House Rules and Clarifications

I, as Dungeon Master, have had to make many decisions about the rules in this new 3rd Edition setting.  When these questions of rule come up, I must resort to my decades of being a Dungeon Master to sort through the contradictions and come up with a solution that is playable and enjoyable.  For simplicity and consistency, I am going to place my frequently used rule clarifications (and the reasons for the decision) here so my players and I have it handy and there is little to no confusion about the exact nature of my decision.  If you disagree with any of my decisions, feel free to let me know.  Who knows, you may even change my mind if your argument is sound.

Polymorph Self This spell is one of the easiest to abuse in the Dungeons and Dragons game.  A DM must know the full text of the spell as well as the qualities and abilities of every creature that the player might have the imagination to use.
Mage Armor A misconception I have had with my players is that the spell Mage Armor gives its +4 armor bonus to anyone casting the spell regardless of what they are wearing. 
Spell Failure There is a misconception amongst my players that armor of any kind gives the Arcane caster a chance to fail at every spell that he casts.  That is not quite how it works.
Shield Spikes The entry for Shield Spikes does not allow for its inclusion on a Tower Shield.  The rule appears to have been made for one reason and doesn't encompass creative players.
Range Attacks Most people seem to believe that range fighters got short changed in the 3rd Edition system.  I believe this is because there is a misunderstanding about the rules for range weapons.
Special Items Dungeons and Dragons is a fantasy game but still, there must be some distinction about what technology is available.  Some Items cannot be made by having a Craft skill alone.
Magic Items 3rd Edition Dungeons and Dragons has updated the magic item creation system and simplified it.  The problem is, the DMG isn't very clear about a lot of issues.  Skill Enhancement has its own section.
Alcohol Consumption This file is a nice system created by Dan Taylor.  His system is well thought out and I believe playable enough for me to adopt it as is into game play.
Helms Apparently for ease, Wizards of the Coast have removed helms as a separate piece of equipment in 3rd Edition.  I have been working on the rules for including these wonderful pieces of equipment in my campaign worlds.
Favored Enemy Changes Rangers are often defined by their favored enemies.  As Rangers advance in level, their focus and devotion gives them abilities against certain creatures.  Alternately, the focus gives the Rangers special abilities that allow them to combat their enemies.
Familiars Runeweavers, Sorcerers, and Wizards sometimes need a companion to accompany them through their arcane journeys.  Familiars often serve as a spell caster's friend, companion, and weapon.
Animal Companions Druids and Rangers often find themselves isolated from humanoid contact.  The wild animals that surround them must become their friends and companions.
Paladin's Mount Paladin's and certain other classes gain special steeds that are swifter, smarter, and stronger than normal creatures.
Fiendish Servants The dark pits of the abyss is home to many abominations.  Some of these demonic creatures serve as harbingers of The Fallen.
Troublesome Players This is an article from about troublesome players.  It is from an email that they received and their response.  It is a good question and answer.  Since it is a common problem, I have provided the link to the article here.
Death in Traykon Death is not always the end.  Bringing back characters from the dead can often become commonplace in some campaigns.  In Traykon however, there are some deities who may object to this.