Homebrew RPG Gaming Tips

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Q&A: Starfinder RPG from Paizo Inc.
Chartopia, Part 4: Rollable lists

RPG gamingWell, today is a day of heat and sweat here in Washington, but I am still riding the high of an amazing gaming session last night.

The thing is we ended up having to wing a lot of thing to make the game as immersive and fun as possible. This got the old grey matter working – how can I pass on a few homebrewed solutions I have learned with experience and innovation?

A list of as many things as I can think of seems like a good place to start. After all, what is Nerdarchy but a place that is not just entertainment but for information of all kinds. Some of these will be no-brainers but some are actually pretty interesting, or at least I think so.

Homebrew dice

gaming homebrewThere are many dice apps on both Android and Apple markets. That being said there are some situations that may call for some weird situation where you need to roll a die that does not sound natural. Here are a few homebrew fixes I use. I would love to hear some ways you have improvised.

D2 = Flip a coin. Heads it’s 2, tails it’s 1. Roll any die, odd it’s 1 and even it’s 2.

D3 and D5 = Roll a d6 for a d3 and a d10 for a d5. Just divide the result by 2, rounding down. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Round up, not down.]

D9 = Play rock-paper-scissors. Sounds weird but there are exactly 9 combinations within a game of rock-paper-scissors. I know a math major can dissect it further but it works in a pinch.

D1000 = Roll an extra d10 when you roll a d100. Easy peasie.

Homebrew minis

You can easily run out of miniatures at the gaming table, especially in long drawn out battles. Well my friend, there are many ways to homebrew up minis in a heart beat.

Coins can work to denote legions, groups, or individuals that have similar traits. Nickels are one, quarters are a second legion, pennies another, and dimes can be another.

Quarter machines, rare archaic devices that they are, also have a good source of miniatures. There are also miniatures within many board games.

RPG homebrewNow the gold mine is thrift stores like Goodwill. These places have grab bags full of small miniatures from various bygone eras – often for a single dollar too! Interestingly this is actually how Gary Gygax came up with the rust monster, a thrift store grab bag. Anything unique and to scale with other things at your disposal can be used. You can use things from any game really. Like beans, candies, marshmallows, or even dice! Now where can a gamer get dice… [EDITOR’S NOTE: From Easy Roller Dice, ‘natch. Save 5 percent on your first order too!]

Homebrew terrain

Feeling crafty? Check out The DM’s Craft on YouTube for tons of awesome ideas to make your own terrain, miniatures and more. Click the image. You know you want to.

This was a big one last night at my table. We were gaming and the climactic battle did not have terrain big enough or shaped right to denote what we needed. What we did was put down the field mat and then found items around the house to mark out the things we needed.

A briefcase as a barn, a laptop as a barn, water bottles as grain silos, coasters as craters, and the colossal sized red dragon miniature from third edition Dungeons and Dragons as a drop ship.

What you do is up to you but here are things I have learned. If you can, try to use things with flat tops. This way you can play your miniatures on top of the items as a way to either be on top of our inside of what they represent.

This may sound simple but this can add a 3-D effect to your game. I know the running fire fight last night ended up with space marine miniatures ending up on, around, and under all sorts of improvised terrain.

Books, DVDs, and anything else on hand can do you wonders.

Never let lack of supplies ruin your fun.

Homebrew rules

Come on, you knew this would be here. Homebrew rules are as old as gaming itself.

Never let the rules be a limit if it stops your fun. You and your friends should find what works for you, and go for it with head held high. That being said, if you come up with something really nice, post it online! If you can’t come up with something, look online!

There are a bunch of resources out there, and you will find there are not just a few ideas floating around but literal thousands. Like there is a home crafted Chronomancer class out there. How cool is that, a mage who works with time?

Homebrewing rules are not just creating content like classes, races, and such. You can count those little things that help the game run smoother into this. Like rolling again after you roll a natural 20, and if you roll another 20 it instant kills or how elves in Krynn can see the auras of life. One we use is to NPC a player that is not able to come. Whatever works for you, I would love to hear your homebrew rules.

Homebrew game and story

The big bad beastie that tops them all. See, all gaming as we currently know it is a homebrew. Taking one game and bending it to your will. The world is malleable, and able to be changed to anything you need it to be.

Do not for a moment think you cannot go completely off the rails to create something new and exciting. I took the Dream Pod 9 system and made an amazing Alien vs. Predator game. Right here on the Nerdarchy site I had homebrewed up Camp Crystal Lake straight out of the Friday the 13th, but made within the system of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons.

What you want can be a reality. No matter how extreme it is, you can bring the world of your dreams to your table. In fact, I encourage it because you are the next generation of content creator. It is your imagination that will give birth to the next Eberron, Krynn, or Faerun. The sky, no, the very planes of existence are the limit. If that isn’t enough, you can always create a new game from scratch to remove all limits…


My computer is failing fast and hard. I have had to reboot this thing a few times. I will have to run emergency maintenance just in case but I think the heat wave in Washington is effecting it. Nonetheless I am going to call this article here. I am sorry I cannot finish this. I will likely try to submit a follow up, technology allowing. So anyway, what are your homebrews? What is your opinion of such? What are your favorite homebrews you have found?

Play on PS4 or PS3? Did you know that Nerdarchy has a community that plays together often? Go ahead and search in the community section for Nerdarchy and for the player Nubz_The_Zombie!

Did I miss something? Have any Questions or Comments? Feel free to message me at www.facebook.com/NubzTheZombie or at nubz.the.zombie@gmail.com

Stay Nerdy,


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Follow Nigel “Nubz” Sanford:
Nubz hails from the American Pacific Northwest where he has spent the last 24 years living the gamer life and running campaigns of all kinds. Through this he has managed to sate his acting bug and entertain many. Now a father, he wishes to pursue writing to leave a legacy in Nerd culture for his offspring to enjoy.

3 Responses

  1. Todd Boyce
    | Reply

    “D3 and D5 = Roll a d6 for a d3 and a d10 for a d5. Just divide the result by 2, rounding down.”

    Actually you round up. A D3 from a D6 rounding up is 1-2 = 1, 3-4 = 2, 5-6 = 3.

    Rounding down you get:
    1 = 0, 2-3 = 1, 4-5 = 2, 6 = 3

    • Nigel “Nubz” Sanford
      | Reply

      You are correct Todd. Thank you for being the cooler head to counter my (still ongoing) heat wave addled brain. I really need to home brew up some air conditioning before I melt.


    • Doug Vehovec
      | Reply

      Geez, who’s copyediting these things? Should have caught that. Thank’s for illuminating!

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