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How homebrewed is too much?


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


I think like most guys who have GMed 90% of the time, I not only homebrew rules, classes, races, equipment etc. But I have probably went to far more than once.

I know that I have run most of one campaign without barely reading the core rule books (this was 3rd ed) and have given rules-lawyers grand mal seizures when I have ignored things that got in the way of the story.

But when is it too much? And is it a good thing or a bad thing?

I would love some stories of too much, as well as some honest opinions.


Is everyone having fun? Then that is the right amount.

It's important that everyone has a good idea of how the new rules work, so that they aren't surprised.

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

THIS is the limit. </shameless plug>


TriOmegaZero wrote:
THIS is the limit. </shameless plug>

No, this is only the beginning...


Any thing past this is maybe a little much


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Too much is when you're re-inventing the wheel. Use the existing wheel, and let the energy you would have spent re-inventing it on building other stuff.


Full moon wine basically gave the drinker a temporary were form appropriate to their alignment. It was overpowered.

Andoran

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A current PC in our campaign was a sobering reminder of allowing too much homebrew. Still, fixing overpowered homebrew can really tighten up your ability to make balanced homebrew in the future.


I think too much homebrew is when you specifically go against the rules for a story reason. Mind you this can be ok if the GM goes out and makes the changes known to everyone before the campaign starts, but simply adjusting everything on the fly is not good because it can make players feel like you are targeting them specifically.

Make a standard lich wizard BBEG and then giving him "immune to grapple, or +50 CMD" feature, then the tetori monk is gonna feel royally screwed.

Make a fighter BBEG deathknight that has +40 to all saves because it is boring if he gets blinded/nauseated/cursed/dominated or the like, and the wizard specializing in that is gonna feel pretty sad.

So i think what im trying to say, is that as long as the PCs dont feel like you are targeting them on purpose, then i think it is ok, as i dont think any PC would make a tetori monk if all important enemys are immune to grap. That is why the rules are important to follow as good guidelines, so that everyone knows what to expect. Ofcourse giving monsters some unique extra abilities for fluff can be really cool, even if the abilities dont exist, so a little homebrew is always ok in my book.


There is no such thing as too much, there is only too imbalanced or it exists already.


Or poorly done due to not understanding existing rules. Or even worse, not bothering to actually learn the rules.


I've gone as far as making my own system, went from changing the ability scores (meshing str and con, splitting dex, changing what actions rely on what attribute) to adjusting the hp system (made it so that it was mainly static through level advancement)...


Again, a question with no hard and fast answer.

I have played with players who enjoy making every little rule up as we go. I have played with the strictest of rules lawyers. How much homebrewing is "too much" depends entirely on the level of hardcore the lawyers demand, and their ratio compared to the ad hockers.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Too much is when gameplay gets bogged down because players have to look stuff up or be reminded of all the changes. Any amount of homebrew is fine until it starts getting in the way of the game.


As long as everyone is having fun...THERE IS NO LIMIT!!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

One of my rules-lawyer players always gets visibly peeved when I house-rule anything, usually an item or something.

I don't do it very often, only in situations where I feel like it would be silly to restrict one of my players from doing something really cool that the rules don't call for.

For example, I allowed our Fighter to purchase a Mithral Heavy Shield, and consider it a "Light" weapon for Two-Weapon Fighting (based on Mithral dropping the Armor classification by one step.) The only benefit is that he gets +1 AC and a d4 to shield bash instead of a d3. That kind of simple stuff.


If you have to proffer your own version of the PHB, then you've probably gone too far.

Shadow Lodge

So Pathfinder went too far? ;)


TOZ wrote:
So Pathfinder went too far? ;)

Making caotic forbidden to PCs like it was evil, or lumping all the elemental planes and the Abyss together are too far. I think, what Pathfinder did was 99.9% fair and balenced.

:D LOL


Knight who says Neek! wrote:


I know that I have run most of one campaign without barely reading the core rule books (this was 3rd ed) and have given rules-lawyers grand mal seizures when I have ignored things that got in the way of the story.

No amount of homebrew is too much. But if you haven't read the core rules, you shouldn't claim to be playing the game. Say you're playing your own game. When you say you're playing a certain game, and your houseruling is not stuff that's explained to people in advance, then it's unfair to your players. If you say you're playing 3.0 or 3.5 or pathfinder or whatever, the expectation is that a certain set of rules is going to be in place. And if you're going to diverge from them, that's fine, but it should all be on the table in advance. If you tell me we're going to play basketball, then as I go up for a shot you block it with a tennis racket, that's unfair to me, because I was expecting to play basketball.


Goth Guru wrote:
or lumping all the elemental planes and the Abyss together are too far.

You haven't read the surrounding cosmological background, have you? Because that change wasn't bad - it was part of greater reconstruction but it was sensible from the point of some other reconstructions and keep with the notion that demons and abyss are corruption of elemental force/elemental force of corruption.

Taldor

Don't change the basic mechanics, they've been play tested more than your homebrew additions. Get to know the core rules really well before changing them. Avoid changing rules that get used a lot during play. Consider adding further options to rules especially if it allows the players to make more use of their abilities. You'll know you've overdone it if the players use the change all the time.

You can still change a lot to match your gameworld even with these restrictions. PF works by exception, so if your plot requires the NPC to break a rule, provide a means to allow that exception. That way, the PC's get a suprise when they rely on "how the world works" and find it doesn't always hold true.

Your gameworld can be entirely different to Golarion and assumptions made in that setting need not be true in yours. Don't like Drow? In your world maybe they don't exist and are just rumours spread by the occasional interdimensional traveller. Create your own pantheon of gods. Add strange new magic items from an earlier age. For NPC's balance is not as important, so you can consider using 3e classes (suitably modified) if they give a better fit to the character idea.

I've used all the above in my current game.


Drejk wrote:
Goth Guru wrote:
or lumping all the elemental planes and the Abyss together are too far.
You haven't read the surrounding cosmological background, have you? Because that change wasn't bad - it was part of greater reconstruction but it was sensible from the point of some other reconstructions and keep with the notion that demons and abyss are corruption of elemental force/elemental force of corruption.

Ok, but when a party tries to go to the city of brass and lands atop a gigantic, elemental glacier, I told you so.

If your homebrew is going to lead to craziness like this, it might be too far. Plane shift giving a random destination, on the other hand, should be replaced with some kind of homebrew.

Andoran

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I've run entire campaigns with the following rules:

1 - Tell the GM what you want to do.
2 - The GM will tell you a percent chance of success.
3 - Roll percentile dice.

I've even done scenes in various rule-sets foregoing the dice entirely. If you think about it most of us do from time to time. If the RP is going well you might do a complicated interrogation without stopping to make sense motive or bluff rolls... the rules fall by the wayside while the players and the GM just role play. Taking that further and foregoing dice in combat is equally possible. If you do something the GM thinks will be effective then they describe the result that way. It's a different mindset, but it can work. I've never done a full campaign that way (though such DO exist) because it completely eliminates the element of chance... of something great or terrible happening not because the GM planned or decided it that way, but because random chance intervened... which realistically should happen from time to time.


TOZ wrote:
So Pathfinder went too far? ;)

just saying if you out sale the game your home brew is from

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Kyras Ausks wrote:
just saying if you out sale the game your home brew is from

That's not exactly a challenge when 3.5 isn't in print anymore...


If there is legal danger, unrecognizable is just far enough.
Back to topic, if the problems a homebrew creates are not fun, then it's too far.


Goth Guru wrote:
TOZ wrote:
So Pathfinder went too far? ;)

Making caotic forbidden to PCs like it was evil, or lumping all the elemental planes and the Abyss together are too far. I think, what Pathfinder did was 99.9% fair and balenced.

:D LOL

I thought the alignment system was quite well done, it still manages to encompass every kind of character personality, just keep in mind it is not the same alignment system.

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