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Ishani Dhatri

Can'tFindthePath's page

730 posts. Alias of Lane Coursey.


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Can'tFindthePath wrote:
DM Lil" Eschie wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
DM Lil" Eschie wrote:
But why should the power of your channeling (DC) be linked to your Charisma, instead of your Wisdom, while your spells DC is Wisdom-relevant?
Because Channel replaced Turn Undead, which was a Charisma check.
Yes, I know that. But I think that Turn Undead was flawed, because it was already too Charisma based in the last editions of Ad&D. In the first edition, only your cleric level was relevant, affecting what kind of undead you could rebuke/destroy, and their number
I agree that Channeling should be at least partially Wis based. However, to me the deeper question is, why doesn't Cleric have a Channeling Pool (blah + blah per blah levels + WISDOM!) that they draw on to power all manner of cool abilities....like so many others. Ideally, there would be a common list to choose from, and then lists from the domains.

I forgot to mention that in this proposal, channeling pos/neg would be only one of the possible choices. The alternate channeling rules in UM would be great fodder for other choices. But I'm also thinking of domain powers being powered by the pool as well....

Just a thought.


DM Lil" Eschie wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
DM Lil" Eschie wrote:
But why should the power of your channeling (DC) be linked to your Charisma, instead of your Wisdom, while your spells DC is Wisdom-relevant?
Because Channel replaced Turn Undead, which was a Charisma check.
Yes, I know that. But I think that Turn Undead was flawed, because it was already too Charisma based in the last editions of Ad&D. In the first edition, only your cleric level was relevant, affecting what kind of undead you could rebuke/destroy, and their number

I agree that Channeling should be at least partially Wis based. However, to me the deeper question is, why doesn't Cleric have a Channeling Pool (blah + blah per blah levels + WISDOM!) that they draw on to power all manner of cool abilities....like so many others. Ideally, there would be a common list to choose from, and then lists from the domains.


pickin_grinnin wrote:
Skylancer4 wrote:
pickin_grinnin wrote:
Make sure that at least one party member has the capability to heal the other players. Trust me on that one.
That should go for every group, and without saying should it not?
Yes, but doubly so for this one.

I think the point of pickin's comment, and certainly my view, is that it is really easy to get the ability to heal with a good aligned divine class. They pretty much all have it, even if they don't want it.

But, when you go dark side, it becomes a chore that you have to plan for. And even then, you can never match the healing power of goodies....unless your party is all undead.


Headfirst wrote:

Here's an idea we were kicking around in another thread. I'm open to suggestions on how to improve it, so comments are welcome.

Shields

Overview
Instead of providing flat armor class bonuses, a new combat action allows shields to be used reactively, blocking attacks to prevent damage.

System
New Combat Action: Block
While wielding a shield with which you are proficient and not flat-footed, you may use an immediate action to attempt to block an incoming melee or ranged attack. Make a roll using your Base Attack Bonus + Dex Modifier. If the result equals or exceeds the roll of the incoming attack, you block it and take no damage.

If you are not proficient with the shield, blocking requires a readied action instead of an immediate action. You may not use a shield to bash and block in the same round.

Shields
All rules specific to each shield type apply normally, except that none of them grant a shield bonus to armor class.

Buckler: May be used to block one melee attack per round. Cannot be used to block ranged attacks.

Small Shield: May be used to block one melee or ranged attack per round.

Large Shield: May be used to block two melee or ranged attacks per round.

Tower Shield: May be used to block three melee or ranged attacks per round.

Magical Shields
Enhancement bonuses on shields add to block rolls instead of increasing armor class.

Feat Changes
Improved Shield Bash: You may use your shield to bash and block in the same round.

Shield Focus: The number of block attempts you may make per round increases by 1.

Shield Specialization: You receive a +2 bonus on all block rolls with the chosen shield type.

Saving Shield: You may attempt the block action to prevent an attack against an adjacent ally.

Ray Shield: You may attempt the block action against ranged touch attacks.

Mounted Shield: You may attempt the block action to prevent an attack against your mount.

Missile Shield: You receive...

That's pretty good. I may use this mostly intact. I'm also, considering/exploring more dangerous weapons and armor as DR. This would go very well with that. Thanks.


Weirdo wrote:
You're right, it looks like a decent rule of thumb for Golarion, at least for the highest-level characters in a settlement. Though having at least two level 13s in a city of 18400 - one of six such cities in a frontierland - doesn't sound like characters over level 12 are "very rare" as the devs have otherwise indicated.

As I said before, 'to each his own'. So I'm not saying you are wrong, but trying to help you feel better about it(??).

What I'm talking about is the rarity of 13+ level characters. Per your example, it seems to me that about 12(?) 13's out of around 120,000 people is very rare. Those numbers equate to 1 in 10,000 (well the mechanic is 1 in 8000 for 13th), or 1/100 of a percentage point. That's better than the survival rate for well proven reliable medical treatments!


Thanael wrote:
It's almost as if the designers used the 3.5 demographics as a loose guideline...

Except the rules we are discussing are not the 3.5 demographics...


Weirdo wrote:
I like that method, though it might be a good idea to adjust the numbers a bit depending on how big cities get in the setting. I like most people in the world to be fairly low-powered. While having a single 18th level character in first century Rome sounds OK, if the world has several settlements of a little over a million inhabitants (fantasy London, fantasy Paris, fantasy Moscow) and each such settlement has a 20th level character, two 19th, four 18th... down to 512 11th level characters, that's a bit much. 11th level characters are supposed to be legendary and they can't be if there are thousands of them at any given time. If you want to revise the idea that 11th level characters are legendary, that's fine, but having as many as 15 people in a capital city capable of casting 9th level spells is going to change the setting in significant ways.

Those are adjustments that each GM is going to have to figure out for their campaign. I don't play in any worlds that have that many megalopoli. If you do, I'd definitely put the breaks on the level count as you say.

In my personal system, that one 18th level character in fantasy Rome wouldn't even be a PC class (or not all PC anyway). Even if you don't go for the 18th level Commoner, maybe the most experienced and powerful Senator in Rome is an 18 level Aristocrat. Likewise, those 512 11th levels you are concerned about would be mostly Commoners, Experts, etc. Only about 100 would be PC caliber in my book. I don't think it looks so bad if you don't assume all high level NPCs are Full Casters.

Another way to approach "naturally occurring" NPC levels, is to limit them to 10th. It is a good threshold between Normal and Heroic (in a standard PF campaign), and allows plenty of breathing room for fairly capable run-of-the-mill NPCs. Everything above that is placed by the GM as needed.

But then, everything is anyway. This idea is only a guide for throwing out NPC levels on the fly. To each his own consternation.

-Cheers


Ciaran Barnes wrote:

Thanks for the feedback.

The bonus is enhancement so that it doesn't stack with normal magic bonuses. I know what I am trying to do, but obviously since you both agree I must be dropping the ball somehow. I looked up enhancement bonuses, and nothing indicates that they have to be magical. It's just that they always have been until now. I could actually removed those sentences about magic completely.

Okay, I know you guys are way past this now, but I just have to.

Masterwork weapons have an Enhancement bonus to attack, that is non-magical. Ever since D&D 3.0.

-Cheers


Vincent Takeda wrote:

Generally speaking I'd expect to find a single 10th level character in every group of 1000 people.

For each time you cut the settlement size in half, cut the level of those folks by 1. For every time you double the population, jack up those levels by 1.
So a town of 1000 people has a 10th level character, a pair of 9's, 4 level 8s, 8 level 7s, 16 level 6s and so on.... If you continue that trend all the way down to level 1 and add up all the people of each level you end up with a population of 1024. Its like counting in binary.
It then follows that a city of 32000 probably has a 15th level character, a pair of 14s, 4 13s, 8 level 12s, 16 level 11s and so on... adding up to a city size of 32768!
Its both pretty realistic and easy to remember.

I think this is brilliant simplicity. It is reminiscent of my own "system" from several years ago, as far as the math. But mine was charted to insanity.

I would take a population number, cut it in half, and say these are 1st and 2nd level. Then halve it again for 3rd, etc. but, I would also subdivide by percentage in 'prime' classes. For instance, 65% Commoner, 15% Expert, 12% Warrior, 5% Aristocrat, 1% Acolyte (divine), 1% Magician (arcane), and 1% Wildcard (breathing room, as if a DM needs this, oh well).

Then, there would be an overall percentage of PC classes, set at 20%. Each level bracket would be broken down with deference to the higher percentages by class. So, of the 125 5th level NPCs in a sample settlement (population 1000), 81 would be Commoners, 18 Experts, 15 Warriors, 6 Aristocrats, 1 Acolyte, and 1 Magician. But of those 15 Warriors, 3 are Fighters (or something else in the same arena). And of the 18 Experts, 3 would be Rogues (or something more interesting). Of the Aristocrats, 1 would be a Cavalier (or perhaps a Bard, or Swashbuckling dandy). Not enough Acolytes of Magicians at this level to generate a PC version.

Anyway, as you can see, it was too complicated for anything but feverish, late night, machinations of building an ULTIMATE CAMPAIGN... you get the idea.

Vincent Takeda's version achieves pretty much the same results, in the broad strokes, with elegant simplicity. After all, what a frenzied GM really needs are sensible guidelines. The details should be up to them. The specificity of my system might make it a good guide (or not), but it is as much a curse as a blessing.


slitherrr wrote:
Vincent Takeda wrote:


Its like counting in binary.
I lol'd, and I do love the numeric coincidence of that guideline. However, 32k isn't an enormous city, and level 15 is pretty badass--Rome, Constantinople, and Xi'an, right around the first century, had something like 400k inhabitants. By the time of Renaissance, multiple cities had something approaching a million inhabitants. Does that mean their fantasy equivalents have a couple of level 18s, an adventuring party of level 17s, two adventuring parties of 16s, and so on, when that is about the experience level of people who start prepping to take on gods?

Well, if we are talking about the "fantasy equivalent" of Rome in the first century, I'd be pretty disappointed if the virtual center of the civilized world didn't attract ONE 18th level permanent resident.

Also, in all likelihood, these 'naturally occurring' folk, would be at odds with each other, or at least in competition. They would be the movers and shakers of their community; the leaders of the political, mercantile, religious, military, and criminal sub-communities.

These places would still be the rarest of rare, in terms of "realistic" populations. I would think there would be a few of the highest level people in them.


Threeshades wrote:

interesting idea on the shotguns.

Another version would be to take inspiration from shadowrun again, and have them be able to shoot at two or more targets standing close enough together.

------------

Some direct feedback to my rules would be appreciated.

Alright, so I skimmed over them, and they look comprehensive. I like some of what I see as a 'rules engineer'. I would've made different choices on a lot of specs for individual firearm types, but that is how it is with every subject in RPG rules, isn't it? I haven't seen MDT's original version, so I can't really give proper feedback on "your" rules changes.

Maybe later.

Good gaming!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Threeshades wrote:

interesting idea on the shotguns.

Another version would be to take inspiration from shadowrun again, and have them be able to shoot at two or more targets standing close enough together.

------------

Some direct feedback to my rules would be appreciated.

Threeshades, I'm sorry but I don't have direct feedback on your rules. I don't like firearms in my Pathfinder.

But I do want to say, GREAT thread title. Made me smile....evilly.


Nathanael Love wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:

Damage spells tend to have HORRIBLE scaling by spell level Nathanael.

A damage-focused mage takes low-mid level spells (typically level 3-4ish) and metamagics the crap out of them, usually reducing the metamagic cost in some way.

You're right. Damage spells have horrible scaling which is why claiming that casters do more hit point damage than martials is pretty silly.

2d6 large longsword + 3d6 insert weapon ability X + 12 (34 dex) + 4 Greater weapon spec + 4 weapon training+ 5 power attack= 5d6+29

Sorry. I was short changing him.

That adds up to +25, you were right the first time. However, you are short changing Power Attack, at 16th level it should give +10 damage with a one handed weapon.


Auxmaulous wrote:

Well, I'm in.

I have some old JG material from back in the day but my primary reason was just to support JG in their effort to bring back CSotIO with as much material as possible. I saw them supporting the Metamorphosis Alpha KS (which is burning through their goals right now) and the support that FGG and JG have show to each other has softened my otherwise burnt out, cinder of a heart.

I know times are tough, but these are "our" games. We get the resources that we support and help to flourish. I often complain about the state of options in the realm of rpg land - so here's our chance to make a difference.

I doubt that there will be another CSotIO for PF anytime in the future -(maybe a 2nd ed PF) or Lost City of Barakus for that matter - I would love to see these projects come out as strong as possible for the time the will evetually see release with the best potential final record: The finished book.

Anyway

Well said Aux,

There are only 40 hours to go...


Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Greylurker wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
Greylurker wrote:

Think of it this way.

Monster Summoning 3 used to summon a Lantern Archon summons "Bob"
Monster Summoning 4 used to summon 1d3 Lantern Archons pulls from Larry Curly and Moe

If Bob gets killed you are done using Monster Summon 3 for Lantern Archons for the next 24 hours. You just don't have any bound to that particular spell. You can't use it for Larry Curly or Moe because they are tied to MS4 not MS3

but you can still use MS4 to get Larry Curly and Moe. If Moe bites it but Larry and Curly are still ok then MS4 is capped at 2 for the next 24 hours.

But what if I cast SM3, and cast SM3 again the next round? There's no text anywhere telling me I can't summon two lantern archons if I use two spells, nor is there text saying that if the monster you summon is out to lunch, you don't get a replacement. You cast the spell, you get a monster.

but there is text that says if it dies you can't get it back for 24 hours.

Frankly, It's one of those things that needs expanding on and it is an area where a DM can make a call regarding the spells

Nothing in the text says that you summon the same specific creature each time. That you are limited to summoning that one specific creature. Indeed, the rules show explicitly that you can summon multiples of the same type of creature and have them all active at the same time.

Honestly, I think it's intended to be an RP rule. It's a way for people playing good aligned Clerics, Druids, and the like to not feel like they're summoning forth creatures to die for them. You summon a creature and it dies? It's okay, it isn't really dead, it just spends 24 hours reforming on its native plane and is good to go again. Otherwise people may feel that yanking a creature off its native plane and putting it between you and something that can kill it with one hit would be an evil act.

Indeed, you are describing the Variant Rule in the 3.5 DMG called Summoning Individual Monsters (pg.37). The text in the PFCR is identical to the text in the 3.5 PH, both for the spell and the section under Conjuration: Summoning.

In the discussion of specifics under the variant rule they mention and illuminate the "dead and unsummonable for 24 hours". This is what it really supports.

Bravo if your group does this, it is actually a good way to curtail summoning abuse. However, it is not the default rule in the Core Rulebook.


Hey all,

I just wanted to bump this back up into line of sight. There are only 8 days left, and while they have met their publishing goal, there are a lot of cool maps to unlock with stretch goals.

The OP has the link, please take a look!

Thanks.


Da'ath wrote:

A few of the House Rules we use currently:

Misc:
o We use the Rifts (Palladium) alignment system.
o Virtues/Hubris from 7th Sea. All characters begin with 1 Hubris and may select 1 Virtue or Feat of their choice.
o Force Points from SWSE (called Action Points, Daily variant + minor modifications)
o All magic items which grant an ability score modifier are removed. At every 4th level a character gains 2 attribute bonuses (may increase 2 separate ability scores by +1)
o Magic items based on dimensional spaces have been removed (portable hole, bags of holding, etc). Certain associated spells are removed, as well.
o Poison Rules adopted from Pathfinder—Extending the Poison Rules.
o A +1-+5 enhancement bonus on a weapon is granted through superior craftsmanship; elemental, holy, and so on abilitys may be added to the weapon through Item Creation by spellcasters, but the total may not exceed the ehnancement bonus.
o Major changes/additions to counterspell, Languages and acquisition/use, and skills. Many spells have been removed in their entirety (rope trick)
o Quasi-magical items for mundanes have been added in the form of "Charms" and an "Herbalism" system - borrowed from the Midnight Chronicles.
o Hit Points: Starting Hit Points are now front loaded. At 1st level, a character takes his maximum hit die + 10 + Con modifier. Hit points from 2nd level on are the average of the hit die (rounded down). In essence, you're gaining the 0.5 hit points per level you'd normally gain over the course of 20 levels at 1st level. This serves to increase survivability at lower levels, while maintaining the same total hit points.
o Damage Resistance (Magic): Damage resistance/magic is pointless, as written. With this in mind, any creature with DR/magic will require an enhancement bonus equal to its Challenge Rating divided by 4 to penetrate. For example, a Challenge Rating 4 creature with DR 10/magic requires a +1 or better quality weapon to ignore its...

An intriguing list; it is apparent that you took several cues from SWSE. I'd love to hear more details about your rules, particularly skills. Do you have a document work up by chance?


137ben wrote:
Hawriel wrote:


Here is the thing about electricity. It moves at the speed of light.
Not really. It's somewhere between 1/100th and 1/1000th the speed of light.

I think it's time to start the "Physics of Magical Lightning" thread guys.

"What are YOUR houserules?"


thejeff wrote:
Can'tFindthePath wrote:
Are wrote:
Jacob Saltband wrote:
So by your post as a GM you will give out what info you feel like? I was under the impression that the players got to ask questions not the GM just giving out random monster info.

The rules don't mention how this is done at all. None of the groups I've played in have used the "players asking questions" method (I wasn't aware that some people did it that way until I started visiting these forums). Both methods should work fine for the purpose.

Edit: It might be worth mentioning that in later 3.5 monster manuals, each monster had a sidebar detailing what specific pieces of information you got for the various check results.

Given that the GM is deciding the rarity of the creature, and therefore the DC of the check, it seems natural to me that the GM decides what information is "remembered". System mastery would otherwise allow some players to ask "better" questions. The GM should be in charge of the encounter.

Having said that, many GMs have difficulty with these checks. I think it reasonable to rely on one of more players to help with which knowledge skill is relevant, and suggestions or leading questions that will make it go smoothly and be useful. This is also advisable if the GM knows that they tend to guard and withhold this info. It is an old instinct with many....

Until they've identified the monster (at least by type) how do the players know which knowledge skill is relevant?

More generally for those that allow asking questions, do you expect players to metagame what they ask or should they ask more generic questions?

I had meant to mention that as one more reason it lies entirely in the GM's purview. The GM will need help, unless he has a detailed list of all PC's Knowledge skills, and religiously checks it. But, part of my point is that the PC doesn't "know" what questions to ask, nor even, as you said, what skill to "use".


One of my most cherished D20 products of all time is Fire and Brimstone: A Comprehensive Guide to Lava, Magma, and Superheated Rock, by SammichCon Publishing.

It is a full production, D20system licensed, supplement containing alternate rules for lava.

The core rule is "If you fall into lava, you die. No save."

It has accompanying charts and graphs, as well as detailed examples of play, to support this rule.

Hilarious...and I use it.


As an aside, it drives me absolutely bonkers that Knowledge (Local) is the skill used to identify Humanoid Type critters. Per the CRB this skill is used to learn about Ogres, Storm Giants, Trolls, etc. REALLY?

Unfortunately, the best alternative is Knowledge (Nature) which is already fairly laden with info. But it seems the best choice.

Also, why in hell is a Troll a Humanoid anyway. Aren't they the very definition of Monstrous Humanoid?

/rant


Are wrote:
Jacob Saltband wrote:
So by your post as a GM you will give out what info you feel like? I was under the impression that the players got to ask questions not the GM just giving out random monster info.

The rules don't mention how this is done at all. None of the groups I've played in have used the "players asking questions" method (I wasn't aware that some people did it that way until I started visiting these forums). Both methods should work fine for the purpose.

Edit: It might be worth mentioning that in later 3.5 monster manuals, each monster had a sidebar detailing what specific pieces of information you got for the various check results.

Given that the GM is deciding the rarity of the creature, and therefore the DC of the check, it seems natural to me that the GM decides what information is "remembered". System mastery would otherwise allow some players to ask "better" questions. The GM should be in charge of the encounter.

Having said that, many GMs have difficulty with these checks. I think it reasonable to rely on one of more players to help with which knowledge skill is relevant, and suggestions or leading questions that will make it go smoothly and be useful. This is also advisable if the GM knows that they tend to guard and withhold this info. It is an old instinct with many....

For some reason, the other GMs in my very experienced game group get totally hung up on this use of knowledge.


Kaisoku wrote:

At the levels that you'd have 3 or so weapon groups, it's not inconceivable to have a primary weapon, a ranged weapon, and a couple +1 alternates (like for throwing, or bludgeoning, or reach, or when you are swallowed whole, etc). 2kgp doesn't break the bank at the 100+kgp levels.

You are right, I don't see balance taking any kind of hit with just having it apply to everything all the time. I guess maybe it's just a "this ability feels bland and generic" vs "this ability limits fighters". On paper it looks bland, but in practice each fighter will pick up and use more varied weapons. *shrug*

I dunno... something to mull over.

*Edit*
There is the added bonus of not having to "+3 to this one, and +2 to that one, and +1 to these weapons" kind of nit-picky high-level humdrum.

I'm warming to the idea simply because of that alone. "Fighters should be simple to play" has always been a theme of the class. My bonus feat fix above makes it far more forgiving to try out feats. Having a more general + to apply to all weapons would make choosing/building your fighter far simpler and forgiving too.

I would change Weapon Training so you get the max bonuses with all the groups you choose. So, Heavy Blades at 5th, and Bows at 9th; and you have +2 hit/dmg with both.

Another change might be to give Weapon Training 1 at 1st level. Other than level dipping, I think this would only improve things.

I strongly suggest doing this to Ranger Favored Enemies as well. Being situational and totally up to GM fiat, those bonuses need to be spread out more.


KalEl el Vigilante wrote:

I think the Size (not size) of the Whirlwind is the same of the elemental. Besides everything already said, think about this: CR 1.

How on Earth would a CR 1 small creature be able to potentially deliver slam damage to up to 100 large creatures or 200 medium-small creatures (99% of PCs) in one round (what a double move amounts) and potentially carry a bunch of them inside? Potentially delivering slam damage to up to 400 tiny or smaller creatures seems more in line with the power level of a CR 1.

Exactly.

Excellent point KalEl, I'm sorry to say I didn't think of it myself. We all concentrate too much on RAW, and never mind RAI....what about thinking for ourselves.

Even if the whirlwind rules clearly stated the sizes and capabilities that have been cited (and they do not), they would be wrong. We're not talking about a dogmatic slavery to "balance" here; we're talking about common sense GMing. Would you want PCs or NPCs having the power outlined from a 2nd level spell?


My group has been playing since 1st Ed. AD&D, and when we came into 3.0 we had a really high-level group. We saw with the SR arms race from the top down. 3.5 calmed it down a bit, and these rules are carried into Pathfinder, however, we know where the path leads when it comes to SR. And we didn't like it.

Consequently, we decided to ignore SR altogether; but this is not satisfying either, as some critters are just supposed to be resistant to magic.

So, here is our latest take on SR: We divide SR by 5, rounding down, and make it a resistance bonus against spells and spell-like abilities. But, it also acts as Damage Resistance vs. spells and spell-like abilities equal to the SR divided by 2, round down.

Admittedly, we haven't gotten any real playtesting on this, as our current campaigns are all lower level. But, it's something to try.

Note for clarity: in this rule, SR no longer causes a caster level check to penetrate.


FLite wrote:

Actually, there are rules for what size different whirlwinds can pick up.

They just aren't where you think they would be :)

The prestige class storm kindler gets the whirlwind power *as per the universal monster rules*

http://archivesofnethys.com/PrestigeClassesDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Storm%20Ki ndler

Note that the size of creature the storm can pick up is directly tied to the height of the whirlwind, and that the size of creature picked up is not effected by the size of the character who takes the prestige class:

20' - small
30' - medium
40' - large
50' - huge
60' - huge

First off, this is in no way "errata" of the Universal Monster rules. This seems to be a 3.5 OGL era Pathfinder Prestige Class; not the most closely reviewed material. It seems to have been replaced in Pathfinder compatible rules with the Master of Storms from Paths of Prestige. Wherein, the increasing size of creature lift-able is an aspect of the class feature Storm Shape.

The very fact that the class writers, in both cases, were forced to specify what size of creature is affected is proof that the rules aren't clear anywhere.

I think Majuba's two points cut to the heart of the issue.

The first is an important safety tip, and on wonders how on EARTH such an editing flub is even possible. Particularly without an immediate apology and correction by Paizo. Followed by an exchange for corrected second printings.

But the second point is where it's at. Namely, that the language was changed during the editing of SRD material to fit into the more universal rules in Pathfinder. To me, that simply proves that one should use the entirety of the text from the 3.5 air elemental to utilize Whirlwind in PF. This kind of incomplete word surgery is unfortunately rampant in the rules. Thanks Majuba.


Adjule wrote:
Can'tFindthePath wrote:
christos gurd wrote:

To expand on the races thing,

One is that ive seen previously very non-optimal builds used, like an earth sorcerer dwarf. The overall power increase of characters ranged from marginal to nonexistent.
Changes ive made to races,
Orcs, are now +2 str and wis
Half-orcs/elves, get to choose of their parents ability score modifiers plus one other.
Humans, get skill focus as an additional bonus feat.
Aasimars, are unchanged

I like this, but I have a suggestion for those considering adopting it. Ability score maximums. Basically, just subtract the negative racial mods from 18, and institute it as a racial maximum. I don't want to think about Halflings with 18 Str. In fact, I would make Halflings max Str 14.

This would eliminate what you've seen regarding previously non-optimal builds seeing a surge. But I like some of those limitations. For example, as a long time gamer from the Olde Tymes, I still don't completely like Dwarven arcane casters. However, I would rather discourage it than ban it; and this would be a perfect place to have a trait that would allow an 18 in one of those limited stats.

That sounds like 2nd edition. Along with racial class restrictions, racial class maximum levels, and females having different scores than males, the racial ability score maximums were a horrible design that I never saw anyone use. It was a good thing they were dropped when 3rd edition came around.

I have no problem with dwarven magic users or halfling barbarians with 18 strength. It would be preferable than seeing yet ANOTHER halfling rogue or dwarven cleric or half-orc barbarian.

Well, Pathfinder has racial ability score maximums, but they come by way of a penalty. Same end result. What maximums alone do is let you fit your rolls or points into the right slots, so you don't have to put 17 in a score to get 15.

You choose your race based on it's characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses. In some cases the race is penalized because of physical parameters like size. If you choose Halfling, I don't see why you should expect to have 4 more points of strength than any other small creature. Even a 14 is ridiculous, but it's livable.

Everything else you mentioned from 2ed. was bad, unfair and unfun. Totally agree.


Laurefindel wrote:
n00bxqb wrote:

No auto-fail/auto-success on 1s and 20s. A 1 is always a 1 and a 20 is always a 20.

Seems silly that a level 20 fighter would miss a level 1 commoner 5% of the time.

I don't think it's silly (well, I think that a game where 20th-level characters are attacking 1st-level commoner in sufficient amount to find the 5% auto-fail rate problematic is silly), but I can get behind the design philosophy that "if you can't take 10, then there shouldn't be any auto succeed/autofail". But Pathfinder is exactly the opposite.

Indeed, the only thing that would make it worth rolling the attack against such a target would be the 5% chance of a "miss".

While it's true that very well trained and drilled soldiers don't "miss" 1 in 20 times at the range. Even those guys miss more in combat. But the die roll doesn't just represent the possibility that the shooter will miss, it is all the random elements of a tension filled encounter.

If you don't like having your god-like heroes "missing" defenseless commoners, then describe the defender slipping on the sand and tripping over his own feet to get the hell out of the way...and stumbling out of the blow.

Or, better yet, the next time a 20th level fighter swings at a 1st level commoner...just describe the clean death.


christos gurd wrote:

To expand on the races thing,

One is that ive seen previously very non-optimal builds used, like an earth sorcerer dwarf. The overall power increase of characters ranged from marginal to nonexistent.
Changes ive made to races,
Orcs, are now +2 str and wis
Half-orcs/elves, get to choose of their parents ability score modifiers plus one other.
Humans, get skill focus as an additional bonus feat.
Aasimars, are unchanged

I like this, but I have a suggestion for those considering adopting it. Ability score maximums. Basically, just subtract the negative racial mods from 18, and institute it as a racial maximum. I don't want to think about Halflings with 18 Str. In fact, I would make Halflings max Str 14.

This would eliminate what you've seen regarding previously non-optimal builds seeing a surge. But I like some of those limitations. For example, as a long time gamer from the Olde Tymes, I still don't completely like Dwarven arcane casters. However, I would rather discourage it than ban it; and this would be a perfect place to have a trait that would allow an 18 in one of those limited stats.


Mattastrophic wrote:

On the other hand...

Why do some classes get two good saves and other classes only get one? It would be more balanced if every class got one Good, one Moderate, and one Poor save. Except the Monk, because three good saves is their thing.

-Matt

This speaks more to the game as a whole, rather than to the fighter specifically, but I think the save vs. DC disparity that seems to bother a lot of people could be essentially fixed with one house rule. Give all characters a Base Save progression of 1/2 level, and then give a non-stacking "class bonus to save" of +2 for the good save categories.

Although sweeping, I've heard only a few people in 14 years say "saves are fine the way they are. I don't think there are a lot of folks who would hate on this, and there are definitely a lot of folks who would love it.


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Alexandros Satorum wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

Lore Wardens are actually quite viable. Note that they get both more skill points and Class Skills, and a huge bonus on Combat Maneuvers that nobody else gets.

They seem a good baseline for a viable general Fighter.

uhm, unfortunately Lore wardend have a reputation of a terrible archetype among some devs.

Well, the "devs" aren't going to change the Fighter at all, so their opinion doesn't really matter in this case.


Damian Magecraft wrote:

I like this idea since it frees up a great number feat slots.

And implementing it for a number of feats is fairly simple (Once the character meats the next steps prerequisites the new effects come into play).
But what about those feats that should logically be folded together but have no prerequisites? (For example: Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus).
What would one suggest as a logical progression for this?

Speaking only to the mentioned feats, Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus, I would suggest 9th or 10th caster level. It is the half way point for full casters in the power or their spells (5th level spells).


ckdragons wrote:

Yes, I DID ask. :) Thank you, Rynjin. And thank you, Can'tFindthePath.

I didn't realize many of my "house rules" were already RAW. I would be interested to know which ones, so I can trim down what I'm handing out. I'd rather not hand out a "book" of rule changes when my campaign starts. :) Might as well as write my own gaming system at that point.

Regarding Power Attack, you are both correct in this rule is trying to push character to use more sword & board configurations. I was adopting this rule from my friend in a campaign he's currently running. Honestly, I've been on the fence whether to change it from RAW.

Regarding the 15 Point Buy, I currently run with 5-6 players in Pathfinder Adventure Paths. We just finished Carrion Crown with the same point buy and the characters practically breezed through the final encounter... even after I had the last boss teleport away and return to "full strength" in the matter of 5 minutes for "revenge". I know that 15 points is on the lower power side, but I understand the Adventura Paths is meant for 4 players with a 15 Point Buy system. How much of a difference would 20 Point Buy be?

The other items I'm on the fence about (again from my friend's campaign) is removing Many Shot and adding Improved Rapid Shot and Greater Rapid Shot (as noted in my list)?

Thanks again for all your input.

Well I apologize if I misinterpreted Rynjin. The tone that I read seemed a bit judgmental, I guess it's not explicit. Sorry.

Regarding Sword and Board: I really don't like TWF as written, and I like even less the reliance on it to balance two-handed fighting. What if I don't want only TWF or THF in my campaign. I think THF is a strong enough choice with the Str damage bump on it's own. Add in Power Attack, and it becomes a false choice. Why wouldn't you do that? I like to make feats more fair and even in the benefits they grant, rather than stacking and playing off of the basic choices. It just leads to power creep....or in some cases, power CHARGE!

For example, my group has altered Improved Critical, as well as keen, to increase the threat range of a weapon by 1, rather than double the threat range (the choice and benefit of the various weapons threat/crit multiplier are still valid). But, we also let them stack. What this does is even out the benefit of taking the feat, and at the same time it doesn't allow the magic to obviate the feat. And finally, it eliminates an annoying special rule that isn't intuitive: Imp Crit, keen, and other special abilities all have language that say they don't stack with other things that modify threat range. I hate that.


Rynjin wrote:

Half of these are not houserules and most of the other half are nerfs to things that don't need to be nerfed (like Power Attack and Smite).

15 PB with no stats under 7 is terrible, it results in especially weak martial characters and makes MAD classes pretty much unplayable. It also precludes having a stat over 18 anyway (since you need 17 points for a pre-racial 18) so the last part is redundant.

I don't like them.

A little less harsh, eh? It may not be how you want to play, it just signifies a lower power game. If his players are okay with it, then what's the problem?

As far as the 18 limit, it is reachable: 8, 9, 10, 10, 10, 18. Mind you I certainly wouldn't play with these rules, but I am not going to say they are wrong.

Also, while several are not house rules (mostly because of errata), it is far less than half. And further, I appreciate many of the so called "nerfs", they have some merit. For instance, the limit on Power Attack not increasing with two-handers. I LOVE my two-handed power attacks, especially with Furious Focus (duh!). But, it makes weapon and shield even more milk-toast than it already is. PF's Power Attack rewrite was on the one hand, the savior of sword and board, and on the other, it buried it forever. I now only use a shield build if I don't care about doing damage at all.

I like some, but not others.


ubertripp wrote:

My house rules:

Ability Damage: We use the 3.5 version of this rule: ability damage reduces ability modifiers accordingly. Ignore the Pathfinder rule that says “For every 2 points of damage you take to a single ability, apply a –1 penalty to skills and statistics listed with the relevant ability.”
Thus, a single point of ability damage will lower the ability modifier for a stat of say, 12, but not for one of 13. I do this to show that a 13 is better than a 12.

The Pathfinder doesn't change the value of 13 over 12. Whether you have a 12 or a 13 one point of damage does nothing, and two points give's you an effective -1 to all stats derived from that ability.

However, if you have a 12, one point of damage stills has no effect, whereas in your houserule (a reversion to the 3.5 rule), one point would give you that effective -1 penalty.

I actually like it your way better, because PF's way is unnecessary for groups like mine, who had been using the old rule for 9 years. I believe it was conceived as a simplification for altering stats on the fly. And it serves that purpose for those who run from the stats on the sheet, and don't want to think about the numbers they used to arrive there.


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DeathQuaker wrote:
Of course should you choose to do differently in your games, by all means. Different worlds, different standards. I respect other people's play styles, and would not discount or dismiss someone else's ideas by huffing "give me a break" simply because that idea doesn't appeal to me personally.

Well said DQ.

+1.


The whirlwind power in Pathfinder is the same, verbatim, as D&D 3.5 except they changed "one or more size categories smaller than the elemental" to "one or more size categories smaller than the whirlwind".

So, it seems to be a purposeful change, however, it doesn't properly fit the size rules, has no supporting verbiage added, and is definitely unclear.

I rule that the original text stands, "smaller than the elemental".


Dresden10589 wrote:
If you can damage it, you can crit it. If you hit it hard enough, it should hurt. Except maybe ghosts, because they are special.

The only things you can't crit in Pathfinder are Elementals, oozes, and incorporeals (ghosts). Are you sure you want to include those?


Keydan wrote:
Detect Magic wrote:
Why would jedi classes be prestige when children are raised to be jedi? It wouldn't make sense for a child jedi to take levels as a "soldier" or as a "scoundrel" before finally unlocking a jedi prestige class. I mean, I'm all in favor of jedi prestige classes, but I also think that a jedi base class is necessary. Star Wars Saga Edition did it right, in my opinion.
I meant that jedi-jedi are definitely very overpowered. Making them a valid prestige class for a force adept, a padawan or a natural force-sensitive race would be better, balance-wise.

I like the look of this. Anyone who qualifies can become a "Jedi", but the fastest, smoothest path would be Padawan.


As to the actual topic of the thread:

My group has many little house rules, mainly common sense things, developed over the 13 1/2 years of d20. In fact, several of the most basic ones are part of Pathfinder. For instance, unrestricted multiclassing for Monks and Paladins; multiclassing without xp penalties; Mithral weapons treated as silver for DR penetration.

Others are common enough:

-When rolling ability scores, we roll 4d6, take the best 3, re-rolling all ones. Though lately, we've taken to using point buy...with 25 points of course.

-When rolling hit points, you roll once (re-rolling ones), then you may challenge the roll, by rolling again (re-rolling ones). You must take the second roll, even if it is less (except for ones). Personally, I think rolling hit points is the last dinosaur of the silly randomness of character creation and development. I advocate the max -2 rule, cited by DanceSC above.

-Feats that apply to a specific weapon, instead apply to a weapon group as defined in the Fighter class.

Then there are the type of house rules that fuel endless debate on class balance. I must say, in thirteen years, we have seen none of the anguished, nail-biting, balance drama that goes on here daily:

-Clerics do not receive the bonus domain spell slots, and instead may spontaneously cast any of their domain spells just as they do with cure or inflict spells.

-Feats that require levels in certain classes are adjusted as appropriate. In effect, this is only the Fighter exclusives like Weapon Specialization, our prereqs for which are +4 BAB and weapon focus in the chosen weapon.


Eldrad wrote:
I have a house rule which is no house rules. Even though the rules can be too much they are pretty much perfected. At the same time I have moments of rules hate because of all the work it takes to run it.

It's ironic because I am one of those GMs who cannot leave the system alone; no system is good enough as is. I always screw with the rules, at least in theory, and day dream about launching the perfect campaign. Lol.

But, it is so much work to get to the point where I am happy with the rules, that recently I've been looking at it the opposite way; use the CRB only. It is a very tempting prospect, to only flip through one book instead of needing an open browser to d20PFSRD or a freakin book caddy.

But then....I start looking through it, and inevitably I start thinking what to change...sigh.


I advocate Finesse as a weapon quality, rather than a feat, and some way to add Dex to damage. So I dig the angle of these feats.

One thing that could help the Str dump problem is adding a Prerequisite of Str 13 to any feat that allows one to finesse a normally non-finesse weapon. Along with disallowing +50% damage when two-handing (Str or Power Attack), I think that's enough to rein in the Dex psycho's.

Also, you could add a feat atop any Dex to damage finesse feat to gain the benefit with non-finesse weapons. So, it could go:

Weapon Finesse (feat or weapon quality)

Deadly Finesse

Sword Dancer (or whatever, a feat that lets you Finesse a Greataxe)

>Insert Clever Feat Name< (a feat that lets you add Dex to damage for a Greataxe, or whatever)

...or some such.


Chooky wrote:

For the Cavalier Musketeer archetype, under their Gifted Firearm ability

"... At 11th level, he can reduce the misfire chance of his weapon by 1 (to a minimum of 1, as with the reliable firearm special ability)..."

However the reliable weapon property states a minimum of 0 instead of 1. Needs to either take out that last sentence and have the minimum of 1, or change the ability to have a minimum of 0.

Or change the Reliable and Reliable, Greater to have a minimum or 1...


gamer-printer wrote:

I continously see all these threads about an alternate death mechanic, and all of them are ways to mitigate death. It seems to me that mitigating the death mechanic is a sure way to take the 'heroic' out of roleplay - making it so that dying is difficult to do. I prefer challenges, and the threat of death by over-staying a challenge that turns out to be too tough simply means removing yourself from that combat and coming back later with help (more combatants, better weapons, better magic.) PC death is a definite motivator in many situations. In my opinion removing the death factor mitigates being a hero - it lessens the fun when threats are no longer threatening.

It certainly isn't the direction you're going, but I've published a setting for PF (Kaidan), where the interesting stuff doesn't really happen until after you die. Death is such an important aspect, that raise dead, reincarnation (by spell) and resurrection magic does not work. The entire setting is built around a cursed reincarnation mechanic.

One effect of mitigating death is to make it matter more, rather than cheapening it. No penalties until you are dying on the ground, or one shot from standing to dead; this makes it feel less dramatic. Following this with a magical revivification makes it (eventually) insignificant, annoying, and mechanical.

I like death rules that give at least some kind of death-spiral near the end, and recovery rules that make it less than automatic to return from the other side.

Now, as to the OP's actual proposal, I think that during the disabled phase you should automatically lose hit points. Perhaps more if you take standard actions.

Note also, that the Wounds and Vigor rules from UC, although nearly impenetrably arcane as written, are very similar to this. The Wound points essentially represent twice your negative Con in standard PF. When you're into them, you are staggered, which is similar to disabled. Then it gets worse from there. It's an attractive alternative, but as I said, confusingly written. They need some chart graphics to help navigate it. I have to read the entry three times to get my bearings, and I already understand how it works!


Ciaran Barnes wrote:
I think I get it, but I also think there is another way to write it that is shorter and easier to understand.

I agree, but tell that to the CRB too!


Liam Warner wrote:

Honestly I really am not a fan of spell failure at all (I assume its a balance thing and thus I've generally left it alone in my houserules). You can wear heavy thick mittens in an artic environment and cast spells fine but those light gloves of X to go with your chainmail armour suddenly makes you fail casting 1 spell in five? unless you take still spell in which case all your casting is more difficult but you can go onto that battlefiled in full field plate and not rely on magical protections that can be dispelled leaving you vulnerable to that wave of arrows.

As for the ideas here a spell failure chance means the spell either goes off or it doesn't and with certain things (mithril, celestial armour, numerous light armours) its still worth the protection till you can get your hands on bracers or AC. However if the armour penalizes saves, caster level or the like well I for one would never touch it. Its already hard enough to affect monsters fully (finding a spell to target a weak save, compesenting for a level loss if you try to go into eldritch knight at least 2 levels of caster gone which would be when you actually need to worry about it).

I mean take the reducing caster level you loose 1 presumably going into fighter to get the heavy armour feat then you wear full plate and suddenly your caster level 11 (-1 for fighter, -8 for armour) which means most of your spells will be pitifully easy to save against and the effects will also be far below what they should be for your level. Same if you subtract the AC from the spell DC although at least here your not losing several die of damage or extra effects.

Its very late so I may be misunderstanding but from what I see it turns a "I'll take a 10-20% spell failure chance to have better protection and if I take still spell I can then cast spells 100% of the time in my full plate" to "Hmmm -8 DC or -8 caster level even when I get the spells off . . . not worth it.

Yes I agree. I have never liked the spell failure, nor thought it necessary for balance. There is a wonderful old quote from a letter to Dragon magazine way back in 1st edition times. Unfortunately, I cannot give credit where due, but to paraphrase from memory: "a magic-user could be wearing +5 plate mail and wielding a light saber, and he still has no business being in melee."

I also think reduction of caster level and especially DCs, as proposed, is very unnecessarily harsh. If you like the idea in general, perhaps reducing them by ACP is a good middle ground.

As far as retaining the spell failure rule while trying to improve it, I have long thought that it should be a concentration check. Or rather, wearing armor forces a concentration check to cast somatic spells, with the appropriate ACP to the roll. DCs could run the gamut from easy to challenging, depending on ones views of the validity of the spell failure rule. Those who favor more armor options for spell casters while retaining the rule might call for the concentration check only when wearing armor in which the caster is not proficient.


I agree the list needs to be shortened, but perhaps a little longer than yours; 8 choices is not enough. Maybe around 10 or 12, with groupings similar to what you have.

Regarding the power/usefulness of Favored Enemy: I have long thought that it is too weak over all. As has been discussed since 2E, the strength of your class ability depends completely on the GM giving you encounters that fit it. And even with a generous GM, there are times when you essentially do not have the feature, for lack of an appropriate enemy. And Gods forbid you should go on an adventure (or AP) that has NONE of you Enemies in it. Ugh. At the same time, the ability is over powering when facing an enemy the Ranger has focused on.

I think, with or without the narrowing of the list, that a useful alternate rule is to make the attack/damage bonus +1 at each FE choice, but then increase for all FE choices that the Ranger has, for a total of +5 atk/dmg to all Favored Enemies at 20th level. I'm up in the air on the skill bonuses. I think they might remain +2 per bracket. Many skill bonus class features grant half level, so this doesn't seem too bad. However this effectively gives half level to a lot of skills, so either way.


lair-master wrote:
Can'tFindthePath wrote:

I can understand your wish to master this style, and you don't want to detract from the main campaign. However, I say don't worry about actually confining it to one session. If you aren't running it at a convention, and your table is having fun (particularly the regular GM), let it ride!

I know this is counter to the advice you asked for, I hope this doesn't offend. I just want to encourage people to relax, and have fun with it.

Not offended in the least. It's great advice!

If the one-shot runs long and ends up lasting two sessions, fine. Not a problem. Thing is, I have another group (old high school friends) and we only get to play together once or twice a year. I'd like to run one-shots with them too, but if it runs long there's a chance we may never finish! Guess I should have mentioned that from the start.

Yeah, that is tough; I have had similar times in my gaming life. And it's good reason to master the One-Shot.

Re: advice: Sometimes good advice is identifying the problem, or determining that there really is none. However, most of the time on the forums, it is extremely annoying. Example, "hey guys, my group likes complex detailed rules systems, and increased verisimilitude. I was thinking of using house rule 'A', do you have any advice on how best to implement this. Thanks in advance." Response: "don't do that-that isn't broken don't fix it-the game doesn't need more complexity-play something else-(my personal favorite)realism doesn't belong in a game with fireballs and dragons"....ugh!

Anyway, good luck, and good gaming memories with those old friends.


Indeed, as well stated by others above; XP is awarded for defeating the encounter. However, encounters are designed to use up a certain amount (approximately) of party resources (spells, consumables, hp, etc) as a gross measure of the challenge they faced. If the encounter ended up being less difficult because of the retreat, I'd say it is reasonable to award a modified sum, particularly if they are going to face that critter again and finish it.


lair-master wrote:

My friends and I have a weekly campaign, but sometimes our GM needs a break. We've taken to running one-shots with another player wearing the GM hat. When it was my turn, my "one-shot" ended up lasting four sessions! This was an original adventure I'd written, and I didn't expect it to take nearly as long to complete as it did.

As I prepare to don the GM hat once more, can anyone offer advice on designing an effective one-shot? How does one confine a story to a single session? What types of stories make for good one-shots? Are there any published one-shots I should read for inspiration? Under your tutelage, it is my wish to master...The Art of the One-Shot!

I can understand your wish to master this style, and you don't want to detract from the main campaign. However, I say don't worry about actually confining it to one session. If you aren't running it at a convention, and your table is having fun (particularly the regular GM), let it ride!

I know this is counter to the advice you asked for, I hope this doesn't offend. I just want to encourage people to relax, and have fun with it.

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