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House Rules - What have you put together?


Homebrew

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New to the forums, lurker for a long while, getting back into the hobby from 1e and 2e era. Love Paizo adventure products, and I want to love Pathfinder. I've run the Beginners Box and am gearing up to make some other purchases.

I'm requesting what you consider to be essential house rules that enable PF to function in a manner that can go the distance, and addresses those mechanics that have caused issues in your games. I am mostly interested in full copy sets of solutions that have proven to address those things that hinder play at any level. If 3PP have addressed something, looking for your thoughts on those also.

I am reviewing Unchained action economy, Marshmallow's house rules, and whatever I can mine from the forums.

I am not interested in "just move to 5e" comments, or comments regarding "bloat," unless that bloat impacts the functioning of the core mechanics of the game, requiring house rules to address.

I appreciate your help and my apologies in advance if this request is a rehash of something from the past. The forums are big!

Cheers!

Shadow Lodge

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I'll just list the ones we use, and you can pick and choose which ones you think would work best for your group. =)

----

HP each level after 1st is determined by the D4 method. Subtract 4 from your total hit die and add that to a d4 to determine your HP for that level. So: d6 HD = d4+2+CON; d8 HD = d4+4+CON; etc.

All characters gain 2 more skill points per level than their class normally lists.

We have a special chart of Heroic Distinctions that give Deflection and Natural AC, Saving Throw Enhancements, Enhancement bonuses to various stats, and such like as by-level choosable bonuses or constantly scaling values. This reduces the reliance on The Big Six and allows people to free up slots for more interesting items.

Capstone abilities are accessed at level 15 instead of 20. This lets the PCs actually have a few levels to get to use them before the campaign ends.

No XP. Level when the DM says so.

3.5 content is allowed, potentially with some tweaking/updating to bring things closer to PF standard.

Clerics and other characters with Domains may spont-cast their Domain spells by sacrificing memorized spells, just like Clerics do with Cure/Inflict spells and Druids do with Summoning spells.

Paladins and Rangers gain Orisons. Paladins use the Cleric list for both available spells and progression of Orison slots. Rangers do the same using the Druid list. Any spells on their normal spell list that are Orisons on these additional lists are moved to 0 level.

Spontaneous full casters (IE. Sorcerers, Oracles, etc.) are treated as one level higher for purposes of Spells Known and Spells Per Day, except at levels 19 and 20. This brings them on par with prepared casters for spell advancement.

Cure and other healing spells have been moved to the Necromancy school.

Breath of Life is called Cure Deadly Wounds; classes that automatically receive Cure spells also receive Breath of Life, and it can be spont-cast by clerics as if it were a Cure spell.

We probably have a few others I'm not thinking of right now because it's late.


Not that many.

Minimum 4 skill points per level base for any class.

Guns have been changed; also they're called battle wands (one-handed) and battlestaves (2H).

Death occurs at -(Con score + number of HD), not at -(Con score).

Aid another on skills gives +1 if the aiding check hits 10, +1 more per 5 over. So getting a 15 gives +2, 20 gives +3, etc.

A few spells have been banned, mainly the meditative ones (Visualization of the Mind, etc.)

A slight variant on the Automatic Bonus Progression system is in use.

3rd party stuff may be allowed on request.


Oh and one more: group XP. All PCs have the same number of XP.


Instead of being many separate skills that you have to level up independently, Perform and Profession are each one skill. What performance types you can do and what professions you have are determined by gaining "focuses", with one focus gained at 1 rank and another focus for every 4 full ranks (4, 8, 12, 16, 20). Obviously under this system the bard's Versatile Performance no longer exists (or needs to). I've considered doing the same thing to Craft, but that gets used just slightly more often so I've held off for now.

Alignment is replaced with a Dedication system: it’s like a blend of Alignment and Unchained’s Loyalties, except a character does not have to be Dedicated to something, they can be Dedicated against something. So a characters doesn’t have to be “Good” they can be “against harmful self-interest”; instead of “Evil” they can instead be “against anyone who gets in my way”. Seemingly opposed Dedications can smite and otherwise affect each other: I read Dedications more broadly rather than exactly. If a character does not feel so strongly about something that they are willing to risk important things to promote it then they probably aren’t Dedicated to it. Dedication is an individual choice and cannot be inherent by race, species, or monster type.

Anti-magic field and Dead Magic Zone are removed from the game. Ex and Su abilities retain their labels in case they interact with any other mechanics. This has less to do with game balance and more to do with setting, but since I would only want to run/design settings with this rule I kind of consider it important.


EDIT: Oops, I think everyone here is just listing rules they use. I enjoy the below; though "essential" would probably be a misnomer.

No Xp - Level when the DM allows (mentioned above)

"Earned Skills" - A system I've designed that treats skills much like Oblivion/Skyrim -> you get skills by successfully using them. Skill ranks are not capped by level in this system (but are worded in a way to make the system not too abusable.)

Book Skills/Trainer Skills -> Similar to the above, this allows one to supplement skills by using books and trainers to help gain skill ranks

Unique Traits -> Related to the above, I hand out interesting traits based on the decisions and performance of the players, building their character as they go based on their actions; and applying mechanical benefits or deficits

Easy Help -> Tasks that are passive instantly benefit from "Aid Another" from all players. Perception, for example, is the highest perception in the group, +1 for each player at the table. I'm fairly liberal with how people can help one another as well.

Approach -> Players who describe an approach that may utilize a different Ability Score will gain the benefit of that ability score. Things that are not ability scores, such as other skill ranks, BAB, or similar stats will sometimes be added or used for the DC as well.

Hex Battle Map variant, Flanking rules, and called shots

An E6 Variant -> Max level is 6, later levels are "psuedo levels" that give the 1 Hp or Favored Class Bonus, and give you a feat. If you have NPC levels, you may also replace one with a PC class level. Some higher level class features still unlock as appropriate.

Psuedo leadership -> You can recruit NPCs and swap characters with them at times. The idea being that this allows more natural Death replacement of PCs, among some benefits that you don't just "happen to meet someone" when someone dies; instead you already knew this person and had a meeting that you probably initiated, and convinced (or paid them) to join your cause.

Herbcraft -> Regions have various poultices that can be made. Survival checks or Knowledge Local or Nature can help you figure these out. A survival DC can be made and for every 5 you beat the DC by, you gain a poultice of your choosing from the list (sort of.)

Time Passes -> Time is tracked (roughly) as you go through a dungeon. A set number indicates when events will happen. Players roll dice as time passes to chip off the hidden DC until the event happens; encouraging them to move through dungeons at a reasonable pace.

probably some others


Thanks for the replies thus far. Some interesting stuff I have yet to run into reading the forums.

In the cases of the subsystems you've all mentioned (ABP variant, dedication system, earned skills, unique traits, herbcraft, etc), do you have more specifics written out, like a Word document?

How about any tweaks to the action economy you've found necessary? Any more feedback on the necessity of an E6 or E8 game? Or other house rules to mitigate any problems with higher level play?


Flyboy wrote:
In the cases of the subsystems you've all mentioned (ABP variant, dedication system, earned skills, unique traits, herbcraft, etc), do you have more specifics written out, like a Word document?

For the Dedication system:

Er, no, you don't need any more: all it's doing is replacing the current system with one that says "Make up your own Alignment, plus maybe spell out what your opposing Alignment is". You just need to replace current Alignment language in mechanics with "your Alignment" vs "some opposing Alignment". The hard part is determining when an Alignment should count as opposing.


Flyboy wrote:


How about any tweaks to the action economy you've found necessary? Any more feedback on the necessity of an E6 or E8 game?

A lot of people really like the 10-12 gameplay too, and some (like orthos above) apparently regularly go all the way to 20. E6 is hardly necessary and I assume is 10% or less of the community. But it is a thing. On action economy, that's more encounter-design space. If you want though, there's a bunch of articles on TheAngryGM about designing boss encounters. I haven't tried it yet, but I think mixing that with a little of the Dark Souls boardgame style of bosses may make them pretty satisfying.

Flyboy wrote:


Thanks for the replies thus far. Some interesting stuff I have yet to run into reading the forums.

In the cases of the subsystems you've all mentioned (ABP variant, dedication system, earned skills, unique traits, herbcraft, etc), do you have more specifics written out, like a Word document?

At some point, when I'm *really* happy with things and not still tweaking them, I'll probably put up a big document.

***********************************
I'll put the Math part here. The work is on the DM's side, and I'm still experimenting. Thus far I've enjoyed it quite a bit and I think the players have too.
"Earned Skills":
Skill Ranks have a DC of "11 + 2 * Skill Ranks" you have to meet in order to gain one. So you can consider that a Lockpicking 2 needs to roll a 15(11+2*2) or higher on a lockpicking check (AFTER ALL MODIFIERS) in order to gain a rank. Additionally, you need to be "challenging yourself" by going against a DC that is higher than your skill level (11 + Skill Ranks), in this case, you need to roll that agianst a lock that is DC 13 or higher.

IF DC >= 11 + (Skill Rank) <- requirement to be a "higher skill" dice check
AND IF (D20 Roll + Modifiers >= 11+(2* Skill Ranks) <- you pass the check by your skill rank DC

Say you have 2 Ranks in Lockpicking and it's a Class Skill (+3) and you have a confidence bonus of +1. You have 3 skill ranks so you need to be against a DC 14 or higher check. You roll a an 11 on a D20, you add +3+1+2 to your roll for modifiers, and it comes out to 17; this is greater than or equal to 3*2+11; which means you gain a skill.

***********************************
Herbcraft:
This is still a work in progress. It's probably too much rolling right now.
When a player enters a new region (determined by DM), they may make a Knowledge Local or Nature check. If they beat a DC 10, they know how to craft 1 poultice (without using a book or asking around or something.) For every 5 thereafter, they know another poultice they can make in the area.

Using a poultice is a standard action and (if necessary for some reason) is a melee touch attack.

Roll on a table to decide what they can make, and do it "in order" to establish DCs to make. The first being a DC10 to make, then DC15, then DC20, etc.

Examples:

Quote:


* poultice cures Sickened
* poultice grants Fast Healing 1 for 4 rounds
* poultice cures Nauseated
* poultice cures shaken (think like a drug)
* poultice increases movement speed by 5 ft for 1 minute
* poultice increases strength by 2 for 1 minute
(etc)

[For the most part, I just made those up off the top of my head. Make a table of what you consider is fair/balanced/etc and run with it.]

Each day they may make a Survival Check exactly as they would for rations, but instead gain a number of "ingredients" instead. They may then take a number of Craft Checks equal to that "number of ingredients" in attempts to make poultices. <- This part needs revision; as I had a guy get like.. 30 on his survival and realized I was about to ask him to roll 5 times.

***********************************
Unique Traits is pure DM fiat. So I have a guy who made a "Jump Attack" onto someone and rolled a crit. I gave him a trait for "+1 to attacks made while jumping" with some name. He has ran with that and started doing it to more people (where he leaps off some high point and hopes he makes it/successfully hits them.)

Usually, if someone fails a specific skill roll a bunch of times in a row; I'll give them a trait for -1. I have a player who is really forward with women and also fails at it consistently, so he has "Overly Forward: -1 Diplomacy if NPC is female" or so. Another got "Hates reading." after failing to pass Book DCs 5 times in a row, and the DC was like.. 11.

I do the opposite, to a lesser degree, with good things too though. (Because of Earned Skills, you often get things for passing anyway.) This is instead of the "traits" system that Paizo made, because that system is really bad. People min max their char with one or two free bonuses from the traits that are way better than the rest.


Variable capped point buy. It’s a version of point buy to balance for MAD and SAD characters. Basically, players can choose from 3 point buy options, when creating their characters.
A) 15 point buy, no special limits.
B) 20 point buy, no score can be above 18 after adding racial adjustments.
C) 25 point buy, no score can be above 16 after adding racial adjustments.

Shadow Lodge

Flyboy wrote:
How about any tweaks to the action economy you've found necessary?

The only one coming to mind off the top of my head is freeing up the usability of Vital Strike - per errata/etc. you can't use it with a charge or a handful of other situations, we've ditched all that and you can pretty much use it any time you want provided it's the only attack you make that round. The one limitation I can think of that I've put on it is that you can't combine it with a martial maneuver (from Book of Nine Swords/Path of War).

Dark Archive

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Orthos wrote:
Breath of Life is called Cure Deadly Wounds; classes that automatically receive Cure spells also receive Breath of Life, and it can be spont-cast by clerics as if it were a Cure spell.

I like a lot of these, but this one is so common that I'm pretty sure that it's used by at least one of the designers at Paizo!

I particularly like the spontaneous caster idea, paladins and rangers getting access to orisons and extra skill points (although I'm more partial to just raising the 2+Int classes to a minimum of 4+Int, and leaving the 6+Int and 8+Int classes alone).

Another skill option I've seen is to grant every class 2 extra skill points per level, that can only be spent on Craft, Knowledge, Perform or Profession skills.

Shadow Lodge

We're skill junkies in our group, admittedly. =) And yeah, the Cure Deadly Wounds houserule was something I found here years ago and basically said "that's too awesome not to use".

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

About the only one I can think of that I really would keep around is to make sure crits are crits and not less than normal hits.

For each attack roll that comes up a 20, one damage die is maxed. At most, this means that two damage dice can be maxed, one for the initial attack, one for the confirmation roll. Any other dice past that are rolled normally.

So a 2d4 weapon with a x2 crit would deal either 3d4+4+bonuses or 2d4+8+bonuses. A 1d6 weapon with a 18-20/x2 crit would deal either 2d6+bonuses, 1d6+6+bonuses, or 12+bonuses.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Combat Manoeuvres only provoke an Attack of Opportunity on a failed check.

Spoiler:

Makes Combat Manoeuvres more likely to succeed for even non-specialists. (Did you know that under normal rules damage from the AoO increases the CMD of the defender?)

Changes the AoO for attempting a Combat Manoeuvre from a punishment to a risk/reward.

Max HP every level.

Spoiler:

Makes high Hit Dice more valuable.
Increases length of an adventuring day.
Takes more healing resources to heal to full hp.
Decreases danger of low-level unlucky crits murdering PCs

Shadow Lodge

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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Combat Manoeuvres only provoke an Attack of Opportunity on a failed check.

Forgot this one. Yes, this is on my list.

Having the relevant Improved feat for that Combat Maneuver neutralizes even the failure AoO.


I'm still working on these, but here is what I have so far: >House Rules<

I'm not sure how many of these rules I would consider essential. Also, I have not tested all of them yet, so tread carefully.

Any questions or feedback is welcome.


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Ah, essential house rules. The only one I'd consider essential of mine is some form of automatic bonus progression. It makes the problems of wealth by level just go away.


So totally stealing SirGauntlet's file I added my own stuff and kept a lot of his that I like or am considering.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1t-WdL9IOV4Bzz8O609GFtssm1okyAwsoLtzk70f MM7o/edit?usp=sharing


Samurai, I can't get that URL to work.


SamuraiTsumo wrote:
So totally stealing SirGauntlet's file I added my own stuff and kept a lot of his that I like or am considering.

Linkified


some house rules from back when i dmed probably the more palatable house rules for the forums

Unchained monks have good will saves

Chained rogue is banned

All 2 skill point classes get 4 skill points instead and all classes that were previously 4 skill points now get 5 instead

Perception is a class skill for every one

If you roll a natural 1 on an attack roll you will reroll at a -7 penalty if you roll another natural 1 or your total result is in the negatives or 0 you provoke an aoo from the nearest opponent. After you reach 10 bab you will get to reroll a 2nd time at a -14 penalty and at 20 bab you may reroll a 3rd time at a – 21.

ceramite(mythil adamantine alloy)- Weapons fashioned from ceramite have a natural ability to bypass hardness when sundering weapons or attacking objects, ignoring hardness less than 20 and counting as adamantine and silver for overcoming dr. Armor made from ceramite grants its wearer damage reduction of 1/— if it's light armor, 2/— if it's medium armor, and 3/— if it's heavy armor. ceramite is so costly that weapons and armor made from it are always of masterwork quality; the masterwork cost is included in the prices given. Thus, ceramite weapons and ammunition have a +1 enhancement bonus on attack rolls, and the armor check penalty of ceramite armor is lessened by 3 (minimum of 0) compared to ordinary armor of its type. Items without metal parts cannot be made from ceramite. An arrow could be made of ceramite, but a quarterstaff could not. ceramite armors are one category lighter than normal for purposes of movement and other limitations. Heavy armors are treated as medium, and medium armors are treated as light, but light armors are still treated as light. This decrease does not apply to proficiency in wearing the armor. A character wearing ceramite full plate must be proficient in wearing heavy armor to avoid adding the armor's check penalty to all his attack rolls and skill checks that involve moving. Spell failure chances for armors and shields made from ceramite are decreased by 10%and maximum Dexterity bonuses are increased by 2. hp/inch 50 (weapons and armor normally made of steel that are made of ceramite have 50% more hit points than normal. Hardness 20.
shield +4000 gp
Light armor +6,000 gp
Medium armor +14,000 gp
Heavy armor +21,000 gp
Weapon +750gp/lb based on items weight in steel

Adamantine,mithral and ceramite are not subject to rusting

Two weapon fighting now can use a dex or str of 15 and does its normal stuff but now adds an extra off hand attack at a -5 when you reach 6 bab, a 3rd off hand attack at a -10 when you reach 11 bab and a 4th attack at a -15 when you reach 16 bab.

Improved two weapon fighting now reduces the penalties of twf with light weapons by 1 and one handed weapons by 2 and also allows you to as a standard action make an attack with both your main hand and off hand weapon at your highest base attack bonus.

Greater two weapon fighting reduces the penalties for light weapons by an additional 1 and one handed weapons by an additional 2 thus negating all normal penalties for twf and allows the user to make an attack with their off hand weapon when using whirl wind feat or the blade storm feat.

Whirl wind feet prerequisites changed to power attack, dodge, weapon focus str or dex of 13 int of 13.

Blade storm is a feat that requires whirlwind(and all whirlwind's prerequisites) in addition to 15 str or dex and fighter level 8 fighter. When you use the full-attack action, you can give up your regular attacks and instead make one melee attack at your highest base attack bonus and one with a -5 penalty against each opponent within reach. You must make a separate attack roll against each opponent. You also take a -3 penalty to ac until the start of your next turn. When you use the blade storm feat, you also forfeit any bonus or extra attacks granted by other feats, spells, or abilities.

Feats that boost one specific weapon of your choice instead boost the weapons in the fighter weapon training table ie instead of weapon focus dagger it will be weapon focus light blades and it will be improved critical axes instead of improved critical battle axe.

When non lethal damage converts into lethal damage the when you go into the negatives you can only down to -5hp. If you remain at -5hp and get hit by another non lethal attack you may then be reduced below -5hp


SirGauntlet wrote:

I'm still working on these, but here is what I have so far: >House Rules<

I'm not sure how many of these rules I would consider essential. Also, I have not tested all of them yet, so tread carefully.

Any questions or feedback is welcome.

SirGauntlet, I really dig your rules. You cover most everything I take issue with, almost. I don't agree with every little choice, but a great set that I would be happy to play under.

I wonder if you might explain your ABP system. I imagine from the chart that you just apply this bonus to most things covered by the Big Six. Could you elaborate?


What works in a game will vary by table. Things that some people love would never fly and at my table, and things that I allow will never see the light of day at someone else's table.

I would play the game first, and then come back to ask questions because no matter what anyone tells you about their play experience it may never be a problem for you.

As an example some people have issues with casters and/or have a really hard time running a game past level 15. I handle both of these without any trouble at all, and I don't have to use contrived scenarios to slow casters down.

Basically there really are no essential houserules.

Now if you want some suggestions here are some things I have as permanent houserules. This means I have tried them in games, and decided to keep them.

I don't track XP. When they get to a certain point in the story they level up.

I dont require combat expertise in order to get improved trip, improved disarm, and any other combat maneuver feat that has it as a prerequisite.

I start first level characters with 4 additional hit points. This will be negligible in a few levels, but at first levels it increases the chances of survival.


Background skills from unchained.

Paladins/antipaladins must match their deity's alignment instead of LG or CE requirement. Certain alignment based features will be tweaked logically to compensate for this.

Item crafting pqs may not be bypassed (this is stil under review.)

Wizard's bonded object: the hand holding a bonded object counts as free for somatic components.


Can'tFindthePath wrote:
SirGauntlet wrote:

I'm still working on these, but here is what I have so far: >House Rules<

I'm not sure how many of these rules I would consider essential. Also, I have not tested all of them yet, so tread carefully.

Any questions or feedback is welcome.

SirGauntlet, I really dig your rules. You cover most everything I take issue with, almost. I don't agree with every little choice, but a great set that I would be happy to play under.

I wonder if you might explain your ABP system. I imagine from the chart that you just apply this bonus to most things covered by the Big Six. Could you elaborate?

Thanks, I'm gald you like them.

The ABP header of the Table is linked to the document, but >here< it is. The numbers in the chart are just transposed from the document for easy reference.

I was originally working on something a bit different, but after collaborating with bitter lily, she took it a different direction and came up with this system. Overall I really like it. There are a couple things I might change (getting +1 Resistance for free) but I haven't had the time to tinker/experiment with different options yet.


Ok, thanks everyone! I've got a lot of great stuff to look at here, thanks to all who responded. I might revive this thread if there is something particular that I have further questions on. Cheers!


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TAX RELIEF
Biggest house rule I have, is to use the excellent changes proposed by Michael Iantoro to reduce the cumbersome feat taxes in Pathfinder.
http://michaeliantorno.com/feat-taxes-in-pathfinder/

Additional House Rules:

DIVINE SPELL LISTS
Clerics, Druids and other divine spell casters who can prepare spells taken from their entire class spell list, do not have automatic access to all spells from their list.
*They will have a list of spells indicating the divine spells they have access to.
* Starting spells, and spells gained at new levels, are determined the same way as for a wizard, except using the appropriate ability modifier for the divine caster.
*Additional spells may be learned/accessed in the same fashion/cost as a wizard adds to a spell book. The divine caster does not record the spells in any book, but they are added to the divine spells available to prepare as normal.
-----With more and more material published, the spells available to a class that can access ALL of them during preparation, has become ponderous. Rather than severely limit the number or sources to draw spells from (some of them are really useful), I believe a good compromise is to put the number of spells in their repertoire, on par with arcane full casters.
With the ability to add to their available list with a little effort, the selection choices can still become impressive, but it will require time and resources for the divine character, same as for an arcane caster.

BONUS SPELLS
For all casters with a list of ‘known’ spells:
Bonus spells gained from high ability scores, apply to both number cast per day (normal), and known spells.
-----Despite the versatility of the spontaneous caster classes, the number of spells per day and known, is a little low in my opinion. A slight bonus to known spells for characters with a good ability score is a relatively minor gift.

LINGUISTICS & LANGUAGES:
Being able to speak, and being literate in a language, are acquired separately; either with bonuses from a high Intelligence, or through gaining ranks in the Linguistics skill.
• Beginning characters are able to speak the starting languages according to their race, but are only literate in their primary racial tongue. Bonuses from high intelligence, can be spent on speaking, or being literate in, any starting languages available to them.
• Each rank taken in the Linguistics skill, allows the ability to speak, OR be literate in an additional language. So to to have both for a language, will use 2 skill ranks.
----this allows for spoken languages that don't have a written form. Or the ability to be literate in a 'dead' language that no one knows what it sounded like; or non-humanoid languages that a character may not physically be able to speak/reproduce.

WEAPON GROUPS & FEATS:
*Feats that normally applied to a specific chosen weapon (such as weapon focus, improved critical or weapon specialization) now apply to all of the weapons of a particular weapon group by default (see fighter class weapon training). Character must still have proficiency in the weapon (or other requirements necessary) for the feat to apply.
Example; if a character has simple and martial weapon proficiency, and takes weapon focus for a group, it only applies to the simple and martial weapons in the group, not the exotic weapons, unless they already are proficient in the weapon(s) as well.

MASTERWORK WEAPONS AND ARMOR: Cost
Never liked that additional cost for a masterwork dagger or great-sword was the same. Or that the same cost is added for a buckler or full plate armor. So I scaled the cost on items:

Light Armor: +100gp...........Light Weapon: +50gp
Medium Armor: +200gp..........One-Hand Weapon: +100gp
Heavy Armor: +300gp...........Two-Hand Weapon: +150gp
Bklr/Lt. Shields: +50gp.......Martial Weapon: +100gp
Hvy. /Twr Shields: +100gp.....Exotic Weapon: +200gp

*Weapon cost is cumulative: A one-handed, martial weapon will cost an additional 200gp.
*Adding the masterwork quality to a double weapon costs twice the normal amount.

That's it for the home-brew stuff.
Other changes fall under Pathfinder optional rules. Currently, I'm using Hero Points, and the Unchained Rules on skill unlocks (with the Signature Skill Feat).


PodTrooper wrote:

DIVINE SPELL LISTS

Clerics, Druids and other divine spell casters who can prepare spells taken from their entire class spell list, do not have automatic access to all spells from their list.
*They will have a list of spells indicating the divine spells they have access to.
* Starting spells, and spells gained at new levels, are determined the same way as for a wizard, except using the appropriate ability modifier for the divine caster.
*Additional spells may be learned/accessed in the same fashion/cost as a wizard adds to a spell book. The divine caster does not record the spells in any book, but they are added to the divine spells available to prepare as normal.

Curious what your actual numbers here are? Like, how many spells does a 1st-level WIS 16 Cleric "know"?


rainzax wrote:
PodTrooper wrote:

DIVINE SPELL LISTS

Clerics, Druids and other divine spell casters who can prepare spells taken from their entire class spell list, do not have automatic access to all spells from their list.
*They will have a list of spells indicating the divine spells they have access to.
* Starting spells, and spells gained at new levels, are determined the same way as for a wizard, except using the appropriate ability modifier for the divine caster.
*Additional spells may be learned/accessed in the same fashion/cost as a wizard adds to a spell book. The divine caster does not record the spells in any book, but they are added to the divine spells available to prepare as normal.
Curious what your actual numbers here are? Like, how many spells does a 1st-level WIS 16 Cleric "know"?

[Wizard:..a wizard begins play with a spell-book containing all 0-level wizard spells (except those from his opposed schools, if any; see Arcane Schools) plus three 1st-level spells of his choice. The wizard also selects a number of additional 1st-level spells equal to his Intelligence modifier to add to the spell-book.]

So, a 1st level cleric (Wis 16) would start with access to all orisons, and would select 6 first level cleric spells that he would have access to (3 plus 3 more for Wis modifier).
The player maintains a spell list, much as an arcane caster uses a spell book to record the spells he knows. There isn't actually a book for the cleric character. He just has a list to designate which divine spells he has access to.
Domain spells are not affected and are gain/used as normal.

At each new level, the cleric automatically adds 2 spells (of a level that he can cast) to what's available to him, in the same fashion that a wizard gains new spells upon leveling.

Also like a wizard, the divine caster can add additional spells to his repertoire anytime, through study, learning from a scroll, or being taught by his church. He will just have to spend time, money, and make checks to successfully learn them like a wizard does.
Serious efforts in that area can grow the list to pretty impressive numbers over time.

Separately, as a plot/story device, divine forces could 'gift' the cleric with access to a new spell under certain circumstances too. I've rewarded players for good play and service to their church, with them discovering there are surprise additions to their list one morning.
Or maybe a great service to a temple earns an invite to be taught something new in compensation (no GP cost). Nice incentive for the divine caster to live up to his vows in game-play, rather than 'choose a god for their domain powers' and forget about it.

Historically, to get a large list of a available spells, arcane casters with spell-books, have always had to put in a lot to time, energy and GP into their craft. I though it unfair that a divine caster can select from EVERYTHING on their spell list right out of the gate.
Can you imagine a wizard being able to prepare ANY spell from the wizard list he wants to, every morning (no spell book necessary)?

Well, with this house-rule, that guy who gets a decent BAB, can wear armor and use a laundry list of weapons (compared to wizard), will have to put in a little extra time & money towards his spell-casting now, like the fella in the pointy hat has always had to do.

***Note: I forgot to put in earlier post.
In addition, the divine caster automatically has access to the spells they get for the class' spontaneous casting ability.
(Cure spells for cleric, summon nature's ally for druids, etc.)
So our first level cleric above, would have cure light wounds available, in addition to the 6 first level spells he starts with.


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Nothing earthshattering here but these work for our group

Houserules:
Everybody
All classes get a minimium of 4 skills per level
Start with 150 gp.

Default perception which assumes you are always taking 5 on Perception unless you specifically say otherwise.

You may take the Favored Class Bonus from any race.

There are no prerequisites for Prestige Classes i.e. You may enter them at first level

There are no Class Skills i.e. You put a rank in it you are trained.

The Toughness feat now includes Endurance and Die Hard.

Mobility:Merged with Dodge.
Dodge Revised. You gain a +1 dodge bonus to your AC. This bonus increases to +4 against attacks of opportunity caused when you move out of or within a threatened tile. A condition that makes you lose your Dex bonus to AC also makes you lose the benefits of this feat.

Consolidated Skills
Skill Stat

Perception: Perception & Sense Motive: Wis
Survival: Heal & Survival: Wis
Performance:Disguise & Perform: Cha
Athletics: Jumping, Climbing & Swimming: Str
Acrobatics: Acrobatics, Escape artist, Fly & Ride: Dex
Finesse: Stealth, Disable Device & Sleight of Hand: Dex
Influence: Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate Cha
Nature: Handle Animal & Know dungeon, geography, nature: Int
Religion: Know Religion & Planes: Int
Society: Lingustics & Know History, Local, Nobility: Int
Spellcraft: Spellcraft, UMD & Know Arcana: Int

For each negative level, -1 to any d20 roll, -1 to level-dependent class features, and -5 HP.

Wands and potions always grant the average amount of HP.

A character who dies comes back with a negative trait(Chosen by the DM)This can be removed with DM Fiat. A character is dead when they reach negative con + level

Chainmail bikinis grant an armor bonus equal to the wearer's Charisma bonus, plus any relevant enhancement bonuses.

Automatic Bonus Progression:
: In order to face the dangers of the game, characters in the Pathfinder RPG normally need items that grant bonuses to their statistics. With this variant, characters instead gain those bonuses automatically as they increase in level, allowing them to use magic item slots for more interesting items.

All characters gain the abilities listed on the table below when they reach the appropriate level. Decrease character wealth by level to half the normal amount. The automatic bonuses are often more beneficial than that reduction in wealth, but characters have less flexibility, so the advantages and disadvantages balance out. Items that only grant bonuses to AC, saving throws, and ability scores don't exist in this variant, and wish and similar spells never grant inherent bonuses to ability scores. Magic weapons and armor do exist, but grant only special abilities, not enhancement bonuses; calculate their prices with the table below.

1st —
2nd —
3rd Resistance +1
4th Armor attunement +1, weapon attunement +1
5th Deflection +1
6th Physical prowess +2
7th Mental prowess +2
8th Armor attunement +1/+1, resistance +2, toughening +1, weapon attunement +1/+1
9th Armor attunement +2, weapon attunement +2
10th Deflection +2, resistance +3
11th Physical prowess +4
12th Mental prowess +4
13th Mental prowess +4/+2, Physical prowess +4/+2, resistance +4, toughening +2
14th Armor attunement +2/+2 or +3, resistance +5, weapon attunement +2/+2 or +3
15th Armor attunement +3/+3 or +4, physical prowess +6/+2 or +4/+4, weapon attunement +3/+3 or +4
16th Deflection +3, mental prowess +6/+2 or +4/+4, toughening +3
17th Armor attunement +4/+3 or +5, deflection +4, mental prowess +6/+2/+2 or +4/+4/+2, physical prowess +6/+2/+2 or +4/+4/+2, toughening +4, weapon attunement +4/+3 or +5
18th Deflection +5, mental prowess +6/+4/+2 or +4/+4/+4, physical prowess +6/+4/+2 or +4/+4/+4, toughening +5
19th 3 legendary gifts
20th 5 legendary gifts (8 total)

Armor Attunement: The character can attune herself to one suit of armor or one shield in her possession; she can change that attunement once per day. If she selects a normal set of clothing as her armor, it counts as having a starting enhancement bonus of +0. The attuned suit of armor gains a +1 enhancement bonus at 4th level. At 8th level, she can split her attunement between a suit of armor and a shield, granting each a +1 enhancement bonus. At 9th level, she can grant a suit of armor or a shield a +2 enhancement bonus (instead of granting each a +1 enhancement bonus). At 14th level, she can either grant a suit of armor or a shield a +3 enhancement bonus or grant each a +2 enhancement bonus. At 15th level, she can either grant a suit of armor or a shield a +4 enhancement bonus or grant both a +3 enhancement bonus. At 17th level, she can either grant a suit of armor or a shield a +5 enhancement bonus or grant one a +4 enhancement bonus and the other a +3 enhancement bonus.

Deflection The character gains a +1 deflection bonus to AC at 5th level; this bonus increases to +2 at 10th level, to +3 at 16th level, to +4 at 17th level, and to +5 at 18th level.

Legendary Gifts: The character gains three legendary gifts at 19th level and five more at 20th level. (If you're using the variant with no magic treasure, characters gain seven more legendary gifts when their effective level reaches 21 and eight more when it reaches 22.) Select these legendary gifts from the following list.

Legendary Ability: Gain a +1 inherent bonus to any ability score. You can select this legendary gift multiple times, and it stacks up to +5 in any one ability score.

Legendary Armor: Your enhancement bonus from armor attunement increases by 2. If you are attuned to a suit of armor and a shield, you can either increase both bonuses by 1 or increase one bonus by 2. The enhancement bonus on a single attuned item can't exceed +5, but you can use the excess to add special abilities to the armor or shield (see Magic Weapons and Armor). You can select this legendary gift multiple times; it stacks up to +10 on any one suit of armor or shield.

Legendary Body: Increase your bonuses from physical prowess to +6/+6/+4. This counts as two legendary gifts.

Legendary Body 2: Increase your bonuses from physical prowess to +6/+6/+6. You must already have legendary body to select this legendary gift.

Legendary Mind: Increase your bonuses from mental prowess to +6/+6/+4. This counts as two legendary gifts.

Legendary Mind 2: Increase your bonuses from mental prowess to +6/+6/+6. You must already have legendary mind to select this legendary gift.

Legendary Shieldmaster: Gain a +5 enhancement bonus from armor attunement for both your armor and your shield. You can select this legendary gift multiple times, choosing a different attuned suit of armor or shield each time.

Legendary Twin Weapons: Gain a +5 enhancement bonus from weapon attunement for two weapons at the same time. This counts as two legendary gifts. You can select this legendary gift multiple times, adding an additional attuned weapon with a +5 enhancement bonus each time.

Legendary Weapon: Your enhancement bonus from weapon attunement increases by 1. If you are attuned to more than one weapon, you can increase only one weapon's enhancement bonus in this way. The enhancement bonus on a single weapon can't exceed +5, but you can use the excess to add magic abilities to weapons (see Magic Weapons and Armor). You can select this legendary gift multiple times, and it stacks up to +10 for any one weapon.

Mental Prowess At 6th level, the character chooses one mental ability score (Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma) to gain a permanent +2 enhancement bonus. At 11th level, this bonus increases to +4. At 13th level, the character chooses a second mental ability score to gain a permanent +2 enhancement bonus. At 15th level, the character increases one of these enhancement bonuses by 2. At 17th level, she chooses a third mental ability score to gain a permanent +2 enhancement bonus.

Physical Prowess At 7th level, the character chooses one physical ability score (Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution) to gain a permanent +2 enhancement bonus. At 12th level, this bonus increases to +4. At 13th level, the character chooses a second physical ability score to gain a permanent +2 enhancement bonus. At 16th level, the character increases one of these enhancement bonuses by 2. At 17th level, she chooses a third physical ability score to gain a permanent +2 enhancement bonus.

Resistance: At 3rd level, the character gains a +1 resistance bonus on all saving throws. This bonus increases to +2 at 8th level, to +3 at 10th level, to +4 at 13th level, and to +5 at 14th level.

Toughening: At 8th level, the character gains a +1 enhancement bonus to natural armor. This bonus increases to +2 at 13th level, to +3 at 16th level, to +4 at 17th level, and to +5 at 18th level.

Weapon Attunement: The character can attune herself to any one weapon in her possession, and can change that attunement once per day. The attuned weapon gains a +1 enhancement bonus at 4th level. At 8th level, the character can split her attunement between two weapons, granting each a +1 enhancement bonus. At 9th level, she can grant a single weapon a +2 enhancement bonus instead of granting two weapons a +1 enhancement bonus each. At 14th level, she can either grant a single weapon a +3 enhancement bonus or grant two weapons a +2 enhancement bonus each. At 15th level, she can either grant a single weapon a +4 enhancement bonus or grant two weapons a +3 enhancement bonus each. At 17th level, she can either grant a single weapon a +5 enhancement bonus or grant one weapon a +4 enhancement bonus and another weapon a +3 enhancement bonus.

Magic Weapons and Armor: In this system, magic weapons, armor, and shields never have enhancement bonuses of their own; those bonuses are granted only through attunement. Any weapon, armor, or shield special abilities on attuned items count against a character's enhancement bonus from attunement. To determine an attuned magic item's enhancement bonus, subtract the cost of its special ability from the enhancement bonus granted by attunement. (This applies only to special abilities whose cost is equivalent to an enhancement bonus, not to those that cost a flat amount of gold pieces.) For example, if a character with a +3 enhancement bonus from weapon attunement wields a keen scimitar, she subtracts 1 point of her enhancement bonus (for the cost of keen), leaving her with a +2 keen scimitar. If a character doesn't have enough of an enhancement bonus to afford the special ability (such as a 4th-level character with a vorpal longsword), she can still use the weapon's power on its own, but the weapon gains no enhancement bonus.

In this system, adding bonus-equivalent special abilities to items costs significantly less because you are paying only for the special ability, not for a base enhancement bonus (see the table below). To determine the price of specific weapons and armor, remove the flat enhancement bonus and reduce the item's cost by the amount listed on the table below. For example, a flame tongue is normally worth 20,715 gp, but under this system, it would lose its +1 enhancement bonus and its price would be reduced to 18,715 gp. Specific weapons and armor can be attuned; they then grant the character's enhancement bonuses from weapon attunement and armor attunement as normal.

Base Price Modifier
Weapon Cost
Armor/Shield Cost
+1 2,000 gp 1,000 gp
+2 8,000 gp 4,000 gp
+3 18,000 gp 9,000 gp
+4 32,000 gp 16,000 gp
+5 50,000 gp 25,000 gp

Martials:
There are a number of instances in the core Pathfinder rules that require a character to “borrow” against the next round’s actions. The most prevalent example involves taking an immediate action, which counts as a swift action the next round. Another example is the Step Up feat as written in the Pathfinder rules, which counts as the next round’s 5-ft. step. These sorts of Faustian bargains disproportionately inhibit martial characters, and are therefore abolished in these house rules. Unless otherwise noted, actions from a future round do not need to be “borrowed against” in order to take actions in the current round..

Bravery grants +1 Will instead of +1 fear resist.

If you are using Two-Weapon Fighting, you must take your attacks in pairs (one primary, one off-hand) when possible, unless you also have the Improved Two-Weapon Fighting feat.

The three feats, Power Attack, Deadly Aim and Combat Expertise are no longer feats but combat 'options' that any character, NPC or monster may use at any time they choose. Characters count as having these feats for the purpose of qualifying for other feats and abilities.

The feats Weapon Finesse and Piranha Strike no longer exists and any character, NPC or monster may use their dexterity modifier in place of their strength modifier with any 'finessable' weapon. Characters count as having these feats for the purpose of qualifying for other feats and abilities.

The feats Two-Weapon Fighting and Vital Strike automatically upgrade into their Improved and Greater versions when the requisite BAB and DEX score is reached, they count as themselves AND the Improved and Greater versions once the requisite BAB is reached for the purpose of qualifying for other feats and abilities.

ANY Improved Combat Maneuver feat now automatically scales into it's Greater version when the BAB prerequisites are reached and counts as both feats for other prerequisites. Performing combat maneuvers now only provoke AoO's from a failed combat maneuver attempt.

There is no exotic weapon category, instead they are considered a martial weapon

Casters:
Sorcerer Bloodline/Oracle mystery spell progression gets their bonus spell on the Wizard/Cleric progression. A fire-bloodline sorcerer should not be waiting until level 5 to cast scorching ray or level 7 to cast fireball. It is however, cool that a 5th level Fire sorcerer's only 3rd-level spell known is fireball.
Detect Magic does not detect illusions or abjurations. The range of this spell is reduced to Touch. Lingering magic auras can still be detected, but you must be in the same space as the former effect.

Protection from Evil/Magic circle spells work like the Light vs. Darkness spells i.e. Pro evil(First level Spell prevents Charm Person, Magic Circle prevents Suggestion).

The Heighten Spell Metamagic feat is a freebie for casters.

Creatures taking damage from a Dazing spell are also dazed for 1 round. If the spell allows a saving throw, a successful save negates the daze effect. If the spell does not allow a save, the target can attempt a Will save (DC 10 + level of the spell + your Cha/Int modifier) to negate the daze effect. If the spell effect also causes the creature to become dazed, the duration of this metamagic effect is added to the duration of the spell. A dazing spell uses up a spell slot two levels higher than the spell’s actual level.

Dazing is a mind affecting effect. And therefore creatures like undead are immune. Once a creature has been affected by Dazing every round after the first it can make a Will save to act normally for that round. If the creature is subject to continuous damage (Ball Lightning for example) it receives a -2 penalty to its Will save to act normally for the round Dazing Spell is included in things that have immunity to stun, paralyze.

Spells that deal a particular type of energy damage (Fireball, Lightning Bolt, etc.) may be added to a spellbook or as a spell known with a different energy type than listed, within reason; Fireball can become “Acid Burst” or Lightning Bolt can be called “Frost Bolt”. and deal the appropriate energy type when calculating damage. These are treated as separate spells, and a spellcaster must learn the base version of the spell if they wish to cast it with that energy type. Spells with additional effects that are dependent on their energy type may have that additional effect changed or will not be allowed to changed, subject to DM discretion.

The Selective Channel feat is a freebie for Divine casters.

Breath of Life is called Cure Deadly Wounds; classes that automatically receive Cure spells also receive Breath of Life, and it can be spont-cast by clerics as if it were a Cure spell.

With spells that heal, the dice that are rolled are the average HD of the target, rounded to the nearest die. Cure-like spells on a barb would be xd12+x. Fighter 3 Wizard 3 would be xd8+x. Channel is also affected. Cleric 3 channeling would heal the wizard 2d6 and the barb 2d12. Of course, pre-calculate your "healing die" when you level to speed play
Clerics may choose any two domains they wish so long as they are appropriate for their god.

Spells(and abilities duplicating the effects of spells) with the [scrying] or [teleportation] descriptor cannot penetrate to an area that is entirely enclosed by more than 1 ft. of solid stone, 3 ft. of earth, an inch of metal, and/or a thin coating of lead. This guideline, provides a rationale for both castles and dungeons.
Kings live in stone castles, not only for defensibility from armies, but for secrecy; if a need to teleport or use divination magic comes up, they can go to an outside room and open a leaded-glass window, but while inside an inner room with stone walls and a lead-lined door, their councils are protected from eavesdropping and teleporting assassins.Many wizards likewise live in stone towers with designated divining and transportation rooms open to the outside. Tombs and cultist headquarters are typically found in dungeons underground. Divination and dimension door effects within a dungeon or building itself are normally not affected, as long as the doorways, rooms, and corridors provide “open” lines of effect within the complex itself. However, rooms with stone walls and thick stone or metal doors would inhibit the effect.


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Flyboy wrote:
Ok, thanks everyone! I've got a lot of great stuff to look at here, thanks to all who responded. I might revive this thread if there is something particular that I have further questions on. Cheers!

It's cute the way he imagines that he has any control at all over the UNCHAINED BEAST that is a house rules thread. ;)


PodTrooper wrote:

TAX RELIEF

Biggest house rule I have, is to use the excellent changes proposed by Michael Iantoro to reduce the cumbersome feat taxes in Pathfinder.
http://michaeliantorno.com/feat-taxes-in-pathfinder/

Additional House Rules:

DIVINE SPELL LISTS
Clerics, Druids and other divine spell casters who can prepare spells taken from their entire class spell list, do not have automatic access to all spells from their list.
*They will have a list of spells indicating the divine spells they have access to.
* Starting spells, and spells gained at new levels, are determined the same way as for a wizard, except using the appropriate ability modifier for the divine caster.
*Additional spells may be learned/accessed in the same fashion/cost as a wizard adds to a spell book. The divine caster does not record the spells in any book, but they are added to the divine spells available to prepare as normal.
-----With more and more material published, the spells available to a class that can access ALL of them during preparation, has become ponderous. Rather than severely limit the number or sources to draw spells from (some of them are really useful), I believe a good compromise is to put the number of spells in their repertoire, on par with arcane full casters.
With the ability to add to their available list with a little effort, the selection choices can still become impressive, but it will require time and resources for the divine character, same as for an arcane caster.

BONUS SPELLS
For all casters with a list of ‘known’ spells:
Bonus spells gained from high ability scores, apply to both number cast per day (normal), and known spells.
-----Despite the versatility of the spontaneous caster classes, the number of spells per day and known, is a little low in my opinion. A slight bonus to known spells for characters with a good ability score is a relatively minor gift.

LINGUISTICS & LANGUAGES:
Being able to speak, and being literate in a language, are acquired separately; either with bonuses...

I like all of these. Our group has used the weapon feat versatility for years now. And it truly doesn't matter, we all still settle on one weapon and use it exclusively. But, there have been a couple of cases where someone took up a different weapon in the group with no penalty. Worth it.

I am very intrigued by your "divine spell book" idea. If I were to implement this, I would also use it as an opportunity to make domain spells spontaneous. That is, they could be swapped for equivalent spell level prepared spells. We have experimented with the spontaneous domains in the past, and there was no issue, but some would think it overpowered. I think that this turns it on it's head. Instead of access to all cleric spells, many of which are totally antithetical to a given cleric's religion, I would limit access to the general spells, and grant easier use of domain spells. This puts the flavor of the gods interests front and center.

Anyway, thoughts.


Here's a houserule that works well for us:

Chases can be resolved by dividing base speed by 5 to give simple numbers that can be used as modifiers to opposed rolls between opponents. (Ex: Base Speed 30 divided by 5 = 6. d20 + 6 opposed by enemy’s chase score, determined the same way. If the enemy’s roll equals or exceeds that of the player, then the player has been overtaken by his foe).

Dark Archive

PodTrooper wrote:

TAX RELIEF

Biggest house rule I have, is to use the excellent changes proposed by Michael Iantoro to reduce the cumbersome feat taxes in Pathfinder.
http://michaeliantorno.com/feat-taxes-in-pathfinder/

That's some good stuff right there!

Quote:

DIVINE SPELL LISTS

Clerics, Druids and other divine spell casters who can prepare spells taken from their entire class spell list, do not have automatic access to all spells from their list.
*They will have a list of spells indicating the divine spells they have access to.
* Starting spells, and spells gained at new levels, are determined the same way as for a wizard, except using the appropriate ability modifier for the divine caster.
*Additional spells may be learned/accessed in the same fashion/cost as a wizard adds to a spell book. The divine caster does not record the spells in any book, but they are added to the divine spells available to prepare as normal.
-----With more and more material published, the spells available to a class that can access ALL of them during preparation, has become ponderous. Rather than severely limit the number or sources to draw spells from (some of them are really useful), I believe a good compromise is to put the number of spells in their repertoire, on par with arcane full casters.
With the ability to add to their available list with a little effort, the selection choices can still become impressive, but it will require time and resources for the divine character, same as for an arcane caster.

Cool.

I had proposed back in Pathfinder Beta that it might make some sense to allow any spellcaster, at 1st level, to choose whether to be a prepared or spontaneous caster, and to eliminate entirely the ability for a cleric or druid to know every spell on their class lists, and instead have a small list like a Sorcerer or a 'holy book' or whatever full of spells acquired like a Wizard, with the addition of automatically learning A) domain spells and B) whichever spells they can use spontaneously (cure spells, inflict spells or summon nature's ally, for druids).

But that's way deeper a change than what you've done here, and, seeing what sort of cool stuff PF has done with their Sorcerers, I kind of like keeping them around.

Quote:

BONUS SPELLS

For all casters with a list of ‘known’ spells:
Bonus spells gained from high ability scores, apply to both number cast per day (normal), and known spells.
-----Despite the versatility of the spontaneous caster classes, the number of spells per day and known, is a little low in my opinion. A slight bonus to known spells for characters with a good ability score is a relatively minor gift.

I like. Ever since the Sorcerer was introduced in 3rd edition, I've felt that it was kind of nerfed-by-committee by designers who were kind of uncertain about whether or not a spontaneous caster would be too strong, compared to the Vancian casters we'd grown up with.

Given that the game didn't explode with millions of Sorcerers and nobody playing Wizards anymore, I feel like their fears were overrated a bit. :)


Quick note regarding CantFindthePath & Set's responses.

First, I appreciate your positive comments on it. Whether you find merit in my changes, or it just inspires your own ideas, I'm happy you found it useful.

Both of you kinda of touched on my "divine spell book" relating to some sort of spontaneous casting. My intent was a little different.
But, if the spontaneous angles are a tangent you go to from there, that's great if it works for you.

For other readers who may get confused between our directions:
The divine caster in my rule, only changes the 'available' spells he has to prepare from. Nothing else changes. He still has to pray and prepare as normal.
Essentially, I just nerfed the AMOUNT of spells he can choose from.
Through various methods (mirroring the wizard), the caster can expand that list to be pretty large, but it's going to take good playing, and time/resources for his character.


*Inhales deeply, grabs notes*

I play 'Epic 8' rules. Characters only advance normally until Level 8, after that they get a feat every level (that they still must qualify for).

Average HP rule (max at 1st, half-round-down at 2nd, half-round-up at 3rd, etc)

No natural 1/20 rule. Just do the math and see what you got.

Alignment exists solely as a creature or spell subtype, not as a character attribute. Creatures with no alignment subtype are treated as neutral for the purpose of any spell or effect that hinges on alignment.

All classes except INT-Primary classes have 4 skill points base.

No-cost material components do not exist. Effectively, everybody gets Eschew Materials for free.

Special Combat Maneuvers (trip, etc) only provoke AoOs when they fail, not when attempted.

Jumping, Climbing, and Swimming are under the skill Athletics (Str).
Balancing, Falling, and Tumbling are under Acrobatics (Dex).

Unless a feat/trait/etc. directly interacts with a race's mechanics, racial prerequisites are waived.

Combat Expertise, Power Attack, Deadly Aim, and Piranha Strike are basic combat maneuvers anybody can perform. Functionally, they are free feats.

Oracles and Sorcerers get their bonus mystery/bloodline spells at Levels 1,4,6,8. Bloodragers get theirs at 4 and 7.

Heal Skill New Use: You can expend one use of a healing kit to cure a creature a number of HP equal to the result of your Heal check minus 15 (minumum 0). This takes 10 minutes. An individual can only be treated this way once a day. You can take 10 or 20 if circumstances allow.

Completely rebuilding the cleric from the ground up, work in progress.


I've toyed with the idea of having "prayerbooks" found in treasure hoards so players of divine casters will be exposed to at least some of the vast array of spells available from other sources.


How about 3PP? Not really house rules, but what is your experience with replacing subsystems or the like à la Spheres of Power in order to address any issues?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

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I typically run under these rules. After a while, there came to be enough of them that my players wanted indexes and a table of contents so they could find the specific rules faster. They change slightly depending on the sort of campaign being run, especially in the character options section, but these are the boilerplate rules.

I've only ever used these in person, so I'm not 100% on how well they would work in a PBP environment, although I don't see any glaring issues. I may start an interest check thread soon to see if anyone would be interested.


Flyboy wrote:
How about 3PP? Not really house rules, but what is your experience with replacing subsystems or the like à la Spheres of Power in order to address any issues?

I can say that since I have started using SoP I have never looked back. I use spheres for every game now. It addresses a lot of issues that I had with Vancian casting. That said it does require more GM investment if you want to add fluff because the SoP book is almost entirely mechanics as opposed to the Paizo books which are a mix of setting agnostic fluff and mechanics.

I have also started using Spheres of Might and like it so far though it has not been out for very long.

Replacing gear with automatic bonus progression has worked pretty well as has adding background skills.

I had difficulty using Consolidated skills and Grouped skills due to the change in names throughout so I don't use those anymore.


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A lot of our issues with 3.5 were addressed (archetypes, cross-class skills), sometimes with the same rule that we came up with (improving Death's Door, racial ability modifiers).
This list is far from inclusive; I like to give my players options and I'm always willing to adjust a few rules here or there so they can play the concept they want without sacrificing mechanical effectiveness.

- Ability scores: during character creation, players may pick three even and three odd ability scores, with a total modifier of +6, taking into account the character's maximum ability scores as dictated by racial modifier.
Similar to 3rd edition's Standard Array, with more flexibility and a 1-point total increase (which is exactly what Pathfinder did when they gave all the races an extra +2).

-Favored Classes: characters may choose two favored classes.
The way Pathfinder handled favored classes is awesome, but my players don't tend to do a whole lot of multi-classing, so it's not too big of a deal for me.

-Combined Skills: the skills Climb, Escape Artist, Fly, Ride and Swim are no longer skills. The skill Athletics is used for physical tasks that involve raw brawn or stamina, while Acrobatics is used for tasks that finesse or coordination. For example, jumping across a chasm would call for an Athletics skill check, while jumping onto a narrow ledge would call for Acrobatics.
Pathfinder got rid of Balance, Jump and Tumble and combined Listen and Spot, Hide and Move Silently, and Open Lock and Disable Device. I'm just following that trend to what I feel is it's natural conclusion, especially since Climb, Ride and Swim are skills that characters with precious few skill points tend to use, anyway.

-Deadly Aim: the Deadly Aim feat may be applied to attacks with weapons that benefit from Weapon Finesse. This bonus increases by 50% when using two hands to attack with a melee or thrown weapon, but not with other ranged weapons.
Trying to help out the nimble, lightly armored fighter-types and give Deadly Aim the same flexibility I gave Power Attack, just in reverse.

-Power Attack: the Power Attack feat may be applied to attacks with thrown weapons. The bonus to damage increases by 50% when throwing a weapon with two hands. In addition, the bonus to damage is not halved when making attacks with an off-hand weapon.
Giving some flexibility to a staple of the typical fighters and barbarians.

-Skill Focus: the Skill Focus feat grants either +5 to a single skill, +3 to two skills, or +2 to four skills. A character may choose this feat multiple times, but no skill may receive more than a +5 bonus from these feats.
Skill Focus is a terrible feat. Alertness and all of it's variations only marginally less so. I feel like these bonuses are high enough to tempt players, but not so high that they become must-haves.

-Toughness: characters may take the Toughness feat multiple times, gaining additional hit points equal to their base Fortitude save each time after the first. This bonuses increase retroactively as the character's saves increase.

-Two Weapon Fighting: the Two Weapon Fighting feat automatically scales to include Improved Two Weapon Fighting and Greater Two Weapon Fighting when a character's base attack bonus is high enough to grant additional attacks. In addition, the penalties for fighting with two weapons is reduced by 2.
Fighting with two weapons is worse than with a two-handed weapon. A feat that lets you deal an average of 1 damage, but only when you take a full attack option and makes you 10% less likely to hit? Come on.
Bonuses that are applied per attack, such as Favored Enemy, Smite Evil, and Sneak Attack, all make fighting with two weapons much more viable, but such situations are situational, limited, risky, or a combination of the three.

-Thrown weapons: a character's Strength modifier may be applied on attack rolls with thrown weapons instead of Dexterity. In addition, throwing a weapon with two hands allows the wielder to apply 1.5 times their Strength modifier.
Thrown weapons are inferior to other ranged weapon in nearly every way. Trying to make them a little more viable by being a little more flexible. Bows are still better overall, which is fine by me.

-Squeezing and difficult terrain: Many environments restrict certain types of movement. A poleaxe is more difficult to wield in a dense forest or cramped subterranean cavern than on an open field, just as tumbling is more challenging on a rope bridge than in an empty room. Characters in difficult terrain take a -4 penalty on attack rolls with two-handed weapons and a -2 penalty on attack rolls with one-handed weapons.
Characters that are squeezing into a smaller space take a -8 on attack rolls with two-handed weapons, -4 on attack rolls with one-handed weapons, and -2 on attack rolls with light weapons. Characters that are squeezing into a space small enough to require an Acrobatics check suffer a -8 penalty on attack rolls with light weapons.
Some types of terrain might levy lesser or greater penalties. A swamp has enough open space for a character to wield a two-handed weapon effectively, even if it still impedes a character's movement, while an underground stalagmite forest makes using such a weapon even more difficult, resolving such attacks at -4.
Some types of weapons might be more or less suited to certain types of terrain. A longspear is easier to use in a dense forest than a greatsword, suffering only a -2 penalty on attack rolls, while a crossbow has no trouble in the cramped tunnels of an old mine, suffering no penalties at all.
I wanted to add a touch of grit and realism. The shortsword in all of it's cultural forms is second only to the spear in terms of widespread use and versatility. Smaller, simpler weapons are often better choices.
This goes against my “carrots not sticks” philosophy, but there's just something perfect about a big, tough fighter getting dragged into a cramped tunnel by a trapdoor spider the size of a large dog, a desperate struggle settled with bootheels and a long knife...

-First-level spells: Spellcasters may select a level 1 spell they know (excluding spells that restore hit points). They may cast this spell at will.
At level 5 and every three levels after level 5 (8, 11, 14, 17 and 20), they may change which of their level 1 spells they can cast at will.
Casting the spell at a higher effective level, such as through metamagic feats, expends spell slots as normal.
It always bothered me that wizards, sorcerers and the like had such limited ability at low levels. The designers of Pathfinder seemed to agree, what with the various kinds of rays clerics, wizards and sorcerers got to use 3+Int/Wis/Cha mod times per day. But that solution felt a little forced and a little awkward for me.
My players were astounded with what they thought would surely be an over-powered change, but as I predicted, it really didn't turn out to be much. It just gives those characters something to do at lower levels. And at higher levels, characters have better things to do than cast Magic Missile ten rounds in a row. The real interesting situations come up with spells that have long duration, like Endure Elements or Longstrider.

-Animal Companions:
I do not like how Pathfinder reworked Animal Companions. It's a confusing mess that feels sub-optimal and restrictive.
I haven't figured out a way to solve this beyond a case-by-case basis yet. I tend to follow 3.5's general outline and go by CR from there.

-Favored Enemy: the following options are included on the Favored Enemy list—
beasts (animals and magical beasts)
savage folk (goblinoids, orcs, and gnolls)
the first people (elves, dwarves and gnomes)
the second people (half-elves, half-orcs, halflings and humans)
Rangers shouldn't feel like they're losing out when they pick their first few favored enemies. Compare humanoids (orcs) to humanoids (evil outsiders), or choosing magical beasts over aberrations. Just broadening the spectrum a bit to balance things out.

-Familiars:
familiars are a neat little class feature, usually forgotten soon after character creation. I have always been pretty liberal in giving familiar's abilities a little boost and making them a more central role to the character. They're part animal, part physical manifestation of a spellcaster's will. They should be cool and useful.

-Weapon Enchantments: the weapon special abilities Distance, Returning, and Throwing cost 2,000gp to add to a magical weapon, rather than increasing the modified enhancement bonus.
In addition, all of the Elemental Burst special abilities cost 5,000gp and can only be added to a magical weapon that already has the Elemental special ability. For example, a longsword can become a Flaming Burst longsword for 5,000gp after it has been enchanted with the Flaming quality.
These special abilities are cool in concept, but cost way too much for what little use a character gets out of them. Returning basically just makes thrown weapons semi-viable at higher levels, and Throwing is basically useless unless you also add Returning.
The Burst enchantments have always baffled me; you have a +1 Flaming Battleaxe. You could either pay an additional 10,000gp to add, say, Frost, and deal +1d6 cold damage per hit...or you could pay that same amount to deal +2d10 fire damage...on critical hits, so around once every 20 attacks. The math is so obvious it's confusing.
There are a lot more tweaks and fine-tunings when it comes to magic weapons and magic items in general, but I won't put them all here now.


Quixote: I like most of those, including what you did with Elemental Burst properties---but doesn't changing to a flat cost preclude putting flaming burst on an Amulet of Mighty Fists or with various features that let you temporarily put +N's worth of bonuses on your weapon? (Can't remember offhand which let you put on flaming burst but it feels like there are some in the rules; I let paladins do it with divine bond.)


Way too many to list in one go, and the exact number and nature varies depending on the game.
Mostly there are a ton of minor changes to feats and spells to make them better (Combat maneuver feats are consolidated to a single one again, Regenerate now heals 10/level max 250, etc.), restrictions on certain classes (the Magus is an elf-only class in my current campaign in honor of the old Elf racial class from my BECMI days, for instance), Mystaran halflings get Denial, and more.
The most notable one, at least for the current campaign, is probably that players roll two sets of 4d6k3 for ability scores, keeping the set they wish.


One I forgot to mention:
"Gains are retroactive."
I don't know how to put it in precise rules language, but basically if you have a feature or progression that grants a once-per-level/feat bonus like skill or hit points and has a number that can increase later (i.e. "+ Int/Con bonus") any points you would have gained in previous levels had you had the increased score at those levels are awarded upon the number's increase. Thus you end up with the same number of skill or hit points at level 20 regardless of when you Int/Con bonus increased.

I do this because I really don't feel like requiring players to make decisions about when they want to have certain scores have certain numbers. (I also don't like being restricted by the idea that Level equals "time spent doing stuff": I prefer to leave it as an abstract game mechanic.)


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Quixote: I like most of those, including what you did with Elemental Burst properties---but doesn't changing to a flat cost preclude putting flaming burst on an Amulet of Mighty Fists or with various features that let you temporarily put +N's worth of bonuses on your weapon? (Can't remember offhand which let you put on flaming burst but it feels like there are some in the rules; I let paladins do it with divine bond.)

Agreed, Quixote's list is pretty epic.

Reading the discussion on elemental burst weapons it occurs to me; why not just make the burst quality the default at +1. I mean you're right, the chance to do +2d10 on a crit isn't worth much. And elemental damage becomes pretty useless at higher level, because it can never break through even the lowest resist energy effect, and only on a 6 vs. the lowest racial resistance. Also, the bane weapon special ability, which grants +2 enhancement and +2d6 damage vs one type, is +1 equivalent. So yeah, I think I'll just roll burst into the base elemental weapon special ability.


Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:

Way too many to list in one go, and the exact number and nature varies depending on the game.

Mostly there are a ton of minor changes to feats and spells to make them better (Combat maneuver feats are consolidated to a single one again, Regenerate now heals 10/level max 250, etc.), restrictions on certain classes (the Magus is an elf-only class in my current campaign in honor of the old Elf racial class from my BECMI days, for instance), Mystaran halflings get Denial, and more.
The most notable one, at least for the current campaign, is probably that players roll two sets of 4d6k3 for ability scores, keeping the set they wish.

Good call on revising the healing amount for regenerate. However, I feel like it's too close in spell level to do the regeneration thing AND a more powerful heal. What I propose is that the spell grants fast healing 10 for 1 round/level. This would reflect the regenerative effects of the spell, and also grant an identical amount of healing to your idea. I just like the flavor more. And it has less utility than an actual heal spell for the one spell level difference.


Except that Regenerate doesn't remove insanity or other such things that Heal does.


I have redone the hit point system, mostly shown in this thread.

I am currently modifying combat, rewriting how weapon abilities and proficiencies work and replacing iterative attacks with enhanced critical effects. I REALLY hate iterative attacks and the whole DPR mechanic.

Silver Crusade

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SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:

One I forgot to mention:

"Gains are retroactive."
I don't know how to put it in precise rules language, but basically if you have a feature or progression that grants a once-per-level/feat bonus like skill or hit points and has a number that can increase later (i.e. "+ Int/Con bonus") any points you would have gained in previous levels had you had the increased score at those levels are awarded upon the number's increase. Thus you end up with the same number of skill or hit points at level 20 regardless of when you Int/Con bonus increased.

I do this because I really don't feel like requiring players to make decisions about when they want to have certain scores have certain numbers. (I also don't like being restricted by the idea that Level equals "time spent doing stuff": I prefer to leave it as an abstract game mechanic.)

That is already the rule in the game.

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