We have quite a few house rules, most of which I got from studying the game before and after I first got it, and then some I thought of myself. We lose most of the time, so it's not like it's actually making it easy on us.
We've cherry picked investigators and done the blind choice, and then settled on "chose three blindly and select from those three." Honestly, if it's going to be a tough game, I don't mind them cherry picking their favorites. They've yet to win enough to realize who the best Investigators are.
Choose to travel through a gate. You can be in a space with a gate and not go in, having an encounter instead; the gate is monster sized, not city block size. That said, a moving gate from LatT or a vanilla gate opening in an investigator's space forces them through, no whining. After getting an explored token though, doing ANYTHING other than closing/sealing loses that explored token. But you can sure wait on an item or help from another player if you just want to hold off.
A new guy at my table said he played back home with gate tokens face down until jumping in. We were iffy on that, but may try that later.
Monsters gatesquatting get sucked into a closed gate, regardless of gate symbol. The relief has been palpable, which tells me that the game is doing it's work in being tough. It'll still be tough after we exhale.
There's a Rulekeeper, which is me; less work than a Gamemaster, but frees them up to strategize. I do most of the card reading, unless I have an Investigator, then someone else reads mine to me.
I stop reading at the choice to make, or the check required. It's a beautiful thing. "There's an old man on the bench making noises. If you talk to him…" and then I stare at them. Gamers new to AH look at me like I'm kidding. I'm not. The gang has gotten the hang of trailing off at the right moment when card reading falls to someone else as well. I dig the anxiety.
Simultaneous upkeep. Just makes good sense in so time consuming a game.
You can draw again if you get a task or mission on starting posessions. Last game or two, somebody has kept the card. Actually, missions rarely make it into play at all.
Spellcasting has come under discussion and Jacob Busby's homemade Institution "the Eye of Amara" that affects magic use will get some play soon. Without it, the Guardian's properties would've been house rules, just to see how it works. You can find it in the fan made section here on this board, and Jacob was kind enough to post it again, in my spell related thread over on boardgamegeek.com
It hasn't come up yet, but I don't think Darrell should be able to use his special ability in the Silver Twilight Lodge. It's a Secret Society and a believeable blind spot in his street savvy. If you're Darrell with a membership, you get the encounter drawn. But the right pieces have to be in position for it to even come up. He's in the top winning Investigators so I like having a tiny ***** in the armor.
And I'll get derided for this, and I know all the evidence as to why it's this way in the rules: But if you are under the rumor "The Terrible Experiment," and you just happen to get the Flute of the Outer Gods and drop what you should be doing (stopping the Ancient One) to make it over there and lose the item in it's one time use, then absolutely Gabriel, BLOW THAT HORN. The feeling of hope at the table at that modest accomplishment just means more hope to get crushed later.
When we win more than we lose, I'll dial back some of that, and maybe the house rules will mean making things more difficult. Especially the Terrible Experiment and the horn.