Point Buy class abilities: M and M love


My group has recently been playing several different tabletops. Mutants and Masterminds(M&M) has a great character creation system that we all love. We do however favor Pathfinder's combat system. Is there any existing homebrew/3p character creation systems for pathfinder that are similiar to M and M? If not does anyone want to help me make one?

For those of you not familiar with M and M:

M and M uses a point buy system to purchase literally everything. Including saves, ability scores, skill points, class abilities, feats, bab, hp equivalent. You get 15 points per level. Most everything costs 1 point per excluding class abilities and skill points. Class abilities have a cost per rank modified by various extras and drawbacks. They then scale by rank(level scaling basically). EX: Smite Evil- would be based on a smite ability, then reduced in cost for the restriction of only affects evil targets.

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A point-buy system wouldn't work in Pathfinder because class abilities are not balanced or designed like that. They're balanced around opportunity costs and what they bring to a party. Classes are designed with the whole package in mind.

I have seen plenty of attempts at a point-buy class system on these forums. Unfortunately, all I have seen are unfinished and/or horrifically balanced.

A better approach might introduce class "frameworks" where a player must choose a framework that determines their BAB, spellcasting, and saves. Then, they can choose class features based on that framework.

I may have started to create what you are looking for and could use some outside input. I recently I converted the Fantasy Flight Star Wars RPG to Pathfinder because my group didn’t like their dice system. However, once I finished that I started to think that I really liked how the Fantasy Flight version of Star Wars had a system without character levels. In the system you use the xp you earn to buy improvements for your character. So, as kind of a thought experiment, I started converting Pathfinder into the Fantasy Flight Star Wars version of “leveling”. It uses some of the frameworks that Cyrad was talking about, but is also a little more open like Mutants and Masterminds (which I have also played).

I have set it up so that you can buy Hit Die, Base Attack Bonuses, Skills, Feats, Class Abilities, etc. with xp earned during adventuring. You can also use the xp to multiclass for the opportunity to grab abilities from other classes. I used the idea of Power Levels from Mutants and Masterminds to keep it relatively balanced. The gist of that mechanic is that at Power Level 4, for example, the maximum HD, BAB, Caster Levels, Saves max out at 4 and PCs cannot invest anymore xp into that ability).

I haven't play tested it with my group yet, because it is still in the early stages, but if that is something you are looking for let me know.

Doesn't Green ronin already have that? I think its called true 20.

I would be interested. It will take some work and also some agreement on what everyone wants to see in such a system. It's possible to create archetypes for certain concepts - the Gadgeteer might no be too different from an Artificer while the Alchemist (sans bombs) could fit in with any number of mad science types. Something like the Druid may be a bit harder since the class abilities are rather varied (not that it's impossible, mind, but one doesn't generally see a super with shapeshifting powers and the spell-like/casting abilities a Druid has).

There is also how this will play into races as well. For M&M it's not really addressed but we've all seen aliens with superpowers that seem to be more or less racial (Kryptonians, Martians, etc.). For more fantasy-based races this will become even more obvious (Elves, Drow, Dwarves, etc.). The problem is that such races are going to star with some sort of cost already built in and there will need to be some way to allow folks to swap out features or, at least, to make their character unique.

Skills and magic will need to be addressed as will how folks may 'level up'. I don't have the GURPS, but it may be worth looking into.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
Doesn't Green ronin already have that? I think its called true 20.

I hadn't heard of True 20. That is a good suggestion and probably what Dastis had in mind. I would say, however, the benefit to what I'm doing is: you don't have to buy a new book. You can still use all of your Pathfinder or 3.5 books. Also my mechanic doesn't change the nature of game play only how you acquire traits, class abilities, etc.

Indagare: Once I pull it together I would like your input. I have done some of the things you have talked about, but havent really addressed the races yet.

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