Probably the most common house rules are level 1 survival (usually through hit points), closely followed by ways to roll up ability scores.
I've played in both areas and find both options (hardcore versus survival) to be valid. So the point here is not to pass judgement, but present a few extra options suitable to a "pre-advanced" OSR game.
Option 1: Start at higher levels. This can be surprisingly effective, though it will leave out that early level experience of course. Back in hte day, we often played from level 3, and it can actually work really well, when playing a module that calls for a larger group than you have.
Option 2: Multiple characters. We've made it a habit of doing two characters each. For some groups, this won't be personal enough, but it's a nice way of expanding the groups capabilities.
Option 3: Max hit points at level 1. Probably one of the oldest rules in the book, and pretty simple.
Option 4: 2 hit dice at level 1. This gives more HP, without taking away the fun of rolling.
Option 5: Roll twice at level 1, pick best. Quick and simple.
Option 6: Give everyone a fixed +3 HP at level 1.
Option 7: Everyone starts play with a "kicker" of 10 temporary hit points. Once lost, they are lost forever, and can never be healed or regained. They are always lost first.
What do you do for your groups hit points, if you do NOT roll "by the book" ? Leave a comment