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Millech the Hump

rainzax's page

1,794 posts. No reviews. 1 list. 2 wishlists.


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I like it and I dislike it.

It gives Fighters an extra (fun) resource to manage in a fight. Plus, as they get the most feats, even as it is available generally, they get the most benefit from having it.

It goes against what I find to be a main draw of the Fighter class: simple. Bear with me here! In my experience, a lot of players are drawn to the fighter precisely because he has few frills and is relatively easy to build and play. I realize a lot of folks on these boards are just the opposite - that's great - but there are those players out there who actually want simplicity. I have one in my game who plays a Fighter.

So, in summary, I don't hail Stamina as the savior of the Fighter. My own Fighter patch does not give out free Stamina because I wanted to leave that as an option for the ambitious (take the Combat Stamina feat) while improving the Fighter in ways that are simple. My fix is to skill points, class skills, good Will save, free Combat Expertise, earlier access to Weapon Training, Armor Training grants DR, and Bonus Feats may be retrained daily. This is basically a list of +1s and +2s, which tend to make sense to the simple player, with the only added wrinkle being retraining bonus feats, which, can also simply be set and not retrained.

I think the OPs idea is that Rituals make sense from level 1 through level 20 - with things like Backlash and DCs scaling appropriately.

Which, is a totally cool idea precisely because there is so much potential here.

To further this, what if the number of participants was restricted by the level of the Ritual? We'll call this X. X would serve as an upper bound for the skill check, as the caster could only count on X "Aid" +2s to realize the Ritual's DC.

Then, we could say that other people could certainly join the Ritual Circle, but only the top X Aid checks are counted towards the caster's final skill check.

Ritual DC and Backlash


Level of Ritual - DC - Backlash CR
0 - 20 - 1
1 - 21 - 3
2 - 23 - 6
3 - 26 - 9
4 - 30 - 12
5 - 35 - 15
6 - 41 - 18
7 - 48 - 21
8 - 56 - 24
9 - 65 - 27

Ravingdork wrote:
Demiurge 1138 wrote:
The insinuation from Into the Darklands has been that, at least in Pathfinder, they're human refugees from Earthfall who fled underground and were warped by exposure to the Plane of Shadow. So they're human-like, mostly, but pale and wiry. Stunted, in the case of dark creepers.
I thought that was fetchlings, and that darkfolk were something else entirely.

Yeah what is their relationship?

Thank you guys. I have incorporated your suggestions.

If I were to approach this, I would divide the spell lists into two: Combat spells and Rituals. They would initially be divided by casting time. Then, I would pick and choose spells and place them from the Combat list to the Ritual list, to expand it.

From there, I would assign skills to each School of magic, as well as to different Bloodlines, Domains (or Gods), etc, to serve as the base set by which Rituals could be performed.

Lastly, I would introduce scaling into the Aid Another rules that allowed assistant casters to provide better than a +2 to casting - probably scaling an additional +1 per 5 ranks in the ritual skill.

Just to start.

Well, as both the Ranger and Unchained Monk are included as part of the inspiration, there were a few dead levels after importing over Studied Target, Sneak Attack, and Talents. I chose Evasion and Improved Evasion from the Ranger and Still Mind and Flawless Mind from the Unchained Monk.

The class needed better saving throws with only Reflex being strong.

Anyhow that left level level 13 and 17 open. Do you have a suggestion as what could replace Tongue and Timeless here? Slayer's Advance didn't seem to fit because the Ninja's Ki Pool already covers additional movement.

I'm using the standard action economy for my game.

But, if I had a table of players well-versed in the rules, I would try out the Revised Action Economy with a house rule that affected the number of Reactions available to a PC based on their BAB.

Basically, per round, my RAE would allow:

3 Acts
1 Reaction
Free actions

And players would gain another Reaction at BAB 6, 11, and 16.

*Finally, under this system, I would allow more complicated (multi-Act) Readied actions. For example, "If the goblin moves towards my ally, I will charge him!"

*This last house rule for Readied actions can be done entirely without the RAE, btw.

Good luck in your exploration!

Sorry I couldn't help myself!

Maybe you could do the Shadowdancer Archetype?

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Unchained Ninja


When the wealthy and the powerful need an enemy eliminated quietly and without fail, they call upon the ninja. When a general needs to sabotage the siege engines of his foes before they can reach the castle walls, he calls upon the ninja. And when fools dare to move against a ninja or her companions, they will find the ninja waiting for them while they sleep, ready to strike. These shadowy killers are masters of infiltration, sabotage, and assassination, using a wide variety of weapons, practiced skills, and mystical powers to achieve their goals.

Role: The ninja spends almost all of her time honing her skills, practicing her art, or working on her next assignment. Even when not specifically working, the ninja is ever vigilant and ready for the situation to turn deadly. Her line of work earns her many enemies, but it is a list that she frequently reduces through assassination and misdirection.

Alignment: Any
HD: d10
BAB: Full
Saves: Reflex
Skill Ranks: 6 + INT
Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Stealth (Dex), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Ninja are proficient with all simple weapons, plus the kama, katana, kusarigama, nunchaku, sai, shortbow, short sword, shuriken, siangham, and wakizashi. They are proficient with light armor but not with shields.

1 - 1st Studied Target, Poison Use
2 - *Ki Pool, Ninja Trick
3 - **No Trace, Sneak Attack +1d6
4 - Still Mind, Ninja Trick
5 - 2nd Studied Target
6 - Ninja Trick
7 - Light Steps, Sneak Attack +2d6
8 - Ninja Trick
9 - Evasion
10 - Master Tricks, Ninja Trick, 3rd Studied Target
11 - Hide in Plain Sight, Sneak Attack +3d6
12 - Ninja Trick
13 - Tongue of the Sun and Moon
14 - Ninja Trick
15 - 4th Studied Target, Sneak Attack +4d6
16 - Improved Evasion, Ninja Trick
17 - Timeless Body
18 - Ninja Trick
19 - Flawless Mind, Sneak Attack +5d6
20 - Hidden Master, Ninja Talent, 5th Studied Target

*Ninja Tricks: May select Uncanny Dodge, Improved, or Ki Power
**No Trace: The benefits are doubled against a Studied Target

UnArcaneElection wrote:
I am thinking about going the OTHER WAY, and completely redoing Ninja as a d10, full BAB hybrid of Slayer and Unchained Monk, keeping Ninja Tricks mostly as they are, but also opening up Qinggong Powers. And while we're at it, introduce Unchained Ninja with some archetypes, including a Shadowdancer archetype.

I want to see this.

Smaller size creatures can make up the different by adding their DX to their damage if they have the Weapon Finesse feat. Here is the text for my version of Weapon Finesse, btw:

Weapon Finesse


Benefit: When fighting with a finesse weapon, you may add your DX bonus to damage rolls in place of your ST bonus. This bonus is neither increased for two-handed nor decreased for off-hand attacks. While using this feat, if you have a ST penalty, it also applies to your damage rolls with your finesse weapon.

What I'm really interested in is the effect of larger creatures getting a free boost in damage (equal to their Special Size Modifier).

Your exercise of restraint is... appreciated!?

Dasrak wrote:
Doesn't necessarily mean it's the right thing for your table, but I've come to like it and found it doesn't break PC's. Monsters with PC class levels, however, need to be treated with caution because they can easily break this.

Yeah this is a main concern. I'd like my house rules to work both ways across the table - for PCs and NPCs - while also minimizing the work of re-statting creatures from Bestiaries.

Question: What affect will granting a damage bonus (equal to Special Size Modifier) do to larger monsters and polymorphed creatures? And what corresponding implications might this have for the DM?

Special Size Modifier


Fine -8
Diminutive -4
Tiny -2
Small -1
Medium +0
Large +1
Huge +2
Gargantuan +4
Colossal +8

relativemass wrote:
According to the rules-as-written Cure spells are Conjuration and Inflict spells are Necromancy.

Oh snap!

Weapons Finesse, in my house rules, is DX-to-Damage. The original benefit is retained by every creature 'for free' when they use a finesse or light weapon. Rather than create a new feat, I modified an existing one, precisely because it'll make it easier to just use printed material (ex. statblocks) as printed. This was working fine until I started seriously perusing the Bestiaries.

Interesting inversion and implications. My personal tastes hesitate to give damage to two ability scores - even if there is precedent in it for the game already (CMB/CMD). Though I like how your system incentivizes multiple ability scores, I think the damage to hit point ratio already favors the former, and even a minor boost to that for every character, especially at low levels when the ratio is the starkest, makes for a little too deadly a game than what I'm going for.

Thanks for the breakdown - you raise some valid points in terms of misrepresentation especially when sizing and scaling come into the picture. As I'd like to keep compatibility with printed material (statblocks, etc) that means more "ugly kludge" in terms of finding a solution:

Your "penalize 0 reach" idea looks interesting... I'll think about it.

I want to make sure I'm understanding your first suggestion. Let's say a small, medium, and large PC are using a 1d6-damage weapon and each has a BAB of +1 and a ST/DX score of +2. The small PC rolls 1d20+4 1d6+1, the medium PC rolls 1d20+3 1d6+2, and the large PC rolls 1d20+2 1d6+3.

In short, that the PCs uses the Size Modifier for attack rolls but the Special Size Modifier for damage rolls?

This has some interesting consequences, in that I believe that it creates the opposite problem I posted in the OP - it's effectively a damage boost for larger creatures.

So I ask, which problem is less desirable, buffing Fey or buffing Giants?

I have come around to the idea that treating "finesse" as a weapon quality and having the feat Weapon Finesse grant DX-to-Damage is a good idea for my players, and did not create this thread to discuss whether it is indeed a good idea.

As what's good for the goose is good for the gander, I have lately been perusing the Bestiaries and looking at the smaller creatures (often Fey) and realizing that this boost in damage (as many have Weapon Finesse) is significant - frequently jumping from something like 1d2-2 to something like 1d2+6 when applying the house rule equally.


For those of you who have a similar house rule:

1) What adjustments do you make?
2) Do you simply raise CRs and call it a day?
3) Do you factor back in a ST penalty? Or introduce a size-penalty to damage?
4) Do you only allow the house rule for PCs? Or "small" and larger creatures? What about if a PC polymorphs into a tiny creature?

Thanks in advance for your thoughtful comments.

Is this still available in print?

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Ooh good points.

I think the big appeal is that the houserule fits on a single index card - especially for my newer players. So, these rules serve as a base, and if I had a creative Fighter-Engineer who wanted to make up to (Skill check/5) squares with fortifications or what not, that would be decided on the fly. A case could be made for Cook, Handle Animal, Local, Geography, Storytelling... the list goes on.

While I slept I realized I could have the "Tactics" bit actually lower the chance of a random encounter - something the PCs may be interested in doing in more hostile terrain. The skill list grew too quickly to "hard code" it in. What's left are the essentials.

And so:

Overnight Camping

Survival DC 10, supports 6 persons/horses, choose one "boon" per raise (+5 over DC):

*Bigger: Supports two additional persons/horses
*Hidden: Decrease the Random Encounter % by one step
*Forage: Campers needn't expend rations/water for 1 day
*Medicine: Long-term care (see Heal) may be administered
*Weather: +2 bonus to Fortitude saves vs Weather (max +4)

**Creative skill checks may Aid the primary Survival check.

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Overnight Camping

This house rule now fits on an index card which may be handed to players.

Survival DC 10, supports 6 persons, choose one "boon" per raise (+5 over DC):

*Bigger: Camp supports two additional persons
*Forage: Campers needn't expend rations/water for 1 day
*Tactical: +2 bonus to (choose); Initiative, Perception, or Stealth
*Medical: Long-term care (see Heal) may be administered
*Weather: +2 bonus to Fortitude saves vs environment (max +4)

New Topic:
I can think of 3 "primary" questions that a Knowledge-user might immediately want to know when succeeding at their check against a creature:

1) Does the creature have a weakness?
2) Does the creature have special attacks?
3) Does the creature have special defenses?

What other questions belong on this list?

Context: After using a variant of Background Skills (Unchained) to saddle each PC with free ranks in at least one Knowledge skill, I want to create a little "cheat-sheet" for them as a baseline for using that skill.

For those philosophically-mathematically against the "Skill vs AC/CMD/Attack" mechanic, consider substituting the following:

For any maneuver that allows you to make a skill check to strike or counter, instead of rolling a skill check, roll:

1d20 + BAB + two ability scores.

The two ability scores are chosen from Initiation modifier, Discipline skill key ability, or ST/DX.

A character that takes Skill Focus in a Discipline skill may substitute the bonus provided by the feat (+3 or +6) for one of the ability scores mentioned above.

I like the system presented here.

Also the mods the poster above me proposes look pretty solid.


Count me in as liking the general idea here, but not liking the maths as presented, nor that the upgrades come for free.

I think somewhere between tying each energy type to a single condition or status effect, and having the caster buy into these with feats (even incorporating already-existing feats!), would be the best execution. DMs are free then to give the feats out for free to their casters, at their option.

Also, at the expense of total completeness, consider not giving each school or spell an energy type if doing so would be too much a stretch (You mentioned distraction, curse, phantasm, for example).

By the way, the reason why cure and inflict spells are conjuration has to do with the positive and negative planes. That said, there is a strong case for house-ruling these spells as Necromancy spells - but not without the corollary question of "how come Necromancer Wizards can't heal?"

Lastly, have you seen the Unchained rules for Poison and Disease? That might be a better solution than "DX and WIS damage" and whatnot in some cases. Cheers!

I don't think a player can elect to "not roll initiative" because the vehicle moves on the driver's initiative.

I would say that "while in initiative" (so to speak) that they could certainly no longer take 10 - I'm just wondering if the (vast) difference in DCs has to do with "being threatened" or "being shot at" or as you said "being in initiative"...

I was thinking about treating it as a "concentration" thing.

Like, the driver rolls their skill against a DC similar to a caster trying to cast a spell under conditions such as being injured or grappled, vigorous or violent motion, rain or sleet, or even "driving defensively"...

Anybody done anything like this?

Agreed but totally besides the point.




Have other folks considered lowering the DCs for driving checks directly or indirectly?

Looking for first hand experience with low-level characters, ideally.

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The Chase Deck allows three options.

Standard Action - Attempt a skill check on your current card.
Move Action - Move from your current card (if you have passed a check on it already) onto a new card.
Full Round Action - attempt two skill checks - one on a current card and one on the next card - if you succeed at both, you move forward one card; if you fail either check, you lose this turn and next turn.

In short, aside from attacking or casting or other stuff, your options are "single card" or "double or nothing."


Thanks for that.
When you are running your game, do you allow your characters a flat roll with these skills, or do you penalize them for various circumstances?

Ex. If a female human character is impersonating a male dwarf, and rolling Disguise, do you simply stack the -2 for different race and gender?

What if she was using Illusionary magic and impersonating the voice of a "summoned" outsider? Still -4?

For those using Bluff, Disguise, Perform, or Linguistics to impersonate a voice, do you impose a penalty? For what?


Actually now that I'm looking at this your Immediate Actions based on BAB formula looks like a nice solution to the Pathfinder Unchained Alternate Action Economy (3 acts per round) dilemna of "how many acts do (former) swift/opportunity actions count as?" in keeping in balance the "intended" power level of new (post-core) class design.

Not in a place to tinker with action economy yet, but definitely something to think about.

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I'm testing out a new idea with Background Skills - mostly because I think having to consult a list to apply the 2 bonus ranks was a little wonky.

As I want all of my PCs to have at least one Knowledge skill and one Job skill, I have them choose one each based on their pre-adventuring background, and will give them a free rank per level in each of these skills. Since these are intimately tied to their background, they automatically advance in tandem with the character.

And so, every character can participate in the Knowledge checks made to figure out stuff prior to or during the adventure, and, every character has something to do during Downtime - even if all they want to do is make some extra cash.

Then again, my game is intended to make skills like History and Nobility more relevant anyway...

Kirth Gersen wrote:
rainzax wrote:
Can Fred use his held movement/actions to interrupt the barbarians on their actions?
Yes, subject to his limited allotment of movement/attacks and the immediate actions needed to trigger them.

Emphasis added.

Triggers, I assume, include normal AoO triggers and the "declared" triggers of readied actions?

If you are curious why I am asking/probing, it's because I'm open to new ideas from alternate systems as house rule patches to the PF system - not wholesale rewrites, which is totally cool that you have organized your game that way! - but I'm still "trapped" in most of the mechanics of regular PF - by choice mind you! - so that I can lubricate the system somewhat while still having it be totally recognizable (compatible with my players' books, etc).

In short, as I have defined my wriggle room, I am open to more liberal interpretations of what constitutes a "ready action" - which is exactly the space within the PF rules where interruption (not gated by a feat or class feature) can occur.

As to the original thread topic, I have abandoned the idea in favor of just setting the DC to 10 + BAB + 2x. And as I have posted my houserules for my new players, it's too late to modify that any further (I'm already dangerously close to the line of being a psycho house-ruler). Cheers!

Can Fred use his held movement/actions to interrupt the barbarians on their actions?

Or just to coordinate with Wally?

To what extent does this slow down your combats? What about with newer players?

Thanks folks. Picking up 2 and 3. Cheers.


Someday everyman will be in everystore.

2nd question. On acquiring a hardcopy, is there a discount (even if minor) for purchasers of both parent books (pdfs)?

Excited for print!

Is this going to get a hardcopy?


Constructs, Devils, Fey, Shadows, Subterranean, Vampires, Undead.

Austere, Criminal, Darkness, Gothic, Intrigue, Nightmare, Splendor.

I have the first Bestiary hardcover, but never considered buying any others until recently.

Which ones would you recommend and in what order and why?


Kirth Gersen wrote:
The real key to this is that you HAVE to give martial characters in the party the ability to interrupt people attacking the casters, by getting in the way as an immediate action.

Can you clarify this?

Do you mean a new class feature or something like:

Aid Spellcaster
As an opportunity action (costing your attack of opportunity), if you threaten an opponent who threatens an ally who is casting a spell, make a combat maneuver check against that opponent. If you succeed, your ally gains a +2 bonus on concentration checks to cast defensively until the end of his or her action.

_Ozy_ wrote:
This will give a strong advantage to NPC casters. PCs will be forced to ready actions instead of relying on AoOs to disrupt spells.

What effect do you think this will have on encounter length with NPC casters?

On the one hand, readying actions to disrupt spells will cut away at full attack routines and save the caster HP - on the other hand, choosing to take AoOs to cast spells will cost the caster HP.

What is the difference between the two (for those that know how to use both)?

My proposal is this:

Casting Defensively has it's DC raised by the highest BAB among enemies who threaten the caster.

If the caster fails the check, they have a choice: Lose the spell, or, provoke an attack of opportunity from any threatening enemies and then cast the spell anyway.

Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
However, it does not solve the problem you're trying to solve and makes casters no more or less reliant on melee combatants than the current system.

Could you elaborate on this a little bit?

My thinking is this:

Casting in combat is now much more difficult to do safely.
Your non-casting allies rely on you to cast spells (often that either buff them, manage the battlefield somehow, or deal direct damage).
You rely on them to be able to safely cast these spells (by using movement and positioning, by drawing AoOs upon themselves, by taking out lesser enemies who threaten you).
Thus, because successfully cast spells can often mean the difference between success and failure in an encounter, co-reliance is hereby increased.

I think you have touched on what some of the posters above (who saw the huge DC and focused their comments on that) missed - how this rule could potentially make casting in melee a better option for the caster (compared to the normal rules).

My goal is to make casting in combat "riskier" by increasing both the risk and reward as a way to give a mechanical incentive for caster characters to rely a little more on their non-casting buddies.

In your experience, do hybrid casters cast most of their spells before closing with their enemies or after? My experience is usually before, which I feel mitigates the drawback of this proposal some (as does generally having higher AC, HP, and other defenses against AoO).


I am curious what others think about my proposal. My new game will be starting up pretty soon and so my house rules are "due":

Casting Defensively
The DC for casting defensively is increased by the highest threatening enemy BAB. A caster who fails this check has the option to either lose the spell safely (as normal) or live dangerously by immediately provoking AoO prior to successfully casting the spell.

As has been pointed out above, the PC math roughly works out to dedicated casters having a one-in-three chance and hybrid casters having a one-in-four chance of succeeding on the check. But! They have their choice of consequence.


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Thank you for sacrificing 40 hours of your life writing this excellent guide that will make 400 hours of my life better because you did.

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