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If your PCs are essentially okay with you making appropriate and clever adjustments to your encounters, making them last longer all in all, then it doesn't sound like having to up your DM game is altogether problematic.
One of my players casually mentioned "maybe I'll make a Summoner" and my heart skipped a beat... but ended up bringing something else to the table. Whew!
Edit: within 30 minutes of posting this, the PC is vacillating back to Summoner. Oh No! (not kidding!!)
maybe 1/2 BAB but more spells/day than other 6-level casters and can learn spells from any list.
maybe a "domain/mystery" grants 9 spells levels 1-9 at odd levels (1/3/5/7/9/11/13/15/17) to cast 1/day as a spell-like ability?
+1 to the "friendly fervor" idea. maybe as part of a Mysticism pool which allows repeats of Sp ability (above) and other perks (bonus on spell penetration?)...
Aelryinth, thanks for all the ideas - i will definitely be using that as an abstract!
I will mull all this over.
To mash up another related idea, I am considering having all "magic" items scale with the user's HD (+1/+2/+3/+4/+5 at 1st/5th/9th/13th/17th) independent of special (masterwork) materials and (magic) qualities. This standing alongside masterwork enhancement from weapons (constrained in that the bonus type "enhancement" overlaps).
Ultimately, I'd like to make sure my characters are at or above their appropriate CR in terms of sheer metrics while simultaneously giving them less but more useful Gear. I am familiar with (I have already "favorite-ed") the various threads that share this same goal - point me not in the direction please. I want to talk about weapons here.
Killed my favorite PC this weekend.
Drowned in a water and snake filled trapdoor pit. I actually feel pretty bad because he went out in such an anti-heroic manner. The player was obvs devastated but took it in stride (he is a good sport). To boot, we all forgot about Hero Points at the time when we needed them. So when the player realizes this it'll doubleback again!
Lesson to PCs: put 1 rank in Swim, esp if it's a class skill, so that a DC 10-15 Swim check combined with low dice rolls won't be your undoing.
I guess my thoughts so far are thus. I want a parallel masterwork enhancement system to stand beside the magical enhancement system to provide additional options in my Gear game. As "enhancement" bonuses overlap, this cannot really run out of control.
So, I'd like to evaluate the similarities and differences between, for example, a masterwork "+5" sword and a magical "+5" sword. To what extent would the pricing be similar? To what extent would the DR bypass be similar? How would a difference in DR bypass affect the pricing comparatively? And other permutations.
As an extension, what special properties (valued at their bonus) could be assigned as "masterwork" in addition to "magical" (ex. Flaming=no, Keen=yes), and how could this interact with the Craft skill and Character Advancement trajectory? (ex. Only a 13th-level 13-rank swordsman could create a masterwork +4 sword).
In terms of what the final house rules "ought to" look like, I'd like to find the balance between reinventing the wheel and tacking on minor modifications based on logical precedence.
Thomas LeBlanc, why not damage too? Any specific reason?
I don't think the OP is trying to "let PC's screw themselves over" nor is he/she short on "common sense" or "logic" sufficient to adjudicate in the absence of explicit rulings. I believe this thread was created to ask the community if they were aware of such an explicit ruling that the OP is not.
It looks as though the rules are silent on what happens after the Animal Companion discovers anything that is "animate or alive" after being commanded to Seek. Looking over the rest of the tricks (Attack, Come, Defend, Down, Fetch, Guard, Heel, Perform, Stay, Track, Work), I see far less ambiguity as to how the animal ought to behave than for Seek. Maybe Fetch? (In terms of exactly what the animal will be able to recognize)?
Assuming all animals will behave like airport security hounds is neither "common sense" nor "logic" by the way.
If it were my game, I would let the player decide the "what happens next" bit ahead of time (return, bark, kill, sit) as part of training the animal, appropriate to the anatomy/psychology of the animal in question, and then let that set the standard. If they wanted to be able to teach the animal a more complicated or conditional Seek, I might raise the DC, or, have it count as two tricks. But either way work it out with the player beforehand.
Maybe best done as a Cliff-hanger: "...you finally reach the vault room, and upon entering, here the deep pitched chanting of an ancient language, and looking up, the beast whirls around, as you feel the auras of all your gem-studded equipment dampen suddenly..." >next session, bring your de-magicked character to the game, ready to roll initiative<
Ok I think I'm married to this version.
Cunning (version 3.5):
Cunning is a fluctuating measure of a rogue’s uncanny luck and sheer prowess; a daily pool with a maximum point capacity equal to 1 + her Intelligence bonus. The rogue recovers a single point whenever she drops one of her foes by inflicting sneak attack damage, or, whenever she succeeds on an opposed skill check by rolling a natural 20. She may also recover cunning points by executing a clever scheme that involves a significant risk at the prospect of obtaining a great reward, subject to the DM’s approval.
The expenditure of cunning is always an immediate action.
Cunning is considered a form or Grit or Panache; multiple pools overlap instead of stacking. Upon first gaining this ability, the rogue may instead choose Wisdom or Charisma as the governing ability score.
probably gunna agree with GarnathFrostmantle and other posters that the class really needs to identify itself (read: differentiate itself from Magus) by a unique class feature that adds new or a novel use of old mechanics.
Maybe it could get 4-level spells, but be able to cast them as spell-like abilities that never provoke while using *Spellfire?
On a serious note, may I suggest:
1 - Bonus Feat, Prescience, Spell burn +1
Bonus Feats - "monks" need feats - you could include metamagic feats
hope that helps.
I can imagine a system that qualified a "distraction" in at least two ways:
1) danger from immediate combat
For those that want to draw a line in the sand between these two "distractions" in their interpretation of the rules, you retain the ability to set appropriately high DCs for appropriately risky situations.
For those who exercise non-differentiation between the two "distraction" types, you introduce an element of danger into relatively low risk (low DC) situations, infusing your game with a "gritty realism" or "anti-heroism" theme.
Morale of the thread: live each day to it's fullest as if it were your last!
On my way back from my work break, I hope I don't roll a "1" looking both ways to cross the street because OMG TRUCK (5d6)
Ah yes. Good catch.
Average Joe, a human with ST 10 and no training, has a +0 to Climb:
Using this model, Joe, taking 10, could climb an obstacle of the first kind (a typical fence) without risk of hurting himself in about a minute or so. But, unless he got some good training and equipment, couldn't climb an obstacle of the second kind (think a climbing gym) without risking a fall.
In both cases, if Joe was being hunted by a Tiger, he might stumble and fall in his scrambling.
This is my understanding of Stealth (click)
Subtract out the part about Situational Concealment, the Bushwack stuff, and some of the table entries, and that is how I interpret the CRB rules. Add them back in and you have a funner system IMHO. I run Diversion as a standard action, no movement.
Dunno if that helps.
DMing is a lot of work for exactly that reason. Even if you are intimately familiar with the mechanics of your PCs, as well as the personalities of their players, unorthodox thinking and streaks of awesome/terrible luck can render your best efforts to "balance" an encounter moot. Doesn't mean you shouldn't try. Putting in the time to get to know the PCs will pay off 100-fold.
I think a good DM-group dynamic is one in which each takes turns raising the bar for the other.
As for rogues, I enjoy playing them, because I enjoy playing the game on "hard" mode. Barely able to contribute mechanically, I am forced to spearhead strategies that emphasize my compatriot's strengths without getting myself killed. No seriously.
In the game I run, I give 'em a big boost.
SM +14 means a very psychologically perceptive character. The existence of PCs like this played by players who continuously ask probing questions means you have to step up your game as a DM. Because, you already know Snake is going to ask (and is going to roll high).
Being vague as a baseline, and adding details at DC+5, DC+10, etc, is also a good strategy.
You might want to consider simply supplying the desired subtext to many NPC descriptions automatically, and only roll when some very important plot point hinges on some form of deception. This might train him out of the habit, giving him the social context piece he is seeking.
Also, it's totally ok for you to roll for him, the physical result of the die roll safely behind the DM screen, to prevent the disconnect between player and PC knowledge ("I rolled a 1, so, whatever info the DM gives me, it must be the opposite!"). If you do this, I would also do a mental self-check from time to time, making sure you are not doing so out of spite.
Overall, it's safe to assume that Snake's presence in your game means that many of your "secrets" will be "spoiled" - and adjust accordingly, without robbing him of this advantage he has built his character for.
I run that every PC has Leadership feat, but at half character level when calculating leadership score. NPCs must be drawn from in-game and developed, then "purchased" by expending fame points. Characters who take the feat advance to full character level to their leadership score. And I find the skill system as it is suffices to handle interaction.
If anything, just make new functions for old skills (for example, using Handle Animal mechanics to allow Bluff/Diplomacy/Intimidate to teach your cohorts/followers new tricks and command them...)
Same could be said about the "creativity" of dismissive posts.
The Lorax has the right of it. A single good/bad house rule does not a good/bad DM make. Or a whole host of them for that matter. We are a sum of our parts. I would play in a game that was well thought out and executed without second thought as to how many house rules rubbed me the wrong way. And I would avoid a game with "perfect" mechanics that laid a poor story. And story aside, nor does a few wonky house rules ruin a game mechanically. I bet anybody on these boards who, given a certain set of parameters, could launch one of 101 ideas for a cool character regardless.
>type "your ideas are stupid"<
Would it be broken if most of the X/day rogue talents were changed to at will? Especially the "roll twice" skill series?
Some of the defensively-natured ones that are restricted to 1/day might be unsuitable for at-will conversion. An alternate solution is to do so but also have them burden the rogue with a condition (ex: Another Day and staggered) as a balance point, turning the "cost" upon action economy.
(somebody should really draw up a comprehensive list of these wtf talents...)
I believe it was Ashiel who proposed a pretty cool Sneak Attack alternative that you might like:
+1 to hit +1d6 to damage at 1st/5th/9th/13th/17th with finesse weapons and ranged weapons within 30 feet; these bonuses doubled if foe Dx-denied or flanked.
grants a static bonus at 3/4 BAB 'dead levels' and still incentivizes rogue-y tactics.
I guess that I generally feel that although theoretically-probabilistically equivalent, during play, a wider crit range is usually more useful to a PC than a higher crit multiplier, because of a few factors, one being "overkill factor," another being the way Critical feats are set up, etc...
Besides, double natural 20s happens on fair dice once every 400 rolls, yes? By that frequency, why not let them maximize the entire crit?
EDIT: it would be cool if Alignment Philosophy Discussions are taken to a different thread!
Fighters and Rogues get a free archetype (from a short list) without swapping out anything, and can take second and subsequent archetypes normally.
This is a cool idea
Pool size (1+mod) as opposed to size (mod; minimum 1) rewards a "12" in the governing stat and completely discourages dumping lower than 10. Since the player can provisionally choose their mental stat, there is still diversity of concept.
I will consider using your language to amend the recovery description.
As far as "ifs" are concerned, I quite like the mechanic as I feel it simulates gambling. I want the rogue to spend the point before she knows the outcome, rather than after, introducing a risk/reward factor. Same goes for the higher level abilities. If you can think of a better way to word it without changing that dynamic, I am interested in hearing. Also, the point of the level 1 abilities is to synergize with Sneak Attack (+4 to initiative, +SA on a crit). Is there a specific reason you advise against granting the Improved Initiative feat vs a raw bonus?
After playtesting this cunning rogue, I realize I have been stingy with the uses-per-day, and also seek a different gameplay experience - specifically that of Cheating Lady Luck. I want the use of cunning to simulate gambling. Enter the a "grit" mechanic, modeled after the gunslinger, but synergizing with Sneak Attack and granting power over the dice:
Cunning: (version 3 - grit version)
Cunning is a fluctuating pool of points whose capacity is equal to 1 + the rogue’s Intelligence bonus (minimum 0), replenishing completely after a full nights rest. Additionally, the rogue may recover a single point whenever she defeats an opponent using her sneak attack ability, or, whenever she rolls a natural 20 on an opposed skill check (and succeeds). At the DMs option, she may also recover a single point by executing a clever scheme that involves a significant risk at the prospect of obtaining a great reward.
So long as the rogue retains at least one point in her pool, she is treated as having the Improved Initiative feat. When the rogue threatens a critical hit, she may expend a point of cunning before rolling to confirm. If the confirmation roll succeeds, she may add her sneak attack dice to the damage roll. If the attack already qualified as a sneak attack, she may instead multiply her sneak attack dice when rolling for damage (breaching the normal restriction against doing so).
The expenditure of cunning is always an immediate action.
At 3rd level, the rogue may expend a point of cunning to re-roll one attack roll, saving throw, or skill check. She must do so before knowing the outcome, and is bound to the second result, even if it is lower.
At 7th level, the rogue may expend a point of cunning to declare a single attack to be resolved as if it were a sneak attack. The decision to do so must be made prior to rolling.
At 11th level, when the rogue uses cunning to re-roll a die, if the second result is higher than the first result, she does not expend the point of cunning for doing so.
At 15th level, the rogue may expend a point of cunning to declare a single attack to be resolved as if her foe had no immunity to precision damage. The decision to do so must be made prior to rolling.
At 19th level, when the rogue uses cunning to re-roll a die, and the second result is higher than the first result, she may either keep the point of cunning, or expend it to treat the die roll as a result of 20.
Cunning is considered a form or Grit or Panache. At the DMs option, when the rogue first gains this ability, she may choose either Wisdom (Grit) or Charisma (Panache) as the governing stat.
I am specifically looking for feedback on recovery methods and the sneak attack synergy mechanics. cheers!
The presence of a Rules Lawyer whose explicit goal is to not destroy the pace of the game is awesome.
If it were my game, instead of the system you proposed, I'd just have the "defendant" PC toss me a Fate Chip (or Hero Point) for the in-game bonus, and file the complaint for the post-game internet debrief. If the investigation turned out to favor the "defendant" after all, I would toss them back the chip and call it a fair draw.
Consider Rogue 10 and Wizard 10:
Rogue has DX 20 and INT 10
I'm not trying to overhaul the PF skill system. Two root-system tweaks ("half ranks max for cross", and "DC 20 untrained class ok"), plus lots of additional skill uses (I use a lot of 101 Skill Uses material plus my own tweaks), goes a long way in my game.
Interested to see the rest of this.
A form of "class skill protectionism" I use is only allowing cross-class skill ranks to be purchased if the new number of ranks wouldn't exceed half the character's level (whole numbers only!). But I also grant additional traits as part of leveling, as well as having Skill Focus and Skill "synergy" feats (Acrobatic, Alertness, Athletic...) promoting affected skills to "class skill" status, making picking up additional class skills along the way easier.
I also allow untrained checks of up to DC 20 to be attempted if the skill is a class skill (instead of just DC 10).
This limitation on cross-ranks somewhat overlaps your stat bonus cap and corresponding class skill uncap, as I had a similar goal in mind before adding it to my house rules.
In as far as using old school ability score requirements to give guidance to newer players so's that they wind up with decent characters, I think the OPs idea isn't entirely meritless. Also this needn't be a polarizing discussion. If I were to adopt this, I would reduce the math, looking towards older editions to draw inspiration. Consider:
Fighter - ST 9
Barbarian - ST 9, CON 9
You could also limit Favored Class Bonuses to those who have 4 points higher than these metrics, (so, 13+ for physical stats, 15+ for mental stats), thus enabling "fairer" multi-classing practices in both directions: at once discouraging dips into classes with unmet ability score pre-reqs while enabling ability score synergy dual classing.
Keeping the spirit of your proposal but being far less punitive about it?
Bay Area people are flakier than non-Bay Area people in general. Even though you may be the common denominator, the problem is probably them. lol.
+1 to booking next session at the end of the current session.
Also, I do the feedback thing online - generally people will be more brutally honest which is really what you are looking for.
I will point out that the book Rogue Glory does a really nice job with Stealth.
My favorite contribution is having Situational Concealment so as to enable a stealth check. (The book calls it Positional Stealth - I prefer my wording). It does not grant miss chance, it simply creates the conditions for making a check. This includes hiding in the rafters or below eye level. I have expanded it to include Creating a Diversion to Hide ("you gain situational concealment until the end of your turn") or using Disguise or Bluff to pose as a non-threatening person, or Sleight of Hand to slowly draw a dagger without showing it, etc.
I also assume characters are taking 10 with Perception most of the time, setting the task of rolling to the sneaky rogue herself. For large groups, I am considering using the highest person's Perception roll and adding +1 (or +2? max +10?) per additional person to serve as the Stealth DC.
Still deciding that last part.