My House Rules Feel Left Out!


Homebrew and House Rules


Noticing the recent mini-trend of folks posting their house rules made me feel as if I'd not been asked to dance at the party. Consequently, I offer this link to the house rules for Man Day's "We're Not In Arkansas Anymore!" campaign.

Enjoy!

Dark Archive

Expanding BAB is neat. Back in PF Alpha, I proposed that Fighters should be able to to this automatically, swapping out BAB for other stuff.

I like the Common Defenses vs. the Supernatural as well. There was some chatter relatively recently about how to convert the Supernatural TV shows mythology to a low-magic d20 game, and giving various supernatural beasties these sorts of 'common' weaknesses and vulnerabilities was a neat solution.


Spes Magna Mark wrote:

Noticing the recent mini-trend of folks posting their house rules made me feel as if I'd not been asked to dance at the party. Consequently, I offer this link to the house rules for Man Day's "We're Not In Arkansas Anymore!" campaign.

Enjoy!

Ooh, hey, I really like the alternate rules for increasing your attributes every four levels. Seems much more balanced, and helps even out MAD issues.

EDIT: I'm also liking the BAB expansion, although my gut feeling is that -3 to attacks or damage for +6 AC is too good. By the same token, -3 damage or AC for +6 to attacks seems too good. It might be better to make the bonus equal to the penalty for attacks and AC, and double for damage.

EDIT 2: I'm also liking that alternate rules for iterative attacks, although I can see some corner cases where it might be abused. (Really optimized archers, for example) Although, since the game is limited to 8th level, those corner cases might just never come up.


Set wrote:

Expanding BAB is neat. Back in PF Alpha, I proposed that Fighters should be able to to this automatically, swapping out BAB for other stuff.

I like the Common Defenses vs. the Supernatural as well. There was some chatter relatively recently about how to convert the Supernatural TV shows mythology to a low-magic d20 game, and giving various supernatural beasties these sorts of 'common' weaknesses and vulnerabilities was a neat solution.

Thanks! The Expanding BAB rules are one of the main pieces in my Fencing & Firearms rules. I'm definitely aiming for a lower magic vibe with the new campaign. I told my players I want the stories to be about their characters, not about their characters' equipment.

Brodiggan Gale wrote:
Ooh, hey, I really like the alternate rules for increasing your attributes every four levels. Seems much more balanced, and helps even out MAD issues.

Danke! I like the flexibility the system offers. A player can concentrate on improving a couple of lower scores in a meaningful way, or focus on jacking up that one important score. Again, these rules seem like a good way to get emphasis away from the supposed necessity of magic items for success.

Regarding the Expanded BAB trade-offs being "too good" I'll simply point out that they're the same trade-offs one gets using, say, Power Attack or Combat Expertise. Basically, I just made those feats standard abilities for all characters, and then removed the feats from play.


Spes Magna Mark wrote:
Regarding the Expanded BAB trade-offs being "too good" I'll simply point out that they're the same trade-offs one gets using, say, Power Attack or Combat Expertise. Basically, I just made those feats standard abilities for all characters, and then removed the feats from play.

Not quite, if you're trading attack for damage it's the same as power attack, yes, but combat expertise is 1 for 1 specifically because a +1 to AC is a lot more beneficial than a +1 to damage. If someone hits you on a 13 or better and you add 6 to your AC, you're cutting their damage by 75%. Similarly, if you need a 13 to hit someone, and you add +6 to your attacks, your damage is nearly doubling (175%).


Love the initiative houserule as well, started using basically the same system at my table to speed things up and give everyone a chance to be a bit more creative in how they worked together.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I've felt like Power Attack and Combat Expertise should just be part of the general combat rules from the start, so I approve. :) however, I think a one for one change is more reasonable. Maybe make it a feat to double the bonus or something.


Brodiggan Gale wrote:
Not quite, if you're trading attack for damage it's the same as power attack, yes, but combat expertise is 1 for 1 specifically because a +1 to AC is a lot more beneficial than a +1 to damage.

True, true. Mea culpa for typing too quickly. :)

Still, my rationale stands. I want low magic, but I still want heroic. The Expanding BAB rules seem to do a good job of simulating this. They give character's flexibility, put more emphasis on the PC, free up feat slots for greater customization, et cetera.

I've used these rules for a while now. They do change the game, but they don't break the system. As an added benefit, they also make combat more fun because I get to throw larger groups of baddies against my players.

:D


Spes Magna Mark wrote:

True, true. Mea culpa for typing too quickly. :)

Still, my rationale stands. I want low magic, but I still want heroic. The Expanding BAB rules seem to do a good job of simulating this. They give character's flexibility, put more emphasis on the PC, free up feat slots for greater customization, et cetera.

I've used these rules for a while now. They do change the game, but they don't break the system. As an added benefit, they also make combat more fun because I get to throw larger groups of baddies against my players.

:D

Heh, well if it works it works, I definitely like 90% of what you have, I've just gamed with one too many people that like to heavily optimize things, so I start looking for ways people might break things right off the bat. (For example, I could see a fighter focusing on Archery being just frightening with the combination of better iterative attacks, high dex, armor training, and the option to pump AC by giving up some damage. I can also imagine the AC bump making a big difference for ray / touch attack based casters, -2 to the attack on touch attacks is a tiny price to pay in exchange for +4 AC that stacks with mage armor and shield. EDIT: Druids as well, considering how hard it is for them to get armor bonuses while wildshaping now.)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I think I'm stealing the initiative rules from you. I like the freedom and speed having 'initiative groups' should bring to my combats. I'll just ask who rolled over the monsters init and who rolled under.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
I think I'm stealing the initiative rules from you. I like the freedom and speed having 'initiative groups' should bring to my combats. I'll just ask who rolled over the monsters init and who rolled under.

Exactly what I ended up doing, and it really, really helps the flow of combat. Cuts down on players getting bored and losing attention while they wait for their turn to come up as well because everyone is getting in on the discussion about who should do what when.


Brodiggan Gale wrote:
Exactly what I ended up doing, and it really, really helps the flow of combat. Cuts down on players getting bored and losing attention while they wait for their turn to come up as well because everyone is getting in on the discussion about who should do what when.

Indeed it does. Although I've not posted them in the House Rules section, I also have the players roll almost all the dice. I don't make attack rolls for monsters; players make defense rolls instead. I don't roll monster saving throws; players roll magic checks, for example, when casting spells. This helps keep the players engaged even when it's not their turn, and also cuts down on the amount of stuff I have to keep track of.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

And it will help me avoid skipping my wifes turn. Not a good thing to do, lemme tell ya...


Spes Magna Mark wrote:
Indeed it does. Although I've not posted them in the House Rules section, I also have the players roll almost all the dice. I don't make attack rolls for monsters; players make defense rolls instead. I don't roll monster saving throws; players roll magic checks, for example, when casting spells. This helps keep the players engaged even when it's not their turn, and also cuts down on the amount of stuff I have to keep track of.

Hmmmm... I might have to try that next time I run something using Pathfinder.

TriOmegaZero wrote:
And it will help me avoid skipping my wifes turn. Not a good thing to do, lemme tell ya...

Heh, I'd imagine not. One quick (and probably fairly obvious) tip, if all the monsters are going on one initiative, then as soon as they've acted the first time you can pretty much just say "Ok, now you all get to go" and just start switching off players -> monsters -> players -> monsters and so on.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Brodiggan Gale wrote:
Heh, I'd imagine not. One quick (and probably fairly obvious) tip, if all the monsters are going on one initiative, then as soon as they've acted the first time you can pretty much just say "Ok, now you all get to go" and just start switching off players -> monsters -> players -> monsters and so on.

Since I do sometimes split enemy turns up, such as with mooks and leaders, it wouldn't always turn out that way. Still, I've gotten tired of tracking each individual count when it doesn't make a difference overall.


Initiative really only matters much in a few instances:

1. If either the monster or the PC is rendered unconscious or dead.
2. If trying to disrupt a spell.
3. If trying to get in a pre-emptive shot.

Back when I DMed in 1st and 2nd edition days, I seldom even bothered with initiative. If one of the three cases above came up, then we rolled. Otherwise, I just had the players go and then the monsters went, and we just sort of handwaved what happened when.


Spes Magna Mark wrote:

Noticing the recent mini-trend of folks posting their house rules made me feel as if I'd not been asked to dance at the party. Consequently, I offer this link to the house rules for Man Day's "We're Not In Arkansas Anymore!" campaign.

Enjoy!

The monks get a bonus on their bad save?

What save is that?


nexusphere wrote:

The monks get a bonus on their bad save?

What save is that?

He's using a "pick any two good saves regardless of class" setup, so the bonus just basically gives monks back their all good saves.


Brodiggan Gale wrote:
He's using a "pick any two good saves regardless of class" setup, so the bonus just basically gives monks back their all good saves.

What Brodiggan Gale said. :)

I view the monk's three good saves as a class feature. Therefore, when I decided to use a "pick any two good saves regardless of class" setup, I wanted monks to retain that class feature. Thus, the bonus.

I also tie base saves to character level, not class level. This eliminates funky saving throw issues that stem from multiclassing.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Not a fan of 'everybody gets two saves'. Some classes (Wizard) should get only one good save. I don't have a problem with them picking, but for the most part, everyone is going to choose Fort and Will because that's where the Save-or-Dies are.

I would suggest extending the 'extra save as a class feature' to the rest of the classes. Everyone chooses one good save, and certain classes (Ranger, Paladin) get another good save as a class feature. Meanwhile, the Monk gets the class feature 'All good saves'. Just my take on it. I love basing it off of character level too. Solves so many problems, and multiclassing is that much simpler.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Some classes (Wizard) should get only one good save.

Why?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Spes Magna Mark wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Some classes (Wizard) should get only one good save.

Why?

Flavor, mostly. I haven't worked through it enough to claim it's logical. But having every class choose two good saves makes me feel like every character would have good fort and will and poor reflex. And if it ended up that way, I'd just have all saves on one progression and let ability scores make them different.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Flavor, mostly.

Well, then, I'm just opting for rocky road instead of mint chocolate chip. :)

And not everyone would opt for good Fort and Will. Maybe many would, but there're still players out there who base decisions on concept rather than what supposedly fits the parameters of the latest optimization fetish.

I know in my complete unscientific sample of five players, the good Fort/Will crowd accounts for 60% of the PCs.

YMMV, of course.

The Exchange

Fast Task and shifting BAB are my favorites.


snobi wrote:
Fast Task and shifting BAB are my favorites.

Thanks, snobi.

The funny thing about these house rules is that my players consistently don't take advantage of them. I'm providing them tools to be more heroic, and they insist on doing things the hard way.

:)

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