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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?
I think it's time to start the "Physics of Magical Lightning" thread guys.
"What are YOUR houserules?"
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?
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Alexandros Satorum wrote:
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:
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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)
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.
Or change the Reliable and Reliable, Greater to have a minimum or 1...
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!
Liam Warner wrote:
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.
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.
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.
Indeed, I have a Sage Sorcerer who just made 8th level (4th level spells! Woot!) and my experience reflects what you have said.
My sorcerer actually has a good Intimidate via the Bruising Intellect trait, use Int mod in place of Cha. Also, though it cost me three feats, Fast Learner, Improvisation, and Improved Improvisation have truly made him a Sage. With the three, he gains a +4 bonus on all skills with no ranks in them, thus I only spend in critical skills, and with high Int have moderate rolls with all knowledge skills.
Not according to the CRB.
"Inappropriately Sized Weapons: A creature can't make optimum use of a weapon that isn't properly sized for it. A cumulative –2 penalty applies on attack rolls for each size category of difference between the size of its intended wielder and the size of its actual wielder. If the creature isn't proficient with the weapon, a –4 nonproficiency penalty also applies."
Where are you pulling that rule, other than 3rd Edition D&D?
Remco Sommeling wrote:
All of this sounds like a good way to go. I plan on limiting full casters when I launch a new campaign (..one of these days..), and I am tending toward the forced multiclass technique.
I have considered rebuilding the spell chart progressions so you end up with 6th or 7th level spells. But then what if we want to go "epic"; I think it is easier to just say 'no more than 2/3 character level in full spellcasting class. This means that 1st level must be in something else, and every third level after that, ending with 13th casting level at 20th character=7th level spells.
The only problem I see with this is that it forces choices which are sometimes "out of character" from what you otherwise might do. Particularly with Wizard/Sorcerers; the best choice for multiclass is Rogue, or perhaps Cleric. You lose the true Wizard archetype. So, I have been thinking about a "Scholar" or "Academic" class akin to the Smart Hero from d20Modern, with "thinkin" abilities. Something that would synergize both mechanically and, more importantly, thematically with the classic Wizard.
Diego Rossi wrote:
24/20 over 23/20 is way better? Okay, but I consider it close enough that it is on par in the game rules. Like the way a Greataxe is on par with a Greatsword and a (in game) Falchion. Besides, you don't always hit, and so that small difference in potential damage output may be nullified. A better chance to crit should yield about the same damage over time.
You caught me. I deleted the above comment after I found a later post by the OP that said the opposite of what I had inferred. Sorry.
A falcata is a falchion. I mean the stats, not the picture. One handed, with a heavy chopping blade. Thus 19-20/x3 crit. I have never allowed the illustrations in the game books of any edition override the weapon description. Too much history of bad/confused art orders. The illo of the "falcata" is a greek design that I can't seem to find the name for.
(Edit-It seems that is a...falcata. However, the term was coined in the 19th century by some Italian dude. Still can't find the correct Greek name.)
The only contrary thing about the falcata is that it's Exotic. Not exactly what you would make cheaply and hand out to common infantry. Perhaps the "true" falchion is martial, does 1d6, with 19-20/x3 crit range. That puts it on par with the scimitar/rapier.
K177Y C47 wrote:
If we don't restrict ourselves to the game term Slashing (i.e. longsword, battle axe, halberd, etc), we are in for a world of (admittedly realistic) hurt.
Absolutely, I forgot to mention that my Elven Anti-Paladin just hit 8th level, and with the BAB bump and his 18 Str, he now power attacks for 1d10 + 18! It's actually pretty sick, and makes me look twice at the PF Power Attack....but it's awesome!
It still stands, though, that the Martial Nodachi is identical but better than the Exotic Elven curve blade. Further, the poor Falchion does 1d6/2d4 where the Nodachi does 1d8/1d10, weighs the same, does slashing only, no brace quality....and costs 15gp more!
I hate to say it, but the inevitable power creep, though delayed in PF, eventually rears its ugly head. That all this was brought forward into Ultimate Equipment is what chaps mine....
And yes, the Elven curve blade is straight from the prologue of the LotR: the Fellowship of the Ring film. It is essentially a Nagamaki. This style of Japanese sword is introduced in UC, although it has been (con)fused with the (N)odachi, probably for simplicity and adaptability. Both of these weapons (Nodachi and Elven curve blade) appear in UE, and they have nearly identical stats....but the Nodachi is a two-handed Martial weapon, and the Elven curve blade a two-handed Exotic weapon...and the only difference is the Nodachi has slashing and piercing damage, as well as the brace weapon quality. While the curve blade has....slashing damage...?...ooh, the curve blade weighs 7 lbs. instead of 8 lbs. That is totally worth the feat...um...yeah.
Bolded by me.
Small clarification for those who may be confused; the agile weapon quality does not disallow its use on two-handed weapons, it specifies that you do not get 1.5 times Dex bonus to damage with such weapons, and your damage is still reduced for off hand use.
Magda Luckbender wrote:
Wow...I guess you're right. It's too late to save the ignorant from themselves.
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
That is absolutely true as far as the invisible creature being able to make AO's or launching attacks that require him to threaten the target square. It even makes sense that an invisible creature benefits from flanking bonus if his flank buddy is visible. However, with regard to a visible flanker gaining flank bonuses from an invisible flanker...no.
The target creature between these flankers (assuming he cannot see invisible creatures) doesn't know he is threatened, and therefore he isn't distracted by the invisible flanker, and gives his full defensive attention to the visible one. Now the invisible flanker will get the benefits of attacking from invisibility (+2 to hit, target loses Dex to AC), and I would argue also a flanking bonus, because the target is definitely distracted by the visible flanker.
This was hashed out years ago, during 3.0, by the original devs.
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
I can't find anything in the rules that says you have to activate PA before your first attack of your turn, or on your turn at all. Thus, you could activate it between your primary attack and your offhand, or your primary and your 1st iterative, or between your last iterative and an AOO. All are valid options. Some are poor choices, but they are still valid choices.
This is because the feat was drastically re-written from the original version.
From the SRD:
"POWER ATTACK [GENERAL]
This doesn't look like a purposeful change, as the language is unclear and doesn't fit the normal pattern regarding actions.
My world is mostly structure fluff atm.
An all too common purgatory in which potential campaign worlds find themselves...
Mine is a "classic" fantasy world, with mighty ritual and "world magic" juxtaposed with moderate and more subtle "personal magic". It contains an Elven empire in decline, a Dwarven kingdom allied with (but antagonistic to) the Elves, several Human "proto-kingdoms" (who are subservient to, but agitating under, the Elven empire), an expanding Goblinoid empire, and the shattered remains (and playable descendents) of an ancient Giant culture. Also, my world features unique deities who form a perfectly balanced circle of opposition, based on the Nine Alignments of Pathfinder. The irony here is that I won't be using alignment for mortals.
It draws inspiration from the original AD&D Deities and Demigods, Arcana Unearthed, Star Trek, Star Wars, the Forgotten Realms, and of course Lord of the Rings, among others.
But....its so much! I never have gotten more than broad strokes and a few Gods written down, as I constantly vacillate between spending the rest of my natural life detailing and running games in my world, and starting a classic Greyhawk campaign, or relaunching a customized "FRZero" Forgotten Realms campaign, or even throwing in the towel completely and running AP after AP in a Golarion campaign....
May we all find the strength to forge our own paths. Lol.