Ishani Dhatri

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1,026 posts. Alias of Lane Coursey.


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Ubertron_X wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
Being a buffer/healer (thing that 100% work and hard to replicate) does work, but it's not what many people want out of their caster.
Well, apart from pure HP even "healing" does not work 100% anymore. All "cure/remove" spells that did work automatically in the past are now subject to a counteract check and I know already how much it will svck to lose the one neutralize poison you happen to have memorized to a bad roll.

Just to clarify, most of those cure/removes you are referring to, were not a sure thing in PF1. True, they were automatic success in D&D 3.5 and earlier, but they have not been a sure thing for 10 years.

Silke wrote:

Here you go folks. Replaced Media Fire link with a better alternative:

Silke, I must applaud you again, for your excellent work. The craftsmanship and detail of this conversion is sublime. I especially appreciate the way you amped up the creatures with templates and classes, adding immense variance, and verisimilitude, to an otherwise HUGE hack and slash old dungeon.

If only I could commission you to do the same to all the old "Greyhawk" modules...


Hugo Rune wrote:
Interesting post. I also have a tweaked crafting system that I wrote up several years ago. Available here

You've done a lot of excellent work. However, I believe your assumptions have one fatal flaw, driving your costs sky-high: using Inn and Tavern prices to set living expenses for craftsman.

Looking at the gear price lists as a whole, and comparing this with the listed wages for skilled and unskilled labor, it seems to me the Inn and Tavern prices are at an inflated premium. They are very similar to modern folk going out to eat and drink, not to mention staying at a motel/hotel. It costs MUCH less than this to keep a roof over your head, and food on the table.

Perhaps setting living expenses based on the listed wages, then applying all your other mathcraftical magic, would yield results.

Some good ideas in this thread. Recently, I have been thought-modeling the integration of PF2 with Star Wars Saga Ed. I am not too thrilled with PF2 as a replacement for PF1, but I think it would streamline and fix many aspects of Saga.

Zero the Nothing wrote:
A few years ago...

That sounds very impressive. Personally, I would love to get a look at your rules.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Deadman's intro...

1. Proficiency Scaling.

This is debatably two related problems, the first (the one I think is an error) is that Sorcerers do not get to Expert with Unarmed (despite some Bloodlines giving Focus Spells entirely based on unarmed attacks) when they do with Simple Weapons, and Warpriests likewise do not get to Expert in Martial Weapons (despite getting Proficiency in them). These seem like errors because they are the only two times when a Class provides a weapon and encourages the character to use it then pulls the rug out from under them by not increasing Proficiency. That's a trap option, and bad game design policy.

Speaking of which, the second issue appears intentional, but remains a huge problem. Probably the biggest one in the game. You can get Proficiency with Armor or Weapons as a General Feat, but can never increase it that way. Now, deciding that General Feats should not allow you to cross class boundaries by getting good with, say, a Greatsword or Full Plate as a Wizard would seem reasonable to me on its own. The problem is that in that case, the Feats shouldn't exist in the first place. By existing, they allow the Wizard to do precisely that with General Feats,...

I would keep in mind that Wizards only ever get Expert with Unarmored Defense, and Expert with Wizard weapons. If you think of them in PF1, where they had only poor base attack, and only feat heavy, or spell power reducing options otherwise, this is still better. I for one, have always championed the idea that if your Wizard wants to wield a sword like Gandalf, he should be able to with some effort, but without strangling himself. However, that has never been an option in these games, so why should they suddenly be competitive with Fighter?

Also, the "Warpriest" is really the base Cleric from PF1 and all previous editions. Remember those guys with Medium base attack, and simple weapons.

After all, Gandalf was pretty handy with his bastard sword, but was he as good as Aragorn or Boromir? No, and we wouldn't want him to be.

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ChibiNyan wrote:
There's now a no-armor white-mage cleric that seems new to the d20 tradition of games.

The true "white-mage" in PF2 is the Angelic bloodline sorcerer.

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pixierose wrote:
This is also ultimately a fantasy universe, and the world itself may have different terms for each of these things then the historically accurate names of our universe.

Right, and having said THIS, there is a 40 year continuum from at least AD&D, through 2nd edition, 3rd edition, 3.5, Pathfinder, and now PF2, wherein the longsword is a one handed 3ish foot blade, the bastard sword is a hand-and-a-half sword with a 4ish foot blade, and the great sword is two-handed with a 5ish foot blade.

Krinn wrote:

Is it possible to be expert in a skill at 1st level?

The rules for skills say that one can become expert in a skill at any level but I fail to find a documented case for level 1, is there one in the Core Rulebook?
Would it be unbalancing to grant an expert ranked skill at 1st level for a homebrew class, such as the Artificer? He would need Expert rank in Crafting and the Magical Crafting feat at 1st level in a way similar to the Alchemist.

I would use Alchemist as a template for Artificer, or even build an archetype for Alchemist.

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Ampersandrew wrote:

So, all of the other items in the special non-magical part of rulebook tell you that you can make this item magical and what that means. There is no such rider on the elven chain.

Is it really not possible to enchant elven chain? That seems like an oversight. I hope its an oversight.

Not only that, but the next entry for the Mithral chain shirt specifies it reduces check penalty. The Elven chain (also Mithral) is quiet, but does NOT have reduced ACP...????

deuxhero wrote:

Increase the area of Purify Food and Drink when dealing with liquids. You currently need to cast it repeatedly over multiple minutes for minimum drinking water for one person.

Purify Food and Drink affects 1 CUBIC FOOT of food and water per level. Even a first level caster can affect 7.4 GALLONS of water. Being conservative, that's also about 20 or more POUNDS of food. And it has a 1 standard action casting time.

Not sure what you were seeing, but I think you can rest easy on this one.

Timitius wrote:

I wanted to take a moment to respond to the one-star review that OhGodItsBoth gave us for failing to adequately cover their preferred AP, Giantslayer, in this issue....

I would venture to say that you'd never heard of Wayfinder before you downloaded this issue. If that's true, let me explain. As a completely volunteer fan-based effort, we are limited to what fans actually write and submit to the issue. We had no control over the fact that very few people actually wrote a Giantslayer based article. We received a total of 3 submissions that were based on that AP. Out of a total of 61 submissions.

As for the claim of "false advertising"....the statement that we focused our theme on the past 5 years of APs, from Skull and Shackles through Strange Aeons is still true. Nowhere in this issue will you find articles based on APs before Skull and Shackles. And nowhere in that statement is any guarantee that we will equally cover each and every AP in those 5 years. We did our best to spread the coverage out according to the submissions we received, and those we thought were suitable for publication.

I'm sorry it wasn't what you wanted, or what you expected. But, I don't think that your disappointment merits the issue getting a one-star review. Plus, it was, after all, FREE.


One of my biggest pet peeves is when looking at product reviews, you find one that gives one star; and the comment says the product was great but the shipping screwed up, or they didn't like the price....???

PossibleCabbage wrote:
My character wants to paint a picture or bake a cake. Do I use Profession (Artist/Baker) or Craft(Paintings/Cakes)? Can I just pick whichever one I want, and if so are we proposing that there are just two kinds of pastry chefs- the smart ones who use craft and the wise ones who use profession?

The wise one sticks with the tried and true to protect his business. The smart one unleashes his creativity, because change is, wait...

Malovec wrote:
Lots o stuff

My group just finished the series after about 4 1/2 years of regular play; every week for the first two thirds, then averaging about every week and a half for the last third.

I am very curious about your alternate rules for the Organization. We thought it was a brilliant and compelling idea. It added much to out game, while not side-tracking the main play into endless hours of "management". However, we agree it is lacking, but we never altered it.

Alas, your link to the google doc isn't working. Could you give another try?

Carl Cramér wrote:
I find the level of detail in armor descriptions hamper the game world. Especially so considering that of all armors, only 4 or so are actually ever used past level 3 or so (masterwork studded leather, chain shirt, half plate, full plate).

I would shorten that list to Masterwork (and eventually Mithral) chain shirt, breastplate, and full plate.

In my experience, no one ever uses half-plate.

Otherwise, I agree with all your sentiments.

Misroi wrote:
Had to look up who Rynshinn is. As a half-elf, I'd wager it's safe to say her father was an elf. I don't suppose we know anything about her father? Could it be...JUSTICE IRONBRIAR?!?!?!?!?


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Tristram wrote:
Personally, I would love if the bestiary entries also had a chart/sidebar for knowledge checks. It'd make for a faster reference for the DM and serve to help establish how known different creatures are, without tying it in to CR. Because really, why are older dragons harder to ID than younger ones (And if you decide that they're less common in your setting, you can easily bump the DCs by a bit)

Oh gods yes! This should definitely be in the bestiaries, as well as a tactics bullet point.

Ckorik wrote:

Good stuff!

What he said.

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Matt2VK wrote:
*Please, please do something to standardize special material items. I have some character concepts that would just love mithral weapons but it's just cheaper to buy adamantine weapons.

I strongly second this. If a material can be made into a weapon or armor, we need sensible pricing for all possible items.

My personal preference is to have a more realistic cost increase that takes into account weapon category (light, one-handed, etc.) and size of the weapon or armor.

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Spell/effect sub-school/sub-types for negative/positive energy.

CONSISTENT spell statblocks. Basically NOTHING should be cut/paste in the entire book. Look at and properly apply standards to EVERYTHING.

And do not ever truncate a spell stat block because it "works as x", I would prefer shorter, simpler spell descriptions; then repeat in similar spells.

Speaking of which: I will second in the strongest terms, BigNorseWolf's sentiment for less wall-o-text rules, and more bullet points.

Unified system of ranges for spells and weapons.

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BigNorseWolf wrote:

Bullet points. If a sentence runs on and has more clauses than a chelaxian labor contract, bullet points.


James Jacobs wrote:
Can'tFindthePath wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
And to reiterate: I'm still finishing this up, so if anyone has any hopes and ideas and suggestions for what to include in what's more or less gonna be a big sandbox setting/96-page gazetteer of a town and its Hinterlands... now's the time to speak up! I'll be here watching and reading and occasionally commenting.

A very small thing, but it would be great to finally have a definitive version of the Firepelt cougar. Currently, it has been statted mainly as a cheetah, with Sprint. But it is described as a Leopard, which would give it Pounce.

Would be cool to see a definitive image that matches the description. As well as a proper stat block and animal companion version.

Looking forward to this book. Alas, my group just finished RotR Anniversary Edition a few months ago. Perhaps I will have the opportunity to run it in the future. Of course, then I will be converting all your hard work to PF2!

There won't be really any room for a firepelt cougar stat block. My preference is to use leopard stats for them, but when they're used as animal companions, that's weird since animal companions use different rules.

Page 44 of the hardcover Rise of the Runelords has the definitive image for them, in any case.

Fair enough. Thanks James.

James Jacobs wrote:
And to reiterate: I'm still finishing this up, so if anyone has any hopes and ideas and suggestions for what to include in what's more or less gonna be a big sandbox setting/96-page gazetteer of a town and its Hinterlands... now's the time to speak up! I'll be here watching and reading and occasionally commenting.

A very small thing, but it would be great to finally have a definitive version of the Firepelt cougar. Currently, it has been statted mainly as a cheetah, with Sprint. But it is described as a Leopard, which would give it Pounce.

Would be cool to see a definitive image that matches the description. As well as a proper stat block and animal companion version.

Looking forward to this book. Alas, my group just finished RotR Anniversary Edition a few months ago. Perhaps I will have the opportunity to run it in the future. Of course, then I will be converting all your hard work to PF2!

CrystalSeas wrote:

Let me ask the question a different way:

What to outcome do you expect to occur by posting this question?

New homebrew rules you can use in your game?
Consensus on a change that players can then force Paizo to make in their products?
Attention from Paizo staff for your unique ideas that you can't gain consensus around?

I don't see that this thread has any outcome other than to vent our unhappiness with the way things are without any other goal than to whine.

Well, when you put it like is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

If you don't want to discuss the subject. Stop discussing the subject.

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PMárk wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Moonclanger wrote:

Its weakness is its complexity. Even when running a published adventure, as a GM I often spend more time preparing for a game than my group spends playing it. This is because there are so many different rules a GM needs to know in order to run the game smoothly.

For what it's worth, I regard that complexity as one of Pathfinder's core strengths. I've played a bit of 5e, and while it is definitely easier to pick up, the principal reason running it is not to my taste is that IME it feels like E6 stretched over 20 levels; it feels like it would quickly become boring for me personally to DM precisely because there is not that range of things to look up, and I have similar feelings about the OP's suggestions overall.

I would love to see a 3.5-derived variant that made the last quarter or so of the level range (and ideally on into epic) more fun and playable, but I am unconvinced that drastic simplification is the way to go, and for so long as there is a sizable (or at least vocal) contingent of players who both regard C/MD as a major problem and object to martial characters being powered up in ways they deem unrealistic/too anime-like, that seems fairly intractable.

I just want to say, I totally agree with that. I don't like how "complexity" became a curse in the last... Decade?

Everyone (ok, tha majority of RPG developers)want "more streamlined" and "easy to pick" games and that's fine and cool. To a point. After a point, it's just dumbing down and losing depth, plain and simple.

I get that everyone has little time nowadays and I get that more complex games are harder to pick up for newbies but... come on, we started with these games back in the days too. There's seriously something wrong with the people now, who are saying WoD, for example is rules-heavy...

You don't exactly need a doctorate to understand the more complex games, it's just a bit longer learning curve and in the meantime, it's rewarding, if...

For myself, it is not at all about new players and the learning curve. I want my games to have a healthy player base, but that is a secondary concern. A good basic game and good rule writing (or re-writing) can take care of that.

The problem with the complexity of the 3.x games is playing and running them. We recently finished Rise of the Runelords at 19th level, and we're in the last big fight of Way of the Wicked right now, at 20th. And let me tell you, if it wasn't for HeroLab, it would be almost unplayable. Even WITH HeroLab, we make mistakes constantly just trying to keep everything straight. Yesterday, we played for about 11 hours, with minimal sidelining, and we covered round 6 to round 13 of our struggle against the Mitrans. And we are experts, playing with the same group members since 1987 in 1st Ed., 2nd in 1989, 2.5 in '95, 3.0 in 2000, 3.5 in '03, and PF in '09.

However, I agree that 5E is too simple, or rather, too shallow. Which is why I keep hesitating to launch a 5E campaign. I agree with your last, that a middle ground would be preferable.


Sorry, I should have said.

I love your system for languages, and couldn't agree more that 1 per rank is ridiculous.

Regarding the value of points in this skill vs. other skills: when you gain a rank in Stealth, you become around 5% more likely to succeed at sneaking. When you take a rank in Linguistics, you become about 5% more likely to decode an UNKNOWN language, and as a bonus, you are fluent AND literate in a new language.

I think that is a bit much. IMO, your use of Linguistics to actually communicate is brilliant, and the stepped fluency is great as well. If someone needs a polyglot angle, it should be feats/traits combined with ranks in Linguistics using this system.

I have a 20th level Int using Sorcerer who speaks and writes over 20 languages. I didn't mean to, I didn't intend to, I don't want to. It's just automatic, and silly. It is as you say, the party encounters some ancient scrawl, and the DM says does anyone speak ____? The Wizard player and I have ALWAYS said, "yep."

I understand Paizo's approach to "fixing" languages. But, since the inability to communicate so rarely comes up, it would be nice if it wasn't ignored by any party with a Wizard or Bard (i.e. all of them).

Mosaic wrote:
Reverse wrote:
The power of Comprehend Languages and Tongues, if unaltered, grant level 4 proficiency is ALL Languages, making them a vastly better deal.
You could also redefine the spell in terms of the new system. Comprehend Languages gives you 2 ranks in a language you don't know, or +1 rank in a language you already have ranks in. Maybe bumps up to 3 ranks or +2 ranks at 5th level.

I would have Comprehend Languages grant effective rank 2 fluency and a +5 or +10 competence bonus on Linguistics checks. Then require skill rolls to communicate.

Saint Bernard wrote:
Jason Nelson wrote:
Saint Bernard wrote:
Owen KC Stephens wrote:
Saint Bernard wrote:


Do you have any plan on issuing a new printing? I would like to get a hard copy but it seems to be out of print everywhere I normally buy.
Rogue Genius Games still has some of our share of the print run. We'll likely have them up for sale soon.
Just tell me where to buy it.
Get them while you can - they're the very lastest copies in existence!
Still need to know where I can buy the book.

I'm guessing, at Rogue Genius Games. Try the website.

Shadavar wrote:

I've been slowly working on a Pathfinder conversion for the Deities & Demigods 3.5 rules. Taking a page out of impersonater's work on his 5th edition conversion Deities & Divinity, I've decided to submit what I've done so far.

This is still very much a work in progress and far from complete. I got tired of looking at a Word document so started playing around with design ideas before I get back to work.

Faiths & Avatars

Not bad, if you like statting up deities in this way. I definitely used to, but since have leaned more toward no stat deities with avatars limited to "mortal" power levels. But, to each his own.

[EDIT] My apologies. Upon re-reading your rules, I see that you have written them with this in mind. No hard stats for the god, just the avatar. Cool.

I will, however, point out that Deities & Demigods was not 3.5, but 3.0. I would keep that in mind when converting some things over. For example, DR is different in 3.5 and by extension, Pathfinder. It starts at 5 and generally stops at 15, with 20 reserved for really special toughs.


Lady-J wrote:
Moonclanger wrote:

Our group is currently playing Wrath of Righteous and we use many of the alternative mythic rules proposed in Legendary Games' Mythic Solutions pdf. So far (we're halfway through book 4) they seem to be working and encounters are still challenging.

Other than that we use only one house rule, which we've be using for several years:

We use fixed hit points.

As per the normal rules a creature gains maximum hit points if its first Hit Die is for a PC class level.

Beyond that monsters and NPCs have average hit points (as per Bestiaries and Adventure Paths), as do animal companions, bonded mounts, cohorts and eidolons etc.

However beyond first level PCs receive fixed hit points as determined by Hit Die.

D12 = 7 hp
D10 = 6 hp
D8 = 5 hp
D6 = 4 hp

This gives PCs a slight edge (1/2 extra hp per level) and removes dumb luck from the equation.

pretty sure that's not a house rule you can just take average roll instead of rolling for hp and average roll is half hd+1 so its not really fixing hp issues for pcs. now if it were everyone gets max hp that would be different and would actually be a boon for most martial classes as they tend to have the higher hd

Nope. This is not an official option = house rule.

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You know, I just did some math, exploring the possibilities of all those free metamagics. Although I would still be conservative in granting unlimited combinations of feat stacking, you really can't break elemental damage spells. Balancing DC against damage output, with the reality of Saving Throws of challenging encounters and resistance and protection from energy spells...have at it.

I worry though, that a super spell metamagic combo is hiding out there somewhere...Caution.

Starfox wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
so quadruple empowered fireball as a 3rd level spell slot if your an 18th level sorcerer?

Not quite. Applying Empower Spell 3 times to a Fireball gives you 3x (+50%), so you end up with 10d6 x 2.5. Approximately 87 hp.

If you instead take Intensify Spell twice and the Empower Spell twice, you end up with 18d6 x2, which is more bang for the buck but also costs you 2 feats. 126 pts of average damage.

In both cases, the save DC is 13 + caster attribute, which is not great at level 18.

Its not been a problem to us. It might not work on other tables. Our experience is that magic is rarely used for direct damage because it cannot compete, especially at higher levels. Its been a while since we had a high-damage caster, so it might not stand a stress test.

Edit: The main combat metamagic I see is Heighten Spell, to get save DCs up. Overall the most popular metamagic is Silent Spell (to not ruin surprise) and Extend Spell (for buffs).

This is interesting. My initial gut reaction was that it is way too much free power. However, I have recently completed two campaigns in which we began at 1st level, and ascended all the way to 19th or 20th. I definitely noticed that damaging spells lose their luster around 13th or so. And most other spells have little effect on BBEGs due to low DC's.

One idea seen on these boards, that I have contemplated is granting Heighten Spell for free. So, basically you can cast any spell you have in a higher slot for more DC. But then you won't be casting your biggest spells. Your idea also addresses the relative weakness of lower level spells, particularly damaging ones. But, the cool part is that you have to choose between DC and expanding damage or targets, etc.; and you have to have the feats.

Now, I wouldn't allow stacking of the same feat, as it easily gets out of hand, and super combos are too easy to acquire. But otherwise, I think this may work well.

necromental wrote:
gvr2cs wrote:

...The idea when I was younger when playing was that we could close our eyes and imagine this world we were in. The first time I played, I was eight years old and my cousin was running us through the old classic "X1 Isle of Dread" module. To this day, I can still remember being in that humid jungle, battling against a group of panthers that eventually ended up killing our guide that was preventing us from getting lost. Dice rolls and player stats were absolutely necessary in order to make the game playable, but in our characters' mind, they didn't know what level they were or if they had a 14 in Dexterity. They just were who they were.

This is where the problem has been starting with me. When I read or listen to some real gaming sessions, I honestly can't envision most of the characters that are being described on here. As an example, if I'm a GM and I'm hearing someone with their half-orc "build" where they start off as a bloodrager and then "dip" into a wizard class before moving into taking some levels as a bard, my first question is, "Hold on just one second, how did your half-orc survive the first ten minutes of his life?" Much less what caused this feral barbaric meathead from deciding to take up scholarly work and composing poetry, to say nothing about who would teach him these skills or how long it would take to train his brain to make such a bizarre career change.

What's worse, is that the game rules seem to encourage this type of behavior, and GMs and the rules alike, will actually tend to penalize players who try to develop characters that feel more realistic or at least reasonable.

Why exactly did you pick up Pathfinder? It's probably one of the most character-building driven systems in the RPG business. 5e probably has most of the general rules PF has, while being a less of a build game.

If you're dead set on playing exactly pathfinder, try to keep in mind that for some of us the class, archetype, feats and things like that are just tools you want your character...

I strongly resist the urge to say "try another game". It is used overmuch in response to someone's tinkering with PF, and it bugs the hell out of me. However, in this case I have to second the thought that 5th Edition D&D may be what you are looking for. There is less customization, and much more "describe what your character does, and I'll ask for a roll", type of play.

It depends on what you like about Pathfinder. If you can tinker a few things, and present your game in such a way as to get from your players what you want, then I support that. But the game you describe would be much easier to achieve with 5E. Not even so much the rules, or how it plays (although, that would help too.), but the feeling the players get as they read the books and build their PCs. It sets the parameters much closer to what you are looking for. If the players are veterans of 3.x/PF, then it is difficult to reshape how they see and use those rules. But, introduce new rules that they aren't as familiar with, and they may be amenable.

Whatever you chose, Good luck, and good gaming!

Kelemvor187 wrote:
Can'tFindthePath wrote:
Kelemvor187 wrote:
Can'tFindthePath wrote:

Armor is life....but not getting hit is even better.

I think this is true for most systems ;)

In most systems it is hard to absorb damage completely.
Not getting hit is often the best survival strategy.
True, but in GURPS, getting hit hard with penetrating damage in a vital area, with insufficient armor, is pretty much instant death. And that's if you're a starting PC with the typical 100 point build, or a veteran conqueror with 600 character points. Still dead. Of course, the 600 point conqueror is REALLY hard to hit...

True, but i think this is how it should be.

20 soldiers fire at you with longbows in Pathfinder and because you have 120 HP you will survive at least 10-20 normal hits with full combat readiness intact which is pretty unrealistic ;)
With 20 arrors stuck in your body, you would look like a pincushion.

This would be difficult to accomplish in GURPS with hitpoints.

BUT: Pathfinder is more a gamistic system, while GURPS strongly leans towards consistancy and realism. So these systems are hard to compare, because the approach is totally different.

Oh, I agree; that IS how it should be. But, everyone has to have the right mindset to enjoy it. Not only the lethality, but missing most of the time. The successful hits versus a challenging opponent are far fewer in GURPS than in most systems.

Regarding the pincushion: the abstract nature of hit points means that every "hit" is not necessarily a solid penetrating injury. Otherwise, every combat in the game above 5th level would look silly, and destroy verisimilitude. In your example, probably 15 hits are near misses as our hero throws himself to the ground, and rolls into a defensive crouch. The next two or three hits are more telling, and the last couple arrows might be sticking through him somewhere non-vital.

When I GM, I describe most hits as near misses, and the strain of not getting filleted. I describe crits as actual wounds, gauged against how many hit points the target has. And the last couple hits are the ones that lay open. I also use the bloodied condition from D&D 4E to describe the state of combatants. It isn't tied to any mechanics at present, but it let's you know when someone is at half hp or less, without a heal check.

Kelemvor187 wrote:
Can'tFindthePath wrote:

Armor is life....but not getting hit is even better.

I think this is true for most systems ;)

In most systems it is hard to absorb damage completely.
Not getting hit is often the best survival strategy.

True, but in GURPS, getting hit hard with penetrating damage in a vital area, with insufficient armor, is pretty much instant death. And that's if you're a starting PC with the typical 100 point build, or a veteran conqueror with 600 character points. Still dead. Of course, the 600 point conqueror is REALLY hard to hit...

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SoylentG wrote:
Can'tFindthePath wrote:
I think one symptom of a straight, as it comes, run-through is the seeming disconnectedness of the various layers of Karzoug's minions. Some of that is natural and right, but you have to go out of your way to show the players the rhyme and reason to much of it. Saving it for a big exposition at the end, or indeed after the end, is not very satisfying. We spent four YEARS playing that AP. Realizing the connections after the fact, and largely out...

I feel the same way, or even worse: I have a bad habit of only prepping the next "book" once the previous book is complete, so sometimes I don't even realize the connections as we're playing through.

One of the things I'd put in my hypothetical "DMs Guide to RotRL" is a Foreshadowing Guide. For each book it'd clearly indicate opportunities to foreshadow elements that will pay off in later books.

Other wishlist items;
- A guide to "What the PCs Should Know About Thassilon, and When They Should Know It."
- A brief update for each book about how Sandpoint has changed since the last chapter, and how the PCs reputations evolve and spread.
- An Org Chart for Karzoug's forces, detailing the roles and connections between the Lamias, the Giants, the Goblins, the Skinsaw Cult, and various human forces
- A Dramatis Personae section detailing all the NPCs, including individual motivations/goals
- Notes on the themes of each chapter: When the chapters were first published serially, there were great notes from each author about their inspirations and intentions. Knowing that the Kreeg Homestead is a Texas Chainsaw Massacre homage, or that all of Book 4 is an escalating series of races-against-the-clock is something that could be spelled out for GMs.
- Restored cut content. I'd love to see the Lamia's riverboat gambling den from book three, and the notes on dealing with the individual Runeforge factions through roleplaying rather than combat.

That sounds fantastic, and should be included in APs from the start. Or at least released as addendum expanded content online.

Kudos to you if you create such a guide. I wish I had such for CoCT. I am cobbling together what I can from these boards and the old Guide to Korvosa.

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

So what effect do you think a rule that says:

1) Every Odd Level you gain a Combat or Metamagic Feat
Every Even Level you gain a Non-Combat, Non-Metamagic Feat

With so many feats out there so many go unloved because they have to come from the same resource pool as the combat and metamagic feats. How much of a power boost is this?

2) What about a rule that says that once you qualify for the pre-requisites you immediately gain the the next feat in a tree? So if you pick Two-Weapon Fighting, as soon as your Dexterity and BaB is high enough you gain Improved Two-Weapon Fighting?

There are so many feats you guys, shouldn't it be easier to play with them?

Agreed. I have considered this for a long time. Honestly, I am not really worried about just straight allowing one feat per level of any type. However, your idea of splitting them up would go a good way toward ameliorating the munchkining. Good idea.

I have also considered simply leaving the base feats at every odd level alone, and adding skill/background/flavor feats at every even. Haven't done any critical work on this, so categorizing them would be the hard part. Not enough obvious choices, but it could be done.

Shorticus wrote:

The houserules I'm about to link have been made for use in an online (Roll20) campaign that I hope to start in the next month or two. The premise: the PCs are non-spellcasting characters (not even 4th level spellcasters) in a world where humanity is threatened by powers that DO have magic. Lycanthropes, demonic cults, undead armies, orcish incursions, dragons, the works - they're all here, along with evil spellcasters, and the players have to contend with these threats without spellcasters of their own, nor with scrolls or potions from the local Magic Mart.

Now, I know some people are going to immediately be annoyed by this. Let me clarify: the players in this campaign are ALL going to be people that were specifically interested in this style of campaign. It's meant to be hard, and it's meant to have permanent death, among other things. So, the people participating in this game are interested in its concept. I'm not thrusting this on unaware players.

With all that said: I want someone to double check my stuff. I'm bad a analyzing my own material fairly, and I want someone to tell me if any houserules or races I've created seem like bad decisions given the context.

Without further ado, here come the links:
Men-at-Arms - House Rules

Men-at-Arms - Characters (Incomplete)

Please post here with your thoughts, judgments, comments, and concerns. Critique my stuff! Yell at me! Give me attention!

Very nice. I am thinking of starting a P8 game myself, and this looks like a synergistic set of house rules for that.

Regarding crossbows: The touch AC works, but is powerful. Personally, I would probably have them ignore an amount of Armor bonus, or just half armor bonus. Just a thought.

What my group has done with crossbows, is lengthened the reload time for the heavier types, with reloading mechanisms (belt and hook, crows foot, cranequin) reducing this time. The Rapid Reload feat reduces it one step, so there is a minimum amount of reload time. In effect, light crossbows can fire no more than once per round, heavys are slower, and we introduced the Arbalest as an exotic weapon that does 2d6 damage. Most important is that each type has a base Str (light +0, heavy +2, and Arbalest +4, and they can be increased to +2, +4, and +6). However, crossbows are treated as two-handed weapons, so at maximum they can do +3, +6, and +9 damage. Inadequate strength increases reload time.

Put this all together, and you can model an Arbalest crew (with a Pavise [huge tower shield] for cover) using a cranequin to reload a powerful weapon over several rounds. On the PC side, you can have a heavy crossbow with a +6 damage bonus that fires once per round.

The last option I would add, especially if slow crossbows are embraced, is to allow Deadly Aim to benefit from the two-handed weapon rule and grant +3 damage per -1 attack.

In regard to your death and dying rules, double Con is workable. To add to urgency, you could increase the rate of dying to 1d4 per round. A half step would be negative Con + HD. So and 8th level fighter with a 16 Con would die at -24 hp.

xekratos wrote:
Thank you all for your input. My quest for making Armor as DR work has furthered thanks to all your criticism. I will continue trying to homebrew armor as Dr for pathfinder and hope that someday will make it work. People have suggested GURP's armor as DR system and I will be sure to check it out to see why it works and maybe can hash up some conjoined GURPs Pathfinder armor system.

GURPS in a good system, but it's strength lies in the fact that PCs don't get hit very often. GURPS has active defenses based on skills; every attack is an opposed roll. You "miss" a lot, but when you hit, oh boy. The various types of weapon figure into it, as well. Slashing, and piercing do multiples of what gets through armor.

Armor is life....but not getting hit is even better.

SoylentG wrote:
Can'tFindthePath wrote:

Holy crap dude. This sounds epic. Makes my group's run through the AP look really boring. In fact, it makes if feel really boring. Sigh.

I sometimes think of how I would run it, using many of the great ideas on these boards...but, I have played in the same group for 30 years now, and we just finished it....

Given that we only play twice a month gives me plenty of time to prep, but even then my best ideas are mostly borrowed from other users' contributions here on the boards. I've been playing various forms of D&D for 25 years, and I still see stuff here that makes me think "Wow, I'll never be as creative as this!"

Sometimes I fantasize about putting together a "DM's guide to RotRL" that combines "lessons learned" with cheat sheets and handouts, but I have a hard enough time working on the stuff my players will encounter next to go back back and clean up all the content they've already seen. Maybe when I finish the current campaign...

Indeed. I am supposed to run CoCT in the future, and I have found a gold mine of great alterations here on the boards. As we were still in the RoRL, I hadn't looked at much on that until recently. Our GM for that AP was very good at getting us through with a decent challenge, and that took all he was able to give. I am a little bummed though at the unexplored depths of possibility in that AP. He told us many times of the shortcomings, but I see here on the boards so many alternatives. I would love to thicken the background, and mire my players in the story.

I think one symptom of a straight, as it comes, run-through is the seeming disconnectedness of the various layers of Karzoug's minions. Some of that is natural and right, but you have to go out of your way to show the players the rhyme and reason to much of it. Saving it for a big exposition at the end, or indeed after the end, is not very satisfying. We spent four YEARS playing that AP. Realizing the connections after the fact, and largely out of character is no fun...

Claxon wrote:

Standard AC in Pathfinder is usually designed to stop iterative attacks, not the first attack a creature makes.

In my experience, the armor as DR rules are usually just bad. They either provide too much protection, or are worthless. At low levels it can almost complete negate damage, and at high levels the damage is so high that it's irrelevant that it blocks some, there's just too much. Couple with the fact that "defense" scores are significantly lower everyone becomes much easier to hit.

Overall the system is bad. While it's nice in theory is just doesn't actually play well with Pathfinder's other mechanics.

Yeah, the optional Pathfinder system for Armor as DR from Ultimate Combat doesn't work. You have to combine Armor DR with a "Defense" system, coupling AC to skill (level) instead or in conjunction with actual armor. Gear it to favor light fighters with little to no armor avoiding most attacks, and heavy infantry with heavy armor absorbing most attacks.

Allows true "swashbuckling" while giving a great reason to wear armor.

It touches on many things and bonuses, and is no mean feat; but pulling it off would be a master stroke.

Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
Except that Regenerate doesn't remove insanity or other such things that Heal does.

True enough! Knock yourself out. I still like the fast healing flavor.

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.

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.

SoylentG wrote:

My group only plays twice a month, for 3-4 hours a session (we're all adults with jobs and families), so we're just hitting Book 5 after 3 years of play. I've also got the challenge of having no Arcane casters in the party, and no characters particularly interested in Thassilonian history, so it's been a challenge getting the characters invested in the Karzoug's machinations.

What my characters/players are invested in is Sandpoint; The characters have been devoting a large chunk of their wealth to the "economic/political minigame" of becoming members of the Mercantile League - establishing the party as an official Adventurers' Guild, buying property, rebuilding the destroyed mills, and repairing the town following the Giant attack in book 4.

Given the span we've been playing, I occasionally run "side adventures" for lower-level characters to give the players a chance to try out other classes/builds. These characters are young recruits to the Sandpoint Adventurers' Guild, and deal with sidequests that don't seem to be connected to ongoing metaplot of Karzoug's return. These are the characters that explored Chopper's Isle and the Vault of Greed (both from Wayfinder #7).

I ran the Stone Giant attack on Sandpoint at the start of Book 4 as a 13th Warrior homage; The players had forewarning of the attack (as revealed at the end of Book 3), so they had an opportunity to prepare the town's defenses. I gave them access to the town gaurd, the Sandpoint Militia, as well as some noteable NPCs and all their PCs. I printed out Chinchbug's map of Sandpoint and overlaid a centimeter-scale grid, where each square equaled 30'. Given the scale of the map, the players knew they'd have to break their forces into groups and stage them at logical defensive points within the town in order to prevent the most mayhem. Then I played the whole raid out as one big combat, using a spreadsheet to keep track when (and where on the map) each event began.

When the dust settled, the players got to choose...

Holy crap dude. This sounds epic. Makes my group's run through the AP look really boring. In fact, it makes if feel really boring. Sigh.

I sometimes think of how I would run it, using many of the great ideas on these boards...but, I have played in the same group for 30 years now, and we just finished it....

PodTrooper wrote:


Biggest house rule I have, is to use the excellent changes proposed by Michael Iantoro to reduce the cumbersome feat taxes in Pathfinder.

Additional House Rules:

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.

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.

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.

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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. ;)

Ryan Freire wrote:
I'd scale with 1/2 character level of the user to represent better expertise by more experienced characters and keeping the base primary stat mod the same to represent the basic power level of the item.

While that does put the bonus on the experience of the character, it is important to remember that most items are based off of spells, and the mechanics of spells (and spell-like abilities) means DC= 10 + spell level + ability bonus. Of course one could change the formula to emulate Supernatural and Extraordinary abilities, DC= 10 + half level + ability mod.

I don't yet have an opinion on what the best solution is, although I support the idea. I just wanted to point out JohnHawkins suggestion is less "invasive".

As and aside, I have long considered abandoning the spell DC formula altogether. Changing to 10 + half caster (or character) level + ability mod, would go a long way toward renewing the usefulness of lower level spells, and especially magic items (you could increase the effective CL). I originally thought character level was better, it would allow a higher level character who multiclassed in a spellcasting class to be effective. However, I have come to think that such transitions need not be catered to. After all, in PF the only good reason for such a major shift in character class is likely of the munchkin-dip sort.

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?

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