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Laurefindel's page

3,380 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Minor HP rule (made to "humanise" high level characters and diminish reliance on magical healing)

Instead of representing connecting blows, Hit Points represent tiring parries, narrow escapes, minor injuries, favourable environment, dumb luck and other “close calls”.

  • Calculate your 50% hp mark (rounded down). That’s your weary threshold. Mark it somewhere convenient. When your hp drop below this mark, you’re weary. This has no mechanical effect other than allowing you to complain about feeling weak.

  • You gain an amount of hp equal to your weary threshold with a 15-minute rest. Good night of sleep restores you to full hp. Cure spells and magical healing function as RaW. But even scratches can prove to be deadly; poisons and disease also function as RaW.

  • There’s a new condition in the game: wounded. You acquire this condition upon receiving a critical hit, failing a saving throw causing damage or running out of hp. Nonlethal damage never cause a character to become wounded. When you’re wounded, you CAN’T regenerate hp past your weary threshold until the condition is removed.

  • The wounded condition is removed after receiving a successful Heal (long-term care) check, or by receiving magical healing. If the character is dying, it MUST be brought back to positive hp with a successful Heal (treat deadly wounds) check before long term care can be attempted. A seriously injured character may take several days to treat as per Heal skill rules.

  • superbe!

    Keep us updated when new work is added to the page!

    Funny, between now and the time I wrote in this tread, what I like and dislike about a RPG seems to have changed.

    I've made my peace with hit points, but tight economy of action now bothers me. I seem to have move away from the more tactical type of game to something looser.

    Coolkidtopolis wrote:
    It's always super bugged me that a high-level character can essentially just take a cannon ball to the face and walk away like nothing happened.

    This used to bug me too, then I I began to see hit points as a resource for "not-dying", not as the amount of wounds a hero can take before dying.

    The way I like to see it, nobody can take a cannon ball in the head and survive; that's impossible. One survives a cannon ball to the head by avoiding it in extremis, at the cost of great personal resources (call it skill or luck or cinematographic action or bad-ass-ness, whatever). Deadly goblins blade are easier to deflect than cannon balls to the head are to avoid, therefore one needs to be higher level to survive that last attack, and still, chances are that the hero cannot do it all day long.

    I'm afraid that your houserule will result in a lot of "I attack you, I miss, you attack me, you miss" and a lot of one-shot death. D&D/Pathfinder was designed with more granularity on the live-death scale and much of the system rely on that (the way healing works for example)

    I strongly recommend having a look at Evil Lincoln's Strain-Injury houserule. While the application is different, it addresses the same original concern about cannon balls to the head.


    I wonder...

    perhaps 'balance' is harder to get from a newer edition, or 3pp are afraid to have their new classes invalidated by the inevitable release of new classes by WotC in the near future?

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    Whether a book is well or poorly written is not necessarily relevant for the making of a movie. The general plot is what the scenarist are after. If the story's good, then it has potential for a great movie.

    I'm glad that they are doing something in a published setting and not some generic fantasy world. Now it can bare the name (or subtitle) of D&D.


    The One Ring (Cubicle 7's Tolkien Middle Earth RPG) has an interesting take on magic items (and the handling of).

    It differs from typical Fantasy RPG in that extraordinary items, including magical treasure, are purchased with XP rather that bought with gold or "owed" to the player based on its level, but it does have a "magical items are rare and cannot be bought" philosophy.

    Basically, the Loremaster (game master) decides what type of magic/wondrous items the players will have, based on rarity. He/she is free to readjust the list anytime, but that's what the players are going to get regardless if their characters find them in a troll hoard, receive them as gift or heirloom from one of the Great or pry them from the grip of a barrow-wight. In a way the character was meant to have that item instead of another.

    As much as I enjoy a bit of magical treasure randomness once in a while, I intend to use these guidelines in my next 5e game. I just need to find the right 'trigger' since getting one of these items is the equivalent of spending an ASI in TOR.

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    Darklord Morius wrote:
    My campaign idea is a typical fantasy setting but with animals instead of humans, dwarves and elves...

    This reminds me of my homebrewed setting with no humans, elves, dwarves and other typical PC races

    Always wanted to play it, never found an occasion to...

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    Always wanted to make a LEGO rpg game. Make your hero(es), everything WYSIWYG with stats for the different minifig accessories. DM spends two days building the next battle map...

    I'd be cool, but hello $$$

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    LazarX wrote:

    If you want to research go for it...

    That's the idea, but your first response to the OP sounded like "don't bother, it's not going to work".

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    LazarX wrote:
    I would suggest that for these purposes, game play considerations are far more important things to consider than historical accuracy.

    But one can take clues from historical observation, usually to keep to the genre. Things like "peasant house didn't have a chimney but an open fire at the center of their house" or "high medieval castles didn't have a dedicated dining room" can help to set the right atmosphere. Research shouldn't be discouraged even if gameplay can sometimes take precedence.

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    Zombieneighbours wrote:
    Does anyone have a good source for the physical dimensions of various medieveal buildings?

    It varied depending on period and whether the house was in town or in the countryside. Village houses were pretty small and rectangular, dirt floor, one level sometimes with beds in the loft (something like 12' x 20'). Out-buildings where used for shops, farms animals etc.

    Farms in some region they where bigger and housed extended families, including the pigs, goats and other farm animals. With time they got quite big with many attached out-buildings.

    Town houses of the low middle age were much bigger, three to five stories high with shape matching the existent streets. Most public buildings where long and narrow to allow more natural light. Town houses were narrow and not very deep, like 20' x 20'.

    You should have a look at the Encyclopedie Medievale from Violet le Duc if you can find it (I believe it was translated in English). Also, renaissance buildings where very similar to those of the low middle age, at least for the private buildings, and it is easier to find source about that era.

    Unfortunately, most sources will cite examples of public buildings, castles and cathedrals; its hard to find info about the common-folk housing.

    Irranshalee wrote:
    You may just have to make sure you run 4 characters total, even if you have NPCs, and judge the CRs as lower in 5e.

    I was thinking of that, and/or allowing the beastmaster Ranger to use its pet as an independent character (with a few more hp).

    Monsters are easier to run in 5e, but I find that encounters were easier to gauge in Pathfinder. My players either dance through the encounter or I have to deus ex machina what would otherwise be a TPK. There's only two of them however, this makes things more swingy...

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    Running a campaign with my son and one of his friend.

    At age 11, they start to be able to synergyse their abilities and use basic strategies. While the maths of 3e/Pathfinder were not above their grade level, all those perksy +1 here and -2 there were dragging things down. 5e fixes that.

    25. Fairies lose their invisibility when they sneeze; that's why you pepper your belongings.

    26. Daisies help to ward off possession. That's why maiden wear crown of daisies and why you wear one by your heart.

    27. Always enter a dungeon and other haunted place backwards. This way spirits will think you left instead of entered

    Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:

    For inspiration on a truly great magic system that approximates Pathfinder's feel while eliminating most of the annoying cruft, I can't recommend Iron Kingdoms RPG highly enough.

    Short, unambiguous spell descriptions with standardized mechanics. Spells are either instantaneous duration or you pay to keep them up (no tracking rounds, EVER). It's a very nice system, and it's the first place I'd look if I were up to the task of replacing Vancian magic.

    I'm not very familiar with IK. Can you give us a slightly more elaborate description of its magic system?

    Zark wrote:
    I’m very excited about the Swashbuckler. I hope it’s a fighter or rogue archetype. I honestly think Battle master is the only fun fighter archetype, so I hope it’s a fighter with some social skills.

    Most likely its going to be a polished version of the Swashbuckler roguish archetype introduced in Unearthed Arcana (same instalment as the Strom sorcerer origin), so a rogue that can sneak attack in solo combat and with a goading/charm ability.

    I would expect some Harper scout or Harper agent or something. something about spellfire(sorcerer origin?), assuming that such things still exist. I'm curious about this new age of the setting


    SmiloDan wrote:
    I like how modular 5th Edition is. It's designed to be expanded upon, with new archetypes built into the base classes.

    Yes, the modular aspect of 5e is very homebrew friendly.

    Irranshalee wrote:

    I would want characters to be superhuman at 10th level and most folk 1st-3rd levels. It cannot happen as the rules are written. The breakdown of game play at higher level is hard for me to swallow. The whole thought of 9th level bakers just slays me. I have been tweaking the PF system down for years now

    5th ed disconnects hit dice and levels for NPCs. Your typical knight NPC doesn't have all the abilities of a 9th-level fighter; it has one or two of its abilities at most, the ability to bare weapons and armors, and 9 levels worth of HPs (can't remember how many HD it has, this is a fictive number). Commoner is a "creature" in the Monstrous Manual, not a class. And if you're not happy with its 1HD, it would be really easy to create Baguette the baker's guild-master with 3HD...

    Irranshalee wrote:
    I am actually designing my campaign for the PCs to retire by 10th-12th level. That is why 5e has caught my attention. It seems to me that PCs could conceivably raise to level 20 and not have as much of an impact as 20th level Pathfinder PCs. By going to level 20, the players will have more time to enjoy their characters (development of characters, especially the emotional/mental aspect of it growing with each new adventure is alluring to us).

    5e extends the sweet spot a bit further. Character come into their own around 3rd level and remain "manageable" until they get their higher abilities around level 16th-17th. Bounded accuracy insures that DCs that are challenging to high level characters are not far off from the ones that challenge low-level PCs. Same goes for monsters, what can hurt a low level PC can usually hurt a high-level one only, the high level character has lots of HPs to go through easy encounters.

    There is still a paradigm shift at higher levels, mainly due to high level spells, but it comes a few level further than PF in my experience (well, from that one 5e campaign I played level 10th to 20th).

    Irranshalee wrote:

    In summary (...) Is there a system out there that is similar to my description? The loss of a d20 and player progression through levels are not deal breakers. I just want something not-so-over-the-top. The work needed to keep things in my preference range is overwhelming at times.

    PS I absolutely loathe the Christmas tree effect.

    I think most systems can support your style of play, to a certain extent, but it depends on settings. PF can support 1st level bakers and you could go with a black marker and scratch everything that pertains to 12th level or above (or 10th, or 8th, or 6th), and the game would run just fine. You just need to find (or invent) a setting that supports that.

    Irranshalee wrote:
    It sounds to me like 5e might be very cookie cutter, something that would be good to introduce my children

    5e is by no mean a childish game, that being said, it is easier to teach to kids (and adult too). The maths are simpler, with smaller number and less add this and that and subtract this etc. less trap options and optimization has a lesser impact.

    As for the rest, 5e is not less cookie-cutter than pathfinder since it works on the same basic framework, but it has much less molds to choose from, and less goodies to sprinkle on top.

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    BigDTBone wrote:
    Yes, both "because dragons" and "because realism," are actually cover-ups for "because I don't like it."

    Both can also be "because that's the genre and/or setting I propose for this game"

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    SmiloDan wrote:
    Each fills a really fun niche! :-D

    That I agree with

    Letric wrote:
    You're supposed to be a hero, even if fighting 50 level 1 being a lvl 10, you should kill them.

    That depends on the scope of the game/setting. In a world where defeating 10 opponents in melee makes you a hero, loosing against 50 is might be expected. But I'm with you with insta-death not being fun regardless of the game/system/setting.

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    SmiloDan wrote:
    I totally agree with Tormsskull. 5th Edition is great for casual games and gamers, but if you really like customizing and optimizing your characters, Pathfinder is better because it's more complex.

    That sounds like casual gamers can't customize and optimize, and that hard-core gamers cannot enjoy a simpler game engine :(

    I personally consider myself more than a casual gamer, and 5e appeals to me on many levels. 5e may be a less complex game, but it isn't a less complete one. It is not as much of a character deck-building type of game however.

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    Scythia wrote:
    RDM42 wrote:

    "Because dragons"

    The false idea that because one fantastic element exists, therefore all fantastic elements must exist and no attempt at realism or verisimilitude whatsoever should be made.

    The problem with this as a fallacy is that the person declaring the fallacy is insisting that their judgement of where to draw the line separating fantasy from realism is the only judgement that counts.

    In other words, it isn't a fallacy so much as a difference in opinion.

    I disagree, it is a fallacy.

    Even if everything can exist in a make-believe fantasy world, it does not mean that everything needs to or should be included.

    Some settings have a narrower focus/scope/fantasy elements than others, and that should be respected. A setting can include dragons but not [insert fantasy element], or the other way around.

    Although this can come in conflict with the realism fallacy or the aesthetics fallacy, "Because Dragons" is a fallacy in its own.

    although aquagenic urticaria, AKA allergy to water, is a real thing...

    It has been mentioned before, but although 5e has 6 saves, the translation form FORT / REF / WILL is iffy at best. I wish STR / INT / CHA saves had more use.

    Ragnarok Aeon wrote:
    Not quite, but I feel that Strength is most relevant during combat, or at least it was in previous editions.

    high STR is good for Monks who want to grapple and to resist the occasional STR save (which are pretty rare unless your DM improvises some). STR fuels athletics which covers climbing/jumping/swimming (which Monks end-up using frequently). Ki helps a bit and you can sometimes get away with acrobatics, but Monks who dump STR will show some consequences at times.

    Paizo has Pop Tarts!?!

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    I'd like to see Paizo move in a different direction than WotC's 5e.

    Embrace the character deckbuilding aspect of the game. Allow sweet combos to exist. Don't shy away from magic items or even the magic Christmas tree effect, just be clear in how they are part of the game.

    However, I'd like to see game symmetry go away. What is complex for the players shouldn't have to be for the GM; PCs and NPCs/monster don't need to follow the same rules. Complex games are cool for the players, but the GM needs a break...

    I would let go of the distrusting part. let the players role play it, or decide to be the exception among their kind.

    -2 to both STR and CON is brutal. +2 DEX and CHA, -2 CON is fine.

    You need to keep in mind that 5th ed assumes that players go through many combat per day.

    Read "deadly" as "will drain lots of resources". If the PCs are fresh, they will bulldozer through the encounter with relative ease. I don't know if that was the intent, but it has been my experience with 5e as well.

    When you relentlessly throw encounters at the PCs and force them to manage their "long rest" abilities, the CRs are a bit closer to what they should be.

    Small update on my Overland Actions houserule for 5e. Still a few loose ends to tie-up, stealth is a bit messy...

    As a DM, I prefer letting players make a broader use of their skills than letting them have more skill proficiencies. I'm a big fan of detaching the skill from the key ability (like the example of Constitution - Athletics)

    Wisdom check to sense the motives of the captain of the guards? Insight is a natural, but I could accept a player using investigation when observation time is allowed. Strength - Acrobatics to jump over the fence? why not. Performance can sometimes fill-in for deception, etc

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    I wouldn't call 5th ed a rule-lite game and a campaign can use the rule extensively. It is lighter than 3e and more streamlined than AD&D, but it has an average level of "cruchy-ness" by modern standards. Actually, it is 3e/pathfinder that was/is particularly rule-heavy.

    But it isn't a character deck-building game anymore, and I understand that many players miss that.

    Cinderfist wrote:

    As a replacement for the fighting defensively rule.

    You can sacrifice any number of your attacks to attempt to block/parry an incoming attack.

    I've played for a few years with a rule like that. Long story made short, it wasn't used much because in order to parry efficiently, you need a good BAB and when you have a good BAB, offense is usually better than losing your action on parrying (and when you have a good BAB, chances are that the party is relying on you to save their ass in melee).

    Characters who would use parry (mainly rogues and wizard-type characters) didn't have a reliable enough BAB to take the risk an would rather attempt to somehow disengage from combat.

    I would forget about the weapon-damaging part.

    If you mean for players to withhold some of their attacks for parry (as opposed to all of their attacks), then expect longer combat. The mechanics of the rule doesn't bog the game down that much, but combats are stretched by a few rounds. At low levels parry is costly and isn't very reliable; at high level a few extra rounds can mean an extra hour of combat, so there is a very narrow sweet spot where it does work as intended.

    I like the hit-dice healing mechanics. I find it represents well how a character can find its second (or third, of forth) wind.

    I also like how it can translate into D&D the cinematic trope where the hero(es) is beaten down, defeated or forced to surrender, then something happens and the hero is suddenly rejuvenated.

    What I'm a little annoyed with is how easy it is for characters to recover all of their resources, and the lack of a wounded condition that would complicate natural healing. The DMG offers a few solution, but it quickly goes too far in what I call the "attrition game".

    Thankfully, 5e is super flexible and houserule-friendly. The Solution to remove the auto-heal on long rests is interesting (or half it). An abstract "wounded" condition wouldn't be that hard to implement either.

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    While it is not unanimously acclaimed, I much enjoy the skill system despite my initial doubts.

    I like that in a pinch, skills can substitute (or be substituted by) attack rolls or saving throws.

    I like that the system is clean and simple enough to make combination on the fly without bogging the game down (Constitution Athletics, why not!)

    I like that the "proficient" tag can mean more than just a bonus on the check, perhaps assuming automatic success or allowing a check where others aren't.

    I like tools and kit proficiency (although I wonder if Medicine shouldn't have been made into a healer's kit proficiency instead) for their open-handed-ness (?)

    In other words, I like that the skill system is simple and versatile enough to handle houserules, campaign-specific subsystems and on-the-fly ruling quite well.

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    Petty Alchemy wrote:
    My understanding from another forum is that in general, the game expects a day that goes 2 encounters, short rest, 2 encounters, short rest, 2 encounters, long rest to allow all classes to shine, but I'm finding it hard to design more than 2-3 encounters a day (just to pack that many baddies into a single day).

    My only "problem" has been about that; you really need to relentlessly send waves of encounters every day to get through a character's resources and even if you do, it will be fresh as a rose the next day (with half its hit Dice).

    There's the slow healing variant, but its going to the extreme opposite where resources are way too precious. I'd be most comfortable somewhere in between.

    I gave masterwork weapons a +1 damage in my campaign. +1 attack is something precious, I would be reluctant to grant anything that effectively increase your proficiency bonus for a relatively low price.

    For armors, reduction on weight or on the minimum STR score to avoid movement reduction sounds fine to me. That or remove the Stealth disadvantage. It would leave a few armors (the popular studded leather among others) without any net advantage, but I wouldn't grant anything that equals a +1 bonus to AC.

    It would also feel weird that regular (read RaW) magical suits of armor wouldn't grant the benefits of a masterwork armor.

    [edit] or decide that +1 weapons and armors are the masterwork weapons and armors of 5th ed. Give mk weapons a small discount for a lack of "magic" quality, leaving some beasties resistant to your damage.


    Ciaran Barnes wrote:

    Forsworn Mount

    Like anonymity, this bonus is not going to pop up much - or ever. Maybe at low levels when there gritty survival is still part of the game. I suggest changing this to a bonus to all Fortitude saves and Constitution checks - except those caused by spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities. He won't get the bonus against magic (a big deal), but its broad enough that it will help out with lots of little things, such as poison and stabilizing.

    So basically, bonus to Fort save vs non-magical attacks. I kind of like that. That's a +6 bonus at 20th level and the class already has good fort saves. Too much?

    as for forsworn weapons, its going to be a GMW spell-like effect as of 4th level. the "mundane" was a concern for the knight-errant's humility but also to avoid cheese involving weapons loaded with magic abilities combined with the high magic bonuses that its gets for free. Yet its still a crappy base weapon. thought?

    The design goal behind the taboos was to give a marginal benefit for a minor hindrance. ATM, forsworn armor isn't a minor hindrance.

    Perhaps the taboo should be forsworn heavy armor, with bonus to AC scaling with levels. So medium armors are not as good but armor nonetheless, similar to how the quarterstaves aren't as good weapons but weapons nonetheless.

    So medium armor worn would be considered masterwork at 1st level 1, +1 at 4th level, +2 at 8th level, +3 at 12th level, +4 at 16th level and +5 at 20th level.

    Basically, sacrifice a few AC points for free magic upgrade. If the paladin has good DEX (unlikely but, hey) its actually a sweet deal.

    Keeping bonuses as enhancement bonus would prevent double stacking pluses with magic vestment.

    also, I gonna go ahead and give the magic property of the forsworn weapon taboo from level 4th an on. what do you know, the pal is that good with his knife... so same deal, masterwork at 1st level and greater magic weapon effect from 4th level on.

    The charm effect on Panache for the Swashbuckler rogue is intriguing. The ability is not out of its level range (by level 9th, caster have had access to charm person for a while now), but it's the first time (in my modest knowledge) that this kind of ability is given to a martial charatcer.

    as I said, I'm intrigued

    Away from book

    Ganryu wrote:

    I'm curious about the change to non-leveling spells.

    It seems that relative to your current level, this makes spells actually worse as you improve.

    I haven't played many casters yet, but so far I haven't boosted many spells yet. I've seen some caster boost spells in order to get enough targets, and sometimes boost damage to get a big punch either to open or to fininsh a combat. But in my experience it has been relatively rare; you usually get the best quality/price at the minimum castable level.

    Altogether caster have less spells and they scale less than in PF, but their cantrips are much more efficient (enough to be worth using in combat).

    Arakhor wrote:
    The 5E fireball does 8d6 fire damage (Dex save for half) and increases by 1d6 per spell slot above 3rd.

    true, was AFB

    Ganryu wrote:
    Laurefindel wrote:
    UnArcaneElection wrote:

    ^Sounds like echoes of Scrolls of Town Portal in WarCraft III . . . .

    yes, in essence that exactly what it is (without the going back option). I like to see it as a return-trip stargate.

    All in all, the magical reshuffle, the bounded accuracy on saving throws and the legendary auto-saves are a some of the features that sold me on 5e.

    What do you mean with magical reshuffle and legendary auto-saves?

    Some of te classical spells swapped or changed levels, and scaling is not automatic (e.g. you fireball does 5d6 damage. If you want it to deal more damage, you need to cast it as a higher spell level)

    Creatures with the "Legendary" tag have 3 auto saves per day(?). So even if the adult red dragon doesn't have bullet-proof saves due to bounded accuracy, you can't disable it on round one with a lucky charm monster spell.

    UnArcaneElection wrote:

    ^Sounds like echoes of Scrolls of Town Portal in WarCraft III . . . .

    yes, in essence that exactly what it is (without the going back option). I like to see it as a return-trip stargate.

    All in all, the magical reshuffle, the bounded accuracy on saving throws and the legendary auto-saves are a some of the features that sold me on 5e.

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