I, for one enjoy the no-win moral conflicts which playing a paladin often entails. I'm not thrilled with the idea of assuming paladins to be psychologically healthy. My favorite literary paladins are Don Quixote and Milla Jovovich's Jean d'Arc. Paladins ought to be unreasonably committed to unreasonably high ethical and moral standards and should have to face the cognitive dissonance of the world they inhabit.
I'm building an NPC Vigilante for my next campaign, and I'm interested in stacking the Thwart Pursuit (Ex) ability (add half vigilante class level as a bonus to all checks in a chase and to Diplomacy DCs to gather info on the vigilante) from the Serial Killer archetype which appears in Ultimate Horror with the Chase Master (Ex) vigilante talent (add the greater of half your vigilante level or+4 to all chase checks) which appears in Ultimate Intrigue.
Thwart Pursuit doesn't explicitly forbid this, but adding the whole class level as a bonus to all of the character's che checks will make her awfully tough quarry to catch. As a 6th level vigilante, this would give her a +7 bonus to all checks in a chase. If PCs need to role 11s and the villain only needs to role 4s, that seems brutal, but not insurmountable.
Some of these issues have been addressed in Pathfinder Unchained, while some others might be better addressed with a reprinting/rephrasing of existing rules. I for one would love to see some print-on-demand rules compendia - which I can wax on about later.
From Secret Wizard's OP:
Ability score growth has not been a problem for me and I tend to feel like I could address that ad hoc if it were, but I don't get to run games as often as I'd like, so maybe I'm just not getting the natural breakdown of the system. I'd be interested to hear more about the problems you all have with stacking ability scores. I also feel like the rules for stacking bonuses and penalties are pretty clear, but perhaps I just misunderstand them.
While I haven't implemented the Pathfinder Unchained rules on eliminating iterative attacks, I do think that this would be a good smoothlining houserule for most games. Action types do give me some grief, so I largely adjudicate based on common sense/whim. Can you do it out of turn? Does it take time to do? Closer to 3.1 seconds or 2.9 seconds? I'll concede that combat maneuvers could use some work, and it probably will require rebuilding from the ground up rather than tacking on more Improved Combat Maneuver feats. I think if I were responsible for this onerous and thankless task, I might start with the Iron Heroes ruleset Mike Mearls wrote for Monte Cook under the Malhavoc imprint. Attack options? +2/-2 still works pretty well for me. I like the STR mod for dmg model, too, and I don't encourage players to look for DEX mod to dmg options.
I like the idea of better mundane healing (mostly because I can rarely get anyone excited about playing a healer), but this feels like an option that might be easy to tack on. I'd have to think more about this.
Skill DCs almost always get circumstance modifiers in my game. 1st level commoners tend to invite PCs to ride roughshod over them while 20th level wizards never do.
I like the idea of more meaningful choices more frequently, but I like to tinker with characters and experiment with classes and archetypes. Some of my players like to play the same characters again and again, and some would prefer pre-gens without options beyond attack or don't. The Advanced Class Guide and Pathfinder Unchained offer some tweaked classes and I think there's still some design space left for classes that fill the space of existing classes, but afford more (or fewer) options. This might be a fun series of splatbooks to write: One with pared-down classes (Caster, Combatant, Skill-monkey, Healer, & Skirmisher) and a whole bunch with one class each and whole snotload of options to tweak and customize that class. I love that PF offers so many choices, but I encourage players to stick to a theme. I think that presenting choices in a narrower field of fire than the Core Rules does would go a long way to making the game more accessible, but also might restore some of the mystery and wonder in newer players. Item slots can be tweaked easily enough for any given campaign. Frankly, I almost don't even read the magic items in new splatbooks, because I know I'm generally going to just write my own as needed. When I build a PC, I almost invariably pay more to stack different abilities on the same slots. I think that standardizing defenses and damage dealt is an awesome direction for the simple-play classes I describe above, but for some players, the joy of the game is in experimenting with optimization options.
PossibleCabbage, your idea of giving clear, precise definitions for all key game terms is genius - especially in that it seems obvious in retrospect. How does the glossary not already define wield and unattended?
I, personally, would love to see more granularity in the spell levels. I loved the MC BoXM twenty-spell levels as well as the Arcana Evolved system of casting spells with higher or lower spell slots. I agree that spells could use some help, but I don't feel like they absolutely need it. The system works fine as it is, but there's room for entirely distinct systems of magic in the same game.
A system of weapon classification for fewer stat options with more names could work pretty well, and would almost certainly have to replace the existing system.
Riuken, can you explain what you mean by "Bound and diversify?"
Static bonuses is another Pathfinder Unchained system worth looking at. Personally, I like the default +X, etc system because it helps me fine-tune characters' power as needed.
I'll echo what others have said about standardizing the description of abilities and clarifying their interactions with one another. This is something that could be accomplished with another edition of the Core Rules conveying the existing rules - much like what TSR did with AD&D 2nd Edition: new art, new layout, but the same rules - mostly.
Yolande, I think you're on to something, but Paizo already did Mythic rules in lieu of Epic play.
I love the idea of chained spells, but I do think there's a lot of design work to be done to achieve such a thing. That might really require a new edition.
I don't think that the dvati are at all unbalanced in the long run. A 2nd-level pair or dvati fighter/rogues is clearly not the same issue, balance-wise, as a pair of 18th-level dvati sorcerers, but either way, I believe that the limits imposed on dvati are sufficient that I would even consider removing the LA, depending on what concept the player wanted to play.