Every DM has his or her own way of doing things, and I'm no different. Here are some of the "house rules" for my campaign.
Two methods of generating stats are available. The first is the standard method as defined in the Player's Handbook. If you choose this method, remember that at least one other person (preferably me) must witness your rolls. The second is the Standard Point Buy described on page 169 of the Dungeon Master's Guide.
When creating a new character at a level other than 1st, your character's starting level will be the party average (note that level adjustments for certain races count as "levels" for this purpose). The new character will then receive starting wealth as indicated on table 5-1 in the DMG on page 135.
As a first level hero, your character gets his or her maximum allowable hit points. At each successive level, roll your hit die twice and take the higher of the two.
To assist in creating your character, I have included a link to Wizard's Online Alignment Test. Just follow the link, then answer the questions as your character would. The test will suggest your character's most likely alignment.
During a game session, dice should be rolled as I call for them, especially for attack rolls. Rolling out of turn is generally frowned upon - I will ask you to roll again. Valid die rolls are those which stay on the table surface, and come to a level stop. "Cocked" dice are re-rolled, as are dice that fall off the table.
All players are encouraged to have their own copy of the Player's Handbook, and may bring it to the table. However, I only allow limited access to the books during play. For example, I disallow players from referencing magical spells if their characters are not spellcasters. Even spellcasters might be denied reference if their characters are themselves unable to cast the spell in question. Use the book to reference your own character's abilities, not those of my NPCs.
There are times, being a busy DM, that I will ask a player to look something up for me while I handle another task in-game. This is the exception to the above rule. The player I assign the task may look up the given rule. I usually don't say anything if more than one player attempts to find it, but let's not have the entire party drop everything to look up the saving throw of a sleep spell, ok? One is enough.
I encourage players to take a personal interest in their characters. One of my methods is to award bonus XPs for use of miniatures. If you invest in a miniature of your character (and by investment I mean you made an honest effort to find a figure as close as possible to your character's description) I will award you 100 XP. If you have it painted (again, an honest effort, but you can arrange for someone else to paint it for you) then you get another 100 XP. So that's 200 XP for a painted miniature of your character! Once you have your miniature, remember to bring it to the game! And, no, mass-produced pre-painted miniatures are not eligible for the bonus.
Chronicling the Campaign
This campaign is as much yours as it is mine. I encourage my players to keep up with the events in the game, especially the events you participate in (ie: the adventures). Bonus XPs will be awarded to players who submit in-character accounts of the events of the campaign for me to post here on the website. Not only does this encourage better roleplaying (you have to write the way you think your character would) but it provides a record of events for everyone to reference in between game sessions. The amount of the XP bonus is subjective, but may be as much as a 10% bonus over that awarded in-game. Note that this is something new I am trying. I have yet to see how well this will work in practice.