Interesting ideas. Some are similar to what I have done in my own homerules collection, so maybe I can add something more to what you've already done:
Point 1: I'd do that for all classes: 2 extra skill points per level. 2 skill points is too low for anyone. That would be an alternative to the "background skills" optional rule from Pathfinder Unchained, though.
Point 2: I would rather rewrite most of the feats, since a huge part of them is incredibly underpowered, useless, or giving diminishing returns when going along the feat chain. For example, I have a single feat that gives the benefits of Vital Strike, but you get better benefits based on your BAB (one extra weapon die every 8 points of BAB, better than a standard attack, but worse than a full attack).
Point 3: This would be good as a feat chain of his own, such as a spinoff of the 3.5 Spellcaster Harrier chain, which already does something similar. And PF1 is compatible with most 3.5 feats by definition, so...
Point 4: I have removed DR from the game. A better solution. I only have damage resistance, which halves damage of a specific kind. It works for every class in the same way.
Point 5: See point 2.
Point 6: This is ok as a feat rewriting, but I think a fighter should not get hampered in its versatility on the battlefield, so I would rather have a feat that gives benefits when a fighter uses any weapon from any group he has Weapon Training for, than just a single group.
I also have introduced Weapon Proficiencies by groups instead than just simple, martial, and exotic, and reworked Weapon Training to work for all groups the fighter has proficiency in at the same time and at the same level of efficiency. Obviously, the fighter would start with more groups than anyone else, much like a rogue starts with more skill points or a barbarian with more hit points.
I really dislike the +level to everything for everyone, basically for the same reasons it doesn't like to many others that posted in this thread: it's a cheap method to give some feeling of "growth" or different strength, but ends up making every character equally good at everything and not that different from everything else of the same level.
I don't remember where, but I proposed a solution to that issue which allows for some really great difference in what a character can do well and what not, but also leaves the feeling of growth that the +level mechanic gives: tie how much "level" you add to the rolls to your level of proficiency, in a way similar to the progressions in PF1.
For example, a fighter could have a Master rank in swords and axes, but only a Trained rank in crossbows, while a wizard could be a Legend with ray spells and strike spells, but as low as Untrained in trap spells or illusion spells.
This way, you could have training and proficiency being really significative, but you would also need level to really be stronger.
Keeping Str (and Cos, and Dex, and HD, etc.) as a reflektor of size has some drawbacks, though: a larger creature would have really high attack and save bonuses, even higher base damage (due to the fact that a high Str score rises both the minimum and maximum damage), nearly impossible to beat CMD, and so on. Also, it would still be susceptible to sudden death through massed attacks by a team of smaller creatures, which is one of the issues that players have had in 20 years of d20 games with huge "solo" bosses, because it would have no damage mitigation coming from size.
Let's say that with this homerule I try to make things a bit more realistic: hitting creatures of different sizes is more difficult (either because they are smaller and more agile targets or because their size makes smaller weapons less effective), being hit by a larger creature still hurts (even if their attacks have a lesser chance to hit you), smaller creatures have to team-up to confront with a larger foe and to use appropriate weapons and strategies, etc.
In issue #2, I posted my list of modified bonus types. In that list, two of the most used (and abused) types are gone: inherent and size types.
Usually, sizes above or below Medium generate tons of modifiers, require tables of conversion, and a lot of other stuff. This, for example, hampers creating new monsters, changing form to a differently-sized one (look at the rules for the Polymorph subschool), having weapons for different sizes and spells with the same effect no matter what the size of the caster, and so on.
So, I came up with this variant rule:
- You get a -2 to attack roll for each size of difference between you and your target, both larger or smaller.
This set of rules requires work, because it's required to remove all the size modifers that are present in the game, the extra natural armor, the extra HD, the weapon conversion tables, and so on.
Normally, a NPC has a Challenge Rating of Level -2, but most creatures are weaker than that, much like a commoner NPC, so they should have a CR of Level -3.
Commoner or "average array" monster - CR+3 Hit Dice.
To this, you just add 1 HD per size below Medium or subtract 1 HD per size above Medium. Recalculate the creature's stats from that.
As always, if someone already posted rules similar to these, please feel free to add a link below. Comments and feedback would be appreciated.
In some campaigns, I adopted a little extra rule to even try a teleport: You must have a focus object (not a perishable one) you have taken with your own hands from the area you want to teleport to. It can't be a personal possession of someone else: it must be an object belonging to the place itself.
This destroys the "scry and fry" tactic, since it becomes impossible to teleport to areas you have never been at, even if you are looking at them that very instant.
Continuing on my giant list of things in PF1 I had changed for my games (and my satisfaction, obviously), here's are my take on how the various bonus types should be arranged and working in the game.
So I decided to make some housecleaning and put some order into that mess, which should be one of the basic assets in the game. First, I stated a couple general rules:
- Bonuses and penalties should always have a type, no exceptions allowed.
The main reason for those two rules is to avoid excessive stacking of untyped bonuses and, even more so, of penalties. I also wanted to remove the "penalties are almost always untyped" habit, which makes room for really excessive debuffing in the game, especially against poor, lonely megabosses confronting with cohordinated parties.
Then I devised a new, narrower list of types, which can be applied at (almost) any kind of roll or DC in the game:
Alchemical: This one is pretty unchanged. It comes from interaction with active substances, either magical or mundane in nature. All bonuses and penalties coming from poisons and drugs are os this type.
Arcane: This new type includes all bonuses and penalties coming from magical and supernatural effects that are not of another specific type. This means that magic buffs/debuffs would almost always have a type.
*Circumstance: This one stays as it was, being based on some situational conditions. It now includes some aspects of the size bonus type, which has been removed.
*Competence: Another mostly unchanged type, it comes from a change in the knowledge, training or general skill at performing a particular task. It plays a major role in other homerules of mine, such as shields and defensive weapons now providing competence bonuses to AC.
Corruption: A new type that in some ways takes the place of the old profane type, it implies some physical or qualitative change for unnatural reasons (such as being touched by chaos or subject to some pseudonatural creature's powers).
Divine: A new type that replaces holy type, it comes from receiving some effect from the direct intervention of divine or spiritual entities.
Enhancement: Relatively unchanged, it comes from changing the inherent qualities of creatures and objects.
Insight: Another unchanged type, it comes from changes in awareness or comprehension.
Kinetic: A new type coming from the interaction with some form of external forces that guide the actions of a character or contribute to hamper those of others. It incorporates the old deflection type.
Luck: Pretty much unchanged, it indicates a change in the probabilities of an event to take place.
Morale: Again an unchanged one, it comes from changes in the attitude or self-confidence of a character. All fear effects bring forth morale penalties.
Possession: A new type for when a character is under the direct influence of an entity that operates on its body and mind.
Racial: Basically unchanged, it comes from the very being of the character. It now includes some aspects of the old size type, and replaces the natural armor type.
*Reaction: A new type that replaces the dodge bonus to AC, it comes from modifications in the speed, agility, or coordination of the character.
Tenacity: A new type representing variations in the resolution, ferocity, and resistance of a character. It incorporates the old armor bonus to AC and resistance bonus to saving throws.
*Untyped: This one is only changed in its nature, which is to give a type to bonuses and penalties that can't be limited to another single type. Basically, if something can be related to two or more types or none at all, it belongs to this type.
There's also the Mythic type, for those who use those rules (I do not).
To determine the final modifier of a specific type to a roll or DC, take the best bonus and the worst penalty and add them together.
If someone has already published rules similar or related to this one, please feel free to post a link to their work below. Comments and feedback would be appreciated.
I'm suggesting some modification I did in my PF1 games:
Cos could be used to recover from affliction in general, mostly poisons, diseases, and drugs effects, leaving out only curses, which tend to have specific methods of recovery.
Int could determine the max level of proficiency you can reach, or maybe the proficiency system could be expanded so that it's not class, but player choice to determine what proficiencies you get and how you advance them, just as for skills, with narrower fields than just "martial weapons" or "Occult Caster".
Cha could get Will saves from Wis, since it's better suited to represent willpower, since it represent self-esteem and power of personality, while Wis it's more about senses, empathy and intuition. Cha is the perception of self, Wis is the perception of the world.
As I wrote yesterday, I'm going to publish some modified material about initiative feats (since I moved it to Wis, I went on revising them), in particular the main and most seeked out one: Improved Initiative.
That feat has a weird characteristic: it's one of the worst feats in the game, yet it's also the one feat that most builds recommend, especially for casters or resolutive-attacks-based builds, such as sneak attackers or chargers.
Why is it so bad? Because it only works one fifth of the times for a single roll per encounter (basically, it's ininfluent if you fail initiative by more than 4 points or if you win it in any case, that's 16 values out of 20 you can roll), and its effect can be negated the first time a foe can ready an action against you. Also, since it has no requirements, it can be taken by virtually anyone without any particular investment to do.
So, how do we make this feat really worth of wasting a feat slot on it?
Improved Initiative (Combat)
Your quick reflexes allow you to react rapidly to danger
Prerequisites: Dex 13, Wis 13, Alertness.
Benefit: When rolling for initiative, roll your d20 twice and keep the best roll.
This will definetely make the feat better (it works 19 times out of 20), but also harder to come by (it requires some specific character building). The prerequisites are all tied to how an initiative roll based on Wisdom and Perception of your foes would work, with the addition of some quicker that average reflexes.
The only feat of the Improved Initiative tree that would really require some adjustment would be its Mythic version, but since I never used that particular set of rules, I can't really work out an appropriate change for it. If someone has a good idea, please feel free to post it in this thread.
Since when Pathfinder Unchained was published, I intended to publish my own series of homerules, variant rules, and optional rules, but events in my life had me delayed a couple years. Now I have the means to start this long work, so here I am.
All my homerules are intended to work with each other as a whole, but many can also work with normal rules, if a GM doesn't want to allow some changes. Basically I revised the Pathfinder ruleset to achieve some very specific objectives:
- Remove inconsistencies (things that contrast with the basic assumptions in the game, that contradict other rules, or that simply make no sense).
- Make useless things useful (for example, combat maneuvers, many feats, some forms of combat, some kinds of equipment, etc.)
- Balance disequilibrium whenever I found it (starting with spellcasting, but not just that).
I paid a special attention to feats and how to balance them. My premise is that feats should be about as powerful as class features that require the same number of levels in a class to be taken, since they are limited in number during a character career and often require to satisfy harsh prerequisites.
The first variant rule I want to present concerns some balancing among ability scores, since is evident that some of them are really a lot more useful in general than others. Removing something from the list of things an ability influences to add to some other "poorer" ability was the obvious solution. Here is the result.
STRENGTH - Standard melee combat, (Strength-based maneuvers), (Protection), load limit.
DEXTERITY - Precision melee combat, ranged combat, (Dexterity-based maneuvers), Reflexes ST.
CONSTITUTION - Hit Points, Fortitude ST, (heal checks, affliction resist checks).
INTELLIGENCE - Skill Points, spellcasting.
WISDOM - Initiative, spellcasting, (weapon max range increments).
CHARISMA - Will ST, spellcasting, (magical resonance checks, resurrection checks).
I moved Initiative to Wis just as they did in the playtest for PF2 much for the same reasons: Wis governs senses and intuition, so it's simply perfect for that.
There's not much to comment yet, but if someone already had similar ideas, please feel free to add a link to his or her post(s). My time for today is over, but next time in this thread I will post some modified feats for Initiative.
What I mean is that if you choose to limit the range of possible scores for a game, there is no need to center the game on the top gamma values.
Your entire math should be based on the average, center score, with heroes going up or down from that in each ability score.
The base of PF2 is 10, but from that, at character creation, you can only go up. The only part of the creation process that takes away something may be race, which can give you a flaw, unless you choose to flaw yourself to gain an extra boost somewere else.
Going always up in scores makes sense only in games with unlimited advancement like D&D 3.5 or PF1, not in game with a limited range of possible values.
And this reasoning has made me think that probably using the standard checks from PF1 with this new ability system may not have been the smartest of ideas, but I was not thinking about removing ability scores from checks. I was thinking the exact opposite: removing level and ability modifiers, while at the same time completely changing what "proficiency" means.
A check should be an ability check: a flat d20 roll with which you try to roll your ability score or less, much like the old proficiency checks from AD&D. Proficiency could function as follows (just an example):
Untrained: roll twice, keep the worse result.
When you roll more dice, you fail only if all your roll fail.
Rolling high is good, rolling low is not that good, rolling 1 is a minor success, rolling exactly your score is a greater success, rolling above your score is a failure, and rolling a 20 is a major failure (unless you have a 20 ability score, in which case is a major failure only if you roll two 20 among all the failures).
Level in this case serves only the purpose to give the character access to better proficiencies, feats, talents and powers. But level itself could be a score, much like it was in PF1 in some cases, since it too can go from 1 to 20, like ability scores.
It's on the same way of what I had in mind the first time I read the miserable modifiers of the current proficiency system, but I went a bit more extreme in my theorycrafting:
Untrained: 1/2x level + 1/2x ability score (max +12)
As an alternative, without changing the maximum values, the last two ranks could be like this:
Master: level +5 + 3/2x ability score
All this is based on the BAB progressions in PF1 and so it is somewhat a way to recover some of the past. Fixed DCs in the game should be set upon the Trained or the Expert score, so to have a standpoint to decide what is easy and what is hard.
I don't agree with this, for I know the reason why "heroic" scores skyrocketed since 3.0: Before that, when the top game was AD&D 2nd Edition, characters started to get bonuses not around 12, but around 15, if not more, and each +1 really counted, since the center of the mechanic was to have the lowest possible target number for the flat d20 roll, not reaching a DC with a complex check and tons of modifiers.
Since the d20 System was based on averages, due to the fact that it switched to an "open end" mechanic, having high starting scores was not mandatory or even necessary, but the players, many of which came from AD&D, still maintained the feel that "really high" was good and "heroic", having forgotten the times when a hero wizard may only be able to cast up to 5th level spells or a fighter could be built with a 9 Str score.
PF2 is going back to a very limited range of scores for abilities (20 points, even less than the 25 of AD&D), so it should also go back to more "average" heroes, to have those scores really matter.
And flaws make you special too. I still remember with a smile the character one of my players was able to play in an AD&D 2e campaign: the cavalier Brian Stormrider. This chap had maxed-out physical scores, all rolled, an almost impossible thing to achieve in that system, and that's the heroic part. He also had 8 Int, 6 Wis and a below-average Cha, scores that the player wanted to keep and that he made really count in the life of his character, giving us some memorable hilarious moments.
Dire Ursus, please remember that PF1 was not created as a separate system. It was just a renewal of the D&D 3.5 open gaming content from the d20 System, intended initially to be used with the advanced D&D 3.5 material that many players not that enthusiastic about 4e were still using.
This means that you should at least create PF1 builds with ALL the 3.5 material that at the time could be used without any change or adaptation, since that material was already available even during the first Core playtest.
Only after the resounding worldwide success of PF1 Core Rulebook and Bestiary Paizo did start to develop new, unique material, pushing the game slowly away from its intended ancestral twin.
In my (massive) pile of homerules, I devised a new, standardized list of 10 generic damage types. Following that, I had the (probably) insane idea to rewrite all the standard dragons so that each one is resistant to physical damage and immune to one of the other nine types, while at the same time being tied to a specific kind of environment or theme (not color, metal or alignment). I called them "environmental dragons" and they are nine in total:
Fire dragon - A volcano-loving version of the red dragon with more fire related powers, such as people igniting after being hit by its physical attacks, breath weapon, or aura of heat. Obviously it's immune to flame (and not vulnerable to frost).
Winter dragon - A rethinking of white and silver dragons, not as stupid as the first and more ice/snow oriented as the second. He can chill and slow those it hits with its physical attacks, breath weapon, or aura of frost. Immune to frost (but not vulnerable to flame).
Storm Dragon - A conbination of blue and bronze dragons, but with powers tied to lightning and wind, such as a "wind shield" protectimg it and "static discharges" hitting nearby foes. Immune to lightning.
Sylvan dragon - A tweaked up green dragon, turned into a poisonous beast with a powerful, corrosive breath weapon and poisonous bite, claws and defensive spines (hitting who hits it). Immune to alchemical.
Swamp dragon - A renewed black dragon based on decay. It causes deseases with physical attacks and defensive spines. It's immune to void damage, which is also the type of damage of its breath weapon.
Sand dragon - Another combined dragon between what was left of blue and some old oddities from 2nd edition AD&D such as the yellow and brown dragons, all three living in deserts. Its based on a "mirage" theme, with a host of defensive and offensive illusions. It's immune to force, with a force-based breath weapon.
Song dragon - Based on another oddity from the past, it has bardic abilities and sound based powers. It's immune to thunder, with a powerful stunning, thunder-based breath weapon.
Sun dragon - Combination of gold and the old mercury dragon, it can reflect rays and lines effects and dazzle his enemies with sunlight and its reflecting scales. It breaths light and is immune to it.
Blood dragon - A rethinking of one of my favorite dragons, the fang dragon from Forgotten Realms, it's a level draining monster that inflicts bleeding with its physical attacks and defensive spines. It's immune to spiritual damage.
Maybe you can take some ideas for your dragons from those.
A personal note about how ability scores and modifiers are used in this version of the game, inspired by what I read in the other posts in this thread.
There is an evident intention to follow the choices that were made in D&D 5th edition, but there are heavy flaws in the way those choices were implemented in the final Wizard of the Coast's product.
The first flaw is having really high starting ability scores in a game with only 3-4 modifiers for all rolls and DCs, so basically every character starts already well above average in many aspects of the game.
The other main flaw is the really high number of boosts from leveling up, even without magical objects or magic to add even more, which allows for multiple maxed-out scores pretty soon in a character's career. This basically trashes the usefulness of having average or low scores in the game, since there is virtually no chance to ever see them used, unless the character is heavily cursed, ability damaged/drained, or so.
If you add that proficiency bonuses are mostly lower than those provided by high scores and their acquisition is predefined, boosting important ability scores is mandatory for any player, since it's the only thing they have real control over, both while they create the character and when they assign level-based boosts. The advantage/disadvantage mechanic worked in this direction too.
If Paizo really wants to follow the same path (something I personally tend to discourage, since there are many more different and better ways to solve the problems of P1), then they should limit the boosts at character creation (or make the starting scores lower) and remove them entirely or almost entirely from character progression. Also, score boosting from magic should be rare, extremely powerful, and possibly really, really dangerous for the character.
Actually, both the "new ideas" about how to assign critical hits/misses are heavily flawed. Besides, they are not new at all, since they were both used in the revised 2nd edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.
Having an automatic critical hit on 20 and critical miss on 1 brings up a really awkward situation: an highly skilled character would make less critical hits per successful attacks than a poorly skilled one, with the extreme chance that the poorly trained one could even reach a 100% critical to hit ratio. That would mean that every successful attack of the poorly trained guy would be a critical hit, while could happen that only 1 out of 19 successful attacks on average would be a critical hit for the highly trained guy.
The margin of success has the correct maths: the highly trained should score more critical hits and less critical misses than the poorly trained guy. But the real issue with this system is that if the foes are balanced, there could be no chance for critical hits or misses, especially with a margin of success as large as 10.
Those issues were solved in the passage from AD&D 2nd Edition to D&D 3.0. The extremely simple solution was the confirmation roll, whose only fault was in the naming: it should have been called something like "critical roll", as a followup of a particularly successful "to-hit roll", to create less expectations and frustrations.
KujakuDM said wrote:
I would have preferred an update to the core 3rd edition system than a whole new one. To be completely honest.
Me too. I actually did a lot of updating myself, so my current P1 system is basically itself a new edition, but it doesn't look like a hybrid with 5th edition D&D.
A new edition should bring updates, betterments and corrections to the old material, not an entirely new set of material, otherwise it's like publishing the first edition of something else. And that was exactly the reason why Pathfinder RPG was so successful when it came out: it was the old, beloved game with lots of updates, betterments and corrections, not a new game.
That's why I'm having mixed opinions about what I read in the playtest material. Much of it seems like wasted effort to me.
I think that this issue is caused by two thinghs: too many increments, both at character creation and as you level it up, and a not perfect balance in what ability scores do for all characters, and not just for the abilities of the specific class of a character.
It's far too easy to boost many stats to 18 or more, even with the cap at character creation (which in my opinion doesn't make any sense, but I hate caps anyway) especially if you roll dice, since, for some unfathomable reason, they left the old "4d6, drop lowest" method, which has an average around 13, even if the starting average for all characters is 10. Turning back to a more balanced "roll 3d6" or switching to an even better "roll 2d6+3" would have been better.
Balancing ability scores is more difficult, since you have Str and Dex which have many different uses (attack rolls, bulk points, damage rolls, AC, ranged/finess attacks, Reflex ST, etc.) and really poor scores such as Cha, which is used only for some skills and resonance.
Odd scores are the easiest thing to fix: since they are basically useless now and even scores only serve to give you your ability modifier, then why have ability scores at all? Just generate the modifiers as scores, which also would reduce bookkeeping by removing one thing to put on the sheet and several calculations to do.
In my P1 games, I used the 3.5 standard for actions such as swapping weapons from one hand to the other, losing grip with one hand from a 2-handed weapon and then regripping it, etc.
Basically, they were all compared to drawing a weapon, with losing grip being a free action. It made sense, since you were passing from "carrying a 2-handed weapon with one hand" to "wielding a 2-handed weapon in combat", while losing grip was basically like dropping the weapon.
I think that that old solution is still the best, even with the new 3-actions + reaction system.
Fair enough, each one has his or her own ideas. We are just here to propose and discuss them.
But one point about picks: they were not that heavy at all. They were just as heavy as axes and hammers. Same weight, different shapes, wielded much the same way and with center of mass in practically the same spot. And they were all really short (a bit longer the cavalry types), with really small heads and thin blades (wood-chopping axes are far more heavy and have much thicker and bigger blades), as opposed to what is shown in media and games. There was no need for superbig heads or giant blades to carve through a human skull or smash in a face.
Also, the transition between axe and pick is fairly smooth: there are axes with wide blades, axes with narrow blades, and picks with basically no blades and just a piercing point. The only difference is merely how much edge the blade has.
This time I have to quote to answer clearly, since there are too many points I have to address.
Mad, I don't mean to be condescending, but have you kept up with the game?
Yep, I have. And nothing really changed in the way feats and magic are used in it, unless you use some optional rule or variant.
The point here is "unless you are ALREADY in the middle of a fight", which is a fairly common situation in my experience, far more common than the situation in which the caster has exactly the spell he needs or knows exactly what he's going to need and has plenty of time to prepare himself and the rest of the group.
Yep, but once you've picked, you're versatile NO MORE. That's what I deem important in a spellcaster. I don't care what you are going to pick tomorrow, because you have to make it alive to tomorrow.It's only what you can do today that really matters, and you can do only what your prepared spells allow you to do.
Also, you cannot prepare what you do not know.
Not "if I want them to", but "if the situation at hand in game means they are handy". It happens pretty often in my games that half the spells a spellcaster prepares (or knows, for spontaneus casters) aren't useful at all in a specific situation. I never had to enforce situations to make them "not handy": players are not prescient beings and they tend to stick to their preferred spells when they do not know what to expect, which often leads to many cases of worthless spells in their repertoir.Also, even useful spells fails, more often than a caster would like. And being fast to cast doesn't avoid AoO or to have to cast defensively.
Regarding the use of barkskin, it's useless whenever a foe uses touch attacks or against most spells and supernatural abilities or against area effects which require ST (such as many traps). In those cases, it's just a wasted slot (or magic item charge).
The fighter, even without ranks, can use ropes and tools for climbing, and also climb with his armor on, thanks to armor trainings. But there is no real reason why he should not have ranks in climb, in which case, he's far better than a druid with that spell (frankly, there are much better options for a druid to climb up something, unless he's really low level).Also, how many druids would prepare that spell if not completely sure they will have to climb up something that day?
I presume you intended "Tree Stride", cause I could not find any "Tree Walk" spell in the core books.
Speaking of bad examples of spell use...
I've learned on my skin to check the numbers before stating that a spell is good or bad. Most of the times it's not as good as players think and not as bad as I think. Most of the times that spell is just good for a few specific tasks, less than useful for some other tasks, and utterly useless in any other situation.
Again, I notice that you guys cannot see the inherent disadvantages of some presumed perfect class abilities, especially spells.
Spells, for example, have a lot of hindrances: You have to know them, you have to prepare them, you have to successfully cast them, they have to succeed (hit, avoid SR, ST has to fail, no hard counters in place), they have to last enough, etc.
And no, if you have few slots, you do not have access to all your spells. You have only access to the few you can place into those equally few slots, and that's it. It doesn't matter what you can put into those slots tomorrow if today you die because you have made the wrong choices when preparing spells at the required time.
And if you are a wizard, you have other kinds of problems, such as carrying around all the books you need to have access to your full repertoire, all the scrolls, wands, trinkets with your extra spells, all the components you need (especially the costly ones), while probably using Str as a dump stat, which means you'll probably won't be able to carry much.
No matter how many spells you can put together between slots and cheap magical objects: every choice you make will negate other choices, so you will be only ready for some dangers and not for the rest.
Besides, it's fairly IMPOSSIBLE to create magic items "while on the road" for it requires a suitable place, all the raw resources ready (not just money, you have to have bought or found what you need beforehand), and a minimum of EIGHT HOURS per day of undisturbed work.
Back to the Avenger/Fighter comparison (thanks for the link, I tend not to use that particular database for consulting and I did not know the book was out).
So, the point of the charging Avenger (12th level for the requirements) is that he has to get at least Mad Rush to pounce an enemy, with a +2 to hit and taking a -6 to AC until his next turn. This is really practical only against single, unaware enemies, since the risk of a really painful retaliation is very high otherwise. This maneuver is circumstancial (not just for the avenger) since you have to move to use it and you cannot repeat it at will against the same foe.
Taking Close the Gap reduces the penalty for Mad Charge to -4, but only if the enemy was really close (again, circumstancial).
Shield of Blades does not negates the AC penalty. It adds a shield bonus equal to the Power Attack penalty (-4 at 12th level), so it is not that good if the avenger also has...
Shield of Fury, which gives Two-Weapon Fighting (yes, they changed the Dex requirements since the playtest), but only if one of the weapons is a shield (and if you have a shield, you already have a shield bonus, which means you get a diminished return from Shield of Blades).
Finally, Cunning Feint allows you to deny the Dex bonus of the foe against your pounce, but he has to have such bonus otherwise you just wasted your best primary attack for nothing (if you can feint at all or succeed, which is not granted).
All these talents would give a charge attack for at least three attacks at -/+3/-2 with the primary weapon and +8 with the shield (plus Str modifier), each one dealing +8 damage, if primary, or +4 damage, if secondary and with an AC penalty of -1 or -2 (same as the shield bonus from his shield, which is substituted by the one from the talent) until his next turn. He could get better chances to hit if the enemy has a high Dex bonus and the feint succeeds.
Forgive me if I do not believe that this "build" can really be that deadly as you try to explain. It's either "spend half your resources to make a special attack which probably wouldn't hit a barn for a significant amount of damage" or "make a charge attack that can deal a bit more damage but leaves you open to heavy retaliation" and everything in between. There's no way a Vigilante can fell a foe with such a tactic, if not by critting all the attacks and having used up almost all his feats to patch up as many holes he could.
Yes, a Fighter is less endowed in skills and "social" class abilities, but I really can't see how a Vigilante, no matter what his talents, could compete with the Fighter as a combatant. Everything the vigilante has is either very limited in scope or very limited in use, very circumstancial, as I keep saying.
And that's exactly why weapon groups proficiency is a better system: instead of learning ONE weapon, you learn a whole bunch of similar weapons, be it for basic proficiency or for advanced mastery.
As per the technical part, many weapons are more similar than you may think. For example, all picks are are in facts axes, just with extremely thin blades, while hammers are hybrids between axes and maces, but used with the same techniques as axes (you have to maintain alignment of the weapon to hit efficiently, unlike with maces). Also, swordmanship differentiates basically between swords (mainly chopping or thrusting motions) and sabres (almost exclusively slicing motions).
Style is something better left for additional feats, instead. You can learn to use a weapon efficiently because it's similar to other weapons you already know, but learning some advanced martial art which uses that weapon in specific ways is a different thing.
I will not quote every single passage, since it would become rapidly a mess, but I'll try to reply as clearly as I can.
Vigilante talents are circumstancial, and that's a fact. Everyone has either limited scope or has some narrow field of usefullness.
Ranger spells... Yeah... How many does he have in a day? On how many targets can he use them? At what level? Can he really cast them while engaging an enemy?
Regarding the fighter, EVERYONE has a hp pool which is depleted in combat. Only a few classes can replenish that, mostly casters, while everyone else is just in the same situation as the fighter, only with less armor or less nimbleness while in armor.
P.S. One way to nullify the charging/feinting avenger (but maybe also something else): ready an action so if he engages you, you disarm/sunder his primary weapon. If you succeed, he'll get only secondary attacks and he'll keep his full -6 AC, since he could not forego his first primary attack beacuse he'll have none. Also, you can add a 5-foot step to the readied action, if you have not moved in the turn you readied it (it's not an action), so maybe you can even get away from the charge line.
I don't know if this whole "animation" idea is feasible in Pathfinder or any d20 System game.
The game has a preset degree of abstraction during combat, which is that every character involved is actively moving, attacking, parrying, dodging etc. all the time during a round and in all possible directions, so that's impossible to tell where a character is facing in a given moment of the round (basically, you can't say the troll will attack on his left, because you cant say where his left is in the first place).
Every character which is not flat-footed or somewhat incapacitated automatically sees and tries to dodge or deflect all incoming attacks, even if you do not tell them that they are about to occur.
Also, AoOs represent one kind of reaction to unexpected or unpredictable situations in combat, others being immediate actions and readied actions.
All that matters at mechanical level is to define how an attack or special attack happens, and this usually take one of three forms:
- An attack roll vs. AC
Every defense, AC, CMD and saving throws bonuses, already incorporate the dodge attempt on part of the defender, so how and when the attack occurs and whether the defender foresees and actively avoids it or not is left to description and roleplay of the results of the actual die roll.
What you can do, is design some special attack to give to your boss with the right kind of mechanic to represent what you have in mind, trying not to be redundant.
To enforce the kind of complex mechanic you described, you'll have to change the whole combat system from the very base, the abstraction level, reworking everything up from that point. So, is it worth to do such a massive rework to achieve what you want?
Be aware, though, that automatically confirmed crits favor A LOT the weaker combatants, since they hit with higher rolls and that means they crit more often when they hit.
Those were the basic crit rules in 2nd edition and they were changd in 3.0, with the introduction of confirmation rolls, to avoid those weird situations in which a good combatant crits less often per hit than a poor combatant. Going back could not be that good an idea.
Maybe not calling "crit" a 20 could help: it's just an automatic hit (which is already a big deal), and only after the confirmation it becomes a critical hit.
The troubles will not come from the reduced max level, but from what spells would still be available.
It's not the amount and power of a caster's spells which creates problems in game, but what those spells are capable of doing.
The best way to limit full casters is to tone down, revise or remove each single spell on their spell list, one by one, to adapt them to the intended power level you want in your campaigns. It's a bit time consuming process, though.
In both cases, I strongly recommend to change the way DCs for spells are calculated. Instead of basing them on spell level, use half the caster level.
I wrote it too, but the feat does a special charge that literally throws the rider off his saddle alongside dealing normal damage to him. Basically, it adds a bull rush maneuver to a mounted charge against a mounted enemy, so it's a very circumstantial and specific case (it's kinda like a joust).
As you can see, it's more complicated than just "I trip him".
Why not making more exotic effects than the usual "get hit, lose that" or "get hit, ignore that" of the standard materials?
Maybe the azure bronze is poisonous for creature with spell resistance and when they are hit, they get an affliction which reduces progressively their SR.
It should be an injury poison with no onset time. It should cause the loss of 1d4 or 1d6 points of SR per tick (your choice). Heal with two consecutive saves. DC 10 + 1/2 BAB of the attacker + Str (for melee weapons) or Dex (for ranged weapons) modifier. Duration of the affliction based on the base die of the weapon (the DM rolls that die on the first hit and each subsequent hit acts as an additional dose of poison adding to that roll).
Since it's a material with at least partial extraplanar origin, azure bronze should be pretty high in price. It's not something you can find at the market or mine from an underground vein.
Bull rush implies you are pushing away an enemy, not make him fall. It's a different kind of maneuver, such as that in the Unseat combat feat cited above.
You maybe try it too, but for very different reasons, such as not only unseating the enemy, but throwing him somewhere away from his mount.
It all depends on what you're trying to achieve in game, but such maneuvers are more complicated to achieve against a mounted enemy than the trip maneuver.
Unseating a mounted combatant is definetely a simple trip maneuver: you grab the guy and throw him down. Nothing special here, many game situations are just unusual ways to do the normal maneuvers.
The description of some weapons, though, hints at some check to be done when hit while mounted, even if in the rules there is no sign of such checks. But weapons in Pathfinder have really weird and unfitting properties and stats, so maybe that's not that unusual.
Historically, the weapons that were intended to dismount riders were almost all polearms: halberds, billhooks/guisarmes, lucerne hammers, the korseke, war forks and a few others. Glaives were not among those: their spike was intended to puncture plate armor or to catch other polearms.
I see not many reasons to rise to 4+Int the number of skill points for the fighter, at least in Pathfinder.
The numbers are arranged much like the hit dice, that is "poor amount" (2+Int), "average amount" (4+Int), "high amount" (6+Int), and "exceptional amount" (8+Int). Why they choose 2 as a base I don't Know, since pre-d20 system editions had more, but here we are.
There are a bunch of ways to rise the total, though, even for a fighter.
The most obvious one is to roll a good Int score or at least not to treat Int as a dump stat.
The second most obvious one is to adopt a race with bonus skill points or bonus to many skills.
A less obvious one is to take bonus skill points as favored class bonus.
The newest one is to use the background skills variant from Pathfinder Unchained, which basically gives 2 extra points to every class for non-adventuring skills.
A more drastic one is to get an archetype that trades more skill points for some other class option.
The extreme one is multiclassing to a class with a good amount of class skills and skill points and/or bonuses to some skills, but in Pathfinder that means renouncing to part of the favored class bonuses.
If after all this you still feel that 2+Int points for low-skills classes are too few, you should rise all skill points total by 2, to preserve the balance (so having 4, 6, 8 and 10).
You seem to miss all the hindrances of the avenger talents, which make them no more valuable than rogue talents or barbarian's rage powers.
For example, the "pounce option" you cited is just a very dangerous form of charge which leaves the avenger with a -6 to AC until his next turn. This leaves him very open to heavy retaliation, if his foe survives or if there are multiple foes.
Regarding the home community, the vigilante has only a couple CITIES in which to use many of his class abilities, and that's a fact. He can attune himself to a new city, but only by renouncing to one of the older ones and only if he spend a week doing so, which means that his overall efficiency doesn't change that much and he's unable to adapt rapidly.
Same with the ranger: outside his favored terrains and with no one to hunt for he's pretty average and can rely only on spells and skills to have an edge on his foes.
A fighter is a very good combatant in every place, against every foe, with no real limitation apart his selection of feats and weapon trainings.
What you can argue upon, maybe, is that there are some rather inefficient feat trees or underperforming weapons in the game, which ultimately can hinder some builds of the fighter, but that doesn't mean that the fighter class as a whole is underpowered or useless.
Other classes have bonuses with all the weapons they can use, sure, but at the moment they can use only some kind of weapons (monks, druids) or get their bonuses only in some circumstances (barbarians, paladins, rangers, etc.)
Also, it's easy to make weapon groups and weapons used to coincide: just limit the use of class bonuses to weapons you are proficient with (and maybe in some cases also to those you are familiar with). For example, a rogue can sneak attack only with weapons from the groups he learned to use, but there could be a talent allowing him to use also weapons he's only familiar with (and another to extend that to improvised and unknown weapons too).
I would really not have characters waste their few and precious skill points in single weapon proficiencies. Skills are far more useful for those. But I also don't want to waste a feat just to get a single weapon proficiency, as in the current rules. Weapon groups solve this problem too: instead of just one, you learn a whole bunch of similar weapons.
Besides, groups are not that dumb: similar weapons are used in similar ways, so what's really dumb is forcing a character to learn each weapon separately, even if they are basically the same thing (for example, long spear, spetum, partisan, and korseke or axes, hammers, and picks).
And introducing weapon groups is but one of the changes I'm thinking of: I'm also reworking two-weapons combat, critical threat and multiplier, armors, shields and reach, introducing weapon encumbrance, etc. This also means changing a whole lot of feats, especially those underperforming relics from 3.5 or those too heavy on prerequisite for the benefit they give (weapon specialization and combat maneuver feats in primis), and rewriting most of the weapons in the game (easier than it seems).
You also have Magus (combat magic), Elementalist (a variant specialist wizard with different focus) or Kineticist (both for elemental magic), alchemist (material magic), Bard (magic songs), Healer (3.5 Miniature's Handbook, but in need of heavy rebuild), Oracle (divination, if you rework his spell list) and Witch (curses and afflictions, also needs a reworked spell list).
I would not use the dread necromancer as a base, since he's more of a villain or a doomed anti-hero, bound to be corrupted and lost. Surely, there should be some kind of necromantic figure among the casters.
The only one of the list I agree upon is the heavy crossbow. The others are bound to suck, because when compared to weapons intended for war are just inadequate (the starknife is just an absurdity).
It's the same thing as with the vigilante: he's a circumstance-bound combatant.
I'm thinking a similar overhaul of the system, not by changing the fighter class too much (just the capstones, which I really don't like), but rather by changing some combat rules, the whole weapon list's properties, and a whole lot of feats (especially combat ones).
For example, I can't just understand why the fighter has weapon groups, but weapon proficiencies and fighter specific feats are not based on those weapon groups (like the whole specialization tree, which focuses on just ONE SINGLE WEAPON and gives really lame bonuses).
Weapon Familiarity: every humanoid is familiar with some basic groups of weapons (maces, close, knives), which means that they get only a -2 penalty when using them without proficiency. Good BAB classes are familiar with all weapon groups (this includes Unchained monks).
All feats that apply their benefits to one specific weapon do so with all the weapons in a specific group.
Fighter-specific, weapon-based feats should have as prerequisite a certain level of the Weapon Training class feature instead of just some other feat or a class level, which far too many other classes can duplicate. These kind of feats would basically do what the opener is trying to do with his homerule, just with normal combat feats instead of a new point-based mechanic, and for a whole group of weapons at once (allowing some flexibility).
Obviously, such a reworking would utterly eliminate the need for garbage such as the Weapon Focus/Weapon Specialization tree.
The vigilante (avenger) is by no means a "replacement" for the fighter. He has his own niche, which is being the "Batman" of the community in which he resides. Outside his community, he's just an average combatant with a bunch of useless social class abilities.
The biggest problem I see with the fighter is players who want to have their cake and to eat it too.
A lesser problem is that there are many feats, especially those coming from 3.5 which were not properly updated, that are poorly written and/or obsolete, while some combat rules, especially those tied to the weapon types and their functioning, are somewhat inadequate or inconsistent.
First impressions out of the box...
I do like the approach taken by the first class, the kineticist, that is to not use spells or spell slots but instead draw heavily on spell-like abilities and supernatural powers, much like the old 3.5 warlock (but with better concept and mechanics)...
I do not like the other five being just other vancian spellcasters with some perks and tweaks... It seems to me that they could just be variant classes for other older classes (psychic = sorcerer, spiritualist = summoner etc.) or class archetypes...
Thought and Emotion components are really a nice addition... They should be used even by the slotless class(es), since they add really a lot of flavour...
Vult Wrathblades wrote:
I use this method since Pathfinder was published.It makes a lot more sense, since if you are trying a maneuver, you are a clear menace and you are on the offensive, so you are not really leaving an opening for the enemy to strike back at you... unless you fail and find yourself out of position.
I'm also thinking about reducing the number of feats to master maneuvers. I will surely fuse together the "improved" versions to some degree (for example "Forceful Maneuvers" to comprehend the benefits from Improved Bull Rush, Improved Overrun, Improved Sunder and Improved Drag).
The "Greater" feats would stay as they are, just with updated prerequisites, since they represent the true maneuver specialization.
The later printing of the Bestiary does not exclude a possible misprinting or faulty revision, especially since it contradicts a general rule in the core with another one which functions in a very different way.
And that different functioning is what I define a "discrepancy", one so evident, even looking back at how the corresponding parts os 3.5 ruleset where written, that it can't be anything else but a gross refuse.
Since almost all source of negative levels are from some monsters, there should be no need for two different general rules: they could have just made specific rules for those very few spells or abilities that are not from monsters.
Yep... The problem is that we have two general rules, and not a general one and a specific one...
The description of an ability in a specific monster entry may be a specific rule, while the universal monster rules and the special abilities list are the sources for general rules about special abilities... The problem is that, in this case, we have two contradictory general rules where the entries should be the same both in the Core and the Bestiary, as they were in 3.5's Dungeon Master's Guide and Monster Manual...
If it was just a case of a specific rule beating a general one, I would not have posted a request for an official clarification or correction at all...
In the meantime, I will stick to the version I like the most, that is the one in the Core, since it's a far better conceived rule than the too-3.5-like one in the Bestiary: it is not a "save or die" kind of rule, yet it is still a nasty menace, a true Pathfinder-style rule...
This is not about how me or you handle energy drain in the game... I strictly follow what the Core says and I too can tell how every source of negative levels works...
What I'd like to see is some official errata that excludes one or the other version of the rule, so to be sure what the right one is once and for all...
Besides, it's quite some time that no new errata get published, even though there are some manuals in desperate need for some...
Nope, it's not that simple...
As you can read from my quote above, the Core Rulebook refers to BOTH monster abilities and other sources of negative levels... This just cuts away the "bestiary refers to monsters, the Core to others" explanation...
Besides, the "permanentization" after 24 hours was the way negative levels functioned in 3.x, so, to me, that part looks a lot like a refuse of some sort...
This isn't so clear...
There are two different descriptions of the Energy Drain ability... That one is from the Bestiary, but the one on the Core is very different:
Someone said wrote:
This makes clear that temporary negative levels give a ST each day, while permanent do not give a ST at all...
Could some developer tell us which one is the right one? I like more the one on the Core Rulebook, but at the moment they are both "official"...
My two cents...
Flurry of Blows: Nice change, which adds attack options to a still too static special ability...
Ki Pool: I'm not sure I like this one. A monk already does more damage with its fists than with any other monk weapon and this change basically removes the only thing that made weapons viable for a monk: to bypass RDs that unarmed strikes were unable to bypass...
Amulet of Mighty Fists: Not sure what to think about this. I always thought that such an object should not exist and there should be other ways to bypass RDs with natural attacks and unarmed strikes. Besides, the rule about enhancement bonuses as equivalent to materials looks really silly to me, since it removes the need for those special materials to exist in the first place: you just need a bigger bonus, like in the past, a thing which was thankfully removed with 3.5 and needed not to be brought back...
It cannot be lowered, just forgot to add that in my post...
You do not consider that this kind of spell resistance affects also non-spellcasting classes, because it negates almost any magical item they could use and any buff they could receive...
Yes, they could use their +5 enhancement bonus from their sword or get that +2 resistance bonus to STs from that ring, but they can't use their weapon's or ring's special abilities, cannot receive protective magic such as energy resistance, remedies such as a cure diseases or a greater restoration, and not even utility magic such as a planar travel spell or a teleport, without having to pass their SR...
Even a ranger or a paladin will get a lot of troubles when using their spells or spell-like abilities...
You get a good trait, but also a far more cumbersome hindrance... That's why the cost for the first is canceled by the latter...