add 1d6 to any non-damage roll (attack, saves, skills, or difficulty class).
• To add 2d6 to any damaging attack or spell (including healing spells) or Healing Surge (this would cost a total of 2 AP- one for Healing Surge and one for this mechanic).
• To reroll a failed attack roll or failed save (save for critical failures).
• To activate an Aspect.
• To activate a Minor Flashback.
• To activate a Plot Twist (cost 3 AP).
• To take an extra action in a round (cost 2 AP).

Author: Mike Evans

I am the dude behind DIY RPG Productions. I have a fuck all punk rock attitude, love meeting new people, doing nature shit, and gaming (tabletop and console) and having a good time. I love craft beer (maybe too much), punk, grunge, and industrial music. I write books. Good for me.

3 thoughts

  1. Hi,

    Those are cool house rules, you compiled. I’m impressed by your cheat sheet. I like the way, you made the rules work together – and I must admit very delighted, that you found inspiration in rules from my campaign, and that they so far have worked for you.

    I look forward to hear more about your use of the house rules. Good luck.

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