Houserules will be updated as needed and implemented.
At its heart, the combat rules for 5e are very simple. Choose a target, attack it with a weapon or spell by rolling a d20 + modifiers, roll damage on a hit. But it can get very bland and boring saying "I swing my sword at the goblin" every round. So punch up your action descriptions; make it cool and flavorful. Think outside the box as if you were part of a cast in a heroic fantasy movie.
- You may use your proficiency and ability modifiers on a cinematic attack as if you were using your currently equipped weapon (within reason and at DM approval).
- Examples would be shield bashing an enemy, kicking an enemy in the chest, drinking ale and spitting fire from a flame, cutting a chandelier to fall on an enemy, etc.
- The effect of an improvised action lasts until the end of the target's next turn, or can be ended with a minor or move action, at the discretion of the DM.
- An improvised action cannot inflict the stunned, helpless, dying, or dead conditions.
- An improvised action cannot impose forced movement of more than one square per tier of play.
- The player states, without reference to mechanics, what his character attempts; the DM determines how this translates mechanically.
These are only guidelines. The purpose is to have fun and do cool stuff that fits the current narrative. Overuse of the same 'trick' will lessen the fun and coolness of it. Please use improvised actions only for cinematic effect, not to game the rules for normally unattainable benefit.
Thanks to Wrecan on the WotC forums for some of the above guidelines.