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Index To Rules Subsystems


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I haven't figured out a search term that returns useful results, so maybe this thread can become the definitive list

Scattered throughout Pathfinder products there are rules subsystems. For example, the campaign setting for Qadira has a ruleset for patronage.

The module "The Harrowing" has a rules subset for using the Harrow Deck

The player companion "Dragon Empires" has a subsystem for dealing with "Honor".

I also think I remember subsystems for caravans and for kingdom building.

Is there anywhere that I can find a comprehensive list of the subsystems in official Paizo material (not 3PP)?


Heros Of The High Court

rules for "verbal duels"


Lands Of Conflict

A detailed militia system, allowing players to organize, train, and direct their own rebel militias or mercenary legions.


Jade Regent Players Guide

Relationships and Romance

Caravans


Ultimate Campaign has several rules subsystems: Downtime, Bargaining, Contacts, Exploration (Hex-based), Honor, Investment, Relationships, Reputation and Fame, Retraining, Kingdom Building, and Mass Combat

I'm glad you started this thread, as I find many of these sub-systems quite interesting but they're rarely discussed in the forums and it's hard to get a handle of the pros and cons of each one.

I was also planning to start a thread on how "Orphaned Sub-Systems." How these sub-systems are almost always completely ignored by later books. I wish, every so often, a book would introduce a new feat tied to Retraining for example, or a spell specifically designed for the Mass Combat Rules. It's disheartening to know that a cool rules sub-system will probably never be more than it is when first encountered.


Adding a couple more:

Ultimate Intrigue has a really good Library Research sub-system

Inner Sea Magic has a "Magic Schools" subsystem (tracking student attendance, progress, and benefits for different magical academies)


Adding to the point about orphaned sub-systems, I would be ecstatic if I got a new Campaign Setting book about some country, and when they mentioned a city's important library they gave me the library's stats so I could use Ultimate Intrigue's Library Research rules, or when the new book told me about some region with a well-regarded magic school, the stats for Inner Sea Magic's Magic Schools sub-system were provided. I love cross-referencing like this, and it wouldn't take up so much space that it would turn off those who don't have the books.


So here's the big difference...

Systems in the RPG Rulebook line (Core Rulebook, Ultimate [whatever], [whatever] Adventures, Advanced [whatever] Guide) get added to the PRD to support people playing the APs that use those rules.

Rules in Golarion-specific products (Player Companions, Campaign Setting, various APs their Players' Guides) don't. The rules are still Open Content, but they often use more world-specific terms in the names (such as the Artifact "Arnesant's Shield", which uses the protected name of a specific NPC). Sometimes, these get incorporated into a book in the RPG line.. but they may also become more world-neutral/generic in the process. Most often, they may be too specific to the AP to expect them to be re-used. For example, although Ultimate Combat and the GameMastery Guide provided rules for ship-to-ship combat, the Skull & Shackles AP Players' Guide provided an alternate set of ship-to-ship combat rules, and fleet action rules.

That being said...

The Faction Guide provides the basic rules for using factions in home games (Open Content), and has 20 or so sample Factions to use (Closed Content). These are based on PFS Factions, but are a wholly different set (a single Pathfinder Society is one of them, for example, while the PFS factions are all within the overall Pathfinder Society in-world organization).

The Schools in Inner Sea Magic, Inner Sea Combat, Inner Sea Intrigue, and Occult Mysteries all use the basic framework for Factions with some tweaks. Each is slightly different in terminology, and each set offers slightly different common benefits (there are actually multiple variations within each book, as well as from book to book, resulting is something like 13 variations).

The Kingmaker AP introduced the Kingdom Building rules in its Players' Guide. Those were later expanded and revised in Ultimate Campaign. The Relationships and Romance from the Jade Regent Players' Guide are another example.. these are also expanded and revised in Ultimate Campaign. However, the Caravan rules that were a much larger part of the Jade Regent Players' Guide were not well-received and have not been expanded in a Paizo publication. A third party made them into a stand-along product, however.


Some other additions not mentioned yet:

Black Markets (Player Companion) has rules subsystems for those markets, based on the community rules.
Undead Slayers' Handbook (Player Companion) has brief rules for the laws and legalities around Necromancy in communities.
Magical Marketplace (Player Companion) has systems for representing special merchants who trade in rare goods and skills.
Adventurers' Armory (Player Companion) has rules for using some alchemical goods to boost spells (Alchemical Power Components)
Spymaster's Handbook (Player Companion) has rules for treating secrets as commoddities.


Jhaeman wrote:
Adding to the point about orphaned sub-systems, I would be ecstatic if I got a new Campaign Setting book about some country, and when they mentioned a city's important library they gave me the library's stats so I could use Ultimate Intrigue's Library Research rules, or when the new book told me about some region with a well-regarded magic school, the stats for Inner Sea Magic's Magic Schools sub-system were provided. I love cross-referencing like this, and it wouldn't take up so much space that it would turn off those who don't have the books.

Paizo is actually pretty good about using some sub-systems where appropriate. The more "variant rules" style they are, though, the less likely they will show up in other products (Armor as DR, Performance Combat, etc. from Ultimate Combat, for example).

Liberty's Edge

Poor, orphaned word casting from ultimate magic. Sniff.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

The Weapon Master's Handbook has a subsystem for creating custom weapons (though not guns).


Jhaeman wrote:
Adding to the point about orphaned sub-systems, I would be ecstatic if I got a new Campaign Setting book about some country, and when they mentioned a city's important library they gave me the library's stats so I could use Ultimate Intrigue's Library Research rules...

I think this one has a problem. The Research sub-system is, as I understand it, mission-specific. As noted, even the village idiot can eventually find all of the information in a vast library if there is no time limit. The Research subsystem is geared toward a time-limited effort.. "how much information can the PCs find before time runs out?"

In that case, since the sourcebook is not geared toward the questions of any campaign, I don't think it can appropriately present any such Knowledge Point thresholds.


Urath DM wrote:
Jhaeman wrote:
Adding to the point about orphaned sub-systems, I would be ecstatic if I got a new Campaign Setting book about some country, and when they mentioned a city's important library they gave me the library's stats so I could use Ultimate Intrigue's Library Research rules...

I think this one has a problem. The Research sub-system is, as I understand it, mission-specific. As noted, even the village idiot can eventually find all of the information in a vast library if there is no time limit. The Research subsystem is geared toward a time-limited effort.. "how much information can the PCs find before time runs out?"

In that case, since the sourcebook is not geared toward the questions of any campaign, I don't think it can appropriately present any such Knowledge Point thresholds.

I posted my take on the Cyphermages and their Library in my thread in the Second Darkness forum.


There is a set of mechanics for the Redemption of an evil creature in the Champions of Purity Player Companion.

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