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House Rules

If you gamble, the concept of house advantage is (or should be!) a commonly understood concept. But what about our more casual sorts of games: does the house always benefit from its own rules? And do those rules travel when the house game does?

For instance: When we play Apples to Apples, we pretty much agree that the Festering Wounds card, whenever played, automatically wins that hand. Who ends up with the Festering Wounds card is pretty random, so house rule or not, the advantage is random, as well.

What if your house rule is more of a rule interpretation?

Friday night we hosted a Munchkin Party with friends from the TNG (Tallahassee Nerds & Geeks) Meetup group where we got into the question of semantics.

The argument centered the Wandering Monster card, and whether or not it was a single monster or a monster-pile opportunity. The player being piled was on the former side, we (myself, the game owner, and everyone I’ve ever played with) on the latter. Even though the Munchkin rules allow for owner-has-final-say traveling house rules, the whining won out in this case. Not that that stopped the bitching and moaning, but, hey, what can you do.

And he didn’t win, either, so it’s not like the protest helped him all that much.

I suppose the only thing you can do, is make sure everyone playing knows and understands the house rules before you play.

Of course, in RPG games, the DM is the ultimate keeper of the house rules, especially in home-brew campaigns.

Where do you side in the realm of house rules?


In just  a couple of weeks What to Feed Your Raiding Party is hitting the road! We’ll be at Ancient City Con in Jacksonville, Florida, from July 20-22. We’ll have books, the Wheel of XP, and–of course–free samples!

Not in Jacksonville that weekend? Still need a book? Place you’re order right here!

[I installed a new cart system last week (which will, hopefully, mean no more hang-ups completing orders) and it had much better tax and shipping handling, so no need to choose your own options as a separate item.]

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